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26 May 2022

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26 May 2022

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  • The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May ~ Edwin Way Teale
    26 May 2022

    "The world's favorite season is the spring. All things seem possible in May."

    Edwin Way Teale 

  • Bethesda Backyard Native Nursery: Literally!
    26 May 2022

    Native Plant Enthusiast Takes the Next Step...

    Mariana moved to her suburban home 16 years ago. She always loved gardening and how it connected her to the planet. She began to shape her garden -- a part sun, part shade sloped front garden, a dappled shade garden with spots of sun in the back and a sunny roadside bed. Lots of different situations on about a fifth of an acre to work with.

    Eleven years in, she found out about our essential need for native plants and the rest, as they say, is history! An avid gardener, Mariana read all she could. She was highly motivated once she learned all the advantages of gardening with native plants. Thankful to have a graceful old magnolia and tulip poplar, both native, gracing the front of her home, she did all she could to add more natives.

    At first, she planted lots of perennials sold as native plants at garden centers. Learning later that many were cultivars of native plants and knowing they did not provide the highest value to insects and birds, she began to go to Herring Run Nursery in Baltimore and Chesapeake Natives Nursery in Upper Marlboro to find native plant straight species. That proved to be a critical turning point for Mariana.

    The corner lot in a Bethesda neighborhood has a bit of a rise upon which Mariana's home sits. The two large trees in front cast a fair amount of shade but there are direct sun spots too. Mariana removed grass to expand beds beneath the trees and in the sunny spots.

    A corner by the driveway is cleverly planted with blue eyed grass (Sisyrinchum angustifolium) and asters (Eurybia divaricata) among stones echoing materials in the house but also giving your eye a resting place. In the late spring - early summer the blue eyed grass provides color. In fall, clouds of asters add the color.

    Along the shaded front path, Mariana lined one side with golden ragwort (Packera aurea). The golden yellow flowers, even in deep shade, say spring is here, The deep green lobed foliage provides a texture contrast for the rest of the year. Many of these stay semi-evergreen the further south you are.

    Heading back to the side garden, a bed near the house is filled with blue mist flower, (Conoclinium coelestinum) a long flowering perennial in late summer and fall. It greens up early and fills the space until they bloom. These spread quickly in full sun and part shade.

    In deep shade at the head of the driveway, northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) will thrive. Tall grasses in shade might seem counter intuitive but northern sea oats will grow quite well in full shade.

    The real surprise is waiting in the back garden. Beds filled with native perennials and a rocky slope punctuated with native plants draw you right in. Native and ornamental trees are underplanted with interesting combinations of ferns, perennials and other ground covers.

    Golden alexanders (Zizia aurea) and penstemon (Penstemon digitalis) mixed together make a perfect magical mini-meadow in a garden bed. The foliage of golden alexander is semi-evergreen and the seed heads of penstemon flowers will last through much of the growing season.

    In one section of grass, Mariana discovered fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus) growing. She allows it to bloom and flower in spring and once the blooms fade, she mows the patch just as she does the rest of the lawn. Love this!

    The west slope, though, with its artfully placed stones and plants creates a sense of enclosure and expanse at the same time.

    Unlike other parts of the garden where Mariana has planted beds masses of one or two perennials to great effect, the west slope is planted with a number of native plants in small pockets. The effect is stunning and such a nice contrast to the rest of the garden. It also provides an excellent way to really showcase smaller plants. As you pass by at the base of the slope, low growing plants like woodland stonecrop and foamflower are at eye level. A wild yellow indigo (Baptisia tinctoria) in full bloom beneath the canopy of a dogwood tree is eye catching. I always thought they really needed full sun but this proves otherwise.

    A little used native plant, false indigo bush (Amorpha fruticosa), grows in front of a brick wall. Blooming now, its dark purply color tinged with specks of gold are really unusual. They can be gangly but the blooms are beautiful. In nature, it grows in moist areas and forms dense thickets.

    Convinced that native violets (Viola sororia) would be more popular if we only knew how pretty they are, Mariana filled a pair of window boxes with nothing but violets!

    Mariana added her garden to Dr. Doug Tallamy's "Homegrown National Park" movement. Hoping to share her enthusiasm with passersby, she hopes they may be interested in adding native plants if they knew the benefits and could easily find the plants.

    Mariana's gardening knowledge has been super charged through her weekly volunteer days at Chesapeake Native Nursery. In the five years she has been gardening with native plants, Mariana has become more and more enthusiastic. That enthusiasm, combined with her trips to nurseries afar, led her to her latest effort with native plants.

    She has started a nursery from her back garden! Wildflower Native Plant Nursery sells straight species perennials, ferns and grasses. Mariana takes great care and pride in these plants and every one looks robust and healthy. You can visit by appointment.

    If you are new to native plants, Mariana will share what she knows and show you where the natives you are interested in are growing in her garden. Well, this makes it pretty easy!

    What is Mariana's take away from all of this? Gardening with native plants is so much fun. Add a few native perennials and all of a sudden, your garden is filled with life!

  • Back to the garden of good and evil
    25 May 2022
    May 25, 2022

    My friend Lori of The Gardener of Good and Evil is always in the middle of a project. I don’t know how she finds the time and energy after working on other people’s gardens all day, but Lori leaps into projects in all seasons, never shying away from doing the hard work herself. Which means there’s always something new to see when visiting her garden, as I did in early May.

    This extra-large face planter bristling with ‘Quadricolor’ agaves and foxtail fern isn’t new, but I always stop to admire it. The round mirror surrounded by apricot roses against the blue-stained fence is beautiful too.

    That planter is part of a deep, undulating bed running along the fence. A big whale’s tongue agave sits high in a stock-tank planter — a queen on her throne — in the deepest section. From this angle the agave is framed by an arching limb of an old mesquite tree, which Lori adorned with blue bottles.

    All hail the Queen

    This cactus planter she laughingly calls d*ckhead. Pink evening primrose was still blooming in early May.

    Silver saw palmetto and ‘Red Dragon’ knotweed (Persicaria microcephala ‘Red Dragon’), both lovely against the deep-blue fence

    A stock-tank round-up with agaves riding high amid lush groundcovers

    Here’s a sneak peek of her latest project: a welded steel wall along the back property line to screen a future multi-story development. She constructed the wall herself — yes, she welds — and is now experimenting with an abstract mural for color and depth.

    It’s a hint of the Blue Ridge Mountains, to my eyes.

    Giant papyrus against those moody blues

    Prickly pear and more blues

    Poor Yorick holds the gate open as you head into the front garden.

    Danger! No, it’s only a rattlesnake garden sculpture. Lifelike though. I like how Lori has placed him in a circle of stone.

    More circles upon circles: stock-tank pond, waterlily leaves, floating steel spheres, and poppy seedheads

    Poppies gone to seed are just as good as poppies in bloom.

    More ‘Red Dragon’ persicaria — love! I’ve tried it, but it never lasts for me.

    Another water feature, hidden from view, with a simple copper spout spilling water over wire-stemmed maidenhair fern. Lori commits to a certain lushness, turning her garden into a water-trickling oasis even in the depths of summer. It’s a magic trick, and she’s one creative magician.

    I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

    __________________________

    Digging Deeper

    Love ponds? Attend the ZENsational Austin Pond & Garden Tour on June 4-5, organized by the Austin Pond Society. Northside ponds are on tour June 4th; Southside and Bastrop ponds on June 5th. One ticket gets you into both days. Tickets are $20 until June 3rd at 10 pm or $25 if purchased on either day of the tour, at any pond location (online payments only; no cash transactions).

    Join the mailing list for Garden Spark! Hungry to learn about garden design from the experts? I’m hosting a series of talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The 6th season kicks off in fall 2022.

    All material © 2022 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

    The post Back to the garden of good and evil appeared first on Digging.

  • The Front Yard - May 25, 2022
    25 May 2022

     I'm pleased with the spring front yard, if I ignore the many weeds.  Later on, in summer, the corn flowers will be gone and the daylilies will take over.  It's a real shame the corn poppies and CA poppies are so weedy.  I have pulled out at least half (or was half until the CA poppies started on a new generations) as they were shading and choking out my perennials.  Corn poppies are known by a lot of names, here's a link to a post I made about them.

    https://lisasgardenadventureinoregon.blogspot.com/2020/05/life-of-red-poppy-and-why-its-symbol-on.html  

    The reds are the famous ones, but the pinks are my favorite.






     

     

     

     

     

     



    I have a lot more red this year, as seen in the background of these iris photos.  On the left is a tall free-on-the-curb variety, the one of the right is so far my favorite, Discovered Treasure.



     

     

     






    Another iris blooming is Wabash.   It's quite a small flower in comparison to the others.

     Mountain Sandwort


     I think if I had to grow just one flowering plant it would be Persian catmint.  Here one of my many is blooming with blue flax.


     And behind the Wabash iris.



    My one and only decent looking ornamental allium.  Maybe Purple Sensation.



  • How to grow and care for Tulip plants-A step by step guide
    25 May 2022

    If you want to grow an ornamental bulbous plant that can add beauty to your garden, the brightly colored jewels to brighten up your days,  no doubt Tulip plants are the best option for you. No matter where you grow these plants, in a container, pot, prepared beds, or basins, these plants thrives well. 

    Belonging to the family of Liliaceae and genus Tulipa L, these plants are popular garden flowers famous for their appearance and can be grown in a greenhouse, playhouse, or in a shade net too. These plants generally emerge from the ground during early spring or late winter.

    With a cup or egg-shaped flowers and around 6 petals, these plants are found in the colder regions in the shade of orange, pink, cherry, magenta, salmon, crimson, purple, apricot, lilac, mauve, blue, yellow, apricot, brown, violet, terracotta, red, scarlet, chocolate, etc that can paint your garden with wide pallets.

    Although tulips are perennial plants technically, hybridizing these plants for many centuries demonstrates that the bulb’s ability to come back year after year has weakened.
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    Although tulips are perennial plants technically, hybridizing these plants for many centuries demonstrates that the bulb’s ability to come back year after year has weakened. That’s why, many gardeners treat these plants as annuals, that plant new bulbs every autumn. 

    Like other plants in the Liliaceae family, tulips also contain alkaloids and glycosides contains and are harmful to humans. It is also too much toxic for the pets. if the bulbs are consumed wrongly, then it can cause skin rashes and other gastrointestinal problems.

    These plants are native to the arid regions, especially in Central America. 

    Varieties of Tulips to grow

    There are many varieties of tulips that grow throughout the world. There are thousands of different types of tulips spread over 15 official classifications based on flower shape, height, and time of bloom. There are generally three classes of this flower which include early flowering tulips, mid-season tulips, and late flowering tulips.

    The main varieties of early flowering tulips include Duc Van Tol, Single early, double early, etc. the main varieties of mid-season tulips include Mendal and Triumph. Darwin, Darwin hybrids, Parrots, Double late, Rembrandt, and lily flowered are the main varieties of the late flowering tulips.

    How to plant the tulips

    Below is the planting guide for the tulips

    • Plant the bulbs deeply in the ground- around 3-4 times the size of the bulb. Digging the soil deeper loosens the soil and allows for drainage. 
    • Set the bulb in the soil by making the pointy end up. Cover the hole with soil and press it firmly so that the bulbs get settled in the soil.
    • Water the bulb after planting.
    • Although bulbs are their own storage system and contain all the required nutrients in it they need, you can feed the plant with a balanced fertilizer, organic matter, manure, etc.
    • Treat the plants from the pests and diseases.
    Caring guide of tulip plants  Soil

    Tulip plants are generally grown on slopes that have a good drainage system. Thus, tulip plants require light sandy loam soil that has a good drainage system for better growth. Planting these plants in the raised beds is also recommended if you don’t have proper knowledge about well-drained soil.

    If you are growing the plant in heavy soil, then it is recommended to add some well-decomposed compost, peat moss, or other organic matter to ensure proper growth.

    Tulips grow well in slightly acidic soil. So ensure that your soil has a pH of 6-7 if you are growing tulip plants in your garden.

    Sun

    Tulips don’t require any specified light to grow and they can be grown in full sun or partial shade. Direct sun is necessary in the morning and evening for the proper growth of flowers. Likewise, partial shade is required during the mid-day. 

    Temperature

    Tulips can’t grow in hot climates and thus they require colder climates to grow. So the temperature should be 20-26 degrees centigrade during the day and 5-12 degrees centigrade during the night for proper growth.

    in the regions of warm winter temperatures, this plant must be planted as annuals from suppliers who prechill the bulbs.

    Tulips grow well in slightly acidic soil. So ensure that your soil has a pH of 6-7 if you are growing tulip plants in your garden.
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    Humidity

    The plants grow well in dry regions than the humid regions as high humidity goes hands-on hand with the spring and summer rain that can rot the bulbs.

    Water

    Water the plant properly right after planting the plant. Left it and don’t water the plant until the season drys out properly and the plant demands water. If your place is getting regular raining every one to two weeks, don’t water the plant at all. It is also recommended to water the plant every two weeks in the arid regions.

    Fertilizer

    Cow manure, compost, farmyard manure, bonemeal, granular fertilizer, and organic manures are the best organic fertilizer for the growth of tulip plants. The best inorganic fertilizers food the growth of the plant includes NPK 5-10-5. 

    The fertilizer should be added to the soil once during the time of planting, and once in the following spring when they tend to sprout again. Besides this, no additional need to fertilize the plant. 

    How do prepare land for tulip plants?

    If you are planting the Tulip plant in a pot or in the ground, then it is necessary to prepare the land beforehand. You can prepare the land for tulips by getting the soil to a fine tilth stage and removing the weeds of the previous crop from the soil.

    To ensure the proper growth of the plant, it is required to supplement the soil with garden compost or organic manure. It is recommended to prepare beds in case of poor drainage.

    How to propagate tulip plants?

    If you are looking to propagate tulip plants, they can be propagated by the bulbs and bulblets and sometimes from the seeds as well. However, it can produce different shades of flowers. 

    You can propagate the plant by lifting bulbs or by dividing the bulblets from the mother bulbs. This process is generally done in the fall during the normal planting time of the tulip plants.

    Propagation can be done by digging up the bulb with a trowel or spade. Then brush off the soil and separate the small offset bulbs from the mother bulb. inspect the bulb properly and remove the soft or deformed bulbs from it.

    Replant the offsets and the mother bulb. make sure the depth of the planting should be dependent on the size of the bulb. Tulip plants can be planted at 5 to 8 cm deep with a spacing of 15 cm apart in general. 

    Provide the plant with proper shading during mid-day for the longevity of the flowers.

    After propagation, the plant will not produce flowers for one to two years. It will start flowering after the third year.

    How do prune the tulip plants?

    If you are growing the plant perennial, it is necessary to prune the plant. To prune the plant, remove the stalks of the flowers immediately after they start flowering to prevent the plants from producing seed pods, which drains the bulb’s energy and shortens its life. 

    To replenish the bulb’s energy, leave the foliage in its place until it starts yellowing in mid to late summers.

    How to harvest Tulip bulbs and flowers?

    Generally, Tulips start flowering from February to April. So the flowers can be harvested during this time. When it comes, to flower harvesting, the scapes can be cut along with two leaves when the color starts to develop in the flower petals.

    If you want to harvest the bulbs, it can be done 45 days after flowering and when the leaves of the plant start turning yellow. During bulb harvesting, remove the bulb scales and roots. Air-dry the bulbs in partial shade and store them at 7-10 degrees centigrade for 7-8 weeks for the proper development of the flowers.

    Common pests and diseases

    Tulip plants are prone to attack by thrips and aphids which can be treated by the spraying of rigor, Endosulfan, Malathion, Aldicarbs, etc. 

    These plants are also very prone to infection by the fusarium and fungus which can be determined by the foul smell of the flowers and the appearance of white molds which is recommended to control by drenching Benomyl.

    Conclusion

    Like daffodils, tulips are the best plant for your garden that can add colors to it and enrich the garden with its beauty.

    As you read this far of the article, you might get to know that the growing and caring guidance of the tulips is so simple and they are very easy to take care of.

    So plant these perennial, beautiful plants in your garden and add some vibrant beauty to it.

    You may also like to read

    Fertilizing Tips for your Hydrangeas- A Complete Guide

    Growing Rain Lily -Everything You Need to Know

    How to grow and care for Tulip plants-A step by step guide
    Gardening Mantras - Your Garden Expert

  • Lilacs in the darkness
    25 May 2022

    Photo by Jen Stout

    Flowers can bring consolation sometimes. It depends on the situation. Recently we were sent a number of pictures from an organization that we support: Pizzas for Ukraine. We like it, because it’s simple and we see the results. We send money, which goes to someone in the US who batches the money into pizza orders and dispatches the orders to two Kharkiv pizza places. They bake the pizzas, and deliver them to bomb shelters, emergency rooms, fire houses, and other appropriate locations.

    Our Pizza for Ukraine guy also sends us reports with images of people holding pizza boxes, as well as other shots of life in Kharkiv. A recent shot (excuse the low quality of a much-forwarded image) shows a vase of lilacs in a subway bomb shelter, a commonly used refuge for Kharkiv families. These makeshift shelters host classes and play areas for the children. And sometimes flowers.

    I think if I had to eat lunch in a subway bomb shelter, I’d be cheered by a vase of flowers on the table. Lilacs are nostalgic, old-fashioned flowers. Many gardeners treasure underperforming lilac shrubs because they remind them of childhood scents, of the gardens of their mothers and grandmothers.

    But I also think of these words from Walt Whitman:

    O death, I cover you over with roses and early lilies;
    But mostly and now the lilac that blooms the first,
    Copious I break, I break the sprigs from the bushes;
    With loaded arms I come, pouring for you,
    For you and the coffins all of you O death

    Whitman wrote “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d” as a deeply felt but conflicted elegy for the death of Abraham Lincoln and the violent death that he had seen in the Civil War. As symbols, flowers share in that conflict. The lilacs in the Ukraine bomb shelter could be seen as a sign of life’s resilience; they could also be seen as standing in for all that is forever lost in war.

    Though my garden is mainly green right now—and I have no lilacs—I see flowers every time I go to a local news website. Flowers are piled high near the Tops Market on Buffalo’s East Side. Still in plastic wrappers, for the most part, they’re interspersed with teddy bears and other symbols of comfort and sympathy. 

    The flowers at a mass shooting site can mean all kinds of things, even anger and protest. Certainly, pain. But mainly, they draw the eye. This happened here. Flowers can’t do much, but they can mark a spot of sadness in a way that can’t be missed.

    I can’t take a picture of those flowers. But here are the lilacs.

    Lilacs in the darkness originally appeared on GardenRant on May 25, 2022.

    The post Lilacs in the darkness appeared first on GardenRant.

  • 8 Types of Pollinators that Visit the Garden
    25 May 2022
    Some of these may surprise you!
  • How to Choose, Raise, and Maintain Beautiful Climbing Roses
    25 May 2022

    Climbing roses give you the beauty of a climbing vine without the risk of damage to your property. Because they don’t have suckers or tendrils, they can’t grip onto things on their own. Plus, the canes aren’t aggressively strong like the stems of ivy or wisteria can be. Embrace this classic cottage garden beauty.

    The post How to Choose, Raise, and Maintain Beautiful Climbing Roses appeared first on Gardener's Path.

  • The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 – 5 Sensational Show Gardens
    25 May 2022

    Ahhh, it was good to be back at Chelsea in May. This year’s show gardens sparkled, embracing the headline brief of sustainability and naturalism. There was a great mix of style, plenty of substance and less evidence of the ‘over messaging’ that can sometimes kill a show garden dead. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of gardens with purpose, but that didn’t overwhelm them. Chelsea 2022 will go down as a return to form and perhaps lay the foundations for an even more exciting show next year.

    Chelsea’s gardens, 39 of them in all, are categorised as either Show Gardens (the largest and most expensive to build designs), Sanctuary Gardens (a little smaller but still impressive), Balcony Gardens, Container Gardens or a new class hosted in the Great Pavillion called All About Plants ….. more on these in a future post. They are all judged gardens that can be awarded medals ranging from bronze to gold. There are also Feature Gardens that are purely there for the enjoyment of visitors and not part of the competition. In this post, I focus on my pick of the showstoppers – the Show Gardens with the big names, high budgets and ambitions to change how we think, feel and garden.

    There were 13 Show Gardens in all this year. The winner of the top award – A Rewilding Britain Landscape – richly deserved the prize. If you read my previous post, you’ll note this was not one of my predictions for Best In Show and that’s why I am not a betting man. In fairness, this was a garden that one needed to see and experience first-hand to appreciate the skill and artistry that went into its creation.

    The designers and their teams have about three weeks to construct their gardens on-site: for a garden to look this settled in its plot is not only remarkable but breathtaking. Perhaps the wild, naturalistic style of Adam Hunt and Lulu Urqhart’s garden might not be what everyone wants at home, but you could not argue that it was not deeply evocative and wonderful to experience.

    This garden deserves a post of its own, but to summarise the idea, the designers chose to be inspired by the reintroduction of beavers into the British landscape. The garden represents a rewilded habitat in the South West of England, complete with a babbling brook, superb dry-stone walls, a rustic viewing hide and a dam constructed entirely of beaver-gnawed sticks. Approximately 3600 native and naturalised plants were grown for the garden, from mighty willows to tiny orchids. Not only beavers were welcome in this space but also voles, otters and the whole gamut of aquatic and insect life. A ‘soundscape’ was created to introduce us to unfamiliar sounds such as kingfishers piping, Muntjac deer calling and beavers playing, fighting and chewing. Perhaps this garden will increase the possibility of these sounds becoming more commonplace again. Hats off to Adam and Lulu for whom this was their first Chelsea garden. Beginners luck? I don’t think so.

    5 stand-out plants from A Rewilding Britain Landscape

    – Viburnum opulus – Guelder-rose
    – Symphytum uplandicum – Blue comfrey
    – Osmunda regalis – Royal fern
    – Digitalis purpurea – Foxglove
    – Dactylorhiza praetermissa – Southern marsh orchid

    Next, to the garden I thought might land Best In Show – Andy Sturgeon’s The Mind Garden for mental health charity Mind. I expected it to be excellent and it was – subtle, expressive and wonderfully planted. Andy’s gardens are always understated but also exacting in their standards and rich in the intensity of their planting. A designer so assured of himself needs no bells and whistles to stand out from the crowd.

    Andy’s garden was both austere and pretty, enveloping and freeing – contradictions that echo how it feels to struggle with one’s mental health when it can veer so quickly from one extreme to another, or when a situation can feel either comforting or unsettling depending on your state of mind. As you can see from my photographs, a series of sculptural, clay-rendered walls cascaded gently down from the highest point, at the end of the garden. Andy intended for them to look like a handful of petals tossed to the ground. Perhaps from above this is more evident, but structurally they formed some intriguing spaces and opportunities to set off individual plants to their best advantage. The walls created a series of small rooms and narrow passages before opening out to welcome visitors in. Benches for contemplation and conversation were fashioned from wind-blown oak and soothing water poured gently from ceramic spouts into small pools. The planting was designed to evoke an open woodland setting with vibrant meadow planting towards the edges. It was all very restrained, quietly lovely and deserving of a 9th gold medal for Andy in his final appearance on Chelsea’s Main Avenue. He will be much missed and leaves the bar set high for the next generation of designers.

    5 stand-out plants from The Mind Garden

    – Betula pendula – silver birch
    – Rosa glauca – red-leaved rose
    – Baptista ‘Dutch Chocolate’ – false indigo
    – Papaver somniferum ‘Lauren’s Grape’ – opium poppy
    – Stipa gigantea – golden oats

  • Unusual Spring-Flowering Trees for the Mountain West
    25 May 2022
    Look past the overused options to these lesser-known species that will make your neighbors do a double take

Vegetable Gardening blogs

Vegetable Gardening Blogs

26 May 2022

Vegetable Gardening Blogs Vegetable Gardening Blogs
  • Which Vegetables are Genetically Modified (GMOs)?
    26 May 2022
    Our first sweet corn of the season. Bodacious. Early July. Not GMO
    Photo Pam Dawling

    Recently we were given a gift of sweet corn from somewhere warmer than central Virginia. It wasn’t Organic, so I wondered if it was genetically modified. I try to avoid eating GMOs, because I don’t support the practice of inserting bits of other organisms in existing crops. Corn varieties often have Bacillus thuriengensis (Bt) inserted in their DNA with the goal of killing caterpillars that eat corn kernels.

    USDA Organic symbol

    Anything certified USDA Organic is not allowed to have any GMOs in it, so that’s one way to avoid getting GMOs. Growing your own food is a certain way to avoid GMOs, if you don’t buy GMO varieties or suffer cross-pollination from GMO crops.

    Non-GMO Project symbol

    The Non-GMO Project is the U.S. organization that provides testing and labeling for absence or presence of GMO in products. The “Non-GMO Project Seal” certifies that the product contains 0.9% or less GMO ingredients.

    I’m going to skip ahead to talking about which vegetable crops are available in genetically modified varieties, because there are not many, and I’m not interested in worrying people! Then I’ll go into details.

    The Big Three GMO Crops in the US Edamame soy beans (soy for fresh eating). Not GMO.
    Photo Raddysh Acorn

    Soy, canola and corn are the three food crops in the US that are most likely to be genetically modified. Starting with corn (maize): 92% of all corn grown in the US is GMO. Of corn grown, only 1% is sweet corn. Of sweet corn grown in 2018, 10% is GMO. When you see a field of corn, it is almost certainly GMO, unless you are looking at an Organic farm.

    What is field corn? “Corn (such as dent corn or flint corn) with starchy kernels that are used especially as livestock feed or processed into food products (such as cornmeal, corn oil, and corn syrup) or ethanol,” (Merriam Webster). Of the field corn in the US, 40% goes to make ethanol for vehicle fuels, 40% goes to livestock feed, and 20% goes into processed foods for humans.

    In 2000, GM StarLink corn was recalled, when over 300 different food products were found to contain a genetically modified corn that had not been approved for human consumption (only animal feed). It was the first recall of a genetically modified food.

    What about wheat? Farmers have shown a distinct preference for not growing GMO wheat. This is because much of the wheat grown in the US is for export, and people in many other countries refuse to eat GMOs.

    Which Other Vegetables Might be GM?

    Here is a 2013 article published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology. “Genetically modified foods: safety, risks and public concerns—a review” by A. S. Bawa and K. R. Anilakumar

    There are only a few vegetables that have any GMO varieties. Some have been tried and failed. All vegetable seed is non-GMO unless labeled, and when purchasing GMO seed, you have to sign waivers. When searching on line, try various labels: genetically modified, GM, genetically engineered, GE, transgenic.

    Gentry yellow squash in our hoophouse in late May. Not GMO
    Photo Pam DawlingSummer Squash and Zucchini

    To avoid zucchini yellow mosaic virus and watermelon mottle virus in summer squash and zucchini, GM varieties were created, starting in 1995. When I researched GM squash varieties in July 2017 for an article I wrote, I found mention of ten summer squash and zucchini, but now there seem to be fewer. On the Bayer/Seminis website for their squash varieties, in 2017, these all helpfully had a “B” icon (Biotech). The names sound like B-movies: Conqueror III, Destiny III, Liberator III, Patriot II, Prelude II, XPT1832 III yellow squash and Judgement III, Justice III, SV0474YG, SV6009YG zucchini. The website has been updated, as have the variety offerings, and they are less prominently labeled. ZW-20 virus-resistant yellow crookneck squash is a current transgenic line.

    In 2005, about 13% of the zucchini grown in the USA was genetically modified to resist three viruses; the zucchini is also grown in Canada (Johnson 2008).

    Mexican researchers in 2004 wrote a paper Assessing the risk of releasing transgenic Cucurbita spp. in Mexico. Localities with native wild relatives of transgenic squash were at risk of the greatest trouble from cross pollination. The genetic legacy of ancient squash lineages was at risk. Gene flow between crops and their wild relatives was widely documented. The authors urged much caution about where and when GMO squash should be permitted.

    GM squash also poses a risk that its virus genes or the proteins they produce could interact with other viruses to produce new diseases. And, as with any genetically engineered crop, the squash poses the risk that its new genes might cause it to spread and become difficult to control.

    Sugar Beets

    The USA extracts 90 % of its sugar “needs” from US-grown sugar beet and sugarcane. Of the domestically grown sugar, half comes from sugar beet, and half from sugarcane. After deregulation in 2005, sugar beet resistant to glyphosate (RoundUp) was extensively adopted in the USA. 95% of sugar beets grown in the US are GM. The sugar produced from GM sugar beets is highly refined and contains no DNA or protein—it is just sucrose. In 2008, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), a division of the USDA, performed a court-ordered environmental review of the modified seed and announced that there was no risk to other crops such as beets (beetroot) for fresh eating and pickling, or related crops such as Swiss chard.

    Hawaiian Papayas

    Since 2010, at least 80% of papayas grown in Hawaii are GM, to get around the devastating problem of papaya ringspot virus.

     

    Jubilee tomato in our hoophouse in early June. Not GMO
    Photo Pam DawlingThe ‘Flavr Savr’ Tomato

    Consumers in the northern regions of the U.S. rely on tomatoes shipped in from the South if they want fresh tomatoes beyond the summer. To survive shipping, tomatoes are picked at the “mature-green” stage. They have already absorbed all the vitamins and nutrients from the plant that they can, but have not started to ripen. To ripen the green tomatoes, they spend 3 to 4 days in rooms where ethylene gas is released, and are then shipped at temperatures not lower than 50 degrees, to preserve what flavor they have.  These tomatoes are probably still a few days away from being ripe.

    Calgene, a biotechnology company, developed a tomato with a gene that slows the softening process that happens with ripening. Pectin gives tomatoes their firmness. The pectin in ripening tomatoes becomes naturally degraded by an enzyme and the fruits soften, making them difficult to ship.

    The scientists “reversed” the tomato softening gene and reintroduced it into the plants. Reducing that enzyme in tomatoes slows cell wall breakdown and keeps the fruit firmer for longer. In order to tell if their “Flavr Savr” gene was successfully inside the plants, scientists attached a gene that makes plants resistant to the antibiotic kanamycin. By exposing the plants to kanamycin, they could tell which plants had accepted the Flavr Savr gene. Once in a tomato plant, the Flavr Savr gene attaches itself to the gene activating the softening enzyme. When the Flavr Savr gene is there, the “softening” gene cannot give the necessary signals to produce the enzyme that destroys pectin.

    Production of the Flavr Savr stopped in 1997. Production costs were too high, and consumers did not find a benefit. See Whatever Happened to the Flavr Savr Genetically-Engineered Tomato

    A ladybug on a potato leaf, looking for pests to eat. Ladybug larvae eat eggs such as Colorado Potato Beetle eggs. Not GMO
    Photo Kathryn SimmonsNewLeaf (and other GM) Potatoes

     The NewLeaf GM potato was brought to market by Monsanto in the late 1990s. It was developed incorporating Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) bacteria to kill Colorado potato beetles. The target audience of fast food retailers rejected it and food processors ran into export problems. It was withdrawn from the market in 2001.

    In 1998, a safety study (Ewen and Pusztai 1999) of GM potatoes with incorporated snowdrop bulb lectin (GNA) gene (Lectin acts as an insecticide), showed significant changes in the intestines of rats fed GM potatoes. The tested potatoes were not a commercial variety and not intended for human consumption, but the public were alarmed.

    In 2010 Amflora was developed by BASF Plant Science for production of pure amylopectin starch for manufacturing waxy potato starch. It was approved for industrial use in the European Union in 2010, but was withdrawn in January 2012 due to rejection by farmers and consumers.

    In 2011, BASF requested approval for its Fortuna potato as feed and food. The potato was made resistant to late blight by adding resistant genes that originate in the Mexican wild potato Solanum bulbocastanum. In February 2013, BASF withdrew its application.

    In 2014, the USDA approved a GM potato type, Innate, developed by the J. R. Simplot Company that contained 10 genetic modifications that prevent bruising and produce less (carcinogenic) acrylamide when fried. The modification uses RNA interference (deactivating genes already present), rather than introducing genetic material from other plants or animals. Ranger Russet, Russet Burbank, and Atlantic potatoes are examples of varieties using this technology. McDonald’s announced that they have ruled out using Innate.

    In 2017 scientists in Bangladesh developed a GM variety of potato resistant to late blight.

    Arctic Apples

    In February 2015 Arctic Apples became the first GM apple approved for sale in the US. RNA interference is used to reduce the activity of polyphenol oxidase, preventing the fruit from browning.

    Mushrooms

    In April 2016, a white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus), genetically modified using the CRISPR technique, received the go-ahead, as the USDA considers it exempt because the editing process did not involve the introduction of foreign DNA, just deletion from a gene coding for an enzyme that causes browning, reducing the level of that enzyme by 30%.

     The Problems with GMOs

    When GM varieties are planted on a commercial scale, resistant weeds and pests can evolve. The emergence of resistant insects can negate the effects of a Bt GMO. Also, if herbicide spraying becomes more frequent on herbicide-tolerant GMO varieties, weeds can develop resistance to the herbicide. This can cause an increase in herbicide use or an increase in the amount and types of herbicides used on crop plants. It is not a coincidence that herbicide producers are behind this research.

    Further investigation is needed to learn if residues from herbicide- or pest-resistant plants could harm soil organisms. Another uncertainty is whether the pest-resistance of GE crops can cross to related weeds, creating resistant weeds. Possibly insect-resistant plants can cause increased death rates to one specific pest, decreasing competition and allowing previously minor pests to become a major problem. Also, it could cause the pests to move to another plant that had been unthreatened. A study of Bt crops showed that beneficial insects are also exposed to harmful quantities of Bt. It is possible for the effects to reach further up the food chain to affect crops and animals eaten by humans.

    It is possible that virus-resistance can lead to new viruses and new diseases emerging. Naturally occurring viruses can recombine with viral fragments, forming new viruses.

    The main concerns about adverse effects of GM foods on human health are the transfer of antibiotic resistance, toxicity and abnormal immune responses. A known allergen may transfer from a GM crop into a non-allergenic crop and create a new allergen. Patients allergic to Brazil nuts and not to soybeans showed an allergic response towards GM soybeans.

      A Law on our Side

    In January 2022 the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard became mandatory. The new Standard requires food manufacturers, importers, and other entities that label foods for retail sale to disclose information about BE food and BE food ingredients. This rule is intended to provide a uniform national standard for providing information to consumers about the BE status of foods. The Final Rule was published in December 2018

     

    Bioengineered Food symbol

    The BE Food Disclosure must be placed on either the main information panel on the label, or an alternate panel “likely to be seen by a consumer under ordinary shopping conditions.” For bulk foods, retailers are responsible for displaying the BE food disclosure on or near the bulk item. Now you know what to look for!

  • Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Garlic in Nevada (2022 Guide)
    25 May 2022

    Are you growing garlic in Nevada, but don’t know when the best time to harvest them is?

    Harvesting garlic is not as easy as it seems.

    Here’s why:

    • Garlic have a very short window when they can be harvested and still taste great.

    So if you harvest them too early they may not be ready and taste bad. And if you harvest them too late they may become infected with mold, fungus, insects, etc., and become inedible.

    Today, I’m going to teach you the ideal time to harvest garlic in Nevada:

    • To Learn More About HOW to Grow Garlic, Check Out This GUIDE!
    When Do I Harvest Garlic in Nevada?

    As you may have already guessed, there are two main factors that determine when you should harvest your garlic: the physical features of the garlic & weather (time).

    Harvest Garlic if They Look Like This!!!

    The physical features of garlic are what most gardeners commonly rely on to determine if they are ready to be picked off the plant or not.

    In general, you should harvest garlic if they have the following physical features:

    • The entire garlic is a solid red color. If the garlic is a lighter shade of red, it is not ready to be harvested
    • The garlic is slightly soft. Too hard means it is not ready. Too soft means it is overripe (but still edible)
    • Easily able to be deattached from the the plant. This means it has absorbed all the nutrients it needs and is ready.
    Harvest Your Garlic During THIS Time of Year!!!

    In general, you should harvest garlic:

    • 65 to 85 days after starting garlic from seed
    • 40 to 50 days after planting garlic in your garden
    • 20 to 30 days after garlic first appear

    And no matter what, you should ALWAYS harvest your garlic before the first frost of the year. Frost will immediately kill your garlic plant and make your garlic inedible.

    For your reference, I have created this table for average frost dates for most major cities in Nevada. If your city is not listed below you can find its Last & First Frost Dates HERE.

    Nevada Last & First Frost Dates

    It should be noted that you should not overly rely on the first frost of the year. The average first frost of the year is only correct 30% of the time.

    Instead, pay close attention to your local weather.

    When you know a frost is coming you need to take action.

    • If garlic are in pots, bring them inside
    • If garlic are in the ground, cover them in burlap and hope they survive
    • Pick all garlic. If they are not ready, place them in a brown paper bag and store them for approximately 1 to 2 weeks to see if they become edible.

    If you want to learn WHEN to harvest ANY Vegetable in Nevada, head over to HERE and just type in the vegetable you want to grow.

    The post Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Garlic in Nevada (2022 Guide) appeared first on The Gardening Dad.

  • Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Zucchini in Nevada (2022 Guide)
    25 May 2022

    Are you growing zucchini in Nevada, but don’t know when the best time to harvest them is?

    Harvesting zucchini is not as easy as it seems.

    Here’s why:

    • Zucchini have a very short window when they can be harvested and still taste great.

    So if you harvest them too early they may not be ready and taste bad. And if you harvest them too late they may become infected with mold, fungus, insects, etc., and become inedible.

    Today, I’m going to teach you the ideal time to harvest zucchini in Nevada:

    • To Learn More About HOW to Grow Zucchini, Check Out This GUIDE!
    When Do I Harvest Zucchini in Nevada?

    As you may have already guessed, there are two main factors that determine when you should harvest your zucchini: the physical features of the zucchini & weather (time).

    Harvest Zucchini if They Look Like This!!!

    The physical features of zucchini are what most gardeners commonly rely on to determine if they are ready to be picked off the plant or not.

    In general, you should harvest zucchini if they have the following physical features:

    • The entire zucchini is a solid red color. If the zucchini is a lighter shade of red, it is not ready to be harvested
    • The zucchini is slightly soft. Too hard means it is not ready. Too soft means it is overripe (but still edible)
    • Easily able to be deattached from the the plant. This means it has absorbed all the nutrients it needs and is ready.
    Harvest Your Zucchini During THIS Time of Year!!!

    In general, you should harvest zucchini:

    • 65 to 85 days after starting zucchini from seed
    • 40 to 50 days after planting zucchini in your garden
    • 20 to 30 days after zucchini first appear

    And no matter what, you should ALWAYS harvest your zucchini before the first frost of the year. Frost will immediately kill your zucchini plant and make your zucchini inedible.

    For your reference, I have created this table for average frost dates for most major cities in Nevada. If your city is not listed below you can find its Last & First Frost Dates HERE.

    Nevada Last & First Frost Dates

    It should be noted that you should not overly rely on the first frost of the year. The average first frost of the year is only correct 30% of the time.

    Instead, pay close attention to your local weather.

    When you know a frost is coming you need to take action.

    • If zucchini are in pots, bring them inside
    • If zucchini are in the ground, cover them in burlap and hope they survive
    • Pick all zucchini. If they are not ready, place them in a brown paper bag and store them for approximately 1 to 2 weeks to see if they become edible.

    If you want to learn WHEN to harvest ANY Vegetable in Nevada, head over to HERE and just type in the vegetable you want to grow.

    The post Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Zucchini in Nevada (2022 Guide) appeared first on The Gardening Dad.

  • Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Amaranth in Nevada (2022 Guide)
    25 May 2022

    Are you growing amaranth in Nevada, but don’t know when the best time to harvest them is?

    Harvesting amaranth is not as easy as it seems.

    Here’s why:

    • Amaranth have a very short window when they can be harvested and still taste great.

    So if you harvest them too early they may not be ready and taste bad. And if you harvest them too late they may become infected with mold, fungus, insects, etc., and become inedible.

    Today, I’m going to teach you the ideal time to harvest amaranth in Nevada:

    • To Learn More About HOW to Grow Amaranth, Check Out This GUIDE!
    When Do I Harvest Amaranth in Nevada?

    As you may have already guessed, there are two main factors that determine when you should harvest your amaranth: the physical features of the amaranth & weather (time).

    Harvest Amaranth if They Look Like This!!!

    The physical features of amaranth are what most gardeners commonly rely on to determine if they are ready to be picked off the plant or not.

    In general, you should harvest amaranth if they have the following physical features:

    • The entire amaranth is a solid red color. If the amaranth is a lighter shade of red, it is not ready to be harvested
    • The amaranth is slightly soft. Too hard means it is not ready. Too soft means it is overripe (but still edible)
    • Easily able to be deattached from the the plant. This means it has absorbed all the nutrients it needs and is ready.
    Harvest Your Amaranth During THIS Time of Year!!!

    In general, you should harvest amaranth:

    • 65 to 85 days after starting amaranth from seed
    • 40 to 50 days after planting amaranth in your garden
    • 20 to 30 days after amaranth first appear

    And no matter what, you should ALWAYS harvest your amaranth before the first frost of the year. Frost will immediately kill your amaranth plant and make your amaranth inedible.

    For your reference, I have created this table for average frost dates for most major cities in Nevada. If your city is not listed below you can find its Last & First Frost Dates HERE.

    Nevada Last & First Frost Dates

    It should be noted that you should not overly rely on the first frost of the year. The average first frost of the year is only correct 30% of the time.

    Instead, pay close attention to your local weather.

    When you know a frost is coming you need to take action.

    • If amaranth are in pots, bring them inside
    • If amaranth are in the ground, cover them in burlap and hope they survive
    • Pick all amaranth. If they are not ready, place them in a brown paper bag and store them for approximately 1 to 2 weeks to see if they become edible.

    If you want to learn WHEN to harvest ANY Vegetable in Nevada, head over to HERE and just type in the vegetable you want to grow.

    The post Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Amaranth in Nevada (2022 Guide) appeared first on The Gardening Dad.

  • Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Turmeric in Nevada (2022 Guide)
    25 May 2022

    Are you growing turmeric in Nevada, but don’t know when the best time to harvest them is?

    Harvesting turmeric is not as easy as it seems.

    Here’s why:

    • Turmeric have a very short window when they can be harvested and still taste great.

    So if you harvest them too early they may not be ready and taste bad. And if you harvest them too late they may become infected with mold, fungus, insects, etc., and become inedible.

    Today, I’m going to teach you the ideal time to harvest turmeric in Nevada:

    • To Learn More About HOW to Grow Turmeric, Check Out This GUIDE!
    When Do I Harvest Turmeric in Nevada?

    As you may have already guessed, there are two main factors that determine when you should harvest your turmeric: the physical features of the turmeric & weather (time).

    Harvest Turmeric if They Look Like This!!!

    The physical features of turmeric are what most gardeners commonly rely on to determine if they are ready to be picked off the plant or not.

    In general, you should harvest turmeric if they have the following physical features:

    • The entire turmeric is a solid red color. If the turmeric is a lighter shade of red, it is not ready to be harvested
    • The turmeric is slightly soft. Too hard means it is not ready. Too soft means it is overripe (but still edible)
    • Easily able to be deattached from the the plant. This means it has absorbed all the nutrients it needs and is ready.
    Harvest Your Turmeric During THIS Time of Year!!!

    In general, you should harvest turmeric:

    • 65 to 85 days after starting turmeric from seed
    • 40 to 50 days after planting turmeric in your garden
    • 20 to 30 days after turmeric first appear

    And no matter what, you should ALWAYS harvest your turmeric before the first frost of the year. Frost will immediately kill your turmeric plant and make your turmeric inedible.

    For your reference, I have created this table for average frost dates for most major cities in Nevada. If your city is not listed below you can find its Last & First Frost Dates HERE.

    Nevada Last & First Frost Dates

    It should be noted that you should not overly rely on the first frost of the year. The average first frost of the year is only correct 30% of the time.

    Instead, pay close attention to your local weather.

    When you know a frost is coming you need to take action.

    • If turmeric are in pots, bring them inside
    • If turmeric are in the ground, cover them in burlap and hope they survive
    • Pick all turmeric. If they are not ready, place them in a brown paper bag and store them for approximately 1 to 2 weeks to see if they become edible.

    If you want to learn WHEN to harvest ANY Vegetable in Nevada, head over to HERE and just type in the vegetable you want to grow.

    The post Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Turmeric in Nevada (2022 Guide) appeared first on The Gardening Dad.

  • Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Pumpkins in Nevada (2022 Guide)
    25 May 2022

    Are you growing pumpkins in Nevada, but don’t know when the best time to harvest them is?

    Harvesting pumpkins is not as easy as it seems.

    Here’s why:

    • Pumpkins have a very short window when they can be harvested and still taste great.

    So if you harvest them too early they may not be ready and taste bad. And if you harvest them too late they may become infected with mold, fungus, insects, etc., and become inedible.

    Today, I’m going to teach you the ideal time to harvest pumpkins in Nevada:

    • To Learn More About HOW to Grow Pumpkins, Check Out This GUIDE!
    When Do I Harvest Pumpkins in Nevada?

    As you may have already guessed, there are two main factors that determine when you should harvest your pumpkins: the physical features of the pumpkins & weather (time).

    Harvest Pumpkins if They Look Like This!!!

    The physical features of pumpkins are what most gardeners commonly rely on to determine if they are ready to be picked off the plant or not.

    In general, you should harvest pumpkins if they have the following physical features:

    • The entire pumpkins is a solid red color. If the pumpkins is a lighter shade of red, it is not ready to be harvested
    • The pumpkins is slightly soft. Too hard means it is not ready. Too soft means it is overripe (but still edible)
    • Easily able to be deattached from the the plant. This means it has absorbed all the nutrients it needs and is ready.
    Harvest Your Pumpkins During THIS Time of Year!!!

    In general, you should harvest pumpkins:

    • 65 to 85 days after starting pumpkins from seed
    • 40 to 50 days after planting pumpkins in your garden
    • 20 to 30 days after pumpkins first appear

    And no matter what, you should ALWAYS harvest your pumpkins before the first frost of the year. Frost will immediately kill your pumpkins plant and make your pumpkins inedible.

    For your reference, I have created this table for average frost dates for most major cities in Nevada. If your city is not listed below you can find its Last & First Frost Dates HERE.

    Nevada Last & First Frost Dates

    It should be noted that you should not overly rely on the first frost of the year. The average first frost of the year is only correct 30% of the time.

    Instead, pay close attention to your local weather.

    When you know a frost is coming you need to take action.

    • If pumpkins are in pots, bring them inside
    • If pumpkins are in the ground, cover them in burlap and hope they survive
    • Pick all pumpkins. If they are not ready, place them in a brown paper bag and store them for approximately 1 to 2 weeks to see if they become edible.

    If you want to learn WHEN to harvest ANY Vegetable in Nevada, head over to HERE and just type in the vegetable you want to grow.

    The post Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Pumpkins in Nevada (2022 Guide) appeared first on The Gardening Dad.

  • Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Peas in Nevada (2022 Guide)
    25 May 2022

    Are you growing peas in Nevada, but don’t know when the best time to harvest them is?

    Harvesting peas is not as easy as it seems.

    Here’s why:

    • Peas have a very short window when they can be harvested and still taste great.

    So if you harvest them too early they may not be ready and taste bad. And if you harvest them too late they may become infected with mold, fungus, insects, etc., and become inedible.

    Today, I’m going to teach you the ideal time to harvest peas in Nevada:

    • To Learn More About HOW to Grow Peas, Check Out This GUIDE!
    When Do I Harvest Peas in Nevada?

    As you may have already guessed, there are two main factors that determine when you should harvest your peas: the physical features of the peas & weather (time).

    Harvest Peas if They Look Like This!!!

    The physical features of peas are what most gardeners commonly rely on to determine if they are ready to be picked off the plant or not.

    In general, you should harvest peas if they have the following physical features:

    • The entire peas is a solid red color. If the peas is a lighter shade of red, it is not ready to be harvested
    • The peas is slightly soft. Too hard means it is not ready. Too soft means it is overripe (but still edible)
    • Easily able to be deattached from the the plant. This means it has absorbed all the nutrients it needs and is ready.
    Harvest Your Peas During THIS Time of Year!!!

    In general, you should harvest peas:

    • 65 to 85 days after starting peas from seed
    • 40 to 50 days after planting peas in your garden
    • 20 to 30 days after peas first appear

    And no matter what, you should ALWAYS harvest your peas before the first frost of the year. Frost will immediately kill your peas plant and make your peas inedible.

    For your reference, I have created this table for average frost dates for most major cities in Nevada. If your city is not listed below you can find its Last & First Frost Dates HERE.

    Nevada Last & First Frost Dates

    It should be noted that you should not overly rely on the first frost of the year. The average first frost of the year is only correct 30% of the time.

    Instead, pay close attention to your local weather.

    When you know a frost is coming you need to take action.

    • If peas are in pots, bring them inside
    • If peas are in the ground, cover them in burlap and hope they survive
    • Pick all peas. If they are not ready, place them in a brown paper bag and store them for approximately 1 to 2 weeks to see if they become edible.

    If you want to learn WHEN to harvest ANY Vegetable in Nevada, head over to HERE and just type in the vegetable you want to grow.

    The post Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Peas in Nevada (2022 Guide) appeared first on The Gardening Dad.

  • Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Eggplant in Nevada (2022 Guide)
    25 May 2022

    Are you growing eggplant in Nevada, but don’t know when the best time to harvest them is?

    Harvesting eggplant is not as easy as it seems.

    Here’s why:

    • Eggplant have a very short window when they can be harvested and still taste great.

    So if you harvest them too early they may not be ready and taste bad. And if you harvest them too late they may become infected with mold, fungus, insects, etc., and become inedible.

    Today, I’m going to teach you the ideal time to harvest eggplant in Nevada:

    • To Learn More About HOW to Grow Eggplant, Check Out This GUIDE!
    When Do I Harvest Eggplant in Nevada?

    As you may have already guessed, there are two main factors that determine when you should harvest your eggplant: the physical features of the eggplant & weather (time).

    Harvest Eggplant if They Look Like This!!!

    The physical features of eggplant are what most gardeners commonly rely on to determine if they are ready to be picked off the plant or not.

    In general, you should harvest eggplant if they have the following physical features:

    • The entire eggplant is a solid red color. If the eggplant is a lighter shade of red, it is not ready to be harvested
    • The eggplant is slightly soft. Too hard means it is not ready. Too soft means it is overripe (but still edible)
    • Easily able to be deattached from the the plant. This means it has absorbed all the nutrients it needs and is ready.
    Harvest Your Eggplant During THIS Time of Year!!!

    In general, you should harvest eggplant:

    • 65 to 85 days after starting eggplant from seed
    • 40 to 50 days after planting eggplant in your garden
    • 20 to 30 days after eggplant first appear

    And no matter what, you should ALWAYS harvest your eggplant before the first frost of the year. Frost will immediately kill your eggplant plant and make your eggplant inedible.

    For your reference, I have created this table for average frost dates for most major cities in Nevada. If your city is not listed below you can find its Last & First Frost Dates HERE.

    Nevada Last & First Frost Dates

    It should be noted that you should not overly rely on the first frost of the year. The average first frost of the year is only correct 30% of the time.

    Instead, pay close attention to your local weather.

    When you know a frost is coming you need to take action.

    • If eggplant are in pots, bring them inside
    • If eggplant are in the ground, cover them in burlap and hope they survive
    • Pick all eggplant. If they are not ready, place them in a brown paper bag and store them for approximately 1 to 2 weeks to see if they become edible.

    If you want to learn WHEN to harvest ANY Vegetable in Nevada, head over to HERE and just type in the vegetable you want to grow.

    The post Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Eggplant in Nevada (2022 Guide) appeared first on The Gardening Dad.

  • Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Watercress in Nevada (2022 Guide)
    25 May 2022

    Are you growing watercress in Nevada, but don’t know when the best time to harvest them is?

    Harvesting watercress is not as easy as it seems.

    Here’s why:

    • Watercress have a very short window when they can be harvested and still taste great.

    So if you harvest them too early they may not be ready and taste bad. And if you harvest them too late they may become infected with mold, fungus, insects, etc., and become inedible.

    Today, I’m going to teach you the ideal time to harvest watercress in Nevada:

    • To Learn More About HOW to Grow Watercress, Check Out This GUIDE!
    When Do I Harvest Watercress in Nevada?

    As you may have already guessed, there are two main factors that determine when you should harvest your watercress: the physical features of the watercress & weather (time).

    Harvest Watercress if They Look Like This!!!

    The physical features of watercress are what most gardeners commonly rely on to determine if they are ready to be picked off the plant or not.

    In general, you should harvest watercress if they have the following physical features:

    • The entire watercress is a solid red color. If the watercress is a lighter shade of red, it is not ready to be harvested
    • The watercress is slightly soft. Too hard means it is not ready. Too soft means it is overripe (but still edible)
    • Easily able to be deattached from the the plant. This means it has absorbed all the nutrients it needs and is ready.
    Harvest Your Watercress During THIS Time of Year!!!

    In general, you should harvest watercress:

    • 65 to 85 days after starting watercress from seed
    • 40 to 50 days after planting watercress in your garden
    • 20 to 30 days after watercress first appear

    And no matter what, you should ALWAYS harvest your watercress before the first frost of the year. Frost will immediately kill your watercress plant and make your watercress inedible.

    For your reference, I have created this table for average frost dates for most major cities in Nevada. If your city is not listed below you can find its Last & First Frost Dates HERE.

    Nevada Last & First Frost Dates

    It should be noted that you should not overly rely on the first frost of the year. The average first frost of the year is only correct 30% of the time.

    Instead, pay close attention to your local weather.

    When you know a frost is coming you need to take action.

    • If watercress are in pots, bring them inside
    • If watercress are in the ground, cover them in burlap and hope they survive
    • Pick all watercress. If they are not ready, place them in a brown paper bag and store them for approximately 1 to 2 weeks to see if they become edible.

    If you want to learn WHEN to harvest ANY Vegetable in Nevada, head over to HERE and just type in the vegetable you want to grow.

    The post Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Watercress in Nevada (2022 Guide) appeared first on The Gardening Dad.

  • Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Cucumbers in Nevada (2022 Guide)
    25 May 2022

    Are you growing cucumbers in Nevada, but don’t know when the best time to harvest them is?

    Harvesting cucumbers is not as easy as it seems.

    Here’s why:

    • Cucumbers have a very short window when they can be harvested and still taste great.

    So if you harvest them too early they may not be ready and taste bad. And if you harvest them too late they may become infected with mold, fungus, insects, etc., and become inedible.

    Today, I’m going to teach you the ideal time to harvest cucumbers in Nevada:

    • To Learn More About HOW to Grow Cucumbers, Check Out This GUIDE!
    When Do I Harvest Cucumbers in Nevada?

    As you may have already guessed, there are two main factors that determine when you should harvest your cucumbers: the physical features of the cucumbers & weather (time).

    Harvest Cucumbers if They Look Like This!!!

    The physical features of cucumbers are what most gardeners commonly rely on to determine if they are ready to be picked off the plant or not.

    In general, you should harvest cucumbers if they have the following physical features:

    • The entire cucumbers is a solid red color. If the cucumbers is a lighter shade of red, it is not ready to be harvested
    • The cucumbers is slightly soft. Too hard means it is not ready. Too soft means it is overripe (but still edible)
    • Easily able to be deattached from the the plant. This means it has absorbed all the nutrients it needs and is ready.
    Harvest Your Cucumbers During THIS Time of Year!!!

    In general, you should harvest cucumbers:

    • 65 to 85 days after starting cucumbers from seed
    • 40 to 50 days after planting cucumbers in your garden
    • 20 to 30 days after cucumbers first appear

    And no matter what, you should ALWAYS harvest your cucumbers before the first frost of the year. Frost will immediately kill your cucumbers plant and make your cucumbers inedible.

    For your reference, I have created this table for average frost dates for most major cities in Nevada. If your city is not listed below you can find its Last & First Frost Dates HERE.

    Nevada Last & First Frost Dates

    It should be noted that you should not overly rely on the first frost of the year. The average first frost of the year is only correct 30% of the time.

    Instead, pay close attention to your local weather.

    When you know a frost is coming you need to take action.

    • If cucumbers are in pots, bring them inside
    • If cucumbers are in the ground, cover them in burlap and hope they survive
    • Pick all cucumbers. If they are not ready, place them in a brown paper bag and store them for approximately 1 to 2 weeks to see if they become edible.

    If you want to learn WHEN to harvest ANY Vegetable in Nevada, head over to HERE and just type in the vegetable you want to grow.

    The post Here is the BEST Time to Harvest Cucumbers in Nevada (2022 Guide) appeared first on The Gardening Dad.

Flower Gardening blogs

Flower Gardening Blogs

26 May 2022

Flower Gardening Blogs Flower Gardening Blogs
  • Growing ‘White Explosion’ Daffodils for the First Time
    26 May 2022

    Since beginning my collection of backyard daffodils, a true double white variety was one which I was truly missing. In my effort to find a nice pure white flower, I decided to try growing 'White Explosion' daffodil. After one season in the garden, I am so incredibly pleased with their addition. When the 'White Explosion'…Continue…

    The post Growing ‘White Explosion’ Daffodils for the First Time appeared first on .

  • Attract More Butterflies With Fuzzy Flowers
    26 May 2022
    Monarch butterfly on fuzzy liatris flowers

    Every time I steam an artichoke for supper, I think about butterflies. Our fluttery friends can’t resist thistle flowers. And an artichoke is nothing but a giant thistle. I guess I must be a slow learner, because I never even realized I was eating a flower bud until I saw an artichoke in full bloom. It looked like a thistle on steroids. But it was right in the middle of a neighbor’s carefully planned garden, where I knew she’d never allow a thistle to grow. The bold, spiny-leafed plant, as tall as me, was a real standout among the softer, mounded perennials. But what really made me drool were all of the butterflies dancing all around the fuzzy flower.

    Plants in the thistle family attract many butterflies, including swallowtails.

    Until I saw that plant, I’d been patting myself on the back for attracting butterflies, but suddenly the dozen or so butterflies on my new patch of purple coneflowers and colorful zinnias didn’t seem as impressive My neighbor’s single artichoke plant was surrounded by more butterflies than I’d seen all summer. Monarchs, hairstreaks, painted ladies and other delicate butterflies behaved more like hungry dogs as they battled for perching rights on the fat, fuzzy flower blossoms.

    Check out 10 beautiful butterfly pictures you HAVE to see.

    Do Butterflies Like Daisies? Swallowtail butterfly on a purple coneflower with daisies in the background

    Although you’d never guess at first glance, those artichoke blossoms, and nearly all other fuzzy flower varieties that are great for attracting butterflies, are actually daisies—members of the same composite family, Asteraceae, as are my coneflowers and zinnias. Butterflies love daisies and related flowers, because the center “eye” is an all-you-can-eat meal of tiny florets. Instead of flying from flower to flower, a nectar seeker can just dip its proboscis into one floret after another. But fuzzy flowers are daisies with a difference.

    Fuzzy flowers like ironweed are great for attracting butterflies.

    Instead of the traditional “She loves me, she loves me not” arrangement, these flowers are packed from edge to edge with thin, soft, tubular florets. Down in those fuzzy flower tubes is sweet nectar, and a butterfly’s long proboscis is tailor-made for extracting it. It all adds up to easy eating, and butterflies respond like magic.

    Psst—here’s how to plant a caterpillar cafe in your butterfly garden.

    Swallowtails enjoying Joe Pye weed

    If you, too, want to revel in butterflies—and who doesn’t?—all you have to do is think fuzzy to tickle their fancy. If given the chance, the butterflies in your backyard often prefer fuzzy-centered blooms . There are ample blooms in each fuzzy flower head for them to feed at.

    Most fuzzy flowers bloom from summer into fall, when butterfly numbers are at their peak. That’s nature’s design—the flowers tempt butterflies in order to get pollinated.

    Plant these fuzzy flowers for butterflies in your own garden.

    Butterflies’ Fuzzy Flower Favorites Monarch butterfly on goldenrod
    • Ageratum: Light blue to periwinkle; annual
    • Anise Hyssop (Agastache foeniculum): Light blue to deep blue; tall, upright-branching perennial
    • Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum): White; perennial
    • Caryopteris: Light blue to powder blue; shrub
    • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Yellow; perennial
    • Gayfeather or Blazing star (Liatris): Pink-purple; perennial
    • Goldenrod (Solidago): Yellow; fast-spreading perennial
    • Hawkweed (Hieracium): Yellow or red-orange; often grows as a weed but lovely in a casual garden
    • Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium purpureum): Mauve or pinkish-purple; bold, large perennial with upright stems of whorled leaves
    • Mistflower (Hardy ageratum or Conoclinium coelestinum): Light blue; fast-spreading perennial
    • Rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus): Yellow; drought-tolerant, Western native shrub
    • Sedum: Pink to rose, white, yellow; succulent-leaved plants ranging from ground covers to clumping perennials
    • Sweet sultan (Centaurea moschata): Yellow, pink, purple, white; annual
    • Tassel flower (Emilia coccinea): Vivid red-orange; annual

    Next, discover the top 10 butterfly host plants to attract pollinators.

    The post Attract More Butterflies With Fuzzy Flowers appeared first on Birds and Blooms.

  • The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2022 – 5 Sensational Show Gardens
    25 May 2022

    Ahhh, it was good to be back at Chelsea in May. This year’s show gardens sparkled, embracing the headline brief of sustainability and naturalism. There was a great mix of style, plenty of substance and less evidence of the ‘over messaging’ that can sometimes kill a show garden dead. Don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of gardens with purpose, but that didn’t overwhelm them. Chelsea 2022 will go down as a return to form and perhaps lay the foundations for an even more exciting show next year.

    Chelsea’s gardens, 39 of them in all, are categorised as either Show Gardens (the largest and most expensive to build designs), Sanctuary Gardens (a little smaller but still impressive), Balcony Gardens, Container Gardens or a new class hosted in the Great Pavillion called All About Plants ….. more on these in a future post. They are all judged gardens that can be awarded medals ranging from bronze to gold. There are also Feature Gardens that are purely there for the enjoyment of visitors and not part of the competition. In this post, I focus on my pick of the showstoppers – the Show Gardens with the big names, high budgets and ambitions to change how we think, feel and garden.

    There were 13 Show Gardens in all this year. The winner of the top award – A Rewilding Britain Landscape – richly deserved the prize. If you read my previous post, you’ll note this was not one of my predictions for Best In Show and that’s why I am not a betting man. In fairness, this was a garden that one needed to see and experience first-hand to appreciate the skill and artistry that went into its creation.

    The designers and their teams have about three weeks to construct their gardens on-site: for a garden to look this settled in its plot is not only remarkable but breathtaking. Perhaps the wild, naturalistic style of Adam Hunt and Lulu Urqhart’s garden might not be what everyone wants at home, but you could not argue that it was not deeply evocative and wonderful to experience.

    This garden deserves a post of its own, but to summarise the idea, the designers chose to be inspired by the reintroduction of beavers into the British landscape. The garden represents a rewilded habitat in the South West of England, complete with a babbling brook, superb dry-stone walls, a rustic viewing hide and a dam constructed entirely of beaver-gnawed sticks. Approximately 3600 native and naturalised plants were grown for the garden, from mighty willows to tiny orchids. Not only beavers were welcome in this space but also voles, otters and the whole gamut of aquatic and insect life. A ‘soundscape’ was created to introduce us to unfamiliar sounds such as kingfishers piping, Muntjac deer calling and beavers playing, fighting and chewing. Perhaps this garden will increase the possibility of these sounds becoming more commonplace again. Hats off to Adam and Lulu for whom this was their first Chelsea garden. Beginners luck? I don’t think so.

    5 stand-out plants from A Rewilding Britain Landscape

    – Viburnum opulus – Guelder-rose
    – Symphytum uplandicum – Blue comfrey
    – Osmunda regalis – Royal fern
    – Digitalis purpurea – Foxglove
    – Dactylorhiza praetermissa – Southern marsh orchid

    Next, to the garden I thought might land Best In Show – Andy Sturgeon’s The Mind Garden for mental health charity Mind. I expected it to be excellent and it was – subtle, expressive and wonderfully planted. Andy’s gardens are always understated but also exacting in their standards and rich in the intensity of their planting. A designer so assured of himself needs no bells and whistles to stand out from the crowd.

    Andy’s garden was both austere and pretty, enveloping and freeing – contradictions that echo how it feels to struggle with one’s mental health when it can veer so quickly from one extreme to another, or when a situation can feel either comforting or unsettling depending on your state of mind. As you can see from my photographs, a series of sculptural, clay-rendered walls cascaded gently down from the highest point, at the end of the garden. Andy intended for them to look like a handful of petals tossed to the ground. Perhaps from above this is more evident, but structurally they formed some intriguing spaces and opportunities to set off individual plants to their best advantage. The walls created a series of small rooms and narrow passages before opening out to welcome visitors in. Benches for contemplation and conversation were fashioned from wind-blown oak and soothing water poured gently from ceramic spouts into small pools. The planting was designed to evoke an open woodland setting with vibrant meadow planting towards the edges. It was all very restrained, quietly lovely and deserving of a 9th gold medal for Andy in his final appearance on Chelsea’s Main Avenue. He will be much missed and leaves the bar set high for the next generation of designers.

    5 stand-out plants from The Mind Garden

    – Betula pendula – silver birch
    – Rosa glauca – red-leaved rose
    – Baptista ‘Dutch Chocolate’ – false indigo
    – Papaver somniferum ‘Lauren’s Grape’ – opium poppy
    – Stipa gigantea – golden oats

  • 8 Science-backed benefits of house plants
    25 May 2022

    It wouldn’t be wrong to say that ‘this is the age of house plants’ or as we more commonly call them – indoor plants. They are ruling our homes and our hearts with an ease that can only be associated with nature, as the famous English writer rightly said,

    “Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.”

    Gardening is not new; it is as old as humankind itself. The domestication of plants for food and survival began when our ancestors realised that certain plants could be grown in certain seasons for food. In 287 BC plants entered our homes in pots and planters and with scientific advancements came the understanding that certain plants can be grown al seasons inside our home – this marked the true beginning of the home gardening era.

    While most of us believe that plants make any space look more liveable and welcoming and it is true, that is not their only benefit. There are numerous physiological as well as psychological benefits of indoor plants. They not only improve our living conditions and mental and physical health, but they also boost creativity and improve focus.

    Researchers have conducted case studies across the globe to study the effects house plants have on the people and today there are science-backed proofs that indoor plants have the following benefits. Let’s take a look at the top eight science-backed benefits of growing indoor plants.

    1. House plants reduce stress and fatigue

    Do you remember how you felt on that vacation in the hills or if you have not been yet, the longing others vacation pictures inspire in you? That is what greenery or indoor plants do – they let our souls breathe.

    Science says that we have an innate instinct to connect with nature and it is termed as biophilia. As soon as we get close to nature that invisible tug loosens and we feel better. The Japanese believe in the age-old concept of Shinrin-yoku or ‘forest bathing,’ a 2010 study proved that people who regularly engaged in this had visibly lower stress levels, reduced BP, and led a more stress-free life. However, most of us spend 85% of our time indoors and forests are fast dwindling, so our answer lies in bringing the forest indoors in the form of indoor plants.

    Science has also proved that a soil bacteria, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of serotonin, the happy hormone, which improves mood and brain function. Which proves that the very act of gardening makes us happy and who does not miss childhood when playing in the soil made us the happiest.

    Some fatigue-reducing plants are Aglaonemas, Calathea, Anthuriums, and so on.

    1. House plants improve air quality

    NASA conducted one of the most pioneering studies to document the positive effect of indoor plants on air quality. The study proved that indoor plants not only produce fresh air but also eliminate indoor air toxins.

    Even if you live in the cleanest parts of the world, there are several sources of indoor air pollutants. Common household items like cleaning solutions, plywood furniture, dry cleaned clothes, wall paints, and craft supplies like colours and glue – all release volatile organic compounds in the air. Plants help eliminate these toxins from the air and in turn, give out clean oxygen-rich air.

    We spend more than 85% of our time indoors, so we should be equally worried about both indoor and outdoor pollution. While good air is the basic key to good health, it is more important for toddlers and senior citizens as they breathe in more air by volume throughout the day.

    Some of the best air purifying plants are sansevieria, areca palm, peace lily, and so on

    1. House plants boost productivity

    There are several studies that have concluded that plants in the workspace improve productivity of the people working. A 1996 study proves that students focus better and show and increase in productivity when plants are placed in their vicinity while working, they showed over 12% increase in productivity repeatedly.

    A 2004 study also documents the positive impact plants have on creativity and a study by the University of Michigan proposes that plants improve memory retention by over 20%. Plants also improve cognitive function and help in idea generation.

    Post-Covid, both the working population and the student population have grown psychologically averse to indoor spaces and productivity has taken a hit. Introducing plants to the study/worktable or the room breaks the monotony of the space and provide visual and psychological respite.

    Some plants that you can add to your work desk to improve productivity are Dracaena compacts, butterfly palm, jade dwarf, and so on.

    1. House plants reduce illnesses and speed up recovery

    Indoor plants not only beautify your space and provide psychological benefits but are also a key player in reducing allergies. A room with plants not only has lower dust levels but fewer air-borne pathogens and mould. Plant function as natural filter for allergens and pathogens and trap them through the leaves and soil both.

    One other way in which they reduce illnesses is by improving indoor humidity. Dry air causes irritation of the nasal passage making it more susceptible to allergies, clean humid indoor air not only soothes the nasal canal but also reduces the percentage of airborne allergens.

    The act of taking a bouquet of flowers to see a recovering patient in the hospital is not only a goodwill gesture but might have a deeper meaning. The presence of flowers and plants around recovering patients has been scientifically proven to reduce recovery time. The studies further propose that they help tolerate pain better and reduce dependence on meds much quicker.

    Some plants that help boost the health of recovering patients anthurium, philodendron, monstera, and so on.

    1. House plants improve mental and emotional health

    Several practicing therapists and researchers across the globe use garden or horticultural therapy to help patients dealing with anxiety, depression, schizophrenia, and dementia amongst many other mental issues. The patients have shown remarkable improvement in their mental health and promote a sense of well-being.

    It has already been discussed that daily interaction with plants helps reduce stress and blood pressure in people and add to this the positive impact has on daily mental health by preventing the stress of daily life to build into something bigger and catastrophic.

    There are several medical clinics across the globe that now prescribe gardening and potted plants as a solution to mental health issues. Nurturing a living plant helps lower anxiety, improve attention, and lessen the severity of depression. The physical benefits like better air and more oxygen also improves metal health.

    Almost all houseplants improve mental health, some very good examples are fittonia, fern, peperomia, and so on.

    1. House plants improve sleep

    One of the major cause for several of the health conditions that the current generation is suffering from arises from bad sleeping patterns. Inefficient sleep can be attributed to both stress and polluted indoor air.

    Presence of indoor plants helps reduce daily stress, lowers blood pressure, and provide cognitive relief from the monotony of indoor spaces. They also put us at ease by fulfilling our innate craving for green spaces (biophilia), all this then contributes to a more restful disposition when nights roll in.

    One other major factor is the air quality that affects our quality of sleep. Indoor plants purify air and eliminate VOCs to ensure better health that translates to sound sleep. There are certain plants that eliminate carbon-di-oxide and other pollutants from the air through the night and ensure that you get clean oxygen rich air while we sleep.

    some houseplants that help sleep better are peace lily, sansevieria, spider plant, and so on.

    1. House plants improve focus and attention

    In a study, researchers put together a closely monitored group of students in different rooms, each with no plants, fake plants, pictures of plants, and live plants. Brain scans of the test subjects showed increased brain function in participants with real plants. The results show almost a 30% increase in focus and attention.

    This can be attributed to the fact that indoor plants help regulate stress and blood pressure, improve focus with oxygen rich air and in general help people feel more at home.

    Foliage pattern plants are great for improving focus Calathea, Aglaonema, Pothos, and so on.

    1. House plants have medicinal benefits

    In our endeavour to outline all the dominant benefits of indoor plants, we cannot side line the first and most important benefit of indoor plants. Some of the earliest plants that were domesticated were for medicinal use. In the ancient Indian medical science of Ayurveda, plants hold the utmost importance. They not only talk about using common household herbs as remedies for common ailments, but also prescribes home grown food as medicine for longer healthier life.

    Common and easy to grow herbs like mint helps with stomach ailments, Tulsi helps with allergies, rosemary helps with fungal infections, magai paan is both a mouth freshener and a digestive, while plants like lemongrass and citronella keep bugs away.

    Food grown at home has the highest nutrient level and since we control what goes in the soil while it is growing, the food is of the highest quality. The farm to table experience not only guarantees nutrition but also eliminates wastage, as only the required amount is harvested on a day-to-day basis.

    Some common houseplants with medicinal benefits are aloevera, magai paan, mint, and so on.

    There are numerous benefits of growing indoor plants, apart from the ones mentioned in the preceding sections, and most of them can only be experienced and not explained. The changes are gradual, that slowly build up to a much more relaxed and fulfilling life, where no goal is too difficult to achieve and no stress is too big to sacrifice a good night’s sleepover.

    Getting plants home is one of the easiest and simplest things you can do as a long-term investment for your and your family’s health.

    Happy gardening!

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  • India: LG Manoj Sinha inaugurates Flower Show at Botanical Garden
    25 May 2022
    Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha today inaugurated Flower Show-2022, a platform for growers, at Botanical Garden, Cheshmashahi, Srinagar.    Speaking on the occasion, the Lt Governor reiterated the government’s commitment to promote commercial floriculture in Jammu and Kashmir, making it more remunerative, besides expanding…
  • Water-resistant paper brings plastic alternative
    25 May 2022
    Smurfit Kappa has developed water-resistant paper. AquaStop™ is part of Smurfit Kappa's new TechniPaper® portfolio, which consists of an array of papers designed to handle complex supply chains. The AquaStop paper is water-resistant, thanks to a special coating added to it during the manufacturing…
  • US: Florist received Local American Awards in three regions
    25 May 2022
    The American Rose Trials for Sustainability (A.R.T.S.) recently announced trial results for the 2023 season and Oso Easy Double Red landscape rose has earned Local Artist Awards in three regions. May 24, 2022 – Already the recipient of 10 awards overseas, Proven Winners ColorChoice Oso Easy Double Red®…
  • US (IL): The Gardens at Ball to take place in West Chicago
    25 May 2022
    Reserve your visit this summer to The Gardens at Ball in West Chicago, Ill., and experience the newest products for 2023 live and in-bloom. West Chicago, Illions, in May 2022: Ball Seed, North America’s leading horticultural distributor, is pleased to welcome visitors once again to The Gardens at Ball in…
  • Richbar Golf and Gardens is celebrating two important occasions
    25 May 2022
    This year, Richbar Golf and Gardens is celebrating two important occasions. The garden centre has reached its 65th year in business, and perhaps even more impressive co-founder Peter Josephy will turn 100 years old on June 30. The garden centre on Red Bluff Road, which now grows more than 600 varieties…
  • Crop scouting app for faster data collection
    25 May 2022
    These days – whether it's due to covid or other reasons – growers often have less staff at their farms. But when under pressure to deliver more with less, digitizing and expediating manual tasks is key to optimizing labor. The FarmRoad mobile app aims to streamline crop scouting and crop registration so…

Urban Gardening blogs

Urban Gardening Blogs

26 May 2022

Urban Gardening Blogs Urban Gardening Blogs
  • What I'm Teaching in Fall 2022
    25 May 2022

    Let me know if you have any questions or want help registering for the courses!

  • Mesquite Bean Harvesting
    25 May 2022
    Mesquite Bean Harvesting
    It’s (almost) time to pick mesquite

    by Farmer Greg


    In Arizona and the desert southwest we have some incredible things to eat in the desert like prickly pears, nopalitos, saguaro cactus fruit, ironwood, palo verde beans, and ‘the growing more popular every day’ mesquite bean. In a nutshell the mesquite bean is high in protein and fiber, harvest ready in the summer, and easy to pick and preserve for the highly anticipated mesquite bean millings.
    For those of you that are interested in the entire process, keep reading as I outline how to pick, process, preserve and mill your harvest of mesquite beans.  In June we will have online webinars with guest speakers providing mesquite education and harvesting information, and both Walkabouts (in-person classes discussing mesquite trees and beans) and Harvesting Events (in-person education and collection experiences).When to Harvest

    The best time to harvest mesquite (and carob for those that are adventurous) beans is usually late May and into June. Mesquite is native to the desert southwest and beans are thick in the trees during that time.  There are beans that ripen after June but for a variety of reasons it is best to get your beans harvested before the monsoons hit in early July.
    Given the beans need to be picked from the trees when the beans are dry there is a tight window to get them picked before they hit the ground. NEVER harvest beans from the ground as they can pick up aflatoxins and mold.  As a caveat any beans determined to be picked up off the ground will NOT be milled.

    Education & Public Millings

    GrowPHX regularly holds classes, picking & milling events in May and June of each year, so get your beans picked now to have time to get them dried and ready for milling.

    2022 Events Live Mesquite Chat Webinar – 6 pM
    • Tues. June 7 with Greg Peterson, Don Titmus, Peggy Sorensen, and Janis Norton – Register HERE (Coming soon)
    Walkabout & Harvesting Events – 8 aM 
    • Sat. June 18 at Rio Salado Park, in Tempe  – Register HERE  (Coming soon)
    • Sat. June 18 at Rio Vista Park, in Peoria – Register HERE  (Coming soon)
    • Sat. June 25 at Granada Park, in Phoenix – Register HERE  (Coming soon)
    Milling Appointments – 8 aM-2 pM
    • Standard Milling – Saturday, July 2 at Nursery Lot Warehouse – Register HERE
    • Bulk Milling – Friday, July 1 at Nursery Lot Warehouse – Register HERE
    How and why to mill mesquite

    Milling is a process by which the mesquite beans are pulverized into a protein-rich powder very similar to flour.  The entire bean is milled – the brown husk is where the flavor is and the hard seeds inside are protein rich. Mesquite is very tasty and can be used for cookies, breads, breading for meats, crackers (gluten free), as a seasoning, and in drinks like protein powder. It is really good and once you are hooked you won’t want to miss a year.
    Your first step to success with mesquite beans is to taste them.  Grab one of the beans from the tree, snap it in half and nibble on the end.  It should taste sweet and be very palatable.  If it doesn’t sing in your mouth, move on to the next tree.  Step two is to harvest handfuls off of the tree into a bucket (remember NO beans should come from the ground).  Step three will assure your milling success…stick them in your dehydrator, solar, or regular oven at 180 degrees to finish the drying process.  The dried beans should snap when you break them in half.  This helps significantly in the milling process as too much humidity = a gummed up hammermill.  Beans that are too wet cannot be milled.

    If you want to begin collecting the mesquite beans here are the specifics: Collecting the beans
    • Collect only dry beans.
    • Collect only beans that are on the trees (spread a sheet on the ground and shake the branches.) DO NOT collect beans from the bare ground as you don’t know what kind of pollutants or other contaminants have gotten on them.
    • Some crucial caveats:
      *Containers of beans presented for milling MUST contain only beans. Any beans presented that have stones, sticks, branches, or other debris CANNOT be milled. These other items damage the mill.
      *Beans soaked, damp or damaged by water cannot be milled. We will do a snap test to determine that they are dry enough.
      *Make sure that no pesticides are sprayed in the area where the beans are collected.
    • Once you collect the beans they need to be dried. We suggest using your solar oven, regular oven or dehydrator to lightly toast the them. This dries them out and kills any of the bugs that like to inhabit the beans.
    Solarizing/baking
    • To dry and to rid beans of bugs it is suggested that you heat the beans for a minimum of 2 hours at 160F to 180F. This dries the beans and kills any pests that might be inhabiting them.
    • Other baking options:
      • dehydrator
      • use a regular oven and add batches of beans when you cook other things
      • leave in car in sun for several day
    Storing until milling
    • Store the beans in airtight containers. Once you have dried the beans get airtight bags or we suggest 5 gallon buckets with airtight lids and store them.
    When you bring the beans for milling:
    • All beans milled are for home use.  If you want to collect for public distribution the mill may be for rent.
    • We will do a snap test. The bean needs to snap in half with a crack rather than bend. Any beans that bend cannot be milled as they can jam the mill and that slows everything down.
    • We may limit people to three five-gallon pails of beans, mainly if the turnout for the milling is so great we may have a hard time getting everyone through. We will do this as a starting point to make sure that everyone gets a chance to mill. Then toward the end of the day or in the case of gaps in the line we will allow others to mill their extra beans. Typically carob beans are milled at the end of the day.
    • You are encouraged to bring at least one 5-gallon pail to meet the milling minimum.
    • To support this process there will be a minimum $10 charge (donate more if you like) for milling.
    Milling Yield and other specifics
    • Generally speaking for each pound of beans you will get about 3/4 lbs. of milled flour.
    • In the store one pound of mesquite flour sells for $15+.
    • There will be a charge of $7.50 per pound of finished, milled beans with a minimum of $10 per order. This goes to pay for the mill and mill operations.
    • Flour should be frozen to preserve until use.
    • Carob milling also will be possible at end of day.
    Other Resources

    Here are interesting websites about the history and health benefits of mesquite that I recommend, and more about the mesquite mill that we brought to the valley:

    chetday.com/mesquiteflour.htm

    www.desertharvesters.org

    growphx.com/mesquite-milling-updates/

    UrbanFarm.org/mesquiteharves

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    The post Mesquite Bean Harvesting appeared first on The Urban Farm.

  • How to Encourage Edible Plant Growth - LIVE CONSULTATION [ LISTEN IN ]
    25 May 2022
  • JPFA 148th Workshop “The Latest Developments of Plant Factories in Europe”
    25 May 2022

    The Japan Plant Factory Association (JPFA) has announced to hold a workshop entitled “The Latest Developments of Plant Factories in Europe,” online on June 1, 2022, in English.

    The webinar will provide an overview of the European plant factory market as well as the latest business and research initiatives. Roel Janssen, the chief business officer at Planet Farms, will speak on “Planet Farms: Unlocking the true potential of CEA, with a sophisticated industrial approach to vertical farming, combined with Italian food quality.” Then, Pavlos Kalaitzoglou, the VP Science at Infarm, will share his view on the various research topics under the title “Infarm Crop Science – A trip through our research program and philosophy.” In addition to their talks, there will be a Q&A session/panel discussion with Eri Hayashi, Vice President of the JPFA.

    Registered participants in the workshop will also be allowed to view the recorded video, which does not contain its Q&A/panel discussion, anytime at their convenience later during a specified period. 

    The JPFA 148th workshop will take place on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, 9:00-10:30 am (CEST). 

    The recorded video can be watched from 6:00 am on Friday, June 3, until 6:00 am on Tuesday, June 14, 2022 (CEST).

    The workshop, comprising a live online seminar and a Q&A/panel discussion, is free of charge for JPFA members. Nonmembers are charged 5,000 YEN each.

    Anybody interested in JPFA’s upcoming workshop can apply from here. For more information, click here

    For the annual schedule of the JPFA workshops, click here.

    How to Become a JPFA Member
    Apply for JPFA membership here

    For more information
    Japan Plant Factory Association
    E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    www.npoplantfactory.org/en/
    https://npoplantfactory.org/information/study

    Japan Plant Factory Association

    The Japan Plant Factory Association, a nonprofit organization with over 200 members in Japan and abroad, is devoted to advancing the plant factory industry and controlled-environment agriculture in and outside Japan through academia-industry collaborations. The JPFA oversees plant factories on the Chiba University Kashiwanoha campus in Kashiwa, northeast of Tokyo. Also, it works on about 20 R&D projects and runs workshops and training courses.

  • How do You Care for Calathea Ornata (Pinstripe Plant Care)
    25 May 2022

    If you have Calathea Ornata and it is not growing well in its pot. This means there is something wrong with your care techniques.

    Because ornata is a plant that is easy to care for, even for the new growers. It hardly gets pest infestations and diseases.

    Just give it little care and it will thrive like crazy.

    Don’t worry if your plant is not thriving. Because today you will find all solutions in this post.

    Just keep reading this article to find out what is wrong with your care routine.

    Give indirect bright light to indoor growing Calathea Ornata plants, keep the temperature at 65 to 85 degrees F, and increase humidity and water less frequently. Add peat to the potting soil and fertilize monthly for a better healthy plant.

    With the help of the below care guide, you will be able to grow a thriving Calathea Ornata in just a few days. If you are a beginner grower then you should make some notes of important things.

    Let’s start:

    About the Plant

    Calathea Ornata is a tropical plant and is also known as the pinstripe plant. These plants have beautiful green leaves with pink stripes on them.

    Whereas the undersides of leaves are red or purple depending on the type of plant. Hybrid Calathea Ornata plants have violet undersides.

    They are naturally found in tropical jungles of South America, Brazil, and Peru.

    Once your ornata plant grows some flowers. The pink lines on the top surface of the leaves will disappear. And green brush pattern takes place.

    Calathea Ornata (Pinstripe plant) Care

    For happy thriving Calathea Ornata, you need to give it proper care and nutrition. Everything is discussed in detail.

    Light, water, humidity, and temperature are the main growth factors.

    Calathea Ornata Light Needs

    Before buying an Ornata you should decide its final place in your home. Because this is a plant that is picky about its light needs.

    It needs the proper amount of indirect bright light for its growth. Keep in mind that low light can result in stunted growth. Whereas direct bright light can burn its leaves.

    Its natural birthplace is tropical rainforests. There it grows under the shade of large trees. This means it does not need direct sunlight and also does not need high intense bright light.

    You should always keep eye on the line of its leaves. Because in too much bright light your plant will lose its pink lines.

    If this happens to your plant, immediately take action and move it to a less bright place for the healing process. Also, give it some water to prevent dehydration.

    The best place for Calathea Ornata is an east-facing window. But before placing it on the window shelf you must install a sheer curtain.

    This way only filtered light will fall on your plant leaves and it will keep thriving.

    Potting Soil for Calathea Ornata

    Potting soil plays an important role in the development of Calathea Ornata. Because this plant needs consistently moist soil.

    This is only possible if the soil has the capability to hold a good amount of water for a long time. But without being waterlogged.

    Waterlogged soil will result in root rot and it is a deadly disease for calathea plants.

    Choose potting soil with perlite and peat moss in the ingredients.

    You can also choose another formula to make general-purpose potting soil perfect for growing Calathea Ornata.

    Just make sure your soil formula can hold moisture for a long time without being too wet.

    I use potting soil 60% + 20% Compost and 20% peat moss. Sometimes I add bark when I have it in my stock.

    Temperature

    The location of the plant directly affects its temperature. Your Calathea pinstripe needs warm weather to grow.

    The ideal temperature for its best possible growth is between 60 to 85 degrees F. keep it to the higher side for better leaves.

    This is an indoor plant and it’s your duty to make sure that the room temperature will not drop below 60 degrees F.

    It can tolerate higher temperatures for some time. But will not survive in cold drafts.

    Keep in mind that cold temperature is deadly for all types of tropical forest plants. Also do not put your plant close to the heating vents.

    The direct flow of hot air will dehydrate the leaves and you will get cracked leaves with brown edges.

    Tropical plants are moisture-loving plants. Don’t do anything that will suck all moisture from the plant.

    To keep eye on room temperature, you can use a room temperature monitor device. It is an inexpensive device and is easily available on Amazon.

    It will trigger an alarm when the room temperature drops below your set degree F.

    Fertilizing Pinstripe Plant

    Calathea plants do not need many fertilizers for their growth. But a little bit of nutrient boost will surely benefit.

    You should only fertilize it once per month in spring and summer.

    No need to use fertilizers in the winter months. Because it is the resting period of plants. Plants do not grow in cold months.

    The general rule says only fertilize your plants when they are actively growing.

    In dormancy conditions, fertilizing plants will only result in fertilizer burn. Because the plant is resting and does not need nutrients.

    For best growth, you should use compost tea like organic fertilizers.

    Calathea Ornata watering needs

    In this case, you need to follow a regular watering routine. Calathea plants are tropical plants so they need constantly moist soil.

    This is only possible when you give a sufficient amount of water to your plant.

    Remember that your plant cannot tolerate soggy soil and also completely dry soil. Calathea is not a drought-tolerant houseplant.

    Once the top 1 inch of the soil becomes dry immediately give some water to your plant. Because dryness in the soil for a long time period results in brown leaves.

    Because in the absence of moist soil. Calathea, start using water that is stored in leaves for respiration.

    This makes your plant dehydrated and tunes its leaves yellow and brown in color.

    To avoid all the water-related issues you should check the soil moisture before watering it. I use a soil moisture testing kit for measuring the moisture percentage in the soil.

    This makes watering very easy for me. This way you will also prevent overwatering your plants.

    Humidity Requirements

    Like other rainforest plants ornata calathea also need high humidity. In a low humid room, you can mist some water on plant leaves to give some comfort.

    It is best to place it in a high humidity room.

    The kitchen is good for growing this plant. But do not put it in the bathroom. Because there we do not have good air circulation.

    In the absence of adequate air, your plant will get many fungus diseases. It is hard to treat fungus diseases, especially leaf fungus diseases.

    To improve humidity, you can use the traditional method of a pebble tray.

    Take a tray fill it with pebbles and place your plant over it. Make sure the water level of the tray does not touch the bottom hole of the plant pot.

     This technique will help to improve humidity to a good level.

    Another humid increasing device is a plant humidifier. It is specially made for houseplants and is less expensive than a home humidifier.

    Use it to keep humidity at the perfect level for a happy plant.

    Repotting

    Remember that a healthy calathea needs repotting once a year. We do this to give more space to plant roots. So, they can grow more in size.

    Also, to refresh the potting soil.

    When you see the roots coming out through the draining hole this means the pot is small for it. The root ball needs more space to grow.

    The next repotting sign is cracking in the pot due to root-bound and visible roots over the soil surface.

    There will be less soil in the pot and the soil dry out more quickly than before.

    All these signs indicate root bound which is a result of using a smaller pot or not repotting your plant on time.

    Toxicity

    Calathea Ornata is nontoxic to cats, dogs, and humans. It does not contain any harmful chemicals, neither the sap nor the plant parts.

    Pruning

    Whenever you see some broken calathea plant stems, remove them from your plant. Old leaves also turn yellow, and brown and fall off the plant.

    Keep the pot and surroundings clean.

    Use sharp shears to cut the damaged parts of the plants. Cut the dry dead leaves and damage broken stems.

    This way you save lots of plant energy from being wasted.

    Your calathea will then use this saved energy to grow new leaves and flowers.

    Maintenance is necessary to keep the plants healthy and disease-free. Therefore, regularly clean the pot of your plant and remove dead leaves.

    Also, spray neem oil once in 30 days to prevent diseases.

    Calathea Ornata Propagation

    In the case of Calathea Ornata propagation, you only have one option which is root division. You cannot propagate calathea by leaf cuttings.

    This means you are dividing your single plant into multiple plants and repot them in different plant pots.

    Gently unpot your plant and remove soil from its roots. Carefully divide it into different sections. Each division must have its separate root system.

    Untangle roots from each other and use a sterilized knife to cut the roots (if necessary).

    Plant each division in a different pot and give them water. Keep the soil moist for many days. Place your new plant pots near the mother plant.

    So that they can get the same amount of light.

    If newly potted plants do not grow, then you need to wait to see them. Because repotting is a shock for plants.

    Within a few days, you will see visible growth in your new plants.

    Pests and Diseases

    If you follow the Calathea Ornata care guide you will not face pest problems. But at a point, every houseplant owner faces pest infestation.

    In this case, spider mites and aphids are the main enemies of plants. They suck the sap of the plant and make it weak and nutrient deficient.

    They build their colonies under the leaves.

    You can easily get rid of them by using rubbing alcohol. Use it to wipe them manually.

    For serve infection, uses insecticidal soap to rinse your plant. After rinsing use a neem oil spray to heal your plant faster.

    As long as diseases are concerned root rot is the main culprit. This is a type of fungus that eats the root ball.

    Overwatering and wrong potting soil are the two leading causes of root fungus.

    Therefore, use correct potting soil and learn the right watering method to prevent root rot. Once the plant is wilting and the soil releases a foul smell.

    This confirms the root infection. Gently take out the plant from its pot and repot it in fresh soil and in a new pot.

    Cut the infected roots with a sterilized knife.

    At once you can cut 50% of the root ball. If the entire root ball is infected then apply copper fungicide before repotting.

    If your plant shows healthy growth. Then you must propagate it to save your calathea. 

    FAQ
    How big Does Calathea Ornata Grow?

    In tropical jungles, Calathea Ornata grows 4 to 9 feet tall. But this growth is not possible in an indoor environment.

    Therefore, indoor growing calathea ornata only grow 3 feet tall and spread 2 to 3 feet wide.

    In pots, plant roots have limited space to grow. The size of a plant depends upon the size of its root ball.

    Should I Mist My Calathea Ornata?

    Yes, you can mist your plant but only when the humidity is low in the room. Do not spray too much water and stop misting water in the winter season.

    Remember that too many sprays can cause leaf rot.

    How do You Make Calathea Ornata Bushy?

    It is a naturally bushy type plant. You don’t need to do anything to make it bushy. But if your plant is leggy then you need to fix the care issues.

    In low light calathea ornata grows leggy and produces fewer leaves.

    Give it proper indirect bright light and your plant will grow bushier.

    Can I Grow Calathea Ornata Outside?

    It depends upon the weather in your home town. If you are living in tropical areas then you can grow it in your outdoor garden.

    The main thing of concern is humidity. Calatheas need high humidity like tropical jungles to grow healthy.  

    Otherwise, indoors is the best place to keep it thriving and safe.

    The post How do You Care for Calathea Ornata (Pinstripe Plant Care) appeared first on Shineledlighting.

  • How To Grow Zinnia From Seeds | SEED TO FLOWER
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  • How do You Care for Calathea Crocata (Eternal Flame Plant)
    23 May 2022

    Calathea Crocata is a beautiful houseplant. It is also known as the Eternal Flame Plant. Crocata grows beautiful flowers that last for a long time.

    If you are interested in growing this plant at home. Then you are in the right place. Because today I am going to share my growing experience.

    Calathea Crocata care is simple and easy than many common houseplants.

    Grow it in fertile soil rich in organic matter, and keep the temperature between 65 to 85 degrees F. Water it only when the top few inches of soil become dry.

    Below are the specific details about its care and propagation:

    About the Plant

    This perennial plant is a member of the Marantaceae family. It is naturally found in Brazilian jungles.

    There it grows under the canopy of large trees and enjoys high humidity for 365 days.

    You need to copy the same growing conditions if you want a healthy eternal flame plant. Most people grow it indoors.

    Because it is easy to grow and full of its needs as an indoor plant. The soft tissues of the plant cannot tolerate direct sun rays and hot winds.

    In the absence of moisturized air, it will turn yellow and brown in a few days.

    The best thing is you can grow it on even narrow shelves. Because it is short-height plant and cannot spread too much.

    30 to 32 inches is the total height of matures Calathea Crocata. With a narrow spread, it is easy to grow it in pots and place it in narrow places.

    Its leaves are metallic dark green with purple and brown undersides.

    Another beautiful thing is, that this plant acts as a prayer plant. Calathea Crocata folds its leaves in the evening and re-opens them in the morning light.

    Spring and summer are the blooming seasons of Crocata calathea. The flowers will last for 50 to 60 days depending upon your care techniques.

    Basic Care Needs of Calathea Crocata
    Light Needs

    In order to grow your plant healthy and to encourage beautiful long-lasting bloom. You should expose your plant to indirect bright light.

    You should find a place in your home where your eternal flame plant can get bright but indirect light.

    Direct sunlight can damage the plant leaves and this also discourages plants to produce flowers.

    The best place will be east or west-facing sunny window. Do not place it on the south-facing window. Because the south window allows too much sunlight to enter the room.

    And direct sunlight is not beneficial for plant health.

    Burned and faded foliage are the results of exposure to direct sunlight in the summer season.

    But you need to expose your plant to morning sunlight in the winter season. 2 hours of direct morning sunlight is enough to keep the Crocata plant healthy.

    Potting Soil

    For the best possible growth make sure the soil you are going to use for Calathea Crocata is fertile. It should be well-draining, highly fertile, and also contains some parts of peat.

    Avoid using general potting soil. It can be too heavy for the plant roots and leads to root rot.

    The jungle soil in its natural home is lightweight and highly fertile.

    Moreover, it grows on the top surface of the soil which contains debris and leaf litter.

    My personal Calathea Crocata soil formula is 30% peat + 30% compost + 40% potting soil.

    Do not skip the potting soil in the formula because it is required to support the plant structure. Your plant cannot stand straight only in peat and compost.

        You May Also Like: Caring For calathea makoyana

    Watering

    Spring and summer are the two seasons when all houseplants need frequent watering applications per week.

    Your eternal flame plant is no different. Give it a good amount of water in summer and reduce the watering application in winters.

    The best method of watering is, to let the top 1 inch of the soil become dry, then water your plant until the water starts coming through the drainage hole.

    This way you need to water your plant once a week in the summer season and once in 2 weeks in winter.

    Next comes water quality because it is an important growth factor.

    You should not use heavy or hard water that contains tones of minerals. If you only have hard or fluoridated water without other options.

    Then it is best to fill the bucket of water 24 hours before watering your plants. Allow it to sit for the time, at room temperature.

    Then you can use the upper half of the bucket of water to avoid watering-related issues.

    The good news is you can directly use filtered water for watering Calathea Crocata.

    Temperature

    The ideal temperature for best Calathea Crocata care is between 60 to 85 degrees F. The natural habitat of the plant keeps warm for 365 days.

    You also need to keep the same room temperature indoors for good health.

    Ideal temperature also prevents overwatering issues. Because the plant uses most of the water in respiration and transpiration.

    This way, no water is left in the plant pot and hence reduces the chances of overwatering.

    Below 55 degrees F is the cold temperature for the Eternal flame plant. The internal leaf tissues will get damaged and you plant die in a few days.

    On the other hand, a temperature above 85degrees F is considered too hot for the plant. This results in dehydration of leaves.

    Humidity

    To prevent homesickness in Calathea Crocata. You must keep the home humidity at a perfect level. Crocata calathea thrives in high humid places.

    Low humidity results in yellow leaves, brown edges, and stunted growth.

    Following are the ways to improve humidity:

    Use a spray bottle and spray some water on the plant. Use distilled water and do not spray too much water.

    Place your plant pot over the pebble tray. This is the traditional method of improving humidity.

    For an instant humidity boost, place your plant in the bathroom for not more than 24 hours.

    Pruning Calathea Crocata

    Generally, Calathea Crocata does not need frequent pruning. But for the better health of your plant. You must prune its damaged leaves.

    Also remove dry, yellow, and diseased leaves with a sharp knife or shears. Do not forget to sterilize the pruning tools before use.

    Use rubbing alcohol to clean them after the use.

    Once all flowers are gone and only spikes are left. The best practice is to cut and remove the spikes from the base.

    Fertilizing Calathea Crocata

    For the general health of Calathea Crocata, you don’t need to fertilize it.

    But if you want an extraordinary thriving plant with lots of flowers. Then you need to fertilize your plant from spring to summer.

    This is the growing period and nutritional boots at this time will also benefit in the winter season.

    Take a cup of houseplant fertilization and dilute it in the filtered water. Then give this nutritional water to your plant.

    Drench the soil once in 40 days to prevent salt build-up in the root zone due to the use of fertilizers.

    Take your plant to the sink and allow the tap water to flush the soil. Turn off the tap once your see clean water coming through the drainage hole.

    Place your plant in a dry place and allow it to drain extra water.

    Do not use fertilizers frequently. Because the overuse of fertilizers will not make your plant too strong. In fact, overuse will burn the plant leaves.

    Repotting Requirements

    Calathea Crocata does not need repotting for the first year of its life. Within 2 years, your plant will grow bigger and it will need repotting.

    You can use any type of pot material for repotting. The only condition is new pot must have a few drainage holes.

    I am using terracotta plant pots for all calathea plants. The material of these pots allows the soil to dry quicker.

    The new pot should be 2 inches wide and deeper than the current pot.

    Use fresh potting soil for repotting, do not use old soil because the soil in plant pots gets depleted over time.

    It loses its nutritional value, fertility, and water holding capacities.

    Repotting Steps
    • Choose the right size pot and fill its half with fresh potting soil.
    • Gently lose the soil and take out the plant from its old container. Remove old soil from the roots and check roots for any signs of damage or infection.
    • On finding the damaged roots, cut them with the help of a knife or shear.
    • Place the plant in its new pot and fill the remaining pot with potting soil.
    • Gently tap around the plant base and give some water to keep the soil moist.
    • For the first few days, your plant can show repotting stress and weakness. But with time it will regain its health.
    Flowering

    Calathea Crocata blooms many times in its growing season. But you will see the heavy bloom only in the summer season.

    To keep flowers for a long time do not mist water on them. When you try to increase the humidity of your plant.

    Fertilize your plant with general houseplant fertilizer only. No need to buy fancy blooming nutrients. They will not make any difference in the bloom.

    Nutrients in general plant fertilizers are enough to support flower health.

    Once your plant grows many flowers, it’s important to protect them from direct sunlight. Or the flowers will turn brown and die.

    Pest Infestations

    Spider mites and mealybugs are two common enemies of indoor growing Calathea Crocata plants. Both pests suck the glucose of the plant. It is the energy source for your Crocata.

    If you do not treat pests on time, they will spread all over the plant and cause permanent damage. Your plant will die once it loses all its glucose.

    Unfortunately, these insects are able to infect other nearby healthy plants. So, it’s best to treat them right away after the infestation.

    Spider Mites

    These are the tiny pests that live in large colonies. They are usually found underside the leaves. If too many colonies are present.

    Then you will surely see them on the top surface of the leaves.

    You can identify spider mites from white webs. They make white webbing all over the plant and also cover their colonies.

    Mealybugs

    They are mostly found on new and young leaves and stems. They also suck the sap of the plant but also damage the internal leaf tissues.

    Mealybugs lay their eggs in the leaf tissues.

    Their larvae need the sap of the plant to develop into a full-size mealybug.

    Your plant dies once they eat all the internal leaf tissues.

    Pest Treatment

    The first treatment is using rubbing alcohol and manually wiping all the plant leaves and stems. If this idea is not suitable for you.

    In this case, you should use insecticidal soap and rinse your plant.

    These soaps are safe to use on houseplants. After the rinse, keep your plant separate from other healthy disease-free plants.

    Give it some time to dry and drain extra water.

    Then apply neem oil all over the plant to speed up the healing process.

    It is best to use neem oil spray on houseplants. Neem is beneficial to prevent many common pests and diseases.

    Calathea Crocata Diseases
    Leaf Spots

    Alternaria leaf spot is a disease that is triggered by wet leaves. Yellow or brown spots appear on the plant leaves.

    You will also see small circular rings that look like spots on leaves.

    To fix this problem stop spraying water on plant leaves. Because you are spraying too much water.

    Use copper fungicides to heal the infected leaves. Keep your plant separate from other plants.

    Wilting Leaves

    A fungus called fusarium causes wilting in Eternal flame plants. This fungus is present in the contaminated soil and wet soil.

    Once you see yellow leaves wilting, immediately repot your plant in new soil.

    Take it out of its current pot, discard the soil, and wash the pot with dishwashing soap.

    Add new soil to it and plant your Calathea back in it. Give some water to keep the soil slightly moist, not wet.

    How to Water Calathea Crocata?

    The number of water applications depends on many factors like indoor temperature, room humidity, and type of container.

    In plastic containers due to low air circulation, soil takes time to dry out. Whereas in terracotta pots, soil dry out quickly and increases the watering applications.

    The general water requirement is once per week in summer and once in 20 days in the winter season.

    Also, use fresh and clean water for watering Calathea Crocata. The water should be free from diseases and heavy minerals.

    For optimum health, use filtered water only.

    The post How do You Care for Calathea Crocata (Eternal Flame Plant) appeared first on Shineledlighting.

  • Curtis' Weekly Homestead Update: May 16-20 2022
    23 May 2022
  • Dracaena Marginata Broken Stem (Causes and Propagation)
    23 May 2022

    Dracaena frangrans broken stems are a big issue.

    But the good news is this hardy plant can bounce back in easy steps. In today’s article, you will learn the cause of dracaena broken stems

    And

    How to fix it and propagation process of dracaena fragrans from the broken stem.

    Let’s start:

    What are the causes of Dracaena Broken stems?
    Dracaena Stem Rot

    It is a common problem in dracaena plants. It is triggered by the overuse of water. Extra water in potting soil invites fungus bacteria.

    This fungus disease starts eating the plant tissues from inside.

    Stem rot is an infection caused by root rot. The soft and mushy stem is the common sign of the early stage of stem rot.

    Your plant will fall over the pot once the fungus bacteria eat the all-internal stem tissues.

    You can use fungicides to kill the fungus and also check the roots for root rot.

    Because root and stem rot go simultaneously.

        You May Also Like: How to Fix Dracaena Root Rot?

    Heavy Crown

    When you give a nutrient boost to an already healthy and thriving plant. Also, place it in bright light. Then the tissues of stems and leaves start growing rapidly.

    This high-speed growth results in leggy stems. These stems are so weak and cannot support the weight of their crown.

    The top-heavy part of the plant falls over the pot and this results in a broken dracaena stem.

    Physical Damage

    This is the common cause of dracaena’s broken stem in neglected plants.

    Top-heavy plants are often got damaged by heavy wind. Sometimes growers damage the stem while pruning the plant.

    Both result in a broken stem of dracaena.

    Nutrient Deficiency

    Nutrients make dracaena strong and thriving. In the absence of essential nutrients, dracaena stems become weak.

    The skeletal stem of dracaena becomes unable to hold the weight of the crown.

    This results in broken dracaena stems. The plant falls over the plant pot.

    Low Light

    Dracaena need plenty of bright light to grow healthy and strong stems. Dracaena can live in low to moderate light. But for healthy strong stems, you should expose them to bright light.

    Light energy is required for effective photosynthesis. It is the process that plants use to make their food.

    In the absence of adequate light, dracaena become unable to produce its food.

    Due to a lack of sufficient glucose, the stems of your dracaena become weak and easily get broken in parts.

    Secondly, in low light, the stems become leggy and weak. Leggy stems cannot hold the weight of your plant.

    They get a break and destroy the beautiful appearance of your plant.

    How to fix Dracaena Broken Stems?

    You can recover your dracaena in a few steps.

    Actually, you should use the broken for propagating the plant. If you do not have time for propagation or you cannot care for another dracaena.

    Then to avoid broken stems you should regularly prune your plant to keep it healthy and lightweight. Trim the crown part.

    Give it proper light, water, and fertilizers so that dracaena can grow strong stems.

    How to propagate Dracaena Fragrans from broken stems?
    Prepare the Stalk

    At first, you need to treat the broken stalk and solve all the underlying problems.

    Remove soft parts of the stem and use fungicides to treat the infected parts. After removing dead tissues, you can use a neem oil spray.

    If you do not have neem oil then you can use cinnamon powder and apply it over the cut.

    Cinnamon had anti-fungal properties.

    Place in Water

    Now use clean water for propagating the dracaena stems.

    In my experience using water as a growing medium in the propagation process is very beneficial.

    After placing the stalk in the glass of water. Place the glass in a warm and humid place. Do not try to cover the glass with a plastic cover.

    The wrapping technique is beneficial when we use potting soil as a growing medium.

    Within 2 to 3 weeks you will see new tiny roots.

    Change the water once it gets dirty or unclear.

    Transferring in Pot

    Once the new roots grow more than 1 inch long. You can transfer them to the potting soil. Before transplanting you need to prepare the pot.

    Take a terracotta plant pot and add potting soil to it. The soil must be fertile and well-draining.

    Lightweight coarse soil is recommended.

    Perlite + sand + gravel and potting soil is the best formula. This is the formula that I use to grow my dracaena plants.

    Improve humidity

    Once you plant the stalk in potting soil. Then you need to improve the room humidity. You can use the plant humidifier.

    Place it next to your plants and turn it ON.

    Or

    Use a pebble tray filled with water and place your plant pot over it.

    Just make sure that the water level of the tray cannot Reach the bottom drainage hole of a plant pot.

    The post Dracaena Marginata Broken Stem (Causes and Propagation) appeared first on Shineledlighting.

  • Green Garlic Puree
    22 May 2022

    I’ve written before about the difference in my two garlic beds. I planted Inchelium Red garlic last October as usual, but this time I split the crop into my two fire-ring beds. One bed had a cover crop of cilantro in with the garlic, and those bulbs grew tall and green and fat - and they are ‘curing’ in place now, without irrigation, filling out and waiting for harvest in early June. In the other bed, the garlic was alone, without a cover crop, and it didn’t do as well. The bulbs were short and measly, and didn’t seem to be getting any bigger. I decided to harvest it early and use it as green garlic. However, I couldn’t use it all at once, so I thought I might try to find a way to preserve it, long-term.

    ‘Green’ garlic is simply immature, taken out of the ground before the bulbs grow to a typical size. Interestingly, I discovered that many of the bulbs had already ‘headed up’ - that is, grown individual cloves, which you can see from the cross-section picture at the top of this post - but they were smaller than normal. However, many of the bulbs were simply one swollen clove, and had not yet headed up. Regardless of their size or development, I cut the green stalk off each one (which you can also use like scallions or chives) and let the small bulbs dry out on a paper towel inside for a couple of weeks. They were dirty, but as soon as they dried out, I could rub off the outer dirt and skin and reveal the clean, small bulbs underneath.

    Then it was just a matter of peeling each one. Green garlic, being immature, doesn’t get all papery like mature garlic does; this means the peels are still quite moist and easy to take off. I decided to make a puree of the cloves with olive oil, and freeze them in cubes to use in cooking later. You cannot store garlic in oil in the fridge, because of the risk of botulism. The USDA Center for Food Preservation recommends storing garlic in oil in the freezer. Here is their blurb about that:

    “Garlic-in-Oil

    Research performed by the National Center for Home Food Preservation confirmed that mixtures of garlic in oil stored at room temperature are at risk for the development of botulism.

    Garlic-in-oil should be made fresh and stored in the refrigerator at 40°F or lower for no more than 4 days. It may be frozen for long term storage for up to several months. Package in glass freezer jars or plastic freezer boxes, leaving ½-inch headspace. Label, date and freeze.”

    Blending the garlic with oil was easy, and it made a pretty yellow puree, which I then decanted into an ice cube tray and put in the freezer. This amount yielded only 7 large cubes. Granted, they are pungent and will certainly pack a punch in any recipe. How handy to be able to take a cube out of the freezer, toss it in the frying pan, and have a lovely flavored oil in which to cook a mess of greens, or meat, or eggs. They could also be defrosted to make salad dressing (though it would be strongly-flavored!).

    Nothing we grow in the garden should go to waste. There is always a use for it, and if not in the kitchen, it can be fed to livestock or added to the compost pile, where it goes back to feeding the next crop.

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