Sep 202018
 
safe and humane pest control

Pest control must be done with utmost consideration to safety; safety in terms of the plants, animals and humans. This holds especially true for those with vegetable and organic gardens.

The main purpose of growing vegetables organically will be defeated if they become tainted with pest control chemicals.

Here are a few long-term maintenance tips to make pest control less damaging and more environmentally friendly.

1. Use the physical pest control process.

This may be accomplished through picking grubs off by hand, creating barriers and traps and plugging holes. Snails can be found hiding in damp places under rocks and towards the base of those plants with straplike foliage.

2. Apply biological pest control.

Encourage predatory insects such as green lacewings and dragonflies to feed on aphids and other pests that attack your plants. You can do this by placing a shallow bowl of water in the garden. Dragonflies especially will hover around water. Bacterial insecticides such as B. thuringiensis could also be used against caterpillars.

3. Only as a last resort should we turn to chemical pest control.

Organic pest control methods can be successful and the ingredients for many of the recipes can be found in the kitchen cupboards. If chemical sprays are really necessary, try and find the least-toxic. These include insecticidal soaps, horticultural oils, dehydrating dusts, etc.

4. Consider the use of safer pest control substitutes.

Recipes for alternative pest control include the following:

Against Green Aphids and Mites – Mix 1 tablespoon of liquid soap and a cup of vegetable oil. Dilute a teaspoon of this solution in a cup of water and spray on aphids and mites.

Against Cockroaches – Dusts of boric acid can be applied to cracks or entry points of these insects. Bay leaves on pantry shelves could also help in warding off these critters.

Make sure that the chemicals you use are made specifically for the insects you are targeting.

Sep 172018
 

With the current weather its even more important to look after the garden. Todays garden tips article revolves around looking after young fruit trees. Please remember to leave a comment if you have any thoughts or questions on looking after young fruit trees or on garden table and chairs.

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Making sure that your young fruit tree stays healthy is very important, but not as hard as some might think. There are several vital things you need to do: don’t harvest all of the fruit on the tree at the same time; make sure the soil is healthy; watch out for pests; plant it correctly; be sure it is protected when it is young. I will expand on all of these things.

One way to ensure that your young fruit tree will remain healthy is to never harvest all of the fruit at the same time. If all of the fruit is left on the tree, it will grow to an unbearable weight. The combined weight of all of the fruit can get very heavy and snap the branches. So once the fruit starts to grow, you should always pick some of them before they are completely ready. Even if you don’t want to pick the fruit before it is ready, it will be beneficial to your tree. While you should do this to prevent it from becoming too heavy, you should also never over-harvest. This can be equally damaging.

Another part of making sure that your young tree stays healthy is planting it in fertile soil. If you plant anything in soil that doesn’t have the proper amount of nutrients in it, it will not grow and flourish as I am sure you would like it to. You also have to be sure that you plant the right tree in the right kind of soil, because some types of fruit trees do better in drier soil while some kinds or trees do better in damp soil. Just look up what kinds of nutrients your desired tree requires and you’ll know for sure whether to plant it or modify your soil in any way.

Another way to ensure your fruit tree’s health is to watch out for pests. To help keep the pests away from your tree, try to eliminate places by your tree that pests might be living. Always look for old piles of brush, weeds, old leaves, or any other decaying matter where pests could be hiding. Another way to keep pests away is by using bug sprays and repellents. Also, regularly turn over a little bit of soil around your tree and look for pests that could be hiding underground. Sometimes the ones that are hidden out of sight can be the most harmful.

If you don’t plant your young fruit tree correctly, it could end up being very unhealthy. So to avoid this, always look for instructions before you plant trees. When you are planting a tree, make sure that your tree is perfectly vertical, so it won’t grow to be pointing off in an abnormal direction. When you are planting a tree you should also spread out the roots so that the tree will always be stable. This will help it live longer since the maximum water intake will be optimized.

The final thing to do in keeping your young tree healthy is to keep it protected when it is young and fragile. When you have a young tree you should tie it to a stake to help it to survive strong winds. Don’t tie it too hard, you should always allow room for the tree trunk to grow. Another thing to do when it is young is to put a small fence around it. This can help keep it safe from animals that will eat its bark if given the chance. A fence will also help to guard the base against strong wind and other weather.

If you follow all of this advice during the early years of your tree, you should have an experience that is nothing but joyful. Hopefully you’ll learn from the mistakes of others, and take great care of your tree. Just remember to always look up information on the type of tree you have, so that you can find out what exactly it requires.

More on gardening gifts later this week, when I write my next post. Young fruit trees – How to care for them and get rapid growth. Please bookmark us and leave a comment.

Sep 142018
 
the best plants to grow in autumn

My passion is to bring you information and answer your questions on everything related to the garden, from garden table and chairs to the best way to grow peas. Please leave a comment on the article below and I’ll reply just as soon as I can. The best plants to grow in autumn.

Many gardeners do not even consider autumn gardening because of the winter frosts that might make an early appearance. On the contrary, autumn gardening will result in excellent vegetables and will extend crops long after spring planted plants are finished. Vegetables produced from autumn gardening are sometimes sweeter and milder than those grow in the summer and offer a brand new taste to the same old veggies.

What you choose to grow during you autumn gardening will depend on your available space and what you like to eat, just like spring plants. Even the crops that enjoy the heat, such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes, okra, and peppers, will produce until frosts hit, which can be pretty late in the year in southern areas. However, there are some plants that will quit towards the end of summer like snap-beans, summer squash, and cucumbers. If these vegetables are planted around the middle of the summer they can be harvested until the first frosts as well. Hardy, tough vegetables will grow until the temperature is as low as 20 degrees, but those that aren’t as strong will only be able to grow through light frosts. Remember that if you have root and tuber plants and the tops are killed by a freeze the edible part can be saved if a large amount of mulch is used.

When autumn gardening, make sure and pick the vegetables with the shortest growing season so they can be full grown and harvested before the frost arrives. Most seed packages will be labelled “early season”, or you can find the seeds boasting the fewest days to maturity. You may want to go after your seeds for autumn gardening in spring or early summer; they are usually not kept in stock towards the end of summer. If they are stored in a cool and dry location they will keep until you are ready to plant.

In order to know exactly when the best time to start autumn gardening, you must know about when the first hard frost will hit your area. One of the best ways to tell this is by a Farmer’s Almanac. They will give you exact dates and are rarely wrong. You will also need to know exactly how long it is going to take your plants to mature.

To get your soil ready for autumn gardening you must first remove any leftover spring/summer crops and weeds. Crops leftover from the last season can end up spreading bacteria and disease if left in the garden. Spread a couple of inches of compost or mulch over the garden area to increase the nutrients, however, if spring plants were fertilized heavily it may not need much, if any. Till the top layer of soil, wet it down, and let it set for about 12-24 hours. Once this has been done, you are ready to start planting.

Many gardeners will run from autumn gardening so they don’t have to deal with frosts, but if tough, sturdy vegetables are planted they can withstand a few frosts and give you some wonderful tasting produce. Autumn gardening gives you the chance to enjoy your vegetable garden for at least a little bit more time.

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Sep 112018
 
how to clean your bbq

Another great day in the garden. I’m finally ready to dig the borders. But first, today, I share my expertise with you on the subject of Cleaning your BBQ and How to clean your BBQ. Read on for more, or if you are just looking to buy plants, garden tables and chairs, or check prices and features then click here to compare prices.

When purchasing your barbeque grill, think of it as an investment rather then just another item for your outdoor entertainment. You should expect this item to become a large part of your outdoor activities for many years to come. But like any other investments, proper maintenance and care is needed to ensure that your barbeque grill will work for you for many years to come.

Leaving you grill messy after each use will not only make it harder on you when you finally do clean the grill, but it will also drastically decrease the lifespan of your grill. If you grill sits dirty, you increase the risk of rust.

While some maintenance and cleaning is specific to the type of barbeque grill your own (gas, electric, charcoal or smoke barbecue grill), the majority of maintenance that should be carried on does not change from grill to grill.

Step 1- Gathering The Necessary Items

You will need some common household items on hand when it comes time to clean your barbeque grill.

Brass wire grill brush
Steel wool pads, preferably that contains soap already.
Mild dish soap
Sponge or dishcloth
Spray cooking oil
Dry baking soda
Aluminium foil

Step 2- Brushing Your Grill Off

The first thing that should always be done to your grill is a routine brushing. Using your brass wire grill brush (or other brush suitable to your type of grill) you should brush off all the surfaces. By routinely brushing your barbeque grill, you will prevent any type of build-up. If build-up from food is left to long, it can become increasingly difficult to remove, and can end up causing problems such as rust.

Step 3- Spray Cooking Oil

Once you are sure that your grill is free of all build-up and debris, and that your grill is completely cooled off, you will want to spray it down with a light layer of cooking oil. Spraying it down with cooking oil will prevent your barbeque grill from rusting. It is especially important to make sure you barbeque grill is completely cold, as spraying cooking oil on a hot surface may cause the oil to heat up and ignite, which could be potentially dangerous to you and your barbeque grill.

Step 4- Use Baking Soda and Aluminium Foil on Your Grill
Baking soda is a very nice cleaning and polishing agent. Once you have removed any extra debris and build-up, lightly scrubbing your barbeque grill with baking soda will give it that extra shine, similar to the day that you brought it home from the store. This can also be used on handles and knobs to remove any extra build-up tat cannot be taken off with a wire brush.

Aluminium foil can also be used to keep your grill looking nice. Gently rub the aluminium foil on your grill, and you will notice that it removes grim and build-up. This is a cheap and inexpensive way to clean your grill.

Step 5- Clean Your Racks

The racks in your grill are especially important as this is where the food touches when it is cooking. You will have to use the wire brush to remove as much build-up as possible. Once you remove as much as possible, start washing the racks with dish soap. If the racks are really dirty, you may also want to use the steel wool pads. Be sure to completely rinse off all soap and residue before cooking on these racks again.

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Sep 082018
 

Another great day in the garden. I’m finally ready to dig the borders. But first, today, I share my expertise with you on the subject of apple trees and Which Apple tree to choose – Tastiest, hardiest and easiest to grow. Read on for more, or if you are just looking to buy plants, garden tables and chairs, or check prices and features then click here to compare prices.

In the past, there have been only a couple different kinds of apple trees that you could buy. But now, thanks to the wonders of genetic engineering, if you want to buy an apple tree you are able to choose between many different types of apples and flavours. Here I will outline five different popular types of apples that you can consider for your first apple tree.

First introduced in Japan, the Fuji apple has been around since 1962. The Fuji apple has yellow-green skin with red streaks down the side. The inside is delicious and sweet. It is white, firm, crunchy, and very flavourful. It becomes ripe in the middle of September, but tastes the best if it is left to fully mature until October or November. These apples will start growing early and grow in abundance. They are good for pollinating other apples. The Fuji tree can tolerate wet, dry, or poor soil, but the fruit quality will most likely reflect the quality of the soil. The apples always taste the best when they are fresh, and are great for cooking.

Gala apples are a wonderful tasting import from New Zealand. The Gala apple has yellow skin with a slight hint of red, and it is medium sized. The insides are yellow, very juicy, firm, crisp, and smell excellent. When they are fresh they are one of the best tasting apples you can grow. They grow quickly, and the trees bear heavily. They become ripe in late July. They are generally not used for cooking, just because Fuji is a better alternative. The trees can grow in wet, dry, and poor soil as well.

The delicious Brae Burn apples’ colour varies from gold with red streaks to almost completely red. It was first popularized some time in the late 1940’s. It was also originally from New Zealand along with the Fuji, and is now the best selling apple in Germany. The insides are white, crisp, aromatic, firm, and juicy. They are sweet, but also slightly tart. The size varies from medium to large. They were introduced to the United Kingdom around 1980, and met with great enthusiasm. They are some of the most popular apples in the world. They generally don’t become brown too quickly after being cut. They become ripe around October or November.

As red as its name proclaims, the Red Delicious apple is very tall and large. Their yellow insides are crisp, sweet, juicy, and delicious. They are grown across the country, and are great to put in salads. They are usually recognized by their distinct heart shape. They were first introduced in 1874 in Peru, Iowa. They become ripe in mid to late September. They are usually best when they are fresh off the tree.

Golden Delicious apples have great, juicy flavour. Their insides are firm, white, crisp and sweet. They are great for cooking because even when they are cooked or baked they keep their great taste and shape. The skin is thin and soft. They are great for salads. They range in size from medium to large. They are shaped much like the red delicious apple. The insides are crisp, juicy, sweet, and mild. Many people enjoy them, although they bruise rather easily. They become ripe in late September. They are good for many purposes, and they last a long time if not handled roughly.

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