How to Grow and Fruit Figs Inside or Outside

Abundant Fruit: Figs (Ficus carica) are some of the best fruiting plants for both the garden and containers. They are almost fool proof in their culture and yield a surprising amount of fresh fruit in one season.

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Outdoor Planting: Figs can be grown in most areas of the country as a landscape shrub or tree in the south up to zone 8 or higher and with protection as far north as zone 5 or even zone 4 depending on the planting site.  Under most growing conditions, they are deciduous, shedding their leaves to bare stems in late fall and winter. This gives the gardener an advantage as the dormant plants can be easily protected for wintering over in colder zones.

The Potted Fig: Figs can also be grown as container plants year-round. The pot size will restrict growth, which helps contain the size. Some varieties, such as ‘Petite Negra,’ grow well and produce an abundance of fruit in a pot as small as 6″. They can be moved outside in the summertime and back inside during the winter months. Do not be alarmed when your fig drops its leaves while inside. It is simply going into its winter dormancy. Reduce the amount of water given to the plant during dormancy but never allow the soil to dry out completely.

http://www.logees.com/Fig-Petite-Negra/productinfo/R1710%2D4/

Fruiting A Fig In Container

Ripening The Crop of Figs: One of the greatest challenges in growing figs in the north is being able to ripen the crop. Planting on the south side of a building is ideal for this purpose. In many areas of the north,…Read More…

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Blooming and Re-Blooming Orchids

Orchid flowering is induced by cultural and environmental stimuli, which occur cyclically throughout the year. Many Variegated Phalaenopsis Flora Gigi ‘Candy Stripe’ (Phalaenopsis hybrid)have a regular floweringcycle of bud initiation while others can re-flower off the initial flowering spike. Certain Phalaenopsis are a good example of orchids that re-bloom off old flower spikes.

Whether blooming or re-blooming an orchid, you first must have a healthy plant and a healthy root system. To determine a healthy root system, we look at the vigor of the plant. Are the leaves shiny and not shriveled? Is the newest pseudobulb (on orchids like Cattleya or Oncidium), plump and not shriveled? This would indicate that the plant is taking up water, and thus has an active root system… – Read more

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Creative Container Contest At Logee’s

Danielson, CT – This Labor Day Weekend, Logee’s Greenhouses in Danielson, CT is hosting a First Annual Container Competition with proceeds to benefit local families for fuel assistance during the winter heating season.

Elsie Bisset, Don Taylor, Mae Flexer- local judges

Elsie Bisset, Don Taylor, Mae Flexer- local judges

Plant it, Grow it, Show it! – is the theme which means  as long as the container holds soil, it can be used in the competition. The judges, local celebrities in town, looked  for creative containers that took into consideration container name, texture, form and plant growth, originality and overall appeal.

NON-JUDGING ENTRY From Logee's Growers- "Hose of a Different Color" Filled with an assortment of Logee's plant in a coiled hose planter

NON-JUDGING ENTRY From Logee’s Growers- “Hose of a Different Color” Filled with an assortment of Logee’s plant in a coiled hose planter

Paint Can filled with Firecracker Plant

Paint Can filled with Firecracker Plant

NON-JUDGING ENTRY from Logee's Retail Department- called "Horn of Planty in C-Minor" planted with a Rex Begonia Vine (Cissus Discolor)

NON-JUDGING ENTRY from Logee’s Retail Department- called “Horn of Planty in C-Minor” planted with a Rex Begonia Vine (Cissus Discolor)

We like the idea of recycling containers for the purpose of planting and creating beauty.

Margarita on the Rocks- An air plant (Tillandsia) on rocks in a margarita glass

Margarita on the Rocks- An air plant (Tillandsia) on rocks in a margarita glass

We also like the idea of giving back to our local community in the way of heating assistance.

Recently, Logee’s was awarded a USDA Federal Grant, which helped build our energy efficient greenhouse reducing our heating bills. “We know how expensive heating fuel is,” says Byron Martin, the other owner of Logee’s, “and saving on our fuel expenses helped keep us in business so it feels good to help someone else with their fuel expenses.”

NON-JUDGING ENTRY- from Logee's Maintenance Department- Bug Bath filled with Carnivorous plants.

NON-JUDGING ENTRY- from Logee’s Maintenance Department- Bug Bath- filled with Carnivorous plants.

Seven categories were judged with prizes given: Best of Show, Logee’s Choice Award, Most Creative Container with one plant, Most Creative Container with mixed plants, and 3 honorable mentions. Elsie Bisset, town economic developer, Mae Flexer, state representative, Don Taylor, artist and entrepreneur.

some tough choices

The judges concentrating on their tough choices.

Judges with all the winners

From left to right, Elsie Bisset, Don Taylor and Mae Flexer with all the winning picks

Coffee, Tea or Bug Juice- Plants used Coffee Plant, Tea Plant and Carnivorous plants.

BEST OF SHOW-Coffee, Tea or Bug Juice- Plants used Coffee Plant, Tea Plant and Carnivorous plants.

Mother's Day Tea- Pink flowered impatients in a blue teapot

MOST CREATIVE WITH ONE PLANT-Mother’s Day Tea- Pink flowered impatients in a blue teapot

MOST CREATIVE WITH MIXED PLANTS- Hot Seat-Cryptanthus Ruby, Air plant in an old wire chair

MOST CREATIVE WITH MIXED PLANTS- Hot Seat-Cryptanthus Ruby, and Air plants in an old wire chair

 

HONORABLE MENTION-Glorious Snack- plant called the "Glory Bower" (Clerodendrum thompsoniae)

HONORABLE MENTION-Glorious Snack- plant called the “Glory Bower” (Clerodendrum thompsoniae)

Honorable Mention- Toasty Treat-Assorted Ferns in a toaster

HONORABLE MENTION- Toasty Treat-Assorted Ferns in a toaster

HONORABLE MENTION- Under My Umbrella- Fan Flower and Fuchsia planted in a fan-shaped letter holder.

HONORABLE MENTION- Under My Umbrella- Fan Flower and Fuchsia
planted in a fan-shaped letter holder.

Other entries  were in close running.

Andrea Agassi- Planted in a tennis ball hopper Agastache Raspberry

Andrea Agassi- Planted in a tennis ball hopper Agastache Raspberry

Fly Fishing- Carnivorous plants in a fish bowl.

Fly Fishing- Carnivorous plants in a fish bowl.

NON-JUDGING ENTRY from Logee's shipping department-

NON-JUDGING ENTRY from Logee’s shipping department-

Tree Spirit with the plant Fockea crispa

Tree Spirit with the plant Fockea crispa

Smoking Yoke with Pink Episcia smoke

Smoking Yoke with Pink Episcia smoke

Small Fry- with assorted succulents

Small Fry- with assorted succulents

Logee’s also has on display “The Garden Goddess Sculpture”  created by Logee’s employees. The structure contains more than 40 Logee’s plants valued at $500. Donations of $1 or more will give people a chance to win The Garden Goddess Sculpture.Drawing will take place at 5:00 pm on Labor Day.

Jusges standing by the Garden Goddess Sculpture to be given away Labor day.

Jusges standing by the Garden Goddess Sculpture to be given away Labor Day.

Many of the containers on display will also be sold to benefit the Access Agency in Danielson, CT where the proceeds will be going to help families with their winter heating bill. If you want more information about how you can help- go to http://www.accessagency.org.

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Mid-Season Plant Care Tips For Full, Lush Growth

About this time in mid-July, slow release fertilizers and granular fertilizers that have been top-dressed are losing their effect and your plants may be looking yellow and lackluster. Lots of rain or heavy irrigation can also leach nutrients from the soil. Now is a good time to give your garden a fertilizer boost for full, lush growth and maximum flowering and fruiting

Guardian Gate Collection well-fertilized mid season

Guardian Gate Collection
well-fertilized mid-season

A good top-dressing of an organic fertilizer will last 4-6 weeks or a balanced slow-release fertilizer can last 8-12 weeks. We don’t recommend heavily fertilizing in late August because plants that are susceptible to root disease need to stop putting on soft leafy growth. Most citrus and gardenias, for example, have a root system that can be susceptible to root disease and it is important to “harden off” the growth before bringing them inside for the fall and winter.

Coffee plant, leaves are yellow, in need of feed.

Coffee plant, leaves are yellow, in need of feed.

Coffee plant with deep green leaves

Healthy coffee plant- Notice the deep green color of the leaves.

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Guardian Gate Collection

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Logee’s Ponderosa Lemon Soap

Logee’s Ponderosa Lemon Soap is handcrafted by  local artisan, Julie Ignacio. She is the proprietor of Little House Homestead in our neighboring town of Brooklyn, CT. Her soaps are some of the best around. She uses milk from her goats, all natural ingredients, no detergents or petroleum. And yes, she makes our Logee’s Ponderosa Lemon soap from our famous “American Wonder Lemon.”

Lemon soap, one of Julie’s favorites, is renowned for its valuable properties. Lemon juice tones the skin, especially oily skin. It closes the pores and citric acid works as a mild exfoliant. Lemon also brightens the complexion, acts as a mild antiseptic and rejuvenates dull skin Plus, the fragrance is to die for.

Ponderosa Lemon Soap

The American Wonder Lemon- ‘Ponderosa’ (Citrus limon) growing in our Lemon Tree House since 1900.

The tree pictured has grown in the same spot for over 113 years and reliably produces lemons the size of footballs.  Here is Julie’s process of soap making.

2Logees Lemon

Ponderosa Lemon juice extracted

3Lemon juice ice cubes

An old-fashion glass juicer extracts the lemon juice.  Then, the juice goes into an ice-cube tray and frozen to keep the juice fresh for the soap making process.

5Drying peel and pulp

Dried lemon peels and pulp on Julie’s wood stove. After the drying,the peels and pulp get pulverized into a powder which will then be added to the soap mixture.

8Julie molding soap

Julie hand-shaping the lemon soaps.

12Julie Mink

A close up!

9Soap curing

First, curing the soap in blocks. Then the blocks are shaped into lemons and cured again. This process can take up to 6 weeks.

Curing is a beautifully fragrant affair!

Curing is a beautifully fragrant affair!

14wrapping the soap

Finally, each individual soap is wrapped and weighs in at 8 ounces.

15Ready for Market

Presented in a wooden box, the lemons are ready for market. They retail at $12.95 per soap.

16Ponderosa Lemon

A Ponderosa Lemon sits in front of the tray of lemon soaps. One lemon is plenty of juice and rind for a batch of 12 soaps.

17Julie delivering soap

Julie delivering other soaps to our Retail store. These soaps are between 4-5 ounces and retail for $6.95 a soap.

18Handcrafted soap

She custom makes many soaps for us, which we are so grateful for. She has perfected Byron’s Honey soap and beautiful lavender and herb soaps.

Please stop into our Retail store and try Julie’s soaps. We are hoping to offer Logee’s Ponderosa Lemon Soap to our Mail-order customer’s this fall. Here’s keeping our fingers crossed that enough soap will be cured by the Holiday season.

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Growing Oranges, Lemons and Limes in Containers

Gardeners have been growing citrus in containers for thousands of years. The attractive and edible fruit combined with intensely sweet flowers makes citrus a prized potted plant. Some gardeners grow citrus outside in pots in tropical zones while others grow citrus inside in pots in northern climates. Whether or not you live in a temperate or tropical climate or live in an apartment or home, growing citrus fruit successfully in containers has a few common cultural requirements.

Sun, Sun, and more Sun

Make sure you have a sunny area. Light level and light intensity have a lot to do with growing citrus successfully. Citrus plants need at least 6 hours a day of sunshine and temperatures above 65˚F is a plus for rapid growth.

Choosing Your Container

Glazed, plastic, terra-cotta (clay), cement, wood are all viable choices. However, if you grow in anything but terra-cotta, you must be careful and accurate with your watering. We recommend using clay or terra-cotta so the soil can dry down between waterings. Otherwise, moisture stays on the inside of the pot and this can invite in root disease. This rapidly turns into root rot and can kill the plant. Also, pot size is something to become aware of. Do not over pot (choose a pot too big, too fast). This also can lead to over watering and again invite in root disease. Also, citrus like to be somewhat root-bound in a pot. We’ve grown some of our most productive Meyer Lemon plants in 8″ pots for years. Read More…

 

 

 

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Filed under Australian Finger Lime, growing citrus, kumquat, meyer lemon, Myrtle leaf Orange, oranges, ponderosa lemon, sunquats, Tahitian Orange

Fruiting And Tasting The Miracle Berry

Miracle Berry (Synsepalum dulcificum) grows in clusters

Miracle Berry (Synsepalum dulcificum) grows in clusters

The long and short of the miracle in the berry is the presence of a compound that changes the way your taste buds perceive sour and sweet. Here is how we recommend tasting the Miracle Berry.

Put the whole berry in your mouth. Do not bite into the berry because there is a seed inside. Work the skin and pulp of the berry and coat your mouth and tongue with the taste. Savor the sweetness. In 3-4 minutes start tasting foods that are typically sour, like lemons and sour pickle. If you bite into a tomato, it will be the sweetest tomato you have ever eaten. If you sip on dry red wine, it will be a sweet wine instead of dry.

Growing the Miracle Berry is as simple as accurate watering, not over ferilizing and using and acidic soil. Read more…

Miracle Berry fruits twice a year and can reach up to 5 feet in a pot

Miracle Berry fruits twice a year and can reach up to 5 feet in a pot

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