Hydroponic Basics, Hydroponics

Garden Design Trends



 

Garden Design Trends

We’re at the start of a new year and with it comes a new set of trends for your lawn and garden. Trends are influenced through innovation and efficiency. Experts are always experimenting and implementing lawn and garden ideas that better sustain structure while providing a cosmetically perfect landscape.

Effective Drainage Solutions is Essential

Drainage systems will forever be the trend that continues even after 2022 and into 2023. Effective landscape drainage keeps the appropriate amount of moisture in your garden while draining all the excess water away. French Drain systems are the nuts and bolts to most drainage systems in gardens, lawns, and patios.

Another option to improving drainage efficiency is trench drains. Trench drains usually rest at the edge of pathways, patios, and even gardens. Landscape professionals use them in combination with French Drain systems as well. If you’re aiming for landscape cosmetics, consider digging a trench drain made of large river rock or gravel rock (spalls). These trenches provide a natural look that blends into the culture of the landscape while ensuring no standing water can damage your garden.

Using Greenery

You can never go wrong with installing something green in your garden beds. Evergreen shrubs and small trees will color your garden throughout the year.

  • Mondo Grass – These plants are usually installed as a border on the edge of garden beds or a ground cover to absorb a deluge of water. Mondo Grass is great for rain gardens and pathways. They do require maintenance due to their rapidly spreading roots. Be prepared to remove them from areas where you don’t need them.

  • Boxwoods – Like the grasses, boxwoods can serve as borders as well. Landscapers will plant them in proximity of each other. Overtime, their small branches will connect to neighboring shrubs which eventually create one large hedge. Or you can spread them out. Introduce boxwoods to annuals and perennials to keep color in the gardens all year.

Hop Poles in a Garden

Hop trellis designs are common among those that farm their own food or food for the masses, but you can use hop poles like any trellis you buy from home improvement retailers. Twine any vine around garden wire to influence the plants to grow in spaces between neighboring hop poles. As vines (blooming vine, fruit, or vegetable) grow, allow them to hang. The natural, hanging garden expresses an exotic design to decks, pergolas, and trellis.

Stone Pathways: Constructed and Loose

Pathways all depend on your budget. Constructed stone pathways, such as the kind you see with specialized brick or spalls, are long lasting. Pressure wash constructed pathways every year to keep grime from deteriorating the surface of constructed pathways. Loose stone or rock pathways are more cost efficient. They require less labor but requires the same amount of precision to make a leveled pathway. Loose stone pathways wash away overtime and need to be replenished with fresh stone or pebbles every six months or so.

Prepare the Gardens for Next Season

As you plan to install plants for the next season, prepare your garden beds. You can do this with various methods.

  • Extract Leaves – If you live in an area where an abundant of trees are, prepare to manage the leaves that fall. Throughout the Fall and Winter, extract these leaves to keep your garden bed clear. Extracting leaves can deter bothersome insects like ticks and mosquitos.

  • Mulch Leaves – Leaves in shaded areas can fight off weeds. Mulch them up with lawn mower and spread them around the garden beds.

  • Soil Testing – Have your soil tested. Minerals from rain and other plants can cause different reactions to the soil bringing forth fungi and bacteria that disrupts the pH balance of the soil. In addition, do the same for your lawn.

Implementing the Trends

For enthusiasts and homeowners, consult landscape professionals for constructing brick and spall pathways. Get the advice of your local nursery to see what plants go well with hop poles. Also, vine harvesting farmers are familiar with hop poles and how to use them in any garden.

Take advantage of native plants. See what green plants are versatile in your local area. Local plants fend off harsh weather conditions and survive flood waters better. And of course, don’t forget an effective drainage system. You don’t want your garden beds to saturated with water. Hopefully now you have a better idea of current garden design trends so you can have yours looking like it should be on the cover of better homes and garden!

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Gardening, Gardening How to

Using a brush cutter to maintain a garden



Using a brush cutter to maintain a garden

A brush cutter is a very important tool for use in the garden or backyard. The role of a brush cutter is very important to the survival of your garden. It also helps to keep the landscape looking well kept. It is used to cut weeds, small trees and other plant overgrowth’s that are not so easy to reach or get rid of.

A Brush cutter machine has more power and can handle tougher plant growth than a Weed string trimmer. Brush cutters normally contain a metal blade which cuts though unwanted or harmful vegetation.

Types of brush cutters

The Hand operated Brush Cutter

The design of the hand operated brush cutter allows for comfortable use. Its length allows for better access to get rid of weeds and other unwanted plants that are hard to reach. Its light weight makes it easy to move around.

The Push operated Brush cutter

These can handle larger areas of growth that the hand-held cutters. They are larger in weight and resemble the lawn mower. They can cover a bit more ground in a shorter time and with more ease.

The towed Brush cutter

These are attached to farm machines such as tractors and are used to complete the largest tasks. The different types of brush cutters are equipped with different kinds of blades. There are chisel, knife, brush destructor, smasher and mulching blades. The most effective of these is the brush destructor blade which can handle the toughest tasks. Your choice depends on the type of work to be done.

Benefits of brush cutters 

Brush cutters have many benefits. The most important benefit of brush cutters is that they help to maintain a beautiful yard or garden. They are effective in clearing and destroying all unwanted thickets or bushes. They are portable which makes them ideal for cutting in difficult, hard to reach terrain. You can also use the machine for longer because of its design. The design allows ease of use so that users can work for a while without causing physical strain. Some brands are also quiet, so you can work without disturbing others. They are easy to store due to their compact sizes. In addition, they are also easy to maintain. Storage and maintenance are two important factors that affect the durability of the brush cutter.

Factors to consider when purchasing a brush cutter

There are several factors to consider when purchasing a brush cutter. One important factor is the type and the thickness of the vegetation to be cut down. The difficulty of the task will determine the type of brush cutter you purchase.

Another important factor is the terrain you will be using the brush cutter on. The layout of the landscape can cause some plants to be hard to reach. There are brush cutters designed for the hard to reach areas.

It is also important to check for the durability of the product. You are making an investment in an equipment that you hope will last for a while. Check the materials the cutter is made from, the design and overall sturdiness. You need a machine that can withstand the tough outdoors.

The price of the equipment might be an important factor if you are on a budget. However, do not substitute quality for price. Choose the best available brush cutter that is within your budget.

When using a brush cutter, exercise caution and wear protective gear. While using the brush cutter, protect yourself from flying debris. Be sure to protect your eyes. Use brush cutters with a harness and handle bar. These will protect your hands and lessen the impact of accidents. Also remember not to use too close to others since it can cause physical harm. Also look out for those straying animals that may wander into your path.

Purchasing a brush cutter is very important to maintain your garden. It ensures that your garden is properly cleared for new growth. The role of a brush cutter cannot be over stated. Take proper care of the brush cutter for a durable and effective machine. Pay special attention to the blade which needs to be kept sharp and clean. The brush cutter is a useful equipment that must be handled with care. Read the manual before use to ensure you understand how to care for and operate the equipment.

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Gardening How to, Gardening Tools, Lawn Tools

How to Get Rid of Ants


How to Get Rid of Ants

Just like almost everyone else in the world, at one point or another, we have had to deal with ants. And the first thing I think is what do I have to do to get rid of them asap?  They are one of the hardest working and strongest creatures in the world. They are self-disciplined, systematic and persistent. That is why ants invading your beautiful garden are such a nuisance! Behaving like intelligent brutes, these ants live in colonized societies. They live in nests, under cracks, and pavement, or in this case, they form their nests under trees and plants.

United We Stand . . .The organized behavior of ants is what makes them so hard to conquer. Where there is one ant, there are bound to be a thousand lurking somewhere near inside their nest.

Ants Are Beneficial!

Now don’t get me wrong. Ants can be somewhat beneficial to your garden in two ways:

  • Ants are predators. They can take care of many lurking insects in your garden. They also eat up dead insects such caterpillars. Overall, they’re a huge help in cleaning up the ecosystem.
  • Ants aid in pollination by carrying pollen from one place to another.

But, They Are Also Damaging Your Garden!

The deal with ants is this, there are many different species (over 12,000), some of which can be pretty harmful and hurtful. Take the example of bullet ants; as the name suggests, bullet ants’ bite is quite unbearable in terms of pain. So much, that it has been compared with being hit by a bullet! ouch!

These ants are bigger in size too.

These ants are quite larger in size too. Such ants can come in the way of gardening, picking flowers, plowing for fruits and vegetables and doing daily gardening tasks like watering the plants.

Humid gardens are the perfect habitat for bullet ants.  For people having trouble with this pest, we recommend reading about treatments of bullet ant venom for a detailed solution.

Methods to De-Ant Your Garden

There is no need to kill ants unless they impose a threat to your:

  • Garden
  • Family
  • Home

As already discussed above, harmless ants can be pretty useful. However, when in dire need of getting rid of ants from your garden, we recommend following these approaches;

  • Home Remedies
  • Professional Help

Let’s discuss each one in detail!

Home Remedies

So basically, anyone’s first call when facing an army of ants would be either to try out dear old grandma’s home remedies or seek help from the internet. In the very beginning, we recommend you try out the non-toxic methods. Natural methods that won’t harm you, your pets, or your children should always be a first choice. Luckily we have compiled a list of solutions for you precisely so that you can protect yourself from the invasion of ants!

Boiled Water; you’re Ultimate Solution

The most common solution when dealing with these tiny beasts is to locate their hills, nests, and mounds wherever they are in your garden and pour boiling water directly over them. This really is a good method and you know for sure that it’s safe and natural.  The best way to find these mounds can be by following the queue of ants and they will lead you to their secret safe house themselves!

In some cases this solution may need to be repeated for a few days consistently in order to achieve one hundred percent results, but it will work and the price is right!

Pipe Tobacco

Another suitable solution that most gardeners’ find helpful is eliminating ants by the use of Pipe Tobacco. First, you soak tobacco overnight and make a tea with it. Then, just like putting boiled water in these nests and hills, you need to soak the hills with this tea.

This is a sure way of getting rid of ants in the garden if done repeatedly and consistently after locating all the mounds in your garden.

Boric Acid to the Rescue

Now, this is when you trick the ants into eating poison disguised in sweet! Just like Snow White. A bit dramatic isn’t it?

All you need to do is make a paste by mixing together sugar and boric acid. Now place little amounts of this paste near the ants’ mounds. Ants love sugary sweet things! They will not eat some, but also carry it back into their mound for the royal queen. Shortly after eating this paste, the ants will begin to die because of the boric acid in this paste.

Evil, I know but works like a pro!

Vinegar

Pouring white vinegar directly into the nest of ants can kill them instantly. It’s not harmful for your garden either and delivers instant results. 1 liter of white vinegar is enough for one hill.

Plants vs. Insects

If it is difficult for you to locate the ants’ hill, you can still target them individually by placing plants that are natural repellents of ants such as scented marigolds, catnip’s, tansy, garlic, and peppermint/spearmint.

Ants’ Arch Nemesis

Beneficial nematodes are the ants’ arch nemesis. This makes them one of the amazing solutions to get rid of ants. How do these microscopic creatures work, you ask? They enter the digestive tract of insects like ants, fleas, beetles, and moths, and secrete and excrete bacteria. This proves to be deadly for the insects, making them die in one to two days.

However, for this remedy to work, the temperature of your garden must be around 45 ℉. The temperature of the soil must also be regulated to lie between 40 to 90 ℉. So this method can be perfect for indoor gardens or nurseries where the temperature can be regulated.

Diatomaceous Earth

By sprinkling diatomaceous soil on a dry surface (the wetter it is, the more difficult it is to work) around the ant’s path or ants’ nest can work wonders. It is not harmful to vegetables and plants. It works by drying out and killing the insects by absorbing the fats from the exoskeleton of the ants or any other insects.

Professional Help

When home remedies don’t work, you can try out different toxic methods or seek professional help.

Ants Killing Sprays, Gels, and Poison

Ant killing sprays, gels, and poison are easily available at different nurseries or home stores. The gel works exactly like the mixture of boric acid and sugar where the ants are attracted to the sweetness of gel.

Some poisons come in powder form, and some in the form of tablets. Orange guard is another liquid spray that contains orange peel extract to drive away the ants.

Caution must be observed to keep away children and pets from an area where you’ve exercised the poison. Sometimes ants can develop resistance towards these killings sprays or poison.

Pest Exterminators

If you have exhausted all your possibilities but ants seem to face off all your methods, you can contact professional exterminators to take care of this ants’ invasion at your home.

We hope you will find these tips and strategies useful in your war against these pests of nature! Remember to take necessary precautions and avoid going overboard with the toxic methods. Persistence is the key.

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