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What Fertilizer Should I Use for Hydroponic Growing?


“What are good nutrients for hydroponic [growing]?” Question from Jay of East Liverpool, Ohio
Answer: It depends entirely on what you are growing and what hydro growing method you’re using. Fertilizers are either granular (slow-release or standard) or liquid (water-soluble). If you are growing in a medium for hydro, such as Black Gold coco coir, perlite, rock wool, or specialty mix), then you can choose […]

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What is the Best Growing Temperature for Tropical Hibiscus?


“How warm do I have to keep my house for a tropical hibiscus? I live in Maine, and it gets quite chilly!” Question from Valerie of East Andover, Maine
Answer: Your tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) will grow best in temperatures between 55ᵒ and 85ᵒ Fahrenheit. If temperatures drop below 50ᵒ F, it will require some protection. Inversely, temperatures above 100ᵒ will cause it high stress, but […]

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What is the Best Cherry Tomato to Grow for Snacking?

Cherry tomato ‘Sunrise Bumblebee’
“I’m looking for a good cherry tomato or currant tomato snack for my men at work to grow at the warehouse. I like indeterminate, sweet, hardy, and easy to harvest.” Question from James of Clearwater, Florida
Answer: You’ve asked the right person! I’ve grown more different kinds of cherry tomatoes than I can count in the quest to find the best. The old-fashioned […]

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Do You Have Tips for Straw Bale Gardening?


“We are trying to establish a straw bale garden because our soil up here in the Rockies is so bad after years of ranchers over-grazing the entire area. Any tips on how to make this succeed? Question from Wolf of Westcliffe, Colorado
“Do you have any advice or opinion when it comes to hay bale gardening?” Question from Pamela of Conroe, Texas
Answer: What are the […]

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When is the Best Time to Plant Tomato Seeds?”


“When is the best time to plant tomato seeds?” Question from Diana of Indianapolis, Indiana
Answer: This is an easy question to answer! It takes around six to eight weeks to grow tomatoes from seed to ready-to-plant starts. And, tomatoes produce fruit between 65 to 85 days after planting, depending on the variety, so you want to give them plenty of time to produce good […]

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What’s an Easy Way to Move My Large Planters for Cleaning?


“I have some very heavy and large planters that need to be sterilized I am sure or cleaned before I plant new flowers next season.  Is there an easy way to do this?  I can not lift them and have such a hard time preparing the large pots for planting.” Question from Jennifer of Angola, Indiana
Answer: It’s always important to keep planting areas clean, […]

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When Should I Prune My Knockout® Roses?


 
“I live in South Louisiana.  When should I prune my Knockout roses?” Question from Deborah of Saint Amant, Louisiana
Answer: Many growers advocate you that prune shrub roses in late winter or spring before they have leafed out, but some rosarians disagree (see our Black Gold video on pruning hybrid tea roses below.). Either way, I like to prune mine at this time because it’s […]

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What are the Best Fruits and Vegetables to Grow in Central Florida?


 
“What are the best fruits and vegetables to grow in Central Florida?” Question from Sherry of Silver Springs, Florida
Answer: Other than northern fruit trees and berries and a few other crops that require cold winters and droop in hot weather, you can grow most fruits and vegetables in Central Florida. We have many articles that cover some of the best fruits and vegetables for […]

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What Seeds Should Be Soaked Before Planting?


 
Which type of seeds should be soaked before planting, and for how long? Question from Lisa of Auburn, Washington
Answer: The seeds of many different plants benefit from presoaking to encourage faster germination. With thousands of seed-grown plants on the market, I cannot speak to every single one, but I can provide some general groups that benefit from presoaking.
When it comes to soaking time, allow […]

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Can I Grow Plants in Pure Compost?


“I have some large compost bins, which produce a lot of compost. Can I plant things in pure compost, or do I need some “dirt” with inorganic materials for the best results?  How much inorganic material do I need?” Question from Naomi or Oakdale, California
Answer: Congratulations on your composting success! Compost is one of the best garden amendments available. You can plant in straight […]

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