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Should Potting Mix Be Added to Ground Soil?


“When planting, is it good to mix potting soil with earth soil?” Question from Pamela of Richmond, Indiana.
Answer: Don’t waste potting mix on in-ground plantings. Add products created to be garden amendments instead. These contain the ingredients that gardens need, while leaving out unecessary components, like perlite, vermiculite, and other additives, that don’t benefit garden soils. Potting mixes are also typically more expensive when […]

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How Can I Prevent Damping Off When I Sow Seeds?


“How can I prevent damping off when I sow seeds?  That is my problem.” Question from Bev of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Answer: This is a problem that I have faced many times starting seeds in university greenhouses, professional greenhouses, and at home. Thankfully, the solution is pretty simple, and it all involves keeping everything clean. Let’s start by covering the sources of damping off disease.
What is […]

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My Gardenias Have Root Mealybugs. Help!


“I have tried growing gardenias, but they always die. When I pull them up there are white bugs all over the roots. What are these and how do I get rid of them?” Question from Sheila of Tampa, Florida.
Answer: There are several pests and diseases that will attack gardenia roots. I am glad that we narrowed yours down to root or ground mealybugs (Rhizoecus […]

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Can I Use 2, 4-D to Remove Weeds In My Ornamental Grasses?


“I have a pampas grass – it grows in our ditches in Iowa. Unfortunately, I have had creeping jenny find it’s way into one area of it. Can you spray the grasses with 2/4D to kill the jenny without killing the grass?” Question from Brenda of Peterson, Iowa
Answer: Pampas grass (Cortaderia selloana) survives in USDA Hardiness Zones 8 to 10, so it is not […]

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What Soil Do You Recommend for Avocado Seedlings?


“What type of Black Gold soil is recommended for potting avocado seedlings?” Question from Rusty of San Diego, California
Answer: Excellent drainage is one of the most important attributes of soil for avocado growing. They cannot endure wet soil for any period of time without being subjected to root rot. This means planting them in very well-draining pots as well as planting them in a […]

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Do I Have To Worry About Your Soils While Pregnant?


“I am pregnant and was watering my plants when I got Black Gold potting soil on my hands. I am concerned about toxoplasmosis and have questions. Is your soil made in areas where cats are present?” Question from Katie
Answer: Feline waste is not an ingredient present in our mixes! As you probably know, toxoplasmosis may be present in fresh or old cat feces. Any […]

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How Do I Calculate How Much Peat to Add to My Garden?


“I purchased 3.0 CF bags of Black Gold Peat Moss. What is the expanded volume of this bag? I need 3.5 cubic yards of peat for my raised bed garden mix, so was going to buy 32 of these bales…but realized it’s going to expand. How do I calculate how much to buy?” Question from Dave of Utah
Answer: To determine the expansion of 3.0 […]

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How Often Should I Replace My Window Box Soil?


“The rainfall this year has been incredible and my window boxes are showing it. I usually take off the top of the soil each year and replace it with new soil but this year there is a lot of moss. I would like to know if I should just remove all of the soil and treat the containers or if I can just scrape […]

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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’s the Best Potting Medium for Orchids?


“Which is the best medium for potting orchids – orchid bark or sphagnum peat moss?” Question from Susan from Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Answer: Good question! It depends on the type of orchid that you are growing and how it naturally grows in the wild.
Epiphytic orchids grow in trees in the tropics and subtropics. Their large roots cling to bark and tree crevices, so these orchids […]

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