Archive for January, 2012

Terrariums are back! As seen on KDKA’s Pittsburgh Today Live

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Terrariums come in all shapes and sizes.


Remember the 1970′s? Terrariums were big back then and they were so groovy. Well what comes around goes around and they are hot again.
Nothing could be easier than making a terrarium, they can be made with anything from an old fish tank to a beautiful container bought from a nursery. Even a two liter soda bottle can be converted into a terrarium.
Terrariums are a closed growing system, so they only need a little water every few weeks. The first layer is gravel, some charcoal which keeps the air clean and then a growing medium. One trick that Matt from Chapon’s Greenhouse alerted me to was to moisten the planting mix first to get it right where you want it instead of drowning the soil with water.
You can design either a dry or wet terrarium depending on what you like to grow. I love both.
Succulents are used for the dry one, and bog plants are used for the wet environment. Both are easy to find at a good nursery.
All the terrariums and plants came from Chapon’s Greenhouse in Baldwin. I’m so thrilled to rind terrariums again that I think I’m going to make a bunch. They have everything you need. Chapon’s is located at 4846 Streets Run Road Pittsburgh, PA 15236, (412) 881-1520. It’s a wonderful place to explore during the winter, it’s filled with plants you’ve never seen before. The staff is very helpful and friendly.

Doug’s Books on Sale as seen on KDKA’s PTL

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Tomatoes Garlic Basil and Grow Organic on sale for $17 each and A Gardener’s Notebook for $13, free shipping for a limited time only. All will be signed and personalized as requested.
Send checks to-

Doug Oster
PO 11013
Pittsburgh, Pa 15237

A Gardener’s Notebook is intended to help you record all the crazy details of life with your garden. We’ve both been journaling for years but we’ve never found the perfect journal, so we worked with our publisher, St. Lynn’s Press, to develop one.

Grow Organic teaches gardeners how to have a garden without chemicals. It covers flowers, vegetables, landscaping, fruits and berries, lawns and more.



Tomatoes Garlic Basil is Doug’s latest book is filled with great organic growing information for his three favorite plants. The book also includes 31 recipes, many have a deep connection to his family. Tomatoes Garlic Basil is also filled with wonderful stories from Doug’s life in the garden.

Indoor Flowers Bridge the Gap Until Spring as seen on KDKA’s PTL

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Once winter arrives, gardeners need something to keep them going until spring. Growing flowering plants on the windowsill will do just that.
There are lots of plants that are tough and will bloom through the winter.

Flowering Maple


One of my favorites is Flowering Maple. It’s not really a maple, but it does really flower. The leaves resemble a maple and the plants can flower with orange, red or white flowers.
Variagated African Violet
African violets have a reputation for being fussy. Grow them on the dry side in good light, water from the bottom and the plant will last a lifetime. Some of the more recent varieties also have variegated foliage, which is a bonus.

Cyclamen


Cylcamen are one of the few house plants you can’t let dry out. Keep them moist and they will bloom for months.
Shamrock Plant
One of my favorite indoor plants is the Shamrock Plant, named for its four leaf cloveresque leaves. They are indestructible and will bloom all winter. some have cool, variegated foliage too.

Goldfish Plant


The Goldfish plant sports pretty orange flowers most of the winter.
I put many of these plants out in the garden in a shady spot after all chance of frost has passed. The will often double in size and then can return to the windowsill in the fall.
All the plants used in the segment came from Chapon’s Greenhouse on Streets Run Road in Baldwin, (412)881-1520. Their winter greenhouse is unparallelled, filled with amazing plants. You might even find a winter tomato in there!