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Previous gardening questions and answers

Click below to hear what other visitors have asked and to see the answers to their questions.

Plant your potatoes in mulch 
In Northern California potato planting is usually done in early April for our early summer eating potatoes and early May for our winter keeper potatoes. …

Planting potatoes in Northern California 
I live in Marin County California. Is it possible to expect a yield if I plant the seed potatoes in December? Farmer Dave's reply I am sorry to get …

winter gardens 
Is there any thing I can plant now for a new season. Farmer Dave's Reply Greetings Margaret There is a lot you can plant now if your living in a somewhat …

Organic gardening 
1/What are some advantages of organic fertilizer? Farmer Dave's Reply There are many personal and global advantages to organic fertilizer. Organic …

Fruit trees 
Just moved to Mgalia CA. what kind of fruit trees can I grow here Thanks Farmer Dave's reply You can grow lots of trees there, peachs, pears apples …

Soil Amendments 
I have a small garden (100 sq. ft.) with very depleted soil. I used a soil test kit and it said I need 22 oz. of Nitrogen, 11 oz. of Potassium, and 14 …

Homesteading 
Hi Farmer Dave I enjoy reading your blog. My husband and I are planning to relocate to Northern California. We want to grow our own food, stay in touch …

Pruning Watersprouts 
Water Sprouts It seems that the more we cut off water sprouts from apple trees, the more there are the next year. Is there a technique to prevent reappearance …

Feathered Maiden Plum Tree with Broken Spurs  
I have just brought 4 trees from a mail order company. When they arrived I noticed that the Victoria plum tree has some broken spurs (lateral branches) …

recycled cans for garden pots 
Cans for garden pots I was wondering for seed starting and also for an organic herb garden can you use recycled cans like bean or tuna cans? or could …

Building A Greenhouse 
I have some insulated glass windows would they be alright to use in a small greenhouse? Farmer Dave's answer Insulated Glass is great for a green house …

Soil Problems 
Soil Problems for growing root crops In 2009 I had a soil analysis performed through the cooperative extension service. The results showed that everything …

Do you allow posting of blogspot addresses on your site? 
I have a blog that I started on 31 May 2010 on Back Yard Organic Vegetable Gardening. If I actively participate in your site, is it permissible to leave …

cabbage worms 
Hello! I recently planted some Kale, and I've noticed some holes are appearing in the leaves of some of my kale (not all). I've attached a picture. …

SAVING ONION SEEDS 
HOW DO I SAVE THE SEEDS WHEN THE GREEN ONIONS GO TO SEED SO THAT I CAN PLANT THE FOLLOWING YEAR? Saving onion seeds It is easy to save onion seed, …

watermelons 
THIS IS MY FIRST YEAR TO GROW A GARDEN. I HAVE PLANTED WATERMELONS AND HAVE PRODUCED ABOUT 10 MELLONS. THE PROBLEM IS THAT THEY HAVE ALL ROTTED AT THE …

cold nights 
I live by a lake in Idaho where the summer days are in the 80s but at night the temp drops to the low 50s. My tomatoes grow fine but do not bud. Can I …

Is it to late for planting garlic? 
I live in Northern Ca and we have a solid 3 month frost free zone and usually a 4 month frost free time from Mid May to Mid September. I usually plant …

Interview  
I would like to interview someone from this website for my senior project. Would that be possible over email? Sure email me at info@family-gardens.com …

cut angles 
should my cuts be at a angle/ Yes

Tomatos 
If i grow tamatos in a hot house can i hang them to save space & if so what size containers do i use. Farmer Dave's Reply Hanging Tomatoes is a good …

Sheet Composting - What about disease prevention? 
Hi, Am gathering materials for sheet composting: - horse manure on the bottom (for the nitrogen, which also is to kill any unwanted seeds) - covered …

OLD WORLD GARDENING 
WHERE THREE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PLANTS ARE BEING GROWN SYMBOLICALLY. Farmer Dave's Reply It would be nice to see a picture of your old world garden! …

OLD WORLD GARDENING 
WHERE THREE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PLANTS ARE BEING GROWN SYMBOLICALLY. Farmer Dave's Reply It would be nice to see a picture of your old world garden! …

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Onion seeds 
hi how can i grow up Onion seeds? Farmer Dave's answer Seeds are either produced annually or biannually. Onion seeds are produced biannually which …

Organic gardening 
What is organic fertilizer made from? Farmer Dave's reply Organic fertilizer is made from plants, animals and minerals. Compost and worm castings are …

When to harvest broccoli 
First image shows what looks like brocolli, but tiny compared to the shops. Second image looks like it has flowered? I was waiting for it to grow bigger. …

When to harvest broccoli 
First image shows what looks like brocolli, but tiny compared to the shops. Second image looks like it has flowered? I was waiting for it to grow bigger. …

Clay soil 
What's the most efficient way to improve clay soil? Farmer Dave's Reply Clay soil is good in that it holds nutrients but it is hard to work, the best …

Round Up 
Is "Round-up" weed killer poisonous? Farmer Dave's Reply YES Round up is very poisonous, don't ever eat anything that has been sprayed with round up, …

Whats killing my cantaloupe plants? 
Hi Misha It is hard to say what is killing your plants without seeing your plants and insects or some pictures of both. If your infestation is not to …

How to get rid of bugs 
I have a 4x4 square foot garden on my back porch. My kale and chard are being destroyed by bugs. I've tried planting marigolds, no help. I cut off a bunch …

Tree pruning 
The deer just ate the leaves of my newely planted cherry tree and apple tree. I forgot to close the gate. Will they grow back, can I do anything to help …

content of onion seeds 
how toxic is onion seeds Farmer Dave's Reply I have not heard of eating onion seeds or of their toxicity, what did you plan to do with them? If …

drying basil 
How to dry basil in the microwave Farmer Dave's reply I have never tried to dry any herbs in a microwave. I don't even own one. I would suggest putting …

Zone 10 
I live in zone 10. I have a 4 x 8 table height garden. It is 7" deep. I have grown collards, different kinds of lettuce, lots of herbs, some flowers including …

Weeds or ? 
Last year I planted some beetroot and radishes. They failed miserably. Now I am seeing the following plants come up. Might any of these be the ones I planted? …

Is this a spring onion or chive? 
These have come up where I planted some (failed) brocolli last year. Can you identify? Sorry I am not sure what that is, some would call it a weed although …

Spring onion or chive? 
Planted some spring onions and chives last year. They did not come up or died. When weeding today in order to replant, I pulled up a few plants as in the …

pruning fruit trees first year 
I have gotten some fruit trees, 1and half yrs.from Finland Last yr when they arrived I repotted them but resisted planting them in the garden so they could …

Fruit tree pruning 
I Have brought 2 new fruit trees and want to keep the like minatures so the fruit is not ti hight pick how do i do this please do i wait until next year …

landscape liners 
Last year, I built cedar boxes for growing vegetables. I thought I was being safe using cedar rather than treated wood, however I lined the boxes with …

Pruning orange and grapefruit trees 
I have several orange and grape fruit trees and I never know when to prune them. I may have let them go to long this year. They are budding right now,but …

tomato with yellow leaves 
I have 4 young tomato plants and 2 of them the leaves are starting to turn yellow.Am I over watering? Need calcium? How can I give then the nutrients needed …

Planting fruit trees? 
We have a nectarine semi-dwarf in an old wine barrel. We want to transplant it now (Feb 19) but notice small flow buds are setting. Will we cause the …

Greenhouse 
Greenhouses Paulette You should consider your green house needs and your budget, how much of a do it yourself-er you are etc. On my site I have links …

Pruning Winter fruit trees in frosty weather 
Pruning Dormant trees Can trees (apples & pears) be pruned during frosty spells without any detrimental effects? I'm thinking of waiting until the …

Compost in the Winter 
can I start my compost in the fall and keep it going all winter won"t it freeze? I've never done this before. Farmer Daves Reply No Problem doing compost …

Spinkler Overlap 
I am wondering if overspray from my lawn sprinklers will hinder the bacteria growth in my organic garden. or have other negative affects. the garden is …

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Compost 
Hi Dave, thank you for posting my question about the hay. I have another compost question. Are dry roasted peanuts that have turned ransid be ok in the …

Compost Straw 
Compost Straw We have a stack of straw bails that was here when we moved here they are at least three years old. (It has been out in the weather all that …

Fig leaf eater 
I have a banana fig tree that has lots of figs but starting at the top of the tree, something is skeletonizing the leaves. Most of the top is gone. There …

Water Supply 
Tried to buy a hose splitter. Brass one has warning (California state) about lead. Stainless steel one has CA warning about carcinogens and reproductive/hormonal …

Fruit buds and leaf bud 
how do i identify the difference between a fruit bud that will bear fruit and a leaf bud that will generate a leaf or branch kathy collins Farmer …

Is my soil safe? 
We are about to move to a new piece of property that has existing gardening beds. The owner of the property was renting it out and has no way to tell me …

Chickens and compost 
Chickens and Compost I am getting ready to start raising urban chickens.Also doing first time composting. Can I compost the nesting and chicken manure …

Gracious thanks! 
Thank you so much for your quick and informative, not to mention encouraging response. My inner "barnheart" was telling me to get seed started in the greenhouse …

Spring Garden Planting 
Spring garden Planting Hello there! I'm not sure where you are located, but I'm in Hayward, Ca. and I have no seeds started and nothing in the ground …

Using one of your pictures from your website. 
Please may i use one of your pictures for my school work to include in a flash banner? Sure Thank you for asking

Pruning Pear Trees 
We have recently moved into a new home. There is a pear tree in the back yard which appears to be reasonably mature. The problem is pruning. There are …

Sheet Composting 
Sheet composting is one of the simplest methods of composting. It entails covering your beds with a two to six inch layer of organic matter and waiting …

Soil testing 
How can we get our soil tested? Garden plants turn brown and die. Farmer Dave's reply: Sounds dreadful and testing the soil is a good place to start. …

Cover crop or green manure 
Planting Cover Crops We would like to turn a sideyard of dirt to an organic salad and herb garden. What would be the best cover crop - green manure …

walla walla onions 
Walla Walla Onions We live outside of Seattle, wa. This year we planted Walla Walla sweet onions for the 1st time. We had a cool, wet spring and start …

winter composting 
My husband and I live in a neighborhood on a decent sized lot and we're trying to grow as many veggies as possible. We're about to purchase a Sun Mar …

Saving Seeds 
Saving seeds!! Its more important than ever for all of us to be saving seeds, trading and sharing and developing seed saving networks. There is a push …

Homemade pest and disease control 
I would like more information on homemade tonics for lawn weed control, pest control, fungus control, and fertilizer that really work. Thanks for your …

composting 
Hi there, I teach 8th grade science and am looking to start a composting project on my school campus. Although it does not seem extremely expensive, …

growing cucumbers 
I want to prepare a portion of the yard for cucumbers for next year. what characteristics of soil do they like? Is there any way to head off cucumber beetles …

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