“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 […]
“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 […]
“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 […]
“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 […]
“Is there a specific product that is ideal to use for feeding my herbs (potted, indoors)…?” Question from Stephanie of Elizabeth, Colorado
Answer: When it comes to feeding leafy herbs, it’s all about the nitrogen. This is the macro-nutrient that encourages strong leaf development. Choose a leafy green vegetable fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen. I tend to prefer sprinkle-and-forget, slow-release fertilizers that are OMRI Listed for […]
“What’s the best way to grow bay leaves indoors?” Question from Debbie of Fort Calhoun, Nebraska
Answer: Bay laurel (Laurus nobilis) is a broadleaf evergreen tree from North Africa and Asia that is hardy between USDA Hardiness Zones 8-10. Thankfully, it is very easy to grow indoors, if you have a sunny spot that remains relatively cool through the winter.
Most quality nurseries carry bay laurel. Choose […]
“What is the best window to place my herbs in during the winter? We’re growing basil, parsley, and oregano.” Question from Gregory of Gloversville, New York
Answer: Most culinary herbs are sun lovers, so choose a south-facing window, if you have one. The sunniest window you have will be your best window for herbs.
For more information on how to make the most of your indoor herbs, […]
“When dealing with mint clippings, what is the best way to keep them alive and well until they root and can be planted directly in soil?” Question from Jacquelynn of Torrington, Wyoming
Answer: You are lucky! Mint is one of the easiest herbs to root. Start by choosing the healthiest stem tips and clip them off to a length of about 6 inches. Then rinse them […]
“Are there any herbs that will overwinter in zone 7b?” Question from Deb of Alvarado, Texas
Answer: Yes! There are many perennial herbs that will thrive in your northeast Texas location. I understand that your summers are hot and muggy and your winters are chilly and windy. For your home, I would opt for perennial herbs adapted to Mediterranean climates. These include the following:
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“How do you grow lemongrass?” Question from Scott of San Antonio, Florida
Answer: You have the perfect growing conditions for this subtropical to tropical herbal grass. It’s hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 9-10, so it may even survive your winters. It’s very easy to grow and thrives in full sun, moist soil, and high heat. Check out the following video to learn more about growing […]
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