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]
Squash bugs ate two years of cucurbits, will one year off cure us of them? [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?
Dear gardeners of MeFi: I have a small Japanese Maple in a container. It's susceptible to frost, but the weather's so weird (thanks, global warming) that I'm not sure whether I'm killing it with the wrong sort of care. [more inside]
I'm thinking of doing this either next year or the following. Can I get some experiences, thoughts, and feedback? [more inside]
I dearly love the magnolia tree in our backyard. This year, it produced a handful of seeds, which look kinda like red-orange colored peanut M&M's. I really want to do everything I can to raise happy, healthy magnolia trees from these seeds if I can. [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]
Calling on hardware/homegoods/pet/general store folks! I have heard that it is bad to stock pet food next to bags of WILD birdseed and/or soil due to contamination possibilities. Is it ok to put bagged WILD birdseed next to bagged soil? [more inside]
So our big office jade plant - given to ME by a green-thumbed former co-worker and the wonder of the floor - fell over in the night and broke into a million pieces. What do I do? [more inside]
I have a small Sago Palm in the living room that seems perfectly happy sending out new growth and then letting them die. (Photos) I thought the new fronds would mature into new leaves but they uncurl and then just yellow and die. I was told not to cut the yellowing fronds off as the plant self-cannibalizes, but they're not very attractive - how do I either stop the fronds from dying or discourage new growth?
What plants would do well on our 3rd story rooftop garden in Toronto? [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]
I'm interested in looking at historical soil temperature data for the DC area - I have found lots of forecasts online as to what the soil temperature will look like in the next few days, but I haven't found any as to what the temperature looked like historically. In particular, I would be interested in looking at what the soil temperature was in any given day or week in the past few years. An added bonus would be some sort of general summary similar to weather summaries that say "in January in DC, temperatures average x-y degrees"
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?
What plants could I grow on my Brooklyn balcony that reward lots of attention but won't suffer too badly without it? [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]
I checked my plants on my porch today and noticed that one of my jade plants had folded over like a popped balloon. Looking around online I think it sounds like it got a bad case of root rot, but is that right, and can I do anything but throw it out? Picture here. [more inside]
This plant has sprung up as a volunteer in my friend's garden box. No tomatillos have been anywhere near the garden box, or the compost used to enrich the garden box. My husband claims it is definitely a tomatillo, because it looks remarkably like our tomatillo plant. I say it can't be, because that makes no sense, and it has to be some kind of weedy nightshade. Settle our bet, Metafilter.
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'm the co-founder of a developing food hub - any MeFites with experience or involvement with a food hub care to offer their thoughts or advice on best practices? [more inside]
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.
I need to learn something about landscape gardening. I'd like to find modern, American garden writers who lean toward, update, and localise the philosophy of Gertrude Jekyll and William Robinson - i.e. the use of hardy, perennial native plants to create persistent, low water use, naturalistic landscapes. Who should I be reading?
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]
When cities change their landscaping in those center-boulevard planters for a new season, what happens to the old flowers? [more inside]
This might be kind of a dumb question, but I'm a new indoor gardener, I've been thinking about giving growing cherry tomatoes indoors a go, and almost every guide I've seen puts a lot of emphasis on the *technique* of starting plants from seed. I have basically zero gardening experience and I don't completely understand why we do this. [more inside]
I have become interested in self-sufficiency lately, especially the ability to feed my family from what I grow or produce myself, if not permanently, at least for an extended period of time should the necessity arise. I suppose it is similar to homesteading but I have zero interest in livestock (especially the slaughtering), so maybe it is closer to Depression era survival skills..? [more inside]
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]
I live in Hawaii and will have access to lots of yard space in the next month. I'd like to turn useless grass into several raised beds to grow as much of my own food as possible. I'm looking for ideas on what grows well in our climate, what yields well to feed as many people as possible, and what plays nice in a polyculture bed. I'll probably use organic compost teas and a worm castings to start, but do tell if you have other nutrient ideas. [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 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]
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]
We're going to build a greenhouse from a kit in the garden, around 16 sq meters (around 170 sq feet) in size, probably rectangular and with a regular peaked roof. It will be used mostly for herbs and vegetables, and starting the garden plants in the spring. We haven't owned a greenhouse before, so we need some assistance with the different design decisions: [more inside]
In the early spring I severely pruned some very large and very old Yew bushes. I cut them down to old wood, with no remaining green growth. I had heard they were hardy and would sprout from old wood, but it's been over a month now and I've still just got a bunch of shrub-shaped brown sticks out there. Did I kill them? [more inside]
We have two quotes from landscapers, and our decision is coming down to how they are proposing to deal with the drainage. How do we make this decision? [more inside]
I am currently growing pothos in a long planter in my bathroom with two four-ft. "grow light" fluorescent bulbs in a regular two-bulb fluorescent fixture. This is almost a joke, because... [more inside]
How can I kill a rampant infestation of wandering jew and black eyed susan? The weeds are making my dogs itchy itchy itchy! Manually pulling them out makes me itchy itchy itchy! [more inside]
This is my fifth year troubleshooting a balcony garden, but I always end up with either a jungle (where there's no longer any space to enjoy sitting at my small bistro table), or the plants just poop out because they can't handle the intense sunlight in the latter portion of the day. [more inside]
Is there any good reason why I can't grow tomatoes in area with grass? Snowflakes inside.... [more inside]
I would like to build a raised bed (for vegetables) on my lawn but I know nothing about construction and very little about gardening. [more inside]
What is the best thing that I can do for my vegetable garden plots if I don't want to do any gardening this year? [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]
What do I do about the cat poop in my raised beds if I don't want to get rid of the cats? I have a little feral/community cat colony in my (urban) backyard. They have chosen two of my raised beds as their toilet. Now that the snow has melted the smell is kicking in. I don't want to drive the cats away, but I would like my backyard to not smell of sewage and maybe even use those beds for non-edibles. Anyone have ideas? [more inside]
Hoping there are some US Mefites who are literary gardeners and might have an answer to this one: is there a US online retailer or other source for Tagetes erecta "Man-on-the-moon" (aka Man-in-the-moon) seeds? [more inside]
I am very curious about WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) exchanges, as a prospective volunteer for short-term periods of time. Before I spend $40 to become a member, can anyone who has worked with WWOOF (either as a volunteer or as a host, but especially as a volunteer) shed light on what to expect? What to do versus what not to do? I'm in the US and will probably want to first consider locations here, but am by no means looking to rule out opportunities abroad! [more inside]