Gardening

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Trees are a big part of your garden, they need specific care.

Tree Pruning Tips 

There are two kinds of winter gardening. The first method usually starts in January as the gardening catalogs begin to arrive in the mail. This type of gardening is as easy and sitting in your favorite chair, browsing the catalogs, and either dreaming about what you're going to do this spring, or actually drawing designs for the gardens you intend to work on. 

The second type of winter gardening is to actually get out in the yard and do a little work. Of course if it's bitter cold, you'd be better off waiting for a good day. Winter is a good time to do some pruning if the temperatures are around 30 degrees or so. I don't recommend pruning if it's considerably below freezing because the wood is brittle and will shatter when you make a cut. 

One of the advantages of pruning during the winter is that you can see much better what needs to be cut out and what should stay. At least that's true with deciduous plants. The other advantage is that the plants are dormant, and won't mind you doing a little work on them. 

Ornamental trees should pruned to remove competing branches. Weeping Cherries, Flowering Dogwoods, Flowering Crabapples etc. have a tendency to send branches in many different directions. It is your job to decide how you want the plant to look, and then start pruning to achieve that look. 
 
 

Rooting Cutting Secrets

The Secret of Rooting Cuttings 
 
 The secret of rooting cuttings can be summed up in two words.

 "Timing and technique". 

When you do your cuttings is every bit as important as how you do them. So if you do the right thing, at the right time of the year, your efforts are sure to bring success. Through this article you will learn both. 

"Rooting Hardwood 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 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. 

 

Conserving water in your garden

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. 
 

RE: Lawn Secrets

Lawn Secrets from the Mow Master

 

Q: It's hot! Besides regulating my watering, is there anything special I should be doing this summer?
-- Lawn Lover

A: While using fertilizer is most important in the spring and fall, warm-season grass, such as Bermuda, thrives in hot weather and would benefit from a summer feeding. With enough water, the grass will be encouraged to grow, causing it to eat more and requiring you to keep more fertilizer on hand. But if your lawn is dormant because of a drought, there's no need to feed.

As for mowing, remember that different types of grass require different cutting heights. Cool-season grasses should be cut at 3 1/2 inches, while warm-season grasses are cut at 2 inches. Always follow the One-Third Rule and cut only the top one-third of the grass plant. And even though it's hot, continue to dress safely for mowing: Wear long pants, a tucked-in shirt and good shoes with lots of traction. Some riding mowers are even designed for you to easily attach a shade canopy or an oscillating fan to protect you from the sun and heat. Make sure to drink plenty of water and rest frequently so you stay healthy along with your lawn.
 
 

No garden? No problems...

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.
 

Treat your driveway well and it will make your whole house look good.

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

 

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. 

1. Clean Driveway: Sweep off dust, dirt and loose stones. Remove grass and weeds from edges and cracks. Scrub oil and grease spots with soap and a stiff wire brush. Rinse and let dry. 

2. Repair Minor Damage: Remove loose debris, fill surface voids to just above the pavement surface, tap down and allow patches to cure. Cracks and holes (up to 1/2" wide) should be filled with Henry Crack Filler and Henry 304 Patching Mix should be used for areas with significant damage (1/2” to 2" wide). 

3. Resurface and Seal: The weather must generally be warmer than 50 degrees and dry for two straight days. Starting in the morning, mist the driveway and sweep away excess water. Apply Henry 532 with a squeegee only -- not a brush or roller -- and push excess gel into cracks and holes. Wait 48 hours minimum before driving on coating. 
Read all the products instructions, call (800) 598-7663 or visit www.Henry.com for driveway resurfacing ideas, how-to guides and information on quality products.
 

How gardening enthusiasts cope with allergies.

The Allergy Sufferers’ Guide to Gardening

 

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

Check the Pollen Count -- Avoid gardening between 5:00 and 10:00 a.m., when pollen levels are at their highest. Visit www.benadrylusa.com daily to check the pollen count in your local area.

What’s the Weather? -- Avoid spending time in the garden when it is windy outside. The wind stirs up pollen and spreads it throughout the garden, which can exasperate your allergies.

Arm Yourself -- Allergy sufferers should have a proven effective medicine, such as Benadryl Allergy, on hand to relieve their worst symptoms like sneezing, coughing, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose and itchy throat.

Protect Yourself -- Wearing a mask and protective goggles when gardening will help protect your mouth and eyes from coming in contact with allergens in the air, such as tree, weed and grass pollens.

Use the Right Plants -- Avoid using plants that have small flowers; they tend to produce more pollen. Try using tulips, begonias, roses or daffodils. Refrain from using male trees and shrubs in your garden since they are the only sex that produces pollen. Consult your local gardening shop to determine if a plant is male or female.

Water Frequently -- Regularly water the garden’s soil to keep allergens from rising. Also, replace straw with black plastic mulch, rocks or gravel.

Wash Away Allergens -- After spending time in the garden, be sure to thoroughly rinse your hands, clothes and hair. Allergens from outside can easily be carried into your home continuing to aggravate your allergies.