Monthly Archives: January 2016

Zoysia GrassZoysia is a particular variety of hardy grass that grows well in a wide range of conditions. This type of grass also requires far less watering and mowing than most grasses. This particular variety of grass can also create a natural thick and soft carpet that feels great for bare feet. Zoysia is also ideal because it actually grows differently. It expands sideways and doesn't grow higher in a short span of time. Because of this, this type of grass can become so dense and becomes effective at choking out most summer weeds and replacing existing grass that you don't want on your lawn anymore.

Although Zoysia is a low-maintenance type of grass, it still needs proper care and maintenance to make sure they maintain their appeal and good condition. Below are some useful tips you can follow to maintain your Zoysia grass:

Fertilize. All well-maintained lawns are fertilized with the right amount and kind needed for that particular grass and on a schedule based on the growing season. When you fertilize, you keep the grass healthy and enable them to build resistance to disease and insect damage. Lawn care experts say that you should fertilize your turf heavily in the spring and summer - a practice called "main feeding" of your Zoysia turf.

Cut Zoysia grass at the height of just one to two inches. Zoysia has a high silica content in which the blade becomes tougher when the leaf is permitted to grow longer. Zoysia also has a stiffer blade texture than most lawn grasses; as such, it requires the blades of a mower to be sharpened more often to obtain the maximum clipping action. Lawn care experts also recommend that you mow your turf 1 to 2 times a week if watered and fertilized more or every 7-14 days on a low fertilization and watering schedule.

Water the grass only when necessary. Zoysia is more drought resistant in the cooler regions. When fully established, they have a deep root system and should only be watered when they show signs of needing it. The normal rate of water for good growth of Zoysia is 1 inch per week. A clear indication of water stress is when the blades start to curl inward. In addition, water only in the early afternoon on new plantings or early morning on established turf grasses for the best results.

Remove thatch. Finally, lawn care experts say that every other year, remove accumulated thatch and debris. It is best to do this in the late winter before the turf turns green. Use a commercial machine to scalp or de-thatch remove debris from your lawn.

 

CompostingA walk through the woods off of the beaten path, or paved path in the case of city parks, will point out the ease of composting. Take a look at the big birch or maple or ash or oak or whatever other tree grows beside the path in your neighborhood. Depending upon the time of year, the tree is covered with leaves, losing leaves or bare of leaves. All those leaves fall to the ground. If you have a similar tree in your yard, every year you rake up what seems to be at least a foot of leaves. Why are there not at least thirty feet of leaves under the trees in the woods accumulated over the last thirty years of growth? Surely the wind has not blown all of them away.

The answer is found beneath the few leaves left under the tree. A quick scuff of the foot reveals black earth full of organic matter, compost. First a layer of last year's leaves with the general detritus of a woodland floor, then that layer of black matter, the leaves of past years broken down by bacteria, fungi, insects and animals of the forest floor.

Leaves are designed to feed a tree. When green photosynthesis allows the sunlight on the leaves to feed the trees in one way, but when brown the feeding continues as the leaves turn to compost and furnish the roots with nutrients the roots have in their turn brought from the depths of the earth. That same growth potential can be brought to the home garden with compost.

In fact even the method of the trees can be used at home. The sheet composting method is one of the most simple. As one example, consider the garden bed in the fall that will need about three inches of compost in spring. Instead of waiting for a busy spring, it can done in the fall. A layer of garden debris form that or other beds can be spread out over the site to about three inches thick. Next, the lawn mower about to put away for winter is used to mow bags of leaves piled from nearby trees. The chopped leaves are spread another three to six inches over the bed. Everything is neatened up and perhaps watered to settle the chopped leaves, which, incidentally, seem to form a sort of jigsaw puzzle to hold together and not blow around the yard following the mowing. By planting time in the spring there will be a great layer of compost to put the seedlings into or to dig into the bed before planting seeds.

Relax and compost. Things rot and return to nourish the earth. All we have to do is copy what nature teaches us and let things grow as they like to grow.

Mini Meadow GardenWith attention paid to the plight of diminishing wildlife, especially populations of pollinators such as native bees and butterflies, people have responded with an interest in ways they can help keep what pollinators are left and even help increase populations.

This has resulted in a heavy interest in native plants as alternative choices in landscapes, and has changed much of the approaches we take when designing landscapes, as to make benefitting wildlife a priority in design. Ultimately, creating gardens and landscapes that resemble a healthy, established native ecosystem is the ultimate goal, but doing so takes a lot of space, money, and time. So what's the typical eco-conscious gardener living in the urban jungle to do?

Many gardeners are falling in love with the ideas of mini-meadows. While it's not acres of native restored prairie gardens, it's still a beautiful way to enjoy wonderful, healthy plants in the landscape while helping out the bees and butterflies (and birds and a plethora of other native wildlife).

Native prairie plants have evolved over hundreds of thousands of years in tough climate conditions. They can handle a wide range of weather - from heavy rain, to drought conditions, to heavy wind and high humidity. Prairie gardens do well covered in feet of snow, or in dry cold with no protective snow at all in the winter. In a varied prairie plant community, plants are blooming and going to seed throughout the entire year, so something interesting is always happening. And, animals that depend on the food and cover these plant communities provide can rely on a season-long home, which makes them extremely important.

In this prairie garden design by Julie Farris, you can see how beautiful pairing formal lines and modern materials with the informal plantings of native prairie plants can look beautiful together. Mixing flowering plants (often referred to as "forbs" when talking about prairie and meadow settings) and grasses makes for a very beautiful and natural backbone for your perennial plant choices. Best of all, once established, these plants are all absolutely care free if you start with good soil and mulch each fall with natural mulch materials that feed the soil. Every 3-4 years, some division of perennials might be necessary, but sharing divisions with friends is a fun thing to do! Consider adding shrubs and trees, such as spice bush, Princeton Elm, Cottonless Cottonwood and small trees like native dogwoods, like red twig and white flowering, if you have the space.

Some specific plants that are ideal for starting the mini-meadow or small prairie planting include the Cheyenne Sky Panicum Grass, Prairie Dropseed Grass, Little Bunny Pennisetum Grass, Northwind Panicum, Echinaceas, Goldenrod, Yarrow, Asters, Blue False Indigo, Agastache, Monarda, and Heliopsis.

And, of course, there are many, many more! Plus there are seed blends for a fast easy meadows.

Beautiful Superb GardenChoosing the best supplies is the key determinant of healthy, quality and outstanding plants thus, giving your garden a more pleasant look. There are varieties of garden supplies that will help you give your plants all the necessary care required during growth. The hydroponic supplies are meant to improve your plant's performance as well as making your organic gardening work easier and fun.

The aim of this article is to provide you with more insight that will help you make better decisions based on the following gardening categories

Water Filtering Systems: It ensures that your plants remain healthy by pre-treating your water. Water that is used to water your plants is passed through these filters that remove any chlorine from water that can cause adverse effect to soil and plants in your organic gardening. Water filters eliminates the chlorine which could have otherwise killed soil microbiology in the soil. Therefore, purchasing a good water filter system will ensure that your garden soil remains fertile by providing the much needed minerals and vitamins that ensure your plants grow healthier in your garden.

Soil Treatment: Treating your gardening soil is the first step that you should emphasize on to ensure your plants get the required optimum soil conditions for proper growth. Major soil treatments in gardening usually focus on nutrients level, soil PH and mineral deficiencies.

Bud Trimming Machine: They are useful garden equipment that helps you prune the unwanted protruding leaves. You can as well use them to cut roots and in the preparation of flower petals. They ensure that you handle your plants safely without making any unnecessary damage. They are found in different varieties to suit your gardening preferences.

Grow Tent: Grow tents enable you to develop a perfectly controlled garden area a micro-environment Grow Room / Grow Cabinet where you can specifically control temperature and humidity levels and photoperiod lighting. They are made of light proof construction that does not allow light leaks which can lead to possible plant problems during the growth and flowering period.

Aeroponics Systems: Aeroponics systems have widely been used by many individuals in their effort of growing clones, veggies as well as herbs. The method entails growing of plants without use of any soil. Water with nutrient solutions is used where the roots of the plants are spread in order to absorb the essential nutrients. Aeroponics systems are available in different varieties at affordable prices.

Greenhouse Controllers: Use of a green house controller in your garden ensures that your plants are within the optimal environment for proper growth. All your crops will be protected from harmful pests and diseases as well as from harsh environmental conditions. Purchasing a greenhouse controller will ensure that your plants remains protected at all time and you are assured of better quality produce at the time of harvest.

PH/EC/TDS Meters: They are necessary equipment that every gardener must have. Whether you do indoor gardening, hydroponic gardening or green house gardening, they are equipment that will help you test for many issues. This equipment will enable you test your soil pH levels quickly so that you can know the best ways to adjust the soil Ph. In addition, they will also help you make calibrations on your Ph meters.

Plant Pots and Containers: Growing your plants in plant pots or containers is the most convenient form of gardening. There are many benefits that come with containers gardening. Plant pots and containers are easily movable and thus, you can even choose to grow your plants either on your balcony, courtyard, indoors and many other places. With containers, less weeding is needed and you also avoid using heavy gardening equipment. Plant pots and containers also give your plants an optimum environment for their growth because monitoring is easy.

Garden Accessories: Having proper accessories makes your garden appear more attractive and eco-friendly. These amenities will make your gardens a better place to visit and enjoy. Garden accessories such as furniture for gardens, lightning, outdoor cooking or outdoor heaters are some of the best garden accessories that you should consider purchasing so as to give your gardens an elegant look and style.

Hydroponic Nutrients: Use of plant nutrient in gardening is a modern trend that every gardener needs to embrace. It involves growing your plants without soil and instead uses solutions containing essential nutrients that your plants require for proper growth. Hydroponic nutrients provide an easy way of farming as it does not require any soil testing or much labor which saves you a lot of gardening costs. It supplies your plants with all the required nutrients thus ensuring that your plants are grown in the best conditions.

Pest and Disease Control: Controlling pests and diseases in your garden is very essential. For your plants to grow and thrive well, they require a disease and pest free environment. Therefore, you should ensure that you have set aside proper mechanism for your pest and disease control. In fact, pests are the ones that transfer diseases to your plants. Thus, purchasing the proper supplies will ensure that all your plants remains healthy and yields more at the harvest seasons.

Rooting and Propagation: This type product provides faster plants generation by rooting the stem cuttings and propagating the cuttings. They easily produce roots after a short while and you can use them to increase the amount of crops that your garden produces. This method saves you the cost of purchasing seeds and it also reduces the germination period of some plants. The process of rooting and propagation is not labor intensive because plants take less time to produce roots and develop.

Growing Media: Despite the fact that hydroponic gardening is a soil-free gardening, growing media are necessary as they provide support to your plants roots. They also help in maintain the necessary oxygen/water ratio so that your plants remain healthy. There are different varieties of growing media to choose from in the market that comes with different features according to your preferences.

Fans and Blowers: Are you having problems with frequent falling leaves in your garden? To maintain cleanliness and keep a good condition in your garden, fans and blowers are the best choice for all your landscaping needs. Blowers ensure that you remove fallen leaves from your garden with ease compared to using other tiresome tools such as hand rakes. Fan and blowers are available in the market with different features at affordable prices. They will help you conduct all your landscaping needs with ease.

Grow Lights: Grow lamps are the best choice for your indoor gardening. Especially when you want to start seeds, growing lights provides optimal conditions that ensure you get healthy green seedlings. Selecting an indoor lighting system that matches your preferred plants will ensure that your crops grow in a well controlled environment with the right light intensity required by plants.

Odor Remover: Bad odor smell in our gardens is something that can make them unpleasant for us to visit and work. That's why it's necessary for us to ensure that we get rid of all odors and make our gardens fresh and smart. Odor removers are found in different forms that you can spray to your garden and they eliminate any bad smell in your garden and you stay protected for up to one month. Charcoal filters are the preferred choice for indoor gardens.

Air Ducting: Air ducting equipment ensures that your gardening containers or greenhouses remain air-tight. They are designed to give you a tight waterproof and prevent unnecessary leakages. They are also primarily used for moving air in and out of your indoor garden or green house.

Garden Irrigation Systems: Garden irrigation systems have gained a lot of popularity in modern gardening today. They have been designed to ease the gardening work and make it enjoyable. By relieving the gardener of the hassles and legwork of irrigation, gardeners now spend little time when watering their plants. The other benefit of using the garden irrigation systems is improved efficiency through systems such as drip irrigation compared to traditional methods. Gardeners should embrace these irrigation systems for optimum gardening benefits.