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What Plants Deter Insects from the Vegetable Garden?


“What are the best plants and/or flowers to deter insects from a vegetable garden?” Question from Vesta of Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia
Answer: Research has shown that some companion plantings will reduce the number of insect pests that attack specific vegetable crops. These companions fall under two categories: trap crops and insect-repelling companion plants. Trap crops are plantings that attract insect pests, luring them away from […]

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What are the Best Raised Bed Plants for High Desert Gardens?


What are the best plants to grow in a raised bed garden in high desert regions?” Question from Jill of Greybull, Wyoming

Answer: With the dry, scorching highs of the day and cool nights, you are certainly limited in what you can grow in the high desert unless you […]

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Can You Help Me Learn How to Grow Herbs?


“I want to start growing my own fresh herbs. I am CLUELESS on gardening….help!” Question from Lisa of Erie, Pennsylvania
Answer: You are in luck! Herbs are some of the easiest plants you can grow. Almost all herbs require full sun, fertile soil with good drainage, and average water. Some are perennials (meaning they will survive the winter and grow each year) and others are […]

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How Do I Get Lavender to Grow Up North?


“How can I get my lavender plant to grow? I bought it last year and it’s still the same size and hasn’t flowered. I put it this spring and it’s thriving, just not growing. Does it need to be planted in the ground to be happy?” Question from Cassi of Plymouth, Minnesota
Answer: Lavender is truly an outdoor plant, though plants can be container-grown and […]

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Can I Grow Vegetables in Pots in Summer and Winter?


“I am from SC. Will any veggies grow indoors in pots in the summer or winter?” Question from Donna of Newberry, South Carolina
Answer: There are lots of vegetables that are easily grown in containers. The key is choosing large containers that will give their roots enough space to grow and choosing varieties that are more compact. Providing excellent potting mix, like Black Gold Natural […]

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What Are the Best Vegetables for Cool Summers?


“What are the best vegetables for cool summer areas?” Question from Angie of Fort Bragg, California.
Answer: The classic cool-season vegetables are cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, and kale), root crops (turnips, beets, onions, and spring carrots), and greens (lettuce (see video below), spinach, arugula, and Swiss chard), but there are also typically warm-season vegetable varieties specially bred for cool-season growing. Here are some […]

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What are Some Good Companion Plants for Strawberries?


“Are there any companion plants to help strawberries grow and produce better? Or to keep bugs away from them?” Question from Amber of West Plains, Missouri
Answer: The true effectiveness of companion plants to ward off pests is argued. That’s because insect pests can detect their host plants from great distances, and/or they overwinter near host plants from year to year. So, if your strawberries […]

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How Do You Protect Spring Vegetables From Freezing?


“If you plant your veggie garden and the weather calls for freezing what is the best thing to cover your plants with?” Question from Donna or Newberry, South Carolina.
Answer: There are several ways to protect veggies from unexpected spring freezes. Here are the best options:
1. Floating row covers: Frost cloth is readily available at most garden centers or online garden sources, and it will […]

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Help! I Can’t Keep Herbs Alive.


“I can’t keep any herbs alive.  I’ve killed 3 basil plants and a thyme plant.  I’m also not really sure how to cut them to use them.  Do they grow after you cut them?  Please keep in mind I live in Arizona and have killed several cacti.  I guess I need major help.” Question from Denise of Mesa, Arizona
Answer: One of the most common […]

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How Do You Prune Bay Leaf?


“How do you prune a Bay Leaf plant?” Question from Mark or Warren, Ohio
Answer: Whether potted or grown in-ground in a Mediterranean climate, spring is the best time to prune back a bay laurel. Start by removing branches with unhealthy leaves. Then prune to shape by either shearing stem tips or cutting small or overgrown stems back to the main stem. Shearing stem tips […]

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