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Archives for February 14, 2017

Midday Fix: Winter indoor herb gardening tips from Tony Fulmer – WGN

Tony Fulmer

Visit Tony’s blog:

Chalet Landscape, Nursery and Garden Center
3132 Lake Avenue
(847) 256-0561


Grow herbs in an unshaded south or west window that offers plenty of daily sunlight – up to 6 or 8 hours a day.

Indoor temperature for growing herbs inside should be between 65 and 75 F. during the day.

It’s best to start with newly purchased plants that haven’t been outside in clay or terra cotta plants.

Keep soil in indoor herb pots dry at least a half-inch or more below the soil surface before watering again.

Herbs that do well indoors include chives, cilantro, lemongrass, mint, Greek oregano,  parsley, sage and winter savory.

When you’re harvesting, make sure your scissors or snips are sharp so you don’t tear tissue leaving jagged stems and shredded leaves to brown. AND never harvest more than 1/3 of the total plant off at any one time.

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Some wise-acre gardening tips





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5 garden tips for the week starting Feb. 11 – Pasadena Star-News – The Pasadena Star

Spread the wealth

This week is Valentine’s Day, so here’s a friendly reminder to share your love, not only with chocolates but also with produce from your garden. And, just for the fun of it, look around your yard for the annual weed that I always call the “I-Love-You Plant.” It has low feather-like leaves close to the ground and wiry upright 20-inch flower spikes sporting lots of seed capsules that look like little hearts. To me, it’s amazing that this plant only grows around Valentine’s Day. The real name is “shepherd’s purse” (Capsella bursa-pastoris), and it is a member of the mustard family, with edible leaves when young, good raw in salads or cooked as greens. But all those little seed capsules are truly heartwarming.

Berry, berry good

Strawberry season is here at last. Picking the ripest ones every day or two will prolong the harvest season. Don’t let them spoil on the plant, or your plants will stop producing early. Remember to feed periodically with balanced plant food to encourage growth, flowers and fruit. Oh, and maybe you can create your own chocolate-dipped strawberries for an extra fun and Happy Valentine’s Day.

Feeding time

In Inland Valley areas and elsewhere, if not done already, apply the first of four annual feedings for mature citrus trees this week. Subsequent feedings should be done about six weeks later in late March, mid-May, and late June. Each feeding should contain about a half-pound of actual nitrogen. Here’s the formula to figure out how much to use, based on the percentage of nitrogen in the fertilizer (I use 16-16-16 fertilizer, which has 16 percent nitrogen plus other ingredients): actual nitrogen needed (0.5 lb.) divided by percent of nitrogen in plant food (16/100) X 2 cups per pound. So that’s [(0.5/.16) x 2], which equals 6 1/4 cups of 16-16-16 fertilizer per mature tree each time I feed. For other types of fertilizer, just enter the percentage of nitrogen into the formula to find how many cups of plant food you should apply and use this number each time you feed your trees.

Camellia, azaleas, etc.

It’s also time to feed camellias, azaleas, gardenias, roses and other shrubbery. All plants require nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium for growth, listed on the plant-food label as a three-number formula showing the percentage of each element by weight. In general, nitrogen promotes leaf development, while phosphorus develops roots, flowers, fruits and seeds, and potassium permits plants to make optimal use of these nutrients and other minerals. Flowering and fruiting plants need a fertilizer blend with a higher percentage of phosphorus, while green shrubbery needs less phosphorus, but a higher amount of nitrogen.

Natural ally

Hate the messy fruits dropped by olive trees, or those stickery seed balls on liquidambar or sycamore? Ethephon (Florel Fruit Eliminator), a natural plant hormone, prevents the formation of unwanted fruit on just about any leafy ornamental tree. Sprayed at blossom time, it works on carob, carrotwood, elm, maple, oak, pine, podocarpus and more. Purchase from many garden centers and home improvement stores.

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