Monday, December 10, 2012

C clamps

I’m building a new raised bed for my vegie garden. I thought I got everything ready to go; I have the timber, brackets and bolts and nuts but then I need some c clamps to hold the timber together so I can drill holes for the bolts. So it’s back to the hardware store again for me. I want to do it properly so it has to be perfect.

Asian vegetables

Over the last two decades our strong and growing connection with Asia has had a large influence on the food we eat today. A huge variety of Asian vegetables are available in the marketplace and are helping us to expand our culinary exploits. Their distinctive flavours combine well more traditional Australian foods. Many of the plants originate from tropical parts of Asia, particularly China where they have been cultivated and used for centuries.

\Many of these plants have strong and distinctive flavours and are often quick growing, tender and have a variety of parts of the plant that can be used. Like many ingredients in Asian cuisine, nothing is wasted. Many of the plants have parts (leaves, flower heads) that can be periodically plucked without disturbing the whole plant. Some of these varieties are ready to harvest in as little as six weeks from sowing and many can be cut and a used throughout the growing season

www.peterglenn.com

The problem with shopping online is that it can cost more than if you were shopping in the country of the shop just because of your geographical location. Plus the shipping cost can also make it un-worth it. Go to www.peterglenn.com and you could find online shopping worth your while again. They can buy items for you and ship them directly to you at a low cost so you can enjoy online shopping again.

Seaweed concentrate

Seaweed concentrate is an excellent soil conditioner. It contains alginates and thus improves the soil structure. Use seaweed concentrate in a very dilute form, no more than a couple of tablespoons in a full watering can. Remember it is not a fertiliser but it does contain lots of trace elements. You can use this solution to water seeds which will absorb all the trace elements.

You can make a spray of seaweed concentrate plus a teaspoon of the trace elements zinc sulphate, iron chelate, magnesium nitrate and boron. Spray it on to the leaves and stems where it will be absorbed by the plant. The liquid will also drip on to the soil where it will improve the soil structure.

Flying pig statue

I love my garden and I have lots of flowers and shrubs growing in it. I also like to decorate it with statues and other ornamental. Recently I bought a flying pig statue to set as a focal point at the end of a long passage way leading to the pond. It’s lovely, I’m always striving to improve my garden and it’s never too much work for me. Maybe I should get a fountain next? Yeah right, when pigs fly!

Hanging Baskets

Hanging baskets are wonderful for utilising spaces that would otherwise be wasted. They are literally hanging gardens of foliage or flowers and can be inside or outside.

Finding the right basket for the purpose and plants is the first step. There are a multitude of different baskets. The two basic types are wire ones made from galvanised steel or iron and plastic ones with attached drip trays that are excellent for indoors. You can water baskets with drip trays quite a lot without worrying about over-watering, as long as the drip tray isn’t full. They are also useful because they can be watered directly into the drip tray.

The wire ones are relatively cheap and cost costs around $10. These baskets need to be lined in order to hold soil. You can buy liners or make your own out of shade cloth cut to size and pushed into the basket. To remove the folds, make slits in the cloth at intervals. The cloth will then overlap neatly in the basket. Use about 3-4 layers of cloth. Half fill the basket with potting soil and trim any edges of cloth that hang over. Hanging baskets can get very heavy, so it is advisable to hang them up while planting.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Snackwarehouse for stacy's pita chips

Teenage kids are like hungry monsters; they could eat a horse if you let them. I have to make sure there’s plenty of food and snacks in the pantry when they come home. I don’t mind as long as they eat healthy and occasionally a snack here and there is fine too. That’s why I go to snackwarehouse for stacy's pita chips. My kids love them and so do I.

Organic Fungicide

Discovering a disease in the garden is often a trigger for a gardener to use a chemical, such as a fungicide to get rid of the powdery mildew. But chemicals often cause other problems. They can affect beneficial micro organisms in the soil, and can kill pollinators, like bees, and without those there probably wouldn’t be many tomatoes. As an organic gardener, I believe pests and diseases should be kept in their place, so all the remedies used in my garden are safe. They're safe for pets, for wildlife and for kids. The ingredients for some favourite organic remedies are hiding in full view, probably in every kitchen. They include milk, coffee, bicarbonate of soda, vegetable oils, detergent and white vinegar. Let’s see how to mix these up to make some effective controls for a range of plant problems.

Smallfower special on taylor of old bond street

I’ve been using products of taylor of old bond street for years now. This brand name has grown on me and I’ve recommended to most of my friends. As a bonus to myself I’ve found some smallfower special on taylor of old bond street that will save me a bundle. This really helps because this month coming up to Christmas is not too healthy on my wallet!

Sprayer Care

Fungicides are important for controlling a range of diseases. In my Brisbane garden, I use solutions of milk, wettable sulphur and copper based fungicides. Sprayers are important pieces of equipment, which should always be ready for action and so it’s essential that they are properly maintained. When you’ve finished spraying, it’s time to service the equipment. Use fresh water to thoroughly rinse the whole device and empty the rinsing water into the garden – don’t put it down the drain. Certain chemical fungicides can actually corrode the brass nozzle. Others can block the nozzle. But just use a sewing needle to unblock it. Rinse three times. This might sound fussy, but it’s important to ensure there’s no residue in the tank and not in the pipe. Sometimes fungicides form a lime scale that might be similar to what you get in your kettle. It’s important to rinse and clean because any residue from a previous spray may chemically react with future sprays. And the result might be harmful to plants, which undermines the reason for spraying.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cheap brochure printing at zooprinting.com

While we’re talking about my business which is starting to do really well, I need to get some brochures done for my next project. I can get some cheap brochure printing at zooprinting.com where I save a bundle and still have professional printing done that will promote my business in the next few months. No time to waste, lots of work to do while business is good.

Easy Use Tools

Whether you are digging a hole or pruning, the job is always easier when you are working with the right equipment, and today there is a huge range of ergonomically designed, easy to use tools to get gardeners of all ages back into the garden. What is common to all of these cutting tools is that they are:
 - sharp,
 - lightweight
 - comfortable to use and
 - require very little effort to produce first class results.

Employment screening at easy back ground

My small business is doing well. Looks like we are going to need some help so we’re thinking of hiring but we’ve never hired anyone before and worry about hiring the wrong people. A friend of mine suggested I use my employment screening at easy back ground website. They can make sure the people I hire are genuine and trustworthy. Then I can concentrate my energy on the business.

Weed tea

In a large plastic bin combine a layer of organic pellets or chicken manure, which will help to start the decomposing process of the added weeds. Add water and put on the lid. Weeds will breakdown in two or three weeks in summer, but in winter it may take two or three months. It can be then used as a nutrient tea on productive or ornamental plants.

Friday, November 02, 2012

Ultrabook

My niece is going to Europe soon and she said she wants to get a tablet to take with her so she can keep in touch with us all. I told her she’s better off getting a laptop or an ultrabook instead. Tablets may be fun to play around but they’re basically toys and laptops or ultrabooks are proper light weigh personal computers on the go. She can keep in touch with family and friends and much more.

Selecting a Plant

When you find that perfect plant at a nursery, there's nothing more disheartening than getting it home, preparing your site, planting it and then tending to its every need, only to watch it fail to thrive. This can be because you've picked up a sick or stressed plant. Tino has a few warning signs to look for so this won't happen to you. A good nursery will go through their flora every morning and pick out all their sick or diseased plants. The first and most obvious thing to look out for is the general appearance of your plant. Does it look healthy or is it a bit tired? Is there any physical damage such as broken limbs, gauges or splits in the stem, and wilting or discoloured leaves?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Custom stress balls here

So do you like me have trouble finding the right gift to get for a birthday? How about getting one of these custom stress balls here. They come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and rather cute too. I’m sure they will be very popular amongst the receivers. As a matter of fact I think I’ll get some for myself too.

Sprayer Care

Fungicides are important for controlling a range of diseases. In my Brisbane garden, I use solutions of milk, wettable sulphur and copper based fungicides. Sprayers are important pieces of equipment, which should always be ready for action and so it’s essential that they are properly maintained. When you’ve finished spraying, it’s time to service the equipment. Use fresh water to thoroughly rinse the whole device and empty the rinsing water into the garden – don’t put it down the drain. Certain chemical fungicides can actually corrode the brass nozzle. Others can block the nozzle. But just use a sewing needle to unblock it. Rinse three times. This might sound fussy, but it’s important to ensure there’s no residue in the tank and not in the pipe. Sometimes fungicides form a lime scale that might be similar to what you get in your kettle. It’s important to rinse and clean because any residue from a previous spray may chemically react with future sprays. And the result might be harmful to plants, which undermines the reason for spraying.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Camp equipment deals

With the weather warming up its time to think about going camping again. There are a few things I need to get for this year so I’ll be looking out for some great camp equipment deals. Let’s see..I’ll need a bigger tent because the family’s grown, we have to get portable toilet because the missus refuses to do it in the bushes and we’ll need more lamps also.

Blooming marvelous!


Spring is just around the corner, blooming marvelous!

Mens scrubs

With the transport strike going on for a week now, we’re starting to run out of supplies. Essentials like drugs, tools and even mens scrubs are all running low. I hope the strike ends soon or we’ll be forced to close shop very soon. An alternative is to ship in the supplies ourselves but we might not be able to cross the picket lines.

Basic tools


All gardeners need some basic tools. You can always find a hand trowel, fork and dipper in any garden. They're a must for good gardening, apart from good soil, location and good maintenance but we'll leave those for another post.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Church chairs by chairs4worship

This year the club is finally getting the chance to put in an auditorium in the new building. Much is done and the rest are progressing as scheduled. The committee has decided to put in those church chairs by chairs4worship instead the original choice. We can save some cost this way and use the savings for other things like going towards the Christmas party.

Waterlilies

Waterlilies play multiple roles in a water garden. Their large leaves create shade, produce oxygen, provide a hiding place for fish and produce large beautiful flowers. The tropical waterlilies can be distinguished from the hardier types that grow almost everywhere from the flower stalks, which are above the water. The flower buds and stalks are edible and can be used in salads, just peel off the ‘skin’ from the stalk before eating. The margins of ponds are usually planted with bog plants that are very important because they filter out any unwanted materials. Some good marginal plants include the flowering Woolly Frogsmouth, Philydrum lanuginosum and canna species like Canna indica. There are also some beautiful foliage plants such as Lepironia articulata. If you want advice or help choosing the right plants go to a specialist nursery and remember not to let your pond go, they do need some maintenance.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Komplete 8 ultimate musicians friend

As if I haven’t spent enough money for my son’s enthusiasm on his alternative music, now he wants me to get him a komplete 8 ultimate musicians friend. Said its got everything he needs to help him with his music study. Oh well, what a dad to do but to support his son? I hope and wish him well, that he’ll be successful in his music and won’t have to depend on me too much soon enough.

Water

he garden accounts for about one third of our water consumption, so it is an obvious place to cut down on water use, while still enjoying all the benefits of gardening and growing beautiful, easy-care plants. 

Generations of gardeners have drawn inspiration from the cool, moist gardens of England, which are ironically quite contrasting conditions to many parts of Australia. Perhaps more appropriate places to look to would be the dry landscapes and deserts of the world. For many of us, particularly those of us with busy lifestyles, low water use gardens can be very appealing. It is a garden that is beautiful as well as practical. It is just a matter of knowing how to go about it.

Roc n soc throne height adjustment problem music12

My 16 year old son is complaining about the special chair he had me buy last month. It was one of those drummers chair because he said he needed it for his drumming. I always said there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a normal stool but what do I know right? Well now he’s not happy with his roc n soc throne height adjustment problem music123, saying he’s found something better. What? I’m not his open check book okay? Go work for it if he wants another one.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Chrysothemis

The name chrysothemis comes from ancient literature. Chrysothemis was the daughter of Agememnon and Clytemnestra. She was a demure person, it is difficult to see why the name applies to this plant because, although it's demure, it's not very forgiving and it doesn't like strong sunshine. Ideally, it should be sited on an east facing window sill, and it doesn't like to dry out, similar to African violets. It needs some moisture but doesn't like to be too wet at the roots. Otherwise, it's a pest and trouble free plant.

Chrysothemis have bronze foliage but the crowning glory of this plant is its flowers; beautiful little flowers which last for a very long time. When they drop off, the bracks which are even brighter, last even longer. 

They can be grown in a shallow container, as they don't have deep roots. Plant them in an African violet mix. During winter time, they will die down to the ground. Simply stop watering them for that period. When they start reshooting in spring, that's when you start watering them. All they need in summertime is a once monthly feed with a liquid seaweed fertiliser, and there you have it: a delicious new pot plant well worth the hunt.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Maha powerex

I love gadgets, all kind of gadgets therefore I go through batteries like no tomorrow. So for my birthday I was given a maha powerex rechargeable battery set and it’s saving me a fortune in batteries. I love it! This is the best gift I got this year so I can’t wait to get it working 24/7. I just hope its going to last longer than most of my gadgets.

Staking Tomatoes

Tomatoes have two growth forms. The main cropping varieties, such as Apollo, are traditionally grown up tree stakes, or suspended from glasshouses, on wires. A single stem is trained upward and the side shoots are removed for a really heavy crop.

But cherry tomatoes have a freely-branching habit. If you train them as a single stem, up a stake, you lose over half the fruit. Commercial growers use wire fences, but I've modified that idea for the home garden.

Just use lattice, supported by stakes. The joy of growing them like this is that you can loop the plants through the lattice as they grow. This means training becomes really simple.

The advantage of growing tomatoes on a frame, as opposed to a ground cover, is that you keep fruit and leaves away from the soil. This cuts down the risk of fungal disease. And the joy of growing cherry tomatoes like this is that they're really trouble-free and you get a lovely crop – in fact about two kilos of fruit every week for about 10 weeks. It’s a tip well worth trying.

Oximeter

I remember her as a healthy and out-going woman who’s always doing something. But after that scare that landed her in the hospital she’s finally back home with us. We have to tell her to slow down but she’s a very determined woman who won’t let a little medical setback slow her down. At least she constantly monitoring herself with the oximeter the doctor insisted she has with her everyday.

Understanding Mulches

There are two basic types of mulch - inorganic mulches, such as pebbles and gravel - and organic-based mulches, such as pine bark, bales of pea straw, chopped pea straw, and sugar cane mulch.

Organic-based mulches break down and add goodness to the soil. A favourite is baled pea straw. It is good because the bale can be broken apart into biscuits and these pieces are spread out on the ground. This means it doesn’t blow away and the birds won’t scatter it.

When mulching with different straws or sugar cane it’s important to add at least five to seven centimetres for each layer to make it work effectively. But it needs replacing every year because it breaks down. Heavier mulches, such as pine bark or pebbles, need only be four to five centimetres deep.

Monday, September 03, 2012

Henri fountains

The backyard needs a proper make over. I’m embarrassed every time we have friends over. We need to make it nice and welcoming so we can have dinner parties every weekend. So with the help of a few friends we’re going to transform my backyard into a garden of Eden! We’re going to put in pergolas, henri fountains and lots of beautiful flowering shrubs. My backyard is going to be the envy of all my friends.

Slater Control

Slaters are a multi-legged, land-living crustacean found all over Australia. They are known as Wood Lice, Pill Bugs and Roley Poleys. They're scavengers, which mean they mainly feed on decaying organic matter and, in doing so, recycle nutrients and help build soil. Unfortunately, every now and again they turn their attention to living vegetable matter and that's when they can become an absolute nightmare in the garden.

In recent years there has been an explosion of slaters in Western Australia. Josh thinks this is probably as a result of the mulch everyone has been putting on their gardens which creates perfect conditions for them to breed up to high numbers.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Life insurance quotes at equote.com

We work hard all through our lives to provide for our family. But what if something happens to us? How would our family live on? Who would look out for them? That’s why we should insure ourselves for our family. Life insurance is a must for all families. So go get some life insurance quotes at equote.com and rest assured your family is taken care of.

Compost Net

In my garden I compost everything. I've got a large compost heap in the corner for garden refuse, and a small bin for kitchen scraps. But in summer the materials ferment quickly and can get clouds of vinegar and fruit flies breeding in the compost. But there is a simple solution.

Just use some shade cloth and wire. Use the wire to stitch together an open cylinder – stitch it along the edge, so that it's open at both ends. Then slip this into the compost heap and tuck it underneath the base of the compost heap. This means that nothing can get underneath. But keep it open at the top so it’s easy to add the kitchen scraps. In between visits to the compost heap just twist the top together, and hold it down with a stone. That way you have absolutely no problem with flies and you get perfect compost.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Pool heat pump

I love the idea of having my own pool in my backyard. This way I can swim whenever I want and as many time as I need. However it is important that it comes with a good pool heat pump to warm the water in winter but at the same time saving some money maintaining it. Nothing worse than jumping into a pool of freezing water on a cold cold night.

Correcting Iron Deficiency

Yellow leaves on a green plant can indicate a number of problems, including lime-induced chlorosis. The symptoms of this condition are yellow leaves with darker green veins. It occurs on the new growth and when it's severe it can cause the whole leaf to become pale yellow or almost white. Lime-induced chlorosis affects many types of plants and happens when iron in the soil is 'locked up' and not available to the plant.

Alkaline soil is the major source of this problem and this is caused by the application of alkaline water, mulch or compost (such as spent mushroom compost). Sometimes it can be caused by lime leeching out of the render in walls and buildings.

To correct this problem, apply iron chelates. This should be mixed with water and can be applied as a foliar spray or around the root zone. If the weather is still warm, the leaves should start to green up within a week, however it will probably take a couple more applications at the rate of one application every two to four weeks until the leaves are as green as they should be. 

Treating your plants with iron chelates is only a short-term solution to the symptoms of chlorosis and it doesn't actually treat the soil. For a long-term solution, apply agricultural sulphur.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Permanent magnets

I’ve always wondered how magnets were made and why their magnetism wears off after a period of time. I remember back in my school days we were taught o create our own magnet by stroking a metal like a nail with another magnet, a process known as magnetizing. I wonder these are the magnets that wear off their magnetism after a while, unlike the real magnets or permanent magnets which are supposed to stay magnetized forever. So where do these permanent magnets come from?

Camellia Bud Balling

Bud balling' is a syndrome where buds form but do not flower. Typically the buds develop almost to the point of opening, then stop developing, go brown, and drop off. If your camellia is susceptible to bud balling, here's what to do:

* Pinch off half the buds, it's better to have half as many flowers, than none at all.
* Give the camellia a good feed with an azalea and camellia fertiliser every six to eight weeks from about August right through to March. After applying the fertilizer at the recommended rate, add a teaspoon of Epsom salts to five litres of water - shake it around and water the camellia with that.

Nobody knows the exact cause of bud balling but if, after all that, your camellia is still suffering, you've got two more options: Move the plant to an area where it gets a lot less sun or, as Colin suggests, only partly in jest, "Enjoy a lovely green plant with glossy leaves."

Compression socks

I hurt my legs last month, I have only myself to blame. If I had been more careful I wouldn’t have strain my legs the way I did. So now it’s been almost a month that I’m out of action. The doctor wants me to rest and not do any strenuous activity and always have a pair of compression socks on everyday. I tell you what; for a guy like me doing nothing is driving me insane but I do enjoy the royalty treatment I get at home.

Microclimates

Have you ever walked around your garden and wondered why some plants are thriving and others are struggling to survive? It's because a garden isn't a uniform space. It's made up of a series of garden rooms, each with their own growing conditions. Some areas are hot and dry while others are cool and shady. These different growing conditions are called microclimates.

To create a successful and sustainable garden it's important to understand the different microclimates within your garden. Whether you're upgrading an existing garden or establishing a new garden the first step is to conduct a site analysis.

Three factors to consider are temperature, sunlight and air circulation. Consider where the hot spots in your garden are. Think about where shadows, particularly those cast by trees or the house - and these are likely to change from winter to summer. Also think about air circulation and which direction the prevailing winds come from. All these factors affect how plants grow and understanding them will help you to create a relaxing garden where the plants are healthy and happy.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Liability insurance

Well day 1 saw me cleaning out the old room which is going to be my new office once all is done. There’s the problem of leakage on the roof which must be fixed before painting and new carpet can be laid. Then there’s the public liability insurance that must be purchased before I can even began to start moving in and start to have clients.

Worm Pouches

Portable worm farms are easy to make and provide a constant source of fertiliser to ensure garden plants thrive. To make your own worm pouch, take a piece of shadecloth. Sow both sides together and leave the ends open – it needs to look like an open ended tube. Fill the tube with worm food, kitchen scraps are ideal - but remove the onion and citrus, because worms don't like these - and then chop them into small pieces to allow the worms to get through them more quickly. Then add to the tube some wet cardboard or newspaper, and then the worms. Get special composting worms. These are available from most garden centres or hardware stores. Put them straight in and fold the tube ends over – your portable worm farm is ready for the garden. By placing it at the base of a young plant, it acts as a constant source of fertiliser. As water passes through the castings nutrients are taken through to the root zone. Worm castings are so mild that it's good for all plant species. The shadecloth also allows worms to move back and forward into the topsoil, although composting worms usually like to stay close to their food source. Another advantage is that the worm farm is wrapped up so cockroaches and flies aren't a problem. Top up the worm farm with food scraps once a week and watch your plants thrive.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Medical cart

Because we are run by generous donations from the community we can’t afford a lot of expensive medical equipments. We do what we can to help our patients but it can get quite frustrating at times. We can’t even afford a medical cart which we need to be more mobile as we tend to our patients from room to room. I just hope our appeal to the politicians will get somewhere. Hate to see this free clinic close, then the community will suffer.

Understanding Mulches

The word on everyone's lips is "mulch" and it's absolutely essential because it can reduce water use by up to 70 per cent. It also suppresses weeds and weed-seed germination and insulates the soil. Some mulches are better than others and there are some mulching mistakes that people make. There are two basic types of mulch - inorganic mulches, such as pebbles and gravel - and organic-based mulches, such as pine bark, bales of pea straw, chopped pea straw, and sugar cane mulch. Organic-based mulches break down and add goodness to the soil. A favourite is baled pea straw. It is good because the bale can be broken apart into biscuits and these pieces are spread out on the ground. This means it doesn’t blow away and the birds won’t scatter it. When mulching with different straws or sugar cane it’s important to add at least five to seven centimetres for each layer to make it work effectively. But it needs replacing every year because it breaks down. Heavier mulches, such as pine bark or pebbles, need only be four to five centimetres deep. The mistake most people make is using compost - such as mushroom compost, garden compost or a cubed pea-straw-based product - as mulch. The problem with using these as mulch is that they are too fine and can absorb moisture. They allow moisture to be drawn out of the soil, through wicking, and they form a great weed seedbed, allowing for weed seed germination. Use these composting products as a soil improver or conditioner – they are fantastic for this - but top it off with a coarser product that doesn't absorb moisture. That way, you know you're doing your best for the garden, by conserving moisture, suppressing weeds and insulating your soil.

Tascam

My little fellow is doing great with his music class. He’s been in it for 6 months now and still going strong. I think he’s found his calling in life! Well as long as he’s happy I’ll support him 100%. After the electric guitar he asked for, he’s now asking me to buy him a tascam recording workstation. I had a look at the range of products this brand name comes in and they’re quite impressive. It will be money well spent for my little musician.

Compost Net

In my garden I compost everything. I've got a large compost heap in the corner for garden refuse, and a small bin for kitchen scraps. But in summer the materials ferment quickly and can get clouds of vinegar and fruit flies breeding in the compost. But there is a simple solution. Just use some shade cloth and wire. Use the wire to stitch together an open cylinder – stitch it along the edge, so that it's open at both ends. Then slip this into the compost heap and tuck it underneath the base of the compost heap. This means that nothing can get underneath. But keep it open at the top so it’s easy to add the kitchen scraps. In between visits to the compost heap just twist the top together, and hold it down with a stone. That way you have absolutely no problem with flies and you get perfect compost.

Appliance parts store

I think its about time I replace all of my household appliances. Seriously its like every couple days I have to run down to the appliance parts store to get something for my appliances. At this rate I might as well replace all my appliances so I wouldn’t have to worry about them breaking down and ruining my days fixing them. Time to go shopping I think.

Frangipani

Frangipanis are a spectacular plant. Their flowers and fragrance bring a romantic feeling to any garden, and they'll never go out of fashion because they're drought tolerant. There are about 45 wild species of frangipani or Plumeria. They're native to Mexico, Venezuela and other countries of Central America and are either semi evergreen, drought tolerant shrubs, or small trees. Frangipani was the name given to an Italian fragrance created in the 16th century by the Marquis Frangipani. When the Italians started cultivating these plants, the fragrance of the flowers reminded them so strongly of the perfume that the name stuck.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Car gps

Most young drivers have car gps in their cars nowadays. They’re convenient and they get you to where you want to go. I however am old school; I rely on my own trusty street directory but I think they’ll be phasing it out in the near future. Then I would have to join the rest of society and get myself a car gps also.

Growing Bananas

Bananas are the world's favourite tropical fruit. The fruits are rich in fibre, potassium, vitamins A, B6 and C. But it's also about flavour - and you just can't beat the taste of a home grown banana.

Bananas have been cultivated for so long that they have lost the ability to reproduce by seed. They need gardeners to survive. They are propagated either by division or by tissue culture, and that means they are all genetically identical clones. They're not true trees, in fact the stems are made from layers of tightly-packed leaf-bases, and each new leaf is forced through the centre of the stem. At maturity they flower and the first part of the flower to open is male - that’s called the bell. Then the spirally arranged female flowers come out and develop into fruit.

Anyone can grow backyard bananas, but banana-growing in Australia is highly regulated and a permit is needed to plant or transplant a banana. There's a good reason for this. Banana plants are susceptible to serious diseases and plants can only be bought from government approved, certified disease free sources.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Artist paint

When I was in school, one of my favorite subjects was painting. I used to be quite good at it but then after leaving school I neglected this interest and now I’ve totally lost the skill. I should’ve nurture this interest back then; who knows I could’ve become a famous painter! Well I guess it’s never too late to pick it up again so I’ve gone to get some canvas, brushes, palettes and some artist paint to re-kindle my long lost talent.

Staking Tomatoes

Tomatoes have two growth forms. The main cropping varieties, such as Apollo, are traditionally grown up tree stakes, or suspended from glasshouses, on wires. A single stem is trained upward and the side shoots are removed for a really heavy crop.

But cherry tomatoes have a freely-branching habit. If you train them as a single stem, up a stake, you lose over half the fruit. Commercial growers use wire fences, but I've modified that idea for the home garden.

Just use lattice, supported by stakes. The joy of growing them like this is that you can loop the plants through the lattice as they grow. This means training becomes really simple.

The advantage of growing tomatoes on a frame, as opposed to a ground cover, is that you keep fruit and leaves away from the soil. This cuts down the risk of fungal disease. And the joy of growing cherry tomatoes like this is that they're really trouble-free and you get a lovely crop – in fact about two kilos of fruit every week for about 10 weeks. It’s a tip well worth trying.

Rustic tables

I love my gardens; I could spend all day in them either working up a sweat or just relaxing. There’s nothing more relaxing than sitting on my favorite seat by the rustic tables with some lemonade and some cakes to share with friends. This I try to do at least once a week when the weather is good and usually on a Sunday when most people are free. Come by this Sunday and we can have a cup of tea and cakes together.

Understanding Mulches

There are two basic types of mulch - inorganic mulches, such as pebbles and gravel - and organic-based mulches, such as pine bark, bales of pea straw, chopped pea straw, and sugar cane mulch.

Organic-based mulches break down and add goodness to the soil. A favourite is baled pea straw. It is good because the bale can be broken apart into biscuits and these pieces are spread out on the ground. This means it doesn’t blow away and the birds won’t scatter it.

When mulching with different straws or sugar cane it’s important to add at least five to seven centimetres for each layer to make it work effectively. But it needs replacing every year because it breaks down. Heavier mulches, such as pine bark or pebbles, need only be four to five centimetres deep.

The mistake most people make is using compost - such as mushroom compost, garden compost or a cubed pea-straw-based product - as mulch. The problem with using these as mulch is that they are too fine and can absorb moisture. They allow moisture to be drawn out of the soil, through wicking, and they form a great weed seedbed, allowing for weed seed germination. Use these composting products as a soil improver or conditioner – they are fantastic for this - but top it off with a coarser product that doesn't absorb moisture. That way, you know you're doing your best for the garden, by conserving moisture, suppressing weeds and insulating your soil.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Double lounger at ChaiseLounges.com

Well the extension is almost complete; there are just some painting to be done and some d├ęcor to be put in. We’ll soon be able to enjoy our al-fresco cum pool area in summer. What we still yet to find is some furniture to go with the area. We have in mind a double lounger at ChaiseLounges.com which we’ve fallen in love with. It is perfect for what we have in mind.

Screening Wall

A familiar problem in any garden is the need for privacy, and the need to create a barrier to block unwanted views, such as an unsightly compost system or rubbish pile. Now a great way to create a barrier is to construct a screen. There are many materials available at the local hardware store, but for the budget conscious try constructing a screen from reusable materials, which can be collected at the tip.

The great thing about second hand materials is they are full character. But remember when collecting any materials wear safety gloves. To create a screen like ours, you will need to cut wood and metal, and put in some screws. But power tools such as a grinder, drill and saw, will also come in handy. If using power tools, wear safety goggles and ear muffs. To build this screen we have selected materials including an old pool fence, because it's roughly the size of the area to be screened; a saw blade for the end; some plywood pieces cut into strips, and compressed concrete sheeting, to create bands.

Firstly remove some of the bars from the pool fence to create flexibility and allow other materials to be threaded through. Once the bars are removed thread the compressed concrete sheeting through the fence, but you might need some help with this. Next make legs to support the screen. For this we used two pieces of timber and put them on either end. This provided structural strength, at the back of the screen. Use decking timber for the front, and sandwich the ends. Once you’ve found the right position for the screen and are happy with the level, backfill the hole, and use sand rather than cement. Cement holds moisture, so it will rot the post more quickly. Ram the sand in firmly. This screen looks fantastic as a backdrop for plants, and the colours of the materials blends into the landscape. It cost about $25 and would take a day to make with the help of a mate.

Ovation guitars

As you may or may not know my teenage boy is really into music especially guitars. He was asking me the other day to get him one of those ovation guitars. I have no idea what ovation guitars are but I was told they can be quite expensive but they are the best. I don’t mind paying a little more as long as it helps him with his guitar lessons. I will always support his enthusiasm.

Clematis

Clematis 'Golden Tiara' is an absolutely fabulous little plant. Clematis is one of about 200 different species that comes from both the Northern and the Southern Hemispheres. They grow in tropical areas at quite high altitudes and are members of the buttercup family. They're also known as Old Man's Beard, because of the greyish plumes that look a bit beard like, and also Virgin's Bower because it's said that Mary and Jesus sheltered under one of these on the flight into Egypt.

Clematis 'Golden Tiara' is a hybrid and it's been in the industry for about four years. It will grow to about three or four metres, so it's perfect for a fence or maybe a small bower or arbour. But also try using it as a ground cover, either down a slope or across the ground. A disadvantage is that you're not able to look into the flowers in the same way as when it's climbing. As with most Clematis it's easy to grow. Plant roots in a cool, shaded position and allow the plant to grow up into the sunlight. The moisture is just perfect for it. It's easy to prune. Cut it back to between 600mm and a metre at the end of summer. It flowers from spring probably until early May.

It doesn't need much fertiliser. But one tip; if you grow it up a tree just prune it back from the edge so that it uses the whole frame of the tree to grow and for its display. Clematis 'Golden Tiara' is an absolutely exquisite new plant on our market.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Blood test in Santa Clarita

Well my dermatologist now wants me to get a blood test. Something to do with my immune system or something like that. All previous methods have failed so now its getting pretty serious. I hope its nothing too bad..I need to get a blood test in Santa Clarita area. Anybody knows where I can go? I’m not very familiar in this area because I’m quite new here.

Seaweed

Seaweed is a wonderful fertiliser, a great soil builder and an excellent compost activator. All in all, seaweed is terrific stuff for the garden. There's a long tradition of seaweed being used as a fertiliser to improve crop production. For example Celtic and Scandinavian farmers have put it onto their fields for centuries.

Kelp is one of many different types of seaweed. One type is powdered kelp. It is convenient for adding to the garden. And what is it about seaweed that makes it such a good fertiliser? Seaweed contains complex carbohydrates and these really get the soil humming with life. This has two really important functions for the garden. Firstly, it stimulates the microbial fungi in the soil and these assist plants in their uptake of nutrients. They also assist in defending plants from soil borne diseases.

So adding seaweed fertiliser helps crop protection, and plant nutrition Of all the fertilisers, seaweed has the broadest and most balanced range of nutrients, to promote early flowering and cropping and increases the sugar content of fruit. All in all, it's very good stuff.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Metal garages

The new house we bought doesn’t come with a garage; it just has a car port. I need a garage not just to house the car but I also need a workshop, a man cave! So we either build a garage adjacent to the house or we could get one of those metal garages that we can easily put together in no time. I’ve had a look at some of them on display and I like them.

Acanthaceae

The Acanthaceae family is often overlooked because the plants are sometimes considered to be old fashioned, but they are interesting because they have many different features that are attractive for gardens. 

There are over 250 genera in this large family of vines, shrubs and perennials, and they occur all around the globe in warm and frost-free climates. It is the floral parts that unite a plant family and Yellow Candles Pachystachys lutea, a South American member of the family, displays these characteristics well. The flowers are often clustered in pyramidal spikes and the petals are fused to form floral tubes, with the floral bracts often outshining and outlasting the flowers.

 Another point of distinction is the naturally patterned foliage. The Zebra Plant Aphelandra squarrosa is often sold as freshly rooted cuttings for use as houseplants, but planted outside in the right conditions these plants can achieve impressive proportions. They all have some common cultural requirements. They all enjoy moist well-drained soils, surface mulch in summer, morning sunshine and shelter from gales. Firespike Odontonema callistachyum loves hot, humid weather and can be trained as a groundcover or a wall shrub. In warm temperate climates the plant produces one large display of summer flowers whereas in the tropics it flowers continuously.

 A general technique for pruning Acanthaceae is to lightly clip them to shape after flowering, if they do stop flowering. The clumps of contrasting foliage of two Graptophyllum cultivars like ones with yellow and a bronze leaves planted together, highlights the differences between them. Their slender upright habit also makes them very suitable for hedging, but they need all day sunshine to look their best.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

JBL

One of the most important thing when putting together a band is getting the right gears and the only brand I trust with my speaker systems is the JBL speakers. Sure I’ve used others but somehow I always keep coming back to jbl. It just have that quality that is indescribably good. So I always recommend jbl everytime people ask me for my opinion.

Pineapples

Pineapples can be grown very easily from cuttings of pineapple that have been bought and eaten. Simply let the cut off crown dry out for several weeks and remove any excess leaves around the base. After the wound has sealed it can be pushed firmly in place into a container of clean potting soil and allowed to slowly develop roots. All varieties can be propagated in the same way. As they do not like wet feet the cuttings only need to be watered once a week or ten days. The plants will produce fruit within eighteen months to two years. There are limited varieties currently available to consumers. The stock for these new varieties being developed still has to be propagated to significant numbers for production before they will be commercially available sometime in the near future. It is often difficult to tell whether the fruit is ripe or not. There is a common misconception that a ripe pineapple can be ascertained by plucking a leaf from the crown, but this has nothing to do with the ripeness. The qualities that reveal the ripeness are to do with a bright, fresh looking fruit that has a quarter to half colour. Underneath, the stem should be fresh rather than dry and withered, and at the top the leaves should be firm and fresh. There should be a good aroma and a resonant sound when the fruit is tapped, which means that the fruit is not over ripe inside.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Baby keepsake gifts

We’re going to England next week. I’m a new uncle last week so we’re joining the whole family to welcome the new addition to the family. The air tickets are booked and accommodation organized. We just need to get some baby keepsake gifts from here so hopefully no one will get the same gifts as us. We’ll be staying for a couple of weeks so will also visit some old friends we haven’t seen for some times.

Aquarium Plants

There is a very restful and almost hypnotic quality about water gardens and fish, and if there is room water in a garden is a relaxing element to include. If there is not space for a pond outdoors, an indoor aquarium is an alternative. It offers an opportunity to design an underwater landscape that is mesmerising, which draws visitors to the colour and movement of the underwater world of fish in a tank. If maintained well an aquarium is a living showpiece and an attractive addition to the interior of a home. 


Fish can be chosen for different purposes and to live at different levels in the tank. Types of fish include bottom-dwellers, suckers, schoolers and individuals, where the variety of fish work together to create a living ecosystem within the confines of the tank. Aquarium plants are a necessary part of the underwater landscape with a variety of plants used for different purposes that contributes to the health and wellbeing of the fish. Microsorum ‘Windelov’ is a small clumping plant that can be grown from pieces that shoot from the main plant, and can be planted to create an expanse of clumps spreading across the bottom of the tank. The fish use the plants to hide in, to rummage through and dart in and out of, which keeps them active and healthy. Some of the most dramatic plants in the tank have attractive foliage like the waterlilies, which have large russet or bright green leaves, or the Aponogeton, which is a vertical plant with attractive crested leaves. Cryptocoryne is a common low-growing plant that effectively spreads across the bottom of the tank in time to create a grassy blanket. Amazon Sword Echinodorum amazonicus is a plant with long pointed leaves growing from a central crown. It can vary in size, seasonally dying back but rejuvenating with a new vigour when it regrows. 


Plants are also chosen for the type of fish that inhabit the tank. Some fish like to eat plants, while others suck the leaves, and some rummage through the foliage and around the roots. It is important to know the tendencies of particular fish before purchasing them so that equilibrium can be maintained between the growth of plants and the habits of the fish.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Outdoor ceiling fans with lights

I’m thinking of getting ceiling fans for my al-fresco area after the heat last summer. In addition to that I’d like to get some lighting too so I can entertain. So I’m considering a couple of outdoor ceiling fans with lights so I can start using this area this summer to entertain my guests. I love entertaining; dinner parties and poker nights are great ways to spend your warm balmy summer evenings.

Aquarium Plants

There is a very restful and almost hypnotic quality about water gardens and fish, and if there is room water in a garden is a relaxing element to include. If there is not space for a pond outdoors, an indoor aquarium is an alternative. It offers an opportunity to design an underwater landscape that is mesmerising, which draws visitors to the colour and movement of the underwater world of fish in a tank. If maintained well an aquarium is a living showpiece and an attractive addition to the interior of a home.

Fish can be chosen for different purposes and to live at different levels in the tank. Types of fish include bottom-dwellers, suckers, schoolers and individuals, where the variety of fish work together to create a living ecosystem within the confines of the tank. Aquarium plants are a necessary part of the underwater landscape with a variety of plants used for different purposes that contributes to the health and wellbeing of the fish. Microsorum ‘Windelov’ is a small clumping plant that can be grown from pieces that shoot from the main plant, and can be planted to create an expanse of clumps spreading across the bottom of the tank. The fish use the plants to hide in, to rummage through and dart in and out of, which keeps them active and healthy. Some of the most dramatic plants in the tank have attractive foliage like the waterlilies, which have large russet or bright green leaves, or the Aponogeton, which is a vertical plant with attractive crested leaves. Cryptocoryne is a common low-growing plant that effectively spreads across the bottom of the tank in time to create a grassy blanket. Amazon Sword Echinodorum amazonicus is a plant with long pointed leaves growing from a central crown. It can vary in size, seasonally dying back but rejuvenating with a new vigour when it regrows.

Plants are also chosen for the type of fish that inhabit the tank. Some fish like to eat plants, while others suck the leaves, and some rummage through the foliage and around the roots. It is important to know the tendencies of particular fish before purchasing them so that equilibrium can be maintained between the growth of plants and the habits of the fish.

The best source of aquarium plants is from an aquarist shop, which will have the widest range of plants, the best plant support products and the best horticultural advice. Communal tropical fish are probably the easiest to keep and have an almost unlimited variety of plants that can be grown with them. Goldfish have a tendency to eat particular plants so should be avoided. Tropical plants need warm water and will require a heater, but all live aquatic plants, whether from warm tropical water or cool temperate water will require a light to help them to grow properly.

Water Wisteria has chrysanthemum-like foliage and pretty blue flowers, but Hygrophila ‘Rosea’ has larger leaves with decorative marbled foliage. Copperleaf Alternanthera reinekii is a popular plant because of its vibrant burgundy-pink foliage. Tall slender stem plants add a vertical accent to underwater landscapes, and the simple foliage of Vallisneria makes a good background plant. Fertilisers that are specifically designed for aquarium plants must be used. A good depth of gravel is also necessary to give roots adequate room to give optimum growth of plants. Plants may need to be moved to different locations within the tank environment to find their ideal growing conditions. The amount of light and the temperature of the water will influence their growth. Most fish will eat the same leafy greens that we eat. If they are blanched to make them softer and easier to eat and secured down in the tank with a rock, then it is likely that the fish will refrain from eating plants in the tank.

It is important to be diligent about changing the water in the tank at least once a week. It is also advisable to have a filtration system that is designed for a much larger aquarium, because it will be much more efficient at keeping a smaller volume of water in pristine condition.

Ensuring that each additional plant and fish is well established and happy in its new environment before adding a new variety will pave the way for a successful aquarium that will evolve over time.

Leather cleaning products

I love leather and I love wearing leather jackets and pants. I also love leather sofa in my lounge room. But to keep them in top condition I spend a lot of money in leather cleaning products to maintain my investments. Leather will never go out of style and it just gets better as it ages. It’s also easy to keep clean if you spill liquid on it. Just wipe off with a damp cloth. See if you can do that with fabric.

Invasive Trees

Trees are a very important part of our everyday lives. However some species are unsuitable to be planted in close proximity to houses. They can cause considerable amounts of damage, in particular to house foundations, sewer pipes, paths and walls, and this can be very costly.

Trees planted near buildings need to be chosen carefully. A beautiful tree like a fig, if planted in a bed that is too narrow to accommodate its massive roots, will ultimately lift up any pathways and damage the foundations of any nearby wall in its efforts to find room to grow. Both ornamental figs and rubber trees have large anchoring roots and needs to be given plenty of room to grow.

Root barriers are a good way of controlling young trees when they are established in the ground. The principle employed is that the barriers move the roots vertically rather than horizontally where they can cause excessive damage. Another method to control invasive tree roots on mature trees is by digging a trench around the roots and placing a double layer of shade cloth around the outside of the trench. As the new roots begin to grow they will be forced down vertically.

Healthy trim reviews

I need to get back on a diet again. I’ve put on weigh since Christmas and I really need to lose it by September. A friend of mine told me about a new product and she swore by it. I like to read up more about this healthy trim reviews before I commit. I need to know that it will work for me. Sometimes it may work for some and not others.

Screening Plants

Plants used as screens in gardens are not always well defined for that purpose. A plant used for screening can take many forms, and are not always just climbers or plants used for hedges. Almost any plant can be trimmed to become a narrow plant or espalier to be used for screening. There are also many stem, standard and mop top plants that make very useful visual barriers.

Even in the smallest of spaces there is room for fruit trees. The technique of espalier is perfect for narrow places. In sunny situations it can be used very effectively to train and grow fruit, like citrus and apples, above fences or as dividers between spaces.

Any hedge or screening plant along a boundary will need to be regularly trimmed, perhaps several times throughout the growing season. Electrical trimmers or no-powered hedge trimmers are very fast and convenient, but can be very dangerous if the electrical chords are severed in the process. It is essential to have a cut-out safety device installed in the power board. A safer alternative is a petrol-powered trimmer. Blades should be treated immediately after use with a protective film to prevent damage and maintain them in good condition.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Audio video conferencing

These days we’re starting to branch out all over the globe and emailing with our contacts overseas just isn’t enough for the amount of work we have to do now. Nowadays most people prefer to talk face to face and audio video conferencing is the way to go. Gone are the days when you used to get choppy and grainy video when doing video conferencing. Nowadays most countries have high speed internet that enable smooth and uninterrupted video conferencing.

Cannas

Cannas are clumping perennials. Most of them love the sun and are remarkably hardy. Lots of compost and animal manure should be dug into the soil when they are planted. Just before spring mix up a combination of blood and bone and sulphate of potash in a ration of 4:1 and apply to the surface of the soil around them. It will ensure continuous flowering from November right through until April. Dead-heading any spent flowers will prevent them from going to seed. From May hard pruning needs to takes place, removing all the old and spent flowering stems right to the ground leaving new side shoots. Systemic sprays for weeds have an instant effect on cannas, making organic growing the best option. Every plant in the ground can produce two, and sometimes three bulbs in one season, making it easy to have a good display very quickly.

Dynamic colours are popular at the moment and like their popularity in the 1930s cannas are now coming back into favour. Canna indica is a listed environmental weed in some states, so this species should not be planted. The hybrids and cultivars do not get out of control in the garden, and are a very hardy perennial with some of the most dynamic colours that you will ever see.

PC desktops

After almost a month the new office is finally near completion. All we need to do now is move in the equipments like the photocopier and the filing cabinets. We decided it would be a good time to upgrade our old pc now but I’m tossing between pc desktops or laptops which we can take with us. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages but we can do more with desktops so..I don’t know.

Grevilleas

There are thousands of different grevilleas available to home gardeners because they hybridise so easily. There are an enormous range of flower colours and forms, as well as a wide variation in foliage and height and growth habit. By choosing wisely there is a grevillea to suit the soil and climatic conditions of any garden regardless of where you live, and they will flower for most of the year. As they hybridise so readily it is best that they are not plante in gardens that adjoin bushland where there are native grevilleas.

Grevillea ‘Firesprite’ is a popular hardy cultivar that has been in the marketplace for many years. Merv Hodge has a seedling of G. ‘Firesprite’ in his garden that has new characteristics worthy of a new cultivar, which will make it an excellent horticultural plant when it comes onto the market. Like all grevilleas it likes good drainage and it would flourish.

The delicate pink flowers of Grevillea sericea are at their peak in spring, but is an excellent plant to have in the garden because it will have spot flowering throughout the year. This species grows naturally on sandstone and does best in sandy soils.

Grevillea hybrid Grevillea ‘Simply Sarah’ needs very good drainage, and to grow this cultivar successfully garden beds will need to be raised at least 30cm to allow any excess water to drain away if the soil is not naturally well drained. It grows to over 1.5m but should, like all grevilleas, be pruned back to prevent it from becoming straggly. Pruning encourages new growth to thicken up the bush.

Insect pests are not usually a major problem with grevilleas. Because they attract lots of birds that feed on the nectar, they also feed on tiny insects and other pests as well.

Grevillea ‘Pink Midget’ is as tough as any plant that you will find, and will withstand drought conditions. If this ground hugging grevillea is given extra water is will flower even more prolifically.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Cheap yard signs

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living in this house for twenty years. It’s even harder to believe how much stuff we’ve accumulated all these years. Before we can even think about moving we need to get rid of most of the stuff we don’t plan of taking with us to the new house. So a garage sale is what we need. Time to get some cheap yard signs so we can organize the biggest garage sale in the neighborhood. And it is going to be the biggest ever.

Soil Conditioners

Liming: If the soil becomes too acidic, then in order to plant species that prefer slightly alkaline conditions for growth, it is necessary to lime the soil. The lime will help break down the organic matter in the soil. Worms love alkaline soil and will draw down the mulch and further improve it. Acid soils are referred to as ‘sour’ and alkaline ones as ‘sweet’. Limestone needs to be treated before it can be used in the garden to improve the soil.

How do you test your soil for alkalinity and acidity? Use a soil testing kit to determine the alkalinity of the soil. Take a sample of soil and add the indicator supplied in the kit. The colour that you see can be matched against a chart to determine the soil pH.

Buy ground limestone and use it quite generously, about a handful per square metre of soil. Another way to sweeten the soil is with dolomite, which contains calcium and magnesium. Dolomite is a very good medium for sweetening the soil, but it takes some time to do so.

If you are in a hurry to reduce the acidity of the soil, use builders lime or hydrated lime. This lime is prepared by heating limestone and cooling it, then slaking and grinding it. The powder is much finer than other limes. Spread the lime on the surface at about the same rate as before. Do not dig it into the soil, the rain will take it in for you. This lime is very readily available to plants, but it you will need replenish it more than other limes.

Another source of calcium used in the garden is gypsum (calcium sulphate). It is like a plaster of paris and has a brown colouration. Gypsum doesn’t alter the pH of the soil, and in very alkaline clay soil, will make the soil slightly more acidic. Rather, gypsum is used to help break up clay soil.

Seaweed concentrate is an excellent soil conditioner. It contains alginates and thus improves the soil structure. Use seaweed concentrate in a very dilute form, no more than a couple of tablespoons in a full watering can. Remember it is not a fertiliser but it does contain lots of trace elements. You can use this solution to water seeds which will absorb all the trace elements.

You can make a spray of seaweed concentrate plus a teaspoon of the trace elements zinc sulphate, iron chelate, magnesium nitrate and boron. Spray it on to the leaves and stems where it will be absorbed by the plant. The liquid will also drip on to the soil where it will improve the soil structure.

Wear gloves when handling lime powders and spraying if it irritates you and remember, of all our natural resources, soil is one of the most important and we must look after it.

HCG diet Austin

Going on diet isn’t just about losing those extra pounds you’ve put on since Christmas. More importantly it’s more to do with being healthy and staying healthy. HCG diet Austin not only helps me loose my weights, they also help me with choosing a healthier lifestyle that is manageable without the stringent diet rules. I would recommend them to anyone who wants to live a happy and healthy lifestyle like me.

Clay soil

Clay soils are a problem for a number of reasons. Many garden plants cannot tolerate heavy clay soils. The particles of clay are so fine that the roots of plants cannot penetrate the spaces between them. This fine nature of clay also means that there is little aeration in the soil, thus little oxygen for plant roots and soil-dwelling animals such as earthworms. Fewer animals means less soil turnover and poorer oxygenation which exaccerbates the problem.

Is there anything good about clay soils? They are full of nutrients, but the plants can’t access them. It is possible to treat clay soils and improve the soil quality, freeing up nutrients for plants. Coir and cocoa peat are quite expensive and can be substituted with compost, which can be made at home very cheaply.

When planting in treated clay soils, make a slight mound in which to grow the plant. Peter demonstrates how clay-intolerant plants such as azaleas and rhododendrons can now thrive in the treated nutrient richsoil. By the time the plant develops roots that are long enough to penetrate below the treated layer, the plant will be big enough to cope with the clay soil.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Outdoor umbrella

The warm weather is coming and I can’t wait to run around in my shorts and t-shirts. Of course with summer comes hot dry heat some days so a bit of shade while outdoor is very important. So this year I must remember to get myself an outdoor umbrella for my outdoor entertainment area. Then all I have to worry about is what to barbeque each day.

Sunflowers

Nothing characterises summer as much as sunflowers with their bright, enormous yellow flower heads. As a child it is easy to be captivated by these large flowers on tall stalks whose heads followed the sun across the sky. They always seem to have smiling faces.

Sunflowers are native to South and Central America and are always a great way to introduce children to the fun of gardening. Competitions to see who can grow the tallest sunflower are traditional in some families and inspire friendly rivalry. The tallest sunflower that Melissa grew when she was a child was 4.1 metres. The world record for the tallest sunflower stands at 7.76 metres tall.

Sunflowers are annuals that can be sown where they are to flower, ensuring that they are planted in a fertile, well-drained, sunny position in the garden. The seeds can be sown in spring or early summer when the soil is beginning to warm up, and it is important to sow them into beds that are well prepared with organic matter and that are kept weed free. Smooth over the top of the soil lightly to create a good surface for sowing the seeds. As a general rule seeds can be sown to double the depth of the seed and cover with soil.

It is important to water the seeds regularly and to keep the bed weed free. Water with a liquid fertiliser every 2 to 3 weeks to boost the height of the sunflowers.

Slugs, snails and birds are very fond of the young seedlings, so some protective measures may need to be taken during the early growing weeks.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Scaling skin

Growing up I had the worst skin; it was dry and scaly and I was always pick on in school. Kids would call me names and no one wanted to play with me. My mother tried all kind of remedies to help my scaling skin but to no avail. It wasn’t till I was in my late teen that I found out through my own research that to achieve healthy skin I needed to eat good proper food. So I decided to change my diet and just eat healthy organic food and my skin cleared in just a month. No more junk food for me now ever.

Grevilleas

There are thousands of different grevilleas available to home gardeners because they hybridise so easily. There are an enormous range of flower colours and forms, as well as a wide variation in foliage and height and growth habit. By choosing wisely there is a grevillea to suit the soil and climatic conditions of any garden regardless of where you live, and they will flower for most of the year. As they hybridise so readily it is best that they are not plante in gardens that adjoin bushland where there are native grevilleas.

Grevillea ‘Firesprite’ is a popular hardy cultivar that has been in the marketplace for many years. Merv Hodge has a seedling of G. ‘Firesprite’ in his garden that has new characteristics worthy of a new cultivar, which will make it an excellent horticultural plant when it comes onto the market. Like all grevilleas it likes good drainage and it would flourish.

The delicate pink flowers of Grevillea sericea are at their peak in spring, but is an excellent plant to have in the garden because it will have spot flowering throughout the year. This species grows naturally on sandstone and does best in sandy soils.

Grevillea hybrid Grevillea ‘Simply Sarah’ needs very good drainage, and to grow this cultivar successfully garden beds will need to be raised at least 30cm to allow any excess water to drain away if the soil is not naturally well drained. It grows to over 1.5m but should, like all grevilleas, be pruned back to prevent it from becoming straggly. Pruning encourages new growth to thicken up the bush.

Insect pests are not usually a major problem with grevilleas. Because they attract lots of birds that feed on the nectar, they also feed on tiny insects and other pests as well.

Grevillea ‘Pink Midget’ is as tough as any plant that you will find, and will withstand drought conditions. If this ground hugging grevillea is given extra water is will flower even more prolifically.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Trumpet cases

My daughter has been selected to play with her school band in the big city next month. I’m so proud of her, all those time spent learning the trumpet has finally paid off and she loves it. I need to get proper trumpet cases for all three of her trumpets that she’ll be taking with her. Normal suitcases just don’t cut it so an investment in good quality trumpet cases is a good investment.

Strawberries

Ever since they came into cultivation thousands of years ago, strawberries have been in demand as an all-year-round available fruit because of their luscious flavour, as well as having high nutritional value. They are delicious eaten directly from the plant.

Strawberries are grown from the sub Polar Regions to the tropics, and belong to the Rosaceae family, which also includes roses, plums, apricots and apples. Although all the flowers are similar the fruit of the strawberry is quite different. The main difference is that the seeds are on the outside of the fruit, rather than being encased in flesh in the middle of the fruit. When it is the middle of winter in the south of Australia, it is harvest time in the north in Queensland.

Large sized strawberries are renowned for having no flavour. These varieties have now been replaced with new cultivars that have all the desirable qualities that are demanded of a strawberry - large fruit that is full of flavour are the two most important qualities that home gardeners and commercial growers are looking for. As well they want cultivars where the fruit is abundant and easy to find on the plant. Strawberry ‘Redlands Joy’ has red flesh all the way through to the middle, and is beautiful and sweet to taste. For those who live on the north coast the varieties ‘Kabarla’ and ‘Adina’ will grow well, while in the Sydney region ‘Sweetheart’, ‘Selekta’ and ‘Torrey’ are best. ‘Kunowase’ and ‘Cambridge Rival’ are two good cultivars that grow well in Victoria and Tasmania. ‘Alinta’ is an excellent, highly recommended variety for southern gardens.

To grow strawberries well soil preparation is essential. This requires copious amounts of a good organic fertiliser that has high levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and potash dug in well. Plant the runners into raised beds 30 cm apart. As soon as the plants start to flower, spray them with high potash liquid fertiliser, which will help the fruit to develop a beautiful sweet flavour. By March in the following year these plants will have developed new runners. In warmer climates like Queensland the plants should be treated as an annual, as the plants get tired more quickly. The old plants should be taken out and new runners replanted.

Trophies

Following my excellent organization of the club’s anniversary I was asked to organize another event; my child’s school sports day! I need to source some trophies for the winners and I know just the place to get them at fantastic prices. I’m getting really good at this; maybe I should start a business organizing events for people. I’ll probably go broke doing that so I’ll stick to my day job.

Milk Fungicide

Some organic gardeners have been using milk as a fungal control for decades, but it has only been in recent years that it has been looked at seriously as an effective and safe control of powdery mildew on some garden plants.

University of Adelaide research is exploring its potency. Grape vines have been the main crop that Peter Crisp used as part of his trials during a three-year research project, but he has also used milk spray on roses, zucchinis and tomatoes where it has been very successful in combating powdery mildew. A dilution anywhere between 1:5 and 1:10 milk to water is adequate, but if it is much stronger than that it can cause problems like sooty mould. Low fat milk is less effective than full cream milk, but the difference is not really significant. There are various compounds that are active in milk including the fats. The natural antibiotics present in milk, as well as the production of other agents during exposure to sunlight both act to reduce fungal infection.

For it to work effectively it must be used regularly at seven to 10 days intervals, or every fortnight if it is hot. The most important thing is to get a good even coverage over all of the leaves. One of the great advantages of milk fungicide is that you don’t need any protective gear for spraying.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ski pants

We’re going to Aspen next week and I’m not even ready yet. So much to do with so little time. I have to get ski pants, boots, parkas and ski masks. What else? Oh yes, gloves and ski equipments too. And book the tickets also or we’re not going anywhere! Should have been more organised but with heavy workload I just didn’t have much time to organise my ski vacation this year.

Celery

There are several cultivars of Celery Apium graveolens var. dulce, which are very similar. The only thing that will influence your choice is the planting season; so get advice from a local seed retailer.

Close relatives, Celeriac Apium graveolens var. rapaceum is grown for its celery-flavoured root, while Florence Fennel Foeniculum vulgare var. azoricum is grown for its aniseed-flavoured bulb.

Common fennel has a similar growth habit to celery. The stems are buried deep within the above ground parts of the plant, being hidden by the fleshy leaf petioles upon which the feathery foliage is borne.

Celery has a very shallow root system, and needs frequent watering because the roots are concentrated in the top few centimetres of soil and so they will dry out quickly.

What we commonly call the stem of the celery plant, the part that we eat, is actually the petiole from which the leaves grow. If you pull celery apart, it can be observed that the stem is in the centre of the plant near the roots at the base of the plant. It will continue to grow to form a stem and flowers, which will set seed. It is too tough to eat at this stage.

It is possible to grow celery in almost any soil type, but it prefers friable loamy soil. It will grow in sand but much more nutrition and water will be required. Celery prefers to grow in the mid seasons of spring and autumn. It does not like the hot temperatures of summer or the very cold ones of winter. During the summer during its most rapid growing time, it takes about 10 to 12 weeks to reach maturity, and during the winter it takes about 18 weeks to reach maturity from transplanting into the field. It needs two or three applications of nitrogen and potassium during the life of the crop. Celery puts on 70% of its growth in the last 30% of its life.

Planting celery in blocks of plants encourages the stems to grow longer, fleshier and slightly lighter making them less bitter. If you are selecting celery in the supermarket, the bunch should be a good bright, glossy green and should be very turgid. The stems should be very firm in your hand, which will ensure that it will be crisp and have the best flavour.

Plus size maternity clothes

This morning my wife dragged me out to the mall even before the shops were open. She had to get some plus size maternity clothes for her cousin who’s pregnant again at a later age. It was totally unexpected but the whole family is happy with the good news. Looks like we’re having an extra present under the Christmas tree this year.

Asian Vegetables

Over the last two decades our strong and growing connection with Asia has had a large influence on the food we eat today. A huge variety of Asian vegetables are available in the marketplace and are helping us to expand our culinary exploits. Their distinctive flavours combine well more traditional Australian foods. Many of the plants originate from tropical parts of Asia, particularly China where they have been cultivated and used for centuries.

Many of these plants have strong and distinctive flavours and are often quick growing, tender and have a variety of parts of the plant that can be used. Like many ingredients in Asian cuisine, nothing is wasted. Many of the plants have parts (leaves, flower heads) that can be periodically plucked without disturbing the whole plant. Some of these varieties are ready to harvest in as little as six weeks from sowing and many can be cut and a used throughout the growing season

Some varieties of Asian herbs and vegetables are becoming available in punnets, but they are very easy to grow from seed. Most varieties don’t like to be transplanted so it is a good idea to sow that seed directly. They need to be grown in areas of at least six hours of direct sunlight. In cooler areas most varieties can be planted in autumn or spring once any risk of frost has disappeared. In tropical areas Asian vegetables are a winter crop, so the seed is sown in autumn. When thinning out the seedlings don't throw them away as they are great used in soups and stir-frys. Coriander it is best grown in the shade as it goes to seed more quickly in full sun.