How To Grow Aromatic Herbs Inside Your Apartment  0

 

3617956695_389dab9151_bI must admit that at the beginning of my gardening career I was admiring, with slight envy, one balcony or a beautifully landscaped garden with flowers, plants and other arrangements that make you turn your head when you pass by.

 

Almost that it feels like going to the owner and ask for a little baby plant. And, not only I turned my head but I also said that I should try to grow a few potted herbs at home.

 

How hard could it be?

 

I was watching live food shows whenever I had the opportunity and often put in practice one recipe that winks taste buds. And the fact that the chefs were using fresh herbs and I wasn’t turned into a problem a problem that needed to be fixed. I imagined that the taste was different, the flavors were stronger and of course, the entirely dish was more aromatic. So another reason besides the aesthetic one.

 

I thought, first of all, of what I used most often in cooking: basil, oregano, parsley and rosemary. I added to the list a pot of mint and lavender which was perfect, especially as summer was coming. A lemonade with fresh mint is like heaven on earth and the smell of lavender brings a special fragrance in the house.

 

Once the plan had been established, I had to choose from two alternatives to put it in practice: to get seeds and plant them or to buy already grown seedlings or plants and to care for them? Eventually, I went on the option of buying amazing herb seeds, to sow them and watch them grow. I found these on Amazon.com.

 

This way they will have more room to grow and I’ll have richer plants for my cooking. At first I was quite skeptical about the plant survival rate, but then I realized that things are not so complicated.

 

If you give them some spacious and beautiful pots, topsoil, the light they need, sufficient water and much love they will grow like Prince Charming. And more than that, when you cook , you will only have to stretch your hand and you will feel like the world’s great chefs .

What You Need to Know About Fertilizers When Gardening  57

Plants need enough light, water and nutrients to grow healthy. Fertilizers provide the desired nutrient in the soil for plants to thrive well and produce more yields. Gardeners are usually unsatisfied with the nutrients present in the soil, thus adding necessary fertilizers can really improve its quality. Sometimes, organic materials are not enough to supply the needed supplements of plants which fertilizers can possibly complete.

What Chemicals is Present

In purchasing fertilizers, checking the labels is a must. The bag contains the list of the contents and the percentage of the chemicals included. Usually, plant fertilizers have “NPK” numbers which symbolizes for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These three are the basic nutrients needed by the plants to grow.

  • Nitrogen – this is represented by N in the label. This chemical is needed for foliage growth. However there are nitrogen fixing crops, usually from the legume family, that have bacteria in their nodules which produce nitrogen compounds for healthy growth of the plants. These kind of plants ask little amount of nitrogen.

 

  • Potassium – this nutrient speeds up plants maturity which helps in the development of its tissues for good blooming and fruit production. This is the P in the label.

 

  • Phosphorous – this chemical is used by plants for cellular process and photosynthesis. This is the third number in the series, K.

Test Your Soil

To determine your garden’s soil PH, it is essential to have it checked and analyzed. This will verify how much percentage of the chemicals is needed for plants to thrive well. This is the best idea to do if you are planning to plant a specific crop in your garden.

What Fertilizers Do Your Plants Need

Bags of fertilizers usually have NPK printed on its package to show the content of each chemical. Also, each bag is different from the other as one nutrient is higher than the others.

  • There are fertilizers that came from plants which can be applied as often as you need it, depending on how much your plant requires. Examples include the soybean meal, corn gluten meal and alfalfa meal.

 

  • Another variety of fertilizers are those derived from plants. This kind of plant is perfect for foliage growth as it is abundant in nitrogen. While manure may not be rich in nutrients, it helps in keeping water moisture and promotes necessary microorganisms.

 

  • Fertilizers that are mineral-based seem slow in releasing nutrients in the soil which makes it a long-term soil fixer. Applying them consistently creates a healthy soil which doesn’t need more fertilizers in the future. These kinds of fertilizers are of general use and are usually labeled as “all-purpose” or “balanced”.

 

Fertilizers are applied on the soil to give it a boost in ensuring the healthy grow of the plants. It is very important that you test the soil to determine what nutrient is missing and how much does it need. Also, the plants you want to place in your garden play an important role to determine the kind of fertilizer that is needed.

 

More than the high yields, it is self-satisfying to see your lush garden blooming with healthy crops and flowers. For starters, please be guided in using these fertilizers so as to avoid any hassle in the future. And keep in mind that it is always wiser to read the labels when you are unsure of what to do.

Random Landscaping Ideas for Your Garden  7

 A great garden won’t look fascinating without proper plant setup and other garden fixtures. Landscaping harmonizes everything in your garden from the color, texture, materials and plants. It is important that you have a plan on how to modify the look of your garden or backyard, and creative ideas always do the trick.

This article will share lots of ideas that will help you achieve the look you want if you plan to spruce up the appeal of your garden. Keep in mind that every garden is unique – one feature won’t necessarily work with others. So only choose a landscape style that will add appeal on your area.

  • Greet Guests with Flowers – a garden will look absolutely different and lovely with lots of flowers around. Not everyone has a wide garden to grow flowers so maximize space by dividing them. Sometimes edging can add texture to the garden. In small areas however, you can use low growing plants, so it’s plants on plants.

 

  • Driveway Magic – don’t compromise the beauty of your driveway. A good curb will surely get attention from guests and family. If you know how to combine the right plants and materials you can change your unattractive driveway into an appealing one.

 

  • Grow Perennials – if you are just starting up with your garden and you are not familiar on how to grow them well, the best thing to plant are perennial plants. They are not as sensitive as other garden flowers. They last long and don’t need extra attention.

 

  • Combine Low and High Plants – Create elevation in your garden. Good combination of low growing colorful flowers with raised planters will not only make a sea of beautiful garden but a good way to save water. Flowing waters from aerated beds will go directly to another sets of flowers – no waste water.

 

  • Hide Unattractive Outdoor Structures – when planning for a landscape, focus on areas that need attention – patios, garages and sheds. You can hide them by growing beautiful sets of shrubs and flowers. Adding some planters and potted plants can help. Large and bushy plants usually will do the transformation possible.

 

  • Plant all-year-round Flowers – Enjoy flowering plants all year round by determining what kinds of flowers are possible to grow in a specific season. For this to work in your garden, treat them with constant care as they are susceptible to die whenever the season changes.

 

  • Don’t Forget the Crawlers – Add beauty to the charm of your garden by adding the sexy crawlers. They are amazing in making any garden lovely and unique. If well maintained, these crawlers can complement all plants in your garden. Plus, they grow anywhere – trellis, fence and other growing plants.

 

  • Planter Boxes – who said container boxes are not trendy? In this time, if you know where to purchase the right custom made planter for your garden, it will surely add another texture and dimension. On the other hand, these planter boxes can be installed on your outdoor structures – windows, patios and garage.

Landscape design and constructions are exciting and challenging. The secret in making any boring garden is the right combinations of flowers and fixtures. Also, do not be afraid to experiment and create your own style. Anyway, your garden reflects who you truly are and a good medium to showcase your creativity.

photo credits: Luke Bryantnikoretro

Garden Terrace as your Private Place in your Landscape  12

A garden terrace is your perfect addition to your landscaping project. Garden terraces come in different forms, shapes and designs which you can incorporate even in limited space. You can have rooftop garden which is common in urban area or a secluded patio like in rural areas.

One can have their own garden terrace in their garden if you plan it well and with some helpful tips. Here are several tips on how to get started with your garden terrace:

Garden terrace is the extension of your house

One goal of garden terrace is to serve as the extension of your house. This beautiful small garden serves as your outdoor space for small gathering or a place where you can have time for yourself.

 

While designing your terrace, think of it as peaceful place where one can read a book, have coffee or just sit down and fully embrace the wonderful sight and smell of your garden and landscape. You also have to consider the space where you will put your terrace. You can have tables, chairs or benches in your design.

Consider your Environment

Make sure to take into account the environment when you are planning your terrace. If you are working on a rooftop terrace, then make sure your plants, shrubs or other features do not block your beautiful view. If you feel you want to achieve a more secured and private terrace, then you can make use of natural or man-made barriers.

 

Most garden terrace is designed to have your own world away from reality. You can use vines, shrubs or trees to create your temporary escape you long for.

Choose you Plants

Once you have sketched your own garden terrace, it is time to choose the plant suited your terrace design. Location is an important factor to consider. A backyard terrace has large opportunities that an apartment terrace but still you can incorporate greeneries in order to soften the edges of your terrace.

 

As mentioned, you can use vines and hanging plants. They are perfect for creating privacy and also to cover up walls, concrete and ledges. Make sure to put everything like you always wanted for your garden terrace. This can enhance your landscape and garden as well.

Install the Hardscape

Plants do a very good job in beautifying you landscape but also don’t forget about the hardscape. It brings balance to your overall design. Make sure to incorporate them in an appealing way to achieve a functional and aesthetic garden.

Seek the help of a Professional

Installing a garden terrace or creating your terrace design should be consulted to a professional landscape designer. It must fit your space, needs and most especially, your personality. Taking the advice of a pro will help you create a terrace garden than you can fully enjoy for many years

 

Garden terrace is definitely a good choice to enhance your garden. It can be a place where you want your friends or family to have quality time or an area where you can be yourself and have some private time in your busy schedule.

 

A garden has a calming effect to people and which makes a garden terrace the perfect place where you could sit and relax. A garden terrace is the most wonderful design you can have in your garden improving your overall landscape.

Landscaping Ideas: Opt for a Romantic Garden Haven  21

You don’t have be in a romantic mood to create your own garden haven. There are limitless ways to landscape your garden or patio into a fairy tale appeal. By having your own, you can be the wandering character of snow white passionately looking for her prince charming. Or if you already have one, then setting up a date in your garden is a great idea.

 

Landscaping is both tricky and enticing. To come up with great ideas, reading magazines and checking sites online can help. Also, this article will give you simple tips in landscaping your enchanted dream garden. Setting up walkways is usually the secret in making the whole setup dramatic and enthralling.

 

Divide Your Yard into Zones

Zoning is dividing your yard into different sections. If you have a vast garden, separating the blooming flowers from grasses using a tough edging style can create texture – use concrete or colorful flagstone pieces.

 

Bushes and trees properly arranged and uniformly spaced can create a forest-like appeal. The main strategy for both sides to meet is the pathway. Your pathway must be designed in a way that you are walking along lovely flowers on the side leading towards a pristine forest.

 

Wooden Walkway

The material in building walkways in your garden can set the mood of the landscape. Wood is softer and fragile compare to concrete, bricks and stone pieces. This can be a perfect material for your walkways instead of the usual rock slabs. This style seems traditional with nature appeal. Create straight wooden walkways or make twisting pathways to have mysterious hidden sections.

 

Moreover, hanging lanterns along the wooden walkways make it more romantic. It adds charm to the overall ambiance. At night when all lanterns are lighted, the view will be scenic.

 

Arbor Design

Your garden doesn’t have to be wide for it to become majestic like those in grand English royalty movies. If you notice that the entrance of the garden makes it totally different, you can focus in that section. Install a rustic arbor in the entrance – cover it with vines and blooming hanging plants. In this way when you enter, you feel like a princess with royal guards lining up alongside.

 

Cover the walkway to your garden with smoothly-paved pebbles for normal gait. In this kind of garden, choosing the right flowers to plant is essential as this will help in constructing a romantic ambiance. To add a drama, you can also create a simple circular structure in the middle of the garden, for focal purposes.

 

Wild Garden Look

A bending gravel pathway edged with rocks and stones towards your wild garden appear mystic. Combination of shrubs, trees and group of perennials can create this natural garden. Everything doesn’t have to be uniform, contrasting appeal of each plant can add to the wild-garden-effect.

 

Classic and Neat

Like the usual park where couple would love to sit for a coffee afternoon, this can be imitated in your own yard. Well-maintained low grass covered lawn with beds of perennials on the edge create that relaxing feeling. Adding a bench or maybe a couple seat will complete the look.

 

Nearby, you can create a winding walkway of bricks for an easy walk. To add appeal, border the walkway with the same bricks arranged vertically side by side. In this landscaping project, grasses or low covering plants are the main factor to be considered for a clean classy effect.

 

In this modern day, classic and fairy tale-themed garden are still trendy. It just takes a little inspiration to be able to create the garden you want. Promising landscaping ideas are essential before starting the project. Choosing the right plants and materials for the construction are the secrets to successfully create your romantic-feel garden.

Ways to Maintain And Manage A Healthy Garden  8

Keeping all the plants in the garden healthy and blooming is the hardest task every gardener has to accomplish. Making sure that every plant gets what it needs to continuously grow is truly challenging. When a plant gets a disease, usually the gardener will be saddened and have questions like, “Will the other plants get it too? Will they die? What should I do now?”

 

In situation like that, it is very important that the gardener understands that the plant can get sick if it is attacked by pathogens like fungus, virus and bacteria, and even the weather condition can ruin plant health too. Too much or lack of water can be a medium for plants to easily be the target of these pathogens.

 

Inspection is a Must

Before introducing a new species of plants in your garden, it is essential that the new plant has been examined properly. Adding a sick plant in a healthy environment can eventually lead to more plants getting sick.

 

Check the root quality to determine if it is a healthy specimen – roots should be white, firm and tightly bound together.

 

Use Only Quality Composted Waste      

It is necessary that you only use composted yard waste that has fully undergone the decomposition process, or else this might introduce potential diseases to your plants. Thorough composting process helps in eliminating pathogens in the soil, thus it is important to ensure the quality of yard waste soil used in the garden.

 

Know the Appropriate Plants for Your Site

To be able to have healthy glowing plants in your garden, knowing the right zone and spot where they have to be planted on will have a great effect on them in the long run. Healthy azaleas will grow poorly if planted in full sun and will eventually be susceptible to get sick.

 

Give Only Enough Amount of Water

Too much water can result to withering and can submerge the roots of the plants so it can’t breathe normally. Flooding pots promotes root rotting fungi so it’s important to choose the right watering method in giving them a drink.

 

  • Watering manually – in doing this method, make sure to keep the leaves away so water can directly soak in the roots.
  • Sprinkling – can be the least pleasing option because the leaves get wet but it takes some time for water to reach the roots.
  • Drip irrigation – is the most desirable option since it doesn’t soak the plant’s foliage, but rather the water goes down on the roots directly.

 

Value Spacing

Crowded plants in the garden will grow poorly as they create humidity and eventually will have powdery mildew in them. Also, these plants will soon be competing against each other for water, light and fertilizers.

  • Trimming – trimming out crowded leaves and old stalks has to be done every now and then.
  • Rearranging – plants tend to grow rapidly, giving them enough division and space can help in their growth.

 

Eliminate Unhealthy Foliage during Fall Season

Clean up the garden during fall to avoid possible diseases when new foliage will come out in spring. Black and brown spots on the leaves are a sign that it is not in a healthy condition. Dead stalks and leaves needs to be removed so healthy growth will emerge eventually.

 

For plants to continuously grow healthy, it is very important that tips mentioned above are followed. Don’t forget to give your plants proper care and provide them with their needs – enough water, sunlight and nutrients. Also, never fail to clean up during spring when old stalks are withering or when foliage shows signs of poor growth.

 

Potato: Excellent Choice for Organic Garden  2

gardeningDue to the high prices of organic vegetables in the market, many homeowners choose to grow their own organic garden at their backyard. One of the popular choices is potato. Potatoes grow easily and they are also nutritious.

It would be a great feeling to harvest your own vegetables. You don’t have to spend time and money going to the market. You can just pick potatoes from your backyard and you have fresh and healthy supply for your dish.

Another great thing about potatoes is that you can make them grown anywhere. You can use big terracotta pots, unused barrels and old dustbins. If you start to plant your crop in spring, then you can have an abundant supply as fall arrives.

Set the Garden

Before you plant your potato, you must first check the soil if it’s too cold or moist because potatoes will not grow in this condition. Spring or early summer is the best time to start growing your crops.

They need enough sunlight in order to grow healthy. There are three different methods to plant your potatoes – container method, trench method and scatter method.

  • Container method–This method makes use of container large enough to support potato plants. However, this will limit the nutrients your plants will get from the soil.
  • Trench method–This method involves shallow channel where you will put your potatoes and fill it up with soil. Keep nurturing your potatoes until they grow.
  • Scatter method – This method requires you to scatter your potatoes around your garden. Also it involves mulching.

The best way for your potatoes to grow healthy is to water them regularly. This will give them enough nutrients in order to expand their roots and grow strong. Also make sure your soil is fertile.

When you have chosen the location of your potato garden, mix the soil with organic matter in order to condition it. Avoid using chemical fertilizer since you are aiming for healthy food.garden

Keep the “Eyes”

Potatoes are way different from other organic vegetables because they do not have seeds. They are planted as a whole potato with 2-3 eyes. The eyes will serve as opening for new potatoes to grow.

You can bury the crop as a whole or chop it into large pieces. Scatter them around the ground but make sure each has eyes. If you follow these steps properly, you can have supply of potatoes in just 2-3 months.

With potatoes growing in your backyard, you can have your own fried or mashed potatoes for your family. If you produce tasty and fresh potatoes, you can even sell them in the local market.

You can research more about improving the supply of you potatoes if you continue to sell it. This could be a great way to earn money.

Organic garden is beneficial these days as the preserved foods have been a popular choice of many but impose threat to the body. Organic foods are still beneficial not only to your health but also to your budget. Following the tips above will grant you with fresh and healthy supply of potatoes all-year round.

Color your Garden with Flowering Shrubs  157

gardeningShrubs are not just mere greenery in your landscape.They are additional asset to your garden. Shrubs such as blueberd, lilac and roses bring color, beauty and texture making your garden alive. Here are some reasons why you should have shrubs in your garden:

  • They bring color and beauty to you garden every season of the year
  • Maintenance is not time consuming
  • They are easy to tend
  • There is a large selection of shrubs you can choose from

There are some shrubs that do not need much effort to maintain or care for. They are easy to grow without much attention from you. Here are some best shrub choices to get you started with your garden.

  1. Rock Rose –It effortlessly adds color to your garden. They come in beautiful colors such as purple, pink, white and lavender. It easily grows and needs a little attention from you. It can grow up to 5 feet and can resist drought so this is perfect for the summer season
  2. Blueberd Shrub–This blue blossom is perfect for late summer. Like rock rose, it can tolerate drought and heat and it grows easily. It has really beautiful bushes that can even attract butterflies and birds.
    You can use it as a décor to beautify your home. Make sure to place it in an area where it receives full sunlight and a well-drained soil so you can have healthy growing Blueberd shrub.
  3. Spirea–It is most popular in city homes, commercial buildings and restaurants. This flowering blossom offers raspberry-red color and golden foliage. With little maintenance, it brings beauty and color to your garden and home.
  4. Hydrangea Shrub – This shrub is perfect for autumn and summer. It blooms with different colors of flowers depending on the pH level of the soil.
    Basic soil produces pink flowers while acidic results to blue flowers. White flowers means they are not affected by pH level but they are still beautiful flowering shrubs. Like Blueberd shrub, it should receive full sunlight and well-drained soil. It can grow up to 10 feet.
  5. Forsythia Shrub–It is one of the favorite shrubs and it grows easily. It can be planted in different soil types but it grows best in loose soil. You may have to prune it occasionally after it has flowered. It can grow up to 8-12 feet with arching or upright branches. During early spring, it blossoms with yellow flowers.

Make sure you survey your whole yard to determine where is the perfect spot you can grow your shrubs. Some shrubs love the sunshine so you must place them in an area where they receive the morning sun while some love the shade so placing them under the trees or inside your house is ideal.

You must do a thorough research on each one of your shrubs so you can determine the condition, season and type of soil it needs to flourish healthy and beautiful flowers all-year round. With the right knowledge, you can incorporate the beauty of shrubs to your garden.

Bulb Garden: Bring Interest to your Yard  10

gardeningBulbs are beautiful addition to your garden. Spring-flowering bulbs such as alliums, lilies, crocus and tulips are planted in late fall or before the ground freezes.

This is for the bulbs to establish their root system and be ready for spring. On the other hand, summer-flowering shrubs are planted in early spring to replace the other bulbs once summer arrives.

Planning your Garden

First, you have to determine where you will plant your bulbs and how wide the area would be. This is to identify how many bulbs you should buy in the local nursery. Fortunately, most bulb packages have set of instructions on the proper spacing of the bulbs.

Shop for your Bulbs

It is essential that you know what you will buy when you go to a local nursery or garden center. Research more on each of your bulbs.

However, most gardeners prefer larger bulbs since they are high quality and have great flowers at the first year. Also you will have a bulb garden that will last for years.

Prepare the Soil

It is important your soil have good drainage in order for your bulbs to grow healthy. Make sure it is fertile and tilt.

If your soil has high clay content, then make sure you mix it with organic matter or compost. Whatever the size of your bulb garden is, it would be ideal to have a tilled and loose soil.

Positioning them Properly

It is important that your bulbs are flat at the bottom while pointy at the top part. As for the space, large bulbs such as Daffodil bulbs need at least 4-6 inches apart while tulips need 3-6 inches apart. On the other hand, small bulbs such as crocus bulb need to be two inches apart.

If you choose bulbs that vary in heights, then make sure to plant the taller ones at the back of your garden and the shorter ones at the front. It would bring more appeal if your bulbs are in clump position.garden

Cover it Up!

When you have positioned you bulbs correctly, then it is time to cover the roots with soil. Halfway on covering a bulb, add fertilizer and enough water. Make sure not to overdo it to avoid damaging your plants.

Then place the remainder of the soil and water it again. This is to settle the soil. Add mulch so the soil can retain moisture even in low temperature and also to prevent weeds.

With knowledge on growing bulbs, you can have a bulb garden until spring arrives. Just make sure to follow the tips above in order to enjoy the beauty of the flowering bulbs.

In a simple way, they bring beauty to your garden. They can even last for years depending on how much you take care of them.

Make sure to pay attention to the needs of your bulbs in order to have blooming flowers for the next season. Whether you just newly discovered your green thumb abilities or you are a gardening expert, bulb garden add interest to your garden.

Aquaponics: An Easy Way to Gardening  7

gardeningAquaponic gardening is one of the trending type of gardening these days. It might be a bit of different than the traditional garden but this is easy to prepare and you have a supply of fresh vegetables and even have different fishes. One reason why it is popular is you can grow up to 10 times the amount of plants than ordinary gardening.

Features of Aquaponic Garden

Aquaponic gardening is unlike hydroponics that produces water-tasting crops. Vegetables you grow in this garden are rich and tasty. What most gardeners love about this garden is you don’t need an expensive fertilizer in order to make your crops grow because the fishes will do the trick for you.

The fish will produce waste and this goes through ammonia process and turns to nitrate which combines with water. The water then goes to the garden bed and the plant gets the nutrients and finally, clean water is drained back to the fishing pond.

The two living organisms are dependent to each other and the process is entirely natural. There is balance since the fish provides nutrients the plants need, while the plants give clean water for the fish to survive. So completely, there are no chemicals involve that could harm the fish and your plants.

Aquaponic can be done any season of the year and you can even have it inside the comfort ofyour home. So you can surely have fresh supply of organic foodseven in the middle of winter days while your yard is covered with thick snow.

You can have different designs of garden that are suitable for your preferences. With aquaponics, you don’t have to supply it with water regularly but you will need to replenish the amount of water lost due to evaporation. Another benefit is you can easily eliminate the diseases and insects that could harm your plants.

Types of Fish

Homeowners can choose different species of fishes to grow in their garden. The popular choices are goldfish and Koi.

However, if you want your fish to be part of your dining menu, then the ideal choice would be tilapia. You can also have silver perch, Murray cod, largemouth, smallmouth bass and crappie.

Preparation of the Garden

gardenYou need two tanks to get started with this type of garden. If you plan to place it inside, then you may opt to choose beautifully-designed tanks.

Once you have put them in a suitable place, then you need PVC and submersible pump. Once everything is set, you need to add water, your fishes and the bacteria.

First you have to start the ammonia cycle in order for the water to support plant life. You only need to add bacteria and the rest will be up to the fish.

Make sure the process gets completed before you place your plants. The entire cycle usually takes three weeks.

Aquaponics gardening is easy and you can choose from a wide variety of vegetables to grow. Everything is organic in this system – water, fertilizer, process and your vegetables. It is healthy, eco-friendly and supplies you with fresh crops all-year round.