Tropical Style

Is it OK to Water Your Own Tomato Plants at Night?

Tomatoes can be negatively affected by water. Water on the fruit and leaves can lead to disease. The timing of watering is of equal concern because certain diseases known to infect tomatoes are a larger threat during the evening, when temperatures are cooler.


Watering at night can increase the probability of your tomato plant having problems with disease. Tomato diseases that are certain are the biggest threat whenever there are conditions and temperatures that are mild. This scenario can be created by watering at night.


It can negatively affect production and growth when tomato plants get water. Temperatures are cooler and less water will evaporate from the soil. In case you don’t take the evaporation rates into consideration the incidence of over-watering cans increase.

Tricky Tomato

Following a warm day, leaves of a tomato plant may start to show signs of wilting. If allowed to sit overnight at the cooler temperatures, the leaves will perk up. them, When the leaves have not perked up by morning.

When to Water

Watering early in the day is the most appropriate for tomatoes. It allows time for the plants to dry out before the day and reduces the amount of water lost from evaporation. This is also the practice for preventing diseases on your tomatoes.

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Home Painting

How to Care for Sheer Linen Drapes

Sheer linen drapes enable diffused light into a room while providing privacy. Linen, made from the flax plant, which supplies a durable selection for otherwise delicate sheers because even the thin fabric can withstand daily wear. Linen sheers need minimal care except for periodic cleaning. Dust and dirt might dirt the sheers, but it is possible to wash them in the home as needed so they remain looking their finest. Linen does wrinkle easily, especially after washing, so plan to tackle the wrinkles immediately following a cleaning.

Assess the distance between the hooks if you use a clip-on style hook. Note the measurement so it’s possible to replace the hooks following cleaning in the same distance. Measuring is not required for rod pocket sheers or those with sewn or grommet hook holes.

Set the washing machine to the warm water setting and allow it to fill. Add a mild laundry detergent to the wash water and stir it with a paint stirrer or laundry stick until it dissolves.

Press the sheers into the water following the device fills with water. Only add two or three drapes, or enough to get a half load.

Run the washing machine on the gentle cycle for three minutes, which is long enough to take out the dirt from the sheers but won’t make the fine linen to tangle.

Turn the machine putting to your rinse cycle to get a final rinse. Adjust the temperature to cold water. Rinse and drain your machine, but turn it off before the spin cycle.

Eliminate the linen sheers from the machine. Dry in a tumble drier with two little terrycloth towels, setting the drier on the permanent press setting. Run the dryer for several minutes to eliminate most of the excess moisture.

Replace the curtain hooks and hang the sheers instantly while they’re still damp. Straighten pleats and corners. Linen dries with fewer wrinkles when it is hanging.

Place an ironing board close to the curtain and drape the curtain over the board while it’s still hanging. Press the damp linen with a iron to the medium heat setting to eliminate any wrinkles. Linen releases wrinkles readily when it is damp.

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Tropical Style

Plants that are beneficial for Windowless Offices

Although green plants are not a substitute for a window, plants bring a little bit of the natural environment to a windowless office, with benefits that stretch beyond their ornamental qualities. A study by Washington State University’s Manager of Horticulture implies that plants produce a much healthier environment and increase productivity by lowering employee stress and exhaustion. Though most plants need a few hours of daily sunlight, a few hardy plants withstand low light.

Cast-Iron Plant

Cast-iron plant (Aspidistra elatior) is a tough, reliable, low-light plant that reaches heights of 18 to 24 inches at maturity. The plant tolerates a number of conditions, including owner negligence, moist dust and leaf. Ideally, cast-iron plant is watered frequently enough to keep the potting mixture evenly moist but not soggy. Cast -iron plant thrives in normal daytime temperatures and cool nighttime temperatures of about 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Chinese Evergreen

Chinese evergreen (Aglaonema) is a showy, low-maintenance plant which adapts easily to low-light conditions. The leaves of Chinese evergreen range from light green to dark green, with grey or silvery streaks based on the range. Size of this plant from 1 to 3 feet — also varies. Chinese evergreen prefers evenly moist soil and nighttime temperatures of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

Snake Plant

Named for its stiff, spiky leaves, snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, is an impressive plant which tolerates nearly any light level and normal room temperatures. The green leaves, together with bands of dark green, white or yellow, attain heights of up to 4 feet. Snake plant is a drought-tolerant plant which requires very little water, particularly during the winter.

Passion Lily

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is a flexible plant which displays deep green, sword-like leaves, reaching adult heights of two feet. The plant blooms sometimes throughout the year, even in low-light conditions. The blooms, which continue as long as six weeks, are white when they appear, eventually turning light green. Peace lily is a low-maintenance plant that prefers evenly moist soil and normal room temperatures.


Dracaena (Dracaena marginata) is a tough, elastic plant which eventually grows a thick trunk and a tree-like shape, reaching heights of up to 8 feet. Dracaena comes in many varieties, including corn plant (Dracaena fragrans), appropriately named for its corn-like leaves; dragon tree (Dracaena marginata), with narrow, maroon-striped leaves; gold dust dracaena (Dracaena godseffiana), with rounded, gold and white speckled leaves; and striped dracaena, (Dracaena deremensis), that displays shiny leaves with grey and white stripes. Dracaena thrives in evenly moist soil and normal room temperatures.

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Home Cleaning

How to carry out a Safe Upholstery Cleaning for Home Needs

Whether it’s an elegant tufted headboard or the couch you couch on every evening, wash the fabric effectively without harsh substances by sticking to goods you probably already have in the home. Decide whether your furniture’s fabric is water- or solvent-cleanable by looking for a “W” or “S” on the label or reading the maintenance manual provided by the maker. To get “W” or water-cleanable fabrics, vacuum thoroughly, treat stains and clean using steam or sudsy water. If you’ve “S” or solvent-only upholstery, vacuum, treat stains and absorb smells with baking soda or kill bacteria with vodka. Test every product suggested in a hidden area before using it on your upholstery.

Eliminate the Dirt

The majority of the dust covering your upholstery is loose dirt and dust which you can suction off with your vacuum cleaner. If your upholstery has tufted areas or deep seams, use a can of compressed air to blow the dust and dirt out. Then, fasten the upholstery attachment to the hose of your vacuum and vacuum left to right across the fabric, starting from the top and working your way down. Finish by scrubbing in the direction you desire the fibers of this upholstery to lay. Fix your method to your particular piece of furniture: Utilize a crevice tool to enter hard-to-reach-areas; remove cushions to vacuum all sides and underneath; or put your vacuum to the smallest possible setting and then cover the attachment with an old piece of pantyhose when cleaning delicate fabric.

Treat Visible Stains

Identify and treat discoloration right once you vacuum; scrubbing first prevents grinding loose dirt to the fabric while you spot treat. For most stains on water-cleanable upholstery, combine equal parts light, fragrance-free dish soap and water and whip the combination until frothy peaks form. Incorporate a white cloth or soft brush in the solution and gently exercise any stains, then rinsing with a wet, clean rag when you’re done. Treat tough stains, including wine spills, soil marks and grass stains, on water-cleanable and marks on solvent-only fabrics with 3-percent hydrogen peroxide. Wet the corner of a white rag and then dab the stain until it lifts. Plain vodka employed in precisely the same manner works beautifully also, especially for oily stains. In some cases you can clean overall discoloration from solvent-only fabrics using the whipped soap, however analyze the option in a hidden area.

Deep Cleaning Water-Washable Upholstery

Utilize a steam cleaner along with the suds made when you add a few drops of mild dish soap to water to offer water-washable upholstery a comprehensive cleaning. Steam cleaning uses steam sprayed from a nozzle to kill odor-causing bacteria. If you choose to wash with dish soap, mix the water and soap until suds form on the surface. Slide a soft brush in just the suds and gently apply it to the upholstery with gentle strokes. Rinse well with a wet sponge when you’re done, dry the upholstery fast by turning on fans and opening windows, fill out a spray bottle with half distilled vinegar, half water. Apply this evenly to the upholstery and allow it to dry; the vinegar dissolves some lingering soap deposits.

Deodorizing Solvent-Washable Upholstery

Solvent-cleanable fabrics often require harsh cleaning chemicals for cleaning. However, if you vacuum thoroughly and treat stains using vodka or peroxide, then all that is left is to remove odors. Sprinkle baking soda evenly above the upholstery, wait a minimum of two hours and then vacuum it up. To get heavily-soiled fabric, spray the upholstery down first using economical plain vodka. Apply it in an even layer, allow it to dry and then proceed with the baking soda system. Meanwhile, the vodka kills germs and refreshes the fabric without leaving any unpleasant residue.

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Tropical Style

Could I Trim the Top of Spartan Junipers?

If you are developing a juniper cultivar known as “Spartan” (Juniperus chinensis “Spartan”), you are probably knowledgeable about its tall, narrow shape. A Chinese juniper, this variety reaches 15 to 20 feet tall, but only grows 4 to 5 feet wide. Although this evergreen does not require routine pruning, a “Spartan” juniper that’s becoming too tall or contains some spreading branches near its top can be cut back successfully, as long as you follow several guidelines.

Selecting the best Time

“Spartan” juniper grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, getting partially dormant in winter, when its growth slows. It is possible to do a small amount of light pruning at any given time, but in case you are intending to do major pruning, it’s ideal to postpone this until early spring, just before the dormant buds open and new growth appears. This takes advantage of the new flush of spring growth that starts soon after your pruning semester, while also letting you remove any divisions damaged or broken during winter storms. Avoid doing any major pruning in late summer.

Trimming the very best

To trim the surface of a “Spartan” juniper, cut the terminal end of each branch to remove the final, or apical, bud. This encourages development of new side shoots, encouraging the plant to become more full and giving it a powerful shape. Junipers are typical evergreens and can not produce new growth from brownish, leafless branches, known as “dead wood.” When pruning, you can cut the branches back badly, but make sure that you leave some green leaf on the plant and do not cut so drastically that only dead wood stays, because this can destroy the shrub. To prune the top back more gently, trim back about one-third of those divisions in the initial pruning semester, then repeat this again during the next two seasons to complete the job. Sterilize your pruning blades by wiping them with a cloth soaked in rubbing alcohol between cuts. This helps prevent the spread of plant diseases.

More Trimming and Tying

After you prune back the very top of a “Spartan” juniper, watch the new growth to decide if you need to shape the tree more. When side branches appear, you can prune back any that protrude outside the main canopy to help preserve the juniper’s narrow, columnar form. If only a few branches need trimming, you can do it at any given moment. For more major trimming, delay until the next spring. If branches start to lean away from the main portion of the plant since they produce new development, it is possible to keep these in position by using soft ties or plastic straps, which you can buy in nurseries, anchoring them into main branches to train them into position. Leave these in place until tender new growth strengthens, which can take a year or two.

Giving Extra Care

Junipers are usually tough shrubs that need little special care, tolerating drought and other tough conditions well. But after providing a “Spartan” juniper a major pruning, provide the plant some additional care. Make sure it gets about 1 inch of water weekly, including water from rain. Water the plant during dry spells, especially during the summer. Insert a 3- to 4-inch layer of organic mulch under the canopy to help conserve soil moisture and keep down weeds. Do not allow the mulch touch or rest against the plant’s back, since this can encourage infection and decay.

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Tropical Style

The way to Fix Alkaline Soil With a pH of 7.5

Understanding your soil’s pH and the best way to handle it are secrets to successful gardening. Soil pH affects nutrients that control plant health and growth. If your garden soil tested at 7.5 pH, it is just above the neutral point of 7.0. Before you begin adjusting soil pH, understand what your soil results imply for your own garden and its plants. Depending upon your gardening objectives, that soil pH might be precisely where you need it.

Interpreting Soil Results

When thinking about soil test results, don’t believe in absolutes. Several factors affect pH, such as seasonal variations. Soil type and composition, biological activity, organic matter, soil salts and soil moisture all affect your results. A dried-out sample yields different results than the same sample moist. Variability comes with the territory. The pH scale runs from 0.0 to 14.0, with pH under 7.0 considered progressively more acidic and pH above that mark deemed increasingly alkaline. The University of California advises the accuracy of soil pH readings is either plus or minus 0.5 pH units. In other words, your 7.5 soil might be anywhere between 7.0 and 8.0.

Realizing Soil pH

The best soil pH level for the lawn is based upon the plants you want to grow. For plants to utilize soil nutrients — naturally present or added through fertilizers — the enzymes have to stay soluble. Because pH changes, reactions happen that limit a plant’s ability to absorb certain nutrients. Many components, such as iron and iron, stay most accessible plants in low-pH, acidic soils. Plants that need those components in bigger quantities suffer in alkaline soil, but those plants are exceptions. Most plant nutrients reach their peak access in near-neutral soil pH. That range from 6.5 to 7.5 is the perfect soil pH for most plants.

Lowering Soil pH

Common garden clinics like adding organic matter and using fertilizers lower soil pH gradually. Base major changes only on recommendations from a respectable soil laboratory. Products and amounts depend on your soil’s specifics. Incorporating elemental sulfur, for example, in the top 6 inches of soil at a speed of 1/2 pound per 100 square feet lowers pH from 0.5 unit at loamy soil. Sandy soils, however, only need one-third that amount, while clay soils may take nearly double. Overdoing pH adjustments can leave soil toxic, so follow recommendations carefully. Wear protective clothing, such as gloves and safety instinct, whenever utilizing substances, and prevent all contact with exposed skin.

Living With Alkalinity

Trying to remain naturally alkaline soil in acidic pH ranges is an endless battle. Alkalinity, typical in arid regions, comes as indigenous stone weathers and low precipitation fails to clean elements away. These natural processes always replenish soil’s alkalinity. Think container growing to get plants that require acidic soil. For many other plants, 7.5 pH soil might be perfect. Several drought-tolerant plants, dry-region natives and Mediterranean natives prefer slightly alkaline soil pH. Align your lawn plans with your soil, and you’ll jump the need for constant soil alterations.

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Tropical Style

Can You Plant Bulbs in Elevated Wooden Boxes?

Bulbs grow well in containers, including wooden boxes and raised beds. Since lights need well-drained dirt, growing in raised containers is actually better for several species than growing in the ground; it makes it easier to control the soil quality. Containers also protect bulbs from being consumed by burrowing rodents.

Container Requirements

Containers used for bulbs need to have drainage holes. In case a wooden box has no drainage holes, drill a few in the bottom of the container before planting. The size of container is dependent upon the type and number of lights being implanted. As a rule of thumb, smaller bulbs need smaller containers and larger bulbs require more growing space. Bulbs that flower at different times can be planted at several levels within the planting box, and a box that’s 7 to 8 inches deep can accommodate two layers of lights. A pot 14 to 20 inches round will probably hold about 20 to 30 bulbs, based on the size and species.

Wooden Containers

Wooden boxes and containers work well for growing bulbs. The only disadvantage is that timber containers will eventually decay. Most untreated wood lasts at least 2 or three growing seasons. Redwood and cedar are rot-resistant, therefore growing boxes made from these forests will continue longer. Pressure-treated timber additionally has a longer lifespan, but you should be careful to avoid woods that were treated with toxic chemicals like creosote. Another option is to line the planting box with plastic to maintain growing roots and moist dirt from invading the timber. Just make certain that there are holes in the plastic that line with the timber box drainage holes so water won’t accumulate in the bottom of the container.

Bulb Planting Tips

In wooden containers utilized for growing bulbs, use lightweight potting soil mixture that drains quickly but still holds enough water to keep the roots moist. A commercial potting mixture works well enough, but if you want to mix your own potting soil specifically for bulbs, combine 2 parts good garden compost, 2 components regular potting mixture, 1 part perlite and 1 part coarse sand. Planting thickness for bulbs varies depending on the species, and instructions will be printed on the packages. Keep about 1/2 inch of distance between every bulb when planting multiple lights in a container.

Choosing Bulbs

Bulbs that need well-drained dirt and don’t spread quickly are the best for growing in wooden containers. Dwarf varieties of iris (Iris spp.) Grow well in pots because they need well-drained dirt. They’re hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10, based on the species. For spring blooms, daffodils (Narcissus spp.) Also do quite well in pots. Fragrant varieties are available, and they come in a wide variety of colors. Avoid daffodils described as “naturalizing,” because they’ll spread too much for most pots. Daffodils are hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9.

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Tropical Style

How to Boost False Heather Indoors

Also called Mexican heather or elfin herb, false heather (Cuphea hyssopifolia) rises from 8 inches to 2 feet tall with thin glossy green leaves 1/2 to 1-inch long. Tiny trumpet-shaped flowers about 4/10 of an inch round look in the axils of these leaves, usually in shades of purple, though white and pink varieties are available. Native to Mexico, Central America and the southeast U.S., false heather is perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 to 11. Its compact size also makes it suitable to be used as a houseplant.

Light and Temperature to False Heather

Although fictitious heather can tolerate full sun, the color of its foliage reportedly remains a richer green in partial shade. Consider putting it on a windowsill where it will receive approximately four hours of direct sunlight per day, preferably in the morning or day to protect it in the most intense beams of midday. If the plant’s foliage still appears faded under these conditions, move it to your place in bright, indirect light. To avoid worrying your false heather, pick a location where the temperature doesn’t fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit nor rise above 75 degrees during the light of day.

Water and Fertilizer for False Heather

Keep your plant at a well-drained all-purpose type potting soil, and water it if the surface of the soil feels dry to the touch, never allowing that dirt to become soggy or to dry out entirely. Feed your fictitious heather monthly from spring through autumn with a bloom booster type plant food such as 15-30-15, mixing 1/2 teaspoon of its own crystals using 1 gallon of water. Refrain from prying the plant through the winter months.

Pruning and Pests of False Heather

To keep fictitious heather streamlined, cut it back by approximately half in spring. Although not usually affected by insects, false heather can suffer from spider mites if allowed to dry out too often. Suspect the existence of these insects if the leaves have a mottled appearance and seem to be coated with spider webs. To see to the mites, mix 1 1/4 tablespoons of insecticidal soap concentrate with 1 quart of water. Spray the plant thoroughly, covering both of the surfaces and undersides of its leaves, after a week for 2 weeks.

Lifespan and Reproduction of False Heather

False heather generally is a plant that is fleeting and might begin to deteriorate following one to two decades. You can spread it readily, however, by recovering seedlings that have sown themselves beside the mother plant. The smallest branches of fictitious heather often root where they break on the ground as well. If so, you could be able to rejuvenate the whole plant by cutting the original stems back to just 2 inches above the ground.

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Tropical Style

Which Fertilizer Works Best for Corn?

There’s no better, one-size-fits-all recommendation for fertilizing corn (Zea mays) that matches all soil conditions. Some soils contain plant nutrients. The means to ascertain fertilizing needs would be to get your soil tested. There are a few general recommendations that are applicable to nitrogen-loving corn. Water-soluble granular fertilizer is recommended.

Fertilizing Basics

Corn is an annual which will rise in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 11. Corn is wind pollinated, so it’s better for the home gardener to plant three or four rows of corn in a plants in circle or a hill rather than a row. Should you fertilize in a squarefoot, hill or circle mulch recommendations in feet are more helpful than those for duration of row. After you apply fertilizer always water the dirt.

Fertilizing Before Planting

If you do not have your soil tested, operate 6 pounds of water fertilizer before you plant the seed. If you are calculating by square feet of garden, operate 2-3 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer 3 to 4 inches deep to each 100 square feet before planting corn. Until or plow 25 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer to the upper 6 inches of 1,000 square feet.

Fertilizing Young Corn

When your plants have grown four or five fully expanded leaves, apply 1/2 into 3/4 pounds of 10-10-10 fertilizer no closer than two inches from the bottom of the plants and then rake it

Fertilizing Maturing Corn

Corn needs a lot of nitrogen. Pale green leaves indicate a lack of nitrogen in corn. Add 1/2 pound of urea, 46-0-0 mulch, to each 100 square feet of dirt when corn plants have eight to 10 leaves. Scatter the fertilizer 6 inches in the sides of the plants and water it in the soil. Repeat this with 3/4 pound of urea as soon as your plants grow. Another way to deal with the nitrogen need of corn would be to add 1 1/2 pounds of ammonium nitrate, 34-0-0 once the plants are 8 to 12 inches tall. Sprinkle this at least two inches from the bottom of the plants and then rake it two inches deep.

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Tropical Style

To Force an Violet into Bloom

An African violet (Saintpaulia spp.) Direct sunlight is harmful, although blooms best when climbing in bright light. African violets include a range of perennial plants usually grown as houseplants, though Saintpaulia ionantha and other forms grow outside in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 11 and 12. Growing requirements and excessive color prevent an African violet. With conditions and maintenance violets can blossom.

Turn on the Lights

As soon as it receives eight to 12 hours of bright light a day, an African violet blooms. If your non-flowering African purple’s stalks are long and its leaves are thin and dark green, it is not getting lighting. Place the plant about 3 feet from a west- or window, or put it. Tubes offer the finest artificial lighting for violets and use significantly less power than incandescent bulbs. 2 tubes suspended 12 to 15 inches above the plants for 15 hours a day provide sufficient light to promote flowering. Turn off the lights at night because African violets require eight hours of darkness to promote flowering.

Cool Down, or Warm Up

Excessively cold or hot temperatures stop an African violet from booming. African violets grow best in warm, even temperatures and are plants. Day temperatures from 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures from 65 to 70 degrees are perfect. African violets growing in high temperatures stop flowering, and chilled plants become stunted, turn dim and sometimes die. Moving plants that are chilled to a area prevents further damage, but recovery is slow. Remove from windowsills through the nighttime, or put a sheet of paper to offer some protection.

Improve Humidity

Conditions encourage an African violet . African violets blossom and grow best in high temperatures. Place a tray of small pebbles, perlite or sand below the container of the plant and fill the tray with water. As the water evaporates the humidity from the atmosphere around the plant increases. Add water to the tray. Since this can cause roots, do not endure an African violet directly. Water your plant once the soil surface is dry and leave it to drain thoroughly. Water is usually required by african violets growing in clay pots more often than plants in plastic containers.

Fertilize Your African Violet

Fertilizer is needed by A lava . Other signs of nutrient levels include the leaves in the base of the crown spinning light yellowish or green. Fertilize African violet plants with a 7-7-7 African violet fertilizer diluted at a rate of 7 to 10 drops per gallon of lukewarm water. Water the plants with the fertilizer solution instead of water. The instructions of manufacturer might vary, so follow the instructions . Over-fertilization is a problem in violets. Plants create tight centers and rusty-colored leaves.

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