Tips on Removing Suds From an Outside Water Feature

The trickling noise of water from your backyard water feature, like a fountain or waterfall, can include a sense of tranquility to your home’s landscape. Sometimes suds and foam can appear on your own water feature, however. Don’t allow the foam affect the natural beauty of your landscape. While the causes of suds and foam fluctuate, several hints can help you eliminate suds and stop them from returning.

Use Distilled Water

Water in the garden hose or tap is rich in various minerals. These minerals can cake up your own water feature’s various parts and also raise the dangers of bacteria growth and algae development. This in turn often contributes to improvements like slime on the base of your water feature and foamy bubbles on the surface of the water. By removing all the present water and replacing it with distilled water, then you cut mineral content and eliminate the many causes of suds, thus aiding the problem to quickly adjust itself.

Change the Water Regularly

Over time, the water from your water feature starts to experience a buildup of organic matter. This issue can come from several sources, like leaves or bird droppings falling to the water. As this organic content concentration rises, the motion of the water feature generates suds on the surface of the water. Normal water changes help to eliminate the causes of the suds while also keeping it from recurring. For the best results, the water in ponds and water that is similar features must get changed at least every six months. Remove approximately 15 percent of the present water and then replace it with fresh water.

Reduce Sun Exposure

The sun creates suds and foam in 2 ways. It rapidly rises water evaporation, which then concentrates the degree of debris and organic matter from the water which causes suds. Second, sunlight boosts algae growth and the dangers of algae blooms. As the algae cells grow and die, the algae cells burst and discharge surfectants that create suds from the water. By moving the water feature to the shade, or adding shade-creating plants to the water feature like floating water lilies, you help to stop present foam and stop its recurrence.

Insert a Defoamer Agent

As a final resort, defoaming agents can help to instantly remove suds and foam in case environmental alterations, like distilled water and shade, do not eliminate the suds to your own satisfaction. Defoaming products made for fountains and water features function in various ways. Some products dissolve the organic matter from the water which causes the suds. Other products include silicone or similar surfectants that create a thin, invisible layer to the water surface and also maintain bubbles from forming. These goods can be found in the majority of garden and pond shops.

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The best way to Interseed Grasses & Legumes

Growing grasses in 1 location for quite a very long time often results in weedy, worn-out soil that can no longer encourage development without frequent replacement of nitrogen. Adding legumes into such a depleted yard might help soften the dirt, avoiding the requirement for constant, expensive fluid treatments. Legumes, besides adding color to a landscape, create nitrogen naturally through a symbiotic relationship with root microbes. Popular legumes to interseed with yard grasses include alfalfa, red clover, white clover, birdsfoot trefoil and sainfoin.

Eliminate the existing grass in the yard by tilling the soil to 6 ins. Any remaining grass will have an established root system and may dominate new seeds.

Rake the tilled ground flat and roll over it with a lawn roller, as seeds should not be planted more than several inches under the ground.

Opt for a commercial seed mixture of beans and grass. The most common combination for lawns is grass and clover.

Fill the seed mixture into a broadcast seed spreader. Roll the spreader over the yard in perpendicular rows, then examine the lawn again in a diagonal direction to prevent a pattern that is visible.

Lightly rake over the ground and roll it over with the roller to blend the seeds to the ground.

Water that the new seed for 10 minutes twice daily for two weeks, providing mild humidity. After two weeks, once growth begins, cut back to five minutes at every watering. When the lawn is established, water just every couple of days.

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Similar Plants to Cockscomb Plant

Cockscomb plants (Celosia cristata) are named for the striking resemblance of their blossoms to a rooster’s comb. Their large, flat flower heads form a curving crest with a ruffled edge and are usually bright red. The plants are perennial in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 10 through 12 and develop as annuals elsewhere. Cockscomb is a portion of the Amaranth or Celosia family, and several other plants in that family have growth patterns much like cockscomb’s patterns.


Some plants in the Celosia genus, called the “Plumosa” assortment (Celosia plumosa), produce fluffy, colorful flower heads that resemble feathery plumes. Their plumes actually are composed of hundreds of tiny flowers which are rather like those on cockscomb, but they’re grouped tightly together slim, erect stems. Grown as sun-loving annuals, they include flowers throughout summer and don’t require deadheading. Depending on the cultivar, the plants reach a mature height of 24 to 40 inches. Varieties include “Forest Fire Improved,” which has fiery orange to scarlet plumes along with bronze-red leaves, “Golden Triumph,” with deep-yellow plumes, and “Sparkler Mix,” a band that has particularly stiff yellow, orange or red plumes. These plants are hardy in USDA zones 10 and 11 and are grown as annuals in colder areas.

Wheat-Type Celosia

Another plant linked to cockscomb is the wheat-type celosia (Celosia spicata), also called spiked cockscomb. Varieties of the plant produce narrow, spike-shaped flower heads which resemble stalks of wheat. They generally are tall plants, reaching a height around 4 feet, and produce ample flower heads that provide the plants a shrublike look. They are perennial plants in USDA zones 10 and 11 and annuals in cooler zones. Varieties include “Flamingo Feather,” which features burgundy, pink and white flower heads, “Tassles Deep Rose,” with pink to purple flowers, along with “Flamingo Purple,” which has purple flowers which are considered excellent to be used as dried flowers. A dwarf variety called “Kosmo Purple Red” is just 12 inches tall, has green and purple leaves and creates narrow, red flower heads which mature to resemble tiny cockscombs.

Tassel Flower

Related to the cockscomb as a portion of the Amaranth family, the tassel flower plant (Amaranthus caudatus) is also called love-lies-bleeding due to its long, pendulous blossom heads that hang straight down and could reach a span of 2 feet. Made up of hundreds of tiny flowers that lack petals, the flower stalks are bright red, quite unusual in shape and maintain their colour well when dried. The plant is tough, drought-tolerant and acceptable for USDA zones 2 through 11. A bonus is that it creates edible seeds in the end of the growing season.

Globe Amaranth

The globe amaranth (Gomphrena globosa) is just another amaranth-type relative to the cockscomb. Like cockscomb, its flowers are actually flower heads composed of many tiny flowers. In its case, nevertheless, extremely small and colorful bracts surround each of the miniature, petal-less flowers to make up around, or globular, flower heads. A simple plant to develop, globe amaranth reaches a mature height of 1 to 2 feet and generally is increased as a sun-loving annual in boundaries or flowerbeds. Its flower heads are deep pink to magenta, though plants bearing lighter pink or even white flowers may arise from a planting of mixed seeds. Globe amaranth flowers are attractive to butterflies and keep their colour well when dehydrated. The plants are acceptable for growing in USDA zones 2 through 11.

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The Best Drought-Tolerant Flower Bulbs for Each Season

Bulbs store their entire life cycle at a swollen underground stem. This structure contains the leaves, flowers, food and bulblets. Flowering bulbs produce bright-colored flowers, giving the backyard seasonal shade. A number of these kinds of bulbs endure drought conditions, particularly while dormant.

Spring-Flowering Bulbs

Spring lights give the garden shade after a gray winter. African iris (Dietes iridioides) grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11 with white flowers containing yellow and purple-blue markings. These spring blossoms last till late fall, looming over botanical stiff sword-shaped leaves reaching 2-3 feet tall forming clumps 3 to 4 ft wide. “Oratorio” tulips (Tulipa greigii “Oratorio”), at USDA zones 3 through 8, create green and maroon striped leaves, forming clumps using 14- to 16-inch-tall coral pink flowers. This flowering bulb gives the garden a cottage-style feeling.

Summer-Flowering Bulbs

Summer lights adapt to the surroundings to survive hot dry summers. “Columbus” Montbretia (Crocosmia “Columbus”) creates arching stems reaching 32 ins covered with glowing yellow lily-like blossoms looming over patches of grass-like green leaves spreading 18 inches wide. This perennial bulb prefers full sun locations in USDA zones 6 through 10 and attracts hummingbirds and butterflies to the yard. “Lucifer” crocosmia (Crocosmia “Lucifer”), in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, grows red butterfly-shaped flowers with yellow or orange accents and green sword-like leaves reaching 2-3 feet tall and 1 to 2 feet broad. This bulb stays evergreen as long as it’s not exposed to freezing temperatures.

Fall-Flowering Bulbs

Fall lights provide a last burst of colour to the backyard as other plants really are entering a dormant state for winter. Fall daffodil (Sternbergia lutea) grows well in USDA zones 6 through 9, reaching less than 6 inches tall with yellow crocus-like blossoms 1 1/2 inches wide on top of a single stem. The deep green lance-shaped leaves remain throughout most of the winter, disappearing from the spring. Saffron crocus (Crocus sativus), in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 8, creates lilac-colored flowers with dark purple veins. The flowers flare wide open, covering the leaves. Saffron spice comes from the crimson styles in the center of the blooms.

Winter-Flowering Bulbs

Winter lights provide the yard color and interest when most plants have been naked. Bush lilies (Veltheimia bracteata) hit up to 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide with wide strap-like green leaves near the floor and also clusters of drooping tubular-shaped pinkish-purple flowers in addition to tall stalks. This bulb grows best in USDA zones 9 and 10. Cyclamen (Cyclamen persicum), from USDA plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, grows less than 12 inches tall and broad with pink, red, violet, white and purple showy blossoms composed of reflexed petals in addition to a 6- year to 9-inch-tall leafless stem. During the summertime, the mass of green heart-shaped leaves with silver markers shouted back to the ground while the arc goes dormant.

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Varieties of Dwarf Pink Magnolias

Magnolias are a family of shrubs and trees known for their large, saucer-like blossoms that appear early in the spring. Full-size magnolia trees often grow up to 80 feet in height and could be impractical for smaller garden spaces. However, dwarf species provide all of the beauty and scent of this magnolia’s distinguishing flowers while supplying more convenient sizing for hedges or even more enclosed locations. While many dwarf varieties produce white flowers, a couple cultivars provide pink or violet blooms and stay under 20 feet in height.

“Ann” Magnolia

The “Ann” magnolia (Magnolia x “Ann”) is a late-blooming cultivar that is hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 through 8. This tiny hybrid grows to only 8 to 10 feet high, which makes it a good option for hedges and boundaries. The flowers bloom in late spring and are a deep violet pink.

“Jane” Magnolia

The “Jane” magnolia (Magnolia x “Jane”) is among the hardiest of this dwarf magnolias, opening late in the spring to prevent damage from frost, allowing it to thrive in USDA zones 4 through 7. The tree grows between 10 and 15 feet tall, boasting distinguishing flowers that are reddish-pink on the outside and white on the interior.

Fairy Magnolia Blush

The hybrid Fairy Magnolia Blush (Michelia x “MicJUR01”) is hardy to USDA zones 8 to 11 and creates pale pink blooms from the conclusion of winter during mid-spring. This compact plant grows 10 to 13 feet tall, which makes it ideal for hedges or other tight spaces.

Black Tulip Magnolia

The Black Tulip magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana “Jurmag1”) offers distinctive deep pink blossoms with a cupped tulip form. This deciduous cultivar does well in containers, with slender branches extending around 15 to 20 feet tall. It’s hardy to USDA zones 5 through 9.

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A Description of the Flowers of the Baobab Tree and How They Are Pollinated

The nine baobab tree species (Adansonia spp.) Grow in low-lying, arid regions of Africa, Madagascar or Australia. The deciduous trees can become massive, with the larger species reaching 80 feet in height and 40 feet in back width. A baobab is sometimes referred to as the “upside down tree” because when bare, its crown looks like a root system. Although baobabs’ smooth bark does not enable the trees’ ages to be discerned by counting rings in their trunks, carbon dating has put some specimens at over 1,000 years old. The trees’ blossoms are pollinated by bats, insects and mouse lemurs, based on in which the trees grow.

Floral Screen

All baobab trees have flowers which open during the night and fall within a day. The species commonly known as African baobab (Adansonia digitata) contains big, white flowers which can reach 5 inches in diameter. Each blossom’s around, thick petals surround a mass of purplish stamens. African baobab is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10b through 11. The six baobab species in Madagascar have flowers which range in color from white to yellow and orange, and the blooms are usually smaller than those of African baobab. Two species in Madagascar have pendulous blossoms while four have flowers with long, cylindrical petals. All species from the Adansonia genus sport blossoms which have copious quantities of nectar and strong aromas.

Pollination of African Baobab

Many species of fruit bats are the main pollinators of African baobab. The large blooms are well-suited to bat pollination since they are big enough to support a bat while it laps nectar. The flowers grow on long stalks at the end of branches, where bats can reach them easily. Since few blossoms are open at one time, bats must move from tree to tree, which promotes cross-pollination.

Pollination of Madagascar Baobabs

Madagascar baobabs are pollinated mainly by mouse lemurs and hawk moths. Mouse lemurs, which will be the world’s smallest primates, emerge after hibernation to feast on the nectar of baobab trees’ flowers. Hawk moths feed the baobabs’ nectar, also, and spread the trees’ pollen. The mouse lemurs, however, catch and consume feeding moths.

Pollination of Baobab Down Under

Australian bottle tree (Adansonia gregorii) is the single species of baobab native to Australia. It is quite much like African baobab genetically, but its flowers are very long and cylindrical rather than around and pendulous. Although bats visit Australian bottle tree and feed its flowers’ nectar, hawk moths would be the tree’s main pollinators. The cylindrical shape of the blossoms are more suited to moths and other insects than to bats. Australian bottle tree is hardy in USDA zone 11.

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Will Deer Eat Lilies & Hostas?

Deer will eat just about any plant that is available to them, but they really do prefer some types of foliage over others. Both hostas (Hosta spp.) and lilies (Lilium spp.) Are bull favorites, and often damaged by their grazing habits. If you enjoy having these plants and their blooms in your garden, you are going to have to protect them with fencing to deter deer from snacking on them.

Shade-loving Hostas

You’ll find hostas in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, based upon the species. These herbaceous perennials have been known for their leaves, which come in a variety of colors, and showy, lily-like flowers. Hostas are used as ground cover or as an addition to boundaries. They grow well in rich soil and prosper in partial to full shade. Hostas with leaves need color than their counterparts that are yellow or green. With the exclusion of snails and slugs, hostas are free of pests, which makes them easy to watch over and plant plants.

Hostas: A Deer Buffet

While hostas are thought to be toxic to some animals, like dogs, cats and horses, they are not toxic to deer, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Deer love eating their large leaves, tender ones, especially the young. Hostas merely grow between 2 and 3 feet in height, so they are easy to protect with garden and fencing netting to deter deer. Install a few sprinklers close to the plants to harmlessly repel deer and keep your hostas moist and fine. You can even spray a little deer-repellent on the leaves of your hostas to dissuade them.

Colorful Lilies

Lilies of various species thrive in USDA zones 3 through 9, just like hostas, as these plants both used to be classified together from the Lily (Liliaceae) family. These bulbs grow best in full sun or shady locales and are known for their large, showy blossoms. Lilies can grow very tall, up to 8 feet based on the species of lily which you are dealing with. Lilies make excellent border plants and are deemed low-maintenance plants, although they can suffer with bulb corrosion, the mosaic virus — that is spread by aphids — botrytis and weak stems from growing from heavily-shaded or windy spots.

Lilies: A Smorgasbord for Deer

Like hostas, deer love munching according to the North Carolina State University Cooperative Extension. Plant them away from the fencing to discourage algae from nibbling on these tall plants and install fencing at least 8 feet in height to protect your lilies. Plant a few deer-resistant foliage, such as a few greenery with thorns, aromatic leaves or leaves with a tough, leathery feel, around your lilies, recommends the California Native Plant Society. Produce hedges around other exposed crops and your own forehead using foliage which deer don’t like to consume. Oleander (Nerium oleander), by way of instance, is resistant since it’s toxic and grows up to 8 feet tall. You’ll find oleander in USDA zones 8 through 10.

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What's Cutting My Corn Off at the Ground?

Stalks of corn (Zea mays) severed near ground level through the night are a sign cutworms are on the job. These insects are caterpillars which feed on the stalks of other plants and corn. By migrating adults hatch in early spring when eggs laid during the fall or the cutworm’s life cycle starts. Cutworm eggs are found on low plants or on the floor. Till they develop into their adult form these insects will continue to feed on corn and other plants throughout the spring and in the summer.

Cutworm Habits

Cutworms are currently burrowing insects that emerge from the soil to feed at the night. Cutworms feed on a variety of plants but will aim tender such as corn seedlings. These pests chew through it, leaving the remainder of the plant onto the floor and wrap themselves around the stalk of this plant. There are currently rising species of cutworm which can climb corn stalks to feed on their foliage.

Cutworm Damage

Damaged or completely severed stems which are chewed at or just below ground level are a powerful indicator of cutworms. Following feeding on it these insects leave little holes in the soil around the base of the plant. Plants close to the border of gardens are attacked after eggs. Damage is spread after eggs laid by migrating hatch throughout the backyard. Feeding species, such as black cutworm, will move from plant to plant, leaving a plant every night ruined.

Identifying Cutworms

Cutworm eggs are round with a flattened top and dull white. These eggs have a feel and are laid placed at rows that are densely packed on the floor or plants. Cutworm larvae typically measure 1 to 2 1 3/4 inches and will curl in on themselves when disturbed. The cutworm includes a semi-transparent grey or light body body with irregularly spaced black dots. The variegated cutworm includes a darker, tan-colored body with a underbelly that’s speckled with white spots.

Controlling Cutworms

The ideal time to control cutworms is until they begin or hatch feeding. Tilling weeds in around the backyard in the end of this growing season in fall helps destroy eggs which would hatch the following season. Tilling again before planting time will help remove these pests. Ditches around the perimeter of a corn patch helps stop migrating cutworms .

Spraying Cutworms

Pesticides using the active ingredient carbaryl provide control over cutworms. Pesticide made from liquid carbaryl concentrate is best mixed in a speed of 1.5 oz per 1 gallon of water at a pump sprayer unless the tag specifies otherwise. add the carbaryl and shake the concentrate before opening the bottle and fill it. Apply in the night to the bases of the plants and the corn plants surrounding them. Always wear pants gloves and long sleeves when handling pesticides to prevent accidental contact. Spray through you’re spraying. Carbaryl is highly toxic to honeybees, avoid using it or blossoms when possible and don’t spray it onto corn in two weeks of harvesting it.

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Description of Sunspot Euonymus

Durability under harsh conditions, excellent shade tolerance and year-round shade make wintercreeper “Sunspot” (Euonymus fortunei “Sunspot”) a flexible border tree or compact climber in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8. As with other wintercreepers, “Sunspot” has two major shortcomings: It’s potentially dangerous, and its colorful fall berries are poisonous to pets and people if eaten in large quantities.

Ornamental Features

Yellow-stemmed, shiny foliage variegated with irregular, dark green borders and bright yellow centres account for “Sunspot’s” usefulness as a shade-garden ornamental. Its green, late-summer berries split to show seeds covered in bright orange pulp. Birds and wildlife consume the pulp and then spread the undigested seeds to new places, where they may crowd out native vegetation. The tree’s modest, greenish-white flowers bloom from late spring to early summer.

Dimensions and Form

“Sunspot” is a curved, spreading cultivar, typically reaching 3 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide if it is fully grown. In numerous plantings, space them 4 to 6 feet apart. The tree’s main stems produce tendrils that allow it to climb nearby trees, shrubs or structures.

Growing Conditions

“Sunspot’s” variegation is most powerful in part sun to part shade, with from two to six hours of daily sun. In hot summer climates, it will better at the lower end of the range. A young plant in an exposed spot benefits from burlap wrapping to protect it from winter wind. Once established, “Sunspot” tolerates cold down to minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant it in any soil but a consistently wet one.

Basic Care Tips

“Sunspot” prefers moist soil and takes deep weekly watering during dry spells. Spreading a 2-inch layer of ground bark mulch out of its own drip line to over 6 inches of its base preserves dirt. Working a 1-inch layer of organic compost and to the top 6 to 8 inches of soil before planting helps it be establish. Replenishing the compost each spring and concurrently spreading 4-3-4 organic wide leaf evergreen fertilizer around the drip line retains it vigorous. A “Sunspot” less than 3 feet broad gets 1 cup of fertilizer for each 1 foot of height, while bigger plants get 2 cups for each 1 foot of height.

Pruning Requirements

For the tidiest kind and most vibrant shade, “Sunspot” needs trimming in early spring. Pruning the berries until the birds get them lessens its invasiveness. Any shoots that revert to strong green ought to be pruned once they look. Pruning tools wiped down between cuts with a cloth dipped in a solution of 1 part household bleach to 9 parts alcohol are not as likely to spread infection.

Disease and Pests

Diseases seldom bother “Sunspot,” but euonymus scale insects do serious damage by feeding its sap off. The scale colonies look like white or grayish powder sprinkled along the stems or on the corners of their leaves. Even tiny numbers destroy its appearance, and a heavy infestation can make it lose its leaves or kill it. Scraping scales off or pruning badly infested branches helps, but the best control method is to saturate the dormant plants in winter or early spring with a pressurized spray of 10 tablespoons of olive oil each 1 gallon of water. Wearing safety goggles, a respiratory mask, waterproof gloves, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, socks, shoes and a hat and also adhering to the label’s instructions is vital when spraying. Keep children and pets out of the region when you’re using garden chemicals.

“Sunspot” Sports

“Sunspot” has created two widely grown organic mutations, or sports. “Blondy’s” (Euonymus fortunei “Blondy”) yellow-stemmed, yellow-centered leaves are edged in green. “Moonshadow’s” (Euonymus fortunei “Moonshadow”) deep-green leaf margins enclose bright-yellow centres which fade to white as they age, and it never reverts to solid green. Both sports grow in USDA zones 5 through 8.

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Companion Planting Basil & Chives

Both chives (Alium schoenoprasum) and basil (Ocimum basilicum) produce chemicals that help repel some garden insects, such as aphids. Basil grows as an annual herb, while chives grow as perennials at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8. Companion putting these herbs with vegetables susceptible to insect damage and ornamental plants can help reduce pest damage.

Beneficial Properties

Insects are repelled from the aromatic oils created by chives and basil. The smell of these herbs also confuses foraging insects, notes Cornell University’s extension, camouflaging the aroma of the plants that the insects wish to feed on. Blending chives and basil in using other plants or putting them as a border round insect-susceptible plants can provide some protection from pest insects.

Pairing Up

Chives and basils make good companions for any plant that’s similar growing requirements, but perennial chives perform better if planted in an area where they won’t be disturbed each year. Chives also produce attractive lavender flowers, in addition to the deep green, grassy edible foliage, so they can make a suitable companion to ornamental perennials, such as roses (Rosa spp.) , which develop in USDA zones 4 through 9 depending on the variety. Basil works well with other annual plants. Although the green foliage is attractive, the plant is not highly ornamental so it makes a good companion to summer vegetables, such as tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) and peppers (Capsicum annuum).

Growing Chives

Chives do best in mattresses that drain well with moderately rich soil. Chives tolerate both complete, all-day sun and partial shade, and that means you can companion plant them under or about bushes and larger plants that will filter the sun reaching the chives. They also grow well in clumps interspersed with vegetables, annual flowers or perennial flowers, but distance them 10 to 12 inches apart so you do not disturb the chives when replacing another plants. The plants can reach up to 18 inches tall when in flower, so they may not work well with lower growing flowers or flowers. Chives can withstand moist soil, but wet, soggy soil will kill them. They function best with about 1 inch of water each week. The flowers readily self-seed after flowering, so trim off the flower heads after blossom should youn’t want more plants.

Basil Care

Basil grows in warm, frost-free weather in beds that get complete, all-day sun. The plants can grow up to two feet tall, so space them about 12 inches away from their companion plants to prevent overcrowding. Basil needs moist dirt, usually about 1 inch of water a week is sufficient to keep the top 6 inches of soil moist. After flowering, basil plants begin to fall and perish. Pinching off the tips of the plants often to prevent flower buds from forming can expand their productiveness, or you’ll be able to replace the plants as soon as they begin to flower.

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