What is the Best Growing Temperature for Tropical Hibiscus?

“How warm do I have to keep my house for a tropical hibiscus? I live in Maine, and it gets quite chilly!” Question from Valerie of East Andover, Maine
Answer: Your tropical hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) will grow best in temperatures between 55ᵒ and 85ᵒ Fahrenheit. If temperatures drop below 50ᵒ F, it will require some protection. Inversely, temperatures above 100ᵒ will cause it high stress, but […]

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Do You Have Tips for Straw Bale Gardening?

“We are trying to establish a straw bale garden because our soil up here in the Rockies is so bad after years of ranchers over-grazing the entire area. Any tips on how to make this succeed? Question from Wolf of Westcliffe, Colorado
“Do you have any advice or opinion when it comes to hay bale gardening?” Question from Pamela of Conroe, Texas
Answer: What are the […]

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What’s an Easy Way to Move My Large Planters for Cleaning?

“I have some very heavy and large planters that need to be sterilized I am sure or cleaned before I plant new flowers next season.  Is there an easy way to do this?  I can not lift them and have such a hard time preparing the large pots for planting.” Question from Jennifer of Angola, Indiana
Answer: It’s always important to keep planting areas clean, […]

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What are the Best Fruits and Vegetables to Grow in Central Florida?

“What are the best fruits and vegetables to grow in Central Florida?” Question from Sherry of Silver Springs, Florida
Answer: Other than northern fruit trees and berries and a few other crops that require cold winters and droop in hot weather, you can grow most fruits and vegetables in Central Florida. We have many articles that cover some of the best fruits and vegetables for […]

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Can I Grow Plants in Pure Compost?

“I have some large compost bins, which produce a lot of compost. Can I plant things in pure compost, or do I need some “dirt” with inorganic materials for the best results?  How much inorganic material do I need?” Question from Naomi or Oakdale, California
Answer: Congratulations on your composting success! Compost is one of the best garden amendments available. You can plant in straight […]

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Does Potting Soil Age and Lose Nutrients Over Time?

“If you plant flowers in a flowerpot, do you ever have to change out the soil, or does the soil never lose its nutrients? Question from Jessica of Phoenix City, Alabama
Answer: Potting soil must be changed or replenished every couple of years or so for many reasons beyond the fact that a plant may have outgrown its pot. Not only do plants remove fertilizer […]

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Do You Have Container-Gardening Tips for Desert Gardeners?

“I live in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, so I have to garden in containers that can be moved when it gets hot. What is the best thing I can do for plants that are confined in containers in a hot climate like this?” Question from Jacqueline of Casa Grande, Arizona
Answer: Aside from choosing more drought-tolerant plants to grow, there are several other things […]

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Can You Share Some Good Raised Bed Plans?

“As an older crippled up fogey, I appreciate raised beds. Do you have plans available for different kinds of raised beds?” Question from Kevin of Belleville, Ohio
Answer: We don’t have raised-bed building plans, but we may in the near future. What a good idea!
This Old House has some great free plans that are well-conceived and useful. If your back gives you trouble, consider building […]

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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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Can I Plant a Vegetable Garden In Partial Shade?

“Please tell me if a slightly shaded location is suitable for a veg garden. It is partially shaded for most of the day. There’s a creek running behind my yard’s fence where the bed will be. And please guide me to the best articles for starting a garden in my area. Should I soak this hard soil and mix it with (something?)or just put(something?)on […]

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