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|1. Mulch your flower beds and trees
with 3" of organic material - it conserves water, adds humus and nutrients,
and discourages weeds. It gives your beds a nice, finished appearance.
2. Mulch acid-loving plants with a thick layer of
pine needles each fall. As the needles decompose, they will deposit
their acid in the soil.
3. The most important step in pest management is to
maintain healthy soil. It produces healthy plants, which are better
able to withstand disease and insect damage.
4. Aphids? Spray infested stems, leaves, and buds
with a very dilute soapy water, then clear water. It works even on the
5. Compost improves soil structure, texture, and areation,
and increases the soil's water holding capacity. It also promotes soil
fertility and stimulates healthy root development.
6. Look for natural and organic alternatives to chemical
fertilizers, such as the use of compost. Our use of inorganic fertilizer
is causing a toxic buildup of chemicals in our soil and drinking water.
7. When buying plants for your landscape, select well-adapted
plant types for your soil, temperature range, and sun or shade exposure.
8. Landscaping your yard is the only home improvement
that can return up to 200% of your original investment.
9. Plant trees! They increase in value as they grow
and save energy and money by shading our houses in the summer, and letting
the sun shine through for warmth in the winter.
10. Think of trees and their locations as the walls
and roofs of our outdoor rooms, when you are planning their locations
11. Grass won't grow? Find an appropriate ground cover
for the exposed earth and fill the problem space, creating an interesting
12. Plant vines on walls, fences, and overhead structures
for quick shade, vertical softening, and colorful flower displays.
13. If gourmet cooking is in your plans, organically
grown herbs make wonderful landscape plants. They flavor foods, provide
medicinal properties, and offer up fragrances. And most thrive on neglect.
14. Shade gardens are low maintenance - they require
less watering, slower growth, and fewer weeds to fight.
15. Everyone loves flowers! Annuals are useful for
a splash of one-season color. But since replacing them each year is
expensive, concentrate them in just a few spots.
16. There is no need to work the soil deeply when
adding compost or soil amendments. Eighty five percent of a plant's
roots are found in the top 6" of soil.
17. The best organic matter for bed preparation is
compost made from anything that was once alive, for example leaves,
kitchen waste, and grass clippings.
18. Dig an ugly hole when planting a tree or shrub.
A hole with "glazed" sides from a shovel will restrict root penetration
into the surrounding soil.
19. Planting from plastic containers? Carefully remove
the plant and tear the outside roots if they have grown solidly against
20. Think of mulching as "maintaining the forest floor":
add 1" to 3" of compost or mulch to planting beds each year.
21. Natural fertilizers, compost and organic materials
encourage native earthworms. Earthworms are nature's tillers and soil
conditioners, and manufacture great fertilizer.
22. Bare soil should not be visible around a new planting.
Always cover with a layer of mulch, any coarse-textured, loose organic
23. Think "biodiversity". Using many different kinds
of plants encourage many different kinds of beneficial insects to take
up residence in your yard.
24. Organic pest control is a comprehensive approach
instead of a chemical approach. Create a healthy biodiversity so that
the insects and microbes will control themselves. Using natural products
and building healthy soil is the best long-term treatment for pests.
25. Weeds? Spot-spray with common full-strength household
vinegar, on a sunny day. It's an organic weed killer that's safe for
you and the environment.
26. Mulch! The rain and irrigation water runs off
the land, eroding and depleting your unprotected soil.
27. Residential users of synthetic fertilizers and
pesticides apply more pounds per acre of these chemicals then farmers
do. As these pollutants run off, they harm aquatic life and contaminate
the food chain. If you keep your soil healthy, you won't require chemical
28. Some mulching benefits are protection of roots
from the sun's heat, and protection of plant crowns from winter cold.
29. To prevent diseases and pest infestation , avoid
piling mulch against tree trunks. Spread mulch out as far as the drip
30. For effective weed control use a layer of coarse
mulch 3" or more in depth. Some hardy grasses may need to be rooted
out for successful removal.
31. For a good start, water the ground thoroughly
before and after applying a mulch cover.
32. Use plants in your landscape that are either native
to your area, or were imported from areas with similar climate and soil.
They require a lot less water and care, and won't die off in the winter.
33. Compost is what happens when leaves, grass clippings,
vegetable and fruit scraps, woodchips, straw, and small twigs are combined,
then allowed to break down into a soil-like texture. Use it instead
of commercial fertilizers.
34. Formal gardens are for you if you love symmetry.
They work best around a focal point like a fountain, sculpture, specimen
tree, or group of plants.
35. Some flowers, including sweet peas, iris, foxglove,
amaryllis, lantana, lupines, clematis, dature, poinsettia, and oleander,
36. When buying annuals or perennials, select plants
that are budded but not yet in bloom, so their energy the first two
or three weeks in your garden will be directed toward making larger
and stronger plants with better-developed root systems.
37. To increase water conservation, look for drought-resistant
plants. Usually these plants have silver leaves, deep taproots and small
leaves. Succulents are also able to withstand dry weather.
38. When planting, take into consideration the plant's
size at maturity. Layer by height and bloom time for emphasis and constant
39. Soaker hoses deliver water directly to the base
of the plant, reducing moisture loss from evaporation. Early morning
is the best time of day to water.
40. Compost balances both acid and alkaline soils,
bringing PH levels into the optimum range for nutrient availability.
It contains micronutrients such as iron and manganese that are often
absent in synthetic fertilizers.
41. Avoid frequent, deep cultivation, which can damage
plant roots, dry out the soil, disturb healthy soil organisms, and bring
weed seeds to the surface where they will germinate.
42. Use the least-disruptive and least-polluting protections
against a pest. Try the following methods as applicable: first physical
removal, barriers, and traps; next, biological controls; then, appropriate
botanical and mineral pesticides.
43. Red, orange, and yellow in your landscape will
draw the eye and bring objects closer.To make a small garden feel larger,
place warm colors in the front of the space and cool colors in the back.
44. Cover street noise - sound pollution can be minimized
by the use of water features, such as a waterfall, or a pond with a
fountain jet. Wind chimes also help, as can bird feeders that attract
45. Newly planted trees need supplemental water to
avoid transplant shock, so water deeply on a weekly basis throughout
the growing season.
46. Give order to your garden by defining the boundaries
with fences, stone walls, or hedges. Include paths for movement.
47. Less than 2 percent of the insects in the world
are harmful. Beneficial insects such as ground beetles, ladybugs, fireflies,
green lacewings, praying mantids, spiders, and wasps keep harmful insects
from devouring your plants. They also pollinate your plants and decompose
48. Plant newly purchased plants during the late evening
or on a cloudy day. They have a much better chance of surviving if planted
during cloudy, rainy weather than dry, sunny weather.
49. Compost introduces and feeds diverse life in the
soil, including bacteria, insects, worms, and more, which support vigorous
50. Bright light washes out the cool colors, blue,
green, and purple. They are best used in shaded areas for maximum impact.
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