Annual Flowers for Root Bound Areas

The areas under trees are usually filled with tree roots. Some of those roots are near the top of the soil, which makes the place root bound. Digging up the area can injure those roots and hurt the tree. Annual flowers are ideal for putting in root bound areas because you can plant them from seed, or in tiny holes to get six-packs of seedlings. Annuals are shallow rooted, so won’t disturb the roots of their trees.

Spring

In warm-winter climates, U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10, spring starts as early as December. If the place is root bound but at a sunny location, cool-season flowers work well. Think about the seasons. The place could be in colour during the summer but in full sunlight during the spring because it is under deciduous trees. Cool-season annual flowers comprise Lobelia (Lobelia inflata) which grows to from 6 to 30 inches high and is covered with small blossoms in pale blue or white. Calendula (Calendula officinalis) contains bright orange and yellow daisy-shaped blossoms from 3 to 4 inches round. The blossoms are edible. The bush grows to 18 inches high. Sweet peas (Lathyrus odoratus) typically grow from 5 to 6 feet high and also need a support for their tendrils to grasp. But there’s a dwarf variety that only grows to 18 inches and does not need a support. Other spring picks comprise stock (Matthiola incana), pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) and snapdragons (Antirrhinum majus).

Summer

Summer gives you a wide variety of blooms from amaranthus (Amaranthus) to zinnias (Zinnia elegans). When the spring blooms are fading, pull out them. Pulling up the plants will make the place a little uneven. Gently rake the area smooth using a grass rake so you don’t disturb the tree roots. Plant the seeds of this summer annuals. Amaranthus have purple, red, pink or yellowish blooms. The blossoms may form small fuzzy balls or even be tufted on upwards spikes. Zinnias have a selection of colours, all except blue; sizes from 1/4 to 4 inches in diameter and grow from 6 inches to 36 inches high. Other summer annual blossoms include cosmos (Cosmos bipinnatus), growing up to 48 inches high, and marigolds (Tagetes patula).

Drought Resistant

Trees such as oaks don’t do well with frequent watering during the summer, particularly in Mediterranean climates where oak trees have adapted to slopes that don’t get much rain. Plant drought-resistant annual flowers underneath the oaks. Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena), verbena (Verbena), moss rose (Portulaca grandiflora) and bachelor button (Centaurea cyanus) are all drought resistant.

Planning and Planting

Before planting, soak the area so it’s moist to a depth of 6 inches. Test it out by plunging a screwdriver into the soil. Let the area dry off a little so you’re not planting in mud, but rather damp soil. How long that takes depends on the weather. In foggy coastal areas it could take as much as a week. In dry inland locations, the soil could be prepared the next day. Scatter the seeds and then cover no over 1/2 inch of soil. The exception could be big seeds, like sweet peas; poke a hole in the soil 1 inch deep, slip the seed in the hole and then cover. Water with fertilizer that’s water soluble to soak the bed.

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Vanilla Bean Plant

The vanilla bean plant (Vanilla planifolia) belongs to the Orchidaceae or orchid familymembers. This plant originates from tropical forests located in Mexico and Central America at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11, where it stays warm nearly year round. Today most vanilla beans are produced in Madagascar; Reunion, formerly called Bourbon; and Indonesia. The vanilla orchid climbs up tree trunks, grasping the wood together with fleshy roots, in which it produces greenish-yellow flowers 2 inches broad. With pollination, the vanilla bean develops on the plant.

Vanilla Flowers

Vanilla plant flowers resemble typical orchid blossoms, but they last just one day if not pollinated. The flowers are hand-pollinated since these orchids are generally grown out of the native surroundings without access to their pollinators located in the wild. Pollination is only successful if done in the early hours on precisely the same day that the flower opened. Otherwise pollinated, the orchid blossom dries up and falls off the plant.

Vanilla Beans

Vanilla beans are the 6- to 9-inch-long seed pods of the orchid. The beans develop just on mature plants that have got 10 feet or more in height. It takes approximately five months for the beans to ripen. Once the beans are harvested and cured, the vital oils found in the seeds and in the oil liquid surrounding the seeds are used. This oil is used to flavor ice creams, puddings, sauces, deserts and other types of cooking. Vanilla is also used in cigars, perfumes and liqueurs.

History

The Aztecs in Mexico used the vanilla bean to flavor a beverage called xocolatl. This beverage was a mixture of chocolate, honey and vanillathat has been drunk by Montezuma. Cortez got the beverage from Montezuma when the Spanish invaded Mexico. Vanilla beans were shipped back to Europe starting in the 16th century, even in which their use spread across the world.

Growing Requirements

Vanilla bean plants grow best when the air temperatures are between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning they require a heated greenhouse in many climates. They require bright shade and high humidity, which equals daily misting, but not wet soil. Growth of the orchid plant stops when subjected to temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant needs some sort of support to climb, and flowering generally starts within 1 to 3 years after planting.

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How Do Pea Plants Normally Pollinate?

Pea plants (Pisum sativum) are part of the Leguminosae family. Peas are an easy to grow vegetable which are planted commercially and in home gardens all over the world. Peas have adapted over time to ensure the continuation of every species, and a part of this edition is the ability to reproduce in two ways: self-pollination or cross-pollination.

About Peas

Peas are cool season plants hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 through 11. They reproduce in a life cycle known as an alternation of generations, which means that they have haploid and diploid phases at different times in their life cycle. Haploid describes when plant tissues have one set of chromosomes, and diploid describes when plant cells possess two sets of chromosomes. Peas are angiosperms, or flowering plants, and have separate male and female pieces. The male portion of the pea plant is called the stamen, which is made up of the filament and the anthers. The feces which fertilize the female parts are in the anthers. The feminine portion of the pea plant is called the pistil, which contains the style, the stigma and the ovary. In order for the pea plant to reproduce, the pistil has to be fertilized by the pollen grains.

Self-Pollination

Self-pollination takes place when the flowers are shut and pollen from the plant falls on the female ovary of the same plant, and this occurs before the flowers open. This adaptation also reduces the chance of genetic variability. Peas, in addition to beans, peanuts, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers and lettuce are mainly self-pollinating.

Cross-Pollination

Cross-pollination takes place when a pollinator, including a bee, enters the plant to drink nectar and picks up pollen grains while it’s there. When the pollinator goes into the next blossom, these grains are transferred to the pistil and the flower is fertilized. Some plants are also cross-pollinated by end, which picks up the grains and disperses them in the open flowers. While pea plants might be pollinated in this manner, it is rare because self-pollination often occurs before the blooms open. However, North Carolina State University recommends putting peas 10 or more feet apart to stop cross-pollination between different varieties.

Other Adaptations

Along with self-pollination, pea plants have created other adaptations to ensure their success. Pea plants have formed beneficial relationships with fungus and bacteria as well, providing sugars made inside the plant to the following soil organisms. In return, pea plants receive hydrogen in a readily accessible form in the bacteria and an increase in the uptake of nutrients in the soil in the fungus.

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The way to Slim Citrus Trees After Frost

Do not jump too fast to prune what appears to freeze or frost damage in your citrus tree. Instead, remove any damaged fruit and then wait to scope out the rest of the harm in many weeks. Although heavy pruning is not ideal, it’s essential when moderate to severe damage occurs in the canopy of this tree. Unfortunately, in the event the damage extends below the bud union — the area in which the tree has been grafted onto the rootstock — small can be done in order to save the tree.

Wait to trim broken limbs in late spring or early summer so you can certainly determine which branches are actually damaged and which ones aren’t. In the event you prune before, you’re able to accidentally remove healthful branches. Also, some branches can appear healthy but later perish off from winter injury. Therefore, if you prune too early, you might need to conduct another pruning at a later period as damaged limbs become more evident.

Disinfect your pruning tools before use and between trees to protect against the spread of infection. A rag moistened with a very simple bleach and water solution made with one-tenth bleach and rubbed onto the blades works nicely. Depending on thickness of the limbs, then use a sharp saw, loppers or shears.

Cut each damaged limb back 2 to 3 inches into living wood. Ideally, prune just above the topmost sprout, right at a healthy branch. Make cuts right and flush with the parent branch. Do not leave stubs if at all possible.

Paint pruned stems that confront the sun and have very little sun safety with a white latex paint diluted with 50 percent water. This is particularly necessary for larger branches which were pruned.

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Designing With Landscaping Rock

Landscape rock is a key weapon when used with thought and care in your own garden. The rock itself adds structure and variety to your garden, improving your colour palette and garden landscape using components that echo your overall design. Whether serving a particular function or adding interest and texture, use landscape rock to transfer your garden past the usual.

Visual Function

Landscape rock size ranges from large boulders to little gravel. The texture also runs the gamut from smooth-edged river rock to craggy. When adding landscape rock to your garden, determine the visual role the landscape rock serves. Let landscape rock stand out using a rough-edged appearance that you soften utilizing plants using fern-like leaf or gentle vines. Alternately, juxtapose the softness of tumbled river stones against the borders of intense architectural plants, such as succulents or members of the bamboo familymembers.

Practical Function

Landscape rock often serves a particular function, creating low walls or paving walkways. Choose colors and textures that support the garden need and also encourage your design aesthetic. Smooth paving stones, as an instance, with stringent form and sharp angles, work well in contemporary gardens, but don’t suit the delicate surroundings of a cottage garden. Likewise rigidly defined walls with sharp edges provide a clean appearance that supports architectural plantings and design, but compete using a landscape that specializes in natural types and indigenous plantings.

Difficult Growing Areas

Landscape rock is particularly useful in inhospitable areas of the garden, where irrigation is tough to run, the dirt requires substantial amendment, eating up your budget and time, and the sun beats down. In such spots, including a vignette using landscape rock turns an eyesore in an attractive landscape. Place rocks together as if they have tumbled into the location and add plants that thrive in rock gardens.

Solving Problems

Large drains produce a landscape obstacle. You can not plant them over, as roots and dirt interfere with the drain’s vital function. You can also can not plant in them, as plants have been swept away by water leak during seasonal storms. Landscape rock solves the issue. Placing stone over or in the drain creates a meandering river of stone. Dry streams offer a visual border at the edge of a slope and enhance the colour palette of this plantings surrounding the drain. Select landscape rock that isn’t heavy enough to conquer drainage under, or be swept away by moving water, to encourage the purpose of the drain and then turn a potential eyesore into an attractive textural element.

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How to Boost Triploid Watermelons Next to Diploid Watermelons

When you want to enjoy homegrown seedless watermelons, you are likely to need to find a use for a few seeded fruit also, since seedless triploid watermelons don’t create fruit unless seed-producing diploid melons grow nearby. Triploid watermelons, which have three sets of chromosomes, are crosses between ordinary watermelons, called diploids — meaning that they have two sets of 11 chromosomes –and tetraploid watermelons, which were chemically manipulated to have four sets of chromosomes. Triploids can’t produce seed, since their chromosomes can’t line up in pairs. Triploid seeds are catchy to germinate, so purchase them as transplants in the event that you can find them. Once growing, their needs are no different from diploid varieties.

Clear weeds and stones from a website in full sun in the warmest microclimate of the garden — one which receives reflected heat in a south-facing fence or wall, or is in a greater elevation; raised beds are ideal. Allow enough space for a single diploid to each two to three triploid watermelon plants with plants spaced two to three feet apart in rows, together with at least two feet between rows.

Work 5-10-10 fertilizer into the ground with a shovel as soon as it’s dry enough to work. Use the fertilizer at a rate of 3 pounds per 100 square feet.

Spread black plastic sheeting, at least 1.5 millimeters thick, above the watermelon bed or down the row where the watermelons are to be planted. Secure the borders of the mulch with wire garden staples, or soften the edges of the plastic in garden soil. This solarizes the soil, making it 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than surrounding soil for spring planting. Watermelons need both warm air and soil temperatures to grow nicely.

Cut “X”s with a utility knife in the appropriate spacing in Step 1. Peel back the black plastic mulch from the middle of each “X,” and tuck the points beneath the mulch to make a 5-inch-square hole at each cut.

Dig small holes with a trowel from the gaps from the plastic to fit the root balls of the watermelon seedlings. Alternative two to three triploids for every diploid plant on your rows.

Mark that the diploid plants with plant markers.

Give all the plants a good soaking.

Monitor the plants as they grow, watching for flowers to bloom. Female melon flowers occur singly on long stems, have a little bulge at the base of the blossom and are available for only one day. These are the fruit-bearing blossoms. Male blossoms, the pollinators, bloom in clusters on short stems.

Fill an open male blossom from a diploid plant from its stem, and carefully eliminate its petals in the morning to a day when a female flower on a triploid plant is freshly open.

Roll the middle of the male diploid blossom from the stigma at the middle of the female triploid blossom.

Water deeply once a week when leaves wilt from the midday sun. Decrease watering once fruit reaches its full dimensions and starts to ripen. Less water intensifies the taste of the fruit. Fruit is generally older 90 days after planting.

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Care of Potato Vine Bulbs

Ornamental sweet potato vines (Ipomoea batatas) are frost-tender vines with vibrant leaf which climbs or trails. The plants grow from a fleshy underground wax called a tuber. Sweet potato vines are hardy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11, and at these zones you can leave them at the ground all year. When overwintering sweet potato vines inside, it is possible to dig up the tubers and replant in the spring.

Sweet Potato Vine Tubers

Tubers are much like bulbs. Both are a fleshy area of the stem which grows and rises underground. Roots grow from the tuber to the soil along with the stem rises out the very top, above the soil line. The fleshy tuber stores nutrients, water and genetic material for your plant. Every growing season, the plant produces new tubers. A easy means to distribute sweet potato vine plants will be to split the tubers and replant them from the soil. Each section will grow a new plant.

Overwintering Tubers

In areas outside their plant hardiness zone, sweet potato vines can be grown as annuals. In winter, cut the foliage at the soil line and then dig the tubers from the ground. A garden fork or shovel work well for digging beneath the tubers but it’s critical to be certain not to damage the tubers when they will not store well. Brush of the dirt and they are ready to store. In areas within the climate variety, the tubers may be left at the bottom year round.

Storing Tubers

Store sweet potato vine tubers at a dry, insulating medium. Sand, peat moss or vermiculite work well. Gently clean the tubers to remove the majority of the soil. Avoid rubbing, washing or scraping your skin. Damaged skin allows decay to develop and may ruin the tubers. A bucket or barrel makes a good spot to put away sweet potato vine tubers for your winter. Make certain there’s enough of this packing medium so every one is insured rather than touching. Store the tubers in a cool, dry area for the winter.

Planting

Spring is the time to plant sweet potato vines. After removing the tubers from storage, then dip them into sections and plant them directly in the soil. Each department should have an “eye” on it. The eye is an indentation where a new shoot will grow. When planting sweet potato vines from tubers, make sure the eye is facing upwards. After covering each part with 1 inch of soil, keep the area moist and await new shoots over the next couple of weeks.

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The Size of this Pixie Mandarin Citrus Tree

In warm climates, adding a pixie mandarin tree (Citrus reticulata Blanco) to the landscape means fragrant flowers in summer and hot fruit. This diminutive citrus tree is compact enough for a little space. In areas that have cold winters, the tree can be grown in a pot in a greenhouse year or put outdoors only during warm weather.

Mature Size

As its name implies, the pixie mandarin tree is small, which makes it perfect for use as a potted plant or to get a backyard area with restricted space. Many citrus trees develop 20 or 30 feet tall, but breeding and grafting practices have contributed to little varieties. The pixie mandarin rises to only 5 to 6 feet tall and has a spread of 4 to 6 feet.

Hardiness Zones

Pixie mandarin and other citrus tree varieties thrive in the mild, frost-free winters and hot summers of this Mediterranean climate. Pixie mandarin grows best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 and 10. In zone 8 and colder zones, the streamlined citrus tree can be grown in a pot outdoors in summer and shot into the home or a greenhouse for winter.

Culture

This citrus tree needs a great deal of sunlight. When intending to plant a pixie mandarin, start looking for a spot that receives a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight per day. Soil drainage is also significant. If the planting area has poor drainage and wet soil, consider creating a raised bed on such website for the tree. If you want to plant the tree in a container, then start using a pot that is only 2 inches larger than the tree nursery pot. As the tree grows, raise its pot size. A high-quality potting soil is a much better option than garden soil for the container.

Fruit

Even though the tree is a dwarf variety, it produces full-size fruits. Still, mandarin oranges are little compared to other kinds of oranges and grapefruits. Their orange, thin skins peel easily. The fruit is orange, too, and has a delicate flavor. Pixie mandarin produces fruit out of winter into early spring. In mild areas, however, the tree can produce fruit into late spring and early summer.

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How to Plant Avocado Seeds as a Houseplant

Besides bearing delicious fruit that’s full of vitamin E, potassium and folic acid, it is possible to grow an avocado (Peresa Americana) from a hole to your lovely houseplant. The avocado is technically a tree, and takes at least 20 years to bear fruit, which means you’re probably going to have to relocate your houseplant before plucking any bounty to get homemade guacamole. Wash and germinate your avocado hole in the right environment to cultivate a beautiful, albeit uncommon, houseplant.

Eliminate the avocado’s pit and rinse it off under running water. Dry the avocado seed and add three to four toothpicks halfway down the pit side. Suspend the avocado pit over the glass by resting the toothpicks on the glass lip. Fill the glass until the bottom one-fourt of this avocado seed is submerged.

Set the glass in a warm place that’s away from direct sunlight. Refill the glass when required to maintain the first water level. Your avocado must sprout within fourteen days. If the seed doesn’t sprout after three months, toss it out and try again.

Proceed to refill the glass with water and track the avocado hole until the root shoots, which emerge before the stalks, are 2 to 3 inches long.

Remove the toothpicks and plant the avocado seed in a 10- to 12-inch diameter grass filled with well-drained, commercial potting soil. Plant the seed in order that the pointed end is flat with the top layer of the soil.

Maintain evenly moist soil and set the expanding avocado tree in an area that receives full sunlight. Feed the plant every 3 months with an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer.

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Ants in Pineapple Plants

Pineapples (Ananas comosus) are typical edible landscaping plants in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11, though they are gaining popularity since indoor denizens as well. Pineapples are generally hardy and also have few pests, but do suffer from scale insects and mealybugs, both sap-feeding insects which attract ants.

Ants

Argentine ants (Linepithema humile), the most common ants in the house and garden, are mainly sugar-feeding insects that live in shallow mounds from the dirt. Sometimes infesting houseplants or finding their way in through tiny cracks in homes, these 1/8 inch long, dull brown ants are not dangerous to humans but can be ascertained nuisances once they’ve located an ample food supply.

Honeydew

Although ants may be drawn to over-ripe pineapples, it’s considerably more likely they are farming scale insects or mealybugs which are feeding on plants. These insects excrete a sticky, sweet substance called honeydew that ants will go to great lengths to procure. When ants find a colony of scale or mealybugs, they’ll protect these nuisance insects, even moving them about from plant to plant to help increase their numbers.

Potted Pineapples

Pineapples in pots may host ants as permanent guests in their land, especially if the ants are feeding on honeydew produced by insects living on the plant. If you discover that ants are living on your own potted pineapples, take the plants outside and submerge them into the very top of their pot for approximately 20 minutes in a bucket of water laced with 2 tbsp of insecticidal soap each quart of water. This will kill all the ants living in the pot without damaging the plants. Treating the leaves of the pineapple for sap-sucking insects is crucial to keeping ant control — spray them using the undiluted insecticidal soap you used to kill the ants.

Outdoor Control

Ants in exterior pineapple plantings can be more difficult to handle, but it’s not impossible once sap-feeding insects have been controlled. Argentine ants easily accept sugar-based ant discharges when they are put on each side of their paths. Check these bait stations regularly so the food supply doesn’t run out as worker ants carry the poisoned bait back to their nests, slowly poisoning the entire colony. Any pineapples planted in containers or raised beds can benefit from an application of a sticky barrier.

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