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How Do I Find Out My Planting Hardiness Zone?


“How do I know what zone I am in for growing specific plants and trees?” Question from Kathy of West Rutland, Vermont
Answer: The USDA Hardiness Zone map, which helps gardeners determine what perennials, trees, and shrubs will survive the cold in their area, is available online. Click here to view the map. All you need to do is add your zip code, and the […]

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How Do I Remove Liverwort From My Garden?


“Can I get rid of Liverwort by burying it in the ground?” Question from Russ of Berkley, California
Answer: It depends on the site’s soil, soil level, and moisture level. Admittedly, I kind of like the common liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha). Sorry! But, they’re kind of cool. The funny little non-vascular plants are close relatives of mosses and a sign of a very moist, shaded, nutrient-rich […]

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What are the Best Perennials for Foundation Plantings?

Large, showy perennials with a long season of interest make the best foundation perennials.
“What are the best perennial plants to use for foundation planting? [I need] something to cover a fairly tall, 5ft swath of concrete foundation. Thank you!” Question from Trish of Newton, New Jersey
Answer: There are lots of wonderful garden perennials ideal for foundation plantings. Those that I recommend the most are long-lived, […]

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Why Won’t Tomatoes Grow Well in My Garden Box?

‘Sunrise’ sauce tomato shown. (Image thanks to Johnny’s Selected Seeds
“I have a deep garden box with soil and fertilizer. I plant tomatoes and they never do well. I am getting frustrated. This year will be my 3rd try!” Question from Janis of North Attleboro, Massachusetts
Answer: There are several reasons why your potted tomatoes may not be succeeding. I will list several potential reasons, and then […]

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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 Container-Gardening Tips for Desert Gardeners?


“I live in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, so I have to garden in containers that can be moved when it gets hot. What is the best thing I can do for plants that are confined in containers in a hot climate like this?” Question from Jacqueline of Casa Grande, Arizona
Answer: Aside from choosing more drought-tolerant plants to grow, there are several other things […]

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What Seed-Grown Plants Attract Honeybees?


“I would like information on ordering flower seeds that would attract honey bees to my garden.” Question from Randy of Bastrop, Texas
Answer: There are loads of garden flowers that are easily grown from seed and especially attractive to bees. Considering your location, your bee plants should also be heat and drought tolerant. Here are a few easy-from-seed plants that will grow well in Bastrop. […]

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Can I Plant a Vegetable Garden In Partial Shade?


“Please tell me if a slightly shaded location is suitable for a veg garden. It is partially shaded for most of the day. There’s a creek running behind my yard’s fence where the bed will be. And please guide me to the best articles for starting a garden in my area. Should I soak this hard soil and mix it with (something?)or just put(something?)on […]

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What Are Some Good Hardy Succulents for Colorado?


“What succulents will grow outdoors in Colorado ZIP 80021, Growing Zone 6?” Question from Joe of Westminster, Colorado.
Answer: I love hardy succulents and have written about them extensively because they are beautiful and easy to grow in many areas of the country, with good bed prep. I see that Westminster has an average rainfall of 17-inches per year, a good bit lower than the […]

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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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