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SUCCULENTS: Creating Interesting Looks in Your Garden

Organics Admin
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Organics Admin

COO at Aladay LLC
Organic Farmer, Property Preservation Specialist and Custom Glass & Wood Worker. Blogger extraordinaire...
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Planters with succulents and Copper Solar Lights.
Farmers Markets Displays; Planters with succulents and Copper Solar Lights.

At the last Farmers Market we had several questions about care of Succulent Plants. Perhaps this is because many of the custom One-of-s-Kind Planters we have in stock right now are planted with different varieties’ of these wonderful and interesting plants. Their versatility in shapes, appearance and colors make them a favorite in any garden and with the right care you can make Succulents either a centerpiece of your garden or use them to line the walkways and create colorful boarders with them. So in the interest of all the Succulent Fans out there this gorgeous Sunday Morning, I bring you useful information on the care of Succulents.

In botany, Succulent Plants, also known as succulents or sometimes fat plants, are plants having some parts that are more normally thickened and fleshy, usually to retain water in arid climates or poor soil conditions. Succulent Plants may store water is various structures, such as leaves and stems. Some definitions also include roots, so that geophytes that survive during unfavorable periods by dying back to underground storage organs may be regarded as succulents. In horticulture use the term “succulent” is often used in a way which excludes plants that botanists would regard as succulent, such as cacti. Succulents are grown as ornamental plants because of their striking and unusual appearance.

Remember even though cacti are regarded as a succulent they are actually in a different family and are categorized differently by botanists.

Succulents are a plant adapting to dry conditions and are considered a Xerophytes’.

GUIDELINES OR CARE;

Light:     If indoors you will want to use a southern exposure window as succulents love bright light. You will want to keep an eye on them and watch the leaves as some leaves will scorch with too much direct sunlight. Alternatively if there is not enough light you will see the leaves start to stretch and elongate themselves. As for outdoor use any where that has a combination of direct sunlight and shade you will be fine. You do not want to place them in all day direct sunlight as all species that I have had experience with will scorch and die. There are many varieties that thrive outdoors here in Northern Nevada, you Sedum’s are great and provide fantastic colors for creating walkway boarders and providing colorful ground cover. Another succulent that can be used this way and has gorgeous flowers are the many varieties’ of ice plants. In addition you also have Hens and Chicks (very popular variety), Pork and Beans, and this list goes on and on. Just remember while they will tolerate some direct sunlight you will want to monitor them at first to make sure they are not burning up.

Creating boarders for walkways
Creating boarders for walkways

TEMPERTURE:   Succulents are much more cold-tolerant than many people assume. As in the desert, where there is often a marked contrast between night and day, succulents thrive in colder nights, down to even 40ºF. Ideally, succulents prefer daytime temperatures between 70ºF and about 85ºF and nighttime temperatures between 50ºF and 55ºF.

If you plant a yard with some of the more exotic varieties you may want to cover them with some straw in the winter to protect from the extreme bite of the cold. However, if you use them in rock formations or near you foundations they should be just fine.

WATER:           Generously in the summer time, should your growing area drains very well perhaps twice a day if temperatures climb and remain over 100 degrees for long periods of time. Remember they are not Cacti that survive for extremely long periods with no water.

  • Overwatering: Overwatered plants are soft and discolored. The leaves may be yellow or white and lose their color. A plant in this condition may be beyond repair, but you can still remove it from its pot and inspect the roots. If they are brown and rotted, cut away dead roots and repot into drier potting media, or take a cutting and propagate the parent plant.
  • Under watering:  Succulents prefer generous water during the growing season (spring and summer). An under watered plant will first stop growing, and then begin to shed leaves. Alternatively, the plant may develop brown spots on the leaves.
    • Never allow your succulents to sit in water.

      Most succulents have shallow roots so growing medium and growing containers can vary greatly
      Most succulents have shallow roots so growing medium and growing containers can vary greatly

GROWING MEDIUMS:            Can not stress this enough…well draining…let me hear you say that…well draining!!!!! You want your soil to drain, so something that is gravely, sandy, or rocky and your succulents will love you!!!!! Now make no mistake they are a living creature so they do need to be fed now and then.  There are special fertilizers designed for succulents usually with the numbers 20-20-20(nitrogen-phosphorus-phosphate) on them. Some recommend a 20-30-20 mix when they are flowering. We use no chemical fertilizers here at Aladay Organic Farms; AG-Safe Aqua Tabs makes a very good food. You will want to stop any feeding during the fall and winter months.succulents 009 [640x480]

succulents 002 [640x480]One of the ways we use succulents here at Aladay Organic Farms is in the planter bed rock formations. The succulents “root” to the rocks thus binding them together. In addition they also provide habitat for insects that become meals for the lizards that live in the rock wall formations of our raised planter beds we use for farming.succulents 006 [640x480]succulents 001 [640x480]

Don’t’ be afraid to experiment with succulents. They are very durable and if you have placed them in an area they do not like you can modify their living conditions or find them a new home in your yard. Just remember even though succulents are extremely durable, succulents do need care…

Until Next time Happy Gardening

Sources

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Succulent_plant

http://houseplants.about.com/od/growinghealthyhouseplants/a/SucculentsBasic.htm

http://www.cssainc.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=234&Itemid=212)

http://www.theamateursdigest.com/feeding.htm

http://www.lsuagcenter.com/en/lawn_garden/home_gardening/flowers/Understand+Fertilizer+Numbers.htm

Genetically Modified Food Advisory…GMO: Why You Should Patronize Your Local Farmers Market

Organics Admin
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Organics Admin

COO at Aladay LLC
Organic Farmer, Property Preservation Specialist and Custom Glass & Wood Worker. Blogger extraordinaire...
Organics Admin
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In the annals of food history and farming, genetically modified foods have been around for a short period of time. The only way farmers were able to modify their foods in the past was by cross pollination processes, whether purposely or accidentally. Tomatoes were never intended to have Halibut genes in them, or corn able to kill the insects that feed on it. http://rense.com/general65/rats.htm. Trout are not supposed to reach maturity for consumption in 6 months.

Please keep in mind that not a lot of research has gone into this field.

Not only has such Government research been terminated but independent scientists wishing to carry out such research have been made to understand that their department or institute may lose funding if they are involved in ‘irresponsible’ research. Scientists have been denied access to the GM crop varieties and null cassette isotopes. Of the very few published papers on GM food safety that we have been able to identify, half were industry-funded and reported negative results, the other half were independent and all raised safety concerns. All the scientists raising concerns have subsequently been subjected to campaigns of intimidation or ridicule. The only two independent scientists on the Government’s GM Science Review panel, Dr Andrew Stirling and Professor Carlo Leifert, were likewise threatened as a result of raising their concerns. http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/news_details.asp?ID=1839

Which means there is a lot of uncertainty and a serious lack of qualified information to state the products are good for you. IMHO the only thing good about GMO food is the bottom  line the stock holders and companies manufacturing the products profit from  this “Frankenstein” technology.

Here is a list of Companies claiming “Organic and Natural” that have ties to Monsanto…

Organic and Natural Product Companies
Associated with Monsanto

• Brand Name(s): Arrowhead Mills, Bearitos, Breadshop, Celestial Seasonings, Earth’s Best Baby Food, Garden of Eatin, Health Valley, Imagine Foods, Terra Chips, Westbrae, Millina’s, Mountain Sun, Shari Ann’s, Walnut Acres Owned By: Hain Food Group Principle Stockholders: Bank of America, Entergy Nuclear, ExxonMobil, H.J. Heinz, Lockheed Martin, Merck, Monsanto, Pfizer, Philip Morris, Walmart, Waste Mangement Inc. Significantly Owned By: Citigroup

• Brand Name(s): Cascadian Farms, Muir Glen Owned By: Small Planet Foods Principle Stockholders: General Mills Significantly Owned By: Alcoa, Chevron, Disney, Dupont, ExxonMobil, General Electric, McDonalds, Monsanto, Nike, Pepsico, Pfizer, Philip Morris, Starbucks, Target, Texas Instruments

Article From: http://www.organicconsumers.org/monlink.html

Remember folks buying from local farmers through your local farmers markets or from their on site facilities not only helps your local economy’s but assures you that the best possible products available are on your table. The only way to stop these companies from poisoning us is by not patronizing them. Please think about that the next time you visit Starbucks and McDonalds or rent a Disney movie for the family to watch of feed Cherrios to your children for breakfast.

https://www.facebook.com/millionsagainst/posts/445099355552841.

Just how “Heart Healthy” can food products be using GMO food to produce them?

http://miami-water.com/blog/2217/product-list-of-gmo-genetically-modified-foods/

Support you local Organic Farmers, they work hard to bring you healthy food with out pesticide and herbicide residues ad provide a valuable service to your community.