For gardeners, the sounds and smells of spring signal planting time. As the plants flourish, they await the harvest, and after that they must wait again for spring. Still, during the cooler months of fall, you can do quite a bit to continue enjoying your garden and prepare it for spring planting. Follow along as we discuss what to do in the fall to prepare for a spring garden.
As a homeowner, you want your backyard to be a fun and functional space you can make the most of and enjoy. The right additions can make your backyard a more enjoyable and functional space, whether you want to create a space for quiet reflection or an entertainment hub for family and friends. Below, we introduce three amazing additions to your backyard oasis.
As a homeowner, creating the perfect ambiance for your outdoor space often involves more than selecting the right plants and outdoor décor. Setting up landscape lighting plays a crucial role as well. This comprehensive guide will provide you with what to consider when setting up landscape lighting.
Type of Lights
Choosing the right type of lights is the initial and arguably the most crucial step in setting up landscape lighting. The selection significantly influences the ambiance, aesthetics, and functionality of your outdoor space. Each lighting fixture serves a unique purpose and creates a different effect which should align with your intended design concept. For instance, pathway lights are perfect for illuminating walkways, ensuring safe navigation during the night. Bollard lights, with their taller profiles, are excellent for lighting up driveways or garden paths, offering both functionality and a stylish aesthetic element. String lights, on the other hand, can transform patios or pergolas into charming and cozy spaces, ideal for social gatherings. Taking the time to select the appropriate lighting fixtures will greatly enhance your landscape’s beauty and usability.
The brightness of your landscape lighting is a critical consideration that directly affects the ambiance and functionality of your outdoor space. Too much light can wash out the night, creating a harsh, uninviting environment. Conversely, dim lighting may fail to provide sufficient illumination, hampering visibility and safety. Striking a balance is key. It’s also helpful to have some tips for selecting the right brightness for your exterior. Consider the purpose of the area you’re illuminating. Functional areas such as entrances or pathways generally require brighter lights for safe navigation, while ambient or decorative lighting, like in a garden or patio, can be softer to create a relaxed, intimate atmosphere. Using a light meter can help determine the right brightness levels. Additionally, consider using fixtures with dimmable capabilities, providing flexibility to adjust the brightness as needed and aligning with different mood requirements or event purposes.
The placement of your landscape lights is just as essential as the type and brightness. Strategic placement can highlight your garden’s features, provide functional illumination where necessary, and create a warm, inviting ambiance. The principle here is to place lights where they accentuate the landscape’s design, not just for illumination. For instance, placing lights at the base of a wall or architectural feature can create dramatic uplighting. Positioning lights among foliage can create intriguing shadow patterns, adding depth and character to your garden. Downlighting from trees can mimic moonlight and provide gentle illumination over a large area. For safety and functionality, ensure that steps, paths, entranceways, and driveways are well lit. However, avoid placing lights where they shine directly into the eyes; the aim is to light the way, not to blind. By spending time on thoughtful light placement, you can significantly enhance the beauty and usability of your outdoor space while achieving an enchanting nighttime landscape.
Now that you know what to think about when installing landscape lighting, you can begin the process today. Remember, a well-lit landscape not only enhances your property’s curb appeal and security but also extends the usability of your outdoor spaces after sunset. Whether it’s for an intimate gathering or a safe pathway, effective landscape lighting can truly illuminate the beauty of your home.
As you grew your vegetable garden this summer, you may have felt disappointed with how your crops turned out. But don’t fret since there may be some simple answers to why they did not turn out the way you hoped. Review these four mistakes you should avoid with your vegetable garden so that you can enjoy more bountiful harvests in the future.
Growing Plants in the Shade
If you tried to grow a vegetable garden in a shady location this summer, that’s a mistake you should avoid from here on out. Unfortunately, by keeping your plants in the shade, you deprive them of the sunlight they need to grow big and juicy veggies for you to eat.
Doing so can even be a health risk since you expose them to more damage from pests and diseases. Next time, keep your plants healthy by giving them the necessary sunshine.
Not Diversifying Your Garden
Growing your garden with a focus on only one type of crop can also hurt your harvest. One of the things to consider when buying seeds for your garden is how much you want to diversify it since it will benefit your plants.
Try companion planting in your garden next year. When you put certain plants adjacent to each other, you’ll help draw the insects they need to help accelerate their growth. Like humans, plants sometimes need a little help from friends.
Overwatering Your Plants
Like sunlight, plants need water to grow. But a mistake you should avoid with your vegetable garden is giving them far too much.
In general, try to give them an inch of water each week. If you see symptoms like wilting or parts of the plants’ leaves turning brown, those are signs that you gave them too much.
Planting Too Much
Another mistake to avoid is adding too many plants to your garden. Unfortunately, when you cram too many plants together, they can steal the sunlight and the air from each other and cause the spread of pests and diseases. Try to plant less in the future. This way, you’ll have a much better harvest.
You’ll enjoy much greater yields when you avoid these mistakes in your garden. You’ll then have crops you can be proud of and plenty of wonderful vegetables to eat and keep you healthy.
Why Squirrels Dig in Your Garden and Effective Ways to Deter Them
Gardens are sanctuaries of beauty and growth, but they’re not immune to the curious habits of wildlife. Among the most common culprits of garden disturbances are squirrels, those nimble and energetic creatures that often leave a trail of dug-up earth in their wake. If you’ve ever wondered why squirrels dig in your garden and how to prevent their antics, this article is your guide to understanding their behavior and finding practical solutions to maintain your garden’s tranquility.
The Root Causes of Squirrel Digging
1. Foraging for Food
Squirrels are natural foragers, and your garden may appear to them as an enticing buffet. They often dig to uncover buried or hidden food sources, like nuts, seeds, or even the bulbs of certain plants. This behavior is particularly common in the fall when squirrels are preparing for the winter months.
2. Cache Storage
Squirrels are known to bury surplus food items as a form of storage for leaner times. While they might not remember every spot, their digging can disturb your garden as they search for their hidden caches.
3. Nesting and Shelter
Squirrels also dig to create or access nesting sites or shelter. These excavations can be more substantial and disruptive, especially if they’re searching for a safe place to raise their young or escape inclement weather.
4. Playful Instincts
Squirrels are highly active and curious creatures. Sometimes, their digging can be a form of play or exploration, leading to unintended disturbances in your garden.
Effective Strategies to Deter Squirrel Digging
1. Protective Barriers
Utilize physical barriers like wire mesh or chicken wire to cover the soil around plants and bulbs. This prevents squirrels from accessing the soil directly, thwarting their digging efforts. Just ensure the barrier is well-anchored to prevent them from lifting it.
Natural repellents, such as crushed red pepper flakes, garlic, or cayenne pepper, can be sprinkled around the garden. Squirrels dislike the strong scents and tastes of these substances. However, be prepared to reapply these repellents periodically, especially after rain.
3. Squirrel-Resistant Plants
Choose plants that are less appealing to squirrels. While there’s no completely squirrel-proof plant, options like daffodils, hyacinths, and fritillaries are less likely to be disturbed due to their strong odors or bitter tastes.
4. Mulching with Rough Materials
Consider using rough or spiky mulch materials like pine cones, thorny branches, or even holly leaves. These textures deter squirrels from digging while also providing an added layer of protection for your garden.
5. Motion-Activated Devices
Install motion-activated devices that emit ultrasonic sounds, flashes of light, or even bursts of water when triggered. These sudden disruptions can startle squirrels and discourage them from frequenting your garden.
6. Feeding Stations
Provide squirrels with a designated feeding station away from your garden. This diversion can redirect their attention from your plants and bulbs.
7. Trapping and Relocation