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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Tips to Start Own Garden

The following will reveal some simple flower gardening tips that will help make the process easier. The ideal time to start a garden is at the end of spring or just before summer kicks in. If you’re starting a garden without prior experience, you must begin with a small area before turning it into a large one. These are the points you’ll need to bear in mind while planning a garden:

Select a Location: The scorching heat during the peak hours of the afternoon sun, is not good for many flowering plants. At least six hours of light is a must, with a little shade for particular flower species. Therefore, the area chosen should be such that the right amount of sun and shade is available, by doing a little research on the type of flower you want to grow. Many people prefer a place close to a wall or fence, since it enhances the visual appearance of a garden. For adequate shade, you can plant the flowers around fenced spots, around trees, or in a similarly shady spot.

Prepare the Soil: The next thing to do, is to remove weeds that may be growing in your garden, by digging it up with a shovel. Then identify the type of soil that you have in your garden and prepare it accordingly. The best way to improve a soil’s condition for the purpose of gardening, is with the help of compost. This is because it consists of organic matter which is good for all types of plants. On sandy soil, compost and peat moss that allows adequate moisture to seep in, for proper growth of the plant. For clay soil gardens, add compost and sand in order to improve its drainage.

Selection of Plants: When you venture to a flower shop to buy flowering plants, read the tags attached to each of them. These tags contain all the relevant information related to climatic requirements and soil condition needs of the plants. You could buy only those flowering plants that are suitable for any kind of climate change, sunlight, and soil condition, to give yourself less of a hard time. There are two kinds of flowering plants: annuals and perennials. Annuals blossom only in a particular season whereas perennials bloom throughout the year. Select a good combination of annuals and perennials for your flower garden. This will ensure that your garden will have flowers all year round. You can buy seeds too to watch a flower take form, provided that you have the time and patience to care for them.

Planting the Flowers: Proper planting of the flowering plants is a must. Take the plant out from its plastic container along with the entire soil plug attached to it. If there are too many roots around the soil, loosen them up a bit so that they can get comfortably branch out in a flower bed. Then plant it in the ground, making sure the roots of the plant are not placed too deep in the soil. Otherwise, most of the water given to the plant will drain before it reaches the roots.

Watering the Plants: After planting, adequate watering is important as it will help the plant to develop a strong root system. Water should be given to the plants as per their requirements. The tags of the new plants contain valuable instructions on a plant’s needs. It is better to plant the same kinds of plants together, so that you know a certain amount of water is required in that one spot. In the first week, watering should be done every day. In the second week, it should be given after every two days. After that, once a week. If the plants are native to your area, then at a later stage you can water them just once in month.

Flower Plant Care: Mulching (using various elements directly to the soil, like wood chips, bark chips, leaves, straw mulch, woodchip mulch, peat moss, cardboard, plastic sheeting, and the like) helps stunt the rampant nature of weeds, preserves soil moisture, and improves the state of the soil. Remove dead blossoms and throw them away from the garden, since they can spread diseases to healthy neighboring plants.

Steps to Sow Heliotrope Seeds

Step #1: Pour the potting mix into the divided seedling tray for starting seeds. Use the spray bottle to moisten the potting mix. This will settle the mixture into the tray; so make sure you keep adding as much mix as you have to, while watering it, till it reaches all the way to the top of the tray.

Step #2: Now plant only 3 or 4 seeds in each section of the tray. The seeds will be very tiny, so make sure you scatter them at even distance. Once the seeds are placed, sprinkle a thin layer of potting mix as a cover.

Step #3: Place the seedling tray in an area where the temperature will be warm. However, do make sure it receives direct sunlight. If you want, you can use the fluorescent lights to provide the needed supplement. Along with avoiding direct sunlight, steer clear of heating vents, fireplace, air conditioner, and cold drafts from outside.

Step #4: Keep spraying the soil (always with the spray bottle) as much as it’s required to keep it moist consistently. But keep in mind, you want the soil moist and not soaking wet. If you make this error, the seedlings will start to rot and won’t grow properly.

Step #5: You will have to keep a watch for the seedlings to sprout. As they do, take a pair of scissors and cut the weakest seedlings off. You should only leave one seedling which is the strongest in each section of the tray. Try not to yank them out as it might destroy the root system of the seedlings.

Step #6: Transfer the seedlings into the individual planting containers you purchased once they are too big for the divided trays. If you wish, you can also use Styrofoam or paper cups with a hole underneath it to transfer the seedlings.

Step #7: Once there is no danger of frost, you can plant the heliotrope seedlings outside. Choose a spot which gets constant sunlight all day. Place a layer of protective covering made entirely of organic mulch and place it over the soil. The mulch will enrich it and improve the drainage system.

Step #8: Spoon the seedlings out of the containers very carefully so that you don’t damage its root system. Plant them in individual containers and spray some water over the soil to keep it moist.

Honeysuckle Plants

Honeysuckle plants belong to the genus Lonicera and family Caprifoliaceae. There are around 200 species of honeysuckles, that include both shrubs and vines. Though not true honeysuckles, three species in the genus Diervilla are also known as bush honeysuckles, as they share similar characteristics with the original plant. While vines are usually grown on trellises and fences, honeysuckle bush is perfect for hedges, as ornamental plants or as accent plants.

Honeysuckle – Features

Most of the honeysuckle species are native to China, and the remaining ones originated in some parts of Europe and North America. There are both deciduous and evergreen honeysuckles. Most of these plants have opposite leaves and trumpet-shaped flowers. The flowers have a sweet fragrance and are visually appealing. The color of the flowers varies with the species. They bear red, blue, or black berries, that are found to be poisonous in some species.

The most popular and commonly grown honeysuckles include Lonicera sempervirens (coral honeysuckle or trumpet honeysuckle), Lonicera periclymenum (European Honeysuckle or woodbine), Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle, white honeysuckle, or Chinese honeysuckle). The popular honeysuckle bush varieties are the fragrant honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima), amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii), and morrow honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii).

Honeysuckle Bush Care

As mentioned above, the bush honeysuckle is perfect for making hedges, screens and borders. They can also be used as accent plants or standalone ones in landscaping. Some people use this plant for preventing erosion of soil. The following are some guidelines for growing honeysuckle bush.

These plants can thrive in almost all types of soil, that are well-drained, and they prefer sunny locations. Usually, honeysuckles are planted during fall. Water is not a necessity for the honeysuckle bush, but occasional watering is advisable during dry weather. You can also use fertilizers once a month, during dry weather. However, these plants have a tendency to grow rapidly and spread over the place. This may affect the survival of other plants in the area, as it will be completely taken over by the honeysuckle. So, pruning is necessary for most of these plants, to check their uncontrolled growth.

How to Prune a Honeysuckle Bush? Pruning is usually done after the flowering season, that runs between April to June. Once the flowering is over, prune the plants by the end of June. The cuts should be made at 45 degree angles, and about ΒΌ inch above the buds. Make sure not to prune more than one-third of the plant’s height. You can go for severe pruning once in every two to three years. Such pruning can be done during the last part of summer. If you fail to prune the plant during summer, you may do a little bit of trimming during the early spring. Any sort of pruning or trimming during the flowering season is not recommended.

Way to Sow Angel’s Trumpet Seed

Step #1: The first step involves picking of the seeds. You have to collect dry seeds in early part of the year. Select those pods which have completely dried. You can identify this when you see that the outer shell of the pods have split because of dryness. If you do not find such pods, then take some pods that are almost matured and then dry them off the tree. Store these seeds in a refrigerator till the time for planting them arrives.

Step #2: Before you plant them, take out the flat and yellow-colored seeds from the pod and cut their surface with a knife. Soak them overnight in a bowl of water. Next day, drain the water and use them for planting.

Step #3: Take a large-sized pot or container for planting as the growth rate of this tree is rather fast. Fill it with a potting mix covering. Select a light potting mix for this purpose as it provides good drainage. Heavy potting soil should be avoided as it retains large amount of water which in turn can rot the seed much before germination. Mix some compost into the soil to improve its quality.

Step #4: Water the soil and sow the prepared seeds directly into the pot. For this, you have to make an indentation into the soil which should be about one-fourth inch deep. Place a seed into it and cover it up putting some soil over it. Do not press too much of soil over it. Then add some more water into the pot.

Step #5: These seeds require humid conditions with warm days and cool nights for germination. Keep the container in an area with partial sunlight. The soil should be watered in such a way that it remains moist but does not get flooded. If the weather is hot and dry, you need to water the soil everyday. Usually, germination of the seed begins within 2 – 3 weeks of planting.

Add some common fertilizers to the soil after a gap of 2 – 3 weeks. Keep the area surrounding the plants free from weeds by mulching regularly. Bear in mind that various parts of the angel trumpet are poisonous. Hence, you should not plant them in your flower garden if you have small children and pets at home.