Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on March 19, 2004 · Page 34
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 34

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Ukiah, California
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Friday, March 19, 2004
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Page 34
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14—FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2004 ON THE MARKET Terrariums Continued from Page 6 A self-sustaining terrarium absorbs what moisture you trickle inside, expelling it back into the captive air. A light sheen of condensation will coat the transparent walls of a healthy terrarium, draining gradually into the soil. Terrariums mimic Earth's natural cycles: The rains fall, evaporate into the sky and fall again. Terrariums can be made from brandy snifters, glassed- in pieces of furniture, bottles, fish aquariums or whatever you see clearly in your mind's eye. Some terrarium gardeners go all out, making the medium their message, says David TrinkJein, an associate professor of Horticulture at the University of Missouri who specializes in plant environments and greenhouse management. "The sky is the limit when styling around containers," Trinklein says. "There are some very novel containers out there." Commit your plan to paper before placing anything under glass. And think small. That may save you some nipping and tucking and transplanting later. . Themes can just as easily be desert Southwest as rainfor- est Northwest. Simply add the appropriate props: some well- chosen rocks, sand and succulents, or go forest floor with driftwood, ferns and tiny pinecones. Some people introduce diminutive angels, fairies or gremlins into their terrestrial community. Others bring lizards and insects. But working with the latter, as they say, is a whole 'nother garden story. Be sure you don't allow any mold, mites or maladies into your terrarium. Sterilize the soil first by combining one part peat moss with one part garden soil and baking it at 200 degrees about a half-hour. Just to be on the safe side, inspect your plants for any signs of disease before establishing them inside. A little preventive medicine can go a long way when establishing a terrarium. Learn patience once you've got your terrarium garden growing. Offer food and water in moderation. Stop watering if water begins pooling at the bottom. It will take time - days, probably - before the terrarium's humidity reaches the right balance. If you see any mold, or if the humidity inside appears excessive, then draw back the cover to boost ventilation. Make that a brief remedy however; around 15 minutes. And don't forget to recover. How much food? Again, not much, Trinklein says. "People often equate fertilizers with vitamins, but they're not the same. If some (fertilizer) is good, more definitely is not better. "Growth is limited in a terrarium," he says. "Light is limited. Carbon monoxide is recycled in a closed ecosystem. Little fertilizer is used or needed." Terrariums are equipped to go days, even weeks, without getting any attention. "Sometimes plants left on their own are better off than those that are tended too much," Trinklein says. Most any starter houseplant is a terrarium candidate. But if you want some surefire blooms, think miniature roses, African violets and geraniums. Swedish ivy does well in poor light. Hen and chicks, Venus fly traps and jade plants do well in brighter light although, again, avoid direct sun if you don't want to bake things. Use a small mirror for a lake. A moist bed of moss makes for a wilderness look. A terrarium, like a fresh loaf of homemade bread, makes a great gift. It also is the kind of garden that can thrive most anywhere - in a one-bedroom efficiency apartment or century-old farmhouse. Just give it cool (55 degrees) to modestly warm (70) temperatures and a turn now and then, to ensure leaves aren't rotting by touching the glass, or shading one another out. View Continued from Page 12 gone. Rabbits and many other small mammals will eat just about anything, but each animal will develop a favorite or two. Sometimes it is a matter of what is available and other times it is a matter of what is closest to their shelter. After those foods are all gone they will move on. The only protection that will work over a whole winter is a physical barrier. Electric wires or fencing works better than sprays and chemicals. These kinds of products often work, but need to be applied several times over the winter. Many plant stems turn different colors over winter. The spring's growth will be green. Then, over the course of the year, the growth will thicken and develop a brown bark. If it is dead from the winter weather, it will be easy to tell because it will easily break off when bent. Wait until new growth starts coming out in the spring to see if the brown wood is dead, and then prune it. You might be surprised at how much is still alive. Q: We cut down a large crab apple tree next to our deck. It grew too big and the fruit caused a mess. What kind of tree can you suggest that would provide privacy from the neighbors? A: You did not specify where you live and that makes a difference, of course, but there are some general rules that apply no matter where you live. For privacy, you might want to consider an evergreen. There are many very narrow upright growing varieties for every climate zone. They will give privacy the whole year. , You might consider a large shrub. The line of distinction between tree and shrub is kind of blurry when they grow between 10 to 20 feet. Many shrubs will grow 15 feet tall. They are at their fullest for the top two-thirds of their height, where they will provide .the most screening. Ask your local nursery for a recommendation of a large shrub. Also, ask them for ones that don't create a messy fruit. Don't ask them for one that doesn't flower, because they all flower, it is more of a matter of what kind of seed is produced. You should plant these closer to the property line. A tree planted next to the deck will block the view of your yard, but one planted next to the property line will create a backdrop for your view of the yard while it screens out the neighbors. E-mail questions to Jeff Rugg at jlrugg@pondsupplies.com. "Let Us Handle Your Rental! Property Professionally!" WWW.AGMPM.COM BUCKINGHAM • 8040 Soda Bay Rd. 3 bd/2 ba home in Tahoe setting. 2 car gar, large deck, fireplace w/insert. $1250 CLEARLAKE • 688O Meadowbrook 3 bd/2 ba/2 car gar. Newly redone kitchen w/large family room. 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FP, New kitchen appliances. $1275 KELSEYVILLE • 4O12 Gray StoneCt. 3 bd/2 ha»Afylffni*— fencd yard. $1O5O • 8084 S. Hwy 29 2 bd/1 ba decks, washer «! dryer, yard. $695 KONO TAYEE • 7791 Alston Way, 2 bd/1.5 ba, central heat/ai wd stve. Beach access $95O • NICE • 251O A Lakeshore 2 bd 1 Ba, fireplace, HA* floors, large screened porch, stove, ref., W/D $9OO LAKEPORT • 465 Fair-view 3bd/2ba home, plus largi bonus room, 2 car garage large back yard $11OO • 555 9th St. Victorian charm, high ceOin^u^dnHi^^tfS^^HB Sf tr^l^^^Arcu on 2£ sides, large fenced yard, garage $1O5O • 390 2Oth St. 3 bd/2 ba Central but private. Largi bonus nn. Near schools. $950 • 2657 Lakeshore 1 bd, Maple Ct Apts, like new, w/new appliances. $6OO • 11O1 Compton 2bd/lba home. Large yard. $85O • 129O Central park NEW NEW NEW 4 bd/2 ba, 2 car garage, Privacy. $1375 LUCERNE • 656O Victoria St. 3bd/2ba, carport, fenced yard, central heat & air, W/D hookups. $995 • 6583 Victoria St. Very large, well built, 3 bd/2 ba. 2 car gar, stove, ref, pellet stove. Large screened patio, fnced yard. $995 • 6414 14th St. 3bd/2ba, fireplace, very large bonus room. Garage fenced front and back yards. $1O5O 707-263-3726 Anna Girod, Broker 904 South Main Street Lakeport, CA 95453 Open Saturday

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