Summer Gardening Tips

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By Michael McGroarty

Don’t be afraid to trim those flowering shrubs and trees that need it. Failure to prune is probably the biggest gardening mistake a person can make. I spent 20 years landscaping homes and businesses, and I watched people make the investment in my services, then they failed to prune when the plants needed it, and before you know it their landscape looked terrible.

If you make a mistake pruning, don’t worry about it. It’s like a bad haircut, it will grow out. Of course use common sense and read the previous articles that I’ve written on pruning.

Along with summertime comes high humidity. High humidity can cause a lot of problems with the plants in your garden and around your house. One of the simple things you can do is don’t water just before dark. Make sure your plants are nice and dry when you tuck them in for the night and you can cut down on the chance of fungus being a problem.

One of the more common fungi that I get asked about a lot is powdery mildew. This appears as a white film on the leaves of ornamental plants. Dogwoods and Purple Sandcherry are often the victim of powdery mildew. Powdery mildew isn’t extremely harmful to the plants, it’s just that the foliage is damaged, and little growing takes place once it sets in. Your local garden center will have a general fungicide you can spray if you’d like to try and control it. Usually once the plant defoliates in the fall the plant is back to normal.


If you have Perennial Rye Grass in your lawn, and you probably do if you’re in the north, you must be careful not to leave your grass wet at night. There is a fungus known as Pythium Blight that appears in very humid conditions. This fungus attacks and kills perennial rye grasses. Here in the north most of our lawns are a blend of fescues, perennial ryes, and Kentucky Blue Grass.

If you have problems with Pythium blight you will lose the perennial rye grass in large areas of your lawn, and even though the other grasses will still be there and fill in, your lawn will have areas that are much darker green than the rest of the lawn because you will then have concentrations of Kentucky Blue Grass.

You can see this fungus in the early morning. It looks like white cotton candy laying on top of your lawn. It usually appears along walks and driveways where the soil is wet if you have been watering. To prevent Pythium blight water as early in the day as possible.

Another nasty little blight that likes summertime is Fire Blight. Fire Blight attacks ornamentals, especially Apple trees, Crabapple trees, Cotoneasters, and Pyracantha. You know you have Fire Blight when a branch on one of your plants dies and turns almost red. The leaves usually hang on but turn reddish brown. The damage usually starts out near the end of the branch and works its way toward the main stem of the plant. There is little you can do except prune out the affected branch, cutting it as far back as possible.

Fire Blight is very contagious to plants so you should burn the branches you prune out. You should also dip or wash your pruning shears in rubbing alcohol after each cut to keep from spreading this deadly fungus.

Unfortunately, I’ve got one more summertime culprit to warn you about. It’s a handy little fungus that grows in mulch. Actually there are all kinds of fungi that tend to grow in mulches, and most of them are really disgusting looking. But this little gem is unique in the fact that as it grows it tends to swell. Then somehow it manages to explode, and it will spatter your house with tiny brown specks. The experts have appropriately named this one ‘Shotgun Fungus’. Isn’t that a cute name?

These tiny little brown specks will fly as high as eight feet into the air, and once they stick to your house or windows, they stick like glue. I know that right now there are people hollering across the house at their spouse, ‘Hey, remember those brown specks all over the house? I know what they are. It’s from the mulch!’ Tell me I’m wrong, but I know I’m not.

A lot of people are victims of this nasty little fungus, but they don’t know it. All they know is that there are tiny brown specks on the house that look like paint. So far they have blamed everything from spiders to aliens.

There’s not a lot you can do to prevent this fungus. I have found that if you keep the mulch loose so air can circulate it is less likely to grow fungi. Don’t just keep adding layer after layer to the mulch around your house. You should skip at least every other year and just loosen the mulch you already have down. If you loosen it and then rake it flat it will look like you’ve just mulched. Mulch is great, just don’t let it get packed down hard. Loosen it up at least once a year.

About the Author: Michael J. McGroarty is the author of this article. Visit his most interesting website,

and sign up for his excellent gardening newsletter.


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Ngorongoro Crater: Experience The Garden Of Eden

Author:  |  Category: Irrigation

Submitted by: Anthony J. Namata

What really fascinates me about the Ngorongoro crater is how it was formed about three million years ago. To imagine that it was once a mountain as high as the Kilimanjaro and that it blew up to cover the Serengeti in ash and then the crater floor sank leaving the rim to form a natural enclosure 2,285 metres high, is in itself mind boggling. It s an amazing kaleidoscope into the formation of one of our planet s most incredible wonders. This article will look at Ngorongoro as the best self-contained safari destination in the world; how it came into being and what you can expect to see.

The stalking ground of anywhere from twenty to thirty thousand wild animals, the Ngorongoro has an ecological environment that includes grasslands, swamps, forests and central soda lake Makat filled by Munge river is an idyllic location for wildlife to drink, wallow, graze, hide or climb. The crater rim is over two thousand meters high and what makes it all the more majestic and imposing is it touches swathes of clouds for most days of the year.


Your choice of accommodation ranges from the luxurious top end hotel on the rim of the crater, like the Ngorongoro Crater Lodge; to the more crowded type of set up at the Ngorongoro Serena Lodge; to the best tented camp in the area the Lemala Ngorongoro much more atmospheric than the Serena. And there s Gibbs Farm in an absolutely great setting and boasts a famous reputation to boot. Plantation Lodge, located in the highlands, is away from the action on the rim of the crater but offers superb value and atmosphere. At the top end of the scale is The Manor, a fairly new and extremely luxurious hotel whose staff — as it happens, have a genuine passion for hospitality. All things considered, the Ngorongoro, has a breathtaking landscape, incredible game viewing opportunities and a history of its creation still as vivid as it may have been 3 million years ago — after its dramatic irruption.

Summary: The wondrous mysteries of our beautiful planet and how some of the wonders of the world like the Ngorongoro came to being is fascinating. The Ngorongoro, formerly as high as the Kilimanjaro 3 million years ago, blew up to form the crater we know today, home to thousands of wild animals AND the endangered Black Rhino who continue to breed in the wild. With a rim that s over 2,000 meters high and swathing the clouds most days of the year, it offers the animals a vast self-contained enclave with an ecological environment that includes grasslands, swamps, forests and a lake in which to drink, wallow, graze, hide or climb. There is limited accommodation to be found in the area. However, the choice of staying in a hotel, lodge, or tented camp to suit your budget is available to the holidaymaker. Just make sure you plan your Ngorongoro safari ahead of time. Your tour operator will be able to help you sort out your travel plans according to your budget and interest, so that you will get to experience the best this Garden of Eden has to offer.

About the Author: Anthony J. Namata publishes

Travel Writer Africa

blog and is an Internet marketing consultant to travel and tour operators. To book a Ngorongoro safari in Tanzania, contact expert Arusha based tour operator

Abrojaley Africa Ajabu



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Why Artificial Grass Can Save You Headaches

Author:  |  Category: Irrigation

Why Artificial Grass Can Save You Headaches



Maintaining a lawn can be a very time consuming task. It requires constant mowing, regular weeding and the occassional watering during those dry summer months. This is why apartment living is becoming more favourable to people, with no gardens and therefore no regular maintenance. As a society we are becoming increasingly busy, with less and less time available to perform these menial tasks.


For those who do have a garden, it obviously comes with its benefits. It looks nice (if properly maintained) and it’s a great space to just lay down and chill out, whether it be sunbaking or simply reading a book. But wouldn’t it be great if you could have your cake and eat it to? By that I mean wouldn’t it be ideal if you could have a lawn, but not spend hours every week looking after it? Well there is a way. And the answer lies with artificial grass. This is a product which is made from synthetic fibres, but still looks and acts like regular grass. Well I shouldn’t say acts like, because it doesn’t grow like normal grass. But it provides the same functionality, and requires no maintenance. Artificial grass, or synthetic turf as it’s also known, rose to popularity on sports grounds decades ago. It was a widely used surface on hockey grounds and tennis courts, but lately it can be seen on an array of sporting ovals. And now it’s used commonly on residential lawns. Though it might be more expensive initially to install than regular grass, over the life of your garden the savings begin to add up. You do not have to worry about seeding, weeding, fertilising, trimming or mowing, and only need to give it the odd hosing when it gets dirty. Furthermore, artificial turf is made with compounds that prevent deterioration, so you’ll never need to replace it. It is also safer for kids when playing in cold weather than normal grass. So if your children are prone to injuries or are particular rough with eachother, synthetic turf is a great solution. At the other end of the season spectrum, some types of artificial grasses are actually 20% cooler on your feet, which is ideal in hot weather. If you’re interested in changing over from regular grass in your garden, suppliers will usually have a showroom for you to visit. In there, you can sample the various types of fake grass, see it, touch it, even stand on it. This allows you to find the perfect solution for you, that will suit your home perfectly. And once you’ve decided upon a particular type, you can get it installed conveniently and professionally. Your lawn space will be measured and fitted up so that you only purchase what you need. And if you are handy around the house, there are plenty of online instructional videos if you want to do it yourself. But then again, you are buying an artifical lawn so chances are you don’t want the extra hassle!

For more information on a

artificial grass

including product advice and installation information visit Newturf Solutions.

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Why Artificial Grass Can Save You Headaches

The History Of Almond Tree, Prunus Dulcis

Author:  |  Category: Irrigation

By Pat Malcolm

The ancient travelers and traders, who circulated back and forth over the Silk Road route between Greece and Turkey, used almonds in their commercial trading, in exchange for other expensive and desirable goods. Native almond trees, Prunius dulcis, are found growing in Western Asia, and biblical references suggest that almond nuts have been grown in Israel since 2000 B.C. from time immemorial in the ancient land of Canaan; according to the book of Numbers in the Testament. Other references to almonds in the Bible are found in the books of Genesis, Ecclesiastes, and Jeremiah. The Old Testament Bible records the fact of Aarons staff blossoming and developing into edible almonds, suggested that this divine miracle expressed the approval of God to Aaron and his brother, Moses as acceptable leaders of the Israelites.

Researchers believe that the almonds available on todays markets evolved from an ancient plant in China (Mongolia) that had a bitter kernel, much like the peach kernel. Through selective growing over the centuries, kernels appeared that demonstrated a characteristic sweet, spicy, crunchiness that U.S. almond tree growers prefer over bitterness.

In recent years, almond nuts harvested from trees in California have become an excellent product of considerable importance. The first almond trees sent to the new world to America from Spain in the mid 1700s by Franciscan monks were planted in Spanish monasteries near Sacramento, California. Almond trees are closely related to other stone fruits, such as the cherry, peach, and plum, but it is the stone that forms the food product from the almond, but the fleshy substance that surrounds the pit. The leaves on almond trees are dark green, much like the long narrow leaves on peach trees, a genetically and similar related tree; a closeness that has been confused by many amateur gardeners, but the edible fruit parts are entirely and unmistakably different.


The almond tree is appreciated as one of the most beautiful flowering trees known in horticulture. The almond trees begin to flower early in the spring, reliably being loaded with beautiful rosy flowers on the leafless branches of the trees.

The U.S., agricultural, almond tree authorities report that 6000 almond growers cultivate approximately 450,000 acres of almond trees, supplying all of the U.S. domestic market and 70% of the world supply and are being distributed and sold to 90 nations.

Most nut tasters and food gourmets agree that the pecan is a much more desirable nut in respect to the flavor, cost of production edge, and an available supply over almonds, but the aggressive and cooperative superior marketing promotion of the Almond Nut Association has left the bureaucratic and limp marketing strategies of the Southern Pecan Association far behind. One advantage gained by almond tree promoters is that all European and Mideastern countries grew and used almonds in their food supply for centuries, and pecan promoters have not properly distributed and advertised this American product to massive exposure and those foreign markets to the sampling of the pecan that is necessary to be successful. Pecans also offer tremendous benefits to healthy bodies since their kernels contain extreme concentrations of polyunsaturated fatty acids, that are so high in antioxidants, and they protect the heart by removing clogging cholesterols that interfere with blood flow in veins and arteries. The distinctive flavor and satisfying crunch of almonds make this nut a prime ingredient in candy, pies, cakes, treats for salting, toasting, and dipping in various kinds of icings. Marketable products of almonds are almond butter; which tastes like and resembles peanut butter; almond extract; an oil extracted from the nuts that is used as a potent flavoring, almond flour; used like flour in cakes and pastries, and almond paste; used in the preparation of confections and candies.

Almonds are used as a health benefit due to the cholesterol free fatty acids that reduce the risks of heart disease. Vitamin E is beneficially concentrated in almonds, which reduces the accumulation of plaque in the arteries, acting as an antioxidantfurther reducing inflammation. We suggest growing your own almond trees for enjoyment, entertainment, and health benefits from eating the almonds, as well as the exercise that is spent in growing your own trees.

About the Author: Patrick A. Malcolm, owner of

TyTy Nursery

, has an M.S. degree in Botany and has cultivated almond trees for over three decades.


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