Monday, August 29, 2011

Pruning Happy

I recently borrowed a couple of pruning books from the library to give me more of an idea on how to prune my plants, especially the bay laurel tree I've had for a couple years now. So I read up on it the night before and the first I did when I got up was head to my back patio with my pruning shears in hand and started cutting. I think I might have gone pruning happy! Before I knew it, the tree looked like a storm passed and all left were a few twigs and some leaves. Ooops! I'm sure it'll be fine. The book mentions that the only way to learn is to just do it and cut! I can't wait until more leaves start developing. Well, at least I have tons of dried bay leaves for cooking. Happy Pruning!

Any pruning advice or anecdotes you can give on pruning for the faint at heart?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Air Plant

Air Plant hanging off the side of a pot.

My auntie Vicky gave me some of her Air Plants. Actually, I asked if I could have some. She told me to get as much as I wanted because they grow so fast. She had a whole gazebo covered in it before she threw most of it out. 

This plant is so interesting! I originally wanted it to just have to soften up some of my pots and to just have to add to flower arrangements in the future. Now I'm thinking I can use it to line my wire basket instead of moss and fill it in with compost. That will be shown in another post just as soon as I get more air plants. They seem to be growing pretty good....and fast, so it shouldn't be too long. I put mine out in the sun and it pretty much burnt. So, all it needs is water and a shady place.

What kind of interesting or unusual plants do you have?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

More Green Onions

Instead of using the whole green onion that you bought from the store, cut about an inch or so above the roots and just stick them in water. Soon, you will notice more roots forming after a few days. You can transplant this to your garden and voila, you will have more green onions that will grow that are 'cut and come again'. I can usually get about 2-3 time more green onions this way. It's such a fun and easy way to get more out of what you paid for.

What other plants do you think you can do like this?

Friday, August 26, 2011

Somethings going on with my herbs....and it's not good

My herb pot that has thyme, oregano, parsley and garlic chives were doing really well until I noticed that the leaves were getting spots on them. So, the first think I did was chop off all the discolored leave knowing that the herbs will easily grow back. It seemed to work for a bit, but now that the herbs are getting fuller, the spots came back. I'm suspecting it's a type of plant disease. yuck! I'm going to try again and hack the herbs down, fertilize with more of worm compost and cross my fingers.

Any suggestions on how to alleviate this problem?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Worm bin update

The picture here is another level on the worm condo that I started. I really should have taken a picture of the first level that I initially set up the bin. I've been using the worm castings from that bin to supplement all my plants. This picture is somewhere in the middle of being finished, maybe another month then it will be good to start using as fertilizer. The seeds that I placed in the worm condo sprouted! I didn't mean to sprout them. I just added it to the bin to get eaten by the worms. I was so surprised to see that they were growing. Well, then again the whole thing is a bin full of worm casting (fertilizer) and worms. I found some other seeds that have sprouted in there. Having seen how effective the worm casting is on seeds, I've been adding a little scoop of it to the seeds that I've been starting. I've noticed a difference that they have been sprouting up earlier than usual.

I finally put the worm bin outside. Originally it was under a table in the kitchen, but  the plastic resevoir holding the tea cracked a little, so now it's permanently home outside. I hope the worms can stand the heat and our so-called winters here in SoCal. If you notice, it's a little wet underneath the front leg of the condo. I eventually put an old pie pan there to catch the worm tea and usually dump the tea in my watering can and add extra water, and feed my plants that way.

Where do you store your worm bin?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Creamy Avocado Dressing/Dip

I recently came across a recipe from from, to spice up my salad dressing. I made some major alteration as I was missing some of the ingredients, but it turned out really good. Say good-bye to boring salad dressings. This is really good as a dip too! Tastes very similar to cilantro hummus.

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: none


2 garlic cloves, minced 
1 persian cucumber 
1 avocado, peeled and pitted 
1 cup cilantro 
green onions 
Fresh juice of 1 lime 
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
1 teaspoon sea salt

1 Puree everything in a blender or preferably in a food processor.

2 Add 1/4 cup water at a time to your desired consistency.

Leave it thick by not adding the water and use it as a dip for your veggies.

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