“I read that Thyme can repel deer from your veggie garden. Is it true?” Question from Sylvia of Belle Plaine, Minnesota
Answer: Thyme is a mint, and on the whole, deer dislike the strong smell of many plants in the mint family (Lamiaceae), so mints, like thyme, can repel deer. But, I cannot say whether repellent mints would keep deer away from vegetables that they […]
“I need to protect my garden from squirrels. I want to do container gardening on my deck. I have problems with squirrels eating all my berries and some of my veggies. What is the best way to protect them?” Question from Melanie of Susquehanna, Pennsylvania
Answer: There are several useful ways that you can implement to keep squirrels from eating your prized fruits and vegetables. […]
“My basil always is short and flowers. It is in full sun, and I suspect it’s too much sun. I would like lots of succulent leaves, but the leaves are small and thin 🙁 How many hours of direct sun is enough? or maybe I should move it to part shade?” Question from Catherine of Tampa, Florida
Answer: Basil needs just a few things to […]
“Are hybrids better than the real thing?” Question from Dave of Springfield, Massachusetts
Answer: There is a simple and more complex answer to this question. The simple answer is that they often are better. Hybrids exist in the wild, as well as in the nurseries of plant breeders, and they often exhibit something called ‘hybrid vigor, outbreeding enhancement, or heterosis. Plants with hybrid vigor have an edge […]
“What is the best soil to use when planting a container herb garden?” Question from Joanne of Ocala, Florida
Answer: You are in luck! Herbs are some of the easiest plants you can grow, if given the right growing conditions–soil included. Almost all herbs require full sun, fertile soil with good drainage, and average water. Some are perennials (meaning they will survive the winter and […]
“How can you stop dill from taking over your garden?” Question from Sylvia of Belle Plaine, Minnesota
Answer: The answer to this question is in the valuable flowers and seed heads of dill. Keep the seeds from dropping to the ground by eating the fresh flower heads in salads or dips, before they set seed. Of you can allow the dill seed heads to mature, […]
Can I Use Black Walnut Leaves for Compost?
“I have several black walnut trees in my yard. Would it be alright to use the leaves in the compost? Question from Raymond of Holt, Michigan
Answer: I would not recommend it. As you surely know, black walnut trees (Juglans nigra) excrete the toxin, juglone, which is deadly to quite a few ornamental plants. The toxin helps reduce competition, […]
Can I grow vegetables in this sunny room?
“Is it possible to grow any vegetables indoors in a sunny room with a grow light? I live in NE PA and we have long cold winters. I would love to grow veggies over the winter. I have a room that I think would work.” Question from Melanie or Susquehanna, Pennsylvania
Answer: What a nice space! You can certainly […]
What Basil Grows Well in Florida Heat?
“How can I grow basil in South Florida? Every time I try the sun either burns it or I get it in too much shade.” Question from Deborah of Moore Haven, Florida
Answer: If you find that traditional Italian large-leaf basil (Ocimum basilicum) burns and blooms quickly in your Florida heat, there are other basils available that are better adapted […]
How Do You Grow Cilantro Indoors?
“What is the best practice to ensure a window-sill cilantro plant will thrive? I have a green thumb and can grow or rehab practically any plant/flower/herb/garden. However, each time I’ve purchased a cilantro plant, it wilts after a few months. I only water when dry. Thank you!” Question from Ann of Raleigh, North Carolina
Answer: Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is a short-lived […]
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