Coastal and Tropical South

January, 2008
Regional Report

Books

Organic Gardening Indoors
Julie Bawden-Davis offers up great advice in her new book, Indoor Gardening the Organic Way (Taylor Trade Publishing, 2007; $19.95). A garden writer from Orange, California, Julie takes you through the why and how of her subject with clarity and a welcoming attitude. Every plant category is discussed, and she even includes a page on growing the elusive Venus fly trap. Like me, you've had at least one, and Julie tells you how to keep it alive longer than a minute. As you enhance the habitat for plants indoors with organic practices, you make it better for people and pets, too, and the advice in this book will greatly inform your efforts.

Tool or Gardening Product

Ups A Daisy and Better Than Rocks
As containers get larger, they can be expensive to fill with soil and a literal pain to move. I like these two products that work in different ways to alleviate these issues. Ups A Daisy planter inserts are plastic discs with drain holes that you set inside big pots and then add the soil. The inserts effectively reduce the size of the pots so you need less soil, which can greatly reduce the weight of the pot.

Better Than Rocks is made from 100 percent recycled plastic formed into green fibrous bundles. Put a few inches of this liner below the potting soil instead of the traditional pot shards or gravel to improve drainage and decrease weight.

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