Category: Gardening

Reblogging~ Gardening in November

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Gardening Tips~Watering

Vegetables go through stages when they are at their most sensitive to water for good growth and development. When your veggies are in this phase of growth, be sure to water. Always water thoroughly so that the water soaks in deeply and encourages the roots to follow.

BeansFlowering until harvest
CucumbersFlowering until harvest
EggplantFlowering until harvest
PeppersFlowering until harvest
Sweet peasFlowering until harvest
TomatoesFlowering until harvest
MelonsFlowering until a few days before harvest
BroccoliHeading
CabbageHeading (which is just about all the time)
CauliflowerHeading
LettuceAll stages
SpinachAll stages
OnionBulb enlargement
Sweet PotatoesPotato enlargement

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Fall Gardening Hacks

Gardening Tips For the Fall

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Follow these tips in your garden this fall
Gardening tips for fall
CC flickr photo by mjmonty

In the fall, after harvest, most gardeners are content to close up shop and consider the gardening season over with. Besides growing extra crops, which is possible in the fall (including many lettuces, cabbages, potatoes, and so forth), the fall also offers the conscientious gardener an opportunity to prepare for the next season and get a jump-start on garden maintenance.

Pick

Obviously, your garden will need to be “picked clean” so you can prepare it for next year. This means pulling all plants that are no longer productive and removing any fruits and vegetables that may have been left behind.

Clean

Thoroughly cleaning the beds of debris and leftovers has several advantages. First, it clears them for easy cover crop planting (see below). Next, it removes any vegetable matter that could be potentially carrying disease that can over-winter in the organic matter until spring. Third, it goes a long way towards aesthetics and gives you a chance to look closely at your soil after the season is done.

Fall Composting

Obviously, everything organic you pull from your soil and garden beds should be composted. (The only exception is diseased plants or weeds with seeds that could survive and come back to haunt you in the spring.) Compost is gardener’s gold and the more you have, the better off you are. Many gardeners who are not planting cover crops (and even some who are) like to till compost that is almost finished decaying into the soil so it can complete its nutrition release by spring. Another method is to add compost (without tilling) and add mulch on top.LEARN MORE:  Bells Jars in the Garden

Leave Seeds for Birds

Any seeds you’re not going to use should be thrown to the birds. If you aren’t planting cover crops, seeds on the bare soil or mulch can encourage birds to spend time there. Their leavings will enhance your garden, even if only a little. Any is better than none.

Garden Notes

Be sure to complete your gardener’s notes for the season and to fill in what you did during the fall. Your notebook is your record of what was planted where, how it did, and what you did or didn’t do that might improve it next time. It also gives you something to do to keep your green thumb active during the winter months. Here’s a really great gardening journal.

Minimize Pests

Crop rotation, cover crops (see below), and amendments (see below) can all help treat current and future pest infestations. Some pests are only abundant in the fall, such as late-appearing grasshoppers or the caterpillars of spring butterflies that fatten up before winter. If these are a problem for your area, there are many options for fall treatments.

Fall Cover Crops

Likely the most overlooked option for fall gardening, cover crops (or cool weather crops) can greatly enhance your garden’s health and vitality. Several options are available, depending on your climate zone, and crops can be tuned to do anything from providing extra organic matter in the spring to adding nitrogen to your soil.

Soil Amendments

As mentioned above in composting, soil amendments in the fall are a great way to enhance your soil’s health before spring planting comes around. Check your local garden center for available options. Many amendments are specifically meant for fall addition and are best added when no food crops are present. Lime is a good example of this.LEARN MORE:  Growing Edible and Cut Flowers in The Home Garden

Fall Planter Maintenance

If you have window or porch planters, now is the time to clean them out and prepare them for storage. Leaving the soil in them over the winter, exposed, is generally a bad idea and the soil in containers should be replaced (or heavily amended) annually anyway. Often the best solution is to add the soil to your winter compost heap.

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Most Dangerous Plants~ In your own yard

20 Dangerous Plants Hiding in Your Backyard

When it comes to nature, the general rule of thumb is this: The dangerous stuff looks scary, and the harmless stuff looks beautiful (or, at the very least, unassuming). So it might be a surprise, then, to learn that plants and flowers—often beautiful, always unassuming—rank among the most dangerous things on the planet. And no, we’re not just talking about the exotic blooms hiding in the Amazon—we’re referring to the very plants and herbs that grow in your own backyard. Read on to find out which dangerous plants might be lurking just a few feet away.

1.Oleander

Oleander Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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Known for its striking flowers in the summertime, the oleander plant also holds a deadly secret: every part of it is highly toxic. According to a 2010 study published in Heart Views, parts of the oleander plant contain cardiac glycosides, compounds that can cause acute cardiac toxicity and digestive issues. Those who ingest the plant can also suffer symptoms that range from an erratic pulse to a coma.

2.Rosary Pea

Rosary Pea Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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Native to tropical areas and often found in Florida, the rosary pea is considered one of the most invasive—and one of the most dangerous—plant species. According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the plant’s seeds contain the poison abrin. And it turns out, there’s enough abrin in just one seed to kill you if swallowed.

3.White Snakeroot

White Snakeroot Flower Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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Ageratina altissima, or white snakeroot, is a poisonous herb found in North America that contains a toxic alcohol called tremetol. But just how poisonous is this plant? Well, back when explorers were first settling Indiana and Ohio in the early 19th century, it’s estimated that up to half of their deaths—including that of Abraham Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln—were caused by indirectly ingesting white snakeroot. Cattle and other livestock in the area would eat the seemingly benign herb and pass the poisonous tremetol to humans via their milk. The illness was known as fatal milk sickness.

4.American Pokeweed

American Pokeweed Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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American pokeweed is found in almost every area in the U.S., save for a few states in the northwestern region. And while the plant does produce a purple-black berry known as a pokeberry, the last thing you’d ever want to do is eat one. According to the National Capital Poison Center (NCPC), consuming these can cause everything from nausea and vomiting to low blood pressure. If you have children, make sure to monitor them when they’re playing in your yard, as the NCPC notes that youngsters often mistake these berries for grapes.

5.Deadly Nightshade

Deadly Nightshade Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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Unsurprisingly, the deadly nightshade plant is, well, deadly. Due to the alkaloids in its stems, leaves, berries, and roots, the plant is incredibly poisonous to the body. Even rubbing up against it can cause irritation to the skin, according to the Royal Horticultural Society. It would take just two berries from this plant to kill a child and between 10 and 20 to kill an adult.

6.Water Hemlock

Water Hemlock Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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If you know anything about water hemlock, then it’s likely that you’re familiar with the plant’s claim to fame: killing Socrates. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), this plant contains the toxin cicutoxin, which, when ingested, acts directly on the central nervous system. In the most extreme cases, that could result in grand mal seizures and death.

7.Lily of the Valley

Lily of the Valley Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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This perennial outdoor ornamental herb, a popular staple of outdoor gardens everywhere, can actually be incredibly toxic, according to the Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility (CBIF). Its toxicity comes from the cardiac glycosides and saponins present in the plants, which can affect the heart if eaten. Lily of the valley is so toxic, in fact, that the CBIF notes cases where both people and animals have fallen ill by merely drinking water the plant was in.

8.Rhubarb

Rhubarb Plant Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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Sure, it’s great in rhubarb pie, but ingesting large amounts of this plant’s leaves can kill you, according to the BBC. Because it contains deadly oxalic acid, ingesting too many rhubarb leaves can cause kidney failure. Thankfully, experts at the University of California, Santa Clara note that you’d have to eat some 12 pounds of rhubarb to really get sick.

9.Foxglove

Foxglove Flower Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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The foxglove plant produces digoxin, an active ingredient in medications that prevent heart failure. According to the NCPC, by ingesting foxglove, you’re essentially “taking an unregulated dose of heart medicine,” which can, ironically, cause heart failure. As such, you should keep this plant far, far away from children and animals.

10.Wisteria

Wisteria Plant Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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When it comes to dangerous plants in your backyard, wisteria is one of the worst ones there is. According to one case study from the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, the wisteria plant can cause headaches, gastroenteritis, hematemesis, dizziness, confusion, diaphoresis, and, frighteningly, syncopal episodes (or temporary drops in blood flow to the brain that result in a loss of consciousness and control of the muscles). These symptoms typically last for five to seven days after eating more than a few berries from the plant—if they don’t kill you, that is.

11.Dieffenbachia

Dieffenbachia Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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When it comes to dieffenbachia, it’s small children and pets that you should be concerned about. Why? Well, both your animals and your youngsters can’t differentiate a dangerous backyard plant from a snack, and they are therefore the most likely to take a big bite out of a dieffenbachia leaf. If your pet or small child does ingest a dieffenbachia leaf containing insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, they will experience excessive drooling, oral pain, vomiting, and a decreased appetite.

12.Daffodil

Daffodils Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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If you seek help quickly, ingesting daffodils won’t kill you. However, according to the NCPC, ingestion can be fatal to small children and pets if left untreated. And while all parts of a daffodil contain the toxic chemical lycorine, it’s the oxalates—or toxic chemicals found in the plant’s bulb—that do the most damage to your body. If you experience throat pain, difficulty swallowing, and severe drooling that persists for several hours, get thee to a doctor, stat.

13. Hydrangea

Hydrangeas Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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As far as the poisonous nature of the popular hydrangea plant is concerned, only the flower buds are truly harmful when ingested, according to the Canadian Biodiversity Information Facility. If consumed, humans can experience an upset stomach, skin irritation, and, in more serious cases, convulsions and coma.

14. Rhododendron

Rhododendron Bush Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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The honey produced (and sometimes eaten) from the common rhododendron plant is also called “mad honey”—and for good reason. According to the NCPC, the toxins found in the plant cause confusion in those who ingest it, along with dangerously low blood pressure and sometimes even death. (Fun fact: The earliest case of rhododendron poisoning is said to have occurred in the first century B.C.E. when Roman troops were allegedly poisoned with its honey. The day after they were poisoned, they were so confused that they lost a battle.)

15. Yew

English Yew Plant Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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In ancient cultures, yew is also called the “tree of death,” as it was once used as an offering to the gods of death. And there’s a reason why: According to Cornell University’s Department of Animal Science, the yew plant, found in all corners of the world, is dangerously toxic. No matter how you consume the plant, its toxins have the potential to cause cardiac arrhythmia and stop your heart entirely. Animals that eat the plant are often found deceased next to it just 24 to 48 hours after consumption.

16. Philodendron

Philodendron Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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Due to the relatively minimal care required to maintain philodendron plants, they’re commonly found in backyards all over the country. However, as reported by ABC News, they contain a toxin in their leaves called calcium oxalate that can cause inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth and throat when ingested. Though it’s not deadly in most cases of ingestion by humans, it can prove fatal to smaller children and pets—and the more they eat, the worse off they are.

17 . Devil’s Helmet

Devil's Helmet Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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Just a few years ago, a gardener died after simply brushing up against a devil’s helmet plant. And believe it or not, the plant’s exterior isn’t even its most poisonous part. As poison expert John Robertson told BBC News, the most poisonous part of the plant is actually its roots, as ingestion of this specific part causes heart failure. Most fatalities, he says, occur within the first few hours of eating the plant’s roots.

18. Tulips

Tulip Flowers in a Garden Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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Tulips might make your garden shine, but they also have the potential to poison your pet. According to the ASPCA, this plant is toxic to dogs, cats, and horses in its bulb especially, and symptoms of ingestion range from vomiting and diarrhea to hypersalivation and depression.

19. Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy Plant Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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As its name suggests, poison ivy is, well, poisonous. Found all over the United States, this plant contains a resin called urushiol that causes an epidermal allergic reaction characterized by redness, itching, and swelling. If the plant sets on fire and you inhale the smoke, it can also affect your breathing.

20. Angel’s Trumpet

Angel's Trumpet Dangerous Plants in Your Backyard

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Angel’s trumpet is a tropical plant known for its Bugle-shaped flowers. And while it’s aesthetically pleasing, the last thing you’d ever want to do is find out what it tastes like: As one 2008 case report published in Paediatrics & Child Health notes, ingestion can cause dangerous hallucinogenic symptoms like loss of consciousness and delirium

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Air Cleaning Plants

11 Air-Cleaning Plants:Areca Palm

This plant is very useful in the air purification process. Areca palm helps to remove toluene and xylene from the air inside and it can also help to increase the overall air purification. It’s very useful and beneficial for people who have asthma and need effective air purification.

Money Plant

This plant is also very useful in increasing the overall air quality and the air purification process. The money plant helps to reduce the toxins: benzene, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene from the air. This amazing air-purifying plant is great for people who have asthma, for people who have other lung problems and for people who are exposed to high city smog living conditions.

Spider Plant

This remarkable plant promotes high air purification. Spider plant is suitable for decreasing the levels of formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene in the air. This plant is also very useful and great for placing in homes that have been painted recently. We can also mention that this plant is suitable for apartments or homes, which are exposed to city chemical air pollutants

Purple Waffle Plant

Do you have this plant in your home? Well, if your answer is no, then you definitely should. This remarkable plant will help you to eliminate the toxic compound – formaldehyde from the air. We can also mention that this plant will help you to increase overall air purification and it’s very useful and effective for increasing the quality of the air within any house or apartment. This plant is very good for people who live in the city, and they are exposed to high amounts of toxic smog and car fumes. People who live near the industrial factories should definitely get one of these.

Bamboo Palm

This plant is very effective in removing the formaldehyde toxic compound from the air indoors and it’s also very useful for acting as a natural humidifier – for most areas inside the house. This amazing plant can help you remove xylene and toluene – two toxic compounds from the air inside. It’s also great for people who live in high polluted areas and where car fume exposure is at high levels. Bamboo palm is suitable for homes and shops, which may be exposed to gasoline

Variegated Wax Plant

Variegated wax plant will help you to improve the overall air quality in your home, by removing and eliminating benzene and formaldehyde from the air inside. You should also know that this plant will increase the overall air purification levels. The variegated wax plant can help people who suffer from lung diseases, such as: emphysema or asthma. This amazing plant is also very useful and beneficial for people who are exposed to car fumes, petrol, paint fumes, industrial or city smog, or heavy cleaning products.

Lilyturf

Have you ever heard of lilyturf? Well, if you haven’t, then you should definitely read this – this amazing plant will help you to remove ammonia, toluene, xylene and formaldehyde from the air inside your house or apartment. This remarkable plant is capable of increasing the oxygen levels and it can help to improve the air quality. We can also mention that the lilyturf plant is also great for people who are exposed to cleaning products, paint fumes, city or industrial smog, or vehicle fumes. The lilyturf plant can help you clean the air for people who suffer from lung diseases, including asthma and emphysema.

Boston Fern

You should definitely get one of this plants in your home, because it will help you remove the formaldehyde from the air. You should also know that this plant also works well as a natural type of air humidifier. This plant is very good in removing xylene and toluene from the air as well. Some people say that this plant is one of the best air-purifiers in the world. This remarkable plant is perfect for people who live in areas where exposure to gasoline exists. Boston fern is the best plant for homes that are exposed to city smog. And we can also mention that this plant is very useful for purifying the air for people who have asthma or other breathing problems.

Dwarf Date Palm

This plant is absolutely amazing. It will help you reduce the toxins: xylene, toluene and formaldehyde from the air inside your house or apartment. You should also know that this plant will increase the oxygen levels in your home and it’s very useful in improving the air quality in highly exposed areas. The dwarf date palm is great for placing in homes that may be exposed to paint fumes, factory smog, car fumes, or heavy cleaning solvents. This amazing air-purifying plant is very useful for improving the air quality for asthmatics and people who have other lung problems.

Moth Orchids

This plant is your best choice if you want to purify the air inside your house. We can also say that this plant is also very effective in removing xylene and toluene. The moth orchids plant can increase the air quality in your home significantly. It’s suitable for homes and apartments that are exposed to factory or city smoke, smoke or fumes. You should also know that this plant is very useful and beneficial for purifying the air in homes, which are freshly painted or where paint fumes exist.

Barberton Daisy

Barberton daisy – it works great in removing benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene from your home. This amazing plant is the best plant if you want to increase the oxygen levels in your house or your apartment. It will help you purify the air as well. This remarkable plans it very useful and beneficial for homes that are exposed to fuel fumes, car fumes, factory or city smog, smoke, etc. This plant is also very useful for people who are exposed to heavy cleaning solvents.

As you can see, these amazing plants will purify the air in your home, increase oxygen levels and remove all the toxic compounds from the air inside your house or apartment. And they are completely safe for you, your family and your pert. So, you should definitely get one of these plants. Thanks for reading and don’t forget to share with your friends and family.

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Plants~Don’t Plant In Garden

It may seem strange to cultivate a list of flowers you should avoid planting in your garden, however it is vital to be aware of some eye-catching beauties that are more trouble than they’re worth. These plants are either toxic, invasive or could potentially cause damage to your other healthy flowers. It is best to avoid growing these 9 plants in your garden, no matter how enticing they may be.

Bamboo

Though the thought of a living privacy fence between you and your neighbor and the feel of a tropical paradise in your backyard may be appealing, bamboo can often become an unexpected source of frustration when it begins to take over. Once established, this plant roots very deeply and grows incredibly quickly, meaning that when you’ve committed to bamboo, there’s no escaping it.

If you still want to enjoy this hardy (and lovely) plant, it is a good idea to grow it in large raised planters that can prevent spread.

Tansy

Another invasive species that quickly becomes the only plant in your garden by overtaking the rest of your flowers, tansy is also toxic when ingested. Avoid this plant if you have pets or small children that could find their way into the garden.

Mimosa tree

Though these trees add an exciting exotic flair to your garden, with their delicate leaves and captivating blooms, mimosas won’t exactly win you any favor in the neighborhood popularity contest. When the wind picks up, this tree spreads seedlings wide and far, where they take root in the most inconvenient locations and are almost impossible to eradicate completely.

Mint

Okay, so saying that you should NEVER plant mint in your garden may be a little extreme. When contained properly, mint is an amazing herb with hundreds of uses. However, it is one of the most invasive herb plants and can quickly become nothing more than a fragrant weed that you have to cut back or pull out each year. If you still want to grow mint, dedicate an entire garden area to various varieties or grow it in a container. You could even dig a hole in the ground large enough for the entire pot of mint and contain the roots that way.

English Ivy

Though you may be dreaming of an idyllic ivy-covered wall, this plant is far more trouble than it’s worth. It tends to work its way into any crack available, forcing apart fences, bricks, and even the foundation of your home. There’s a reason that you see many dilapidated houses with a thick layer of ivy; it needs little care and it incredibly difficult to keep under control.

Wisteria

Unless you plan to dedicate hours to pruning your wisteria every couple of months, it is best to avoid this fairy-like purple plant. The roots spread throughout your entire garden, causing shoots to pop up and destroy your other plants. Even if you are an expert pruner and keep your wisteria on a tight leash, you are still likely to miss a runner and will quickly begin to regret the day you planted this invasive species.

Deadly nightshade

Deadly nightshade (or belladonna) carries that name for a reason. Every single part of this plant is incredibly poisonous. In fact, just two berries could kill a small child. Belladonna should have no place in your garden due to its extreme toxicity. Place this plant on the “no exceptions” list.

Female Ginko Bilboa trees

Unlike the male version of these trees, the female ginko produces nasty, unuseable fruit that leaves a mess on the ground and has been noted to smell like vomit. Doesn’t exactly sound like something you want near your front door, does it?

The male plant can make a wonderful addition to your yard, but it is is a good idea to avoid the female, unless of course, you want to deter unsolicited visitors with its toxic fruit.

Water hyacinth

Often a popular choice for backyard ponds or other water features due to its water purification abilities, the water hyacinth may seem sweet at first but will quickly take over any other water plants. Instead of a pond or pretty fountain, you may simply have a bed of purple flowers that can often be a hassle to get rid of. Opt for less invasive water plants such as waterlilies.


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