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Filling Those Window Boxes: Flower Species That Thrive With Container Gardening

Filling Those Window Boxes: Flower Species That Thrive With Container Gardening

Those traditional window boxes overflowing with flowers may remind you of summer cottages or childhood dreams. This particular feature is one that you want at your home all year-round. Container gardening for window boxes takes a certain flair for picking out the right species for the location. From sunny spots to mysterious shade, understand what flowers are suitable for window boxes to spruce up your property’s appearance.

Foliage and Flower Contrasts

Your main goal may be for a burst of flower colors, but don’t overlook the foliage aspect. Plant gerbera daisies, impatiens and pansies in the front of a window box while filling the back section with gaura, salvia and other foliage favorites. You’re looking for texture between the leaves and flowers, so various colors are a must.

Light and dark greens along with yellows will contrast beautifully with pink, red and purple flowers. Avoid a box with matching colors throughout. When you think about what flowers are best for window boxes, note that it’s their contrasting colors that make them shine from afar.

 

Flowering Vegetables

Get your flower passion started with a functional box that carries vegetables for the dinner table. Runner beans, leeks and Chinese broccoli all have flowers that will bloom throughout the season as you enjoy the fruits of your labor. Strawberries are the quintessential edible, and they’re well suited to a window box too.

Delicate flowers give way to juicy fruits that can be eaten right off of the stem. Garlic, chives, red basil and dill are other plants that complement the vegetables growing nearby. Be sure to space out these plants so that they have some room to spread and develop.

 

Air Plants

If you’re looking for a simplistic box, an air-plant display is perfectly suited for your home. Air plants come from the species Tillandsia, and they don’t require any soil. Their foliage often looks like perpetual flowers too. Pick a window box that has an open design.

Place the air plants into the box, and secure them with gardening ties. These plants pull moisture from the air in order to survive. You may need to spray them with water from time to time, but they’ll otherwise thrive in a partly shady area.

 

Cacti and Succulents

These desert plants take some time to flower once you plant them in the window box, but the blossoms are worth the wait. Look for cacti and succulents that grow close to the ground, such as notocactus and aloe.

Many species bloom once a year, and you can enjoy the flowers for several days or weeks, depending on the plant. Cacti and succulents are hardy and require full sun to bloom on a regular basis. You’ll also save money on watering them because they’re accustomed to drought conditions.

 

Bulbs and Corms

Acting like phoenixes seemingly overnight, bulbs and corms store all of their energy in a small package before they burst forth with foliage and flowers. Consider a window box with basic plants, such as vinca vines and baby tears ground cover.

Mix in annual favorites, including pansies, to liven up the textures. Underneath all of these plants, however, are your bulbs. Use daffodils, ornithogalum dubium or snake flowers and freesias. Their amazing growth will fill in the box quickly as spring arrives.

There’s nothing wrong with switching out the various plants from time to time in order to update the décor. Try herbs in the spring and succulents during the summer, and change to fall gourds in the autumn. By varying the plants at your will, you’ll always have a distinct aesthetic. Neighbors and loved ones will wonder how you garden so professionally with just window boxes.

Author Bio: Matt Buquoi works at FlowerWindowBoxes.com, a company that offers premium-quality, no-rot flower window boxes at affordable prices. Visit their site to learn more about the benefits of their PVC flower boxes, outdoor planters and window shutters.

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How To Build A Backyard Koi Pond

How To Build A Backyard Koi Pond

koi pond

A Koi pond can add a striking and unique aspect to any yard or garden. But if you’d like to build your own, planning and proper execution are important to ensure both your success and the health of your fish. This guide will help you successfully prepare and build your own Koi pond.

There are quite a few steps so we’ve put them in order to make sure you are able to build a remarkable pond as easily as possible. And here the are:

-Scope Out The Ideal Location For Your Pond

Koi ponds are best enjoyed close to the home in a spot that it is easily visible.  There they can draw in wildlife and provide a wonderful area to relax. A pond ecosystem thrives most effectively with at least a few hours of sunlight each day and when it is protected from rain runoff that may pollute it. To determine the pond’s permanent size and location, measure and mark the area with rope or other markers before beginning to excavate.

koi pond 2

 

-Start Digging To Create The Pond Groundwork

Grab the shovels and dig out an area, keeping in mind any shelves or other formations you desire. For large Koi, part of the pond should exceed three feet in depth. Slanted shelves allow for debris and waste to slide to the bottom drain, keeping the pond cleaner overall. Other construction tools needed to begin building include a measuring tape, spades, a level, and a reciprocating saw to remove any roots in the pit.

-Install The Bottom Drain And Filtration System

A deeper hole will need to be dug at the lowest part of your pond foundation to install the bottom drain. This collects fish waste, remaining food, decaying leaves, and other vegetation that gather at the bottom of the pond. It is crucial to ensure the water does not become anaerobic, depriving the fish of oxygen and causing the pond to give off an unpleasant smell.

One bottom drain can support up to 6,000 gallons of water, so multiple drains may be needed for larger ponds. In addition to digging a chamber for the bottom drain, dig trenches for the piping that transports water within the filtration system. Be sure to anchor all parts down to prevent movement caused by water flow.

koi pond 3

In addition to the bottom drain, a proper filtration system is necessary to provide a clean and healthy environment for the Koi and will make maintaining your pond easier. The more fish you have, the larger the filtration system required to maintain a healthy environment, so allow enough space for the required system.

Filtration systems are often composed of three important items that work with the bottom drain to keep the pond clean. One of these components is the settling chamber, a container that collects larger waste from the bottom drain before it filters the water through to the biological filter. The size of the settling chamber should generally be 10% of your pump flow rate.

The biological filter puts the water through a chemical process in which good bacteria consume harmful nitrate and ammonia. Lastly, the mechanical filter is a piece that filters out the great majority of the larger debris to prevent other components from becoming clogged.

koi pond 4

 

-Install Skimmers And Waterfall Tanks At The Proper Level

A skimmer is optional but can be very helpful in collecting leaves and other things that fall on the surface of the pond, keeping it neat in appearance and making it less of a hassle to clean. A waterfall tank is also optional, but can add a beautiful touch, while providing the soothing sound of flowing water.

Waterfalls also prevent stagnant water, keeping insects away from the area. When placing these tanks, plan accordingly for the piping that comes with them to ensure proper water flow.

-Cover The Pond Bottom With A Protective Layer

A protective layer, such as carpeting or sand, will reduce the risk of a puncture in the pond lining. Before laying the protective layer, remove any sharp stones, roots, or other objects from the pit.

koi pond 5

 

-Lay The Pond Lining Over The Protective Layer

Rubber pond liners are most commonly used when installing a pond. Other methods, including concrete or a fiberglass mold, can also be used but are generally more expensive. A flexible pond liner also allows for creativity in forming the shape of your pond.

Place the liner in the pit, gently pressing it into all corners and crevices. A blade or box cutter will be necessary to create incisions where the bottom drain, filter, and skimmer lie. Seal around these incisions to prevent leaks.

-Fill Your Pond With Water And Adjust The Liner

As the pool fills, adjust the liner for any wrinkles as needed. Take note of how much water the pond holds to determine how many fish the pond can hold and how to properly maintain clean and healthy water.

koi pond 6

 

-Trim Any Excess Liner And Cover The Visible Edges

Only cut excess liner when you are positive that it is no longer needed. Bury the edges to conceal them.

-Landscape And Personalize Your Koi Pond

There are many ways to personalize your Koi pond to create an aesthetically pleasing environment that fits in well with the character of your yard and home. Rocks are used to border ponds and allow you to customize the area by color and placement. It is best to place rocks in a stable position around the edge, while organizing them in a manner that makes the pond appear more natural.

Some use smaller rocks or pebbles at the bottom of their ponds, but note that these trap waste and debris, making the pool harder to clean. Putting certain rocks inside the pond also increases the risk of puncturing the pond liner.

Position any desired plants in and around the pond. Having Koi fish limits the number of aquatic plant possibilities due to the fact that they often feed on various species of these plants. Research further before placing plants into the Koi habitat.

koi pond 7

 

-Treat The Water As Necessary And Allow It To Settle

It can be detrimental to introduce fish to the pond immediately because the water needs time (about two to four weeks) to settle and adjust in temperature. Dechlorinators are necessary to remove any chlorine in the water that can be harmful to the fish or aquatic plants.

Ultraviolet clarifiers should also be used to prevent the extensive growth of algae, keeping the water healthy for the Koi and preventing green water. Along with these tools, it is helpful to use packaged bacteria to help maintain clean and clear water that will help the entire ecosystem thrive.

-Introduce Fish To Complete Your Pond

A selection of Koi fish will complete the pond environment. It is recommended to buy Koi from a breeder because these fish are typically healthier than those bought from a pet store or other retailer. The breeder can also provide helpful tips and tricks on caring for them. To avoid overcrowding in your pond, remember that Koi grow substantially and may breed.

koi pond 8

The work involved in creating a Koi pond must be carefully executed to ensure the health of the fish as well as the overall success of this project. Building a successful Koi ecosystem requires substantial planning and effort, but the finished result will leave you with a stunning feature that adds a wonderful touch to your yard.

Author Bio: Craig is the editor at Everything Backyard and loves to spend all the time he can outdoors and find every excuse to leave his house. He writes about everything from backyard DIY projects to gardening. If you can’t get a hold of him, he is probably on a trail or a boat.

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Why You’ll Want To Revamp Your Garden with Artificial Grass

Why You’ll Want To Revamp Your Garden with Artificial Grass

Installing an artificial lawn is an easy and attractive way to improve and revamp your garden. This is because an artificial lawn is like a real lawn, only much better! Artificial grass has been developed to such a high-quality standard that it looks and feels as natural as real grass, and many cannot even tell the difference between an authentic and a fake lawn. This article highlights five of the best reasons why you should revamp and enhance your garden with artificial grass.

Low Maintenance

Artificial grass is very low maintenance and easy to maintain, so you can keep your outdoor space looking neat, clean and tidy all year round without the hard work that comes with a real lawn. Unlike real grass, fake grass does not require mowing, feeding, watering, or re-turfing.

 

Durable

Artificial grass is much more durable and robust than the real thing. Real grass is susceptible to drought, water-logging, worm casts, wear and tear, and a whole range of other issues that make your garden a nightmare to maintain and an unattractive space that you don’t enjoy spending time in.

Artificial turf, however, is not vulnerable to animals, harsh weather conditions, or wear and tear. A fake lawn lasts much longer than a real one – up to 15 years with normal use, and is fully UV stabilized to protect it from harmful UV rays, so you can enjoy your artificial lawn for many years to come with peace of mind that it will withstand the elements and is not susceptible to damage.

The little maintenance required involves simply leaf blowing away leaves and debris, applying weed killer twice a year to eradicate weeds, and if cleaning is required, hosing down using a detergent and stiff brush. This is nothing compared to the high-maintenance alternative of real turf. And without spending the time on maintenance, you have more time to enjoy your garden.

 

Flexible

Artificial grass can be used to revamp your garden in a range of different ways and settings. It is available in a variety of different colors, pile heights, materials and textures so it can be used to suit your style and get the look you want for your space.

Fake options can be stunning in gardens, roof terraces, patios, balconies, decking, around pools, or even indoors if you are lacking garden space and want to bring the outdoors inside. Whatever you want to achieve with your garden, artificial choices can help to inspire your unique design.

Artificial grass is also cost-effective. After the initial installation cost, you do not need to spend money on watering, feeding, cutting, and re-turfing. Hence, an artificial lawn can even cost less than a real lawn over the long term.

A recent study found that 56% of people with a garden could save hundreds of dollars per year every year by getting an artificial lawn as it reduces the cost of maintenance. With one, you could be spending less money and won’t need to do any hard work.

 

Pet-Friendly

An artificial lawn is a pet-friendly solution for dog owners who need an alternative to real grass that is torn up and destroyed by their dogs, causing muddy patches, holes and yellow stains on their lawn.

Artificial turf is a durable and mess-free solution. It is non-toxic, hygienic, and does not discolor as a result of urine or waste. Dogs can continue to play on the grass and your garden remains attractive and intact all year round, without the muddy paw prints throughout the house.

Artificial grass is an easy and attractive way to improve your space and keep your garden looking good all year round. It’s low maintenance and easy to maintain, durable and long-lasting, flexible to suit your design style, cost-effective, and pet-friendly. It is ideal for anyone who wants to enjoy their garden for many years to come.

Author Bio: This post is written by Evergreens, the largest and leading artificial grass stockist, supplier and installer in the UK.

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The Best Grass Types For Creating A Drought Tolerant Lawn

The Best Grass Types For Creating A Drought Tolerant Lawn

dry lawn

Many of us live in dry and arid places. There are many locations around the world that unfortunately for your lawn don’t get much rain throughout the year. For people who live in these places, a green, healthy-looking lawn can seem impossible to have and maintain.

That is pretty much the case if they insist on growing the common species of grass on their lawns. Those will not truly be able to withstand the dry climate. However, if they would stick to the grass species that are know to tolerate heat well and also recover from lack of water, then maintaining curb appeal with a green lawn is certainly easy.

To help you out lawn mowing specialists have rounded up the three best grass types for drought tolerant lawns in the list below:

Buffalo Grass

This type of grass is among the most resilient types, but among drought-tolerant grass species, it actually comes in last. You have Palmetto, Sir, Walter, Sapphire and Matilda as worthy options if you live anywhere that is extremely dry. These can tolerate full sun and there are also variants that thrive even if they don’t get much sun.

Couch Grass

This remains green for a long period of time even if it doesn’t get watered enough regularly. It’s important to note as well that even if it withers due to intense heat and lack of water, reviving it is easy. Couch grass roots run deep, which is crucial in dry weather. Give this grass some much-needed TLC after an incredibly dry season and in no time, it will turn green again.

Zoysia Grass

This popular lawn grass is a lot like Couch grass when it comes to drought tolerance. It will remain green and stay alive in extreme summer heat and with limited water supply. And when it comes to recovery, Zoysia has underground runners to support the lawn. Therefore, with proper care (watering deeply), it can easily bounce back to health.

It’s crucial to mention too that Zoysia is not an aggressive type of grass. It doesn’t grow beyond where it’s planted like other grass species are inclined to do, making maintenance a breeze for property owners.

There you have it — the best grass types for drought-tolerant lawns. To make them even more impervious to such dry and challenging conditions, lawn care professionals advise letting them grow higher than usual. Maintain them at 7.5cm to 8cm high; the taller the grass, the better insulation there’ll be for the soil to prevent evaporation.

About The Author:

Kenneth Lawrence’s craft involves DIY concepts. Also, he values the importance of getting expert help whenever necessary. He visits sites like https://www.jimsmowing.com.au. He shares guidelines and tips about home improvement.

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Driveway Alarms: The Easy Way To Stay Alert

Driveway Alarms: The Easy Way To Stay Alert

It can be easy to miss important deliveries or even guests when they arrive on your property, even if you happen to be home. Sitting and waiting by the door is not a convenient solution especially in today’s busy world. By using a driveway alarm you can make sure you are able go about your business as usual while knowing you will be alerted whenever someone pulls into your driveway.

Not Your Average Alarm System

When most people think of an alarm system, they usually envision one that is setup to call the police or emit a blaring sound to let the whole know neighborhood that someone has broken into a home. A driveway alarm is different. Their main function is to detect when a car has entered your property and give you an audible alert inside your home.

Multiple Advantages

Having a driveway alarm can be a big help for anyone who gets frequent deliveries especially if you have a large property and may not always be in a location to hear the doorbell. You can place the receiver in a spot where it is convenient for you and adjust the volume of the alarm to your liking. This also makes them a smart choice for those who are hard of hearing.

Having the ability to know when your guest or deliveries have arrived is extremely helpful. But so is just being aware that a trespasser has entered your property. Some types of driveway alarms such as those that use infrared or a reflective beam can detect movement. This will give you the time to call the police or simply take the appropriate action depending on who it is.

These alarms are really ideal for someone who does not want to invest in an expensive security system but yet wants to know what is going on, on their property. Fortunately a driveway alarm system is almost always very budget-friendly. Once you purchase the unit there are no fees you will have to pay or elaborate system that needs to be set up. Some can even be solar powered to save electricity and cash while other models may only require a change of batteries every so often.

 

Basic Types

There are a few different types to pick from, and your individual needs will help to determine which one you choose. The most popular employ infrared technology to detect movement and therefore can be used not just in your driveway for cars, but in your yard or even indoors to detect the movement of people.

Some homeowners specifically want an alarm that only will go off when there is a vehicle. For this purpose you’ll want to choose a model that uses an electromagnetic sensor. These are usually buried underground and react to the metal in the car. When you need a long range driveway alarm this is typically the best choice.

Another way to go are alarms that emit a reflective beam that not visible to the eye. If anything whether car or human crosses through the beam the alarm will go off. With this type, you may want to position the unit so the beam is at a specific height so that it does not get set off by animals.

A driveway alarm is an inexpensive and simple way to help you stay aware of the activity on your property and make sure you don’t miss any deliveries or friends who drop by. Just make sure you choose the type that works best for your situation.

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