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GROWEROLOGY BLOG

Themed Backyard Garden Installation

Themed Backyard Garden Installation

Gardens are a beautiful addition to any backyard. They provide an oasis of tranquility and have health benefits for the gardner.

A backyard garden is a great hobby that gets you outside and into the sunlight and absorbing Vitamin D.  

Gardens are sensory delights with all the different smells, colors, and textures of plants. It is especially beneficial for your children to be involved in the growing process.

If you are considering putting in a backyard garden, you might wonder where to start. A themed garden is a popular way to go.

One of the advantages of a themed garden is that the garden will have a focus that makes design principles easier to implement.

You can use a theme to reflect your interests, like bird watching or a favorite style like Japanese or even a water garden.

Perhaps you might even take a few ideas from several different themes and put them together to create an eclectic one-of-a-kind garden. 

Here is a list of suggestions for themes in your backyard garden. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it might give you an idea that sparks your imagination. 

Wildflower Garden

Backyard Garden

Having a variety of flowers that can go a long way in sustaining themselves, wildflowers will do well in poor soil and water conditions.

A wildflower garden will not have the manicured look that a traditional flower garden does, but if a rustic, country look appeals to you, then this garden will suit you well.

In most areas, wildflowers are native plants, which makes them ideal for difficult to maintain parts of your yard.

If you plan where to position various flower varieties, you can create an area that is vibrant with brightness and color. 

Violets, asters, bolumines, trilliums, ferns, and harebells are woodland wildflowers that do well in the shade.

If you have full sun areas, black-eyed Susans, zinnias, cornflowers, and candytuft will do well as long as there is also some shade in the afternoons.

If you start with seed packets, you can choose packs that are mixed or separate varieties. Once you have the flower bed ready, rake the seeds into the soil, trying to spread them evenly.

Water the seeds well, and don't let them dry out. This process will be much like growing grass seed.

Perennials may take a season before they bloom. If this garden is a new one, you could consider adding some annuals to the mix.

If you have chosen a large area, leave a path through the garden so that you can see the flowers from different angles, and work with them easily.

Butterfly Garden

Butterflies are beautiful and delightful to see. They also help with plant pollination while being part of the color in a garden.

Planting a garden that attracts butterflies is as easy as cultivating the types of flowers that support butterfly needs. 

Because a butterfly's mouth is shaped much like a tube, they drink only nectar and drink standing water.

During the caterpillar stage, they will need foliage to eat, and your garden can provide that too. By planting

If you have a shallow birdbath or another ornamental display that holds water, keep the necessary water available for these lovely insects to get a drink.

Having the needed foliage, nectar plants, and standing water, you are sure to attract butterflies to your garden.

When deciding where to put this garden, know that butterflies need sunny, open spaces. Planting shrubbery or ground cover will give these insects a place to hide from predators.

You can also put up a butterfly box in your garden as another means of refuge for the butterflies. 

Here is a list of nectar-producing plants that these winged beauties are attracted to:

  • Asters
  • Milkweed
  • Marigold
  • Bee Balm
  • Lilac
  • Butterfly bush
  • Verbena
  • Sunflowers
  • Sweet Pea

Native plants are the best for a butterfly garden, so check with your local nursery for those that will grow well in your area. 

Once you have begun to plant your butterfly garden, make sure that it is free of insecticides and herbicides. 

Rock Garden

For those of us who might not have the greenest of thumbs, a rock garden makes for an attractive focal point that exudes a rugged, natural look.

A rock garden can evoke a mountainous type landscape. These types of garden work exceptionally well if you have a smaller space or a trouble area in your yard.

My rock garden came into being when I gave up trying to get grass to grow in an area at the back of my house.

I love my rock garden as it solves a problem and looks great at the same time. The rocks that you use in yours can be any shape or size.

It is helpful to start with some larger rocks, ones that you can manage, and create your basic outline. 

For my rock garden, the foundation of the house presented one side, and I built out from there. Using various sizes and types of rocks add to the unique presentation.

Once you have your rocks placed as you prefer, you can add as few or as many plants as you would like.

I have found that hens and chicks love living in a bit of soil in the crevices between the rocks. The many types of sedum do equally as well.

Give these plants a year or two, and they will make a lovely green display among the rocks.

You could choose to have a decorative bush amid the rocks. Just make sure to plant it before placing the rocks around it.

Alpine plants are also a good choice as they, like the hens and chicks and sedum, require little soil and are hardy. Alpine plants tend to be small, but have blossoms.

Some Alpine plants to consider are:

  • Bristlecone Pine
  • Larkspur
  • Jacob’s ladder
  • Bear Grass
  • Spreading Phlox
  • Larkspur
  • Alpine Asters
  • Moss Champion

Spread the soil in the crevasse between the rocks and put the plants in those areas. Add a little or a lot. The landscape of the rock garden can be whatever you choose.  

Tropical Garden

Backyard Garden

If you are fortunate enough to live in the southern states, you would be able to have great success with a tropical garden. 

The exotic plants of the south can make for a colorful and varied garden that is lush and beautiful.

Plants in the south thrive in the heat and humidity. They have large, distinctive leaves, and the flowers are a bright contrast.

Tropical gardens are big and showy so that they can accent a yard or house with ease.

When laying out your garden, look for a spot that has full to partial sun. Tropical plants will also need a lot of water, so if possible, locate the garden near to your water source.

While it does rain often in the south, if a tropical garden gets too dry, it will die out, so you will need to supplement the water that the garden receives naturally.

Palms, cycad, bananas, ginger, fuchsia, and bromeliads are some of the tropical plants that will make for a beautiful full garden in the south.

Zen Garden

Asian gardens have a nature theme that runs throughout their structure. If you follow the concept true to form, a Zen garden is made to showcase and work with the scenery that is already present.

Traditionally, a single path will run through the garden that allows you to reflect on the garden. There is often a seat along the path for sitting and contemplation.

The garden bed is crushed gravel or stone with large rocks placed throughout at random.  The edging to the garden is a stone or wood ledge. 

A rake is used to make patterns in the crushed stones, and that can be varied and changed as often as desired. 

Statues are often present, most often good-luck animals such as turtles. Lanterns are placed among the rocks to light the garden in the evening.  

There can be a variety of features in a Zen garden, such as a waterfall, small bridges, and levels that showcase various plants.

As with any garden that you might choose, remember that even if you strive to replicate a particular style, that it is your style that will bring your garden to life.

Kitchen Garden

Backyard Garden

The beauty of this garden is that you will have produce right out your back door. It might not be thought of as a theme garden, but I would argue that the theme is organic goodness. 

For ages, people have had a small plot of land to grow food.  A kitchen garden can be a yard full of fruit trees, raised vegetable beds, or a few containers of tomatoes.

Yes, you can hop in your car and head off to the grocery store, but there is nothing like the taste of homegrown produce.

The best advice is to start small. Raised beds and container gardening are the way to go to start a kitchen garden. You don't want to dig up a huge patch of lawn and then have to spend your summer digging up weeds. 

Choose the vegetable that you will use. I plan to grow tomatoes in containers as I have in years past.

They are quick and easy, produce the best tasting, fresh tomatoes ever, and require a minute or two of pulling weeds. Other than watering, there is nothing more to be done. 

Your kitchen garden will need eight hours of full sun for the vegetables to grow well.  

If you want to try a kitchen garden out on a trial basis, consider planting a herb garden. Herbs are small, they can be dried or used fresh to season your food and most herbs flower, so it will also be visually appealing. 

Water your garden faithfully to help the plants mature and produce. There is nothing that tastes as good as that which you grow yourself.

In Conclusion

Theme gardens allow you to start with a particular idea and put your stamp on it. Whatever you choose, just be sure to make a start.

You don’t have to make it a project that overwhelms you. Start small. The beauty of a garden is that you can make a plan for your entire garden, and then complete it in stages over several seasons. 

A garden gets you out of doors and closer to nature. There is a feeling of renewal in digging in the earth and seeing the flowers and plants respond to your care. 

Take advantage of the benefits of getting outside into the sun and creating your personal garden space.

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Gardening 101: How To Water Air Plants

Gardening 101: How To Water Air Plants

Air plants are some of the most unique and relatively easy plants to take care of. With over 500 different varieties of air plants, you are bound to be able to find the one that appeals to you.

Air plants are of the genus Tillandsia and are perennial plants that include many hybrid varieties. 

These distinctive plants require no soil to root in.

This makes them ideal for perching on shelves, in a wall pocket, placed on a wreath, in a glass container, a decorative piece of wood, or your favorite ceramic piece. 

Because these plants are so flexible regarding their vessels, they are trendy for decorating in homes and offices.

These decorative plants are called "air plants" because they take their nutrients from the air.

The plants are epiphytes, meaning that in their natural habitat, they will grow on a tree or other host, using them only as a place to grow.  

Tiny vessels on the air plants leave called trichomes take nutrients and moisture from the air, and enable the plant to sustain itself.

While they are one of the easier plants to care for, they do require some attention. When they get the care that they need, an air plant can last for years and create offshoots called “pups.”

Air plants have three main requirements, water, air, and light. Following the advice below will help you to care for your air plants, and they will last for several years.

Environment:

How to Water Air Plants

As we mentioned, there are many species of air plants, and they can be unique in size and shape. 

As a general rule, if an air plant is silver-leaved with a high concentration of trichomes, it will do better with more light and a bit less water. 

If the plant is a darker green variety, it will want more water and could be harmed if in direct sunlight. 

Take into consideration your environment, too. If you live in a drier climate, the air plant may need to be water more frequently, or you might need to mist the plant in between waterings. 

If your climate is humid, the air plant would be able to get moisture from the air and need to be watered less.

Water:

 How to Water Air Plants

Soil is not a requirement for air plants, but water is critical. You can tell an air plant that has enough hydration as it will have wide, open leaves. 

A dehydrated plant will have leaves that are closed and curled up. If you keep your air plants indoors, plan to water them about once a week on average. 

Keep in mind that if a plant is dried out because of the air conditioning or furnace, they will need moisture more often. 

Because these plants are not potted in soil, they don’t have that material to hold water for them. 

Please don’t think that planting an air plant in soil will help out, as that will cause them to die. 

Misting is good to do in between waterings, don't rely on misting alone for the water that the plant will need.

Once a week, gather your air plant(s). You are going to place them in a sink, a bowl or other container that has water in it. 

Let the plants soak in the water for about half an hour. Don't submerge the plant, just let them float on the surface of the water. 

If your air plant has blooms or flowers, submerging the flowers can also cause them to rot.  After that time is up, take the plant(s) out of the water and gently shake the excess water off. 

This step is important. Water that collects in the leaves at the bottom of the plants can cause rot and kill the plant. 

Place your watered plant on a paper towel or clean cloth to dry. Give the plants a few hours to dry before placing them back where you had them placed.

Air plants have preferences as to the type of water they do best with. The plants will appreciate rainwater and even a pond or aquarium water. 

Bottled water and spring water also are good for hydration. Never use distilled water, and if you need to use water from the tap, let the water stand overnight before floating the plants in it. 

The overnight time will allow chemicals in the water, such as chlorine, to dissipate.

Air:

Just as their name suggests, the air is also vital to the plant. The plants thrive when they have good air circulation. 

When they are drying after they have been watered, it is a good idea to make sure that they have air circulating during this time. 

If you have chosen to place your air plant in a container, it should not be an enclosed one. After watering, the plant should be dried before you put it back in its container.

Light:

Indoor air plants need light, just as most other plants do. When choosing a place for your air plant, locate them near an adequate light source. 

Three to five feet from a window or an artificial light source is a reasonable distance. Direct sunlight will damage and even kill the plant. 

If you have air plants outdoors, a shaded area that does not get full sun would be best. Although there are some varieties of air plants that can handle full sun, most of them cannot.

Temperature:

Generally speaking, air plants do well in temperatures that range from 50 to 90 degrees. They do not do well under any circumstances in freezing temperatures.

Trimming:

How to Water Air Plants

As with most plants, your air plant will lose some leaves and grow others. If you want to trim brown or dead leaves, use a pair of scissors to do so. 

Trim the leaves at an angle to preserve a natural appearance. When you first purchase your air plant, it might have been shipped to the store with the roots intact on the plant. 

If you want, and depending on how you will use your plant, you can remove the roots. The roots are used by the plant to anchor itself to its host, such as a tree branch, when in its natural habitat.

Pups:

As your air plants grow and mature, if it has blossoms, it will run through its bloom cycle. During this cycle, it will produce babies that are called “pups.”  

If you want to remove the pup from the main plant, wait until it reaches about ⅓ of the size of the mother plant. 

The pups can also be left on the plant, and they will eventually form a clump together. The clumps are often hung on a string and make a beautiful arrangement.

Interesting Facts:

  • An interesting fact about air plants is that they are related to pineapples. 
  • Spanish Moss is a type of air plant.
  • Air Plants are native to the West Indies, Mexico, and Central and South America.
  • In the United States, air plants grow in Texa, Georgia, Louisiana, and California. 
  • As with other plants, air plants work hard to remove toxins from the air around them. 
  • They prefer water from lakes, ponds, rain barrels, and birdbaths.

In Conclusion:

How to Water Air Plants

Studies have shown that plants in the home or office help to clear the air and brighten our mood. Air plants come in so many unique and interesting varieties and are lovely for creating decorative displays.

Air plants have a few requirements to thrive, but none of them are difficult to achieve. Just a  little time and even less effort on your part will result in beautiful displays of these unique plants.

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8 Undeniable Benefits Of Indoor Gardening

8 Undeniable Benefits Of Indoor Gardening

Cultivating an indoor garden dates back to the famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon and to the ancient Chinese. In 1800, home heating systems were developed, and that made keeping houseplants feasible. 

Moving forward to today, interest in indoor gardening is on a steady rise. It’s not only the fiftyish and above crowd, but the millennials are very enthusiastic about being plant parents. 

According to the National Gardening Association for three years from 2016 - 2019, sales on gardening items rose by almost 50 percent to $1.7 billion

There is a good reason for this. People will purchase because there is a primary benefit to them. So, just what do we get out of indoor gardening? 

Besides having many benefits, keeping houseplants is also affordable and easy. We have compiled a list of 8 benefits of keeping an indoor garden.

Before you finish reading, you’ll be wondering why you haven’t started your indoor garden!

1. Better Air Quality

Indoor air pollution is a byproduct of harmful emissions from manufactured building materials. Paints, carpeting and other materials release toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and other harmful chemicals into the air. 

If the space in which you live or work is on the smaller side, the air circulation will be reduced and the more you will feel the impact of these toxins in the air. 

Airborne mold, viruses, and pollutants, can also add to the mix.

Plants are infamous for their air-purifying capabilities. They absorb gases (aforementioned) through the pores on the surface of their leaves and roots and emit clean oxygen, which helps to combat the toxins that might be in the air. 

Indoor plants are adept in naturally increasing humidity levels. Having enough indoor plants enriches oxygen in the air keeping your family and pets healthier while making the air in your home more comfortable.

2. Fresh and Pesticide-Free Produce

As an indoor gardener, you can control exactly what products and chemicals are going into your fresh food. 

Growing your plants organically, which is precisely how all plants should grow, will improve your health as you’ll no longer be eating fruit and vegetables that might have chemicals used in mass produced with pesticides and preservatives. 

The health benefits of eating fresh produce pesticide-free are significant. In addition, you would not need to run to the supermarket in case you run out of herbs, fresh lemons, tomatoes, or whatever plant you wish to grow.

3. Improves Mental Health

The benefits of indoor gardening are therapeutic in many ways. Studies also show that spending time in green spaces helps people de-stress and relax. 

With indoor gardening, you’ll be able to live and sleep in that green space and feel the benefits around the clock.

Here are two additional ways that having indoor plants and creating an indoor garden can benefit your mental health.

4. Growth Mind-set

Gardening is an excellent opportunity to develop a growth mindset. By nurturing indoor plants, we form a habit of looking forward to growth. 

With this mindset, we're continually learning that tomorrow will be so much better as long as we take care of today. 

5. Physical Exercise

The most effective way to boost mood and lower anxiety is an appropriate amount of physical movement. 

Studies have shown that physical activity can aid in well-being. While caring for indoor plants is not strenuous, it does promote activity and movement.

6. Controlled Environment

One of the significant benefits of indoor gardening is that you control the environment wherein you expose your plant. 

The sudden cold breeze, violent winds, and overly hot days that cause your plants to wilt under the immense heat does not affect your indoor plants. 

Especially if you live in an area with extreme weather, growing your plants indoors prevents any harsh weather from damaging your garden. 

There are plenty of robust plants that can withstand a wide range of climates, but if you’re growing a more temperamental kind, choosing the right space to grow within your home will help them thrive.

7. Limitless Growing Season

Keep the plants growing after their usual growth season is over by bringing them indoors. But keep in mind that it is crucial to transition by placing them in a partially sheltered area since warm indoors may shock their systems if they would be brought in from the cold outdoors.

8. Decor

You can bring life to any room by placing a living plant into a well thought out space. Plants can add height, texture, and architectural layer into your house's decorative theme. 


From succulent arrangements, cactus gardens, to a windowsill full of blooming, colorful flowers can wonderfully transform your place.

9. A Sense of Comfort

Commercial building owners and those in office spaces have a more thorough understanding of the benefits of indoor gardening and its effect on consumers. 

They understand that greeneries can be used as decorative items in their malls, spas, salons, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. 

Indoor plants provide a welcoming and inviting atmosphere that entices people to come inside.

10. Educational Tool

Cultivating an indoor garden is a perfect way to get children involved and learning. Children are very much hands on learners and this is the perfect opportunity to teach them about nature. 

If you have an indoor garden, it is ideal for children to learn where some of their food comes from and there is a huge sense of accomplishment when your meal includes food you have grown yourself. 

While they are tending to their own indoor garden, it is a great time to teach a bit about biology, life cycles, ecosystems and sustainable farming. 

In Conclusion

Gardening done indoors has therapeutic benefits and is satisfying while boosting aesthetics. Next time you find yourself deciding whether to bring home that potted leafy goodness, think of all the great benefits of indoor gardening, then pick up two or three leafy friends to bring home!

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The Environmental Benefits of Gardening

The Environmental Benefits of Gardening

Not to put too fine a point on it, the earth is the only home we have. There is no other orbiting planet on which to relocate, and no transport off the planet we have. 

As such, we should be interested in protecting and keeping our home as healthy as we can.  Just as we care for and maintain our stick and mortar houses, we have the opportunity, and responsibility, to contribute to keeping our earthly home in good condition.

Looking at the situation overall, it might seem too big a proposition.  After all, the earth is enormous compared to our lowly personages.  

It has a diameter of 7,926 miles at the equator.   Looking up the Earth’s mass I found out that it is...well...a lot!  Any information that is presented in the form of an equation is huge.

Not only is it big, it is orbiting the sun at a speed of about 66,638 miles an hour. Which explains the dizzy spells I get when thinking about how I can make a positive difference to the environment.  

Just as there is strength in numbers, so too, there is strength in the individual and the constructive difference that one person can make.  Don’t ever discount your contribution.

Keeping a garden is one of the ways to make a difference, and one that is not insignificant. When you add trees and plants, you are helping to convert carbon into oxygen; the very stuff we need to breathe. 

This article will go over some of the ways in which your actions can contribute to the maintenance of our home here on Earth through gardening.

Reduce Energy Cost

Environmental Benefits of Gardening

This first action contributes both to being kinder to the environment and saving you money, so it is a win-win.  As we know, the sun can heat up our houses and trigger the urge to turn on the air conditioner.  


Planting trees and shrubs in areas that block the sun can keep your living space cooler, and reduce the use of fossil fuels an air-conditioner will need to do the same thing. 

Those same trees and shrubs can help in the winter by blocking cold winds and keeping your house warmer during the colder months. 

Prevent Soil Erosion

Environmental Benefits of Gardening

The trees and shrubs that you planted to reduce energy costs do double duty as agents that help prevent soil erosion.   Roots from these plantings will help to bind the soil together.

When heavy rains deluge the area, the soil is less likely to wash away.  Topsoil, that valuable outermost layer of soil, is more often affected by water movement.  This top five inches of soil is what you want to protect.


Topsoil has the highest concentration of organic matter and microorganisms.  It is within this important layer that most of the Earth’s biological soil activity occurs and nutrients are added to the soil.  Planting a good ground cover with a substantial root system will help prevent erosion from occurring. 

Replenish Nutrients

Soil is vital, as this is where plants get their footholds for their roots. Soil holds the nutrients for plants to grow.  This multitasker both filters rainwater and regulates any excess water to prevent flooding.  


Topsoil also stores large amounts of organic carbon.  Along with being able to shield against pollutants, soil in turn protects groundwater quality.  In addition, soil provides scientists with a record of past environmental conditions. 


When you add trees and plants to your corner of the world, the organic material that falls from those plants helps to provide the material needed for healthy soil.  Makes you think a bit differently about the importance of the dirt under your feet. 

The Birds And The Bees

Environmental Benefits of Gardening

When you plant a garden, trees or flowering shrubs, you benefit the environment by giving a boost to both birds and bees. 


A garden, and the plants in it, provide protection from predators for birds.  The birds, in return, keep away unwanted insects. The trees and bushes gives the birds places to nest and raise their young.  Another service that birds provide is the spreading of vegetative seeds, which is a food source for other wildlife, in addition to creating more plants when they deposit the seeds they have ingested. 


Bees are equally as valuable in a garden. I have been stung by bees once or twice in my lifetime, and the memory still gives me chills.  I don’t want it to happen again, but in actuality, bees are our buddies.  


They are responsible for pollinating one-sixth of the flowering plants worldwide and over four hundred agricultural types of plant.


These guys are hard workers, and would appreciate a little help from us. Trees like hazel, holly, goat or willow help bees throughout the year.  In autumn, ivy is sought after when it is flowering. 


If you grow either fruits or vegetables, bees will love you for it, and will also help to pollinate your own vegetables.  Beans are a favorite, along with onions and peppers.  


They will be in seventh heaven if you plant apples, pears, blackberries, strawberries or raspberries.  You can make it easy on yourself for harvesting fruit trees by choosing dwarf varieties.

Reduce Your Carbon Foot Print

For me, there is no substitute for a home grown tomato.  You might as well place a piece of cardboard on that burger or BLT sandwich if the tomato was not grown in your garden.


They are easy to grow, just a sunny spot and some water and you are provided with a (is it a fruit or a vegetable?) anyway, a taste treat.  I love stepping out the back door and plucking a garnish from my garden while knowing I am making the bees happy. (but still avoiding them) 


When you grow your own food, not only does it taste better, it saves on trips to the store.  I have saved on groceries, gas, and my time. Plus it has reduced my carbon footprint.

Even if you live in an apartment, there are many vegetables that you can grow in containers. Some towns have plots of land that are set aside for community gardening.  

And if none of that works for you, consider shopping at a local farmers market.  You will get a fresher, higher grade of produce and will still reduce your carbon footprint as the items will be brought in locally, not trucked from several states over. 

Plants and Gardens as Housekeepers 

There are not too many of us that get excited, or look forward to cleaning.  Trees, shrubs and plants clean the air naturally, and to our benefit.

I will not name names, but I know several people who are full of hot air, and it was proved to me when doing research for this article.  When we breathe, we expel carbon dioxide; a waste product. I am convinced that some expel more than others.

Plants, clever as they are, take in that carbon dioxide through their leaves.  Through the process of photosynthesis, they expel water and oxygen. True recyclers!

They also remove bacteria and chemicals floating in the air, making them the ultimate housekeepers. 

Not only do they work above ground, their roots take up a majority of what they come in contact with. That means that contaminants in the soil are also scrubbed by the photosynthesis process. 

Lastly, Teach Your Children Well

Environmental Benefits of Gardening

This might be where you make your biggest positive impact on the environment through gardening.  Teach your children, grand kids, students or any other young ones that are in your orbit. Volunteer at a local school to demonstrate how to garden.


Kids soak up the lessons that are hands on, and seeing and experiencing a lesson has a greater influence on a child than reading about it in a book.  Herbs grown on a window ledge, flowers in a pot, whether it is a big or small effort the lesson will last.

In Conclusion

If you have ever been in any kind of situation where a few did the work of many, you understand what a hard slog that can be.  If each person did their fair share, it makes a profound difference. 

We are past the point of wondering if we should, we are at the point of knowing we have to do our part to benefit our environment.  

There are those that will be able to more than others. I have a big yard, and my friend lives in an apartment.  I will do what I can, and she will do what she can. But we both are aware and strive to do the best we possibly can for our home, which is the only one we have. 

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Roof and Gutter Cleaning Safety Tips 

Roof and Gutter Cleaning Safety Tips 

For many of us, our home is our single most valuable asset.  We can work for years to be able to afford a house, and keeping it in good repair is of utmost importance.   

An area that is significant to maintain is the gutters and keeping debris off the roof.  Gutters are an indispensable part of a home’s exterior. A gutter is a shallow trough, usually made of vinyl or metal, that is fixed beneath the edge of a roof. 

Gutters serve the function of diverting rainwater away from the walls and foundation of your home. This diversion helps prevent foundation erosion, wood rot and damage to your landscaping. 

Without gutters, or if your gutters are clogged with debris, this can cause damage to your main investment.  The undiverted rainwater can erode the ground next to your foundation. When this happens, the water can seep down along the foundation and create basement leaks and structural instability.

Leaves, twigs and other debris will clog gutters, and if the gutters are not cleaned out, you run the risk in cold months of ice dams forming at the edge of the roof. The ice dam can seep underneath shingles and down into insulation and ceilings,  creating quite a lot of mess and damage. 

It is best to clean your gutters twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall before winter arrives.  While the absolute safest way to clean your gutters is to have a professional do it, the majority of us cannot afford the twice a year expense and need to do it ourselves.

Knowing that cleaning gutters and removing any debris from the roof top is not something to be ignored, we need to know how to do so in the safest manner possible. 

Weather or Not

Gutter Finger

Check the weather before launching into the gutter cleaning process.  A monsoon, lightning storm, tornado or hurricane is not the time to get the urge to clean on top of the roof. Resist the urge until the weather cooperates. 

Climbing the Ladder of Success

gutter finger

Unless you are over twelve feet tall, you will need to start with a ladder.  There are many types of ladders out there to choose from, and a few things to consider before using one. 

A four legged step ladder would be good for a single story house, but you will need an extension ladder for a two story home. 

A wooden ladder is not recommended as they can be wobbly and harder to balance than a metal ladder. 

Fiberglass ladders are among the sturdiest, but unfortunately, they are also the heaviest. The weight will be a matter to contend with as you move the ladder around the house.

Make sure to check the ladder over for any loose screws, bent parts or defects before using it.  The time to look for hazards is before your climb on the ladder. 

If you are using a step ladder, have the extension hinge arm fully extended and locked in place. 

It is best to have a ladder that has a small, strong shelf that can hold a five gallon bucket. The bucket will hold the debris that you collect from the gutters.  Clean from the ladder, not the roof. 

Remember that there might be all manner of objects...or living things...in the gutter.  Worms, small birds or mice might be roaming around. Bees and wasps will search out the trapped water in a gutter.  Keep that in mind so that if you come across any of those creatures, you are not startled and risk falling off the ladder. 

A preferable way for me, personally, to clean gutters is not to get up on a ladder at all.  I am not good with heights, and don’t even like being as tall as I am. (5’ 6”) Plus my balance is not what it used to be.

To avoid the whole ladder climbing, hauling around thing, I find that a tool that can be used to remove leaves and debris while standing safely on the ground is my best bet.  The Gutter Fingers tool has been both effective and efficient in removing debris clogging my gutters. 

The tool is also good for removing branches from the roof, or the occasional frisby that went astray. And I can do it from ground level. 

Better Satfe than Sorry

gutter fingers

If you don’t have a Gutter Fingers tool, you will still need to haul out the ladder.  If this is the case, you want to make absolutely sure you do two things.  

The first is to let someone know that you will be up on a ladder working on the gutters. It is better to be safe than sorry. Accidents can happen quickly, and having someone watching out for you and able to call for help if needed can save your life.

The second thing you need to do before cleaning your gutters is to look up. Ensure that you and your ladder will not be touching any power lines. If there are power lines or cables running to your rooftop, visually inspect them to see if there is any damage or wear and tear to the lines. 

If you do see damage to any lines, call to get it fixed before you attempt to work on the gutters. Remember that the debris in the gutters will probably be damp and that water is a conductor of electricity.  Again, be safe rather than sorry. 

Give it the White Glove Treatment

Protect your hands from the debris that you will be removing from the gutters.  You can have sharp debris, even glass or metal, and bird and squirrel droppings in the gutters. 

I can attest that this stuff is icky, oozy, and smells to high heaven. Rubber (unless the thick, dishwashing type) and cotton gloves are too thin for sharp debris. 

Leather can be less maneuverable and leather does not like getting wet. A thick suede glove works the best, as it is durable and flexible. 

You don’t want to get poked with the bacteria filled gunk that inhabits the bottom of the gutter, so make sure you protect your hands and save a trip to the doctor for a tetanus shot. 

You've Got Such Beautiful Eyes

gutter finger

Protect those eyes!  Even the smallest amount of debris can hurt when you get it in your eyes. There is mold, bacteria and animal droppings in a gutter and you do not want any of that splashing into your eyes.  

Don’t risk scratching the cornea by not protecting your eyes, it is such a simple thing to do.  

Wear The Right Shoes

You are going to need a good grip on the rungs of the ladder or if you are getting debris off the roof.  Avoid going on the roof in the early morning as it will still be damp and the surface will be slippery.. 

Rubber soled shoes that are sturdy tend to grip better. Don’t wear anything flimsy and that does not give you good traction.  

As we said at the beginning, cleaning out gutters is one job that cannot be neglected.  If you do so, you run the risk of incurring substantial damage to the most major investment you have: your home.  

Let unattended, the damage can cost thousands to put right. Far better to maintain and keep your gutters clean by doing twice a year maintenance.  It is not on anyone's “favorite activity” list, but is essential nonetheless. 

It is so very important that you follow the safety precautions we mentioned above. Not doing so could cost you more in injury and time spent healing, and no one wants to be sidelined.

I am at the stage of the game where I cannot do the gutters on a ladder and really can’t afford to hire it done.  I made the minimal investment of the Gutter Fingers tool and can now do it myself while standing safely on the ground.

The stuff still stinks, and is an oozy, yucky mess but I am not adding any risk factor to protecting my investment by being on a ladder or the roof.  I am safely on the ground and enjoying the view at 5’ 6”.

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Top 7 Profitable Plants To Grow and Sell

Top 7 Profitable Plants To Grow and Sell

 

For anyone who enjoys gardening and growing plants, you know how satisfying it is to watch them grow and thrive. But have you ever considered using your green thumb to make money? You don’t need to be a full-time farmer, or live on a large piece of property to be successful. 


Rather than trying to grow stereotypical farm crops, if you choose a specialty plant, you can make a living off it with less than an acre of land. If you are ready to take steps to start your new career, or just want to make some extra money, by choosing a highly profitable specialty crop you will get the best results.

 

7 Profitable Plants to Grow and Sell

If you want to make some money from growing plants, here are some of the most profitable options:

 

Lavender

 

Whether you are an experienced gardener, or just getting started, lavender plants are a great option for everyone. It is relatively inexpensive to grow and is a very flexible and versatile plant. They are fast-growing, can thrive in a wide range of climates, and are disease resistant. 


Lavender is used as is, as well as in soaps, fragrances, cleaning products, and essential oils. There is always a need for lavender and a single acre of lavender can make over 10,000 bouquets. This would help guarantee a steady yearly income.  

 

Gourmet Mushrooms

 

Mushrooms, especialy gourmet and exotic mushrooms, are in high demand for restaurants and foodies. Mushrooms are a great option for those wanting to make a career out of growing and selling plants because they can be grown inside without soil, in relatively small spaces and average six crop cycles per year.

 

Because mushrooms do not travel well, local growers are a hot commodity and provide higher quality than transported mushrooms. On average, mushrooms can sell for anywhere from $5 to $20 a pound. 


You can grow up to 25 pounds of mushrooms in just one square foot. You can also consider drying certain types of mushrooms, like oyster and shitake, to help preserve them longer and make it easier to distribute further away. A simple 10 by 10 square foot space can easily be enough to make a living and can be grown anywhere.

 

Ornamentals

 

Ornamental plants are used to help create aesthetics and are typically very low maintenance. The most popular types of ornamentals are woodies and grass. Woody ornamentals are plants like red twig dogwood, holly, pussy willows, forsythia, and hydrangeas. You can grow different plants at different times of the year, creating profit without worrying about off-seasons. Woody ornamentals are very popular in florist shops, as well as craft stores because they are ideal for floral arrangements, wreaths, and natural home décor.

 

Ornamental grass is very popular amongst landscapers because of its low maintenance and tolerance to drought. This makes them ideal for a wide range of climates and they come in hundreds of shapes and sizes. You can use ornamental grass to add curb appeal to your home, as well as a more natural solution to costly privacy fences. 


Ornamental grass is also very easy and inexpensive to grow and can produce thousands of plants in a very small space. This means you can expect a pretty sizable income from the high demand.

 

Bamboo

Bamboo has become hugely popular over the past decade because of its versatility and how quickly it grows. This plant is used in everything from flooring to furniture, utensils, landscaping, fishing poles, and is even included in materials like mattresses and pillows. While bamboo typically takes around 5 years to reach maturity, once it does they grow at a very quick pace. 

 

Bamboo is a type of grass and can grow nearly anywhere, including sub-zero temperatures. By growing them in pots, you will not only eliminate the need to dig and replant them to sell, but this also allows you to grow around 600 plants in a 30 foot by 40-foot room. 


Because bamboo is used for so much, it comes at a very high price tag. A single pot of bamboo can cost up to $150, with the average being about $45. This means you are making a very high return on your investment with every pot you sell.  

 

Garlic

Garlic plants are referred to as the “mortgage lifter” for a reason. These plants are extremely durable and can grow in a wide range of weather conditions. This means that it is unlikely that you will lose a crop of garlic, no matter how harsh the weather is. However, you do want to aim for producing the highest quality of garlic possible. The better the quality, the more flavorful and desirable it is.

 

Gourmet garlic, also known as hard neck garlic, has a far superior taste than regular garlic, making it much more desirable to buyers. Rocambole, porcelain and purple stripe garlic strains are seen as the highest quality and will fetch around $10 a pound.


Other popular garlic strains like elephant garlic can get you around $8 a pound. Taking into account that a single acre of garlic can yield around 15,000 pounds, you can make a very good living this way.

 

Landscaping Shrubbery and Trees

Landscaping plants are always highly in demand because of their versatility and aesthetic appeal in yards. Specialized trees and shrubbery plants grown in five-gallon pots can bring in up to $100 per pot. This allows you to make a nice profit without needing a lot of space. You can grow around 1,500 two gallon pots in 1,000 square feet.

 

It typically takes around two years for you to be able to sell the plants for top dollar, but once you do, you are looking at a huge profit. Wholesale growers sell seedlings for a dollar or less and can provide you with a minimum of 750% mark up when you resell after two years. To get the most money for your plants, it is recommended that you find a specialty or niche. This will help you gain expertise with certain plants and make you a more desirable source for them. You can also look to sell directly to florists and landscapers to keep a steady income.

 

Ginseng

The high demand in Asian cultures and holistic health communities has made ginseng an incredibly desirable plant. This plant was formerly only found as a wild root, but now is grown to help meet the huge quantities people are asking for all over the world. While the wild root will get you more money than a planted one, you can still make a nice profit.

The roots and rootlets are relatively inexpensive to grow but do take six years to fully mature. Once they do though, you will be looking at around $500 per pound. That means that for every one acre of mature ginseng, you are looking at around $50,000 per year.  

 

Plant Care Facts and Tips

To give you the best chances of producing quality plants and getting the most money for them, it is important to provide your plants with the best possible care.

 

Plan Ahead

To save time, energy and money, you should always plan before planting. Test your soil, get it ready and figure out where and when your plants have the best chance of growing. The more research you do before planting, the more straightforward your growing will be.

 

Stay On Top Of Weeding

To make your gardening easier, it is important to stay on top of your to-do list. Many people allow weeds to get out of control and then pick them all at once. This not only makes you do a lot of work at once, but makes your growing season shorter as weeds take over. Remove them as you see them and avoid letting them take over.

 

Feed Soil Between Crops

To keep your soil healthy in the long and short term, you should always feed the soil between crops. This can be done with compost or aged manure and should help provide the ground with the nutrients it needs to keep providing healthy plants.

 

Consider Threats In Your Area

Whether it is animals, insects, or the elements, there are things you can do to help better protect your plants from natural threats. For example, there are raised beds, greenhouses above and below underground, nets, and fences that can help your plants grow strong without worrying about damage. There are also sprays and other plants that you can grow to help keep away pests, no matter the size.

 

Conclusion

If you have a green thumb and are looking to make some extra money, growing and selling plants can be a great way to go. To make sure you get the most money for your effort and give you the best chance of making it a career, consider growing on of the top seven most profitable plants included in this list.

 



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Easy Grip Gardening Tools Must Haves

Easy Grip Gardening Tools Must Haves

Gardeners rely on their gardening tools to get things done. As you’re leaning down in the dirt to tend to your garden, you don’t want your hand to hurt because your tool is too heavy or the grip is uncomfortable. Instead of dealing with hand cramps, think about what an easy grip gardening tool can do for you. You might just be able to make that garden look exactly how you imagined!

Easy Grip Gardening Tools and Their Benefits

Let’s take a look at your easy grip gardening tools. You’ll want your tools to help save you time and effort in your garden. Of course, there are many other benefits to having some great easy-to-grip tools in your hand, and some great tools out there to choose from.

Weeding

You don’t need to use harmful chemicals to handle the weeds in your garden. Instead, try a good weeding tool. It will require you to pulling weeds by weed, but that’s exactly why you’ll want something with a great grip.

You can also check out a multi-weeder, which will tidy up the small borders around your plants and weed at the same time. This two-in-one tool is a great option to save time and money.

Gardening Scissors

You use your gardening scissors outside for everything, from cutting open things to pruning jobs. Make sure you have a good pair on hand. Ensure that you’re able to use for hours without hurting your hands.

Planting Tools

There are so many tools that you need for planting, so why not pick out a few good ones? Consider a planting knife that has a good narrow head that will dig down deep to get your plant out. This will help you lift small tap roots, and will be perfect for planting in small spaces. Especially if you have a tiny garden in your apartment, this is an essential tool.

Don’t forget about options like the soil scoop or a bulb planter either. A soil scoop will easily remove dirt from holes with just a straight lift. If you get an option with a serrated edge, you can cut through even hard earth and compost effortlessly. The bulb planter will do something similar, but it can release the soil back in when you’re done.

Leaf Rake

Not all tools need to be small hand tools. You might also have something like a leaf rake to help you clear debris away from your garden.

Try to find an option that will let you get the small spaces in your garden with ease. It helps if you can adjust the height of the handle too, since a too short or too long rake will only cause more problems.

Leaf Blower

Speaking of big tools, consider getting a leaf blower with a good grip to it. This will help you keep especially large areas clean, especially if you don’t want to compromise your back with a rake in your grip.

Design vs. Effectiveness

When you’re talking about close-up gardening tools, you don’t need a huge tool like a shovel to get the job done. Honestly, the design of the tool is much more important when it comes to getting the level of detail you need to make your garden look great.

Consider getting something with an easy grip if you can’t grip as well, or if you plan to be outside doing a lot of work. An ergonomic tool can make your experience that much better.

Why Gardening Tools Are Necessary

We’ve all thought about what it would be like to have our own garden at one point or another. You might want your own vegetables, or want to plant that little pot of flowers to have some color. You need the right tools to get the job done though, and to avoid a lot of back pain along the way.

Large Backyard

If you have a large backyard, you might want a good gardening tool to help you get the job done. This includes getting a gardening cart to transport all your tools without breaking your back making multiple trips. These carts might be useful for any composting that you’re doing as well.

Avoiding Pain

The right tools can help you avoid back pain and pain in your hands. They’re designed to make your life outdoors easier. Grab tools with ergonomic handles so that you can grip for hours without your hands hurting. These tools will make it easier for you to get your work done since they have a design that’s made to move through weeds and other tasks without a problem.

The right tools will also help you avoid back pain. Generally, gardeners struggle with back pain when they have to be leaning over for long periods of time. Even the best tool can’t help with that. But having a tool that handles weeds or flowers quickly will ensure that you spend lesser time hunched over.

Conclusion

Even if you have a small garden around your apartment, the right tools will make it easy to dig through the dirt without hurting your hands. Just grab those easy grip handles and start digging in your garden for as long as you need. With precise tools, your garden can be looking as good as it ever has. 

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Benefits of Having a Garden at School

Benefits of Having a Garden at School

Gardening is a productive, peaceful pastime. In today's generation though, the art of gardening is often overshadowed by technology. Why not introduce gardening into the school setting? Together, the combination of education and relaxation can be both educational and fun. 

Improvement of teamwork skills

Student Benefits of Having A Garden At School

Growing a garden takes a village - this is a popular quote among the gardening community. When it comes to having a garden at school, this is especially true because the entire class (or possibly the entire school) is involved in the garden’s success. Students can take turns caring for the garden, picking its fruits and vegetables, and replanting. This fun way of taking turns builds teamwork skills. 


Increases self-confidence 

Being able to successfully grow a garden does wonders for a gardener’s self esteem. After all, there’s nothing better than admiring the flowers or fresh vegetables that you’ve grown from the ground up. In school aged children, growing a garden can help boost their confidence by helping them to feel able and capable. As a result, their grades may improve and gardening can have a positive impact inside the classroom, too. 

Stress relief

Gardening is a peaceful way to pass time. Those who actively work in the garden benefit from stress reduction - adults and children alike. School is an important part of a child’s life,but can be stressful at times.  The stress reducing ability of gardening is a key factor for school children. Children who have decreased stress get better grades and tend to be able to socialize better. 


In addition, children who suffer from developmental delays such as autism tend to find gardening a great way to release built-up tension through a means that is productive.


Subject integration and hands-on learning

Gardening is an interesting, multi-dimensional activity. In school settings, it gives children a way to learn about a variety of topics, many of which expand past the basic “plant growth”  knowledge.

Learning about gardens gives insight into the life cycle of plants and living beings, and familiarizes children with weather patterns. It can be integrated into a number of subjects, making them fun and hands-on. 


Develops a love of nature 

Spending time nurturing the garden through the art of growing can quickly connect children to nature. The regular exposure helps them develop a love of nature that can last a lifetime, providing them with a healthy way to spend their free time and getting them up and out of the house during the summer.

Health and Nutrition Benefits of Having A Garden At School 

Encourages healthy eating

By having a vegetable garden at school, students are encouraged to incorporate healthier snacks into their diet. The veggies grown from these plants can be offered as snacks at recess, or as part of a healthy lunch menu. If the school you’re associated with has any after school cooking clubs or organizations, you can opt to introduce some of the home-grown food. 

Even if students decide not to eat the produce cultivated at school, you’ll be pleased to learn that according to the Tisch Center for Food, Education and Policy, three times more students opt to eat healthy snacks after being involved with a garden. This surprising statistic does not change depending on whether the food was grown at school or purchased from the store. 

A higher knowledge of nutrition 

Having a school garden introduces students  to the world of health and nutrition by way of hands on instruction. They learn as they plant and grow in a garden, and this form of learning has more appeal to children than a lecture on the same subject. 

Frequent physical activity

Despite seeming like easy work, working in the garden can be a physical challenge. Deep flower roots, weeds, and vegetables that grow out of the ground can all be hard to pull. Not to mention that if your garden is a flower-based garden, students will need to spend extra time turning the soil. They might also have to do some edging - talk about hard work! Since the garden will need regular tending, you can help your students to be more active. 

Valuable time outside

Gardening is primarily an outdoor activity. It’s really no wonder that having gardening as a hobby increases the amount of time that the participant spends outside. Students who care for a school garden will spend a regular amount of time outside as they tend to the garden, increasing their overall outdoor exposure. This activity is especially helpful for children who are full of curiosity can energy. 

School Gardening Tips 

Set ground rules

Every successful gardening community program has rules. This is no different for school gardens. Regardless of how many people contribute, your school garden should have a set of clear, easy-to-understand ground rules. They can include rules regarding responsibilities and their delegation. 

A few good rules include leaving both bugs and dirt in the garden, using tools properly, no pushing, shoving, or throwing dirt, walking instead of running, and working as a team. 


Build pathways

Have you ever noticed how children always seem to want to walk on pathways? It’s a good idea to ensure that your garden has a variety of pathways leading throughout. This will prevent the plants from being accidentally stepped on and ruined, and will also improve the garden’s appearance. 

Get involved

If you are a teacher or organizer that is considering or has recently set up a school garden, you should not forget to get involved. Work in the garden with the students and have fun - gardening should be a good shared experience for all.


Make use of recycled materials

Gardening supplies can be expensive. From pots and planters, seeds and fertilizer, the items needed can rack up quite a bill. However, if you’re making a school garden, chances are that you’ll have some sort of recycled material at your disposal. Styrofoam cups from the staff room? An old plastic bucket? Empty paper towel rolls? Each of these items make great (and cheap!) planters, not to mention that they give new life to discarded items. 


You can get creative with this and get the students involved. Work together to brainstorm ways to use old supplies in your garden, or take to a sharing site such as Pinterest for creative ideas. If your recycled materials need preparation before they can be used, get the students to help you. 

Develop a routine

It’s always a good idea to create a schedule. Take your class out on the same day every week and be diligent in following your schedule. The children will learn to recognize the schedule and begin to look forward to their time outside in the garden. 


When the gardening efforts involve multiple classes, consider working with other teachers to come up with a routine that works for everyone. Maybe you want to have your classes go out together, or maybe you don’t - either way, consistency in your decided routine is key. 

Demonstrate

While it may be tempting to whip up a power point or slideshow, or have students read about the process of growing plants consider demonstrating the process yourself.

This will keep students actively engaged and encourage them to join in. It can also be a good way to bond with your class. 

 

Conclusion

School gardening is growing increasingly popular around the country. In particular, primary schools are benefiting from this form of education, with students looking forward to working in their gardens. If you’re planning to develop a school garden but aren’t quite sure if you’re up for the challenge, just remember the benefits of doing so: stress relief, the development of healthy eating habits, regular  physical activity, and teamwork building skills to name a few.  
Also, you may want to keep in mind that gardening in a school setting requires ground rules, works best when associated with a routine, and should warrant the involvement of everyone - teacher included. Get out there, get gardening, and have fun!
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How far apart should you plant tomatoes in a garden?

How far apart should you plant tomatoes in a garden?

How far apart should you plant tomatoes in a garden?


Tomatoes that are properly spaced when planted are more likely to be healthier plants and produce a large harvest for your picking. If you are planting your tomatoes in an overcrowded manner or even too widely spaced, it can be detrimental to the plant. 


The spacing of your tomatoes depends largely on two factors. 


First, consider what types of tomatoes you are planning on growing. You must keep in mind that all tomatoes are different and require different care in order to make them bloom. 


The second factor is how you plan on supporting the plants. How much work are you willing to put into the tomatoes? Do you want something more high maintenance or a plant that will allow for less tending? 


Once you have decided on these key factors, you can easily figure out how far apart you need to plant your tomatoes in your garden. 


Proper Spacing When Planting Tomatoes

For healthy and productive tomato plants, spacing plays a very large role. Correct spacing is usually dependent on the type of tomato you are growing, but generally speaking ideal spacing is about 24-36 inches apart. Anything closer than 24 inches will reduce air circulation around the plant and can result in plant disease. 


It is also necessary that light be allowed to reach all around the leaves, so proper spacing is key. Larger tomato varieties should be planted 36 inches apart and consecutive rows should be about 4-5 feet apart. 


Tomatoes Gardening Facts and Tips

In order to get the most out of your tomato garden, here are a few tips and tricks.


The best time to go out and plant tomato seedlings is a few weeks after the last freeze in your area. This will allow enough time for the soil to warm up and the day temperature to stay about 50 degrees. If you are planning to grow your tomatoes straight from seeds, begin the process by planting inside 5-6 weeks before the last frost will occur. 


Tomatoes thrive best when they are exposed to full sun. Placing them in an area that receives a good six hours of sun each day will help your plants thrive. Choose a new location for your tomatoes each year to avoid any problems with disease. 


It is also important to support tomatoes as they grow. Using a wooden stake or bamboo pole will help greatly with this. You can also try some twine or other soft material to tie the vine to the support. Tomato cages are also an option if you are leaning toward planting dwarf varieties. 


Consider feeding your tomatoes once a month with a food blend that is high in phosphorus and low in nitrogen. 


Conclusion

Tomatoes require a lot of care and help in order to grow properly. You must take the time to consider spacing, variety, sunlight, and water. If you do all of this, you will find that your tomatoes will thrive. 

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Are Ants Bad for a Vegetable Garden?

Are Ants Bad for a Vegetable Garden?

Are Ants Bad for a Vegetable Garden?

Gardening is a fun hobby. Something that’s less fun about it, is the annoying pests, like ants, that tend to creep into your crops and cause damage. It’s true that ants can sometimes be helpful to your garden. But other times, they’re just plain bothersome. Luckily, there are some ways to keep these plants out of your garden for good. 

The Good Side of Garden Ants


Ants Act as Pollinators 


Bees are the only species that can pollinate. Ants tend to hop from flower to flower so they can find a meal to begin eating. All of this hopping causes pollination to grow and spread. This is extremely helpful as pollination levels have begun to decrease lately due to the rise in the death of bees. Ants to the rescue!


The Tunnels Can Help the Ecosystem 


Remember when you had to study ants as a kid by watching them crawl around in an ant farm? Just like in the ant farm, they like to dig tunnels. Through these tunnels, ants will transport oxygen, nutrients, and water to various roots of plants.


This helps the plants grow and it helps different organic plants decompose quicker as well. Dead insects and leaves have the power to fertilize different plants, thanks to the work of these ants. 


They Can Kill Off Insects 


Garden ants are known to act as disruptors when they’re around various insects. They tend to eat or kill any bugs that may come their way. Ants enjoy creeping up on mother insects and eating their young or just killing them altogether. Insect eggs are also enjoyed as a delicious snack for ants as well, so they will chew on their eggs as a treat. 


The Bad Side of Garden Ants


They Can Hurt You While Trying to Garden 


If you’re working in your garden and then suddenly feel a sting, that may be a garden ant. These ants can not only be annoying, but painful if you’re trying to work in your garden. Fire ants are known to sting if they feel they’re being bothered and attacked. They may think you’re trying to attack them even if you’re just going about your own business. 


Carpenter ants are a little bit trickier. They will bite you, then spray a stinging sensation on to your wound that can cause you immense pain. 


Ants Can Duplicate and Infest Your Whole Garden 


Ants love to build nests in areas where they’re comfortable and know they can get food. Unfortunately, that perfect location is in your garden. This can lead to various bumps being seen on your lawn, making it look unattractive. Different ant nests can also harm the soil around your plants, making it impossible for any of your crops to grow properly.


Sometimes, even when you think of getting rid of the ant colonies, other surrounding nests may see the free space and move right in.  


Ants Control


Mixing Up Various Ant Killing ingredients 

 

You can mix different ingredients to get rid of the ants crawling around in your garden. Take a cup of sugar, a cup of borax, mix them in a cup then sprinkle it along with the different spots that you see ants building nests.

 

The ants will get excited to see the sugar, mistake it for food and take it to the colony with them. Since borax is very poisonous, it can kill their entire colony soon after they bring it in. 

 

Sprinkle Splenda and Other Artificial Sweeteners 

 

Any food that is a sugar substitute contains harmful ingredients that can potentially kill ants. If you sprinkle it along with the garden where the ants are known to hang out around, they are bound to grab the sweeteners, mistaking it for sugar. They will then bring it back to the other ants, who will all eat it and eventually be positioned. 

 

Boil Water and Pour It On Their Nests 

 

A simple trick is to boil up some water, bring it out to your garden and pour it on the anthill. Since they build their anthills to undergo several types of natural disasters to come their way, it may take more than one try to kill them for good. You may need to refill the pot of boiling water and pour it several times to make sure the ants are gone for good.


Conclusion


While ants may seem little and harmless at first, they can multiply and wreak havoc on your garden. To keep your crops alive and healthy, be sure to follow the necessary procedures to remain prepared as these ants try to take over your garden. 

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