Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 at 11:57 am
Many commercial growers are using laptops, tablets or smartphones to keep costs down and production up. With the upcoming technology in the sector even home gardeners too can use these with great affordability.
Apps may get more attention, but they’re small potatoes compared with the software and online programs already at work or being tested for horticultural use. Simply scanning a monitor or applying a few keystrokes can save water and fuel, redirect a labor force or protect a crop.
“The online-based software is really the heart that drives all this technology,” said Paul Goldberg, director of operations at Bettinelli Vineyards and a director of Napa Valley Grapegrowers.
“A good portion of my day is now spent monitoring vineyards and making decisions to control certain vineyard operations via my phone or tablet in the field.” Read the rest of this entry
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 10th, 2013 at 12:28 pm
From gas-powered tillers to electric hedge trimmers, there’s no shortage of power tools to help you maintain your garden. But while these tools can be helpful, you don’t need a shed bursting with high-end gear to grow a vibrant garden. Instead, focus on the basics — these essential tools that every gardener should master before moving on to the more expensive gardening toys.
Before you can plant a garden, you first need to do a little digging. A trowel and hand rake are two essential tools for planting small seedlings, breaking up clumps of dirt and weeding between your plants.
For bigger tasks, you’re going to want to turn to a shovel and garden fork, the bigger siblings of the trowel and hand rake. Use these to loosen large patches of packed soil or dig holes for saplings.
While you can certainly get cheap trowels, shovels and garden forks, spring for something made from stainless steel or cast aluminum. These are garden tools after all, and you don’t want them rusting away. You also want to make sure that they are sturdy. you won’t save any money in the long run by buying something that will bend in half at the first tough patch of dirt. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, March 27th, 2013 at 1:15 pm
There are some extremely important tasks that need to be addressed this gardening season.Start some flowers and other garden plants from seeds weeks before it’s warm enough to transplant them outside. Plants started from seed generally cost far less than you end up paying at the garden store. The timing of planting is really crucial and you must determine when to start plants indoors . Seed packets of those plants which are commonly started indoors usually contain special instructions for when and how to do it.
You can repurpose many would-be throwaway items — including cardboard boxes, toilet paper tubes, newspaper, egg cartons and even half-eggshells — to serve as miniature, biodegradable seedling pots. Some of the most common plants started from seeds indoors include tomatoes, peppers, melons, squash, eggplant and a wide variety of flowers and herbs. If you’re short on sunny window space consider building a simple cold frame in your yard as a place to start seeds up to six weeks before planting season. You can find designs online of how to build cold frames out of inexpensive materials like bales of hay, scrap lumber, plastic sheeting and old windows. Read the rest of this entry
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 at 12:11 pm
Container gardening has its own challenges. Containers in your garden often start looking mossy and grubby ad you may not happy with such an appearance. Many a times as the time goes by such containers are just lying around the house sporting disinterested plants and that could be a painful experience for any gardener.
Containers may even be kept in dappled shade but during rains these containers are bound to lose their gloom. Dealing with such bad shaped containers need perfect caring at regular intervals.
The pots and containers in your garden should require a new identity, there must be fresh, vibrant, healthy plants, and they need to be placed somewhere completely different to give a new aspect to the garden. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday, March 10th, 2013 at 6:49 pm
Pre-emergent herbicides have a tendency to destroy newly germinated weed seeds by attacking the tender shoots and roots before they have an opportunity to develop.
Pre-emergent does not stop seed germination actually. However, it may pose as a potential barrier on the ground. If the seeds do not germinate, they may remain temporarily dormant in the soil and escape the effectiveness of the pre-emergent only to reveal themselves later.
Many of the weeds that plague your lawn throughout the summer germinate in late fall and early spring as soil temperatures rise above 50 degrees. Read the rest of this entry
Monday, January 28th, 2013 at 1:35 pm
In the garden you may begin with covering all water faucets and wrapping exposed pipes. This will protect sprinkler valves from freezing as well. Better keep wrapped and covered anything that could possibly be damaged by freezing temperatures.
During winters gardens go dormant , plants in containers as well as hanging baskets still need moisture periodically. Depending upon the size of your garden you must prepare months in advance and save approximately half of the grass clippings for the compost pile and half set aside for use as winter mulch. Use this grass in conjunction with fallen tree leaves as primary mulch material. Add a bit of mushroom compost to the blend to sweeten the mix.This mulch / compost recipe is piled liberally around the base of all our Esperanzas, Jatrophias, Lantanas, Plumbago and Vitex. Read the rest of this entry