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Choosing Pond Plants
A pond without plants is like cake without icing. Pond plants fight algae, give fish a hiding place against predators, and beautify our own little slice of paradise to plunk down in at the end of a tiring day.
Don't smother your pond with plants, however. Start with half the surface area, and don't let them cover more than two-thirds to three-quarters at their growing peak. Overcrowding stresses them out, and hey ? it just looks bad!
Don't let the terms "hardy" and "tropical" throw you when choosing plants for your pond. Just remember that these terms refer to the environment in which the plant has originally been adapted ? and not to whether it can be thrown across the room or how well it looks in a fancy mixed drink.
Hardy pond plants, as a rule, can handle cold temperatures and frost. Of course, this is relative to your USDA agricultural zone, found here: http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html.
Ask your plant professional or check the plant's label before taking home that plant that does great in Hawaii, but not so great in Maine.
Tropicals, on the other hand, pretty much hold true to what they're called: They will take a nosedive if temperatures get much below 70 degrees, turning into a messy mush if it freezes.
But, ah, Grasshopper, there are ways to save even those hardy plants that aren't quite up to a northern blizzard, as well as those tender-toed tropicals with which you've fallen madly in love.
Bury hardy pond plants, pot and all, into a south-facing part of your yard and cover with a thick, warm blanket of mulch. Or put them into a garage or basement, making sure they're kept wet and have good air circulation.
Tropicals, on the other hand, need light and moisture year 'round. If you don't have a greenhouse, place tropicals in your sunniest window and keep misted, several times a day if possible, to provide the humidity they crave in order to flourish. "Grow lights" do a fabulous fake of the sun, however, and many tropical pond plants thrive under them.
Marginal pond plants ? those that grow around the edges, or margins, of a pond ? can be either hardy or tropical. Some hardy marginals are cattail, plantain, and rush. Tropical marginals include taro, spider lily, and water hibiscus. Of course there are legions more to lust after in both hardy and tropical marginals. Place marginals with their pot tops one to six inches under water. Very tall plants, like cattail, can be moved as deep as a foot beneath the surface one they've gotten full-sized.
Water lilies, however, like their water deep ? between 18 and 30 inches ? after starting the season in the 6"-12" shallower end. This gives them a nice, springtime shot of sunshine to get going again. And when the plant pro recommends those funny-looking pots with all the little holes in them, go for it. Pond plants poke their toes (roots) through them to develop tiny, nutrient-extracting feeder roots. Meshing with one another, these roots provide stability and protection against wind, kids, pets, and adults that have a tendency to stumble into them.
Fertilize pond plants when they need them. "Ha!" you say. "And when is that?" Well, go back to your plant pro, the Internet, or the plant label you so wisely saved. Each plant may have different requirements, but one rule of thumb: Plants need much more fertilizer in warm-weather months than when it's cool outside.
So go have fun with your pond and your plants!
Brett Fogle is the owner of MacArthur Water Gardens and several pond-related websites including macarthurwatergardens.com and pond-filters-online.com. He also publishes a free monthly newsletter called PondStuff! with a reader circulation of over 9,000 pond owners. To sign up for the free newsletter and receive a complimentary 'New Pond Owners Guide' for joining, just visit MacArthur Water Gardens > ****************************************************************
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.
Flower gardens are for enjoyment. They provide you with visual beauty, the joy of working with soil and plants, and the pride of showing others what you have created. As a gardener, one is always experimenting and learning anew what delights a flower garden may bring forth. This enjoyment can be intensified by creating your garden, or a room within the garden, with a theme.
Organic or Chemical Feeding of Plants - Whats Best
A fundamental question in vegetable gardening is - what is the proper use of organic and/or chemical materials? Let's determine the truth of the matter, with four basic principles and a few brief examples from Dr. Jacob R. Mittleider's worldwide experience.
The Perfect Accent -- Miniature Roses
Indoors or out, you'll find miniature roses very easy to grow. These little guys sometimes get overlooked because they give off little fragrance, yet they can be the perfect visual accent to any home or garden.
Natural Garden Pest Control
No dig gardens essentially strive to be their own ecosystem. This is the sign of the best sort of garden, one that is in tune with itself without the need for pest or disease control. Starting with a weed free bed and clean compost, the garden should get off to a roaring start on this front.
Are you looking for a truly versatile vegetable to grow and serve? Try beetroot! It has the most amazing colour and texture. Varieties range in colour from gold to deep red/purple and are delicious raw, boiled, baked, pickled and juiced. Even the leaves are edible! The root is packed with Vitamin C and the leaves are a great source of Vitamin A and potassium.
How to Grow Strawberries
In addition to the traditional strawberry patch, there are as many ways to grow strawberries as there are to eat them! Grow strawberries in a bed, hydroponically, as a ground cover, as an ornamental patio plant, or in a hanging basket.
Spring Garden Tips
Gardeners, it's time to put your gardening skills to the test. If temperatures are cooperating, the merry months of May and June will be your busiest until September, with planning, planting, and patio projects to lead the way into summer. Don't be fooled by a late frost; find out the mean freeze date in your area, and be sure soil is warm and workable-not too wet, not too dry-before putting tender plants in the ground.
5 Most Popular Flowers for Your Garden
When planting a garden there are many questions which you must ask yourself before you begin. Where are you going to plant it, do you have the garden equipment to do so and how big do you want your garden to be? When do flowers bloom and what are their heights? These are all very important questions, however they mean very little if you have not yet decided which types of flowers you want to plant. There are many to choose from and don't le anybody tell you which ones you can and can't plant. Gardens are unique and fascinating to look at because each one is unique it its own way.
Pest Control Tips for Maintaining Your Greenhouse
Greenhouses provide a warm, humid atmosphere and are home to a variety of different plants and flowers which is why they are a perfect target for insects. There are numerous types of insects which will want to live in your greenhouse and feed off of the wonderful plants and flowers which you have put so much time and effort into maintaining. The information below will provide you with tips and guidelines to follow in order to ensure you are doing everything in your power to ward off any unwanted pests.
All about Tulip Gardens
As the curtain of winter lifts, tulips are one of the first flowers to take the spring stage. As the last drifts of snow seep into the soil, these bright signs of spring dance in the sunlight. However, you don't have to wait for spring to grow tulips. Whether it lies in a bed, under a shrub, in the crevices of a rock garden or in a container, a tulip bulb is an underground flower factory just waiting to "spring up" from whatever soil it occupies.
5 Things To Consider Before Purchasing a Push Reel Mower
Push Reel Mowers are making a "comeback" of sorts, though, in reality they've never really left; they've just gotten better. There are a number of reasons why purchasing a reel mower would make sense such as: better for the environment; more exercise; lighter; and, better for the grass, to name a few. However, a push reel mower is not for everyone nor for every lawn situation.
Dill: Scandinavias Most Important Culinary Herb
The ancient herb, Anethum graveolens or Fernleaf dill as it is commonly known, was mentioned some 5,000 years ago in early Egyptian writings. It is the most important culinary herb in Scandinavia, as popular as parsley is in other parts of the world. The word 'dill' stems from the Old Norse word dilla, meaning "to lull," and can be grown indoors and out. The feathery leaves make dill a pretty foliage plant, which is lovely as a green foil for the flowers in your garden. The fragrance of dill on fingers evokes a 'comfort smell' for many people as the leaves smell of homemade dill pickles. Old-fashioned dill water or gripe water as it is commonly known (made by infusing crushed dill seeds in hot water), is still used as a remedy for indigestion in adults as well as children.
Pine Furniture Care Guide
First, some background on PINE WOOD. Pine is a naturally soft wood which continues to "breathe", based upon changes in the local (home, office, store, etc.) humidity and temperature. On the individual furniture piece there may be slight defects, such as knots,and shakes(small cracks in the surface of the wood). Some minor shrinkage may sometimes occur. These natural irregularities in pine enhance its overall uniqueness.
Beauty After life - Plants For Drying - Grasses
Dried plants and dried flowers are midway for people who cannot afford gardens or costly fresh flowers and artifical flowers or plants for decoration. The household woman will get immense satisfaction, if she can nurture the hobby of making these dried flowers and plants, and then decorate her home. But few are aware of the type of plants and flowers to select for drying and the methods of drying while retaining the original beauty without much loss of color or shape.
International Flower Delivery
As our global community continues to expand we often find ourselves with friends and families who live in countries outside of the U.S. In the past this caused somewhat of a dilemma if a person wanted to send a gift of flowers internationally. It was not as simple as calling the local florist; it was almost impossible to find a florist who could wire transfer the order to another florist in a different country. This has changed, however, because of the availability of resources via the Internet.
Tarragon: A Favourite of French Chefs
Long a favourite of French chefs, the herb Artemisia dracunculus, known as French tarragon or dragon herb is an essential ingredient in Béarnaise sauce, tarragon vinegar, and certain Dijon mustards. A perennial herb, tarragon grows 2 ? 4 feet (60 ? 120 cm) and has dark, shiny, narrow grey-green leaves about 3 inches (8 cm) long with smooth edges. Tarragon produces tiny yellow flowers and has stems that are ridged, round, branching, and light green. Tarragon is rich in Vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, calcium, and potassium, and has a mild anise flavour in its leaves.
Who Sells Flower Bulbs?
Flower bulbs offer some of the most distinctive, unusual flowers around. Gladioli, lilies, crocus, lilac, daylilies? all are instantly recognizable. When it comes time to buy flower bulbs, however, many people are at a loss. Who sells flower bulbs?
Decorative Garden Accents
Think of your garden like you would a room in your home. After planning the shape, tilling the soil, choosing the right plants the last step is to add those personal touches. And just like indoors this is accomplished with accessories.
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.
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