July 22, 2016

My Rain Chain Works with our French Drains

Several years ago we needed to put french drains around our house to divert the water away from our basement. Son Josh was in the drain business at the time so he did the work - excellent job I might say! :-)

I really didn't like the way the drain connected to the gutter by the front porch - an ugly black pipe that came up out of the ground.  I had a rain chain there before and we could not figure out a way to get the chain to go into the drain. The drain was not directly under the place where the gutter came off the roof so the water went outside the drain onto the ground.

I was discussing this with my brother and he suggested a pot with a hole over the drain (sort of like a funnel). Sometimes baby brothers can come up with good ideas! I bought the one you see in the video. It is one of those hard foam pots that look like stone. I had no problem cutting a hole in the bottom big enough to fit the drain pipe. I filled around the pipe with stones and topped it off with two little frogs that watch the water fall. Works like a charm as you can see in the video above.

July 15, 2016

The Common Radish: Who Knew?

I found this interesting article about the health benefits of radishes today. Radishes are easy to grow  - even in big deep pots. I thought you might be interested to learn what health benefits they have. Click the title to go to the link.

What Are Radishes Good For?

July 8, 2016

Plant of the Month Coleus

Coleus come in so many colors and leaf shapes that it would be hard to pick a favorite. They bloom too but if you keep the blooms pinched off you will have more pretty leaves and a bushier plant.

Coleus are an annual plant that can grow up to 3 feet tall but most container grown ones top out at nearly 2 feet. They are OK planted directly into your garden too. You can buy coleus in pots ready to plant or grow yours from seed. Start them inside in February to have the right size to plant outside in May. They root easy in water too. I always save mine over winter in vases in my kitchen window, See this post: Growing and propagating Coleus

Most Coleus prefer a simi-shaded spot but there are many new varieties that like sun too. Look at this YouTube video to see a few of those: Coleus for Sun

 I love the leaf shape of the one here on the right!

July 1, 2016

It's Time to Propagate Most Perennials

Now is the time to take cuttings of those perennial shrubs you would like to multiply. Especially the big Mop Head and Lace-cap macrophylla Hydrangeas.  They are about finished with blooming and if you take cuttings now you will still have flowers next year. Wait till fall and there will be no blooms next spring. This shrub blooms on new wood and cutting them after the stem grows in summer you cut off the buds for next year's flowers.. It is safe to take hard wood and simi-soft wood cuttings of lots of shrubs in early summer to early fall. Remember to give most of them six weeks before frost is expected in your area if you are working without a greenhouse or cold frame.

For detailed instructions for growing new plants from cuttings and other methods of plant propagation see my Kindle book on Amazon "A Step by Step Guide to Plant Propagation". I'm going to publish it in paperback this fall but you can read a Kindle book without a Kindle by downloading the free App for your phone or computer.  Here's the link: Kindle App
Clematis "Dawn"

July is the time to propagate your Clematis too. See this blog post for a neat trick to do that. Clematis Propagation Blog