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Archive for Horticulture

8 Fruits You Can Grow Indoors via [msn/shine]

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{by Reader’s Digest Magazine,

From All-Season Guide to Gardening

If you have a spacious, airy sunroom, conservatory or glazed porch, you can grow a variety of potted fruits, including figs, citrus and grapes. Apricots and peaches often crop earlier and better under cover than outdoors, although they benefit from spending the warm summer months out in the garden, as do most types of fruit trees and shrubs.

With the exception of strawberries, most fruit-producing plants are trees or shrubs that need a deep and nutritious root run, so choose containers that are at least 1 foot (30 cm) in diameter and a little more in depth. As plants grow, move them into larger pots or small tubs. You can also root prune them each year to maintain a convenient size. Alternatively, for mature plants, remove just the top layer of soil in the pot and replace this with fresh compost each spring.

In general use a soil-based compost placed over a generous layer of drainage material such as earthenware crocks, pebbles or gravel. Water and feed regularly, especially while plants are bearing flowers and fruit, when a high-potash fertilizer is recommended.

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{1.} Figs

All varieties fruit more heavily if their roots are confined to a large pot, but Negro Largo does particularly well as a houseplant. A temperature range of 55 to 65°F (13 to 18°C) can limit the mature size of the plant, but it may still be necessary to prune in summer and winter to control exuberant growth. Set in a well-lit spot away from direct sun, and feed the plant sparingly two or three times in the growing season.

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{2.} Peaches and Nectarines

Natural or genetically dwarf varieties such as bonanza (peach) and nectarella (nectarine) can be grown as short standards on 30-inch (75 cm) stems. Keep them indoors in a well-lit, sunny position in temperatures of 50 to 55°F (10 to 13°C) until fruit sets, when they will require higher temperatures of 65 to 70°F (18 to 21°C). Ventilate freely in warm weather.

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{3.} Strawberries

Alpine strawberries in pots on a sunny windowsill will fruit almost continuously from early summer until mid-autumn. Large-fruited strawberries will also do well, and are especially valuable when forced to produce early fruit. To stimulate early strawberries, pot up plants in autumn in 5- to 6-inch (13 to 15 cm) pots and leave in a well-lit room. The plants should develop edible crops from late spring onwards, after which they can be discarded or planted out in the garden to grow on.

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{4.} Apricots

Compact varieties such as Shipleys and Goldcot on semi-dwarfing St Julien A rootstocks are highly productive in pots, especially if they are trained against a sunny conservatory wall. For apricots, use a soil-less potting compost over plenty of drainage material. To ensure fruit, hand pollinate by transferring pollen from one flower to another with a paintbrush.

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{5.} Grapes

A vine provides shade and looks ornamental trained up walls and across the roof of a conservatory. Ventilate freely to prevent mildew spoiling the fruit. Each winter, shorten the sideshoots back to two buds.

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{6.} Mulberries

This slow-growing tree is ideal for a large pot. For tasty fruits that ripen in early summer, grow the black mulberry Morus nigra Chelsea in bright, indirect light in a well-ventilated spot, at 55 to 70°F (13 to 21°C).

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{7.} Cape Gooseberries

The cape gooseberry (Physalis pruinosa) and ground cherry (P. angulata) both make bushy pot plants, with small, tomato-like, white flowers and cherry-size, yellow or red fruits in papery husks. They are very prolific when grown in large pots, 1 foot (30 cm) or more across, in direct sunlight near a window.

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{8.} Dwarf Pomegranate

For pot cultivation, choose the small Punica granatum var. nana, which grows only 3 feet (90 cm) high and often produces its conspicuous scarlet flowers while relatively immature. Attractive miniature fruits follow in early autumn but seldom ripen. Plenty of ventilation and sunlight are needed, especially in late summer and autumn.





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6 Beautiful Tree House Restaurants via [Green Picks]

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Eating in a tree: Six wild, tree house restaurants

By Trystan L. Bass

Yellow Treehouse
Restaurant
, New Zealand

Yellow Treehouse
(Photo: Lucy
Gauntlett)

In secluded woodland outside this country’s biggest city of Auckland
hangs a birdhouse-like venue designed by Peter Eising of Pacific Environments
Architects
. The Yellow Treehouse is situated over 32 feet up in a
tree on private land. It seats 18 diners and can be rented for private
events and parties — imagine a wedding reception up in a tree!

Yellow Treehouse
(Photo: Lucy
Gauntlett)

Yellow Treehouse
(Photo: Lucy
Gauntlett)

Yellow Treehouse
(Photo: Lucy
Gauntlett)

Tree House Restaurant, Bar, and
Café
, Costa Rica

Costa Rica Tree House
(Photo:
Polo Alberto)

Nestled high in the cloud forest of Monteverde, this large restaurant
offers fine dining, live music, gourmet coffee, and even free wi-fi to
customers. All within the tangled branches of a giant Higuerón tree.
Take a look at the live webcam
to see what the weather’s like today.

Costa Rica Tree House
(Photo:
Polo Alberto)

Alnwick
Garden Treehouse Restaurant
, United Kingdom

Alnwick Treehouse
(Photo:
Patrick Fulton)

This historical Newcastle garden features a rambling
wooden structure
with a “tree house” restaurant known for fine
local and organic food. While it’s not that high up in the air, the
setting features a roaring fire screened with fallen branches, and
tables are lit by candles. The restaurant and bar are filled with
handcrafted furniture. Altogether, it’s a delightful environment.

Bushbuck
Ridge Treehouse Restaurant
, South Africa

Bushbuck Treehouse
(Photo:
Bushbuck Ridge Game Farm)

Take a walk on the wild side with safari-style meals at this tree
house in Port Elizabeth. Built around two giant yellowwood trees, the
restaurant has spectacular views of the Colleen Glen valley, and it
seats 90 guests for private dining, weddings, and special Sunday
luncheons. Specialties of the house include venison and Kudu, an African
antelope.

Tree House Italian Grill,
United States

Italian Treehouse
(Photo: Tree
House Italian Grill)

For over 700 years, a gracious live oak has stood in what is now
Austin, Texas. Since the 1950s, a restaurant has been built around the
tree, and in 1998, the current old-world patio style restaurant was
created to honor the huge tree. It’s not technically a restaurant in a
tree, but the tree is certainly an important part of the restaurant.

Tree
House Tea
, China

China Treehouse
(Photo:
People’s Daily Online)

Newspapers report that Mengyin County in east China’s mountainous
Shandong Province are trying to attract visitors by opening tree house
restaurants. Perched in a small tree, this 2006 prototype is big enough
for just a few people to enjoy tea and snacks. Hard to tell if the idea
caught on…


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