Compost vs. Fertilizer: The Differences Explained

compost vs fertilizer

Nothing grows up big and healthy without eating well. Whether you’re growing tomatoes, tulips, turf, or toddlers, they don’t grow unless you feed them, and what you feed them matters. And understanding how compost and fertilizer function differently will help you grow green grass, tasty tomatoes, abundant alliums, and squash the size of a small … Read more

Sedum Nussbaumerianum – How To Grow, Care For and Propagate

a hand holding a pot of Sedum Nussbaumerianum

Coppertone Sedum has a split personality. It is a dramatic, gold, and coral succulent that grows into short bushes and spreads as ground cover when grown outdoors. Indoors, it is a cute but easily overlooked succulent, with leaves like green bananas just beginning to ripen. Wherever you grow it, Coppertone succulent is a resilient, low-maintenance … Read more

How To Grow and Care For Echeveria Agavoides

A picture of different echeveria in pots

Lipstick echeveria is a popular, attractive, low-maintenance succulent. It grows well in an arrangement with other potted succulents and looks great in warm-weather gardens, on its own in a small pot, or even in warm-weather rock gardens. Plus, you don’t even need a green thumb to grow lipstick echeveria – all it requires is a … Read more

How to Aerate Soil in Potted Plants

A gardener using a small shovel to aerate soil in potted plants

Seeing a flower growing out of a crack in the sidewalk may give you the optimistic impression that plants can survive under even the hard conditions (literally), but that isn’t the case for houseplants. Most popular houseplants are reasonably resilient, but only when they’re grown in a suitable environment, and that includes healthy, fertile, aerated … Read more

Natural Ways To Get Rid Of Mosquitoes – 10 Methods That Work

a mosquito on a fine mesh screen

Few things are more annoying than a persistent mosquito, but it’s easy to forget they are also dangerous. Humans are vulnerable to several potentially fatal mosquito-borne diseases, including malaria, Zika, West Nile, Chikungunya, and dengue fever. A severe allergic reaction, “Skeeter Syndrome,” can also be life-threatening. Popular synthetic chemical sprays like Deet can deter mosquitoes. … Read more

What a Cold Frame Is and How to Use It

cold frame with plants

The first time I saw a cold frame, just for a moment, I thought I was looking at a magical portal to the center of the earth. Then my father lifted the frame and its heavy pane of steamy glass, revealing a treasure trove of early spring lettuces and herbs inside.  Cold frames aren’t portals … Read more

How To Grow and Look After An Elephant Bush – Portulacaria Afra

man holding a pot of elephant bush

If you’ve ever wanted to grow a bonsai tree, but aren’t sure if you have the discipline, you should try an elephant bush. Also known as dwarf jade, porkbush, and spekboom, the elephant bush is a popular semi-perennial succulent shrub.  Elephant bush has a reddish-brown stem and small glossy green leaves. There are several variants, … Read more

Zebra Plant – Haworthiopsis fasciata & attenuata

a Zebra haworthia on a table

Zebra plant is a term commonly used to describe a pair of succulent doppelgängers: Haworthiopsis fasciata and Haworthiopsis attenuata. Both are like tiny aloes, with dark green spiky leaves decorated with thin, bumpy, white stripes.  There’s a lot of controversy over the classification of Zebra plants. It is common for garden centers to sell H. … Read more

Guide to Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma Care

a pot of Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma on a table

The rhaphidophora tetrasperma needs a better nickname. Otherwise known as a “mini monstera” (it is not a monstera) or a “ginny philodendron” (it is not a philodendron), the rhaphidophora tetrasperma is a distinct species in the Araceae family. It is cousins with both the philodendron and the peace lily. The nickname confusion is understandable. Like … Read more

How Does a Greenhouse Work?

how does a greenhouse work

For people who love to garden, the most frustrating time of year is late winter. After months of being housebound, all you want is to dig your hands into warm soil. The bright and shiny packets of seeds you bought the moment they hit the stores are calling to you, begging to be planted, but … Read more

How to Speed Up Composting

how to speed up composting

Compost is a valuable addition to any garden, but an unbalanced and untended compost pile is like a stew left simmering on low heat. It takes a long time to finish, and even with patience, the texture will still be pretty chunky. While you can make compost slowly — throwing yard waste and kitchen waste in a … Read more