Saturday, February 2, 2019

7 Tips For Growing Houseplants

Ficus Tree - Excellent Houseplant For Utah
Winter activities like looking at seed catalogs and planning the vegetable plot can only go so far in providing entertainment for gardeners during the cold days of winter.  Some of us turn to the indoor houseplants for some green thumb exercise.   Plants create oxygen, beauty and happiness and they filter toxins out of the air.   But they need a little TLC sometimes.  Winter is a great time to re-pot old plants, prune and trim plants and start new ones.

Here are some tips to growing indoor plants:

      1.  Choose the plants:  Do some research by talking to people who grow indoor plants.  Also, the folks at the local plant nursery should be able to recommend some easy-to-grow plants.
          - Make sure you understand how big they are going to get and the size of the growing container they will need.
          - Understand their light needs.  It can be a challenge for some plants to receive enough light.  And other plants don't appreciate direct sunlight.

      2.  Research the water and nutritional needs of your plants.  I water once a week generally and I keep an eye on the water in the tray underneath.  You will find that some plants need more and some need less.   I find that feeding my plants with a liquid food every six months is plenty.  A little goes a long way.

     3.  Don't prune plants too hard.  It shocks them and it's mean.  A little trim is good.

     4.  Choose some nice pots for your plants - I like ceramic pots with matching trays from local garden centers.  *I like to put an extra plastic tray under the ceramic tray to prevent an over-watering spill.  I have ruined several surfaces with water spills and even warped part of a hardwood floor once.  Once.  (That's a lesson I only had to learn once.)

    5.  Get some nice potting soil for new plants and when re-potting old plants.  You can find organic or time-release fertilizer or moisture holding soils.

    6.  Clean the leaves of your houseplants with a soft damp cloth.  Be gentle.

    7.  A pretty houseplant in a cute pot makes a perfect gift for any occasion!


Creeping Charlie





Thursday, June 14, 2018

Does Swiss Chard Grow In Utah?

What is Swiss chard?  You can call it Swiss chard or chard.  It is a tall, leafy green vegetable with thick stems.  It is often used in Mediterranean cooking.  Chard is very nutritious and it will grow easily in Utah.
Like a lot of vegetables, chard needs full sun, rich soil and regular watering (2 or 3 times a week).  Give it plenty of room and it will get 1 or 2 feet tall and about 1 foot wide.  Chard can be planted by transplanting starts from the garden center or by direct sowing seeds right into the garden bed.  It should be planted in April or May.  Harvest chard all summer and into the fall by cutting large leaves and stalks as needed for cooking  The plant will continue to produce new leaves all season.
The best way to enjoy chard is to chop it up and sauté it with tasty flavorings like fresh garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and lemon juice.
Swiss Chard Grows In Utah!

Saturday, April 21, 2018

When Can I Plant Seeds For Vegetables in Utah?

It's seed planting time in Utah!  You can plant many things from seed in your vegetable garden and April is a great time to get started!  Here is a post about which seeds to plant right into the garden and which seeds to start indoors.  And here is a post about the average last frost date and when to plant garden seeds.  Planting vegetables from seeds is a great way to save money.  It's easy and you can broaden your horizons with a large variety of choices.  Have fun!

April is a great time to plant seeds in Utah!

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Snow Is Piling Up And So Are The Plant And Seed Catalogs!

It's that time of year again!  The wonderful time of late winter when we gather up the seed and plant catalogs (oh, the pretty pictures!) and make lists of everything we want.  This is a fiesta - an extravaganza of list-making.  And, if you are like me, you want some of EVERYTHING.  However, when the list party is over, we have to edit.  We must edit before we place the order.  It's painful, but you will be glad in spring when you realize you have enough garden space for the plants and seeds you purchased.  Here is a blog post about seed catalogs from several years ago.
Now is a good time to go over your garden plan.  Or create one.
plant and seed catalogs


Friday, December 29, 2017

New Years Resolutions For The Home Garden 2018

Here are my New Year's Gardening Resolutions for 2018!  What are yours?

1.  I'm going to try harder to make sure things are harvested and used and that nothing goes to waste.

2.  I'm going to experiment with new ways to preserve the harvest.

3.  I'm not going to stress out about the weeding and upkeep of the garden.  Stressing out takes up energy that could be better spent on weeding and upkeep of the garden.

4.  I'm going to grow something that I have never grown before.

5.  I'm going to grow more flowers!

Happy New Year!  Here's to an excellent 2018!!

I'm going to grow more flowers in 2018!



Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Can I Grow Blueberries In Utah?

Sorry.  You cannot.  Blueberry plants have some specific needs that our soil and climate cannot provide.  You can try and there are nurseries that will sell you the blueberry plants and tell you  "yes, you can grow blueberries in Utah".
But you cannot.
Here is an article explaining the science behind why you cannot grow blueberries in Utah from Utah State University.  They don't come right out and say you can't.  But when you read about the lengths to which you would need to go in order to grow blueberries in Utah . . . ya, no.  It's way too involved.
Your time, money, effort and garden space will be put to better use growing things that do well here.  Raspberries, strawberries and blackberries can all be grown in Utah.
raspberries will grow in utah



Friday, December 22, 2017

Here's A Great Idea - A Free Gardening Coloring Book!

Our friends at Botanical Interests Seed Catalog have a free gardening coloring book available to download from their website.  What a great way to spend a cold winter afternoon - combining gardening themes with artistic expression.  Fun for the whole family!
free gardening coloring book from Botanical Interests