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!
Linda G. took a workshop to make a charming kokedoma or as it it also known, a moss ball. She offered it as a promise tree item at the last meeting. You can find koedoma in garden centers as well. Air plants are often used, but regular plants work well too. They look pretty easy to make and are especially lovely when hung.
To learn to make one yourself, go to this tutorial or watch this video.