Paving Tiles for Swimming Pool Areas

Modern tiles are often geometric and symmetrical or the style has been exaggerated with asymmetrical tiles (different size triangles).

Travertine is a good example of how different shapes can be used to keep the backyard up to date around the pool. The tile comes in many different colours and is able to withstand weather change. The material is also able to absorb water allowing you to walk comfortably without slipping.

Limestone tiles have become common with home improvement and renovations. Not only does the paving tile neaten up the area around the pool but it can also resist different climate changes. Because it has a light appearance, it fits the modern profile.

Modern themes often work for any style house. The modern flair is flexible for most uses whether you have a geometric fountain in the front or a garden full of trees surrounding the pool.

The classic pools have more of a rough layout. Although rough, the area still looks good with its different sized stones and paving tiles. You will often find this look at water resorts for the cave concepts.

Flagstone has a natural appearance with its many shapes and

Keys to Successful Vegetable Gardening in Alabama

Alabama Planting Zones

Alabama has three plant hardiness zones. They are zones 7, 8 and 9. This means lows of 0 – 30 degrees F at night. It’s important to plant the right plants in the zone you are in if you want a flourishing garden.

Frost Dates

It’s also important to know the last frost date and the first frost date. Warm weather crops like tomatoes can’t go out in the garden until the last frost date. Dates can vary by city, but the earliest frost date for Alabama is around March 21st. The last frost date starts around 10/7, but for many areas is later in October.

Know Your Soil

Fall is the time to start working compost, leaves, and other natural soil enhancers into your garden area. Have your soil tested to see what the pH balance is. Find your local Alabama extension office number and arrange to have your soil tested. You can get kits that will allow you to test it yourself. The soil pH should be around 6.0 to 6.5. Once you know the pH of the soil, then you can add the correct amount of lime

Blossom-End Rot Disease

Although the disease does not spread from plant to plant, it is dependent on environmental conditions. As a physiological condition, neither fungicides nor insecticides will control this disease. However, environmental conditions can eliminate the condition:

  • Consistent water and calcium intake, and avoiding drought conditions.
  • Do not cultivate close to the roots, since destroying their root systems limits the roots’ ability to supply adequate water and nutrients to the plant resulting in Blossom-End Rot.
  • Excessive soluble salt which causes a decrease in the availability of calcium as salt increases.

Factors that can limit a plant’s ability to absorb calcium required for proper growth include fluctuations in moisture (either too wet or too dry), an excess of nitrogen in the soil, root damage during cultivation, and a soil pH that’s too high or low, or cold soil and soil high in salts.

To reduce risk of Blossom-End Rot:

  • Plant in well-drained, adequately aerated soil.
  • Maintain adequate soil water, at least 1-2 times a week during dry spells to a depth of 6 inches. Tomato plants need about 1.5 inches of water per week when growing fruit.
  • Always ensure the soil is warm

Innovations in Gardening Retail

Self-Watering Containers

Watering is one of those tasks that a gardener cannot neglect when healthy plants are the goal. Instead of trying to remember to keep the soil moist, special self-watering containers can now take care of this task for you. The planters themselves are stylish and attractive, fitting in virtually any growing area. They are ideal for holding either flowers or vegetables, and many even have an integrated trellis for climbing vegetation. After filling the container with soil and plants, simply fill the self-watering reservoir with water. The reservoir will release moisture slowly and evenly to keep the soil perfectly moist at all times. Plants will usually thrive when they receive this perfect level of moisture, and you can cross the watering off your to-do list. Explore a gardening retail center to find containers in different sizes and styles to fit any space and fulfill any need. Many are available in cedar and metal, and they often have additional shelves for storing tools.

Vegetation Monitor

Take the guesswork out of determining how and when to water plants by using a plant monitor. This ingenious device has a wireless sensor that will keep track of

Transplanting Native Plants

The key to successfully moving native plants is Root Pruning. To root prune, means to cut all roots with a Sharp Spade or it may be called a Sharp Shooter. Go out from the trunk one foot for each inch diameter of the trunk before you start cutting the roots. (Example 5 ft. Tree-16 to 18″ inch ball)

Staying out the right distance from the trunk as described above. Force the spade into the ground all the way around the plant. Try to uncut the plant so all of the roots are cut and lift slight. Drop the plant back into position, firm the soil and keep watered during the summer months.

If you want to move your native plant in late fall, root prune in early spring. Likewise, if you intend to move the plant in early spring, root prune the previous fall.

Please note, also, that when you move a plant from the wild to a cultivated area of your lawn, you may be changing its environment to such an extent that the plant will die. Here’s an example, if you move a plant from a dense shaded area to the sunlit part

Maintain Outdoor Wicker Patio Furniture

  • Vacuum the different pieces thoroughly to remove any dust and debris. Dust and other particles can easily get caught in the cracks and grooves of the weave.
  • If the pieces are extra dirty, give them a quick wipe with some water and a mild detergent. Be sure to let them dry completely before sitting down. Wet wicker furniture can become saggy if it is used while it is still damp. Allow it to sit in full sunlight for at least a day so it can dry completely.
  • Another method to clean soiled sets is to spray it down with a garden hose. However, do not use too much pressure. High water pressure can damage the integrity of the material.
  • Sometimes, painted sets need to be touched up. Purchase some spray paint in the same shade as the set and touch up any areas that need attention. Be sure to check the manufacturer’s recommendations on the type of spray paint needed for the particular model of furniture.
  • To prevent any damage or dirt from accumulating, consider storing the different pieces away during cold weather. This will prevent any build up of winter precipitation and debris.

Make Greenhouse More Efficient

Evaluate the Structure

The second step in creating an efficient greenhouse is to evaluate the structure as a whole. This is especially important if you are focusing on climate control. Cool air or warm air has the potential to escape the greenhouse easily. If you are trying to maintain a certain temperature within the greenhouse, you should understand that the losses that you experience will vary depending upon the covering of the structure, as well as the age of the unit. If you are interested in heating the structure efficiently, you should consider using a covering composed of double polyethylene – which has the potential to reduce your heating costs by up to 50%. If you operate a glass greenhouse, you should consider retrofitting the structure with a double layer of polyethylene – which could reduce costs up to 60%.

Eliminate Air Leaks

In order to ensure that your greenhouse is running optimally in the area of efficiency, it is imperative that you work to eliminate any and all air leaks associated with the structure. The main place that you should start is the door or doors of the structure. It is best to utilize

Creating Hedge With Arborvitae

Arborvitae is one of the best trees for creating a hedge. They can grow up to 60 feet tall, with a width of from 2 to 15 feet.

This North American native tree has year-round thick, dark green foliage. The tree’s leaves, which were once used as a cure for rheumatism, have a scale-like appearance.

Types of arborvitae include the eastern arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis), the emerald green arborvitae and golden globe arborvitae.

Emerald green arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis “Emerald Green”) grows up to 15 feet tall with a width of 3 to 4 feet. The tree is extremely hardy and can be found in abundance throughout the Pacific Northwest. It is one of the most popular fast growing privacy trees for screens and hedges. The dark green tree has a somewhat round shape. Without pruning, the tree will grow tall with a cylindrical shape. The tree will be bushier when pruned. Use preventative spraying to prevent spider mite infestations. Once the tree has been established, it will grow approximately 6 to 9 inches a year.

The arborvitae grows well in full sun, but can also tolerate some shade. The tree does best in mostly well-drained

Grow Citrus Trees Successfully

Citrus trees produce sweet-smelling white flowers and are self-fertile so don’t need a partner to produce fruits. They can be grown from pips if you are lucky and make attractive pot plants as they grow. It will take quite some time for them to be big enough to produce fruits. They are plants only for very patient gardeners.

All varieties of citrus trees need consistent warmth. They can be moved outside during spells of good, summer weather but must be kept inside to be sheltered under glass during the colder seasons. This means you will need space in a cool conservatory or heated greenhouse for them in the autumn, winter and spring and a sheltered terrace in the summer. Harden them off gradually when you first put them outside and wrap them in horticultural fleece if the nights become too chilly.

Feed your trees every two weeks with a special citrus fertilizer if they are confined to a pot. They will become stressed if they try to produce too many fruits so depending on its size don’t allow more than four to six fruits to grow on a tree. These fruits will take six months or

Liquid Limestone And Exposed Aggregate

It required more planning as well as prep work than the standard concrete. Installers need to mix the concrete in order to get the right consistency with the use of more water than normal. Also, care must be taken into great considerations if you are choosing the aggregate. Although they will act as filler in order to give concrete its strength, they are primarily chosen for its excellent aesthetic appeal in terms of exposed finishes. Installers must inspect the stone of texture, color, and size so as to get the desired outcome.

Experts highly emphasized that such kind of finish is suitable for low-traffic applications. They are the best solution for walkways, patios, and even in concrete porches. Also, they might be appropriate for some driveways but are not being used on road due to the fact that they cannot carry heavy traffic loads.

First, a fresh concrete base will be poured. It will be troweled smooth with the use of a wooden trowel or float.

Second, the mixture will be poured over the concrete. Using a broom or rake, it must be spread. There are some installers making use of a piece of lumber