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Is Bat Guano Good for Flower Beds?


“I have a large amount of bat dung in our barn and have heard that it is an excellent fertilizer for flowers. Is that true?” Question from Catherine of White Cloud, Michigan
Answer: Bat guano makes an excellent plant fertilizer once it has been composted. Fresh bat guano is rich in nutrients, particularly nitrogen, but it needs to be broken down and mellowed before use. […]

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I Need Tips for Cold Frame Gardening


“With which of your products does one prep the soil for winter crops in a mini greenhouse, type Cold Frame Mini Green House by Juwel (I just got one)?  It will face South-East.  Any experience growing with this method?  Any easy crop recommendations?” Question from Judy of Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts

Answer: Thank you for your questions. I have gardened in a cold frame and observed […]

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Why Doesn’t Weed and Feed Kill All of My Broadleaf Weeds?


“I put weed and feed (broadleaf weed killer) down, but the plantago weed is still there. Why?” Question from Sandra of Cottage Grove, Minnesota
Answer: There could be several possible reasons. Before covering them, let me give an overview of how most weed and feed lawn herbicides work. Broadleaf weed killers that also feed grasses only kill broadleaf weeds, like dandelions, plantago, and clover, not […]

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I Am Looking for a Source for Boughton Dome Hebe?


“I am looking for bright dome hebe… can’t find it anywhere. Can you help?” Question from Kate of Brookings, Oregon
Ask a Garden Expert Answer: There are several Dome hebe. This includes ‘Boughton Dome’, ‘Emerald Dome’, ‘Golden Dome, and ‘Pewter Dome’. There is no ‘Bright Dome’ that I know of or
can find. Can you tell me the flower color and appearance of the hebe […]

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How Do I Care For My Butterfly Bush in Fall?


“What’s the best way to care for my butterfly bush, now that all the flowers are gone?  I usually cut it all the way back in the spring, which usually makes for a beautiful bush throughout the summer.  This year, not so much.  It was not very full, although it did grow quite tall.  Should I be doing something to it in the fall?”  […]

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How Do I Get Rid of a Groundhog?


“What is the best way to get rid of a groundhog?” Question from Glenn of Parsippany, New Jersey
Answer: Groundhogs can be very destructive creatures as well as smart and evasive. I have dealt with a few around my vegetable garden, and they are real pests! Here are several removal methods that I recommend.
1. Remove cover. Groundhogs dig dens where there is ample green cover. […]

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Why Aren’t My Heirloom Tomatoes Producing Fruit?


“My heirloom tomato plant is growing beautifully. However, it has not one tomato on it, while another bush, under same growing conditions, is more prolific though it still does not have ample tomatoes. Is there something I am doing/not doing correctly? During the long summer days the beds do get over 6 hours of sun a day, as the days are getting shorter they […]

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What is Causing Leaf Spot and Drop On My Desert Roses?


“My desert roses are dropping their leaves and they have brown to blackish spots on them.  I have attached an image.”  Question from Charles of Sebastian, Florida
Answer: The yellowing and black blotching and spotting on your desert rose (Adenium obesum) leaves is likely caused by the fungal disease, anthracnose leaf spot (Colletotrichum spp.). Yellowing of the leaves is caused in the early stages, and then […]

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What is the Pollinator For Summer Squash?

Male squash bee (Peponapis pruinosa). (Photo courtesy of USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Lab)
“What is the pollinator for summer squash? I stopped trying to grow them after getting zero fruits last summer!” Question from Robin of Warner, New Hampshire
Answer: It is frustrating when squash do not set fruits. There can be several reasons why, but the primary reason is lack of pollination. The main pollinators […]

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Should You Start by Tilling a No-Till Vegetable Garden?

Here’s a shot of my no-till garden three years after its creation.
“When creating no-till garden beds, do you think it’s best to till once and never again, or just use a never till method?” Question from Anthony of Bentonville, Arkansas
Answer: There are lots of benefits to going no-till with vegetable beds, especially when it comes to weed and weed seed control and the encouragement of […]

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