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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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What Are the Best Low-Cost Flowers?

A packet of mixed tall zinnia seeds can cost as little as $2.50.
“On a tight budget, which flowers would you choose for zone 6b?” Question from Loretta of Utica, Kentucky
Answer: It is a good question in these days when many garden centers are closed or low on stock. The very best low-cost flowers are those annuals and perennials that are very fast-growing and quick to […]

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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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