Help, My Rhubarb Is Leggy – Reasons For Spindly Rhubarb Stalks

Sun, 2020-03-15 15:05
Rhubarb is a perennial vegetable with large leaves and characteristic thick red stalks. Often used as pie filling, rhubarb is easy to grow and requires minimal care. So, if your rhubarb is leggy or you’re seeing spindly or thin rhubarb stalks, it’s time to find out why. What Causes Small Rhubarb Stalks? Young Plants It takes rhubarb plants two years to become established. During this period, it’s normal for the plant to produce spindly rhubarb stalks. Harvesting during this establishment period can reduce the vigor of the plant. The solution: hold off harvesting young rhubarb plants for the first two years. This establishment period allows the plant to develop a strong root system which supports future plant growth. Overcrowding Rhubarb is a long living perennial which can grow for decades. Each spring brings an abundance of new shoots emerging from the crown. Eventually, this causes overcrowding and thinning rhubarb stalks.

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Vertical Melon Growing – How To Grow Melons On A Trellis

Sun, 2020-03-15 11:00
Who wouldn’t like the luxury of growing watermelons, cantaloupes, and other luscious melons in a backyard garden? Nothing tastes more like summer than a ripe melon straight from the vine. Melons grow on very sprawling vines that can take up most of a garden bed though. The perfect solution is growing melons vertically. While these fruits are heavy, you can grow melons on a trellis as long as you create a strong support system for the vine and each fruit. Vertical Melon Growing Few gardeners have all the growing space they would like. That’s why the vertical vegetable garden has become popular. Using trellises allow you to produce more crops than you otherwise would and often healthier crops too. This includes vertical melon growing. Vining plants that sprawl on the ground are also vulnerable to insect pests, fruit rot, and other diseases. Growing melons vertically, that is up a trellis,

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Growing Sweet Potatoes Vertically: Planting Sweet Potatoes On A Trellis

Sun, 2020-03-15 07:00
Have you ever considered growing sweet potatoes vertically? These ground-covering vines can reach 20 feet (6 m.) in length. For gardeners with limited space, growing sweet potatoes on a trellis may be the only way to include this tasty tuber among their homegrown vegetables. As an added bonus, these vines make attractive patio plants when planted as a vertical sweet potato garden. How to Plant a Vertical Sweet Potato Garden Purchase or start sweet potato slips. Unlike most garden vegetables, sweet potatoes aren’t grown from seeds, but from seedling plants which have sprouted from the root tuber. You can start your own slips from grocery-store sweet potatoes or purchase specific varieties of sweet potato slips from gardening centers and online catalogs. Select a large planter or container. Sweet potato vines aren’t vivacious climbers, preferring instead to crawl along the ground. As they crawl, the vines set down roots along the

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Aristolochia And Butterflies: Does Dutchman’s Pipe Harm Butterflies

Sat, 2020-03-14 18:00
Dutchman’s pipe, named due to its resemblance to a smoking pipe, is a vigorous climbing vine. While it has many beneficial uses in the garden, does Dutchman’s pipe harm butterflies? Turns out that Dutchman’s pipe toxicity to butterflies depends upon the variety. Most Aristolochia and butterflies work well; however, Giant Dutchman’s pipe is another matter entirely. About Aristolochia and Butterflies Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla) is a vining plant native to eastern North America and thrives in USDA zones 4-8. There are a number of other types of Aristolochia, most of which are sought after as a primary food source for the Pipevine swallowtail butterfly. It seems that the aristolochic acids of these plants serves as a feeding stimulant as well as provides a habitat for eggs with a feeding ground for the resulting larvae. The aristolochic acid is toxic to the butterflies but generally works more as a predator deterrent.

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Attracting Monarch Butterflies: Growing A Monarch Butterfly Garden

Sat, 2020-03-14 15:00
Pollinators play an essential role in the overall health and production of our gardens. Whether choosing to grow flower gardens, vegetables, or a combination of both, bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects are integral to success. In recent years, the decline in monarch butterfly populations has been of specific interest. Many gardeners ask how to attract monarch butterflies. Which plants do monarch butterflies like? With minimal planning, even small containers of flowering annuals or perennials can serve as a resource to this beautiful species of butterfly. How to Attract Monarch Butterflies Attracting monarch butterflies is much similar to attracting other pollinators to the garden. Including the right plants is key. Beneficial insects are attracted to flowers that provide a steady source of nectar throughout the growing season. This is no exception in the creation of a monarch butterfly garden. Adult monarch butterflies, which migrate towards Mexico, will need a consistent

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Why Butterflies Matter – Benefits Of Butterflies In The Garden

Sat, 2020-03-14 11:00
Butterflies bring movement and beauty to a sunny garden. The sight of the delicate, winged creatures flitting from flower to flower delights the young and old. But there’s more to these jeweled insects than meets the eye. Read on to learn more about how butterflies in the garden are beneficial. Butterfly Garden Benefits Why butterflies matter? Besides being important pollinators, butterflies impact the whole environment. Their welfare is increasingly compromised by loss of habitat due to deforestation and widespread pesticide use, as well as changes in climate and weather. By planting butterfly gardens, people can help conserve butterflies as well as other native insects and help perpetuate native plant species. How are Butterflies Good for the Garden? Attracting butterflies to the garden by planting a variety of native and cultivated plant species help sustain plant diversity and attract other beneficial insects to the garden such as native bees and ladybugs.

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Categories: Organic Gardening

What Is A Butterfly House – Butterfly Home Ideas For Gardens

Sat, 2020-03-14 07:00
A butterfly shelter is an attractive addition to your garden, but more importantly, it’s an interesting way to attract a variety of beautiful butterflies. Exactly what is a butterfly house? A butterfly shelter is a dark, cozy area that provides a place for butterflies to rest, safely away from birds and other predators. Some types of butterflies may use the shelter to hibernate during the winter. Keep reading for tips on creating a house for butterflies. How to Build a Butterfly House Building a butterfly house is a fun, inexpensive weekend project. All you need is a couple pieces of lumber and a few basic tools. A house for butterflies is constructed of nearly any type of untreated lumber and basically enclosed. They are often made of recycled wood. Butterfly homes are usually tall and narrow, often about 11 to 24 inches (28-61 cm.) tall and 5 to 8 inches

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Butterflies That Eat Cycads: Learn About Cycad Blue Butterfly Damage

Fri, 2020-03-13 18:00
Cycads are some of the oldest plants on earth, and some, such as the sago palm (Cycas revoluta) remain popular houseplants. These are tough, rugged plants that can live for hundreds of years. However, a cycad threat has emerged in the form of blue cycad butterflies (Theclinesthes onycha). While these butterflies have been around a long time, only recently has cycad blue butterfly damage become a problem for gardeners. Read on for more information about butterflies that damage cycad plants and tips on how to prevent this from happening. About Blue Cycad Butterflies Sago palms are usually the toughest of plants, but in recent years gardeners have seen their cycads looking sick. According to experts, the most likely cause is the presence of butterflies on the plants. More specifically, blue cycad butterflies. When you see butterflies on cycad, look at them carefully. Recognize these butterflies by the bluish metallic sheen

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Dutchman’s Pipe Varieties: How To Grow Giant Dutchman’s Pipe Flowers

Fri, 2020-03-13 15:00
Giant dutchman’s pipe plant (Aristolochia gigantea) produces exotic, oddly shaped blooms mottled with maroon and white spots and orange-yellow throats. The citrus-scented flowers are indeed huge, measuring at least 10 inches (25 cm.) in length. The vine is impressive too, reaching lengths of 15 to 20 feet (5-7 m.). Native to Central and South America, giant dutchman’s pipe is a warm climate plant suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 through 12. Giant Dutchman’s pipe plant prefers temperatures 60 F. (16 C.) and above and won’t survive if temperatures fall below 30 F. (-1). Interested in learning how to grow giant Dutchman’s pipe vine? It’s surprisingly easy. Read on for more information on Giant dutchman’s pipe plant. How to Grow Giant Dutchman’s Pipe Dutchman’s pipe vine tolerates full sun or partial shade but blooming tends to be more prolific in full sun. The exception is extremely hot climates,

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Insects Protecting Their Children – Do Insects Care For Their Young

Fri, 2020-03-13 11:00
Animals are known for their fierce protection and devotion to their offspring, but did you ever wonder how insects protect their young? The instinct to preserve children of any species is strong and likely extends to insects. Just as a mother lion keeps her cubs safe, it’s possible an insect parent will similarly watch over its young. Do Insects Care for Their Young? Do insects care for their young? Well, not in the same sense as humans or even other animals. Much of the insect life cycle consists of laying eggs and moving on. Most species are not especially attentive parents but often do give their children a way of protecting themselves. Nature has a way of creating the necessary defenses so young have a chance to grow up and reproduce themselves. It is rare for both insect parents to care for their brood, but it does happen in a

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Pest Control Comparison: Orkin vs. Terminix

Fri, 2020-03-13 08:00
To learn more about our editorial integrity policy and how we make money through affiliate partnerships, read our full disclosure here. No matter how well you keep up your home and your yard, you’ll probably encounter unwanted bugs or animals at some point. You can try to treat small infestations yourself, but large or destructive pest colonies require the services of a professional. Most homeowners just don’t have the products, equipment, or training to get pesticide down into the nooks and crannies where insects, spiders, and rodents live. It always pays to have the name and number of a good pest control company at hand in case of emergencies. Orkin and Terminix, our top recommendations, are well-known and long-established names in pest control. They’re available nearly nationwide, so most homeowners looking for pest control services will have access to both companies, and the services they offer are similar. The question

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Good Bugs And Groundcover Plants – Low Plants That Attract Beneficial Insects

Fri, 2020-03-13 07:00
If you’re trying to find a sensible solution for a steep slope or you’re tired of weeding under a tree, you’ve probably considered planting groundcover. These dense plants form thick mats of foliage and discourage weed growth. But did you know that some of these low-growing plants also create a beneficial insect habitat? Choosing Groundcover Plants for Beneficial Bugs Why choose a groundcover for “good” bugs? Selecting low plants that attract beneficial insects, like bees, to your yard and garden can improve vegetable yields by increasing pollination. At the same time, providing a beneficial insect environment for predator bugs helps reduce the number of harmful insects which damage edible crops and flowers. By adding groundcover and  low plants that attract beneficial insects, gardeners can reduce or eliminate the need for harmful pesticides. When selecting groundcover plants for beneficial bugs, look for plant species with thick foliage  that bloom profusely for

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Flower Watering Tips: A Guide To Watering Flowers

Thu, 2020-03-12 18:00
Even the most seasoned gardeners can benefit from a quick guide to watering flowers. If you’re new to growing flowers, however, understanding how to water them correctly can make the difference between success with thriving blooms and failure, or dead plants. How Much Water Do Flowers Need? Watering gardens of any kind is important. Knowing how to water flowers correctly begins with the basics, how much water they actually need to grow and thrive. A good general rule to follow for most flowers is one inch (2.5 cm.) of water every seven to ten days. This is just for the growing season, though, as many flowers need less during the dormant part of the year.   One inch of water is approximately five gallons of water per square yard of soil. If you are watering flower beds, you can put on a sprinkler and leave open canisters out to catch

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Categories: Organic Gardening

DIY Flower Press Tips – Pressing Flowers And Leaves

Thu, 2020-03-12 15:00
Pressing flowers and leaves is a great craft idea for any gardener, or anyone really. If you grow your own plants to press or take walks in the woods to collect samples, these delicate and beautiful specimens can be preserved and turned into art objects. Why Press Leaves and Flowers? Pressing leaves, flowers, and entire plants is a time-tested craft and art form. People have done this for centuries or longer to preserve specimens for study or medicine, to give as gifts, and to use in craft projects. Most people today who partake in flower and foliage pressing do so for projects simply to preserve the beauty of spring, summer, and fall. During a long winter, these pretty pressed plants bring a little sunshine into your home. How to Press Plants Pressing plants is as easy as it sounds. You don’t even need a fancy flower press. Although if you

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Daffodil Benefits – What Are Daffodils Good For

Thu, 2020-03-12 11:00
A classic early flower of spring, uses for daffodils extend well beyond providing cheerful color after the winter months. While this may be the main reason most people plant daffodil bulbs, these pretty spring flowers can enrich your garden, improve pollination, and provide medical and health benefits. What are Daffodils Good for Medicinally? Daffodil flower uses are mostly limited to ornamentation. However, researchers are finding ways to extract compounds from daffodils with the potential of treating diseases. Some of the daffodil benefits to medicine may include treatments for Alzheimer’s disease and even cancer. Traditionally, daffodil flowers and bulbs have been used for inducing vomiting. It is very risky to try this, however, as there are reported cases of deaths related to using the bulbs. Avoid using any part of a daffodil as medicine or food. Benefits of Daffodils in the Garden You may not be able to eat them or

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Terminix Pest Control Review

Thu, 2020-03-12 08:00
To learn more about our editorial integrity policy and how we make money through affiliate partnerships, read our full disclosure here. When you’re seeking pest control services, the first company that comes to mind is most likely Terminix. After all, the company has wide reach and a comprehensive range of services. Terminix has a solid foothold and a good reputation in the pest control industry. At Gardening Know How, we have conducted ample research in order to provide an unbiased and thorough review of Terminix. Using data culled from customer-provided Terminix reviews, cost comparisons, service plan information and more, we believe that Terminix is a leader in the industry and that you would benefit from utilizing their pest control services in your home. In this article: Plans and Services Terminix Cost Availability Terminix Reviews Is Terminix Worth It? Our Verdict Frequently Asked Questions To learn more about the range of

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Marigold Flower Uses: Marigold Benefits For Gardens And Beyond

Thu, 2020-03-12 07:00
Marigolds are native to Mexico, but the sunny annuals have become incredibly popular and are grown in countries around the world. Although they are appreciated primarily for their beauty, you may not have considered the many surprising marigold benefits for gardens. Read on to learn about ways to use marigold plants in the garden. Marigold Uses and Benefits Check out the following marigold flower uses, and a few important marigold benefits for gardens. Nematode control – The roots and stems of marigolds emit a chemical that may suppress the population of root-knot nematodes, tiny soilborne worms that feed on the roots of ornamental plants and vegetables. It appears that French marigolds, particularly the ‘Tangerine’ variety, are most effective against the destructive pests. Bees and other beneficial insects – Marigolds attract ladybugs, parasitic wasps, hoverflies, and other beneficial insects that protect your plants from aphids and other harmful pests. The blooms,

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Blue Lips Plant Info: Tips For Growing Blue Lips Plants

Wed, 2020-03-11 18:00
Looking for something attractive, yet low maintenance for partially shaded areas of the landscape or container garden? You can’t go wrong with planting blue lips flowers. Sure, the name may seem awkward, but once you see them in full bloom in the garden, you’ll quickly become a fan. Read on to learn more. Blue Lips Plant Info Blue lips (Sclerochiton harveyanus) is a glossy-leaved spreading perennial shrub that is suitable for a woodland garden. The small to medium sized evergreen shrub is hardy in USDA zones 10 and 11. In July, August and September (December through March in Southern Hemisphere), small blue to purple flowers cover the plant, followed by seed pods that burst when ripe. The multi-stemmed shrub reaches 6 to 8 feet tall (1.8 to 2.4 meters) with a similar spread in optimum conditions. Runners enable the plant to spread quickly. Elliptic leaves are dark green on the

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Indian Clock Vine Plant Info – Learn How To Grow Indian Clock Vines

Wed, 2020-03-11 15:17
The Indian clock vine plant is native to India, specifically areas of tropical mountain ranges. This means it isn’t easy to grow in climates that are too cold or dry, but it does make a lovely, flowering evergreen vine in warm, tropical areas. Indian Clock Vine Plant Info Indian clock vine, Thunbergia mysorensis, is a flowering evergreen vine found in India. If you have the right conditions to grow it, this vine is a stunner. It can grow up to 20 feet (6 m.) long and produces flower clusters up to 3 feet (1 m.) long. The flowers are red and yellow and attract hummingbirds as well as other pollinators. The Indian clock vine needs something sturdy to climb and looks especially nice growing on a pergola or arbor. If set to grow so the flowers hang down, you will have visually stunning pendants of bright flowers. Since it’s native

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Hyacinth Bulb Itch – What To Do For Hyacinth Skin Allergy

Wed, 2020-03-11 11:08
Hyacinth is a popular fall planted bulb for cheerful, fragrant spring blooms. These flowers are also among the most commonly used bulbs for indoor forcing, driving away winter glooms with fresh growing flowers. Unfortunately, hyacinth irritation can be an issue. Learn more about this skin problem and how you can manage it while still enjoying hyacinths. What is Hyacinth Bulb Itch? If you have ever handled hyacinth bulbs, you may have experienced some degree of itchiness. Some people may feel nothing, others have a mild reaction, and some experience an intense itchy reaction to hyacinth bulbs. An itchy reaction to bulbs is probably not a true hyacinth skin allergy. While it may be possible to be allergic to substances in the bulbs, most people who get itchy from handling them are experiencing irritation from a mineral known as calcium oxalate. The crystals of calcium oxalate, which make up as much

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Categories: Organic Gardening

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