Tips For Keeping Your Garden Beautiful And Healthy

Your garden should be able to add beauty to your home and provide you a good view of nature. It should be something that can give you peace and tranquility when you want to relax and have some peace of mind. However, your garden won’t give you all these if it’s dirty and pest-ridden, nor will it be pleasing to the eye if it’s full of weeds and weak and dying plants.

 

If you want to have a beautiful and healthy garden, then here are some tips worth following.

Buying Plants

Let’s say you’ve gotten rid of all weak, sickly, and dying plants and you want to replenish your garden with new ones, what should you do first?

At the nursery, you need to check the plants you’re going to purchase. You need to make sure that they’re healthy and that they’re not carrying any pests or diseases that can infect healthy plants.

You also need to check the roots and the leaves. Make sure that the roots look and feel firm, and see to it that its color is white. If you notice that the roots look dark and mushy, avoid it. It’s not going to be a good buy. The stems and leaves may look healthy, but its roots are saying otherwise. In a few days, its rotted root system is going to kill it.

As for the leaves, see to it that its color is vibrant. Avoid plants that have dead spots on its leaves, and avoid those, too, that have holes.

Insect Damage

Pestiferous insects can do a lot of damage to plants. They feed on the leaves, stems, and even the roots. They even feed on the flowers. Not only can they cause extensive damage to plants, but they can also spread infection and diseases. In the end, these pestiferous insects are going to leave you with weak and dying plants, plus an unsightly garden as well.

If you want to keep pestiferous insects away, then you have to allow beneficial insects to stay. These beneficial insects are the natural predators of the pestiferous ones, some examples of which include green lacewing, damsel bug, minute pirate bug, ladybug, bees, spiders, beetles, etc.

Having beneficial insects in your garden can help keep plants healthy and beautiful since they prey on pests. Unfortunately though, if you’re using chemical products and pesticides for your garden, these beneficial bugs are oftentimes killed together with the pestiferous ones. Their numbers dwindle drastically that, when the population of the pestiferous insects climbs back up, there are a few left of the beneficial ones to control them.

For this reason, choose natural and organic pest control methods first to spare the population of the beneficial insects.

Organic Insect Repellents

As mentioned earlier, if you’re going to use pest control methods, it’s wiser to use organic and natural ones. You can even make your own homemade insect sprays. They work wonders to control pest population; plus, they’re safer for humans, pets, and the environment as well.

For garden pests though that can’t be controlled through these means, you can get in touch with a pest control company to get rid of them for you. Just see to it though that the company’s offering green solutions for pest problems.

Citations:
Attached Images:

Jennifer Daggett, a blogger and freelance content provider, writes for http://Admiralpest.com. She usually gives tips for controlling pests the natural and organic way.






Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Google
  • YahooBuzz
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

Growing Cattleya Orchids as House Plants

Growing Cattleya Orchids as House Plants

Are you planning on growing orchids in your backyard or in a green house?  Why not choose the Cattleya ?  They are very easy to grow. However, if you decide on planting them in your window sill, you may find that very challenging.

What are cattleyas?

Cattleyas are beautiful orchids with large, attractive flowers which sometimes carry a fragrance. Their flowers vary in color and pattern and the size can measure as much as 8 inches across. There are numerous species. In wildlife, cattleyas grow high on trees in the forests. They have thick roots which attach the plants firmly to the tree. Being exposed to the elements, the roots are able to tolerate the long periods when there is no rain. Because they vary in size from small (suitable for window sills) to large; growing more than 4 ft. tall, you might want to choose carefully if you plan on growing them inside.  They love light, so you wouldn’t want a plant that takes up all your window space, would you?

Light

Cattleya orchids flourish in bright light. The condition of the leaves is an indication of whether or not your cattleya plants are getting the right amount of water. Leaves that are firm and have an apple green colors mean that the plants are getting the right amount of light.  Hard, yellow or brown colored leaves suggest too much light, while limp, dark green leaves is an indication of inadequate amount of light, which can also cause the plant not to flower.

If you keep your Cattleya on your patio in summer, they will thrive. If indoors, place them in an area near to windows on the eastern or western side.  If they are outside, it is important that you shield them from the hot, noonday sun.

Water

Cattleyas grow from underground rhizome. During spring new bulbs appear. Cattleyas need lots of water during the growing season, but the bulbs should not be allowed to stay in the water.  As soon as the flowers begin to appear in the sheaths, reduce the water.  Too much water in the sheaths will cause the young flowers to rot.

Blooming

Most Cattleyas normally bloom once each year, some twice.  Flowers will stay between 1-3 weeks.  Once the first flower appears, the plants must be removed from the direct sun so that the bloom will last longer.  The flower buds will not develop unless the plant gets direct sunlight and cool temperatures in the evening.

 

Temperatures

Cattleyas don’t need specific temperatures to grow. They thrive best in temperatures ranging from 55 degrees in the nights to 90 degrees throughout the day.  During winter, the bloom cycle will start when evening temperatures are at 55 degrees or lower. They also need ample humidity and proper air circulation throughout the months of winter too.

 

Fertilizer

Fertilize your Cattleyas each week with weak fertilizer made for orchids.

 

Potting and Repotting

Repotting of cattleyas can be stressful for the plant, so they will take a season to improve. Therefore, repotting should only be done when necessary.  Cattleyas flourish best in most orchid mixes including clay pellets, pink bark, charcoal, perlite and any medium which drains well.  If you are repotting a Cattleya, ensure there is adequate space for the rhizome to produce a minimum of two bulbs.  The ideal repotting period is spring; that’s when the growing season begins.

Lucas Barnes writes for Plantdex, learn more about growing cattleya orchids.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Google
  • YahooBuzz
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS

My garden’s beautiful this month

At the beginning of this month I wasn’t sure how well my garden was going to do this summer.

You see, we had my neighbors putting in a new fence on one side, and the neighbors on the other side don’t take care of their yard at all so there’s always weeds creeping into our yard from their side, so the month started out in battle mode and it didn’t look good.

I’m quite happy to report that after several weeks of giving our garden some tender loving care – ie lots of compost, mulch, planting new plants in the bare spots, making up my special alfalfa tea to fertilize the garden beds and so on … the plants are looking quite happy.

I’ve actually been out in the garden taking quite a few pictures in the last week, maybe an extra 200 pictures! You see we just got a new cellphone. It’s a Nokia N8 and it has a 12 mpg camera inside it and it takes fabulous pictures and video! I was going to post an HD video that I took with the phone in this post but for some reason I’m having trouble posting it to Youtube. Youtube keeps saying it’s going to take about five hours to upload a 7 minute video. Crazy! So for now … I’ll just post a few pictures and I’ll try to find a way to get my garden tour video in another post soon.

Here are some lovely White Petunias. I always put a few Petunias in hanging baskets near my bird feeders. They help attract more birds, even hummingbirds if I plant red or pink ones.

06282011234

Another flower that’s blooming like crazy right now is this Octavia Hill Rose, isn’t it pretty?

Octavia Hill Rose

My Lavender plants are just beginning to bloom. I believe I have 7 or 8 Lavender plants scattered throughout my garden beds. The ones in the sunniest spots are flowering the most right now, but the others will catch up quickly I’m sure.

Lavender

I also have several Clematis vines in both my front and back yard garden beds. This lovely pink/red clematis flower is one that grows on a trellis at the front of my house. The plant climbs along the trellis about 12 feet up the wall. It’s beautiful when it’s in bloom.

06262011132

What’s blooming in your garden this month? Is your garden just gorgeous right now? I know I’m loving mine at this time because I have so many roses in bloom that whenever I walk outside all I smell is lovely old rose fragrance. It’s beautiful.

Share and Enjoy

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Google Plus
  • Google
  • YahooBuzz
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Add to favorites
  • Email
  • RSS