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VIDEO: Kaleb Wyse Answers Prayers With New Church Planter!

When there’s an important gardening project to be done… you call Kaleb Wyse. 🦸 And he always brings his trusty Espoma Organic products to make sure it’s a job well done! This time he’s tackling a tricky planter in front of his grandparents’ church that gets a lot of sun, a lot of wind, and a lot of eyes on it. Fortunately with our Espoma Organic Potting Soil Mix and Plant-tone, those plants will stay looking heavenly! Check out the full video below to watch Wyse Guide work his magic. 

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BAGR 154: How to Build a Terrarium

This blog is inspired by Episode 154 of Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast, where host Maria Failla interviewed Patricia Buzo of Doodle Bird Terrariums.

Terrariums do so much more than encapsulate our plants within the confines of a vessel. They capture a feeling. They capture a sense of wonder that a simple potted plant just can’t do. We can create entire worlds within a terrarium, and even ecosystems. They become a place that we can escape into for a mindful moment and use to amplify our passion for playing.

In this blog, terrarium guru Patricia of Doodle Bird Terrariums and Maria from Bloom & Grow Radio break down the differences and similarities of terrariums, paludariums, and vivariums to equip you with the knowledge you need to set your first one up!

What’s the Difference Between Terrariums, Vivariums, and Paludariums?

In the plant community, a terrarium usually refers to a small glass jar or fishbowl that has only plants inside. It’s not going to house any type of pet. 

A vivarium, on the other hand, contains pets like frogs or lizards, but has plants too. It’s also typically much bigger than a terrarium.

A paludarium is a type of vivarium that’s usually an even larger enclosure. It incorporates both terrestrial and aquatic elements into it, so it’s like having an aquarium and a terrarium in one. It often houses animals like fish, lizards, or frogs in the top portion.

Benefits and Common Problems of Growing in a Terrarium

One of the benefits to a terrarium is being able to grow diverse plants that you might not have otherwise been able to, as they create a microclimate of higher humidity. Most miniature terrarium plants need very high humidity, which likely doesn’t exist in your home or garden! 

Another benefit of terrariums is that they can be portable. If you’re traveling a lot and miss your plants, you can simply place them in a jar and take them with you.

A common problem in terrariums though, is mold growth. The warm, humid environment creates perfect conditions for mold to take over and eat away at your plants. You can prevent mold growth by avoiding biodegradable items in your terrarium like sticks, leaves, and pine cones. Adding little creatures like springtails and isopods (aka rolly pollies) that feed on decomposing materials can also significantly reduce mold growth. 

How to Choose the Best Terrarium Plants

When choosing which plants you want in your terrarium, opt for smaller varieties of plants to avoid requiring you to keep sizing up your vessel. 

Take advantage of the high humidity terrarium conditions and choose humidity-loving plants. Look for plants in the terrarium or fairy garden section at your local nursery for options. 

Small and miniature orchids work really well in terrariums, growing only an inch or two high with pretty flowers. Peperomia Ripple (Peperomia caperata) grows well in a bigger jar and loves the terrarium environment. 

Asparagus ferns (Asparagus aethiopicus), the little tree plant (Biophytum sensitivum), jewel orchids (Ludisia discolor), and creeping figs (Ficus pumila) are also great plant options for terrariums.

How to Set Up a Terrarium 

Materials Needed: 

 

Step 1: Make a list of plants you want in your terrarium. Do a quick search of conditions they prefer, including light, temperature, and moisture. 

Step 2: For a humid-loving plant, choose a jar with a lid to maintain humidity. For a plant that needs to dry out a bit, opt for an open jar. You can find great jars secondhand at thrift stores or estate sales, but affordable glass jars are also available at home goods and craft stores.

Step 3: Layer your materials in your glass jar with horticultural charcoal, soil, and plants. Use aquarium tongs to place your plants in the soil and scissors to trim excess plant material. 

Step 4: Water your terrarium using distilled water. Use a spray bottle for moss and if you have rooted plants, pour a small amount of water onto the soil. 

Step 5: Add your bioactive creatures like springtails or isopods and place your lid on top for humidity-loving plants. (This is optional.)

Step 6: Put your completed jar in bright, indirect light and enjoy your new terrarium! 

*****

For a more in-depth look at building terrariums, vivariums, and paludariums, check out Patricia Buzo’s book, A Family Guide to Terrariums

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

Patricia Buzo founded Doodle Bird Terrariums in 2008 out of her love of plants and creating unique works people would treasure. Each terrarium she creates is handcrafted using the highest grade plants and supplies, utilizing special tricks to carefully package these fragile vessels so they arrive safely.

Now, over 10 years later, she has authored the book A Family Guide to Terrariums, inspired many on her Instagram account, and has been featured in The New York Times.

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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: Catch up with Summer Rayne Oakes’ Shade Garden

Wow! Look how much the shade garden bed at Flock Finger Lakes has grown. With the help of Espoma Organic Bio-tone Starter Plus and our Organic Cow Manure Compost Blend, your garden can thrive season after season too. 

 

Learn more about Summer Rayne Oakes here:

Website: homesteadbrooklyn.com

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VIDEO: Summer Rayne Oakes’ Acid-Loving Groundcover Garden!

Add a little pH pep to your step—your acid-loving plants will really thrive with our Espoma Organic Soil Acidifier. Take it from Summer Rayne Oakes at Flock Finger Lakes as she walks you through her acidic, edible groundcover garden!

Learn more about Summer Rayne Oakes here:

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Five Herbs to Plant This Fall

You may think that when the weather cools, the gardening stops. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Planting herbs in the fall can make for a great head start in the spring. Plus, who doesn’t love to garden year-round? Here are our top five picks to get you started.

 

Parsley

 

Did you know that parsley planted in the fall actually produces more harvest than parsley planted in the spring? Grow it in part shade to full sun and keep the soil moist by watering regularly. Give it the healthiest start by using organic potting mix.

 

Thyme

Thyme is a great addition to almost any dish and the perfect garnish for your fall cocktails! Grow this herb in full sun near your brightest window. As a bonus, you can plant thyme alongside rosemary, which has the same light and watering needs.

 

Sage

Sage is a fragrant herb that also makes a great addition to your kitchen for special meals. Make sure this herb gets plenty of sunlight and water once the top layer of soil is dry. Be wary of mildew growing on your sage, and be sure to give it proper air circulation. Give it a head start with Espoma Bio-tone Starter Plus.

Lavender

Who doesn’t love the smell of lavender? Whether dried or fresh, this fragrant herb can change the ambiance of your home with its calming scent and its beautiful purple appearance. Give your lavender full sun — at least six hour a day — and allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Be careful not to overwater this herb, especially in the cooler months.

Chives 

As another great culinary herb, chives can add the ideal amount of seasoning to so many dishes. Grow them in a sunny spot and be careful not to keep them too close to your heater. Let the soil dry between waterings.

Don’t let the cooler weather stop you from gardening! If you’re struggling to get enough light for any of these herbs, consider supplementing with grow lights.

 

 

Walk Down the Aisle with These Wildflowers in Your Bouquet

It’s wedding season! Whether you’re having a dreamy, late summer wedding or a rustic, autumn wedding, wildflower bouquets can match almost any color palette and theme. You can even grow your bouquet in your own backyard with the right timing and resources. Here are a few suggestions as well as tips and tricks to have beautiful blooms on your big day!

Zinnias

If you’re new to gardening, zinnias could be a great place to start! They are one of the easiest wildflowers to grow and bloom from late spring until the first frost, which is sometime in the fall, depending on where you live. They also grow in a variety of bright colors, so you have a large palette to choose from. Make sure to grow them in full sun!

Daisies

If you want flowers as white as your dress, daisies are perfect. For extra vibrant white petals, use Flower-tone. Daisies are a convenient option if you’re short on space in your garden, as they grow about 1–3 feet tall. They typically bloom in full sunlight from late spring to early fall.

Baby’s Breath

Baby’s breath is the perfect flower to fill the spaces between larger blooms in your bouquet. They’re low maintenance, deer resistant, and have an extended bloom time of four weeks. Grow in full sun.

Sunflowers

Who doesn’t love sunflowers? Single-stem varieties will grow quickly and produce one stem per plant. The classic golden sunflowers can add a beautiful pop of color to your bouquet, but if you’re looking for something a little more unique, try growing Lemon Queen sunflowers, which have more of a lemon shade of yellow than the typical golden variety. For the biggest, brightest blooms, feed your sunflowers Espoma’s Bio-tone Starter Plus and grow in full fun or half shade.

 

Cutting

Once your wildflowers are in bloom, cut the stems. It’s best to do this in the early morning or in the late evening so that the sun and heat do not wilt the flowers. Foliage placed in water may grow bacteria that will kill the flowers prematurely. You can prevent this by stripping the foliage from the bottom of the stem gently using your hands or scissors.

A bouquet of wildflowers makes a beautiful addition to your wedding, but if bulbs are a better fit for you, check out these tips from Laura from Garden Answer!

 

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Blog: Bring the Outdoors In with a Fall Cutting Garden

Summer is quickly coming to an end. As we say goodbye to summer blooms, we get to welcome beautiful autumn flowers like mums, sunflowers, pansies, and more! If you’re looking to add some fall decor to your home, bringing your garden inside from a cutting garden is a great way to add a pop of color and change things up for fall.

 

Put together a cutting garden that is personalized to you and the colors that will make you happy. Don’t worry about whether or not the plants “go together.” Get creative! Here are some of the best autumn blooms for bouquets that are vibrant and trendy.

 

  1. Sunflowers

    While most people typically picture golden-toned, dark-centered sunflowers, there are actually a few varieties to choose from when planning your cutting garden! For example, Bashful sunflowers have a salmon pink ring on the petals, and Little Becka sunflowers have deep red in their petals. Whichever variety you choose, keep autumn colors in mind. If you’re hoping to create a bouquet, pollen-free varieties are best.
  2. Oakleaf Hydrangea

    Oakleaf hydrangeas bloom in either pink or white, and the leaves turn beautiful shades of orange and red in the fall. It’s very important to plant oakleaf hydrangeas in well-draining soil, as they could get root rot. If you’re including them in a bouquet, harvest the stems when half of the blooms have opened.
  3. Dahlias

    While dahlias flower throughout the summer, warm days and chilly nights allow them to produce more flowers in more vivid colors in the fall. Plant dahlias in full sun and in a rich soil. Fertilize with Holly-tone for deep, vibrant, blooms. Whether you prefer pink, red, orange, or yellow, dahlias can make a great addition to your cutting garden.

 

Getting started:

  1. Choosing a Spot for Your Garden

    The size of your garden space really depends on the types of plants you’re growing, so you can choose plants that will be able to thrive in the space you have available. Regardless of size, make sure the spot is sunny and well-drained! If you’re really short on space, utilize the space between rows in your vegetable garden.
  2. Planning

    Make sure your garden site meets the sun exposure and growing condition requirements listed on the plant tags. For easy cutting and collecting, leave some space in between plants.
  3. Preparing

    Set your garden up for success by working Bio-tone Starter Plus into the soil before planting. To make sure your plants aren’t competing with any weeds for resources, clear your soil in advance.
  4. Planting

    Plant seeds or seedlings about an inch into loose soil. For best results, water your flowers weekly and regularly fertilize with Espoma’s Flower-tone!

Once your plants start to bloom, start cutting! The more you cut, the more the plants will flower. Happy fall, and happy gardening!

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Video: Planting a Flower Bed with Summer Rayne Oakes

Take a look at how Summer Rayne Oakes from Flock Finger Lakes uses Bio-tone Starter to enhance her soil with the right nutrients and make her garden flourish!

 

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