Avocado Tree Leaves Turning Brown and FallingThe tree was in great health. The flowers bloomed, then one day I noticed all the flowers looked like they were eaten. Shortly after that the leaves started to turn brown and fall. It looks like a fungus on the underside of the leaves. What can I treat it with? Will I still get some fruit? I was so proud of my tree because I started it from seed.
Protection from the Birds and the SunWe added a conduit metal frame with side "curtains" and a "roof" to our grow box to prevent birds from attacking our plants and to prevent the sun from attacking our plants. It works well here in sunny Arizona where temperatures get up to 115 to 120 degrees in the summer.
Mini GreenhouseYou can cut a water bottle or if you need a larger greenhouse a gallon water jug. Cover your plant to get them stronger before planting.
Spilling Wheelbarrow Garden PlanterHere is a "spilling wheelbarrow" I made, using coleus. It was easy to make and can be used for years.
Turnip Blooms Attracting Honey BeesI'm glad we left the turnip salad in the garden. It is in full bloom now and on the warm days, the honey bees are loving it.
DIY Living Succulent Pine Cone DecorIf you have access to pine cones and succulents, combine them to make these pretty decorations. A succulent needs little water so can survive a long time with occasional misting.
Grow New African Violets and Succulents from CuttingsI have seen these tips on the internet, and had not had a chance to try it till now. A friend gave me one African violet leaf after my AV had sadly died because I didn't understand how to keep it happy. Another friend gave me a sage plant leaf.
Making a Succulent Plant StarterThose of us who grow succulents know that it is generally easy to start new plants from cuttings. This recycled soda bottle succulent plant starter is designed to also focus on starting new plants from individual leaves. The easy to follow instructions appear below.
Laundry Basket PlantersPlastic laundry baskets make fun holders for outdoor potted plants. Set the pots down inside and create a cluster planting effect.
Making a Strawberry Planter from a Laundry BasketLine a plastic laundry basket with burlap, fill with soil, cut holes in the sides for some of the plants and you have an inexpensive strawberry planter for your garden. Plant the berries and stand by to enjoy delicious strawberries alone or in recipes.
Bamboo Sticks for Plant SupportSlender bamboo sticks can be used in your garden or containers to stake plants such as tomatoes and flowers. They also work for young trees.
Harvesting ElderberriesElderberries should be ready for harvest between mid August and mid September. Remove the clusters from the bush and strip the berries from them. One way to quickly remove the berries is with a plastic fork. Refrigerate or freeze.
Burying a Dead Animal Near a Vegetable GardenThere are mixed views and potential local ordinances that can affect where it is OK to bury a dead animal in your yard and more specifically near a vegetable garden. If allowed in your area be sure to dig a deep hole for the burial. Read on for more details.
Making a Succulent WreathA vine style wreath form can be "planted" with succulent cuttings to create a pretty living wreath for your front door or garden. Read on for the instructions, supplies, and some helpful photos so that you can successfully complete this project.
Pruning Huckleberry PlantsEvergreen huckleberry plants may not require pruning, but if you want to encourage growth and increase berry production, the best time to prune is late winter or early spring. Learn more about pruning your huckleberry below.
Use Old Storage Racks In Your GardenHaving shelving to display potted garden plants is easily done. Repurpose some of the racks and shelves you may have been using in your garage, or look for some at a garage sale.
Use Faux Flower Stems to Support Live PlantsSave the stems of faux flowers used in crafts and use them to support live plants. Their green color will blend in with your live plants and you don't have to buy plant stakes.
Using Old Sinks As PlantersGardeners can be so creative when it comes to recycled planters. Old sinks are a good choice, especially for low water use plants such as succulents. Set the sink in soil with the short piece of drain pipe buried and enjoy your salvaged planter.
Saving Rescued or Clearance PlantsRescued or clearance plants are easy to come by at your local big box stores, nursery, and sometimes from neighbors. If you can identify it, read up on growing requirements, otherwise use your best judgement and some TLC. Several accounts of successful clearance plant revivals follow.
Do Not Feed Leftover Breads to BirdsAlthough many of us have fond memories of feeding bread to ducks and geese, or of Grandma saving bread for the backyard birds, it is now strongly discouraged. Not only are the nutrients unsuitable for a bird's nutrition, but moldy bread can cause a host of health concerns. It's best to feed backyard birds an approved mix birdseed and to let waterfowl find their own sources of food.
Black Widow (Latrodectus) Spider PhotosThe female black widow spider is easily recognizable by the hourglass marking on her abdomen. The males are often lighter in color and exhibit a series of red spots on their abdomen rather than the hourglass shape. This page contains photos of black widow spiders.
Ways for Gardeners to Stay Busy During WinterWinter is not a time for gardener's to have the blues. There are a lot of activities you can engage in that will put the old garden to bed and prepare you for the coming season. Clean tools, read up on gardening, order seeds, try new spices to see if you need to grow your own. Concentrate on your houseplants and perhaps make up some garden decorations such as stepping stones or fun planters. More ideas can be found on this page.
Using Landscape FabricWhat is the best landscape fabric? What do you use?
Are These Aphids on My Hoya?I took my hoya indoors a month or two ago because of the cold and now I am noticing this residue over many of the leaves and stems. I'm wondering if this is aphid residue and what I could use to spray on it. I have tried a DIY spray that I have been putting on it weekly consisting of water, dish soap, and real lemon juice, but there continues to be this problem.
Use Whey for Healthy PlantsMany gardener's use whey to fertilize their plants. It contains nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and other minerals that are beneficial in small amounts. Too much has the inverse effect and can harm you plants.
Alternatives to Plastic Flowerpot SaucersPlastic flower pot saucers can seem pricey for what you get. Many of them are thin, flimsy plastic. One alternative is a sturdy child's plastic plate. There are other options as well.
How to Bring Light Into Shady Garden SpacesThis page offers several useful tips for adding light to a shady garden space, including the choice of plants, addition of mirrors, lights, and more. Try one or more in a shady area of your garden to create a lighter feel.
Making a Garden Orb from a Bowling BallStore-bought garden orbs are often quite expensive. However you can easily make your own from a bowling ball, which are often available at Goodwill.
Using Bricks as Tree RingThere are many options available for creating a tree ring. Rather than the curved stone cinder block material or decorative rocks, try clay bricks. You may find that they are less expensive and give you a look that you prefer for you garden.
DIY Bamboo Garden GateThis page contains the instructions for adding a bamboo finish to a weathered chain link style gate. This is a great way to reuse and enhance an existing garden gate.
Using Plastic Containers in the GardenAll sorts of plastic containers, tubs, and bottles have a place in your gardening activities. Use recycled bottles to add lightweight bulk to planters. Tubs and containers are useful for starting seedlings and as planters in their own right. Learn more about using plastic containers in the garden on this page.
Reviving a Frozen Christmas CactusI received a Christmas cactus last year and worked on it all year and have been patiently waiting for its 1st bloom. We had an unexpected freeze and I didn't think to bring it inside. It's wilted and I have no idea how to save this beautiful plant so that it's ready to bloom at Christmas.
Identifying TreesI have 6 little trees growing in my front lawn, even though we have not had rain in Raleigh NC in quite some time, they are still nice and green. I plan to offer local persons the opportunity to come and dig them up for free. Can any one tell me what these little trees are?
Protecting Plants in the WinterMany outdoor plants need or can benefit from some level of winter protection. Depending on the plant and the winter weather typical for your area there are varying things you can do to protect your plants.
Repairing a Metal BirdbathOver time metal birdbaths can become rusty or even develop holes and leak. In order to repair the bath in either of these situations you will need to research your options and the time and cost involved. This page offers some suggestions for repairing a metal birdbath.
Allowing Ladybird Beetles to Hibernate for WinterIf you are lucky enough to have some ladybird beetles, aka lady bugs, decide to overwinter in your home this page contains some very helpful tips for making them welcome.
Planting Over a French Drain PipeIn order to not damage your french drain pipes, you will want to select plants with shallow roots. This page offers some advice about planting over a french drain pipe.
Converting Dolphin Fountain Sculpture Into KoiI have a pond. I wanted to use a fountain, however it was themed with dolphins and dolphins are supposed to be in the sea. So it didn't match my freshwater pond. I decided to reconstruct the dolphins and make them into koi by adding cement and plaster of Paris.
Oranges Falling Prematurely from TreeOranges can fall off of the tree prematurely for a number of reasons, including moisture issues, temperature changes, and fertilizer needs. However, they may just be ripe or just near. This page has some useful information if you are growing oranges.
Distinguishing Between Pothos and PhilodendronPothos and philodendron plants can often be confused for one another. If you are having difficulty differentiating between the two when trying to identify a houseplant there are some helpful tips and links on this page.
Advice for Small LawnsSmall lawns may actually need more consideration when it comes to landscaping. Too many plantings can make them look cluttered. This page contains advice for working with small lawns.
Weeding Along a FenceWeeding along a fence line can present its own problems, as the fence can make it difficult to remove the weeds. This page contains a suggestion for preparing your planting area with future weeding in mind.
Using Bird Feeders for HouseplantsThe wooden bird feeders that are readily available at bird shops and department stores can be repurposed into planters for your houseplants. They are perfect for small hanging plants.
Crepe Myrtle Leaves Turning BrownIf the leaves on your crepe myrtles are turning brown you will need to do some sleuthing to determine the cause. A cold snap may be the culprit. Too little water in the summer is another cause. For potted trees, check soil moisture. Many nursery plants are root bound. Consider replanting. Quick attention when you crepe myrtle leaves start to turn brown generally can save your tree or shrub.
Inexpensive Grow Light IdeasBuying grow lights for seed starting and other indoor gardening activities can get pricey. This page contains ideas for inexpensive grow lights.
Selling Horse ManureI have horse manure to sell. What would be a reasonable price?
Composting Horse ManureWhat's the best way to compost horse manure?
Growing Cactus from PupsCertain cactus can be propagated by removing and planting the pups produced by the main cactus. Others require special handling to propagate from cuttings. These may need to be grafted to another cactus. Do some research before attempting to grow cactus from pups, for best results.
Remembering When to Feed PlantsComing up with helpful ways to remind yourself to fertilize your plants will ensure a consistent schedule of feeding and healthier plants.
DIY Planters From Recycled MaterialsMany ordinary items can easily be turned into fun planters. The possibilities are endless!
Hiding Plant Saucers Inside PotsIf you don't like the look of potted plant saucers give this tip a try. Cut down a sturdy plastic container and place it inside your planter. This hidden saucer will not detract from your decorative pot.
Using PVC Pipe as Garden Support StakesThere are a variety of materials that can be used to support your garden plants. Whether you need to tie up a tree, shrub, or large flowering plant consider using pieces of PVC pipe. They are durable and can easily be cut to the length you need.
New Sod DyingI just replaced a few 10ft. × 10ft. sections of my lawn with some common fescue sod. It needed some regrading of the soil height for drainage purposes. So when I removed the old grass, I made sure to turn the soil up to around 10 in. deep fertilized it and tamped it down to a firm but not solid turf. Then I soaked it down, bought my sod from a reputable nursery and installed it to industry specs.
Growing Pyracantha (Firethorn)The pyracantha or firethorn is an evergreen shrub native to Southwest Europe eastward into Southeast Asia. They resemble and in fact are related to cotoneaster. Bright red orange berries stand out in contrast to the green serrated leaves. Numerous thorns line the branches. This page contains information on growing pyracantha or firethorn.
Shaping a Weeping Pussy Willow TreeWhen pruning a weeping pussy willow tree, use garden pruning shears. They are a member of the group of plants that can best be defined as those that, you prune after they bloom. This pruning cycle ensures that you don't cut off the new grow that will produce the fuzzy catkins the following spring. This page offers ideas for shaping a weeping pussy willow tree.
Finding Free Pots At Garden CentersIf you are looking for free pots, check with the garden center at your local hardware store.
Seeding a Lawn InexpensivelyWhat is the thrifty way of seeding a lawn?
Growing a Rose Cutting in a PotatoOne way to propagate a rose bush cutting is by inserting it into a potato. The potato offers moisture and nutrients for the cutting until it can establish a root system.
Killing Knapp Weed"Knapp Weed" is an invasive species, and hard to get rid of. I would like to know if anyone has an idea for killing it.
Identifying Insect EggsFound these eggs on a piece of sleeper wood lying in the yard. Anyone know what they might be? When rubbing one a turquoise colour liquid came out. The eggs are copper metallic in colour.
The Significance or Meaning of a Japanese MapleI actually found out a tree story about my brother and his new wife. I guess her grandparents got a tree for one of their wedding gifts and it was a Japanese Maple so wherever they moved to they would dig up the tree and take it with them. So, I thought that might be a good idea.
Growing a Snowball BushThe snowball bush is an easy to grow type of deciduous viburnum. They are native to Europe, Northern Africa, and Central Asia. They do well in full sun to part shade. With spring come the lovely flowers that give this bush its name. Read more on this page about growing a snowball bush.
DIY Moat to Keep Ants Out of Hummingbird FeederIt is delightful to watch the hummers as they visit your feeder. But that feeder also attracts ants and bees. Learn how to construct a DIY moat to keep the ants out of your hummingbird feeder.
Iced Feeder for HummingbirdsTake your hummingbird feeder and freeze it overnight. This is a refreshing treat for your backyard visitors on hot summer days.
Supporting Pear Tree Limbs Loaded with FruitMy pear tree has so many pears growing the limbs are hanging down. Should I leave them alone, tie them up or give some sort of support?
Growing Fruit Trees Near a Dog Poop Septic TankI have to dig a 1x 3ft deep hole for my 3 large dogs' pooh as dog "septic tank" that is full after 3mos. It is covered and worms linger. After the worms consume the feces it is all broken like sand. Now I have grown a small tree called malunggay and a banana which is 10ft away from the "septic tank". Will the tree be affected as we always consume this malunggay vegetables everyday.
Killing Grass Under ShrubsHow to kill very tall grass under thick tall shrubs?
Drooping Prickly PearOur cactus was growing normally until a week ago. One pad on the back, the one with the most fruit, dropped almost to the ground overnight. A friend thought we were overwatering (a once a week - we live in El Paso, TX). We stopped watering. About 3-4 days ago we had some heavy wind. The next morning the other pads were bent in the direction of the wind. Another friend says we are under-watering.
Making a Hanging Drip Bird BathI would like to know how to make a hanging drip bird bath without a tree? I don't have any trees near my window and would like to make a bird bath that hangs from a tall t-pole, using a 2 liter bottle and some kind of tray. Does anyone know how to do this?
Growing and Harvesting Loose Leaf LettuceI planted some leaf lettuce in my garden and it is doing pretty good. My question is how do I harvest the lettuce and what can I use to take away some of the bitter taste? I've tried it straight from the garden and it tastes kind of bitter. I would like to try to make a salad from it, but don't quite know how to harvest the leaves and how to take the bitter taste out of it.
How to Ship Plant CuttingsSharing plant cuttings with friends and family is easy. Follow the instructions on this page describing how to ship plant cuttings using a wet paper towel, plastic wrap, and a rubber band.
New Retaining Wall and Early PlantingsDuring the summer of 2018 we added a second tier retaining wall to our front yard. It improved the existing steep slope that was mostly useless, as it was difficult to water and slippery to try and weed.
Growing a Pussy WillowHow deep will the pussy willow tree roots grow?
Growing Schefflera (Umbrella Tree)Umbrella tree is a popular houseplant with two varieties commonly found. One type, Schefflera actinphylla, is a tropical plant native to Australia, Java and New Guinea. A smaller version, Schefflera arboricola, is known as Hawaiian umbrella tree and is commonly used for bonsai. It is native to Taiwan. Both are considered an invasive species in tropical places like Florida and Hawaii.
Rodent Eating Potted Plants on DeckI planted my pots on my deck and now every night some rodent snips off flowers or plants half way up and leaves by the pot or eats trailing plants leaves in piles? There is no rat or rabbit poop or any poop at all. This is the first time this has happened in 14 years in Nelson B.C Canada in the forest.
Identifying Insect Eggs (Apple Snail Eggs)These large pods of little pink dots look like they may be some sort of larvae or egg, or possibly some sort of algae. These are found in central Florida, if it helps. I am very curious as to what they are.
Growing Pansies From SeedYou can save money by growing pansies from seed. They will need a light loamy soil, high in organic matter, that is kept moist, in order to germinate. This is a page about growing pansies from seed.
DIY Hanging Envelope PlanterThis DIY planter is an envelop style made from chicken wire and lined with moss. It looks quite nice hanging on your fence or elsewhere in your garden. Learn how to make your own by following the steps and their accompanying photos on this page.
Bamboo Sticks for Plant SupportYou can use bamboo sticks instead of a cage for tomatoes. It's a cheaper alternative and you can put the sticks anywhere, not just for tomatoes but for other plants, flowers, trees, etc. as well.
Potted Avocado Tree Loosing its LeavesI have around an 8 foot/2.4 meter avocado tree, which has been grown indoors in Colorado. The bottom leaves are turning brown and falling off slowly, but the top is growing well. The tree was grown from a seed from an avocado purchased at a market. It has only received fertilizer once, and it was planted, after roots formed from the seed, around 3 years ago.
Using Coffee Grounds for Citrus TreesCitrus trees grow well when fed with used coffee grounds. Care should be taken as it is possible to make the soil too acidic and that might cause issues. Citrus grows best at a soil pH of 6.5.
Getting Rid of an ElderberryHow do I get rid of an elder bush/tree?
Growing Elephant EarsElephant ear tubers may need to be dug up each year to survive the winter season. They can be grown in a pot or directly in the soil when all danger of frost has passed.
Growing a Houseplant in Water BeadsMoving a small houseplant to water soluble beads will require very gentle handling and rinsing of the developed roots.
Using Glass Jars as ClochesCloches are useful for keeping delicate plants from drying out. The glass jar will trap any moisture inside, allowing it to condense on the glass and then drip down into the soil.
Reuse a Mesh Produce Bag as a Soap BagTake your mesh produce bag for garlic, onions or citrus and repurpose it for washing dirty hands outside. Hang it near an outdoor sink or faucet where it can drip dry when not in use.
Use Sprite to Preserve Cut FlowersSprite, 7Up, or other citrus based sodas help extend the freshness of cut flowers. The acid from the citrus improves the uptake of water keeping them hydrated and the sugar adds a food source. So use full-on citrus soda, not diet, and enjoy that bouquet longer.
Using Recycled Plastic Bottles for Rehydrating Indoor PlantsFill any empty recycled plastic bottle with water and upend it in a potted plant. This is a great way to keep your indoor plants hydrated during the summer or a vacation.
Hybrids and Heirlooms ExplainedWhen shopping for garden plants, it can be confusing to know whether hybrid or heirloom varieties will be best. Both have advantages and disadvantages so a combination will suit most gardens best.
How to Build a Vertical GardenIf you don't have a lot of space for gardening at your home, consider planting vertically. This wooden vertical garden doubles as an open fence and would be good to add privacy or camouflauge a less pretty part of your yard.
Using a Metal Headboard and Footboard in Your GardenIf you have an old fashioned brass or metal bedstand, upcycle it into a different kind of bed. Using a head and/or footboard in your garden beds will add a touch of whimsy to your yard.
Rooting a Blackberry CuttingIf you want to grow a blackberry cutting, it is best to allow it to grow roots before planting. A common way is simply to dip the cutting in rooting horemone and place it in a bottle or glass of water in a sunny window. Plant it when the roots are well grown.
Killing Weeds in an Ivy BedWhat can I use to kill the weeds in a bed of ivy?
Thrifty Ideas for a Garden Hose Container CoverI have bought a 100 ft water hose and have it stored in an open container similar to a large planter. I need it to be covered and protected from the weather and debris. Any ideas on what to use for some sort of lid that would stay in place and not look extremely tacky?
String of Pearls Plant Is DyingI don't understand what I'm doing wrong.
Composting StrawAdding straw to your compost is fine as long as it does not contain pesticides. This is a page about composting straw.
Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly PhotosSpicebush swallowtail, or Papilio troilus, are mostly in the Eastern US, with some venturing to the Midwest area. These large butterflies have black upper wings. The lower wings are beautiful with distinctive markings. This page contains spicebush swallowtail photos.
Landscape Fabric AlternativesThere are lots of substances that can block weeds in lieu of landscape fabric. This page has advice for landscape fabric alternatives.
How Often Do Finches Lay Eggs?Finches will generally lay one egg each morning until their nest is full, usually 6 eggs. They will fill the nest again a couple of weeks after the chicks have fledged. This page discusses how often finches lay eggs?
Creating a Zen Garden in Your YardA simple, miniature rock garden with a few plants and even a water feature can bring serenity and calming pleasure to an outdoor space. This is a page about creating a zen garden in your yard.
Starting Tomatoes in a HothouseTomatoes need to be protected from frost and cool temperatures. A plastic tent can help keep them warm and give them a head start on the season. This is a page about making a little hothouse for starting tomatoes.