Tips To Gardening In Winter

The holidays are a busy time of the year, but for those who love to garden, there is still plenty to do in December.

Harvest Your Fall Vegetable Crop: It’s time to start harvesting vegetables from plants sowed in September and October. You can even add more vegetable plants before it gets too cold. They include artichokes, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, peas, potatoes and radishes. Note: expect them to grow slower than those vegetables planted in spring.

Plant Bare-Root Fruit Trees: Now is the best time to plant bare-root fruit and nut trees such as apricots, apples, cherry, peaches, plums and walnut. You’ll find an assortment at your local nursery. Soak the roots in a bucket of water for an hour before planting Dig a hole large enough to hold the roots. Spread out the roots to encourage growth. Thoroughly water. Cover with a layer of mulch. Keep your tree moist for the first several weeks (regular rainfall will be enough). Bare-root trees are often less expensive than potted trees because they come without the plastic container.

Prune Deciduous Fruit Tree: Prune deciduous trees once they have dropped their leaves. Don’t be afraid to give the tree a healthy trim as they will bounce back nicely in spring.

Fill In Bare Spots in Your Lawn: Since southern California winters are mild, there is still time to seed bare spots in your lawn. If rain is sparse, you’ll need to water regularly.

Start A Mulch Pile: Rake up leaves and create a homemade mulch pile. Add leaves and grass clippings. Water the pile (if necessary). Turn once a week. You’ll have compost by spring.

Remove Dead Flowers and Branches: Gardens can look a bit ragged in winter. Keep them fresh by cutting away dead flowers, leaves and branches. Consider cutting back large trees including pines and oaks if limbs look weak or have become overgrown.

Recycle Your Christmas Tree: Check with your city on how and when to recycle your Christmas tree after the holidays. Remove all decorations and lights. Most recyclers will accept flocked and unflocked trees.

Extend the Life of Poinsettias: During the holidays, keep poinsettias in a cool indoor location-away from heating vents and fireplaces. Once spring arrives next year, cut the stems back. Put them outdoors in the shade during summer and then bring them back indoors in fall. To get the dark red leaves that poinsettias are known for, they’ll need to spend half of the day in total darkness beginning in October. They’ll start blooming-ready for next Christmas-by mid-November.

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Time To Get Cut Your Trees

Trimming your trees during summers has many benefits to offer, and it ought to be considered for every single tree that you possess. Remember, trimming is a vital, yet frequently ignored task in the developing procedure.

By trimming them at the right time, you can control the shape of its crown. When trees are trimmed appropriately on a regular basis, you stay away from numerous normal issues that many individuals encounter. Diseases, harm to the plants, harm to your property, and broken branches would all be able to be kept away from by trimming at the perfect time.

Trimming can make your plants visually appealing to look at, and it can likewise maintain your trees health. Trimming results in the development of fruits, flowers, and foliage.

Besides, trimming keeps the branches from getting too long and delicate, so they can really bolster the heaviness of the new development. This causes you to stay away from branch breakage, which opens up your plants to infections.

Every homeowner needs to trim at the particular circumstances of the year. The timing depends on the kind of plant that you have in your yard. You might need to consult a local expert trimmer or arborist to figure out the best circumstances to trim your plants.

  • A few plants do best if they’re trimmed in the spring or summer as this can advance quick development and enable the young plants to grow to their maximum capacity.
  • Different plants do best if they’re trimmed in the winter while they are in a sleeping phase. But, you need to keep in mind that trimming certain plants in winters could really kill them.
  • An expert arborist will know precisely which branches to trim and how to maintain the balance of thickness throughout the tree. Beginning early and working with an expert from the time when the plants are young can give you control about whether the trees wind up short and tall or wide and thin.
  • The manner in which the branches are cut impacts the direction that the tree will develop. This can be exceptionally helpful, particularly if your plants could grow excessively near your home, electrical cables, the road, or on your property.
  • Controlling the shape and the development rate can likewise enable you to make shade where you require it and adjust it with your other landscaping. So, this summer, hire an expert and make your yard wonderful again.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Guide To Be Gardener Expert

Every Gardener knows how important it is to take time to reflect on ways in which you can improve the performance. Gardeners are observant people and as such, they can scrutinize, monitor, and take different signals from the plants so as to make a determination on whether the plants are the way they need to be.

Most professional gardeners make use of approaches that are idiosyncratic, so as to give the gardens everything they need. There are many tips that can help you be the best gardener and they include:

Design

Form and texture are more important than the color. The atmosphere and space are also very important. If you notice that the shrubs have no space below, you may need some pruning. You need to think about the design of your space and decide on what you should plant there and in what quantities.

Sowing

This is a very important part of growing a garden. When you sow your seeds, you need to water them using some warm water. Avoid using the ice-cold water as it ends up delaying the germination. After they germinate, it is important that you only handle the seedlings using the leaves since they are tougher than stems at this point.

Planting

When you are planting, then you need to think about every aspect of the process so as not to affect your plants negatively. Make sure you plant in the correct soil combination.

If you have the funds for it, then a greenhouse is definitely an amazing idea and definitely worth a try. Even a greenhouse that is not heated extends your season for growing your own good and increasing the summers. A greenhouse can be an invaluable addition to the garden as it can help you extend the range in the most incredible ways.

For real gardeners, it is important to listen to your own mood and do what you think should be done to improve the garden. You should choose the ideal time to move the plants as long as there is enough soil, shade, and a water source. This is what allows the plants to establish even more quickly.

It is important to act early. For example, if you feel young tree is not located in the ideal point, and then you need to move it early. Do not wait until such a tree has already matured so as to start thinking of ways to deal with it.

Vegetables

If you chose to grow your vegetables in pots, it is important to have a shade so as to slow down the bolting. You can use mulch to stop weeds from invading the vegetable area and this works well too. You need to consider which vegetables grow together. Doing this helps you make the most of the gardening experience by easing processes like pollination and so on.

Pests

Understanding pests is also a part of good gardening. There are some pests that will play dead if they are disturbed. It is important to stay alert and notice any changes in your plants. A good gardener always finds a way to deal with pest and diseases at all times so as to improve yield.

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How To Remove Palm Tree

Who would like to cut off a full grown palm tree from their property or near their house? The answer is easy and clear – No one!

Although it’s obvious that no one would like to expel a palm tree, but sometimes it simply becomes inevitable to prevent its removal.

Generally, excessively overgrown trees may hinder the look and beauty of your yard, while on different events it might intervene with the electricity cables. In many cases, the unchecked development of trees may set risk to the nearby building if its underlying roots penetrate deep down in the foundation.

Palm trees are frequently expelled from landscapes for various reasons. By and large, before you choose to dispose of that palm on your property, you’ve to consider different elements that will presumably influence your choice.

  • Is There A Valid Reason Behind Palm Tree Removal?

This is the underlying issue that you should consider before reaching any decision. If palm care isn’t conceivable as it is infected or has become a risk to your building, at that point it is best to have it expelled. Palm whose branches are meddling with power cables on the street may likewise cause harm your property.

However, if you’re disposing it off just for beautifying purposes, then think before you expel it. You can trim it to appear a more natural and beautiful look. If it is extremely crucial to dispose it off, then look for the services of an expert palm tree removal company instead of attempting to deal with the activity all alone.

  • Palm Tree Removal Without Any Relocation

Is it true that you are looking forward to expel your palm tree or you move it to some other spot? If you simply need to dispose it off, then the best alternative is to chop it down and pound the stump out.

  • Removal And Relocation Palm Tree

Numerous homeowners who love to make their gardens aesthetically pleasant often search for special and exceptional types of palm trees, and quite often Canary Palms. This is the reason why many homeowners who have attractive trees may exchange their palm to such experts.

However, make sure that your palm without a doubt belongs to such an unordinary palm species. Proficient tree expulsion services do the task of tree evacuation, briskly and without creating any mess.

By hiring palm removal services, you can lessen the common issues that may come up if anything turns out badly while expelling the tree. You likewise don’t need to stress over the possible harm to your home, building, or any other structure, or people in that area. Remember, cost of any mishap will be far more than you would be paying for professional tree removal services.

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Understanding Raising Bed For Your Garden

Raised bed gardening is not a fundamentally new concept. In fact, it has been around for quite some time, as gardeners have discovered the convenience and options it provides. Modern gardens are filled with this feature, and many people are now focusing their landscape design.

Raised beds are easy to build, even if you are not expert on the matter. You can choose from a variety of materials, such as bricks, concrete blocks or timber. With ready-to-assemble kits available on the market, there is nothing to worry about. If you are still having second thoughts, consider all the benefits:

Drainage – even during heavy rains, raised garden beds offer excellent drainage. There is a good reason why they are so preferred in tropical areas with heavy rainfall. As the soil in them has loose texture, water seeps merely inside, eliminating fast runoff, which in other cases would carry away soil. Since water gets absorbed into the lower areas of the these bed, you needn’t worry about waterlogging.

Aeration – digging up the ground and providing support to the sides with a frame is a lovely traditional way of building these beds. No matter you put in the frames as a soil solution is going to have a loose structure. This, in turn, is ideal for plants, since it provides rich growing media and superb air circulation for the roots. Proper aeration is essential for preserving microbial population and soil health. The main benefit is that there is less risk of soil compaction since there will be no trampling of the soil around plants. And since water is draining quickly, the danger of soil compaction due to flooding is minimal.

Weed control – there are a lot of dormant weed seeds lying on the ground. During the process of deep cultivation, many of them will be exposed and thus grow into persistent weeds. With raised beds, you have the option of filling in soil that is mostly free of weed seeds. Even if they do grow, it will be easy to remove them.

Build on existing turf – starting a new vegetable patch on the ground usually means digging up turf and clearing the sod. However, raised beds can be built on already existing turf, thus saving you the need to dig up.

Easy pest control – a lot of pests find their way to vegetable patches by crawling. These will undoubtedly be deterred by the solid frames of a raised bed. You can take your anti-pest measures one step further and place a plastic liner at the bottom of the these bed. If pests are already present, it is easier to pick them off in raised beds, due to the increased accessibility.

As you can see, raised beds present a wonderful addition to your garden, with multiple benefits. It is up to you to take full advantage of them.

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All The Kind Of Greenhouse

A greenhouse is a plastic or glass enclosed building which is used to grow a variety of plants. The purpose of this structure is dependent upon how the gardener wishes to care for their plants. The style and design of the greenhouse is dependent upon the types of plants, amount of available space, location, and utilities.

Three basic types of greenhouses:

  1. Cold Frame Boxes: Portable framed boxes which service seedlings or plants to become stronger or acclimated to withstand an environmental change before being transplanted into the traditional garden.
  2. Lean-To Greenhouse: The lean-to green house is a three-sided structure which is attached to the side of a stable building, wall, or fence. Its design presents the appearance of a half-house with a slanted roof and three sides covered with plastic, shade cloth, or glass.
  3. Free standing building: A permanently constructed building for the serious horticulturist.

The cold frame box is a square portable container usually constructed of wood with a slanted lid covered with glass or 6 ml polyethylene sheeting. The purpose of the cold frame is to transplant young seedlings from an indoor setting to a temporary controlled environment before being planted into the main garden area. It helps the seedlings to not experience sudden shock or die from the abrupt temperature changes.

The Lean-to is often referred to as a half-house with a vertical slanted roof. The convenience of this style is its placement. It is most often placed against the wall of a house, barn, shed, or other stable structure which allows for the added convenience of utilities, storage space, and walking distance for hauling. This structure may be simple or designed to meet the architectural style of the stable wall.

The free-standing building is for serious horticulturists or commercial usage. For instance, you may live in a four-season state and raise tropical plants. These plants will not survive without the controlled environment of the greenhouse.

This permanent structure will stand for many decades. This building is fully equipped with hanging rails, shelves, sink and plumbing fixtures, controlled heat and air conditioning, lighting, fans, work bench, and other accessories which the gardener utilizes.

Other benefits for investing in this added protection includes protection from inclement weather, insects and critters, year-round growing, a hospital for sick plants, light-weight tools, automatically controlled utilities, and less stressful labor.

Are you passionate about gardening? Do you love watching seeds, bulbs, or young plants grow and mature into beautiful flowers, fruits, or vegetables?

The four seasons of the year offer an array of flora which we pursue with enthusiasm. It is because of this passion that a green house is given much consideration.

This type of building is an asset for growing our favorite plants under controlled conditions. The less our plants need to battle Mother Nature the easier it is for them to grow healthy and beautiful.

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