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What are the Best Raised Bed Plants for High Desert Gardens?


What are the best plants to grow in a raised bed garden in high desert regions?” Question from Jill of Greybull, Wyoming
Answer: With the dry, scorching highs of the day and cool nights, you are certainly limited in what you can grow in the high desert unless you create an enclosed garden conducive to vegetable, herb, and flower gardening. It’s all about enriching the […]

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What is the Best Method for Growing Potatoes?


“Can I grow potatoes in a 4’X4′ raised bed or do I need something deeper like a garbage can with holes in it? Thanks!” Question from Patricia Froehner or Newton, New Jersey
Answer: Absolutely! Large, soil-filled cans and tubs are convenient for growing potatoes in small-space gardens, but they are not necessary at all. The key to growing really nice potatoes is providing rich, lightweight, […]

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Can You Help Me Learn How to Grow Herbs?


“I want to start growing my own fresh herbs. I am CLUELESS on gardening….help!” Question from Lisa of Erie, Pennsylvania
Answer: You are in luck! Herbs are some of the easiest plants you can grow. Almost all herbs require full sun, fertile soil with good drainage, and average water. Some are perennials (meaning they will survive the winter and grow each year) and others are […]

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What Soil Do You Recommend for Avocado Seedlings?


“What type of Black Gold soil is recommended for potting avocado seedlings?” Question from Rusty of San Diego, California
Answer: Excellent drainage is one of the most important attributes of soil for avocado growing. They cannot endure wet soil for any period of time without being subjected to root rot. This means planting them in very well-draining pots as well as planting them in a […]

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How Can I Protect My Ripening Strawberries From Insects?


“What can you use on strawberry plants to keep the bugs from eating the strawberries as they ripen?” Question from Sylvia of Belle Plaine, Minnesota
Answer: The simplest method, without the use of chemicals, is applying super-light floating row covers, also called garden fabric. You can also apply food-grade diatomaceous earth along the ground and on plants to ward off slugs. (You really don’t want […]

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Can I Grow Vegetables in Pots in Summer and Winter?


“I am from SC. Will any veggies grow indoors in pots in the summer or winter?” Question from Donna of Newberry, South Carolina
Answer: There are lots of vegetables that are easily grown in containers. The key is choosing large containers that will give their roots enough space to grow and choosing varieties that are more compact. Providing excellent potting mix, like Black Gold Natural […]

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Can I Plant Annuals and Vegetables Together?


Can you plant annual flowers and vegetables in the same raised bed? Question from Diane or Newark, Ohio
Answer: Sure! In many cases, annuals can be beneficial to vegetables by warding off pests (click here to read about the protective power of marigolds) and/or attract pollinators. Compact flowers that will not compete for too much sunlight or water are best.  Here are some of my […]

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What Are the Best Vegetables for Cool Summers?


“What are the best vegetables for cool summer areas?” Question from Angie of Fort Bragg, California.
Answer: The classic cool-season vegetables are cole crops (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, and kale), root crops (turnips, beets, onions, and spring carrots), and greens (lettuce (see video below), spinach, arugula, and Swiss chard), but there are also typically warm-season vegetable varieties specially bred for cool-season growing. Here are some […]

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I Need Help Amending My Clay Soils!


“We have added compost, mulch, and additional black dirt, but the soil continues to be very hard and difficult to grow vegetables in. What should we do?” Question from Linda of Schererville, Indiana
Answer: I looked at the soil map for your area, and your soils are indeed very clay-rich and silty. The trouble with clayey soils is that they lack aeration, good drainage, and […]

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Help! My Barbados Cherry is Dying


“I have a Barbados cherry tree that I just bought from a fast-growing tree nursery, and it’s small and dying. When I got the plant, all the leaves were gone, and it’s just not growing. I added seaweed and some fish emulsion, but it just won’t grow. There is green when I scratch the stem. What can I do to bring it back?” Question from […]

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