Questions And Answers On Gardeners Edge

Ken asks…

What are some good plants for a beginning gardener?

I’m looking into starting a small garden on the edge of my mom and dad’s property. What are some easy plants to start with? What sort of spot should I look for to plant? What soils should I use?

Home Gardener answers:

This informative website should be of help to you.

Chris asks…

Where would I buy grass seed or sod in NYC, which would be better?Is It too late?

I recently rented a ground floor apt with a private back yard in Manhattan,Of course it’s surrounded by a wall, its shaded but adequete sun, I benefit from the trees next door , the outer edges have planters built and plants that already exist are growing nice. there is a walkway all around the yard and in the center there is a nice large big square of dirt(it would take a couple of pallets ofsod I would imagine, (the area was covered with wood chips last year by previous tenent.) I long to have this all covered with grass, I have a small apt and a yard 4 times its size.I have no idea how to go about this, timing , conditions , care etc.the space is way too beautiful not to create some type of habitat. preferably one where I can walk outside barefoot in the damp morning grass and “ground ” myself , I can t afford to hire gardeners or landscapers, it’s a DIY project. Any advice?
also where do I find this in nyc?

Home Gardener answers:

You can go with Grass or Sod, it really wont make a difference, as you have to water them both in order for them to grow.

Either way, you need at least 5 hours of sun on your spot, if not, then I would go with the “shady” mixtures, so that it will take.

Take a rake with tines, and rake up the ground, so that you have furrows in it, then drop the grass seeds. Then, rake over to mix the grass seeds in with the dirt. Some will cover and some wont, but keep it all watered about three times a day for the first three days, then one time after that will be plenty.

Make sure you water about an inch of water…(Just place a glass where your watering, and when it gets an inch in there, you know your done). Make sure its even so you dont drown the place out, in spots.

In about ten days, you should have grass growing if its “good soil”, and if not, then you will have to scrape and reseed, and maybe fertilize your area, with a wee bit of miracle grow from the hose connection, (they have that one now that you can feed your lawn and it will work off the sprayer, but, make sure your hose bib, has a back flow device on it, so that it doeesn suck it back into the plumbing).

I wish you well…


Shelley asks…

How do i go about improving the graves of lost loved ones?

I am a gardener and have been asked to improve a loved one’s grave side eg. to add edging stone and smaller stones within, and to add vases ect. I call it grave dressing. Is there anything that you can show me to help me in this?
Let me expand on my question it is not plantings that i was wanting to know about , it was the more sensitive aspect of respect and termanology that i need help with I am the Mobile gardener in the south Lanarkshire area and i see the need to upgrade and to make a graveside more pleasant for the visiting loved one.
I hope that goes to making it clearer.
Thank you for helping me .

Home Gardener answers:

I think that this is very much up to the individual concerned. Ask them what sort of things that they want – do they want a little railing, for example? It must also keep in line with the regulations for the cemetary.
By all means suggest things such as:
a posy urn
white stone edging
a little fence
colour of stones inside the grave?
Grassed grave?
As well as any plants.

Best of luck – I think you’re offering an admirable service.

Bob asks…

How much should I pay my gardener?

I don’t have a huge yard, about 5000sq ft of all grass. So they wouldn’t need to do any more than mow, and edge. No weed pulling, and no plant trimming.

Home Gardener answers:

In Dallas expect to pay about $45. You can always get it cheaper if you don’t mind someone who can’t speak english and will get very dumb if you start asking questions.

Now go drink a beer and relax

Charlie asks…

Gardeners, I need your help and advice, please?

I posted a question on here some weeks ago, regarding putting a stone ‘ring’ around my maple tree. I received some great answers and now am just putting a single row of pie shaped bricks around the outer edge of the bed and mounding some mulch around the tree, leaving a small gap. The bricks have a really nice textured front face but a big hole in the middle on top.
They are really nice and were free, given to me by a neighbour who was moving, so I would like to use them.
My question is, since I obviously would like to somehow cover the holes, would I be able to fill each hole with soil and plant say, Hens and Chicks or some other sort of perennial and have it survive the winter? I live in Toronto Ontario, Canada.
Would the plant die being in a small roughly 4 inch diameter, 8 inch deep hole or would I have to take them out and put them in the ground at the end of the summer?
Any suggestions for other ways I could fill the hole so that they aren’t as noticeable?
Sorry for the long question, thanks in advance for any and all advice!!
I really love gardening, but I’m still learning!!!

Home Gardener answers:

Trouble-free: monkey grass. Cooler: put a crocus bulb in each one.

Thomas asks…

Botanist and gardeners I need help identifying a berry bearing vine creeping up my window?

I have looked everywhere online and have had no luck. Here is the description, it is an extremely thin vine green in color growing from the ground strait up my window when it reached about 4 feet high the vine grew upward in two directions left and right. It has leaves that grow directly off the vine the leaves are a light-medium colored green they are an elongated tear shape with a long pointed end the leaves grow one at a time directly off the vine and are spaced out 2-4 inches apart growing from the ground to the very top. The leaves pattern include a line that runs from the stem to the tip thin but long and wide v shapes about 7 start from the stem and move toward the edge of the leaf the v shapes are abut 1/2 inch apart as they go up to the tip. Many of the berries grow by themselves much like the leaves and grow strait from the vine the berries started growing about the 4 ft mark on up the berries are a dark blue with a smooth slightly firm skin. When I dissected a berry I noticed it had a deep purple juice and flesh with about 20 or more white seeds with about 4 purple but faded rings around them. The vine also carries a few but not many super thin green spirals which again grow directly off the vine I live in a com minty with lakes in my back yard and live on the southern continental tip of Florida however I do not now if this is native could you help me find out what this is also the berries are the size of small blue berries.
Pictures would help a lot thanks.
The berry is shaped like a blue berry but small, smooth all the way around, the outer flesh is dark blue and smooth. The leaves are not rough or ragged but are smooth with smooth edges the leaves are about 2.5- 3 inches wide at it’s widest part and about 5-6 inches long

Home Gardener answers:

Check here to see if you see it:

It could also be beauty berry:

Jim asks…

Can you help a beginning gardener with a brown thumb?

I am trying to grow a double mock orange plant and a spider plant. The double mock orange is in a large planter in potting soil, in full sun, its leaves are turning brown around the edges, and it’s never bloomed. The spider plant is small and also in a pot, it’s in the shade, and looks like it’s growing, but the leaves are also brown at the tips. I’m in zone, uh, 19, in inland southern California.

So–am I not watering them enough? Should I move them to different areas to get more/less sun? Should I give up and buy some fake plants and stick to cactus? (I’m even killing off some aloe, by the way).

Any spider plant/double mock orange assistance would be appreciated.

Home Gardener answers:

Transplant and water once. Let them dry out. They only ‘grow’ when dry.
Overwatering kills more plants than anything else.

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