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The house plants I put outdoors spend most of the summer on shelves placed along the north side of the house. This area receives bright light all day, and direct sun in the early morning and late afternoon. When the soil is kept evenly moist, I find that all of my house plants do well in this location, regardless of light preferences. When this summering area is filled, I place other container plants on a bricked surface in the shade of a six-foot redwood fence. From these two groupings and the plants in a small lath shelter described later in this chapter, I choose whatever is needed to decorate the house or outdoor living area on special occasions.

House plants sunk to the pot rim in the garden require less watering than those set in the open. Wax begonias, impatiens, and coleus can be planted directly in the garden. Geraniums also can be handled this way, but they bloom more when the roots are contained by pots buried in the soil.

Before setting plants into garden areas, they need to be hardened off for a few days. Do this by placing them on a cool porch, under trees and shrubs, or beneath overhanging eaves. This gives them time to harden or stiffen stems, and to firm up foliage. These are necessary adjustments plants must make to a change from the artificial warmth of indoor living quarters to the natural elements outdoors.

Do not move choice or irreplaceable plants outdoors unless you have insurance in the form of rooted cuttings, seedlings, or small bulbs or tubers of the same kind. Plants outdoors can offer no resistance to hail, exceedingly strong winds, or an onslaught of grasshoppers and caterpillars.

When house plants are placed directly in garden soil, keep their lower parts clean and the area free of weeds by mulching with a generous layer of buckwheat hulls, ground corncobs, cocoa-bean shells, pebbles, or small water-polished stones.

Orchids and bromeliads do well hung from tree limbs or the roof of a lath house during warm weather. These locations closely duplicate the way they grow in nature. You can find useful information about plants with this app- https://apps.apple.com/us/app/plantspot....

While African violets, when handled carefully, can benefit from a vacation spent outdoors, they should not be set directly into garden soil. I summer part of my collection in hanging baskets (Chapter 8). Others are placed on shelves at the north side of the house. One of my friends summers a large number of African violets in a shaded cold frame. The pots are set on sand kept constantly damp from drops of water seeping through a perforated copper tube centered within the area. A wooden frame covered with muslin is slipped over the cold frame to keep sun off the plants.


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