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How To Build A Simple Potting Bench

(category: Gardening, Word count: 56)
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The potting bench that you are about to read about is not fancy, but very functional. It is also very easy to build and use. Except it doesn't have any legs! Don't panic, having a legless potting bench is actually a benefit. I'll get to that a little later.

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Rose Tending In June

(category: Gardening, Word count: 470)
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"O my Luve's like a red, red rose, That's newly sprung in June" An extract from the 1794 poem "A red, red rose" by Robert Burns, Scotland's national bard.

Which roses?

Do you have any roses growing in your garden? It does not matter whether the rose is a floribunda, hybrid tea, standard, patio, climbing or rambling, all will now benefit from a plant health check up. These checks should ideally be carried out on a weekly basis from the end of March up until the end of flowering, so let me detail a few of them.

Aphids and greenfly problems

Check your roses for greenfly; just a few aphids can be dealt with by spraying with soapy water from an atomiser whereas a heavier infestation will require the application of a systemic insecticide or a combination systemic insecticide and fungicide such as "Rose-clear". Some people have questioned whether they have greenfly and whitefly upon discovering what looks like small white insects mixed in with the typical greenfly our roses attract; this is in fact white outer bodies that greenfly shed during their life cycle.

An organic and safe black spot spray

Now I have already mentioned the product "Rose-clear", this is chemical mix is also commonly used to deal with the other problem our roses encounter, which is black spot. This disease cause leaf loss, and die back. Black spot is encouraged by much the same conditions that encourage potato blight, which are warm, moist conditions. Check your rose's leaves for black spots with yellow halos and treat with "Rose-clear" according to the manufacturers instructions paying careful heed to the safety instructions. If you wish to try to prevent black spot on your roses organically and safely, you may only have to go as far as your fridge. Mix equal parts skimmed milk and water, apply this with an atomiser or a sprayer to the upper and lower section of the roses leaves. This milky solution causes an invisible and friendly fungus to form, which will help prevent the formation of the dreaded black spot.

Feeding and fertilising

Apart from these treatments, there is another way to help your rose's battle pests or diseases and that is to keep their vigour up by proper feeding. Roses benefit from mulching with well-rotted cow dung or garden compost; this will give you bigger blooms, healthier foliage and strength to survive pest and disease attack. A 5 cm (2 inch) layer of this mulch is adequate; do not allow this to touch the stem as it may in some cases lead to rotting. One final benefit of mulching your roses in this way is the reduction of water loss and the suppression of weeds, both of these are very important in a dry summer (we live in hope).

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Learn About The Different Types Of Roses

(category: Gardening, Word count: 430)
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A rose is a rose, is a rose, right? Actually, roses come in several distinct varieties and each has its pros and cons. Before you shop for roses for your new rose garden, you should know which types of roses there are.

If you love the way roses look climbing over an arbor, then you may want to take a close look at climbing roses. While most people call any rose that shoots up fast a climbing rose, some of these roses are actually sprawling roses. However, they all basically are roses with vigorously growing canes, small flowers that bloom profusely during the rose's blooming season, and rather wicked thorns. As climbing roses become well established, some gardeners replace their pruning shears with a tree saw to hack these plants down to a manageable size. These roses are usually quite disease resistant.

When you plant a climbing rose, you should cut down all but three of the strongest, most powerful canes. This gives the rose plenty of energy to put into growing stronger, more vigorous vines. Tie the three canes gently into place to guide them in the direction you'd like them to grow.

If you prefer lush, fragrant blooms, you will want to take a close look at the tea rose. These roses bloom several times a year. The flowers are large, especially if you pinch off the side buds so that the center bud on each stem can get all of the nutrients and energy.

The floribunda rose blooms in groups of flowers. The flower in the middle of each group matures faster than the other flowers, so rose fanciers often pinch that flower off so that the entire group, or spray, opens at the same time.

Once flowering roses are those roses that bloom just one time each year. These roses are absolutely wonderful and are literally packed with blossoms when they do bloom, which is why they are still quite popular.

Shrub roses are incredibly hardy, thorny roses that are fairly low growing. The blossoms on these roses are rarely spectacular, but there are so many that the bushes are quite colorful, even from a distance.

Finally, you may want to consider miniature roses. These tiny roses are the perfect way to edge a garden border with color. Many of these roses are a bit delicate and susceptible to disease, but others are very hardy and grow so vigorously that, eventually, the only thing tiny about them is the size of their leaves.

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Stihl Chainsaws Still Going Strong

(category: Gardening, Word count: 512)
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When people hear about STIHL, they think about old-world care and the handcrafted work of last century's skilled artisans. This dedication to quality is what has made the Stihl chainsaw the most popular on the market over the last 80 years.

Stihl specializes in developing and manufacturing a wide variety of portable power tools, both gasoline and electric. When looking at purchasing a chainsaw, some due diligence should be performed, yet, I found when shopping around and asking pertinent questions, such as what brand should I look at, most of the time the answer was always..."well, you can't beat a Stihl."

Along with Stihl's dedication and commitment to develop the ultimate product performance comes quite a long history of manufacturing and selling chainsaws.

Andreas Stihl developed the first electric chainsaw way back in 1926. At the time, professional loggers found his innovation very useful and were glad to take advantage of it. Andreas Stihl's significantly improved the lives of many farmers and woodcutters who had to rely on laborious crosscut saws and axes to etch out a living. It was tough going. Timber harvesting was virtually revolutionized by Stihl's invention.

Today,the use of Stihl chainsaws is no longer limited to the logging industry and has spread to other fields as well. The chainsaw has become such a versatile tool; while it's use amongst professional woodcutters is wide and varied, it's use has spread to the home owner, where the once arduous task of chopping firewood has now "become a breeze" through the application of the trusty chainsaw. The chainsaw has become an important part of the farming landscape; I remember growing up on our farm and learning to use a chainsaw at an early age. There were always trees that needed to be trimmed and land cleared. The landscaping industry have adopted the chainsaw as an important part of their make up. Contractors use of the chainsaw involves such things as cutting landscaping and cross ties as well as large timbers.

Stihl chainsaws have been constantly refined over the past 80 years. A reduction in weight and increased operating efficiency is a major reason why the chainsaw is no longer restricted to the professional woodcutting industry. Innovations such as the elastostart, anti-vibration system and improved shock absorption have catapulted the chainsaw to it's level of versatility. Dual braking systems and the inertia activated chain brake are more reasons why Stihl has remained at the top of the chainsaw tree.

During the last few years, the company has joined the fight to protect the environment. It has come up with new ideas to develop techniques that decrease hydrocarbon emissions. This has been a blessing for people who work in restricted areas.

Andreas Stihl's successors say that his commitment to quality has remained constant throughout the company's history. Stihl has maintained it's position in the power tools industry through that very commitment. And there are a lot of chainsaw users who would appreciate the lesser workloads they now face because of this versatile machine.

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Be Prepared Rose Gardening Soil Preparation

(category: Gardening, Word count: 596)
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One of the easiest ways to ensure that your rose garden is a success is to be prepared. You can do this by making sure you've followed these tips for rose gardening soil preparation.

People need healthy food to perform their best, and roses are no different. In fact, roses are plants that require a large amount of nutrients in the soil in order to grow large and colorful blooms. The most important thing you can do for you roses is to feed them right. Since roses gain their nourishment through the soil that they are planted in, this means that you should take extra care to make sure that the soil is prepared sufficiently to support healthy growth. Here are some tips for proper rose gardening soil preparation.

The first step you need to take before planting is to dig up all the ground in your bed. You don't want any hard soil left. By digging up the ground, you will have the ability to get the fertilizer well mixed into the soil and this will allow the nutrients to sink into all of the dirt. This means that no matter what direction the roots grow in, they will be able to reach food. You want to make sure that the entire layer of nutrients reaches at least two to three feet. As your rose plant grows, its roots will reach deeper and deeper and this will make certain they are fed.

Your next step is to dig a one foot deep hole and lay the soil to the side. You can place it in your wheelbarrow or on a piece of plastic so that it can be re-added later. After digging the hole in the garden bed, the next step in rose gardening soil preparation is adding fertilizer. This can be in the form of compost, peat moss, or manure. You may want to consult a local greenery expert for advice on which fertilizers are available and useful in your area. Since climate can affect them, your fertilizer should be the one most potent in your area. Add around three inches of fertilizer directly into the hole you have dug in the bed. Start digging for another foot, mixing the fertilizer with the soil. This is the hole where you will place your rose plant, so you will want to make certain that the fertilizer and soil are mixed extremely well. After it has been mixed very thoroughly, it's time to add the dirt from the hole back into the rose bed. Once the dirt has been replaced, add another three inches of the fertilizer over the top of the rose bed. To protect your roots and encourage their growth, also add some bone meal. There are also rose fertilizers especially designed for the soil of a rose bed, you may want add some now if you want. But the soil should be well prepared without it. After all these layers have been added, use a spade to mix them up a little more and rake the top of the roe bed smooth.

The next step of rose gardening soil preparation is the hardest one: waiting. You need to give the soil a few weeks to absorb all of the nutrients before planting your rose plant. This will ensure that your rose plant is being fed the minute it gets planted.

If you follow our rose gardening soil preparation tips, your garden will be ready for planting. And you rose garden is well on its way to success.

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A Hammock Perspective Of Life

(category: Gardening, Word count: 438)
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Do you sometimes have the feeling that life is becoming increasingly complicated, that politics, relationships and even seemingly simple things such as eating are tangled up in a net of opinions, ideas, recommendations, ideals and rules? Well, it is definitely not a black/white world anymore, the shades of grey are multiplying by the hour, and the access to information about the latest shades, the newest, indispensable shades, are easier available than ever before.

If one applies a slight analysis, it will be apparent that this is only going to get worse, and it is not going to change by itself. So we have to interfere, somehow interrupt this cycle, but how?

Well, let's use an example that for most of us consist of the complete opposite; a pleasant, sunny afternoon spent lazily relaxing in a hammock. This obvious way of recharging might highlight a few key points that could help us manage a life otherwise easily controlled by stress and similar factors. These points are:

1) To seek out a comfortable and relaxed environment. Even though this sounds obvious, it is never the less an easily overlooked point. How often aren't we trying to relax on the couch with the television going on, telephones ringing and other people interrupting? Such a situation will only enforce our idea that we live an uncontrolled, hostile, stressful life.

2) Have "nothing" to do. Well, a fact is that nobody never has nothing to do, so don't wait for or expect that to happen by itself. This is a mental state, a state that you will have to create by first allowing it to arise, and then cultivating it. So simply decide that for the next so-and-so minutes or hours you will have nothing to do, that during this period nothing has higher priority than to relax, let go and reconnect with an inner feeling of harmony and peace. If you feel that you can't afford such luxury, well, that is a sure sign that you truly need it!

So, a long uninterrupted rest on lazy Sunday afternoon in the hammock might be just what brings you out of the negative spiral of stress and gives you a chance to breathe and see the things that keeps the wheel spinning for what they really are. Some people, who meditates or do prayers, might achieve this as part of their practice, but if this isn't for you, and even if it isn't Sunday or you don't have a hammock, at least try to allow yourself to have that "nothing to do" and "floating in air" feeling frequently.

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Green Grass Cutting Reel Lawnmowers

(category: Gardening, Word count: 452)
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Many of today's new homeowners are looking for environmentally friendly solutions to yard maintenance. Reel lawnmowers are not a new idea, but they are gaining in popularity. Environmentally conscious homeowners are giving up their self-propelled, petroleum powered mowers for the old fashioned, muscle powered versions in record numbers.

Reel lawnmowers differ from typical lawnmowers in several important ways. Invented in 1830 by Edwin Budding, the manual push mower allowed even the middle class to maintain a lawn easily. Mr. Budding's lawnmower didn't have an engine and was self-propelled the old fashioned way, you propelled it yourself. The design is fairly simple; several blades are mounted on a circular frame. The blades spin around, perpendicular to the ground, cutting the grass as they pass. Early models were made of steel and were quite heavy and difficult to push. Today's lighter plastics and metals make the newer reel mowers much easier to use than their predecessors.

Reel mowers are attractive to environmentally conscious homeowners for several reasons. First, they don't use gasoline and oil, so they have no harmful emissions. Accidents are less frequent with reel lawnmowers as well. Once the user stops pushing them, the blades stop spinning. Engine powered lawnmowers cause millions of accidents annually, but accidents caused by reel mowers are far less frequent, and usually much less severe.

Reel mowers are typically less expensive to purchase and maintain than engine mowers, making them attractive to the budget conscious consumer. Upkeep consists of a little lubricant and occasional blade sharpening. Initial purchase prices are a fraction of the souped up rotary mowers on the market today. Manual push mowers are great for exercise as well, with many users substituting a good lawn mowing session for one of their weekly jogs.

Another benefit of using a reel mower is noise reduction. Except for the occasional grunt of the user, these mowers are virtually silent. Grass cutting at midnight and early in the morning without disturbing the neighbors is a possibility with reel mowers.

Of course, there are disadvantages to these manual mowers. Their operation requires a lot more effort than gas or electric powered mowers, and they aren't as easy to maneuver. Reel mowers don't typically collect your cuttings and can't cut twigs and sticks. In fact, sticks tend to jam the reel mechanisms. Manual mowers don't cut tall grass or shred leaves as well as engine powered mowers, so more frequent lawn maintenance and raking is required.

A reel lawnmower might not be the best choice for a 5 acre plot. But for today's urban homeowner with a small yard, the benefits and cost savings of manual lawnmowers make it a green choice for lawn maintenance.

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Gardening Products

(category: Gardening, Word count: 499)
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Because gardening has evolved into such a popular activity, gardening products are not hard to come by. You can buy gardening products in various stores or nurseries, or you can order gardening products from catalogues, or even order them online. Gardening products can range from equipment too fertilize to the actual plant itself.

You will obviously need the basic gardening products no matter what you are planting, such as a hoe, spade, and maybe even a shovel. You must have watering supplies, like a water hose and perhaps a sprinkler. Other possibilities include a spade, a pot (if you are pot planting), and a pair of gloves for comfort, some secuturs, or a rake. When first starting a garden you will definitely want some type of mulch or potting soil to get your dirt ready. There are a few types of potting soil to choose from, including organic potting mix, seed starting potting mix, cactus potting mix, and root development potting mix, just to name a few.

Once you have your garden planted, you must have gardening products so that you can add nutrients to the soil to ensure a healthy plant life. Miracle-Gro is one of the most popular growing enhancements for plants. There are many different types of Miracle-Gro to choose from and what kind you choose will depend on what you are trying to grow. You will also want to add fertilize, such as 10-20-10 or triple 13, depending on the needs of your soil.

If you are growing vegetables or herbs, you may need different gardening products than regular flower gardens require. If you are growing tomatoes you will need a tomato cage and ties to protect the plants against the wind. Many plants, mostly vines, are designed to grow on something and you will have to have a fence or trellis of some sort.

Gardening products are not limited to just the gardening necessities; they can also come in the form of decoration. There are decorative flower pots, sundials, plastic figurines, stones or bricks for a pathway or looks, and even lawn furniture. Decoration will add to the charm and uniqueness of your garden and are an excellent way to give it a personal touch.

The winter months will bring a whole new set of gardening products to store shelves. When the frost hits the prime place to put your plants are in a greenhouse. However, if you do not have a greenhouse for whatever reason, a tarp of some sorts can be used to cover plants up at night. You also might need a light source, like a heat lamp, to both keep plants warm and give them extra light.

New and upgraded gardening products are always popping up on the market. It seems like every day there is some gardening product that claims to be bigger and better than the last. While many gardening products are not a necessity, they sure make the job a lot easier and more enjoyable.

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Send Your Loved One Flowers

(category: Gardening, Word count: 509)
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Valentine's Day is on February 14th, and flowers go hand in hand with the holiday. Your Valentine will be thrilled to receive a beautiful flower arrangement. Of course, roses are known for their meaning, they are associated with love. They are available in many colors and can create quite an impressive presentation. For a really impressive arrangement, send a 2 or 3-dozen rose arrangement, that will certainly bring a smile to your Valentine's face.

If you want to send flowers, but are seeking something a little different than roses, florists can provide many options to help you choose a bouquet that is right for you and suits your Valentine's style. You may choose to send a mixed arrangement containing a variety of flowers, or you can choose a tall vase of all Calla Lilies or Tulips. Orchids are perfect for the Valentine who is unique. You may also decide to send a flower basket or blooming plant.

Men like flowers, too! Consider an elegant vase of all white flowers for the special man in your life. Men are also drawn to vibrant flowers in reds and blues. Even the manliest of men appreciate the beauty of flowers. You won't want to use all the frills on a bouquet for a man, something simple still makes quite a vibrant statement, especially when he reads the message on the card.

Your local florist can also provide gourmet gift baskets for Valentine's Day delivery. What a treat to receive a beautiful basket full of delicious chocolates, coffees, teas, snacks, etc. Gift baskets can also contain bubble baths, lotions, candles, and can really be made to suit any theme or taste. Ask your local florist for specific contents available for gift baskets.

Don't forget that you can also add "special touches" to your arrangement. Plush stuffed animals and mylar or latex Balloons are popular additions to a floral arrangement or gift basket. You don't have to stick with teddy bears, either; today's florists have a wide variety of stuffed animals to suit your Valentine. Stuffed animals and balloons brighten up any arrangement and get the delivery noticed.

Your local florist can add a personalized message to your gift. Flowers are the ultimate expression of love, and your message can tell your Valentine exactly how you feel about them! Think up something witty or romantic to say and have the florist write it on a card to convey the message you wish to send. It is suggested to order your flowers in advance (a week ahead) of this busy holiday to ensure best selection and timely delivery.

Remember, to get the best value when purchasing flowers, you should always call a real local florist. "Order takers" charge you a fee to process your order, which isn't necessary to get a great bouquet or gift basket. Often a portion of your money is absorbed by these "order takers", decreasing the value of your arrangement. By dealing with a florist directly, you get a better value, one-on-one contact and professional service!

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