Vegetable Gardening For Beginners - 6 Easy Tips To Start You Off

By Abhishek Agarwal

Healthy vegetable gardens do more than provide a beautiful area in your yard. They repay your labor with nutritious food and a healthy varied diet. Vegetable gardeners are in tune with the environment, giving back to the soil what they take from it. Abundant vegetable gardens start with healthy, rich soil. Compost and mulch contribute to that natural wealth.

About 11,000 years ago, the first farmers began to select and cultivate desired food plants in the southwest Asian Fertile Crescent - between the ancient Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Although we believe there was some use of wild cereals before that time, the earliest crops were barley, bitter vetch, chick peas, flax, lentils, peas, emmer, and wheat. About 9,000 years ago, Egyptians began to grow wheat and barley. About the same time, farmers in the Far East began to grow rice, soy, mung, azuki, and taro.

Then, about 7,000 years ago, ancient Sumarians established the first organized agricultural practices that made large-scale farming possible. Of particular note, they established irrigation as a way to nurture crops where none were possible before. Vegetable gardeners today use many of the same techniques established in early history. But today's vegetable gardeners have millennia of experience behind them. Trial and error today is success or failure at the margins. Failure is not disaster.

As in centuries passed, a successful vegetable gardener cultivates the garden before planting for three main reasons: to eliminate weeds, to distribute air and nutrients throughout the soil, and to conserve moisture. Preparation of the soil is the single most important step in assuring abundant harvests.

Weeds are the most powerful enemy of a healthy vegetable garden. Letting them multiply in your vegetable garden will create much work and disappointment through the growing season. And when your vegetables begin to grow, removing weeds can your new vegetable plants beyond repair. Weeds also steal the precious nutrients necessary to produce healthy vegetables.

Rather than sacrificing the new garden to a patch of weeds, the successful vegetable gardener will cultivate the bed often, breaking up the soil to maintain healthy air, moisture, and heat to facilitate desirable chemical processes that produce abundant plant food. Ancient growers learned by trial and error the importance of keeping the soil loose around young plants. Early farmers deposited rotten fish beneath their crops as fertilizer and then used tools of shell and stone to nurture healthy soil and get plentiful air to the roots of their crops.

As important as air is water, even when the vegetable garden is a promise waiting for new seeds. Consider the process of "capillary attraction" - the ability of a substance to pull another substance into it. When you dip one end of a strip of blotting paper into water, you'll see that the moisture moves up the invisible channels formed by the paper's texture. But when you place the side edge of the blotting paper into water, the moisture won't move upward. In a vegetable garden, capillary attraction describes the attraction of water molecules to soil particles. Well cultivated, loose soil maximizes capillary action, maintaining an even distribution of moisture throughout your vegetable garden soil.

Even so, water stored in soil during rain immediately begins to escape, evaporating into the air. Surface water is the first to vaporize into the atmosphere. With capillary action, sub-surface water moves upward and evaporates. Left to natural processes, your garden will lose its moisture as quickly as if you left sponges in the topsoil. Cultivating your vegetable garden by hoeing the soil around your plants disturbs natural capillary action and slows the loss of water for your vegetables.

It's important to hoe your vegetable garden often, particularly those areas not shaded, at the very least every other week. If this seems too difficult, using a wheel hoe will reduce your labor and keep your vegetable garden healthy and productive. Looking somewhat like an old-fashioned plow, the wheel hoe allows you to cultivate very close to your healthy plants, maintaining an even depth and destroying new weeds before they get established. With the wheel hoe, you can cultivate as fast as you can walk.

If you wait until weeds are established, you'll have to pull the weeds by hand, damaging the root systems of your vegetables, depleting the soil of nutrients, and creating a much greater workload for you as gardener. And the work you invest will not be to cultivate a productive crop. It will be to prevent damage that may have already been done. A wheel hoe is essential for a large vegetable garden, but it will also save much time and effort in a small one. However, a simple scuffle hoe is effective in small spaces as well. It takes less storage space and cultivates the soil effectively.

Preparing your vegetable garden properly before you plant vegetables is well worth the investment in time and labor. Keeping your vegetable garden rows free of weeds later on is slow going and difficult. Here are a few tips for keeping your vegetable garden clean and clear of weeds as your plants mature:

1. Work at the weeds while the ground is soft and/or moist. Soon after a rain is the best time. Weeds will come out by the root easier without breaking off, leaving the unwanted plant to grow again.

2. Just before you weed your vegetable garden, cultivate the rows with your wheel or scuffle hoe very shallow in the topsoil and as close to your vegetable plants as possible. This will loosen the soil and make weeds easy to see. A double-wheel hoe with discs is best for this purpose, especially for large plants.

3. Make sure all of the soil is loosened when you cultivate. Pull all the weeds out carefully, avoiding disturbing the vegetable plants. Your weeder will destroy weed seedlings, but you'll have to hand-weed near plant bases and where weeds have matured.

4. Use a small hand-weeder near your vegetable plants. It will loosen the soil, making weeds easier to
eliminate, and save a lot of wear and tear on your hands and fingers.

5. Practice with your wheel hoe. At first, watch the wheel's direction and the pressure you put on the handles. The discs or rakes will follow automatically, maintaining an appropriate cultivation depth in your vegetable garden rows.

6. "Hilling" was once a common way to nurture young vegetable plants. This is done by building the soil up around the stems of young vegetable plants, usually the after you've hoed your garden two or three times. In wet soils or dry climates, hilling may still be the way to go. But in most areas, level soil is best. It makes it easier to cultivate the soil in the long run, thereby assuring healthy vegetable plants through the growing season.

Rotating Vegetable Crops

Crop rotation, or growing different vegetable crops each time you plant, is an important part of maintaining a healthy, productive vegetable garden. Some Roman texts mention crop rotation, and early Asian and African farmers also found rotation a productive method. During the Muslim Golden Age of Agriculture, engineers and farmers introduced today's modern crop rotation methods where they alternated winter and summer crops and left fields fallow during some growing seasons. With Chemical Revolution of the mid-20th Century, crop rotation lost some of its appeal. But for home vegetable gardeners, rotation eliminates the risks of using dangerous chemicals and prevents the environmental consequences associated with modern pollutants.

Each different vegetable plant depletes the soil of different nutrients, and each leaves different nutrients as its roots and stems decay. Rotating crops with each planting keeps the soil balanced and rich. Planting the same crop time after time drains it of necessary nutrients, leaving it less productive. Crop rotation also reduces the build-up of pathogens and pests that destroy healthy vegetable gardens. Rotation helps maintain a healthy mix of essential nitrogen in your vegetable garden.

Rotating crops is more important with vegetables like cabbage, but it is a good practice for your vegetable garden generally. Even the hardy onion benefits from rotation, especially if you've done a good job of breaking up the old garden soil and mixing the remaining vegetable plants to serve as compost for the following crop. Here are some basic tips about crop rotation:

1. Do not rotate crops of the same vegetable family, for example turnips and cabbage. Be sure the following crop is a complete different type of vegetable.

2. Deep-rooting crops like carrots or parsnips, should follow vegetables with roots near the surface like onions or lettuce.

3. Follow root crops with vines or leaf crops.

4. Rotate vegetable plants that have long growing seasons with quick-growing crops.

5. Decide on your vegetable garden rotation when you're constructing your planting plan. Making these decisions in the middle of the growing season will be more difficult and waste time and money.

Abhishek is an avid Gardening enthusiast and he has got some great Gardening Secrets up his sleeves! Download his FREE 57 Pages Ebook, "Your Garden - Neighbor's Envy, Owner's Pride!" from his website Only limited Free Copies available.

Tips on How to Grow Sunflowers From Seed

The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a fascinating plant to grow, especially for children. Whether growing for competition or pleasure, exercising the following advice will help provide your sunflowers with the best conditions for good growth and health.

Selecting A Sunflower Species To Grow

The first step in growing sunflowers is deciding on the species you wish to grow. There are 67 species of sunflower across the world with single or multiple stems, growing heights, head sizes and colours. Read through the details of each popular species below to help make an informed choice on the sunflower you plan to grow.
Music Box is what's know as a dwarf variety, growing to a maximum height of 28 inches, making it suitable for container growing.

Teddy Bear species of sunflower smaller than Music Box, growing to around 12 - 18 inches.
Italian White sunflowers, also a small variety but with an attractive cream coloured flower.
Autumn Mix unlike the above, normally grows over 6ft in height with yellow and rust coloured flower head, 5 - 6 inches in diameter.
Largest Sunflower Species such as the Russian Giant grows in excess of 15 feet tall with a large head diameter up to 20 inches. Obviously, larger sunflower species will demand more space than the other species mentioned previously. Great fun if you have room to grow them though.
What's The Best Location For Growing Sunflowers

Grow sunflowers in soil exposed to direct sunlight and sheltered from wind. Protect your sunflowers by supporting the stem with a bamboo stake as soon as the sunflower reaches 1ft in height. This will help the stem grow straight and protect the sunflower from wind damage.

When the sunflower matures, the heavy weight of the head on the tall stem leaves the sunflower vulnerable to wind damage. Because wild sunflower only grows between 2 and 6ft in height, the risk of wind damage is far less than that of the domestic sunflower.

What's The Best Soil For Growing Sunflowers

Plant your seedlings in good quality soil such as my personal favourite - Miracle Grow potting mix which has good water retention, enriched with plant food. Always ensure soil is kept moist and prevent it from drying out completely. Consider adding manure to the garden soil where you intend to plant your seeds or seedlings.

Tips For Germinating Sunflower Seeds

If you prefer to germinate your sunflower seeds before planting in soil, layer at least 10 sheets of absorbent kitchen roll paper towel placed on a plate then soak with water. Sprinkle seeds evenly over the wet paper towel before placing them in a warm space such as an airing cupboard. The more sheets of paper towel you use, the better the water holding capacity, meaning less frequent watering will be required.

Checking seeds with regular watering will prevent the paper towel from drying up, especially common in warm environments or direct sunlight. When your sunflower seeds begin to germinate, plant into potting compost mixed with manure into your garden at a depth of 2 inches, spaced 1 - 2ft apart.

Sowing Sunflower Seeds In Pots

If you're germinating your sunflower seeds in pots, sow a single seed in each pot at a depth of 1 inch in 3 inch diameter pots. Use good quality potting compost such as Miracle Grow potting mix, before covering the top of the pot with clear cling film.

When green leaves appear above the soil after germinating, remove film and place pot near a window that gets the most sunlight throughout the day if possible. Turn the plant pot 180 degrees in the morning and again in the evening, checking to ensure the soil is kept moist.

If the pot was too small or the sunflower has been left in the pot too long, there will likely be a heavy build up of roots around the walls of the pot. Because sunflowers have long taproots capable of growing 4ft deep, allowing the plant to reach this stage in pots will severely hamper growth.

Overcrowded roots can be safely removed by cutting off no more than 1/3 with a sharp knife. Break away and discard dead soil surrounding the roots of the sunflower before planting in the garden. Remember to take care not to damage the remaining healthy roots in the process.

Sowing Sunflower Seeds In The Garden (Recommended)

Sowing seeds directly into the garden is my preferred method in which I have had the most success. Sow your sunflower seeds after the last winter frost has passed and night temperatures have raised to over 5º or 10º Celsius. Sow in loose soil at a depth of around 50mm (2 inch) spaced 1 - 2ft apart. Water seeds regularly until 2ft high when the second set of leaves appear. Liquid fertiliser should be added to the water for feeding from this point forward.

Sunflower Facts
  1. The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is a fascinating plant to grow, especially for children. Sunflowers can grow up to 12ft high with a head diameter of up to 30cm (1ft).
  2. The head of the sunflower, often erroneously referred to as a flower, consists of 1000 - 2000 individual flowers. The petals surrounding the head are ray flowers.
  3. Sunflowers are one of the fastest growing plants in the world, growing up to 30cm (1ft) per day.
  4. A fascinating characteristic of the sunflower is its ability to track the direction of the sunlight by pointing the sunflower head towards the sun. This behavior is referred to as heliotropism.
  5. Wild sunflowers have smaller seeds, growing several branches and/or stems with more than one head. It is only through hundreds of years of careful, hand-picked seed selection is the domestic sunflower much larger with a single stem and flower head.
  6. The sunflower is the state flower for Kansas, USA and the national recognised flower for Russia.
  7. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the tallest sunflower ever grown was in 1986 by M Heijms in Oirschot, Netherlandsat a height of 25ft 5.5 inches (776 cm).
  8. The largest sunflower head ever recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records measured 32 1/4 inches (82 cm) in diameter, grown by Emily Martin from Maple Ridge, Canada in the hot summer of 1983.
  9. Although native to America, 60% of the world population of sunflowers are grown in Europe and Russia. Popular species with sunflower growers starting with the tallest: Moonwalker, Pastiche, Velvet Queen, Russian Giant and the smaller Teddy Bear and Big Smile species.
  10. Sunflowers are very effective for attracting butterflies, bees and birds.
  11. Sunflowers are used to produce sunflower oil. As a seed, they are used for bird feed and as a healthy snack for children and adults.
  12. Sunflower seeds have a 50% polyunsaturated fat content and are rich in Omega-6 which has been proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Sunflower seeds are rich in calcium along with a number of other vitamins and minerals.
  13. The scientific name for sunflowers; Helianthus derives from two Greek words, Helios meaning sun and Anthos meaning flower.
  14. Sunflowers are perennial plants that grow each year.
  15. Sunflower seeds are toxic to grass so distance them from your lawn which would be killed by falling seeds.
Sunflowers: An Excellent Choice For Kids

Sunflowers are an excellent choice of plant for children to grow. They are visually appealing, attract a range of insects such as butterflies, bees and birds in addition to being easy to grow.

You may be able to encourage friends or neighbours to compete with, seeing who can grow the tallest sunflower. I personally have fond memories of being a 9 year old child, competing with my next door neighbour. If my memory serves me correctly, I managed to grow three sunflowers at a height of about 6ft. Although being so young, everything seems bigger at that age, so I may well be wrong. I know, I shouldn't boast, but naturally I did win.... naturally of course.:) Sorry!!

The BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council... phew) have produced a sunflower growing activity ebook for young children to grow their very own sunflower, whilst learning how plants grow.

Sunflower Plant Care

Sunflowers need plenty of watering and sunlight, taking approximately two weeks to appear and 90 days to fully grow. If using chemical weed killer, make sure it is suitable for use on sunflowers or pull weeds out by hand. Over-watering sunflowers will likely damage flower heads, particularly 20 days before or 20 days after full bloom.

Pour around 2 gallons of liquid fertiliser solution each week around the roots of the sunflower, taking care not to pour the solution over the stem as this has been found to cause sunflower stems to rot.

Try to position your sunflowers so they spend as much time in the sun as possible, preferably 6-8 hours or more. If heavy winds are forecast, put off watering until the wind has passed to prevent the sunflower from getting blown over.

Original article: Tips On How To Grow Sunflowers From Seed [] @ Garden Grower Blog

Seven Tips to Raising Beautiful and Healthy Cymbidium Orchids

Cymbidiums have been causing a popular comeback in the past years because more orchid growers are discovering these marvelous orchids. Cymbidium must rank as one of the best known and widely popular of all orchids. The genus consists of about 50 species and thousands of hybrids have been bred. Cymbidium is the oldest cultivated orchid, and there is evidence that they were grown in China 2500 years ago in records from 500 BC at the time of Confucius. They may be terrestrial in habit or epiphytic or even lithophytic (growing on rocks). The wild types are found growing naturally in China, and Japan through the Himalayas, South East Asia to Australia. They are a good deal to a greater extent cold-tolerant than many average varieties of orchids and boast a lot of great blooms in the dead of winter. A great deal of the newfound pursuit in cymbidiums is motivated by the visual aspect of the small hybrid cymbidiums. These floras are smaller and more manageable than the original species.

a) Light:

During the growth season, cymbidiums treasure ample sunlight, or almost 50 percent shade. They can be moved in open air in the summertime, except they are not to be set up into direct sunlight. Fairly strong light at 2500-3000 ft candles is good for these plants. If they are grown in a greenhouse then 50%-60% shading is needed during the summer months to prevent leaf burn and overheating. If you are growing them outside in summer, early morning sun is ideal, but do provide some shade against the strongest sunlight. Some hours of slight morning sunshine and shaded afternoons encompasses the complete environment.

b) Water:

Plentiful water during the developing season (spring, summer and fall). The cleaner the water, the finer the plants. Collected salts in tap water can harm the plants, so make certain they're well flushed every time you water the plant. During the winter bloom, cut back watering dramatically, but don't let the plant run dry. Keep the potting culture medium somewhat moist to the feel. Plants that are affected by the saline build-up in tap water will demonstrate leaf-tip dieback, an environment in which the leaf tips turn black and die. Never allow the plants to dry out and always keep the compost moist. Normally,watering once each week is sufficient but, during the hot summer months it may be necessary to water twice weekly. Try to water in the morning, before midday which will avoid the possible loss of new growths. Whenever possible use rainwater.

Water frequently, as these plants like to be moist and drink a lot. Drench the pots thoroughly when you do so. Move the cymbidiums outdoors after the threat of winter is over. If you're raising them indoors, a southeast or east window is suitable. Your leaves should be apple green, as different than dark green. A greenish flora is likely not getting adequate sunlight to stimulate a favorable bloom.

c) Fertilizer:

Like most orchids, cymbidiums can be kept little drier and fed less during the cool darker winter months. During the developing season, provide with a diluted orchid fertilizer bimonthly or sprinkle slow-release pellets in the growing mass medium at the start of the season. Be cautious to avoid a strong nitrogen fertilizer as this will cause fast foliage growth at the expense of the bloom. Use a well-balanced orchid fertiliser (ratio 20-20-20) at the recommended strength throughout spring and summer. Flush the compost through with pure rainwater at every fourth watering. Reduce the fertiliser strength to half the recommended dose through Autumn and Winter.

d)Temperature and Humidity:

Cymbidiums tolerates the cold weather than some other popular orchids. The large, older cymbidiums demand a lengthy period of cold to beset a bloom, although the miniatures aren't quite as contingent on cold weather to bloom. Cymbidiums have been known to briefly defy freezing temperatures, although frost will kill them. Nights down to 40 F are good. On the other side, cymbidiums can also defy substantial summer heat without wilting, as they are adaptable to the temperate areas of Asia where there's significant variation in seasonal and day/night temperatures. They can also be grown in the home, but to initiate flower shoots they must have cool nights throughout the Spring and Summer months. If you've a garden or patio, we advise that you stand the plants outside towards the end of May until the middle of September when the night temperatures start to drop.
Humidity should be between 50% and 75%RH.

e) Blooming tips:

The cymbidium bloom is sparked by a combination of falling temperatures and trimmed down water. Flower spikes are set during the winter months when night temperatures are cool (approx 50 ). The miniatures have mostly been hybridized with warm-house orchids, so they aren't quite as contingent on cold atmospheric condition to bloom, but it's still an crucial part of cymbidium culture. This is usually the hardest part for indoor grower once plants have been brought inside. Many growers will keep their cymbidiums in an unheated garage overnight and take them out during the day, or place them in a cool bright sunroom. The natural bloom season is during the winter, when your plants should be inside and accessible for exhibit. Cymbidium flowers grow in sprays,with spikes arising from new pseudobulbs every season.

f) Potting and Re potting:

Cymbidiums are semi-terrestrial orchids. They naturally grow in loamy humus, transmitting thin roots into the mixture. Thus, they are absolutely adaptable to the conditions most easily furnished at home: a rich, loose, organic potting mixture. Cymbidiums orchids do best when they are pot bound. Unless the mix is broken down (after 2-3 years),leave them in the same pots until the pseudobulbs are crowded. When you repot grow them in a small pot as possible with no more than an inch or two of space around the room. At this time shake loose and discard old dried bulbs.

Leafless pseudobulbs that are still green can be separated, potted up in sphagnum moss, and with sufficient humidity will often produce new growths. Most growers recommend applying fir bark,perlite, peat moss,and other loose organic material in some combination. A commercial paphiopedilum mixtur will generally service these plants well. Cymbidiums can be easily divided during repotting in the spring.

g) Grower's Tips:

Cymbidiums are marvelous orchids to develop in the middle and coastal areas of the United States and other moderate countries. They can be grown outside during the spring, summer and fall, and moved back inside at the first sign of frost. During the summer, they will develop quickly, sending up new pseudobulbs topped with long, strappy leaves. The flowers are on display during the winter months. A well-grown cymbidium is resistant to almost all insects, but as with all orchids, there is some risk of aphids, scale and other insects

By knowing some of the factors to watch out for in growing and raising Cymbidium Ochids, you can have yourself a new orchid that is sure to develop and blooming as fast as possible.
Joseph Ibanez is an Orchid enthusiast and If you want to know more information about orchid types, go to Orchid Types or,go to

Big Blue Ozone UV Generators - Installation Tips For Hydroponics Plant Odor Elimination

By Marcia Price

An Ultra-Violet Big Blue Ozone Generator will give you effective, reliable plant odor elimination in your Hydroponics indoor grow room when installed properly. How easy or hard is it to install? Have you recently installed the UV ozone generator and you still smell plant odor? What kind of maintenance is required? Or maybe you are thinking about buying a Big Blue UV Ozone Generator, but do not know the size needed to get it right. In the following paragraphs, I will cover installation tips for you to properly install and smell the results you expect to achieve. I am first going to cover a few valuable and informative tips for those of you who are still doing research before purchasing your ozone generator.

Valuable Purchasing Tips

Base the size of the Big Blue Ozone Generator (available in 4" to 12" sizes) on the number of Hydroponics plants you are growing rather than on square feet in your Hydroponics grow room. It is the plants, not the square footage, that generates odor.

It is possible to purchase a smaller unit if you are exhausting into a large attic or already have a long run of duct work. The attic and long run act as a large mixing chamber which will destroy odors more effectively. For example, if you have around 30 Hydroponics plants and are exhausting into a large attic, an 8" Big Blue Ozone may be sufficient. But for those same Hydroponics plants, if you are exhausting outdoors, a 25' duct work run would be needed to accomplish the same odor destruction. To shorten the run, purchase a larger UV ozone generator to put more ozone into the equation. More ozone must be added to make up for the shorter contact time between ozone and odor molecules.

Ozone air treatment is best accomplished with the lowest exhaust fan cfm to achieve proper garden air exchanges. The longer period of contact time the odor is exposed to the ozone, the better the odor molecules are destroyed. The slower air movement by a lower cfm exhaust fan reduces the amount of post ducting required to effectively treat the exhausted odor.

Do not worry about the diameter size of your current duct work in your grow room. Big Blue Ozone can be installed in any size, from 2" to 14", by using reducers and expanders that you can pick up at any home improvement store, and are actually a benefit when used. The expansion or contraction in your duct work creates turbulence that aids in the mixing of the ozone and odor molecules. The Big Blue's stainless steel diameter can also be adjusted to compensate for irregular exhaust dimensions at time of installation.

The Big Blue's UV ozone generator is not affected by humidity at all. UV ozone generators are used all over the world for water purification, so there is no concern about safety or electrical shorts. A Corona Discharge is the ozone generator that uses an exposed electrical arc to produce ozone and is subject to electrical shorts. In high humidity environments, it also produces a toxic acid syrup that coats the arcing surface and must be cleaned regularly to maintain optimum ozone output levels.

To squash an Old Wives Tale, ozone in your Hydroponics grow room does not remove the flavor or smell of your plants while they are growing. A living organism is continually producing new cells to replace those that expire. Saps and plant fluid are constantly regenerated, so you cannot remove the smell of a living plant, only cover it up with perfumes. Once the Hydroponics plant has been harvested and is no longer growing, ozone will remove the smell from your drying plants.

For those of you who must have some grow room square feet figures, a 12" Big Blue Ozone will effectively eliminate Hydroponics plant odor in over 1,500 square feet with ozone output of nearly 4,000 mg/hr, a 10" will cover up to 1500 square feet with ozone output of 3,000 mg/hr, an 8" with ozone output of 2,250 mg/hr around 1000 square feet, the 6" with 1,500 mg/hr no more than 8 large Hydroponics plants, and the 4" with 750 mg/hr is used for a very small garden area with a couple of large plants, or for your a/c exhaust.

Big Blue Ozone Installation Tips

Contact Time are the two most important words in installation. The longer the ozone sees the odor molecules, the better the kill rate. The example above with using a large attic or long duct run for a mixing chamber, and slower air movement with a lower cfm exhaust fan, demonstrates how it works, so I will not reiterate here.

Ozone generators must be exhausted outside of the Hydroponics grow room and living areas.

The Big Blue Ozone is designed to be installed in the duct work after the exhaust fan, as close to the light reflector as possible, which will give you more contact time before the exhausted air reaches the exhaust fan, but as far away from the grow light as convenient. Heat does not affect the UV ozone generator itself, heat only affects a Corona Discharge ozone generator. A small amount of ozone is lost from the heat of your HID grow light, however, Big Blue Ozone's multiple UV-C bulbs are the strongest available and produce enough ozone to compensate, so there is no loss of effectiveness from the heat of your grow lights, just no reason to make the UV-C bulbs work harder.

An effective, immediate test to determine if your Big Blue ozone generator is installed properly, and the length of duct work is correct, is to place a small container of stinky fish fertilizer between a small fan and the Big Blue ozone generator. With the duct work fully collapsed right up to the Big Blue Ozone, have someone smell the exhausted odor; it will stink. Slowly extend the duct work material and keep checking the exhausted smell. As the duct work gets longer, the fish smell becomes less and less. Eventually the fish fertilizer odor will disappear and be replaced by the faint, pleasant odor of ozone. You will now know that the installation of your ozone generator and duct work are correct.

If you begin to smell plant odor after running your system for awhile, you will need to increase your duct work length or increase the number of ozone generator lamps you turned on until you achieve the correct mixing, with no plant odor or slightly ozonated exhaust. Do not use more UV-C bulbs than the amount of Hydroponics plant odor being emitted

Synchronize your exhaust system with an Intermatic digital timer to run the ozone generator anytime the exhaust fan is on. If you are using light and dark growth cycles, it will save on the life of your UV-C bulbs.

The Big Blue Ozone has built-in switches, or controls, to allow you to turn the UV-C bulbs on and off based on how much odor is being produced by your Hydroponics plants. Before you actually install the ozone generator, play around with the switches so you know which switch controls which lamp, and how many lamps you are activating with each switch. NEVER LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE UV-C LAMPS ONCE ACTIVATED.


Maintenance of your UV ozone generator is a snap. Wipe off the UV-C bulbs at the end of each growing season. While the bulbs will last up to 24 months if run 24/7, ozone output will begin to diminish after about a year, so listen to your nose and replace the UV-C bulbs as needed for peace of mind.

The Big Blue Ozone Generator can also be used at the end of plant growing cycles to sterilize your Hydroponics grow room. Let the ozone generator run overnight in your sealed grow room. This will absolutely sterilize your Hydroponics indoor grow room. Be rid of mold spores and eggs of those nasty little pests immediately. The only way pests will re-enter your grow room is on your clothing or from contaminated cuttings and new Hydroponics plants.

When it comes right down to it, there really are not that many Installation Tips and next to no Maintenance, and that is a great thing. Installing a Big Blue Ozone is uncomplicated once you know the facts, and one of the many reasons why a Big Blue Ozone Generator is a wise decision to eliminate Hydroponics plant odor in your grow room.

Marcia Price became a specialist in Hydroponic Systems and Big Blue Ozone Generators for our environment. An indoor grow room is very eco-friendly, and removing plant odor is a must. Growing plants in water is an ecologically sound decision, with no water or space waste, ground or water contamination, or top soil erosion. Hydroponics is the future for gardening and crops. To purchase a Big Blue UV Ozone Generator, Intermatic timer, or start your own eco-friendly Hydroponic system, visit

Container Gardening Tips

Container Gardening Tips

Sometimes, there just isn't enough yard space to give your green thumb the workout it craves. Maybe you live in an apartment... or maybe your garden is full and you still want to plant more. If you have open patio space then fill it with lush foliage using container gardening.

If you have front or back patio space open container gardening can be the solution to a problem you did not know you had, Bare Patio Syndrome! Below, I've outlined tips gained from years of experience with container gardening.
  • It makes sense to invest in quality high fired ceramic pots for your container garden as these do not absorb water and crack in winter. Alternative - the new fiberglass and plastic pots can work well if you chose high quality. These can be very light and tough and last for years.
  • Smaller pots restrict root growth and provide little moisture reserve, be sure to match container size to your plants then go up a size or two, remember that plant will grow larger soon. Plan for size increase and be ahead of the problem many amateur container gardeners face.
  • Drainage is very important. Drainage holes should be 1/2 inch or better in size. Using screen and a gravel layer at the bottom of your pot to prevent losing soil and improving drainage is always a good idea. I use coarse plastic screen designed for ponds. Bonsai pot screen also works well. Chose window screen last as holes are small and it clogs easily.
  • Containers with lighter colors are preferable if you live in warmer clients and your containers will be in direct sun. Lighter colors reduce the amount of heat absorption. Roots can reach over 100 degrees in direct sun with the result being poor growth, accelerated dry out and dead plants.
  • Place your containers up on bricks, wood strips or tiles. There are also wheeled stands available. This gives bugs no place to hide and helps improve drainage.
  • Plants that grow taller, larger and spread out require a wide base for balance and stability in wind. Plan ahead keeping this in mind when choosing a container.
  • The soil mix you use is important. Use high quality potting soil and stay away from regular garden soil. Chunky-style mix keeps the soil loose and well drained but can reduce water holding capacity requiring water more often.
  • A note of caution gained from my experience - do not place un-composted wood chips in your container soil, they leach nitrogen as they degrade and stunt plan growth through reduction of nitrogen available to your plants. I learned this through years of poor growth for my own container garden.
  • Research suitable container plants at your local nursery or online, those that can handle the heat, cold and possible dryness of growing in a container.
  • A fine root structure is much better suited for long term container growth. Examples, the Japanese Maple, a plant with very fine roots, Oak tree - a plant with coarse roots and usually a long tap root. One does much better in containers then the other. If you are devoted and determined, you can grow most any plant in a container. Just visit a bonsai exhibition and you will believe this for sure. Bonsai can be alluring and will seduce you if you visit a bonsai show or exhibition. You are warned.
  • Make sure to check your plants daily for enough moisture. Container plants need to be watered and monitored every day.
  • Experts tip - get one of those water meter probes and use it for your containers and house plants. I turned my wife into an instant expert who no longer over watered her house plants with one of these. Best 10 bucks I ever spent.
  • Use a water soluble fertilizer (I use miracle grow at half strength) every 3 weeks to keep the soil nutrient-rich for your plants. Alternative - slow release pellets good for 6 months of fertilizing with one application. I love this stuff, I use a low nitrogen type called dynamite from ether lowes or home depot. Dumb name but good stuff.

The Best possible tip I can give you for better container gardening

Incorporate your container garden into your automatic sprinkler system. Do this by adding one or two new circuits if needed to feed water to each of your containers using drip irrigation tubing. Some times you can just tap into an existing circuit quickly and easily but it should water ever day or every other day. However you chose to do it, just get this done.

Small diameter drip tubing can even be run up right through the bottom drain hole in your larger containers. I run my drip tubing this way on larger plants and then use 2, 4 or even 6 small drippers arranged in a circle in each container. Use a minimum of 2 drippers even on small containers. This way you have backup drippers in case one gets plugged.

I arrange the drippers on top of the soil then cover the drippers with a layer of colored gravel so all look very nice and no drippers can be seen. This keeps your beautiful containers pleasing to look at and also keeps the darn cat from thinking your large container plant is a cat box.

Experts tip from me after years of experience using drip irrigation, do not use a regular drip filter, buy a whole house filter designed for your home water system and run your water through this then on to your drip system. Yes, get a large expensive model but not one with a clear shell (algae grows in clear models), spend 50 bucks on it and smile as you walk out. You just did a very smart thing. Yes I know what you are thinking but your drippers will not clog due to water impurities saving hundreds of dollars in plant replacement cost over the years you will be container gardening.

Part 2 of this tip - replace all your drippers every 2 to 3 years. Drippers - a few bucks, large container plants - hundreds of bucks. You decide! Trust me, just do this - replace drippers as advised.

I could tell you tails of woe about losing plants and seeing my beloved 6 foot tall Japanese maples wither and almost die because I thought drippers should last forever and never need replacement. See, even if you did follow my advice about the home water filter used on your drip system there is another foe looming. Hard water can result in minerals building up and clogging your drippers. It happens, so replace those drippers as I advised. Life on your patio will be good for you and your plants.

Container Gardening - Just do it

Walking out to your patio and enjoying the lush foliage that was once only bare patio space is very rewarding. The only way to become a great container gardener is to get started right away. Use the space you have, the time you have and the knowledge you gain with every new container and plant. You and your friends will be amazed at what a little effort and a slightly green thumb will do to cure "Bare Patio Syndrome".

If you found this article useful why not visit the authors site Where you can find free hints and tips on Growing Red Maple Trees

10 Organic Gardening Tips

By Jennifer M. Regan

Are you interested in creating your own organic vegetable garden? Here are some green gardening tips that will lead you in the right direction:

10 Organic Gardening Tips

1. Test your soil:

If you are looking to have a successful outcome with an organic vegetable garden, you should first test your soil with a do-it-yourself home testing kit before you plant anything. These testing kits can be found at local garden centers and on the Internet at garden speciality stores. The kits use a number scale, 0 to 14, that helps you determine the acidity or alkalinity (also known as pH) levels of your soil. For most vegetables, an ideal number is about 6.5. If the results are too acidic (towards the low end of the scale) or too alkaline (towards the high end of the scale), your plants will not be able reap the benefits of the soil's nutrients. Once you know the results of your soil, you will be able to adjust the soil accordingly by balancing these levels with the nutrients it is lacking.

2. Make plans ahead of time and decide where and how you will grow your garden:

Before you begin digging up your lawn, take a look at your property and decide where you would like to plant a garden. Location is very important, as you will want to pay attention to the position of the sun throughout the day (your plants will need healthy doses of direct sunlight each day), the rockiness of the ground, the drainage quality of the soil, and the location's relation to your main water source.

If you have high quality soil in your yard and you have determined a location, you will want to take advantage of the benefits found in it. Healthy soils have upwards of 650 million microorganisms per one gram of soil. These organisms already present, such as earthworms and other forms of soil life are essential to the life of the soil and will help your garden prosper by providing your plants with valuable nutrients and minerals.

What to do if your soil is not healthy or if you do not have space for a garden at home:
  • Build a raised bed
  • By making a raised bed, you will have control over the garden's soil quality. When building your bed, use untreated wood, stones, or brick as a side border and be sure to make the border at least 16 inches high as the depth is important. The plants' roots will need room to stretch and grow.
  • Consider container gardening
  • If you are a city dweller, you do not have to miss out on the benefits of growing your own produce. Plant in containers that are large enough to accommodate root growth. Be sure they also have drainage holes. If you are planting organic herbs, pots that are at least 6 inches across are ideal. Another helpful hint is to use plastic pots instead of terra cotta pots. Plastic may not be as aesthetically pleasing, but they will hold moisture longer and will not dry out as quickly as terra cotta pots.
  •  Join a local community garden
    Another option is to join a community garden in your area. This is a great way to reap the benefits of growing your own organic food if you do not have land at home. Community gardens are vacant lots or fields that have been turned into mini-farms so that members of the community can plant small gardens of their own. To find out if there are community gardens near you, contact your local parks and recreation department, visit the website, or take a stroll in your neighborhood and see if any gardens exist. If you stumble across one, step inside and ask a member what you need to do to join.
3. Select authentic, high quality organic vegetable seeds to use in your garden:

Organic seeds can be found at local nurseries, garden stores, home centers, online seed stores, seed catalogs, and farm supply stores. Always make sure the seed company is "certified organic" and be sure to stay away from any seeds that are "genetically engineered." To save money, start growing the seeds indoors and transplant outdoors when ready.

4. Make your own compost:

Compost, also known as "gardeners gold," is a vital element in organic gardening that improves the soil structure of your garden. Compost provides a great source of nitrogen, phosphorous, potassium, and micro/macronutrients essential for plant growth. It also aids in stabilizing soil moisture and pH which helps keep the soil cooler during the summer months.

Other benefits of organic compost:
  • Great source of food for wildlife because it attracts insects and fungi that eat decaying matter. These small animals support larger animals like songbirds
  • Suppresses plant disease
  • Assists in controlling soil erosion
  • Acts as a mild herbicide
  • Reduces need to apply commercial fertilizers
  • Reduces amount of waste sent to landfills
  • Reduces gas emissions that would result from transporting kitchen waste to a landfill

How to compost:
  • Build or buy a compost bin. These can be found at home centers, garden centers, and online.
  • Place compost material in repeated layers. To give your compost the best result, alternate layers of green matter with brown matter. An example would be alternating kitchen scraps with straw/stalks or dead leaves with grass clippings.
  • Cover compost heap for optimal results. This will avoid moisture loss and keep in heat.
  • Keep the pile moist as a wrung-out sponge.
  • Aerate and turn compost pile over frequently.
  • When ready, pile will look like fresh fine soil.

Some ideas for good compostables:
  • Kitchen waste
  • Aquarium water, plants, and algae
  • Sawdust
  • Tea leaves/coffee grounds
  • Pet rabbit or hamster droppings
  • Eggshells
  • Old spices
  • Lawn clippings (thin layer)
Make leafmould:

Leafmould is a dark brown, rich and crumbly material that is created from naturally decomposed Autumn leaves that have fallen onto the ground. It is an excellent soil conditioner and mulch, a great earthworm meal, and is easy to make.

To make leafmould:
  • Collect fallen leaves (avoid evergreen leaves) and place in a container to rot Leafmould matures best in high moisture, so the best time to collect leaves is just after rain.
  • Wait 9 months to a year for the leafmould to mature.
5. Use water wisely:

Water conservation, harvesting, and recycling are great methods for organic gardening.
  • Recycle/harvest rain water
  • Not only is rainwater is a great way to hydrate your plants, but it is also an excellent way to lower your monthly water bills, reduce storm-water runoff, and prevent flooding and erosion. It is generally clean, free of containments and byproducts such as minerals, fluoride and chlorine and has a low pH which plants and soils like. Rainwater can be collected and stored using gutters, downspouts, rain barrels and/or cisterns and can be used whenever needed, even later in the season during dry weather.

  • Use a soaker hose
  • A soaker hose is a great and easy way to save time and money in your garden. Water seeps out of soaker hoses and delivers water directly to your plants' roots while keeping the leaves dry, which helps prevent disease. Hand watering is time consuming and tedious, sprinklers can be wasteful due to evaporation and runoff, and drip irrigation is expensive.

  • Avoid grey water
  • When recycling water, avoid use of grey water (household waste water that comes from sources such as sinks, washer machines, and showers) on any plants used for consumption. Grey water may contain phosphates, nitrogen, and pathogens that can be harmful to your health.

Watering tips:
  • Water your garden when the air and soil are cool, typically in the early morning or evening hours. During these times, less water will be lost due to evaporation.
  • Water deeply but less often. Direct the water at the root systems at the base of the plant. This will encourage plants to grow deeper roots, causing them to need less watering. Shallow watering causes the roots to grow close to the surface, making them more vulnerable to drought.
  • Remember that plants and soil in containers will dry out much faster than in the ground and require frequent watering.
  • Avoid watering leaves. Excess water film on a plant makes it more susceptible to disease.
  • Shallow rooted vegetables such as beans and greens need to be watered more often with lighter applications than deep rooted plants like corn and tomatoes. These vegetables require more water but less often.
  • Use a milk jug. For a clever trick, take a 1 gallon milk jug and poke very small holes into the bottom. Bury most of the jug next to your plants when you plant your garden. If you leave it uncapped, you can place your water hose nozzle into the opening to fill. With this method, the water slowly drips into the ground and encourages deep plant roots. This self-irrigation system is great for whenever you need to travel and leave the garden unattended.

7. Weed Control:

Weeds can be a serious threat to gardens because they remove valuable moisture, nutrients, sunlight and growing space needed by crops.
Some ways to control weeds:
  • Select high quality vegetable seeds or transplants By planting high quality seeds, the chances of them containing weed seeds or seedlings is very low.
  • Rotate your vegetable crops As crops differ in their ability to compete with weeds, rotating crops between hardy competitors and weaker plants can reduce weeds.
  • Use ground cover The use of ground cover and organic mulches such as hay, straw, glass clippings, and manure in your garden is one of the most effective ways to control weeds. Spread the ground cover 2-3 inches thick as this will block sunlight and prevent weed germination and growth.
  • Transplant seeds Transplanting seeds instead of sowing them gives plants a healthy head start in defense against weeds.

Methods of removing weeds:
  • By hand This method is most effective after a recent rain because the soil is loosened.
  • Thermal A short blast of heat directly onto the weed causes it to wilt and die. This is most effective on driveways and paths and is not always ideal for gardens.
  • Hoeing This is effective for larger patches of newly cleared ground.

7. Make sure you have earthworms

Earthworms are essential to a successful garden. Vermicompost, the combination of organic matter and earthworms' castings is a high-octane form of compost that provides the soil with an immediate all-purpose fertilizer loaded with nutrients and nitrogen. By tunneling through the earth, earthworms aerate the soil which improves the soil's access to air and drainage so that water reaches the deep roots of plants more easily. They also encourage beneficial soil bacteria while discouraging disease and predators such as crop destroying insects.

Don't have earthworms in your soil? Here is how to get them:
  • Discontinue use of any toxins in your garden.
  • Spread 2-3 inch layers of organic matter on top of the soil each year - this will attract earthworms
  • Use leafmould - this is a great earthworm meal.
  • Order earthworm eggs online. Once you receive them, scatter them onto the ground and in about 3 months they will be adults and ready to reproduce.

8. Keep a gardening journal

By keeping track of your garden's progress, you will be more prepared next year to tackle issues that came up this year. You will also have a place where you can jot down experiments, experiences: the good and the bad.

9. Protect against predators and pests:

Make your garden friendly to the native wildlife in your region. This will attract and encourage natural wildlife pest controllers to your garden. Ladybugs, birds, frogs, toads, and bats all help to keep pests such as aphids, insects, and snails in check.

Other beneficial garden predators and the pests they feed on:
  • Centipedes: feed on slugs and eggs
  • Preying mantis: feed on all types of insects
  • Spiders: feed on insects and arthropods
  • Lizards: feed on insects/pests
  • Frog/toads: feed on all types
  • Ladybugs: feed on aphids

To protect against pests:
  • Plant nectar producing plants Tiny flowers on plants such as sweet alyssum will attract beneficial insects, such as predatory wasps. The alyssum's aroma will also scent your garden all summer. Herbs like parsley, dill, and fennel will attract ladybugs which will also eat intruding insects.
  • Choose native plant species over imported varieties whenever possible Native species have better "immune systems" and will be able to fight against insects in your area better than an exotic plant will.
  • Try companion planting Companion planting is growing two or more different types of species of plant together for the benefit of one or both. For example, by pairing a flower with a vegetable plant, many adult insects will visit flowers for pollen and nectar and in return are effective natural controllers of unwanted pests on the vegetable crops.

How does companion planting work?
  • Companions help each other grow: Tall plants provide shade for shorter plants sensitive to sun.
  • Companions use garden space efficiently: Vining plants cover the ground, upright plants grow up. Two plants in one patch.
  • Companions prevent pest problems: Plants like onions repel some pests. Other plants can lure pests away from more desirable plants.
  • Companions attract beneficial insects: Every successful garden needs plants that attract the predators of pests.

Examples of good companion plants:
  • Carrots and onions: Pests attracted to carrots' sweet smell can be confused by the pungent smell of onions.
  • Corn and beans: The beans attract beneficial insects that prey on corn pests such as leafhoppers and leaf beetles. In addition, the bean vines will climb up the corn stalks.
  • Cucumbers and nasturtiums: Nasturtiums are said to repel cucumber beetles and can create a habitat for insects such as spiders and ground beetles which help defend the garden from destructive pests.
  • Radishes and spinach: Radishes attract leafminers away from the spinach. The leafminers will damage the radish leaves, but since radishes grown underground, no damage is done to the radishes.
  • Cabbage and dill: Cabbage can help support the floppy dill plants, while the dill attracts the tiny beneficial wasps that control cabbageworms and other cabbage pests.
  • Tomatoes and cabbage: Tomatoes are repel diamondback moth larvae (caterpillars that chew large holes in cabbage leaves)
  • Cauliflower and dwarf zinnias: The nectar from the dwarf zinnias lures ladybugs that help protect cauliflower plants.
  • Collards and catnip: Planting catnip alongside collards can reduce flea-beetle damage on the collards.

Other ways to deter pests from your organic garden:
  • Create barriers and deterrents: Try hanging shiny silver objects in your garden. The reflection produced from the sun can confuse insects such as aphids which orient their flight patterns by sunlight.
  • Rotate your crops each year This will aid in keeping pest and disease problems at bay as well as correct nutritional deficiencies.
10. Last few tips on garden and soil care:
  • Avoid compacting soil by walking on it excessively This restricts air movement and makes it hard for roots to penetrate.
  • Do not over dig This will destroy vital soil structure.
  • Cover Keeping plants covered with things like mulch helps protect soil structure.
  • Avoid overfeeding and over or under watering Let the plants performance guide you.
I hope you will be able to share the same satisfaction and gratification I experience when I build, create, and tend to my own vegetable garden. Have patience, be willing to get dirty, and be ready to smile and reap the bountiful benefits of an organically grown vegetable and herb garden.


In good health

Jennifer M. Regan, NASM-CPT, C.H.E.K HLC
Jennifer Regan is the founder and owner of Bamboo Core Fitness, a personal training and holistic lifestyle coaching business based in the Boston and Metrowest areas.
Jennifer holds a BS in Exercise Science and Minors in Health and Nutrition from Ithaca College, is a National Academy of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, and a C.H.E.K Holisitc Lifestyle Coach. In addition, she is a Cancer Wellness Specialist and holds certification in AED, CPR, and First Aid.
For more information on health, nutrition, and fitness topics, please visit her web site at:

Transplanting Roses: Expert Tips and Advice

Transplanting Roses: Expert Tips and Advice

Whatever reason you have for transplanting roses you will find the endeavor a bit easier if you follow these few instructions. You may be very anxious to move your plants and have some constraints on doing it, just remember unless you absolutely have to do not transplant roses while they are blooming.

Of course there are no blooms in the late fall or early spring so naturally this is the transplanting season. The reason for this is that the rose plant may go into a state of shock, it is alive, blooming and flowering with great enthusiasm and then all of a sudden, wham, the poor thing is pushed around, it's roots disturbed, jostled and dug up. Separation from its normal channel of food supply causes the rose to react.

So timing is everything, treat your babies carefully and prepare them for the move just as you would prepare your own children for an upcoming displacement. There are many things to do before we start ripping roots from the earth, so let's get started.

Transplanting Preparations - Moisture

Here is a tip to keep in mind whenever your roses are not in the ground, either before you plant them the first time or when you are transplanting. Keep your roses moist. First of all do not buy dry roses. And when you are transplanting roses you'll want to be sure to keep them moist at all times.

Keep it in a cool place and make sure the root ball is out of any direct sunlight. Be cautious to keep them moist if you have to travel a distance by wrapping wet burlap around the roots. One way to ensure that they don't dry out is to have your new hole ready to plant in so the roses do not have to remain unplanted for very long.

Some gardeners will recommend that you water them well the night before you dig them up but my personal preference is to water them every night for a whole week before I uproot them. The benefits here are that when it's time to dig the soil is nice and pliable, the roots of the plant and the plant will have absorbed a sufficient amount of water that the transplanting procedure will not sap it's supply and cause it to dry up.

Our experience tells us the more water you supply the fewer complications you will run into. You will notice that when you uproot your plant it will lose a lot of soil around the roots so you want to have the plant to have soaked up as much as possible to tide it over till the roots have a chance to settle and begin to supply nutrition to the plant again.

Transplanting Preparations - Dig a New Hole

So let's prepare a new hole for our roses. Being astute rose gardeners we've ensured our new spot has sufficient sunlight and space for our bloomers. The size of your new hole will depend largely on the size of your plant but in general you want to dig about 15 inches deep and 18 inches wide.

One quick tip is to be sure to prune annually, this keeps the plant smaller and easier to manage if you envision someday transplanting. We want to make sure the rose has plenty of nutrition when it gets to its new home. Stock the kitchen with bone meal, maybe a half a cup, they love to eat organic. Now in the center of the new hole make a mound of soil to set the roots in. This simply provides support so they don't tip over while you finish planting.

Post transplant tip: If you notice your rose is starting to wilt at the tips, it likely means the plant is on shaky ground, or better put is experiencing difficulty supporting the top of the structure. You can remedy this by supplying extra water when you hydrate and prune the tips.

Moving Day

You may prune the plant if you need before transplanting roses. Prune back as much as possible and this will make the transition smoother. Some rosarians in colder climates will refrain from excessive pruning. One of my California fellow rosarian says, 'It's easier to prune before you move. If you lose part of the rootball, take off some of the top growth in proportion to the amount of rootball lost--if you've lost half the rootball, for example, take off at least half the top growth.

Map out a circle around the plant about 9 inches out from the drip line. Then dig down about 15 inches. The roots of the rose have most likely gone deeper and wider so it is not practical or necessary to bring the entire root. Don't be alarmed if you have extra roots to be shortened. Go ahead and snip them off cleanly. When you've undercut the roses and made sure all the roots are dismembered you are ready to transplant. You will want to remove and much of the root ball as you can handle.

You are going to firmly and gently grasp the plant dirt and begin to lift it out of the hole. You will notice a lot of soil will fall away leaving you with bare roots. Don't be alarmed just set the plant on the mound you've prepared in your new hole. Spread the roots out and make sure they are properly positioned.

Ensure the mound you have place them on allows for the plant to rest with the bud union about an inch or two higher than it was in the previous spot, it will settle in later. Back fill the hole about half way and flood with water, we recommend not tamping the soil to preserve the structure, just make sure it's very wet so the soil will settle in all the crevices of the root system.

Give it some time to settle and when it does fill again with soil and add plenty of water again. Continue to add soil and water until the hole is filled in, and then build a mound of soil to encircle the hole so that you can add water to make a temporary pond and wait for that to soak up.

Finishing Touches

You are almost done, just a few more steps. First fill in the drained pond with a finish soil and top that with a little fertilizer if you think it needs and definitely mulch. I always say, if you don't do much at least do mulch. The benefits are unending. Then water according to the rose's needs and your climate. Make sure the water gets to the roots.

Some people like to water every day for two weeks others like to make sure they give it an inch a week. It seems the key to transplanting is in the water, water, water... make sure the plant stays moist and is supplied with generous amounts of water because it will not be able to absorb all you give. Well now you know all you need to know to successfully transplant roses. This is the easy way to do it so just be prepared and you will enjoy a flourishing bloom of excellent roses.

Lynnie Smith is a rose gardening expert. A long time rosarian with a passion for miniature roses. She is also an avid animal rights activist. We understand you may have more questions so for great information on transplanting roses, visit

Repel Bugs From Your Garden Naturally

By Adrian Gough

Did you know that you can grow plants in your garden which will repel pests and have other beneficial qualities? If you are an ardent gardener, consider the following pest repellent plants to make your job of caring for your plants easier.

Mosquitos can be very irritating when you are making an attempt to enjoy your garden at dusk. Nonetheless there are several natural ways to keep them at bay so you can use your garden at night. You can plant certain types of plants that naturally repel these pests.

Not only will these plants help repel mosquitoes that are a trouble to humans, but they'll also defend your other plants from different sorts of pests, keeping them from destroying your flowers and crops. If you plant them all though your garden, they are going to help ensure the healthiness of your favorite plants. Your plants will thrive without being attacked by pests, and you will be able to enjoy your pretty garden.

Garlic has extraordinary pest repellent qualities. It will also help to repel many different kinds of insects and other pests that may destroy your fave rose bushes. Plus, it will keep mosquitoes and other irritating bugs away. Plant lots of garlic around your yard and garden to like it as a natural pest repellent. Nonetheless do not plant it too close to your veg, because they are able to absorb the flavor of the garlic. An alternative to planting garlic is garlic chives. This plant can also work to repel pests in your garden.

The powerful scent of onions has pest repellent qualities too. If you don't like the scent of garlic in your garden, try onion as an alternative. You can alter the sorts of onions you plant to add a little variety to your garden. Like garlic, onions will keep the bugs away.

As well as the oil-producing neem plant, mint is naturally a pest repellent, and its straightforward to grow, too. It'll spread out by itself, so you just need to plant 1 or 2 mint plants. But it could be a small invasive, so plant it where it can have plenty of room to spread, or cut it back to keep it contained. Just like using herb oil, mint has an excellent smell, and it will naturally keep bugs away from your plants.

Lemon balm is another scented plant that may be a superb addition to your garden. It is very useful against mosquitoes. You can even rub the leaves on your skin to keep mosquitoes from biting you. A fast grower, lemon balm desires room to spread and frequent trims to keep it in control.

Many other herbs and plants are also effective pest repellents. In fact , most having a strong smell will work against pests. For a natural pest repellent that also offers a fantastic scent in your garden, try lemon-scented herbs and plants. These are much more pleasing to humans than garlic, onion, or other sharp varieties.

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Dying Tree? Call a Tree Service

By Xander Davenport

Definitely, trees are an indispensable part of everyone's life. We get unpolluted air from them, something that is mandatory for our basic nourishment, not to mention that they contribute a lot in terms of making the planet even more beautiful. Trees are seen everywhere, regardless if you're in some place of work, residence, sports ground, college, and more, and there are situations where trees make the rate of a property to go very high.

Just like us, trees eventually mature and pass away. As their age increases, their resistance diminishes, making them more exposed to insect illnesses, rots, pests, and other diseases, and such factors have the tendency to make the trees weaker and become futile. Their struggle against the unpleasant conditions of weather, for example wind, typhoon, etc, diminishes as well. Trees that are dying may be separated into two or go down, thus making it perilous for the close by roads and residences.

Tree services include studies and pros who are knowledgeable enough when it comes to horticulture and landscaping. They are able to help you in trimming, tree plantation, tree care, and more. A first-rate tree service should not be overlooked, especially if the problem involves repairing the look of a landscape design. Imagine a gorgeous-looking lawn which is close to your area, you can see the pruned and colourful flowers and the just mowed grass. Then again, bear in mind that a single tree that is sick or overgrown will turn a gorgeous yard into a wreck. If it happens, then it'd be best to call a professional tree service company right away.

The services they provide will not actually cost you an arm and a leg. In fact , so many tree service firms have made their rates lower due to lots of competitions. You are sure to have a flawless-looking landscape at a price which is within your resources.

A web business index can be really handy in finding a tree service near you.

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What Landscaping Offers For Your Home

By Claudia Campos

After many years of living in a house, it will be natural for you to feel the need to change some things about it. You can have it remodeled or add another feature to it so it will be more attractive. If you are thinking about improving its exterior, you can consider Escondido landscaping.

Having a good landscape affects the total beauty of your home. It should be designed in a way that complements the features of the house for it to be more beautiful. If this effort is accomplished well, then your landscape can serve as inspiration for many people.

If you are tight on budget, you can do some changes by yourself. There are simple things that you can do alone. Some of these things include painting, changing the lights, as well as adding more plants and stones.

Because of the internet, this is not a difficult to do anymore. He can get ideas from the web and he can research about the things that he needs to consider when changing the landscape of his property. There are also easy-to-do steps that he can follow for a more efficient work.

But there are also some home owners who want to ensure that this task is done properly. This is the most visible part of the house for outsiders so they want to ensure that it will be improved by experts. They can design or redecorate the place within the range of their client's budget.

To get the best value for your money, you should look for a company that is licensed and qualified to do it. You can ask for referrals to start your search. After that, you have to hire the one that gives you the best offer. They should also present a lot of things for you to choose from to ensure that it will match your taste.

Escondido landscaping has unlimited options. There is a wide range of choices that can enhance the look of one's home. The owner can also tell the contractor about his own idea so it can be considered in the design.

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When You Hire A Professional Lawn Service

By Laura Gallagher

When you hire a professional lawn service Lee's Summit you have many important advantages. Your landscape can be better looking and you will have no hard work to do. Professionals will be there for you when you need them.

Once you hire professional services you no longer have to worry about mowing the grass. This means you no longer have to invest in expensive mowing equipment that needs to be maintained. When you get off work you can relax and take it easy, as professionals have everything under control.

If you are having a period of drought, you may need to water your grass on a regular basis. You can install an expensive sprinkler system and timers. However, the best way is water grass only when it needs it. Professionals will make sure that your grass receives the proper amount of water to stay healthy.

You may be tired of seeing all those ugly bare areas in your grass. You might work very hard to plant new seed and still have problems. Professionals understand problems like bare spots. They will check your grass for many things that cause bare spots. In a short while you will not have to worry about this trouble.

Maybe you need to trim your trees and shrubs. This can be a lot of hard work and it must be done in a way that does not harm the trees. Professional services keep everything in your yard trimmed and treated for pests.

If you are tired of all the trouble it takes to keep a beautiful yard, you may wish to turn it over to a professional lawn service Lee's SummitLawn Service Lee's Summit area. They will take care of your entire landscape for an affordable fee. You can call them and they will be at your home with a free estimate for their services.

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How To Prepare For Landscaping

By Laura Gallagher

Two types of yard exist. The most ideal one is the first one. This is composed of a harmony of greens and pretty flowers. The second one has been avoided as it is simply a space full of different things. It is quite an eye sore but most homes have this. Everyone dreams of the first type but are hesitant to work for it. They have this feeling that landscaping Boston would be very expensive.

Indeed this task entails spending but not really that much. A good thing is that one would start on the task. Besides, having a great yard can be relaxing enough to replace all spa treatments available.

In almost everything, there are things that needs to be done before starting off with planting. Dealing with vegetation is very tricky. A green thumb is really very important in this task. If you ever have lost faith in your ability to make plants grow, ask for help. Professionals can do wonders in a yard. They can likewise maintain them.

Ones who are lucky enough to have green thumbs can do things on their own. First thing that should be done is to plan things. Lawns need as much of careful planning as a house. It is good to follow this as it lessens the time for work. Also, this leaves no room for errors therefore saving a lot of money.

It is also important to decide whether to go for grass or decomposed granite as base. There are many people who feel discouraged about grass consuming more fertilizer. They can be expensive to maintain. However they provide better spaces. Kids can also play safely on them.

One should also remember that not all types of plants can be grown in one garden. There are different characteristics that should be considered. Pretty much like humans, some varieties cannot mix. It is good to have a research on the best types that grow on the soil type and weather of a particular place. It will be most advantageous is hard to maintain plants are avoided.

Following a certain palette will add harmony to a yard. Gardens are not all green as there are flowers that add color to it. But too many colors would make things look like a total mess. Sticking to palettes mean getting like-colored plants. Once a certain theme or color is chosen proceeding with Landscaping Boston can be done.

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With Landscape Design Toronto Has A Number Of Choices Available

By Laura Gallagher

For someone who is looking for landscape design Toronto is more than able to offer a number of professionals that could be hired. Prior to deciding who to use it does however make some sense to try and study them in more detail to know you are making the right decision.

There are two things you really need to consider doing with regards to this and the first thing is to of course really study the companies in more detail. Once this is completed you then have to try and see previous examples of designs they have done to determine if they are someone you would like to hire.

A lot of this can be learnt by looking at their site as it normally contains all kinds of information that you will undoubtedly find useful. Visit it and check to see the amount of experience they hold as this may often be an indicator as to how good or bad they are due to the period of time they have been in business for.

Their website is often also going to have various images of designs they have created but if they are missing you still have the option of getting one or two references. It is much better when they are from sources that you already trust and respect so talk to your friends and make the effort to go and see what was done in person.

Last of all you have to consider getting a series of prices from various designers and then look at the different rates you are given. This is going to eventually lead you to saving a lot of money whilst still ending up with a great end result.

So when you are in the position of finding Landscape Design Toronto can actually offer a number of options to browse through. Do not rush this part and it then makes it much more likely you are going to be very happy with who you pick and the job they then do.

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