Gardening Question of the Day


How can I grow my onions sweet rather than strong and spicy?

If your onions are too strong and spicy, you haven't watered them enough. Don't be fooled by healthy-looking green stalks. The stalks will be green even if the onions are too dry. The secret to sweeter onions is water, water, water.

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Last 7 Days

What are the best plants to grow to attract butterflies to my garden?

Candytufts, cosmos, nasturtiums, alyssum, zinnias, sunflowers, ageratum, marigolds, and heliotropes are a few.

What can you tell me about an annual with the nickname 'Joseph's Coat'?

With the scientific name amaranthus, this plant is a native of India, the Philippines, and other warm countries. It ranges in height from two to eight feet, with leaves that begin as green or red and become bright yellow, orange, or pink at the tops. The flowers are long-lasting, but the plants with the most-colorful leaves won't produce many flowers. Plant 'Joseph's Coat' in moist, well-drained soil in late May or early June. It should get sun for at least half the day. Seeds can be started indoors with constant temperatures of 70 to 75 degrees F, six to eight weeks before planting outside.

I want to plant roses, but sunlight is scarce in my yard. Can I do it?

Roses really prefer a minimum of five to six hours of full sun per day, and will appreciate even more than that.

I live in the Midwest and am interested in planting day lilies. What time of year should I plant them?

Spring or summer planting is fine. Plants must be watered deeply and kept well watered for a couple of weeks. Dig the soil deeply, adding well-rotted manure, leafmold, peat moss, or compost.

Can you tell me how the expression "green thumb" originated?

According to James Underwood Crockett, it comes from the fact that algae growing on the outside of earthenware pots will stain a person's thumb (and fingers) if he or she handles enough pots. Hence, a person who is always working with flowerpots has a green thumb. Another theory is that it originated during the reign of King Edward I of England. He was fond of green peas and kept half a dozen serfs shelling them during the season. The serf who had the greenest thumb won a prize.

I've heard that sage is bad luck. Is that true?

There is a saying that goes, "It's bad luck to plant sage in your own garden. Call a stranger to do the job." But it is also thought that if you have sage in your garden, you'll do well in business. Further, "Eat sage in May, and you will be immortal." Go figure.

What time of year do you graft pecan trees?

Grafting is generally done in the spring, using the four-flap method to propagate small seedlings and branches of larger trees. Begin grafting when the bark slips freely. Normally, this occurs in mid-April to early May, at the beginning of spring growth. Choose your variety carefully to get the best one for your location.

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