What Trees Grow Best In Containers

What Trees Grow Best In Containers

Potted evergreen trees are one of the most versatile container gardening ideas, enabling you to zone your patio and create a secluded seating area.'There are many types of trees you can grow in pots and containers,' says small space gardening expert Emilly Barbosa Fernandes of Housegrail.You can even grow species that wouldn't usually suit your climate, as smaller potted trees can be moved indoors over winter.If you want a low-maintenance planting scheme, then the best trees to grow in pots must be compatible with your local climate, and require minimal pruning.Consider where you want the tree to be positioned in your garden, as whether it will sit in full sun or receive some shade will be a factor in which varieties will be suitable.Japanese maples – or acer palmatum – are ideal for smaller gardens, as they are slow growing and require minimal pruning or training.‘With a variety of showy cascades in foliage and colors ranging from vibrant greens to deep blood reds, this is a showcase tree for container growing,’ says Tammy Sons, owner of Tennessee Nursery.Meanwhile, Lisa Tadewaldt, arborist and owner of Urban Forest Pro, particularly favors the dwarf maple 'Sharp's Pygmy'.Position Japanese maples in a cool spot that receives some shade during the hottest part of the day, and water regularly in the summer.‘Perhaps it is the way the scent of the blossom fills a room, or the knowledge that rich people in the past would build dedicated lemon houses to shelter their highly prized trees.’.While lemon trees make fantastic house plants during the winter, they can grow happily outdoors during the spring and summer.‘Lemons are hungry plants, so make sure you use a good, soil-based compost, adding some grit or sharp sand to improve drainage,’ adds Bertelsen, who recommends the Meyer variety as it flowers throughout the year.Larger conifers are some of the best trees for privacy and screening in a backyard, but there are a number of smaller species that are perfect for pots.‘Evergreen conifers also offer year-round beauty and they can successfully be trimmed back in order for them to not overwhelm the container.’.‘This beautiful tree has large trumpet-shaped flowers that often have an orange tint to them,’ says Lindsey Hyland, founder of Urban Organic Yield.As well as creating a sculptural feature, bay trees have wonderfully aromatic leaves that can be used in cooking fresh or dried.‘A bay tree is very easy to look after, provided you give it a good sunny spot and feed it regularly,’ says Bertelsen.It’s a good idea to repot bay trees every few years to keep them healthy and encourage fresh growth.But bear in mind they are usually grown in the garden for their ornamental leaves, rather than for fruit, unless you live in a climate of at least 60ºF (15°C) for most of the year.Smaller varieties of banana tree are particularly well suited to climates with colder winters, as they can be brought inside and enjoyed as a houseplant.Though after several decades they can eventually reach great heights of over 40 feet, they are slow-growing trees that will live happily for years in a pot.Adding Mediterranean flair to the garden, olive trees are perfectly suited to growing in containers, as they can be moved to safety during excessively cold winters.‘Self-fertile cultivars are available, although it’s generally recommended to have at least two different partner trees nearby for cross-pollination,' explains Period Living’s gardening expert Leigh Clapp.If you only have room for one apple tree, Red Falstaff is a great choice as it is heavy cropping and very hardy.The tree flowers in the spring and exudes a delicate fragrance, adding a romantic air to a patio seating area.Trees can stay in pots indefinitely if you can find a container large enough to accommodate their maximum mature size.Japanese maple trees are excellent choices for pots in most climates, and can survive very cold winters where temperatures reach as low as -20°F (-28°C)

How To Keep Rats Out Of Garden

How To Keep Rats Out Of Garden

The Norway rat is a commensal rodent, meaning it lives in close association (literally, “shares the table”) with humans.Rats will burrow into any available earthen space within close proximity to food but prefer fresh, fertile soil to make their nests—a garden is prime real estate to them.They are not vegetarian; like most mammals, rats (especially reproducing females) need animal protein, fat, and carbohydrates in their diet.Rats will eat the vegetables and fruits in a garden, but if that is truly their only food source, they will eventually move on to a site that meets their animal protein and fat needs.But if table scraps including meats, grains, oils, or other fats are added into the compost pile, it will become highly attractive to them.And the warmth generated by decomposing waste creates a hospitable rat environment in cold weather.Food intended for pigeons, cats, dogs, chickens, or rabbits placed in or near a garden may also end up feeding rats.Dense plantings, tall weeds, and piles of lumber, rocks, or other kinds of clutter provide safe harbor to a rat.Rats have very poor eyesight and use their whiskers (or vibrissae) to navigate their environment; as a result, they prefer to travel along straight lines and use curbs, walls, and foundations to get around.Deprived of cover, rats will be less confident traversing these exposed zones and may move on to safer places.Washing the rub marks away with vinegar or biodegradable soap can help interrupt their established pathways to food sources and home.Hardware cloth (half-inch mesh) can be installed along the base of walls or fences to deter burrowing.Remove all fecal matter (dogs, cats, rodents, birds) and/or food waste every day.Look for burrow holes, smudge marks, signs of gnawing, worn pathways, and droppings, all of which indicate an active rat infestation.Caroline Bragdon is a Research Scientist with the New York City Department of Health’s Division of Veterinary and Pest Control Services.Ms

How To Grow Cucumbers In Container

How To Grow Cucumbers In Container

Cucumbers are an essential summer vegetable, and one that is easy to grow and extremely productive – even in containers!Just give them sunshine and consistent moisture and enjoy a bumper crop of crisp fruits all summer long.Plus, cucumbers grown in pots typically have fewer issues with pests and diseases so planting in containers can actually reduce potential problems.I feature many of them in my award-winning book, Veggie Garden Remix, but basically, cucumber varieties fall into two main categories: bush or vining.Bush cucumbers form short vines, just two to three feet long and don’t require a trellis.They are perfect for pots, cascading over the side of a container or hanging basket, or you can support them with a tomato cage.They can be grown in pots but choose large containers, at least eighteen inches in diameter to ensure adequate root room.Don’t try and rush cucumbers into containers too early as they’ll be prone to cold or frost damage.If you want to start your cucumber seeds indoors, be sure to sow them at the right time, which is just three to four weeks before you intend to move them to their pots.Plants grown up have better air flow around the leaves, reducing many common disease issues.If grown on a deck or patio, growing them on a support takes up less space and keeps your outdoor living area more tidy.It’s a very efficient and simple way to grow container cucumbers and results in healthy plants and a large harvest.– In my polytunnel I grow cucumbers in fabric planters or plastic pots training them vertically up strings.It’s a very efficient and simple way to grow container cucumbers and results in healthy plants and a large harvest.If growing in planters or containers on a deck, balcony, or patio, the netting can be hung from a railing, wall or other structure.To encourage healthy growth, place your containers where they will receive plenty of sunlight (at least eight hours a day) and provide regular moisture.– Because cucumbers are heavy feeders, I add a slow release organic fertilizer to the potting mix at planting time.It helps to grow resistant varieties, but keeping an eye out for potential problems also allows you to take action before they get out of hand.For detailed information on cucumber plant problems, be sure to check out this excellent article by Jessica.Once pollination has occurred it takes 5 to 10 days, depending on the variety, for the female flower to become a fruit.Many heirlooms are prolific and offer a large harvest of crispy fruits, but newer hybrids often have better disease resistance.Spacemaster – This popular cucumber starts pumping out six to eight inch long fruits less than two months from seeding.This is a great variety for pots as well as hanging baskets as the plants grow only two to three feet long.I grow Picolino in pots in my garden and polytunnel for a generous crop of delicious mini cucumbers all summer long.It’s always a popular cucumber in our garden as everyone loves the mild, almost sweet flavor of Suyo Long

How Deep For Yard Drainage

How Deep For Yard Drainage

Introduction Stop dealing with water problems in your home and yard by installing this in-ground drainage system.The tube channels water to the dry well If you happen to be among the unlucky 60 percent of homeowners who have some type of water problem in their yard, you’ve got two options: Sell your house and buy one of the homes from the other 40 percent, or roll up your sleeves and deal with it.If you’re in this sorry situation, however, consult a pro—it’s nearly impossible to fix unless you have a sump pump and a place to dump all that water.In this article, we’ll familiarize you with the products available and show you a step-by-step method of getting rid of excess rainwater and draining it clear of the house.Often there’s a slope approaching the house, a depression in the yard that causes pooling, or excess roof water draining next to the foundation.As with any yard project that requires digging, you must find where buried electrical, telephone and TV cables and gas piping are located

How Often Should I Feed My Pot Plants Nutrients

How Often Should I Feed My Pot Plants Nutrients

However, to help your plants develop even faster and produce a better end product, you’ll want to feed them with fertiliser—concentrated nutrients.It also counts on secondary nutrients like calcium, magnesium, and sulfur to play vital roles in plant growth:.Magnesium plays a key role in photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism, and also helps with the stabilisation of plant cell walls.plays a key role in photosynthesis and carbohydrate metabolism, and also helps with the stabilisation of plant cell walls.Sulfur is necessary for the formation of chlorophyll and the production of proteins, amino acids, enzymes and vitamins, and protects plants against disease.These products typically contain low NPK ratios and instead feature other nutrients designed to boost certain aspects of growth.In general, we recommend you focus more on meeting your plants' demands for macro and secondary nutrients before pumping them full of supplements.Cannabis seedlings get all their nutrients from their seed, and absorb water via their leaves as their root system develops (that’s why it’s important to keep them in a warm, humid environment).You won’t need to start feeding your seedlings until they’re about 3–4 weeks old, at which point they’ll have developed 3–4 true leaves, thus entering the vegetative growth phase.By the mid-vegetative phase (roughly 6 weeks after germinating), you’ll want to aggressively increase your plants’ nutrients to help them develop strong, healthy foliage.These heightened levels of nitrogen will help your vegging plants produce luscious, green foliage and develop plenty of bud sites in time for flowering.Towards the end of the vegetative phase, it’s a good idea to start lowering your nitrogen levels and preparing your plants for the switch to their bloom booster.Most importantly, your feed chart will outline what nutrients to give your plants, in what ratio, during the different weeks of their life cycle.Nutrients are typically applied once a week, and most fertiliser brands will provide you with a ratio of feed to water (either in litres or gallons).To avoid over or underfeeding your plants, it's a good idea to always measure EC or PPM of your soil or grow medium to see if it still contains nutrients.Hence, whenever it’s feeding time, keep your nutrient solution at the pH suggested by your fertiliser brand and your water temperature at 19 - 21°C.If you’re an organic grower, you can use natural chelates like fulvic and humic acid to help your plants better absorb mineral nutrients like iron or zinc.Flushing forces your plants to consume any leftover nutrients they’ve stored, resulting in a clean, smooth smoke.pH imbalances can dramatically impact the health of your plant and cause many other issues, such as nutrient lockout, deficiencies, and more.If left untreated, pH issues dramatically impede the growth of your plants and will drive down both your harvest size and quality.The highly concentrated nature of chemical fertilisers means novice growers can easily end up overfeeding their plants.Telltale signs of overfeeding include dry, burnt-looking leaves with yellow or brown discolouration, burnt edges, and upward bent tips.Rookie growers often end up buying more supplements in an effort to remedy existing nutrient problems, which only makes matters worse.Deficiencies in nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, or secondary nutrients can cause symptoms like dry foliage, yellow or brown leaves, and discoloured stems.Organic nutrients also benefit the soil itself, supporting the development of a rich ecosystem of microorganisms that protect and work in tandem with your plants.The fact that organic nutrients don’t produce toxic runoff also reduces the impact your harvest has on the environment.The fact that synthetic fertilisers are carefully made to exact specific ratios of nutrients also means you have a lot more control over what your plants “eat”, and in what doses.Remember, arguably the biggest weapon in your arsenal is experience, so keep honing your skills and reaping the rewards

What Is Eating My Garden At Night

What Is Eating My Garden At Night

A favorite morning ritual for many gardeners is to head outdoors with their coffee and check on their tomatoes and squash or flowers and shrubs.Suppose your morning jolt is not from caffeine but from discovering leaves that looked fine yesterday were munched on overnight?This occurs when they eat the bark completely around the bottom of a tree or shrub, which can kill the plant.Additional homemade deer controls, other than growing what they won't eat, include shaving off slices of bath soaps and spreading them around the garden or placing human hair among your plants.Rabbit controls include mesh fencing or netting and pop-up type plant tents.If telltale signs on your foliage don't match those of deer or rabbits, then it's a safe bet the uninvited diners are insects.In that case, William G

What Plants Are Best For Containers

What Plants Are Best For Containers

Other than shade, the most important thing to remember about New Guinea impatiens is to keep them watered — their fleshy stems and leaves droop the instant the soil gets dry

How To Store Fresh Grown Potatoes

How To Store Fresh Grown Potatoes

During the winter months, when the ground is covered by a thick blanket of snow, there's something particularly satisfying about still being able to eat food from your garden.There are many summer-grown crops including potatoes, onions, garlic, beets, carrots and winter squash, can be stored with relative ease to nourish you right through until the next growing season.There are so many wonderful kinds and colors of potatoes to choose from: fingerlings, bakers, boilers, white, yellow, pink, red, and even blue.All are delicious eaten fresh from the garden, but if you want to store some potatoes for eating in the late fall and winter months, you'll need to plant varieties that are well-suited to storage as well as to your growing area.Readily available potato varieties known to be excellent keepers include Katahdin, Kennebec, Yellow Finn and Yukon Gold.Cure the tubers by laying them out on newspaper in a well-ventilated place that’s cool (50 to 60 degrees F.) and dark (so they don’t turn green).Rub off any large clumps of dirt (potatoes should never be washed before storage) and cull any damaged tubers, which should be eaten, not stored.Onions also benefit from lots of sun, and will sulk if they’re crowded by neighboring plants or weeds.Repeat every couple weeks (sort of like trimming a Chia pet) until it’s time for your onion plants to go into the garden.Onions are heavy feeders, so be sure to amend the soil in the planting area with compost and a granular organic fertilizer.This signals that it’s time for the plants to stop growing and start preparing for winter.If the weather is wet or frost is possible, harvest your onions and move them immediately into a protected location where they will stay dry.During this time the necks will wither and turn brown, and the papery skins will tighten around the bulbs.Once the necks have dried and there’s no more moisture in the stem or leaves, you can bring your onions indoors and store them in mesh bags or bushel baskets.A 2 ft

What Is Eating The Leaves In My Garden

What Is Eating The Leaves In My Garden

From flowers to fruit trees, everything that grows hosts a number of insects and other organisms that feed on it.Animal or Insect What to Look For Slugs Small to medium-sized holes in the middle of the leaf; slime trails.Cutworms Damage to leaves with no apparent cause; plants that topple over from having their stems "cut" by the feeding caterpillars.Cabbage White Butterfly Caterpillars Big holes in the leaves of many different plants.Slugs are a common garden pest responsible for holes chewed in leaves.Slugs are shell-less snails—actually a type of land-based mollusk—and they're responsible for some serous garden destruction, especially if their population gets out of hand.They are most common in damp, shady places and feed on leaves at night—in fact, one of the best ways to tell if you have a slug infestation is to go out after dark with a flashlight to have a look.What to Do: One tried-and-true method to control slugs is to leave open containers of beer or soapy water out on the ground.You can identify sawfly larvae by the way they look and act a lot like caterpillars—in fact, to many gardeners, the difference seems merely academic since the damage they do to leaves is comparable.Most people never notice the adult sawfly, but if you have sharp eyes and know what to look for, you will see them flying around the affected plants; this is a good way to diagnose the infestation.The larvae are different from caterpillars in that they do not grasp with their hind legs, but instead curl them up, often over their heads, forming an "S" shape.The wasp is called a sawfly because the female "saws" a cut in twigs and branches, into which she deposits her eggs.Another characteristic of a sawfly infestation is that they occur in groups and feed openly during the day—they do not hide and are not camouflaged.How to Tell: Many "caterpillars" feeding on dogwood or willow, in a group, with their rear ends held in an S curve above their heads.Many "caterpillars" feeding on dogwood or willow, in a group, with their rear ends held in an S curve above their heads.What to Do: You can pick them off fairly easily and drop them in a bucket of soapy water to kill them.A cutworm in characteristic rolled-up pose: These large caterpillars typically feed at night and often eat through stems at ground level.They can be very hard to catch in the act since they only feed at night and are well-camouflaged as they hide by day among the dirt and debris in a garden bed.This is an all-organic, non-chemical substance made from the fossilized remains of tiny creatures called diatoms; the jagged silicon shells damage the outer "skin" of crawling insects, killing them.How to Tell: Damage to leaves with no apparent cause; plants that topple over from having their stems "cut" by the feeding caterpillars.Damage to leaves with no apparent cause; plants that topple over from having their stems "cut" by the feeding caterpillars.The adult butterfly is a plain white one that nearly everyone has seen fluttering around flowers and plants—and that's your first sign that you have a problem.Female cabbage whites lay tiny, conical eggs on the underside of leaves.You can look for them, but more often than not you won't see them for the simple reason that they're nearly invisible: their color and design blends in with the leaves to a ridiculous degree.And they can eat a lot, too—these are the same insects as the locusts you hear about everywhere from the Bible to the Dust Bowl.You can identifiy Japanese beetles by their distinctive copper and green elytra, or wing coverings.They mimic bees, a fact which may protect them from birds, but they're an invasive beetle species from Asia that has been wreaking havoc across North America for more than a century.Japanese beetles feed and fly right out in the open, so they are easy garden insects to identify.Fortunately, there is a disease called "milky spore" that kills them in the larval stage (grubs that live underground).You can buy milky spore at garden supply stores; it's about the only option for this pest.You can easily identify hornworm caterpillars as those big, fat worms that are eating the leaves and fruits of the tomato plants in our garden.There are many different kinds other than the tomato-eating variety, and some are quite beautiful (check out the lovely oleander hawk moth, for example).If your tomatoes are showing signs of serious defoliation and there are holes in the green fruit, then you almost certainly have hornworms.You can buy lady bug cultures from gardening supply stores, and they can be quite effective in controlling the pests.If you have aphids on your plants, you will often find naturally occurring lady bug beetles and their larvae—which look like tiny gila monster lizards—hanging around, feeding on them.What They Are: Tiny green, yellow, red, brown, or black (depending on species and food source) insects that occur in large colonies.Tiny green, yellow, red, brown, or black (depending on species and food source) insects that occur in large colonies.What to Do: Encourage the activities of lady bug beetles; consider buying a commercial culture.Leafcutter ants are rarely a major problem except in the far South, where they can strip an entire small tree of all of its leaves in a few days.They cut nearly perfect circles from the edges of leaves and use the material to feed their young.It's unusual for leafcutter bees to cause enough damage to truly make an impact, and controlling them is nearly impossible.But if you have noticed geometrically accurate circles being carved from your leaf margins, then it's most likely the work of leafcutter bees.Other natural control methods include lady bug beetles and lacewings; you may try using a culture from a garden supply center.There are also nematode (worm) cultures that you can introduce to the soil around your plants that may help control asparagus beetles.What to Do: There are many good natural solutions for these pests, including lady bug beetles, lacewings, and certain nematode cultures.I hate to characterize this beautiful butterfly species as a "pest," but some gardeners may see it that way.Black swallowtails are common throughout North America, with several subspecies, forms, and related species occurring everywhere from the desert southwest to the pine forests of Maine.They occur on dill, parsley, and carrot and resemble bird droppings with their overall black coloration and light-colored "saddle" marking.The adult butterfly is beautiful, identified by its velvet black wings marked with yellow and blue.Bagworm infestations can kill a small tree, but fortunately they are quite easy to control: just pick them off by hand and drop them in a bucket of soapy water, or smush them into your compost pile.Rabbits are becoming increasingly common in urban areas, which puts backyard gardens at risk.This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.However, a couple of years in a row, I noticed a beautiful huge white moth hanging around our yard

What Is Needed For A Container Garden

What Is Needed For A Container Garden

In addition to growing flowers, gardeners limited to a balcony, small yard, or only a patch of sun on their driveway can produce a wide variety of vegetable crops in containers.Basil, chives, thyme, and other herbs also are quite happy growing in pots, which can be set in a convenient spot right outside the kitchen door.Houseplants summering outdoors in the shade also make a handsome addition to container gardening.Window boxes and hanging baskets offer even more ways to add instant color and appeal.Containers planted with a single species — rosemary or a bold variegated ornamental grass, for example — can be stunning garden accents.The best combinations depend on plants that feature handsome foliage and flowers produced over a long bloom season.One easy guideline for choosing the plants to combine in a container is to include "a thriller, a spiller, and a filler.".That's because large containers hold more soil, which stays moist longer and resists rapid temperature fluctuations.Small hanging baskets are especially prone to drying out, and during hot summer weather, you may have to water them twice a day to keep plants alive.Consider the size and shape of a plant's root system; whether it is a perennial, annual, or shrub; and how rapidly it grows.Rootbound plants, which have filled up every square inch of the soil available, dry out rapidly and won't grow well.If your container garden is located on a balcony or deck, be sure to check how much weight the structure will safely hold.In Northern areas, most need to be stored in a frost-free location to prevent cracking and are not suitable for hardy perennials or shrubs that will be kept outdoors year-round.Plain concrete containers are very heavy, so they are difficult to move and not suitable for using on decks or balconies.Choose sturdy and somewhat flexible containers and avoid thin, stiff ones — they become brittle with cold or age.Polyurethane foam containers resist chipping and cracking and also insulate roots against both hot and cold temperatures, making them a good choice for potting up plants that will stay outside year-round.Instead, prevent soil from washing out by placing a layer of paper towel or newspaper over the holes before adding mix.If your container is too deep, you can put a layer of gravel or Styrofoam in the bottom to reduce the amount of potting soil required.For larger containers, use a relatively coarse soilless planting mixture to maintain the needed water and air balance.If you are growing fragrant plants, such as heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens), place containers in a site protected from breezes, which will disperse the perfume.Use your imagination and combine upright and trailing plants, edibles, and flowers for pleasing and colorful effects.When designing permanent containers, remember that the plants will be less hardy than usual because their roots are more exposed to fluctuating air temperature.Dwarf or bush forms of larger vegetables such as tomatoes, pumpkins, and winter squash are most suited to container gardening.Or plant a container with edible flowers such as marigolds, pansies (Viola × wittrockiana), and nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus).Geraniums, marigolds, wax begonias, coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides), scarlet sage (Salvia splendens), and flowering tobacco (Nicotiana spp.).Ornamental grasses are great in container gardening, too, as are dwarf conifers and small shrubs.To keep mixed pots attractive, dig out or cut back any plants that don't grow well or that clash.This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses

How To Make A Box Garden For Herbs

How To Make A Box Garden For Herbs

Project details Skill 1 out of 5 Easy Simply crosscut the parts to length, then screw them together.Growing fresh herbs indoors can be a tricky task, but an outdoor garden bed requires yard space that not all of us have.If you've got a free afternoon and basic carpentry skills, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva has the perfect solution: Build an all-weather raised planter that can live on your porch or patio.This compact piece takes up less than 6 square feet and has a few handy hooks to hold your gardening tools.Tom cut the parts on a miter saw, but you can use a portable circular saw or even a handsaw instead.The bottom of the planter consists of a couple of floorboards to support a sturdy liner that holds the soil.Position each cleat ½ inch from the board's bottom edge and center it lengthwise.For each short side, fasten a 2x2 in the center and 2 inches below the top edge to leave room for the liner's lip.Fasten a 2x2 corner block to each end of all four sides of the planter using 2-inch deck screws.These eight corner blocks provide a solid surface for attaching the legs to the planter and also help hold the sides together.Fasten each end of both floorboards to the cleats with a 2-inch deck screw, drilling pilot holes first to reduce the chance of splitting the boards.Turn the utility tub upside down, and use a drill/driver to bore six or more evenly spaced ⅜-inch-diameter holes through the bottom.Once dry, screw hooks to each end of the planter for hanging gardening tools.Set the utility tub in place, add some clean gravel, and fill the planter with soil and your favorite herbs

How To Water House Plants While On Vacation For A Month

How To Water House Plants While On Vacation For A Month

Care for indoor plants while travelling doesn’t have to be dependent on your closest neighbor.Since I don’t have any neighbors out here in the country, and simply hoping for rain isn’t a good option, I had to take matters into my own hands.So I recommend giving them a good feeding the month before, and trimming the foliage of your well established plants just a week before leaving so they use less water.The idea is to nest the smaller planter in the taller planter…it helps to choose one with the same size width, but one deeper than the other.Caution: Larger plants may not be able to wick the amount of water they need through this method with a small string.Increase the string size for bigger plants, and monitor to see if it is working as desired.I shared the full tutorial to turn your existing planter into a self watering pot here.Poke lots of holes in the bag near the top so it can breathe, and presto you’ve just created a makeshift terrarium!Caution: Keep these “terrariums” out of direct sunlight or you’ll just end up baking your plants.Wrap the end in a little cheese cloth before poking it into the soil to prevent this from occurring.Add moisture storing crystals with a secondary watering system when you are planning to be out of town for a month or more.Well that is definitely a way to go, but remember there are also individual “drip” systems that are much like the watering bulbs, but you can control the flow.There are also smaller scale drip systems that are around $20 and cover multiple houseplants, small gardens, or decks.Several inches of mulch will help retain the moisture in your garden and is great with a secondary watering system.Caution: Moss can stay put and make a very nice addition to your potted plant!However, you don’t want to leave a rag or plastic covering more than a couple weeks or you introduce mold.Place potted plants with holes in the bottom in a long shallow container of water, or if you have a bathtub or sink that gets a ton of indirect light, that is even better.Buy a natural plant-friendly one from the store, or mix 1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide into 1 cup of water, and add 3 drops of Dawn dish soap.Shake and spray across the top of the tub filled with water before adding your plants.When dealing with outdoor plants without a drip system, a soaker hose is another great option to keep your garden moist.You can buy a timer (just like with a drip system) that turns the water on and off for you each day, or you can simply set the hose on a slow drizzle

When Should You Put Mulch In Your Garden

When Should You Put Mulch In Your Garden

Timing is everything when it comes to mulching, which is spreading mostly organic matter over the surface of soil to protect and improve its condition.In general, mid- to late spring is mulching season-that's when the soil is warming up from the freezing temperatures it experienced all winter."Avoid mulching tender perennials, as they are breaking dormancy early in the spring," says Morrell.(Heaving happens when the pressure that is created from alternating freezing and thawing conditions lifts the soil and plants up and out of the ground

What Is Eating My Cucumbers In My Garden

What Is Eating My Cucumbers In My Garden

Finding small striped or spotted beetles on your cucurbit crops?If you find that the stems of your seedlings are being eaten off, leaves are yellowing and wilting, and holes are appearing, you may have a striped or spotted cucumber beetle problem

Best Container Garden Kits

Best Container Garden Kits

Each package comes with one 10 X 4.5 X 3-inch planter tub, one water bottle, four seed packets, one soil disk, two shovels, one rake, four plant markers, and an instruction sheet

Which Garden Compost Is Best

Which Garden Compost Is Best

You are in the market for some soil or compost and you visit the local nursery or big box store.In this post I will try to sort out this confusion and show you which product to use for different types of jobs.In my last post, Topsoil, Compost, Triple Mix – What’s the Difference?To simplify things, you never need to buy peat moss, unless you are making your own potting or seedling mix.To reduce watering I like to add some garden soil or some topsoil to the potting mix so that it hold moisture longer.Even for the vegetable bed it is best to add the organic matter as a mulch and leave it on top of the soil.You will have fewer weeds and the moisture will be retained in the soil longer.Straw slowly decomposes adding organic matter to soil.If you are building a new vegetable bed that is not raised you still do not need to buy soil.When making the bed for the first time it is OK to dig in the organic matter as part of your preparation process.Triple mix is a combination of soil, peat moss, and compost.Since 2/3 of the mix is organic matter, which decomposes over time, the level of the soil will go down each year.This is not a big problem in a vegetable bed or one that is used for growing just annuals, but it is not good for perennials and shrubs.In no time at all perennials and shrubs will be planted too high as the soil around them shrinks.Triple mix is the common product that is used to lay a new lawn.After a few years you will notice that the lawn is lower than the driveway or the sidewalk.This is caused by too much organic matter in the soil laid down before adding grass.Do you need to raise the level of the existing soil to make it higher?

How To Build A Raised Herb Planter

How To Build A Raised Herb Planter

Project details Skill 1 out of 5 Easy Simply crosscut the parts to length, then screw them together.Growing fresh herbs indoors can be a tricky task, but an outdoor garden bed requires yard space that not all of us have.If you've got a free afternoon and basic carpentry skills, This Old House general contractor Tom Silva has the perfect solution: Build an all-weather raised planter that can live on your porch or patio.This compact piece takes up less than 6 square feet and has a few handy hooks to hold your gardening tools.Tom cut the parts on a miter saw, but you can use a portable circular saw or even a handsaw instead.The bottom of the planter consists of a couple of floorboards to support a sturdy liner that holds the soil.Position each cleat ½ inch from the board's bottom edge and center it lengthwise.For each short side, fasten a 2x2 in the center and 2 inches below the top edge to leave room for the liner's lip.Fasten a 2x2 corner block to each end of all four sides of the planter using 2-inch deck screws.These eight corner blocks provide a solid surface for attaching the legs to the planter and also help hold the sides together.Fasten each end of both floorboards to the cleats with a 2-inch deck screw, drilling pilot holes first to reduce the chance of splitting the boards.Turn the utility tub upside down, and use a drill/driver to bore six or more evenly spaced ⅜-inch-diameter holes through the bottom.Once dry, screw hooks to each end of the planter for hanging gardening tools.Set the utility tub in place, add some clean gravel, and fill the planter with soil and your favorite herbs

How To Plant Veggies In Containers

How To Plant Veggies In Containers

You can grow just about any vegetable in a container, a practice that can save you lots of money buying produce at the grocery store.However, vegetable container gardening can be a frustrating endeavor if your plants don't thrive and produce.Most fruiting vegetables, like tomatoes and peppers, need full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight each day.Check the location every 30 minutes throughout the day to confirm how long the sun directly hits the spot where you want to put your vegetable container garden.If you live in a hot climate, you might need to shade your plants during the heat of the afternoon, so they don't overheat.So if you live in a cool climate, avoid putting your containers outside full time until you know the temperature will be reliably warm.In addition, always make sure to harden off your seedlings (gradually acclimate them to the outdoor conditions) before you put them outside permanently.If the soil feels dry, add water; if you're not sure, wait and check later in the day.Don't use soil from your garden, because it will compact in the containers and won't drain water properly.Also, one of the reasons to garden in containers is largely to avoid dealing with weeds and soil-borne diseases.If your soil doesn’t have fertilizer already mixed in, add some several times throughout the growing season, according to the directions on the label.Another way to add nutrients is to make or buy compost, which helps feed the plants.Your container should let excess water out of the bottom, so your plants won't sit in overly soggy soil and succumb to root rot.You can even use terra cotta pots, but it's harder to keep your plants moist in them, because the clay allows the water to evaporate out of the soil more easily.Remember, though, that because ceramic and terra cotta pots draw moisture into their materials, they can shatter if left outside in freezing weather.For an inexpensive container, use a 5-gallon plastic bucket from the hardware store and drill holes in the bottom.Another alternative is to make an unusual container from something you have around your house, such as an old laundry basket or toy bin.They need 12 to 16 hours of light per day and good air circulation to grow up strong.When choosing vegetables to plant in containers, look for bush or small varieties (often referred to as dwarf or compact), and ensure that your climate has enough growing days for the required time to mature.When planning which variety to buy, know that many eggplants are fairly sensitive to cool temperatures (lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit).A trellis in the pot will supply support for the fruit and allow air to flow around the plant.A trellis in the pot will supply support for the fruit and allow air to flow around the plant

Best Potting Soil Container Garden

Best Potting Soil Container Garden

Container gardening has become extremely popular and there are all kinds of potting soils you can buy.If you are looking for a simple solution, where cost is not a factor, and you don’t mind watering a lot, use a name brand potting mix.You can make potting mix with a number of materials and they will all grow great plants.A good potting mix will be airy, providing lots of spaces between particles.They prefer constant moisture all of the time and soil that dries out slower will meet that requirement.Weight is important, but in some cases you want the potting mix to be heavier, and in others you want it lighter.On the other hand, containers with tall plants need more weight or they will fall over in the wind.Even commercial products that are sold as a complete container mix, are a mixture of ingredients.The bulk of most commercial products consist of either peat moss or choir (milled coconut husks).They do decompose over time, but neither material provides significant nutrients for plants.Some people say that harvesting peat moss is not an environmentally sound practice, but that is not true.Sand is very poor at holding nutrients, but it does add weight to the mix.Perlite and vermiculite hold lots of air and are very light weight materials.In this class of material I include things like compost, leaf mold and aged manure.In the ground this works wonders with plants, but in a container, the frequent watering washes a lot of the extra nutrients out.Organic matter tends to be heavier than peat moss or choir, and it is a bit less airy.If the soil contains a good amount of clay it can be very nutritious, and hold a lot of water.Adding soil to a potting mix can dramatically reduce watering frequency.There is no such thing as commercial sterile potting mix – no matter what the bag might say.The mix may be heat treated to kill pathogens and weed seed, but none of the manufacturers package the finished product in sterile conditions.Heat treating your own mix might kill some weed seeds, but why not just wait until they germinate and pull them out?This mix provides a good combination of airiness and water holding capabilities.Plants don’t grow as fast or large as they could in a more open soil, but the Calibrachoa flower all summer long – what more can you ask for?If you need a light mix to make moving containers easier, use 20% soil and 60% peat moss or choir.Many people on the internet recommend that water crystals, or even whole diapers be added to containers.Science has shown that although hydrogels absorb water, they don’t release it to plant roots.Do not put rocks, or clay pot shards or Styrofoam peanuts in the bottom to increase drainage.It is claimed that mycorrhizal fungi are import for plants and that is absolutely true – in the ground.Mycorrhizal fungi provide plant roots with water and nutrients, especially phosphate

What Is The Best Soil For Potted Herbs

What Is The Best Soil For Potted Herbs

See the chart below for the sun requirements of the most common culinary herbs or check the label on your plant.(6 to 8 hours a day) Bay Leaves, Chives, Mint, & Tarragon Full or Part Sun.As the summer goes on the sun gets higher in the sky, so this may change the location in your garden that is best for your potted herbs.This cute 4-inch stoneware herb pot was handmade by MWetzelPottery on Etsy.Also available for thyme and parsley, they include proper drainage holes and are a great size for individually potted herbs.These Budha Bust Planters from Vivaterra are a good example of a larger outdoor container for your herb garden.Made from reinforced concrete they are 10-11 inches wide which is a good size to fit several herbs in a single container.When wet, some types of garden soil will get so compacted it will basically smother your plants.A good potting soil for container herbs is Burpee Organic Growing Mix.Another homemade potting mix specifically suggested for vegetable & herb containers by the University of Illinois Extension.You may need to water less in the spring during the rainy season & more during the hot dry days of summer.Since growing herbs in pots has become so popular, there are many helpful products that can make your life a little easier.These work by including a reservoir in the bottom of the pot that will hold extra water.Here is a diagram by Plow & Hearth from their Lexington self-watering planters that demonstrates how the irrigation system works.Self-watering pots and planters make it easy to create an herb garden right on your patio without the worry of watering too much or too little.You set up a soaker hose or a patio drip system that is connected to a timer.5- Apply A Nitrogen Rich Fertilizer That Will Promote Strong Leafy Growth.It is important to fertilizer when growing herbs in containers since they have no other way of receiving nutrients.Fish emulsion or seaweed extract fertilizers are good choices for herbs.If you see any flower buds starting to develop early, snip them off to extend their life in the garden

How To Arrange Potted Plants Outside

How To Arrange Potted Plants Outside

Learn how to arrange garden containers with tips, tricks and TRIED and TRUE techniques for flower pot design.Recently I was part of a workshop at the charming Parkview Gardens, a local nursery here in St

Best Plants For Pots In Uk

Best Plants For Pots In Uk

And since many plants attract tons of pollinators, you’ll enjoy watching butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds flit about while you drink your morning coffee or sip your iced tea

What Is The Best Garden Storage Box

What Is The Best Garden Storage Box

When shopping for a deck box, capacity and outer dimensions are at the top of the list of considerations: maximum storage space with the smallest footprint is typically a good set of metrics to seek out.Wood deck boxes typically look more upscale than their resin counterparts, but they also require more maintenance and may need to be stored indoors for the winter.Also, outdoor storage boxes can double as extra seating and as coffee tables or sidebars for serving food and drinks

How Deep Should Garden Wall Foundations Be

How Deep Should Garden Wall Foundations Be

For piers, the foundations should have a margin on all sides of at least half a brick (i.e

How Deep Should Your Garden Bed Be

How Deep Should Your Garden Bed Be

Raised garden beds allow us to maximize our growing space, improve drainage, increase productivity, and tend our plants with greater ease.While two-foot beds aren't required to have a beautiful and productive garden, you do need them to grow certain plants.ideal raised bed depth based on plants you want to grow