Author Archives: Tris

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

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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!

Las Vegas Landscaping for Businesses

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Las Vegas is one of the most well known cities in the country and when people think of this great city they know that everything is over the top and sensational.

To get your business any attention in this city you have to be equally impressive. This is why Las Vegas landscaping Design has some of the most beautiful and iconic properties in the world.

For many larger businesses in this city which need to attract business from tourism it is a requirement to an outstanding first impression. Naturally, the landscaping of a business will be one of the first things people see when they walk or drive by so this is an important part of your business.

Fortunately, there are many Las Vegas landscaping companies which are available to assist you with every step of the planning and implementation of your landscape. Since there are so many amazing businesses in this area most landscapers are very experienced in providing cutting edge, top of the line planning and design.

There are many ways to really make your business stand out with its landscaping.

Many places use waterfalls and ponds because it provides great contrast to the dry surrounding areas. Others will focus on extraordinarily bright and vivid colored plants to draw attention.

No matter what type of style or theme you choose to go with it is important to also look at the surrounding businesses in the area. If those businesses have beautiful landscaping as well it is important to either go with a style which will complement theirs (and therefore theirs compliments yours) or go for a totally different look which will help you stand out.

Working With Professional Landscape Design Companies

Las Vegas landscapers is a lot like working with a talented artist because they are truly taking what many would see as a dull and boring area and using it as a canvass.

Once they begin putting their creative ideas into place your business will go from dry and drab to an eye catching and exciting area which is sure to draw in visitors. While it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of the planning and design phase of your landscaping project, it is important to remember that after it is in place it needs to be properly maintained. Las Vegas landscape management can be a full time job because some of the plants need daily watering and frequent pruning to stay healthy and vibrant.

It is possible to do the maintenance yourself but most businesses choose to hire a company to manage their landscape on an ongoing basis. Getting an estimated service fee for this before approving a final landscape design is important to ensure you
stay within your annual budget. When you hire a professional landscaping company it is important to work closely with them to ensure you have input on the final results. Their expertise will help creating the majority of the design but it is important that your personal creative touch is included as well so your business keeps its identity intact.

How to Become a Las Vegas Landscaper

Many people love working with plants and other landscaping materials and may want to look into getting into the landscaping industry. It’s a little more difficult than simply enjoying gardening and if you want to make a career out of it, there’s a
lot to know. First, it’s important to note that
Las Vegas landscapers are often considered some of the best in the world.

Many homes and businesses, especially casinos, require incredibly complex landscapes to help draw in customers and the landscapers are happy to do this. Since there is a lot of competition it is unlikely that you will be able to just walk right in and start your own company without building a reputation first. Most people will want to start working for a
landscaping company so they can work their way up. Working for a landscaping company at first may be a lot of grunt work involving the actual implementation of other people’s designs. This can be hard work but it’s also a great opportunity to
get new and innovative ideas from experts in the industry.

During this initial phase of your career, make sure you are learning all you can about both how the plants can look and live together and also the best ways to implement landscaping ideas. Many people will not want to go through the initial phases
of their career because of how much work it is but there is really no better way to get the valuable experience than getting your hands down in the dirt. After you’ve established yourself with a company, you can tell the management that you’d like
to help with designing landscapes. They will likely welcome your input and offer a lot of advice.

Most landscapers will be more than happy to look at your ideas and provide constructive criticism. At this point, make sure you don’t get offended if someone doesn’t like your ideas. Take their opinions and try to improve your designs. Being seen
as a team player and willing to accept suggestions so you can improve will go a long way to help build your reputation.

With a lot of hard work and patents you’ll be able to soon be designing your own custom landscapes. Most designers start off with small residential projects and work their way up into businesses as their career progresses.

Residential landscaping can have a lot of different challenges but none are bigger than having to work with the customers. Nearly every customer will want to help with the designing since it is for their home. It’s important to listen to their suggestions and
implement them where ever possible.

If there is a reason you can’t do one particular work with one of their ideas, take a moment to explain why.

Most residential customers will either tell their friends about you or tell them that they did not like you. Word of mouth is one of the most important forms of advertising for any Las Vegas landscaper and this is especially true for one who is
new to the business.

How to Grow Parsley in Your Herb Seed Garden

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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

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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.