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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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Can Potatoes Survive in the Ground Through Winter?


“Can potatoes survive in the ground if they are not harvested when the above-ground foliage is removed? If yes, how long will they last?” Question from Ed or Coats, North Carolina
Answer: It’s an interesting question. The answer is yes and no. Potatoes (Solanum tuberosum) are perennial plants and some cultivated potatoes can be quite hardy. The ability of cultivated forms to survive winter cold […]

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How Do I Organically Feed My Vegetable Garden Soil for Fall?

How Do I Organically Feed My Vegetable Garden Soil for Fall?
“I’m getting ready to prep my raised beds for the fall crop.  What is best to amend the soil with since I do not use chemical fertilizers?” Question from Randal of Chiply, Florida.
Answer: There are lots of things that you can do to feed your soil for fall and winter crops. Here are some of […]

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When is the Best Time to Plant Lettuce in California?

When is the Best Time to Plant Lettuce in California?
“When generally is the best month to start lettuce planting [in California]?” Question from Rebekah of Clovis, California
Answer: Lettuce is a cool-season crop, which means that it thrives in cool weather and can even take a light frost but not hard freezes. When the weather becomes hot, most lettuce varieties quickly become bitter-tasting and set seed […]

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What Is The Best Soil for Raised Beds?

What Is The Best Soil for Raised Beds?
“I built 2 beds measuring 4′ x 16′ and 2 foot deep.  I don’t think I need a Black Gold mix for the bottom half.  What is something I could [add to] the bottom half of the boxes?  Also are Black Gold products meant as a supplement to the soil or a soil replacement?” Question from Kevin or […]

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Why Do My Sweet Alyssum Keep Dying?

Why Do My Sweet Alyssum Keep Dying?
“Every year I try planting alyssum and within 48 hours of planting its dead? I’ve tried many different things but can’t seem to get it to work at this house.  I’ve grown it in other beds and borders just not working here … any thoughts?” Question from Kyla of Oakbank, Manitoba, Canada
Answer: Sweet alyssum (Lobularia maritima) is a common […]

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