This refreshing new garden book offers useful money-saving tips – Press Telegram

Timber Press’s “The Garden Refresh: How to Give Your Yard a Big Impact on a Small Budget” contains garden tips to save money to be safe. However, the myriad of useful information provided by author Kier Holmes goes far beyond out-of-pocket considerations.

For example, the use of gray water (laundry water, shower, bath and bath sink, but not kitchen sink, dishwasher or toilet) – something we should all consider as the drought intensifies – comes with certain warnings. “Avoid direct contact with gray water, as it often contains small amounts of bacteria” and “Do not use gray water in sprinklers due to the risk of inhaling unhealthy organisms.” The ideal would be to build a system that collects and distributes gray water by drip irrigation, thus completely eliminating the possibility of contact with recycled water.

“Never store gray water for more than 24 hours or the bacteria will grow,” Holmes instructs. “Use water on edible plants and vines, such as corn, grapes or kiwis, where the edible part is off the ground and not in contact with water. Do not use gray water on root vegetables such as carrots, potatoes or beets, and keep away from low-growing strawberries, because if they are not washed properly, serious health problems can arise. “

Also, since gray water is on the alkaline side of the pH scale, “acid-loving plants like blueberries and azaleas, which are sensitive to salt, struggle with it. Potted plants don’t appreciate it either, because their restricted root zones make them vulnerable to damage. “

A useful tip for saving water for your garden before it turns gray is to put a bucket in the shower or under the tub and use it to collect running water while you wait for it to warm up.

Some additives that may be unfamiliar to you can make a big difference. “Rock dust, which consists of any type of rock soil extracted from a powder, is a great way to add trace minerals and micronutrients and feed beneficial microbes into your soil. Add a small handful to the planting hole for a small plant and a large handful for a large plant.Indoor plants also benefit from regular applications of rock dust.Azomite is the leading brand when it comes to quality rock dust.

Alfalfa flour is another additive, available in agricultural grocery stores, which Holmes praises, especially when added to the soil before planting herbs. “Usually grown as livestock feed, alfalfa flour adds nitrogen and micronutrients to the soil and contains a natural fatty acid growth stimulant that stimulates healthy roots and stems (roses and tomatoes also love this food). despite their initial feeding, their herbs look icy and anemic halfway through the season, give them a fish emulsion cocktail – just mix a few shots of liquid fish emulsion in the sprinkler to feed them.

Regular sharpening of pruning shears or scissors, the gardener’s most important tool, is often overlooked. “Every few weeks I grab a hand file specifically to sharpen hand clippers and give my clippers a few drags on the stone,” the author writes. “I also clean my pruners with a pillow and some warm soapy water to remove sap, dirt or possible pathogens, and then dry the sheet. On the joints I apply a lubricant to stop rust.” An Altuna sharpener for sharpening scissors sells for just under $ 20.

Holmes has some short but valuable lists, such as the “most important architectural plants” that include the silver blue shrub (Melianthus major), the foxtail agave (Agave attenuata), the cold-resistant Tasmanian tree fern (Dicksonia antarctica). the water lake worthy papyrus (Cyperus papyrus). ), and bear’s chamber (Acanthus mollis), whose foliage was carved into Corinthian columns in ancient Greece.

Its “partial sun edible plants” include “blueberries, calamondina, chard, cilantro, cabbage, kale, kunquat, lettuce and raspberries.”

One of the plants on this list, the calamondina (Citrus mitis), deserves some discussion. When ripe, it produces hundreds of orange or red-orange fruits, between one and two inches in size, over the course of a year. You can confuse a calamondina with a kumquat, another small fruit citrus highly tolerant of cold.

The difference between them is that kumquats are elongated capsules compared to more spherical calamondins. In addition, kumquat trees are weaker than calamondinas. Kumquat trees (Fortunella spp.) Rarely live more than five or six years, while calamondines can withstand twice as many years or more. In addition to its excellent container sample condition, you can also keep the calamondina trees trimmed in a bright decorative hedge six to nine feet high.

Calamondina trees, like lemon and linden trees, are different from oranges, grapefruits and tangerines, in that they bear flowers and fruits throughout the year. Like lemons and limes, calamondinas are acidic and are not usually eaten fresh, but are used in cooking and to flavor salads, desserts, and beverages. Both the fruits and flowers of calamondina are very aromatic and the plants tolerate a somewhat heavy soil in contrast to citrus in general, whose demand for fast drainage soil is well known. Speaking of which, the author draws our attention to the fact that citrus grown in containers use the same soil mixture that is recommended for cacti.

Holmes mentions begonias as candidates for clonal propagation. Large-leaved begonias, such as Dragon Wing types, can be replicated by separating individual leaves, dipping them into the root hormone, and introducing them into a fast-draining spread mixture. The author further informs us that honey can replace the root hormone to induce the cuttings to take root. “Boil two cups of water in a saucepan. Add a tablespoon of honey to the water and mix the two until the honey melts. Turn off the heat and cool the solution to room temperature.” Place the solution in containers and it is ready for immersion in the root cuttings intended for rooting.

I picked up some California poppies from my garden and placed them in a bunch of buds. I had never noticed that its petals close as the sunlight fades in the afternoon. Investigating the subject, I found out that they belong to a select group of species with a similar nictinastic tendency. Nicninasty refers to the movement of plant parts as night falls or as it approaches. I have seen this same behavior in certain daisies, including white African daisy (Osteospermum) and gazanias, available in white, yellow, pink and coppery orange. This nectinic feature is also found in many other daisies, which could explain why daisies are part of the largest plant family on earth with 24,000 species. In fact, the word “daisy” comes from “eye of the day” as the petals around the central discs or the eyes of the daisy flowers close on them at night.

This refreshing new garden book offers useful money-saving tips – Press Telegram Source link This refreshing new garden book offers useful money-saving tips – Press Telegram

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