Propagating holiday cacti

Fri. Nov. 22, 2013

Radio Show: Propagating holiday cacti
To propagate a holiday cactus wait till your plant has stopped blooming.  Prune your cactus to encourage branching out and, while you’re at it, remove a few sections or segments by pinching your your fingers.

Propagating cacti

Using a 4 inch pot with a soil-less mix, place your segment int the mix no deeper than half way up the first segment.  Your piece should be about 3 or 4 segments in length.  To speed up the rooting process, place the whole pot in a gallon ziplock bag,  … [Continue reading]

Christmas cactus or not

Thu. Nov. 21, 2013

Radio Show: Christmas cactus or not
Christmas cactus or not?  Did you know there’s a Thanksgiving Cactus?  I didn’t until a few years ago!  I had a cactus from my mom for YEARS and always thought it was a Christmas cactus with extreme flowering capability!   Finding out there’s a difference and it has to do with the lobes, was, well, somewhat embarrassing.  My powers of observation were not apparently keen!

You can clearly see the difference in LOBES!  The Christmas cactus (rounded lobes) blooms about 5 to 6 weeks later  … [Continue reading]

Soothing bath salts

Wed. Nov. 20, 2013

Radio Show: Making soothing bath salts
Ahhh, soothing bath salts!  Another hostess gift idea.

Historically baths were a way of treating ailments..  Holistic practitioners  use salt and herbs for a number of maladies.  There are different types of salts as well.  Epsom is probably the most popular and the one we’ll focus on. It’s actually magnesium and sulfate, minerals known for their medicinal value as well as beauty and garden products.

Bath salts - types

To make a bath salt, start by measuring the salt into a glass or stainless steel bowl.  Add the  … [Continue reading]

Infused Sugar

Tue. Nov. 19, 2013

Radio Show: Infused sugar
This time of year our calendars start to fill with party dates.  Hostess gifts are sometimes one of those last minute thoughts.  Today I thought I’d give you a little prompt and suggest some fun, easy  yet thoughtful ideas.

Infused sugar - lavender essentials

Infused sugars.  A sweet small token of appreciation in a cool looking jar.  Start with organic sugar and a dried herb or spice.  I buy at our local coop.

Combine the sugar and herb or spice into an airtight container in a 2 to 1 ratio of  … [Continue reading]

Moonlight Garden

Mon. Nov. 18, 2013

Radio Show: Moonlight Garden
“Walking… after midnight…  in the moonlight… “  I wonder if Patsy Cline enjoyed the flowers in the moonlight?

A moonlight garden can lift your spirits on a gloomy, cloudy day as the flowers stand out best during those days as well as in the moonlight.

Lillium ‘Casa Blanca’

White flowers and light foliage are stunners for the Moonlight Garden.  Here is a comprehensive list of plants that would make “…walking in the moonlight…” garden even lovelier

The Moonlight Garden

This list of plants was compiled by  … [Continue reading]

Festive winter containers

Fri. Nov. 15, 2013

Radio Show: Festive winter containers
I get excited to swing by my local nursery and purchase spruce tops, cedar branches, winterberry holly, pine cones or any number of fabulous finds.

But I really love those interesting finds in my yard (or the neighbors!):

  • Twisty lilac branches
  • the winged burning bush branches with some berries left on
  • seed pods
  • ornamental grasses
  • sedum
  • hydrangea
  • smokebush
  • some funky lookin’ galls
  • papyrus grass (from annuals I dried out)

spray paint

They can be spray painted or left au naturel!  It’s tough to see in the pic  … [Continue reading]

Herbs indoors

Wed. Nov. 13, 2013

Radio Show: Herbs indoors
Indoor herb gardening can be visually appealing as well as tasty!  Here are my selections:

I used a 12 inch terra cotta pot packed with Parsley, Sage, Thyme, Oregano, Chives and ‘Purple Ruffles’ Basil.  Note:  Trailing Rosemary is easier to grow than the upright variety.

  • Start with a light container soil mix and add some perlite.  Drainage is very important.
  • Water thoroughly, letting the water come out the bottom and then empty the saucer.  Let the soil dry out on top before watering again.
  • Fertilize with
 … [Continue reading]

Houseplant heat and humidity

Tue. Nov. 12, 2013

Radio Show: Houseplant heat and humidity
As we move indoors, we look to our houseplants for that “touch of green”.  While the air outside gets cooler, the air inside gets drier.

As a general rule, houseplants like night temps to be about 10 to 15 degrees cooler than day temps.  Keep your plants away from extremes.  Like sitting next to the heat register or next to an outside door.

Humidity levels are tough on tropicals, or any flowering plants.  You can help them by either lightly humidifying a room allowing  … [Continue reading]

Permaculture – what is it?

Mon. Nov. 11, 2013

Radio Show: Permaculture – what is it?
By now you’ve likely heard the term permaculture but perhaps you’re not really sure what it is.  The word is derived from two words PERMAnent agriCULTURE.



What began as strategies to growing food in a sustainable way has become a movement that, and I quote “encompasses all aspects of how we as human beings can live harmoniously in relation to our Earth and it’s finite resources”.   Putting it more simply, it’s moving more to nature’s rhythms than trying to manipulate nature.

There  … [Continue reading]

Gypsy Moth invasion

Fri. Nov. 8, 2013

Radio Show: Gypsy Moth invasion
For more than 40 years, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has battled the Gypsy Moth invasion. This year a record 69,400 gypsy moths have been trapped in Minnesota – a number that will  continue to climb as MDA staff collect the 14,500 insect traps set out this spring. The previous record high was 27,858 in 2009.

Trapping is not meant to control the insect population, but counting the number of moths caught in the traps gives MDA officials a sense of the size and location  … [Continue reading]