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Welcome back our Green Thumb Friday lovers! You spoke and we listened! We are here to help with your potting and soil needs!

Choosing the pot and soil for your plant babies shouldn’t be a headache so we’ve thought of some basic things to keep in mind when choosing the right pot and soil!

Choosing the Proper Pot:

Step #1: Stay AWAY from pots that don’t have a drainage hole. Yes, those pots may be prettier or more aesthetically pleasing but they will do more harm than good to the plant. If you must have the pot without a drainage hole, we recommend having a split pot. Split pots are usually plastic pots, more than likely the pot the plant came in when bought. Keep the plant in this pot and then place in the new non drainage pot. This will allow you to take the plant out of the pot with no drainage hole and water the plant thoroughly and allow for proper drainage. Then you can place your plant back in the pot that has no drainage.

Step #2: Look at the size of the pot your plant is currently in. The new pot you decide to use should be 2-4 inches wider in diameter than the pot your plant is currently in. This gives enough space for healthy growth to occur for the plant.

Step #3: There are a few different types of pots you can choose from –

  1. Terracotta Pots – Very porous material which allows for drainage to happen quickly
  2. Ceramic Pots – These pots have a porous base but are glazed, therefore holding in moisture a little more than the regular terracotta
  3. Plastic Pots – Plastic pots are not porous in their material at all, therefore having the highest water retention out of the three choices

Each plant you choose will have its own special and particular needs to thrive. Please review your plants care instructions first and then from there choose the pot you feel would be best for the plant!

Choosing the Proper Soil:

Step #1: Most any organic soil will be perfectly okay. Don’t stress too much! The only differences that truly matter is the peat levels in soil. The more peat the soil has the more water retention it will have. So, we recommend checking your individual plants care/needs and choose accordingly.

Step #2: If you find your soil is taking a long time to dry out, you can amend the soil by adding perlite to the mix. Perlite will help to dry the soil out faster.

Step #3: If you find your soil is soaking up water too quickly, you can amend the soil by adding vermiculite to the mix. Vermiculite creates more water retention within the soil.

Once again, please look at the plant you wish to repot and gather its care information in order to properly choose the correct pot and soil!

Briggs Garden & Home Categories Archives Welcome back our Green Thumb Friday lovers! You spoke and we listened! We are here to help with your potting and soil needs! Choosing the pot

How to Make a Proper Pot of Afternoon Tea

Brewing up a pot of good quality loose leaf tea is a kitchen ritual that has saved my sanity more than once. There’s something about taking the time and care to do it right that soothes my soul and encourages contentment. Read on for my rather detailed step-by-step method for brewing a proper pot of black tea.

But later in the day, I’m ready for a more refined experience and brewing up some good quality loose leaf tea is often just the treat I’m looking for. Here’s my method for brewing a strong pot of good black tea.

What You Need

Ingredients
A good quality, loose leaf black tea (see recommendations below)
Milk (optional, whole or 2% is best)
Lemon (optional)
Sugar (optional)
Your favorite tea treats, sweet or savory

Equipment
A kettle (I prefer electric)
A teapot, preferably with accompanying strainer
Teaspoon
Tray
Tea cup
Napkin
Creamer
Comfy chair

Instructions

1. Put the kettle on. I love my electric kettle and use it all the time. It’s faster than using the stovetop and shuts off automatically when the water has reached a boil. But of course you can use your stovetop, too. I confess that I’ve never used a microwave for this purpose and so will refrain from comment.

2. Start some milk warming over a low flame. Warm milk is not 100% necessary but it’s a really nice thing to do. I usually just warm it gently to avoid bringing it to a boil which is too hot for me.

3. Warm the Pot. While the water is heating up, run the hottest water you can get from your faucet into your teapot and cover. This will pre-warm the pot. I know some people who even do this with their cup, but I usually don’t bother.

4. Assemble your tea setup and ingredients. Retrieve your favorite tea cup, find your strainer (if using), slice some lemon (if using), find the sugar bowl (if using), choose your tea, find your measuring spoon. Place everything you will need for your tea on a tray. Include a nice cloth napkin, if possible.

5. A note on teapots. My favorite teapot comes with a wide mesh strainer that fits snuggly into it, allowing plenty of room for the leaves to expand. It’s easy to just lift the mesh strainer out when the tea is done, so there’s no over-brewing.

Some tea pots come with a strainer built into the spout which I don’t care for. I find them hard to clean and the leaves are still left in the pot to over-steep. But if that’s what you have and you’re used to dealing with it, by all means use it.

You can also just measure your leaves straight into the pot and hold a strainer over your cup to catch the leaves when your pour.

6. Measure your loose tea into your pot. I use 1 teaspoon of loose tea for every 8 ounces of water, unless the tea tin instructs me differently. When the water has almost reached the boil, pour out the tap water from your pot and insert the strainer, if using. Measure your tea into the strainer. If you don’t have this style of pot, you can just measure the leaves directly into the pot.

7. Pour on the water. When the water reaches the boil, turn off the kettle and pour it over the tea leaves and into the teapot. Put the lid on and cover with a cosy to keep warm.

8. A note on cozies. I hope to own one of those adorable, Grandma-knit cozies one day. Until then, I just wrap my teapot in a tea towel. This is, I suspect, not very proper but it does work to keep the pot from cooling down.

9. Steeping your tea. For black tea, steep anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. I like a good, strong cup of tea, so I tend to go the full time. You may want to set your timer.

10. Find a treat. If you want something to nibble on while drinking your tea, this is a good time to put that together. A few suggestions that have worked for me: two or three cookies or some chocolate on a pretty plate, a sliced pear, some leftover gingerbread. On the savory side, you could try a slice of leftover quiche or a few slices of cheese or some roasted almonds.

11. Almost there. Pour your warm milk into a pitcher and place it on the tray. After the time is up for steeping, remove the strainer from the teapot (if applicable) and replace the lid and the cosy. Put the teapot on the tray with the other accompaniments and retreat to your favorite tea drinking place. If at all possible, avoid your desk and computer.

12. Pouring and enjoying. Pour a some of the warm milk into your cup. Remove the cosy, pour in your tea and relax. Sip your tea, eat your treat and consider how even something as simple as drinking a cup of tea is a pretty marvelous way to spend your time.

Additional Notes:
A few recommended loose leaf black teas:
• Ancient Gold Black Tea from Samovar
• French Breakfast from Mariage Freres
• Golden Assam from Rishi Tea

Brewing up a pot of good quality loose leaf tea is a kitchen ritual that has saved my sanity more than once. There’s something about taking the time and care to do it right that soothes my soul and encourages contentment. Read on for my rather detailed step-by-step method for brewing a proper pot of black tea. But later in the day, I’m ready for a more refined experience and brewing up some good quality loose leaf tea is often just the treat I’m looking for.