Saturday, September 27, 2014

Home Grown: Talking to Plants.

The theory that plants benefit from human conversation dates to 1848, when German professor Gustav Fechner published the book "Nanna (Soul-life of Plants)." The idea is a popular one, and has spawned several more books and even an album — recorded in 1970 by an enterprising dentist — titled "Music to Grow Plants By." But will crooning compliments to your ficus really have any effect on its growth?

"There isn’t a lot of research in this area, but there is evidence that plants respond to sound," says Rich Marini, head of Penn State’s horticulture department.

Continued at... Talking to Plants.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
The Lost Language of Plants
Artwork: Dancing Grass Plant

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Here's How To... Keep the Bats Out.

Winter is approaching and many mammals are getting ready to hibernate. Bats are one of these mammals and homeowners may find bats in their homes.

The best way of dealing with bats in homes is to focus on prevention. Make sure that your house is tight; any gap three-eighths of an inch or larger needs to be sealed.

Follow the link to... Keep the Bats Out.

Here's How To...
Bat Ecology
How To Do It
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Lesser long-eared Bat

Monday, September 22, 2014

Recipe Archive: Barley Wine Marshmallows.

from The Best of American Beer & Food by Lucy Saunders.

These ale-fluffed confections were originally made by Executive Sous Chef Piet Vanden Hogen at Pelican Pub in Pacific City, Oregon. Using Pelican Pub's Wee Heavy or a local Barley Wine will add a bit of beer flavor to marshmallow-topped mugs of hot cocoa, or as the filling for adult S'mores, made with graham crackers and bittersweet chocolate.


3 envelopes plain powdered gelatin (3 tablespoons)
4 to 5 ounces cold water
Unsalted butter for pan
1/4 cup sifted organic powdered sugar for pan
4 ounces decanted (no foam) Scottish ale or Barley Wine
2 cups pure cane sugar
1/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
6 ounces corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon Madagascar Bourbon
vanilla extract
2 cups organic powdered sugar sifted with 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Artwork: Organic Marshmallows
Recipe Archive
Farm Kitchen
Candies and Other Sweets

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Here's How To... Control Yellow Jackets.

Late summer is the season for yellow jacket wasps, one of  the most common stinging insects homeowners encounter. There are steps that can be taken to control them.

These social wasps build their nests underground in abandoned rodent burrows, under compost piles, in voids of wood and sometimes in trees or shrubs. The nest is constructed out of paper and holds the queen and her many workers.

Yellow jackets are an important health risk due to their aggressive nature when disturbed and the fact that individual wasps can sting multiple times.

Follow the link to... Control Yellow Jackets.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Yellow Jacket Eating a Bee

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Here's How To... Propagate Houseplants.

There are several ways to propagate houseplants, and each houseplant responds best to a certain treatment.

Herbaceous stem cuttings are made by clipping a 4- to 5-inch long piece of stem from the parent plant, with leaves attached. Make the lower cut just below a node, or the point of attachment of a leaf. Remove any leaves on the bottom 1.5 to 2 inches of the stem. Dip the base of the stem in water and then into a commercial rooting hormone, which is usually a dry powder.

Follow the link to... Propagate Houseplants.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Home Grown
Artwork: Jasmine Sambac "Grand Duke Supreme"

Monday, September 1, 2014

Home Grown: Saving Seeds.

As fall approaches, enthusiastic gardeners want to store seed for next year's production. Before you decide to save seed from your plants, it's important to consider whether saving seed will get you the type of plants you want.

Continued at... Saving Seeds.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Seed, Plant, and Nursery Catalogs

Artwork: Heirloom Carrots