Monday, July 22, 2013

Arlene's Beet Pickle Recipe

Arlene’s Beet Pickle Recipe 4 cups of white sugar 4 cups of white vinegar 3 cups of beet juice 1 Tablespoon of coarse salt Cloves Fresh beets Wash beets. Place them in a big pot and cover them with boiling water. Boil until tender. Save the juice!!! Mix 4 cups of sugar, 4 cups of vinegar, 3 cups of beet juice and 1 Tablespoon of course salt. Bring to a boil. Put a couple of cloves in each jar. Peel the beets while they are still hot and then cut them up into the jars. Cover beets with the brine and seal. Enjoy!
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 12:00 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

School Gardening Program

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The Days Are Getting Longer!!!!!

The days are getting longer and spring will soon be around the corner.  I have been getting a number of calls and emails from teachers regarding our School Program.  It was a huge success last year and with the calls and emails I have been receiving, it looks like it will be another great year.  Jensen’s is a great supporter of the community and as such, supplies soil, containers, seedlings for the children to plant and a coupon for each child so they are able to drop in to Jensen’s for a free package of vegetable seeds or seedlings.  I go into the classroom, talk about gardening basics, container gardening, basic plant care and what plants give us.  I also have a number of gardening jokes and riddles for the children to solve.  We have a lot of fun.  I have taught children from daycare level to grade 6.
I have been teaching children’s gardening for over 18 years and have experienced first hand what gardening teaches children.  It teaches patience; respect of property; a greater respect for all living and growing things and it creates a greater sense of pride when they are able to create beauty or see something growing that they have planted or cared for.  Gardening also gets us outside for some much needed fresh air and exercise after being in so much over the winter. Gardening is very therapeutic and great for the soul!
If you are a teacher or teacher’s friend, please contact us as soon as possible so we can plan a date and time to come out to spread the good word about gardening!

Arlene Wheeler
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 10:23 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Arlene’s Houseplant Tips

Now that you have put your garden to sleep, it’s time to enjoy some indoor gardening.  With our efforts concentrated on our outdoor gardens in summer, most of us tend to neglect our houseplants.
Indoor plants can provide us with colour during the drab days of winter and also do a great job of cleaning our air.  Larger plants soften and blend with groups of furniture, while smaller plants enhance and adorn our tables and windowsills. Knowing your plant’s requirements and paying close attention to your plants will substitute for a “Green Thumb”.  Most foliage plants are native to tropical areas and enjoy a humid atmosphere with indirect light. If your plant does not receive enough light, it will soon let you know with yellowing leaves that will soon die.  A great way to increase humidity is to group your plants together or set them on trays filled with pebbles and water.  Avoid spraying your plants to increase humidity as this is only an invitation to insects and disease. 
Plants will sense the natural shortening of daylight hours and may go into dormancy as they would in their natural habitat. This is a period of inactivity where the plant remains alive but doesn’t grow.  This is a time when the amount of water and light should be decreased.  Most of our indoor plants die off because we water them too much.  Water only when the soil becomes dry to the touch about an inch below the surface.  Never allow the plant to sit in water as this will promote root rot.

Following are some of my houseplant tips.

1. Cut back on feeding houseplants.  This is the time of year the plants need a rest.  The best time to fertilize houseplants is from late January until the beginning of October.
2. Now is NOT the time to re-pot houseplants unless they are root-bound, that is, if the roots of your plant are coming through the drain holes; or if your plant has definitely outgrown its container, otherwise, the best time is in the spring.
3. Healthy houseplants require good air circulation, so it’s important to avoid over-crowding.
4. Wash the leaves of your plants several times a year.  Not only is dust unsightly on plants, it clogs the pores of plants leaves and filters sunlight before it reaches the plant.  Dust and grime can also harbor insects. With a soft cloth, wipe the leaves with lukewarm water with a bit of mild dishwashing soap or insecticidal soap added to it

5. Check your plants weekly for insects and disease.  If you didn’t isolate and spray your outdoor plants before introducing them into the house, you may have brought in some insects and disease.  Check the underside of the leaves as this is where most insects gather.  If you are checking your plants on a regular basis, you will catch a lot of the insects before your plant becomes infested.
6. Mealy bug – If your plant is a looking a little bit wilted and losing colour, your plant may have Mealy bug.  Their bodies are up to ¼” long and are covered in a white powdery wax.  They gather on the underneath part of the leaves and at the base of leaf stems.  Mealy bug is one of the hardest insects to rid your plant of.  Isolate your plant and spray it with an insecticidal spray or use a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and remove them.  You may have to do this a number of times.
7. Aphids are another popular houseplant insect.  They are usually light or dark green, are very tiny, about 1/6th inch long and also cluster on stems and underneath leaves.  They will literally suck the life out of your plant and can also cause premature bud drop.  Use an insecticidal spray to control them, as well.
8. Scale looks like little bumps that collect along stems and at the base of leaves.  They cause a reddening of tissue wherever they feed.  The stems usually lose vigor and die.  They are controlled by using an insecticidal spray.
9. Whitefly – If your leaves are looking a little yellow, dry and dropping, your plant may be infested with Whitefly.  They are about 1/16th inch long and are white in colour.  If they are disturbed, they flutter about the plant. An insecticidal spray provides effective control, as do sticky tapes.
10. Keep your plants away from heat registers, hot or cool drafts and from warm appliances.  High room temperatures make the plant spindly; may cause blooming plants to drop buds or finish blooming prematurely and make them less resistant to insects and disease.

Following is a list of houseplants that are easy to care for and are great plants for a beginner:

1. Cactus (Cactaceae Family) – It loves the sun and seldom needs watering.
2. Dragon Tree – (Dracaena marginata) – It loves a bright location and good drainage.  (Don’t let its feet stand in water.)
3. Heartleaf Philodendron – (Philodendron scandens) – The Sweetheart is the most popular of the Philodendrons as it remains fairly small and drought tolerant.
4. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata) – This is a succulent foliage plant that’s happy in indirect sun and little water.
5. Mother-in-Laws Tongue or Snake Plant- (Sansevieria) – This plant has beautiful sword-shaped leaves, thrives in full sun or part shade, prefers dry air and soil and rarely needs repotting.
6. Ponytail Palm – (Beaucarnea recurvata) – This plant, which is often mistaken for a Palm, is actually a succulent.  It stores water in its swollen base so the occasional lack of water will do no harm.
7. Pothos or Devil’s Ivy – (Epipremnum aureum) – This plant is well known for its long, trailing stems that can grow to 8 feet or more.  If you forget to water every once in awhile, it is very forgiving; however, it doesn’t like to be waterlogged.  Cut it back a few times a year to make it bushy.
8. Spider Plant – Chlorophytum comosum) – This is a very dependable plant.  The stems produce little white flowers and are soon weighted down with little plantlets.  It prefers bright, indirect light.
9. Wandering Jew – (Zebrina pendula) – This is a beautiful plant with purple and green leaves and is a great one to add to your outdoor containers. It likes moist soil.  Pinch it often to keep it from getting leggy.
10. ZZ Plant – (Zamioculclas zamiifolia) – This is an easy going houseplant that thrives on neglect.  It tolerates low light, rarely needs fertilizing and is very forgiving if you forget to water.

Posted by Tammy Jensen at 7:10 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Lost in the Petunias by Arlene Wheeler

If you drop into Jensen’s these evenings, you will find me cleaning up the beautiful hanging baskets we have left. I’m lost in the petunias and supertunias! Many baskets are still so beautiful and are ready to drop into a container or enjoy hanging in your favorite spot.

One of the secrets to keeping your annual flowers continually blooming is deadheading (removing the spent blooms). I am often approached by customers wanting to know what I am doing. I take a little pair of scissors and snip off the dead blooms, not just the petals. When you are removing the blooms from plants like petunias, supertunias and million bells, make sure you snip it right back to the stem to remove the seed head at the base of the flower. If you just remove the petals, the plant will soon be going to seed. Deadheading encourages more bloom!

The next thing you want to do is fertilize. I like to use an ultra bloom (high phosphorous or high middle number) water soluble fertilizer like 15-30-15 every week. I mix a half strength solution and fertilize every week right through until frost. Never fertilize when the plant is dry as it may burn the tips of the leaves, water the plant the day before you fertilize.

Try to water your gardens and containers in the morning to allow any water to dry before the end of the day. That way you won’t be encouraging any insects to collect under the leaves or any fungus to start forming during the cooler temperatures at night. Give your containers the finger test before watering to ensure you’re not over-watering. The first sign of over-watering is a yellowing of the leaves. If you follow these directions, you will have beautiful hanging baskets and containers right through until the snow flies!

Drop in to see us with any of your gardening problems and to pick up another beautiful hanging basket to enjoy. We have beautiful red and white supertunia baskets on sale for Canada Day!

*Arlene Wheeler is an experienced gardener and garden coordinator of theChildren’s Blue Box Program for Winnipeg Harvest. We are happy to have her working with us at Jensen Nursery!

petunia baskets, Jensen Nursery and Landscaping, Winnipeg
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 12:00 AM 0 Comments