Thursday, 30 January 2014

Deadhead plants for extended bloom

To keep your planting looking healthy, beautiful and blooming throughout the entire season, you need to deadhead them from time to time. The name deadheading is obviously scary when you hear it, but despite the ominous sound, it is nothing more than just trimming off spent flowers. This helps your plants look neat, so arm yourself with sharp gardening tools and advance confidently into your garden for some work. Some gardeners may worry that when the work is done imperfectly it will harm the plant and affect its health. However, the truth is, it’s tough to deform or kill a plant by deadheading unless you really have a whack at it. Normally, all flowering plants will benefit and look attractive when they are deadheaded regularly. You can allow other flowers to shine by cutting away blooms that start to curl, fade or brown.

There are some apprehensions when it comes to choosing what plants to deadhead in order to make them look attractive. There are clues plants will give you to help you determine which ones need to be trimmed off. Flowers that stay on the plant for a long time will turn brown and curl up thus making them look ugly. So if you find plants like them, you know the ones which need deadheading. Shrubby plants with small flowers can be sheared off with grass shears as trimming one flower will be too time-consuming. You need to get off as much flowers from the stalk as possible when you deadhead. However, avoid the buds but don’t worry too much about taking foliage from the blooms because they will grow right back. Shrubby plants with large flowers can be trimmed with hand pruning shears. You can cut off each flower individually and aim to get enough of the stalk as well so that they don’t protrude awkwardly. It’s alright to take a bit of the foliage too for leggy plants. To trim off roses, you need to understand the difference between pruning and deadheading. To deadhead roses, you need to be careful to take out only a minimum amount of stem so that only the flower is removed. This can be done by making the cut at a 45 degree angle, the point where it slopes down to the center of the rosebush. The cut should be made at the spot right after the first pair of leaves is located and also the area where the stem points away from the plant’s center. For long stemmed flowers on tall stalks, you can cut with hand pruning shears which are located at the spot where the stalk meets the leaves.

For other techniques to extend the bloom of your plants throughout the season, you can apply organic mulch like shredded leaves or bark chips to break down, improve soil texture, retain moisture and stifle weeds. While young plants are establishing their growth patterns, you can water them regularly like three to four days in a week and then cut back to once a week. Based on the season when temperatures are hot or too dry, you can water your plants as and when required. For plants that need an instant color lift, move them around your garden area or you can even set down potted annuals. To get lovely late season blooms in your garden, you can plant autumn flowering and late summer bulbs. You need to feed your perennials from spring through summer with fertilizers that are high in phosphorous content and low in nitrogen. Make sure you remove weeds from flowering beds so that your plants don’t have to compete for nutrients. For roses, remove the stems that are found right at the plant’s base. Collect seeds from faded blooms that are not deadheaded and propagate plants in your garden by dividing them. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

The Basic Guide to Garden Indoors

Who says you can’t enjoy gardening when the weather is cold and your garden is covered with snow? You may be feeling a little blue because of the winter season, but there are ways you can change the atmosphere indoors with a little color and texture. Surrounding yourself with fresh, sweet smelling flowers is the sure cure for whatever ails you this winter. Indoor plants can transform the look of your home instantly. All it takes is just a little whimsy with a dash of the right textures and colors to liven up gloomy interiors. Flowers and plants with their individual personalities will fit in with your mood, style and taste. An indoor garden with the bold colors of amaryllis or a terrarium full of succulents will do the job perfectly. What’s more, they will freshen up the indoor air inside by providing some humidity and also give a facelift in the aesthetic department. To brighten up your home this winter, follow these simple steps to create your very own personalized indoor garden.

Create a sense of inner peace

A Zen garden will do wonders for your mind by helping you to relax and stay calm. The construction, nature and upkeep of a Zen garden is designed for reflection and contemplation. The basic elements of this type of garden are made up of sand and rocks, but you can go ahead with other extra elements based on your creativity. Dish containers or wood boxes are perfect for your indoor space because of their size and shape. Let your imagination take over as you can create a personalized work of art that is visually pleasing with fresh foliage and carefully placed natural elements. The best part is, it doesn’t take up much space and is inexpensive to create.

Add some color that will last all winter

Enjoy the textures, colors and the fragrance of spring by growing some bulbs indoors. You need to choose the right plants that are perfect for indoor gardening like Paperwhites, Narcissus and Amaryllis as they don’t require any chill time. You can plant bulbs every week during winter so that your home stays fresh all the time with blooming pretty flowers. If you plant bulbs every week in the winter, you can have blooming flowers all winter long.

Create a miniature garden with maximum impact

Indoor gardens that require very little maintenance to flourish and have a natural elegant look with little fuss are Terrariums. They are a popular garden style and are virtually indestructible. The key is in choosing the right plants. They come in various shapes, colors and varieties, so choose one that makes the maximum impact for your interiors. You can try your hand with the Golden Club Moss variety as it creates a high moisture environment and thrives well in low light. Other great varieties include succulents and cacti which retain good amount of water.

Bring your rooms to life

Look up and around and you are bound to find some greenery that grows in the most surprising places. Try creating vertical garden or living walls that will create a visually stunning and dramatic look for your home. You can beautify your space and clean the air indoors. To start off, hang some herbs in your kitchen window for fresh flavors and smells. Now you can get your nature fix inside with your very own living walls or vertical gardens. Get your nature fix sorted out, by experimenting with different houseplants for every room in your house.