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Do You Sell Living Soil Products?

Do You Sell “Living Soil” Products?
“Is Sunshine Advanced Mix #4 considered a living soil? If not, do you sell a living soil product?” Question from Glenn of Leland, Illinois
Answer: “Living Soils” are considered soils that contain microorganisms that naturally break down organic matter and help support plants. They contain beneficial mycorrhizae as well as other supportive microorganisms from earthworm castings and compost. We have several […]

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Which is Better, Hydroponic or Potted Indoor Vegetables?


“Why should I continue to use Black Gold products for my indoor gardening projects, rather than switching entirely to hydroponics?” Question from Vicki of Brownsburg, Indiana
Answer: It depends on your home, budget, and goals, but I favor soil growing for lots of reasons. Either way, both methods have value. To help you make up your own mind, here are the plusses and minuses of […]

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How Do You Overwinter Strawberries?

How Do You Overwinter Strawberries?
“What do you do with strawberry plants in the winter?” Question from Jacklyn or Portland, Oregon
Answer: In mild areas like yours, strawberries (Fragaria spp., USDA Zones 4-9) are very hardy, so no special overwintering measures need to be taken. You can, however, clean them up and thin clumps that are over 3 years of age to encourage strong fruiting. Central plants […]

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What Are the Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening?

What Are the Benefits of Raised Bed Gardening?
“Are raised beds easy to grow in and maintain? I live in North Carolina. During the winter can I put a tarp-type Greenhouse over them to help protect vegetables from the cold.” Question from Karen of Rougemont, North Carolina
Answer: There are many benefits to growing in raised beds and very few downsides. Here are the pros and cons […]

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Why Does My Amended Container Soil Become Compacted?

Why Does My Amended Container Soil Become Compacted?
“Why does the soil in my container garden compact super tight? I use garden soil mixed with potting mix and perlite.” Question from Nell of Salem, Indiana
Answer: It sounds like your soil ratios are off, and your in-ground soil is high in clay. If you have not added the right amount of Black Gold amendment or potting soil […]

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Is Early October Too Early to Plant Turnips From Seed in Zone 7?

Plant Turnips From Seed
“Is it too late to start turnips from seed in zone 7?” Question from Patricia of Warrenton, North Carolina
Answer: It depends on your weather and the turnip. On average, they take around 40-50 days to yield roots from seed. If your Novembers remain reliably mild, then plant them. Another option is to build a cold-frame for growing winter root vegetables and greens. […]

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How Do You Grow Potatoes?

How Do You Grow Potatoes?
“I grew potatoes this summer. I planted them the correct way and they started to grow. I kept covering the leaves with dirt (leaving the top leaves uncovered.) The vines grew like weeds. It kept covering them but a few days later they would be out of control again. I had them in containers. Eventually, I had no way to build […]

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How Do You Safely Overwinter Rose Containers?

How Do You Safely Overwinter Rose Containers?
“I have roses in containers. What is the best way to overwinter them in zone 6b? I have a Winchester Cathedral, a Young Lycidas, and a Jubilee Celebration. There is another one that looks similar to the Young Lycidas, but the flowers and scent are a bit different. It is also a David Austin rose, but it was unmarked […]

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How Do I Build My Soil in Fall to Increase Vegetable Yields?


“Hello, I just moved to a place this year that had semi-raised beds for gardening. I planted several “crops” and the yields were not great. I don’t know if it was the seeds I used or if it is the soil itself. I waited until the ground was warm enough, and I watered regularly and planted as directed, but my yields were about 50% […]

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What Are Good Container Flowers for Northern California?

Bolivian Begonia is an excellent container garden flower that can be overwintered indoors. (Image by Jessie Keith)
“I rent my house but I have always wanted to grow a flower garden. What’s the best way to grow flowers in containers that are movable and what kind of flowers grow best in containers?” Question from Jenna of Magalia, California
Answer: Container gardening is certainly the best option for […]

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