Why not plant some Calendula?

...losses. The Rundown on Calendula: When to plant: Almost any time after frost: early spring into early summer. It doesn’t do well in scorching heat, so the earlier the better. Where to plant: As above, it’s not too picky about soil. You want part to full sun.  How deep to plant: About a 1/4″. How far apart:  If planting in flats, seeds can be close, maybe 3 or 4 inches. If you’re planting straight into the groun...

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Least Favorite Plant: Ficus benjamina

...what could be termed “outsider topiary.” To be fair, Ficus benjamina is not without some benefits. It’s one of the plants NASA studied for its use in improving indoor air quality. But as the horticultural equivalent of the Nagel print, perhaps it’s time to replace a few of them with its edible cousin Ficus carica. Ficus fans and foes alike should visit Schoenholz’s Etsy store for some handsome photos of what city...

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Making Salves, Lip Balms & etc.: Close of the Calendula Series

...n not only make skin salves, you can make lip balm and headache balm and stick deodorant and homemade cosmetics. It’s a simple technique, but it opens a lot of possibilities. My favorite herbal salve is made out of a mix of equal parts Calendula (pot marigold), chickweed (Stellaria media) and plantain (Plantago major) oils. These three work together to make an all purpose salve that is as good for gardener’s hands as it is for diaper...

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How to Deal with Extremely Root Bound Plants

...n’t around to help me take them, and the battery on the camera was flashing red, but I needed to get those plants in the ground as quickly as possible. I only had time for a couple of bad shots. How to Save Root Bound Plants First off, I’ve found that root bound plants are often dehydrated plants, because the pots are mostly full of roots, making the soil hard and water repellant. If this is so, it helps to give the plants a good soak...

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Harvesting and Drying Calendula

...l the heads before they die back. However, you may also want to monitor them carefully and collect ripe seed for planting the next year (you want to collect the seed when it’s brown, not green).  And if you want to keep track of such things, if you make a point of saving seed only from the plants with the best blooms, your favorite colors, etc., over generations you can breed your own line of Calendula. Alien beauty. A seed head in it...

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Least Favorite Plant: Tree of Heaven

...ne beyond the “if you’ve got lemons make lemonade” phase of their project and has deliberately planted a ghetto palm farm. From their press release: “Detroit Tree of Heaven Woodshop has established its first Tree of Heaven Farm on a vacant Detroit city lot for future harvest. We planted seedlings in beds of car tires. The tires protect the young trees while they are growing but also determine their lifetime to a size when...

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Making Tofu From Scratch at the Institute of Domestic Technology

...he gets at a local juice bar. He dehydrates the pulp with some soaked sunflower seeds. The result is delicious. It’s a clever idea. Back to the tofu. I’m going to try making my own this summer. At the very least I can make my own soy milk and skip the sugary stuff I’ve been using. You can get organic non-GMO soybeans and coagulant online at www.laurasoybeans.com. Incidentally, IDT founder Joseph Shuldiner wrote my favorite vega...

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Interview With Apartment Gardener Helen Kim

...a friend recently gave me a little lecture on the importance of fertilizer and I thought I’d finally give it a whirl… and I have to say that, yes, the plants are a bit happier than they were this time last year. I’ve been using Dr. Earth fertilizer and making fertilizer tea. HE: Did you choose your apartment with the idea that you’d be gardening in it? If so, what should a prospective renter look for? HK: I had three m...

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Favorite Plants- New Zealand Spinach

...aphids destroy the kale and your swiss chard is plagued by powdery mildew…. there is New Zealand spinach. It is not a true spinach but is in a genus all its own. The leaves are triangular in shape, and very succulent. They grow on long, rambling stalks. The seeds are triangular as well and the plant will reseed if you let it. It tends to spread and grow low to the ground. It can be used as a living mulch since it so effectively covers the...

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Satan’s House Plant: More on Asparagus setaceus/plumosus

Photo by Mr. Subjunctive It seems like we hit a raw nerve with our mention of one of our least favorite plants, Asparagus setaceus. Just in a case you’d like to know more about this demonic plant, Mr. Subjunctive, a garden center employee with a fantastic blog, Plants are the Strangest People, has a detailed post about Asparagus setaceus (apparently also known as Asparagus plumosus)....

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