Trade Secrets: Make Houseplants Thrive

By Clancey Denis May 20, 2011 Published in the June 2011 issue of Seattle Met

CINDY KREPKY and her husband own and operate Dog Mountain Farm and the School of the Lost Arts on a 20-acre spread in Carnation, where they teach kids how to live off the land. Goats and chickens mingle among more than 250 varieties of crops—everything from beets and potatoes to lilacs and sunflowers, all grown without the use of pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Even if your thumb isn’t quite so green, Cindy swears you can keep your potted plants happy.

1. Good soil biology is the key to a healthy plant, so make your own compost. Save table scraps in a bin outside and add about an 
inch of it to your pots every year. 2. If keeping compost around the house is too unappealing, let it steep in water for a couple of days, strain it, then discard. Pour the water directly into the soil or spray it onto the plants. 3. Don’t know when to water? Stick your finger an inch into the soil. If it’s moist down deep, your plant’s okay. If it’s dry, it’s water time.
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