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.

Tips to Grow Edible Mushrooms

Grow Edible Mushrooms 300x195 Tips to Grow Edible MushroomsMushrooms are healthy and very different type of gourmet vegetable that is easily grown at homes. This will sound amazing to many people because it is thought commonly that it is not possible to grow mushrooms like this because of being unable to determine the poisonous or edible ones. Mushrooms are usually found expensive too so you can easily save your time and money by growing them at home and in fact can earn big too f you plot them on a larger space and supply them to local market. Mushrooms are liked very much in pizzas also and that is the most loved food of children today so it will be great to have mushrooms at home and you’ll be able to put them in good quantity without worrying about the price. You will need just few household materials and you can start growing mushrooms any time. Get the inoculated saw dust and from that you can grow mushrooms at homes because they grow from spores instead of seeds. The common types of edible mushrooms grew at household scale are button, oyster, shitake and portabella.

1.    The first thing you need to do is to go and order the saw dust inoculated with edible mushroom spores. There are several fungi-interest sites working over internet so you can find anyone and order according to your residential location.

2.    Take the unwaxed cardboard pieces that should be at least 2 by 3 feet in size to allow the proper growing area to mushrooms. You will need to soak the cardboards in water for around an hour.

3.    Now after being soaked for an hour you will have to peel the cardboard until the corrugated side is all exposed.

4.    Now you will have to coat this corrugated part of cardboard with the sawdust that you ordered. Initially your mushrooms will start to grow over these cardboards.

5.    Now you will have to roll the cardboard in the same way as you roll your burrito and keep the sawdust coated part inside and late clip the corners either by stapling them or by taping.

6.    Mushrooms need cold dark place to grow so you will need to keep these rolled cardboards at a place that do not experience temperature any higher than 70 degree Fahrenheit. This can be a shady area in your garden or a darker corner in your greenhouse.

7.    Another thing that mushrooms want is moisture so keep the area moist and do mist the cardboard everyday so the moisture encourages the humidity and that will cause the spores to grow.

8.    Now there is nothing to be done than waiting for your mushrooms to grow. Now there can not be any estimated time for the growth of mushrooms as they may take time of se4veral weeks to several months to be mature. The sign of their readiness of harvesting is just when the cap is fully opened.

Ways to Remove Grass and Weeds Grown Around Edible Plants

Edible Plants 225x300 Ways to Remove Grass and Weeds Grown Around Edible PlantsGrass and weeds is big enemy like pests and animals for all the gardeners. These become more difficult for the gardeners who grow edible plants because they can not use herbicides or pesticides around their plants because that will not leave their plants as edible after that. The only way out for gardeners of edible plants is to use mechanicals and horticultural controls to take over these encroachers. Weeds and grass harm the growth of plants too because they take up and share the nutrients needed by your plants. Grass and weeds can be removed by pulling them off the ground or by repressing them with thick mulch in edible gardens. There are many gardeners who are so frustrated at these encroachers that they go for adopting both the methods in order to be sure that grass and weeds have been removed from around the edible plants effectively and completely.

•    Soak the yard or garden of yours well with much of water 24 hours before you plan to pull the weeds off the ground or you can do this after a soaking rain because in both cases the soil will become loosened and it will become easier for you to pull off the weeds.

Weeds Grown Around Edible Plants 300x300 Ways to Remove Grass and Weeds Grown Around Edible Plants•    Now you will have to pull the grass or weeds by hand and while grasping each of the growth from its crown and than pulling it out so that you make sure that the encroachers are completely removed from the place with there roots and immediately throw the pulled off weeds and grass into the garbage bin and do not let it remain on ground.

•    To avoid the growth of weeds or grass you should skim your top soil that is about an inch deep once or twice every week. This disturbs the seedlings of these unwanted plants growing and do not let them grow further. You can leave these seedlings on your disturbed soil and they will die out themselves by drying in sun.

•    It is good if you apply 3 to 4 inches of mulch over the exposed area around your edible plants this will suppress the existing grass or weeds and discourage the growth of new unwanted plants. A thick even carpet should be spread by you all over the exposed area and whenever you will rake or hoe you soil this will keep on mixing the mulch in your soil and will add nutrients to it and this will be beneficial for your plants. You will have to maintain the thickness of mulch up to 3 inches so keep adding the mulch to maintain the thickness whenever you rake.

•    Keep monitoring your gardening area every day and remove any weeds or grass grown by hand or disturb the soil by raking if seedlings are observed to be growing.

Your Mulch should include shredded barks, leaves, and grass or wood chips.

Evergreen Tree Seedlings

tree seedlings 300x225 Evergreen Tree SeedlingsFlowering plants and vegetables are very commonly grown by home gardeners but there are very few who think of planting trees in their yards and gardens. There are still some people who would think of planting fruit trees but other trees are grown very less by the people. Still there are few people who go for trees like evergreen ones. Evergreen trees as obvious from the name remain their foliage through out the whole year and can prove to be an excellent addition to your landscaping. These trees when planted are definitely small seedlings or smaller plants but they grow too big so wherever they are planted this should be considered that enough of the space is provided to the tree for growing because they may grow up to 60 feet or even more than this too. These trees re great to grow, give a wonderful effect to your garden but they need a lot of care in the first few years of plantation so they grow stronger later.

Before planting an evergreen tree seedling you will need to analyze few things. You should always know that how much your tree will grow till its maturity because there are many evergreen trees that live for up to 100 years. So now keeping this in mind think of at how much distance you are planting this tree from your house, fences, walls, power cables, driveways and sidewalks. Than you will need to consider that are these trees native to the area you live in. In case the evergreen trees are non-native to your area of plantation than there will be problems in their growth. Check out if the tree is drought-resistant or it will need to be watered more. You may plant your tree near other drought resistant plants and shrubs if the tree is also drought-resistant.

Plantation Site:
Most of the evergreen trees grow best in well draining soil and with lots of direct sunlight available. So choose the place for plantation of your seedling that has these qualities present. If your soil is not of the type you may take a bag of top soil of this type and spread it to the area where you plan to plant your tree. But when planting seedlings take care that they are not able to stand the harshness of weather until maturity especially wind.

Tips for Plantation:
Take care of all the general plantation tips, no matter how your seedlings are packed. It is best to plant seedlings in months of January to March. The hole made to plant the seedling should be deep enough that all the roots of the seedlings are covered properly. Try to make the hole in depth double the size of the roots ball. Remove if there is hard clay soil at the bottom of hole that you’ve made because clay soil is not good at draining.

When you plant the seedling, you will need to water it well so the soil is settled properly around the roots. After that you will need to water your plant every ten days in first growing season. Usually the evergreen trees take 3 to 4 years in establishing themselves so up till that the gardener will have to keep taking care of water needs of the tree.

Containers for Plants & Flower Pots

container for Plants 199x300 Containers for Plants & Flower PotsLike the flowers and plants may increase the beauty and ambiance of any place so the some part of this credit definitely goes to containers, flower pots and planters too. These containers and planters are used very commonly not only to provide home to great number of plants when not planted in grounds but also are used for decorative purposes. There are containers available in different designs and styles that actually increase the beauty around the space. They are found in all sizes so you may use a large one to plant two or three different plants holding flowers of different colors and create a rainbow of colors in a small space or you can use the small ones to keep on the top of your garden tables or the your lawn chairs set table that would look great. Small pots are also used to keep in baskets so to be used as hanging plants pots at different places like patios or within homes.

1.    The planters and flower pots hold a lot importance in home landscaping. They have the strength to immediately change your garden’s look to appear as an outdoor living space. Many gardeners also use these containers to plant vegetables and herbs some are kept indoors specially the herbs so the great aroma keeps revolving within the house and a handful can also be added to the food for taste. These are found in great range of sizes from few inches to so large that they are just impossible to be moved once filled with plants.

Flower Pots 300x300 Containers for Plants & Flower Pots2.    There should be some features available in all flower pots to support plants lie healthy. Drainage holes at the base or bottom of the planters and pots is very necessary so that water may flow easily and excessive water is also drained out so the roots are not at stake of getting rotten. There should be drainage hole made in each planter according to the size of pot. A one gallon planter should have at least 4 drainage holes so the water may flow easily. There is sometimes attached drainage trays attached too with the flower pots so the excess water flowed out of the pot can be absorbed later on by soil when needed.

3.    Flower pots are made up of different material so to add décor to your home or in outdoors you may find the flower pots that match your furniture and this would make the things appear more stylish and appealing.

4.    Well there is not essentiality that flower pots are those that can plant one plant many gardeners have been creative enough to think of numerous things that could be turned into planter and than they used them as like beds for growing vegetables and flowers.

5.    Planters can be placed any where around to support the landscape and make it appear more appealing to the eyes of those living in the house as well as visitors. They can be used at every place on steps of stairs on railing, could be hanged from the beams in patio and t all other places. They also make your plants appear to be longer or use them to increase the vertical effect in your garden too.

Tips for Protecting Tomato Plants from Rabbits

Protecting Tomato Plants from Rabbits 248x300 Tips for Protecting Tomato Plants from RabbitsMany people just dream of the life when you are living on a small farm house in rural are and have a small garden or farm where you can satisfy your craving for gardening and have wildlife right outside your door. This seems to be really perfect but having wildlife so near makes it difficult for people to keep these hungry grazers out of the farms that have been worked hard upon. Either fruits or vegetables whatever would have been grown by the people owning farm they would have spent hours and hours in preparing the place for proper growth of plants and would have than spent time in providing with water and taking care of all other needs before its time for them to get the fruit of their efforts.

Among all the animals that may ruin your farm rabbits are the most common ones in rural areas. Rabbits are highly attracted towards the freshly grown vegetables and even if you will plant just a few of tomatoes outside your kitchen they will get to know about it and than whole lot of rabbits could be observed coming and having party on your hard grown tomatoes. There are now numerous ways that through which you can stop these rabbits from invading in your farm. The older techniques that are temporary include scattering human hairs around the tomato plants bed or planting marigolds around the bed both actually repel rabbit due to the smell. The longer term solution are fencing and creating raised beds.Tomato Plants Tips for Protecting Tomato Plants from Rabbits

Raised Beds:
1.    Now you will have to get an extra bag of top soil so you can create a raised bed that is at least 18 inches high from the ground to plant your tomatoes. It should be at least 18 inches high other wise rabbits will some how manage to jump into the bed and have feast on your tomatoes.
2.    You will have to line the bottom inside of your raised bed with hardware cloth to discourage gophers from digging it.
3.    Prepare your raised planting bed with soil and compost and plant your tomatoes being worry free.

1.    Get the wire mesh fencing from hardware store and it should be at least 22 inches high so you can keep the rabbits out of your property. But if there are jack rabbits around you will need to get fence that should be at least 28 inches high. The mesh holes should not be any more than an inch other wise the rabbits will squeeze through it.
2.    Place the stakes or poles at the corners of your tomato bed and wrap the bed around with the fence. If the planting bed is larger put some more poles to support the fence.
3.    Now when you will have to fix the fence in you will have to bury it around 4 inches deep in the soil so the rabbits just can not push through underneath it.

These are the two ways that will provide your tomatoes with longer term safety and you may plant your vegetables freely.

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.

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.

Different Ways for Making Indoor Plant Soil

Making Indoor Plant Soil 300x220 Different Ways for Making Indoor Plant SoilIndoor plants are a source of increasing beauty at enclosed places like within homes, offices and other buildings. Wherever we see the plants even if they are not the flowering ones the greenery seems good to eyes and generally provide with an effect of freshness. There are numerous potting mixes available commercially and easily that cater to the needs and demands of great range of plants but there are sometimes need when you have to formulate your potting soil yourself if growing some specialty plant. The soil will then be made according to the requirements of the plant and all the factors like increase or decrease in moisture retentiveness, manipulation of pH and other nutrients adjusted according to specific plant. Germinating mix can also be created for seeds, transplant and cutting at homes.

Preparing Soil:
1. Sterilized loam soil is the first thing to be bought either from garden stores or nurseries. You can also find this as the name of garden soil or top soil in general. It is better to opt for the bagged product.
2. If you are taking the soil from your backyard instead of any garden store or nursery than you will definitely need to sterilize it and that can be done at home too if you have an oven. You will have to preheat your oven at 250 degree Fahrenheit. Now spread the moist soil on heatproof pan and cover it with foil. Check the temperature of the soil twice or thrice with the food thermometer as it should remain at 180 degree Fahrenheit for at least 30 minutes for sterilization. During this process all the weed seeds and soil viruses will be killed.

Water & Ventilation Planning:
1. Peat moss is best to be used for increasing the aeration of soil and to improve the soil’s capability of holding water. Peat moss should be moistened properly before it is to be mixed in other ingredients.
2. If you want to improve the drainage of your soil add coarse builder’s sand to your mix. The sand is inexpensive but heavy and does not help in improvement of sand water retention capability. Always keep one thing in mind never use sand with clay soils. So be sure about the soil you collected from your backyard that to what type it actually belongs.

Making Mixes:
1. To prepare your mix at the first stage mix up the equal parts of your soil, peat moss, perlite and vermiculite.
2. Now comes the turn of adjusting the texture of your mix; if it feels like sticky add some amount of sand and peat moss to it. If mixture is too coarse to grainy than you will need to add peat moss more into the mix.
3. If you want to make a mix for seeds than make a soilless mixture by adding equal parts of peat moss, vermiculite and perlite. This lightweight mix helps seeds to germinate quickly and develop roots faster too.

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.

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.

Tips for Maintaining Bonsai Plant

Bonsai Plant 300x225 Tips for Maintaining Bonsai PlantMaintaining Bonsai Plant 300x152 Tips for Maintaining Bonsai PlantBonsai is a Japanese art form used to grow miniature plants and trees in containers. It has just its own class, beauty and elegance. This is really a whole piece of art that you can see in the small tree in front of you. Isn’t it amazing to see a tree that is just a few inches in size and is a fully grown one? Maintaining a healthy Bonsai tree that you own is simple all you need to do is to just provide it with the proper balance of regular attention and occasional preventative measures and you will experience your tree to remain healthy and thriving for years and years.

Early spring months are the right time for repotting of your bonsai. Bonsai needs to be repotted every one or two years. Easily spring is the time when the growing season of Bonsai starts so that is why you need to repot them or when you experience your bonsai tree roots bulging out of the pot this is the sign that you need to repot your bonsai, Take the tree out of soil remove any extra sand of the roots trim them to around one third and than quickly repot the tree back before the roots dry up.

You will need to make a complete watering schedule and water your bonsai each day at the same time according to the amount required by that particular type. Bonsais need regular watering but do not like over watering so check the soil before watering that if the soil is dry an inch from the surface that means it needs water. There should be proper drainage place in the container so that excess water should always be drained out.

You have to place your indoor Bonsai in a way that it gets at least four hours of direct sunlight. The Bonsais are sun loving trees that require water and proper sunlight each day to prepare the food that they need for their growth. Outdoor bonsais would need the sunlight for six to eight hours but the indoor bonsais adjust according to the conditions but still need about 4 hours of direct sunlight in morning as evening sunlight may cause burn.

Bonsai grow well in humid areas so you need to maintain humid environment around your bonsai. Usually the air within homes is very dry so you need to keep misting your Bonsai foliage with water spray several times in a day to keep it moist. Humidity level for bonsai can also be maintained by placing a small fan centered at Bonsai that will keep circulating the air for tree or can place your bonsai on a humidity tree.

The growing season of Bonsai start from early spring to late fall. You will need to fertilize your Bonsai properly in this time period for providing better chances of growth. A well balanced fertilizer should be use4d in this time period and the tree should be fertilized each month. There should be an equal mix of potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus used at half strength.