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What are Some Good Companion Plants for Strawberries?


“Are there any companion plants to help strawberries grow and produce better? Or to keep bugs away from them?” Question from Amber of West Plains, Missouri
Answer: The true effectiveness of companion plants to ward off pests is argued. That’s because insect pests can detect their host plants from great distances, and/or they overwinter near host plants from year to year. So, if your strawberries […]

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What is the Best Thing to Do About Peach Leaf Curl Disease?


“What is the best thing to do about peach leave curl?” Question from Craig of Big Bar, California
Answer: This disease of peaches and nectarines is caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans, and it is really damaging, causing deformations of flowers, leaves, fruit, and even shoots. It can cause real problems with tree health and fruit production. There are a few things that you can […]

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How Do You Protect Spring Vegetables From Freezing?


“If you plant your veggie garden and the weather calls for freezing what is the best thing to cover your plants with?” Question from Donna or Newberry, South Carolina.
Answer: There are several ways to protect veggies from unexpected spring freezes. Here are the best options:
1. Floating row covers: Frost cloth is readily available at most garden centers or online garden sources, and it will […]

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Help! I Can’t Keep Herbs Alive.


“I can’t keep any herbs alive.  I’ve killed 3 basil plants and a thyme plant.  I’m also not really sure how to cut them to use them.  Do they grow after you cut them?  Please keep in mind I live in Arizona and have killed several cacti.  I guess I need major help.” Question from Denise of Mesa, Arizona
Answer: One of the most common […]

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What are Some Good Root Vegetables for Containers?


“I need ideas for growing root vegetables in containers.” Inquiry from Karen of Randolph, Vermont
Answer: You can grow just about any root vegetable in containers, but I choose smaller varieties for greater yields–petite French Breakfast radishes rather than giant Korean daikon radishes. Here are some excellent small, fast root vegetables for pots:
D’Avignon French Breakfast Radish: This traditional radish always tastes crisp and sweet when I […]

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Help Me Grow Better Potted Tomatoes in NYC


“I like to grow tomatoes on my steps in Brooklyn, NY. I believe I can do better and get a better product by having guidance.” Question from Chante or Brooklyn, New York
Answer: The plant in your photo looks quite healthy! As long as you have a spot with at least 8 hours of sunlight, you can grow great tomatoes. Here are five steps to growing […]

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What’s Your Favorite Eating Tomato?

Tomato ‘Gold Tomato’
“For Central MS, what is your best suggestion for a good “eatin’ ‘mater?” Question from Judy of Louisville, Mississippi
Answer: You can never love just one tomato! I have three standbys for great overall eating tomatoes. These are the ones I grow each year no matter what, and they’ll grow well in your Southern heat.
The best tomato for flavor is ‘Gold Medal’, a golden heirloom […]

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My Heirloom Tomatoes Rot on the Vine Before Ripening!


“I have planted heirloom tomatoes and they rot on the vine before they turn red. Why?” Question from Susan of Lexington, Kentucky
Answer: There are several reasons why this can happen, but the most common is a physiological disorder called blossom end rot. This is most likely your problem, especially if your plants look fine. You can see an example of this disorder in the photo. […]

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My Tomatoes Developed Spots After Chilling. Why?


I have tomato seedlings that have tiny dark spots on the top of the leaves after it got down to 40 degrees the other night. I live in South Florida. Could this be cold damage? Question from Susan of Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Answer: The most common physical tomato leaf response to chilling is physiological leaf roll, which your tomatoes don’t seem to have. Unfortunately, cold […]

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How Do You Start Raspberries from Canes?


How do you start raspberries from canes? Question from Deborah of Los Lunas, New Mexico
Answer: Raspberries are one of the easiest fruits to propagate from canes or cuttings because they readily root, even without the help of rooting hormone. In fact, if you let canes naturally weep to the ground in your garden, they will root as they touch the ground. In time a single […]

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