Gardening Niangf

Just about Gardening Info

Monthly Archive: May 2018

Hunter Valley Gardening – Roses

Winter is over and Spring is in the air. The sights, scents and sounds are all around with the garden coming back to life. Trees are coming into leaf, the blossoms are out and the roses are budding up ready to commence their 9-month flowering spree.
The rose is one of the most widely grown of all plants and dates back to ancient times, there are even fossil evidence discovered in Colorado dating back 35 million years.
The domestic rose most likely originated in Asia around 5 thousand years ago and has made its mark throughout history as symbols of love, beauty, war and politics. In ancient Egypt the rose was considered the most sacred of all flowers and was used as offerings to Gods as well as being used as wreaths in tombs. In 1492 a crew member on Columbuss ship picked a rose branch out of the ocean which was a sign of the presence of land and the next day Columbus discovered America, while in England in during the 15th century the rose was used as a symbol for factional fighting. Known as the War of the Roses- the white rose symbolised York and the red rose symbolised Lancaster. In the 17th century roses were in such demand that royalty considered roses and rose water as legal tender and Shakespeare refers to roses over 50 times in his works.
In modern times the rose continues to make its mark with the Netherlands being the world leader in the export of roses with over 19,000 acres under rose cultivation while Zambia being a small nation has 80 per cent of its cultivated land dedicated to the production of roses. The rose is also the national floral emblem of the US and was signed in by law in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan.

So what does all this mean? Not much really except that the rose has stood the test of time, not only due to its beauty and elegance but also because it is one of the toughest plants around. Full sun, a little fertiliser and some water and the modern rose will reward the even the most novice of gardeners. The biggest problem people face these days is which rose to grow. Roses come in all shapes, sizes and colours (except blue!) and the range can be a bit confusing – Bush, Climbers, Standards, Ramblers, Pillars, Hybrid Teas, Floribundas and landscape are few types but all will do well in our climate.
If you have never tried to grow roses before and not sure what to grow, here is a list of the top 10 we grow at Hunter Valley Gardens. All these varieties are tough, disease resistant and very free flowering and will reward with months of colour.

Apricot Nectar – A floribunda rose with large, very fragrant apricot blooms with pink tints. A compact bush with strong stems. An excellent cut flower.

Chameleon – A floribunda miniature rose with flowers that change colour as they mature on the plant. Starting at a mid yellow with the outer petals changing to pink while the centre changes to white.

Double Delight – A large flowering hybrid tea rose. A very fragrant rose with high centred double flowers. Creamy white with red streaks around the edges of the petals.

Fiona’s Wish – A vigorous hybrid tea. Large vivid pink petals flushed with a white underside. A full classic rose with fragrance. Bush. Excellent for cut flowers.

Iceberg – The best rose available. A white flowering cluster floribunda with slightly scented flowers. A very free flowering rose that will show colour all year round.

Just Joey – A large flowering hybrid tea. Full petalled flower in tones of fawn, copper and buff. Very fragrant in warmer climates with extremely large flowers that fold out.

Peace – A vigorous large flowered hybrid tea. Very large flowers are a bright yellow flushed with pinkish-red at the edges and are lightly scented.

Pierre De Ronsard – A pillar/climbing rose with very full double cupped blooms with a slight fragrance. Flowers are centred with mid pink and fade to white on the outer petals.

Seduction – An open flowered floribunda rose. Buds start at mid pink and fade to a white. Flowers open completely to expose stamens. A delicate, elegant flower.

Simply Magic – A spreading floribunda rose. Very heavy flowering variety with carmine-pink clusters of open petal flowers. A low and spreading variety with a very long flowering period.

For those who enjoy their roses or want to try something new, there are some exceptional new releases available for 2008 that are sure to inspire.

Tequila La Savillana A floribunda with bright yellow-orange flowers blending to pink. Loose medium flowers that offer a continuous display.

Blooming Miracle Highly perfumed repeat flowerer with apricot, cream blooms. Very hardy.

Fire & Ice A hybrid tea with a white petalled flower with cherry red tips. Excellent disease tolerance and dark glossy green foliage.

My Hero A Classic shiny pink flower that will not fade and is self-cleaning. Massive flowers borne above dark glossy foliage.

Love-In A psychedelic rose with swirling lemon, pink flower that ages to a rose colour. Voted the most disease resistant rose at the 2006 rose trials.

Make sure you visit your local garden centre to see all the latest releases and enjoy the spring weather and Happy Gardening.

Hydroponics Worldwide A Look At Growing Systems Around The Globe

The advent of hydroponic gardening has redefined the crop-growing industry worldwide. Western nations such as Canada and the United States, along with eastern countries such as Japan are currently at the forefront of the blooming hydroponics industry, maintaining a steady output of large yields and clean, healthy produce. East and west, the hydroponics industry is steadily growing around the globe. Commercial hydroponics is appealing because of its effectiveness and sustainability.

Leading nations are not the only ones profiting from hydroponics gardening technology – developing countries are also beginning to utilize hydroponics gardening systems because of their efficiency and the agricultural benefits of hydroponic growing.

Commercial hydroponics has grown exponentially throughout the world over the last decade. Small- and large-scale hydroponic farms can be found in countries such as Spain, New Zealand, Mexico and Australia. Nicaragua produces over 125 million pounds of hydroponically grown peppers annually. Thanks to the sustainability and efficiency of hydroponics gardening, countries like Nicaragua can perpetually produce crops while bringing in substantial revenue.

Countries such as Israel can benefit from hydroponics gardening systems because hydroponics prevents water from being wasted in the soil. Hydroponic systems both save and recycle water and nutrient solutions.

While hydroponics growing has an increasing commercial appeal, more individual households are also taking advantage of hydroponic systems. Design and construction of hydroponics systems also make hydroponic gardening appealing due to their portability.

Thanks to hydroponic growing, healthy and high-yielding crops are being grown in places such as Antarctica and the International Space Station. The hydroponics garden in Antarctica is used to provide the staff of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station with at least one fresh salad a day, and a variety of fruits and vegetables typically unavailable in the past.

Climate in indoor hydroponics systems is easily controllable, adding to the universal appeal of hydroponic gardening.

As the world population steadily grows (experts estimate the global population will reach 8.9 billion by 2050) hydroponics gardening systems may play an even more important role due to the sustainability and economic efficiency of hydroponics growing.

Sun Gloves & Sun Sleeves For The Most Neglected Part Of The Body

When I moved to Colorado from the Northeast several years back, I noticed a disturbing thing starting to happen – brown sun spots appearing on my hands and arms. I had always worn a hat to protect my face, but tended to neglect my hands and arms. Then I noticed in particular that the sun spots were appearing a lot more on my left arm than my right. I didn’t know what to make of it until, one day when I was driving, it all became clear. The sun beating down on my hand and arm through the driver’s side window was the culprit. I spent several hours a week driving and never even considered the implications of having my left hand at the mercy of the sun while holding the steering wheel. I have heard (but not yet substantiated) that in countries where the steering wheel is on the left side of car, skin cancer is more prevalent on the left side of the body, particularly the arm. Where the steering wheel is on the right side of the car, skin cancer is more prevalent on the right side of the body.

I had never liked the idea or, frankly, the feeling slathering my skin with chemical sun screens. And I always suspected that they were not quite as effective as advertised. Indeed, several articles in recent years point out that the SPF ratings are exaggerated and that in order to be effective, chemical sun screens have to be applied very liberally and very often. For years, dermatologists have told us sunscreen protects skin. Now, many people are questioning that advice after an environmental group challenged the sunscreen safety of many popular brands.

Patients are confused, said Dr. Darrell S. Rigel, a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University who is a skin cancer researcher. Ive had patients come in and ask, Am I harming myself by using it? Ive spent a lot of time talking to people about it.

The latest report comes from the Environmental Working Group, which claims that in an investigation of nearly 1,000 sunscreen products, four out of five offer inadequate protection from the sun or contain ingredients that may pose a health risk.

What they are doing is developing their own system for evaluating things, said Dr. Warwick L. Morison, professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins and chairman of the Skin Cancer Foundation’s photo biology committee, which tests sunscreens for safety and effectiveness. Using this scale to say a sunscreen offers good protection or bad protection is junk science.

What I preferred was something to wear to protect my hands and arms and my choice is sun gloves and a sun sleeve or sun sleeves. I have found that sun gloves are useful for pretty much any outdoor activity: fishing, hiking, cycling, gardening or golf. Easy to slip on and off, versatile UPF/SPF sun protection.

Take a look at an old angler’s hands and you’ll get a pretty good idea of why sun gloves and sun sleeves are a good idea. Of course, there’s always chemical sunscreen, but we already discussed the questionable effectiveness of it and it tends to make slippery work of casting and line control, and who wants coconut-scented flies, anyway? The solution is a light, comfortable, fingerless sun glove made from quick-drying, UPF 50+ nylon/spandex fabric. Sun Gloves are easy to wear and easy to slip on and off. Your hands will thank you.

How To Get Rid Of Pack Rats

Arizona residents may have to contend with the occasional household pest. However, whether you live in one of the major urban centers, such as Phoenix or Scottsdale, or in the suburbs and rural parts of the Grand Canyon state, the uninvited guest can turn into a serious concern when your home falls prey to a pack rat problem.

If your home is being overrun by a pack rat problem in Arizona, read on to find out how to get rid of rats and eliminate the problem for good.

Pack Rat Arizona — Rodent Characteristics

Pack rats make their homes in Arizona out of preference for the desert climate. You can tell you have a pack rat problem on your hands if the rodent in question has a bushy tail, a white underbelly and brown or grey colored fur.

If you find tiny objects in strange places throughout your home, this could very well indicate a pack rat problem. The Arizona pack rat tends to scavenge, collecting small shiny objects for nesting grounds, and will typically exchange things for a great new find.

Get Rid of Pack Rats — Rat Trapping

Some homeowners prefer to try their hands at pack rat elimination before calling a rodent exterminator. Depending on the magnitude of your pack rat problem, you might think it feasible to get rid of rats on your own.

Among the most effective methods for pack rat elimination is trapping. There are numerous traps available on the market, including glue traps, snap traps and no kill traps.

When handling pack rat elimination on your own, you may discover that no kill traps are ineffective in eradicating a serious pack rat problem. Additionally, while glue traps are effective, many consider them inhumane.

Snap traps are a preferred way to get rid of rats. However, if you choose this method, purchase the right size traps. You’ll also need to keep the traps out of reach from your children and pets, so they don’t unknowingly step into them.

Depending on the situation, pack rat elimination on your own can be bothersome an unsuccessful. If your attempts have proven futile, call in a professional for removal and eliminate your pack rat problem for good.

Pack Rat Arizona — Prevention for Lasting Pack Rat Elimination

Following successful pack rat elimination from your home, you’ll need to adopt some preventative measures to get rid of rats once and for all. The pack rat in Arizona can squeeze through small spaces. Be sure to seal the entryways to your home.

Additionally, tightly seal food and waste in rat proof containers. Keep your yard free of debris, as twigs, compost, wood piles and refuse are a nesting haven for the Arizona pack rat. In addition to the aforementioned steps, regular gardening and lawn mowing will prevent a future pack rat problem.

Can Plants Grow Without Soil Hydroponic Gardening Is The Answer!

Hydroponic Gardening is the system in which plants can be made to grow without soil. Using hydroponics to grow plants can be beneficial for many growers since it allows plants to be grown much faster and many times with less problems.

Plants are grown in a solution which consists of water and dissolved nutrients required for the particular plant. There are several hydroponics techniques and systems that are used in producing thriving plants

The different types of hydroponics systems and techniques include the nutrient film technique (or NFT), aeroponics, and the aeration technique.

With the aeroponics technique, plants are secured using rigid pipes, screens, or films. The nutrients are dissolved into the plants’ water supply and the plants’ roots are suspended within the water. The plant then obtains its food nutrients directly from the water or from an air mist which is sprayed directly onto the plant roots.

Hydroponic gardening also requires the use growing media. Different mediums can be used which have to retain the food rich moisture. They must also be able to physically support the plant roots. The following have been the most effective media so far: expanded clay, perlite, styrofoam, sand, rockwool, vermiculite, pea gravel.

Many types plants that can be grown in a hydroponics system. Some plants will grow better in hydroponics system than others, but some of the most popular are lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, watercress, and various other edible plants.

Tree seedlings and flowers can also be grown using hydroponics. Hydroponic greenhouses have been producing millions of plant seedlings every year. These are then transplanted and grown at other locations where they are later planted into soil.

If you are just a beginner at hydroponic gardening, you will no doubt be satisfied with the quality of your crops and the faster rate of growth. Hydroponically grown plants will grow and mature faster and yield an earlier harvest of vegetable crops.

There are many benefits to growing your own plants in a hydroponics system. Hydroponic gardening doesn’t require a fertile farmland or a large water supply growing plants. Vegetable and plants can be grown year round. Hydroponic vegetables and plants in almost any small space, or a basement, or even an apartment balcony.

The hydroponic systems require less space because the plant roots don’t have to spread and search for food and water. The smaller space requirement makes hydroponic gardening perfect for limited space home gardeners.

Hydroponic plants can also be grown in nurseries and greenhouses as well. The benefit of growing these plants without soil in a sterile medium includes not having to remove weeds or dealing with soil-borne pests and diseases. And since all the nutrients necessary for the plant are readily avaliable to it, the plant is noticeably healthier than the plants grown in soil.

The greatest benefit to hydroponic gardening is the ability to automate the hydroponics system with timers and remote monitoring equipment. This reduces the time it takes to maintain the plants and the growing environment. It also allows the grower to leave their system for long periods of time without worrying about watering plants.

Hydroponic growing without the use of soil is not simple, but with time it will become an easy routine. Hydroponics offers the advantage of many techniques that can be beneficial to your plants and produce a richer and healthier plant.