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Home Care for Sub-Irrigated/ Self-Watering Planters

25 Feb

IMG_3034Thanks to all who came to the workshop last night. I am sharing some tips we use at Benji’s school for PTA plantings…But this is one philosophy or approach, not the only one. Ansley and other gardeners may have different takes on how to proceed — keep your eye on the comments section!

1. (At home) Remove and fill the bottom reservoir cup with about 2-3 inches of water. For one time only, water plant from the top to allow soil and wick to settle. Wick should dangle into liquid to allow soil to “suck up” the water and “self water” the plant.

2. Place in full sun or sunny windowsill.  aclk

3. Add water to bottom cup every 2-3 days. It is OK to spritz soil from the top, but “watering” should be done via the reservoir in the bottom of the planter.

4.  If you need to add soil, use organic potting soil.

5. Depending what you planted, be ready to transplant a little early, because, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, Spring may come early.  The 2016 prediction for NYC’s last frost is April 1st. (Last Spring Frost prediction tagged as having 50% probability).

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Mid-August Highlights: CVEarthlab

18 Aug
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Sunflowers!

11 Aug

The kids and I scattered many seeds around the play area in June, and I’m happy to see that at least two actually took!
I’ll look for some temp fencing or tape to help protect them, but please be mindful of their delicacy. They’re located in the corner behind the slide, along the MTA building. Also, note that the flowers in particular have strong remediation powers! They can pull heavy metal pollutants out of the soil. Beauty and brawn. –Denise

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Summer Watering Schedule Is Live

28 May

Sign up here to help the thirsty plants! Is it your turn to water?

You’re Invited To A Pollinator Appreciation Party!

5 May

Save the date for a Pollinator Appreciation Party Friday May 15th at 630pm. Light refreshments will be served, a new hummingbird feeder will be unveiled, and our new flowers and plants will shine. Time and date subject to weather. Feel free to bring beverages or food to share. Click here more information about our pollinator-supporting plants designed to attract butterflies, bees and skippers, or to learn how to become a member of CVEarthlab

cvearthlab.com/party

TODAY! Clean Up + Prep For Winter

16 Nov

Garden winterization is overdue!  Some gardeners will be outside this afternoon to clear, clean up and pack up the garden for the cold weather season.  Feel free to pitch in!  We’ll also be planting daffodil bulbs around the play area; probably around 130pm.

Do you have any pots in the raised bed area of the garden?  We’re cleaning these out and storing them before it snows.  Please note that any unclaimed pots and containers will be discarded after December 1st.  Thanks!

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Monarch Alert!

10 Aug

Benji, Mike and I saw this Monarch butterfly this evening around 7:30pm in the garden.  I think he tried to fly into Warner & Audrey’s kitchen window! –Denise

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What’s In Our Butterfly Garden: August ’14 Edition

6 Aug

Danaus plexippusWhile some of the butterfly plants that were planted this year we not successful, we’ve still got many butterfly host and nectar plants, in addition to our butterfly bushes, that are thriving. These include:

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Hollow Joe-Pye Weed or Trumpetweed (Eutrochium fistulosum)

23 Jul
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Hollow Joe-Pye Weed Image: Wasowski, Sally and Andy, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

 

Flowering in late summer to early fall, Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium fistulosum) shows pale purple or pinkish florets. The stems are purple or greenish, and the plant can grow 5 to 12 feet high. This member of the Aster family is known to attract “scores of butterflies,” according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center‘s database, as well as honey bees and swamp sparrow birds, which eat the seeds.

Related: What’s In Our Butterfly Garden 

 Sources: wildflower.org/gallery/result.php?id_image=22448plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=EUFI14missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c720

 

Monarda fistulosa L. (Wild Bergamot, Bee Balm)

3 Jul

 

Monarda fistulas. This is a plate from The Botanical Magazine, Volume 5. 1792 http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/7355. Author: William Curtis

Monarda fistulosa L. This is a plate from The Botanical Magazine, Volume 5. 1792
.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/7355. Author: William Curtis

 

Known as wild bergamot or bee balm (Monarda fistulosa L.), this perennial is a member of the mint family. Its nectar attracts birds, butterflies and hummingbirds. According to Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, wild bergamot is very easy to start from seed. Maybe we should try to collect and dry the seeds for next year?  Its beautiful — and considered especially beneficial to bees and butterflies! –Denise     

Source listwildflower.orgplants.usda.gov

 

 

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