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The truth about Dandelions

8 Apr

  


Back in Colombia, (where I come from) dandelions are part of our childhood, we blow their seeds every time we have the opportunity, we as kids loveeeee them! They are everywhere! Playgrounds are never treated with chemicals so dandelions are part of our grass year around! 

Now, I am teaching my daughter how to do the same thing…blow them when you see them… And… She likes it!! 


I know there are found as weeds worldwide,  but did you know that they actually are flowering plants in the family Asteraceae? Yes, same as Asters, calendula, chrysanthemum, gerbera, dahlia, zinnias…. And many many more. So maybe this weeds is not too much of a weed! Furthermore, is completely edible and has amazing health benefits including antioxidants! 


I am going to try this recipe over the weekend it seems delicious is pretty much is like cooking spinach http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sauteed-dandelion-greens-242014


And hereby there are 3 ways to prepare dandelion tea: http://omgirlsguide.com/2013/04/22/how-to-make-dandelion-tea-3-ways-dedicated-to-earth-day/


I hope you enjoy it, Thanks for reading! 




Organic Kitchen Garden

15 Jul

The owner wanted to have an inviting herb garden close to the kitchen and have an area where she can enjoy a morning tea. We created it a fusion of French, Italian, Latin and Asian kitchen garden, using herbs from around the world, a dwarf peach, a chandelier topiary form gala apple, 3 different varieties of strawberries, salvias, sage, stevia, 3 varieties of oregano, lemon grass, coneflowers, mints, rosemary, laurel, cat grass, catnip, borage, bee balm, Chamomile, chervil, dill, cilantro, 3 varieties of lavender, calendula, lemon balm, thyme, marigold, purple basil, basil, curry… and many more. We installed 4 planters with 4 different themes: Asian herbs, French herbs, Latin Herbs and Italian Herbs. The incorporation of a water feature as a focal point gives the complete area a relaxing touch. We left space to have a sitting area using a Faux bois style bench and finally we installed beautiful maintenance free grey tone pea gravel.

Organic Kitchen Garden 01 AFTER

 

Organic Kitchen Garden 02 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 03 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 04 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 05 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 06 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 07 AFTER Organic Kitchen Garden 08 AFTER

For more information visit our website www.arcoirisdesign.com

 

How to plant Onions? How to Harvest Carrots?

19 Feb

How to plant Onions?

My Harvest

(This is me last year, with lots of vegetables…including my old radish jejejeje)

 

Last year, we started our first Vegetable plot in our neighborhood church with full sun. We have had 2 plots with about 3 hours of sun in our backyard for over 3 years (shade its limitation for higher yield). At our new plot, so far it has been an amazing experience. We planted, garlic, onions, green onions, carrots, kale, purple kale, radish, beet root and broccoli.

We have harvested lots, lots and lots of both kales, some carrots and 1 thousand radish!!

TIP #1: Radish grows very, very fast and all its ready at the same time, so plant according to your needs!
TIP #2: Fertilize your plot at least once a month with organic fertilizer. (Our carrots are still small and we planted them in October)

Hereby are 2 videos that I made today, enjoy:

How to plant Onions? http://youtu.be/0OH3DudIUz8
How to harvest carrots? http://youtu.be/sioxOxwfKGI

Thank you for visiting, your comments and tips are VERY appreciated!
http://www.facebook.com/arcoirisdesigngardening

How to Use Fireplace Ash for Gardening

11 Jan

photo

Winter is the perfect season to collect your fireplace ashes either to store them in a save container or use them into your garden. When wood burns, nitrogen and sulfur are lost as gases, and calcium, potassium, magnesium and trace element compounds remain.

“Wood ash has a very fine particle size, so it reacts rapidly and completely in the soil. Although small amounts of nutrients are applied with wood ash, the main effect is that it is a liming agent.” (1) Furthermore, calcium works as soil amendment, helping to maintain chemical balance in the soil and improves water penetration.

Uses:
1. As calcium and Potassium soil amendments
2. Enrich compost, enhance its nutrients by sprinkling in a few ashes to the mix.
3. Block garden pests. Spread evenly around garden beds, ash repels slugs and snails. Salt in the ashes dehydrates these insects.

Calcium and potassium are both essential to plant growth. Hereby, I am listing the symptoms of both deficiencies.

Symptoms of calcium deficiency:
– Necrosis at the tips and margins of young leaves,
– Bulb and fruit abnormalities,
– Deformation of affected leaves,
– Highly branched, short, brown root systems,
– Severe, stunted growth, and
– General chlorosis.

Symptoms of potassium deficiency:
– Yellow and brown spots on leaves
– Leaves drop off
– Smaller and fewer fruits
– Fruits appear deformed or small

BEFORE applying ashes to your plants please keep in mind that too much ash can increase pH or accumulate high levels of salts that can be harmful to some plants, so use ashes carefully. And don’t use it in acid-loving plants such as blueberries, cranberries, rhododendrons and azaleas would not do well at all with an application of wood ash.(1)

1. http://emmitsburg.net/gardens/articles/frederick/2004/ashes.htm

Colors of My Garden – AUGUST

5 Sep

Blackeyed Susan

Goldstrum rudbeckia

Purple Petunia

Crape Myrtle Natchez

Ornamental Bamboo

Big Blue Liriope Flower

Delosperma cooperi

Gold Lantana

Colors Of My Garden – JULY

14 Aug

Tickseed ‘nana’

Verbena bonariensis

Sunflower ‘sunspot’

Butterfly  bush – pink

Hosta

Eggplant

Tomato ‘roma’

Cucumber Flower

Cucumber

Crape myrtle

Curry Plant

Bell pepper flower

Peach

Frangipani flower buds

Squash Flower

Colors of my Garden – APRIL

2 May

May Night Salvia

Banksia climbing rose

Blueberry

Cilantro Flower

Deep pink foxglove

Double Red knockout rose

Light pink climbing rose

Paper bark bloom

Purple shamrock – Purple Clover

Recurve ligustrum

Sky is the limit rose

 

Hydrangea Endless summer

 

Arugula flower

 

Baby Cardinal in nest

 

Bleeding heart

 

Common Garter Snake

 

Dogwood

 

Lavander foxglove

Lily of valley

 

Heuchera mocha Flower

 

Pink climbing rose

 

Floxglove Pink

 

Amaryllis red

Romaine lettuce

Strawberry

 

Sweet bay laurel flower

 

Clematis White

 

Foxglove White

 

Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly

Snowball viburnum

Strawberry

White foxglove

White mazus

Green Wall for Urban Environments

30 Sep

A Green Wall is a wall, either free-standing or part of a building that is partially or completely covered with plants of different colors, textures and sometimes flavors. The concept of Green Walls was created by the French botanist Patrick Blanc. He created the first green wall in 1988 for the museum of Science and Industry in Paris. Nowadays you might have seen many green walls in different places. Thinking outside the box, Arcoiris Design Gardening has been recycling plastic containers and incorporated them with handmade wooden boxes to create a very innovative alternative for Green Walls. We incorporate from annuals to provide seasonal color to herbs and other edible plants such sage, lemon thyme, rosemary and many more. Furthermore, our Green Walls can be use outdoors or indoors. We can create your unique Green Wall following your specific needs.

Organic Homemade Spray for Aphid control

10 Sep

Tomato Leaf Spray

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Tomato plants, as members of the nightshade family, contain toxic compounds called alkaloids in their leaves. When the leaves of tomato plants are chopped, they release their alkaloids. When the alkaloids are suspended and diluted with water, they make an easy to use spray that is toxic to aphids, but still safe around plants and humans.

What You’ll Need:

  • One to two cups of tomato leaves
  • Two cups of water
  • A strainer or cheesecloth
  • Spray bottle

To make tomato leaf spray,simply soak one to two cups of chopped tomato leaves in two cups of water. Let it steep overnight. To make the spray, strain the leaves out of the liquid using cheesecloth or a fine strainer. Add another one to two cups of water to the liquid and add it to a spray bottle.

To use the tomato leaf sprayin your battle against aphids, spray the stems and foliage of the infested plant with the spray, paying special attention to the undersides of leaves, since that is where aphids most commonly congregate.

Caution: While this spray is very safe for humans, some people are allergic to members of the nightshade family. If you are one of them, use care in making and applying this spray. 1

1. http://organicgardening.about.com/od/pestcontrol/a/spraysforaphids.htm

Coneflower – Echinacea purpurea – Your garden Herb that promotes immune system health.

1 Sep

 

Echinacea is genus of herbaceous flowering plants in the daisy family. There are nine species commonly called purple coneflowers. They are perennials and very drought tolerant.

Purple coneflower is reputed to be immunostimulator, being effective in promoting immune system health and warding off infections and also some people use it as laxative.

Echinacea angustifolia was widely used by the North American Plains Indians for its general medicinal qualities. Echinacea was one of the basic antimicrobial herbs of eclectic medicine from the mid 19th century through the early 20th century, and its use was documented for snakebite, anthrax, and for relief of pain. In the 1930s echinacea became popular in both Europe and America as a herbal medicine. [1]

Echinacea Tincture Recipehttp://www.ehow.com/way_5529325_echinacea-tincture-recipe.html

 How to Harvest Echinacea for Tea:  http://www.ehow.com/how_8356584_harvest-echinacea-tea.html

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Echinacea

 Tincture: A tincture is an alcoholic extract (e.g. of leaves or other plant material) or solution of a non-volatile substance (e.g. of iodine, mercurochrome).