How to Get Rid of Fairy Rings in Your Lawn

Just when you think you have your lawn in nice shape, after raking, pulling all of the weeds and fertilized, a fairy ring shows up. They can make your lawn look unhealthy and ugly.Fairy Ring DescriptionsA fairy ring is a disease of the soil and lawn. In most of the fairy rings I have seen, the fairy ring is a dark green circle or arc of grass that grows faster than the rest of your lawn with yellow grass or less green grass in the middle of this ring. Other times they fairy ring can be a ring of dead grass with green grass in the middle. Sometimes, mushrooms can grow around the fairy ring.It has been my experience that fairy rings occur in a heavily used area of the lawn, but they can also occur anywhere in your lawn. Often, a fairy ring will occur in compacted and hot areas of the lawn like near the driveway, sidewalk or a pathway for you, your kids or dogs.The Cause of Fairy RingsThe scientific cause of fairy rings in your lawn “is a piece of mycelium or spore at a single point...

What is the Difference Between Mosses, Mushrooms and Lichen

Moss, lichen and mushrooms, while they may have some similarity are not just varieties of the same organism. Moss is a non-vascular plant that reproduces from spores. Lichen is a growth of algae and fungus in a symbiotic relationship. Mushrooms are the fruiting body of a fungus. Moss Mosses are bryophytes, as are liverworts and hornworts. Bryophytes have no vascular system as in woody plants. Those plants with vascular systems are called tracheophytes, having xylem and phloem (vascular tissue) to carry water and nutrients up and down between the leaves to the roots. Mosses produce no seed but rather reproduce from spore. The structure of moss upon close examination, may appear to be composed of minute stems holding up a pod that might appear to be a flower bud. However, the “stem” is really just a non-woody stalk called a seta holding up a capsule filled with spore. The growth below the seta which appear to be leaves are not true leaves. The “root” of ...

How to Get Rid of Bindweed

This is one weed that can kill your flowers and vegetables. Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) also known as wild morning glory grows as a vine and will climb up your plants and strangle them. Bindweed starts in a small clump by itself and in a short time it will start growing in vines along the ground and up anything it encounters. You will notice these with their small white or white with pink flowers. I have seen it climb and grow so vigorously to where it has broken plant stalks, taken down plants and caused fences to lean. The roots of bindweed can be as long as 40 feet. They can get water from your neighbors yard. The seeds of this weed can live in the soil for many years. Sometimes roto-tilling can spread bindweeds bits of roots and seeds. When you pull bindweed you will seldom get all the roots unless the plant is very new. This causes the weed to grow in many more directions from the left over root. You can get bindweed growing into your yard from your neighbors yard. When bi...

The Upside Down Patio Tomato Garden

Tomato Vines and the Trellis I have grown tomatoes on our balcony patio for several years now, and always with marginal yields for my efforts. Usually the tomato vines grow about 1 1/2 meters (about 4.5 feet) tall and thus, are necessarily tied to a trellis-like scaffolding of green sticks to support them. Growing on a patio with western exposure and a brick wall backdrop means that the plants will get hot and dry fairly often. Daily watering is always required. Over and under-watering are common occurrences. Too much water and the pot sits in mud and the bottom leaves of the tomato plants turn yellow and drop. Too little water and the plant begins to wilt. I have tried various shading methods including a tarpaulin sunscreen for the balcony which did help last summer but I installed it a bit too late to really help the tomatoes grow properly. As it is, I have to trellis-up the plants to avoid wind damage. If the tomato vines tip over they might survive but the space they would occup...

11 Impressively Awesome and Extremely Hairy Pigs in the World

Most breeds of pig are raised for human consumptions. Although it is a food taboo to our Muslim brothers and sisters, it is still one of the most consumed animals in the world. Pigs also have one of the largest populations of domestically raised animal worldwide. Some breeds of pig are impressive for their large sizes, coloration and markings. In addition, some pig breeds are simply unique-looking for their long hair. Here are some remarkable pig breeds with awesomely and spectacularly long hair. 1. Kunekune Image Source There are only few pig breeds with long hair. Logically, it is not usual for pigs to have long hair because they are not raised for their hair but for their meat. The Kunekune is a hairy small breed of domestic pig that originated in New Zealand. It is becoming a popular pet too. It is also characterized by piri-piri or wattles on its blower jaw. It also comes in different colors such as black and white, cream, ginger, black, gold-tip, tri-colored and brown. ...

Benefits of Gardening As a Healthy Hobby for All Age People

Gardening is one of those pastimes which brings happiness and health for all age people. There are a lot of benefits of gardening which show the importanc of this hobby. The physical benefits of fresh air and exercise are perhaps the most obvious, but emotional and psychological benefits cannot be ignored. "Ever wonder why God placed Adam and Eve in a garden?" Upson said. "The reason is that gardening is good for you!". Steve Upson, horticulturist for the Ardmore-based Noble Foundation says, 'The older I get, the more aware I become of the importance of physical activity in maintaining my health," Upson said. "Numerous studies show that regular physical activity reduces the risk of premature death, heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, adult-onset diabetes, osteoporosis, stroke, and certain types of cancer." Gardening contributes to physical health, since activities such as digging, planting, weeding, and harvesting are all part of three typ...

How To Make Humus Rich Soil

It's a craze that has come to the ears of every home owner, and even many apartment dwellers. The secret gardening type that you hear everywhere but just can't seem to understand. Is it some neo-gardening tip or just an old farmer's language that you just can't translate? It's a little bit of both actually. Unless you actually stop to check that old dusty dictionary on your shelf, humus will just seem like some illusive word you've never been able to define. Heck! Most gardeners couldn't even truly define it, though they might have a place of experience to start from. So what is Humus? To be frank, it's just organic compost. That's it! For me, it started to make sense why my grandfather worked so hard to prune the bushes and trees just right. Why he never threw away anything that could be composted. It sounded like a comprehendible thing to care for everything so specifically, when it seemed like quackery when I was younger. He needed to have all the plants grow on time and as heal...

How to Prune Fruit Trees

If you have any type of fruiting trees you may have learned the hard way that they are not like regular trees, and they are not even like each other. The basics for any type of pruning is to start by removing any dead, damaged, diseased or crossing branches, always make clean cuts using sharp pruning tools, and it’s generally best to prune to an outward facing bud. Don’t be afraid if you make a mistake, as long as you don’t prune the tree at the wrong time it will still be healthy and you can try it again the following season. Pruning Newly Planted Trees Young fruit trees received from the nursery have several branches. There will also be one to four leaders. Cut off all but one of these leaders. If there are two leaders, they will form narrow V crotches. Such crotches are weak and tend to break in a storm or under heavy crop. Select the first lowest branch of your tree. It is important that all these lateral branches have wide angles where they join the trunk. Ne...

How to Save a Dying Tree

The long and dry winter is coming to an end and you start looking around the yard. You’re noticing that some of the trees aren’t looking so well. Evergreens especially can start to look brown and start dropping their needles. On some types of evergreens this can be normal so it’s best to know what type of tree you are looking at and what its characteristics are. Many parts of the United States are once again in drought conditions and the dry winds of spring do not help the situation. The lack of snow and snow cover with the evaporation effect of the wind blowing can dry the tree itself and the ground all the way down to the roots. In a bad drought condition your local area might even have water restrictions, which we have been dealing with on and off here since the late 1970s. You can see and feel the ground underneath your tree is hard as rock, and any watering on the top might just run off and not soak in at all. What you need to do is called root feeding or root w...

Top Eighteen Best Milk Producing Cattle Breeds in the World

Of the more than 800 cattle breeds all over the world, not all are good producers of milk. Many breeds are raised for beef production and many breeds are raised for milk production or both. Here are the best cattle breeds that produce more milk – the world's highest production dairy animals. 1. Holstein Image Source Milk Production: 11,800 kilograms per year Other name/s: Holstein-Friesian Cattle or Friesian Cattle Origin: North Holland and Friesland - Netherlands Distinction: It is the highest production dairy animal in the world. The current National Holstein milk production leader is Ever-Green-View My 1326-ET EX-92. This amazing milk producing or dairy cattle produced 32,740 kg of milk in 365 days attaining her world record in February 2010. 2. Norwegian Red Image Source Milk Production:  10,000 kilogram per year Other name/s: NRF Origin: Norway Distinction: This hardy cattle breed is well known for the richness of its milk Weight: 600 kilograms ...

Natural Farming: How to Make a Concoction of Indigenous Microorganisms

Natural farming is an excellent way of bringing back health to the soil. This is a more effective, sustainable, and environment-friendly way to grow plants compared to organic farming (see previous post titled Facts About Natural Farming). The key ingredients in making it work are the indigenous microorganisms present in the soil. The Importance of Microorganisms Beneficial microorganisms are employed in agriculture as agents of nitrogen fixation, and as a means to suppress insects and plant diseases. This will lead to improved crop quality and yield while reducing the need for labor. It is a no till farming technique. The application of beneficial microorganisms to the soil can enhance its capacity to support plants.  Periodically applying cultured beneficial microorganisms to the soil can bring back natural processes into play and enrich the organic components of the soil, this will lead to a greater diversity of useful microorganisms. The greater the diversity of microorgani...

Natural Farming: How to Prepare Lactic Acid Bacteria Serum

People looking for health-related information will most likely encounter the term "lactic acid bacteria". Lactic acid bacteria are a group of related bacteria that produce lactic acid as a result of carbohydrate fermentation. These beneficial microorganisms are always associated with health foods, skin care as well as healthy living. Lactic acid bacteria are often found in animal oral cavities and intestines, as well as decaying plant or animal material. Health or Nutritional Benefits of Lactic Acid Bacteria Some species of lactic acid bacteria have health or nutritional benefits. Among those benefits are the following: 1. Improved nutritional value of food. 2. Control of intestinal infections. Lactic acid bacteria can control intestinal infections.  3. Improved digestion of lactose. 4. Control of some types of cancer. 5. Control of serum cholesterol levels. How To Prepare Lactic Acid Bacteria Serum Materials Rice wash 2 clay jars Strainer Clean sheet of paper and str...

How To Dress Your Window Boxes For Summer Without Using Plants

Don't have a green thumb but like the architectural look of window boxes? No problem. Tired of filling your window boxes each spring and then cleaning them out each fall? No problem. Use your existing window boxes as a summer display area. Cut foam packaging material to fit the bottom half to two thirds of the window boxes so that you have a stable platform. Now choose a theme. A very popular theme is a beach venue. Grab the kids and comb the beaches. Gather drift wood, dried seaweed, pretty rocks, dried starfish, and seashells. Pieces of fishnet and buoys are good finds. Drape the fishnet over the edges of the window boxes. Attach starfish and seashells to bamboo skewers with a glue gun to stick into the foam for height and visibility. Use the glue gun to attach dried seaweed to the driftwood for a natural display. A solar light stake becomes a beacon. Use a life preserver as a window wreath. Another beach theme that incorporates bright summer colors into your window...

22 Notable Cattles With Distinctively Long and Large Horns

There are more than 800 cattle breeds from all over the world. There are hornless breeds and there are breeds with either short or long horns. The horns of other breeds are deliberately removed. Cattle breeds are raised primarily for their meat and milk while others are bred as working animals. Here are some of the most notable breeds with very large or long horns that make them unique in appearance. The animal with the largest horn circumference for a bull is an Ankole-Watusi breed of cattle with 103.5 centimeter. Cattles with horns that curved forward are also included. 1. Ankole-Watusi Image Source Origin: Africa Size: Medium Weight: 730 kg Horns: 2.4 meters Diet: Grasses and leaves Features: Ankole-Watusi cows hold the record for the longest horns in the world 2. Texas Longhorn

Where Does Veal Come From?

If you think veal comes from baby cows, you are pretty much correct, but let us learn more – how old are the calves, how are they raised, how are they killed, and so forth. Veal typically comes from young dairy calves (although sometimes beef cattle are used as veal, particularly when orphaned). These calves are taken from their mothers and put into small pens. The reason they are removed from their mothers is so more milk can be collected, with only a small portion being fed back to the calves. It is mostly the male calves who will be slaughtered for veal, but some females too, with the remaining females being kept to grow up and be a part of the dairy heard. There are several variations on the pens used to house veal calves. If you go for a drive in the country you may see small, white plastic shelters, about the size of a Volkswagen Beetle (Bug). These are in fact veal calf shelters. Each one containing one, or two, calves. Other calves may be kept in small stalls in a barn...

How to Get Rid of Black Widow Spiders

The Black Widow is probably the most well known spider in North America. As children, we were all warned about the dangers of spiders. Wholesale avoidance is the solution for many parents trying to safeguard their children against a nasty spider bite. However, time and again, parents give special attention when talking to their children about the most dangerous of spiders and of course, the Black Widow is always near the top of the list. Who among us has never heard of the Black Widow with her signature red hourglass mark on her abdomen? Then there is the Black Widow’s curious tendency to kill and eat its partner after mating, which has earned the spider not only an insidious reputation, but has made its name a synonym for women who kill men. Movies and even comic book characters use the Black Widows name to instill fear and anxiety. As deadly as the spider sounds and regardless of the arachnophobic tendencies our parents instilled in use through warnings of the danger of spide...

17 Incredibly Handsome Longhaired Goat Breeds and Their Importance

Domestic goats or Capra aegagrus hircus are among the oldest animals primarily raised for their meat, milk and fiber or goatskin. There are several recognized goat breeds in the world. Depending on their primary use, they can be categorized as dairy goats, meat goats, etc…. They can also be considered as dual or multipurpose goats. Here’s a list of longhaired breeds of goat and their uses and importance. 1. Saanen Goat Image Source Saanen Goat is longhaired and cream-colored goat breed that originated in Saanen Valley in Switzerland where its name was taken. It is the largest of all dairy goat breeds in the world weighing more than 91 kg Importance: It produces the most milk on the average with low butterfat content. A female Saanen produces an average of 3.8 liters a day. It gets along well with children and is popular in the showmanship classes. This huge goat breed appears on Farmville. 2. Golden Guernsey Image Source The longhaired Golden Guernsey is a rar...

Potassium & Roses: Bigger Blooms with Banana Peels

Potassium and Roses: Not a Rock Band Its summertime once again and gardeners everywhere are getting their vegetable and flower gardens planted. The smells of flowers are without a doubt one of the greatest joys of summer. Roses are without doubt or hesitation one of everyone’s favorite summertime flower. Nothing enhances a yard or garden more than a big showy abundance of fragrant roses. Growing big showy roses can be a friendly neighborhood competition of sorts; every gardener wants to be the one with the biggest and most roses! Grow More Roses Regular pruning of the rose bushes ensures plenty of blooms, but after a few years the size and number of rose blooms diminishes. It may be time for fertilizer made just for roses. There are generally two kinds of fertilizers: a synthetic type that directly feeds the rose and doesn’t really improve the soil, and the natural fertilizer which improves the soil and roses benefits from that. The choice is yours whichever you prefer t...

Diseases of Crotons

Crotons, a tropical garden plant, are native to Indonesia. Crotons are colorful shrubs that can be grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 10a through 11, or indoors anywhere with proper care. Green, yellow, orange and red leaves make the croton a colorful attraction to any garden or décor. Generally, crotons are healthy plants, but can succumb to different diseases. If you notice a problem with the croton, diagnose the problem and treat accordingly to protect other plants around the croton. Anthracnose Anthracnose (Colletotrichum sp), is a disease that leaves the croton leaves with tan dead spots according to the University of Florida. The fungal disease can spread quickly. Leaves affected with anthracnose must be removed immediately to prevent spreading. Plants that have the fungi can infect other plants if any infected leaves touch other healthy plant leaves. In cases of severe infestation, fungicide with a copper-based can be used, but some plants will need...

How to Make a Hypertufa Planter for Your Garden

Although it sounds like a space-aged soy product, hypertufa is a mixture consisting of cement, peat moss, and perlite. All of these materials are readily available at any home or garden center. The name comes from tufa, a natural porous rock that looks like a weathered pumice stone. English farmers would carve troughs out of the soft stone for use on their farms for feeding or watering their livestock to planting. All you have to do is combine the ingredients, add water, pack the mixture into a mold, and set it aside to cure for a couple of days. When you pop off the mold you will have a realistic and long-lasting planter for your own garden or patio. These troughs will last for years and will look better with age. Building a Form The forms can be made from plywood, rigid foam insulation, or two plastic storage boxes, one inside the other. You can also use round storage bins of two different sizes. Another method is using a terra cotta bowl or pot inverted onto a piece of plywood an...

How to Support Tomato Plants

To keep your tomato plants healthy and produce the greatest yields, they require a means of support. Supporting the plants keeps the fruit clean and away from pests, provides better air circulation to help prevent disease, and makes it easier to harvest the fruit. More tomato plants can be placed in a smaller area by trellising them and there are several simple structures that are readily available or easily made to keep your garden looking attractive and orderly. Tomato Cages Tomato cages can be purchased almost anywhere in the spring and summer. These wire structures encircle the tomato plant and are placed into the ground when the tomatoes are planted in the garden. If you are planning on having just a few plants, this is the easiest support to use as they are inexpensive and can be used for several years. You can use the cage without wire ties so as the tomato grows and fills the basket, stems can be moved inside the wire cone to support the plant. The one problem with these toma...

Gardening Tips: Treating Basil Plants for Downy Mildew or Basil Blight

A potentially fatal fungal disease called downy mildew is attacking basil plants and has begun spreading in New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Florida. Many gardeners and growers alike are concerned that the disease may spread further throughout the summer and turn the green basil leaves to shades of brown, yellow or gray. This is a relatively new disease so many gardeners are not familiar with its symptoms and treatment. This basil blight is similar to late blight in tomatoes or downy mildew in cucumbers, squash and melons. These diseases are considered "community diseases" because they move easily from garden to garden. Affected Regions Basil downy mildew is a new disease in North America as well as Europe. It was first reported in south Florida in October 2007. In 2008 downy mildew was confirmed in both field and greenhouse-grown basil in many states including: North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Kansas, and Missouri. This disease was also reported in C...

The Heavily Built Cows: The 25 World's Largest Cattles By Weight

As they say, size matters. Cattle raisers prefer large breeds for larger meat production and milk production. Large breeds of cow are also stronger working animals. On the other hand, not all large breed are better than smaller ones. Some large breeds may not be suitable and can’t adapt to new climate. Depending on the location and characteristics, a particular breed may be better compared to other. Here are the giants in the cattle world – the “Top 16” largest cattle breeds and the “Top Nine” largest cattle species. Belgian Blue Cattle Image Source Other name/s: Race de la Moyenne et Haute Belgique, Belgian Blue-White, Belgian White and Blue Pied, Belgian White Blue, Blue and Blue Belgian Origin: Belgium Distinction: A heavily muscled cattle breed that looks more muscular when shaved. 1. Chianina – Top One Largest Cattle Breed Image Source Origin: Tuscany, Italy Height: 200 cm Weight: up to 1,740 kilograms Distinction: Ch...

How to Start Garden Seeds Outside Using a Milk Jug Greenhouse

Starting flowers and vegetables from seed is both a fun and economical way to garden. Buying seeds gives you an almost limitless amount of variety to choose from, and it’s much cheaper than purchasing already-started seedlings at the nursery or flower mart. However, if you live in a northern region with frigid winters, cold late springs and a relatively short growing season (check the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map for your region’s zone ratings and guidelines), frozen soil and the danger of late frosts means you may not be able to plant certain seeds, like tomatoes or impatiens, directly into your garden. Most seed packet instructions will direct you to start those seeds inside some 8-12 weeks before planting outdoors. But 8-12 weeks is a not-insubstantial amount of time, and space can be an issue. In other words, where do you keep the seeds during that period? The cost and variety of the seed starting supplies can be daunting as well. Should you go with a seed starter k...

How to Care for Bottle Baby Goat Kids

Bottle feeding kids (baby goats) is hard work, this is not something a busy farmer does for fun, although sometimes 4H kids will, or people with “petting zoos”. Knowing what to do will hopefully make the process easier. Ideally you may want to have family members take turns caring for the bottle kids, as this will help everyone not become too overwhelmed. Sometimes a doe (female adult goat, also called a nanny) will be overwhelmed with her kids, and after a few days, one or more of them will start to look poorly, it will standing hunched and will not look like it is thriving.  Other times the mother goat dies, leaving orphaned kids. These youngsters are often called “bottle babies” or “bummers”.  Some times the kids are removed from a dairy goat so the farmer has more milk for himself. If a doe simply is not producing enough milk, but not being aggressive against her kid(s), you need to have yo...

Christmas Cactus: How To Care For Them

During the holiday season, one of the most popular plants seen in households and to give as gifts is the Christmas Cactus.  This popular plant brings bright color to the table, the mantle, or any other spot in the home.  The Christmas Cactus is widely available and very inexpensive. The Christmas Cactus has many names such as the Crab Cactus, the Holiday Cactus, the Link Cactus, and the Thanksgiving Cactus. Whatever you call this plant, it comes from the Schlumbergera family originating in the mountains of Brazil.  Living in generally shady areas of the mountainsides with high humidity, this cactus is very different from our hot, dry native plants.  They do not have thorns and are very easy to maintain.  They're very adaptable and will adapt to indoor temperatures in any part of the United States. I have five different plants, one of which is almost 30 years old.  They are not huge plants so you can easily have several around the house.  My plants b...

Sheep Breeding, When to Put a Ram with Your Ewes

This information, although written about breeding sheep, can also be used in regards to breeding goats, as their gestation period is the same. The difference with goats is that they tend to produce more kids than sheep produce lambs, so your likelihood of having to bottle feed is higher. For the purpose of the article, to keep it simple, we will generally be referring to all animals as if they are sheep. Breeding Terms Ram – male sheep Ewe – female sheep Buck, or Billy – male goat Doe, or Nanny – female goat Lamb – baby sheep Kid – baby goat Pregnant ewes © by author When to Put your Ram, or Buck, with your Ewes, or Does While some sheep can be breed at anytime of the year, and some producers breed 3 times every two years, most of the smaller producers breed their ewes once a year. If they have many head they may breed one group of ewes a month earlier than another group so they are not all lambing at once. Most people put their ram...

How to Make Rat, Mouse and Cockroach Poison

The bane of civilization is the pests that live off our refuse. Mice, rats, cockroaches... shudder! Commercial poisons are expensive and dangerous to people as well as pests. You can make poison that will take care of all three that is safer to handle, costs much less and makes up quickly. Although the main ingredient in home made pest poison, borax, needs to be placed where your pets and children won't eat it, it's generally safe to handle. Borax is used as a laundry booster and a general household cleaner which is especially good for walls and floors. Treat it like you would any other cleaner it won't cause a problem in your household. Besides borax, you'll need a pair of gloves if your skin is sensitive. Other than that, you can use the tools, utensils and containers you already have. Simply wash them when you're finished and continue using them as usual. Since borax is poison when eaten, all you need to do is find a way to make it palatable to the pests you need to get rid of. ...

Concerns with Keeping Different Types of Livestock Together

Whether you are a farmer, or hobby farmer, you may be wondering what types of farm animals can be kept together safely. Sometimes keeping different livestock together is an issue of fencing, other times compatibility, but more often than not, it is an issue of diet. Ducks and Chickens Ducks and chickens are not good together for several reasons. First of all ducks need a place to swim, even a small tub, but this will drown a chicken. As well, if you have chicks, there is penicillin added to chick starter which is deadly for ducks. Roosters and Drakes may be aggressive towards the other birds unless kept free range. Chickens and Turkeys While the size difference might be the biggest concern there is also a risk of turkeys spreading blackhead disease to chickens. As such it is generally suggested to keep similar ages of birds together, but to introduce them slowly (and not to over crowd them), and not to introduce them until 6 months of age, after their immunity has really developed....

Soil Solarization: Concept and Benefits

Pests and soilborne diseases always cause severe damage to horticultural and field crops. With their presence, the desired output is greatly reduced, posing a heavy economic loss to farmers and growers. Hence, they must be eradicated. Several methods have been tried and practiced to address this issue. There are chemical applications like soil-applied pesticides that control weeds, nematodes, fungi, bacteria and soilborne diseases. However, the use of chemical pest controls are viewed undesirable because of their unfavorable effects on both humans and animals, the toxic residues they generate, and the high cost and complexity of their treatment. To avoid negative consequences, a number of nonchemical methods for controlling diseases and pests have been studied and applied. One such method is soil solarization. Soil solarization is a pest and disease control technique that uses the radiant heat from the sun to eliminate many soilborne pathogens. In this process, the soil is mulched and...

Begonias - A few quick facts

Begonias are plants of the large genus Begonia and common name for the family Begoniaceae, are mostly succulent perennial herbs.. The different groups of begonias have different cultural requirements but most species come from tropical regions and therefore they and their hybrids require warm temperatures. In general, begonias require a well-drained growing medium that is neither constantly wet nor allowed to dry out completely. Many begonias will grow and flower year-round but tuberous begonias , a variety that usually has a dormant period, during which the tubers can be stored in a cool and dry place. Some Begonias belonging to the semperflorens group are frequently grown as bedding plants outdoors and have attractive and brightly colored flowers. Growing Begonias is easy. They make a good indoor houseplants as they tolerate shade well . Most varieties of Begonias have asymmetrical leaves that often are earlike in shape. Some varieties go dormant or semi-dormant during certa...

Guide to Garden and Landscaping Tools

If you are a new homeowner, or planning on tackling some of your own gardening and yard work, you should know what tools are used for certain jobs. Not only will this make life easier for you, it will save you time and money in the long run while making your yard and garden look more attractive. Each garden tool is designed to perform a specific job and using the wrong tool not only takes longer, but the work is more difficult, and injuries can occur. Hopefully this guide will help you select the garden tools that you need for your yard and explain their function. I have left off lawn mowers and focused on more specialized hand tools and a few power tools that you may not be familiar with. Weeders A weeder is a tool that is used to pull up pesky weeds from a garden or lawn. These tools are designed to get the weeds and their roots out easier than by hand. There are several variations of weeders available. Fulcrum weeder–A fulcrum weeder has a forked tip and long shaf...

How to Take Care of Nolina

The plant called Nolina is one of the most fascinating plants because of the shape of its leaves and it grows tall and erect without need of support. It is from the beaucarnea family and the most common one is the beaucarnea recurvata or nolina tuberculata but in the English language it is called The Pony Tail  or Elephant foot. The bulb of the nolina grows upwards and then has leaves at the top. These are about 2cm wide. The large swollen trunk at the bottom grows slowly until it covers the area of the pot. The trunk acts like a reservoir for the plant.The nolina beaucarnea needs a lot of light to grow well because otherwise the leaves starts to turn a light green. A little sun is acceptable but be wary of the scorching heat found in some countries. Artificial lighting is accepted by this plant and so it can be grown as an indoor plant. The temperature must not be lower than 10°C and not higher than 18°C. Watering the plant should only be done when the growing compost i...

How to Make an Ivy Topiary

Whether you choose to make a topiary for a gift or to add to your home or garden, ivy is a fast growing plant that will quickly fill out a homemade or purchased wire frame. A topiary is a classic gardening technique that can be created by using the branches and structure or a tree or shrub or a wire sculpture covered with a long, trailing plant to represent an architectural form. Ivy is a good choice for beginners since it is easy to work with, is easy to care for, and fills in a wire form quickly. Other plants that can be used are philodendron and pothos that have long stems, but with fewer and larger leaves. Sphere Topiary Instructions 1. Purchase ivy at your local garden center or nursery. It is a good idea to use ones in hanging baskets as the stems will be longer and fill more of the form. 2. You can choose to buy a topiary form at a garden center or online, or you can make one out of wire. Galvanized or aluminum wire will not rust and last longer, but you can also use w...

60+ Financial & Educational Resources for Kicking Off Your Farming Career

With organic produce popping up everywhere and small, artisanal farming becoming a growing trend, the time is ripe for new farmers to begin building a business. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects a small one percent decline in farming jobs by 2026, the global population is also steadily rising and so is the demand for fresh, good quality, and sustainable food. Plus, the average age of the American farmer is currently 58.3 and climbing, leaving ample space open for beginning farmers to cultivate their own place in the agribusiness world.But, starting your own farm requires more than just a green thumb. You’ll need to find capital to get started, develop business skills, and learn how to navigate a lot of complicated laws that regulate the farming industry. You’ll also need to decide what type of farm you want to have, what scale you want your operation to be, and how you’re going to distribute your products. It turns out just getting your farm off the...

Beautiful Plants That Will Grow Under Trees And Shrubs

Most gardeners today think that the biggest problem area in their garden is the bare space that lay beneath their trees and shrubs. Given the fact they not only have to find plants that will grow in shade but also in the inhospitable dry soil that lies beneath the trees and shrubs it can become a rather daunting task to find plants that will grow in this type of environment. The reason for the lack of moisture is due to the roots of trees and shrubs seeking out water and absorbing huge amounts of it and the bigger the tree or shrub, the more water it will take in. On top of trying to find plants for those two conditions there is also another problem to take under consideration, the fact that that the roots of trees and shrubs spread out greatly while in their search for water and get in the way of planting new plants. It is easy to see why a lot of gardeners dislike these areas and why it is known as the most problematic area in the garden, however; though you may not know it, you c...

Factors to Consider in Animal Raising

Some entrepreneurs spend there investments in the area of animal raising. Some of them started this as a form of a hobby. You need to have the passion and motivation in this business considering that this is difficult to operate. Before you begin, you must to consider some things that are related to the animal raising operations. There are certain things to be considered in raising animals. These are the “technical know-how”, the “market assurance” and the “continued supply” of stock, feeds as well as other supplies that are needed for the operation. Technical know-how includes the basic knowledge that is necessary in raising animals. These include the knowledge about the nature of the animal, the requirements for the animal’s growth as well as its sustenance and maintenance. This is crucial and important considering that there are lots of things to be considered in raising a particular type of animals. Technical know-how can be acquired thr...

Coconut Palm, A tree that gives ...

 Coconut Palm is also popularly known in India as Kalpavriksha which means a tree that gives all that is necessary for living. Some facts about the  Coconut Palm The coconut is a member of the family Arecaceae , popularly known as the palm family.The coconut palm is grown throughout the tropics. Since, virtually every part of the coconut palm can be utilized by humans in some manner or the other it is known as ' Kalpavriksha' in Sanskrit which means ' A tree that provides all the necessities of life '. The origin of the coconuts is much disputed to this day . However the first ever record of Coconut Palms was in 545 AD by Cosmos, an Egyptian, who saw them in India and Sri Lanka and later Marco Polo reported them in Indonesia . A recent theory is that it originated in East Pacific islands of Polynesia. In 1995 a fossil coconut fruit was reported in southern Queensland, which showed that the Coconut Palm has been around for at least two million years. The coconut is f...

Weird and Bizarre Sheep Breeds: The Multi-horned Ones

The legendary creature with one horn is called the “Unicorn”. Most horned animals have a pair of horns such as goats, cows, caribous and others. In very rare cases, there are also horned animals that were born with 3 horns due to genetic disorders or abnormal conditions. Have you seen an animal with four horns? How about animals with 5 or more horns? What do you call an animal with multiple horns? Check this out! 1. Jacob Sheep Image Source A multi-horned animal is called “polycerate” and one of the most remarkable multi-horned sheep is the Jacob Sheep. This piebald bred can weigh up to 82 kilograms. Amazingly a Jacob Sheep may have up to six horns.  Image Source Because of its unique physical appearance, it is one of the few sheep breed that is kept as pet and ornamental animal. This small but very useful animal is also used as a guard animal. 2. Manx Loaghtan Image Source Another notable polycerate sheep breed is the Manx Loaghtan. This uniq...

Facts and Information on Angora Goats and Mohair

Perhaps you read about Angora Rabbits and are wondering about their goat counterpart; the Angora Goat! Of course these two animals are not related, but both are well known for producing some of the worlds softest fibers. The fiber from the Angora rabbit is called Angora, while the fiber from the Angora goat is called Mohair. Angora goats originated in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. They were brought to the United States in 1849, and although they are now in many other places of the USA, and Canada, Texas is the third largest producer of mohair in the world. Most goats have 2 kinds of hair, long primary hairs, and short secondary curly hairs. The Angora goats lack the primary hairs and their secondary hairs are closely packed and grow longer; called mohair. They may have some primary hairs, which are called kemp, and are undesirable. Mohair from these goats should grow at a rate of 1 inch (2.5cm) a month. Mature Angora goat does weigh 75 pounds (40 kg) or more, while mature billies w...

How Much Space Do Livestock Animals Need?

Many people who are just getting involved with keeping livestock, horses, or even backyard chickens, often raise the question “How much land do my animals need?”. This question is a lot harder to answer than it seems. Factors to Consider in Required Space Livestock animals need space for many reasons; grazing, manure issues, exercise, mental stimulation. Of the three, space requirements for mental stimulation are the ones most often ignored. With concerns regarding how much land does a certain type of animal need for grazing reasons the quality of the pasture is highly important. More animals can graze a good pasture than can graze the same amount of scrub land. If pastures are being rotated and allowed to recover between periods of grazing, more animals can be kept on the same pasture. Animals that are fed hay will not require as much grazing land as those who are strictly kept on pasture alone with no other feed. Manure control refers to the fact that in some areas th...

How to Get Rid of Moles from Your Lawn, Overnight

Evidently there are three types of common definitions for the word mole. There are body moles. Then there is the mole commonly used by chemist, short for molecule. However for the purposes of this article we are talking about neither. The mole we are addressing here is an ugly little annoying creature that can destroy a great lawn in a matter of weeks. So for you animal lovers and more specifically you mole lovers, for what I am about to say, please accept my deepest and sincere apology. Having gotten that out of the way, let me give you my mole story. Many years ago I was living in Orlando, Florida in a pretty upscale neighborhood where everyone had great pride in their lawns; however, very few people took care of the lawns themselves. Instead they generally hired someone else to do that for them, to the tune of about $150.00 per month in those days. I was no exception. Coming from the northeast I had very little experience and even less success keeping a manicured lawn. So in Flo...

Build a Livecatch Trap to Capture Rabbits, Squirrels, Woodchucks, and Other Garden Pests

Mammal Pests in your Garden and the Live-Catch Trap Rabbits in the garden can destroy your setting plants. They will nibble and consume your vegetables. Squirrels in the flowerbed will dig-up and eat your bulbs. Setting out devices to frighten these creatures away often do not work. Raccoons are a problem in the garden too, and notorious for getting into municipal and residential trash cans, tipping them over, spreading bagged garbage and causing havoc. Plastic owls that sit on the edge of garden fencepost intended to frighten away birds and squirrels make a convenient perch for some creatures; the very ones that are intended to be frightened away. Most day-dwelling animals are not intimidated by the night-dwelling bird of prey. A plastic peregrine falcon, -a day-dwelling raptor, might have better results. Often the best if not the only way to get rid of larger mammal marauders from the garden is to trap them in a 'live-catch' device and remove them to another location far away. Co...

Organic Pest Control: How to Build a Slug and Snail Beer Trap

Garden slugs and snails can cause considerable damage to vegetable and flower plants and are found in most gardens that are not located in arid or semi-arid locations. While there are commercially available slug and snail traps and pesticides on the market, you can you’re your own organic slug trap using some left over beer and some containers you have lying around the house. While no method is foolproof, these traps will attract slugs and snail that are in the area and reduce their numbers substantially. Other organic methods for slug and snail control are coarse sand and pulverized lime. These materials are supposed to irritate the body of the slug and deter them from entering the garden and eating plants. The fact that slugs produce mucus to allow them to move also offers some protection from rough surfaces and mild chemicals. Slug and Snail Damage Slugs and snails feed on the leaves and stems of plants primarily at night. You may be able to locate where they hide dur...

Miniature Chickens the Bantam Breeds

Bantams are tiny chickens, not young ones, but full grown small sized birds. On the whole the Bantam breeds can are usually one-third to one-fifth the size of regular chicken breeds. These smaller sized birds were named for the sea port Indonesian city, Bantam. Their petite size made them the choice for sea going vessels and as such all small chickens were eventually referred to as “Bantams” or “Banty's”. Even now there are many advantages to keeping Bantam Chickens. As pets Bantams offer more color selection and variety in feathering than do most of the larger breeds. For people who want showy pets these birds work well and can easily fit in a smaller yard or coop. The hens are often more broody than the larger breeds, bred more for meat production, and laying. As such the Bantam hens are desired for the purposes of hatching other birds eggs. They are very good mothers on the whole, being protective over chicks even if they are not their own, or their own sp...

How to Get Rid of Aphids

Aphids are the scourge of every flower and vegetable gardener. World wide, there are 4,400 species of aphid, ranging in color from green to black to red to nearly transparent. One thing almost all aphids have in common are their pear shaped bodies. Another distinguishing aspect of the aphid is the small “cones” that protrude from the tail end of their body called “cornicles”, which aphids use to excrete a defensive fluid. Their exoskeleton is rather soft as insects go. They feed on plants through a tubular mouthpart that contains two “stylets” that puncture the plant then suck the sap and juices from it. Aphids can infest a garden quickly. Partially due to their size, as they are very small and difficult to see if not being looked for. Also, these little bugs are quite prolific. A single aphid can produce up to 80 live offspring at a time and can continue bearing baby aphids for another 20 to 40 days. An aphid infestation in your garden can have a c...

How To Preserve Your Gardenias In Cold Or Freezing Weather

Gardenia has over 250 species of evergreen and flowering shrubs. Confused, about choosing the right one? You can select any species of gardenia, but make sure, that you buy the variety which has nematode resistant rootstock, as gardenia are very susceptible to nematodes. The most beautiful among gardenia varieties are, gardenia jasminoides, gardenia psidioides and gardenia brighamii. Gardenia are low-maintenance plants, but one needs to tend to gardenia care in winter, very properly. Plants of gardenia look beautiful in summers with their glossy leaves and pure white flowers. But, when the temperature drops during winter, many problems can arise, particularly when keeping the plant indoors. The plant might start drooping and suddenly, the flower buds can start falling off. The leaves can become yellow, and start dropping off the plant, like the leaves of a tree start falling in autumn. So, gardenia plant care in winter becomes a challenge. But do not worry, this article will provide...

Do Fleas Die in the Dryer?

Do fleas die in the dryer? Most often when you have pets, fleas and other pests can be a real annoyance. They may end up in the yard as well as the home as they hitch a ride on your favorite pet. Once they get into carpets and furniture they seem to continually multiply. Getting rid of the fleas is another problem. Do fleas die in the dryer? Fleas go through four stages of metamorphosis, egg, larvae, pupae and adult and you may wonder, do fleas die in the dryer to get rid of them. Fleas range in size from ½ to 1/6 inch long, and they have no wings. They have very slender bodies that can get in to very tiny areas. Fleas can lay their eggs on their host (your pet) and get deposited on the floor and ground. They can lay eggs continually, up to 200 – 400 eggs. The eggs then develop into flea larva within a couple of days. The larvae look like maggots. They are difficult to vacuum up as they get caught in the fibers of the carpeting. Of course the fleas get in the furniture, b...

Facts and Interesting Information About the Hibiscus Plant

The hibiscus is commonly known in Asia as the shoe flower because it is used to polish shoes. The other names are sorrel, rosemallow and China rose. The plant belongs to Hibiscus Genus and Malvaceae family. The hibiscus is an evergreen bush that is found commonly in warm and tropical regions.  There are over two hundred species in this family. The flowers of the hibiscus plant are large and attractive. The flowers do not have any scent however. There are a variety of colors ranging from bright red to light blue. People often graft plants to get flowers with double colors and increased number of petals. The government of Malaysia has declared the hibiscus flower as its national flower. The people of Malaysia have high regard for this flower. The symbol of the flower is imprinted on Malaysian currency. Indians treat the shoe flower with respect and offer it to the Goddess Kali. She is worshipped with red hibiscus flowers. It is believed that she likes these flower offerings and w...

The Many Uses of Hibiscus Flower

When you think of the colorful and attractive Hibiscus flowers you tend to think of tropical plants  ideal for landscaping and as plants meant for wet soils. They make ideal indoor plants  too when the right conditions are provided. The Hibiscus plant needs a lot of sun and water. The more sun it gets the more flowers in the plant. Hibiscus plant thrives on humidity. It is essential to spray the plant lightly each day to make the plant look healthy and at its best. Hibiscus plant also needs a lot of Fertilizer during the growing stages, and once the plant has matured it does not require a lot of fertilizer. I have seen some Hibiscus plants growing wild , the plants filled with dazzling blooms with absolutely no specialised care except what nature provides in the form of light and water and they seem to thrive and grow even better than those found in well tended gardens - Amazing ! The Hibiscus flowers come in all varieties , shapes,sizes and colors. They look very ornamen...

Why Yucca Plants Wilt

Yucca plants will grow under a variety of conditions, but sometimes a plant that doesn’t receive the right care will show signs of wilting. Plant wilting can be caused by one or more reasons. You must diagnose the problem and make corrections to stop the wilting before the entire yucca plant dies back. Watering Young yucca plants need regular watering until the roots are established or the plant will start to wilt. After the plant is established, the plant will only need water when it rains. However, container plants should have at least one watering each week, since the soil does dry rather quickly in a container more so than it does in the ground, but this depends on the soil you use. If the soil doesn't have good-drainage, such as clay soil, you will need to wait until the soil dries out before watering the yucca. If the soil is a sandy mixture that drains quickly, you may need to water the plant more often if the soil dries out quickly. Diseases Fusarium stem rot and sout...

Marigolds: a Lovely Flower to Grow in Your Garden

Marigolds are originally from Mexico, where they are known as Celandulas. Apparently they were first discovered by the Portuguese in Central America in the 16th century and they became popular in Europe and elsewhere. But according to Hindu mythology Marigolds existed in India even during the period of Ramayana (400BC) and Mahabharata( 8 BC ), there are many references made about the beauty of the flower and its medicinal qualities in these scriptures... Marigolds are members of the Composite Family, the blossoms sometimes are actually clusters of many flowers. They do exceptionally well in tropical countries , since they need lots of sunshine and water. It is a tropical flower that is now being cultivated all over the world during summer time . According to a news report "A team of scientists associated with the European Space Agency (ESA) has claimed that they are convinced that marigolds can grow in crushed rock similar to the lunar surface, with no need for plant food &q...

Finding the Right Crop Protection Method for Your Home Garden

If you have a yard with a plot of soil and an exposure to the sun, and if you don’t live somewhere near the Arctic Circle, there’s a good chance that you can experience the joys of having a garden. By picking appropriate plants or crops for your climate – and by properly watering them, fertilizing them, and weeding out the surrounding soil – it doesn’t take too much effort to enjoy a garden in bloom for much of the summer. The end of the summer, however, is another matter altogether. If you live in a cold climate, your months of work will likely wither and die. Hopefully, you have planted some perennials that will return next spring. But if you live in a place that experiences more mild winters, you still may be plagued by dying and sickly crops after a few months of gardening, as the warmer season comes to an end. When this occurs, or when perennials in cooler climates fail to endure the winter, many people simply assume that this is an unfortunate and u...

Facts About Heirloom Tomatoes

Tomatoes have always been popular with gardeners and heirloom varieties are becoming more popular every year. An heirloom is generally considered to be a variety that has been passed down, through several generations of a family because of certain characteristics. But be aware that this rise in popularity has meant nurseries have taken liberties with the use of this term for marketing purposes. History of the Term “Heirloom” The term "Heirloom" was apparently first used by Kent Whealy of Seed Savers Exchange, who first used "heirloom" in relation to plants in a speech he gave in Tucson in 1981. He had asked permission to use the term "heirloom" from John Withee, who had used the term on the cover of his bean catalog who had borrowed it from Prof. William Hepler at the University of New Hampshire, who first used the term "heirloom" to describe some beans that friends had given him back in the 1940s. Heirlooms Categories There are b...

About Calving, How Cows Give Birth

Although it is not recommended to breed a heifer until she is 24 months of age, pressure on the industry means that many are bred long before this, with some bred as young as 14 months of age, and others at 19 months of age, with those who mature larger bred later than those that mature smaller. The goal then being that a heifer will be around 2 years of age when she calves her first calf. Cattle are pregnant for roughly 9 months, give or take 10 days.  If you are a farmer, or hobby farmer, you need to know what to expect. Delivery of a Calf Calving time is often indicated by signs of discomfort and restlessness. A cow may go off her feed, she may kick or bite at her belly and move away from the herd, possibly even hiding. The calf is moving into position for delivery and contractions are taking place. This stage can take 2 to six hours, longer for a heifer than a cow (note cow generally refers to an animal that has had a calf already, heifer is a first time mother). The hips ...

Facts About and Principles of Natural Farming Technique

For the non-technical person, the concept of natural farming may easily be confused with organic farming. Natural farming is a farming technique that brings the soil and environment back to its original form. Nature works for the production of its needs. Organic farming, on the other hand, is a farming technique that uses organically produced fertilizers as the means of fertilizing the soil. Pesticides and fungicides may also be applied when needed. History of Natural Farming Natural farming was advocated way back in 1935 by Mokichi Okada, a Japanese philosopher and holistic health advocate, as an alternative to the conventional, highly chemical dependent farming method. It aims to produce food that is safe and free from harmful chemicals and toxic materials. It respects nature and brings out the natural strength of the soil. Almost 50 years later, a much more familiar term related to natural farming came up. This is the so-called "effective microorganisms" or EM, a concoc...

Most Notable and Popular Spotted Pigs You May Want to Raise

Spotted animals are among the most beautiful and attractive animals in the world. Do you like spotted animals? Spotted animals are simply amazing and captivating. Although majority of breeds of pig are raised for their meat some breed look awesome for their unique appearance and markings. Longhaired breeds are adorable and huge breeds are simply impressive. Some unique breeds are also captivating and some pig breeds are perfectly good as pets. Spotted animals are simply amazing creatures. Here are some remarkable pig breeds with unique spots. 1. Gloucestershire Old Spots Image Source The Gloucestershire Old Spots is a beautiful spotted pig breed that originated in Gloucestershire County where its name was taken. This pig breed is best known for its intelligence and docile nature. A male Gloucestershire Old Spots can attain a weight of 272 kg and female or sow can reach 227 kg. This lovely-looking spotted pig breed is also known by a variety of names such as also Gloucester Old Spo...

How to Keep Worms in Your Garden

Red worms supply your gardens soil with nutrition with minimal cost and hardly no effort while helping the environment and reduce trash that will otherwise be wasted at trash dumps. If your tired of hauling compost to your garden or tiling and raking the compost in the ground your in luck. Your probably thinking this is another article on red worm farming. Nope! We all know that worms are essential for gardening, all types of gardening. Especialy Red Worms they produce the best casting for your garden soil.  Compost get costly when you have to purchase compost and casting from red worm farmers. Red worms put out the most castings and the most nutrition in the soil more then any other worms. You could make your own compost but that takes time and energy. You could raise your own red worms that would save a lot of money, but raising your own red worms takes time. Red worms need care to ensure that the red worms stay healthy and happy so that they breed. Then once you have ...

How to Double the Size of Your Garden with Vertical Gardening

We look at our garden and wish we had a bigger garden. You can double the size of your garden easily with vertical gardening. Average Garden Size Gardening has always been a favorite hobby and during certain times in our history, gardening and growing your own food was almost a necessity. During the Great Depression and during World War II we had the Victory garden. According to the National Gardening Association, the median size food garden in the United States is 96 square feet with 57% having that size garden. 26% of the gardeners in the survey had a food garden of between 101 and 500 square feet. Half of all food gardening households in the US also grew food in container gardens. According to this study, the average food garden can yield ½ pound of food per square foot. A 100 square foot garden (10 feet by 10 feet) would grow about 50 pounds of food per growing season; that is pretty good considering the price of some vegetables. Double the Size of your Garden by Growin...

The Giant Hogweed, a Toxic Invader

The Giant Hogweed is a toxic invader. Like carrots or parsley, Giant Hogweed is a member of the Apiaceae family. It is also called Giant Cow Parsley. Originally from Europe and Central Asia, it has made its way to North America and other parts of the world due to gardeners importing it for its decorative looks. It looks very much like common Hogweed or Garden Angelica, both plants native to North America, but it is far taller and unlike the other two, it is toxic. Giant Hogweed can now be found in Canada, America, Britain, France, Germany and Belgium. Due to its pernicious nature it is illegal to import it in to many countries and it is ruthlessly removed whenever found in the wild. Giant Hogweed can reach 10-20 feet tall and is distinguished by its reed-like hairy dark red to purple stems, spotted leaf stalks and large serrated compound leaves. Giant Hogweed is a perennial, flowering each year in late spring to mid summer. During this time they are covered in an u...

Why Won't My Chicken Eggs Hatch?

Many people struggle with hatching chicken eggs and puzzle about why they are not hatching. Hatching eggs is not always an easy thing and even poultry producers do not have a 100% success rate. Below are the common problems people experience when trying to hatch chicken eggs. Normally Chicken eggs take about 21 days to hatch. If you have a chicken egg that is more than 24 days old, it will not hatch. Other species of bird eggs take longer or shorter. Grocery Store Eggs Sometimes people think they can buy eggs from the grocery store and hatch those. It will never happen for several reasons. Firstly the hens that lay the eggs are not exposed to roosters, as such the eggs are not fertile. Secondly the eggs are collected immediately after being laid, and refrigerated, as such even IF they were fertilized, a chick could not possibly survive, as normally they must be incubated at warm temperatures. Not Fertile As mentioned above hens lay eggs whether or not a rooster is present. Even i...

Container Gardening- How to Grow Strawberries

Growing strawberries in containers or garden pots is relatively easy and provides interested gardeners with limited space the opportunity to grow this delicious fruit. Getting Started Containers – There are strawberry pots specifically made for growing strawberries and are sometimes called pocket containers. These pots are usually tall with several openings around the container where strawberry plants can be inserted into the potting soil. You can fit several plants in one pot, and is a particularly great way to grow strawberries if space is a consideration. Not only do these pots allow you to plant more strawberries, they are also attractive additions to a patio or walkway. You can also choose standard planters for your strawberries; just make sure that they have adequate drainage. There is one type that is collapsible so they can be emptied and stored over the winter. These are called “pop up” strawberry planters. Pop up Strawberry Planter Terra Cotta Pl...

How to Care for Newborn Lambs

Ewes are pregnant for 5 months, they normally have between one and three lambs in the spring. Some sheep breeds can produce lambs at any time of the year. Ewes will start getting full udders, and round bellies, about a month before lambing. They often lamb in the evening or early morning but can lamb at any time. Most sheep producers, especially in area where the weather is cold, or predators are a problem, keep their expecting ewes in the barn at night and in a smaller pasture in the day so they can be checked regularly. If you should ever find a ewe with lambs be sure to walk around and make sure there are no other lambs. It is not uncommon for a ewe to have more than one and get confused and leave one somewhere. She may have refused it, or it became lost in the flock. Ideally first time mothers will have single lambs, if they have two, and especially if they have triplets, you must monitor them very closely to be sure she is caring for all, and they are getting enough milk t...

Small Trees for Homeowners with Small Lots

For homeowners with smaller lots or people who own townhouses, small trees are an excellent way to add some height to your yard, but not so much that you crowd everything else out. Here is a list of trees that you can add to your property that provide some interesting color and shape. To see what trees can grow in your part of the country check out the National Arboretum "Web Version" of the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, http://www.usna.usda.gov/Hardzone/ushzmap.html or The Arbor Day Foundation at http://www.arborday.org/treeinfo/zonelookup.cfm . Trees Common Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) The common witch hazel is a native small tree or large shrub with fantastic fall attributes. Yellow, fragrant flowers bloom from October through December. Attractive foliage in all growing seasons with leaves bright green in spring followed by yellow to yellowish-orange colors in fall. A great tree to plant as an understory or for a shrub border in large areas. Prefers moist...

Colorful Coleus - Tropical Jungle Plants

 Coleus (Coleus blumei ) Some plants are grown for their exquisite foliage in different colors and shapes , more than compensating for their non descriptive flowers and coleus ius one such plant .Coleus is a genus of perennial plants, native to tropical Africa, Asia, Australia, the East Indies, the Malayasia, Thailand and the Philippines...Most of them are propagated for their attractive foliage - colorful variegated leaves, typically with sharp contrast between the colors; the leaves may be green, pink, yellow, or a deep blackish purple or maroon.The colors are glorious and eye catching brightening any drab patch of garden.There are boundless varieties of coleus plants that come in all colors shapes and sizes.Some of color combinations are bright and spell binding. There are more than 100 varieties of Coleus and they are all equally attractive and colorful.. It is hard to believe that it is tropical jungle plant that has become extremely popular with gardeners and plant lo...

The Truth About Teacup Pigs

In recent years there has been an increase in the demand for such a pet as a “teacup” version of a regular sized animal. Most breed registries do not recognize this category of size in their animals as this is a gimmick used for marketing, and in fact are generally unhealthy, and poorly bred animals, stunted intentionally for the purpose of money. The word “Teacup” is often associated with tiny dogs, being poorly bred, runts, or stunted through poor nutrition, the “breeders” (and I use that term loosely) price the animals high because cute sells, and small is cute. In recent years the word “Teacup” has been applied to other animals, including pigs. Make no mistake Teacup Pigs are not healthy pets. Trouble With Teacup Pets Some of the problems common in teacup pigs, and other teacup animals are listed below: Heart Deformities, often resulting in a short lifespan. Digestive system deformities (very common in teacup...

How to Help Your Garden After a Hailstorm

You plant your garden in May, and by June it is looking perfect. The first blooms are on the peppers and tomatoes already. The nice afternoon showers are watering your garden and then it happens. An intense hailstorm hits and you get home and look at the hail piled in your garden like snow. Now what do you do? This is what happened to me recently and like every gardener you have to decide what to do. Do you just replant everything or try and repair the damage. To replant every plant would of course take more money, but there is also the time factor. If the storm happens early enough in the year you will be fine by replanting in most zones. But in some areas, the growing season just isn’t that long, so you have to try and fix as many plants as you can. It is hard to start over the hot season plants after July 4th in most growing zones, and impossible to do so by seed. Broken and Bent Branches Any broken branches should be cleanly cut off. You can cut the broken branch right at ...

How To Grow Onions and Garlic Inside

You don't have to have a large yard or an outdoor garden to grow some veggies at home.  You just need a few things and a little know how.  Onions and Garlic are reasonably easy to grow indoors and you can just regenerate the ones you have for instance green onions will generate themselves if you leave the white part at the bottom and a tiny bit of the green.  Place the white part in a cup with water with the little fuzzy parts down, lay the green onion against the side of the cup to keep it vertical; then you watch the green onion regenerate itself and grow.  You can do this over and over again, they do seem to grow thinner though the second time around.  The great thing about planting onions indoors is that you can use most of the onion for cooking while you use the the bottom part of for planting.  Cut the bottom root portion of the onion off.  This is what you will be planting.  In a container at least 4 inches high fill partially with soil.&...

How to Care For a Dragon Tree

The Dracaena Marginata plant is also known as the Madagascar Dragon tree and they have become very popular as houseplants.  They allow you to change their looks.  You can let them grow naturally or you can twist the stalks to develop your own look. The dragon tree has narrow ribbon like deep green leaves.  They have a narrow strip along the other edge of the leaf that is magenta.  If you keep your dragon tree healthy it will be happy and will stay around for many years.  The dragon tree loves bright, indirect light and because of this they make great patio and indoor plants.  If the plant gets too much sunlight it will cause their leaves to get burned.  It the plant does not get sufficient light it will grow very slowly. When you keep your dragon tree as a house plant it needs the soil kept moist at all times and it likes a higher humidity.  If the tips of the leaves get brown it means there is not enough humidity so will need to mist the plan...

Brighten Up Your Yard with Ornamental Grass

Ornamental grass can add amazing color and movement to your yard. Some ornamental grasses have flowers and others have colorful leaves or tassel’s that wave in the breeze. You can choose from grass that is steel blue, silver, white, yellow, orange, bright red and chartreuse in color. Reasons to Plant Ornamental Grass There is an ornamental grass for any type of landscape or garden including wilderness, Japanese, rock, Xeriscape, water, container or just in your yard wherever you like. The great thing about many types of ornamental grasses is that they do not require a lot of maintenance and do well in normal to poor soil. Pests and bugs usually do not bother these grasses. They can add bright late season colors well into fall and will stand out in your yard on the grayest of winter days. You can use the fresh or dried grass as decorations. How to Select Ornamental Grass for Your Yard There is a large variety among ornamental grasses species, know how big they will get. Lookin...

Facts and Information on Fat Tailed Sheep

Although fat tailed sheep make up about 20 – 25 % of the world's sheep population, most people in the Western world have never heard of them. Most people are familiar with traditional wool sheep who usually have their tails docked. Today we will introduce you to a few breeds of sheep that store fat in their tails, and rumps, much in the same way camels store it in their humps. Fat tailed sheep are also called fat rumped sheep. They are kept in the arid regions of the world, mostly Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Though some fat tailed sheep produce wool, these sheep are traditionally kept for meat and milk, the exception being the Karakul sheep who are often used to produce lambs that are often slaughtered the day of their birth to be used in coats. This is actually such an extreme practice some ewes are forced to abort early, or older ewes are slaughtered before giving birth, so that fetal lambs can be harvested and slaughtered. Fat tailed sheep were bred specific...

How To Get Rid Of Household Pests Naturally

Whether you live in the city, or live in the country, there is usually a problem with those pesky pests who decide they want to take over our home. We spend dollar after dollar to get rid of them, to no avail for various over the counter products which do not work. Unless we read the directions of these products carefully, they may put our family and pets in danger. There are several ways to get rid of those pesky pests that most of us have to deal with. There are recipes for natural pest control which will get rid of those pesky pests. Exterminators Exterminators are expensive, and leave us wondering what they did during the entire five minutes they spent in our home. The products they use are concentrated and diluted in water which is placed in the metal tank with a sprayer that the use. You can purchase the same concentrate from a local exterminator or possibly at a home improvement retail store. The cost of a small bottle of roach killer, which also works on silverfish, fleas an...

Gardening Tips for Common Tomato Diseases - Blossom End Rot and Root Knot

Tomato blight is a common disease caused by a fungus, but there are other problems that tomato plants can suffer from that will also affect your tomatoes and plants. Two common problems are blossom end rot of tomato and root knot.Tomato Blight Causes and Treatment - knoji.com/gardening-tips-tomato-blight-causes-and-treatment/ Blossom End Rot You may have healthy plants that have set plenty of fruit that begins to ripen as usual. When you take a closer look you find the bottom is rotten. Blossom end rot is not caused by a disease or pests but is a symptom of calcium deficiency in the fruit. Causes include fluctuating soil moisture or low levels of calcium in the maturing fruit. The disorder is usually more severe after the soil conditions have been too wet or too dry. Blossom End Rot Temporary water stress during early fruit development can cause the rot. Another cause of blossom end rot is too much nitrogen fertilizer. This occurs as the fertilizer promotes excessive growth in th...

Planting and Care Instructions for Clematis

Clematis is a climbing vine that produces a large quantity of flowers in various colors. You can enjoy the flowers continuously from late spring through autumn by planting a combination of early, midseason, and late bloomers. Stems intertwine with any nearby object to support the plant's climb. Some varieties can grow up to 20 feet in a single season. There are some varieties of clematis that are well suited for containers and others that can be used as ground covers. Most will climb up trellises, lamp posts, or wander among evergreens and small trees. My white clematis on an overcast day! The flowers are over 5 inches in diameter. (Variety is probably Miss Bateman) Planting Clematis grow best when their roots are cool and their foliage is in the sun. A thick layer of mulch will help keep the roots cool. Most clematis need at least 5 hours of sun everyday and it best to locate your clematis where the roots are shaded by other perennials or small shrubs, but they can receive plenty...

How to Catch Feral Cats, Even If They're in Your Basement

Just because they're wild, that doesn't mean feral cats always stay outside. Sometimes they get into people's basements, for example, mine. Last fall we had a mother cat and two kittens that entered through a broken basement window. We didn't know they were there until I went down to turn off the outside faucet for the winter. There it was, a gray tiger-striped cat strolling along a shelf as big as life, and we don't have a cat. Pretty soon we saw two kittens down there as well, another gray tiger-striped one and a dark calico one. This necessitated some kind of cat removal plan. The two kittens were pretty bold. They came out and looked at us when we went down there, so we thought they'd be easy to catch. But the mother cat skulked in the shadows a lot, so it looked like she would be more of a challenge. But we caught all three cats pretty easily, and here is how we did it. The first thing we did was fix the window. Then we fed the cats for a few days. This was because, f...

How to Make a Brangus Cow

Why create a new breed? Brangus cattle are superior animals for meat production. They are highly valued at the livestock sale barns because they will perform well in the feed lot and the grocery store. The Brangus breed was developed by a group of cattlemen to meet the needs of the buying public. The older breeds were suffering from in-breeding depression. This term describes the deterioration of a defined population over time due to lack of good selection procedures. To restore vitality it may be necessary to out breed animals to improve the gene pool. The Brangus breed used Brahman and Black Angus in a 3/8 X 5/8 cross to establish the new breed. The registry is not closed so new Brangus first generation animals are still being entered. To enter the breeding up program, a breeder must enroll Black Angus and Brahman cattle as foundation stock. To achieve the 3/8 B X 5/8 A cross, you must first mate a full blood Angus with a full blood Brahman. This mating produces a ½ blood Br...

How to Select and Care for Evergreen Hollies

When people think of a holly, they usually think of Christmas decorations and maybe a cone-shaped tree with spiny leaves and red berries. The fact is that there are more to hollies that just this traditional representation. They range in size from a 6-inch-tall spreading dwarf to a 70-foot-tall towering tree. Leaves may be small and spineless or large and thorny. Berries can be red, orange, yellow, or black. Hollies are also one of the few shrubs that can be grown in all 50 states. Hollies can be used as specimen plants, foundation plantings, and as privacy screens and hedges. Specimens Hollies A specimen plant is one that is unusual enough to stand alone in a landscape. Specimen hollies can be used as a focal point to draw interest to an area or if used throughout a landscape, they can tie a garden together. Attractive hollies can also be grouped to serve as a backdrop for other plantings. Pyramidal trees function well as a focal point in the garden and make fine specimen pla...

Tent Worm Caterpillars: Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

  Tent Worm Caterpillars are Destructive Tent worms (there are several species) are hungry little beasties: the will consume all the leaves of your shrubs or fruits trees. They will gorge themselves until all the leaves are gone before they mature into moths and finally, go away. There are other species of destructive caterpillar that also build a tent web or some form of silken web, but mainly here this article deals with the common eastern tent caterpillar 'Malacosoma americanum' that almost everyone recognizes and knows on site. Getting rid of these pesky tent worms is pretty easy though. If you can reach the nest, tear it down and soak the web and tent worms in a bucket of water. It is most effective to perform this murderous act in the early morning or later in the evening when most of these social caterpillars are either in the nest. Destroying the nest does leave stragglers exposed to their predator-filled environment however, so take comfort in that. It is unlikely t...

Save Money On Vegetable Gardens By Recycling Your Seeds

When starting a vegetable garden, even a small one, sometimes the costs of starting one can actually run away away on you considering that you not only have to purchase the seeds or plants but also compost, manure, fertilizer, canes, wires, twine and so on and if you not careful it somewhat defeats the purpose as it would than become cheaper to buy from a farmers market or grocery store. Also with a limited amount of funds put away for your garden it then also prohibits as to what you can grow and your wish list selection will be much smaller then you would have liked so a very good way to save money is by saving seeds. If your looking at saving this year and your not too worried about the variety of the vegetables, such as Italian tomatoes and you simply want to grow tomatoes, I'm quite sure that like most people you buy fresh produce, take for example tomatoes or cucumbers for salad. Let me tell you it is a lot cheaper to cut up a half of cucumber you just bought and de-seed it then...

Tips for Growing a Eucalyptus Tree

The Eucalyptus tree, which is native to Australia and a source of food for Koalas, is an aromatic evergreen tree that can reach growth heights of 30 up to 180 feet. Australia is the foremost largest supplier of Eucalyptus oil. There are many health benefits Eucalyptus Oil; antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and antiviral and it has antiseptic properties. Used in a variety of over the counter drugs including rubs, inhalers, liniments, rash creams, and mouthwashes. Eucalyptus oil is also used as an analgesic in products to relieve muscle and joint pain.     Eucalyptus - Silver Dollar The most popular Eucalyptus trees,  for growing for in your yard, is the Gum tree and Silver-Dollar tree, these trees with its unique and interesting bark has beautiful flowers with a wonderful fragrance that can be enjoyed all year round. An attractive addition to the curb appeal of your home, they provide great shade on those hot and sunny days. During the fall season, ...

The Fall Flower Bed: Care And Maintenance Of The Montauk Daisy

The Montauk Daisy is a member of the chrysanthemum family with Japanese origins. Up until a few years ago the Latin name was Chrysanthemum nipponicum. It has been changed to Nipponanthemum nipponicum. Despite its Japanese origin, the Montauk Daisy naturalized itself around the Montauk Lighthouse Long Island, New York hence its common name. The Montauk Daisy is a large mounding shrub-like plant of thick glossy green leaves all year long. This sun loving perennial is as happy in the flower bed as it is right on the ocean coast growing in sand. For ocean cottage living, the Montauk Daisy is a must. The green mounds planted to the front and centered between two hydrangea bushes lends itself to the easy care and maintenance required for casual gardening of the seashore property. The rewards of growing the Montauk Daisy are a vast display of 2" to 3" daisy blossoms on each stem of the plant. The buds appear in late August or September. The flowers start appearing l...

How to Bottle Feed a Baby Calf

Sometimes a cow does not care for a calf, or the cow dies in delivery and you must care for the calf. On the dairy farm calves are often taken from their mother at a young age so more milk may be collected from her. In any case if you have found yourself with a calf you must feed this article is designed to get you started. Colostrum Colostrum is a mother's first milk. It contains antibodies. If the calf was able to drink from its mother it already got some, otherwise you may need to milk the cow, or buy colostrum from a veterinarian, or livestock feed store. It can be purchased in powder form. If you have another cow that has calved in the last few hours, you can milk it for colostrum as well. Colostrum does not have to be the calf's first drink, as long as it gets some within 12 hours. Colostrum should be fed warm, but not too hot. You can give two feedings of colostrum, it is thick and yummy and the calf should show interest in drinking it. How Often to Feed the Calf For the fi...

Sheep and Goat Diseases, Scrapie, Diagnosis, and Treatment

What is Scrapie? Scrapie is a disease that occurs both in sheep, and goats. It has been around for at least 200 years and is likely caused by a protein known as a prion. It affects the nervous system of the sheep or goat. If you keep sheep or goats you will want to be aware of this condition as it can be fatal. Scrapie does not appear to affect humans, or other animals; however it is still not fully understood, as prions themselves are not fully understood. It has been suggested that scrapie spreads via the urine and can remain in the environment for several years. Other indications are that it is spread in the fetal fluid and afterbirth from lambing, as such it is passed from ewe to lamb, but other sheep that come in contact with bedding used at birthing, may ingest the prions at that time and become infected. It is believed the prions cannot be spread in the air. Scrapie seems to affect adult animals, those two to six years old, more than it does the younger animals, suggesting it...

Choosing the Right Lawn Mower for Your Garden

Choosing the right lawn mower for your garden can be daunting: here are some guidelines to help you make your choice.   Lawn mowers can be powered by petrol, electricity, battery or they can be manual. There are also different types of mower within each power source and this can be confusing.  We will look first of all at the different sources of power: Petrol Lawn Mowers The advantages of a petrol lawn mower are: It has no cable. If your lawn is small, this won’t be significant but with a large garden you don’t want to be dragging hundreds of meters of cable backwards and forwards across your lawn. This is also safer as you won’t run over your cable with the mower or forget to unplug it for maintenance. Petrol mowers tend to be more powerful, again making them more effective for larger lawns. Disadvantages of petrol mowers are: They tend to be more expensive – a good quality make costs around $500. They are noisy, h...

Facts and Interesting Information About Coconut ( the Tree of Life)

Coconut is a tree that belongs to the Arecaceae family. The botanical name is Cocos nucifera. The name coconut is got from the Spanish word ‘cocos’ which literally means grinning look. All parts of the tree are useful. That is why it is referred to as a versatile tree. The coconut trees are commonly found in tropical areas. The tree grows up to thirty meters. There are dwarf varieties too. The tree has a single and sturdy trunk. It does not have any branches. Fruits are harvested once every forty days. If proper care is given during the growing stage, the tree will yield high quality large fruits. The fruit and the water inside the fruit are popular throughout the world. The fruit of the coconut tree, referred to generally as coconut is made up of three layers: exocarp- shell, mesocarp- fiber and endocarp- edible meat. The exocarp and the mesocarp also have uses. The husk is dried and used for burning. It is also immersed in water to extract the fibers to form coir. Coir i...

Everything You Need To Know About Tulips and How to Successfully Grow Them

Tulips are one of the most delightful flowers to bring forth a wonderful display of beautifully vivid, colorful flowers in the spring, in fact there is simply no other flower that can produce wider range of spectacular color. There really is nothing like seeing a beautiful show of tulips and they are treasure to have in any spring garden! The tulip is a long lasting flower and can be relied upon year after year to come back multiplying when they are left to grow. They are very diverse and there are many different varieties of tulips ranging from the standard tulips we all know, to hybrids with very unique shapes and sizes such as the Parrot tulip and the Double Late Flowering Tulip, which personally is my favorite tulip as they resemble peonies. The flowers range from single,to double and sometimes fringed and vary in shape from single cups,bowls and goblets to more complex forms producing twisting or rounded tepals. The Tulip belongs to the Lily family. The majori...

Landscaping With Holly Plants

Holly is a very attractive and versatile plant to add to your landscaping. Most hollies are evergreen shrubs which mean that their leaves do not fall off during the winter months and this adds to the winter landscape. There are some deciduous hollies, but for the most part garden nurseries stock the evergreen hollies. The holly family known as Ilex, has over 300 species of which 20 or so species are native to the United States. The American Holly has year-round interest and is very low maintenance. While the American Holly is thornless, there are thorny species. The most thorny is the Chinese holly (Ilex cornuta). You may want to avoid the Chinese holly plant if you don't like thorns. Holly plants are also known as Inkberry or Winterberry. Description of Holly Shrubs Most of us know a holly shrub when we see one due to its popularity during the holiday months. Their glossy dark green pointed leaves with bright red berries are extremely attractive during the bleak winter months. Alth...

How to Make a Wildlife Garden

On one hand we have the increasing use of decking, their popularity has grown threefold over the years and now with wood composites replacing the old wooden ones it is due to grow even more. Then on the other hand there’s Astro turf so advanced that one article even describes some artificial lawns as "virtually indistinguishable from grass well ask any bird or worm the same question and you will get another answer. ITS NO WONDER WE ARE SEEING LESS WILDLIFE Couple the two with global warming and all that’s brings, its no wonder we are seeing less and less wildlife in our gardens, so as a bird lover what can you do to attract more birds and wildlife into your garden?. Well luckily it's very easy to change your garden into a place you can share with the wildlife that’s all around, wildlife can increase growth and beauty to any garden certain plants attract butterflies and insects which in turn would attract birds and other friendly visitors. FEEDING STATIONS AN...

How to Mow Your Lawn Back To Health

Total devastation, lawn destruction at it's finest.  No, I'm not talking about an invasion of hyperactive mutated moles, but lawn homicide by lawn mower. Prior to the client taking his brand new riding lawn mower to his brand new lawn, it was a beautiful sight. An unbroken carpet of green, generously watered by the newly-installed automated sprinkler system. Now it was time to turn this beautiful masterpiece over to its rightful owner. I carefully gave detailed instructions on how to keep his new, expensive lawn not only lush, but weed-free. Instructions he-- of course--ignored. It is a story that plays out across the country, year after year. Many home owners get the idea that in order to cut down on their lawn mowing time, the lawn mower must be set on one of the lowest settings and mow away. The results, however to a beautiful lawn, are as noted in the scenario above - devastation. By clipping their grass too low they,  sometimes do irreparable damage...

Tillandsia Care

Tillandsia or Tillandsias is called "The World’s Most Unusual Living Airplants". These plants don't grow on soil. This family is unique in many ways. Tillandsias require little care... but must have a lot of air movement. Many species will grow on trays without any type of potting mix. They can be mounted on wood... rocks, and a few can grow in a pot with potting mix in it. They are a part of the Bromeliad family. You can think of it as a garden thread. Filifolia is from the Latin filum meaning "thread". Folia means "leaves" Thread-like leaves in your garden. In fact, its common name is "threadleaf air plant". Tillandsias can nourish themselves totally - imbibing rain and dew and whatever nutrients the air brings to them - through their leaf tissues. Their roots are primarily used to attach themselves to a surface, a tree branch, a cactus or a rock. Tillandsia is a genus of around 540 species in the Bromeliad family (Bromeliace...

Catnip, Not Just For Cats

Catnip is a perennial herb that is part of the mint family. It grows 3-5 feet tall and has branches that are covered in hair with oblong scalloped leaves. Its flowers are white with purple and are seen from June through September. Catnip originates from Europe, Asia and Africa. Settlers brought it to North America. It has long since naturalized throughout the continent and grows quite prevalently. Catnip grows best in full sun but can easily tolerate partial shade. It also does well in almost any soil type. Catnip is easy to grow and propagate, be it from seed or root division. It grows well in planters, pots, window boxes and gardens. The catnip leaves and flowers are harvested in July and September and should be dried in the sun. They are best stored in paper bags. Catnip can be used as a spice to flavour soups and stews. It has an unusual yet lovely flavour. For humans, it is mostly used as an herbal tea to help many health issues. Some enjoy a little lemon and/or honey in th...

How to Protect Plants for the Winter

Fall is the time to prepare the garden beds for planting next spring and to protect your new and established plants already in your garden. Cold temperatures, wind, and even the winter sun can damage small trees and shrubs if they are not properly taken care for. Here are a few ways you can protect your garden so that it can survive the winter and thrive when the weather warms up next spring. Root-prune shrubs for future moves Fall is the best time to transplant most trees and shrubs , but if you cannot transplant them in time or there is a severe cold snap that curtails your plans you can “root-prune” to prepare them for moving next year. Cut around the base of the plant with your digging spade as if you were going to dig it up. This technique makes it easier to dig up the plant in spring and encourages the plant to generate new roots inside the circle. These roots will give the plant a head start after it’s moved to its new location which will sp...

Find The Best Plants for Children to Grow

One of the greatest things about gardening is that anyone of any age can do it. Whether you happen to be at the age of retirement or attending kindergarten, gardening is a great pastime to have. Directing a child to invest in gardening is a decision that can reap great rewards for parents as well as children. Kids growing plants is a wonderful idea for a great number of reasons. Finding the best plants for children to grow will make a gardening encounter delightful as well as teaching some great life lessons. Gardening can teach a child several real life lessons to be used throughout their existence.  Responsibility, obligation, duty, patience, how to be dependable along with hard work reaps great rewards are beautiful outcomes in the end that can be admired and enjoyed by the child introduced to gardening. Additionally, while a child is educated in how to grow plants it can bring families together to spend positive time doing something worthwhile. Additionally, gardening can pro...

How to Attract Beneficial Insects to Your Garden

Pests are found in any garden and most people tend to use pesticides to control these damaging insects quickly. Unfortunately many pesticides kill beneficial insects along with the pests or when the problem has been corrected, beneficial insects leave the garden in search of a food source elsewhere. Identification To create a habitat for your beneficial insect you need to know a few things about them. With a magnifying glass or hand lens, look at the undersides of your plants to see what insects are present. If you've avoided using pesticides and have a variety of plants growing, you may find many allies already present. The one everyone is familiar with are lady beetles (commonly referred to as lady bugs), but there are also ground beetles, lacewings, hover flies, and tiny wasps. These beneficial insects can be divided into two groups: those that eat their eat insects (predators) and those that deposit their eggs on or into their host (parasitoids). Lady beetles: Lady beetles pre...

How to Grow Basil

Basil is an herb that originated in India and has been used for thousands of years as a food seasoning, particularly by Italian cooks. Basil is also surrounded in myth and legend. Hundreds of years ago in New Mexico, basil was thought to attract money when carried in the pocket. In Romania, it was believed that when a woman gave a sprig of basil to a man she liked that if he accepted it, true love would follow. The Hindu people believed the basil plant aided in reaching paradise. Common basil can be bought dried in almost any grocery or department store, but dried basil does not have half the taste or nutritional value that fresh basil has. Growing basil is extremely easy and can be done on a kitchen windowsill, apartment balcony or outside in the garden. To Grow Basil: If you are lucky enough to have an outdoor garden, you should sow the basil seeds after the last frost. Seeds should be planted ¼ inch deep; keep the soil moist until the plants appear. If you are growing t...

How to Grow Blackberries and Raspberries

One of the greatest treats a gardener can grow are raspberries and blackberries. Pay close attention to pests like rabbits, birds, and small children so you have something to harvest this summer. Blackberry Blackberries (also Loganberry, Boysenberry, and Youngberry) grow best in fertile, well-drained soils and those soils that are in windy areas or areas of late spring frosts should be avoided. They are easily propagated by tip layering, which is done by inserting the tip of a cane in the soil in the fall, and digging up the young rooted stem the following spring. They are also propagated from suckers or root cuttings. Plants are set 5—10 ft. apart depending on the training system used. The plants themselves should be planted as early in the spring as possible and cut back to about 8— 10 in. high after planting. Blackberry canes are biennial, meaning they grow canes one year, produce fruit the next and then die, and should be removed. Varieties differ in the length of t...

Mango - The King of Fruits

Mango - The King of Fruits Come summer and it is time to savour Mangoes. In the Hindu mythology mango is known as "food of the Gods' . Luscious and succulent Mangoes are probably the most popular and best loved fruits ever.The fruit has an excellent flavor, looks attractive , has a delicious taste and lots of health value. Mango is known as the 'King of fruits' in India. It is called Aaam in Hindi, Mangaai in Tamil, Aamrum in Sanskrit, Mango in English and Spanish, manja in Dutch. Once a person eats a fully ripe, sweet juicy mango, one would want to eat it again and again such is the taste and experience !  . Eaten by themselves or in a variety of dishes, mangoes add antioxidants and fiber to your diet. People have always enjoyed ripe and raw mangoes alike. And perhaps no other fruit, when unripe is as popular as Mangoes are. Raw mangoes are abundantly used in making pickles,chutneys and preserves.Raw mango slices are dried in the sun and used in cooking. History...

Is Tail Docking in Sheep Cruel?

Young lambs, at only a few days of age, often have their tails docked. Many people, other than farmers, are unaware that lambs, and sheep, would normally have tails that hang to, or just below, their hocks. Why do Lambs have their Tails Docked? Lambs have their tails docked primarily for two reasons. Long tails tend to accumulate feces, particularly when lambs are on rich spring grass and have softer stools than usual. This attracts flies and can cause a deadly condition known as fly strike. If they are to be kept for wool the feces that stick to their tail also gets on their legs and this makes for a dirty fleece, lowering its value. As such tail docking is done to prevent health problems (animal welfare) and for economic reasons. How are Lambs Tails Docked? photo source - Elastrator tool, showed with the handles tied so the tool is open and stretching a rubber band as it would be put on the tail. There are several methods of docking a lambs tail, one involves a using a ...

Fruits and Vegetables That Can Regenerate Themselves or Grow More

There are some fruits and vegetables that can produce more of themselves from having parts of them planted. There are other vegetables that will re-grow if done properly. For instance a green onion will completely re-grow itself if you just keep the bottom portion of it and place it in water. (See below). Here are some fruits and vegetables that can regenerate, or grow more of themselves, or just make cool plants. Carrots – If you cut off the top of the carrot where there the greenery grows you can plant it will grow in to a beautiful plant. No carrots will actually form but the plant is lovely and it is fascinating for kids to see. For more info: http://www.weekendgardener.net/blog/2007/09/grow-carrot-top.htm Jerusalem Artichoke – By planting just one of these after you germinate it you can get several back from it. For more information: http://www.organicgardeninfo.com/growing-jerusalem-artichoke.html Onions – You can chop off the top of an onion and plant it and...

Container Gardening - How to Grow Peppers

Growing peppers in containers or garden pots is a simple task due to the growth habit of these plants. Peppers are basically a small annual shrub, but they can be brought indoors and then placed outside the following spring if you have adequate natural light or a grow light. Pepper planter with wire cage Getting Started One of the benefits to planting peppers in containers is that they can be started before the last frost and brought indoors at night if temperatures drop below freezing. To be safe you should bring your plants inside if the temperature drops below 50 degrees F. If you want to start pepper seeds in peat pots or seed tray you need to begin about eight weeks before they need to be transplanted into the container. They take about 10 to 14 days to germinate at temperatures of at least 80 degrees F. After they germinate, it will be six or eight weeks until they reach the proper size for transplanting. If you opt for buying plants from a local garden center or nursery...