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Category Archives: Gardening

Easy To Grow Veggies

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

I hope this article will be of help for people looking to start a veggie garden!

Find 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.

SEASONAL or YEAR ROUND Another important factor to consider when deciding on a garden fountain is whether you want it functioning year round. A seasonal fountain must be shut down in the winter months if you are in a colder climate. Otherwise the water could freeze and cause damage. You may also need to relocate it inside to protect it from harsh temperatures.Year round outdoor fountains are heated and can be left running in the winter months. The two main types are solar powered or electrical.

Keep Potted Plants Safe in Winter

There are many challenges for your potted plants during winter: drying out, wind, sudden temperature drops and root damage, to name a few. Even hardy plants, which are acclimated to your zone, can sustain damage during the cold season. The top part of a plant may be dormant, but the roots don’t enter such a state. Any plant in a container will have its roots exposed to ambient temperatures. Here is how you can protect root systems in the 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.

Traits of Bermuda Grass

Positive Traits Of Bermuda Grass Lawns

Bermuda grass is one of the most economical turf choices when deciding on a new lawn type. This lower cost is due to how quickly a turf farm can grow a new crop of this grass variety and how many crops they can produce each year when compared to other lawn types suitable for warm climates, rapid growth rates mean cheaper prices for the customer.

Overall, Bermuda grass is a dependable and rugged lawn type, it can take quite a bit of neglect and still be restored back to health with relative ease, this dependable grass can resist and fight off many types of lawn pests and diseases and can be treated for pests and disease with almost all available weed, pest and fungus treatments, whereas many other lawn types may not be suitable for treatment with these same cures.

Lawn mowing heights can vary when growing Bermuda grass in different environments, it can be mowed higher in shade to make the lawn a little more shade tolerant, or it can be mowed very low with a reel mower when grown in full sun. With this said, this lawn type will not look its best nor will it keep well over time if the height of the lawn is kept too high.

Further, Bermuda has a beautiful soft and fine leaf which is suitable for children and pets to play on and is pleasing to the eye. Any damage from play will usually be self-repaired fairly quickly if the lawn is being kept in good overall condition, so backyard sports and a bit of mischievousness by the family dog will not trouble this lawn at all.

Drought tolerance of Bermuda lawns can be very high if the lawn is trained correctly to grow a deeper root system, via less frequent watering schedules.

Negative Traits Of Bermuda Grass Lawns

Along with all the positive traits of this highly popular lawn variety are some negative aspects which must also be taken into account and considered before choosing this lawn type. Keeping in mind also that there is no such thing as a perfect grass type, only a grass which is best suited to our own needs and requirements.

A Bermuda lawn which is regularly mowed at higher heights will be prone to thatch. De-thatching the lawn may be required every so often to keep this thatch level under control. Each lawn will be different as to any thatch buildup, with some lawns requiring de-thatching every year, and others once every several years or perhaps never.

Bermuda grass is a full sun turf, which will always perform at its best in full sun or high sunlight conditions. The more shade is apparent, the more likely the lawn will die off in these affected areas. So hoping that our Bermuda grass lawn will nicely grow from a full sun backyard and all the way under our favorite willow tree, may not be a reasonable assumption, that willow tree may just need to have some other type of shade tolerant ground cover under its drooping branches.

This lawn variety is also susceptible to almost all lawn weeds, pests and diseases. A healthy lawn will more naturally resist any infestation of these lawn problems, and almost all treatment options for weeds, pests and diseases will work very well with Bermuda turf.

Lastly, if the lawn is kept in good condition, this will mean that Bermuda grass will require more frequent lawn mowing due to its sometimes rapid growth rates during the warmer growing seasons. Which can be somewhat controlled by applying a little less fertilizer and water to the lawn. This same healthy growth rate can also see Bermuda grass runners creeping into surrounding garden beds a little more quickly than other grass types.

Ways to Preparing Garden for Winter

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.

Once you are finished with your gardening tools you should clean them and make sure they are in a safe place where they won’t rust and you know where they’ll be for next year. Before winter comes you should always set out slug repellent, as slugs are one of the worst bugs to have in your garden. If you have a pool or fountain in your garden, be sure to take out any fish that you have in them and bring them inside. There’s nothing sadder than a fish frozen in a block of ice.

Wooden Garden Shed

  1. To store small hand-held and large garden tools; manual and electrical
  2. A place to park the lawn mower, tiller, and other large gardening equipment
  3. Storing vegetables
  4. Cutting, planting, and transplanting plants
  5. Tool repairs

Many people prefer wooden constructed garden sheds rather than vinyl, resin, plastic, and various metal type sheds. It may be more expensive up-front, but lumber seems to have a longer life and therefore is less expensive. Wood is also easier to repair. The other types of sheds would need to be discarded and a new one purchased.

Plan before you start building. There are important considerations which need attention. Decide if you would like to build it or hire a contractor. Do you wish to assemble a shed kit or build it from scratch?

There is a wide variety of wooden type garden sheds which may be ordered from local sources or from online. Note any additional items which may be needed. These items may be concrete blocks, tools and other hardware accessories.

Manufactured sheds can be erected in a few hours or over a weekend. The do it yourself shed may also take the same amount of time or longer. There are variables for both situations.

If you’re anything like me I did window shopping, comparative price shopping, and talked to my friends and neighbors who had garden sheds for their opinions and experiences. Then I made my decision. In case you are curious, we decided to build a wooden shed as it could be designed and customized to meet our requirements.

Before you setup this is a list to review:

  1. Location
  2. Size
  3. Utility outlets (if electric and plumbing are to be installed)
  4. Local residential building codes, licenses, and permits
  5. Zoning requirements
  6. Location of underground cables
  7. Neighborhood restrictions
  8. Building inspections

The location of the shed needs to be in a clearing within short access to the garden areas and pathways for loading and unloading heavy gardening supplies. The size of this structure is determined by the tools and garden equipment which will be stored.

It is also critical to check overhead, underground, and around the placement of the proposed site. Are there any trees, shrubbery, or overhead wiring which may interfere with the structure? Before digging locate any underground cables, plumbing, or electrical wires.

Water and electrical utilities may or may not be essential. But if it is, planning is critical.

LED Garden Lamps

Types of Garden Led Lamps.

· Solar LED lamps, these are mounted outside with a built in solar panel that harnesses and stores light energy from the sun at day time, and at night the light up the place. These sorts of lamps can be used for both general purposes and security reasons.

· Electric low voltage lights, these LED bulbs utilize approximately 12 volts of energy from a transformer connected to the main power grid and are used to illuminate gardens and parks as well as entrances.

· Battery LED lamps; they have their source of power being a battery that can be recharged whenever they are drained off energy and example is a LED lamp candle. They are usually small in size and are placed on the tables surfaces or hang from the wall.

· Motion sensor LED lights. These are commonly security bulbs fixed with a motion detector device in them such that they switch on at the slight detection of movement. They are set on garden entrances or at areas that require security.

Tips to consider when shopping for LED lamps for a garden.

· The type of fixture available, different garden fixtures can be used and they, include tree hanging, wall mounting, or rope installations.

· The direction and purpose of lighting, different angles can be employed such as down lighting and unidirectional lighting. For security reasons, directional illumination is best while for ambiance purposes, any form is best as long as it creates the desired scene.

· Weather or the surrounding conditions, LED lamps are widely used in both extreme and normal conditions and thus its best to have lights that can handle outdoor conditions like rain and sunny conditions.

Duckweed in Pond

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.

Grow Shiitake Logs In A Home Garden

Identifying the log

This is another important step that comprises the process of growing shiitake. For Shiitake Logs you have to identify the best and get them from hardwood trees that are freshly cut. While the specifications of logs can change, you can cut them into suitable sizes to achieve your target. There are different trees from which you can cut sections of logs for Shiitake Spawns but make sure that you consult a professional with adequate experience to know the things in entirety. Buying mushroom logs for sale is another idea on which you can rely to enhance the production. It is the quality of the log that can boost the growth of mushroom. Once you have finished the process of getting the Shiitake Mushroom Logs you will be able to grow mushrooms on them for a long time. Logs need to be left for some time to allow the fungicides to die before you move on to the next step.

Buying and stuffing the spawn

Next is the step to get shiitake mushroom spawn whether in the form of sawdust, plugs or thimbles. There are a lot of online portals selling spawns needed for shiitake mushrooms offering different strains and varied characteristics. For each log, you will need a certain number of spawns. After this, you will need to drill holes in the logs and the entire thing is to be done around the circumference of the log. You have to plug spawn in the holes. After filling the holes with spawns you have to cover them with good quality wax which is food grade such as beeswax to avoid contamination.

Keeping the logs

You have to stack the logs against something or lay them on the ground, preferably on a bed of straw. Ideally, the place in which the logs are placed must be shady. However, air circulation must be proper and if there is scanty rainfall in the area, you can keep the logs moist. As a matter of fact, this is the trickiest part of growing shiitake mushroom on the logs. You might have to go through a few steps of trial and error before getting it right.

Growth of mushroom

Finally, the shiitake mushrooms will grow on the logs within a period of six to twelve months. If you are lucky enough the production can continue until springtime. You can expect the growth for about three to four years until the cellulose of the log is consumed fully and prepare for commercial selling if you want.

Aquatic Weed Removal Tools

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.