10 Plants and Flowers That Are Super Easy to Start From Seed

For most cases, flower seeds can be planted when frost is no longer a threat. If you want to start a garden, these are the plants and flowers that are easier to grow from seeds.

There are many reasons why starting plants from seed is a great option. For one, it’s much cheaper — especially if you are growing large amounts. And, in the summer, when most plant nurseries are cleaned out, you can use seeds to fill holes in the garden left by spring bloomers. Below is a list of 10 that require little more than soil, water and a regular spring garden temperatures.

(C) Pocenie.info

(C) Pocenie.info

Tips for direct seeding
To plant directly in your garden, first make sure your soil is weed free and finely raked. After planting, give the seeds a gentle watering, being sure not to wash them away. After sowing, you may need to water every day or two, depending on the weather. If there isn’t enough moisture when the seeds begin to germinate, they will die very quickly — so water gently and regularly.

Sunflower
There is a wide range of colour and form in sunflowers these days; from palest yellow to darkest red, branching or single stem, miniature to towering. Sunflowers prefer to be direct seeded and need full sun. Try varieties like strawberry blonde, Moulin Rouge, lemon queen and Russian mammoth.

Read more: http://www.chatelaine.com/home-decor/easy-flowers-to-start-from-seed

 

10 Ways To Style and Care For Poinsettia

Poinsettias are a large part of Christmas tradition, they are displayed indoors or out. This article will guide us to select and maintain the poinsettia flower.

As much a part of the Christmas decorations as the tree itself, the poinsettia is a seasonal bestseller – a staggering six million poinsettia plants will go to good homes in the UK this Christmas.

So, to give it the treatment it deserves, we have some stylish ideas from the experts at Stars for Europe to free your poinsettia from its plastic pot and bring it into the style spotlight. We also asked their advice on how to keep your poinsettia looking good all Christmas long.

(C) Plants4Present

(C) Plants4Present

POINSETTIA CARE TIPS

1. Steady on the watering

Poinsettia are not very thirsty plants and they react badly to overwatering, which causes the roots to rot. All your poinsettia needs is a light sprinkling every other day need to give them only a light sprinkling every other day to keep them fresh

2. Keep it snug

As a native of Mexico, the poinsettia is a delicate flower. It cannot abide cold temperatures and draughts and is at its happiest at 15-20˚C. Do take care to shelter your poinsettia from the cold on the way home and to then place it somewhere warm and away from chilly draughts.

Read more: http://www.countryliving.co.uk/homes-interiors/gardens/a1094/10-ways-to-style-and-care-for-poinsettia

 

A Brief Look at Three Common Lawn Diseases

Lawn disease could be a real hassle. They can do significant harm to your lawn in a very little while. The main culprit for lawn disease is fungus. It is possible to identify fungus from the emergence of spots, circles, patches or even the existence of various colors like brown or yellow or red in your lawn. It is necessary that you take care of lawn diseases with no delay. Here are some common illness that you know about and how you are able to get rid of them or at least put them under control.

The first lawn disease we would be checking out is the Dollar Spot. It is frequently seen in Kentucky Bluegrass, Bent Grass and Bermuda. It thrives in humid climates. As the name implied, it looks like a small dollar sign and it is usually brown or straw colored. Dollar Spots appear in your lawn swiftly throughout drought conditions plus lawns that has low-level of nitrogen.

There are a number of cure measures which should be adopted to avoid dollar spots. Make sure to frequently water the lawn. Watering helps in retaining moisture in the soil, therefore avoiding the fungus growth. It is recommended water the lawn area at intermediate regular intervals rather than short time. In addition watering ought to be done early in the morning. Such conditions are the very best in order to avoid the growth of dollar spot infection in the region.

Rust is another common lawn disease. If you find your leaf blades turning orange or rusty, it is likely that Rust has appeared in the lawn. Rust is often found in Ryegrasses and Kentucky Bluegrass. Morning dew, shade, high soil compaction, and low fertility are factors in which contribute to its growth. To discover in case your lawn is infected with Rust, it is possible to have a white tissue or paper towel and rub a few grass blades with it. When the orange or rusty color remains, it is most likely Rust.

The most effective way to getting rid of rust is by aerating your lawn. You need to water your lawn well in the morning hours and lower shade to the grasses. It’s also advisable to mow your lawn more frequently with bagging of the grasses. In addition, it is possible to increase the nitrogen level of the soil by following a normal fertilization schedule. Should you decide to use fungicides, you can look at Triadimefon and Anilazine.

Next is the red thread disease that appears like areas of pink grass. You can actually see red or rust colored threads on the grass. This lawn disease enjoys cool humid climates. These patches at the area affected are commonly seen in irregular shapes. Ironically, you are able to only completely find out the disease when it reaches its more complex stages.

Since the lawn with lack of nitrogen is much more prone to the condition for that reason make sure to use a high quality fertilizer with adequate nitrogen percentage. Additionally, a well drained lawn helps in avoiding the fungus of the red thread disease.

As you can see, you can cure or put lawn diseases in order by appropriately looking after you lawn. Mowing too low, watering badly under fertilizing along with other unwanted lawn care techniques can bring about the growth of lawn disease. Just by shelling out time and effort to learn and apply good lawn care techniques, you are going to always to a few steps ahead of the lawn diseases.

 

Winter Growing: Heating Greenhouses

If you have a greenhouse, you should probably think about getting a heater to keep your plants thriving during the winter months. It is also important to select a suitable heating system and to ensure that there is adequate ventilation.

Greenhouses are wonderful places, especially in the spring when benches are filled with brilliant green starts, and in the summer, its doors and roof vents propped open, with cucumbers trailing from the ceiling and tomatoes ready for picking. But in winter? Not so much. Overwintering herbs and potted plants cluster together for warmth. A few brown, leafless cucumber vines hang from an overhead trellis. Kale and spinach are over-picked and the seeds you planted have yet to sprout.

(C) tinyfarmblog.com

(C) tinyfarmblog.com

It’s a winter-time fact in most parts of the country: greenhouses, even those that might be attached to the house or garage, need some kind of heat source (of course, supplying appropriate light is equally important). My first, only partially realized, greenhouse up in the rain forests of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula needed heating just to keep the humidity down. But in most parts of the country, cold is the problem. You may have built your greenhouse with visions of supplying your family fresh, year-’round greens. But winter growth and germination are difficult when soil temperatures seldom climb out of the low 50 degree level. Sure you can use a heating mat to encourage germination. But even the hardiest green grows slowly — very slowly — when nighttime air temperatures plunge.

The germination mat is one kind of way to bring the temperatures you need to your greenhouse. There are as many ways of heating your greenhouse as there are greenhouses, and some of the new energy-conscious heating techniques (fuel is expensive!) are promising if not proven.

Read more: https://www.planetnatural.com/greenhouse-heating

 

How to Force Bulbs

If you like growing spring bulbs, there are many things that you need to look into. You can start working on your spring planting bulbs as early as late winter or in the spring depending on your climate. Consider these tips before embarking on spring bulb planting.

Winter is wonderful—it just doesn’t need to linger so long. During the depths of the season, I find myself thirsting for something to lift my spirits in a green sort of way. Actually, a little dose of color wouldn’t be bad, either.

That’s where forcing spring bulbs comes in. You’ve probably seen the phenomenon in the supermarket: During February or March—somewhere between the vegetables and the houseplants—you can usually find a few pots of token pearly white tulips and a ‘Tête-à-Tête’ daffodil or two. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Many spring bulbs are more thrilling than those old standbys in the florist aisle.

(C) Garden - LoveToKnow

(C) Garden – LoveToKnow

To force spring bulbs, all you need is a little planning and a cool place to store them. You wouldn’t want to open my refrigerator in January because there’s scant space for anything but a few edible essentials; bulbs take up the lion’s share of the space from Thanksgiving to February.

But a refrigerator isn’t the only option. You can chill bulbs in a barely heated garage, a barn, a cool basement, or an enclosed porch.I’ve been forcing bulbs for years. Every season is different, and every year, I try a few newbies. Usually, they work. But regardless of the outcome, I never regret devoting the time and space to the project.

Forcing bulbs adds drama to a home; you can customize the presentation; and you can’t beat the fulfillment factor. Here are some of my favorites.

Read more: http://www.finegardening.com/how-force-bulbs

 

 

3 Chores to Do Now to Prep Your Garden for Winter and Spring

If you are one among those nature lovers you will sometimes realize that winter season is not the best time of the year for you. I believe gardening is a passionate hobby that should be pursued year round. So prep up your garden for this coming winter.

As fall arrives, the days get shorter, and the rhythms of school and work return. Now is the time to clear the garden and plant for the coming seasons. How can we do this in a sustainable way that honors the land’s need for restoration, as well as ours?

During this busy season, break down the daunting task of fall garden prep into smaller chunks. By doing so, you’ll reduce your environmental impact by recycling nutrients back into your soil while maintaining what you have. Additionally, you’ll have a garden that can revive itself during the slower winter months with minimum work on your part.

(C) thecurrent.org

(C) thecurrent.org

Try these three important bite-size chores to get your garden and tools ready for fall and winter. I do these while I wait for my coffee to steep — five minutes — or for my boys to find their missing soccer cleats — 15 minutes to an entire afternoon.

1. Jump-Start a Compost Pile

Compost piles are the Rumpelstiltskins of the garden, magically spinning dried straw, leaves and stems into gardener’s gold: compost rich in organic matter, moisture-retaining humus and nutrients that create healthy, strong plants and reduce the need for chemical fertilizers. Food scraps and yard waste make up 20 to 30 percent of what we throw into landfills, where they create toxic greenhouse gases. Instead of throwing away your dried leaves, collect them into a pile to turn into rich compost for your spring planting.

Read more: https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/91233934/list/3-chores-to-do-now-to-prep-your-garden-for-winter-and-spring

 

5 Tree Surgery Techniques

Tree surgery is a highly skilled profession in the area of arboriculture. A tree surgeon can carry out a variety of work from tree surgery to care of other varieties of plants. If you require work on any trees or shrubs that is beyond the skill range of a gardener, it is really worth getting a tree surgery.

1.Tree Pruning

Pruning is an important tree surgery process in which dead wood is removed from the tree. The method also encompasses decreasing and also thinning of branches enabling more air and sunlight to reach the upper floors of your residence, located in proximity to the pertinent tree. This technique plays a part in altering the aesthetic price of your house as well boosting the tree safety and health.

(C) Kent Gardening

(C) Kent Gardening

2. Felling and Lowering

Whenever building improvement gets in the way of the surrounding trees, surgeons can be required to take them down or at the very least manipulate them in a way where they are not in harms ways. The biggest thing to keep in mind in these cases is to control the tree. Methods of lowering include, tipp roping, butt roping, and cradling.

3. Tree Thinning

Often necessary when tree growth produces problems and becoming too large, thinning trees enables much more light through and lower stress and strain on it. This is a highly specialist job that if not done properly can result in the demise of the tree. A professional will fully justify the costs by cautiously deciding on the areas to thin with no damage to the tree.

4. Removal

Tree Surgeons frequently have to cope with fallen, or dead trees. The may need to felled due to distance to a house, or because they’re dead and present a falling risk. Once felled, they have to be cut into manageable sizes. Only then can the roots and stump be removed, which may require stump grinding, a lot of digging, or the usage of chemicals.

5.Grafting

This is a specialist technique which a tree surgeon can recommend. It could be as easy as trying to grow a new tree from a current cutting, or the joining of two struggling trees to make one.

 

Worm Composting

If you have heard about worm composting, you are probably wondering what it actually is. It certainly sounds like we are planing to make compost from worms but don’t worry they are just our little helpers. Worm composting can be done indoors in a basement or a kitchen, or outdoors on a back porch.

When I told my 40-something daughter I had taken up worm composting, she gave me a horrified look and declared, “I don’t want to know about it. Don’t show me where they are. And don’t ask me to take care of them if you go out of town!”Worm Composting

Despite their unsavory image, I’ve become very fond of worms. I turned to worm composting—or vermiculture—when I became disabled with a chronic illness several years ago. Though I had been an avid gardener for years, hauling garden wastes and turning compost piles suddenly became impossible. I needed an easy, affordable, and low-maintenance way to keep composting. I discovered that a couple of pounds of wriggling worms can turn my kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich compost in about 60 days. There’s little or no odor, and no heavy lifting. And, best of all, my worms make compost in a compact container right in my own home.

WORMS EAT IT UP

Worms are nature’s ultimate recyclers—taking garbage in and turning out black gold. To create a worm-composting haven in a bin, you can’t use just any old worms. You need worms that are real chowhounds. Red wigglers, which are also called red worms, are the most voracious eaters of the earthworm family. They can consume half their own weight in organic matter each day and leave behind fertile compost. Pale red, the tiny, threadlike, baby worms grow from 1/8 inch up to 4 inches long at maturity.

Read more: http://www.finegardening.com/worm-composting

 

50 Things You Can Compost

Composting is just like making your own rich fertilizer. It helps plants grow faster and healthier.  For starters, it will help feed your plants with the nutrients they need. Plus, if your compost is very rich in nutrients, you prevent the growth of soil diseases. So what are the things you can add in your compost bin?

One of the most common questions among beginning composters is “what can I put in my compost bin?” While it helps to know that there are two basic types of materials (greens and browns, i.e., nitrogen-rich and carbon-rich) to put into your bin, it might be even more helpful to have a detailed, go-to list of things you can compost.

(C) Butterfliesandbumblebees.org

(C) Butterfliesandbumblebees.org

Not everything on this list will be for everyone. Some people, worried about pests in their compost, will decide to forgo composting grains such as rice, pasta, and bread. Others will decide that they would just rather recycle newspapers than compost them. That’s fine. Consider this list a starting point; a place to get ideas for what you can safely compost.

You’ll notice several items missing from this list, such as meat, dairy, and fats. While you can technically compost all of these (especially if you have a Bokashi compost bin) I’ve left them off this list because extra care must be taken to compost these items safely. The items on this list are safe for you, and for your garden.

Read more: https://www.thespruce.com/things-you-can-compost-2539612

 

Front-Yard Veggies

If you are planning to start a vegetable garden but doesn’t have enough space on their backyard, then a front yard can be a good option also. Learn the do’s and don’ts for growing a vegetable garden at your front yard.

t seems like everyone wants to grow vege­tables these days, but many home owners are reluctant to do so in their front yard, even when it happens to be the sunniest, most desirable spot. After all, vegetable gardens can get chaotic by the end of the growing season, and they tend to look stark and bare in the off-season. Front-yard veggie gardens, though, can be created that have multi­-seasonal appeal, such as the garden that I designed for Kristan and Ben Sias in Portland, Oregon.

(C) Pinterest

(C) Pinterest

Kristan (photo right), an avid cook, had been growing edibles in a small, out-of-the-way corner of her front yard for years. The location’s size and limited sunlight prevented her from growing the amount and variety of food that she wanted. This new design and location, however, offers plenty of room for edibles—plus, a pleasing streetside view.

LET THE SPACE INSPIRE THE DESIGN

A front-yard vegetable garden requires as much attention and forethought as a highly visible ornamental garden, especially when space is at a premium. Start planning your layout by considering the shape of your space; employ curves, angles, and straight lines to create an efficient and artful design.

Read more: http://www.finegardening.com/front-yard-veggies