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]
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]
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!
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"
I've been seeing ice on the tops of puddles when the low temperature for the day is forecast to be low (2 or 3 degrees) but not freezing. Why is that? [more inside]
I'm an apartment dweller with an extensive container garden and I'm moving into an apartment without access to outdoor space. [more inside]
I've planted a variety of trees around my house - kwanzan cherries, tulip trees, flowering crabapples - and many seem to have shared problems. These are 1) extra thick trunks for their size, 2) a tendency toward something like witch's brooming, and 3) a tendency to grow off vertical. No basic nutrient problems on soil testing, but haven't done trace minerals. Should I break up with them, or is there someway to work this out?
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]
Should the capillary action which will allow water to soak upward from the bottom of my self-watering planters be a factor in selecting a potting mix for Arrowhead Vine houseplants, or is the ideal potting mix the same regardless of whether they receive most of their water from the surface? Also, what would be the best lightweight "filler" for the bottom portion of the planters? [more inside]
Because of the federal government shutdown, the USGS website has been shuttered and all the data that I use regularly has been taken offline. I need to find a source for the "Official Soil Descriptions" [google cache works now, but I anticipate this will last a while, so I need all of them] and the soil survey layers for the state of Texas. Any idea where I can download these?
New England dirt is brown. In the south, it's red, and in other places it is almost black, or more like tan. Is there map that shows dirt colors throughout the US? Or even just an article or two about regional dirt colors? Please point me in the right direction, dear Mefites! [more inside]
Some months from now, I hope to sit down with some companies interested in buying a particular kind of soap. I'm looking for any suggestions, best practices, or wisdom about how such a presentation should be structured, what information a buyer would like to know, etc. [more inside]
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]
What has happened to my tomatoes? And can I save the rest of the poor things? First time gardener inquiring within. [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]
Calling all soil scientists: Could someone explain the carbon cycle diagram on this page to me like I'm a three year old? [more inside]
What is best to do about a large pile of wood ashes in the corner of my yard? [more inside]
I want to know how deep and how wide the roots of various plants will normally grow. Trees, gourd vines, wheat, clover, tomatoes, garlic, cilantro, marigolds, everything. I want to make sure my raised beds are high enough and also want to prevent plants from choking each other out.
We have a new house and huge yard. We're eager to fill it with plantlife. In fact, we're a little too eager and found some good prices, so we already bought over 200 seedlings, half of which are kale and chard. We live in Davis, CA, in the CA central valley near Sacramento, in the west region that is known for particularly clay-y soil. Our main source of garden information is from: http://daviswiki.org/gardening *** See inside for 9 questions we have as last-minute uneducated gardeners.... [more inside]
why do the tips of the leaves on my peace lily keep turning brown? [more inside]
What we plant in the soil of contemplation, we shall reap in the harvest of action - Meister Eckhart
Could a person survive for 1.5 hours in a casket, buried ~0.5-1m in desert sand? [more inside]
We are interested in buying a block of land, and would like to know if the soil is good quality for growing produce. How can we learn more about the soil? can we have it tested? [more inside]
Have you used a soil moisture gauge? [more inside]
How to quickly mitigate a somewhat busted lawn and garden -- and maybe get a small vegetable harvest out of it? [more inside]
Is there a name for the flaky, layered clay/soil deposit with a striking metallic sheen found in my childhood neighborhood in Northern Virginia? [more inside]
Why would new, store-bought soil turn to clay in just over a year? [more inside]
I am trying to create a garden on an extremely sandy soil. I am going to bring a foot worth of quality soil from outside. What would be my best bet? Raised beds? Wide Rows? [more inside]
Is there any method to combine hydroponic gardening with conventional soil gardening? [more inside]
What is the best way to demonstrate to 8th graders the issue of soil salinity as well as showing ways to prevent or reclaim salinized soil? [more inside]
New tree planted in clay with poor drainage. Can it / should it be saved? [more inside]
Every year on my porch in Boston, Ma. I grow a few different vegetables in large planters. This year one is pumpkins. After several years of growing crops in the same soil, how can I rejuvenate the soil to make it better for the next crop?
What vegetables are best to plant in a plot filled with unrefined compost? [more inside]
Gardening Filter: I am looking to plant along my side fence, which lies on the South side of my poorly graded backyard. This is a wet area (low grade) and I would like suggestions--flowers or shrubs. [more inside]
How do we stop (or slow) the erosion of soil down a slope into a stream? We live in a condo in Shelby Township, Michigan. The soil slopes from the street level to a small stream. How do I find a landscape architect / service that will forestall the erosion? [more inside]
I am completely overwhelmed with all the information online about starting a vegetable garden. Looking for personal anecdotes about what works and what doesn't; bonus points if you started on extremely clay-based soil. [more inside]
The soil in my tiny yard is hard as concrete, but I want to grow a garden. Tips? [more inside]
“Everyone who enjoys thinks that the principal thing to the tree is the fruit, but in point of fact the principal thing to it is the seed. Herein lies the difference between them that create and them that enjoy.”
Where can I buy pounds of Indian mustard seed (Brassica juncea)? We need it for a phytoremediation project in New Orleans and all of the seed suppliers in our area (NC) don't carry it. Any ideas? [more inside]
Please share resources for learning about, selecting, and planting a garden given a particular climate and soil. [more inside]