Preserve The Taste of Summer: A Guide to Harvesting and Storing Tomatoes
If you’ve ever tasted a perfectly ripe, juicy tomato right off the vine, you know there is nothing quite like it. Tomatoes are a summertime staple and bring so much flavor to the table. To keep your tomatoes as fresh and delicious as the day they were harvested, it’s important to understand the best techniques for harvesting and storing them.
In this post, we will share tips on how to harvest tomatoes like a pro and store them the right way so that you can enjoy the taste of summer all year long.
- The Perfect Time to Harvest
Harvesting tomatoes at the right time is essential for maintaining their flavor and freshness. Tomatoes are ready to be harvested when they have reached a deep red color, but there are other signs to look out for. If the tomato has softened slightly and the stem begins to crack, this indicates that it is time to harvest.
Make sure to also check for any discoloration, bruising, or spots; if these are present, the tomato is not suitable for harvesting. When you harvest tomatoes, make sure to use a gentle touch, as they can easily be damaged.
It is important to pick them at their peak ripeness. This will ensure that the flavor of the tomatoes is retained and that they remain fresh for longer periods of time. Consider picking several tomatoes over the course of a few days, so that you can enjoy them in their optimal condition.
- Gently Remove the Fruit
Harvesting tomatoes is a delicate process that requires care to ensure the tomatoes stay fresh and delicious. To start, identify which tomatoes are ripe and ready for harvesting. When you set out to harvest tomatoes, look for tomatoes that have a deep red color and are slightly soft to the touch.
Once you’ve identified which tomatoes to harvest, handle them with care to avoid bruising. Gently grasp the tomato in your hand, and rotate it back and forth while pulling lightly until it comes away from the vine. Avoid pulling or jerking the tomato, as this could cause damage to both the fruit and the vine.
When harvesting tomatoes, use both hands whenever possible to help protect the fruit and make sure they don’t slip out of your grip. Placing the tomato in a shallow basket or a bucket is also helpful to prevent any accidental drops.
- Rinse Them Off
Once you have harvested your tomatoes, you will need to rinse them off. This is an important step in preserving the freshness and taste of your tomatoes. Start by filling a large bowl with cool water.
Place your tomatoes in the bowl and let them soak for a few minutes. This will help remove any dirt or debris that may be stuck to the tomatoes and ensure that your tomatoes are free from bacteria or other contaminants that could affect their taste or safety.
- Let Them Air Dry
Once you have harvested the tomatoes, it’s important to let them air dry. Place them in a single layer on a countertop or cutting board and allow them to sit for one to two days before storing them. This will help reduce any excess moisture and will prevent mold from developing.
If your tomatoes are a bit too ripe or soft, you can cut them up and turn them into sauces, salsas, and other delicious recipes!
The Best Way to Store Tomatoes
If you own a garden or have been to one where tomatoes were grown, you would understand how satisfying and fun it is to harvest tomatoes. Harvesting tomatoes can be a rewarding experience, and one of the best ways to ensure that you get the most flavor out of your tomatoes is to harvest them properly.
Once you have harvested your tomatoes, it’s time to move on to the next step: storing them.
Storing tomatoes in the right conditions is essential for maintaining their flavor and texture. To do this, tomatoes should be kept at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and on a flat surface in a single layer. The best place to store them is in a dark, dry location, such as a pantry or cupboard.
Do not place them in the refrigerator, as this will cause them to lose their flavor and texture. For optimal freshness, store tomatoes in small batches and check them every few days for signs of spoilage.
While you are at it, if you notice any soft spots, mold, or other signs of decay, discard those tomatoes immediately.
Harvesting tomatoes is one of the joys of summer. When done right, you can ensure that your tomatoes stay fresh and flavorful for longer. Now that you know how to properly harvest tomatoes and store them, you can enjoy the taste of summer all year round!
Which Are the Еasiest Vegetables to Grow (and How to Grow Them)
Have you ever considered taking up gardening? It is a wonderful activity and hobby for many. It beautifies your surroundings and provides a vast plateau of health benefits. It’s a great way to get some exercise, reduce stress and even boost your vitamin D intake.
In this article, we will show you the many benefits of gardening, what you need to get started and which are the easiest vegetables to grow as a beginner.
The Many Benefits of Gardening and Why It’s Great
Gardening is a fantastic way to get outside, enjoy the fresh air and soak up some sunshine. It is also an excellent form of exercise that can help you burn calories, build strength, increase flexibility and improve cardiovascular health. Not to mention that it can also be a great way to spend time with family and friends or just to enjoy some peaceful time alone.
In addition to the physical health benefits, it has been proven to impact your mental health positively. Numerous studies have shown that spending more time with nature helps you avoid stress and anxiety. It also improves mood and even reduces the risk of dementia.
Taking up gardening indirectly boosts your vitamin D intake. You can bask in the sun’s rays by spending time outside in your garden. Of course, always make sure to wear sun-safe gear, such as a hat and sunglasses. Needless to say, during the more extreme heat, you should also apply sunscreen to avoid burns.
What You Need to Get Started on Your Gardening Journey
If you’re looking to get started in the wonderful world of gardening, there are a few things you’ll need to get yourself in advance:
- Gardening gloves – A good pair of gloves will help protect your hands from cuts, scratches, and dirt. Moreover, nowadays, you can find some pretty fancy in stores that will add some more fun to your hobby.
- Watering can or hose – Water is essential for plants to thrive, so having a watering can or hose to keep them hydrated is a must. You need to consider the size of your garden and the type of plants you want to add before choosing the best option.
- Soil – Good soil is crucial for healthy plants. You can buy it at a gardening store, or you can make your own by using compost. Remember that you need to have healthy soil, so your plants can be healthy too. Additionally, you should check what type of soil the plants you want prefer before buying any.
- Seeds or seedlings – Whether you get them online or from the gardening store, it’s best to start with plants that are easy to grow. A fantastic way is to collect seeds from plants you already have access to, like tomatoes. You can also ask friends and family to give you some of theirs.
- The perfect place – Finally, you’ll need to choose a spot for your garden. The ideal location in your garden has a lot of sunlight. You’ll also need to ensure the area is well-drained so your plants don’t get too wet.
Once you have the essentials, you must decide what type of beds you want for your garden. You need to decide this before the planting process. Of course, there are a few options to consider:
- Pots – if you have limited space in your garden, pots are the ideal solution for you. They come in all shapes and sizes, providing much-needed flexibility for your crops. Many common plants grow well in pots, such as tomatoes, lettuce, beans, peppers and radishes.
- Raised beds – If you have a more spacious garden, then raised beds are ideal for you. They are a very cheap option that makes for a great weed barrier. The downside to raised beds is that they are not easily movable, unlike pots.
- Directly in the soil – This is the traditional method of growing vegetables, which has been used for centuries. To make this method work, you must first till and amend the soil.
- Tilling – Tilling is relatively straightforward nowadays as you can borrow or rent a tiller, making the work much easier. Before you add any soil amendments, consider testing your soil to check what it needs. An advantage of sowing directly in the soil is that it’s ideal for companion planting.
The Easiest Vegetables to Grow
Gardening is supposed to be fun. Yes, we can grow our food, which is part of our survival skills, but it must be fun. Along with that, growing vegetables is not that hard to do. Many vegetables are pretty easy to be grown and require little gardening maintenance. Some of these are:
- Tomatoes – They are an excellent choice for beginners as they are easy to grow and produce a lot of fruit. They thrive in warm weather and look beautiful in your garden. Moreover, there are a lot of different kinds in different colours and flavours you can try to grow.
- Leafy Salad Greens – The easiest varieties to look after indoors are spinach, kale, and arugula. It takes them about 30 days to grow, and they do not require special attention. They prefer warm weather and grow best at 15.5°C. In no time, you will be able to create the perfect salad for your healthy diet.
- Zucchini – This is a fast-growing vegetable that is easy to grow and produces a lot of fruit. They need 6 hours of direct sunlight each day, so choosing a sunny spot is vital.
- Carrots – Carrots are very space-efficient as they don’t require much room to grow. They do, however, require deeper soil than other veggies. Like salad greens, they are
cool-tolerant and thrive at around 60° F(15.5°C).
- Radishes – They are one of the easiest vegetables to grow and can be harvested in as little as four weeks. They do not require much sunlight. What you need to take into consideration if you decide to grow radishes is that you need to leave enough space for their bulbs to grow.
In conclusion, gardening is a great way to get out into the sun, exercise, and improve your overall health and well-being. It doesn’t require a lot of equipment, and you can start with easy-to-grow vegetables. So, grab your gloves, trowel, watering can, soil and seeds, and start your gardening journey today!
Why Should You Consider Planting Spring-Planted Bulbs in Your Garden?
Spring is a great time to plant bulbs in your garden! Not only do they add a pop of color, but they also provide a number of benefits. In this blog post, we’ll outline the benefits of planting spring planted bulbs in your garden. We’ll discuss what bulbs are, what flowers come from bulbs, how to plant them, when to plant them, and how to care for them. So, go ahead and plant some spring-planted bulbs in your garden this spring!
What Are Spring Bulbs?
Do you love the beauty and colors of springtime? If so, then you should consider planting spring bulbs in your garden. Spring bulbs are a popular type of flower that is planted in the springtime. They come in many different colors and are known for their beautiful blooms. Not only do they add beauty to your garden, but they are also easy to care for.
When selecting spring bulbs for your garden, it’s important to choose ones that look good together and have a variety of colors. Some of the most popular types of spring bulbs include tulips (a yellow bulb), daffodils (a blue or purple bulb), crocuses (a white or multicolored bulb), and hyacinths (an orange or yellow flower). When selecting which ones to plant, it’s best to choose a mixture so that your garden looks colorful throughout the year.
What Flowers Come from Spring-Planted Bulbs?
There’s no better way to add color and brightness to your garden than by planting bulbs. Not only are they easy to care for, but they also come back year after year. When choosing which bulbs to plant in your garden, it’s important to consider what flowers you want them to produce. Some common bulbs you can plant include tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses. All these bulbs will produce beautiful flowers that will add a touch of color and brightness to your garden. You can also choose to plant other types of bulbs, such as grape hyacinths or lily-of-the-valley bulbs. These plants produce smaller flowers but are very fragrant.
The Advantages of Planting Spring-Planted Bulbs
Do you love the look of brightly colored flowers in your garden, but you don’t have the time or energy to tend to them? Planting spring-planted bulbs is a great way to add color and interest to your garden without any of the work. Bulbs are easy to care for and require very little maintenance—all you need is some water and sunshine. Plus, bulbs can be planted in a wide variety of locations, including in pots and containers. This makes them perfect for adding interest to any area of your garden.
Another advantage of planting bulbs is that they are relatively inexpensive. You can buy a large container of bulbs for just a few dollars, and they will last for many years with proper care. Plus, bulb plants are relatively easy to transplant if you ever want to move them somewhere else in your garden. Last but not least, planting bulbs is a great way to add color and brightness to your garden all year long!
How to Plant Spring Bulbs?
Color is one of the most important factors when it comes to garden design, and spring-planted bulbs are a great way to add some extra color to your landscape. Not only are they beautiful on their own, but they also provide a wonderful contrast against the cooler colors that will be in season during the summer. Spring-planted bulbs are easy to plant and care for, and there are a variety of different varieties available that will perfectly complement your garden.
When Should You Plant Spring Bulbs?
With the arrival of spring, it’s time to start thinking about planting bulbs in your garden. There are a variety of beautiful bulbs that can be planted in the spring, and they’re easy to care for, making them a great choice for someone who wants to add color and interest to their yard without much effort.
Consider the season when deciding which bulb to plant in your garden. Spring-planted bulbs will typically bloom earlier than bulbs planted in the fall, so make sure you choose the right one for your garden. There are a variety of different types of spring-planted bulbs to choose from, so find one that will fit well into your landscaping. With a little planning and effort, you can have a beautiful garden that blooms all year.
How to Care for Spring-Planted Bulbs?
Spring is a wonderful time to plant bulbs in your garden. Here are a few tips on how to get started:
First, be sure to research which types of bulbs work best for your garden and climate. Some popular choices include tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and crocuses. Once you’ve selected the bulbs you want to buy, purchase them in advance so that you have plenty of time to plant them in the ground or in pots.
Once you have your bulbs home, it’s time to take care of them! Make sure that their soil is moist but not soggy – this is crucial for bulb growth. Water them regularly during dry weather, and be sure not to overwater them, as this can damage their roots. When the flowers start blooming, cut the stems close to the ground so that the bulb will continue flowering indoors. After the flowers fade away (usually around mid-March), allow the foliage (orchids tend not to shed their leaves) to die back naturally. Enjoy your beautiful spring-planted bulbs!
Spring bulbs are a great way to add color and life to your garden. Planting these bulbs will provide you with beautiful flowers throughout the spring and summer. Bulbs are easy to care for and can be planted in almost any type of soil. Be sure to plant your bulbs in the fall so that they have time to establish themselves before the first frost. With a little love and care, your spring bulbs will thrive and bring you enjoyment for years to come.
5 Tips to Grow the Perfect Garden
Everyone wants a perfect garden, but not everyone knows how to get one. There are a lot of variables to consider when growing a garden, and it can be overwhelming for even the most experienced gardener. With these five tips, you’ll be well on your way to having the perfect garden in no time.
Start With Good Soil
A healthy garden starts with good soil. Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with naturally fertile ground. Good soil will provide the nutrients your plants need to grow strong and healthy. You’ll want to ensure it has a good mix of minerals and organic matter.
You can test your soil to see what nutrients it’s lacking and then add in any needed amendments. Hiring an experienced Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) team to analyze your soil quality is also a good idea. They will ensure that you comply with local, state, or federal regulations. Soil that is free of contamination and adequately balanced will give you the best chance of success and protect you from potential legal issues.
Water Your Plants Regularly
Proper watering is essential for any healthy garden – too much or too little water can be disastrous. Garden plumbing Irrigation systems are especially helpful in maintaining consistent and even moisture levels throughout your garden. You can also install a rainwater harvesting system to help you save money on water bills and conserve more water for your plants.
Choose Plants That Are Suitable for Your Climate
Before you start planting, make sure you research what plants will thrive best in your geographical area. Not all plants can withstand the same weather patterns and temperature variations, so it is crucial to choose wisely. You can check with your local garden center or consult an expert to determine which plants will work best.
Protect Your Plants From Pests
Insects and other pests can wreak havoc on even the healthiest of gardens if left unchecked. Whether it’s rabbits munching on your vegetables or aphids sucking the life out of your roses, pests can quickly ruin a healthy garden. However, you can take a few simple steps to protect your plants from these pesky invaders.
One of the best ways to keep pests at bay is to choose naturally resistant plants. For example, marigolds repel many common garden pests, including rabbits and deer. Another effective method is to create a barrier around your plants using netting or chicken wire. This will block pests from being able to reach your plants, and it can also help to deter birds from eating your fruits and vegetables.
Have the Right Tools
You need the right tools in order to grow a perfect garden. From spades and hoes to rakes and trowels, having the right tool for the job can make all the difference in your garden’s appearance.
You only need a few basic skills to get started, but if you’re serious about getting professional-looking results, investing in higher-quality tools is worth the extra cost. You’ll also want to ensure you have a good supply of gloves, kneeling pads, and other personal protective equipment to keep you comfortable while you work. With the right tools, you’ll be on your way to growing the perfect garden in no time.
Growing a perfect garden takes dedication, knowledge, and the right tools. By following these tips, you can give your plants the best chance of success and create a beautiful garden that you can be proud of. With patience and practice, soon, you’ll have a lush landscape that will bring joy to you and your family for years to come.
5 Ways To Keep Garden Tools In Top Condition
Garden tools are essential tools any homeowner should have. These tools are necessary if you have a yard or a garden at home. Some people genuinely enjoy tending their gardens. But only some appreciate the art of gardening. Nevertheless, if you’re an avid gardener, you probably know the importance of maintaining your garden tools.
Maintenance is essential if you want your equipment to last as long as possible. It isn’t something that’s particularly taxing with garden tools. However, discipline is crucial to staying on top of maintenance. While you should aim to buy quality tools because they’re usually durable, understand that you still need to maintain them properly.
Different kinds of maintenance are required for garden equipment. Most tools must be cleaned, sharpened, or lubricated to remain in good condition. It’s fair to say that staying on top of maintenance isn’t always easy. It is nonetheless significant. Fret not. Below is a guide to help you keep your garden tools in top condition.
- Store Tools In A Cool, Dry Place
It is best to keep your tools in cool, dry places. It keeps your tools from rusting over time. You should also avoid leaving your garden tools outside, where they get rained on. It is a common mistake some people make. It would help if you also kept an eye out for damp soil, which can cause rusting. So, before storing your garden tools, be sure to clean them. So, it would be best to keep them somewhere safe and dry, like a storage box. Outdoor storage boxes are waterproof and ideal for storing garden tools.
- Clean Your Tools Regularly
Garden tools tend to have high usage rates. As a result, cleaning them after each session is always a wise practice. However, realistically, this isn’t always possible, necessary, or practical. Nevertheless, it would help if you made an effort to clean your gardening tools regularly. It is especially true for the cutting tools you use the most. Secateurs are a popular tool. They have high usage rates and are prone to getting rust from the sap that sticks to the blades.
As a result, you must clean your equipment with soapy water. It will remove any germs or pests that may have begun to build on them. It’s also critical to keep your instruments clean to avoid spreading weed seeds. Consider using a brush to remove tough dirt from tools covered in grime. If you don’t have time to dry them, please brush them off before storing them. It’s also a great idea to keep all your rags, used towels, and t-shirts for cleaning your tools.
- Sharpen Tools Regularly
It is not always necessary to sharpen your tools every time you use them. Most tools, however, must be sharpened regularly. Blunt blades, knives, clippers, or other tools are inefficient and hard to use. They may even slow you down in doing jobs you typically complete in a short time.
Take lawn mower blades, for example. Blunt mowing blades most likely reduce the quality of the finished product and may damage the motor. These blades may also need to be regularly lubricated to ensure they move freely. Also, if any of those blades are damaged, ensure to replace them as soon as possible. It is just one example. But other tools with hinge connections need to be oiled or lubricated regularly.
- Clean Wooden Handles
Some individuals make the error of disregarding tools with wooden handles. Spades, forks, and loppers are examples of tools with wooden handles. Check them at least once yearly to verify they’re in good condition. Examine the wood for splinters. Consider sanding the wood to smooth out the surface. If you’re unsure, visit your local tool store. They should be able to assist you with the sanding procedure. Then, to give the handles a polished appearance, use specific oil. Finally, you can store them once finished.
- Remove Rust
Rust is a significant contributor to the shortening of the life of your tools. As a result, it must be addressed as soon as possible. If you discover any rust, ensure you don’t keep your tool in that condition. It will only worsen and become more difficult to remove. You can remove rust from your tools by soaking them in vinegar. Add salt to the solution to make it more potent. It may be necessary when dealing with tough rust.
You must keep up with garden tool maintenance if you want your tools to last as long as they should. Tool maintenance isn’t hard, but it requires effort and dedication. You may not always feel like cleaning your tools regularly. But always strive to clean your tools after usage and sharpen them regularly. Proper maintenance is the only way to keep your equipment in good condition.
Take Your Garden To the Next Level By Using These Tools
Gardening is a very personal hobby. But there are plenty of tools that can make it more productive and easier to manage. So why not take advantage?
Use the right tools for the job. As gardening enthusiasts, we can get overwhelmed when faced with the prospect of trying to keep our yard or garden beautiful and lush.
This is why we decided to share a collection of gardening tools that would help you beautify your garden or lawn faster, easier, and more efficiently than before.
Our list will feature everything you need to keep your garden looking amazing from start to finish.
Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just getting started, we’ve rounded up the best gardening tools that will make your job easier—and even help you enjoy the process.
1. Get a wheelbarrow for heavy garden chores
The first piece of advice that I thought would make the most sense would be to get a wheelbarrow.
Wheelbarrows are very useful to help transport large amounts of material around the yard and garden. They are made to do this. They have handles, so it’s easy to move them around.
Some wheelbarrows are even equipped with a platform that allows you to work from the ground. It’s a good idea to get a wheelbarrow for your garden, especially if you have a lot of heavy gardening tools. It would make your life easier.
2. Create raised beds to maximize space
Raised bed gardens are often used in small urban spaces. They allow for greater plant diversity, offer a view, and can serve as additional storage and composting space.
By growing plants up off the ground, you also minimize the risk of weed growth and pests while increasing air circulation. Raised beds can be constructed out of wood, stone, brick, concrete, and even recycled tires.
Raised beds give gardeners a whole new perspective on their soil. Instead of fighting weeds, they can grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers with ease. Raised beds are a lot like terraces; they’re built up so that it’s possible to put plants directly in the soil, giving you more room to grow food.
3. Add a drip irrigation system to your garden to improve your soil
Soil is the foundation of a thriving garden. Without healthy soil, nothing else will grow. But there is one simple thing you can do to give your soil a boost that will help you grow even better plants in your garden: add a drip irrigation system. A drip irrigation system, if used correctly, can make your soil incredibly fertile and help you grow some very large plants.
4. Invest in a fertilizer spreader for a fast, efficient garden application
Fertilizer is a necessity in any gardening endeavor. No matter what type of plants you grow, if you don’t apply the correct amount of fertilizer, you’ll end up in a weed-infested garden with poor-looking and unhealthy plants.
In addition to getting the proper amount of fertilizer, the ideal time for applying it is also essential. When the plants have just emerged from the ground, but before they have developed a mature root system, is the perfect time for fertilizing.
Don’t use a hand hoe for spreading fertilizers. By hand, you’ll have to walk back and forth with the fertilizer and then walk back and forth to get it into the ground. This isn’t the best use of your time. Plus it’s hard on your back and arms. Using a fertilizer spreader is just one of the handy things for a gardener.
5. Buy or build a greenhouse to protect seedlings from late-spring frost
In springtime, some plants go through a long period of cold, sometimes very cold, weather. Seedlings need protection during this time, because if temperatures drop too low, they may die. Greenhouses are the best way to keep plants warm and healthy during this vulnerable time.
In order to protect your plants from freezing temperatures, you need to cover the plants with blankets. During winter, a greenhouse is a necessity.
If you live in a warm climate, you won’t need to use the greenhouse in the winter. But if you live in a cold place, you’ll definitely need to use a greenhouse.
Plants are more likely to survive if they stay warm, so you should never leave a plant outside during winter. A greenhouse is necessary.
In conclusion, whether you have a big or small garden, you need to find tools that fit the job at hand and that are affordable. They can range from a simple shovel, rake, or watering can to something more complex like a tiller or a greenhouse.
Tools that you use every day will become your best friends and help you accomplish the tasks much faster than you would without them.
There are plenty of tools and techniques out there that can help you cultivate your garden. But, the number one tool to get the most out of your plants is simply to be patient.
You’ll see results sooner or later, and when you do, you’ll want to remember the time you invested into learning how to properly take care of your plants.
Creating a Butterfly Sanctuary in Your Garden
Butterflies are some of the most important contributors to our environment. They’re proven to be hardworking and effective pollinators, and their presence determines the stability and health of an ecosystem. Lately, they have also become valuable in promoting tourism. For instance, Texas holds its annual Butterfly Festival in October, where you can see more than 300 species of free-flying butterflies. Butterfly spotting has also become extremely popular, and people often go to butterfly sanctuaries such as the Monarch Butterfly Sanctuary in California and the Magic Wings Butterfly House in North Carolina to see and admire these insects up close.
Since research has found that there is a 2 percent decline in butterflies every year, it’s important to find ways to protect them and provide a safe place where they can thrive. A garden can be the perfect place to help butterflies survive– here’s how to transform your outdoor space and make them the ideal place for these beautiful and brightly-colored winged creatures.
Choose the Right Plants
Brightly colored flowering plants such as phlox, marigold, lantana, heliotrope, and lavender, as well as plants and herbs such as milkweed and mint are attractive to butterflies, and having them in your garden may encourage these insects to visit your outdoor space frequently. But if you want to create a haven for them, then you need to have plants that female butterflies will want to lay eggs in, as well as caterpillar host plants. These include pussy willow, sulfur buckwheat, honeysuckle, blueberry, lilacs, and ivy. Since butterflies prefer a somewhat wild garden with long grass and some weeds here and there, designate a spot in your outdoor space for your butterfly sanctuary, then keep the rest of your garden looking neat and orderly.
Meanwhile, if you want to keep butterflies off certain parts of your garden, such as the places where they can get accidentally trampled on by kids and pets, then make sure that they’re free of grass, or mow these spots frequently. Caterpillars like to eat the roots of native types of grass, and butterflies also like to make them their breeding grounds. Maintaining your lawn with a zero turn mower is a great option because it’ll prevent butterflies and caterpillars from getting injured or killed.
Make a Place Where Butterflies Can Bask
Butterflies need an open, airy, and sunny space where they can bask. Since they’re cold-blooded creatures, they need the heat of the sun to warm up the tiny muscles in their wings so they can take flight. In the morning and on cool days, you’ll likely see butterflies spending a lot of time under the sun with their wings spread. Make sure that there are several spots in your garden where butterflies can do this, and avoid putting plants in these areas. Also, since butterflies need certain minerals from the earth that they can’t get from flowers, you’ll need to have spots called puddlers, where they can siphon these minerals from the soil. To make a puddler, place an old basin in the butterfly sanctuary and fill it with sand, a little water, and a bit of salt. Once the water evaporates, you’ll be left with damp sand where butterflies will love to drink from or puddle in.
Avoid Using Pesticides
The use of pesticides and chemical-based fertilizers in gardens is one of the main reasons why butterflies are dying out. Avoid using these in your outdoor space, and if you truly have to get rid of pests, consider using a DIY or organic pest repellent. Horticultural oils will get rid of pests, such as aphids, without harming pollinators. You should also keep your garden clean and be on the lookout for any signs of infestation every day so you can deal with the problem swiftly before it spreads to other parts of your garden.
There’s nothing quite as magical and charming as the sight of fluttering butterfly wings in the air. Consider these tips to create a butterfly sanctuary in your garden so you can do your part to protect and conserve these amazing pollinators.
How to Make the Most of Your Small Garden
Limited outdoor space needn’t limit your dreams of nurturing a flourishing garden. With some creative solutions and ingenious tricks, you can easily maximise the potential of even the tightest of spaces!
With small gardens, it’s crucial to utilise every inch of available space. Creating a vertical garden does just that. By using walls, archways, trellises, fences, and window boxes, you not only maximise your potential growing area but adding height to the garden also creates the illusion of space by drawing the eye upwards.
Succulents can be grown in even the smallest cracks and crevices in boundary walls. Climbers like passionflower and clematis need very little square footage on the ground to produce beautiful blooms, and hanging baskets provide the perfect home for pretty flowers like trailing lobelia and verbena, without using up precious floor space.
Create Different Levels and Zones
It may seem peculiar, but splitting up a small space can actually make it seem much larger. Concealing areas using trellises, hedges, and low walls tricks the mind into thinking there’s more to discover than there really is, giving the garden an air of mystery and intrigue because not every part can be seen at once.
Raised beds can be simple to build and are a great, practical way to divide your garden. They provide plenty of growing space for plants and even double up as seating areas if the sidewalls are wide enough. They can also be constructed in just about any size and shape imaginable, perfect for utilising awkward corners! Consider staggering a few raised beds of different heights, as creating multiple levels and layers will add to the illusion of space by introducing diverse depths and perspectives.
Scarce storage can be problem in small gardens. Affixing shelves, hooks, or even old boxes and crates to vertical surfaces offers nifty storage solutions for tools, plant pots, and other gardening paraphernalia. Disguise unsightly wheelie bins and maximise growing space by installing a wooden storage unit with a miniature green roof that can be used for shallow rooted plants and herbs.
Be Creative With Colour
Colour choices are really important in small spaces. Opt for lighter colours on boundary walls and fences, as these reflect light, making the area feel more spacious. This doesn’t necessarily mean white; light blue, off-white, and pale grey all bring a contemporary but airy feel to the garden. Alternatively, mimicking the colour of your foliage by using a natural green paint will give the impression of bountiful borders that extend far beyond your boundary.
Ingenious planting can bring a sense of abundance in a small space. Select plants that don’t spread wildly, taking up too much space. Create the illusion of depth by choosing plants of varying heights, structures, and textures. Ornamental grasses will add fluidity and movement to a small border, whilst tall flowering plants like lupin, honeysuckle, or salvia add a hint of drama with their vivid blooms and towering height, all requiring minimal ground space.
If you want to create a vegetable garden, choose crops like tomatoes and beans which grow vertically. Strawberries are happy in hanging baskets, and chilis are perfectly content in a small pot or container.
Most importantly of all, small gardens tend to be much less labour-intensive than bigger spaces, requiring minimal maintenance and leaving you with plenty more time to relax and enjoy your petite, but perfectly formed, garden!
Garden Care Advice – Is Your Garden Prepared For Summer?
Summer is a time of the year when you spend more time in your garden than in any other home area. The warms of the sunshine, a refreshing summer breeze, and the birds’ harmony teething all around you, what is there not to love about this time of the year.
Now is the perfect time to kick yourself into action and get some gardening done. In this article, we will be covering the essential jobs that every homeowner needs to complete to prepare the garden for summer.
Is Your Garden Ready For Summer?
Your garden might be a place that you spend most of your time in during the summer, so it is crucial that you make sure it is ready to use before the summer gets into full swing. To do this, you will need to do a few things:
De-weeding The Garden
Weeds are a real pain in any garden, but you can get rid of them by getting de-weeding done. This isn’t a term that most people are familiar with, but it is something that is done in many gardens each summer. If your soil is moist, you will be more susceptible to weeds growing in your garden. This is because weeds are not only a nuisance, but they also take away nutrients from the plants in your garden, making them look less vibrant. To de-weed your garden, you will need to hire a gardening company that offers de-weeding services, or you may want to purchase a garden sprayer.
Cutting The Lawn
If you want to enjoy relaxing in your garden this summer, then you will need to make sure you take care of your lawn. A lawn can look great when it is fully grown, but if you don’t take care of it properly, it can look shabby in a matter of weeks. To cut your lawn at the right time, you will first need to determine what type of grass you have. If you are unsure, you can buy an identification book from your local gardening store.
Another way to tell is to look for clumps of coarse, thick grass. If you want the best results from your lawn, you will need to cut it at the right time. You should cut your lawn when there is around 10% of growth left. If you don’t know when this is, you can use a lawnmower timer to make sure you get the perfect length each time. You can also use a lawnmower thermometer to make sure the soil temperature is at least 58 degrees Fahrenheit before you mow.
Replanting Dead Flowers
If you have some beautiful flowers growing in your garden this summer, they will probably look much more vibrant and colorful than they did when they were first planted. If you want to keep your garden looking beautiful all year round, then you should consider repotting your flowers before they die. If you don’t know how to do this, you can simply purchase a book from your local gardening store, or you can use an app on your phone. If you want to make sure your flowers grow back next year, you will need to take a few steps:
- Choose a variety that will grow back year after year.
- Dig the flower up carefully and make sure that the roots are still in good condition.
- Replant the flower with the roots facing down.
- Water the soil until it is damp.
Spreading Grass Seeds
If you have a patch of lawn in your garden that has become worn out over the years, or if you simply have an area of land that you want to transform into a lush green lawn, then you should consider spreading grass seeds. If you want to make sure that your lawn grows back properly, you will need to choose the right grass seed.
There are a few things that you need to consider, such as the climate in your area, the type of soil, and the type of grass you have. There are many jobs that need completing in your garden before it is ready for the summer. By taking a few moments each week to make sure your garden is in top condition, you will be able to relax in your garden for longer.
Finding The Right Garden Care Products
Having the right tools is crucial when preparing your garden for those warm summer months. Before you even start your project make sure that all of your gardening equipment is in good condition and is actually functional. The last thing you want is to set some time aside on a Sunday to find out your lawnmower doesn’t work and even worse, all the shops are closed!
Ensuring you have the right garden care products for the rob is also very important. We are now all using solutions to help the garden gain that vibrant luscious appearance so It can be good to order these products in advance. Hydra Int are one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of garden care products and they offer products that can help with your garden care this year.
Ideas for Your Garden in Retirement
Gardening is good for you. In fact, it’s prescribed on the NHS. Getting outside gives you the chance to get some vitamin D, which is great for your immune system while doing a hobby you enjoy triggers dopamine, the hormone that helps you feel motivated.
If you’ve recently retired and you’re planning on using your garden more, now could be a great time to plan what you’re going to do with it. Maybe you saved enough funds for a project in your retirement. Perhaps you can benefit from equity release to allow you to focus on renovating different areas of your home.
Whatever the reason for pepping up your outside space, here are some ideas to inspire you.
Grow Your Own
Why not set aside a corner of your garden for a vegetable patch? Whether you’re a gardening pro or a novice, there are plenty of vegetables that are relatively easy to maintain. Plus, it’s rewarding to be able to tuck into the different foods that you’ve grown.
Some key points to remember are to set up your fruit and veg patch on a flat part of your garden and to make sure the plants get plenty of light. You might need to invest in a protective cover to ward off insects and birds, too.
Get an Outdoor Pizza Oven
Are you thinking of hosting some garden parties? While barbecues remain one of the most popular ways to cook outdoors, pizza ovens are gaining in popularity and are sure to be a hit with any guests you have.
These are a particularly great choice if you don’t have a large outdoor space and can make mealtimes fun.
Build a Garden Studio
If you saved enough to retire and have enough money for a larger garden project, an outdoor studio could be ideal. This is a step up from a tool shed and can be used to create something truly special.
This could be a space where you can enjoy crafts, such as pottery and painting. Or maybe you could use it as a writing room or somewhere you go to do yoga. You can really make this your own.
Make a Play Area
Set aside a section of the garden for the grandkids. They’ll love having their own little part of your home where they can play outside and enjoy games.
This could also be a great use for your garden room if they visit a lot. Add some slides, games, and bright cushions to make it special.
A pond or bird watching shed is ideal for wildlife lovers. If you’d love nothing more than to watch the creatures that visit your garden, this is your chance to create a place for them.
What will you do with your garden?
Why Do You Need a Garden Shed in 2022
If you enjoy gardening, you probably have a list of required tools. You will need plenty of storage space for your devices during the wintertime. Most people keep garden tools inside their garages. However, they frequently notice that their area is scarce, and their garage is crammed with different tools.
The more you put into your landscaping and home, the more equipment and tools which require a location to set up. A shed for your outdoor is a good option because of its proximity to your backyard and the ample space. For a lower cost, you can build your shed with the help of shed builders LA.
Reasons You Need a Garden Shed
Here is a list of reasons you may need an outdoor shed for your garden and why it is beneficial:
Clear Out Your Garage
Do you get bored with looking through boxes in your garage? Take gardening equipment, tools, and Christmas decor, and bring them to the storage shed. Garden sheds are an excellent alternative to storing items. That’s why you must ensure the declutter of your garage.
Instead of spreading all of your toys, equipment, and bicycles scattered around your yard, ensure they are secured in one spot. It will also make your home less appealing to burglars and provide you with a sense of security. Protecting your children from hazardous tools like lawnmowers, power tools, pitchforks, and hazardous gardening chemicals. A storage shed purchase allows you to secure all dangerous items and keep your kids away from danger. Also, you can look for shed floor covering ideas since floors are an essential part of ensuring safety.
It Will Allow You to Work and Have Fun
A garden shed can offer you a place to enjoy all of your interests. When you buy or build your shed, you’ll find that perfect spot that you’ll always need to visit for a relaxing time and unwind. The garden shed gives you additional storage. However, you’ll be able to turn it into a space where you can create something, such as an entirely new piece of furniture.
If you purchase an outdoor shed, you’ll be able to store everything you use for gardening, bicycles, tools, and other things that you may not use every day. If you purchase a 9×6 foot metallic garden shed, you’ll be capable of having an uncluttered garage and garden. A less cluttered space will mean less cleaning. If everything is in order, cleaning these areas won’t be a hassle and will take less time to complete.
Accessibility and Organization
There is no need to rummage through your garage to find the one thing you’ll need. If you organize the garden shed space, you’ll not be trying to find something. It is simple to build shelves, cabinets, and tables in your shed. So, you can also add storage space. It is also possible to classify the items you require knowing their location.
Protection Against the Weather
Winter can be very hard on your garden and the gardening tools. Therefore, you’ll be able to bring the most vulnerable plants inside in winter, which will help ensure they are warm and healthy. If you choose a shed that includes windows, you can make the appearance of a “greenhouse” that your plants can use too.
How Do You Choose the Right Shed for Your Garden?
It’s clear why you’ll require an outdoor shed by 2022. There are numerous factors to consider before you purchase a new garden shed. The most crucial aspects are listed below.
What Will You Do With the Shed?
The thought of this can assist you in determining the size of your shed. If it’s merely something to store your garden items, consider their value and what you need to keep. If you own powerful, expensive power tools, you’ll need the largest and most secure shed than you would if you were storing small pots and hand tools.
If you’re thinking of using the shed for a workshop to work on DIY projects, you’ll require enough space and headroom to work and move about. Also, you’ll need adequate lighting so that you may be thinking about double doors, windows, and electricity. If you’re planning to spend much of your time in your shed, you might consider investing in heat and insulation.
What’s the Price of Garden Sheds?
The cost of your garden shed is contingent on the material and the dimensions you pick and other options like shelves and security lighting. In general, you’ll be able to find smaller sentry-style sheds at less than £150. Make sure you budget at least £200 to get a high-quality medium-sized shed, whereas you’ll require more than £500 to get a more oversized wooden shed. Although you’ll want an enormous shed for your price, you should keep in mind the quality of the materials, and a sturdy roof, sturdy frames, and strong doors will always yield value.
Do You Require Foundations for Your Garden Shed?
Garden sheds usually include flooring or adding flooring as an option in the event of an exception. If you don’t have a stable basis for your sheds, like concrete or paving slabs, you’ll have to build the base or purchase an entire shed base.
How Can You Keep Your Shed in the Backyard?
General upkeep shouldn’t require all amount of time. The most important things to keep in mind are to ensure that the roof is free of debris, dirt, and moss, treatment of metal and wood with protective paint or stains every couple of years and grease hinges to prevent corrosion, and then fix any leaks or holes at the time they occur.
As you will see in this article, there are a few aspects you’ll be able to think about before choosing whether or not to construct your garden shed. It would help if you thought about the most crucial things are your time and expense.
When you buy a garden shed from Urban-Sheds, you will gain additional space, an area to do your favorite activities, and an unofficial greenhouse for your plants in winter.
Growing a Garden That Birds Will Love to Visit
Bird species are dwindling across the globe, with forests in the US and Canada alone having lost one billion birds and nearly three billion in total since 1970—as found in a Cornell University study. Common birds—those you may have seen in your yard in your youth—are the most affected, since over 90% of losses arise from common birds like sparrows, warblers, and blackbirds. If you want to ensure the survival of common birds species in your area, optimal garden design can help you achieve your aim. Read on to discover a few small changes that can make a big difference.
Planting Native Species
Native plants enable wildlife such as birds to thrive, thanks to their nectar, acorns and nuts, seeds, fleshy fruits, and insects. In order to work out the optimal combination of plants for your yard, it is vital to research the different wild birds that are native to your area. Study the different species and take note of the preferences of any endangered bird species you wish to help proliferate. Sparrows, for instance, are attracted to blackberries and wild grasses, finches take to pines, spruces, hemlocks, coyote bush spruces, and composite flowers, while warblers are known to favor maples, oaks, American elderberries, and serviceberries. Some of these trees are chosen for nesting, others for their fruit, so try to create a garden that combines both types of plants or trees.
Sticking to Organic Growing Principles
Birds are vulnerable to the immense harm that pesticides can cause. Birds can either swallow pesticides directly, drink tainted water, or absorb toxins to the skin. This can have an array of effects, including deformed embryos, lack of appetite and weight loss, suppressed immunity, greater vulnerability to predators, and the inability to orientate correctly for migration. Organic, gentler alternatives to pesticides include companion planting (which can keep specific pests at bay) and soft chemicals (like rhubarbs, stinging nettles, and soap). For a small yard, try plant oils like rosemary, geranium, thyme, rosemary, lemongrass, and lavender. You can also consult gardening specialists about parasites that may be useful for targeting specific host insects. Finally, some predators can help reduce pest populations. These include frogs and lacewings. As your yard begins to fill with birds, you will find that they, too, help reduce the presence of pests.
Adding Active Water Features to Your Garden
Once again, it is important to study the specific needs of native birds. Warblers, for instance, are attracted to running water, so adding a fountain to your garden may increase their presence (and that of many other beautiful birds). You can additionally set up a birdbath where birds can enjoy a bath on a hot summer’s day. When choosing your bath, remember that although smaller baths are easier to clean, the larger the bath, the more birds you are likely to attract. You should also prioritize height since high baths enable birds to frolic while still keeping an eye out for predators. Your chosen fountains and baths should be made in materials that will withstand challenging weather. If you live in a cold zone, avoid resin baths, which can crack in the winter.
Many bird species are in danger because they don’t have enough green spaces. Designing a bird-friendly garden will take time and a small investment, as you will need to cater your landscaping features to the need of specific birds. In addition to planting suitable plants and trees, remember to give water features the importance they deserve.
￼Low Maintenance Ideas for Your Garden
Tackling your garden can often seem like an overwhelming task but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some low-maintenance ideas for creating the garden of your dreams, so you can spend less time worrying and more time relaxing.
The best way to create a stress-free gardening experience is to start as early as possible. Start planning for spring and summer in the winter months and get a jump on your garden preparation. The first thing to do is to brainstorm some ideas for what you would like to achieve in your garden. Once you have a plan together, it’s time to start planting.
Plant spring bloomers nice and early, then when the sun starts shining, you’ll have a garden full of flowers without any work on your part. The same goes for seeding your lawn – plant grass seed early on to ensure you have a lush lawn ready for the summer months.
Install Composite Decking
It’s all well and good creating a beautiful garden full of shrubs and flowers but you need somewhere to sit and enjoy it. Installing some composite decking is a great way to create a low-maintenance seating area to relax on summer evenings with a glass of wine or for a barbecue.
Composite decking is a man-made material, unlike natural timber. This comes with a few unique benefits. Firstly, it is much hardier than traditional lumber, meaning it will last longer. Secondly, it is far easier to clean and keep in good condition, only requiring basic cleaning to keep it looking fresh and new. Thirdly, since it is man-made, it is often crafted from recycled materials, meaning it is much better for the environment. Finally, the nature of the material allows it to be very flexible in how it is designed, providing lots of options for the exact style you would like to fit in your garden.
The cost of composite decking tends to be slightly higher than that of traditional timber, and will of course depend on the size of the area you are hoping to have decked. However, the long-lasting nature and easy upkeep of composite decking will offset the cost significantly. Have a look at the options available and see if they would work for you!
Start a Low Maintenance Project
There are plenty of fun garden projects for the whole family that can really add something to your space, but without lots of hassle! A compost heap is a great way to recycle food waste and help the environment. Even better, it is a very easy thing to get started with, only needing a place for you to store your compost. Once you have a heap going, it will take care of itself with minimal input from you and produce fertilizer to keep the rest of your garden healthy. Win-win.
Another great, low-maintenance project is installing some insect houses in your garden. Unlike bird feeders or tables, insect houses do not need to be periodically filled with food – just hang them and leave them to attract their occupants. Different types of houses will attract different types of insects, so have a look around and decide on which critters you would like to welcome into your garden.
There is nothing worse in the winter than watching your borders turn into a barren wasteland as all of your plants lose their leaves. A great way to combat this is to plant evergreens in the borders of your garden. These plants won’t lose their leaves when the cold comes and will ensure that your garden is always surrounded by a thick layer of greenery for a luscious space every month of the year.
Reduce the Size of Your Lawn
Related to the previous idea, consider reducing the size of your lawn by expanding your borders. While it is nice to have lots of space to move about on, lawns require a lot of upkeep, water, and nutrients. Border plants and shrubs on the other hand need far less maintenance. By increasing the size of your borders, particularly with evergreens, you will have a garden that feels rustic and bountiful all year round, as well as one that requires much less water and input from you. An added bonus is that the reduced water usage will also make your garden more environmentally friendly and better for the planet.
Consider an Artificial Lawn
While reducing the size of your lawn will reduce the upkeep you have to do on it, consider going one step further and putting down an artificial lawn. There are now many options available for synthetic turf that looks and feels like real grass but does not come with any of the associated maintenance. There is of course an upfront cost to having artificial grass put in, but the money and time you will save not needing to look after your lawn will quickly add up. Plus, with artificial grass gone are the days of your lawn turning into a mud bath over the winter, ensuring you have a rich layer of turf year-round.
Hopefully, this has given you some ideas for how you can start to create a low-maintenance garden for the whole family to enjoy. There are many ways for you to reduce the hassle of your outdoor spaces, so let your creativity run wild and start crafting the perfect, low-maintenance garden now in time to enjoy it this summer.
4 Tools to Start Your Career as a Professional Gardener
Working as a gardener can be intensely rewarding. You’ll spend your time out in the sun, and you’ll be physically active. What’s more, you’ll have the flexibility that comes from working for yourself.
Professional gardeners have slightly different requirements when it comes to tools than amateur ones have. You’ll need equipment that’s able to cope with constant use, and deliver reliable results every time.
Several items stand out as particularly
Heavy Duty Gloves
When you’re gardening, you’re going to be dealing with rough, spiky and potentially finger-damaging equipment and environments. Consequently, it’s essential that you invest in appropriate protection for your hands, in the form of a solid pair of work gloves.
If you injure your hands, or even just expose them to chronic low-level damage, then you might quickly find yourself unable to work effectively. This will hurt your income.
Spades come in many shapes and sizes. You’ll want to have a selection of them to hand, so that you can turn to them when the relevant task presents itself. You’ll want a border spade and a digging spade. The former comes with a slightly flatter blade that’s more manoeuvrable in tight spaces.
Carbon steel is lighter and more resilient than the stainless variety, but it’ll need to be treated well and looked after if you’re going to get the best from it. Similarly, the shaft of the handle can be made of metal, fibreglass, wood or plastic. Personal preference, and the task at hand, will influence your decision.
Similarly, you’ll want several different types of hand trowels at your disposal. You might look for trowels with different lengths and breadths, or with bladed edges for easy sawing and chopping through any roots that get in your way. You can pay anything from £10 to £100 for a quality trowel – and it’s better to get a handful of good ones than to have to keep replacing the cheap alternatives.
A rake is one of the tools that you’ll reach for frequently. Look for one that’s matched to your height, so that you don’t have to waste energy, or stoop unnecessarily. Like all of the tools we’ve mentioned, rakes come in a range of different styles to suit a range of different purposes. The landscaping rake is the one with many short metal wires that shoot out of the end in a fan formation. It’s ideal for levelling out surfaces, and for collecting debris, like leaves.
Is Well Water High in Iron Bad for Plants?
Many areas have soil naturally rich in iron. Iron-rich soil always looks a bit orange, depending on how much iron it contains. But if your soil’s color has recently changed from brown to orange, it could be because you’ve been watering your garden with iron-rich water.
Since well water contains more iron than tap water, you’re more likely to water your plants with iron-rich water if you use a well.
Effects of Iron-Rich Water on Your Plants
Having iron in your water isn’t always bad for your plants. Plants need some amount of iron to flourish, but there’s such a thing as too much iron. Plants draw iron from the surrounding soil as they grow and develop.
When you water your plants with iron-rich water, you add more iron to the soil, which leads to a buildup of soil iron over time. Here’s what happens when there’s too much iron in the soil:
1. Overexposure of Plants to Iron
With too much iron in the soil, your plants are exposed to more iron than is safe for them. They may droop, lose their color, or even die.
2. Plants Lose Other Minerals
Excess soil iron can make it harder for plants to absorb other necessary minerals like phosphorus and magnesium, two essential minerals they require to survive. Plants need phosphorus for cell division and photosynthesis. At the same time, they need magnesium to produce chlorophyll, which gives them their green color. Chlorophyll also helps plants produce sugars and starches. With too much iron in the soil, your plants miss out on these important minerals. You can expect your plants to experience discoloration, trouble controlling photosynthesis, and weak roots.
Unbalanced levels of several other important elements, like zinc and manganese, are also expected with too much iron present.
How You Can Remove Excess Iron from Well Water
Iron exists in our water in different forms, but ferrous iron is the most common kind of iron found in well water. If your well water contains a lot of iron, you need to take steps to reduce the iron content. You can achieve this by using an iron water filter. You can also lower your well water’s iron levels by treating it with a water softener or an oxidizing filter.
There are different types of iron water filters, some of which are more effective than others. To choose the right iron filter for your home, you need to know the kind of iron present in your water and how much there is. You can find out the exact form of iron by conducting a water test. Take a water sample and head down to a lab near you. There’s the option of using water test kits, but lab results are often more accurate.
Your lab test results will determine the kind of iron filter you should get. Sediment or carbon filters won’t remove dissolved ferrous iron, but they’ll be effective against low amounts of ferric iron (which causes red, brown, or black deposits to form). Moderate and high concentrations of ferric iron can only be removed using a more advanced filtration device.
You can also remove iron from your water using a water softener. Water softeners work by trapping positively charged mineral ions in a resin tank filled with negatively charged resin beads and exchanging them with sodium ions. Water softeners remove iron from water to some extent, but they may not be the best choice.
If you’re filtering out ferric iron with a water softener, you’ll need to filter it first with a sediment pre-filter. Most water softeners can only remove up to 3 ppm of iron. They work well for low iron contamination, but using them on highly contaminated water can permanently damage them.
If you have a water softener, you can rely on it to remove hardness-causing minerals and low levels of iron contamination. But to fully optimize your home’s water filtration, install an iron filter along with your home’s water softener.
Can I Bring a Dead Succulent Back to Life?
If there’s one type of plant that we know to be trending not only because it’s pretty but also for its low maintenance, that would be succulents. Succulents are naturally resilient and drought-tolerant. As such, they will most likely survive even if you forget to water them every once in a while.
Then again, this doesn’t mean that they’re completely invincible. Just like many other plants, succulents need certain things to survive, including water. What if your succulents are already dead? Is there a way to revive succulents? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Can You Bring a Dead Succulent Back to Life?
In all honesty, no. If your succulent is already dead, there’s no way to bring it back to life. However, there are ways to revive a dying plant. As long as there are still signs of life in your plant, there’s a chance to save it. You can expect the process to be challenging, though. Just like us, the closer plants are to the brink of death, the harder it will be to revive them.
Have you ever wondered if you have what it takes to save a dying succulent? Before we move on to the actual steps, there are two things you need to determine.
1. What Type of Succulents Do You Own?
Is it a tropical or desert succulent? Knowing your succulent and its specific needs will help you ascertain the root cause of the problem. At the same time, it can also help you choose the best revival steps later on.
2. What’s the Cause of the Issue?
Speaking of the root cause, that’s the next thing you should figure out. Knowing the issue is critical if you ever want to stop what’s happening to your plant, resolve it, and more importantly, prevent it from happening again in the future.
The Most Common Causes of Succulent Death
There are usually five common causes of succulent death: overwatering, too much sunlight, neglect, abrupt temperature and weather changes, and pests and diseases. To know the reason your succulents are dying, let’s talk about each one.
The most common cause of succulent death is overwatering. As mentioned, succulents are drought-tolerant, so they don’t need as much water as other plants. Overwatering your succulent can lead to root rot and disease.
Too Much Sun
The fact that they are drought-tolerant doesn’t mean they would love to get burnt by the sun. Exposing your succulents to too much sunlight can scorch their leaves and may even lead to their demise.
Though hardy and low-maintenance, your succulent plant will still need care. The failure to provide them with what they need is a sure way to kill even the most resilient of plants.
Weather and Temperature Changes
Aside from the potential damage that the summer sun’s heat can cause, succulents also don’t like being left outside in the wintertime to freeze.
Disease and Pests
Finally, your succulents can get cross-contaminated with disease from other plants or even attacked by pests.
Saving Your Succulents
After figuring out the issue, you can now move on to the next step: resolution. Here’s what you can do to save your dying succulents:
- If your succulent is dying due to overwatering, consider repotting it into a more well-draining medium and container.
- If the issue is sunburn, you should relocate your plant to a spot where it can receive bright yet indirect light. Relocation is also a good solution to save a succulent dying from the winter chill.
- There’s no resolution for neglect other than taking better care of your succulents. For example, if you feel that they are too dry and thirsty, the best way to revive them is to give your plants a good soak.
You can do this by placing its pot in a larger container with about a couple of inches of water. Allow your succulents to sit there for a while until you feel the topsoil already getting moist. Don’t let your plant soak for too long to prevent drowning it.
- Finally, there are different products and organic formulas (some you can even prepare yourself) you can use to save your succulents from diseases and insects.
Bringing Your Succulents Back to Life
One of the reasons many people love growing succulents is their resilience. Sadly, this translates to some people as a license to neglect their plants.
Once your succulent has completely died, there will be no way to revive it anymore. However, there are some steps you can take to save a dying plant, as long as you see that it’s still showing some signs of life.
You will need to determine what type of succulent you have and the root cause of the issue before you can revive it. Once you’re able to account for them, you can then move on to try the various tips we shared. Good luck and happy planting!
Growing in Pots: 9 Secrets to Successful Container Gardening
Growing your container garden is a fun & easy way to unleash your creativity & add some color to your outdoor space. The best thing is that container gardening is not limited to a balcony garden. You can have your container plants anywhere like patios, walkways, front doors, decks, etc.
Container herbs are your saviors when you want to grow your food but are tied up with limited time & space. You can grow anything from a mini-farm to a specimen tree with the right pot, soil, and place.
You have endless choices when it comes to container gardening. Railing baskets, fish tanks, cedar boxes, half barrels, resin pots, storage totes, and even kitchen sinks can grow vegetables. Below are some secrets to growing these versatile plants successfully.
Choose the Right Container/Pot
Your container should have adequate drainage. When you water your plant, the water should quickly move through the soil & effectively out of the hole in the bottom. The herb may suffer when the water sits in pots after heavy rain or simple watering. So having suitable drainage holes are necessary.
The growth of the plants largely depends on the soil mass as well. Small hanging baskets of 10-inch are tempting but they are quite inefficient to grow a healthy plant. Hangers with at least 14 inches of diameter are preferable.
Some plants require sunlight, and some don’t. For instance, plants like Bromeliad, Chinese Evergreen, and Dumb Cane don’t need sunlight to grow. It’s essential to put the pot in the blazing sun only if it helps with the herb’s growth. Try to know the amount of sunlight your plant requires and place the pot accordingly. That is a prime requirement for the health of your plants.
Feed the Right Soil Mix to Your Plants
If you fill the containers with garden soil, your plants will deteriorate. Your containers must contain lightweight and well-draining potting mix. A 50-50 blend of compost and potting mix is advisable, as the former will add nutrients and hold the soil moisture.
You can mix a slow-release fertilizer in your potting mix and continue doing the same every week. It will also give the plants the nutrients they need to grow.
Water Your Plants
Water is the most significant ingredient required by your plants, especially rainwater, it is warm, soft, and charged with oxygen. Ensure that you allow the container soil to dry between watering.
Watering is also necessary because after the water transpires through the plant, its space in the soil is replaced with oxygen-rich air.
Only Good Neighbors Should Stay Together
When you place multiple plants in one pot, you should consider if they will be good neighbors to each other or not. If you place multiple plants in one pot, they should require the same amount of water, sunlight, and moisture. Plants with different needs will not thrive together.
Read the Tag
Tags are crucial to know all about your plants. They will inform you about the needs of your flora, such as how much food, water, and light is required. It will help you provide them with everything it needs in optimum quantity.
Tags will also inform you about the structure, growth rate, shape, etc., which will help you arrange the combinations depending on the container designs.
It’s vital to know that container plants require more nutrients than garden ones. The high need for nutrients is due to the soil volume in the roots. Markets are filled with fertilizers that are organic or synthetic.
You should choose the one your plant needs depending on the tag. You can get to know about it through a quick internet search, or you can ask the salesperson as well.
Remove Dead Flowers
Removing the dead flowers will restore your plant’s energy and make the soil healthy. Along with improving the look of your plants, it will help grow more flowers, leaves, fruits & vegetables.
Get a Cure for Pests
Flower buds & leaves can be damaged when pests start to take place in your well-maintained plants. Snails, slugs, earwigs are just some of them. You should recognize the pest based on the trails and then remove them. For instance, slugs often leave a slime trail.
You can peel off the slugs easily & remove them. You can also spray insecticide directly on the insects (not bees and ladybugs). Just give the leaf-top and bottom a good drenching, and you are good to go.
These easy steps will take you one step ahead towards having the perfect container garden. It will give a colorful and aesthetic look to your home and the many health benefits that comes along.
3 Reasons Why Farming Is One of the Most Dangerous Jobs in the United States
When you go to the supermarket and grab a gallon of milk, perhaps the furthest thing from your mind is the process that occurred in order for you to enjoy that nice cold glass of milk. And believe it or not, that process wasn’t without many hazards.
All across the country, those picturesque landscapes you might envision with a rustic fence leading up to a big red barn are far from the reality of what farm life truly entails. In fact, most farms look nothing like the images we associate within popular culture today.
The truth is, farm life is hazardous. And it can even be deadly. For example, it’s been estimated that approximately 400 farmers and farm workers die each year due to farm-related accidents.
If you work on a farm, or if you’ve ever thought about farming as a career, the following will detail why it’s an extremely dangerous job.
Massive Gardens and Chemicals
If you’ve ever wanted to start a vegetable garden, you probably bought a few seeds and some tools and got right to work in a promising corner of your yard. And while this might have been a pleasurable experience for you, just imagine doing this on a massive scale.
Large areas of farmland are home to a variety of critters. And though many of these critters are important for pollination purposes, many aren’t friendly to the growth and quality of crops. As such, large amounts of pesticides and herbicides are often used to prevent damage done by pests and weeds.
The major problem with using chemical herbicides and pesticides is that they have been linked to a variety of health problems, including various types of cancers. And these can be deadly if you’re exposed to these chemicals on a consistent basis.
If you look at most frontier landscape paintings, a large silo is often a part of the composition. But while these large storage silos might offer a romanticized image of a carefree farmland environment, these silos can also be quite deadly.
Perhaps the most tragic reality of a grain silo is the fact that just about every year a percentage of farmers and workers make a miscalculated step and fall into the silos.
Grains within the silos don’t offer a stable surface. In fact, you can think of falling into a grain silo much like stepping into quicksand. Eventually, you will sink and suffocate.
Additionally, working around the silos while loading the grain is also a dangerous job as particles and dust from the grains can make breathing difficult or painful. And this can translate into other respiratory problems over time as well.
Heavy Equipment Accidents
As you probably know, large-scale farming often requires the use of heavy machinery such as tractors, plows, moveable irrigation systems, and many other pieces of large equipment. And much of this equipment can be deadly when operated without safety in mind.
For example, it’s difficult to see anyone who might be in the way if you’re plowing over a vast field of crops. And it’s not uncommon for a worker to get caught in the path of a plow or tractor.
Additionally, combines used to harvest crops such as corn are often the cause of a serious or fatal injury on farms across the country. As these machines use a large number of moving parts, if any loose clothing is caught, the combine can easily sever limbs or cause other life-threatening injuries.
Working on a farm is hard work, often requiring long hours and intense physical labor. This alone can cause major fatigue which can also result in a lowered state of situational awareness.
At the end of the day, exercising proper safety and maintaining awareness of your surroundings is your best defense for staying safe while working on a farm.
What Tools Do You Need to Start a Vegetable Garden?
Any beginner gardener can get easily overwhelmed by the variety of gardening tools available. Don’t let this confusion keep you from growing a thriving edible garden of your own, especially when there are a lot of references online that can help you out.
Garden Tools and Accents is always here to help you out. Today, we’ll list down all the essential tools you will need to get you started.
Any gardener needs a hand trowel. It should be one of the first tools that you need to get. You’ll find it especially helpful when transplanting your herbs, regardless of whether you’re opting for an actual outdoor bed or a small container garden in a bright corner of your kitchen. It will also give you more control when you’re pulling out weeds.
When choosing a trowel to work with, we recommended getting one with a handle that fits comfortably in your hand. If you expect to work with rocky soil, getting one with a longer, narrower blade will be ideal. Meanwhile, getting a broad blade will allow you to move more soil and work on larger areas at a time.
You also need to consider the sharpness and material of your trowel blade. Investing in a stainless steel piece is worth it as it will be more durable. The sharp blade will prove helpful if you’re thinking of planting bulb vegetables such as garlic and onions.
Speaking of blades, you will also need a pair of pruning shears. Depending on your location, it is also referred to as hand pruners and secateurs.
Like getting a hand trowel, we highly advise getting one that fits the palm of your hand. Being comfortable handling your pruning shears is crucial, or else you’ll risk hurting your plants by accident.
There are different types of pruning shears. We personally recommend getting bypass pruners since they can minimize the risk of bruising fresh, green stems. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t consider getting anvil shears, though, especially if you expect to be dealing with a lot of dead wood.
Regardless of the type you choose or whether you decide to get both, the most important thing is to keep them nice and sharp. This will give them more cutting power, minimize plant bruising, and, more importantly, prolong their life.
Most beginner gardeners don’t really prioritize getting gardening gloves, and we get it. A lot of us don’t really worry about getting our hands dirty. However, you should still consider them since certain vegetables are known to be prickly.
For instance, specific varieties of turnips are known to have prickly leaves. Having gardening gloves on will protect your hands from getting scratches and blisters. It will also come in handy during pruning sessions. After all, one can never predict when accidents happen, especially if you’re handling sharp tools and trying hard to be as gentle as you can.
That said, we recommend getting padded gloves for that added protection. Just make sure that it won’t be too bulky to the point that it will get in the way when you’re handling seeds and delicate seedlings.
Cinchable wrist straps are also a nice feature to consider. They will keep soil from getting inside your gloves.
Like other gardening tools, there are different hoes to choose from. Those who want to start a vegetable garden should consider getting a wide, flat hoe. It will make your life easier when you’re removing weeds and turning the soil of your rows.
The width of the blade will get your job done faster, but don’t forget to consider the space between your rows as well. Getting one with a shorter handle will give you more accuracy for smaller gardens.
As you have probably guessed already, you won’t need this tool if you’re only planning to start a container garden.
Here’s something that every garden will need: a watering tool. The ideal one for you will depend on the scale of the vegetable garden you’re planning to grow. If you’re planning a small container garden, a watering can suit you perfectly. On the other hand, getting a hose with an adjustable nozzle will suit larger gardens better.
The National Wildlife Federation suggests timing your watering sessions accordingly to help conserve water. You’ll be pleased to learn that hose nozzles can also help reduce water consumption. It’s something that we highly recommend every gardener should consider getting.
The Joys of Growing a Vegetable Garden
We cannot put into words how much joy our vegetable garden gives us. The health benefits alone make every drop of sweat we put into our garden worth it.
There is a way to reduce all that sweat, though. Getting reliable gardening tools will significantly make everything easier. We hope that our quick lineup has given you an idea of which tools to get first. After all, you can always expand your gardening tool shed in the future.
5 Tips for Garden Plumbing
The plants in your garden require enough water and at the right frequency. If any of this isn’t achieved, the plants in your garden will start to wilt and eventually die. This is the last thing you want as a homeowner who is passionate about playing your part to make the world a greener place to live. Fortunately, an irrigation system helps you accomplish this goal by ensuring that your plants are watered at all times.
Getting the right irrigation system isn’t straightforward, and you may need help from a plumbing expert. You may also want to take a few plumber courses. However, this guide will take you through garden plumbing tips to consider when installing your garden’s irrigation setup.
1. Be Familiar With Your Area’s Water Regulation
Before you buy the necessary gardening components from EasyMerchant or hire a plumber, make sure to first familiarize yourself with your locality’s implemented water regulations. You can find this information either by reading over resources explaining in detail your area’s water regulations. This means either personally visiting your state’s offices or checking their website.
Another option would be consulting with a certified professional who’s well-versed with the local water regulation. You can also research online to find all the relevant information on your area’s water regulation. Doing this gives you the peace of mind to proceed and install a quality irrigation system without worrying about any legal repercussions later in the future. It also saves you from paying more money on plumbers for repair or redo.
2. Know the Right Components
It would be best to avoid installing an irrigation system on your own. Otherwise, you might spend more money on this project due to issues that later arise in the future. This usually happens because you aren’t familiar with the proper plumbing equipment required to get the job done.
3. Inspect the Irrigation System
You’ll need to regularly examine the irrigation system to make sure that it’s in perfect working condition. During this inspection, you need to pay close attention to the nozzles and valves to confirm they’re working well. Doing this is critical as rocks and soil usually find their way into the valves or nozzles and block the smooth flow of water. As a result, this affects how well your garden gets watered.
Other changes you need to make are replacing depleted batteries and inspecting the timers to check the dates and time. In addition, you should carefully examine the lines for potential leaks that might prevent your garden from getting adequate water.
4. Use a Drip Line Emitter
Water pressure keeps changing from time to time. The best way to address this problem is by using a drip line emitter which ensures that all the plants in your garden are always well-watered regardless of the water pressure. In addition, the drip line emitter prevents damage to your flower bed due to excess water pressure as it controls the flow of water. The water also gets directed straight into the soil, meaning your plants won’t suffer any damage.
5. Prepare Yourself Financially
Setting up an irrigation system isn’t cheap, and you don’t want to rush into this project without preparing yourself financially in advance. There are many costs involved during this project, such as buying the necessary components and paying a professional plumber.
When looking for a plumber, you should take your time and try to find one who charges reasonable prices without compromising on the quality of their services. You also need to carefully examine the components to install in your garden’s irrigation system, as some can considerably stretch your budget.
For the plants in your garden to thrive, they need a constant water supply. However, this can’t be achieved without a proper irrigation system that ensures your garden is appropriately watered.
5 Things You Need To Know About Plant Delivery
The idea of getting plants delivered to your house, and to the houses of other people for that matter, has been around for a while and it has recently started gaining in popularity. There are quite a lot of reasons why people decide to use this specific option instead of visiting their local shops and buying the products there. Among other things, they prefer this option because it is much more convenient since all you have to do is visit plantedpot or a similar place, order your products and wait for them to arrive.
As you can see, the entire process is quite easy, especially for those people that are used to general online shopping. Given that we live in a world that’s driven by technology, I think it’s safe to assume that most of the people reading this are actually quite familiar with the concept of online shopping, so there is no need for me to dwell on explaining that. I also suppose that you can conclude all on your own what the benefits of buying plants this way are.
Yet, even though you might be familiar with the benefits and with the general concept of shopping online, there is no doubt in my mind that you still don’t know everything about the idea of buying plants this way, and that certainly needs to change. If you are wondering how it can change, let me immediately make it clear to you. Basically, the only way to change this is by spending some time learning about this whole notion and getting familiar with everything that it entails.
Well, we are here today to begin the learning process. To put everything as simply and as straightforwardly as possible, I am going to tell you a few things that you absolutely need to know about the concept of online plant shopping and delivery. This way, you will get a much clearer idea about how it all works and about whether you should use these specific services.
Of course, you might also want to learn which mistakes you should avoid when shopping for these products online: https://anaturalcuriosity.org/buying-houseplants-online-mistakes/
1. It Is Quite a Popular Option
While this might not be the most significant thing that you need to know about this concept, it is undeniably still worth mentioning. In short, this option has actually become quite popular in recent years. People are increasingly shifting towards the idea of buying these products online and I am quite sure that you will fall in love with this option too the moment you try it. The popularity of the concept keeps on increasing and things aren’t going to change any time soon, meaning that we could easily expect this to become the primary option of buying plants.
2. The Plants Are Delivered Safely
A lot of people are worried about the idea of getting these plants delivered because they might create all kinds of scenarios in their heads about those products getting damaged during transport. While I can undeniably understand your concern, the truth is that you shouldn’t expect to get damaged products, as those are delivered in a completely safe manner. They are kept protected during the transport and they are bound to arrive to your doorstep intact and in perfect shape. Of course, this will depend on the supplier you choose, but we will get to that a bit later.
3. There Is a Wide Assortment to Choose From
One of the disadvantages of those physical shops lies in the fact that those shops usually don’t have a wide assortment of plants to choose from, and that can be quite disappointing for everyone. Well, this brings us to the next thing you need to know about the concept of buying these products with the help of the Internet. Since you will get to visit quite a lot of different shops with just a few clicks on your smart device, you will easily be able to find a wide assortment of products to choose from. Practically every single shop will be available to you and easily accessible, meaning that you will certainly find both those plants that you are looking for and some new ones that might grab your attention.
4. Not Every Supplier Is the Same
As mentioned previously, the place where you’ll buy your plants will play a huge role in their quality. There are certainly a few detrimental errors you can make when shopping for these products, but not researching the suppliers is probably the worst one. What you need to know is that not every supplier is the same. The quality of their products differs significantly, as well as their delivery methods and a lot of other important factors. Since I’ve mentioned mistakes, you might want to check out what experts have to say about the worst thing you can do when plant shopping.
5. Prices Can Differ Too
Apart from those suppliers differing in the aspects of product quality, reputation, experience, and similar factors, you should also know that the prices of these plants can also vary significantly from one place to another. This is why you should always shop around and do extensive research about certain suppliers and their products before doing any shopping whatsoever. I would advise you to gather as much info as you can about specific suppliers, compare your findings and choose the right shop.
Garden Remodeling Ideas On a Budget: The Ultimate Guide
A garden remodeling project can be expensive, but you can get the best out of it for less with proper planning. This will help you come up with estimates for your budget. You may also seek professional help if you require it. Here are a few garden remodeling ideas you can execute on a budget.
1. Add flowers
Flowers are an affordable and easy way to remodel your garden. You can plant ready-bought bedding plants, seeds, or bulbs. Choose beautiful, low-maintenance flowers you can easily take care of. For your flower garden to succeed, collect samples of your garden soil and have it tested to determine if it has the proper nutrients. If your garden soil doesn’t meet the relevant nutrient requirement, check out this company for enriched topsoil mixes. Find out what flowers will thrive in your soil type and know your frost cycle to ensure your garden survives all seasons.
2. Grow some produce
Vegetables, fruits, and herbs are an excellent addition to a garden remodel. It’s cost-effective and doable even with the smallest amount of space. You can use pots to grow tomatoes, courgettes, salad leaves, basil, or coriander plants.
3. Invest in outdoor furniture
Depending on the available space and the theme you want to bring out, consider buying garden furniture. Go for quality furniture designed for the outdoors and ensure it’s easy to care for. This will not only create a relaxing space for your family, but also upgrade your garden.
4. Build a fire fit
A fire pit is an excellent fit for your garden if you want to create a cozy and comfortable environment for your dear ones. It’s ideal for the evenings when family members are relaxing and catching up. When building a fire pit, consider its size and location and go for a comfortable height.
You may also consider incorporating a built-in seating area while taking advantage of the surrounding views. You can buy a fire pit from a local store, get a custom-made one, or seek the help of a landscape professional with experience in fire pits.
5. Consider wall garden plants
Adding plants to your garden wall is a great way to beautify your outdoor space. When choosing plants for your garden wall, ensure they won’t grow past the wall and that they can do well facing a particular direction. Check the soil to ensure it isn’t thin and dry. Select plants ideal for walls and vertical spaces such as roses, fruit vines and trees, flowering vines, climbing vines, and shady climbing plants.
6. Maintain your lawn
Maintaining a healthy, green lawn requires regular mowing and watering. If your lawn lacks lustre, consider using lawn seeds or grass food for an easy and quick lift. Rake your lawn to identify any bare patches that need your attention then gently fork over the patches and add compost or top soil. Scatter the seeds, sprinkle compost over them, and sparingly water them.
Garden remodeling can be done on a budget and still boost aesthetics. Consider using these tips for your next garden renovation project. Additionally, find ways to protect your garden and keep it healthy.
Essential Spring Gardening Tips
When spring is around the corner, it’s time to step up and do your chores! Going back to your garden after a long, cold winter might seem a bit overwhelming, but you could also see it as a relief. The air might still be chilly, but there are lots of things you can start doing little by little to get your garden ready for warmer weather.
The beginning of spring is a great time to assess your garden’s state – leftover effects of winter, condition of your tools, landscape, lawn, pruning plans, flower beds, soil feeding, and new ideas for planting. Your garden will certainly need help to get back in shape, so it’s best to have a plan for how to make it all happen. This is also an ideal time to install a deer fence to keep those winter starved deer from invading your garden. Here are several essential spring gardening tips that you might find helpful.
Inspect your yard
The first step would be to inspect your yard and assess the trees. Decide which tree limbs need to be removed or supported, particularly those that overhang structures. You can also enlist the help of an arborist to tackle larger trees.
The next step is to assess the mid-level. You should cut down and clear out last year’s perennial foliage, and add it to your compost pile. Then, move to the ground level and rake out all the mulch from beds planted with bulbs before foliage starts growing. Also, mulch in other planting areas should be refreshed after the soil warms. Finally, inspect all your hardscaped areas –check your steps, pathways, and fences for any necessary repair.
Tune-up your tools
You have probably stored your essential gardening tools properly before the onset of winter, but just in case, give them some attention to make sure all is functioning when the time comes for garden work. Pruning tools might need sharpening and wooden handles can benefit from a good clean and another layer of linseed oil. Also, if anything is missing or broken, you have time to buy new tools for the season.
While the shrubs are still in their winter sleep, it’s perfect timing to do some clearing up – remove dead, damaged, and diseased branches. With the exception of once-bloomers, you should thin and you’re your roses and summer-blooming shrubs such as hydrangea and butterfly bush. Cold-damaged wood should be pruned after plants start growing in the spring and those shrubs and trees that bloom in the spring should be pruned after flowering.
Refresh the lawn
If you have a lawn, spring is the right time to give it some TLC. Have your mower and leaf blower serviced and sharpened. Refill your mower with oil, replace old spark plugs, and lubricate all the moving parts. Clear the winter debris off your lawn and check out if there are any areas that might need reseeding before you start mowing.
Address the gaps
If you see there are empty or bare spots in your garden, choose new plants that could fill up those spaces. You could opt for perennials, trees, or shrubs. Nurseries are generally quite helpful when it comes to ordering whatever variety you want even if they currently don’t have it in stock.
Prepare new beds
If you feel like creating a new planting bed where there was none before, this is a perfect time. Start by digging the soil, adding oxygen, and relieving compaction. The next step is to add compost to kick-start the development of nutrient-rich soil. As soon as the soil can be worked on, clear the planting area from debris, weeds and sod spread the amendment of your choice, and cultivate it 10 to 12 inches deep. Then, rake it well and smooth before you start planting.
Plant new flowers and shrubs
Once you’ve done all this preparatory work in your garden, you can finally being to add some new plants. When it comes to choosing what to plant come springtime, it’s best you first check with what grows well in your climate. Different zones are suitable for different plants, so picking the right plants will mean much less hassle and worry later on.
The general advice is to pick more perennials rather than annuals since annuals have to be replanted every year. This means investing in plants that will die every year and need replacement the next.
As your garden begins to wake up from the winter slumber, it’ll appreciate some fuel. Choose a balanced fertilizer or fish emulsion to spread around trees and shrubs once the new growth starts appearing. Also, fertilize perennials when they start actively growing. You can also use high-acid fertilizer and pine-needle mulch around shrubs like blueberries, azaleas, camellias, or citrus.
In addition to fertilizers and compost, consider adding mulch to flower beds. A couple of inches of mulch can help prevent weeds and diseases. It also locks in the moisture in the garden and maintains the optimal temperature.
Put up supports
If you’ve taken down your trellises and stored them safely into the shed for winter, early spring is a perfect time to put them back up in the garden. Make sure their structure is still solid and apply a fresh coat of paint if necessary. If you grow peonies, or any other perennials that need support, set them out and when they start to grow, gently wrap their stems to help them grow up. This is easier done now than when the leaves start unfurling.
Start a compost pile
This is also a perfect time to start your compost pile – begin by collecting plant debris and all the leaves you have previously raked up. Combine equal amounts of brown and green materials – dried leaves and straw and grass clippings and weeds. There are different ways you can take to forming your compost pile so pick the one that most suits your preferences and possibilities.
Be prepared for the weather
If you live in an area where there are late spring frosts and freezes, be ready to cover up plants. The tender emerging buds or foliage need protection if freezing temps have been predicted. However, if the buds haven’t started opening yet, you don’t need to cover them.
Old sheets and towels are a good option to use but you can also get professional row covers. One thing you shouldn’t do is to cover tender plants with a tarp or plastic sheeting. This will only amplify the cold’s effect, rather than reduce it.
With these tips, your spring won’t be a hectic time any longer! On the contrary, it’ll become a productive period and as it slowly turns into summer, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how all the good work you have done has paid off!
How to Create an Eco-Friendly Garden
One would think that conventional gardening is inherently eco-friendly, after all, it’s just working with soil and plants, isn’t it? What’s there to improve? Should the grass be greener? Should the flowers that we tend to so carefully grow higher or attract more buzzing bees?
Well, let’s just say that while certain things might seem to be already perfect, there’s always something that can be improved. You’ve probably already heard about being more environmentally conscious, but what does it mean in practice? Here are 5 sustainable gardening ideas you can consider when trying to help the planet and make the local wildlife love you!
Learn a Safe Way of Dealing With Uninvited Visitors
Whether just a beginner or a pro, at some point, every gardener has to deal with the type of guests who don’t call before paying you a visit. They just show up in your prettiest begonias, and while most of the time their presence is just slightly annoying, they can also cause some serious damage. What’s a safe solution to the problem, then?
If it’s a deer that’s wreaking havoc in your garden, try planting plants with fuzzy and fragrant leaves like verbena or boxwood. The strong scent should keep them away. Got some rabbits? Hot peppers, spicy basil, mint, and garlic is the way to go. Protecting individual plants with physical barriers like picket fences or chicken wire should also do the trick. And, just so you know, gophers hate daffodils, while squirrels will leave you (and your plants!) alone if you provide them with some free nuts or maybe a few extra tomatoes from time to time.
If you think that all of this sounds great, but your main problem is that you have no space for a garden, you might want to check Sea Pines Real Estate website and see whether anything catches your eye.
Know Your Allies (And Your Enemies)
While it doesn’t quite mean being at war with your own garden, learning which plants enjoy growing next to each other could work to your advantage. Just like people can have their likes and dislikes when it comes to who they associate with, plants also enjoy some of their neighbors’ companionship more than the others. Let’s see some examples:
- Corn will enjoy growing next to cucumbers, squash, peas, beans, and pumpkins, but it doesn’t do well next to the tomatoes.
And on a more positive note:
- Tomatoes should go next to basil because it actually makes them taste better.
- Bright and fragrant nasturtiums help protect the courgettes from aphid attacks.
Balance the Landscaping
While planning which materials to use while arranging the most beautiful garden, remember to be mindful. Try to resist the urge to go straight to your local home improvement and gardening retailer. Instead, use what you already have. Got some wood pieces laying around that would look great if sanded and stained a natural color? There goes your own flowerbed! Rather than replace that old garden furniture that had seen some better days, opt for a new layer of paint and maybe do some repairs. Why buy new, when you can use what you already have. And save some money on the way!
Appreciate What’s Already There
Don’t be shy – celebrate the native plants. Instead of going grey while trying to figure out how to grow those stubborn exotic seeds you got online, look around and let into your garden more native plants. While some of them might not look as impressive as, let’s say, a sequoia tree growing in the middle of the lawn, they’re much easier to sustain because they’re already used to the climate, soil, and even the rainfall in your region.
If you tend to feel just a tad bit lazy from time to time, you’ll be happy to hear that they also require much less effort than rare flowers or exotic plants. If you’re not sure where to start, try asking your local gardening experts for some tips, or check GIY Plants to learn more about how to grow your plants the right and easy way..
Be More Efficient With Water
Now, if you really want to call yourself eco-friendly, don’t you dare to waste that precious rainwater. Get yourself a nice-looking big barrel and start collecting. Do you have a tendency to over-water? There’s an easy solution — remember to always turn off your sprinkler system when it rains and try to water your garden in the morning; this way, less water is going to evaporate from your precious plants.
If you have the opposite problem and live in a dry place, look up some drought-tolerant plants. And no, succulents aren’t the only ones! Herbs like rosemary and lavender, shrubs like lilac and forsythia ensure beautiful colors, even better smells, and they don’t require that much water!
Becoming more environmentally conscious doesn’t have to mean a complete revolution in your garden. So don’t feel pressured to flip everything upside-down in one day. Start by taking one small step after the other and improve your space in ways that feel most natural to you. Whether you introduce the changes in one month or one year, the rush is not necessary. Just like anything in life, creating an eco-friendly garden is a learning process and there are no gardening mistakes, only experiments along the way to becoming more mindful of the world around us and the ways that we can give back to it.
Organize and Store Your Seeds Right to Keep Them in Perfect Condition
If you are a keen grower, your seeds represent the engine room of your horticultural operations. If seeds are not properly stored and organized, you can’t expect to grow healthy and vibrant plants. Effective seed management and storage practices are about more than just keeping your garden shed tidy and organized. They are intrinsic to the ultimate success or failure of your crop.
The beauty of seeds is that you can hang on to them for a long time before planting and they will not deteriorate in quality. But that only holds true if you store them correctly. There are some fundamental things that apply across the board, whether you have carrot seeds for your vegetable garden or you want to try cultivating feminized cannabis seeds in one of the states where that has been legalized. Practically all seeds like to be stored in dark, dry, and cool conditions. Yet most gardeners keep them in little sealable plastic bags, or perhaps in half-open envelopes. Stored like this, they will be OK if used within a few months, but don’t expect them to remain at their best for much longer.
Keeping seeds away from moisture is the most important consideration and the easiest way for things to go wrong. People often elect to keep seeds in a basement, and that typically meets two out of the three requirements, being dark and cool. But basements are often damp, too. There are a few tricks for keeping seeds dry. Those little packs of silica are, of course, made for the job, while you can fashion a home-made alternative using cat litter. The ideal solution, though, is to store your seeds in small metal tins with tight lids. As well as keeping the moisture at bay, it also guarantees they stay in the dark till you need them.
How Cool Is Cool?
Ideally, seeds should be kept at a temperature below 40°F (5°C), so the exact storage strategy will depend to a large extent on where you live. If you have the luxury of that cool, dark basement we were talking about, then that’s your problem solved. For many of us, however, the only way to maintain an ambient temperature that low is by placing your seeds in the fridge. If you don’t want them in the kitchen, you could always buy a beer-cooler-style fridge especially for them and keep it in your shed.
You’ve Got to Have a System
With the environmental conditions worked out, the last step is to work out a system so that you know what you’ve got and can immediately lay your hands on the seeds you need. It’s an extreme illustration, but remember our example from earlier. You really wouldn’t want to find you’d got your carrot seeds and cannabis seeds mixed up. There are so many options open to you here. If you are just storing the seeds in paper, an old-fashioned photo album is highly effective. Alternatively, a jewelry box, tackle box, or pill organizer will all do the job.
4 Tips For Optimal Tree Maintenance
In tough times, many Americans are relying on their gardens to get them through, with The New York Times recently publishing the headline, Food Supply Anxiety Brings Back Victory Gardens. In times of need and plenty alike, few things are quite as gratifying as having a large garden with trees that provide shade and food. Common trees you may have in your yard include American hollies, red oaks, silver maples, sugar maples and Eastern redbuds. Popular fruit trees, meanwhile, include honeycrisp apple, Lapins cherry, Harken peach, Warren pear, and Santa Rosa plum trees. If you want to ensure that the trees in your garden last a lifetime, resisting common problems and pests, the following tips may be useful.
Getting Your Watering Schedule Right
Trees have very specific needs when it comes to watering. For instance, newly planted trees require frequent watering, with experts recommending daily watering for up to two weeks after planting, tapering to every two or three days for the next three months or so, and culminating in just once a week of watering after the roots have stabilized. This is only a general rule, though, since watering frequency will depend on everything from the type of tree to the climate in the zone you are living in. One general tip to test for the need to water is to take an eight-inch or longer screwdriver and stab it into the soil. If it doesn’t slide into the soil further than around six inches, it is a good sign your tree needs more water.
Choosing The Right Fertilizer
Fertilizer is a vital way to ensure your beautiful trees receive an optimal cocktail of nutrients, but choosing a quality product is key. Avoid those containing high levels of nitrogen as well as weed-and-feed fertilizers, since they can damage roots. Seeking advice on the best products for your specific trees is important, to ensure you aren’t doing more harm than good through your product choice. Aim to fertilize your trees every two or three years in the autumn or winter season. Make sure you reach the totality of the root area, applying product to any turf surrounding your tree as well. Be aware that some trees require less fertilization than others; for instance, applying too much fertilizer to pine trees, causes ‘leaf scorch’ and an unattractive, gapped appearance between leaf whorls on branches.
Keeping An Eye Out For Pests And Disease
When pruning your tree to remove broken branches, watch out for signs of disease and pest infestation. Signs are usually visible on the leaves, bark, branches and twigs. These signs can include leaf discoloration, thinning foliage, poor branch growth, holes and frass on the trunk, and roots that lift upwards. Sometimes, pests such as carpenter ants are present. While these insects don’t necessarily destroy the tree itself (since they feed on parts of the tree that are already rotten, injured or dying), they should be given due importance. Carpenter ants in trees should be eliminated quickly, since they can damage nearby structures, tunneling and chewing through wood to create nests. Other common pests include gypsy moths (which eat hardwood tree leaves), the Western tent caterpillar (which attacks aspen, fruit trees, poplar and willows, as well as other trees), and wood borers (which attack the bark of ash trees). It is a good idea to have a yearly inspection by a trusted professional to spot such problems before they cause severe damage to your tree or other parts of your property.
Mulch is a great ally for any tree to have, since it insulates roots, helps them stay hydrated, and protects them against wear and tear. To ensure your tree benefits optimally from mulch, remove any turf beneath your tree and apply around four inches of mulch, keeping the tree base clear. There are many different types of mulch to choose from – including wood chips, grass clippings, and hay. Whichever you choose, aim to go organic, since these materials decompose, improving the quality and fertility of soil.
Trees are a boon to many families currently undergoing tough times and seeking to literally ‘live off the land’. If you have a yard with fruit trees or you simply enjoy gathering with others beneath the shade of your favorite tree, remember to water, fertilize, apply mulch, prune, and check for pests. Most importantly, schedule an appointment with an ISA-certified arborist, who can alert you to any potential problems early, so you can take the steps you need to save your trees.
Unique Gadgets Every Gardener Should Have
Every experienced gardener knows that they must have the necessary gadgets to help them in their hobby. If you have a parent who loves gardening, you may realize that they may have everything they need when it comes to pots, fungicide, and other needs for their plants. Still, there are likely to be some gadgets that are missing from their arsenal. Here are a few that you should consider:
Weeds are a gardener’s worst enemy. A considerable part of maintaining their garden is often spent on weeding. Those who want to make sure that they can spend their time potting and repotting their plants should make sure they have a thermal weeder. This gadget helps to blast away weeds with a temperature that can reach up to 600 degrees Celsius. Even deep-rooted weeds are easily killed within minutes. Since it utilizes temperature, there’s no need to use dangerous chemicals that can harm their plants.
Serious gardeners know how important it is to have their own compost pile at home. These compost piles can grow into compost heaps that will usually take several months of turning. Not only is this time-consuming, but it is also back-breaking. Having a rolling composter can get this job done within weeks. All you have to do is to place all your waste ingredients into the composter and roll it, cutting down on any back-breaking hours spent on your compost mounds.
Digital Soil Tester
Gardeners need to check the quality of their soil before planting anything always. Often, these gardeners will use an old-fashioned kit. Since soil quality will usually change, it can be a time-consuming activity. With a digital soil tester, it will be easier to check for soil quality with a simple touch of the button. The great thing about this tester is that it can also help them test their garden whenever they like.
Most gardeners will have tools for pruning, hoeing, cutting, grafting, and even trimming, but most of them will never think about buying a sharpener, a special piece of gear that can help them sharpen a multitude of their tools. So if you have the same issue, you should consider having a multi-tool sharpener.
Mobile Potting Bench
A gardener will spend a lot of time potting and repotting their plants. When plants need to propagate, gardeners will need to put their little plant babies into their own little pots. To make the process as organized as possible, it needs to be done on an organized work station. For many gardeners, their potting areas often end up cluttered. One way to prevent this is to have a mobile potting bench that you can easily take around your garden.
Herb Aero Garden
If you are a gardener, you probably spend most of your time outdoors, perhaps even in extreme weather. If you want to be able to continue gardening while indoors, you should buy yourself an herb aero garden. It is a great alternative if your indoors do not have the appropriate lighting to accommodate most of your plants.
When you think of a gift for your parents, you always have to think about their hobbies. If they are avid gardeners and love to play with soil and plant many different species, gifting them with these gardening gadgets will surely be a hit.
How Hemp is Farmed and Turned into CBD Biomass
If there was ever a perfect time to grow hemp in America, it is now. For the first time in over 80 years, farmers can play the hemp game without looking over their shoulders, thanks to the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018.
The legislation allows farmers to legally grow the cash crop for both personal and commercial use. Now, hemp wholesale companies, retailers, farmers, and many other entities would love to know more about growing hemp for various uses.
In this guide, we explore farming and commercial of CBD-hemp in detail. We will give you a rundown on the growing process right from the basics of growing the hemp cone until it is converted into CBD biomass.
Understanding Hemp Varieties
Firstly you need to understand that there are three categories of it: fiber, grain, and high-CBD varieties. Here’s a succinct explanation of each variety:
- Fiber: This type of hemp produces long fibers and biomass and is primarily used in textiles, building materials, paper, composites, fuel, and more.
- Grain: Thanks to their high fatty acid, protein, and fiber content, grain hemp is utilized for food and nutritional needs. Essentially, these varieties produce low cannabinoid content than their counterparts.
- Cannabinoid (CBD) hemp: These are the most sought-after strains of hemp since they find use in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical industries. They are grown as female species for better yields and zero seed production. This is where the money is.
Growing a CBD hemp farm
Before growing cannabinoid hemp, it is always a good idea to find out what the law says about it. Once you understand the legalities and obtain the necessary approvals, the steps followed in growing the crop include the following:
- Choice of Equipment: The first thing is to select the farming equipment to use for planting, harvesting, and extraction the CBD.
- Planting and Weeding: Typically, the planting season begins the end of May till the first week of June. Hemp clones, provided by in-state processors, are transplanted into 40” rows on the ground. After planting, the hemp needs to have sufficient moisture to fix the roots. Weeding is done using hoes or row cultivation. No herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides are allowed.
- Harvesting: CBD hemp grows rapidly within the first 60 days. When it reaches maturity, the field will have to be inspected for male plants as these can cause pollination and a drop in the CBD concentration. After between 100 and 120 days, the female-only crop would be heavy with cannabinoid content both on its flowers and biomass, yet less than 0.3% THC. Once harvesting is done, the crop is dragged down to any available drying point—a rack, shed, tobacco barn, fan, dehumidifiers, mechanical dryers, and even straight to extraction.
CBD hemp farming is quite intensive but if done right, it can be a goldmine. The success of the process lies in understanding all the laws associated with hemp and choosing the right equipment. The rest is mostly trial and error alongside wit and instinct.
Easy-to-Grow Vegetables for Garden Neophytes
As the cost of living and groceries continues to increase, many people are starting to think about growing their own vegetables at home. To do it right so you get a good yield of edible vegetables, you have to consider many things — the complexities of soil type, the amount of sunshine per day, what seeds or strains to use, and more. As a beginner, you will have a lot to learn a lot about gardening to make it worth your time.
If you want to get started you don’t have to worry about it being a chore. Here are some of the best vegetables to try growing as a beginner.
Cucumbers are excellent for beginners for a few reasons. First, you can use them in a variety of ways in your cooking — make pickles, add them to salads, to drinks, make cucumber loaf, and so on. Second, there are two varieties of cucumbers — vining and bush cucumbers — that are different enough that you can learn about how to alter your technique. Vining cucumbers crawl up a trellis, fence or on soil where they flaunt their lush, green leaves. On the other hand, bush cucumbers yield in small gardens and containers you can put them inside your custom barn homes.
Cucumbers can be seeded indoors or transplanted in the ground but should be done not earlier than two weeks after the last frost. Because these veggies adore sunshine, grow them where they can be soaked in the heat and the light of solar power and not under the shade of trees. Make sure the soil is fertile, moist, neutral or highly alkaline, well-drained and not soggy.
Onions and Garlic
Both onions and garlic spices are probably the easiest to take care of since they are better able to fight off diseases and can grow in certain climate conditions. Also, both are planted and grown in almost the same way and require almost the same types or level of soil, watering and sunlight. If you want to maximize the yield and want to get bigger bulbs or cloves, you can fertilize the soil with nitrogen every few weeks.
Fresh lettuce of multiple varieties, like romaine or iceberg, can be harvested in large amounts when you plant them in mild temperature with frequent watering. However, they tend not to fare so well during the warmer parts of the summer. Potatoes can survive in containers so you can have them indoors if the garden is full. Just keep the soil moist by watering daily.
Having your own garden does not just make you self-reliant. Also, it brings you fun even when you’re doing it while the sun strikes very hot or the cold temperature creeps in to your bones. For a start, you do not need to put pressure on yourself to get everything done impeccably. You just need to take it easy first, learn the ropes of gardening until you master it.
Green Waste Skip Tips On Disposing Your Garden Waste
After cutting your grass, pruning your trees, and trimming your branches, you are now left with the question of what to do with all this green waste, as it can be quite a tedious thing to dispose of. One of the best ways for you to dispose of your garden waste is through green waste skip bins, which is common in Australia. These bins refer to garbage containers that are used specifically for domestic and commercial garden waste.
That said, here are 3 tips that can help with your garden waste disposal through skip bins:
1. Call your local sanitation or waste disposal department.
When you have a green waste skip bin filled up, you don’t have to wait for the next time that the sanitation department will come to collect it. For example, if you’ve got a house party coming up and you want to clear your front lawn of your bin, you can call for a pick up today, or at the next earliest possible time. Doing this is also very helpful, especially if you’ve got big dogs who might dig through the skip bin and bring the twigs out. Imagine the time wasted having to clean up again!
2. Haul your garden waste and bring it to the local dump.
After you have completed clearing your garden, you can gather all these and haul them in your skip bin to deliver them to the local dump yourself. Just be sure that you are dumping it in the right place for biodegradable or green waste. Not only are you cleaning your house better and faster, but you are also helping out the load of the local waste disposal trucks. That is, of course, if you don’t mind taking it yourself.
3. Pile the smaller twigs and leaves first.
Each skip bin has a limit of 150 kilos, which is a lot. But if you’ve done a huge clearing of your big garden, then the size might not be enough. To be more efficient, pile up the smaller twigs and messy leaves first in the skip bin, so you can put in as many green waste as you can. For the bigger logs, if they don’t fit anymore, you can pile them close to the bin, ready for the truck to come pick them up. Not much of a worry for this, as logs don’t easily create a mess, unlike leaves and twigs.
Green garden waste is actually one of the best waste materials in your house because of the very reason that they’re biodegradable. However, ironically, it is also one of the hardest to dispose of, especially if you are dealing with larger quantities. With these tips to guide you, you can now feel happier cutting your grass, trees and branches, as disposing of these garden wastes now aren’t so much of a hassle.
Tips for Students for Gardening in a Small Backyard as a Stay at Home Mom
Nowadays, tight space can’t be a restriction to have with herbs, flowers, and garden veggies around you. If you don’t have the space for a greenhouse you can use small containers or make garden bends in available space. A backyard garden can help you to reap several benefits. Gardening is an engaging and moderate exercise for students. They can develop analytical abilities with their gardening exercise. Try to get some time out of your routine for gardening. Gardening allows children to breathe fresh air and relieve their stress. If you are worried about some lengthy assignment, feel free to get the advantage of reliable research proposal writing services.
Consistent gardening may contribute to social skills, cognitive abilities, and alertness. If you are ready to set up a small backyard garden, here are some tips for your assistance.
Look for Sunlight
Before starting your backyard gardening, you have to figure out the right place with lots of sunlight. You will buy bushes, plants, flowers from Flower Chix Calgary, herbs, and veggies based on the duration of the sun in your backyard. Feel free to set up a shade garden on a deck with little sunlight. For a veggie garden, you must have sunshine for almost 6 to 8 hours.
Several flowers need sunlight too. You have to sun map your backyard gardening by observing the number of sunlight hours in your garden. Tall bushes, trees, and even your house can increase shade and decrease light for backyard gardening.
Choose Suitable Containers
In your small garden, you can plant your favorite herbs, veggies, and flowers in containers. You have to provide proper water, sunlight, and air to your containers. These may dry out quicker than gardening beds, so you have to pay special attention.
In a restricted space, you can try square foot gardening. In this method, you will plant things as close as possible. Instead of creating long rows, you can divide every garden bed by 1-foot x 1-foot squares. Each square will have one kind of crop.
Add Contrast and Colors
You can make your containers beautiful by adding different textures and colors. Try to combine veggie or ornamental plants. For instance, purple veggies look good with greens. Frilly leaves like dill, celeriac, parsnip, celery, and carrot make a beautiful contrast with lettuce, beets, and greens. You can add a nice variation with garlic, onions, and leeks.
Arrangement of Containers
Carefully arrange containers around your courtyard for a pleasing ambiance in a backyard garden. Plant on edges to increase growing space by leaving the middle of the garden for play or patio area. Northside can be an excellent place to plant trees.
You can use vertical space by growing upwards. In this way, you can get most out of your backyard garden. A vertical garden can add layers and height to your garden for additional oomph of function and beauty. By using upward space, you can increase your space for gardening and get better yields.
4 Gardening Scenarios Where It’s Best to Call In the Pros
DIY is a popular word, and YouTube videos can teach you almost anything these days. But is that always the best route to go?
While we respect your willingness to try it yourself and we understand the importance of managing your budget, certain scenarios require some skill & expert advice.
If you face one of the following scenarios, it may be time to ask for some help from your local gardening professionals.
Anything Relating to Your Power Lines
This is a rule you should teach everyone in your household: if gardening takes you near the power lines, you need to outsource.
This is often the case when it’s time to trim your trees. You may not have realized just how quickly those branches are growing, and at the end of the summer they’re almost touching the power lines.
First of all it’s probably the local authorities’ and power line workers’ responsibility to cut them down anyway. Secondly, it only takes one misstep and you can end up falling against the live wires at no parking signs. Don’t do this yourself!
Even a general trimming of trees can quickly turn dangerous if you’re working on damaged trees. A vicious storm or parasites may have weakened trees in your garden. Many plants may never recover.
With a weakened structure, you have no idea where that tree will fall or which branches are still strong enough to support you. Call in the pros on this one. With their knowledge and proper safety harnesses, they will remove the damaged growth piece by piece.
Problems With the Pipes
The idea of having your gas or water pipes dug up is enough to put most homeowners in a bad mood. Important tip: don’t wait for a small problem to become a big one.
A telltale sign of plumbing problems is when water collects in a certain grassy area or you see your paving is wet. It could be the roots of a tree that damaged the pipes, but removing the cause won’t fix the problem. And don’t think you’ll fix it all yourself. You need pros with handy tools such as inflatable pipe plugs that will locate the problem and repair it with the least amount of damage to the surrounding area.
Pests Require the Pros
Another unwelcome sight is when you realize you have pests that are chewing on your plants or contaminating the garden. You’ll find many DIY solutions at the store for rats, bugs and other pests, but they often only minimize the plague; it’s rarely destroyed completely.
A better solution is to call a pest control company that knows how to track down the nest and eliminate the problem.
You know how to look after your property, but more often than not DIY projects lead to temporary fixes, not long-term solutions. Know when you’ve reached your limits and call in the professionals so you can enjoy your garden again.
Why Should You Learn About Gardening: The Benefits
Most of us enjoy the experience of a tranquil, relaxing garden. Beautifully planned and professionally planted, these spaces offer a fantastic sense of peace and calm, with perfectly selected aromas and a dazzling display of colors, all of which seamlessly fit together as though by magic.
While we may enjoy the end result, the truth is that many of us are clueless when it comes to the fundamentals of gardening. It can be a subject which seems overwhelming, with jargon such as ‘soil pH’ and ‘seasonal planting’ making this sound like a dry and theoretical bore, as opposed to a fundamental basic. In truth, learning about gardening can be a huge benefit for your home and life, changing the way you relax, exercise, and even eat. Whether you are keen to grow your own veggies or learn more about lawn care.
You are what you eat
Gardening is not merely restricted to beautiful flowers; it is a fundamental part of the food chain. Leaning to grow and harvest your own food is not only a hugely satisfying experience, but it could also help you cut your food budget. In addition, growing your own fruit and vegetables helps you to develop a better understanding of what you are putting in your body, and can provide inspiration for creative new meal ideas.
Extend your home
If you are a homeowner, gardening offers a chance to extend your living space at a little extra cost. By learning the basics of gardening, you can identify things that will thrive in your garden, and use this knowledge to create a relaxing and stunning space which is perfect for late-night entertaining, chilled summer barbeques, and informal family picnics. Make the most of every inch of your home by transforming the outside.
Improve your health
As well as helping to change your diet, gardening is also an excellent form of exercise. The bending, stooping, and squatting required can provide a full-body workout, and burn more calories than a traditional gym session! As a bonus, you can feel satisfied that you are doing something productive while exercising, whether that is pruning, weeding, or digging a brand new bed. By having visible results, you will increase your motivation, helping to turn a workout from a necessary evil to a productive and genuinely useful task.
Save the planet
Having a good knowledge of plants and flowers is also beneficial in helping save the planet. Plants provide the oxygen which keeps us alive, and so learning to respect and maintain them is essential. In addition, you can help attract bees and insects to your garden with the right combination of foliage. These are creatures that are in danger of being lost, and so we need to invite them in at any opportunity. By maintaining a garden, you will be doing your bit to generate a whole new ecosystem, and play a valuable part in the lifecycle of many creatures—not merely humans.
How to get Electricity to your Garden
An electrical connection to the garden adds a whole new level of usefulness, comfort as well as improving security. A constant electrical source in the garden is ideal if you’re looking to add some flare to the backyard garden with a fountain, speakers, a projector for a party or extra lighting to run along footpaths or beside stools.
Aussie’s today are using their gardens for more than just somewhere to grow vegetables and that means electricity is essentially required to get the most out of the garden. Below we’ll take a look at a few of the easiest ways to get electricity running to your garden.
Solar Panels and Batteries
The most environmentally friendly option for getting electricity to the garden will be through investing in an array of solar panels paired with rechargeable batteries and an inverter. This way you’ll have a near-constant source of free electricity that your garden’s lights and other accessories can connect to.
Keep in mind that depending on the size of your solar panels and your battery’s voltage output you might not be able to power everything you’d like to. These solar solutions are fantastic for lower electricity use, but if you’re wanting to power other appliances, tools and more then it’s best to consider a generator. More on that below.
Portable, Low-cost Generators
If you’re looking for a solution a little more permanent then it might be a good idea to consider a generator. This way, when the time comes to switch on all of your home’s garden lighting and other accessories like pool lighting, outdoor speakers and more, you’ll be able to start your generator and be done with it. There’s very little that a generator can’t power in the garden and that means you’ll have no cap on what you could do.
You might want to consider smaller, more portable generators for your garden as these will be easy to conceal but will also be virtually silent. Generators from retailers like Outbaxcamping are perfect solutions for at-home garden electricity requirements as they’re affordable and incredibly efficient.
Temporary Extension Cables from the House
One of the easiest, quick fixes to getting electricity in the garden is running an extension cable form the house to whatever you need to be powered in the garden. Whether it’s a temporary water feature, lighting, bug zapper or just about anything else, an extension cable should do the trick on a temporary basis. Just be sure to use more heavy duty extension cables for appliances or tools that require higher amperages.
It’s important to remember that an extension cord isn’t designed to be a permanent solution. You’re still able to use these cables to temporarily power appliances, tools and lighting in your backyard. Just be sure it’s not forecast to rain and make absolutely certain no children or pets will be able to mess around with it.
Why There Is a Need for Wheelie Bin Storage
Wheelie bin storage is the best way to keep your bin out of sight before the next collection pickup. There are many reasons why you need storage for your wheelie bins.
Wheelie bins are essential on collection day. They are the perfect size for holding rubbish, and their use makes it easy for collection workers to remove your garbage. However, these large bins are also quite unattractive.
- More Attractive
The colors of your wheelie bins more than likely do not compliment the exterior of your home. The bold colors of these bins are designed to make it easy for the refuse collector to know what type of garbage is inside. This is especially helpful for recycling.
A wheelie bin storage container keeps these unsightly bins out of sight until collection day. Storage containers come in a variety of materials and colors, so it’s possible to find something that looks attractive next to your home.
- Less Mess
If you’ve ever picked up the rubbish after a wheelie bin has been knocked over, you know how much of a hassle it is. All it takes is a large gust of wind, and your wheelie bin may topple over. Everything inside may blow onto your property. You’re entirely responsible for cleaning up the mess.
Locking your wheelie bin in a bin store, however, will prevent it from falling over. This means you no longer need to worry about chasing rubbish down the street.
- No Theft
Wheelie bins are often targeted by thieves. This is very sad but true. While you may not initially miss your stolen wheelie bin, you will have to replace it. In many instances, you will have to pay to obtain another wheelie bin. If you had a storage area for your bin, you would no longer have to worry about it being stolen by desperate thieves.
- Fewer Pests
Stray animals and rodents love to scavenge for garbage. They may be looking for bits of food in your wheelie bin. Unfortunately, if an animal tries to get inside the wheelie bin, they will most likely end up knocking it over. Once again, this means you’ll be responsible for picking up all the garbage. Locking the wheelie bin up in a bin store will ensure four-legged creatures are unable to feast inside your bin.
If you’re ready to get a bin store, you can easily make one yourself. Those who are not handy can purchase a pre-made one from a home improvement shop. Keep your rubbish covered and out of sight by storing your wheelie bin in a closed bin store.
6 Expert Tips to Find the Right Lawn Mower
Planning to buy a lawn mower for your garden? It will be wise to think of a few factors before you invest on a lawn mower. Starting from the size of the garden to the frequency of mowing, everything has to be taken into consideration because lawn mowers can be quite expensive. In addition to the brand, features, and the price of the mower, you should also keep an eye on the shape and size of the topography. But there are three main factors that will help you decide the best lawn mower for your garden: the level of terrain, the number of obstacles in the garden such as plants, flower beds, trees, etc, and the size of the garden. Here are some of the lawn mowers that will be suitable for you:
1. Walk-behind mowers
Probably the most popular of all the lawn mowers is the walk-behind variant that will give you plenty of options to mow your lawn. These are generally two-stroked mowers that have the ability to cut yards of lawn continuously without any interruption. Moreover, these mowers can run for years and they require very low maintenance too. The ideal size of the walk-behind mowers is 20” to 22”. You should always measure the length and width of the garden along with the size of the yard gate so that you don’t have any problem while using the mower.
2. Zero-turn mowers
These mowers are hugely popular when it comes to mowing golf courses and landscapes. They are easy to use as they offer high-speed cutting and can turn very precisely. There will be two lap bars that you will act as the driving wheel. You have to maneuver the bars carefully to make sure that you are mowing the right areas of the lawn. If you have a huge lawn that has got big obstacles such as ponds or trees, then a zero-turn mower will be the right choice. With the fast mowing capability, it will be easier to cut down the grass in a relatively short period of time. This will allow you to mow a large area very quickly.
3. Push mowers
Push mowers are the most common in houses that have a small garden in front with grass in it. These mowers are small in size and you have to push them manually to cut the grass. The blades are attached between the two wheels and they are appropriate for mowing small patches of grass in the garden. There is no engine to operate this mower. So, you will have to push it around the areas that you want to clean. The standard size of these mowers is 16” but you can get a bigger variant that measures 20” or even a smaller variant that measures 14”. One of the benefits of the push mowers is that they are really affordable. Their price varies from $80 to $110 because of their manual operation and size.
4. Gas or electric motor-powered mowers
There are various pros and cons of buying a gas or electric motor-powered mower. First of all, electric mowers are absolutely a gem because of their precision and cleanliness. They are easier to operate and do not create any mess while you mow. However, they can run out of power if you don’t have two batteries. The corded mowers are still okay but the size of the cord will be a challenge. But if you are using cordless mowers, then you need to have a couple of extra batteries charged up.
Gas mowers, on the other hand, can be more powerful and precise and electric mowers. According to Discover Ziehler, they have the ability to last longer but there are a couple of factors that can get in their way. First, they require frequent maintenance so that the gas does not run out. You have to constantly check the level of gas left in the mower so that it does not stop working all of a sudden. The second thing is it creates a lot of mess while cutting the grass. That is something that the electric mowers do not have. You will have to keep cleaning the grass after mowing for a few minutes so that the blades can cut through better and quicker.
5. Self-propelled mowers
These are all-wheel mowers that are quite heavy to drive around. They have the capability to cut through grass quickly but their weight can be a challenge when you are going uphill. Make sure that you buy this model only when you are planning to mow a flat lawn because, with so much weight, it will be difficult to maneuver the mower on various parts of the lawn.
6. Riding mowers
Those who find it extremely difficult to use a push mower or take a lot of time to mow a small lawn, it will be better to buy a riding mower. This type of mower will offer the basic facilities of mowing. They are just push mowers with an electric motor in the rear end so that you can drive the mower instead of having to push it around the lawn. In fact, this can be a cost-effective solution if you don’t want to spend a huge amount on a mower but want to get the job done somehow. They are easy to operate and can mow small gardens very quickly. Depending on the size of the mower, you can look to spend between $600 and $1000 to get one of these mowers for your garden.
Buying a lawn mower can be a big investment. You will have to decide what the priorities are and then find the right type of mower according to the different features given above. There are several varieties of mowers from different brands that you can get but the size of the lawn and the comfort that you want to get while cutting the grass can be two big factors to decide which type of mower will be best suited for your garden.
House Cleaning 101: 5 Tips to Maintain Cleanliness in the Garden
It’s so nice to relax in your outdoor living space and spend time bonding with kids in your garden with fresh air, colorful flowers, trees, and green grass around. While it’s crucial to water the plants and mow the lawn, a beautiful garden should be organized and clean. So, let’s check these helpful tips to maintain the cleanliness in your garden!
1. Remove Leaves and Branches
During the fall season, dried leaves, stems, and branches usually accumulate in the garden. It’s important to clear your garden with these things and human-made rubbish to maintain a beautiful garden. Removing dry leaves also reduces pests from attacking fresh leaves during spring. Here are some helpful tips:
- You can remove leaves by cleaning the garden yourself. You can also hire a rubbish removal service, like 1300 Rubbish Removal, if you can’t manage to do it due to your busy schedule or you have no appropriate tools available.
- Pruning damaged branches and stems is a good practice to prevent plant diseases from spreading or damaging the whole plant.
2. Keep the Land Clear
While it’s crucial to keep your garden clear of fallen leaves or twigs, you also need to ensure that:
- You store garden tools, such as spades and rakes, in your garden shed to avoid accidents and keep your garden clutter-free.
- Dispose of leaves, stems, and branches into a compost heap or separate bin. You can recycle them and use it as fertilizer for your plants.
3. Prevent Soil Erosion
Soil erosion can extremely mess up your great garden design, including its layout and your plants, too. The soil gets eroded because of heavy rainfall and winds. You can prevent soil erosion by:
- Growing plants that can protect the soil against wind or water movement (e.g., yellow foxtail, blue fescue)
- Building raised plant beds
- Using rocks as resistance for loosening the soil
- Hiring a professional garden landscape designer
4. Clean Hardscape Elements
Don’t miss to clean your garden décor. The hardscape elements of your garden include statues, fountains, pathways, and other human-made structures. You need to ensure you don’t miss cleaning them. Here are some tips:
- Garden gnomes or statues can promote mold and moss growth and can easily collect dust during hot seasons. Clean them regularly.
- Garden fountains and ponds should be cleaned. Fill them with clear water. Don’t keep stagnant water in them.
5. Get a Garden Hose Reel
A garden hose can be a huge mess. It’s a smart idea to invest in a garden hose reel to keep the hose neatly gathered, making your yard feel instantly more organized and preventing slip accidents.
Maintaining a beautiful and clean garden shouldn’t be stressful. You can dedicate 10 to 15 minutes a day or every other day to clear the garden of rubbish and clutter as a way of relaxing and as a bonding activity with your family.
6 Essential Tools For Your Garden Maintenance
Working in a garden is not possible without any tools at hand. It requires a lot of tasks and having the right tools will make your garden maintenance plain sailing. Since there are a lot of gardening tools available, you might be confused about which ones are essential or not.
Here are some necessary tools that you will need to keep your garden looking at its best:
1. Cutting Tools
A huge part of gardening maintenance involves cutting and trimming small trees, bushes, and other perennials. Hand pruners and loppers are essential for these tasks. Pruners can be used for cutting stems and branches with a small diameter. Loppers are intended for larger branches.
These tools can be used for deadheading or regular trimming activities. Pruning your bushes regularly will initiate healthy plant growth and will make it grow to your desired shape. Cutting tools is also essential during harvesting season if you grow fruit trees and vegetables in your garden.
Grasses usually grow fast, most especially during the rainy season. Proper maintenance of your lawn is essential in every well-maintained garden. You can avoid it being bushy by investing in a lawnmower.
Getting an affordable lawnmower is enough for your garden maintenance needs. Usually, these are the convenient types where you can easily use and store the equipment.
3. Garden Hose and Water Sprinkler
Water is essential in every gardening activity. Garden hose can facilitate, bringing the water supply to any area of your garden which makes it easier for you. However, having a water sprinkler is good when you are working in planters, plant boxes, and flower pots with delicate herbs and flowers.
4. Wheelbarrow or Garden Cart
Having a wheelbarrow in your garden will make it easier for you, especially if you do not have anyone to help you out. Garden maintenance also involves moving and lifting objects such as garden soil, fertilizers, and pots. Investing in a wheelbarrow will help you accomplish these tasks in a breeze.
5. Shovel and Spades
Shovels and spades are useful when digging soil, edging, and even moving mud and large debris in your garden. Investing in a good one with high-quality material will provide better garden maintenance. Make sure that you get it with a handle that is comfortable on your hands and has a length that will provide good leverage.
6. Hand Trowel
Another garden essential is a hand trowel where you can use for various purposes such as transplanting seedlings in pots or trays, distributing soil in pots, and getting fertilizer in sacks. Having a well-made trowel will make your garden maintenance a stroll in the park.
Now that you know the essential tools needed to have a well-maintained garden, it’s now time to buy and gather them in stores. By investing in the right tools, you will avoid overcrowding your garden shed, and at the same time, you can accomplish your gardening tasks in no time.
How to Choose Garden Furniture: 5 Factors to Consider
In buying outdoor garden furniture, there are certain factors you need to check for first to ensure that you spend your money on furniture pieces that will truly answer your needs. Budget is of course an important factor that you need to consider in shopping for your home and outdoor furnishings, but aside from that, the other factors where you could use more helpful information about include furniture material, style, size versus available space, comfort, and maintenance requirements. These five factors are further discussed in this simple but essential guide to buying the right outdoor furniture.
Outdoor furniture is typically made of materials that can resist the elements better, such as rattan, timber, wrought-iron, aluminum, and stainless steel. Choose natural plant materials for an easy outdoorsy feel, or more modern metal materials for added character and spunk.
Furniture style largely depends on material. Small wrought-iron chairs, for instance, usually have intricate designs that reflect the French style with an antique touch. Chunky timber benches inspire a more rustic ambience, while sleek stainless steel chairs offer sophisticated elegance.
Take out that measuring tape and work out how much space you actually have for your garden furniture. Take care to leave ample space over for walkways and enough room for other movement; you don’t want your furniture to look like they’ve been crammed in too tightly without enough elbow room left over. Note down the measurements you have made and refer to it while shopping for your outdoor furniture, whether you’re just looking at online catalogs or visiting physical furniture showrooms. Do not commit to buying furniture without checking whether its dimensions will comfortably fit your available space. No matter how elegant the design or high-quality the material, if the piece doesn’t actually fit the area, it will be of no practical use to you and you’ll end up wasting time, money, and effort.
Your garden furniture will not be there for mere display; they need to be functional pieces you can not only use, but actually enjoy using. The key to this is checking for comfort before purchasing furniture pieces such as sofa sets, chairs, sun loungers, daybeds, and deck chairs. If you’re buying a rattan chair, for instance, sit in it and get a feel for fit and comfort. Is the chair seat roomy enough to fit you front to back and side to side, but without having you feel dwarfed by its size? If it comes with a cushion—which is recommended, to prevent sagging over time—does it have ample padding? If you’re shopping for a rattan dining set, check that the seat heights are appropriate for the table height, and that the table’s legs give the sitters plenty of clearance.
Maintenance needs are determined by furniture material. All-weather wicker rattan furniture will need a simple routine cleaning involving a soapy but not wet wiping using a soft cloth, and air-drying it afterwards. You may use a small toothbrush dipped in soapsuds to reach the small crevices in woven furniture, but you would need to be careful not to soak rattan furniture. As for aluminum, stainless steel, or plastic furniture, you can hose them down with warm water to clear away airborne dust and dirt. With wrought-iron metal chairs made of more traditional heavy cast iron, you will need to protect them from rust by protecting them from rain exposure and performing routine repainting.
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How to Do a Tree Removal Process in 5 Easy Steps
Removing a dying or dead tree can be a very challenging task, especially because safety is a significant concern in the whole scenario. It is best to leave it up to the pros who have been doing this for a while.
The process is tree removal can be tricky, but the five steps mentioned below could make it easy for you. So here are few things you need to keep in mind.
Steps Involved in the Removal Process
After examining the tree to check whether it is diseased, dying, or dead, there are specific steps that need to be kept in mind. These steps may seem easy for homeowners, but it is always better to hire professionals to do the job.
1. Clearing the Area – When you plan on removing a large tree, you will require a significant amount of space to let the tree lay flat after it is removed. Therefore, you will have to estimate the height and accordingly clear the immediate area in the vicinity.
In order to do so, you will have to sift through the tree. You need to see in which direction is the tree leaning naturally. It will be of great help in determining the best direction for the fall. If there are signs of decay, there are high chances that the tree may collapse and not fall where it was previously intended.
2. Picking Up an Escape Route – Sometimes the tree may fall out of control, and in such situations, you will require a clear path to scape and run in the other direction. Keep a tab on the areas near the tree that does not have any obstacles. All in all, you have to be prepared for everything.
3. Gathering the Right Equipment – when The size of the tree will determine the kind of equipment you will need for cutting the tree down. You can either go with a handsaw, but in case of larger trees, you will need a chainsaw. If you do not have the right equipment with you just go for tree removal services within your location. For example if you are based in NSW, Sydney you can search for phrases like tree pruning Sydney, NSW to find services near to your location.
4. Starting the Undercut and Backcut – After scoping the area out, you will have a pretty good idea of the fall’s direction. You will have to cut a 45-degree angle V-shape near the bottom then to induce the fall. After it is done, a cut must be made from the opposite side as well.
5. Moving away – Right after cutting the tree, you will have to walk away and alert others around you about the falling tree.
After the tree has fallen on the ground, you will be able to remove the branches very easily. You can also cut the log into several pieces for transporting it away from the site.
Practical and Affordable Home Improvement
Social life in Australia involves quite a few outdoor events, blessed as we are with such a wonderful climate for much of the year, though the weather isn’t perfect every day, which is why so many homes and businesses are adding some cover for their outdoor areas. A shower of rain can really put a dampener on your barbecue, or have customers trying to grab their bits and pieces, along with their lunch, to scurry inside quickly. And of course, sometimes the weather is just too good, with a clear blue sky, without a cloud in sight, with you and your guests cooking almost as fast as the food on the grill. Once mostly seen on camping sites, attached to the caravan or tent, the awning has found a new lease of life not only to provide shade and shelter in the back yard, but for many of our favourite eateries too.
Functional and Simple
One of the beauties of an awning, is that it provides an excellent level of cover from the sun’s rays, and will keep everyone dry in all but very nasty and blustery storms. There is nothing really complicated about them and even the kids can extend or retract them simply. While many choose the retractable type operated by a simple crank handle, the motor operated variety sees it slide out smoothly, providing cover in seconds.
Aesthetics and Style
Awnings are available in an immensely wide range of colours and styles, so you can choose one which fits in perfectly with your home and surroundings, or choose something bright and vibrant, to catch the eye and reflect your mood. Restaurants and cafes can similarly use them for advertising themselves, or key brands available within, providing marketing opportunities as well as protection.H
Simple to Install
Fixed and retracting folding awnings in Melbourne and across the country are finding themselves in more and more places around the home and business. We have come to think of them as jutting out from a building to provide cover for the garden deck, or the café, but are more frequently being used in other areas too. Many a balcony now sports an awning, to provide shade and cover, while people enjoy the elevated views. Freestanding models also offer the same great looks and protection for the swimming pool or an extended garden patio.
Fitting an awning to your property is an extremely simple and fairly cheap home improvement, with the majority of installations installed in a very short period of time, especially when fitted to the side of a building. Any of your outdoor areas where you seek an extension to the natural shade provided can be inexpensively achieved. Not only do you have the benefit of the cover right now, to keep everyone protected while you are in the property, it can also be beneficial when it comes time to sell, by providing extra style and flare, though you also have the option of swiftly uninstalling it and taking it with you. Such is its versatility, it’s pretty likely to be able to be swiftly refitted to your new home too.
With remote control options, as well as sensors for sun, rain, wind and even timers, making the property look good while controlling the outdoor environment has never been so easy.
Smart Home Improvements That Boost the Value of your Property
If you enjoy improving your home and are looking to add value to the property, while also providing a new level of comfort, there are many ways to do this. Of course, you can’t do everything at once and by prioritising your projects, you can gradually add features, as and when you are ready. If you are planning for next year’s home improvement projects, here are a few great ideas that will boost the value of your home, while providing you with a new level of comfort.
Permanent Shading Solutions
The garden is an integral part of the living space for most of the year and shading is an essential requirement. Rather than mess around with that old rope and pulley system, why not install a state of the art folding arm awning? There are established suppliers of folding arm awnings in Melbourne who tailor the units to fit perfectly and with motorised solutions, you have effortless adjustment. A wide range of rich fabrics offer stylish and elegant shading that blends in with your home, and as the units are fabricated to fit the terrace, you can be sure of a first-class installation.
If you want to add some character to your home, made to measure plantation shutters will do the trick. With a choice of real timber or composite materials, plantation shutters allow you to decide how much shade and privacy you want, and by dealing with an established provider, you can examine the many design options. Aluminium shutters are an ideal choice; easy to keep clean and there are some stunning powder coated colours to enhance your interior. If you would like to explore the potential that plantation shutters offer, there are online companies that can easily be found with a Google search, and they would likely send a technician to your home to discuss the many options.
Aluminium Roller Shutters
The ultimate in home security, made to measure aluminium roller shutters offer the homeowner a whole host of benefits – aside from the obvious security – roller shutters greatly improve thermal and sound insulation, and storm damage is a thing of the past once you have roller shutters installed on the windows and doors. With a choice of motorised or hand cranked units, roller shutters are designed to blend in with the surroundings, with slimline frames and the internal mechanism protected in aluminium casing. Auto locking ensures you don’t go out and forget to fasten the shutters, and whenever you are away on holiday, you can rest assured that your home is safe.
These are just a few ways in which you can improve the home, and by searching online for local suppliers, you can quickly get the ball rolling. Permanent shading in the form of a folding arm awning would be high on the list of priorities, and once that is covered, window shutters would complete the look.
Super Easy Homegrown Foods You Should Plant Now
We are all caught eating junk and fast food almost all the time. The toll it takes on our health and bills are significant if you look at the accumulated costs at the end of the year. Going green is the best option we have these days. Given the nature of the planet’s health along with our individual health, we ought to start taking better care of ourselves. The benefits and profits are far more than the effort required. Like growing your own food. Imagine saving all the costs you could on food and be sure of its quality because it literally grew on your own backyard.
Top Tips for Homegrown Food Items:
You can have a long list of items that you can grow in your own home. You just need to get a sense of what it takes to be a good gardener and you’ll be eating your homegrown delicious vegetables in no time. You can also have a digital setup with smart devices that can take care of the plantation for you. For which, you can also have apps on your phones that allow you to monitor their growth and health so you can leave them without a worry.
Items to Grow:
When you are planting potatoes, make sure you do so in February or March. Potatoes are healthy and they can make for a great side vegetable that can be added to any dish to make it worthwhile. Potatoes are grown in potato bags. Add compost to the bag and keep adding compost when you see buds shooting up from the ground. Patience is the key with all vegetables and after 10-20 weeks, you will start to see the foliage die back. That’s the time you should dig up the soil and get your potatoes.
If you are looking for an evergreen veggie, you should try Peas. Not only are they available all through the year, they only take 2-3 months to grow. Although some experts would advise a chicken wire or something similar to make the stem erect. Peas are nutritious, tasty and go well with other ingredients.
Spring onions are known for making any salad crunchy and enjoyable. One problem with Spring Onion plants is that they can be a target of onion fly but if you plant mint near it, that should resolve the issue. These plants can be grown in pots as well as under the ground. Try sowing them in March to provide favorable conditions. You can expect the onions to be ripe in about 8 weeks. You should let them flower before you harvest.
Use enhanced tech to help you grow your own food. You can search online for smart sprinklers and monitor systems and read reviews like mobicip to get a better understanding of the kind of tech that’s available these days. Let’s use our tools to save ourselves rather than to amuse ourselves.
Ways You Can Protect Your Garden and Keep It Healthy
There are so many wrongs things that can happen to your garden. You will lose all you have worked hard to build if you are not careful enough. You need to take some precautions to keep your garden healthy and productive.
You also need to protect your garden from pests, frost and freeze on winters. This article will give you general tips to help you take care and protect your garden:
1. Weed Control
Weeds compete for nutrients with your crops, thus your crops might not do well. They also make your garden look untidy. There are several methods you can use to keep weeds off your garden. Some of the methods include mulching, use of chemicals or you can use the weed control fabric. The weed control fabric may not apply in all situations but it will surely help. There are other natural methods of removing and controlling weeds from your garden. Pick one that is effective and affordable for you.
2. Apply Well Decomposed Manure
Always ensure that the manure you use for your garden is fully composted. The benefits of using well composted manure is that it produces high temperatures that help kill pathogens in the soil. When it is not fully composted, it may introduce bacteria or diseases to the soil that may harm your crops. For example, when an infected plant is not fully decomposed, the infection is carried back to the soil.
3. Water Regularly
It is important that you water your garden regularly to keep your plants healthy and lush. However, you need to ensure that you are doing it well. The pathogens and bacteria in the soil also need water to grow and multiply. You should water your crops at the root level only.
4. Use the Row Cover
Having a garden row cover is a clever move for your garden. It helps shield and protect your garden in so many ways. The original use of the row cover is to protect your garden from frost and freeze during winter. The thick fabric is used to protect the garden from frost and freeze. It can be used to shield your garden from pest and insects. You can use the lighter fabric row cover to keep off the insects. In summer, the garden row cover is used as sun screen for crops. Remember to leave the garden with enough air circulation when using the row covers. Additionally, they help prevent instances of cross pollination. This is important if you are keen on the variety of crops you grow.
5. Always Apply the Right Fertilizer
Applying too much or the wrong fertilizer will not only damage the soil, but it might damage the roots of the crops. This affects their ability to absorb water causing low yields. Know the type of soil in your garden and the suitable fertilizer to apply.
Proper care and maintenance of your garden will give you great yields. Most of these methods and tips are inexpensive. These tips will help you to take care of your garden.
Tips for Gardening During the Colder Months
If you thought your gardening skills would be put to rest during the winter, you were wrong. Your plants need you more than ever in order to survive Winter. While some plants are sturdy and capable of surviving a freeze, others cannot. Give everything in your garden a fighting chance to make it through even the coldest winter.
Keep Your Plants Warm
When plants freeze, their cellular design is damaged. This often results in death. Avoid this from happening by keeping your plants as warm as possible. At night, consider covering your plants with straw or fleece. Uncover them during the day so they absorb plenty of sunlight.
Trees, especially those designed to survive cold weather, are still susceptible to damage. Instead of worrying about their leaves, it’s more important to keep their roots warm by pouring a thick layer of mulch around the base of each tree.
If you have especially tender plants in your garden, they should be transplanted to a pot. This way, you can easily move them indoors to a warmer environment such as a winter greenhouse until the temperatures outside rise once again.
Prepare the Lawn
During the winter, your lawn becomes very vulnerable. Avoid running and playing on it as it may damage the surface. Instead, make winter a time when your lawn gets to rest.
It’s also important to fertilize your lawn during the winter so that it gets enough nutrients to thrive. If you saved all of the leaves and trimmings from autumn, then you should have a hefty compost pile. You can also bring in additional loam to ensure your lawn is properly cared for.
Bring in More Trees
Plant new varieties of trees and shrubs in your garden. The soil should be perfectly moist for new roots to grow deep into the ground. Choose species that are known for being hardy during the cold months, like evergreens.
Add mulch around the seedlings to keep them warm and protected. If the weather gets too windy, it may be necessary to tie the tree to a stake for additional support. Any snow or ice should be gently removed from the branches as soon as possible.
Care for the Birds
Birds and other wildlife are vital to the health of your garden. Beautiful to watch, they also eat insects that may otherwise damage your plants. That’s why you should place some feeders around your property. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the assortment of winter birds flying into your garden for a meal every day.
Temperatures are dropping so do not ignore your garden. In fact, you need to spend even more time tending to the needs of your plants to ensure they survive until spring.
By taking the necessary steps to carefor your garden now, you’re sure to have a beautiful, blossoming garden comewarmer weather. If you need any tips, look for a local tradesman skilled at gardening.
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Essential Heavy Equipment For Your Garden Maintenance
Do you find yourself always tending to your lawn and keeping it neat? Gardening is one of the most therapeutic hobbies you can do at home. Some people even level up their landscaping hobby by purchasing tools and types of machinery to grow and cultivate their plants properly. Gardening can be tedious if you get into it seriously and you’ll need some extra help using heavy equipment to maintain your garden.
Here are some of the essential heavy-duty equipment you might want to start using:
A skid-steer loader consists of heavy equipment parts like wheel bearings and loader-arms. It can also have various attachments depending on the kind of work you want to do – if it’s snowing, you can clear out the snow in your yard with a snowblower attachment or if you need to do excavating jobs you can attach a backhoe to it.
For a typical homeowner, a small-frame skid steer is best in doing landscaping, hauling, and moving garden materials. Since it is lightweight and compact, it’s easy to maneuver around. It’s a base motor equipment for several heavy-duty tasks and its versatility can save you more money in the long run.
Having a cultivated soil is always best for making a great garden for your backyard. Your soil is the foundation for creating planting beds to growing your vegetation by having it neatly leveled, graded, and pulverized.
You will need a landscape tiller to make your soil ready for planting – it needs to be broken apart due to rocks, weeds and mostly compacted soil that’s hard to tackle. The tiller will do the heavy labor for you; it will also mix up the compost so that your land will be conducive to planting your flowers, vegetables, or even Bermuda grass.
Seasons change, and you need to grow several different kinds of plants that go with it, and tilling the soil makes it easier for your plants to grow abundantly.
Mowing is an activity you need to do to keep your yards neat and trimmed. If you’re just starting to landscape your residence, you may want to purchase a small lawn tractor. These are often called ride-on lawnmowers which are motorized and are suitable for medium-sized lawns going up to an acre.
These types of mowing tractors have advanced features, a wide-array of adjustable cutting decks, and come with better engines. Research on what kind of tractors are right for your area and this will definitely be an excellent investment for you.
Your garden, an outdoor space in your house, is in need of tender loving care throughout the year. Weather changes from time to time and it may affect your soil and plants; you need to prepare yourself in doing hard labor for a number of times to maintain your landscape. Gardening is not a simple task, but it’s worth doing when you see your flowers bloom in your backyard.
A Homeowner’s Guide To Shed Organization: The Do’s And Don’ts
Your shed is a beneficial part of your property, but it is usually overlooked and undervalued. It is where homeowners store unused items, tools, supplies, and anything that won’t fit inside the house, so things get quickly out of control if you’re not aware of the do’s and don’ts of shed organization. Let’s get started!
Shed Organization – Do’s
Determine If DIY Or Ready-Made Garden Sheds Are Right For You
While you can save creating your DIY shed, why not look at great garden sheds online? These are ready-made are now available to make your life a lot easier. It is crucial to have a well-designed garden shed because it usually stores dangerous substances. Ready-made garden sheds are engineered and built by professionals to ensure that homeowners will have less hassle organizing their stuff. If you’re ready to get organized, make sure that your existing shed can handle order. If not, invest in a new one.
Organize With Shed Shelving
Shelving is an essential aspect of shed organization. Before you start piling things in your shed, be sure to have an adequate number of shelves. Organize the items according to what you use the most. For example, you can store everyday tools within easy reach and somewhere where you can easily see them. Stow rarely used items on top. To prevent nasty incidents, put bulky or heavy items at floor level.
Declutter Your Home
In your free time, it would be nice to declutter your home to get rid of the things you need to throw away. Sometimes we store unwanted items in our shed thinking that they can still be used in the future. However, they may get damaged over time, rendering them unusable. Remove residential rubbish as early as possible to prevent accumulating trash in your shed. You can always repurpose old cupboards and shed furniture to save money.
Use Shovel Racks
Your hardware and cleaning tools, like forks, spades, hoes, and brooms are all necessary, so you need to organize them in a shovel rack. You can create a shovel rack from a piece of plywood with slots or using an old pallet. Attach the shovel rack securely on the wall.
Attaching pegboard on the walls enable you to hang all types of tools, making them accessible and also saving space. You can hang your power tools, hand tools, sprinklers, hoses, paintbrushes, and gardening shears. Make your pegboards fun and bright by painting them with different colors which also serve as codes for tool organization.
Use Household Items For Storage
Small metal items, such as screws, clips, pins, nails, bolts, and other hardware bits can be stored in repurposed mason jars. A door shoe organizer is a good place to store your seed packets.
Hooks are your best buddies in your garden shed. You can use them to hang tools such as secateurs and trowels. Hook your tools on a shower curtain rail, old palette, or a window frame.
Use The Ceiling
Convert ply boards into a useful space or shelving up top. You can hang your big bikes from the ceiling so that you can reclaim some floor space. You can even use an old PVC pipe as a fishing rod holder.
Magnets can do wonders for shed organizing. A magnetic tool holder and magnetic knife rack can store pliers, files, screwdrivers, and other metal tools.
Hang Your Garden Hose
You can make a perfect hose hanger out of an old bucket or cable-spool. A wall-mounted cylinder or an old car wheel can be converted into a hose hanger. By doing so, your garden hose is accessible and ready whenever you need to water your geraniums, organic veggies, and all sorts of your plants in your greenhouse or garden.
Shed Organization – Don’ts
Storing paint in your shed will leave it unusable over time due to temperature fluctuations. Store paint in dry places where the temperatures are low, such as closet indoors or basements. Contact your local recycling agency to dispose of old paint.
Store Pet Food And Paper Products
Paper products, such as napkins and paper towels, and pet food can attract rodents and bugs. Store these products separately and away from high temperatures.
Use Your Shed As A Dumping Area
Immediately dispose of trash and don’t dump unused items in your shed. If you’re 100% sure that items are not usable anymore, it is best to get rid of them.
Organizing your shed can be fun and exciting, allowing you to use your resourcefulness and creativity. There are many things you can find at home that can be repurposed as shed organizers. While you can create your DIY garden shed, you can always purchase ready-made garden sheds online if you’re too busy or don’t have the interest to build one. Every home repair and maintenance activity is made easier and faster if you have a well-designed and organized shed. Happy organizing!
Is it Safe to Garden Near your Septic System?
Food is the source of survival for every living thing. Yet, if contaminated, it can become the foundation of sickness, caused by bacteria. This can happen when food is grown in contaminated soil. Is it safe to garden near your septic system? No, it is not safe for vegetables. The water and wastewater measurement are too difficult for the non professional gardener.
Illnesses caused by foods planted near or on septic systems:
- Hepatitis A
- Typhoid Fever
What are some problems that might develop from vegetables planted around or on a septic system?
Too many of these illnesses have occurred throughout history to ignore them, or the environment that causes them. Vegetables may flourish with any kind of fertilizer. Yet, that does not mean it is good for the body. Pollutants grow into food and food goes into the body. Therefore, you want to keep the food healthy from the seed.
Plants can get rain-splashed soil from the contaminated area. It is necessary to wash any plant before cooking. However, a plant touched by septic bacteria may not respond to washing and bacteria may spread to other parts of the home.
Some plants help septic system absorption. Plants that are not deep-rooted assist the system without choking septic lines. Plants take nutrients, and this helps the soil absorb better. However, choose plants carefully in order to avoid destroying the septic system, which will cause expensive repairs.
Will Plants Become Infected by Contamination?
This is something home gardeners are usually not equipped to decide. Clay soil provides good absorption. Therefore, a bacterium is unable to move very far from the septic area. However, sandy soil is not as accommodating, and contaminated materials move further. Since sandy soil does not provide the same level of absorption that clay, soil does. Contamination danger is increased. There are few people planting gardens who are soil experts. However, some are just beginning to try at gardening and need assistance with finding the right spot to plant vegetables.
Will septic chemicals harm plants near the septic tank?
If plants are kept above the ground, and there is no danger of splash. You can grow them in a septic system area. It is possible to put mulch around the plant so there will be no splash. However, rather than risk contamination, it is better not to grow leafy veggies. Plants placed on structures that keep them above the ground can be grown. However, if you are a lazy gardener and let plants grow any way they like, it would be better if you kept vegetables away from septic system areas.
Grocery stores and cooking shows are filled with beautiful produce. They make growing vegetables look so easy. Nevertheless, bacteria catch the professionals off guard while growing vegetables. This is even more reason to stay away from planting vegetables near septic systems.
Attract Wildlife to Your Garden with These Tips
It’s not just humans who enjoy gardens, in the right conditions they can also draw in a whole host of wildlife. There’s nothing more pleasurable than quietly watching animals go about their business right in your back garden, and taking in the wonder of nature. The following tips will help you to make your garden a much more attractive place for wildlife, and turn it into a haven for all sorts of different animals.
Choose Your Flowers Carefully
First things first, you’ll want to carefully plan the flowers that you grow in your garden. If you want your garden to be full of wildlife, then you should opt for flowers which provide pollen and nectar for a long period of time. So-called “double flowers”, and flowers which are big and over-blown due to years of cultivation, are a definite no-no. On the other hand, choosing a mixture of flowers that bloom in the spring, such as crocuses, to those which bloom well into the autumn, like Michaelmas daisies and ivy, will ensure that your garden is always a hub for bees and other insects. What’s more, it will also bring a splash of color to your garden for a longer period of time- giving you more pleasure from your garden, and making it more attractive to birds, too.
Invest in a Bird Feeder
By far the easiest way to attract wildlife to your garden is to invest in a bird feeder and to put out food for birds. This will bring them in all year round, especially in winter, when your food could mean the difference between life and death for them. The great thing about a bird table or bird feeder is that it’s impossible to miss the birds that come swooping down to have a nibble at what’s on offer. A bird bath is another good addition to any garden, since you’ll be able to see the visiting birds rinse themselves off, which is always a treat.
Two things to bear in mind with bird feeders: firstly, make sure that the feeder is high up enough that no neighborhood cats will be able to jump up at the birds when they come to eat. Secondly, you’ll want to put out a mixture of foods such as sunflower seeds, fat balls, and peanuts to supplement the birds’ natural diet of berries and nuts. If you’re lucky, you might even see the odd squirrel pop up for a bite to eat!
Add a Water Feature
A simple pond is an excellent way of attracting all sorts of animals, such as frogs and newts, to your garden. This doesn’t have to be particularly big- in a pinch, a mere container of water will do. While it can be tempting to put fish in the pond, these will scare off any smaller creatures, and may be eaten by larger birds like herons, so think carefully before you head to the pet shop. You’ll also want to ensure there’s a sloping side to the pond, so frogs and the like can easily get in and out. Finally, be patient and allow water plants to grow naturally- creating a mini-ecosystem that will draw in a whole host of creatures.
Let Nature Take Its Course
Those of us who love our gardens will naturally want them to look their best. However, consider easing back on that cleaning if you want to see more animals in your garden. By leaving out piles of leaves and twigs, you will be giving creatures a tempting place to live, as well as food for the winter months. So, let those perennials grow, and perhaps tuck a pile of stones away in the corner of your garden to give amphibians somewhere to hibernate safely.
Information for this article was provided by LawnMowerHut.com.
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Make Indoor Vertical Gardening Convenient and Fun
It is always fun and fascinating to transform one of the walls of your home into an indoor vertical garden. It is not only easy and convenient to create one of these but it also never fails to add a little bit of color and fragrance to your room.
The vertical indoor gardens take up very small space when you make use of best bench top jointer. By making an indoor vertical garden in your room will add fresh blossom and also a splash of bright colors in your room.
There are various advantages of making your indoor vertical garden that will boost you in making one. Some of the benefits are as below:
- Clean air: Plants are the best way to purify the air that surrounds you. The plants that you will plant in the vertical garden will help in the collection of dust, which is one of the greatest health benefits.
- Great artwork: The gardens that hang upside down on the walls not only look beautiful but also attract the eyes of every person that enters the home. When you make a vertical indoor garden you make a great artwork on your wall without much difficulty.
- Reduction of clutter: The plantation of vertical gardens reduces the stress and difficulty that you have to face in cluttering the pot plants. Also, the vertical gardens are more convenient and render great health benefits.
It is sure that by now even you want to make an indoor vertical garden in your home, right? Now the next question that arises is how to make it? There are different ways in which you make the best garden without much hustle. The various ways that you can make your home wall even more fascinating are as below:
- Grand Living Wall
To get a perfect, fascinating look on your wall, you can always rely on making vertical gardens on a grand living wall of your home. It is always advisable to use 100% recyclable plastic free modular systems when you start making your garden. This way you can have flourishing flowers that in your home without any side effect.
You can also grow wall vertical gardening system that makes use of great creativity in designing your grand wall and giving it a completely new look. You can also flourish them with best insulators that will help to keep your room cool in summer and warm in winter.
- Simple and Pretty Solutions
If you do not wish to plant the garden on the grand wall of your home, you can always start with making simple, stylish and small garden alike greenery on your wall. For instance, you can make use of recyclable plastic to make a small and stylish modular system that is easy to clean and much fascinating. The rustic frame is one of the best frames that come from reclaimed wood, and you can hang the frame anywhere you want in your home.
Lastly, you can add a blackboard frame with the plants. It will help you to know the names of the plants and give them water accordingly.
- Beautiful Alternatives
When you are adding beautiful flora on your walls, it is advisable to even add some fauna to it. The addition of fauna to flora will add beauty to the fascinating walls. You can pick some of them from hippo, elephant or even rhino.
Also, you can grow vegetables or herbs on the walls and then later transport them in your meals, and by doing so, you get to eat fresh and healthy. You can make Stands for your small plants with the old milk bottles. Lastly, you can also use the DIY plant stands as a décor on your dining table.
How can you build your Indoor Vertical Garden without any Difficulty?
By simply following the basic five steps you can do your indoor vertical gardening without much hustle.
Step 1: Hanging the pocket planter at a place where it gets sufficient amount of sunlight.
Step 2: Properly measure the distance from the wall and then space the gourmets accordingly.
Step 3: Drill the necessary holes.
Step 4: After you drill the holes, slide the fasteners into them.
Step 5: Lastly, just screw the pocket planters into the fasteners with proper care and start the plantation.
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
Gardening is one of those activities that need much hard work and labor. To have the indoor vertical gardens is one of the best things when to comes to eat fresh and healthy food. Also, it helps in purifying the air and catching all dust surrounding it. There are various ways to decorate the walls of your home by using the mix and match technique with the different plants, herbs, and flowers.
Author Bio: Victor loves to contribute towards the eco-friendly environment. He tries to share as much information possible online to ensure how to use the woodworking tools in the best manner possible for gardening and wood landscaping.
Introduction to Vertical Gardening Within a Greenhouse
Vertical gardening is quickly becoming one of the most popular methods for maximizing the space within a greenhouse. Vertical gardening is exactly what it sounds like: gardening in vertical rows instead of horizontally. In other words, the plants are, in various configurations, stacked one on top of another. For greenhouse horticulturists, vertical gardening opens up the possibility of filling the greenhouse from the bottom to the top with foliage. There are many different ways a greenhouse horticulturist can utilize vertical gardening techniques, but shelving, vertical planters, and vertical hydroponic systems are the most popular methods.
Believe it or not, greenhouse shelving is a form of vertical gardening. The shelving used in a greenhouse allows a gardener to stack plants on top of each other and better utilize the given floor space. There are many different ways greenhouse shelving can be set up in a greenhouse. Generally speaking, the shelving should be set up in multiple tiers with the highest tier on the wall that is opposite the side of the greenhouse that receives the most light. By doing this, the plants on the higher shelving will not shade out the other plants located lower in the garden.
Vertical planters are either manufactured or homemade planting structures designed to house plants in a vertical manner. An example of a homemade vertical planter is a plastic 55 gallon drum with holes cut into the side where the plants can be placed. Vertical planters are usually designed to be used with potting soil. Typically, these planters are watered from the top, allowing gravity to bring the moisture to all of the plants in the container. Strawberries and lettuce are two crops commonly grown in vertical planters with great success.
Vertical Hydroponic Systems
Vertical hydroponic systems utilize soilless gardening in a vertical position. Most vertical hydroponic systems are recirculating systems which means the nutrient solution is collected and reused after each feeding. The nutrient solution is commonly delivered to the upper most plant module so gravity can bring the solution to the remaining plants down below. Vertical hydroponic systems combine the speed of
growth associated with hydroponic gardening and the space maximizing benefits of vertical gardening.
Things to Consider with Vertical Gardening
There are a few things to consider when setting up a vertical garden. One big consideration is shading out other plants in the greenhouse. The tallest vertical system should be placed on the opposite side of the prevailing light. The best way to visualize an appropriate vertical garden in a greenhouse is to think of it as stadium seating. In other words, the plants are staggered from shortest to tallest so that the plants can receive the most sunlight possible. Another big consideration for vertical systems is nutrient consistency. This is most important in vertical hydroponic systems where the nutrient solution will be reused. Daily monitoring of nutrient and pH levels in a vertical hydroponic system is an absolute must. If constructing a homemade vertical system, make sure to take into account the additional weight of the plants and soil or medium. If a vertical system is extremely top heavy, it may need additional safety supports to prevent it from tipping or falling.
Trying a vertical gardening technique is a fun way for a greenhouse hobbyist to experiment with maximizing his or her given garden floor space. Experimenting with vertical gardening can be as simple as trying different shelving configurations or as advanced as an automated vertical hydroponic system. Vertical gardens allow greenhouse hobbyists to better utilize the space within a greenhouse by literally having plants from the floor to the roof. When the garden space is better utilized, more plants can be grown, which is good news for any greenhouse enthusiast.
For more information visit ArcadiaGlasshouse.com
Easy Composting with the Smart Pot Compost Sak
Gardeners who live in the city often do not have the space for a traditional compost pile. However, this doesn’t mean that a gardener living in an urban area cannot set up a compost bin and reap the rewards of composting. The idea of turning kitchen scraps and yard debris into an organic amendment for garden soil is catching on with an increasing amount of urban gardeners. The good folks at Smart Pot have created the most affordable way an urban gardener can get started composting their kitchen scraps and yard debris right away. The product is called the Compost Sak.
The Compost Sak
The Compost Sak is pretty self-explanatory. It is a large sack designed for composting. The Compost Sak is made out of a porous fabric material which allows the compost to “breath”, in comparison to traditional nonporous bins. The Compost Sak is designed to be filled with kitchen scraps, yard debris, and/or other compostable items. The Compost Sak has a capacity of over 100 gallons. At 30” wide and 38” tall, the Compost Sak is capable of producing 12 cubic feet of pure compost. Some gardeners even add worms to their Compost Saks to aid the composting process.
Getting started composting with a Compost Sak couldn’t be any easier. Start by placing the Compost Sak in a location that receives some sun and is mostly out of the way (for your convenience). Try to add two or three parts “brown” material for every one part “green” material. “Brown” material includes dead leaves; dried straw, cardboard, etc. “Green” material refers to wet plant material, like grass clippings, and kitchen scraps, such as banana peels. The actual compost process will begin naturally on its own. There are commercial compost starting agents available if a gardener wishes to get a leg-up on composting. Some people add a little water when they start a compost pile. Just be careful not to add too much. The key to a successful compost pile is a good ratio of moisture and oxygen. The balance between the two is what makes the microorganisms thrive.
The Compost Sak by Smart Pot is a lightweight, affordable, and easy way for anyone to get into composting. This product is not designed to replace high-end tumble composters or to replace the traditional multi-bin composting technique. Instead, the Compost Sak is designed to give gardeners, who live in the city or who do not have a lot of space, a way to inexpensively get into composting immediately.
For more information visit Compostsak.com or Smartpots.com.
The Overlooked Price of Ignoring Canopy Management
As practitioners in the fields of horticulture and urban agriculture (fields we give important names to because they follow a proven process and mean something to us) – we growers and gardeners spend an inordinate amount of time fretting about the details.
All of us agree on the important things; the quality of our substrate, the stability of the environment, control over pathogens, deficiencies and excesses, good light, quality inputs, genetics, sustainability, biodiversity. All important stuff… but ultimately our efforts are geared towards producing quality and volume in our harvests.
How do we efficiently get from point A (seed) to point B (harvest) with maximum potential being achieved? It’s a bunch of work. And nothing important should be omitted.
That being said, there is a metaphor that bounces around about a barrel and how each of the staves must fit with the others for the stave joints not to leak. If a stave is not fit or built sufficiently, or is missing: The water will leak and the barrel can never be full.
This metaphor as an analogy to describe an often overlooked leak in the barrel of our common growing knowledge: The problem of: how do we hold up our plants?
In controlled growing environments it is of great importance to manage the canopy. Canopy management should be considered a stave in the barrel for a number of reasons:
- To get even distribution of the best quality light at the optimal distance on the greatest number of fruiting and flowering parts to achieve maximum yield.
- To train branches for topiary or bonsai structures.
- To ensure that the plant is given sufficient ventilation and is not exposed to any environmental extremes such as heat or air flow stagnation.
- To use ways of stabilizing the plant and then anchor tie-offs in such a way that the plant is not damaged because breakage means the loss of quality produce.
Some plants don’t need help; but some do, and most of us treat this as an afterthought. We spend time and money on all of the previously mentioned details, but then just jab stakes in into the root-zone and tie-off branches as they fall or droop. Pre-planning usually involves either a one-size-fits-all structure or some serious DIY.
That said doing something is the right thing to do: Why wouldn’t all of us serious growers make a plan and fret, in advance, over the details and how to get the biggest bang for our bucks? Canopy management will help to produce larger harvests and make everything else we do work better.
Jason Rider is the president of Thriving Systems Design. He can be contacted at [email protected] and you can visit their website at C-Bite.com.
5 Warning Signs that Your Orchids Could be in Trouble
Orchid growers need to always be on the lookout for signs of trouble in their plants. If you know what to look for, you might be able to stop the problem before it takes out your precious plant. But if not, all your efforts will have been in vain. With that in mind, here are five important warning signs that your orchids are in trouble:
Warning Sign #1 – Spotty Flowers
The flowers are definitely the most delicate part of your plant. That’s why they’ll often be the first to let on when there’s a problem. If you notice dark spots on your flowers, this could be a sign of a fungal or viral infection about to take over your plant. Punctures in the delicate petals of your blossoms mean that you’ve got an insect problem.
Warning Sign #2 – Discolored Leaves
While the leaves of the orchid tend to show signs of trouble less readily than flowers, they’re also much easier to monitor because they’re continuously present during all life cycles of your plant. If your leaves are a darker shade of green, then the plant isn’t receiving enough light. If your leaves are brown or yellowish, then your orchid is getting too much light.
If you find that black tips and brown spots are showing up mainly on the body of your orchid’s leaves, then this might just be sun burn. Move your orchids away from direct sunlight and observe them for a week. If the spots continue to grow, then this might just be a case of bacterial or fungal infection. One way to treat this is by cutting off the affected part and applying fungicides. White scaly spots on your leaves are particularly worrisome, as this is a sign of a viral infection. (Sadly, there is currently no definite cure for viral infections.)
Warning Sign #3 – Shoddy Roots
You’ll be repotting your orchid from time to time anyway so that it can get the proper aeration it needs to grow. When you do, always be sure to take a few moments to examine your plant’s exposed root system. The roots should look thick and healthy. If they’re discolored or brittle, or moist and malformed, you’ve probably got a case of root rot, which is either caused by overwatering or letting the plant’s mixture turn stagnant.
Warning Sign #4 – Rapid Wilting
As mentioned above, the flowers are the most highly prized part of the orchid. While all aspects of growing an orchid can be enjoyable, it is the colorful blooms that you look forward to the most. If your flowers tend to wilt too soon after they bloom, then you’ve got good reason to be disappointed. Not only have you worked hard for lackluster results, you’ve likely got a problem with your root system as well, and the buds aren’t getting enough nutrients. This is a good time to re-evaluate how you’re caring for your orchids.
Warning Sign #5 – Crawly Things
Pests are a problem for any type of plant and orchids are no exception. Scale insects like to take up residence on the leaves of orchid plants and can be hard to spot, so carefully inspect every time you water. Mealybugs and aphids are a bit easier to notice because of their nasty habit of chewing holes through leaves and flowers. Using an approved insecticide such as malathion is recommended by the majority of growers, and organic alternatives also exist for those who value “green” gardening.
For additional tips on orchid care visit OrchidCareZone.com.
Foody 12 Hydroponic Tower by Foody
Most people appreciate easy access to fresh produce. This is one of the main reasons many of us become horticulturists. As we go through the trials and tribulations in an attempt to perfect our green thumbs, we each find a “system” that works for us. What if I told you there was already a clever solution to the problem of finding easily accessible, sustainably grown produce? The folks at Foody have solved this quandary with their Foody Vertical Gardens.
The company “Foody” was spawned from a farmer’s passion to help people grow their own food, no matter where they live. Foody Vertical Gardens allow anyone to grow fresh herbs, fruits, or vegetables year-round, indoors and/or outdoors. The vertical garden has a very small footprint (taking up only two square feet) which means it can fit just about anywhere. Aside from making fresh produce as accessible as possible, Foody Vertical Gardens are designed to increase production through their efficient use of space and reduced requirements of water and nutrients. All of this, combined with no need for herbicides, equates to a reduction in overall expenses for the grower. Foody’s automatic hydroponic system, the Foody 12 Hydroponic Tower, makes growing your own produce as simple, and cost effective, as can be.
Foody 12 Hydroponic Tower
The Foody 12 is a hydroponic vertical garden which utilizes deep water culture (DWC) hydroponic technology. One of the largest advantages of the DWC technology is the rate of growth. Plants grown in the Foody 12 will grow more rapidly than plants grown in soil. The plants will come to maturity sooner and this enables the gardener to enjoy the fruits of his or her labor more quickly than with traditional soil gardening. The watering system on the Foody 12 is completely automated. The garden comes with a submersible pump and water distribution system. Individual siphons are in each growing pod which allow the water level to move up and down automatically ensuring excellent root aeration. The tower’s three growing pods each hold 12 plants (the base holds another eight) and the pods can be rotated manually or by the optional automated drive system (an available accessory). The towers are made from BPA-free, food-grade materials which means they can be used for certifiable organic production. Towers are also UV resistant which ensures years of trouble-free use. The Foody 12 uses only 10% of the water normally required by plants grown in soil. Also, there is no need for herbicides because there are no weeds; just fresh produce at your fingertips. The vertical construction naturally reduces the need to bend over, making the Foody 12 a back saver as well. All the benefits and available options for the Foody 12 make it the most comprehensive vertical gardening system available. However, what makes the Foody 12 so great isn’t just its small footprint or optional automated drive system; it is the fact that the Foody 12 gives anyone the ability to grow fresh food in the comfort of his or her home.
There is no doubt that we will continue to need solutions to our modern agricultural dilemmas. Companies, like Foody, who create effective, yet simple, horticultural solutions are sure to become household names. People desire access to fresh, sustainably grown produce and there is no better, or easier, way to obtain food security than by growing your own food using a Foody Vertical Garden.
For more information visit FoodyVerticalGarden.com
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Not All Potting Soils are Created Equal
Most experienced soil gardeners know the imperative role a well-balanced soil plays in the success of their gardens. A quality potting soil will have a balanced nutrient content, stabilized pH and the ability to retain moisture and air at the same time. There are many different potting soils available to horticulturists. In fact, there are so many that it can become overwhelming for a gardener to choose which soil will best suit his or her purpose. The truth is every potting soil is not created equal. There are actually large variances in the formulation, quality control and pH stabilization of many of the prepackaged soils on the market. In order to mass-produce the product, many soil companies have taken short cuts in their recipes or ignored the importance of quality control. No matter how large it becomes, there is one soil company that has stayed true to their roots and has dedicated itself to producing the highest quality soil possible while retaining the highest level of customer service possible. That company is The Good Earth Organics. Read our entire review of their products.