Welcome to the September issue of Garden Ramblings. This month there are again three articles by guest authors with reminders of the tasks we need to complete now to prepare our gardens for next season's flowers.
Our first guest is Eudora DeWynter who reminds us that bulb planting time is here again and we need to do it now if we want a fine display of blooms in the spring. I have added a short section with a suggested planting scheme that should produce a succession of flowers from early spring to the beginning of summer.
The second article is by Lec Watkins who shows how you can make a safe insecticide using neem oil and so avoid having to use the harmful pesticides that damage the environment.
Our final guest is Frank Froggatt who writes about Organic Lawn Care. Fall is the best time to apply fertilizer to your lawn is his advice if you wish to keep the grass looking green and healthy throughout the year.
As usual there is a Special Offers section with all the bargains that I've managed to find this month.
As an introduction to the article by Eudora DeWynter this month's video is "Spring Flowering Bulbs".
Many gardeners across the country are already actively working their garden for next spring. How? By planting their spring bulbs: NOW.
There are a variety of ways to have a beautiful blooming colorful garden next spring and summer. Fall is the perfect time to plant to get a beautiful bountiful array of flowers such as snowdrops, crocus, daffodils and tulips and into the summer with alliums and ranunculus (a summer favorite).
If and when you do decide to plant any of these plants try planting them in the same general area giving you a very dramatic effect at blooming time. This way as one flower fades away and dies another is already up and coming into bloom therefore giving you blossoms and blooms all spring and summer long.
To add even more color, naturalize your flower beds by adding different varieties of the same type of flowers and adding some that will spread keeping your garden growing and glowing all during the season.
As your plants begin to fade away, let them die back naturally, this will let the regain their energy , plus sometimes when you cut them back too soon they will bloom smaller or less blossoms the next growing season or sometimes they just don't bloom at all. As you prepare your garden and choose your bulbs for next spring's planting, know what you should be looking for when purchasing bulbs.
Always try and choose healthy bulbs for the very best in blossoms. Avoid bulbs that are soft, moldy, and slimy or have a rotten smell. Larger bulbs will give you larger blossoms and will also bloom earlier because they draw their energy from the growing plant. As you plant, plant your bulbs in some sort of pattern, for instance some of the same, some of the same in a different color or variety and some a different variety altogether.
Use a bulb planter when you plant, this will give you the right depth for your bulbs and add a little bulb food for winter nourishment. Water well and wait for the spring. As your new spring garden appears, you will see the advantage of starting your Spring Garden in the fall.
About the Author
Eudora DeWynter offers tips on Fall Gardening on her blog at http:www.gardentoolguru.com
With a little planning you will be able to enjoy a succession of flowers from March until May. In the list below you will find a selection of plants divided into four categories. Choose one or two from each group and you will be assured of a good succession of flowers. Although the onset of spring will vary depending on where you live, the bulbs will bloom in succession starting whenever winter ends.
Very Early Spring Chionodoxa (Glory-of-the-snow) Winter aconite Scilla siberica (Star of Holland) Snow crocus Iris reticulata (reticulated iris)
Early Spring Crocus Early daffodil Emperor tulip
Mid-Spring Species tulip Hyacinth Daffodil Muscari (grape hyacinth) English bluebell Fritillaria imperialis (crown imperial)
Late Spring Allium Dutch iris Iris pumila (dwarf iris) Late tulips Leucojum aestivum (summer snowflake)
Here's a planting scheme suggested by Kathy LaLiberte of Gardener's Supply Company using bulbs from the Dutch Gardens catalog. It includes 190 bulbs for just over $120, and in most locations it will give you a nice variety of flowers for at least eight weeks.
Thankfully more of us are moving towards greener methods of gardening. One way is to switch to safe garden insecticides, and none come greener or better than Neem Insecticide.
Neem oil is extracted from the fruit and bark of the Neem Tree. Originally found on the Indian Subcontinent, this useful crop is now planted in tropical regions worldwide. Neem insecticide has been used for generations to deal with pests on crops as well as parasites on people and pets, both internal and external.
Mostly nowadays we use neem insecticide in the garden. It has a long-lasting affect on the total pest population in our gardens, by deterring feeding and stopping the reproductive cycle. Once used, you will not see an overnight drastic drop in insect numbers. But over a few weeks you will see your plants showing less signs of insect damage pest numbers fall.
It is possible to buy safe garden insecticides which contain a percentage of neem oil. But, to save money and know exactly what ingredients you are putting on your plants it is more economical to make your own. Simply buy pure neem oil and dilute with water, to which a little liquid soap, or insecticidal soap has been added.
The neem oil is available for under $40 for a quart. This might sound expensive, but you need hardly any to create your own homemade safe garden insecticide:
To make one gallon of neem insecticide you need only 4 teaspoons of neem oil, 1 tablespoon of liquid soap (insecticidal soap or mild dish-washing detergent could be used instead) and a gallon of water.
You can see that quart of neem oil will be making you safe garden insecticide for a long time to come. Neem insecticide is completely biodegradable, and used wisely will provide a safe pest free environment in your backyard.
For more information about insecticide neem, insecticidal soap and other natural insecticides visit the Safe Garden Insecticides site.
Organic Lawn Care Product Tips To Head You In The Correct Direction
by Frank Froggatt
Whenever the grass turns green, garden owners are anxious to begin their work on the lawn. If they give their lawn just the right amount of patience, they are going to have a lawn looks great for many months to come.
For example, new grass inspires the garden owner to spread fertilizer in order for the young blades to flourish. One of the most common practices is to use organic fertilizers on your fescue and bluegrass lawns so this is what most gardeners opt for. Using this practice isn't only good for the soil but it's good for the environment as well.
The right time to apply organic fertilizer to your lawn is the fall. This is so that the roots can sustain the plants until summer. You can still put the fertilizer on in the spring though if you miss it in the fall. A proper mixture of the organic fertilizer is a half a pound of nitrogen for every 1000 ft.².
Lime is another organic lawn care product that can be used. This is often applied during early spring after the soil tests. If you can maintain your soil is pH between the range of 6.0 7.0 it would be best for your lawn as a large number of grasses and do their best growing in this range. The garden owner must have his soil analyzed every 2 to 3 years. You'll find out how much lime you need to add when you get your soil test back.
If you wish to hold and control the growth of crabgrass, then you are going to want to use pre-emergent organic herbicides between the months of March and April. Every once in a while crabgrass will emerge, but you can get the best of it and control it with organic herbicides. However, it won't affect crabgrass that has already started growing. Therefore, the best time to apply herbicides is when crabgrass is still sprouting.
Most people spray their fertilizer on their lawns during the fall.Many people like to spray their weed killer during this time as well. Before you spray the weed killer though you do need to make sure that the weeds are actually growing. During the dry season, spray your weeds when they are growing.
Use different sprayers when applying herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides. Make sure that you marked and labeled your sprayers correctly so you know exactly what's in them. Mixing these organic lawn care products with one another can damage the plants because of the residue.
March may be early for insect control but you must always care for your lawn during early spring. If your lawn didn't get fed in the fall, then you can make up for it during the spring.
About the author
If you would care to learn more on organic gardening and simple oganic lawn care, then today is the time. Start gearing up for the fall and the time to prepare that lawn for those long-lasting wintertime months.
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