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Monthly Archives: June 2016

Greening Backyard Tips

Landscapes are changing for the better due to the shift in environmental attitudes, and gardeners are standing up and taking notice of the effects that wasteful, environmentally unfriendly, and energy consuming practices can have on their surroundings.

“Going Green” is the battle cry that reigns supreme; making chemical laden lawns a thing of the past and stirring interest in materials that are environmentally friendly when creating a backyard paradise. You can go greener as well by following these ten tips:

# Employ Native Plants in the Landscape – Create a lovely garden and landscape scenario by utilizing native plants grown for your climate. At the same time your backyard getaway can invite a variety of butterflies and birds for your enjoyment.

# Enjoy the Lawn that Comes Naturally – Everyone knows someone who is devoted to maintaining their lawn, over the years this desire to have the greenest lawn on the block leads to the overuse of toxic chemicals and adds stress to the water supply. It is simpler to go green and allow your yard grow naturally with normal grasses and vegetation forming a great lawn.

# Add the Sound of Flowing Water – There is something so special and relaxing about the sound of running water. Your garden paradise can be highlighted by a water feature; consider using a solar-powered fountain, not only will it save you money, but it will add hours of soothing peacefulness.

# Look to Harness the Sun– The world is constantly looking for alternative energy sources. But thanks to solar technology you need look no further than the sun. By utilizing fixtures that are solar powered you can harness the sun’s energy during the day and enjoy the light at night.

# Try Outdoor Cooking – Whether you are firing up a good old fashioned charcoal grill or using the sun’s energy in a solar oven; when you cook in your backyard you won’t be over working your air conditioner with that hot oven heating up the kitchen.

# Use Ecologically Friendly Materials – When it comes to an outside patio; there is nothing quite like natural stone to bring out those rustic features. For fences, bamboo is quite popular these days and decks made out of cedar ignore rot while eventually weathering into a lovely shade of silver. Using environmental friendly materials helps pave the way for going green.

# Know Your Timber Choices – Various types of timber are grown and harvested to supply our needs. Some are grown using sustainable methods that ensure the least impact on the environment, knowing your building materials and how they are produced is one trait of an environmentally friendly consumer.

# Plan For The Longer-Term – Going green is all about purchasing items that are durable. When you buy products that will last for the long haul; you don’t have to worry about them breaking down or clogging landfills. Go with quality and durable products that can turn into family heirlooms and be enjoyed over and over again.

# Create a Surreal Environment – There are many items that can be chosen to create a classic backyard setting that will melt your heart and sooth your soul. The classic porch swing offers the same rustic appeal it did more than a century ago and the cast iron glider is as popular today as ever. There are many accessories that can be added to enhance your backyard paradise.

# Remember Those R’s – Most people have heard that it is vital to reduce, recycle and reuse, but in addition, it is just as important to repair and redecorate. Whenever you accessorize your landscape ensure that you pick items that are durable and easily recycled should they run their life cycle.

The Advantages of Raising Potted Fruit Trees

Growing potted fruit trees will allow you to overcome a limited growing area and enjoy a nice harvest of delicious homegrown fruits in spite of the real estate. Even a porch, balcony, deck, or patio can offer many opportunities for raising fabulous fruits in containers!

As a matter of fact, potted fruit trees offer the backyard grower some advantages that acres of land in the country can’t match; just try growing citrus or tropical fruits out in the open in a northern climate. And who wouldn’t appreciate the convenience of taking your entire orchard with you if you ever decide to pack up and move from one location to another?

In other instances, even if you do have space to plant fruit trees in the ground, a container may really be a better option. For example, cold climate gardeners can raise potted fig trees and avoid the hassle of winter protection or the risk of the trees dying down to the ground because of icy temperatures.

Or if you have a shady yard, by growing potted fruit trees you can move the containers around to make best use of the available sunshine. And if you’re going to spruce up the deck or patio with plants anyway, why not chose plants that are both attractive and provide delicious fruit to enjoy?

Grow Fruit Trees in Container Tips

Oranges, apples, limes, blueberries, bananas, and pomegranates are among the most popular choices for growing fruit trees in containers. Then there are my personal favorite potted fruits; fig trees, which are easy to grow, productive, and hardy in many areas. Read on for general cultivation tips and ideas specific to growing fruit trees in containers.

# Ideal Varieties – For cultivating potted fruit trees it’s best to look for dwarf varieties or choices such as figs
that are naturally easy to maintain in a compact size. Many fruits are perfectly comfortable growing in a container, and will still yield a decent sized harvest of tasty fruit for your enjoyment.

# Planting Stock – There are plenty of Internet suppliers offering an assortment of fruits to stock your container orchard, as well as local retailers that you can turn to. But don’t overlook friendly gardeners in your neighborhood that may be willing to divide or share their own plants to help you get started.

# Choosing Containers – When cultivating fruit trees it pays to use the largest sized containers that you can get your hands on. But that doesn’t mean that you have to spend a fortune on expensive pots. Get creative and recycle, search out bargains at yard sales, or take advantage of off-season sales at the garden centers.

# Potting Soil Mixes – Make life easier for yourself and the fruit trees by using a potting soil mix that is lightweight and promotes even drainage, but doesn’t dry out too rapidly. This will encourage better growth and plant health at the same time that it eases the strain of moving the containers around and reduces the frequency of watering.

# Feeding Potted Fruits – Compared to fruit trees planted in the ground, you’ll need to provide fertilizers on a regular basis to satisfy hungry container grown trees. A variety of commercial organic fertilizers, compost, foliar sprays, and liquid soil amendments can be used, but be sure to taper off your feedings as the growing season winds down and the fall season approaches.

# Irrigation – This is a big responsibility and one that needs to be considered when planning your container fruit tree orchard in order to ensure that you have the time and water resources necessary to care for it. Fruit trees growing in containers are thirsty and need to be watered on a daily basis during the summer months and while you are away on vacation.

# Pest Control – Your best option here is to do your homework in order to identify fruit types and specific varieties that are naturally resistant to the insects and diseases that are found in your growing region. Insect traps, bird netting, and other organic controls are all easier to manage in the smaller scale of the potted orchard than they would be out in the field.

# Winter Care – If you live in a cold winter climate it’s a good idea to move dormant trees to a sheltered spot for the winter. They need very little winter care and will do fine in a garage where they can survive without any sunlight and just a small amount of moisture. On the other hand, tropical fruits will need to find a spot inside the home where they can stay until things warm back up outdoors.

Other Considerations for Growing Fruit Trees in Containers

Stakes and trellises are your friends and some type of support is often needed to keep your container fruit trees growing straight and upright. Pruning is used not only to manage fruit production but also to keep the plants in balance and at a size that is suitable for the pots that they are growing in. In addition to pruning the top growth, root pruning may occasionally be helpful.

As mentioned earlier larger containers are best for fruit trees but don’t start small fruit trees out in a huge container, it’s better to pot them up to a bigger container as they mature and increase in size. Rotate your containers a half turn every so often, just as you would a house plant to promote more even growth.

Potted fruits won’t provide as much production as field grown trees, but they will deliver the same satisfaction and sense of accomplishment as you lovingly tend to their needs and watch them grow from tiny specimens into small but mature trees yielding luscious, ripe fruits!