Care for Orchids – Easy and Quick Steps to Orchid Care

Growing orchids and other plants is actually very similar. In order to be healthy, all plants have the same basic care requirements, which are water, sun, food, air and warmth. Orchids are no different in the types of requirements, only in the amounts of each basic need. This is also true for different kinds of orchids – each one needs different amounts of each category.

Giving orchids care begins with providing the right humidity level for the type of orchid you intend to grow. Generally speaking, orchids need between 40% and 70% humidity day after day. While most plants control water evaporation, orchids cannot, and are constantly in a state of losing water. The amount of humidity in the air is the only controlling factor. Know how much humidity your orchid is going to require before purchasing it.

If you are growing orchids, you need to supply continuous atmospheric moisture, whether it be by hosing the garden or inside, by spraying the plants, setting them over trays of water or keeping them in a container such as a glass environment where you can control the humidity levels. Humidity is not a problem in cold weather. You should follow periods of humidity by a time of drying out. This is similar to having morning sun followed by an afternoon shower, and then morning sun once again the next day.

Air is another necessity of orchids. In nature, orchids often grow up trees because they have excellent air circulation. Even though all plants pull carbon dioxide from the air, orchids are extremely efficient about it. Good ventilation is essential to growing healthy orchids indoors. A good source of air circulation is a ceiling fan. Even indoor orchids need fresh clean air inside so open a window whenever possible. If it’s cold outside, arrange it so the air is warmed before it hits the plants. For example, open the window from the top and not the bottom.

Place your orchids where they will get the most sunlight they can without suffering any ill effects, such as sunburn. Orchids need lots of light–around ten hours per day. This light should not be at full intensity at all times so start them out in the sun and then move them to shadier spots or filter the light through curtains until you achieve the desired effect.

Orchids need to be protected from frost and snow. Many orchids grow naturally where temperatures dip well below freezing. In the Andes, for instance, temperatures in the 20s are not terribly uncommon. But you must be very attentive to colder temperatures, and orchids that do experience cooler temperatures must remain dry. Cold and wet are not good conditions for growing orchids. Cooler orchids are those said to need a temperature averaging fifty degrees. Check out temperature charts online or in orchid books for which orchids do best at certain temperatures.

Your orchids need to be fed. You cannot ignore this step of giving orchids care. Some growers still argue about what orchids need to be fed and how much. But, especially if you are a beginner, you will want to do everything possible to have healthy orchids.

Begin by using orchid liquid fertilizer, whether it be synthetic or organic. Most orchids today are planted in osmunda, or dead fern roots, which decomposes. Always check your orchids for yellowish or brownish discolorations which might mean the plants are malnourished. Check out recipes for nutrient fertilizers online.

If you meet these basics of orchid care and culture, you should have no trouble at all being successful at growing orchids. Orchids will respond positively as long as they have the basics of air, light, food, humidity and protection.

Top Reasons for Composting

Some of us may be hesitant in making and using compost. They find the task of making one troublesome and time consuming. Or they might have false perceptions of smelly compost piles and having such a messy process right in their backyards. While others would prefer buying their fertilizers, soil amendments or conditioners, and mulch from their garden stores to avoid all the hassle of reading about compost and actually making one.

Here are my top personal reasons for Composting. I only hope that you move your butt out of that chair and begin your own compost pile before you reach number ten.

The first reason I find Composting highly worthwhile is the fact that the materials used are absolutely free and are readily available. Compare that with the ever rising costs of commercial fertilizers and other gardening products in the market today. All you need is a little extra effort to find the best materials for your compost pile, but otherwise, everything’s for free.

The second one is that compost provides more nutrients and minerals needed by my plants than commercial organic or synthetic fertilizers. The overall effect of compost is also longer than commercially available fertilizers. It’s free and it works better, who wouldn’t want that? Plus, if you organize your ingredients just right, you can provide a whole lot more range of nutrients.

Another good reason would be the benefits of compost to the soil structure. When applied to the soil, compost can help the soil be more resistant to erosion, improve its retention of water, and in some types of soil (like clay) it can reduce the chance the soil becomes compact. This is also important for farmers since compost can make the soil easier to till conserving time and fuel needed to operate the machines.

I trust that what you’ve read so far has been informative. The following section should go a long way toward clearing up any uncertainty that may remain.

With the right Composting technique, the process can kill those troublesome weeds as well as pests and disease-causing organisms present in the materials being composted. High temperature composting is the technique I am talking about. Although, this technique is not the backyard variety but rather a more laboratory or industrial type variety, I still find it a good reason why we should make composts.

There have been studies which indicate that using compost can suppress the growth of diseases in crops. Other studies also show that crops grown over compost rich soils can resist better pest or insect attacks. Likewise, some news and observations in the field also shows that crops grown using compost bear produce that can be stored longer. If that’s not reason enough, I don’t know what else you are looking for.

For the environmentalists and conservationists, compost has something for them as well. Using compost together with the soil can build soil carbon which can eventually reduce the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It may take a lot of compost to have a positive effect on the greenhouse gases but that fact is quite useful as well.

It is also found out that compost works well as an antidote for soils that are toxic with agricultural chemicals. Compost can balance the levels of soil acidity, and helps farmers to go organic after years of using synthetic agricultural products.

These are my top reason for composting. Some of it may not directly benefit my personal needs but having those reasons to cling onto is a good thing to motivate the use of compost.

Hopefully the sections above have contributed to your understanding of . Share your new understanding about with others. They’ll thank you for it.

How To Grow A Big Tomato

 Growing Tomato Plants


History ofTomato Plantes

Yep, it is getting close to spring, and time to start thinking about tha t veggie garden you will want to grow. One of the most popular items grown in gardens is tomatoes! Here I will present a short history on the tomato and how I grow them for more tomatoes per plant and fitter plants.

Tomatoes come from western South America and Central America. The native people used them in their foods. But when Cortez first took the plant back to Europe it was considered poisonous and not eaten but used as decorations. The plant was classified as a member of the nightshade family and because of that they were thought to be poisonous. The leaves of the tomato plant are poisonous but not the fruit.

Eventually, the fruit of the tomato plant was determined to be eatable and the rest is history. The spread of tomatoes around the world can be principally attributed to the Spanish. They took the plant to Europe, the Philippines, and then the eventually the rest of Asia. In fact the largest producer of tomatoes now is China.

Growing Tomato Plants

There is an art to growing tomato plants that are healthy, tasty, and produces a lot of fruit . I have grown tomato plants from seed, when I lived in Alaska, but prefer to buy them from garden centers. Purchase them when they are at least 6 inches or more in height.

I then remove the leaves, except for the last three or four at the top . I then prepare a trench in my garden and lay the tomato plant down in the trench. I cover the plant but leaving the leaves of the tomato plant exposed to the atmosphere. What this does is it allows the plant to develop more roots making your plant healthier, and produces more fruit.

Remember, that as the plant grows to remove the leaf that is next to the stem and an outer leaf. This prevents unnecessary stem growth that does not produce fruit.  Other than that water, fertilize and watch your tomato plants grow





Interesting Front Yard Landscape Alternatives

Do you need outdoor landscaping ideas that tolerant to the dry weather?  Most homeowners enjoy having a lovely lawn in their front yard.  But that requires a lot of maintenance and water of course.  We should all be conscience of our water usage even when it isn’t being enforced.  Here are a few outdoor landscaping ideas that do not require constant watering.

The first thing to do would be to get rid of the thirsty lawn in the front yard.  Instead have a woodsy garden, cozy patio or wild flower meadow.  One landscaping design for the front yard would be to greet your guests with a natural stone walkway.  Transform it into a woodland garden by making a path using slabs of basalt or sandstone.  The path leading to the front door becomes a destination in itself with interesting plantings dotting the stones.

If you live in the Northeast or west try planting hydrangeas that bloom in the summer and to add a little color in the winter plant a red twig dogwood shrub. One showy perennial that does very well is the hellebores.  Belonging to the buttercup family it will have almost 50 blooms on one small shrub that can grow up to 18 inches.

The southwest has been integrating drought resistant outdoor landscaping ideas using hardscapes of concrete, gravel or pavers.  They use a variety of plants in the cactus or succulent family that can be colorful and interesting.  Shade can be created by adding a pergola shading a cozy dining area.

In the west droughts plague the are from time to time.  Low maintenance and outdoor landscape ideas that require very little water should be a top priority.  Rosemary and lavendar are very useful plants for cooking, aroma and color.  They require very little maintenance or water.  Westerners should consider creating a focal point out of Mexican or concrete pavers and add a small water feature.  Setting out two small chairs and a table for a sweet area to enjoy a morning cup of coffee.  

There are several online sites that give suggestions for native plants that would deffinately thrive in your region.  These sites will more than likely offer photos of the plant varieties. To save money buy four inch pots of the desired plants and place them approximately two feet apart.  You will be surprised at how fast they grow into lovely adult plants.