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Garden And Lawn Restoration | Repair Bald Spots In Your Lawn | Bald Spots In Garden

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There is so much about a beautiful garden that many people do not know about. A beautiful garden or lawn has some days when the farmer has to input some extra efforts. Some of those extra efforts are not because of the routine farming practices, often time they are because of annoying bald spots in the garden or lawn

         Baldness or bareness is a part of having a perfect garden; during winter, things dry up, and when the phase is over, what is left is the bareness. The bareness’s effect might seem pretty normal until erosion becomes a thing, and the bare portions become a waterlogged area affecting the beautiful sight that your garden has. 

         The process of replenishing a bare portion could seem like an arduous task, but it pays up in the end, especially for gardeners and farmers who do not like their garden looking uncared for. 

REASONS FOR BARENESS IN THE LAWN

Everyone relates bareness in lawns and gardens to environmental factors, the best example being winter times, but the reason for bareness in gardens could be more than just environmental factors. To mention some of the other reasons for bareness in the lawn would include:

  • PET URINE: Many people have this notion that the defecates of pets could make some sort of manure for their lawn, hence, from time in and out, they allow them to go right ahead to defecate there. While this might seem harmless on the lighter aspect, the urine  of pets have chlorine and it could harm those plants a great deal. Hence, the bareness that is evident in the lawn. 
  • EXCESSIVE WORKING OVER LAWNS: It is always an amazing sight when one sees a lawn that is all green and well taken care of, but when those green portions are trodden upon repeatedly, it makes the plants weak and then they eventually die, hence the reason for carcasses in those slight and scattered portions over the lawn. 
  • PESTS: Pests are a normal phenomenon with green plants, and for a lawn, they could easily infest a portion since the planting style is not done in rotation. This is the more reason why there is sometimes some bareness in the lawn. 

STEPS TO REPLENISH A BARE GROUND

         The bare portion of the farmland is an area that would end up accommodating debris and carcasses because they are the dead parts of plants. The first and major step towards correcting the bareness on your farmland is to clear out all of those carcasses and debris in the affected area. The core reason for this is to ensure that you plant in new greens and that greens are not affected by what is in the bare ground.

The next step that needs to be carried out after the carcasses have been removed is to ensure that the soil is broken down because it would already be hard. The reason for this is to repair and prepare the soil for another planting phase. What you need to do at this point is to ensure that you find the best aeration mechanism so that the soil does not get destroyed. 

When the soil is well aerated, the next step to carry out would be to bring in new soil; in this wise, the loamy soil is the best option. This would be mixed with the already aerated soil in readiness for planting. 

         In other that you get the best result out of this process, you might want to plant the same kind of crop or plant like the one in the garden already. This way, there would be equilibrium with the rest of the garden. Just in case you are still in a dilemma regarding what kind of plant you would plant in the bald region, you might want to consider planting clover- the nitrogen gathering mechanism of this plant would aid in a fastened growth rate.

         There are times when you feel that the plants’ growth in the bald region is a little on the stunted side. In this situation, you need to make sure that you buy fertilizers that are adaptable to new plants. 

         Watering and allowing your plants to gain access to sunlight is also very fundamental in this situation. 

         N.B: If the affected region is a large garden area, you might want to try making use of the seed blanket which aids in keeping seeds together. This is mainly so that your seeds do not wash away in the event of a windy rainfall.

A QUICKER METHOD TO PATCHING LAWN AND GARDEN BARENESS

Often time, many gardeners do like to wait for the timing in which it takes seeds to grow and fill up the bare space; this is the reason why they prefer to go for a quick alternative where the option is open. In the case of lawn bareness, what needs to be done is to make sure that select grown grasses are cut into stems that could germinate. From the process of cutting, it is clear that the aim is to start a regrowth process, even as the cut stem dies.

Before the planting of the cut grasses, the first thing to do is to make sure that you use a hand spade or shovel to dig out the soil underneath the bare portion. The reason for this is so that you input the base of the stem into the moist part of the soil then cover up back so that the grasses are at the level of the healthy plants in the lawn or garden.

If what were planted into the soil were grasses, the best bet is to step over it at intervals in other to compress it into the soil. The aim of this is not to create another bareness, but to compress and ensure that the plant gets water immediately after. This step would require a total of seven days to yield expected results.

How To Cultivate Carrots Indoors | Growing Carrots In Your Basement

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I have always known that carrots had awesome healthy benefits in the total health of humans, but how they became something to plant indoor remains a memory with my family.         

My son has this bad habit of eating junks; I was worried at some point when he started to grow fatter. Of course, what did I expect? But his addition of pounds was so spontaneous that I began to fear for him.

The bubble burst, however, was on a certain day; he grew this strange likeness for carrots, and for some reason, I found myself wondering what led to the shift in the right direction.

After every healthy meal that we have together, he would add, “Dad, I wondered if I could have some carrot tonight again?” His tone made me realize that there was no way we were buying the fruit shop; I have to improvise and come up with ways to grow carrots from home.

This was much easier because I was keen on growing vegetables anyway. But carrots?

         My first and major attempt at growing carrots was not so bad, it was in summer, and I had a little garden outside my home. Meaning, it was the perfect reason to grow some carrots on the outside; the bedding and all of the rest of the planting and pre-planting stages were not the problems, but I was keen on my first harvest.

I mean, I had watered the beds that I had made for this group of plants, cleared out unwanted plants, and made sure that they had adequate sunlight, and some weeks afterward when I harvested, they looked lesser than the efforts that I had invested into the entire planting process. 

         It was painful to me, not because of my harvest alone, but because I had taught about getting my son’s attention into subsistent farming with my little garden, but this didn’t quite pan out the way that I wanted. “What do I do next?” I inquired, and it was then that I realized the essence of successive indoor cultivation of carrot vegetables. 

UNDERSTANDING THE ESSENCE OF CULTIVATING CARROTS INDOOR

         I was keen on making some findings as regards why my first attempt at cultivating was all bad. I realized on deeper research that it was due to exposure to excessive sunlight, given the kind of environmental condition in which my location was in at Clearwater, Florida. 

         I thought about an alternative measure to prevent a recurrence of this, and the one thing that came to mind was cultivating and planting carrots indoor. Someone might want to ask about how this changes anything, but the first thing that changed with my first harvest indoor was that I was able to balance the kind of exposure that my plants were getting to sunlight and water.

THE PRE-PLANTING PHASE

         A lot of people assume that planting carrots indoor means that you have to diver your carrot into a big bowl, and then in a few months, you have your carrots in place. This is a wrong practice, and it is more like giving room for probabilities when you could have easily gone for the best way to maximize your efforts. 

         The first thing to consider in the pre-planting stage is to ensure that you understand your space. If you have a small space, you might want to consider the 8 inches to 10 inches vases, which are porous underneath for soil filtration. You could go for a larger vase if you have a wider indoor space, but one pertinent factor to note is that the proximity to growth light matters. 

         At this point, you decipher whether you would be making use of growth lights or an area of your indoor space that allows for subtle sunlight penetration. Of course, the purpose of this is to ensure that the plant gets the needed nutrients for its growth. 

         When this is taken care of, the next thing to do is to ascertain how many carrot stems could fit into your vase. One other thing to note here is aeration and spacing; the reason is that it does matter to the vegetable’s eventual harvest. 

POPULAR CARROT TYPES THAT COULD BE GROWN INDOOR

         The list of carrot species that could be grown on the inside of the house is quite exhaustive, but there are a few names that are certain to produce juicy harvests. To mention but a few of them would include 

ð The Sweet Treat Hybrid 

ð Royal Chantenay 

ð Danvers

ð The Little Finger amongst others

N.B: The best way to understand which would fit your vase would be to understand how they grow and the inches of spacing they would require. After this is done, the planting stage involves the buying and planting of seeds in small light, privy containers to foster germination. When this is done, the next is to transfer plants into their respective vases, adopting typical carrot planting measures. 

COMMON PRACTICES THAT AID IN FACILITATING A QUALITY INDOOR CARROT HARVEST

         There are quite some practices that the indoor carrot farmer must adopt, but there are some that cannot be extricated from the entire process of indoor carrot farming. They include: 

  1. WATERING THE SOIL: When it comes to indoor carrot farming, one thing that would be glaring to the eyes is that the soil in the vases might seem drier than normal. It is also possible that carcasses of fallen leaves and stems get dried faster. In this case, an indoor carrot farmer musty endeavor to have a water timing. 
  2. MANURE: Everyone knows that manure or fertilizers are pertinent for the faster growth of plants, but for carrots, the low nitrogen fertilizers when they are a few inches taller could help work wonders in their growth. 
  3. WATCH OUT FOR PESTS: The fact that they are indoor grown does not mean that they cannot be affected by pests. This is the more reason why the carrot farmer must give a close eye to the blooming plants. 

Pavement Ants Infestation | How To Control pavement Ants In Your Garden

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If you’ve noticed little portions of soil seen mostly near the edge of buildings or next to pavements, you can be sure it is the perpetration of pavement ants.

With origins which can be traced to Europe, pavements ants have taken abode in most of the homes across the United States. It is very common to see them lurking around the edges of homes and on the side of walkways.

Just as the name depicts, pavement ants are mostly found wrecking havoc around concrete slab foundations of buildings and next to pavements.

This read will provide every information there is about pavement ants and how to control them.

IDENTIFICATION

Due to a similar body structure with the dangerous odorous house ant also found in the United States, there is largely a confusion between which is the pavement ant and the odorous house ant.

The reason for this confusion is that both ants exist in dark brown to black colors and are about 1/8-inch long.

There is however a distinctive feature between these two, the pavement ants for example possess two nodes in the front of their abdomen and fine grooves on their head and thorax. They can also be spotted as with clusters of hairs on the end of their abdomen and two spines on their backs.

Pavement ants can easily be spotted as they always leave a trail of soil as to where their nests can be found.

They can also be considered as nocturnal insects as you will mostly find them lurking around your kitchen floor, looking for sugar, food crumbs and leftover food.

DISTRIBUTION

Although pavement ants did not originate in the United States, it is believed that they were transported by ships from Europe in the 1700s and 1800s.

Back in the 1700s, soil was used to provide stability for ships and after berthing, the soil was removed and dumped in the United States to free up space in the ship. This turned out to be the first distribution route for pavement ants to the United States.

These ants have since colonized most parts of the United States, and currently can be found in New England to the Mid-Atlantic, parts of California and Washington lurking around edges of buildings and pavements.

BIOLOGY

The name pavement ant was earned as it was common to always find their colonies in pavements, sidewalks, or patios. They leave a trail of soil near their nests which makes it easy to locate them.

However, apart from pavements or sidewalks, the pavement ant also makes their abode in lawns, gravel pathways and under floorboards.

In their various colonies, the pavement ants have multiple queens and large numbers of workers.

To create new colonies, the ants swarm- send winged ants twice as large as the workers to go and create new colonies elsewhere. This activity takes place throughout summer, and through fall and winter.

The new colonies begin to develop when the queen first lays eggs which takes about 2-3 months to mature. After which the matured workers begin to look for food for the colony.

Pavements ants can eat almost anything ranging from fruit, nectar, honeydew from aphids, dead insects and even plant seedlings. Your leftovers in the kitchen and pet’s food are not spared too. These ants are attracted to meats, and dairy products.

COLONIZATION OF HOUSES

As mentioned earlier, these ants build their nests around edges, slabs and the foundation of the home.

They gain access into buildings through cracks in floorboards, slabs and foundation of buildings. Their presence in the building is announced when you find piles of sand and soil close to edges, cracks in floorboards and interior slabs.

CONTROL

The use of insecticidal baits still remains the best method to tackle the infestation of the ants.

Note that insecticidal sprays are not completely effective as it oftentimes kills the workers who in no time are reproduced by the queen. The only way to completely rid your home from these insects is by destroying the colony and killing the queen.

Therefore, the best method to tackle an infestation is by using slow-acting insecticidal baits which the workers can feed on and take back to feed their queen.

ANT BAITS

The ability of pavement ants to eat almost anything is its bane. This gives you an advantage over what type of bait you can use to lure them. Protein or sugar-based baits filled with pesticides are best used to tackle infestation.

You can use baits containing both sugar and protein for a best result.

Examples of slow-acting insecticidal baits that can be used includes: boric acid, fipronil and hydramethylnon.

Boric acid is less toxic to humans, but very toxic to insects.

Fipronil is used to treat fleas and ticks residing in dogs and cats

Insecticidal baits should be placed close to their colonies or next to the trail of sand or soil they leave. They are more visible at night which is probably the best time to set the insecticidal bait.

For cracks in floorboards or foundations, an insecticidal bait that comes in a squeezable gel form is recommended as they can be placed directly into the point of infestation.

Controlling infestation using insecticidal baits can take about two weeks or more as it is slow-acting but very effective.

SUGAR BAITS

Terro brand liquid bait station is a very effective recommendation for tackling ant infestation. It contains boric acid and can be used along baseboards, underneath kitchen counters, and on windowsills.

It is available in packets containing six liquid sugar-based stations.

For gel baits, the MaxForce FC Ant Killer Bait Gel is recommended. It is available in two boxes of 0.95-ounce tubes containing fipronil.

PROTEIN BAITS

The protein-based insecticidal bait also comes in gel and liquid bait stations.

For protein-based gel baits, the Combat Ant Killing Gel available in 27-0unce syringe applicators containing fipronil is recommended.

For protein-based liquid baits, the Combat Max Ant Killing Bait Station available in six child-resistant stations, useful for both indoor and outdoor use is recommended.

AN INVASIVE BUT CONTROLLABLE INSECT

Pavement ants although invasive are controllable. They can be easily spotted in the trail of sand or soil they leave on their path.

They gain access to buildings through cracks and openings in floor boards, interior slabs and foundation, and can eat almost anything. This can be used as a bait to control their infestation.

If you have encountered and conquered a pavement ant infestation, share with us the methods that worked for you.

Butterfly Attraction Guide | How To Attract Butterflies To Your Garden

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The bright colors of the butterfly are so fascinating that most gardeners go to the extent of planting plants that will likely attract the butterfly. Its ability to help pollinate flowers is a plus to most gardens.

Therefore, in order to attract these beautiful creatures, you need to know which plants attract them. This read will however intimate you on the type of plant you can consider to attract them.

BUDDLEIA DAVIDII

The buddleia davidii is a common Butterfly Bush that can grow to heights of between 6’ to 12’ if left alone to grow unrestricted. However, they must be pruned so as to maintain a nice size in your garden. It is tolerant to most soil types, especially those with high salt content.

It is a very hard plant with woody stems that keeps the leaves green year in year out. It grows small flowers which usually blooms in clusters. The buddleia davidii exists in purple, yellow, orange and white colors.

It can survive little watering, and can blossom under low to full sunlight. The best time to prune the buddleia davidii is during winter, a period after the plant has gone into hibernation thereby allowing a shorter and bushier growth when it is active in the spring.

CHRYSANTHEMUM

With roots in Asia, the chrysanthemum is a tropical perennial that is propagated through seeds or cuttings. They grow low to the ground, love sun, and can adapt in light drought situations. It is perfect for a small garden space.

They possess single-stem flowers that are round, pedal shaped, and varying in showy colors. It is the second most sought after flower, and can attract a large range of butterflies to your garden.

ASTER

The flower blooms of these plants take the shape of a star owing to its name “Aster” which means “star.” It exists in almost every color and having most of the colors in your garden will no doubt be a beauty to behold. They can grow in hard terrains and thrive effortlessly all over the United States.

It is largely considered a wild flower and grows no taller than a foot. The bright colors of the aster plant are a strong attraction to a wide range of butterflies.

COREOPSIS

This plant has flowers similar to the star-shaped aster. Its color is darker at the center of the bloom and brighter on the edges.

They thrive well in summer and are best grown in temperate climates. Their green colors are very attractive for both your gardens and to attract butterflies. 

Its bright colors range from white and scarlet to bright sun yellow, and can be purchased from most stores as seedlings or plants.

LAVANDULA

The age-long lavender plant has been useful for many reasons; serving as fragrance for foods and homes, and most importantly attracting butterflies. It is a hardy plant, and can be found in all zones in the United States.

The lavender overtime has been sourced after for its fragrance as well as its bright colors, adding color and a nice fragrance to gardens.

It is a bushy plant, and grows in low or taller bush. You can choose whichever suits the size of your garden.

It is mostly known with the purple color, however, it also has a “rose” variety that comes in pink color that attracts many butterflies to it.

ECHINACEA

The Echinacea also known as the coneflower has been widely used as an herbal supplement, taken to help boost the immune system.

However, it is not only relegated to be used for medicinal purposes, but has also been spotted among flowers in the garden over the years. It is a hard plant grown in almost all zones.

The plant blooms rising on stalks, and can grow as high as 2 feet to 21/2 giving your garden a bit of height. It grows straight upward, not crowding out other flowers

It comes in attractive purple, rich reds and even green colors. The Echinacea is highly recommended for gardens.

You can choose one or all of the listed varieties of flower plants to give your garden a bright and attractive look for neighbors and butterflies too.

These flowers can be purchased across most local and online garden stores in the United States.

Growing Hazelnuts | Grow And Harvest Hazelnuts In Your Garden

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Have you ever tasted hazelnuts before? Trust me the buttery crunchy feel of the nuts in the mouth is just out of this world, it even drove me nuts to the extent that I had to cultivate and reap my very own nuts farm.

Fortunately, hazelnuts are easy to cultivate as it doesn’t involve too many rigors or complexities in understanding its growth pattern. Harvesting them on the other hand, requires little effort which you will find out as this read unfolds.

UNDERSTANDING THE GROWTH CYCLE

Hazelnuts are such easy nuts to cultivate and harvest which is why I opted to grow mine. When cultivated, they mature into buds during fall and later metamorphose to flowers by the end of winter.

They are categorized into male and female flowers where the male flower can be identified by its long yellow catkins, while the female flower is spotted as very small red threads which mostly grow at the end of twigs.

Apparently, since Hazelnuts exist in male and female flowers, they would require cross pollination in most cases to produce nuts. Therefore, while cultivating your hazelnut farm, it is important to factor in space as they are wind pollinated meaning they have to be properly spaced out (about 50ft) from each other.

When the pollination cycle is complete, the female flowers then mature into edible nuts which become noticeable as their color changes from green to brown.

WHEN TO HARVEST

Just like a variety of other nuts, hazelnuts take some time before they can be harvested. From the time of cultivation to harvest can take three to five years, while some other species like Pecan, can take as much as six to ten years to harvest.

However, your first harvest may not be as bountiful as expected, it will take a couple of harvest seasons after which the hazelnut tree is fully matured

HOW TO HARVEST

As earlier mentioned, harvesting hazelnuts takes minimal efforts. When the nuts mature I.e. when they turn from green to brown, it drops from the tree on its own, all you have to do is pick them from below the tree.

You can place a bucket or tray under the tree to collect the nuts when they fall to the ground.

FORAGING FOR WILD NUTS

For those who probably don’t have the time or space to grow their hazelnut farm, the forest is surely another avenue you can utilize to forage for wild hazelnut shrubs.

Since you are collecting from wild hazelnut shrubs, it is important to harvest the nuts when they are in the process of turning brown as the wild animals or birds may beat you to it if you leave them to fully ripen before collecting.

In this case you do the harvesting by pulling the nuts off the shrubs.

PRESERVING

You can preserve the nuts by simply drying, spreading the nuts on large trays away from sunlight which will enable storage for a long period.

To ensure they are properly dried, you must keep turning them every few days until it is completely dried. This process should take two to four weeks. Another alternative to spreading them out to dry is by using a dehydrator set to 90-105°F

The nuts can be preserved by storing them in shells at room temperature which should last for months. Once shelled, they should be consumed within a few weeks or placed in the refrigerator which can extend its shelf life to a year.

RECIPES AND COOKING IDEAS

Hazelnuts can be added to a variety of dishes as it is delicious, buttery crunch is one that adds flavor to most dishes.

It can be added to soups, salads, and pasta dishes, they may also be baked into cakes, candies, and cookies.

They can be roasted over an open fire or in the oven, and then added to snacks.

It can be added to spice up the taste of salads. 

YOU WON’T WANT TO LEAVE THE KITCHEN

I don’t think there is anything satisfying than harvesting your own hazelnuts, be it your cultivated farm or collecting from the forest.

Hazelnuts are not just delicious and tasty, the aroma is one that would keep you coming back to the kitchen to treat yourself to more delicacies. Also, the fact that it is easy to grow and harvest makes it more endearing to want to cultivate your personal farm.

If you fall into the category of persons who have harvested their own nuts, share your stories with us!

Gummosis Treatment And Elimination | Get Rid Of Gummosis In Your Garden

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Gummosis can be described as a situation in which there is a discharge of sap or gum from a tree. It is mostly associated with stone fruits, apricots, peaches, and plums.

This behavior in trees is caused by a number of factors which will be explained in the course of this read.

The most prevalent factor attributed to gummosis in trees is caused by a fungus known as Cytospora, now called Leucostoma. 

Interestingly, gummosis can only infect vulnerable weakened trees which have been stressed over time resulting in wounds on the tree.

Also, cuts inflicted on trees as a result of pruning is another cause for gummosis infection. Natural factors like Sunscald and even extreme cold temperature can also provide an opportunity for gummosis infection on your tree.

The only way to prevent this infection is via prevention.

TWO LEUCOSTOMA SPECIES INFECT FRUIT TREES

There are believed to be two species of Leucostoma that infects trees which are; L. persoonii and L. cincta.

L. persoonii infection is mostly associated with stone fruits, apricots, plums, peaches, and cherries which are grown at a low elevation in warmer climates.

L.cincta on the other hand, is associated with apples and cherries grown at a high elevation in cooler areas.

The two species of fungus are known to be prevalent across the United States, throughout British Columbia and Ontario, Canada. Haven caused problems in states such as South America, Europe, and Japan.

HOW TO DIAGNOSE GUMMOSIS DUE TO LEUCOSTOMA CANKER

Trees with symptoms of gummosis normally display signs of tree flagging looking worn out, and bearing a different texture and color from other parts of the tree.

The Leucostoma fungi leaves an imprint of a dark amber color on the part of the tree it infects. Once scrapped off, the phloem beneath the tree’s bark takes the color of cinnamon brown.

Normally, it is common to see the effect of gummosis on trees during the periods of winter and spring. However, the tree is able to fight back the infection when it starts growing again, but unable to do so in the fall. This effect on trees can be seen in periods when tree tissues take on a lighter or darker color.

In order to ascertain if the infection is caused by Leucostoma canker or other causes, a look at the tree’s fruiting bodies – identified where you can find protrusions on the surface of the tree’s tissues that takes the form of small black pimples.

The fruiting creates thousands of spores on the tree’s tissue, while those of L.persoonii can travel as high as 260 feet.

HOW TO PREVENT GUMMOSIS

CULTURAL CONTROLS

  1. OPTIMAL FERTILIZATION AND CARE

Haven being aware the opportunistic infection gummosis can only attack vulnerable and worn out trees, you should practice healthy mulching, water and nutrition.

Take steps to fertilizing with nitrogen during the periods of late winter or early spring. This should be done to prevent your tree from being vulnerable as a result of cold in the fall.

  1. PRUNE PRECISELY AND REMOVE DAMAGED TISSUE

It is important to take utmost care when pruning so as to avoid cuts on your tree. You should not prune in wet or cold weather. While pruning, make proper cuts such as leaving stubs, flat cuts, and flush cuts will make your tree vulnerable to gummosis.

You can prune back to healthy wood by carefully taking out the infected limbs and twigs from off your tree. This should be done during periods of dry weather conditions so as to provide a conducive atmosphere for the wound to heal in quick time.

Also disinfect your tools between cuts with Lysol wipes or 10% bleach solution.

Note that in cases where there is extensive damage to your tree, it may not be possible to prune out all the parts that the fungus has spread to.

  1. PROTECT FROM SUNSCALD

To prevent a gummosis infection as a result sunscald during winter, you can consider any of these two solutions:

The first is to paint your tree with half white latex and half water-based paint.

Your second choice is to apply white tree wrap on your trees from December to March.

  1. PROTECT AGAINST RODENTS AND INSECTS

You should take protective measures in treating rodents and insect attacks on your tree. Simply spray insecticides to keep off borers from boring holes on your tree.

  1. DRAIN WATER FROM THE BASE OF THE TREE

This can be adopted as a preventive medium against gummosis infection to the base of your tree in cold weather conditions. All you need do is drain out water from the tree’s base.

CHEMICAL CONTROLS

If you reside in areas where there is a large concentration of this fungus, it is important to constantly treat your tree with chemicals that help prevent its attack.

Make use of captan, thiophanate-methyl, or lime sulfur (Bordeaux mixture) in 50% latex or kaolin clay to areas to freshly cut pruning wounds. Do not use copper hydroxide-based chemicals as it is toxic to trees.

MONITOR YOUR TREE CLOSELY

Always endeavor to keep an eye on your trees to check if there are any parts with wounds or worn out.

It is common to find Leucostoma canker attacks in backyard trees, therefore great care should be taken while pruning to prevent cuts. However, if in the event of pruning you inflict cuts resulting in wounds on the tree, apply a chemical treatment. This will help prevent the fungus attack.

Keep a close watch for gummosis infection on your tree. Where you find any, determine if it was caused by fungal injury. When sure, take out the damaged tissue before it spreads by pruning back to healthy wood.

In the event you lose a tree to gummosis, completely take off such tree from the root to prevent it from spreading to other trees as the fungus have discovered to continue living on dead tissue.

If you have experienced and successfully treated a gummosis attack on your tree, let us know how you did it

Cabbage Maggots In Your Garden | How To Eliminate Cabbage Maggots

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Cabbage maggots are tiny insects that can cause great damage on cole crops like cabbage, broccoli, turnips, rutabaga, radishes, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.

They are destructive insects, and even as tiny as it seems can completely reduce a crop to nothing.

Find more about cabbage maggots and how to control them from wreaking havoc around your garden.

IDENTIFICATION, BIOLOGY, AND DISTRIBUTION

These destructive insects can be mostly found in the northern zones of the United States as cole crops are best grown in cooler climates. This does not mean they cannot be grown in locations with warmer climates since they can also be found in the coastal regions of California with warm climates.

As similar with most maggots, the cabbage maggot are larvae deposits of the Delia radicum known as the cabbage fly, cabbage root fly, root fly or turnip fly. They bear some resemblance with the housefly, but are half the size. 

The egg/larvae deposits of the Delia radicum are white in color, 1/8-inch-long in size, and shaped like torpedoes. They lay their eggs in rows close to the stem of cruciferous vegetables.

Once laid, the eggs can only survive in cool/moist soil. If exposed to temperatures higher than 95°F, the eggs won’t live to survive.

The eggs metamorphosizes to maggots, white in color, about 1/3-inch-long with no legs, and pointed at one end.

LIFE CYCLE

The pests reside as brown pupae all through winter inside the soil close to the roots of crops grown during fall.

During the period of early spring in the north and in California with warmer climate, the flies emerge from the soil. Interestingly, they can travel distance as far as a mile to search for host plants.

They feed on the pollen and nectar of most of the plants they colonize as hosts for 10 days or more before proceeding to lay their eggs near the base of the host plant. It then takes about a week for the larvae to hatch.

The newly hatched larvae then burrow through the soil finding its way close to the root of the plant and start destroying the fibrous roots until there is nothing left of the plant.

In some cases, older larvae may also dig into stems of plants to finish off such plants.

While burrowing through the soil, the larvae metamorphoses into the pupa after it has digested the root of the plant. They emerge from the soil when fully matured (which takes about 2-3 weeks) to repeat the cycle all over again.

DAMAGE

Due to the fact that cabbages and other cole crops best thrive in cooler climates, they need to be cultivated and harvested early enough before the heat of the summer leaves them vulnerable to these destructive pests during springtime.

Therefore, cabbages and other cole crops planted in springtime are likely to encounter visits from these pests than the ones planted in summer.

Cabbage maggots are very tiny and because they reside mostly in the soil, you might not notice their presence until your plants start wilting. Plants that are infested, will likely show signs of wilting during the heat of the summer.

Turnips and radishes in contrast to cabbages do not wilt, thus making it difficult to identify whether or not the plant is infested.

Another sign of plant infestation can be changes in the color. Most times infested plants are slightly blue or yellow foliage.

There are cases where you would even find the larvae on the roots of the plants when you pull them out. Unfortunately, at this stage such plants will eventually die.

In the event where the radish, turnip, and rutabaga plants survive, the damage done by the burrowing larvae to their roots will render them inedible and clearly unmarketable. 

MONITORING

Now that you know that these pests are mostly prevalent during springtime, it is necessary to be conscious of seasonal changes. For instance, the springtime is when the female cabbage fly comes visiting, depositing their eggs near the root of their host plants.

Interestingly, the Barbarea vulgaris known as the wintercress aka yellow rocket, can help you monitor the presence of these pests. When this type of weed starts growing in your area, be on the alert because the flies are close.

You can also adopt the use of sticky cards traps to help attract the flies. To achieve this, suspend the sticky notes slightly above the top of the plant.

A personal inspection of your crops can help you to identify the presence of these pests. Look along the stems of your crops to check for deposited eggs of the cabbage fly and quickly take them out. Also check between groups of 2-5 plants for egg deposits.

Where you find the presence of one egg per stem, then you can be sure that your plants will suffer extensive damage as the pests at this point will begin to grow at an exponential rate. More pests therefore mean more damage.

Also keep a close eye in wetter/moist parts of your garden which are very conducive spots for depositing their eggs.

CULTURAL CONTROL

There are cultural methods that you can adopt to reduce the risks of infestation of your crops.

BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU PLANT

One of the methods that can be adopted to reduce the infestation of your crop by these pests is to avoid planting your cabbages in the same areas where cole crops were previously planted. Cabbage maggots are attracted to cole crops, therefore planting your cabbages on a different portion far from other cole crops, will help reduce the presence of these pests.

You should also avoid planting your cabbages in areas that previously contained decaying matter.

USE FLOATING ROW COVERS

Install floating row covers around your plants to help protect them from infestation by these insects. This can be done as soon as you plant your seeds or after transplanting.

Most importantly, do not use floating row covers in areas where cole crops were previously grown as the plants can still be infested from under the row cover.

You can take off the row cover once the soil warms up and the plants are large and strong enough.

PILE SOIL AROUND STEMS

Pile soil around the stems of your plants. This is done to enable plants to grow strong roots deep into the soil capable of withstanding any form of infestation and compensate for any root loss.

TILL CROP RESIDUE UNDER

Always endeavor to till crop residue under the crop after harvesting as to destroy any of these insects that may want to take abode under such residue till the next planting season. 

Tilling the crop residue under the harvested plant, will help expose the pupae to sunlight which it can’t survive under.

ORGANIC CHEMICAL TREATMENT

There is an organic plant-based treatment known as Ecotrol G and recommended by the UMass Amherst Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment for treating soil infested with these insects.

The product comes in the form of plant oils, which when applied can repel the insects,

BIOLOGICAL CONTROL

You can as well adopt the following biological methods to keep these pests away from your plants:

BENEFICIAL NEMATODES

It has been shown that the application of beneficial soil nematodes called Steinernema feltiae repels these pests from plants.

The juvenile nematodes can be applied to the transplants in water, or can be sprayed on it before or after transplantation.

In case the adult emerges from the soil in less than a week after transplanting, you will be required to treat the plants to further protect them from infestation. The recommended concentration to be used in treating your plants is between 100,000 to 125,000 juveniles per transplant.

The soil in which the nematodes are applied should be kept moist to enable their survival.

NATURAL ENEMIES

Apart from using the aforementioned methods, there are natural enemies of these pests that can help reduce their reproduction around your plants.

The beetle species known as Aleochara bilineata that reside in the soil can kill a large number of the eggs larvae, and pupate by laying its eggs on the surface of the maggots.

Other enemies of these pests include the predatory mites and parasitic wasps which feasts on the maggots.

A natural occurring fungus can also attack the maggots destroying a large percentage of its population. This happens when there is an abundance of flies in relative high humidity.

The disadvantage of this is that the fungus can equally attack your plants.

CHEMICAL PESTICIDE CONTROLS

Insecticides although not completely effective can be used to control the population of these pests around your crops.

However, if the soil temperature is above 95°F over a few days in a row, then there is no need to apply the insecticide.

Chemical pesticide control includes diazinon and cyantraniliprole.

The insecticide should be targeted more on the seed furrows, or at the base of the plants. You also need to apply a lot of water to the soil to enable easy penetration of the insecticide, following the product’s application instructions closely.

In situations where the insects are already established, applying the insecticide will yield little or no result. The insecticide will be also ineffective when there are no maggots in the tunnels, a stage where they have metamorphosed into pupae.

MONITOR AND TAKE ACTION

It is very important you pay close attention to your plants as cabbage maggots may not be noticed at the early stage until the damage has been done.

A close observation of your plants regularly will help to monitor and control their presence, thereby preventing them from growing exponentially and causing great damage to your plants.

If you have experienced a cabbage maggot infestation on your plants, share your experience on how best you tackled the situation.

Lawn Care Tips | Growing A Healthy Lawn | Simple Lawn Care Tips

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Every home deserves to have a green lawn, aesthetic at first sight, but beautiful enough to complement the mind-blowing sight of one’s home. The grass is greener on the other side, they say, but it is a part of the American dream to have a house with a lawn that is green in summer. It glitters! 

The Truth About Lawn Care Tips

The truth as everyone knows is that lawns are most times the complete addition to the beautiful gardens. There are people who are of the view that there is no way that a garden is perfect if it does not have a lawn in it. 

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Lawn Care Design | How To Design Your Lawn Landscape

There is a core step that many lawn owners forget about before they venture into the planting stage; it is called the design stage. As a matter of fact, it is good practice that a lawn owner has a design plan for his or her lawn, before venturing into planting of sods for his her lawn.

Controlling How Your Lawn Grows

The design aspect of the lawn is such that it allows you to map out the region in which you would have your lawn extend to. This is very important because it helps you to limit how the grasses grow.

It is at the design stage that a lawn owner invites others to come and review the design plan for the lawn. In the event that it is not so easy to draw up a lawn design, there are professional gardeners who invest so much time into this process, they could be hired. 

What Should You Plant On Your Lawn?

The next step after the design has been mapped out is to make sure that you know exactly what to plant. Of course, these would be grasses, but the question is, what kind of grass do you have in mind.

When you have decided on your option, the next thing to do is to decide whether you want to go for ready-made grasses that grow around the environment or you are interested in seeding. 

How To Grow Your Lawn From Seeds

While it makes a lot of sense to plant grasses at any time, it is always a better option to start with seeding.

Best Time To Plant Lawn Seedlings

The seeding for your lawn should be planted in late summer or during fall. This is so that the germination of those seeds would start at a much earlier time. You wouldn’t want to plant at the scorching period because it burns the seeds and ultimately affects the growth rate of your seeding.

How To Prepare The Soil For A Beautiful Law Experience

Besides, it is pertinent to understand that before you proceed with seeding, you need to prepare the soil of the land area that you would love to use for your lawn. This could be done by slightly mulching, tilling, and raking the soil to prepare it for the seeding phase. 

How To Mow Your Lawn Grass For Best Growth Result

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Typical lawn owners frequently forget the rule concerning mowing their lawns. This is the next step after grasses begin to grow. Of course, the aim of having a lawn is not to have overly long grasses; else, they begin to harbor dangerous organisms.

The rule of mowing is to mow the grasses to a fair enough range so that the grasses don’t get stressed out, and they can grow to the extent that they choke out weeds and unwanted plants from their midst. 

Are Chemical Fertilisers Good For Your Lawn?

Many lawn owners have this practice of using chemical fertilizers to boost the growth of their grasses, but this doesn’t seem right on many grounds, the first being that it kills soil organisms, which are harbingers of soil nutrients.

Rather than this option, the use of the cut down portion of plants as manure would serve a better purpose when left alone on the grasses; they boost the growth of soil organisms and also soil nutrients

Aerating Your Lawn For Best Results

Aeration practices should also be set in place so that the grasses have enough room to spread around and grow. This should be done alongside the removal of unwanted plants from the midst of the grasses at intervals. 

How To Use Turfs To Create A Beautiful Lawn

Turfs are another way to create a beautiful lawn. The major reason why so many lawn owners do not like to go for turfs is because they are time consuming- in terms of the expectancy period for grasses to grow, and they are expensive when they are to be compared to seeds that could be cheaply acquired. 

The way that turfs work is that they have to be spread over the brewing grasses at intervals. For the use of turfs, it is always a better option if the lawn owner does not make the grasses get exposed to too much water, else, the turf would not serve its expected purpose. 

The Best Grass To Plant On Your Lawn

It is very important that one knows the type of grasses that one wants to grow in the lawn. The reason for this is because different locations around the home have different forms of grasses that are the most suitable for them.

The Kentucky bluegrass is the kind of grass that has the propensity to fast regrowth in the event that it dies. It is suitable for moist and breezy sides of the house. This grass is best grown at the end of summer. 

Mixing Different Grasses On Your Lawn

In the event that you are looking for the kind of grass that can be mixed with other forms of grasses, you might want to consider the perennial ryegrass. The reason for this is because it blends easily with other forms of grasses, and it can also be grown on its own too. 

On the other hand, the fine fescue could be an awesome choice for the shades of a tree around the home. It does not require so much sunlight and this means that you would not need to worry about the sharing of nutrients with the shades of the trees around your home.

It is also a very great choice for filling baldness in the lawn, especially those that were caused by the walking over the sods. 

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Growing Rutabagas In Your Home Garden | Rutabaga Cultivation Guide

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There are not so many root vegetables that many people know about in the world today. However, out of the few that people know about for their health benefits, the rutabagas is one. 

Health Benefits Of Rutabagas

Rutabagas are awesome crops, but not so awesome that people consider them for a change. However, this does not mean that they are less of the awesome health benefits that diverse people get from ingesting them. 

If you are ever wondering what crop to plant for nutritional value, ease of being kept, and is a unique farm person.

Nutritional Value Of Rutabagas

Rutabagas are also called Swedish turnip, and they are high in fiber and compared most times with other under-soil vegetables. They are mainly eaten with other conventional food items and can be very nutritious when it comes to the various vitamins needed to boost our general health. 

Growing Rutabagas For Halloween And Animal Nutrition

Asides the health benefit of the plant, it is worthy of mention to note that it is mainly used for Halloween celebrations alongside the pumpkin. Also, the earlier form of the plant was mainly used for feeding animals. 

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Planting Rutabagas In Your Garden

In a typical vegetable and root crop garden, rutabagas are awesome addendums for autumn. They belong in the group of the brassicas, but they are sweeter than your typical cabbage and turnips.

Using Rutabagas For Weight Loss Keto Diet 

They could be an awesome additions for a keto diet, and the reason is because they are rich in fiber. Many people do not know about this root vegetable because it is not grown and readily available in all seasons.

The good thing about the roots of the rutabagas is that they could be eaten just the way they are, or prepared with many other awesome side dishes, depending on your choice.

Growing Rutabagas To Help Stop Cancer Growth

Asides the sweetening crave for the vegetables, research has it that it is apt for preventing the growth of cancer, they contain a considerable amount of protein and can be a supplement for those who are suffering from diabetics. 

The History Of Rutabagas

The first time that the crop was grown was in the year 1400, and this was in Scandinavia. At the early point of its introduction into the Scandinavian society, humans didn’t quite accept it because by presumption, vegetables were meant to be given to animals, but the sweet taste of the crop made it easy for them to adapt.

Rutabagas And The Two World Wars

At some point in Germany and France respectively, the Rutabagas was regarded as a last option meal, the reason for this was the effect of the two world wars on the nation’s food basket.

At that point in time, what many people ate was the typical boiled stew alongside the rutabagas. The effect of this overtime for those who experienced the war to an extent was that they had a bad memory about the vegetable crop.

Minnesota has a long history with the planting and harvesting of the crop so much that it was called the city of rutabagas. There are a couple of other cities in the world that celebrate the use of the rutabagas because of its nutritional essence in their lives.

Another major thing to note about this crop is that it is trite to grow just as it is, it does not require any form of nursery stage. 

GROWING RUTABAGAS | How To Plant Your Own Rutabagas

Can You Grow Rutabagas Indoors?

The first and major thing to note with this plant is that it is an ideal option for gardens; hence, it should not be grown indoor. The perfect timing for planting rutabagas is to ensure that the harvest period should be at the end of autumn. 

Aerating And Harvesting Rutabagas

When you have planted the vegetable over the beddings, you should take time to watch for aeration and soil type. The leaves of this plant can be harvested after a short while, but it takes at least 90 days to harvest it for the roots. 

Rutabaga Planting Rotation With Other Crops

When planting this amazing crop, be certain that you rotate it with other crops that are considered feeders. Examples are corn and related crops. When you intend to plant this crop, you should ensure that you do not plant alongside similar plants like the cabbage. 

Growing Rutabaga In Dry Season

It is very important not to plant this crop during the dry season. The reason for this is because it affects the taste of the crop as it becomes bitter.

Irrigation Style For Rutabagas

The typical irrigation style for this awesome plant is drip irrigation, which makes the soil moist and covers the bed’s surface. 

How Much Spaces To Leave While Growing Rutabagas

The apt inch margin for planting the rutabagas would be ½ or 1/4inches, and the reason for this is simply because of the fact that it doesn’t require being fixed into the deep soil.

How Long Does It Take Rutabagas To Germinate

The germination of this crop could last up to two weeks and it is capable of growing up to the size of a grape.

Feeding Rutabagas To Livestock

Also, while it is possible that the rutabagas can be eaten in all its form and parts, alongside varieties of dishes; it is important to note that the tops and the roots can also be beneficial as livestock meals. 

How To Prepare Rutabagas

Different countries of the world have diverse cuisines made out of the rutabagas. The core fact to note about the dishes made with the rutabagas is that they are made most times for vegans.

For instance, in Finland, there are select ways by which they prepare the rutabagas, they are roasted, baked, cooked and cut in bits to make salads. 

The Swedish people love potatoes, and so for the rutabagas, they include the boiled part with carrots and it is eaten with butter, margarine or milk.

Also, in many parts of Norway, it is regarded as a root vegetable for festivals hence its vast acceptability in Norway. 

Rutabagas mean different things to different people, for those who were fortunate to have relied on rutabagas during its discover while the major World Wars lasted, it was a bad meal; one that they were forced into because of the circumstances revolving around them at the time.

For those who know about the health benefit of the root vegetable, it is high in vitamins and potassium which guarantees a high nutritional value.

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How To Grow Ginger Plant From Root Indoors

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There are a ton load of spices in the world, and just few of them have diverse uses. Ginger is one of the few.

There are different needs for ginger in the home, most times for therapeutic reasons, but what many do not realize is that it could also be grown indoor. The good thing with this plant in the spice family is that it can be grown at any time of the year.

Can Ginger Grow Indoors?

Ginger will grow and blossom indoors if you make the right conditions available for it to thrive.

One thing that people need to understand with the planting of ginger indoor is that there must be a well-aerated vase, a moist environment, sunlight, and a proper ventilator.

How Do You Grow Ginger Plants At Home Indoor

Growing Ginger In A Vase Indoor

The first and major thing to note with the planting of ginger inside your home is that you need to get a vase that is porous at the lower level; the purpose of this is proper aeration.

Spacing Ginger For Proper Growth Indoors

The next thing after this is to make sure that you plan for the spacing of the plant. The reason is that ginger plants need spacing to grow well. 

Growing Ginger In Pots Indoors

In this wise, you could make use of a deep pot, but on the surface, it has to create a forum for proper spacing, so that plants do not begin to compete for nutrients. 

How Well Will Your Ginger Grow Indoors?

It is worthy of mention also to note that with ginger before you plant them, you would need to make plans for the kind of stems that you would want to plant. The reason for this is because the way that the stems look determines how well or profitable your planting efforts would be. 

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How To Identify The Best Ginger Specie For Planting

If you want to consider getting some roots from your friend’s garden, it is ideal to look for those that have many sides to their roots.

This is because they spread easily, and you could have multiple stems in a short space of time.

Growing Your Ginger Indoors

Unlike so many other plants that require that you start from the nursery, with ginger, you might not need to do that. If you are the type that wants to plant with ginger buds, you might want to consider soaking them in warm water for a full night.

The next morning, you cut the buds in such a way that sprouting ends are left around. This is another way of ensuring that your harvest is much. 

When you are done with this, be certain to make sure that you made the soil in your vase moist. The word here is moist, and the reason for this is that when the vase is waterlogged, it doesn’t motivate the growth of the ginger buds.

Cultivating Your Ginger Plant Indoors For Favourable Results

For a highly favourable result, you have to plant with the sprout looking eyes facing the soil’s outer part. The reason for this is because it is from such portions that growth takes place. 

How To Care For Your Ginger After Planting

When they have been planted and given the random moist environment, the ginger farmer would have to watch for moist soil texture as the soil around the ginger buds tends to dry up faster.

After this, you would have to water the plants and wait for a couple of weeks because the plant’s growth is not an immediate process. 

How To Speed Up The Growth Of Your Ginger Plant

If at any moment, you feel that you can no longer wait for the plants to grow at their normal pace, you could hasten this up with the use of greenhouse manure.

However, it is very pertinent to the care for ginger plants that you must do all that you can to ensure that their aeration is not compromised. This is alongside the act of preventing them from excessive exposure to sunlight. 

What You Must Know About Planting Ginger Indoors

When cultivating ginger from the confines of your home, it is best to ensure that you make the soil around the ginger plant moist at all times.

The reason for this is because it is in moist environment that they grow better. Hence, if you are thinking of keeping your ginger vase very close to the kitchen with the heat and warmth that it emits, you might want to think twice about this because this could lead to the death of the plant.

The window side which has a moderate amount of sunlight and proper ventilation will be an awesome choice for this purpose.

How To Make Indoor Ginger Plants Grow Bigger With Stones

It is advisable to have small stones placed around your ginger plant, asides from giving the stems in the numerous numbers some spaces, it would help to channel the way that the plants get moist.

The truth is, with ginger, the water gets to evaporate from time to time, and this is keeps the plant moist. It is important to note at this point that when you want to keep the vase of the ginger plant moist, it is always better to prevent waterlog because the aim is not to fill the vase with too much water.

How To Know If Your Ginger Pot Is Well Aerated

Aeration is an important condition for a healthy ginger cultivation. As a ginger farmer who hopes to achieve the best results, it is pertinent to check the base of the vase or ginger planting pot to confirm if it is draining well.

A good amount of drain is evidence that your ginger pot and ginger roots are well aerated.

Growing Ginger Roots Indoors With Manure

While you are trying and striving to make the plant grow well, it is a worthy option to make use of manure to enhance the growth of the plant.

There are a plethora of natural options that can be used for this purpose. As a matter of fact, the best time to make use of the manure is to the timing when the plant produces major leaves. 

What You Should Know About Growing Ginger Roots Indoors

How Long Does It Take Your Ginger Plant To Fully Mature?

It takes eight months to grow your ginger to the point of harvest, but from the fourth month, you could easily go ahead to harvest some while you add some soil back to the portion from which you have harvested. 

How To Efficiently Harvest Ginger

It is also important to note that with gingers, you need to harvest them with a pair of scissors; this is so that you can give room for continuous growth. 

Preserving Your Ginger Roots After Harvesting

Upon the harvest of your ginger, you could make them powdered, dried, or pickled depending on your choice and the kind of meal that you would love to prepare. 

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