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Do I actually need a watering can for my vegetable garden?

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]
posted by mynameisluka on Apr 11, 2014 - 13 answers

 

Vacation from gardening

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]
posted by five_cents on Apr 3, 2014 - 9 answers

Balcony vegetable patch

I live in an apartment and am thinking about growing vegetables in containers, not sure where to start! [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA on Mar 19, 2014 - 11 answers

Help me grow great greens

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]
posted by whistle pig on Mar 15, 2014 - 17 answers

How to best dig through frozen ground to put in raised flower beds?

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?
posted by jadegenie on Mar 15, 2014 - 11 answers

Gardening for the overbooked

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]
posted by wintersweet on Mar 7, 2014 - 12 answers

Need a garden center in Nebraska

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]
posted by PlantGoddess on Feb 26, 2014 - 3 answers

Help me learn to garden. Difficulty level: Scotland

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]
posted by ukdanae on Feb 8, 2014 - 12 answers

Can you identify this plant?

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]
posted by burnfirewalls on Jan 30, 2014 - 5 answers

What are some tips for the beginner gardener?

I am a complete novice to gardening but would like to start a vegetable garden for this spring/summer. I work a low income job so I need to do things on the cheap. I'm looking for suggestions or tips I haven't read online. [more inside]
posted by Aranquis on Jan 27, 2014 - 19 answers

Current Muslim attitudes to the idea of recreating paradise

I'm interested in knowing what people practicing any of the branches of Islam feel about the idea of recreating paradise on earth. The Quran describes paradise as a garden and there are historic gardens which use these descriptions as a template. Is making a garden templated on paradise as described in the Quran blasphemous in the eyes of Islam today? [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Jan 6, 2014 - 6 answers

Turn my veggie garden into flowers?

I put together a nice, deep raised garden box last summer and planted a bunch of vegetables. Most of them went bad and I don't want to do that this year. Rather than try to work a veggie garden into my life of full-time work and chasing after a 3-year-old, I'd like to plant some flowers and herbs that I can use to make bouquets to bring in the house all year long.... [more inside]
posted by amanda on Jan 1, 2014 - 9 answers

Stuck on you

What is the best way to clean and remove the remnants of vines that have been stuck to my garage wall for years in preperation for a paint job? The little nubs that remain after the vines have been pulled away.
posted by silsurf on Dec 27, 2013 - 9 answers

Help me find a Plant of the Month Club for a gardener's gift!

I'm looking for recommendations for a monthly subscription club that ships live plants suitable to be replanted outside or, at a minimum, kept alive on a porch or window. Cut flowers won't work here, I want to give a gardener a steady stream of projects and surprises for 2014. Mid-Atlantic region of the east coast if it helps. Thanks you so much in advance! This is a bear of a bunch of search terms.
posted by troublewithwolves on Dec 19, 2013 - 6 answers

Redoing a garden. In winter. In Switzerland.

We moved to Zurich earlier this year. Our apartment has a couple of balconies, both with raised gardens around the edges. When we moved in, they had been untouched for months and are full of scrubby things and stumps. I want to spend winter (while the ground isn't frozen) cleaning them out for spring, as well as preparing the rest of the garden for potentially heavy snow. [more inside]
posted by tracicle on Dec 8, 2013 - 7 answers

I'm mad about the breadfruit.

I am going to be in Oahu in December and January, and am keen to find: (A) breadfruit; and (B) breadfruit seeds (commercially packaged). Where are they to be found? [more inside]
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace on Nov 6, 2013 - 2 answers

Anyone Remeber History program with Graeme Garden??

Does anyone know the name of a early/mid 80'sTV UK program which starred Graeme Garden in which (in one episode) he visits one of the Portsmouth area Napoleonic Forts??
posted by maxmix on Oct 26, 2013 - 1 answer

Cat used our vegetable garden as a litterbox.

Can we still eat it? The vegetables, I mean. [more inside]
posted by casarkos on Oct 16, 2013 - 17 answers

Pokeweed in Michigan - keep or remove?

I live in southern Michigan, and am the new owner of an old garden. The gentleman who owned our house previously was ill for about 2 years before he passed away, so the gardens have been untended for somewhere between 3-5 years. I have 9 pokeberry plants. I think they're pretty, the birds like them, and the neighbor with whom I share the fence likes them fine. I'd like to keep 2-3 of the plants. Am I an idiot for not pulling them all? (Info about kids and pets under the "more inside.) [more inside]
posted by RogueTech on Oct 12, 2013 - 9 answers

Creative uses for old cut stones (blank tombstones)?

My house was built in 1890. When I had foundation work done several years ago, the workers dug out a lot of dirt from under my house, and in that dirt they found a bunch of cut and carved stones - pure white marble, limestone, and granite. [more inside]
posted by caryatid on Oct 4, 2013 - 14 answers

Beautifying my backyard, and I need a little help!

I live in zone 9b (northern CA) and I'm looking for good ground-cover plants that are hearty, can withstand moist/rocky soil, and need lots of water. The challenge is that this area (about 8 square feet) is right next to the foundation of our house, and the gutter pours water into the area. Details below the fold. [more inside]
posted by luciddream928 on Sep 22, 2013 - 8 answers

Concrete garden?

How do I beautify a concrete "garden" space without relying on my green thumb? [more inside]
posted by rustcellar on Aug 19, 2013 - 16 answers

Looking for Evergreen shrubs happy in partly shady spot in zone 5.

I am looking for some evergreen shrub/bush/small tress suggestions to plant along the front of our house. I am originally from Australia and have little idea of plants etc here in the US so any help or suggestions appreciated, and I'm happy to try something people might think is unusual if it meets the requirements. We are in Zone 5 (Northern Indiana) and the spot we'd like to plant them is part shade in summer and pretty much full shade all winter. We'd be looking at around the 3 to 5 foot range in height and are happy to prune them thought I'd prefer them to not need pruning all the time but also not to be so slow growing they take years to reach the desired size. I am not planning on trimming to fancy shapes so the plants don't have to be hedging style plants, just keep their leaves all year around. [more inside]
posted by wwax on Aug 19, 2013 - 4 answers

The slow vegetable drip

Our garden is happily producing vegetables for us, and I want to take some of this fresh, homegrown produce and preserve it. However, we're not getting large enough batches of produce to actually can or pickle. How do I work around this? [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot on Jul 29, 2013 - 7 answers

Freeware garden and deck design software?

The parents are wanting to redesign the deck and garden. They found a few pieces of software but nothing yet that allows them to upload a photo and paste 3d mock-ups of a plan onto the photo. If that isn't something that's reliably done (out of my depth here), perhaps just a great piece of free-ware for deck and garden design? I guess they could 'design' in the existing garden space prior to the deck design. Thanks!
posted by Slackermagee on Jul 19, 2013 - 2 answers

How to prevent or deal with grass allergies

I stopped weeding the yard a few years ago because my grass allergies are pretty bad. Even when I've covered my skin with gloves, jeans, and covered shoes I've gotten so itchy that I couldn't sleep at night. Bt the weeds come fast and furious in our yard and my husband has a hard time pulling them all, even though he uses Roundup to help keep them at bay. So I'd like to help if I can, and am wondering if there are effective ways to protect my skin to minimize allergic reactions. OTC itch medicines haven't made much of a difference for me.
posted by lirael2008 on Jul 9, 2013 - 14 answers

Gardening and plant placement in an overcast climate

How does living in an area with near-constant overcast skies affect the placement of plants that are labeled "Full Sun", "Part Sun/Part Shade" or "Shade"? [more inside]
posted by echolalia67 on Jul 5, 2013 - 4 answers

Help me cheaply improve my crappy apartment's barren soil/dying shrub

What are some cheap plants/landscaping that can grow in the shady barren-dirt-place next to my condo's front door and/or something I can do to revivify the pathetic shrub that languishes nearby? [more inside]
posted by Locative on Jul 2, 2013 - 9 answers

Give me grapes!

I moved into a new house this past winter and was told I had grapevines (I believe concord?). I can see them coming in but any tips for how to best care for the vines to yield the most grapes? So far, I've done nothing but watch.
posted by katie521 on Jun 16, 2013 - 4 answers

Landscape design history: Beaux Arts versions of Persian-Mughal gardens

I work in a garden that is a Beaux Arts designed garden that mimics a Persian/Mughal walled garden. I'm interested in finding out what the Beaux Arts guys knew about these gardens and the ideas/symbolism/history that they were thinking about when they were designing them. [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Jun 7, 2013 - 6 answers

Help me send water up the wall

This evening I'll be installing a new drip irrigation system for our garden. I've got vegetables down low, plus some planted on top of an 8-foot retaining wall, and I'm wondering if the system will work. [more inside]
posted by sleevener on Jun 5, 2013 - 7 answers

What kind of plant is this?

I inherited an existing plot in a community garden a few weeks ago, and there was a medium sized plant that seemed pretty established, so I left it alone. It is now an extremely large plant. The vines have fine spiky hairs, and the leaves are about 5 inches long, with 3 or 5 lobes and serrated edges. Does anyone recognize it?
posted by helicomatic on Jun 2, 2013 - 6 answers

Outdoor lights got wet -- now what?

I have these strings of tiki lights in my backyard and they got wet! [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster on May 26, 2013 - 3 answers

Starting Channel Island Bush Poppy from seed?

I have long lusted after a Channel Island Bush Poppy (dendromecon harfordii) but can never find the plant at any of our local native plant nurseries here in Los Angeles. I ordered seeds and have found conflicting information about how to start it from seed. I received a packet of seeds and a pink slip of paper that contained the same chemicals released in brush fire conditions. The instructions said to soak the paper with the seeds for 24 hours and then sow. No more information than that. [more inside]
posted by dottiechang on May 20, 2013 - 6 answers

Bee House Suggestion

I am thinking of purchasing a bee house for orchard mason bees. What recommendations do you have? What do I need to know?
posted by Bunny Ultramod on May 17, 2013 - 4 answers

How do I learn to garden in Southern Louisiana?

Resources on gardening in Southern Louisiana? It's currently me vs. bad soil, scary bugs and hot hot heat. [more inside]
posted by ashtabula to opelika on May 16, 2013 - 12 answers

Composting for Dummies

I'd like to start composting... I think. I am lazy and I am worried about vermin. What style of composter do I need? Any special tips for buying/getting started with a system? [more inside]
posted by nkknkk on May 6, 2013 - 15 answers

Homescaping Query

What's a good bush to plant next to the front door? This is in coastal Massachusetts. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Apr 28, 2013 - 17 answers

The best, most stylish planting pots online?

I'm looking to outfit an apartment window garden with some kick-ass pots of various sizes and shapes. Where's the best online retailer of not-plastic, not-boring brown, pots and gardening containers? Bonus if they sell supplies like potting soil and live plants and seeds.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 26, 2013 - 6 answers

Putting up a bat house in NYC: batty?

I bought a bat house and I am planning to put it up in my Manhattan garden. But now I'm hearing that there aren't any bats in NYC because of a disease? and that it's a stupid idea anyway because where would the bats be coming from? [more inside]
posted by DMelanogaster on Apr 22, 2013 - 16 answers

Is this anthracnose on my Japanese maple?

What is eating my acer palmatum? [more inside]
posted by reverend cuttle on Apr 21, 2013 - 2 answers

Garden of Lost Fruit?

In The Fruit Hunters by Adam Gollner, he mentions "Bologna's Garden of Lost Fruit" as a fruit-focused tourist destination (p. 35). Googling for this name only brings up a Google Books snippet of the book, and trying to translate it to Italian doesn't seem to give anything useful either. What is this place called in Italian, and where can I find it?
posted by Yiggs on Mar 30, 2013 - 4 answers

First-time Earthbox/City Picker/self-watering planter questions.

With the last frost date in sight, I'm planning to pick up a couple of these Earthbox clones for my deck, and I'm looking for any and all tips to improve the likelihood of success. [more inside]
posted by ndg on Mar 28, 2013 - 6 answers

Non-gardening city dweller in search of cheap and easy access to basil.

I'd like to turn a piece of my apartment into a garden. Like, an herb garden. Probably. Help. [more inside]
posted by phunniemee on Mar 19, 2013 - 20 answers

Seeking recommendations for books about plants and gardening

This past week I was at a job interview and was asked what my favorite book on gardening was and I had trouble answering. I eventually said Dirr, but felt that my answer was kind of boring; this led to the realization that I should probably do some reading. Please help me find some good books about plants. [more inside]
posted by sciencegeek on Mar 12, 2013 - 13 answers

Questions about Frogs in my Pond

I have frogs in my UK (Southampton) Pond! A friend took a picture and they look like this. I think they look like pool frogs, not common frogs, which I would love to get confirmed. So, questions. Is the Pool Frog hypothesis feasible? Will the huge quantity of weeds on top of the pond harm them at all? They can't seem to easily leave the pond (there is a rocky overhang which they can't navigate), is there a way to help them, or is it even a problem at all? Finally, is there anything I can do to make their stay in my garden safer for them? I'd rather avoid disturbing them too much, but I would like to encourage future frogs.
posted by ElliotH on Mar 9, 2013 - 4 answers

How far do you need to be from a busy highway to grow edible plants?

Looking around at houses for sale in a high-traffic area (NYC suburbs). I-95 runs through all of the towns. What's the minimum distance I'd want the property to be from 95, in order to grow an edible vegetable garden (in raised beds)?
posted by xo on Feb 26, 2013 - 8 answers

Seeking suitable plants for an awkward flower bed, zone 8a.

My flower bed gets full sun in Summer, full shade in Winter, and plenty of dog pee. What can I plant? [more inside]
posted by reverend cuttle on Feb 23, 2013 - 8 answers

Decent garden center south of Pittsburgh?

I'm going to help my brother install a raised bed and some fruit trees/bushes in a couple of weeks. We're probably going to be putting in some raspberries/blackberries, blueberries, and maybe a few fruit trees. I do not want to purchase diseased/generic junk at a big box. Is there a decent garden center in the West Newton area? Bonus points for tipping me off to somebody who can deliver a yard or three of garden soil/compost. Many thanks!
posted by Camofrog on Feb 14, 2013 - 3 answers

It's gardening catalog season and I need help!

I'm looking for suggestions for a flowering groundcover for my garage-side garden to fill in the spaces between the dwarf reblooming lilacs and Widow's Tears already growing there. The current groundcover is Snow in Summer which has pretty flowers and foliage, but is oh-my-god too invasive and fast growing. I feel like I'm constantly ripping chunks of it out so it doesn't climb up the lilacs or spill over onto the lawn. I'd like to put in something that is either white or some shade of purple, doesn't require much maintenance, but is far better behaved than the Snow in Summer. We live in USDA zone 5 and the garden in question gets afternoon sun. (I know nothing about the Ph or the type of soil; I'm hoping that it will be apparent to the cognoscenti from my location and the other plants that are thriving in the same garden.)
posted by DrGail on Feb 13, 2013 - 7 answers

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