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I Am Looking For a Deer-Proof Chartreuse Ground Cover

Golden lemon thyme is a great groundcover that is disliked by deer.
“I planted a chartreuse ground cover, I believe it was a sedum, not sure.  Very low growing.  It looked great & then the deer discovered it – they ate it all.  Can you suggest another chartreuse ground cover that perhaps the deer wouldn’t – the little darlings.” Question from Peggy of Canton, Michigan
Answer: Many […]

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How and When Should I Prune Lavender?


“When should I prune lavender?  I tried it at the end of summer last year, but I think I might have cut too far back.” Question from Manda of Florence, Kentucky
Answer: In my experience, lavender has the best regrowth results if one waits to prune until the plants begin to produce fresh spring leaves. It simply bounces back best when it has begun to […]

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Is Comfrey a Good Natural Fertilizer?


“Have you heard about comfrey as being an organic fertilizer for gardens, and do you have any additional information on it?” Question from Sylvia of Belle Plaine, Minnesota
Answer: The claim is that the old-fashioned herb comfrey (Symphytum officinale) is a “dynamic accumulator,” or a plant that absorbs and retains higher amounts (10 x or more) of essential macronutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, […]

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What Herbs Have Anti-Viral Properties?


[What are the] best herbs for anti-viral use? Question from Jason of Providence, Rhode Island
Answer: What a timely question. We hesitate to give medicinal advice regarding herbal remedies for viral infections, but we do recommend that you read a useful medical article about “Antiviral Natural Products and Herbal Medicines” published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health in 2014. It […]

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How Do You Grow Wormwood?

Here is the growth habit of my single, 4-foot wormwood. (Image by Jessie Keith)
“I was considering raising wormwood to use as pain relief, hopefully in a raised bed. Do you have any suggestions as to the type of soil and fertilizers? Thank you.” Question from Kevin of Bellville, Ohio
Answer: I have grown wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), and there are several things you should consider before growing […]

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Do You Have Tips for Straw Bale Gardening?


“We are trying to establish a straw bale garden because our soil up here in the Rockies is so bad after years of ranchers over-grazing the entire area. Any tips on how to make this succeed? Question from Wolf of Westcliffe, Colorado
“Do you have any advice or opinion when it comes to hay bale gardening?” Question from Pamela of Conroe, Texas
Answer: What are the […]

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What are the Best Fruits and Vegetables to Grow in Central Florida?


 
“What are the best fruits and vegetables to grow in Central Florida?” Question from Sherry of Silver Springs, Florida
Answer: Other than northern fruit trees and berries and a few other crops that require cold winters and droop in hot weather, you can grow most fruits and vegetables in Central Florida. We have many articles that cover some of the best fruits and vegetables for […]

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Can I Grow Plants in Pure Compost?


“I have some large compost bins, which produce a lot of compost. Can I plant things in pure compost, or do I need some “dirt” with inorganic materials for the best results?  How much inorganic material do I need?” Question from Naomi or Oakdale, California
Answer: Congratulations on your composting success! Compost is one of the best garden amendments available. You can plant in straight […]

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How Do I Manage Chickweed in the Garden?


“Chickweed is on the attack! Help!” Question from Judy of Louisville, Mississippi
Answer: Winterweeds like chickweed (Stellaria spp.) are such a pain because they sprout and take over our gardens while we are enjoying a respite from outdoor gardening. Sneaky! You will be glad to learn that they are easy to tackle. Here are five good ways to wage war on chickweed.

Mulch beds in fall […]

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How Do I Keep Seedlings from Becoming Long and Leggy?


“I start my seedlings indoors. How do I keep them from shooting up 6 inches with a weak stem before I can get them outdoors?” Question from Jerry of Lead, South Dakota
Answer: This is all about providing lots of high-quality light from start to finish. When light is insufficient, seedlings will reach and stretch towards the source, which results in elongated, leggy shoots and […]

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