Create a Magical Miniature Garden

Create a Magical Miniature Garden

Miniature and fairy gardens are a fun way to create a pint-size realistic landscape that capture the atmosphere and magnificence in a natural landscape. They can be your little bit of paradise even if you don’t have much room in your backyard. You can’t imagine how those tiny pieces can be gathered into a small container with the right accessories and details.

Big interest in little gardens

Fairy gardens—a new take on an old favorite, the terrarium—are tiny worlds complete with miniature furnishings, fairy-scale plants and plenty of mystique.

Just a touch of inspiration, a cute container, some plants and a few accessories are all it takes to get the magic of a fairy garden growing. Click through the next slides for some tips on starting a fairy garden similar to the one shown here, made by the Garden Barn of Indianola, Iowa.

Do it yourself

(C) Goodshomedesign.com

(C) Goodshomedesign.com

Pick a container

Be creative, but allow proper drainage to prevent soggy roots. Terra-cotta pots with saucers work great, and you can hide them inside a larger container, like a fun picnic basket.

Add soil

Use quality potting soil that provides nutrients plants need.

Select plants

Herbs are a smart choice because they stay small with just a little trimming, grow easily and offer wonderful fragrance. Thyme (Thymus praecox ‘Minor’) is a convincing groundcover, ornamental onion ( Allium senescens ‘Glaucum’) makes a perfect little hedge, creeping savory (Satureja spicigera) can be shaped into a small bush and lemon-scented geraniums (Pelargonium crispum) serve as sweet little trees. Other top picks: firecracker plant, lavender, dwarf licorice, marjoram, dwarf myrtle, oregano, rosemary and sage.

Accessorize

Create paths and seating areas—and add miniature fences, furniture, pots and garden tools.

Invite fairies

Leave them to the imagination, or pick characters at a fairy garden supplier.
 
Read more: http://www.midwestliving.com/garden/container/miniature-garden

 

Healthy Activity with Gardening

Image result for health benefits of gardening

(c) lunginstitute.com

Are you into any sort of leisure activity? Well, gardening is one such leisure activity and both adults and children have to do this. There are some positive aspects which you can get from gardening. A few of them are:

1. There is no age limit in the case of gardening so anyone (kids, parents, adults) makes this their bonding time.

2. It improves mental health by lessening stress

3. It has an effect on the mineral density of the body bone.

4. Gardening also absolutely influences self-esteem and sleep.

5. Can build camaraderie with individuals with same interest.

Some might just take gardening as being a basic activity but scientific study has actually compared some gardening intense tasks with other sports just like swimming, running and weight lifting. The following are sample activities.

– lifting pots and heavy materials
– digging holes
– lawn mowing
– Transferring soils
– pulling weeds

From the above described functions, all these involve muscle strength. By working out your arms and leg, you are able to reduce coronary diseases. Likewise, if you do this frequently, for example 2-3 hours weekly, you’ll be able to prevent critical illnesses like obesity, osteoporosis and high blood. Aside from those physical benefits, it could enormously profit the family in decreasing expenses for food as you can just plant vegetables and fruits in your yard and whenever there are extra, you can sell it to your neighbors.

Stress will cause depression, headaches, stomach aches, cardiac arrest and aggravate pre-existing problems in the human body. We are all aware that an excessive amount of sitting and non-active life especially for elder could bring health risks and irritability so motivating them to do small spurts of hobby can make a huge difference. Gardening has come about in recent years as a medically proven stress reliever. We could also let the children to be with the nature since a growing number of people today choose to stay home to play with their devices. But through gardening, they are able to begin appreciating the science of life and the way everything nourishes when they are taken care of. They’re going to start to understand more and see the application of things shown at school like botany, genetics and nutrition.

Although you may enjoy gardening so much, some tasks are not within your capabilities therefore you must also hire people who can get the job done for you like garden clearance.

Through garden clearance, companies will source local recycling plants and ensure junk is taken there for composting. These are a good strategy to conserve the environment and have the know-how and resources to get rid of your green trash in an ecofriendly approach. They can also give suggestions about how you could further improve your garden.

Through gardening, you’re not just helping the environment but yourself also. It could be just a simple activity for you but recognizing these advantages that it could give will truly inspire you to carry out gardening more regularly. Be stress-free, healthy and eco-friendly with gardening!

How to Make a Soil Sifter

Too many stones, rocks and pebbles interfere with plant growth. The soil sifter can be a useful tool when you need to remove debris from your garden.

 

Sifting your soil is an excellent way to refine the foundation of your garden. The basic idea is to sift the soil through a screen much as you would sift ingredients for baking. Sifting “cleans” the soil, removing large organic objects such as rocks and debris like broken glass. The process improves the texture of the soil, loosening it to allow for better water and air penetration. It can also remove old weed rhizomes—root systems that could grow new colonies of weeds. The benefits include improved drainage and moisture retention so that your plants’ roots are more likely to get the water they need without becoming waterlogged or rotting.

You can take the opportunity of sifting your soil to blend in amendments such as compost, manure, or other nutritional additions. It’s a great way to create a premium top soil that will get your garden off to a great start—and keep it growing strong throughout the season.

Sifting soil can be done with nothing more than a sturdy, thick mesh screen held by the edges. But if your garden is like most, you’ll be faced with sifting quite a bit of soil and a simple hand-held screen will be quite laborious to use. That’s why the design of the sifter described in the pages that follow is a bit more sophisticated. It uses a sifting box equipped with wheels, and this box sits in a frame. You sift the soil by rolling the box back and forth within the frame, saving a lot of energy, effort, and sore backs. If you want to make the rig even handier and easier to store, add handles to both the sifting box and frame.

The sifting frame has been sized to fit perfectly over a standard wheelbarrow. But if you are using another container to catch the sifted soil, or if your wheelbarrow is a different size, adjust the measurements to suit. This could even be used over an empty garbage can or barrel. Once you’ve constructed the sifter, sift soil for your whole garden, container plants, or anywhere you want clean, effective top soil. Your plants will thank you.

Tools and Materials

• (4) 1-inch rigid casters (uni-directional)
• 1/4-inch or 1/2-inch galvanized screen
• Cordless drill and bits
• 1-1/4-inch washer head screws (also known as lath screws)
• 2-1/2-inch deck screws
• 1-1/4-inch wood screws
• 1-1/2-inch-wide metal angle
• 3/4-inch x #8 pan head screws

Cutting List

Materials table

Make the Soil Sifter

Build rails

1. Drill pilot holes through the frame guides and into the 1 x 3 frame stiles. Screw the guides to the stile with 1-1/4-inch wood screws, ensuring that the guides are aligned along one edge of each stile. These guides will serve as tracks for the soil-sifting box.

 

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/diy/how-to-make-a-soil-sifter-ze0z1503zcwil

Winter Gardening Tips: Best Winter Crops and Cold-Hardy Varieties

Though, with some experience and a simple forward preparation it’s not too hard produce a garden that will provide you with something to admire within the winter season.

When we think of eating homegrown food during the cold season, we often think of staples such as potatoes squirreled away in the root cellar, or of vegetables such as winter squash stashed in a cool, dry place. But many gardeners are discovering the joys of harvesting fresh produce all winter long, which allows for feasts of cold-hardy crops that are just-picked and just right for the time of year. According to Jodi Lew-Smith of High Mowing Seeds in Wolcott, Vt., the seed-buying season used to be January, February and March. “Now there’s also a surge in June, July, August and into September for fall-planted crops,” she says. Eating from the garden is just too pleasant to give up simply because the temperature — and the snow — may have fallen.

I don’t mean growing tomatoes in January. Fruiting crops no doubt need long, sunny days and warm conditions to complete their delicious arc of softening, deepening in color and perfectly ripening. Winter fare is about leaves, stems and roots, which mature more and more slowly as the weather cools and the days shorten. Better still, winter vegetables sweeten with the cold. If you’ve ever tasted a winter-pulled carrot or winter-cut spinach, you’re familiar with the treasures winter gardening can bring.

With my husband, Eliot Coleman, I run Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine, where winter production is a key part of our business. Over the past two decades, we’ve built, trialed and collected data on many hoop house designs and crop-protection methods. We’ve also tested many crops — and multiple varieties of those crops — to discover what grows best in winter.

Climate Considerations

So, should a winter gardener grow different crops depending on her climate? Not necessarily. Winter has always been a good season for a wide array of crops in the southern states, and in the northern tier of the United States, you can grow the same crops if you use a winter-protection device to broaden your garden’s productive season. This might be a cold frame, a simple greenhouse, the quick-hoop system, or just a layer or two of floating row cover, often called Reemay. All of these season-extension devices capture some of the earth’s natural warmth, especially at night, and block the chilling, drying effect of wind.

At any latitude in the United States, there’s enough daylight to grow a wide range of winter crops. A recent MOTHER EARTH NEWS survey on winter gardening turned up a surprising number of cold-season gardeners in places where weather would present a challenge, such as Ontario and Wisconsin, as well as many in unsurprising locales, such as Texas and Southern California, where an outdoor garden can keep on truckin’ with a simple shift of the planting scheme (see Real-World Gardening Tips for tons of advice from our survey-takers). While in the Northeast we think of the year’s “second spring” starting around August, warmer southern areas can shift that date by a couple of months to around October, when fall temperatures will still be high enough to achieve germination and allow plants to reach maturity.

 

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/gardening-techniques/winter-gardening-tips-best-crops-zm0z13onzsto.aspx

Transform The Garden With These Decors

Image result

www.ebay.com

Garden décor… when most people think about décor, they most likely think about the decor of their living room, or anywhere else at home. Only a few persons connect “décor” with back gardens and lawns.

Some individuals may well claim that the ideal way to decorate a garden is with flowers and beautiful plants. Surely, this may be correct, but there’s a lot more that you can try! Considering the right garden décor, it is possible to transform the garden into your own personal retreat.

• Lights.
There are numerous solutions to light up your garden in the dark. And why shouldn’t the garden be lighted at night? There is absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy the beauty of your garden any time of day or night.

• Garden Statues.
If you are looking to add little characteristics to your garden or yard, you could consider adding two or more garden statues or sculptures. These decorations could be a method to reveal the homeowners persona and style. Whatever it is, these may generate an extra appeal to the garden.

• Garden Benches.
Gardens are the best location to think, relax and enjoy. But exactly how are you going to do that without having one thing to sit and look on the environment? A beautiful bench put somewhere in the garden will enable to have a diverse point of view of the place.

• Bird Bath.
A bird bath is an artificial “puddle” or small shallow pond, made with a water-filled sink, where birds may bathe, cool off, and drink. It comes with different types an designs dependent upon the desire of the house owner. They can be the central feature in the garden and put somewhere near the windows that can be easily viewed. As soon as birds come in the bird bath, they increase the magnificence to it.

• Water Fountain or Pond.
Introducing a water feature gives a whole new sensory encounter on your garden. They add more peace and serenity to a place, and eventually you are going to discover yourself to be spending more time outdoors when you have a fountain in the garden, enjoying the sounds of water and the view of it.

It requires a good amount of thought and planning in including decorations in the garden. Decorations are simply finishing details to add more splendor and advantages to the area Indeed, the flowers are the main attraction in your garden but remember also, nothing is wrong with adding a touch decor in the place.

Water Conservation in the Garden

Irrespective of whether we reside in a place with prosperous water or not, it is always vital to conserve water. Water is an extremely important commodity and we can’t do without it. When talking about water conservation, our gardens won’t be exempted to it. One of the greatest water wasters in almost every home is the lawn. Therefore in order to make watering somewhat more environmentally conscious, below are a few habits that you can try in your garden.

(C) www.homerehabonline.com

• Drip Irrigation

In regards to garden water conservation, drip irrigation happens to be a recommended choice. This sort of irrigation utilizes water better by providing water (in drip form) right to the roots of plants. Compared to other watering techniques, it will take far less water than other watering methods like flood irrigation and surface irrigation. Drip water irrigation or drip watering method is an efficient option for home garden because it’s not just economic but additionally convenient, time-saving, and affordable.

• Rainwater

Among the most effective methods of producing water for the gardening year is making use of a water butt and gathering water run-off from house roofs, garages and sheds. Having easy attachments to existing gutter downpipes water is siphoned off into a water butt along with a tap for quick filling up of watering cans.

• Timing

Mornings and afternoons are the best times to water your garden considering that a lot of the water will quickly evaporate a result of mid-day heat. Watering plants in the morning will allow them to face the day’s heat. Evening watering isn’t encouraged considering that night temperatures are not well suited for moisture absorption. Watering late in the night time can certainly leave the lawn damp for a long period, that may stimulate fungal growth.

• Equipment

You should be sure that your equipment is functioning properly without leaks. Leaking equipment may use a lot of water that merely gets wasted instead of actually using it on the garden. Look into the hose, your connections, and sprinkler heads to make sure they are in good condition.

• Mulch

Applying organic mulch to the top layer of the soil could allow the soil to have a cooler temperature. It will prevent the water from evaporating fast and consistent soil moisture will be achieved. Mulching will prevent soil erosion too. A protective mulch layer on top of your soil is one of the best and easiest moisture retaining strategies you could put into use.

Conserving water is just a preparation for our future needs. Without having water, there’ll be no life. As a result, as early as possible we have to think more of the Mother Nature than anything else.

Six Easy Steps to Setting Up a Worm Bin

Vermicomposting is gaining ground as a simple and cost-efficient method to create nutrient-rich manure for your pots, yards and gardens. The benefits are twofold as you can get rid of all your organic waste and reduce your carbon footprint, and secondly get a natural fertilizer for growing healthy plants and trees on the other.

 

(C) homecompostingmadeeasy.com

Once you have worms and a bin, follow these six easy steps to set up a worm bin. Soon worms will be recycling food scraps into a healthy, nutrient-rich soil amendment called compost.

1- Acquire a bin. Reuse an old dresser drawer or fish tank, build a box out of wood or find/buy a plastic bin. The approximate size is 16″ x 24″ x 8″ or 10 gallons. Make sure the bin is clean by rinsing it with tap water to remove any residues which may be harmful to the worms. For wooden bins, line the bottom and sides with plastic (an old shower curtain or plastic garbage bag works well).

2- Prepare the bedding. Instead of soil, composting red worms live in moist newspaper bedding. Like soil, newspaper strips provide air, water, and food for the worms.

  • Using about 50 pages, tear newspaper into 1/2″ to 1″ strips. Avoid using colored print, which may be toxic to the worms.
  • Place newspaper strips into a large plastic garbage bag or container. Add water until bedding feels like a damp sponge, moist but not dripping. Add dry strips if it gets too wet.
  • Add the strips to the bin, making sure bedding is fluffy (not packed down) to provide air for the worms. Bin should be 3/4 full of wet newspaper strips.
  • Sprinkle 2-4 cups of soil in bin, which introduces beneficial microorganisms. Gritty soil particles also aids the worms’ digestive process. Potting soil, or soil from outdoors is fine.

3- Add the worms. Before adding the worms, find out how many worms you are starting with. The easiest method is to weigh the worms. If you do not have access to a scale, determine the worms’ volume. The amount of worms is important for knowing how much food to feed them and for record keeping.

4- Bury food scraps under bedding. Feed the worms fruit and vegetable scraps that would normally be thrown away, such as peels, rinds, cores, etc. Limit the amount of citrus fruits that you place in the bin. NO MEATS, BONES, OILS OR DAIRY PRODUCTS.

  • Cut or break food scraps into small pieces–the smaller, the better.
  • Measure the amount of food. Feed worms approximately 3 times their weight per week. Monitor the bin every week to see if the worms are or are not eating the food. Adjust feeding levels accordingly. (If you start with one pound of worms, add 3 pounds of food per week.)
  • Bury food scraps in the bin. Lift up bedding, add food scraps, then cover food with bedding.

5- Place a full sheet of dry newspaper on top of the bedding. This will help maintain the moisture balance, keep any possible odors in the bin, and help prevent fruit flies from making a home in the bin. Replace this sheet frequently if fruit flies are …

 

Read more: http://compost.css.cornell.edu/worms/steps.html

How To Create Your Own Japanese Garden

Everyone who’s seen a Japanese garden would like to emulate the feeling of calm and relaxation it brings into their own homes. After all, Japanese gardens are created to invoke meditation and reflection, and are meant to be havens of Zen.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a place to relax and feel peaceful—maybe even downright Zen? That is exactly what happens when you create your own Japanese garden.

Japanese gardens are created to be spaces of meditation and reflection. What began as a space made for Japan’s ruling elite to find calm within the storm of their country’s strife and war, has transformed overtime into a way of life and deep-rooted culture.

Therefore, it’s not hard to understand why the idea of a Japanese garden would be such a beneficial export. In a world that moves quickly and in lives that can be beyond stressful, having a place to unwind, and even find inspiration is more important than ever.

While each and every attempt at this type of landscape is going to be slightly different depending on who is creating it, the theory behind the garden should be consistent — Creating your own haven of Zen.

Learn the Basics of a Japanese Garden

There are very few people in the world – only about 100 to 200 – that have actually created a Japanese garden in its truest form, according to the curator of the Japanese Hill and Pond Garden in Brooklyn, New York. In order for you to come as close as possible to the real thing, or at least gain some inspiration based on this style, you must first understand the basics.

The first type of Japanese garden you want to consider is a rock garden, which often includes the element of sand. This form contains no water element, and is designed to portray a scene of mountains and rivers. Sand gravel raked into a particular pattern is meant to symbolize the river, while rocks placed on the sand symbolize mountains.

The next type of Zen garden you can create is referred to as a moss garden. Moss thrives in Japan’s naturally humid and rainy climate, but interestingly enough, moss doesn’t need a lot of rain to flourish. This means that it can easily be incorporated into gardens in

Read more: http://freshome.com/2015/01/22/how-to-create-your-own-japanese-garden/

How Long Is the Germination Time for Bermuda Grass Seed?

“Common bermudagrass is drought resistant, grows on many soils, and makes a good turf if fertilized and mowed right. Bermuda grasses ability to spread out can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand it will quickly fill in any damaged areas in the lawn, but on the other hand it can move into flower beds and other parts of the yard where it is not desired. The best defense against this behavior is to border the lawn with a solid concrete/concrete brick border and to have a dirt or rock buffer zone outside the border that is not watered.”

Bermuda grass seed may start sprouting in five days.

Bermuda grass (Cynodon dactylon) is a warm-season grass, meaning it is green in hot summer weather and tends to lose its color and go dormant in winter. You can grow common Bermuda grass from seed. You can’t grow sterile hybrid varieties from seed — you have to grow them from sprigs or lay sod. You can grow common Bermuda grass from seed in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11. Under the right conditions, the seeds will begin germinating in five to 14 days but take 14 to 28 days to germinate completely.

Climate and Germination

Bermuda grass seeds will germinate best if in a soil with a pH between 6 and 7. The grass grows best when the soil temperature is between 75 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit and the air temperature is between 75 and 95 F. You can expect a complete turf cover in four to six weeks. Soil pH measure the acidity or alkalinity of soil on a scale of 1 to 14. Soil below 7 is acidic. Soil above 7 is alkaline. You can buy soil test kits at most garden centers.

Read more: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/long-germination-time-bermuda-grass-seed-73963.html

Using Your Chickens’ Manure as Vegetable Garden Fertilizer

“Chicken manure is the best of organic fertilizers that you could apply to get results from demanding crops, fruit bushes and trees, and lawns. Gardeners have recommended its widespread use among flower beds too. Indeed poultry/chicken manure contains everything that your plants need. Heat treated and dried – it’s easy to use straight from bags or tubs. The principal value of manure is its extended availability of nitrogen,  of particular value in the more readily leached sandy soils. Manure is also helpful in improving soil fertility in cut areas from land leveling.”

Poop. It’s a word that makes little kids giggle mischievously.

And it’s something that your chickens produce a lot of.

Instead of viewing it as undesirable side effect of your backyard chicken hobby, change your paradigm and recognize chicken manure for what it is: A literally transformational, nutrient-rich substance that can work wonders in your garden and add a magical boost to your landscape.

And best of all, it’s free!

Why Use Chicken Manure as a Garden Fertilizer?

The University of Florida says the following about chicken manure as fertilizer:

Poultry manure has long been recognized as perhaps the most desirable of…natural fertilizers because of its high nitrogen content. In addition, manures supply other essential nutrients and serve as a soil amendment by adding organic matter. Organic matter in soil improves water and nutrient retention. The use of manure is an integral part of sustainable agriculture.

Just like commercially prepared synthetic fertilizers, chicken manure is very high in nutrients. The combined average percentages (per total weight) of aged chicken manure and litter — yes, you can use old litter from your chicken coop as a fertilizer! — is approximately 1.8 nitrogen, 1.5 phosphate, and 0.8 for potash.

Read more: http://poultryone.com/articles/chickenmanure-html