Hawthorn Tree

A mature tree will grow up to 15m tall and is characterised by its dense and thorny habit, although they may grow with a single stem as a small tree. The bark is tangled, fissured and is grey to brown colour. The twigs are slim and brown in colour with thorns covering most of them.

The leaves are about 6cm lengthwise and have teeth shaped lobes. Before falling in autumn they turn to a dull yellow colour.

Hawthorn trees are hermaphrodite; this means that the male and female reproductive organs are found in the same flower. The white or sometimes pink flowers are sweetly scented and have five petals which grow in topped clusters. Insects pollinate them and they turn into red fruits called ‘haws’.

Interesting fact: the hawthorn is known as the May-tree because of the trees flowering period. … Read the rest

Polywood Tables

The use of polywood has been going on in outdoor construction since 1990. In recent years, the compound of recycled plastics had made its way into the furniture industry. Polywood tables are a wonderful example of being planet friendly and still useful, practical, and beautiful.

Polywood tables can be found in many fun, vibrant colors. Like its predecessor, the flimsy plastic furniture, the new polywood stands up well to the elements. It has progressed because it also stands up to the sun. The polywood is designed so that ultraviolet rays do not cause fading – this means no more painting of the furniture each spring (unfortunately it doesn’t end the entire honey-do list).

Another unique feature of the new plastic furniture is that it is designed to look like wood. The polywood tables have been molded to resemble natural wood … Read the rest

Start a Compost in Garden

By definition, compost is the humus like material that results from the decomposition of organic matter. When we grow and remove healthy crops in our gardens, we also remove many of the nutrients in the soil. For sustainable agriculture to thrive, even in a small backyard garden, we must replace what we have taken out of the soil. Good compost consists of elements that are essential to productive gardening, such as nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, sulfur, etc.

The most basic type of composting is simply a pile established near your garden. There are two components required to start your pile. So called, ‘brown” materials laden with Carbon such as fall leaves, dried grass clippings, dead flowers, old corn stalks and even shredded newspaper make up part one. Part two consists of “green” materials loaded with Nitrogen like vegetable kitchen … Read the rest

Saving Water for Landscaping

To water our landscaping, we use either some type of automated sprinkler system or a sprinkler that is dragged from spot to spot. Right from the big corporations right down to the homeowner with just a speck of a lawn, most people use or want to use some type of automated watering system. You have probably seen water from automated sprinkler systems running off the grass and running down the street. I don’t know about you, but here in the arid West, when I see this, it makes me quite angry. This even can be seen in droughts where a typical homeowner may have to water his plants with saved waste water from inside his home. This is not exactly an efficient use of water. All around the country there are problems with having clean water. It just doesn’t … Read the rest

Landscaping For Bungalow

You just purchased a bungalow, and as such you would like to have it landscaped. You have decided that you would like to landscape it yourself. However, your yard is small, so you are not sure how to go about doing bungalow landscaping. Thus, what you need is bungalow landscaping ideas.

The first thing you need to consider is the dimension of your yard. Wherever you have the most room is where you should start with your bungalow landscaping. If you have more room at the front of your house, consider using flowers.

You might prefer flowery bushes to actual flowers, but the reality is that since your bungalow is small you do not want the bushes to get too big, and thus become a problem to maintain. Thus, it is best to keep it simple with flowers.

You can … Read the rest

Preparing Flower Beds for Winter

Plant Debris

One of the essential tasks of winter preparation is to remove dead heads and plant debris from the flower beds. Not only does this make the flower beds look better but it removes many of the winter hiding places for insects. This debris should be thrown away, not thrown in the compost pile.

Organic Material

Once the annuals are removed, you’re ready to add organic material to the soil. This can be manure or compost. If you chose to use manure, you can find bags at your local gardening center, or you can check with nearby farmers. Just be sure it is “aged” manure–not fresh.

Compost is easily made from kitchen scraps and soil. You can have a compost pile, use a compost barrel, or simply work the material directly into the flower bed.

You’ll want to use … Read the rest

Mixing Hydroponic Nutrients

Never combine concentrated hydroponic nutrients in very little water

Two- and three-part nutrients are in separate “parts” for a certain reason. If the “parts” are mixed when they’re still concentrated or in very little water, a white precipitate will form. And depending on the nutrients’ formulation, this could occur within 60 seconds or so. Most of the precipitate is normally calcium sulfate. The longer the dilution is delayed, the tougher (or even impossible) for dissolution to occur. Plants could only make use of nutrients that are completely dissolved in plain water. So the precipitate is the food which plants won’t be able to get.

So to prevent this from happening, make sure you add most of the water prior to combining your nutrients; and stir very well before adding each part.

Which should come first, A or B?

The first … Read the rest