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?
We have a small garden that we planted with chicory and bishop's flower. What we got was not. What is it? [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?
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]
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]
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
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]
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!
I am looking for tried-and-tested methods for shaping fruit on the branch. What have you tried that has worked? [more inside]
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?
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]
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]
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 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]
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]
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]
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!
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.
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]
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?
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]
My flower bed gets full sun in Summer, full shade in Winter, and plenty of dog pee. What can I plant? [more inside]
How do I make friends with corvids? [more inside]
I have a large tree with two trunks in my garden. What should I do with them? [more inside]
Is coarse sand a cheap alternative to perlite, coconut coir or vermiculite when you want to use it in container garden? [more inside]
Best way to dispose of lava rock [more inside]
Why can't I hire a landscaper? I know how to find one. I know how to show what I want done and how to ask for bids. Why can't I get one of them to accept the job? [more inside]
Hey Dr. Hodgins: my garden soil is pretty like a rainbow! How do I find out what's making it that way, and whether it's safe to grow veggies in? [more inside]
Random plant in the garden: Weed or ...? [more inside]
For the first time in my life I have a garden! What books should I read to take me from gardening ignorance to green-fingered? Both the garden and I are in the UK.
What varieties of vegetables should I plant in my tiny front yard garden in DC? I have a bunch of seed catalogues, but the 10+ pages of tomato varieties are overwhelming! What are your favorite varieties of tomato, cucumber, beans, etc. to grow? [more inside]
Do I persevere with unexpected baby rose bushes growing out of sand which used to be the base of neglected turf? Rose experts, please advise me. [more inside]
How do I not kill my herbs this winter? Container gardening in NYC. [more inside]
I have a couple of questions about my Armenian cucumbers. I need recipes, for one, and also am curious about whether anyone is familiar with variants. [more inside]
What's the best/least expensive way to run a garden hose from my cellar thru a brick wall to the front of my house? [more inside]
Please help us identify this flower that I just paid money for, that my parents claim is a scourge upon their yard at home. [more inside]
What is wrong with this bush? If it is dying, how can I save it? [more inside]
Aside from mushrooms, are there any decorative houseplants I can grow in a dark and neglected apartment?
Does a dark and somewhat uninhabited apartment mean I can't have houseplants? [more inside]
How can I keep predators out of my small container pond? [more inside]
Where can I get a big stack of newspapers for free/cheap? Or other garden mulch substrate. [more inside]
My mother's birthday is coming up and I'd like to buy her a 'fancy', but usable watering can. Any suggestions?
I'm growing several containers of tomatoes on my deck, and also... something else. Blue tomatoes!? Can anyone tell me what these are? (A few other photos: 1, 2, 3)
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