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Successfully transition houseplants indoors for winter – Walla Walla Union

Gardening expert, TV/radio host, author and columnist Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written more than 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. Her website,, offers gardening videos and tips.

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From narcissi to irises: Alan Titchmarsh’s tips on planting bulbs

The miniature varieties are far better. They grow to around 9in or 12in high and the foliage that needs to be left intact for six weeks after flowering is not nearly so messy or hard to deal with as that of the taller types.

The dwarf and miniature varieties can be planted now in clusters of six to 10 bulbs about 4in deep and an inch or two apart. Choose from a wide range of varieties. I’ve yet to find a single one that I don’t like.

If your garden could do with a shot in the arm next March and April, now is the time to think about it. When it comes to value for money, nothing beats these heralds of spring. 

They’re magic!

Don’t miss Alan’s gardening column today and Tip Of The Day every weekday in the Daily Express. For more information on his range of gardening products visit

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Types of garden in your home | Home & Gardening Tips – Times of …

Herb Garden

Herb garden consists of culinary or medicinal herbs, and often has ornamental designs. In fact, herb plants are often underrated as potential design elements in land scaping.

  • Mint and creeping thyme can be used very well as ground cover between stepping stones.
  • Lavender can be used as a landscape design in rock garden, border planting and cottage garden.
  • Corriender and Oregano, as edging plant, ground cover and rock garden plant.
  • Sage is recommended to be used as an ornamental border.

In fact, herbs are worth growing for their pleasant aromatic foliage, some for the beauty of their flowers. This is apart from garnishing salads, perking up flavors of bland vegetables or adding flavor to meats by nipping off a few leaves, when wanted. Calendula and Borage add color to herb garden.

Cultivation practices of most herbs are like sensitive winter annuals. Once planted in proper soil, they grow well and don’t require too much daily care. Herbs grow well in pots and beds. Always use pre dampened potting soil and container in proportion to the type of herb, one is choosing, so that it dosent get root bound, very fast.

  • Bay leaves needs at least four to six hours of sunlight daily.
  • Chives grow better in a garden than a pot. Its purple flowers look beautiful, when bunched together.
  • Parsley is a good indoor herb.
  • Lavender requires little care if the soil drains out well and isn’t excessively wet. It is bug resistant, needs little fertilizer, support and pruning.

Water Garden

The beauty of water garden lies in glimpses of water surfaces, pool appearances and freshness of plants around the margins. In creating water gardens, first thing to find out is what are the possibilities of constant supply of fresh water and means of disposing off the surplus water. Stagnant water is foul, eye sore and dangerous to health

A water garden need not be confined to traditional form of a water pond, having fish and fauna. It could be a watercourse, fountain or simply a container containing few floating plants.

Plants that can be grown are

  • Water lily’s (nymphea)
  • Water Hyacinth
  • Lotus ( nelumbium speciosum)
  • P Patera ( typha latifolia)
  • P Arum Lily
  • P Umbrella Plant
  • P Water Lettuce

Use bio- filters or copper sulphate to keep your water clean.

Kitchen Garden

Kitchen garden is a seasonally used space, away from the rest of the residential garden – the ornamental plants and lawn area? An area consisting of vegetables, herbs, flowers and some fruits grown together. In designing a personal kitchens garden, Imperative is to firm up the types of vegetables, herbs that are being used regularly, in your personal cooking. For limited space, one can use containers as well as climbers. Always make the kitchen garden in a sunny spot, near a water source, close to your kitchen. If space is a constrain use step down design to maximize sunlight to every plant.

Some easy vegetables that one can grow are tomatoes, spinach, radish lettuce, fenugreek, gourds, beans, chilly, and cabbage. Fruits that can be grown in pots are guava, papaya, lemon, and pomegranate.

Rock Garden

Also known as rockery or alpine garden features extensive use of rock/stones with crevices. Plants that grow here tend to be small and prefer a well-drained soil, and less water. Rock garden should look natural and not superimposed. It can be made in open sunshine or partial shade.

Wide range of plants called’ Alpines’ can be grown successfully, like achillea, alyssum, azalea, begonia semperflorens, dianthus, gazania, linum, primula. Perennials like – phloxs, saxifraga, verbena can be grown too. In addition, one can grow cacti, succulents, seedum, miniature roses, lantana and ferns.

Indoor Gardens

Indoor gardens help us stay in touch with nature, in a sense ‘bring the outside, indoors’. Houseplant foliage is of various, sizes, shapes and colors, and have reduced fertilizer requirements. Indoor plants mostly are evergreens, and they require moderate sunlight. The amount of light at any given location would vary according to time of year (angle of sun, day length), window curtain, wall color and location itself.

While lack of sufficient light results in poor plant growth, excessive light can be harmful, making leaves bleach, scald or even dry. This can also happen if gradual moment of plants is not done from inside to outdoors or vice versa. Some of the houseplants are aglonema, chamaedorea, monsteria, ferns, dracaena, philodendron and dieffenbachia.

Flower Garden

Flower garden is a combination of plants of different heights, colors, textures, fragrances to create interest and delight to senses. Mostly grown for decorative purpose. Plan your garden in three strata- trees, shrubs and ground cover. Have raised beds, borders, walkways for the plants.

Observe the amount of sun/shade, temperature and soil condition in your garden. As different flowers come up, at different times of the year, one should think about the time, when you want your flowers to bloom and for how long. One can have them bloom, all at same time or one can stagger it throughout the growing season.

Interesting part of planning your flower garden is that you can set up thematic sections, like butterfly garden, bird garden, wild life garden, rose garden, perennial garden, shade garden, water garden and cacti garden.

Mughal Garden

Mughal garden design originated in Mughal era and is influenced by Persian garden style. In these gardens, significant use is made of rectilinear layouts within walled enclosures, with pools, fountains and canals. Examples Shalimar Gardens at Lahore/ Srinagar, Pinjore Gardens and Taj Mahal.

Sunlight and its effect are an important factor in structural design. Textures and shapes were specifically chosen by architects to harness light. Trees and trellises largely feature for shade. Pavilions and walls are structurally prominent too. A form of underground tunnel below the water table, named ‘Qanat’ is used to irrigate the garden. This gardening style attempts to integrate that which is ‘indoor with outdoor’ by creating arches between outer and inner area.

Written by Harpreet Ahluwali from Earthly Creations

(Images: Shutterstock)

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Local Garden Column: Ergonomics can ease the pain

Gardeners of all ages often experience pain and discomfort resulting from the work they do while gardening.

Ergonomics can help gardeners be more efficient and effective with their work by combining gardeners’ abilities with the requirements of their gardening work.

Ergonomics uses scientific information about people and the work they do to help avoid pain and injury by using correct posture and positioning. The following information gives ideas about how gardeners can be more efficient and avoid pain and injury.

There are three keys to taking care of your body during gardening. First, you must think about what you need to do to prepare. Next you will need to know about proper body positioning during your gardening. And last, remember to take frequent breaks while working.

To prepare for your gardening, do a 10-minute warm-up activity such as a brisk walk around your yard or assembling gardening equipment and supplies. Drink plenty of water before and during work to avoid dehydration and help your body work efficiently.

Also be sure to stretch the muscles you are working before and during work. Additionally, purchase tools that are of good quality and permit a comfortable grasp and a thumbs-up position.

Proper body positioning is important to avoid undue stress on your body and avoid pain and injury.

Sally Townsend is a master gardener volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oneida County. Look for more gardening tips in the Observer-Dispatch or online at

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Fall into Gardening with OSU Master Gardeners

Heads up, backyard vegetable gardeners: Vertical gardening guru Harry Olson will share his productive system for growing vegetables on Oct. 7 at the Fall into Gardening event. The event begins at 9 a.m., at the Milwaukie Center, 5440 S.E. Kellogg Creek Drive, Milwaukie.

Olson perfected his system over the past ten years while living and gardening in a small city lot in Salem. An active OSU Master Gardener, Olson is part of the team that won a first place international competition for their research into the performance of grafted vegetables at the 2017 International Master Gardener Conference.

Staged by OSU Extension Master Gardeners of Clackamas County, Fall into Gardening offers the latest gardening know-how through classes, demonstrations, educational displays and soil pH testing service.

For the full event schedule, go to

The event features four 25-minute classes cover a wide range of topics.

Not confident with handling diseases and pests? The Fall and Winter Diseases and Pests class helps you to correctly identify the problem and offers solutions that are effective and sustainable.

Feel hesitant about pruning? Pruning Made Easy shows how to deal with common pruning challenges in many shrubs and trees and reviews the best time to prune.

Those wishing to add aesthetic punches to their garden should plan to attend Garden Design 101. It is packed with design tips, just in time for making plans for next year.

Want to garden in raised beds but don’t know how best to fill them? Building and Filling a Raised Bed outlines how to make a raised bed and provides a recipe for the best growing medium.

New this year is an extended “clinic” where Master Gardeners will identify your plant, disease or pest issues. Clients may submit samples beginning at 8:30 am. MG experts will work on the problem while clients attend classes and offer remedies before the event concludes.

Soil pH affects availability of soil nutrients to plants and is especially important to success in growing vegetables and blueberries. Fall is the ideal time to test soil pH. If adjustments are needed, amendments can work over winter to jump start spring planting. Each client may submit up to four soil samples taken from different areas of the garden for customized analysis of the lawn, vegetable patch, rose garden and perennial bed. Consult the “Testing Soil pH” 10-Minute University handout at for step-by-step instructions.

Master Gardeners are trained volunteers, educated through Oregon State University Extension Service, to offer the local community reliable, relevant and reachable gardening information.

This event is offered in partnership with the Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener€z?¢ Program, North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District and the Milwaukie Center. Accommodations request related to a disability should be made by Sept. 30 to Jean Bremer, 503-655-8631, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Playing in the dirt: Welcome fall: Master Gardener tips for September


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Gardening: Top tips for growing dahlias in pots this autumn

WHILE everything else in the garden is fading, the blousy blooms of dahlias are still going strong. But how do you grow them in pots and what are the best varieties to try?

You can now buy much more compact plants, thanks to advanced breeding techniques. These will provide you with bushy plants with interesting foliage and flowers that hold themselves above the leaves. The dark-leaved cultivars are a feature in themselves.

Planting up

Plant tubers in John Innes No.3 loam-based compost and insert slow-release fertiliser tablets at planting time to keep the plant well fed. Use pots at least 30cm in diameter to give the tuber plenty of room to grow. As the shoots reach 10-12cm, pinch out the tops to boost bushy growth.

Feed and water

Remember that dahlias are really hungry plants, so will need regular feeding and watering; if they get too dry, they are susceptible to powdery mildew. Once in flower, deadhead regularly, which will keep them going and encourage them to produce more flowers.

Good types to try

It rather depends on the size of your pot, but if you want a dwarf form, D. ‘Roxy’ is a good bet as it has bushy deep burgundy foliage and vibrant deep pink blooms. Other small varieties that pack a punch include the deep orange ‘Bishop of Oxford’, with its dark foliage.

Anemone-flowered dahlias look elegant in pots. Try ‘Mystic Illusion’, which has rich dark foliage and striking yellow flowers that aren’t too tall and don’t need staking.

If you have a large pot, appreciate huge, showy blooms and are prepared to stake them, try the pink ‘Sir Alf Ramsey’. You may get only one flower per month but when you do, it will have been worth the wait.

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This week’s gardening tips: look for autumn wildflowers

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JANICE LYNN CROSE: Crestview club offers gardening information

I appreciate beautiful flowers and manicured yards as much as I like trees. I am not a terrific gardener, but I appreciate those who do marvelous things in their yards and I love to look at their creativity. I especially love to look at yards with a variety of colors and flowers.

If you are interested in learning more about gardening in this area of the country, the Dogwood Garden Club will have its first meeting of the 2017-2018 year 10:30 a.m. Sept. 11 at the Crestview Public Library, 1445 Commerce Drive.

Refreshments will be served at 10:15 a.m., with the meeting beginning at 10:30 a.m.

An Okaloosa Master Gardener will present this month’s program topic, fall color in the garden. As one that loves the fall colors, different shades of oranges, reds, greens, golds and so on, I am looking forward to the program and I know that great gardening tips will be offered.

Subsequent meetings for the club are 10:30 a.m. the first Monday of each month in club members’ homes. Dues are $25 per year, and the club meets September through May.

Call 683-0839 if you are interested in more information.

Dogwood Garden Club meetings focus on a different gardening topic each month. The topics range from subjects such as trees, to soil types and container gardening.

I enjoy using flowers in pots to brighten up our front yard. One of the many advantages to this type of gardening is that the plants can be brought in when it is cold. I have several hibiscus plants in pots; they go out for the warm weather and come in during the winter.

Mums, black-eyed Susans, pansies, phlox, asters and verbena and many of the flowers are plentiful at this time of year. They provide a variety of colors, are easy to put on the porch and really beautify the home.

Let’s make Crestview the city of beautiful gardens and colorful yards.

Janice Lynn Crose, a former accountant, lives in Crestview with her husband, Jim; her two rescue collies, Shane and Jasmine; and two cats, Kathryn and Prince Valiant.

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Burning questions about pests, weeds and more, as summer yields to fall

Early September is the time of transition from summer’s hot weather to the cool-down of fall. With the changes that begin to happen about now come a lot of questions from North Texas gardeners. I’ve assembled the ones I’m being asked most often.

How late can I apply pre-emergent weedkillers and still have good results against winter weeds?

You’re there now! You need to get Team, Dimension, Halts or Balan granules out in the next several days to prevent germination of annual bluegrass (Poa annua), rescuegrass and ryegrass. This is your only chance to deal with these grassy weeds. Once they germinate you will not have another opportunity until this time next year (next generation of the weeds).

Make an additional pass over the lawn to control broadleafed weeds such as henbit, chickweed, dandelions and clover. Apply Gallery granules for the non-grassy weeds. These products are most likely to be found at independent retail garden centers.

Why is my St. Augustine yellowed in big patches? It’s been that way for much of the summer.

In most cases that’s been gray leaf spot. It’s a fungal leaf spot that also appears on runners. The gray-brown lesions are BB-sized and irregularly diamond-shaped. Gray leaf spot has been especially troublesome this year, and many people have reacted by applying nitrogen fertilizer in an attempt to green up their turf. Unfortunately, gray leaf spot is exacerbated by nitrogen in hot summer weather, so those people have really added to their own turf troubles.

At this point, if you’re still seeing the disease actively attacking your lawn, hold off one or two more weeks before you fertilize your turf. If you’re one who applied nitrogen fairly recently, perhaps you shouldn’t fertilize again until next April. There are fungicides that will help with gray leaf spot, but it’s very late in the season to be applying them. Like some of the pre-emergent weedkillers, they’re most commonly sold at independent retail garden centers.

What is wrong with my roses? They didn’t bloom very well last spring, and they’ve looked worse and worse all summer. What can I do to help them now?

Odds are high that your roses have rose rosette virus. It’s a fatal virus that somehow has decided that the Fort Worth/Dallas area is where it needed to appear in epidemic proportions. It’s been so bad over the past five or six years here that there are almost no healthy roses remaining. Sales have dropped to almost zero. First symptoms are rank-growing, extremely thorny “bull” canes, but later they become stunted. RRV is transmitted great distances by wind-borne microscopic mites. There is no control for the virus, and there is also no prevention or control for the mites.

About all you can do is replace the roses immediately with some other type of shrubs or flowers. Hopefully the massive research now underway will find a work-around, genetic or otherwise, for this devastating virus.

Why are the leaves of my morning glories, marigolds and other plants turning tan, then dried and crisp?

Spider mites will do that. They feed on the undersides of the leaves, sucking the green color out of the leaves in the process. When the damage becomes severe you will see fine webbing in the leaf axils, but by then it’s usually too late to save the plants. If you see the tan mottling, thump a suspect leaf over a sheet of white paper. If you see tiny paprika-colored specks starting to move about on the paper, those are the mites.

Apply a general-purpose insecticide that is also labeled for spider mites to control them. Spray the bottom leaf surfaces as well as the tops. Check the plants a couple of days later to be sure you’ve gotten good control.

There is an insect pest that causes similar damage to another group of plants. Lace bugs attack pyracanthas, Boston ivy, sycamores, bur oaks, chinquapin oaks, azaleas, American elms and boxwoods, among others, turning their leaves the same pale tan color. However, on the backs of their leaves you’ll see black, waxy specks. Those specks are the excrement of the adult insects.

They began doing their damage in June, and there may not be any more of the adults still present on the plants. Systemic insecticides do a good job of preventing this damage if applied in early summer. There is no call to treat this late in the season.

“What is causing the rows of holes in the leaves of my cannas?”

That would be canna leafrollers. The larvae tie the leaves together while they’re still tightly rolled. They feed on the leaves much as if you drilled a hole through a rolled-up newspaper. When the leaves unfurl they look like they’ve been sprayed with a machine gun. A systemic insecticide applied as a soil drench in late spring usually will prevent this damage from happening.

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