Gardening & Landscapes

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Peat moss, when it makes up one-third to two-thirds of the soil, is a good choice for potted plants. Peat moss holds several times its weight in water, and it supplies water to the plant on an as-needed basis. It helps the soil retain nutrients often lost during irrigation.

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  • How can you tell if soil is good for planting?

    Q: How can you tell if soil is good for planting?

    A: Healthy soil will have a few obvious hallmarks, including the presence of earthworms and the existence of healthy plant life in the desired planting area. Other techniques to determine more technical elements of a good planting area include digging a hole in the ground to determine water drainage capability and examining the soil's color and texture.
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  • What is the fastest growing grass seed?

    Q: What is the fastest growing grass seed?

    A: The fastest growing grass seed in colder climates is rye seed. In warmer climates, Bermuda grass seed offers the fastest growth and coverage. Depending on the size, a lawn seeded with Bermuda grass achieves full coverage in 60 to 90 days.
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  • What flower once caused the Dutch economy to crash?

    Q: What flower once caused the Dutch economy to crash?

    A: When the tulip flower was imported to Holland from Turkey in the late 16th century, the Dutch enthusiasm for the flower caused a dramatic price inflation that eventually crashed, creating an economic bubble situation that had a wide-ranging impact in the Dutch economy during the 17th century. Prices for tulips had become so great that a single bulb could sell for more than a working-class individual would take home in a year.
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  • How do you prep flower beds for spring?

    Q: How do you prep flower beds for spring?

    A: There are several different steps that home gardeners can take to prepare their flower beds for spring planting. These steps involve preparing the area, assessing the gardening equipment and turning the soil.
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  • What is the best method for harvesting thyme?

    Q: What is the best method for harvesting thyme?

    A: The best method for harvesting thyme is to cut off the top 4 to 5 inches of the stems at the growth nodes just before the plant blooms. This produces the best flavor and allows the remaining stems to grow and produce more leaves. All harvesting should be completed three to four weeks before the first frost to allow the stems time to harden before winter.
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  • Is watering plants with coffee effective?

    Q: Is watering plants with coffee effective?

    A: Watering plants with coffee can be beneficial, especially if the plant is an acid-loving variety. Coffee grounds and strong coffee contain large amounts of nitrogen, which raises the acidity level of the soil.
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  • How do you start a vegetable garden?

    Q: How do you start a vegetable garden?

    A: According to Martha Stewart, planting and maintaining a vegetable garden is a rewarding experience. Start your own with a sunny, well-drained spot, an edger, a pitchfork, a hoe, vegetable seed packets, garden stakes and string.
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  • Do tomato hornworms only damage tomatoes?

    Q: Do tomato hornworms only damage tomatoes?

    A: In addition to tomatoes, tomato hornworms can cause damage to a variety of different plants that are in the same family as the tomato, including potatoes, eggplants, peppers. Tomato hornworms are sometimes mistaken for tobacco hornworms, which is a related species. The two hornworms can be found in the same place at the same time, and though their names indicate different plants, both are known to attack members of the nightshade family.
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  • What is urban agriculture?

    Q: What is urban agriculture?

    A: Urban agriculture is a broad term that refers to agricultural practice taking place in a densely populated area, such as cities or large suburbs. Although urban agriculture typically does not occur on the same large scale as rural farming, it does encompass the same variety of activities.
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  • How do you grow string beans?

    Q: How do you grow string beans?

    A: String beans, also called green beans, grow in bushes or along poles. Both bush and pole beans require full sun, moist soil, proper planting time and fertilizer. Pole beans are climbers and require support.
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  • What pest is cutting my plants at the base of the stem?

    Q: What pest is cutting my plants at the base of the stem?

    A: The cutworm is a particularly wasteful pest that is known for cutting plants, especially seedlings, down at the base of the stem before typically moving on to another plant to do the same without consuming much of the first plant they cut down. The cutworm is mostly nocturnal, and it is usually found either on the ground or on lower parts of plants. They may also be found in shallow burrows under the surface of the soil.
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  • How do I stop dogs from fouling in my garden?

    Q: How do I stop dogs from fouling in my garden?

    A: It is sometimes possible to stop dogs from excreting in a garden by changing the fertilizer, setting the sprinklers to go off when the dogs usually visit or installing a motion-activated sprinkler system. If a garden is fenced, maintaining the fence and keeping gates closed also help to keep dogs away from the yard.
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  • What is lasagna gardening?

    Q: What is lasagna gardening?

    A: Lasagna gardening is a technique that uses layers of organic material to build a desired garden space in order to produce fertile soil. Also known as sheet composting, this gardening technique requires no digging or clearing of grasses and weeds. Instead, the gardener will layer materials such as pine needles or newspaper topped with other natural composting materials.
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  • How do you get rid of mold in plant soil?

    Q: How do you get rid of mold in plant soil?

    A: Scrape off all of the surface mold around plants and discard it. According to Home Guides at SFGate, it may be necessary to re-pot potted plants with fresh, high-quality potting soil to get rid of mold. For plants in the ground, loosen the soil with a spade, tiller or gardening fork. Use a hand-held tool near the base of plants to avoid damaging the roots. Turning the soil increases drainage.
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  • What are tips for growing kale indoors?

    Q: What are tips for growing kale indoors?

    A: To grow kale indoors, place the plant in an area with plenty of sun and temperatures that remain under 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. Kale is a hardy plant that grows well in container gardens.
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  • Are pine needles good for mulch?

    Q: Are pine needles good for mulch?

    A: Pine needles are good for use as a mulch. Pine needles are especially recommended as an organic mulch for use around freshly planted annual flowers, such as marigolds, zinnias and snapdragons.
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  • What is a surprise lily?

    Q: What is a surprise lily?

    A: A surprise lily is a flower named for its peculiar growth; leaves appear in spring, then die, and then the flower appears around August. According to the University of Illinois Extension, there are several species of surprise lilies in existence.
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  • Where is the Poison Garden?

    Q: Where is the Poison Garden?

    A: Inside northern England's Alnwick Garden lies a curious, highly-guarded area where the last thing you'll want to do is tiptoe through the tulips. Surrounded by a heavy iron fence, the Poison Garden showcases over 100 of the world's most deadly plants.
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  • How do you care for a lucky bean plant?

    Q: How do you care for a lucky bean plant?

    A: Care of a Castanospermum australe, also known as lucky bean plant or black bean, requires the following: ensuring that the potting mixture is always moist but that the roots don't sit in a pool of water; spraying the leaves regularly to prevent them from collecting dust; and providing it with bright, indirect light along with some late or early sun. Overwatering can promote the growth of fungal root rot.
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  • What do you do with daffodils after they flower?

    Q: What do you do with daffodils after they flower?

    A: Daffodil flower stalks should be cut after flowering, while all foliage should be left until it dies. Leaving the foliage on the plant nourishes the bulbs for the next growing season.
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  • What are some tips for grass seed planting in winter?

    Q: What are some tips for grass seed planting in winter?

    A: Planting grass seed in the winter is only possible in moderate climates. Grass seed needs warm soil to germinate. Seed should never be planted when there is a possibility of freezing temperatures.
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