Metal Gazebo Roof

You may want a double roof gazebo. A double roof will offer extra ventilation for your gazebo. It is really more of an aesthetic addition. From inside of the gazebo, it gives it more of a cathedral ceiling type of a look. When viewing the gazebo from the outside, the double roof offers a break in the roofline.

You may opt for what is called a regular, square, hip roof. It is called this because all four sides are pitched inward and all sides are equal. The peak of the roof is located exactly in the center of the building and this results in all four roof sides as having an equal slope.

You may want to construct a metal gazebo roof. The advantage of a metal roof is durability and they are lightweight. You can make metal to imitate the appearance of just about any other type of roofing. A metal roof gazebo will have a life expectancy of over thirty years. The downside is the cost. Metal roof gazebo will cost from $100-$600 per 100 square feet and the installation will cost more than a shingle roof as well.

A metal gazebo roof may be made of painted aluminum or steel. These are two of the most popular choices. Aluminum and steel are strong and they can be formed to look like a tile or slate roof. These can be very expensive.

The speed of installation is another factor to consider when you are thinking of a metal roof gazebo. You can often find a metal roof gazebo kit that will have everything you need in order to set up and enjoy your new gazebo in the shortest amount of time.

A metal roof gazebo will give you years of worry free use. You won’t find holes, cracks or loose shingles when you choose a metal roof gazebo. The ease of maintenance and years of wear and tear can definitely tip the balance in favor of the more expensive metal roof gazebo, as it will be much easier to care for and last much longer.

Choose Patio Installer For Your Needs

  • Products – Ask what materials are offered for a patio. A pro will provide concrete, brick, stone, and pavers. If you choose pavers, make sure your contractor purchases them from a reputable manufacturer, as inferior pavers will fade and often are not as durable.
  • Warranties & Guarantees – Ask if the contractor guarantee their work, and if there are warranties on the products (usually pavers) discuss the specifics until you understand them and have both the guarantee and warranty spelled out in writing.
  • Websites with Portfolios – Top pros have websites that help educate the public about hardscaping issues such as the pros and cons of various materials used for patios. The consummate professionals will as have portfolios for you to peruse to see their work and what different elements look like so that you can make an educated decision regarding your patio.
  • Professional Organizations & Continued Education – Look for a contractor who belongs to professional organizations such as New Jersey Landscape Contractors Association (NJLCA) that promote professionalism, safety, environmental protection, and education.
  • Local Knowledge – Many communities have specific codes and restrictions for patio additions-choose a contractor experienced in navigating these restrictions and regulations to create the sort of patio that fulfills your needs and wants.

When choosing a professional to lay your patio, you should take a practical approach before making your decision. Ask straightforward questions and look for some basic support. Here are some helpful hints on what you should ask before your dream garden project begins:

  • Get some different quotes for your project, checking that they include all the products and services you will need. Make sure there are no hidden extras such as soil removal. TIP: Ask how long the project will last.
  • Check how long the company has been laying paving products.
  • Ask for some recent references of completed patio installation and read their online reviews. A reputable contractor will be enthusiastic about showing off recent work. Expect to see photographs and details of recent, similar work that you can visit for a reference. This is usually part of any professional presentation.
  • Ask questions such as if the cost of a dumpster and jointing sand is included?
  • Check if the contractor has the appropriate liability insurance.
  • Ask for a final written quotation from your chosen contractor.
  • A reputable patio installer will not cut corners but work to the highest standard to build a patio that is beautiful and will remain that way for years to come. A true professional will have no problem guaranteeing their work.

Organic Lawn Care

Mow your Lawn Higher

There are many of us who think that the lower we mow the lawn at one go, the less we will have to mow over a period of time. But what happens is exactly the opposite thing. As we mow lower, there is increasing chance that the grass will be covered by weeds, thus making it increasingly difficult for the green blades to reach the sunlight and prepare food. What is triggered is an increased rate of growth so that the blades can get over the weeds and prepare the food. This also leads the plants to use up more of its resources than it should and hence be weakened. On the other hand mowing higher allows the blades to stay higher and carry on photosynthesis. So growth of the blades is normal and plant stays healthier.

Don’t be too Frequent with Your Watering

All of us know that water is crucial to life and even more so for plants. But you must know how much you should water so that the grass on the lawn is at its best of health. Watering too frequently can actually not be so good for the lawn. What it leads to is that the grass gets water too easily and hence its roots don’t go deep enough. Instead the weeds make stronger roots and grow healthy. Infrequent watering would mean that the grass roots go deep into the soil and make the plant healthier.

So when is it right for you to water?

The best time would be to water when the heads of the blades curl a little inwards. That is the ideal time before the grass starts turning brown. However, even if you are a bit late, things can still be rescued. All that is needed is extra care. Yu might have to water twice. Place a cup at the centre of the lawn and sprinkle water. When the cup is half-an-inch full leave the soil to soak in the water for about thirty minutes. Next spray water till the water level inside the cup reaches 1 inch.

Spring Care For Koi Pond

If you pulled your pumps in the fall, you will want to clean out the skimmer and either clean or replace the filter pads and leaf basket before reinstalling the pumps. I personally leave my pumps running throughout the winter, and pull the pumps in the spring and clean them. It is best to start the pumps in the morning on a day that you are home all day to monitor the water level to be sure there are no leaks. The last thing you want is to burn a pump up because it ran dry.

Usually spring time brings a lot of rain and many ponds get a lot of runoff that clouds or muddies the water. This can result in a sludge build up that can cause problems with hair algae all summer. In this case you may want to consider installing a pressure filter. These filters do a great job of mechanically cleaning the water and have a back wash feature for self cleaning.

Don’t get discouraged by hair algae in the spring, this is a normal cycle. If you have a good bed of gravel in the bottom the algae will go away as the plants grow and the water temperature warms up. Don’t run out and get a UV clarifier to get rid of hair algae because it will have no affect. UV clarifiers only kill free floating algae that gives the water a pea soup look. I would not recommend algaecides either. Plants like water hyacinths, marsh betony, and watercress make very good water filters and grow quickly. Make sure you wait until the last frost to plant the water hyacinths.

Rough Terrain Landscaping

Preparation

The first thing that you need to do in your hillside landscaping adventure is prepare the area. Remove and clear any growth or debris to make sure that you have the room and space for your landscaping design and ideas.

The Problem of Erosion

To help reduce the erosion of your hillside, you want to cover your ground using heavy mulch and plant shrubs. Mulch can insulate your plants during the cold weather and it can help keep them from sprouting too quickly when the warm air comes in.

Keeping a good moisture level is also a priority in making your landscaping area flourish. This is especially a problem with a hillside garden, because the ground has a hard time retaining water on the steep slope.

Making a Beautiful Entrance

Color is the key to making your hillside into a masterpiece. Make sure that your hill is visually appealing and noticeable even from a distance. This will give the people passing by your area a beautiful area to look at and dream about.

A Touch of Creativity

An easy way to get your friends and family members attention is to bring a touch of your personality and interests to your landscaping design. Try to bring a touch of fun to your landscaping area by adding your personality and items that you love.

Retaining Walls

If your landscaping area is mostly hillside, then you may want to consider building a retaining wall. This will add a stylish area for you to use different kinds of materials. You need to make sure that you get the right materials and ask for help if you need it to install the retaining wall. With some effort and time, you can make a retaining wall to give your hillside added style and attractiveness.

Rose Rosette Disease

Here are common symptoms of Rose Rosette to look for:

  • Stressed growth in leaves, canes, and blooms. This appears as growth that doesn’t look normal. Stunted, dwarfed growth in canes, narrow leaves, and odd looking blooms.
  • Bunching of stems, clustering, broom like appearance of stems giving it the name of witches broom of roses.
  • Bright red leaves and stems (not always abnormal, as in many rose cultivars, fresh new growth can be red or crimson). Look for mottled coloration and redness that doesn’t go away. This growth will also appear unusual.
  • Overall decline and eventual death of the plant.

Rose Rosette Disease is caused by a virus that is spread by a mite that feeds on roses called eriophyid mite also known as the rose leaf curl mite. These are not spider mites, but much smaller mites that are almost impossible to see with the naked human eye. They move on wind currents from rose to rose. It’s thought that this virus first showed up in wild, native rose populations in the US. It then spread to multiflora roses which are considered invasive, imported from Asia to serve as a plant solution for windbreaks and screens. From these invasive roses, the virus spread to infect landscape roses including the once thought to be disease resistant Knock-Out Roses series, and the Drift series.

Because gardeners and landscapers have relied so heavily on both the Knock-Out and Drift series of roses for their ease of care and beauty, the Rose Rosette Disease has done a lot of damage in wide areas. It’s not known why some roses still seem resistant to Rose Rosette, but it’s been shown that Knock-Out and Drift roses are not immune.

What do you need to do if your roses have the Rose Rosette disease?

  • Destroy the plant – dig up plant and roots, then bag and destroy
  • Limit use of the surrounding soil
  • Remove multiflora roses within 100 yards of roses – if cannot then try not to plant roses downwind from the multiforas
  • Watch for regrowth from any remaining roots and remove
  • Avoid planting any new rose varieties back in the same soil

My ag inspector who lives down the road, stopped by recently and we talked about this rose issue. Her information said the soil where diseased plants were located could be tainted for up to 5 years.

Preventing Rose Rosette Disease

The mite is extremely difficult to kill, as typical mite killing chemicals don’t often work well on this species of mite. However, some pesticides may offer some protection such as Sevin, bifenthrin, horticultural oils and insecticidal soap when applied weekly during June and July.

The best course of action is prevention. When receiving your roses, inspect them carefully and look for the above signs of Rose Rosette. Only plant disease-free rose plants. When planting, give your roses plenty of room to breathe and allow air to circulate, as this can help keep the mites from spreading from one plant to another, although this isn’t very foolproof. And finally, don’t rely on one type of rose in your landscape. We’re not referring to color. Instead choose different species. If there are multiflora roses growing wild nearby, consider destroying them if possible as the mite can catch a summer breeze to your roses.

We hope this helps you avoid and end your infestation of Rose Rosette. It’s a heartbreaking disease, but with proper prevention and planning, you can avoid or diminish its effects on your garden and landscape.

We are committed to monitoring the new growth of our roses coming in from different growers. The Knockout and Drift Roses are anticipated to be in short supply over the next couple of years as many growers will be discontinuing their growing rights for these plants due to this terrible disease.

Growing Flowers and Fruit in Greenhouse

Growing both flowers and fruit may be as simple as designating a set of benches for flowers and another set for fruit trees, or as complex as creating independent zones in your greenhouse. The designation of greenhouse zones should take place during the greenhouse planning phase to prevent complications in the future. Zones are areas within a greenhouse that have their own specific temperature and climate; they are created by using interior walls to form sections in the greenhouse. Various temperature and humidity levels can be maintained by an automatic control system.

The use of grow lights can assist in the propagation of both flower and fruiting plants. For example, strawberries thrive when grown under a grow light; just be sure to utilize the “everbearing” strand, as “June bearing” strawberries will not grow indoors. High pressure sodium (HPS) grow lights are ideal for both fruits and flowering plants, and provide a high efficiency yellow glow with a life expectancy of approximately five years or 24,000 hours.

Every plant has its own growing requirements; some key factors to take into consideration when growing both flowers and fruit in your greenhouse include: lighting, humidity, and temperature. Lighting requirements for plants can range from full sunlight to heavily shaded environments. Some fruit, such as strawberries, need direct sunlight to grow while flowers, such as begonias, do well in shaded areas.

The level of humidity required by plants can differ greatly throughout the year. At first glance, growing calla lilies and tomatoes in the same area may seem like a good idea because they both require a similar humidity range of 80 to 90 percent, but a second look shows that tomatoes require a lower humidity level (65 to 75 percent) at night in order to thrive. Temperature range should also be taken into consideration. Most fruits will grow best in the warmer temperature ranges, while flowers can flourish in cooler temperatures.

Choosing Location for Planting Ginseng

There are certain plants to look for (companion plants) that can give you a clue that you’ve found a good spot

It’s not necessary to have all of the below mentioned shrubs. These plants are known as ginseng companion plants, or indicator plants, because they grow in the same environment that ginseng grows. In northwestern Arkansas, a very strong indicator is maidenhair fern.

  • goldenseal
  • bloodroot
  • black cohosh
  • maidenhair fern (my best indicator)
  • Christmas fern
  • doll’s eyes
  • rattlesnake or grape fern (also called sang pointers)
  • jack-in-the-pulpit

It likes a certain mix of trees

The identity of your trees is important. It’s okay to have a lot of hickory and oak, but that can’t be the only kind there because if it is, the ground-covering leaves will be too heavy for the ginseng plants to push up through in spring. Pine and cedar indicate the area might be too dry, but I’ve had some luck growing under cedars so it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. The trees you really want to see include:

  • oak (but not too many)
  • hickory (but not too many)
  • beech
  • maple
  • dogwood
  • pawpaw

It’s already present

The very best indicator that ginseng will grow well in a certain area is that it’s already there! If you’ve found many of the companion plants listed above, take a closer look to see if ginseng is growing as well. If you find something you think might be ginseng, get positive i.d. on it by asking someone who knows. Take a photo of it and send it to me if you don’t have anyone nearby who can come see it. I’ll be happy to take a look at up to three photos to anyone who’s read this article. My email address is listed below.

The ideal location will have all the right conditions, but it’s not a lost cause if you can’t meet them all. I’ve planted in various places to test the suitability and found some surprises. The ones I planted under a cedar tree are doing pretty good and I’d always heard they don’t like cedars.

Choosing A Bonsai Pot

Deciding On A Bonsai Pot Colour

This isn’t as easy as you may think. You need to take into account what colour your Bonsai trees ordinary foliage is, and also the colour of the foliage if the tree changes during a particular season. Take a typical maple tree as an example. Its normal foliage is a greenish colour. However, during the autumn months the foliage changes to a brilliant vivid yellow. The golden rule therefore is to understand the colour changes your Bonsai goes through throughout the year and choose a Bonsai pot that best complements these colours.

What Type Of Bonsai Pot

Once you have decided on a colour you then need to think about matching a pot that best suites your tree. Whether you choose a rounded, square or rectangular pot is really a personal choice, but try to imagine what pot will best harmonize with your tree. You shouldn’t choose something that is jazzy over-elaborate in design. After all, the art of Bonsai is to reflect in miniature a naturally growing tree. With this in mind when choosing a Bonsai pot, less is so often so much more.

Bonsai Pot Size

This is another important aspect that is often overlooked. As a general rule your Bonsai pot should roughly be as wide as the longest branch, and as deep as the trunk is wide. This should ensure a pretty good living environment for your Bonsai and help determine the correct water levels that the tree needs to remain healthy.

Bonsai Pot Alternatives

Not everybody has easy access to a specialist selling Bonsai pots; therefore there are a couple of household items you can use as an alternative. These included, believe it or not, pie and casserole dishes. Just remember to allow for drainage and you will have a crude but acceptable home for your Bonsai tree. However, in my opinion there is no substitute for an authentic Bonsai pot.

Ways to Use Concrete in Yard

  • The most common use is concrete block designs for walkways and paths through a garden. This is usually seen in larger yards but even if your yard is small it can accommodate concrete landscaping. It could be a small patio built from concrete blocks for you and your family to sit in the sun on. It could be a simple concrete planter or two for a small container garden. Or simply a concrete sundial in a flower bed.
  • Stone walls are another form of concrete landscaping that has really caught on. Walls frame the whole home like a frame to a prized painting. There are many reasons to have concrete walls. These walls work well for keeping small pets in the yard, and good for keeping intruders out. The harder your home is to get into the less likely burglars will be to bother trying.
  • You can also use concrete landscaping to keep your soil in place. If there is a part of your yard that on an incline then you can build a retaining wall expressly for this purpose. Concrete blocks come in many shapes and textures and you are sure to find a style you like.

Another thing about concrete that makes it so suited to landscaping is that while it can be quite functional and rugged it also can give the appearance of being purely decorative. There is so much that you can do with concrete in landscaping because it is so easy to work with.

You can use concrete landscaping bricks, blocks or whole solid slabs. Now you can even get custom made concrete landscaping stones that are unique in color, shape and pattern. Take some time to visit your local nursery or landscaping supply stores and have a look at the concrete landscaping materials, you will definitely get some ideas for your next backyard project.