It may still be chilly, cold and wet outside, but there are plenty of things you can do to prepare your garden before spring arrives.
Plants and bulbs may be laying dormant, but as the days grow longer and the earth begins to warm up things are stirring underground. It may be too late to plant spring bulbs for this year, but other plants and shrubs can be looked after and when it's raining cats and dogs you can also use the time to tidy the shed, make sure your tools are ready for use or even build a new compost bin.
In this infographic we offer ideas and tips on how to prepare your garden ready for spring. We take a look at a variety of gardening related chores that could, and should, be carried out prior to your garden bursting into life.
We've also included suggestions for flowers that will provide colour to your borders, along with ideas for mapping out your garden and planning a seed graph; both of which can be carried out indoors, so there's no excuses for inclement weather putting a dampener on your garden projects.
Read on to find out what you can do to prepare your garden ready for the start of spring and into the warmer months.
As summer is at an end it's never been a better time to make a rooftop garden. the weather conditions are ideal, as there's not much risk of plants dying or drying out from lack of water, unless you forget to water them during any unforeseen dry spells. At this time of year occasional frosts are rare, which gives plants time to start growing before Jack frost nibs at their tender leaves.
This infographic offers some fabulous rooftop garden inspiration for those new to gardening, including hints and tips of what needs to be done before you rush off to the garden centre to start purchasing plants. We've also included drainage ideas, tips for selecting the right type of plants for your rooftop area and choosing the correct type of compost or soil to suit the growing conditions and your plants.
You don't want to be spending your valuable spare time weeding and pruning so we've also included some advice of plant care and maintenance.
To give you a flavour of the potential end results the infographic includes some of the most amazing rooftop gardens from around the world. Believe us, you'll be astounded and inspired!
Read on, and start planning and preparing your own fabulous rooftop garden this weekend.
The trend for decking has grown immensely in recent years, mostly due to its sleek and luxurious look and low-maintenance factor once installed. Home decking can really transform your outdoor space into a desirable area where you can relax, entertain and generally just get outside more and escape to your very own haven.
When it comes to decking styles, composite decking is particularly a winner due to its recycled content and numerous benefits compared to wood decking. If you’re after a low-maintenance solution for your garden renovation, composite decking requires the least amount of maintenance and effort and isn’t as harsh on the environment, with up to 40% of the materials being recycled materials.
When putting the plans together for your decking, there are plenty of factors to consider and it can become quite a challenge when making those big decisions. The below infographic from 4everdeck outlines the key benefits of decking and the main factors you should consider when putting your home renovation plans together. Enjoy!
Summer time means firing up the grill and inviting your friends over for a great barbecue. However, most of the time unexpected guests end up crashing the party.
No, we are not talking about your in-laws. It is the pesky bugs who enjoy a great bash in your BBQ party. But you can take comfort in knowing that there are ways to deal with gnats, mosquitoes, flies and other notorious bugs. And it doesn’t involve engaging in chemical warfare or covering yourself with sticky sprays.
For going outdoors and having fun, all you need to do is strategically plant insect-repelling plants on your patio or the garden. The essential oil of these plants is a natural bug repellent and is a chemical free pest control solution, something insects tend to avoid. Furthermore, you can even use most of these plants to create your natural bug repellent.
Besides making the landscape more beautiful and attractive, the peculiar smell that marigolds have repels mosquitoes and insects. You can get a seed or a potted marigold plant from floral department or nursery. Make sure to plant the marigolds near the entry points, where mosquitoes drop in like windows, doors, balcony, and deck.
The basil helps in repelling mosquitoes and houseflies. Place the basil in a pot near the door of your home and especially in the outdoor area where you often relax. Do you know basil is delicious and makes salads appetizing? It is used in various chicken and pork recipes and even in soups too.
With fresh basil, you can make an insect repellent spray. All you need is 4 ounces of hot water and 5 or 7 ounces of fresh and clean basil leaves. Add the basil leaves to the hot water and allow it to steep for many hours. Then you need to remove the leaves and squeeze all the moisture from the leaves. Add vodka to the mixture and store it in the refrigerator. When going out to the garden, spray it on the plants.
One of the common ingredients used in insect repellents is citronella. The presence of the strong smell makes it one of the best mosquito attractants. This perennial clumping grass grows 6 to 7 feet. You can keep it in a huge pot or plant it in the ground. The citronella plant thrives in areas where there are good drainage and best sunlight.
Lavender helps in repelling fleas, moths, mosquitoes and flies. For centuries, it has been used to provide pleasant and sweet fragrance to clothes drawers and homes. Even though humans like the smell of lavender; flies, mosquitoes and other unwanted insects avoid it.
Make sure to plant the lavender in the sunny area of your garden or at the entryways of your house. This will ensure that you have a pest-free home. Also, you can use the oil extracted from the lavender flower as a mosquito repellent. Just apply it on your skin when you are going to the garden or lawn.
Plants belonging to the Allium family like the dramatic Allium giganteum stalk up to about 6 feet. They are regarded as one of the best natural insecticides. They help in repelling various pests and insects like aphids, slugs, cabbage worms and carrot flies which often plague your vegetable garden.
Peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes, kohlrabi, carrots, and broccoli are the plants that get the benefit from this pest repellant. Also, the allium helps in keeping the aphids away from rose bushes.
6) Lemon Thyme
If you want a plant that can repel mosquitoes, then try the lemon thyme. This is a handy herb which adapts to all kinds of shallow and rocky soil. It will thrive well in your rock garden, herb garden and even on the front border as long as there is enough sunlight.
One particular characteristic of this plant is that it will repel pesky mosquitoes but with a little bit of assistance. To release its chemical, you need to bruise the leaves. To do that just cut off a few of its stem and rub them on your hands.
7) Lemon Balm
The aroma of lemon balm (aka horsemint) helps in warding off mosquitoes. However, it attracts various pollinators like butterflies and bees. Furthermore, this plant is one of the fast growing and drought resistant plant which reseeds itself.
Mint plant is often used for repelling mosquitoes. It is best if you grow it in pots as it will spread aggressively if planted in the soil. Once they get established, then it is quite difficult to remove them. Cutting mint in the mulch will save cabbage, broccoli, and turnips from pest attacks.
It is often used to repel ants, roaches, ticks, Japanese beetles, fleas, lice, silverfish, spider mites, bedbugs, root-knot nematodes, harlequin bugs and other harmful insects. The ingredient pyrethrum is commonly found in chrysanthemums is an effective insect repellant.
Since the pyrethrum can destroy jumping and flying insects, they are often used in US homes and gardens as insecticides. Also, they are used in pet shampoos, indoor sprays, and even aerosol bombs. So, you need to be cautious while using them in any form.
The petunias plant repels tomato hornworms, aphids, leafhoppers, asparagus beetles, and even squash bugs. Many people think of the petunias as one of the best and natural pesticides. As they are available in various bright colors, they are quite famous. Also, it requires less maintenance and can grow in containers, garden beds and hanging baskets.
Various pest repellant plants help in keeping deadly insects away from your lawn and garden. So, next time when you reach for a chemical bug spray, think again. Take a minute and think about the harmful chemicals you are going to inject to your plants. Instead, you can take the nature’s arsenal for fighting these destructive pests.
Hi! I’m Angela from nycitypestcontrol.com and I write, curate, and get in touch with people who are active in the pest control arena. At NYCity, we are always at the forefront of finding new and innovative methods to control insect and rodent infestations without excessive collateral damage.
A complete celebration of everything that’s green and good, the Royal Horticultural Society’s Chelsea Flower Show is just around the corner. As green-fingered gardening aficionados descend on the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, we’ve uncovered something we think you’ll love: the ‘winning formula’ for a successful show garden.
Just how do those RHS judges decide who gets a gong and doesn’t? Outdoor furniture experts OKA seek to answer this question – they’ve analysed some of the best winners of the past few years to come up with the 4 key elements a garden needs if it’s to get those judges ticking their boxes. Take a look. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to turn your own garden into a Chelsea paradise!
As the world’s best-known horticultural event, the Chelsea Flower Show is a must for anyone who’s interested in plants, flowers and outdoor architecture. Featuring some of the leading garden designers on the planet, this year’s theme is Wellbeing, with RHS ambassador Jekka McVicar’s stunning Modern Apothecary Garden the centrepiece.
With just a few days to go to the event, find out everything you need to know about the Chelsea Flower Show, from dates and location details to how to get your hands on tickets and even what to wear, here.
This infographic from Capital Garden Services, explains how to create an eco-friendly garden. It outlines the detrimental effect unnatural substances have on your garden and the environment and describes the steps you need to take to create your very own eco-friendly garden.
If you have an organic garden in your home, it is wise to provide adequate care for it even during winter season. After all, you have likely spent a great deal of effort on it and the last thing you want is to see it ruined during the cold months.
To benefit from the wonders of organic gardening again next growing season, you should certainly take some steps to winterise your garden. Sufficient garden care will ensure that your soil and plants gets through the cold weather with ease and that you can once again revel in joy of growing and looking after your vegetables and everything else you have decided to plant. You need to give your gardening efforts a head start, and going through each of these steps will enable that:
Start by clearing up the place
A successful growing season has likely resulted in a great deal of plants. What you need to do is clear the place of all crops that are lying around. Collect all of the spent plants. Be thorough in your efforts, otherwise the plants may attract pests, and that is not something you want. As you collect all debris from your garden, be sure to use them for composting and never just throw them away. Such garden clearance is not only highly beneficial, but also needed.
Pay some attention to your soil
Once you have taken care of clearing the plants, it is time to turn the soil and test it to ensure its state is pleasing. Knowing the pH of your soil and its mineral content can give you a clear clue on whether or not it needs to be improved in any way.
Consider a cover crop
Planting cover crops holds many benefits. All gardening experts agree that they introduce ground protection as well as important organic nutrients that are turned into the soil to enrich it for the next growing season. Some of the types of cover crop you can use include clover, winter rye and field peas. Each of these does a great job for the task.
Cover crops are one thing, but you can also consider mulch for your organic garden. A layer of compost, shredded leaves, grass clippings or other material can add extra means of protection for your soil beds. Mulching will help against the cold and also keep weeds at bay, which is certainly something to look out for.
Plan the garden for the next season
Once you have executed the above steps, it is time to give some thought on your gardening efforts and reflect on your mistakes. Also consider what worked and be sure to take similar action next growing season. It pays to know what worked well and what can be improved in order to have an even more successful organic garden.
Going through each of these 5 steps will ensure that your gardening efforts are met with great success next growing season. Organic gardening is an important activity, which requires knowledge and effort to work.
It seems like the shower of fallen leaves is never ending. When cold temperatures come you will find yourself raking leaves from your patio, deck, lawn and garden more and more often. This is especially the case if garden care for your orchard has proven successful.
Quite often you will be tempted to just throw away the collected leaves, without any consideration of what else you can use them for. The truth is that leaves are a precious resource, which you can utilise in many ways. It doesn’t really matter how much you collect, for you can have them included in a number of garden care activities, all of which certainly worth it for consideration. Expert gardeners suggest several uses of fallen leaves, each being better than simply throwing them away. Here is what you can do with them:
Healthy compost is required for every gardening enthusiast. Having a compost pile in your garden is definitely useful for a variety of reasons. One of the most important is that it provides your plants with an instant source of some pick-me-up boost whenever it is required. Fallen leaves make a perfect addition to your compost pile, and in fact are a needed addition for an even healthier compost material. All you have to do is keep them moist, but not thoroughly wet. Turn your compost pile few times a month, to allow air circulation which will break down the leaves into black compost. You can then use that to support your plants.
When leaves find their way on your lawn, don’t trouble yourself to collect them all. Instead, you can run them over with the lawnmower. Have it on the highest cutting setting and give the leaves a good shred. The small pieces of leaves will eventually be absorbed into the lawn. This will make the soil healthier and rich in much needed nutrients, which will help it over the course of winter and enable an even better lawn the next season.
Fallen leaves make excellent mulching material, which you can use in your garden. There are numerous benefits to mulching, all of which you should keep in mind. Now that you have a readily available resource for mulch, it is easy to acquire the benefits. Collect leaves, shred them and spread the material around your plants. This will prevent weeds to a great extent and also allow the soil to retain moisture.
Store leaves for the next season
Leaves make for excellent brown material for your compost pile. They are hard to come by when spring comes around, which is why storing some of the leaves you collect during autumn and winter is a wise idea. Put them in a bag and keep it in a cool and dry place till next you need them. You will have a ready supply of brown material for your spring compost pile.
Don’t be too quick to dispose of fallen leaves as you collect them. Consider each of the outlined uses, as they hold many benefits and can greatly assist your gardening efforts
Orchards may not be as popular as they once were, but more and more people understand their importance nowadays. An orchard is not just an area for your fruit trees, but also a source of calmness, peace and enjoyment in these stressful times. Therefore, here is a quick guide to starting an orchard.
Planting an orchard is not as simple as you may think – there is more to it than sticking a few trees in the ground, watering them from time to time and hoping that something will grow. On the contrary, an orchard requires patience and planning, so it is important to know a lot of things in advance.
The best way to gather proper knowledge is by reading books written by experienced orchard owners or consulting a professional orchardist. Only after you are completely certain what you are doing should you start this venture.
Deciding on a Location
You cannot take just any piece or land and decide to plant fruit trees there. Knowing that orchards last decades and surpass several generations, you need to think their location through over and over. It needs to include four important factors that will help your trees grow – soil, water, air and sun – and the best location for an orchard is a south-facing slope.
Some of these four elements can be manipulated, regulated and enhanced if necessary. Soil can be drained, aerated and its pH factor can be manually adjusted, while the water supply can be regulated with a drop-by-drop irrigation system. Furthermore, if your slope is on a small hill surrounding a valley, your trees will receive enough natural light.
The size of your orchard depends on the size of the land you have dedicated to it. “The more, the better” is what many orchardist might say, but it is not always the case. With bigger orchards comes more responsibility and work, so you should decide how much effort you want to include in it.
Most people opt for about ten acres of land when starting a commercial orchard, but, if you want to go bigger than that, do not forget that you will have to hire additional work force, as well as machinery and equipment.
When thinking about investments and predicting a budget for an orchard, you have to take several things into consideration – preparation, planting and maintenance. In case your land is not in perfect conditions, you might have to spend some money on enhancing the soil, while the amount spent on planting depends on which types of fruit trees you choose and how much their retail price is.
Finally, maintenance includes irrigation, the workers you will have to hire to handle mowing, picking and spraying pests, as well as the money invested in fertilizer and pesticides.
It is essential to spray your orchard against pests and insects in the late winter or early spring. Also, another spray is generally applied when the trees are in bloom and then again before the summer. Both are absolutely necessary if you want to eliminate diseases and help your fruit trees become healthy.
The best way to spray them is by using backpack sprayers with an accessible pump and sprayer – they are placed on your back and can turn your spraying into an enjoyable stroll through your orchard.
After all of these have been taken care of, you need to think about protection against intruders, fruit thieves and wild animals that might want to feast on your fruits. Once that is done, your orchard is ready to start making a profit.
If your vegetable garden or flower beds are in need of a pick-me-up, the first thing you might consider is buying some fertilizer. However, most plant fertilizers are chemical in nature and provide only a few isolated nutrients. They do nothing to replenish or improve the soil your plants are growing in. For that reason, more home gardeners are opting to maintain their own compost bin for a source of free, natural and high-quality fertilizer. Best of all, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get started.
First, you have to decide where you want your compost heap. Keep in mind that full exposure to sunlight will aid the decaying process, so you'll want it in a sunny location. Having it on a slight downward slope and in a bottomless enclosure will prevent excess moisture from building up and causing the heap to rot. Ample air circulation is the most critical element to successful composting. It helps the compost maintain the proper temperature and keeps it from becoming too wet. You should take care not to place your heap where it will be too sheltered from the wind.
To start your own compost pile, you need to obtain some raw materials. This is one of the most interesting parts of the process as it lets you customize the end product. For instance, if you want to use it on your flowers, you could choose materials that are high in phosphorus, which supports blooming. For general composting, almost anything goes. Coffee grounds, egg shells, vegetable and fruit scraps, fallen leaves, tea bags, paper bags, cardboard and newspaper are all acceptable composting ingredients. However, items like meat, bones, fat, pet waste, plastic or glossy paper should not be composted. If you're having trouble sourcing enough raw materials, try talking to your local coffee shop or produce stand to see if they'll donate their grounds and old produce.
Tending the Heap
The most effort you'll put into your compost heap is when you're tending it. Every couple of weeks, you'll need to turn the compost with a pitchfork. This ensures that everything decays evenly and spends time in the hot center. Because the temperatures in a healthy compost heap can get surprisingly high, it's recommended to wear gloves when working in it. You must also make sure the pile isn't too wet or dry. If it feels too wet, you should add more dry items like paper, cardboard, dry leaves or sawdust. If it's too dry, spend a few minutes spraying it down with the hose. It should feel moist like well-drained soil.
Depending on the conditions in your particular compost bin, you may have usable compost within six weeks. This incredibly rich natural fertilizer can be tilled into the soil or sprinkled around plants to help provide nutrients and enrich the soil.
For more green living as well as other home ideas, please visit Modernize.com.