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When is the Best Time To Grow Vegetables in Florida?


“I live in SW, Florida – what is the best time of year for growing vegetables? Question from Colleen of Englewood, Florida
Answer: I see that your summers are sweltering, humid, long, and can be cloudy while your winters are short, cool, and sunnier. What you grow in these times depends on the crop and season.
In the “cooler” winter months, you can grow root and […]

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What is the Pollinator For Summer Squash?

Male squash bee (Peponapis pruinosa). (Photo courtesy of USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Lab)
“What is the pollinator for summer squash? I stopped trying to grow them after getting zero fruits last summer!” Question from Robin of Warner, New Hampshire
Answer: It is frustrating when squash do not set fruits. There can be several reasons why, but the primary reason is lack of pollination. The main pollinators […]

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Should You Start by Tilling a No-Till Vegetable Garden?

Here’s a shot of my no-till garden three years after its creation.
“When creating no-till garden beds, do you think it’s best to till once and never again, or just use a never till method?” Question from Anthony of Bentonville, Arkansas
Answer: There are lots of benefits to going no-till with vegetable beds, especially when it comes to weed and weed seed control and the encouragement of […]

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What Are the Best Tomato Varieties for Central Florida?


“What are the best tomato varieties for USDA Hardiness Zone 9a?” Question from Janet of Summerfield, Florida.
Answer: The best tomato varieties you grow will depend on the time of year in your Central-Florida location. You are lucky to have the luxury of being able to grow tomatoes almost year-round. For summer, grow very heat-tolerant varieties, and in your milder springs and falls pick fast-to-produce […]

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I Need Organic Solutions for Vegetable Pests and Powdery Mildew


“Which is the natural and most efficient solution against pests, aphids, white powder, etc. that year after year destroy our vegetables?” Question from Doina of Bothell, Washington
Answer: I wish that I could give you a simple answer. There are so many vegetables and so many pests and diseases that attack them that it is impossible to know where to start. You specifically mention aphids […]

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Help Me Grow Zucchini Better!


“I can never seem to grow zucchini right. Is there a type of soil that would be best for this?” Question from Amy of Oil City, Pennsylvania
Answer: We have gotten this question a lot, both with respect to zucchini and summer squash (both are the same–one is just green and elongated.).  I have provided links to several of these Ask a Garden Expert answers. […]

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Why Aren’t My Cucumbers Fruiting?

Female cucumber flowers have underdeveloped baby cukes at the base while male flowers do not.
“Why are my cucumber plants not setting many cukes?  The blossoms fall off before setting.” Question from Ron of Cashmere, Washington
Answer: There are several possible reasons that your cucumbers are suffering from blossom drop before fruit set. These include pollination issues, environmental stresses, and soil nutrient problems. Let’s take a closer […]

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Do You Think That Vegetables Produce As Well in Containers?


“Do you believe veggie plants grow and produce as well in large containers as planting straight in the ground?” Question from Donna of Newberry, South Carolina
Answer: It depends. It’s all a matter of plant size, rooting needs, container size, and overall care.
Container Size and Care
Large or standard-sized vegetables do not grow as well in containers because they need more space to reach full potential. […]

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How Do I Keep Deer Away From My Vegetable Garden?


“I have put up a fence, a scarecrow, dog hair, a windmill, aluminum pans, liquid fence and still the deer come in at night and eat off my peas, cukes, and beans. I just called today to talk to wildlife pro from the county to see if they can do something as I live in town and the deer don’t belong here. What else […]

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My Barbados Cherry Flowers are Dropping Prematurely. Help!


“The flower blooms of my Barbados cherry are pink with yellow but they fall off the whole stem while in bloom. What am I doing or I should ask what I am not doing? I water it a little extra, but they seem to keep falling off.” Question from Carol of Joaquin, Texas.
Answer: It sounds like you are hoping for fruits in addition to […]

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