Spring house-cleaning, if you happen to be a gardener, should not be restricted to your home. It should continue out into your garden, which, alter all is an outdoor living room. Keep in mind that your plants will be happier, and healthier, in a clean and wholesome environment. In addition, your entire landscape will assume a "well dressed" appearance.

Getting things in order and keeping them that way is certainly one of the most important essentials of good housekeeping. This principle is as true in the garden as it is in the home. Almost every locality is subject to a certain amount of wind. It may be Just a light breeze but forceful enough to move small fragments of refuse, depositing them in your garden. Debris that is dropped In corners of your garden will probably remain unless you move them yourself. A few sweeps of a bamboo rake should solve this problem in no time.

This is also an excellent time for attaching the loose ends of vines to an adequate support. Many of these plants, with the approach of warmer weather, will be entering their active growing season. Unless properly trellised, they very quickly may become topheavy; then if a wind comes up they may be ripped to shreds. Further, vines that hang in a sloppy manner are certainly not very attractive; plant ties that are weatherized and easy to handle are now available at most garden supply stores. For just a few cents you can buy a quantity of them sufficient to last a whole season.

One of the most important house-cleaning jobs in your garden consists of getting rid of weeds. This chore, formerly looked upon with disgust, has now been made comparatively easy by selective weed killers. Today you can spray a lawn with a selective weed killer which will kill the weeds but prove non-injurious to the grass plants. So there is no longer any reason for having thousands of weeds cluttering up your lawn, proving an eyesore and depriving your grass plants of their necessary food and drink.

A grass shear and a lawn edger are two important tools for cleaning up your garden. Lawns that creep beyond their regular confines, trespassing across the sidewalk are definitely a bad eyesore. A lawn edger will take care of them in no time and it should be used each time after the lawn is cut. Also if you have trees in your lawn the watering basins should be clearly outlined. Use a hand grass clipper for this purpose.

Spraying or dusting at regular Intervals is also part of your spring garden-cleaning program. During the active growing season you should keep after the bugs about once every seven or 10 days. Also, prune back hedges that have lost their good looks; cut off flowers before they become full blown and go to seed; and apply sufficient food and water so your plants will look fresh and healthy.

Tag : garden,home garden,garden decor,garden plants

When the Christmas roses come to you for fall planting the flower bud is already formed deep down among the black roots. To enjoy blossoms that winter, the plant must be set in a hole much deeper and wider than the roots, generally 18 inches deep and a foot wide. At the bottom, place five inches of crushed rock plus a little rotted manure and compost.

After spreading the roots on top of a small pyramid of earth, additional rotted manure and compost and good soil, mixed with a teacup of bonemeal, is pressed around the roots until the hole is full. Water the plant well and add buckwheat hulls for a mulch.

The location for Christmas roses should be east to north so that the handsome evergreen foliage will flourish the year round without burning. Sun or a late spring freezes and lack of quantities of fertilizer and water will cause injury. The best plants I have seen in a Louisville garden were on the northeast side of the house between the base of a picture window and a small fish pool 18 inches away. Here dozens of blooms enliven the winter scene two to three months each year.

My plants are against the brick edging of the northeast side of a small rose plot, just outside my study window, where the lovely design of the foliage all year-round and the blooms in winter are a constant source of pleasure.

Success in Michigan

When my mother sent me several small plants of Christmas roses a number of years ago, I knew nothing about them and was frankly unaware of any plant that would flower through the winter months, with the snow on the ground.

To try them out, I selected a moist site in the partial shade where the drainage was good and placed some well rotted manure in the soil which was alkaline. They were planted in early spring, but I have since learned that the fall is a better planting time. When winter came, each plant produced two or three flowers, but the following year they bloomed profusely.

When cut for use in the house, I select any type of evergreen foliage like golden pothos plant, since the plant needs its own leaves for proper development. Blooms may be cut when frozen, then thawed out in the basement. I personally prefer to leave the blooms outside and buy flowers for the house, as the real thrill of a Christmas rose is to admire it in bloom in the snow. The plants actually need little care and no cultivating is necessary, though watering in summer is required.

I have tried dividing my plants, but they resent disturbance, which sets them back several years. I move them only when they are not doing well, being careful to take a large ball of soil. The late summer or fall is best.

The Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis) has greenish white or purplish flowers, which hold very little thrill for me, as they appear in the spring with crocus and other early flowers.

Tag : garden,garden decor,home garden,garden plants

As the days become warmer and spring rains are prevalent, discoloring fungus plants (commonly called mildew), rust and numbers of bugs and insects may attack garden plants. Inspection of the garden several times a month for these pests will warn you in time to stamp out real damage.

The two types of mildews attack suddenly. Powdery mildews usually appear as thin, flour-like patches of white on the surface of plants and do their damage by means of tiny sucking organs which either km or stunt the plans. They attack -about 1500 species of flowers, fruits, stems and leaves, chief among them apple, peach, grape, gooseberry, currant, cherry, grains, roses, vines of all kinds including bean, cucumber and squash. So many vines are subject to mildews that many gardeners are recognizing the value of espaliered shrubs to take their places.

Powdery mildews usually can be checked if the plants are dusted with dry sulphur or controlled with all-purpose dusts and sprays that contain rotenone, pyrethrum and copper. Fumes of boiling sulphur are also helpful. However, use no sulphur in any forra on cucumbers, melons, and squash.

Mildews that develop within the plant and thus cannot be detected as easily as the powdery type are called downy mildews. These fungus growths appear on the surface when they begin to shed their summer spores and are like soft, whitish, hairy outgrowths. Plants most frequently attacked are grape, lettuce, cabbage, spinach, onion, and alfalfa.

All-purpose sprays and dusts, Bordeaux mixtures, and other fungicides are used for downy mildews. Bordeaux is also fine for rusts. Plants badly affected with rust should be removed and burned.

The two classes of insects and bugs that damage garden plants are juice suckers and plant eaters. All-purpose sprays and dusts are used for sucking pests. Insecticides containing poisons such as arsenate of lead, rotenone, and pyrethrum, with or without copper compounds, are used on leaves of plants to combat chewing insects.

Special attention should be given undersides of leaves. Never forget that food plants sprayed or dusted with poisons should be well washed before use. Consult your nurserymaa about any of the products for pest control about which you have any doubt.

Arsenate of lead and molasses mixed with wheat bran and placed under heavy boards so children and dogs cannot eat the mixture usually trap nightworking cutworms and slugs, or prepared pellets may be used. Nematodes usually can be checked with dichloroethyl ether and copper, or specially prepared products on the market. Virus-infected plants, particularly tomatoes, should first be dusted with an all-purpose preparation, then removed and burned. Use prepared products or summer oil emulsion for mealy bugs and aphis.

If worms eat underground root vegetables, sprinkle naphthalene (mothball flakes) in two-inch trenches near roots. Cover with soil. Mothballs hung in sacks near vegetables will help keep back chickens and dogs.

Pluck off foraging insects by hand and destroy them daily. And do not forget to encourage the presence of nature's allies, the toads, frogs and birds. A single toad has been observed snapping up more than 100 green flies in one-half hour.

Toads and frogs can be encouraged in a professional capacity with daytime hiding places of rock piles in shady places, with small cement pipes under shrubs, or with small boxes placed on their sides in cool, dark corners.

Bird baths, drinking stations, suet, and other bird foods, protection from cats, boxes of nesting material, etc. will attract feathered assistants in the garden industry. Some birds will scratch out and eat flower and vegetable seeds, but this can be prevented largely by covering newly planted ground with wire screen.

Tag : garden,home garden,garden decor,garden plants

Gardening isn't hard. Just some folks think it is. It's easy and it's fun and it's good exercise if you'll just give it a try. And besides, with only a little effort and only a small patch of ground you can GROW ALL THE FOOD YOU'LL NEED. You can eat all you want when you want.

And if you'll can what's left over in your garden, you'll have enough food to last you all winter. And when you do, you cut down on the need for transportation to bring your food and help conserve fuel! Do YOUR part this year for the environment and yourself by GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD.


Before plowing, burn the rubbish and vegetable vines us they may carry disease or injurious insects. Apply a good coating of manure if you can get it. Tree leaves are also fine. Some gardeners say cover the seed four times its greatest diameter. Seed can be planted deeper on loose mellow soil than it can on clay or gumbo. The same seed should be planted deeper late in the season when the soil is warm and more likely to dry out. After planting very small seed, especially among the flowers, cover with a mulch to hold the moisture near the surface until the seed sprouts. Plant some for the worm, some for the crow, some to pull out, and some to grow. Plant abundantly enough for yourself and some to spare.


The kitchen garden should be located, close to the house. This gives protection against animals and thieves (makes it a lot handier too if you have a few odd moments to spend in it). The main or big garden should be so located and planned that it can be cultivated with regular farm tools. It saves a lot of weeding.


Don't make your garden in the shade of big trees or in soils full of tree roots if you can avoid it. Most garden crops like sunshine and all of them appreciate and respond to good soil. Stony land and poorly drained soil are not the best.


Plow or spade deeply in the fail, especially where there sod to be turned under. Do a good job. Leave the land rough to hold snow and moisture. Rake thoroughly before planting. Good preparation will save a lot of cultivation.


There is only one rule I would give and that is to 'Plant! Plenty." What you do not need for the day to day table needs, can.


Plant radish seed very thin and follow at once with parsnip, carrot, parsley. asparagus, onion or leek right in the same row. Pull the radish and use when at is large enough. Plant Beets. Kohlrabi. Lettuce, 'Milliard, Spinach, Onion Sets. Radish or early Beans or Pens between rows of late Cabbage, Melons, Squash or Tomatoes. Plant radish very early followed by early Cabbage plants set every two feet in the row and after the cabbage is off sow late turnips or Chinese Cabbage. Plant two rows of tomatoes between each two Watermelon row and dig potatoes after the Melons are gone. Follow early Peas and Beans with late Cabbage. Celery may follow early Peas, Beans. Lettuce, Radish or Spinach. Plant late turnips in vacant about the garden. spaces.

Tag : garden,gardening,garden decor,garden plants

For most of us who live in the temperate zones of the northern and southern hemispheres, summer cannot come fast enough. When summer does come, if it is not raining, we want to spend as much time as possible out of doors and as much time as possible in the garden, which is why so many of us have patio furniture.

There are several types of patio furniture and some are more comfortable than others, but the most hard-wearing and the most popular is garden furniture manufactured from hardwood. Unfortunately, hardwood is exactly what it says it is - hard wood. It can be fairly uncomfortable to sit on hardwood furniture for more than an hour.

The simplest way to get round this is to use outdoor throw cushions. These outdoor throw cushions can be just indoor throw cushions, if you remember to take them in each day, otherwise they will soon start to rot after the first time you leave them out in the rain. It is easier said than done to take the cushions in each night.

Therefore, it is worth giving some thought to making special cushion covers for your outdoor cushions. These cushion covers have to be waterproof and the zip fastener should be protected too so that water cannot enter through there either.

This can be achieved by covering the zip with a flap, as used on standard bed pillows, and sealing it with Velcro. You could use poppers, but Velcro is simpler and better.

If you are purchasing new garden furniture, you might get throw cushions supplied with the package. If not, and you would like to buy outdoor cushions at the same time, check them for waterproofness as talked about above. The other thing to look out for is that the cushion covers match the style of the furniture and the sort of garden that you have.

The covers of the garden outdoor throw cushions can be patterned or plain, but do consider the colours already in your garden. Is there a lot of colour from flowers or is green the predominant colour? And do not forget the colour of your garden furniture either.

You will also need to make sure that these cushion covers are washable, because they will get unbelievably dirty fairly often, if you leave them outside. They will be rained on, splashed on, cats and dogs will sit on them, and they might even blow about the garden unless you tie them down, which is not a bad idea. You could sew short ties onto them to keep them on the furniture while you are not using them.

If the covers are washable, then make sure that the colours on the cushions are permanent and will not fade or run. Lastly, a lot of materials will tolerate a couple months of sun, but some will not tolerate the freezing temperatures of winter, so remember to take them in for the winter months.

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