Planting Pre-Sprouted Bulbs and Flowers

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johnbela

Although usually intended for decorative use indoors, these potted bulbs can be planted to create instant spring in your garden. This page is about planting pre-sprouted bulbs and flowers.

Did you know that those colorful, foil-wrapped potted tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths sold at supermarkets and home centers can be planted outdoors just like bedding plants? It’s true. Although usually intended for decorative use indoors, these potted bulbs can easily be planted in garden beds or containers to create instant spring in your garden.

From Supermarket Aisle to Instant Garden Color

It happens to all of us. Life gets busy, and sometimes, despite our best intentions, the bulbs we buy in the fall don’t make it into the ground before winter arrives. Unfortunately, by the time March or April rolls around, any spring flowering bulbs that didn’t get planted are no longer viable and can just as well be tossed in the trash.

This is the time when supermarkets, nurseries, and garden retailers can really save the day. In early March, many begin selling spring flowers, including pots (sometimes even flats) of hardy spring bulbs. Although these are typically sold as indoor decor, once temperatures stay above freezing, these hardy spring bulbs are also candidates for planting outdoors. This includes tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, crocuses, dwarf iris, narcissi, anemone, and crocuses. All you need to do is acclimatize them for a few days, then slip them out of their plastic pots and plant them outdoors in garden beds, window boxes, or containers. Voila! You have instant spring color in your garden.

What about the Weather?

Spring and unpredictable weather go hand in hand, but hardy spring bulbs don’t really mind. After all, Mother Nature has programed them to handle erratic springtime temperatures – even the occasional unexpected snowfall. To get them used to life outdoors, you’ll need to adapt them to colder temperatures before planting. This can be done by letting them spend few nights in a cold, but protected porch, garage, or other cold area to help toughen them up before moving them outdoors. Once they settle in outside, most young bu

Plants with fully opened flowers and leaf tips are more susceptible to cold damage. Their petals and leaves may suffer from “freezer burn”.

Making “Instant Spring” Last

Whether you’re using them indoors or in garden beds, you’ll want to get as much “instant spring” out of your bulbs as possible. A pot of young tulips or hyacinths displayed indoors at normal room temperatures, for example, will continue to grow and bloom over a period of two weeks or more. However, if your intention is to transfer them to garden beds or window boxes, you might want to look for bulbs with the buds still tight and green instead of plants that are flowering. Not only will they last longer in the cool outdoor temperatures, but you’ll get the benefit of watching them grow them come into bloom.

Tips for Planting Instant Spring

  • If the weather is still iffy in your area, look for potted bulbs with tight green buds, not those already in full bloom. They will be less susceptible to damage from a sudden cold snap.
  • Once home, water the pots well and place them in a cold, protected area (above freezing) for a few nights so they can acclimate to colder temperatures before you plant them outside.
  • When planting, don’t try to separate the bulbs. Remove the plastic pots and transfer the bulbs – soil and all – into the garden.
  • If using bulbs as container plants outdoors, a larger sized container will better insulate the bulbs from unexpected late spring freezes.
  • Don’t overlook fragrance. Many spring bloomers like hyacinths, dwarf irises, and certain types of tulips and daffodils are fragrant as well as colorful.
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Chef Rich Mead’s Tomatomania! Recipe

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johnbela

 Roast Pesto and Panko Crusted Pink Grouper, Wong Farm Tomatoes and Winter Arugula

 

6 oz Pink Grouper filet

1 TBS Panko

Pesto sauce

3 nice slices of beef steak/shady lady tomatoes

2 cups clean arugula

1⁄4 cup sliced Persian cucumber

1⁄4 cup sliced watermelon radish

Sun Gold tomato niçoise olive relish, as desired

Pickled red onions, as desired

Lemon shallot vinaigrette, to taste

Balsamic reduction, as desired

2 leaves minced basil

3 leaves minced mint

Sun Gold Tomato Niçoise Olive Relish

 

 

1 cup split Sun Gold tomatoes

2 TBS minced niçoise olives (no seeds)

2 TBS minced shallots

2 tsp capers

2 TBS chopped Italian parsley

Salt, fresh ground pepper to taste

Mix together and set aside

Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette

 

 

1⁄2 cup fresh lemon juice

1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1⁄2 shallot minced

Mix lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and shallots in a jar with a lid. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper. To serve, close lid, shake and drizzle onto salad and toss.

Balsamic Reduction

 

 

Heat 1 cup balsamic vinegar in sauce pan on low heat and allow to reduce to 1/3 cup.

Remove from heat, place in a container and allow to cool.

Pickled Red Onion

 

6 oz Pink Grouper filet

1 TBS Panko

Pesto sauce

3 nice slices of beef steak/shady lady tomatoes

2 cups clean arugula

1⁄4 cup sliced Persian cucumber

1⁄4 cup sliced watermelon radish

Sun Gold tomato niçoise olive relish, as desired

Pickled red onions, as desired

Lemon shallot vinaigrette, to taste

Balsamic reduction, as desired

2 leaves minced basil

3 leaves minced mint

Pesto Sauce

 

In a blender, place 2 cups clean basil leaves, 3 cloves roughly chopped garlic, 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese, 1⁄4 cup raw unsalted pine nuts. Blend until a paste and with machine running, drizzle in 1 cup extra olive oil. Season with salt and fresh ground pepper.

To Prepare the Dish

 

Season grouper filet with salt and fresh ground pepper.

Heat olive oil in pan and sear grouper.

Top with 2 TBS of pesto sauce and sprinkle with panko.

Place pan in a 325 degree oven and roast, about 8 minutes.

 

Place tomatoes fanned on half a plate and sprinkle with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

Toss arugula with cucumbers, watermelon radish and lemon shallot vinaigrette to taste.

Place arugula salad on plate overlapping part of the tomatoes.

Place finished fish partially on tomatoes and arugula and spoon relish over fish and around salad.

Garnish with pickled red onions, julienned mint and basil and drizzle with balsamic reduction.

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Designing Your Home with Orchids

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johnbela

Designing Your Home with Orchids • 4 Favorite Orchid Varieties

Make a statement in your home with beautiful orchids for every occasion.
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Oncidiums

Oncidiums

Oncidiums offer a tall and showy bloom spike. This cheery yellow display is a great way to bring spring into your home. We’ve paired it with a Maranta ‘Lemon Lime’ plant. The deep green leaves contrast beautifully with the delicate yellow flowers. Ideal for entryways and foyers.

Complex Paphiopedilums ‘Lady Slippers

Lady Slippers are sure to intrigue guests with their delicate but impactful blooms. Perfect addition to a coffee table or nightstand. We’ve chosen a simple white pot to showcase this intricately beautiful flower.
Complex Paphiopedilums ‘Lady Slippers
Phaleonopsis

Phaleonopsis

Phaleonopsis, or Moth Orchids, come in such a wide range of colors and sizes which makes them a versatile design option. Prized for their long bloom life and easy care, they are a favorite in our Original Design creations. We’ve chosen this grouping of three coordinating containers to show off these orchids. Groupings are perfect for creating strong interest and visual layers to a space.

Cymbidiums

Cymbidiums are a great accent to your patio, outdoor space, or entryway. If the Oncidium bloom wasn’t showy enough, this is sure to please! Wide range of colors are available to Cymbidiums fair well outside as they enjoy cool night temperatures. Also great after flowering as they have such lush greenery.
Cymbidiums

Essential Tips for Watering Houseplants

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johnbela

Greetings, plant friends! Spring is just around the corner, bringing us longer days and warmer weather. This means we can resume our regular watering and plant care routines. Exciting news I know, but before we jumpstart these routines, let’s discuss exactly what watering our plants should look like. One of the most common troubles we experience as plant parents is over or under watering. Properly watering your plant requires a full understanding and awareness of what your plant needs. Every plant is different, and your whole collection will not be on the same watering schedule. The state of your plant’s soil is always changing. The three states of the soil are either, Saturated / Partially dry / Completely dry. I check my plants once weekly to determine what watering they may need. Plants, like Ferns, prefer to be consistently moist, not saturated. Other plants, such as snake plants, like to go bone-dry between watering. The rate at which your plant needs to be watered will be directly related to its environment. A plant sitting near a bright window with lots of air circulation will dry out much faster than a plant located in a dark and stagnant corner of your living room. Keeping this in mind, research your plant’s needs and understand the different states of the soil. Helpful tip, understanding what conditions your plant receives in its natural growing environment, can help you to emulate these conditions in your home. When watering, it is best to thoroughly water. Many of us may give our plant half a cup of water on Tuesday, and come Saturday, the last sip of water from our glass. These tendencies are usually developed from the fear of over watering. A more efficient way to water is to completely soak your plant so that you see water escaping from the drainage hole. (Assuming it has drainage) … (Your pot should always have drainage)
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Base your next watering on your new knowledge of your plant and monitor how quickly or slowly the soil is drying. A helpful tool for this is a moisture meter, these can be placed in the soil and give you a reading on how wet or dry the soil is. I found this tool helpful when I first started collecting houseplants. It’s like a set of training wheels before you feel that you have learned your plants needs.
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So, let’s get to the root of it…Why is overwatering a plant harmful?

Well, when the roots of your plants become water-logged, it prevents their ability to support your plant with nutrients and to further absorb water when it is time for a drink. Furthermore, they cannot absorb oxygen needed to sustain the plant. To resolve this, move your plant to an outdoor shaded area, if needed plant in dry potting soil, and leave the plant alone.

Under watering your plants can be just as harmful as overwatering. Lack of watering can cause leaf drop, slow growth, curled leaves, and yellowing.
There is no set amount or frequency for watering your plants; it is for you to learn your plant, and its needs. After all, that is the beauty of growing houseplants.

Tips for success:
1. Never leave a plant in standing water.
2. Choose plants with watering needs suitable to your care routine and room environment.
3. If you don’t know what to do… stop watering!

I hope you’ve enjoyed these key tips on watering your houseplants. How has your experience been with watering your houseplants? What are some unique tricks you’ve found successful when watering your plants? Comment below!

Happy growing!

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