Archive for August, 2012

Tips for Growing Vertical Gardens

August 26th, 2012

The new buzz phrase in gardening is vertical gardeningVertical gardening is landscaping or using plants to draw the eye upwards which creates a larger, more airy space. Any space or landscape can benefit from vertical gardening, especially small yards, apartment balconies, limited spaces as well as large unused exterior walls. 

The new trend in vertical gardening is to build up. Pallet gardening is one way to build up. Other ways are trellises, arbors, teepees, window boxes, hanging baskets, varied sizes of containers, or merely planting shrubs and trees that are tall and narrow.


  • Mix water retentive polymers into the planting soil.
  • Water frequently – daily during hot weather.
  • Add nutrients to the soil more often than ground growing plants.
  • Prune regularly.
  • Deadhead flowers right away.
  • Harvest fruits or pick vegetebles as they mature.


Plant Ideas for Vertical Gardens:


Cheryl D. Jones
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Tips for Growing Fern Plants Outdoors

August 26th, 2012

When you think of fern plants, the first thing that comes to your mind is their long attractive leaves. Fern plants are interesting for many reasons. They can thrive in the shaded areas to great heights, texture and color. Ferns flourish better in a woodland garden that requires at least partial shade. When grown in a sunny garden, they will require protection from the hot afternoon sun. 

Ostrich Fern Fiddlehead

Ostrich Fern Fiddlehead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If your have a large maple or an oak tree in your yard, the fern plant would be one of the best shade-loving plants you will want to include. There are different types of fern plants that can be grown indoors as well as outdoors. The indoor fern plants might need a little bit of more watering while the outdoor fern plants can thrive well in predominantly shady lawn and garden areas.

Ferns are among the few species of non-flowering plants. They reproduce by means of the spores that found underneath their leaves. Ferns come in different shapes and sizes. Their height can range from a few inches to as much as 6 feet tall.

Some of the popular types of fern plants are Lady Fern, Cinnamon Fern, Maidenhair and Japanese Painted Fern. Two unusual ferns are the arborvitae fern, which really isn’t a fern, and the true ostrich fern, which produces edible fiddleheads.

Popular evergreen ferns are the Autumn Brilliance and Christmas Ferns.

Generally, ferns prefer soils with more moisture content but not too watery. Some types of ferns will freeze during the winter. It is important that you choose your fern based on two things: the climate in your area and the type of landscape (shaded or sunny).

Tips for outdoor ferns:

One important thing you need to know is that over exposure to sunlight might dry out the ferns. Therefore, it is best to plant the fern plants in the shady areas of your garden. Let the place be mildly shady but not completely shaded. Ideal shades would be those from the tall trees creating a woodland feel with filtered light. Ferns like maidenhair grow well in dappled shade.

Test the quality of the soil before planting the ferns. They generally prefer soil that is more acidic than alkaline. If your soil is alkaline then you might have to get some fresh soil that is more acidic and plant your ferns in it. A suitable soil can be prepared by adding peat moss and sand in the ratio of 3:1 and mixing it up with the fresh soil.

Planting the ferns is simple. Just dig a hole that is more or less the same size of the fern pot and plant the fern in the hole so that the plant sits just above (approximately 1 to 2 inches) the ground level.

Ensure that the soil has good amount of moisture content but continually damp or wet. At times when there is heavy rainfall or excess humidity, see to that the moisture content doesn’t change drastically. The best way to combat such extreme climatic conditions is to bring the ferns indoors. If they are maintained at a temperature of not more than 60 degrees then they will maintain the moisture content that is required for their growth. What if the temperature is on the lower positive range? In such cases, you might allow the ferns to freeze temporarily. Once the climate gets back to normal, add more organic manure to the soil and replant them back in the outdoors.

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