How to Create a No-Fuss Garden
Terrariums give you low-maintenance beauty all year long.
Before You BeginAside from the terrarium itself, you don’t have to buy any special implements to assemble or tend to it. A few standard gardening tools―and a couple that you can make yourself―will do.
- Rake and shovel: Use a piece of string to tie a pickle or dessert fork to one chopstick and a demitasse or iced-tea spoon to another, says Marilyn Burke, who teaches terrarium workshops at Classic Country, a home store in East Chatham, New York.
- Tamping tool: Stick a wine cork onto the end of a grilling skewer. This tool is ideal for gently pressing down on roots after planting to make sure they’re firmly anchored into the soil.
- Narrow bulb trowel: When you’re setting up the terrarium, shovel loose material, like pebbles or aquarium gravel, with this gardening staple.
- Pruners: Use them to trim dead leaves.
- Mister: Hydrate your terrarium by employing a spray bottle equipped with a nozzle that dispenses a fine mist. Or buy a bulb-type mister (available at most garden stores), like the one shown here.
Place your terrarium in indirect light; direct light will cause too much heat to build up.
- Most terrariums won’t need watering for four to six months. You’ll know it’s time when the plants look wilted or water stops condensing on the sides of the container.
- When you’re ready to water, mist the sides of the terrarium, rather than the leaves, with an ounce or two of distilled water.
- If the sides of the terrarium are always fogged or large droplets form on the top, there’s too much moisture trapped inside. Remove the lid for a day or two to dehumidify.
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