J. Musser
  • Member for 10 years, 6 months
  • Last seen more than a week ago
What is a 'Perched Water Table'?
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24 votes

Well, basically, the perched table is the saturation point, where the capillary action in the soil is canceled out by the force of gravity. Every type of growing media has a different perched table. ...

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What is this weedy grass and how can I control it?
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21 votes

That is annual bluegrass, Poa annua. It grows in lawns during the spring (and/or fall, depending on climate) and causes some very nice lawns to thin out, as it grows very thick and chokes out the lawn ...

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Does a pine needle mulch make your soil acidic?
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21 votes

No, in your lifetime, normal amounts of pine needles will not measurably acidify your soil. They are somewhat acidic, and acidify soil over long periods of time, unless the soil base is extremely ...

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Why are the blooms dropping off my zucchini without fruiting?
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20 votes

Those are male flowers, so what you're experiencing (no fruit) is absolutely normal. Female flowers have a mini fruit underneath, and usually appear when the plant is a little older. Look for a ...

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How many coffee grounds are too many coffee grounds for composting?
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18 votes

If you add enough carbon, then you can't really put too many grounds in. Coffee grounds are 20 carbon to 1 nitrogen or 20/1. A good ratio is 30/1 for aerobic composting, So lets say you use leaves ...

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Do any plants add nutrients back into the soil as they grow?
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17 votes

Legumes are often used for this purpose. From Wikipedia: Legumes are notable in that most of them have symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria in structures called root nodules. And Within legume ...

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How do I know when to harvest my potatoes?
16 votes

If you harvest when the flowers fall you will get a more tender potato, better for frying and boiling. If you wait until the tops are dried, you get the best storage potatoes, better for mashing and ...

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Is there actually such a thing as a ripe green pepper?
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16 votes

Green peppers are not ripe. Even if the seeds are viable (immature pepper seeds can be grown if planted soon after harvesting, but don't have the food storage for long storage), if the pepper is green,...

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What is this (fungus?) on my fruit trees, and should I treat it?
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15 votes

That is lichen, which is not detrimental to your tree's health (it's not a parasite, it lives off of photosynthesis). This is normal, no need to worry.

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Is it possible to recycle a Jack-o'-lantern into compost?
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15 votes

Pumpkins are easy to compost. If they were used for crafts/decoration, it's possible that they contain inorganic matter such as paint, ribbon, candle wax, plastic twine, foil, etc. Make sure all such ...

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What is this tiny strawberry-like fruit found in a Southern Illinois lawn?
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15 votes

That is Mock Strawberry, Duchesnea indica. The fruits are edible, but rather tasteless. This is a common weed in much of the United States. Look for small, strawberry-like plants in your lawn, with ...

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Should trees be staked when they are planted?
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14 votes

Should all trees be staked when they are planted? First, you have to find out Why people stake trees. What benefits are there to staking young trees? In nature, trees can germinate, grow, and mature ...

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Can I save broad bean seeds before they're dry?
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14 votes

Once the foliage dies back, the beans are mature, but must be dried. If you can't or don't want to dry them on the stalk, pull or cut the stems and hang them by the bases in a dry, airy place. Once ...

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How can I prevent stones from rising to the soil surface each year?
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14 votes

Well, in my area, unless you add about 6" of soil every year, the stones will rise to the surface each spring. Around here, we call it the 'crop'. I've heard it is frost action working on the stones ...

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Is this an ant colony on this fig tree?
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13 votes

You've got a bad infestation of fig wax scale. The ants are there for the honeydew, and are ant-farming. You want to get rid of the scale, they're basically living off of your plant, using up ...

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What is a good method for planting Ball and Burlap trees?
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12 votes

Time of year: Any time of year works, as long as the ground is not frozen, or the air very hot and dry. Obviously frozen ground will be 'hard to work with', and you will not be able to plant the tree ...

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Can rice be used as a potting medium?
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12 votes

The aloe is not growing in that medium. Sugar dissolves, rice and coffee decompose, when exposed to the conditions required for a healthy root zone. They would sour and kill the plant roots. Not ...

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Should I prune a Venus Flytrap to prevent it from digesting itself?
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12 votes

It won't digest live plant matter. Venus flytraps secrete the enzymes phosphatase, proteinase, nuclease and amylase. These enzymes target insect prey, which have high levels of protein. They do not ...

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What herbs/vegetables/greens can be grown in a balcony garden with limited sunlight?
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12 votes

Here are some things I have had experience with in this situation. They all will grow with proper care. thyme leaf lettuce radishes spinach pepper determinate tomatoes baby style carrots tophat ...

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Is rust from a steel rainwater barrel harmful to edible plants?
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12 votes

Rust is iron oxide, which does not harm plants in moderate amounts, because it is not water soluble unless the soil ph is very low. In fact, oxidized iron is what gives most red subsoils their color. ...

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Should peanut shells be composted?
12 votes

Yes, peanut shells can be compostable, but be sure that there is no salt on them. Often peanut shells have been salted, and these should not be added to compost because the salt will stay in the soil ...

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Why is the foliage turning yellow on this climbing indoor vine?
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11 votes

Looks like natural variegation to me...looks like a typical golden pothos (Epipremnum aureum). It's supposed to have these marks. They show up and contrast best with good lighting. Don't worry about ...

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What is this large plant that came up when I turned my soil?
11 votes

That looks like a squash of some kind. It will probably send out runners and spread quite a bit. The fruit should be edible, but I can't really tell what it will look like. It may be more like a ...

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What is this little insect larvae on my cucumbers?
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11 votes

That is a ladybug larvae - don't kill it. It is eating pests, and is a beneficial insect. Are the beetles they were found with ladybugs? that would make sense. But Mexican bean beetles and Cucumber ...

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What is the name of symmetrical, orange/red flower?
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11 votes

That is a partially opened Lantana flower. See comparison pics: I think it is Lantana camara. See picture of L camara below:

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What should I do after a tree removal and stump grinding to prepare for grass?
11 votes

This is one job that I get to do quite often each year. Grass doesn't grow as well in wood chips as it does in topsoil, so be prepared for some digging. I find that a pitchfork is often easier to use ...

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Are the seed pods of giant sunflowers normally empty?
11 votes

I have had that happen to me before, and I found a very small worm, the sunflower moth larvae, resembling a miniature corn ear worm. They were boring very small holes in the shells and eating the ...

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Does ginger grow well indoors?
11 votes

It grows well as a forced plant indoors, and will grow year after year if the rest period and fertilizer needs are met. The roots from the supermarket usually work but may have been sprayed by a ...

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Sudden Outbreak of Yellow Leaves on Tomato (and Other) Plants
10 votes

That is Early Blight, Alternaria solani. The earlier you treat, the better the control, as a strong infection will build up resistance to the fungicide. Here's what to do: Remove all leaves showing ...

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Should I overseed this overgrown lawn?
10 votes

Sure! You can reseed that. Wait till the ground is going to stay drained.Grass will germinate and grow fast in wet conditions, but then if you walk through, or mow, it will lie down and rot. Because ...

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