Monthly Archives: May 2016

Growing Orchids at HomeDiversity of orchids is absolutely amazing. Orchids belong to Orchidaceae family, which is the largest family of flowering plants, with at least 24,000 different species. It is not surprising, that orchid flowers are extremely various; they could be of any colour you can imagine, and their shape and size may very much differ among different species and genera as well. Flowers of a great number of orchids look really gorgeous.

In addition, many of them have very nice fragrance, which is also different among different species. Some orchids, for example Stanhopea, are so fragrant that their owners have to keep them outside when those orchids are blooming, because the fragrance is tremendously strong. Some orchids, for instance Brassavola orchids, smell at nocturnal time, which is wonderful. It is also interesting that the flower smell of certain orchids, for example Bulbophyllum, is quite repulsive, because natural pollinators of these orchids are flies feeding on rotten meat. Nevertheless, many of such orchids are valuable items for many orchid collectors.

Moreover, different orchids bloom in different seasons. It is possible to collect a combination of certain species or hybrids, which will be blooming one after another all year-round. Besides, there is a group of orchids prized for its ornamental foliage, rather than flowers, so-called group of jewel orchids.

Although, there are some terrestrial orchids, as jewel orchids for example, almost all orchids grown indoors are epiphytic plants, which grow in natural conditions on trees rather than on ground. This doesn't mean that orchids are parasitic; instead they use photosynthesis for energy like all green plants, and collect nutrients from plant debris or dust and water from moist air or the substrate. They attach to the trees and use them only as a physical support, with the main purpose to be closer to sun, because in a tropical forest it is almost impossible for herbaceous plants to survive under dense tree crowns. Perhaps, that is the main difference between orchids and majority of common house plants, though there are other epiphytes among house plants, for instance epiphytic cacti.

The first thing you should remember if you grow epiphytic orchids is that they must not be grown in soil, because it is not natural to them, and they will sooner or later die in such conditions. There are many different potting medium for orchids, but tree bark will do in most cases, and you can buy it in any gardening store.

As I said earlier, orchids are very various plants, which may very much differ in their care requirements. For instance, there are orchids which require bright light to grow well and flower regularly, but others like shady conditions; some orchids can grow and even bloom during the whole year, but others need a certain period of rest. So the second important thing you should consider is what particular type of orchid you grow. Then you can easily find info about growing requirements for this type of orchid, and eventually give your orchid all proper conditions to grow in.

Phalaenopsis hybrids are likely the most well-known orchids, which you can grow easily, but also there are many other orchids which can be grown at home without too much difficulty. Today, most orchids for sale in shops are hybrids which often have less strict requirements for growing at home than natural species. However, there are many different orchids which are very difficult to grow indoors, for example even some Phalaenopsis species might be very difficult to take care of in home conditions. Such orchids are usually grown by some sophisticated collectors, who have cultivated different orchids for a long time.

So orchids are very beautiful and diverse plants, which deserve to be a real beauty of every house, but to grow orchids successfully you should keep in mind that these little beauties are epiphytic plants, and you should also know what type of orchid you're going to grow to care for that appropriately.

How to Grow an Avocado TreeMost avocado trees are grown in tropical climates, primarily in Mexico (the world's leading producer of avocado), California, Hawaii, and Florida. California is the number one producer of avocados in the United States, with most of the crop being of the Hass variety. But why not growing an avocado tree at home?

Growing an avocado from seed...

To grow an avocado tree, you need to get an avocado seed, clean it off and poke three toothpicks into the side of it. Then immerse the seed halfway in the water while the three sticks rest on the rim of a drinking glass. Set the seed with the wider portion down.

Place the glass with the seed somewhere warm with not too much direct light. The water should be changed at least every couple of weeks, before it gets dirty and depleted of oxygen.

In four to six weeks, the seed should split and out should come roots and a sprout. Once the stem has grown a few inches, place it in a pot with soil. Avocados have been known to grow large, so you will have to repot the plant several times.

What's the ideal place to grow an avocado tree?

The ideal spot for the plant is at the brightest window. Avocados are widely cultivated in tropical to subtropical climates. They may grow in shade but require full exposure to sunlight for best productivity. It should also be watered every few days.

How long does it take to grow an avocado tree?

Under good conditions, growing avocado takes many years, even up to a decade or two, to begin producing fruits. Indeed do not expect to get fruits but you can still grow a beautiful houseplant!

How big is an avocado tree?

Avocado is a medium to large evergreen tree with large, leathery, deep green leaves. The tree grows to 20 m, with leaves 12 cm to 25cm long. The flowers are greenish-yellow.

Why growing an avocado tree at home?

To grow an endless amount of organic avocados! Avocados are very healthy for you. They have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and alkalizing properties. They can help you lower your cholesterol level and contain lot's of healthy nutrients. They are also very rich in fiber. So there're many reasons why it's recommended to include avocado in the diet. Try growing an avocado tree at home if you don't like making regular trips to the grocery store for your daily supply or if you are fed up with spending lot's of money for quality produce!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9281819

Growing a Vegetable Garden Can Be FunI know what you're thinking: gardening is too hard, it takes too much time, and how can anyone like me go about growing a garden when I know nothing about the subject? This is most people's view on gardening, and is completely wrong! Gardening is easy and anyone can do it!

Imagine needing to make a salad, and walking out to your garden where you have fresh lettuce growing. You pick a head of lettuce, get it washed, and then realize you need some more ingredients.

Back out to the garden you pick some tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, onion, and peppers as well. Throwing this in your salad, you realize you are eating the tastiest salad you have ever had in your life! This is because you are growing the highest quality of fruits and vegetables, as well as getting it as fresh as possibly can be!

How to Start a Garden

But how can you start a garden? It's simple! All you need is a spot of ground, some water, seeds, and some determination.

Start with tilling your garden. You will want to mix up the soil nice and good to mix the nutrients equally throughout the garden. This is also good as it gives the soil some shaking, which will allow your plants to grow deep roots.

Next, you can then make rows in your garden, and begin gently placing your seeds throughout your rows and covering it back up with dirt. Once the rows are covered, spread some fertilizer over the rows and begin to gently sprinkle some water over all of your rows.

Going Organic

It is also important to note here that not all seeds and fertilizers are created equal! I personally prefer to get Organic seeds, fertilizer, and pesticide.

Getting organic seeds for your garden allow you to have the most natural gardening experience possible. Not only will organic seeds taste better, they are better for the good bugs in your garden! Bugs don't like non-organic pants!

As for fertilizer, be sure to get an organic fertilizer with plenty of nutrients. If you put the nutrients in the soil, the nutrients will be in your plants. If the nutrients are in your plants, they will be in your body! It's like taking a vitamin supplement by eating delicious food out of your garden!

Being Careful with Pesticides

As for pesticide, be sure not to use chemicals and other hazardous material. Not only is it horrible for the environment, the bugs don't like it and your plants don't like it either. Additionally, it has been proven to present health defects in a human body, so try to find something organic to keep those pests off!

Growing a garden is fun and easy! Once you get out there, you'll realize that it really comes down to making sure your plants are getting plenty of water and are staying weed free! So go ahead, plant your garden in that empty space in your back yard, and start enjoying all the wonderful health and life benefits that a garden brings!

Starting A Garden In Extreme SummerIf you are a person living in any part of the globe except Antarctica and your area faces drought and scarcity of water, you would baulk at the idea of starting a garden at this time. The extreme heat in climate and shortage of water had even the authorities wondering whether the plants in government-laid gardens would survive. Now, that is the crux of this article? How to save water and start a new garden? It is possible - some sacrifices and smart actions, when made, will help us to start a garden in our home.

However, there are some points that always have to be remembered. Expert gardeners have clearly specified that more plants are lost or become dead as a result of overwatering than by providing the required amount of water or underwatering. The points given below can assist if you are a fresher in gardening:

Every gardener, with a common sense, can easily know that water poured on soil can evaporate easily. You can dig a small area around the plant, cover with stones and rocks where water can percolate down easily to prevent evaporation.

You can also test in the soil moisture the same way. You can poke a stick in the soil around the plant to see if there is moisture. You should water only if there is dryness on the surface.

You can water only near the root tips. Note, that plants do not catch water flowing around and absorb water only near their root tips. The rest of water all around the plant is wasted.

You can put 'mulch' near the plant roots to prevent water from evaporation. Mulch can be prepared from any layer, such as dry leaves, compost, brick pieces, hay to provide moisture near the stem of the plant at its lower part. All the plants, benefit from mulching. However, the mulch has to be changed or moved up and down to prevent infections by fungus and worms.

A grass lawn may be soothing to the eye, but they require water in plenty. Now, we come to the most important part in the article - selecting plants which need less water.

Choose drought resistant plants in the garden. These plants do not need much care, and can thrive in the ordinary garden soil and in the full sun. The best examples are oleander plants. Another plant, if given the natural weather conditions, is Bougainvilleas. They love the heat, and their flowers are bright when there is less water.

There are also other types of plants such as bromeliads, bog plants and water lilies. However, seek the services of a gardener before you start the process.

Water Conservation Lifestyle

Make water conservation part of your lifestyle.

Turn off the taps while you are brushing vessels, or putting soap on your hands and face.

All the rinsed water, without chemicals can be fed to the garden plants.

Fix leaking taps as soon as possible.