Jun 092021
 
how i stop pests eating my plants top tips

If we could garden without any interference from the pests which attack plants, then indeed gardening would be a simple matter. But all the time we must watch out for these little foes little in size, but tremendous in the havoc they make.

As human illness may often be prevented by healthful conditions, so pests may be kept away by strict garden cleanliness. Heaps of waste are lodging places for the breeding of insects. I do not think a compost pile will do the harm, but unkempt, uncared-for spots seem to invite trouble.

There are certain helps to keeping pests down. The constant stirring up of the soil by earthworms is an aid in keeping the soil open to air and water. Many of our common birds feed upon insects. The sparrows, robins, chickadees, meadow larks and orioles are all examples of birds who help in this way. Some insects feed on other and harmful insects. Some kinds of ladybugs do this good deed. The ichneumon-fly helps too. And toads are wonders in the number of insects they can consume at one meal. The toad deserves very kind treatment from all of us.

Each gardener should try to make her or his garden into a place attractive to birds and toads. A good birdhouse, grain sprinkled about in early spring, a water-place, are invitations for birds to stay a while in your garden. If you wish toads, fix things up for them too. During a hot summer day a toad likes to rest in the shade. By night he is ready to go forth to eat but not to kill, since toads prefer live food. How can one “fix up” for toads? Well, one thing to do is to prepare a retreat, quiet, dark and damp. A few stones of some size underneath the shade of a shrub with perhaps a carpeting of damp leaves, would appear very fine to a toad.

There are two general classes of insects known by the way they do their work. One kind gnaws at the plant really taking pieces of it into its system. This kind of insect has a mouth fitted to do this work. Grasshoppers and caterpillars are of this sort. The other kind sucks the juices from a plant. This, in some ways, is the worst sort. Plant lice belong here, as do mosquitoes, which prey on us. All the scale insects fasten themselves on plants, and suck out the life of the plants.

Now can we fight these chaps? The gnawing fellows may be caught with poison sprayed upon plants, which they take into their bodies with the plant. The Bordeaux mixture which is a poison sprayed upon plants for this purpose.

In the other case the only thing is to attack the insect direct. So certain insecticides, as they are called, are sprayed on the plant to fall upon the insect. They do a deadly work of attacking, in one way or another, the body of the insect.

Sometimes we are much troubled with underground insects at work. You have seen a garden covered with ant hills. Here is a remedy, but one of which you must be careful.

This question is constantly being asked, ‘How can I tell what insect is doing the destructive work?’ Well, you can tell partly by the work done, and partly by seeing the insect itself. This latter thing is not always so easy to accomplish. I had cutworms one season and never saw one. I saw only the work done. If stalks of tender plants are cut clean off be pretty sure the cutworm is abroad. What does he look like? Well, that is a hard question because his family is a large one. Should you see sometime a greyish striped caterpillar, you may know it is a cutworm. But because of its habit of resting in the ground during the day and working by night, it is difficult to catch sight of one. The cutworm is around early in the season ready to cut the flower stalks of the hyacinths. When the peas come on a bit later, he is ready for them. A very good way to block him off is to put paper collars, or tin ones, about the plants. These collars should be about an inch away from the plant.

Of course, plant lice are more common. Those we see are often green in colour. But they may be red, yellow or brown. Lice are easy enough to find since they are always clinging to their host. As sucking insects they have to cling close to a plant for food, and one is pretty sure to find them. But the biting insects do their work, and then go hide. That makes them much more difficult to deal with.

Rose slugs do great damage to the rose bushes. They eat out the body of the leaves, so that just the veining is left. They are soft-bodied, green above and yellow below.

A beetle, the striped beetle, attacks young melons and squash leaves. It eats the leaf by riddling out holes in it. This beetle, as its name implies, is striped. The back is black with yellow stripes running lengthwise.

Then there are the slugs, which are garden pests. The slug will devour almost any garden plant, whether it be a flower or a vegetable. They lay lots of eggs in old rubbish heaps. Do you see the good of cleaning up rubbish? The slugs do more harm in the garden than almost any other single insect pest. You can discover them in the following way. There is a trick for bringing them to the surface of the ground in the day time. You see they rest during the day below ground. So just water the soil in which the slugs are supposed to be. How are you to know where they are? They are quite likely to hide near the plants they are feeding on. So water the ground with some nice clean lime water. This will disturb them, and up they’ll poke to see what the matter is.

Beside these most common of pests, pests which attack many kinds of plants, there are special pests for special plants. Discouraging, is it not? Beans have pests of their own; so have potatoes and cabbages. In fact, the vegetable garden has many inhabitants. In the flower garden lice are very bothersome, the cutworm and the slug have a good time there, too, and ants often get very numerous as the season advances. But for real discouraging insect troubles the vegetable garden takes the prize. If we were going into fruit to any extent, perhaps the vegetable garden would have to resign in favour of the fruit garden.

A common pest in the vegetable garden is the tomato worm. This is a large yellowish or greenish striped worm. Its work is to eat into the young fruit.

A great, light green caterpillar is found on celery. This caterpillar may be told by the black bands, one on each ring or segment of its body.

The squash bug may be told by its brown body, which is long and slender, and by the disagreeable odour from it when killed. The potato bug is another fellow to look out for. It is a beetle with yellow and black stripes down its crusty back. The little green cabbage worm is a perfect nuisance. It is a small caterpillar and smaller than the tomato worm. These are perhaps the most common of garden pests by name.

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Jun 062021
 
gardening tools for a small garden essential tools we all need

Another beautiful day in the garden and I am feeling fanastic – even if a little burned. Below I’ve written my thoughts on shovels, spades, hedge trimmers, forks, gardening tools and Gardening tools for a small garden – Essential tools we all need. Remember, that you can always compare prices of garden hammocks and many other things using our online comparison tool. And don’t forget to join our mailing list where I’ll be including some new words on garden plants and seeds.

Different kinds of gardens require different kinds of garden tools. Hardware stores mostly cater for a wide range of tools, but there are shops that specialize in the more expensive kind of garden tool that shouts quality. Wherever you decide to shop, here are a few pointers to advise you.

Do you have small garden or a large one? A small garden will not require the same large equipment that would be of use in an extensive one. A ride-on mower is unnecessary if you only have a small strip of lawn. Another point to consider is who does most of the gardening? Some tools are too heavy for use by women.

When you buy secateurs make sure the blade always stays sharp to avoid damaging the plant. Look for models that have blades that can be sharpened or replaced, models with tension control and with sizes that best fit your hands. Secateurs usually cost around £30-£50, but before buying check the user reviews on Amazon.  You can often buy them at a significant discount there.

Jun 032021
 
create a compost heap top tips on maintenance of a great healthy compost heap

I’ve got another great article on compost heaps for you today. Enjoy, and please leave a comment beneath the article if you can. It really helps when I can see people interacting. Thanks very much to everyone that commented last time.

Many people who maintain gardens have a large amount of organic waste, from grass clippings to leaves and dead plants. Unfortunately, many waste money and time having these wastes transported to a landfill. It isn’t just a waste of good compost; it’s a waste of everything that goes into the process of transporting it (the garbage man’s time, the money you pay for the removal, etc). It is truly a travesty.

All this garbage that people are trying to get rid of can be a better supplement for your garden than any fertilizer or chemical. If you properly facilitate the decomposition of all of the waste it will alter chemically until it is in such a state that it can be nothing but beneficial nutrition for other plants. Therefore you can turn all the stuff you would have thrown away into top grade fertilizer for your garden.

Usually compost is maintained in a pile somewhere in your garden. Usually the thought of a compost heap brings disturbing images to ones mind; heaps of rotten garbage emitting a horrid odour. However, if you maintain it correctly you’ll be able to produce great compost without producing an offensive odour. When I first began my compost pile in an effort to improve environmental health, I made several major errors. These included preventing the pile from the oxygen it truly needed, and keeping it to dry. It ended up decomposing in a very non-beneficial way, and producing an odour so foul that I had government agents knocking at my door.

When you are choosing your spot where you will be putting all of these materials, you should aim for a higher square footage. Having a really deep pile of compost is not a good idea, because generally the deeper sections won’t be exposed to anything that is required for the process to work. It is better to spread it all out over a large area. If you have a shed or a tool shack of some sort, it is a possibility to spread it over the roof (with boards to keep it from falling off, of course). I have seen this done several times, and it helps keep the pile out of the way while still maintaining a large square footage.

A compost heap can consist of any organic garbage from your garden, garden or kitchen. This includes leaves, grass, any leftover food that won’t be eaten, or newspaper (no more than a fifth of your pile should consist of newspaper, due to it having a harder time composting with the rest of the materials). Usually if you have a barrel devoted to storing all of these things, it will fill up within several weeks. It is quite easy to obtain compost, but the hard part truly comes in getting it to compost.

After you have begun to get a large assortment of materials in your compost heap, you should moisten the whole pile. This encourages the process of composting. Also chop every element of the pile into the smallest pieces possible. As the materials start to compress and meld together as they decompose, frequently head outside and aerate the pile. You can use a shovel to mix it all up, or an aeration tool to poke dozens of tiny holes into it. Doing this will increase the oxygen flow to each part of the pile, and oxygen is required for any decomposition to take place.

If maintaining a compost pile sounds like something that would interest you, start considering the different placement options. The hardest part about maintaining a pile is choosing a spot that provides enough square footage without intruding on the rest of your yard or garden. While usually you can prevent the horrible odours that most people associate with compost heaps, it’s still not a pleasant thing to have to look at whenever you go for a walk in your garden.

New expert gardening advice on garden table and chairs next week, when I write my post. Please join the mailing list to stay informed of updates.

May 312021
 
advantages of a gas bbq gas vs charcoal

Another beautiful day in the garden and I am feeling fanastic – even if a little burned. Below I’ve written my thoughts on charcoal cooking, outdoor catering, gas BBQs and Advantages of a gas BBQ – Gas vs charcoal. Remember, that you can always compare prices of garden hammocks and many other things using our online comparison tool. And don’t forget to join our mailing list where I’ll be including some new words on garden plants and seeds.

Barbequing has been around as long as the caveman have. The first people in the world quickly realized that food tasted good after being cooked on an open fire. In recent history, barbequing has become a family tradition. While the majority of families in the United Kingdom own a grill, only a few view grilling as a sport or hobby, rather then just another way to cook.

The easiest grill to use is by far the natural gas grill. Natural gas grills are designed to hook directly into your home’s natural gas line, eliminating the need to provide the fuel source. This cuts out all trips to the local shop for more charcoal or propane.

Another advantage when using a natural gas grills is the ability to control the temperature in which you are cooking. Natural gas grills have burner controls which allow you to produce different temperatures for the different cooking areas on your grill. This allows you to cook your meat on one side while keeping your side dished warm on the other.

Natural gas grills, have the ability to come with many different types of cooking surfaces. These different cooking surfaces include a BBQ surface, a flat grill, and a ribbed grill. Some grills even offer these types of surfaces as none stick, which allow you to cook a whole array of foods that you would not be able to cook on a grill otherwise. Some gas grills even contain a Wok type surface for cooking pasta and rise dishes, or a full rotisserie set that allows you to cook rotisserie chicken.

Natural gas grills are by far the easiest type of grill to clean. With other grills such as charcoal and smoker grills, you have to remove the wood and charcoal briquettes each time. Natural grills only have to be wiped down. Some natural gas grills even have a none stick feature.

Grilling can be a fun or serious hobby depending on the person at hand. There is a certain level or patience and practice needed if you are wanting to achieve a higher level of grilling. For those that are especially interested in the sport of grilling, owning a Broilmaster gas grill may have certain benefits that other grills cannot provide.

It is up to you as the shopper to become the most focused of buyers to try and resolve the discrepancies between various brands traits, and even within the Broilmaster array of products, allowing even for certain customizations to be utilized.

There are many different kinds of grills within the multitude of options and features that you can get your grill to be able to handle many situations of immediate importance, and sometimes it can be overwhelming to wade through all of these options to the final product that will revise your take on one of the most unique ways to prepare food, you shouldn’t need to be the master of making meals even though that does help you adapt to any new grilling experiences. Making you accustomed to the particular state of grilling food.

One of the most popular brands of natural gas grills is the Broilmasters. This company has been around for a long time and prides itself on creating great grills, even in its companies early years. If you are looking for a reliable name, Broilmaster would be the way to go. One of the most popular Broilmaster grills is the Super Premium Series, which puts out 40,000 BTU’s of cooking power, and has a cooking surface area of over 695 square inches.

I hope that was useful. I’ll be back later in the week to tell you about when to plant. To compare prices and buy, click to compare prices of funny garden meerkats or read reviews on Amazon.

May 282021
 
how to build a garden rockery choosing the rock

My goal with my gardening blog is to bring you expert information on everything from when to plant to gardening gifts. Please leave me a comment on the gardening article below and I’ll reply as soon as I can. How to build a garden rockery – Choosing the rock.

You can use landscaping rock to add some depth and texture to your landscaping design. This landscaping rock can come in a couple of different forms, actually there are quite a few. Not only is there a find collection of colours of landscaping rock there is also several different kinds of stone to choose from. Different landscaping designs will require different rock.

The trick to using landscaping rock successfully is to fully integrate them into your rockery and the design. You need to place them in places that will add to the rockery, not in places that will make it look like you are trying to cover something up or take attention away from another part of the garden rockery. If you were to just put your landscaping rock here and there you will be doing nothing for the rockery and your rockery will end up looking strange and unbalanced. You should plan exactly where each landscaping rock should be placed for the ultimate effect.

If you take the time to bury your rock it will look much better. This will make them look planted and they will blend in and look as if this is where they really should be, not just where they got clunked down.

How far should you bury your stones in the ground? The depth will all depend upon the materials that you finally choose for your rockery. If you choose a very large rock then it should be deeper than a smaller stone. Four to six inches is a good depth for your rock to be buried.

All you need to do is dig a spot about the size of your landscaping rock and them place the rock into it. You can then just tuck some dirt into the spot around the rock and then you are done. Voila!

Think about it, this is what rocks and boulders look like when you see them out in nature. The next time that you are out taking a walk or you are hiking keep an eye out for any large rocks, look at how they sit in the dirt and then try to get the rock in your rockery to look just as natural.

Come back soon for more on landscaping, ponds, fountains and building a rockery. Please join the mailing list to stay informed of updates. How to build a garden rockery – Choosing the rock