Archive for September, 2009
Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009
Fertilization is a major factor in maintaining and achieving a terrific lawn and garden. Make sure that you are familiar with the fertilization process because it can be tricky. To help you by, here are some do’s and don’ts of fertilization:
* Deeply water the lawn, giving the grass enough water to moisten the soil to the grass roots’ deepth. This will help in the development of deep roots hat will aid the grass to resist disease, drought stress and insect damage.
* Mow the grass according to the grass’ growth rate. Mow the grass when the grass reaches the height that would produce the desired height if 1/3rd of the blade was removed.
* Plant new grass at the start of grass growing season. New cool season grass seed should be planted when summer is over and new warm season grass should be planted in late summer to early fall.
* Regularly check your lawn and garden for presence of pests. This means getting down on your hands and knees, part the turf and pull the thatch. Inspect the stems and leaves and look for insect damage, infestation, discoloration and any obvious sign of disease.
* Water the grass in the morning when water pressure is high, temperatures are cooler and winds are lower. This will allow water to percolate into the soil, and the excess will dry off quickly when temperatures and wind speeds rise.
* Start the season’s fertilization program with a complete fertilizer (15-5-10, 16-4-8, or 12-4-8). These 4:1:2 or 3:1:2 analyses provide grass with complete nutrition including phosphorous for stem and rhizome development, nitrogen for growth, and potassium for root growth and disease resistance.
* If you have centipedes you should use the 15-0-15 unless soil analysis suggests otherwise.
* Fertilize the grass at the right time of the year for the grass that is growing which is at the beginning of its growth cycle.
* Never water at night because evening hours are prime fungus growing hours. The grass needs the heat of the sun in order to control disease.
* Mow the lawn when needed and definitely when it is needed.
* Only treat a pest problem that actually exists. Pesticides can cause a lot of damage when they are used unnecessarily.
* Warm season grass will not need fertilizer to go dormant; cool season grass will not need fertilizer in the summer.
* Planting cool season grass seed in the spring causes the seedlings to be exposed to fusarium blight and other various disease pathogens.
* Watering the lawn with lightly frequented watering should only be done with new grass, otherwise the grass will grow with shallow roots and be more susceptible to disease, drought, and insect damage/fungus.
Thursday, September 17th, 2009
We all make mistakes, even the experts and professionals. The following are some gardening pitfalls and its solution.
1. Pitfall: Planting too close to a wall means that there’s just a little air circulation between the plant and the wall and fungal diseases can run rampant.
Solution: Allow at least a few feet between a wall and your plants for good air circulation. Make sure to take the mature size of the plant into consideration.
2. Pitfall: Planting in straight lines (or curved lines, for that matter) isn’t a mistake per se, but very often one plant–or whatever reason–doesn’t perform the same as others. One plant may grow at a slower or faster rate than others in the line and in some cases die outright, which ruins the entire planting scheme. Finding a replacement plant of the same size as the others can be difficult if not impossible.
Solution: f you plan on planting five plants in a line, then buy six or seven plants at the same time, and stick the extras somewhere else in your landscape. Then, if something goes awry with one of the plants in the line, you can dig up one of the reserve plants to replace the one that died.
3. Pitfall: Planting on a slope can be a problem primarily because water tends to quickly run off the slope before it has a chance to seep into the soil. That can lead to erosion on steep slopes. It also means that whatever is planted on the slope may not get enough water.
Solution: Regardless of what you’re planting, create a level planting area. For example, James planted a young dogwood, raising the low side of the slope with soil so that the tree is actually growing on a level surface. If you are forced to plant on a steep slope, then chances are you’ll be better off to actually create terraces and stair-step the planting area. This requires a lot of digging and very often constructing retaining walls, which means a lot of work.
4. Pitfall: Planting on easements, which are areas of your property owned by the city, can create problems. Easements are areas of your property that extend out from both sides of the property line a few feet and very often run the entire property line. To find out where the easements are on your property, check your plat, title or abstract. Easements are there because there’s some sort of gas, water or power line below the ground. Although it might be legal to plant on an easement, if the city should need access to the easement to repair lines, it has no responsibility for your plants.
Solution: Don’t plant anything on an easement (unless you don’t mind losing the plants), and don’t place a shed or other garden building, especially one that’s built on a cement slab. Such a structure is not legal in most cities, and you might have to move the building and slab if you ever decide to sell your house. It’s best not to plant trees below power lines, because the power company contractors have the authority to trim them back.
5. Pitfall: String trimmers are a threat to trees and shrubs (especially young ones), and also to turf (especially if the grass is cut too short). Accidental hits by the string leads to unsightly dieback around trees, borders and other areas that are routinely trimmed.
Solution: Try to trim the grass roughly the same height as you cut the lawn to create a cleaner look and avoid nicking tree trunks.
6. Pitfall: Kids can litter the lawn with all sorts of things by the end of a summer day. If left on the grass for more than a day, especially in hot weather, these items can damage the lawn, sometimes permanently.
Solution: Try to remove toys and other items from the lawn as quickly as possible.
Saturday, September 12th, 2009
Mulches are natural organic and inorganic materials that are used to cover the soil in the garden. The application of this material to the garden soil is called mulching with the main purpose of protecting the soil. Other advantages of mulching are better moisture retention, lesser strain on the soil during heavy rain and most of all, it prevents weeds from increasing fast so you will have a neater garden longer.
There are two categories of mulch, the organic and natural mulch and the inorganic mulch. There are many kinds of mulches that are readily available and all you have to do is to apply them to your garden. Organic mulches, as the name suggests are natural and come from plants which will decompose over time. As these organic mulches decompose, they release nutrients to the soil thus fertilizing it. They boost the soil’s ability to retain drinking water, which makes it much more absorbent and porous, which aids roots growth. Natural and organic mulches contain garden
compost, bark, bark chips, leaf mildew, grass clippings, straw and hay. Inorganic mulches, on the other hand, do not decompose. They mainly give protection to the soil and add beauty to the garden. Inorganic mulches last a long time because they do not decompose.
Kinds of Organic Mulch
Leaves Leaves are the most common, popularly used mulch and are freely accessible. You can collect the fallen leaves in your garden and put them around the trees and other plants. Once the leaves decompose, they give the soil an absorbent porous structure. Dry leaves are used like a winter season protection to shield plants from freezing. These are typically removed when spring arrives.
Grass clippings Grass clippings are collected whenever you mow your lawn. Grass clippings can be unaesthetic to look so you can put them in your vegetable garden instead where physical appearance is not a problem. Some gardeners mix in tree leaves or rough compost to prevent them from being compressed into a hard mat and prevent smelly putrefaction throughout decomposition. Grass clipping mulch should be used immediately or dried extensively to avoid rotting and excessive warmth generation. There’re good to operate with because they spread effortlessly all-around even compact vegetation due to their great texture. Fresh green grass clippings contain high nitrate and when used as mulch enrich the soil with it.
Peat Moss Peat moss or sphagnum peat mulch is very efficient to use because of its longevity and comfort. It lowers the Ph degree from the soil surface area and is also valuable for acid-loving plants such as rhododendrons and blueberries.
Bark Chips Bark chips and composted bark mulch is a mulch that supplies an attractive complete into the garden. It requires more time to decompose than grass or leaves and may last for about 1 to 3 several years based upon the size of the chips. They can be best being used all over trees, shrubs and perennial gardens. Spread the mulch an inch or two from the trunk of a tree.
Wood Chips When using wood chips, layer at least two to four inches of it. For those who use clean wood chips, these are most valuable when mixed with a lot of leaves. There are free wood chips when street trees are being removed. Equivalent to bark chips, they’re applied most usually below trees and shrubs. There’re also routinely utilized to mulch trails on account of their simple availability and small expense.
There are many varieties of inorganic mulch. These can be slate, stones, brick chips, plastic and rubber. Rock and gravel are popular in landscaping and offers good soil protection. Warmth retained by rocks also lend warmth to your soil which is fantastic for developing. Plastic mulch is used with plastic sheets, with cutaways for the plants to expand. Rubber mulch is created from recycled rubber tires.
Mulches in some cases can give a nice growing medium for bacteria and fungi to grow which can cause havoc to your soil. Mulches come in many shapes, sizes and materials and all of them can give your garden a boost, you just have to discover the right one that suits your needs.
Monday, September 7th, 2009
Having enough outdoor space for a garden is almost a luxury nowadays. So what are your other options so that you can also have a garden? It’s very simple, make an indoor garden. You can decide on the size and shape and place it where ever you want. Indoor gardens are the answer to the lack of space in crowded cities. Irrespective of the season, you may manage a wholesome indoor herb garden, wherein you are able to grow medicinal along with flavorful culinary herbs.
There are many kinds of indoor gardens but an herb garden is the least complicated to grow indoors. Herbs are easy to maintain with moderate water, light and temperature. Starting an indoor herb garden is easy and requires only simple gardening skills.
Making the layout of your indoor herb garden is the only hard part. This is the first step in making an indoor herb garden. In making the lay out, you have to consider the plant peak season, spread of the plant, sunlight need as well as the drainage issues. Your indoor herb garden can be placed in a part of your house that receives partial sunlight. Drainage issues can be solved with a simple tray placed under the pots. As for the type of pots to be used, it will depend on what kinds of herbs you are planning to grow. Things to consider in choosing the pots are the type of herbs, depth of the plant roots and size of the fully-grown plant.
For the potting combination, the best is a mixture of natural compost and normal garden soil. This mixture can be bought in your local nursery, florist or you can make your own. You can fill your pots with the mixture up to 3 inches below the rim. After this, you can now plant your chosen herbs. Many of the herbs that expand greatest are thyme, sage, basil, mint, rosemary, onion and garlic. These herbs have distinctive increasing habits and so you can plot your garden accordingly. You can get your seeds or seedlings from your local nursery or florist. Maintaining an indoor herb garden is very similar to maintaining a regular outdoor garden. Sow the seeds sparingly and cover it lightly with potting mixture. Maintain the moisture of the soil until the seeds germinate.
Following rigorous efforts on planting and maintaining indoor herbs, the time will arrive that the herbs mature and demand harvesting. Culinary herbs like garlic and onion, you can harvest them if the leaves are turning yellow from the sides. For other herbs, you can just pluck the mature leaves without uprooting the plant.
Now that you have the basics of planting an indoor herb garden, you can start planning your very own indoor herb garden.
Wednesday, September 2nd, 2009
A bonsai is really a dwarf ornamental tree or shrub that is grown in a shallow pot. The history of this art of growing miniaturized versions of large bushes might be traced to ancient China. The art was additionally fine tuned by the Japanese and at some point it spread to the rest of the world. Bonsai trees are classified into numerous types depending on many elements which include their size, angle of the trunk and so on.
How to Grow Bonsai Trees
Growing bonsai trees is undoubtedly an art which requires the fundamental knowledge of horticulture as well as some creativity. When picking a bonsai tree, you can choose between indoor plants and outdoor plants. In case you are preparing to grow bonsai indoors, it is possible to go for species like schefflera and weeping fig and if you want grow bonsai outdoors you can opt for species like juniper and maple. For those who plan to grow bonsai fruit trees, perfect alternatives would be cherry, blueberries and fig. After you have selected the species, you should choose one of many bonsai tree shapes obtainable. A few of these most favorite shapes incorporate upright, slanting and elongated.
Ideally, you will use a shallow earthen or plastic pot to grow a bonsai tree. The size of the pot will rely on the size and form you intend for the tree to acquire. To be able to ensure that the appearance of this ornamental tree is at its greatest, pick out a pot whose color compliments the bonsai. When you want to grow bonsai from the cuttings, you have to wrap the selected cutting or twig using a bonsai wire and give it the desired form. Make certain that you wrap the wire adequately to ensure that the tree growth won’t be hampered.
Start off by spreading an inch of soil in the bottom with the pot. Spread the roots of the tree over this soil, tie it if you feel that the tree wouldn’t be capable to hold ground and cover it together with the remaining soil. Ensure that that you leave some area from the rim downwards, roughly an inch or two, so that you can water the tree. You may also make use of this space to add the decor. When you have planted the tree in the pot, you could hang weights towards the branches to curb its all-natural growth. Place the tree at a location that receives partial daylight only. When your tree has settled, you could ornament the tree by making use of stones, sand or green moss. Reading extra information and facts on the art of growing a bonsai plant will definitely make it easier to do this activity.
Bonsai Tree Care
The bonsai starter trees must be adequately supplied with numerous necessary requirements and suitable care should be taken so that they can survive for a long time. The bonsai trees for novices need to have really good care. You have to consider the bonsai tree as a component of one’s loved ones. You will see the difference how this plant responds to you.
Bonsai Tree Care #1: Watering
Watering the bonsai trees may be the most significant step to make sure healthy development of a bonsai tree. You have to ensure that you just water the bonsai plant each day and based on the growing season, fix one of the most suitable times of the day you will water the plant. In addition to watering, sprinkle water on the plant body and leaves so that the pores with the leaves do not get clogged on account of external pollutants. Don’t use water pipes
from which water flows at a swift rate else it might eliminate the upper soil with the plants.
Bonsai Tree Care #2: Soil
The soil by which bonsai trees grow should be able to quickly exchange gases as well as the initial couple of layers with the soil need to have of all of the essential nutrients essential for bonsai plant growth.
Bonsai Tree Care #3: Feeding Nutrients
The nutrients and fertilizers that you just use for the proper development of the bonsai trees need to not be any harsh artificial chemical substances. Rather, prefer all-natural fertilizers like manures which are absolutely free of unwanted effects.
Bonsai Tree Care #4: Pruning
Pruning the bonsai tree is a crucial step in maintaining its steady development. Trimming of roots and nipping of new buds are significant for the bonsai trees. Be cautious not to over prune the tree since it may stunt the growth.