“Do pansies have seedlings that you can save for the next year?” Question from April of Dresden, Tennessee
Answer: Yes! Pansies (Viola x wittrockiana, USDA Hardiness Zones 7-10) often self sow in the garden, and their seedlings always produce pretty flowers. At least that has been my experience. Down in Tennessee, your pansy seedlings should overwinter in your garden. I live in USDA Hardiness Zone […]
“I can’t keep any herbs alive. I’ve killed 3 basil plants and a thyme plant. I’m also not really sure how to cut them to use them. Do they grow after you cut them? Please keep in mind I live in Arizona and have killed several cacti. I guess I need major help.” Question from Denise of Mesa, Arizona
Answer: One of the most common […]
“I need ideas for growing root vegetables in containers.” Inquiry from Karen of Randolph, Vermont
Answer: You can grow just about any root vegetable in containers, but I choose smaller varieties for greater yields–petite French Breakfast radishes rather than giant Korean daikon radishes. Here are some excellent small, fast root vegetables for pots:
D’Avignon French Breakfast Radish: This traditional radish always tastes crisp and sweet when I […]
“I like to grow tomatoes on my steps in Brooklyn, NY. I believe I can do better and get a better product by having guidance.” Question from Chante or Brooklyn, New York
Answer: The plant in your photo looks quite healthy! As long as you have a spot with at least 8 hours of sunlight, you can grow great tomatoes. Here are five steps to growing […]
“Hi! I just moved into a new home, and my back yard is a blank slate, with sod throughout. I want to build some flower beds for roses, as well as raised beds – one for pollinator attraction and others for veggies. What would be my go-to soil and amendments, please? Thank you!!!” Question from Nancy of Denton Texas
Answer: For amending in-ground soil, my first […]
“How do I keep fire ants OUT of my raised beds? I’m in Texas, and those buggers are devastating! I hate to poison my food … any advice would be appreciated.” Question from Amy of Terrell, Texas
Answer: The red fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is an introduced species that’s a painful problem down South, and gardeners with fire ant problems really pay the price. Thankfully, there […]
“What is the best produce to plant in containers on a large patio that gets a lot of sun?” Question from Jennifer of Telford, Pennsylvania.
Answer: The key to choosing great vegetables, herbs, and fruits for container gardening is selecting compact varieties and/or planting in containers that are large enough to support your vegetables through the season. Then it’s all about getting your potting soil, fertilizer […]
“What’s the best soil when planting tomatoes?” Question from Jonathon of Centreville, Alabama.
Answer: Getting your soil and feeding regime right is so important for growing great tomatoes. In general, tomatoes like fertile, well-drained soil that is high in organic matter and has a relatively neutral soil pH of around 6.0 to 6.8. If you are growing plants in the ground, amend your soil well with […]
“What would be vegetables I can grow in containers in Zone 10b? Question from Susan of Pembroke Pines, Florida
Answer: Stick with warm-season vegetables, like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and eggplant, and give them extra care and water if you choose to plant them during the hottest times of the year.
The key to successful vegetable container gardening is starting with large containers, good mix, and choosing more […]
“What kind of fertilizer should I use to grow vegetables in a big container pot with potting soil?” Question from Susan of Union City, Pennsylvania
Answer: For containers, I always opt for a slow-release fertilizer that will feed plants well all season long. Choose one that is formulated for vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Most of these will have either a balanced N-P-K (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium) ratio, such as […]
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