Did you finish harvesting your summer crops and find yourself wondering what to do next? There’s still plenty of time to get a fall and winter garden going before the first frost! Try planting one vegetable right as another one finishes. This is a process many gardeners use called succession planting and will maximize your harvest all season long. Here are four different ways to do it!
Harvest and replant
Go ahead and harvest your veggies that are ready to go. When you’re done, plant another set of vegetables with a shorter maturity date in that same plot in your garden. Replacing leafy greens with potatoes is a great example of this method.
Be sure to plan accordingly here! Growing based on maturity can be a little tricky if you aren’t planning for your region. Make sure to check the seed packet or plant tag to find out how long the plant will take to mature and what temperature in which it will grow best. Also be sure you have enough seeds to keep you going through the season.
This method involved planting two or more crops with varying maturity dates around each other. This way, even after you harvest the first crop, your garden will continue to flourish! Radishes next to cucumbers are a perfect example of this since radishes will be harvested before the cucumbers start to produce too much shade.
Remember to feed all your crops at their varying stages of growth to keep them moving along. Espoma’s Garden Tone will keep the soil rich in order for your crops to continue thriving as the weather gets colder. And don’t hesitate to pull plants that are reducing or ceasing harvest in order to make room for new crops!
Try planting the same crop every few weeks in order not to be bombarded by the entire crop at once. For example, tomatoes and peas would work well in small batches throughout the entire season.
Just one crop
Lastly, you can always keep things simple by planting the same crop with different maturity dates. Seed packets will often display the days to maturity for you. Broccoli, for example, is a crop with various maturity dates.
Don’t forget that you can always start your seeds indoors in order to speed up the growing process outdoors! This allows you to harvest and quickly plant to keep your garden at an optimum level throughout the fall and winter season.
Ready to get out there and start succession planting? We can’t wait to see your endless harvests all season long! Get started by making a list of veggies it’s not too late to plant.
Hoya have been popular house plants for decades and with good reason. They are extremely long-lived, have a classic, deep green, vining foliage and produce fragrant, light pink and red star-shaped flowers. Because of their thick waxy, foliage they are often called wax plants or sometimes porcelain flower referring to the unique texture of the flowers.
These tropical vining plants have a few requirements in order to thrive but nothing too hard. Give them bright, indirect light, humidity and a light touch when it comes to watering. Use a potting mix that allows for good air circulation around the roots. Read on for the best recipe for success.
Select a place that gets bright, indirect light. Don’t let their waxy foliage fool you. They are not succulents and can’t take harsh afternoon light. They will grow in lower light situations but it’s unlikely they will bloom.
Soil and Repotting
Potting soil with good air circulation is very important for Hoya. To create a perfect blend mix equal parts of Espoma’s organic Cactus Mix, Orchid Mix, and Perlite. Hoya like to be pot-bound or crowded in their pots. They will only need to be repotted every two or three years.
Water regularly with room-temperature water, spring through summer. Let the top layer of soil dry between watering. In the fall and winter growth naturally slows down and they won’t use as much water. Water sparingly during fall and winter, give them just enough that the soil doesn’t dry out completely. Too much water can cause flowers to drop.
Hoya are tropical plants that thrive in humid conditions. Use a humidifier to bring the humidity levels up, especially in winter when indoor air tends to be dry. A saucer with gravel and water also provides humidity as the water evaporates. Misting with room-temperature water also helps but avoid spraying the flowers.
Keep the room temperature warm year-round, try not to let it drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also best to keep plants from touching cold windows and away from heating and cooling vents.
Prune in spring before vigorous growth begins. The stems with no leaves are called spurs and shouldn’t be removed. Flowers are produced on the same spurs year after year. Hoya are vining plants that will happily cascade from a shelf or window sill. Conversely, they are often trained onto trellises that are either vertical or circular, giving the impression of a more robust plant.
Espoma’s Orchid! liquid fertilizer is perfect for Hoya. Feed once a month from spring through fall.
Here are links to other blogs and videos we hope you will enjoy:
Espoma Products for Hoyas
Apartments or small spaces are invitations to get creative with décor. There are many different ways you can grow indoor plants. There are plenty of ways to keep houseplants nearby.
To maximize space, design and style, utilize a few small potted plants. Take advantage of vertical spaces with hanging baskets or a green wall. Even small DIY projects such as terrariums or kokedama can instantly perk up a small space.
When growing in containers, be sure to use Espoma’s Organic Potting Soil Mix for best results.
These houseplants are a small space gardener’s best friends:
Haworthia ‘Big Band’
A big name for a small plant, but the deep green leaves with white stripes really stand out. They look very modern in small containers with a layer of white gravel on top of the soil. Keep them out of direct light. They grow 2-8 inches tall and wide.
Moth orchids have long, thin stems and large flowers that create a big impact in small places. Plus, they flower for an incredibly long time. These are the easiest orchids to grow, even if you are a beginner. Bonus, they are actually more likely to flower when rootbound, so no need to add more space anytime soon. Water well once a week, then let drain completely. Feed regularly with Orchid! liquid plant food.
The colorful blooms of African violets instantly add color to any room. They’re known to bloom continuously, even throughout the darker winter months. Slightly root bound plants will continue to bloom, but be sure to repot using Espoma’s African Violet potting mix at least once a year. Water African violets from the bottom to prevent leaves from rotting and never let them sit in standing water.
Also known as nerve plant, Fittonia adds a pop of color with leaves that have bright pink, white or red veins. Its petite size allows for it to be placed almost anywhere. Fittonia prefers medium to low light, but tolerates direct sun if the light is filtered through a sheer curtain.
The echeveria is one of the most common types of succulents. Little plants like these are commonly found on office and home desks due to their easy care and small size. A common cause of death, however, is overwatering. Make sure to let your plants’ soil dry completely before giving them another drink. Feed regularly with Espoma’s Cactus! liquid fertilizer for best results.
Try these lowlight houseplants if you want greenery, but lack light. https://youtu.be/SYXv_EcBdEA
Products for houseplants:
Houseplants are so much more than decorations. They help reduce stress and tension and create a relaxed and happy atmosphere. They absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen while purifying the air by removing toxins. They say we spend a third of our life sleeping, so let’s do it in the best possible environment, a room full of house plants.
The best plants for a healthy night’s sleep.
Snake plants convert carbon dioxide to oxygen at night. It is also one of the easiest and most forgiving houseplants you can grow. Whether you have bright or low light, a snake plant will adjust to it. It doesn’t require much water and even if you forget to water it for a couple of weeks, it will still look great. Overwatering it is really the only way to kill it.
A study from NASA shows that pothos removes toxins, mainly carbon monoxide and formaldehyde from the air. This low-maintenance plant grows well in low light. Water it only when completely dry. Always pot your houseplants in quality potting soil like Espoma’s Potting Mix or a mixture of potting mix and Cactus Mix for plants like this that require excellent drainage.
The spider plant removes formaldehyde from the air, which is a common carcinogen found in many household products and items. This is another easy to grow selection that enjoys bright light, but will adapt to low light situations. Like all house plants, a regular schedule of fertilizing will help keep spider plants in tip-top shape. Organic liquid fertilizer like Espoma’s Indoor! works beautifully and has an easy dose cap, meaning you’ll never use too much or too little.
English ivy has the unique ability to clean the air of mold. Ivy is a trailing plant that you can train to grow up a trellis or let it cascade down from a shelf. It can be an aggressive plant outdoors, but inside it’s well behaved. Keep the soil moist, but not wet, and give it a place with indirect light.
Aloe has been used as a medicinal plant to heal: sunburn, cuts, insect bites, minor burns, and dry skin. It’s also an air purifier. Aloe likes bright light. Water it well every two weeks or when the soil feels very dry. Fertilize with Cactus! monthly to give it nutrients.
Peace lilies also made it on NASA’s list of toxin removing plants. They can absorb mold spores from the air into their leaves. It’s a pretty plant with calla-like flowers that likes bright light. Regular watering is a must (they’ll let you know when they’re thirsty by letting their leaves droop.)
Lavender has been used for centuries for its soothing, sleep-inducing properties. Victorian ladies used to stuff their pillows with lavender to relieve stress. Today you can find a wide array of lavender products to help whisk you off to sleep. Lavender isn’t often sold as a houseplant but you can grow it outdoors and harvest the flowers for the bedroom.
Ready for more relaxing? Check out these blogs for ideas.
If you feel like your collection of tried and true houseplants is looking a little, well, green, then now’s the time to add some dramatic pink houseplants.
Millennial pink’s reign has extended well beyond its Pantone 2019 Color of the Year status. Choosing houseplants in this hue give it a timeless status.
Houseplant lovers and interior decorators are embracing pink houseplants like never before. Want or little pop of color to mix with your greens? Check out some of our favorites.
Plus, these pink plants will outlast any pink cut flowers.
Traditionally known as the Chinese evergreen, this houseplant has been bred to come deep green, silver, pink and red. It is slow growing, with large, narrow and glossy oval foliage. Keep in mind the lighter the variegation, the more light it needs. If you opt for dark green foliage, it can thrive in low light. Water when the top two inches of soil is dry and add humidity around the plant in the summertime. Use Espoma’s indoor! liquid plant food during the growing season to give it the nutrients it needs.
A small houseplant like Fittonia fits practically anywhere — from a tabletop to a window sill or a desk. It’s a good candidate for low-light spots in the home or office, too. Pink-variegated fittonias like ‘Frankie’ and ‘Mini Pink’ capitalize on the pink hues. Fittonia is a thirsty plant that wilts quickly when dry. Don’t worry, it will perk back up quickly after watering, but for the best keep moist for best results.
This echeveria truly lives up to its name. With beautiful pastel pink and purple leaves, this succulent is a prize for any blush lover. Afterglow is perfect for indoor or outdoor containers. When growing succulents in containers, be sure to use Espoma’s Cactus Mix for best results.
There are more than 1,200 varieties of cryptanthus and they come in many gorgeous shades of pink. It gets its common name from its star-like spread and need to grow in soil (many other bromeliads are air plants.) Earth star prefers low-water, bright light and an occasional feeding with an organic fertilizer like Espoma’s Indoor! Like other bromeliads, each cryptanthus blooms only once in its lifetime, and then it begins a slow dying process. Before it dies, new pups are produced that can be replanted.
Anthuriums are elegant, easy-care plants with cheery blooms that last a long time. Anthuriums are also efficient air purifiers, so a colorful Anthurium will bring a pop of color and breath of fresh air to the room. This show-stopping plant is a two-for for any romantic with its glossy heart-shaped, pink leaves. Anthurium stands out of the crowd with blooms on and off all year. Its flowers will last for months under the right conditions. This exotic plant loves warmth and humidity.
Not ready for such bright color just yet? Check out these low-light picks!
Espoma products for pink houseplants
Aroids are from the family Araceae and include many common houseplants like aglaonemas, monsteras, philodendrons, pothos and ZZ plants. While these plants tend to be “low light” indoor plants, they’re often understory plants in the wild.
Aroids come in all different sizes from the extra-large corpse flower to the desk-sized peace lily. You can usually spot them by their colorful, spiky blossoms. Each aroid blossom is made up of numerous tiny flowers clustered together on a “spadix,” that’s found within a curved, leaf-like “spathe.”
Some aroids have special talents, like being able to generate their own heat or being propagated in water. This family has long been swamp-dwellers that were able to adapt to regular floods, one of the reasons they’re an easy-care houseplant.
Many of these plants have waxy roots and leaves that prevent the plants from absorbing too much water. If you do choose to root your aroid in water for an extended period of time, remember that the longer they do, the harder it will be for them to adapt to soil conditions.
Many aroids have the same preferences, so they do well grouped together and make for easy beginner plants. These plants prefer medium light but will tolerate low light. Too much direct sun can cause them to get sunburn. They should be watered about once a week, allowing the top 1-2” of potting mix to dry out in between waterings.
The easiest aroids for new plant parents
The peace lily is an essential houseplant. Not only does it have stunning green foliage, but if given enough light, classic lily blooms will flower. They have air cleansing and cooling abilities, making them perfect as part of your air-cooling house plant team. Peace lilies prefer medium to low light and well-drained soil. For quality potting soil and houseplant success, try Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix. The biggest danger with peace lilies, and most plants, is over watering. The peace lily is a hardy, forgiving plant that will let you know when it needs water. It has a telltale droop to signal it’s thirsty. It will pop back up as soon as it gets the water it desires.
This is one tough houseplant! It can survive with only florescent lights and no natural light. Don’t worry if you forget to water it, it may start to drop some of its leaflets to conserve the water left and will rebloom after a good drink.
Known as the split leaf philodendron, the foliage on this plant is striking. Being a tropical variety, this plant can survive lower light and higher humidity. It has large, lush, dark green foliage that stands out against a blank wall, making it one of the most popular plants of the year. Keep it near a window with indirect light and watch it grow.
Also known as the Chinese evergreen, this houseplant can come in colors from deep green to silver to red. It is slow growing, with large, narrow and glossy oval foliage. When deciding where to put your aglaonema, keep in mind the lighter the variegation, the more light it needs. So if you’d prefer dark green foliage, it can thrive in low light. Water when the top two inches of soil are dry and add humidity by surrounding ags with other houseplants in the summertime or set pot on top of a saucer layered with stones and water. Use Espoma’s Indoor! liquid plant food during the growing season to give it the nutrients it needs.
Looking for more easy care houseplants? Check out Garden Answer’s favorite low light houseplants!
Espoma products for happy aroids
Houseplants aren’t limited to staying indoors year-round, in fact they love the feeling of sunshine on their leaves and breathing in some fresh air. However, when you take them outdoors, you need to do so appropriately, otherwise they may go into shock.
Acclimating houseplants to outdoor conditions will reduce shock and give them the best chance of thriving. Wait about four weeks from the last frost before you start to acclimate them to the outdoors.
Tips for Taking Plants
Outdoors: Hang in the Shade
While this might seem counter-intuitive, direct sunlight can do more harm than good at first. Since the sunlight is filtered through windows inside, your houseplants aren’t used to the harshness of direct sun. Find shaded areas on your patio or under a tree for a few hours each day. Gradually move houseplants to an area with a little more sunshine daily, until they can be outside all day.
It will only take a few weeks to adapt to the light and then plants can stay outside until the end of the summer. Once they have adapted to the sunshine, be sure to place them in light they will enjoy. Similar to being indoors, don’t place plants in direct light, if they prefer indirect.
Clip and Snip
Trim away any foliage that might have been damaged from the move or from being inside. Remove any brown tips and inspect them for signs of pests or diseases.
Top it Off:
Revitalize soil by working in fresh Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix to each container. This will help to hold moisture and nutrients around plants’ roots.
Give Them a Drink
Power up plants by giving them a big drink of water enhanced with nutrients. Make it easy on yourself and use Espoma’s Grow! Liquid plant food.
Dump the water
Get in the habit of dumping the excess water after watering to avoid mosquitos and other unwanted pests..
Learn more about houseplant care with Garden Answer.
Plants can be just as baffling as children for those who’ve never cared for them before. New plant parents may find themselves wondering if their plant’s growth is normal or stunted. And questioning their abilities to give their plants what they need. Let’s look at some common growth questions so you can be the best plant parents ever.
Time for a New Pot
Your baby’s growing up and it’s time for a new pot. Generally speaking, you should give your plants a new pot and fresh soil every year. Choose a pot that’s one or two inches larger than the one it’s in. Make sure it has a drainage hole in the bottom and a saucer to put underneath the pot. You don’t want water marks to staining your furniture.
A Solid Foundation
Fresh soil is really important, think of it like the foundation of a house. Your plants health depends on the nutrients and soil structure of your potting soil. Espoma’s Organic Moisture Mix is the best all-purpose soil. If you happen to be repotting cactus or succulents, orchids or African Violets you’ll want to buy a special blend of soil that’s been created specifically for their special needs.
Make it Your Own
Gently remove your little one from the pot, loosen the roots and shake off some of the old soil. You’ll want to plant it so that the old surface and the new surface are at the same height. Work in soil all around the sides so it feels solid and there aren’t any air bubbles. Some people like to top dress their plants with a decorative layer of moss or colored pebbles. Feel free to experiment and make it fit into your decor.
Feeding Your Baby
Naturally, you’ll want to feed your babies the best food possible so, they’ll grow up big and strong. Feed them once a month with an all-purpose fertilizer like Organic Indoor! Houseplant Food. Always follow the directions, more isn’t better when it comes to plant food or people food for that matter. And, just like the soil some plants have special dietary needs like Cactus and succulents, orchids, and African Violets.
Succulents Going Through Puberty?
Sometimes plants go through awkward stages. Their growth slows in winter and they may pout and look a bit lack luster. Summer light and warmer temperatures should cure that. Some plants get stretchy trying to reach out for the sun. Succulents that don’t get 4 to 6 hours of strong light per day are especially prone to this. Here is a video from Garden Answer to show you how to save your naughty succulent and propagate a bunch of new babies too.
Think it’s time to repot your own plant? Garden Answer shows you how! https://youtu.be/nPhNOi-LsAE
Where to Buy
Espoma Products for New Plant Parents
African Violet Mix
Terrariums are back in style and they’re a fun, easy way to grow and showoff your plants. Terrariums are made of glass and are generally enclose or have a few holes in the cover to provide fresh air. The glass cover traps humidity and recycles it as water, keeping waterings to a minimum. Air holes allow air to circulate and keep the condensation down so that you can see the plants. If your container’s lid doesn’t have air holes, just take the top off from time to time. This is a great way to grow ferns indoors because they need humidity to thrive.
You may not be familiar with hydrostone, a product used for the base layer. It’s a soilless growing media that feels like pumice. It helps deliver the perfect balance of air and water to your plants. It’s a 100 percent recycled product, made in the United States.
Begin by adding a one inch layer of hydrostone in your glass container. Top that with a solid layer of sphagnum moss. This helps hold the soil in place and keeps the stone layer looking clean. Next, add an inch or so of Espoma’s Potting Mix.
Choose your plants. Laura uses maidenhair ferns because they require a high level of humidity, which work perfectly for this type of container. Birds nest ferns and staghorn ferns also work well and look terrific with the curly foliage of the maidenhair ferns. Fern displays are all about texture. Gently remove the plants from their pots and shake off as much soil as you can before nestling them into the new container. Top with a bit more potting soil if necessary.
Decorate the top layer with more moss, rocks, miniature fairy garden figures or natural products like pinecones. Whatever you think will look beautiful is the best choice. Leave one little spot of the top soil open. This way you can look at it to gauge how wet or dry the soil is. Mist soil lightly.
At first, it’s a good idea to check your container once a week for watering needs. In general, they’ll only need water about once a month but each terrarium is slightly different. Don’t kill it with kindness, in other words, don’t over water it. Set your new creation in bright light but not direct sun light as the glass can act as a magnifying glass creating too much heat. Fertilize every other month with Espoma’s Indoor! Liquid fertilizer. Now, sit back and enjoy your very chic looking new art project.
Check out Garden Answer’s terrarium video.
Espoma Products for Fern Terrariums!