Category Archives: Gardening

Grow Up!

I’m obsessed… no point in hiding it.  I can’t get over the vertical gardening movement!  I love the aesthetic it gives an urban or office space and love all the extra oxygen it generates… It’s gotta be good for you, right?!  You can see a ton more pics on my Pinterest Board here and swoon of more amazing images in Patrick Blanc’s Book The Vertical Garden: From Nature to the City .

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Get your GREEN THUMB on!

If you’re like me and sad to have it still be winter (darn groundhog), here’s a great gardening gift that you can make inside for the green-thumb in your life.

Begonias are one of the easiest plants to propagate; most varieties only need a little water to start new roots. They come in infinite varieties (I love the leaves as much as the flowers) and stand up incredibly well as city house plants (requiring relatively low light, rather infrequent waterings (a once-a-week soaking will suffice in a pot with good drainage), and they are undeniably gorgeous.  Click below for the how-to.

How to: Propagate Begonias

Prepare a small container by washing thoroughly, making sure to leave no residue of suds.  The smaller the container, the better since the cutting will release growth hormones into the water to help the new roots develop.  Fill with tepid water.

Snip a large healthy leaf and place it in the water.  Leave in a sunny window.

When significant roots show up (2-3 weeks), gently remove the cutting and plant in potting soil in a well-draining pot.  Enjoy!

Here’s a great link for more information
Pics from here

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Tip of the Day: Fertilizing Container Gardens

One of the best gardeing tips I’ve ever received (and is reiterated everytime I see my mother-in-law during the Spring and Summer monts) is the necessity of fertilizing my plants that live in pots on the front porch and in containers on the balcony. 

Every year I say, yeah, yeah, yeah… I’ll get on that… and I do… About once a month during the hot, draining summer.  Well this year has been different.  I discovered Alaska Liquid Fertilizer and I’ve been on it… and on it once a month.  My containers look amazing – it makes me so happy everytime I walk in or out the door and see them. 

So, my tip for today, this week and really all summer is to feed your plants.  Water alone just won’t do it.  Give this plant food a try, just plug your nose while doing it since the dead, emulsified fish that make it up stink 🙂

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Planting Tomatoes

As one of the most ubiquitous and best-loved vegetables, it’s hard to beat the taste and scent of sun-ripened tomatoes (the ones in the grocery store are usually artificially ripened) and the best way to satisfy the craving is to plant them at home! Since it’s just about that time of the year, here are a couple of tips and tricks for terrific tomatoes!

  • Start with healthy plants – If growing from seed or purchasing plants from your local garden center, you want to transplant the short and stocky plants. The greater the girth of the main stem, the better! This means they’ve established a better root system and will grow much stronger after being transplanted outside.
  • Sun, sun and more sun – Plant your tomatoes in the area of your garden that gets the most sun! They like about 8-10 hours a day of full sun.
  • The soil – It should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. Before planting add a little compost to the soil and remember to feed the plants with a tomato fertilizer a couple of times through out the growing season.
  • Wait until the perfect time to plant – Don’t get overzealous and try and stick them in the ground too early! Wait not only until after the danger of frost has passed, but until the soil temperature is 60 degrees.
  • Spacing – Tomatoes like about 1.5 – 3 feet between them to ensure good air flow (prevents disease) and ample space for roots to stretch out.
  • Planting the seedlings – A little trick from my dad – Bury the plant up to its lowest set of leaves when transplanting. Roots will grow along the stem and result in a stronger root system, which equals more tomatoes for you!
  • Support plants – I like to use the tall cages. This helps keep the plant from sagging and the fruit from lying on the ground, which can lead to rotting. It also makes it easier to care for the plant.
  • Pruning – If plants are staked, regularly pinch off the small suckers that sprout between the leafy branches and main stems. This will prevent your plant from getting too leggy and will keep the plants energy focused on producing more fruit.

Happy Gardening!

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Happy Earth Day!

In celebration of Earth Day, here are a couple of tips for being a little more “green” everyday.

  • Wash clothes less often – Wait until you have a large load to run the washing machine. And then, wash with cold water. Save those bright whites until you actually have a full load.
  • Plant something! – As important as it is to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions, it is equally as important to have plants to absorb it all!
  • Iron less – Ironing uses an unbelievable amount of energy. To keep clothes wrinkle free, fold while still warm from the dryer. If there is something that is still a bit creased, hang in the bathroom while showering and the steam will help bring out the wrinkles.
  • Avoid anti-bacterial soaps – Using these soaps ultimately leads to the development/growth of antibiotic-resistant super germs. Many of these products contain the compound triclosan, which is also used in hospitals for its bacteria-busting power. The trouble is, many scientists are worried that such widespread overuse of triclosan is likely to render it useless, as microbes may develop resistance to it, as well as possibly other similar antibiotics.
  • Switch to paper-less billing – Pay utility and credit card bills online to limit the number of trees wasted on paper that you ultimately throw in the trash.
  • Finally, get outside and enjoy the beautiful outdoors. Take a hike, plant a garden, walk to work – whatever it is, be proud to do your share in keeping the Earth beautiful for generations to come!

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A Green Thumb Gift

If you’re like me and sad to have the winter really upon us, here’s a great gardening gift that you can make inside for the green-thumb in your life.

Begonias are one of the easiest plants to propagate; most varieties only need a little water to start new roots. They come in infinite varieties (I love the leaves as much as the flowers) and stand up incredibly well as city house plants (requiring relatively low light, rather infrequent waterings (a once-a-week soaking will suffice in a pot with good drainage), and they are undeniably gorgeous.  Click below for the how-to.

Continue reading

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Perfectly Plump Pumpkins

Just watch the video – it will instill a new appreciation for alliterations.
(My garden didn’t go quite as well as these growers with the gorgeous gigantic gourds)

pumpkins

Happy Weekend!

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