Tag Archives: adriana hernandez

5 Best Container Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners

18 Mar

Its always frustrating to start a gardening project such as growing vegetables and have poor results… Maybe you are selecting the wrong vegetables! I found this nice article about the 5 Best Container Vegetables for Beginning Gardeners. http://brownthumbmama.com/2014/02/5-best-container-vegetables.html . I will like to add cherry tomatoes, kale (from seeds), arugula (from seeds) and green onion (from seeds)! I have tried all of this in the past and it is awesome how easy they are. The cherry tomatoes will grow like a weed so think ahead and buy a tomato holder and cut down the tips of the plant. With the kale and the green onion you can leave one plant to get flowers and then pick up the seeds and start all over again, you will have 100% organic seed and plants (off course you will have to buy organic seeds and use only organic fertilizers.



Time to Fertilize!

17 Mar

E.B Stone

Spring is here! The time when your berries, grapes, peaches, nectarines, plums, apples and pears need to be fertilized!
I always use at my personal and clients homes E.B stones Organics. They have an awesome organic fertilizer for Fruit, berry and vines. This fertilizer is a blend of organic ingredients delivered from blood meal, feather meal, bone meal, dried chicken manure, bat guano, alfalfa meal, kelp meal and potassium sulfate. Also and most importantly has Humic acids, good bacteria and endo mycorrhizae.
On my established apples, plums and peaches, I wait for them to have the first buds coming and then I fertilize them. I work the soils around them about 4 feet diameter and mix the product with the soil. Then I water.
For my strawberries, just work the soil around and place 1 TBS of the product per plant and then water.
Instructions are different for all plants and age of plants, so even if the product is organic, please read the instructions carefully and use it as directed.


Growing Papaya tree in my backyard

13 Feb




Feb. 10. 2013.

For the first time, I am going to try to grow papaya tree in my backyard. When I was about 8 years old my grandpa showed me how easy it was. So here I am doing it once again after 28 years. I hope the weather allows me to see at least a couple of delicious papayas! I am drying the seeds to plant them during the weekend indoors. Please visit my blog later in summer to see how it goes 🙂


1. Select a delicious and sweet organic papaya. I selected a small variety USA grown papaya.
2. Cut it in half and pick seeds from the center of the fruit.
3. Place the seeds over a piece of napkin to dry them for about 5 days.

To be continuing…



Finally, last weekend I planted the seeds on the soil. I used organic seed starter soil which I found at Pike Nursery.


4. Water the seed starter soil before filling the pots or water it in the pots before planting the seeds. This will prevent the seed to be washed after planting. Let it sit for a few minutes. (When the seed starter soil is dry, it tends to wash off the pot when you water it).

5.  With your finger open a hole in the soil. (About 1 inch)

6.  Remove your seed from the napkin and drop it into the hole. (With Papaya I do 1 seed per pot)

7. Cover the hole with soil, water it and then place your pots inside until spring. Make sure the soil it’s always moist. Seeds need moist to germinate.

To be continuing…


Dry Papaya seeds

Papaya 8

Papaya 7

Papaya 5

1 inch deep

One seed per hole

Cover with soil

Name and date

How to Use Fireplace Ash for Gardening

11 Jan


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.

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

5 very good reasons to plant Shrubs and Trees now (fall – winter):

20 Dec

5 very good reasons to plant Shrubs and Trees now (fall – winter):


September 12 053
1. No stress from hot weather.
2. Plants don’t have to expend energy on making leaves, they’ll put it into creating a strong root system.
3. Because of temperatures, you don’t have to worry so much about watering your new plant.
4. There are fewer insects and disease problems that could damage your new shrubs or trees.
5. Nurseries will have a lot of good prices for plant material.
(In cold winter areas, it’s recommended to plant six weeks before the first hard frost is expected.)

Any questions? Need help with your garden? www.arcoirisdesign.com

How to attract birds to your backyard? Redstart Warbler

15 Sep

Redstart Warbler

Known as well as the Butterfly bird, this gorgeous bird is one of the most common nesting warblers in North America. The most prominent feature on this hyperactive warbler is its flashy tail and wings, both of which it will use to startle insects while hunting.

You can attract many birds into your backyard by placing water fountains with recirculating water in a place surrounded by bushes and small trees. I use ligustrums, bamboo and hollies. In our garden birds seem to really like the leaves of Fatsia Japonica and Elephant ears. Most importantly you MUST pour fresh water every day into the fountain.

Good luck!


Please like us on http://www.facebook.com/pages/Arcoiris-Design-Gardening/181272451908764?ref=hl#!/pages/Arcoiris-Design-Gardening/181272451908764

Colors Of My Garden – JUNE

2 Jul

African blue basil flower


Coneflower – Echinacea

Dragonwing Begonia

Dragonwing Begonia

Green Pepper Flower

Hibiscus hardy

Honeysuckle flower

Hosta Flower



Lawn Mushroom














Monarch butterfly and Coneflower



Ogon Sedum


Pink Torenia




Roma Tomatoe


Salvia Black and Blue


 Salvia Red


Sky is the limit Rose


Squash Flower


Sunflower sprout


Thailand Basil


Torenia Yellow


Toto Rustic Rudbeckia




Verbena Pink




Yarrow terra cotta










We won 3 Awards!! UAC 2011 Professional Landscape Awards

12 Mar

The Urban AG Council of Georgia recognize  professionals involved in award-winning projects in design/build/installation, landscape management, seasonal color, landscape lighting, green innovations and community service.  Following the tradition of the MALTA Professional Awards, this awards program is open to all eligible UAC member companies! There are different categories and Arcoiris Design Gardening participated in 3 of them and won MERIT on all 3 as follow:

 1. Design/Build/Installation as Small – space: Best Western Plus – Inn at the Peachtrees

2. Design/Build/Installation as Seasonal Color – Residential: West Paces Ferry

3. Design/Build/Installation as Seasonal color – Commercial: Integral Youth and Family Project, Inc

We are very grateful with our Clients that allow us to enhance their gardens and let us be part of their projects year around. And mostly we are grateful with our employees that always strive to have our gardens the best possible. Visit: http://urbanagcouncil.com/cgi-bin/MySQLdb?VIEW=/source/documents/viewdownload.txt&docid=732&file=/docs/2012/02/2012020305470724/2011awardsprogram.pdf

Arcoiris Design Gardening will continue demonstrating that using organic and natural products can provide equal or MUCH better results than using chemicals!


Pesticide Free Gardens

21 Feb

Arcoiris Design Gardening goal is to encourage and educate our clients to a pesticide-free lawn and garden! As most of us know, the environmental impact of pesticides is often greater than what is intended by those who use them. Over 98% of sprayed insecticides and 95% of herbicides reach a destination other than their target species, including non-target species, air, water, bottom sediments, and food. (1)

Furthermore, some pesticides contribute to global warming and the depletion of the ozone layer. (2) There is many ways pesticides affect us, including air pollution or pesticide drift, water contamination caused by crop run-off, land run-off and leaching , persistence of pesticides in soil because the microorganisms are not able to degraded the chemicals, contamination of our food, kill bees and other pollinators,  animals may be poisoned by pesticide residues that remain on food after spraying,  poisoning from pesticides can travel up the food chain too,  can enter the human body through inhalation of aerosols, dust and vapor; through oral exposure by consuming food and water; and through dermal exposure by direct contact with skin.

Please help Arcoiris Design Gardening, to stop the use of harmful pesticides in our environment. Lets us show you how we can help you to have a free pesticide garden, we will very happy to explain all about our products and services at any time.

Are you familiar with this sign? Will you allow your childrem to play on this grass?

How about changing that sign for THIS one? Will you allow your children to play on this grass?

Important facts:

 “The Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that 72 million birds are killed by pesticides in the United States each year”. (3)

“The USDA and USFWS estimate that US farmers lose at least $200 million a year from reduced crop pollination because pesticides applied to fields eliminate about a fifth of honeybee colonies in the US and harm an additional 15%”.(1)


1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_impact_of_pesticides

2. http://www.law.fsu.edu/journals/landuse/Vol131/REYN.HTMl 

3. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/01/21/BAQ21HC5CB.DTL

4. Pesticide sign picture from: http://www.psr-la.org/issues/environmental-health/pesticides/

We Have Been Granted With The Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary!!

10 Feb

Every year shocking statistics about wildlife show us how as many as 20% of the world’s 7-15 million species could be gone in the next 30 years. 1 Education about Wildlife crisis focusing in its causes and possible solutions is critical to changing social consciousness today. The Atlanta Aububon Society is an organization dedicated to birds and their mission is to protect Georgia’s birds and the habitats that sustain them through education, conservation and advocacy. They organize monthly meetings, weekly bird walks during migration trips to local birding hotspots, and many other special events.

 A few weeks ago we became members as local property owners and apply for a Wildlife Sanctuary Certification. Today we are very glad to share that our backyard is worthy of recognition by Atlanta Audubon Society and we have been granted with the Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary. The following link will take you to the pictures that we took of all birds that visit our backyard. http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.292875447415130.62926.181272451908764&type=3


 We would like to encourage everyone to participate in this program and help us to conserving and protecting our environment! You can make a difference; you can certainly provide  a backyard habitat for wildlife – “it’s as simple as assuring these essential elements:


Shelter – active nesting areas or shelters that attract and protect birds and other wildlife.

Food – feeders and plantings that offer seeds, flowers, and berries to wildlife.

Water – birdbaths, water gardens, or natural features with flowing water.

Nesting Sites – bird boxes, natural cavities, or wood piles and vine tangles” 2

If you would like to have more birds and wildlife visiting your backyard, we will very pleased to design an Eco- friendly garden for you that will give shelter, food and nesting sites for many birds. www.arcoirisdesign.com

To become a member and support they effort, please visit:


 Like us: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.292875447415130.62926.181272451908764&type=3

Sources and References:

1. http://www.africanconservancy.org/about/documents/Facts.pdf

2. http://www.atlantaaudubon.org/aaswww/conservation/sanctuary.htm