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Monthly Archives: May 2018

Must know about Gardening with Bamboo

Bamboos can create a wall or screen to provide privacy, used in containers for your deck, terrace or patio, or create a bamboo forest, maze or retreat – whatever you like!

Bamboos compliment perennials and annuals well and can be used as a background or an accent plant or low border depending on the variety of bamboo used.

Bamboos are actually a grass colony plant with over 1200 species world wide. Approximately 200 species can be grown without complications in North America.

Certain species of bamboos are runners while others grow in clumps. Some bamboos have narrow leaves and others have wide leaves. When the main stem (known as culms or canes) emerge from the ground or media, they sprout at the diameter they will remain into maturity. Successive clumps will emerge with wider and taller than previous season’s.

The clum is typically hollow except at the nodes, the area where horizontal branches grow. A rhizome is a horizontal “creeping” stem on or just above the ground, from which new shoots grow and roots descend.

Running bamboo’s rhizomes may spread a considerable distance from the mother plant. On the contrary, clumping bamboos grow in-place and do not spread out as much (some pruning may be necessary).

Bamboos have two types of root systems. First are the runners, which is found in temperate environments and is known as runners. The second types are the “clumpers” which are typically found in tropical varieties. This variety will also spread, however, it’s not as invasive and only requires pruning to control.

Bamboos are available in various heights and can be trimmed if it gets too tall. A general rule is that taller bamboos require more sunlight than smaller varieties. Tall-growing varieties, like the yellow groove prefers several hours daily, while a smaller variety may tolerate partly shaded environments well.

During the spring, the leaves will yellow and fall from the plant. The loss is gradual as with other types of plants and the leaves are replaced with new foliage.

About Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Perhaps the most common of evergreen trees is the pine. It’s noted for its long, soft needles and its rapid growth. In fact, they often attain 60 to 80 ft. maturity very quickly.Red pine is popular as well and useful for creating textured backgrounds and windbreaks. The Ponderosa pine is a more compact tree that is often used for wind protection and ornamental purposes. The Austrian or black pine, with its spreading branches is very commonly used in the Midwest.

Perhaps the most widely planted evergreen that is used for a windbreak is the Norway spruce tree. It grows very fast, it’s very hardy, has short dark green needles, and is shaped like a pyramid. The Black Hills spruce tree is also very tough and resistant to drought. It grows much slower than the Norway spruce but can still achieve a height of 40 ft. in time.

White spruce on the other hand, can mature close to 60 to 70 ft. in height and is often used in landscaping designs. Colorado blue spruce is generally hardy, however it does suffer some in extreme heat and drought conditions.

Red Cedar is perhaps the most popular of the evergreen Cedar trees. It’s often used as an ornamental tree for both hedges and windbreaks. It tends to be very tough and hardy, and takes winter very well.

Perhaps the best overall Evergreen tree for windbreaks and screening is the Douglas fir tree. It’s hardy and drought resistant, grows fast, has a pyramid shape, and looks great in most landscape designs. The Balsam fir, which is also known as the Christmas tree, is well-known for its fragrance and unique appearance. On the other hand, the white fir tree has an attractive silver color instead.

The Juniper family of Evergreen trees is often used in planting, with the tall types such as the upright Juniper being used as a textured background, and the spreading types like the Pfitzer juniper being used for groundcover and edgings.

Yew, has thick glossy needles and upward reaching branches, and can be used as both a shrub and a tree. In fact, they can even grow well in sun and shade, making it one of the most versatile evergreens.

Evergreens as a whole can be adversely affected by hot, dry weather conditions and need to be watered every couple of weeks or so at this time. Be sure to water it enough so that the moisture will reach deep into the ground at least 6 in. or so. Applying a layer of mulch in dry weather can also help protect against moisture loss during this period.

Trees in Landscape

If properly located and planted, trees can help control energy costs. A large shade tree planted on the southwest side of the house can provide cooling shade in the summer, helping reduce air conditioning costs. Once the leaves drop in the fall, the winter sun is free to warm your house on cold winter days. Evergreen trees, planted to block cold winter winds, can help reduce winter heating costs.

Have you wondered what you could do to reduce greenhouse gases and address global warming? Planting trees will help! One of the greenhouse gases causing the most concern is carbon dioxide. Plants take this gas out of the air and use it in photosynthesis. Carbon is stored in the wood and living tissues of trees. When leaves fall and are composted, carbon is added to the soil. This improves the soil for plant growth and stores more of the carbon in the form of soil organic matter. Carbon can be stored for hundreds of years in the trunks of trees or in the form of lumber, furniture, and other wood products. By planting trees in your yard, you can help reduce greenhouse gases.

Trees also provide shelter and food for a variety of wildlife. While installing bird feeders will help attract birds to your yard, providing them with nearby trees and shrubs to escape danger, build nests, and obtain food, will be even more effective. Squirrels and other small mammals use trees for nesting sites and food sources. When selecting trees, consider what food value they may offer to the wildlife in your community.

Trees can offer years of enjoyment. Planting trees and watching them grow can be part of your family’s memories. Consider planting a tree to commemorate a milestone in your family’s life. While raking leaves may seem like a chore as you get older, jumping in piles of leaves can be a treat for children. Hanging a swing, building a tree house, or simply relaxing under the shade of a tree on a hot summer day can be a memorable experience.

Kids Grow a Garden

Mark off the garden area and turn the soil. Kids can help break up any lumps with their hands. Work in some organic compost.

Choose seeds that will grow quickly. Small children get impatient if their plants take too long to sprout. Radishes, Snapdragons, Cosmos, and Sunflowers will all germinate quickly. Carrots and strawberries are also easy to grow– and yummy to eat.

Large seeds like beans and Morning Glories are easy for small fingers to push into the ground. You can start your seeds indoors in an eggshell carton. When the seedlings are an inch high, tear off the egg carton, and leaving the soil intact, transplant the seedlings outside.

Or, try placing beans on a wet paper towel inside a zip top bag. Tape the bag to a sunny window and wait for the seeds to germinate. I can remember, as a child, checking my beans every morning before school. The first shoots appeared to my delight and we carefully transplanted the beans outdoors.

Make garden markers by painting small rocks. This will help kids keep track of their selections.

Make it fun! Grow a sunflower house by planting the sunflowers in a circle with a space in the middle big enough for your kids to hide. Be sure to leave room for a door.

Grow a spaghetti garden. Plant herbs such as basil, oregano, rosemary, and parsley. My kids love to snip fresh herbs. They stuff their pockets full of scented “spaghetti” herbs.

Share your garden with butterflies and hummingbirds. Zinnias, Verbena, and Cosmos are butterfly favorites. Hummingbirds love the nectar from Nasturtium and Lantana, and Hollyhocks.

Children love to pick up bugs and worms. Poke holes in the top of an old jar. Add some dirt and a few, new found specimens. Be sure to release the critters back into nature after a few hours.

Arm your kids with cameras to take photos throughout the summer. They will enjoy remembering the fruits of their labor. And, the pictures will help your budding gardener plan for next year.

Happy planting. And, don’t forget to pick a few bouquets for mom.