Gardening, Photography

After you plant your flower beds and garden it is time to photograph a job well done. Although you don’t have to be a professional photographer to get great shots you should know a little bit about photo taking to be sure that you are getting framed worthy shots of your outdoor masterpieces. Before you can start taking great outdoor photos you need to know a little bit about photo terminology such as the difference between white balance and proper exposure as well as how to get a sharp focus. If you have no clue what these camera terms refer tothan it would be a good idea to learn them and how to use them for your advantage because these elements are vital if you want to take great outside pictures. According to an article on digital photography, it suggested that you never pick all of the focus points and always place the item you are interested in off to the side instead on putting it in the middle of the shot. If you want great outdoor photographs than you should never shoot with less than 50mm and always shoot in RAW format if you can. In another article, it suggested that when shooting pictures outside that you throw the background out of focus this will let you narrow into the object that you want to photograph.

Now that your garden is complete and photographed it is time to enjoy your next hobby which is caring for your pet. When it comes to caring for your pet, no one does it like Petco. At Petco, you will find everything you need to make sure your pet has the very best. From the very best in food and toys to delicious treats, Petco has what your pet wants. Shop Petco today and with their partnership with Groupon Coupons you can save money on all those must have pet essentials.

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Enjoy gardening, photography and your pets when you shop Petco. Be sure to visit Groupon Coupons for money saving deals that will make you and your pet happy.

Gardening

Gardening is more than just a hobby. Some people take it vigorously that the art has become an academic discipline for some of us. But above all else, it is a passion that those who are truly skillful can be worthy to be called gardeners and be awarded a ‘green thumb’ badge.

For us who do not understand the beauty and fulfillment of gardening, here are things that only passionate gardeners can relate to.

Under your fingernails can be garden beds

You have used the entire area of the backyard that you are tempted to plant on your fingernails because of the dirt accumulated the entire day. It’s not that you don’t clean yourself, but the constant gardening activities do not really equate to clean hands. Despite washing your hands and scrubbing them clean after a day’s work, you find yourself in the same dilemma day after day.

You think of naming your children Rose, Lily, and Daisy

Your love for flowers manifests in the different parts of your life. As of the moment, your SNS and blog usernames and passwords contain floral words and names. You are bordering on being obsessed with these beautiful creations. Yet, you decided to bring it up another notch and plan to name your future children with flowers. This is also a way to instill the value gardening while they are young.

Going out means visiting botanical gardens and plant expos

Spending a day in the garden still does not get you enough. A couple of your dates are spent strolling down the local gardens and only those who understand this passion is truly worthy of your love and attention. Sometimes, you just find yourself driving to these places to find peace and relaxation. Also, can you remember the time when you went out to buy grocery, and find yourself buying plants instead?

You can whip mean recipes from plants grown in your yard

You learn many things simply by growing plants and flowers. Incidentally, you learn patience and nurturing skills. More importantly, you learn practical abilities like cooking using fresh produce from your garden. You can perfectly whip out a dish, dessert or drink made from edible flowers and organic plants. Talk about a healthy diet.

You can name flowers better than you know the name of your cousins

While you love your family, you cannot match the names of your cousins to their faces. But with blooms, you could never go wrong. You devote most of your time growing them that you can name even the rare ones.

Gardeners are a different bunch of interesting people. There are realities that only they can understand. So, once in awhile, you may want to spend time with one and learn more than just planting and watering plants.

 

Gardening

I will be discussing the benefits of Aquaponics gardening over conventional soil based gardening.

So firstly we will look at the benefits then we will go into what you need to look at before you start your Aquaponics backyard garden.

The benefits of an Aquaponics System are:

1. Due to the fact you will not be using soil there is no weeding.

2. Watering is eliminated because water is circulated automatically from the fish pond to the grow bed. Aquaponics use about 10{22ee91a3880f4769bf4ac718830cf5564ad2e019ae11eed3b37bc7cd434b671c} of the water used by conventional gardening.

3. All fertilizers are supplied by the fish waste being circulated through the grow bed.

4. Soil pests are eliminated, no soil is used in an Aquaponics grow bed.

5. Your fruit and vegetables will grow at least twice as fast as conventional gardening.

6. Energy use is a lot less, estimated 70{22ee91a3880f4769bf4ac718830cf5564ad2e019ae11eed3b37bc7cd434b671c} saving.

7. More plants in the same area, up to 10 times.

8. All fruit and vegetables are totally organic.

9. Extremely low cost of growing your plants.

10. You have fresh organic fruit and vegetables to pick as you use them

Now what do you need to take into account when you are planning your DIY Aquaponics Garden?

1. What do you want to grow? It is important you know what plants you are going to grow so you know what size grow bed you need and how many fish you need to supply the nutrients required for you plants to grow healthily.

2. Where you are going to build your garden? It is important you know how much room you have so you can build your Home Aquaponics Garden to a size that will suit and choose the right design.

3. What is your budget? Aquaponics is very scalable and can be a very small indoor garden right through to commercial systems. If you are on a small budget there is a system for you.

4. The type of system you will use? This will be determined by many factors. Budget, space, what you want to grow, the area you live in and many other factors. It is very important you research and understand which suits your needs.

Probably something you really should consider is if you will start from scratch and build your own Aquaponics Garden. There is great deal of research involved in planning your DIY Aquaponics which is very time consuming. It can also be very expensive if you get it wrong. Why reinvent the wheel when there are people out there who have already done this. They have developed Aquaponic Gardens of all types and know exactly what to look for and how to put them together. Consider getting professional plans to guide you through planning and building your aquaponics system.

 

Gardening

I have made it my determination never to use pesticides. This was not a decision that I made based on philosophy or even environmental consciousness. On the contrary, I bore witness to the extraordinary ease and effectiveness by which natural predators dispose of the most pernicious and damaging of garden pests.

In the mid-2000s, I began my first serious attempt at a large garden. I did the research about how to do as little work as possible. In the early fall, I put materials over the lawn to kill it. I dumped leaves into my beds instead of tilling. Allowing the biological process of decay do the work would invite a sturdy network of fungi to help bring nutrients to the plants. Finally, I used a technique called wintersowing to sow my seeds outside during the winter. I only planted native varieties, the idea being that they would be a boon to natural pollinators. Native plants would be able to care for themselves once established.

The real work came in the spring. Planting, watering new plants, only to plant and water more new plants, was a daily routine. I was sore in places I didn’t know had muscles, but the garden was doing very well. It was green, perfect, and all native.

The bees and butterflies came, but so did everything I had failed to anticipate. My new ‘serious’ garden began to be eaten before my eyes. There were all sorts of native leaf chewers: Aphids, slugs, and caterpillars to name a few. Leaves were mined and skeletonized and fell off. Flowers and buds were being sucked into oblivion.

However, the damage that really hurt my feelings was to the roses. When the Japanese beetles arrived, my roses were denuded of both foliage and flower. That was when I first felt the desperate fury that comes when a gardener is faced with crop failure. Up until now, I wanted nature to do the work. This time I felt like I had to do something.

However, the idea of spraying the roses still repelled me. I simply did not want to have roses that you had to keep out of the reach of children for fear they would ingest them. Therefore, I turned away from that idea and began looking for organic ways to help. There was not much I could do. Picking the beetles off the bushes with my hands and putting them in a bucket of soapy water was the best most had to offer. I got to work.

It did not help. I did not get a single rose that year. At the end of the season, I read that Fall and Winter would be a good time to solicit natural help in the form of birds. I put up a wren house, I put out the bird seed, and I put out water all winter long.

The fate of the Japanese beetles – and every other garden pest – was sealed the day I decided not to spray the roses. Predators had already moved in in numbers! But they weren’t at the right life stage to help. Syrphid flies, many wasps, and other insects are only predators as larva. However, because I didn’t spray, they laid eggs all over the garden.

I got an avian resident. A male house wren stuffed sticks in the wren house and sang until he attracted a female. The females are the ones who choose the nest site, and she chose my garden. In a few weeks, when the days were warming and I was fearing another attack by the pests, she laid seven eggs.

I am no expert on bird fertility, but it wouldn’t make much survival sense for her to be so fertile in the presence of little to no food. It was likely that both these wrens were already present in the garden and their bodies knew how many babies they could afford. Because I didn’t spray, I got to see them diving from the house, straight down into the leaves and running around like little feathery wolves and returning with all manner of caterpillars. They did this every day, all day long, the entire season. The wrens had to have devoured thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of insects.

The syrphid fly larva got to work on the aphids that were attacking my new growth. Centipedes got to work on the snails and slugs, as did the firefly larva who are surprisingly voracious and active hunters for worms. The snails and slugs would later attract garter snakes and a mole and a toad. Robins nested and had three chicks on the curve of my downspout. The wasps returned for the flowers and stayed for the hunting. They made off with plenty of insects, bringing them back to larva to eat. Spiders moved in. There were so many green crab spiders that I called the zinnia flowerbed the “Spider Condominiums”. Every zinnia flower and a spider in it.

There were so many predators that my pest problems vanished. I concluded that my ‘Garden Salad’ had turned into the ‘Garden of Death’. Pests who managed to survive long enough to chew and lay eggs would only have their eggs and larva eaten by something else. The lucky few who did manage to breed were inconsequential.

Gardening without pesticides takes time and, in my case, a crop failure, but I put away the mask and the gloves and the sprayer. Using them would have made things harder for myself, and easier on the pests. I learned that gardens need time to get established to thrive. Pesticides delay or prevent the garden from ever moving on from the “Garden Salad” stage to a healthy population of predator and prey. They are an expensive hindrance and can kill or discourage natural resources that help the garden be self-sustaining.

A pesticide-free garden continued to grow in variety of species of insect and served as a wonderful classroom for young children and adults who wanted to learn from what the plants attracted. Once a gardener experiences the joy of a garden free of pesticides, he will never be able to return to using them.

 

Gardening

You may think that plants only need water but the truth is that they need much more. There are different ways to look after your garden without using thousands of litres of water per day. Here are some ways that you may find helpful.

Covering your garden in compost not only gives the plants maximum nutrients they need to survive but it also locks the moisture in. If there is moisture in the sand you don’t need to water it every day. Plus, over-watering plants could drown them and kill them.

Any water that does not contain heavy duty cleaning chemicals will be satisfactory for your garden. So you can recycle the water if you don’t want to throw it down the drain. Dishwashing liquid isn’t harmful to your garden and you can use that water to feed your grass every day.

You can also recycle water you use for your cooking. Water used to clean your vegetables is the safest since the most irritating component is the sand from the leaves. This only bothers your taste buds and is not harmful to plants. Water from boiling food such as pasta and vegetables is also harmless. Just make sure that the water is no longer boiling hot when you pour it into your garden.

If you plant flowers closer to each other, less water will be used in one area. Although plants need space to grow roots, small spaces can bring your bill down by quite a bit.

If you have trees in your garden, make sure that you plant your seeds in the shade of the tree. If your garden is cool and doesn’t have constant sunlight drying it up, less water is needed to keep them alive.

Collecting rain water will be useful to water your garden. If it were to rain you will have enough water for another day. Keep a barrel close to any drainage systems and gutters. You will be surprised how much water you collect from the wet weather.

Buy an attachment for your hosepipe that has a larger range and uses water sparingly. The more concentrated the area to which the water goes to, the more water you are using for just one plant. With a wider range attachment less water is being used because of the built in separation system.

Create walkways in your garden or add a patio. You can add patio tiles which will require less grass to be planted and thus use less water.

With prices increasing in every area of society, it’s becoming expensive to own a garden and maintain all the plants. Save water and save money.

 

Gardening

There are several among us who believe it is time to change our living habits, which includes using organic gardening supplies. Since we know what type of chemicals are being sprayed on our foods, there are many people who won’t ever return to that again. It’s one of many explanations why a lot of farms are switching to a naturally grown crop. This eliminates the risks that accompany traps and fertilizers, and it creates an appropriate back-up for consumers. So if you fall into this category you’re ready to create a change. A great starting point is by using your organic gardening supplies.

Bear in mind; organic fertilizer is extremely different when compared to the chemical options. However, it’s one of the biggest supplies utilized in organic farming because it raises the fertility quantity of a soil.

You also need composting supplies, which are employed for decomposition of the plant remains. It also gets rid of other living organisms and acts being an accelerator.

Another significant need needs to be nematodes. These are something which come naturally within the soil and assist the soil’s fertility to improve as well. You might also need things like mite predators and organic fungicides or insecticides. You’ve probably heard of Neem oil before, but if you haven’t it utilizes all these too to grow Neem trees. These happen to be medicinal in nature and can help control insects, mites, and fungi.

Other organic gardening supplies can include; spreaders and stickers. You’ll find these within the spray process, however in order for the organic pesticides to work well they need to spread fast towards the plant. The stickers are used to guarantee the spray actually keeps the Guarana plant rather than dripping off.

You definitely don’t want your plants to become susceptible to winter kill, which is why wilt pruf is really a necessary supply. It will also help against wind burn and transplant shock.

Then of course who can forget about organic seeds. The majority of these will produce plants which are pest and disease resistant, which is because of today’s institutions providing extensive research on the subject.

There’s also helpful traps for larger animals, birds, rodents, squirrels, deer, moles, as well as other others out there. While traps are popular, some people utilize repellent, bait, or even tree guards as a substitute.

Other organic gardening supplies can include; accessories, composting, garden hand tools, long hand tools, tillers, pruning and cutting tools, sprayers, gloves, as well as many more.

Plus, your organic gardening supplies would not be complete with no proper organic seeds to go along with them. You can find; herb seeds, grass seeds, cover crop, pasture seed, garlic seeds, potato seeds, sprouting seeds, organic buckwheat seeds, triticale seeds, beardless barley, tomato, or even tangerine. Each one of these organic gardening supplies are available if you’re ready to begin.

 

Gardening

Garden rooms make great additions to the garden and they also provide you or your family with that extra space that can be used for a number of reasons. You can make a garden hideout for your children so they have some place to play when out in the garden or you can choose to have a garden room that is a gym, studio or small office where you can get your work done. Whatever your needs for the room, you definitely will want to achieve the best in terms of putting it together. A few tips can prove helpful in ensuring that you design a functional room in your garden without necessarily making the garden look overdone or overcrowded.

Tip 1 – Think about room space and positioning

How you wish to use the room should be what guides your space and positioning considerations. Remember that the room can be placed anywhere in the garden, even if it is not that close to your main house or on the patio. You can actually hide it from view or choose a sunny spot so that you have enough light coming into the garden room. If you are looking to enjoy more privacy while using the room, then choose the location carefully.

Tip 2 – Choose the appropriate structure

When it comes to garden rooms, the structure options are numerous. You can choose anything from tented spaces, glass boxes, mobile shepherd huts or fully constructed and insulated rooms. Again, your usage should help you determine what kind of structure is best for your garden. The size available in the garden can also be used in determining whether a mobile structure or a semi-permanent one is best. There are so many ready built solutions for garden rooms you can choose from but you can always have something unique built from scratch to match your personal preferences. But whatever you structure you choose, remember to bring weather into consideration so you have a structure that remains functional during the seasons you need to use it the most.

Tip 3 – Blend the room with the garden

Your aim when designing a garden room is to create a visual flow that is seamless between the room and the garden. Choose construction materials that compliment garden design and items that you could have in the garden. Unpainted wood, for instance easily matches the outdoor settings, especially if you have trees and other shrubs. You can also make other choices to add definition to your structure without making it look overdone in any way.

Apart from blending, you can also add decorations to the room. Vivid bright colors and patterns can be very good outside, but you should choose the palette carefully. Go for refined and relaxed colors, but be as bold and exciting as you wish to be. You can also make other additional choices like fairy lights, lanterns or cushions to lift up the mood in your garden room. There is just so much you can do to bring your garden room to life.

 

Gardening

Owing to its close resemblance to the real grass and many other advantages, artificial grass is much in demand. If you are one among those who want to have greenery around, but cannot afford time to maintain it you should consider buying synthetic turfs. There are certain things that have to be kept in mind when you choose to buy this grass. Price of the lawn, where to look for reliable lawn turf suppliers are some of the important considerations.

Quality is the Prime Consideration:

Always remember that heavier the face weight, the more traffic it can bear on it. So, you need to be very careful about choosing the right type. Choose a popular brand that has heavy face weight.

Types of Material they are Made Up of:

There are three types of synthetic materials that are used in making fake grass:

  • Nylon
  • Polypropylene
  • Polyethylene

Artificial turf made up of polypropylene fibres is the least expensive option that the home owners choose. However, this is not a wise decision as turfs made up of this material has a low melting point and it wears out much more easily than the other materials. This material is suitable for the golf courses or for the sports’ field where greenery is required.

Polyethylene is another material that has a soft texture, this is a perfect landscaping installation which is used on the soccer fields, on the football fields and on landscapes. If you want a luxurious landscape, this material would be perfect for you. This high-quality material is just the right type for you when you want a high-cost water guzzling and natural grass lawn.

Nylon is the strongest of all types that are available in the market. This type can withstand heavy traffic and high temperature and can retain its original shape. Though nylon grass turfs are durable and the piles are stiff, but this is not used for landscaping. However, this type of material is also not used because of the cost and pile stiffness. This material can be used as secondary thatch of yarn that improves overall strength and stability. This is primarily used for secondary tuft thatches. This is the strongest synthetic fibre.

Synthetic grass made up of right quality can make our landscape look perfect. If you are among those Nature’s lovers who want to have greenery around, consider installing artificial lawn turfs. There are certain things you should know before them like lawn turf price and dependable suppliers.

 

Gardening

Gardening offers many benefits, whether you have an expansive yard with room for huge flower and vegetable beds, or if you live in an apartment with a small balcony just large enough for a few containers. Aesthetically, a well-tended garden is pleasing to look at, for you the gardener and for your friends and neighbors. You will enjoy just looking at the rewards of your labor, and the compliments from your neighbors will add to your satisfaction.

The therapeutic benefits also include stress relief in the activity itself. Working outside in the trees and grass and digging in the dirt are great ways to shift your focus from mental stresses to physical exercise and nature. As you concentrate on the weeds, the seeds and the bees your mind lets go of the things that frustrate you. You will discover a whole new world in the soil and in your garden as you watch things grow.

The boost to your motivation and positive attitude should be reason enough to want to grow something. Of course, the benefits of growing your own food go far beyond stress relief. Gardening can be a great form of exercise, if you have beds that need to be turned, weeded, mulched and holes dug for planting. Imagine losing weight and gaining muscular strength while growing food and flowers that please you. You win twice!

When you grow your own vegetables, you know exactly how the crop has been grown. If you don’t use harsh chemical pesticides to control bugs and herbicides to control weeds, you will have vegetables that are free of any chemical agents. When you buy vegetables in the supermarket, you have no idea what chemicals were used in their growing, harvesting or packing before they ended up on the shelf.

There can be a significant economic benefit to growing your own food. A small packet of seeds can grow hundreds of carrots, cabbages, kale, Swiss chard, lettuces, tomatoes, peppers, zucchinis, onions, garlic and more at a fraction of the cost of buying those items in the store. Some plants, like kale, collards and Swiss chard, have very long seasons often lasting through the winter and into the next year. Many herbs such as chives, parsley, rosemary, sage, thyme and others are perennials. One plant will keep producing for years.

Gardening can improve your social life as well. The garden and the process of gardening adds a new a talking point with neighbors and friends who visit you. You will impress friends and family when they learn that the vegetables on their plate came from your own garden, proudly tended and harvested by you. Their impression of you will improve as well, as one with broader interests, knowledge and the discipline and dedication to stay with the program through the entire season.

Don’t worry if you have never grown anything before. Planting seeds or seedlings in good soil with lots of compost, keeping it supplied with water and protected from weeds and bugs takes little more than diligence. Nature knows how to make the plants grow. All you have to do is be there to tend to it along the way. Pick up a simple book or two on gardening “made easy” and between that and what you learn simply by doing you will become an expert productive gardener in no time.

 

Gardening

While January and winter weather means an end to gardening activities in many parts of the United States, it is prime time to plant in southern California.

Plant fruit trees: A variety of bare root fruit trees are at nurseries ready to be planted in January. Varieties include apricot, blueberries, plum, apple, pear, peach and raspberries trees. Give the trees a boost by adding organic compost planting mix to the soil to increase soil aeration and to keep in moisture.

Add Artichokes: Add artichoke plants to your garden. Plant them 4 feet apart. They start their growing process in winter and begin sprouting artichoke heads in spring. These hardy, perennial vegetables can produce artichokes year after year.

Plant Garlic Cloves: Separate cloves from a garlic bulb. Plant them with the pointy part up the clove up-and about 7 to 8 inches deep. Garlic plants will soon poke their heads from the soil and grow during winter. They can easily withstand cold winter nights. The new garlic bulbs with their juicy cloves will be ready for harvest in late spring or early summer.

Keep Applying Mulch To Cut Down On Weeds: Every rainfall (no matter how infrequent) means more weeds in the garden. Weeds seem to go more quickly than any vegetable or flower plant. To keep weeds under control, make sure you have a several-inch layer of mulch wherever weeds may appear. If weeds are already taking root, remove them before covering the area with mulch.

Plant Wildflowers From Seed: First, rake the flowerbed area. Sprinkle California poppy and other wild flowers and cover gently with soil. Sow more seeds just before a rain to encourage continued flower production in spring.

Move Living Christmas Trees Outside: Living Christmas trees should stay indoors for as little time as possible. Once planted outdoors, pine trees can easily grow 40 to 50 feet tall. Their strong root system, over time, will spread and can easily crack concrete walkways that stand in their way. Make sure you plant your tree in a location that can accommodate such a large tree.

Extending the Life of Poinsettias: Poinsettia flowers will usually remain healthy into March. After March, cut back the stems to no more than eight inches tall. By June, new growth will begin. Keep the plant in indirect, natural sunlight and the soil moderately moist. When the weather warms, bring the plant outside and transplant into a bigger pot. Prune as needed so the plant is bushy. Flowers will begin to grow in October and reach their peak of beauty in November and December.

Purchase A Rain Barrel: Don’t let rainwater roof runoff go to waste. Many cities and counties offer rebates when purchasing rain barrels. These barrels can typically hold 50 gallons of water– water that can be used to irrigate your garden.