Rock & Stone Gardens

A variety of plants can be difficult to thrive in some parts of the country. For instance, desert regions have far fewer options for your landscaping than in more fertile areas.  Many people don’t want to add additional cactus and other plants like this so when looking for unique and beautiful options they turn to natural rocks and stones.

gardening

Rock and stone gardens are technically not a garden at all. However, they can really add a lot to the look and feel of your property.  Even in areas where it is possible to grow a wide range of plants, they are a great option to consider.  The following are important things to know before you start out your own rock and stone garden:

Know What Rock & Stone Gardens Are

A rock garden is loosely defined as any garden in which rocks and stones play a large role in.  This can mean that it is an entire area which is dedicated only to rocks and stones, or a traditional garden with plants that are surrounded by rocks.  In almost all cases these gardens will have many rocks which are of a variety of different sizes, shapes and colors.

As there are so many different types of rocks on the earth, and they can be placed anywhere without having to worry about climate or soil type like you do with plants.  Rock gardens also don’t require any sort of ongoing maintenance like pruning or trimming like plants do.  For many people this is a huge benefit because they get to enjoy the beauty of the rocks without any of the work commonly associated with gardening.

Determine The Size of Rock Gardens

One nice thing about this type of landscaping is that you can choose to make it virtually any size or shape you’d like.  Many people will take an entire backyard and add all sorts of rocks to give it depth and character which might not otherwise be possible.  You can use rocks to make walking paths or to segment your yard based on other factors.

There are so few things to worry about when choosing rocks that they are widely considered to be the best option for those who don’t have the time to put much ongoing work into their yard, but still want to have natural beauty.   This type of addition to a yard is truly ideal for the busy family who can’t keep up on traditional landscaping, or those who are older and can’t handle the difficult work required to keep a normal garden growing properly.  Of course, it is also ideal for anyone who just loves the look of a great rock and stone garden.

Combine Rock Gardens with Living Plants

Combining rocks and living plants together in one area is a great way to have an entirely natural environment which still has starkly contrasting looks and feels.  In some areas the rocks will eventually grow moss on them as well which will give an entirely different look than a bare rock area would.  Nature is a wonderful thing in that it is always changing and moving so even something as simple as a rock garden may just surprise you at its diversity.

Discover The Secrets Of A Successful Container Gardening In Fayetteville

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Did you ever happen to have that experience where you had a glimpse of your neighbor’s yard and saw their blossoming garden, then you suddenly felt quite envious about it? Oh well, I certainly feel you. I did have that same experience way back when and it urged me to start my own flourished piece of land filled with plant diversities. Perhaps, a lot of people have the same sentiments as you do. In Fayetteville, just like in most cities and states, gardening is not only considered as an activity or a hobby, but it is also a transition to a healthier lifestyle as what experts suggest. Yes, landscaping is a great addition to your property’s curb appeal as well as its beautification, but a healthy garden on top of it will out everything into perspective.

 

Now, do you want to build or start your own garden but is limited by your space? Worry no more my friend, your dream can now be possible even if you have a small area – all thanks to container or pot gardening. This method of gardening is highly beneficial for urbanites and apartment-dwellers who wishes to grown their own garden and organic food. Aside from the fact that it can maximize your space, container gardening can also offer a lot of benefits such as improved indoor air quality and freshly-picked organic produce.

 

Although, it may be easier than it seems, starting a container garden or incorporating it with your Fayetteville landscaping can be quite tricky. The challenging part is keeping your plants alive and your container gardens thriving and looking their best.

 

Why Container Gardening Is A Good Choice

You might think that container gardening is only for those who have small garden space or urban dwellers, well, you’re wrong. Even if you own a wide garden area, you can still make use of container gardening to properly organize your plants and give room for other plants to grow or if you plan to add more features to your space. Not only that, container gardening offers a whole lot more of benefits than you can imagine. Regardless if you’re a beginner or a pro, it’s actually a good choice.

 

Having said that, probably the next question you can think of is, why? The most obvious answer is that it can be less work because they can be placed closer to a water source. It is also a great start for beginners wherein they can practice and hone their planting skills – this is where they can learn from their mistakes. Moreover, container gardening makes it easier to save seeds used to create future plants or share with other gardening enthusiasts.

 

Furthermore, growing plants in containers can avoid critters and other wildlife to feed on your plants. Plus, if you’re thinking about designing the interior or exterior of your home, the addition of container plants is a great idea and you can easily move it around without breaking a sweat.

 

So, in the case of gardening crosses your mind, container gardening is worth the try.

 

Secrets Revealed – Best Practices For Successful Container Gardening

Once you’ve finally decided to start container gardening, you have to prepare yourself for the next steps you have to do. You can’t just buy a pot and start growing seeds – it doesn’t work that way. In order for your garden to work, there are strategies and techniques that you should follow. Expert gardeners from Fayetteville have been doing it for years and their practices are a sure-fire success. Here, we have gathered the best practices and revealed the secrets for successful container gardening.

 

Pick The Right Pot Or Container

First things first – you need to pick the right pot or container for your plants to grown in. Pots or containers come in a variety of materials, such as terra-cotta, ceramic, wood, and plastic. Some containers can be expensive, however, since container gardening has become popular, choices for pots have expanded as well.

 

Material

In choosing the perfect pot to plant, it’s paramount that you contemplate on the where the container is going or its placement. For example, if you’re planning to put it in a deck or desires to achieve a natural setting, wooden pots are the best choice. Clay pots or terra-cotta are also great for achieving a natural-looking garden or area. On the other hand, synthetic materials such as resins, plastics, polymers, or fiberglass, complement your hardscape. Most residential properties use wooden or clay pots.  In some cases, other gardeners recycle plastic containers or tires and use it for container gardening.

 

Size

Size matters – you should keep that in mind. Some would say that the bigger the pot, the better, which is actually true most of the times. Bigger pots allow more space for the plants to grow and stretch its roots, can hold more soil and it can help create a good scale. The size of the pot should also correspond to the type of seed or plant you want to grow. For example, Spinach and leafy Asian greens can be grown in shallow trays as well, but you’ll get a better yield planting them in a container with a 6-8” (15-20cm) root zone.

 

In planting tomatoes, peppers and other fruiting plants, a 5-gallon (27cm) is the minimum size. A 7-gallon (35cm) pot or container is best for growing peppers, chiles, eggplants, and bush tomatoes. It’s very important that you learn how to determine the right container size for your plants.

 

Shape

Pots or containers also come in various shapes such as square, rectangular, or cylindrical. These containers are known to have more soil volume in the lower half of the container, where it retains moisture better. Tapered pots are also used for container gardening and it is better in directing water right to the bottom. It also comes in vase style, cone shape, trapezoidal and more.

 

Decide On A Sunny Location

Exposure to sunlight is one of the essential nutrients your plants need in order for them to thrive. Most plants require at least six hours exposure, hence, it is paramount that you place your containers in a sunny location. Not all plants require full exposure to the sun, there are some which also grow in shade.  Given this, you have to determine whether your plants grow best in sun or shade and match their light conditions.

For example, petunias, geraniums, calibrachoa, and verbena are annual plants which grow well under sufficient sun exposure, while begonia, caladium, impatiens, and torenia are annual plants which thrive in shade.

 

Choose The Right Soil

Your choice of soil is one of the most important things you have to do to make your container gardening successful. Most soils in Arkansas, including Fayetteville, are acidic, which requires being amended with lime to raise the soil pH. Given this, experts highly advise not to use of avoid filling your pots or containers with soil directly from the garden, instead, you can use a good potting soil. A high-quality potting soil contains necessary supplements that could promote your plants’ vitality and growth such as peat moss, compost, perlite, vermiculite, and/or rotted manure.

 

When you purchase your potting soil, always read the label before you buy. Once you have knowledge of the basic components of potting soil and the most common potting soil ingredients, it is for certain that you can choose the ideal product. Loam-Based Potting Mix, Peat-Based Potting Mix, and Coir-Based Potting are few of the most common potting soils being used for container gardening.

 

Choose Healthy Plants

One of the most important factors that can determine the success or failure of your container gardening is your choice of plants. If you have a minimal or limited space, pick the plants that you like or the plants which you can benefit from such as the fruit-bearing ones. Choose the plants which thrive in Fayetteville soil and grow plants anywhere there is sunshine. Remember that plants that thrive in like soil, watering, and light conditions make successful combinations.

 

In combining plants for your container gardening, there are a lot of things that should be taken into consideration such as size, texture, proportion, color, setting, and lighting (the amount of sun it requires). Once you’ve chosen your plants, it’s equally important that you take good care of them in order for the plants to grow healthy.

 

In keeping your plants healthy, place fruit-bearing plants like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash, and eggplant in a sunny location. On the other hand, lettuce, cabbage, collards, mustard greens, spinach, and parsley can be placed in shady areas since it does not require sun exposure as much as the fruit-bearing plants. In terms of the watering, the next technique will be your guide.

 

Make A Watering Schedule

Before you panic about the proper way or technique on how to properly water your plants, just remember this, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to watering. However, when you choose your plants, it’s imperative that you also understand their watering requirements and that will help you determine how often and how much water they need. One of the most obvious indicators that it’s time to water your plants is the soil – you have to feel it and when it’s dry, water it. Plants that =grow in containers require frequent watering compared to actual garden plants.

 

Moreover, under watering or over watering your container plants can cause it to wither, catch a disease and die. This is where the relevance of a watering schedule takes place. During hot, sunny periods you’ll probably have to irrigate every day and it’s really significant since there are 217 sunny days in Fayetteville. Now, to make your watering more efficient, you can install a drip irrigation system with a timer that waters your plants automatically every day. Or, you can still opt for a watering can or garden hose, as long as you are observant and strictly follow your watering schedule.

 

Fertilize Regularly

Aside from water and sunlight, your container plants also require fertilizer in order to flourish. There are some potting soils which already contain slow-release fertilizer mixed in, but it’s still a good idea to add a few drops of liquid fertilizer every time you water. This extra dose of plant food can add points to the success of your container gardening.

 

In terms of fertilizers for potted plants, the most recommended ones are the water soluble fertilizers. It is available in powder and liquid form.  This type of fertilizer is easy to use since it can be added directly to the pot or to the water you use for watering the plants. Other types of plant food like dry fertilizers and slow-release fertilizer are as not as effective as the water soluble type.

 

You might want to remember the 3 fertilizer numbers and what it indicates: the nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium content in the fertilizer. Now, in determining the ratio of the supplemental contents, you have to consider your soil type or the potting soil you used. In most cases, a ratio of 3-1-2 is the best.

 

Don’t Forget To Clean Up

Just like everything else around us, there are times when things get pretty out of shape, same goes for your plants. Some annuals and perennials will begin to look tired by late summer or your flowering plants aren’t as good as it was in other seasons, hence, it’s time to replace them. Your efforts of trying to salvage aren’t reasonable enough. The best thing you can do here is to carefully remove the dead ones or the faded blooms and replace them. Your container could use some touches for a second and fresher life.

 

In addition, it’s a must-do chore that you clean up before winter comes. The dead or faded blooms can be tossed into the compost pile and you can store the empty containers. Clay pots with soil in it can crack during winter if left outside, and I can bet, you don’t want that to happen. Also, you can move your potted plants inside your house to prevent them from the hard frost.

 

Tips In Preparing Your Pot

Alright, so have learned the best practices for a successful container gardening, yey! Now, we’ll discuss with your on how to prepare your pots or containers properly to ensure that your plants will grow well in it. Yes, you may have bought an expensive pot, but if your preparation is not good enough, it’ll beat the purpose of purchasing one. Without further ado, here are the tips and tricks you have to observe in getting your pot ready for planting.

 

    • Most pots have holes at the bottom while some don’t. In case your pot doesn’t seem like it, drill holes at the bottom and fill it halfway up with Styrofoam popcorn. Then, lay broken pieces of clay or small stones on the bottom for drainage purposes. Use a high-quality potting soil or mixture for planting.

 

    • Use containers between 15 and 120 quarts capacity. Remember, the bigger the pot or container, the better it is for the plants to grow. Small pots restrict the root area, causing it to dry very quickly.

 

    • In making holes, it should be 1/2 inch across in order to provide adequate drainage. Line the base of the pot with newspaper to prevent soil loss.

 

  • Allow free drainage by setting your containers or pots on bricks or blocks.

 

Way To Sum It Up

Container gardening isn’t only meant for the experts, you know. As a beginner, you can learn it too. By following the secrets and practices we’ve mentioned above, certainly, you can grow potted plants in Fayetteville with flying colors. Worried about not having a green thumb? Scratch it! It’s not a requirement for a prolific container garden, it can be an advantage, though.

Growing plants, whether it’s leafy, root crops, flowers, herbs, or fruit-bearing vegetables, container gardening can be a good choice. Besides, it’s one way of saving space on your landscape, garden or urban-dwelling. Not to mention, a greener way of living, plus a guaranteed organic and freshly picked crops.

 

 

Do You Make These 5 Common Landscape Plantings Mistakes On Your Victorville Landscaping Project?

Aside from bringing change in weather, fall has been an ideal season when people go on a landscaping project or lawn remodeling spree. Most of us are planning to have our landscaping project started or upgrade existing lawn to give this season a fantastic welcome – and have a blast in spring.

Also, landscaping entails a new chapter of our lives and a more positive vibe. This is why everyone is excited to get started on the lawn transformation project. However, along with this, there are various potential drawbacks that might be encountered by anyone, including you. No matter how much effort you put into it, still mistakes arise on the occasion because of some factors that trigger it.

In developing a plan for your landscaping project, you have to include the possibilities that there will be errors along the way, but, as much as possible it should be dodged. For most of us, the entire landscape and garden are the most important space. It is where the magic of colorful and lush backdrop and you don’t want to invest on something that would eventually turn into trash, right?

In full measure, you want your dream landscaping to be perfect, specifically the planting phase. Well then, you have to carefully lay out a plan and ponder on the things that are deemed to be most relevant. Be careful in every step and avoid possible pitfalls. To help you out with it, five common landscape planting mistakes you should be aware of.

 

#1: Excessive Planting

Alright, when we speak of landscaping, it doesn’t mean that you just have to plant excessively without thinking about how it would look like or a plan prior to it. Digging and planting is not as simple as it may seem – certainly, you can’t just plant anything, everywhere you want. For example, planting small trees too close to shrubs for the main reason of giving it an instant mature look. Well, this is a very bad idea because when these trees and shrubs grow, it’ll end up as a crowded landscaping. This situation can be dealt with proper planting and having a well-designed plan beforehand.

• What is the proper way of planting?

In order to avoid overcrowding, you have to determine the mature size of plants you’re going to cultivate and give them room for growth. Temporarily, you can fill the spaces with annuals that thrive in high desert soil specifically in Victorville. Choose the perfect location to plant your seeds, shrubs or flowers and keep them hydrated properly. You can plant in rows, or in a definite pattern.

• Well-designed plan

Now, we’ve mentioned several times that you just can’t plant anywhere you want. Hence, it’s paramount that you should start with a well-designed plan and follow it accordingly in order to avoid excessive planting. Draw your plan on a graph paper, mark columns, rows or patterns for you to follow when you start digging and planting.

 

#2: Cluttered Lawn Areas

Most people ignore the idea of having an organized lawn areas, especially when trees are concerned. Scattered trees all over the lawn are not appealing at all and it only represents the fact that there was no thorough planning done at all. Now, trees should be placed appropriately as well as shrubs and flowers.

Pile up some stones or bricks around the trees when you add mulch to avoid debris from scattering. When it comes to trees, a decision in haste can lead to a lifetime of regret. Hence, you SHOULD take the time to plan its location and how to select the best trees.

 

#3: Neglect Of Turf Care

When you’re ready to give everything to your landscaping project, the responsibility to take good care of your turf comes with it. Remember, turf care plays a crucial role in the overall impact of your landscaping, in fact, it’s part of the planting task that you have to pay attention to. Of course, you have to determine what type of lawn seed to plant in our back yard. In this phase, you have to consider climate, the wind, and soil type.

 

• What’s the Best Grass For High Desert Landscaping?
There are four types of grass that thrive and grow well in high desert soil, including Victorville, namely:

1. Zoysia Grass – this grass type is flexible, slow growing, and is highly drought tolerant.
2. Bermuda Grass – reacts well to watering, highly drought tolerant, but needs lots of mowing.
3. Fescue – this grass type is a cool season grass which is also considered to have a high tolerance to drought and absorbs water well after drought.
4. Buffalo Grass – this is a warm season grass but tolerates cold. This grass type is also highly drought tolerant.

• Proper Lawn Maintenance
After selecting the best grass type, it’s imperative that you give your lawn a tender, loving, care by observing the following:

1. Loosening soil with use of proper aerator or aeration procedures
2. Adding fertilizer
3. Spreading mulch
4. Raking leaves
5. De-thatching
6. Proper Irrigation and Efficient Watering System

 

#4: Too Tall Plants And Shrubs

When plants, trees, and shrubs mature, they tend to grow tall that they cover windows and no longer enhance curb appeal or add interest to it. Aside from that, plants and shrubs that tend to grow tall shadow plants near it, making others compete for light and other nutrients. If you think that shearing is the best way to control the height, you’re wrong. On the contrary, this procedure weakens and disfigures shrubs.

In order to avoid committing this mistake, here are steps you can do:
• Choose plants, shrubs or trees that would best fit the location in your landscaping. Determine its size and height when they mature.
• Selectively clip stray shoots to keep the plant neat, full and open.
• To help reduce competition tall plants create, consistent pruning is a must. If not, you can also remove plants.

Furthermore, you have to observe the policies, standards, and regulations implemented in the city ordinance of Victorville in terms of landscaping.

 

#5: Cramped Looking Plants

Have you ever seen a cramped-looking landscape? A landscape with unorganized, unattractive, nonfunctional and unfriendly planting is how to describe it. This is not just a mistake but a total nightmare for those who remodels their landscaping or starts a new one, including you. Cramped-looking plants may also be a safety and/or fire hazard or damage the foundation especially in the high desert community, as well as Victorville.

Instead, plant in small, irregular clusters or islands. Also, include a variety of plant types and species in your landscape. This technique is best for Victorville or any other districts that belong in the high desert community to avoid potential brush fires.

 

Overall, landscaping projects need proper planning especially in terms of planting just as much as you plan for the entire renovation of your property, may it be exterior or interior. If you are a do-it-yourselfer, you can opt not to hire professional contractors. However, for optimum results and guaranteed-safe landscaping project, it’s best to hire a credible Victorville landscaping company.

If you wish to have a beautiful and efficient landscaping makeover, then don’t cheap out. Leave the work to those who have ample experience and skills and just wait patiently. After that, you can marvel at the beauty of your new and improved landscaping project!

5 Effective Ways To Save Money On Your Reno Landscaping Project

The fall season has meant a lot of things for us:  relaxation, beginning of school, a new chapter of school, and a chance to start your landscaping project. Have you already made a plan for it? Or do your already have a sketch of how you want it to look like? In terms of a landscaping project, what worries us most is the budget – it really makes a huge impact in planning and construction.

Yes, when it comes to landscaping, you want to achieve your dream design but then again you fear that it will bust your budget, hence you end up changing the design instead. Then, sometimes, other people end up compromising quality just to meet the budget (which is not a good thing). Hiring landscapers in Reno, Nevada to do that job would cost you more but that’s for a good reason. Let the experts do the job, collaborate with them and state what you want.

The question you might probably have is, “how can I save money”? Landscaping projects can be pricey and you know that, however, it is not impossible to save money along the way. If you’re thinking of cheaping out, scratch it! Buying cheap materials will not guarantee a safe and beautiful effect, it’ll just turn out ordinary. Plus. If it’s low quality, you’re more likely to spend more in replacing it.

What you have to do is strategic planning: thoroughly think about the design, consider your budget, materials and ways to cut costs without cutting corners. If you’re eager to start your dream landscaping project, you can do so by finding creative ways to work within your budget. Here are five tips that you can consider for your project.

 

  1. Be Efficient, Maximize Space.

You can reorganize or rearrange the plants, shrubs, trees and other features in your garden or lawn in order to maximize space. There’s no need to add extra space that will cost you more, instead, you can turn it into something great while giving the illusion that it is bigger than it really is. Here are some design ideas you could use to achieve this:

  • Grow plants vertically in order to increase the scale of space.
  • Create different levels of interest by breaking up the entire space into smaller rooms.
  • Give your space the illusion of being bigger by creating a view along the diagonal of the yard. Try adding tile patterns to extend the dimensions.
  • Use focal points and incorporate it into rules of perspective. Add accents with containers full of blooming annuals or perennials.

Reno’s climate is mostly sunny, hence, you can make use of the natural light to add effects that can make your space look bigger.

  1. Lighten The Mood

Bring a better mood into your front or back yard by adding lighting to your landscaping project. Illuminating your exterior using outdoor lighting to highlight landscape design is a great addition not only to increase aesthetics but also curb appeal.

However, before you finalize your decision in installing it, you have to determine the purpose of doing so, whether you want to set a cozy mood after the sun sets or you just want to brighten the shadowy part of your yard. Now, one way to save money is to use LED landscape lighting. Moreover, in purchasing the lighting to be used, you have to consider these:

  • Lifespan – LED lights have longer lifetime system compared to other halogen systems, hence, you can cut down cost on maintenance and replacement of bulbs.
  • Energy – the energy conservation of LED lights, which uses low voltage will certainly aid in saving money.
  • Safety – LED lighting is more energy efficient, they radiate less heat, making the fixtures the safest choice for your landscape.

In Reno, LED lights are safer since rotating search lights or any animated lights (which are mostly halogens) are prohibited in any district, hence, you can avoid any violations from the municipal office. Exterior lighting installation has to undergo approval and inspection from the municipal authorities. Also, low pressure sodium lighting should not be used.

  1. Price Match

As what we have said, you don’t have to cheap out. In choosing or looking for materials, you can always compare the price of the items. For example, you are looking for a mulch or artificial turf, all you have to do is conduct a survey whether which store sells the same type of mulch or artificial mulch but with a lesser price.

Other stores may have different names to call it but you can always look carefully. Might as well wait for seasonal discounts and sales in order to save more money.

Don’t be shy to ask for discounts or shop more when the store is on sale, it’s your way of saving up. Also, purchasing mulch in bulk can save you the trip to the store and it will cost lesser compared to buying in retail.

Plus, it’s important that you determine the plants that flourish in Reno soil before spending money on purchasing. Like choosing the perfect grass type for your lawn such as Bermuda grass, Perennial Rye grass, Kentucky Blue grass and Fescue Mix.

 

  1. Break It Down

Don’t get overwhelmed with your landscaping project and do it all at once. Divide each job into smaller tasks especially when you are planning. For example, you’re planning for edge around walks, flower beds, and walls – you have to do it one task at a time.

The reason for this is for you not to lose track of what you’re doing. In that way, you can keep your budget within reach as well as you can achieve the dream landscaping you desire.

Doing the project all at once could lead to common landscaping pitfalls and in the end, you’ll end up spending money in repairs. Whether you go for DIY or hire experienced contractors, it’s always better to do this.

Now, before you start making any fences or building walls for your landscaping project, it’s necessary that you comply building permits and required documents from the local planning and division office. Also, according to Reno Municipal Code, the use of razor ribbon or razor tape fencing is prohibited, except in coincidence with a jail or other public detention or correctional facility.

 

  1. Do-It-Yourself

Now, if you really want to save up, you can start your landscaping project on your own – do as much DIY as you could possibly do. It all depends on your creativity as well as how handy you are. This can be a very time-consuming task to do but not impossible.

You can check the library for do-it-yourself books, or watch videos on how to do the simple tasks involved in your landscaping project. Aside from that, you can refer to photos for the design and colors that you want to apply to your design. Through this, you can keep your money aside because you will no longer have to pay for the contractor for the extra job.

 

Landscaping indeed requires adequate planning for all the things to come into order. This fall season is the perfect time to start your dream project and consider these money-saving tips. Furthermore, it’s an ideal time to start planting for your garden so that it’ll be blooming when spring comes.

Few other reminders: never trust an inexperienced landscape contractor to do your projects because you are just putting yourself and your family in danger. Yes, you can go for DIY renovations but not in everything, there is stuff that must be done by professionals.

There are also things that need to be done by experts such as the installation of landscape lighting; for this, you might want to seek help because if you mess up, it’ll take a lot of money to fix it up. After you have everything put together, voila! You have you dream landscaping project without spending much.

 

 

 

Fall Landscaping Secrets: 7 Things You Should Know About Proper Lawn Care In Reno

Did you know that the best way to ensure a thick, green, and healthy lawn in the spring is to give it some proper care in the fall? Yep, that’s right – lawn care experts can say a BIG yes to that. If you think that the end of summer is also the end of maintaining your lawn, then you’re definitely wrong.

It doesn’t mean that when it’s autumn, your lawn requires lesser care, in fact, just the opposite true, especially in Reno. Fall is an ideal time to prepare your lawn for the next spring and since fall is already upon us, then you better start giving your lawn the tender, loving care that it needs.

Furthermore, you might be asking why? Well, here’s the explanation. When fall comes, the grass in your lawn is actively absorbing energy, moisture, and nutrients in preparation for a long, dormant winter.

So, don’t make the most common mistake among domestic lawns or landscapes, instead, learn the expert ways to make your landscaping successful. All the more, you should start paying attention to what you have to do this season. No worries, here are the seven secrets you ought to do to properly take good care of your lawn this fall.

 

  1. Rake The Leaves

raking-leavesThis season, a lot of leaves will certainly fall on your lawn – it may look like a good addition to color, but it’s not. Raking the leaves doesn’t even scream fun, but you have to do it as often as you can. Fallen leaves block the light and trap moisture which will affect the growth of your turf underneath. Besides, Reno is known to have 252 days of sunshine on average, and certainly you wouldn’t want your turf or lawn to miss that.

Aside from that, if the leaves will become wet from rain and morning dew, it will turn into a soggy mat that will suffocate the grass and breed fungal diseases that will lead to the death of the grass as well as other plants around it. So, don’t wait for the leaves to pile up – rake them immediately and avoid decaying mat to cause any harm.

 

  1. Aerate The Soil

aerate-soilFall is also an ideal time to loosen your soil and let it breathe. Doing aeration once every couple of years allows water, oxygen, and nutrients from reaching the soil faster. If not, your soil will form become compressed and covered with a layer of thatch (excessive accumulation of dead organic matter on your lawn such as stems, roots, and leaves, etc.) which will hinder all the nourishment that your lawn needs.

In order to do this, you can manually a border fork into the soil, or use a hollow Tiner, which pulls out plugs of soil. On the other hand, if you prefer to do it in a faster way, you can rent or purchase a gas-powered, walk-behind lawn aerator.

 

  1. Fill In Thin Or Bald Spots

lawn-bald-spotsDid you see any thin or bald spots in your lawn recently? Then fill them up this fall. One way to do this is to reseed your lawn to make it dense. After aerating your soil, it’s best to start spreading seed to your existing turf this fall because the ground is still warm, it’s not so hot during the day, moisture is ample and the nights are cool.

Using a garden rake, loosen the soil at the thin or bald spot in your lawn then spread certified seeds (almost purely grass seed with very little weed seeds and no fillers) or you can opt for lawn repair mixtures, just check and ask local garden shops for these.

Now, one of the most effective techniques to cure bald spots is reseeding. For this procedure, you have to use the right type of grass considering the climate and soil in Reno. According to experts, the best choice is Perennial Rye Grass which grows fast in the spring and fall. There are other good options such as Bermuda grass, Fescue Grass and Kentucky Blue grass. What’s common with these grass types? They’re all highly drought tolerant and can withstand the heat, specifically the climate in Reno which is mostly sunny.

You can plant Bermuda in spring and reseed with Perennial Rye in fall. Or, you can opt for other grass types we’ve mentioned previously and reseed using the same grass.

 

  1. Don’t Slack On Watering

sprinklerNow, after you have done tips #2 and #3, the next thing you have to do is to continue watering your lawn. Watering is essential for the grass to flourish especially after reseeding your soil. When the temperature gets cooler, it’s paramount to keep the grass roots and all evergreens sufficiently watered in order to avoid dehydration in the winter which is why regular watering is required.

To do this, you can install sprinklers or irrigation system and keep them working until the end of October. You should only stop watering your lawn when the ground freezes, regardless of the snowfall that you anticipate. On average, Reno is receiving .08 inches of precipitation during fall which is why you still have to water your lawn once or twice to keep it hydrated before winter comes. It’s best to water one day a week, tapering off to every other week and might as well  check your irrigation system often for leaks, breaks in the line and broken sprinkler heads.

Note: TMWA (Truckee Meadows Water Authority) holds irrigation workshops each year for free which aims to assist customers with system start up, setting controllers for weather – wise watering. You can attend to these workshops and be aware of proper irrigation.

 

  1. Fertilize The Soil

spreading-fertilizerIn as much as your lawn needs watering, it also requires nourishment by fertilizing. Experts reveal that the ideal time of year to fertilize your lawn is during fall. It is because the grass roots grow quickly during this season hence, application of fertilizer aids in root growth, disease protection, drought tolerance, and cold resistance. Aside from that, it also keeps nutrients in reserve just in time for the next spring.

Apply the fertilizers evenly and make sure that the quantity is just right: don’t overdo or underdo it. Be mindful as well of the waterways in your area when you fertilize your lawn, make sure to maintain at least a 5-foot buffer in order to avoid contamination.

If you applied fertilizer in the fall, you don’t need to fertilize until May. Now, in choosing the fertilizer, it has to contain balanced nutrients and you have to check the label. Nitrogen, phosphorous and magnesium are just three of the most important content of the fertilizer you should choose.

 

  1. Get Rid Of Weeds

weed-controlAlright, even if the temperature drops and the weather get colder, weeds are still as annoying as ever. Weeds compete with the grass in your lawn in terms of absorbing nutrients, energy, and water, and that’s not good in keeping your lawn healthy.

Landscape professionals suggest that keeping a dense lawn is one of the most effective ways to keep the weeds out and you can ensure that by following all the steps that we’ve mentioned previously. Aside from that, you can also get rid of weeds using herbicides – just make sure that you read and understand the instructions found on the label. Or, you can do it naturally, which is preferable in order not to affect the grass.

 

  1. Keep On Mowing

lawn-mower-Regardless of the cold temperature, you have to continue mowing your lawn. If you let the grass blades grow too long, it’ll shade other blades around them as well as competing to get enough amount of sunlight. Keep your grass at an ideal 2½- to 3-inch height so there is enough surface area for the sun to shed its rays.

This will avoid grass from turning brown or withering during winter. To do this, simply lower your blades one notch, or set the blades at the lowest mowing height recommended for your grass type. Almost all of the grass that grow in Reno are cool season grass, which grows taller than warm season grass, hence, two- to three-inch deep mowing heights are recommended for these grasses such as: bluegrass, fescues and ryegrass.

Remember, always use a sharp blade when mowing your lawn and never mow wet grass. You can leave grass clippings on the lawn to return nutrients to the soil. Reno soil is mostly heavy, tight clay soils devoid of organic matter and nutrients. Hence, the more organic matter you apply to your lawn, the better. You can also pile up the grass clipping along with dried leaves, animal manure, and other organic materials to make a compost.

 

Overall, following the steps we mentioned above will certainly put you on the right track in preparing your lawn for spring. Regardless of which city or state you are in, or if you’re in Reno, these tricks are guaranteed to provide positive results. Expert landscapers in Reno, Nevada suggest that your lawn health plays a crucial role in landscaping and gardening which is why it is of utmost importance that you shouldn’t slack in taking care of it. So, if you’re planning to start a landscaping project, autumn is also a good time for it. Before you start worrying, don’t hesitate to ask landscaping professionals for the best ideas.

Grow Natural Nail Remedies In Your Garden: 7 Essential Herbs That Promotes Nail Health

The eyes are the windows to the soul – that is ultimately true. Another truth is that your nails reflect your general state of health. Oh yes, people often take their nails for granted without knowing that it plays a crucial role in our overall well-being. Discoloration, change in shape or thickness, pain, and bleeding are actually symptoms that signal nail problems and it shouldn’t be ignored.

Moreover, how much do you know about your nails? Let me share a few facts with you. Your fingernails grow an average of 3.5 millimeters per month, while your toenails grow an average of 1.6 millimeters per month. Nails on your dominant hand tend to grow faster than the other. Also, nails are not bones, it’s actually made out of the same stuff as your hair which is keratin. Meaning, if you’re eating super-foods to promote good hair, then it works the same way on your nails, and vice versa. Aside from that, experts suggest that natural way is the best approach in maintaining good nail health and providing the care required to avoid any problems.

Now, do you have a green thumb or have that passion for gardening? Well then my friend, the time is right for you to start growing organic remedies to stimulate good nail health. Here are herbs that can do the magic.

1. Horsetail

horsetailSince the Ancient and Greek times, Horsetail has been considered an effective herb for nail growth. It is a great source of calcium silica and other essential minerals which are relevant in treating dry or brittle nails. All you have to do is soak your nails in a Horsetail infusion for ten minutes every day. You can make this infusion by combining a tablespoon of Horsetail herb with two cups of boiling water. Let it cool for twenty minutes or until the temperature is comfortable enough.

2. Rosemary

rosemaryRosemary is widely recognized as an incredible spice that adds up flavors to various dishes. Unknown to many, it promotes stronger and healthier nails. Aside from that, its oil is also a great aid in dealing with nail fungus as well as moisturizing the skin around the nails. Rosemary oil helps treat nail fungus and at the same time, it restores the nail structure that has been affected by the said fungus. To make the oil, you just need the leaves and once you have it, you can do the extraction at home.

3. Stinging Nettle

stinging-nettleStinging nettle is also one of the oldest remedies which promote nail health and growth. It contains silica, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, D & K. Stinging nettle helps strengthen nails which prevent the occurrence of brittle nails. Drinking a cup of nettle tea every day is all you need. To make the tea, here’s what you have to do:

• In a cup of hot water, add 2 to 3 teaspoons of dried stinging nettle leaves.
• Cover and let it sit for 10 minutes.
• Strain and add some honey or sugar to taste.

4. Flax

flax-seedFlax seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and valuable fiber which stimulates nail strength and growth. It also helps the nail plate develop properly and keeps your nail from splitting, cracking, drying or brittleness. It’s also a great source of micronutrients like B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, lecithin, and zinc which are all important in maintaining overall nail health. Rubbing Flax seed oil on your nails twice a day is all it takes.

5. Sage

sageSage leaves have a good reputation in maintaining bone density and aiding nervous system function. However, its health benefits are not only limited to that. Sage leaves are used to make the tea that promotes hair and nail growth. It is rich in micronutrients and minerals that the nails require growing stronger, such as iron, zinc, magnesium, and essential vitamins.

Here’s how to make the tea:
• Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.
• Remove from heat and add sage leaves in the water.
• Let it simmer for about 3-5 minutes.
• Strain. Pour it in a cup and add lemon or honey if desired.

Once you have these herbs in your garden, you no longer have to worry about your nail health. You can even incorporate nutrient-rich foods to fully achieve it. This is really beneficial especially to girls. With healthy nails, you can style it whatever you want or whenever you want, may it be with nail art, stickers or nail wraps, especially this holiday season – a time when parties or events are just around the corner. Healthy nails won’t easily brittle or crack even when styled, no worries. Of course, you’d want to show off flashy nails this festive season, right? So, you better consider growing these herbs and say hello to the holidays!

Few Things About Oregano Seeds and Herb Gardens

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Oregano is an aromatic plant native to the Mediterranean area. It can be used fresh or dry in foods, salads or as a natural remedy (gastrointestinal or respiratory problems).

The plant likes to grow in places with a lot of sun, but it also can be grown indoor in pots as long as it receives enough light. Oregano needs bright light, so when it is cultivated indoors it should be kept near eastern or southern window (but with filtered light in the afternoon).

It needs to be watered regularly but not excessively; the soil shouldn’t dry out between waterings, but even if it does, this will not cause any harm because oregano is very resistant to drought.

The soil must be aerated, well drained. If needed, use a diluted liquid fertilizer.

Oregano is multiplied by seeds, cuttings or seedlings if you want to have it all the timet.

The organically grown herb seeds germinate hard. A healthy plant will quickly consume the soil from the pot, so it’s possible that it needs to be transfered into a larger pot. Transfer should be done at about 6 months, if needed. The pot needs to have up to 6 inches diameter.

The oregano leaves can be used fresh, but they do not have a very intense flavor, so they have to be dried as the aroma is stronger. They can be stored in sealed jars.

The taste is slightly bitter and the flavor is complex, with a spicy-bitter touch.

At the beginning of autumn, oregano is in full splendor, all good to harvest and laid out to dry. Harvest in nice, warm weather, between morning and midday, after disappearing the last drops of dew.

Cut 9 inch sprigs with scissors or a knife, and let them dry in thin layers, in a well ventilated room. Turn the plants on the other side 2-3 times daily, otherwise they blacken and lose the aroma and healing qualities. Drying mistakes lead to decomposition of the vitamin C, and the loss of nearly all of the essential oil that evaporates pretty quickly.

It can be used successfully, both to flavor oils and vinegars as well as salads.

Its aroma is suitable for any kind of cheese and steak, grilled meat, meat and pasta sauces. Adding it to egg preparations make them more appetizing and digestible.

Butter rubbed with oregano leaves is excellent in combination with boiled fish, rice with scallops or crayfish and sauteed vegetables. It is best associated with broccoli and other green plants, carrots, zucchini, lentils, potatoes and tomatoes.

Together with basil oregano is characteristic to Italian cuisine. Pasta sauce will receive a special taste if you add oregano.

Pizza is the most known oregano dish, which made it famous and universally known.

Moreover, oregano is considered indispensable in Mediterranean cuisine, as in the Mexican one. Its popularity is due to the fact that it enhances the taste of the tomato soup, beans, grilled sirloin, roasted lamb, salads and other shrimp dishes, cooked in typical spicy style of the Mediterranean area.

How to Make the Most Out of a Small Garden Space

Who wouldn’t love to have their own version of the secret garden or a miniature replica of The Garden of Versailles in their own backyard?

Most of us do want to have that magical and peaceful sanctuary even at the back of our homes but some of us can’t achieve it simply because our place is too small to accommodate our chosen landscape setting.

Many garden design books have shared tips on how to achieve that dream garden – the principles, rules and elements that all contribute into creating a really wonderful garden you can be proud of. However, most tips provided are only applicable for those who have a huge space to work on.

Gardening in a small space has many limitations but it shouldn’t be a hindrance in transforming a small piece of land into a landscape masterpiece. The key is just to use the available space and use it well.

The advantages of having a small garden include the following:

You can give attention to every garden detail

Having a small garden can actually give the gardener a chance to fully explore the depths of the garden. You can give full attention because you don’t need to check on a very large space and every area can be checked even just in a short period of time.

You can keep up with the maintenance

Maintaining a garden can be very hard at times, especially when you’re on a budget. Having a small garden lessens the chances of having to spend too much on garden maintenance. Instead of spending a lot of money maintaining the garden, you can invest instead on more pieces or ideas that can further improve and beautify the garden.

You can make it as an entertainment or leisure space

Having a small garden in your backyard can actually give you that quiet space you will eventually need. Having a large garden requires a lot of work but a small space for a garden can provide you leisure while you tend to it personally, without having the need to hire gardeners, lawn-mowers and a large creative team for its landscape because you can all do it on your own.

The real task in making the most out of your small garden space, however, is to face the challenge of landscaping that comes with it.

Making choices of what to accommodate

Having a limited space also means having to choose what elements to include in your garden. You can have everything in a very small space so you have to choose carefully what plants to include, what garden ornaments to put, and among other decisions, you have to make to ensure that your garden may be small but it won’t be trashy.

Your garden is seen as a whole

Having a small garden means that people can see whatever is in it in a glance. Visitors don’t have to explore too far just to see what plants and elements you have included on your garden and so, the challenge lies on having people see your garden as a whole, including all of its compositions. So you really have to be careful not to miss on certain things that can really destroy the balance of your small garden space.

Every feature should serve a purpose

Every little part of the garden must have a purpose why it was included there because nothing should ever go to waste on your small garden space. So ignore that impulse to buy a plant or a garden ornament, thinking you will just find a place for it just to have. Every acquisition must have a purpose.

So, having that limited garden space should not hinder you from having a landscape masterpiece. Instead, you should take it as a challenge – a challenge to go out of the box and make the most out of your small garden space.

What to Consider in Buying Plants for Small Gardens

So you want to have that dream garden but don’t have the luxury of space? You want to have a magical and peaceful sanctuary even at the back of your home but can’t decide well what to include in your garden because you have so little space?

Well, the difficulty of the problem actually lies in choosing the plants you will actually include in your garden. You really need to choose the best plants that would serve their purpose in your garden and not just simply decide what plants to have on an impulse and without proper discernment.

Before you decide to buy plants or plant those needed things in your dream garden, you need to come up with a checklist or a guide for you to be able to choose wisely and for you to achieve the transformation of your small piece of land into a landscaping masterpiece.

Does it suit your budget?

Maintaining a small garden should be less costly than its bigger counterparts and so, you should have that idea of not having to spend more on the less space that you have. You have to check whether you have the budget for the plants you will buy or whether you have what it takes economically speaking to maintain them.

Does it suit your planned design?

If you plan on having that Zen garden style incorporated in your garden, then it is only proper that you buy plants that are also related to your theme. Buying plants that don’t actually suit your garden style might destroy the balance and the overall composition of your garden and so you must be careful in conceptualizing what style you want to incorporate, more so, be more careful on what plants to include.

Does it fit in the size of your garden?

Having a small garden also means choosing to put small plants or plants that won’t appear oversized in your little space. The challenge of putting up with a small space lies in having to position your plants accordingly without making your garden look cluttered. And so, the size of the plant you must buy must also be in sync with the size of your garden.

Does it have to be so colorful?

You can start with choosing plants according to three color classifications only. Do you plan on having a garden dominated by red, yellow and white? Then choose plants that would also be classified in your color preferences. Having a theme is so much better because you can break down what kinds of plants you can actually put and there won’t be too much diversity. Too much diversity on your color preferences will make your garden look cluttered and less refined. Instead of having a wonderful display, you might just end up having a garden of mess.

Does it have the ability to survive your setting?

Before buying your plant, one important thing to consider is the plants adaptability to your setting. You should really know what plants will thrive in your area and decide on buying those plants. Buying a plant that can’t survive your area might just cause harm to your plant until it eventually withers. So spare yourself the hassle of spending on a plant that can’t survive in your garden setting and start looking for plants that will have that long lasting appeal.

If you are even serious about having a garden with just little space, now is the time you start conceptualizing and thinking what plants to include, keeping in mind that you should be able to create a landscape masterpiece with the little space you have. Choose your plants wisely and achieve that garden you’ve always been dreaming of.

Fall Gardening Tips for the San Diego Gardener

fall gardenSummer is ending soon and for many gardeners, fall is not their favorite season of the year. After all, springtime is the favorite season of the year. It is the time when humans and plants alike love to welcome the warm rays of sunshine. Every living object seems to joyously sprout in this time of the year. However, fall should not hinder you from continuing to nurture a garden. In fact, fall season can have its perks when it comes to gardening.

Take Advantage of Deals in Farmer’s Markets and Garden Centers

Since many people do not find fall as an ideal season to plant, many remainder plants are put up on sales in farmer’s markets and garden centers. Yes, they may look lonely and forgotten in racks but you can always have the choice to take them home and find them a good pace to grow. These plants need nurturing and would do better if planted in gardens than for them to be left on racks.

End of season sales are numerous by late summer. You can find annuals and perennials on sale. Although annuals are good, it would be best to choose perennials instead. They would have greater chances of surviving and thriving during fall season compared to annuals. The good thing about buying plants during sales is that you can always haggle for the price especially if the plant does not look as healthy as it should be.

In addition to plants, many garden tools are also on sale during this time so it would be a good way to invest on several gardening tools especially on expensive ones. You can expect to save as much as 50% or even bigger. Some sellers would even offer “Buy one, get one” deals on plants and small gardening tools.

Fall is Actually an Ideal Season for Planting

autumn gardenNot many people realize this but fall actually makes an ideal time for re-planting, transplanting and planting bulbs. During this time, the ground is warmer and the heat of the sun is not that scorching. When the soil is warm, it is easier to dig and it encourages root growth. Since the heat is not that intense, it would not easily leave the foliage to dry quickly. Plants do not require to be watered as frequently as during summer time.

Young trees, when transplanted during end of summer up to fall, would have greater chances of thriving. Same goes when perennial plants will be divided and re-planted. Bulbs should be planted during falls season in order for them to sprout just in time for spring season. It would be good for perennials and trees to be planted during fall so their roots can have ample time to take hold before winter season freezes them.

Cold Frames and Hot Beds to the Rescue

There are always ways to nurture your plants no matter what the season of the year is. For instance, cold frames can be employed to protect plants from too much cold or from excessive exposure to wet season. It looks like a mini greenhouse with transparent covers or walls to let the light penetrate in.

A hot bed, on the other hand, uses fresh horse manure topped with soil as a garden bed. The decomposition of fresh horse manure releases heat in the ground which protects the plant’s roots from excessive cold. Hot beds are commonly used from fall to winter seasons to help plants survive.

If you want to know more about gardening tips and tricks, it would be best to ask local gardeners in your area. They are familiar with your area’s climate and can also refer resources you need for fall gardening.

Photo Credits: kbowenwritersharon_k