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Eat Fresher Food By Growing Your Own Organic Garden

Learn some tips that can help you grow better organic plants for your family. You can figure out everything you need to know so that you don’t buy unnecessary equipment. Additionally, you will learn how to save your plants and ensure that they do not die from neglect or other things. It’s not so scary once you know the basics.

So you don’t shock the plants, you should gradually get them use to a change in the temperature and conditions. Place them outside in the sunlight for an hour or two on the first day. Over the course of a week, slowly increase the amount of time that you leave them outside. When the week is done, your plants will be ready for the big move without any problems.

For planting spring bulbs in the winter, decide where you want them to go and dig individual planting holes at the correct spacing. Place some small four inch plastic pots inside the holes with the rims slightly exposed and fill with soil. When spring comes, planting the bulbs is a breeze. Just remove the pots and place the bulbs in the empty hole. Fill the hole with the soil that was in the pot.

If you have a vegetable garden and plan on eating the vegetables, you should inspect them carefully every week. Look for bugs and worms or traces of disease and damages. Do not eat a vegetable that does not look healthy. Make sure you wash your vegetables carefully before you cook them.

A key element to having a great garden is to fertilize it. There are many different types of fertilizers available at most home stores, but what works for different types of gardens varies. Manure is a great choice, but it does smell. A commercially produced manure will have no pathogens to contaminate the vegetables in the garden. Some people swear by chemical fertilizers, yet they are not an organic way to grow.

Used tea and coffee grounds make good soil enrichers. Both coffee and tea grounds are great additions when you need to raise the acidity of your soil. If your soil is pH balanced, adding the tea and coffee is good, as flowers such as rhododendrons and azaleas, and fruits such as blueberry, appreciate soil that is on the acidic side. You can work the grounds into the soil before you plant your garden, or sprinkle a little around existing plants once a week or so.

Plant seedlings on cloudy days. The cloud cover will help protect your new seedlings from the heat and radiation of the sun. This extra protection gives them a better shot of survival than if they were planted on a hot, sunny day. If your seedlings were being grown out of direct sunlight when you purchased them, be especially careful about exposing them to direct light.

Pay attention to the time of year that your plants bloom before you start pruning them. If you prune your flowering shrubs and trees while they have buds on them, that plant won’t flower that year. The best time to prune is just after the last season’s blooms have faded.

Fertilize your garden regularly. Choose commercial compost instead of homegrown manure to keep toxins out of your plants. Of all the fertilizing options available, it doesn’t really matter which one you choose as long as you use something.

To make weeds easier to spot, be sure to plant all your flowers in a straight line. A more unusual layout may be visually interesting, but it gives weeds plenty of places to hide. Keeping your garden simple will make weeds and diseases easier to locate and simpler to get rid of.

Plant fruits and vegetables that you know you like. If you have children, having them help in the garden will make them want to eat the food that they grow. You will be able to save money on your fresh produce as well as know that your family is eating the best produce around.

You can save time by using soaker hoses. Instead of standing with a hose for a long time or having to refill a container, set your water pressure on low and let your hose sit next to the plant that needs to be watered. Do not forget to turn the water off later.

Use a nicely finished compost pile as fertilizer for your garden. Organic means that you don’t use artificial fertilizers or herbicides to grow your plants, yet sometimes the soil isn’t necessarily full of the proper nutrients for growth. Utilizing a compost pile can provide you with a rich, dark earthy soil that can provide your plants with plenty of nutrients.

As you can see, growing your own organic garden is better for you and your family, and it isn’t as difficult as it may appear. It just requires research, regular maintenance outdoors, and some patience. The work will pay off once you see your plants grow.

Fioraio Bianchi Caffè: Food and Flowers from Milan’s Poet Florist

There is only one restaurant inside a flower shop in Milan—or maybe the flower shop is inside the restaurant? This much is known about Fioraio Bianchi Caffè: order the fresh pasta with clams (and rocket pesto) for lunch, and then you may buy a bouquet if you like. Probably you will want to, because the flowers are courtesy of the city’s most famous “poet florist,” 89-year-old Raimondo Bianchi.

It’s open for lunch and dinner, and all the flowers are for sale. Or go down to the basement workshop to order a custom floral arrangement between the hours of 9 am and 7 pm.

Photography via Fioraio Bianchi Caffè except where noted.

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Above: The story of Fioraio Bianchi Caffè begins in 1945, after the war, when 19-year-old Raimondo Bianchi became an apprentice florist in Milan to help his family make ends meet. A decade later, he opened his own flower-and-coffee shop at Via Montebello 7. As the Brera neighborhood became tonier, rents rose and by 2004, after nearly 60 years in the business, a change was necessary.

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Above: By 2005, the coffee shop had evolved into a restaurant under the guidance of owner Massimo Villardita, and the atmosphere remains “a very special place where the flowers will still surprise with their scents, their forms, their shades,” Bianchi said.

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Above: Bianchi’s arrangements are evidence, as the writer Gloria Wells has said, that he “is by nature contemplative, and not by chance has over the decades earned the title of ‘florist poet’.”

Fiorario Bianchi Caffe bar counter Milan ; Gardenista

Above: Photograph via Trip Advisor.

Billed as a bistro, the restaurant serves a full lunch and dinner menu. French music plays in the background.

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Above: Photograph via Daniel Farò.

(You also can order a cup of coffee at the counter in the morning.)

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Above: Says Bianchi: “A flower is a tribute. The antithesis of consumerism is ephemeral, but can take away the sadness.”

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Above: Photograph via The Asmonti Chronicles.

The floral arrangements change with the seasons; Bianchi sources flowers from local farms.

Fioraio Bianchi Caffe Milan ; Gardenista

Above: Orchids are for sale (L) or go downstairs (R) to place a custom order.

Fioraio Bianchi Caffe Milan florists workshop ; Gardenista

Above: Photograph via Graffidigusto.

In the basement is Bianchi’s workshop.

Raimondo Bianchi Florist Milan ; Gardenista

Above: Photograph via Slowtown.

“I have always worked from morning to night with the rhythm of a clock because I think that being able to build something with consistency is important,” says florist Raimondo Bianchi.

Traveling to Milan? See more of our favorite spots:

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