Environment Archives

shrubsLandscapes cannot be designed elegant way without the presence of shrubs. Shrubs do benefit the environment — filtering the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Shrubs leave lasting impressions of a garden.

Landscape designers usually understand the importance of shrubs and say that herbs are backbone of the gardens. Shrubs ease out on the maintenance issue up to great extent and require low maintenance but add beauty to the garden.

A single shrub can create dramatic, eye-catching focal points. And, once established, shrubs can produce interesting flowers or berries or stem color or even multi-season appeal as they provide food and shelter for butterflies and hummingbirds.

Shrubs can be evergreen, semi-evergreen or deciduous. Most experts say every garden should have a few shrubs.

While planting shrubs this season in your garden read labels and plant accordingly. And, remember, that during the first growing season, it is important to water shrubs weekly. Read the rest of this entry

Pollution Free Green Lawn Caring Practices

lawn careAs the grass greens up the lawn owners who want an eco-friendly yard should focus more on mowing – and less on fertilizing.

“The first step to minimize the environmental impact of your home lawn is to raise the mower’s blade to a height of 3 to 4 inches – usually the highest setting on your mower – and leave the grass clippings on the lawn,” says Marty Petrovic, a turf specialist in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University.

Taller grass competes better with weeds, and sinks roots deeper into the soil to better withstand mid-summer heat and drought, explains Petrovic. The result: A thicker turf with fewer weeds and less watering. He also suggests keeping your mower’s blades sharp for a clean cut that reduces stress on the grass. Read the rest of this entry

Ensuring Safe and Healthy Honey Beekeeping

honey beekeepingHoney bees are critical to agriculture. They not only gather nectar and make honey but they pollinate crops in fields, orchards and gardens. Many plants require an agent, often bees, to carry pollen from one flower to another. Adequate pollination is important because it increases crop yield and quality by ensuring fruit set, complete development and viable seeds.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, bees pollinate one third of the food we eat. That includes fruits, nuts, vegetables and herbs. Thank bees when you eat asparagus, carrots, celery, cucumbers, onions, pumpkins, radishes, squash and turnips. Think of bees as you enjoy apples, blueberries, citrus, peaches and strawberries. Read the rest of this entry

gravel gardening1

Beans and corn rows planted 115 days ago at the gravel garden field in North Carolina. These corn and bean seeds were planted July 1, 2012 during the middle of the drought season. We were not able to water or fertilize during the 115 days. (PRNewsFoto/To Soil Less)

Gravel gardens reduce the need for fertilizers, soil, weeding products and water in the gardening process. Researchers at To Soil Less may have found that gravel gardening enables vegetables and other plants to grow in drought-like conditions. To Soil Less will showcase these drought resistant properties at the 2013 Home and Garden Show in Washington, DC, held at the Walter Washington Convention Center from March 22 to 24.

Last summer at the start of drought period in early July, To Soil Less founder, Richard Campbell established a large gravel garden in the middle of open land. He planted a row of bean and corn seeds but did not water or fertilize. He wanted to figure out what would happen if you did nothing; no watering, no fertilizer, just open 100+ degree sun. By mid-August, both the corn and beans had grown about 6 to 10 inches and by mid-October, Campbell returned to find a small crop of beans .

Read the rest of this entry

herb spiralThere are umpteen advantages of an herb spiral.It can be built at little or no cost from readily available materials, it’s a good way in a limited amount of space to grow a variety of herbs that need different growing conditions.

Creating and growing herbs in an herb spiral is really easy with planting. Tending, and harvesting. An herb spiral is sure an attractive idea in itself.

Considering the high cost of culinary herbs, an herb spiral can pay for itself in its first season, and imagine having an abundance of delicious and aromatic herbs right in your yard!

With an herb spiral or a typical herb garden you also create a variety of microclimates. Some plants, such as many of the Mediterranean herbs, need dry, sandy soil conditions, while others require a moist, bottomland type of soil. Read the rest of this entry

climate resilient trees

Everyone should be planting trees. Having witnessed so many droughts , fires,cyclones,and many other adverse climatic conditions across the globe has put forward a challenge before everyone and now is the time that we should be planting and replacing trees if we can meet two important criteria; select trees that are adapted to survive in our a particular climate and ensure they receive adequate water through their establishment phase.

Most tree health problems begin in the root zone so planting your tree properly is critical to its future value.

Trees are commonly planted too deep triggering a chain of health problems related to a poor root gas exchange. Researchers have discovered that planting a tree as little as one inch too deep may set it up for decades of poor vigor or cause it to die within months. Read the rest of this entry

How To Select Trees For Clayey Soil

mapple treeStress affects plants and landscapes equally. Plants become susceptible to insects, diseases and environmental problems when under stress. The best way to control stress in plants is to go proactive and prevent or mitigate the stress factors.

There are specific environmental conditions that work as stress factors include drought,  wind, low humidity, light, and clay soils.

Soil is critical to the plant health. Soil is primarily responsible for majority of the plant problems.

Clayey soil should be considered as a factor while selecting suitable trees for your garden and landscape. Clay soil tends to hold onto iron, and some trees are not able to absorb the amount iron needed for their health because of this clay-iron affinity.

One solution is to select a tree that requires less iron for its metabolic processes. Some trees that do well in clay soils include green ash, white ash, bur oak, English oak, tartarian maple and big tooth maple. Most of the other maples, along with flowering dogwoods, crabapples, boxelders and pin oaks tend to suffer from some level of iron chlorosis, or yellowing of leaves, caused by iron-deficiency stress. Read the rest of this entry

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