Archives for Home gardening advice category

How Soon Can I Get My Jalapeno & Tomato Seeds Started Indoors?

Fruits, Home gardening advice, Tomatoes | 5 Comments

Q: How soon can I get my jalapeno & tomato seeds started indoors? I live in Wisconsin, but I am from California, so I am clueless about his kind of thing. I moved to the Midwest 4 years ago and always just bought the plants from home depot and put them into a bigger pots and they really took off. I hate insects so potting this stuff for me works well and my plants have always done well. but I have never really started anything from seed. any other people out there that only grow their veggies in pots on their deck? I feel like crud asking my Mother in law who has an acre-size garden…lol Thanks in advance for your advice :) PS AND FOR THOSE OF YOU WONDERING WHY IN THE WORLD I WOULD MOVE FROM CALI TO MIDWEST…..LOL GOT MARRIED AND TIRED OF THE OC RATRACE…LOL

A: I would say the best time would be late March to early April. I would not plant outside until after May 15. I say this because on May 15, 1933 my grandmother lost 100 tomato plants to a freeze in southwestern Minnesota on the day my Mother was born. She passed on that bit of knowledge to me. That would give them a good six weeks of indoor growing time. I use large whiskey barrels for my tomatoes and peppers. They work great and easier on the back too.

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How to Make a Contained Garden?

Home gardening advice | 5 Comments

Example of a Dirt-Filled Swimming Pool

Q: We have a swimming pool, that for reasons unbeknownst to me, is filled with dirt. There was thought of bricking it over, but I am thinking of turning it into a garden. If I were to do this, since I don’t know the origin of the dirt, should I treat the soil before planting? This is a group home, on limited funding.  I would not be able to extend great expense in beginning this project. However maybe some of you could offer some shade tree advice towards it getting a good start. I am good with plants. I don’t forsee any major issues,  but I don’t want to sow a bunch of plants into dirt that won’t support their growth. Any suggestions or lending of experience is appreciated.

A: There are two things for you to think about: 1.) Is there anything growing in it now, such as weeds. If so then the soil should be good for something. If not then I would be suspicious. 2.) You can get the soil tested. If your state has a state university with an extension service they may do the test for free, or at a reduced price. (Explain your situation i.e. group home). The other way to test is to go to your local nursery, home improvement, hardware, or farm supply store and get a soil testing kit. There are many things to test for. PH is probably most important. It will tell you how acid or alkailine your soil is. Then get advice from a gardening expert in your region to get the best way to amend the soil.

Something else to consider – pools are made to hold water.  You may need to find a way to break holes in it in places in order for the plants or trees placed in it not to become water-logged.

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How Will I Know When Apples are Ready to be Picked?

Home gardening advice | 7 Comments

Q: We only have a dwarf apple tree which we only planted this spring, in a pot. I have read some advice that you should pick an apple to see if they are ripe, but our tree only has 5 apples on it ! and we don’t want to waste any, equally we don’t want them to drop of either. we are new to growing/gardening and are very excited by our home grown apples even if we do only have 5!!

A: Apples ripen through from late Aug to early Nov. depending on type. To see if they are ready to be harvested, take an apple in your hand and twist lightly. If the apple is ripe the stalk will come clean and freely away from the fruiting spur (the part of the twig where the fruit grows). If not then the apple is not ripe. If you know what type of apple you have should give you an indication about when it should be ripe. To save any apples being damaged, try layering sacking around your pot, or move your pot onto grass if on a patio. Enjoy!

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How to Revive an Old Flower Garden (When You have a Black Thumb)?

Home gardening advice | 1 Comment

Q: We moved into an older home last summer that was owned by an elderly lady who passed away. She had a beautiful garden on the side of the house with all kinds of perenials–daylilies, irises, daffodils, tulips, daisies, etc. We were too busy with the house to do anything with it then, but now things are coming up, and we’d like to bring it back to its former glory. Trouble is, it’s overrun with weeds, and we can’t tell what’s coming up at this point. How do we clean this garden up if we can’t tell what’s weeds and what’s good stuff? Any advice would be really appreciated, thanks!

A: Most of the time weeds are smaller than the flowers that are coming up. Perennials are easier to spot because they are much thicker. Weeds are thin, at least most. I think I would just watch every few days and pay attention to the new growth coming up. Weeding is not fun, but the beauty of the flowers is amazing. Sorry not alot of help I know… =)

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How far should plants such as birds of paradise, cordylines and bromeliads be spaced apart?

Home gardening advice | 2 Comments

My wife and I have just bought our first home and are planning on creating a tropical feel in our backyard. We live in Queensland, Australia.
We are completely new to gardening, but have worked out what plants we want to put in – we just don't know how far apart we should be spacing them from each other!
We are looking to plant the following: golden cane palms (along our fenceline to act as a screen from a two-storey house that overlooks our yard from one rear corner); cordyline rubra (underneath the palms, but between each and maybe slightly behind them); birds of paradise (the type that grows to about 1.5m – in front of the cordyline, between the palms); bromeliads (various varieties – at the front).
Any advice on how far apart these should be planted would be much appreciated.
I'm thinking of putting the golden cane palms about 1.5m apart along the fenceline, so that the leaves will overlap slightly and create the screen – would this be about right? This is the most important.
My aim here is to have a fairly dense look (for that tropical feel) without having each of the plants fighting each other for water so much that they die – we are in the middle of huge drought here in SE Qld and on extreme water restrictions!
Our garden bed is an L shape about 1m wide, extending 10m along our back fence and about 5m down the side fence.

You garden should look really good when established. The distance between the palms sounds right, but beware of the bird of paradise plants. The small variety would be very good, but the large ones spread into enormous clumps over time and are really difficult to remove. (In saying this however, I do love them and have a large clump in my own garden, which looks fantastic).

With bromeliads, you can plant them as close to each other as you wish because they don't mind how many times you move them. I have a large and varied collection of these and move them whenever I need to fill a SHADY space elsewhere in the garden. They can also be separated as they multiply. They are my favourite plant in the garden, because there are so many varieties and they give a splash of colour to shady places. Also, their "flowers" last for months. GOOD GARDENING !!

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How do you keep a dog from eating veggies from your garden?

Home gardening advice | 8 Comments

How do you keep a dog from eating veggies from your garden?
My husband has this dog…Lucy. She's a precious animal & sweet as can be. My husband and i are seperated and still own a home together. He lives in our home w/Lucy and a friend of his.As we are seperated…I do not live there and cannot watch her when she goes out. Well, to make a LONG story short. I still have a garden over there since we have been seperated. Lucy likes to use my cucumbers as a chew toy. How do i keep her from eating my my veggies up? Any advice?

You can't – unless you restrain her from going in the garden – she's gonna do what she's gonna do – and dog's love veggies so either learn to share or put a fence around the garden – or – since you no longer live there plant a new garden where you are if possible – Good Luck and God Bless!

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Any advice on law about dog that attacked my dog?

Home gardening advice | 21 Comments

MY son and i were out walking with my miniature schnauzer and new puppy a 12 week old cavalier king charles spaniel.When on the way back from the park as we walked past a house a dog jumped over the garden wall and attacked my schnauzer.Which thank god i was holding on a lead .It was attacking my dog for about 20to 30 seconds before the owners anserwed our screams.After about 30 seconds we got the dog off .The owners didnt seemed to be bothered just said it was an accident.But my schnauzer was bleeding and i rushed him home.I had to take him to the vet,he had a lot puncture holes had to be sedated so he could be stiched up to a 2 in cut to his back,had a lot of bruises a a bloodshot eye ,on 2 sets of pills.The bill came to £180.I called the police but was told it was not an offence for a dog to attack another dog.I took the bill to the owners of the dog but didnt get anywhere.Surely it can not be right for a dog to attack another dog and just get away with it.The puppy is fine.

I had a similar problem, my friend has a Mix breed terrier possibly part staffie and he is a nasty piece of work. I used to take my dog to work with me and she popped in to see me one day knowing full well I always have my dog with me. She didn't ring the bell or knock she just walked straight in and with that my Jrt went to greet her at the door and was automatically pounced on and attacked by this dog. He was ripped to shreds and in total shock. I rushed him straight to the vet and it cost me over £200 to get my poor little guy fixed. She phoned me up later on in the evening and basically blamed the whole thing on my dog and refused to help me with the bill (some friend aye). Obviously we aren't very close friends any more!
Anyway as with most things Karma caught up with her in the end because she was attacked by a dog the other day outside my house whilst walking her little monster and now she is demanding the woman who owns the dog pays her vet bill! I saw the whole thing and she asked me for a witness statement! And……………… No she didn't get one call that pay back!!!

Good luck I just hope your pup wasn't scarred by witnessing it!

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