Gardening Tips: How Important is Soil Preparation?

Gardening has been one of the favorite hobbies of many homeowners today. They love taking care of their plants and decorate their backyard by colorful flowers.

Gardening makes them relax and they even have time for their family. So in order to have a healthy and blooming garden all-year round, one must know the basic gardening procedure – preparing the soil.

Soil fertility is very essential for many types of garden. Plants get the nutrients in the soil in order to grow healthy, to increase their immunity to pests and to survive. It is advisable that one has to use organic fertilizer for the fertility of the soil.

These organic components come from animals, plants or other mineral resources and will provide all the nutrients the plants need. One advantage of using organic is that they don’t impose any harm to the composition and natural activities in the soil, they will only make improvements.

Making your soil healthy and fertile is not achieved instantly. As a gardener, one must know that it is a long process. So when you are planning your gardening project, you have to start with tending the soil.

One very common mistake most gardeners commit is that they overlooked the importance of conditioning the soil. Some start planting and tending the soil for later. This is definitely not a good habit if you are thriving for a healthy and organic garden.

Soil should come next after your have chosen the location. Soil is the one you can alter with organic components in order to improve the garden and make it an ideal place for your plants.

The physical appearance of the soil might not be appealing for us but inside there are interesting activities that make this soil a very important ingredient for a bountiful garden. Soil is the very foundation on any successful garden today so one must make it their priority.

At first, you might hesitate on investing your time, money and effort in improving your soil but at the end when you see your flowers blooming and your vegetables bearing fresh fruits, all your hard work is paid off. If you fail to pay attention to soil, your plants will struggle and you will eventually lose interest in gardening. Once you have established a good, healthy and organic soil for your garden, the plants can survive by themselves.

Soil is composed mainly of mineral resources and organic matter is only 10 percent of the total composition. However, within that small amount there are microorganisms that turn your soil to a paradise breathing life to your plants. So make sure you prioritize improving your soil because it is a beautiful start for your gardening hobby.

Organic Materials to Improve your Soil

  • Compost

This is essential for the improvement of your soil. Make compost in your bin and make sure to compress the materials to speed up the decaying process. This will add some organic matter to your garden.

  • Peat Moss

This is good for sandy soil. It will improve the soil in order to retain moisture.

  • Animal Manures

This is where the soil will get its nutrients. Make sure to use rotted manures rather than the fresh ones, they will only damage your plants. Apply it during early spring or fall for best results and make sure to dig them completely under the soil to avoid seeds from sprouting on it.

  • Seaweed

Seaweed will give trace minerals, potash and nitrogen to our soil. You may get fresh ones from the beach. They are abundant during fall but you must be aware how much you should get since seaweeds are important living organisms and many fished depend on it for food under the water. Another option is you purchase some dried ones from a local garden store.

  • Sawdust

Wood chips or sawdust is perfect for clay soil. They will make the soil bulk and make it lighter.

  • Green Manures

These are dried leaves that have fallen to the ground during the fall season. You can use the leaves of clover, field peas, oats, buckwheat and fava beans.

They will make your soil look bulk and enhance its aeration and drainage properties. Other green manures can give nitrogen to the soil.

These organic matters will surely improve your soil structure and your garden. These matters are the food source of many microorganisms such as earthworms beneath the soil. These earthworms improve the aerating your soil and the waste products they produce serves as the most organic matter that makes your soil healthy and fertile

Gardening is not all about improving your backyard using your most colorful flower beds and lush plants and herbs, it is about tending the soil which greatly contributes to the preservation of the environment. Preparing your soil is a basic and important step to start a healthier and productive yard.

Build A Stylish Contemporary Garden In Fayetteville Without The Hassle

 

“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.” – Gertrude Jekyll

The sight of a garden when you wake up in the morning when you get home from a busy day and before the dark sets in, is just simply amazing. It is nature’s way of telling us to relax and indulge in the beauty of the earth despite the challenges that we go through each day, which we forget most of the times. A garden is a masterpiece which we cannot just ignore, it calls us and catches our attention in a very peculiar yet stunning way. However, in order to achieve it, you have to invest your time, effort, ideas, energy and of course, patience. It’ll require you to do a handful of tasks and garden chores. Indeed, as what Gertrude Jekyll said, a garden is a grand teacher since it teaches us a lot of things.

Everywhere in the world, a garden can be found and a lot of people desire to build one, including residents in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Given that this city has an average of 217 sunny days per year, of course, people would love to take advantage of it and spend their time on outdoor activities. Well, having a garden and a beautiful landscape can certainly add up to the fun. Now, there are various garden design styles that you can use as inspirations, and the most common trend nowadays is the contemporary garden.

 

What Is A Contemporary Garden?

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A contemporary garden is also known as a modern garden. It contrasts to any other garden designs, this one is not static, meaning it continuously changes. It has one of the broadest categories in terms of style and design according to experts. Aside from that, a contemporary garden has an emphasis on strong structural and graphic elements, clean lines and unusual materials. In this garden style, hardscape elements are prominent and it’s often bold, sharp, and has strong stress on visual lines running throughout the entire space.

Studies show that it was until the mid-90s that the contemporary style came into reality. Although its appeal is strong and bold, it is surprisingly adaptable and with just a few adjustments, you can achieve a naturalistic garden with the use of sustainable materials.

 

Elements Of A Contemporary Garden

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We’ve mentioned previously that hardscape elements play an illustrious role in the contemporary garden style. It has an emphasis on the most common hardscape of stone, wood, and concrete, with bold architectural plants incorporated. Not only that, focal points such as water features, sculpture, and containers are also eminent. Now, it’s paramount that you gain knowledge on the most common hardscape elements that are considered to be highly important in achieving a trendy contemporary garden.

 

Cobbles

Cobbles are naturally rounded river stones which are the perfect contrast for rigid, man-made industrial materials. These stones are available in a variety of colors and sizes, indeed, you’ll have a lot to choose from. Cobbles are also a great inclusion to the garden design in terms of adding texture to the overall style and offer design opportunities for challenging spaces.

Metal Grids

Metal grids were first created as reinforcement mesh for concrete and masonry. These grids are welded wire panels which vary in density and are perfectly used as fencing materials. On the other hand, screen panels can be used as a trellis for garden vines. For a more innovative style, you can use incorporate metal grids with wood planks or recycled segments.

Concrete Steppers

Concrete steppers are a fantastic way to add stepping stones to your garden. It’s versatile and doesn’t burst your budget. Even if you choose the plain finish, the exposed stone, or the natural rustic products, nevertheless, you can still achieve a great look at an affordable price. For geometric forms, you can consider precast concrete steppers.

Spheres

Spheres are incredible, cheap (yet, scalable) and elegant garden additions. Regardless if it’s made of concrete, ceramic, metal or clay, spheres are undeniably important sculptural elements for any garden types, especially the contemporary garden. It can be used as focal points as to stand out and direct the viewer’s attention.

Sheet Metal

Galvanized metal sheeting are widely used for gardening, whether it is flat or corrugated. You don’t have to be an expert or special skills in order to install it because it is very easy to use. Due to its ability to curve and wrap, sheet metal can be used as an outstanding veneer and weatherproof solid screening.

Slick Pots

Pots are one of the most elegant and appealing ornaments that complement a contemporary garden. These pots are made of various materials such as resin, ceramic, metals with or without patina and clay. It also comes in different sizes: cylindrical or square. To complete the feature, you can add plants in the pots and align them alongside the lines of your landscape or garden.

Contemporary Furniture

Given the evolution of garden designs in the modern-day era, new and stylish furniture were developed. It can be made of stainless steel, chrome, synthetic rattan, and waterproof fabrics. The most common contemporary furniture are garden sofas, garden chairs, garden tables, & sun loungers, as well as garden fires, garden lighting & outdoor accessories.

 

Designing A Contemporary Garden: Adding Style and Warmth

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In designing a contemporary garden in Fayetteville, you have to contemplate on the elements and develop a well thought-out plan. To cap it off, you’ll need strategies and best practices to guarantee a successful modern garden style. A minimalist approach, sleek materials and a well-designed plan, you can certainly accomplish an inviting, majestic and fascinating garden. Of course, when your friends or family gather around, you’d certainly want them to feel relaxed and enjoy the beauty of your garden. Isn’t that right? Oh well, we all do share the same sentiments. Besides, here’s no place like home with an appealing garden. So, we’ve collected the best strategies and best practices to help you out in designing your very own contemporary garden in Fayetteville.

 

Pay Attention To Planting Structure

A garden will not be a garden without plants. Just like in landscaping, you can’t plant anywhere you want. You have to consider the soil type in your area, of which you have to conduct a soil test in order for you to find out, and which plants flourish in Fayetteville. Neatly organize your plants, and opt for a natural and loose planting style. This planting style gives a sense of playfulness, liveliness, and warmth.

To hold your garden together, you might want to consider using repeat patterns. A row of small trees, box bushes, shrubs or ornaments placed at regular intervals provides an organized look and has timeless appeal. A pattern of sculptural plants, such as box balls, are the norm in any contemporary landscape or garden.

 

Add Pops of Color

Colors add mood and outstanding character to your garden. Hence, don’t be afraid to use colors, but do it wisely. Now, to start it off, you can use a good base for the color scheme for your garden, take white and green for example. Remember, don’t underestimate the power of simple colors. You can use pale limestone paving or gravel to create elegant paths or a patio area for an instance. Then, try painting any brick walls or fences white. Or, you can use the color of your chosen color scheme.

 

Including contrast of colors is also a great idea. For example, you can add fall or summer colors in your garden, but be mindful of the planting season. For a more naturalistic look, start with an organized palette or color scheme, and let the plantings dissolve into the surrounding environment. Plus, you can bring warmth to the garden by stamping and coloring a concrete patio to look like a flagstone. Use the natural colors of concrete, steel, smooth stucco and stone to achieve an engaging look.

 

Play With Geometry

Certainly, you don’t want to have a boring and lifeless garden, right? Then, don’t hesitate to play with shapes such as squares, rectangles, circles, triangles. Geometric shapes always have a place in a contemporary garden design. These shapes play a vital role in defining areas in your garden, create individual vignettes, and most of all, adds that clean-lined modern aesthetic. In between the lawns and paths, you can create a contrast of geometric shapes. Might as well reflect it in the plants.

 

According to experts, you can take this as an example, a straight-lined stone path can lead you to an outdoor sitting area that is defined by a squared boxwood enclosure, and then perhaps circular stepping stones lead to an outdoor pool area, and so on. Adding curve along the patios or walkways is also one way to enhance your garden’s movement.

 

Incorporate Clean And Straight Lines

Did you know that incorporating clean and straight lines in your garden can create a sense of Zen? Yes, that’s right. It helps provide a feeling of being relaxed through its minimalist approach. Aside from that, in order to fully achieve a zen-like atmosphere, water features are required. Installing fountains, streams, pools, and ponds with Koi fish is a good idea for your garden. Might as well add privacy barriers using natural materials like bamboo.

 

Most Japanese gardens have that zen-like appeal, hence, usage of raked sand or stone, incorporated with a few well-placed succulents should do the trick. You can also search through the internet or catalogs to look for more inspirations. In choosing plants, don’t use bright-colored ones. Simply opt for neutral greens to build a peaceful atmosphere.

 

Consider Layout And Lighting

The essence of good contemporary garden design is a marriage of style and function. Your garden is the extension of your home, which makes it equally important to your interior during the day and even after the sun comes down. It’s important that your outdoor space is usable and the key factors here are layout and lighting. For instance, to create a stronger visual element, you can use retaining walls to elevate the plantings when dealing with slopes. Or you can use planters to help elevate the plantings for a more tangible part of the design.

 

The outdoor lighting should not be cool-toned. As much as possible, use LEDs which can look like incandescent for your contemporary garden. Of course, the fixtures are as vital as the quality of light they release. You can install lighting fixtures on patios, walkways, benches and any other focal points in your garden. Good garden lighting is always about what you light, rather than the light fixture.

 

Finish With Artful Touches

The thing that makes every contemporary garden different from the other lies in your hands – your artful touches. You can customize the design by combining focal points, furnishings, and artful touches, and create a natural connection with the surroundings. Incorporating personality to your garden without upsetting the minimalist aesthetic characteristic in contemporary styling can be quite a challenge. The secret here though is picking out classic furniture and ornaments like wood.

Sticking to what’s new or following trends may not be the best option. Take a look at your plants and you can pick a color palette based on your plantings’ color scheme. For instance, repeating a color found in an ornamental grass or flower is more personal to your garden, and won’t go out of style or it’s timeless. It’s also worth the time to choose native plants or perennials in Fayetteville to help bring balance and connection to your modern garden.

 

Plants To Consider For Your Contemporary Garden

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To complete your guide in designing a contemporary garden in Fayetteville, it’s only best that you are also aware of which plants to use for a bold, dramatic and appealing garden. We’ve listed few of the many plants that are worth including to your majestic masterpiece.

  • Yucca
  • Canna & Alocasia
  • Hosta
  • Red-Hot Poker
  • Agapanthus
  • New Zealand Flax
  • Aeonium
  • Sedum
  • Carex
  • Swiss Cheese Plant
  • Aucuba
  • Fatsia
  • Lily Turf

 

Wanting a garden for your home is definitely one of the most beautiful desires that we all could ever have, especially a contemporary one. Not only that it adds appeal to the entire outdoor space, but it also adds more fun to gatherings, siesta time, outdoor activities, and it simply adds color to our lives. Now, a contemporary garden may seem minimalistic, nevertheless, it is simply fascinating, given that you follow best practices and method just like what we’ve mentioned above. Incorporate it into your Fayetteville landscaping project will certainly make your property one of a kind and it will stand out above the rest. Simply put, nothing beats the beauty of Mother Nature when done in the right way. Start yours now!

Aromatic Organic Herbs Seeds You Can Grow in Pots

 

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If you like to cook, to flavor your food and try different aromas all the time, you can grow your favorite herbs in pots. Thus, you will always have access to fresh and tasty spices. Here are the main herbs that can be grown inside:

Parsley

One of the most popular herbs in the world, parsley was discovered over 2,000 years ago. If you cultivate it in pots, you can have fresh parsley all year. You need herb seeds, a larger pot and topsoil mixed with sand.

It is very important to cover the seeds with clear plastic foil right after you sow them and make some holes in it. The foil can be removed only when the plant begins to grow. The pot should be kept in a bright place, with a constant temperature. The lack of light slows the leaf growth.

Dill

Just like parsley, dill is a light and heat-loving plant. Therefore, the dill pot should be kept in a warm and bright kitchen or balcony. It is recommended to moderately wet because its roots can rot. It is also recommended to constantly break the plant tops, so that they will regenerate more easily.

Unlike parsley which is perennial, dill is an annual plant, so you’ll be forced to replant it in pots each spring.

Rosemary

Rosemary resembles a fir tree, its always green leaves having a needle form. The plant needs plenty of light throughout the year.

Rosemary does not require much water but little moisture. It is advisable to put water in the plate for the plant to be able to take as needed.

It is important that the soil has good drainage so that excess water can drain easily and does not remain at its roots. You can use topsoil purchased from stores, mixed with a little sand.

Basil

Basil is very flavored and also has medicinal properties, with antioxidant, anticancer, antiviral and antibacterial effects. The plant needs a well-drained soil and should be maintained in the light. Therefore, it is advisable to place the pot on a window sill facing south.

Basil leaves are often used in salads, pasta, steak, various sauces but also in combination with fruits. It is good to know that it is better to use fresh basil because cooking will destroy the flavor.

Mint

Mint is a perennial plant, very aromatic, which is grown quite easy.

Mint prefers shady places and needs a moist soil to grow as many leaves. At the same time, to stimulate the production of leaves, yank existing ones often. It is good to know that mint grows and regenerates very quickly.

Thyme

You can dig up this plant from the garden and replant it in a pot or you can sow the seeds. Thyme is a light-loving plant but grows well in shady places, too. It is best to pluck the leaves once it has flourished.

Thyme is used to add flavor to meat, salads, soups, sauces, bread, vegetables and meat dishes, desserts. It gives a special flavor to lamb, tomatoes and eggs.

Sage

To cultivate sage in pots you can start with a cutting from a plant in the garden or sow the seeds. Sage tolerates the dry air inside the house and needs bright light, so it is good to be placed at a south window.

Sage is being used for centuries by people to protect them from evil and snake bite, but also to increase fertility in women. The plant has a slightly sweet and peppery flavor at the same time. It is used to flavor roasts, cheese or garnish preparation of various sauces.

Gardening Tips: Proper Ways to Give Your Plants a Drink

Watering plants is not as easy as you think it is. If you want to have lovely flowers in your garden, you need to pay attention in perfecting the proper way of watering them. In summer days, when the sun is scorching hot, it is important to ensure that your plants are getting enough water to encourage deep rooting and rich foliage.

When giving them a drink, you need to be familiar on the plant’s qualities as not all plants need the same amount of water. There are certain variables that you need to consider when watering – the soil, type of plants, weather and season of the year.

Watering Advice

Plants in containers, garden beds and planters may need different strategies to drink in order to grow healthy. Those that grow in massive bundles also need different water supply from those living solo.

  • Plants in Rows – plants arranged in rows can be watered similarly to those in hedges. The trick is to make a gutter with holes buried rim-deep into the surface of the soil in intervals. In watering them, just fill the gutter with water and it will do the work for you.
  • Plants in Containers – plant containers are a big deal in keeping the moisture of the soil. Thus, it is highly advised to choose terracotta, large containers compared to small plastic ones. Large containers slow down evaporation and hold more water in comparison to small containers.
  • Plants in Solo – trees and shrubs are most likely living alone in a certain area of your garden. These big trees and shrubs need enough water aimed directly on its roots. You can create a pipe and bury its bottom part directly at the roots while the upper portion of the pipe is at an angle above the surface. This is to ensure that water goes to the roots and no waste is made.

The Proper Tools in Watering Plants

There are several tools that you might consider to lessen your time and effort in watering your garden. With the right equipment at hand, you are assured that your plants get the right amount of water and not most of it goes to waste.

  • Hand Watering Tool – in small gardens, it is recommended to use hand watering equipment. Choose a container with long spout to extend your reach and if you are using a hose, make sure to have a lance at the end of it for easy control of water flow.
  • Automatic Watering Tools – this is ideal for plants in beds or plants arranged in rows. You can install micro-tubing with flexible nozzles tightly fitted on both ends. To water, turn on the outside tap and the water you filled in the containers will go directly on your hanging plans and growing bags.

When watering the plants in your garden, remember that the water has to go directly into the soil avoiding its lush foliage. Keeping moisture in its leaves can start a disease. It is best to water your plants in the morning when the sun is not yet visible. This will avoid water to evaporate and soil to quickly run dry. And don’t forget the mulch, it keeps the surface moist and reduces runoff. Plants don’t need to be watered every day, too much of it will drown the roots, rotten it and worse, cause its death.

Easy Gardening Tips for Disable Gardeners

Gardening is for everyone. It doesn’t require gardeners to be fully functional to perform various gardening activities. Although limited, disabled gardeners can still experience the joy of gardening. With the right tools and a little help from someone, you can create your own unique garden. This is a healthy activity that helps you relieve stress and have an inner peace. It doesn’t matter if you are sitting down on a wheelchair, just recovered from a mild stroke, old with weak grips or with sight loss, gardening is also for you.

You can start by doing simple gardening activities like weeding, digging and tilling. Your health is essential so don’t push yourself too hard, this activity has to be fun and not stress you out.

handicapAppropriate Activities to Loosen You Up

People with disabilities need activities to boost their morale which gardening promises to give. There might be some instances where you may need some help but working on your own definitely helps you gain confidence in yourself.

  • Digging – digging can be a laborious job for gardeners, but you can do it slow and safe. It might strain some parts of your body like arms, legs and back so perform a few stretches before doing it will help. Also, do it on intervals so you can take a rest in between.

  • Pruning – this is important in gardening to avoid plants from getting sick. Removing dry and unwanted leaves or stems also encourages plants to generate flowers and fruits. Wear protective gloves and avoid reaching up too much.

  • Watering – plants need enough water to grow healthy. It would help if you only have drought-resistant plants in the garden this way you won’t have to water them every day. To make the task easier for you, choose sprinklers or watering containers that are lightweight and easy to handle.

  • Raking – cleaning the beds or garden pathways makes the garden look clean and clear. Gather up leaves and weeds as you go so you won’t have to do it all at once. Also, use lighter rakes so you won’t end up straining your arms and back.

  • Sowing Seeds – bending down is hard most especially if you need to do it for a long time. In your case, raised beds and containers built in right dimensions will allow you to sit and work comfortably.

  • Moving Around with Tools – yes, this can be challenging most especially if you are on a wheelchair.  To comfortably move around, you can have a belt or apron to help you organize your tools. Trays and lightweight borrows can also help.

  • Planting – when planting choose plants that are easy to grow and doesn’t require too much attention like drought-resistant plants and grasses. Planting in garden beds can take a lot of time and needs lots of movements so consider on doing it by schedule, one section at a time. Be careful when lifting heavy pots, use trolleys if you have to.

Right Tools for Easy Gardening

gardening toolsGardening activities will be easier if you are using the right tools. As much as possible, don’t use heavy and conventional gardening tools in doing your tasks. This might strain you, there are actually certain tools made especially for you.

  • Hand Tools – these tools are usually used to dig, weed and cut. Tools today come in a variety of materials – choose lightweight items like those that are made from bamboo with carbon heads – these are effective and comfortable.

  • Lawn Shears – cutting grasses or trimming the lawn is hard if you don’t have the right tools. There are certain law shears with long handles so you won’t have to bend down. There are also one-handed lawn shears and battery operated shears for easy trimming.

  • Pruning Tools – this can be hard if you are have a weak grip and straining back so to avoid that, use long reach pruners with comfortable handles.

Study shows that people build up strength faster if they engage in gardening activities. So as long as you work slowly using the right tools you are good to go. So don’t be discouraged, start your garden now.

photo credits: amslerpix; Paul Albertella

Compost: The Healthy Dirt for your Garden

Compost is the inexpensive way to fertilize your vegetable or flower garden. Many beginners in gardening prefer the use of pesticides and chemicals because they are instant and the speed up the growth of the plants. However, one should really avoid these products not only they are harmful but also pricey.

Compost is your environmentally friendly way to feed your lawn and your plants. You can benefit from compost in two ways: (1) prevention of harmful chemicals to get into the environment and (2) it is natural form of recycling that minimizes the amount of waste you throw out.

So you have to build or buy your bin and put the materials one by one in order. Beneficial fungi, insects and micro-organisms will turn these decomposing materials into nutrient-rich compost that your garden and environment will truly enjoy once you apply them on the soil. The fresh smell of the Earth soil is definitely relaxing and with the help of compost, you will not only enjoy this but you also prevent the excessive production of carbon that causes the greenhouse effect.

Published books, online blogs and websites don’t get into details about composting but one thing is for sure the waste you are throwing away can still be converted to an organic fertilizer for the garden. If not done right, it can invite rats and other rodents in your garden.

There are a few tips you should be reminded about for a good start:

  • A large container is preferable in composting. You can easily add materials to your pile which is still not decomposing.
  • Remember, your pile should be exposed to sunlight. However, if it’s in an area with partial shade, then it would be okay but decomposing is slower than the one exposed to sun.
  • Make sure to add moisture in you bin. You can have a rain barrel or find a way that your bin gets water naturally.  The chlorine in the water system will slow down the process. Make sure to keep the compost moist, not drowned.
  • If you find a worm in your garden, add them to your bin for fast break down of the materials. You can also use the worms used for fishing.
  • Keep a pile of leaves in hand. When you place new materials in the pile, you should cover them up with leaves to keep the smell down and flies away.
  • Keep them aerated.  You can turn your bin every other day or use a shovel or pork to turn the pile.
  • Make a list of things that are biodegradable and non-biodegradable. This is to remind you of things that decompose and not.

Mixing compost to soil is very essential to feed it the necessary nutrients especially if the soil is depleted from using it again and again for the same crop. Treating them with compost can make them healthier and fertile again.

For farmers, they make use of straw and manure as their organic fertilizer. Since gardeners do not have these resources, they make their own version of the compost to achieve a healthy garden.

Nitrogen and Carbon Ratio

The straw and manure compost of farmers is the perfect example of nitrogen and carbon radio. This ratio should be 25-30:1 which means for every 25-30 parts of carbon, you need to have one part of nitrogen.

Materials in the garden which are rich in nitrogen are woods and the carbon is from grass cuttings or other green matter. So make sure to put more leaves in the pile than the woods.

How important is this ratio? The carbon serves as the food for the organisms beneath the soil while nitrogen is like a protein which is necessary for their growth.

When your soil do not have this ratio, then you are most likely you plants grow slow or unhealthy. Sufficient amount of nitrogen and carbon will lead to abundant number of microorganisms beneficial to the fertility of the soil.

Compost is a very important practice in gardening. It does not only make the soil healthy but provides nutrients for your plants. This will definitely make you save money, knowledgeable about plants and clean up your garden. Make sure to get your compost ready every time the season changes so you tend your soil to make it adaptable as the temperate drop or rise as the new season arrives.

Compost is your healthiest, safest and cheapest way of fertilizing your garden to produce fresh and healthy fruits and flowers. Remember, the health of your soil is being reflected on the growth of your plants so make sure to include compost.

Turf Renovation for Fescue Lawns, and Other Cool Season Grass Types

There is nothing better than a lush green lawn, and if you live in a part of the country with cool season grass such as blue grass, tall fescue, or fine fescue, you’ll have to renovate the turf each fall to maintain it.

Areas of the country such as New England, the Upper Midwest, upper Southeast, the High Plains, and Northern California up to the Pacific Northwest have grasses that grow best when temperatures are between 65-80 degrees, and they do most of their growing in the spring and fall.

When I ran my lawn-care company, turf renovation time was my favorite time of the year, as this was the service that had most impact for great results for the following year.

Cool season grasses undergo stress each summer as the hot, dry periods of the year weaken the turf, and a percentage of the turf density dies off with each cycle of the seasons. These conditions make it necessary to renovate the turf each fall, typically from early September until mid-October, to ensure a thick lush lawn the following spring.

If you’re having troubles with your lawn, you might find a good lawn professional in your area. It’s a pretty good service to find local landscapers/gardeners.

Here are the steps to follow ensure excellent results when renovating your turf should you decide to do it yourself.

1: Soil Preparation:

The most often overlooked step is the preparation of the ground prior to applying seed. Most commonly, a machine called an “Aerator” is utilized to prepare the soil. This specialty machine can be rented at most rental stores; an aerator punches holes into the soil alleviating soil compaction, breaking up thatch, and opening up the soil to receive the seed and facilitate germination.

Think of it as a farmer cultivating the earth before sowing his crop; without ground prep, your results will be seriously diminished. The better you prepare the soil, the better the results will be. I recommend performing several passes over the lawn; especially in the extremely bare areas, the soil needs to be churned for proper preparing.

2. Proper seed Selection:

Depending on what part of the country, proper consideration needs to be paid to selecting the appropriate seed type for your lawn as well as the sun exposure it receives.

If areas of your lawn do not get much sun, use a shade-tolerant type of seed such as a Creeping Red Fescue, likewise for the areas that receive full sun; you’ll want to use a sun-tolerant variety; Pennington is a popular producer and name brand Tall Fescue which is a great drought-tolerant fescue seed that performs well in full sun.

Kentucky 31 is a similar, more economical brand; however, it contains a higher percentage of weed seeds in its mix and will not perform quite as well as the more expensive name brands such as Pennington and others.

3. Application of seed:

Now that you have performed the hard work of soil preparation and done the homework for proper seed selection, it wouldn’t be prudent to skimp on the amount of seed to sow. A good rule of thumb is to use 5 lbs. of seed per 1,000 sq. ft. or approx. 200 lbs. of seed per acre. So if your lot is a ¼ acre, one 50 lb. bag will cover the lawn sufficiently.

If your lawn is small, you can broadcast the seed by hand; if it’s larger than a ¼ acre, you will need to use a broadcast push spreader to spread the seed evenly. In the areas that are very bare, you will need to apply the seed a little thicker.

4. Post Seeding Watering:

After you aerate and overs-seed, will you need to water the freshly sown seed immediately. This will help work the seed into the soil and create the moist conditions fresh seed will need for proper germination.

Monitor the weather; if you are getting one or two soaking rains per week, this will increase the chances of success; if no rainfall arrives, you will need to use a sprinkler to supplement, or the seed will not germinate nor mature before the impending winter.

A beautiful lawn is hard work. The annual aeration and overs-seeding is a critical step in the process to establishing and maintaining a lush lawn. Invest in his piece of the formula, and you’ll be delighted each spring and summer.

Have Your Own Organic Garden inside Your House

5855822238_5cf663ea4fYou don’t need a large space or wide backyard to have your own garden – this is good news for people who want to have a garden but could not have one because of limited time, space or other constraint issues. This would be perfect if you live in urban areas where the only place you can have a garden is inside your home.

You might not know it but there are many herbs and food products that you can easilygrow right on your windowsill. You can choose from veggies, fruits, ornamental plants and root crops. Choose one that is appropriate for your windowsill.

Another great thing is, you don’t have to be an expert in gardening, have the right tools or spend hours to make an elegant and blooming windowsill garden. Organic gardening is quite a simple thing to do.

To get you started, choose plants that you can quickly manage. Here are two of the food products that you can easily plant in your garden so you can have supply of organic and fresh ingredients all year round:

Spring Onion

It brings freshness anda wonderful flavor to any food. Choose onions that have white and healthy roots. Cut off the green leaves and leave only a little portion attach to your white bulb.

The next thing you will need is a glass and clean water. Now put the onions in a glass filled with water. Make sure you use a clear glass, so you can watch your onions grow. After a week, you will have your own supply of spring onions.

Garlic

Garlic is very popular for its medicinal properties. Althoughit is highly flavored, it still brings a surprising flavor and aroma to any food. To have your own garlic sprouts, plant a few cloves in the pot and make sure the tip is facing up.

Place it in anarea where it can get enough sunshine it needs and don’t forget to water it everyday. After a week, you will have growing garlic shoots. You can use it in soups or salads or even bring flavor to curries and pizza.

So before you throw away those kitchen scraps, think of how you can make those ingredients grow back again. You don’t have to go to market to buy one. Through this, youcan save money and time.

Why Organic Gardening?

Your small organic garden is your way to live a healthy lifestyle. Onions and garlics are pesticide and chemical-free, so it is pure and refined.

It is certainly impossible to plant all kinds of organic foods in a small space to ensure yourself with endless supply of natural food products. However, you can buy online and there are a lot of online stores that offer them in affordable prices.

Just make sure that your organic plants get enough water and receive enough sunlight. Also use organic fertilizer and soil in order for your pants to grow healthy. Don’t use pesticides or herbicides, this will damage the plants and also harm your health.

Having your own mini organic garden inside your home is a fun experience. Tending on them will definitely relive you of stress. So start organic gardening and your plants will surely be a blooming success.

Group Gardening and Landscaping

Rose GardenMany people love spending time on their own, working on their landscaping or gardening projects. Others prefer company of family or friends on these types of projects. There are also groups in most areas of the country that get together to work on planning or maintaining a property. They either rotate whose house they will work on each week or they choose someone in the community that needs assistance.

Some groups even help to improve private property. They go out and seek the assistance of the local government on where they can do a group gardening or landscaping activity. Group gardening, planting or landscaping is also an activity administered by schools and other public and private offices.Here are some benefits that you can get from joining gardening clubs:

Socializing Through Gardening Clubs

Some communities have official gardening clubs. Members donate financial help or equipment for gardening activities. This is a great opportunity to meet people that share the same interest. It is also a good way to meet new people and socialize. These groups hold meetings that tackle gardening schedules and the location of the next activity to perform.

If there aren’t any gardening groups in your area, consider starting one yourself.  With today’s access to the internet,forming groups for just about any interest became a lot easier compared to how it was before.  Since gardening and landscaping are very popular hobbies, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding people who are interested in joining.  Just remember, this type of work should be done in a fun and casual way which is enjoyable to everyone involved.

Casual Get-Togethers

If you don’t want to join a formal group, you can always get together with friends or family members to share the work required for these types of projects.  This is especially popular for families that visit a shared cottage or vacation property.  Even if only one of the individuals owns the property, the rest will likely want to help take care of it to ensure it is always looking nice for everyone who wants to use it.

Even if you just get together at someone’s house to help them out for fun, this can be quite an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.  Having friends or family members over is a good way to enjoy a gardening experience during a casual get together. This will give you something to focus your energy on so you’ll be able to relax and have a good time working in the yard. Getting out in the outdoors is pleasant and very good for you that will lead to many good conversations and getting a lot of work done as well.

Learning New Landscape Designs and Plant Types

A garden club is a good way to meet new people who can share great designs. These groups can also help you learn about new plant types suitable for a landscape garden project. You can share and exchange ideas with other members that will help you develop your own garden. Lastly, you can get helpful tips on how to enhance the garden you have.

Gardening with Kids

Watering the PlantsTeaching kids about gardening is one of the best gifts you can share. This is because it can enhance their creativity starting from a simple hobby. Gardening is also a good way to reap fresh produce that are healthier compared to anything you purchase from the supermarket. However, patience is required in gardening with your children.

Here are some of the important things you need to keep in mind when gardening with kids:

Celebrate Small Things

Teaching kids about gardening can be a hard task. However, parents should complement their children even with the simplest accomplished task. It is also a good way to teach them the value of patience as you will have to wait weeks to see the smallest changes and months before you can truly enjoy the fruits of your labor.  This is a good idea to teach children to value small accomplishments.

Depending on how large your garden is, it can take several days to plant all the seeds.  One great way to keep the children interested is to divide the seeds you need to plant according to variety. Celebrate each time your children complete a row of seeds or when they are done planting one particular type of seed.  This will often encourage them to see it through to completion.

Teaching Moments

Asking tons of questions is something kids have in common. When gardening with your kids, don’t miss the opportunity to pass on your knowledge or even learn something new yourself.  When your kids ask a question about what you’re doing, take a little break and explain it to them.  This will get them interested to learn and do the same thing you are doing.

Give Them Their Own Area to Work On

One great way to get kids who might not be interested in joining you in this productive activity is to section off an area and assign it specifically to them.  Tell them that they can plant anything they want and reap it as their own.  Even if they want to experiment with mixing seeds or something out of the ordinary, let them have fun with their small section of the gardening area.

This will not only help trigger your kids’ interest in helping out, but it will also teach them to always be curious and try new things.  Kids are far more likely to try a food which they grew on their own, than one you simply placed in front of them during dinner.  Many parents allow their kids to pick all the produce from the garden and help prepare so they are involved in every part of the process from beginning to end.

However you decide to include kids in growing food for your family, make sure they enjoy it as much as possible. Also, be patient to answer questions and guide them while you are working. This is a great time to bond with your children while teaching them to appreciate working for their food. The goal should be to get them to enjoy the activity, get them outside for some exercise and of course, eat their vegetables.