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5 Reasons to Grow Aloe

Aloe plants can be grown indoors or outside. They are very low maintenance, requiring little care and water. Place in a bright light room, full sun or part shade area, and reap the benefits of this awesome plant!

1.Antioxidant & Antibacterial – The compounds found in aloe vera gel inhibit the growth of certain bacteria that can cause infections in humans. This is why it can be used to help heal wounds, reduces redness, itching, and skin problems.

2.Oral Hygeine – Rinsing with aloe vera gel is just as effective as standard mouthwash with helping to reduce plaque. See study here.

3.Anti Aging – Consuming the aloe vera gel can increase collagen production and improve skin elasticity, preventing wrinkles. It also helps skin to retain it’s moisture!

4.Regularity – Aloe vera may also help treat constipation. This time it is the latex, not the gel, that provides the benefits. The latex is a sticky yellow residue present just under the skin of the leaf. The key compound responsible for this effect is called aloin, or barbaloin, which has well-established laxative effects.

5.Make your own hand sanitizer – Can be a base to create your own hand sanitizer!

Ingredients

  •  Cup 99% Rubbing Alcohol
  •  Cup Aloe Vera Gel
  • Essential Oils Of Your Choice

6 tips for the New Mom

Bringing home new plants can be both exciting and nerve racking… especially if you have failed before or don’t have a green thumb. Fear not! We have these simple guidelines to help you have success.

1. Start with “Easy” Plants

   

Start off with something low maintenance. Succulents, cactus, Sanseveria, and Pothos, are all great beginner plants. Succulents and cactus do great in full sun, and won’t mind if you forget to water them for a week…. or two. Sanseveria and Pothos are perfect for those low lit areas, under a patio, or in shade. They both will tolerate negligence, and Pothos will be fine if you water it too much! People who don’t have success with plants at the beginning usually get over excited and “kill them with kindness.” Be sure not to over water, especially those drought tolerant plants!

2.Provide the Bare Minimum

Plants need the right light, temperature, and water to thrive. You can’t brighten up that half bath with no windows or light with that succulent, I’m sorry. Give your baby the best chance with the correct environment!

3.Follow the Instructions

The care instructions aren’t something to be taken lightly. They’re telling you exactly what to do. If you aren’t sure, ask your Sales Associate at Liberty, or do a little research!

4.Mark your Calendars

Try putting a notice every week or two in your calendar to send you little reminders to give you plant some lovin’!

5.Splurge

 

You’re more likely to take care of something if you spent a little extra on that adorable pot, or that cute fairy furniture, or bag of pea gravel to complete the look.

6.Have fun!

Gardening is a lot of trial and error. Don’t get discouraged! Have fun with the process!

Florida Friendly Landscaping

Florida friendly landscaping means using plants that are both environmentally friendly and low maintenance. This means using materials meant of our zone, can adapt easily to your yard, and are ‘water wise.’

Right Plant, Right Place

For the best success in your yard, you must use plants that can thrive in your existing landscape. What kind of yard do you have? Full shade, full sun, wet, dry? These are things you need to pay attention to so you can plan accordingly before planting.

Group plants in beds according to similar care, light, and water needs. Use drought and heat tolerant plants in areas that receive full sun. Use ‘wet feet’ tolerant plants in low areas or have difficulties draining. Try picking a few colors that compliment each other and repeat them while working in the yard to create a visually appealing space.

If you live near the beach, make sure to use salt tolerant materials. Use wind wise materials that can withstand harsh winds in case of storms.

Improving Soil

We typically  have very sandy soils, meaning water and nutrients drain through very quickly. Use plants that can handle this type of soil, or amend the soil. Adding a compost or other organic matter will help with water retention and provide nutrition to your plants. Mulching will also help with water retention, break down over time adding nutrition, and will help protect the root system from cold weather and pests.

Consider Size

Make sure to ask questions or research plant maturity before planting. You can always add to the landscape, but it might be difficult to remove shrubs that are 20ft tall. If you know you don’t want plants to get larger than 4 feet under your windows, trying using dwarf materials.

Plant Correctly

While planting, dig a hole twice the size of the root ball. Place the plant in the hole so it sits slightly above the soil level. Planting too deep can cause root rot and other issues. Back fill with amended soil if necessary, and make sure to saturate well until established.

 

Additional Resources

http://www.floridayards.org/index.php

https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu/

Mojito Recipe

Mojitos are a great refreshing drink for the summer time. Mint & lime are commonly found in Florida landscapes and combine perfectly in this cocktail. Bonus points if you have things such as blueberry bushes or strawberries to add into this drink!

Ingredients:

10 mint leaves

1/2 lime, cut into 4 wedges

2 tablespoons sugar

ice

2 oz white rum

1/2 cup club soda

Instructions:

-place leaves & lime in glass, use muddler to crush

-add sugar and muddle again

-fill glass with ice

-pour rum and club soda over ice

-stir

-enjoy!

Repurposed Easter Basket

Materials Needed:

Easter Basket

Landscape Fabric

Scissors

Glue Gun

Plants

Soil

Step 1:

Cut out fabric to be placed inside basket.

Step 2:

Glue bottom and sides of fabric to the container.

Step 3:

Cut off any extra fabric.

Step 4:

Place your chosen plants inside, and fill with dirt. (We used Euphorbia ‘Breathless’, assorted Dianthus, and Angelonia) Water in well.

Step 5:

Hang, or place on porch/ in garden. Enjoy!

Beneficial Insects

Ladybugs: Both adults and larvae feast on aphids, mealy bugs, mites, scale and other pest insects.

-How to attract them: Plant dill, cilantro, fennel, geraniums, and coreopsis.

Bees: Help pollinate fruit trees and other edible plants.

-How to attract them: Do not use pesticides, plant native flowers such as Gaillardia and Coreopsis. The more diverse your garden is, the better it will support different bee species as well as other beneficial insects and wildlife.

Dragonflies: Consume a large amount of mosquitos and their larvae.

-How to attract them: Installing a small pond or fountain will help bring in dragonflies. Adding water plants and small flat rocks will also give them a place to lay their eggs as well as sun themselves.

Parasitic Wasp:  These insects lay their eggs in harmful bugs, most wasp larvae feed and pupate inside the host. Many harmful insects such as aphids, whiteflies, scales, leafminers and caterpillars are parasitized.

-How to attract them: Similar to bee attractants, plant a variety of flowers. Preferred food sources include alyssum, cilantro and other herbs from the dill family, and composite flowers such as daisies and asters.