Category: Tropical Style

The Ecological Niche of Tomato Plants

An ecological market is defined as the area a specific life form occupies in the food chain. The exclusive market that tomato plants occupy illustrates the functions that it possesses that set it apart from other life forms, as no 2 types of plants, including tomatoes, behave in exactly the same way as they grow, produce flowers and fruit, and reproduce. Where tomatoes grow and how they accomplish this are the double roles they play within their specific market.

Tomato Plant Family

Tomatoes are members of the nightshade (Solenaceae) plant family which also includes potatoes, green onions, eggplant and edible flowers such as petunias. Over 3,000 species within the family are native to South America in a variety of habitats that range from deserts to rain forests and wooded areas. Rumors, especially outrageous varieties, are found growing in these areas where many species gradually adapt to aridity, heavy rainfalls and snowy freezing weather conditions.


The tomato plant’s primary mission will be to reproduce by means of the seeds which develop within a gelatinous cavity located in the middle of the fruit. Wild tomatoes only drop to the ground and decompose, releasing their seeds to the soil, while domesticated tomatoes are grown from seeds which are carefully harvested, dried and stored. Each seed is a potential new plant also grows according to its genetic makeup. Old-fashioned, or heirloom, tomatoes grow into more of the exact same sort, while hybrid tomatoes create plants which are crosses of two varieties bred for increased resistance to infection, increased productivity and drought tolerance. The tomato plant starts out as a tiny shoot that eventually grows to a compact or sprawling plant. Once the root system has formed, the plant shifts its energy to flower formation and fruit growth. The ultimate goal is to create the seeds which will lead to new plants, thus ensuring its success as a species.

Usefulness Factors

Nightshades, including strawberries, are valued as edible vegetables and therefore are among the most easily grown. According to the Sol Genomics Network, this makes tomatoes part of this third most economically important group as they are frequently grown and spread as food crops, together with ornamentals such as Nicotiana and medicinal plants such as red peppers (Capsicum). Like many of its cousins, tomatoes produce fruit that is a significant food internationally and it seldom changes in its development and growth, making it a simple plant to examine and manipulate.

Development Facts

Tomato plants develop in one of 2 types. Indeterminate tomato plants create long vines and multiple crops, while determinate varieties create smaller more compact plants along with one crop that ripens all at once. They manufacture their own food through a process known as photosynthesis which utilizes the sun’s energy to generate sugars and other nutrients within the plants’ tissues. Tomato plants will grow poorly or not at all if they are not exposed to approximately 12 or more hours of sunlight daily. Water and other nutrients and minerals are absorbed via superficial fibrous root systems along with the plants’ blossoms are pollinated by bees and end. Each blossom produces just one tomato, that is classified as a fruit, as it includes seeds encased in a ripened ovary. Other food plants such as potatoes, lettuce and carrots are considered vegetables because, unlike strawberries, their edible parts include no seeds.

See related

Pear Trees That Do Not Need Cross-Pollinators

The two species of pear trees are Asian pear (Pyrus serotina) and European pear (Pyrus communis). Most pear trees need cross-pollination from nearby pollen sources of trees that are common, however, some pear trees normally do not need cross-pollinators to produce fruit as they are self-fruitful. Both pear tree species have self-fruitful cultivars. Even some self-fruitful pear trees, however, might need cross-pollinators to produce fruit when they are planted in areas where their blooming period occurs during cool temperatures.


Most fruit trees rely on wind and insects to transfer pollen from their blossoms’ male reproductive parts to female parts. All fruit-bearing trees need pollination to produce fruit. The anthers in fruit tree blossoms contain pollen, and the pistils develop fruit. Reproduction parts of blossoms typically are located separately. Some pear trees produce flowers with anthers and pistils together, reducing the demand for cross-pollination for fertilization to develop fruit.

Asian Pears

Some Asian pear trees are partially self-fruitful and tend to overproduce when cross-pollinated. Their imaginations earned the nickname “apple pears” because of their physical resemblance to apples. The two self-fruitful Asian pear cultivars that grow well in California are the “Shinseiki” and “20th Century.” “Shinseiki” trees grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 6 through 8 and produce pears that are round with yellow skin. The “20th Century” cultivar, that is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 9, produces pears which are round, have yellow skin and are more delicious than “Shinseiki” pears. Thin Asian pear trees’ fruit to one pear a cluster to yield larger fruit and decrease stress on tree limbs.

European Pears

Depending on the cultivar, European pear trees vary in size and shape, and their pears vary in juiciness. Self-fruitful cultivars include “Kieffer,” “Anjou,” “Comice,” “Duchess” and “Barlett.” “Kieffer” pear trees are hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9. “Anjou” pear trees provide oval-shaped fruits with thin, light-green skins and grow best in USDA zones 4 through 8. “Comice” and “Duchess” perform best in zones 5 through 9. The “Comice” cultivar produces round pears with short necks and stems. “Comice” and “Anjou” Sensors do not change colors once ripe. “Bartlett” pear trees grow well as self-fruitful trees in the Sacramento River delta region and in USDA zones 5 through 7. According to the University of California, the “Bartlett” cultivar makes up 75 percent of the planet’s pear production. “Bartlett” pear trees produce bell-shaped fruits which turn to yellow after ripened. Utilize “Bartlett,” “Comice” and “Anjou” pears in salads and desserts for their sweet and hot flavors.


Pear trees grow best in deep, deep well-drained dirt and are prone to insects. Harvest season for California pear trees happens from mid-July during September. Asian pears can ripen on the trees. Pick them in the trees as soon as they change color. Asian pears require careful handling after harvest to prevent excessive bruising. Harvest European pears before they ripen on the trees. Permit them to ripen at room temperature prior to ingestion.

See related

Should You Fertilize After Rain or Before?

It is important to avoid fertilizing before a heavy rainfall although fertilizers work when water is offered in soil. Time every fertilizer application so that the nutrients will move into the soil as opposed to be transported off the yard or garden by excess water.

Avoiding Runoff

It can contribute to contamination instead of sinking to the soil if compost is taken out. Fertilizing before a rain results in most of the fertilizer washing into nearby storm drains and natural waterways. By waiting till after a rainstorm to 7, that problem is reduced. Compost runoff can be also controlled by you by not overfertilizing and by amassing.

Fertilizing Gardens

When applying fertilizer following a heavy rain to garden plants and shrubs, wait till their leaves are dry. Fertilizer that lands wet leaves instead of the soil surface may result in burnt marks on the leaves. Gently watering the plants after giving them fertilizer eliminates the fertilizer which dropped in their leaves and moves the nutrients to the soil. Then combine 1 tablespoon of the fertilizer with 1 gallon of water if you want to give plants a water-soluble, all-purpose plant food with a nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratio of 24-8-16. Apply the mixture to the soil surface to 14 days in a rate of 1 gallon per 10 square feet. Applying a slow-release, dry fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 14-14-14 requires functioning its granules to the upper 1 to 3 inches of soil or mulch at a rate of 1 ounce of fertilizer per 2 1/2 square feet of soil surface in spring and fall for perennial plants and only at planting time in spring for vegetables.

Feeding Lawns

Lawns also should be fertilized after, rather than before, a heavy rainfall. Apply fertilizer to bud once the soil is moist, but make sure that the grass blades are dry. A normal lawn fertilizer with an ratio of 20-0-10 is employed by spreading it around the yard at a speed of 3 to 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet on a windless evening once the temperature is below 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Lawns may be fertilized every four to six months throughout the growing period to provide around 4 pounds of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet every year. A lawn needs to be watered to dilute the dirt and also to work it. Watering prevents fertilizer burn the yard and leaves the nutrients accessible to plant roots. Either apply fertilizer the day before a rain after giving fertilizer to it or lightly irrigate the yard.

Using Compost

The principle about fertilizing following a rain instead of earlier applies to organic fertilizers as well as chemical fertilizers. Generally their nutrient amounts are lower than those of chemical fertilizers, although natural fertilizers, such as compost, have the additional advantage of improving soil conditions. Apply compost by spreading it across the soil surface of garden or a yard watering or then functioning it. Composts can be spread 2 to 3 inches thick and manure-based composts 1 inch thick. During the growing period to avoid burying grass during one application under a layer of compost, the compost amount can be broken up for a yard.

See related

Can Crabapples Keep Mice Away?

Crabapples won’t keep mice away. In fact crabapple trees are a winter food source for reports, mice the Forest Preserve District of Cook County. Leaving crabapple fruit onto the floor will attract mice.

Keeping Mice Away From Crabapples

Mice may also eat the bark of small trees in winter, causing damage to the tree. Wrapping the trunk, placing mulch around the base of the tree and Eliminating fruit in the floor helps keep mice. All types of crabapple are observed in the Malus genus. Depending on the variety, they increase in USDA plant hardiness zones 3 to 9. Japanese flowering crabapple (Malus floribunda) is 1 type that grows at a Mediterranean climate and is hardy in USDA zones 4 through 8.

See related

How to Take Care of a Taro Plant

If you’re searching for the wow factor on your garden, develop a taro plant (Colocasia esculenta). Also called dasheen and elephant ear, taro can produce leaves that are two to three feet wide and long. This tropical plant is ideal for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11, where it could remain in the garden year-round. There’s no need for winter storage like taros. Properly caring for your taro plant can allow it to develop to a big and healthy plant.

Water taro regularly — one to 3 time a week — with 1 inch of water. If the taro dies back to the ground in the winter, water after every two or three weeks until it starts to grow again in spring. Taro thrives in soil that’s well-draining, especially in a moist environment. To help preserve moisture, add two or three inches of mulch around the base of these plants.

Fertilize monthly from spring till early fall such as 20-20-20 or 10-10-10. Spread the fertilizer evenly being careful not to let it touch the foliage. If it does, immediately wash it off with water. Fertilize with the rates recommended by the maker and water it afterward with 1 inch of water.

Prune dead or damaged leaves necessary, cutting them. Cut on a plant into the floor after the first frost, once the foliage turns yellow. In warmer climates, taros are evergreens and you don’t have to cut them back.

Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch, like leaves or straw, once you cut back the foliage to the floor in the fall in USDA plant hardiness zone 8. Mulch helps if winter is colder than normal, protect the roots.

Before they start to grow, Split taro roots in late winter or early spring. Dig up the tubers then yank them apart or separate them. Each section needs to have a bud. Replant the tubers with all the buds facing up, spacing them 3 to 6 feet apart.

See related

How to Grow Beets in Flats

If you would like to begin your own beets ancient, or if your Bay Area home lacks space for a vegetable garden, you can grow them indoors. Beginning beets in apartments protects them from physical damage and enables you to restrain their environment. In the microclimate of San Francisco, these vegetables could be grown. Whether you transplant your seedlings to an outdoor or indoor location, giving them a good start is vital to your success.

Soak the beet seeds in water overnight to soften their cubes and speed up the germinating process.

Pick. Without using much potting soil, this allows space to develop.

Fill the seed-raising or flat to the top with potting soil mix. Press down on the ground.

Moisten the soil with water. Keep away from over-watering — aim for moistness, not sogginess.

Sow the beet seeds. Sprinkle the seeds over the ground surface, approximately 1 inch apart. Cover them with a layer of soil that is moist. Lightly press the ground to firm the surface.

Position the tray in a hot area of the home. Aim for a temperature between 75 and 90 degrees F. Place moist papers across the tray to encourage moisture retention. Eliminate as soon as the seedlings start appearing.

Water the soil as needed to keep it moist.

See related

How to Grow Leeks in Containers

Leeks are all members of the allium family of onions, in company with such vegetables as green garlic, chives and scallions. Leeks are an excellent choice for container gardening, and the sweet, mild taste develops too in containers as in a conventional garden. Produce a harvest of leeks out of the container garden fall soups, and enjoy or include a touch of taste to other dishes and fresh salads.

Beginning Seeds

Begin your own leeks before the last frost 8 to 10 weeks from seed , normally mid to late fall. Fill out a container at least six inches deep with a gently acidic soil. Leeks flourish in soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.8.

Plant the seeds about 1/2-inch deep from the container. Keep the soil moist, watering the seeds regularly to keep the soil. Put your container in eight hours of sun every day, or at least a place with full sun.

If the seedlings reach three inches tall, thin them out by pulling on some seedlings until the plants are an inch. Prepare your container that is principal once the seedlings reach six inches . Select seedlings that are at least six inches high when you are ready to plant if you prefer to buy leek seedlings.

Transplanting Seedlings

Transplant your seedlings into an outdoor container 10 or more inches deep when the entire temperatures average 50 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the day. Fill the container with an even mixture of soil and 10-10-10 fertilizer. Create spaces that are deep with comparable instrument or a chopstick. Put the seedlings six inches apart with 12 inches between the rows.

Fill the areas and the holes around the seedlings with the ground mixture. Water the plants once a week to keep the soil moist, but do not over water them. Keep the container in a region where the leeks will get full sunlight, or direct sunshine at least eight hours .

Weed around the plants with caution not to disturb the leeks. Leeks are more likely to being overtaken by weeds in the first phases, so careful weeding can ensure that the plants flourish.

As they grow to lengthen the white stem section of the plant mound the soil around the base of the leeks.

Harvesting Leeks

Harvest leeks whenever they’re large enough normally two to three months once you transplant them.

Until you harvest them to make it much easier to pull them free without breaking of the dirt loosen the soil around the base of the leeks with a garden rake.

Before the flower stalk is visible harvest some overwintered leeks. When the blossom appears, the leeks become stringy, tough and unappealing.

See related

Outsmart Winter — Make Houseplants of Your Garden Growers

Gardeners in cold climates are knowledgeable about the dreaded feeling that comes with the first frost. The great thing is that the ending of summer doesn’t need to mean saying goodbye to crops that you’ve nurtured. Many fragile perennials, container annuals and tropicals could survive as houseplants until spring. When your plants are in easy-to-move containers, then the occupation is simple. But even plants at the ground could be carefully dug up, potted and brought inside for fall and winter.

The best advice in regards to overwintering would be to plan ahead and bring your outside plants inside before it becomes imperative. Plants given time to adjust to their new surroundings will fare far better indoors than those that are transferred without a forethought.

The rule of thumb would be to bring plants indoors before night temperatures dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Some tropicals should be brought indoors when temperatures dip below 50 degrees, and orchids should be moved inside when temperatures fall to the 55- to 60-degree variety.


Acclimation into the inside. Because conditions vary widely between the inside and outside your house, a gradual introduction (or reintroduction) into the inside is vital. Sudden changes in temperature, humidity and light may cause irreversible trauma to crops, and in the least may result in yellowing leaves, wilting as well as partial departure.

Plants that have been outdoors in large light should be placed in similar light inside, such as close to a caked window or under fluorescent plant lights on a timer for 16 hours a day. To acclimate sun-loving outside plants into a dimmer indoor place, keep them in a shady place outdoors for a week or 2 prior to moving them inside.

Even with the best care, exterior plants can wither and droop when transferred inside. If some leaves turn yellow or fall off, don’t despair. Trim the dead growth, keep the humidity up levels and set the plants in a bright place, and they might recover once they are knowledgeable about the conditions in their new home.

Sandvold Blanda Architecture + Interiors LLC

Facilitating a dormant period for woody species. Depending on the kinds of crops you’d love to overwinter, and the available area in your residence, you might gain from letting some woody species to go dormant at a sheltered garage, an unheated basement or an outside shed. Roses, hardy hibiscus, lavender, rosemary and shasta daisy are among those plants that could withstand, and also benefit from, a period of dormancy in winter. Maintain the strands from drying out entirely and make sure that the temperature stays approximately between 20 and 40 degrees. Dormant plants do not require fertilizer or light.

Kristen Rivoli Interior Design

Trimming and taking cuttings. When a container plant is becoming leggy over the summer, gently remove it out of its container and then prune the top and roots in equivalent proportions. Scrub the pot to rid of any infestation or parasites. Add fresh bagged potting soil (not garden dirt(which can have ailments), then replant.

That is also a fantastic time to take cuttings of annual flowers, such as impatiens, begonias, geraniums and coleus. They root easily in sand or water, and also make attractive houseplants, which may then be implanted in the garden come spring.

Crisp Architects

Setting the point. Thoroughly clean windows inside and out to allow as much light in as possible. A sunny window ledge, a shelf mounted along with a window or maybe a built-in recessed niche such as the one here could become a stunning flowering backyard all winter long. With the correct requirements, many flowering plants may provide winter blooms indoors. Geraniums, impatiens and begonias are a sure bet. For the adventurous, even Evolvulus and verbena could be overwintered too, though they will require an extremely bright place just like a sunroom or greenhouse.

Here is a quick collection of garden crops that may be overwintered or improved inside, some with greater success than others, but certainly worth a try: Abutilon, angel’s trumpet, begonia, bougainvillea, citrus (like lemons, calmondins and kumquats), coleus, ficus, geranium, hibiscus, impatiens, Mandevilla, passionflower, pentas, lavender, shasta daisy and all succulents.

Pest control. Always remember to inspect crops for infestation and disease, and treat the problem before bringing them inside. If you guess that there could be snails, worms or other insects burrowing in the dirt, soak the pot in a tub of lukewarm water for about 15 minutes, which will force them out. (Do not do so with plants that move semidormant or dormant in the winter, such as succulents and bulbs, because these plants need contaminated soil during their dormant period. Repot any such crops and put a piece of cable screening over the drainage hole to keep out the little critters next year.)

Before bringing plants inside, treat them using a natural parasitic plant spray for many weeks to get rid of little pests (those that you see and those that you don’t). Or you may spray on soap-tolerant plants using a soap solution, which may also be an effective nontoxic insecticide.

Dennison and Dampier Interior Design

Growing garden types inside year-around. Do not be shocked if a number of your overwintering experiments are so successful that you decide to make a permanent home inside for crops usually seen in the backyard. The collection seen here is magnificent and distinctive in addition to unexpected. Diligent trimming keeps the compact kinds and shows off the crops’ stunning colors.

The 3 chief plants flourishing in this volcano:
The Purple Heart blossom at the corner is particularly easy to grow; disperse it simply by sticking cuttings into dirt. The silver-leaved leaves plant on the table appears to be Dusty Miller (Senecio cineraria); it is a wonderful decorative touch with this rustic, historic-looking room. The blooming bush is Abutilon, which, with proper pruning and repotting twice per year, could be considered a houseplant for many decades. Abutilon prefers a cool winter room and less water, followed by warmth and sufficient moisture in the summer.

Important considerations for overwintering outside plants:

Location: Generally the most effective indoor place for any outdoor backyard plant is close to a sunny window. Do not allow any leaves to get a cold window. Maintain the plants away from drafts in addition to heating vents. Since the dry winter air inside our homes can be damaging to overwintering, a well-lit toilet or laundry area (both humid) could be the ideal location for your plants. The leaves will turn brown and clear if there is not enough moisture in the air.

Timing: Allow plants to gradually acclimate into the very dry effects of indoor heating by bringing them inside before you actually begin heating your house.

Maintenance: Provide extra humidity by misting the leaves each day and consider placing the plant’s container onto a shallow water-filled tray lined with little stones, or so the pot stands around the rocks but not at the water. Throughout the cool seasons, many crops naturally become dormant or develop at a really slow pace. Watering should be performed only when the soil looks dry, but do water the plant deeply enough so that water drains out of the bottom of the pot to the tray or plate. Fertilizer is usually not suggested.

Cautions: Many plants are poisonous as well as riskier for children and animals than adults, so do your homework to determine which crops to stay out of reach if necessary.

See related

Cool-Season Vegetables: How To Grow Collards

Collards, or collard greens are a staple of Southern cooking known for the sweetness that they create after the first light frosts, making them ideal for a fall and winter garden. What most people don’t see is that collards can also handle warmth, not bolting such as spinach does, so it is possible to plant this green for a summer harvest as well.

Collard greens don’t form cabbage-like heads. Instead, the loose leaves form a ring, or rosette, much like kale does. They taste a bit like kale as well, although there are indications of cabbage in there also. They can be braised on their own, boiled with salt pork or ham and black-eyed or split peas, added to soups, or cooked like spinach or cabbage.

More: The way to grow cool-season veggies

When to plant: In cold-winter climates, set out plants in spring or late summer, or sow seeds in late summer (it develops best in autumn). In mild-winter climates, either sow seeds or put out plants in spring and again in late summer for a fall and winter crop.

Days to maturity: 50 to 85

Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade

Water requirement: Regular to mild

Favorites: Champion, Georgia Southern Flash, Vates

Planting and maintenance: Sow seeds 1/4 inch deep and 1 to 2 inches apart; place crops 1 to 2 ft apart. Thin seedlings to the exact same space (use the thinnings in a stir-fry). The soil should be fertile and well drained. Do not plant in which you’ve planted other cabbage relatives in the previous couple of decades.

Maintain the soil weed free. Water less than you would for additional cabbage relatives to avoid the plant from growing too tall. Maintain your watering schedule consistent, however, to whiten the greens.

Collards are much less susceptible to problems than other cabbage relatives, but keep an eye out for aphids, cabbage loopers, cabbage works and harlequin bugs. Damping off can be an issue.

Harvest: Cut off the lower leaves and depart the middle of the plant after 40 to 50 times to lengthen the crop. You are able to eliminate the entire plant at once as well.

See related

Great Design Tree: Australian Tea Tree

I am not going to try to conceal the reverence and adoration I have to the Australian Tea Tree (Leptospermum laevigatum). Wind disregarded and architectural, these trees seem to be formed by hand rather than grown. They sweep wildly across the landscape, and no two trees are ever alike. Growing up in San Diego, I would climb these trees in my favorite beach, only later discovering the name. As it turns out, Australian Tea Trees create for beautiful landscape layout features in more than just my childhood shore.

Ms. Sadie

Botanical name: Leptospermum laevigatum
Common names: Australian Tea Tree, Coast Tea Tree
USDA zones: 9 to 11
Water necessity: Little to none
Light requirement:Total sun
Mature size: 10 to 30 feet tall and wide
Tolerances: Drought; thrives in coastal Problems

Distinguishing attributes. Australian Tea Tree is a showstopping specimen tree that exudes a casual and understated aesthetic. The flaky gray bark and twisting type of the tree’s back are identifiers of the tea tree and that which make it so unlike every other. The trunk and bark just become more sculptural with age.

Fine foliage and petite white flowers softly contrast the coarse back of the tree, creating a balanced juxtaposition. Flowering in spring, the tree creates a dazzling display of small, white flowers throughout the leaves and stalks.

Photograph by Stephen Bain through Wikimedia Commons

Deborah Cowder

How to utilize it. The picturesque appearance of the tea tree, highly ornamental and sculptural, makes it a specimen tree. Given room and time to mature, its limbs will only disperse and twist more, creating a living landscape sculpture and ideal shady landscape spot.

J Brew

Australian Tea Tree can also be trained as a windbreak, a backyard display or a covered walk — revealed here at Lotusland in Santa Barbara, California. Although this treatment of the tree prevents its branching structure from taking form, fine leaves and flowers will still blanket its branches. This usage requires labour.

Ms. Sadie

Planting notes. Native to coastal climates, tea trees flourish in well-drained, somewhat acidic soil. The tree is susceptible to root rot if the soil is too moist. Long term living and quick growing, Australian Tea Tree requires little extra care once established. If you allow it to grow out entirely, you are able to narrow regions to highlight its shape; it requires very little pruning.

More amazing layout trees:
Dove Tree | Bald Cypress | Chinese Witch Hazel | Japanese Maple | Manzanita
Persian Ironwood | Smoke Tree | Texas Mountain Laurel | Tree Aloe

Great layout flowers:
Ornamental Allium | Canna Lily | Catmint | Golden Creeping Jenny | Pacific Coast Iris
Plumbago | Red Kangaroo Paw | Sally Holmes Rose | Slipper Plant | Snake Flower

Great layout crops:

Euphorbia | Red-Leafed Mukdenia | Blue Chalk Sticks | Hens-and-Chicks
Redtwig Dogwood |Toyon

Great layout grasses:
Black Mondo Grass | Cape Rush | Feather Reed Grass | New Zealand Wind Grass

See related