Saturday, 25 July 2009
TEXT - A - QUOTE or RING on 07973 417 494 for free site visit and consultation. All landscape and garden projects, grounds maintenance contracts and regular gardening/mowing undertaken at prices to suit every budget. Please contact Richard to discuss your requirements. Garden Clearance Devon, Landscape Gardening, Grass Cutting,Fencing, Mowing, Turfing, Ponds, Water Features, Landscaping.Complete your project in stages. Long established and trusted local business-Est.16 years. Covering Totnes, Kingsbridge, Ivybridge , Plympton and Villages.
Friday, 24 July 2009
How to indoor force begonias
Devon landscape gardeners have a lovely emerald green backdrop as a foil for very strong fiery colours, such as those of Begonias. These are so useful and reliable for lifting those dull shady corners that most gardens have, and it is much cheaper to start your own bedding plants indoors.
It's easy to learn how to indoor force begonias through tubers indoors, even if you have never tried it before. Begonias can be challenging for beginners to grow, but if you are prepared, follow instructions carefully and do not forget about the begonia tubers even beginners can achieve good results with these fiery-colored plants.
Late winter is an ideal time to learn how to indoor force begonias. Lift the tubers in the Fall before the cold weather sets in and the ground gets frosty. They can come indoors to spend the winter out of the extremes of the weather outside. If the tubers are damp, they need to be dried carefully first, to lessen the risk of any damage resulting from mould or disease. Fungicide should also be used to powder the tubers before they are put into store. Choose a location that is cool but not subject to frost, such as a garage, unheated porch or store-room.
(Or grow your beautiful Begonias from seed through Amazon:)
Begonia F1 Nonstop Mix Seeds (1 Pkt - 50 seeds)
When planted, move the trays of begonias to a warmer location, still indoors, but too hot a spot! About sixty degrees is good. They like a good, light position and it is sensible to have them where you can see them regularly so that you can see and feel when the compost is getting dry. You can then watch the height of each begonia, ready to remove it to its own pot when it is ready. This should be when the shoots of the new plant have grown to about three inches. Learning how to indoor force begonias is not difficult and waiting for these shoots to show is exciting.
As soon as the weather is warm enough, usually from late May until about mid-June, start to plant out your new begonias with their cool white or hot spicy shades. Choose a spot in shade or a partly shaded area in which to plant them and make sure they have a light, free-draining soil to grow in.
Alternatively, brighten a dull, uninspiring corner in the garden, or welcome visitors, with tubs full of vividly colored begonias.There are many hot shades and hues to choose from from hot pinks, to fiery oranges and scarlet reds - all of which look stunning when accompanied by Bizzie Lizzies as a foil to the planting scheme. If using begonias in the garden, choose a location near to the front of the bed, due to the height of the flowers. No matter what the weather, at least you can be sure of a fiery hot show of garden color if you start your Begonia tubers early! Next year you will already know how to indoor force begonias.
For more Devon landscapers tips from Green Grounds,or for help with projects large and small, call us on
(Devon landscape gardeners covering Plymouth,Plympton,Ivybridge,Totnes,South Brent,Torquay,Buckfastleigh and Ashburton.)
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Those Dreaded Winter Worm Casts!
To smooth out worm bumps in lawns, you first need a dry day. In some zones, these are few and far between in the winter, Worm bumps in lawns can be unsightly, particularly in the winter months, when the spirals of digested slimy earth are wet and where they occur very close together.
In summer too, worm bumps can be a nuisance, as, after a shower of rain, the worm bumps get wet and sticky underfoot.
If not cleared away before a very long, hot dry spell of weather, the worm bumps can dry out, and - particularly on clay soils - the bumps can become hard-baked little hillocks which affect the smooth operation of a lawnmower.
Some gardeners fear that numerous hard-baked worm bump areas in the turf will cause the lawn to become patchy, as moss, clover and other weeds will grow there in future, instead of fine grasses.
Spring and Fall are the most likely times for worm bumps to appear, as the weather is milder and wetter then. The worms come up to feed when the temperature climbs a little. The earthworms feed on decaying organic matter and excrete the surplus as slimy soil in worm bumps on the surface.
The best way to deal with worm bumps is to try to remove them when they have dried out a little. Wait for the first few dry, warm days of spring and use a light grass rake to scratch the worm bumps into a dry earth powder that will either soon blow away, or filter harmlessly down into the turf. This could ideally be carried out before the first cut.
An effective technique is to methodically treat the area with a light grass rake in a 'cross-hatch' pattern until the whole area has been fine-raked right down to the soil surface. This technique is known as 'scarifying.'
An added benefit of scarifying the lawn is that the thatch of wet damp moss and the remains of last year's grass-mowing clippings will also be removed, leaving the lawn clean and refreshed and ready for a smooth run with the lawnmower.
Serious 'lawn purists' whose aim is to produce a show lawn fine enough to grace any croquet lawn or lawn tennis match, may not be satisfied with this partial remedy however. Such lawn enthusiasts may want the worm population exterminated all together or at least culled! . In the past such zealots may have resorted to Ph lowering treatments such as sulphur powder in attempt to deter the worms by raising acidity.
Unfortunately, chemical worm-treating agents are now frowned upon for safety and environmental reasons and are even banned in many countries. If, on a show lawn of closely-cropped fine grasses, the worm bumps are a serious blot, then the only recourse might be to consult a qualified landscape gardening professional. These operatives often have licenses to use more powerful chemicals. However, there are safety issues with chemicals and of course, cost issues too.
It is worth remembering at this point that earthworms are worth keeping in the lawn for other reasons. They are a beneficial presence in the soil as their constant mining helps to aerate the earth, and they also digest and recycle organic matter such as dead leaves and moss from the surface. They play an important role in lawn drainage too.
It is possible that for the fine green sward spreading before the gardener in summer he has the worms to thank. A healthy lawn might be worth the headache of a minor worm bump issue that can be safely raked away.
Many thanks to Net_Efekts of Flickr for the worm image!
JJAE Web Directory