How To Keep Dogs Out Of Garden

Everything you need to know a bout Bird Feeders

A Look At Wooden Bird Feeders

 

As you read this article, you may already be the proud owner of a bird feeder that is regularly drawing a crowd of playful, feathered creatures in your yard. That would not at all be surprising as bird feeders are one of the best ways to liven up any property. Even a garden or yard that has been landscaped to perfection by a professional can be improved immeasurably by the addition of a tasteful and elegant bird feeder.

If you are still in the planning stage of purchasing one however, or if you are looking for one or two more–one cannot have too many bird feeders after all! You may want to consider purchasing a wooden bird feeder.

Why should you go for a wooden bird feeder though instead of the popular ones that are typically made of plastic, glass or various types of metal? Well for one thing, unless you are willing to spend a lot of money on your next bird feeder, you will in all likelihood have to make do with one that is…er, less than stellar in the looks department. You will notice quickly that the offerings in the lower range of the price scale will not be as attractive, as well-constructed and simply not as appealing as other more expensive models. It is simply the nature of consumer products, and going for one that is more eye-catching will cost a lot more obviously.

Wooden bird feeders then provide an alternative that is not only quite affordable but looks good as well. In fact, looking through a listing of many different types of wooden bird feeders, you would be surprised at just how low-priced they are. This is all the more amazing when you realize that even the lowest-priced wooden bird feeders are a lot more visually attractive than even higher-priced commercial models.

If you are concerned about the durability of wooden bird feeders–as you well should be, considering that they will practically be spending the rest of their lives outdoors exposed to the elements–you need not worry yourself on that score. Virtually all the wooden bird feeders available today are constructed out of wood that has been treated to withstand the constant exposure. This will help ensure that any wooden bird feeder that you purchase will continue to provide your feathery friends with service–and you with viewing pleasure–for a good long time.

The Idea Behind Ground Bird Feeders

Ground bird feeders…at first it seems like a bad idea all around, doesn’t it? After all, who in his or her right mind would place a bird feeder right in harm’s way, within easy reach of cats, dogs and a host of other predators and dangerous elements? It defeats the very purpose of birds being able to fly up and out of danger. It is downright inhumane and all that. But is it really?

As it turns out there are a number of good reasons for using a ground bird feeders, and the most important one is that they allow a greater number of birds access to the food that you provide.

Because of their intended location, ground bird feeders admittedly put the birds at a slight disadvantage when it comes to predators and rodents who compete with them for food. For this reason, theses types of bird feeders are more suited to areas where there are no cats present and where you are reasonably sure that there is no large squirrel population around either.

One of the advantages of ground bird feeders is that they allow ground-feeding birds to feed in a setting that is more natural to them. Of course smaller perch feeding birds will be slightly out of their element, but given a safe enough environment that is free from predators, virtually any type of bird will soon learn to be comfortable around your feeder.

Being on the ground, it is also much easier for you to replenish the food stores of your ground bird feeders. This may not seem like such a big deal, but in today’s fast paced world where every minute counts, it is good to know that you do not have to spend any more time than is necessary in making sure that your bird feeder is able to keep your feathered friends happy.

This ground location also makes it easier for you to clean your bird feeder. Hygiene is always a primary concern when it comes to keeping birds healthy, and even if they are not really your pets (more like favored guests) you would like to make sure that they remain as healthy as they can possibly be wouldn’t you?

So you see, there are some distinct advantages that ground bird feeders can provide. With a little careful thought and planning as to where exactly you will put it, you’ll see that the benefits of ground bird feeders aren’t just for the birds!

How To Make Bird Feeders

The widespread availability of many types of bird feeders on the market has largely made it unnecessary for many people to even consider building their own. After all, why should you bother with all the work and effort involved in creating one from scratch, when you can simply drive to your local pet supply store or click on your mouse a few times and almost instantly have one sitting in your yard?

Well as it turns out, there are quite a few good reasons for learning how to make bird feeders, not the least of which is the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that you and your kids can gain from undertaking such a project. This will also help kids learn more about birds and their habits as well as provide you with an opportunity to teach them about responsibility and caring for the surroundings.

Those should be enough reasons to convince you to take on this task, so let’s get started building a simple bird feeder!

What you will need:
birdseed
a dowel or small wooden rod
a pair of scissors
thin wires about 2 feet long
nails for punching holes
a gallon milk jug

Here is the procedure:

Wash the milk jug thoroughly to ensure that any traces of milk are gone completely.

Put the cap back on and place the jug on a solid working surface

With a sharp knife, cut two large holes on the front and back sides of the jug. Make the holes about 3 to 4 inches in diameter and cut them about 2 or 3 inches from the bottom. This is where your birds will be feeding. It is important to make sure that any birdseed you place in the feeder will not spill out of these holes.

Using the nail, punch two smaller holes, one under each larger hole. Push the dowel through one of these smaller holes and out the other, so that they provide a perch for the birds.

Again using the nail, punch two holes in the neck of the milk jug and run the wire through them making a sort of loop. This is where you will be hanging the feeder from a suitable branch.

Fill the feeder with birdseed–black oil sunflower seeds work the best

Sit back and wait for the birds to drop by!

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Why You Should Consider Homemade Bird Feeders

With the wide range of bird feeders out on the market today, you probably have not given any thought at all to making your own homemade bird feeder. After all, with the sheer variety of different sizes, makes and models out there, there is no doubt that you can find one that will suffice for your needs.

However, there are many reasons why you and any other bird-watching aficionado for that matter, should seriously consider building a homemade bird feeder instead of going with any of the commercially available models.

For one thing, almost everyone has very specific size and space requirements for the various furniture and appliances that they have in their houses, and bird feeders are no exception. The wrong type of bird feeder or an oddly sized one can be enough to throw the most carefully designed garden or yard out of whack. If you have spent a considerable amount of money getting a professional to landscape your yard, it is all the more imperative that you have a bird feeder that enhances and accentuates the other elements. In this particular case, only a specially designed bird feeder will do.

One of the first decisions you will have to make is deciding what particular design of bird feeder you like. Some of the more popular ones are the Post Bird Feeder, which is ideal if you don’t have a tree to put your feeder on, the Hanging Bird Feeder, which is great for keeping any cats at bay, the Running Line Bird Feeder, which is a good choice if you want to avoid having to continually replenish the food supply, and the Ground Level Bird Feeder, which you should only consider if you are sure that you can provide a safe environment for any birds that will come to visit.

There are many plans for making homemade bird feeders all over the Web and if you are so inclined you would do well to check them out. Even if you are not confident enough in your woodworking skills to attempt the project on your own, they will at least give you a few ideas on the design that you want to go for and provide a starting point for whoever you will hire to construct the bird feeder for you. Remember: it’s your yard so don’t be afraid to let your imagination run free. As long as the birds have easy access to the food and it provides them a safe environment in which to frolic, your homemade bird feeder will surely be a smashing success!

Do you have any pictures of homemade birdfeeders to share?

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Compost

Healthy compost is essential for any garden whether you’re growing vegetables or flowers. Compost is essentially organic decaying matter. Aerobic organisms such as insects, bacteria, fungi, and worms break down materials such as grass, leaves, and some kitchen scraps to create compost. Compost is extremely rich in nutrients and comparable, if not better, than commercial fertilizers for your garden. Many gardeners use compost since it is free, environmentally friendly, and wonderful for your plants. If you’re able to save your kitchen scraps (not mear) you might want to take advantage of producing your own compost.

There is almost no limit to the many benefits of compost. Rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium compost is sure to help any garden become abundant. Compost improves soil and encourages root development. Any gardener who has used compost is sure to never go back to commercial fertilizer. After just a short time of using home made compost you’ll start to notice the difference in the way your plants are thriving.

If you are interested in composting you do need a compost bin. Some people still have a traditional compost bin, which is an open bin of any sort, typically wood, which they throw compost materials into. The composting process can however take some time and the new and improved compost bins take advantage of what we know about heat and moisture conditions. Anyone can have a compost bin, even if you have a very small yard or live in an apartment with a large balcony.

Compost materials are the matter that you place inside your compost bin and will eventually become your compost for gardening. Almost any organic matter will do and they typically fall into two groups: brown and green materials. Matter rich in carbon are considered browns and include dried leaves and straw. Matter rich in nitrogen are considered greens and include certain kitchen scraps such as vegetables and fruits and grass. As you can see compost materials are very easy to come by since any home owner has an abundance of these materials.

Other than your garden, one of the biggest benefits to composting is the environment. In this day and age where everything is disposable and our landfills are growing by the second, it is important we do what we can to help reduce and reuse. Composting is a wonderful way to do your part by reducing the amount of garbage we throw away and reusing certain materials. Composting is essentially recycling waste and turning it into something our gardens will love.

Composting

Composting is the newest “ green” method of taking biodegradable matter and producing compost. What happens during this process is that the bacteria, yeasts and fungus that is present in things like food are broken down and erased so to speak. Then the compost can be used for gardens or farming.

There are many different forms of composting. When composting started to become popular it would be used mostly in agriculture. But today there is home composting and even industrial composting such as office composting. You may be thinking how could composting take place in an office. But it can be done. Let’s start with home composting.

You can take some organic soil, straw or hay and then mix with home composting ingredients such as left over meat, dairy products, eggs, cooking oil and even vegetables. In order to perform composting correctly, you need a composting bin. This can be a plastic container with a lid, or a barrel with a lid. As weird as this may sound even human waste can be turned in compost.

When you choose a method such as home composting, there are many different ways in which you can go about it. Some people use the method with the lid; if you want to use extreme methods then you can just throw your waste in a pile with organic soil and then wait a year or so for it to break down into compost. This method as natural as it seems, can get a bit smelly after a bit. So the container method may be good if you are composting in your own backyard.

Once the compost is completely broken down, you can use the natural compost and use it for garden compost for flowers and for vegetable gardens. You will have organic vegetables by the summer and they will taste great, the compost will be free of chemicals and everything is environmentally friendly.

This method of composting may sound strange but even offices are trying to go green by composting office waste as well. Left over food, coffee grinds not the paper and even plants that die in the office can all be added to the composting pile. Buy a container of any size and start with soil, straw, and hay and then little by little add to your compost. In a year’s time you will have all natural soil that can be used for repotting the office plants.

On a large scale, composting is done on farms. They are called composting piles. There are composting farms just for composting all over the country. Then the compost is packaged and sold in stores and to other local farms. This process does take a long time but when the compost is ready you are doing your part to save the earth’s environment.

Read more about composting online and see if you can start home composting, garden composting, coffee composting and office composting. It really is an interesting project and it is 100 percent safe for the environment.

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Preparing Healthy Soil

If you’re getting ready to go on a new garden venture, you need to prepare your soil to ideally house your plants. The best thing you can do in the soil preparation process is to reach the perfect mixture of sand, silt, and clay. Preferably there would be 40 percent sand, 40 percent silt, and 20 percent clay. There are several tests used by experienced gardeners to tell whether the soil has a good composition. First you can compress it in your hand. If it doesn’t hold its shape and crumbles without any outside force, your sand ratio is probably a little high. If you poke the compressed ball with your finger and it doesn’t fall apart easily, your soil contains too much clay.

If you’re still not sure about the content of your soil, you can separate each ingredient by using this simple method. Put a cup or two of dirt into a jar of water. Shake the water up until the soil is suspended, then let it set until you see it separate into 3 separate layers. The top layer is clay, the next is silt, and on the bottom is sand. You should be able to judge the presence of each component within your dirt, and act accordingly.

After you’ve analyzed the content of your soil, if you decide that it is low on a certain ingredient then you should definitely do something to fix it. If dealing with too much silt or sand, it’s best to add some peat moss or compost. If you’ve got too much clay, add a mixture of peat moss and sand. The peat moss, when moistens, helps for the new ingredient to infiltrate the mixture better. If you can’t seem to manage to attain a proper mixture, just head down to your local gardening store. You should be able to find some kind of product to aid you.

The water content of the soil is another important thing to consider when preparing for your garden. If your garden is at the bottom of an incline, it is most likely going to absorb too much water and drown out the plants. If this is the case, you should probably elevate your garden a few inches (4 or 5) over the rest of the ground. This will allow for more drainage and less saturation.

Adding nutrients to your soil is also a vital part of the process, as most urban soils have little to no nutrients already in them naturally. One to two weeks prior to planting, you should add a good amount of fertilizer to your garden. Mix it in really well and let it sit for a while. Once you have done this, your soil will be completely ready for whatever seeds you may plant in it.

Once your seeds are planted, you still want to pay attention to the soil. The first few weeks, the seeds are desperately using up all the nutrients around them to sprout into a real plant. If they run out of food, how are they supposed to grow? About a week after planting, you should add the same amount of fertilizer that you added before. After this you should continue to use fertilizer, but not as often. If you add a tiny bit every couple of weeks, that should be plenty to keep your garden thriving.

Basically, the entire process of soil care can be compressed into just several steps… ensure the makeup of the soil is satisfactory, make sure you have proper drainage in your garden, add fertilizer before and after planting, then add fertilizer regularly after that. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll have a plethora of healthy plants in no time. And if you need any more details on an individual step, just go to your local nursery and inquire there. Most of the employees will be more than happy to give you advice.

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Container Gardening – Flowers

The world would be a much different place, without the beauty of flowers. Children can contribute to the beauty of nature, while learning at the same time, by planting their own container garden of flowers.

There are many, many kinds of container gardens. They can be as unique as each child who creates them. Large planting areas are not necessary. In fact, a container garden can consist of just one container. They are not expensive to create.

There are several interesting variations of container gardens besides planting in an ordinary container, which sits on the ground. Allow children to use their imagination and come up with their own ideas. They can use hanging baskets, trellises or other types of vertical support (along with the actual container) and window boxes.

Vertical container gardening is a wonderful option for children living in urban areas or apartments. They can grow their gardens ‘up’ instead of ‘out’, in a very small space. This works best for vining flowers, such as passion flowers, morning glories and star jasmine.

There are many edible flowers, which are well suited for container gardens. They include: violas, pansies, carnations and nasturtium. Consult your library or local bookstore, for an extensive list of other edible flowers. There are many wonderful books, on the market, in regard to this subject. Most include colorful pictures, which makes edible flower identification very easy.

Flower petals are wonderful as part of a salad or when used as a cake decoration. . Obviously, no pesticides of any kind should be used on flowers, which will later be eaten.

Some children might enjoy planting a container garden, which includes their favorite color combinations. Whether they choose colors that complement each other or colors that are very different, it’s sure to be an eye pleasing display.

To make their gardening experience even more enjoyable children may want to plant a container garden, which attracts butterflies or hummingbirds. This way, not only will they learn about gardening they will learn about insects or birds, as well.

Hummingbirds are truly amazing to watch. Because they consume more food than their weight, each day, they must visit many gardens. Hanging baskets are an excellent container for this type of garden because they can be place near a window, making it much easier for these tiny birds to be observed.

Hummingbirds are attracted to bright flowers, especially reds, bright pinks and oranges. Other colors can be added in once the hummingbird has become accustomed to visiting its garden. It is recommended that flowers with an extended blooming period, be used.

The prefer tube shaped or trumpet like blossoms. Wonderful choices for a hummingbird garden include: day lilies, fuchsia, geraniums, honeysuckle and zinnias.

Almost any type of container can be used, for a container garden. Everything from ceramic pots, small barrels, old wagons, tire stacks, terrariums, baskets, wooden crates, old shoes and toy dump trucks have been used for this purpose.

Some creative gardeners have even gone as far as using an old bath tub or even the kitchen sink.

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Is a Raised Summer Garden Right for You?

Raised gardens are becoming quite popular as more and more people are renting property or find themselves in high rise apartment buildings with little to no lawn space and even less access to actual soil in which to plant the flowers and vegetables they desire to have with them. There are actually quite a few pros for using raised gardens as opposed to tilling the soil for those who wish to have smaller gardens and are limited on space in which to do so. At the same time, those who desire bigger yields are often dissatisfied with the limits of raised gardens. The choice is ultimately yours but I will try to point out some of the pros and cons of this type of garden so that you may decide for yourself.

Soil compaction. Pants love to breath and that is often difficult when placed in garden rows as we have quite a bit of difficulty avoiding all together the possibility of stepping onto the tilled rows in which we have planted our fruits, vegetables, or plants in a traditional garden situation. By using a raised garden, which is designed to be worked from without rather than within, there is little fear of compacting the soil around the plants. At the same time many lifelong gardeners feel the inability to walk around in their gardens is a disadvantage in itself and prefer to be able to do so. This is often a matter of preference rather than practicality but a valid opposition just the same.

Numbers. You can actually plant more plants in the same amount of square footage in a raised bed because there is no need for rows. You should also be aware that plants in raised beds often tend to grow larger than plants in traditional garden rows. That being said you should resist the urge to over plant within the raised garden bed, as this will eliminate that slight benefit. Many traditional gardeners have seen the results of overcrowding in these beds and feel that their way of doing this is much butter.

One huge benefit to raised beds for summer gardens in areas that are nearly saturated with excess moisture is that raised beds allow much better drainage than traditional row gardening. This is one thing that the average gardener will not argue with unless he lives in an area in which this isn’t much of a problem. Most gardeners in the south though, where there is a great deal of humidity and moisture will agree that proper drainage is a problem.

Raised beds are less back breaking. This is a huge benefit to those of us who are feeling the years creeping into our bones. By being above ground, raised gardens offer easier access for planting, weeding, planting, and investigating for signs of pests. Another great thing about raised gardens is that they are not as quick to cool as the earth, which renders them more productive and with longer growing seasons that most gardens that are placed in the ground.

For those who have unusually shaped yards or growing areas, raised gardens allow the opportunity to have a beautiful summer garden in almost any shape you can build the box for. This means you are not limited to rows, as many gardens tend to be and that you have a few more options for aesthetics when planning and growing your summer garden.

The downside to raised summer gardens is that they are difficult to dismantle and nearly impossible to till. This means you must do all the working of the soil by hand and many gardeners do not fully appreciate the beauty of that process. The most important thing however, is that you choose a summer garden system that works for you. You may find that combining the two provides the best results and is a great use of your time or that you prefer one over the other. There really is no wrong answer only the one that is wrong for you.

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How to get started with Butterfly Gardening

 

One of the most fascinating and most rewarding hobbies currently drawing in thousands of enthusiasts from all over the world is butterfly gardening. It is a hobby that has the potential to mesmerize both owners and viewers for hours and hours, and it seems that all your worldly cares just melt away when faced with the awesome spectacle of dozens of brilliantly colored winged creatures frolicking about in a garden of your own creation. Butterflies are of course some of the most elegant, the most majestic, and simply the most awe inspiring winged creatures around, and the desire to have them flying around freely outside your own home is what inspires so many people to figure out how to grow butterfly gardens.

Fortunately, as impressive as the final results of your butterfly garden can be, they are not that hard to create. Butterfly gardens can flourish virtually anywhere in the United States, and many of the most necessary plants can be found in abundance throughout the country.

Butterfly gardens also do not have to be expensive at all. They can be as simple as a few choice plants strategically located to attract as many butterflies as possible. Of course if you so wish and you have the land and the money for the plants, your butterfly garden can encompass several acres. The choice is really up to you, and the good thing about it is that no matter how small or how large your butterfly g

arden is, it will surely be an impressive sight to behold.

Before you start putting together your butterfly garden, it would be helpful to know what the most basic requirements are. These are: abundant sunlight throughout most of the day, plants that are a source of nectar, host plants for the butterfly larvae, a location that is free from pesticides, and finally an in depth knowledge of the most common species of butterfly in your locale.

In terms of plants, your work is cut out for you as most of the plants that will attract butterflies are probably native to your area, and you can easily obtain them from a plant supplier or nursery if you do not already have them in your garden. You may be surprised to find that a good number of the plants that you already have in your yard are capable of attracting scores of butterflies on their own, and that you will only need to purchase one or two select plants or even none at all.

The Internet is a great source of information regarding how to grow butterfly gardens, but do not neglect other sources of information as well. You can probably pick up a lot of helpful tips and tricks from your local zoos, botanical gardens, and maybe even from an established commercial butterfly garden in your area. Butterfly gardening is a hobby that tends to bring out the best in people, and it is almost certain that everyone will only be too happy to help out.

What is butterfly gardening?

The design your butterfly garden is a matter of personal preference. Typical points to consider are the size of your garden and the types of flowers and plants you want to grow. Pick a style of garden that appeals to you, but ensure it also contains the plants and flowers that appeal to the butterflies you wish to attract.

It is important to find out which plants and flowers will attract the species of butterflies. that live in your area. This information can be found at the local library
To create the kind of environment that they find attractive, you will also need water of some kind. A birdbath will look attractive and keep the butterflies up off the ground, away from stray cats or mischievous puppies. A shallow dish on a post or hung in a tree will do just as well.

When planting your butterfly garden be careful how you coordinate the colors you choose for your flowerbeds. Although butterflies do not care about your choice of color, you don’t want your garden to be a hodgepodge of unrelated colors and textures. Butterflies are attracted to those flowers that have nectar rather than pollen, like honeysuckle, milkweed, summer lilac, Valerian, daisies, Purple Coneflower, Yellow Sage, day lilies and lavender.

Some people find it helpful to draw and color a layout of their butterfly gardening plan to see what the finished product would look like. Keep in mind that warm colors like red and orange are flashy and showy. These colors have a greater impact against a strong green background. Cool colors such as blue and purple are soothing and toned down and would work better with a white contrast to create the look of freshness and brightness.

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Butterfly Garden Plants

If you want to butterfly garden then you need to know what plants attract butterflies.  So here is a list of some of the plants that can be used to attract butterflies.

    Alyssum

    Asters

    Bee balm

    Bush cinquefolia    

    Butterfly bush

    Butterfly plant

    Cosmos

    Dill

    Gaillardia

    Lilac    

    Marigold

    Milkweed

    Ornamental thistles

    Rabbitbrush

    Sunflower

    Sweet pea

    Verbena

    Zinnias

Spring Blooming Plants:
       
Hinckley Columbine (Aquilegia hinckleyana)
Mexican Plum (Prunus mexicana)
Larkspur (Delphinium sp.)
Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis)
Redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis)
Rock Rose (Pavonia lasiopetala)
Texas Betony (Stachys coccinea)    
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Wildflowers: Indian Blanket, Coreopsis, Thistle, Purple Horsemint, Paintbrush, etc.
Angel’s Trumpet (Datura sp.)
Mealy Blue Sage (Salvia farinacea)
Pentas

 

Summer Blooming Plants:

      
Indigo Spires (Salvia sp.)
Summer Phlox (Phlox paniculata)
Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)                
Lantana (Lantana sp.)
Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)    
Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
Butterfly Weed (Asclepias curassavica)
Black-eyed Susan ‘Goldstrum’ (Rudbeckia hirta)
Zinnia Sunflowers (Helianthus sp.)
Pride of Barbados (Poinciana pulcherima)

 

Fall Blooming Plants:
      
Maximillian Sunflowers (Helianthus maximiliani) 
Gayfeather (Liatris)
Mistflower (Eupatorium sp.)
Mexican Bush Sage (Salvia leucantha)
Purple Aster (Aster oblongifolius)    
Mexican Mint Marigold (Tagetes lucida)
Rosemary (upright or trailing)
Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis)
Cosmos

 

Larval Food Plants:

Plants that provide food for caterpillars
      
Fennel, Parsley, Dill, Rue (Eastern Black swallowtail)
Passionvine (Gulf Fritillary)   
Hop Tree, Toothache Tree, Rue (Giant Swallowtail)
Pipevine (Pipevine Swallowtail)
Flame Acanthus (Janais Patch)
Butterflyweed/Milkweed Family (Monarch, Queen)
Native Grasses: Sideoats Gramma, Little and Big Bluestem Honeysuckle (Clearwing)   
Hackberry (Snout Butterfly, Hackberry Butterfly)
Oak (Hairstreaks and others)
Willows, Ashes, Cherry (Tiger Swallowtail)
Nettles (Red Admiral)
Senna, Clover, and other legumes (Sleepy Orange)
Mallows (White Checkered Skipper)
Muhly Grass, Indian Grass, Inland Sea Oats Sunflower, Ragweed, Cowpen Daisy (Bordered Patch)

In addition to planting some or all of these plants, consider a butterfly feeder and a butterfly house.

Good luck in attracting hundreds of butterflies.

 

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Gardening Gloves

One of the best things about gardening is felling warm, moist dirt in your bare hands, but you will often end up with blistered, chapped, and scraped skin. The solution to this problem is gardening gloves. The more time you spend getting down and dirty in the garden, the more you need gardening gloves. Gardening gloves will be able to ease some of the pain you would otherwise be subject to, letting you spend even more time playing in the dirt.

There are hundreds of different types of gloves on the market, and the kind of gardening glove you buy depends on the way you garden. Some gloves offer protection against specific substances or things, for example, leather gloves are not the best for working with chemicals or water. Many gardening gloves are specialized for pruning thorns, refilling gasoline tanks, or using a chain saw, while others are for general tasks such as raking, digging, and weeding.

After choosing the type of gardening glove you need, you must make sure and pick out the perfect fit. Gloves that are too big have a tendency to slip off while gloves that are too small could cause aches and cramps. Any glove that doesn’t fit could defeat the whole purpose of wearing gloves and cause blistering. To find a glove with the best fit possible, try the gloves on both hands, make a fist, and imitate the movements you make when gardening. If there is no pinching or slipping and the glove is comfortable then you have found your match.

Gardening gloves can be bought in many places and are produced by many companies, causing them all to have a different quality and price. Most gloves can be washed in cool water and then air dried. There are many different types of gloves you can purchase to satisfy your varying needs, such as cotton and cotton-polyester for general-purpose chores. These are among the most popular gloves and are perfect for light chores in cool and dry weather. Leather gloves can also be used for general chores but are heavier than cotton and polyester. Chemical resistant gloves will help protect your hands against oils, acids, herbicides, pesticides, and many other chemicals. Grip enhancing gloves are designed with rubber dots for extra gripping power. Cut and puncture resistant gloves are designed to offer extra protection against sharp edges

If you are the type person that only wears gloves as an optional luxury for various tasks, you should think seriously for using specialized gardening gloves for many of the activities you will be doing outside. There is really no reason not to wear gardening gloves; they protect your hands from the elements and don’t ever cost all that much.

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Planting Dahlias & Gladioli: Showy and Beautiful

 

Dahlias are tuberous perennials and were cultivated in other countries during the 1800’s. They are fast-growing, succulent plants and require large amounts of water. Dahlias are heavy feeders and will benefit from additional fertilizer. However, they are not frost hardy, and the first hard frost will turn leaves black and signal the end of the flowering season. The flowers are generally planted about the same time you would plant your vegetable garden. Be aware though that the dahlia’s constitution is susceptible to numerous diseases and pests, and usually require frequent treatment with various fungicides and insecticides.

Gardeners who are looking for a beautiful, versatile and long-blooming flower for their beds should take a close look at the dahlia. Those who grow the fleshy-root super tubers tend to become addicted, joining support groups cleverly disguised as “dahlia societies.” Planters who’ve been unsuccessful in storing dahlia tubers over the winter may be unaware of the dahlia’s quirks. Dahlias like a constant dark environment for storage-not too dry or they completely dry out and not too wet or they rot. Many gardeners avoid the hassle of dahlia tuber storage by buying new tubers each year at plant sales.

Most people recommend providing dahlias with at least a half day of sunlight every day. But gardening methods are as varied as the gardeners who use them, and it seems like every gardener has his or her own preferred method of achieving a beautiful garden.

The dormant tubers are wrinkled looking when you first plant them. In order to grow each tuber must have a bud (like the eye on a sprouted potato). Dahlias are a bit fussy and need to planted at the correct time(after the last frost) when the soil has warmed. You will also develop patience as you wait for the dahlias to sprout from the dormant tubers. Plants cut back fairly hard will produce stronger regrowth from further down the stalk than if just the bloom is cut. Plant your dahlias in beds about the same time as you’d plant corn, i.e. when the soil has warmed.

Plant dahlias when the spring soil has enough moisture to promote proper growth, such as when the spring rains arrive — that should provide enough water. However, the soil must be well-drained; a neutral soil is preferable to a highly acidic one. Planting in pots gives the dahlias a real good head start and assures you that they are viable before they are planted out. Tall-growing dahlias should be staked in order to support the long stems and large flowers. Staking plants strengthens the tree to the point where it cannot be broken or destroyed by winds or rain storms very easily. Dahlias do not like sharing the sun, so avoid planting them near walls or trees

Dahlias are named after the Swedish botanist, Anders Dahl, who studied the seeds and tubers from Mexican dahlias in 1789. They are full sun plants but usually will do well if they receive a minimum of 5 to 6 hours of sunlight each day. They are stocky plants with tuberous roots and showy flowers that come in a wide range of colors. Dahlias are among the most beautiful of garden flowers, but they require a great deal of attention and care, and many gardeners, especially those in the South, find it just isn’t worth the effort. But dahlias are considered one of the most spectacular garden flowers, so the end result is usually worth it.

Easy to Grow Gladioli

Gladioli are a very versatile plant and are equally at home in most gardens from the contemporary to the traditional. They are available in almost every color and hue, with flowers from 5 cm to 18 cm (or 2 in. to 7 in.) wide. The gladiolus is sometimes called the sword lily or corn lily, and the name means “little sword” in Latin. The name comes from the shape of the leaves which look like swords of the ancient knights. Gladioli are perfect for combination planting in border gardens as well as for long-lasting cut flowers. They are simple to grow and very rewarding.

Gladioli are good for cut flowers as well as in the garden. The vegetable garden is a good place to grow glads for cut flowers. They stand out in the garden due to their shape in color. Many kinds of glads make ideal cut flowers, and can be grown in rows in the cutting garden. Today’s gardeners can choose from a wide range of flower forms, colors and heights, so there’s certainly a gladiolus for everyone’s taste. Dust the corms before storage with an all-purpose garden fungicide to ensure against insect and disease damage while in storage.

If you want flowers for display, or cutting, during most of the summer, you’ll need to plant large corms every two weeks throughout the early spring. Plant them in a sunny spot after the danger of frost has passed. Try to plant the corms (bulbs) in the spring, then sit back and wait, and prepare to be amazed. Plant large bulbs 4 to 6 inches deep, medium-sized bulbs 3 to 4 inches deep, and small bulbs 2 to 3 inches deep. For the best effect, plant mixed colors in groups of 25 or more; single colors may be planted as few as 10 in a group for equally striking displays.

The flowers should bloom in about 90 days. They should open first from the base of the spike, with the older flowers dying as new ones develop and open. Flowers bloom in all colors of the rainbow except true blue. The cone of flowers running up the plant stalk comes in a myriad of colors from white, to fuschia, to bright yellow

The gladiolus is an important floral crop world wide that is grown in gardens and sold as a cut flower. In fact, Gladioli are recorded (under several of its synonyms) as being used in southern Africa in treating a variety of ailments, including diarrhea and colds. It is one of the few plants that can produce green blooms, and produce a show stopping effect in the garden or a vase. They are grown for their attractive flower spike that has florets of huge form, dazzling color and varying sizes, with a long vase life.