Monday, October 3, 2016

Passion: Experience-based container gardening tips...

#Water regularly, being careful not to over-water. Over-watering causes root rotting. Allow soil to go completely dry between watering.
Mums,  marigods, and calla lilies are susceptible.
#Cluster pots in one place for ease of watering.
#Soak seeds overnight in lukewarm water for faster germination
#Put water deficiency stress on some plants to induce flowering (bougainvillea).
A week of no watering led leafing in this bougainvillea..

#Put light deficiency stress on some plants to induce flowering (kalanchoe).
#Use soap/detergent solution to deter aphids (no need to detrimental organophospahte pesticides). 
Many of the commonly-used chemicals  (e.g., 2,4-D, Sevin, Diazinon, and RoundUp) are carcinogenic, teratogenic, neurotoxic.
#Deadheading of plants increases plant vigor.
Seen in mum and coreopsis.
#With changing intensity of sunlight, container locations should be changed.
#Sun exposure and  water access are two most important aspects in gardening.
#Apart from sun and water, the other critical factor is nutrients for potted plants. Add from time to time.
#Egg shell powder is great fertilizer for plants. Also, coffee grounds, and compost of kitchen scraps are good). Mulch of freshly ground coffee adds acidity to the soil.

#Aphids, leaf miners, spider mites, fungal diseases, root rot are major problems (My Swiss chard and cucumber roots are spindly at the middle and falling to the soil).
#Fresh leaves and stems are dried on wire racks and stored, in brown paper bags.
#Prune woody shrubs in dormant period i.e winter (rose, fig, blueberry)
#Seedlings should not be fertilized. The fertilizer (being salt mixtures) burn them (some of my peas and spinach died; blueberry looks affected).

#However, do not put seedling in intense sun (if you are in too sunny and hot place like South California). (my Swiss chard sapling were burned).
#Consider adding perlite (volcanic glass product) to prevent compaction of soil....
#Its important to know optimal pH of plants, for wrong pH can kill the plant.
Acid-loving plants:  Tomatoes, blueberries, roses, azaleas, rhododendrons, strawberries, heathers
Alkali-loving plants:  Lily, iris, honeysuckle, clematis, maidenhair fern, morning glory, Boston ivy,  bluebell, crocus, geranium, hyacinth, poppy and daisy...

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