The Soil And Plant Needs

By Keith Markensen

Despite the fact that they grow to great lengths and cover large areas, the majority of vines in soil of average fertility do not need especially frequent or heavy applications of fertilizer.

In fact, too much food may cause growth so vigorous you can't keep the vine under control, and may even stimulate development of stems and foliage at the expense of flowers. The type of fertilizer depends on the vine itself, on the results of a soil test, or on available kinds and brands.

Fertilizers are organic (composed entirely of animal or vegetable matter), inorganic (chemical, or "commercial"), or a combination. They may be soluble (can be held in suspension in water) or not. "Balanced" or "complete" fertilizers, containing all the elements known to be needed for plant growth and health, are good for general use. Always follow package directions on quantities and frequency of application.

Occasionally a vine or a soil analysis will indicate the need for some deficient element, and you will select a fertilizer accordingly just like in lawn fertilizing, you need to know lawn fertilizer numbers to choose the right one. Nitrogen may be needed to encourage the development of shoots and leaves; phosphorus to boost flowering and fruiting; potash to strengthen stems and increase resistance to disease. Relative proportions of these three main elements are indicated on fertilizer packages and bags by a series of three figures, like 5-10-5, indicating the ratio of pounds per ton of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potash in that order. The statement that minor or trace elements are present may also be included.

An established vine may be fertilized once - or at the most, twice - a year, during the season of active growth. Don't feed plants immediately after flowering, or when dormancy is approaching. Dry fertilizers are sprinkled over the soil, scratched in, and carried down to the roots by rain and watering. Soluble fertilizers can be applied at the same time the vine is watered, or used for foliar feeding and sprayed on the leaves in recommended amounts. - 30234

About the Author:

Lawn Care Made Stress Free

By Ian Cordingley

A lot of us believe that really the only method of possess a beautiful lawn would be to hire a professional lawn care company to take on all their lawn care. Whether or not they might like to do organic lawn care or employ traditional procedures, there are a few easy things that could permit the lawn to grow without excess weeds or other pests that ruin a healthy, vibrant lawn.

Soil Maintenance

In the spring and early fall you must take a a small number of easy steps to handle the soil underneath the lawn. First, soil can get compacted so that the root system of the grass will be too tightly compacted. The approach to resolve this is to pull plugs out of the grass with the intention to improve aeration. There are machines that a person can rent so that you can aerate the lawn.

In addition there are some lawn care companies that will come out twice a year so that they can aerate the lawn. Either way, the plugs need to be left on the lawn to being able to decompose and add nutrients to the lawn, helping it to grow.

Another important lawn care idea for the spring and early fall is to test the soil's properties to determine what nutrients it might be lacking. You will find simple soil testing kits that may be obtained at garden supply retailers which will indicate what particular nutrients the soil is missing.

As soon as the test is carried out, the specific fertilizer is to be obtained that fits the deficiencies. When the fertilizer is put on the lawn, usually some will fall on the sidewalk and driveway. This ought to be swept back onto the lawn in order that it does not get wasted and run into the sewer with the rainfall.

Unwanted pests

Usually there are some pests that need to be taken care of in lawn care such as grubs. Early in the year, a section of grass is required to be pulled up to determine if there are grubs inside the root system. If there are, one method for this is to buy nemotodes from a garden supply retail store or catalogue. Nemotodes are microscopic worms that'll kill the grub larvae so that the grubs never are capable of have an effect on the roots.

In order to kill other pests, shrubs and trees need to be planted around the yard to attract birds that'll eat these insects. In addition, ladybugs and green lacewings can be purchased from garden supply stores that can furthermore help to fight destructive insects from destroying the lawn. - 30234

About the Author:

Ways to Use Vines to Improve Your Garden

By Laura Whitston

A great, low maintenance way to decorate your garden is with the use of vines, since they look good on almost anything. If You've got a fence that stands out in your lush green garden, growing a vine over it can be a quick and beautiful solution. Depending on what look you want, there are many vines that can meet your needs.

Trying to find an alternative to grass? Ground vines are a great way to easily cover ground, and since they are so easily directed, you can use them to make a border around your garden, or even have them weave throughout your plants. Some varieties of the ground vine are resilient enough to survive being stepped on, and even survive dogs!

Another popular vine is the "twining" vine, which refers to the way they climb up lattice or any equally porous surface by sending out small tendrils to loop around whatever is nearby. These are great for climbing up trees, or any type of mesh or fence. They require a lot of direction in their early stages, and as they grow, will require little care.

Of all the types of vines around today, one of the most recognizable varieties is Ivy. Most people have seen Ivy growing somewhere, which is no surprise since it is so adaptable and it can grow pretty much anywhere. Beware, however, as Ivy can grow very quickly and very uncontrolled, and can take over a wall of a home in a matter of months.

Not only can vines improve your garden's appearance, they can also be used in very architecture of your house, usually achieved through the use of twining vines, or a vine like the Virginia Creeper which can cover and entire wall of your house in a matter of months. Vines can be a great idea to cover up a wall adjacent to your garden, but care should be taken as some vines can take over your home!

No matter what the need is, and no matter where you want to put them, vines have no problem meeting your needs. You should always look into the vine you are buying and find out about the pros and cons of having the vine growing near your home, as some vines can take over or even destroy your home. - 30234

About the Author:

Tips To Clean Patio Furniture

By John Smith

Patio furniture is what makes you enjoy your patio. Patios would be useless without them. And patio furniture does not come cheap. For these reasons it is essential that they be maintained well to last long. Cleaning them regularly in spring is one way of making them ready for many more seasons.

Patio furniture is made from teak, wrought iron, plastic and aluminum. Each of these needs to be cleaned differently. These are discussed below.

Teak Furniture

First apply a teak protectant to your teak furniture. Then clean it with the product suggested by the manufacturer. Alternatively, you can use a 2:1 ratio of bleach detergent and water and clean it with a soft thistle brush. Finally rinse with water to remove any remaining soap or dirt. That is all you need to do if you want to retain the patina.

If you want to remove the patina and restore the original color of the teak, then there are products available for that. It is a procedure where you firstly treat the furniture with caustic and then with acid. This is followed by a light sanding. Finally apply sealants to protect the restored color of the teak.

Wrought Iron Furniture

Wrought iron comes made to resist the elements. But sometimes they do get affected and need to be cleaned and given anti rust treatment.

Prepare a solution of mild soap and water in a bucket. Soak a piece of cleaning rag in it and use it to wipe clean the wrought iron furniture. Then rinse off the soap with a hose. Thoroughly dry the furniture. Use a sandpaper lightly to remove any stain or rust marks. Apply a touch up paint after sanding. Many manufacturers supply a touch-up paint kit along with the furniture. They are very easy to use once you understand the instructions.

Plastic Furniture

Cleaning plastic furniture is a walk in the park. All you need is the dishwashing liquid used at home. Take a solution of this liquid in water and use a sponge soaked in the solution to clean the plastic furniture. Once cleaned, let the solution remain on the furniture. Now remove the dirt from the furniture using a tooth brush. Finally rinse and dry.

Aluminum Furniture

Aluminum patio furniture can also be cleaned efficiently by dishwashing liquid. Use a clean cotton cloth, soaked with the dish washing solution, to get rid of all stains and soils from the aluminum furniture. Use a garden hose to rinse off the soap. Then wipe the furniture dry with a soft cloth. Take a soft dry cloth and use to rub some nonabrasive wax on the aluminum furniture. Wax prevents corrosion. To get shine on the furniture, let the wax dry and then buff it off. - 30234

About the Author:

Robomower Review: The Robot Lawn Mower

By Ryan Stubbs

Robomow lawn mowers make your mowing experience more convenient by going about their job automatically while you relax. Any lawn or garden that can be mowed with a push mower or electric mowed can also be effectively mowed by a Robomow product. Robomow products all use grass-cycling, which is a technique that leaves the grass clippings on the lawn for fertilizer.

Robomow has four main models, with the RM200 being the smallest. It can be used on lawns up to 2700 sq ft. If your yard is a little larger, the Robomow RM400 mows lawns in dimensions of 3200 to 4300 sq ft. Both models weight about 39 pounds, sit 12 inches high, are 25 inches long, and 20.5 inches wide. Both can also mow grass from .8 to 3.15 inches.

Robomow has an RL850 for lawns up to 10,700 sq ft in size, and an RL1000 for lawns between 12,900 and 17,200 sq ft. Which size model you need may depend upon the type of grass and lawn conditions in your mowing space. The RL1000 is the top of the line model that was designed specifically for large domestic lawns.

If your lawn is too large for these particular Robomow products, the RL850 or RL1000 may better suit your needs. The RL850 is designed for lawns up to 10,700 sq ft, while the RL1000 can be used on lawns between 12,900 and 17,200 sq ft. For the larger models however, it will depend on the type of grass and conditions of your lawn. The RL1000 is the top of the line and is designed especially for large domestic lawns. These larger Robomow machines weigh in at 50 pounds with a 28 pound power rack, sit 12.5 inches high, 26 inches wide, and are 35 inches long. They are equipped with a 3-blade mulching system and can mow grass from 1.75 to 3.25 inches, or can use low-cut blades for 1-1.25 inch grass.

Both the Robomow RM400 and the RL1000 models feature a buzzer that sounds five minutes before they begin mowing so the owner knows to clear the mowing area. These machines also offer child guard security options, a lift sensor that stops the blades if the event the machine is lifted, bumpers with touch sensors, and an over-heating monitor.

Robomow products are normally priced anywhere from $1200 to $1500, depending upon the size you need. The only color Robomow products are offered in is green. They are available at numerous department stores, as well as online at websites like and - 30234

About the Author:

Your Plants and You

By Sam Bousaks

Watering too much can kill most houseplants. Looks can be deceptive, so to see if your soil is dry enough to water, try the finger test. Insert your index finger up to the first joint into the soil to check. If the soil is damp, don't water it.

Foliage plants usually require more nitrogen than flowering plants, which require K2O. Slow release fertilizers can be mixed with the compost, while certain plants, like cacti and orchids, need special fertilizer. Feed plants during their most active growth period.

Make sure to check the label to see what kind of environment your plant comes from. Some plants, like the spider plants need semi-shade, and can be put near a window that does not get a lot of sun, while others can only grow if they are in the sun at all times, and the environment is the most important part of plant growth.

Some plants only survive in certain temperatures. Some houseplants will survive in both cool and warm environments. If it is cold, don't consider putting your plants near a gas heater, as this could be very harmful. The same goes for putting a plant near air-conditioning during the summer.

It is important to regulate the humidity for some plants to grow, as some plants will not grow if it is too humid, while some will only grow if it is humid. Try grouping your plants together to create a micro-climate that they can all benefit from. if the temperature allows, you can also spray them once or twice daily.

Re-potting is sometimes helpful for optimum growth, but some plants will not take well to being disturbed, while some plants are so small, they won't need to be moved. One way to check if your plant needs re-potting is to turn it upside down. If all you see is roots, re-pot! if not, chances are your plant will be okay where it is. - 30234

About the Author:

How To Treat And Care For Your Roses

By Steve Williams

Small black circular spots on your roses' leaves, with fringed edges, are signs of a disease known as the Black Spot. It is usually best to remove the affected leaves, and not to allow any to remain on or around the area surrounding the flowers, as they may cause the disease to spread to other plants. Artificial sprays may be used to treat this.

If you start to see a white powder on the canes of the roses, or if they seem stunted or malformed, they may have what is knows as powdery mildew. This fungal infection of the flowers is spread by the wind, and can cause the leaves to curl and turn purple. Funginex or Benomyl can be used to treat this.

If you start to see orange-red blisters begin to form on leaves that turn black during the fall, you should collect the leaves that come down in the fall, as they are signs of a disease called rust. Removal of the leaves is important as the disease can survive the winter and attack new sprouts in the spring. Spray with Benomyl or Funginex every 7-10 days.

If you start to see yellow, red, or green spiders on the undersides of the leaves on your roses, you have spider-mites, which will suck the juices form the leaves the longer they are there. they are easily detected by spotting the leaves and flowers that are stunted or malformed. You can use Isotox or Orthene to aid you in treating this infestation.

If you notice mottled leaves, or if the leaves have small white webs under them, chances are it was caused by aphids. The brown, green, or red bugs have a soft body, and are often found clustered underneath the leaves and flower buds, and will also suck juices from tender buds. You can treat this with Malathion or Diazinon spray.

If your flowers appear deformed when they open, or if they don't open at all, you could have Thrips at the source of the problem. The slender brown-yellow bugs with fringed wings can also be found sucking away at the juices of the leaves. Use Malathion and Orthene to treat. - 30234

About the Author:

Sign Up for our Free Newsletter

Enter email address here