My sister and I are trying to figure out how to do raised bed gardening on the extremely cheap. I have proposed building the beds out of the cardboard boxes left over from our recent move. What are the likely consequences of this plan, and do you have a better and/or cheaper option? [more inside]
What is this bug? It's an inch-long caterpillar with a distinct red head, chewing holes in my rose leaves. I found a great picture online, but no really useful info. I'm in DC, and these things are destroying the foliage on my roses, as well as some of my vegetable plants. Most importantly, how do I get rid of them?
My flowerbeds are overrun with weeds, no matter how much I pull. Should I start completely over, and if so, what's the best way to do that? [more inside]
What bush/shrub should I plant in the newly open garden space underneath my front window? [more inside]
A plant appeared next to my tomato plant in a balcony box and I'd like to know what exactly it is. [more inside]
Over many years of learning how to cook, I developed from slavishly following recipes (and often screwing up anyway) to being able to improvise with a decent success rate. Now I'm learning how to garden, and would like to make a similar transition. If you have done this, what helped? [more inside]
I'm currently having a deck installed in my backyard - yay! We're using composite decking made from recycled wood and high density polyethylene plastic. I noticed last night that they are cutting the boards quite close to my herb garden and the dirt and plants are covered in sawdust. Will this sawdust make my herbs/tomatoes unsafe to eat? [more inside]
I have some new unknown plants springing up in my inherited plot. Could you help me identify some of these from the photos? I'm guessing they are about half weeds, half vegetables. [more inside]
I started my very first vegetable garden this year! Woo! But while it hasn't been an issue yet, I am quite concerned over the likelihood that my garden will be eviscerated by animals. However, it isn't as simple as "build a fence, dummy!". [more inside]
New gardener inherited a plot, asking for help to identify seedlings. Which weeds or vegetables are these? (album link inside) [more inside]
My second year of square foot gardening has been extremely successful so far, after a disappointing first year. The productive spring had given me momentum and motivation - help me keep it going. [more inside]
How do I garden? More precisely...how do renovate/set up a perennial bed and get it looking good for next month, not just next summer? It's time to do something about the horrible parking strip/hell strip out front and I'm not sure how to execute when it's a total mess, some things are already blooming, and I want it to be not-crappy looking basically as soon as I'm done. [more inside]
We recently moved to an apartment with a large balcony. We were super excited about the possibilities, especially growing veggies / herbs / flowers with our kids. But surprise!! We can't find dirt! My child has a peanut allergy, and - WHO KNEW?? - most commercially available dirt / potting soil has peanuts and peanut shells as a filler. My child's allergy is severe enough that we won't take the risk of having it around. How can we enjoy the full potential of our balcony and maybe even enjoy some living, growing things? [more inside]
There is poison ivy growing into my vegetable garden. The area it originates from is not accessible, and the roots are right next to the garden. How can I get rid of it? [more inside]
So I'm not much of a DIY person, but I might want to build a pergola along one side of my back yard. Normally I'm a trial-and-error kind of person, but since this would involve concrete-set posts, parts of this have to be right the first time. I still have some questions after googling around. [more inside]
I bought standing planter boxes for my wife and she hasn't touched them yet because there are always 3-4 of these pests (hornets?) on the wood. She would like to plant strawberries and other edibles so we obviously don't want to use chemicals. Any advice on how to repel these buggers? Photo of bug
I'm taking my Mom out for lunch on May 23rd. Normally she'd like to just eat at the bar around the corner when visiting but it's the 'Mothers Day' lunch so I'd like to go up a few notches. Ideally I'd take her to the Central Park Boathouse but they don't do reservations on the weekends. Where can I take her in town that's sufficiently 'nice' to be a special occasion but not overly fancy/exotic/hip and has a full lunch-y lunch menu, not just an egg- brunch? [more inside]
Help! Own a condo; HOA told us the wood porches would be painted this week after a spray wash. Workers just began to spray bleach everywhere on the wood to kill black mildew (wood was untreated after porches built 4 years ago). Concerns: 8 months pregnant asthmatic (me), our partly-tamed feral cat who spends much time on the porch, and a host of plants. I just watched as bleach misted down from the above porch coating everything on my porch. Help! [more inside]
My mint plant has broken free of its constraints and has utterly taken over my planter box. It's EVERYWHERE, with runners I can't seem to fully eradicate. I'd like to reclaim the box (4' x 4') and encourage the other herbs (chives, parsley, lemon thyme, etc.) I have started there. But how? Is there a way to get a mint-free clean slate? [more inside]
Our plum tree fails to develop plums properly. Beautiful white blossoms will appear in about a months time soon to be followed by small plums, but they do not develop turn yellow and fall off. The tree seems healthy and is growing otherwise. What can we do? [more inside]
How do you secure a Christmas lawn ornament to the ground? I'm talking about the plastic 40 inch high decorations, like the Santa Clauses, and Mrs. Clauses and snowmen. [more inside]
First winter in our new house, and the first real (but probably short lived) snow will come Wednesday (USDA Hardiness Zone 6A). We won't have to to prep for this snowfall, but what should we be doing longer term for the plants in our garden during the winter? [more inside]
It's getting to be fall and winter's not far behind. This is our first fall/winter in our first home. What are the practical/DIY/gardening-y things we need to do to be ready for the change in seasons? [more inside]
I would like to purchase this plant for my garden -- it's blue(ish) and spiky. Image is here. But I can't figure out what it's called. Thank you!
What to do with a rock path in our yard that is almost covered in grass? [more inside]
I have outdoor space for the first time in my life at my new house. But as a lifelong apartment dweller and city boy, I have virtually no horticultural knowledge. Can you recommend resources to help orient me in my little yard? I'm pretty much at square one. [more inside]
I am looking for tried-and-tested methods for shaping fruit on the branch. What have you tried that has worked? [more inside]
We have friends with restaurants who would buy fingerlings, table flowers, herbs, etc. We have an artesian well. We have a giant ancient hops vines we could grow more with clippings. That's about all our ideas for now. Thank you.
I got a pair of blueberry bushes recently. They were potted and intended for ground planting, but I was unable to plant them. I was out of town for a week and a half and they went about that long with little or no water. When I returned, the leaves were brown and crispy and the soil was bone-dry. I put them in the ground and watered them copiously every day, but it's been a few days and they seem no better. Is there anything I can do to revive them, or am I out of luck?
I'm considering investing in a robotic lawn mower. Technical specs and short reviews are easy to find, but I'm having trouble sorting out if the investment is worth it, or if I should rather buy a high-end "normal" lawn mower or possibly a riding one. How is life with a robotic lawn mower? [more inside]
Teach me how to garden. We are in Zone 7 in Southern US with one plot that gets full sun and another that gets partial sun. Our flowers keep dying or being eaten by deer. Help. [more inside]
The house I live in was flipped and landscaped with these cactuses before we moved in. The largest one seems to be dying. It looks rotten in the center and even has some mold. I suspect the recent heavy rains and lack of good drainage. The question I have is two fold: Is it possible to fix this guy, or is he a goner? If I do replace the plant, what kind of plant is it, and how should i prevent this from happening again? Here are some pictures of the plant.
I've planted a variety of trees around my house - kwanzan cherries, tulip trees, flowering crabapples - and many seem to have shared problems. These are 1) extra thick trunks for their size, 2) a tendency toward something like witch's brooming, and 3) a tendency to grow off vertical. No basic nutrient problems on soil testing, but haven't done trace minerals. Should I break up with them, or is there someway to work this out?
Getting a very belated start on planting my garden. Raised beds, zone 8, vegetables. What seeds can I plant this late, and what kinds of starts should I get? [more inside]
This is specific to the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area--what garden shops have gallon tomatoes on sale? These are the plants that are already grown up a couple of feet or more, may have flowers or even fruits already, and come in gallon or similarly sized pots. [more inside]
Last summer, I put a row of plants in my east window box--USDA Zone 6A in Somerville, MA. They seem "behind" others in the neighborhood. I can't find information on when they should sprout. Have I killed them or am I being impatient? Did I not let some of them seed? Most importantly, do I need to replace them? Or if not, how can I care for them as they return? More below! [more inside]
I've got an automatic backyard sprinkler system that has sprung a leak, but I have no idea where or how. I'd trust the gardening company that installed it, but they weren't very good at previously finding leaks in their own work (they installed it). Are there professionals that use modern tools to solve these kinds of problems? Should I just call a plumber or HVAC guy or is there someone more appropriate? [more inside]
I have a long term garden for the first time. What should I plant to pay off over the long run? [more inside]
Maintenance workers used my outside water spigot to fill up the gargantuan tanks on their trucks. No surprise, my water bill sky rocketed. I bought and installed a spigot lock which worked like a charm for about a year. Now, with warm weather and the need to water fast approaching, I can't get the damn thing off! [more inside]
What do people wear on their feet to garden? [more inside]
I'd like to make a new garden gate. I'm aware the term garden gate has many possible interpretations, so to clarify: by this I mean a gate from the border of my yard to the communal snicket that runs along the back of all the terraced houses in my street. What I'd like to do is go for a bit of a medieval look. This means big dome headed black nails on the exterior side of the door, a grille in the middle for checking who is about before opening the door and, this is where I need help: a safe style thrown bolt on the inside. It's this last bit I'm having trouble with. I don't know how to Google for inspiration because I don't know the correct term. I'm thinking of a handle that when moved either up or down or left to right operates perhaps two or three other bolts which all slide into place by the action of that one initial movement. Any ideas? Just a bit of fun. I think my son would enjoy it.
First-time gardener here. Hooray—I inherited a half-plot in my neighborhood garden in Boulder, CO! Now I'm wondering if I should invest in a watering can or if I'm okay without. [more inside]
The gardener in the family is going to be travelling from July through December, leaving me home alone with assorted pets and a large, wild vegetable garden. What's the best, lazy way to NOT garden this summer? [more inside]
I live in an apartment and am thinking about growing vegetables in containers, not sure where to start! [more inside]
I suck at gardening. Past gardening efforts have ended in disaster (bug infestations, groundhog eating everything, plants dying for no obvious reason that I can see). This year, though, I would like for it to be different. I would like to grow my own leafy greens--kale, spinach, lettuces, chard, collards, etc. I'm not so interested in other things like tomatoes and peppers. Do you have any advice for exactly what I need to do to grow great greens? [more inside]
We'd like build and replace some raised garden beds for a school in Chicago. We've had an unseasonably cold winter and the ground may still be frozen. We have the last weekend in March dedicated to this project. How much can we reasonably dig out and how? What are some rental tools to look into? How long would it take to thaw the ground with fires and heat lamps?
We've just started renting a house, so we can grow delicious things to eat! However, I need to unpack (and write, and cook, and teach, and...) rather than garden. I am willing to throw a certain amount of money at this problem. What should I look for at garden stores? [more inside]
We have a friend in Central City, and her Mom just died, so the other members of our far-flung group wanted to get a gift certificate from a local garden center that she could redeem for a tree, or piece of garden art. Trouble is, we don't know what's available out there.. [more inside]
I have a new house with a lot of garden space (~60sq m), and I have no idea what I'm doing. I need guidance starting pretty much from the beginning, but a lot of the recommended books I've seen are for the US and not the UK. [more inside]
I received several plants from a friend of mine to start my indoor garden. Neither of us knows what type of plant this is, despite hours of trawling gardening websites. Photo. [more inside]