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How Do I Calculate Compost Application Rates?


“Your example calculation on your Guide’s formula for Compost application seems to be incorrect. What is right?  I am trying to figure how much to order.” Question from Anne of Elmdale, Kansas 
Answer: The original formula did need some adjustment, so I just modified it. Here is the corrected formula along with a conversion table and links to other helpful sources–most notably, a great article […]

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When and How Should I Move My Peonies?


“When is the best time to move Peony plants?” Question from Carin of Fall Creek, Wisconsin
Answer: Because peonies are extraordinarily hardy, I prefer moving them in the fall, but you can also moving them after they bloom in the spring. But, there are six things that you should know before moving peonies.
Six Things to Know Before Moving Peonies

Peonies have very large taproots, so you […]

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What are Inexpensive, Easy Groundcovers to Stop Erosion?


“We have a small fenced-in backyard with a dog. Due to sloping, and poor drainage, we have little topsoil left, but a lot of mud that gets tracked in the house. Are there any inexpensive suggestions for easy-to-grow hardy ground coverings or grass that will alleviate these issues? Our back yard has a mixture of sun and shade and is primarily red mud, so […]

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How Do I Remove Bishop’s Goutweed From My Garden?


“I have, what looks to be Bishop’s vine/weed, growing in my one garden. It’s starting to choke out my tiger lilies and other items growing in the garden. I can’t seem to get rid of it. Is there a way to get rid of the bishop’s weed in my garden?” Question from Angela of Windber, Pennsylvania
ANSWER: Sadly, bishop’s goutweed (Aegopodium podagraria) is a noxious […]

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How Do I Get My Cymbidium Orchid to Rebloom?

“I have an orchid plant that I have had for 8 years; it grows and duplicates (I had to get another container to separate it) but won’t grow the stalk to bloom. It hasn’t bloomed since the first year I got it. It isn’t the typical large rubbery leaf kind. I believe Cymbidium Orchid. When I got it, it had green flowers. It grows […]

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How Do I Protect Apple Trees from Fungal Disease?


“I have fungal diseases on my apple trees and fruits. I have tried all different sprays and had no results.” Question from Candace of Bradyville, Tennesee
Answer: Apple trees get loads of fungal diseases (Click on this link for a full list). Some cause trees serious damage while others are just disfiguring and reduce fruit set. Either way, you can reduce fungal disease problems by […]

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Will Mowing Hostas Kill Them?

“I live in a ground-floor apartment. I had Hostas in front of my patio. The ground crew mowed right over them.  Since there is less than an inch sticking up, do you think they’ll come back this year?” Question from Amy of Cincinnati, Ohio
Answer: Perennials like hosta have buds that reside at or just below the soil surface. If the mowers did not scalp the […]

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How Do I Start Seeds?


“Hi, I have the worst time starting seeds and am not sure what I’m doing wrong. Do I need to put a heating pad under the tray and a light on top? If so, can I use a regular heating pad for under them? Can I use a regular shop light above them? I cover them with plastic wrap until the seeds sprout, which […]

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What is the Best Soil for Herbs?

 

“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 […]

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What are Shade- and Sun-Loving Groundcovers for Florida?

Texas Frogfruit is a native groundcover that feeds bees and butterflies.
“Can you tell me, please, which ground cover plants do well in SW Florida, in a shady and wet location, as well as an area that is drier and gets sunshine most of the day!” Question from Colleen of Englewood, Florida
Answer: There are several groundcovers, for wet and dry areas, that are suited to your […]

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