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Can You Identify This Unusual Bulb for Me?


“I’ve tried and tried to find the ID of these beautiful flowers. Any help would be appreciated.”  Question from Pamela of Conroe, Texas
Answer: This beautiful, unique bulb is Mediterranean Bells Allium (Nectaroscordum siculum (aka. Allium siculum)). It is native to Southwest Europe and Turkey where it grows in sun-dotted woods, though it also grows beautifully in full sun. It makes an excellent cut […]

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Does Black Gold Carry Earthworm Castings?


“Does Black Gold carry worm castings?” Question from Holly of Idaho Falls, Idaho
Answer: Yes! We do carry Black Gold Earthworm Castings. Many of our potting mixes contain castings as well. These include Black Gold Natural & Organic Potting Mix and Black Gold Waterhold Cocoblend. All of these products are OMRI Listed for organic gardening! They are best added to potting mixes or ground soil for […]

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What are Some Good Companion Plants for Strawberries?


“Are there any companion plants to help strawberries grow and produce better? Or to keep bugs away from them?” Question from Amber of West Plains, Missouri
Answer: The true effectiveness of companion plants to ward off pests is argued. That’s because insect pests can detect their host plants from great distances, and/or they overwinter near host plants from year to year. So, if your strawberries […]

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How Do I Grow Daffodils Down South?


“We moved to Jasper, TX from Jefferson City, MO and I am having trouble getting my favorite bulbs, daffodils, to grow.  What suggestions might you have?” Question from Betsy of Jasper, Texas
Answer: You moved from a USDA Hardiness Zone 6 location to a USDA Hardiness Zone 8 location. Many daffodils will not grow well in Zone 8 because they need chillier winters to complete […]

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What is the Best Soil for Desert Rose?


“What is the best soil mix to plant my desert rose (Adenium obesum) in?” Question from Sara of National Park, New Jersey
Answer: Plant these beautiful succulents in very sharply drained soil that also retains water and has a slightly acid pH of 6.0. Of course, we recommend Black Gold Cactus Mix for planting, but you might also want to add a bit more perlite […]

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What Shrub Rose is Heat- and Drought-Tolerant and Fragrant?

Rosa californica ‘Plena’
“I’m looking for a low-maintenance shrub rose that produces highly scented flowers that will thrive in Las Vegas, NV.” Question from Katherine of Las Vegas, Nevada
Answer: There are several fragrant shrub roses that can withstand high heat in your dry USDA Hardiness Zone 8-9 location. But, there are no classic, cultivated shrub roses that can withstand extended drought. There are, however, some native […]

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I Need Flower Design Help for My Sunny Kentucky Garden


“I have a large area to plant flowers in that gets full sun but I am not sure what design and mixture to use.” Question from Karen of Cannon, Kentucky
Answer: Most garden flowers grow best in fertile soil with excellent drainage. I recommend working up your soil to increase aeration and adding a fertile blend of compost (Black Gold Garden Compost Blend) and peat […]

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How Do I Start Seeds of the Rare Succulent Sinocrassula yunnanensis?

Sinocrassula yunnanensis
“I was gifted Sinocrassula yunnanensis seeds. What’s the best way to germinate seeds.” Question from Lizzy of Ocala, Florida
Answer: The seeds of the rare Asian succulent Sinocrassula yunnanensis need some care for effective germination. The beautiful plants have nearly black foliage and form dense clumps of succulent foliage. Bloom time is in fall or early winter, and the flowers are ivory with red tips.
The […]

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What are Good Shade Trees and Shrubs for Wet Clay Soils?

Red Maple is one of many trees tolerant of shade and wet, clay soils.
“What are the best trees and shrubs for western NC that can take shade and wet, clay soil?” Question from Vickie of West Palm Beach, Florida
Answer: I am assuming you have another home in North Carolina. There are several great trees and shrubs that will grow well in shady spots with wet, […]

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What is the Best Thing to Do About Peach Leaf Curl Disease?


“What is the best thing to do about peach leave curl?” Question from Craig of Big Bar, California
Answer: This disease of peaches and nectarines is caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans, and it is really damaging, causing deformations of flowers, leaves, fruit, and even shoots. It can cause real problems with tree health and fruit production. There are a few things that you can […]

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