Here in the secret Stack Exchange bunker (somewhere deep beneath the endless wind on the Great Plains) we like sit down now and then and do a quick check on various sites, to see how they stack up against the wisdom of The Greater Internet. This gives us a pretty good idea of which sites are progressing, and which are struggling... But it doesn't do much for you!

So let's try something a little different... Below you'll find ten questions, picked at random from Gardening and Landscaping. Take a look at each, and try to find the answer on Google - then compare what you find to the answer(s) given here.

Up-vote when Gardening.SE has the most helpful answer. Down-vote when Google wins. And leave a comment with your thoughts...

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What keywords should we use in google? If we just copy and paste the title to google, the first result would be the question itself. Should we replace objective keywords to subjective one? Because most of the keywords for the results won't be so objective like here. –  lamwaiman1988 Dec 5 '11 at 8:12
    
Use whatever terms or techniques you would normally use when searching for an answer. The goal here is for you to gauge how much effort you'd have to put in to answer the question if SE wasn't around, and how the results stack up - so whatever you'd do normally... –  Shog9 Dec 5 '11 at 17:07
    
Basically, the pattern I see emerging is that where the question is highly specific, G&L exchange shines. Where the question is quite generic, G&L sometimes is better because there is a complete answer (sometimes spread over multiple user answers). Other times the existing generic gardening resources on the web are superior, but only for now... –  Lisa Dec 8 '11 at 5:01
    
... We need to think about how to make answers to fairly generic questions (that whiteflies on tomatoes is hilariously almost duplicated 5 days apart in the random sample below) highly detailed and ensure they address all aspects of the question, even if that means multiple user answers that provide additional information rather than a single "source of truth" answer. –  Lisa Dec 8 '11 at 5:03

10 Answers 10

How do I link a specific garden plant to its native plant community?

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nearest thing i could find was wnps.org but i don't think that's going to help me. +1 gardening.se even though i'm not certain i understand the question properly –  Tea Drinker Dec 8 '11 at 22:46

What is this house plant with bright pink flowers and dark green leaves? How should I take care of it?

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bhg.com was the first rival google listed for me. but wait, bhg want me to register just to browse? ding next please ... +1 gardening.se –  Tea Drinker Dec 8 '11 at 22:38

How do I remove dandelions without damaging my lawn?

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Loads of good material via a web search, but giving this an upvote because the power of contrasting answers side by side makes the overall use of G&L more powerful an answer. –  Lisa Dec 8 '11 at 4:59
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ok result from gardenersworld.com but it's brief and not very engaging. +1 g.se –  Tea Drinker Dec 8 '11 at 22:54

What are the teeny tiny white bugs on my tomatoes?

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top result for me was a trad forum. scroll ... scroll ... scroll. +1 g.se –  Tea Drinker Dec 8 '11 at 22:50

How to protect broccoli seedlings from high winds?

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top site google sent me to was for a variety of broccoli blue wind. nope. gardening-tips-idea.com has a line about staking seedlings in high winds, but that's it. +1 g.se if only for the rival site's horrible domain name –  Tea Drinker Dec 8 '11 at 23:00

Cherry sapling has orange dots on its leaves and the tips are wilting. What could be wrong?

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about.com had a generic page on caring for saplings and advises me to "contact your local extension office if you need help in diagnosing" in case of wilting. +1 g.se –  Tea Drinker Dec 8 '11 at 23:04

What are good plants to use in a container-based winter garden?

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sorry but the top rival result is a page from bbc gardening with photos. and the g.se answer links heavily to a missouri site, which wouldn't be relevant to me. are we allowed to vote our geographic preferences here? +1 bbc –  Tea Drinker Dec 8 '11 at 22:42
    
now i'm wondering about whether we should be adding photos to mike's answer –  Tea Drinker Dec 8 '11 at 22:43
    
@TeaDrinker the answer to the second is a hearty YES -- we encourage pictures over on DIY for good reason. :D –  Aarthi Dec 8 '11 at 23:17

What are the mini-white moths on my tomato plant?

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if i'm googling "moths" i can't find a better answer. not sure they turn out to be actual moths though, in the original question. +1 g.se –  Tea Drinker Dec 8 '11 at 23:10

Managing weeds around fruit trees

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Google search "fruit tree weed control" give a pdf a the first result, it contains 5 methods to control weed for the best of other tree there. And it cover much of the 2 answer in our question. cesonoma.ucdavis.edu/files/27204.pdf –  lamwaiman1988 Dec 5 '11 at 8:22
    
what @gunbuster363 said, we don't have the best answer. +1 ucdavis.edu –  Tea Drinker Dec 8 '11 at 23:07
    
I actually thought the accepted answer here was decent and targeted to the asker: it leaves out herbicides since the OP mentioned avoiding them, it mentions cultivating shallowly to avoid damaging shallow tree roots, and fabric+mulch as a barrier. The other answer there mentions a flamer. So everything but the herbicide was mentioned in answers to the question, and the herbicide was off-topic for this question. –  bstpierre Dec 12 '11 at 0:55

How much time does clover need to establish before winter?

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lots of detailed info on seeding clover elsewhere -1 g.se –  Tea Drinker Dec 8 '11 at 23:12
    
@bstpierre `@TeaDrinker Not anymore :) –  Lorem Ipsum Dec 11 '11 at 23:22
    
BTW: thanks for taking the time to look at all of these, @TeaDrinker - we'll be tweaking the format of this in the future, but your comments are exactly what I was looking for. –  Shog9 Dec 17 '11 at 3:41

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