Succulents Basics

Soil – All succulents require excellent soil drainage. Water should run through pots fast so the plant’s roots don’t get waterlogged. Water – Succulents are adapted to survive in harsh, dry conditions but this doesn’t mean they don’t like water when they can get it. One major tip is, they don’t like being soggy. If growing in a pot, let the soil dry out between waterings. Water enough to keep the leaves plump. Succulent leaves will often wrinkle if they don’t have enough water, but it’s better to let them get a little dehydrated than to overwater them. Hint: during the rainy season turn the saucers you have under your pots upside-down so they won’t get waterlogged. Light – Succulents evolved in dry climates but shouldn’t be confused with tough desert cactus. Full sun outdoors is okay for Aloes (not all aloes, Aloe vera prefers part shade – at least …

RECYCLE, RECYCLE, RECYCLE

You are in the kitchen preparing breakfast. You remove used coffee grounds and filter from the coffee pot, peel some oranges and bananas, crack some eggs. What do you do with these unwanted parts? Hopefully, you don’t throw them into the trash to go to a landfill where they will produce strong greenhouse gases when you could be using them to make your own compost. What? That is a time and energy consuming task reserved for those dedicated gardeners with labor intensive compost piles. Maybe not. Let’s talk about a couple of relatively simple ways to turn your unwanted  food scraps (as well as garden trimmings) into the compost which will: improve your soil structure, help your soil hold water, suppress some diseases, and make nutrients more readily available to your plants. The Trench Method takes the least amount of effort. Save your kitchen scraps in a small lidded container. …

Container Vegetable Gardening

ADVANTAGES OF CONTAINER VEGETABLE GARDENING Less risk of soil-borne disease Virtually eliminate weed problems Versatile, allowing you to grow on a patio, balcony or courtyard Mobile plants gives more control over moisture, sunlight & temperature Portable gardens are suitable for renters, edible gardens in pots can move with you Makes gardening accessible to those with limited mobility Helps control space invaders, like mint and rosemary CHOOSING THE RIGHT CONTAINER FOR GROWING VEGETABLES Any number of things can be used, flower pots, buckets, washtubs, wooden boxes, even plastic bags. No matter what kind of container you use, it should have drainage holes at the base or in the bottom. Vegetable plants will die if left sitting in wet soil. Dark colored containers, outdoors will absorb heat which can damage roots, so try painting them a lighter color or place them accordingly. The size of the container is important. For larger vegetables …

Things to Do In…

MARCH Plant starts of lettuce and cole vegetables, dill, cilantro, parsley. Sow seeds of peas, radishes,carrots, beets. Wait until the soil warms up a bit and the evening temperatures are consistently 50 degrees or above to plant summer vegetables. Time to plant most permanent landscape plants (shrubs, trees, vines.) Wait until April or May to plant tropicals. Act on Nancy Conway’s advice to “…sprinkle gypsum on your garden as you would sprinkle powdered sugar on French toast.” Plant container fruit trees Final opportunity to spray copper sulfate for peach leaf curl and peach leaf blight before the buds open – never once they have opened or fruit could be damaged. Time spent weeding now will reap benefits in the heat of the summer. APRIL Divide crowded clumps of summer-flowering perennials Prune and feed citrus Plant summer blooming bulbs, corms, and tubers. When planting, feed them with 10-10-10 fertilizer incorporated 1” …