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Category Archives: Gardening

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.

Arborists Can Help To Maintain Garden

The greatest advantage that you’ll get is skill and knowledge. An expert Arborist has a lot of mastery in all parts of tree trimming & pruning. He can solve issues quickly and easily without wasting much time. He will make recommendations to the homeowners on how to improve the health of the trees at their property. Remember, a renowned Arborist won’t just show up and take your cash for a low quality service. Top Arborists are known for their pledge to raise and maintain the standards set by the international community of Arborists.

A qualified arborist will have all the necessary insurances that are required to perform tree trimming, pruning, and removal tasks at your property. This is something you can’t afford to neglect since you can be held responsible for any mishap that may happen at your home/property, which might include damage or severe injury.

An Arborist will have all appropriate tools & equipment to perform all type of work. You may not know the fact that if a tool is used on a diseased tree, and later used on a healthy tree, then the disease might spread quite quickly. An experienced arborist will always have clean sharp tolls to make the right cuts and avoid any spread of the disease causing microorganisms.

A qualified and licensed arborist will have many references and testimonials that any new client can check to figure out the level of services offered by them. If you do this, then it will surely satisfy you as a client and furthermore give the arborist an excellent reputation. You can visit the official websites of the Arborist you’re planning to hire in order to check the testimonials and previous work done by them.

Keep Potted Plants Safe in Winter

Avoid exposing plants to temperature fluctuations – fluctuating temperatures are the main issue of winter. Going from hot and cold can stress roots and cause other side effects. For instance, it is common for such fluctuations to heave the plant out of the pot. That is easy to avoid when you place the pots on the ground and not on pavement. The main source of heath comes from the earth. A problem with pots on pavement is that it can get warmed up significantly during the day, elevating the temperatures. Then, when night comes, the temperatures drop, leading to unfavorable fluctuations.

Choose big pots – most expert gardeners agree that the larger the pot, the better for the plant. The reason is rather simple: with an increased volume of soil, the plant roots will be far better insulated. A small container doesn’t do a decent job at keeping roots safe from cold temperatures. A smaller container will also freeze faster and dry out roots quicker than a large one. For this reason, opt for a pot that is at least an inch thick.

Plant early – planting your flowers in containers and pots as soon as possible gives them enough time to harden off. That way, when winter comes around, plants will be healthy and mature, ready to tolerate the stresses of the season. Avoid planting in late autumn, as that is not sufficient time for plants to harden off. A cool trick you can borrow from gardeners is to pick plants that are used to hardiness two zones cooler from the one you are located in.

Find a proper location of the pot – the place of the pots also matters a lot. Ideally, you want to place pots on the north side of your property, with more shade. Any spot that experiences a great deal of sun is susceptible to big temperature swings and so should be avoided. Then there is also the interest factor: you want to put plants that have attractive features somewhere they will be easily seen. As such, place them near a window or your front door for easy exposure.

Wintering Water Lilies

Procedure to Winterize

Ideally the process of storing starts much before winter arrives, irrespective of you growing tropical water lilies. During late summer, stop pollinating this plant, this will send an indication to your plants that it’s time to be ready for winters. You will be able to sequentially witness the following:

First, the water lilies will start growing tubers. This ensures that they get food during winters. Secondly, slowly and steadily they will reach a dormant state, that slows down their system and helps them in protecting during winters.
Eventually, you will witness them growing small leaves during this time and their large leaves will turn pale and die. Now just when you have noticed this happen, you will be absolutely ready to take steps for wintering them.

Now let’s go to the second step-How to Store Water Lilies Over Winter

In case of hard water lilies, the guide to store them safely is to shift them to the most bottommost part of your pond. This in turn will protect them from recurring freezing and unfreezing and will further reduce the chance of water lily’s survival in the cold.

Wintering Tropical Water Lilies

In case of tropical plants, take out these beautiful plants from your pond, post the first frost. It’s imperative to check the roots first to ensure that the plant has developed tubers. In case of no tubers, it will be difficult for them to survive during the winter months.

Once you have pulled out this plant from the pond, place them inside the water. You can take different variety and shapes of water containers available in the market which is used to store these water lilies. One can even use an aquarium with an incandescent light, a container preferably a plastic one or a tub or plastic jug placed on a window shelf. The container could be of any sturdy material in which the plants get fully soaked in water and is exposed to eight to twelve hours of light, will surely work best for these water lilies. The best way is to grow them bare rooted inside the water and not grow in pots.

Algae Control

The presence of algae is the bane for any pond keeper because it results in loss of fish life and depletes precious oxygen. But, with a few simple and precautionary steps, you can control algae in a pond and maintain the tranquility of the garden.

1. Maintain the Ecosystem by Adding Floating Plants

To achieve a fine balance naturally, cover at least half of the water surface with floating plants like water lettuce, azolla, water hyacinth or duckweed. Apart from these, you can even add lotus or lilies. These plants multiply quickly and work as shade for the life beneath. The submerged plant like hornwort keeps the water cool and blocks excessive sunlight and keeps the algal growth at a bare minimum. Adding plants is a necessity because they compete with algae for dissolved nutrients.

2. Love Fishes? Do NOT cram them in one pond

Who doesn’t love to see fish roaming around in crystal clear water? But, ensure that you do not add them in excess in one pond. More fishes would mean more waste (through excreta and food) which would result in the fast algae bloom.

3. Keep Debris at Bay

For algae control, regularly clean the water surface with a pond vacuum, net or with AquaClear Pellets. Because when these dead leaves, debris, and sludge break down, they result in the growth of algae.

Control Coontail Moss

Let’s understand scenarios that can prevent the growth of Coontail.

1. Reduce the Use of Fertilizer near the water body- Chemicals such as Phosphorus and nitrogen foster the growth of weeds like Coontail.

2. Insert fish- Another effective way of curbing the growth of plant is to introduce grass carp inside the water body. These fishes eat all the weeds and grow tremendously, as a result of the nutrition gained through these hornwort.

3. Apply herbicide- Application of the herbicide is advised in case the plant grows exceptionally in leaps and bounds. Before applying a chemical such as Aquacide Pellets, we suggest that you first measure the area which is infested with Coontail and then apply the herbicide selectively.

Carefully read all the instructions related to the application of herbicide or call with specific questions. Herbicides such as Aquacide Pellets can be evenly distributed by hand broadcast using 100 to 150 pounds per acre.

4. What all You Need.

• Fishes like Grass carp, koi and other effective ones.
• Aquacide Pellets.
• Use shade-Limiting sunlight to the pond also restricts its ability to grow (Aquashade).

Best Season to control this plant – Ideally, herbicides can be best controlled during summers or spring season.

Red Flag

• It’s advised not to cut, pull out or rake Coontail- Unless it is uprooted, Coontail, like Milfoil can re-root by fragmentation.

• Treat the pond in tranches, cure one-third of the pond at a time with Aquacide Pellets every 7 – 10 days. Even application of the herbicide needs to be planned in a periodic manner.

In case you are still in a fix as how to go about treating a large patch, you should call only the experts. They will work out a solution for all your problems related to the maintenance of weeds.

Garden Maintenance for Autumn Months

The first thing you will want to do is remove dead plants from the garden. These are the plants that thrived in the warmer summer months and are now withered on the ground. By removing these plants the overall appearance of your yard will greatly improve. During the removal process, you may also choose to plant new flowers and vegetables in your garden. You should ensure these new additions are freeze resistant and plan on having a covering for them at night.

When you have the garden free from dead plants, you will then need to grab the garden blower and remove all the leaves. This will be something you should do on a weekly basis, as the trees will continue to lose their leaves for a few months. When they are done, you can then put the garden blower away for a few months.

Next, move your grass to remove the buildup that is beneath it. Carefully go in a straight pattern and don’t worry about getting the lawn too short, right now you are preparing to do some seeding and fertilizing that will prove to be important down the road.

When this is done, take a few moments to use a lawn rake to clean up the area. Take your garden blower to it one more time just to ensure there was nothing left behind as well. Then starting from the edge of your lawn, then working backwards fertilize your lawn. As you do this process, be sure you have an even coating across the entire area. When you are done, make sure you do a full watering to ensure that the area remains moist. In about a week, you will want to reseed your entire lawn paying close attention to any bare or yellow patches that might turn up after you have done the fertilizing process.

After you have setup your entire yard and have prepared it for the cooler months, be sure that you follow the next piece of garden care advice. You will need to take your sprinkler system and wrap it well. Any watering that you might need to do in the winter months should be done by hand with a detachable hose. This will help you to prevent freezing and having a sprinkler system that can cause your problems next year.

Make Oyster Mushroom Spawn

Are you tempted to buy oyster mushroom spawn for sale? Let us make some at home.

Materials needed:

• Get some cardboard
• Bucket to hold warm water
• Plastic containers
• Bowls
• Spoon, knife, and fork
• Aluminum foil
• Drill

Let us discuss the steps to make these types propagate at home.

Searching for mycelium

You have to find fresh fungi with stems that are intact. The stems are required for breeding. So while picking up edible fungi choose the ones with perfect stems. If you cannot find living stems or you are hesitant about the quality of local mushrooms whether they are poisonous, then go in for pre-made oyster mushroom spawn for sale. Mycelium helps in producing mushrooms under proper conditions. So make and nurture your spawn to produce quality mushrooms.

Multiplying:

Fill a big bucket with lukewarm water. You can make mushrooms proliferate with cardboard. While making a selection of cardboard, use the ones from those countries which do have environmental regulations. Avoid those cardboards which have toxic glues. Soak the cardboard pieces into this warm water for several hours. Drain the water and tear the cardboard layers to show the corrugated area. Place these back into the bucket and add the mushroom stems or pre-made spawn. Cover with extra cardboard. Keep them in the dark place. This process will take a few months. The spawn once it has multiplied, will be ready when you see a whitish coating on the box.

Planting:

When the spawn is ready for use, a substrate can be inoculated. Moisten and keep in a cool, dark place.

Consider starting your production commercially:

Need To Hire An Arborist

The professional arborists have the experience and knowledge to take care of the task without harming the tree or your property, and they’re also secured by insurance to ensure your assets remain safe if a mishap occurs. Before hiring, make sure that an arborist offers insurance protection in case any damage is done to the property or a person.

A noteworthy issue with DIY tree trimming, pruning, or removal is that the normal individual lacks in basic knowledge to figure out the possible dangers. For a normal homeowner, a tree may seem ordinary and healthy, but a qualified arborist can recognise the symptoms of disease, weakness, bug infestation that may require treatment or tree removal as a final solution.

Keep in mind that a qualified arborist can resolve tree issues that have effectively grown, yet can likewise prevent future issues by recognising and rectifying potential dangers. For example, a few trees develop in a pattern that in the long run drives them to become noticeably unstable, making it impossible to support their own weight.

If such trees are left untreated, then they can fall at any time unexpectedly, jeopardizing safety of everybody and everything in its way at any moment. However, if its condition is identified in advance, then it is possible to save the same tree. If the trees at your home have never been inspected professionally, then hiring an arborist is highly recommended, even if there’re no obvious signs of problems with the trees.

Budget Garden Sheds

Size

Sheds are usually measured in feet and inches, and are produced in many different shapes and sizes. The most popular sizes are 6×4, 7×5 and 8×6. As these sheds are manufactured on a big scale by a wide range of producers, they tend to cost less than more unusual sizes.

Wall construction

Shed walls can be divided into two main types: overlap and shiplap. Overlap sheds are the easiest to produce, and therefore the most cost-effective option. Their walls are made up of horizontal overlapping planks which form a series of sloping surfaces, like tiles on a house roof. This simple but effective design lets rain quickly flow off the shed walls before it gets a chance to soak into the timber. An advantage of this design is that if an individual plank gets damaged, you can quickly slot a new one in place without having to disturb any surrounding boards.

Shiplap sheds have a higher price tag but are sturdier and more weatherproof. This is because the wall planks are shaped to tightly interlock with each other. They also have an extra lip, or groove, between each panel to help rainwater run off easily, making them twice as watertight. In addition, these sheds are often made from superior timber which has been slow-grown for extra strength.

There is a third type of wall, also at the premium end of the market, which is often referred to as shiplap but is not quite the same: tongue & groove. While this is very similar, with a secure interlocking construction, it does not have the extra lip between each board.

Timber density

Check the thickness of the walls, roof and floor before making a choice. Ideally they should all be at least 8mm, and preferably 12mm. The roof and floor in cheaper sheds are nearly always made of chipboard (also called OSB, short for oriented strand board), whereas in high-priced models they are likely to be solid wood.

Roof covering

The cheapest type of roof covering is black mineral felt. It is also the thinnest, so needs careful fitting as it can be easily torn. Green mineral felt is thicker and more durable, but costs a little more. Both types are normally supplied in rolls, and have to be cut to size then nailed in place along the roof frame. Corrugated roofing sheets made from bitumen are also becoming popular, but are much more expensive.

Sheds are made with roofs in two main designs: apex (shaped like an inverted V) and pent (a single flat sloping surface). Both types cost about the same, but it’s a bit easier to fit covering to a pent roof as there is no centre ridge involved. You can also get reverse apex sheds, where the door is set in the long side wall instead of the front, but as these are less common they tend to cost more.

Timber treatment

You may have noticed that not all sheds are the same colour. This is due largely to the timber treatment used by the manufacturer to protect the shed from rot and insect attack. There are two types:

  • Dip-treated
  • Pressure-treated