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Posts Tagged ‘Plant’

English: In the seed shop district of Wuhan (a...

1. Don’t plant too early. Some seeds sprout and grow quickly, and they can get leggy and weak if they have to wait too long to go outside. So, how do you know when to plant? Read the seed packet. It will tell you whether indoor sowing is recommended, and if it is, it will say how many weeks before the last frost date you should plant.  Here is a great resource from the Old Farmer’s Almanac for determining planting dates:  2012 Best Planting Dates.  Just enter your city or zip code for personalized results.

2. Label your flats. I know, you think you’ll remember, or recognize what comes up, but 6 weeks from now, I assure you there will be some confusion. Use a Sharpie on Popsicle sticks or tape to mark what went in where. Sometimes I tape a piece of the seed packet to the tray.

3. Cover your seeds. Many seed trays come with a clear plastic top. If you don’t have that, use  plastic wrap. Covering your trays after planting helps keep moisture in, and it keeps the seeds a little warmer too. Mist or water very gently when needed.

4. Fight Disease. Once most seeds have sprouted, uncover the flat to let air circulate. Seedlings with too little air circulation are susceptible to damping off, a fungal disease that strikes quickly and rots stems at the soil line. It happens will little warning, and can wipe out your baby crop over night, so make sure you’ve got some air flow. It’s not a bad idea to run a fan gently in the room, just to keep the air moving. Thinning seedlings and watering properly will also help prevent damping-off disease.

5. Don’t crowd seedlings. Thin them ruthlessly, so they don’t have to compete for water and nutrients.  It’s better to have one strong plant than 3 weak ones.

6. Add light. To grow straight, strong stems, your seedlings need 12-16 hours of daylight. That’s impossible at this time of year, without adding artificial light. There are lots of economical grow lights, and it will make a tremendous difference in the quality of your little plants.

7. Water gently. Preferably from the bottom, or mist the soil surface. This one can be a little tricky. Over-watering is another invitation to damping-off disease, but tiny plants can also dry out quickly if they aren’t watered. Check daily and add enough water to keep the soil moist, not water-logged.

8. Harden Off. Tender seedlings won’t tolerate an abrupt change to outdoor sunlight and wind. Put them out in a shady, sheltered spot, for a few hours, then bring them in. Slowly increase exposure over a week. That gives your little plants time to acclimate to sunlight, and grow stronger to withstand an all-day breeze. Then, if the weather forecast co-operates, move them to their permanent home.

Need Seeds? Check out our huge selection

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  • Keep a careful eye on your plants.  During the heat of the late summer months, plants can really become dehydrated.  Make sure they are getting plenty of water.
  • Check for diseases as well and if you see a sign of insects, rot or other diseases, try some insecticide or disease control.  It would even be a good idea to give your plants a shot of Miracle Gro to give them an extra boost of energy and fertilizer.
  • Maintain your water garden by adding oxygenating plants that keep the water fresh and healthy with a balanced pH.  Some plants you may want to add include water lilies, hyacinths and lotus.  Adding a water treatment would also help keep the water clear as well as help your fish heal from wounds and keep them stress-free.

My recommended products to check out:

Miracle-Gro All Purpose Fertilizer

Bayer Advanced Natria Multi- Insect Control RTS Quart

Stress Coat 16 oz.

Daconil Fungicide 32 oz. RTU

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Brenda has an excellent question and I’d like to think that I have an excellent answer.  I’ll let you be the judge of that.

Her question:

“I have a question about blackberries. We have wild ones growing all around us, and I’ve noticed that one plant never has thorns and there’s one that does. Is the one without the thorns the male plant? Is it ok to cut those down and leaves the ones with the berries? Is there a good way to transplant blackberry bushes, some grow right in our flower beds, can I move them? I’ve been wondering about these thorny ones for years that don’t produce fruit, so maybe someone will tell me about them. Thanks.”

And then later:

“I see I made a mistake in my email. I meant to say that both have thorns, but only one has berries. Please help me to figure out this question, it has me baffled, as you can see. I can’t even write about it w/o messing up.”

Well Brenda, here is my expertise on the subject that I really hope will help you out!

I have to say, I don’t know a lot about berries, other than that they are very tasty!  However, I have found that you absolutely can transplant the bush to another location.

To begin with, trim the bush back, removing dead branches and leaves and cutting back enough that the bush will fit in the new location you’ve picked out.  They do better in spots that receive full sunlight and it’s possible that the bush that does not have berries just isn’t getting enough light.  Move it to a location where it get tons of light and will not be affected by nearby plants or other blackberry bushes.

To get the plant up out of the ground, dig about 1 foot away from it, making sure you are not harming the roots.  You want to make sure that you’ve got the established roots in tact; carefully ease the plant out of the ground.

The hole you dig should be twice the size of the root cluster.  Line it with compost and gently put the bush in, making sure not to cram the roots.  Gently fill in the soil and water it regularly.

Now that should help you transplant the bush if you choose to.  As for why it is not producing berries, it could be several things, such as not having enough sun, water or space.  You can try fertilizing it as well.  This Miracle-Gro Quick Start With Vitamin B1 is perfect for this situation because it helps ease plants into being transplanted and lessens the shock of a new environment.

Another reason it may not be producing berries is because it’s just a dud.  Sometimes plants just don’t feel like doing what they’re supposed to.  We have a wisteria plant on our back deck and it grew and grew but it never bloomed, for nine years!  And finally, two years ago it bloomed, and it bloomed again this year.  So it’s possible that your blackberry bush is just being stubborn and hopefully moving it to a new location will stimulate it enough so that it will do what it’s supposed to!

Thank you for your great question Brenda!  I hope this helps!

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Lots of plants can be divided after a certain amount of time.  I’m not going to tell you anymore though because I honestly do not know how big the plant has to be or when you can essentially “take it apart” because I don’t know anything about that.  All I know is that sometimes it has to happen, and when it does, it’s good to be prepared.

With Decorative Plant Rooters, you can easily take part of a plant and start a new one by placing the cutting into the vase and adding some water.  If you’re not into starting new plants, that’s cool too, because you can put a simple little bouquet of flowers in the vase as well.  No matter what type of plants you end up putting in the vase, you will get a unique decoration that will be sure to get noticed and admired by anyone who stops by.

Here are some of my favorites:

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Azaleas, 50-years old as of 2003, in Luthervil...

Azaleas

  • Now is the time to trim and prune the plants in your garden because their blooms have faded.  Rhododendrons and azaleas are examples of spring flowering shrubs that need to be cleaned up.
  • Take care of any pests with insect control products.
  • Go ahead and kill all those nasty weeds in your garden as well.  Products such as Bayer Advanced All-In-One Weed Killer or Round Up Extended Control are perfect.
  • Add some color with containers full of flowers.  Place them around your deck or patio and enjoy!  If you already have some, add some Miracle Gro to give them a mid-summer boost.

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Container garden on front porch

Outdoor Flowers

  • Try out some different container gardens.  You can put them anywhere and plant anything in them.  They come in different sizes, which will add more depth to your outdoor area.
  • Plant your own vegetable garden.  Having your own selection of vegetables at your fingertips will help save you money and is a fun way to get outside.  Now is the perfect time to plant tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and beans.
  • Plant a flower garden!  Flowers add lots of color and life to any outdoor space.  Don’t forget to check out our selection of planters and hanging baskets to help maximize the great impact your flowers will have!

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This photograph is of a peace lilly in the Spa...

Peace Lily

Spathiphyllum, known to most as the Peace Lily, is a very common household plant.  Luckily for those out there who tend to kill all their house plants, the Peace Lily is very easy to take care of.

My success story:

My mom has had one for years and while it is healthy and alive, it has never bloomed.  She recently gave me part of it and I potted it and put it in my bedroom window.  I watered it once or twice a week, or when the soil was dry and just made sure that it was getting plenty of light, although not direct sunlight.  After a couple of weeks, I noticed that my plant was growing a flower and before I knew it, it had bloomed!  That just goes to show that even if you think you have a dud plant or you can’t take care of flowers, you should try putting it in a new environment, because it might not be getting the nutrients it needs where you have it now.

 

Fun Fact: The Peace Lily is actually not a true lily from the Liliaceae family.  True lilies are quite toxic to cats and dogs, while the Peace Lily is only mildly toxic when ingested.  If ingested, it can cause burning in the mouth, skin irritation, difficulty swallowing, and nausea.

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