Growing Mexican Stars: What Are Mexican Star Flowers

Sun, 2019-10-13 07:00
Mexican star flowers (Milla biflora) are native plants that grow wild in the southwestern United States. It is one of six species in the genus and not widely cultivated. Read on for information about growing Mexican stars as well as tips on Mexican star plant care. About Mexican Star Flowers Mexican star flowers are native to North America. You can see wild growing Mexican stars in both the southwestern states of this country, like Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, and also in Mexico. They prefer hilly areas with desert grassland and chaparral. All of the plants in the “Milla” genus are cormous. This means that they grow from bulb-like root structures called corms. Mexican star flowers are herbaceous perennial plants that grow from a large bulb or corm. The corm is made up of concentric layer of plant matter some 0.4 to 0.8 inches (1–2 cm.) in diameter. The plants

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Garden Hose Upkeep – Learn How To Make A Hose Last

Sat, 2019-10-12 18:00
Your garden hose just might be the most important tool you have. If you consider the time it would take to carry water to all those plants you’re growing, you’ll immediately see the importance of garden hose maintenance. Care for a garden hose is not complicated, only a matter of storing a hose properly and a little upkeep. Read on for information on garden hose care as well as tips on how to make a hose last longer. About Garden Hose Maintenance A garden hose is essential in the backyard, providing you with a movable water source to irrigate plants or wash down the wheelbarrow and other materials. You’ll want to avoid cheap, low-quality products and buy a tough, well-made hose that will last. Once you invest the money, it just makes sense to care for the hose. Unlike metal tools, hoses don’t need to be oiled down, but there

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Soil Sifter Tool: How To Make A Soil Sieve For Compost

Sat, 2019-10-12 15:00
Whether you are developing a new garden bed or working the soil in an old one, you often come across unexpected debris making digging difficult. Rocks, cement pieces, sticks, and plastic somehow get into the soil and lodge there. If you leave the debris, your new plants will have a hard time pushing their way to the soil surface when they germinate. That’s where a soil sifter tool comes in handy. What is a soil sifter? Read on for information about using soil sifters including tips on how to make one yourself. What is a Soil Sifter? If your experience with sifting is limited to flour, you probably need to read up on soil sifter tools. These are garden tools that help remove debris from soil and also break down lumps in compost to make it easier to spread. You’ll find both electric and manual soil sifters in commerce. Professional

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Growing Degree Day Information – Tips For Calculating Growing Degree Days

Sat, 2019-10-12 11:00
What are Growing Degree Days? Growing Degree Days (GDD), also known as Growing Degree Units (GDU), are a way researchers and growers can estimate the development of plants and insects during a growing season. By using data calculated from air temperatures, the “heat units” can more accurately reflect growth stages than the calendar method. The concept is that growth and development increases with air temperature but stagnates at a maximum temperature. Read on to learn more about the importance of Growing Degree Days in this article. Calculating Growing Degree Days The calculation starts with a base temperature or “threshold” under which a certain insect or plant would not grow or develop. Then the high and low temperatures for the day are added together and divided by 2 to get an average. The average temperature minus the threshold temperature gives the Growing Degree Day amount. If the result is a negative

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Using A Hand Spreader – What Is A Hand Seed Spreader Used For

Sat, 2019-10-12 07:00
There are many ways to get grass seed or fertilizer spread evenly over your yard. You can simply pay a lawn service to do it or do the job yourself. Although this requires an initial investment in a tool, it will ultimately cost less. Handheld garden spreaders are the cheapest and easiest spreader tools to use. Consider this option for low cost and ease of use, especially for smaller spaces. What is a Hand Spreader? Hand spreading seeds or fertilizer without some type of tool isn’t recommended. You won’t be able to space the material very well, which means you’ll end up with clumps of seeds and fertilizer as well as bare patches. An inexpensive tool for hand spreading seeds and fertilizer more evenly and easily is a handheld spreader. Just what is a hand spreader you may wonder? This is a small, simple device with a hopper to hold

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What Is Citrus Canker – How To Treat Citrus Canker Symptoms

Fri, 2019-10-11 18:00
Citrus canker is a financially devastating disease that has been eradicated from the citrus market a couple of times only to return again. During past eradication attempts, thousands of trees were destroyed. Today, mass eradication has been deemed unfeasible, but there is still a quarantine regarding shipping or taking citrus across state lines. So, what exactly is citrus canker? Read on to learn about citrus canker symptoms and how to treat the disease should it appear in the home garden. What is Citrus Canker? Citrus canker goes way back to its discovery in Texas in 1910 and into Florida in 1914. It was introduced on seedlings imported from Japan. It is caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas citri and likely originated in southern Asia. The disease can now be found in Japan, the Middle East, central and southern Africa, and Central and South America. This bacterium is extremely contagious and is

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Gardening Down South: How To Manage Pests In Southern Regions

Fri, 2019-10-11 15:00
Managing pests in the south requires vigilance and recognizing good bugs from bad bugs. By keeping an eye on your plants and vegetables, you can catch problems before they become a full-blown infestation. Read on for tips on how to manage pests in southern regions. Pests and Gardening Down South Many vegetable growers prefer not to use any pesticides in the garden to keep produce wholesome and chemical-free. It’s always best to start out with the least invasive action and work your way up to chemical controls, if necessary. And then use the least toxic products first. A few pests are normal, and there is no need to panic when you see them. Try to identify whether it is a pest or a beneficial insect. Beneficial insects such as lady beetles, green lacewings, spiders, parasitic wasps, mantids and syrphid flies can eliminate the pests before chemical intervention is needed. Wait

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Categories: Organic Gardening

West Facing Indoor Plants – Caring For West Facing Window Houseplants

Fri, 2019-10-11 11:00
If you have plants that require brighter light, a west-facing window is a great option for your houseplants. Western windows, in general, provide brighter light than eastern facing windows, but less than southern. There are many choices for houseplants for west windows, but keep in mind that these windows will get afternoon sun which can get quite hot. In addition, if you have plants that don’t like to much direct sun, you can easily diffuse the light in your western window by drawing a sheer curtain. In this way, it can be a very versatile window because you can grow a wider variety of plants. Houseplants for West Windows There are many great plants for west window light that will enjoy the afternoon direct sun and warmer temperatures.  Jade – Jade plants are great options because they will thrive in the higher light provided in this exposure. Allow your plants

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Sorrel In A Container – How To Care For Potted Sorrel Plants

Fri, 2019-10-11 07:00
Yummy sorrel is an easy leafy green to grow. It is so easy you can even grow sorrel in a container. The lemony, tart leaves will be easy to access in a pot just outside the door, providing variety in the salad bowl, as well as Vitamins A and C and plenty of other nutrients. Sorrel makes a nice change from spinach and works well fresh or sautéed. You can grow it from seed, division or root cuttings. No matter how you start your plants, growing sorrel in pots is ideal. Container grown sorrel may even perform better than in-ground plants because you can move the cool season perennial away from hot sites during the day. Tips on Potted Sorrel Plants Select a well-draining container that is at least 12 inches (30 cm.) across. Use a potting medium that drains freely and is rich in organic matter, such as well

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Categories: Organic Gardening

What Are Blister Mites: Recognizing Blister Mite Damage

Thu, 2019-10-10 18:08
Blister mites (a type of eriophyid mite) are tiny, microscopic pests that can cause big problems when they are allowed to get out of control. For home fruit growers, blister mite damage is usually cosmetic, but problems for commercial fruit growers can be significant. Read on for more information and learn how to control blister mites in your garden. What are Blister Mites? The most common types of blister mite pests are pearleaf blister mite and appleleaf blister mite. The mites may also attack various plants such as cotoneaster, hawthorn, quince, serviceberry, and others. The family of eriophyid mites also includes close cousins such as citrus bud mites, citrus rust mites, pear rust mites, redberry mite, tomato russet mite, and peach silver mite. Symptoms of Blister Mite Damage Blister mite pests enter the tree in late summer or early fall, overwintering until spring when they become active and feed on

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Treating Asters With Leaf Spots – Treating Leaf Spots On Aster Plants

Thu, 2019-10-10 15:02
Asters are pretty, daisy-like perennials that are easy to grow and add variation and color to flower beds. Once you get them started, asters won’t need much care or maintenance, but there are a few diseases that may trouble them. If you see spots on aster leaves, you may have a fungal disease growing in your garden. Know how to prevent leaf spot and how to deal with it if it shows up on your perennials. What Causes Aster Leaf Spots? Leaf spots on aster plants can be caused by one or more of several fungal species. These include species of the Alternaria, Ascochyta, Cercospora, and Septoria families. The fungi overwinter in plant matter on the ground and in the soil. Infection is promoted by wet conditions, especially on the leaves. Another type of fungus, Coleosporium spp., causes a similar but distinct disease on asters known as rust. Symptoms of

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Categories: Organic Gardening

East Window Plants: Growing Houseplants In East Facing Windows

Thu, 2019-10-10 11:00
Your window exposure is very important when choosing which houseplants can grow there. Fortunately, there are many east window plants that you can grow. Eastern windows will typically get the gentler morning sun, but then have bright indirect light throughout the rest of the day. This is ideal for a wide variety of plants! It is important to note that not all windows are created equal. The size and type of window you have, in addition to any obstructions such has trees or other buildings, can have a great impact on the quality and amount of light that comes through. If your plant growth is weak or spindly, move it to a brighter location. Indoor Plants for East Window Light There are many indoor plants for east-facing windows. Great choices for flowering houseplants in an east-facing window include: Phalaenopsis – Moth orchids are among the best indoor orchids and can

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Tuberous Geranium Plants: How To Grow A Tuberous Cranesbill Flower

Thu, 2019-10-10 07:00
What are tuberous geranium plants? And, what is a tuberous cranesbill? How are they different from the familiar geranium we all know and love? Keep reading to find out. About Tuberous Geranium Plants The familiar scented geraniums are actually not true geraniums; they are pelargoniums. Tuberous geraniums, also known as hardy geraniums, wild geraniums, or cranesbill, are their slightly wild cousins. The pelargoniums growing in a container on your patio are annuals, while tuberous geranium plants are perennials. Although the two plants are related, they are very different. For starters, tuberous geranium plants vary substantially from pelargonium in color, shape and blooming habits. As the name implies, tuberous geranium plants spread via underground tubers. In spring, clumps of rosy lavender blooms marked with dark purple veins rise on wiry stems above lacy-looking foliage. Seedpods that appear at the end of the season look like crane’s beaks, thus the name “cranesbill.”

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Categories: Organic Gardening

What Is Aster Foot Rot: Treating Asters With Foot Rot Disease

Wed, 2019-10-09 18:00
What is aster foot rot? This nasty, soil-borne fungal disease enters asters through the taproot and spreads through the roots before moving upwards through the entire plant. Once established, treating aster foot rot is difficult; however, the disease can be prevented. Let’s learn more about asters with foot rot. Aster Foot Rot Symptoms What causes aster foot rot? Aster foot rot is most common in damp weather. The disease is favored by poorly drained soil and overwatering. Once aster foot rot is in the soil, it spreads quickly, even in very small amounts of water. Symptoms of asters with foot rot include sudden wilting of leaves and a brownish-black discoloration of the lower part of the stems. Plants often shrivel and collapse at soil level. Because the disease affects the roots, asters with foot rot are easily pulled from the soil. Treating Aster Foot Rot Prevention of asters with foot

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Categories: Organic Gardening

What Is Aster Root Rot – Aster Stem Rot Information And Control

Wed, 2019-10-09 15:00
Fall-blooming asters provide one of the last colorful treats of the season before winter’s cold kiss. They are hardy plants with sturdy dispositions and are rarely bothered seriously by pests or disease. Aster rhizoctonia rot, however, is one disease that crops up in the plants from time to time. This fungus is found in many types of plants and causes a variety of symptoms. What is Aster Root Rot? Rhizoctonia affects many types of ornamental perennials and even a few herbs and shrubs. This widespread fungus causes blights, rots, and damping off. Aster stem rot information indicates the disease as starting in soil. The stem rot can progress in the plant to leaves and blooms. Aster stem and root rot is a result of the fungus Rhizoctonia solani. The pathogen is a soil borne organism that occurs in many types of soil. It remains in soil as mycelium and sclerotia

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Houseplants For Direct Light: Keeping Houseplants In A South-Facing Window

Wed, 2019-10-09 11:00
If you are fortunate enough to have sunny south facing windows, you can grow a nice variety of houseplants, including many flowering houseplants that you would not be able to grow elsewhere.    Plants for South-Facing Windows Many people would be shocked to find out that Sansevieria are actually good houseplants for direct light. These plants are commonly labeled as “low light” plants, but this simply means that they tolerate low light. This doesn’t mean that they REQUIRE low light! These plants will have sturdier growth in direct light and may also occasionally reward you with a spray of fragrant white flowers. Many succulents will thrive as south-facing window houseplants. Among commonly available succulents that you can grow here include: Aloe Echeveria Kalanchoe Jade Plant String of Pearls Lithops Many Euphorbias are available and do well in bright light conditions, such as African milk tree (Euphorbia trigona) and crown of thorns

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Keeping Nemesia In A Pot: Can You Grow Nemesia In Planters

Wed, 2019-10-09 07:00
Almost any annual plant can be grown in a container provided you select a suitable sized pot, location and the correct soil. Potted nemesia grows beautifully just on its own or in combination with other plants that have the same growing conditions. Charming little nemesia in planters bring ease of care along with their whimsical blooms. Add container grown nemesia plants to your patio garden repertoire and enjoy their sunny character. Can You Grow Nemesia in a Pot? Annual plants really round out the spring and summer garden. They provide a real “pick-me-up” as you wait for perennials to come to full flower. Nemesia has blooms that resemble tiny snapdragons or lobelia blooms and come in many bright colors. Try using nemesia in planters, either en masse or mixed with other annuals. Keeping nemesia in a pot allows you to control where you use the plants and in high heat

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Begonia Root Knot Nematodes – Tips On Preventing Begonia Nematodes

Tue, 2019-10-08 18:02
Nematodes are common plant pests. Begonia root knot nematodes are rare but can occur where un-sterile soil is used for the plants. Once a begonia plant has them, the visible portion of the plant will decline and could die. It can be hard to diagnose root knot nematodes on begonias because the problem starts under the soil. Luckily, preventing begonia nematodes is easy and starts at planting. About Root Knot Nematodes on Begonias Nematodes are the most numerous pests on our planet and unfortunate parasites to plant roots. They are non-segmented roundworms that occur wherever there is moisture. They are too small to see with the naked eye, which makes identification very difficult. Begonias with root knot nematodes are diagnosed from visual cues on the upper part of the plant. Usually, once symptoms are observed, it is too late to help the plant. Root knot nematodes feed on plant roots

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Spots On Hydrangea Leaves – How To Treat Hydrangeas With Leaf Spots

Tue, 2019-10-08 15:00
Hydrangeas are a favorite flowering shrub of many, with big blooms and attractive foliage. However, spots on hydrangea leaves can ruin the beauty and infect other shrubs too. Learn how to treat the hydrangea leaf spot disease and make your plant beautiful again. Leaf Spot Diseases on Hydrangeas Leaf spotting on hydrangea is mostly caused by the fungus Cercospora and affects most of this family of plants. It is common from summer through fall. The fungus exists in the soil and is moved onto the plant by overhead watering or rain. Plants are usually infected a month or two before spots appear on the leaves. Symptoms worsen during summers with heavy rainfall. Plants may flower less, with smaller blooms, and are less vigorous overall. Hydrangeas with leaf spots rarely die from the disease, but they can decline and defoliate early. The spots first occur on lower, older leaves and then

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Categories: Organic Gardening

Indirect Light Houseplants: Choosing Plants For North-Facing Windows

Tue, 2019-10-08 11:00
When growing houseplants in your home, one of the most important aspects to ensure they will thrive is placing them in the correct light. If you are looking for some great indirect light houseplants, there are plenty that you can grow. North-facing windows provide the least amount of light compared to other exposures but, luckily, you have many choices for houseplants in north-facing windows.  Choosing Houseplants for North-Facing Windows Keep in mind that no plant likes to be placed in a dark corner. There are plants that will tolerate it, but you’ll want to have your plants within a foot (30 cm.) or so away from your north-facing window. Here are some plants that like low light windows: Pothos – Pothos is a wonderful low light houseplant. You can allow the trailing vines to grow long, or if you’d like a bushier look, you can trim them back. This plant

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Categories: Organic Gardening

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