Air plants are a great option for people living in small spaces because they don't use soil and require little care. There are many varieties. Many people collect them. Let's take a look at what care they need:
Light: Their preferred light is bright, filtered sunlight. Direct sunlight may burn your air plants.
Water: The more light they receive, the more water they will need. So if you have them close to a light source, you may need to water them twice a week, otherwise, once a week will probably be fine. You can either soak them in water for a few minutes, then allow to dry thoroughly; or mist them with a spray bottle. Do not allow them to sit in water.
Other tips: When they grow in the outdoors, they will attach themselves to other plants. They prefer temperatures between 60-90 degrees. They thrive when there is ventilated air.
There are a lot of creative ways to display air plants. Maybe do a search on pinterest for more inspiration!
Learn more about growing food and other plants in small spaces in our special issue of Healthy Green Thumbs: Link.
It's a new year and the realization that taking care of ourselves is essential to optimizing our health and well-being is growing. One strategy that we may want to integrate into our lives, to achieve this goal, is to grow plants.
Growing plants engages us in nature in many ways. Research shows that 120 minutes a week in nature is required for our physical health and cognitive function. In addition, who doesn't love the taste of a sweet, juicy, pesticide-free tomato picked right from the vine?
So, if you are ready to deepen your relationship with nature, how about starting by growing seeds? Spring is around the corner. Let's talk about which seeds you may want to start indoors in order to get a head start.
First, it is imperative that you identify the last frost date where you live. According to the Farmer's Almanac, "A frost date is the average date of the first or last light freeze that occurs in spring or fall. Note that local weather and topography may cause considerable variations. The probability of frost occurring after the given spring dates and before the given fall dates is 30 percent."
To find out the date specific to where you would like to plant your seeds visit, The Farmer's Almanac Frost Date page.
Now that you know your frost date, let's take a look at some common vegetables and herbs that people like to grow from seed, and when is the best time to start them. Please note, you can also start flowers and other plants indoors, but today we will focus on vegetables and herbs. Always check the instructions on each of the seed packets for specific start times.
Indoor Sowing Guide For Vegetables and Herbs
(Sowing dates noted are before the last frost date that you identified for your area)
10-12 Weeks Before Last Frost Date:
Artichoke, Celery, Eggplant, Rosemary
Dill, Endive, Escarole, Leek
Chives, Lemon Balm, Marjoram, Oregano, Parsley, Swiss Chard Tarragon, Thyme
Basil, Bok Choy, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chamomile, Collards, Fennel, Kale, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Okra, Sage, Tomatillo, Tomato, Watercress
Broccoli Raab, Cucumber, Melon, Pumpkin, Squash, Watermelon
Starting plants from seed can be fun and help us connect us to nature's cycle of life, which often reflects our own. To learn more check out our Healthy Green Thumbs™ Videos for more specific details on how to grow seeds indoors:
Starting Tomato Seeds Indoors
Grow Plants From Seed
Order Your Favorite Organic Vegetable, Herb and Flower Seeds Now:
Decorations and costumes will generate tons of waste this year. We can help ease this burden on Mother Nature by consciously decorating and celebrating Halloween in a greener way. Here are four blogs to help spark some ideas for your holiday:
Unplastic Halloween Blog 1.
Unplastic Halloween Blog 2.
Unplastic Halloween Blog 3.
Unplastic Halloween Blog 4.
What ideas can you share that will help eliminate plastic from our Halloween this year?
Daffodils USDA hardiness zones 3-8. There are an estimated 13,000 varieties of daffodils. They come in many colors including various shades of yellow, white, pink and orange. They also vary is size from the popular tete-a-tete which stands just 6-8" tall to varieties such as 'Ice Follies' which reach two feet tall. Plant them in a sunny or partly sunny location.
Special tip: Purchase a variety of daffodil bulbs that bloom in early spring, mid spring and late spring. When planted together, it will allow for a rotation of blooming color throughout spring.
Added Value: Deer Resistant, Perennial, Good Cut-Flower
With an unending amount of color selections, that you can mix and match, tulips are a gardener's crayon box from which to create opulent beds of lavish color swaths. These luxurious bulbs were so prized in the 17th century; they created a frenzy of collectors, which led to the first financial bubble. These bulbs grow in USDA hardiness zones 4-10. Like daffodils, they bloom at various times during the spring season, so order them to stagger blooming from 4-8 weeks. They come in SO MANY colors, sometimes striped or multi-colored, fringed or frilly, some fragrant and are generally range from 4" to 30" tall. Plant the bulbs 3 times the length of the bulb-so for most bulbs 6-8 inches deep, pointy side up. They prefer full sun in the northern US, part sun in the southern states.
Warning: Deer love them too, Nom-Nom-Nom.
Added Value: Makes a good cut flower. Tulips are generally considered perennial, however, often don't come back as full as the first year and continue to dwindle in numbers so you may want to plan on planting them annually.
When these bulbs flower in spring, they put on such a show that customers would flock into my garden shop and ask, "Do you have those big purple ball flowers?" They would always leave disappointed when they learned that they needed to plant these showstoppers in the fall. Allium Giganteum is one of the most popular varieties of allium, with flowers that bloom 5" wide on 3-4 foot stems. They are hardy in USDA zones 5-9. There are several other varieties so if you love purple, you'll want to add these to your garden.
Added Value: Deer Resistant.
Key Tips For All Bulb Planting:
1. If these bulb varieties grow in your zone, check to see the specific best time to plant them.
2. Water well after planting.
3. Purchase bulbs from your local garden center or an online source like Colorblends.com.
View our demonstration on how to plant them: VIDEO
Want to learn more about how growing plants can help improve your health and well-being? Subscribe now, for free, to our Healthy Green Thumbs™ bi-weekly newsletter: Link