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Q & A about gardening

Q. I am thinking about getting a Ti plant. I saw on the web that they do best in zones 9a-11. Do you think it will grow and survive here in zone 8? I do not want to waste my time, money and effort if it is not worth it.
– Jennifer Lindauer, Virginia Beach
A. You can add a splash of the tropics to your patio or garden setting with this shrubby plant from Hawaii. Colors range from red to white, depending on the cultivar and sunlight exposure. It is a tropical plant, so you could plant it in the ground, but it would need to be dug up and moved indoors for the winter, so I suggest leaving it in a container to make the move easier. These plants can reach a height of 10 feet with a spread of 4 feet, so a three- to five-gallon container will not need repotting as often. You can fertilize them in early spring, but use a balanced product with all the numbers the same; a high nitrogen fertilizer will reduce the intensity of foliage color.

Tips for gardening

New comers to the Deep South from cooler parts of the country are truly shocked at just how hot it gets here during the summer.  The heat and humidity are oppressive not just during the day, but also during the sultry nights.  The high temperatures and humidity can last for months testing natives as well as the newcomer’s patience and air conditioning.
The summer heat is tough on plants too.  For your garden plants to survive, choose the toughest plants adapted to the southern zones.  Colorado blue spruce or Jersey blueberries belong in those states, not Mississippi.  Even so, your local plants might need some help to survive and prosper.  Following are some tips on keeping your garden in top shape through the summer with a minimum of time and effort.
1) Keep plants mulched.   
You probably already know of the many benefits of mulch. Keep the mulch replenished in the heat.  Use your old newspapers and grass clippings. Apply fresh grass clippings in a thin layer of and let dry for a few days before adding more.

What is hugelkultur gardening?

What is hugelkultur?

Pronounced hoog-el-cull-tour, a German word meaning “hill culture,” hugelkultur is a gardening technique that uses rotting woody debris as well as additional organic matter to build beds for planting, as explained by Washington State University Extension.

Hugelkultur is a way for gardeners to reverse nature’s natural decaying process.
How does hugelkultur work?

‘Grow three herbs and build up’ – the millennial’s guide to gardening

When to prick out and when to pinch out, what to dead-head and what to mulch – the Royal Horticultural Society says a whole “lost generation” of people in their 20s and 30s have no idea when it comes to gardening. It has led to back gardens suppressed by decking, front gardens concreted over and used to park the car. “For a lot of them, their parents just didn’t teach them gardening and we lost a lot of the skills,” Sue Biggs, director-general of the RHS, told the Times. But she also blamed the rise of buy-to-let and the housing crisis, which has made it harder for younger people to buy their own homes, and so literally to put down roots. So how can millennials get involved? Two experts advise:
Have patience

Vegetable Gardening Tips

With the costs of living rising all the time, it may be possible to save money and increase your family's health at the same time by growing vegetables in your backyard.

It's a good idea to choose your favourite vegetables to grow and plan beds for early, middle of the season and late varieties.

Most vegetables require at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, some need 8. Some quick growers like lettuce and radish can be grown between the rows of plants that take longer to mature, like beet or corn, thus making full use of the area available.