Household Detergent Treatment for Aphids

Treatment for Aphids 300x208 Household Detergent Treatment for AphidsIf you ask any gardener what they hate most you will get one same answer and that is pests and animals that ruin their efforts and hard work done on making their beautiful gardens. There are many insects that attack the plants and than just make them wilted and damage them badly to even sometimes kill them. Aphid is also a very common type of insect that mostly attack the rose bushes and make holes in stems and leaves to suck all the water and starch leaving the plant deficient of nutrients it needs and making it wilted and pale. These insects are very dangerous because after ruining and killing one plant of yours it will immediately go for attacking the other one. If you ever notice the presence of aphids on any plant in your garden you will need to take an immediate action else it will be impossible to control them. There are many plants that survive aphid attacks but there are some that just can not stand it and produce than damaged flowers or fruits and even sometimes are completely dead.

Detergent Solution:
Aphids can be easily controlled through pesticides either homemade or the commercially available ones. They are highly vulnerable to these sprays. Many people do not want to go for buying commercially available pesticides thinking them as harmful for plants and people too so they can just go for a very simple home made detergent solution for taking care of aphids. Take 2 tea spoons of detergent powder dish washing or laundry one and mix it with warm water in a spray bottle.

Applying Solution:
As the solution is made in warm water, give it a little time to come to the room temperature. Once the solution is cool enough you can spray this solution on plant leaves, stems and flowers. Concentrate particularly under the leaves area because that’s where they usually form their colonies. Spray more on the parts where aphids are prominently appearing and get rid of these culprits.

Results:
This detergent solution actually destroys the outer protective shell of aphids and makes them vulnerable to dehydration and predation. This solution is also effective in killing the larvae of aphids.

Alternatives:
Mostly people try to use organic methods to remove any type of pests instead of using commercially available pesticides so here are few alternatives to the detergent solution for getting rid of aphids. To get rid of aphids you can spray water with hose over the infected plants or alcohol solutions and neem oil can also be used in order to remove these critters.

Plant Diseases: Roots Rot Disease

Roots Rot Disease 239x300 Plant Diseases: Roots Rot DiseaseNo matter whatever type of plant you have, it’s a vegetable plant, flower plant a shrub or even tree anything it can be and it can suffer from the very common roots rot disease. Roots rot is actually caused by the fungal diseases. Basically this is caused due to the soil that does not drain well and remain water logged. This water logging results in development of fungi that infect the roots and eventually this infection increases up to the crown of plant making it die of the disease. There are not much of fungicides available commercially to treat root fungi that are actually living under the soil in moisture so it is best advised to take preventive measures and adopt healthy cultivation practices in order to remain saved from this disease.

Signs of Alert:
When your plant will be suffering from roots rot you can observe it by the changing condition of the foliage as it will turn the leaves to lighter green and pale color and make them wilt. Trees and shrubs due to being stronger will take time in surrendering to the disease. If the roots of your plants are healthy you will observe white feeder rootlets, while if the roots are rotted they will appear as brown and squashy. The plants that have soft stems you can observe the signs of root rot on the surface of stem just above the ground. I you have woody plants than you can peel the bark at the place where bark and roots meat and can see if there are any signs of brown or brick red streaks under it.

Plantation:
Always buy the plants from any trustworthy source and you need to be sure that the plant is not suffering from root rot at the time when you buy it. Dig a hole for potting your plant and fill it full with water the water should grain within 24 to 48 hours of it doesn’t drain then it means that you should better go for planting a plant that can survive in wet soil. Before planting check out the roots straighten them and break the tangled roots off the root ball. The depth of hole should be double the size of your root ball. You can plant your plant on raised beds if the soil doesn’t drain well and surround the raised bed with rocks and other materials.

Vertical Mulching:
Drill 16 to 18 inches deep holes with power drill machines beyond the roots and fill those holes with pea gravel or sand or with mixture of both if you experience the water logging in soil. These materials will help in better drainage and will increase the development rate of feeder roots.

Watering:
Roots rot occurs when the roots remain water logged under the soil take care of this and water your plants in summers and springs only when the soil few inches under the top soil has dried and needing water. Over watering will cause the fungi to develop and causing your roots to rot. Evergreen plants are needed to be watered regularly in late falls if dry condition of soil appears.

Fungicides:
Fungicides are used to get rid of fungal diseases off leaves, stems, trunk and braches of plants. Treating underground fungi that rot your roots is the most difficult thing to be done. For treatment of root s rot you will need to determine what type of fungi have affected your plant and than you may take advice from the professions working in the horticulture industry to know the ways of treating the disease.

Black Spot Disease of Plants

Black spot 300x224 Black Spot Disease of PlantsMany people like to grow flowering plants in their gardens so it appears beautiful and lovely decorating the exteriors of your home like you work hard for the interiors. Gardeners usually love to do gardening and like taking care of their plants. For almost all the gardeners their plants are like their kids and a new flower on a plant gives them happiness like an achievement of one of their children. But during all these goody things even the worst do occur. This happens when there is an attack of any disease or when animals ruin the plants. Fungal diseases are very common among the plants especially in areas that have humid or rainy climate. Among all the fungal diseases black spot is a very common occurring one in such climate condition areas and attack roses plants a lot. It is thought to be as one of the most devastating disease for the plants.

Warning Signs:

The warning sign of this disease is very obvious and prominent; there will start to appear black spots on the leaves of roses as rose plants are supposed to be the most common victims. These come as circular black patches and the edges are usually irregularly. Soon they cause all the plant to wilt and start shedding it leaves that all turn dead.

Reasons:
This disease is caused due to fungus diplocarpon rosae. The fungus actually survives the winter season by growing in dead plants and than later on splashes to healthy plants during the rain storms and thus causing the disease to spread fast and more.

Importance:

Black spot disease is highly killing for the plants as it starts from the plant’s stalk and eventually rose to cover the whole plant lastly causing the plant to die of it.

Cure:
There are not much of treatments yet discovered to cater with this disease in the plants. You need to spray your plant regularly with fungicidal or you can apply wettable sulfur as these two appears to be the only two treatments up till now for black spot disease in the plants. Well the most effective method to be discovered and thought is to remove the suffering plant in order to save the other healthy plants because the disease quickly moves on to the new target as soon as it makes a plant to die.

Preventing:
As it is generally said for humans too that prevention is better than cure so the same is the matter with plants. It is better to take care that your plants does not catch this infection or disease instead of taking steps later or controlling the disease. The experience gardeners and commercial growers advise that taking care of good hygienic condition of your garden will keep your plants saved from this disease. Destroying the effected plants and than removing all the debris dead leaves and other dead parts of plants off the ground will definitely save your plants from suffering from this fungal disease.

Getting Rid of Caterpillars in Vegetable Garden

Getting Rid of Caterpillars1 300x225 Getting Rid of Caterpillars in Vegetable GardenPests and diseases are just like nightmare for the entire gardeners who work hard to make their gardens look beautiful with flowers or who work hard to grow vegetables to have the crunchiest and juiciest ones to enjoy the meal that they will get from their own grown vegetables. And no doubt else than being fresh the happiness that one feels while eating the self grown vegetables is something like what we feel after getting a big achievement.

So among all pests sometimes especially in vegetable gardens many gardeners find caterpillar that are frustrating enough. They really turn your leave to look like French cheese having holes everywhere around. They even make holes in your vegetables and make them useless for you. There are many chemicals commercially available in markets that will easily get you free of these critters but the problem is that they will harm the friendly bugs too and moreover after spraying those chemicals your vegetables will no more remain consumable. So here are some alternative methods for you to get rid of the caterpillars.

First Method:
First method that you may adopt to get rid of caterpillars is that you may hand pick the insects yourself. You will definitely like to do this while wearing gloves. This practice can be successful at the early stages of caterpillar infestation. When you pick a caterpillar keep the bucket with a mix of water and detergent soap with you ad drop caterpillar into it and they will be killed. You can also use these caterpillars as your birds or chicken feed.

Second Method:
There is a specially designed crop-cover fabric available in markets to cover the crops. This cloth is designed in a way that allows light and moisture to pass through to the plants. If you have controlled your caterpillar infestation by handpicking than you can use this cloth in order o stop moths from laying eggs on your plants. Or for a precautionary measure always keep your crops covered since the beginning of gardening season.

Third Method:
You can also go for buying the friendly insects of garden like ladybugs and trichogramma wasps. These two insects are caterpillar predators and will help in reduction of caterpillar population on your vegetables.

Fourth Method:
Use natural deterrent sprays as another way to keep caterpillars from eating your plats and vegetables. You can spray the garlic spray or the red pepper spray. Recopies to make sprays are easily available. Caterpillars actually do not like the taste of garlic and pepper so they avoid eating those plants that are secured with these sprays.
These are all the ecologically sensitive methods and in no way will harm the friendly insects of your gardens and neither will destroy your vegetables in any way that they do not remain suitable for eating.

Plants That Repel Cats

Plants That Repel Cats 300x236 Plants That Repel CatsPlanters always remain at risk of different insects, diseases and animals. In fact the gardens and the planting areas of those gardeners are at stake due to all these factors because they all play the same role that is ruining your efforts for making a beautiful garden. Just imagine a beautiful lawn with lush green grass that appears to be so soothing and as soon as you start to explore it you find it dug at different places that ruin the whole effect of the beautiful grass or the plants and flowers are chewed. This is a great shock actually for the gardener because sometimes their garden is just ruined this way in one night by moles, rabbits and cats.

cat plants 300x238 Plants That Repel CatsThe ground digging problem comes from both moles and cats. The cats’ somehow just love to dig the ground from every where around and spoil all your efforts made to give our garden the soothing look with the green tempting grass.  There are different ways to stop animals like rabbits and moles to use fences and other things but it just fails in case of cats. No matter how high fence you’ve plotted the cats will eventually climb and jump over it. Scattering citrus peels is also hectic because for how many days you can scatter them every two or three days?  Here are some easy and long lasting ways for you to keep cats out of your gardens that is to plant those plants in your garden that repel cats. These plants include the following.

Scaredy Cat Plant:
This plant is an annual plant that lies under the half-hardy category of plants and possesses the flowers that are pale blue in color and grow from July t September. It is preferable to grow it in full sun and if proper fertile soil is provided to the plant it will reach to height of 18 inches. You can create a boundary in surroundings of your garden with this plant so they will keep cats away from entering your property.

Rue:
This plant belongs to Perennial group of plants that is this is the type that remains for years. This plant grows woody as it becomes older. Cats actually do not care about the smell of the plant but they just don’t like to walk through these plants if they have to in order to reach your garden. These plants are known to be very famous for repelling cats. You can even scatter some dry leaves of this plant in potted plants and containers to keep cats away from them too.

Bergamot:
Bergamot plant again belongs to Perennial category of plants and is the same herb of which Bergamot tea is being made. Its oils are volatile and keeps not only cats but dogs away too from your gardens. So the plant itself has the same capability too. These plants usually have red flowers and grow up to almost two feet in height.

Plant any of these or all of the plants around your garden and see the long lasting magical effect of keeping cats away.

Easy Ways to Repel Deer & Rabbits

Easy Ways to Repel Rabbits 300x187 Easy Ways to Repel Deer & RabbitsHome gardening is hobby of millions of people in the world. It is way of satisfying oneself by feeling to be involved in a healthy and progressive activity as well as providing the outer space of your house the beauty as you take care of best décor within. There are so many pests and animals that gardeners have to fight with in order to keep their gardens and yards saved and the beautiful flower that they work hard on for growing. Deer and rabbits especially around rural areas are so common that mostly gardeners make them fall in pests’ category. Just give them a few minutes at night and next morning you will see your shrubs and plant leaves nibbles and flowers snatched off. Gardeners take several steps like fencing and many other to keep these animals away but yet they some how manage to have a feast in their gardens. Here are some techniques to repel deer and rabbits off your garden. The key to success is in your efforts for making them remain away.

Easy Ways to Repel Deer Easy Ways to Repel Deer & RabbitsStep 1:
Firstly, you will need to actually identify that which animal has been grazing into your garden. Either the animals ruining your garden are deer or rabbits. To recognize this, it is really easy. Just check out the leaves of your plants to check, as the deer do not have upper teeth so, it will be like if leaves have been torn. But as rabbits have very sharp upper teeth they completely cut your leave leaving clear cut marks. On the other hand, if the rabbits have been intruding in your property that the leaves eaten of plants will be no higher than 1 to 2 feet above the ground, if deer had been intruding than the leaves growing higher than this height will also be damaged. Once you have identified the culprits now you are ready to take action against them.

Step 2:
1.    You may go for fencing as fencing all the area of your garden can stop deer and rabbits from poking in your garden. Rabbit fences are made best through the chicken wires because they than do not provide any space for rabbits to fit in any way to cross through it. Do install fencing flush to ground too so rabbits do not burrow under it. For deer there will be need to install fences up to around 8 feet high so they are just unable to jump over and cross the fence. You can add electric fence too to your fencing.

2.    Deer and rabbits like to invade in those gardens where they have good hiding places available at the time of threat. Remove brushes, tall weeds and all other ground covers in order to keep rabbits and deer away from your garden.

3.    Several brands of repellents are easily available commercially and thought to be really helpful. So you can go for buying any repellent that will make your plants taste and smell bad to the rabbits and deer. It is better to get the ones that make plants smell bad because just those that make plants taste bad will make this realize animals only once they have already started to graze on.

Preserving Fresh Flowers & Keeping Their Color

preserve fresh flowers Preserving Fresh Flowers & Keeping Their ColorFlowers are wonder and they are loved by all equally. Anyone who gets the flowers over an occasion that they cherish or when they have lost a family member and they are blue on each and every such event nothing can sound better than flowers. No doubt flowers are best to express any kind of feelings. Flowers are loved so much by many people that they even get flowers themselves for bringing in the colors inside their homes too. These flowers can be picked from self grown flowering plants of your own garden or from florist.

What so ever is the mean of getting the flowers the only thing common besides all this is that every one want to keep their flowers saved and fresh for as long as possible. Fresh flowers can be kept fresh for no longer than 10 or 12 days no matter how much you take care of them. When you preserve flowers they loose their colors, you can however keep them save this way but Keeping color of fresh flower Preserving Fresh Flowers & Keeping Their Colordefinitely they would appear as dry flowers. Now here is a way for you to preserve the colors of your flowers using silica gel and microwave oven at home. You will just need to act quickly in order to save most of the color.

1.    Take a microwaveable container and cover its bottom with about an inch of silica gel
2.    Lay your flower in the container in a way that the petals remain facing upwards.
3.    Pour the left over silica gel on the rest of the flower and make sure that the gel gets in between every petal.
4.    Now put the container in microwave and microwave the flowers at 45 seconds intervals. Usually it takes 2 to 4 minutes to dry any flower.
5.    Now take out the container from the microwave and immediately cover it with the lid.
6.    Remove your flower in silica gel the same way for 24 hours. After that use soft bristle brush to brush off the silica gel off flowers.
7.    Now finely give mist of acrylic spray to your flowers. Wait for the spray to dry and your flowers are preserved ready to be displayed.

Flowers All Around & Forever

Flowers All Around 300x232 Flowers All Around & ForeverPeople have always used flowers to memorialize life’s special occasions such as weddings and funerals and milestones such as birthdays and anniversaries. Flowers are used to convey special messages such as “I love you” and “Get Well,” to Show love and care to someone and revamp homes and offices, and to create festive atmospheres for social gatherings. Flowers are used every where be it a moment of happiness or grief, all the emotions are best delivered through flowers. When we are happy and celebrating any moment nothing can make us happier than getting flowers from a loved one.

Like all holidays if seen in whole world the event most associated to flowers an internationally celebrated day is Valentines Day. Careful choice of color or number of flowers most probably roses will help you in delivering the correctFlowers forever Flowers All Around & Forever message to your sweetheart. There will be no need left to attach a message with that even made of your words. Among occasions wedding is the one that is incomplete without flowers no matter in which part of world it is taking place and to which religion the people marrying belong to. Every wedding is full of flowers just the difference is the flowers used in those events in different parts of world. White and Pink flowers are supposed best for wedding decorations and bridal bouquets while in Asian countries Yellow and reds are used most often.

Birthday present from a sweetheart for the special one is always incomplete and dull if it is not accompanied by the mystical and magical flowers. Flowers are the striker that bring life and vibrancy to the occasion and make the receivers day. Than in religious events at Christmas the importance of flowers is nothing that is not known. Christmas is a time for private commemorations Forever flowers 300x114 Flowers All Around & Foreverand traditions shared with family and friends. Flowers and plants have long played a special role in Christmas celebrations. Other events like Easter and Mothers Day are also the times when world experience the highest sales of flowers every where.

It just s simple thing every one likes to express their feelings, emotions and their loved for their loved ones so as flowers have proved to be the best source of expressions of humans so how can one go for something else. Celebrate each day and each milestone of your life by gifting flowers to your loved ones over occasions and sometimes even without reason as no reason is the biggest reason… So Cheers!!!!

Drying Hydrangeas with Glycerin

Glycerin Drying Hydrangeas 300x225 Drying Hydrangeas with GlycerinAs flowers are loved by a; so they do want to hold them for as long as possible when they get any. Flowers can not be save as fresh flowers for very long but there are other ways to keep those flowers saved that is you may dry them up for making dry flower arrangements and than you can easily preserve them for much longer time. There are various different ways of drying flowers and one of them is drying flowers with glycerin. Glycerin is a colorless, thick liquid that is commonly used in soaps and pharmaceuticals. Glycerin is able to absorb water from the air so it is used in floral preservatives too now when you are going to pull glycerin into flower stem it will remove the moisture within and will make the stems and later the flowers to dry up. Hydrangea stems can be preserved once the flowers have matured on plant and when moisture level is lower.Drying Hydrangeas with Glycerin 236x300 Drying Hydrangeas with Glycerin

1. Firstly, you will have to collect hydrangea branches 18 inches or less in length with foliage on them that are properly examined for any damage from insects or tears.
2. Now remove the leaves on lower part of stem and crush or split the cut bottom of stem with hammer. This will stimulate absorption by the flower.
3. Now take a container or a glass in which you can easily pour mixture of water and glycerin about 4 to 5 inches high. You will have to make mixture taking two parts of warm water and one part of glycerin.
4. Now place all the flower stems that you have cut in the container and from here your preservation process will start.
5. You will need to mark at about four to 5 inch height outside the container and it is good if you keep any transparent container because that would allow you to easily check how much the level of mixture has lowered from the mark. Everyday when the solution level decreases pour more solution made of four parts of warm water and one part of glycerin.
6. It will take around one to three weeks in completely preserving the flowers and branches depending on the size of branch. You will need to keep pouring solution in container up to the mark until you observe a decrease in absorption rate.

5 Christmas Decoration Ideas Using Extra Tree Boughs

You’ve pruned your Christmas tree to a nice shape and ended up with more leftover boughs than you know what to do with. Well, don’t just throw them all out. You can use tree boughs to create fun holiday decorations for your home or even your head!

Keep reading to learn more about Christmas decoration ideas using extra tree boughs.

1. Classic wreath.

Classic Wreath 150x150 5 Christmas Decoration Ideas Using Extra Tree Boughs

Classic Christmas Wreath

You can’t have an article on decorating with Christmas tree boughs without mentioning the jolly old wreath!

Gardening buff and blogger Dolores Monet has provided a detailed guide on how to make a wreath by hand using tree boughs. You will need a wreath form, florist wire, pruning shears or clippers, extra tree boughs, and whatever you’d like to use to decorate the wreath—or whatever Christmas stuff you have around the house.

Basically, it’s just a matter of covering the wreath form with overlapping layers of tree boughs, attached with florist wire, so that the base doesn’t show.

2. Mini-Christmas tree in a pot.

Potted Christmas Tree 150x150 5 Christmas Decoration Ideas Using Extra Tree Boughs

Potted Christmas Tree

For this little decoration, stuff your tree boughs into a small pot, sticking straight up or diagonally. If you need to, you can use florist wire to shape them.

Then, turn your potted creation into a miniature Christmas tree. You can either decorate it in the same style as your big tree or give it a funky twist.

Try using tiny ornaments, ribbons, fabric scraps, garland scraps, or bows. Use this mini-tree to add a festive touch to areas that might otherwise be a bit neglected, such as the bathroom or back porch.

3. Boughs of pine.

Pine Bough 150x150 5 Christmas Decoration Ideas Using Extra Tree Boughs

Pine Bough

Deck the halls with boughs of holly—or pine, rather, when you make your own Christmas tree garlands.

Buy some sisal cording, available at craft shops, and clip it to the length you want your pine garland to be. Cut your tree boughs into pieces of equal size and attach them to the cord with florist wire, using each one to cover the stem of the one before it.

When you are done, add some finishing touches and hang your creation high up on the wall or nail it in around the front door.

4. Unforgettable party headband!

Christmas Party Headband 150x150 5 Christmas Decoration Ideas Using Extra Tree Boughs

Christmas Party Headband

Tired of wearing the same Santa hat to every Christmas party? Surprise everyone by wearing tree boughs on your head instead!

Entrepreneur and crafts aficionado Meg from Sarasota, Florida sells a very creative tree bough headband in her Etsy shop. She made it by attaching pieces of pine boughs and pine cones to a satin headband. Meg used fake pine boughs to make the headband more comfortable, however, so be careful not to poke other guests if you make one using the real thing!

5.  Distinctive centerpiece.

Want a centerpiece that will look good and smell good?

First, grab a few long, shallow bowls. Stick a candle in each one—electric candles are the safest choice and many look very realistic. Then, cut your tree boughs into small pieces and fill each bowl with them, fluffing them around the candle.

Christmas Centerpiece 150x150 5 Christmas Decoration Ideas Using Extra Tree Boughs

Christmas Centerpiece

Finally, throw in some dried seed pods, green beads, and red beads. It’s a cheap and easy way to give your dinner table some extra oomph.

Now, aren’t you happy you have so many extra tree boughs to work with? 

Stephanie Phillips helps families compare cash back rewards to get the most out of their holiday shopping budget.  As a social media advocate with CreditDonkey, she says once you use up as many as you’d like for your own decorations around the house, use some to make decorations for friends and family members, too.