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

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.

Vinegar

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.

DIY: Homemade Organic Pesticides for Your Garden

Homemade Pesticides

Organic farming includes the use of organic pesticides – those that are not chemically-prepared. It is the one of the key elements of organic farming. This comes hand in hand with the use of other natural products like organic herbicides, organic fertilizers and more.

The best thing about the use of organic pesticides is that it comes from nature and is not harmful to human and animal health when consumed, and is not harmful to the soil as well. Unlike artificially-prepared or chemical-based pesticides, it comes from nature itself. It is also as effective as chemical pesticides when used and prepared correctly.

You can actually make your own organic pesticides at home. This will save you money and you will be guaranteed that it has the right mixture or the things you need. You can also use teach other farmers and promote organic farming in your community.

Organic pesticides are proven to promote safety and preserve the health of your plants against harmful insects and pests that bring various plant diseases without the use of harmful synthetic pesticides. You can also ensure the health of your family when they eat the vegetables you have harvested in your garden.

Here are a few DIY tips to make your own version of organic pesticides that are guaranteed to work:

Garlic

You can start making your own organic pesticides by the use of garlic. 10-15 cloves of garlic will do the trick in making your safe and environment-friendly pesticide. Put it in your blender or food processor and chop it finely, then place it inside a glass jar with cover. Add up about ¼ cup of mineral oil and let it sit for about 8-10 hours.

Water

After 8-10 hours of waiting, put back your mineral oil and garlic mixture to the blender or food processor and add some water into it. 2-3 cups of water is enough to make your mixture. Emulsify the mixture.

Pepper

Peppers are known to be an effective irritant – this is the reason why we have pepper sprays. Ouch! Pound or mince until the peppers are liquefied. After that, add up pepper in your emulsified solution. This will discourage animals from eating your plants and vegetables because it is very spicy and irritating most especially to the eyes and nose.

Vinegar

Vinegar will make your mixture acidic and pests do not like this. Blend in vinegar to your mixture until mixed well. When this solution with vinegar is used, it makes the soil slightly acidic which discourages pests to lay eggs in it and also kills the pests.

Application

Just like using chemical pesticides, you can put your mixture into a clean spray. Be sure to shake your mixture well before you use it. This will ensure you that the mixture is still as effective as it should be because some parts and ingredients of the mixture may settle down as time passes. Shaking the mixture will retain its efficacy.
I hope that these tips I shared with you will help you in your journey to organic gardening. You can now be assured that what you and your family eats are healthy and not sprayed with harmful chemical pesticides. You can also make sure that your garden will grow healthy and be safe from pests or insects that may cause plant diseases.

Organic pesticides are the best way to ensure that your family is having a safe meal. You can also enjoy the pleasure or having a great garden and a fruitful produce. Enjoy your garden the organic way – the healthy and natural way!

DIY Guide to Garden and Landscape Lighting

garden lighting

A well-made and maintained garden or landscape is a beautiful sight to see – but not in the dark. The best thing to be done when you have this problem is simple – you just need to install proper lighting. But with gardening or landscaping, installing and putting up lights should be done with creativity and style.

When we install lights in our garden landscape, it should be done appropriately to create a more wonderful scene. Adding lights improve the view of your garden or landscape and add a touch of drama. This will make your garden or landscape even more beautiful to watch at night because of the lights that gives it a more dramatic feeling, and highlighting the features that need to be highlighted.

Light installation in your landscape is an easy task. You do not have to hire people to do this stuff because you alone can handle this. All it needs is for you to have the basic ideas when it comes to the correct way of doing it.

I will be chopping down this task of installing and setting up lights in your garden or landscape so that it will be easier for you to do it. This will also enable you to do this task all by yourself. Yes, you alone will be able to do this lighting job and improve your garden or landscape view at night.

Be sure to practice safety at all times when doing this task. After securing everything and getting ready with the correct tools, you are good to go. Here’s how you should do it:

LED Lights

LED lights are a little more expensive when compared to other types of light bulbs but you can save more using them because it lasts longer compared to the latter. Also, be sure to use low-voltage lights to be able to conserve electricity and not inflate your electric bills.

Light up What Should Be Highlighted

The key in the correct installation of lights to your garden or landscape is simple – when you have focal points, highlight them. Points of focus in a garden or landscape are those that have high impact when seen by people. These are also considered as the “main attraction” in your landscape like ponds, fountains, etc.

walkway lighting

Pathways and Walkways

The purpose of installing lights to your garden is not just for beautification and addition of “drama” alone, it is also for safety purposes. Light up the walkways and pathways to your garden or landscape using lights that are softer compared to the lights in your focal points. Safety and drama rolled into one!

If in Doubt, Call an Electrician

If you have doubts with your work, it’s best to ask assistance from a licensed electrician to have your lighting checked and secured.

Ultimate Soil-ution: Compost

soil

Whenever problems regarding soil arise -may it be having clay soil type, sandy soil or soil fertility and inadequate soil nutrients- there stands one ultimate and most recommended solution, compost.

The compost is also known as organic matter. Compost is the decayed or decomposed organic matter or remains of once-living organisms like plants and animals. It can also be define as the mixture of various organic substances that has gone through decomposition. Compost is the key ingredient in the practice of inorganic farming or farming without the use of anything that is inorganic or chemical in nature. When compost or organic matter is fully or has undergone or have gone through full decomposition process, it is called humus.

The Problem Solving Compost

Compost is the number one solution when it comes to problems regarding the soil. It has various uses and it gives wonderful effects on the soil and can make or has the potential to make soil healthy. It has also effects on plant’s healthy growth and is guaranteed to have no side effects because it is “organic”.

Here are a few ideas on what compost is used for:

  • Fertilizer. If you want to make your soil healthy and filled with nutrients, for your plants to grow in a convenient and cheap method, use compost! It is guaranteed to improve soil fertility and increase nutrients in the soil, making it healthy and very manageable. You can buy compost in organic farming centers or you can avail it for free by making your own composting pit in your backyard.
  • Management of Sandy Soil. If you are having trouble with having sandy soil in your garden because it cannot hold on to water and the plants that can thrive well in your garden are cactus, the best thing to use is compost. Compost increases the soil’s capability to hold on water. You just need to mix compost to your sandy soil well and voila! problem is solved.
  • Say Goodbye to Clay Soil. Compost is not just used in the management of sandy type of soil but is also used in dealing with clay soil. The problem with clay soil is the exact opposite of having sandy soil, it holds on to water too much. The idea of mixing or applying compost with clay soil is that it pushes apart the particles of clay and creates a gap in between them and will improve water drainage in the process.

It is truly important to make sure that you use soil which will keep your plants healthy and beautiful but keep in mind that it doesn’t mean that you need to spend a lot of money. There are cheap or even free solutions to your gardening needs like compost. Give it a try and you might find out that going organic is a wise move after all.