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Sunday, December 27, 2009

Poinsettia Project #1

I am doing an experiment on water sensitive plants like that of the poinsettia plant. Most times at retail stores or garden centers the plants are stressed from overwatering. People tend to have a hard time keeping poinsettias alive from then on; so I thought this experiment would help everyone out that’s having this problem. I have a moisture gauge that display’s the moisture level in the soil and it’s numbered from 1 to 10, 1 being very dry and 10 being extremely wet. The moisture levels of the two pots are 4, which is ideal for poinsettias, because they tend to hate wet feet.

In my experiment I will eyeball the first poinsettia to judge its watering needs, the second one I will use the moisture meter to judge its watering needs. Overwatering is the most common mistake most people make, it stresses the plant therefore the plants will shed their leaves. In my hypothesis, I believe the poinsettia I eyeball to judge it’s watering needs will end up being the one that I will accidently over water.

Both poinsettias are getting partial sunlight; the air temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. I will post the progress weekly of each plant, and hopefully this will help the over watering issue!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wait till late December to plant bulbs in Central Ohio...

It has been so warm in Central Ohio this winter my Hyacinths are starting to emerge from the ground already!! It's sad to see because once it gets cold and stays below freezing; it’s really going to interrupt the progress they have made. Spring bulbs are very hardy; being as early as it is will damage them and set them back for a year or two. So I am waiting until right now to plant more daffodils and tulips in my beds, simply because it’s still mild and wet out. I'm hoping it will stay below freezing in January. Having mild winters with a lot of temperature fluctuations can become very hard on plants, so it’s very important to have enough mulch around plants to help keep the soil temperature from fluctuating as well. For mulch, I love to use a mixture of shredded leaves and compost because it provides protection, and as a source of nutrients in the spring. During early spring months, I take the mulch and till it into my garden to get more uses out of my winter mulching!

(Healthy daffodil bulbs)

(Unhealthy daffodil bulbs)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wild.... WIld.... Lights at the Columbus Zoo

Today was the day I was going to visit the Wild Lights at the Columbus Zoo, for reason's other than freezing of course!  The lights were all LED this year which looked spectacular.  Here is a picture of the entrance (below).

I went last year and it was nice, but this year was unbelievable because the LED lights that were used were very bright, and saturated with color.  It was a really great time, the Columbus Zoo puts on a light show that is located around the pond by the entrance.  The picture of it is below.

Besides having a really good time and freezing, there were plenty of ideas floating around my head for future light shows at my own home.  Lighting in the landscape really sets it off at night, it seems to give the property more depth and added value.  For next christmas, I will be prepared and ready to go full force!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Growing Greener: Neck Pain / Daydreaming about garden chores#links#links

Growing Greener: Neck Pain / Daydreaming about garden chores#links#links

4 Easy steps when selecting bulbs

I have planted many bulbs in my lifetime, besides the sore back, or bruised knee's when planting large amounts of bulb's, the final result is a beautiful display of color in the spring!  there are some guidlines you should follow to have success with your bulbs next spring.  Rule number 1: Every bulb that you purchase should be firm, and free of mushy spots.  Rule number 2: The outside of the bulb should be dry and free of any disease, especially mold.  Rule number 3: Make sure the bulb isn't damaged, ie: smashed or cracked.  Rule number 4: Make sure that the bulbs are displayed in some type of clean bedding material, this will prevent disease from forming and keeps the bulbs nice and dry.  If you follow thses four rules, you will have a better chance of seeing every bulb you plant emerge from the ground!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Suitable tree's for flower beds

As you finish raking up all the leaves in your yard, pruning out dead or diseased branches, or doing other fall clean up around your home its the perfect time to look for suitable trees to place flower beds under next spring!  Fall and Winter are perfect times for planning next years gardening agenda.  As you glance around the yard looking for a suitable tree, or planning to plant a tree in an existing flower bed, the trees I mention today are the most suitable trees for flower beds.  The top shade tree species are Oak and Sweetgum, while the top ornamental tree species are Crabapple and Dogwoods.  The tree species you want to stay away from are Maples and Lindens.  The reason some trees are suitable and some aren't has to do with how invasive the lateral roots are;  this can be observed at parks.  Like silver maples, the later roots of the tree are very invasive and are usually raised above the soil line making it difficult to establish flower beds.  The rule of thumb I use is making sure the tree is a "taproot", because the root system of this type is alot like a carrot the roots extend down deep without lateral interference.  Well that's that, feel free to to expand on this idea!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

(Mis)Adventures in Urban Gardening: Tomatoes suck

(Mis)Adventures in Urban Gardening: Tomatoes suck

Friday, December 11, 2009

Whitespire Birch all the way!

Hello everyone!  I have been putting alot of thought into why whitespire birch trees are so appealing to me so I have came up with a conclusion.  As I drive through local neighborhoods my attention is always caught by the striking appearance of this tree.  The tree is a great specimen to accent any property becuase its an attention getter, especially in winter.  During the winter months every hardwood tree is "lifeless" as it appears because there are no leaves and the bark of most hardwood trees aren't that appealing; brown like the dirt.  The tree that stands out is the one that has exfoliating white or gray bark that is usually multistemed and sways gracefully in the wind; The Whitespire Birch!

In addition to adding significant value to the home, there are many uses for this tree, well only if your a crafter or florist.  You can prune unwanted or broken branches and make a variety of crafts like: wreaths, swags, floral arrangments and the list goes on...  Furniture is also attractive that is made from the wood of the birch, as it sells very well at craft shows!  So my conclusion is that this tree is a must have because it holds significant value to the property, as well as in the hearts of any serious crafter!  Please broden my thoughts and share any new ideas or information, thank you!

Collecting pine cones-for profit?

Hello everybody!  Summer is long gone and winter is arriving in full force, so what does that leave the gardener who loves nothing more then to fertilize the petunias and dead head a few roses.  Well there is one thing I enjoy doing when it gets cold out, and thats collecting pinecones and maybe even for a small profit!  Its not the collecting part that earns you revenue, its what you make with it.  That my friends is an elegant pinecone wreath.

Okay, I have you interested now right?  Well all you need to do is get some warm clothes on and search for a multitude of different, and interesting pine cones.  I usually start out searching for sugar pinecones because I use them the most, they usually serve as the outside and inside border to all my wreaths.  The next type of pine cone I search for is a spruce cone because it ads strength to the wreath, as well as adding a platform to glue other pinecones onto.  The last pine cones I search for is a mixture of blue spruce, scotch pine, fir, and others. These cones I use for the body of the wreath in a mixture because it adds depth and contrast, making the wreath stand out!  When im finished glueing I usually take a blow dryer and go over the wreath, because it melts all the little strings left over by the glue gun.  Additionally, if you plan on keeping the wreath outside, spray two coats of clear coat on the front and back of the wreath to help seal it.

To make money from the wreaths, most local florist shops or garden centers will purchase them if they look appealing and are a good buy.  The price that most businesses bite at is around 25 dollars.  Please feel free to broden the discussion and share any ideas.