What Is The Problem With Traditional Vegetable Gardening?

Traditional vegetable gardens, unfortunately require a lot of work, and quite a fair bit of attention to it as well. It requires you to weed, feed it and you also need to stick to a strict scheduling for planting. You may also have to allow the beds to rest in certain seasons, especially during the cooler months. Then you may need to plant manure crops that are green, add fertilizers and chemicals to work with the soils. Working on vegetable gardens takes a lot of time, it usually takes yearly dedication and commitment to grow food in the traditional way.

The questions you need to ask yourself is, why do rain forest know how to grow but traditional vegetable gardens don’t? Does a rain-forest have its soil turned over in each season? Does the forests have someone planting seeds, in every season? Do they get sprayed or weeded by chemicals? Well, of course they don’t!

Vegetable gardens have many problems to it. If you have read many books on traditional vegetable gardens, all they really tell you to do, is fix the problems that are wrong with your garden. Sometimes you may solve one problem, but then you are always faced with another problem, but it doesn’t have to be that way.

Let us have a look at how one gardening technique can become a host of other problems. The main problem with traditional vegetable gardens is that weeds tend to grow into all the spaces that are empty. You often see way to many weeds in your garden, so some gardeners will use a hoe and create it into soil. In many gardening books you will find that your hoe will often become your best friend.

However, when you do use a hoe you may even create more problems for yourself. The first is that the soil will create weed seeds, which will create more weeds. The second, when you turn your soil over you upset the way the soil ecology works. The top part of your soil tend to be structure less. So, when you turn it over, you place the soil that is structured on the surface, and you end up putting the soil that is structure less underneath the soil. As time goes on, the structure less soil will widen, as you constantly turn it over. When soil is structure less it will have less moisture in it, which means the garden will need more water to help it grow.

The other problem is that when you have soil that is structure less, there is no nutrients in the soil to give to the plants, which is what the plants need to mature. So because of this, the garden now needs the requirements of a fertilizer to help maintain it. There are many fertilizers that actually damage the biology of the soil, which is quite important when you are building the structure of the soil, and giving the plants its nutrients that it needs to grow. After time the soil, will become dead, which in turn will not have the right balance of nutrients to help your foods grow properly. Your foods will lack the vitamins that it needs, as well as its minerals. This is a problem that has been occurring in the modern day agriculture, with its traditional vegetable gardens.

Crab Apple Varieties for Most Landscapes

With their stunning buds and flowers, the interesting shapes of their growth patterns, fall leaf colors, and fruit that matures in fall and oftentimes persists through winter, crab apples have been called the “jewel of the landscape.”

They are planted in parks, on boulevards and in other public places, as well as urban and suburban yards in many parts of the world. Their flamboyant display of spring blossoms is often the reason.

The flowers bud out before the leaves unfurl, creating a jewel-like display on the branches. The flowers then open, most often a different color than the buds, adding another dimension to the display.

Finally the leaves arrive, their delicate spring green contrasting nicely with the white, delicate pink, or even deep rose-red flowers.

Crab apples can grow from 8 to 40 feet high, with most varieties averaging 15 to 25 feet in height. Their growth habit varies with the variety but usually take one of the following shapes: Weeping (pendulous), rounded, spreading (horizontal), upright (columnar), vase-shaped, or pyramidal.
Coupled with their range of flower and fruit colors, a variety can be found to suit most any landscaping need.

With proper drainage, they are adaptable to any soil conditions, but they thrive in loam. Reliably hardy through USDA Hardiness Zone 4, several varieties are marginally hardy in Zone 3. They are excellent pollinators for regular apple trees. Branches of crab apples are sometimes grafted onto a branch of a standard eating apple variety to pollinate it.

Plant balled and burlaped (B & B) or container varieties in fall; plant bare root specimens in spring only. Crab apples require only minimal care–watering and a little fertilizer until midsummer.
Prune them only to remove water sprouts (vigorous growth from branches), suckers (vigorous growth from roots), dead, diseased, damaged, or crossing branches. Prune in early June; pruning later in the year will reduce the number of flowers and fruits the following year.

Crab apples are crab apples if their fruit is smaller than 2 inches in diameter. The fruit of crab apples can range in color from dark reddish-purple through reds, oranges, golden yellows, even a few green varieties.

On many varieties the fruit stays on the trees until well into winter, with some holding onto its fruit into the following spring and early summer.
The larger varieties can be spiced and canned or made into jelly or wine. That’s an addition to the landscape worth its weight in gold.
Copyright Sharon Sweeny, 2011

Why Buying a Petrol Leaf Blower Might Not Be the Smartest Choice

Most people in the US use a petrol powered leaf blower to clean and maintain in a proper shape their lawn, deck and driveways during the fall season. They are perhaps the best choice on the market, offering good power for a decent price.

But, although petrol leaf blowers are the most powerful and mobile such devices you could get on the market, in some cases they might not be the choice you would want to make. That’s because, like all the other tools out there, they have their cons also.

And we’re going to take a look at some of those cons below, because it’s very important that you’ll know what to expect from such a tool before deciding to buy it.

First, you have to know that these devices are pretty heavy. Most of them are backpack styled, so carrying them around might not be that hard. Although, they still weigh around 10 to 15 pounds.

Then, these devices use gas to power their engines, so some of you would consider them dirty and polluting. That’s not entirely true, at least not for the new devices that have to meet a couple of standard to be able to enter the market these days. The older ones yeah, they were quite nasty. I remember I had one and after using it for a couple of minutes I smelled like I’ve been standing in the middle of a highway for a couple of hours.
Also, some of you might consider these devices noisy. Like above, that’s only the case of the older models. That doesn’t mean their quite although, they do have mechanical engines after all, but still, let’s not exaggerate.
And last but not least, you should be careful when you buy a petrol leaf blower, because in some US states (like CA) they are banned or only the ones that might certain reglementations are allowed. Fines are not big for using them, but that’s not the point.

So, as you can see, if you’re planning to get a gas powered leaf blower, you have to know that although they are powerful and mobile, they are also heavy and noisy. So just be sure you’re familiar with all the aspects before buying such a device.

Bring Nature Indoors

Organic container gardening is a pleasant and easy way to bring nature indoors, even into the smallest apartment, to beautify your patio and to ensure a steady supply of fresh, chemical-free herbs for healthy cooking. Since containers can be moved into the shade or placed in the sun when necessary, you can control the environmental exposure your herbs get. Growing herbs organically in containers gives you the opportunity to create optimal conditions for your plants because you can select the soil and improve it further by adding appropriate organic nutrients.

Herbs are not fussy about accommodation and will grow in most containers so long as they are the right size and have adequate holes since herbs grow well in soil that drains quickly.

Container plants do much better in potting mix than in garden soil, which is usually full of weeds and bugs. It’s best to buy a good organic potting mix, which is loose and drains well. You can also mix your own soil by combining organic potting soil, natural compost and coarse builder’s sand in equal amounts.

Before you fill the container with soil, soap and rinse it well in order to minimize the risk of contamination, line the container with pebbles or grit and then fill it partially with organic potting mix, keeping a couple of inches below the rim free of soil.

Since you want to keep your herbs free from chemical fertilizers, inspect them carefully and buy only the healthy ones. Place your herbs in the pot, secure it carefully with organic soil and some mulch, then water it straight away with some nutrient-rich liquid.

Herbs grown in containers attract fewer bugs than those on the ground. However, you can spray them with an organic pest control solution or simply using some soapy water if you have a problem with insects attacking the herbs.

Because plants in container need more water than the ones in the ground, you need to water your herbs regularly so that they stay sufficiently moist. Herbs in containers need also more nutrients because soil in containers cannot draw nourishment from the ground when needed and dries out as a result. It’s always good to mix some organic fertilizer with your potting soil before planting. If you find your herbs looking dry and off-color just add some liquid organic food to the pot such as compost tea or fish emulsion in small quantities once a fortnight.

Once their basic needs are met, herbs are happy to grow in containers and most of them will thrive and give you plenty of fresh and fragrant leaves for months. Mint, sage, bay laurel, rosemary, thyme and basil are some herbs that do very well in containers and are very popular among those who keep container gardens. If you grow different herbs together, you want to remember to keep invasive plants such as mint in independent pots away from your other herbs in order to prevent them from crowding the others out.

With a little effort and imagination, your portable organic herb garden can give you a year-round harvest of fresh, healthy and aromatic herbs as well as add variety and visual appeal to your home or garden. Also, organic container gardening is sure to give you many fulfilling and stress-free moments over the years.

How to Ensure Plants in Hanging Baskets Look Great

Plants that are required to grow in hanging baskets really are being asked to perform in unique situations as the environment within a hanging basket isn’t quite like anywhere else you might put your plants. For example, the area allowed for root growth is a lot smaller than anywhere else, even pots, as pots tend to only have one or two plants of the same type in them, whereas baskets tend to have a lot of different types of plant all thrown together in a small space. After watering the soil they are in and therefore the roots dry out a lot quicker than anywhere else too as the whole area is exposed to the air.
Because of these unique situations it is very important that you start out with good quality plants. If you haven’t reared them yourself in the greenhouse then this means ensuring you buy healthy plants from the garden centre. If you have the smallest suspicion that the plant is diseased then don’t buy it.
You also need to ensure you are using a good quality growing medium too. There are special mixes you can buy that are especially formulated to get your hanging basket plants to perform at their best. They tend to be soil-less compounds and are much lighter than the soil in your garden. It isn’t wise to consider using garden soil for your hanging baskets as this soil contains weeds and disease that will cause problems for your plants. Some of the hanging basket mixes also contain special polymers that absorb water. The idea of these polymers is that when the soil dries out following watering they steadily release water they have stored up. This means your plants will remain watered for longer meaning less distress for your plants from the continuous cycle of complete wetness from watering followed by long periods of being dry.
As mentioned above, one of the unique elements associated with hanging baskets is the fact that you will cram in lots of different types of plant to a relatively small space in order to create the greatest impact. One tip here is to keep the larger of your plants to the middle and put your smaller ones to the outside so they don’t get buried. Keep any trailing varieties to the outside too. For the best results go for the biggest hanging basket you can for the hanging space you have available as this will make more room available to your plants for growth.
Watering is probably the most essential part to maintaining a great looking hanging basket. You should vary the number of times you water your hanging baskets depending on the weather. On hot dry days you will need to water them more because the light soil dries out much more quickly than your normal garden soil. Don’t be afraid to fill the basket with water as it will drain away quite freely. It is probably best to invest in a watering wand to water your baskets as it will make the process easier. It also allows you to put the water directly on the soil rather than over the top of the flowers. You can damage flowers by watering over the top of them in two ways. The first is that they will get damaged by the impact of the water on the petals themselves and the second is through the sun. While water droplets remain on the surface of leaves and petals they act as lenses and in sunlight can actually cause burning.
As well as the water itself, you would be best advised to occasionally add some plant food as the light soil in the basket will lose its nutrients quickly and they need to be replenished.
If you make the time and expend the effort on taking all these steps then you will be rewarded with stunning looking hanging baskets that will last throughout the Summer and if you’re lucky even longer.

A Hobby That is Blessing to Mankind – Gardening

There are many hobbies in which we all indulge. We have these hobbies because they give us the time in which we get the equilibrium back. Hobbies are meant to relax the struggle which we have between the outer and inner world. According to the taste, all of us have different types of hobbies. Some like dancing some go for music, even the playing instrument like guitar, piano etc and even some like gardening as well. In gardening, people like creating a healthy and fresh environment around us. This is the hobby which is the gift to the nature as well. Those who pursue this, they give life to many and tries to give a more greener and clear environment to the world.

There are many perspectives which are attached to the gardening. Some people like indoor gardening or some outdoor. Both have their share of benefits. There are many reasons behind the choice of gardening – indoor or outdoor. The main and basic reason behind to make this choice is the availability of place. If you have no garden area outside your house then you have no choice but to go for the indoor gardening. In the indoor gardening, you can choose the garden plant plots. These are the best for such micro level gardening. This is easy as well as gives all the benefits of outdoor as well. The garden plant pots are readily available and they save the time and space as well. The garden plant pots are available in different size, shapes and color; you can choose them according to your style and space available in your house. You can grow all types of indoor plants in it without any hassle. They easy to use and gives no trouble in any type of maintenance.
The other type of gardening is outdoor. This is the most likable form. In this one has the ample space to show their creativity and the view of the big nature to get inspired by. This is chosen by those who have the space and even time to maintain it. It is high maintenance kind. In this one can use outdoor plant pots with the direct digging in the earth as well. But the advantage which you get from the outdoor plant pots is the movement. You can change the place of these pots according to your imagination and even when they grow big you can transplant them to the earth as well. The outdoor plants pots are also available in different shapes and sizes with variety of color. In them also you can grow what all you like.

Both garden plant pots and outdoor plant pots are the way by which one can able to satisfy the hobby of gardening. The pots give the movement to the plants and take the less space. By this way also the objective of gardening can be achieved without any type of sacrifice.

Rose Planting Reviewed

Rose planting involves more than just determining how deep a hole you need and whether to use fertilizer or not. The most important thing you need to do is to find the perfect location for your rose garden. This is true for rose planting the same way it is for dealing with real estate; it is all about the location. There are various factors that you need to look at when deciding where to do your rose gardening.

Is the place you have in mind accessible to adequate sunlight? Most species of roses need a minimum of six hours of unfiltered, direct sunlight each day. Even the shade-tolerant species require at least four to thrive.

Does the place you’ve chosen for your rose planting have the kind of soil that can make your roses grow healthy? Roses are hungry plants and they need soil that is rich in nutrients. They will not thrive in soil that is either too sandy or has a lot of clay mixed in. To determine whether the soil is good for rose gardening, you can take a clump of it and feel it with your hands. You will know there is too much clay if the soil maintains the mold and if it does not immediately crumble. On the other hand, soil that crumbles too fast means that it is too sandy. The best soil is one that maintains the mold but does not crumble that fast. Stay away from soil that has a lot of limestone, chalk, or excessive acidity.

Does the location for your rose garden have other plants or trees nearby? Some big plants and trees get water from roots that extend farther. When you dig the holes for your rose planting, take a look and see whether there are plenty of roots around. If this is the case, it might not be a good idea to plant there. The only exception is if you are growing climbing roses; otherwise do not choose an area that already has plenty of plants in it, as your rose plants will only be competing with them.

After finding the best place to do your rose planting in, think about how deep a hole you would have to dig for your rose plants. The hole has to be bigger than the pot or the root system. You should also base it on the climate of the place where you’re at. If you are in a cold area, the hole has to be deeper. You can consult with other people who grow roses near your place about the right depth you need.

Roses also benefit from slow-acting natural fertilizers like some compost mixed with bone meal. This gives the plants phosphorus which can help them grow healthier.

Ride-On Mower Basics

Basic knowledge in ride on lawnmowers will make it easier for you to buy your own gardening equipment. The ride on mowers are usually very versatile and can be easily used for other tasks as well, and you should use your imagination when looking for a mower.

Ride on lawnmowers with hydrostatic transmissions are more expensive than those with mechanical transmissions. This higher cost translates, however, into ease of operation. Lawn tractors with hydrostatic transmissions also benefit from the greater torque to the wheels which is superior to those machines designed with mechanical drive.

Several initiatives have been taken in the past to develop ride on mowers with less expensive hydrostatic transmissions. Some of these new lawn tractors developments incorporated variable belt types, such as auto drive and toroidal. However, various performance problems were encountered in these new models and their market acceptance proved to be limited. The same marketing difficulty hampers growth of the popularity of the ride tractor mowers with electric drives, the most expensive among ride-on mowers.

The materials specified in a lawn tractor’s design likewise dictate the machine’s price. Typically, ride tractor mowers come with steel-made decks. Less expensive models are designed with decks of lighter steel, while heavier steel is incorporated into the decks of the more expensive models to add durability to these particular tractor mowers. Other higher-priced lawn tractors have aluminum decks which are light and do not rust. For the lightweight and non-rust advantage, hard composite plastic is also employed in decks of electric lawn mowers

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Cut grass is typically expelled in ride on mowers through an opening in the machines’ rear or side of the housing. Some models are equipped with a grass catcher attachment at the rear or side opening to bag the grass cuttings. Lawn tractors with rotary mowers are designed with special mulching blades or twin blades to chop the cut grass into small pieces. Any of two methods is employed in bagging the chopped grass: rear bag or hi-vac. The rear bag method makes use of the opening at the back of the mower to deposit the expelled grass into a bag. The hi-vac type uses a tunnel from the side of the mower to funnel the cut grass inside a bag, a method which is considered more efficient for ride on mowers.

The Soundness Of Seeds

Seed may be of the right sort; it may be true to its sort; and, yet, if it be unsound, it will not grow, and, of course, is a great deal worse than useless, because the sowing of it occasions loss of time, loss of cost of seed, loss of use of land, and loss of labor, to say nothing about the disappointment and mortification. Here, again, if you purchase, you must rely on the seeds man; and, therefore, all the aforementioned precautions are necessary as to this point also. In this case (especially if the sowing be extensive) the injury may be very great; and, there is no redress.

If a man sell you one sort of seed for another; or, if he sell you untrue seed; the law will give you redress to the full extent of the injury proved; and the proof can be produced. But, if the seed does not come up, what proof have you? You may prove the sowing; but, who is to prove that the seed was not chilled, or scorched in the ground? That it was not eaten by insects there? That it was not destroyed in coming up, or in germinating?

There are, however, means of ascertaining, whether seed be sound, or not, before you sow it in the ground. I know of no seed, which, if sound and really good, will not sink in water. The unsoundness of seed arises from several causes. Unripeness, blight, mouldiness, and age, are the most frequent of these causes. The two first, if excessive, prevent the seed from ever having the germinating quality in them.

Mouldiness arises from the seed being kept in a damp place, or from its having heated. When dried again it becomes light. Age will cause the germinating quality to evaporate; though, where there is a great proportion of oil in the seed, this quality will remain in it many years.

The way to try seed is this. Put a small quantity of it in luke warm water, and let the water be four or five inches deep. A mug, or basin, will do, but a large tumbler glass is best; for then you can see the bottom as well as top.

Some seeds, such as those of cabbage, radish, and turnip, will, if good, go to the bottom at once. Cucumber, Melon, Lettuce, Endive, and many others, require a few minutes. Parsnip and Carrot, and all the winged seeds, require to be worked by your fingers in a little water, and well wetted, before you put them into the glass; and the carrot should be rubbed, so as to get off part of the hairs, which would otherwise act as the feathers do as to a duck. The seed of Beet and Mangel Wurzel are in a case, or shell.

The rough things that we sow are not the seeds, but the cases in which the seeds are contained, each case containing from one to five seeds. Therefore the trial by water is not, as to these two seeds, conclusive, though, if the seed be very good; if there be four or five in a case, shell and all will sink in water, after being in the glass an hour.

And, as it is a matter of such great importance, that every seed should grow in a case where the plants stand so far apart; as gaps in rows of Beet and Mangel Wurzel are so very injurious, the best way is to reject all seed that will not sink case and all, after being put into warm water and remaining there an hour.

But, seeds of all sorts, are, sometimes, if not always, part sound and part unsound; and, as the former is not to be rejected on account of the latter, the proportion of each should be ascertained, if a separation be not made. Count then a hundred seeds, taken promiscuously, and put them into water as before
directed. If fifty sink and fifty swim, half your seed is bad and half good; and so, in proportion, as to other numbers of sinkers and swimmers.

There may be plants, the sound seeds of which will not sink; but I know of none. If to be found in any instance, they would, I think, be found in those of the Tulip tree, the Ash, the Birch, and the Parsnip, all of which are furnished with so large a portion of wing. Yet all these, if sound, will sink, if put into warm water, with the wet worked a little into the wings first.

There is, however, another way of ascertaining this important fact, the soundness, or un soundness of seed; and that is, by sowing them. If you have a hot-bed; or, if not, how easy to make one for a hand glass, put a hundred seeds, taken as before directed, sow them in a flower pot, and plunge the pot in the earth, under the glass, in the hot-bed, or hand glass.

The climate, under the glass, is warm; and a very few days will tell you what proportion of your seed is sound. But, there is this to be said; that, with strong heat under, and with such complete protection above, seeds may come up that would not come up in the open ground.

There may be enough of the germinating principle to cause vegetation in a hot-bed, and not enough to cause it in the open air and cold ground. Therefore I incline to the opinion that we should try seeds as our ancestors tried Witches; not by fire, but by water; and that, following up their practice, we should reprobate and destroy all that do not readily sink.

Lawn Mowers – Keep The Beauty Of Your Lawn Maintained

The idea of lawn mowers was thought up by engineer Edwin Beard Budding in 1830. Being inspired by other cutting devices, he invented the lawn mower for the purpose of cutting the grass of sports grounds and gardens. After Edwin signed his first agreement on 18th May 1830, the manufacturing of lawn mowers started in the 1850s. Since then, lawn mowers have very effectively been helping us with the cutting of grass.

Lawn mowers not only cut the grass, but they make our lawns look healthy and beautiful. There are different types of lawnmowers available in the market.

These days, commonly used lawnmowers are Robotic Mowers. To use a robotic lawn mower, you have to first select the particular area to be mowed, and then you need to mark the boundary of that area.

Manual or Traditional Mowers are another type of lawn mower, which are manually operated. This lawnmower requires the physical strength of a person to operate them. They are heavy in weight and need to be pushed in order to cut the grass.

Professional mowers are another widely used lawnmower. They have a horizontal cutter to give the best result, and are generally used for big areas such as universities, stadiums or gardens.

Clipper lawn mowers are used for mowing the toughest spots. They are equipped with scissors which have long blades. Clippers can be operated manually, as well as automatically.

Here are some factors which should be considered while purchasing a lawn mower:

? First of all, look at its weight. It should not be heavy; otherwise you will face difficulties in operating it.
? Check its safety features. Check that the blades are not exposed.
? It should start easily.
? Handling should be easy.
? If you do not have a very big area of lawn, then you can select a push reel mower.
? If your lawn is a big area, then use a professional mower, otherwise it will be a lot of work.
? For trimming grass, use a mulching lawnmower, as they cut grass to a very low level.
? Go for a self-propelled lawn mower if your lawn is in a hilly area.
? If you want to purchase a lawn mower for very big lawn areas, such as a stadium or garden, then go for a ride-on lawn mower.

Operating a lawn mower is not a difficult task. Almost every lawnmower works on the same principles. Most lawn mowers which are being used these days have an inbuilt motor. They have gears with an axle to spin the wheels. The basic function of the motor is to spin the blades which cut the grass, so as to make it easy to operate.

Manual or traditional mowers are very simple to operate. In a manual mower, the blades are attached to the wheels. With the movement of the wheels, the blades spin and cut the grass. Manual mowers are very heavy in weight, so quite a lot of strength is required to operate them.

Lawn mowers provide a great help in keeping the beauty of your lawn maintained. However, it is essential that you keep in mind the size of your lawn when purchasing a lawnmower. This will help you to be able to choose the appropriate one for your needs.