Checking out the feeding schedule

First, you need to know when not to fertilize your lawn. For example, don't bother in the winter or off-season. Let a sleeping (or dormant) lawn lie. And don't feed in especially hot weather. Grass plants respond to the stress of blazingly hot days by slowing down their growth, and a jolt of fertilizer during this time isn't a good thing. That pretty much leaves spring and fall. You may also feed during the summer months, depending on the weather and the type of grass. Here's a cool-season...

Dealing with herb pests

Believe it or not, many herbs are pest-free, which is one of the many reasons gardeners find these plants so easy and fun to grow. Some herbs even repel pests from themselves as well as adjacent plants. However, you may meet a handful of pests. If you do, act quickly to rescue your harvest, either by treating the plant or by tearing it out and getting rid of it before the problem can spread. Check out Table 14-1 for a rap sheet of the major troublemakers. Table 14-1 Pests and the Herbs They...

Composting for Vegetable Gardens

Perhaps you've been wondering why so many vegetable gardeners have compost piles. The short answer is that it's downright sensible. Compost is a bountiful and free source of organic matter, which vegetables adore and consume like crazy. To have it always handy when you need it is unbeatable. Compost is a pile of organic waste that breaks down into rich, dark, crumbly material that jubilant gardeners call black gold It's an excellent way to add humus to your garden, and it also acts as a...

Fertilizing your containerplants

A newly potted plant may be able to subsist on the nutrition inherent in the potting mix. But after a time, that food source becomes depleted. You can repot, of course, but it may be far easier simply to get in the habit of feeding your potted plants regularly. Potted plants grown for their flowers or fruit especially benefit from fertilizer, because producing these things requires so much energy. How often you fertilize depends on the plant and the pot size and all...

Looking at Groundcovers a Living Carpet

iARC By definition, a groundcover is a low-growing plant that naturally forms a colony or mat, making a living carpet in your garden. Groundcovers can be real problem-solvers, growing where nothing else will (including lawn grass) and sprucing up otherwise undistinguished or difficult-to-landscape areas. Height is generally under a foot or so, but more important to you is whether the plant can do the job you ask provide good-looking coverage of its appointed spot. In any event, the more you...

Table of Contents

About This Conventions Used in This What You're Not to Foolish How This Book Is Part I Preparing Yourself (And Your Garden) for Planting 3 Part II Flowers and Foliage Growing for Part III Stretching Your Garden Beyond Its Boundaries The Permanent Part IV Producing Your Own Part V Designing Special and Fun Part VI The Part of Icons Used in This Where to Go from Part I Preparing Yourself (And Your Garden) for Chapter 1 Getting Ready for Gardening 9 Playing the Name Hello, my name is . . . Getting...

Planting Herbs A Lesson in Adaptation

When you're planting your herbs, there are no hard or fast rules, folks Herbs are wonderfully versatile and flexible, and as I tell you at the beginning of the chapter, herbs come in a huge variety of annual and perennial types of plants. The main thing to do is to pay attention to the type of herb you're trying to plant Is it an annual A perennial Fast growing Slow growing Is it an invasive plant, like mint, or does it get along well with other plants These considerations are important before...

Hoseend sprinklers

Here's another way to put your good hose to work A hose-end sprinkler is designed to screw into a standard hose and rest on the ground wherever you drag it and set it down it then delivers water in a spray pattern in the immediate area. Clever designers have come up with all sorts of nifty alternatives, so you should have no trouble finding a sprinkler you like and that suits the lay of your particular landscape. Here's a rundown of the common ones i Fixed-spray sprinkler These sprinklers are...

Designing for Dining and Getting Your Vegetable Garden Ready

Most produce is, of course, grown in a vegetable garden, and it's always best to get your garden started before even acquiring your plants. Of course, you have to dig into the soil and work in organic matter. One of the first steps, however, is designing your garden. The best planning advice is simple Start small. Just be sure you locate in a spot where expansion is possible, should you want to make a bigger garden in ensuing years. As for actual size, it depends on what you want to grow. Just...

Basic Gardening Resources

Vo many resources for purchasing plants and tools or just gathering information are available that beginning gardeners are often intimidated by the vastness of it all. With this appendix, I attempt to break down the sheer volume of gardening information into some simple, basic Web sites that you can use as a starting point for exploring the resources at your disposal. These recommended sites offer a wealth of info on many aspects of gardening, and they're the ideal place to start when exploring...

On the level Deciding between aboveground and inground gardens

Landscaping Hide Above Ground Pool

If you know where you want your water garden, you can begin to explore the physical form that your garden will take. Water gardens generally are either above ground in a container of some sort or set into the ground as a pond. Read on for some points to consider when deciding which type to go with. Consider where you've decided to locate your pond. Aboveground water gardens are a commanding presence in a landscape. For this reason, gardeners generally site them where people can enjoy them up...

Taking Care of Your Tree

Trees, sadly, are often cared for only when first planted and then they're left to fend for themselves in landscapes after they've matured. People usually end this isolation only if the trees become diseased or damaged. Yes, you should take special care of your tree when it's newly planted to help it get established, but you should also make a habit of caring for it season by season, year by year, as it matures and grows. A healthy tree is a happy tree, and trees reflect the care you put into...

Planning your beds and borders

Elaborate Rose Bushes

Ah, beds and borders are surely the most popular and beautiful way to show off your roses. When you invite a rose or several roses into your garden, don't just plunk the roses into the ground at random. Instead, plan ahead to create splendid beds that incorporate roses into your landscape or mixed flower beds. Your plan can be as elaborate as the one shown in Figure 9-1, or as simple as creating a small bed of three or four types of roses. A large, classic plan for a very elaborate rose garden....

Where to plant bulbs

Bulbs are some of the least demanding of all plants, but they appreciate your efforts to give them as good of a growing area as possible with well-drained soil they may reward your efforts with years of bountiful flowers. Flowering bulbs are very happy in prepared flowerbeds. They receive the good, loose soil they relish and the elbow room they need. Here are two good approaches t Bedding schemes Perhaps you've seen these beds in public display gardens broad areas devoted to nothing but, say,...

Stretching your growing season

Maybe it's natural restlessness. Maybe it's an urge to make maximum and efficient use of available time. But gardeners do like to try to push the envelope in order to grow more or better or different plants. You can dig up many tricks and techniques along these lines, and you certainly may come up with a few of your own as your experience grows. The following sections describe some favorite rule-benders that you can try if appropriate to your garden, your needs,...

Whats Organic Matter

When plants and animals die, bacteria and fungi and other critters move in and break down the dead material into simpler substances. The end product is a smorgasbord of nutrients for your plants. Organic matter is any material that originates from a living well, once-living creature you can dig this matter into your soil, and as the material decays, it improves the soil's condition. Examples of organic matter include compost, dehydrated manure never fresh, which burns the plants , chopped-up...

Index

American Association of Nurserymen, 180 American Horticultural Society Heat-Zone Map, 52, 53 anchoring support for vine, 255 Animal Poison Control Center Web site, 34 annuals caring for and feeding, 14-15, 118-119 shape, height, and structure of, 110-111 for warm weather, 108-109 watering, 118 antique rose, 168, 170-171, 187 anvil-style pruner, 93 aphid, 120, 142, 190, 298, 310 arborist, 233-234, 254 arranging containers for container garden, 352-353 art, creating, 389 Asian garden, 38, 39...

Preparing your yard for a lawn

Before you do anything, you need to rid your property of all those things that you wouldn't want in a lawn No weeds, no horrible old remnants of a failed lawn, no rocks, no construction debris, no toxic waste, no junk, no cars you plan to fix up, no dead and dying plants, no roots from long-gone plants. Scrape, dig, haul away do what you must. In most states, you're legally required to check for utility lines before digging. So call the gas company, phone company, cable company, and water...

Supporting and training your fruit

Pendelbogen

To keep your harvest off the dirt and in the air where it's able to develop freely and enjoy good air circulation and plentiful sunshine, supports may be in order. A wide variety is available, depending on the fruit you want to grow. Figure 15-3 shows two different ways to train grapes with supports. There are several methods of training grapes. Four-cane Kniffen trellis labrusca, hybrids Supports also help keep a developing harvest visible and accessible and serve to train the fruit in a...

Defining terms Bulbs arent always Well bulbs

Corm Cross Section Bulb

When you shop for garden bulbs, you may immediately notice some variations on the underground-storage theme. The minor but key differences are worth knowing because they affect not only what sort of plants the bulbs produce but also how to divide them to get more plants. Here's a rundown of some of the plant structures that gardeners call bulbs 1 True bulbs Bulbs are composed of concentric fleshy scales, or layers, which are actually modified leaves see Figure 8-1 . Yes, just like an onion. At...

When to feed your garden

Whether you're using store-bought or natural fertilizer, such as compost or manure, most plants like to be fertilized at planting time, just to get off to a good start. Thereafter, you may fertilize again on a monthly basis. Reduce or stop when fall's cooler weather arrives. Fertilizer inspires fresh new growth, and you don't want that then fall is a time for plants to slow down and approach dormancy, and cold weather can damage new growth. You should, however, feed the lawn in autumn to...

Planting Your Vegetables

When getting ready to plant, the first rule is to pay attention to which items are cool-season vegetables and which are warm-season vegetables see the earlier section on Growing vegetables by seasons . You can start cool-season vegetables earlier and put them in the ground earlier because they're more tolerant of cooler temperatures some can even go outdoors before the last frost . However, you should put warm-season vegetables out or sow them only after all danger of frost is past. After you...

Choreography Timing perennial blooming

Although some perennials bloom all summer long, just like your favorite annuals, others do not. They have a period of glory that peaks for a week or several weeks, and then the show subsides. Gardeners have lots of ways to find out in advance when a perennial will bloom and for approximately how long. Look it up in a gardening reference book. Do research on the Internet. Check a print or online gardening catalog bearing in mind, however, that some merchants may exaggerate . Look on the tag or...

Reading plant hardiness zone maps

Take a look at the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, either in the color section of this book or online at www.usna.usda.gov Hardzone ushzmap. Notice that Zone 1, located at the top or northernmost part of the map, is coldest Zone 11 is at the bottom, or southernmost part, and is warmest. In terms of hardiness zones established in the USA, Zones 1 and 11 represent the extremes. The bulk of the United States, though, fits into Zones 5, 6, 7, and 8. Originally, the zones were conceived to be 10 F...

Fathoming Frost Zones and Growing Seasons

Whether a plant can survive the winter isn't your only concern. You know annuals are going to live for only one season, but you also want to know how long that season will be. After all, you may not be pleased if your dahlias die before flowering or your tomato plants freeze before producing much fruit. Unfortunately, hardiness zones don't tell you much about the length of the growing season. Enter the frost zone map. Zones are determined not only by temperatures but also by the climate, which...

Watering a Thirsty Lawn

Watering is the most misunderstood aspect of lawn care, so pay attention, folks Lawn grasses are not notoriously resilient or deep-rooted, so you can't neglect them in this department. Of course you have to water them often when they're first installed and are getting established up to twice a week, depending on the type of grass and your climate. Established lawns need water whenever they get dry, which likewise depends on temperature, humidity, amount of sunlight, wind, and soil type. The...

Bugs

Capture a few and show them to someone who knows a garden-center staffer, a landscaper, or another, more experienced vegetable gardener or look the bugs up. If you can't find the pest, a sample of typical damage should help your expert identify the culprit. As you can see in the upcoming culprits' table, I'm not hastening to recommend spraying chemicals in a vegetable garden. Try other tactics first. If you catch the problem early, it's not unrealistic to manage...

How to spread seed

Spreading Seeds

You need the help of some sort of tool so the seeds spread as evenly as possible. Buy this tool at a home-and-garden supply store for bigger jobs, you may prefer simply to rent the necessary equipment or hire someone else to do the job. Generally, though, here are your choices in approach see Figure 10-1 1 Cyclone spreader This hand seeder is relatively cheap and easy to use. Dump in the seed and then trot along the seedbed, turning the handle as you go. The seed sprays out in a semi-circular...

Put Up a Rubber Tire Swing

What would summer be without a tire swing What would childhood be without one Just make certain to choose a limb that's strong and far enough away from the trunk and everything else to allow for swinging and not for smacking into things . Also make sure the rope you use is stout and that the knots around the tree limb and tire are very, very secure. A strong chain may be a better idea, with large metal hooks to hold. Have a kid help you decide how high off the ground the swing should be. And...

Fertilizing Your Vegetable Garden

If your vegetable garden has fertile soil enhanced by compost and other organic materials, fertilizing may not be urgently necessary. Still, vegetables are a hungry group, and feeding them can certainly speed growth and improve your harvest. The main nutrients are nitrogen N , phosphorus P and potassium K , which is why the labels of general-purpose fertilizers have three numbers. A fertilizer such as 10-10-10 is a balanced fertilizer because it contains equal proportions of all three...

Getting Ready for Gardening

Basic Parts Plant

Understanding how plants are named Examining flowering plants Checking out trees, vines, and shrubs Managing your lawn Zl o matter what your main gardening interest be it growing vegetables, making your yard colorful with flowers, picking out just the right tree, or aspiring to have the most gorgeous roses on the block chances are that you care most about the plants. Sure, gardening can also involve landscaping and lawn care see the chapters in Part III of this book , or being able to grow...

Whats your type Deciding on the kind of fertilizer

As you may know, fertilizer contains three main elements nutrients critical for good plant growth nitrogen N , phosphorus P , and potassium K . Nitrogen is the one that enhances foliage and stem growth. That's why nitrogen dominates lawn fertilizers. Common formulations include 22-3-7 and 21-0-0. Chapter 4 covers garden fertilizer in some detail, but here I discuss fertilizer that's strictly for lawn use. When you go shopping for lawn fertilizer, read the labels very carefully see Figure 10-5 ....

Planning Your Own Eden

Diy Hammock Stand Building Plans

Working with what you already have Deciding on your garden style Staying within your budget Setting up your garden plans Hiring a professional Consider your ideal garden. Perhaps you know you want a handsome woodland shade garden, but what'll it look like Or maybe you know you want a sunny cottage garden, but what's your vision Getting to this point in your garden planning is a bit like shopping for a blue shirt. You know you want a shirt and you know you want it to be blue, but you still have...

Tilling soil with rototillers

Consider the rotary tiller, or rototiller You may need one of these soil-eating machines if you're going to create a large new flowerbed, a production cut-flower garden, or a vegetable garden or to install a new lawn any project too daunting to undertake by hand. If your property is large or you like to keep busy with such projects and revisions of them, you may want to consider buying a tiller. But for most situations, you're better off renting what you need check the yellow pages under...

When to plant bulbs

Bulbs aren't instant-gratification plants. They need some time in the ground before they send forth stem, foliage, and flowers. But they're not inert when they're in the ground, of course. They're generating root growth, which will help nourish the show as well as anchor the plants in place. The following sections explain what different types of bulbs require, depending on when they bloom. Spring-blooming bulbs require a chilling period. They're dormant when you get them and break dormancy only...

Choosing the Right Vines for Your Garden

Ask yourself what you want from a vine. Do you have a good spot, or can you create one Some vines are big, rambling plants others can fill and remain in their allotted spaces. Some vines offer temporary coverage, and others are long-lasting. Figure out whether you want flowers or fruit and whether you want the vine for part of the growing season or all. The following sections cover the kinds of vines available and how you can match a vine to your wants and needs and the environment you can...

Bringing in Beauty with Flowers and Foliage

Flowers are often the first thing that comes to mind when people think of gardening and the first thing people plan to grow when they want to beautify their surroundings. Flowers are marvelous because they come in a huge variety of sizes, colors, and shapes see Figure 1-2 , and no matter where you live, at least one kind of flowering plant can grow there. Even the volcanic crater of Haleakala, on the island of Maui, is home to a flowering plant the rare silver sword. Flowers are more than...

Picking the Best Plants for Your Containers

So you're ready to start choosing plants. I know what you're thinking small ones Well, of course, but size doesn't have to be a limiting factor. Almost any sort of plant can adapt to life in a container. For instance, you can try a small herb plant or a wee bonsai-size Japanese maple in a small ceramic pot or you can grow a wide array of herbs or flowers or both why not or a dwarf edition of any number of popular trees in a big planter box or tub. Look through plant chapters in this book for...

Fertilizing

Unless your soil is fabulously fertile, some supplemental fertilizer is very nice for your roses. It inspires robust growth and more flowers. Also, a well-nourished plant is healthier and is thus less likely to succumb to stress, disease, or insect attacks. Use an all-purpose garden fertilizer, because it has balanced amounts of N nitrogen , P phosphorus , and K potassium . Fertilizers touted especially for roses such as Rose Food are fine but not mandatory. In spring, as the plant emerges from...

Determining which Watering system to use

The amount of water your garden needs depends on what kind of soil you're using, what your climate is like, and what kinds of plants you have. Shallow-rooted plants, for example, need more water than deep-rooted ones for the simple reason that they're closer to the soil surface, which dries out more quickly in the heat of the sun. Deep roots can reach the more consistently damp lower soil layers. For many gardeners, getting enough water to their gardens is the biggest gardening challenge. If...

Much Ado about Mulch

Mulch is a good gardening habit but not mandatory. But, ooh boy, do the benefits make it worth the effort A really good job of mulching your garden usually Inhibits weed germination and growth and not only are weeds unsightly, but they also they steal resources from your plants Holds in soil moisture, protecting your plants from drying out so fast Moderates soil-temperature fluctuations this benefit is especially valuable during that turbulent-weather period in spring when you don't want your...

Compost More than Just a Fertilizer

Yeah, I also talk about compost in the fertilizer section, but compost is useful and necessary to your garden in so many ways other than as plain fertilizer. Because it's organically rich, with good texture, compost is just about the best thing you can add to soil. What works best really depends on the type and fertility of your native soil, but you can't go wrong digging in quite a lot of compost. Compost lightens heavy clay soil and gives needed substance to sandy soil. Less-extreme soils can...