Wooden Garden Shed

Most garden sheds are used:

  1. To store small hand-held and large garden tools; manual and electrical
  2. A place to park the lawn mower, tiller, and other large gardening equipment
  3. Storing vegetables
  4. Cutting, planting, and transplanting plants
  5. Tool repairs

Many people prefer wooden constructed garden sheds rather than vinyl, resin, plastic, and various metal type sheds. It may be more expensive up-front, but lumber seems to have a longer life and therefore is less expensive. Wood is also easier to repair. The other types of sheds would need to be discarded and a new one purchased.

Plan before you start building. There are important considerations which need attention. Decide if you would like to build it or hire a contractor. Do you wish to assemble a shed kit or build it from scratch?

There is a wide variety of wooden type garden sheds which may be ordered from local sources or from online. Note any additional items which may be needed. These items may be concrete blocks, tools and other hardware accessories.

Manufactured sheds can be erected in a few hours or over a weekend. The do it yourself shed may also take the same amount of time or longer. There are variables for both situations.

If you’re anything like me I did window shopping, comparative price shopping, and talked to my friends and neighbors who had garden sheds for their opinions and experiences. Then I made my decision. In case you are curious, we decided to build a wooden shed as it could be designed and customized to meet our requirements.

Before you setup this is a list to review:

  1. Location
  2. Size
  3. Utility outlets (if electric and plumbing are to be installed)
  4. Local residential building codes, licenses, and permits
  5. Zoning requirements
  6. Location of underground cables
  7. Neighborhood restrictions
  8. Building inspections

The location of the shed needs to be in a clearing within short access to the garden areas and pathways for loading and unloading heavy gardening supplies. The size of this structure is determined by the tools and garden equipment which will be stored.

It is also critical to check overhead, underground, and around the placement of the proposed site. Are there any trees, shrubbery, or overhead wiring which may interfere with the structure? Before digging locate any underground cables, plumbing, or electrical wires.

Water and electrical utilities may or may not be essential. But if it is, planning is critical.

Pick Sod for Yard

Cool Season Grasses

If you live in a region with cold winters and hot summers and has regular periods of rain. Three of the most common cool season grasses are Kentucky bluegrass, Ryegrass, and Bentgrass.These grasses can go dormant during times of droughts and experience two periods of shoot growth annually, once in mid-spring and again in early fall.

Warm Season Grasses

If you live in the hot and humid climates found in places like the southern United States, one should choose warm season grasses. Warm season grasses only have a single expanded shoot growth during the summer. Many kinds of warm season grasses require special care during the winter months when blades tend to turn brown and may require reseeding in areas damaged by the cold. Popular warm season grasses include St. Augustine, Bermuda, and Centipede.

What Will Your Grass Be Used For?

If your lawn will be heavily used by kids who play on it or you have frequent outdoor get togethers or BBQ’s. Then consider grass that can withstand a lot of foot traffic. Two options would be Bermuda or Zoysia. Both of these withstand heavy use better than most other types.

If your yard has little sunlight or is heavily shaded both St. Augustine and Centipede mixtures are excellent choices. If you get plenty of bright sunlight Bermuda is a great choice.

For large yards, Centipede is not only a popular choice in warm regions because it requires no liming to remove acidity but it also requires infrequent mowing. More expensive sods however, like Zoysia, as beautiful as it is, might be more expensive than ones budget allows.

All grass will do well in with rich topsoil. But homeowners who live in places with little rain and desert-like regions have limited options when choosing their sod. Bahia is popular because it can grow in infertile and sandy ground. Where as Centipede grass, also known as the “lazy man’s” grass, can withstand acidic soil.

About Wire Mesh

It’s preferred by many people due to the benefits that it comes with. Some of the benefits include:

  • Cost: wire mesh is cost effective thus you can afford it even if you aren’t operating of a large budget.
  • Versatile: as mentioned above you can use it in a wide range of applications. For example, you can use it in fences, in screens and many other applications.
  • Easy to install: although, it’s recommended that you hire a professional to install the mesh for you, you can also install it if you have the right skills.
  • Durability: since it’s made from stainless steel wire, you are guaranteed that it will last for a long time. There are some types of meshes that are galvanized to reduce the chances of corrosion.

There are many types of mesh that you can go with:

  • Woven: also known as wire cloth, this unit is characterized by very small openings. It’s the most popular and it’s used in door and window screens. It’s also ideal for enclosing patio and porch.
  • The mesh is recommended for areas that require extra security. These areas include: stock rooms, window barns, and storage facilities. Its primary function is to prevent outsiders from getting into the facility through the window.
  • Welded: here the wires are welded together to form a very firm product. They are often used for fencing where they come in different gauges. One of the most common applications is in the construction of perimeter wall both at home and industries.

It’s also used in highway and railway fencing where it’s used in preventing animals and people from trying to cross highway roads and rail tracks. This prevents damage on the tracks.

If you want to protect your garden, you can use the mesh to provide additional security. You can also use it as an alternative wire for climbing plants.

  • Knit wire: popularly known as chicken wire. It serves as an inexpensive barrier for livestock. When used in livestock fencing, the wire comes in different gauges and hole sizes. All you need to do is to choose the wire that is ideal for your application. Some of the animals that you can secure with it include: chicken, horses, cows and rabbits.

Simple Residential Landscaping Maintenance

  • Before planting anything, talk to some of the local nurseries or those in your area with particularly beautiful landscapes and learn as much as you can about the soil conditions and what type of plants and grass do best. If you are new to the area, be sure to also ask about the weather and light throughout the year. Knowing this will help you choose plants that will be successful.
  • Take some time to sketch out any ideas you may have your yard. Be sure to indicate areas for trees, hedges, flower gardens and edges. Often, local nurseries have people who can come to your residence and help you plan this out.
  • Plan on planting trees and shrubs that require minimal maintenance, but will grow and flourish for years. Be sure there are some shade trees included in your selection! After all, no residential landscape should be without shaded areas where one can sit outside and just relax.
  • Select flowers and trees that are native to your area. Plant these items in their sun preferred area and you will find that little to no work will be required for them to look fabulous.
  • Rather than trying to maintain numerous gardens and landscaped areas at once, start small. Choose 1 or 2 key areas to focus on. In subsequent years you can add more areas, just be sure to know your time limits, and plant accordingly.
  • Plant similar types of plants together. Not will this look great, but it will be easier to maintain.
  • Use borders and walkways to add interest as well as keep grass from creeping into the garden areas.

Decorating the Pathway to Front Door

Pathways are extremely important when it comes to homes. People don’t want to step on the grass in order to get to the door in case there is damp sand that gets stuck to their shoe. It does not need to be anything special but there has to be some kind of guideline.

People love the idea of walking between rose bushes or trees to get to their final destination. To the guest or the homeowner, that greenery can seem like a path to a sanctuary. In many fairy tales, a hidden cottage is found in the middle of a beautiful forest that can only be seen by a special person.

Be careful of creating paths or patterns in perfect geometric shapes. It may seem pleasing to the perfectionist but a person who has to take a turn at a sharp corner may simply cut across the grass because it would be easier that way. If you really want to keep people on the pathway, you can add a few leafy plants along the side of the walkway which will encourage people to remain on it and not cut across the grass.

You need this kind of pleasant atmosphere to lead the person to the front door. A door is a threshold that shows a person where the property of another person starts. An outsider who opens it with permission understands that they are welcome and it is important to make that person feel welcome. To achieve this, a door with sidelights or glass panels works perfectly. This is where you can experiment with perfect geometric shapes. Just like many houses have these same kinds of shapes so should your door.

A good way to work with contrasting coloured doors is by making the frame white which will oppose the colour of the door which is mahogany or chestnut. This will add lovely character to your home and will not make the dark of the wood seem so intimidating.

Elegant Azaleas

I bought this evergreen azalea last spring and transplanted it this winter into a larger container where it busted out in a plethora of new growth filled with blossoms for the spring fashion show, the only thing missing is fragrance. The good news: azaleas can bloom for several weeks.

Two years ago, I planted a Red Bird Azalea that expanded and I had to transplant it after it doubled in size in one year. Some varieties are smaller and more compact and it is good to choose the correct size for your garden area.

When I was young, we lived in Chamblee, Georgia near Atlanta. At our new house, my Dad planted several azaleas in the front yard and they looked grand with their cranberry blossoms each spring. The azaleas grew well under the pine and dogwood trees in the right environment, in the shade with acidic soil.

This spring, I added eight new azaleas for containers throughout my front and backyard. Azaleas prefer shade or tree cover with acidic soil either in the ground or containers. I have them in containers on the side of the house, on the front porch, on the deck, and on the patio. As long as they have some shade, they develop profusely.

Azaleas are either evergreen or deciduous plants; my plants are evergreen, providing green serenity in between numerous flowering plants in my garden.

During planting, I add soil amendments prepared specifically for azaleas, organic acidic azalea food, seaweed organic fertilizer, rainwater. These organic planting methods ensure healthy soil, healthy leaves and roots, prolific blooms, and sturdy growth.

Prune the plants soon after they bloom to avoid reducing next year’s buds. You can prune some of the branches every other year to ensure buds for the next spring. Mulch your plants two to three inches deep with pine straw, leaves or bark.

By providing azaleas with their favorite environment, your plants can produce abundant blossoms and healthy foliage for you to enjoy in your garden setting throughout the year. As a shrub, azaleas provide formal foliage throughout the year or you can prune them in a more casual, branching style.

Perhaps I can help you with your garden design or container gardening to make an impact at your entranceway, porch, or deck. For your commercial business or residential property, I will prepare a plan for your microclimate to make your entrance more inviting with a sense of place and beauty.

Greenhouse Ventilation

Environmental conditions in your greenhouse are greatly affected by ventilation. These environmental conditions affect the plant’s ability to perform photosynthesis. This process involves the plant’s ability to convert light from the Sun into chemical energy. This energy is used by the plant to give it fuel to grow. This includes the plant’s ability to take in important elements from the soil and complete the reproductive cycle.

Proper ventilation of your greenhouse will help with air circulation, temperature and humidity control. These factors greatly affect the ability of your plants to grow in a productive manner. This will help provide your plants with the necessary amount of carbon dioxide to grow.

Plants need carbon dioxide to perform proper chemical reactions to occur such a photosynthesis. When the levels of carbon dioxide start to decrease the ability of the plant to grow decreases. Proper ventilation in your greenhouse will help keep the level of carbon dioxide at the level needed for healthy grow.

As the plants grow they consume carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. But many people do no know that plants require oxygen to grow. Oxygen from fresh air is required by their roots. The roots require oxygen to grow and this is directly linked to the plant’s ability to take in nutrients from the soil.

Proper ventilation will keep the inside of your greenhouse filled with fresh air, so your plants can thrive. Healthy plants will grow faster and give you the best yield of its fruits.

Keeping the proper flow of air in your greenhouse will require expert knowledge of how to achieve this. The type of ventilation system you decide to use will depend on the design of your greenhouse and the plants you are growing. Some of these are natural and others are mechanical systems.

Natural system ventilation can involve just simply opening up a part of the greenhouse. The hoop style greenhouse is well suited for this. Structures which are built from more rigid materials may need a mechanical ventilation system. These structures are often designed to be operated year-round and a mechanical ventilation system is recommended.

Planting Summer Bulbs

Make sure you will plant the bulbs in the best area in your garden. Make sure you will be planting the bulbs in areas that have the ideal conditions. This is especially true for perennial bulbs or the ones that hardy in your zone. For instance, many of the tropical summer bulbs thrive only in really warm, sun-bathed sites. Other species, such as canna or elephant ear, flourish better in moist areas and will even grow in shallow standing water. There are also some summer bulbs that won’t grow when planted in clay soil.

Never plant summer bulbs into the garden soil until it has warmed adequately. If you live in a cold area, start planting only when the spring air temperature is warm enough since summer bulbs planted in cold soil tends to rot easily. You can consider using black nursery pots to absorb the sun’s heat and warm soil if you can’t wait to start planting. However, don’t transplant the bulbs into the garden beds until you’re sure the soil is warm enough.

Always plant bulbs right side up. The roots should always be on the bottom of the planting hole. Although it can be tricky to tell which end is up for some bulbs, it is important to do this. One tip you can follow to determine which part is the bottom is to look for the part where there are roots attach to the bulb – this is the bottom part. Although plants can recover if you tuck bulbs into the soil upside down, you’ll still have better results if you get things right at the start.

If the plants need staking, insert stakes at planting time. Lastly, it is important to insert the stakes during planting time so that you can avoid accidentally spearing the bulb later in the growing season.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree

To grow an avocado tree, you need to get an avocado seed, clean it off and poke three toothpicks into the side of it. Then immerse the seed halfway in the water while the three sticks rest on the rim of a drinking glass. Set the seed with the wider portion down.

Place the glass with the seed somewhere warm with not too much direct light. The water should be changed at least every couple of weeks, before it gets dirty and depleted of oxygen.

In four to six weeks, the seed should split and out should come roots and a sprout. Once the stem has grown a few inches, place it in a pot with soil. Avocados have been known to grow large, so you will have to repot the plant several times.

The ideal spot for the plant is at the brightest window. Avocados are widely cultivated in tropical to subtropical climates. They may grow in shade but require full exposure to sunlight for best productivity. It should also be watered every few days.

Under good conditions, growing avocado takes many years, even up to a decade or two, to begin producing fruits. Indeed do not expect to get fruits but you can still grow a beautiful houseplant!

Avocado is a medium to large evergreen tree with large, leathery, deep green leaves. The tree grows to 20 m, with leaves 12 cm to 25cm long. The flowers are greenish-yellow.

To grow an endless amount of organic avocados! Avocados are very healthy for you. They have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and alkalizing properties. They can help you lower your cholesterol level and contain lot’s of healthy nutrients. They are also very rich in fiber. So there’re many reasons why it’s recommended to include avocado in the diet. Try growing an avocado tree at home if you don’t like making regular trips to the grocery store for your daily supply or if you are fed up with spending lot’s of money for quality produce!

Use Pavers to Create A Stunning Patio

Don’t Be Afraid to Dig Deep

In order to set the patio pavers, you have to dig out some of the existing dirt or grass. Before getting started, contact your local utility companies and have the lines marked. Most services will do this free of charge. Once the lines are marked, you can safely dig. Be sure to dig about six inches deep to get below the root level of current vegetation. If your soil is dry, water it the evening before you start work. This will soften the dirt, making it easier to dig.

Create a Weed Barrier

Nothing is more frustrating than to have your beautiful area marred by weeds. To prevent weeds from coming up through the cracks, lay down some landscaping cloth before placing the sand base. The cloth forms a barrier between the soil and the new sand, helping to keep out unwanted weeds. In order to know how much landscaping cloth you need, calculate the square footage and add ten percent.

Pack in the Sand

Once you have laid your cloth, it is time to add the sand base. Before you add the pavers, you should use a tamper or plate compactor in order to pack in the sand. You want it smooth, solid, and level. Run the packer over the surface in between each layer of sand before you start.

Do Not Forget the Drainage

While you want a level area, you need to make sure that you have a slight slope to drain rainwater away from your home’s foundation. You should angle it so that the water flows to an area that can absorb additional water or to a drainage area you have already established. The drop does not have to be significant, only about a quarter inch for each two feet.

Address Movement

Settling and weather can cause your pavers to move slightly. In order to keep this from happening, you should have a solid edge to help keep them in place. Some use additional pavers while others go for a solid cement edge. You can also put up vinyl or metal edging to add stability.