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Why Aren’t My Black Mulberries Blooming?


“I purchased two mulberry bushes from Baker Creek [Heirloom Seeds] several years ago (Morus nigra). Neither of these has bloomed yet, and I would like to know how long it takes for them to fruit.  There were 2 plants to the offer.  They have grown well and are healthy.” Question from Carla of Birchwood, Tennessee
Dear Carla,
Age is most likely the problem. On average, […]

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How Do I Germinate Guayacan Seeds?


“I have tried unsuccessfully to germinate seeds “Lignum Vitae”. I have asked the grower what to do and followed their guidance…..any suggestions?” Question from Eddie of Chula Vista, California
Dear Eddie,
The Caribbean tree-of-life or guayacan (Guaiacum officinale (syn. Lignum vitae), Zones 10-12) is rarely grown in the US. In my experience plants of tropical origin with large seeds have a short life and germinate quickly […]

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How Do You Save Heirloom Pepper Seeds?


“I would love advice on saving seeds off of heirloom bell peppers.” Question from Shelby of Greenleaf, Idaho
Dear Shelby,
You are in luck! Peppers are some of the easiest seeds to save because they are dry, rather than fleshy, fruits with open interiors. What is important is waiting until the fruits are ripe to harvest the seeds. Green peppers have immature seeds that will not […]

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How Do I Maintain My Overgrown Potted Eucalyptus?


“Our Eucalyptus tree is at least 25 feet tall with no sign of slowing down. Could we lovingly remove it to maybe a better area? It is cold outside, and she just grows in all weather and doesn’t intend to be stopped. She is as high as our two-story home, and can’t support her upper branches.” Question from Philip of Lancaster, Alabama
Dear Philip,
You […]

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Can You Force Daylilies for Indoor Enjoyment?


“My mother is ill and can’t get out of the house. She misses her garden, especially her daylilies. Would it be possible for me to move some of these into pots and have them thrive indoors? If so, any special care for them? Thank you!” Question from Jenifer of Saint Petersburg, Florida
Answer: We are so sorry to hear that your mother is ill and […]

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What Is The Best Potting Mix for Potted Shrubs?


“I will be planting shrubs in containers. Which potting mix between Fafard and Black Gold would be the best choice and longest lasting? I would prefer something more permanent so as to not have to change out the potting mix every few years. I live in zone 7. Thank you for your response.” Question from Mel of Atlanta, Georgia
Answer: When recommending the best soil […]

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Does Moss Make a Good Groundcover?


“Even though moss dries out in summers, will it make a good ground cover for dirt that is largely dark clay?” Question from Susan of Junction City, Oregon
Answer: If you live in an area with consistent moisture and lots of shade, then it can make a good ground cover, though we recommend amending any clay soils first. There are lots of different moss species […]

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Does Excess Car Exhaust Damage Gardens?


“How would a parking lot with 16 stalls [and the car exhaust] next to my garden interfere with plant photosynthesis?” Sylvia of Belle Plaine, Minnesota
Answer: It is a very interesting question. Car exhaust contains gasses that are helpful to plants and photosynthesis and some that are harmful. Car exhaust is also everywhere, especially if you live in an urban area, though the increase in […]

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What Are Some Good Fall-Blooming Bulbs?

Red Spider Lily (Lycoris radiata) is a very pretty bulb the blooms in late summer and fall.
“What are some good fall-blooming bulbs? I can never seem to find any that bloom in the fall. Thanks.” Question from Brenda of Peterson, Iowa
Answer: There are quite a few fall bulbs that will grow well in your USDA Hardiness Zone 5a garden. Here are some of the best. […]

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Can Watermelons Be Grown in Containers?

Here is a watermelon that I grew in a pot a couple of years ago.
“Can watermelon vines be grown in containers?” Question from George of Hagerstown, MD
Answer: Watermelons can be grown in large containers if you choose a compact variety. Here are my recommendations regarding potted watermelon culture.
Growing Potted Watermelons
First, choose a more compact, short-vine watermelon variety suited for container growing. ‘Cal Sweet Bush‘, a […]

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