Gardening

Monday, September 05, 2005

Gardening without a Garden

You don’t need a plot of land to enjoy the fruits of your labor

(ARA) – As days warm and mailboxes burst with garden catalogs, many people begin to find their green thumbs itching to play in the dirt. But if you’re one of the countless people for whom a full-fledged garden isn’t a possibility, you don’t have to give up the vision of bountiful blooms and fresh produce. There are options available to provide everyone with a way to grow.

Folks with limited space or mobility -- or those who want the beauty and benefits without the hours of work -- are discovering the many different types of container gardening. Once reserved for apartment dwellers only, container gardening can now work for every lifestyle, as more and more people are discovering.
 

The Allergy Sufferers' Guide to Gardening

Actor and Gardening Enthusiast Dean Cain Offers Tips for Creating a “Sneeze-Free” Garden

(ARA) - According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, more than 35 million people suffer from allergies which may prohibit them from participating in many outdoor activities, including gardening. Notable film and television star Dean Cain is one of them. 

"I love spending time outside, especially with my four year-old son," comments Cain, "but my allergies prevent me from enjoying some of our favorite outdoor hobbies. One of our favorite things to do every morning is to pick fresh oranges from our orange trees and cut fresh flowers from the garden. By creating an allergy-friendly environment and taking a proven effective medication like Benadryl to relieve my allergy symptoms, I can enjoy outdoor activities without any problems."

Dean offers the following advice for gardening enthusiasts to help them get down and dirty in the garden, while minimizing their allergy symptoms: 
 

Water your plants with the correct amount of water.

Don’t Drown Your Plants, Nurture Them with Micro/Drip Irrigation

Conserving water for generations to come

(ARA) – Now that spring is here, garden centers across the country are once again bustling with activity. There are house plants, fruit trees and vegetables as far as the eye can see, and they all look great. So how do you keep them looking that way once you get them home? 

“The secret is in the way you water them,” says Susan Thayer, who is an expert in landscape irrigation. Thayer owns and operates the Southern Citrus Nursery in Dundee, Fla., as well as Mister Landscaper, a company that specializes in low-volume landscape irrigation. 
 

Enjoy your garden

Beautify Your Home for the Summer


(ARA) – Summer is here and with the warm weather comes endless hours spent outdoors enjoying the sun. Whether you’re spending time in the pool, grilling on the barbeque, or just lounging on your deck, you want your house looking its best. That’s why now’s the perfect time to spruce up your home’s exterior and impress your neighbors. 

There are many do-it-yourself projects that can have a dramatic effect on the beauty of your home. A little gardening close to the house can provide color and life to your outdoor space. Planting some flowers, shrubs or trees in the right areas can make a world of difference. 

Other ways to beautify your home include cleaning your windows and screens, which will improve exterior appearance and allow more light into the home. Refinishing your deck can bring back a warm, natural wood look, while also protecting it from the sun’s UV rays and heavy summer foot traffic. You can even restore your home’s vinyl siding and shutters to their original color and shine!
 

Eliminating Driveway Blemishes Improves Property Value and Curb Appeal

Brilliant Driveways -- An Easy Do-It-Yourself Project


(ARA) - Every homeowner wants a beautiful, maintenance-free blacktop driveway, but most asphalt driveways suffer from pavement discolorations like skid marks and oil stains, or damage like rock salt pits, scrapes, gouges and cracks. 

A small crack can easily overtake entire driveway slabs and petroleum stains may give the impression of run-down property. Simple do-it-yourself maintenance can repair damage, improve property appearance and eliminate the costly and often inconvenient process of hiring and managing a contractor. 

Professional grade driveway resurfacing products are now available for homeowners at home centers like Home Depot and hardware stores nationwide. These professional grade products are easy to apply, can improve driveway traction and make virtually any driveway look brand new.

To restore the rich black color of an asphalt driveway in one easy coat, homeowners need to select a premium driveway resurfacing product rather than a driveway sealer. The best known product in this class is the Henry 532 Driveway Resurfacer, a no-stir black gel that is applied with a squeegee and has a six-year stay-black warranty. 

Be sure to follow all included instructions on any resurfacing product, and select products that have the application steps printed on the package. Follow these basic steps for a perfect driveway resurfacing job. 
 

How can you tell your lawn is thirsty?

Lawn Secrets from the Mow Master



(ARA) - Whether there’s midseason drought or a family vacation, keep your lawn green and healthy this summer with advice from John Deere’s “Mow Master” Bill Klutho. 

Q: When my town enforced water restrictions during last year’s drought, my lawn suffered. Besides moving to a rainforest, what can I do?
-- Wishing for Water

A: Dehydration can be a common problem, even if there isn’t a drought. Signs such as curling grass blades, a bluish-green color and footprinting (when you can see your footprints in the grass) mean your grass is thirsty. Most lawns need about an inch of water per week, wetting the soil about six inches deep. To measure watering time, put a mark one inch from the bottom of several plastic containers and spread them around the lawn. Clock the time it takes to reach the one-inch mark and water for that length of time in the future. And water in the morning so your lawn isn’t left wet overnight.

When dealing with drought, John Deere recommends following any water restrictions in your area and considering these tips:

* During short droughts, if the grass is still growing, mow on the high side and water infrequently, but deeply, to encourage a strong, deep root system. Watering just a little bit invites weeds to grow.

* Water thoroughly but efficiently, wasting no water on runoff. If the ground is dry and slow to absorb, turn off the water when runoff occurs, wait 30 minutes or more for the surface to dry, then water again. Continue the cycle until you reach saturation levels. 

* During severe drought, let your lawn go dormant. Your lawn can actually survive a few months without water and will recover quickly once rain returns. And if water shortages are common in your area, consider planting another breed of turf that is more drought-hardy than your current lawn.
 

Cuttings from evergreens or deciduous plants

Cuttings of Deciduous Plants" 

Hardwood cuttings are much more durable than softwood cuttings which is why hardwoods are the best technique for the home gardener. A deciduous plant is a plant that loses it’s leaves during the winter. All plants go dormant during the winter, but evergreens keep their foliage. Many people don’t consider Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Mountain Laurel evergreens, but they are. They are known as broad leaf evergreens. Any plant that completely loses it’s leaves is a deciduous plant. 

There are three different techniques for rooting cuttings of deciduous plants. Two methods for hardwood cuttings, and one for softwood cuttings.   In this article we are only going to discuss rooting cuttings using the hardwood methods.  If you are interested in softwood cuttings, you'll find a very informative article at http://www.freeplants.com

Of the two hardwood techniques is one better than the other? It depends on exactly what you are rooting, what the soil conditions are at your house, and what Mother Nature has up her sleeve for the coming winter. I have experienced both success and failure using each method. Only experimentation will determine what works best for you. Try some cuttings using each method.