The Reason Gardening Need Plan

Not sure if you realize it but even “gardening without a plan” needs a plan. Ooops, wow! This kind of gardening doesn’t take a ship-size plan but requires just a little pre-thinking or pre-planning.

What are the most important things to consider?

  • Where you live
  • What your neighborhood statement is (condo -living?)
  • What is your budget?
  • What are your goals?

Now, what’s your plan?Condo Gardening

If you live in a condo or in an apartment, then your gardening might be limited to flowerpot gardening, or windowsill gardening or patio gardening. Whatever the case, you can still garden! There are ways to do this –even in apartments and even in the strictest condos. Ears open now?

Private Home Gardening

If you live in a home, your own home, you might have less rules than a condo has, yet, even in most neighborhoods, you have that “unspoken” rule, “green grass rules”! Not to worry, you, too, can garden. You can still have your own personal space, your own style and stay right where you are.

Mansion Gardening

If you live in a mansion, yes, a mansion, you can still be a personal gardener for your own space. The key to happiness is all in knowing or realizing that, yes, “YOU CAN DO IT”!

What’s your message?

So, what is your neighborhood “statement” or unwritten rule? Look around you to find out what that is. Are all the yards bright green, no wholes in the lawn, just perfect, rectangular pieces of real or fake grass? Are all the houses, trim, slim, unencumbered, and just plain the same? As you look down the block, is it hard to tell one house from another? Does it look like the Stepford Wives live there? Really? What is the unwritten, unspoken rule of your block, of your neighborhood? Is there hope for your creative or different mind, right where you are? Yes, indeed! There’s always hope. If you keep an open mind, and are willing to really hear me, I’ll share my ideas about individual gardening or “gardening without a plan”.

What is your plan?

Do you want your garden to look like a professional? Do you want your space to say, “Hey, landscaper here”! Or do you want your green space to say, “Wow, that’s a lot of work”! Or do you want your gardening space to say, “Welcome to my wonderful, natural garden”! Or is your message, “No dog poop allowed”!

Are you gardening to bring attention to your cause or to your charity or to your line of work? Would Bonsai fit the plan? Is your plan to have people stop, pause and slow down in this busy city? Do you garden to promote peace? Or is your garden saying, “I believe in God”! Do you want the neighbors or people passing by to keep on walking or to stop and pause and to enjoy the green space? Ask yourself these questions and a few others and you just might have a plan for your unplanned garden.

Budget?

Can you afford the best for your garden? Or are you on a very limited budget? Is gardening part of your budget in a different way? Are you going to grow certain plants just to avoid buying things in a grocery store? Are you ready to plant Rosemary, Thyme, Sage, and other herbs because you want to be able to pick your cooking ingredients every day — rather than shop for these things?

Budget or No Budget?

Or is your budget unlimited? Can you afford the top of the line in gardening get ups and accessories? Are you willing to put your money where your mouth is and begin creating a most magnificent garden, perhaps the most magnificent garden in your whole area? Ready for that?

Gardening Goals

Now, what is your real goal? What’s your real message? What is the “why” of your gardening?

Does your garden say, “Freedom”? Or does your garden say, “Hey, I’m fitting right in here”! Does your garden remain quiet, serene, unencumbered by whatever anyone else has to say or do — about your gardening? Are you looking to create and organize a mini-farm? Do you want a country environment, a natural environment or are you willing to ditch all that grass and trade it in for common sense groundcover? Do you want to mow grass? Or do you want to have a goat eat all the grass? The choices are all yours!

Or do you want your garden to remain “no work; no stress”?

Whichever is your goal or your statement, this is the place for you because all garden topics will be covered and then a few more. Over the next few weeks or months, I’ll cover practically every kind of gardening that there is. Hope you enjoy the ride!

Over time, we will discuss almost all the aspects of gardening and of other hobbies and of other nature topics.

What are your goals?

You will need to think about your gardening goals, financial goals, environmental goals and your spiritual goals.

Have other ideas? Are there goals that I have not mentioned? Feel free to send a comment. Looking forward to hearing from you.

 

Savvy Cost During Gardening

As most other outdoor activities, gardening is a pleasant and relaxing occupation. What’s more, it is rewarding to observe the beautiful green spot you created on your own. However, it would be right to assume that gardening is not a cheap hobby. It consumes a lot of time as well. If you want to find out more affordable and faster alternatives to a beautiful yard, continue reading. You will discover that correctly planning your lawn can be as healthy as never before. In the same time, you will be able to avoid unnecessary spending.

Water – this is an essential resource related to gardening. It’s proper usage can spare you both time and extra costs. Over watering your lawn is bad for the budget and useless for plants. Grass has long roots that go deep into the ground. Little water is enough for it to be green and lively. In the same time, you will cut some expenses. Professional landscapers recommend that you water your lawn in the morning. It is the best moment since colder air prevents water from vaporizing. Creating such a habit will reduce waste of water.

Grass – the height of grass matters, since it can cut down the amount of water. Lower grass leads to shallow roots, which means that grass is exposed to drier soil. Keeping dry conditions is not OK for your garden. That is why keep it comparatively high. What is more, higher grass stops weeds from spreading too far and getting too tall. This trick spares you additional money on products to fight weeds.

Natural care – nothing is better for your lawn than homemade solutions. They lessen excessive spending on highly toxic products. Furthermore, it is much healthier for you and your plants to opt for natural ingredients. Take a spraying bottle and make a mixture of vinegar and dish soap. You can exterminate weeds with this solution just spraying it directly on them. Sugar is also irreplaceable when it comes to being “green” when gardening. This substance can strengthen grass without having the negative impact on nature, people or pets. Sugar will also take care of the soil quality, as well as for some valuable microbes that live there. Contrary to what you may think, applying sugar is easy. Just sprinkle it wherever you feel it is necessary. If your lawn is in good condition, you will need to do this only twice a year. Do not forget to water your lawn as soon as you finish sprinkling.

Plants – caring for your plants can be time-consuming, especially if they are too many or not the right kind. When picking them out, make sure that you select what is right for your climate. Otherwise, they will not last long, and your efforts will be in vain. When purchasing flowers and bushes, get them from trustworthy growers. They can give you the right answers that concern plants’ cultivation. Also, you will be sure that your plants are healthy and appropriate for your yard’s conditions. By doing this, you will have more free time just to enjoy your garden. You will save some extra cash on unsuited plants as well.

As you see, having a well-kept yard might be less expensive than you think. With the right tips, you can handle gardening and your finances well enough.

 

How To Plant Water Lilies

Since time immemorial, water lilies have captivated humans’ attention towards its enchanting beauty. The plant has been gorgeously immortalized in religion and art. Majestic palaces and gardens were once its home, but today it found its place even in your home garden. Intrigued? We will tell you how you can grow and care for water lilies in your river side patio.

Types of Water Lilies

Beginners! Go for the hardy lilies because they are easy to plant and maintain. They will bloom even in winters if planted below the freezing line of the pond. Tropical water lilies, on the other hand, need a little extra care and attention. But, the wait is worth the effort because they have stronger fragrance and their flowers bloom even in vibrant hues of purple and blues. Another point of difference between the two is that the hardy water lily is day blooming whereas the tropical one can bloom during the day as well as nighttime.

How to Grow Water Lilies?

True, a pond covered with water lilies do look attractive, but if the river body gets completely covered, it will inhibit the growth of flora and fauna living deep inside. Plus, they have the tendency to propagate. In no time, you will see your pond covered with them. So to prevent such a situation –

1. Use Plastic Container or Baskets : Shallow and wide plastic containers that have holes punched inside.

2. Line the Periphery of the Container with Burlap : To retain the soil in the container, use a landscape fabric or a burlap else the soil would leach out and make the pond water murky.

3. Add Clay and Fertilizer : Fill the container with clay, silt or loam and mix it with the aquatic fertilizer.

4. Remove the Old Leaves : Before placing the plant, make sure you have removed the old, fleshy and thick roots and leaves.

5. Know the Right Placement : Plant the tuber at about 45° angle.

6. Keep the Soil Intact: Add pea gravel or rocks to the container to retain the soil in the pot. There are chances of the soil washing away from the planted pot.

7. Take Note of the Height : Now, leave the pot in the pond at a depth of around 18 inches. If required, raise its depth by placing the pot on the rocks. Ensure that the leaves float on the surface.

How to Care for Water Lilies?

Water lily care can be easy only if you take the following precautions, else you might have a hard time with dealing the mess in your pond.

1. Plant lilies in wide mesh crates, baskets or containers.

2. Use the heavy topsoil instead of light, chalky or sandy soil. The reason is that the topsoil is free from pesticides.

3. Do NOT add peat to the soil.

4. Once the flowers start blooming, remove the dying flowers so as to prevent them from sinking to the bottom.

5. Regularly remove the dying leaves, thick roots from the plant.

6. For getting maximum bloom during the season (June – September), plant the lilies at a place that receives maximum sunlight.

7. Never place the lilies just beneath the water fountain; the heavy splashing of water might kill them.

 

Benefit Algae For Your Ponds

Due to the very nature of algae, you find it in most bodies of water body which in fact, is a good sign that suggests good health of a pond. But, when the amount reaches unsustainable levels, you need to take action. If algae get out of control, it makes the pond water murky and clogs filters and pumps. Special attention needs to be paid during the spring (March – May) season.

Algae Types

The types of algae that you can spot in your pond could be –

1. String or Filamentous Algae

Since the string algae have the tendency to forming long threads around rocks, plants and other objects or dense mats, they are commonly referred to as blanket weed.

2. Suspended Algae

The suspended algae are at work to turn your crystal clear water into the murky green. When the algae cover extensive region, it resembles a pea soup and you will be unable to spot your vibrant, colorful fishes that lie just a few inches below the water surface.

Reason behind Algal Bloom

Primarily, there are three reasons due to which algae grow quickly and cover the water body in no time and those are –

1. High Content of Phosphates & Nitrates:

Dead and decay leaves, fish excreta, fish food waste or minerals from tap water are rich in nitrates, phosphates, and ammonia. These serve as the food for algae.

2. Stagnant Water

The continuous run off of nutrient fertilizer in the stagnant river body results in the algal bloom.

3. High Temperature and Excessive Sunlight

The presence of too much light into the pond paves way for algae. Shallow ponds or insufficient plant cover are the reasons that allows too much penetration of sunlight.

Algae Control in Ponds

The presence of algae is the bane for any pond keeper because it results in loss of fish life and depletes precious oxygen. But, with a few simple and precautionary steps, you can control algae in a pond and maintain the tranquility of the garden.

1. Maintain the Ecosystem by Adding Floating Plants

To achieve a fine balance naturally, cover at least half of the water surface with floating plants like water lettuce, azolla, water hyacinth or duckweed. Apart from these, you can even add lotus or lilies. These plants multiply quickly and work as shade for the life beneath. The submerged plant like hornwort keeps the water cool and blocks excessive sunlight and keeps the algal growth at a bare minimum. Adding plants is a necessity because they compete with algae for dissolved nutrients.

2. Love Fishes? Do NOT cram them in one pond

Who doesn’t love to see fish roaming around in crystal clear water? But, ensure that you do not add them in excess in one pond. More fishes would mean more waste (through excreta and food) which would result in the fast algae bloom.

3. Keep Debris at Bay

For algae control, regularly clean the water surface with a pond vacuum, net or with AquaClear Pellets. Because when these dead leaves, debris, and sludge break down, they result in the growth of algae.