Thursday, April 25th, 2013 at 12:05 pm
As 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
Wednesday, April 17th, 2013 at 12:14 pm
Honey 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
Thursday, March 28th, 2013 at 1:29 pm
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 .
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Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at 1:52 pm
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
Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 at 12:34 pm
As the spring season approaches days are getting warmer and longer and that gives more time to spend outdoors in the gardens.
It may be a little cold and even snowy on the ground with sub-freezing temperatures in some parts but it is also the perfect time to start planning your eco-friendly spring gardening regime.
Have you ever thought about whales ever? Why not saving some water for these creatures this year? You can do that easily with more consciousness and effectively in your water usage. It would be great if you invest in some quality hoses and sprayers tto spread the water through the plants, shrubs, and flowers evenly. If you use an automatic timer for your sprinklers, be vigilant in turning them off after a good rain shower.
Too much watering will not only cause damage and stunt the growth of the plants but also dilute the soil and render the fertilizers.
Pest control issues must be handled more carefully. Be gentle with use of sprays on the sensitive flowers. Better adopt practice of using eco-friendly pest sprays to keep your garden organic.
Harsh chemicals may promise extraordinary growth but cause more damage as well. Adoption of natural and organic gardening solutions could help the environment at the same time. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday, February 10th, 2013 at 12:22 pm
Home gardening gets perfect with the herbs. Herbs are perfect to grow in pots, baskets, window boxes and at the back door. Now days the herb gardens are gaining popularity. Even the office spaces in cities do have dedicated space for growing herbs and salad which add to the taste of the workers giving them fresh herbs in sandwiches and salads for lunch.
It is always advised for planting mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, chives, rosemary and sage. Blend suitable soil-aid into the soil to help maintain good moisture levels in the ground. Soft annual herbs are not very forgiving if the soil totally dries out.
At the same time sowing coriander, dill, chervil, rocket and borage into the trays of Seed Raising Mix will also add good taste to the herb garden. Read the rest of this entry
Friday, February 1st, 2013 at 12:25 pm
The ongoing winters with sudden drop in temperatures often brings in surprises for the birds. Even the garden birds start facing food problems during such tough seasons.
During these tough winters the natural food sources must be ensured along with easy availability of water in your garden so that the birds could survive healthily. When the snow and ice are there, birds will need all the help they can get to survive the winter.
However, the range of bird seeds, fat-balls and other so-called bird-friendly items can leave gardeners baffled as to what’s best for our strayfeathered friends. Read the rest of this entry