How to Grow Vegetables Indoors

1280518.largeWinter weather doesn’t have to mean then end of harvesting fresh vegetables. You could always garden undercover, outdoors. Or you could try your hand at growing food indoors. Yes, it is possible to grow vegetables inside during the cold months or just because you lack outdoor space. However, it’s not the easiest way to garden and you shouldn’t expect huge yields.

The biggest challenges of growing edibles indoors are low light and a lack of pollinating insects and wind.

However on the positive side, you can control water, soil, and fertility. Unfortunately pests and diseases may follow you indoors, but since the plants are right under your nose, you should be able to stop problems before they become major headaches.

Some general indoor growing tips:

  • Use a good quality potting mix, not garden soil.
  • Containers should have good drainage and be sized for the particular plant. For instance shallow rooted greens only need about a 2 inch depth, but deep rooted tomatoes will want at least 12 inches of soil.
  • Sunny windows do not usually provide enough light for healthy, stocky plants. The days are just too short and

6 Ways to Get More Blooms From Your Roses

Roses can be finicky plants, but you can maximize the blooming potential of your roses by following the basic tenets of rose culture and maintenance. Here are six ways to get more rose blossoms for your flower arrangements.

1.  Before You Plant

You can affect the future blossoms of your rose bush before the plant even goes in the ground. Pamper your roses by placing them in a garden spot that is:

  • Well-draining: Test the future garden site of your rose bush by digging an 18-inch hole and filling it with water. If the water hasn’t drained away after two hours, consider building a raised bed or choosing a different site.
  • Sunny at least six hours a day: Roses need direct sun to generate the energy necessary for abundant blooms. Diseases and pests plague roses weakened by shady conditions.
  • Amended with compost and peat moss: Excavate an 18-by-18 inch-planting hole, and backfill the hole with a mix of 50% garden soil and 50% compost and peat moss. This lightweight soil blend encourages the development of feeder roots.

2.  Plant Reblooming Rose Varieties

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How to Grow Carnations

carnationA carnation is a herbaceous plant that can up to 80 cm tall and come in a variety of colors. However, the wild carnation was a bright pinkish-purple color. The many colors seen today, such as red, white, yellow, and green, were developed by cultivators. The flower is about three to five centimeters in diameter. These flowers are commonly found in bouquets and the petals of the flowers look as if they have been folded in on themselves many times.

Growing Requirements for Carnations

Carnations grow best when they come from cuttings directly from other grown carnation plants. Cuttings or seedlings should be planted in the garden around April and they will bloom in full summer. The soil should have the capacity to drain well but keep the roots moist. The flowers require full sunlight for a minimum of six hours a day in order to bloom completely.

Taking Care of Carnations

Carnations need to be watered regularly but it is important to avoid overwatering because the foliage will turn a yellowish color.  The soil quality plays a big part in how well the carnation will bloom and

How to Grow Microgreens

Salad greens are some of the easiest vegetables to grow. They are also some of the most expensive to buy, partly because they can be time consuming to harvest and difficult to keep fresh and ship. You won’t have that problem, when you grow your own. One of the most expensive salad greens is a mix marketed as microgreens.

What are Microgreens?

Microgreens are a mix of salad greens, herbs and other edible greens picked while they are young, tiny, and tender.

Most are harvested when they are only about an inch tall.

You can purchase microgreen seed mixes in a variety of “flavors”, like spicy or mild. However you can just as easily mix up your own, with seeds you have. Vegetables suitable for harvesting as microgreens include: arugula, Asian greens (mizuna, pak choi, tatsoi), basil, beet greens, broccoli, corn salad, cabbage, carrot greens, chicory, endive, kale, lettuce, mustard, pea shoots, radish greens, spinach, Swiss chard, turnip greens, and watercress.

How to Grow Microgreens

Microgreens are an extremely quick crop that can be grown indoors or out in the garden.

  • Growing Microgreens in the Garden: The process for growing microgreens outdoors is much the same as growing mesclun mix or cut and come again lettuce.

Organic Rose Gardening

Roses have acquired the reputation of being fussy plants. We’ve all heard that to grow beautiful roses requires chemicals and systemics. Is it possible to grow roses organically? Of course. After all, roses can survive for many years without any attention at all. Just think of the antique roses being rediscovered in abandoned cemeteries or the invasiveness of the multiflora rose in the northeast.

Growing roses organically is really no different than growing any type of plant with organic techniques.

Keep in mind that organic gardening involves more than just not using chemicals. It means giving the plant what it wants and needs to grow well. Do that and you’ll have a healthy plant, better able to withstand pest attacks.

Unfortunately that is often easier said than done, especially with something as sentimental and sensual as roses.

Gardeners are very particular about what type of rose they wish to grow. It can be very hard to give up the idea of long stem tea roses in favor of shrubby rugosas, but choosing the right rose for your area is rule number one.

If you’re willing to make some adjustments in your dream rose garden, here are some guidelines to growing roses organically.

  • Choose roses

Winter Care of Water Gardens

Some winter care is necessary for most water gardens and water features, in cold climates. What you need to do depends on how cold it gets in your area and what type of water garden you have. Small container water gardens should always be drained and stored. Natural water gardens and ponds can be left to face the elements. But man-made water gardens will need some extra care and protection.

When Should You Start?

Most winter care starts about the same time frost hits your area.

Some of your plants will succumb to the cold and others will slowly be going dormant.

What to Do

For Plants:

  • Stop feeding your water plants in mid-September. 
  • Decide which plants you want to over-winter and which can be replaced in the spring. Small floating plants can be difficult to keep indoors all winter and are not as expensive to replace as larger, ornamental plants. 
  • Remove any plants that are not hardy. You don’t want them decaying in the water. If you wish, you can bring many indoors, to over-winter in a plastic tub filled with water. 
  • Hardy plants should be moved to the deepest part of your water garden, for added protection. Remove any dead

4 Ways to Get Cheap or Free Flower Gardening Supplies

It’s fun to buy the latest gadgets and new plant introductions for the flower garden, but sometimes our green thumbs are bigger than our wallets. Discover four ways to satisfy your need to expand your flower gardens for little or no money.

1.  Free Plants and Seeds

Flower gardeners are a generous bunch, and most people love to share their plant and seed materials with other gardeners, especially ones who are new to the fold! There are several ways you can get hooked up with plant or seed swaps to find free flowers to start your garden:

  • Check with local or regional botanical gardens who often host annual plant swaps
  • Join an online flower gardening forum, where members connect to share seeds
  • Become a member of a flower club, and gain access to unusual varieties of your favorite flower

2.  Free Compost

Many homeowners haven’t discovered the joys of composting yet, which is unfortunate for them but can be beneficial for you. When these homeowners bag their grass clippings and yard waste for the trash service to haul away, the city may turn this raw material into compost at your local municipal yard waste facility. Bring your shovel and some buckets; because this