Principles Of Courtyard Garden Design

Courtyard garden design comes with an early back ground extending somewhere throughout the days of the Roman Empire on to past civilizations in the north part of Africa as well as other ancient civilizations. With all of that historical past, it might seem that new ideas just for courtyard design could well be difficult to find. Not really so. The very wonder of garden design or landscaping ideas is definitely the almost endless number of ways that you are able to express your ideas through it.

A particular plus most typically associated with a lot of courtyards is their feeling of intimacy. The area – generally not even a particularly big one – is often outlined with solid borders, quite often by using walls. This clearly defined extent of your courtyard plus the uncompromising character of its boundaries present opportunities youre able to turn to advantage.

A way to get started on courtyard design would be to take into consideration aspect. From where exactly is your courtyard area viewed, and also, what can be viewed from it? If the courtyard is not just looked at from your home, but as well as on to from an upper level, more design possibilities might be created. Are the courtyard design ideas a natural part of how your house will be accessed or could it be a private family region to the side or maybe back of the home? Can it get any decent sunshine, or will it be somewhat more shaded? It may possibly even happen to be that your courtyard garden may have one or two different element to consider — maybe that it is actually some sort of atrium, an outdoors location surrounded on all sides from the home; or maybe it can be a rooftop area over a town property, with still larger buildings close to it.

Yet another way of thinking up designing options with the family as well as your landscaping contractor could be to give some thought to how your courtyard garden shall be used. Concerns here are further having to do with, partly, to all of the issues we posed in the last paragraph. Is this courtyard design chiefly a entry, a leisure spot, or can it fulfill some other type of function? Will it need to be childproof? Does it need to cater for individuals with the kind of disabilities such as impaired eye-sight or limited mobility? Does your house have a pet that will also be taking advantage of this enclosed, private area?

It may be fruitful to look indepth at all the present materials inside of or affecting a courtyard. Are there present doorways or windows to take into consideration? Do services including pipes or wires conduct underneath the courtyard area? Do you have trees or plants you might be wanting to keep? In addition, it is a good idea to consider the foreseeable future to ensure that any management of the courtyard is not going to negatively impact any designs for foreseeable growth.

When these issues are looked over and solutions for the numerous issues have been reached, it is time to get started on planning. There are some limitations you must work with: the most crucial worth mentioning are actually weather, aspect together with size. Having a shaded courtyard in Oregon create way different decisions from the ones made for a sun soaked courtyard garden in a place like California. And possibilities suited to a good-sized courtyard in a rustic ranch setting probably won’t work in the dimensions of something like a six by eight courtyard in a big metropolis.

As soon as you realize the constraints, there are several general things that all courtyard plans work with: entrance and departure areas, horizontal areas, vertical areas as well as focals. The individual procedures may fluctuate according to the restrictions already mentioned, and personal preference and spending budget. Subject to where you are located, the amount you want to invest and just how you intend to utilize your courtyard garden, it is possible to create a useful and great looking spot designed to add appeal to your life-style as well as add more value to your property

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Why Hydroponic Gardening Is Becoming More Popular

Hydroponic gardening has spiked in popularity recently mainly because the quality and productivity of hydroponically grown plants has been unmistakable. These plants grow faster and healthier than their soil-grown counterparts. This is due to the fact that they are grown in an environment where there is a virtual limitless supply of nutrients and water at their disposal.

These hydroponically grown plants, because they are not grown in soil, do not need to fight off diseases and pests which are natural in soil. Pesticides can be decreased or even eliminated.

And because the nutrients and water are delivered in just the right proportion directly to the plant’s roots, they are better equipped to grow – faster, healthier, larger!

Hydroponically grown plants have the following benefits:

– They will provide high levels of nutrition

– They will be better tasting

– They will be rich in color.

In hydroponic gardening you will find that the crop’s water and nutritional needs are less complicated and sometimes more effective. Just a few simple measurements and it will be evident what adjustments need to be made to the nutritional balance in the water. All the guesswork is eliminated!

Although nutrient solutions are available from local hydroponic suppliers and contain the correct proportions of essential minerals, gardeners may also make their own nutrient rich solutions. This may sometimes require quite a bit of extra work however.

When it comes to the growing medium that will provide plants their nutrition, different materials have been successfully used. Materials such as sand, porous rock, gravel, pumice, perlite, and vermiculite have all proven to be good choices. Fired clay particles can also be used. These all are capable of providing a way of getting the nutrient rich water into the plant’s root system.

Also, there are various types of containers and pumping arrangements for delivering nutrient solutions to the garden and draining it back to the storage tanks for reuse.

If you’re just starting out in hydroponic gardening you may be wondering which types of plants are most suitable for hydroponic gardens. The answer to this is tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, and cucumbers. There are some types of tomatoes that will continue to produce year round.

Some plants can be started from seeds and seedlings. In this case use commercially available rock wool plugs submerged in the media. These make excellent incubators for germination and seedling growth.

And since hydroponic gardens are self-contained, they can be located just about anywhere space permits. It is not unusual to find these by windows, on rooftops, or in closets.

Market Gardening Success Secrets For The New Grower

If you are a first time market gardener, or thinking about market gardening as a career, there are important ‘success secrets’ you must follow for your garden and your business to thrive.

Success Secret 1: Sell before you sow.

There is more to market gardening than just planting some seed in the ground. You have to market, plan and manage your garden as well. Notice that marketing comes first; you should know how, where and to whom you will sell your produce before you plant it.

In fact, the best marketing approach for a small market garden is the Community Supported Agriculture model. In this model, customers basically subscribe to your market garden, paying you in advance for a season’s worth of fresh vegetables. You deliver the vegetables weekly throughout the season, but get the money up front. This is important cash flow early in the season, to pay for seed and supplies.

Success Secret 2: Seed is cheap, buy lots.

Seed will be one of your lowest expenses, so don’t skimp om your seed order. Seed houses often run out of some varieties later in the season, so don’t wait to order, or expect you can find seeds when you need them. Order more than you think you will need up front. Most seeds keep for several years, so little will be wasted if you don’t use it all that same season.

Success Secret 3: Sow frequently.

As a market gardener, your income depends on selling vegetables weekly throughout the season. This means you have to harvest vegetables weekly throughout the season. Sow often, and sow a lot. Make more than one planting of everything, even the crops that produce all season e.g. indeterminate tomatoes, so you have a backup if something happens to the first planting. Crops like lettuce and other greens need to be sown weekly.

Success Secret 4: Stretch the season.

Your growing season will be a lot longer than your harvesting season. You will be starting plants weeks and months before your first harvest. Unless you are in a really beneficial climate, i.e. warm and sunny year-round, you will need a facility to start and grow your transplants. This might be a heated greenhouse or a plant-starting room with heat and artificial light.

You will need to learn to grow healthy transplants in these environment. Remember it can take 8-12 weeks for some seeds to grow into plants you can set out in your garden. If you lose a batch in the greenhouse, you better have another one coming along behind it, or you lose the season for that crop (remember Success Secret 3.)

Success Secret 5: Start now.

No matter what time of year it is, you can get started on your first market garden. You can read about market gardening, find seed catalogs, and start planning and laying out your first garden. You can contact friends, neighbors and co-workers to see if they might like to subscribe to your garden. You can start working on an advertising flyer to market your garden. Whatever the task, don’t wait to get started on your market gardening dream.

Straw Bale Gardening

Straw Bale Gardening

Straw Bale Gardening is simply another form of container gardening. The difference is that the container is the straw bale, and it is held together by two or three strings. When the straw inside the bale begins to decay, the straw becomes conditioned compost that creates a great plant rooting environment. An essential part of the process is getting the straw bales conditioned. May is about the right time to get started in most of the country. This technique works anywhere in the country or the world, for that matter.

Joel Karsten is a certified Nursery and Landscape Professional through the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association. He hold a BS from the University of Minnesota in Horticulture Science, but his real knowledge on gardening comes from his 35 years of being a gardener. Joels father, Glen Karsten is the owner of Karstens Nursery, and has been growing and selling trees and shrubs for many years near Worthington, MN. Joel spend many hours working in the nursery and even gardening with his Grandma Josephine, as well.

The benefits of a Straw Bale Garden:If you are less capable or interested in doing heavy work of traditional gardening, such as tilling the soil, constant weeding, insects, and disease spraying, Straw Bale Gardening virtually eliminates these challenges.

Any Physical limitation or handicap that restricts you from getting down on the ground, you will appreciate the easier, higher surface access of a straw bale, which eliminates the bending to plant and harvest.

If you have poor soil or limited space to devote to a garden, you will love the low cost and flexibility of placement of your garden. Youll also love how the garden grows once it is properly conditioned.

If you are a seasoned gardener looking for a fun new method, you will love the results.

Joel started teaching the Straw Bale Gardening class in the spring of 2008, and has become a popular instructor at many school districts around Minnesota and Wisconsin. If you are not able to attend his class, you can order his book, Guide To Straw Bale Gardening, by Joel Karsten for $15.00, which includes mailing cost in the USA or Canada.Mail Your Check To:Joel Karsten1313 Willow CircleRoseville, MN 55113

Or order online. A PDF copy is $9.99 (Sorry, I dont have the link, but you can probably Google him.)

Organic Vegetable Gardening A Few Words About Tomatoes

Everybody loves tomatoes. And the taste best when picked from the vine, walked to the butcher block, sliced, and put on the homemade bread with lettuce, bacon, and mayonnaise. My mouth is watering at the thought. First we have to grow the tomato.

Tomatoes come in a numerous varieties, heirloom and hybrid. I just like to eat them. From grape sized and red to gigantic and purple, you can get tomatoes in a virtually unlimited array of colors and sizes. They all grow between three to four feet for you determinate varieties and seven to fifteen feet for your indeterminate varieties. All tomatoes need twenty-four to thirty six inches of space to spread out. If you use deep beds, you can plant a bit closer together and train the vines vertically. The majority of the roots are in the top eight inches of the soil with some fibrous spreading roots going four plus feet down. They like their soil to have a pH of 6 to 7.

Tomatoes love eight or more hours of full sun per day. They cannot tolerate frost and should be started indoors and transplanted to your garden after the last chance of frost. Where I live in Tennessee, that is tax day here in the US, April 15. Did I follow my own advice? Of course not! I planted early and had to cover my tomatoes because we had a frost. Some stakes and old packing blankets over the tomatoes brought them through just fine. They look great and are moving toward the sandwich as I write.

When you do plant your tomatoes, if in rows they should be 18 to 24 inches apart. If you use deep beds as I do, they go 12 inches apart and should be trained up a trellis. Tomatoes love water and should get one to one and half inches per week either from rain or watering. Apply compost or slow acting fertilizer in spring. Tomatoes are heavy feeders and require light supplements every couple of weeks throughout the growing season. Go easy with the nitrogen. You will be well served by spraying your plants with the liquid seaweed extract.

I have had trouble over the years with the tomato hornworm. You know you have them when you see holes in your leaves and black droppings in the foliage of your lovely tomato plant. If you spray your plant with water, the hornworms thrash about and let you know where they are. You will recognize them from the large (3 to 5 inches) , green, caterpillar appearance. The dead giveaway is the horn on their head. They are relatively easy to control by picking of early in the season. You can also dust with BT (bacillus thuringiensis). If the infestation is too awful, use pyrethrum twice, three days apart.

Whiteflies have been the bane of my existence on more than one occasion. The little bugger secrete honeydew that encourages fungus causing the plant to weaken, turn yellow, and die. So sad. You know you have them because your plants start to turn yellow and, when the plant is shaken, a flying could of dandruff flies around your tomato. Insecticidal soap will get rid of the pestilence. If that doesn’t work, use the pyrethrum twice, three days apart.

Hey, have fun and eat the delicious tomatoes. I know I can’t wait.

Few Common Plants To Know For Outdoor Or Indoor Gardening

If you intend on establishing a good indoor or outdoor garden, knowing common plant names is required. As many botanical shops sell with their seeds, seedlings and full grown plants by their common plant name, it is important that you can group common names with scientific names.

There are a few methods to group common plant names with their scientific names. Databases and plant encyclopedias are favored, as most of these will provide images of the plants along with a list of all of their names. If you keep the seed packets when you purchase your plants, they tend to name the scientific name with the regional common plant name.

In quite a few situations, the common plant name is the english version of the latin translation of the name. The latin is also known as scientific, as many scientific names are taken from ancient language.

Some common plant names for plants include Ammania, Bedstraw, Beggarticks, Buckwheat, Bursage, annual, Buttercup, Catnip, Cocklebur, Conzya, Crimson Monkeyflower, Cudweed, Dove Weed and Duckweed.

If you are interested in common plant names for flowering plants, several include african corn lily, african lily, alpine thistle, amaryllis, amazon lily, arum, baby’s breath, balloon flower, barberton daisy, bee balm, bell flower, bells of Ireland, roses, tulips, .clover, gerber daisy and sunflower.

For those of you interested in trees, some common names include popular, oak, birch, coffee trees, rubber trees, lemon trees, orange trees, pear trees, apple, Japanese maple, juniper and ash. If you are gathering information on trees in order to grow in your home or outside, you should know that trees have a much longer grow cycle than flowering plants. Some trees, such as fruit trees, are especially sensitive to their environment. Research should be done before you import any tree that has not already been introduced to the area.

If you live in a region that has poisonous plants, knowing their common plant names can prevent confusion if you or a loved one are exposed to them. Poison ivy, poison oak, belladonna, night shade, alder buckthorn, yew, english ivy, foxglove, monk’s hood, poison hemlock, poison sumac and pokeweed are a few examples of poisonous plants. If you suspect that you have been poisoned by any species of plant, you should seek medical attention immediately. Poisonous plants should not be kept as indoor plants unless precautions are done to prevent injury. Some herbs can be poisonous if used improperly, so many data sources will list useful herbs, such as chives, garlic and cinnamon as poisons, due to improper usage.

Knowing the common names of plants isn’t enough to make certain that you will be able to tend to them in your indoor or outdoor garden. Researching the plants and ensuring that you live in the proper environment for the plants you desire is necessary if you want to make sure your plants have longevity.

Best Tools And Gardening Equipments To Use

Whether you are an enthusiast, an amateur or the expert, you’ll require gardening equipment to function the particular piece of land on your home. Plenty of device categories get into the particular wide category of gardening equipment. A person may feel dejected in case you go to the supplies shops and you see how specialized resources can be. Don’t allow your self impressed and try to match individual requirements and also budget with the particular real resources. Newcomers must discover the things they require for you to start the particular basics of gardening, because they will certainly purchase much more resources after they complete to excellent occupational ranges.

Because component of general gardening equipment we are able to talk about electric resources, hand resources, shovels, spades, rakes, towing products, normal water pumping systems, air resources, casters and also so many much more. But, few individuals require a lot. Whenever you have two floral beds for you to function upon, it’s superfluous to obtain several types of resources for them. Stay towards the basics for low requirements, because an individual otherwise arrive to invest the bundle of money upon resources an individual do not operate. Study or request tips, suggestions and also phrases of guidance from much more experienced gardeners for you to make sure that you select the particular gardening equipment correctly.

A number of individuals may furthermore invoke the particular environmental effect of gardening equipment in the event that all of us believe that lots of resources are gas-powered. If you do not invest within the incorrect resources and you make use of the products within the greatest method possible, lots of good items will certainly arrive out of the experience. Mention must be made too that gardening equipment furthermore consists of components such as footwear and also gloves. They are obtainable with many types, measurements and also designs in a department and also supplies store.

A excellent component about gardening equipment is actually that it doesn’t have to be replaced too frequently. You won’t purchase spades and also rakes each and every calendar year. Perhaps you’ll alter gloves and also shoes but not the particular basics of gardening. In case you do not realize where to start with, my recommendation would be to hunt for suggestions on the internet. The Web gives you accessibility towards the largest gardening clubs, boards and also communities, and also there’s usually some thing for you to discover from the particular much more skilled.

Merely professionals will make investments in intricate and also diverse gardening equipment. Plenty of resources make ease of the particular responsibilities and also establish function much more effective, nevertheless, the particular much more intricate the particular tool, the particular greater the particular price. Individuals who invest in organic gardening, for instance, require to create the mindful choice of the resources they will use. But this rule applies to everybody, even for no more particular reasons!

The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Having Wooden Doors

The exterior door might be the very first thing that someone who visits the home is bound to notice. Therefore, most people are likely to put in considerable thought into it before selecting which type or design of exterior door they want to match to their homes.

Wooden exterior doors are very common amongst house owners. There are a number of reasons for this, for instance wooden doors are cheap and easily available. Strong wooden doors could be obtained in various designs and materials that range from oak, mahogany, pine and timber covered with veneer. In case of wear and tear with time, wooden doors could be easily replaced, redone or modified by altering the locks, adding a fresh coat of paint or just applying a fresh layer of varnish. They can be cut and adjusted to the desired size more easily than other materials such as steel and/or PVC.

The largest benefit regarding solid wooden doors is that they can be made to appear in such a way that they easily miss the attention of miscreants such as thieves and vandals who prey upon unsuspecting residents if the exteriors of a home catch their eye.

The first and foremost concern of a home owner is to ensure sufficient safety for his or her household when deciding on the exterior doors of the house. Wooden doors can have locks and latches attached to them easily.

Nevertheless, determined robbers are capable of break the latch and drill holes to break the lock if they wish to go in the home. Another disadvantage of having wooden exterior doors is that they need constant care and attention in order to maintain them.

Wooden doors have a tendency of acting upon the effect of weather. In summer time the high moisture content of the air is absorbed by them therefore causing the doors to expand, creating cracks on the side of the doors and getting stuck while opening or closing them. This damages the property more if care isn’t taken. In winter the reverse occurs and the door contracts so leaving gaps between the walls and floor, allowing the cold from outside to go through the door and enter the home.

Wooden doors are also susceptible to attacks from termites. Unless they are made from good quality timber and are treated with anti termite solutions regularly one quickly finds that the entire door can crumble from the attack. This is very dangerous so far as security is concerned. Besides termites can cause severe dust allergy. Due to this fact, wooden doors can easily be eaten into and destroyed unless they are taken care of.

Learn All About Creative Handicraft

If you need a gift for a special person, or just need some time to unwind, make a creative handicraft. Crafting is therapeutic when you are feeling stressed, and it also can yield a useful or decorative item. Everyone has some measure of creativity, and with modern kits and patterns, a creative handicraft does not have to end in frustration.

If you have a sewing machine, you can learn to make a creative handicraft that will be a useful and welcome gift. Potholders are a great beginning sewing project that can be made from scrap material or unwanted clothing and a bit of double-fold bias tape. Here are the simple instructions for this creative handicraft.

First cut two 8-inch (21 cm.) squares of fabric to be the front and back of the potholder. Choose coordinating fabrics that match your kitchen for these pieces. To make it easier, you can make an 8-inch square pattern from a piece of cardboard to use as a pattern. Cut more 8-inch squares of any old fabric to stack for the filling. You want the stack of fabric squares to be thick enough to protect you from a hot pot, but thin enough to be flexible and able to be sewn through.

Stack all layers so that the outer layers are facing to the outside and the filler layers are inside. You can put a couple of large straight pins through all layers to keep them together. Now sew right across the middle of the stack. Sew across the middle again, perpendicular to the first stitching. You will have divided the square into 4 squares. Sew across the stack again from corner to corner, and again from the other corner to corner. The layers should be joined and sturdy now.

To bind off the raw edges of your creative handicraft, trim with scissors so that all the layers are again even at the edges. Open out one folded edge of the bias tape. The wider bias tape might seem to be easier to use, but the narrow type makes a neater finished product. Starting at one corner, line up the edges of the tape with the edges of the potholder, and start stitching through all layers along the first fold line, which will be about 1/4 inch from the edge. Stitch neatly and slowly, attaching the opened tape all around the edge until you reach the beginning corner. Cut the bias tape off, leaving 3 inches, (7 cm.) to make into a hanging loop.

Fold the bias tape over the raw edge so that the middle fold lines up with the outside of the potholder and the other fold is hiding the raw edge of the bias tape. Now, for best results, hand sew the binding down, forming a loop on your creative handicraft when you get to the end.

This potholder is just one example of a creative handicraft you can create if you have a sewing machine. When it is finished, you will have a useful item made from all recycled materials. Feel free to give this creative handicraft away or keep it for yourself.

Unique Fathers Day Gift – Fiskars 7067 Garden Tool Set

Brief Overview Of The Garden Tool Set

The Fiskars 7067 3-Piece Softouch Garden Tool Set includes a trowel, cultivator, and transplanter, which makes it excellent for outdoor, patio and indoor gardening use.

These tools are made of single-piece aluminum that makes it rust-resistant. Hence, the tools are light and are great for any gardening tasks. Plus, the handles are comfortable, have a secure grip and are designed ergonomically so that your wrists are at a neutral position when using the tools.

Also, not forgetting the fact that each of these tools in the Fiskars 7067 garden tool set also have hanging holes so you can store them easily in the garage.

Customers’ Feedback About This Fiskars 7067 3-Piece Softouch Garden Tool Set

A huge majority of the customers have given this Fiskars 7067 garden tool set a big thumbs up Citing reasons such as the fact that these tools are very rugged, and that they are covered by lifetime warranty by Fiskars, as reasons why they are extremely satisfied with their purchase.

Plus, they have also commented that the handles of each of these tools were built in such a way that it not cause any hurt to their hands from gardening (unlike many of the other gardening tools they have used before).

And finally, in terms of its cost, many agree that this gardening tool set is priced at a very reasonable price (it currently cost just $13.99 on Amazon.com with free shipping at this time of writing) and they said that it is money very well-spent.

Our Final Verdict

If your dad is those who loves gardening, then this Fiskars 7067 3-Piece Softouch Garden Tool Set will definitely make an excellent gift for your dad this Father’s Day.

These tools will be a great addition or replacement to his gardening tools and he will certainly be delighted to receive this gift. The tools are light but still strong, and thus can help relive the strain on his hands while gardening. Your dad will definitely love gardening with these tools by Fiskars as they are comfortable yet sturdy.

Furthermore, the garden tool set is priced really affordably (as mentioned earlier it cost just $13.99 on Amazon.com with free shipping at this time of writing) so it is great if you are on a budget but still want to get something useful for your dad who loves gardening. These tools also come with a lifetime warranty so your dad need not worry that the tools will break easily.

Therefore, if your dad loves gardening, make him happy by giving him the Fiskars 7067 3-piece garden tool set on Father’s Day.