Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Herbs have been around since time immemorial and served different kinds of purposes. They have been used to treat illness and flavour cooking; they were even believed to have magical powers. Do you want to have your own herb garden? Here are a few ideas on how to establish an herb garden. Plan your garden. Consider the herbs you want to plant. Think about their types. Would you like annuals, biennials or perennials? How much space will they occupy in your garden? If you want, you can purchase a book that can give you the right information on what specific plants you are planning to grow. List or draw your garden on paper first. Separate the annuals from the perennials so when the time comes that you have to pull out the annuals, you won't be disturbing the perennials. Perennials can be planted on the edge of your garden so when it is time to till your garden they won't be in danger of getting dug up. Another thing to remember is that you have to plant the tall ones at the back and the shorter ones in front. Also, provide your plants with enough space to grow. Proper position shall help you in this area. If you would rather keep herbs out of your garden (and some are quite invasive) you could have herb pots. These are large containers with three or more outlets for the herbs. Fill the pot up to the first outlet and plant it before continuing on with the filling and planting process. Usually, the herb that requires the most water is planted in the bottom hole, while the variety that requires the least, goes in the highest hole. Some Design Ideas You can consider having a square herb bed. You can have your square bed divided into four by two paths crossing at mid point measuring 3 feet. You can border it with stone or brick. A wooden ladder may also do the trick. You can lay it down on your garden and plant your herbs between its rungs. You can also choose to have a wagon wheel bed. Planting here is like planting with the wooden ladders. Plant your herbs in between the wagon wheel's wedges. Get Your Plants Growing Of course, different plants have different needs, but many of them require alkaline soil. This is the reason why you have to determine the herbs you want to plant in the planning stage. This can more or less help you find out how you should care for your plants. If you germinate your herbs from seeds, remember to follow the directions on the packet for soil, watering and temperature. Herbs are some of the easiest plants to grow. You just have to provide them with an effective drainage, sunlight, enough humidity or moisture and fertile soil. Even with just minimally meeting these requirements they will be bound produce a good harvest.
Many people may not be aware that gardening can actually harm the environment. A large amount of carbon dioxide can be released through tilling the soil. This contributes to global warming. When you cultivating and compacting the soil, destroys good fungi. Fertilizers like nitrogen and manure often leach out of the soil and pollute the water you drink. Global warming Did you know that the earth's soil gives out carbon dioxide in the atmosphere 10 times more than all human activity? This comes from the pill bugs, microbes, fungi and worms when they breathe, digest food and then die. Although in the past plants have been capable of absorbing carbon dioxide caused by small-scale tillages, this isn't the case nowadays. The increase of the globe's average temperature is because of the carbon dioxide the soil emits when tilled. The good news is that tilling can be minimized by mulching or sheet composting. Good Fungi In untilled soil, there is beneficial fungi known as the vesicular-arbuscular-mycorrhizae or VAM for short. VAM actually forms a symbiotic relationship with plants. Their filaments increase root hairs and provide nutrients to the plant. They give out zinc, copper, potassium and phosphorus. Plants provide carbohydrates for the fungi in return. It is possible to grow a garden without tilling the sooiil at all by mulching heavily until the soil is soft and friable. Surplus Nitrogen Many gardeners waste nitrogen and manures; farmers do otherwise. Farmers only need a quarter to a third of nitrogen to mix with an inch of compost, horse, or cow manure. Kate Burroughs of Sebastopol California, uses the same rule for her home-grown lettuce and sweet corns. When it comes to broccoli and pear trees, farmers only need a small amount. Notice that gardeners apply larger amounts of compost and manure than farmers. Obviously, they are not only wasting their fertilizer but also their money. The best gardening advice that can be given to those concerned is to do all things with moderation. Keep in mind that too little and too much of something is not healthy. This is the most valuable advice one can have in gardening.
Healthy hands are the Gardener's Best Tools Here are the major reasons why one should consider getting a pair of trusty gardening gloves: Gloves protect your hands from blisters, thorns and cuts while doing rough work like digging or pruning in the garden. Investing in one or more pairs of quality gloves is a good decision. Here are some tips on how to choose the pair that will suit you best: 1. Look for quality leather gloves with a cloth back; this will let the gloves breathe and keep your hands dry, cool and comfortable. 2. If mud bothers you, select rubber gloves with cotton lining. 3. When spraying pesticides or chemicals choose gloves that are made from neoprene. Gloves made from latex or any type of plastic may not offer the best protection. 4. When pruning roses, use gloves that reach up to the arms. 5. If you usually operate large garden machinery, buy gloves in brown instead of red as the latter may dye your hands. 6. Light cotton or even fingerless gloves may be useful for transplanting seedlings. They will allow more dexterity and so help to prevent the tiny roots from being crushed. 7. And of course, make sure that the gloves you buy actually fit your hands. If you have small hands, try the children's gardening section. there's nothing worse than trying to garden is gloves that are too big. Your gloves must be comfortable as well as give protection to best serve your gardening needs.
What is butterfly gardening? Simply put butterfly gardening is the art of growing flowers and plants that will attract these colorful and dainty creatures to your garden. Delight your family and visitors with beautiful butterflies, but be sure to create a safe habitat for them. If you own cats rethink your plans, because it would be a shame to attract these lovely insects to their death. The design your butterfly garden is a matter of personal preference. Typical points to consider are the size of your garden and the types of flowers and plants you want to grow. Pick a style of garden that appeals to you, but ensure it also contains the plants and flowers that appeal to the butterflies you wish to attract. It is important to find out which plants and flowers will attract the species of butterflies. that live in your area. This information can be found at the local library To create the kind of environment that they find attractive, you will also need water of some kind. A birdbath will look attractive and keep the butterflies up off the ground, away from stray cats or mischievous puppies. A shallow dish on a post or hung in a tree will do just as well. When planting your butterfly garden be careful how you coordinate the colors you choose for your flowerbeds. Although butterflies do not care about your choice of color, you don't want your garden to be a hodgepodge of unrelated colors and textures. Butterflies are attracted to those flowers that have nectar rather than pollen, like honeysuckle, milkweed, summer lilac, Valerian, daisies, Purple Coneflower, Yellow Sage, day lilies and lavender. Some people find it helpful to draw and color a layout of their butterfly gardening plan to see what the finished product would look like. Keep in mind that warm colors like red and orange are flashy and showy. These colors have a greater impact against a strong green background. Cool colors such as blue and purple are soothing and toned down and would work better with a white contrast to create the look of freshness and brightness.
Apparently, we can see how nature is treated these days. It is a sad thing to know that people do not pay attention so much anymore to the environmental problems. What can we do about this? It's as simple as starting with the children. It is good to see the children's involvement with environment-friendly activities. One such nature-loving activity that children could easily get their hands on is gardening. Why should you consider gardening for your children? Here are the benefits that gardening could easily provide the children with: 1. Science In planting, children are indirectly taught the wonders of science like the plant's life cycle and how human's intervention can break or make the environment. They can have a first hand experience on the miracle of life through a seed. This would definitely be a new and enjoyable experience for the kids. 2. Life Watching a seed grow into a tree is just as wondrous as the conception to birth and growth of a child. In time, kids will learn to love their plants and appreciate the life in them. Gardening could actually help simulate how life should be treated -- it should be with care. The necessities to live will be emphasized to kids with the help of gardening - water, sunlight, air, soil. Those necessities could easily be corresponded to human necessities, i.e., water, shelter, air, food. By simply weeding out, one could educate how bad influences should be avoided to be able to live life smoothly. 3. Relaxation Studies show that gardening can reduce stress because of its calming effect. This is applicable to any age group. More so, it stimulates all the five senses. Believe it or not, gardening may be used as therapy to children who have been abused or those who are members of broken homes. It helps build one's self-esteem. 4. Quality Time with the Family You can forget about your stressful work life for a while be soothed by the lovely ambience in the garden. You can play and spend quality time with your children. You can talk while watering the plants or you can work quietly beside each other. The bottom line is, always do what you have to do, together with your kids. You might discover a lot of new things about your child while mingling with them in your garden. Let kids become aware of their environment's needs. And one way to jumpstart that environmental education may be through gardening. It's hitting two birds with one stone -- teach them to respect life while you bond with them.
Plants are just as popular as furniture when one is deciding on furniture and soft furnishings. Aside from the aesthetic value plants provide your home with, there are also health benefits - grade school science class tells us that plants cleanse the air through utilizing the carbon dioxide and producing more oxygen. Here is some important information on how to care for your indoor plants to gain the optimum health and aesthetic benefits. Lighting Most indoor plants need good lighting. You can provide this through natural lighting in the room of your choice or there must be electric lighting. Darker leaved plants usually don't need as much light as others. Here are the varieties of plants (usually those that only require medium to low light) that are known to be suitable for indoor gardening: a. Philodendrons b. Boston ferns c. African violets d. Cyclamens e. Creeping Fig Watering A common mistake most people make in indoor gardening is they tend to over-water the plants, which may lead to rotting roots. Make sure to research the type of plant you have, because each kind of plant varies on their watering needs. Potting Choose good quality and attractive container for your indoor plants. Make sure that the pot is clean before placing your new plant into it to prevent infection and to encourage healthy growth. Humidity In indoor gardening, humidity is a big issue. The amount of moisture in the air has effect on the growth of the plants. During mornings, you could spray the plants with water for their much-needed moisture. Make sure the leaves don't get covered in dust. Fertilization Just like watering, fertilizing depends on the type of plant. If you have managed to supply your indoor garden with the right amount of light, water and humidity, fertilization may not need much attention. A good indoor fertilizer can be bought from most home depot or hardware stores. Orchids need the special fertilizer available.
With the costs of living rising all the time, it may be possible to save money and increase your family's health at the same time by growing vegetables in your backyard. It's a good idea to choose your favourite vegetables to grow and plan beds for early, middle of the season and late varieties. Most vegetables require at least 6 hours of sunlight per day, some need 8. Some quick growers like lettuce and radish can be grown between the rows of plants that take longer to mature, like beet or corn, thus making full use of the area available. Throughout dry periods, vegetable gardens need extra watering. Most vegetables benefit from an inch or more of water each week, especially when they are fruiting. During the growing season watch for insect pests. If you discover a bug problem early it will be much easier, but be careful to not use pesticides once the vegetable are close to being picked unless it becomes an absolute necessity. Organic gardening is one healthy and environment-friendly option. Once you have reaped your crop, put the vegetable waste into your compost pile so that it can be recycled for next spring. It is important to protect your vegetable garden from wild animals looking for a tasty treat. Make sure your garden is surrounded by a fence that will keep out dogs, rabbits, and other animals. The harm done by wandering animals during one season can equal the cost of a fence. A fence also can serve as a frame for peas, beans, tomatoes, and other crops that need support. Protection is needed in order for your vegetable garden to yield a bountiful harvest. Hard work will pay dividends if necessary precautions have been made.