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Winter Gardening Looking Towards Spring
Ok, the title "winter gardening" might be a tad bit misleading. I am not suggesting that you actually garden during the winter but you should be using this time to plan your upcoming garden. As you look out at your yard and garden area during the cold months of winter, let your thoughts run wild and you will be amazed at what images you can conjure up. You might even want to try some of your new found ideas this spring!
1. Pour through garden catalogs, flip the pages and fold down the corner anytime you find something you like. Go back to it often until you decide what new plants and flowers you would like to try this spring.
2. Purchase some gardening books or magazines to get new ideas. Look at what other people are trying in their gardens and see if their ideas inspire you to try something new.
3. Look out your windows and try to visualize how you would like your yard and garden to look like. Study the sun....notice the shady spots.
4. Make a list of what is important to you, in other words, what do you want from your yard and garden? Do you want to create a patio area for entertaining, a vegetable garden so you grow all of your own vegetables, a quiet area for relaxing, or maybe an area that will attract wildlife. Anything is possible but it is important to recognize what you want before you actually start any gardening project. Ultimately, knowing what you want will save time and money!
5. Take lots of notes and draw any ideas you might come up with.(even those ideas that wake you up in the middle of the night!)
6. Of course, visit online nurseries to see what they have to offer. Many sites offer suggestions and interesting gardening articles as well.
Before you know it spring will be here, you will have a shovel in your hand, and you will have a plan! Happy Gardening!
© 2005, Candee Stark and Flowers & Garden.com
This article is provided courtesy of Flowers-and-Garden.com - You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and URL remain intact. More gardening talk at Flowers & Garden Blog
Growing and Preserving Cut Flowers
There is nothing more cheerful than vases full of fresh flowers placed around the house that have been grown and cut from your own garden. A cut flower is one that has been cut at the stem and placed in a vase of water. Cut flowers are grown from both annual and perennial plants. Here is a short list (by common name) of cut flowers that you can grow in your own garden to enjoy for many years to come.
Preparing The Garden For Winter
Are you like me? Sad to see the summer end but at the same time relieved that there is one less task to tend to. Weeding, watering, pruning, and more weeding is over for this year and with a few more chores the outdoor gardening year draws to a close. Most of what needs to be completed is a matter of cleaning up and covering up. Practical steps to preparing your outdoor garden for winter involve:
Orchid Myths -The Truth
Here are some of the popular orchid myths
How to Build a Waterfall For Your Garden Pond
Building a waterfall is easier than you think and will add a new dimension to your pool.
Early Spring Garden Guide: What To Do In The Yard And Garden Now
Can't wait to get back to the garden? Use this handy spring garden guide to get started. Believe it or not, the key is avoid getting too impatient and doing certain jobs too soon. Early spring jobs: in the yard Start winter cleanup of the lawn when the grass is no longer sopping wet and planting beds stop being a sea of mud. Rake your lawn to get rid of dead growth, stray leaves, twigs and winter debris and let light and air to the soil level, encouraging the grass to grow. Re-seed bare or damaged patches of lawn. Scratch up the soil with a rake first. Mix a shovel of soil with a couple of scoops of grass seed and spread in the patch you're fixing. Rake level and keep well-watered until seeds germinate and the new grass establishes. Remove tree guards or burlap winter protection from any young trees or shrubs. Try not to leave tree guards in place over the summer. They keep rabbits and mice from nibbling on tender bark over the winter, but trees don't need them in summer. They don't allow enough air movement around the base of the trunk and that can promote rot of the bark. Transplant any existing shrubs you want to move before they begin to leaf out. Weeds start growing vigorously early, so when you spot them, go to it. Getting on top of the weeding now means a lot less work later. Weeds are easier to pull out while their roots are still shallow in early spring. Apply dormant oil spray to fruit trees, magnolias, crabapples and shrubs such as euonymous to control scale insects and other overwintering pests. Use this organic pest control method when the buds are swelling but the leaves haven't opened yet. Apply when temperatures are between 40 and 70 degrees F (4-21 degrees C). Get your lawn mower checked and its blades sharpened if you didn't get the job done in late winter. Sharp blades cut better and leave your lawn grass healthier. Early spring garden jobs: In the flower garden Don't be in a rush to remove winter mulch or to cut back evergreen plants such as lavender until temperatures are reliably warm. Freeze and thaw cycles over the winter may given some of your plants the heave-ho. Replant any perennials that the frost has heaved out of the ground as soon as you can. Cut back any remaining dead perennial foliage from last season (trimmings can go into the compost). Cut back ornamental grasses to about 10 inches from the ground. Remove winter protection of mounded earth from roses. Prune rose bushes before they start to leaf out. Resist the urge to start digging in your flower beds too early. You can damage the soil's structure. If you pick up a handful of soil, it should fall apart, not stick together like glue. When it's dry enough, you can start to dig beds and add compost or manure in preparation for planting. Grass growth is vigorous in the early spring garden, so edge your flower beds with a sharp trench between them and the grass to keep it in bounds. Repeat this job a couple of times through the season, or installing permanent edging goes a long way towards having a lower maintenance flower garden.
Lawn Care Information
Recent lawn care information reports that a lot of us might be guilty of over-kill when it comes to tending our family turf. What may be the most effective way to solve problems may not be the best way for the long-term health of our lawns and safety of our families.
Outdoor Living Cleanses The Mind, Body, and Spirit
Through the use of various mediums pertaining to the outdoors, like hot tubs and patio furniture, one can relax and enjoy nature. Don't stay confined to four walls and a roof, breathe and inhale the free, fresh air only the beautiful outdoors can provide. Use your outdoor space as an extension of home, with all the added comforts. Suppose you do not have an outdoor space to relax on wicker and eat on a simple yet classy teak table. What do you do?
9-11 Changed Everything for the Garden Tractor Business
While traveling the US and occasionally taking the back highways one might have seen an interesting trend. That is the proliferation of the Lawn Garden tractors. They are everywhere and on any weekend you can see their owners mowing the grass. Previously fewer people had garden tractors but right after 9-11 everyone decided to stay home more and so they invested in things they wanted around the house, like BBQs and garden tractors. The manager of the Wal-Mart Super Center in Witchita Falls, TX said we have about 50 garden tractors out side for sale at any one time and they turn over quickly. We checked the prices and they are very affordable. You can peruse Wal-Mart's online catalog at Walmart.com and see the selection.
Colour in the Garden
Colour affects our emotions, moods, physical, and spiritual well-being. It has a significant effect on everything we eat, drink, and touch and influences our physical environment including our home, office, and garden. Colour reflects our personalities. The colours we prefer for home interiors carried out to the garden, provide continuity between our interior and exterior living spaces. Colours are a useful tool in creating different moods in the landscape. In order to effectively create with colour it is important to understand the meaning of the different colours.
Marjoram: The Herb of Happiness
Called the "herb of happiness," Origanum majorana, commonly known as sweet marjoram or knotted marjoram, is an herbal symbol of peace and well-being. Marjoram is grown as an annual in the colder parts of the world but is perennial in warmer regions. To keep it growing as a perennial, bring it indoors for the winter. Marjoram may be grown as a houseplant and as it has a tendency to trail when grown indoors, it makes a nice hanging basket. Marjoram has small, grey-green, oval-shaped leaves that are velvety to the touch. Tiny white or pink flowers, reddish stems, and the grey-green colour of the leaves make marjoram an attractive border plant.
How to Make Your Backyard a Wonderland Oasis
Home and garden accessories make the difference between house and home. Unfortunately, quality accessories can be notoriously expensive and in today's economy, finding beauty at a price one can afford is sometimes difficult but can be done. The difference between an empty backyard and a lush garden oasis comes down to the details. Visual and aural grace notes can transform any space.
Mustard: The Greatest Among The Herbs
Mustard plants have been used for thousands of years for their pungent flavour in condiments, spicy greens for side dishes and salads, and in traditional folk medicine and Chinese herbal medicine to treat a variety of ailments. The name mustard comes from the Latin mustum ardens, or "burning must." It was so named because as the seeds were pounded with unfermented grape juice, or must, their pungent qualities developed, hence "burning." Mustards seeds are mentioned in ancient Sanskrit writings dating back about 5,000 years ago and the Bible calls mustard "the greatest among the herbs." Valued for their intense flavours and healing properties, mustard seed and the plant itself have been grown for its beautiful yellow flowers and spicy seedling leaves. Members of the Brassicaceae family, mustard is a cruciferous vegetable related to cabbage, Brussel sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, Chinese cabbage, cauliflower, rutabagas, turnips, radishes, horseradish, cress, and broccoli with the attendant phytochemicals properties.
Moss on Lawns
Just about right now, we start to see moss on lawns and the plaintive cry goes up, "How do we stop it?"
Landscaping is a wonderful pastime enjoyed by many. It provides a natural beauty and needs no ornaments or other attractive items to help achieve its magnificence. What it does need, however, is a little TLC from you and great ideas to keep the landscape design ever changing and up to date.
Tips for Choosing a Chiminea for Your Backyard or Patio
Imagine that you want to stay warm in your backyard on a cool, starry night. One of the ways you can do so is to invest in a clay or cast iron chiminea. A chiminea is nothing more than the modern version of a traditional Mexican outdoor fireplace. This type of outdoor fireplace was used for hundreds of years as a source of warmth and a place to cook. Nowadays you see them in many backyards as sources of warmth and as accent pieces adding charm to a patio or garden.
Organic Hydroponics - Simplified
These days, it's easy to get lost in the wealth of knowledge available on hydroponics cultivation. The dizzying collection of fertilizers, additives and supplement doesn't necessarily help the situation. From foliage to root, there's something for everyone and for every kind of situation.
Why Teak Furniture is the Better Choice
For centuries, it has been known that teak has qualities unlike any other wood. With an average lifespan of 75 years, teak wood has long been commended as the ideal choice for outdoor furniture.
How To Prevent Damping Off
Damping off is the single term used to describe underground, soil line, or crown rots of seedlings due to unknown causes. The term actually covers several soil borne diseases of plants and seed borne fungi. The fungi which cause root rot are species of Phyium, Phytophthora, Rhizoctonia and Fusarium.
Water Pond Designs
You can have different water pond designs, however ones that don't restrict water movement are the best. What I mean by that is you don't want to have a backyard pond with tight corners in it where it will be hard for water to circulate.
Composting the Easy Way
Having an ample supply of good rich compost is the gardeners dream. It has many uses, and all of those uses will result in nicer plants. However, composting can be time consuming and hard work. I place a reasonable value on my time, so spending hours and hours turning compost piles doesn't qualify as a worthwhile exercise, at least in my book. Nonetheless, I do compost, but I do so on my terms.
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