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Wild Flower Gardening part 2

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Read Wild Flower Gardening part 1 here

The other March flower mentioned is the saxifrage. This belongs in quite a different sort of environment. It is a plant which grows in dry and rocky places. Often one will find it in chinks of rock. There is an old tale to the effect that the saxifrage roots twine about rocks and work their way into them so that the rock itself splits. Anyway, it is a rock garden plant. I have found it in dry, sandy places right on the borders of a big rock. It has white flower clusters borne on hairy stems.

The columbine is another plant that is quite likely to be found in rocky places. Standing below a ledge and looking up, one sees nestled here and there in rocky crevices one plant or more of columbine. The nodding red heads bob on wiry, slender stems. The roots do not strike deeply into the soil; in fact, often the soil hardly covers them. Now, just because the columbine has little soil, it does not signify that it is indifferent to the soil conditions. For it always has lived, and always should live, under good drainage conditions. I wonder if it has struck you, how really hygienic plants are? Plenty of fresh air, proper drainage, and good food are fundamentals with plants.

It is evident from study of these plants how easy it is to find out what plants like. After studying their feelings, then do not make the mistake of huddling them all together under poor drainage conditions.

I always have a feeling of personal affection for the bluets. When they come I always feel that now things are beginning to settle down outdoors. They start with rich, lovely, little delicate blue blossoms. As June gets hotter and hotter their colour fades a bit, until at times they look quite worn and white. Some people call them Quaker ladies, others innocence. Under any name they are charming. They grow in colonies, sometimes in sunny fields, sometimes by the road-side. From this we learn that they are more particular about the open sunlight than about the soil.

If you desire a flower to pick and use for bouquets, then the wild geranium is not your flower. It droops very quickly after picking and almost immediately drops its petals. But the purplish flowers are showy, and the leaves, while rather coarse, are deeply cut. This latter effect gives a certain boldness to the plant that is rather attractive. The plant is found in rather moist, partly shaded portions of the woods. I like this plant in the garden. It adds good colour and permanent colour as long as blooming time lasts, since there is no object in picking it.

There are numbers and numbers of wild flowers I might have suggested. These I have mentioned were not given for the purpose of a flower guide, but with just one end in view your understanding of how to study soil conditions for the work of starting a wild-flower garden.

If you fear results, take but one or two flowers and study just what you select. Having mastered, or better, become acquainted with a few, add more another year to your garden. I think you will love your wild garden best of all before you are through with it. It is a real study, you see.

4 Gardening E-books at a low cost

Sunday, May 25th, 2008

gardening ebooks pack header

4 Gardening E-books To Help You Discover The Secrets To Growing A Beautiful And Productive Garden

We have picked out 4 great gardening e-books for you and then slashed the price to less than most places charge for just one.

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As you can see from the picture above we are offering the following titles

amgardenerecoverGardening Tips That Really Work

  1. 155 pages of tips, and information to help you plan and cultivate the perfect garden including .
  2. Situation and laying out your garden Chapter 1
  3. How to make the best of Greenhouses and Hotbeds Chapter 2
  4. Growing vegetables and herbs Chapter 4
  5. Fruit growing, from planting to picking Chapter 5
  6. Flower gardens, and ornamental gardening ideas

Also includes tips for fencing and soil preparation to help you make the most of your garden area.

 

lawncoverYour Perfect Lawn

The ultimate guide to acheiving perfect trouble free lawns. Discover how to:

  1. Choose the correct grass seed to start your lawn off the right way
  2. How to lay turf for a faster start to a great looking lawn.
  3. How to keep your lawn in shape throughout the hot summer months.

And much much more….

yourgarden

Your Garden

Your garden is a handy companion to the above books covering subjects as diverse as

  1. Improving the soil to encourage growth of your plants
  2. Water features from ponds to water gardens
  3. Repairing tree damage before it becomes a dangerous eyesore

And more..

greenhousebook4Growing Greenhouses

Your guide to growing plants in your own greenhouse. Learn the experts secrets to keeping your greenhouse plants in tip top condition….

  1. Discover the different types of greenhouse, and how they work to trap heat
  2. Find out what tools you will need to run a successful greenhouse

And many other tips for the greenhouse gardener.

Any one of the above e-books on their own will sell for $10 and above (at least one has been selling for as much as $27 on its own) meaning this package has a value of over $40 but we aren’t going to ask you to pay $40 or even $27 not even for the whole set, in fact this four pack gardening e-books set can be yours today for just

7not27

Order now through Paypal

Nutrient Management In The Garden

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

Apply only the nutrients plants can use.

Twenty nutrients have been identified that are required by plants.
Of these, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium are required in
relatively large amounts. Nitrogen is associated with lush vegetative
growth, adequate phosphorus is required for flowering and fruiting,
and potassium is necessary for durability and disease resistance.
Calcium, sulfur, and magnesium are also required in comparatively
large quantities. These six nutrients are referred to as macronutrients.
The other nutrients, referred to as micronutrients, are required in
very small amounts. These include such elements as copper, zinc,
iron, and boron. While both macro and micronutrients are required
for good plant growth, over-application can be as detrimental as a
deficiency. Over-application of plant nutrients not only may impair plant
growth, but may contaminate groundwater by leaching through the soil
or pollute surface waters by washing away.

Soil testing

Testing your soil for nutrients and pH is important to provide your
plants with the proper balance of nutrients while avoiding over-
application. If you are establishing a new garden , a soil test is
strongly recommended. The cost of soil testing is minor in comparison
to the cost of plant materials and labor. Correcting a problem before
planting is much simpler and cheaper than afterwards. Once your garden
is established, continue to take periodic soil samples. While many people routinely lime their gardens , this can result in raising the pH too high.
However, since many fertilizers tend to lower the pH, the pH may drop
below desirable levels after several years, depending on fertilization and
other soil factors. Home tests for pH, nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium
are available from garden centers. While these may give you a general
idea of the nutrients in your soil, they are not as reliable as tests performed
by the Cooperative Extension Service at  land grant universities. University
and other commercial testing services will provide more detail and you can request special tests for micronutrients if you suspect a problem. In addition
to the analysis of nutrients in your soil, they often provide recommendations
for the application of nutrients or on adjusting the pH. The test for soil pH
is very simple– pH is a measure of how acidic or alkaline your soil is.
A pH of 7 is considered neutral. Below 7 is acidic and above 7 is alkaline.
Since pH greatly influences plant nutrients, adjusting the pH will often
correct a nutrient problem. At a high pH, several of the micronutrients
become less available for plant uptake. Iron deficiency is a common
problem even at a neutral pH on such plants as rhododendrons and
blueberries. At very low pH, other micronutrients may be too available,
resulting in a plant toxicity. Phosphorus and potassium are tested
regularly by commercial testing labs. While there are soil tests for
nitrogen, these may be less reliable. Nitrogen is present in the soil in
several forms and the forms can change rapidly. Therefore, a precise
analysis of nitrogen is more difficult to obtain. Most university soil test
labs do not routinely test for nitrogen. Home testing kits often contain a
test for nitrogen which may give you a general idea of the presence of
nitrogen, but again, due to the various transformations of nitrogen, the
reading may not be reliable. Organic matter is often part of a soil
test. Soil organic matter is highly desirable. Organic matter has a large
influence on soil structure. Good soil structure improves aeration and
water movement and retention. This encourages increased microbial
activity and root growth, both of which influence the availability of
nutrients for plant growth. Soil organic matter also affects the availability
of plant nutrients and how pesticides react in the soil. Soils high
in organic matter tend to have a greater supply of plant nutrients
compared to many soils low in organic matter. Organic matter tends
to bind up some soil pesticides, reducing their effectiveness. Tests for micronutrients are usually not performed unless there is reason
to suspect a problem. Certain plants have greater requirements for
specific micronutrients and may show deficiency symptoms. Iron
deficiency is common on blueberries, unless the soil is quite acidic. On
these plants, the younger leaves will usually show signs of the deficiency
first. The areas between the veins will be yellowish while the veins remain
green. Other plants growing in the same soil will show no signs of a
deficiency. In this case, altering the pH will often correct the problem.

Taking a soil test

1. If you intend to send your sample to the land grant university in your
state, contact the local Cooperative Extension Service for information
and sample bags. If you intend to send your sample to a private testing
lab, contact them for specific details about submitting a sample.

2. Follow the directions carefully for submitting the sample. The
following are general guidelines for taking a soil sample.

a. Sample when the soil is moist but not wet.

b. For each acre of land to be tested, 10 to 15 sub-samples are
recommended. Areas that appear different or that have been used
differently should be sampled separately. For example, a separate
sample should be submitted for an area that has been in a garden
and one that has been lawn.

c. Obtain a clean pail or similar container.

d. Clear away the surface litter or grass.

e. With a spade or soil auger, dig a small amount of soil to a depth
of 6 inches.

f. Place the soil in the clean pail.

g. Repeat steps d through f until the required number of samples
have been collected.

h. Mix the samples together thoroughly.

i. From the mixture, take the sample that will be sent for analysis.

j. Send immediately. Do not dry before sending.

3. If you are using a home soil testing kit, follow the above steps for
taking your sample. Follow the directions in the test kit carefully.

Fertilizers and soil amendments

Once you have the results of the soil test, you can add nutrients or soil
amendments such as lime, as needed. If you need to raise the pH, use
lime. Lime is most effective when it is mixed into the soil, therefore it is
best to apply before planting. For large areas, rototilling is most effective.
For small areas or around plants, working the lime into the soil with a
spade or cultivator is preferable. When working around plants, be
careful not to dig too deeply or so roughly that you damage plant roots.
Depending on the form of lime and the soil conditions, the change in pH
may be gradual. It may take several months before a significant change
is noted. Soils high in organic matter and clay tend to take larger amounts
of lime to change the pH than do sandy soils. If you need to lower the pH significantly, , you can use aluminum sulfate. Other commercially available fertilizers will also help lower the pH. In all cases, follow the soil test or manufacturer’s recommended rates of application. Again, mixing well into
the soil is recommended. There are numerous choices for providing
nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. If your soil is of adequate fertility,
applying compost may be the best method of applying additional nutrients.
While compost is relatively low in nutrients compared to commercial
fertilizers,  it is especially beneficial in improving the condition of the soil.
By keeping the soil loose, compost allows plant roots to grow well throughout
the soil, allowing them to extract nutrients from a larger area. A loose soil
enriched with compost is also an excellent habitat for earthworms and
other beneficial soil microorganisms that are essential for releasing
nutrients for plant use. The nutrients from compost are also released slowly
so there is no concern for “burning” the plant with an over-application.
Manure is also an excellent source of plant nutrients and organic matter.
Manure should be composted before applying. Fresh manure may be too
strong and can injure plants. Be careful when composting manure. If left
in the open, exposed to rain, nutrients may leach out of the manure
and the runoff can contaminate waterways. Make sure the manure is
stored in a location away from wells and any waterways, and that any
runoff is confined or slowly released into a vegetated area. Improperly
applied manure also can be a source of pollution. For best results, work
composted manure into the soil. If preparing a bed before planting,
compost and manure may be worked into the soil to a depth of 8 to 12
inches. If adding to existing plants, work carefully around plants.
Green manures are another source of organic matter and plant nutrients.
Green manures are crops that are grown and then tilled into the soil.
As they break down, nitrogen and other plant nutrients become available.
Green manures may also provide additional benefits of reducing soil
erosion. Green manures such as rye and oats are often planted in the
fall after the crops have been harvested. In the spring, these are tilled
under before planting. With all organic sources of nitrogen, whether
compost or manure, the nitrogen must be changed to an inorganic
form before the plants can use it. Therefore, it is important to have
well-drained, aerated soils that provide the favorable habitat for the soil
microorganisms responsible for these conversions. There are numerous
sources of commercial fertilizers that supply nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The first number on the fertilizer analysis is  the percentage
of nitrogen, the second number is phosphorus, and the third number is
the potassium content. A fertilizer like 10-20-10 has twice as much of each
of the nutrients as a 5-10-5. How much of each nutrient you need depends
on your soil test results and the plants you are fertilizing. As was mentioned
before, nitrogen stimulates vegetative growth while phosphorus stimulates
flowering. Too much nitrogen can inhibit flowering and fruit production.
For many vegetables, a fertilizer higher in phosphorus than nitrogen is
preferred such as a 5-10-5.

Fertilizer application

Commercial fertilizers are normally applied as a dry granular material, or
mixed with water and watered onto the garden. If using granular materials,
avoid spilling on sidewalks and driveways. These materials are water
soluble and can cause pollution problems if rinsed into storm sewers.
Granular fertilizers are a type of salt, and if applied too heavily on
plants, they can burn the plants. If using a liquid fertilizer, apply directly
to or around the base of the plant. For the most efficient use and to
decrease the potential for pollution, fertilizer should be applied when
the plants have the greatest need for the nutrients. Plants that are not
actively growing do not have a high requirement for nutrients. Therefore,
applications of nutrients to dormant plants, or plants growing slowly due
to cool temperatures, are more likely to be wasted.  Generally, nitrogen
fertilizers should not be applied to most plants in the fall in regions of the
country that experience cold winters. Since nitrogen encourages vegetative growth, if it is applied in the fall it may reduce the plant’s ability to harden
for winter. In some gardens, fertilizer use can be reduced by applying it
around the individual plants rather than broadcasting across the entire
garden. In the case of phosphorus, much of the fertilizer phosphorus
becomes unavailable to the plants once spread on the soil. For better
plant uptake, apply the fertilizer in a band near the plant. Do not apply
directly to the plant or in contact with the roots.

Gardening Tools

Sunday, October 28th, 2007

The range of gardening tools that are available now is quite outstanding.
As gardening is one of the most popular hobbies, there is a huge demand for gardening tools that can do a better job in the garden while making that job easier to complete for people of all ages.

You will need to buy the tools that make life easy in your particular garden and that will be determined by the types of plants that you have growing.
If your garden has predominantly large trees or hedges you will need tools that make the job of trimming at those heights easier.

With the design of new garden implements concentrating on leverage for ease of use, it has become a lot easier for the home gardener to maintain plants at heights that would have normally required professional help.

Many of these garden implements have also been designed for ease of use for people who suffer from arthritis and the elderly who don’t have the strength they once had.
Not only are these tools popular with the elderly but they will make the job of maintaining your garden a lot easier and more enjoyable by reducing the effort required to use them.

You will be able to select from implements that can reach to places that would be difficult without getting down into the garden, and as well as making life easier, they can also make it safer.
I recently had to clear the ground around some small palms and without the use of a long handled garden implement I had no alternative but to get down and do this by hand.
The ensuing pricks from the palm fronds made sure I went to the garden store at the earliest opportunity to ensure I wouldn’t have to do that again.
Fortunately I was wearing safety glasses as getting pricked in the eye from some of the sharp parts of plants can cause painful and permanent damage to your sight.

Safety glasses, or even sunglasses should be worn when working in the garden and breathing masks should always be worn when using poisons and insecticides.

We need to preserve our own health as well as that of our plants.

Autumn Colour (pt 2)

Saturday, October 20th, 2007

 Read Part 1 

Cotinus (Anacardiaceae):  Some of the best shrubs for autumn colour are the smoke bushes, so called because the spent flowerhead clusters resemble a smoke-like cloud. The summer foliage is also attractive and one of my favourites is ‘Notcutt’s Variety’ deep red purple, turning bright red in autumn. C. ‘Flame’ has dark green leaves turning orange-red. C. coggygria ‘Royal purple’ with it’s rounded, purple leaves turning brilliant scarlet. C. ‘Grace’ also has purple leaves throughout summer, turning red in late autumn. A new variety, C. ‘Golden Spirit’ has lovely lime-greenish-yellow foliage turning later to shades of coral, orange and red. They all require full sun in well-drained soil for the best colour displays. 

Cotoneaster (frigidus):  ‘Cornubia’ a vigorous, semi-evergreen shrub offers a splendid display of scarlet berries that cling to the length of each arching branch. C. salicifolius ‘Exburyensis’ an evergreen shrub producing bunches of pale yellow berries. These versatile shrubs with their bright, shinny green leaves, arching branches, rich coloured flowers and of course their masses of vibrant berries that appear later in the year are of interest throughout the seasons. 

Dogwoods (Cornus ssp.):  Put on a final display of brilliant red and orange-gold before retiring for the winter. But they have so much to offer with striking flowers and wonderful stem colour. 

Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum):  A fast-growing, deciduous, spreading tree with small, rounded leaves, bronze, flushed with pink when young, turning bright green in summer. The autumnal foliage is superb, turning orange, red and yellow, though trees usually colour better on moist, acidic soils. The fallen leaves smell of burnt toffee. It is stunning planted as a specimen in the lawn, either with a single trunk or as a broader tree of several stems. 

Hydrangea quercifolia (Oak-leaf Hydrangea):  Is a fine bushy, mound-forming shrub, reaching 6ft (2m). It’s a species hydrangea, quite different to the hydrangea normally planted in gardens, with different needs. The large, deeply lobed, dark green leaves turning red and purple in autumn are quite a spectacle. Its abundance of flower heads which are produced mid summer, will remain in place until late into autumn. 

Malus:  Most of the crab apples colour well, in fact they give year round interest with spring flowers which develop into summer fruits that often last throughout the winter months. Because of their size the trees can be suitable even for quite small gardens, many do well when planted into large pots. ‘Red Sentinal’ has some of the most beautiful, bright red shinny fruits, which will cling to the branches for most of the winter. ‘Golden Hornet’ with its buttery yellow fruits. ‘John Downie’ has red-flushed, orange crab apples slightly oval in shape. The fiery leaves of ‘Charlottae’, which has semi-double, pink flowers in early summer with a scent of violets, is well worth growing.

Tschonoskii‘ is a strong growing tree with distinctive columnar habit and particularly noted for its wonderful autumn colouring when the mid-green leaves turn to brilliant shades of yellow, orange, purple and scarlet. Single white flowers, tinged pink, appear in May and are followed by rounded red-flushed yellow-green crab apples. 

Parrotia Persica (Persian ironwoodis):  Is a deciduous spreading, short-trunked tree with flaking, grey bark. The leaves take on all the exciting colours of autumn and the promise of the red flowers borne on bare wood in the coming spring, make it an interesting subject for the garden. 

Sorbus ‘Joseph Rock’ is a small tree growing to 23 ft (7m), produces flowers in May and June, bunches of butter yellow berries come later long with the autumn tinted leaves. S. sargentiana a small tree of 16 ft (5m) producing masses of red fruit bunched between bright green leaves. S. vilmorinii an elegant small Chinese species with ferny foliage, has pink berries that pale as they mature and just a little shorter at 15 ft. (4.5m). Grow in ordinary fertile, free draining soils.

Autumn Colour (pt 1)

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

Autumn Colour

After the colourful and bountiful days of summer when displays of summer bedding and perennial plants are fast fading, we turn our attention to plants which at this time of year come into their own, playing a last finale in the seasons closing symphony. They in their turn will take us out of the current year, giving us some of the most breathtaking displays with their truly magnificent autumn colours. With the right plants we can enjoy a blaze of fire as burnished leaves shimmer with vibrant hues of brightest purple, flame red, brilliant orange, gold and butter yellow. Though autumn colour on a grand scale is not always possible in a garden setting of modest size, by choosing trees and shrubs with care those of us with limited space can still bring some of the drama into our own gardens at this time of year.

LEAF COLOUR CHANGE:  Autumn colour is spectacular and unpredictable. It relies on a complex and variable combination of climatic, environmental, genetic and physiological factors. It is not only the leaves that can offer exciting colour combinations; stems, fruits and berries play a significant role too. Their contribution help the plants take on a new lease of life, especially when masked in a film of frost or dusting of powdery snow. Berries and fruits are the jewels of our plants and their ripe, rich hues delight the eye in a feast of colour, variety and shape.

Acers: These are amongst some of the most colourful trees, many who started the season with leaves of green take on a dramatic colour change as winter draws near. A. japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’ is a bushy tree or large shrub with mid green leaves turning to red for a fiery autumn glow. A. palmatum var. ‘Coreanum’ turns to brilliant red in autumn. A. triflorum with its peeling, grey-brown bark has leaves that become brilliant orange-red. A. palmatum Osakazuki with leaves that have 7 lobes, turn brilliant scarlet during autumn. 

Noted for its beautiful autumn leaf colour, Amelanchier lamarchii the June Berry with its delicate, star-shaped, white flowers in March to April and bronze leaves maturing to dark-green and then orange and red in autumn; is an upright-stemmed shrub or tree and an ideal specimen plant for a shrub or mixed border in full sun or part-shade. 

Betula:  Most birches colour well in autumn displaying beautiful golden yellow tints. However, planted on chalk or limestone their foliage tends to turn brown before falling.

Cornus nuttallii: Will colour bright red before the leaves fall. And the spindle berry, Euonymous alatus (Winged spindle) and E. europaeus, not only produces its curious ‘spindle’ like fruits but has foliage in intense glowing reds, that really stands out in the garden. The wood was once used for making spindles for spinning; its eventual height of about 5m will enable it to be considered for the smaller garden. There are a number of named cultivars available, with particularly intense colours. 

 

Read Part 2

Understanding Soil

Sunday, October 14th, 2007

Understanding the role that soil plays in the garden is one of the best assets that you can have as a gardener.
It is this knowledge that will allow you to create a healthier environment for your plants and get the maximum benefits from them.

In doing so, you will also make your own life easier, as a garden that is well managed from the soil up, is a garden that is a lot easier to manage, from one day to the next.

A garden that has good soil that has been fed with good nutrition over time will make growing almost anything easy for even the least experienced gardener.

So how to you get good soil?
First you need to consider how plants grow and how they get their nutrition and that is through their roots.
Therefore, in order for the plants to grow well, they need to be in soil that allows their roots to get to the nutrition.
Obviously compact ground with little water, little air and poor nutrition will not produce the best plants.

Plants need water and air and this requires soil that has spaces to hold this air and water.
Therefore soil that is aerated will generally produce a better garden.
Once again it is all about balance, as soil that is too crumbly might not hold the nutrients as well, where the water might wash them away.
The soil also needs to be firm enough to support the growth of the plant otherwise it will topple over at the first sign of a wind.

The soil needs to have suitable nutrients and if any of these nutrients are out of balance, the pH scale that measures whether the soil is acidic or alkaline, will show why they are having difficulty absorbing the nutrients.

Frost Damaged Plants

Saturday, October 13th, 2007

With Autumn here, and Winter approaching frost damage to plants is a real concern for gardeners at this time of year. Although some plants will stand up to mild frost damage most will need special care in the colder months. So what can you do to prevent or at least lower the risk of frost damage to your plants?

Firstly we’ll look at how you can see if your plants have already been damaged by the cold. The appearance of wilting leaves, and leaves that have a water logged look can be a sign that your plant is suffering from frost damage. Another sign of frost damage can be the appearance of brown patches on the leaves.
Other signs are shown when the shoot tips on your plants start to die back.
If the flowers on the plant don’t open fully or they become discolored and then start to die off, then these are also signs that frost damage might have occurred.

There is no treatment for frost damage other than to remove the damaged portions of the plant in an effort to make it look a little healthier.
Provided the damage hasn’t been too severe you might not lose the plant.

Sometimes frost damage is not noticeable for a few days after a frost has occurred and this is particularly so if the frost was a very light one.

The best way to protect against frost damage, or to reduce the effect that frost might have on your garden is to choose the best plants for your climate conditions.
If you are living in an area that is susceptible to frosts then your best course of action is to choose plants that are frost-tolerant.

By planting in areas that are exposed or where frosts occur more frequently you will increase the chances of losing plants to frosts so it is wise to plant in sheltered spots or areas other than where there are frost pockets.

You can offer some protection to your plants by wrapping them in Hessian cloth or frost cloth until after the period of frost has passed.

There will be times in such climates where it is not possible to know when there will be a frost and these out of season frosts can kill a whole plant.

Feeding Your Plants

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Just like people, plants have their own particular requirements and it is not the best policy to assume they all need the same feeding.
Some plants need a lot of attention whereas others require very little.

You can actually harm the growth of your plants by feeding them too much.
Once again there needs to be balance in the garden.
If you feed your plants too much fertilizer that is high in nitrogen you might get a lot more foliage but a reduction in the fruit or flowers that the plant will produce.

This is because the plants will be using that nitrogen as energy to grow faster rather than produce more fruit or flowers.

Plants are always giving us signs of their food requirements or if they have been stressed.
They will wilt, or they might change color, or their leaves might curl up and drop off.
If there is something wrong with a plants nutrition it can often be seen quite easily.
It is just a matter of reading these signs and knowing what is going on.
As all plants are different, to fully understand the requirements of the particular plants or trees that you are growing you need to get information specific to those plants.

If you find signs of stress in your plants you should take samples to the local nurseries of the leaves and any abnormalities that you might notice in the soil.

There might be signs of mold in the soil, which could suggest too much water, and the roots of your plants might be rotting.

If the leaves of your plants are turning yellow on the other hand they might be suffering from a shortage of water.

The three most important elements in the soil of plants are nitrogen; for the promotion of leaf and stem growth.
Phosphorus; for the root growth and Potassium; which helps in the growth of flowers and fruits.

If you find there are any deficiencies in these areas then additional nutrients will need to be added to the soil.

Feed for Your Plants

Monday, October 8th, 2007

The best time to start feeding your garden is in spring.
At this time of the year the ground is still moist from the winter and early spring rains.

As the ground warms up with the hotter spring weather you get ideal growing conditions in your garden.

This is a crucial time for growth in the garden and you will need to ensure that your plants have the necessary nutrients to benefit from this period.

The small feeder roots that will be developing will seek the nutrients that you need to supply them.

By choosing the correct foods for your plants they will have better foliage, they will be stronger plants and will also have more abundant flowering.

There are three key factors that are needed in a balanced plant food and they are nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

A plentiful supply of nitrogen will ensure that your plants have healthy foliage.
Phosphorus improves the plants root health and potassium will encourage the plant to bloom and fruit.

As you can see they are all needed for the overall health of the plants and you should always check on the packaging of the fertilizer to see whether the chemical analysis is suitable.

These fertilizers usually come in three forms – controlled release, liquid and soluble.
Controlled release formulations have the nutrients inside a semi-permeable membrane that allows the nutrients to be released into the soil in a controlled manner once it reacts with the soil moisture and temperature.
One application can last months and it is ideal for containers and indoor plants and established plants and trees.
Liquid formulations are similar to the soluble ones but they have been mixed with water and can be sprayed on the plants leaves for rapid response.
Soluble formulations and applied dry and dissolve once the area receives water, which will dissolve the salts and make the nutrients available for the roots of the plant.

All applications have their benefits and you need to decide which is best for the plants you are feeding.