Gardening

Gardening Tips and Tricks

Drying Fresh Herbs

Tie stalks of herbs into skimpy bunches with cotton string and place each bunch upside down in a large paper bag well punctured with air holes. Tie the neck of the bag tight and hang the bag with the leaves facing downward in a warm, airy place. The bag keeps light from degrading the leaves and flowers and catches any seeds that pop. Dried herbs and spices should be packed in tightly closed glass jars and kept in a cool, dark, dry place. Glass keeps aromas in and out.

Growing Tasty Tropical Plants

ISBN: 978-1-60342-577-3

Plants I want to try growing:

  • Australian Finger Lime
  • Calamondin Orange
  • Citrumelo - does well in cooler climates. More disease resistant.
  • Sunquat fruits lots.
  • Acerola or Barbados cherry. Tolerates dry cool conditions.
  • June plum
  • Naranjilla can be grown as an annual much like a tomato.
  • Olive can withstand dryness in the air and soil. Need winter time cooler temps and 7C.
  • Pineapple can be grown from store bought items. Takes about two years to start making fruit.
  • Rose apple drought tolerant and easy to grow.
  • Coffee plants do well in low light and low humidity.
  • Cinnamon makes a good potted plant keep the soil slightly dry.

Web sites to check out:

Myth or fact? Eating tomatoes can help prevent sunburn.

FACT.This is true, thanks to tomatoes' high lycopene content. Volunteers in one study who consumed 5 tablespoons of tomato paste daily for three months had 25 percent more protection against sunburn. Even better, skin had more collagen, which prevents sagging. German scientists also report that higher skin levels of this antioxidant correlate to fewer fine lines and furrows. Toss some on top of some romaine lettuce for the perfect skin-health salad: six leaves of romaine lettuce provide more than 100 percent of your daily value of vitamin A, which revitalizes skin by increasing cell turnover.

Things to Try

  • Sea Magic - soil additive and fertilizer booster
  • Neem Aid leaf shine
  • Water witch (coir)

Follow Phenology

Plant lettuce, peas and spinach when lilacs are in first leaf.

Plant beans and squash when lilacs are in full bloom.

Plant carrots when elm trees leaves are in first leaf.

 

Farmer's Almanac says:

Sow peas when daffodils begin to bloom.

Plant beans and squash when lilacs are in full bloom.

Plant perennials when maple leaves begin to unfurl.

Weed Decoder

Weeds can help revel a lot about the state of your soil. The list below categorizes weeds by the soil they tend to thrive in. Once you know what type you have, it will be easierr to decide what to plant (or how to amend the soil).

Wet

  • Curly dock
  • Buttercup
  • Horsetail
  • Smartweed
  • Bull sedge
  • Jewelweed

Compacted

  • Chicory
  • Bindweed
  • Burdock
  • Field mustard

Acidic

  • Dandlion
  • Mullein
  • Stinging nettle
  • Cinquefoil
  • Hawkweed

Alkaline

  • Nodding thistle
  • Stinkweed
  • Pennycress

Nurtrient-poor

  • wild parsnp
  • sheep sorrel
  • henbit
  • dog fennel

Spider Plant Help

Spider plants tend to brown at the tips for one or more reasons, most commonly moisture stress. As the plant grows it requires more frequent watering because the plant is root-bound. If your plant has grown a great deal, it may need to be repotted into a larger pot or divided and part of it replanted in the same pot. Also, winter heating can create a very dry atmosphere, and indoor plants suffer from the lack of humidity, especially if located near a heat vent or radiator. Moving the plant away from such heat sources, running a humidifier, grouping plants together or keeping them in a humid area (such as over the kitchen sink or in a bathroom where people shower) can help.

Another common reason for browning of leaf ends is the gradual build-up of minerals or salts from fertilizer. To leach out these salts periodically, water the plant to the point of runoff and repeat several times.

Heavily chlorinated water or water that's been run through a water softener can be additional reasons for browning tips. If you suspect this, try using collected rainwater or water from another source.

Finally, the tips will not regrow, so trim them off neatly. Hope this helps you troubleshoot!

Source: http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/gl_containers_indoor/article/0,1785,HGTV_3559_5229174,00.html

Dandelions

Heat weeds lightly, don't scorch or burn. Any root portion left will regrow. But lightly torching the top growth for just a few seconds damages the weed internally so that it continues to drain energy from the root to repair itself (even though the top may not look dead).

A second torching in early fall will often jill it off completely without the need for herbicides.

Companion Planting

Tomato and basil

Bell peppers love tomatoes, parsley, basil and carrots

Nasturiums protect hte cabbage family, cucumbers, fruit trees, radishes, and tomatoes

Artemisia slugs detest it

Cucumber hates potatoes and tomatoes

Sage and strawberries

Bee balm with tomatoes

 

Best stone for gardens

Limestone, basalt or granite