It’s ‘T’ Time

Now that the winter months are coming to an end, it’s time to say hello to the start of a new gardening year. It’s a little too early to get out and perform an all-out assault on the yard, but you can get your garden fix by creating a mini landscape under glass. Follow these 6 steps and create a fun terrarium to get through the winter doldrums.

  1. Select a container. A closed or sealed terrarium is good for plants that enjoy high humidity such as ferns. Open terrariums that aren’t sealed and don’t have a lid can breath and are better for arid plants such as succulents.
  2. Once you’ve selected a container, add ½” to 1-½” of pea gravel across the bottom to help create proper drainage. The depth will depend on the height of the container. The larger the container, the thicker you can spread the pea gravel.
  3. Spread a thin layer of charcoal over the pea gravel. You can find the finely crushed charcoal at most pet supply stores in the aquarium section. Charcoal will help reduce any odors that may occur from any standing water that collects in the bottom of the terrarium.
  4. Next, add a thin layer of sphagnum or sheet moss. Moisten it before pressing it over the charcoal. The moss will help retain moisture and prevent any soil from sifting into the pea gravel.
  5. Now add ¾” to 2” inches of soil. The amount of soil will depend on the height of your container and the type of plants you select. Be sure to use a soil that does not have fertilizer. You don’t want to give plants in a terrarium fertilizer which will encourage them to outgrow their confined boundaries.
  6. Now select your plants. Choose ones that vary in textures, colors and height. When spacing them be sure to give them a little room to grow. Plants such as ferns, Fittonia, Pilea, Peperomia and strawberry begonias work well in most terrariums.

If you have a very small terrarium or don’t want to mess with soil you can place air plants in a clear vessel for a fun and easy terrarium look-alike. Use crushed glass, stones, pebbles, driftwood or living moss to enhance these glass gardens. To ensure success make sure your terrarium receives adequate sunlight and is watered as needed. Water should collect in the bottom of the pea gravel and this should be a good gauge as to when to water. Also feel the soil and make sure it’s not staying too moist before watering. If it’s raining, too cold or you just need a quick little gardening project, why not create a fun terrarium. Now you can garden and get your hands in the dirt without even stepping out into the landscape.