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Blue Stranger

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PostSubject: Growing useful plants   Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:31 pm

For the reference of anyone starting a community garden, or anyone looking into gardening for non-commercial reasons. Typing out what I know occasionally/when I have time. Focus on easily obtainable, easily propagated, and hardy plants. Beginning with...

Aloe Vera:

The clear gel inside the leaves can be used to treat burns. Do not use yellow sap. This can be easily separated from the gel, as it is only found along the inside "skin" of the leaves. Harvest an outer, older leaf. To avoid damaging rest of plant, do not tear leaf--cut leaf away from base with a clean blade.
Trim unhealthy leaves so that plant can focus on new growth. Keep leaves you do not use immediately in a plastic bag in the freezer, to be retrieved when you need them.

Water it like a cactus. It is a succulent that stores water in its leaves. If the leaves become deflated, squishy, or shriveled, water more. Wait for soil to dry between waterings. The main thing that will kill this plant is root rot from overwatering, so don't do that.
Plant in well draining soil, like a cactus. This is a plant that evolved in arid ecosystems. Shallow, wide root system. Containers used should be wider than they are tall.
Likes a lot of sun. Move inside if possible when temperatures drop below 60.

Propagates itself by budding from its root system when it reaches the limits of its container. Offspring, known as aloe "pups", can be detached when they have at least 3 leaves. After 1 week on their own with no watering to adjust and establish themselves, pups are treated as any other aloe plant.

You can buy a small one at a nursery for about $5. Look for firm, light green, unblemished (no brown or black) leaves with new growth beginning in the center. It is better to get a healthy baby plant than a big one that is struggling.
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Daremyth

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PostSubject: Re: Growing useful plants   Sun Oct 25, 2015 11:45 pm

Aloe Vera's a veritable first aid kit by itself.

http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/amazing-aloe-vera.htm

Doesn't like sudden moves into direct hot sun. 
Can be poisonous to pets too unfortunately.
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Cornelius Brunner

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PostSubject: Re: Growing useful plants   Thu Oct 29, 2015 12:24 pm

It's the best thing for burns, after lavender oil. Good for stomach ulcers, too.
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Anyman

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PostSubject: Re: Growing useful plants   Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:30 pm

Also good for hydration. Full of vitamins.
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