PLANTS THAT ACTS AS NATURAL REPELLENTS

  There are indeed many plants that act as natural repellents against certain plant parasites, keeping therefore pests away from our fruit, vegetable and ornamental plants. Not only that, they can also keep annoying and biting insects away from us, our families, and our pets. Most are herbs, so we can quickly start growing a few. Just as the fragrance and taste of some of them is pleasant or unpleasant to us, the same is true for many pests that would harm our crops and ourselves, as is the case…

3 NATURAL REPELLENTS FOR YOUR ORGANIC GARDEN

  All plants can be attacked at some point by parasites, whether on the balcony, in our garden or greenhouse. Applying chemical pesticides is just as if not more harmful than the parasites themselves, both for the environment than for our health. The good news is that we can take care of our plants and protect them from parasites attacks with simple and inexpensive natural remedies, respecting the environment, plants and ourselves. PLANTS  PARASITES Before saving our plants from the attack of parasites, we should understand which parasite it is. The…

COMPANION PLANTS: Which Plants Grow Best Together

  If you are planning to create a vegetable garden, you are probably also thinking about which vegetables and herbs to grow. In this phase it’s essential to take into consideration the associations to obtain a result in balance and harmony, here comes companion plants! WHAT ARE COMPANION PLANTS? Companion plants refer to plants that grow particularly well when planted side to side. This mutually beneficial association consists in growing different species at the same time in the same soil. This ancient technique is a simple imitation of nature where…

HIBISCUS: Properties and Benefits of a Beautiful Flower

  Family: Malvaceae Gender: Hibiscus Common names: Hibiscus, Rose Mallow, Rose of Sharon Hibiscus genus include hundreds of species widely cultivated and appreciated for their large, showy flowers. They are large with five or more petals, typically trumpet-shaped and come in all types of colors. Leaves are alternate, deep green lanceolate, often with a toothed margin. Hibiscus is a perennial and flowers through the year attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. These plants are generally very hardy and versatile, thrive in tropical conditions but can enhance the beauty of one’s garden in…

EGGSHELLS USES AND BENEFITS IN GARDENING

  Many people don’t know how eggshells can be useful in the garden and help in many ways. If you are wondering what to do with egg shells, keep on reading. We are about to see how eggshells can improve our compost, fertilize our garden and even keep some common pests away. EGGSHELLS IN THE COMPOST BIN A common question is whether eggshells can be thrown in the compost bin. Well, the answer is absolutely yes! Adding eggshells to your compost will provide additional calcium to your final compost that…

LUFFA: Start Growing the Sponge Plant

  Common name: Loofah, Sponge Gourd, Egyptian Cucumber, Chinese Okra, Ridged gourd Genus: Luffa  Family: Cucurbitaceae  Luffa is a genus of tropical and subtropical vines in the same family of cucumber, melon, pumpkin,etc. It’s know under several names and varieties, but mainly we  refers to the fruits of the two most common species Luffa Aegyptiaca or Cylindrica, and Luffa Acutangula.   The first variety is very similar to a big size zucchini. It has an elongated shape and roughly reaches a length of 30 cm. its skin has a light color with evident grooves…

DELOSPERMA / PURPLE ICE PLANT: Properties, Uses and Benefits

  Family: Aizoaceae Species: Delosperma Common Names: Ice Plant, Delosperma, Crystalline Iceplant, Hardy Ice Plant Delosperma is a succulent, perennial ground cover with daisy-like flowers. The plants grow to be 10-20 cm tall; foliage is mostly evergreen and make a great year-round ground cover. While the plant is evergreen, it will often lose part of foliage in winter; freezing temperatures combined with wet conditions. ICE PLANT CULTIVATION Being a succulent, prefers full sun and very dry, sandy, poor soil. These plants don’t tolerate well wet, heavy soils and much fertilization.…

CALENDULA OFFICINALIS: Not Just a Bless for Your Skin and Garden

  Common Name: Pot Marigold, Common Marigold, Calendula Species: Calendula Officinalis Family: Astareaceae   Calendula Officinalis is an annual short-life aromatic plant native to the Mediterranean, but widely spread around the globe and cultivated for centuries as food and for its medical many uses. Calendulas are considered by many gardening experts as among the easiest and most versatile flowers to grow in a garden, especially because they tolerate most soils and climates. CULTIVATION Seeds have a distinct curved shape almost looking like little worms, and are sown in spring in temperate climates…

SANSEVIERIA: The Bedroom Plant that Purify Air

  Species: Sansevieria Common Names:  Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Devil’s Tongue, Bowstring Hemp, Snake Plant, Snake Tongue   Sansevieria is an evergreen, succulent, perennial plant producing long, narrow  sword-shaped leaves, up to 75cm long from a rhizomatous root stock. The plant is cultivated for its fiber in several tropical countries, but is more commonly grown as an ornamental in tropical and subtropical regions, and as a pot plant in many other areas of the world. CULTIVATION Sansevieria can be propagated by leaf cutting and root division, as plants grow much faster from…

DIY Vertical Garden Worm Composting Planter

    Today, I will share this great concept with you, one of the most cost and space-efficient, practical ways of growing ever conceived!   Whether you garden as a hobby that helps you unwind after a stressful day, or a necessity for living a homestead or off the grid lifestyle, we’re all looking for eco-friendly and cost-effective ways to grow our own food.   What’s even more appealing is having an affordable system from scrap material that allows you to extend your growing capacity transforming your organic waste in…

DIANTHUS: The Flower of The Gods

  Family: Caryophyllaceae Genus: Dianthus Common Name: Dianthus, Sweet William, Carnations   Dianthus plants can be annual, biennial or perennial. The name refers to a genus of approximate 300 species distributed in Asia, Europe and Africa. The most common and cultivated varieties are Dianthus caryophyllus (carnation), D. plumarius (pink), D. barbatus (sweet william) and D.Chinensis. Flowers are most often in pink, salmon, red and white with a slender foliage spread on thick stems. CULTIVATION Dianthus are one of the oldest cultivated flowers, treasured for centuries for their scent and their ease of…

GOLDENBERRY: Benefits of a South American Super Fruit

Family: Solanaceae Species: Physalis Peruviana Common Name: Ground Cherry, Goldenberry, Inca Berry, Cape Goosberry   Physalis Peruviana is a perennial plant closely related to Tomatillo and the Chinese Lantern plant, also members of the same genus. This variety native from the Andes, is nowadays called in various names and commercially grown around the globe. Its flowers are yellowish five petals and will bear fruit quick enough about two months from transplant, usually around August, continuing till frost. Goldenberry plant are generous and can bear up to 300 small fruits each.…

CHINESE LANTERN PLANT: More than just Ornamental

  Common Name: Alkekengi,  Chinese Lantern Plant, Winter Cherry Species: Physalis Alkekengi Family: Solanaceae   Chinese Lantern Plant or Physalis Alkekengi is closely related to Physalis Peruviana (Ground Cherry) and Physalis Philadelphica (Tomatillo). This annual/perennial plant grow in warm temperate and subtropical regions. The real delight is their large, red-orange, inflated seed pod from which the plant gets its common name. These papery pods contain a fruit that is edible and nutritious, while the leaves and unripen fruit are mildly poisonous. CULTIVATION These plants can grow in partial shade, but especially in colder…

PEONY: Properties, Uses and Benefits

  Family: Paeoniaceae Species: Peony Common Names: Peony, Paeony   Peony is a flowering plant  native to Asia, Europe and Western North America. They are among the most popular garden plants in temperate regions, with 40 distinguished species. Mostly are herbaceous perennial plants up to 1 meter tall, but some are woody shrubs can stretch up to 3.5 meters (11 ft) tall. They have  deeply lobed leaves and large, often fragrant flowers, in colors ranging from purple red to white or yellow, flowering from late spring.  Peonies are usually propagated by…