|June 5, 2008 12:27 - Natives, Vine Races And A Lazy Gardener
Usually when we are being encouraged to grow more native plants the reason given is that this will save water. Also plants that are native to a particular area are likely to be easier to grow than those brought in from a different part of the country or from overseas. In her piece Molly Day suggests a different reason. By planting one native plant each year everyone can help stop the extinction of American insects, birds and animals. And there's a helpful list of native plants that you can grow. Read more..
"Plenty of chores to keep gardeners busy" where have we heard that before? Still it does no harm to reminded what we should do when in our gardens. Terry Kramer makes it short and sweet with her Chop Chop and Pinch Pinch, not forgetting Add More Color with annuals. Read more..
Lucille Bobiney Heinrich adopts a more laid back approach with her "Lazy Gardening". Follow her ten tips and you should have plenty of time to enjoy your garden instead of spending every spare hour mowing, weeding and the rest. Here's a flavor of her advice "For heaven sakes, don’t plant annuals! They only have to be planted again and again. Stick to perennials or plants such as zinnias that will reseed themselves year after year". Read more..
Gardening is a great hobby for all ages, but it is sometimes difficult to find ways to interest kids who are more into their video games. Charlie Nardozzi has three suggestions. Hold a vine race, make a plant car wash and create funky plant containers. Read more..
June 12, 2008 21:08 - Self-Sufficiency And Cooking With Flowers
Today's theme is self-sufficiency - not so much growing your own fruit and veg, but self-sufficient gardens that can be maintained with minimal care. Ann Lovejoy writes about dry gardens - "dramatic yet easy-care gardens filled with drought-tolerant plants that need very little help to be beautiful". Once established these provide year round interest and are little troubled by weeds. But they have to be properly constructed or the result can be a disaster. Apparently the secret is "generosity". Read more..
In his piece Paul Rogers concentrates on self-sufficient plants. Whilst claiming that there is no such thing since all plants require at least some basic care, he then proceeds to destroy his argument by giving examples of particular specimens that have thrived despite being ignored. Still the article is well worth reading, if only to discover the names of the four tough plants that have been such a success. Read more..
What does a professional chef do when children come along? For Liz Barbour the answer has been to create a new fashion of cooking with flowers. Marigolds, petunias and dianthus are just three of the flowers that she uses both to decorate and flavor her dishes. Read more..
June 17, 2008 10:42 - Aspergillosis, Plant Wash And Concrete Gardening
Imagine having a personal assistant on hand who is able to diagnose plant problems and also recommend plants suitable for the conditions in your garden. Due to go on general sale later this year, PlantSense is an electronic device that you place on your ailing plant for 24 hours and then plug into your computer for an instant diagnosis of the problem. Read more..
"Who says you need a green thumb or even a sprawling backyard to grow a garden full of fresh vegetables?" asks Kate Peabody. You don't even need any land if you follow a new system of "concrete gardening". In fact it's just container gardening by a different name, but none the worse for that. It just goes to show that even the smallest patio or concrete driveway can be turned to productive use. Read more..
Organic gardening is becoming increasingly popular and an essential ingredient is the use of compost. Garden centers sell compost makers in all shapes and sizes, and no organic garden is complete without its own compost heap. But it seems that there can be hidden dangers in these piles of decomposing leaves and vegetation. Aspergillosis infection claimed the life of a gardener in the UK who inhaled spores from the fungus after opening a bag of rotting leaves. Read more..
Now for something that is safe for children and animals, but sounds almost too good to be true. Spray your plants with this secret formula plant wash and they will grow tremendously and have no disease or pests. A trial where three groups used a different brand of fertilizer and the fourth group was just sprayed with the plant wash produced a surprising result. The heaviest crops were found on the fourth plot that had no fertilizer but had been sprayed. Unfortunately this story is no longer online, but here is a link to the product if you want to learn more.
June 24, 2008 10:43 - MyFarm, Clay And The Rhizosphere
"Hot weather and drought don't spell the end of gardening" says Calvin R Finch from San Antonio. While he advises that plans for large scale planting should be shelved until the autumn, he suggests a way that you can have a colorful yard now using just four plant varieties. Plant containers with pentas, zinnias, vincas and bougainvilleas. For all the details, read more..
There are more and more reports in the press of the increasing popularity of growing your own vegetables. A recent survey revealed that 39 percent of Americans with yards are planning to grow some of their own food this year. But not everyone has the time to fit gardening into their hectic schedule. If you live in San Francisco you can now have an organic vegetable garden installed in your backyard by a firm called MyFarm. Read more..
"I garden on clay soil, so it's on my mind -- and my hands -- a lot. It stains clothes, clings to shoes and carpets, and feels slimy and sticky when wet" says Pat Rubin. But it's not all bad. Many varieties of plants thrive in a clay soil. And there are ways that you can improve the texture of the soil, although it has to be admitted that they do take time. Read more..
Whenever there's a discussion about global warming concern is expressed about the release of co2 into the atmosphere and the depletion of the ozone layer. But according to Jennifer Wilkins from Cornell University our real concern should be with the rhizosphere. This is the zone that extends a couple of millimeters (about 1/10 of an inch) around the roots of plants. And it is the condition of this zone that determines how well plants will grow. Read more..