Sunday, December 14, 2014

Watering Houseplants with Spray-N-Grow

Normally I use spray-n-grow for my outdoor gardens and the plants green up quickly in the spring and are very healthy but when the cold season came I did not think to feed my indoor plants with spray n grow until I happened to come across the formula under my sink and thought I would give it a try.
Purple Orchid houseplant

I followed the directions as indicated on the bottle and mixed on teaspoon of spray n grow in 16 ounces of water and waited a few minutes before use as this is what the direction indicate. Then I watered my house plants.

Within 10 days I did notice new leaf buds and thought that my plants looked overall greener. I will continue to water my houseplants with spray-n-grow throughout the winter months and hope that I have more orchid blooms.

Learn more about Spray-N-Grow here: 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Updating Outdoor Planters to Winter Arrangements

Now that winter is here and I can no longer look out at my lovely gardens so I decided I would update my plastic planters by turning them into winter arrangement.

Before beginning the transformation of my window boxes and garden planters I will need to cut some branches from the evergreen trees growing in my yard and then I will cut some lower branches from our Frazier fur Christmas tree. I may have to buy some branches from the Christmas tree out lets and if so I will get some spruce and pine branches.

Whenever I put together an outdoor arrangement I always start with a plastic container then fill it up with regular potting soil, then water the soil until it drains from the bottom of the planter. The first time I created a winter arrangement I used a clay pot and come January it cracked.

Putting together a winter arrangement is fun. I start with tall cut branches in the center and then add shorter branches. I like to mix up the colors of the evergreen branches because it makes the planter interesting. When the planter is filled with the evergreen branches I will then spray the greens with wilt proof.

Now I can decorate with weather proof red bows, pine cones, honey combs, ornaments or festive holiday bows that are hot glued to a pick. I also like to add natural holly branches with the red berries to give the arrangement some natural beauty.

Do make winter arrangements out of evergreen branches?

Save money and have fun by making outdoor winter arrangements for your plastic planters.  Here is a video that will inspire you: 

Poly Rake Product Review

This year we bought one of those large poly lawn rakes from Lowe’s garden center. This rake has no metal on it and is lighter in weight so if you have a large yard or a lot of leaves this rake sure does make removing the leaves easier.

The rake has a 46 inch handle, 30 inch head with 30 tines and the total weight is two pounds. I used this rake today and found that I did not have to bend over as much and that I could move a whole lot of leaves from under the shrubs and in the gardens with little effort.

My husband swears by a metal rake but when he picked up my rake with the cushioned handle and the next to nothing weight, well it was hard to get my poly rake back.

If you are looking for a new rake to remove the leaves from your yard then I would recommend a poly lawn rake because it gets the job down quickly and efficiently and you are not as sore as you are when you use a traditional metal rake.

Note: I would recommend that you pick up one for your husband too, because even though he may be a die hard metal tines rake fan, if he gets his hands on your rake you may not get it back. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Winter Care for Ajuga Reptans/Creeping Bugleweed

Now that the warm days of autumn are coming to an end I thought it would best to take care of my ajuga creeping bugleweed for winter. Normally I do not do much with this hardy evergreen groundcover but last year our winter was brutal and I lost many plants and vegetation due to extreme cold weather and ice.

This year I attended to my ajuga plants by removing all of the weeds and wild grasses that were growing too close and then I applied Scotts Organics NatureScapes red mulch around the creeping bugleweed.

Ajuga puts out runners and you do want to cover up the runners. It is best to allow space in between the plants leaves and stems. This mulch will protect the roots that grow close to the soil surface. It will also protect the plants from becoming uprooted when snow or ice starts to melt.

Here are some photographs of my ajuga gardens:

Did you know that ajuga is one of the top 10 hardy groundcovers?  Learn more about ajuga by viewing this YouTube video

Scotts Organics NaturesScapes Mulch Review

Today I went to Lowe's garden center to buy Scotts Organics NatureScapes Advanced Sierra Red Mulch. I used this mulch in the spring this year and really liked it and is my new favorite garden mulch.

What I like about the Scotts Organics mulch is that it does not fade under the hot sun. 

Yard and Garden Secrets
Here is a photo of my summer black-eyed Susan garden. I applied three layers of mulch and it naturally preventing weed growth. Which saved me time and effort, because I did not have to go out weekly to spot check the gardens for weeds or annoying crabgrass.

Another benefit is that this mulch holds the water and released it into the soil when needed. I did not have to water my gardens daily throughout the hot summer months and the container garden plants did not wilt in the afternoon.

So today I mulched my flower gardens with 3 layers of the Scotts organics Sierra red mulch and this extra layer of mulch will protect my flower gardens from ice and snow this winter.

View this tutorial video on applying mulch to enhance the beauty of your garden.