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600px wide So … you’ve been reading my garden columns and I’ve convinced you that if a former news anchor can grow a garden on a balcony, how hard can it be? You’re welcome am66,  I hope you continue to enjoy your bird friendly garden and see lots of nice visitors, especially during the spring season.  If you have a nesting box you may find a Blue Tit will find your garden and maybe raise a brood.  There is lots of information on this website for nesting boxes and attracting more birds into the garden.  If you do want to add a nesting box, for better success try facing it between North and East direction and about 10ft off the ground.  For sparrows you could put a box under the eaves of the house.      Good luck, sounds like you have a lovely garden with shrubs to attract the birds 🙂 I’ve visited Patrick’s community garden; it’s a nice little urban oasis. But that urban setting makes being realistic about potential vermin problems crucial. Its very easy to breed the nasty, dangerous things, and much harder to get the population to go in the other direction. So here are some ideas. Does an area of your garden need a revamp? Garden editor and landscape designer Carol Bucknell will come up with a plan for some lucky readers. All we need are photographs of your problem area, details of where you live, a site description (where north is, the soil type, whether your garden is exposed to wind or heat) and the style of garden you would like. My garden is a passageway “The Garden Bible” is built on case studies of fantastic-looking and functional garden spaces that started as problematic landscapes. The issues may not at first appear apparent because the solutions work so well. 1. What inspired you to write this book? Since training as a gardener at a manor house in the East of England, I have been seen as an ‘expert’ by friends and neighbors. I am not an expert but I’m happy to share ideas. People show me around their gardens in despair, saying ‘What about this – and this?’. All of our gardens are different but many of the dilemmas are the same, such as ‘My garden is overlooked’ or ‘My garden is an awkward shape’. There is a pool of knowledge from great gardeners and garden writers, and I’ve tried to pass on some of those ideas. Do you long for a beautiful garden but hate weeding? Are you intimidated by roses or worried about watering? Do your neighbor’s trees block your sunlight? Is your outdoor space too big? Too small? An awkward shape? Or maybe you just don’t know where to begin…  Start small From windowsill herb planters, garden towers and even hanging baskets – these are ideal for an apartment window or a mini-balcony. It’s also the perfect place to start if you have limited outdoor space. But things may be changing. The American Nursery and Landscape Association is developing a biodegradable pot made from chicken feathers it hopes can one day become the standard, and retailers now offer an array of alternatives, from coconut coir and rice hulls to pots made from cow manure. But the impact so far has been limited. Most gardeners still face a mountain of plastic when they visit their local home supply store or nursery. Fortunately, there are things we can do, especially here in the Portland area. Garden Beds can be introduced away from the front of the room on the floor or sufficiently large table using squares of card or coloured paper similar to the tiles in the task. You will also need sets of tiles or blocks for each pair. Present the story shell and involve students in placing the cards. Record data from various lengths of garden bed on the white board and set the main challenge of If I tell you any number of plants can you tell me the number of tiles?. Invite students to return to their tables with a partner to explore this question with the tiles. Poly Plug can also be used if you adjust the story to be stepping stones bordering the garden beds in the same way. Mahmod, Janet Woody, our librarian who runs our Horticulture Helpline here at Lewis Ginter, has written a response for you with some suggestions for how to get your container garden started. Here’s a link: http://www.lewisginter.org/blog/2013/01/04/raised-planter-gardening/ Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Thanks, Jonah Sign up here for daily garden tips and trends. On a garden or driveway 5. What gardening dilemma are you facing at the moment in your garden? My own garden has at least a dozen dilemmas, mainly to do with living in a cottage. The neighbors are very close but once you walk down toward the field that we back on to (where lambs are hopping about right now), then it is completely private. Though rather far from the house. Since writing the book I am changing my garden completely, after 12 years of indecision. I now have the confidence, and trust my ideas. Solution: There are a few different options to help hold back soil such as rock gardens, retaining walls, erosion fabric or even terracing. The easiest option is to grow a deep-rooting ground cover such as pachysandra (shade) or creeping rosemary (sun). What is the problem with your garden? Most people will take some pride in their gardens to one degree or another. Of course, some will be keener than others to show off their green fingers, and will want to create a spectacle of colour through the addition of flowers and a well-manicured lawn. We used Milestone weed killer in the past on our spotted knapweed. It is an aminopyralid. The label is very specific with the warnings about plant sensitivity, even certain pine and fir trees are sensitive. If you spray a pasture, animals do not have to be removed and there is no meat/milk withdrawl (just quoting the labels, here), but they do warn about moving the animals to a pasture with susceptible species (clover, alfalfa, etc.) within a certain number of days and all manure must be aged for at least one year before being used on susceptible crops. Unfortunately, unless we grow everything ourselves, we never know what has been used. I did have an issue like that one year, and it was way back when I had used the aminopyralid spray and planted some extra tomato plants outside the general garden area and that is exactly how they looked. Symptoms: Perennials and biennials are not returning the following year. Annuals are not thriving despite good garden conditions. If a rocky slope is your problem area, then a rock garden design presents itself naturally enough as a landscape solution. Why not use the terrain’s rockiness to your advantage, rather than fighting it? If you live in a region dominated by drought (see below), you may even wish to build a rock garden on flat land, planting the rock crevices with drought-tolerant plants to form a xeriscape. I have had very good luck with my compost and mulch(alfalfa rotted hay). I started out building my beds by sheet mulching the area. Cardboard, Agricultural molasses, compost, more molasses based fertilizer with mushroom extracts, more compost and then a heavy layer of rotted hay. Five seasons in, Now i use a cover crop and chop and drop all season. clover is great at fixing nitrogen and i find it in areas the soil needs repair, it goes away as the soil enriches. You might consider putting down a good molasses based fertilizer( i get mine in bulk 55 gal drums) and planting in a cover crop to your damaged areas Let that brew all winter and see if it helps. I am finding minerals are huge in soil health. My climate and soil is similar to yours, we are high prairie desert with wind and heat extremes. I have been fortunate to have a very robust garden this season with minimal to almost no watering. power up premium erozon max Masculin Active eracto Atlant Gel Masculin Active Zevs sterydy Atlant Gel Zevs

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