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The Pesky White Flies That Came In With the Habaneros

Category: Garden & Interior Design | Posted: Mon Nov 15, 2010 5:05 pm

Thie entry serves as an update to my ongoing attempts to bring outdoor plants inside from the cold.

(See previous entries for more info!)

So far, so good.

The Habanero Peppers (all three of them!) are turning orange, and are ready to pick. I had wanted to keep them on the plant and let them dry out naturally, however I noticed a HUGE number of white flies hanging out around the plant.

What were they, and where did the white flies come from?

Possibly the other bell pepper I brought in from outside is the source. (The Habanero was screened in for most of its life, and was bug-free!)

Anyway, the white flies were Whiteflies!!!

Whiteflies are hemipterans, meaning 'true insects' that suck plant juices in order to live. They lay flay-looking ovoid yellowish-clear eggs.

I know this NOW; they've laid eggs on the undersides of the Habanero's leaves!~

I plan to pick the peppers, and then spray the plant, let then spray dry, then spray again with Safer Organic Insecticidal Soap.

That strategy worked well on the Meyer Lemon I also brought in from outdoors recently, which was literally COVERED in aphids - the spray killed them all; I haven't seen one since!

Keep in mind, when bringing plants in from outdoors, or potentially even in from your screen room, depending upon circumstances, you may also be bringing in pests!

The Safer(tm) spray is certified for use in Organic Gardens, and seems to work great.

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Saving the Peppers From the Frost

Category: Garden & Interior Design | Posted: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:19 pm

Here in NYC, about now, the beginning of November, the temperature usually drops. Consequently, a lot of my hard work in the garden finishes its cycle and ends up in the compost heap.

But this year, I did something different. I had a bunch of Habanero peppers. This time, I left five outdoors, and brought the sixth one inside, into the screen room, back in May. (It's now cozy on a South-facing windowsill, indoors!) Aside from low production, it's thrived. And now I'm addressing that; it seems I wasn't fertilizing nearly enough.

Just now, I brought in two more plants, both sweet Italian Bells that produce fruit that are long and skinny, red at ripening, and shaped like horns. (I can't recall the specific type; I'll check the outdoor container and see if there was tag in there that I somehow overlooked.)

First, I shook off as much dry potting mix as I could. Then, I sprayed the roots with the hose, to remove anything clinging to the roots. I had prepared a mix days ago, and I potted two in a lovely glazed terra-cotta cream-colored pot.

I was torn about putting two in one container, but I have two more than should be taken in, and I only have SO much room on my South-facing windowsill! I also don't mind if they stay small; I can't have these growing uncontrollably indoors!

Right now, the newly re-potted Bell peppers look a bit scraggly, as the ever-lowering temps have done some leaf damage. But I am hoping that those leaves fall off, once new growth appears.

So it one has the room, I'd guess it's possible to bring in peppers, smaller tomatoes, eggplants, and any other annual flowering plants or veggies that usually end up as compost.

(C) Copyright Nov 2, Masara

Last edited: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:22 pm

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Jardinièrs, Old Barrels, and More: Plant Containers Galore

Category: Garden & Interior Design | Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:42 pm

In this installment of my blog, I'm going to discuss the different types of outdoor planters that can be used. Remember, you don't necessarily want a single type; rather mix and match as you see fit. Be creative and have fun.

First, we have NeoClassical 19th Century French Jardinièrs. These are elegant, and are authentic 19th Century Antiques. Of course, you can also go with reproductions, but the real thing is always (WAY) cooler. To preserve the painted design on these, I'd suggest keeping them indoors, or in a screen room. Restrained elegance comes to mind with this pair.

Next there's a Classical pair of painted cast iron urns. These show weathering and rusting on the metal surfaces where the paint has weathered off. Leaving these outdoors isn't going to ruin them. It will take longer than a few lifetimes.

These are also authentic French antiques, from the mid nineteenth century. Their timeless beauty and stark realness of the weathered metal will help bring out the beauty of any sort of flowers that are growing in them. Bright flowers would work well.

From metal, we move on to rubber. Yes; we're going to discuss tires. Tires can be used to create walls, change the grade of land, or as unpainted, or painted containers. Tires may be stacked to achieve a deeper container size, or left as single-tire containers. With eco-consciousness no longer something to sneer at, even the most traditional tastes will smile and see that recycling can be beautiful and thought provoking.

Next is concrete. Concrete is heavy and strong, and a larger planter can help separate outdoor space nicely. Unfinished concrete is probably your best choice, as its natural color and texture is usually extremely interesting in contrast with the various shades of green planted within.

Wood is good. Oak barrel planters are always in style. There are different finishes that may be applied, though the beauty is always in the grain of the wood itself. Wood does degrade rather quickly, but such planters may be treated to extend their life. Wood can help make a place feel more cozy, and less formal.

Finally, we have the humble plastic containers. Most of my containers are plastic, because plastic is cheap, lightweight, and usually lasts a long time (depending on the specific variety.) Plastic can be molded to look like wood, concrete, metal, and anything else one can think of.

Plastic is the most versatile material that we can employ, and if many containers are used, consider a few authentic antique planters, a few concrete planters, and many plastic and wood ones. How you choose to arrange them depends on your own taste, and the dictates of how the space is to be divided and used.

(C) 2010 Masara

Last edited: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:09 pm

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Choosing the Right Containers For Your Ourdoor Space

Category: Garden & Interior Design | Posted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:52 pm

Container gardening can be a lot of fun. In a matter of minutes, your garden can be totally transformed, simply by sliding potted plants across the patio or grass.

Another great advantage of container gardening lies in the fact that each container may be specially prepared for each new plant. As some plants are acid-loving, and other die from an overly low pH, containers make it possible to have low and high pH plants side-by-side.

Of course, that brings us to the topic of precisely what kinds of containers we should use. In keeping with the overall design of your outdoor space, select planters that fit the 'vibe' you've created. Or, use containers to change the feel of the yard entirely.

For instance, a whimsical and unique painted pot can add its own ambiance to an outdoor area. A more reserved design can add a sense of refinement. Pick and choose containers that suit your taste.

Remember, some plants like tall containers, others like wider ones. Don't impose your taste on a plant to its detriment! Find out what's best for each plant, and always be sure the container will be the right size. (C) 2010 Masara

next entry: Jardinièrs, Old Barrels, and More

Last edited: Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:09 pm

This blog entry has been viewed 103 times

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