Adding a garden arbor or trellis to your yard can be a nice "upgrade" for your landscape or garden. Arbors, pergolas, and trellises will add to the overall look of your yard and can even boost property value. However, there are several issues that should be taken into consideration before you begin the process of adding a new arbor or trellis.

One of the first and most important questions to ask yourself, is how does this project integrate into my current garden area? Do you have a wood fence that you want to match the style or color of? Or do you want your yard to have a more eclectic look? Vinyl arbors and trellises for example are available in many colors, and often times provide a very clean, modern look. Wrought iron or aluminum is another choice, and can provide a very classical and formal look-even something of a "castle-like" appearance if you choose black painted metal.

One good idea is to purchase a landscaping software program for your computer that will allow you to take a digital photo of your home, upload it to the computer, and then incorporate various landscaping ideas or elements to the photograph so you can envision how the end result might look. Such software programs are readily available for purchase, and operating them requires just a bit of time with the tutorials and some general computer skills. The results are well worth the time before you begin the actual on site project.

Now that you have thought through the end result, it's time to decide if this is going to be a "do it yourself" (DIY) project or if you'll seek outside help, such as a licensed contractor, to do the job for you.

If you choose to make it a DIY project, how much time will you need to allocate? Can the project be completed in a weekend, or will it require a week or more of full or part time work on your part? Do you need to schedule vacation from work in order to start and finish in a timely manner? Nothing is more frustrating than having an unfinished project linger on much longer than you had anticipated. If you have a friend or family member who would be willing to help you out, now might be a good time to call upon their resources.

If you do seek outside help, one of the most important things you can do is check references. Most reputable landscaping companies will have photo albums of their completed projects. Look through the photos to get an idea of the overall quality of workmanship. If you see that the contractor has completed a similar project to what you're looking for, inquire of the name and phone number of their previous customer. Then call those homeowners to inquire about their level of satisfaction with the job and the contractor. Be sure to ask the following important questions: Were you satisfied with the quality of work? Was the work performed in a timely and satisfactory manner? Did the end cost come in at or below the initial estimate, or did unexpected or hidden fees pop up during the project? Lastly, inquire if you can drive by and have a look at the finished project. Any homeowner who is happy with the end result will probably be very pleased to show it off to someone else.

No matter what your final decisions are, taking the above items into consideration will be well worth the time spent before you begin the project of adding a new arbor or trellis to your garden. Good planning and execution is the key to a successful end result in any home project.

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For cedar arbors, metal arbors, or other arbor plans, please visit Home Products 'n' More. We offer free shipping on all garden arbors!

There are as many ways to structure a garden as there are different types of gardens themselves. One form of gardening that is becoming more popular is raised bed gardening. Raised bed gardening consists of planting in elevated beds of soil, whether in large planter boxes, or even bigger areas you construct yourself. Raised bed gardening has many advantages, and a few disadvantages as well. A review of the pros and cons can be helpful in deciding if raised bed gardening is for you.

1. If you have poor soil, raised bed gardens allow you to prepare your own rich mix of soil above ground for growing your plants.
2. Raised beds are easier to access because you don't have to bend over as much, thus reducing fatigue and injury to the knees and back.
3. Raised beds are also ideal for elderly or disabled gardeners who are unable to reach down to the ground. Raised bed gardens can be constructed at almost any height to meet the gardener's needs
4. Plants are easy to keep organized. For example, you can plant tomatoes in one elevated section and peppers in another.
5. Dead leaves and other garden debris will be confined to their own area, helping you maintain a tidier look in your yard.
6. Raised garden beds allow you to prepare special beds of soil tailored to various plants. For example, plants that need a highly acidic soil can be grouped in one area, and you can prepare the soil to the right pH specifically for their needs.
7. In heavy rains, there is less chance of soil erosion.
8. Rabbits, moles, and other garden pests are less likely to be able to access your plants.
9. Raised bed gardens are ideal for longer rooted crops that need several inches to a foot of good quality soil. For example, carrots will do quite well in raised bed gardens.
10. Raised bed gardening is a great option if you have very little space. Raised beds can even be constructed on a small deck or patio area for growing a collection of herbs, vegetables, or flowers.

1. Any tilling you need to do in your raised beds will probably have to be done by hand. It's difficult to use tractors or rotary tillers in a raised bed garden.
2. The initial up front cost of constructing raised bed gardens is more expensive than simply tilling a traditional garden into your soil. Raised bed gardening kits can be purchased online that make the construction process faster and easier.
3. The edges of a raised bed garden must be well reinforced during the initial construction, or they may begin to break down over time, creating and ongoing maintenance issue.
4. If you live in a very dry climate, raised bed gardens will dry out faster and require more frequent watering. On the other hand, if you live in a very moist climate, plants in raised beds are less susceptible to root rot from over watering.
5. Raised bed gardens are not suitable to vining or sprawling plants such as pumpkins, squash, watermelons, or various climbing plants such as morning glory, clematis, or trumpet vine.
6. The materials used for constructing raised bed gardens should be carefully considered. Treated lumber or railroad ties soaked in creosote should not be used. These chemicals will leak out into the soil over time, poisoning and killing your plants.

Putting in raised bed gardens can be a big investment in time and money, but it will also pay you back in better plants, more gardening room, and easier access to your gardening areas. A careful evaluation of all the pros and cons will help you make the right decision for you and your yard. Whatever your decision, careful planning is always the key to successful results in the garden.

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Let Home Products 'n' More help you get started with raised bed gardening! We offer free shipping on raised bed garden kits and garden edging.

When one hears the two magic words “The Philippines”, the mind is flooded by images of beaches littered with toned bodies in golden skin, a piece of jaunty music, good food, sports icons and exotic animals which can only be found in its virgin rain forests. But do you think about its flowers?

The Philippines is home to some of the most beautiful flowers in the world. The tropical climate might be too extreme for sensitive flowers such as roses so many professional growers choose to use greenhouses to control the weather. However, other flowers such as anthuriums, ginger, birds of paradise, heliconias and orchids are perfect for the tropical weather. These flowers can be cultivated easily in the hot and moist weather that is the trademark of The Philippines.

Flowers can be grown the traditional way, that is, in flowerbeds. The grower plants seeds in the soil and waits for the flowers to grow, all the while taking care of it with devoted patience. The grower protects the plants from pests both from the soil and out of it by using appropriate pesticides. Fertilizer is used to enrich the soil to ensure that the flowers are “fed” properly, other than being given water and right amount of sunlight everyday.

Since The Philippines is a tropical country and therefore prone to extreme and sudden changes in the weather, growing flowers traditionally involves a lot of risk. The grower may lose all of his or her crops to an abrupt spike in the temperature or a heavy downpour of rain. This is not practical since the time, labor, and capital lost can never be replaced.

That is why Philippine flower growers utilize greenhouses in farming their flowers for commercial sale and export. Greenhouses offer a controlled environment perfect for the flowers' optimum growth. The risk for pest invasion is drastically minimized as well, since the greenhouse is sealed. All the flowers are tended to more thoroughly in a greenhouse than in an exposed flower bed since all necessary conditions are maintained at less the cost, time, and manpower.

After harvesting, the flowers are delivered straight to the flower shops. These flower shops in turn offer flower delivery to their clients. Delivery is efficient and stress-free, which makes the flower shops competitive not only in the quality of their flowers but in the quality of service as well. In fact, delivery is not limited only within the Philippines; it also exports its flowers to the rest of the world. And why not? Their beauty is renowned and unique – only in The Philippines!

About The Author:
This article was written by Timothy Spencer for Island Rose - Philippines Flowers Delivery. We hope you enjoyed this article and encourage you to visit our website. Through Island Rose, you can Send Flowers to the Philippines or simply browse through our blog for more informative articles.

Arbors and pergolas are two types of garden structures that can greatly contribute to the overall design of your landscape. Arbors and pergolas add an element of interest to a yard or garden by drawing the eye upward. Whether functional or ornamental, there are many ways you can utilize these structures to enhance your landscape design.

Like many gardeners, you may be asking yourself, what is the difference between an arbor and a pergola? While there isn't a clear consensus on this, generally an arbor is a smaller structure with an arched top, usually standing 6 1/2 to 9 feet tall at the peak. Arbors are often placed over walkways or a gate in a fence. A pergola, on the other hand, has a flat top that is directly perpendicular to the straight sides it rests on. Pergolas can range in size from small enough to just cover a walkway to large enough to span a deck or patio area.

Arbors and pergolas can be either functional or purely ornamental. If using an arbor for a functional purpose, consider adding a bench or swing to create a cozy nook for sitting and enjoying your garden. Large pergolas can be used as an overhead cover for a deck or patio. While the top of the pergola will probably not keep out rainwater, it can be designed to cast much needed shade on your outdoor seating area. Arbors and pergolas with lattice sides and tops can also provide a supporting structure for vines and climbing plants. Consider planting a climber like clematis, honeysuckle, or trumpet vine at the base of your arbor or pergola to create a beautiful floral focal point in your landscape.

Materials for arbors and pergolas vary greatly and can include wood, vinyl, or metal. To determine what is best for you, carefully consider the pros and cons of each material type in conjunction with your situation and needs. Wood lends a natural and sometimes rustic look to an arbor or pergola, and can be painted or stained to easily change its appearance down the road. Wood is usually the most cost effective option; however, it won't last as long as metal or vinyl. Some concerns with wood structures include rotting, splintering, and decay caused by wood boring pests.

Vinyl, on the other hand, is a great maintenance free option that won't require painting or staining. Vinyl is also resistant to rot and decay, and will last much longer than wood. Vinyl typically costs more than wood, but the longevity of the product may pay off in the long run. If you decide to go with a vinyl unit, be sure to look for a UV resistant plastic that won't fade or discolor when exposed to the sun.

Metal can also be a good material choice because it's very durable and long lasting. Carefully consider the type of metal, though. Iron and steel will rust, which may or may not be desirable, depending on the look you want. Aluminum is a good rust free metal that is lightweight and still very strong. If you want the look of painted metal, select a product with a powder coat paint finish for durability.

Arbors and pergolas can be designed and constructed on your own, or they can easily be purchased as completed units or ready to assemble DIY kits. If you decide to purchase a kit, you may find that online specialty stores and mail order catalogs have a better selection than your local garden center or nursery. If you decide that an arbor or pergola isn't the right element for your landscape design, you might want to consider other types of structures such as trellises, gazebos, or lath houses.

Whatever you decide, garden structures are a great way to add a focal point to your landscape. They will enhance your garden's aesthetics and add a vertical element to spaces that are usually constructed on horizontal planes. Arbors and pergolas in particular can take a simple garden design and turn it into a graceful and beautiful area to be admired and appreciated.

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Home Products 'n' More offers pergola kits for building your own wood, metal, or vinyl pergola. Get free shipping on all arbor and pergola designs!

For those of us who live in colder climates, experiencing five months or more of winter each year, the benefits of greenhouse gardening can be enormous. Gardening with a greenhouse allows for an extended growing season that can begin and end months outside of the traditional outdoor growing season in your climate. Greenhouses may even allow you to grow plants year round. Greenhouses can also provide a warmer mini-climate for plants that typically would not grow in your zone, allowing you to cultivate many varieties of plants that are unique to your area.

When growing plants in a greenhouse, it's important to remember that the air temperature inside can be as much as 30 to 40 degrees warmer than the outside air temperature. While the warmer air is wonderful for your plants during the cool months of late fall, winter, and early spring, in the hot summer months, these temperatures can pose a real threat to your plants. When the temperature inside a greenhouse gets too high, your plants can actually burn. In the hottest part of the summer, it's a good idea to add a shade cloth to your greenhouse to help keep the inside temperatures down. When building your greenhouse, consider aligning the roofline in an east-west direction so that the largest area of the roof is exposed to the south. This will accomplish two things. First, if a shade cloth is required, you'll likely only need to cover the southern facing side of the roof, saving you time and money in materials. Second, by having more roof area exposed to the intense southern sun, you'll get maximum solar gain in your greenhouse during cooler months, when you need it most.

For those of us who enjoy vegetable gardening, another benefit of gardening with a greenhouse is the ability to start vegetables from seed early in the year. While many nurseries and garden centers to sell vegetables as young plants in the early part of the year, these small plants can be expensive to buy. Certainly when planting on a larger scale, starting your plants from seed is a much more economical option. Additionally, when planting some certain types of herbs and vegetables, starting plants from seed may be a requirement, as most nurseries don't grow the more obscure varieties and hybrids.

In the case of vegetables that grow well in containers, such as tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, strawberries, and many herbs, a greenhouse can be a way to grow your own produce year round and save money on your grocery bill. One option is to begin your vegetables in the greenhouse early in the year, and then move then outdoors during the warm summer months. When the weather cools off again in the fall, the plants can be brought back into the greenhouse to extend harvests for several more months, or as long as the lifespan of each individual plant will allow.

While a greenhouse can be a significant up front investment, the rewards of greenhouse gardening are almost endless. Your greenhouse will pay you back with new and unique varieties of plants, bigger and better harvests, and a wealth of invaluable gardening experience.

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Do you want to build a greenhouse? Home Products 'n' More offers free shipping on all greenhouse kits and greenhouse supplies!

Not all garden pests are harmful for your garden. Some garden pests, in fact, provide excellent pest control to protect your plants from other quite harmful insects. Isn’t nature wonderful? Here are 5 well-known garden pests which you wouldn't object to having in your garden. Some very useful techniques are also offered on how you can attract these insects that are in your area over to your garden.

1. Praying mantis. Praying mantises are regarded as the consummate small-sized predator. They are something to behold in their natural environment. The manner in which they hunt down their prey is methodical and meticulous. This makes them efficiently dangerous for other garden insects, but they are never dangerous for your garden. They harm it not at all.

Praying mantises can immediately put a stop to any pest infestation that may have started in your area. As a matter of fact, most gardening shops sell praying mantises for this purpose alone. That’s how useful they are.

2. Ladybugs. If you're living in North America, then chances are very good that your garden will host this kind of bug. They are extremely widespread and so are very common.

Ladybugs feed on soft-bodied insects. These soft-bodies are harmful for your garden. Ladybugs will even feed on the eggs and larvae of these harmful garden pests. This is what makes ladybugs an excellent feature of natural pest control.

3. Spiders. We all know what many spiders do. They capture insects with their webs and feed on them. In this way, these spiders help to manage pest infestation. Those that dwell in gardens are usually not poisonous or lethal, and there is virtually no risk of these creatures ever creeping into the household.

If you want to attract spiders in your garden, grow some permanent perennials. These kinds of spiders find perennials very suitable for a home.

4. Tachinid flies. Grow some pollen and nectar plants, and you'll be able to attract this variety of flies. Once in your garden, these Tachinid flies will feed on small harmful insects. We're talking about armyworms, cutworms and cabbage loopers. How about caterpillars, gypsy moths, squash bugs and sawflies? All of these pests will eat away at your plants and give you a decaying garden. Tachinid flies to the rescue!

5. Parasitic wasps. Again, by providing pollen and nectar plants, you'd be able to attract these beneficial garden insects. They really will help your garden because these parasitic wasps will attack and feed on the eggs of harmful insects. With parasitic wasps inhabiting your garden, you'd be able to stop the infestation of dangerous insects by eliminating their very source: their eggs.

Isn’t that wonderful to have insects that will help your garden grow instead of damaging it? There are more kinds of insects that can help you in dealing with different types of pest invasions. Take the time to learn them. Your garden will be better for it.

About the Author
Len Q. is a master blade sharpener. If you would like to find out about ª Knife Sharpening: How to Sharpen Knives, Maintain and Store Them ª Sharpening Garden Tools (i.e. Shears, Pruners, Loppers, Pole Saws...) Find it at

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What makes a neighborhood walkable? Streets and roads that are accessible for everyone; and have wheelchair ramps, lots of benches with shade and sidewalks on all streets.

Walkable neighborhoods have well designed streets that everyone can use, including bicyclists, pedestrians of all ages and abilities, people getting on and off transit vehicles.

Another thing to look for in walkable neighborhoods are well connected streets that improve traffic and provide many routes to any destination.

Austin has many walkable neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are easy to get around in, and have many amenities that pedestrians can access very easily.

Downtown is Austin's number one walkable neighborhood. Downtown scored a 92 out of a possible 100. The neighborhood has grocery stores such as Whole Foods, several convenient stores. There are also many restaurants, coffee shops, entertainment and parks for citizens to enjoy.

University Of Texas and West University both came in at second, with a score of 87. The University Of Texas is walkable for the students who live on or near campus. Living here makes it easy for students and visitors to be car free and still be able to get around campus and surrounding areas easily.
West University is a neighborhood just west of UT. Students, professors and many others make their home in this small Heritage neighborhood. It is just a short walk to the university, and the streets are lined with trees. Most of the homes in this neighborhood date back to the 1910's and 1920's, making it a nice scenic walk.

North University came in with a score of 83. This neighborhood is in central Austin. Residents have many places to walk in this old neighborhood. One of the most famous places is Trudy's Restaurant, Spider House Cafe and JP's Java, along with the 37th street lighting spectacular during Christmas.

Old West Austin and Bouldin Creek also scored a walkable score of 83. Old West Austin neighborhood has lots of history and plenty of landmarks. The streets are lined with shade trees and the neighborhood has Bed and Breakfast's for visitors. Old West Austin was named one of the 10 best neighborhoods in Austin in 2007. This neighborhood is enjoyable, safe and desirable. Residents of this neighborhood participate in keeping this neighborhood strong and preserving its roots. Chain stores are basically nonexistent in Old West Austin; instead visitors can find specialty shops, restaurants and schools.

Bouldin Creek is a neighborhood that is filled with apartments, homes and mom and pop shops. Running through the heart of the neighborhood is South First Street; with a melting pot of businesses and restaurants.

Austin is full of neighborhoods with shade trees covering the streets and sidewalks, restaurants, bakeries and tattoo shops. That is what makes Austin, Austin!

Next time you are in one of these neighborhoods, find a place to park your car and take time to walk through the streets and look at the yards, trees, homes and businesses that make each neighborhood unique.

About the Author

At no charge, buyers can search the Austin MLS on Ki's website. The site provides a lot of detail on Austin Texas real estate. He keeps buyers updated on his blog on Austin real estate with statistics and market reports.

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Compost tea is the secret to gorgeous flowers and great veggies -- and you don't have to use chemicals to do it.

Making a great organic fertilizer is no farther than your kitchen, bathroom and bedroom. To make compost tea you'll need: an old pair of pantyhose, a kitty litter bucket and some compost.

How is it made, you ask? Compost tea is made like any other tea and that's where the pantyhose comes in. Compost is made by collecting kitchen scraps and other garden clippings, putting them in a compost container and letting heat and water break the material down into a highly nutritious form.

Kitchen scarps are the key to great compost starter? By composting kitchen scraps in a compost bucket. First, let me warn you that you do not want to use any meat or fat in your compost bucket. And this system works most frugally if you have a cat. But don't worry. Cats and kitty litter go hand in hand but you don't have to have a cat to use the bucket.

I have two 14 year-old gray tabbies at home. I like using kitty litter that comes in a bucket with a secure lid. Tidy Cat makes a nice one. You can do whatever you want with the kitty litter: you can use it yourself in your own kitty box, put it in a re-sealable bag and store it in the trunk of your car for an icy day, or you can give it away to a friend who has a kitty. Any one of them will do. You just want the bucket.

Rinse your new composting bucket out really well with soap and water and dry it. Now you're ready to start composting. Whenever you have leftovers that aren't meat or fat, throw them in the compost bucket. This can be ends of bread, vegetable peels, eggshells or left over pasta.

And, because the compost bucket that you've selected has a secure lid, you shouldn't smell any odor coming from it.

Now, there are lots of companies out there that will be happy to sell you a very expensive, very cute kitchen compost bucket. Don't buy it. The kitty litter bucket works much better and it's bigger so it will hold more. And you're getting a TFG (The Frugal Gardener) two-fer: the kitty litter can be used by your favorite feline and you get a durable compost bucket.

Collect compost for as long as you want. I usually don't empty my compost bucket for a few weeks. Just make sure it isn't too heavy for you to lift. The next step on your way to gardening organically is a compost pile.

Compost piles come in all shapes and sizes and, yes, you can buy some very expensive containers, too. One of the best compost piles I ever had was in that first garden in New Jersey when all I did was take my compost and dump it in the dirt. I turned it over every time I had a new load of kitchen waste and I grew a great organic garden in that space.

It's true, you do need to have space for this kind of composting. This will not work if you live in an apartment. But I have a solution to not having a compost pile.

What is it? Move! No, just kidding.

You can buy some commercially prepared compost (not the most frugal thing, I'll admit) or you can ask one of your gardening buddies if they have a compost pile you can contribute to in exchange for some compost. If you have your own compost pile, you can choose to enclose it with any number of things: chicken wire, hay bales, or you can build a wooden compost container.

A compost tumbler lets me rotate my compost without digging through the pile. It also allows heat to build up in the container, which is a critical element in breaking down the kitchen scraps and garden refuse into a beautiful, black soil-like consistency.

These tumblers are available from places like Gardener's Supply Company. All right. We've collected scraps for compost, we've taken them in our compost bucket to the compost pile, and now we have fresh compost (it takes about two weeks in the sun for compost to appear). Here's where the pantyhose come in.

Tie off the leg at the end -- especially is there's a hole or a run. You want to have as solid a leg of pantyhose as possible.

Put a good amount of compost in one leg of the old pantyhose making sure that you have knotted it at the lower end so that it doesn't fall out onto the ground. Don't laugh -- I did that once. I don't know what I was thinking, I may have even been talking to a gardening friend at the time, but I was happily loading compost into my pantyhose leg to find that it had deposited itself back on the ground.

Fortunately, it was in an area of the garden that needed a bit of compost anyway. Once you have a leg-full, close up the top end, take your compost bucket from the kitchen, rinse it out, and fill it with water.

Place your leg full of compost in the water and let it steep. For the best effect, do this in full sun. Let the compost bucket sit there for two to three days. In the end, you'll have some water that looks like strong tea. And you'll be ready for an organic garden.

Not only does the tea provide nutrients to the plants, it makes them strong enough to resist many pests and diseases. Pour your compost tea into a watering can and water all of your plants and vegetables with it.

Now you're growing organically! Compost is also good for organic gardens in the non-tea form as an additive to your garden soil. Whenever I'm planting a new container or creating a new raised bed, I make sure to mix in some compost for great nutrients and vitamins.

About the Author

Victoria Rosendahl has been getting her nails dirty in the garden since she was 10. For more garden tips, including information about GardenRack, the custom raised bed gardening system, visit

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Vegetable and fresh food gardens are the rage this year. With all the focus on green living and organic foods, it's not surprising there is a push towards growing our own food. If you've ever eaten a fresh picked tomato, you'll know that the flavor just doesn't compare with store bought. In fact, most people probably don't realize how good vegetables are supposed to taste.

For those of you who have never attempted growing anything beyond a few token geraniums or hanging planters, food gardens are not that difficult. If you devote some time to planning, you'll be shocked at how easy it is.

Your first consideration should be in the type of plants you want to grow. One tomato plant can yield as much as 10 lbs. of fruit, so you don't need many to get a good return. Plus, depending on the type of plant, allows you to harvest throughout the season. Other plants such as carrots, radishes and corn produce only once.

The varieties you choose will have bearing on the size of your garden and vice versa. You can use a regular plot, or build raised beds, or even fill a balcony with containers of edible plants. Most vegetables require a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of full sun. Much less and they won't be as hearty as well as being susceptible to disease. You can budget your sunny space by placing some vegetables in part sun such as peas, lettuce and spinach.

Your garden will have to be watered regularly, especially during dry spells. You may want to consider using soaker hoses or a sprinkling system set up on a timer.

Good soil will produce a heartier crop of more nutrient rich plants so it's worth spending some effort in this area. Use a moist, well-drained soil that has been fortified with compost. A good way to test it is to soak a small area of soil, wait one day and then dig up a handful. Give it a good squeeze, and if water streams out, you may have a drainage problem that would require adding additional compost or peat moss.

If, when you open your hand, the soil falls apart, not forming a ball, then you may have too much sand. If the ball holds together and doesn't come apart easily, you may have too much clay in the soil. Adding organic compost or peat moss will solve both of these problems. Ideally, you want the soil to form into a ball and break into crumbs when you disturb it.

Garden Design

There are two basic design when planting in the ground versus raised beds or containers – row cropping and intensive cropping.

In row cropping, you have number of plants, single file in long rows, with room for walking in between. Although most people automatically plant this way, this style is generally used in large gardens where room is required for large equipment. This design, tends to use up a lot of space for walking paths and this eats away at your planting room.

Intensive cropping is where planting is done in wide bands up to 4 feet across. Since this design reduces the space needed for walking, the planting bands should not be any wider than you can reach to weed your garden.

Another version of intensive cropping, divides the garden into small zones (about 4 x 4 feet), throughout your yard. Depending on the size of plant at maturity, you can use one, four, nine, or 16 plants. If you leave part of the area unplanted, then you can add a second planting when the first is finished. It's common to plant lettuce, radishes, green onions, carrots and beans several times a season.

Raised beds are an excellent planting method, especially if you have poor soil drainage. They also help to keep the weeds down and restrain your plants from creeping into other areas of the garden. An easy way to create the bed is to place your frames right on existing lawn, line with plenty of newspaper and top with soil. The newspaper will break down, and attract worms which will provide plenty of natural fertilizer.

No matter which method you choose, once you've loosened the soil, rake it, water it and let it rest for a few days before planting.

About the Author

Work with an experienced agent for your next Orlando real estate purchase. Ask to view some of the gorgeous luxury homes in Heathrow FL.

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Springtime is in the air and it is time to start turning thoughts to the great outdoors and gardening. Growing a home garden is both rewarding and satisfying. And, with the economy in such sorry shape, growing your own food is now becoming an economic necessity! According to a recent AP article by Gillian Flaccus entitled, Dollars From Dirt: Economy Spurs Home Gardening Boom, "The National Gardening Association estimates that a well maintained garden yields a $500 dollar average return per year. A study by Burpee Seed claims that $50 dollars spent on gardening supplies can multiply into $1,250 worth of produce annually."

It is now not a matter of whether to grow your own vegetables, but what is the best choice in seeds with which to grow your garden. Should you use hybrid or non-hybrid seeds?
First, we need to have a basic working definition for hybrid and non-hybrid seeds, and second, we need to understand the advantages and disadvantages of using either seed for growing.
Hybrid seeds are a result of special "breeding" techniques. In other words, these seeds have been deliberately crossed with 2 different parent varieties. The advantages of using hybrid seeds, even though they generally cost more than non-hybrid seeds, is that the resulting plant and fruit is often stronger and more resistant to disease. The fruit of the plant tends to be more uniform in shape, ripen at the same time, has better keeping qualities, and sometimes can be harvested early. The disadvantages of using hybrid seeds is that you can not save the seed from that plant for your next years garden. The seeds are totally worthless for replanting. This results in the gardener having to purchase new seeds each year. This is the main reason companies like Monsanto want heirloom/organic type farming done away with. These companies want you to rely on them for your food and seeds! If you don't believe this, there is legislation going on right now trying to regulate organic farming, etc. I invite you to visit the links below where I have posted the aforementioned bill!

Non-hybrid seeds, also known as heirloom seeds, are seeds that will produce plants which are true to the parent plants since there has not been any blending of genes. These seeds can be saved from year to year. The advantage of this is self-explanatory. You can rely on yourself to have garden seeds from year to year. You do not have to run to the store each year to replenish your garden seed supply. Heirloom seeds have their own built-in hardiness, since after years of being used, particularly in a certain location, they have developed a resistance to local diseases and insects. In addition, the seeds have adapted to the local climate and soil.

In my garden, I use both non-hybrid and hybrid seeds. I have been working very hard the last couple of years to use only non-hybrid seeds, and I love the results. I have learned to save my own seeds and will be sharing techniques in future articles. By the way, I will also say that if you do buy hybrid seeds, if you take good care of your extra seeds by storing them in a cool, dark place, these seeds can be used for a couple of years past the expiration date. The trouble is, once you are out of these seeds, you are out, whereas, with a non-hybrid plant you can crack open a fruit at the end of the season, save your seed, and you are good to go for the next gardening year!

Regardless of what you do, I would urge each and every one of you to have your own vegetable garden...starting this year! It's a lot of work, but you will enjoy fresh tasting vegetables, lower your grocery bill, and eliminate the worry of who and where your produce was grown! Happy Spring!

About the Author

Lisa Carr is a "homestead mom" whose interests and expertise include: living off the grid, growing and preserving food, animal husbandry, etc. For more timely and helpful tips in these and other areas, especially those addressed in this article, go to or

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First things first, gardeners do not have to leave the comfort of their homes searching for gardening stuff when they can easily do about all the gardening shopping they want to do Online. There are countless sites out there handling gardening related issues. A lot of them are prepared to help end users. Do you’ve any idea of the benefits of gardening publications? Several men and women don’t. It is certainly via reading gardening publications that numerous men and women get knowledgeable about numerous forms of flowers which are being offered for sale, their seasons for maturing as well as blooming plus the improvement which it will call for to keep up. Enjoy the benefit of gardening publications.

It’s almost unfeasible for any gardener to do without having hand gardening kits. This is as a result of the fact that hand gardening paraphernalia are the gardening stuffs utilized on a day to day basis. Examples of gardening instruments consist of- cans for water, gardening shovels, rakes, trowels for gardening, diggers for gardening, as well as spading forks for gardening. If you are giving thought to the right gardening gloves to utilize, take heed to this - Gardening gloves can be found in loads of brands, attributes, in addition to prices. If you need to get an excellent buy for your garden gloves, it’s really advisable that you do your shopping on the World Wide Web. It’s convenient, effortless as well as fast.

To get an eye-catching garden during the winter you can choose gardening plant life which bloom in those difficult months; for example- the Japanese Anemone, Christmas rose, Cosmos as well as the Rudbeckia.

Subscribers get the latest gardening information from around the globe everytime they read gardening publications.

Have you heard of Hydroponic gardening? This form of of gardening is the maturing of flowers in the absence of soil; it is also known as gardening without dirt and loads of gardeners are getting to love this form of gardening. Organic gardening and recognizable gardening are really the same concepts; the simple variance is the absolute absence of the utilization of synthetic fertilizers or pesticides.

To finish off, if you actually wish to commence organic gardening but you’re worried about weeds, you can prevent weeds from frustrating you into giving up on organic gardening by utilizing organic mulch and also corn meal gluten which reduces weed growth when used early enough.

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Mike Strom provides interesting articles about Gardening In Zone 4 , or even Taylors Weekend Gardening Guide To Indoor on the website -->

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If living in a peaceful and beautiful environment seems to be impossible for many, the people in Austin Texas could definitely prove them wrong. Thousands of lush native trees and colorful wildflowers could be found in the heart of the city of Austin Texas. The good news here is that species of walnuts and oaks are native to Texas, making the region a haven for hobbyist and professional carpenters and woodworkers.

Walnuts and oaks

Most plants and flowers that are seen in Texas even before the Europeans came are said to be native. According to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Plant Database, there are three (3) trees that are truly native in Texas and these three (3)come from a nut family. The pecan, black walnut and hickory are the native Texas trees that live and thrive in different parts of Texas.

Aside from these three nut trees, Texas also grows oak trees, elm trees and pine trees. With a black walnut, oak and elms on the list, an experienced woodworker can begin a furniture project for his own home, anytime.

Other types of trees

The soil and climate in Texas makes it a great place to grow wildflowers, trees and other types of plants. This is the reason why even non-native Texas trees grow in different parts of the region. To date, there are hundreds of different tree species that live and thrive in Texas. Magnolia grandiflora, Juniperus deppeana and Liquidambar styraciflua are just a few of the many native trees species that are found in Texas.

Trees in your own backyard

It is easy to grow pine trees or even the hardwood type of trees in one's own backyard, especially the native trees that loves the climate and the Texan soil. With proper care and gardening, even the most ordinary looking yard can be transformed into a beautiful garden.

Though caring for native trees seem to be a very complex thing to do because of its size and age, planting native trees in one's community or by at least providing tender loving care for the native trees that have already been planted in the area could be a homeowner's primary share in creating a healthier and greener neighborhood.

Healthy living; live longer

The native trees, perennial wildflowers and lush bushes and plants make the air in Austin, Texas clean and fresh. Not many cities nowadays can still boast of a clean air. For a city dweller who hasn't spent a night in Austin, now is the right time to get the taste of fresh air and experience picking flowers and climbing trees. Healthy living is indeed a guarantee in Austin, Texas. Although the climate and the soil contribute greatly to the lush vegetation in the region, it is the people of Texas who maintain its greenery.

Then, till now, most of the old trees in Austin are still standing. With a healthy and green environment, people of Texas, like their trees, live long.

About The Author:
Joe Cline writes articles for Guillermo Ochoa-Cronfel. Other articles written by the author related to The Cronfel Firm and Lakeway Homes can be found on the net.

Palm trees are known for their tropical provenience, but they can be planted and cared for in far cooler countries, like Canada, as some species can deal well with harsh temperatures.

If you want to lend your garden an exotic look, try to enhance it with a few palms, as they look great around the pools and in other areas, as well. Palm trees are strong plants and after they get settled with the conditions, they hardly cause any trouble for maintenance. Here are some types of palm trees, so you can have a picture of the various palm trees that exist around the globe.

There are palm trees that live in natural conditions that are cold and harsh. For instance, the Afghanistan palm is the coldest hardy palm tree ever studied. He produces fruits that can be eaten and it is perfectly adapted to desert.

Another cold palm is Dwarf Palmetto, that can be met in the southeastern region of the United States. This is not a domestic palm as they cannot be grown outside their natural conditions.

Needle Palm is known for its abilities to live in cold temperatures that can go as little as -20F.

In Virginia and New Jersey lives a species of palm tree called Saw Palmetto, that can survive in temperatures that go down to -10 F.

In Switzerland, one may find cold hardy palms called Windmill Palm.

Southern palms thrive in hot conditions. The Cabbage Palm species ornate the landscape in South Carolina and Florida. They can also be used for decorating private properties.

A very tall palm is the Canary Island Date Palm, that can grow up to 50 feet tall.

Another tall palm is the Chinese Fan Palm, recognizable by its very large leaves. It is also known for its capacity of surviving under freezing temperature. It is used especially for decorating patios.

The Date Palm is originated in North Africa, but it is planted in Arizona and California, too. They do not do so well in cold weather, but they are beautiful with their shiny green colored leaves, shaped like fern.

The European Fan Palm can grow in cold conditions and it can be replanted easily. The blue green fanlike leaves are its mark.

For decorating a room, the Pygmy Date Palm is ideal, as it does not grow too tall and it has a small trunk.

Landscapes are borrowed an exotic look by the Washingtonian Palm, recognizable by its crown of large green leaves.

An old species of palm is Sago Palm, which grows on the Atlantic coast and has an umbrella crown as its mark.

Another type of palm tree, Phoenix Sylvester Palm has the same characteristics as the Canary Island Palm.

One of the oldest palm tree types that exists on the face of the earth is Zamia Pumila, that is believed to be about 200 million years old. It is quite small, at three feet tall.

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Giovanna is a writer and publisher of Article Click. For more FREE articles for your ezine and websites visit -

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