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The Ultimate Guide To Gardening

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The Ultimate Guide To Gardening Powered By Docstoc
					Here is truly the ultimate free guide to gardening brought to you by Thomas Byers who writes at Hub Pages.
Be sure that you check out all his writing.

GARDEN PESTS.



If we could garden without any interference from the pests which attack plants, then indeed gardening would
be a simple matter. But all the time we must watch out for these little foes little in size, but tremendous in the
havoc they make.



As human illness may often be prevented by healthful conditions, so pests may be kept away by strict garden
cleanliness. Heaps of waste are lodging places for the breeding of insects. I do not think a compost pile will
do the harm, but unkempt, uncared-for spots seem to invite trouble.



There are certain helps to keeping pests down. The constant stirring up of the soil by earthworms is an aid in
keeping the soil open to air and water. Many of our common birds feed upon insects. The sparrows, robins,
chickadees, meadow larks and orioles are all examples of birds who help in this way. Some insects feed on
other and harmful insects. Some kinds of ladybugs do this good deed. The ichneumon-fly helps too. And
toads are wonders in the number of insects they can consume at one meal. The toad deserves very kind
treatment from all of us.



Each gardener should try to make her or his garden into a place attractive to birds and toads. A good
birdhouse, grain sprinkled about in early spring, a water-place, are invitations for birds to stay a while in your
garden. If you wish toads, fix things up for them too. During a hot summer day a toad likes to rest in the
shade. By night he is ready to go forth to eat but not to kill, since toads prefer live food. How can one "fix
up" for toads? Well, one thing to do is to prepare a retreat, quiet, dark and damp. A few stones of some size
underneath the shade of a shrub with perhaps a carpeting of damp leaves, would appear very fine to a toad.
There are two general classes of insects known by the way they do their work. One kind gnaws at the plant
really taking pieces of it into its system. This kind of insect has a mouth fitted to do this work. Grasshoppers
and caterpillars are of this sort. The other kind sucks the juices from a plant. This, in some ways, is the worst
sort. Plant lice belong here, as do mosquitoes, which prey on us. All the scale insects fasten themselves on
plants, and suck out the life of the plants.



Now can we fight these chaps? The gnawing fellows may be caught with poison sprayed upon plants, which
they take into their bodies with the plant. The Bordeaux mixture which is a poison sprayed upon plants for
this purpose.



In the other case the only thing is to attack the insect direct. So certain insecticides, as they are called, are
sprayed on the plant to fall upon the insect. They do a deadly work of attacking, in one way or another, the
body of the insect.



Sometimes we are much troubled with underground insects at work. You have seen a garden covered with ant
hills. Here is a remedy, but one of which you must be careful.



This question is constantly being asked, 'How can I tell what insect is doing the destructive work?' Well, you
can tell partly by the work done, and partly by seeing the insect itself. This latter thing is not always so easy
to accomplish. I had cutworms one season and never saw one. I saw only the work done. If stalks of tender
plants are cut clean off be pretty sure the cutworm is abroad. What does he look like? Well, that is a hard
question because his family is a large one. Should you see sometime a grayish striped caterpillar, you may
know it is a cutworm. But because of its habit of resting in the ground during the day and working by night, it
is difficult to catch sight of one. The cutworm is around early in the season ready to cut the flower stalks of
the hyacinths. When the peas come on a bit later, he is ready for them. A very good way to block him off is to
put paper collars, or tin ones, about the plants. These collars should be about an inch away from the plant.



Of course, plant lice are more common. Those we see are often green in colour. But they may be red, yellow
or brown. Lice are easy enough to find since they are always clinging to their host. As sucking insects they
have to cling close to a plant for food, and one is pretty sure to find them. But the biting insects do their
work, and then go hide. That makes them much more difficult to deal with.



Rose slugs do great damage to the rose bushes. They eat out the body of the leaves, so that just the veining is
left. They are soft-bodied, green above and yellow below.



A beetle, the striped beetle, attacks young melons and squash leaves. It eats the leaf by riddling out holes in
it. This beetle, as its name implies, is striped. The back is black with yellow stripes running lengthwise.
Then there are the slugs, which are garden pests. The slug will devour almost any garden plant, whether it be
a flower or a vegetable. They lay lots of eggs in old rubbish heaps. Do you see the good of cleaning up
rubbish? The slugs do more harm in the garden than almost any other single insect pest. You can discover
them in the following way. There is a trick for bringing them to the surface of the ground in the day time. You
see they rest during the day below ground. So just water the soil in which the slugs are supposed to be. How
are you to know where they are? They are quite likely to hide near the plants they are feeding on. So water
the ground with some nice clean lime water. This will disturb them, and up they'll poke to see what the matter
is.



Beside these most common of pests, pests which attack many kinds of plants, there are special pests for
special plants. Discouraging, is it not? Beans have pests of their own; so have potatoes and cabbages. In fact,
the vegetable garden has many inhabitants. In the flower garden lice are very bothersome, the cutworm and
the slug have a good time there, too, and ants often get very numerous as the season advances. But for real
discouraging insect troubles the vegetable garden takes the prize. If we were going into fruit to any extent,
perhaps the vegetable garden would have to resign in favour of the fruit garden.



A common pest in the vegetable garden is the tomato worm. This is a large yellowish or greenish striped
worm. Its work is to eat into the young fruit.



A great, light green caterpillar is found on celery. This caterpillar may be told by the black bands, one on
each ring or segment of its body.



The squash bug may be told by its brown body, which is long and slender, and by the disagreeable odour
from it when killed. The potato bug is another fellow to look out for. It is a beetle with yellow and black
stripes down its crusty back. The little green cabbage worm is a perfect nuisance. It is a small caterpillar and
smaller than the tomato worm. These are perhaps the most common of garden pests by name.
Gardening



The thing to remember while gardening is to start small. A small plant bed, about 25 or 30 feet square is
perfect, is just enough room for about 30 plants. This will give you a chance to try out your green thumb and
if you find that you enjoy your garden you can always expand and increase your plantings.



The next thing you will want to do is choose a site. Gardening must be done in an area that gets at least six
hours of sunlight. Try and stay away from large trees that will take your plants water and nutrients, and at
least three feet from any fences or buildings. In hot climates it is a good idea to choose a place that will have
shade from a part of the intense afternoon sun. It is possible to have a healthy garden with even ten to twelve
hours of sunlight, but the type of plants must be adaptable. While soil can always be improved, a site with
good soil is a plus. Avoid areas that have rocky soil, steep slopes, or areas where water stands.



Now comes the fun part: start digging. Gardening is not a clean hobby; you’re going to have to get some dirt
under your nails. First remove the rocks, debris, and any grass and weeds then dig the spot up about one foot
deep. Level up the dirt and add compost or minerals if the needed. If your soil is too acidic, add lime; if it is
too sandy, add peat moss. Plants will thrive in neutral to acidic soil with a little added fertilizer.



If you buy seeds then plant them according to the directions. If picking plants, choose ones with green,
healthy looking leaves and stems and healthy roots. Put the smaller plants towards the front of the bed and
larger ones in the back. The key to a successful beginning in gardening is planting at the right time. Make
sure and wait until the frosts are over before planting. If you are planting seeds the package will usually tell
you exactly when you can plant them to achieve maximum growth.



Once you have started and gotten into gardening, making sure your plants receive enough water is essential
to their growth. Hand watering works well if you only have a few plants. Other options include sprinklers or
sprinkler hoses. Watering is more effective during the cooler parts of the day. The type of plant will depend
on how much water is needed, but most require about an inch per week. During the hottest periods plants
will be need watering about three times per week.



One of the most helpful things to add to a garden is mulch or compost. Just a few inches of organic mulch
will improve fertility and help the soil hold moisture. Wood chips, grass clippings, leaves, manure, and pine
needles are all things that can be used as mulch.




Gardening Advice
Garden advice is not that hard to come by. In fact, you can get gardening advice from another gardener, in a
gardening catalog, gardening books, gardening magazines, and even on the Internet. Although you will have
variations with every plant, there is some gardening advice that is universal and that goes for any plant.



For example, the gardening advice given for planting is pretty much uniform. You must place plants where
they will have room to grow so they don’t overcrowd each other. Good air flow is a plus, and plants must be
in a position where they will receive adequate amounts of sunlight. Advice will always tell you to add some
type of nutrients to the soil to lead to better plant growth, such as mulch or compost.



Gardening advice on watering plants is a little more varied, because every type of plant needs different
amounts of water. For example, you wouldn’t want to water a cactus near as much as you water a tomato
plant. How much you water will obviously also depend on where you live, the climate, and how much rain
your area receives.



Gardening advice from nearly every source will tell you that your plants not only need fertilize when you
first plant them, they will also needed to be fertilized throughout their growing season. What type of fertilize
used will depend on the soil content and pH balance, but fertilize will definitely be needed on most all plants.
Compost can be used instead and it is easy to find advice on how to make a compost pile as well as when
fertilize and compost needs to be used.



Gardening advice on weeds, insects, disease, and how to get rid of them is probably the most sought after
advice in all of gardening. These pests invade all gardens and if you don’t get rid of them, they will take over
and ruin your garden. There are many different chemicals and pesticides that can be used, and gardening
advice will usually clue gardeners in on which chemicals are better, which are harmful, and which ones are
easier to administer.



Gardening is not an easy task; you have to fight against many outside forces, such as weather, insects,
disease, and weeds. Even the most seasoned of gardeners will seek out gardening advice once in a while.
Who wouldn’t when there are so many forces that could take a garden out? There is a lot of general
gardening advice on the market that goes for any plant, but if you look a little harder you will find specific
advice for that one plant that is the only one giving you trouble. Gardening advice is relatively easy to find,
and while you may come across the occasional bad apple, most of it is relatively sound and will help with
any gardening question.
EASY TIPS ON HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR PLANTS



Many people worry a lot when it comes to caring for their plants. When talking about house plants, there is
no need to worry. There are just a few things you need to consider.



1. Watering

Overwatering kills most houseplants. Looks can be deceptive, so to see if your soil is dry enough to water, try
the finger test. Insert your index finger up to the first joint into the soil. If the soil is damp, don't water it.



2. Feeding

Foliage plants usually have high nitrogen needs, while flowering plants, K2O is needed. Slow release
fertilizers can be mixed with the compost. However, certain plants like cacti and orchids need special
fertilizer. Feed plants during their most active growth period.



3. Lighting

Plants like Sanseveria and Aspidistra require no sun. They can be placed away from a window. Spider plants
need semi-shade. You can put plants like these near a window that does or does not get sunlight. Check the
label to see what your plant needs.
4. Temperature

Houseplants can survive in cool or warm temperatures, but drastic fluctuations of temperature may not be
good for them. One thing that most plants cannot survive is gas heating. If you have a plant that likes warm
conditions, don't put it near an air conditioner in the summer.



5. Humidity

Some houseplants require a humid environment. One tip to maximize humidity is to put the pot inside a
larger pot and fill in the gaps with stones or compost to keep in the moisture. Grouping plants together often
creates a micro climate that they will benefit from. If you want, you can spray them with water once or twice
a day depending on the temperature.



6. Re-potting

Some plants require re-potting for optimum growth but there are others that resent having their roots
disturbed. Or their roots system may be small enough that they don't require re-potting. One way to check if
your plant needs re-potting is to turn it upside down. Tap the pot to release the plant and check its roots. If
roots are all you see, then re-pot. Sometimes the roots will come out of the pot. You should either cut them
off or re-pot the plant.



You just need to have a little care for your plants and in turn, you'll reap the benefits. Indoor plants not only
add to the beauty of your décor, but also give much pleasure to the indoor gardener.
Gardening tips to avoid fungus during summer



Most of us are ready to invest huge amount for landscaping and gardening to give face lift for our home. But
we failed to prune when the plants needed it, and then your highly invested landscape looks terrible than
ever. So this is a high time to know about the gardening tips for better maintenance of your lawn. Do follow
the following gardening tips for better life of your garden: -



Gardening tips for pruning

As we discussed in the introduction, pruning plays an important role in the garden maintenance. If you
commit any mistake while pruning, don’t lose your heart because it’s like a bad haircut, it is going to grow
again.



Avoid watering in the evening

During summer, you may experience high humidity, which might result in lot of problems in your garden. To
get your plants nice and dry, tuck them in for night. In addition to this watering in the evening may be
avoided to prevent damage to the plants.



Get rid of Powdery mildew

Powdery mildew is the common fungus mostly affects your ornamental plants. This will create white film on
the leaves of the plants in your garden. Even other ornamental plants such as Sand cherry and Dogwoods are
also getting affected with this fungus. Efficient gardening is necessary to curtail the growth of this fungus.
You can easily prevent this by spraying general fungicide in the garden centre.



Prevention of Pythium Blight

If you’re in the north and also having perennial Rye grass, then you ought to be very careful not to leave your
grass wet at night. A dreadful fungus called Pythium Blight may take its upper hand, if you leave your lawn
wet in the night because this fungus love to grow in high humid condition mostly, in the night.



Pythium blight can easily be seen in the early morning. You can easily appreciate the fungus on the top of the
lawn as white cotton candy. You can easily notice this fungus mainly along driveways and walks, where the
soil is moist. Pythium blight can easily be controlled by watering in the day at the earliest possible time.



Fire Blight
Fire Blight, yet another culprit prefers to grow well during summer than any other season. This fungus
prefers to attack Pyracantha, cotoneasters, crabapple trees, and Apple trees. The presence of Fire Blight can
easily be visualized once the any one of the branches of the plant turns red and dies. This Fire Blight can be
prevented little by pruning the affected branch and removing it from the main plant as far as possible.



It is also important that the cut branches should be burnt since Fire Blight is contagious and also wash or dip
the projected shears by using alcohol in order to prevent the spread of the deadly fungus to other parts of the
branch.



Shotgun fungus

A little gem like fungus, which prefers to grow in mulch and tends to swell, has been termed as “Short gun
Fungus”. This fungus can fly up to 8 feet in the air and will spatter your house with tiny brown specks and
once they stick to your house or windows, they stick like glue. Most of us suspect the spiders and aliens for
this tiny brown speck. You can’t prevent this fungus, but can do something by keeping the mulch loose so air
can circulate inside to keep this fungus out. Although mulch is great, don’t allow them to get packed, try to
remove it at least once in a year and also rake it flat as if it will look like you’ve just mulched.




Vegetable Gardening




Vegetable gardening has lately become just as popular as going to the grocery store fore produce. Vegetable
gardening can produce vegetable that are usually cheaper than store bought, and vegetables from a home
vegetable garden definitely taste better by far. Vegetable gardening is no different than growing herbs or
flowers and if the proper steps are taken and the plants are give the proper care they will flourish and produce
very tasty vegetables.
First you must decide what size of garden you wish to plant and then select a place for it; somewhere that has
good drainage, good air flow, and good, deep soil. It also needs to be able to get as much sunlight as
possible. Because vegetable gardens have such tasty rewards, many animals, such as dogs, rabbits, deer, and
many others will try and get to your veggies. One way to prevent this is to surround your garden with a
fence, or put out a trap to catch mice, moles, and other animals.



Before planting, the soil must be properly prepared. Good soil for vegetable gardening is achieved by
cultivation and the application of organic materials. The soil must be tilled (plowed) to control weeds and
mix mulch into the soil. If you have a small garden, spading could be a better bet than plowing. Mulching is
also a vital part of soil preparation. Organic matter added to the soil releases nitrogen, minerals, and other
nutrients plants need to thrive. The most popular and best type of mulch you can use is compost. While the
kind and amount of fertilizer used depends on the soil and types of plants, there are some plants that have
specific needs; leafy plants, like cabbage, spinach, and lettuce usually grow better with more nitrogen, while
root crops like potatoes, beets, turnips, and carrots require more potash. Tomatoes and beans use less
fertilizer, while plants like onions, celery, and potatoes need a larger amount.



One thing that is vitally important in vegetable gardening is the garden arrangement. There is no single plan
that will work for every garden due to varying conditions. One popular way to arrange a vegetable garden is
to plant vegetables needing only limited space together, such as radishes, lettuce, beets, and spinach, and
those that require more room together, such as corn, pumpkins, and potatoes. Try and plant tall growing
plants towards the back of the garden and shorter ones in the front so that their sunlight does not get blocked.



When you are finally ready to begin planting your vegetable garden, make sure and plant at the right time of
year. If you are dying to get an early start, you may want begin your garden inside in a hotbed and then
transplant when the weather permits. After you are finished planting, make sure your vegetables receive the
appropriate amount of water, which depends on the type of plant. Most plants will need the equivalent to
about an inch of water per week.



Weeds must be controlled in vegetable gardening because they will take up water, light, and nutrients meant
for the vegetables and they often bring disease and insects to the garden. You can get rid of weeds by
cultivation or mulching. To protect against disease and insects you can buy seeds that are disease resistant or
use controlled chemicals.



Vegetable gardening is many people’s favorite form of gardening because you can actually taste the fruits of
your labor. Vegetable gardening is not that expensive to start and the taste of home grown veggies definitely
beat out that of supermarket vegetables. Your vegetable gardening days will be full of produce if you take
the proper precautions when planting and continue maintenance of your garden.
About The Author




Thomas Byers has been an award winning Gardener and Chef for over forty years now. He writes at Hub
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information now. Please feel free to share this E Book On , The Ultimate Gardening Guide , with everyone
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Be sure that you CICK HERE to check out HUB PAGES.

I enjoy writing on various subjects and I hope you'll check out the below sites which have a lot of valuable
information. Please feel free to share this E Book with any and everyone you know. Thank You For Reading
and SHARING.




I have written what most people feel is a wonderful guide to , Planting Your First Vegetable Garden and I
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