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A Compost Primer
Most gardeners and landscapers will agree almost unanimously that the single best thing you can do for your lawn is to add compost. Good, organic compost can remedy almost any problem you have with your soil. If you soil is too acidic, adding compost will help neutralize it and bring it back to a proper pH level. If your soil is too alkaline, ditto! Adding compost will help balance the alkalinity in the soil. If you live in an area with a lot of heavy clay, adding compost will help loosen and aerate the soil. If you live in a coastal or southern area with a lot of sand, adding compost will help bind it together. Soil lacking nutrients? Add compost to add new life to overworked soil.
So how do you make compost? It's easier than you can imagine and cheaper than anything else you will do. How cheap? How about free! All composting is, is the natural decomposition of organic matter. Walk through a dense forest and take a deep handful of soil from under your feet. Notice how black and rich it is. It didn't get that way from fertilizers or manure. It got that way from all the decomposing organic matter. A forest takes care of itself by recycling. It recycles every leaf, branch, berry, and bush. It does this quite simply. All the organic and living matter in the forest decomposes into compost which feeds the existing plants (and some animals!).
In the forest, when leaves fall from the trees, they all gather on the forest floor. In storms, branches may fall, as well as entire trees. This creates layers of organic matter on the forest floor. Eventually it rains adding fuel to the mixture. The rain aids the microbes that begin to eat the organic matter, eventually turning it into the rich, thick carpet you see on the forest floor. This compost feeds the living trees and other plants providing nutrients that rival the best fertilizers.
You can emulate the forest by creating your own compost. Avoid store bought compost, especially those made from manure. There's nothing natural about spreading rotted and decomposed cow feces on your lawn or garden. It's actually pretty gross! Especially considering the number of chemicals and steroids that are given to cattle and cows in the United States. If you must purchase or acquire compost from somewhere else, call your local municipal office. Many municipalities have their own composting facilities and they give away the compost to their residents for free! In our township, for example, all the leaves that are gathered in the fall from the local streets, are mulched up and composted in a huge field. In a year or two, once the leaves have thoroughly composted, we are permitted to haul away as much compost as we like! The only catch is that we must load it ourselves, but this is a small price to pay for free, organic mulch.
Dean Novosat is an avid gardener and landscaper. He has transformed many boring yards into beautiful landscapes. He has several websites including http://www.the-garden-doctor.com and http://www.dr-landscape.com.
Home for a Gnome?
Kitsch is defined by several dictionaries as relating to poor quality or gaudy art objects that appeal to "low-brow" taste. But in the garden, kitsch categorizes folksy or commercial art that's viewed condescendingly by some, and with irony by others. It's this irony (this stuff is so bad it's good) that has made items such as pink flamingos and garden gnomes more widely popular in recent years.
Ladybugs, Ladybugs, Come to My Garden
Ladybugs, also called lady beetles or ladybirds, can be a gardener's best friend. The ladybug's bright coloring brings welcomed cheer to the garden, as well as helping with pest control. Since medieval times, ladybugs have been valued by farmers all over the world. Many believe that the ladybug was divinely sent to free crops of insect pests. In fact, that is how the ladybug got its name. People dedicated the bug to the Virgin Mary and therefore called it "The Bug of our Lady", which was eventually shortened to the present name "ladybug".
How to Grow Avocado
Fruit gardening and vegetable gardening is a very exciting venture. Growing Avocado's was one of the challenges I took on as a hobby fruit and vegetable gardener. When you are not an inhabitant of state with a tropical climate you can grow avocado's in containers.
Landscaping of Hindu Religious Places
Traditionally Hindu tepmples were located either on hills or forests or river banks.In ancient times, the temples were constructed in such locations faraway from human habitations for providing a calm, peaceful and pleasant environment and also for ensuring a close bond between man and nature.Hindu temples are generally associated with trees such as Ficus benghalensis, Ficus Religiosa, Aegle marmelos,Azardirachta indica, Temple tree, Bauhinia spp, etc, Herbs such as Vinca rosea, Nerium spp etc.The gigantic trees like ficus spp and some other trees are closely associated with temples since time immemorial.The mixed fragrance, the flowers and the leaf litter on the ground gives a pleasent experience to a pilgrim or tourist.
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.
Funky Garden Plants 2
What's a perennial garden plant that blooms in the winter? A hellebore! It is an outdoor plant that is shocking to see blooming sometimes in the snow. There are many varieties. They are perennial which means they come back year after year.These are best planted in shady areas, but where they will get sun in the winter, for instance under leafed trees or something of that nature. What is so unusual about hellebores is that they bloom somewhere between Dec. and March. There are very few plants that do that! One variety is called a Christmas Rose. These plants usually must be puchased at a nursery. Check out your local nursery for this wonderful family of plants.
The Exotic Rose of Sharon
Perhaps you were browsing the pages of a catalog and found a beautiful picture of the Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus Sriacus)? Or maybe you were lucky enough to see a Rose of Sharon in person at a local garden center?
February in the Garden
Often in February there is a surprisingly warm day. Everybody sheds their coats and puts a bounce in their step. The next day they hear a snow plow at 4 AM. But the brief warmup gets you thinking "what is there to do in the landscape?"
Imagine Your Own Orchid Garden In A Pond
Who doesn't love to hear the water rushing and flowing through a very pretty orchid garden in a pond? Yes, this does not have to be only a dream. You can make it a reality.
Growing Great Potatoes
Potatoes are so easy to grow in the no dig, organic way. They are one of the top three in vegetable growing due to their popularity and versatility. Boil 'em, mash 'em, fry 'em, bake 'em. It's hard to go wrong with this staple in the diet.
The Advantages of Both a Liner Pond and a Preformed Pond, Rolled Up Into One Box!
Homemade Hummingbird Nectar
HUMMINGBIRD NECTAR RECIPE
How and When to Plant Roses
When spring comes and the ground is thawed, it is time to start planting your rose garden. Roses have been a cherished aphrodisiac since biblical times. They have been around for over 3000 years, yet they still hold a particular mystery and fascination, not to mention the fact that they just look and smell good!
Choosing the Perfect Landscape Painting
Landscape paintings are a beautiful way to spruce up the decor of your home. Although you can buy cheap reproduced paintings, you may want to consider purchasing an original from an artist to reduce the risk of a friend obtaining the same one. You can even buy one from an undiscovered up-and-coming artist to get a beautiful landscape painting at half the cost.
How to Win the War Against Slugs and Snails
Slugs are one of the most hated of garden pests. You may have spent time carefully planting out your seedlings into the bed, but when you return next morning, you find chewed leaves, the growing points nibbled away and a mass of slimy trails all around. All clear evidence that garden slugs, or sometimes snails, have been enjoying a nocturnal feast at your expense.
Straw Bale Culture Technique
In general, plants grown in straw bales appear to require less water than when grown in soil. Another benefit to using straw bale culture is the garden bed will turn into compost offering some additional nutrients to your vegetables and herbs. The constantly composing environment warms up to provide gentle heat to the roots of plants and for your greenhouse. After some preparation and processing the compost will also begin to generate Co2 which will help to boost your plant's growth rate.
Planning Permission Tips UK - Landscaping Schemes - Do They Add Value-Is It The Chicken Or The Egg?
Have you noticed how everything looks great at the moment - in the garden and parks I mean. Everything seems in bloom, full of colour and life. This is a great time of year for biking as well but that's another story.
Planting Roses in Pots
In years past, serious rosarians would never consider having a potted rose on their property unless it was just waiting for its home to be prepared in the garden.
How To Brighten Up Your Home With These Flower Arrangement Ideas
A beautiful flower arrangement piece can become the focal point of the room you choose to decorate. It's truly fascinating how we can combine different flowers to create a mesmerizing bouquet. With the vast selection of colors, fragrances and shapes, you can create or readily buy a flower arrangement piece that will speak to you and others walking in the room what you want to communicate.
What is the Right Plant and Where Do I Put It?
Know if your plants are disease-susceptible. Your choice of plants used in your garden is as important as the soil that you put those plants in. Select plants that are disease resistant and they will be much more easy to maintain and will give you the look you are wanting. Food for thought is use plants that are native to your area.
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