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
Sunday, April 7th, 2013 at 12:38 pm
Insulation is one of the many home improvement solutions available to a homeowner today. Insulation essentially means covering the extremities of the house so as to prevent any kind of impact of the outside weather on the inside environment.
Insulating materials would seal all the possible sources of air flow. Therefore, the conditioned temperature maintained by the heating and the cooling devices are not lost. Since there is no extra load on these heating and cooling devices, utility bills automatically decrease.
The ideal time to install insulation would be during its construction. However, in case that it is not possible, you can always go in for retrofit insulation. The attic is one of the major sources of heat exchange. Therefore, attic insulation makes for one of the most significant of all retrofitting procedures. Read the rest of this entry
Monday, November 12th, 2012 at 4:46 pm
Corals compete with algal seaweeds for space, and many types of seaweed release chemicals that are toxic to corals, act as carriers for coral diseases and boost the growth of dangerous microbes. These dangers require close contact—the seaweed poisons won’t diffuse through the water, so they need to be applied to the corals directly. And that gives the corals an opportunity to save themselves. When they sense encroaching seaweed, they call for help.
Danielle Dixson and Mark Hay from the Georgia Institute of Technology have found that whenAcropora corals detect the chemical signatures of seaweed, they release an odour that summons two gardeners – the broad-barred goby and redhead goby. These small fish save the corals by eating the toxic competitors. In return, one of them stores the seaweed poisons in its own flesh, becoming better defended against its own enemies. Read the rest of this entry
Sunday, April 15th, 2012 at 12:10 pm
As gardeners count down the days until they can get outside and begin planting, a new consumer survey shows edible plants will be a large part of their gardens this year. The survey of 600 gardeners nationwide, conducted by Garden Safe® brand, shows that 75 percent of respondents plan to grow vegetables in their gardens and 50 percent indicate they will be growing fruits and herbs.
Gardeners cite better taste, fun activity and cost savings as the primary reasons to grow their own produce.
As the garden-to-table or gardening for food trend has grown in popularity over the past several years, so have gardeners’ appetites to branch out beyond the traditional garden staples and try their hand at growing a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and herbs. Additionally, while long seen as a rural and suburban hobby, food gardening is now actively embraced by people living in urban areas. Decks, roofs and small city yards now play host to productive personal gardens. Read the rest of this entry
Friday, November 18th, 2011 at 10:17 pm
Hanging baskets and public flowerbeds help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour, a new survey has suggested. According to the poll conducted by the Royal Horticulture Society (RHS), community gardening schemes improve the local environment and bring neighbourhoods together. The RHS said that while the image of the Britain in Bloom scheme it runs is of “pretty villages in south-east England with hanging baskets”, it could also deliver social and environmental benefits in cities and towns.
The survey of more than 230 Britain in Bloom and It’s Your Neighbourhood groups revealed that half of the communities thought the schemes had reduced crime and anti-social behaviour, and 40 percent said their local environment was safer. Read the rest of this entry
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 10:47 pm
Gardening is an extra-ordinary hobby the world over , and as gardeners get more confident in what they grow, they get a bit more daring and try out different garden plants and displays. There is nothing more satisfying than growing something that you can eat or just admire the sheer beauty of the blooms.
Many people believe the flowering season starts in late spring and end in early autumn, but of course can last much longer. There are a whole series of plants that bloom through the ‘off season’ and many are garden shrubs, but most of the season’s ‘long lifers’ are hearty bulbs.
While other plants go dormant during winter, garden bulbs are actively growing underground, as winter is the time these bulbs send their roots deep into the soil and begin to sprout. In early spring, while other plants are just beginning to stir, garden bulbs burst into bloom, while other plants come into their prime in the summer. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, July 13th, 2011 at 2:21 pm
A problem for older gardeners is finding tools that make gardening easier as getting up and down becomes harder. Noel Valdes, the 67 year old owner of CobraHead LLC, has designed two garden tools that are finding a following with “baby boomer” and older garden enthusiasts while at the same time are being recognized by all gardeners as useful and well-made tools.Noel has been working on solutions to weeding his own large home vegetable garden for over 25 years. In 2002 he introduced his first tool design – The CobraHead® Weeder and Cultivator. This small tool makes light work of weeding, cultivating, planting and transplanting. It fills the role of several garden tools including trowels, small hand forks, dibbles, and hand hoes. The thin, sharp CobraHead blade is a “steel fingernail®” that cuts hard soil and works in tight places. The blade sharpness and the tool’s balance let gardeners with weak hand strength work efficiently. Read the rest of this entry