Archive for Gardening

There is so much being written about establishing a native garden. In some areas of the country, new developments are being landscaped using only native plants. Here is an article by Annie White , a research assistant, from The University of Vermont. It explains very well the benefits of having native plants.

A native plant, by definition, has existed for thousands of years in a particular region. Without the help of gardeners with watering cans, bags of fertilizer, and bales of straw mulch, these plants naturally adapted to the conditions around them.  A plant that is native to a particular region is naturally more tolerant of the local climate, rainfall trends, soils, insects, and diseases. These attributes can contribute to a lower-maintenance, longer-lasting, and environmentally friendly garden.  Here are five reasons why native plants will like your garden as much as you like them. Read More→

Feb
01

All About Anthuriums

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The are two groups of Anthurium grown in greenhouses. The only ones you’re likely to see in the garden center are the flowering varieties with their multicolored spathes and red or yellow tail-like flower spikes. They will flower any time of the year, provided they are healthy.

You might also come across a few of the large-leaved, deeply veined foliage types.

Foliage Anthuriums are mostly found at specialty greenhouses or through online nurseries. To grow them, it’s best to replicate conditions found in tropical zones. Keep them in very high humidity and warmth, and provide a climbing support if necessary. Read More→


Beginning an indoor garden requires considering the lighting requirements for each plant. Avoid scorching or drowning your indoor plants withhelp from the owner of a nursery in this free video on gardening. Expert: Frank Burkard Contact: www.burkardnurseries.com Bio: Frank Burkard, Jr., the third-generation proprietor of Burkard Nurseries, carries on the family tradition. Filmmaker: Max Cusimano Series Description: Growing vegetables can be done in a large-scale backyard garden, or in small containers on your apartment balcony. Grow your own vegetables with help from the owner of a nursery in this free video series on gardening.

Nov
10

How To Pot Orchids

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Orchids are not grown in potting soil, they’re grown in wood bark. Learn how to pot orchids in this free gardening video. Expert: Lori Young Bio: Lori Young graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies and biology. Young works in the plantscape industry. Filmmaker: Grady Johnson

by William Hageman,Tribune Newspapers

How many houseplantsdoes Larry Hodgson have? About 600, he says. But that’s just a guess. “My kid once tried to count them and gave up after 300,” says Hodgson, author of “Houseplants for Dummies.” “And that was only upstairs. I have lots and lots of plants downstairs and on another floor as well.”

As Hodgson points out, the benefits of houseplants are manifold. Aside from the aesthetics — a little greenery will brighten even the most squalid dump — they provide a person with physical activity and mental stimulation. They even promote a healthy environment. “Having houseplants in your home is like having your own little air filter,” he says. “In this day and age, outdoor air is generally far less polluted than indoor air because we have so many things in our homes that give off toxic products. Houseplants can clean it up for you.” Read More→

Hydrangeas are fascinating in that, unlike most other plants,the can change color. Many wonder how this can be, a hydrangea planted in early ed colors three times by October.Many think it is in the pH of the soil by itself but William B. Miller, a professor of horticulture at Cornell ‘t agree.Hydrangeas are fascinating in that, unlike other plants, the colors of their flowers can change dramatically. Many think that the color change is due to pH levels in the soil, but “It is not the soil pH by itself but the availability of aluminum,” said William B. Miller, a professor of horticulture at Cornell University.

Aluminum is very common in the earth’s crust, but is available to the plant only in low-pH, or acidic, soils, Dr. Miller said. The plant absorbs the aluminum through the roots.

When aluminum gets up into the sepals, the colored segments that surround the tiny hydrangea flowers, it joins two other things that make the blossom blue: a pigment called delphinidin 3-monoglucoside and a co-pigment called 3-caffeoylquinic acid.

“Both are present in both blue and pink cultivars,” Dr. Miller said. If aluminum is available, he said, the blossom is blue, and if not, it ends up pink.

“Pink cultivars can be blue, and blues can be pink,” Dr. Miller said, and some can go both ways. But white cultivars, like Sister Therese, cannot become pink or blue.

As for a multicolored plant, Dr. Miller suggested two explanations: In limey soil, a plant that started out blue may make a partial transition to pink; or near new construction, where fill soil has been brought in, some roots may be in acidic soil, while five feet away, others are exposed to aluminum ions.

Photo credit: Austin Home Improvement Blog

We cannot deny that for major parts of our country the temperatures are starting to fall. In the next few months, it will actually be cold. Oh how we wish we could leave all the plants in our landscape out for the whole winter. Well, your wishes may be on their way to being fulfilled.

Botanists developed a spray that, when misted over a plant, will help it endure temperatures 2.2 to 9.4 degrees Fahrenheit colder than it would without the spray, depending upon the species. The spray, called Freeze-Pruf, reduces the freezing point of water inside the tissues of the plant by means of a mixture that combines five ingredients in a water-based spray formula. One spray works for four to six weeks, lowering the temperature at which damage first becomes noticeable as well as the temperature that would normally kill the plant. Read More→

Growing Expectations planted its first organic garden this summer using seeds from heirloom plants. As the tomatoes ripened into yellow, green, purple, and veined, we served them to various guests. When asked why they were not red and strange looking, we responded that they were heirloom varieties. Heirloom vegetables are know for their nutrition, flavor and varieties. Many people had never heard the term “heirloom”. I decided to include this article from ScienceDaily defining heirloom plants so that those of my readers who had never seen or heard of them would become more knowledgeable.  Read More→
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