Cinnamon Garden Uses | How to Use Cinnamon in The Garden

Cinnamon Garden Uses

Treat pests, and many other garden ailments with these Cinnamon garden uses. Using cinnamon in the garden is organic and won’t harm beneficial organisms.

Bowl of Cinnamon Powder

There can’t be any second thoughts about the uses of cinnamon in the kitchen. After all, this wonderful spice is used in so many culinary dishes and is super healthy. But did you know that you can use cinnamon in the garden too! Yes, you heard it right; there are many cinnamon garden uses. Here are the best picks for Cinnamon Garden Uses!

1. Control Ants with Cinnamon

Control Ants

Are you frequently encountering ants in your home or garden? Here is a solution that won’t kill ants but make them steer clear of your household and garden, especially during the summers when ants like to come out from their colonies and roam around. You can sprinkle cinnamon powder at the entryways and around ant colonies so they won’t be able to find a path that leads them to you.

2. Cinnamon Rooting Agent

Cinnamon acts as an excellent rooting agent when you can’t get your hand on rooting hormones. Dip the rooting end of cutting in water and cover it up with cinnamon powder. It’s going to be easy as cinnamon sticks to the wet surface. Now plant the cutting in the garden, pot, or anywhere you like to grow them. Not only will cinnamon facilitate roo growth, but it will also prevent infections and diseases. Propagating cutting was never this easier!

3. Fungicide Control

Plants are susceptible to fungal infections, especially when they are in the initial growth phase. Cinnamon not only kills the fungus in seedlings but helps keep fungal diseases at bay for older plants too! You can prevent Rust, slime mold, tomato leaf mold, and other such diseases caused by fungi by using the cinnamon spray solution. One to two tablespoon for cinnamon powder in a liter lukewarm water will suffice. Allow this solution to sit overnight and strain it in the spray bottle. Spray this solution over the infected parts, such as leaves or stems.

4. Save Seedlings

Save Seedlings

Both seeds and seedlings are susceptible to die with damping-off diseases, which are the soil-borne fungal diseases. Fungal spores live in the soil and seeds, and seedlings are their primary target. As mentioned above, cinnamon is antifungal, so the use of cinnamon is effective against damping-off diseases. Spray the cinnamon solution onto the soil before planting seeds. An organic approach to saving your seeds and seedlings!

5. Pest Control

Spider mites, whiteflies, and other such pests can wreak havoc in your garden. Whether the pest infestation is in the garden or greenhouse cinnamon is the solution. It’ll kill pests such as spider mites and prevent the further spread of these pests from one plant to another. Lightly sprinkle the cinnamon powder around the base of the plant and on the surface of the leaves. Make sure not to overdo it as it may clog pores and prevent sunlight from reaching the surface.

6. Control Mushroom

The mushroom problem can be more common than you think. Once rogue mushrooms find their way into the garden, there is no stopping them. But there is a simple way you can fix this problem—spray cinnamon spray solution on the base of the plant where you’re mushroom growth. Cinnamon possesses antifungal properties, and mushroom is fungi, so it’s a no brainer that this will work. It’ll get rid of the mushrooms and prevent further growth and spread.

7. Heal Plant Wounds

How often does it happen that plants get damaged during pruning, weed whacking, or other reasons? Just like humans, plant wounds also need fixing up as they can develop fungal infection and be home to several diseases and pests. Sprinkle or dust cinnamon powder over plant wounds to encourage healing and keep fungal infections at bay.

8. Keep Rodents at Bay

Keep Rodents at Bay

Furry pests are capable of eating away your hard-earned harvest and destroy garden beds in a matter of days. In the vegetable garden, rabbits, mice, moles, and squirrels are usually the culprits. Sprinkle cinnamon in your garden around the vegetable garden and places you find these furry pests lurking. Breathing in cinnamon irritates the mouth and nose of such pests. Don’t worry, it won’t cause any permanent, but those pests don’t revisit you.

9. Deter Flying Bugs

The presence of flying bugs in the garden is a mood spoiler, especially while spending leisure time in the garden. According to a study, cinnamon is even more effective at killing mosquitoes larvae than DEET. This research was carried out by the American Chemical Society. Use cinnamon oil for this purpose and spray its solution around your garden. One-fourth tablespoon of oil for every four ounces of water will suffice. You can also dust the cinnamon powder around the yard.

Is Jalapeno a Fruit or Vegetable? All about Jalapeno

Is Jalapeno a Fruit or Vegetable? All about Jalapeno

Is Jalapeno a fruit or a vegetable? If you ever wondered if Jalapeno is a fruit or not you have come to the right place to find out!

Jalapeno Peppers

Usually, people don’t bother to find out whether something they eat is a fruit or vegetable. After all, it’s understood as something sweet must be fruit, and something that isn’t sweet is vegetable. But what if we told you there are some exceptions to this rule. So, is Jalapeno an exception? Is Jalapeno a fruit or a vegetable? Most of us consider it a vegetable as it isn’t sweet, but what if Jalapeno is a fruit? We have all the answers to your query about what Jalapeno is. But first, for those who don’t know, let’s talk about what is Jalapeno!

What is Jalapeno?

Jalapeno in a Container

Jalapeno peppers are a pod type medium-sized chili pepper cultivar that belongs to the capsicum family. Native to Mexico, this moderately spicy chili pepper is consumed worldwide. Its name is derived from the Mexican city “Jalapa” where it was first cultivated. It hangs down from the plant growing to 2-4 inches in length with 1 to 2 inches thick, round, and firm flesh. It’s green in color but turns red, orange, or yellow when allowed to ripen fully. You can eat it fresh or use it as a spice in many cuisines. From the supermarket aisles, you can have canned sliced or pickled Jalapeno.

Is Jalapeno a Fruit or Vegetable?

Jalapeno is chili, and usually, people have a misconception about chilies that they come under vegetables as they aren’t sweet. You heard it right; we said misconception as it’s not true, and Jalapeno is a fruit. Not only Jalapeno but other chilies such as chili peppers, serranos, and poblanos all come under fruits. But why something that isn’t plumpy like a banana or juicy and tart like an orange comes under fruit?

Why is Jalapeno a Fruit

Although it seems bizarre that Jalapeno is a fruit, you’ll be even more surprised to know that tomatoes, eggplant, zucchini, and okra are all fruits. What’s common in them? All have internal edible seeds in them. Vegetables are the seedless consumable parts of the plants, except for some vegetables having seeds. So to answer your question, taste doesn’t determine whether something is a fruit or vegetable, but seeds do.

Popular Jalapeno Varieties

  • Aji Omnicolor
  • Black Jalapeno
  • Firenza
  • Senorita
  • Mucho Nacho
  • Sierra Fuego
  • Mammoth Jalapeno
  • Mucho Nacho
  • Early Jalapeno
  • Biker Billy
  • Purple Jalapeno
  • Orange Jalapeno

Some Common Names Include

  • The Ripe Red Jalapeno or Huachinango
  • Fat Chili Pepper or Chile Gordo
  • Cuaresmeño
  • Smoked Jalapeno Pepper or Chipotle Pepper

Health Benefits of Jalapeno

Health benefits of Jalapeno

Raw Jalapeno is 92 percent water and negligible fat, which makes it a perfect addition to the diet. Apart from that, jalapenos are rich sources of vitamin C, vitamin K (Moderate), vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin B6. Here are some of the health benefits of jalapenos.

  • Jalapenos help in lowering blood pressure. Not just Jalapeno, but other chilies were found to lower the blood pressure, as seen in this study!
  • Including jalapenos in the diet reduces appetite and increases metabolism, which in turn promotes weight loss. A study published by NCBI supports this claim.
  •  Capsaicin, which is present in Jalapeno and other chili peppers, possesses anti-cancer properties. More human studies need to be done to support this claim.
  • Unsupportive to the popular belief capsaicin can reduce the inflammation in the stomach, but that’s not true for other spicy foods. Consumption of Jalapeno can prevent stomach ulcers, as found in this study. Another study that supports this claim is here!
  • Common foodborne bacteria and fungi grow at an accelerated rate once the food is allowed to sit at room temp for prolonged hours. Slow down the growth of these food poisoning bacteria and fungi by using Jalapeno as a spice in the food. Compounds found in chilies can even inhibit the deadly foodborne disease caused by cholera bacteria, as we found here.

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How Long do Carrots Take to Grow in Containers

How long do carrots take to grow in containers

Growing carrots in the container aren’t much different from growing carrots in the field. But what about the harvest time? Let’s find out how long does it take to grow carrots in containers.

Harvesting Carrots from containers

Growing carrots in the container is an easy and convenient way to get a fresh harvest at hand. But is growing carrots in a container any different from growing carrots in the field? Most importantly, is the harvest time different for carrots in the container than carrots in the field. How long do carrots take to grow in the containers? Let’s find out!

Harvest Time for Carrots

After sowing seeds, it takes anywhere from between 60-80 days for the carrots to be mature and ready for harvest. Now the days might differ slightly depending on the variety, but usually, when the tops are visible above the soil, the carrot is ready for harvest. You can even harvest young carrots 10-15 days before they a fully mature as they are sweeter and tender when harvested young. Is the time any different for harvesting carrots in containers? The short answer is no!

Harvest Time for Carrots in Containers

There isn’t any difference in harvest time weather you grow carrots in containers or your backyard. As mentioned above, your carrots will be ready for harvest in 60-80 days. Still, the harvest time may differ if you don’t care for carrots based on their needs in the container. When given proper care in the container, they will be ready for harvest on time. Sometimes gardeners tend to cramp up carrots in the container to increase the yield. But it may have a negative impact on the growth as when crammed up in small space and not allowed enough room to grow the carrots grow out to be leggy and shunted. So, to have a good quality carrot harvest right on time, make sure to space the carrots adequately apart.

Check out this article to know more about caring for carrots in containers.

How to Harvest Carrots in Container

Harvesting carrots in the container is quite simple. Once the head is visible, loosen up the soul around carrots using a small spade or any other such tool. Grab the carrot green and move the carrot around to loosen up the soil even more. Once the soil is loose enough around the carrot, pull it out. It’s that simple! Don’t use too much force as it can damage the carrot.

Did you find this article helpful? Let us know in the comments section. Happy Harvesting!

25 Budget-friendly Photo Wall Ideas | Easy Photo Wall Ideas

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Budget friendly Photo Wall Ideas

Transform your home with these amazing budget-friendly photo wall ideas! You can even engage your kids in these DIY photo wall ideas.

Looking at those old pictures bring back all the good memories and fill out hearts with love! These DIY photo wall ideas will inspire you to bring those photos out of the album and display them on the wall. Plus, you’ll transform the empty looking walls with something artistic. With all the time we have in this COVID-19 pandemic, these and budget-friendly photo wall ideas are the best way to cure boredom and get something productive out of it.

1. DIY Poster Hanger

Budget Friendly DIY Poster Hanger

Hanging posters on the wall is something we all did during our college days! Here is a budget-friendly photo wall idea to do it with a twist by using a non-conventional wooden frame.

2. Clothespin Photo Wall

Budget Friendly Clothespin Photo Wall

This cute and economical photo wall DIY requires clothespin and a thick string! Simply stick 3-4 photos on the string using a clothespin and hang that string on the wall.

3. Fairy Lights Photo Wall

Fairy Light DIY

Don’t know what to do with those fairy lights after Christmas? Here‘s a way to use those fairy lights artistically. All you need to do this stick your photos to fairy lights and hang it on the wall.

4. Photo Mosaic Wall Art

DIY Photo Mosiac

Want to surprise your loved ones? Gift them photo mosaic, which includes pictures of your special moments together. The easy step by step tutorial is here.

5. DIY Photo Heart Collage

DIY Photo Heart Collage

Stick the photos that bring back fond memories in a heart shape on the wall. You can leave the center space blank or write something memorable. We got the inspiration from here.

6. Black and White Photo Display

Black and White Photo Display

Black and white photos possess a timeless quality to them and never go out of trend. Choose some personal favorite of yours and get them framed printed out. Golden frames contrast well with black and white photos. Go for a black or white frame for a classy look, as we found here.

7. DIY Pet Photo Wall Clock

DIY Pet Photo Wall Clock

Have a customized photo clock in no time by following this easy tutorial. You can even have pictures of your pets on display and make a different clock for each room.

8. Wooden hanger frames

Wooden Hanger Photo Frame

An easy and straightforward DIY that won’t require hours of tedious work. All you need is wooden hanger frames and a favorite photo of yours! The detailed tutorial is here.

9. Budget-Friendly String Photo Wall Ideas

Budget Friendly String Photo Wall Ideas

Your search for an easy and simple DIY ends here! All you need is a yarn string or any string for that matter, tiny nails, and glue to stick your photos to the string.

10. Chalkboard Gallery Wall

This inexpensive DIY project is done on hardboard double-coated with black paint. Stick up the photo on the hardwood and let the kids take the task of drawing borders around it. Know more here.

11. Grid Photo Wall

DIY Grid Photo Wall

Simply hang the grid on the wall and attach photos to it! You can even spray paint the grid to make it more colorful and happening.

12. Ombre Photo Wall

Ombre Photo Wall

Don’t let the photos of friends and family stay in the closet! With this Ombre photo wall idea, you can bring out each picture to life. The step by step tutorial is here!

13. Mini Photo wall

Mini Photo Wall

Not much space left on the wall? Don’t worry as with the small 2 x 3 sized photos; you can have as many pictures as you like in a single frame. We got inspired by Abeautifulmess.

14. DIY Tape Photo Wall Frame

DIY Tape Photo Wall Frame

The only requirement for this minimalist photo wall idea is tape! Stick your photos to the wall and draw colorful borders of different shapes around it. Washi tape or poster tape are good choices.

 15. Clipboard Photo Wall

Clipboard Photo Wall

Swap your photos or even change them whenever you want in whichever order. Hang clipboards on the wall and attach your photos to it. It’s that simple!

16. Split Photo Wall Art

DIY Split Photo Wall Art

Split the photo into 2, 3, 4, or even more parts and hang it spaced apart a few inches, so it creates a whole image. Use Adobe or any photo split app do split the photo and get it printed from any local printing shop or online printing service.

17. Staircase Photo Wall Idea

Staircase Photo Wall Idea

Space available beside the staircase wall is usually empty and dull. Brighten up that space by putting up photos on that wall. Pro tip “hang the photos in a manner that the slope remains parallel to the staircase.”

18. DIY Arranged Grid Photo Wall

DIY Grid Photo Wall

This budget-friendly photo wall idea requires only a ruler and poster tape! Make sure to space out the photos evenly using a ruler for a neat and consistent effect.

19. Wooden Ladder Photo Wall

Wooden Ladder Photo Wall

It’s an idea for those of you who have an old wooden ladder degrading away in the storeroom. Tie a string across each rung, and you’ll get to have photos on each level. Either poke a hole in the picture and pass the string through it or use a clip to attach the photo.

20. DIY Photo Ledges

DIY Photo Ledges

Photo ledges are perfect for featuring framed pictures or any other artwork. Spray or paint the ledges to give them a personal touch. The detailed tutorial is here!

21. DIY Foam Board

Budget Friendly Foamboard Photo Wall

Stick your photos on the foamboard and hang in on the wall. The photos pop out more on the foamboard, bringing them more into focus and giving a lively appearance. We got inspired by this post!

22. DIY Window Frame Photo

DIY Window Frame Photo

Don’t know what to do with those window panes after renovating your home? Turn them into vintage frames with this creative Window photo frame idea!

23. Antique Photo Wall

Antique Photo Wall Idea

Ornate metallic and wooden frames are well- suited for creating that all-time antique look. Experiment with different circular and square frame shapes.

24. DIY Timeline Gallery Photo Wall

DIY Wall Timeline

Create photo frames and add years to them to arrange the photos in a chronological manner. Choose the personal favorites of yours from each year! Instructions are here.

25. Binder Clip Photo Wall

Budget Friendly Binder Clip Photo Wall

For this budget-friendly DIY, you’ll need binder clips and nails to hand them on the wall. It’s that easy and simple!

35 Most Drought Tolerant Plants | Plants That Grow in Lack of Water

Most Drought Tolerant Plants

Don’t let water scarcity stop you from gardening by planting these drought-tolerant plants. Even without scarcity of water, you shouldn’t shy away from the opportunity to save water!

Planting in the dry regions is tough especially when you face water scarcity in your region. We have put together a list of some of the most Drought-tolerant plants that’ll keep your love for gardening alive even in adverse conditions. These hardy drought-tolerant plants can survive prolonged spells of dry and drought and will save tons of water!

1. Bougainvillea

Botanical Name: Bougainvillea

Door shaded by bougainville

A versatile, colorful plant that comes in all the forms ornamental, vine, and bush. The showy feature is not the waxy flower but the colorful sepal-like bract surrounding it. Papery textured bracts are stunning and range from white, pink, orange, purple, to burgundy. Bougainvilleas are the most drought-tolerant plants and easy to care for too!

2. Lavender

Botanical termLavendula

Lavender close-up view

Lavender blooms throughout the year and has bluish or purple stunning spikes that are the reason behind its cool name. Flowering is at its peak in the springs and benefits tremendously from deadheading. Upright flower spikes bear fragrant lavender, deep blue-purple, light pink, and white flowers. Ideal for the herb garden and hedges and can tolerate blazing hot sun and dry soil!

3. Verbena

Botanical Name: Verbena

USDA Zone: 3-11

Verbena Flower Blooms

Foliage comprises of opposite growing leaves with varying degrees of hairs on the surface, depending on the species. Densely packed spikes of flowers come in many shades of dazzling blue with some white, pink, or purple. They can tolerate even the hottest summer days and dry soil. Promote flowering by trimming the plant to one-fourth, and you’ll notice flowering in a few weeks.

4. Rock Soapwort

Botanical Name: Saponaria ocymoides

Flowers of drought tolerant Rock soapwort

This low creeping plant can grow from 1-3 feet in height and is an excellent ground cover. Want to know an interesting fact about the plant? You can use it to make soap and hence the name Soapwort. Midsummer to fall is the time when it presents charming clusters of blooms ranging from pale pink to white. Plant it in empty beds, woodland edges, rock gardens, or let it spill out from sunny slopes or over rock walls.

5. Agave

Botanical Name: Agave

Succulent plant agave

Rosette of large fleshy leaves is the distinct feature of agaves. Agaves are succulent, so they require less water. Native to hot and arid regions of America, they are not new to drought and dry conditions. Most agaves have a sharp terminal spine and small marginal spines. Commercially blue agave is used to produce tequila, a popular alcoholic beverage.

6. Palms

Botanical Name: Arecaceae

Palm tree in basket

Bring that tropical feel to your home and garden with the palms! There are numerous varieties from which you can choose the one that suits your needs. If you have a scarcity of space, go for dwarf palms as they don’t take up much space. The good thing about date palms is that once established; they can tolerate prolonged periods of drought.

7. Angel’s Fishing Rods

Botanical Name: Dierama pulcherrimum

Angels fishing rod

The attractive feature is the arching stems that appear to be nodding and adorned with bell-shaped flowers. You can expect the blooms from early to late summer, ranging from pink, magenta to white. Grass-like foliage further enhances its beauty and makes it dance to the flow of the wind.

8. Sea Holly

Botanical Name: Eryngium

Sea holly

Sea holly stands apart from other plants due to the distinctive purplish-blue flowers. The striking color of the flowers is due to the bracts that surround a green or blue cone present at the center. It offers different shaped leaves such as lobed, long, and even round for different varieties. Give it a corner or sidewalk, and it won’t disappoint you.

9. Mediterranean Spurge

Botanical Name: Euphorbia characias

Mediterranean spurge

When other flowers die in the late winters, it stands against the cold and stark surroundings. The main stem is surrounded by bluish-green foliage spirally, giving it a bottle brush type appearance. Well adapted to dry and gritty soil as its origin from the Mediterranean region. Yellow flowers grow in massive clusters and sports chartreuse flower bracts. Watch out for the sap as it can irritate the skin.

10. Striped-stemmed Aloe

Botanical Name: Aloe striatula

Aloe vera succulent

Also known as the hardy aloe, it’s probably the toughest and among the most drought tolerant plants you’ll come across. Bright yellow flowers on the upright flower spikes tower above the plant and are pendulous. Flowers growing clusters and cover up the top half of the spike, making it visible from far. Striped leaves and stems in shades of green and dark green make it an exciting addition to any space.

11. Wallflower

Botanical Name: Erysimum

Close-up image of wallflower

They are known for the beautiful colors and sweet aroma. The wallflowers are short-lived perennials in warmer regions (USDA Zones 8-10); others are annuals (in colder areas) or biennials that resist drought well and require occasional watering. Flowers appear in spring and summer in clusters. Put your wallflower plant in a sunny or partially shaded place and remember not to water it much.

12. Lantana

Botanical Name: Lantana camara

USDA Zones: 7 to 11

Lantana plant

If you wish for flowers that remain in an extended bloom period, lantana is the best choice. They can be both annuals and perennials, depending on the weather with blooms all year round in warm regions. Grow them in the yard, porch, or containers and even in hanging baskets if it’s a trailing variety. It’s one of the most heat and drought tolerant plants!

13. Jerusalem Sage

Botanical Name: Phlomis

Jerusalem sage with pink blooms

Although fuzzy foliage of Jerusalem sage greyish-green and textured add interest, it’s the flowers that are a delight. Bright yellow flowers are arranged spirally on a vertical stalk, and one resides on the top of another, giving it a structural beauty. Be it a herb garden, vegetable garden, or raised planters; it’s a go-to plant. Furthermore, it attracts butterflies and hummingbirds.

14. Bugle Lily

Botanical Name: Watsonia

Bulge Lily

When a plant is related to the lily family, you know it’s going to be striking. Watsonia bulb or bugle lily plants have artistic sword-shaped leaves and eye-catchy flowers. Towering to a foot above the foliage, the flowers come in shades of orange, pink, scarlet, and peach. Flowering in mid-summer, they make up for a glorious cut-flower.

15. Moss Rose

Botanical Name: Portulaca grandiflora

Moss rose

Another flowering plant in the list that also goes by the name sun rose and Portulaca. One of the hardest when it comes to heat and drought-tolerant plants. As they self seed and spread quickly, most gardeners prefer them a ground cover. You can also grow them in a container where they’ll look beautiful, sprawling over the rim. They also grow well in cracks and crevices and perfect for revamping old structures and walkways.

16. Rockrose

Botanical Name: Cistus

Rockrose

Originating from the dry and rocky soil of the Mediterranean, this evergreen shrub has medicinal properties, particularly the flowers. Derivatives of its flowers have a calming effect and work well against anxiety, panic, and stress. From spring to summers it flowers profusely, and the flowers range from pink, rose, yellow, orange, to white. It’s resistant to heat, drought, and salt spray and thrives on neglect. They do well as cut flowers!

17. Oleander

Botanical Name: Nerium oleander

Oleander

This brilliant large shrub can tolerate heat, drought, high-speed winds, and even salt sprays of coastal areas. Blooming throughout the summer and springs, its fragrant blooms come in hues of red, white, yellow, purple, peach, salmon, and pink. Beware as its a highly toxic plant and can turn fatal if ingested, so keep it out f the reach of pets and infants.

18. Cape Daisy/ Marguerite

Botanical Name: Dimorphotheca ecklonis

Cape daisy or cape marguerite

Also known as daisy bushes and African daisies, they are a member of the daisy family. Similar to daises, the petals surround the center disk, and yet it possesses an alien beauty to it. Center disk appears to have a metallic paint and petals a realistic shade. Plant it as a ground cover, in raised beds, or even in pathways and lawn. One of the most beautiful drought-tolerant plants in the list.

19. Wormwood

Botanical Name: Artemisia absinthium

Wormwood

It’s a herb that possesses medicinal properties with a pleasant fragrance. Beds, borders, herb gardens, and rock gardens are ideal for planting this woody perennial. Its silver-gray leaves contrast well with other dark leafed plants. Make sure its planted in well-draining soil. Other varieties of Artemesia also come under drought-tolerant plants.

20. Artichoke

Botanical name: Cynara scolymus

Artichoke

Artichoke belongs to the same family to which thistles, dandelions, and sunflowers belong, which is Asteraceae. In cool regions, grow them as annuals, whereas in warm regions, they are short-lived perennials. The tender and flavorful flower buds are used in various dishes. Reaching a height of 3-6 feet, its woody stems and long arched silver-green leaves are notable.

21. Fountain Grass

Botanical name: Pennisetum setaceum

Fountain grass

As the name suggests, the grass forms a fountain-like shape with foliage emerging from the center and spreading out in all directions. As the grass grows in clumps, its suitable for the backyard as isn’t invasive. Foliage ranges from green to purple with feather-like flowers on the top. Enjoy as the cascading foliage and feather-like flowers sway to the slightest breeze.

22. Beard Tongue

Botanical name: Penstemon

Beard tongue

It’s a hardy herbaceous plant that belongs to mountains and its foothills and commonly found in western America. Bell-shaped flowers grow in the brilliant shades of rose, lilac, bright red, peach, rose, lilac, purple, white, and salmon. Butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees enjoy the nectar of the flower.

23. Kangaroo Paw

Botanical name: Anigozanthos manglesii

Kangaroo paw

This evergreen rhizomatous perennial also goes by names red-and-green kangaroo paw, Mangle’s kangaroo paw, Kurulbrang and is the flower emblem of Western Australia. Hairy red stem sports bunch of narrow leaves at the bottom and flowers are growing out from the top. Racemes of simple and branched flowers are tubular, hairy, and hooded.

24. Geranium

Botanical name: Pelargonium

Flowering geraniums on window of a house

Relish them in the hanging baskets in both indoors and outdoor space or simply as a bedding plant in the garden. They do really well on windowsills! Its a no-fuss plant and once establishes doesn’t require much care including watering. Blooms can be white, pink, and red and spread their intoxicating fragrance in the surroundings. They last for decades but make sure to overwinter them indoors in the cold regions.

25. New Zealand Tea Tree

Botanical name: Leptospermum scoparium

Manuka or New zealand tea tree

Leaves of this evergreen shrub produce aroma when crushed and are needle-like, small, and prickly. Blooms are small and attractive and range from pink, red, to flamboyant white. Pollinators such and bees and butterflies are attracted to the blooms. The essential oil extracted from leaves and medicinal use of bark adds value to it.

26. Trumpet Vine

Botanical name: Campsis radicans

Trumpet vine flowers close up

Trumpet vine or trumpet creeper is a perennial vine that grows fast. Hummingbirds find the trumpet flowers which are tubular and range from yellow, orange, or red particularly attractive. Flowers are followed by bean-shaped seed pods later in the fall. If allowed, it grows to a whooping length of 30-40 feet, which requires frequent pruning to keep in control.

27. Sticks on Fire

Botanical name: Euphorbia tirucalli

Sticks on fire

This evergreen succulent shrub is a show-stealer due to the striking show of colors. The thin pencil-like stems branch out as they grow and attain red, yellow, and orange hues when exposed to the sun. Handle carefully as the milky-white sap of the stems can irritate the skin. A perfect addition to the Waterwise garden for vertical accents, landscapes, fierce colors, and containers for displays. When it comes to drought-tolerant plants it’s the most exciting one!

28. Wild Lilac

Botanical nameCeanothus

California lilac

Wild lilac is gardener’s favorite as it’s versatile, and you can use it anywhere from hedges, groundcover, shrub borders, to even sidewalks. Commonly known as California lilacs, it’s flowering display is both colorful and fragrant. Flowers range from white to various shades of blue, and purple, offering a lot of variety. It requires little water and, once established, can last 10-25 years.

29. Palo Verde

Botanical nameCercidium

Palo verde plant

It belongs to a brilliant architectural family that includes around 12 species of pea family trees. Commonly found in the arid regions, these trees are well adapted to drought-like conditions. In fact, due to the ability to handle heat and drought, they are ideal for desert landscaping. Intricate branches give it a structural beauty with clusters of bright yellow flowers further enhancing it.

30. Sweet Potato Vine

Botanical nameIpomea batatas

Sweet potato vine in container

Vibrant colors of the foliage attract onlookers and are the selling point for sweet potato vine. Grow them as a groundcover vine as they spread quickly via runners or train them on a trellis or pole if you prefer a vine. It also has edible tuberous roots that have a bland taste but are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Deers are its nemesis! Get more info about this plant here.

31. Pride of Madeira

Botanical name: Echium candicans

Pride of madeira

Native to the island of Madeira, this herbaceous perennial sub-shrub can attain a height of 4-8 feet. Bluish purple flower spikes with a large flower head draw attention even from far. In its natural habitat, it grows of rocky cliffs, hillsides, and slopes and, once establishes, requires little to no irrigation. The sap can irritate the skin, and the flowers attract pollinators such as bees.

32. Living Stones

Botanical name: Lithops

Living stones or Lithops bromfieldii), Aizoaceae

If there is one bizarre succulent that never fails to impress its the lithops. The stone-like appearance of the plant is the reason behind its unique common names, such as living stone and pebble plant. It’s a slow grower with minimal watering needs. Perfect accent piece for the small spaces such as in the home and office.

33. Blanket Flower

Botanical Name: Gaillardia

USDA Zone: 3-10

Blanket flower "Goblin"

The rich colors of the daisy-like flowers of this short-lived perennial never fail to impress. Easy to grow even for novice gardeners as it doesn’t require much care. They spread slowly and cover the ground as they are self-seeding, and that’s why called blanket flower. In the initial period, you’ll need to keep the soil moist but once established its drought tolerant.

34. Sage

Botanical Name: Salvia officinalis

Organic sage plants

Sage is a culinary herb that’s used for flavoring various dishes, including meat dishes and bean dishes. This hardy perennial can tolerate both dry and drought and is a perfect fit for both vegetable and herb garden. In the springs, flowers grow on the spikes ranging from purple, blue, white, to pink. Keep in mind that no all varieties are edible!

35. Stonecrops

Botanical Name: Sedum

Stonecrops (sedum) and Aizoon Stonecrop (Sedum aizoon)

This flowering genus contains around 600 species of blooming plants, commonly referred to as stonecrops. Succulent leaves and stems characterize this plant and can hold water. As the leaves and stems can hold water, it can undergo prolonged periods of drought. Clusters of brilliant star-shaped flowers scream attention.

19 Natural Ways to Get rid of Aphids | Identify and kill Aphids

Natural Ways to Get rid of Aphids

Fight aphids in a way that’s not hazardous to the environment and beneficial insects. Here are some safe and natural ways to get rid of aphids!

Most of us find these small pesky insects in our garden and consider them harmless. But once allowed to reproduce aphids multiply quickly and before long cause havoc in the garden. Chemical insecticides kill aphids, but they are harmful to the ecosystem and kill beneficial insects too! The good news is that there are natural ways to get rid of aphids, given you take action at the right time. But first, we need to know more about aphids and how they look to identify them.

What are Aphids?

Aphids are common bugs that rely on plant sap as food and belong to the family Aphidoidea. The good news is that they form in groups on the stems of the plant and move very slowly. They reproduce quickly and, if left untreated before long, will damage the plant beyond recovery. They not only suck the sap from leaves but can damage flowers and fruits as well, making them deformed. Did you ever observe yellowing, wilting and withering plants in your garden? Well, now you can point your finger to the culprit. Aphids! And in this post, we’ll discuss how to get rid of aphids naturally.

How to Identify Aphids

Close-up Image of aphid to help in identification

Although aphids are tiny, identifying them is not difficult, mainly because they are found in groups. Most common aphids are green, but their color can vary and depends on the species and food source.  They can be white, brown, yellow, pink, light green, black, and red. These pear-shaped insects are only to about 1/4th to 1/8th inch in size, making it difficult to spot them with naked eyes. There are aphids secrete a substance that covers their body, giving them a waxy and wooly appearance and hence the name wooly aphids. Long legs and two antennae protruding from the head of aphids is their defining feature. Aphids have wings that help them disperse in search of new food sources, although most adult aphids are wingless. Now that you know how to identify these pesky little creatures, let’s discuss natural ways to get rid of aphids.

How to Get Rid of Aphids

Now that you know more about aphids and how to identify them, let’s learn how to get rid of aphids. Although there are insecticides that kill aphids and are highly effective, they come with their own set of problems. So here we won’t discuss the chemical pesticides but natural ways to keep aphids at bay. Natural remedies to get rid of aphids are effective and won’t harm flora and fauna. As aphids are also soft-bodied insects like whiteflies and spider mites, these natural ways to get rid of aphids are effective against them too! So, without wasting any more time, here are natural ways to kill aphids.

1. Spray Cold Water

Garden hose projecting cold water helps to get rid of aphids

It’s easy and efficient, and all you’ll require is a hosepipe to spray cold water on the affected parts of the plants. Aphids don’t have a stronghold over the surface of the leaves and will get displaced with a strong stream of water. Make sure that the jet of water is not too strong as it can topple or uproot the plant.

2. Handpick Aphids

Handpicking aphids is particularly useful when the aphid infestation is in an early stage. Look on the underside of the leaves, and there is a good chance you’ll spot them. Pick them up by the pinching motion of your hand and throw them out; it’s that simple. Use a magnifying glass to spot aphids easily and make sure to wash your hand after you handpick them. Use gloves for better protection!

3. Aphid Repellent Plants

Herbs in a pot work best as aphid repellent plants

This natural way to get rid of aphids also promotes greenery. More greenery won’t hurt anyone, except for aphids, of course. Plants that belong to the allium family such as chives, garlic, and leeks have a distinct smell that aphids detest. Herbs with strong odor such as fennel, cilantro, dill, and also marigold flower repel aphids and some other pests. Catnip is another plant that repels aphids, although it may attract cats.

4. Aphid Trap Plants

In the previous point, we mentioned plants that repel aphids, but you’ll be surprised to know that there are plants that you can use to trap aphids. Trap plants attract aphids and keep them occupied, so they don’t damage other delicate plants. Keep the trap plants isolated as the aphids can affect the nearby plants. Nasturtium, dahlia, Zinnia, mustard, and hollyhock are some excellent examples of trap plants. It is researched for crop systems under the alias companion plants for aphid management, which you can check out here.

5. Trim Infested Parts

Are there visible chunks of plants missing and heavily infested by aphids? Well, the right thing to do is to get rid of such parts. Use a sharp pruning tool to cut back stems, leaves, flowers, or whichever part is infested. Once you discard the infested parts spray cold water or even better aphid repellent solution over the plant.

6. Soap Solution to Kill Aphids

Gardener spraying soap solution over plant

Liquid soap solution kills aphids by degrading the outer protective layer of aphids, after which they dry out. Prepare the homemade soap solution by pouring 2-3 tablespoons of liquid dish soap and lukewarm water (250-300 ml) in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle and spray the solution over the infested area. Make sure to spray the soap solution only over aphids as it can kill beneficial insects too. A pinch of cayenne pepper in the solution will increase its effectiveness tenfold.

7. Vegetable Oil Solution

It’s a highly effective solution that suffocates aphids by blocking the breathing pores. To prepare this solution, mix liquid soap and vegetable oil in the ratio 1:4, respectively. Pour the solution in a spray bottle and spray it liberally on the underside of leaves infested with aphids. Aphids will suffocate and die within minutes.

8. Apply Neem Oil

Somewhat similar to the soap solution, neem oil has the added advantage of being organic. Apart from aphids, it’s effective against mites, fungi, and other insects. As neem oil is natural, it’s safe for use and won’t harm kids, pets, and your livestock. Two tablespoons of neem oil in a gallon of water are potent to ward off insects, including aphids. Spray the solution liberally over the plant, especially on the underside of the leaves.

9. Essential Oil Solution

Essential oil with fresh rosemary to fight aphids

Similar to neem oil, essential oils are also natural and organic and won’t do any harm to the environment. Peppermint, rosemary, clove, and thyme are all competent to keep pesky pests and aphids at bay, but lavender is the most effective. 5-10 drops of lavender essential oil in a spray bottle filled with water is enough. You can also use a mix of 4-5 different essential oils that’ll ward off several insects. As essential oils are aromatic, they’ll lift your spirit while doing the tedious task. This scientific study supports the effectiveness of essential oil against aphids.

10. Spray Insecticidal Soap

Don’t want to go through the fuss of preparing a solution? Insecticidal soap is the solution as they usually come pre-mixed. Available in garden centers, greenhouses, nurseries, and online stores, it’s easy to get your hands on them. Read the label thoroughly before application as they are harmful to certain plants.

11. Introduce Beneficial Insects

Ladybug is beneficial insect that is killing aphids on plants

By beneficial insects, we mean the insects that prey upon aphids and won’t eat away the plants. You can get them on any online store or attract them by plants they enjoy. Ladybugs/lady beetles, hoverflies, praying mantises, and green lacewings are among such insects that’ll benefit your garden in the long run by keeping aphid infestation under control. See this detailed article on the effect of ladybugs on aphids.

12. Sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth

A naturally occurring sedimentary rock formed by the fossiled marine phytoplankton, and it will help get rid of aphids. As dubious, as it sounds, this can be said about Diatomaceous Earth. All you need to do is sprinkle its powdered form over the parts of plants infested with aphids. Similar to the soap solution, it destroys the outer protective exoskeleton of aphids, which ultimately leads to their death. NCBI supports this claim.

13. Target Ants

Group of ants eating ladybug

Although this sounds absurd, ants do have an impact on the aphids, but its indirectly. Ants prey upon the insects that prey on aphids giving aphids a free rein to reproduce. So next time you see ant colonies in your garden obliterate them. Swarms pf ant is the last thing you want if you want to get rid of aphids. Honey traps are great for luring away ants!

14. Reflect Sunlight

Install an aluminum foil or reflective mulch on the ground near the plant. The reflective surface will redirect the sunlight onto the underside of the plant, making navigation difficult for aphids and other insects. It helps curb the transmission of aphids from one plant to another. Vegetable gardens are more benefited from this than flower gardens.

15. Attract Birds

Tit bird eating aphid from a willow tree

Birds prey on insects, including aphids, so taking measures to attract them in the garden is useful for aphid control. Install birdhouses and spread crumbs of bread and other bird food in the garden to attract birds. Smaller birds such as warblers, chickadees, sparrows, wrens, and titmice love to snack on aphids. Aphids are one of the primary food sources for little birds.

16. Use Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon oil solution is another useful and safe home remedy to keep aphids at bay. Pour half cup of cinnamon oil in a gallon of water to prepare the solution. Turn the garden hose to the plant with a forceful stream of water that’ll make the aphids blow away in the flow.  Now all that’s left is to spray this solution over plants and watch as cinnamon oil does its magic. Don’t leave any crevises on the stem and dose the bark too. Spraying once in every two weeks is enough till the problem persists.

17. Spray Garlic

Garlic is rich in sulfur, which has a pungent smell that aphids detest and is also toxic for pests. To make the garlic spray solution finely chop 3-4 garlic cloves and add 2 tbsp. of mineral oil to it. Let the mix sit for 24 hours and then strain out the chopped garlic. Add the strained liquid to half a liter of water. Use the solution directly or add a tablespoon of liquid dish soap to make to garlic spray solution even more useful.

18. Onion and Castile Soap Concoction

Repel aphid by chopped garlic and onion spray

Apart from vampires and other such evil creatures, aphids also fear garlic and onion. It’s a potent aphid repellent concoction that is prepared by using one organic onion (medium), one organic bulb garlic, cayenne pepper powder (one tbsp.), and castile soap (two tbsp.). First, add all these ingredients except castile soap in a bowl and pour 4 cups of water in it. Mix the ingredients and bring them to a gentle boil. Let it cool and strain through a cheesecloth and discard leftovers. Add castile soap to the mix and pour it in a spray bottle. That’s it!

19. Tomato Leaf Spray

The process is pretty straightforward chop or mince two cups of fresh tomato leaves and add two cups of water to it. Allow the mix to sit overnight without any disturbance and strain out the liquid in the morning. In a spray bottle, pour the strained out liquid and further dilute it with 1-2 cups of water. The solution works because of the alkaloids present in tomato leaves that are toxic to aphids. According to this study, tomato leaf extracts were found effective for aphid and pest control.

How to Grow Carrots in Containers | Easy Way to Grow Carrots at Home

How to Grow Carrots in Containers

The benefits of growing carrots in the container are innumerate. Go through this article to learn how to grow carrots in the containers!

Growing carrots in the container is a boon for those who have a scarcity of space at home or apartments. Carrots don’t take up much space in the garden, and in containers, it’s even less. Carrots are a nutritious and delicious addition to the diet, and if you grow carrots at home, you’ll be able to have them fresh and of optimum quality. There is added advantage of moving the containers around as and when needed. So want to know how to grow carrots in containers? Continue reading.

Botanical Name: Daucus carota

USDA Zone: 4 – 11

How to Grow Carrots in Containers

Carrots are well adapted to climate change and not difficult to grow. Most of the common varieties are orange in color, but you can also grow red, white, yellow, and purple colored varieties. They are rich in beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants and have many health benefits.  You can know more about the nutrients and health benefits here.

Preparation

Before propagating carrots, make sure you have all the needed materials and tools at hand. You’ll need gloves, a container, trowel, potting soil, and, most importantly, seeds. Do some research about the climatic conditions in your region as many other factors will depend on that.  Also, some research on the cultivars as to which carrot is most suited for container growing. In fact, go out there and try different carrots to see which pleases your tastebuds. Preparation is essential and gives you time to think through and plan for the upcoming tasks. So if you want the answer to how to grow carrots in the containers its the first and foremost step.

Propagation

Springs and falls are ideal for sowing seeds, but you can grow them at any time of the year in colder regions. Sow the seeds 1-2 inches below the surface of the soil, or you can sprinkle the seeds and tap them gently. It’ll take around two weeks for the seeds to germinate.

TIP: Soaking the seeds 6-8 hours before planting will speed up the germination.

Thinning

Overcrowded carrots in a small space lead to the inadequate distribution of nutrition and thus affects growth and flavor. The ideal time for thinning is when carrots sprout. Make sure to maintain a space of 2-4 inches between subsequent seedlings, which may differ slightly according to the variety. Seed tape or pelleted seed are already spaced to meet the needs, so there is no need for thinning if you get them.

Choosing a Variety

When planting carrots in the container, it’s essential to choose a variety that’s suitable for container growing. What we mean by that is choose a carrot variety that’s small in size so that it adapts well to the container. We have enlisted some of the best carrots varieties that grow well in pots.

  • Thumbelina
  • Romeo
  • Oxheart
  • Little Finger
  • Short ‘n’ Sweet
  • Parisienne
  • Parmex
  • Danvers Half Long
  • Chantenay Red Core
  • Shin Kuroda.

Selecting the Container

The first and foremost thing is to check whether the container has drainage holes at the bottom. It ensures that the excess water drains freely from the bottom and thus prevents root rot. Carrots grow underground and require a lot of space, especially when it comes to depth. The container that’s around 12 inches deep and wide is sufficient for planting most of the carrot varieties. If you are planning to have more than one carrot in a pot, choose a wide container. Don’t fret unnecessarily about the material of the pot as clay, plastic, ceramic, or even wooden barrels can sustain carrots.

NOTE Kudos to you if you are reusing the container, but make sure to clean it properly to eliminate bacteria or any other lurking threats.

Basic Requirements for Growing Carrots in Pots

Location

Most carrots love to bask in the sun, so make sure you place the pots where it receives direct sunlight. The lightning needs might vary slightly depending on the variety, so take note of that. You can set the pot in a well-lit spot of your yard, balcony, or at a south-facing window. In extremely hot conditions, move the pot to a shaded location during afternoon hours.

Soil

The soil should be well-draining and loose for that you can add peat moss to the soil to about 30-50 percent. In case of absence of the peat moss, add coarse sand (around 30 percent) to the soil will also work just fine. Carrots prefer loamy or sandy soil as opposed to clayey or silty soil. Don’t want to go through the trouble of making potting soil? Buy one intended for container vegetables.

Watering

How to water carrots

Watering carrots regularly is crucial as the soil must remain moist at all times. Make sure to check if the soil is moist by sticking a finger in the soil before watering so that you don’t overwater. Having carrots in dry soil for an extended period slows down the growth of the carrots and ultimately affects the harvest.

Temperature

Temperature ranging from 62 degrees F to 72 degrees F is considered ideal for growing carrots. You can check the temperature by getting a soil thermometer from any gardening store. During sowing seeds, the temperature in the range of 50 to 72 degrees F is suitable. Relocate the pot as needed if the temperature rises above or falls below the ideal range.

Further Care for Carrots in Container

Well, now that the basic needs are fulfilled, carrots will need some extra care to thrive. Here is all you need to take for a healthy and bountiful harvest.

Fertilizing

In the growing season, fertilize weekly with fertilizer having NPK ratio 5:10:10 for optimum growth. Make sure the fertilizer has less nitrogen content as nitrogen promotes leaf growth rather than carrot growth. Add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil at the time of planting too if you haven’t amended the soil with compost, manure, and fish emulsion. Compost tea is an excellent alternate to fertilizer if you are into organic gardening.

Pests and Diseases

Common garden pests such as aphids, slugs, snails, scales, and mites can be controlled simply by handpicking. Spraying neem oil solutions over the plant is another organic way to get rid of pests. Fungal infections such as powdery mildew can also affect the growth of the carrots. Keep such fungal diseases in check by the application of antifungal sprays.

Harvesting

Now that you have given everything to growing carrots, the time has come to reap the benefits. Harvest will be ready in 75-90 days, depending on the cultivar. Harvest them a bit early if you wish to devour baby carrots. You can know the exact carrot harvest date by checking out the seed packet.  Do not uproot all the carrots at once; instead, check a couple of carrots first then harvest them all.

We hope this article was helpful and you learned how to grow carrots in containers. Let us know more about your opinions and suggestions in the comments section.