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How Do I Keep Ticks off of My Lawn?


What is the best way of getting rid of ticks? My yard is infested and I have gotten Lyme disease. Question from Kathy of West Rutland, Vermont
Answer: Ticks are the worst and a real worry for people living where Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are a problem. Of course, tiny deer ticks are the carriers of Lyme disease, and they contribute to over 99% of […]

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What Do You Grow in Vermiculite?


“What do you grow in vermiculite?” Question from Sara of Oroville, California
Answer: That’s an excellent question. Vermiculite is one of the most popular growing mix additives. The natural mineral pops up like popcorn when heated. Then it is processed into small pieces for use in potting mix. It provides […]

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Help! I Can’t Keep Herbs Alive.


“I can’t keep any herbs alive.  I’ve killed 3 basil plants and a thyme plant.  I’m also not really sure how to cut them to use them.  Do they grow after you cut them?  Please keep in mind I live in Arizona and have killed several cacti.  I guess I need major help.” Question from Denise of Mesa, Arizona
Answer: One of the most common […]

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How Do You Prune Bay Leaf?


“How do you prune a Bay Leaf plant?” Question from Mark or Warren, Ohio
Answer: Whether potted or grown in-ground in a Mediterranean climate, spring is the best time to prune back a bay laurel. Start by removing branches with unhealthy leaves. Then prune to shape by either shearing stem tips or cutting small or overgrown stems back to the main stem. Shearing stem tips […]

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How Do You Plant Cyclamen?


What is the best way to plant Cyclamen? Question from Melba of Texas
Answer: It depends on whether you are planting tender, greenhouse-grown Cyclamen in pots or hardy Cyclamen in the ground. I’ll cover the planting details for both and how to get them to bloom beautifully.
Potted Cyclamen
Cyclamen grow best in well-drained potting mix that is kept just moist, never wet. Water them just from […]

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What are Some Good Root Vegetables for Containers?


“I need ideas for growing root vegetables in containers.” Inquiry from Karen of Randolph, Vermont
Answer: You can grow just about any root vegetable in containers, but I choose smaller varieties for greater yields–petite French Breakfast radishes rather than giant Korean daikon radishes. Here are some excellent small, fast root vegetables for pots:
D’Avignon French Breakfast Radish: This traditional radish always tastes crisp and sweet when I […]

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Help Me Grow Better Potted Tomatoes in NYC


“I like to grow tomatoes on my steps in Brooklyn, NY. I believe I can do better and get a better product by having guidance.” Question from Chante or Brooklyn, New York
Answer: The plant in your photo looks quite healthy! As long as you have a spot with at least 8 hours of sunlight, you can grow great tomatoes. Here are five steps to growing […]

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What’s Your Favorite Eating Tomato?

Tomato ‘Gold Tomato’
“For Central MS, what is your best suggestion for a good “eatin’ ‘mater?” Question from Judy of Louisville, Mississippi
Answer: You can never love just one tomato! I have three standbys for great overall eating tomatoes. These are the ones I grow each year no matter what, and they’ll grow well in your Southern heat.
The best tomato for flavor is ‘Gold Medal’, a golden heirloom […]

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How Do I Keep Cats Out of the Garden?


How do I keep cats out of the garden? Question from Richard of Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Answer: Even if you love cats, they can be real pests in the garden, even though they keep a wide variety of other garden pests at bay. Their love of soft mulch and soil for defecation encourages them to treat nice garden ground as makeshift cat boxes. Bird lovers […]

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What’s the Best Midwest Lawn Grass?


“I have a new yard (bought a lot) and it doesn’t have good grass growth. This will be its first spring with its new dirt. Got any recommendations for grass seed that will take root quickly and be strong. I like to keep it 2-3″. Thank you.” Question from Michelle of Dayton, Ohio.
Answer: Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea) is a good lawn grass for Midwestern homeowners. […]

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