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Growing Herbs : How to Grow an Herb Garden Indoors

February 19, 2011 by  
Filed under Videos

In herb gardening, the most important aspect of having an indoor herb garden is to have access to a sunny window. Grow an herb garden inside a house that has a lot of natural light with tips from an experienced gardener in this free video on gardening and growing herbs.

Expert: Yolanda Vanveen
Bio: Yolanda Vanveen is sustainable gardener who lives in Kalama, Wash.
Filmmaker: Daron Stetner

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Choosing The Right Flowers And Plants For Your Garden

January 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Gardening Tips

Many times we buy plants on impulse then find there is nowhere in the garden that really suits them. Before buying plants carefully examine your garden to see how much sun and shade it gets, whether the soil is well drained or waterlogged and whether your aspect is sheltered or windswept. You’ll then be equipped to go and buy the best plants for your situation; shade-loving plants for the sheltered areas, sun-lovers for the warm spots, drought-resistant plants for the parched areas which may be either sunny or shaded, and swamp plants for the poorly-drained parts.

But wait! Test your soil first, to determine the pH level of your soil and what kind of nutrients you need to add, if any. Is the soil acid or alkaline? Most plants prefer soil that is slightly acidic, but there are some that must have alkaline soil to grow. You can alter the soil’s pH level, but it’s much easier to simply plant for the soil you have.

Now you are ready to plant. Well – almost. Will you plant in groups or singly? If you buy ‘one of everything’ your garden may seem rather spotty. Group plantings are organised, harmonious and you can vary the color for interest.

Before planting out, place your chosen plants around the garden bed in their pots to see how they will look. Re-arrange them until you are satisfied. Grouping plants in sets of threes or fives usually looks better than planting in groups of even numbers. Be sure that you have an interesting combination of colors and textures of plants. Tall plants should go to the back, or the centre if your garden will be viewed equally from all sides. Try to keep your plants away from trees. The roots of trees are fiercely competitive and will steal all the nutrients and moisture meant for your flowers.

The right color scheme is one way to maintain the harmony in your garden. Imagine the color of the flowers when they are in bloom. Some colors may clash with others, but can still be planted side-by-side if they have a different blooming season. Foliage color is also important. Many flower plants have silver, grey or purplish foliage that is just as attractive as the flower. This means that they are still attractive well past the blooming season and so have added value.

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Tips For Buying Seeds Online

January 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Gardening Tips

Many people like the challenge of raising plants and flowers from seeds. While it can be easier to stop by the local gardening center and purchase plants that are already growing, many gardeners truly enjoy the prospect and challenge of raising plants and vegetables for their gardens from seeds.

Perhaps you are a person who is interested in growing flowers and vegetables for your own garden spaces from seeds. If that is the case, you may be wondering what resources are available to you through which you can order seeds for garden plants, seeds for flowering plants and vegetables for your gardens.

As with so many things in the 21st century, the Internet and World Wide Web is proving to be a truly wonderful resource for people who are interested in growing their own plants from seed. At this point in time, there is a wide array of different types of websites through which consumers such as you can actually purchase seeds for your own gardens, including seeds for flowering and for vegetable plants.

There are now some more generalized websites on the Net through which you can by all types of seeds. For example, there are sites that are in business to offer men and women seeds at discounted prices. At the other end of the spectrum, there are website operations that have been established to provide people with some more high end (and more expensive) products.

Because many people have become interested in more specific types of gardening — for example, organic gardening — there are now websites that cater to some of these more specialized areas of gardening. For example, if you are interested in organic vegetable gardening, you will want to consider stopping by one or another of the sites that deal specifically in the selling or organic vegetable seeds.

By way of another example, there are some people who are interested in crafting and creating beautiful flower gardens. To this end, there are innumerable websites on the Net that deal with the selling of seeds for people interested in growing flowers. Indeed, there are sites that are committed specifically to selling seeds for specific kinds of flowers.

Finally, there are information resources on the Net that can provide you with authoritative information on a wide array of different issues dealing with gardening. In both the short and the long term, you can learn a great deal about gardening practices from these useful websites.

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Tips For Perfect Peonies

January 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Garden Flowers

The peony is just about the longest-living perennial plant you will ever see. There are two basic types of peonies – the herbaceous types and the tree peony.

It would be best to plant peonies at the back of flower borders as they are large plants. In the spring, the peonies have attractive ferny foliage and the beautiful blooms are usually produced in May.

Peonies best thrive in a place that receives at least half a day to a full day of sunshine. If the climate is very hot, then provide some afternoon shade for these plants.

The best time to plant the peony is the early fall but early spring plantings do well also. Make sure to prepare the site well. Dig an oversized hole and make sure that you fill some of it with compost.

The secret of having a successful peony is this: Make sure that the tuber is positioned so that the eyes which are located on the crown are covered with about two inches of soil.

Peonies are picky – they do not like to be planted very deeply. If your peonies have stopped producing flowers after a few years, then you should see if perhaps they have sunken too low in their bed. Perhaps they have had too much soil sitting on top of them.

If your peonies seem to flop over by mid-summer, then it would be a good idea to stake them. When you go to cut your flowers, clip them when the buds are just beginning to unfurl. Once they are put in water, the blooms will quickly open and will last for about a week indoors.

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Dead Heading Helps Keep Your Plants Blooming

January 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Gardening Tips

“Off with her head” the queen shouted at Alice in the Lewis Carroll story “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. Now I’m not sure if Lewis had an interest in gardening but he could well have been giving us some horticultural instruction which will give us a longer flowering season. There is a technique known as dead-heading, it is a simple task which takes a few minutes however adds days and sometimes weeks to your flowering display.

How to dead-head

If you’ve never dead-headed before here’s how go about it…… Firstly keep a watchful eye on your flowering plants, paying close attention to blooms that are past their best. Once a flower has started to fade remove it from the plant with a quick snip from your secateurs, alternatively knip it off with your thumb and forefinger. When doing this try to remove just the spent flower leaving the new buds beneath intact.

Your beds and borders now look neater due to the lack of fading blooms but how else has this deadheading process helped us? Well by removing the spent flowers we have prevented the plant from setting seed which if it did would trigger the production of a hormone which causes flowering to shut down completely. So by our slight tinkering with Mother Nature we can often force the plant to put its energies into a second flush of flower production instead of seed production. Bear in mind that your planting should have a plentiful supply of nutrients to give a secondary flowering.

Plants that respond well to dead-heading

Dead-heading works particularly well on perennials and most annual bedding especially Antirrhinums (Snapdragons), Violas (Pansies) and Dianthus (Sweet Williams) although it can sometimes be impossible to carry out on very small flowers or on very large and floriferous shrubs. Shrubs which react well to dead-heading include Buddleia (Butterfly bush), Syringa (Lilac) and some Spireas. Roses of course are ideal candidates for this technique to ensure more blooms before the rose-hips form.

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