Monthly Archives: May 2016

Healthy Plants With Effective WateringWatering the garden is one of those things that many gardeners think they are getting right, but they probably are not. The most common mistake that gardeners make is watering their plants too quickly.

Typically gardeners might either turn on a sprinkler system or just use a hose. They see puddles of water everywhere and think they are getting the job done, but in reality water is being wasted and it's not even making it down deep to the plant's roots.

What's really happening is that the water is being spread out due to runoff. When water is applied too quickly the soil doesn't have a chance to soak it in. So the water that can't be soaked in gets spread to surrounding areas.

Instead of the water only being used for the intended plant, it spreads out and waters weeds. This can waste quite a bit of your gardening time, because you'll be spending it weeding.

With this big mess of water everywhere it may seem like the plants are really getting hydrated; however, if you take a shovel and dig down you might be surprised to find out that the water may have only made it down a couple inches.

Another downside to applying water too quickly is that puddles form at the top of the soil. When water just sits there it has a better chance of evaporating, and that's wasted water that could have been used for your plants. If you happen to live in a drought prone area it is extremely important to not be wasteful.

The obvious solution to fixing this problem is to water slowly. Fortunately there are many gardening tools to help you water slowly without wasting your time and manually doing it yourself. These tools use drip irrigation to apply water slowly.

Drip irrigation works exactly how it sounds like it would; it drips the water onto the soil where it has a chance to soak in. Because the soil actually has time to absorb the water, very little is wasted and the water has a chance to soak in deeply.

One of the main benefits of water soaking deeply into the soil is that the plants roots are being trained to reach deep into the ground to retrieve water. The water that makes it deeper also stays in the ground longer than water at a shallow level. You are helping your plants become more drought tolerant if you give them an occasional deep soaking instead of frequent shallow watering.

Some of the tools that you can use to take advantage of drip irrigation include soaker hoses or drip irrigation systems that include drip tape or individual emitters. All these options vary in price and complexity. You could have a very simple hose with emitters or you could install an entire system with a timer.

Soaker hoses would be a good option for people not looking to spend very much money. Soaker hoses are porous and the water looks like it sweats out of the hose. An advantage of soaker hoses is that it is flexible and can bend around plants. A disadvantage of soaker hoses is that they don't water very evenly. Typically more water gets emitted towards the beginning of the hose than at the end. They can also be prone to blowouts if the water pressure isn't regulated.

A drip system is probably the best way to water a garden. A drip system can be customized to water exactly what you need and even less water is wasted than with a soaker hose. Because a soaker hose emits water all along the hose, water is being wasted on bare areas if your plants happen to be spaced out. In a drip system you can have individual emitters for plants that are spread out or drip tape for plants that are more crowded.

If you'd like to see how drip irrigation works without actually purchasing anything this can be done using a milk jug. Just fill the empty milk jug with water and poke a small hole at the bottom with a needle (or something of similar size). You want your hole to be small enough that the water just drips. Then you can place it near a plant you would like watered.

This milk jug trick is great to use if you ever have to be away from your garden for an extended amount of time.

Beautiful Superb GardenChoosing the best supplies is the key determinant of healthy, quality and outstanding plants thus, giving your garden a more pleasant look. There are varieties of garden supplies that will help you give your plants all the necessary care required during growth. The hydroponic supplies are meant to improve your plant's performance as well as making your organic gardening work easier and fun.

The aim of this article is to provide you with more insight that will help you make better decisions based on the following gardening categories

Water Filtering Systems: It ensures that your plants remain healthy by pre-treating your water. Water that is used to water your plants is passed through these filters that remove any chlorine from water that can cause adverse effect to soil and plants in your organic gardening. Water filters eliminates the chlorine which could have otherwise killed soil microbiology in the soil. Therefore, purchasing a good water filter system will ensure that your garden soil remains fertile by providing the much needed minerals and vitamins that ensure your plants grow healthier in your garden.

Soil Treatment: Treating your gardening soil is the first step that you should emphasize on to ensure your plants get the required optimum soil conditions for proper growth. Major soil treatments in gardening usually focus on nutrients level, soil PH and mineral deficiencies.

Bud Trimming Machine: They are useful garden equipment that helps you prune the unwanted protruding leaves. You can as well use them to cut roots and in the preparation of flower petals. They ensure that you handle your plants safely without making any unnecessary damage. They are found in different varieties to suit your gardening preferences.

Grow Tent: Grow tents enable you to develop a perfectly controlled garden area a micro-environment Grow Room / Grow Cabinet where you can specifically control temperature and humidity levels and photoperiod lighting. They are made of light proof construction that does not allow light leaks which can lead to possible plant problems during the growth and flowering period.

Aeroponics Systems: Aeroponics systems have widely been used by many individuals in their effort of growing clones, veggies as well as herbs. The method entails growing of plants without use of any soil. Water with nutrient solutions is used where the roots of the plants are spread in order to absorb the essential nutrients. Aeroponics systems are available in different varieties at affordable prices.

Greenhouse Controllers: Use of a green house controller in your garden ensures that your plants are within the optimal environment for proper growth. All your crops will be protected from harmful pests and diseases as well as from harsh environmental conditions. Purchasing a greenhouse controller will ensure that your plants remains protected at all time and you are assured of better quality produce at the time of harvest.

PH/EC/TDS Meters: They are necessary equipment that every gardener must have. Whether you do indoor gardening, hydroponic gardening or green house gardening, they are equipment that will help you test for many issues. This equipment will enable you test your soil pH levels quickly so that you can know the best ways to adjust the soil Ph. In addition, they will also help you make calibrations on your Ph meters.

Plant Pots and Containers: Growing your plants in plant pots or containers is the most convenient form of gardening. There are many benefits that come with containers gardening. Plant pots and containers are easily movable and thus, you can even choose to grow your plants either on your balcony, courtyard, indoors and many other places. With containers, less weeding is needed and you also avoid using heavy gardening equipment. Plant pots and containers also give your plants an optimum environment for their growth because monitoring is easy.

Garden Accessories: Having proper accessories makes your garden appear more attractive and eco-friendly. These amenities will make your gardens a better place to visit and enjoy. Garden accessories such as furniture for gardens, lightning, outdoor cooking or outdoor heaters are some of the best garden accessories that you should consider purchasing so as to give your gardens an elegant look and style.

Hydroponic Nutrients: Use of plant nutrient in gardening is a modern trend that every gardener needs to embrace. It involves growing your plants without soil and instead uses solutions containing essential nutrients that your plants require for proper growth. Hydroponic nutrients provide an easy way of farming as it does not require any soil testing or much labor which saves you a lot of gardening costs. It supplies your plants with all the required nutrients thus ensuring that your plants are grown in the best conditions.

Pest and Disease Control: Controlling pests and diseases in your garden is very essential. For your plants to grow and thrive well, they require a disease and pest free environment. Therefore, you should ensure that you have set aside proper mechanism for your pest and disease control. In fact, pests are the ones that transfer diseases to your plants. Thus, purchasing the proper supplies will ensure that all your plants remains healthy and yields more at the harvest seasons.

Rooting and Propagation: This type product provides faster plants generation by rooting the stem cuttings and propagating the cuttings. They easily produce roots after a short while and you can use them to increase the amount of crops that your garden produces. This method saves you the cost of purchasing seeds and it also reduces the germination period of some plants. The process of rooting and propagation is not labor intensive because plants take less time to produce roots and develop.

Growing Media: Despite the fact that hydroponic gardening is a soil-free gardening, growing media are necessary as they provide support to your plants roots. They also help in maintain the necessary oxygen/water ratio so that your plants remain healthy. There are different varieties of growing media to choose from in the market that comes with different features according to your preferences.

Fans and Blowers: Are you having problems with frequent falling leaves in your garden? To maintain cleanliness and keep a good condition in your garden, fans and blowers are the best choice for all your landscaping needs. Blowers ensure that you remove fallen leaves from your garden with ease compared to using other tiresome tools such as hand rakes. Fan and blowers are available in the market with different features at affordable prices. They will help you conduct all your landscaping needs with ease.

Grow Lights: Grow lamps are the best choice for your indoor gardening. Especially when you want to start seeds, growing lights provides optimal conditions that ensure you get healthy green seedlings. Selecting an indoor lighting system that matches your preferred plants will ensure that your crops grow in a well controlled environment with the right light intensity required by plants.

Odor Remover: Bad odor smell in our gardens is something that can make them unpleasant for us to visit and work. That's why it's necessary for us to ensure that we get rid of all odors and make our gardens fresh and smart. Odor removers are found in different forms that you can spray to your garden and they eliminate any bad smell in your garden and you stay protected for up to one month. Charcoal filters are the preferred choice for indoor gardens.

Air Ducting: Air ducting equipment ensures that your gardening containers or greenhouses remain air-tight. They are designed to give you a tight waterproof and prevent unnecessary leakages. They are also primarily used for moving air in and out of your indoor garden or green house.

Garden Irrigation Systems: Garden irrigation systems have gained a lot of popularity in modern gardening today. They have been designed to ease the gardening work and make it enjoyable. By relieving the gardener of the hassles and legwork of irrigation, gardeners now spend little time when watering their plants. The other benefit of using the garden irrigation systems is improved efficiency through systems such as drip irrigation compared to traditional methods. Gardeners should embrace these irrigation systems for optimum gardening benefits.

Dogscaping Your YardDogscaping is exactly what it sounds like - landscaping with your dog in mind. Dog specific landscaping has taken off in recent years as dogs become more and more accepted in all types of housing, and as dogs become parts of many more families than ever before. Having a dog does result in some fairly specialized considerations in the garden and landscape. Here are some ideas for creating a landscape that is not only safer for the dogs in your life, but is also more functional than traditional landscaping is when it comes to everyday life with your pet.

Your landscape needs to be able to stay clean. We're not talking about the bathroom habits of dogs just yet. We're talking about a yard that your dog frequents that stays clean and dry. This includes either limiting access to wet boggy areas in your yard, or repairing them so that the wet areas are able to drain away and dry out. Muddy, wet areas are fun for dogs, but they can become a horrid mess. And, in some cases, wet and muddy areas can retain mosquitoes and disease, which can make your pet very sick.

You need a landscape that you can keep clean yourself as well. Dog feces are easier to clean up off of soft surfaces such as grass and artificial turf, but can be hard to clean up on solid surfaces.

Most dogs need access to a large enough area to be able to run. In smaller yards, long areas dedicated to a "dog run" are often very beneficial, as they accommodate a game of fetch and offer a place for the dog to get up to full speed before having to turn around. These areas should be soft and gentle on feet while still be able to stand up to minor damage and moderate foot traffic. Typical healthy turf is good for this. Investing in a strong, healthy lawn in the dog run area will not only be good for your pooch, it'll also look great too.

If you have a dog that enjoys digging, your landscape will need to be able to put up with the damage. Many dog owners find that for very aggressive diggers, creating large dirt or sand boxes specifically for digging helps to minimize digging damage elsewhere in the landscape. Opting for larger, heavier-duty metal landscape edging will also help keep mulch in the garden beds and out of the lawn.

Dogs like to eat meat first usually, but many dogs do like to sample plant material as well. Make sure that what you plant in your landscape isn't poisonous to dogs. Some plants are more poisonous than others, so it's up to you to judge what you think you can risk and what you can't. Here's a comprehensive list of pet toxic plants to avoid planting in your dogscape.

And finally, never be afraid to try different things. No two dogs are alike. If you have a small dog, you may not need a large turf dog run like you might for a larger dog. If you are like the author of this article and only adopt old dogs, you may not need a run at all, since old dogs aren't always keen on constantly running about like pups. What matters is you and your entire family, including your pet, be able to safely enjoy time outside in a landscape that is beautiful and functional. Many times, simpler is better. We hope you are able to use this information in a way that can help you further plan your landscape in a way everyone can enjoy!

Own Mini Meadow GardenWith attention paid to the plight of diminishing wildlife, especially populations of pollinators such as native bees and butterflies, people have responded with an interest in ways they can help keep what pollinators are left and even help increase populations.

This has resulted in a heavy interest in native plants as alternative choices in landscapes, and has changed much of the approaches we take when designing landscapes, as to make benefitting wildlife a priority in design. Ultimately, creating gardens and landscapes that resemble a healthy, established native ecosystem is the ultimate goal, but doing so takes a lot of space, money, and time. So what's the typical eco-conscious gardener living in the urban jungle to do?

Many gardeners are falling in love with the ideas of mini-meadows. While it's not acres of native restored prairie gardens, it's still a beautiful way to enjoy wonderful, healthy plants in the landscape while helping out the bees and butterflies (and birds and a plethora of other native wildlife).

Native prairie plants have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in tough climate conditions. They can handle a wide range of weather - from heavy rain, to drought conditions, to heavy wind and high humidity. Prairie gardens do well covered in feet of snow, or in dry cold with no protective snow at all in the winter. In a varied prairie plant community, plants are blooming and going to seed throughout the entire year, so something interesting is always happening. And, animals that depend on the food and cover these plant communities provide can rely on a season-long home, which makes them extremely important.

In this prairie garden design by Julie Farris, you can see how beautiful pairing formal lines and modern materials with the informal plantings of native prairie plants can look beautiful together. Mixing flowering plants (often referred to as "forbs" when talking about prairie and meadow settings) and grasses makes for a very beautiful and natural backbone for your perennial plant choices. Best of all, once established, these plants are all absolutely care free if you start with good soil and mulch each fall with natural mulch materials that feed the soil. Every 3-4 years, some division of perennials might be necessary, but sharing divisions with friends is a fun thing to do! Consider adding shrubs and trees, such as spice bush, Princeton Elm, Cottonless Cottonwood and small trees like native dogwoods, like red twig and white flowering, if you have the space.

Some specific plants that are ideal for starting the mini-meadow or small prairie planting include the Cheyenne Sky Panicum Grass, Prairie Dropseed Grass, Little Bunny Pennisetum Grass, Northwind Panicum, Echinaceas, Goldenrod, Yarrow, Asters, Blue False Indigo, Agastache, Monarda, and Heliopsis.

And, of course, there are many, many more! Plus there are seed blends for a fast easy meadows.