Pond Tips Q and A: From Algae to Eco-Pond Liners

IMG 2608 Pond Tips Q and A: From Algae to Eco Pond Liners

Ronnie Citron-Fink of Care 2.com and I got together last week to do a ‘Q and A’ roundup of common questions regarding pond care and maintenance.  I’ve come up with some great tips and advice for her readers in “Pond Secrets: Create Vibrant, Healthy Ponds With The Green Gardenista,” tackling issues like algae, pond design, fish choices, and eco-friendly pond liners.

Looking for some tips and encouragement?  Read our interview, and follow Ronnie’s own pond and garden adventures as she “goes green” in her own neighborhood!

Free Container Designs From Better Homes and Gardens

ss 100422941 Free Container Designs From Better Homes and Gardens

You don’t have to have a green thumb or endless container garden know-how to create an impressive pot of blooms, all you have to know is the right place to look for inspiration! Better Homes and Gardens website is a great place to start looking for ideas when you hit a mental roadblock.  They have a rotating slide show of 30 recipes for beautiful container gardens ready for your perusal, with names and labels on each plant to help you.  The recipes feature plants that are tried and true, and that work well together in a container garden. The pictures can be printed out and taken with you to the garden center for easy matching, or a rough idea of what textures and heights to mix together.

Next time you need an idea or two check out their site for a little inspiration, I know I do!

Is Cocoa Shell Mulch Dangerous Around Pets?

The short answer is that it could be harmful if trace amounts of the Theobromine oil in the shells are retained after their processing, and your pet would have to eat a large amount of the shells. Theobromine oil, which is poisonous to pets in large doses, is present in large amounts in the cocoa bean itself, the cocoa shells have much smaller amounts of the oil in their raw state.

Cocoa shells like any other live tree bark, or shredded wood must go through a composting process that starts the decomposition process, and makes the product safe for use around plants. In the case of the cocoa shells, the process to make them market ready involves heating them up to extreme temperatures to dehydrate them and remove any residual oils.

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Why Are My New Seedlings Turning Yellow?

4470726821 883620201b Why Are My New Seedlings Turning Yellow?
Photo Courtesy of: Librarianguish

Question: I’m starting my own plants from seeds, and they are turning yellow and dying, why is that?

Yellow seedlings are a product of root damage from either a water or fertilizer problem at the roots.  Too much water and not enough air circulation at the roots can cause this, as can a lack of moisture.  Double check how much water you are using on you plants, and how often.  New seedlings need moisture every day, so use either less water, or change the time of day that you water, so the water feeds the plants and doesn’t either completely evaporate, or lay in the soil overnight, and promote rot. Also identify whether you have been using too much, or not enough fertilizer on them.

Lastly check over your seedling bed, and see if overcrowding could be the problem. Too much competition over natural resources can also cause yellowing and death in new plants.

Why Is My Succulent Getting ‘Leggy?’

IMG 2450 1024x768 Why Is My Succulent Getting ‘Leggy?’

Question:  Why is my succulent getting ‘leggy’ and dying off at the bottom?

Great question!  Succulents come from bright, arid climates, and if you keep them in areas of indirect light they will get ‘leggy.’  If you have been keeping this little guy away from a nice bright window, or an indoor grow light now is the time change your strategy, and to make a few cuttings from the top for propagation.

If you have a rooting powder, take a cutting off the tops of the plants, dip the cut end in the rooting powder, and plant them in a dish with a good succulent potting mix. Keep the new cuttings in a moist, bright area, and wait a few weeks for new root systems to develop. Once the cuttings are ready for transplanting you can start over with your new plants.

Spring Tips: Inspecting Perennials For Winter Damage

Old Irish Cottage Spring Tips: Inspecting Perennials For Winter Damage

Winter is over, at least according to the calendar. Whether the snow has stopped in your neighborhood or not is less certain.  No matter where you live, your early Spring garden checklist needs to include inspecting your perennials for winter weather damage.  Snow, ice, and the wind blowing and laying around you yard can cause your garden favorites to shift and uproot themselves.

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Get 10% Off Your Next Big Lowe’s Purchase

LowesLBSTlogo432x239 Get 10% Off Your Next Big Lowe’s Purchase

Need a new appliance?   Have big plans for your yard this season?   Fred and Ethan over at One Project Closer.com have rounded up a few Lowe’s coupons for your Spring 2010 projects!  Follow the link above and check out the new coupons.



The New Gardening Wiki

tiger lily 300x225 The New Gardening Wiki

Have you discovered the new online encyclopedia just for us?  Gardenology is a new online resource and encyclopedia set up much the same as Wikipedia.  It’s growing by leaps and bounds as gardeners and bloggers alike add their own knowledge and photography to it, and learn from other’s expertise.

This is a great tool to bookmark if you haven’t already, and have on standby for all of your garden planning projects. Check it out, and enjoy this great free resource!

Photo Courtesty of: audreyjm529

Sears Coupons For Year-Long Savings

tools Sears Coupons For Year Long Savings

The colder winter months have a way of trapping you in the house and forcing you to notice all the little home projects that have been stacking up through the year.  There’s no time like the present to get the house in order, and save money in the process!

Fred and Ethan at “One Project Closer” are constantly updating an extensive list of coupons from Sears, and will have coupons for hearth and home available and current year-round!

There’s nothing greener than fixing what you’ve got, and saving a few colorful benjamins in the process!  Follow this link for an up-to-date list of  Sears coupons!

Photo Courtesy of: geishaboy500

Devils Ivy: Why Do The Leaves Change Pattern?

Devil’s Ivy Raphidophora aurea and Epipremnum aureum

img 1977 1024x768 Devils Ivy: Why Do The Leaves Change Pattern?

Wondered why your multi-colored Devil’s Ivy Leaves have changed their color permanently?

The leaves of this plant will change from a bright green and yellow spotted leaf designs to a solid green color if the plant is not getting enough light.  It’s just that simple!  Although this office plant does well  in many situations and isn’t something to thrust into bright light, with minimal lighting it will actually produce only solid green leaves, and literally change it’s spots.

As more office buildings are opting to leave their lights off all weekend long, or install motion sensitive lights to conserve energy, plants that enjoy 7 day per week light are adapting to far less light per week.  While Devil’s Ivy is not damaged by less light, if the color change bothers you it may be time to move the plant to a location underneath an emergency light that is on 24 hours per day – 7 days per week, or nearer a window.

It may take a few months, but with a little more light, your plant will return it’s leaf pattern to what it was when you purchased it.

img 1974 1024x768 Devils Ivy: Why Do The Leaves Change Pattern?