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Category Archives: Gardening

Flower Gardening

Always consider the essentials. Your garden creation must have the proper amount of sunlight, fertilizer, soil, and water. If any of these are missing, your plants will suffer, and instead of a green garden that you can take pride in – you will be left with nothing but brown dead plant material. Make sure you always water the garden during periods of dry weather. If you are planting bulbs, you need to make sure they are planted deeply enough to take root. Perennials and bushes, when planted, should not have soil or mulch against their stems. The problem is that when it rains, the water is not easily absorbed into the root system. Also, the stem could rot from overheating.

Mix annuals with perennials. Annuals will only live for one season and then they have to be replanted the next. Annuals always die when the weather gets cooler. Perennials only need to be planted once and they will bloom for several years, although they will go dormant in the winter. Mixing the two will produce a beautiful garden that will require less work than annuals alone.

Chop of their heads to make more blooms. When the flower wilts, cut it off. This makes the plant produce more flowers. Do not throw the dead part into your garden or it may grow mildew and disease will kills your other plants.

Some insects are good. Do not try to kill all of them. Beetles, bees, and butterflies are all pollinators. They fertilize the plants for you buy transferring pollen from one plant to another. Most plants actually need insects in order to survive. Dung beetles together with bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms are needed to decompose dead plant material. This makes the soil more fertile and help s the plants in the garden grow healthier. Most of the insects in your garden actually eat the ones that cause damage. Aphids are terrible for a garden, but they are normally controlled by ladybugs, lace wigs and dragonflies.

Choosing an Outdoor Garden Fountain

SHAPE of the garden fountain is the next important thing to decide. This has less to do with garden space and more to do with you and what you prefer. You need to determine what suits your garden and more importantly, what expresses you and your lifestyle. Garden fountains come in a variety of shapes including animals and wildlife, statuary, tiered, pedestal, rock and wall, just to name a few. Deciding on the shape of your fountain may be your most difficult task.

TYPE of fountain water flow must be considered when you are deciding on a shape.

BUBBLING FOUNTAINS are the most versatile and perhaps best-suited for most home gardens. Typical design involves a single jet of water produced below the water surface in the center of a glazed pot. The water runs over the edges of the pot and runs quietly down the sides into a basin where it’s collected and recycled by a small pump. These fountains are perfect for smaller, intimate spaces since they don’t make much sound, just quiet bubbling.

SPILLING FOUNTAINS have water exiting from a spout and dropping unimpeded into a basin. Be sure you listen to these types of fountains before you make your purchase. They can produce quite a bit of sound. Even a single arc of water splashing into a basin can be too much sound for a small space. Unless it’s just a drip, the sound is energizing and active, not relaxing,

JET FOUNTAINS are perfect for large spaces since the water becomes rather architectural and rather dramatic. In a large space, seen (and heard) from some distance, these fountains can become a main focal point. But there are also simple, small-scale jet fountains for small spaces, too. The water hits the surface as multiple droplets and jet fountains are typically not as loud as spilling fountains.

Garden Flower Beds

Flower beds would always be one of the attractive portions of a garden. It makes the plantings and flower plants to appear even better. It also gives the garden a nice layout for better appearance. Flower beds are also best in segregating perennials to avoid mixtures of bordering. This scheme helps the separation of shrubs join flowers and small flowering trees for a more pleasing arrangement. Here are some helpful tips that can help you enhance your designs for garden flower beds:

(1) A wide size of flower bed is better. This is to allow the adding of graceful flowering trees and flowering shrubs that may grow as season changes. It also allows that lush and layered look for more planting opportunities. The flower beds should be at least 5-6 feet in width.

(2) Every flower bed requires a definition sense whereas a good line that will set them apart within the garden is a must. There are various lines that can be used for the flower beds. Among these lines include straight and curved lines. The straight lines give more elegance to the scene of a garden. However, the curved lines are the most preferred by some people since it gives a more elegant flower bed designs. Wiggly lines for curve lines on flower beds are not recommended since it gives a wavy pattern for the snakes.

(3) Planting in group for garden flower beds gives the impression of a well-planned garden. This idea is recommended by most garden experts to avoid jumbling look for the garden. Of course, planting in group is not recommended for those stand-alone plants that are in odd-numbered groupings.

(4) Check and monitor the height of your plants on the time that they are supposed to get tall or taller. It is best to give some tags on some plants for your reference on the next checking. In this way, you can easily monitor the change of size if needed for your garden flower beds.

(5) Create unity for your garden flower bed designs. Try to limit the colors and the sizes of the beds if possible. Make it more harmonious as well to give a more appreciating look for the garden. If needed or possible, you can put some specimens of other plants on the flower beds to make it more appealing.

Aquatic Weed Removal Tools

As a lakefront property owner, take a look around and you can spot so many tools, equipment, and herbicides. There are many sites where you can go to for a full list of great options for your specific situation. Also, certain states like Washington, Alaska, New York and Maine have stringent rules and regulations on chemical use. But hey, don’t worry, they often issue permits for application! If not, you still have several other options available for which you can get rid of those pesky weeds.

1. Weed Cutter

Pond owners willing to take a natural approach for the upkeep of their pond can resort to weed cutter for aquatic weed removal. It is a great manual tool with sharp blades. As you toss it inside the pond, it will slice through most aquatic weeds. The stainless steel sharp blades eliminate the weed from its base because it can reach shallow and deep parts easily.

2. Shovels

Use a shovel when you want to limit the weed population instead of complete eradication. The working of a shovel is such that you have to manually dig out the weed and cut it from its roots. For employing this method, you need to keep two things in mind –

A. The water level in the pond should be low so that the weeds become visible to the naked eye and you strike it off from its roots.

B. For prevention of algae and muck growth, you need to remove both the dead and decayed weed stalks too.

3. Rakes

Pond rakes are of two types – electric and manual. The electric rake will simply float around your swimming area and remove the muck and weeds whereas the hand-operated rakes will help you clear both the sticks, dead leaves, and other debris that gets deposited at the shoreline as well as the weeds inside the pond. Now handle even the most stubborn weeds with a pond rake equipment and turn back your pond into its pristine beauty.

Grow Veggies For Your Garden

Lettuce or Salad Leaves

Lettuce is something that grows very quickly and at the same time is easily harvested.

• You need to select a container which is about A 4-6 inches, this will easily accommodate 2-3 plants.
• Fill it with good quality mix of seed-starter which is moist
• Using your hands settle the soil a little
• Leave some space of 1-3 inches for watering as well as fertilizer
• Add the seeds of lettuce according to the directions given on the package and keep it in a location that gets some bright sunlight.
• Until the lettuce seeds sprout water the soil to keeping it moist
• Fertilize the plant as mentioned on the package and of the package is already containing fertilizer wait for 10 weeks before you add fertilizer again.
• Once you see the lettuce growing to 2-3 inches in height add organic layer of much at the top to keep the soil moist.
• Harvest the lettuce carefully not disturbing other roots around it and you can re-seed again every 2 weeks so that you get continuous production.

Tomatoes

Very popularly grown veggie in any sized garden, it can be grown inside hanging baskets and even other containers. You need to place them at a place where is lots of sun light and make sure they have some support for its stalks.

• You need a container of about 5-gallon
• Drill holes of about ¼ inches at the bottom of your container
• Place a layer of gravel of about 2-3 inches
• Then add ¾ bagged soil for potting to start with
• Add seeds of tomato according to the directions given in the package and place the pot in a sunny area.
• When you see the baby tomatoes growing add some fresh soil to the container, this will support its growing stem
• Do plant some marigold flower with the tomato plant to keep the bugs away
• Make sure it gets plenty of full sun light for 8 hours daily

Carrots

Again very easy to grow are carrots in your home garden and they need a good amount of sunlight as well like many other plants.

• Carrots should be planned to plant at least 3-5 weeks ahead the date of last spring
• Ideally they need full sunlight; however it can tolerate moderate extent of shade
• Carrots seeds should be planted in rows which should be around 3-4 inches apart from each other
• Ensure there are not stones in the soil you plan to plant carrots
• Mulch gently so the soil stays moist, blocks the sunlight reaching the roots as well as speeds germination
• When the plants are 1 inches in height snip with scissors and not by pulling which can damage the roots
• Water it once an inch every week
• Fertilize after 5-6 weeks of sowing
• Ensure it gets plenty of sunlight

Advantages of Smartweed

1. Smartweed as an Antioxidant

Oxidation of free radicals is the main reason behind aging. Antioxidant serve as the guard against it. You can definitely lessen the oxidation process with the intake of smartweed.

2. Smartweed for Cholera

A person gets afflicted to cholera when he either drinks contaminated water or eats adulterated food. The decoction of smartweed is the remedy to treat cholera. And it has been practiced by natural healers in the past.

3. Smartweed for Respiratory Ailments

If your respiratory tracts are congested, use smartweed. The herb has been used to treat cough, asthma, sore throat and respiratory infection.

4. Smartweed to Stop Excessive Bleeding

The lance-shaped wavy leaves are known to possess rutin that strengthens the fragile blood capillaries. It stops excessive bleeding.

5. Smartweed for Indigestion

The smartweed is known as the drug that prevents the accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal. So all the unwanted gas will be expelled from your intestine when you regularly take this.

6. Smartweed for Diuretic

If you are in the habit of going to the loo too frequently, add this ‘smart’ herb in your meal and stop becoming the laughing stock. The smartweed has the capability to stop the excessive passing of urine.

7. Smartweed as a Treatment of Piles

Intake of smartweed herbal medicine can treat piles medicinally known as hemorrhoids.

8. Smartweed as an Oral Contraceptive

Researchers have characterized smartweed as an anti-fertility drug. If you want to prevent conception, use smartweed as an oral contraception.

9. Smartweed for Treating Gastric Ulcer

The herb is known to be rich in quercetin, a flavonoid known to possess antioxidant properties which can help in treating the gastric ulcer.

10. Smartweed for Dysentery

Immerse the smartweed in cold water and let it sit in there for a while. Now, remove the herb and drink this herbal water and see the effect.

Care for Young Trees

The first 3-5 years are crucial for the health of the tree. With the proper tree care, you can up the chance of growing a healthy specimen. This in turn means reduced maintenance costs and minimises the potential issues that may develop. Make sure you follow the instructions below:

Watering – one of the most important aspects to looking after young trees is proper watering. Young trees can do with regular watering in order to fight off diseases. It is important to deep water them frequently in order to prevent surface roots. You can use the indication of soil moisture on how often to water. When the soil 4-6 inches below the surface of a tree feels moist (not wet), you should water. Be alert for drought symptoms, such as wilted, yellow/brown leaf edges. Mulch can greatly help with moisture retention in the soil. A 3-5 inch thick layer of mulch does wonders in that regard. Don’t rely on lawn irrigation, since light sprinkling for 5-10 minutes a day is only enough to moisten a few inches of the soil. Here are some practical watering instructions you should keep in mind throughout the life of a tree.

Year 1 – a few days after planting you should be watering every single day by filling the tree basin with 15 gallons of water. Reduce the amount of times you water to once a week within the next 3 weeks. The next 6 months you should fill the basin every other week for the remainder of the first year. At this point, roots require not just water, but also oxygen.

Year 2 – when rain is scarce, you should water every 2-4 weeks with about 15-20 gallons of water. Don’t water on the surface, because that creates water dependency and shallow roots. The goal is to water deeply but infrequently, so as to allow roots to seek moisture underground in order to develop properly.

Years 3-5 – watering once a month with 20-30 gallons of water is ideal. That maximises soaking and conserves water at the same time. Keep in mind prolonged dry periods, because proper watering during such times means the difference between a thriving and a struggling tree.

Weeding – despite the fact that trees usually tower over other plants, that can leave them deprived of nutrients and moisture. It is best to keep the base of the tree free from grass and other plants.

Deal With Duckweed in Pond

Control & Prevention of Duckweed

Duckweed elimination can be done using aquatic herbicides in the right proportion. But, this shouldn’t be your first step. As a preliminary step, you should always go for a manual removal. You may use a pond skimmer or a pond net and skim out as many weeds as you can. If possible, do this activity on a windy day because the plants (that you want in your pond) will compress on one side and you will be able to remove a lot. Once you have done this part, it’s time to take the next step so as to prevent its future growth –

1. Installation of a fountain

As already mentioned above, the reason behind its growth is the stagnant water and to curb this menace, install a simple fountain. There are primarily two benefits of having one in your garden pond –

A. Agitates the water surface: The fountain interrupts the water stagnancy and makes it difficult for the weed to spread and survive.

B. Water oxygenation: In a pond, there are two types of algae – aerobic and anaerobic. Aerobic is a healthy alga and one of its main tasks is to remove the excess nutrients from the water – the food on which duckweed thrives.

2. Installation of Bubble Aerator

A bubble aerator is good for eliminating duckweed infestations and keeping the pond healthy. It provides both surface agitation and deep aeration in a large lake or water body. So if your pond sees a lot of commercial or agricultural runoff, the healthy algae produced by bubble aerator will fight back.

3. Add Koi or Grass carp to the Pond

One of the highly recommended solutions for duckweed control are the addition of these aquatic grazers. They love duckweed and will consume it as their main source of food.

4. Chemical elimination

Fluridone is a very effective long term solution.

Hence, prevention and control of duckweed is not possible with just a single method alone. You need to use the aforementioned solutions in conjunction to see effective results. Thus, these control measures will prevent your pond from turning into a green one.

To Be a Great Gardener

Sowing

This is a very important part of growing a garden. When you sow your seeds, you need to water them using some warm water. Avoid using the ice-cold water as it ends up delaying the germination. After they germinate, it is important that you only handle the seedlings using the leaves since they are tougher than stems at this point.

Planting

When you are planting, then you need to think about every aspect of the process so as not to affect your plants negatively. Make sure you plant in the correct soil combination.

If you have the funds for it, then a greenhouse is definitely an amazing idea and definitely worth a try. Even a greenhouse that is not heated extends your season for growing your own good and increasing the summers. A greenhouse can be an invaluable addition to the garden as it can help you extend the range in the most incredible ways.

For real gardeners, it is important to listen to your own mood and do what you think should be done to improve the garden. You should choose the ideal time to move the plants as long as there is enough soil, shade, and a water source. This is what allows the plants to establish even more quickly.

It is important to act early. For example, if you feel young tree is not located in the ideal point, and then you need to move it early. Do not wait until such a tree has already matured so as to start thinking of ways to deal with it.

Vegetables

If you chose to grow your vegetables in pots, it is important to have a shade so as to slow down the bolting. You can use mulch to stop weeds from invading the vegetable area and this works well too. You need to consider which vegetables grow together. Doing this helps you make the most of the gardening experience by easing processes like pollination and so on.

Preparing Garden for Winter

Winter is an important time to maintain your garden’s health and assure yourself a good crop for next year. You may think that might take too long to prepare your garden, but the truth is that it takes less than one day to prepare your garden for the upcoming winter. When the nighttime temperatures drop to less than forty-five degrees Fahrenheit for more than four days in a row, or frost is forecast for your area (usually around late October or November) you know its time to begin preparing your garden. You should begin by evaluating your garden design, check which plants grew well in the past season, and which plants did not do well.

Fall is a good time to decide which plants will remain in you garden next year, and which ones should go. It is also a good time to decide which new plants you want to grow. To make your garden more colorful and healthy, be sure only to plant the more hardy plants during the fall so that they can withstand the winter.

Some plants that will do fine being planted in fall are: rudbeckia, Aster Novi-belgii, Anemone Japonica, panicle hyandea, endive, escarole, and Brussels sprouts. You can find all of these and more in gardening magazines or your local nursery. After you have finished this you should begin cleaning up your garden. Begin by pulling out weeds that may have cropped up, and raking fallen leaves. Weeds and rotten leaves can carry insects and diseases that might be harmful to your garden. You should also rid your garden of spent annual plants, and harvest your vegetables and other plants that cannot withstand the winter weather.

After fall has come and gone, the leaves will be off your trees and you can see the rotten branches. Trimming off the unwanted branches from your trees isn’t necessary to your gardens health, but may help later on by not dropping branches on your plants and not blocking too much of the sun. If you have younger trees you should consider wrapping them and supporting them with stakes to help them survive the winter wind and cold.

Putting mulch over your garden for the winter can be a helpful way to protect plants from sudden temperature changes and heavy snow. For mulch you can use about five inches of shredded bark, pine needles, or a variety of other materials. You have to be careful not to mulch too early, because some insects may still be alive and able to take shelter in it for the winter.