Thursday, 16 March 2017
Monday, 15 August 2016
Water efficient LANDSCAPES In California
The truth is;
The solution is;
We can water more efficiently and still have colorful, esthetically pleasing landscapes including some turf areas for recreation. This article is intended to help you create a landscape that is not only water efficient, but attractive, colorful and low maintenance. The designs illustrated here will give you a clear idea on how you can save water and money, by switching over to a water smart garden. The principles of water efficient gardening apply to front and back yards as well.
Thursday, 23 June 2016
It is an extremely aromatic herb you can easily grow in your home garden, using seeds.
Basil is low maintenance and you need to water only every alternate day. If you plan to set it in a pot, early spring is best to sow the seeds. Keep the pot near a window that gets good sunlight, and transplant to garden in early summer. If grown outdoors, sow directly in your garden in late spring.
Basil loves well-drained soil and lots of sunlight. Let the soil be damp in hot weather.
It is a self-seeding plant and its leaves have a sweet taste.
It is easy to grow dill from seeds from late spring to early summer. It requires full sunlight and grows well in dry soil. Water it only once a week and cover with mulch. Keep it hydrated in hot weather.
Chives are a member of the onion family, sporting pretty purple flowers.
Chives prefer full sun, and moist, rich and well-drained soil. If you choose nursery-grown plants, set them in your yard in early spring, 9–12 inches apart. It needs regular watering through the growing season for a good harvest. It could reach up to 18 inches in height, but does not eat up space. Do not leave the flowers, as it would scatter seeds all over and overwhelm your garden space.
Fennel has a unique aroma with a sweetish taste.
Growing fennel by seed is an easier option. Sow seeds about an inch deep, spaced at least 10–12 inches just when the last spring frost begins to appear. Soak seeds for a day or two before sowing for healthy germination. All it requires is well-drained and enriched soil. It grows well in full sunlight or partial shade. Water regularly and use mulch to keep the soil moist.
If planting in containers, set fennel in slightly larger holders, as it develops roots extensively.
Mint is just right to start off an herb garden. It is recommended to grow mint in a pot as it could choke up the plants around with its invasive runner roots.
Seedlings bought from a garden supply store are the best bet. You should plant mint on a raised bed in partial shade. It needs loose, fertile soil to grow healthy. Water frequently as it dries out fast.
It is a delicious herb. Flat leaf parsley is more flavorful and best for cooking, and the curled variety is used as a garnish.
Parsley is ideally grown from late spring until winter. It is another easy-to-grow herb that requires less sunlight and well-hydrated soil to thrive well. Watch it grow slowly; it takes a bit more time than other herbs.
Pinch off herbs regularly. You should water in moderation. Most herbs grow well with a monthly feed of fertilizer.
Chives, thyme, mint and fennel are perennials.
Dill and basil are annuals. They flower for only one season, so they need to be replanted.
Majority of the herbs do well in good sunlight, while some may need just a little sunlight or full shade. Make sure you read the instructions on the seed packet before planting.
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
- Got a stack of used glass bottles? Create colored bottle edges, burying them neck down side by side in the soil. To lend a quirky country garden charm, mix bottles of different colors, or go monochrome for a toned down look.
- Line your garden edge with used China plates.
- Stack metallic wheels of different sizes.
- Bury fallen tree branches of different heights for a rustic look.
- Use wooden panels of diverse heights alternately for a distressed look.
- Surround a flower bed with logs that bring out the colors charmingly. Sit them in the soil either horizontally or vertically. You are being kind to the environment too!
- Cinder blocks can work as planters, apart from defining the garden boundaries.
- Terracotta pipes work just like cinder blocks – both as planters and garden liners. They would perfectly match up the terracotta planters you have placed around the yard.
Sunday, 24 April 2016
Thursday, 24 March 2016
No need to worry at all! Here are a few simple measures to help you preserve your pride and joy, and at the same time, conform to State regulations.
In water-starved conditions, you can use less fertilizer to minimize water consumption and nutrient stress of your plants. Add instead, humus-rich compost to make the soil naturally healthy. Experts suggest carrying out the manuring process during fall.
In dry weather conditions, cut at a height that would not weaken the grass. Do not clear away the clippings. Let them fall on the ground, and act as mulch to slow down water evaporation from the soil surface. Ensure leaving the clippings small to maintain good air flow and not choke the lawn grass.
Aerate in spring or fall
Aeration minimizes soil compacting. Through good aeration, you open up tiny holes in the ground that allow air, water and nutrients to seep deep into the ground; it helps develop a healthy root system.
Fall is the best time to aerate your lawn, if you had given it a miss in spring. It is best to aerate when the soil is moist enough to open up, say, a day after a rain shower or after you have watered your lawn.
Water in cycles
It is best to irrigate your lawn early mornings before 9 am, or late evenings, to save on water lost due to evaporation from heat. Water the lawn deeply and infrequently to mimic natural rainfall. Usually, a lawn requires about one inch of water once in seven days, applied best in one or two cycles.
Many grasses, during hot spells brown out but do not die. They will revive back to life once they get water. Kentucky bluegrass and fescue, for instance, will go brown without water, but they can survive waterless conditions for about a month.
For efficient watering, consider an automatic irrigation system that would irrigate only the turf and not the hardscape around. Setting a timer is another good idea to water accurately down to the last minute.
If you possess older irrigation systems, it would be a good idea to get them tested by a professional irrigation company; those systems need to be checked for leaks and proper functioning of back flow prevention valves.
Consider lawn substitutes: artificial turf
If your community imposes restrictions on the use of water, or you live in a severely drought-stricken area, it would be wise to go in for lawn substitutes. Consider artificial turf that looks as good as real grass and provides interesting texture. Look out for the grass that grows near your community, and go in for either dark green or light green, to sync with your neighborhood. You can even pick the color of the under layer.
Well, what do you get now? A galore of advantages: you save water, no reseeding worries, no fertilizer seep-off, and you bid farewell to whining gas mowers. There is no sacrifice on aesthetics and you might get monetary benefits too, if there is a State allowance.
The best part of the deal is you get a patch of green for your kids to freely run about, and for a round of lawn games. Bask in the gentle breeze of your garden, and indulge yourself in the soothing tranquility all around!
Wednesday, 24 February 2016
Choosing the right rocks
The soft and crunchy sounding pea gravel is ideal for walkways, or to make subtle locational changes. You can use pea gravel in shades of brown as mulch around trees and in garden beds. The browny thing would blend with tree trunks and pop out the greenery beautifully. For a smooth look on a walkway, use large cut stone squares. You can use interlocking concrete pavers to line a driveway.
Create a checkered mosaic out of red and black flagstones, or fawn and black for a vintage appeal. If you are looking to fill garden beds, decomposed granite is a right choice. Mexican beach pebbles, grayish-black in color, would be ideal, next to a garage. Create a winding path through green landscape with radiant white gravel.
White rocks placed near flowering plants make the blooms burst out against the snowy white background. Pretty, don’t you think?
Aspects to consider
Take into consideration the spot where you would use rocks. Give a good thought to the size and shape of the stones, if you are going to walk on them.
For a blended look, go monochrome. Select two shades of rock in the same color group. Pick rocks in two colors to play on the contrast element.
Certain rocks like Red Shale may fade over a period. Black and other dark-shaded rocks during summers might absorb sun’s heat that could burn the plants around.
Maroon-reddish lava rock is a no-worry choice. It aids good run-off and keeps your flower bed just about hydrated.
Pay attention to the base of the rock you opt for. You might expect to have weeds choking up your plants when you set up boulders with uneven bases. It is wise to install a weed barrier before setting the stones.
Edge a pond for a natural look
Select similar-sized rocks, but go easy on shape and color for a natural look. Make a pleasing path around a pond using large flagstone boulders that you can get in many shades of gray. Limestone in white and red shades may be used, but with caution. Runoff from these stones could turn the water too acidic. Flat granite stones can be used as pavers around the pond.
Craft a rock garden
To lend a rugged look and a touch of Zen to your landscape, plan a good mix of shrubs and perennials alongside boulders set on a bed of Mexican pebbles. Mull over the color scheme that your blooms would unfold.
Swap mulch for rocks
Any type of gravel can be used as a decorative ground cover instead of mulch. Compared to mulch, rocks are: longer lasting; offer many choices: cost less. Unlike mulch, they do not attract insects, and have no runoff worries.
Put up a centerpiece
Create interesting highlights throughout the yard, cleverly alternating boulders in shades of the same color family. A large and quirky shaped boulder can look striking.