Wednesday, 21 June 2017

A Beginner's Guide to Gardening

The rewards of gardening are great -- fresh air, exercise, beauty and relaxation, to name a few. But designing and planting your very first garden can feel like an overwhelming task. Luckily, gardens are surprisingly forgiving creations, and the best way to learn is by simply diving in. Here are 10 tips to help get a new garden off on the right foot.



1. Get to know your site. Take your time to get familiar with your property before beginning a new garden. Here are a few things you may like to try while you're getting to know your landscape:

Take a l eisurely stroll around your property with a notebook and make a rough sketch of the existing planting areas.

Add notes to your garden "map" about which areas get the most sun and which are shaded.

A simple soil test from your local garden center will tell you whether your soil is well-balanced in nutrients and pH.

If you're thinking of growing edibles (vegetables, fruit or herbs), it's a good idea to have your soil tested for lead. Most at-home kits aren't reliable indicators of lead in the soil, but you can send your soil samples to the Lead Safe America Foundation for a free lead test. If you find that your soil has an unsafe level of lead, you can still grow edibles in raised beds or pots with new soil.

List which existing plants and features (such as fences or paths) you'd like to keep and which need to be replaced or removed.

Spend time just hanging out in your garden. Let yourself daydream and see if any creative ideas present themselves .

Related: Visualize Your Garden Plans From the Perfect Porch Swing

2. Determine your style and goals. Gather a few images that inspire you and look for a theme. Are you drawn to lush flower-filled gardens or more crisply defined modern outdoor spaces? It helps to pair a few words with the pictures you've chosen, so try to come up with something that evokes the sort of garden you want, even if it's not an "official" style term.

For instance, maybe you'll decide your style is Industrial Zen or Playful Modern or Simplified Cottage. While you're figuring this out, it helps to keep a photo of the exterior of your home at hand -- whatever style you choose should be able to work well with the architectural style of your home as well as your personal preferences.

Once you've named your style, take a moment to jot down the activities and features you imagine enjoying in your landscape. If you have children, you may need a lot of open space for running around. Or perhaps you dream of relaxing in the middle of a big wildflower meadow -- whatever it is, write it down.



3. Start http://bermudagrass.com/ small. Dreaming is wonderful, but when it comes time to begin digging in the earth, it's equally important to stay grounded in reality. The bigger the garden, the more time and energy it will require to maintain. Examine what you want (say, a vegetable garden) and then scale it down (for example, plant one raised bed rather than six). You can always expand next year!

This holds true for purchasing plants too: It's easy to get seduced by the bountiful plants at the nursery and come home with far too many. Remember, planting takes time, so buy only what you can comfortably get into the ground within the next day or two.

4. Make a plan. Even if you're planting only a single raised vegetable bed or c luster of potted flowers on the patio, having a plan is key. If you're not sure which plants to buy, take a "research" trip to Sprinkler System Installation Fort Worth a local nursery (without buying anything!) and snap photos of plants you'd like to consider adding to your garden. Look at the tags and note down when they bloom, as well as sun and water requirements.

Pulling this information together into a sketched-out plan (no artistic skills required) takes extra time initially but will make for a more successful garden in the end. Choose plants that bloom in different seasons for year-round color, and be sure to pick plants with similar sun and water requirements to plant together.

5. Pick the right tools for the job (without going overboard). Having the proper tools makes garden chores more pleasant -- but don't think you need to buy out the store on day one. Just a few tools and supplies should keep your g arden running smoothly. The basics include:

Gardening gloves. Choose a pair that feels comfortable and protects against thorns.

Shovel. This is essential for preparing sizable garden beds and for digging holes for trees, shrubs and large plants. A shovel with a pointed tip is more versatile than a flat spade.

Trowel and weeding tool (or a Japanese gardener's knife). Use these tools to dig holes for planting and pull weeds out at the root.

Long garden hose and spray nozzle. Select a hose long enough to comfortably reach each of the main areas of your garden.

Hand pruner. Sharp clippers can trim branches and cut back woody plants like rosemary.

Metal rake. Use this to spread mulch and prepare beds for planting.

Leaf rake. Use a flexible plastic or bamboo rake to gather leaves.

RELATED: 5 Tools Every Gardener Should Own

6. Mix up perennials and annuals. A common newbie mistake is to grab too many plants from the "ann uals" section at the nursery, making for a garden that dies back within a single year. For longevity and color, go for a mix of perennials (plants that come back year after year) and annuals (plants that bloom and die within a single season).

7. Repeat, repeat, repeat. One great way to give your garden a professionally designed look (with little effort) is to repeat the same plants and hardscaping materials in different places throughout the landscape. Avoid picking one plant of each type, as this tends to appear jumbled -- even in a wild English cottage-style garden, plants look best when repeated or planted in clusters. The same goes for other materials: Choose just a few hardscaping materials for paths, pots, planters and outdoor furniture, and repeat, repeat, repeat.

RELATED: Incorporate Outdoor Rocking Chairs

8. Combine seeds and starts for an affordable mix. Starting an entire garden from seed can save money, but it can also be incredibly frustrating. Purc hasing only started plants is not only expensive, but it also may limit your choice of what to grow. The best option is usually a combination of the two: Pick up some started seedlings at your local nursery and start some of your own from seed. Good plants to start from seed yourself include lettuce, radishes, beans, sunflowers, marigolds, cosmos and zinnias.

9. Grow what you like. This sounds utterly simple, but it's something even the most experienced gardeners Sprinkler System Fort Worth sometimes seem to forget. Why grow squash if it's not really your favorite? Over the years, we've stopped bothering to grow beans and zucchini, instead devoting extra garden space to family favorites like snap peas, radishes, Tuscan kale and mini pumpkins for Halloween.

10. Further your garden education. Seeking out local workshops is a wonderful way to learn more about gardening and connect with other gardeners in your commu nity. Check plant nurseries, community gardens and botanical gardens in your area for free or low-cost workshops on a wide range of topics like container gardening, using native plants, attracting pollinators, creating a waterwise garden and composting.

Gardening is a lifelong learning experience, and even the most seasoned gardeners are learning all the time -- so don't beat yourself up if it seems that there's too much to know. Just begin somewhere and take it one season at a time. The wonderful thing about gardening is that there's usually room for do-overs.

http://www.foxnews.com/real-estate/2017/03/31/beginners-guide-to-gardening.html

Monday, 19 June 2017

13 Funniest Dog vs. Sprinkler Videos

From unfamiliar visitors to pesky local wildlife, man's best friend would do anything to protect us from potential harm. Even Sprinkler System if that Sprinkler Installation potential harm comes in the form of a sprinkler.

Deep down we appreciate their steadfast and earnest guardianship, of course, but we can't help but laugh when these heroic pups are thwarted time and again by their elusive grass-watering enemies. So in celebration of our four-legged warriors, we searched for some of the funniest http://www.rainbird.com/ dog vs. sprinkler battles on the Web. Vote for your favorites below!

Sped Up, But Still Hilarious





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Sunday, 18 June 2017

Lawns - Avocados, kittens and lawns: consequences of the California drought crisis - Pictures

Thanks to the drought, there are more rattlesnakes around than usual. And to make matters worse, they're now snaking their way into residential neighborhoods and California backyards where small children play.



A Sprinkler System Installation Greenville 2-year-old girl, named Ishneed Kaur, was bitten by a Sprinkler System Installation Greenville rattlesnake, June 9, 2015, while playing in her backyard in Pittsburg, California. She had to be ai rlifted to Children's Hospital in Oakland for immediate treatment.

That same week, a 4-year-old boy was bitten after stepping on a baby rattlesnake coiled on a bike trail in Folsom, California. When his ankle started to swell and turn purple as a result, the child's mother, Jacklyn Caramazza, jumped https://www.garden.com/ into action and sucked the venom from his wound; a dangerous move, which may have saved the boy's life, but most experts don't recommend.



http://www.cbsnews.com/pictures/californias-epic-drought-fallout-and-consequences/15/

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Gardening :: Garden Design | ArticleBiz.com

Gardening is an enjoyable hobby that can keep you fit, tap into your creative skills, is a rewarding experience and can even make you money by adding value to your property. Attractive gardens can add 20% to the value of a property according to the Estate Agent Society.

You don't have to be a Garden Designer to create an attractive garden. What you need to know are a few basics and some gardening advice such as;

oWhich garden plants will suit your garden conditions?

oWhich plant will grow in your soil?

oWhich plants will grow in full sun, partial shade and full shade?

oWhen are the plants in flower or looking their best?

oHow to look after them?

Planning and designing a garden with seasonal colour, texture and interest is the fun creative part and you can pay a lot of money to garden designers for their expert advice. However, finding out which plants will suit your garden are available in books and magazines and by searching the Inter net. Some people could consider these to be quite time-consuming and laborious, but it can also be fun researching your ideal plants.

Alternatively, if you have a computer, save time and effort by using an interactive garden plant finder and pruning guide CD-ROM which selects from your choice of colour, month, season, aspect, soil type, height and plant name, then a simple click of the mouse displays the plants to suit your needs.

Only choose plants that will suit your garden. If you have a small garden, select those plants that won't out-grow your limited space. If you want a low maintenance garden select plants that don't need a lot of pruning or http://www.southernliving.com/home-garden/gardens/10-best-yard-landscaping-ideas feeding. There are about 73,000 plants to choose from so there is no end to the fun you can have creating the garden design of your dreams.

It 's quite a good idea to start your design by selecting plants to give your garden some structure. Shrubs are good plants for this and come in a multitude of colours, shapes and sizes. Check the height and spread of the shrubs before planting so that you don't position them too close together.



Climbers will add height and colour to your garden. You can select climbers that will flower early in the season and then select others to flower later in the year and maybe select some to have attractive autumn foliage.

Annuals will grow and flower in the same year and provide almost instant colour whilst the plants in your borders have time to grow and mature. Annuals can be bought as seedlings or easily grown from seed.

Grasses provide texture and movement in a garden and most can be cut back to ground level the following spring.

Don't only choose a garden plant because it has an attractive flower. There are fabulous foliage plants to consider like ferns and hostas that love the shade areas of your garden and will reward you with luscious colour and texture.

A garden doesn't just have to look attractive in the summer months, it is also important to select plants for spring, summer, autumn and winter. You will be Sprinkler System Installation Denton surprised at how many plants there are that have attractive flowers, berries and bark to liven Sprinkler System Installation Denton up any cold grey winter days.



Pruning is important as it keeps the plants in shape and encourages healthy new growth. You will need pruning advice for each plant in your garden and a plant calendar list which reminds you when and how to prune them.

Propagation of your plants and growing from seeds are very rewarding and satisfying because not only are you creating new plants but you're also saving money.

Gardening will keep you fit. Any gardener will tell you that digging and weeding can provide you with a very good work-out.



http://www.articlebiz.com/article/151645-1-garden-design/

Friday, 16 June 2017

10 homes with incredible vertical gardens



Photo courtesy of Hector Armando Herrera

It's time to think outside the flower box.



For many homeowners, a love of the outdoors clashes with the realities of small spaces. How do you plant a garden when you hardly have the space for your barbecue grill, let alone that patio set you've been dreaming about? The answer for https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjreVlmEbis many homeowners is simple: Move the garden on up.

Vertical gardens give homeowners the luxury of having their https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjreVlmEbis own plants while maximizing the space they have for entertaining, relaxing and cooking out. Some make interesting living art pieces, while others provide an extra level of privacy from nearby neighbors.

A well-placed vertical garden could also give your house an especially unique curb appeal that sets it apart from every other house on the block.

Don't have much of a gr een thumb? Not to worry. Many vertical gardens are stocked with succulents and other low-maintenance plants that are easy to care for and help keep water bills low. Others are planted with built-in irrigation systems that can be programmed to care for a homeowner's garden even when they can't.

Whether they use small focal pieces full of succulents or a https://www.lowes.com/projects/lawn-and-garden/install-an-underground-sprinkler-system/project three-story wall designed to control temperature and light, these 10 homes and their amazing vertical gardens are sure to inspire.



http://www.cbsnews.com/media/10-homes-with-incredible-vertical-gardens/

Home Improvement Archives - ArticleCity.com

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Mar 09, 2017

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Gardening | Buzzle.com

Difference Between Hay and Straw

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