Thursday, December 29th, 2011 at 1:40 pm
These days the newer houses and condominiums have smaller yards and if you grow staple plants you will go short of space very quickly.
Modern windows often are so well insulated that the window feature reaches almost to the ground. Smaller foundation plants that grow slowly and require little or no pruning over the years are an ideal match for such sites.
Dwarf conifers could be one of the best choices to be grown under such living conditions where smaller, slower growing plants would be more suitable.
Conifers are cone-bearing evergreens. Their colors range from pale moonbeam yellow to bold gold, from lime green to olive and from almost black to silver or steel blue. Some are variegated. Most have needle-like leaves that are retained all year. Read the rest of this entry
Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 at 12:46 pm
Several types of bird-feeders are available these days and you should select the one to buy according to the birds you wish to attract in your home and garden.
Basic platform feeders are all time favorites because they generally hold a lot of seeds and provide a perching area for several birds at a time. Covered platform feeders are recommended because they protect the food from rain.
You will find several different styles of hanging feeders, including tube feeders and bowl feeders, will attract the smaller songbirds — and will be used less frequently by larger birds, such as cardinals, that rarely feed on swaying feeders.
Tube feeders with multiple seed ports for small birds and a roof to keep rain and snow out are the easiest to hang from almost any sturdy branch or hook.
Platform feeders with a roof set on a post work well for larger birds like juncos, sparrows, towhees, quail and doves but also draw squirrels that can empty a feeder in no time.
It’s important to keep the seed dry so that mold and diseases don’t form. Wet seed also freezes, making the birds work harder to get it.
Hang feeders where you can see them but close to large dense trees or shrubs so the birds have a quick place to hide if a predator shows up. We’ve had hawks try to snatch birds right off the feeders.
Tuesday, October 4th, 2011 at 10:00 pm
Mercury is one of the most dangerous toxic trace metal pollutants that can affect the growth of many plant species. It accumulates biologically and enters in to the food chain system generating long term health problems.
Industrial development has been considered as one of the major factors responsible for increasing levels of mercury accumulations within the plants. Anthropogenic activities have contributed significantly to the mercury adulteration of our atmosphere.
Some of these common causes include mining, growing rate of fossil fuel burning, and increased use of raw material rich in mercury. There are several industrial processes that involve mercury rich materials in production. If you are living in a place where rate of industrialization is high then you and your garden both are exposed to moderate to high levels of mercury contamination. Read the rest of this entry
Monday, September 12th, 2011 at 9:52 pm
Many of the home gardens have typical “hardscapes,” combinations of walls, pavers, pergolas and water features. One thing most of them have in common is being over-planted. Some of the home gardens look lie “plant collections,” with one each of many different species and some other have mass-plantings. There could always be a better way to fill landscape beds with color without appearing cluttered.Otherwise most of the designs will have twice or three times the number of plants needed and will become much too crowded in a short time.
Not many landscape designers really know about plants. You can easily spot out many examples of plant combinations that won’t thrive because the plants need different growing conditions. A good example is combining hostas, which need shade protection, with ornamental grasses that prefer full sun all day. This might work on a color wheel, but with time, the wonderful color harmonies will disappear because some of the plants won’t survive.
Overcrowding and poor plant choices will make maintenance a real headache during the long haul. Woody plants that grow too large will need to be sheared constantly to fit the space and keep them looking good. Read the rest of this entry
Friday, August 12th, 2011 at 10:57 pm
Last year, stink bugs invaded homes up and down the eastern seaboard, hiding in cracks for warmth and feeding on crops. Last year, $37 million worth of apple crop was destroyed as well as $15 million of peach crop.
This year, the stinkers have awakened from hibernation, mated, and are now ready to take on your home and garden with a renewed force that some say is going to be even stronger than last year’s.
Here are five perfect tips to protect your home from becoming a stink bug halfway house.
Seal up any cracks however you can. Plug holes with wire mesh and be sure to put tight screens over attack windows. They can get through anything larger than the width of a pencil, so keep that in mind.
Try to keep leafy plants away from your house, since this is their source of food. This sounds kind of extreme, but it can be as simple as staking your plants so they don’t touch your house or garage. If you’ve got tomato plants in your garden, bad news: Stunk bugs love tomatoes, so your house will be more at risk. Read the rest of this entry
Monday, June 20th, 2011 at 12:15 pm
It is really important to make sure what you plant around your home will help keep it safe from a fire. What you plant could mean the difference between saving your home, or watching it burn.
The lilacs would be a good shrub, spiraea, barberry, are all good choices, they’re mostly deciduous shrubs, and they have a lower burn point. Roses and lilies are also good plants for fire-prone areas.
As a general rule, plants that hold more water in their stems and leaves are best.Some plants, like pines and junipers, are bad for fire-prone areas. When it catches on fire, it burns extremely high and the radiant heat from that will catch the studs inside your house on fire, through your siding. So, if you have stucco, it’s not a protection.
Planting pines and junipers is also good from fire protection point of view, just make sure they’re at least 25 feet away from your home.
Apart from planting the fire-resistant plant in your garden it is equally important to ensure proper maintenance of these plants.Clearing away the grasses that are dying off, that are becoming an easy ignitable fuel point, keeping proper planting in perspective, you know, you don’t want to crowd a bunch of plants in. That’s going to give you a brush fire source.
Saturday, June 18th, 2011 at 11:49 am
If there are any places around your home and garden where water can collect you may be raising mosquitoes. You should get rid of old tires, tin cans, bottles, jars, buckets and other containers, or you should keep them empty of water. Keep rain barrels covered and screened. Repair leaky pipes, outside faucets, and move air conditioner drain hoses frequently to avoid damp soil. Also change and scrub vases, bird baths or watering pans for pets and livestock at least twice a week.
Mosquitoes are an annoying and serious problem in home and garden . If you have work to do outdoors or just enjoy your backyard in the evening they can make work very unenjoyable and spoil your good time.
They are capable of transmitting diseases such as malaria, yellow fever and dengue to man, encephalitis to man and horses and heart worm to dogs and cats. And, now the West Nile virus. So not only are they annoying but these diseases are serious and should not be taken lightly. Read the rest of this entry