Author Archives: Big Bob

How To Grow Your Own Herb Garden Inside


How would it be like to have unhindered access to herbs grown by you, to have a mini-garden that you can place on a kitchen counter or windowsill? Caring for it doesn’t require much time because the plants are small and can remain productive throughout the year.

Basil, parsley or dill are more tasty when fresh, so a garden of herbs grown on the kitchen counter can be your source for giving precious aroma to meals prepared at home.

Choosing the Pots

If you intend to attach the herb garden to the sill in the kitchen, you can mount a special metal support with rods inside it that can sustain mini-pots in which to grow herbs.

If you have a free countertop on your kitchen furniture, you can place the pots here (preferably with a nice design, adapted to the decorating style of the room). They should have a diameter of maximum 7 inches and holes for drainage.

Preparing the Pots

Sprinkle fine gravel on the bottom of the pots to stimulate drainage, then fill halfway with topsoil (especially created for flowers) as the garden soil is not nutritious enough for the herbs grown in the house. It is an excellent idea to add half handful of compost and a few drops of fertilizer for the plants to grow faster and stay in shape.

Sowing Non GMO Herb Seeds

Choose the herbs you want to always have fresh (parsley, basil, oregano and thyme are extremely popular and versatile), considering their needs and the conditions from your kitchen (some need lots of natural light, others prefer partial shade).

You may choose to plant seedlings or organic non gmo seeds. Either way, your garden will become operational quickly and you will be able to enjoy the herbs when preparing nice, fresh foods.

Maintaining the Herb Garden

Now that you have completed the steps for cultivating the herbs, wait a week or two until your plants are able to adapt to the environment. You can then freely pluck the leaves, but not remove more than 30% of them not to affect the permanent plant.

Check daily humidity of the soil, but don’t give the plants too much water to prevent root rot. Snatch the flowers, as appropriate, because your plan is to get a richer foliage!

Published: July 31, 2015

Herb Garden Secrets: Growing From Non GMO Organic Seeds


Aromatic plants, herbs and spices sometimes require as much caring as vegetables or flowers.

Decorate a separate garden with herbs, to enjoy them in your kitchen.

Aromatic plants can be planted by seeds to grow non gmo herbs anywhere in the garden (can find them on Amazon), but many of them can grow excessively if not properly cared for. For this reason, some gardeners prefer to separately arrange a garden with herbs.

Aromas of herb garden will delight you at least a few months a year, especially in late spring and early summer, when most herbs bloom.

Aromatic plants will attract bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects, increasing the chances for the other plants in your garden to get to their full potential every year.

Suitable Place for the Herb Garden

When you decide to decorate a garden with herbs in your yard, keep in mind some practical considerations which can ease your work.

The herb garden must be located as close to the kitchen so you do not lose too much time when you want to add a dash of flavor to fresh cooked foods.

Most herbs need sun throughout the day. Make sure the chosen space is sunny and the soil is sufficiently nourishing.

Ideal Size for the Herb Garden

Aromatic plants do not need much space in the garden, so ideal size depends on your needs and the variety of more or less herbs you want in your garden.

If you plan to dry the plants to consume them throughout the year or if you want to use them to make a natural potpourri, you’ll need a larger number of plants and a suitable space.

Relationship between perennial and annual plants is also important for the size of the garden. If you fill the whole space with perennials you will not easily make changes next year, depending on your needs.

Seedbeds in the Herb Garden

If you want your garden to have a really decorative function, you must use geometric shapes in arranging the seedbeds. The classic model for a decorative garden with herbs is made of four squares: a square space cut by two perpendicular alleys to allow your access to every plant.

Once you have divided your garden in geometric shapes, whether squares, circles or semicircles, plants can easily group and alleys will give your garden an element of consistency pleasant to the sight.

Skilled gardeners know that plants should be grouped according to their needs (light, water, nutrients needed) but you can combine these functional and aesthetic criteria, choosing to divide plants after colors and flavors.

Because perennials tend to expand from year to year, it is recommended to separate the annual herbs to create the herb garden suitable for your needs.

Published: July 31, 2015

How to Create a Stunning Rock Garden & Pond In Las Vegas

rock-gardenHaving a rock garden can accent the natural beauty of any backyard. However many gardeners have a tendency to shy away from rock gardens.

Here in Las Vegas, NV it seems like every yard has palm trees and landscape rock.

This is a result of the often simplistic look of a rock garden. In actuality, rock and garden ponds can be made into stunning, lush masterpieces. With a little research and planning, you can make an enjoyable backyard rock garden.

Get to Know Your Environment

When planning a rock garden that incorporates lush greenery, you’ll need to fully understand the limitations of your environment. This will allow you to choose plants that can thrive within your backyard. By exploring plant life by region, provided through a Quality database, you’ll know exactly what to plant and what not to plant.

Design a Landscaping Plan to Strengthen Your Natural Topography

Before choosing your first rock, you’ll need to really examine your back yard and look for naturally occurring slopes. This will allow you to determine the ideal location to build a rock garden. Rock formations within nature follow a general design, one with naturally made declines.

Once you have discovered the perfect location, you’re ready to design your rock garden. Create a plan that allows you to build a rock formation that withstands gravity. This can be done by placing rocks intelligently, so that they can stand atop one another. You should also consider the flow of your rocks. Proper flow will mimic natural rock formations. Additionally, with proper flow, you’ll have the perfect layers for plants to grow.

Building Your Rock Formation

To build a rock formation, you need to use your previously constructed plans, to ensure that you are following a logical path of rock placement. While placing your rocks, be sure to add plenty of dirt for the rocks to rest on. This will also provide your plants with a nutrient source and a path for roots to follow.

Choosing and Planting your Rock garden Vegetation

When choosing the plants that will grow in Las Vegas and within your rock garden, choose native plants that can provide natural beauty. This can be flowing succulents, a few cacti or drought resistant flowers. The individual choice, is completely up to your personal preference and can be any combination of plant types, provided that they can withstand the growing limitations of your environmental region. Simple planting considerations such as sunlight, soil composition and climate zoning is imperative to successful growth.

Incorporating the Rest of Your Backyard into Your Rock Garden

Whereas rock gardens can be designed to stand alone, bringing the rest of your backyard into your rock garden will provide you with a backyard that has a natural landscaped beauty. There are several options, providing individuality. You may choose to capitalize on the foliage that you chose or you can blend your rocks into the rest of your garden.

rock-pathCreating rock lined pathways is an easy way to develop a flow to your backyard that will signify the natural aesthetics of your rock garden.

Pathways, can be intertwined to span the distance of your backyard, while also reaching points of interest.

Winding pathways towards gates, doors and seating will allow you and your guest to enjoy your backyard without interfering with plant growth.

In place of, or alongside pathways, the foliage used in your garden can be brought out into your main backyard area.

To create a cascading look, you can bring your rock garden foliage down, while intentionally planting other plant varieties. When adding other plant varieties, slowly limit the foliage within your rock garden. This process will create a natural look of plant blending found daily within nature.

Creating a Path within Your Backyard

To build a path or walkway, use standard landscape edging that can be turned effortlessly. This will allow you to wind your pathway, according to your needs. Once the edging is in place, you can fill the walkway with light gravel that has similar or neutral colors to your chosen rocks.

If you prefer to not use gravel, you can use garden pavers. The variety of available pavers provide an immense amount of opportunity to fully match your garden, and your house. Pavers are unique in that they can be placed with perfect straightness. Additionally, angled and curved pavers can also be bought alongside standard rectangular and square pavers. A nice advantage, is that pavers will allow you to create artistic mosaic style designs.

Adding Accent Lighting to Your Backyard Rock Garden

Having lighting strategically placed within your backyard can dramatically accent your rock garden, as well as the walkways that you have created. Today, the available options for outdoor lighting can cater to any landscaped design or home style. The act of installing lighting can be done easily. You may choose to have lighting professionally hardwired in or simply utilize the benefits of solar lighting.

Solar lighting, is often chosen within a backyard for it’s convenience. It’ll allow you to place lighting along walkways, and position it to bring your rock garden to life, long after the sun has set beyond the desert horizon. An advantage of any high sun area, is that solar lighting can capture a full days worth of the power of the sun. This will help to ensure that your backyard lighting can withstand even the darkest of nights.

Photo Credits: Rock Path, Rock Garden

Published: January 18, 2015

What Landscaping Mistakes You Should Not Commit


Landscaping needs art and skills, these two things can actually be learned through experience.  For new homeowners, they are sometimes easily swayed by their emotions that they start landscaping their place without planning. To become successful in this project, you need to avoid simple common landscaping mistakes.

You want to fix and beautify your place and not create a disaster, so stop, take a deep breath and map out your landscaping ideas. Don’t rush things, take one step at a time and don’t skip or else you won’t get the exact landscaping result you are trying to achieve. Landscaping is never easy to master but don’t worry, this article will provide some mistakes that common homeowners commit, read and learn.

Something to Ponder On

Don’t allow these mistakes to ruin everything that you’ve started. Landscaping is quite a challenging task, deal with it. But it’s more than rewarding after you have completed everything. So, be careful and avoid the following:

  • Planting close enough your home – though one of the tips in landscaping for home security is to keep plants under your windows, bushes and thick plants should not be included. It can eventually attract pests that could damage your home’s foundation. Bulky foliage can actually protect those ants and termites from showing up, so without your knowledge, these pests can make their way up to your wooden foundation, causing a lot of troubles.
  • Wrong plant placement – take into consideration the type of plants that you want to include in your landscaping project, know whether they need direct sun exposure or if they thrive better in shady areas. If you plant certain species in a spot which are not supposed to be, then most likely you are only wasting your time and effort for they will surely die. No matter how lovely your planned landscaping design is, it will simply fail if plants are not planted in appropriate areas.
  • Wrong choice of plants – if you are living in an area where water supply is limited, then you need to select species that are drought-tolerant. Accept the fact that not all good looking plants will thrive in your garden to avoid future hassles or replanting. Your plants create the largest portion of your landscaping so make sure you keep them healthy all throughout the year to maintain the look of the area.
  • Overdoing – you must know the fine line between too much and enough. Don’t exaggerate the structures and ornaments in your landscaping project. Excessive use of lawn accessorize will ruin the entire scenery – it won’t help at all. Angel statues are cute but don’t add them in every corner of the place, nobody will find it charming. Probably you can use it as focal point to grab attention instead of scattering them in the entire area.
  • Forgetting simple details – keep your things outside organized and properly arranged. Your gardening tools and water hose should not be left outside, they need to be put back in their proper area where they should be. Also, don’t allow your newspapers and subscribed magazines to just pile up outside, these don’t look good for your home. You’ve spend thousands of dollars to create a lovely landscape and these messy things will just ruin everything that you’ve worked hard for.
  • Overcrowded plants – there should be enough space for each foliage to breath and for the roots to get enough nutrients it needs. If you have big trees in your garden, avoid planting series of more trees beside them, this will just create a forest. These trees grow and spread so if you have a wide area, keep proper spacing. Furthermore, poor spacing can actually block the entire view of the road which makes your home look like an abandoned one.

When starting your landscaping venture, don’t skip the planning stage as this will guide you all throughout the process. Your main goal is to provide your lawn an appealing look but you can’t achieve it if you keep on committing wrong decisions. These common landscaping mistakes are costly and they can cut a portion of your savings if you are not careful.

Ask for assistance if needed. If you think your skills are not enough to create a satisfying result, then seek professional advice. This will lessen the hassles that you will be dealing with since experts know that should be done. But learn while they work, who knows in the future you might not need one at all.

Published: February 1, 2014

Pruning Guide during Winter Season


When gardeners are asked when the perfect time to prune is, most likely they will tell you during winter days when the leaves are no longer in sight. You don’t really have to go out to remove those dying or damaged stems when the snow is unbearable, just wait for the day when the sun shows up a bit and take out your pruners to perform what you intend to do.

During winter, most plants are in a dormant state so this is the perfect time to get rid of their diseased parts as this will draw insects and provoke plant diseases to develop. Pruning is actually a horticulture practice of trimming parts of the plants like buds, roots and twigs to manage its overall growth.

Things to Keep in Mind When Pruning

  • You don’t prune because you just want to but because you need to. Keep in mind that not all plants can be pruned during winter.
  • Prune carefully, take your time and verify each angle if it’s well trimmed. You do it because you want your plant to grow well after the season so make sure not to overdo it.
  • Use tools that are purposely made for the job, use the sharp ones to avoid any hassle and to cut the desired part instantly, reducing the harm on the plants.
  • Don’t cut the branches or twigs anywhere, trim it on the nodes, the area where both branches meet.
  • Check for Insect Problems – it is usual to see eggs of caterpillars and moths on tree branches during winter, eliminate them by hand or pruning.
  • Sterilize your tools every after use, keep a solution (you can use two tablespoons of alcohol and a cup of water) with you while pruning. Keep your plants away from any diseases by taking time to disinfect every after cut.
  • Take it slow and cut one branch at a time. Always start with the outside branches, the largest one while moving inside to the smallest. You can break the rule if it doesn’t work but most of the time this should be followed.
  • Protect yourself to avoid further problems. Wear a goggle for eye protection for you can be poked easily while pruning. Also wear gloves, you might be dealing with plants that have thorns so better be prepared. If you are planning to prune a tree, you might consider asking assistance from an expert.

When pruning, understand when the plant usually has flowers as this will help you determine the proper time to trim it. Also keep in mind that the bushier the plants, the more trimming it needs. It might sound easy but it’s actually a bit complicated, especially if you are dealing with large trees and overgrown bushes, they can be demanding.

If you have several perennials in your garden, it is essential to determine if which among them need pruning as there are some trees that contain sap which are sticky and messy, so it’s always better to trim them during summer or fall.


Plants that Need Proper Pruning

  • Azaleas – they are quite bushy when growing so just try to remove those twigs that are sticking out of the way. If you want an area to become thicker pinch the visible shoot tips.
  • Grapes – this needs extensive pruning to maintain their production. Grape vines usually grow well if its pruned to its lateral arms during its dormancy. Though it still depends on its variety, most planters notice that its more vigorous when trimmed heavily.
  • Annuals – some plants of this type don’t grow well at their bases so only cut areas that are damaged and show some signs of sickness.
  • Perennials – though these flowers usually last, especially the native ones, they tend to be vigorous if you get rid of the faded ones, more flowers will come out if you keep only the healthy ones. If perennials become tall enough, shear them back a few inches from the ground, don’t worry this will help them promote to become stockier after a few months.

If you are a pro in gardening, then most likely you are already aware of the do’s and don’ts when pruning. It can be a tedious task especially if you’re a novice for it needs patience and proper timing. Most concerns are pruning with trees as it needs bulkier and heavier equipment. If this is the case, it is better to ask help from an expert to avoid accidents from happening.

Published: January 29, 2014

Fill that Empty Space

It’s always nice to live in a relaxing place. A home where you can breathe in fresh air, hear the chirping birds and see a verdant view. Tired of that boring, lifeless and stodgy surrounding? Make your house look appealing.

Here are a few steps in making that naturally beautiful view.


Plant Trees

A tree is known to be a perennial plant with lots of benefits. It gives everyone the feeling of being relaxed. Its shade can save your house and lawn from the direct rays of the sun.

It’s better to have trees at home because it promotes a cooler setting. Trees play a significant role in moderating climate. They remove carbon dioxide from the air and store carbon in their trunk.

It also helps in preventing soil erosion which is best for houses that are located near steep cliffs. Below the ground, its roots spread around and anchor the tree to the soil.

If you don’t want huge-trunk trees to be in your garden, you can make use of palm trees. They are smaller yet they can still provide shade. They look more elegant and can really make a difference in the ambiance of your house.

The best thing about trees is it can produce fruits. Planting it in your backyard will let you save money from buying apples and oranges from the grocery store. It is cost effective and health wise.

Some trees have flowers that look appealing. Flowers can sometimes have a sweet scent that can relieve your stress from work. They can serve as an ornamental design while giving you other benefits.

Plant Flowers

Flowers are the most well-known ornamentals. They bloom in the garden on many different colors and shape. It provides a good milieu especially for newlywed couples.

Flowers have a lot of benefits today. We can use it in weddings as decorations on the church, inside the house as decorations for parties and as tokens of love.

Some flowers such as chrysanthemum, carnation, cattail, honeysuckle, cornflower, sunflower, canna and chicory are edible. Even squash flowers are fried with breadcrumbs. You can fill up your garden with these edible but beautiful plants.

Although not well-known, flowers can be made into herbal teas. Chrysanthemum, jasmine, chamomile and rose are dried and infused into tea. Their medical property, fragrance and aroma have been found to be beneficial to the human body.

Grow Grasses

Grasses are herbaceous plants that are usually planted in the garden or lawn. They provide that green look and a nice place to have picnic during your free day.

There are many types of grasses – cereals, bamboo, lawn grasses and grasslands. You should choose what perfectly fits your lawn. Lawn grasses are shorter compared to those in the grasslands.

Do not cover all of the area; leave a space for some flowers and a pond.

Grasses are the main sources of food for human and animals. Humans eat rice and barley while animals like cows benefit from the grasslands. Birds rely on the seed blend on lawn grasses.

If you have children at home, grasses provide a hazard free play ground for them. Compared to cement pavements, grasses are good shock absorbers.

Landscaping that Suits YouMake a Pond with Lilies and Fishes

Ponds are man-made bodies of water. It provides a good feature in your garden.

Some people use ponds to visualize water creatures such as fishes. They are collecting koi, goldfish or other fishes that can live in fresh waters.

Lilies can do the trick. It can add up to the refreshing view of your house. Come to think of a small body of water with fishes and lilies on it. It looks invigorating.

Add up Tables and Chairs

If you have leisure time, you can add up tables and chairs so that you or your visitors can lounge in in your garden. Choose earthly colors to blend in your garden.

You can enjoy your favorite drink or read an interesting book while sitting in a rocking chair or lying in a hammock. It’s your time to commune with nature so make the most of it.

Published: January 4, 2014

New Trend: Easy and Low Cost Landscaping

landscapingWhen planning to landscape your garden, it is ideal to be practical in choosing the design and the materials to be used. Low-cost landscaping can provide beauty and charm to your home without a doubt. Proper use of these materials can add texture, color and dimensions to the overall impact of your place without spending too much. You don’t need to hire professionals to create an extra appeal – your creativity is surely more than enough.

Your garden landscape is the first thing that will get attention from anyone upon entering your property. So it is your responsibility to give time and effort to your garden in making sure that it complements your home. If you want to create a positive and gracious entrance for your family and guests, then you have to come up with a design that is unique and inventive.

A Plan to Get Started

Just like when you go shopping for your home needs, you prepare a checklist. In landscaping venture, there has to be a checklist plan as well, as this will give you a glimpse of what the entire output would look like after the project. Also, this will give you an approximate idea of how many materials are needed and how big the area to be landscaped will be.

  • Purchase superior materials – don’t consider on buying low quality materials as this won’t give you savings but more hassles in the future.
  • Check out possible designs – research on some ideas and inspirations that might help you decide on what fringes can be added on your landscape venture. Read some home garden magazines or check out some neighboring gardens for extra details.
  • Buy materials from direct sellers – instead of purchasing materials from stores, why not go for direct sellers, like when in need of landscaping stones go directly on quarrying sites.
  • Garage sales – this will give you great amount of savings if you know where to purchase them. This is where used but not abused items are found which can be of great use to your landscaping venture.

Make it Your Own

Be ready to get dirty and sweaty if you are venturing into a landscaping project. It will give you more savings if you do the tasks all by yourself instead of hiring professionals. However, if there are some jobs that seem to be too complex for one person to complete then always be wise with your decision, set aside tasks which you think you are capable of doing then consider on premium help if it’s really needed.

Think Economically

Landscapers always favor to purchase gardening supplies and materials during the good weather season. But then again, you can try to hold off because in this period prices are quite higher as the demand is increasing. Try to wait after the growing season – this is when most landscaping items are on sale. This is the right time to hunt for bargains on everything that you need. Also, if you are itched to purchase and can no longer wait for the season to end, then purchase if you must, a little of something won’t be bad after all. Buy some small plants and grow them, this will give some savings instead of buying the larger ones.

Order in Bulk

In landscaping, you may need large quantities of almost everything. So as much as possible, consider purchasing items in bulk as some stores are giving good discounts if you buy in large orders. This goes the same when you go shopping for your personal needs. Do the math and purchase in bulk if you need to.

landscapeLocal Plants

When hunting for lovely foliage for your landscaping needs, choose native. Native plants will give you an assurance that they grow healthy in your area as they suit your place’s soil, weather and setting. More importantly, most native species don’t need much care and maintenance, which means they easily grow so you’ll immediately see the result of your effort and time.

Creating a good landscape for your home doesn’t have to be as costly as everyone thinks it should be. You just have to be creative in choosing your materials and maximize all your resources. Low-cost landscaping is always a good choice.

Published: January 1, 2014

Creative Landscaping: Adding a Touch of Zen

Living in a modern world somehow leads to stress and increases our anxiety. Life is full of pressure from work, family, studies and other factors thus, we seem to forget that we are just humans and susceptible to life threatening diseases. As an individual with compassion to the word “quality life,” I am delighted to introduce scenery within your homes that can improve your life for the better.

What does it take to live a life in a tranquil landscape? To the majority, living in a peaceful environment goes with a price considering the high cost of having a magnificent surrounding and large yard that not all of us can afford. But not everything is synonymous to the price, there are some landscapes that could lead us to serenity and peace of mind that does not require enormous wealth, and one of which is Zen.

Zen, a Japanese word, which translates ‘meditation’ is very popular because of its appealing touch to whatever scenery it is incorporated in. I am amazed with the stillness of life every time I am in the presence of an environment with the essence of Zen. Time seems motionless and the marvelous scenery refreshes my soul and inspires me to embrace life with happiness and enthusiasm.

How can an individual create an atmosphere with the touch of Zen? We all know that a Zen landscape must include several features and factors to achieve a tranquil atmosphere, and I am jubilant to share them to you.

A Pond of Life

My definition of Zen includes a pond which is the central feature of the landscape. It must include colorful fishes and other aquatic resources, which portrays the abundance of life in this water feature. Thus, when individuals take a glimpse of it, may help them realize the beauty and color of life.

This water feature represents our quest to prosperity but, tranquil lives. Also, the sound and physical features of the water provide magical substances that cleanse our soul and wash away our negative emotions and thoughts. It helps rejuvenate ourselves to a much better and peaceful life.

The Old Wise Bonsai

The presence of a Bonsai in a Zen landscape creates a great impression to the beauty of time and knowledge. Thus, whoever sees these wonderful ornaments is impressed by the artistry of its character, and the intricacy of the mind of its creator. These plants must be placed ideally near the pond since both of them represent the richness of lives in the water and on the land.

The Vibrancy of Colors & Styles

Ornaments in Zen must be carefully chosen. They don’t necessarily have to be expensive but instead, they must create harmony with the others may it be in colors, textures or shapes. Having the ideal plants, you can add glitters to the rocks and sand in the surrounding area.

We should also maintain the orderliness in size and length of the greeneries. Make sure each of them is being highlighted and not being overshadowed by the others. Remember, you are not aiming for a landscape of jungle, but for scenery of harmony.

Touches of Compassion

An individual grown with compassion are more successful, attractive and positive. Thus, these characters are very essential to an abundant Zen. The more abundant it is, the more relaxing it can make you feel.

An individual should spend a great deal of time growing plants and maintaining the beauty of the landscape. Make sure the plants and other ornaments in the landscape are properly grown so that, one will not fail to witness the luster of the place. Somehow, having a Zen garden is like raising a family worthy of your time, hard work and compassion.

Published: December 1, 2013

Plant What You Eat, Eat What You Plant

vegetable gardenMaking your own vegetable garden at home is a practical way of saving. Most gardeners most likely prefer to grow their own crops at home if space permits for several advantages. It is economically wise, guaranteed to be safe and tasteful. But how does vegetable garden works? Is it challenging or somehow similar in growing flowering plants?

This article will mainly discuss the different ways for starters to learn how to grow crops at their backyard and to encourage others to take advantage of the benefits of planting what you eat.

Choose Your Vegetable Plot

Soil is an important factor in growing crops. Ordinary soil is fine for vegetable gardening. However, if your soil is quite sandy or full of stones, the remedy is to create garden beds that will allow you to filter the soil to be used.

What to Grow

Though most vegetables can grow in an ordinary soil, maximize its use for your favorite vegetables. Do not grow easy and cheap vegetables available in the market or maybe rarely found vegetables in shops.

The Right Spot

If you have enough space in your garden, choose a spot that is airy and with direct exposure from the sun. These vegetables are sun lovers – they won’t grow well if they are slightly shaded. Avoid areas under trees and thick walls or fences.

The need for a wheelbarrow is a necessity so as much as possible for your plots to be near pavements or concrete pathways as much as possible. Furthermore, it is not advisable to choose a spot that is hidden, this is not ideal during harvest time. This can also cause an issue for water supply. If the area is far from the supply, you need more time and effort in giving them water.

Green Compostbackyard vegetable garden

After crop removal, it is important that you don’t leave the soil unattended as nutrients won’t sustain the next cropping season. The best way to improve or maintain the soil’s fertility is to use green compost. Green manures are expected to:

  • Increase soil’s fertility – the soil needs nitrogen fixing bacteria plants to increase its richness. Usually, legumes are planted like peanuts to make the soil ready for the next cropping.

  • Improve the soil structure – after the crop removal soil becomes bare and it needs help to remain rich.

  • Maintain soil structure – the soil needs to be protected against erosion and transpiration.

Watch out: Pest and Sickly Plants

Keep your plants healthy and green by checking on them most of the time. It is very important that you thoroughly verify that each of your plants is growing well or else you won’t harvest anything. Spray it with insecticides if possible or pick off infested foliage because this is a sign that it is poorly growing.

Growing vegetables at your own yard is both fun and practical. You get to eat what you want without spending anything, and it is hassle-free at the same time because you don’t need to go to the market to shop. Most importantly, harvesting your own crops offers you a sense of fulfillment and a way to enjoy fresh veggies too!

Published: November 1, 2013

Green and Functional: Ornamental Plants for your Garden

Ornamental grasses are growing popular these days and they are commonly used in home gardens and landscaping projects. They bring color, movement and texture to your garden which makes them versatile for many gardeners.

These grasses can easily adapt to any type of soil and they require little maintenance. They simply are perfect for your garden. You can even plant them with perennials since they complement each other. They bring beauty and appeal to your garden.

So here are some gardening tips you should know about when you plan to grow ornamental grasses to your yard:

Select the Right Type

There are two major types of ornamental grasses – warm season grasses and cool season grasses. Warm season grasses do well with the warm weather and they grow slowly. Japanese silver grass, maiden grass, fountain grass and hardy pampas grass are warm season grasses.

Cool season grasses grow best during spring when the temperature is low and there is moisture in the air. Blue fescue grass and feather red grass survive the cold temperature.

So you must consider what type and when you will plant your ornamental grass. This is to maintain the green color in your garden.

Plan your landscape

Ornamental grasses are perfect addition to your landscape project but make sure to plan it well. When you have a sketch of your landscape, you must consider where to put the greenery in order to beautify your garden. You can have vertical and long grasses along your perennials or clump ones in the corners.

Spreaders could be a good choice for groundcovers but the only problem is they spread rapidly. So make sure you know what you want to achieve with your landscape. You can consult an expert if necessary.

Prepare the area

Make sure you choose a spot that has fertile soil and receives a generous amount of sunlight. You can plant your grass from seeds or set them in divisions.

Make sure that you create gaps between the plants so there is movement when they grow. Water them regularly especially in growth period so they can grow healthy and strong.


Ornamental grasses require little attention once they have matured and they are low-maintenance plants. They can tolerate plant diseases and drought so you don’t have to worry much.

But during the growing season, make sure to give them their necessities. You must prune them annually to maintain a clean and beautiful garden.

You can start planting your grasses at early spring, so they are strong and healthy once winter arrives. Make sure to add mulch to your soil in order to protect them from frost and cold in winter days. With these grasses you can attract beneficial animals such as bees, butterflies and birds to your yard.

Ornamental grasses play different roles in your garden – ground covers, borders and even fillers. They easily adapt to soils and climates which makes them one of the favorite choices of gardeners.

You can also choose from a wide variety of ornamental grasses in your local nursery. So when you are planning to have a garden in your yard, make sure to include ornamental grasses to your list.


Published: October 1, 2013