Ask a Gardener

Ask a Gardener

Burpee's Garden Forum is a unique hub for the garden community, a one-step-shop to get your questions answered from fellow gardeners!

I recently moved to a new house. I want to bring some plants here. Can I dig iris put them in pots and have them bloom there instead of planting in spring?

Asked by: MNMe
It wasn't a move; but when we started an addition, I needed to move 75 pots worth of roses, and other perennials ( hostas, corral bells, sedum, iris, daylillies, etc.). They survived for 18 months before they all found new homes. The only loss was a dogwood that survived the first winter, bloomed as never before, but died off in the fall.
Answered by: Anonymous
Date published: 2019-02-21

Hi. My husband and I have a small raised garden and love to plant tomatoes and peppers every year! We start the seeds indoors and then transplant. We have been having little luck lately with production of good quality fruit/veggies! Could our seeds be bad

Asked by: Debbie64
Lots of factors to consider. For harvesting fruit (tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, etc.) you need 6-8 hours of direct sun on the plants … more is better. Buildings and/or trees can cut into your success. A new garage and several older, larger trees have cut my effective garden in half. If this applies to you, consider root crops (4-6 hours). Or leafy greens that require even less sun but more time.
Answered by: Anonymous
Date published: 2019-02-21

How close can peppers be planted without the worry of cross pollination? I had my sweet peppers turn to hot peppers in the past!! I'm trying it again this year, and looking for advice before I make the same mistake again.

Asked by: Nana58
It's not cross-pollination. It's the hot from some hot peppers in your plot … may be mixed seeds originally.  I once had some hot Hungarian Wax Peppers contaminate a kitchen garden outside my door. Sweet peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, and even some lettuce. I vision the hot sun causing the oils to sublimate over to the other plants. 
Answered by: Anonymous
Date published: 2019-02-21

Is there something I can put on my lawn to stop dog urine from killing grass

Asked by: Tom60
In 50+ years of keeping a lawn, I've never seen a case of dog urine causing any effect. Please tell me you're not talking about a Dog Park. Having said that, PUPPIES are different. They will leave spots that latter fill in normally. Puppies seem to out grow that after about 4-6 months.
Answered by: Anonymous
Date published: 2019-02-21

I have a rather small space for growing vegetables. This means that I cannot find a new place for tomatoes. Does anyone know a tomato variety that can still grow well even in a site where tomatoes were grown the year before? Or, a way to amend the soil?

Asked by: Bunky
If you MUST grow your tomatoes in the same space every year with no alternative, then there are a few things you can do to still have a good harvest. Tomato diseases like wet, neutral soil. The Solanaceae, of which tomatoes are a member, have "noticed" this and have adapted themselves to dryer, more acidic soil conditions as a result. Tomatoes are adapted to very acidic semi-arid conditions, i.e. desert-like, but not quite. So what to do? I recommend digging your tomato beds down deep, as deep as 18 inches, and 24 inches would be even better. Then add generous organic matter to the back fill, which will acidify the soil. Canadian spaghnam peat moss seems to be particularly effective. And add some bone meal and fertilizer to the back fill as well. Bone meal will provide Calcium which will prevent or lessen blossom-end-rot. You should water your transplants at the time of planting, but vanishingly little thereafter, since excess water promotes diseases. After planting your transplants, I recommend placing several thicknesses of old newspapers down, with straw or shredded bark or other mulch on top to keep the wind from blowing the papers away. Newspaper ink is soybean based nowadays, and is non-toxic. If properly mulched, your tomatoes will not need any more watering in a place like Ohio for the rest of the season. And definitely plant disease resistant varieties. "Celebrity" has the most disease resistance of any tomato known to man, as I was taught. Good luck.
Answered by: Hessianguy2
Date published: 2019-02-21

I have worked a 30'x45' garden for 50 years. After that many years of adding compost, the 15" of soil could be sold; but I can't grow any of my old crops due to the neighbors trees to the SE & SW. I get 2-3 hours of sun. What grows in those conditions?

Asked by: 0ldguy
Legally, I believe you are within your rights to trim back and remove any branches that overhang your property. If any of the actual trees are on your property, you can legally remove the whole tree. I have poisoned/killed offending trees by drilling a 3/4" hole at a 45 degree angle into the base or stump of a tree, as deep as possible, and filling the hole with concentrated herbicide. The tree will usually be dead in a month or so. But only do this if they are on your property! Most vegetables do best in full sun, or at least 6 hours or so, and there is no real substitute for good sunshine. Good luck.
Answered by: Hessianguy2
Date published: 2019-02-21

How do I grow my own sweet potato vines for planting in the yard for decoration Diann

Asked by: Diann
I recommend obtaining some sweet potato "slips" from a reputable source, (such as Burpee), and planting those. But if you would like to grow your own slips, then a good method is to poke three or four toothpicks into the sides of a sweet potato, and place it upright in a glass of water, suspended by the toothpicks. Be sure to put the root end into the water, and not the other way around. And place it in a sunny window. New shoots should bud out in a week or two, and when they are long enough, they can be snapped off of the sweet potato and will be ready for planting. I read that the usual grocery store variety is often 'Centennial', although there could be other varieties as well. Good luck.
Answered by: Hessianguy2
Date published: 2019-02-21

So I'm new to having a garden and I must admit I'm VERY VERY VERY overwhelmed at all the seed choices. Anyone know of foolproof seeds for lettuce,carrots,cucumbers,bell peppers,tomatoes,onions,snap beans,peas,strawberries? Herb suggestions?

Asked by: calpal17
Generally speaking, any seed varieties that are sold by Burpee or any reputable seed source will be good. But expecting them to be 'foolproof' is going to be a stretch. So much of your success will depend on the quality of your garden soil, the weather and climate, sunlight, pH, amount and kind of fertilizer, etc. etc. And you can almost guarantee a failure or two from time to time. But to me, that is part of the fun of gardening. And your successes will be fabulous, also. Just try something, and then learn from your mistakes. That is what I do. Good luck.
Answered by: Hessianguy2
Date published: 2019-02-21
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