Category Archives: Gardening

Tips for houseplants


Plants actually like the same temperatures as humans. So make sure that you keep your plants away from heaters, air-conditioners, near drafts, and on windowsills behind curtains. If you do keep plants near windows, the best place is about 3 feet away. It can still get sun, but the temperature is more temperate.



Cleaning plants is a plant chore that most people aren’t aware of. Cleaning the leaves with a damp cloth or paintbrush is the most efficient way to make sure that the leaves are absorbing as much sun as they can.



Plants can wilt due to under-watering or over-watering. In order to tell the difference, check the moisture of the soil it is in. If the soil is dry, it needs more water. If the soil is moist, the plant should be repotted. To ensure that the plant survives, wrap the roots with newspaper or paper towels. Continue to replace either until they have soaked up all the moisture. Repot the plant into fresh potting mix and keep it out of direct sunlight.


(All of these tips are from the book How Not to Kill Your Houseplant: Survival Tips for the Horticulturally Challenged. By: Veronica Peerless)

Gardening for the Winter

The Ryves! Up Program aims at bringing the children the idea of leading a green life by helping them practice specific gardening techniques. We support growing natural and unpolluted foods by your own hands through an environmental friendly process. As the end of the harvest season has come, here are the tips you need to know to prepare your garden for the winter:

  • Clean up the remains of plants in harvested beds.
  • Sow the soil and collect the leaves and kitchen garbage to create the compost. Fall leaves can be used for mulching in the garden, as a brown component of compost. Compost is of great significance to your garden. It recycles with 100% natural material and creates non-chemical fertilizers.
  • Put all the materials in a stationary compost bin and wait until it’s fermented. It will add beneficial bacteria and humus to the soil, which will help the plants grow.
  • Add a layer of compost to the ground, it will keep the moisture and temperature of the soil, and help your plants grow healthier.

How Does Gardening Benefit Children’s Lives

We live in a digital world today, and there is a growing concern from parents that kids are spending more time in front of the screens. The Ryves Up! Program can help you with it. We provide children with more opportunities to get in touch with the nature. In this process, they will learn how to appreciate the beauty of different natural species and harvest foods through their own hard work.

Gardening has a lot of advantages for kids. It encourages children to eat healthier. Through their engagement on the fields, children would cherish the foods they grow, and frankly speaking, half the fun of gardening is being able to eat what you grow. It will help them better understand the importance of keeping a balanced diet. Obesity is a less possible problem for them, considering gardening an increase in their outdoor activities.

Kids love to play with mud. Normally, parents might think that there are lots of germs in the soil, so it releases kids in an environment full of germs and pathogens. But lack of childhood exposure to germs may actually raise their risks of getting diseases like asthma, allergies and autoimmune in their grown-up lives. So getting dirty while gardening may strengthen a child’s immunity and overall health.

Community Garden

Most people know what a garden is, but just in case you don’t, it is defined as a piece of ground used for growing flowers, fruit, or vegetables. Gardens are usually for one household and not shared with neighbors. But a community garden is just that. It’s a public place where several people can use the land to grow their own produce, especially when a living space like apartments or condos don’t have land to cultivate fresh veggies.


Community gardens are becoming so popular that there is actually an association to help them grow! The American Community Garden Association. They aim to promote all of aspects of “community food and ornamental gardening, urban forestry, preservation and management of open space, and integrated planning and management of developing urban and rural lands.”

Benefits of a Community Garden

  • Saves money on groceries
  • Limits packaging and transportation costs of moving produce from farm to store
  • Increases economic value
  • Healthier food because you know everything that goes into making it
  • People who grow their own vegetables are more likely to eat more veggies
  • Being outdoors can improve productivity and also aid with stress, mental fatigue, blood pressure, ability to recover from injury/illness
  • Crime prevention
    • If people are interested in taking care of their plot in the community garden, they’re less likely to be out committing crimes
  • Adds beauty to the surrounding area
  • Heightens resident’s awareness of nature and its many benefits, even outside of just gardening
  • Filters rainwater by the microorganisms that live in the soil
  • In larger cities, community gardens provide a spot of green in the concrete jungle of the streets and buildings


Here at Ryves Up! we have seen a large increase in parent involvement because kids are excited to share their fresh produce with their families and even try more new foods. The Earth is more beautiful and healthier due to the diligent, yet fun work of the kids. Families involved with the program are saving money on groceries at the store. Ryves Up! is definitely making a difference!

The good guys

These are the real superheroes of the garden.

I know, I know I’m not supposed to take sides. Insects are amoral. They’re not inherently good or inherently evil. They’re doing what they can with what they have.

Squash bugs and corn aphids and fall armyworms aren’t TRYING to carry out a campaign of destruction. Lacewings and ladybugs aren’t choosing the path of righteousness, or deciding to be superheroes.
I know, I know.

But if there were a god of cucumber beetles, I would be in big trouble. I have been on my own campaign of destruction.

I’m the one who finds good and bad out there in things because I planted the corn and I want it to grow. What eats the corn I call “bad” and whatever eats what eats the corn I call “good.” That’s more about me than it is about the aphids.

But ladybugs are on my team. And every time I see larvae or those yellow eggs or those orange pupae, or those lovely dotty adults (the imaginal stage!), I cheer.

Fight the good fight, ladybugs.