Wheatgrass Decoration|Space Gardening

Wheat grass centerpiece is not a new concept. I liked this idea very much, so thought to share with you all. You can use wheat grass to decorate your house when it is a party, wedding, birthday or even in Easter. Here’s what you will need to grow your own wheat grass at home.

Supply List:

  • Potting soil
  • tiny rocks or gravel
  • scissors
  • grosgrain ribbon
  • 1 cup of hard red wheat
  • 7-9 tea cups or other fun small containers for planting

For this project, I grew wheat grass in soil.

Growing Wheat Grass in Soil

Kids can complete most of these steps with your supervision and they love this project because the grass grows so quickly, it actually holds their interest.

1. Soak 1/2 cup of seeds in water for 24 hours (you can leave it for up to 48 hours if you tend to get distracted like me, and still plant it).

2. Put some gravel or very small rocks in the bottom of your container for drainage (I tried skipping this step once and my grass roots got moldy)

3. Fill it with soil, leaving about 1/2 inch of space at the top of the container and add a little water ( if your kids are doing this part, they may need a little help measuring, as you’ll see below 😉

4. Spread your seeds on top of the soil. You want your grass to be dense, so the whole surface of your soil should be covered with seeds, but they shouldn’t piled on top of each other. You may have left over seeds depending on the size of your planters.

5. Cover the seeds with a very thin layer of soil- just enough so they aren’t exposed.

6. Water twice a day.

7. Within about 48 hours, you should see little green sprouts- very exciting!

8. Transfer your planters to a sunny spot (near a window) and keep the soil moist. Watering 1/4 cup per planter, twice a day, worked well for me.

9. By day 10 you should have a very healthy crop of grass

10. Give it a hair cut (my daughter loved this part) and show it off.

Here are some ideas on how you can use wheat grass for decoration:
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Air Plant|Space Gardening

How to Grow Air Plants

Even though they are easy to care for, there are a few rules to follow when growing air plants:

  • Constant air circulation — as the name indicates — is paramount to keeping your plant happy.
  • Air plants need some moisture; from late spring to mid-autumn, mist daily. In winter, mist only once or twice a week.
  • Fertilize monthly in spring and summer using a low-nitrogen liquid fertilizer mixed at only one-quarter strength. In general, fertilize weakly.
  • Although they love warm weather, most air plants need protection from full sun. If it’s a type that grows naturally wild on trees, keep it in moist, partial shade. If it is a ground type, such as T. cyanea orT. lindenii, grow it indoors in bright, filtered light and outdoors in partial or dappled shade.
  • Don’t let an air plant sit somewhere that’s colder than 45 degrees; it will die at those temperatures. If you live in Zone 9 or warmer, you can grow an air plant outdoors all year if you keep it dry during the winter.

How to Use Air Plants

Air plants look great alone as architectural elements or in an air plants terrarium. Place varieties such asTillandsia aeranthos ‘Amethyst’, also called the rosy air plant, into a pot or against a container that will complement or contrast with its pink flower spike.

Play off the spikiness of the foliage by grouping three Tillandsia ionantha and add a tiny toucan, parasol, or other tropical touch.

Air plants that are naturally suited to growing in trees can be lashed against a protected wooden post using translucent fishing monofilament and a bit of sphagnum moss to add extra moisture. Tillandsia species also make fine companions on a planted branch with orchids since they like essentially the same conditions. Hanging air plants are a popular design element.

Here’s some ideas on how to display your air plant:

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I found this video very helpful and interesting. You can follow the link for clear instruction:

Indoor Crocus Bulb|Space Gardening

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Crocus flowers are among the first to herald spring, sometimes popping their bright blooms through the snow. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait till spring to enjoy these glorious flowers. Growing crocus indoors is easy to do by forcing them into bloom mid-winter. Start the process in fall — October is an ideal time. A crocus bulb is actually a corm. Corms produce beautiful cup-shaped blooms in purple, lavender, white or yellow — plain or striped — each with a bright orange stigma. All have slender, upright leaves that are green and white striped.

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Crocuses need a cold treatment for 12 weeks to bloom. If you bought pre-chilled corms, you can skip this step.

  1. Choose a shallow pot (at least 3 in/7 cm deep) with drainage holes in the bottom. Fill the pot loosely with potting mix. Set several corms side by side — close but not touching — pointed end up. Set corms so that their tips are even with pot rim. Do not press the corms into the mix. It should be loose so the roots can grow through it easily. Cover with additional potting mix until just barely covered.
  2. Water thoroughly and discard drainage.
  3. Move pot to a dark, cool, but not freezing, (40°F/4°C) location such as a basement, unheated garage or refrigerator. Avoid storing corms near ripening fruit or vegetables which give off ethylene gas which can damage the corms. Keep them in cold storage for about 12 weeks. Keep the medium barely moist.
  4. When shoots reach about 2 in (5 cm) tall, bring the pot out of cold storage and place it in a slightly warmer (50°F/10°C) location with low light intensity. Over the next few days, gradually move it toward a sunny window. Turn the pot every day for even growth. When in full bloom, keep crocuses in a bright location out of direct sun to prolong the bloom.

Crocus Care Tips

crocus, crocus bulbs, crocus flowersOrigin: Hybrids with corms originating from Europe, North Africa and Asia

Height: Up to 8 in (20 cm)

Light: Keep in a dark location during cold treatment. Cover pot with a box, pot or black garbage bag if necessary. After shoots appear, move to bright light with some direct sun as directed above.

Water: Water sparingly until growth appears, then water enough to keep soil evenly moist. Flowering plants are thirsty, so check them often.

Humidity: Average room humidity.

Temperature: Cool to average (40-60°F/6-16°C)

Soil: Any good potting mix.

Fertilizer: Feed monthly with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half from planting until start of blooming. Do not fertilize while plants are in bloom.

Propagation: Corms will not bloom a second time indoors. They do produce offsets, but they take a few years to mature. If you want to keep them, allow the foliage to die back naturally, then store them in a cool, dry place. Plant the corms in your flower garden in the fall and let Mother Nature take care of them. They’ll bloom when they’re ready.

 

Types Of Ferns To Grow Indoor|Space Gardening

crocodile fern

Crocodile Fern

1. Crocodile Fern:

We love this fern’s interesting texture. The bright green fronds have a decidedly reptilian look and it’s not tough to see where the common name comes from. It makes a bold statement: At maturity, each frond can reach 3 feet long.

Name: Microsorium musifolium ‘Crocodyllus’
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
Size: To 4 feet tall and wide

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Lemon Button Fern

2. Lemon Button Fern:

Lemon button fern produces cute, golden-green fronds with rounded edges (that give it the buttonlike appearance). It’s an easy-to-grow fern that fits in well with a lot of decorating styles.

Name: Nephrolepis cordifolia ‘Lemon Button’

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity

Size: To 3 feet tall and 4 feet wide

maidenhair fern

Maidenhair Fern

3. Maidenhair Fern:

Among the most loved ferns, maidenhairs offer fine-textured fronds on black stalks. The arching fronds emerge light green and darken a bit as they age.

Name: Adiantum raddianum ‘Fritz Luth’

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity

Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

rabit's foot fern

Rabit’s Foot Fern

4. Rabbit’s-Foot Fern:

This slow-growing fern offers dark green, fine textured fronds and fuzzy stems that creep down over the pot or along the soil. These stems are what gives the fern its delightful common name.

Name: Humata tyermanii
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

staghorn fern

Staghorn Fern

5. Staghorn Fern:

Among the most spectacular of ferns, stag horns don’t need to be grown in soil so you often see them mounted and grown on walls or posts. They offer deep green, antler like fronds that definitely make a statement in your home’s decorating scheme.

Name: Platycerium bifurcatum

Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity

Size: To 6 feet tall and wide

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Birds Nest Fern

6. Bird’s Nest Fern:

Another of our favorites, bird’s nest fern is a slow-growing plant with bright green fronds that radiate from the center of the plant, creating a vase or bird’s nest shape. It’s versatile and easy to grow.

Name: Asplenium nidus
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
Size: To 5 feet tall and wide (but usually 1-2 feet indoors)

silver brake fern

Silver Brake Fern

7. Silver Brake Fern:

Create a distinctive look in your home with this fern. The crested fronds are almost spidery and bear a bright silvery stripe down the center.

Name: Pteris cretica ‘Mayi’
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

kangaroo paw

Kangaroo Paw Fern

8. Kangaroo Paw Fern:

This interesting fern offers shiny, dark green fronds in an unkempt mound reminiscent of Medusa’s hair. Like rabbit’s-foot fern, it bears creeping stems that may grow down the side of its container!

Name: Microsorium diversifolium
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
Size: To 2 feet tall and wide

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Boston Fern

9. Boston Fern:

The most common indoor fern, Boston ferns are long-lived plants that can reach more than 5 feet tall and wide at maturity (though indoors they rarely reach that size). Fern breeders have released a large number of varieties — from selections with golden fronds to fantastically frilled fronds. Shown here is ‘Fluffy Ruffles’.

Name: Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Fluffy Ruffles’
Growing Conditions: Medium to bright light and high humidity
Size: To 7 feet tall and wide (but usually 2-3 feet tall and wide indoors)

Miniature Waterfall In Your Terrarium|Space Gardening

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Making a waterfall in your vivarium or terrarium is an easy way to add visual appeal. Your pet will love the increased humidity from a waterfall, and the water movement will facilitate beneficial bacterial growth in your substrate, keeping wastes down and your reptile’s or amphibian’s habitat clean and fresh. There are several basic steps involved in constructing a waterfall for your vivarium or terrarium.

Instruction:

1. Place your pump. Generally, place it in a back corner.

2. Install the tubing by attaching it to the pump. We strongly recommend using reinforced tubing. Use about 6″ more tubing than you think you’ll need – you don’t want to cover the end of the tubing with foam when you make your background.

3. Place any fake rock/wood/hardscape in place, then foam it with Great Stuff Gaps and Cracks filler. Wear gloves and protect your work surface!

4. Let the tank sit for about a week to allow the foam to cure.

5. Use a serrated steak knife to trim and rough up the foam. Carve it how you like, and make sure all surfaces are roughed up so silicone will stick better.

6. While wearing gloves, apply GE Silicone II Window + Door or aquarium safe silicone to the foam. Cover all exposed foam.

7. While the silicone is still wet, sprinkle on dry coconut fiber or sphagnum peat. Press the substrate in with gloved hands.

8. Stand the tank up and remove any loose coco fiber. Use silicone and dry coco fiber to cover any exposed patches of foam.

9. Let the silicone dry for several days, until there is no longer a vinegar smell to the tank.

10. Once cured, use a razor blade to scrape any excess silicone off of the glass. Then, use a shopvac to remove any extra coco fiber or bits of silicone that are not attached to the background. Using the razor blade, cut off any excess hose that sticks out of the background.

11. Add your substrates, and plant!

Kokedama-String Garden|Space Gardening

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The days are getting longer, and the sun is shining more; I can’t think of a better time to get my hands into soil and play around with some fun plant experiments for spring! I’ve seen kokedama — Japanese moss balls — looking great hanging in homes, but I never realized how easy they are to create. Netherlands-based designer and all-around super-creative Aura Scaringi made this simple tutorial for crafting your own hanging kokedamagarden using a combination of peat soil and akedama, or bonsai soil.

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Materials

  • a tiny plant; moss can’t stand direct sunlight, so choose a shadow-loving plant. I have used baby ferns, grass and another lovely plant with violet flowers, the name of which I can’t recall.
  • a 7:3 ratio of peat soil and akedama, or bonsai soil
  • dry sphagnum moss (you can buy a whole bag at most plant shops)
  • scissors
  • cotton thread
  • nice packing string like twine, hemp or sisal.
  • gloves. Yes, it WILL get messy.
  • a jar of water
  • moss, which you can either buy in a large box or pick yourself in the woods

Instructions

1. Remove as much soil as possible from your tiny plant so that its roots are exposed. Be very thorough but gentle!

2. Mix your peat and akedama soil together. You know the consistency is right when you are able to make a small ball from the earth without it breaking apart.

3. Now that your soil is mixed, start shaping it into a small, orange-sized ball. Use a little bit of water if needed. Think clay or pizza dough.

4. Make sure each ball has enough room to accommodate the roots of your plant.

5. Take a bunch of dry sphagnum moss and wrap it carefully around the roots, making a circular and compact shape. Then tie the cotton string around it several times. This will eventually dissolve.

6. Make a small hole in your soil ball, and gently press the plant inside it. Be careful to “close” the shape back to a sphere

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7. Now it’s time for the fun part: take small sheets of moss (any kind of moss) and press them firmly into the soil. Don’t leave any open spaces. Wrap the twine string around the ball as if you are packing a present, and leave the sides as long as needed.

8. Choose a nice, shady place, install a hook and hang your wonderful planet of moss.

9. YOU’RE DONE!

Here’s a video tutorial on how to make a string garden which you can follow.

Pond In Patio|Space Gardening

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Have you had your eye on an expensive water feature for your back yard patio? Water features are a great way to add visual interest to your back yard, and can help provide a calming oasis for you and your family to relax next to after a long day. Water features, however, don’t have to be expensive or labor intensive. With a few items from your local home improvement store, you can make a patio container pond in less than an hour.

mini-ponds-patio-tableThings you will need:

  • Any tublike container
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) flexible liner in 20 mil thickness
  • Dechlorinator (available at any aquatic store)
  • Large stone or glass objects to add character
  • Water plants
  • Water creatures

 

Instructions:

1.  Go to your local home improvement store or pond supply and purchase a small pump and spray head to take it with you when you choose your pots. Examine your pump and spray head to see if you will need  glue to keep them together.

2.  Choose a large pot (with no holes in the bottom) for the exterior of your pond. You can use a large plastic container, but clay pots are beautiful and makes a big difference in the overall look of your pond.

3.  Choose a second, smaller pot that fits upside down in the bottom of the large pot.  This will be where you set the pump.  You want the pump under water, with the sprayer above the surface of the water.

4.  In the garden section, choose several inexpensive water plants. We chose several that were only a couple of dollars each. One has a purple flower on it, and another one looks like a miniature head of lettuce.

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*Goldfish are fun to add to container ponds.  You can buy them at pond supply stores, but they are cheaper at your local pet store. We bought some “feeder” fish for .15 each.Be sure to pick up some food while you’re there.

5.  To assemble the pond, place your large pot on your patio somewhere near an electrical outlet so you can plug it in. Next place the smaller pot upside down in the center of the large pot.

6.  Attach your sprayer to the pump. If necessary, seal them together with glue. Place the pump upright on top of the small pot.

7.  Fill the large pot with water. We filled ours about 3/4 full. You just want the pump to be underwater and the sprayer to be above the surface of the water.

8.  Arrange your plants in the water, and plug in the pump to make sure everything is working correctly.

*If you chose to add fish, float them in the bags for at least a few hours to acclimate them to the new temperature and allow the sprayer to eliminate any chlorine from the water.  Last but not least, open the bags and add your fish.

Here’s a video link  you can follow to learn the basics of patio pond.

That’s it, enjoy your work of art!