Showing posts from January, 2019

Newspaper and Plastic Jugs Start the Garden

Start saving plastic jugs from milk, vinegar and tea to use this spring. 

Heat mats are used to keep the soil around 20-degrees F warmer than the surrounding air and eager gardeners are using them to start tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, tobacco, savory, sedum and other warm season plants this month.

To use plastic milk jugs as seed starting hot houses, first wash the bottles with soap. Cut them in half horizontally to make a planting pot on the bottom and a greenhouse on the top. Poke or cut a few holes in the bottom for drainage.

Fill the bottom with 3-inches potting mix and moisten it. Plant the seeds according to the seed packet instructions and water gently to settle the seeds. Close the lid and tape the two halves together. Put your mini-greenhouses in a sunny location. The moisture inside will condense and water the seeds but check them once a week.

You can use a heatmat or make a warm-soil box with a little wood and a rope light. See

Make newspaper transpl…

Recycling Matters - Why You Should

The materials you take to the recycling center are sold to companies to make new products out of them. Many products we buy every week contain recycled paper, plastic bags and bottles, glass, metal and cardboard.

Recycling is the process of turning used materials into new ones, reducing waste, as well as reducing the use of energy and raw materials. 
We all benefit from recycling by improving the health of the environment, employing fellow citizens and cutting the landfill bills.
In our area, there are several recycling centers available where the public can drop off paper, metal, clear plastics, glass and cardboard. Our neighborhoods, streets, vacant lots and roadsides are thick with recyclable litter that could be in a bin at the recycling centers to be re-purposed by local industries.
Some statistics may help convince you to make the effort to recycle instead of throwing more into our landfills.
Recycled aluminum requires 95% less natural resources to produce than newly manufactured alu…

Lucky Bamboo is Dracaena sanderians, Goddess of Mercy's plant

In our family and probably in yours, there are things you can do and foods you can eat that are believed to increase luck. For example if you carry a rabbit’s foot on a keychain or eat black eyed peas for New Years. 
Lucky Bamboo is also thought to attract luck, happiness, success and health and it is for sale in many oriental stores as well as big box garden centers.
Dracaena sanderana or sanderiana is not a Bamboo at all but a tropical plant from West Africa where it grows to 3-feet tall. Eastern cultures, Chinese in particular, assigned Lucky Bamboo with mystical properties in Confucian times. 
The art of Feng Shui, arranging work and living spaces to attract the best energy (chi) has been practiced for a thousand years but became popular in the US 30 years ago and Lucky Bamboo was a part of that system. Bamboo is said to be strong even in a storm, swaying with the wind so having a container of Dracaena sanderana brings an element of that strength into homes and offices.
Lucky Bamboo r…

Houseplant Care

Taking care of indoor plants involves watering, pruning, and pinching, plus watching for diseases and insects.

The heated air inside our homes is dry. Plants need moisture to maintain healthy cells but too much water can lead to problems.

Check your container-plants’ moisture level before watering. Press a finger an inch into the soil and if it is dry at root level, water it. Allow the excess water to drain off,  then empty the saucer.

Recently repotted plants need less water because the soil keeps roots moist. Slip plants out of their pots to see if roots fill the space. If so, this is a good time to give them a bigger home or divide them.

Pruning and pinching makes plants more attractive and strengthens them. Bare stem sections between leaves or between the container and the end of the stem is an indication that the stem should be pruned. Stem cuttings can be used in vases and to start new plants.

Pinching back the top-most leaf buds will reduce plant stretching and make more compac…