Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Apple Cider Vinegar Kills Weeds

August 16, 2017 6:20 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Killing Weeds Using Household Vinegar

There’s a handy ingredient probably sitting in your pantry just waiting to provide an array of super benefits. Apple Cider Vinegar. did you know you can safely use this ingredient in the garden too?
Check out a few clever ways you can use vinegar (white and apple cider) where your veggies and plants spend their days:

1.Apple Cider Vinegar for weeds: Instead of spending a lot of money on toxic chemicals to get rid of the weeds in your garden, pouring apple cider vinegar directly on the weeds. The acetic acid will stop weed growth without damaging the soil.

2.Get rid of ants: Ants don’t like the smell of vinegar, so you can keep them at bay by mixing 1-part water and 1-part vinegar in a spray bottle and attacking ant hills with the solution. Both white vinegar and apple cider vinegar work well.

3. Freshen flowers: Cut a pretty bouquet of flowers from your garden and keep them fresh by adding two tablespoons of vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar to a quart of water, and add your flowers.

 4.Feed your plants: Some plants (like Gardenias, Holly, and Begonias) thrive on acidic soil. You can give those plants some extra love by spritzing with a mixture of 1 gallon of water with 1 cup of white vinegar.

5.Test the PH level of your soil: The acid levels in your soil can affect how well plants grow. You can run a simple test on your dirt by placing a bit of the soil in a container and then add 1/2 cup vinegar. If the vinegar begins to fizzle and bubble, the soil is too alkaline. Add sulfur or peat moss to even out the soil’s acidity.

6.Remove allergens from your hands: If you’ve been digging in the dirt with your bare hands, make sure to rinse your hands with white distilled vinegar. The vinegar will remove allergens and other debris so you don’t start itching.

7.Keep common pets out of your garden
Animals that love to get in your garden, like raccoons, rabbits, moles, rodents, and deer also happen to hate the smell of vinegar, so it will keep them out naturally without causing them harm. All you have to do is soak a few rags in your apple cider vinegar and place them strategically throughout your garden. Re-soak them once a week to ensure they retain their maximum effectiveness.

And 8. Clean pots: Mix 1-part water, 1-part white distilled vinegar. Soak glazed, clay or plastic pots in the solution for at least an hour to remove stains and mineral deposits.

Have You Ever Used Vinegar in Your Yard?
Please share your experience in the comments below.


Compost Bin Construction

January 13, 2017 9:30 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Susan asks…

What is the best compost bin for home?

I want to know how to make a compost bin for my garden. What are the best materials to use for this task?

Martin Boyle answers:

Compost Bin Construction

First of all, Do not use any wooden pallets or any wood materials to make a compost bin. If you do use any wood materials to make your compost pit you will find within two weeks, you will have termites. The first real hot day, around mid July, you will have thousands of termites flying around in your yard. A homeowners night mare. If you don’t believe me, ask a professional termite controller.

Use a plastic or a metal garbage can. A 32 gallon can or larger, depending on the size of your garden. Cut out the bottom and cut holes around the side to vent it. Make sure your bin is away from the house. Compost bins will give off unsavory odors.

Place two inch or four inch thick bricks on the ground, you’ll need enough bricks to create a shape like the letter “U or V” on the ground . Set your can on the top of the bricks. You can shovel compost out of the open end of the bricks when your compost is ready.

Whatever you are composting always compost in layers, your vegetable and grass cuttings, dead plants, egg shells, and coffee grounds. Never meat or cooking oil. I mix my compost with chicken manure. Chicken manure is by far the best. Therefore, add approx. 2 cups of chicken manure every few inches. Keep the mixture lightly moist.

You will never buy soil again. A 1cu. Ft. Bag of chicken fertilizer will cost about $4. It is simple, but this bin will last you 10 years or more. I hope I helped.

For more ideas click on this link…. Make a Recycle Bin from a Trash Can

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Trees Lacking Leaves

7:48 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Joseph asks…

Trees Lacking leaves

This year, we have 3 trees lacking leaves in our yard, like all the other trees in the neighborhood. Our neighbor hates our trees and while I don’t think he would have done anything to them he does have access to all 3. The leaves fall on his side of the fence and he has complained to us multiple times. Everything else in our yard is fine. This winter was normal… no snow as usual and barely into the freezing zone. The spring has been very rainy… but then again that is typical. I can see birds flying onto our tallest tree and “eating” things. Our spa cover below the tree is full of fallen “things” which look like seeds? Could the birds be to blame? Any ideas? The trees are a Wisteria (which is in bloom with barely any leaves), a weeping pink flowering tree and I don’t know what the big one is.. but looks similar to an elm/oak? Any help is appreciated… I know nothing about trees. Thank you!

Martin Boyle answers:

Trees Lacking Leaves

Chinese Wisteria

Wisteria blooms just before it leafs out. Your Wisteria is probably just fine. In fact, if it is anywhere near the other two trees, your Wisteria is probably strangling them to death and they are going to have to be cut down, or the Wisteria will have to go, if it is not too late.

Exotic wisterias impair and overtake native shrubs and trees through strangling or shading. Climbing wisteria vines can kill sizable trees, opening the forest canopy and increasing sunlight to the forest floor, which in turn favors its aggressive growth. Chinese and Japanese wisterias are hardy and aggressive, capable of forming thickets so dense that little else grows.

For more information click here……

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Neem Oil Application

January 12, 2017 11:38 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Chris asks…

Will my weeping cherry live after a Neem Oil Application?

I purchased a 3 1/2 foot weeping cherry tree a couple of weeks ago. It transplanted fine and seemed to be showing no signs of stress from the transplant.

While watching the tree very carefully (I live in Port Orange Florida and hope that persistence in maintenance will help it survive slightly outside the recommended growing zone) I noticed spider mites almost immediately and decided that a neem oil application would be the best to apply to the weeping cherry.

I mixed a higher amount of neem oil than what was recommended because I felt that I did not have the time to mess around with mixtures while the spider mites continued to multiply. I specifically remember spraying the foliage heavily and seeing drops of neem oil/water mixture hanging from the bottom of the leaves by the time I was done.

The next day, I noticed brown spots/edges on the bottoms of the leaves where the neem oil collected and ever since then, the leaves have been getting slightly wrinkled. Green leaves that seemed to not have been burned by the neem oil are still falling off.

It has been about 4 days since the application was applied and about 1/4 of the leaves have fallen off.
Will my tree survive this mistake on my part for applying too much of an over concentrated neem oil mixture? Is there anything that I can do besides providing sufficient irrigation? I apologize for the rambling length of this, but I want to do all I can for this tree. I would really appreciate your input!

Martin Boyle answers:

Neem Oil Application

Amazing Benefits of Neem Oil

Neem Oil Application

A hard lesson about a Neem Oil Application and how more is NOT “better”. Or “faster”. You might lose most of the leaves. An established tree can take losing all its leaves without killing it. It should eventually put out a new set of leaves. Whether your tree survives that  is another story, but if it doesn’t make it, it won’t be the Neem Oil application damaging the leaves that did it.

If it loses most of its leaves, you can pull back on the amount of water you give it. It won’t be using as much water if it’s defoliated. Cherries also don’t like “wet feet”, so don’t kill it with love, by watering it too frequently. Watering it about every 5 days should be plenty during hot weather.

For more information click this link….

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Falling Apples Before Ripening

10:07 pm
posted by Martin Boyle

Betty asks…

Falling Apples

The Apples Won’t Ripen On The Tree

I have an apple tree in my yard. The apples fall off the tree while still green. How do I fix this this problem of falling apples?

Martin Boyle answers:

Falling Apples

Falling Apples are normal to fall off the tree, that’s just the tree protecting itself from the extra weight of the apples as they grow larger. This is a natural process, during which the tree reduces its total crop to a level whereby the remaining fruit can be adequately supplied with nutrients until they are mature. the most common cause for premature falling of apples 

Falling Of Apples Prematurely

Falling Apples Prematurely

is a phenomenon known as the June drop (although it can occur in July as well as June)., excess heat, maybe the wind does it, or the trees may be lacking some kind of nutrients to mature the apples, also might be an insect problem that spraying could correct. If the initial fruit set has been poor then the June drop will be reduced. The extent of the drop can also vary according to the cultivar and the age of the tree (young trees are more commonly affected).

Click here for more information…..

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AJM Dream Gardens,
Martin Boyle
Leadgate,Consett,County Durham,
Phone:       01207591109/07803048522 /