Monthly Archives: January 2016

3 Reasons Why Your Garden Appliances Will Hinder Your GardenYour garden is an extension of your home, and your chance to express your personality with the help of nature. Whether you're after cascading water features, flowerbeds bursting with colour all year round or a pristine lawn surrounded by a few pots and decking - all can be achieved.

Achieving the garden you're after and maintaining it however are two different things, and key to maintaining your desired garden is having the right garden appliances available - and in full working condition. Unfortunately, general wear and tear combined with irregular / poor maintenance can result in your appliances developing faults.

Below, are 3 of the most common garden appliance faults you're likely to experience this summer - as well as solutions to rectifying them for little outlay.

Lawnmower - A Blunt Blade:

The lawnmower blade may seem like a strong component of your mower, but it is susceptible to damage. The most common cause of damage to your lawnmower blade is it becoming blunt due to coming into contact with debris, such as stones/rocks which are hidden in your lawn, or edging of your garden.

As your lawnmower blade becomes blunt the cut of your lawn will be reduced, and instead of a neat slice being achieved, the individual blades of grass will become torn. This in itself will not only lead to your lawn looking untidy, but also increases the risk of your lawn become infected by weeds and other ailments.

We recommend that a couple of times during the mowing season (which traditionally runs between March and October) you give your blade a once over. If there are any signs of it becoming damaged, blunt or chipped you should sharpen it - and this can easily be done at home. Alternatively, if this seems like too much hassle, purchase a replacement lawnmower blade and fit this.

Grass Trimmer - Feed Line Issues:

Frequent line breakage on your grass trimmer is usually a result of the cutting head being too close to objects, such as walls and steps, when it is in use. This prevents the line from rotating freely and results in the line snapping.

No matter how hard you try, your grass trimmer's line will invariably snap at some point during the summer. But there are a number of steps which you can take to make sure it doesn't happen every time you trim the edges of your lawn, including:

  • Keeping the head of your trimmer as clean as possible. Dirt and debris can build up and clog the line feed mechanism, increasing the risk of the line snapping.
  • If buying line rather than fitting a replacement spool and line, take care wrapping it. You need to make sure you don't cross the line over itself. Crossing the line can increase the risk of jams and line becoming lost.
  • Not trimming for longer periods of time, this is likely to result in the spool getting hot and the line sticking together, increasing the risk of it snapping.
  • Making sure the trimmer line is kept at the correct length - and this should be roughly 10mm.

Pressure Washer - Running on Low Pressure:

If your pressure washer is emitting low pressure, it won't be providing the cleaning power you'd expect. Unfortunately, pressure washers emitting low pressure is not an uncommon fault, but it is relatively straightforward to rectify.

First, check for any kinks, leaks or blockages which may have formed in your garden hose or pressure washer's hose. If no kinks/blockages/leaks are detected, check your water is turned on full force and supplying the correct amount of water. Only once you've checked these areas should you check your pressure washer.

It's recommended you first check your pressure washer's water inlet filter to ensure it is free from debris and the trigger gun/nozzles, again making sure these are free from debris / blockages.

Should all of these areas be OK, yet your pressure washer is still running on low pressure, you may have air trapped in the pump. This can be rectified by bleeding the pressure washer. Don't worry, whilst this may sound tricky, in reality it should be no more difficult than bleeding your radiators.

To bleed your pressure washer, you follow the steps below...

    1) Turn off the appliance and disconnect the high pressure hose and trigger gun
    2) With only the garden hose connected, turn on your water supply and allow water to run through the pump for up to 30 seconds
    3) Turn off the water, reconnect the high pressure hose and trigger gun, and try to use the machine again

By keeping on top of your garden appliances, you stand more chance of keeping your garden in tip-top shape, not only during the summer but throughout the year.

Building Garden Character With Garden Gnomes and FountainsYour dwelling place does not have to end within the confines of your home but it can go beyond that, into the outside. Taking your home and sanctuary outdoors can provide your own personal relaxation spot. Gardening has always been one of my passions and giving color with variations of flowers has always made a great place of serenity. However, when I began adding special tweaks of garden gnomes and fountains plus decor, it heightened that relaxation environment times ten.

I enjoy the personalities of garden gnomes and all of the attention my garden receive when friends, family and bystanders give as they try to decipher what my gnomes are doing and what I was thinking. My gnome is sitting on his toilet reading the newspaper while others poses to smell the roses. The ones that draw the birds in to feed from their bowls, it's amazing how you notice all the little creatures, the sounds and lifestyles from this scenery. Most will always give a positive feedback as I enjoy the peaceful environment I have created.

If there is ever a question of why I have a positive outlook on life it is because of the relaxation I receive from the character of my garden with garden gnomes and fountains and other garden art. If you're a person who is passionate for enjoying the rewards of great garden you can understand my compulsion. I love doing fun things in the garden and garden gnomes has been one those symbols of garden character that I just have so much joy dealing with. I have built a safe haven with these little guys and it has been amazing to watch the wonderful response from that.

The character of a person on the outside most often reflects the inside of that someone and it is true for the place that you call home. Whether it is at the office or mom's house, it is the place to give great character. I often find myself wishing my work space could bring the serenity of my garden, then I get yelled out of my day dreams. That may not be the same for you. You may have that area that you spend most of your day in or in a position to implement that space. My passion is my garden character and the outdoors. My gnomes get to share that passion with me and so can my readers.

Growing a Vegetable Garden Can Be FunI know what you're thinking: gardening is too hard, it takes too much time, and how can anyone like me go about growing a garden when I know nothing about the subject? This is most people's view on gardening, and is completely wrong! Gardening is easy and anyone can do it!

Imagine needing to make a salad, and walking out to your garden where you have fresh lettuce growing. You pick a head of lettuce, get it washed, and then realize you need some more ingredients.

Back out to the garden you pick some tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, onion, and peppers as well. Throwing this in your salad, you realize you are eating the tastiest salad you have ever had in your life! This is because you are growing the highest quality of fruits and vegetables, as well as getting it as fresh as possibly can be!

How to Start a Garden

But how can you start a garden? It's simple! All you need is a spot of ground, some water, seeds, and some determination.

Start with tilling your garden. You will want to mix up the soil nice and good to mix the nutrients equally throughout the garden. This is also good as it gives the soil some shaking, which will allow your plants to grow deep roots.

Next, you can then make rows in your garden, and begin gently placing your seeds throughout your rows and covering it back up with dirt. Once the rows are covered, spread some fertilizer over the rows and begin to gently sprinkle some water over all of your rows.

Going Organic

It is also important to note here that not all seeds and fertilizers are created equal! I personally prefer to get Organic seeds, fertilizer, and pesticide.

Getting organic seeds for your garden allow you to have the most natural gardening experience possible. Not only will organic seeds taste better, they are better for the good bugs in your garden! Bugs don't like non-organic pants!

As for fertilizer, be sure to get an organic fertilizer with plenty of nutrients. If you put the nutrients in the soil, the nutrients will be in your plants. If the nutrients are in your plants, they will be in your body! It's like taking a vitamin supplement by eating delicious food out of your garden!

Being Careful with Pesticides

As for pesticide, be sure not to use chemicals and other hazardous material. Not only is it horrible for the environment, the bugs don't like it and your plants don't like it either. Additionally, it has been proven to present health defects in a human body, so try to find something organic to keep those pests off!

Growing a garden is fun and easy! Once you get out there, you'll realize that it really comes down to making sure your plants are getting plenty of water and are staying weed free! So go ahead, plant your garden in that empty space in your back yard, and start enjoying all the wonderful health and life benefits that a garden brings!

 

Vegetable Garden LocationThe selection of a suitable site on which to establish the vegetable garden requires considerable thought, for an ill-chosen spot can be a great handicap in the beginning. The average home gardener has little choice because of the relatively small size of urban plots but several points must be considered if the outlay of seed, fertilizer, manure and labor is to show profitable returns.

Level ground with good drainage or ground with a slight slope is just about ideal. If the ground is on a slight slope make the slope even by filling in any depressions with soil taken from obvious high spots otherwise some plants will suffer from excess moisture while others, a few feet away, suffer from the lack of it. It is difficult to obtain an even stand of seedlings on uneven ground, for germination is always patchy.

If the only ground is on a moderate to steep slope it will be necessary to construct a number of bench terraces to conserve soil and moisture. The grade of the slope will determine the number of terraces necessary. Moderate slopes need two or three wide terraces; steep slopes call for several narrower ones. On moderate slopes the terraces can be shaped with soil, but on steeper slopes retaining walls of concrete, brick or stone are essential to prevent severe damage and soil loss during heavy storms. For preference these terraces should slope back slightly from the retaining wall. At all costs avoid, if possible, low-lying ground which is likely to become waterlogged in the rainy season. These lower soils often attract amateur growers because of their dark color, and appearance of fertility.

Good drainage is essential in vegetable gardens for no crops of consequence will tolerate "wet feet" for long. Too much soil moisture is detrimental to plant growth because the roots must have moisture and air circulation to function properly. Saturated conditions also slow down appreciably the beneficial activities of soil organisms which, as with roots must have air to flourish.

In laying out a garden there are two generally used methods each with its advantages and drawbacks. One method is to dig over and prepare the whole ares allocated to vegetables and to grow the crops, in rows, side by side with no defined paths between. This is the usual system in temperate regions and has the advantage that the area is used to the full.

The alternative method, and probably the most used, is to grow vegetables in slightly raised beds with each bed devoted to a single crop. It may be worthwhile to practice the first method in the dry season for winter crops and then resort to the bed method during the wet months to assist with drainage, as was mentioned earlier in my article to avoid the "wet feet" syndrome.

Gardeners practicing the bed method usually make the mistake of making the paths too wide and the beds too narrow and too high. The bed can be of any convenient length but should be at least four feet wide if the are to accommodate several rows of crops such as beetroot, carrots and lettuces. Beds of this size will still make it possible to allow for hoeing, thinning and harvesting to be done from the paths, which can be about fifteen to eighteen inches wide. Potatoes, sweet potatoes and other widely spaced crops are unsuited to bed culture because of the distance between rows necessary if adequate soil is available to earth them up.

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