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pet proof your potted garden

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 799-Pet-Proof-Your-Pots

Pet's and the outdoors. There is nothing more fun!  However, if your pet spends a lot of time outside you may want to consider these few tips to help keep them safe and your potted plants healthy.
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1.  Make your own potted plant fertilizer.  If it is not safe for animals it can burn their paws when they try to dig.  Make your own from kitchen scraps like egg shells, coffee grounds, citrus peels.  Look it up online and see many recipes.
2.  Try natural pest control.  I use lemon juice in a spray bottle on my potted flower and it keeps the bugs away and isn't harmful to my dog.  You can use essential oil, or dish soap to make other formulas.
3.  Keep and standing water covered.  Mosquitoes tend to lay eggs in water and your pet may think the drainage saucer under your potted flowers is for them.  Either dump it out, let them dry out or put a net over the water so your animals won't be tempted.
4.  Make sure your plants and flowers are pet safe. Talk to your local garden center or nursery to make sure that what you pot not only looks lovely but is safe.  You can go online to get a complete list.
5.  Lastly you don't want any broken pots with sharp edges, wooden window boxes with splinters or anything that car hurt a pet who just wants a sniff.  Check your planters at the start of each season.
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So, when potting your patio or backyard this year, keep these safety tips in mind.  This way the garden is enjoyable for everyone in the family!
 
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Post Last Updated: 6/21/2015 4:38:27 PM 
 
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let's preserve herbs

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 796-Preserving-Potted-Herbs
 
If you practiced what we have been preaching about potting up your own garden herbs, then this lesson is for you. We will offer tips on how to preserve your herb bounty in a few simple steps.  If you haven't tried to pot up herbs then you are missing out. It's easy and fun to do and the rewards just keep on giving.
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1.  Air or Hang Dry.  If you have space and time you can tie bunches of your harvested herbs upside down in a dark, warm but well ventilated area. They dry in 2 to 4 weeks or when the potted herbs are crispy and easy to crumble between your fingers. Store at this point and use as needed.
2.  Oven;  Arrange the herbs that you planted on a cookie sheet and set the oven to 180 degrees.  Heat for about 4 hours, keeping the oven door slightly open.  Stir occasionally during this process.  Your potted herbs will come out beautiful.
3.  Microwave.  If you need potted herbs dried fast then try this but watch them closely.  
4.  Freezing whole or chopped.  Wash, dry the potted herbs in freezer bags with as much air removed as possible.  If chopping the herbs, work fast so they don't brown when exposed to the air.
5.  Salt or Sugar.  Layer fresh potted herb leaves between salt or sugar covering completely and leave until they are desiccated.  Sift them out and store in airtight containers.
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One teaspoon of dried potted herbs are equivalent to 1 Tablespoon of fresh.  If you prefer fresh then do what we highly recommend.  Plant them into small terracotta pots and grow indoors all year long.
  
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Post Last Updated: 6/21/2015 4:37:58 PM 
 
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potted plants

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 793-Easy-House-Plants

5 houseplants that are easy to keep alive.
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Keeping potted indoor house plants alive can be even more challenging than your outdoor garden.  Below is a list of some that are not only easy to keep alive, but will grow and provide much pleasure and beauty.
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1.  Aloe.  Everyone loves Aloe. It's easy to grow and has great medical purpose.  It's elongated leaves give it a cacti look and they are full of aloe, which is great for burns & scrapes.  Keep in a kitchen or dining room window, potted in round pots.  Make sure they are the size you prefer since these plants will fill any size pot you plant in.
2.  Peace Lilies.  The spoon shaped flowers normally appear in the summer, but can also bloom through-out the year.  When potted in a tall planter it becomes very regal.  Neglect, low light, low humidity and a wide range of temps makes it perfect for that dark corner that needs a bit of beauty.
3.  Chinese Evergreen.  Arching lance shape leaves, usually silver, gray or shades of green cool beautiful as a center piece on a table. Pot in something colorful, decorative or artsy for an outstanding look.
4.  Asparagus Fern.  Always popular and totally stunning this makes the perfect potted indoor plant.  The stems of this fern shoot upward and outward with white flowers that turn into bright red berries.  Must be kept away from pets and children but when potted in a large container, it makes a huge display.
5.  Christmas Cactus.  Even though it usually blooms mid to late December, this potted cacti will create a lush green display all year round.  Pinch back the plant or prune with shears to encourage the plant to branch and create a unique potted display.
 
Read more.....healthy houseplants
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Post Last Updated: 6/21/2015 4:37:18 PM 
 
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crafty Idea - Flower Pot Candle Planter

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 791-Make-Candles-With-Pots
Saw this online and had to share.  If there is one thing that can set the mood for outdoor entertaining, it's candles. Flickering firelight on a warm evening, after the sun goes down and the day comes to an end, can set a relaxing and romantic mood.  Whether you are enjoying the quiet space by yourself, or entertaining under the stars, here is a great DIY idea for a stylish outdoor candle using pots.
 
Simple idea:  Make a flower pot candle planter with two terracotta pots, some pebbles, annuals, and a pillar candle.  Easy Peasy!
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Flowers and candles are meant to go together if displayed out in the garden.  Fill your pot with whatever blooms you like, as long as the plant material stays below the candle height when lit.  This makes a gorgeous table decoration for outdoor meals.
 
What you need:

2 terracotta flower pots - one large and wide and one small and tall.
Wood Block
Annuals in 4" nursery pots.
Small River Stones
Pillar Candle 
 
Set the wood block in the bottom center of the large pot.  Place annuals in nursery pots into the larger pot, around the wood block.  Set the smaller pot on the wood block and fill with 1/3 river rocks.  Set the pillar candle on the river stones and set out in the garden.
 
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Post Last Updated: 6/24/2015 3:14:20 PM 
 
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soil for planters!

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 655-Soil-In-Containers
 
In order to have successful potted containers in your home or garden areas, there are a few things you must consider.  What you are potting, what size of container you will need, what kind of soil and how much water & sunlight is required for success.  This entry provides a few tips on selecting the best soil to use.
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Many of you are tempted to use plain old garden soil for filling the pots you tend to plant into.  However this is not a good idea!  Garden dirt is very dense making it hard for water to flow through it properly.  You want soil in your planters to drain well for a number of reasons.  Loose soil lets the plants root system move and expand easier.  it also let's the water you apply - saturate the soil and not just run off the sides.  You can take some garden soil and try mixing it with mulch or peat moss which will help but we recommend starting with a Basic Potting Soil that you can purchase from your local garden center or nursery.
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When starting with a good potting mix you have a much greater chance of success with your plants growth.  Many centers have special mixes that serve particular needs.  You want to make sure the one you select matches the types of plants you are going to use.  Also make sure that you purchase enough potting mix to fill the planters that you are going to use.  Don't skimp. Give those roots enough soil to expand in.
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If you want to make your own just use equal parts of peat moss, compost and vermiculite.  Mix in a large bucket!   Lastly, you can always add fertilizer to any mix to help insure that your plants do well in the pots you have chosen.
 
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Post Last Updated: 5/8/2015 7:57:50 AM 
 
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Latest Posts
pet proof your potted garden..
let's preserve herbs..
potted plants..
crafty Idea - Flower Pot Candle Planter..
soil for planters!..

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