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Video: Indoor Plant Care with Garden Answer!

Hang out with Laura @Gardenanswer as she gives her plants some TLC and provides some essential indoor plant care tips!

Laura feeds her indoor plants with Indoor! Espoma Organic liquid plant food.

 

Learn more about Garden Answer here:

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Video: Stone Raised Bed Prep. with Summer Rayne Oakes || Flock Finger Lakes

Need a winter project?

Check out the awesome stone raised bed Summer Rayne Oakes @homesteadbrooklyn and the Flock Fingerlakes team are building/prepping for the next growing season. Espoma’s Raised Bed Mix and Land and Sea Compost are the perfect growing medium for their future plants!

Learn more about Flock Finger Lakes here:

Website: homesteadbrooklyn.com

Instagram – @homesteadbrooklyn

YouTube – Summer Rayne Oakes

Twitter – @sroakes

Facebook – Summer Rayne Oakes

 

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VIdeo: Winter Plant Projects with Garden Answer

Who says you can’t pot plants in the winter?

Watch as Laura from @GardenAnswer shows you what she’s planting this time of year while using Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix and Bio-tone Starter Plus! Laura takes you on a tour of her majestic greenhouse and beautiful plant studio. Take notes as she shares valuable plant care tips that you can utilize to be successful his winter.

Learn more about Garden Answer here:

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BAGR 110 Blog: Low Waste Plant Parenthood

Caring for plants can connect us back to nature. Engaging with them on a daily basis either in our homes or in our gardens can help us understand the importance of preserving the natural world around us. In this blog, we do a deep dive into low-waste choices you can make to have a more sustainable plant collection and a more positive impact on the environment.

This blog is inspired by Episode 110 of Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast, where host Maria Failla interviewed Nick Cutsumpas of Farmer Nick.

Don’t get intimidated by the “zero” in “zero waste”

As a society, we often get intimidated and overwhelmed when we see something that says “zero.” Even if we strive for zero waste, we recognize that there are certain wasteful elements in our lives that are inevitable. 

Let’s face it—achieving “zero waste” is almost close to impossible. Instead, let’s try to reduce waste as much as possible and promote a “low waste” style of plant parenthood. 

We don’t need 10% of the population living a 100% zero waste lifestyle. We need 100% of the population making choices that lead them to be at least 10% more sustainable.

 

What is Waste?

To put it simply, waste is something that will end up in a landfill. Items that cannot be recycled should be considered waste. It is a growing problem affecting not just the environment but also our population.

Waste contaminates water if not disposed of properly and can get absorbed by fish and other aquatic life. This then spreads into the food chain and is now affecting the population.

 

Here are 3 low waste tips you can apply to your approach to plant care. 

 

Low Waste Tip #1: Reuse everything (or at least as much as you can)

Take a look at something, pick it up, and instead of the Marie Kondo style of, “Does it bring me joy? If not, throw it away,” try saying, “What kind of purpose do you have in my now?”

Here are some examples for upcycling your plant products: 

  1. If you buy a plant at the garden center and it comes in a plastic pot. Instead of throwing it away, save it to use for another plant, or try and return it to your garden center for them to reuse.
  2. Many companies now have lots of fantastic alternative types of packaging, whether it’s compostable packing peanuts, recyclable shipping containers, or even pots made out of rice. Try supporting companies that use sustainable packaging.
  3. Instead of tossing a glass yogurt container or bottle, upcycle it into a propagation vessel.
  4. If composting is available to you, instead of tossing your dead houseplants, annuals, and food waste in your garbage, compost them and use them in your garden in the years to come.

Espoma has always been a zero waste manufacturing facility and continues to strive to create zero waste during its manufacturing processes.

Here are some of Espoma’s sustainability accomplishments

  • < 1% waste of packaging materials
  • Recycling of skids and damaged pallets
  • Largest recycler of manure – Prevents millions of lbs. of raw manure from leaching into waterways

Low Waste Tip #2: Choose sustainably made, organic fertilizers and potting mixes

Plant roots require soil as a foothold. It contains nutrients that allow plants to grow. Putting them in high-quality potting mix or soil is an easy choice when trying to set your plant up to thrive. 

Anyone who wants to take care of the environment should not be buying from places that use potentially harmful synthetic fertilizers. 

As for quality soils, look no further than Espoma’s Organic Potting Soils. This contains a rich blend of only the finest natural ingredients. No synthetic plant foods or chemicals are used.

Low Waste Tip #3: Know your plant number!

This might be tough for some people to hear, but knowing your plant number not only saves you money but also saves your plants and your waste footprint! 

Say you have 50 plants and they’re all thriving under your care. Let’s assume that is your limit or plant number. If you add your 51st plant and then the quality of care suffers for the other plants, you might start losing plants in your collection due to overwhelm or negligence. That’s not sustainable. 

Before you bring a plant home, be honest with yourself and ask, “Do I have the space? Do I have the time and the right environment for this?” 

This is also a lesson in restraint—by taking a step back and knowing that you don’t need another plant in your collection: you limit waste and increase the likelihood of your plant collection bringing you joy instead of stress.

Protecting the environment

In today’s world that divides us, the environment is one of the things that can be quite polarizing depending on what views you have. But no one can disagree with the fact that we all use and require the natural resources the Earth so generously offers us.

Anyone who has been inspired by the vastness of the ocean, the awesome height of a redwood tree or the simple relaxation a hike can bring can understand the importance of nature. So all humans, in essence, should view themselves as stewards of the earth. 

Understanding your responsibility to the Earth doesn’t require you to move to a cabin and live off the grid. You can live in sync with nature and it can be done so in a way that does not detract from your lifestyle by making simple, sustainable choices that benefit you and the planet.

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About Our Interviewee

Nick is a “plantrepreneur” who is passionate about all things green. As a full-time plant coach, urban gardener, and landscape designer, Nick’s mission is to leave the earth greener than when he found it—giving people the knowledge and confidence they need to create their own green spaces in the pursuit of environmental action and social justice. 

Watch Nick and other rapid-fire renovators on Netflix, Instant Dream Home. This showcases Nick and his incredibly talented friends taking big risks and making painstaking plans to transform families’ homes from top to bottom in just 12 hours.

​​Follow Farmer Nick:

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VIDEO: Planting Haul of Fame with Garden Answer

     Another win for Garden Answer! From boxwoods to trees to a brand new bulb-garden, this planting haul is one for the books. Honorable mentions? Espoma Organic’s Bio-Tone, Potting Soil, and Bulb-Tone are the true heroes of this epic. See how they’re essential for long-lasting healthy blooms in the video below!

Learn more about Garden Answer here:

https://www.youtube.com/c/gardenanswer 

https://www.gardenanswer.com/

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BAGR 117 Blog: Alocasia Care 101

There are so many reasons to love Alocasia, from their unique leaf shape to their gorgeous vein patterns and their incredible variety of colors. In this blog, we do a deep dive into Alocasia care.

 

This blog is inspired by Episode 117 of Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast, where host Maria Failla interviewed Enid Offolter, owner of NSE Tropicals.

 

Best Soil for Alocasia 

Alocasia plants prefer well-draining soil. Using Espoma’s Organic Potting Soil Mix amended with aerated blends like Orchid Mix and Perlite will ensure an airy potting soil for your Alocasia. 

 

Alocasia Watering Requirements 

Because Alocasia plants prefer well-draining soils, they do not like to sit in any standing water. It’s best not to let them dry out completely either. Let the top half of your soil dry out with the bottom half staying moist before you water again. 

 

The Type of Light Alocasia Need

Most Alocasia plants need shade, but some large varieties like Alocasia macrorrhiza ‘Borneo Giant’ can tolerate full sun. Smaller varieties like Alocasia reginula ‘Black Velvet’ and Alocasia cuprea prefer darker environments. That being said, indoor lighting environments are considerable darker than their natural outdoor ones. Bright, indirect light like an Eastern-facing window is best for most Alocasia varieties in your home. 

 

Alocasia Humidity Requirements

Alocasia plants are tropical, so they prefer moderate to high humidity indoors. Typical indoor conditions would work for Alocasia, potentially adding some humidity during dry Winter months. Aim for 60-80% humidity for happy plants. 

 

Fertilizing 

Stick with fertilizing Alocasia during the growing season from Spring through Summer. Espoma’s Organic Indoor Houseplant Food is an all-purpose liquid fertilizer you can use every two to four weeks during the growing season for healthy, new growth.

 

Common Alocasia Problems

Alocasia plants can be prone to root rot, so it’s important not to over-water. To help prevent over watering, try keeping your Alocasia a bit more root bound. If your pot is too big, it’s much easier to give your plants too much water because it takes the soil longer to dry out.

 

Alocasia Dormancy Period

Most Alocasia varieties will go “half dormant” in the Winter, where they tend to look like they might be dying. You may even observe your Alocasia trying to flower, which really takes a lot of energy out of the plant. 

But don’t worry! This is completely normal for Alocasia plants during the Winter months. Make sure to leave the yellowing leaves for the plant to absorb that energy back into itself, and your Alocasia should come back just fine in Spring. In the Spring, remove dead leaves and continue watering and giving it light and new growth should show up in no time. 

 

Best Alocasia Varieties for Beginners

Two varieties of Alocasia for beginners are Alocasia baginda ‘Dragon Scale’ and Alocasia ‘Silver Dragon.’ Both do well indoors with bright, indirect light. 

 

Best Alocasia Varieties for Advanced Plant Parents

Two Alocasia varieties that tend to be best for more advanced plant parents are Alocasia cuprea and Alocasia azlanii

There really are so many wonderful varieties of Alocasia that any plant parent can find one to fit their needs! 

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About Bloom & Grow Radio Podcast

 Bloom & Grow Radio Podcast helps people care for plants successfully and cultivate more joy in their lives. Host Maria Failla, a former plant killer turned happy plant lady, interviews experts on various aspects of plant care, and encourages listeners to not only care for plants, but learn to care for themselves along the way.

About Our Interviewee

NSE Tropicals is well known for its large selection of hard-to-find anthuriums, philodendrons, and other unusual plants. Their online store is dedicated to bringing the odd, unusual, rare, exotic or seemingly unattainable to fellow collectors. 

Enid Offolter of NSE Tropicals just released her new book, Welcome to the Jungle: Rare Tropical Houseplants to Collect, Grow, and Love. This book is all about unusual aroids and how to care for them. It profiles 50 plants that aren’t so common in the plant trade and you certainly won’t find at big box stores. 

​​Follow Enid & NSE Tropicals:

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VIDEO: Succulent Success with Garden Answer!

Everyone loves an aesthetically-pleasing succulent arrangement, and with Garden Answer’s guidance, you can create one for your own home. Plus, with Espoma Organic’s Cactus Potting Mix full of the nutrients you need to set your succulents up for success, you can focus on having fun with the colors, shapes, and textures of these special plants! 

 

Learn more about Garden Answer here:

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VIDEO: Houseplant Heaven with Garden Answer

Is it even possible to have too many houseplants? Not if you’re an expert like Garden Answer! With the help of Espoma’s Organic Potting Mix, walk through a whole haul of exciting, unique, and beautiful houseplants from the research phase all the way to repotting. 

 

Learn more about Garden Answer here:

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VIDEO: Get the Dirt on Ornamental Grass with Garden Answer!

Ready to spruce up your green space? Garden Answer is back to guide you through planting ornamental grass—a low-maintenance way to aesthetically enhance your garden. Plus, with Espoma Organic’s Bio-Tone Starter, your new additions can bloom bigger and lay roots quicker, easily adapting to their new home. Dig in!

 

 

Learn more about Garden Answer here:

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Seven Steps for a Fantastic Fall Garden

 

Fall: it’s the season of transition. The weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing colors, and the air is getting crisp and breezy. While you might be thinking it’s time to pack up the gardening supplies until Spring, there’s no reason the growing has to stop yet! With this seasonal shift comes perfect weather for establishing new plants, great deals at garden stores, and a decrease in pests. In fact, this special season offers plenty of opportunities for preserving, planting, and preparing. Make the most of this time with these seven tips, and get back in the garden! 

 

     1. Don’t Forget Your Veggies

Don’t let the cooler weather fool you, there’s still time for growth. Broccoli, carrots, lettuce, and kale… fall is the season to plant these beloved vegetables. If your vegetable garden needs a boost, use our famous Organic Garden-tone or Grow!

 

 

2. Success with Succession

Maximize your harvest all throughout fall with succession planting. Harvest one crop, then replant one with a shorter maturity date, plant companion crops, stagger your seeding so harvest arrives in intervals, or plant a crop with varying maturity dates (broccoli, for example). Try out one of these methods and keep growing with our Garden-tone

 

 

     3. Bring in the Big Guys

Looking for a bigger way to upgrade your garden this fall? Plant trees and shrubs while the soil is still warm, use our Organic Tree-tone to nurture their development, and give them a chance to lay roots before winter settles in. Just be sure to keep them well-watered and protect those roots with mulch!

 

     4. Free Fertilizer 

Have you tried using those fall leaves to your advantage? Thick piles of leaves can be a lot for your lawn to tolerate, but mowing over what’s fallen creates smaller pieces that break down in the soil easier. Time to tackle that leaf pile and get your lawn some natural nutrients!

     

     5. Allium On the Way

Patience is a virtue… and so is planting ahead! Give your garlic, onions, and shallots a jump-start by planting them after the fall equinox. With full sun, rich soil, and crisp fall weather, your allium vegetables have plenty of time to get rooted before weathering the frost. Check out this article here for more tips on allium planting! 

     

     6. Take Cover

Mustard, peas, and clover are great cover crops to plant in the fall. Not only do cover crops prevent erosion, they can create better, richer soil for gardening. Let them grow throughout the fall and winter, then turn into the soil in the spring to enjoy the nutritious benefits of your labor.

     

     7. Winterize, Winterize, Winterize

Think of it as a gift to your future self. Keep up with weeding, winterize your watering system, and give your lawn a much-needed refresh with our Organic Fall Winterizer. These little chores make all the difference when getting your garden through upcoming winter frosts.

 

There’s so much in store this season, and with these tips, you can fall in love with fall gardening. Have your own must-do or want to share a photo of autumn in action? 

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