Starting in January I will have a plot of land for organic gardening that measures 70-80 sq meters (750-850 sq feet). I am specifically looking for a comprehensive beginner's gardening book/bible to help me plan and grow my garden, but anecdata and advice are also very much welcome. [more inside]
I am in Sydney, Australia. In the last week of April I planted seedlings that the garden centre had labelled as cabbage. They produced big beautiful leaves, but never headed. I assumed it was because it never really got properly cold. I was planning to rip them out soon, but they got taller and taller, and now they have started to produce thingies on the stem that look a lot like brussels sprouts. Could it be a mix-up with the seedlings? [more inside]
My husband and I just bought our first house. Woo! We would like to turn the grassy front yard (15 ft by 20 ft) into a vegetable garden next spring. What is the best way to go about doing that? [more inside]
Hi, We have had bees for weeks now flying into our bush. The bush is a medium sized one, and the bees have somehow created a hole (bigger than a fist) on the side of the bush, not the top. So they fly into the side of the hole and we can't see what is going on in there. [more inside]
Looking for botanist/gardener/scout/lumberjane input on whether this reddish and greenish plant is poison ivy. [more inside]
I've had an aloe in a large pot for the last 10+ years and it has grown to be HUGE. We want to re-pot it, and upon taking it out of its container noticed that its root is about 2 feet long. Will the plant live if we lob off half the root and re-pot it? If we were able to do that, we'd be able to keep it in the pot it is in now which takes up less space. Somewhat urgent question as there is aloe and dirt all over the front yard!
A bunch of shameless ravenous basil eaters have invaded our plants and are eating all the leaves. Help us to identify and stop them! [more inside]
My wife's birthday is mid-August. I want to give her the gift of a raised vegetable garden bed in our yard. I'm not sure how to put together the specific details in order to make this work. [more inside]
Let's say I'm going to use water soluble Miracle Gro on my lawn or garden. The rate suggested is 1 gallon of solution per 10 square feet. Should I water first, then apply the fertilizer solution? Or is the fertilizer application usually treated as a sufficient watering as well?
Our neighbors have these two perennial plants growing on the side of their hill, next to the sidewalk. They seem to be the only hillside plants that really gain any traction and spread from year to year. What are they? [more inside]
I'm looking for suggestions/advice on outdoor heating/cooking options for my garden. I want something with the following properties: [more inside]
There's an eyesore of a barren area, about 2m,5 x 2,5m (8ft x 8ft), in my backyard. I want to do something about it. Challenge #1: part of the area is permanently shaded. Challenge #2: I have two free-range chickens eager to eat everything tender and green. [more inside]
If I have some relatively newly sprouted seeds growing in the yard, should I just be watering the top few inches of soil? I know deep watering is good for root growth, but is it just a waste of water to water, say, 8-12 inches down? Is it preferable to slowly increase watering depth as time goes by?
This plant has been showing up every year for 12 years now. I don't know what it is. Can you help me? [more inside]
I got my soil tested for my new vegetable garden and am following my state extension service's recommendations for applying organic fertilizers. However, when comparing the amount they recommend versus the instructions on the packages, I'm beginning to wonder if there's a typo on the extension service's webpage... [more inside]
I'm a new homeowner (1 year now!) and am interested in learning more about gardening after decades of apartment dwelling. There are a lot of garden blogs out there, and I'd like to start by reading some that have a similar vibe to a home design blog I'm very familiar with, Apartment Therapy. [more inside]
I have a lot of containers for my garden, but a whole lot of them are maybe gallon size or smaller. What vegetables or herbs don't need a ton of root room? [more inside]
We have been labeling plants in a public garden with 1 inch bamboo and black text printed on clear all weather label tape. These labels don't last as long as we'd like them to and we're looking for ideas on how to fix this so we don't have to replace 40% of them each year. [more inside]
Hey cuties! I'm looking for a home soil test for figuring out whether I have high heavy metal concentrations in my yard (and therefore whether I can plant veggies right into the earth vs having to build raised beds). I'd previously used DrGoodEarth dot com (an online send-away service), but that site seems to have expired/gone. I'm happy to either use a service where I send in samples (as I did for Dr Good Earth), OR to bring samples IRL to a local place around Louisville KY. I'm not as concerned with the clay/sand/loam/silt breakdown as I am with Is There Lead Or Something In Here. Okay, thanks!
Low maintenance ground cover needed. [more inside]
I have a small apartment balcony and I hope to be able to have all the walls covered in green this summer. I feel like there is a lot of potential for it to go well, maybe, but I just have no idea what to do! I've been researching, but I could really use some help in weighing my options. Gardeners, plant lovers, apartment dwellers, please help with your insights! [more inside]
Our front garden beds are covered in this vine-like green monster- what is it? Trying to determine if it's an actual weed or something that was planted on purpose. Either way, I want to get rid of it, so tips on that would also be helpful.
Short version: I have a crate that is 50 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 35 inches deep. What plants have roots that can take advantage of the depth, but don't need much space to spread laterally? Long version: [more inside]
Having purchased a house on a sizable plot of land (0.6 acres), we find ourselves in a pickle -- we'd like to fix up the yard, currently best described as "woefully neglected", but we'd like to do the work ourselves. The problem being, while we have a good idea of what we want, we don't know how to do it. We want some sort of mentor, somebody to review ideas, tell us broadly how to go about doing the work, give us feedback after we're done, and so forth. [more inside]
Just moved to a place in SF south bay (mediterranean climate) with an empty raised bed garden, approx 10' x 5'. There are a couple of trees over it and fences/buildings blocking the west and east, so it only receives filtered light in the middle of the day. Any recommendations for edible plants (including herbs) that will grow well here? [more inside]
Can someone identify this plant? For the record, everything that looks red in the photo is actually a dead brown colour. It's looked mostly like this since I moved into this house in October, but the green bits on the ground are new. I'd like to know what it is so I know how to manage it. [more inside]
Misterben and I bought our first house this past summer. Over the winter, most of the grass in our small front lawn died due to grubs eating the roots. Seeds scattered from the neighbor's maple tree into the resulting mud now appear to be sprouting all over. [more inside]
What kind of edging can I use to contain a garden that abuts a sidewalk? [more inside]
We moved into our new home (Bloomfield, NJ) last May and inherited a beautiful garden from the previous owner that we did nothing to maintain. [more inside]
What's the advised planting time for Lonicera sempervirens (Blanche Sandman honeysuckle vine) in zone 7b? [more inside]
One of our rotten dogs (pictured here) escaped our backyard last night, almost certainly by jumping the back fence. Luckily, we were able to find him, but once he finds an escape route, he will try it again & again. To rule out this specific exit, I'm considering the idea of planting bushy shrubs along the fence to break up his running start and act as an extra buffer. I have a bit of a black thumb and need help deciding what to plant! [more inside]
I want to make a food-producing container garden on our (rented) apartment's small balcony. The good news: the balcony gets tons of sun. The bad news: the usable footprint is about 6'x6' and 6' of vertical space. What can I do to grow the most vegetables in this space? [more inside]
I'm looking for a drought resistant, shade tolerant, tall (at least 4 feet) perennial that can survive in a metal planter. [more inside]
I have room for perhaps 5 semi-dwarf fruit trees in my backyard near Seattle (Zone 8b), plus a handful of berry bushes. I know blueberries and apples grow well here so I plan to have some of each. Also, some (all?) plums nearby seem remarkably pest-free. Are there other favorites that aren't too much fuss that the family can enjoy picking? Figs? Cherries? Are mulberries too messy? I'm usually a DIYer but is it worth it to hire a edible landscaping consultant in this case? Thanks.
I'm thinking of doing this either next year or the following. Can I get some experiences, thoughts, and feedback? [more inside]
Has there ever been a travel series that focuses on various botanical gardens around the world? I'd like to live vicariously through a presenter as they visit the best temple gardens, indoor jungles, prairie gardens, and so on. Availability on some streaming service or at my local library would be ideal. [more inside]
I moved into a great new place yesterday, with a garden. I have hit the Holy Grail of Paris-area apartments. However. Garden has plants from previous tenant. I have cats. Cats will nom the plants. I'm unfamiliar with a few of the plants, and am particularly worried about curious noms of this one. MeFi, can my cats eat these? Or should I remove them? [more inside]
I have a practical need/personal desire to have some outdoor plants in containers -- some small, some medium, some large containers--as well as, preferably, some hanging baskets. However: I hate caring for outdoor plants in containers. What plants might a disinterested-but-interested gardener use with these constraints? [more inside]
I have a garden bed in Sydney, Australia, that is in part shade, but it's clearly now too hot for the rocket and other lettuces that were in there, as they are all bolting as soon as they mature. What should I replace them with for the summer months? [more inside]
We have this bush in our yard which is growing these berries, closer view. Can anyone identify it and tell us whether the berries are poisonous to toddlers or dogs? (No toddlers or dogs have eaten these berries yet.)
Something has been taking bites out of my tomatoes... probably squirrels or birds. I washed them, generously cut off the affected area, and cooked the sauce for 30 minutes. Am I about to poison my husband and teens?
Out of about 20 okra plants from the same purchased seed packet, I have one that's an especially good fruit producer - maybe 50% more than his neighbors. Is it worth my time to make a special effort to plant next years crop only from his seeds, or does this fall within the range of random variation / don't bother?
Asking for a friend: she has a butterfly house gourd in her back yard, suspended from a wrought iron hook standing in her garden. Each evening, it begins to swing of its own accord. Can you solve this mystery? [more inside]
My garden suffered greatly this year from attacks from insects- what can I do next spring to avoid this happening again? [more inside]
We have a stone house with a little doorway area that's just perfect for a trellis and a climber - we could eventually support something to about 12-14 feet high and 7 feet wide at its widest point. We'd love to plant something that would stay evergreen all year round and ideally would flower at some point in the year. [more inside]
We have a small garden that we planted with chicory and bishop's flower. What we got was not. What is it? [more inside]
Is this Giant Hogweed or something else? [more inside]
We had some landscape type people come in to trim back the bushes and such in our yard and part of that involved trimming back our cherry plum tree. I came home and found that they left nothing but the largest primary branches , having taken EVERYTHING else off. Will this sad thing make it through the summer? [more inside]
We have friends who just purchased a new home, and we'd love to get a gift certificate to a really good nursery in the DC area. She is an avid outdoor, non-edibles gardener. Can you advise where the best place for us to get the card at?