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5 Signs to Spot If Your Tree Is Going to fall

Trees have numerous benefits to the environment. One massive tree can increase your property value in addition to air conditioning. However, Falling trees can cause injuries, property damage, and even deaths.

Some of the main reason why tress falls includes insect infestation, poor soil condition, malnutrition, and improper planting condition.

While we can’t predict accurately when a tree will fall, you can spot some warning signs and act before it is too late. Luckily we have compiled some telltale signs you should know. Let’s get started.

1. A cavity in the trunk

A cavity inside the trunk usually forms as a result of shedding branches. Secondly, self-pruning does open wounds that can cause decay inside the tree. However, if there is enough solid wood around the wound, then you should not worry about the tree tipping over. It is shrewd to consult a professional to be on the safe side.

2. Deep Cracks or missing cracks in the Tree trunk

Missing barks on the tree trunk are enough causes for concern. First, you should have it examined by an arborist. The presence of cankers signifies that the tree is dying while deep cracks could make your tree considerably weak and unable to support its branches. As the tree becomes weak, there is a higher likelihood of falling.

3. Weak or decaying Roots

It is somehow tricky to spot weak or rotten trees since roots are covered in soil. However, it is an excellent method to determine if the tree is rotting from the inside. Fungi and mushroom growth is an indication of rooting wood. A tree with decaying roots is unstable and may fall anytime, especially if strong winds blow. If you notice your tree has weak or rotten roots, then you should consult a professional arborist. In case you leave around Atlanta and you feel something is amess with your trees, check out this affordable tree service in Atlanta.

4. Dead or falling branches

Although dead branches do not necessarily mean that your tree will fall, it is a signifying the current tree condition. This means that if you spot falling dead branches, then something is not right with your tree. Shedding is a way for the tree to make it smaller. It is also a self-pruning method.  Typically, this means that the tree is not getting enough nourishment or its suffering from insect infestation.

5. V-shaped branch growth

Tree branches should grow at an ideal distance to provide a perfect space for development.  U shape is proof of this strong union. However, if the branches grow tightly together, they often have a v shape. You can spot the v growth during winter or after falls when the tree sheds the leaves. The point is that tight branch growth is a bad sign.

6. Missing inside leaves

Trees should lose leaves from outside. If your tree loss leaves close to the trunk, then you should be concerned. This is because the root zone may have a problem. Remember that trees get water and nutrients from the root zone. With an unhealthy roots system, your tree may fall easily, and the first signs to see will be loss of leaves from the inside.

7. Leaning trunk

Is your tree leaning more than 15 degrees? If the answer is yes, then you should have it removed. If your tree is leaning too much due to roots problems or winds, then it is a telltale sign that it is going to fall. However, a tree that tilts naturally as it grows is not always a risk.

Conclusion

If you notice the signs above do on wait until it is too late. Seek professional help to determine the best course of action. A certified arborist will inspect and decide whether or not it is safe to keep the tree. They can also help with pruning if need be. Lastly, you may have to bring the tree down before it causes property destruction or hurt people.

Know These 5 Friendly Dog Plants for your Yard

Your dog is part of your family and therefore it deserves a yard with friendly plants. Not all plants are good for your dog. Given the propensity of dogs to munch on leaves, some plants could be potentially harmful. Note that not all plants that are good for humans are good to dogs. Some are extremely opposite. So, you want plants that will beautify your yard and at the same time be appropriate for your dog?  https://www.pupped.com/ has the answer for you. At first note that, in order to stop your dog from digging out the plants, make it accustomed to the command ‘leave it’ when trying such or related behavior. Having said that, the following five plants will serve a friendly purpose to your dog:

Spider Plant

The good thing about this plant is that it is an outdoor plant and can be grown any time of the year. Its lush, green foliage with white stripes will be both appealing for your yard and friendly to your canine. Research has proven that this plant is non-toxic to dogs. So if your dog happens to chew on it while playing, there will be no harmful effects. Make sure that you prevent your canine from peeing on this plant. This is because dog’s urine contains concentrated nitrogen that could burn its leaves. Ensure you train the dog on the command ‘leave it’ when peeping so that it does not cause the damage.

Thyme Plant

This is a perennial plant which belongs to the mint group of plants. It can spread and rise to a height of 18 inches. The advantage of this plant is that it contains antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It is perennial and requires minimum attention. Just a little water sprinkle and sunshine are enough. The advantage with it is a herb that can solve digestive problems for you canine once it chews it.

Parlor Palm

This is low maintenance and air purifier plant that will serve a friendly deal for your dog. Also, its dark green fronds provides a bushy and lush plant that will be appealing in your yard. It is an adaptable plant that requires moderate watering and grows in different light situations. You can use it to form a canopy for your dog shelter once it is grown.

Daylilies

Apart from being friendly to your dog, this plant will bring an astounding and magnificence look to your yard. It does have a non-stop bloom and easy to maintain. This plant has many resemblances that are toxic therefore it is advisable that when buying its seeds, you buy from a recognized store. Its scientific name is Xanthorrhoeaceae. It is completely friendly to canines but not cats.

Snapdragon

Snapdragon plant is undemanding in terms of maintenance and friendly to dogs. It grows in wide selection of colors and heights and it blooms profusely throughout as long as it is moderately watered. In some parts of the world like India, it is also known as dog plant. This is because it resembles the face of a dragon and opens up and closes like mouth of a dog once it is squeezed. Children like to play with it by opening up its jaws and watching it snap shut. So if you are looking for dog a friendly plant, great cut of flowers arrangement for your yard, and children relatable plant, go for this plant.

Closing remarks

All the above plants are proven by research to be non-toxic and friendly to dogs. They will cause no harm to your canine. More so, they will add a flavor to your yard by making it look more attractive and appealing.

Let Your Garden Bee Friendly

If you’re planning on planting a garden, then don’t forget about the bees. There is nothing like the sound of bees flitting about a garden to make it feel like it is alive and well. One thing all bees have in common is that they like flowers, especially certain types of flowers. When you plant them, they are sure to get noticed by the bees, and the bees will do the rest. However, it's not only about the bees. When bees arrive in your garden, the chances of increasing fruit and vegetable production go up. In fact, fruits and vegetables like pumpkins, cucumbers, cherries, apples, blueberries, etc. depend on bees for reproduction. The following are some plants that not only help attract bees but will look good in the garden.

Lilacs: with their purple color and great fragrance, lilacs will enhance the beauty of a garden, as well as attract bees. Lilacs generally grow in bunches on a stem, resembling a bouquet. This is what gives them their amazing eye-catching appeal. When planting them, choose a spot where the plant will get plenty of sun, and the soil drains well.  Also, remember not to plant anything close to the plant since they tend to grow into bushes, over time.

Honeysuckle: Honeysuckles are well-known plants and do not need much introduction. The flowers resemble certain types of orchids and have a powerful fragrance. There are two different varieties of honeysuckle plants, shrubs and vines. If you want to plant a few in one area, then go for the shrubs, if you want a climber to drape the house or an archway, then go with vine variety.

Herbs: Have you been thinking about planting an herb garden? The good news is that certain herbs like basil, oregano, rosemary, and sage attract bees. The best thing to do is to grow them in a pot, especially oregano since it tends to spread out and take over your garden space. Herbs tend to like a lot of sunlight and well-drained soil.

Herbs

Herbs

Lavender: lavender come in several varieties, and they are a big hit with the bees as well. These beautiful plants with their small purple flowers can be grown in several different ways, depending on the space you have to work with. You can grow them in pots, flowerbeds or just about anywhere in your garden. If you are thinking about attracting bees, then go for more prominent bushier varieties. Like many other smaller plants, lavender does not like soil that stays wet for long periods.

Hyacinth: If you want to turn your garden into instant eye candy, not only for bees but for humans as well, then go for the hyacinth. If the flowers look a bit familiar to you, then it’s not a coincidence. That is because hyacinths belong in the Lilly/onion family. The reason for their eye-catching presence is that the plant will have a vertical stem producing many flowers on it. Hyacinths are also available in different colors such as purple, pink, and white.

Hyacinth

Hyacinth

Bee Balm: The name says it all and if you want to attract bees to your garden, but want to keep things simple, then you need to plant bee balm. Once you plant bee balm and it starts flowering, you will understand why this plant was named for bees. These plants are not picky when it comes to the type of soil it has been planted on.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Attracting bees to your garden is not only about planting the right flowers. It is also about the environment. The following are some of the main things to do to help attract your winged friends.

  • Make water available for them. You can even provide a float in the water, such as a piece of wood for them to land on.
  • Bees prefer patches of flowers as opposed to a single or a few flowers. Plant the flowering plants in three by three-foot patterns at a minimum
  • Keep pesticides to a minimum. If you have to use it, then try and use less toxic, organic pesticides
  • As much as possible plant flowering plants that bloom at different times of the year. This will attract many different varieties of bees

The fact is, growing a bee-friendly garden is not very difficult. The plants will be happy and so will you and anyone who takes a look at your garden. You will also get a garden that seriously enhances its face value, and make some honey on the side, to boot.

Top 10 Tips for Sustainable Gardening

Are you already creating your little sustainable garden? Or you just moved into a new house with a backyard and are thinking about planting a few vegetables just for fun? If in this case gardening is something new to you, maybe then is the concept of sustainability as well. So let's first take a look at what it is and why is sustainable gardening important?

So it is very simple. Sustainability presents the ability to exist always without interruption and provide food as a source of energy. We connect this word to gardening and nature, and we hear it more and more frequently.  The research that we at homemaker guide conducted shows that most of the vegetables that we buy in supermarkets are in fact, genetically modified.  GMO food is harmful both for us and the environment, so lots of people who have the ability are turning towards growing sustainable vegetables.

What does it mean?

Sustainable gardening is like having an organic garden. The extra touch is that you are putting additional work into developing gardening practices and techniques that aren't damaging for the earth and everybody who lives on it. At the same time, you ensure nourishment for yourself and your family. Isn't that cool? It is not only that you support proper balance in the ecosystem when you create a sustainable garden.  You  also have a lot of fun gardening and enjoying the healthy and delicious fruits of your labor.

There is a broad list of principles that we need to follow to achieve best practices for organic gardening.

It is important to say before we continue that there are a lot of shared gardens, usually in the peripheries of the big cities. So if you live in an apartment, but you are interested in getting started with sustainable gardening, this checking out your possibilities, there can be an excellent way to go.

What Do We Need for Sustainable Garden?

  1. Compost.  This is a critical part of a sustainable garden and has the most significant impact on it. When you are making compost, you are enhancing the health of the soil because it is super rich in nutrients, and it benefits your family. You can get compost by collecting leaves or collecting in the same place all of the remaining parts of fruit and vegetable.  Next time you eat an apple think before throwing the remaining portion to the garbage mixed with other waste. The best thing is to have a separate place for all organic garbage.
  2. Keep the Seeds.  Remember that you don't have to buy it.  Dry and save the seeds from veggies or next year. Also, you can talk to your friends and neighbors to see if they are growing something that you would like to ask them if they can give you seed. You can also join or organize seed exchanges. If you are, however buying seeds, make sure to find organic.  
  3. Conserve Water. It is vital to water the plants only when they need it. Having a fresh green grass lawn in front is super cute but keep in mind that the grass needs only about inch of rain per week. If you are using an irrigation system for your garden, it is better to opt for drip irrigation then sprinkler because they spend less water. Also what you can do is collect rain in barrels. You can make a rain barrel by yourself or buy it online or in one of the specialized garden centers.
  4. Grow Native  Plants. When we love fruit or vegetable, of course, we want to enjoy it all the time. But nature doesn't work that way. There is a reason why plants thrive in certain areas while they don't work in others.  Nowadays it's possible to create artificial conditions to have any vegetable or fruit in all countries any time of the year, but it is distractive for the earth. If you want to help the environment, then make sure to plant only vegetables that grow naturally in the climate where you are living. 
  5. Tree Planting.  Besides the fact that trees provide excellent shade and overall impression of the garden in summer, they help store carbon into the ground.
  6. Involve Animals. If you are living in the countryside and you have sheep or goats cows, and so on you can use their manure to make fertilizer.  Also, chicken poop can be used as a compost.  In case you or neighbors have pigs, 'employ' them to eat the weeds. They will be more than thrilled to do it.
  7. Use Renewable Resources. Try to get the gardening materials that you can recycle or reuse.
  8. Use Less Fossil Fuel. Try digging the soil manually. You will be surprised, but it can be a great exercise and way to burn calories as well. Furthermore, choose to pull the weeds by hand rather than putting chemical sprays.  Having lights in the garden isn't just useful but also looks good. But instead of ordinary lights, try getting LED options that use less energy. Also, consider buying an electric lawnmower.
  9. Plant maintenance. We understand that it can be downright frustrating to have insects damaging your veggies. However, keep in mind that this can be beneficial; thus, it is useful to distinguish good and bad ones. If you are spraying with pesticides can cause harm to the environment.  Also, it is essential to know which plant disease is terrible and which harms the aesthetics.
  10. Test the Soil. This is also an important step. Send it to the lab and then use just organic fertilizer following the instructions. Keep in mind that adding too much fertilizer can, in fact, do more harm than good.  Plants can grow excessively, and this can lead to some diseases. 

Conclusion

There you go, we went through some of the leading environmental gardening tips. Now you are ready to start your sustainable garden. We certainly hope that we managed to inspire you and encourage you to think about it. You will contribute to the protection of the environment and make much healthier food for you and your family.

7 TIPS TO TURN AN OLD BOAT INTO A NEW GARDEN

Boats are great vessels for traveling in the water and catching fish. Like every other piece of equipment, they too do get obsolete and unable to function further. If and when that happens, they inevitably have to be disposed of.

 Hopefully, this ought not necessarily to be the case. It is still possible to keep deriving some benefits from them well after they are retired. Our discussions below examine the tips which might guarantee a smooth transition the old boat from the water vessel to a new garden

Tip #1: Repurpose the old boat

Start off by repurposing the old boat into a garden. This simply means modifying its structure and composure accordingly. To do this, perforate the bottom of the boat to allow for the seepage of water and the unconstrained growth of the roots of plants thereafter.

Then, take the boat to a secluded area in your yard. This is important as it minimizes undue interferences which your household might impose on the plants.

Tip #2: Pour some soil and fertilizer

Next, pour some soil and fertilizer into the boat. The soil you choose should be the one that is relevant to the kind of plant or flower you wish to grow later. This also applies to the kind of fertilizer you opt for. We advise that you use organic manure.

They are healthier and less likely to burn your crops. If you choose the organic manure, the ratio of the soil to the manure has to be 1:1 for the best possible crop outcomes.

Tip #3: Cordon off the boat appropriately

Having prepared the boat for the subsequent task of planting, you should now cordon off the area completely. As hinted earlier, you want to minimize any direct contacts and with it, the possible interferences to the growing plants.

Use some wire netting fence to achieve this feat. Then again, you also have to clearly mark the area as being ‘out of bounds’ to any unauthorized persons. A Best spotlight for boat might be necessary to clearly behold the plants in pitch darkness.

Tip #4: Guarantee a constant supply of water

Plants require generous amounts of water to thrive and mature. That is why you also have to guarantee a constant supply of water to the boat garden. Drip irrigation is by far the most economical and useful way of watering the garden plants.

In the absence of the irrigation technique, you have to bring in the water cans. Either way, you have to guarantee some uninterrupted supply of water throughout the growing period from your municipal pipes.

Tip #5: Don’t forget the sunshine

Apart from water, plants also require abundant sunshine to thrive. This calls for the supply of the same. See to it that there is absolutely no overgrow trunks, stems, and leaves in the growing area. These have the tendency to block the sun and deprive the plants of this vital ingredient.

Instead, clear the area to see to it that there is no overgrowth that can potentially deny your plants the crucial growth factor.

Tip #6: Be Mindful of the season and soil

As you plant your crops and flowers, be mindful of the seasons and the soil. These two parameters have a bearing on the kind of plants that may do well at any given time. Failing to adhere to them might usually bring along losses and inconveniences.

In fact, you are advised to consult with those who have stayed in those areas for quite some time to know what plants might potentially do well there.

Tip #7: Keep off pests and pets

Lastly, you have to keep off pests and diseases. Study the characteristics of the plants you are interested in to know the kinds of pests and diseases they are vulnerable to. Then, make appropriate arrangements to furnish the pesticides which combat them. 

You also have to beware of the timing when these pests and diseases might spring forth. Such knowledge will give you the psychological preparedness you need to do a good job.

CONCLUSION

Kindly note that the tips we have discussed above are not all that may be useful for you. Due to the limitations of time and space, we inevitably had to leave out many others. Feel free to carry on from where we have left in case you find this list irrelevant to you.

Still, the tips we have touched on above are truly awesome. You definitely want to implement them as soon as you can. When do you plan to set out? Let us hear from you…

How to Plant a Window Box Garden That Will Highlight Your Home

The window boxes is simply a number of containers attached to your window, overflowing with fragrant flowers and plants. Having some boxes will add beauty and elegance to your house’s facade. This summer, let’s make lush window boxes to decorate your home sweet home with us!

Before jumping in, you should consider these following things:

How to Plant a Window Box Garden?

First, Select a Window Box

What Kind of Box Do You Like?

There are many kinds of boxes to choose from, and the choice depends on  your preferences and home style. The main types include softwood or hardwood boxes, which are easy to paint and decorate. Otherwise, you can choose plastic, metal, earthenware, or concrete boxes.

Do You Need Big or Small Box Sizes?

The tip here is to select a 20cm full box. It can allow plants and roots to grow and prevent the soil from drying. Also, a window box needs to be smaller than the size of your window.

Feel free to make the boxes yourself. Just use 1-inch boards and waterproof glue and galvanized or brass screws to ensure the pieces stick together. Remember to drill some drainage holes along the box bottom.

Attach the Box Before Putting in the Tree

The proper position of the box is below the window about 5-10cm and lower if the window opens to the outside. You use steel racks of 45cm and fasten them to the outside of masonry with screws. After that, place the box on and screw the lower part into the racks.

Next, how to Plant and Care Window Box Garden

You can plant directly or place the flowers in plastic or metal liners inside the box. Alternatively, fill the box with moss, bark or other materials before planting flowers inside.

Then you need to cover the drainage holes, add soil and hard soil around the tree. Remember to leave at least 2-3cm above to water. You need to water the plants regularly, fertilize, and remove discolored ones to let other flowers grow healthily.

Notice: Exposing the window box to the sun and frequent watering can prevent the flowers from dying. If you cannot expose the flowers to the sunlight due to rain and wind, remember to check the dryness frequently.

You don't need to worry about the shade because many plants thrive in partly or wholly shade.

Finally, Choose Suitable Plants

Depending on your preferences, there is a variety of plants to grow. The main thing to note is to select a mixture of types such as trailers, vertical trees, filler plants, and bulbs. The desired plants should not be too high to block the view of the windows.

It’s so creative to buy flowers which have contrast colors with the background like bright trees against bright or woody faces, pale flowers over dark brick walls.

We have a list of 12 types of plants that you can grow in a window box. And remember that there are still many other trees and flowers on the market.

If you like annual plants, bring home these flowers. Here are some features of these plants:

  • Sweet alyssum: fragrant, colorful like white, cream, pink and purple, easy to grow and beautifully-filled, and reseeding itself.
  • Lobelia: look like clouds of white, blue, dark blue, rose, lavender, and cobalt.
  • Pansies: vibrant colors and quickly fill the gap between other trees.
  • Petunias: bring a feel of summer. Try cascading varieties to have more flowers blooming in a variety of colors.
  • Impatiens: offer shade and a variety of colors. Choose low-growth dwarf varieties for beautiful foliage.
  • Dianthus: have sweet scent, beautiful colors, and easy to grow.

For permanent plants, we have excellent choices for you. Let’s explore some features of these plants:

  • Ivy geranium: grow well in the windows, having great stems covered with bright flowers.
  • Geraniums: grow quickly and bring clusters of brilliant flowers n white, crimson, and apple pink.
  • Dwarf bulbs: have miniature size, and suitable for window boxes.
  • Ground ivy: long stems spilling from the window box with green or varied colors.
  • English ivy:  attractive flowers and suitable for any window box, survive under the sun or shade. You can choose cream or yellow color to make the flowers stand out from the leaves.
  • Miniature roses: create elegant and attractive window boxes when combined with annual or permanent trees. Some types even come with pleasant aromas.

Window Box Garden Is the Best Way to Decorate Your House

Now you can live in harmony with nature thanks to the window boxes. In addition to adding beauty to your home window, the flowers also help you relax after a stressful working day.

Nothing is more satisfying than to drink a cup of tea, read a book, and listen to a favorite song in the middle of many beautiful flowers and sweet scent. Do you agree?

How to Use A Chainsaw Safely: 9 Helpful Tips You Should Know

Working with or using a chainsaw is quite dangerous, so you have to know exactly how you can use it properly. To prevent unnecessary strain and accidents, ensure that you are making use of the right working strategies.

In addition, it is crucial to invest in the best safety equipment as well as a modern chainsaw that have plenty of functioning safety features. Here are some of the things that you can do to ensure that you will be using your chainsaw safely:

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Will Roundup Kill Trees? +Controversial Issues that will Shock You

When large amounts of weeds have invaded our soil, we sometimes resort to using roundups to augment the jobs of a weeder. Roundups are undeniably effective in killing weeds but many users are asking “Will RoundUp kill trees?” You will know the answer plus lots of substantial information about this product by the end of this article.

Roundup Info

Roundup has gained popularity not because of its effectivity but because of the whispering campaigns about pesticides. As a gardener, I understand the saliency of these liquids. However, the masses are not fully aware of its benefits and that is why they presume that this is all evil.

This product kills weeds without farmers having to disturb the land. Learn the importance of decreased tilling in our Soil Building article. Next,​

Glyphosate is the key ingredient found in Roundup. It is a non-selective herbicide (herb killer). Since it does not work for specific kinds of weeds, it can get rid of clovers, dandelions, other weeds that have broad leaves and even grass.

Another characteristic that you have to bear in mind when you’re using Roundup is that it works systemically. Unlike other weed killers which only target the parts of the plant that gets in contact with the formulation, Roundup will be absorbed by the plant and it will take effect on the entire plant. This means it can damage the whole herb with just a few drops.

Will Roundup Kill Trees?​

The simple answer is yes. Roundup can kill trees.

It can affect its growth as the roots absorb the glyphosate. To be more specific, as this tree soak up the Roundup, certain nutrients (micro and macro) would not be absorbed as usual. Plant survival will be problematic, growth will be stunted and the plant will be predisposed to numerous diseases in the long run.

Getting Rid of Unwanted Trees

Despite the fact that many people are learning how to save a dying tree, there are others who deem the death of a tree necessary. And these people make use of Roundup to do it.

If you are planning to do so, the first step is to read the instructions at the back so as to get the correct ratio of your mixture. The computation is based on the size of the tree, the type of the tree and the concentration of the needed Roundup.

After this, you have to select one from the three ways of application:

  1. Bark of the tree
  2. Cutting downward wedges in the trunk
  3. Drilling holes in the trunk​

Prepare the materials accordingly, you will need an ax or chainsaw or drill. Make sure you wear your personal protective equipment to protect yourself from any potential danger.

These three methods actually expose the sensitive portions of the trees and create a receptacle in which you would be pouring down your mixture. Choose according to the available tools at hand, and depending on the condition of the tree. Let us say you can easily tear a bark of a tree, then it would not be necessary to drill holes anymore.

Saturate the trunk accordingly. Wait for few weeks and you will see obvious deterioration in your tree’s well-being.

Let me share these videos I have found on the web that I believe will be helpful for you:


Controversies Addressed

First Issue

One of the major concerns why people are avoiding the use of Roundup is that they believe that it can cause cancer. I do not think it would be that harmful to humans. We actually consume more chemicals that are substantially toxic than this (e.g. nicotine and caffeine). The effects of glyphosate are only evident in plants and not in animals.

Animals and humans have a different method for absorption. Hence, it does not pile up in our tissues and cells.

Second Issue

Another topic that must be addressed is environmental concerns. Most people think that Roundup will contaminate ground waters. The ingredient glyphosate has a very strong bond with soil. On top of that, before it can actually be pulled down by the virtue of gravity, the microbes have already consumed Roundup.

Third Issue

The banning of this product is being pushed, but, let me just inform you too that there are more than 500 researches that can prove the safety of Roundup. Certain regulatory boards such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, The American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers, and CropLife America vouch on the safety of this formulation. If it has been recognized by multiple offices to be safe then I believe it is.

Conclusion

RoundUp, though intentionally made for killing weeds are found to be effective in killing trees as well. It is evidently deadly in crops but it does not pose detrimental effects on the environment and humans.

Thanks for reading! Do you have any questions? Feel free to write them in the comment box below!


Sources:

  1. http://www.ehow.com/how_5666083_kill-tree-roundup.html​
  2. http://www.itsmomsense.com/roundup-what-it-is-and-what-it-isnt/

What is the difference between Perlite and Vermiculite?

What You Should Know More about Perlite and Vermiculite

You need a healthy soil to ensure the productive growth of your plants. There are certainly a lot of ways to improve the richness of your soil. Soil additives have been proven to be effective for gardening or growing healthy crops. If you are one of those who wanted to try this option, you probably have heard about Perlite and Vermiculite.

Perlite and Vermiculite are soil additives which are both used to enrich your soil and improve moisture retention. But before you use any of these additives, you must first determine the texture and quality of your soil and what your plants need. They may look quite similar on physical aspects and texture, but you cannot just use any of these. If you apply a wrong additive, it will cause a massive damage to your soil. The growth of your plants might get dormant.

So, if you are planning to apply one these to your soil, how would you know which to use? How do they differ from each other? Before we proceed on with the definitions of both parties, we should determine first the pH of the soil and what the optimal level is.

What is the pH of soil?

Before anything else, identifying the pH of soil first is important. This abbreviation stands for “potentiometric hydrogen” which refers to the acidity and alkalinity level of the soil. It usually ranges between 5.5 and 7.0 pH, but the optimal level of soil needed for most gardens is about 6.5 pH. Why do we need to know this factor? Does it affect the growth of the plants?

Yes, definitely. It massively affects the growth of your plants. If your soil is at the optimum level, it makes it easier for the plants to absorb the nutrients they need from the soil. Hence, healthy soil defines healthy plants. That is, then, the role of these soil additives, Perlite and Vermiculite.

If your soil cannot reach the preferred pH level, proper and precise application of Perlite or Vermiculite will enrich you soil until it reaches the optimum level.

The Difference between Perlite and Vermiculite

To know more about the physical and substantial characteristics of Perlite and Vermiculite, you can refer to the comparison table below.

Perlite

Vermiculite

Has pH level of 6.6 to 7.5

Can slightly raise the pH level of soil even if it is at the neutral level of 7.0

Looks like white granules or glassy volcanic rocks with a bit of pearly shine and grayish shades

It is softer and could be dark or golden brown which also resembles the mica mineral

It is rich in silicon which is from a type of unclassifiable volcanic rock

It comes from micaceous minerals and ores that contain silica, iron oxides, magnesium oxide and silica

Lightweight, clean and odorless

Odorless

It enhances the aeration of the soil which allows more oxygen to reach the plant’s roots

Improves soil aeration but provides less oxygen for the plants

It quickly drains excess water acquired by the soil

It acts like a sponge which absorbs more water than perlite

They turn into little white balls when heated

The vermiculite flakes turn into worm-like shapes when added with water

Expands up to 15 times its volume

Expands up to 20 times its volume

Which Soil Additive Should You Use for Your Garden?

Perlite and Vermiculite both have the ability to retain water but if your plants need more absorptive soil, vermiculite is the best option. On the other hand, if your plants require a good drainage, you should apply perlite to your soil.

We can put it much easier this way. Perlite offers more aeration for the plant roots but drains more water while vermiculite offers less aeration but holds much more water. So, now that you’ve known the distinct differences between these additives, which should you use for your garden?

When to Use Vermiculite​:

  • This is preferred for water-loving plants such as forget-me-nots, irises, cattails, pickerelweeds and many other plants of this type.
  • If your plants require constant moisture
  • If you have tropical plants at home
  • You can use vermiculite for grass growing or on your lawn
  • If your plants have heavy clay or overly sandy soils

If you want to know how to use vermiculite or how to mix it with your soil, you can watch the following video.

When to Use Perlite:

  • If you have plants at home, such as cacti, Aloe Vera or other succulent plants, that need a better drainage.
  • It is also preferred for plants which need to dry out in certain conditions.
  • You can use perlite if you have seedlings and you need to move them from one container to another. It is also more recommended if you place them into separated pots. This allows them to drain water more easily.
  • If you grow your plants inside the containers and indoorsWhen you cultivate plants and seeds.
  • You can also use perlite for composting.

The video below is an example of using perlite for starting seeds. You can watch it for reference.

Conclusion

To top it all off, perlite and vermiculite both enhance and stabilize the quality of the soil. These soil additives can suffice your plant’s needs as long as you know which is suitable for your plant and how you are going to use it.

You just have to take note that you cannot just use any of these soil additives without determining the proper needs of your plants. If vermiculite is recommended, but you applied perlite, it can affect your plant’s growth. It may delay the process or worse, might even kill it.

If you want to know more about soil building or soil amendments, our previous article will give you the information you need to know.

Hope this article helps you! Should you have any concerns and questions, share them in the comment box below.


Source Links:

How to Make Your Own Distilled Water for Plants

Is Distilled Water the Best for Plants?

We have always known that water is essential to a plant’s growth. Without it, the plants would not be able to absorb the nutrients they need and hence, would not grow healthy or won’t definitely grow at all. That is why watering the plants regularly makes a huge difference.

As a gardener or a plant lover, you probably have known the basic facts about planting and growing plants and flowers. You also know that there will be times where the plants do not grow as quickly or healthy as they should be.

Have you thought of any reasons why this happens at times? Did you ever think that, perhaps, the kind of water you are using might not be good for your plants? Think again.

Tap Water VS Distilled Water

As far as everyone knows, tap water has always been the best option for watering the plants. It is reasonable, though, because it is cheaper and quite accessible for most homeowners and gardeners. It requires less effort as well.

However, there are certain facts about the use of tap water that altered their decision. With such matter, they looked for another and better option of taking good care of their plants – distilled water.

Distilled water may not be a common choice of many, but more preferred than tap water due to its benefits and incredible characteristics. And I would love to share you how these two types differ from each other. You can refer to the notes I have jotted down in the comparison table below.

Watering with Tap Water

Watering with Distilled Wate

Tap water contains chemicals that may harm your plants such as chlorine and fluoride. These chemical contents are commonly used as a treatment for public water supply.

Distilled water executes all the harmful chemical substances that can possibly damage the plants such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, organic and inorganic chemicals, heavy metals, volatile gases and other possible contaminants.

This is utterly harsh for houseplants or indoor plants because the chemical substances will build up within the soil thus cannot be washed away by rain.

Watering with a distilled water, especially on indoor plants, helps them to be nourished with the nutrients or minerals that are essential to their growth.

Tap water contains high concentrations of minerals that may cause discoloration of leaves and impeded growth.

Distilled water do not contain high concentrations of minerals that can damage the plants but rather provide the sufficient and suitable amount of minerals the plants require.

It can suffice the plants with the necessary amount of water but not as nurturing as what the distilled water provides. Plants may not grow at an optimal height and with fewer leaves.

The plants can get the best care they need. The growth is more productive. They can grow at the optimal height and with plentiful number of healthy leaves.

It is not preferable for indoor plants or houseplants

Highly recommended for indoor plants or houseplants.

From what is stated in the comparison table, using tap water is fine but it may cause risks on the growth of your plants. These are some of the facts about watering with tap water that we may not have known about for a long time. But then, every problem can always be resolved with a better solution. Watering the plants with a distilled water, for example.

It may require more effort or you might even spend more money with it, but you can get more than what you need if you water your plants with a distilled water. It guarantees productive and healthy growth for your plants. But, what if you do not have any distilled water at home? Is it possible to make your own distilled water? Yes, Definitely.

Easy Steps: How to Make Your Own Distilled Water

Distilled water is not as accessible as the tap water, but does not mean it is impossible to get. The good news is water distillers are available in some stores. You can also just buy a bottle of a distilled water if you want to! But if you really do not want to spend another penny for it, you can actually just make your own at home. You may need more effort to do it, though, but you can pretty much use whatever is available in your home.

In this process, you can use a tap water or catch some rain in a bucket. Rain water is probably the best option, but of course, you cannot always get that anytime of the year or season. However, once you do, make sure it is not acidic. The acids can affect the growth of your plants or worse, entirely damage them. If rain water is really not possible, you can still opt for tap water.

What You Need:

  • Stainless steel pot
  • Heat-resistant bowl
  • A bucket of ice
  • Cover lid

Once you have these tools, you can proceed to the following steps.

  1. Fill the pot with about half way with tap water, filtered water or rain water.
  2. Get a heat-resistant bowl. Place it inside the pot and let it float. This bowl will be the one to collect the distilled water.
  3. Get the lid. Larger lid, the better. Flip it over the pit and put some ice.
  4. Turn on the stove until the water starts to boil.
  5. Once the water boils, turn down the stove and let it simmer.
  6. When the hot water touches the cold lid, condensation process will take place.
  7. You will notice that the bottom of the lid or the other side of the lid is going to be steamy.
  8. As the process keeps on, it will start dripping water to the bowl.
  9. The water droplets will be the distilled water.
  10. If the ice melts, you can place more or as much as what you need.Enter your text here...

If you want to see the actual process, you can watch the video below.

Conclusion

It will always be your final choice regarding what type of water you can use for your plants. But if you really want the best care for them, watering them with a distilled water would be an excellent decision. However, you cannot just water them with whatever amount you want. Proper application and appropriate amount of water are necessary for your plants to grow healthier.

If you want to know more effective ways to improve your plant's’ growth, this article will also help you.

If you have other questions and concerns, don’t hesitate to share them in the comment box below. Enjoy gardening!


Source Links:

  1. http://www.professorshouse.com/watering-plants-with-distilled-water/​
  2. http://www.ehow.com/about_4622205_does-distilled-water-have-plants.html
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