Category Archives: Gardening

gardening

Where Can My Garden Grow?

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Not a lot of people are privileged to have a big land area to do gardening at home. However, it is fortunate to know that container gardening is available to cater indoor planting. Container gardening can also be done outdoors for those who want to keep close track of their plants and increase its mobility. Unlike regular gardening, you will be able to move your plants from one place to another.

Houses with small spaces can enjoy having varieties of flowers and even vegetables in their container gardens. These can be placed in different areas of the house such as patios and balconies. However, there are also some cons that should be considered to ensure a successful container garden. One of these is the mess that the soil leaves after you cultivate it. Homeowners can take care of this concern by cleaning it right away. Runoff water is another concern that should be taken care of otherwise it will drip and make the floors slippery.

Nevertheless, there are more advantages that homeowners can get from container gardening. Take a look at the following advantages that you can get from container gardening:

No Space Restrictions

Unlike regular gardening, you don’t need a huge space to be able to get all your shrubs, flowers and vegetables planted. You can also easily water them, watch them grow and move them from one space to another.

Increased Mobility

Container gardening allows you to move plants from one place to another. This increases mobility that can make you control the amount of sunlight that your plant receives. You can also move them in especially during winter seasons that is not possible with regular gardening.

Ideal for Beginners

Homeowners who have strong desires to learn the art of gardening can start with the basics of container gardens. This will broaden their knowledge and eventually can get to work in regular gardens.

Easy Selection of Plants

Container gardening will allow you to choose the kind of plants that you can use easily. You don’t have to continuously test the condition of soil like the traditional landscape gardening as you can get plants that are compatible with the current type of soil you have available.

Additional Beauty and Décor

People who pass by your house and see blooming flowers outside your window boxes will be amazed with the beauty it brings. Using different containers can also enhance the beauty inside and outside your home.

Container gardening is a great way to spend your leisure time. It is also a good chance for you to beautify your home. Although you may have limited space, you can enjoy looking at small shrubs that bear flowers when they bloom. You can also adjust the number of plants you want to get planted. Homeowners can also get these container gardens moved from one place to another easily. You can also enjoy organic vegetables once they bear produce.

Patio/Balcony

The patio or the balcony is an ideal place for you to put your container garden. This will give your plants adequate sunlight before you get them moved inside your house. If you plan to let your containers stay out in your balcony, make sure that the plants in your containers are ideal for warmer climates hence they will wither. Placing them in the patio or balcony will help beautify the exterior of your house.

Window Boxes

If you don’t have a balcony in your house, you can use window boxes instead. You can make a window box or get a sturdy wood that can hold plant containers. Be sure that is can hold the weight of the soil in your container. Putting plants in window boxes will allow it to receive sufficient sunlight. This will also add more beauty to your house as people will see additional decors just outside your window pane.

Hanging Containers

This is another option that you can take for your container garden. You can hang containers in the upper deck of your house just above your doorsteps. Plastic containers can be used for easy hanging. Make sure that you plant small shrubs or flowers as your hanging container might fall of due to the weight of the soil you use.

The Thrifty Gardener: Learning the Third Letter of the Environmental Mantra

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There are three letters in this popular mantra: Reduce – Reuse – Recycle. We are about to learn the depth of the third word, recycle. But read along and learn how all three can be applied in the basics of gardening.

Some of us might be a little hesitant to head out and make our own dream garden probably because we find it financially impractical. But hey, do you know that all we need are few tips and tricks to ignite our creativity and imagination? We can find them almost everywhere!

Creating a beautiful garden does not have to put a hole in our pockets. It is true that we can’t avoid spending for gardening materials, but it doesn’t mean that we have to be extravagant when making choices on what to purchase. With these simple tips, we will surely enjoy our simple nature-loving hobby without emptying our wallets.

  • Start up by gathering some sources. Find helpful tips and suggestions in the internet, magazines, books, or from people who are experienced in gardening.
  • A lot of unused household items can be recycled for functional and decorative purposes in the garden. Look around the house. It would be an excellent idea if you can use anything that you can find within your surroundings. This would mean that you don’t need to spend extra cash in buying things that are already present in your own backyard.
  • It’s okay to use second-hand gardening equipment (like pots and tools) which you can get from thrifty shops. However, if you plan to buy new materials make sure to have store options for comparison of prices.
  • Plastic bottles are recently on the top spot of every gardener’s recycled tool. They happen to be very useful as pots and watering containers. Besides, bottle garden seem to be trending nowadays.
  • “Garden bling” are those that add color and fun to a garden. Unused CDs and aluminum plates are also useful as reflective objects, which can also help in scaring birds if you don’t want them anywhere near your garden.
  • If you love seeing birds in your backyard; recycled lumber or wood, cans, and other household cast-offs that can be used as bird cages.
  • Garden fences can be made out of scrap wood. Make it look vibrant by applying some paint.
  • You can use different rocks and form them into stepping stones or mosaics. For garden paths, the easiest available materials are broken concretes. Lay the pieces together like a puzzle or create patterns depending on your interest.
  • If you are a beginner, plan out easy and simple gardening strategies. What’s important is that you take time to figure out something attainable so that you won’t end up frustrated and empty-handed. It takes creativity and resourcefulness to make your dream garden a reality.

Gardeners are believed to be creative people. More than being nurturing individuals, gardeners are also practical in terms of their resources. The act of recycling in the world of gardening plays a vital role in the conservation of the environment.

Who would ever think that the 3R-mantra (Reduce – Reuse – Recycle) would be this efficient? We have fun, we learn, and most of all we become productive people by practicing these simple tips. So what are we waiting for? Let’s build our own dream garden now!

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

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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

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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!