Gardening Daily Tips June 29


Wednesday June 29, 2011


Caladium (Caladium bicolor)

Today’s Featured Plant
Caladium (Caladium bicolor)

Read the full profile of this plant at ArcaMax.com.

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Q&A: Bird of Paradise

Question: I recently purchased a Bird of Paradise plant. It looked good and healthy at the store. Since then, I put it on my back porch (west) and have been watering it daily. Temps have been in the low to mid 90’s. The leaves are curling up during the day and a couple of leaves look almost burnt around the edges. Is it getting to hot? Am I over watering it? The card that came with it said full sun and water regularly as needed. Should I try a shadier place for it? Should I bring it inside? I’ve read on some other sites that making a bird of paradise a house plant considerably reduces the likelyhood it will flower. Thank you so much for your help.

Answer: I suspect you are overwatering your plants. They thrive in full sunshine, but sometimes in a nursery they are placed in shade (so they don’t have to water so often). Now that your plants are getting the full sunshine they crave but that they were not getting at the nursery, they’re showing some distress. They will overcome this so keep them in the sunshine. Water as often as necessary to keep the soil from totally drying out – every 3-4 days. Daily watering will keep the soil too wet and can suffocate the roots. If they’re still in the nursery pots you might think about setting the pots inside some decorative pots. Nursery pots are usually black and can absorb so much heat from sunshine that they can actually bake the roots. So, either sheild the pots from direct sunshine with some kind of screening, or set them inside decorative pots to protect the roots from excessive heat. They won’t like growing indoors so keep them outside for best results. Best wishes with your new plants.

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Q&A: Crabgrass

Question: How do I get the grass and crabgrass out of my vegetable and flower garden?

Answer: This is the type of situation where an ounce of prevention is worth several pounds of effort. It’s easier to keep weeds and grasses out of the garden than to get them out once they’ve established themselves. The safest treatment is to dig the weeds and grass out. Then cover the bare soil with an organic mulch – something you can turn into the soil later in the year, to help enrich the soil. Next time you plant your garden, add 3-4 inches of mulch around the plants. Mulch will help the soil retain moisture, and will help to suppress weeds.

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Q&A: Geranium Pointers

Question: I have a troubled variegated geranium. It seemed happy for a while, and sent up lots of new flower shoots. Once the flowers went by, I removed the spent blooms. However, lately the plant has begun yellowing all over. I repotted it in new container with new potting soil; I’ve also tried altering the water and/or light it receives. Should I have left the flower stalks on? Practically everyone in my neighborhood grows geraniums with little or no effort! What can I do for my poor plant?

Answer: Geraniums do best with full sun (a little afternoon shade in really hot summer areas), a little less than average watering, and minimal fertilizing. You were correct to remove the spent flowers–pruning them off was not the cause of the problems.

It’s possible you are “killing it with kindness.” With too much water and/or too much fertilizing, geraniums quickly succumb to root and stem rots. Once they become infected, there is little you can do to stop the infection (including repotting in clean soil since the infection is in the plant’s system).

I suggest giving the plant as much sun as possible, holding back on the water significantly (but not to the point of desert conditions), and cutting off any soft, mushy, brown-to-yellowish stems (dip your pruning shears in a 10 percent bleach solution between each cut). Hopefully, it’s not too late.

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Tip: Keep Birdbaths Clean

Birdbaths are great to add to the garden, both for the decorative aspects and the water they provide for birds. However, when they become dirty and filled with algae, they do no one any good. The safest way to clean them is to mix equal parts vinegar and water. If the birdbath is particularly dirty, let the mixture stand in it for an hour or so. Rinse with clean water. Check birdbaths at least once a week to see if they need cleaning, but check the water in them daily.

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Tip: Space Perennials Properly

Space perennials properly at planting time. If beds look sparse the first season, fill in the empty spots with annual flowers or attractive edibles such as herbs and leafy greens. Once the perennials get established they’ll fill out the bed.

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80 Comic Strips Now Available by Email!

ArcaMax has added dozens of new comic strips to its Comics page, including Archie, Hi and Lois, and 77 others. Subscribe to as many as you like via email, and start your day with a laugh!

Visit the Comics page and subscribe or read online right away.

— From the ArcaMax editors

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Today’s Reader Submitted Photos

Click an image above to see full size and read caption.
To see more of our subscriber photos visit our full Photo Gallery.

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Gardening Daily Tips June 28
Tuesday June 28, 2011


Lily, Asiatic (Lilium)

Today’s Featured Plant
Lily, Asiatic (Lilium)

Read the full profile of this plant at ArcaMax.com.

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Q&A: Jade Plant

Question: My jade plant keeps dropping leaves. I have it in a window that gets the morning eastern sun. I water it thoroughly and let it dry out before watering again. The plant does not grow much from year to year.

Answer: Sounds like you’re doing everything right but your plant isn’t as happy as it could be. Jade plants grow into main-stem tree-like forms and it’s natural for them to lose leaves and branches at the bottom of the plant, but it’s unnatural for them to suddenly lose their leaves. It may be a reaction to being watered with cold, rather than tepid water, or to being overwatered. Because they’re succulents, they can go for many weeks without water, without doing them harm. This is especially true in the wintertime when their growth is slow. Succulents have evolved in the dry areas of the world and their general requirements are related to this habitat – free draining soil, sunshine, fresh air, water during the growing season, and a cold and dry resting period in the winter. Jade plants like some early morning direct sunshine and they appreciate fresh air. If you have yours growing near a sunny windowsill, open the window in the summertime to promote the circulation of fresh air. Your Jade plant might be happier outdoors for a time this summer. Find a place where it will get sunshine but with some protection from hot afternoon sun,and water it sparingly using tepid water. Once it gets the cultural conditions it craves, it should perk right up for you.

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Q&A: Compatible Herbs in Pots

Question: I want to start an herb garden in window boxes. Can you tell me which herbs grow well together and which ones really don’t do well in the same pot?

Answer: You want herbs that have similar sunlight and water requirements in the same pot. Almost all herbs like full sun. For example, herbs of Mediterranean origin, such as oregano, thyme, sage, lavender, and artemisia, do best with soil that drains very well. Basil, parsley, cilantro, and chives require soil with higher fertility and more frequent watering. Also, mint is a vigorous spreader and should be in a pot by itself or it will overwhelm other plants. Hope this gives you some ideas!

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Q&A: Moles, Voles, or Gophers?

Question: How do we tell whether we have moles, voles, or gophers digging in our yard?

Answer: Moles create characteristic mounds and tunnels that rise above the soil level. Although the tunnels aren’t always visible, you can usually spot their mounds of soil with a hole in the top. Voles are tiny creatures, and are sometimes referred to as field mice. They don’t dig tunnels or make large mounds, but rather have trails through tall grass. Sometimes voles use mole tunnels to feed on roots and bulbs. If you see fan-shaped mounds with a hole near the edge, you probably have an infestation of gophers.

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Tip: Keep Your Water Garden Mosquito Free

If you have a pond or water feature, place Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis in the water to control mosquito larvae. This natural biological material is very effective and will not harm fish, birds, or other wildlife.

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Tip: Apply Pesticides Properly

When applying pesticides — even organic ones — be sure to carefully follow the directions on the label, diluting as necessary and applying the proper amount at the right time.

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80 Comic Strips Now Available by Email!

ArcaMax has added dozens of new comic strips to its Comics page, including Archie, Hi and Lois, and 77 others. Subscribe to as many as you like via email, and start your day with a laugh!

Visit the Comics page and subscribe or read online right away.

— From the ArcaMax editors

Comment on this Story | Share | Top
Today’s Reader Submitted Photos

Click an image above to see full size and read caption.
To see more of our subscriber photos visit our full Photo Gallery.

 

NGOC PHUONG NAM , FOOD CROPS.VN

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One thought on “Gardening Daily Tips June 29

  1. Pingback: Cây lương thực và Nghề làm vườn | Ngọc phương Nam

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