Author Archives: Emily Burns Morgan


How To: Weed Your Garden

While you may not be able to eliminate weeds entirely, you can certainly keep them in check by following some basic techniques.

How to Weed Your Garden

Photo: csmonitor.com

Even late into the season, the summer can seem like one prolonged fight against garden weeds. The bad news? There’s no winning this war; you’ll be engaged on the front lines so long as you wish to maintain a manicured landscape. But with the right tools and proper techniques, you can keep the enemy contained. 

Preventing weeds is the best way to limit their proliferation. The basic strategy here is to make your garden a less-than-hospitable location for unwanted plants. First and foremost, limit the amount of bare soil present in your garden, as empty patches of fertile soil are like oases for weeds. Instead, plant densely, use mulch, and consider taking advantage of the natural weed-suppressing power of ground covers or landscaping fabric, the latter being effective but artificial.

Even the best practices won’t stop every single weed from finding its way into your garden, but by employing some or all of the following methods, you can stand your ground against their ceaseless incursion.

1. Weed daily
Some gardeners weed only once a week, and surprising though it may be, even that frequency gives the roots of weeds sufficient time to grow deep and strong. A superior strategy is to weed a little every day. That way, you ensure the problem never gets out of hand. Bring along a kneeler and a shovel, a weed knife, or even an old fork to help you get to the roots. Don’t neglect walking rows (footpaths between plantings); if weeds get a stronghold there, they can easily spread.

Note: If you weed more frequently and vigorously in the first months of spring and summer, you’ll be doing yourself a favor for the rest of the growing season, as you’ll prevent weeds from going to seed and spreading farther afield. 

2. Hoe regularly
Another way of uprooting weeds is to hoe regularly. Gardeners favor this approach, as it allows them to avoid the backbreaking work of pulling each weed manually. Be very careful not to hoe too deep, though: You might bring weed seeds to the surface, where they will enjoy access to the light and water essential for growth. Once a week, stir the soil at the base of plants to a depth of three inches maximum. Hoe only to one inch if you want to stay on the safe side.

How to Weed Your Garden - Fork

Photo: hgtv.com

3. Pull, don’t yank
Take care to remove the roots of a weed so that it doesn’t return. Yank out a weed too quickly and it might break, with the result that you pull out the top but not the all-important root system. For best results, pull very gently (if the soil is soft) or use a tool to dig it up (if the soil is hard). If digging, do so sparingly; you don’t want to disturb the roots of the plants you wish to keep.

4. Choose the right time
Don’t weed when the soil is soggy, but do weed when the soil is wet. It’s easier to pull the roots up out of damp soil. Save hoeing for days when the ground is dry.

Related: Zen and the Art of Weed Whacking

5. Get ’em out of there
Once you’ve pulled out a weed, don’t let it sit around on bare soil. Its seeds could find their way back into the ground. Let pulled weeds dry out and die in the sun, preferably on the sidewalk, then either throw them away or into a compost heap.

Note: Do not compost weeds that have gone to seed. That’s a recipe for getting more weeds when you ultimately return the compost to your garden.

6. Chop off their heads
If weeds have grown so big that you aren’t able to fully uproot them—or if they are so close to other plants that to remove the root of the weed would mean risking the roots of the plants you want to keep—then chop off the heads of the weeds. This will kill them slowly and prevent them from going to seed and spreading further. You may have to chop multiple times, but eventually they’ll die out.

7. What about herbicides?
Herbicides usually require many applications, as they (literally) fail to address the “root” of the problem. Be careful: They can be toxic to pets, children, and other plants. Use sparingly, or experiment with organic herbicides, such as vinegar or boiling water. In all cases, make sure you’re spraying or pouring herbicide only on weeds, not inadvertently killing other plants in the process.


How To: Plant a Bush

As a boon to your backyard landscaping or curb appeal, you can plant a bush the right way in only a couple of hours—no special tools or techniques required.

How to Plant a Bush

Photo: shutterstock.com

Available in countless varieties, bushes add depth and diversity to the landscape, whether they are fruit- or flower-bearing, evergreen or deciduous. Use them to define borders, frames, or fences—the choice is yours. But to ensure the health of your shrubbery, make sure you understand how to plant a bush properly.

Planning
Choose a location for your bush, keeping in mind that like most ornamental plants, shrubbery requires well-draining soil. How do you know whether or not there is good soil drainage in the location you’re considering? Try this method of finding out:

• Dig a hole one foot wide and one foot deep
• Fill the hole with water and wait for it to drain completely
• Fill the hole again, then wait half an hour
• Now use a ruler to measure how much water has drained

The ideal soil drains at a rate of one or two inches per hour. So if anywhere between a half inch and one inch of water has drained within 30 minutes, congratulations! You’ve found a great place to plant a bush. Of course, it may be necessary to test a few parts of your property before a suitable spot is found.

Generally, higher ground has better drainage; focus on the most elevated parts of your landscape. But know that if your heart is set on a particular area prone to slow drainage, you can encourage the process by tilling a radius of soil as wide as fifteen feet around the place where you’d like to plant.

You’ve found the perfect location to plant a bush? Terrific. At this stage, it’s wise to get a grip on how much space your shrubbery will occupy at full growth. Find out the mature size of your shrub species, then dig holes to mark out its dimensions in relation to preexisting plantings, fences, and buildings.

Site Readying
There are three types of shrub preparations on the market today: container-grown, balled and burlapped, and bare root. The process for planting each is slightly different. Organize your tools and supplies in advance so that once you begin, the roots don’t have a chance to dry out during their transfer from wrapping to soil. If your plant is very large or heavy, enlist the help of another person to move it safely, with no injury to yourself or damage to the bush.

Timing
Plant bare-rooted bushes in late fall, once the shrub has gone dormant (around early November), or wait until early spring, before new growth develops. Technically, container-grown or balled and burlapped shrubs can be planted any time, but they tend to fare better if installed on the same schedule as bare-rooted selections. If you decide to plant any shrubbery in late spring or summer, success depends on your vigilance in watering the newly planted bush.

How to Plant a Bush - Hole Digging

Photo: shutterstock.com

Digging
Different holes are suggested for planting shrubbery with different root preparations.

Container-grown or balled and burlapped. Dig a hole two or three times as wide and deep as the earth ball. Flatten the soil at the bottom of the hole, or slightly raise it in the middle, to promote drainage. The sides of the hole should be sloped slightly outward. The root ball, once inserted, should either sit flush with the top of the hole or rise a couple of inches above it.

Bare root. A few hours before planting, begin soaking the roots of your bare-rooted bush. Meanwhile, dig a hole roughly equivalent to the depth of the soil in which the shrub was originally planted (nursery instructions may indicate this, or you can estimate from the soil mark on the trunk). It’s crucial to avoid planting too far down, as doing so blocks oxygen from reaching the roots. Build a slight cone shape at the bottom-center of the hole, and make sure the hole is wide enough to accommodate the shrub’s spreading roots.

Related: 10 Plants for Where the Sun Don’t Shine

How to Plant a Bush - Setting

Photo: shutterstock.com

Setting the Bush
Handle the plant by its root area, as damage may result from grasping the stem. Set the plant gently into the hole in order to test its depth; make any necessary adjustments at this point, either removing some more soil or adding a little back in. Orient the plant so that its most beautiful side faces out.

If you’re working with a balled and burlapped plant, there’s no need to completely remove the burlap, unless it has been treated or is made of vinyl. So long as the burlap is biodegradable, you only need to peel it back from the trunk. However, remember to take off any plastic, wood, or wire still attached to the shrub.

If your container-grown bush has tightly coiled roots, now is the time to use your hands or a knife to loosen and separate them. Bare-rooted bushes do best if you spread the roots over the cone shape already formed along the bottom of the planting hole.

Backfill
Use soil removed to make the hole to fill half the excavated area around the plant, then pour water over the dirt to eliminate air pockets and help the roots settle. Add the remainder of the soil, tamping it down as you go to keep the plant stable and upright. Finally, shovel on a layer of topsoil. Water again.

Fertilizing newly planted bushes is not generally advised, as roots be established in order for fertilizer to be effective. That said, recommendations do vary, depending on the shrub and its preparation and the time of year in which you are planting, so the wise course is to follow the grower’s specifications.

Mulch
Apply a three-inch layer of mulch over the topsoil. Mulch helps maintains moisture and helps insulate the roots from temperature fluctuations.

Water
As soon as you finish planting a bush, water it thoroughly. Set and follow a regular watering pattern from that point forward. Again, consult the grower’s instructions, as how much and how often you water the shrub will vary based on what and when you are planting.


Shower Heads 101

Focus on features in order to choose a shower head from the many different options awaiting you in the bathroom hardware aisle.

How to Choose a Shower Head

Photo: faucet.com

Gone are the days of the utilitarian shower head. Today’s spigots are anything but standard. From sleek handheld units to adjustable sprays to stand-up spas, the bathroom hardware aisle has begun to rain a torrent of tantalizing options.

TYPES AND BENEFITS

Standard wall mount. The standard wall-mounted shower head ranges from simple designs to more elaborate, feature-heavy models with adjustable angles and multiple spray modes. Such fixtures also include technology to counteract hard water buildup, corrosion, and tarnishing. Some have only one setting, while others boast mist, massage, and assorted other shower effects. Prices run the gamut, but if you’re economizing, this is where to start your search.

How to Choose a Shower Head - Panel

Photo: hudsonreed.com

Top mount. Opt for this type of shower head if you like the idea of your daily deluge falling from above. A top-mount model either installs directly onto the ceiling or hangs down from an extension arm.

Sliding bar. In response to the height and personal preference of the user, a sliding bar shower head moves up and down along a wall-mounted base. For a bathroom shared among family members, a shower head like this, whether it’s fixed or removable, ensures that everyone enjoys an optimal experience.

Handheld. Removable from its mounting, a handheld shower head performs well in bathing applications and can also be useful for washing things other than adult bodies (e.g., pets and kids). If you can’t decide between a handheld or a traditional fixture, why not settle on a two-in-one combination? Remember to select a model that is easy to grip and maneuver when your hands are wet and soapy.

Related: 10 Dream-Worthy Showers to Give You Bathroom Envy

Shower panel systems. A great way to think of these showers is as Jacuzzis you stand up in. Highly customizable, shower panel systems deliver more water pressure where you want, less where you don’t. Buy a pre-configured unit or design your own, specifying the number of spigots and their placement (overhead, chest-level, knee-high, etc.), the output volume, as well as the included spray options.

Note that in homes with shower panels, hot water consumption tends to increase. Make sure there are no environmental restrictions in your area concerning the installation of multiple shower heads.

Also, confirm that your plumbing can accommodate any shower system you’re eyeing. While the standard diameter of water pipes is one half inch, some custom showers require pipes that are wider. Meanwhile, your existing water heater may not have sufficient capacity to meet a graduated level of demand. Retrofit options are often available, but the wise course is to seek the advice of a professional.

Aerating. Many shower heads on the market are aerating, which means they mix air and water to create the sensation of enhanced water pressure, even though they actually use less water than a regular fixture. Aerating shower heads cost more initially, but they save you money on monthly utility bills.

Lighted. Shower heads enhanced by LED lights provide adjustable, mood-matching illumination that can make your habitual shower routine that much more pleasurable and convenient.

How to Choose a Shower Head - Low Flow

Photo: jaclo.com

Environmental Considerations
Since the early 1990s, the EPA has limited shower heads in the U.S. to a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute (gpm), thereby conserving both water and the fuel that runs water heaters. Knowing that the average family goes through almost 400 gallons of water in a single day, consider investing in a water-saving shower head that uses even less than 2.5 gpm. Models that carry the EPA WaterSense label have been demonstrated to utilize no more than 2 gpm.

Going the green route? Take your home’s water pressure into account. The EPA-specified flow rate is for a standardized pressure of 80 pounds per square inch (psi), so if your water pressure is not that high to begin with, a low-flow shower head probably won’t offer the results you’re seeking. In fact, if you’re already unsatisfied with the water pressure in your home, concentrate on models that have been specially engineered to mitigate that issue.

Related: Designers Tell All: Today’s Top 10 Bathroom Trends

Price Range
To upgrade your shower, you can spend anywhere from $5 to $1,000 and beyond. Decide for yourself whether special features that tip the price scale are worth the expense. When comparing two models with similar feature sets, keep in mind that a higher price does not always indicate a higher level of quality.

Other Considerations
Who is going to use the bathroom you’re updating? If it’s the master bath and you don’t plan on sharing the space with guests, do whatever you like. If it’s a bathroom that visitors to your home are likely to use, select from those models that are easiest to use.

In addition, think about how much time and energy you wish to spend on installing your shower head. If you’re renovating the bathroom or building a new home, the course of work already being done might easily absorb an otherwise demanding installation. For a weekend afternoon project, basic wall-mounted fixtures are most accessible for do-it-yourselfers.


Everything You Need to Know About Winterizing Pipes

Winterizing Pipes

Photo: applewoodfixit.com

As you ready your house for the colder months ahead, don’t forget about your water system. When water freezes, it expands. So if the temperature of your pipes drops below 32 degrees, even for a short period, you run the risk of a pipe fracture or worse. Take the following precautions now to avoid a major headache later.

Related: 11 Ways to Winterize on a Budget

Inside Your Home
Anywhere cold air blows on a pipe, it creates the potential for freezing. To make sure your pipes are well-insulated, close crawl space vents and stuff insulation over the openings. Even a tiny hole can let a lot of cold air blow in; make sure you fill in all the cracks.

A bathroom or laundry room located above or next to a garage can be particularly vulnerable, so keep the garage door closed to maintain maximum heat.

If your bathroom pipes run along an outside exterior wall, try keeping the vanity door(s) open to allow heat inside. If you’re anticipating a deep freeze, consider using a fan to help circulate the air near the pipes, or purchase a small space heater for some extra temporary heat.

Finally, never turn off the heat when you leave home during the winter. Instead, set the temperature to at least 55 degrees F (higher if you’ve had problems in the past or live in an area of extreme cold). If you have multiple heat zones, be sure to adjust all thermostats appropriately.

macplumbingutah-frozenpipes-outdoor-faucet

Photo: macplumbingutah.net

Outside Your Home
Disconnect and store garden hoses. If your home has a separate shut-off for external faucets, turn it off and drain the water from those faucets.

Turn off and drain sprinkler systems. You may want to call in a professional company to blow out any leftover water in the underground lines. A broken sprinkler pipe can do damage to the delicate components that make up the entire system, increasing the cost of repair.

Know where your main waterline shut-off is before problems arise. Depending on the age of your house, it can be inside a garage, basement or laundry room, or underground in your yard. After turning the water off, turn on faucets to allow the water to drain and release the pressure in your pipes.

Signs You Have Frozen Pipes
• You turn on the faucet but nothing comes out. Look in the most likely places and use the techniques listed above to gently thaw the area. Whatever you do, do not use a blowtorch to warm up a frozen pipe. Many homes have been set on fire this way.

• The water is turned off but you hear rushing water running anyway. This could be a sign that you have a leak somewhere. You should turn off the water lines immediately and investigate.

For more on winterizing, consider:

Winterize on a Budget
Quick Tip: Winterize Your Home
Winterizing Your Patio Furniture


Mums: Hardy, Colorful, and Fall-tastic!

Fall Mums

Photo: Get More Curb Appeal

Boldly colored mums on porches or planted in garden beds are wonderful harbingers of fall, going hand in hand with that nip in the air, the turning leaves, and the children in their back-to-school clothes.

Unlike mums found in a florist’s shop, garden mums prefer cooler temperatures and continue blooming well into fall. Buyers should be aware that while mums may be on our minds right now, this time of year is not ideal for planting.

Slideshow: 10 Low-Maintenance Mums

Read the rest of this entry »


How To: Clean Painted Walls

How to Clean Painted Walls

Cleaning your painted walls may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple (though somewhat time-consuming). Whether you’re doing regular yearly cleaning or hoping to say goodbye to a stain, the first step in cleaning your walls is to assess what type of paint you have. Semi-gloss and glossy enamel paints tend to stand up best to washing. Flat, satin, and eggshell latex paints, on the other hand, may fade or rub off with overly abrasive cleaning.

Regardless of paint type, regular dusting is in order. Before you do any washing, run the dust brush attachment of your vacuum over ceilings and walls. Often, this is enough wall-cleaning for the year.

Related: 5 Easy Steps to a Successful Paint Makeover

Stains and smudges require a bit more elbow grease. Before diving in, test a patch of wall in an unobtrusive area with your intended cleaning solution. If the paint still looks bright and there are no water marks left after drying, you’re good to go. Otherwise proceed with caution. A sloppy attempt could make things look worse than before you started. If you know from the outset that you have flat or eggshell latex paint and the patch test doesn’t go well, consider instead a fresh coat of paint or professional cleaning.

Clean Painted Walls

If no water marks remain after drying and the paint holds up well, it’s time to choose which cleaning solution is best for your needs. To preserve the quality of your paint job, always start with the gentlest materials possible—in this case, water on a cellulose sponge. Step it up a notch, if necessary, with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent soap.

If that still doesn’t seem like enough firepower, try experimenting with other homemade solutions, such as 1 cup ammonia, 1/2 cup vinegar, and 1/4 cup baking soda to one gallon of warm water.

For spot-cleaning, try a paste of baking soda and water gently rubbed over the stain, then rinsed with clean water and dried with a soft cloth.

You may want to lay towels, newspaper, or another absorbent material on the floor under your workspace to catch drips. Also, wear rubber gloves to avoid dirty water dripping down your arms. Begin at the top of the wall and work your way down, alternating between the wet, soapy sponge and a wet, clear sponge to rinse; each sponge should have its own bucket. Rinsing with clean water is essential to ensure that dirt and grime won’t cling to soapy residue; do not skip this step.

Rub in a gentle, circular motion to avoid damaging paint and make sure to wring out the sponges well to avoid drips. Work in sections, and once you’ve completed a section, dry the area with a clean, soft cloth.

For particularly hard-to-remove stains (e.g., grease splatters on kitchen walls), try a specialty product like Siege Premium Kitchen Degreaser, a solvent-free degreaser. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is a good bet for removing crayon and fingerprints, making it an especially useful product for homes with children.

For more on house cleaning and maintenance, consider:

How To: Clean Power Tools
Top Tips for Keeping Countertops Like New
Bob Vila Radio: Maintenance Checklist


Creating Privacy and Beauty with Hedgerows

Villagewalkbonita-Privet-hedgerow

The common privet. Photo Courtesy: Villagewalkbonita.com

Whether you’re looking to create a privacy enclosure, windbreak, or wildlife deterrent, or simply bring some traditional appeal to your outdoor space, hedgerows are a versatile, beautiful addition to any garden. Although commonly used in reference to any type of hedgerow, “privets” are actually a specific type of plant; members of the genus Ligustrum that includes about 40-50 species of evergreen, semi-evergreen, and deciduous shrubs and small trees. While actual privets do the job beautifully, hedgerows can be created from a variety of plants, offering an option to fit any purpose and style.

Related: 10 Evergreens to Beautify Your Garden Year-Round

Due to the large array available, choosing which plant to use in your hedgerow might seem daunting at first. Your goal, however, should help you determine the best plant for the job. Here are a few to consider, depending on your aims. You don’t have to choose just one; alternating two or more types of plants can create a pleasing display of color and texture.

 

Privacy

Growing Hedgerows - Privacy

Arborvitae. Photo: Aces.edu

Tallhedge, privet, boxwood, and arborvitae work well for creating a living visual shield. These types, which can be made to look “wall-like” offer traditional, European appeal. Privet, in particular, is very hearty and can grow in most types of soil. It retains its foliage almost all winter long.

 

Windbreak

Growing Hedgerows - Windbreak

Hybrid Willows. Photo: Daves Garden

Though technically trees, hybrid willows and poplars are both excellent windbreakers. Depending on how you prune them, they can appear as more of a shrub than a tree. Leave the lower limbs on for more privacy.

 

Wildlife Deterrent

Growing Hedgerows - Wildlife Deterrent

Variegated Holly. Photo: Shutterstock

Anything with thorns or prickles will help deter grazers, such as deer, from your property. Hedge roses, holly, and blackthorn are all effective, and beautiful, choices.

 

Flowering 

Growing Hedgerows - Flowering

Forsythia in Spring. Photo: Conservation Garden Park

Rose of Sharon, azalea, spirea, forsythia, and lilac are all suitable as hedgerows with the added benefits of beautiful blooms come spring.

 

How To
Buy hedging plants either in soil, or bare root. If purchased in soil, the plant can be put in the ground either in the fall or the spring. Dormant (bare root) plants must be planted in spring.

First, measure and stretch a line of twine or rope to make sure you’re planting in a straight “row.” Dig a trench, and set the plants in it. For a privet hedge, aim for a foot-deep trench with about a foot between plants. Pay attention to what you are planting: some bushes will have different root depths or may need more spacing in between. You should be able to tell how deep to plant by looking at the stem poles of your plants.

Related: How To: Plant a Bush

Once you’ve got them in the ground, spread the roots out and distribute the soil over them, making sure not to pack the soil too hard. Soak the roots with water. It is a good idea to prune your hedges severely at planting time to stimulate growth if they have been dormant. Doing so will give you denser growth, too.

Before you begin work on your hedgerow, make sure to research the particular plant you choose to use, as every variety requires different care and pruning. If you give your hedgerow the water, fertilizer, and pruning it needs, it will reward you with years of beauty and elegance.

For more on trees and bushes, consider:

Landscaping Made Easy
Boxwood: Maintaining Structure in Your Garden
Creating Privacy Through Landscaping


How To: Install Floating Shelves

How to Install Floating Shelves

Photo: Apartment Therapy

Before hanging anything, it’s important to find out what your wall is made of. Ideally, you should attach floating shelves (or anything else you’re hanging) to a wall stud, as this will give you the most supportive base for your project. A stud finder—a hand-held device that uses a magnet to detect metal, such as the nails and screws in the wall studs of your home—can help you locate these.

But what if you want to hang a shelf in a spot with no stud? First, check to see if your wall is made of drywall or plaster. To do this, simply knock with a light fist against the wall. If it sounds hollow, it’s drywall. Not hollow? Probably plaster. Another test is to see how readily a nail goes through. If it slides right in, you’ve got drywall. If it takes a few more taps, then you’ve either got plaster or have found a wall stud (tapping around the sides of the hard area will help you determine which). Knowing the type of wall you’re working with will help you decide what kind of hardware is necessary for your project.

If you’re going to be attaching your floating shelf and bracket to a wall stud, you do not need any anchors. If you are working with plaster or drywall, however, additional support is necessary. Wall anchors, also called molly plugs, will help you build a sturdy foundation for your shelf. Regular hollow wall anchors are fine for plaster; for drywall you will need butterfly or toggle anchors. Before deciding which anchors to buy, consider what you want your shelves to hold. Anchors are rated for how much weight they can support, but to be safe, it’s best to stay on the low end of an anchor’s max weight rating.

How to Install Floating Shelves

Illustration: Gabriel Silveira for Popular Mechanics

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
Shelf and bracket
Stud finder (optional)
Wall anchors
Screws
Handheld Electric Drill
Screwdriver
Level
Tape measure

DIRECTIONS

1. Measure and mark the spaces on the wall (on both ends) of where you want the shelf to go.

2. Using a level, draw a discreet line in pencil across the wall to ensure that your shelf will sit straight.

3. Use the hand drill to drill pilot holes into the wall for the anchors.

4. Insert hollow anchors into the holes, following specific directions on the package.

5. Align your bracket with the anchor-filled pilot holes. Using a regular screw driver, attach the bracket to the wall by screwing into the anchors.

6. Slide shelf onto bracket.

How to Install Floating Shelves

Photo: Ana White

For more on storage and wall hangings, consider:

Drywall 101
How To: Find a Wall Stud
5 Creative Alternatives to Kitchen Cabinetry


How To: Make a Terrarium

A DIY favorite for bringing the outdoors in, terrariums are simple to make and effortless to enjoy.

How to Make a Terrrarium

Photo: mossterrariums.etsy.com

Terrariums can be as basic or elaborate as you want. While those featuring sand and air plants (tillandsia) are popular, terrariums that incorporate wetter plants, such as ferns and moss, are a unique way to bring the lush, vibrant feel of the forest into your home. Interested in creating one? Here’s how:

MATERIALS AND TOOLS
Clear glass vessel (big enough to hold the plants you intend to use)
Chopsticks or long-handled tweezers
Potting soil (for succulents, consider special soil)
Plants (look for miniature varieties like lemon button ferns, nerve plants, and jungle cactuses, such as varieties of rhipsalis. Ask your local nursery for suggestions.)
Activated charcoal to absorb moisture. (For general drainage purposes, rocks are sufficient, but to create an environment that doesn’t get too wet, activated charcoal acts as an absorber.)
Other articles from nature: stones, moss, twigs, decorative glass, etc.

How to Make a Terrarium - Planter

Photo: diggardensnursery.com

DIRECTIONS

1. Clean the vessel using water with a few drops of bleach in it. Make sure the container is dry before you begin.

2. Shake the activated charcoal into the bottom of the glass container. You don’t need much, just enough so that the bottom of the vase is not visible.

3. If plants are too large, and able to be separated, pull the roots apart gently to separate into smaller sections that will fit into your vase.

4. Distribute a thin layer of soil on top of the activated charcoal, creating a shallow hole big enough for the plant’s roots.

5. Gently set the plant into the hole. Using a kitchen spoon or other scooping device, fill the area around the plant with soil, patting it around the plant’s roots to steady and hold it upright.

6. If your vase is large, you might add another plant. If not, fill in the remaining area with items that can sit on top of the soil, like rocks, moss, air plants, or bits of crystal. Remember to plant all live plants first, placing decorative items in last.

7. Water your plant lightly and set it in an area where it will get the required amount of daily sunlight (read care label on plant or talk to the folks at the nursery or greenhouse where you bought it to find out how much light your plant likes).

Want more How To? Browse all projects in 30 Days of Easy Summer DIY