Thursday, July 12, 2012

Terrarium, Terrarium... What can you see?

Today, the gardening mood hit me.  If you are a gardener by genetic makeup…  then you know what I mean.  My green thumb was swelling and the only cure for that was more cowbell...  Since I lacked the cowbell, the next best thing was soil and photosynthesis once a day for three days…  Of course, the weather dropped like twenty degrees today and it is July which also means, I have not been out as much as I would prefer to work in the garden.  Maybe that was the reason.  Perfect gardening weather.

However, it is not too wise right now to plant anything new outside in July.  That is just asking for disappointment and failure.  So…  we made terrariums!  Perfect!

Why a terrarium you ask?  Well, here are three reasons why.

1. Having plants inside can help freshen the air and turn dirty air into clean air.  In fact, a lot of plants say that on their tags right along with what kind of sunlight, water, and space they need.

2. They are beautiful, of course, and since their habitats rest on increased humidity around them, they have the ideal settings to grow and grow well. 

3. It does not take a lot of water to maintain them since they are in glass and are built specifically for the purpose of staying moist.  So, low maintenance.   

What is the saying?  So easy, a caveman could do it?  Well, it is true.  We built three and filled two more pots with the set up for future plants.  I under-estimated at the plant store, and did not bring back enough plants to fill all my jars.  But I did make three, and that is probably good enough for now.

You will need-
  • A clear glass container- this can be ANYTHING
  • Small rocks or pebbles
  • Sand
  • Activated charcoal
  • Sphagnum peat moss
  • Potting soil
  • Several plants
  • Anything else that you may want to use for decoration- I used several larger stones and glass rocks that I fished out of the goldfish tank.  They won’t mind.
Find glass jars, bowls, vases…  pretty much anything that is glass and see through.  I used an old cookie car, a mason jar, and a vase.  The cookie jar and mason jar have lids.  You don’t need lids, but lids are okay.

Make sure your plants that are going together need the same kind of light.  Also, make sure you get plants that will work in the light you have available.  My house is bright, but doesn’t get direct light.  It’s not high bright, but a medium bright.  House plants are separated by high light, medium light, and low light.  I didn’t spend more than $2 or $3 on each plant.  I got them small because in these conditions they will grow VERY fast.  Keep that in mind as well.

The pebbles, sand, and charcoal can all be found easily at a pet store.  Soil and moss can be found any place that carries plants and basic gardening supplies.

Clean your glass containers.  Rinse well and let dry completely.  This will benefit you, especially if your container’s opening is a tight fit.

Rinse your peat moss and charcoal and set it to the side to dry.  Peat moss can carry bacteria or fungus that in the warmth and humidity of a terrarium can destroy everything growing.  Not cool.  So, clean it.

The charcoal is essential ESPECIALLY if your terrarium has a lid.  Charcoal is a natural purifier and will help keep the constantly wet soil from getting stinky…  which would totally defeat the purpose of these.

In the bottom of your container, make the layers in this order-

  1. Pebbles
  2. Sand
  3. Charcoal- you won’t need a lot, just a thin sprinkle over the top.
  4. Peat Moss- moisten the moss after you add it, if it is not still moist after its rinse.  This will help kick start the plants.
  5. Soil

Then add the plants.  The dirt should fill less than half but more than a third of the container.  I planted three different varieties of Ivy.  I love Ivy.  I also planted some Leea, Ferns, and another unknown plant that I used to know the name of but have since lost its identification tag.  It’s purple colored and tall with big leaves, so it is pretty.

Give it a small amount of water by misting, but not TOO much.  On another side note, use DISTILLED water for misting a terrarium because it lacks the salt that other waters have.  The continual build up of salt can harm the plants that other waters have.  But this container will hold in the water remember.  So, don’t drown it either when you are watering or misting.  Just keep the soil moist.  Most people actually kill their plants by over watering…  not under watering.  Then put the lid on if you have one and set it where the light is right and enjoy!!! 

Congratulations!  One more merit bade for your green living DIY sash!  

One side of the cookie jar.
The other side of the cookie jar. 

No comments:

Post a Comment