Archives for : June 2013

Healthy and Green: How to Maintain your Organic Garden?  13

Gardening might be confusing especially if you are a beginner. However, you can find a lot of blogs and articles online talking about simple tricks that prepare you for gardening.

gardeningOrganic garden is one of the famous types of garden that most homeowners choose to grow on their backyard. They are beneficial since one can harvest their own vegetables and fruits in time. So you and your family can have fresh and healthy supply of these organic products straight from your backyard.

Tips to Retain a Healthy Garden

Choose your Location

Location is essential for your garden’s survival. Make sure the area receives fair amount of sunlight during the morning and it is not exposed to strong winds when the weather turns bad. Once you have chosen the area, it is time to take care of elements that will make it an effective garden for your plants.

Tending the Soil

This is an essential step to start your organic garden since this is where your plants will get their nutrients for survival. It is also used by the plants for support so make sure it is well-conditioned, healthy and treated with organic fertilizer.

Make sure to give time for your soil to absorb all the treatments. When it is ready, it is time to plant your greenery.

Choose your Plants

While waiting for your soil to be in good condition to support plant life, you have to choose your plants. Start with the vegetables. Include the ones you always use for cooking or you could also have variety of vegetables that you can sell in the market after you have harvested them.

With growing vegetables on your backyard, you don’t have to spend time and money going to the market. If you need anything, you just walk into your backyard and pick the vegetables you need.

As for the flowers, make sure you know how to combine the colors in order to create colorful and appealing flower gardens. Make sure you know the necessities and conditions of each plant you choose to assure their survival.

Prepare your Tools

Keep your garden tools handy. Makes sure you have a large container so your tools will be organized in one place.

Keep gloves, shears and trowels in arms’ reach to work fast and easy. Maintenance is essential to keep your garden healthy.

gardeningShade Garden

Include shade garden in your backyard. It is ideal for beginners since it is easy to maintain and do not need much sunlight.

A shade garden can do well by itself and still look good for your garden. This will help you get started with your lush garden.

Protect your Plants from Harsh Conditions

Strong and cold winds during the winter can greatly affect the growth of your plants. You can place your garden inside your house or garage and another option is to protect them from extreme weather by covering them up with your sheets or tent. There are numerous ways you can properly cover up your plants during the winter days so they can survive until spring.

Raising your Beds

There are different materials to use on how to raise your beds for proper water drainage system. You can use stone, brick and wood in order to make sturdy raised beds.

When you choose to use woods, make sure they are resistant to rot and they are not chemically-treated. This could damage the health of your plants especially if you have vegetables on the garden bed.

Put Organic Fertilizer

Organic materials such as manure and mulch should be mixed well with the soil in garden beds. Aside from being essential for the conditioning of your soil, it also keeps the weeds away and the soil can maintain moisture essential for the survival of the plants, so your flowers are healthy and blooming all-year long.

Prevent Mildew

In order to avoid mildew, one should spray plants with mixture of water and milk. Make sure milk is only a little part of the mixture.

This condition can damage your plants so you have to act immediately. Make sure to spray the mixture until the mildew disappears.

Harvest Time

Make sure you harvest on time so insects and other pests will not have the first bite on your hard work. Make sure to pick up the ripe ones and be careful in cutting them down from the plants so they can continue to grow and give you a good harvest every time.

In order to maintain healthy and fresh home-grown vegetables, fruits and flowers, you should follow these simple steps on how to take care of your garden and your plants.

Gardening Tips 102: How Important is Soil Preparation?  1

Gardening is definitely one of the favorite recreational activities by many homeowners. They love taking care of their plants and decorate their backyard with colorful flowers.

Gardening makes people relax and even spend quality time with family. So in order to have a healthy and blooming garden all-year round, one must know the basic gardening procedure – preparing the soil.gardening

Soil fertility is very essential for many types of garden. Plants get the nutrients in the soil in order to grow healthy, to increase their immunity against pests and to survive. It is advisable that one has to use organic fertilizer for the fertility of the soil.

These organic components come from animals, plants or other mineral resources and will provide all the nutrients the plants need. One advantage of using organic materials is that they don’t impose any harm to the composition and natural activities in the soil, they will only make improvements.

Making your soil healthy and fertile is not achieved instantly. As a gardener, one must know that it is a long process. So when you are planning your gardening project, you have to start with tending the soil.

One very common mistake most gardeners commit is that they overlook the importance of conditioning the soil. Some start planting and tending the soil for later. This is definitely not a good habit if you are thriving for a healthy organic garden.

Soil should come next after you have chosen the location. Soil is the one you can alter with organic components in order to improve the garden and make it an ideal place for your plants.

The physical appearance of the soil might not be appealing for us but inside there are interesting activities that make this soil a very important ingredient for a bountiful garden. Soil is the very foundation for a successful garden so one must make it a top priority.

At first, you might hesitate on investing your time, money and effort in improving your soil but at the end when you see your flowers blooming and your vegetables bearing fresh fruits, all your hard work will pay off. If you fail to pay attention to soil, your plants will struggle and you will eventually lose interest in gardening. Once you have established a good, healthy and organic soil for your garden, the plants can survive even if you don’t tend it delicately.

Soil is composed mainly of mineral resources and organic matter is only 10 percent of the total composition. However, within that small amount there are microorganisms that turn your soil to a paradise breathing life to your plants. So make sure you prioritize improving your soil because it is a beautiful start for your gardening hobby.

Organic Materials to Improve your Soil

  • Compost

This is essential for the improvement of your soil. Make compost in your bin and make sure to compress the materials to speed up the decaying process. This will add some organic matter to your garden.

  • Peat Moss

This is good for sandy soil. It will improve the soil in order to retain moisture.

  • Animal Manures

gardeningThis is where the soil will get its nutrients. Make sure to use rotted manures rather than the fresh ones, they will only damage your plants. Apply it during early spring or fall for best results and make sure to dig them completely under the soil to avoid seeds from sprouting on it.

  • Seaweed

Seaweed will give trace minerals, potash and nitrogen to our soil. You may get fresh ones from the beach. They are abundant during fall but you must be aware how much you should get since seaweeds are important living organisms and many fishes depend on it for food under the water. Another option is you can purchase some dried ones from a local garden store.

  • Sawdust

Wood chips or sawdust is perfect for clay soil. They will make the soil bulk and make it lighter.

  • Green Manures

These are dried leaves that have fallen to the ground during the fall season. You can use the leaves of clover, field peas, oats, buck wheat and fava beans.

They will make your soil look bulk and enhance its aeration and drainage properties. Other green manures can give nitrogen to the soil.

These organic matters will surely improve your soil structure and your garden. These matters are the food source of many microorganisms such as earthworms beneath the soil. These earthworms improve the aeration of your soil and the waste products they produce serves as the most important organic matter that makes your soil healthy and fertile.

Gardening is not all about improving your backyard using your most colorful flower beds and lush plants and herbs, it is also about tending the soil which greatly contributes to the preservation of the environment. Preparing your soil is a basic and important step to start a healthier and productive yard.

Hydroponics Gardening: Garden Anytime, Anywhere  7

For most gardeners, when the winter arrives it is also the time their gardening experience stops. Now, you don’t have to be upset because hydroponics gardening will give you a chance to continue your hobby at the comforts of your home. You and your family can still have fresh vegetables even when snow begins to fly.

gardeningThere are many benefits to this type of gardening. Since they can be concealed in a place, no insects or pests will damage it. Also freezing and drought can never affect your garden and the condition of the soil does not influence the growth of your plants.

Although many green houses today make use of the hydroponics to grow crops for commercials reasons, you can also have your own at your house or garage. You can use any container or unused closet in order to make your hydroponic garden.

Benefits of Hydroponics Garden

A Garden for Any Condition

Hydroponics gardening does not need soil in order for the crops to grow and the gardener has total control of the environment of the garden. As mentioned, this garden can be safely put indoor away from the diseases or pests. Since the gardener has the full control of the garden, he can manipulate which and how much nutrients the plants should receive.

Lighting and water can also be controlled so one can have a healthy harvest in no time. This is the reason why many gardeners enjoy having hydroponics garden at their home.

Healthy for the Environment

This type of gardening is environmentally-friendly since water and nutrients are being recycled. Even though the plants only have limited space to grow, they still develop like in traditional garden.

In this garden, you can constantly see plants are placed in tubes or shelves vertically. This garden is definitely a space saver and contributes to the preservation of Mother Nature.

Gardening even in Winter

Hydroponics does not depend on sun, temperature or rain. This indoor garden can grow anytime and anywhere. Most gardeners start their garden in winter where they use container and artificial lighting in order for the plant to survive.

So you don’t have to stop gardening when you feel the first bite of the cold breeze because with hydroponics, you can do your hobby all year long. With few tips and tools, you can simply start your own hydroponic garden and make it successful.

Materials Use for Hydroponic Gardening

LED Light

The natural light inside the home is not sufficient to support plant life, so most gardeners make use of LED lights. These grow lights are usually the best choice in order to provide what the crop needs. They give off less heat than a fluorescent light and also they are inexpensive to operate.

Water Solution

The crops are placed in a net pot which is filled with vermiculite or gravel. This means that the plants are suspended in the water. Wide gardens make use of pumps for the water and nutrient recycle that is essential for the survival of the crops.

Plastic Containers

Most gardeners make use of containers or pots that is made of plastic. They are available in local garden stores and you can even choose your own depending on your preferences.

You can grow different types of plants in hydroponics garden. You can choose from vegetables, herbs and even flowers. Some even try to grow small fruit trees in order to have fresh supply of fruits in the table.

Make sure your crops receive the right amount of nutrients in order to survive. You have to research more on each plant you choose to place in your garden.gardening

Since the roots can quickly get the nutrients, they also grow quickly so make sure they receive sufficient nutrients. Soon you will have fresh and organic supply of vegetables even in winter days.

As mentioned, you can use LED light in order to give the heat that your plants need for growth and development. Make sure that they receive enough in order to grow healthy.

There are different systems used for hydroponics and this will determine the container you will use so make sure to choose the better one. Don’t overcrowd your medium, or your plants will end up intertwined with each other competing for the nutrients. Make sure the container has enough plants so nutrients and water can be distributed properly.

Hydroponics is not difficult yet you have to make things properly in order to make it an effective and successful garden. With helpful tips, right tools and knowledge about hydroponics gardening, one can experience its advantages for four seasons. For gardeners, nothing is more special than tasting home-grown vegetables after all the effort and time you put in your garden.

Japanese Gardens: Find Peace and Calmness  1

There are different types of gardening such as water gardening, indoor gardening, container gardening and herb gardening. Today, there is another type of gardening that is slowly rising to popularity. This type of gardening is what they call Japanese gardening or Nihon Teien.

gardeningThese gardens are designed to traditionally showcase the culture of Japanese, make use of garden containers and limited space. Now, they are seen in parks, landmarks and houses. Shino and Buddhist Temples have the best of these types of garden.

The Origin

Nihon Teien emerged from Heijyo and Fujiwara castle towns. It is said that the earliest garden designs highlighted the Taoism and Buddhism visions and even have the Chinese mountains. It was found in the ruins of Heijyo castle with the water passage believed to be part of a garden.

How it Became Popular?

This Japanese style garden became known because of KokanShiren. He wrote the Rhymephrose on Miniature Landscape about the gardening secrets regarding the bonsai and bonseki. He said that the secret of Japanese gardens is passed on from a teacher to his apprentice.

He also shared that everything stated in the book must be concealed from outsiders. But the book is published in different libraries in Japan, spreading the knowledge of such garden designs.

Japanese Garden Designs

Nihon Teien offers different garden designs that gardeners today use in order to improve their gardens at home. One garden design is the Tsukiyama which reflects the nature of Japan but focuses on bodies of water. Another is Kare-san-su which makes use of stone and sand elements.

Zenniwa is the garden design most found in Zen temples. The Chaniwa is a gardening design that revolves around the tea ceremony which is famous in Japan. They are usually placed outside the tea houses for “cleansing” purposes.

These Japanese garden designs prove that the Eastern people give significance to how gardens reflect the way of life. This is the reason why many gardeners make use of these designs.

Whether you are using Japanese, European or Chinese garden designs, it doesn’t matter as long as you incorporate them properly and manage to reflect the original purpose of the design. These designs not only enhance the garden but also make it a relaxing place where one finds inner peace and calmness.Garden designs are not only to be shown-off to your visitors but must also be a way to reflect your personality through your chosen design.

Herb Garden: Another Easy Garden for your Backyard  0

If you make use of herbs when you cook or for your salads, then it would be practical to have your herb garden at your backyard. This herb garden will give you endless supply of your favorite herbs and they are accessible.

gardeningOne great thing is you don’t have to wait for too long to harvest your fresh herbs for your recipes. So when you start to plant your herbs by spring, you can have your fresh herbs by summer.

Growing herbs will just take a little effort and time from you. Also you don’t have to spend too much money to have healthy-growing herbs.

Choose your Herbs

You might start with herbs that use for your cooking. However, it would be better if you explore more of essential herbs. You must do research and write down all the herbs you are familiar with and the ones you don’t know about.

There are countless garden websites that offer information about a lot of herbs. You can also visit some herb gardens by your neighbors or local greenhouses.

Herb Gardening Materials

You might need basic materials to start your herb garden. Seedlings will ensure that your plants will grow so make sure to keep them in a container.

Garden sieve is used to get the soil ready and water spray to gently water your herbs so you won’t damage the soil. Flower pots will serve as home for your seedlings.

Herb Gardening Tips

It is very essential you decide on where you should plant your herbs. Some herbs originated in warmer areas, some adapt the climate of the place so you must do some research.

As for the soil, you have to prepare them and make sure it is neutral and maintain its moisture. To make the soil healthy, mix it with compost of rotted manure in order to have the nutrients the plants need for growth.

You must also place them in accessible areas such as the kitchen door so while you cook you have herbs that are readily available. Make sure it receives fair amount of water and sunlight they need to survive.

Harvest your Herbs

Now after all the efforts, you can now harvest your own herbs. Make sure you don’t remove too much leaves at once. You must make sure that you herbs will continue to grow.

With these simple steps, you can make your herb garden all on your own and you have supply of fresh ones for your cooking. These home-grown herbs will definitely make your dish healthy and delicious.

Winter Tips on How to Make your Plants Survive the Cold  50

Winter is the time most garden beginners wonder how they can take care of their garden. Keeping your garden in good condition during cold months would require a set of special skills. It is essential to change your gardening routines as the season changes.

Plants can adapt very well as the temperature changes in their environment, but as a gardener, you should help them out. You have to make sure your garden will survive until spring and summer. Trying to revive it for those seasons would be a waste of time. So you should to have the right knowledge and right tools in order for your garden to survive during the colder months. So what are the steps you should do to protect them?

gardeningYou should:

  • Continue planting in colder months with the right type of plants. However, do not push the plants to grow in an unhealthy habitat. Plant when the ground is in good condition to dig up.
  • Mulch from autumn can be put in the soil to decay. This will protect the roots from extreme cold temperature.
  • A small amount of compost will nurture your plants and soil for the winter days.
  • If a big freeze is coming, then water your plants immediately. This will provide water to your plants before the water starts freezing. It will also add some protection to the roots from frost damage.
  • Heat is essential for the plants survival so you can put heating material as a source near your crops. You can purchase it in a garden store and put in your potted plants.  Doing this and moving your plants near or inside the house could help them survive the winter season.

You should not:

  • Put fertilizer in your plants. Fertilizer means you are encouraging your plants for growth and flowering. However, during winter your plants are in hibernate state in order to survive the winter days.
  • Overwater your plants. A healthy amount of water is enough for the survival of your plants but generally they need less than the required water in winter days.

 

It is essential that you follow these steps in order for your plants to hibernate in a healthy way during the extreme cold weather. These tips will condition your plants when spring comes. As the gardener, you are responsible for the health and wellness of your plants, so make sure to help your plants survive the chilly winter season.

How to Start Your Container Gardening  2

You don’t need to have a wide backyard to place your garden. You can have the relaxing benefits of having a garden even if you live in an apartment or have a small yard. Container gardening gives you the chance of moving your plants around your house but still harvest bountiful vegetables. As a beginner,you should know some basic tips on how to get your container gardening started.

First and foremost, you should choose the appropriate plants that will suit your lifestyle and budget. Container gardening is affordable, but if you don’t have the right knowledge, then you will definitely spend more. If you are tight in budget, you can go to a second hand store to purchase affordable containers for your garden.

gardeningIf you don’t have time to water your plants, then make sure to choose plants that don’t require much water. Before you place your plants, make sure that your container has drainage holes. Drainage holes are essential for the survival of your plants. These holes will drain the excess water which will prevent the soil from becoming wet and soggy, and eventually make your roots rot. If you think adding gravel or rocks at the bottom of the pot could reduce the drainage problems, then you are wrong. Nothing will prevent roots from rotting, only the drainage holes.

Let your plants get accustomed to the environment. Some plants easily swoon and die while others can take heavy beating. Let your plants adjust to sunlight, water and temperature. This will maximize the survival rate of your plants. This is very essential if your plants are very young or are recently purchased from a greenhouse or plant store.

For container gardening, you should know where to stop. If you placed many plants in just one container, then you just will increase the death rate of your plant. If you see your plants dying, then it is time to cut it back.

Make sure to pay attention to your plants in the container. If you see a plant dying, replace it with healthy one. If it suffers from a disease, then immediately quarantine your container.

Container gardening might not be for everyone but with the right knowledge and patience, you might find out that this type of gardening works for you. If your plants die, don’t lose hope, just remove it and replace it with a new one.

Flower Garden – Beauty and Appeal for your Yard  1

Flower gardening is a kind of hobby that is fun and practical. Many homeowners today like to grow their own flower garden in the exterior of their house. Flowers are very good garden enhancers that will certainly keep your surroundings beautiful.

Aside from being a hobby, flower gardening can also be a good source of income by selling your flowers or by joining a contest for flower gardening. This article will provide you tip son how to make your own flower bed in your backyard.

Space

You don’t necessarily need a wide area for your flower garden, but just enough space for your garden not to get overcrowded. If you have a balcony or a smaller area, then choose the type of flowers that don’t consume a lot of space when they get mature.

gardeningClimate

If you live in tropical countries, then perennials and annuals are the best choices for your garden. However, if you live in a four-season country, then perennials are more suitable flowers because they can survive the cold season.

You may also consider the annuals. It is advisable to have different varieties of flowers in your garden.

However, annuals need to be replaced year after year.  Make sure to be smart in choosing the flowers that will easily adapt to the climate of your location.

Type of Flowers

Choosing the right type of flowers is very essential, especially if you are just a beginner in gardening.  You have to choose flowers that work well with the temperature and soil in your area.

Consider the color, height and leaves of the flowers. In order to achieve a harmonized flower garden, you should know how to organize variations.

Flower arrangement is not just about recklessly putting flowers in a vase. Flowers must be properly arranged in your garden in order to maximize the space.

A piece of advice,place the tall ones behind and the short ones in front. This is for plants to have the amount of sunlight it needs for the growth and development.

You can actually buy your flowers according to your preferences. You can buy flower seeds and plant them or buy seedlings or grown flowers that you can replant the on your garden. Make sure to look for a reliable supplier of flowers.

Soil

The soil should have the moisture and nutrients your flowers need to grow healthy. You will also need water and fertilizer.

Make sure to give attention and care to your flowers. Flowers will easily get wilt when they don’t get the essential things they need for survival such as sunlight and water.

Flower gardening is indeed simple and easy. It might take time for your flowers to bloom but with tender love and care, you will slowly see the blooming beauty of your chosen flowers.

Benefits of Growing a Hydroponic Garden Today  1

gardeningSummer is the best time to start growing your vegetables. Many people today prefer eating straight vegetable fresh from the vine. They are convenient, inexpensive, and very healthy.

Organic vegetables are juicier and healthier than the commercial ones. Consuming your homegrown vegetables will give you satisfaction from all your great gardening efforts, especially during the hot season.

Many people today consider gardening as a hobby. However, some do get upset when winter comes because gardening will not be a seasonal hobby anymore. But no more worries, thanks to hydroponic gardening.

Hydroponic gardening can be bought inside your house when the first snow appears, so you can still enjoy fresh vegetables even in winter days. There are some amazing benefits from this type of garden that make it popular these days.

Gardening All-Year Round

Hydroponic vegetable gardening does not need soil in order to grow their plants and the environment is totally controlled by the gardener. Indeed, this is true for plants that are placed indoors which are away from the potential disease and pests outside. Gardeners control the nutrients being received by the crops, how often and how much they should receive.

If you have control over the water and lighting, then you can produce healthy plants and a large possibility of harvest. Many prefer this type of gardening because it reduces the frustration of fighting the annoying pests and possible diseases.

Environmental-Friendly Benefits

Hydroponic vegetable gardening uses recycled nutrients and water which is good for the environment. This type of gardening can make crops grow faster than the traditional vegetable garden.

Plants are usually placed in hang shelves and tubes so they grow up in a few square feet. This will definitely save space and most importantly, save the planet.

Indoor Gardening

Hydroponic vegetable gardening do not depend too much on the sunlight or rain, it can grow on its own anywhere and anytime. Many gardeners make their gardening inside homes using containers and artificial lighting in order for the plants to grow. This means that no gardener has to stop being a gardener once the winter arrives.

You will enjoy your vegetable garden all year round, and you have enough vegetable supply for the cold months to come. Many tools are available that you can use easily to get to start your hydroponic vegetable garden.

These are the reasons why hydroponic is such a trend. If you want to have a garden that expands until winter and does not need much of an attention, then hydroponic garden is the one for you.