Spring no till garden prep

Maybe one of the worst parts of gardening is tilling up the soil to get it ready for planting. This can be even more true if your garden is going to be a new place or this is a new garden for you. Here is a nice tip to save you having to till this spring

God in Nature

Sometimes it is hard for me to understand how people can not see some existence of God when they look at the beauty around them.

This video is not to influence your beliefs but to challenge you to truly look at the amazing beauty around you and wonder

Celebrate Harvest Season with Scotts

Scotts Miracle-Gro Company is inviting everyone to celebrate the fall harvest season. The company has been in the front of sponsoring community gardens for decades and hasn’t got any plans to stop. In 2011 they launched GRO1000 campaign to install thousand gardens as well as green spaces across U.S., Canada and Europe by the year 2018. And so far, at least 262 organizations have been helped through funding or in-kind support.

Community gardens encourage healthy lifestyles, promote environmental awareness as well as help create better social cohesion. And not only. The harvest season is all about healthy fruits and vegetables, it’s about fresh produce everyone can enjoy.

“Community gardens bring healthy, nutritious foods to people with limited access to fresh produce,” said Bill Dawson, Growing to Green coordinator at Franklin Park Conservatory. “These programs are essential to the health of our communities.” Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens’ Growing to Green program is the largest program of its kind meant to provide free community gardening resources, donating over 50 000 pounds of produce to local food pantries.

How to winterize your garden

The weather has finally turned and now is the time to winterize your garden

 

Chemical Free Gardening

Think of all the chemicals that are poured into the environment just from growing plants. Of course the large agricultural producers dump the majority of it, but some of it is still done in our personal gardens. And that means that you can make a difference by changing your gardening practices. There are many agricultural producers who have done it, and you can use the same tricks to help your own garden, and the planet.

Pick appropriate plants. Not all plants are appropriate for the area you live in. While you might be able to control the temperature, humidity, and rain conditions inside your house, you can’t do it out in the garden. If you pick appropriate plants for your area, you may be able to avoid using fertilizers. Research, what plants are native to your surrounding areas and try planting them in your own garden. Wildflowers, are just that, they can pretty much be left alone and will thrive in most areas.

Pick natural repelling plants. You don’t need to rely on poisons to keep away garden ruining pests. Many plants produce chemicals that repel these animals naturally. By putting them in or around you garden, you can keep your garden safe with little effort and no chemicals. Plus, you can pick parts of these plants and use them to make products to keep them away from you too.

If you don’t want to plant natural repellents in your garden, you can use them to spray your plants without harming them or adding artificial chemicals to your garden. Many herbs like hot pepper, vanilla, and lavender can help repel insects from your garden.

Pull weeds. If you take time every day to pull the weeds you can find, you’ll only take a few minutes so it doesn’t seem like a lot of work. You can even get the kids involved, just be sure to do it properly so you don’t spread the seeds around.

As each of us takes care of our garden we can each make a dent. Tell your friends, teach your kids, you can even visit their school and teach your kids friends! Every little bit helps make a better world.

Get yourself a beautiful garden

DIY Network has just announced that they are on a mission to find the a truly hopeless landscape. If you happen to own one that would fit this ‘nice’ description, head over to DIYNetwork.com, and upload images and videos of your hopeless yard. If the judges and DIY Network decide your landscape really is the most desperate one, you have a chance to receive a yard makeover worth $25 000. The makeover is courtesy of DIY Network host and licensed contractor Jason Cameron together with his Desperate Landscapes Crew.

If you want to participate, be sure to upload your images and videos to their website before April 30, 2012. Only this way will you have a chance to win the $25 000 worth yard makeover and have the chance to appear on the one-hour special of America’s Most Desperate Landscape, premiering on DIY Network Wednesday, July 18 at 9 p.m. ET.

DIY Network is the home improvement television, created by the makers of HGTV and Food Network, and is currently watched in more than 56 million homes. They offer how-to videos and step-by-step instructions for you to help with your home improvement.

Learn more about their search for the most desperate yards here –

Protecting Your Garden

While most people would pay a lot of attention towards protecting their home from outside threat, few would think of protecting the perimeter of the house- i.e outside the house that includes the garden and porch area.  Protecting the garden is a very important consideration too. If the garden and outside space provides easy access to a burglar, they can quite easily break in into the home, thus compromising its safety and probably your own safety as well.

 

A garden or shed that provides easy access to an outsider could mean that the burglar could easily rob your garden accessories, any plants or even tools! So, what could you do to make sure you protect your garden as well? Here are some points to remember:

  1. Ensure that you have a garden fence and a garden gate that is locked or at least kept closed at all times.
  2. Install surveillance equipment like a CCTV camera if you have valuable possessions in your garden
  3. Install good lighting around your garden- a lighted area can be a big deterrent for potential burglary attempts
  4. Consider keeping expensive gardening equipment like the mower, ladder etc in a garden shed if they are kept in the open.
    1. If your garden has any external doors going into the house, make sure that you it is locked at all times when you are not in the house. Also secure all opening windows with key locks, or a wire mesh.

This post has been sponsored by Darfen Durafencing, a security fencing company specialising in the b2b industry.

How to grow the perfect roses

Roses can be grown in containers or in the ground and gardens look all the more beautiful because of their presence. Many people seem unsure as how best to grow them especially as there are so many different varieties. With the proper care however they can grow perfectly and can be enjoyed for years. Roses need sunshine, correct drainage and plenty of fertiliser. Roses are hungry feeders and will need a lot of water as well as manure. Ideally the plants should be offered protection from a wind such as a fence or a natural barrier such as a bush.

A gardener needs to think about what type of rose is required. A climber can be used to climb up over an old wall and a shrub rose will give pleasure if planted in a large container near the house. These lovely plants can be used in various situations in the garden such as climbing up an old tree stump or to cover an unsightly building. If planted near to the house, sweet scented varieties are ideal. Many varieties have little or no scent but give pleasure with their colour and long flowering season and gardeners need to take all these factors into account when selecting roses for their gardens. The flowers are useful as well as beautiful and can be used as mothers day flowers or in a vase in the home. For someone considering flower deliveries, most UK companies will include a rose or two in their arrangements.

Soil needs to have good drainage as the plants will die if their roots stay wet for too long. If soil is waterlogged it is advisable to add grit or sand to help water to run through. An easy way to check soil is to dig a hole and fill it with water. After a couple of hours if there is still water in the hole then drainage needs to be improved before roses are planted.

A hole needs to be able to accommodate the root system of the rose which should be firmly planted. The end of the roots can be clipped to stimulate root growth. For perfect growth, the plants need to have an application of fertiliser in spring and summer. Anyone involved in flower deliveries will know the best way to treat them and will be glad to advise.

At the end of the flowering season the plants can be pruned. Dead wood, dead leaves and old flower heads can be cut off. In February roses can be pruned back again to ensure good growth. It is often said that roses do not like to be moved so it is advisable to plan carefully the position of the plant in the garden. Also gardeners should not plant a rose in a hole where another rose has been as this may cause root disease. Treated properly roses should give many years of pleasure and are ideal when used as mothers day flowers or as gifts for other occasions. Flower deliveries invariably use roses amongst their bouquets.

Making Bird Tenants Welcome

We have almost made it through.  Soon the sun will be shining, the birds will be singing and it will be spring again.  There is something magical about birds calling our yard their home, but if we really want to enjoy them and our garden we need to create a living space for these creatures so they are welcome guests rather then welcome pests.

The first thing we would do with any company is make sure we feed them.  When looking at a bird feeder we need to spend a little time finding out what birds are local to our area.  Although the design of many bird feeders is similar the way these flying friends eat and what they eat is as diverse as the possible cuisine in your neighborhood.  There is nothing more disappointing then buying a bird feeder and looking forward to seeing a certain type of bird only to find out that particular bird never comes around our house, would never eat out of that type of feeder or doesn’t eat the food we served.  Just like being sure we are aware of the dietary needs of our children’s friend when they come over we need to make sure first we understand the bird feeder needs of our feather visitors.

Once we start feeding the birds and word gets out we have the food they are looking for the birds will flock (pun intended) to our house.  If we want them to do more then just stop buy for a bite we need to provide the birds a nice bird house to live.  Since we now know what kind of birds we will have we can use that information to also determine what kind of bird house they need.  We can get birdhouses in sizes, shapes, colors, and styles so that the house will make the birds want to nest there as well as become a compliment to décor of our yard and garden.

What bird sanctuary back yard would be complete without a bird bath.  As you can imagine a refreshing break from flying around is a nice clean bath to splash in and relax in.  Besides pedestal style bird baths we all think of there are bird baths that can be mounted to a deck railing, ones that can be integrated into our garden pond and many other styles to choose from.  There are even bird baths that come with heaters and de-icers so that your back yard tenants can use them all year round to get a nice drink and keep themselves clean.

If you are lucky enough to life in an area where the are my favorite is the hummingbird.  As we know these speedy little creatures never stop flapping, even to eat.  Of course there is a special hummingbird feeder  just to meet their needs.  If hummingbirds live in your area I would encourage you to get some feeders for them.  It is an exciting treat to watch this beautiful little creature flit around our yard and drink from the feeder.  You won’t regret it.

No matter what kind of birds you end up with in your yard this year make them feel welcome with these few special things you can do to make your world inviting to our avian friends.

Window Boxes – Enjoy a mini garden all year long

Whether you live in an apartment or a house, whether you have a huge backyard or your yard is the sidewalk out front window boxes can allow you to have the garden you crave. Let your inner gardener out all year long with these wonderful little gardens in a box. Now is the perfect time of year to not only think about what type of window box you might want, but also to get started planting and growing your little garden in a box indoors.

Garden Window Boxes are a fantastic way for you to have a garden in your house or just outside you window. Simple to use, flexible for any space, and the best part there are planters for any size window and even window box planter stands that you can use indoors or out.

There are, of course, the standard wooden window boxes which can be painted to match the trim or color of you house, but there are so many more options. Vinyl window boxes that go with your vinyl siding and have the same durable qualities that the siding on your house has. Most people have seen the basket style indoor or patio window box and even the window plant boxes at ground level decorating walkways, decks and sidewalks. But did you know you can also get window plant boxes in a number of different types of metal as well? There are aluminum window boxes, copper window boxes, steel, wrought iron and so on to compliment your home and garden and give it that extra special flair you are looking for this year.

All too often we find ourselves discovering a beautiful plant or flower that would go perfect with our house in the middle of summer and are saddened by the short amount of time we get enjoy them before the season is over and winter hits again. This year lets resolve to be prepared. Find your window box planters now and enjoy them all year long.