All About Smartweed

Over the years, the scientists globally have been in the pursuit to find medicinal plants to cure illnesses and discover effective drugs to sustain mankind. Towards that end, many realized the importance of smartweed, botanically known as polygonum hydropiperoides. For long, it was known for its hot, peppery flavor and still find its place in many homes across Eurasia and America. The wet ditches and damp soil along banks are the place where one can spot smartweed from a distance.

The herbal therapies that are ancestors and natural healers knew of from centuries are now known to us too. Thanks to the recent studies that have been conducted in this niche. Traditionally, smartweed was known for curing respiratory and gastrointestinal related diseases, but now it has grown in benefits.

The benefits of Smartweed are as follows

1. Smartweed as an Antioxidant

Oxidation of free radicals is the main reason behind aging. Antioxidant serve as the guard against it. You can definitely lessen the oxidation process with the intake of smartweed.

2. Smartweed for Cholera

A person gets afflicted to cholera when he either drinks contaminated water or eats adulterated food. The decoction of smartweed is the remedy to treat cholera. And it has been practiced by natural healers in the past.

3. Smartweed for Respiratory Ailments

If your respiratory tracts are congested, use smartweed. The herb has been used to treat cough, asthma, sore throat and respiratory infection.

4. Smartweed to Stop Excessive Bleeding

The lance-shaped wavy leaves are known to possess rutin that strengthens the fragile blood capillaries. It stops excessive bleeding.

5. Smartweed for Indigestion

The smartweed is known as the drug that prevents the accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal. So all the unwanted gas will be expelled from your intestine when you regularly take this.

6. Smartweed for Diuretic

If you are in the habit of going to the loo too frequently, add this ‘smart’ herb in your meal and stop becoming the laughing stock. The smartweed has the capability to stop the excessive passing of urine.

7. Smartweed as a Treatment of Piles

Intake of smartweed herbal medicine can treat piles medicinally known as hemorrhoids.

8. Smartweed as an Oral Contraceptive

Researchers have characterized smartweed as an anti-fertility drug. If you want to prevent conception, use smartweed as an oral contraception.

9. Smartweed for Treating Gastric Ulcer

The herb is known to be rich in quercetin, a flavonoid known to possess antioxidant properties which can help in treating the gastric ulcer.

10. Smartweed for Dysentery

Immerse the smartweed in cold water and let it sit in there for a while. Now, remove the herb and drink this herbal water and see the effect.

11. Smartweed for Toothache

Have an aching tooth or an inflamed gum? Chew the root of this magical herb and lessen the discomfort.

12. Smartweed for Appetite

Don’t you feel hungry? Have you lost your appetite? Take the herb and combat your loss.

13. Smartweed as a Natural Dye

Want to get your white fabric painted to a different color? You know where to seek the solution.

Despite all these benefits, you should take smartweed with caution. As the adage goes, “Anything in excess is bad”, the same holds true for this herb as well. Constant intake might lead to sterility, hence pregnant women should avoid it as it may result in termination.

Continue Reading

Tips For Saving Money After Gardening

As most other outdoor activities, gardening is a pleasant and relaxing occupation. What’s more, it is rewarding to observe the beautiful green spot you created on your own. However, it would be right to assume that gardening is not a cheap hobby. It consumes a lot of time as well. If you want to find out more affordable and faster alternatives to a beautiful yard, continue reading. You will discover that correctly planning your lawn can be as healthy as never before. In the same time, you will be able to avoid unnecessary spending.

Water – this is an essential resource related to gardening. It’s proper usage can spare you both time and extra costs. Over watering your lawn is bad for the budget and useless for plants. Grass has long roots that go deep into the ground. Little water is enough for it to be green and lively. In the same time, you will cut some expenses. Professional landscapers recommend that you water your lawn in the morning. It is the best moment since colder air prevents water from vaporizing. Creating such a habit will reduce waste of water.

Grass – the height of grass matters, since it can cut down the amount of water. Lower grass leads to shallow roots, which means that grass is exposed to drier soil. Keeping dry conditions is not OK for your garden. That is why keep it comparatively high. What is more, higher grass stops weeds from spreading too far and getting too tall. This trick spares you additional money on products to fight weeds.

Natural care – nothing is better for your lawn than homemade solutions. They lessen excessive spending on highly toxic products. Furthermore, it is much healthier for you and your plants to opt for natural ingredients. Take a spraying bottle and make a mixture of vinegar and dish soap. You can exterminate weeds with this solution just spraying it directly on them. Sugar is also irreplaceable when it comes to being “green” when gardening. This substance can strengthen grass without having the negative impact on nature, people or pets. Sugar will also take care of the soil quality, as well as for some valuable microbes that live there. Contrary to what you may think, applying sugar is easy. Just sprinkle it wherever you feel it is necessary. If your lawn is in good condition, you will need to do this only twice a year. Do not forget to water your lawn as soon as you finish sprinkling.

Plants – caring for your plants can be time-consuming, especially if they are too many or not the right kind. When picking them out, make sure that you select what is right for your climate. Otherwise, they will not last long, and your efforts will be in vain. When purchasing flowers and bushes, get them from trustworthy growers. They can give you the right answers that concern plants’ cultivation. Also, you will be sure that your plants are healthy and appropriate for your yard’s conditions. By doing this, you will have more free time just to enjoy your garden. You will save some extra cash on unsuited plants as well.

As you see, having a well-kept yard might be less expensive than you think. With the right tips, you can handle gardening and your finances well enough.

Continue Reading

Using Algae To Control Ponds

Due to the very nature of algae, you find it in most bodies of water body which in fact, is a good sign that suggests good health of a pond. But, when the amount reaches unsustainable levels, you need to take action. If algae get out of control, it makes the pond water murky and clogs filters and pumps. Special attention needs to be paid during the spring (March – May) season.

Algae Types

The types of algae that you can spot in your pond could be –

1. String or Filamentous Algae

Since the string algae have the tendency to forming long threads around rocks, plants and other objects or dense mats, they are commonly referred to as blanket weed.

2. Suspended Algae

The suspended algae are at work to turn your crystal clear water into the murky green. When the algae cover extensive region, it resembles a pea soup and you will be unable to spot your vibrant, colorful fishes that lie just a few inches below the water surface.

Reason behind Algal Bloom

Primarily, there are three reasons due to which algae grow quickly and cover the water body in no time and those are –

1. High Content of Phosphates & Nitrates:

Dead and decay leaves, fish excreta, fish food waste or minerals from tap water are rich in nitrates, phosphates, and ammonia. These serve as the food for algae.

2. Stagnant Water

The continuous run off of nutrient fertilizer in the stagnant river body results in the algal bloom.

3. High Temperature and Excessive Sunlight

The presence of too much light into the pond paves way for algae. Shallow ponds or insufficient plant cover are the reasons that allows too much penetration of sunlight.

Algae Control in Ponds

The presence of algae is the bane for any pond keeper because it results in loss of fish life and depletes precious oxygen. But, with a few simple and precautionary steps, you can control algae in a pond and maintain the tranquility of the garden.

1. Maintain the Ecosystem by Adding Floating Plants

To achieve a fine balance naturally, cover at least half of the water surface with floating plants like water lettuce, azolla, water hyacinth or duckweed. Apart from these, you can even add lotus or lilies. These plants multiply quickly and work as shade for the life beneath. The submerged plant like hornwort keeps the water cool and blocks excessive sunlight and keeps the algal growth at a bare minimum. Adding plants is a necessity because they compete with algae for dissolved nutrients.

2. Love Fishes? Do NOT cram them in one pond

Who doesn’t love to see fish roaming around in crystal clear water? But, ensure that you do not add them in excess in one pond. More fishes would mean more waste (through excreta and food) which would result in the fast algae bloom.

3. Keep Debris at Bay

For algae control, regularly clean the water surface with a pond vacuum, net or with AquaClear Pellets. Because when these dead leaves, debris, and sludge break down, they result in the growth of algae.

Continue Reading

How To Keep Water Lily Plant

Since time immemorial, water lilies have captivated humans’ attention towards its enchanting beauty. The plant has been gorgeously immortalized in religion and art. Majestic palaces and gardens were once its home, but today it found its place even in your home garden. Intrigued? We will tell you how you can grow and care for water lilies in your river side patio.

Types of Water Lilies

Beginners! Go for the hardy lilies because they are easy to plant and maintain. They will bloom even in winters if planted below the freezing line of the pond. Tropical water lilies, on the other hand, need a little extra care and attention. But, the wait is worth the effort because they have stronger fragrance and their flowers bloom even in vibrant hues of purple and blues. Another point of difference between the two is that the hardy water lily is day blooming whereas the tropical one can bloom during the day as well as nighttime.

How to Grow Water Lilies?

True, a pond covered with water lilies do look attractive, but if the river body gets completely covered, it will inhibit the growth of flora and fauna living deep inside. Plus, they have the tendency to propagate. In no time, you will see your pond covered with them. So to prevent such a situation –

1. Use Plastic Container or Baskets : Shallow and wide plastic containers that have holes punched inside.

2. Line the Periphery of the Container with Burlap : To retain the soil in the container, use a landscape fabric or a burlap else the soil would leach out and make the pond water murky.

3. Add Clay and Fertilizer : Fill the container with clay, silt or loam and mix it with the aquatic fertilizer.

4. Remove the Old Leaves : Before placing the plant, make sure you have removed the old, fleshy and thick roots and leaves.

5. Know the Right Placement : Plant the tuber at about 45° angle.

6. Keep the Soil Intact: Add pea gravel or rocks to the container to retain the soil in the pot. There are chances of the soil washing away from the planted pot.

7. Take Note of the Height : Now, leave the pot in the pond at a depth of around 18 inches. If required, raise its depth by placing the pot on the rocks. Ensure that the leaves float on the surface.

How to Care for Water Lilies?

Water lily care can be easy only if you take the following precautions, else you might have a hard time with dealing the mess in your pond.

1. Plant lilies in wide mesh crates, baskets or containers.

2. Use the heavy topsoil instead of light, chalky or sandy soil. The reason is that the topsoil is free from pesticides.

3. Do NOT add peat to the soil.

4. Once the flowers start blooming, remove the dying flowers so as to prevent them from sinking to the bottom.

5. Regularly remove the dying leaves, thick roots from the plant.

6. For getting maximum bloom during the season (June – September), plant the lilies at a place that receives maximum sunlight.

7. Never place the lilies just beneath the water fountain; the heavy splashing of water might kill them.

Continue Reading