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Monthly Archives: January 2017

Tips for Indoor Planting

When you think about an indoor garden, you need to ensure that you take into consideration all possible points before actually starting it. First, you need to decide what kind of plants you’ll be planting. Then you need to pick a good location. If the plants that you’re planning to plant need sunshine, then you’ll obviously have to pick a spot near the window where they are exposed to sunlight. If they need shade, then you can have them under the window sill, where they are protected from the sun. Next, you need to make sure that the area is properly cordoned off. Nothing from the inside of the garden gets out, and nothing from the outside goes inside. This way, your garden remains clean and so does the rest of the home. The next thing you need to take care of is proper drainage of the water. All plants need water. So you have to make sure that the water that seeps out gets properly drained and does not mess up the entire room. Given below are some ideas that you may want to try out.

Herb Garden
Nothing looks prettier in the interior of a home than a herb garden. The lush green herbs, together with their tantalizing aroma all mixed together in the air, render a sense of peace and exquisite ‘flavor’ to the house. If you don’t want them on the ground, you can have them in hanging garden planters all around a room. Your options for herbs can be coriander, thyme, mint, etc.

Flower Garden
Nothing says garden better than flowers. And if you don’t have the space for a full-fledged landscape, you can have your own little miniature flower garden inside your home. Pick one flower that blooms in different colors. Roses, gerbera daisies, and orchids are good options but tulips definitely take the cake in indoor flower gardening. They look stunning, especially when they bloom against a wall in a contrasting color.

Vegetable Garden
Another popular idea is a vegetable garden. It is practical and very useful. While most of it will be container gardening, if you have a balcony, you can allot a corner and plant the vegetables directly into the ground too. Chillies and tomatoes are very good options. Avoid roots and tubers for indoor vegetable gardens as they could get quite messy.

Cactus Garden
An unconventional yet fabulous idea for an indoor garden is a cactus garden. Go to your local nursery and get different varieties of cactus plants. The best part of this idea is that since cactus plants are really hardy, you do not have to bother about watering and taking too much care of them. They do that for themselves.

Indoor gardening can bring a sense of peace and calm to your home. It beautifies your home and makes it appear more friendly and relaxed. So, get started on one for your home right away.

Decorative Indoor Plant Pots

From large pots to small ones, to plant hangers, the variety available is endless. Combine the greenery with cool and warm shades of pots, and enhance all that nature has to provide to you. Take a look at the types of pots for indoor plants you can use to elevate the beauty of your interior space.

Plastic Pots
If you are looking for cheap plant pots, then plastic is your best bet. Not only is it cheap, it is also durable and requires extremely low maintenance. Furthermore, plastic pots, unlike clay pots are not porous, which means your plants will require lesser attention from you in terms of watering. On the other hand, since it is not porous, it also means oxygen will not reach the plants well. As such, you must use a well-draining potting mix. Like any other pot, even plastic pots for indoor plants must have holes or a tray to collect the excess water, which should then be drained.

Terracotta Pots
Terracotta pots are the most traditional plant pots that have always been used by gardening enthusiasts. Since they are porous, they overcome the disadvantages of a plastic pot. However, indoor plants kept in terracotta pots require regular watering, as the pot tends to absorb excess moisture from the soil. Drainage holes in these pots are a must. If you wish to use terracotta pots indoors, it is advisable to keep potted plants that do not have high watering needs, as they can otherwise get a little messy. An ideal plant would be an aloe vera plant or any other cactus.

Ceramic Pots
Recent and more interesting additions to container gardening and pots for indoor plants include ceramic pots. The variety in shapes, sizes, colors, and designs make them unique additions to your interiors. They provide all the advantages of a plastic pot, but are definitely better looking. Place them on the floor, or on plant stands, they can only look extremely appealing. Even if you don’t place plants in them and simply the empty pots in strategic locations, they will serve as wonderful focal points for your living space.

Stainless Steel Pots
Sleek, modern and stylish, stainless steel pots for indoor gardening take the entire process to a whole new level. If you have a modern living space, then these stainless steel pots will do wonders for the aesthetic appeal of your interiors. The sleek stainless steel with the soothing greenery of houseplants makes for an excellent combination that can be used to enhance the indoors. Square, cylindrical or long rectangular pots, take your pick from any that suit your taste.

Indoor Plant Pot Hangers
If you don’t want to occupy floor space with potted plants, then indoor plant hangers are for you. Placed on a lone pillar, or hanging in your balcony, these provide the beauty of greenery without occupying too much floor space. These are of course ideal for hanging indoor plants. A combination of a couple of potted plants kept on the floor along with these hanging plant pots, will make the entire look perfect. Plant hangers are available in all the aforementioned materials, so you can take your pick depending on your personal taste.

When selecting indoor plant pots, keep in mind certain pointers. For one, no matter what material you select, the pot should look good with the plant, and the space in which you are going to keep it. Keep in mind the larger picture rather than the momentary vision. Secondly, the size of the plant should be proportionate to the pot you are going to keep it in. A round bush growing in a rectangular pot will look silly, though these may be beautiful elements individually. Apart from the terracotta pots, none of the other materials mentioned here are porous, which means they will require you to follow the regime mentioned for the plastic pots.

Types of Seeds for Plantation

With organic farming gaining popularity day-by-day, the planters are left with two choices: whether to go for genetically modified hybrid seeds or to opt for organic seeds to get an organic yield. In my opinion, organic seeds are a better choice, as they are more safe and natural. However, while selecting a particular type of seeds for sowing make sure the variety of seeds, whether organic or hybrid, has been used before and has given a healthy yield.

Seeds for Growing Cereal Plants
You can find these plant seeds for sowing at a farmers market, or order them online. Select good quality seeds to grow your cereals, and seek advice from the supplier for the care instructions. Some of the cereal plant seeds are bran, wheat, rice, corn, etc.

Seeds for Growing Fruit/Flower Plants
Fruit and flower seeds are easily available at a nursery; again make sure you select good quality fruit tree seeds, and select the variety of fruit you want to grow. For example, there are various varieties of apples, try to get your hands on the seeds that are native to your region. Some of fruit and flower plants grown using seeds are peaches, apricots, nectarines, roses, sunflower, etc.

Seeds for Growing Vegetables
Again, you can find seeds to grow vegetables or herb plants at your local nursery. Pick out healthy, non-bruised, and large seeds to get a healthy yield. Examples of easy-to-grow vegetables by using seeds are tomato, squash, beans, cucumbers, spinach, etc.

Seeds for Growing Grass
To grow beautiful grass you can buy seeds from online suppliers or at your local nursery. It is okay if you go with the quality grass seeds which are non-organic varieties, as grass is used only for decorative purpose.

Seeds for Growing Herbs
Herbs add great flavor to a recipe. Many people tend to keep a small herb garden near their kitchen. It is possible to grow herbs in small containers, and many herb plants don’t need much maintenance. Some examples of easy-to-grow herbs are parsley, mint, rosemary, sage, and chives.

Types of Edible Seeds

Some of the above types of seeds also fall in the edible seeds type, for example cereals, many fruits, and vegetable seeds are edible such as cucumber seeds and tomato seeds. Given below are the types of edible seeds used in the kitchen and the ones used to feed birds.

Seeds That Can Be Eaten Raw
Many seeds can be eaten raw, and can be found at a supermarket. Make sure you select a packet of good quality ones. Some examples of such seeds are: mung bean seeds, peanuts, radish, sunflower, clover, etc.

Seeds That Need to Be Cooked Before Eating
There are many seeds which need to be soaked for many hours. After some time these seeds sprout, and become edible. While some seeds are soaked for hours, and then cooked well for them to become edible. Some examples of such seeds are pinto, kidney beans, white kidney beans, green gram, soybeans, broccoli, etc.

Seeds That are Used for Making Beverages
There are some specific seeds which are not eaten, but used to make beverages. The most common example is of coffee beans. Coffee is one of the most popular beverage around the world and many prefer to grind these beans at home to make fresh coffee, rather than using the store-available powder. Similarly, chia seeds are used to make energy drink, while rose hips are used to make tea.

Seeds to Feed Birds
For feeding the birds there are various kinds of seeds used. However, certain bird seeds attract specific group of birds. The seeds used to feed birds are sunflower, millet, cracked corn, thistle, wheat, oats, etc.
Some Interesting-looking Seeds
Many people tend to collect seeds which are beautiful. Given below are pictures of some interesting seeds, some are in their pods, some have a hard shell, while some have a fuzzy cover on them. There are also few interesting seeds like that of the Chinese lantern plant which after drying gets a hollow, intricate-looking shell.

Tips Keep Cats Out of Flower Beds

Tip 1: Before you can implement any steps to stop the cat from ruining your precious flowerbeds, it is advisable to talk to the owner of the cat and know if it is domesticated. However, if you are that unfortunate a cat owner, it is recommended that you look into options like cat proofing your garden or building cat enclosures. Believe me, it will not only make your neighbors happy, but your cat will be safe as well. Building a toilet area for your cat, like a sand pit, is a great idea.

Tip 2: There are many commercial cat deterrents available in the market. Most of these chemicals contain the active ingredient, methyl nonyl ketone, which should not be used near food crops. Any of these can be used to protect your flowerbeds.

Tip 3: This is one method that I am sure will work, even if for a limited time. As soon as you see the cats near your flowerbeds, just squirt some water on them. Since cats HATE water, they will probably just get flustered and not come back again. There are certain motion-activated sprinklers, that use infrared to detect the animal and shoot a jet of water on it. If the cat belongs to someone you know, it is advisable that you tell them of the plan and assure them that you will not hurt the cat. This method is, however, severely limited by the fact that some weird cats might actually think you are playing with them!

Tip 4: A great way to keep the cats off the flowerbeds, is by spreading peels of lemon, orange, or grapefruit on it. For some reason, cats seem to have a developed distaste for citrus smells. Drops of citrus oil or coffee grounds also seem to do the job just as well.

Tip 5: By installing a fine garden netting over the soil in the flowerbed, you can ascertain that the cat does not dig away the soil. Placing it an inch or two above the flowerbed ensures that they are not walking on it either. You can also try spreading pine cones, by adding it to the mulch on the flowerbeds. Since cat paws are sensitive, they would usually avoid such places. Alternately, you can cover the ground with rough-surfaced rocks or use the branches of a thorny plant.

Tip 6: Most gardeners around the world have the ‘perfect plant solution’ and it involves planting certain plants in the garden that repel cats. Marigolds are a great option in this case. Not only do they look good and are fairly easy to grow, but they also possess a scent that keeps cats away from the flowerbeds. Plants such as geranium, pennyroyal, rue, lavender, garlic, lemon thyme, lemon verbena, and other strongly scented plants are also unpleasant to cats. A weed originating in Europe, known as ‘coleus canina’, deters the presence of cats, by emitting an odor offensive to them (but not to humans).

Tip 7: High frequency sounds emitted by ultrasonic devices usually send the cat running, while causing no distress to your ears.

If these tips do not seem to work, try to make your garden less cat-friendly, by doing away with the huge cat magnets, like bird feeders and birdbaths. If you have catnip plants, please do away with them unless you want cats from miles away, swarming into your garden. There are people who also recommend getting a dog. However, I do not think it’s a good idea because if the dog attacks the cat, you could be fined. Also instead of the cat ruining the flowerbeds, a dog may destroy it in completely different ways and then you would probably end up reading an article on ‘how to keep dogs out of flowerbeds’.