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What Black Gold Potting Soil is Best for Potted Tomatoes?


“Hi — I just transplanted tomato starts from the bathtub to larger containers and used Black Gold All Purpose for much of it.  I had one bag of All Purpose and one of Natural, Organic.  I noticed that the All Purpose has more fertilizer in it.  The Natural Organic has less, but it is natural and organic.  Still, I’m thinking I should generally use […]

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What Garden Companion Plants Control Insect Pests?


“What’s the best flower to control unwanted bugs in your veggie garden?” Question from Sylvia of Belle Plaine, Minnesota
Answer: Some commonly recommended companion plantings are ineffective, while others are supported by research. Most of the research surrounds vegetable crops and companion plants that reduce the number of insect pests that attack these crops. Companions fall under two categories:

Trap crops: These plantings attract insect pests, luring […]

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What Is the Best Time of Day to Water Plants?


“What time of day should I water my plants?” question from Courtney of Roebling, New Jersey
Answer: It really depends on where you live and what your soil and climate are like. In a very dry region, I’d suggest watering in the evening and possibly again in the morning, depending on the time of year and the severity of drought. But, where you live in […]

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Is This Tomato Mosaic Virus?


“Hi! Doing good? Please, can you tell me if this is tomatoes mosaic virus or others, or simply burn from the heat lamp? How can I send you pictures, please? Thank you for caring! Anne ;-)))” Question from Anne of San Diego, California
Answer: It is hard to tell at this stage. There are points where physical damage, such as foliage burn or herbicide damage, […]

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What Is the Best Mix for Potted Citrus Trees?


“What is the best potting mix for Meyer lemon tree in a plastic pot?  Needs to drain well.” Question from Polly of New Mexico
Answer: We offer several good-fit mixes. Before potting your tree, make sure that the new pot is several inches larger than the old and that it offers excellent bottom drainage. The ideal potting soil should have a balance of good porosity, […]

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How Do You Stop Asparagus Beetles?


“How can I prevent asparagus beetles from attacking and how can I get rid of them?” Question from Carol of Drums, Pennsylvania
Answer: There are several cultural things that you can do to manage asparagus beetles. There are two types with similar habits and damage, the black and white adult common asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagi) and orangish-red spotted asparagus beetle (Crioceris duodecimpunctata). First, it is important to […]

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When Should I Fertilize Seedlings?


“I bought Black Gold potting soil with fertilizer for my herb, tomato, onion, and pepper seedlings. Do I also need to use liquid fertilizer once the seedlings grow their true leaves?” Question from Kim of Hiram, Ohio
Answer: It is important to be timely when fertilizing seedlings to give them the best head start. With that said, fertilizer in the soil can actually inhibit the […]

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Can I Use Shredded Paper in the Garden?


“Any suggestions for using shredded paper in my raised beds for vegetables?  I have a home office that produces a lot of shredded paper that I would like to “recycle” if possible.” Question from Glenda of Sewell, New Jersey
Answer: Before putting any paper in the garden, make sure that the ink you use is acceptable for garden use. Almost all printer ink is non-toxic […]

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How Do I Bud Graft a Lemon Tree?


“I need help grafting a lemon tree branch to my small lemon tree (3 ft. tall). How soon should I graft the tree so the fruit can grow, or is 3 ft. tall OK to graft? What is the best technique for grafting? Is there any plant hormone that I should use for the best results?” Question from Elaine of Daytona Beach, Florida
Answer: Your […]

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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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