Use Plants to Clean Up Your House

bamboo palmEverybody knows that being continuously exposed to air pollution can lead to serious health issues, but we assume that the pollution stops at our door. Indoor air pollution is, however, a major concern according to WHO and can lead to severe respiratory diseases, trigger allergies and even cause cancer. Most people think of installing air-purifiers as a solution but why not go the natural way and use plants to clean up your house?

Pollutants and Plants

Windows are generally kept shut because of air conditioners and heaters, thus restricting ventilation and making the process of cleaning up air pollution that much tougher. This is where plants come in as natural air-purifiers. Cigarettes are the most obvious source of pollution. Limit yourself to smoking in only one room in the house, say a study, and place a couple of potted plants in that room. This cuts back pollution and protects the other family members. Non-smoking households too, are exposed to toxic fumes from fireplaces as well as chemical toxins from insecticides and paints. Spores and carpet mold trigger allergies in those who are vulnerable to it. Introducing shrubs and foliage in the living room will not only help in cleaning up air pollution, but will also look decorative. Emissions from stoves and grills contain toxic fumes and carcinogenic carbon particulates. Putting indoor greenery in the kitchen to absorb these pollutants can be the best thing you can do for your family.

Which Varieties Clean Up Your House Most Effectively?

NASA’s Clean Air Study, aimed at finding the best air-filtering foliage for space stations, is useful for households too. NASA recommends the Areca Palm as the most efficient for cleaning up air pollution since it absorbs chemical toxins and keeps the air from getting too dry. The hardy Lady palm, the Bamboo Palm and the Rubber Plant are great for combating air toxicity too. The English Ivy sucks up gases like Benzene and Formaldehyde and is a great anti-allergen as it gets rid of almost 60% of the mold in air. The Boston Fern is considered one of the best plants to filter air pollution and looks very ornamental as well. The beautiful Peace Lily, the functional Aloe Vera and the easy-to-maintain Spider Plant are other recommended flora. About 15-18 average sized shrubs kept in a house of 1800 square-feet will give optimum results. One should however be careful if they have pets and small children as the leaves of some shrubs can be poisonous when ingested. Plants thus, are cheaper than expensive air-purifiers and do not create pollution themselves. So by introducing them in your household, you can clean up your house and do your bit to help combat air pollution.

The Easy Way to Grow Tomatoes In Pots

tomatoes in potsWhen you have limited space in your garden, it is good idea to grow your fruit and vegetables in pots where possible. Tomatoes are great for potting and the can thrive if done properly. You can know how to grow tomatoes in no time at all because there is nothing complicated about growing tomatoes, it is easy if you follow some simple instructions. When to Sow the Seeds Starting your tomatoes too early will result in week plants. In the UK, we have a cold climate and not a lot of sunlight until mid-summer, so start growing tomatoes at the end of February at the earliest. You should sow the seeds in pots of compost with a light sprinkling to over the top to cover the seeds. The seeds will need to be in moist compost, but the compost can not be soaked. The best way to encourage tomatoes in pots is to leave the soil almost dry completely before dampening again. People will argue about how to grow tomatoes and how much water to use, but if they really know how to grow tomatoes, they will realise that too much water will harm their immune system. Seedlings to Pots When the seedlings have sprouted in their small seeding pots, they should be moved to pots. When re-potting the seedlings, you should make sure they are place deep so that new roots will form from the stem and anchor the plant well. There should be no frost when plants are transferred to a greenhouse or outside, so at the beginning of May tends to be okay for growing tomatoes in a green house, but tomatoes in pots outside would be better nursed indoors until the very end of May. Watering and Feeding Cycle It is wise to get in to a routine and stick to it because tomatoes can be sensitive. They like to be watered at approximately the same time daily, but be sparing with the water. If there is too much water, the roots cannot breathe and air as well as water is needed for the soil to be healthy. If the soil is allowed to dry, the tomatoes will be unable to absorb any nutrients. Over feeding can also cause harm to your plants. Tomatoes in pots can be particularly affected by this, because unlike wild toms, there is less run off of feed. This can resort in root burn and a ruined plant.