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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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What Are the Best Container-Garden Plants for Shade?

Impatiens are classic potted flowers for shade!
“I’m in a complex where we can only plant in containers outside…and there’s a lot of shade to complicate matters…any idea for some plants that would do well contained without a lot of sun?  Thank you…also someone told me the ivy I did plant in a pot can be brought inside for a houseplant when it gets too cold […]

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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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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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How Do I Fertilize Blueberries with Black Gold Fertilizer?


“I would like to fertilize some small blueberry plants I bought this year. I have your BLACK GOLD RHODODENDRON, AZALEA & EVERGREEN FERTILIZER, and I have some questions about its use because I don’t understand the instructions. It says “new plantings, 500ml per 1.5 m squared.  Or 1.5 cups for every inch of diameter of the trunk.  My plants are nowhere near 1-inch in […]

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How Do I Protect My Bulb Pots From Rot?


“I tried planting bulbs (crocus, daffodils, tulips, and iris) in pots this year. They were well mulched and gathered in a warmer area of the garden near the house. Nothing came up! After investigating, it appears they became too wet and froze. The pots have great drainage. Any suggestions for next year will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!” Question from Jane of Bloomington, Illinois
Answer: […]

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How Much Cactus Soil Do I Need For My Pot?


“How many bags of Cactus Soil will I need to fill up a 4.5-gallon container that measures 20″ x (top) x 8″ at base x 10″ deep. I am taking my barrel cactus out of the ground and planting them in this container. Can you suggest a good draining pot? Thank you for your time.” Debra of Nevada
Answer: This is the perfect job for […]

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Can You Put Weeds in the Compost Pile?


“Is really ok to use weeds when doing compost? Do you have to make sure that they are in a certain stage of growth? Because I really don’t have the time to study them as I pull.” Question from Erin of Kirkwood, Missouri
Answer: You can certainly put weeds in the compost pile if they meet two criteria: (1) They are not sickly or obviously […]

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How Do I Boost Tired Tomatoes?

How Do I Boost Tired Tomatoes?
“Last year my tomatoes struggled a lot. I think my soil might be tired. Should I rotate spots or should I fortify the soil? Thank you.” Question from Lucinda of Pittston, Maine
Answer: Tomatoes must be rotated on a three-year cycle for best performance, especially if they have experienced diseases. They are heavy feeders, experience lots of soil-borne diseases that can […]

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How Do I Revive Strawberry Plants?


“My strawberries were awesome until the neighbor’s chickens got into my bed and scratched them up. Since then the berries are really small and hardly worth picking. Do I need to buy new plants or will pumping up the soil be enough to bring them back to their formal glory? I am including a picture of the crop I used to get and now […]

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