Your backyard organic garden may hold the keys to preventing global warming. Researchers at the Rodale Institute have learned that organic soils trap atmospheric carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, and convert ti to carbon, a key component of healthy soil.
In the longest running study of it's kind, the Rodale Institute's Farming Systems Trial has compared organic and conventional farming side by side for the past 23 years. Important findings have included organic, crops ability to withstand drought year stress much better than crops raised on a diet of chemicals.
What this suggests is that synthetic nitrogen fertilizers speed up the decay process of organic matter so that it is released into the atmosphere as carbon dioxide rather than stored in the soil as carbon. Both plants and organic soil operate as powerful sinks, capturing the greenhouse gas considered by many scientists to be largely responsible for global warming.
An increase in organic matter in the soil also helps preserve bio-diversity. All organisms depend on biomass - living and dead organic matter. The higher the biomass content, the more the biodiversity. You can see where organic farming and organic gardening fit in there clearly.
When you reject chemicals and choose instead to garden organically you address other issues of critical concern, by embracing a system that is much less reliant on fossil fuels. This has implications for our dependence on imported oil and natural gas as well as the climate change problem. You are preserving the soil and you are reducing the use of chemicals that are directly dependent on fossil energy use.
So, you may ask why here in the blog are we mentioning these findings. Because every time you buy potting soil at your local garden center you have a choice on what type to buy. We recommend you choose Organic. You will know that you are planting in the best soil and giving your plants a great start. Not only will your new plants love you for it but so will the planet. Choose Wisely!
You can never have enough tips to help out with your garden whether it was potted or not. Hope you can get something from these tips.
Check slugs at night. Because slugs and snails need constant moisture, they avoid direct sunlight and become more active at night, when they feed on hostas and other garden plants. So scout in the dark and use a flashlight. Collect the pests by hand and drop them into a bucket of soapy water.
Shop for bargains on bleeding hearts when they normally go dormant in early summer. Garden centers may lower the price on a plant that appears to be dying - although it isn't. If you are bargain hunting for other perennials, slip the root ball out of the nursery pot, healthy roots will be firm and colored white or tan. If you see dark brown, rotted or withered roots, don't buy them.
Start the entertainment. Butterflies are fascinating to watch and so easy to lure into the garden. Simple include plants in your garden planters that attract female butterflies to lay their eggs where the larvae and caterpillars can feed. Black swallowtails prefer dill, parsley and carrots. Monarchs like milkweed and butterfly weed. Plant some in garden pots, they all work great.
Wipe your hands on it. To distribute soil over seedbeds gently and evenly, rub your hands together to sift the soil. Using your hands helps break up large clods of soil and tops the seeds with just enough soil to help them germinate.
Get new shrubs for free. Take a 6" cutting from an easy to root plant, such as willow, poplar, privet, rose, redtwig and dogwood. Dip the cut end into a rooting hormone and push it into a flower pot of moist potting mix. Cover with a plastic bag punched with holes to allow the plant to breathe. Place the garden container in an area where it receives light but no direct sun. Plants should root in about 6 weeks.
Help plants cope in heat. When heat rises for extended periods of time, stop pruning and fertilizing everything but container plants. Plants cope with the heat by going into a virtual state of dormancy. Don't make it harder for them by fertilizing or pruning which encourages growth.
It is so easy to take a simple looking home front and turn it into something super special with a window box garden planters. It adds color, beauty & function to the outside of any home.
Window box planters are the easiest way to add some pizzaz to your home exterior where you may have large windows that can use some trim & detail. Window box means just what it says. A box you attach to a window preferably on the front of your home that holds colorful flowers and trailing vines.
Large windows both tall and wide offer the greatest possibilities for climbers scrambling all the way up the sides, tall bushy plants inside these, curving down to even smaller plants. Change it up with the heights and colors of the plants to add the most interest.
Trailing plants are vital, spilling out of the window box planter and cascading downward to add further depth to the display. They add an exotic touch and help to balance the look.
Speaking of climbers and trailers, it's interesting to experiment with mixed plant materials for unusual effects. For example, two different types of climbing vines may be placed close together to scramble up through one another. Perhaps the ivy with handsome glossy foliage, and a sweet pea to twine up through it.
Lastly, ask yourself if you were walking by your house what do you think would look great? Then ask yourself if you were sitting inside the house looking out what would you like to see? Make sure all your hard work can be seen from both view.
Even if you have no yard at all you can still look out your window at stunning flowers blooming and lush greenery.
The latest trend if you haven't noticed is to take your indoor living areas and duplicate them outdoors. That way you expand your living space, continue with the things you like only outside instead of inside and stretch your creative juices when it comes to designing a living area.
When you think outside the BOX you can create a space that is both beautiful and functional and not break your bank account in the process!
In today's decorating climate, manufacturers are competing with each other to see who can provide the best products that lend detail and function - all at a reasonable price. From outdoor lighting, furniture, kitchens, fireplaces, and decorative items like garden planters, statuary, garden art and more. The whole idea is to take your entertaining outdoors and make it fun and exciting.
People are cooking in outdoor kitchens, conducting business in outdoor office space, using outdoor showers & entertaining in outdoor living spaces. Homeowners are pushing their exterior spaces to levels unimaginable just a few years ago. Remember when a couple of lawn chairs on a wood deck or concrete patio were the norm? Well those days are long gone.
Will you be cooking outside, do you need a shower by the pool for cleaning off? How about a table for eating or lounge chairs for sun bathing? Will you be outside after dark, then pay attention to the lighting. This includes candles, tiki torches or solar lights tucked into garden planters.
When deciding which direction to go, don't just stand at the back door and look out into the yard. Get out there and move around. Try to make the most of what you have to work with. Once you get the large pieces placed then it's time to move on to the decorating items.
Place large beautiful garden planters around the border of the seating area to add character and function. Plant them with sweet smelling annuals and lush green plants. They help to compartmentalize the area and create a comfortable, cozy feel. Use plants that attract butterflies & humming birds.
Get exotic and add a flat panel TV, lush drapes and a stereo sound system. From James Bond gadgets to the comfiest sofa on which to catch a snooze, products to enhance outdoor living continues to thrive. Why keep waiting to go on a great vacation when you can just walk out into your back yard and recharge in only 5 mins.
You are a outdoor gardening genius, so why is indoor gardening such a impossible feat? Use these tips as a guide to keep your home filled with happy, healthy potted houseplants!
Start by purchasing healthy, bug free plants. This is the time to be picky. A houseplant at a garden center should look its very best, not like it's on it's last leg. If you gently thump the side of a container, you might see a white fly cloud rise out of the soil. Avoid buying these plants and introducing their problem into your home.
Keep a holding room. When you bring home a new potted plant, isolate it in a room away from other houseplants for up to a month to make sure it's bug and disease free.
Don't overuse fertilizer. Provide plant food monthly only during spring and summer and use a diluted 20-20-20 fertilizer. Remember fertilizer makes plants bigger, to much of it can make plants quickly outgrow their garden pots.
Update pots judiciously. Only when a plant's roots have outgrown it's pots does it need to be bumped up to a bigger container. Change pots conservatively because many plants, like succulents and cacti, prefer to be a bit root bound.
Don't under water or over water. Potted plants only need water when they are dry - unless the plant tag specifies otherwise. To water, fill the container from the top layer of soil to the brim, until water comes out the the drain hole in the bottom of the planter. Wait about half hour for plant to drink what it needs. Remover excess water from the saucer.
Rejuvenate tropical houseplants with spa days. Most potted houseplants are tropical and enjoy humidity. Treat them to a spa day by relocating them one or two at a time, to a steamy bathroom.