On the shelf
Garden guides often teach people how to deadhead and treat for pests and improve the soil, but they don’t always share all the fundamentals beginners need — how to buy a shovel, for example, or where to buy plants.
Jim Fox covers those basics and more in “How to Buy the Right Plants, Tools & Garden Supplies.”
Fox, a horticultural consultant who also works in the retail nursery business, based the book on the questions he’s been asked over the decades. Despite its title, the book is more than a buying guide. It focuses on helping readers choose plants that will thrive and invest wisely in implements, but it also helps them understand the conditions they’re growing in and teaches them how to plant properly.
“How to Buy the Right Plants, Tools & Garden Supplies” is published by Timber Press and sells for $14.95 in paperback.
Peel Away Pots are designed to produce healthier vegetable seedlings that are easier to remove at transplant time.
The cube-shaped pots are made from a porous Velcro-brand fabric that lets air get to the roots, promoting a healthy root system. The sides of the pot peel apart, so you can remove the plant without disturbing the roots.
The pots are washable and reusable.
They won a 2013 Green Thumb Award from the Direct Gardening Association.
Peel Away Pots are available from Gardener’s Supply Co. in 2- and 4-inch sizes and in two colors, red and brown. Prices range from $9.95 for sets of pots alone to $24.95 for kits containing pots and a self-watering tray.
They can be ordered at www.gardeners.com or 800-955-3370.
Q: I have a Corningware microwave browning dish I used many years ago in my microwave. Would it be wise to use this pan in a conventional oven and on my stove top?
A: No. The browning dish was intended for use only in a microwave oven, according to the instructions Corningware’s microwave browning dishes had a special coating on the bottom that was designed to absorb microwave energy.
The user preheated the dish in the microwave, and the heated bottom would then sear or brown foods that were added to the dish immediately.
The instructions specified that the browners were not to be used on stovetops or in conventional ovens.