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.

How to Harvest Marigold Seeds

Harvest Marigold Seeds 300x225 How to Harvest Marigold SeedsEvery year people sow new seeds in their lawns and yards to make their lawn appear flourishing in summers and spring with flowers. Marigold is also a flower that is much liked by many gardeners. So those who grow marigold can save an amount of money spent by them every year on buying the marigold seed if they harvest some seeds from their marigold flowers to sow the same the next year. Each of the marigold flowers holds several seeds so you can easily collect enough of seeds for your next year crop. If you grow only one type of marigold flowers the seeds that you gathered will produce that one same type of flowers the next year too but if you grow different types of marigolds than you may be able to produce some hybrid or a combination of your current grown marigolds.

Here is how you can harvest seeds from your Marigold flowers.

1.    Leave the flowers attached to the stem from which you want to get the seeds. Let it dry out completely in the garden. This will make the flowers wilt and dry and than about after a week the petal and shell will dry out and flower will turn to brownish color.

2.    Now when you find your flowers dried remove one or two flowers of all those that you left for drying purpose and break the shell under dried petals. Here you will find small straight seeds if they are dark brown or black in color it means they are mature and ready to be saved for next years crop. But if they are not that dark than it means you need to leave them on for few more days to dry up and so the seeds may reach the maturity. After few days check another one or two flowers from the left over and see if the seeds have reached maturity now.

3.    Now when you have checked one or two of your flowers and confirmed that seeds have reached maturity break all the other flowers off the stem just beneath the shell by pinching the stem between your thumb and forefinger. Bring the flowers in and store them in a cool, dry place to dry out completely for further one or two weeks. There should be no sign of moisture in flowers and should be light weight and brittle.

4.    Now you have to open the shells and remove dried seeds from the flowers once they have been dried keeping indoor too. Now discard the dried out petals and shells and store the seeds in an envelope or a jar. Now store your seeds in a cool ad dry place until the coming spring when its time to sow the seeds for crop.

Backyard Garden Ideas for Kids

Backyard Garden Ideas 300x198 Backyard Garden Ideas for KidsGardening is a very benefiting activity for people of all ages and brings out multiple positive effects as outcomes. It helps in better fitness, health, increases the patience in people involved in activity and brings one closer to nature. This activity can prove very beneficial for kids also. So if you have a garden or a backyard that you use for growing different plants and vegetables and you have kids at home than do reserve a part of your yard for plantation to be done by your kids. This will make them learn very well about the nature and life cycle of plants and many other things. The area dedicated to children can be turned into a thematic bed for plants.

As growing plants is an activity that requires activeness and continuous efforts for better growth so this develops the patience in children also that will be really helpful for them in their upcoming life. Moreover, as children of today’s time are involved more into activities confined within homes like video games and computers so this gardening can turn out to be a breakthrough towards the change in pattern of their life and they will spend time in open fresh air that will bring positive impact over their health. The different themes that can be used for the kids allotted plot may be any one of the following.

Pizza Garden:
Pizza is a food that is commonly loved by almost all children so that children planting area can be dedicated to pizza topping products. Like tomatoes, bell pepper, parsley, oregano, basil, garlic and others. You can mate a circle by placing stake in center and than outlining the circle with thread and dividing it further into 8 parts like of pizza and in each part plant a different thing.

Butterfly Garden:
Let’s teach kids about butterfly life cycle in your own backyard. Make the kids area the butterfly garden and grow the plants that are liked by adult butterflies and larvae both. This will encourage butterflies to come and lay eggs on your plants and they’ll turn into caterpillars. The plants liked by adults and caterpillars are milkweed, cone flower, marigold, black eyed Susan, oregano and parsley cabbage, mustard, clover respectively.

Herb Garden:

Herb gardens are going to prove very interesting for your children because since long back in the history the herbs had been used for multiple of purposes. So whichever herb you select for planting in the children dedicated area to your yard go for a little research for your kid for each of those as to for what purposes each of the herb is being used. Mostly children think that herbs are used as spice in food but make them learn that how herbs are used in medicines, insect repellents, for making dyes, crafts and many more things. There are endless possibilities to work on when it comes to gardening herbs.

These are few of the interesting ideas that can make your child active and provide them with so much knowledge by applying things practically themselves. Develop your child’s interest in gardening and see his or her personality getting groomed indirectly.

Basic Flower Garden Suggestions

Basic Flower Garden 300x199 Basic Flower Garden SuggestionsFlower gardens are definitely the biggest desire of any gardening lover. To have one of their own is something that gardeners would always love to but there is a general concept that is difficult to mange the flowering plants. There are some really easy to grow plants too that makes it easy for plant growers to grow and maintain flowering plants in their gardens. It is nice to keep the garden simple and easy that doe not take much of efforts yet appears to be very elegant and beautiful. These suggestions for making simple gardens that hold flowering plants are a great piece of advice for all the new gardeners just starting to plan out a garden of their own.

Drought Gardens: Flower Garden 206x300 Basic Flower Garden Suggestions
Drought gardens are really easy and fun to make because they hardly need any efforts or hard work. Drought tolerant plants are a blessing because planting those means you don’t need to take stress about watering than regularly or worrying about the heat in hot weather. They can easily survive without even a little effect even if you forget to water them and can stand high heat levels too. Among this category falls the cactus so go for some flowering cactus plants and annuals such as vinca and salvia.

Wildflower Garden:
Wildflower gardens are also great to grow and require almost no maintenance. Actually the wildflowers are also called the native flowers that are these are the plants that locally grow in your area and the climate is perfect for their growth. When growing these plants in your garden during the blooming season you need not to worry about any maintain ace and yet your garden will be all filled with beautiful flowers this is because the climatically these plants grow better  with such requirements.

Rain Garden:
Rain gardens are designed in the depression or low lying areas of your garden. They are designed to actually take the advantage of rain water naturally because as it will rain this area will accumulate the water and one will not need to keep up with the watering schedule. In Rain gardens it is preferable to plant seedling instead f seeds because your seeds may flow to the steepest point of your garden if it rained before your seeds have sprouted out. Try planting marsh or bog plants in those low lying parts of your yards that grow better with extra moisture because usually those parts of yards will remain wet all the time.

Vine Gardens:
Vine gardens are best to be grown when the gardener have small space. When the area of the yard or garden is small it is best to grow vines because they do not take up space horizontally and in fact grow vertically so mostly it’s the surface area that people have less but no problem with heights. Morning glory is a perfect example of flowering vines. Moreover almost all of the varieties of vine plants grow six feet or even higher.

Tips for Controlling Tree Pests & Diseases

Tips for Controlling Tree Pests 300x225 Tips for Controlling Tree Pests & DiseasesThere are many people who stick to growing the plants and vegetable in their gardens and yards but very few of them go for growing trees. Those who grow trees usually think that there tree are not vulnerable to any diseases or pests because they are too large and huge and can fight any invader attacking them. This is a great misconception amongst all the growers because even the trees are equally to the pests and diseases in fact it is even harder to get rid of any infections developed in trees than in plants because they are huge and diseases have also developed on larger scale. Thankfully there are numerous solutions for getting rid of all these problems. So if you are one of those growers who love to have trees in their gardens should find all these really helpful to keep your trees healthy and ever growing.

Removing Infertile/ Dead Parts:
As soon as you observe any signs of discoloring and spotting on leave or find dead leave immediately remove them. Even if you find any dead branches in your trees you need to remove them immediate so that the infection is not infested to the other parts of tree. Every time you cut a branch you will need to clean your pruning shears by rubbing alcohol over them so there are no chances of spread of disease because of any germs present on the shear. You will have to carefully collect all the debris and dispose it off properly enclosing it all in a garbage bag or by burning it out because leaving it around the tree on the ground will not be the solution to your problem as the infection will again attack your tree.

Watering:
You need to water your trees properly and as they want it. Always try to water early in the morning so the humid environment is not created around trees on watering at later time of the day. Try to use drip hose so the water does not splashes that may cause fungal infection and blight over leaves. Take care that there is not need of watering your tree when the ground is already damp or there is water already standing around your tree or you will end up with the worst problem of all that is roots getting rotten.

Remove Shoots:
All the shoots that are observed to be growing around your tree need to be removed immediately because they do not only make your tree fall short of nutrients but are also very much vulnerable to diseases and infections like fungi, bacteria and can be attacked by pests too. Remove these shoot immediately so that these small infections do not turn out to be large when attack your tree and than it will become difficult for you to control them.

Disease-Resistant Trees:
Before you plan to plant a tree takes information regarding the diseases and pests your area mostly develops complaints of. If your area is drought hit one than you definitely need to get tree that is drought-resistant. If you have a problem of some particular pests in your area; than you definitely need to get the tree to plant in your garden that is either unattractive for those pests, or that carry a very little damage due to those pests. This will save you a lot of time and energy for longer period of time and will help you in maintaining healthy tree.

Maintaining Indoor Herb Garden

Maintaining Indoor Herb Garden 300x226 Maintaining Indoor Herb GardenHouse plants appear to be really cool and are a beautiful addition to the interior décor of your home. Actually they are easy too to grow indoors as not much of the care has to be taken to keep them flourishing. Keep them in a sunny window at you home and you can feel the sweet fragrance of these herbs in the air and it’s wonderful if you keep them in your kitchen window and you will be able to add the jubilant taste and fragrance to your food. One thing that is really important for herbs is that there should always be proper drainage possibility in the pots that you use to plant your herbs. Moreover you have to sue a mix of three parts of soil while one part of sand or perlite that would improve the drainage. Add a one inch layer of pebbles at the bottom of pot so the water easily flows out of the plant. You can pour mixed soil over the layer of pebbles.

1.    It is advised to you to keep your herbs in southern facing sunny windows so they get the sunlight properly if there are no southern facing windows than use the western facing windows to get advantage of afternoon sun. These herb plants should be kept away from any heaters, radiators or direct heat. If there are no southern or western facing windows at your home than get the help from grow lights. Place the grow lights 5 to 6 inches above the plant and leave it under the light for eight to twelve hours a day.

2.    Watering herb plants regularly is important but just to keep the soil moist it’s not about keeping it wet at all. You can poke your finger in the soil if your feel it dry, water it but the water should not be flowing in the pot.

3.    You need to keep your herbs at a warm place but not the hot one. Maintain the temperature of the place where you have kept your herbs between 50 degrees to 75 degree Fahrenheit. There are many herbs like Chives, Rosemary and bay that bear the coldness somehow but are not comfortable at temperature any higher than 75 degrees.

4.    Misting herbs at least once a week is necessary. If you use heaters or other means of heating your house than you would need to mist your herbs every few days so that the plant is able to absorb the moisture from its leaves.

5.    It is good to keep trimming herbs. Trim the herbs and they will grow more except chives. It is like you will cut a stem and it will grow into two stems further. Always trim the stem beyond the set of leave with sharp scissors to encourage more growth.

6.    when you observe any blooms on your herbs trim them off immediately no doubt that the flowering herbs look really beautiful but as the nutrients are taken up by the flowers in the herbs the herb starts to taste bitter so if you are using these herbs in your food than you definitely need to keep them flower free.

7.    Keep checking your herbs for any pests or bugs. Usually they are pest resistant but sometimes they do face the problem of having aphids. You can spray your herb with dish soap mixture based in water to kill the aphids of your herbs. Keep spraying for a day or couple of days once a day till you completely get rid of these critters.

How to Clean the Rust of Gardening Tools

Clean the Rust of Gardening Tools 300x234 How to Clean the Rust of Gardening ToolsGardening is much liked hobby throughout the whole world. Some people like growing flowers and plants in their lawns while some just love to have vegetable grown so they may enjoy the juiciest and crunchiest vegetable of all. The ones that taste best definitely and are better in all ways than those bought from the vegetable counters of the grocery stores. Doing all this becomes easier and effective when you have good number of gardening tools.

Having gardening tools make it easy to perform many gardening procedures. There comes a time that is end summers and you are just free of pulling out all your harvest and late crops and you are sure there is nothing more left to left than this is surely the right time to give attention to your tools. For years they have been helping you out in your hobby but had not been center of your attention ever and now have rust of years over them. It is an easy job to just make them like brand new again the matter is just that you should get the right tips for doing that and here are some to help you out in accomplishing this target.

1. Take a bucket of clean dry sand and add a quart of motor oil in it. It is better the more finer particles of sand you will have. This process will clean and oil your tools simultaneously. Just thrush the tools in the bucket and take them out perform the task until all the signs of rust are removed off the tools. This will also renew the edges a little but still the too blunt tools will be required to sharpen.

2. You can use sand papers to sand away the rust off your garden tools with using elbow grease in considerable amount. This is going to take enough time of yours and rigorous efforts will be required to clean the joints, bolts, screws and tines of forks but this is definitely going to work.

3. Take WD-40 the famous tool for getting rust loosened on the tools and than rub it with steel wool or wire brush. This will again take some time but the results will be great.

4. Take naval jelly and coat all the metal parts of the tools properly with it. You will need to use a brush to reach the inner and difficult parts of the tools. Let the tools stand for hours and than rinse them with clean water. If still you find some traces of rust on tools repeat the process.

5. Well the best amongst all is to be a little preventive so no this much of efforts will be required. Simply keep cleaning your tools time to time and immediately with the first sign of rust at any part and than keep oiling them or apply wax this will keep your tools in brand new condition for long time.

Creating a Roof Garden

creating roof garden 300x210 Creating a Roof GardenHaving a roof garden or planning it out is a great idea for all those who live at any such place where they are deprived off having yard. The roof can be turned into a beautiful garden by putting some efforts which will not only make a relaxation place for you but also reduce the level of Carbon dioxide by improving air quality; it will insulate building and increase the birds’ habitat. Like in working for lawns and yards prior preparations are very important so definitely for turning your roof into a garden will require a little more planning and efforts as it is not naturally a place to be made garden but you are going to turn it to the new shape.

Making Roof Waterproof:
The first thing that you will need to do is to waterproof your roof. This has to be done so that in no way the water and roots damage your roof. For this there will be need of putting layers of several sheets. First add a base layer than over it spread the roof membrane, than comes the filter sheet over which you will have to spread moisture blanket and than finally the drainage layer. This will provide your roof with sound waterproofing and only after this the further steps should be taken. One more thing you would need to check that all the drainage points are working fine and there are no clogs in your roof’s drainage system because if there will be any clog the water will overflow and all your precautions of waterproofing your roof will go in vain damaging your roof ultimately.

Preparing Planting Beds:
Now you have to prepare the planting area. For this you will need to put a layer of top soil that should be at least of around 20 inches. Also get some frames prepared for your planting beds so heavy rains do not make your soil over flow. The frames should be at least 4 to 5 inches higher than the surface of soil that is like if you have layered your roof with twenty inches of soil you will have to get your frames made that should be at least 24 to 25 inches high. It is better if you use the planting beds for smaller plants like vegetables those which does not have invasive roots. While if you want to plant some larger plants and trees you can use the larger plant pots and containers that are deep enough to provide space for invasive roots.

Irrigation System:
You may construct a water reservoir on your roof top for saving water and some money as the rain water can be stored in it. While you will need to build an irrigation system for your roof garden so you may water your plants easily. Drip irrigation system for roof top gardens is better than sprinklers because this will help you save water as the flow of water will be limited.

Plants:
Choosing plants for roof top gardens is a big job you need to consider so many factors like the plants should be drought-tolerant not requiring daily watering and being at higher floors the plants in roof top gardens are exposed more directly to sunlight so they should be heat resistant too. You may consult the people at nurseries and gardening stores for better advices regarding the plants to be chosen.

Ways to Control Weeds in Vegetable Garden

Weeds in Vegetable Garden 300x199 Ways to Control Weeds in Vegetable GardenWeeds are the unwanted plants that are hated by all the gardeners. Any plant native or non-native growing itself at an undesired place is called a weed. Weeds are not liked by gardeners because they become cause of lack of nutrition in their plants, flowers and vegetables that they grow and spend a lot of their time and efforts. When especially your vegetables are at the starting stage when they are just a seedling they need proper nutrients and sunlight the weeds should never be grown around.

The weeds actually rob the required nutrients and sunlight of the seedlings causing hindrance in their growth. To eradicate weed completely it is something impossible so you just need to be more vigilant with your vegetables as if left unchecked these weeds will take over quickly and will choke your vegetables out of beds. One have to be very vigilant regarding these weeds until the vegetable plants are not properly grown once mature they will be able to handle with this bothering but still try to keep removing them and don’t let them grow in bulk.

1.    Turn over your top soil for about five to six inches and check properly for any weed roots or stems. If find any of them clear your soil and your plantation area completely first destroying all left over in soil.

2.    Now plant your seeds or seedlings in rows. You will need to prepare proper rows and beds so that it becomes easier to recognize weeds and remove them. Keep digging in between the rows so the soil remain disturbed and weeds remain unable to take roots. If any weeds grow around seedling pull them of the ground and secure your seedlings from loosing their nutrients.

3.    You can also lay black plastic or weed cloth on the bed that you prepare and than make holes at the places where you want to plant the seedling. It is better if you use the weed cloth instead of plastic because plastic will keep the natural moisture from penetrating into the soil.

4.    You can also apply organic mulch to the space around the garden plants or on the weed cloth. This not only preserves the soil moisture but also stops the sunlight from reaching to the weed seeds that they need to germinate around your plants.

5.    It is better to remove large weeds or weeds with long roots with weed cultivator so that the roots are also pulled out completely from deep under the ground.

6.    Herbicides can also be applied in order to get rid of enormously produced weeds but be careful as these herbicides are toxic so get the ones made particularly for vegetable garden and take care in consuming any produce from your plants before washing it.

7.    There are some crops and plants that act as weed suppressors they rob the sunlight the weeds require for growing, these include the low growing vegetables like squash, melons and beans.