TAG: Plants

Planting in Accordance with the Moon

Moon

Planting in correlation with the moon’s phases is a practice that traces back to the beginning of agriculture, and remains an important part of bio-dynamic agriculture. The process of ascending and descending of the moon lasts approximately 27 days, 7 hours, and 43 minutes. During the waxing phase, the amount of sap in plants increases. This is a sign of activity increase in aerial plants. Fruits with higher juice contents are best harvested at this time. It is also best to cut the lawn while the moon is waxing, as it promotes better growth. As the moon begins to wane,… read more

Simple, Affordable Near-Infrared Camera Captures Secret Life of Plants

Simple, Affordable Near-Infrared Camera Captures Secret Life of Plants

In the hands of activists, farmers, students and hobby scientists, a cheap infrared camera can enable better assessments of landscapes and fields, from the leaf to the lot to the field. Originally developed to assess damage to wetlands after the BP oil spill, a new project from Public Lab is now developing a simple open-source hardware and software tool for taking near-infrared images that can be used to monitor plant health, document environmental damage, or study the progress of environmental restoration projects. The Infragram project, now in a crowdfunding phase, aims to bring near-infrared imagery to the hands of the… read more

Researchers Harvest Electricity Directly from Plants

Ramasamy-Yogeswaran

In learning to efficiently convert sunlight into electricity, we’ve got a lot to learn from plants. Our best efforts with solar panels are only yielding efficiencies of around 17%, but plants are the ultimate solar harvesters, capable of turning sunlight into energy at an efficiency rate of nearly 100%. Photosynthesis allows plants to produce almost an equal number of electrons to the amount of photons they receive, which is far and above the level of power conversion that our most efficient technologies can hit. But thanks to the work of some researchers at the University of Georgia, we may someday… read more

Wrapped With Love

Natural gift wrapping

As the breath of spring begins to  intoxicate the air, so ,too, does fertility chime from flowering trees and the newly sung lives of hatchlings. With the birth of nature flourishing under the lingering sun, the stage is appropriately set for Mother’s Day, a celebration not only of motherhood, but of life itself – perhaps the ultimate creative expression known to humans. In preparation for this day, we search for subtle ways to make our mothers feel special, and the tokens of our appreciation memorable. Often, this may be done through thoughtful presentation. But choosing quality materials needn’t entail wrapping… read more

Interesting and Eco-Friendly Wall Designs

Interesting Wall Designs

Painting walls is a good technique to add color to rooms, but integrating wall designs in a space can add dimension and functionality. There are endless projects for wall decorations that can incorporate green design. One example of an increasingly popular wall display is a living wall. These feature arrangements of living plants and can be custom constructed to meet the needs of a space. Putting in a living wall can be as simple as securing a resalvaged pallet or shelving and adding potted plants. Designs like the ones available from a company called Benetti Stone add real live interest… read more

An Enchanted Garden

An Enchanted GArden

Within a garden you are able to construct a world all your own, making it as diverse or enchanting as you like. Gardens can enclose your house with shrubbery, providing good habitats to surrounding creatures or they can be small adornments that perch on your windowsill. Because plants can live in a variety of conditions, many old (and odd) items can be given a second life dedicated to housing them. While the types of plants you choose to grow will dictate the flora that surrounds them. This can cause many varied yet positive results. We know potted plants have the… read more

Landscaping Sustainably and Naturally

Landscaping Naturally

There are ways to cultivate your outdoor space without destroying the land’s natural aesthetic or overusing chemicals. Outside areas that are lackluster or have issues that need addressed can be renovated into a fresher space just by adding compatible foliage to the landscaping. To start a planting project off right, buy plants that are sustainably collected. Plant nurseries or legitimate suppliers should be able to tell you the origin of what you are buying. Eco-friendly nurseries are becoming more available that only purchase fairly gathered selections. Also, maintaining outdoor areas with non-toxic products and fertilizers allows them to develop safely… read more

Cyber Gardening

Twitter Garden

Twitter and gardening usually don’t go hand-in-hand, that is, until now. A London-based company called ecoLogicalStudio created what they call the H.O.R.T.U.S, or Hydro Organisms Responsive To Urban Stimuli. It’s basically a giant garden with bacteria and algae, controlled with computers. Basically, the garden is a mass of clear, plastic containers filled with water, algae, moss, bacteria, etc. The garden is 100% dependent on personal communication to grow the plants. One part of the system involves people breathing directly into tubes connected to the plants to help them grow. And the plants aren’t just cool green vines hanging from the… read more

The Scoop on Weeds

The problem with weeds

Whilst some ecologists may argue the details, we can think of weeds as invasive species that pose serious threats to both the natural environment and primary production industries. Whether in Australia or elsewhere in the world, weeds are widely recognized as having major economic, environmental and social impacts. They cause damage to wild landscapes, agricultural lands, waterways and coastal areas. Terrestrial weeds are a problem to the land (and those who rely on it, human and non-human alike), while aquatic weeds can pose major challenges to the health of water systems – from mangroves to mountain streams. According to the… read more

Ladybugs in the Garden

Ladybug in the garden

Historically, ladybugs (also known as ladybirds or lady beetles) have been considered lucky in many cultures, possibly because people recognized the link between plentiful ladybugs and good harvests. There are many ladybug species and the majority are beneficial due to their voracious appetite for garden pests. Ladybugs naturally control a broad array of garden pests (both bugs and fungal infections such as powdery mildew, depending on the species). These helpful insects can be purchased at many garden supply stores or attracted to the garden by creating a ladybug-friendly environment (even if you buy ladybugs, you’ll need to create the right… read more