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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How Do I Calculate Compost Application Rates?

“Your example calculation on your Guide’s formula for Compost application seems to be incorrect. What is right?  I am trying to figure how much to order.” Question from Anne of Elmdale, Kansas 
Answer: The original formula did need some adjustment, so I just modified it. Here is the corrected formula along with a conversion table and links to other helpful sources–most notably, a great article […]

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What Is a Good Raised Bed for Gardeners with Mobility Limitations?

“I have significant mobility problems now and can no longer bend over to plant like I used to. Do you have any recommendations for sturdy containers I can use for planting my flowers this year?” Question from Diane of Newark, Ohio
Answer: Any attractive, well-made raised planters should work well. Those made by Gronomics come highly recommended. They are sturdy, made in the USA, and have […]

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Are Grow Bags Good for Low Desert Gardening?

“I live in the low desert of southern Arizona. The sun and heat are brutal in the summer, which is 6 months long. What are the pros and cons of using grow bag containers in this environment? Doesn’t the black fabric increase the heat in the root zone?” Jacqueline of Casa Grande, Arizona
Answer: I agree that black fabric grow bags would be a poor choice […]

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How Do I Stop Dill from Seeding Everywhere?

“How can you stop dill from taking over your garden?” Question from Sylvia of Belle Plaine, Minnesota
Answer: The answer to this question is in the valuable flowers and seed heads of dill. Keep the seeds from dropping to the ground by eating the fresh flower heads in salads or dips, before they set seed. Of you can allow the dill seed heads to mature, […]

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I Need Vegetable Garden Crop Rotation Tips

“I have 4 raised beds, each 16′ x 3.75′ (60 SF ea.) I live in Georgetown, TX Zone 8.  I have attempted to set up the planting plans for each bed for a 4-year rotation.  This spring garden, going in now:

Bed 1: Garlic (planted last 11/1), and Kale.  The Kale is still producing, and the garlic will be harvested in June.  The Kale […]

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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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