Improving Your Home Landscaping

Improving Your Home Landscaping

4 Signs Your Outdoor Crops Need a Drip Irrigation System

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A drip irrigation system, also called a trickle irrigation network, makes it easy for you to produce healthy crops. They system distributes water throughout your backyard or across multiple fields by sending water to the roots of your plants rather than spraying their leaves. This keeps soil dry and helps prevent approximately 170 varieties of disease-causing bacteria from breeding. Before you get excited about the benefits of an irrigation installation, you might be wondering if you’re a good candidate for one. Whether you have a medium-sized garden or an entire field filled with fresh produce, the situations below will help you determine if you need drip irrigation service. You’ve Got Weather Woes Weather can make it difficult to predict your seasonal yield or protect delicate crops from damage. Here are some common weather issues that affect gardeners and farmers: Excessive heat Drought Early frost Heavy wind You can address all of these weather-related problems with a drip irrigation system. If excessive heat or a drought leave your plants parched, you can water them quickly instead of waiting for rain. When early frost hits and it’s hard to penetrate surface soil, you can send water through the ground instead of sprinkling it on frosted soil. If heavy wind makes it difficult to control where your sprinklers send water, you can stream it directly to the roots of your crops.  Your Crop Maintenance Costs Are High Maintaining crops can be expensive, but you can reduce costs with a drip irrigation system. It’s difficult to control the amount of water dispensed if you use a sprinkler system or gardening hose to water your outdoor plants, so you may use more than you need. This drives up your water usage, which is an issue if you’re on a tight budget or live in an area that fines residents for using excessive amounts of water during droughts.   Some drip irrigation networks use approximately 50% less water than sprinkler systems. They also reduce the energy costs associated with pumping, and they require less maintenance than some of the other crop-watering systems. You can automate a drip irrigation system, which can help you cut back on labor costs if you typically hire workers to maintain your crops.   Your Crops Aren’t Thriving Do you have weeds sprouting between your crops? Are brown patches slowly spreading across the green leaves of your plants? You can tackle both of these dilemmas with a drip irrigation unit. You can also eliminate issues caused by overwatering, such as wilted leaves or sagging stalks. Trickle irrigation distributes water evenly, so you don’t have to worry about whether your crops receive too much or too little moisture. You control where the water goes, so you can leave the areas between crop rows dry. This helps keep weeds that thrive in moist, humid environments from developing and spreading among your crops. It also helps prevent powerful UV rays from scorching water-sprinkled leaves, flowers, and stalks.  You Have a Hectic Schedule Maintaining a garden or crop field requires a significant time commitment that varies depending on how many plants you produce. If you find it difficult or time-consuming to saturate each row with a hose or watering spout, a drip irrigation system can make maintenance easier. Drip irrigation sends a predetermined amount of water to...

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Child Have ADHD? Reduce Their Symptoms By Planting A Garden To Attract Butterflies

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According to research, children with ADHD have a reduction in the symptoms of impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention when they are exposed to nature on a regular basis. But, it can be difficult in today’s hustle and bustle society to get your children outside and in nature on a regular basis, right? After all, there’s more to being exposed to nature than simply being outside. Fortunately, you can bring nature right to your backyard by growing a butterfly garden. That way, your child can get a healthy dose of nature at any time. Here’s what you need to know to grow a beautiful garden that will attract beautiful butterflies. Pick the Perfect Spot The location for your butterfly garden is very important. You want to make sure the area has moderate sunlight so the harsh sun doesn’t burn their wings. However, there needs to be enough sunlight to warm stones for them to rest on. It also needs to be protected from the wind so the butterflies are able to rest and nourish themselves. Harsh wind can be harmful to delicate wings and can make it difficult for butterflies to stay steady when getting nectar from flowers. Give them What they Need Just as with all living things, butterflies have a few essentials that they need in order to live and thrive. By providing these essentials, you will naturally attract butterflies to your garden and they’ll want to stay because all of their needs will be met. Nectar. Nectar from flowers is food for the butterflies and is how you will attract them. It’s important to know that different butterfly species are attracted to different flowers, but this should also be based around the species of butterflies are in your region. Host plants. Caterpillars don’t feed from nectar. They feed off of the leaves of host plants. So you’ll also need to plant a few host plants for your garden for the next generation of butterflies. Water. All living things need water, including butterflies. For butterflies to be able to drink water safely, they should have puddles available. There shouldn’t be any strong current or movement in the water or the butterfly may get swept underwater. An indented stone can provide enough water for your butterfly garden, but you may need to replenish it every so often when the water evaporates. A place to rest. Butterflies need to rest their wings occasionally. Ideally, a few smooth stones centered in between the various flowers and host plants will make a great location for them to rest while keeping them interested in staying in your garden. Be sure the stones get sunlight so the butterflies have a warm place to rest in the evenings when temperatures are cooler.   Contact a landscaping contractor, such as Bill and Dave’s Landscape, for more information about choosing the right plants to attract butterflies in your area, or to get help from a professional in creating a butterfly garden for your family.    Keep It Natural Since you’re planting a butterfly garden as a way to bring nature to your backyard to help with your child’s ADHD symptoms, it’s a good idea to keep it natural. Do not use chemicals or pesticides to control weeds and insects in case your child wants to get up close and...

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4 Interesting Types of Fish to Stock Your Decorative Pond With

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Pond owners tend to go straight for the koi and fancy goldfish when stocking their newly established freshwater space. Although these fish are easy to care for, and quite flashy, you can invest in alternate species to create a unique pond environment for your landscape design. Nearly any freshwater fish accustomed to cold water can thrive in a pond habitat. However, you can’t simply transplant fish from local waterways into your pond. Wild caught fish can transmit illnesses and parasites to your contained body of water, and the practice is illegal in many states. Instead, you can source suitable fish from a stocking company or pet store. Here are four types of fish to consider for your upcoming pond installation. Minnows Minnows are best known as tiny, delicious bait fish. When it comes to your pond, however, minnows are much more beneficial alive than dead. Minnows readily consume mosquito larva and zooplankton to keep your pond waters clear and fresh. These fish are a delight to watch, as their silver and blue scales flash in the light with every twist and turn of the group. Once you establish these fish in your pond, their natural breeding abilities will keep them stocked for years. Plecos Plecos are gentle giants that spend their days cleaning algae off your pond liner and accessories. This species can grow up to two feet in length, yet tends to avoid conflict with other fish in its environment. You can find these fish in several different colors and patterns, including zebra stripes and marbled tones. Pleco fish tend to thrive in cold freshwater, especially if you have a dense spread of plants at the bottom of your pond. If your pond freezes over for the winter, however, you may need to place these fish in an indoor holding tank until after the last frost. Gar Gar are predatory fish that make an interesting addition to your pond environment. Since gar naturally feed on other fish, you must carefully consider your stock combination before proceeding with the addition. You can also plan for your gar to feed on a portion of your minnows by slightly overstocking the feeders at the beginning of the season and again each year.  Otherwise, you will need to give your gar feeder goldfish to prey on several times a week. Sunfish Green sunfish come in a range of blue, green and yellow tones. These fish quickly swim through the pond water in search of insects and larva. If you have a snail problem in your garden, the sunfish will quickly eliminate any specimens that come near the water’s edge. Sunfish do well in murky waters, so they do not need extensive pond maintenance to thrive. The sunfish breed easily on their own, so you may need to thin your stocks on occasion if your pond becomes too crowded. You can sell your excess stock to other pond owners or even fillet and eat the largest of the group. Keeping Your Landscape Beautiful A healthy, thriving pond adds depth and beauty to your overall landscape design. You can make sure your pond remains in great condition by cleaning out the filters and observing your fish on a regular basis. Check the pond liner and pumps for signs of wear and replace the damaged components as needed....

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4 Alternatives To Grass For Your Yard

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For many people, having a perfectly landscaped lawn is exactly what they need in their life. It can improve both the aesthetic integrity and financial value of your home. However, for any number of reasons – due to everything from lack of time to severe allergies – many people do not wish to deal with having natural grass. There are no worries in this day and age, however. There are numerous  alternatives to grass for your yard. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn about 4 specific alternatives to grass for your lawn. Sedge Sedge is quickly becoming one of the most popular alternatives to grass for your lawn. Sedge grows in clumps, which is different from grass, but it is quite similar to grass in the leaves that it bears; they are incredibly similar to grass leaflets. Sedge is also quite famous for its ease of growth. It can generally grow in most types of soil, and it is also easily grown in most USDA hardiness zones. Sedge can also be easily stylized, as well. You can mow sedge, in order to give it a style that is similar to traditional forms of grass, or you can allow it to grow much longer, allowing it to take on the appearance of a meadow. Moss Moss is highly recommended to people with soil that is present in shady areas and has a high acidic content. Moss is easily able to grow in such areas. Moss is also very easy to maintain, and generally looks good alongside evergreens and other types of perennials. Moss is quite resilient in some ways, but quite fragile in others. For example, it needs little in either sunlight or water to stay alive, but foot traffic can easily destroy moss. Moss is recommended if you live in a shady area and it is placed in a spot where foot traffic cannot so easily reach it. Clover Clover is another incredibly resilient alternative to traditional forms of grass. Clover is a type of legume that can thrive in only partial sunlight and needs very little in the way of fertilization or watering. Although clover can generally grow anywhere that it is planted, it thrives in areas with pH zones of 6 to 8, depending on the type of clover. Much like moss, however, foot traffic is not particular forgiving to it. Although it can handle foot traffic quite well if it experiences it in moderation, if it is constantly trampled under foot, then it could suffer from some severe forms of damage. It is not recommended if you have children constantly playing on your lawn. Mondo Grass The name is a bit of a misnomer, as mondo grass is not actually a grass, technically speaking. It does, however, bare an incredible similarity to grass. It is an evergreen cover and quite perfect for those wishing to achieve a no grass lawn. Mondo grass can grow upwards of six inches and provides excellent cover for your soil, as well. It is adapted to pH zones 5.5 to 6.5, and, although native to Asia, it handles itself quite well in areas in North America. Unlike clover and moss, mondo grass handles foot traffic quite well; although, it is not quite as resilient as traditional forms...

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5 Fruit Trees For Your Yard In A Hot Climate

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When it comes to beautifying your lawn and landscape, there is nothing quite as aesthetically pleasing as a fruit tree. If you happen to live in a hot climate, then you’re in for quite the treat. There are numerous fruit trees that beautifully blossom and bear delicious tasting fruit to boot. Although there are plenty of plants that don’t quite do so well in hot, and particularly dry, climates, there are numerous trees that can flourish in such environments. Throughout the course of this brief article, you will learn about 5 fruit trees that can flourish in your yard in such hot climates. Apple Apples have been able to grow in hot – particularly hot and dry – climates for some time now. There is a general rule of thumb when you want to grow an apple tree in that sort of climate: the harder and tarter the apple is, the easier it will be to grow. Dorsett Golden and Yellow Delicious apples are great varieties to grow in hot climates, as not only can they flourish, but they can also cross pollinate other types of apple trees. It should be noted that young trees may take anywhere from 3 to 5 years to develop fruit. Figs Figs are perhaps some of the most common fruit trees you will find in hot climates. Figs are, after all, generally associated with the desert. As a warning, fig trees can develop into quite the beasts! Some fig trees have been known to climb to heights of approximately 30 feet. However, their height and scale can be kept in check by regular and heavy pruning. In order to ensure that fig trees look their best, it is best to commit yourself to a regular pruning schedule and to avoid the use of fertilizers containing a high nitrogen content. Grapes Although technically not a tree, grapes also flourish in hot climates. Grapes grown in hot climates tend to have a different flavor than grapes grown in more moderate or temperate climates. They tend to have a bit of a sweeter flavor than the usual fare. Growing grapes in a hot climate can be a bit of a difficult task if you want them to bear delicious fruit, as you will have to constantly prune them and be acutely aware of taking care of this year’s wood for next year’s harvest. However, if you simply want a beautiful plant to line your yard line, then you could do much worse than planting grapes. Apricots Apricots are another form of fruit that not only do relatively well in hot climates, but actually flourish in said environments. In more moderate or temperate environments, apricots tend to not grow in abundance and tend to have a bit more of a tarter, “harder” flavor to them. In hot climates, especially ones that are hot and dry, apricots have a delicious, juicy, sweet flavor to them that simply cannot be beat. Pears It is a little known fact that pears grow remarkably well in hot climates. They are generally considered the provenance of more moderate or temperate areas, but the fact of the matter is that pear trees do just as well in hot environments and pear trees are quite gorgeous to look at. Pear trees do remarkably well...

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