Even a composting neophyte can create top-notch compost with the right recipe. Akin to cooking, composting is half art, and half science. Awareness of these basic factors will help you getting started. Just like a chef demands high quality ingredients, successful composting needs the best ingredients too. Good materials for composting include these: grass clippings, leaves, plant stalks, hedge trimmings, old potting soil, twigs, vegetable scraps, coffee filters, and tea bags.
Bad composting materials include: diseased plants, weeds with seed heads, invasive weeds, pet feces, dead animals, bread and grains, meat or fish parts, dairy products, grease, cooking oil, or oily foods.
To prepare compost, you need organic materials, microorganisms, air, water, and a small quantity of nitrogen. Organic material is what you are trying to decompose (see above for Dos and Donts). Microorganisms are tiny forms of plant and animal life, which break down organic material. A small amount of garden soil or manure supplies adequate microorganisms. The air, nitrogen, and water offer an encouraging environment for the microorganisms to produce your compost. You can add enough nitrogen to the compost with small amount of nitrogen fertilizer., which can be purchased at hardware stores or nurseries. Air is the one ingredient which you cant have too much of. Too much nitrogen can kill microbes; too much water causes insufficient air in the pile.
If microorganisms have more surface area to feed off of, the materials will decompose faster. Chopping your organic materials with a machete, or using a shredder or lawnmower to shred materials will help them break down faster.
The compost pile is your oven. Compost piles catch heat created by the activity of millions of microorganisms. The minimum size for hot, fast composting is a 3-foot by 3-foot by 3-foot. But piles wider or taller than 5 feet don’t permit enough air to reach the microorganisms at the center.
Your compost piles microorganisms work their hardest when the materials have about the moistness of a wrung-out sponge and as many air passages. The air in the pile is usually consumed faster than the moisture, so the pile should be turned or mixed up now and then to add more air; this maintains high temperatures and controls odor. Use a pitchfork, rake, or other garden tool can to turn materials with.
Roses have gotten a bad wrap over the years for being difficult to grow and maintain. If you are thinking of rose gardening dont let this rumor stop you. While rose gardening can prove to be challenging, once you get the hang of it, it really isnt that bad.
When you first start rose gardening, you will have to choose what type of rose you wish to plant, and no, Im not talking about the color. You will have to choose between bare-root, pre-packaged, and container-grown roses. Bare-root roses are sold in the winter and early spring. They should be planted as soon as frosts are over and the ground is warm and workable. Pre-packaged roses are bare-root plants that are sold in a bad or box with something around the roots to retain moisture, such as sawdust. Container-grown roses are grown; you guessed it, in containers. They will be either budding or already in bloom when they become available in the early spring.
Planting in rose gardening is not that much different than any other type of plant. The most important thing, as always, is good, healthy soil and a prime planting area. It doesnt matter whether your roses are bare-root or container-grown, the planting methods are the same as any other shrub. Make sure the spot you choose has good drainage, gets plenty of sunlight, and will not overcrowd your roses. Before planting, any dead leaves and thin or decayed shoots need to be cut off. Any damaged or very long roots also need to be trimmed. Soak bare-root roses in water about 10-12 hours to restore moisture in the roots before planting and water the soil before planting as well. Make sure the hole you have dug is large enough for the root growth of the rose. Also it is a good idea to use compost or mulch. After all, roses like extra nutrients just like any other plant.
Roses need the same things as other plants; they are just a bit needier. One of the most important things to remember in rose gardening is that roses are heavy feeders and will need several fertilizer applications. Fertilizing should be started in early spring and discontinued in early fall. Make sure not to over-fertilize (fertilize should come with instructions) and water after each feeding. Roses require large amounts of water; a thorough watering twice a week should be enough.
Pruning is an essential part to flower gardening. It increases blooms and encourages healthy plant growth. Different varieties of roses have different instructions for pruning, so you might want to read up on your rose types and see what is suggested.
The main thing to remember in rose gardening is to water, water, and water some more. One other thing about rose gardening is the amount of fertilizer and nutrients you will need to use, and the pruning that needs to be done to keep your roses under control and healthy. Even though rose gardening takes a little more time and roses are more work, they are one of the most unique and beautiful plants, and definitely worth the extra work.
So you find yourself in the middle of the worst drought within living memory and your garden occupants are starting to sag, flag and wilt. Which plants should be watered first and which plants should receive the main quantities of the irrigation? You begin to feel like the leader of a third world country trying to spread your counties meagre budget across healthcare, military and education. Never fear, let me dampen your worries with some drought advice.
First to receive the H2O
Recent plantings are top of the list for regular watering, if water is available. New plantings such as bare-root trees or shrubs planted the previous autumn / winter, with newly planted perennials also at great risk from drought damage. You see these new plantings have not had much time to produce water-seeking roots, the type of roots that travel deep and wide for moisture. Because of this, we must supplement the plants natural water supply. During a hosepipe ban, recent plantings of annual bedding summer bedding such as marigolds, impatiens, Nicotiana etc should be regarded as probable casualties of the water war. If I had a limited supply of water to divide between a Japanese maple and some annual bedding, I am afraid the maple would receive the lions share and to hell with the bedding. As a rule of thumb, if the soil 5cm (2 inches) below the grounds surface is dry, then it is time to water. The following is short list of plants can cope with a short period of drought, once established Brachyglottis, Corokia, Gleditsia, Halimiocistus, and Hippophae.
Container plants during a drought
Next on the water-receiving list are containerized plants, hanging baskets and window boxes. Essentially a containerized plant is growing above the ground water table, with just the soil inside the container to provide the required moisture. If the moisture is not inside the container, then I am afraid the roots have nowhere else to go to quench the plants thirst. Again, if the compost 5cm (2 inches) below the pots surface is dry, then it is time to water, it is up to the gardener to provide that water when required. Try to provide a catch plate or tray beneath containers, these catchers will contain any excess water that will eventually be absorbed in the compost. Be aware that terracotta and other porous container materials absorb a good quantity of water that the plant is then unable to access. The following is a short list of container bedding plants that can cope with a short period of drought, once established Arctotis, Lantana, Plectranthus, Portulaca and Zinnia
Vegetables and fruit during a dry spell
Provide adequate quantities of water for moisture-hungry vegetables such a tomatoes, peas, onions, cucumbers, marrows and lettuce. Insufficient supplies of water will lead to miniature, shrivelled and limp specimens. Fruiting plants such as strawberries, raspberries, currants, apple and pear trees are also very moisture hungry especially while their fruit is forming. Notice how much water is within a strawberry or pear the next time you eat one of these delights. Water-content figures of 70 to 90% are quoted for fruits and vegetables, regardless of whichever quantity is correct, you must supply that water during a drought. Plants growing in an exposed or wind swept area will require a fair quantity of supplementary water during a drought. Have you ever gone for a bracing walk on a windy day, upon arriving home, you smile at your spouse, children or pet and realise that your lips are cracked and chapped, ouch! This illustrates the severe drying element of a strong breeze, plants leaves are constantly being dried out and then remoistened by water from the soil when available. During a drought, if that water is not present the leaves will dry up, shrivel and shed. This is known as the desiccation of foliage. Watering deeply will prevent this happening.
Shallow rooters and moisture lovers
Shrubs and trees that are shallow rooted or have a particular liking for moist soils are quite at risk during a drought period. The shallow rooted specimens include Rhododendron, Azalea, Heather (Erica), Hydrangea and Birch (Betula). The moisture lovers include Hosta, Ferns, Helleborus, Sarcococca, Fatsia and Camellia. If water is available, please allocate some to these plants. Climbers or wall-shrubs planted close to house walls will struggle for moisture at the best of times, due mainly to the rain-shadow cast by the house itself. Do not forget to water these wall huggers. The following is a short list of climbers that can cope with a short period of drought, once established Clematis Montana, Fallopia, Jasminum, Trachelospermum and Vitis.
Lawns during a hosepipe ban
During a drought, the first part of the garden that people tend to water is the lawn. This is probably because lawns usually make up quite a quantity of most gardens and these lawns tend to look burnt earlier than many plants. However, the lawn would be the last form of plant life within my garden that would receive any rationed water. Lawns are more resilient than you may think, a green lawn that becomes browned off due to water shortage will eventually return after a few heavy rain showers. The burnt piece is the foliage above ground; the roots below ground will sit tight and wait the dry spell out. Of course, lawns comprised totally of fine grass will be damaged significantly by prolonged dry weather, but you should have no worries if your lawn is sown with a utility seed mix (No. 2 or Manhattan mix).
How to apply water during a drought (if water is available)
I find sprinklers are quite wasteful of the available albeit rationed water, instead I would choose either hand watering or seep watering. With hand watering you direct your watering can or hose to the base of your chosen plant, water deeply at a rate of approx 10 liter per meter squared. Watering lightly will do more harm than good as it encourages surface rooting, which is easily damaged. On many dry soils, water applied directly will tend to run off over the soils surface and away from the plants base, if this happens try the following trick. Sink a two-liter pot filled with gravel at the base of the plant, water slowly into this pot and you will have no run off problems. Seep watering, also known as drip irrigation is an effective and economical way to apply much needed moisture directly. Most well stocked garden center will sell seep hose or porous pipe, which you will weave between plants within your beds and borders. This seep hose when connected to a water supply will slowly ooze water through small holes along the length of the pipe. It is extremely direct and efficient.
Most of us are ready to invest huge amount for landscaping and gardening to give face lift for our home. But we failed to prune when the plants needed it, and then your highly invested landscape looks terrible than ever. So this is a high time to know about the gardening tips for better maintenance of your lawn. Do follow the following gardening tips for better life of your garden: –
Gardening tips for pruning As we discussed in the introduction, pruning plays an important role in the garden maintenance. If you commit any mistake while pruning, don’t lose your heart because its like a bad haircut, it is going to grow again.
Avoid watering in the evening During summer, you may experience high humidity, which might result in lot of problems in your garden. To get your plants nice and dry, tuck them in for night. In addition to this watering in the evening may be avoided to prevent damage to the plants.
Get rid of Powdery mildew Powdery mildew is the common fungus mostly affects your ornamental plants. This will create white film on the leaves of the plants in your garden. Even other ornamental plants such as Sand cherry and Dogwoods are also getting affected with this fungus. Efficient gardening is necessary to curtail the growth of this fungus. You can easily prevent this by spraying general fungicide in the garden centre.
Prevention of Pythium Blight If you’re in the north and also having perennial Rye grass, then you ought to be very careful not to leave your grass wet at night. A dreadful fungus called Pythium Blight may take its upper hand, if you leave your lawn wet in the night because this fungus love to grow in high humid condition mostly, in the night.
Pythium blight can easily be seen in the early morning. You can easily appreciate the fungus on the top of the lawn as white cotton candy. You can easily notice this fungus mainly along driveways and walks, where the soil is moist. Pythium blight can easily be controlled by watering in the day at the earliest possible time.
Fire Blight Fire Blight, yet another culprit prefers to grow well during summer than any other season. This fungus prefers to attack Pyracantha, cotoneasters, crabapple trees, and Apple trees. The presence of Fire Blight can easily be visualized once the any one of the branches of the plant turns red and dies. This Fire Blight can be prevented little by pruning the affected branch and removing it from the main plant as far as possible.
It is also important that the cut branches should be burnt since Fire Blight is contagious and also wash or dip the projected shears by using alcohol in order to prevent the spread of the deadly fungus to other parts of the branch.
Shotgun fungus A little gem like fungus, which prefers to grow in mulch and tends to swell, has been termed as Short gun Fungus. This fungus can fly up to 8 feet in the air and will spatter your house with tiny brown specks and once they stick to your house or windows, they stick like glue. Most of us suspect the spiders and aliens for this tiny brown speck. You cant prevent this fungus, but can do something by keeping the mulch loose so air can circulate inside to keep this fungus out. Although mulch is great, don’t allow them to get packed, try to remove it at least once in a year and also rake it flat as if it will look like you’ve just mulched.
Gardening Is Not An Easy Task But Home Gardening Tips Helps You
When you decide what brand of aquatic plants you wish to have, remember that the plants should only cache around half of the water. Plants can be free floating, beneath, or sideward. Which you choose is all a matter of personal favoritism. Some plants are good for their perfume, some provide moreover oxygen than others and will keep the pool health, and pretty are just charming. Fish are not only delicate to look at but they are also absolutely beneficial. Fish help keep debris at a minimum and help in directing larva and more insects.
There are many new trends surfacing in gardening, and water gardening is one of the capital new interests. Water gardening can be in the form of waterfalls, ponds, fountains, all of which can be enhanced by rock work combinations and lighting, plants, and fish. Water gardening doesn’t have to be a pond or natural water base either, it can consist of just a plastic tub, basically anything that can hold water.
Gardening is not an easy task; you have to fight against many outside forces, such as forecast, insects, disease, and weeds. Even the most exercised of gardeners will seek out gardening advice once in a while. Who wouldn’t when there are so many forces that could take a garden out’ There is a lot of general gardening advice on the market which goes for any plant, but if you look a small harder you will find definite advice for that one plant that is the only one giving you trouble. Gardening aid is relatively easy to find, and while you may come across the seldom bad apple, most of it is relatively sound and will help with any gardening question.
If you want gardening plants that you can actually use instead of almost look at, vegetables, herbs, and fruits are all very fitting. Edible plants add an excitement to gardening because of the produce available at harvest time. The main vegetables grown in smaller, home gardens as well as larger ones include corn, peas, cucumbers, potatoes, squash, peppers, onions, carrots, spinach, lettuce, and beets. Favorite fruits are pears, plums, tomatoes, blueberries, apricots, cherries, and strawberries. Herbs are used for their wonderful fragrances, to spice up a salad, and in cooking.
Maintaining a flower garden is even easier than planting one. Still they might create it on their own, a bag of fertilizer appertained in the early spring is a good idea. Pinch backward any blooms latterly they initiate to dissolve and last them good and watered. To save yourself work during the next season of flower gardening, rid your garden of all debris and cast out organic nutrients like peat quag or compost. Don’t forget to turn over the soil to properly mix in the fertilizer and rake smooth when finished. If you have perennials planted be careful not to disturb their roots in this process.
Often times gardening books will give readers ideas they had never thought of before. For example, there are hundreds of vegetables and herbs out there that many folks would never consider of growing in their courtyard, but would be absolutely good to grow in your own personal garden. There are additionally millions of flowers many people don’t think nearly but which are very beautiful. There are hundreds of people that would probably trade their rose bush for an exotic flower, and with a gardening codex they could read about what types of flowers are available and will grow in their area.
The most decesive thing to consider in water gardening is possibly the spot chosen. Since plants and fish both duty plenty of sunlight, places in direct bright elsewhere from trees and bushes is the greatest place. This will also help prevent leaves and debris from aggregating in the water.