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How To Grow Spinach In The Home Garden

plants

When it comes to vegetable gardening, spinach planting is a great addition. Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is a wonderful source of Vitamin A and one of the healthiest sources of so many minerals and nutrients that we can grow. When you think about how to grow spinach, think about which kind you’d like to grow. There is crinkled leaf spinach, plain leaf spinach and savoy spinach. All are wonderful in their own way.

How to Plant Spinach
One of the best tips for growing spinach I’ve received is to make sure to plant it early in the spring. How to plant spinach is to put it in the soil as soon as your garden space is ready. Spinach planting is done by planting the seeds directly outdoors, ½ inch deep. Another of the great tips for growing spinach is to plant about 12 to 15 seeds per foot of row to ensure plenty of spinach growth. Once your plants are at least 1 inch tall, start thinning your spinach plants to about 2-4 inches apart. Finally, one of the best tips for growing spinach is to make sure your rows are only 12 inches apart, which keeps weeds down to a minimum.

spinach

The best way I know for growing spinach is to do a planting every couple to every few weeks. This will yield fresh spinach all summer long. Because spinach is a leafy vegetable, you should always rinse the leaves before using. However, one thing about spinach planting you will love is that you don’t have to fertilize the ground before planting or during the growth phase. Spinach just doesn’t require it.

benefits

Harvesting or Picking Spinach
It really doesn’t take long for your spinach to fill out the rows; much like lettuce. Once you see five or six good leaves on a plant, go ahead and pick them. Fresh spinach is great mixed with lettuce in a salad or by itself in a spinach salad. You can wait until you have enough and cook them down as well. If you planted your spinach as suggested, you’ll be picking spinach all summer long and you shouldn’t run out of fresh spinach until the end of the growing season in late summer to early fall.

Fast Growing Vegetables – Learn About Vegetable Plants With Quick Growth

 

quick-grow-pix

Here are some of the best vegetable plants with quick growth times:

lettuce

Leaf lettuce – Ready in about 30 days. Not to be confused with head lettuce, leaf lettuce puts out individual leaves that can be harvested one at a time. After very little time, the leaves are big and plentiful enough to begin picking. The plant will continue to put out new leaves, too, which means this fast growing plant keeps on giving.

radish-2
Radish – Ready in 20 to 30 days. Radishes are the king of fast growing vegetables. Their seeds sprout after just a few days, and the plants grow very quickly.

 

spinach

Spinach – Ready in about 30 days. Very similar to leaf lettuce, spinach plants continue to put out new leaves, and the first ones can be harvested just a month after planting the seeds. (These very early leaves are called baby spinach).

bush-beans

Bush beans – Ready in 50 days. Unlike the leafy plants in this list, bush beans have to grow an entire plant and then put out pods. That doesn’t slow them down very much, though. Bush beans are small, self-supporting plants, not to be confused with their slower growing pole bean cousins.

 

arugula
Arugula – Ready in 20 days. The little leaves of arugula have a sharp, bitter taste that goes great in salads.

SOURCE

Giving Potted Plants As Gifts

potted

Giving potted plants as gifts is growing in popularity, and with good reason. Potted plants are rarely more expensive than cut flowers, but they last much longer. With the right kind of care, they can even last for years. That said, not all potted plants are good gift ideas and, unfortunately, not all potted plant gifts can be persuaded to bloom again.

Ideas for Potted Plant Gifts
When you’re looking to give flowering plants as gifts, you want to choose something that’s easy to care for. Unless you know your recipient to be an avid gardener who likes a challenge, you should opt for something that’s very low maintenance.

Remember, you want to give a decoration, not a responsibility. There are a few especially popular potted plant gifts that are known for their ease of care.

african-violets

African violets are an excellent choice for low light, and they’ll keep flowering almost year round.

clivia
Clivia is a very hardy houseplant that blooms red and orange around Christmas and can last for years and years with little care.

Small herbs, like lavender and rosemary, are the whole package: easy to care for, fragrant, and useful.

gift-in-pots

Potted Plants vs. Cut Flowers
If you’ve been given flowering plants as gifts, you may be at a loss as to what to do with them. Cut flowers, of course, will only last so long and then must be tossed. Most potted plants, however, can be replanted in the garden or left to grow in their pots.

tulips

Unfortunately, some potted plants, like mums, are likely to last only one season.
Flowering bulb plants, like tulips and hyacinths, can be saved for years. After they’re done blooming, place the pots outdoors or in a sunny window and keep watering them. They won’t bloom again this season, but the foliage will continue to grow. Later, when the foliage withers and yellows naturally, cut it off and dig up the bulbs.

hyacinths
Dry them in a cool dark place and store them until the fall, when you can plant them in another pot or directly in your garden. They should come up naturally in the spring.

Azaleas and African violets can be kept in their pots to bloom for years. Hydrangeas, lily of the valley, and begonias can be transplanted out into the garden.

SOURCE

Waling-waling orchid (Vanda Sanderiana) – New Philippines’ National Flower

landscape-waling

Why should Waling-waling orchid be declared as a national flower in the Philippines?
Waling-waling is not only indigenous but also endemic to the Philippines compared to the Sampaguita, a native plant from India and Arabia.

waling
Over thousand of orchids species thrive in the Philippines. They’re known for their exotic beauty.
Waling-waling is known as the best orchid variety in the Philippines. It usually lives in the tropical forest of Mount Apo in Davao and Zamboanga del Sur.

Waling-waling is described as the “Queen of Philippine Orchids”. It’s the most beautiful and the rarest orchid. It becomes the most wanted flower in Mindanao for its colorful and large variety. Waling-waling usually grows in tree trunks in the rainforests of Davao, Sultan Kudarat and other parts of Mindanao.

waling-2

It blooms once a year, between the month of July and October. Due to its high demand and value, it has brought into near-extinction.

Waling-waling is also very popular in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Hawaii which makes it one of the world’s famous orchids.

Some important facts about Waling-waling:

• The native Bagobo people worshipped the Waling-waling as a diwata.
• It has two forms: pink and white.
• It’s usually used in hybridization.
• Waling-waling orchid bears flowers early when raised at high altitude, according to studies.

SOURCE

 

Rose Traditions & Meanings: Long Stemmed Roses

long-stemmed-vases
Long stemmed roses carry a deep meaning and are often the most desired and appreciated type of rose. A bouquet of long stemmed roses signifies, “I will remember you always.” A single long stemmed rose imparts a message of simplicity, such as “I love you” or “Thank you.”

The elegant appearance of the long stemmed rose has made it one of the most popular flowers in existence. As the classic symbol for love, long stemmed red roses have become the preferred choice for romantic occasions. Long stemmed roses are also available in a variety of other colors, which makes them a fitting gift for a multitude of occasions. Their long, rigid stems make them ideal for arrangement and presentation in a vase, which has helped them become the favored rose for most cut flower arrangements.
Long stemmed roses, as we know them today, are typically variants of a classification of rose known as the Hybrid Tea. These roses originated in the 1800’s when, for the first time, roses newly introduced from China were cross-bred with European roses. The results were so revolutionary that the advent of the Hybrid Tea rose is generally regarded as the turning point between Old Garden Roses and Modern Roses.

long-with-choco

These long stemmed roses with large single blooms combined the pleasing scent of the tea rose with the ability to bloom repeatedly throughout the year. They also introduced a whole new range of colors to the palette. They quickly grew in popularity and are now the roses most often used to express our heart-felt sentiments to our loved ones.

Long stemmed roses are special because of the meanings we associate with them. They carry a wealth of significance that adds to their already impressive appearance. The traditional message of a bouquet of long stemmed roses is, “I will remember you always.” They can also be used to communicate to someone, “I still love you.” And of course, a bouquet of long stemmed red roses is the ultimate expression of true love. They can represent a love that runs deep and is long-lasting. A long stem rose bouquet can express that extra bit of love and gratitude to someone who is extra special.

Proflowers,com

 

Say it with Single Rose : Learn Its Meaning too

A single Rose says a lot and a lot more distinctly. Find out it what it says in different colors.

single rose

 

A single red rose says: “I love you” and “You’re the only one for me”.

 

single white

A single white rose says: “My feelings are pure”

 

single yellow

A single yellow rose says: “You bring joy to my life” “Let’s be friends”

 

single pink

A single pink rose says: “I like you”

 

single orange

A single orange rose says: “I am proud of you”

 

single peach

A single peach rose says: “Thank you” “I sympathize with you”

 

single lavender

A single lavender rose says: “I am enchanted by you”

 

single blue

A single blue rose says: “You seem like an unattainable dream”

 

crown
A crown of roses indicates reward of virtue

bouquet

A bouquet of roses in full bloom indicates gratitude

roses in tuft grass
Rose in a tuft of grass indicates there is everything to be gained by good company.

Growing Vanda Orchids

Vanda 3s

The Vanda Orchid is not very different from the Ascocenda orchid and the Phalaenopsis orchid or the Moth Orchid as it is fondly thought of. All these orchid species are totally tropical. The Vanda orchids are no more difficult to grow than other orchids, but they do have special cultural needs if you want to bring out the best in this orchid species. The Vanda orchids originated from the warm islands of the South Pacific. Places like Malaysia, Thailand, Borneo and the Philippines are home, natural home, to these orchid species. These sympodial epiphytic orchids prefer full sun exposure and thus like bright light, warm temperatures, and lots of humidity. They have long, trailing roots that draw moisture and nutrients from the atmosphere.

waling
The Vanda orchid, or the Vandaceous orchid to give its proper name, has become so popular since they are an excellent orchid species that lends itself to hybridization with several other orchid species. It has been used in so many successful hybridizations. Any mention of the Vanda orchid is not complete without mentioning the Vanda sanderiana (also known as the Euanthe sanderiana).

This is a truly beautiful orchid that bears bright pink and maroon orchid flowers that have spectacularly long-lasting characteristics. Another spectacular example of the Vanda orchid hybridization is the Vanda Rothschildiana x Vanda Coerulea, which is possibly the bluest of all orchid flowers with heavy contrasts of white. The orchid flowers itself are saucer-sized, flat blooms with an extremely heavy substance and a crystalline texture that glistens in the light.

two vanda varieties
Cultivation
These days the Vanda orchid is grown widely around the world, in Durban (South Africa), in the Netherlands, and in Florida (USA) despite the fact that they are rather unwilling to flower in climates other than their natural habitat. The fact that there are many successful hybridization of this orchid species accounts for the widespread occurrence of this orchid species. The wide range of colors which includes some fairly good blues and browns has added greatly to their popularity.

The Vanda orchid comes in yellow, orange, scarlet, deep purple and bright fuchsia orchid flowers. There are many size variations and some of these orchid flowers sport exotic markings or can be covered with spots or stripes. Many Vanda orchids have a powerful fragrance. The inflorescences appear from the axis of the leaves. The orchid flowers are long lasting and appear in a cluster along the spike. I just need to add that these orchids have long lasting flowers on the plant and not when used as cut flowers.

vanda white

Temperature
Like most tropical orchids, the Vanda orchid prefers warm temperatures with plenty of air movement. These orchids will continue to grow anytime of the year if given warm temperatures, plenty of light and even full exposure to the sun. They require high temperatures in summer and winter. These orchids will perish if exposed to frost or cold for long periods if grown outside in your home orchid garden.

Even if you cultivate your orchid plants indoors, you need to ensure that your Vanda orchids are kept at the optimal temperature where they will thrive. In cooler areas the orchid plant will go into a dormant state during winter. This dormancy is not to the orchid plant’s detriment because it in most cases result in bigger and better flowers. The ideal temperature range for the Vanda orchid is a low of 15° Celsius (59° Fahrenheit) in winter and a summer high of 32° Celsius (98° Fahrenheit). The Vanda orchids are capable of tolerating higher and lower temperatures for short periods only.

Light
All Vanda orchids require light. Too little light will result in lanky and soft orchid plants. If you are cultivating these orchids at home be sure to make use of 20 to 30 percent shade cloth. The Vanda orchid is fast growing and therefore prefer high light levels. A covered roof is even better since you can then protect the Vanda orchid with its blooms from the harsh rain and winds.

vanda yellow

Water and humidity
The Vanda orchid or the Vandaceous orchid loves water. Watering the Vanda orchid should happen on a daily basis in slightly drier but warm climates. In true tropical warm weather fashion, the Vanda orchid requires water and high humidity.

You also need to keep in mind that the Vanda orchid also likes to be cooled by a constant breeze. This makes air movement vital to the successful cultivation of Vanda orchids. Stagnant air can result in fungal and bacterial rot.

Feeding
All Vandaceous orchids are heavy feeders. You should provide them with a high nitrogen orchid fertilizer such as 30:10:10 in spring to shake it up after its winter dormancy. During the summer you should follow the feeding schedule with a general fertilizer and a good bloom booster in autumn. There is no need to feed your Vanda orchid during the winter, but if you intend to keep your orchid plants warm during winter then you can continue to feed to orchid plant. In excessively cool weather winter feeding would be wasteful. (Tip: Always water before fertilizing.)

Pests and Diseases
The Vanda orchid is not particularly susceptible to pests or disease. In the event of scale insects being detected, as wiping the surface of the leaves with methylated spirits on a cotton bud and following up with a systemic spray should stop the problem. Always try to steer clear of chemical as it is the least recommended route of treatment for infected Vanda orchids. Only treat bad infestations with chemicals.

vanda orange

Potting mix and Repotting
It is known that the Vanda orchid may grow to be very large plants. They normally grow best suspended in wooden baskets and require warm growing conditions with plenty of bright light. Thus the potting of the Vanda orchid is referred to as Basket Culture. These orchid plants are air-loving plants and they do not require any media in which to be cultivated. A wooden slated basket is ideal. From seedling stage the orchid plant should be secured to the base of the wooden basket with wire so as to prevent them from moving around.

blue vanda

Before you know it the orchid plant will develop into a young plant that will attach itself to the basket and produce several roots. As time passes the Vanda orchids will grow and ‘repotting’ can be when you simply place the smaller basket into a bigger basket until the plants are too big to handle. Then you should consider cutting the orchid plant back and replant them in baskets of a more suitable, manageable size.

One major advantage of basket culture for the Vanda orchid is that they are less prone to pick up fungal and bacterial diseases.

General tips for Vanda Orchid care

If the Vanda orchid is grown as a houseplant, they appreciate spending the warmer months outside. They like bright light, but the leaves will burn if they go directly from indoor conditions to full sunlight. The Vanda orchid needs less water in the fall and winter but may be watered most mornings in the summer, especially when grown outside under trees.

Vanda orchids are very rewarding. The new hybrids are free blooming and usually flower several times a year. Vanda orchid flowers are long lasting on the plant but do not last well when cut.
Vanda orchids are often grown outdoors in hanging baskets during the summer months. The Vanda orchid is a heavy feeder and should be fed a balanced fertilizer often.

Source: Orchidkingdom

Orchid Growing Tips: How To Take Care Of Orchid Plants Indoors

types

Orchids are some of the most commonly grown houseplants. Provided they have proper growing conditions, it isn’t difficult to learn how to take care of orchid plants. Keep reading to get some indoor orchid care tips.
How Do I Take Care of an Orchid Flower?
Care of indoor orchid plants is easy once you learn how to grow them properly. These interesting flowers can be found in a range of colors and sizes depending on the variety. They make excellent accent plantings to nearly any home décor. Orchids require little care once all their basic needs are met such as light, temperature, and humidity.

two vanda varieties

Orchid Growing Tips
Most orchids require moist, well-draining conditions. There are several types of growing media that can be used with orchid plants—redwood or fir bark, sphagnum peat moss, rocks, cork, charcoal, sand, potting soil, etc. A basic mix for growing orchids consists of coarse perlite, fir bark, and sphagnum moss. You can also add charcoal but this is optional. Generally, the grade of bark is dependent on the type of orchid grown. For instance, phalaenopsis orchids are usually grown in coarse bark, cattleyas in medium bark, and young orchid plants are best grown in fine bark.

Orchids require shallow planting. Place orchids in an east to south-facing window or room. These plants prefer bright, indirect light. Insufficient light results in poor flowering. However, too much light can lead to leaf scorch.
Temperature is also important for indoor orchid care. While orchids tolerate cooler or warmer temperatures throughout their normal growing season, they need to be about 15 degrees cooler at night than during the day in order to bloom sufficiently.

indoor vase

Indoor Orchid Care Tips
Orchids need ample water but should be allowed to dry out some between watering. One way to check for watering is by poking your finger about an inch into the growing media. If it’s dry, give it some water; otherwise, let it be.

Indoor orchid plants also need adequate humidity, about fifty to seventy percent. There are various ways to increase the humidity in your home. Place a water-filled saucer or tray of pebbles beneath plants, mist plants daily, or use a humidifier.
Fertilize orchids weekly or bi-weekly while they are producing new growth and decrease to monthly or bi-monthly intervals once they mature. Discontinue altogether once the plants go dormant.
Additional orchid care tips include re-potting, which is normally done every other year. If your orchids suddenly stop blooming but have suitable light, temperature, and humidity, then re potting may be necessary.
Also keep an eye out for signs of pests or disease. Orchids are occasionally affected by mealybugs, scale, and aphids. These can usually be washed off or treated with insecticidal soap.

Source: Gardeningknowhow

Growing Bermuda Grass: Learn About it

bermuda frame

Information on Growing Bermuda Grass

The Spanish brought Bermuda grass to America in the 1500’s from Africa. This attractive, dense grass, also known as “South Grass,” is an adaptable warm-season turf that many people use for their lawns. It is also found in pastures, on athletic fields, golf courses, parks and more. Let’s learn more about how and when to plant Bermuda grass.

Bermuda grass is a cold tolerant, warm-season grass that will grow as far north as Virginia. In warmer tropical areas, Bermuda grass will remain green all year long. In other areas that drop below 60 degrees F., it will go dormant.
Ideal growing regions for Bermuda grass include the United States Department of Agriculture Zones 7 through 10. Growing Bermuda grass is easy as long as you have the right conditions.

Note – For those that have not planted Bermuda grass for turf or other practical uses, its presence can be that of a weed and is very hard to get rid of.

When to Plant Bermuda Grass
The best time to plant Bermuda grass is in the spring once temperatures are consistently warm; this is generally in April or March in warmer regions.

How to Grow Bermuda Grass
Bermuda is not overly picky about soil type and will even tolerate salt spray, making it a good option for coastal regions.

Bermuda grass does well in full sun, but it will tolerate some shade.
At one point in time, Bermuda was grown only from sod or sprigs but is now widely available in seed form. For best results, use 1 pound of hulled Bermuda grass per 1000 square feet. This grass sprouts quickly and is very hard to get rid of once it starts growing.

Start by raking the area to be seeded until it is as smooth as possible. Make a mixture of equal parts sand and seed. The seed can be broadcast using a spreader or by hand for smaller areas. To avoid skips in the lawn, distribute half the mixture lengthwise and half of the mixture crosswise.

Sod stocks

Bermuda Grass Sod
Bermuda grass sod also known as Bermuda Sod are created mainly out of hybrid grass or some times from improved common varieties. The hybrid Bermuda grasses do not produce seed and are propagated by vegetative method like Bermuda sod. The hybrids are very fine in texture and expensive than common varieties such as Sahara. Bermuda sod requires extensive care and maintenance for growth and development.

So why and when will you use Bermuda grass sod instead of seed?
Bermuda seeds take time (about 7 to 10 days) to germinate and then 60 to 90 days to get fully established. If you are planning to cover a large lawn or a turf, it may take a year to fully cover the area. Also, the grass grown out of the Bermuda seed may not be very dense and uniform as you would like in a golf green.

Bermuda sod, which are like cut outs of Bermuda grass beds, provides an instant coverage with green grass. The sod quickly takes root in your lawn to produce dense and lush green coverage. While Bermuda seed can be sowed only from mid-May to mid-August, Bermuda sod can be laid out throughout the year till the ground is not frozen. For best results, Bermuda sod should be laid out from mid-March to November.

bermuda_i00019d
Here are the recommended steps of how to lay Bermuda sod.

  • Step 1
    Ensure that you have cleaned up all the weeds by applying non-selective weed killer. This needs to be done at least two weeks before you start laying Bermuda Sod. Store sod stacked in a cool, dark place until ready to lay.
  • Step 2
    You would need to get a soil test done to know the recommended amount of fertilizer that needs to be applied into the soil. A fertilizer of grade 5-10-15 means that it has 5% Nitrogen, 10% Phosphate and 15% Potash as nutrients.
    So, if the recommended nutrient for your soil is 3 lb. of Nitrogen per 1000 square feet, you will need to do a simple math to calculate the fertilizer amount required. In the above case, divide 3 lb. by 5 (% of Nitrogen) and multiply by 100 to get the required amount of fertilizer per 1000 square feet, which is 60 lbs.
    Once you know the amount for the whole area, mix recommended amount of fertilizer, lime and organic matter thoroughly with the soil. You will need to till the soil up to 6 inches for this.
  • Step 3
    Rake the soil smooth for the whole area. Ensure that the soil is at least 1 inch below the level of sidewalks or sprinkler heads. Remove stones and grassy debris.
  • Step 4
    Roll the area with a water-filled roller. If you see low spots, fill them with soil.
  • Step 5
    Rake the soil smooth. Apply 1/4 to 1/2 inch of water the night before laying sod. The soil should be moist when you start laying it, but not muddy.
  • Step 6
    Start laying the sod pieces end-to-end starting along the longest straight edge of the area. Make sure that each Bermuda sod piece is tightly placed next to each other. Stagger the sod pieces in adjacent rows so that the seams do not line up. Cut uneven or irregular end pieces with a carpet knife. Use a small hatchet to trim pieces to fit around obstructions.
  • Step 7
    Roll the entire area once more to ensure good sod-to-soil contact. Water the grass thoroughly everyday for the first week. Keep the lawn well watered after the first week and follow a regular watering schedule. Water deeply each time for healthy root growth.

    tifway bermuda

  • Here is a recommended method for watering new Bermuda Sod:
    1. Apply one inch of water immediately after the sod is laid.
    2. Water the sod daily and ensure that the top one inch of soil is kept moist. This needs to continue until the sod is rooted to the soil
    3. After that, apply one-fourth inch of water every third day for nine days.
    4. Next apply one-half inch of water every fifth day for ten days.
    5. After the sod is established, apply one inch of water per week for the rest of the growing season.
    6. You should also consider rainfall before deciding how much of water to apply.

    Credit: bermuda-atractions.com

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