Any Season Gardening - Part 2
How To Maintain An Any Season Garden
Last month we got started with a fun project called "Any Season Gardening" that allows you to truly do some indoor gardening during any season!
We shared with you a better, simpler, way to bring some of your favorite colorful outdoor plants indoors, anytime you want, which is always great, but especially in the winter.
We also discussed how to install it, choices for containers, material, plants and climate, so this month we can finish up with how to maintain and care for our "Any Season" Garden.
Cleaning and Pinching Back
Like all plants, indoors or out, our "Any Season" plants need to be kept clean and pinched back. If you have chosen flowering plants, once flowers turn brown or have finished flowering, remove them. If you have chosen foliage plants, remove any dead or yellowing leaves.
If plants start to get too big, or if a plant with a trailing habit like Bacopa or Ivy start to get too long, pinch them back to keep bushy and healthy.
Foliage plants like to have their leaves cleaned, so if your "Any Season Garden" is in an area where dust or dirt blows in, or in the bathroom or laundry room where humidity can cause dust and lint to stick to leaves, take a damp rag and wipe the leaves clean once a month.
Removing dead pansy flower:
You'll be surprised how fast and how much new growth your plants will produce. To keep the plants growing evenly, give each pot a ¼ turn once a week. If your plants aren't growing that quickly, you can turn them ¼ turn every 2 weeks instead. Monitor the growth, and it will give you a good idea when is the best timing for your particular situation.
This is another great thing about keeping the plants in their pots, you can move them around, and if some plants are growing more vigorously on one end than another, move them around for best lighting and even growth potential.
Look at all the new growth:
Because we are growing indoors, and the plants are continuing to grow in their pots, the amount of soil isn't large and will require more frequent watering than they normally would if we planted them outdoors in the ground.
To test soil moisture, use your fingers and if the top ½ inch (1.3 cm) is dry, give them a good drink. You can also pick up the pots, if they feel light, they need water.
Depending upon if you used a planter with a tray, or the plastic liner, you can either water them in the holder itself, or take the plants out individually and water in the sink.
This is a good time to check on the health of the plant. Keep an eye out for any pests, especially aphids, that may like the warmer indoor temperatures.
Disease, Pests, and Fertilizing
Depending upon what plants you choose, you may get some diseases or pests. Some of the more common indoor problems are aphid, spider mites and scale because they like an area that is warmer with not a lot of air circulation.
The best solutions for these pests are:
(click on each to read more about them)
Home made remedy
Some common indoor diseases are root rot, from over watering, and powdery mildew.
Fertilize once a month, or twice a month with ½ solution of a good balanced water-soluble plant food like a 15-15-15, or a 10-10-10.
Keep Trying New Ideas
The great thing about "Any Season Gardening" is you can move things around and constantly try new and different plant combinations.
And don't forget, as we mentioned in the last article, how fast and easy it is to monitor temperatures with an inexpensive thermometer, by doing so, it will allow you to accurately pick plants that will thrive in your "Any Season Garden".
Try grasses, perennials, annual flowers, small topiaries, or whatever suits your fancy in your home or office and have fun with it. That's what always makes gardening great, all the options you have to continually try something new and different.
Hilary Rinaldi is a member of the National Garden Writers Association, a nationally published writer, and a certified organic grower. She regularly speaks and writes about all gardening related topics, with an emphasis on making gardening a successful and enjoyable process for anyone who wants to learn. Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine concentrates of giving detailed gardening tips and gardening advice to all levels of gardeners.
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