Below are our most recent gardening tips.
Tom Brinkman, Winnebago County Master Gardener presented a program to the Paper Valley Garden Club Feb. 18. Several ideas stood out. If you are going away for a week or so and want to keep plants alive here is the tip. Place wet bath towels in a bathtub. Close the drain of the bathtub. Put all the plants you desire onto the towels and the plants will wick up the water and stay turgid.
Place orchids on the silver plastic lining for fluorescent bulbs available at the hardware stores. Then fill the tray beneath the crate with water.
Air circulation is very important for most house plants. Group similar need plants together and put a small fan on to circulate the air.
How to know high light in your house: take a piece of white paper and take it to the window, put your hand in front of the paper. If you can see the shadow of your hand, you have high light. As you move away from the window, the shadow decreases as the light decreases.
Use kelp extract on house plants, the leaves will be more turgid. Use worm castings in all of your house plants when transplanting.
Bring your herbs indoors for the winter. Repot before bringing them indoors late autumn. Then, put them in bright, indirect light in temperatures above 60 degrees at night and away from heating vents. The herbs that make good choices are lemon balm, lemon grass and lemon verbena, thymes, oregano, marjoram, chives, garlic chives, parsleys and all of the mints. Rosemary is difficult to grow indoors because it needs at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. Indoor herbs need to be fertilized once a month and pinched regularly just above a node or joint in the stem. Remove yellowing and brown leaves. Water lightly, never let the herbs get soggy. Herbs can be harvested anytime.
Thyme is fantastic for its antimicrobial benefits and is especially helpful for relieving cold congestion. Sage leaves make a great sore-throat gargle. For tummy aches, chop 1 tablespoon of lemon balm into a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey. Go to desertcanyonfarm.com for more culinary and medicinal recipes.
Trim all tops of garlic in June and July so that the bulbs will become bigger. Use the garlic tops in dips and salads.
Wall Street Journal Jan 22, 2011 reports about the Landscape firm Design 8. Founded by Adriaan Geuze and based in Rotterham, Holland draws his inspiration from the poetic beauty of the artless and the mundane. He has a fearless use of shapes in his designs, scales both intimate and urban with radical twists as seen in the wavy boardwalk on Torontos Central waterfront that brings to mind the destabilizing dynamic of a magician whipping a table cloth off a fully set table.
CARING FOR INDOOR PLANTS for hints on taking care of houseplants.
WGCF members quick tips:
Consult with Landscape experts before undertaking a huge renewal of your garden.
Always plan on paper the design of the garden, whether it is for vegetables or perennials or annuals. Stick to the plan as you plant. Consider developing a focal point in the garden and basing the plantings around the focal point.
Carry a small funnel with you to flower shows. Adding water to exhibits will be much easier.
The soiless USDA potting mix:
1 bushel vermiculite
1 bushel shredded peat moss
1 1/4 cups ground limestone
1/2 cup 20% superphosphate*
1 cup 5-10-5 fertilizer
Mix all ingriedients well. Moisten before planting.
* check the alkalinity of your soil before adding the phosphate.