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Archives for September 26, 2016

Council introduces proposed business landscaping rules

Proposal yet to receive vote for adoption


Posted September 26, 2016

Proposed requirements for manicured landscaping could make Sterling Heights businesses more attractive, according to some Sterling Heights City Council members.

On Sept. 20, the City Council unanimously voted to introduce a proposal to make landscaping standards on nonresidential properties more stringent in exchange for loosening requirements to install potentially superfluous parking spaces. However, the proposed regulations are not officially approved yet, and they will reappear before the council for consideration at a future council meeting.

Officials said the new ideas would buttress the ideals found in the 2030 Visioning Plan that city stakeholders crafted in 2014. Those standards call for vibrant commercial centers, destination focal points and eye-catching green spaces.

During the meeting, City Planner Chris McLeod said the proposed standards largely represent the Planning Department’s recent preferences for landscaping requirements.

“We’ve been actually working with developers. They’ve been fairly receptive to the idea — most have,” McLeod said. “And it’s actually reflective of current industry standards as well in creating better sites for their patrons as well as the city as a whole.”

According to a city memo, the proposed rules would recalculate tree-planting guidelines for frontage landscaping based on square footage instead of linear footage. The regulations would also require the planting of various approved species of shrubs, grasses and flowers near the roadway.

McLeod said this would be “one of the most visual impacts that you’ll see coming up and down the roadways,” and he said it would create a more park-like setting. He added that it mimics what the city has been doing to landscaping lately along Van Dyke Avenue and in Dodge Park.

“The city is committed to landscaping, so we’re asking that the developers also be committed to landscaping as well,” McLeod said.
McLeod said the regulations would call for foundation plantings by buildings. Parking lot islands would also require some landscaping, and one tree would be required in parking lots for every five parking spaces — a move up from one for every six.

Regulations would promote decorative fencing and pedestrian connections to sidewalks. The new rules would require bicycle racks for commercial buildings that are at least 5,000 square feet. And they would require businesses to obscure waste bins, transformers, air conditioning units and more.

In return, the city could, in some cases, no longer require a property owner to pour in asphalt on an area for superfluous parking space and could instead just reserve a green space area for possible parking expansion if it’s needed in the future. McLeod said this could potentially give a break to some qualifying developers and could save them thousands of dollars in development costs.

In addition, a portion of the proposal also sets up a system in which the city could, over time, require properties to upgrade their nonconforming landscaping if parts of it are becoming noncompliant.

Among the other council members, Mayor Pro Tem Joseph Romano said he supports covering up dumpsters, adding bicycle racks and letting some business owners reserve green space without having to install extraneous parking. But he said he was concerned about the proposal’s overall costs, and he encouraged the council to do its homework to make sure it will be financially feasible for business owners.

“There is going to be some heavy cost factors for people that have to modify what they currently have if something dies on their property,” Romano said, referring to plant life or trees. “I don’t want to hamper developers coming to the city of Sterling Heights and putting up small centers to realize that the center is going to cost them a half a million dollars — they got to put up another $100,000 in landscaping. It’s just not feasible; it won’t happen; they won’t do it.”

Councilwoman Barbara Ziarko recommended that city buildings such as the library, the recreation center and City Hall comply with new bike rack requirements as well.

“We certainly can’t ask somebody else to do something that we’re not doing,” she said.

Mayor Michael Taylor said the city needs to improve its landscaping standards, and he said he hopes the city will work out any issues before the measure comes up for possible adoption.

He added that the city needs to attract more businesses and residents, and while asking businesses to spend more may seem counterintuitive, he said people are attracted to vibrant business areas.

“I think when people drive through a city that looks downtrodden and it looks like it’s not maintained properly, I think people continue driving through,” he said. “But when they see aesthetically pleasing green spaces and parks and commercial centers and districts with decorative lighting and decorative landscaping, they’re more inclined to stop and do business there.”

Learn more about Sterling Heights by visiting www.sterling-heights.net or by calling (586) 446-2489.

About the author

Staff Writer Eric Czarnik reports on Sterling Heights and Utica Community Schools, and he writes a weekly auto column. He is a Wayne State University graduate who has been employed at C G Newspapers since 2007.

Article source: http://www.candgnews.com/news/council-introduces-proposed-business-landscaping-rules-96141

50 Business Ideas for Creative Entrepreneurs

If you consider yourself to be creative, then you’ve already got one of the essential traits of a successful entrepreneur. But you can use your creativity for more than just building a business plan and solving unique problems. You can actually build a business that’s fully centered around creativity. Here are 50 unique business ideas for creative entrepreneurs.

Small Business Ideas for Creative Entrepreneurs

Art Seller

If you’re a visual artist, you can create original drawings, paintings or prints of your work and build a business around selling them. You can go to local art fairs or sell on sites like Etsy.

Wedding Photographer

If photography is more your medium, providing photography services at weddings can be a lucrative business.

Jewelry Maker

You can also use your creativity to craft wearable art like necklaces and earings. You can use wire, beads or any number of other materials to put together unique jewelry and then sell it online or in local boutiques or at events.

Logo Designer

For creative entrepreneurs that want to work with other business owners, you can offer design services where you help businesses design basic branding materials like logos.

Musician

If you play any instruments or are musically inclined, you can build a business as a musician. You can either play at local venues or produce albums to sell.

Blogger

Writers or creative content creators, blogging is a viable business opportunity for entrepreneurs in a variety of different fields and areas of interest.

Mobile App Designer

For those who are at least somewhat tech savvy, app creation has turned into a huge field in recent years. You can offer your services designing apps for businesses or even create your own apps to sell.

Vintage Reseller

You don’t have to actually make your own products in order to showcase your creativity. You can curate vintage or secondhand items and then use your photography and writing skills to sell or showcase those items to potential customers online.

Interior Designer

If you have a keen eye for design and home décor, you may be able to build a business working with interior design clients.

Landscape Designer

Or if you prefer the outdoors, you could instead work with clients to design their landscaping and outdoor spaces.

Home Stager

You could even get a little more specific and work with homeowners or realtors who are looking to sell their spaces and just want them temporarily staged so they’ll appeal to more buyers.

Art Dealer

You can also use curation skills to start a business as an art dealer. You just need a keen eye for art and enough resources to procure some artistic pieces.

Airbrush Artist

Airbrushing is a popular artform that can translate to a lot of different mediums. You can use your airbrushing talents to customize t-shirts and accessories and sell them online or in local markets.

Clothing Designer

You could also design clothing items from scratch and then work to get your line featured in stores or boutiques or even start your own.

Personal Stylist

If you don’t necessarily want to design the clothes but you still have a passion for fashion, you can build a business working as a personal stylist to help clients shop and put together outfits.

Portrait Photographer

For photographers who are more interested in staged photo shoots, you can build a business as a portrait photographer and work with clients for things like senior pictures, family photos, head shots or even pet photos.

Caricature Artist

If you prefer drawing and you have a bit of a sense of humor, you could turn that skill into work as a caricature artist at local events or venues and show off your talent to paying customers.

Prop Stylist

Photographers, event planners and other types of businesses could sometimes use help styling their photo shoots or spaces. So you can build a business as a prop stylist who comes in and arranges items in a way that’s visually pleasing.

Tattoo Artist

Tattooing is an ancient art that remains popular with a wide variety of people. If you’ve got the artistic sense and the training, you can build a successful business providing tattoos for clients.

Hair Stylist

There’s a lot of potential for creativity when it comes to being a hairstylist. You can offer unique cuts, updos and even coloring services.

Makeup Artist

Makeup is another area that requires a lot of creativity. You can start a salon type of business or even just travel to work with clients at their location.

T-shirt Designer

Got a cool idea for a t-shirt? You can really easily build a business selling t-shirts that you’ve designed by using online platforms like Redbubble or Cafepress.

eBook Author

If storytelling is more your cup of tea, you can write your own books and then self-publish them online as ebooks.

Website Designer

Web design continues to be a huge growing field. You can build a web design business by working with clients to build custom websites or even sell pre-made templates on sites like Etsy.

Cake Decorator

Food can be another great area for showcasing creativity. You can decorate wedding cakes and specialty desserts to really show off your artistic skills.

Face Painter

Fairs, birthday parties and other events will often feature face painters and similar activities for kids. If you enjoy that type of atmosphere, you can offer your services to clients in your area.

Video Producer

Online video is a huge growing trend. You can build a business by producing your own videos and earning a share of ad revenue on YouTube or even work with other clients to help them with their video projects.

Tie Dye Artist

If you love the tie-dye look, you can use that art form on everything from t-shirts to socks and sell them online or at local events.

Balloon Sculpturer

Events also often feature balloon artists. You can offer your services to create balloon art for event attendees or even set up balloon installations as part of the event décor.

Card Designer

Cards and similar paper goods are still popular with some consumers. You can design your own cards and sell them online or in local paper goods stores.

Wood Worker

If you’re good with tools and enjoy putting things together, you can build and sell so many different items made out of wood, from small sculptures to intricate pieces of furniture.

Disc Jockey

Or if you enjoy music and working at events, you can build a business working with clients as a disc jockey for weddings or other gatherings.

Dance Teacher

There are so many different forms of dance you can learn and teach to clients. You can start a dance studio in your community and work with clients of all ages.

Music Teacher

Or you can teach people different musical instruments or even provide voice lessons to more musically inclined clients.

Voice Artist

Using your voice can also be considered a creative outlet. You can offer your services as a voice-over artist for advertisements or other materials.

Tailor

If you’re skilled with sewing and measuring, you can build a business as a custom tailor and work with clients to alter their clothing and accessories.

Custom Embroiderer

You can also work with clients to customize clothing and other items through embroidery. You can even work remotely and just have customers mail you their items since there isn’t any measuring involved.

Quilt Maker

Quilting is an intricate art form. But if you have the skills and the patience, you can make money selling your custom quilts to those who want really special gifts or customized items.

Knit Goods Seller

If you enjoy knitting, you can create handmade hats, scarves and other items and sell them online or at local craft fairs.

Candle Maker

Candles are popular gift items with many consumers. And you can get really creative customizing the scents and even colors of different candle products.

Basket Weaver

Basket making is another traditional art form to consider. You can make and sell baskets of all different shapes and sizes.

Pottery Maker

Or you can sculpt custom dishware and décor items out of clay and glaze them in various colors.

Calligrapher

You can also build a business as a calligrapher. You can offer your services to anyone from businesses looking for traditional lettering for marketing materials to couples who want an extra special touch for their wedding invitations.

Children’s Book Author

Children’s books offer a lot of opportunities for creativity. You can get creative with the storytelling and you can also put together unique illustrations to appear throughout the book.

House Painter

If you enjoy painting large-scale projects, what better canvas is there than a house? You can offer your services to homeowners looking to paint the outside of their homes or even specific rooms on the inside.

Soap Maker

Soap is another product that allows you to get creative with both scents and aesthetics. You can make various soap and beauty products to sell online or at local events.

Bag Designer

If you enjoy designing and putting together unique accessories, you can build a successful business as a handbag designer and sell your creations online or get them into local boutiques.

Printable Seller

If you want to design artwork but don’t necessarily want to produce or ship it in a physical form, you can offer to sell your work in a digital form and then just allow your customers to print it themselves.

Book Binder

Book binding is an older art form. But you can still build a business around it by offering your services to independent authors or businesses or even creating your own handmade journals or sketchbooks for sale.

Art Supply Store Owner

Or if you want to use your love for art and creativity to help others showcase their own talents, you can open a store that sells various art supplies and creative materials.

ArtistGuitaristInterior DesignerAirbrushCake Decorator Photos via Shutterstock


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Article source: http://smallbiztrends.com/2016/09/business-ideas-for-creative-entrepreneurs.html

Developing landscapes

Working as a community redevelopment and design intern to help implement and develop the landscape design plans for Leipsic Town Hall and the Laurel Ramble was just about the perfect way for the University of Delaware’s Austin Virdin to spend his summer.

Virdin, a senior majoring in landscape architecture in UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, was involved with the town hall project from its inception, as some of the plans originated in the Ecological Planting Design class taught by Jules Bruck, associate professor of landscape design.

Leipsic is a small, picturesque community located on the Leipsic River in Kent County, Delaware.

“We took on the town hall landscape design, met with town council, proposed our ideas, and all produced final designs. My task in the internship was to take all the student design work and develop a final product with the components that town council liked and everything that members of the community wanted,” said Virdin. “After combining everything into one design, I then produced the planting plan to bring it to fruition.”

Virdin said the concept is now becoming a reality, as the design he created with Bruck was approved by the town council with the hope that it might be installed in the fall.

The Leipsic landscaping project grew out of the Working Waterfronts Initiative in the community for which Ed Lewandowski, acting marine advisory services director for Delaware Sea Grant and coordinator for the University’s Sustainable Coastal Communities Initiative (SCCI), which is housed in UD’s College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), was the principal investigator.

SCCI launched the Working Waterfronts Initiative in 2012 to develop sustainability strategies for preserving and maintaining the state’s traditional maritime communities. When members of Leipsic’s museum committee approached Lewandowski about assisting with development of their maritime and agricultural museum, he connected them with Bruck.

“I’ve had the privilege of collaborating with Dr. Bruck on community engagement projects in other Delaware municipalities, so I recognize the tremendous talent and value that she and her students can add to this type of cross-disciplinary, cross-college project,” said Lewandowski.

With the new design, Virdin said the building will be a gathering space for the community instead of being used just once a month for town council meetings.

“In the rear of the property we designed an open green space surrounded by a wooded planting. The intent of this is to create a defined gathering space that can serve a variety of purposes such as for festivals or meetings. The intent is for it to become a space that the community benefits from more than just once a month,” said Virdin.

Virdin said that he is looking forward to seeing the project come to life after being involved with it from the earliest design stage in the classroom to actual implementation.

“I enjoy these kinds of projects where we create the concept plan, and it is not only liked by people and approved but it is also implemented. I think that’s pretty rewarding to see the work that you created come to life in that sense,” said Virdin. “Some of the other projects we worked on in that class have been implemented in Newark but this project has been more meaningful to me as Leipsic is about 10 minutes from where I live in Dover.  It has been a great opportunity to work down there.”

The Ramble

Virdin also spent time during his internship working with Bruck and Lewandowski on the Laurel Ramble project in Sussex County, Delaware.

Bruck and Lewandowski have been working on the project for the past few years, and Virdin, whose internship was run through Bruck’s Evolution Landscape Design business and funded through Delaware Sea Grant, said he helped with some of the detailed specifications, as most of the concept had already been designed.

These specifications included developing a pattern book for future business and home developers to use as a reference.

“Laurel just received a downtown development district designation from the state of Delaware which will spur development in the area. Through this pattern book, we’re looking to the future by setting guidelines that will define Laurel. Instead of an assortment of different architectural styles and colors, our mission is to create a unified feeling throughout the town that is unique to Laurel,” said Virdin.

The pattern book will include everything from colors that are approved by the town, approved designs for signage displays that will be facing the street, and styles of molding, shutters and windows.

“We also included a section with approved plants and a garden design for the town. This way, we can exclude plants that are invasive or alien, and recommend ones that would be beneficial or are native. Our intent is to inform the residents about what plants should be excluded from their landscape,” said Virdin.

Virdin said his favorite part of the internship was being able to attend town council meetings and speak with residents about what they wanted to see implemented in the space.

“It was nice to not only create designs, and have those designs implemented, but also to work with small towns that I would not necessarily have the opportunity to work with. These towns function completely differently than a city like Newark, which is not a large city by any means, but has greater complex workings than a town like Leipsic or Laurel. Actually being in those town council meetings and talking to residents, getting their input, was the most meaningful and helpful aspect in all the design work that I worked on,” said Virdin. 

Article source: https://www.udel.edu/udaily/2016/september/canr-senior-summer-projects/

Autumn sage for autumn flowers

Autumn sage is queen of fall gardens because few drought-resistant species flower so late. Yet this beauty was named for the habit of blooming in spring with a long second season of color in fall. In between, it backs off for a rest during the heat of late summer. The split season makes affordable American native Salvia greggii an ideal choice for mild winter regions of the West.

Salvia greggii is native to south Texas, extending deep into the Chihuahuan desert of northern Mexico. The species produces bright red flowers irresistible to hummingbirds. The origin makes the species highly drought-resistant, which is important to discerning which autumn sages are best for your area.

In garden centers you’ll find a whole batch of different colored Salvia greggii hybrids that are the results of crossing the species with Salvia microphylla, or mountain sage. The latter is found in higher elevation mountain ranges of Arizona and Mexico, so it’s less heat-loving than its low land cousin, but more tolerant to winter cold. Above all, mountain sage is a highly variable species, contributing many new flower shades to these hybrids, which may prove more or less cold hardy.

It is generally believed that drought-resistant species are the result of millennia of natural selection. Therefore the original Salvia greggii (Zone 6) probably tolerates the greatest drought stress of all. A particularly floriferous individual was discovered in Texas, which led to the tried and true stalwart of droughty gardens: Furman’s Red. Growers have been producing Furman’s Red for a long time, so this plant is widely available.

Plants bred for new flower colors may have other changes. My experience with a purple-flowered hybrid is a good example. It could not stand our low desert heat like the red flowered species thriving all around it. The first really hot days in the desert, the hybrid simply gave up, but it may be far more adaptable to milder climates.

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The most vigorous, floriferous and drought-resistant Salvia greggii is the variety ‘Furman’s Red,’ popular for large-scale landscaping. (Handout/TNS)

Furman’s red is a valuable landscape plant worth planting this fall to enjoy its flowers now and in the spring. Buy plants in bloom so you know their color. Consider making your own test as I did by choosing a group of autumn sage hybrids in small sizes so you get a wide range of colors. Spot them into beds and borders where they thrive under drip irrigation. Monitor them closely to know which are good future candidates elsewhere.

In the landscape, I consider this sage a transparent plant because it is airy and open. The flowers on thin stems rise and sway in the breeze or when hummingbirds are feeding. Consider using them in an arid cottage garden to bring a riot of color that’s soft and impressionistic. Use to create a setting for large succulent specimens or plant with California native shrubs that share similar preferences.

These salvias prefer elevated locations where water does not pool around the main stem. As a subshrub, the species produces woody twigs that support the fast new growth when moisture is plentiful. The root crown does not tolerate saturation during the growing season because they’re from rocky irregular ground in the Mexican desert. This demonstrates why they are exceptional choices for rock gardens, mounded land forms, slopes, raised beds and in difficult hot spots where many others fail.

When adding Furman’s Red into an existing succulent landscape, be aware that these flowering plants need more moisture in the fall to stimulate blooming. Provide adequate drip irrigation and keep it up to extend bloom time all winter in the warmer low desert. New flower buds are continually forming at the tip of the flower stems, but if allowed to become too dry this stops temporarily. Therefore efficient irrigation is essential to getting this great fall flower show out of your Salvia greggii and its rainbow hybrids.

———

Maureen Gilmer is an author, horticulturist and landscape designer.

Article source: http://www.myajc.com/news/lifestyles/home-garden/autumn-sage-for-autumn-flowers/nscqz/

Caring for bamboo, corn stalks, geraniums: Master gardener tips …

Summer may be winding down, but gardening questions keep on coming. Get answers from Ask an Expert, an online question-and-answer tool from Oregon State University’s Extension Service. OSU Extension faculty and Master Gardeners reply to queries within two business days, usually less. To ask a question, simply go to the OSU Extension website and type in a question and the county where you live. Here are some questions asked by other gardeners. What’s yours?

 

Q: How do I clean up my patch of corn? Do I need to cut the stalks down to the ground and leave the roots to rot or do I need to pull the stalks out root and all? – Multnomah County

A: The root ball will still be in the soil next spring, so I suggest that you remove the roots in addition to the corn stalks. This will reduce pest and disease pressure next gardening season.

If you have cows for neighbors, they would enjoy munching on the spent corn stalks. Or you can compost the root balls or place them in yard debris containers.

The final step is to sow a cover crop or cover the growing area with mulch of some sort. Leaves are great. Also, you can refer to OSU Extension’s fall check list for putting your garden to bed for winter. — Anna Ashby, OSU Extension Master Gardener

Q: We have found a few giant house spiders in my home in the last year and I don’t know what to do about this issue. I have a severe phobia, and these are unlike anything I’ve ever seen in Portland, and I’m losing a lot of sleep over it.

We’ve lived in this house 10 years and never have seen them, then all of the sudden they’re showing up. Is there anything you can suggest to get these away from my house so I never have to have the psychological trauma of seeing one again? I know this sounds silly, but I’m dead serious. I am losing a lot of sleep over this fear. What to do? Please do not attach an image to the response, I will throw my computer and completely freak out! – Clackamas County

A: Overall, spiders are beneficial in the garden, landscape and even indoors, because they help humans manage the pesky insects that abound. Spiders live everywhere in the world. We’re fortunate that those here in the Northwest aren’t dangerous. And that’s true in spite of any hype and horror stories you may have heard.

You could use sticky traps meant to capture spiders that are available at most garden centers and hardware stores. They’re to be placed just inside doorways, the flat side against the wall; follow the directions on the package.

Or you could hire a pest control company to apply an outdoor perimeter spray around the house during July. (It’s too late now for such a spray.) For your own safety, please don’t use pesticides indoors.

Q: I have bamboo that is at least 20 years old. This year it seems to be blooming and the blooming stalks seem to be dying. Is there anything I can do? – Washington County

A: Unfortunately, when bamboo starts flowering, most plants usually die. You may be able to save it by cutting the flower stalks and chopping the living portion of the plant away at the rhizome. Sometimes plants come back from this. It is important to immediately cut away any stalk that is beginning to flower. New bamboo plants can take root from the seeds if the flowers are pollinated and you may end up with new plants growing as well. – Dardie Robinson, OSU Extension Master Gardener

Q: Can geraniums be left in the ground during an Oregon winter. If so how do you prepare them. – Washington County

A: An old-fashioned method of over wintering geraniums is to dig the plants before the first frost, knock the soil from their roots, and hang the plants upside down in a brown paper bag in a cool, moist basement or garage with 80 percent humidity and temperatures between 35 to 45 degrees.

If plants begin to dry out, soak the roots in water a few times each winter. In spring, take the plants down, cut off half to three-fourths of the top growth and replant outdoors. Due to the high water content in these plants, freezing will destroy the plant. Occasionally we get a winter without a freeze but it is rare. Check out the Extension reference on how to buy and care for geraniums. — Von Whitney, OSU Extension Master Gardener

Stay in the loop. Sign up to receive a free weekly Homes Gardens of the Northwest newsletter and join the conversation at the Homes Gardens of the Northwest on Facebook

Article source: http://www.oregonlive.com/hg/index.ssf/2016/09/house_spiders_bamboo_corn_stal.html

Garden Tips: Repotting orchids is easier than you think – Tri

Today, you can go into almost any store that sells houseplants and find blooming orchids available at reasonable prices. Orchids are no longer exotic plants grown only in the tropics or by experts with greenhouses. You and I can grow them fairly easily in our homes, but the care does differ from that of other houseplants.

Most of the approximately 28,000 species of orchids are epiphytes. Epiphytes are plants that grow upon other plants but do not obtain water or nutrients from those plants. In their natural habitat, epiphytic orchids typically grow on tree trunks and branches. They hang onto their hosts with thick aerial roots and use those roots to absorb water and nutrients found on the surface of the bark. In addition, these thick roots store water and are capable of photosynthesis.

Orchids cannot be grown in the typical potting media used for houseplants.

The roots of epiphytic orchids are covered with a protective spongy layer of dead tissue called velamen. The velamen plays an important role in the absorption of water and nutrients by these aerial roots and it also protects the roots from UV-B radiation. If you remove an epiphytic orchid from its pot, the velamen on the roots will be white when the roots are dry, and transparent when moist and full of water.

Because the roots of epiphytic orchids are not typical houseplant roots, orchids cannot be grown in the typical potting media used for houseplants. They require special orchid media that provides conditions similar to those found on the bark of a tree. The media must furnish generous aeration, allow for good drainage and retain some moisture. There are commercial orchid mixes available containing coarse fir bark and perlite, but orchid experts often create their own mix using materials that meet the specific needs of their orchids.

Experts also use special orchid pots that provide plenty of aeration to the roots. These plastic or clay pots have slots on the sides for aeration in addition to holes in the bottoms for drainage.

Epiphytic orchids typically grow on tree trunks and branches.

Orchids that die at the hands of their owners usually fail either because they were watered incorrectly or they were not repotted when necessary. Orchid roots must have moisture and air. Orchids should be watered whenever the potting mix starts to dry out. When watered, good drainage is essential because orchid roots should not be allowed to sit in water.

Orchid media gradually breaks down and deteriorates, no longer providing the needed aeration. Because of this, orchid experts recommend repotting orchids every two to three years. I was afraid to take on the task of repotting, so my orchids were languishing on my windowsill and appeared to be dying. I had to do something, so two months ago I mustered the courage to repot them.

Repotting was easier than I imagined. Working over a plastic wash tub, I carefully removed each plant from its pot and gently removed all the old growing media from the roots. Using clean pruning snips, I cut off any obviously dead, shriveled or mushy roots. I also sterilized the snips between cuts to prevent spreading disease.

Orchids are epiphytes, which are plants that grow upon other plants but do not obtain water or nutrients from those plants.

I then repotted each plant by wrapping the roots around so they would fit into the clean, somewhat larger orchid pot I had ready for it. I first placed some orchid media in the bottom of the pot and then situated the plant in the pot so that the crown at the base of the leaves was about a half-inch from the top of the pot. Once in the pot, I packed fresh dampened orchid media around the roots, using a chopstick to gently push the media into any voids between the roots. I finished by watering the plants to help settle the media around the roots. Now my orchids are looking much better.

Marianne C. Ophardt is a horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.

Orchid show planned Oct. 1-2 in Kennewick

An orchid sale and show is planned Oct. 1-2 at the Tri-Tech Skills Center, 5929 W. Metaline Ave., Kennewick.

Orchid club members will be on hand to answer questions, and attendees can buy plants and supplies. Seminars on various orchid types are also planned.

Admission is $3. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 1 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 2.

Article source: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/living/home-garden/marianne-ophardt/article103594772.html