March 2017

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How to Plant Tomato Plants – A Beginners Guide

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Tomato Plant Stakes When it comes time to plant your tomato seedlings there are a number of steps that should be followed to give them the best chance at survival. This is a critical time for your young plants and there are a number of things that you can do which will either hinder or harm them when it comes time to transplant.

The very first thing that must be considered is location. Where are you going to plant your seedlings? The location that you choose has to have plenty of sunlight throughout the whole season. At least 10 hours a day is good. Tomato Plant Stakes

Tomatoes like air circulation but young plants will dehydrate very quickly in a wind tunnel. Make sure that there is plenty of open air around them and if your area is constantly subject to very high winds that you have taken this into account.

Now let’s take a look at your seedlings… are they strong and stocky or long and leggy? Seedlings that have been grown with insufficient exposure to light or air movement are bound to be long and leggy and you will have problems if you aren’t careful. I will address this further on in the article.

Now let’s take a look at your soil. Hopefully you will have already taken a soil sample and had it analysed and you will know that your soil is nicely balanced for you new babies. If you haven’t done this then I strongly suggest that you do so. Tomato Plant Stakes Planting plants in bad soil is not something that you want to do.

Alright, so now we are ready to plant… leave the seedlings in their peat pots if that is what they are in. (Or gently tap them out if they are older plants you are transplanting from pots)

Plant the seedlings so that the highest branching is about 3 inches above the soil (roughly half of your plant should be below ground) we want the roots deep enough to stay in the soil but we don’t want it too far down in the cold.

Cover the plant around with soil and gently firm it down. If they are Indeterminate plants that will be growing tall then stake them (but don’t drive the stake through the root ball keep it about three inches away).

Water them in thoroughly with some tepid water, give them a good soaking initially. If you want to give them a boost then use some fish emulsion here.

I generally don’t believe in fertilizing freshly planted young plants, however if you have your heart set on it then make sure that you use a weak solution, half strength should be ok, keep the fertilizer at least 3 inches away from the stem of the plant so that you don’t burn it.

About a fortnight after place a good layer of mulch around your now healthy growing little plants. Roughly 3 inches should do it. This will aid in water retention in the soil and make it easier for you to maintain them. Tomato Plant Stakes

As you can see the act of planting (or transplanting) your tomato plants is really very simple it is really mostly the preparation steps that will mean the difference between having fantastic healthy crops and mediocre ones. Of course this is the way with gardening in general, most of the truly important work is in the preparation.

Now, as for trench planting those long and leggy seedlings. The art of growing seedlings correctly is a subject in itself and at this point in the game it is too late to do anything about them anyway. The best idea for long, leggy seedlings is to trench plant them.

The problem with long seedlings is that, if planted normally, the root ball will end up too deep in the ground. This can lead to a variety of problems and you simply don’t need to buy the trouble.

The procedure to rectify this is very simple, instead of plant directly down into the soil, dig a horizontal trench at a shallow angle. The idea is to keep the root ball about 3 inches down. Right where it would be if your plants were strong and stocky.

Pinch off any leaves along the stem that will be placed in the ground and lay the plant in. Gently cover over and stake the new seedling on the other side of the stem from the root ball. Water it in thoroughly and you are good to go. Tomato Plant Stakes

Oh and one last thing if your location is notorious for Cutworms then take some precautions and wrap some tinfoil around the stem of the seedling. Protecting them using toilet roll holders, old (clean) tins or plastic cups also works.

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Cheap Garden Accessories Working Together For a Green Look

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Before the morning Sun rises in the East taking a walk in a dew filled garden will surely energize each and every nerve with never ending energy. William Wordsworth, the great connoisseur of Nature insisted that men and women find shelter and peace in the lap of green Nature. And it’s true which we can feel day in or day out.

Decorating a green lawn in front of one’s home happens only with an array of garden accessories. Everybody knows it but as usual the cash matter. Yes, cheap garden accessories are the cherries in one’s backyard and there’s no need of swaying with the thought of buying high end garden accessories.

Trekking down a mountain in a remote country will give a view of beautiful garden which is the handicraft of a poor gardener. He might be living in his poor hut but he has a great heart for each and every flower in his garden. Talking of towns and metros in which we also find honey bee folks having a great liking for gardening. Sometimes a few of them lay back on the chair saying that they would not go for gardening unless they have a pot of money to unload a truck of costly garden accessories. Isn’t it a sheer negligence?

We should rather break the huge waves of our narrow mind and become more practical. And at the same we should try to acknowledge that contemporary gardening do not require a hefty bank balance. Fountain, trough, mower, rhubarb forcer, zap bat, wooden cold frame, herb wheel, Jumbo thermometer etc are nevertheless the most important accessories which have to be bought for decorating a green garden. An enthusiastic gardener can bag  garden  with a least amount of money.

The human mind is insane but it finds solace and pleasure in the warmth of a beautiful garden. Yes, the virgin Nature is no more around the concrete walls but with the physical might and with a sack of a few cheap garden accessories can bring back a stereotype of green Nature.

Henry Michel is expert in consumer electronics and writing about price compare [http://pricebomb.co.uk] on various products i.e., garmin forerunner 405 uk, zanussi zou330x, kdl37u4000 etc.

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How to Use an Electric Miter Saw to Make Great Stakes For Tomato Plants

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If you or someone you know owns an electric miter saw, it is very easy to make stakes that are very easy to drive into the ground by creating a nice sharp point on the end of the stake.

Before I go further, let me stress that it is very important to observe all safety procedures outlined by the manufacturer of the saw. Be sure to respect the tool for what it can do and do not take a cavalier attitude towards using any kind of electric saw.

I like to use 2x2s purchased from the local home store for my stakes. These are typically 8 feet long and are often referred to as “furring strips”. Be sure and purchase the 2x2s that are not treated. The chemicals in treated wood are toxic and since you are using these stakes for gardening, you do not want any of the chemicals from treated wood leaching into the soil around the roots of your plants.

Purchase as many of the 2×2 furring strips as you need according to how many tomato plants you need to support. What I do is leave my miter saw set at a 90 degree angle and hold the end of the furring strip into the saw off to the side about 20 degrees. This creates an angled cut on the end of the furring strip. Be sure to position your 2×2 so that the cut will bisect the middle of the end of the stake.

After you’ve made the first cut, flip the stake over 180 degrees, place it in the same 20 degree angled off to the side position and make a cut on the opposite side that cuts at the same place right down the middle of the end of the stake essentially creating a “V” shape on the end of the stake. Now rotate the stake 90 degrees, make the same cut, and rotate the stake 180 degrees and make the same cut again.

At this point you should have a nice point on the end of your stake. You can shorten the length of your stake if you happen to be using it for a determinate variety tomato plant, but if you are planting tomatoes in the ground, it is probably best to just retain the entire length of the furring strip. This is because when planting tomatoes in the ground you will most likely be digging a deep hole and then driving the stake down into the ground from that point. Ideally you will have about 6 feet of the stake sticking up out of the ground.

At the end of the season, pull out the stakes, clean them off with the hose and store them away for the next year. If you are feeling particularly motivated, you can quickly slap on some green or brown outdoor wood stain that will help them to blend into your landscape better when you use them again.

David Mitchell is a gardening hobbyist and an avid grower of tomato plants. He likes to start tomato plants from seed in order to have access to more unique varieties of the plant. He looks forward to trying new varieties each year.

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Garden Fencing For a Better Exterior

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Garden fencing is not all about the fence panels and fence posts. A personal touch makes it more attractive. At the same time you should stick closely to the exterior of your home so that the garden fencing matches the aesthetic of the rest of your house.

When carefully considered and planned, the chosen fence type, fence panels, fence posts, and other accessories add to the external beauty of the house, and may help to add value to the property too.

Why garden fencing is installed?

People install garden fencing for a variety of reasons. The most common purpose of the standard garden fence is to clearly mark the boundaries of the property, but can also be used cleverly to break up the outdoor space into smaller parts, perhaps depending on what the different areas of the garden will be used for, potentially making it easier to maintain.

Many people prefer to plant trees of different types separately. You can install fencing to keep your Agapanthus well separated from Amaryllis and Lilly. Distinct areas for different flowers and trees look great.

If you plan to place a garden table with chairs, a swing, aquarium and/or fountain in the lawn, why not discuss this with the fencing product supplier and ask for their suggestions. Garden fencing can be designed specifically for the needs of the users. Custom fence panels and fence posts can be used together to form an attractive fencing surround for your garden or lawn.

You can choose the fencing material that goes best with your garden furniture, patio awning, deck furniture and the exterior of your home. Most people prefer using wood as the garden fencing material.

Wood garden fencing:

Wooden fence panels, fence posts and garden gates assign a natural look to your garden.

Post and rails, wire netting, chainlink, hurdles, timber palisade, chestnut paling, closeboard, closeboard panels, and lap panels are other common types of garden fencing that are available.

Bamboo fencing:

Bamboo is also often used for garden fencing and screening as well as landscaping. Bamboo fence panels and posts look attractive and are available in a wide range of designs, colors, styles and textures.

Border edging:

Wire netting, post and rails, chainlink and different types of mesh are commonly used for border edging. Wire garden fences or mesh are helpful to outline curvy and rounded borders of your garden and they are also quite attractive too when done properly.

Net, wire or mesh can also be used to protect a newly planted tree from animal or bird attacks. Planters or recently planted trees are often surrounded with wires or nets in the middle of the garden for this purpose.

Once you get in touch with a garden fencing supplier, you can learn more about your options. Fencing product manufacturers and suppliers can suggest to you the best fence posts and panels.

Tory Lane is a gardener and has authored many articles on gardening. For more help on garden fencing [http://www.avsfencing.co.uk/product_cat.asp?ID=1&SUBID=4&USERID=], fence panels and fence posts, he recommends you to visit:

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How to Decorate Flower Pots

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Add color to your garden, patio or indoor space with simple flower pot crafts. Flower pots are functional blank canvases, encouraging a wide range of creativity. You can paint, decoupage, stamp and embellish as part of your flowers pot crafts. Come up with your own flower pot craft projects with these ideas.

How to Decorate Clay Pots by Heidi Borchers & Tiffany Windsor

Painting

After purchasing a flower pot, sand the pot down before painting. You should also seal the inside of the flower pot with an oil-based polyurethane to protect your painted design from water penetration. If you are painting pots for outdoor placement, use a paint specifically designed for outdoor use. DecoArt Patio Paint is water and weather-resistant and adapts well to changing temperatures. Outdoor paints also mean your pot will be easy to clean.

Try painting sections of the pot in different colors. Use painter’s tape to mark off the top lip of the pot and paint a coordinating color. Or, create several bands around the flower pot with the painter’s tape and create stripes on your flower pot.

Bright colors work well in gardens. To select a color scheme, look at design or craft resources on colors like Paper Crafter’s Color Companion by C&T Publishing. Paint two to three coats of each color on your pot. If you want to add a design to your pot, paint the background a nice, muted color such as light yellow.

Use stencils to paint words or shapes onto your flower pot. You can also use this technique to label the contents of the flower pots decoratively, such as “Basil” or “Chives.” Use a sponge to paint your flower pots. Paint all over in one or two colors, or create bursts of colors with a round sponge that look very much like flowers. You can also cut a normal kitchen sponge into a shape such a heart or star.

Decoupage

Cut out words and images from scrapbook papers, magazines and even junk mail to decoupage your pot. Create a theme by selecting similar words or images, for example Spring. Tissue paper is a great material to decoupage pots. You can use one color or a variety of coordinating colors for a fun, semi-transparent look. Crinkle the tissue paper in your hands and tear into pieces. Use a foam brush to apply decoupage glue (such as Mod Podge) to your pot. Smooth tissue paper pieces over pot in a random pattern. Cover with another coat of decoupage glue.

For fun, add a coat or accents of glitter or sparkle, such as with Tulip 3D Sparkle Paint. For outdoor placement, you will need to cover your decoupage work with a coat of UV-resistant acrylic coating, like those made by Krylon.

Embellishment

Yarn – Wrap yarn or twine tightly around the lip of your pot, gluing as you go. Yarn-wrapping creates an interesting textured look.

Buttons – Flat buttons are a fun way to decorate pots. Paint flowers on your pot and glue buttons as the centers the flowers. Add a line of buttons around the top of the pot. Randomly glue buttons all over the pot.

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Flower Pots and Their Benefits

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Flower pots have various uses, from starting new seeds, moving plants to new locations, indoor cultivation plants, beautifies garden, or charming your room with wonderful flowers. Flower pots have been used since ancient times, the Egyptians were among the first to use pots to move plants from one location to another, later the Romans brought potted plants inside during cold weather. In modern eras, they can be used as a personal gift, kitchen decoration, room beautification, and art object.

Plant pots can be easily found in garden supply stories, grocery stores, home improvement stores and online garden stores. There are different kinds of plant containers, from clay flower pots, plastic, ceramic, fiber glass, hanging pots, window box planters, sandstone urns, and many more; each of them has their own pros and cons. Out of all these, clay flower pot considered as one of the most popular type of pot. Its structure is suitable for maintaining the freshness almost all type of flowers, in addition clay pots are made from organic raw materials, thus these are eco-friendly products.

Before choosing which type of pot you want, you need to determine where do you want to place the pots. Would you like to lay the pot in your garden? Or do you prefer to place the inside your house? Whether in the living room, kitchen or as window decoration in private room, you must plan and decide the placement of your pots. With perfect placement and match with surroundings, it will enhance the splendor of home as well as your garden. Type of plants, sizes of flower, weight, qualities and prices also major considerations before picking the right pot for you. Growing your own flowers certainly bring ultimate pleasure, an interesting activity that enlighten your days.

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Small Vegetable Garden Plans For a Home Garden

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Planting a small vegetable garden is almost as much fun as harvesting. Can’t you just taste the plump juicy tomatoes and the sweet tasting cantaloupe? Before you grow the area’s largest pumpkin or zesty collards, and are short on space and time, take a look at some creative small vegetable garden plans.

Square Foot Gardening–A Space Saving Plan

Intensive planting designs use every bit of garden space available. Square foot gardens (4 ft. by 4 ft.)are surprisingly productive. How many plants planted in each square foot is decided by the amount of room necessary for the specific crop planted to successfully produce a harvest.

For illustration, each single square in a square foot garden plan can contain 1-staked tomato, 4 bean plants, 1 pepper plant, or 50 radishes. Positioning of plants or seeds inside the square also depends on the crop selection. Where a single plant occupies a square, set the seed or transplant in the middle to allow room to grow in all directions.

Several plants may be planted in rows, smaller squares, or at random in small vegetable garden plans. For instance, fill a square with four bean plants, divide the area into smaller squares and plant one seed in the middle of each. A square can hold fifty radishes or twenty onions. The seeds can be scattered across the square or sown in small rows.

Harvest early by thinning out young plants for use as tender greens or roots, creating room for the rest to grow. Trellises add a third dimension to small vegetable garden plans. A trellis is useful to gardeners seeking to maximize space. Rather than allowing vine crops to sprawl across the garden, send plants such as cantaloupe, watermelon, and cucumbers growing skyward.

Cages also can be used to take advantage of vertical space and keep crops from sprawling over the ground. Many plants can be successfully grown in cages, including tomatoes, watermelons, and eggplants. In addition to space-saving planting techniques, gardeners have an additional resource: dwarf varieties and bush forms of plants that originally grew only as vines.

Be advised, while the dwarf varieties take up less garden room, the harvests are somewhat smaller than their full size relatives. Geometric planting patterns make maximum use of space in small vegetable garden plans. Gardeners use simple designs to fill wide beds with vegetables. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention.

Vegetable spacing for small plots

Beans are a sure producer and should be spaced four plants per square foot in small vegetable garden plans. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peppers, and eggplant may need staking and space 1 plant each square ft. Cabbage and cauliflower produces a single head planted at one to a foot. Trellis or stake tomatoes at one plant per sq. ft. Make successive plantings of endive, kohlrabi, and lettuce, at four plants per square foot. Harvest individual leaves of kale and parsley spacing four plants per sq. feet.

A single stake will support floppy, low growing plants that might otherwise be injured by winds or abundant productions. A wire cage gives the best support for tall growing plants.

Don’t think just because you have small vegetable garden plans that means not much of a harvest. Vegetable gardening even on a smaller scale can produce bumper crops. In fact, with vertical gardening, the sky is the limit!

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Garden Stakes – Every Good Garden Needs Them

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Most people will tend to buy garden stakes to provide support to various plants that they are growing. However what many people do not realize is that they are suitable for many other purposes. There are some that will help to provide a little more decoration to your garden and then there are those that can provide you with an additional source of light in the garden.

Therefore which kinds of stakes you do buy for use in your garden is going to depend on how you intend to use them. In this article we take a look at the various types of garden stakes now available for you to buy.

Type 1 – Wooden

These are the least expensive of all stakes you can buy for use in your garden. But although the cheapest you need to make sure that they have been made from a good quality hardwood such as cedar. If you don’t then they won’t be able to cope so easily with changes in the weather and will need replacing in quite a short space of time. Also avoid buying ones that have been treated as the chemicals used may prove harmful to the plants that are providing support to.

Type 2 – Recycled Plastic

As well as being environmentally friendly they are also last a long time making them very cost effective. Unlike wooden ones you will find that these types of garden stakes won’t weather or splinter. Plus they aren’t going to harm your plants as they are not painted but rather they have been infused with a color that won’t leech into the soil.

Type 3 – Solar

These are the most expensive kinds of stakes you can purchase for your garden and aren’t really designed solely to offer support to plants. What they have in fact been designed to do is provide additional light into your garden without the actually need to lay any wiring. Instead each one of these stakes comes with a small solar panel on the top that collects energy from the sun and stores in a battery within the stake. Then of course once the sun begins to set so they will come on.

These types of stakes for the garden are ideal for helping to create an area in the garden that you can use for entertaining. Plus you may want to use these as a way to illuminate a particular path or area within the garden that you want your guests to admire.

It is important however when it comes to purchasing garden stakes that you make sure that you choose ones that are going to complement the rest of the design of your garden. If you don’t’ then you may find yourself having to replace them all.

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10 Top Garden Accessories

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Are you looking for a way to draw interest to your garden? Are you ready to make your garden the one that everyone notices in your neighborhood? While you are planning your garden or just looking to freshen things up, give some thought to garden accessories. There are many things you can do without spending a lot of dollars!

1) Lanterns: For adding a touch of romance. Choose aromatic candles or scented ones for chasing the mosquitoes away! Lanterns can be used on tables or along the meander path. There are as many ways to arrange them as there are different styles.

2) Fake Flowers: Well there are some areas where plants refuse to grow. So why not get creative with metal flowers? Keep ’em guessing is my motto.

3) Containers: Available in a variety of different styles and shapes. They can be moved anywhere and switched out any time to go with your color scheme or the season. Place cone tea lights within the planters and create your own work of art!

4) Bird Feeders: Many types are available today Feeders will attract birds to the garden bring with them their beautiful songs.

5) Obelisks and Trellises: Can be works of art or as simple as bamboo poles. They can be used solely for effect or for function. A great way to define space and support plants. Allow your favorite flowering vine climb around this garden accessory. Tastefully placed they add structure and beauty to your landscape.

6) Gazing Balls: the gazing ball has become one of the most must have garden accessory. From stately classic gardens to quaint cottage garden yards, gazing balls can be found. Highly reflective one are ideally suited to show off your garden from different viewpoints.

7) Rain Chains: A simple item that adds the delightful sound of running water and vertical interest to your garden. A beautiful and functional alternative to the typical closed downspout.

8) Bird Baths: A must have item for any bird fancier. Bird baths can be hand crafted works or art or just a simple dish. You are giving them a place to play and bathe while you enjoy their company.

9) Bells and Chimes: Gardens are best appreciated for visual appeal and fragrance. You can add the dimension of sound to your garden with chimes and have a soothing, peaceful feeling Bells and chimes are a dynamic element in the landscape, forever changing with the slightest breeze.

10) Wall Plaques: This accessory takes over where plants leave off. the do not distract or overwhelm. they provide interest when plants are not at their most striking.

 

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Garden Accessories and Decor

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Garden features or decor accessories can add interest and even allow you to create ‘rooms’ that offer quite different perspectives for your garden. Of course, a garden is about trees, shrubs, bushes, lawns and flowers and so forth. But you can make your garden much more than just plants.

Garden Accessories and Decor

A carefully placed small statue or figurine can add a touch of elegance – when placed carefully amidst a bed of cottage flowers or between some azaleas. Do avoid the old painted garden gnome route though. Nowadays, there are some excellent reproductions of art that can suit any garden. Also, if you have children, perhaps some fairies can be placed in hideaway spots…. to intrigue the kids.

This will also apply to other pieces of garden art – you may like a piece of abstract welding, bamboo chimes or decorative pots and containers.

Choosing a pot with its own beauty adds to your garden as well as do the plants it contains – though it doesn’t have to be purely utilitarian. Placing a pair of large roman style urns on small plinths are excellent ‘guardians’ to an entry way to a secret garden or either side of a path – or near a pool. The fun is deciding their best place.

Situating a comfortable seat under a shade tree not only gives you decor, but a practical place to quietly sit and read a book. Having hanging baskets of flowering plants from tree branches are all ways to add that something extra to your yard. Fuchsias look especially good, and they appreciate the shade.

Metal or wood arches are great ways to add elegance your gardens “look”. Place them across the front gate, or as a gateway to a secret garden or even at the side of the house just before entry to the back yard. Garden accessories and decor is matter of personal taste. It can be contemporary, classical or even oriental. Be subtle and don’t mix styles just for the sake of having something.

Although they aren’t for decorative reasons, garden accessories also include your compost bin, a worm farm and, last but not least, make the old garden shed down the back a feature – train clematis or another climber over it!

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