Month: March 2017

How To Keep Your Flower Healthy

Setting up a healthy flower garden requires a lot of money, effort, and time. However, homeowners don’t enjoy the fascinating appeal of the flowers because most flower gardens don’t reach their full potential of three years especially when focusing on perennial flowers.

Maintaining flower garden is therefore a necessary step as it helps in keeping a healthy garden by attracting beneficial insects such as bees to the garden. The following tips will help you to achieve a healthy flower garden.

CHOOSING THE SUITABLE SOIL.

Flowers require the right soil during planting time. A good soil for a healthy flower garden need not to be too sandy or too sticky but it must have sufficient organic matter for proper drainage. Potted flowers usually suffocate in the same old soil therefore it’s necessary to make potting soil with your compost. When flowers are planted in flower beds, they require to be covered by compost so that they can get nutrients throughout the season. Compost improves soil’s tilth on any type of soil and offer protection to weak feeder roots with reasonable soil temperatures.

PROVIDING THE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF WATER.

Watering the flower garden need to be decided carefully to know the time of watering, the method used, and the amount of water to be used. A lot of water can make the plants to rot while insufficient can make them to die and wither. For a healthy flower garden, an overhead irrigation system should be discouraged since it leads to spreading of diseases while some systems deliver water into the surroundings rather than in the water where it is needed. In fact, it’s necessary to follow the watering suggestions for the flower and update your irrigation system.

CONTROLLING WEEDS.

Weeds can make a healthy flower garden to look ugly and unappealing. They take up nutrients and water that are needed by flowers and they act as a habitat for pests and insects. Controlling weeds when they are small is easier since they do not produce seeds at that early stage. Weed control methods include hoeing, hand pulling, and spraying.

CONTROLLING DISEASES.

When flowers are not doing well, it’s an important idea to determine whether they are affected by diseases or insects. Using the required watering techniques and planting the flowers in the correct spacing reduces diseases in the long run. Furthermore, using the recommended guidelines keeps the flowers healthy and resistant to diseases. However, if the disease occurs you can use fungicide as a treatment or selected pruning methods. Sometimes, in severe cases it’s important to remove the plant completely.

INSECTS AND PESTS CONTROL.

Each type of flower attracts different type of pests, but while some of them are beneficial; some are harmful to the flower as they can cause diseases. It’s better to look for ways to handle the damage left by some insects since they can be too small or nocturnal.

It’s a better idea to choose a control that causes highest death rate while having minimal effects to the environment and other beneficial insects like bees. There are several methods to choose and they include biological control, sprays, and traps.

USING THE REQUIRED AMOUNT OF FERTILIZER.

Knowing the correct proportion of elements in fertilizer packaging is essential in keeping a healthy garden. The universal system used to represent the elements by percentage in the order of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium. However, the percentage doesn’t add up to 100% because they are packed with other filler materials such as limestone and sand. Nitrogen ensures a good foliage growth, phosphorous promotes a good root system, and potassium is good for flower formation. Therefore, flowering plants require these three nutrients.

All About Pulling Tools For Weed

Weeding is something every amateur gardener should be careful about. Weeds can’t be completely eliminated if you leave even a part of the root and stem embedded in the soil. With the kind of nutrients available in the soil of a regular garden, these sturdy little growths will sprout back in a matter of weeks, as if they were never gone in the first place! It’s clear that weeds need to be removed fully, root and branch. Weed pulling tools are the gardener’s best bet in this scenario. Using weed killer chemicals can be counter-productive for soil fertility as it consists of very strong toxins. It should be used in limited quantities. Weed pulling tools are a better bet for home gardeners as well as small farmers- urban and rural. These tools can be used when the soil is loose and easily disturbed, which allows the gardener to remove weeds easily.

Long Handled Weed Pulling Tools

Long handled weed pulling tools are perfect for farms and large gardens where more ground has to be covered by the farmer. Weeds growing in the pathways between planted crops can be easily removed with these tools. Precision weed pullers like collinear hoe, SHW Upright hoe and Dewitt Half moon hoe can be used to work on small isolated weed patches that are just sprouting up in loose, cultivated soil. When the weed infestation is a bit larger in extent and growth these hoes can be switched for long handled stirrup hoes which can drag weeds from the base without much physical effort from the operator. This hoe can be used to cover larger plots in lesser time. Long handled tools allow the gardener to work without bending down or stooping to apply more pressure. This saves a lot of effort and causes no physical discomfort to the farmer.

Short Handled Weed Pulling Tools

Short handled weed pulling tools are used when farmers work with raised soil beds or weeds growing among the cultivated plants. A long handled tool would end up damaging the plants as well, while these tools allow the gardener to work in a small area. Winged Weeder Junior, Circle hoe and mini stirrup hoe are the smaller weed pulling tools which are easily available.

Combination Pulling and Chopping Tools

Combination hoes are best used when the soil is hard and dense, making weed pulling that much harder. Both long handled and short handled tools are available in the combination type. The head of the tool is much heavier to allow chopping and light soil digging. The area around the weeds should be worked upon to expose the base and roots. After the soil is loose, the weed can be pulled away easily. These combination tools are heavier, but they are more economical to own than having separate pulling and slicing tools.

Tips To Control Your Weed

Controlling weeds is perhaps the most difficult thing, sometimes the most obnoxious species of weeds need attention and caution while uprooting or killing them.

There are two methods by which weeds can be uprooted ie. Chemical controls and by manual removing of weeds

Manual uprooting of weeds is extremely difficult and it would be unfair to say that it can completely be eliminated from the roots.

Another method is Chemical Control-Herbicides are most commonly used to manage land and water plants. It is apparently the only and best possible method of completely removing the weeds from the roots. Many variety of herbicides are available in the market that can be used to treat the simplest kind of weed to the harshest ones. These chemicals are often easy to apply and can be done as prescribed on its leaflet.

Another advantage is that you can remotely or conservatively use it as per your need and depending on the nature of the weed that needs to be treated. However, its treatment involves lot of implications as one needs to keep in mind the aquatic species that thrive inside the pond as they could get affected if too much quantity of chemical is applied.

Water treated with herbicides can have water use restrictions depending on the specific application.

Herbicide treatment should be undertaken in presence of some expert practitioner or field expert to ensure optimal results.

Some of the Common Aquatic Plant Herbicides can be notified as follows:

Harvester, Fluridone Aquacide Pellets, Cutrine Plus, Shore Klear, Aquathol Super K and Hydrothol are the most common treatment options.

Fluridone and Aquacide Pellets are two of the safest herbicides to be used in fish ponds. Shore Klear is best known for control of majority of weeds like cattail, rushes, reeds, smartweeds, and in floating plants like water lily and lotus. This chemical is usually applied to the plant directly and not to the water. Aquacide Pellets work great for Milfoil, Coontail, and all other broadleaf weeds.

Other chemicals or herbicides like Diquat are most effective in treating emergent weeds. One needs to wait for a period of 14-days or so before this treated water can be used for livestock consumption, drinking or crop irrigation.

It’s extremely imperative to know what the most suitable time for its application is:

First when the weeds are actively growing, during early spring, when the water is cool and at the time when the decaying of weeds is very slow.

Typically, treating on a calm sunny morning works ideal.

Accurate application rates will ensure optimal results, not cost more than necessary and will keep the ecosystem safe.

Tips To Keep Algae on Your Ponds

Algae is perhaps the most annoying thing that one witnesses in his / her pond. In addition to this, algae also spoils the look of your pond and the nearby surroundings. You will also feel foul smell emanating from the pond and deplete oxygen for the aquatic species in pond. With few simple tips you can control the growth of algae and even stop its growth completely.

Let’s first understand what causes its growth.

Algae uses photosynthesis technique which means plants, algae and certain bacteria harness energy from sunlight into chemical energy. Pond algae can be categorised
into two:

1. Green Water: These type of algae is so tiny that they can pass through even the finest of net or filter. These type of algae usually need sunlight and nutrients to be able to grow.

2. String Algae: This is also popularly known as hair algae, this filamentous species extends in the form of long strands and tend to tangle together.

Now let’s ponder our thoughts over eliminating algae.

Appended below are some of the tried and tested method that control the growth of algae and also help prevent its growth.

1. Insert Plants

The first step in this direction is to add plants inside the pond. This process will help plants to consume all nutrients produced by fishes, leaving very little for algae.

Increasing the quantity of plants at the bottom of the pond helps in oxygenating the pond and provide a new lease of life to the flora and fauna inside the pond. Believe it or not but this is perhaps the easiest and long-term solution to keep water clean and clear.

What kind if plants to be put inside the pond- The choice of your plants also make a lot of difference. One should choose floating plants, such as lotus and lilies and lotus these plants add vigour and charm to your existing pond. Do remember to shield your pond from excess sunlight.

2. Water Treatments

Its advised to use different kinds of water treatment for effective results. You can treat even the most vivid forms of algae, even green water and string algae can be treated by repeated treatment. However, you need to be sure of the dosage that one applies to treat algae.

3. How to control Green Water

UV clarifiers perhaps is the best medium to combat green water as it exposes algae to very high levels of ultra violet rays that destroys its reproductive ability.

Maintain balance to control algae growth

One needs to understand that you will never find a situation when the pond will be totally free of algae. However you can keep all your processes in checks to ensure
that it is controlled or removed as soon as you find it hitting the rock bottom of the pond. All your alage control treatments will help in ensuring that the algae control is taken care of and is controlled in a proper manner.