Control Weeds in Your Garden

Late spring is when most gardens get their first surge of weeds. I know mine has. But, there are ways to deal with these annoying unwelcome guests that will not get the best of you or your hands.
  • Carefully pull the weeds straight up
  • Mulching reduces weeds
  • For determined weeds, cut off the tops so they don’t go to seed
  • Plant shrubs and perennials closely to shade out weeds
  • Spray weeds with white vinegar and let the sun take them out
  • Watch this video clip from Fine Gardening on Controlling Weeds
Weeds #3

 

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How to Help Plants Cope with Hot Temperatures

Plants become stressed during hot weather, too. Here are tips for limiting their agony:

 

  • Water in the late evening – after sunset if possible
  • Apply water the base of the plants at the soil level
  • Don’t fertilize when the plants are stressed
  • Shredded bark mulch for woody shrubs and trees will keep them cooler
  • Use aged compost or aged manure mix as mulch for perennials
  • If you can’t water (due to restrictions), get your garden hoe out and turn the soil around the plants.
  • Clip out any dead or broken limbs
  • Deadhead just as quickly as the blooms die so the plant doesn’t have to force energy into it
  • Have a plant that is extremely sensitive to the heat – construct a canopy over the plant with light cloth and stakes to limit the suns rays

Tips for Saving Money in Your Landscape

Mulch made from shredded yard waste in a munic...
Image via Wikipedia

Ways to save $$$ in your landscape:

  • Plant quick growing shade trees for future summers (poplar hybrids, willow hybrids & lombardy poplar for examples)
  • Choose younger bare root shrubs and trees (saves money and water)
  • Mulch with shredded bark mulch or aged compost/manure mix (keeps the ground cool over the roots reducing water needs)
  • Select perennials over annuals (plant once and grow for years – also perennials require less water than annuals)
  • Plant spreading perennials and ground covers in bare areas (their shade limits weed growth)
  • Watering lawns every 4 to 5 days saves water and allows the roots of the grass to grow deeper
  • Incorporate herbs into your landscape for cooking
  • Raise the setting on your lawn mower
  • Use drip hoses for most gardens and landscaped areas
  • Select the proper plants for difficult areas such as full sun or full shade
  • Remove dead plants immediately
  • Deadheading many shrubs and perennials encourages new blooms

 

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Tips For Vacationing at Home – Stay at Home and Have the Best Vacation Ever

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Image by sstrubel via Flickr

Vacationing at home can be as much as much fun as going away. Home vacations can vary from setting up a portable hot tub in the backyard for yourself and the kids to pretend you’re at the beach to taking day trips enjoying local sites.

During late spring to summer is a wonderful time to take advantage of garden settings at historic homes, nature walks, botanical gardens, and arboretums as they are in full bloom. Visiting gardens open to the public have landscape architects or professionals who have designed these gorgeous landscapes. Not only are you able to enjoy their efforts, but take these design concepts home and apply them to your next landscape project or use the information as a suggestion. They are landscape ideas that are free.

For those who don’t have children at home (or if you do, hire a babysitter), take tour a local vineyard and don’t forget the tasting afterwards! A bottle of wine, some cheeses, fresh fruit and sweet nibbles have the makings of a perfect picnic.

In planning your home vacation, do the same things you would plan before any other get away such as clean the house, do the laundry, mow the lawn, etc. The computer and cell phones should have a break, too. Let the answering machine or voice mail catch those people who don’t know you’re on vacation. It’s a getaway time, no work! Why not make it a themed vacation and visit the party store to pick up inexpensive regional decorations such as netting, shells, leis, little umbrellas for drinks, etc for a beach look.

Don’t forget vacation smells for the house such as fresh herbs, flowers or other scents that remind you of your favorite vacation spot. Also, keep an open bottle of inexpensive sunscreen. Nothing smells of vacation like the smell of sunscreen. Treat yourself to a beautiful market basket and carry it with you everywhere with a large beach size towel, which also does double duty in pinch for picnics, straw hat, small bottle of sunscreen, and snacks.

Here are other fun things perfect for a home vacation:

  • Schedule a massage or facial
  • Eat out or order delivery
  • Hire a sitter for the kids and have a date night
  • Have a DVD marathon (especially good if it is a rainy day)
  • Create a theme by renting DVD’s set in specific areas or periods
  • Throw an extended family cookout – Read a book or two
  • Keep coffee, juice, water and snacks on hand
  • Visit a nearby museum or zoo
  • Go for a drive and stop for a picnic
  • Visit stores/shops that you normally wouldn’t visit
  • Check out your area to see if there are any community activities going on-such as free concerts, openings, and don’t forget to check out the library for story time – See if your area offers outdoor dramas or ghost tours
  • Take a cooking class and show off your new skills at home by preparing those dishes

Vacationing at home doesn’t mean you must stay at home. Check out your section of state to see what sights are within about a 2 hour drive. That is about the right amount of time for a full day of nearby sights, including driving time.

Home vacations are a wonderful way to reduce stress, learn about your own community, truly relax and best of all, they’re easy to keep in budget.

 

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