Wild purslane salad

Wild purslane salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, jalapeño chile, lemon juice and salt

Thick-stemmed ground cover plant with little yellow flowers that takes over the pathways around the garden beds is known as purslane can be a healthy addition to your everyday salad.

Actually,the plant is  pretty, but to the gardening books it’s considered a weed. What a lot of these books don’t tell you is that purslane, the “weed” in question, is being sold at farmers markets to chefs for $7 a pound!

Not only is it edible, something like crunchy, not-as-spicy watercress, but it is packed with vitamins, minerals, and even Omega 3.

The following purslane salad recipe comes from a Mexican recipe book that I picked up on my honeymoon 11 years ago. If you too are incorporating purslane into your cooking, please let us know in the comments how you are using it.

Below is the recipe :

*Especially good served with grilled seafood.

Ingredients

  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, quartered lengthwise, seeds removed and discarded, then chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 bunch purslane, thick stems removed, leaves chopped, resulting in about 1/2 cup chopped purslane
  • 1 minced seeded jalapeno chile pepper
  • 2-3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

Mix everything together and enjoy!

Haworthia obtusa succulent

Haworthia obtusa

This is a very popular variety, due to the beautiful transparent lens on the tip of the leaves. Each leaf looks like a drop of water. Once the plant grows about 4” in diameter, it starts growing pup clusters. 

How do you grow Haworthia Obtusa?

Soil: All Haworthias do not like their roots to remain wet for prolonged periods, so their potting soil should be well-drained. Use a commercial succulent potting mix or make your own. Hardiness: Haworthias like warmer temperatures in the summer but cool in the winter. However, they do not like being too cold.

Does Haworthia need sunlight?

Although some Haworthia species can be found in full, bright sun, many live in more protected spots and therefore are adapted to thrive in partial shade (though few look their best without at least some direct sun or bright light). This makes Haworthias well adapted to lower light conditions found in homes.

How often should I water Haworthia?

Water. Because Haworthia store water so efficiently, they do not need to be watered very often. Only water when the soil has been completely dry for a number of days. This may be every two weeks, or in warmer months or warmer climates, it could be more often.

Can you propagate ?

The propagation of these succulent plants is done at repotting time and taking offsets from the mother plant. Utilize sharp scissors or knife to cut the offsets close to the mother plant.

This unique succulent is one of 60 name Haworthia species and 150 named varieties of succulent in this family.

Must have Gardening tools

Keep your garden in top shape with 5 best gardening tools. Whether you have potted plants on your balcony, a patio, or a whole yard for gardening, using the right tools for gardening makes a tremendous difference. The many choices for gardening tools can be a bit overwhelming, and there are lots of unnecessary tools on the market that aren’t worth taking up valuable storage space.

A hand trowel is a must-have multi-purpose tool for digging, scooping soil, removing weeds, and planting. Trowels come in different blade shades, with long or short handles, measuring gauges for seed and bulb depth, hanging holes, and various other features.Depending on your personal strength, a heavier trowel is better because the heft will make it easier for you to break up compacted soil.

For container gardening, a pair of light, all-purpose gardening gloves with nitrile coating is usually sufficient. Backyard gardeners should have both thinner planting gloves as well as a pair of gloves for heavy-duty tasks such as digging and pruning as a layer of protection against blisters, abrasion, and thorns.

A sturdy watering can with at least one gallon (preferably two gallons) capacity should be made of heavy-duty plastic or galvanized steel.What to Look For: Choose one with a detachable rose (the device that makes a soft spray) so that when you detach the rose you can reach the soil around plants without getting them wet.

Those with a yard or large container plants will want something more heavy duty than bypass shears. To cut through thicker materials such as to prune dead twigs and branches, you’ll need anvil pruners.What to Look For: High-end models have replaceable blades

The other long-handled tool essential in backyard gardening is a cultivator that loosens and breaks up crusty soil, and prepares it for watering and incorporating fertilizer. It also helps you remove weeds. The standard handle length is 54 inches, which works well for most gardeners.What to Look For: Cultivators come in several styles; models with a curved hook and narrow sharp pointy end give you the most flexibility when working around plants.

Having the right gardening tools helps you get the job done quicker and more efficiently, with less physical effort and strain on your most valuable and indispensable gardening tools—your hands and back!

String of Pearls

Curio rowleyanus, known as String of Pearls is a curious succulent that grows between rocks and other plants that provide protection from intense arid conditions of the region. In the wild the stems stretch out until they find the ground and root, forming dense covering. 

The string of pearls (Senecio rowleyanus) succulent is a show-stopper. With its overflowing vines and bubbly pearl-like leaves, it’s an eye catcher that looks beautiful trailing across a desk or bookshelf or even hanging in a sunny window, where the vines can trail down for interest. Although these plants look delicate, they’re part of the succulent family—a generally easy care plant! It is a vining, flowering succulent native to southwest Africa. Its round leaves, which look like little peas, store water; this makes the plant drought-tolerant and happy hanging in a window of your home. It can also thrive outdoors in an area with light shade.is a vining, flowering succulent native to southwest Africa. Its round leaves, which look like little peas, store water; this makes the plant drought-tolerant and happy hanging in a window of your home. 

How to care for string of pearls

If kept indoors, String of pearls prefer bright, indirect light—perhaps by a south-facing window or an area of your home that gets a good amount of sunlight. If they are kept outdoors, they prefer to be in a lightly shaded area in warmer months and brought indoors during the winter.

As with most plants, keep your string of pearls away from air conditioners or other drafty areas. If its leaves start dropping, this might be a sign of chill.

For your watering schedule, since they are drought tolerant, string of pearls prefer to dry out their soil in between each watering. To be sure you’re not overwatering, stick your index finger in the soil and check to see if the top half-inch is dry; only then should you proceed to water it. The little pearl-like leaves hold water and if they are getting the right amount, they’ll stay juicy and bulb-like. Change in shape may indicate over- or under-watering.

Its soil needs to be well-draining, so we suggest using either a succulent potting soil or mixing your own with three parts potting soil and one part sand.

Potential problems with string of pearls

If your pearl-like leaves start looking a little shriveled, they could be reacting to their water levels—you’re either overwatering or underwatering. Remember to water when the top part of the soil is dry; string of pearls plants also enjoy misting their little beads every so often. Younger plants often need more water than older plants.

Night time pollinators

Attracting pollinators at night

We are familiar with day-blooming flowers and day-visiting insects, bees, butterflies, flies and a few others. Such flowers are likely to produce more nectar at night; they also release aromas that the moths are well attuned to and that enable them to find the flowers

After dark, moths and bats take over the night shift for pollination. Nocturnal flowers with pale or white flowers with heavy fragrance and copious dilute nectar, attract these pollinating insects. Not all moth pollinators are nocturnal; some moths are also active by day.Nocturnal moths are well adapted to colder temperatures; they also have eyes that allow them to fly at night. Fortunately for them there are flowers that bloom at this time. Such flowers are likely to produce more nectar at night; they also release aromas that the moths are well attuned to and that enable them to find the flowers.

You may be lucky enough to have a night time pollinator visitor to your garden if you have moonflowers, evening primroses, Nicotiana or morning glories. It can be quite a treat to see hawk moths on a regular basis visiting your garden; some seem to have a fixed schedule and show up almost daily at their appointed time. They are large, fly silently and unfurl their straw-like tongues in front of long-tubed flowers like the ones mentioned. They look like hummingbirds drinking nectar while suspended in the air. They have handsome patterns on their wings, not as striking as those of butterflies, but very beautiful in a sedate way.

A couple of  dawn or dusk pollinators that we  are less familiar with is  the squash bee; it’s an early riser, following the schedule of squash blossoms and finishing her daily chores just after dawn or at mid-morning when blossoms begin to wilt. They are said to be up before sunrise; however, I have never seen them so early. Maybe I should spend more time in the pumpkin patch and I may catch some of them.A truly nocturnal pollinators of a different stripe, bats. Most cactus bloom at night, they are strongly scented and produce big flowers with abundant nectar, just right for such large fliers. In the absence of bats, the landscapes of the West would be profoundly different, without the rich flora of saguaros, barrel cacti and prickly pears.

 So what plants pollinate at night? 

Heavy with fragrance, nocturnal bloomers produce a strong, sweet scent during twilight, night or early morning. Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis), Madonna lily (Lilium candidum), night-blooming jasmine (Cestrum nocturnum), and some yucca species draw these pollinators to them. You can purchase moonflower seeds at our Etsy shop to help jump start your night garden & lure in beautiful moths. Follow the link to see: https://www.etsy.com/listing/947182415/moonflower-seeds-

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