Plant in Clay Soil

Planting in clay soil is great for the vegetation that have roots strong enough to break through the hardened ground and compacted clay. Amending an area to make suitable for gardening other types of vegetation is doable. The main idea to remember is to amend an entire area NOT just a single hole for the desired plant to root.

Why is it important to improve the soil structure in an entire area rather a single location? If a gardener focuses on a single location once the plant roots it will grow root length only as far and wide as the hole that was amended. Once the roots reach the soil that is clay the roots will grow inward as they are unable to penetrate through the unforgiving clay soil. The plant may survive, but it will be severely root bound.

Checking soil quality is very important, drainage of the soil is imperative. I also researched a multitude of opinions on the best practices of checking soil quality, and the one common factor each opinion offered is to check

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 make sense to waste water.

Yet most landscaping owners use an inefficient and wasteful watering system. Here are a few tips to make watering your landscaping more efficient and less wasteful.

Watering systems for your landscaping vary. Find one that

Desert Gardening and Landscaping

The desert shrubs are known for vivid coloring, easy planting and caring requirements, and green environment in the garden premises. There are shrubs that grow in desert regions that are not the typical desert plants. The viburnum shrub is great inclusion in the desert garden landscape area. Offering extended foliage, versatility, and convenient growth habits; these are often treasured plants in the garden. They are widely recognized for magnificent aromatic flowers and bright color fruits that are highly favorable for attracting wildlife to your home garden. With over 150 species to choose, you have plethora of them including the Japanese Snowball Viburnum, Old Fashioned Snowball, and the evergreen shrub Pragense (Prague Viburnum).

One of the most beautiful desert plants is the Succulent species is the Delosperma or Iceplant with its glimmering flowers. These plants grow about 6 to 8 inches tall and are spreaders. Other succulent plants include sedum. There are creeping sedum used as ground covers and upright garden sedum plants. Creeping sedums are mostly evergreen plants while the taller growing garden sedums act more as perennials.

The

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Naturally Dispose of Weeds

Get rid of all the weeds in your gardens. Yeah, yeah, I know, that’s no fun, but if you get all of them out now you can maintain a weed free garden all season long. Well, almost weed free. Weed control is an all summer task, but it shouldn’t be difficult or overwhelming.

Most people fail at weed control because they never get it completely under control. So here’s what you do. Start loosening the soil and removing all the existing weeds. Then put down newspaper at least 8 pages thick and cover that with about 2″ of mulch. You can also use brown paper grocery bags, they work great!

I don’t like those weed barrier fabrics that you can buy in the garden stores because… when I was in the landscaping business I pulled out miles of that stuff. Why did we pull it out? Because it was a horrendous mess with weeds growing up through it! You couldn’t pull the weeds because they were all tangled up in the so called weed barrier material.

That’s why I like newspaper or paper bags. They go away! And that’s really important in your gardens. Don’t

Creative Landscaping With Plants

However, for many gardeners and landscapers in their quest for the perfect color combinations, there is another side to plants that is often overlooked. And that would be the contrast of the many wonderful and varied textures of plants. Specifically and for the sake of this article, green plants. And yes, green is a color.

Green plants not only serve as a color element just as any other color, but can also be used as a neutral transitional color that ties other elements and colors together. Or in other words, as a filler or where one area of the garden transitions to the next. Natural transition is very important in garden design.

I was reminded the other day as I spoke with a client of how so many people actually overlook green as actually being a color design element in garden and landscape design.

As we talked about her project I pointed out that we now had four colors in her plan and that we needed to repeat them throughout the design to create some balance. Remember, balance and repetition are principles of landscaping. She questionably stated that we only had three colors in her

Keep Gardening Expenses at a Minimum

The first tip is to only invest in tools that will make a definite improvement to your gardening experience. Before you purchase a new tool, ask yourself the following questions. How much of a difference would it make if I purchased this particular tool? How often would I be using this tool? If you have a positive response to each of these questions then go ahead and invest. Remember, there is no need to purchase expensive gardening tools unless you are doing it at an industrial scale. Sometimes, it is simply better to do gardening the old-fashioned way. Instead of using automated gardening accessories, you can simply use a shovel to get most of the work done.

The second tip for those who want to reduce their gardening expenses is to participate in seed or plant exchanges. If you live in a community that does a lot of gardening then this is a great way to reduce costs. Perhaps your neighbors are growing a plant that you also want to have in your garden. If you can come to an agreement that it is better to exchange seeds then to pay for them. These plant exchanges can