Springtime chores: Ciscoe’s ideas for repotting houseplants, reviving the garden and extra

Vintage Pacific NW: We’re revisiting a few of our favourite tales from a few of our favourite former journal contributors. Check again every week for timeless classics specializing in meals, health, gardening and extra.

Originally printed April 9, 2009
By Ciscoe Morris, former In the Garden author

HOUSEPLANTS NEED TO BE repotted occasionally to maintain them wholesome and vigorous. Spring, when your houseplants are actively rising, is the very best time to repot. Keep in thoughts, nevertheless, that almost all houseplants carry out finest when they’re barely rootbound, and plenty of flowering houseplants will bloom provided that they’re rootbound. Also remember that repotting too quickly, or right into a pot that’s an excessive amount of bigger, may cause root rot. 

With all that in thoughts, it’s undoubtedly time to repot in case your plant appears to be like confused and the water runs instantly into the saucer while you give your plant a drink. 

Choose a pot that’s solely about an inch bigger in diameter than the earlier one. Don’t add pebbles within the backside of the pot to enhance drainage; it has the other impact. Knock the plant out of the outdated pot, gently wash the soil from the roots in a heat pail of water and repot on the similar depth the plant was within the final pot. Keep your newly repotted plant within the shade for a few week, and mist the leaves each day. 

Get your garden trying good once more 
If the chilly, arduous winter beat the dwelling tweetle out of your garden, leaving it a thinned-out embarrassment, it’s time to whip it again in form. Rent an aerator machine, and use it to tug plugs out of your garden. Don’t fear about raking up the plugs, as a result of they’ll break down very quickly. Then overseed with a 50-50 combine by weight (or as near this combine as yow will discover) of perennial rye and tremendous fescue grass seed. Be certain to rake the seeds into the holes, as a result of the grass seedlings that germinate on the thatch-laden soil floor received’t survive. 

Fertilize with natural garden fertilizer and maintain the soil floor moist. Before you recognize it, your garden will appear like a professional baseball discipline. 

Grow carrots in a pot 
Don’t let lack of backyard area cease you from rising greens. As lengthy as yow will discover a sunny spot, carrots are straightforward to plant in a container. Start with a large pot that’s at the very least 12 inches deep, and fill it with a high quality potting soil. Before you sow seed, combine in an natural “vegetable”-type fertilizer, making use of solely the quantity really useful on the label. Too a lot fertility leads to bushy, unappetizing carrots. 

Sow the seed only one/8-inch deep, 2 to three inches aside in all instructions, and water as usually as needed to keep up evenly moist soil. It’s a good suggestion to cowl the pot with row-crop covers, out there at your native nursery, to forestall issues with carrot rust fly. You can harvest carrots any time they’re large enough to eat, however they change into tastier as they mature and are particularly candy after being hit by frost late within the season. 

Make carrot container gardening extra-fun for youths by planting a mixture of colourful carrot varieties, akin to Atomic Red, Cosmic Purple and Solar Yellow, out there from Ed Hume Seeds. Ed additionally gives a packet containing a wide range of colours in his Rainbow Blend. 

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