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Potting Soil

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December 1, 1996
Little black insects are flying around my houseplants. They don't seem to be eating the plants, but I'd like to know what are they and if I should be concerned.You are seeing fungus gnats -- annoying but harmless flies. They live and breed on the organic matter in your potting soil. They feed on the fungi that grow in moist soil.Temporarily dry out the potting soil in the plant containers that they are congregating around. When the soil dries out, the larvae will die. Avoid over-watering houseplants to prevent the gnat problem in the future.
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By Ellen Nibali and For The Baltimore Sun | October 2, 2014
A soil test recommended adding a lot of phosphorus to my new shrub bed this spring. The soil was very low in phosphorus, and I worked it in well before planting. Should I add more this fall? It's good that you thoroughly worked the phosphorus into the soil, because phosphorus is one of the big polluters of the Chesapeake Bay. It's important to prevent it from being washed into storm drains or waterways that lead to the bay. Phosphorus binds with soil and is not volatile like nitrogen, so the full application you already made should suffice for years to come.
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NEWS
By James M. Coram and James M. Coram,SUN STAFF | October 8, 1996
Carroll's Planning and Zoning Commission recommended yesterday that the county put $33 million into the next capital budget to build a plant that would turn garbage, mixed with sludge, into potting soil.The recommendation came at the end of the commission's three-day review of department heads' requests for $99 million in capital projects in fiscal 1998 and $$475 million in capital proposals over the next six years.Solid-waste removal was the big winner as the commission began making initial decisions about what members would like to see included in the coming budget.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | June 7, 2013
Last year my potted impatiens had that terrible new disease, impatiens downy mildew, and all died. Can I use my old infected potting soil in non-flower beds this year? Send it to the landfill? Impatiens downy mildew spores overwinter in infected plant debris, not soil per se. Remove all obvious plant debris and a couple of the top inches of soil that may have minute bits of debris in it. Send that to the landfill. You can use the rest of the potting soil elsewhere in your landscape, but do be careful to wash and disinfect your pots before reusing them.
NEWS
By Chris Guy and Chris Guy,SUN STAFF | June 5, 1999
Authorities across the mid-Atlantic region have a digital mystery on their hands: the source of a severed finger that turned up in a bag of potting soil packaged in Maryland.The finger startled a New Jersey gardener on Memorial Day, prompting a call to her local police and detective work tracing the bag to its Delaware supplier and the company's packaging plant in Wicomico County."We've been in business for 14 years, and this is the first time we've ever gotten any notoriety," said Steve Liffers, vice president of sales and marketing for Coastal Supply Co., a garden products business in Dagsboro, Del.Liffers, at the request of police in Hopewell Township, N.J., searched three years of medical records at Coastal Supply and was sure the finger did not belong to any current or former employee.
FEATURES
By JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI and JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 1, 2006
Our dependable daffodils came up lush last year, then failed to deliver any flowers. We may have applied a high-nitrogen fertilizer the preceding fall. Can we get our beautiful flowers back? Excessive nitrogen encourages foliar growth at the expense of root (bulb) or bud formation. Its effects should dissipate by this spring. Because you've had the bulbs for several years, overcrowding is also a strong possibility. If they fail to flower well this spring, divide them when their foliage dies back, or in the fall.
NEWS
By Jeffrey Dieter and Jeffrey Dieter,SUN STAFF | August 22, 2004
We live in a world of designer everything - from shoes to scarfs, watches to weights, cologne to cars, and toilet seats to tank tops. The dirt we sink our snake plants and ferns into is no longer an exception. Move over Pro-Mix and Miracle-Gro, there's a new kid in town. It's called Cobscook Blend, a potting soil manufactured by Coast of Maine Organic Products Inc. of Portland, Maine. It sells for $6.99 for a 16-quart bag - weighing about 13 pounds - at the Whole Foods Markets in Mount Washington and Fells Point.
FEATURES
By Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali,Special to The Sun | December 23, 2006
The first time I watered my poinsettias a little black fly flew out. Should I be concerned? Fungus gnats often enter the home on new plants. Their larvae feed on organic material in potting soil, but also feed on roots. To break their life cycle, allow the poinsettias' potting soil to dry to a depth of about 1/2 inch in between waterings. Now that a gnat is loose in your house, follow this rule for all your other houseplants, too, so its eggs cannot hatch in another pot. I found a bag of old flour, and I'm afraid to use it for holiday baking.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, For The Baltimore Sun | June 7, 2013
Last year my potted impatiens had that terrible new disease, impatiens downy mildew, and all died. Can I use my old infected potting soil in non-flower beds this year? Send it to the landfill? Impatiens downy mildew spores overwinter in infected plant debris, not soil per se. Remove all obvious plant debris and a couple of the top inches of soil that may have minute bits of debris in it. Send that to the landfill. You can use the rest of the potting soil elsewhere in your landscape, but do be careful to wash and disinfect your pots before reusing them.
NEWS
May 17, 1993
Agricultural education doesn't happen only on school-owned soil for Carroll County students.In classes and through Future Farmers of America chapters, students cooperate in dozens of community projects, said Joe Linthicum, agriculture teacher at Francis Scott Key High School."
NEWS
By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun | April 20, 2010
One lane of I-83 southbound was closed Tuesday afternoon when a tractor trailer lost some of its 78,000 pounds of potting soil, according to officials. A state police spokesman said the right shoulder and right lane on I-83 south, near Mt.Carmel Road is expected to reopen by about 7 p.m. The spokesman said no one was injured. He could not say how much soil was deposited on the road, but by 6:30 p.m., the truck had been righted.
FEATURES
By Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali,Special to The Sun | December 23, 2006
The first time I watered my poinsettias a little black fly flew out. Should I be concerned? Fungus gnats often enter the home on new plants. Their larvae feed on organic material in potting soil, but also feed on roots. To break their life cycle, allow the poinsettias' potting soil to dry to a depth of about 1/2 inch in between waterings. Now that a gnat is loose in your house, follow this rule for all your other houseplants, too, so its eggs cannot hatch in another pot. I found a bag of old flour, and I'm afraid to use it for holiday baking.
NEWS
By Kathy Van Mullekom and Kathy Van Mullekom,DAILY PRESS | November 19, 2006
Now is time to pot up amaryllis bulbs so you have a succession of flowers beginning the next few weeks - just in time for your holiday decorating. To get a steady stream of flowers until spring, stagger the times you plant bulbs in decorative containers that will brighten your indoor decor. "It may be surprising to learn that amaryllis varieties don't all come to flower in the same time frame," says Sally Ferguson with the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Center in Vermont. "Some varieties flower very quickly in around four to six weeks.
FEATURES
By JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI and JON TRAUNFELD AND ELLEN NIBALI,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | April 1, 2006
Our dependable daffodils came up lush last year, then failed to deliver any flowers. We may have applied a high-nitrogen fertilizer the preceding fall. Can we get our beautiful flowers back? Excessive nitrogen encourages foliar growth at the expense of root (bulb) or bud formation. Its effects should dissipate by this spring. Because you've had the bulbs for several years, overcrowding is also a strong possibility. If they fail to flower well this spring, divide them when their foliage dies back, or in the fall.
FEATURES
By CINDY MCNATT and CINDY MCNATT,ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER | November 19, 2005
Daffodils have been cherished through the ages. They have been found in bulb form in Egyptian tombs, are linked in mythology to the story of Narcissus, and the Greek poet Homer wrote about them in the 8th century B.C. But if Homer was hiking in the Pyrenees foothills or even across the Mediterranean in Algiers, it is likely that his words were inspired by tazettas. This specific type of daffodil has clusters of creamy flowers. It is the easiest of all daffodils to grow and is especially suited to forcing.
NEWS
By Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali,Special to the Sun | June 5, 2005
I bought an oak hydrangea. Is it acid loving? I have sandy soil. Unlike their blue mophead cousins, oakleaf hydrangeas prefer a neutral pH, anywhere from 6.1-8.5. They are very shade tolerant, however they flower best in full sun. In their native habitat, they grow in sandy soil. Because sandy soil does not retain water well, you may need to water it during dry periods. As the fruit on my Early Girl tomato plant has grown, it's rotting on the bottom of the fruit (opposite the stem). I've heard that this might be something called "blossom end rot."
NEWS
November 28, 1999
Q. I just moved into a new townhouse and there are bugs and spiders everywhere. Do I need an exterminator so early in the game?A. Your indoor-wildlife problem does not require the services of a pest-control company. Nor do you need to buy a can of bug spray. The pests are entirely harmless. Simply vacuum or sweep them up.They probably came in during the construction and moving-in. Make sure that cracks around doors and windows are sealed and dry out any damp areas you notice.Q. After the growing season, I usually throw out the potting soil from my outdoor container plants because a friend said to do otherwise would invite plant diseases.
NEWS
By Mary Beth Breckenridge and By Mary Beth Breckenridge,Knight Ridder / Tribune | November 3, 2002
The beginnings of next year's flower garden might be growing in your yard right now. Some of the annuals you planted in the spring can be whisked inside before the first frost and given a second chance, either as houseplants to brighten your home in winter or as flowers to plant in the garden next spring. Of course, not all plants are worth the bother. Some annuals are spent by the fall, or you may lack the space inside for too many of them. You also need to make sure you're not bringing insects in with the plant.
NEWS
By Jeffrey Dieter and Jeffrey Dieter,SUN STAFF | August 22, 2004
We live in a world of designer everything - from shoes to scarfs, watches to weights, cologne to cars, and toilet seats to tank tops. The dirt we sink our snake plants and ferns into is no longer an exception. Move over Pro-Mix and Miracle-Gro, there's a new kid in town. It's called Cobscook Blend, a potting soil manufactured by Coast of Maine Organic Products Inc. of Portland, Maine. It sells for $6.99 for a 16-quart bag - weighing about 13 pounds - at the Whole Foods Markets in Mount Washington and Fells Point.
NEWS
By Beth Botts and Beth Botts,Chicago Tribune | February 22, 2004
Orchids have a reputation as expensive and demanding playthings of the rich or the obsessed. And, to be sure, there are orchids that must be coddled in temperature- and humidity-controlled greenhouses. But there's at least one genus -- phalaenopsis -- that can make itself comfortably at home in a city apartment living room. Phalaenopsis is the easiest orchid to grow indoors, said Cyrus Swett, former president of the Maryland Orchid Society. "They are the ideal houseplant," said Swett, who has about 20 phalaenopsis plants and cares for more than 500 other types of orchids.
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