Frequently Asked Gardening Questions
There are plenty of common gardening questions gardeners of all experience levels would like answered. In this area we will do our best to address the questions that we get asked most frequently on our website, blog, and facebook page.
If you have a question you would like answered, fill out our questions form, who knows the answer may even end up in our FAQ section. Keep those questions coming!
- What is your suggestion for the simplest, quickest & least toxic way to be rid of mint for good?
- What is the best method to grow really large pumpkins from seed?
- Can you plant your vegetable garden too late?
- My radishes are growing all tops and no root development! What am I doing wrong?
- Can I grow blueberries in containers?
- What is Green Manure?
- Help my plants have scale, what can I do?
- How do I keep my cut flowers fresh looking longer?
Answer: Unfortunately, you may never be free of the mint. Mint sends out runners underground, so the best way to remove it is to wait until after a good soaking rain and gently dig it up. You want to make sure to get all the roots and runners. Next cover the area with cardboard or several layers of newspaper and then a thick layer of mulch. This should keep any runners you missed from coming up. If you do get new shoots poor boiling water on them. Getting rid of the mint will take diligence, check the bed often and you should be able to keep it under control.
Answer: Start with the right variety, such as Big Max. Giant pumpkins need nutrient rich soil, amend your soil with compost and/or fertilizer before planting. Plant it in a sunny location and keep the soil moist. Once you start to get flowers on the pumpkin vine you will want to pick off all the flowers except for the largest and healthiest looking. This way all the energy from the plant goes to feeding that one pumpkin. Since you will only get one pumpkin per plant you will want to make sure to grow several plants if you want more than one pumpkin. Also, don’t forget to fertilize several times during the season.
Answer: Yes and no. You can plant too late for a particular vegetable but not in general. Check your estimated 1st fall frost date. That is approximately how many days you have left in your growing season. You will want to pick vegetables that will mature before you first frost. For example if you have 90 days left you wouldn't want to grow Bix Max pumpkins since they take 110 days to harvest. However, tomato and pepper plants would be fine.
Answer: There are 2 main reasons for this to happen- not enough sun or overcrowding. Check to be sure they are in full sun and that you have adequately thinned out the row. A third option could be too much nitrogen in your soil. Have your soil tested and amend as necessary.
Answer: Yes, blueberries make great container plants. Just remember to use a good quality potting soil since they require good drainage. Mix in some compost or organic fertilizer. Blueberries need a large pot, at least 18”. You will also want to add some soil acidifier to the potting mix, blueberries like acidic soil. If you get freezing temperatures in the winter the blueberry bush will need to be protected from the cold. Storing in a garage or cellar is ideal.
Answer: Green manure is a crop cover that is planted in the fall on bare plots and then turned over into the soil in the early spring before planting. This increases fertility and reduces weeds and soil erosion. Also keeps your beds from looking bare and abandoned all winter. Clover, alfalfa, and rye are popular choices of green manure.
Answer: Scale insects are best dealt with using horticultural oil, Flower Pharm is a horticultural oil made of cinnamon oil and should take care of your problem. It is most effective when the scale nymphs are newly hatched. It is also best to use any horticultural oil when temperatures are above freezing; this helps the spray attach itself to the plant better.
Answer: When you first receive or cut bouquets trim their stems and then placed in warm water with floral preservative. Make sure to remove all foliage that is below the water level. Give your flowers a chance to rehydrate by placing them in a cool location, such as the fridge, cellar or garage, for 1 hour or overnight.
To keep them looking fresh, wash the vase with soap and water when you change the water out. To revitalize roses submerge them in warm water, blooms and all, and re-cut the stems. Let them rest in water for half an hour before returning to a clean vase.