Now You Can Achieve A Low-Maintenance Gardening In Victorville Without Compromising Quality

by ,

There’s no other perfect time to start landscaping projects than in fall. Why? It is because when you build it during the fall season, the soil is still warm which is perfect for the plants to flourish just in time for spring. It is also the ideal time to prepare your lawn for its dormant season in winter. Doing a landscaping project is one of the best ways to welcome and embrace the change brought by this season. Of course, before you start, as per the basic guidelines suggest, you should already have a well-designed plan, a realistic budget, and had taken the time to ask local experts for advice.

Furthermore, above all else, it’s paramount that you were able to collect all necessary information for your landscaping in Victorville, California. Also, not to forget about preparing all necessary paper works that you’ll need for this project, scour shops and the internet for the latest and greatest photos of landscaping design inspirations that you wish to have. All of this stuff should fit in your budget with guaranteed high-quality results.

Now, you have to think about this as a long-term investment and it will certainly require maintenance, especially the gardening phase. You definitely wouldn’t want your landscaping to look like a wasteland of dead plants or like someone just built it to disappoint the neighbors, right? That’s why you have to pay great attention to maintenance. On the other hand, maintenance doesn’t have to be expensive – you can still achieve a low-maintenance gardening with high-quality results. Here’s how:

 

Front Yard Meadow

What to do with that green space in your front yard? Make a meadow out of it. Given the arid climate in Victorville, creating a colorful front yard meadow with large planting beds that are filled with highly drought-tolerant natives would be a perfect option. This idea can help lighten your gardening workload such as mowing since you’re allowing space for the plants and grass to thrive as well as the wildlife to rise.

Having a meadow-like setting for your gardening has high regards for water conservation since it is supported by an efficient water system – a drip irrigation. This irrigation system is advantageous because there is little water loss due to evaporation and it’s highly operative at supplying one to four gallons of water per hour directly to the soil.

A front yard meadow requires lesser water for the plants to flourish as well mowing sessions compared to traditional lawn maintenance.

 

Low-Water Use Landscape

The high desert communities promote water conservation and efficient water system to help preserve their resource. Being a member of the said community, Victorville greatly promotes gardeners as well as landscape contractors to have designed a low-water use landscape and implement it. It’s important that you, along with your landscape contractor or architect, have developed a well thought out plan considering factors that may influence the design, conservation of water, selection of plant material, and appropriate maintenance.

Moreover, it’s equally imperative that a site analysis should be done to ensure that everything will fall into its proper place including the practical turf areas, spreading of mulches and the installation of an efficient irrigation system for the entire garden. Innovatively planning a landscape that conserves water is absolutely one way to save from maintenance.

 

Easy Care Front Yard

Determining the ideal plants to use for your garden is a must. Remember, you just can’t plant anything and anywhere you want in your space – you have to plant according to plan. When you select plants, especially if you want to achieve a low-maintenance garden, then opt for easy care plantings and front yard.

If you have an existing hardscape, you can have it removed and create a curved stone path through your courtyard and add low-maintenance plantings on both sides of the area. Plant natives, drought-tolerant plants, and perennials that require minimal care in order to thrive.

Examples of high desert native plants for Victorville:
• Western Serviceberry – deciduous shrub with fall color
• Great Basin Sagebrush – fragrant desert native with attractive gray foliage
• Desert Lavender – aromatic leaves and lavender flowers
• Desert Holly – beautiful desert native

 

Utilize Grid Plantings Of Cacti And Grass

Low-maintenance gardening can be taken up a notch with grid plantings. Make a bed using Mexican beach pebbles (or any pebbles of your choice, or you can even use gravel), and place it on either right or left side of the walkway or driveway. Visualize a grid throughout the left or right area and plant with barrel cacti.

Or if you desire, you can have this landscape design on both sides of the walkway or driveway. The maintenance for this technique only requires occasional watering and cutting back on the grass at least once a year. The secret here is to apply the pebbles in a thick layer of mulch in order to discourage weeds from popping as well as to retain moisture.

 

Go Lawn-Free

Yes, landscaping looks totally appealing when it’s covered with luscious, green and healthy lawn. However, it requires proper maintenance which can be a handful and not mention, it can cost you more. On the other hand, a landscaping project can also be good even if you go lawn-free. The question is, how? The answer is simple, trade your lawn for gravel and succulents.

Lawns demand time, money and water supply. Of course, it also requires regular mowing. Now, you can reduce maintenance when you spread gravel and succulents on your area instead of planting grass seed or using artificial turf. You can save time and you can still add features out of the money you can save.

 

Plump For Perennials

Every landscaping and gardening need a pop of color and it can be achieved by planting flowers or shrubs. Some resolve to using plug plants for instant results, however, it’s not highly effective. Don’t let your garden be deprived of color and settle for shortcuts, instead, plump for perennials that thrive well in Victorville.

In the high desert community, including this city in California, perennials are considered to be a garden’s salvation. Planting perennials in fall can guarantee that it will come back perfectly in spring. Another thing about perennials is that when you plant them once, these live-forever stalwarts go on year after year. Given this, perennials can help you reduce maintenance.

 

In Summary

Gardening plays a crucial part in the overall outcome of your landscaping. Now, expensive and high-profile maintenance are not necessary just to keep your project luscious, healthy and most of all, appealing. Taking these ideas we’ve mentioned above in consideration when transforming your lawn into a magical garden. Low maintenance gardening also means saving up money, time and effort.
Although, it may be quite a handful but you just have to take one step at a time and stick to your plan as to avoid any mistakes or major alterations that could greatly affect the process as a whole. You can ask assistance from your family members or neighbor and friends if you need a hand, it would be so much fun to tag someone along on your project. Besides, you can ask them for opinions to make it your landscaping and gardening a whole lot better.

Guard Your Garden From Invaders: 5 Ways To Sort Out Annoying Pests

by ,

One fine morning, you were walking along your garden and you suddenly saw pests creeping in and out of your lot and worse, you found out that your crops have already been damaged. Probably, your initial reaction is to smash every single one of them and you’ll end up devastated of what happened to the fruits of your labor. Well, no one could blame you – if it happens to anyone, they would have the same reaction. It is easier to think about crushing them with your own bare hands just to end their acts of cruelty. However, it is not as easy as it seems – they also come in numbers, so you better prepare for it big time.

 

Now, while some resort to pesticides or insecticides to do the job fast, you can still opt for the natural way. Using organic or natural ways to get rid of these pesky pests are not only proven-effective but it’s also safe. Pesticides or insecticides may contain harmful chemicals that may affect the growth of your plants or crops and in some cases, it may cause them to wither and die. You wouldn’t want that to happen, right? So here are the five major pesky pests and how to sort them out organically.

1. Snails

snail

 

Snails are the most common and troublesome garden pests. They may be small in size but they can create huge problems to gardeners like you. These slimy pests chew through the tender leaves of plants and at worst, it will kill your plants. Its closest family, the slugs, are also culprits so you better watch out.

What to do:

  • Beer pan trap – snails are attracted to beer, hence you can use this as a trap. Place beer in a shallow pan and leave it out overnight. Snails will be drawn to the trap and drown.
  • Grits – sprinkle gritty substances like crushed egg shells, sand or diatomaceous earth around the plants in your garden. This will injure them and eventually kill them.
  • Barriers – the use of barriers like copper wire, Vaseline, or any other stuff that snails hate could help repel them from your plants.
  • Water in the morning – always remember to water your plants in the morning. These slimy buggers become less active when the soil is dry at night.

2. Aphids

aphids

 

Aphids are tiny, pear-shaped critters which can usually be found hanging out on fruits, vegetables, flowers, and in trees. These pests cause foliage to distort and leaves to drop by sucking plant sap. It feeds on new plant growth, attacking the leaves, stems, flowers, buds and roots, and at the same time, it spreads viral diseases to the plants causing it to die.

What to do:

  • Use a strong spray of water hose to get rid of the aphids off the plants. Do this every day until there are no more signs of these pesky critters.
  • Make repellent sprays which contain pepper or garlic and spray it on the leaves of the infested plants. Aside from that, a repellent spray made out of orange or lemon rind mixed with boiling water is the way to go. Reapply as long as the aphids exist.
  • Plant onions or garlic around infested plants – the smell repels the aphids.

3. Caterpillars

caterpillar

 

Before they transform into beautiful butterflies, caterpillars cause garden problems first. They feed on the leaves or along margins of fruits, vegetables, ornamentals, and shade trees. It even tunnels into fruits, causing it to rot from the inside. Some prefer to hand pick these pests but it’s inefficient and time-consuming.

What to do:

  • Spray the foliage of your plants with neem oil. You might also want to try Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) powder to dust plant foliage. It’s a natural bacteria that can effectively kill caterpillars but does not pose any harm against plants or other beneficial insects.
  • Use rigid collar to surround your plants – you can use toilet paper roll or plastic cups. This will ward off unwanted caterpillars.
  • Take a cardboard and place it around the base of your plants and leave it overnight. This makes it easier to capture caterpillars lurking under the board, so make sure to check it in the morning.
  • Plant herbs like lavender, mugwort and peppermint around your plants to repel caterpillars.

4. Japanese Beetles

japanese-beetle

Source: www.almanac.com

Japanese beetles are small bugs but they are one of the major insect pests that cause huge damage to crops. Adult Japanese beetles feed on leaves, flowers and it defoliates plants while its larvae feed on plant roots.

What to do:

  • In the morning, put down a drop cloth and shake the off the plants. Then, soak them in a bucket of soapy water to terminate them.
  • Apply floating row covers to protect your plants from Japanese beetles.
  • To prevent the threat of Japanese beetles, you can use milky spore (a natural powder) that kills larvae before it can mature. It may take a year or two for the spore to become established in your soil, but it definitely provides long-lasting and effective results.

5. Cabbage Maggots

cabbage maggot

Source: www.agr.gc.ca

These pestsstick to cabbage-family crops, especially to Chinese cabbages according to experts. It kills plants by penetrating in the roots of plants and creating entryways for disease organisms. Cabbage maggots are very destructive which is why you have to pay attention to it if you have cabbage in your garden.

What to do:

  • To prevent cabbage maggots from destroying your crops, it’s important that you control the cabbage root fly from getting in your garden. To do this, place row covers over plants during spring.
  • Apply parasitic nematodes to the roots of your plants to avoid maggots from tunneling.
  • In cases where cabbage maggots have already penetrated in the roots, you have to destroy the crops to prevent them from returning. Burn roots from harvested plants and place a pile of wood ashes or red pepper dust around stems.

Overall, dealing with your garden’s pesky pests using organic method is not that difficult to do and you don’t have to look further or spend a lot of money for it. You can even find most of them in your own kitchen! They key factor here is patience and before you know it, those pesky pests are no longer causing any trouble in your garden, yay!

How to Grow Parsley in Your Herb Seed Garden

by ,

 

3794151391_245cfb57ed_bWhether you have a small garden or a large balcony you may enjoy the pleasure of having your own parsley culture because you can learn how to cultivate it. If you are interested in the idea of always having fresh parsley all you need is a pot with wide mouth, some herb seeds and a bag of topsoil. It’s a very simple and a very pleasant way to have your own source of parsley at home. It is always fresh, green and chemical free.

Herb Seeds Grown Organically

Cultivating parsley is one of the simplest occupations!

This herb is a biennial aromatic plant. It is a general tonic, a powerful antioxidant and a purifier for the body. It is rich in vitamins, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, copper, amino acid and chlorophyll. The one which is grown in pots can have exceptional flavor if you follow few steps that will ensure optimal conditions for the plant.

Parsley seeds can be sown directly into the pot from early March until August.
The germination period is relatively long, so that the first shoots appear after two or three weeks. There is a solution for stimulating the germination: soak the seeds in water for a few hours before sowing them.
The seeds should be planted about 1 inch deep and they should be evenly distributed over the surface. Cover them with a thin layer of finely ground, possibly strained or mixed with clean sand.

Parsley germinates at a temperature between 5 and 20ºC . The plant is very resistant to low temperatures, but it can hardly bear frost.

A pot with 5 inch diameter, but taller, is suitable for growing this aromatic plant. It can sit on the kitchen windowsill, but in a place that does not get direct sunlight, parsley preferring a relatively shaded spot.

It should be watered constantly and the soil from the pot should not be allowed to completely dry again, because the leaves will soon turn yellow and the harvest will be compromised.

You will have fresh parsley for 4-7 months, depending on the soil quality, the intake of light and the quality of seeds.

The leaves can be harvested in about a month after sowing. If you pick the leaves in the first period, parsley bush will thicken and it will be not only useful but also decorative.

Parsley (officially named crispum) is a part of the carrot family and is native to southern Europe, being used by the Romans and Greeks as a medicinal plant. Parsley grown under organic conditions (which is something you can easily do, in the garden or in pots) is very rich in vitamins A, C and B, contains calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and iodine, and a number of unique antioxidants with antitumor properties.

How to Enclose Your Backyard with a Vertical Garden

by ,

Building a vertical garden provides homeowners with an opportunity to be surrounded with lush greenery, thereby improving the scenery and air quality of their backyard.

Many homeowners are weary of building vertical gardens, simply due to a misconception that vertical gardens are difficult to build. In actuality, these unique gardens can be designed and built with relative ease.

The Building Process

The actual process of building a vertical garden incorporates building a frame, Attaching a liner to the frame, providing a plant environment fabric and creating an irrigation system.

Building a Frame

Elbows and four way joints made of 3/4 inch PVC will be used to create a solid frame that can then be attached to any preexisting fence. If you plan on having your vertical garden frame cover the height of your fence, you can easily use the same measurements as your fence. However, it’s suggested that you stop 4 to 6 inches below the top of your fence, to prevent overgrowth. To build the frame, simply cut PVC pipes to length and attach to the joints and elbows.

Attaching a Liner to the Frame

A sheet of plastic will need to be attached to the frame. It’ll provide protection, once the entire frame has been attached to your wood fence. Additionally, a plastic liner will will provide proper backing once, the fabric has been attached.

Providing a Fabric Plant Environment

Once you have the plastic liner in place, it’s time to attach a fabric to the frame. The fabric will become home to your plants, for this reason, it’s imperative that the fabric chosen can hold water and that it will be free from developing rot.

carpet-paddingIf you’re uncertain as to which type of fabric would be best, you can consult a nearby hardware or garden center.

However, there are several types of fabrics that can safely be used, including standard carpet padding.

Cut and attach three layers of fabric with stainless steel staples. After staples are in place, add galvanized screws for additional durability. While attaching the fabric, be sure to stretch the fabric so that it’s firm.

Creating an Irrigation System

The greatest challenge for vertical gardens is keeping plats irrigated, yet not soaked. By placing an irrigation system at the top of the frame, you’ll be able to ensure proper watering. The irrigation system will actually be providing water to the fabric, the plat roots will will pull water from the fabric so that they can flourish.

A simple irrigation system can be made using poly tubing with locking fittings. You’ll need to have a timer installed that can release water for 15 seconds every four hours, for a total of 6 drippings.

Though this may seem like minimal watering, you’ll have to keep in mind that the fabric is remaining wet, thereby providing plant life with a consistent amount of water. To keep plants healthy, you can add liquid fertilizer with a fertilizer injector, available at most garden shops.

Attaching Your Vertical Garden Frame to Your Fence

The frame can be attached to your fence with brackets. When attaching frame, be sure to use stainless steel screws and brackets to avoid rust. Once the frame is secured, attach the irrigation system at the top of the frame to allow consistent water delivery to your new vertical garden.

Picking Out Your Vertical Garden Plants

When choosing vertical garden plants, keep in mind that native plants will always thrive in your environment. If you want to expand beyond your locally grown plants, follow planting basic guidelines to ensure successful growing.

sunlight-over-plants

The best way to achieve this is to pick out plants that can handle environmental demands. For desert climates, you’ll want plants that can handle direct sunlight, high heat temperatures and cold nights.

How to Insert Plants into a Vertical Garden

Inserting the plant can be done by cutting a horizontal slice into the fabric material and placing the plant inside of the sliced area. Prior to inserting the plant, you’ll need to nock the majority of dirt off of the roots. Once the plant is within the fabric, attach the fabric to the plastic lining with stainless steel staples. Use staples to secure the roots by making a half circle around the plant roots.

How to Design a Plant Layout for a Vertical Garden

Garden Design Blueprint SketchingThere are a few choices when designing a plant layout.

You can plant several varieties that will grow to the same thickness, thereby requiring the same amount of expansion.

However, one plant layout that’ll expand your variety, is placing thick plants that will protrude from the wall by a foot to two feet at the top of your wall.

Doing this, will provide shading underneath, allowing you to plant several plant types that typically prefer shade.

How to Care for a Vertical Garden

Caring for your vertical garden is simplistic, as the irrigation system will do most of the work. However, you will need to occasionally add liquid nutrients through an injector. The timeline between fertilization will depend on the plants chosen. The best gauge, is to look for signs of poor health.

Often, people will want to spray a vertical garden wall, this isn’t necessary and doing so, can potentially damage the plants. If you absolutely must, keep it at a mist and only mist the wall for a matter of seconds.