We have a line of 5 birch trees along our driveway. They are beautiful all year long, screening the neighbor's house from our living room view in the summer, dropping leaves and letting in more light in the winter, but still a lattice of branches to screen a bit. They are all dead or dying. Bronze boring beetles. Nothing can be done. According to more than one expert, "Birches are no longer a sustainable species in our part of the world." What can we plant instead? [more inside]
I've planted a few vegetables in containers outside (I'm in NY if that matters). I used sta-green potting soil, which claims to have up to 9 months of slow release fertilizer. I bought some miracle-gro liquid fertilizer, but I'm not sure if that would be too much in addition to what's in the potting mix? If not, when would you suggest to start adding the miracle gro? [more inside]
Why are my yellow squash growing tough, leathery skins like a gourd? [more inside]
Hello gardeners and DIY people of MeFi! I'm in the market for a gardening-related gift for mr. hgg, and I came across this seed keeper in the Lee Valley catalogue. It seems like a good, useful present for a serious amateur gardener, but it's really...utilitarian looking. On the other hand, this Mac and Ninny Seed Keepsake Book is exactly the aesthetic I'm looking for. I would just order that one, but unfortunately it's not available for shipment to Canada. So, if you garden/are good at DIY, what would be the best way to go about recreating the Mac and Ninny book? I thought I could just get a letterpress (?) 3-ring binder cover and then add pocket pages, but despite many Etsy searches, I'm having trouble finding anything that has a similar look. My second issue is I'm not sure what sort of pages to put inside. I suspect I'm not using the right search terms. Any suggestions? [more inside]
'Cause I sometimes have too many, like the bajillion lemons that are once again on their way. [more inside]
Both my apartment complex and workplace have lovely landscaping. I am new-ish to this area/climate (SoCal) and realized I know the names of almost none of the plants or flowers used. I would like to gradually fix this, in part for future reference for when we hopefully are able to buy a house with yard in a few years. What iphone apps or other resources will help me to easily identify one plant a day so that I can do this over time? Not really interested in trips to arboretums or nurseries right now, I want to do this as an ongoing project.
My workaholic father retired recently. He was completely and passionately devoted to his profession (Medicine) for over 42 years. In all the time that he worked, 12 to 14 hours a day, he developed practically no hobbies or interests apart from his work. I hardly remember him watching a movie or reading a book (outside of work) or socialising (and on the occasion that he HAD to, it was a chore). In fact, it was hard to keep him away from the Hospital where he worked, even on Sundays. As one can imagine, retirement has been a hard transition for him, although, of course, he had been anticipating this change for a very long time. [more inside]
During a two-week summer vacation, my avocado tree went unwatered and was near death when I got home. Most of the leaves came back OK in terms of color/texture, but not in orientation. They still hang straight down, looking like this. Will the older leaves ever straighten out again?
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]
A farmstand near my house sells the best-tasting tomatoes I've ever had. The farmstand is in a suburban neighborhood, and the tomatoes are grown right on the property. The owners are old, and I fear that developers will buy-up the land and the farm will close. [more inside]
Last year I planted some tomatoes in pots. This year I didn't plant anything, but recently noticed there is a tomato plant growing from the soil that the pots were sitting on top of last year. Is it safe to eat these volunteer tomatoes?
My garden suffered greatly this year from attacks from insects- what can I do next spring to avoid this happening again? [more inside]
What is this tree and seed (nut?)? Eight or nine feet tall, growing next to a sidewalk and clearly intentionally planted. That seed is marble- or dime-sized, and I just picked this Friday, so it would have to be fruiting now in Austin, Texas. Don't worry, I'm not going to eat it. Just curious. Thanks!
I planted milkweed this year to provide a rest stop for Monarchs, and today I noticed these yellow bugs on several of the plants. They appear to be aphids, and I'm not sure if I need to get rid of them.
When cities change their landscaping in those center-boulevard planters for a new season, what happens to the old flowers? [more inside]
I'm looking for a gardening book with advice for a very low-maintenance natural yard in New Mexico for a non-gardener. [more inside]
As a child (back in the Jurassic Era), I saw an article in an encyclopedia about research into growing orchards and the like in the desert using clever techniques that made the natural rainfall sufficient to keep individual trees alive. I have no idea how to search for something similar online. Please help me. [more inside]
I live in Seattle. I have about 250 sq feet of boulevard in front of my new house that is kind of a mess. It's grassed, but it's rutted and uneven and there's a 2" wide by 6" deep trench between the turf and the concrete boundaries of the boulevard, so it's very difficult to mow cleanly. There are two trees planted in it -- I don't know what species -- and the mounds they're planted in contribute to the unevenness. [more inside]
Is there any good reason why I can't grow tomatoes in area with grass? Snowflakes inside.... [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 can't seem to find a planter like this anywhere. [more inside]
Last night a neighbor very sweetly brought me this little plant - a stub of what seems to be a succulent, about 3 inches high, potted in a tiny glass pot. I have no idea what it is or what it needs, and I'd like to keep it alive. Please help! [more inside]
I get seed packets that (usually) give a germination rate. How do I calculate how many seeds to plant to give me a 'y' probability of getting 'z' seeds to germinate? [more inside]
Scene: yardwork in progress. I notice a tree where no tree has gone before, having sort of popped up in our Rose of Sharon patch. 1. What is it and B. Should I cut it down? It's already 12-15 ft. tall.
Garden peeps: any idea what this might be? [more inside]
Hi folks, a friend is looking to do some garden remodelling. She's seen a couple of plants she'd like and took photographs, but has no idea what they actually are. So, green-fingered members of the green, can you help? Images and snowflakes inside. [more inside]
What indoor plants will thrive with the sun blazing down on them? I have gorgeous 8' tall windows and inviting wide windowsills. I want to keep lots of plants on them, but my southeastern exposure has turned most things into shriveled up husks. I know that cacti are the obvious answer, but I haaaate cacti. Does anything else love tons of light and heat?
I have a bunch of flowers in my yard. Pic 1. Pic 2. What are they? I am particularly interested in the blue one, but there are an awful lot of flowers.
I live in east Tennessee and I have a couple of trees in my yard that get what I think is a fungus of some kind but I can't identify it. I have tried to google the disease but I can't seem to find it. Spiky growths come out of the berries and some leaves will get similar growths later in the season. [more inside]
I've raised my beloved rubber plant from a little 5" guy to fine young lad of almost 5'. I noticed today that there are now little mushrooms growing on him! WTF. Is this bad for my plant & should I do something about it? Is it an indicator of something wrong in its environment? Album here. [more inside]
Oh gardeners and florists and other plant people of Mefi, can you help me figure out what this flower is? [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]
I live in an apartment and am thinking about growing vegetables in containers, not sure where to start! [more inside]
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]
So I have this little plant that I got a few years ago and I sort of... forgot about him a lot. I know I know - I'm a bad plant mom! He's been up on a window sill tucked behind a curtain so I only remembered to water him very occasionally. Is he dead? Or can he be saved? Does anyone know what type of cacti or succulent (shows what I know, right?) this is, and how much I should be watering him? Also since it's been a while - would replanting help?
I bought this tree at a stoop sale about 8 years ago and they told me it was a "weeping palm". Just got around to googling that name and it looks like that might not be a real name for any kind tree, or at least any kind that tells me what kind of potting soil it wants. Help? Bonus points if you help me take awesome care of it.
I need help finding a Christmas gift for my dad. I'm looking for: - Something that requires occasional hands on -- a project, but not a full-time project - Something a little science-projecty and geeky, but that does not involve a computer (he's 72 and not terribly computer literate; he does have an iPad, though) - Something that has a definable end result - Something he can attend to while my folks spend three months in their RV this winter - Most likely something plant-related More... [more inside]
My neighbour threw a biggish one of these out in a pot; it was half dead, but I noticed this small pup at the edge of the container and rescued it. I'm thinking Agave? Maybe Aloe? Image 1 Image 2
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]
Hi folks, our garden has a moderately bad horsetail (marestail) infestation going on. I'm new to this gardening thing. So, any tips on getting rid of the stuff? [more inside]
My wife is an avid gardener with a permaculture bent. We have a 1/3 acre suburban lot. Of our available gardening area, 1/3 is lawn which we do not water, 1/3 is stuff that we do not water. 1/3 is dwarf fruit trees, berry bushes, raised beds, vegetables, fig tree, a variety of plants. How can I understand what an appropriate amount of watering is needed for this amount of garden? [more inside]
Say you had a team of three to five people working once per week over a year doing a gardening project on one acre of land and poly tunnels in a cold-to-moderate climate with clay and loamy soil (England). What tools would they need a weekly basis and what tools would they need on a once-per-year or quarterly basis?
Now that I have a balcony, I wanted a little garden out there with window boxes. I purchased window boxes and a bag of Miracle Gro online. I already had two potted flowers that were about to burst from their pots. (I was going to buy more tomorrow after the boxes arrived and I had an idea how much room I would have.) The Miracle Gro arrived and despite no warning on the website, it says "Not for use in containers." Will I kill my flowers if I go ahead and use it? [more inside]
This is our plant, Plant. What kind of plant is it? I picked Plant up a few years ago in a fancy garden store but it was unlabelled and they didn't know what it was either. A few more clues inside. [more inside]
I have a nice 4' long fluorescent grow light set up in my study. I am busy starting up plants for spring and it is on 14 hours a day. The light is working perfectly and seedlings are growing beautifully, but I am wondering about any possible damage it might do to my eyes, as I spend many hours a day in the office working. The hood that came with the light is very narrow so a lot of light reflects up into the room, though I am not looking directly into it, the reflected light is always visible out of the corner of my eye. Should I be worried about it? My main concern is exposing my eyes and skin to UV light and damage, but could there be other things I should be worried about too. Can I fix the hood by say sticking some foil on it so less light bounces up into the room and is directed downwards? Or should I just move it to another room? I have no other heated rooms in my house at the moment it could go in so I worry about the seedlings Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions.
Can you identify this plant? [more inside]
Will sawdust that has varnish kill my garden? A friend of the family asked if we wanted a large pile of sawdust he had from doing some woodwork. Sawdust makes good mulch. We wanted to accept, but some of the furniture that the sawdust had come from had been varnished and we weren't sure if that would kill our garden and/or poison the plants. Is it dangerous to use this sawdust.