Gardening & Landscapes

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Tomato plants prefer lots of space, light and water. Use a fan, black plastic and mulching to create stronger, more flavorful plants. Practice prevention of disease by removing the bottom leaves of the tomato plant.

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  • What is a victory garden?

    Q: What is a victory garden?

    A: During World War II, the U.S. government encouraged citizens to grow their own fruits and vegetables in "victory gardens" to help prevent a national food shortage, as much of the nation's food supply was diverted to the military. The United States was home to approximately 20 million victory gardens in the early 1940s, and it is estimated that these gardens accounted for 30 to 40 percent of all vegetables in the U.S.
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  • How do you grow cucumbers in pots?

    Q: How do you grow cucumbers in pots?

    A: Cucumbers are easy to grow in a container. Choose the container carefully. The pot should be big so that it can hold a greater quantity of soil, which in turn means that the pot can retain water for a longer duration. Cucumbers need a lot of water on a continuous basis. Another option is to use a self-watering container.
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  • Why is my pond water brown?

    Q: Why is my pond water brown?

    A: According to SFGate, pond water turns brown for a number of reasons, but the most common causes are eroding soil, microscopic plants and wildlife. High amounts of microscopic plants such as algae and phytoplankton give pond water an almost tea-like look. Soil erosion causes the banks of the pond to break away and fall into the water, giving it a brown look.
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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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  • Which city features a giant flower carpet every two years?

    Q: Which city features a giant flower carpet every two years?

    A: Every two years, Brussels, Belgium hosts a massive flower carpet in front of the Grand Place, the city's central square. This biennial tradition began in the 1970s, and though the design changes each time, the floral carpet always heavily features begonias.
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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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  • What is the largest seed in the world?

    Q: What is the largest seed in the world?

    A: The largest seed in the world comes from a tropical pine tree called the Coco de Mer. This seed grows to 1 foot in length and 3 feet in circumference and weighs up to 66 pounds.
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  • Why do tomatoes rot on the vine?

    Q: Why do tomatoes rot on the vine?

    A: Blossom end rot commonly causes tomatoes to rot on the vine. The condition worsens when the plant doesn't get enough calcium and can be the result of the plant getting too much or too little water.
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  • Are earwigs beneficial to my garden?

    Q: Are earwigs beneficial to my garden?

    A: Though they may eat some unwanted garden pests such as aphids or mites, earwigs also eat plants, flowers and decaying compost materials, making them a net loss for the garden. Earwigs will chow down on ornamental plants such as dahlias and roses, and they'll also snack on fruit and vegetable plants such as lettuce, strawberries and beets.
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  • What is the life span of a carnation?

    Q: What is the life span of a carnation?

    A: Cut carnations will typically last from 7 to 14 days with proper care. A carnation is a herbaceous perennial, meaning that when it is planted in the ground, it will last for at least 2 years.
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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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  • What insect is creating giant holes in my tree's leaves?

    Q: What insect is creating giant holes in my tree's leaves?

    A: Winter moth caterpillars are notorious for their ability to quickly strip a budding tree of its young foliage and buds, and those leaves that they do not devour entirely may be left with huge holes and little chance of survival. These small, green caterpillars turn out in vast numbers when they infest an area and attack a wide variety of deciduous trees and plants, including oak, ash, maple, apple, elm and cherry trees in addition to blueberry and other bushes.
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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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  • 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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  • Why is agriculture so important?

    Q: Why is agriculture so important?

    A: The advent of agriculture is viewed as a turning point in the development of civilization. Instead of having everyone hunt and gather, cultures could have a small group of people grow the food needed to feed the entire population. After the implementation of agriculture, people in these cultures could focus on tasks other than hunting and collecting plants to eat.
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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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  • 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 trailing verbena?

    Q: What is trailing verbena?

    A: The trailing verbena is a perennial flowering plant that can grow as wide as 5 feet across and blooms between spring and the first early frost. Verbena plants produce white, pink, blue or purple flowers and deep green foliage.
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  • Do Mexican bean beetles only feed on beans?

    Q: Do Mexican bean beetles only feed on beans?

    A: The Mexican bean beetle tends to only feed on bean plants, but on those plants, it does not eat the beans alone. These beetles, which have a shape and spotted markings that resemble ladybugs, will feed on the leaves, flowers and bean pods of soybeans, cowpeas, lima beans and snap beans.
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  • How do you design a hummingbird garden?

    Q: How do you design a hummingbird garden?

    A: Hummingbird gardens need to be designed to meet three basic needs of hummingbirds: nectar-producing flowers, places to perch and water. Meet these needs, and you can have colorful hummingbirds as visitors year after year.
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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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