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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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Can Tomato and Watermelon Vines Be Pruned?


“I have a small plot and planted two tomato plants and several watermelon plants. As they grow I’m realizing my plot is quickly running out of space. Can tomato plants be trimmed back? Will watermelon plants take over my yard? How do I trim them back or space them out wide enough?” Question from George of Hagerstown, Maryland
Answer: Both plants can be pruned (please […]

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Why Are My Tomato Leaves Curling?

Upward curling tomato leave indicates stress more often than disease.
“Lots of my tomato plants have curling upward leaves, and in most cases only edge damage. Why?” Questions from James of Greenville, South Carolina
Answer: There is a Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus, but your plant lacks several of the symptoms, including stunting, yellowing, and eventual leaf browning. Tomato plants more commonly experience physiological leaf curl when […]

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Why Are My Cucumbers Bitter?


“I am growing the same cucumbers this year as last year.  Every cucumber this year looks beautiful but tastes very bitter and is inedible.  I believe I am providing adequate water, though due to the heat the plants still wilt during the day. What can I do to improve the flavor? ” Lisa of Marietta, Pennsylvania
Answer: There are two things that can cause cucumbers […]

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Can I Grow Peonies Down South?

‘Coral Charm’ is a peony that grows better down South, and it is one of my favorites!
“I live in south Georgia and I would love to plant peonies, but I was told by a local nursery that they can’t survive here because we don’t have cold enough winters for them to reset, is this true?” Question from Ladonna of Naylor, Georgia
Answer: It is partially true. […]

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How Can I Keep Plants Cool During Scorching Heatwaves?

Move potted plants to cooler locations during the most dangerous periods of a heatwave.
“It has been hotter than it’s ever been on record. How can I protect my plants from the severe heat?” Angie of Walla Walla, Washington
Answer: It’s scary when you live in an area that typically has mild summer temperatures, and you unexpectedly experience super high heat. Your tender plants are as used […]

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What Are Some Good Online Nurseries for Garden Succulents?


“Do you have any recommendations for mail-order succulents supply sources for gardens?” Bob from New Mexico
Answer: There are several mail-order companies that I turn to for succulents for the garden. These include the following companies.
Good Online Succulent Nurseries

Mountain Crest Gardens – They have both tender and hardy succulents for sale.
Cold Hardy Cactus – The Cactus Man specializes in hardy cacti and succulents, and he […]

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What Herbs Repel Deer?


“I read that Thyme can repel deer from your veggie garden. Is it true?” Question from Sylvia of Belle Plaine, Minnesota
Answer: Thyme is a mint, and on the whole, deer dislike the strong smell of many plants in the mint family (Lamiaceae), so mints, like thyme, can repel deer. But, I cannot say whether repellent mints would keep deer away from vegetables that they […]

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How Can I Stop Physiological Leaf Blight of Phlox?


“I have phlox growing in a big container. The bottom leaves are looking mottled/veiny. I have fed them and also added iron, but it doesn’t seem to be improving. Is there something else it needs?” Shawn from Kenosha, Wisconsin
Answer: Tall phlox (Phlox paniculata) varieties are prone to a series of diseases and foliage disorders, but yours sounds like it is physiological leaf blight of […]

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Help! My Succulents Have Black Spots and Drying Leaves!


“My succulent house plants have dry leaves in the middle of the stem and black spots. Why is this happening?” Question from Karina of Wenatchee, Washington
Answer: Succulent plants can develop dry leaves when they are being either overwatered or underwatered. The black spots and the fact that leaves are drying and dying in the center of the stem indicates stem and root rot, which […]

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