Are you looking for the perfect excuse to neglect your garden beds this fall? Here’s just what you’re looking for! Our local wildlife depends on “mess” to help survive the winter. Checkhere for more information about how you can be a messy conservationist.
Art Scarpa made a return visit to EAGC, this time to show members how to assemble a terrarium. With plants, containers & materials supplied by Art, members quickly transformed empty jars into beautiful mini-gardens. As always, Art was an excellent source of plant information and humor. (See copies of Art’s terrarium preparation and care instructions here.)
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As always, refreshments were lovely to look at as well as delicious!
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At the same meeting, Environment & Conservation provided a helpful display on controlling pests in the garden, without resorting to harmful chemicals.
E&C also announced plans for their annual summer party. This year’s theme: Appleicious Afternoon. Sign-up for the August 17 party has started. For party details, click on Appleicious Afternoon Information. A sign-up sheet will be available at the June 14 luncheon or contact Linda V or Edie to sign up.
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On May 25, Nance J and her Beautification crew went to work cleaning up the bandstand area and installing the new plantings. Their hard work and the beautiful result are evident in these pictures. Judging by the big smiles, it appears that everyone enjoyed the morning.
For those of you who didn’t receive a handout at Art Scarpa’s workshop on May 18 and for anyone who would like some information about terrariums and their assembly and care, Art has sent these very helpful instructions and resources.
Art used Anchor Hocking Jars
(For more pictures of the terrarium workshop, go to May Happenings.)
Terrariums are one of the easiest ways to care for houseplants. They are very attractive, blending in with most any decor, make great gifts, and they are easy to make and maintain.
Now that your terrarium is at home, complete the landscape by adding some stones, twigs, pieces of bark or small clumps of moss.
Water very sparingly. Too much water will cause your plants to rot, and excess moisture cannot be easily removed from a terrarium. Use about 1/4 cup or less of tepid water for every gallon of container size. Do not pour the water directly onto the plants or soil. Instead, tilt the container and let it trickle against the glass and run down the inside into the soil. Using a clean new (unused) turkey baster is helpful. If you have a lid on your terrarium, you may not have to water more often than once a month or so.
Do not leave your terrarium in direct sunlight. A spot with good light will work. An east or north window is best, although an east or west facing window may be all right during the winter. A few hours of early morning or late afternoon sunshine in winter should be OK but a good rule is to leave the cover ajar to avoid heat build-up. If you wish to grow under lights, the lights must be placed very close, just several inches above the plants. A wide spectrum bulb is best; fluorescent bulbs are fine. Ott(brand) lights are also good.
Ventilate your container by leaving the lid slightly ajar for a day or so and if excessive mist forms on the glass or mold begins to form, it needs fresh air. Remove the cover for a few days or leave the glass lid slightly ajar – prop it open with a piece of wood, eraser or similar.
Mold spores are present in cool damp air and if you notice white mold beginning to grow on your plants and ventilatng for a day or two doesn’t help, treat immediately with a fungicide such as Physan, Daconil, Captan or similar brands. They are available at better garden supply stores. Some fungicides are drenches; they are mixed with water in small doses and then watered into the soil once. The fungicide is absorbed into the plants through the roots.
Plants that are damaged from mold or insects should immediately be removed to prevent infecting other plants. After treating the rest of the plants with a fungicide, you can replace the affected plant with a new one.
As plants outgrow their space in the terrarium, they can either be pruned back or carefully removed with a long-handled spoon and replaced with new ones.
If you made the terrarium to give as a gift, be sure to allow enough time to get the plants settled in before the big event! Good luck, and have fun!
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TERRARIUM PLANTS LIST
Compiled by Art Scarpa, Atkinson, NH firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s a list of houseplants that might be suitable for a terrarium or a bottle garden. Remember,plants for a terrarium or a bottle garden need to like humidity, indirect light (no direct sun needed), and enjoy a closed atmosphere! NO cactus or succulents! Scientific name is listed first, followed by the common name in parentheses.
Acorus (Sweet Flag)
Actiniopteris australis (mini fern)
Begonia rex (small-leaf varieties e.g. Begonia ‘Tiger Kitten’))
Calathea species (Zebra Plant, Peacock Plant, Rattlesnake Plant)
Cryptanthus (Earth Star)
Dracaena sanderiana (Ribbon Plant)
Ferns, small varieties: (Actiniopteris australis, Nephrolepis ‘Tiny Tim’ etc)
Tip for today for our gardening friends: Save your eggshells for a nutritional boost in your garden. Let them dry out in a container and then pulverize them in your blender to use as a calcium source for your tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Lack of calcium can cause blossom end rot, the dark rotted bottoms that can occur if your soil is lacking this critical mineral. When planting, place a sprinkling of the pulverized shell in the hole. Or, simple mix in with the soil surface after planting.
If your garden is prone to slugs and snails, roughly crush the eggshells and encircle them around your plants as a deadly barrier. The soft bodies of these pests are sliced as they pass over the jagged edges.
Best of all, this recycles what might otherwise end up in the trash and is a natural alternative to using chemical products!
In this program co-sponsored by the Stratham Historical Society and the Wiggin Memorial Library, Kevin Gardner, author of ‘The Granite Kiss’ will discuss how and why New England came to acquire its thousands of miles of stone walls, the ways in which they and other dry stone structures were built, how their styles emerged and changed over time, and their significance to the famous New England landscape.
The EAGC had Kevin Gardner speak at a club meeting a couple of years ago. It was a fascinating program, and he was amazing to watch during his presentation as he built a miniature wall or walls on a table top, using tiny stones from a five-gallon bucket.
If you missed this program then, you will not be disappointed if you are able to attend this one upcoming at the Stratham Fire Station!
There is always a generous question-and-answer period during which audience members are encouraged to bring up specific problems or projects on their own property. Copies of ‘The Granite Kiss’ will be available for sale at the program. ~ Patti