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Monday, January 23, 2012

Planting trees and shrubs with a story.

                    Life seems to happen when we are not looking! Often in our lives we have events that happen and we would like to do something to make them have meaning or to demonstrate that it has meaning to us. Our family planted trees to honor those who passed. I have memories as a young child of planting a tree in honor of those who we lost. I continue this practice even today as we have trees that were planted in honor. We often say " Tony's tree" or " Grandpa tree" or "Grandma bush".

                          It is a living tribute that brings fond memories to our minds. Plants can be planted to mark an occasion such as weddings, graduations or achievements of any type. I find myself reliving those occasions as I look upon the tree. I marvel at the time passing since it was planted as now it is a large tree as it was just a sparse representation before.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fall checklist: Watering Schedule, Pruning, Fertilizing

As the leaves turn to the colors of sunrises and sunsets our focus turns to our changing climate . With shorter days and cooler temps. our plants need less water than in the summer so its time to cut back or even turn off these systems. How much you adjust downward will depend on the plants you have, exposure, and rainfall. Those who live in dry climates will have to maintain a watering schedule but those where the rain comes early and regularly can put the watering can away till spring.

Dormant plants will be turning colors and leaves will be falling. It is a good idea to pick these leaves up as they are a source for disease as they break down on the ground. It is best to prune these plants when they are completely dormant. This time will vary according to where you live and your individual micro climate. Let the plants them selves tell you when it is time!

Some people think that during the winter fertilization isn't necessary. This is not true. Evergreens will need nutrients during the cold months and even plants that are dormant will need nutrients as this is a key time of root growth for most of these plants. For active growing plants a nitrogen is still needed. For dormant plants you don't need nitrogen but you do need to give the plant the nutrients that promote root growth. Don't let your plants dry out in the winter either as this will make them more susceptible to freeze.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Mulching enough or too much?

Are you mulching enough or too much? We have all heard that we should mulch our beds to save water and have healthy plants. There are factors that should be considered before you disease or kill your plants with too much mulch lovin.

First you have to decide what to mulch with. Wood chips are a popular item as they are readily available at low cost from arborists. Some problems that may occur is that these chips are not composted and thus carry any disease that the tree or shrub may have had . Thus you may be putting a disease at the base of your plant! A composted ( cooked) mulch is preferred as the heat kills the disease that may have been present.

Recycled rubber chips are gaining popularity as they last along time and retain there color for a along time. The downside is that you do not get that earthy smell and some belive that small amounts of chemical leach into the soil.

How much do you need? What is the harm of having alot?? You should place, in most cases, 4"-6" of mulch. This is thick enough to hamper any weed growth and keep the soil level from drying out in the hot sun. If you put too much mulch it  is detrimental. Too much mulch can promote disease as mold and such starts to grow beneath the mulch. Air flow is resiticted at the soil level and you may find your soil going sour.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Saving water with rain water harvesting.

Many area's of the country are experiencing drought. In areas that receive ample rain fall the idea and process of using water effectively without waste is still wise.
There are many benefits to collecting rain water besides the water saving attribute. Our water systems are deluged with chemicals to make it safe for consumption. These additives are not good for plants. Rain water is still the best source for our growing food crops and our landscapes.You can make a simple rain barrel for your use easily that will allow you to water with water that is better for your garden and you! Best of all, after the small initial investment you get the water for free! Rain barrels save money, provide added water for your yard, and is a healthier way to water.

For detailed ways to save money and have a healthier landscape click :

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Build a compost Tower

A compost tower will allow you to recycle those grass clippings and yard waste and even kitchen waste. As you fill the tower you can even add manure and red worms from a fishing outlet. This will speed up the process and make the nutrients available faster. The idea of a compost tower is that you add waste to the top and it turns into compost by the bottom. As you water it from the top every week the water picks up the nutrients and carries them out the bottom and into your soil. The plants that you have planted around the tower then get watered with the best compost tea ever. You are also making use of  organic material that would have been wasted. Think of the savings in fertilizer also.

1. Make a cylinder out of wire. It should be around 4' high and 1' in diameter. The
size isn't crucial as yours may be taller or larger around. Either stake it to the
 ground or even better , bury it in the ground.
2. If you are using a large mesh wire then you must line the inside with burlap 
otherwise you are good to go.
3.You can add manure and straw to the bottom to get it going quickly.
4. Make a small mound around the tower to plant your plants. You can plant veggies
or flowers or both if you like. You can also put a tower near a fruit tree also.
5. Water your tower every week. A gallon per week should be right for most sizes.

I hope this info is useful to you. I will be posting more tips and ideas in the near future so check back often.Here is a book that is very useful for making high density gardens . A high density garden is one that produces large volumes in a small space.There is a free gift for just checking out
 " High Density Gardening" so be sure to click the link below and claim your free gift.

click here>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>      High Density Gardening

Monday, July 18, 2011

A full bloom for your roses

Have you ever cut roses from your garden and those buds refuse to open? Here is a sweet way to get those buds to open. Take a teaspoon of sugar and put it in the water in the vase. Your buds will open and give you there full beauty!

Are your everblooming roses blooming all summer or do they bloom and stop? Do not fret for here is a solution to keep them blooming through the summer! Take 1 1/2 tbsp. of brewer's yeast and mix it in 1 gallon of water. Soak the root zone of the rose after its first bloom and watch as the blooms come again and again!

Do You want your roses to be the most fragrant roses ever?? Here is a great tip to get them fill your  vase and your garden with fragrance. Plant Parsley around your roses! Parsley increases the roses fragrance and you can harvest some for yourself also! This is sustainability at its best.

Here is a great resource for Gardening! >>>>>>>Click here for more Tips!

Here is another great resource for Gardening! >>Click HERE for more tips!!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Organic Gardening Tips and definitions

What is an organic garden?
An organic garden is grown and maintained using only natural fertilizers, fungicides and pesticides. No chemical are used whatsoever. Organic gardening also considers the earth and the environment. One should strive to replenish and nourish the soil.
What are the benefits of planting an organic garden?
* the food is fresher and tastes better
* it is better for the environment
* it is healthy and does not contain harmful chemicals
* it is cheaper than buying organic produce from your local market

What is compost tea and how does it benefit my organic garden?
* Compost tea is organic plant food
* It is made from steeping aged compost in water
* Fights off a number of plant diseases including molds, wilts and blights
* It is a great way to control insect infiltration
* Creates healthier plant environment by helping to grow beneficial bacteria in the soil
* diluted compost tea can be used as a foliar spray If you plan on purchasing compost be sure it isn't too new. If the compost is too fresh it can burn the plants.

What are some great natural pesticidal and fungicidal recipes?
* Garlic & Onions - crush the garlic and onions and mix with vegetable oil. Works great as a fungicide, and it kills soft body insects * Hot Peppers - mixed with the garlic spray, it does a great job keeping rabbits away. It also kills soft body insects with the strength of the acidity
* Canola or Vegetable Oil - Pesticide must be diluted heavily with water or it will burn the plants (3/4 cup/gal H2O)
* Alcohol - Pesticide must be drastically diluted with water (1-3 Tbls /gal H2O)
* Apple Cider Vinegar - works as a mild fungicide and fertilizer (1-2 Tbls/gal H20)
* Corn Meal - works as an anti-fungal when put in compost tea
* Compost Teas - mild fungicide and helps control diseases
* Cloves - works as a repellent for flying insects (4-5 Tbls ground cloves/gal H2O)
* Mild Dish Soap - can paralyze insects on direct contact. Partners with compost teas by creating a sticky surface (1-2 cups/gal H2O

Some facts about organic gardening that you may find beneficial:
* Organic farming involves using insects in order to keep away other insects and pests. Lady bugs in the early spring for example will help you to get rid of spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, white flies e.t.c
* Plant disease can also be easily eliminated if you use organic products such as Eco oil, this will help you to keep insects at bay and get rid of those annoying bugs.
* Studies have also shown that pesticides can be very harmful to young children and can lead to long term health problems in both children and adults.
Angela Carey is a freelance writer and lifelong learner. Learn more about organic gardening at
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