Your All Things Plants weekly news: February 2, 2013

There were 7 new gardening ideas posted last week:

Cheaper heat mat

By Gymgirl
February 2, 2013
Cheaper heat mat

A heating pad set on low and placed underneath a cookie rack makes a great impromptu bottom-heat source for tomato, pepper and other seeds! Just set the tray on the mat until the seedlings germinate. Do NOT leave the pad on while you're away from home!


Winter Garden:  An opportunity

By ShadyGreenThumb
February 1, 2013
Winter Garden: An opportunity

Winter gardens with their dormant trees and shrubs, twiggy bushes and empty space often present a depressing view. Here's what we do. (214 words - Read the full article)

(one comment)

Making a Pebble Planter

By goldfinch4
January 31, 2013
Making a Pebble Planter

Looking for a little project to pass the time when cold or rainy weather keeps you out of the garden? How about making a cute pebble planter. This design works especially well for succulents and alpine plants because of the excellent drainage this pot provides. (802 words - Read the full article)


ATP Podcast #4: Seed starting and more

By dave
January 30, 2013
ATP Podcast #4: Seed starting and more

Come hear Dave and Trish discuss all the news about ATP, gardening updates from Texas, and the main feature of today's show: our favorite tips and ideas about seed starting. (51 words - Read the full article)


Basil and bugs

By SongofJoy
January 29, 2013
Basil and bugs

Aphids are drawn to prolific leaf growth and may attack herbs such as basil. (189 words - Read the full article)


Starting Lavender from seed

By Joannabanana
January 28, 2013
Starting Lavender from seed

It's possible to have early blooms the first year. Lavender seeds break dormancy when stratified. Roll seeds in a damp paper towel, put in a freezer bag and let sit at room temperature for a few hours. Place sealed bag in the freezer overnight. Thaw, sow in pre-moistened soil mix and place under lights. The seeds will germinate within a few days and will bloom by mid-June if you sow them the end of February. Lady Lavender is a consistent first year bloomer.


What's blooming in January

By LarryR
January 27, 2013
What's blooming in January

I live in a house that's 113 years old. One of its advantages, especially since I'm a gardener, is very wide windowsills, some as wide as 11 inches. Perfect for potted plants. Windowsills allow those of us in temperate regions to continue gardening indoors during the winter while the outdoor garden slumbers. And the light is free. We don't have to buy grow lights nor pay for the electricity to run them. Come on in and discover what's blooming on my windowsills and who won last month's Mystery Blossom Contest. (1,207 words - Read the full article)


The most popular images last week from our plant database:

Photo of Iochroma (Iochroma cyaneum 'Plum Beauty') by Calif_Sue:
Image from plant ID 156553

Photo of Iochroma (Iochroma cyaneum 'Royal Blue') by Calif_Sue:
Image from plant ID 119269

Photo of Dutch Crocus (Crocus x luteus 'Yellow Mammoth') by eclayne:
Image from plant ID 119246

Photo of Tulip (Tulipa 'Ancilla') by LorettaNJ:
Image from plant ID 528905

Photo of Blue Chalk Sticks (Curio talinoides var. mandraliscae) by Calif_Sue:
Image from plant ID 114394

Photo of Iris (Iris 'Moonlit Water') by KentPfeiffer:
Image from plant ID 72970

The most active threads this week:
Subject OP Area Replies
Newcomer seeking advice! serse Sempervivum and Jovibarba forum 38
Hypertuffa question???? crittergarden All Things Gardening forum 36
Now that is cute! woofie Making a Pebble Planter 35
Iochroma virginiarose Plant Database forum 27
Problem adding new plants Calif_Sue Plant Database forum 25
Banner for January 28, 2013 by mcash70 mcash70 Site Banners forum 25
Hybiscus seeds Shannon Seeds forum 23
Plant Database - Can we search by hybridizer? JuliaNY Site Talk forum 21
OT - Today, I am thankful for... #2 lovemyhouse Sandbox forum 19

Some new recommendations from our members:
abhege recommended Bluestone Perennials and wrote:

When Bluestone changed to the coco pots I was so disappointed. I love their "3-paks" because I could order with my friend and my daughter and we could each have one, plus they recommended planting in threes. Their prices went up also, since we used to get three plants for what they are now charging for one, and yes, they may have been a bit smaller plants, but they were always very healthy and I would rather pay less and get a bit smaller plant that I can watch grow. I have still ordered from them but I also have to remove the coco pots because I actually found them to be too restrictive and when I did plant with the, the plants did not thrive. They do have a large selection. Unfortunately, they used to be my first go to for ordering but not since they switched to the coco pots.

serse recommended SMG Succulents and wrote:

First online order from SMG Succulents and VERY pleased! Super fast shipping, generous with plants, beautiful little babies arrived well packaged and happy! Will definitely be a returning customer! I recommend

rogertheshrubber recommended Bluestone Perennials and wrote:

I bought quite a few plants from them over a few seasons. I started noticing some really puny plants at times. They offer a guarantee but I just quit ordering from them. Haven't tried them in the last year or two.

BigGerminator recommended Sustainable Seed Company and wrote:

All I can say is....WOW! The seeds are unbelievable and it is a fantastic company filled with great people.

They have an uncomprehensible amount of seeds (more than 1,500) and they are ALL certified organic with tons coming in heirloom varieties. Not to mention the fact that they are grown on an environmentally sustainable farm in CA and have seeds grown and sourced only in America.

An environmentally sustainable company, run by kind people supporting American farmers, and they grow outstanding seeds?! Get on board people!

TweedleLeeDee recommended Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Co. and wrote:

Excellent service and prompt polite correspondence, on their website is a breeze,...good quality seeds that germinate quickly...good selection of heirlooms, .....
all this means a first class rating to me!

Some numbers from last week: