Before I start let me say everyone should own a teacup pig! They are adorable!
Now I’m ready
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NATURAL LIGHT: Adequate light is the most important factor in promoting flowering. Place plants near any window that has bright, but filtered, light. An east window is best because it gets morning sun. A thin curtain will be necessary if placing plants in a south or west window. In order to develop a nice symmetrical form, plants must be turned 1/4 turn every week.
FLUORESCENT LIGHT: If adequate natural light is not available, plants can be grown under fluorescent lights. Use double tube fixtures with one cool white bulb and one broad spectrum bulb. Lights should be 8 to 10 inches above the top of the plants and turned on for 12 to 14 hours a day. If plants have tight centers or seem to be bleaching out, reduce the number of hours to 8-10 a day.
WHEN TO WATER: More violets die from over-watering than from any other single cause. Violet soil should be kept evenly moist and never allowed to become soggy. Water only when the top of the soil is dry to the touch. Always use tepid water.
HOW TO WATER: You can water from the top, bottom, use wicks or use self watering planters. However, about once a month, plants should be watered from the top to flush out accumulated fertilizer salts. Never allow plants to stand in water (unless wicked or Oyama Planters are used). If water gets on the leaves, dry with a paper towel to prevent leaf spotting.
SOIL: A potting medium suitable for African Violets should be sterilized, and light and airy to allow root penetration. Soil-less mixes are ideal - they contain sphagnum peat, vermiculite and perlite.
FEEDING: Lack of regular feeding is one of the reasons an African violet will not bloom. The best way to feed is to use a dilute fertilizer solution every time you water. Use 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. fertilizer to one gallon of water. A balanced fertilizer should be used such as 20-20-20 or 12-36-14. Find a fertilizer with a low nitrogen urea content as urea burns the roots. Some brands are Peters, Optimara, Miracle Grow, Schultz.
ATMOSPHERE: Temperature and humidity are important factors. Most violets can tolerate temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees. Ideal temperatures are 72-75 degrees day-time and 65 degrees night-time. The preferred humidity range is 40% to 60%. A humidifier or bowls of water placed near plants can be used to increase you home’s humidity during heating season.
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Get Some Garden Tools
September 1st, 2010 | Author: admin
It is spring now, and for many people, that means getting out into the garden. I for one love getting into my garden and spending hour after hour preparing the soil and planting the seeds of my favorite vegetables, fruits and flowers. If you love to garden then you know a few things are absolutely essential. Having the right garden tools is one thing that no gardener, however amateur or experienced, can go without.
I have loved being in my garden for as long as I can remember. My husband and children have to pull me out of the garden as the sun goes down all too often during the spring and summer months. I’m kind of like a kid in that way I guess, because I just cannot get enough time outside. My love for gardening has only increased since I got a new set of garden tools for Christmas.
My family knows me well. I am a woman of few and simple interests, but the interests I have I devote myself to and spend a lot of time doing. Working in my garden is no exception. So when it came time to make a Christmas list earlier this year garden tools quickly made it to the top. My family knows that they can plan to buy me new garden tools about every other year. I make a fairly specific request for certain kinds of garden tools the longer I am in the garden and know what works better. I usually ask for a certain kind of shovel or a certain pair of garden gloves.
Just like my children, I could hardly wait to open my presents on Christmas morning. I knew I would receive the usual pair of pajamas and slippers, but I couldn’t wait for anything more than my new set of garden tools. My family didn’t let me down. They presented me with a fabulous set of garden tools that I must have looked at for a half an hour and each day after that until spring came. The garden tools were by far the best set I had ever received.
If you know a gardener, consider getting them a set of great garden tools. There is nothing a true gardener would like more than to feel confident that they have the right set of garden tools to work their magic in the soil. Look for great garden tools at local gardening shops or at home improvement stores. Talk to other gardeners and see what sets of garden tools are popular and durable. Then buy the gardener the gift of their dreams.
The Calla Lilies are plants belonging to the Zantedeschia genus in the Araceae family. The genus contains seven plant species and they are all commonly referred to as Calla Lillies. Some of them have other common names as well. Zantedeschia aethiopica is also known as giant white arum lily and common arum lily. Zantedeschia albomaculata is sometimes sold as spotted arum lily, and Zantedeschia rehmannii is known as the pink arum lily. Zantedeschia elliottiana has a yellow shade and is therefore called yellow or golden arum lily. The other three species, Zantedeschia odorata, Zantedeschia jucunda and Zantedeschia pentlandii, are usually called just Calla Lilies.
All the Calla Lilies originate from the African continent and are found wild between north Malawi and South Africa. They are often referred to as Arum Lilies. The Calla Lilies should not be confused with the flowers found in the genus named Calla that can be found in the Araceae family. This genus contains only one species, the Calla palustris, and unlike the Calla Lilies, this plant is native to cool regions in the temperate zoon and grows wild in Europe, North America and northern Asia. Another source of confusion regarding the Calla Lilies is that they actually do not belong to the family of the lilies.
The Calla Lilies are all rhizomatous plants that can reach a height of 1-2.5 meters. The leaves will grow up to 45 centimetres. The name Calla is derived from the Greek language and means ‘beautiful’ and this is a very appropriate name since the Calla Lilies are appreciated world wide for their exquisite beauty. In regions too cold for these flowers, they are cultivated indoors in homes and greenhouses. When you plant your Calla Lily, it is important that the soil is free from salt since Calla Lilies are very sensitive to salt. As long as you provide your Calla Lily with appropriate soil, plenty of water and lot of sunlight it is actually a though and durable plant that grows fast. Use a nutritious soil that drains easily. Place your Calla Lily in direct sunlight or light shade. Calla Lilies will do best when the temperatures are kept over 70 degrees F.
An outdoor living Calla Lily will usually require no fertilization as long as it has been planted in rich soil. Indoor Calla Lilies, or outdoor Calla Lilies that are planted in pots, should be given liquid plant food regularly. You can either mix a very weak plant food solution and use every time you water your Calla Lily, or mix a little stronger – but still quite mild – solution and feed your plant every three weeks.
When the blossoming period is over, you should allow the foliage of the plant to mature. Remove the flowers as the start to fade and wither. Slowly decrease the amount of water until the leaves have turned black. The tubers need at least 3 months to rest before they can bloom again. Since the Calla Lily grows fast it will eventually require repotting, and this is the ideal time to do so.
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Caring For The Indoor Bonsai Tree
August 2nd, 2010 | Author: admin
The indoor Bonsai Tree is a beautiful addition to any home or office, and once you learn how to care for these unique trees, they are a great hobby.
Indoor Bonsai Trees are actually a miniature replica of a natural outdoor tree. The cultivation of the indoor Bonsai Tree first began in China and Japan centuries ago, but today growing the Bonsai Tree has become a popular hobby in many parts of the world.
One of the best aspects of the indoor Bonsai Tree is that it only becomes more beautiful with time with the right care. The indoor Bonsai Tree must receive enough sunlight without being exposed to temperatures that are too high or too low. If you live in a fairly mild climate you may want to place your tree on a patio or porch when temperatures permit.
If you live in a climate that reaches extreme temperatures, you may have to place your indoor Bonsai Tree in a room that receives plenty of light, but not right next to the window.
Watering your indoor Bonsai Tree is another important element to properly caring for it. Your tree should be watered when the soil begins to appear dry, and it is very important that you never let the soil get too dry.
Using the proper soil for the type of indoor Bonsai Tree that you have is also an essential element to caring for your tree. Always ensure that you have the right soil when planting or replanting your tree.
The correct use of liquid fertilizer may also determine how healthy your indoor Bonsai Tree will be. To guarantee that you are using the right fertilizer and applying it correctly, seek advice for the type of tree that you have.
For the indoor Bonsai Tree to grow properly, it is extremely important that you trim it at the appropriate times. Tropical and sub tropical indoor bonsai trees have to be trimmed throughout the year. Not only do the branches need to be trimmed but also the roots. Nevertheless, as different plants grow at diverse rates, you will have to assess your tree’s growth and change the trimming accordingly.
With proper care, your indoor Bonsai Tree can grow to be beautiful and healthy. Once you get the hang of caring for your Bonsai Tree, you may even want to add several more to your collection.
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Do You Have All Of Your Garden Supplies?
July 23rd, 2010 | Author: admin
The garden season is close to beginning. If you have made a list it’s a good start. Here are some kid friendly garden supplies that should be on every kid gardener’s list.
Garden pruners are like scissors. They are needed to cut branches back and even harvest fruit and produce. There are different sizes from the smallest to larger branch pruners often called shears.
A sturdy strong set of garden pruners is best. You also might want to consider the grip. Have the kids check out the grip before buying to make sure it fits their hands.
A garden rake is a great clean up tool. It can also be great for sifting out rocks in a freshly tilled garden bed.
Not all garden rakes are created alike. You have to find one you like and one that you can grip and use. There are several different types of rakes.
There is a stiff rake, the kind used mostly in the garden. This usually has a horizontal set of teeth that aren’t retractable and flexible. This makes them strong and gives them the ability to be used to scrape the surface of the garden bed to remove rocks and other debris.
A lawn and leaf rake is usually a flexible rake that can be retractable. It is used mainly for cleaning up leaves in the fall.
Sometimes called a shovel, this little dandy of an item makes a child’s gardening experience a little easier. It has a versatile use. It can be used in almost every phase of the garden from transplanting to weeding to harvest time.
A good pair of garden gloves is good for those tough to tackle jobs such as rose handling, thorn bush picking and other jobs that could require covering up the hands in some sort of protection. Certain plants give off chemicals that could be irritating to the skin. These could include, but isn’t limited to, the nightshade family (tomatoes, peppers and potatoes), onions and some herbs. Wearing garden gloves can help protect a child from these irritations.
While some home and garden stores may carry kid sized gloves more likely they only have adult size. But luckily the women’s garden gloves are more likely to carry a smaller size and possibly neutral colors if necessary. Find gloves that fit snugly but do not constrict movement too much. You want the hand to be able to move freely and breath correctly.
You can’t have a garden with the plants, right? You can’t have plants without seeds. Sure, you can buy plants already to transplant. But starting with seeds can be more rewarding and cost efficient. So buy a few seeds and start the garden today.
The right soil make the difference between a mediocre garden harvest and a great harvest. There are many types of soil including germinating mixes to start seeds to top soil. Choosing the right soil can be daunting. Just read the instructions on each type to see what is best for your garden.
While a garden journal isn’t an absolute necessity it can help the kid gardener in future gardening endeavors. A child can put down his or her thoughts on the garden, experiences and even make the garden supply list in the journal. You can either make the garden journal or buy it. Regardless of where you obtain the garden journal it’s a must for long term kid gardeners.
Flowers are a great gift, useful in home decoration or in landscaping. When thinking about what to grow in any certain space, one has a wide array of choices for what kind of flowers would best be planted. Choices many times have to do with when the flowers should bloom and when they will be most appreciated.
Wildflowers, of course, are available in abundance. Gathering and pressing wildflowers is a popular pastime, and for those who live near open fields or other natural places, a bouquet of wildflowers is the easiest way. The bright array of blossoms that can be gathered in the wild require no effort other than finding and picking.
If you are trying to grow flowers in a specific bed, there are many choices, having mostly to do with when the flowers will bloom. A basic choice is between annual flowers, which last only for one growing season, or the hardier perennials, which can grow for years and years if properly cultivated.
Annual flowers can be better for a longer blooming time, for more robust blossoms, and for more micromanaged growing conditions. Perennials in many cases will produce less vivid flowers over a number of years. There are also Biennials, flowers which don’t blossom at all the first growing season and die after the second. There are obvious disadvantages to biennials, but for the avid gardener, they remain part of a varied flower bed.
Annuals come in different varieties, and some are more fragile than others. More delicate plants, called ‘tender’ annuals, are probably more for the advanced gardener and in suitable conditions. Stronger annuals will be more likely to outlast rough soil or handling and other potential problems. Some annuals can withstand the vestiges of frost or stand up to the elements in other ways.
Perennials, then, need to be studied for their blossoming patterns, and for other particular growing conditions. Perhaps the most popular perennial is the rose, grown in thorny bushes. The rose is among the most familiar flowers, used widely in our social rituals, as a gift between lovers or friends, and enjoyed as the subject of classic poetry and literature. Rose bushes are tenacious and with the right conditions can provide lasting enjoyment in your yard or garden.
The gardener will want to look at growing conditions, as also at color schemes, to create a vivid and eye-catching garden. Consider whether the plants will be needed only for a season, or whether they should last into future years, growing along with their tenders. In any case, a lively crop of blooming beauties will enable the gardener to do as the florists suggest: Say it with Flowers.
When spring is on its way and the ground is soft, it is the perfect time for planting roses. Roses have been a very popular bloom over the years, not only do they look good, but they smell wonderful too.
However, planting roses cannot be done just anywhere or in just any climate. They need special care and treatment. Here are some tips that you need to consider in order to successfully grow roses:
1. Roses require about 4 to 6 hours of sunlight everyday. It would be best to plant your roses in a clear area where there are not too many trees or other types of plants. The reason behind this is that the rose may lack sunlight exposure and the roots are also likely to become intertwined with the rose and throttle its growth. If you wish to replace an old rose bush, you should remove about 1 ½ cubic feet of the old soil and replace it with new soil so that the newly planted rose will have fresh soil to start with.
2. When thinking about the position of your roses you must consider the type of rose you are planting. Place ramblers and climbers along trellises, fences and next to pergolas or arches. This is important to consider because they need space to grow freely and these positions are perfect for bigger blooming roses.
3. Roses will look good in island beds which can be mixed with perennials. Smaller roses make great edging plants, which are perfect for combining in front of taller species. Dig a hole large enough for the size of the root ball, but remember to loosen the soil in the bottom of the hole. You can also add bone meal which acts as a slow acting resource of phosphorus. This will help establish a healthy root growth for your roses.
4. You should be careful when considering the planting depth as this depends on your climate. If you live in a cooler climate, plant roses deeper, but if you wish to plant in a pot, you must dig about 1 inch deeper than the usual potted level.
5. Make sure that you place roses in the hole carefully. The hole should be refilled with soil so that the roots are covered completely. Before you make the final covering, water the rose. Then mound the soil about 8 inches high around the base of the plant. The earth will keep the stems from drying out until the plant is completely rooted. As the leaves open, you can remove the excess soil that surrounds the plant.
These some important tips you need to consider when planting roses. It will be worth the effort, as your roses will bloom beautifully.
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A Guide To Japanese Gardens
June 4th, 2010 | Author: admin
Ready for something different in your garden? Take a look at Japanese bridges. These beautiful ornamental bridges bring the Far East right into your back yard or garden.
Japanese bridges add elegance to gardens and look beautiful when placed over a koi pond or Japanese style dry river bed. There are many flowers, shrubs and trees that compliment Japanese bridges also.
If you are interested in Japanese bridges for your garden you may want to look online for ideas and suggestions. There are excellent sites that not only feature the bridges but have information about planning an entire garden space in the Japanese style.
Many of the designs for these Japanese bridges are taken from ancient drawings. The Japanese bridges are graceful and unique. Place a Japanese bridge in your garden and create a space to meditate, a quiet area for contemplation and dreaming. These are just a few of the benefits of having a Japanese bridge.
You might want to begin planning a Japanese bridge by surveying the space you have to work with. Make sure the Japanese bridge is the correct size. The Japanese bridge will not look as lovely as it should if it is too big or too small for the area. Think carefully about the other things you will have in the space. You will want to coordinate the flowers, trees and any other ornamental elements you plan to use. If you have a pond you will need to determine the best Japanese bridge for the pond.
Plan carefully and you will be able to add a little Oriental flair to your yard even if you live in New York City!