Gardening & Landscapes

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Cucumbers that are yellow are overripe. Cucumbers that are yellow, have sunken areas, are wrinkled on the ends or puffy should be discarded. Cucumbers that are uniformly green and firm are of the highest quality.

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  • What kind of garden does the Palace of Versailles have?

    Q: What kind of garden does the Palace of Versailles have?

    A: The Palace of Versailles has hundreds of acres of gardens, and most of this land is designed in the formal, carefully landscaped French Garden style, with trimmed hedges, potted trees and sculpted grassy areas accompanied by dozens of sculptures, fountains and gravel paths. Typical of the French style, the Gardens of Versailles have a carefully planned and mostly symmetrical layout, perfected by King Louis XIV's landscape architect, André Le Nôtre.
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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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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 best way to kill grass?

    Q: What is the best way to kill grass?

    A: The best way to kill grass without chemicals or machinery is to cover the area with layers of newspapers, according to About.com. The newspapers break down after several months, mixing in with the ground.
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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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  • Does a plant grow better with hot or cold water?

    Q: Does a plant grow better with hot or cold water?

    A: Most plants grow better in neither hot nor cold water, but flourish in lukewarm water. However, plants differ depending on the species of the plant and the climate in which it grows. For instance, if water is too cold, African violets acquire water spots.
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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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  • 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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  • Can you grow rhubarb in a pot?

    Q: Can you grow rhubarb in a pot?

    A: Rhubarb plants can be grown in a container as long as the plant has a deep root system, enough to hold 40 liters of compost, according to Thompson & Morgan. Rhubarb needs a soil-based compost.
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  • Is it possible to grow a wasabi plant at home?

    Q: Is it possible to grow a wasabi plant at home?

    A: Wasabi is said to be one of the most difficult plants to cultivate, so it may be a challenge to grow it at home. However, die-hard wasabi fanatics can attempt to do so by providing the plant with moist, cool, shady conditions, preferably indoors. Wasabi grows naturally in gravelly river beds, which makes the plant a good candidate for hydroponic growing.
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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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