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Fruit Trees

Fruit trees can add appeal to any garden all year round. They bloom with blossom in spring, stay green through the summer and, of course, bear fruit in the autumn that you can proudly say you have grown yourself. As with any type of tree, they will live longer, look better, and produce a greater yield of fruit if they receive the proper care. There are many varieties of fruit trees, and even homes with smaller gardens can enjoy the benefits by selecting a dwarf or semi-dwarf stock, which will still boast a significant harvest. While fruit trees can require more maintenance than other types of tree, the bonus of delicious and healthy home-grown produce makes them worth the effort. Planting Fruit trees should ideally be planted in autumn. Many types prefer soil that contains high levels of potassium, which is important in the growth of buds and fruit. Others also need significant amounts of nitrogen. The spot they are planted in should be carefully chosen as fruit trees need at least six hours of direct sun during spring and summer. At the time of planting a layer of mulch should be added. This will help to provide the tree with nutrients, protect the roots from temperature fluctuations, and hold moisture in the soil. Feeding Fruit trees should be fertilized in the early spring, preferably a month before spring growth begins. Gauging the amount of fertilizer can be tricky, as too much can lead to an overgrowth of leaves and shoots but not much fruit. In addition, although all fruit trees require nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus, the ratios needed varies by species, while the consistency and composition of the soil will also affect what additional nutrients are needed. The fertilizer should be applied across the trees rooting area, which will extend a little further than the canopy. If the tree is situated in grass, its best to remove turf to a diameter of roughly a yard from around the trunk, before lightly turning over the soil and applying the fertilizer. Pruning Effective pruning of fruit trees can increase fruit yield, increase their longevity, and prevent them developing structural problems, such as the trunk forking, which can lead to weaker branches in later years. It should be performed while the tree is in its dormant phase, ideally in late winter or early spring. The amount and type of pruning depends on the age of the tree. Very young trees are pruned heavily to encourage structural growth. In later years, pruning will be less vigorous and is designed to increase yield. While there is much information available both online and in books about how to care for fruit trees, the best way to guarantee the health and longevity of your tree is to consult a tree care expert. They have the knowledge and understanding of the needs of the different species and will help ensure that you continue to enjoy your tree and its fruit for many years.

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Steps On How To Install A Sprinkler System For Your Lawn

The installation of a sprinkler system for your lawn will offer you with a lush and green lawn that you are able to enjoy throughout the year. This particular job is not advised for amateurs but with a bit of hard work and the right research this task is definitely possible. Below are the steps involved in installing your sprinkler system.

1. Draw up a diagram of the garden areas that you would like to irrigate. This drawing allows you to plan your routing for the pipelines and the placement of the sprinkler heads.

2. Divide your areas up into rectangles as these will become your zones that will be watered as a single unit.

3. Select the right types of sprinkler heads that will adequately cover a zone.

4. Mark the position of every head in association with the heads spraying distance.

5. Count the amount of heads needed for each zone and add on a gallon for each minute for each one.

6. Draw a main-line from where you would like to install the control valves and your backflow preventer.

7. Now draw up branch-lines that will originate from your main-line from each of the heads.

8. Use your layout to now mark locations of the pipes heads and ditches. You should flag these areas using ribbons, survey flags or markers that you can stick into the ground using large nails.

9. The next step involves digging the ditches, by using a grubbing hoe or axe to cut into the turf. Your ditches should be a minimum of 12 inches deep in order to protect the pipes from very cold or very warm climates.

10. Now spread out your piping along these ditches using elbows", brushings and tees" to reduce the size of the pipes along with threading for the sprinkler heads.

11. The next step involves the installation of risers at each position of the sprinkler heads. Ensure that the terminal fittings you use are the right thread-size for each head.

12. Tie your main-line onto the manifold at the position of your control valves or timer, making sure you use the right valve for the control type you have decided on.

13. Now tie your water-supply line into your manifold.

14. Turn on the control valve to flush out the pipes.

15. Install the sprinkler heads

Now is the time to observe the coverage of spray as well as the direction of each sprinkler head. You should also check the ditches for any water leaks. If all is well backfill the ditches packing your soil in firmly. It is a rather difficult process especially if you don't have prior experience. The best solution is to go with a pro, save yourself the hasstle and time. It might even cost you less. There are lots of companies out there like Sprinkler Bros, Rainbird, Hunter and Orbit that can install the perfect sprinkler system for you.

How To Use Your Outdoor Space Effectively

A garage is an effective way to fill your garden and does not just have to be an ancillary household storage facility. It also does not have to be a room for your familys car. In fact, your homes garage can become an instant add-on room when you use some imagination and a bit of planning.

If you can manage using your driveway for your car, you can easily make the garage a completely different room for the family to use. It can be transformed into a home gym, a recreation or games room, a home office or even a workshop.

You can even turn it into a storage room if that is what makes you happy. This is not such a bad idea if you already pay for offsite storage facilities. Why pay anything extra when you can simply add shelving to the garage to make it its very own storage unit.

You can dress the storage room up by investing in the services of a landscaping company or garage design service. The end result will be something akin to a nice walk-in closet that serves as extra storage space for off-season items. Have you ever had a problem finding storage space for grills or patio furniture in addition to boxes of seasonal clothes?

Create a neatly organized storage area in your own garage. You will save money on storage units and leave the room customizable for any future owners should you wish to sell the home. If the room is left with an ability to be utilized as a garage again, you can also improve your homes value as well as save on storage.

If you want to create a home gym or other recreational space, you can also invest in getting the garage outfitted to serve these purposes. It is up to you if you want to have the garage door removed and sealed over to create a true fourth wall. However, if you do, you have created an add-on to your home for virtually a fraction of what you would pay for a real addition.

Another option for your garage is to turn it into a home theater. Add some affordable luxury by outfitting the garage with a big screen, comfortable theater seats, carpeting and a great sound system.

Your garage can stay just like it is. Or, with some imagination, you can turn it into something you didnt realize you could afford to have as a home addition.

How to Increase Nutrient Density in your Organic Garden

Nutrient density is the overall nutritional value of a food compared to another different food. This is not to be confused with nutrient rich, which is a situation where one plant is more nutritional value compared to another of the same food. Nutrient density is dependent on the way the food has been grown. Studies have shown that the nutritional value of food has been decreasing since the 1940s. For example, currently one would have to take four carrots to get the nutritional value of one carrot in the 1940s. Luckily, organic gardening leads to the production of nutritionally dense foods. The production of nutrient dense foods is partly dependent on various interplay of some factors such as the use of a wasp trap instead of chemical insecticides or controlling weeds by using it as food for your pet rabbit held in a good outdoor hutch built using appropriate rabbit hutch plans. It is based on the understanding that nature in perfect balance will work to the benefit of the farmer, so after controlling your insects; get yourself a bug hotel that encourages your choice insects while discouraging the unwanted insects.


The main reason for the reduction in the nutrient value of plants is the use of insecticides, fertilizers, and pesticides. The aim of organic gardening is to grow nutrient dense foods as large-scale farming using chemicals clearly reduces the quality of food. Scientists have taken various soil tests to identify the role that soil fertility and minerals play in determining nutritional density. Research has shown that nutritionally dense foods reducing susceptibility to insect infestation and disease. Even more importantly, nutritional dense foods are the answer to the malnutrition problems in the world. Organic gardening, involves growing foods without involvement of any chemicals instead utilizes organic manure and soil composition to increase nutrient density and crop yield.

Research has shown that the nutritional value of food has been reducing gradually with each year due to the use of chemicals in the production of food.

Unfortunately, in spite of many years of warnings, we have not made much progress. “Highlights” from a 2004 study evaluating USDA food composition data of 43 garden crops between 1950 and 1999 show that as a group the vegetables contained:

• 16% less calcium • 9% less phosphorus • 15% less iron • Protein down 6%, • Vitamin B2 down 38% • Vitamin C down 15% Sourced from: http://robbwolf.com/2011/05/06/the-illusion-of-nutrient-dense-food/

The reduced nutrient density is a result of many small choices ranging from poor soil fertility, and unbalanced mineral ratio. The following are some of the contributing factors: • Increased yields tend to dilute available nutrients. • Reliance on annual crops (primarily corn, wheat, and soybeans) exposes the soil to erosion and nutrient leaching from rainfall. • Long transportation distances, a by-product of crop subsidies and cheap oil, degrade the nutritional content of “fresh” food. • In a race to the bottom, modern, conventional farms are more akin to mining operations that year-by-year remove (and never replace) trace minerals. • Applying excessive amounts of certain nutrients to the soil makes other nutrients less available. Sourced from: http://robbwolf.com/2011/05/06/the-illusion-of-nutrient-dense-food/ The solution to the problem of nutrient density is to grow your own food organically. Interestingly, research shows that nutritional quality seems not to be dependent on the type of fertilizer used but on the balance of nutrients in soil.

Yet even among sincere organic growers, there are distinctions in farming methods that affect the nutritional value of their crop. The groundbreaking news in agriculture is Nutrient Dense Crop production (NDC). Nutrient-rich crops are so much healthier and lush; they have remarkably superior flavor and longer shelf life. All of these beneficial characteristics are made possible with remineralization.

The very best way get the very best nutrition is to grow your own nutrient-dense food in a healthy soil ecosystem. Gardening is a richly rewarding experience in many ways. You will be truly amazed with the delicious flavor and robust health of your vegetables. Nothing can compare Sourced from: http://nutritionalbalancing.org/center/htma/food/articles/garden.php