Make a blog


9 months ago

Growing Great Vegetables and Flowers in Small Spaces

Watering: Pots tend to dry out quickly, particularly small pots and clay pots. Water your plants until liquid runs out of the bottom of the pot to prevent salt build-up in your soil. To facilitate draining, place the pot on small legs or in a shallow dish filled with gravel. Allow the soil to dry before watering again (but not so much that the plant can't recover!) Roots need air, so a water-logged plant will die just as quickly as a dehydrated plant. Too much water also encourages the growth of mildews and molds.

In the summer, you will have to water often. In order to help your plants survive the summer, elevate them off of a hot patio and cluster them so that they can shade each other with their foliage. Mulch the top of the soil with wood chips or pebbles to decrease evaporation and keep the soil cooler. Clay pots placed in full sun can get very HOT and bake your plants' roots. Wrap the exterior with burlap, or "double pot" them to create airflow between the two pots.

Fertilizing: Commercial potting soils generally have enough nutrients to last a couple of months. Following this initial period, add water soluble fertilizer according to the package instructions (I prefer to fertilize twice as often at half the recommended strength.) Do not over fertilize as plants can be "burned" by too much nitrogen. For optimum performance, refresh your pots annually with fresh compost or other organic material. Note that fertilizers list the big three nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium) in the order N-P-K on their packaging (such as 15-11-8.) Flowering plants need phosphorus to bloom, so choose a fertilizer with a high 2nd number. Use a balanced blend for green plants and shrubs , such as 20-20-20. Acid loving plants will appreciate the addition of soil sulphur (coffee grounds are acidic, too.) Cactus and succulents only need to be fertilized once or twice each year, while they are growing.

Light: Choose the right plant for the amount of sunlight that your pot will receive. Some plants grow well in shady areas. Others, such as vegetables, require 6-8 hours daily of direct sunlight. Plants that require full sunlight in temperate areas may appreciate some afternoon shade in the summer. If your plant is too shaded, it may yellow or become "leggy" as it stretches to reach the sun. Sunburned plants turn yellow or brown. Move them, as necessary.

Salt damage: Phoenix water is high in salts, and container plants are particularly vulnerable to salt damage. Water deeply to prevent salt build-up in your pots. If you notice leaves with brown edges or tips, this is a sign of salt damage. Flush the pot well to wash salts away from the roots and out of the pot.

Care: Keep an eye out for insects, particularly on vegetables. Remove them manually or chemically, if necessary. A solution of 3 tsp of Ivory dish soap to 1 gallon of water will deter many pests. Trim off dead or diseased plant material. "Dead head" flowers to encourage more blooms. Prune growing plants or move them to a bigger pot, if necessary. Refresh your pots annually with new soil and mulch, washing them with a 5% bleach solution between plantings.

9 months ago

Choosing the Right Rock Garden Plants to Avoid Buying Mistakes

You want some attractive rock garden plants but you don't want to put a serious dent in your bank account or make costly buying mistakes. Let's look at some specific varieties like native plants or sun and shade-loving plants that make the best plants for rock garden and are budget-friendly as well.

Rock Garden Plants

Credit: Zipity11, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons,

Best Sun Loving Plant Choices

Try planting some of these plants that love sun or partly shady areas for rock gardens that get their fair s

11 months ago

TEOTWAWKI and SHTF, Gardening For Survival

How To Grow Corn

Corn is very easy to grow, and any kind will do in an emergency. The popcorn you probably have in your cupboard will grow just fine, and produce great popcorn. Nutritionally, popcorn is just as good as any other corn, and its easy to cook!. Try growing a few stalks this year. Just plant it the same way you plant any corn, in rows about 30 inches apart, with the seeds about 6 inches apart in the rows.

Corn is one of the best crops for a home garden, but it does have a few drawbacks. It is sensitive to low water and low fertilizer. To produce well, corn requires plenty of nitrogen in the soil, and it helps to have phosphorus and potassium as well. If your soil i

11 months ago

What are the Benefits of Rain Barrels?

Rain Barrels are a Great Way to Conserve WaterRain barrels are a popular way to collect excess water for use around the house and in the garden. There are many benefits to installing a rain barrel for residential water use. Rain barrels benefit both homeowners and the environment by collecting rainwater that would otherwise contribute to run-off and erosion, and rai

12 months ago

Shade Garden Plants

The term 'shade' has many variations in gardening. It could possibly mean a dimly lit area beneath tall trees, a bright but a non-sunny spot, or an area that gets sunlight for a few hours in the morning and shade for the remaining day.

There is a wide variety of plants that have been categorized as plants fit for a shade garden. A well-landscaped shaded garden has a charm of its own. So, choose flowering plants that grow well in the shade. The bloom color of each should complement the other to harmonize the appearance of the garden. This type of garden provides a cooling and soothing effect on one's eyes in summer. Landscaping plays a prominent role while developing one.

There are two types of shades- partial and total. This is an important criterion to choose the plants according to degree of the shade.

The soil-texture of the area should also be considered. It could be either damp or dry. You need to prepare the soil before planting. You can mix mulch with it to create a perfect soil texture.

Like the plants that grow in sunlight, the shade-tolerant ones also require regular watering. If you are planning a garden under the tall trees, remember, the trees would guzzle all the moisture leaving very little for the plants. Hence, it is wise to water them regularly or depending on the basis of the soil-texture.

A Few Shaded Plants

You need to understand the degree of shade of the site you have chosen. Choose your plants accordingly. It is always better to choose those that match the conditions of a proposed site, instead of changing the pre-existing conditions. Here are some that are known to thrive in a shaded garden.


This plant is ideal for partial or dappled shade. The blooms of the monkshood would last for a couple of months. This plant is pest and disease resistant.


Fern is one those plants that is widely used in shade gardening. It has a unique appearance and grows well in all degrees of shades.

Golden Dead Nettle

This is one of those plants that would make a wonderful ground cover. It would make an ideal border plant for the garden. Golden Dead nettle is one of the preferred plants for container gardening.

Japanese Yew

There is a wide variety of colors in Japanese yew. It is mostly used as a foundation plant and would also make an excellent border hedge. It is commonly used in rock gardens.

Turk's Cap Hibiscus

This plant blooms in summer and autumn. It is a perennial in nature and would make an ideal plant for shade gardens. The bright-colored flowers attract butterflies and small birds, such as hummingbirds.

Wood Anemones

This is one of the perennial plants that grow well in shady areas. The blooms are star-shaped and are known as sepals. There are two types of blooms- white and blue-colored.

Shade gardening is one of the many types of gardening techniques that is in vogue. Some of the plants that are preferred by gardeners for it are lily of the valley, bunch berry, shooting star, forget-me-not, and many more.