Yummy Patio Gardens

The Tomato Checklist

Size does matter – when it comes to growing tomatoes in a container or pot, always remember that bigger is better. The essence is the soil capacity – a bigger container means the more soil it can hold. Growing tomatoes requires the roots to have more space to promote optimum growth. A typical tomato plant can grow for up 6-8 feet tall depending on the soil, maintenance, and fertilizers you use.

Soil – with regard to the soil composition, many non-organic-farming professionals argue that it is better to use a potting mix because it significantly yields favorable results. However, others also pointed out that using natural potting soil promotes better growth and is a safer method. Either way, it all ends up to the decision of the gardener. Note that potting mix is obviously expensive but as they say, and probably will always say, it is worth the money.

Fertilizers – if you use fertilizers, you need to understand first that not all fertilizers are the same. Considering that you are growing tomatoes in pots, you want to use fertilizers that provide a well proportionate and balanced fertilizer that has higher nitrogen content, especially when your tomatoes are young; you need more leaves and foliage growth.

Some Common Mistakes in growing Tomatoes in Pots

The use of small containers – the roots of tomatoes need more space so be sure to use bigger containers.

No Stakes – even determined tomatoes still do need some proper staking. It is not that complicated though. You can use metal rods, sticks, or basically anything sturdy for growth support.

Too much water – don’t binge on watering because too much watering will result to Blossom End Rot, split tomatoes and stressed plants. But make sure that your tomatoes are also not deprived of water. The key is to have a working drip irrigation system of basically watering them sparingly.

Know when to stop and change – stop the use of fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen upon maturity and opt for using fertilizers that are low in nitrogen, high in phosphorous and potassium. Never use fertilizers rich in nitrogen once your tomatoes are flowering.

Grow Shiitake Logs In Home Garden

Identifying the log

This is another important step that comprises the process of growing shiitake. For Shiitake Logs you have to identify the best and get them from hardwood trees that are freshly cut. While the specifications of logs can change, you can cut them into suitable sizes to achieve your target. There are different trees from which you can cut sections of logs for Shiitake Spawns but make sure that you consult a professional with adequate experience to know the things in entirety. Buying mushroom logs for sale is another idea on which you can rely to enhance the production. It is the quality of the log that can boost the growth of mushroom. Once you have finished the process of getting the Shiitake Mushroom Logs you will be able to grow mushrooms on them for a long time. Logs need to be left for some time to allow the fungicides to die before you move on to the next step.

Buying and stuffing the spawn

Next is the step to get shiitake mushroom spawn whether in the form of sawdust, plugs or thimbles. There are a lot of online portals selling spawns needed for shiitake mushrooms offering different strains and varied characteristics. For each log, you will need a certain number of spawns. After this, you will need to drill holes in the logs and the entire thing is to be done around the circumference of the log. You have to plug spawn in the holes. After filling the holes with spawns you have to cover them with good quality wax which is food grade such as beeswax to avoid contamination.

Keeping the logs

You have to stack the logs against something or lay them on the ground, preferably on a bed of straw. Ideally, the place in which the logs are placed must be shady. However, air circulation must be proper and if there is scanty rainfall in the area, you can keep the logs moist. As a matter of fact, this is the trickiest part of growing shiitake mushroom on the logs. You might have to go through a few steps of trial and error before getting it right.

Growth of mushroom

Finally, the shiitake mushrooms will grow on the logs within a period of six to twelve months. If you are lucky enough the production can continue until springtime. You can expect the growth for about three to four years until the cellulose of the log is consumed fully and prepare for commercial selling if you want.

Grow Vegetables in Winter

You can use so-called “season extenders” for winter gardening to retain some level of warmness for your plants and to protect them from wind and snow damage. This can be:

With this later system, you’re flexible when it comes to size. You can create small row covers just large enough to cover your plants; or you can create a kind of greenhouses, that you’re able to enter and work inside.

The benefits of these systems are, of course, that you use the greenhouse effect to heat up the air under the respective cover. As it will get cold at night nevertheless, best grow cold-resistant plants.

There are winter gardening vegetables that can be planted even in late fall or in the winter months (also when the ground is frozen). In fact, some plants (so-called cold season plants) are meant to be planted rather and will not grow as well if planted late in the year.

The benefit of planting early is that a.) You get healthy, resistant plants and b.) You get your vegetable yields much more early (in spring instead of in summer).

Before planting any seeds, you should always clear your beds of all dead plant material (also autumn foliage), crack the ground open, add compost and till it in. You can use organic fertilizers if your soil has been grown heavily during the preceding year.

You should not grow tubers and roots this early during the year, as they will easily rot from wetness. If, however, you combine the two tips I gave you in this article (cold covers & cold season plants), you can even grow potatoes before their time is due and transplant them into your “normal” beds once the weather gets warm again.

Algae Control

1. Maintain the Ecosystem by Adding Floating Plants

To achieve a fine balance naturally, cover at least half of the water surface with floating plants like water lettuce, azolla, water hyacinth or duckweed. Apart from these, you can even add lotus or lilies. These plants multiply quickly and work as shade for the life beneath. The submerged plant like hornwort keeps the water cool and blocks excessive sunlight and keeps the algal growth at a bare minimum. Adding plants is a necessity because they compete with algae for dissolved nutrients.

2. Love Fishes? Do NOT cram them in one pond

Who doesn’t love to see fish roaming around in crystal clear water? But, ensure that you do not add them in excess in one pond. More fishes would mean more waste (through excreta and food) which would result in the fast algae bloom.

3. Keep Debris at Bay

For algae control, regularly clean the water surface with a pond vacuum, net or with AquaClear Pellets. Because when these dead leaves, debris, and sludge break down, they result in the growth of algae.

Water Primrose Facts

1. Water primrose blooms typically between the month of June and October. Since it is a perennial plant, its lifespan is more than two years. During this time, they act as a rich source of nectar and pollen. As a consequence, flies, and bees get attracted to this plant which results in its further pollination.

2. The plant naturally produces yellow-colored flowers (just like that of the common evening primrose) that grow from axils of the leaves. This flower contains both reproductive organs.

3. The red-green erect stem of water primrose can reach up to 10 feet high. About 33{08e3beb39a2c6268705fbf4e7e872845412e98623a04e5b42945203ad474e8fb} of the stem floats above the water surface and cover a large area with dense floating mats. They are able to cover such dense areas because they propagate through broken fragments, rhizomes, seeds, and runners.

4. The fruit of this water-borne plant consists of a cylindrical capsule filled with many seeds. Aquatic birds and ducks love munching on this seed.

5. This ‘invasive’ plant species serve as a shelter for frogs and aquatic insects.

6. The primary benefit of water primrose is that it has the power to eliminate excessive ammonia and nitrate present in the soil or water.

7. This plant is capable of eliminating its competitors because of its power to prevent the growth of bacteria, algae, and plant. So, the newly occupied area remains almost clear and you can spot only one plant in the region, i.e., water primrose.

8. Due to its dense presence, the plant is capable of changing the water quality. It has the potential to alter the natural ecosystem and reduce the oxygen levels.

9. The unwanted invasive species is also responsible for bringing a change in the amount of sulfates, nitrates, and phosphates present in the water.

10. When you see a colony of water primrose, you must have also experienced an alteration in the normal movement of the fishes and a changed nesting pattern of the birds.

Control Coontail Moss

Let’s understand scenarios that can prevent the growth of Coontail.

1. Reduce the Use of Fertilizer near the water body- Chemicals such as Phosphorus and nitrogen foster the growth of weeds like Coontail.

2. Insert fish- Another effective way of curbing the growth of plant is to introduce grass carp inside the water body. These fishes eat all the weeds and grow tremendously, as a result of the nutrition gained through these hornwort.

3. Apply herbicide- Application of the herbicide is advised in case the plant grows exceptionally in leaps and bounds. Before applying a chemical such as Aquacide Pellets, we suggest that you first measure the area which is infested with Coontail and then apply the herbicide selectively.

Carefully read all the instructions related to the application of herbicide or call with specific questions. Herbicides such as Aquacide Pellets can be evenly distributed by hand broadcast using 100 to 150 pounds per acre.

4. What all You Need.

• Fishes like Grass carp, koi and other effective ones.
• Aquacide Pellets.
• Use shade-Limiting sunlight to the pond also restricts its ability to grow (Aquashade).

Best Season to control this plant – Ideally, herbicides can be best controlled during summers or spring season.

Red Flag

• It’s advised not to cut, pull out or rake Coontail- Unless it is uprooted, Coontail, like Milfoil can re-root by fragmentation.

• Treat the pond in tranches, cure one-third of the pond at a time with Aquacide Pellets every 7 – 10 days. Even application of the herbicide needs to be planned in a periodic manner.

In case you are still in a fix as how to go about treating a large patch, you should call only the experts. They will work out a solution for all your problems related to the maintenance of weeds.

Call experts who can visit your site to determine the extent of damage that can happen if the weeds are not controlled at the right time and offer the solutions to protect you pond and the related species from further impairment.

Keep Your Trees Healthy

In some cases, when growth of the tree ends up plainly unmanageable then it may harm your property or the electrical cables on the nearby road. Honestly, neglecting the trimming work will result in the growth of undesirable branches and these branches may eventually break and cause a disease to the whole tree.

You may need to guarantee that the tree does not develop to become unmanageable, when the procedure of tree development is going on. Of course, one of the main reasons for tree trimming is that it makes the tree aesthetically pleasant & attractive as well.

Trimming becomes important for the tree and for you too on the grounds that a well-developed tree looks incredible in your garden or backyard and it indirectly increases the value of your property as well. Apart from that it will likewise help in various ways to keep your home protected from harsh weather, like extreme heat, winds and snow.

Many experts say that it’s a big disadvantage to lack in knowledge about nature, especially trees, and to improve your knowledge you can hire a professional arborist. An expert arborist can help you to know the things that are best for your trees. Remember, every tree is unique, so an arborist can tell you how it will grow and at what speed it grows.

Once in a while, a few parts particularly branches and all die. So, it becomes crucial to expel them on a regular basis. If you fail to do that then the branches can break and fall leading to accidents. Likewise, if there are children playing under the tree, then you should be cautious because dead branches might fall of and cause mishaps or severe injuries.

One of the most important things to consider here that the structure of the tree is strong and stable since your trees will not only face just one type of adverse weather they may have to deal with heat, cold, heavy rains, windy weather, and hail or even snow etc.

Soil Problems and Solutions

Clay Soil

Too much clay in your dirt will come with some problems. It hinders water penetration, or at least slows it down dramatically, which means that tree and shrub roots cannot get adequate amounts of water. Unfortunately, it takes anywhere from 5 to 10 years to completely do away with this problem, but start by removing 6 inches of clay, and then filling the bottom with a few inches of quality compost soil. Then continue by planting your tree or shrub on top. This helps to creates new top soil.

Compacted Soil

Not only does soil compaction reduce the structural integrity of your dirt, it prevents adequate water penetration. It is often caused by constant pressure over the years from heavy objects like sheds, playgrounds, and concrete patios, as well as, repetitive foot traffic and motor vehicles. To relieve this problem, increase the frequency of hollow tine aeration. If your case is severe, you may need to rip up the soil. Once you have a new foundation of fresh quality top soil to work with, consider installing pavers or flagstones to relieve heavy traffic.

Hard-to-Dig Soil

Extremely hard soil is very difficult to cultivate. If you can’t dig up enough to create a suitable hole for planting, you can’t plant anything at all. To help ease the struggle of hard-to-dig dirt, you may need to have a secondary irrigation water stubbed into the yard, followed by installing a temporary hose bib into the stubbed secondary water. If this is not possible, culinary water practices may be your best option to moisten soil.

Rocky Soil

The only thing worse than soil that is too hard or compact is soil with too many rocks. Although suitable for plants and trees, it can be very hard to work with. Digging, cultivating, and more are all made more difficult when there is a presence of excess rocks and gravel. TO help this problem, you can choose to use raised garden beds or add a new level of fresh top soil (at least 6 inches for best results).

LED Garden Lamps

Types of Garden Led Lamps.

· Solar LED lamps, these are mounted outside with a built in solar panel that harnesses and stores light energy from the sun at day time, and at night the light up the place. These sorts of lamps can be used for both general purposes and security reasons.

· Electric low voltage lights, these LED bulbs utilize approximately 12 volts of energy from a transformer connected to the main power grid and are used to illuminate gardens and parks as well as entrances.

· Battery LED lamps; they have their source of power being a battery that can be recharged whenever they are drained off energy and example is a LED lamp candle. They are usually small in size and are placed on the tables surfaces or hang from the wall.

· Motion sensor LED lights. These are commonly security bulbs fixed with a motion detector device in them such that they switch on at the slight detection of movement. They are set on garden entrances or at areas that require security.

Tips to consider when shopping for LED lamps for a garden.

· The type of fixture available, different garden fixtures can be used and they, include tree hanging, wall mounting, or rope installations.

· The direction and purpose of lighting, different angles can be employed such as down lighting and unidirectional lighting. For security reasons, directional illumination is best while for ambiance purposes, any form is best as long as it creates the desired scene.

· Weather or the surrounding conditions, LED lamps are widely used in both extreme and normal conditions and thus its best to have lights that can handle outdoor conditions like rain and sunny conditions.

Coontail

MECHANICAL CONTROL

There are typically two ways of controlling Coontail or Coontail Moss, it can be done via manual control mechanism or by chemical control options,
Manual option of removal includes cutting and raking from within the pond. The plant’s tendency is such that it can regrow from the remaining roots or spill over seeds.

Another option is to use pond Dye which is usually used to restrict sunlight from entering directly inside the pond. The reason of controlling sunlight being that the photosynthesis will not occur and hence the growth will also be shunned.

CHEMICAL CONTROL

Use of herbicides and chemicals is yet another effective medium to curb the growth of Coontail or hornwort. Read some of these tips to control the growth of Coontail:

Use of a seasoned herbicide like Aquacide Pellets will curb the growth of Coontail and other common pond weeds that can be troublesome.

1. Use a comprehensive contact herbicide, that can instantly kill Coontail. Also, it’s important to note that one may have to repeat procedure of the treatment as it does not stay in the water body. Hence, multiple application is a must.

2. Another effective herbicide is Clipper, it actions fast and controls rough hostile and nuisance plants.

CHEMICAL APPLICATION FOR BEST RESULTS

Before applying chemicals, one must follow certain set rules for the treatment of weeds and algae.

• Divide your pond in sections and treat it one at a time. First apply herbicides in half of the pond’s bottom and then in the second half of the pond area. During hot and humid temperature, and while treating substantial growth of plants, remember to treat only ¼ of the pond at a time and wait until 15 days before reapplying it. This helps in reducing the risk of fish loss during extreme humid and hot weather conditions or while treating the heavy growth of plants.

• You will notice that the weeds have changed their colour to brown and once they die, pull these plants with the help of a weed cutter & rake and remove as much dead material as possible. This process will help prevent build-up of dead plant stock and muck.
• Think proactively and keep the muck at bay- Include chemicals which can make your pond look great at all times.

These are some of the tips to reduce Coontail or curb its growth. Chemicals controls are the easiest and most effective methods of prevention. In case you need more information, you can call us and our representative will come at your doorstep to give you right guidelines of effectively managing it.