Yearly Archives: 2013

Home Gardening Tips & More for Beginners

flower gardenGardening has become a pleasant hobby for many people. This is a good way to escape the hustle bustle of everyday life. It is also a means of relaxation for most people, and the best way to transform a vacant lot into something beautiful. However, homeowners think that gardening is expensive. Nevertheless, there are numerous ways to do home gardening without hurting your pocket. Here are some thrifty ways to do your gardening:

  • Find a vacant lot. If you have a large space in either front or backyard, you can turn this into a garden depending on the concept you have.

  • Think of a concept. Before starting your work, try to think of a concept. This will help you achieve the desired results of your home gardening plan.

  • Look for designs. There are numerous designs available in the internet, magazines and gardening books that will help you create that perfect plan.

After you have decided on what approach to take, choose which plants to use. Typically, a flower garden is the most common choice for first time gardeners. This is because there are many varieties to choose from. If you live in a place where there are four seasons, try selecting annual flower-bearing plants. This will allow you to move them in a shelter once winter occurs.

How to Start Your Flower Gardenhome garden

Before planting your flowers, make sure that you have prepared the lot. Use herbicide to get rid of grasses. The latter usually hinders successful thriving of plants as they share the nutrients of the soil where these flowers are planted. Then cover it with black plastic sheeting and let it stay for two weeks prior planting. You can do this during the late winter season when frosts are already minimal.

Always think about the climate of your location. This will help you pick out good flower choices for your garden. Take note that your plants should also be environmentally-friendly and will not house rodents. Some pests could also use it as nesting grounds therefore you should choose your plants carefully.

Think about the colors that you want your flower garden to have. For instance, you can start a row by planting red colored flowers and the second row with plants bearing blue flowers. This would create a good sight as a colorful flower garden can soothe and relax the eyes.

Advantages of Home Gardening

There are many advantages that home gardening brings. Here are some of the advantages that you can get from doing your own home garden:

  • Relaxation. Working homeowners get tired and bored from their usual day at work. With a garden at home however, there is something new to do and look forward to. Those who are staying at home may also find gardening relaxing. It can also be rewarding once the results are seen during your flowers first bloom.

  • A good way to spend leisure time. Instead of partying and intoxicating yourself with alcoholic drinks, gardening can promote a healthy lifestyle. This is because you get to move your body while you work on your garden. This would serve as a good exercise that would keep your body healthier as you would be working in your garden on a daily basis.

  • Money wise. A simple home garden would allow you to spend money wisely. Instead of shopping around for things that you don’t necessarily need, invest in a garden. It’s an inexpensive hobby that also gives you the satisfaction once your flowers start to bloom.

  • Home beautification. A garden is a good way to add beauty to your house especially if you have empty spaces. This will not only make you feel good but also other people who would pass by and stare at your home’s façade.

Grow Ivy Vines in Your Garden and Get Attention

Vines are widely known today in garden creation. More and more gardeners are getting interested in growing vines in their yard. These vines are perfect for a limited-space garden. Vines have great qualities that always get attention from passersby. They twist, curl, grow straight and form an arc following the trellis they are into. These climbing plants add uniqueness to the garden.

Just like any plant they need proper attention to grow healthy. Once the vines start to set and climb your assigned trellis, the magic begins. It can be a piece of art, together with other blooming flowers and hanging plants.

Begin with Easy Growing Climbers

For starters, it is better to start with fast growing vines. Learn the basics in planting vines before venturing into another vine project. Ivy – this is the most basic type of vine plant – common and easy. Ivy is available in different variations so you can still choose what suits in your garden.

  • Grape Ivy – this type considers moist, well drained soils. It can grow in various lighting conditions but opt for partially shaded areas.
  • English Ivy – this type has greenish-white flowers. English ivy prefers loamy soils to grow healthy.
  • Bullock’s Heart Ivy – this type has large heart-shaped leaves. It has greenish-white flowers and prefers to live in well-drained soil, partly shaded area.
  • Boston Ivy – this plant is ideal to climb stones, arbors, brick walls and large-sized trellis. It thrives in medium moist soils with good watering system.

Opportunistic Plants

If you are planning to add this plant in your garden, ensure that there are good spaces between them and the next growing plants. Be careful in planting them because they can be opportunistic and will climb into other plants if not regularly checked.

Dig Bigger Holes

Sometimes, the roots of these plants outgrow in time. To ensure that it won’t create any hassles while growing, dig bigger holes large enough to accommodate its root ball.  It is advisable to have 1 to 2 feet spacing for the next garden plant.

Watering Approach

Just like any other plant, ivy needs enough water. Allow the soil to be moist but not wet. Consider the place where they are located, if it’s in direct sunlight water them more often than those in partly shaded areas.


General purpose fertilizer is enough for them to thrive. However, if you want fast growing ivy, put high-nitrogen fertilizer and follow the instructions in its package. Make sure to give them water after fertilizer application to avoid burning of foliage.


Though fertilizers can give them the needed nutrients, additional supplements won’t do any harm. Apply organic mulch made from compost-waste and straws.

If you are up to the challenge of planting something new in your garden then these ivy vines are just perfect. Start to recreate your conventional garden, add some textures and curves in it for a complete look. In the future you can just keep on adding new vines suitable for your garden appeal.

Survive Summer: Water-Saver Landscape

Water is one of the basic needs of the plant, however with the increasing environmental consciousness, water-wise practices is advisable. You can do magic on your own garden by using Xeriscaping technique.

Sounds unfamiliar to you?

Xeriscaping is an alternative method that you can apply on your landscaping project. Xeriscaping is a technique that involves using native plants to produce low-water landscape. The best choices of plants include yucca, cactus, bougainvillae and penstemon.

Apart from xeriscaping, there is also some survival landscaping inspirations that you might consider when trying to save money watering. The following are some of the ideas for your landscaping project:

Plant on Sidewalks

Sidewalks and pathways is where usual water runoff happens. It is advisable that these parts need to be maximized. Planting foliage strips along these walkways will lessen moisture waste. Thyme or low plants are also good options in this area.

Play with Slopes

It is important that every part of the garden is covered or else weeds will take over. In uneven areas, thyme is a good choice to catch water that might be put to waste. Adding some blooming flowers that don’t require too much water is another option combined with evergreens and shrubs for additional texture.

Drought Tolerant Masterpiece

More often than not, drought tolerant plants do not offer colorful blooms but instead have unique foliage worthy to have in any garden. These plants are mostly partnered with grasses for a complete look. Shade is also an important factor that helps in minimizing water from evaporation.

Mixed Garden Bed

Sometimes a good garden bed is a combination of hardscape features like a big boulder or a rock formation that can be the focal point, group of drought tolerant plants and varieties of flowering in between to fill in the gap. In this set up, it helps maintain the moisture of the soil and additional compost for the soil can make a big difference.

Good Combination of Grasses

There are actually ornamental grasses that display colorful flowers. These kinds of grasses are perfect to plant along run down sloping areas. Also, a rain barrel is advisable to recycle rainfall in times of summer. And as much as possible, consider a gravel pathway instead of concrete so soil can absorb the water, directly adding moisture to the ground.

Take Care of Your Lawn

During summer when water is scarce, it is wise to mow the lawn at least 3 inches high so it won’t completely expose the roots. Don’t take for granted the lawn as your garden landscaping will look bare without these covering lawn grasses.

Along the Garden Walkways

Native plants grow healthy for a long period of time compared to foreign species that is why they have to be present in your garden. Pathways going to your garden don’t have to lay bare; these native plants can totally transform it. Apply enough mulch on the soil to remain moist.

The Proper Method of Water Distribution

If you are landscaping your garden, water distribution among plants is a challenge. As much as possible, you need to find ways to ensure that even in period of drought, the soil is still moist.

  • Drip irrigation – install drip irrigation in your garden, this way your plants will directly be hydrated, lessening potential water waste.
  • Sprinkler Leaks – check if spray heads are not blocked and replace sprinkler heads if there are leaks. This can help conserve your landscape water consumption.

A garden is not a reason for the increase of water consumption. Landscaping can help a lot – you just have to know what foliage to plant. You can still conserve water without compromising the appeal of your landscaping project.

Keep your Garden Weed-Free Organically

Weeds are the well-known enemy of gardeners taking the moisture and nutrients from the plants. They hinder plant growth and ruin your garden. They spread diseases and invite insects and pests.

There are several ways to deal with weeds. However, you should consider some factors before implementing the methods.

There are chemicals solutions available in the market but using them might risk the health of your plants. Fortunately, there are eco-friendly and effective ways to eliminate those weeds in your organic garden. It is an inexpensive, easy and natural way to remove or prevent the growth of weeds.

You can get rid of the weeds by pulling them out but it could take the entire day just to remove them from your plants. It is also inconvenient to just pull them out because the weeds will still be persistent to grow.

Weeds grow in area where there are sufficient nutrients which is why they most likely invade your organic garden. They can easily be a competitor for your young plants which could be a threat to your plants’ growth and development.  So here are some all-natural ways to prevent and kill weeds:


Mulch is used by most gardeners to retain moisture in the soil especially during drought and winter days. Another use of much is the prevention of weeds. This blocks the sunlight that is necessary for weeds to spread rapidly. You can make use of leaves, comfrey, shredded bark, grass clippings and hay as mulch in order to control or prevent the growth of weeds.

You can easily put it around your plant, transfer or store it for your convenience. Not only does it control the weeds, it also make your plants healthy as they are used as materials in compost.


One household solution to your weed problem is vinegar. Yes you read it right, vinegar. Vinegar which you usually use in your recipe and as cleaning solution in your home.

Vinegar has acetic acid that can easily eliminate the weeds. However, vinegar only has five percent acetic acid which is relatively low, so you must repeatedly apply it on the weeds to completely eliminate them.

The higher the acetic acid is, the more effective it is to kill the weeds. This is one way you can easily get rid of the weeds in a natural way.

Yes vinegar is an organic weed killer but it can still harm your plants when not properly applied. So make use of a brush to accurately apply vinegar to the weeds and not on plants.

You can also make use of spray. Make sure to spray it on close proximity so even a weak wind can’t change the direction of your spraying.

Soil Solarization

This is another effective and organic way to get rid of the weeds. However, it only takes effect in places where there is constant warm temperature and more than enough sunlight. In soil solarization, you make use of plastic tarpaulin and cover up the soil for 4-6 weeks but make sure that the soil receives generous amount of sunlight.

The soil will heat up to 125 degrees which is enough to kill the persistent weeds and fungi. It can also release nutrients in the soil, making it fertile and healthy for further growth of your plants.

When you are planting your crops, make sure they are in accurate distance to each other like what is mentioned in the seed package when you buy them in garden stores. This could prevent the weeds from getting in between the plants and rob them of the nutrients.

Weeds can be parasitic at times. They attach themselves to the plants and get all the nutrients needed for plant survival so make sure to get rid of them immediately. This could cause your plants to wilt or worse, die.

Chemical solutions may be very effective in killing the weeds but it is harmful not only to the health of your plant, but to you and your family’s health as well. Make sure to stick with organic methods – they are safe and effective.

Make sure to look out for your yard for any infestation and invasion of these weeds because they will greatly affect your garden. Always check if your plants are still in good condition after you have applied weed killers, make use of all-natural methods and follow the tips above. Once you do, you will surely have a weed-free, healthy garden.

Mini-Garden for your Apartment

If you have a passion in gardening, then you must feel bored and miserable in your tiny apartment. If you think outside of the box of how you can make your hobby into a reality, then indoor gardening might have crossed your mind.

gardeningIndoor gardening is now the solution of most gardeners to practice their love for gardening even with limited space.Gardening doesn’t only provide you fresh crops but also creates a healthy and natural ambiance to your interiors.

Here are some helpful tips before you embark on your task of creating your own indoor garden.

Preparing Your Vegetable Container

You can use wooden planks for this task. You can construct it depending on the length of the area where you wish to place the plants.

You can create three sets if you are planning to grow at least three kinds of vegetables. Then fill it up with soil. Make sure your soil is in good condition. Then carefully place your seedlings on each of the container.

Make sure that they receive enough sunlight and water for survival. Also make sure that your containers have drainage holes so the excess water will not accumulate inside and damage the soil.

Make Use of the Available Space

Don’t be frustrated if you don’t have the large yard you need for your plants. Maximize the space available by making your plants grow upward. Since you are restricting your roots to grow further, then they need more attention and care as well as water and nutrients.

Be Resourceful

There are countless choices of containers you can use for your plants. Baskets, boxes, plastic bags, clay pots and buckets can be a turned to a garden.

One advantage of using container is no grass or weeds will likely invade the soil of your plants. Tomatoes grow best in containers while you can place eggplants, peppers and cucumbers in your patio or terrace.

Herb Garden

You can also cultivate herbs in your small apartment. Aside from its culinary benefits, herbs are excellent natural medicines. They have more minerals, vitamins and beta carotene than vegetables.

Indoor gardening does not consume much of your time. Just placing them in area where they can receive sunlight and provide them their needed water and nutrients, and they will likely survive in your apartment.

Indoor gardening does not only provide home-grown vegetables but also enhances the aesthetic of your interiors. Use your creativity in order to turn your hobby to a real indoor garden.

Winter Ahead: Prepare your Landscape for Fall

landscapingAs the heat gradually reduces and you feel the cold breeze, it is also time for you to prepare your landscaping ideas and tools in order to get the garden ready for the change of season– the coming of winter. There is a long list of things to do in order to prepare your plants for the cold season so you can have blooming flowers as spring approaches.

It is essential that gardeners always monitor their landscape during autumn and there are few tips to follow on how one can maintain their health of their plants.

  1. Rake is an important tool to keep your garden healthy especially during autumn. If you fail to rake dried leaves, then you can attract more insects and pests to your garden. Also it is definitely unpleasant to look at a garden filled with dried leaves.
    Rake them and make sure to put them in a bin. This could be your compost that you can later mix with the soil, in order to give the soil the nutrients it needs.
  2. Aerating your soil would be perfect at this time. This will prepare your soil for the cold temperature and snow storms. Through this, water is absorbed properly by the plants for nutrients. Aeration will prevent compaction of the soil and provide a good drainage system as the winter approaches.
  3. Fall is also the perfect time for the planting. Planting your spring bulb is ideal on this season. It will help establish roots and bear fruits by spring or summer. Also plant your shrubs and small trees.
  4. Remove the dead flowers, leaves or stems. The plants that have bloomed in summer will start to wither and die. By removing this, your garden will look fresh and healthy when fall comes.
  5. Take care of the lawn. It is essential that fertilizer and water is sprinkled on the lawn in order to condition it for the season. This will keep your lawn green and healthy.
  6. Make sure to check your plants for diseases and pests. Make sure to be keen and check every part of your plant if there is yellowing or wilting so you can immediately tend to its needs. If not tended, this could damage your other plants further.
  7. It is essential that your plants get enough nutrients from the soil. To achieve this, the soil should be mixed with compost and mulch. Compost will give the nutrients while the mulch will retain the moisture in the soil. Make sure to give all the nutrients your flowers and plants need for their survival.
  8. Pruning is applicable. Excess branches can be pruned so they have time to grow before winter arrives. Make sure to prune them properly.
  9. Make sure your drainage system is ready for winter. If there are certain parts of the garden that snow accumulates more, then you should fix it. Once the snow melts and your drainage does not work, there would be pooling of water that could drown the nearby plants. So make sure to check all your drainage system if they are working properly.landscape

The tips mentioned above are all essential for the maintenance of the beauty of your landscape and garden when autumn arrives. This is also a preparation for the coming winter.

As a gardener, you should prioritize the health of your plant before anything else. This could help your greenery survive and grow again for spring.

Planting in fall is also ideal just make sure to choose plants that can survive the extreme temperature. You can also cover up your plants in order to protect them and make sure it is properly done. As the season changes, it is important that you prepare your garden for the changing of temperature so you can have blooming and lush plants for next year.

Make a Lasting Impression with Front-Yard Landscaping

landscapingThe appearance of your front yard makes many visitors visualize what they expect when they enter the house. This is the reason homeowners give time to make improvements in their front yard. This serves as the front extension of your house so it should really make a good impression to your guests.

Landscaping ideas for your front yard add that warm invitation and curb appeal to your house. It also increases the value of your house if you plan to sell it. However, the improvements should not be expensive and you can truly stick to the budget if planned carefully.

Although they are simple designs and structures, they make a significant impact to the overall design of the house. It is essential that landscaping ideas should be aesthetical and functional at the same time.Here are some landscaping ideas to improve or update your front yard:

Determine your Focal Point

For your front yard, your door is your focal point and all your improvements should lead to this point. Paint your door a color that complements well with the design of the house.

Make sure to create a pathway that leads up to the door so guests could easily find their way in. To make it more elegant, you can place garden pots along the pathway like a welcoming party for your guests.

Make Use of your Plants

Placing garden pots around your front yard can also make a good impression to your guests. You could also make use of shrubs and vertical plants in order to soften the sharp edges of the house.

You can also cut down excess branches of your plants to make them look clean and well-trimmed. You could also do great shapesor figures from your bushes in order to have interesting objectsin your front yard.

Garden Furniture Bring Elegance

Garden furniture are not only for patios orbackyards, they can also be used for the appeal of your front yard. A set of chairs and tables look inviting for guests and make them feel welcome in your home. Make sure that this part of the garden has shade so you and your guests can come around to have some tea or snacks while catching up and not worry about the heat.

This furniture brings that elegant feel to your garden and adding some cushion on the seats make them comfortable for visitors. So you can have fun while enjoying the beautiful view of your front yard.

Create the Center of Attraction

Creating a beautiful attraction at the middle of your front yard will surely make your property a noticeable one. You can incorporate flowering plants to the garden.

It would be advisable if you make use of perennials for an all-year round supply of blooming flowers and they really landscapinglook good at the center. You could also make use of stones or bricks in order to define the border around the center.

Make a Beautiful Entrance

Arbor does a great job in creating a gorgeous entrance or gate for your front yard. It is usually made from wood and painted according to the design of your house,

Decorate it with Lighting

Aside from the functional purpose of the light, it is also used to improve the aesthetic of the front yard. One can make use of string bulbs that come in different colors where you can place them around trees or gate. Other garden fixtures can also be placed in the pathway. You could also make use of solar lights to help you save energy and money.

When planning on improving your front yard, you should always consider the design of the house. Everything you have in the property should complement with the house. So make sure to plan your landscaping project ahead to achieve a function and aesthetical front yard.

Gardening 101 with Aquatic Plants

Water gardening is a popular trend in gardening today. It gives that relaxing effect to its owner and can also be a great hobby. It could also enhance your yard which your visitors will surely love. So here are some tips on how to build your water garden and how to incorporate it to your outdoor space:

Water-Sealed Container

gardeningThe container for your water garden should be tightly sealed in order to hold water. It would be wise if the container does not function as a fountain. Ceramic pots can be an ideal choice but a whiskey-barrel design would be better.

You can have a plastic linear inside of it to hold water. This design has the rustic appearance that works well in improving your outdoor space.

The wider the water surface area of a container, the more aquatic plants you can place. So make sure to group a lot of containers all together to hold a lot of water plants and to make a pleasing style for your water garden.

Choose your Water Plants

Your container should be designed according to your water plants. How you arrange your plants in your container is also how you should arrange your plants in your garden. Make sure to be creative in making your water garden attractive.

You can group plants that have different colors, textures and appeal. You can also select plants according to sizes and shapes. Make sure to research on each of the plant.

Add fish

To make you water garden interesting, add some fish. This will create an ecosystem that balances the give and take relationship of plants and animals. This will also create the splashing sound so mosquitoes will not make your water garden their home.

The cleaning of the container is quite easy but since the plants do the cleaning, then you don’t have to do it twice a week. Just make sure the volume of water is enough to hold fish such as goldfish which needs at least 20 gallons of water. Make sure to watch over the levels of the water because it will probably evaporate because of the heat.

You can also make use of small water structures such as stones, miniature pirate ships and mermaid structures to add style to your garden.Water gardening is truly a great way to use your green thumb ability on water. Make sure to research well on plants, animals and containers you will use in order to make your water garden a success.

Vertical Garden: A New Way to Garden

If you are living in a condor or apartment where there is limited space for your garden, then vertical gardening isthe best option. Using frames and supports, you can easily make your plants grow vertically to make it natural for them.

gardeningVertical gardening is similar to hydroponics. The roots of the plants have fibrous materials where you can add nutrients and water.

One great thing that gardeners love about vertical gardening is that you can do it indoor or outdoor. Here are some tips you will need in order to begin your vertical gardening:

Consider the location

Plants need enough sunlight and shade in order to grow healthy. Using hooks, you can place your plants in areas where it can receive sunlight.

It is essential that before you choose your plants, you have to research factors such as how much sunlight they need, how much water and what type of soil they need for growth. You should have the knowledge on how to treat each plant properly.

Weigh your Plants

This is essential since you need frames, supports and hooks in order to keep your vertical garden up. If you mix heavy plants with weaker ones then there is a possibility that your garden will be damaged.

Make sure to create a separate structure on heavy plants and then use supports for weaker ones. You can make use of trellises and stakes in order to shape your plants or train them to grow.

Proper Care for your Plants

Proper care is really essential to make your plant grow healthy, so make sure to consider the factors such as:

  • Temperature – Each plant requires certain temperature in order to grow so make sure to avoid exposing them to too much cold, heat or water. Make sure you know the weather in your area in order to prepare your plants for what is coming.
  • Water – Vertical gardening needs more water than a traditional gardening so make sure that your plants get the amount of water they need for survival. But be careful not to overdo it.
  • Soil – Soil in your garden should be in good condition and must be able to maintain moisture. In order to achieve this, you can use mulch to keep your soil capable of giving nutrients to your plants.

Keep your Plants Pests-Free

Pests are known for their destructive ability on plants so make sure to build your structure from materials that don’t attract termites or other pests. Cedar material is ideal to avoid pests’ attacks.

Vertical gardening is a brand new way to make use of your green thumb ability even if you live in an urban area. With knowledge and by providing the right care, your plants will surely survive even in a small space.

Landscaping Defined

gardeningLandscaping is a general term which is used to describe any activity which is done in order to modify the visible features of an area of land. In most cases, this can be a home or business, or any other type of property such as a park. In other cases, this is done by using a variety of things including living elements such as flowers or other plants, and non-living things such as statues, pools or even structures.

There are many other things that people can use in creating landscape gardens. It will depend on the kind of concept used. However, careful planning should be done before getting started. This will save time in constantly modifying the scenery just because you think it does not coincide with the kind of home design you have.

The vast majority of landscaping is done in an attempt to make an area more aesthetically pleasing. If, for example, you’re starting a project on your backyard, your goal may be to secure your privacy and add a more natural look and feel to the area. It could also be to improve the overall look of your home.

On another note, businesses often use this type of work to make their property look more inviting or appealing to customers. One of the nicest things about landscaping is it can be done by virtually anyone, and there is really no right or wrong way of doing it. As long as you like the results, you’ve done it right!

While many people will hire a professional company to plan and perform their landscaping, others prefer doing all the work on their own. For many people, this type of work is fun and relaxing which is why it is getting more and more popular today.

Unlike many other types of projects which people take on around their home, gardening and landscaping never really ends and you won’t get tired of it. Others seek the help of their family members and friends and find it a good way to bond with each other during weekends or holidays. However, you’ll have to work diligently to maintain your landscape garden and keep them looking great.

Whether that is regular watering, pruning or trimming or something else, there is always something that can be worked on in landscaping. Even adding and removing plants as you find things you’d rather have can be done any time.

One of the great things about planning the design and layout of this type of project is that you can enjoy a wide range of different looks throughout the years. As the seasons change, you’ll be able to watch flowers bloom and plants grow in your landscape garden. Most people love watching and appreciating the beauty of nature and through landscaping, this is made possible.