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What are Inexpensive, Easy Groundcovers to Stop Erosion?


“We have a small fenced-in backyard with a dog. Due to sloping, and poor drainage, we have little topsoil left, but a lot of mud that gets tracked in the house. Are there any inexpensive suggestions for easy-to-grow hardy ground coverings or grass that will alleviate these issues? Our back yard has a mixture of sun and shade and is primarily red mud, so […]

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What Seeds Need Heat Mats For Germination?


“In seed starting, which plant benefits the most by having a grow mat under it?” Question from Tim of Burton, Ohio
Answer: Some seeds need supplemental heat for germination, and these are almost always seeds for warm-season crops that naturally sprout when the outdoor temperatures heat up. Summer flowers, like cleome, cosmos, coreopsis, gomphrena, marigolds, salvias, and sunflowers, sprout better and grow faster with added […]

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How Do I Start Seeds?


“Hi, I have the worst time starting seeds and am not sure what I’m doing wrong. Do I need to put a heating pad under the tray and a light on top? If so, can I use a regular heating pad for under them? Can I use a regular shop light above them? I cover them with plastic wrap until the seeds sprout, which […]

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What Is a Good Raised Bed for Gardeners with Mobility Limitations?


“I have significant mobility problems now and can no longer bend over to plant like I used to. Do you have any recommendations for sturdy containers I can use for planting my flowers this year?” Question from Diane of Newark, Ohio
Answer: Any attractive, well-made raised planters should work well. Those made by Gronomics come highly recommended. They are sturdy, made in the USA, and have […]

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I Need Vegetable Garden Crop Rotation Tips


“I have 4 raised beds, each 16′ x 3.75′ (60 SF ea.) I live in Georgetown, TX Zone 8.  I have attempted to set up the planting plans for each bed for a 4-year rotation.  This spring garden, going in now:

Bed 1: Garlic (planted last 11/1), and Kale.  The Kale is still producing, and the garlic will be harvested in June.  The Kale […]

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I Need Good Sunny Window Box Plants

Lovin’ Life – Timeless™ Fire combo by Proven Winners®. (Image thanks to Proven Winners®)
“I have full sun for the majority of the day at my home. I’m wanting to put up a window box on the front of my house, but I’m not sure what plants would succeed. Help is appreciated! Thank you!” Question from Melissa of Ludington, Michigan
Answer: There are lots of great plants […]

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Does Mulch Along a Home’s Foundation Attract Termites?

Does Mulch Along a Home’s Foundation Attract Termites?
“I’ve heard that its not a good idea to place mulch too close to a house’s foundation. I was also told to mulch or plant shrubs around my house’s foundation to prevent my kids from getting lead poisoning from the old chipped off paint in the soil. What should I put near my foundation, bricks? Also, how far […]

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What Advice Would You Give a First-Time Garden Designer?


“What advice would you give someone (who has gardening experience) when it comes to redesigning a back yard. My parents recently bought a house that needs a yard makeover. What’s the best advice you can give someone who has only a little bit of experience with garden design and planning?” Question from Cassie of Wilsonville, Oregon
Answer: Before redesigning your parent’s backyard, determine what they […]

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What Garden Plants Grow in Sandy Kansas Soils?

What Garden Plants Grow in Sandy Kansas Soils?
“I’ve tried some plants and flowers that say they grow in sandy soil, but no success. Do I need to stick to container gardening or add something to the soil in my flower beds? Thank you.” Question from Susan of Wichita, Kansas
Answer: If you choose the right plants for your site and improve your soil’s fertility, you will […]

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What are Good, Compact Perennials and Shrubs to Plant Along a Sunny Walkway?


“What are good, compact perennials and shrubs to plant along a sunny walkway? I need help in selecting either a small shrub of some sort or a perennial of some sort to replace adjacent areas on my walkway. Now that I’ve had ash trees removed it will be mostly sunny. In the past, I’ve used baby tut grass, but sick of digging it up […]

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