Category Archives: Sage Advice

Ask Gardenerd: Protecting Blackberries

birdie_CD

We got a good one from Ask Gardenerd this week: “Hello, our blackberries are thriving this year, probably because of all the rain we got in SoCal, but I am afraid the birds will get them before us, like they … Continue reading

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Ask Gardenerd: Pruning Blackberries

Prune blackberry canes that have turned brown. Leave green canes in place.

As we look into the corner of the Gardenerd Test Garden, we see the need for blackberry pruning. Someone else in the Gardenerd community did the same thing and asked: “I believe you mentioned it is time to prune blackberries, … Continue reading

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Ask Gardenerd: Tap Water Concerns

Food grade barrels are best for use in vegetable gardens.

Here’s a question urban gardeners ask themselves at least once while standing next to a garden hose as the smell of chlorine wafts across the yard. George from Wisconsin proposed it this week on Ask Gardenerd (edited for length): “Hi, … Continue reading

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Ask Gardenerd: How to Get More Volunteer Tomatoes

A volunteer tomato sprouted from under our compost storage tub.

I do believe my favorite question to date just came in to Ask Gardenerd from Jeff Bremer: “Hi Christy, How do I encourage volunteers? Over the years in my tomato garden, a few volunteers would appear each season. Last year, … Continue reading

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Ask Gardenerd: Saving Broccolini Seeds

Side shoots form tiny heads of broccoli you can harvest for at least a month.

This terrific question came in from an inquiring mind this week: “Last spring I had a very tasty crop of Broccolini. I was impressed enough to save seeds at the end of the season. I’ve since learned that Broccolini is … Continue reading

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Ask Gardenerd: Citrus Fruit Tree Care

Fresh oranges from our tree

The questions keep flowing in this time of year. Here’s the latest from Jim: “How much water and fertilizer do I need for 2 y o blood orange tree. And do those minimums change in hot or cold weather? My … Continue reading

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Ask Gardenerd: Pruning Tomatoes

Kellogg's Breakfast Tomato

Summer is the perfect time for this question from Jeff Bremer: “Hi Christy, What’s your opinion on pinching-off the “branches” that sprout out of tomato plants? Some of my friends don’t pinch at all, but my neighbor pinches his plants … Continue reading

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Ask Gardenerd: What’s Eating My Cabbage and Spinach?

vertussavoycabbage

Ah, pests. Here at Gardenerd, we like to say that having a garden without pests is like having children and expecting them to be well behaved all the time. It’s unrealistic. Most garden pests are telling us something, and the … Continue reading

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Ask Gardenerd: Frost Dates?

calendar_inside

Here’s a question we get on occasion at Ask Gardenerd: “Many garden books and seed packets refer to timing in the garden in terms of the date of the last frost. For example: “Wait to plant until 3 weeks past … Continue reading

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Ask Gardenerd: Maggots in My Compost

Food scraps in a worm bin

We get this one a lot at Ask Gardenerd, so we thought it would be good to answer it in print: “Help! I just opened my compost to little tan maggots?! I have never seen them before!!! Our compost is … Continue reading

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