4 Steps to an (Almost) Bug-less Garden

“Something is eating my so-and-so plant, what should I spray?” is a question I get asked… very often. My answer is always short and rather brusque: “Nothing, before you know what you’re up against.”

There are almost one million insect species in the w…

“Something is eating my so-and-so plant, what should I spray?” is a question I get asked… very often. My answer is always short and rather brusque: “Nothing, before you know what you’re up against.”

There are almost one million insect species in the world but only three percent of them are viewed as pests. Indiscriminately treating anything that visits your garden plants in search of food or shelter with a wide-spectrum insecticide does more harm than good, because it kills everything that crawls and flies, including beneficial insects and the pollinators we need so badly. It’s also a waste of time, effort, and money—plus, it can create a health hazard for humans and pets.

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The Teeny-Tiny Garden Trend We’re Obsessed With

Bottle gardens are pretty much exactly what they sound like: small “gardens” planted inside a sealable bottle or container that are sometimes also referred to as terrariums. The particularly neat thing about bottle gardens is that, if done properly, th…

Bottle gardens are pretty much exactly what they sound like: small “gardens” planted inside a sealable bottle or container that are sometimes also referred to as terrariums. The particularly neat thing about bottle gardens is that, if done properly, they can become self-sustaining ecosystems that require little to no ongoing upkeep.

Choosing the Right Container

The container that you choose for your bottle garden will determine how many plants you can fit inside and the size of the plants that you add. Also keep in mind that the smaller the opening is, the harder it will be for you to get your plants inside the container initially. Ideal bottle garden containers have lids and can be sealed (otherwise you’d be creating an open terrarium which is slightly different!), are made of glass that’s clear versus opaque, and are tall enough that some space is left between the top of the plants and the bottom of the lid.

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All the Signs That It’s Time To Repot Your Plant

There comes a time in every houseplant’s life when an upgrade in living accommodations is required, and it’s time for a repotting. This could be because your plant has outgrown its previous potting container or because it simply needs a soil refresh. E…

There comes a time in every houseplant’s life when an upgrade in living accommodations is required, and it’s time for a repotting. This could be because your plant has outgrown its previous potting container or because it simply needs a soil refresh. Either way, repotting is an important part of keeping your plants happy and healthy long-term. Here’s what you need to know when it comes time to transfer your plant to a new home.


Signs It’s Time to Repot

When it comes to how often houseplants should be repotted, it’s unfortunately not an exact science. It varies depending on the plant, the age of the plant, and the conditions in your home. Generally, young plants will need to be repotted more often than mature, established plants, but timing can ultimately vary.

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A Tour of Ina Garten’s Garden (Naturally, It’s Thriving)

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Barefoot Contessa, you’ve caught a glimpse of Ina Garten’s beautiful barn in East Hampton, New York, as it’s where she films every episode. The internet-famous chef also has a stunning farmhouse-style home on the pr…

If you’ve ever watched an episode of Barefoot Contessa, you’ve caught a glimpse of Ina Garten’s beautiful barn in East Hampton, New York, as it’s where she films every episode. The internet-famous chef also has a stunning farmhouse-style home on the property, where she’s lived since the ‘90s. Well, it turns out that Garten’s outdoor living space is every bit as dreamy as her interiors, and somehow we’re not surprised.

Yesterday, Garten offered her Instagram followers a tour of the property’s lush gardens, and to say we’re smitten is an understatement. Here’s everything we spotted growing and will be adding to our planting list next year.

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The Citrus Care Mistakes We Make (& What to Do Instead)

If your love of plants and indoor gardening has allowed you to graduate from the much-loved ZZ or a mini plot of herbs, you might just be ready to take on a citrus tree. Flowering, fruit-bearing, and lusciously green, they contribute more than just a p…

If your love of plants and indoor gardening has allowed you to graduate from the much-loved ZZ or a mini plot of herbs, you might just be ready to take on a citrus tree. Flowering, fruit-bearing, and lusciously green, they contribute more than just a pop of color to a space. But whether you’re a beginner or a pro plant parent, keeping a citrus tree alive and thriving takes a little effort.

To help you get started off on the right foot, we turned to experts for their insight on everything to do with caring for a citrus tree. Turns out, there’s a bit more to it than meets the eye. Here’s what we learned.

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The Vital Gardening Practice You Might Be Forgetting

A manicured yard with a picture-perfect lawn, mulched flower beds, and precision-trimmed shrubs and trees is a question of taste. For wildlife and native insects in search of food and shelter, however, it is anything but beneficial. Not removing fallen…

A manicured yard with a picture-perfect lawn, mulched flower beds, and precision-trimmed shrubs and trees is a question of taste. For wildlife and native insects in search of food and shelter, however, it is anything but beneficial. Not removing fallen leaves below trees, especially oaks, supports numerous beneficial arthropods, fungi, and bacteria that are essential for decomposition. Dried dead flower stalks provide nesting space for insects, and not removing the seed heads of flowers, such as the coneflower Echinacea, provides birds with food.

When it comes to edibles, on the other hand—your vegetable garden, berries, melons, and other small fruit, as well as fruit trees—keeping everything neat and tidy is not merely just for looks, it’s outright essential.

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Your Backyard Might Have Toxic Plants—Here’s What to Look For

Unfortunately (and unbeknownst to some), there are certain plants in your backyard that might harm you. We’re not talking about the obvious ones, either, like unwelcome intruders such as poison ivy or poison oak, but ornamentals that were planted by yo…

Unfortunately (and unbeknownst to some), there are certain plants in your backyard that might harm you. We’re not talking about the obvious ones, either, like unwelcome intruders such as poison ivy or poison oak, but ornamentals that were planted by yourself or the previous owners.

Plants can be toxic to humans, or pets, or both. A plant may be poisonous or toxic when touched or ingested, sometimes leading to severe illness and death. The concentration of the toxin can be mainly in the roots, leaves, flowers, or fruit, or the entire plant might be toxic.

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How to Care for Your Plants in a Heat Wave

It probably comes as no surprise that extreme summer heat is tough on plants. Because water is a precious and limited resource, we cannot rely solely on watering alone. Here are a few other things to give your plants extra TLC during a heat wave:

It probably comes as no surprise that extreme summer heat is tough on plants. Because water is a precious and limited resource, we cannot rely solely on watering alone. Here are a few other things to give your plants extra TLC during a heat wave:

1. Prioritize Your Watering

In addition to picking the right timing for watering, the most important thing is to prioritize your watering. Your vegetables and container plants should get first dibs, because even a couple of sweltering hot days without watering can wreak havoc on them. Next are annual flowers, and any newly planted perennials, shrubs, and trees. Drip-watering and soaker hoses are ideal, but if you must use a hose or a watering can, make sure to water slowly and always water directly onto the base of the plant.

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Our 6 Favorite Places to Buy Plants Online

Whether you’re new to caring for houseplants, or you’re already living in an indoor jungle, ordering plants online can be a super convenient way to acquire new plant babies. However, as with any online shopping endeavor, it’s important to make sure you…

Whether you’re new to caring for houseplants, or you’re already living in an indoor jungle, ordering plants online can be a super convenient way to acquire new plant babies. However, as with any online shopping endeavor, it’s important to make sure you’re purchasing from reputable sellers, especially when you can’t see the actual plant you’ll be receiving before you buy it.

Reputable retailers will know how to ensure that your new plants will survive the trip (that means good packaging), they won’t ship plants that are infested with bugs or disease, they’ll have a history of happy customers with good reviews, and they’ll be transparent about what you can expect when you purchase from them. Here are six of our favorite places to order plants online—pros and cons included.

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Your Garden Might Not Be As Organic As You Think—Here’s Why

When shopping for fruits and vegetables, the green-and-white USDA Organic label tells you that the produce was grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or biotechnology—at least that is what it’s supposed to because organic farming has had its …

When shopping for fruits and vegetables, the green-and-white USDA Organic label tells you that the produce was grown without pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, or biotechnology—at least that is what it’s supposed to because organic farming has had its fair share of scams and scandals. As a committed locavore, I prefer produce from a local farm that I trust practices organic growing methods rather than supermarket produce—even if it has the USDA organic label. Often, small commercial growers simply cannot afford the lengthy process of getting organically certified.

For home gardeners, there are pollinator and wildlife certification programs such as Certified Wildlife Habitat that let you put a sign in your yard for the world to see, but there’s no equivalent certification for organic home gardens. So how do you know the veggies you are growing would pass the organic litmus test? Here’s a checklist to see if you can call yourself an organic gardener.

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