Organic Gardening News

Compost And Slugs – Are Slugs Good For Compost

Organic Gardening - Mon, 2019-07-22 15:00
Nobody likes slugs, those gross, slimy pests that eat their way through our prized vegetable gardens and wreak havoc in our carefully tended flower beds. It may seem odd, but slugs are actually valuable in certain ways, especially when it comes to composting. In fact, slugs in compost should be welcomed, not shunned. Below, we explore the idea of compost and slugs, and provide helpful tips for managing compost slugs. About Compost and Slugs Are slugs good for compost? Slugs usually feed on living plant matter, but they also like plant debris and fresh garbage. For slugs, the compost bin is a perfect environment. What could be good about slugs in compost? Slugs are experts at breaking down organic matter, thus contributing to the process of decomposition. In fact, some gardeners don’t kill slugs at all. Instead, they actually pick the critters off plants and toss them in the compost

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Mesembryanthemum Plant Info: How To Grow Mesembryanthemum Flowers

Organic Gardening - Mon, 2019-07-22 11:32
The genus Mesembryanthemum is part of a current popular trend in gardening and houseplants. These are a group of flowering succulents. Their fleshy leaves, unique shapes and colors, and low maintenance requirements make them a great choice for gardens and containers. Learn more Mesembryanthemum plant information here to start growing your own. What are Mesembryanthemums? Mesembryanthemum plants are members of a genus of flowering plants that are native to several areas of southern Africa. They are considered succulents because of their fleshy leaves that hold a lot of water, like cactus. They are also called ice plants because the leaves in this particular genus are often shiny and glistening, like ice. Not only do the Mesembryanthemums have interesting and attractive foliage, they also have pretty flowers. In spring or summer, they will bloom with colorful, daisy-like flowers in red, yellow, white, pink, and other colors. Mesembryanthemum flowers can be clustered

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Lettuce Leaf Basil Info: Growing Lettuce Leaf Basil Plants

Organic Gardening - Mon, 2019-07-22 07:12
If you adore basil but can never seem to grow enough of it, then try growing Lettuce Leaf basil. What is Lettuce Leaf basil? The basil variety, ‘Lettuce Leaf’ originated in Japan and is notable, as the name suggests, for its enormous leaf size, giving the basil devotee more than ample amounts of the sweet herb. While this basil with big leaves doesn’t taste exactly like the Genovese varieties, it still has a sweet basil flavor. What is Lettuce Leaf Basil? As mentioned, Lettuce Leaf basil is a variety with extraordinary big leaves, up to 5 inches (13 cm.) long. The leaves are a brilliant green and crinkled and look much like lettuce leaves – hence the common name. Leaves are set closely on plants that reach about 18-24 inches (46-61 cm.) in height. It has a milder basil flavor and aroma but the extra large leaves more than make

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Calliope Eggplant Info: Tips For Growing Calliope Eggplants

Organic Gardening - Sun, 2019-07-21 18:03
If you have never considered eggplant cute, take a look at the Calliope eggplant. What is a Calliope eggplant? The plant produces a truly egg-shaped fruit that has decorative splashes of color. It is almost too pretty to eat, but reportedly has a nice, lightly sweet flavor perfect for many types of cuisine. Learn more Calliope eggplant info so you can decide if you want to grow this neat plant yourself. What is a Calliope Eggplant? There are more types of eggplant than can be named. The Asian variety is usually slender, while the American type is a big chubby fellow. African species are usually more rounded and it may be from these varieties from which Calliope hails. The fruits are fairly small, but the plant itself boasts a wonderful surprise, and Calliope eggplant uses are abundant. The plants from which we get the delicious fruit can be a bit

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Potted Ginseng Care: Can You Grow Ginseng In Containers

Organic Gardening - Sun, 2019-07-21 15:00
Ginseng (Panax spp.) is a plant that has been used for thousands of years in Asia. It is an herbaceous perennial and often cultivated for medicinal use. Growing ginseng requires patience and careful maintenance. It prefers to grow outdoors, either in beds or in pots. If you have questions about growing ginseng in containers, read on. We’ll give you information about potted ginseng including tips to help container-grown ginseng thrive. Growing Ginseng in Planters It may surprise you to learn that ginseng is native to North America as well as East Asia. It has dark, smooth leaves with toothed edges and tiny white flowers that develop into red berries. However, ginseng’s primary claim to fame comes from its roots. The Chinese have used ginseng root medicinally for millennium. It is said to stop inflammation, improve cognitive power, lessen anxiety and restore vitality. Ginseng is available in this county as a

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Punishing Places For Plants – How Plants Survive Extreme Environments

Organic Gardening - Sun, 2019-07-21 11:04
Many home gardeners quickly become stressed when less than ideal climatic conditions present themselves. Whether there is too much rain or a drought, growers can become frustrated when they find that their plants are not able to thrive. However, many plants throughout the world are adapted to and able to withstand even the harshest of growing conditions. Taking a closer look at how plants survive these harsh growing conditions can help home gardeners better plan their own landscapes. How Plants Survive Extreme Environments One of the most common arguments for the use of native plant species in the garden is their adaptability to local growing conditions. Depending upon your growing region, some plants will simply be more suited than others. Just like the native plants in your own backyard, plant species throughout the world are able to withstand the hottest and the coldest of extreme weather. Plants from harsh climates

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Texas Madrone Plant Info – How To Grow Texas Madrone Trees

Organic Gardening - Sun, 2019-07-21 07:17
Bred to withstand wind, cold, snow and heat, Texas madrone is a tough tree, so it stands up well to harsh elements in the landscape. If you are located in USDA hardiness zones 7 or 8 and you want to plant new trees, then learning how to grow Texas madrone may be an option. Read more to find if this is the tree for you. Texas Madrone Plant Info Native to West Texas and New Mexico, the spring blooms of Texas madrone trees (Arbutus xalapensis) are a welcome sight among the scrub pines and bare prairies found there. Multi-stemmed trunks grow to about 30 feet (9 m.). The trees have a vase shape, round crown and orange-red, berry-like drupes in summer. Branches are strong, growing to withstand the strong winds and resist drooping and breakage. The attractive white to pink fragrant blossoms grow in clusters as long as 3 inches

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Barley Basal Glume Blotch – How To Treat Glume Rot On Barley Plants

Organic Gardening - Sat, 2019-07-20 18:00
Basal glume blotch is a disease that can affect cereal grains, including barley, and can cause serious damage to the plant and even kill young seedlings. Keep reading to learn more about recognizing and treating basal glume blotch of barley crops. Barley Basal Glume Blotch Info What is basal glume blotch of barley? Also known as barley basal glume rot and spikelet rot, this disease is caused by the bacterium Pseudomonas atrofaciens (sometimes also called Pseudomonas syringae pv. atrofaciens). It affects the glume of the plant, or the small bract that grows out of the stem and partially covers each kernel of grain. Symptoms begin with small, dark green, watery lesions on the base of the glumes. Eventually, these lesions will darken to near black and may spread across the entire glume. If held up to the light, infected glumes appear translucent. A gray ooze might develop on the base

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Varieties Of Ginseng For The Home Gardener

Organic Gardening - Sat, 2019-07-20 15:00
Ginseng has been an important component of traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, used to treat a wide variety of conditions and ills. It was also highly valued by Native Americans. There are several types of ginseng on the market today, including a few varieties of “ginseng” that are similar in many ways, but aren’t actually a true ginseng. Read on to learn more about different types of ginseng. True Ginseng Plant Varieties Oriental ginseng: Oriental ginseng (Panax ginseng) is native to Korea, Siberia and China, where it is highly prized for its many medicinal qualities. It is also known as red ginseng, true ginseng or Asian ginseng. According to Chinese medicine practitioners, Oriental ginseng is considered to be “hot” and is used as a mild stimulant. Oriental ginseng has been widely harvested over the years and is nearly extinct in the wild. Although Oriental ginseng is available commercially, it is

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Mandrake History – Learn About Mandrake Plant Lore

Organic Gardening - Sat, 2019-07-20 11:00
Mandragora officinarum is a real plant with a mythical past. Known more commonly as mandrake, the lore generally refers to the roots. Beginning in ancient times, the stories about mandrake included magical powers, fertility, possession by the devil, and more. The fascinating history of this plant is colorful and even popped up in the Harry Potter series. About Mandrake History The history of mandrake plants and their use and legends goes back to ancient times. Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Middle Eastern cultures were all aware of mandrake and all believed the plant had magical powers, not always for good. Mandrake is native to the Mediterranean region. It is a perennial herb with a large root and poisonous fruits. One of the oldest references to mandrake is from the Bible and probably dates to 4,000 B.C. In the story, Rachel used the berries of the plant to conceive a child. In

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What Is Smallage: How To Grow Wild Celery Plants

Organic Gardening - Sat, 2019-07-20 07:00
If you’ve ever used celery seed or salt in a recipe, what you are using is not actually celery seed. Instead, it is the seed or fruit from the smallage herb. Smallage has been harvested wild and cultivated for centuries and used medicinally for a variety of folkloric conditions. It is also called wild celery and, indeed, has many of the same attributes. Read on to learn about growing wild celery and other interesting smallage plant info. What is Smallage? As mentioned, smallage (Apium graveolens) is often referred to as wild celery. It has a similar, yet more intense, flavor and aroma than celery along with similar looking stalks, but the stalks are not usually eaten. Smallage stalks are much more fibrous than celery stalks. The leaves can be used in a variety of ways and have a strong celery flavor. They look almost exactly like flat-leaved parsley. Plants get

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Ficus Ginseng Tree Info – Information On Ficus Ginseng Care Indoors

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2019-07-19 18:00
What is a ficus ginseng tree? It is native to south and eastern Asian countries. It is in the Ficus genus but has a chubby trunk, which is similar to ginseng roots – hence this common name. Keep reading for more ficus ginseng tree info. What is a Ficus Ginseng Tree? A quick scan of ficus ginseng tree info reveals that its botanical name is Ficus microcarpa. The tree is the result of a graft where the rootstock is developed into the characteristic “pot belly” trunk, and a scion of a variety of small leaved ficus is grafted to the top. The tree is also known as a pot belly fig as well as Taiwan ficus, Indian laurel fig, or banyan fig. Ficus trees grow very quickly and make excellent indoor plants. They have white milky sap and they can be poisonous to cats or dogs who like to graze.

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Common Pine Tree Varieties: Learn About Different Types Of Pine Tree

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2019-07-19 15:04
Most people associate pine trees with bundled evergreen needles and pine cones, and rightly so. All pine tree species are conifers, including the genus Pinus that gives them the common name. But you may be surprised by how many pine tree varieties exist. Read on for information about types of pine trees and tips for identifying pine trees in the landscape. About Different Pine Trees While the group of pine trees are all found in the family Pinaceae, they are not all the same. They are grouped into nine genera. Those in the genus Pinus are referred to as pine, while others in the Pinacea family include larch, spruce and hemlock. A key to identifying pine trees is the fact that the pine needles are attached together in bundles. The sheath holding them together is called a fascicle. The number of needles attached together in a fascicle differs among pine

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Using Ginkgo Leaves: Are Ginkgo Leaves Good For You

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2019-07-19 11:00
Ginkgoes are large, magnificent ornamental trees native to China. Among the oldest species of deciduous trees in the world, these interesting plants are prized for their hardiness and adaptability to a wide range of growing conditions. While their unique fan-shaped foliage adds dramatic visual interest to the home landscape, many believe the plant to have other uses as well. Among ginkgo leaf uses (ginkgo leaf extract) are supposed benefits to cognitive function and improved circulation. However, examining the validity of these claims is important when deciding whether or not to begin ginkgo supplements. Read on for more information on using ginkgo leaves for health. Are Ginkgo Leaves Good for You? Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) has long been touted for its purported medicinal benefits and uses. While many parts of the tree are toxic and should never be consumed, products made through the extraction of ginkgo extract are widely available in health

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Rubber Tree Branching Tips: Why Won’t My Rubber Tree Branch Out

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2019-07-19 07:00
Why won’t my rubber tree branch? This is a common question in garden chat groups and houseplant exchanges. The rubber tree plant (Ficus elastica) can sometimes be temperamental, growing upward and refusing to grow side branches. There are a few reasons why your rubber tree won’t branch. Let’s take a look and see if we can get your rubber tree branching this year. Pruning a Rubber Tree for Branching The most common way of correcting a rubber tree that won’t branch is to break apical dominance. In layman’s terms, this means removing the top growth on the main stem, thus re-directing a hormone called auxin downward, where it will encourage branches to sprout on down the stem. This is best done when the plant is young. Older plants do not like their leafy top canopy disturbed. When pruning a rubber tree for branching, make the cuts while the plant is

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Landscaping With Limestone: Tips For Gardening With Limestone

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2019-07-18 18:00
Known for its durability and attractive color, limestone is a popular choice for landscaping in the garden and the backyard. But how do you use limestone, and when should you use it? Keep reading to learn more about limestone garden design. How to Use Limestone in the Garden Limestone is a durable sedimentary rock with a pleasant white color that fits in well in many landscape designs. It is popular both in gravel and slab forms, and can be used for paths, walls, garden beds, accents, and more. The most common application of limestone in the garden is probably in making pathways. Crushed limestone gravel is relatively inexpensive and makes for an attractive, natural looking but durable walking surface. Paths made of large limestone pavers are also popular, but with big slabs some considerations have to be taken into account. Limestone can become slippery when wet, so any slabs that

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Common Mandrake Uses – What Is Mandrake Used For

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2019-07-18 15:00
What is mandrake used for? Mandrake plants aren’t widely used today, although herbal mandrake is still used in folk medicine and is studied by people who are interested in the occult or modern witchcraft. Mandrake is a mysterious plant with a long, thick taproot that resembles the human body. At one time, people believed that the mandrake plant would shriek when uprooted, emitting a scream so powerful it could kill the unfortunate person who attempted to harvest the plant. According to folklore, this fascinating plant was thought to have great powers, both positive and negative. What do you do with mandrake? Let’s explore the many uses for mandrake. What is Herbal Mandrake? The mandrake plant consists of a rosette of floppy, oval leaves. White, yellowish-green or purple, bell-shaped flowers are followed by large, fleshy orange berries. Native to warm Mediterranean climates, Mandrake doesn’t tolerate cold, wet soil; however, herbal mandrake

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Propeller Plant Info: Learn How To Grow A Propeller Plant

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2019-07-18 11:00
Also known as airplane plant, the propeller plant is a pretty succulent that gets its name from the shape of its leaves. Sickle- or propeller-shaped, the fleshy leaves are attractive enough, but this plant also bursts forth with stunning red flowers. Read on to get the propeller plant information that will help you successfully grow this delightful succulent. What is a Propeller Plant? Propeller plant (Crassula perfoliata var. falcata) is a succulent native to South Africa. It is commonly known as airplane or propeller plant because the gray-green leaves are shaped like airplane propellers and radiate out horizontally, in pairs. The overall look is reminiscent of the propellers on a plane. The leaves are velvety and fleshy and make an attractive addition to a succulent garden or container but are also pretty alone in a pot. With proper propeller plant care, you’ll also get a stunning cluster of red flowers

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Growing Fava Greens: Eating The Tops Of Broad Beans

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2019-07-18 07:17
Fava beans (Vica faba), also referred to as broad beans, are delicious large beans in the family Fabaceae, or pea family. Like other peas or beans, fava beans impart nitrogen into the soil as they grow and as they decompose. The beans are a staple ingredient in many cuisines but what about the fava greens? Are broad bean leaves edible? Can You Eat Fava Bean Leaves? Most growers of fava beans probably never even thought about eating the tops of broad bean plants, but it turns out that, yes, broad bean leaves (aka: greens) are, indeed, edible. The wonders of fava beans! Not only does the plant provide nutritious beans and amend the soil with nitrogen, but the fava greens are edible and absolutely delicious too. Eating the Tops of Broad Beans Fava beans are cool season veggies that are extremely versatile. Generally, they are grown as storage beans. The

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Bromeliad Plant Problems: Common Problems With Bromeliads

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2019-07-17 18:05
One of the more fascinating plant forms are the bromeliads. Their rosette arranged foliage and brightly colored blooms make for a unique and easy houseplant. They are relatively easy to grow with low maintenance needs, but there are a few common bromeliad issues. Although problems with bromeliads aren’t usual, they do occur, especially when grown outdoors in warm regions. A few tips on the most frequent issues and their cures can help your plant feel better in no time. What’s Wrong with My Bromeliad? Bromeliads are extremely resilient plants. Their culture requirements are very simple, few pests bother them and they thrive in indoor light. Bromeliad plant problems usually start with water. Too much or too little can affect the health of the plant and promote disease. We’ll go over the three most common bromeliad plant issues. Water Related Problems Watering is a very important part of bromeliad care. Too

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