Author: mimin

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.

Things You Should Know About Artificial Grass

Owing to its close resemblance to the real grass and many other advantages, artificial grass is much in demand. If you are one among those who want to have greenery around, but cannot afford time to maintain it you should consider buying synthetic turfs. There are certain things that have to be kept in mind when you choose to buy this grass. Price of the lawn, where to look for reliable lawn turf suppliers are some of the important considerations.

Quality is the Prime Consideration:

Always remember that heavier the face weight, the more traffic it can bear on it. So, you need to be very careful about choosing the right type. Choose a popular brand that has heavy face weight.

Types of Material they are Made Up of:

There are three types of synthetic materials that are used in making fake grass:

  • Nylon
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyethylene

Artificial turf made up of polypropylene fibres is the least expensive option that the home owners choose. However, this is not a wise decision as turfs made up of this material has a low melting point and it wears out much more easily than the other materials. This material is suitable for the golf courses or for the sports’ field where greenery is required.

Polyethylene is another material that has a soft texture, this is a perfect landscaping installation which is used on the soccer fields, on the football fields and on landscapes. If you want a luxurious landscape, this material would be perfect for you. This high-quality material is just the right type for you when you want a high-cost water guzzling and natural grass lawn.

Nylon is the strongest of all types that are available in the market. This type can withstand heavy traffic and high temperature and can retain its original shape. Though nylon grass turfs are durable and the piles are stiff, but this is not used for landscaping. However, this type of material is also not used because of the cost and pile stiffness. This material can be used as secondary thatch of yarn that improves overall strength and stability. This is primarily used for secondary tuft thatches. This is the strongest synthetic fibre.

Synthetic grass made up of right quality can make our landscape look perfect. If you are among those Nature’s lovers who want to have greenery around, consider installing artificial lawn turfs. There are certain things you should know before them like lawn turf price and dependable suppliers.

Benefit Of Gardening

Gardening offers many benefits, whether you have an expansive yard with room for huge flower and vegetable beds, or if you live in an apartment with a small balcony just large enough for a few containers. Aesthetically, a well-tended garden is pleasing to look at, for you the gardener and for your friends and neighbors. You will enjoy just looking at the rewards of your labor, and the compliments from your neighbors will add to your satisfaction.

The therapeutic benefits also include stress relief in the activity itself. Working outside in the trees and grass and digging in the dirt are great ways to shift your focus from mental stresses to physical exercise and nature. As you concentrate on the weeds, the seeds and the bees your mind lets go of the things that frustrate you. You will discover a whole new world in the soil and in your garden as you watch things grow.

The boost to your motivation and positive attitude should be reason enough to want to grow something. Of course, the benefits of growing your own food go far beyond stress relief. Gardening can be a great form of exercise, if you have beds that need to be turned, weeded, mulched and holes dug for planting. Imagine losing weight and gaining muscular strength while growing food and flowers that please you. You win twice!

When you grow your own vegetables, you know exactly how the crop has been grown. If you don’t use harsh chemical pesticides to control bugs and herbicides to control weeds, you will have vegetables that are free of any chemical agents. When you buy vegetables in the supermarket, you have no idea what chemicals were used in their growing, harvesting or packing before they ended up on the shelf.

There can be a significant economic benefit to growing your own food. A small packet of seeds can grow hundreds of carrots, cabbages, kale, Swiss chard, lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, zucchinis, onions, garlic and more at a fraction of the cost of buying those items in the store. Some plants, like kale, collards and Swiss chard, have very long seasons often lasting through the winter and into the next year. Many herbs such as chives, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme and others are perennials. One plant will keep producing for years.

Gardening can improve your social life as well. The garden and the process of gardening adds a new a talking point with neighbors and friends who visit you. You will impress friends and family when they learn that the vegetables on their plate came from your own garden, proudly tended and harvested by you. Their impression of you will improve as well, as one with broader interests, knowledge and the discipline and dedication to stay with the program through the entire season.

Don’t worry if you have never grown anything before. Planting seeds or seedlings in good soil with lots of compost, keeping it supplied with water and protected from weeds and bugs takes little more than diligence. Nature knows how to make the plants grow. All you have to do is be there to tend to it along the way. Pick up a simple book or two on gardening “made easy” and between that and what you learn simply by doing you will become an expert productive gardener in no time.

All About Aquatic Weed Control

Aquatic weeds or aquatic plants as you may refer them can add beauty to the pond or a lake until the time their growth is out of control. They form the basis of a waterbody’s health and productivity But once these plants grow excessively they pose nuisance to the swimmers and marine life especially fish that can be choked out by extremely thick weed beds. Though, this may just look like any other ordinary plant, but these weeds do have a detrimental effect on ornamental pond and lake frontages.

Usually aquatic weeds tend to grow during spring and summer, i.e. when water temperature surges above 6°C (43°F). During this period, they grow rapidly and take over garden ponds. Now we will take you through few simple steps of controlling this recurrent problem of weeds, through chemical method.

Identification of weed: It’s imperative that you first identify the type of weed that is creating a menace in your pond or lake as different weeds call for different kind of treatment and chemicals. Precisely, it’s extremely important that you choose the right kind of weed killer and for that you should be fully aware of its specie. In most cases and as for a layman, its typical to identify the weed specie,

Forms of weed killer -You can find a wide range of weed killer in the market and they come in solid as well as liquid form. It’s important that you know the ramifications of using it. Improper use of weed killer can have various implications on aquatic life, nearby vegetation and people who swim in that lake.

Application of Weed Killer -This is perhaps the most important part when it comes to killing weeds. First always read instructions on the back of label, please do note the time it suggest for abstaining it from swimming or entering inside the water as well as irrigation.

Temperature consideration is also important – Typically, late spring is the ideal time when water temperature is in the 50s and plants are young and weak during this time so it will take less material.

In most cases, people try and treat these weeds too harshly and apply too much quantity, which can cause hazardous effects on the flora and fauna thriving inside the pond. Hence its suggested not to overapply the herbicide.

Always remember that the right approach to killing weeds will prove successful.

Tips To Put Your Garden Shed

A new garden shed is a big investment, so it’s worth taking time to work out where best to position it. There are many factors to take into account, so don’t be rushed into a hasty decision. Once the shed has been installed, you can’t just plonk it down somewhere else.

Of course, not everyone has the luxury of choice – some gardens may be too small to allow any flexibility, or you may want to re-use an existing shed base to save time and trouble. But if your garden is big enough to offer more than one alternative site, you should consider all the options.

Thinking through the following points will help you choose the best spot:

What is the shed for?

If you simply require extra storage, the location may not be of great importance as long as the ground is dry and level. However, if you’re intending to use the shed as a workshop, potting shed or hobby space you will probably want a spot that is easily accessible and gets plenty of natural light.

Is the surface level and well-drained?

Choosing a level part of the garden will make the build much easier. If you try to construct a shed on uneven ground you are going to struggle to put it together correctly. Walls will start to warp, doors won’t fit the frames and screw holes may not line up properly. The whole structure will be weakened before you’ve even finished assembly, and it won’t last very long.

Good drainage is also important. A sheltered spot at the bottom of the garden may seem ideal in summer, but could turn into a swamp in wet weather if the shed is set in a dip. No timber building, however well made, can withstand rising water for long!

Is there enough surrounding space?

It’s never a good idea to shoe-horn a building into a tight space – this is asking for damp. The timber needs to breathe, so don’t wedge it up against a wall or fence. Leave enough room (at least a metre) to get all the way round the shed, so you can easily carry out maintenance and repairs.

Don’t be tempted to use the structure as part of your fence or wall. Not all neighbours will be happy with this, and you may face having to take it down if there is a boundary dispute in the future.

You should also avoid installing your shed underneath overhanging trees. The branches can damage the roofing felt, while sap and falling leaves can cause damp.

Where is the sun?

Work out the direction of the sun through the day, and plan accordingly. While spring and autumn sunshine can be very pleasant, a shed may become too hot for comfort in summer if it’s in the full glare of the sun – particularly if any windows face south. A spot that gets shade for part of the day could be a good compromise.

Is there easy access?

It may seem obvious, but putting the shed somewhere readily accessible can make a big difference to the amount of use you get out of it. Having the building next to a path, patio or gravelled area will make it easy to reach and encourage regular use. If there is no path you may be able to make one afterwards, or at least lay down a few stepping-stones across the lawn.

Do you need power?

If you want light and heating in your shed, placing it near the house will make installation easier. Options including using an overhead cable, extension lead or underground cable enclosed in a sleeve. This type of work should be carried out by a qualified electrician.

Benefit To Hire Gardeners

If you have a garden and you love seeing it bloom and prosper, you are lucky. Should you ever find it a little stressful and hard to devote the time, you can always hire one of the many gardeners to look after the place for you.

Leaving all, or most, of the gardening work to professionals sure has its benefits. For one, you get enough free time to address all of your other tasks. Another notable benefit is that you leave your garden in the care of experts, who are well-trained to handle any task with ease and expertise. Finding the right gardeners for your needs is not that difficult. You just need to follow a few steps:

Decide what you need help with – the first step to finding the right gardening service is to figure out your needs. Surely there are many gardening companies out there, but do they all offer what you need? Take a look around your garden and list all of the tasks – general maintenance, pruning, weeding, lawn care, tree surgery, etc. Then, see which companies do these tasks and figure out the best one to hire. You will find that not every company specializes in some task and likely doesn’t cover the rest, so it is important to make a thorough research on the matter to select the best one.

Check qualifications – it is a good idea to consider the professional qualifications of the gardeners you want to hire. There are several schemes to keep an eye for, and if you find a gardener with any of them, you know they are more likely to do a good job at any task. Aside from that, there is also the physical aspect. You want a gardener who is physically fit and capable of dealing with the job you have in mind.

References – it is a wise idea to ask for references. That is a sure way to know if the service you are about to hire has been used by other people who were happy with it. Any respectable company keeps a close record of their clients and will be able to provide references for successfully finished projects.

Get a price quote – getting quotes from multiple companies will allow you to compare their prices and see what works for your budget. Usually you will have to provide some details about the job and the area of your garden. Some companies can provide estimates over the phone, but others prefer to send a representative for a more accurate quote. Pay attention to what you agree when it comes to negotiations, as you don’t want to find out you need to pay more for something that the gardener worked on. Last, decide on a payment method – some gardeners prefer cash, while others prefer bank transfers or cheques.

This pretty much sums up the procedure for finding the best gardeners for your needs. Follow these steps and you will soon enough have the best service by your side.

Tricks To Plant Prune In Southern California

With February being the rainiest month of the year in southern California and the ground already saturated by January downpours, gardeners need to take into account the wet weather when planning their garden activities this month.

Prune Rose Bushes: After the chance of frost has past, February is the time to prune rose bushes. Pruning when there is still the possibility of frost can cause damage to any new growth. Clear stems from the center of the bush to bring in light and encourage air circulation. Make sure all dead steams and wayward branches are removed and remaining stems do not touch each other or cross over one another.

Take Care of Snails Naturally: Snails like a cool, moist soil so they thrive in southern California winters. Some natural ways to keep snails at bay: add plants to the garden that snails don’t like including sage, rosemary and mint; place a layer of mulch or crushed eggshells around plants (snails don’t like the rough surface); sprinkle used coffee grounds by the base of plants (also good for the soil).

Cut Back Perennials: The advantage of perennials is they grow year round, but that also means that plants can quickly become overgrown and unruly. Cut back perennials by trimming long stems so they are no more than 10 inches long. Perennials will grow back fuller and healthier in spring.

Continue to Plant Cool Weather Vegetables: Plant all types of lettuce as well as carrots, beets, peas, potatoes and radishes.

Plant A Quick Herb Garden: Plant seasonal herbs that thrive in cooler weather: arugula, chives, cilantro, dill, fennel and parsley.

Trim Low Growing Ornamental Grasses: Low growing ornamental grasses such as blue oatgrass, purple moorgrass, blue fescue and liriope, grow slowly during winter. Take the opportunity to cut back on these grasses so they are only five to six inches tall.

Don’t Over Fertilize Houseplants: Houseplants feel the effects of winter. Their growth slows so don’t overfeed them. Instead, make sure they receive plenty of sunlight and they are kept well watered. Wash leaves to remove dust and grime that may have accumulated.

Add Color To Your Landscape: Get a jump on spring by adding colorful plants already in bloom. Long lasting blooming plants to plant in late February include pansies, violas, primrose, snapdragons and calendulas.

Update Gardening Equipment: Now is a good time to clean and update your gardening equipment so it is ready for spring.