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.

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.

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!

Start a Compost Heap

Make or buy a bin that will suit your garden. Site it in sun or partial shade and have the base of the heap in contact with the soil. You will need at least two bins or two compartments in a bin to process compost properly. Ideally, you should have three. Don’t keep the compost too close to the house. If you think your bin is unsightly, you can screen it with a trellis or a hedge.

You could opt for a wormery instead, but if you have a bin that processes dog faeces, don’t put the end-product on your vegetable patch or where children play.

The debris from your garden and peelings from your kitchen can be turned into black, crumbly, sweet-smelling compost. The larger your garden the more room you will have for a heap and the more compost it can provide for your beds. If you have a small garden, you might find that sealed, plastic bins are a more attractive option.

The composting process will take about six to twelve months. It is a good idea to mix matter as you put it in. Grass cuttings should never be dumped on top of the heap in a great mass because they will go slimy. Mix some dry matter like shredded newspaper in with them. Allow moisture and air to penetrate the heap. Forking the heap will help with this process.

If a heap has too much dry, woody material, it will not rot down quickly, so you could drench it with water if you haven’t enough green stuff to add in. Never lay on a thick layer of material because you will prevent the circulation of air; when adding matter – little and often is best.

Woody sticks will compost more quickly if you shred them. Don’t put in any that are bigger than the width of a pencil. Small twigs will help to keep air circulating inside the heap.

Perennial weed roots like dandelions or bindweed should never be thrown onto a heap unless they have been ground into tiny pieces because even a thread of root left intact will start to grow a new plant. It might be safer to dispose of these by putting them in with the rubbish. Don’t add diseased plants to the heap either.

Don’t overload the compost with citrus fruit peel or shiny magazines. Don’t put in plastic-coated paper. Never put in bones or cooked food. This will attract rats.

You can, however, add seaweed, straw from animal cages, animal fur from brushes, dust from vacuum cleaners and tiny scraps of wool and felt left over from crafting. Tea bags, coffee grounds and egg shells are all good things to add from the kitchen.

Tree leaves collected off the lawn in the autumn take twice as long as other compost to rot down, so in order to be able to add them in with the rest of the compost, you can mow them up off the lawn and put them onto the heap when they are shredded into tiny pieces. The increased surface area will ensure they rot down more quickly. Leaves don’t carry many nutrients but they do help to improve soil texture. You may choose to compost them separately if you have the room in your garden and a huge bulk of leaves to store.

Woody material and straw will be carbon rich and any green material will be nitrogen rich and a good mix of the two makes the best end-product. Compost can be used to feed plants, re-pot plants or as a weed suppressing mulch.

When a bin is filled up, leave the lid on or cover it with an old piece of carpet. When the top of the heap has stopped sinking, turn all the contents to ensure that everything is broken down and then leave it for a couple of months and it will be ready to use. The easiest way to turn the heap over is to shovel the compost from one bin into the one next to it. Have another bin to start filling up while you are waiting for the closed-off heap to mature.

If you are lucky enough to have three bins, start your first heap in the centre one. While it is covered start the next heap in an end bin and when the central heap is ready for turning it can go into the empty bin next to it. By the time the second heap is ready to be closed off the first will be ready for use so that bin can be emptied out and you will have room to continue the process.

Growing a Successful Indoor Garden

  • Some available space – the good thing about indoors gardening is that it can thrive in as little or as much space as you are willing to spare. Devote a sole windowsill, or a small table and you can have yourself enough space to get started. Shelves make another excellent option, as they offer a lot of room for planting, while taking up vertical space in the most effective manner.
  • Consider light – light is an important requirement for healthy indoors produce. Every gardening expert would agree that in order for plants to grow, they require adequate light. Sometimes placing your plants near a window may not be enough during the winter months. What you can do is purchase some grow light. Be careful in choosing the right product, if you want to ensure that your plants receive the best care.
  • Ensure adequate temperature – anywhere between 65-75 degrees F is acceptable for most plants. You may allow for slight variance of 10 degrees either way, but consider the downsides – plants grown too hot will likely be of smaller size and be weak, while plants grown at cold temperatures may have their leaves falling off.
  • Higher humidity is required – plants grow well in humid air, which is one thing you must ensure. This may be challenging during winter months, when your heating is on. If the tips of the plant leaves are brown, or they look puckered and withered, you may want to find a way to fix the issue. There are few ways to go about this. You can mist the plants daily, or even more often, if need be. Another method for increasing the humidity is placing a tray of water and then heating it up, causing it to evaporate. Acquiring a humidifier is also a solution, which works great for your indoor gardening attempts. Additionally you can group your plants together as this creates a micro-environment for higher humidity.
  • Pick a good soil for your indoor plants – choosing the right growing media is of extreme importance. Buy a mix that is loose enough to drain well and at the same time contains enough organic matter to retain nutrients and moisture. You can either ask around your gardening centre, or you can look up tips and create your own mix.

Utilizing a Greenhouse for Stargazing

The physical location of the greenhouse is important, and planning it in an open area with little to no tree coverage will be the most ideal positioning for a clear view of the stars at night. A freestanding greenhouse will provide a panoramic view of the nighttime sky, however, lean-to greenhouses are the perfect alternative for users who do not have the space for an entire standalone structure. Designing the roof with curved eaves in a dome shape will resemble a planetarium and create a truly unique stargazing experience for users of all ages.

Greenhouse specifics, such as glazing, window configurations, and accessories are important when designing any greenhouse, but they will need to be considered slightly different when the structure will also be used for stargazing. Glazing, at least for the roof, should be glass, in order to provide the clearest view of the sky. Instead of simple ridge vents on the ceiling, consider incorporating a retractable panel system, which can be opened to provide a completely unobstructed view of the stars. The skylight can be connected to a greenhouse control system, which will allow users to open and close the roof using an on/off switch. Incorporating larger trees and vegetation will allow users to feel like stargazing in the great outdoors, and the control system can be connected to all other greenhouse accessories to assist with creating the ideal environment for the plants. Stargazing is a popular summertime hobby for people of all ages, and with a little creative greenhouse designing, it can be enjoyed year round in a comfortable environment.

Plant Nursery Alternatives for Holidays

Indoor trees can help bring dimension to the interior design of a home while also creating a sense of calm. Choose a tree that has sturdy branches for hanging ornaments and lights. The Norfolk Island Pine is a great option if you don’t want to stray too far from the traditional Christmas tree look. This tropical option has sparse branches that make the decorations stand out. It makes a great statement piece in the interior decor of any home.

Looking for something more practical? Decorating a potted rosemary or sage bush is an option that not only gives aesthetic appeal, but can also be used for cooking as well! The branches are sturdy and bear a resemblance to pine needles. The scent is warm and inviting, making for a great year-round addition to your home. Alternatively, you can use this as a kitchen decoration and use a different style to decorate the rest of the house.

Flowers are another great way to decorate for the holidays. Poinsettias and Christmas cactus are traditional holiday flowers that take up less space and still bring some color indoors. These make great gifts too! Ask your local plant nursery to see what themed options they carry for the holidays.

When you’re finally ready to move your holiday plant outside, do some research to find out what temperature it thrives in. Planting when it’s too cold outside can harm the roots or cause it to die. Similarly, a drastic change in temperature can shock the foliage. Before making the switch, gradually acclimate the pot to the outdoors by taking it outdoors to a shady spot. Bring it in at night if the temperatures drop. If the plant needs a lot of sunlight, you can start slowly moving the pot into a sunny area. After a couple of weeks, it should be adjusted to its new home. Each plant and climate is different, so ask the professionals at the plant nursery for advice if you have any questions.

Investing in potted greenery from your local plant nursery is a gift you give to the environment and yourself. Many Christmas trees end up in landfills come January, and choosing a living option is an eco-friendly way to celebrate the holidays. Since indoor trees tend to be smaller, this means fewer lights and decorations are needed, which translates into fewer things to store year round. Choose greenery that speaks to your sense of interior design and let your creativity run wild!

Benefits of Hydroponics

You can call the unique method as a relaxing and rewarding hobby. There are no weeds to worry about compared to the traditional backyard planting. The absence of wild plants means that you do not have to buy anti-weed chemicals or engage in strenuous manual labor. Besides, gardeners need not worry about cultivating or using tons of compost for nourishment.

According to numerous agriculturists and nutrition experts, produce from hydroponics is full of flavor and wholesome nowadays. Thanks to modern techniques and improved nutrients. Commercial veggies may look good in supermarket shelves but hydroponic greens are softer and taste better. In fact, research shows that “hydroponically” grown veggies can contain almost 50 percent more vitamins than ordinary crops. These include Vitamins A, C, E and B complexes.

Another advantage is that hydroponic plants are more consistent. If you choose conventional gardening, there are many factors to contend with. Some of these are weather conditions, pests and soil quality. With hydroponics, plant growers have more control over the crops. You can look forward to more yield with a shorter growing rotation. All that should be done is to become familiar with the process. It is possible to anticipate three times as much yield from hydroponics as against soil growing.

Perhaps, this approach resolves the problem of water scarcity and contributes to conservation. Hydroponics makes use of one half up to one-third amount of water compared to the long-established procedure in planting. The water can be recycled along with less utilization of fertilizers. You can call hydroponics environmental-friendly gardening. All mildews, microorganisms and soil contamination are eliminated.

In hydroponics, stimulants are infused in the water and dispersed directly to the roots for most favorable results. The plants stay fresh since these can receive nutrients until the final growing phase. Many people say the technique is too costly and unreasonable. The truth is upfront investment cost for hydroponics is more affordable than normal farming procedures. This can be the ideal option for conventional farming particularly in very dry regions, mountainous areas and remote locations. You can easily cultivate crops even if there is snow since you do not have to use garden soil.

Benefits of Planting a Garden

Tomatoes are packed and full of beneficial nutrients and antioxidants and are a rich source of vitamins A and C and folic acid. The tomatoes are associated with the benefits of the cure for cancer combating the formation of free radicals, diabetes and heart diseases. Also, they have folic acids that help with depression. Whether you refer to a tomato as a fruit or a vegetable, a tomato is a nutrient food that most people should be eating.

Water spinach is another one that has essential nutrients like vitamins A and C as well as a high concentration of beta-carotene. Due to its healing and detoxifying properties, it helps in providing relief in case of skin itching or insect bites. Just add salt to water spinach and grind it into powder. Dab it on the sore spot and wrap it for immediate relief. Another property of this plant or should I say vegetable is that it acts as a sedative for people who have insomnia or sleeping difficulties. Water spinach also is effective in treating ulcers, menstrual pains, toothache, launched urination, nosebleed etc.

Aloe vera, there so many benefits in aloe vera that this plant is a must have in our garden. It’s excellent in skin conditions like burns, eczema, and is also a quick pain reliever. It has numerous nutrients, one of which is vitamin B12. Aloe Vera can also be used as a body cleanser (blend the crystal inside with the pineapple). I don’t want to forget to mention that it’s great for digestion. Vital to the growth process and healthy function of our body. The benefits are so many that I encourage you to keep it close. Even in a pot in your kitchen you can grow a beautiful Aloe Vera plant.

Watermelon seeds are good sources of magnesium with 100 grams of seeds providing 139 percent of the recommended daily requirement. Magnesium is vital for normal heart functioning, contain lycopene which is good for your face and also helps in improving male fertility. It is also effective in recovering health after illness and sharpening your memory. It can even be used as a tea for treating diabetes, boiling a handful of watermelon seeds in 1-liter water for 45 minutes while keeping the pot covered.

Ginger, this is another terrific plant full of benefits for our good health, usually called the traveler medicine because it helps with most indigestion problems, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. It will also help with menstrual cramps, bloating and much more. Keep this one in your garden.

Sage, one of the must have good for digestion, ulcers, sore throat, improving memory and one more thing; that I know keep most women at the edge. It is known to have properties to reduces menopausal sweats. Sage is also good for menstrual irregularity. So let say goodbye to those menstrual cramps and night sweats with a sage tea.