May 242018
 
how to support a young tree the best way to stake a tree

When a tree is in the young stages, one of the most vital things you need to provide for it in addition to water and nutrients is support. If you don’t hold up the tree somehow, it might end up bending in a certain direction and growing extremely crooked for the rest of its life. So no matter what, you should always have some kind of support.

The most popular method of keeping young trees upright is to put long stakes into the ground on either side, and tie loops around the tree. Each loop should be fairly loose to allow for further expanding of the trunk. Lots of people just have a stake on one side of the tree, but this is not a good practice because it generally doesn’t allow for further growth of the tree.

You should only be staking your tree if you think that wind and other forces might be literally moving the ball of roots within the ground. Your staking should prevent all of this movement, because this is the most harmful thing that can happen to a young tree. It causes the roots to be in motion too much and not be able to properly get a hold on the soil so that the tree can develop normally.

Before you stake a tree, you should be completely sure that it needs it. If you constrict the movement and growth of a tree that doesn’t need to be tethered down, you could harm it beyond repair. For example, the staking mechanism you use could cause abrasion or “rashes” on the trunk. This will happen anyways, but why have it happen needlessly? Also, staking gives your yard an unnatural look and can present a hazard for people walking or running across the yard.

The staking process is actually rather simple. Just take 3 stakes and tie each one separately near the base of the trunk. If you use some sort of tether to prevent rope burn on your tree, that would be an even better solution. These can be purchased at any gardening shop, and are designed to be friendly to the bark of the tree. It is much better to stick with these instead of bare rope, to minimize the amount of friction the tree endures.

When you think your tree has been staked long enough to stand on its own, you should remove the stakes from the ground as soon as humanly possible. Every moment the tree is constricted it is losing some of its vitality. As soon as it seems like the wind is dying down around your area, look on the weather reports and see how much wind is forecasted. If the skies will be pretty clear for a while, you should at least temporarily take off the stakes.

To wrap it all up, you should never deny your tree a good staking. It is a completely necessary thing to do in certain situations. It is very crucial to understand when those occasions are, though. Staking a tree that doesn’t need it can be as damaging as not staking a tree that does need it. It might be beneficial for you to consult an expert, and get their opinion as to whether your tree should be staked, and for how long.

More on gardening tips later this week, when I write my next post. How to support a young tree – The best way to stake a tree. Please bookmark us and leave a comment.

May 212018
 
hydroponics gardening how to get huge growth

I’ve got another great article on hydroponics 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.

Hydroponics was derived from the Greek word hydro, which means “water” and ponos, which means “labour or water-working”. Hydroponics gardening involves growing plants with their roots in other nutrient solutions and without soil.

Hydroponics gardening is as simple as ordinary gardening. Both of them necessitate sufficient light, water, temperature, light, and humidity. But with hydroponics, no soil is used. Instead a soil substitute holds the roots while nutrients are carried by the water. Indoor hydroponic gardening is not that hard and plants respond well to this method of growing.

This is one of the major considerations in hydroponics gardening since it sustains the plants. One has to make sure that this nutrient solution maintains a pH level of 5 to 6 after dilution. In hydroponics gardening, the plants should be watered more than three times a day. this is usually done using a pump and timer.

If your hydroponics garden is located indoors, the most suitable temperature is between 71 to 76 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, this temperature may change depending on the different types of plant you are working on, e.g. tropical plants.

Place your plants somewhere they can receive ample amount of light. Otherwise artificial light must be used. High pressure Sodium lights or bulbs are a suitable substitute for natural light.

Humidity is good. When the room’s temperature rises, the air will be able to hold the sufficient amount of moisture your plants will need.

A hydroponics system can be fully automated. Since it is water-based, the gardener has no soil to dig or weeds to pull. Also, the water can be re-used to prevent wastage.

With hydroponics, an excellent yield of quality plants can be easily achieved. Home hydroponics systems and DIY kits are are readily available in most hardware stores.

That’s it on Hydroponics gardening – How to get huge growth for now, but I’ll be back in a day or two with some more advice on gardening gifts, garden table and chairs and gardening tips. If you want to buy, click to compare plastic greenhouses or read reviews on Amazon.

May 172018
 
how to plant an orchard top tips

Today I spent 3 hours digging and my back is aching. But I feel great. While I have ten minutes spare before I have to pick up the kids from school I thought I’d share my thoughts on planting trees, fruit, spare land, and starting your own orchard. How to plant an orchard – Top Tips.

If you have a large amount of land that you have not put to use, you may consider planting an orchard. If you’ve had previous experiences with planting and maintaining trees, that is an added reason why you would be perfect for maintaining an orchard. It might seem like an overwhelming thing to undertake, but it is actually fairly simple. All it takes is some commitment.

If you’ve never grown a tree on your property, you might not want to make the time and money investment of buying lots of trees. If you are inexperienced, you will want to start with just one or two trees so that you can get a feel for the growing process. Once you have seen one tree along all the way to adulthood successfully, you are probably experienced enough to handle multiple trees. You should never plant so many trees that you are going to be overwhelmed, though. Only plant what you can handle.

Generally if you are getting started on a large amount of trees, you will want them to all be the same type. If they all require the same amount of water and nutrients, you won’t have to spend as much time catering individually to the different types of tree. As an added benefit, you will become very familiar with the process of growing that specific tree. You won’t be overwhelmed by having many different types, but instead you will become a master of that specific type.

If you already have a tree growing on your property that you have maintained from its childhood, then you know that the soil is acceptable for that type of tree and ones similar to it. Since you’ve already been through the process of growing that type of tree before, you shouldn’t have any problem testing all of the soil to make sure it is similar to the segment you already planted on. Then it is just a matter of growing more trees and causing the process to be the same as it was before. Since you’ve already dealt with the same problems in the past, you probably have a good idea of how to deal with any pests that might come about during growth.

Generally in an orchard, the trees are planted in a row, then pruned to be in a two dimensional shape. This is known as either a fan or an espalier shape. There is one main branch in the centre that is completely vertical, then multiple branches that go off to the side. If the side branches are horizontal it is known as an espalier. If they are sloped, it is known as a fan. Generally these 2 shapes are used in orchards because of how compact they are. By using them, you allow for many more trees to be in the certain amount of space. However, if land conservation is not an issue or you’re not looking to be efficient, you should probably stick with the traditional tree shape.

To aid in the watering of your trees, you should install either a sprinkler system or an irrigation system. The sprinklers require more maintenance, but if you dig an irrigation ditch then it is really easy to just run the faucet for a few minutes every day and reach all the trees. It’s just a matter of what you would prefer.

Once your tree collection starts to bear large amounts of fruit, you can consider starting a fruit stand or participating at the farmers market. Instead of letting the fruits go to waste or trying to eat them all (which can lead to some bad stomach aches), you can let the rest of the world enjoy the product of your intense labour. If you become a popular vendor, you might even make back a decent return on your investment. However, you can’t count on making very much money. Starting an orchard shouldn’t be a capitalistic investment. You should only start one if you have a passion for trees.

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May 142018
 
how to clean your bbq top tip to keep your bbq looking new

The weather is getting warmer and there are going to be lots of warm sunny days ahead. As it gets warmer you are going to want to have friends over to grill some hamburgers, drink some tinto, or make that special salad that you have seen in a magazine.

That is all well and good but you haven’t had a peek under the cover of the grill from last season…that is if you have had a cover on it in the first place. What you are going to need to do is get the grill ready for the first barbeque of the season. So, how to clean your BBQ is the first thing to ask.

This is easily done and all the prep that is needed is that you need to take a deep breath and then take the lid off here you will see perhaps all of the burnt off bits from the grill you did last year…yuk!

You will need to scrape off all of the fat and burnt bits and then get hot soapy water and a little elbow grease to scrub the plate. I actually remove the grill part and especially if there are stubborn marks behind soak this in the tubs in the laundry as this is a bigger tub and you are able to fully submerge the grill. Leave it soak for about half an hour and most of the stains and cooked on food will then easily come off.

When you have the grill looking clean you just continue to clean the top and the see through glass (if you have a see through panel) and if you can’t see through it now is the time to give it a little TLC.

As the grill is outside I like to get a little olive oil on a cloth and wipe this over the grill. This helps stop the grill from getting rusty and will stop the food from sticking on the grill. I then light the grill up and do a mini safety check making sure no animals have bitten through the leads and there is no gas leak. I then heat the grill to the hottest setting for 15 minutes and then I turn it off. That is how to clean your BBQ without any mess.

If you haven’t got a grill cover for your barbeque now is the time to protect it, as a cover protects against not only the elements but also keeps animals from getting on the grill.

Lastly, use the time before you have guests around to make sure the gas tanks are full and ready to go before you invite your friends over for the first barbeque for the season.

May 112018
 

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.