Planning a Water Garden...Written by Gordon Goh
A water garden is area of your landscape that will provide you with relaxing sounds of water, while adding to overall details of your landscape. The water garden is a project that you must 'plan' for continued success. If you are lucky enough to have room in your lawn for a water garden, you are already one step ahead of many gardeners! Let's talk a little about how to plan for your water garden. A few important factors about placement of a water garden that often are forgotten are:
Do you have children in neighborhood? If you have or live near children, you will want to keep your water garden in an area that will be close to your home. You will want to be able to see what is 'going on' by water. Children are curious and they love water! Being able to see your water garden will save you worry later after creation of your water garden even if children are in yard.
Do you have a natural spring in your lawn area? When planning a waterfall in water garden, use of a natural spring or water source is going to make continued success of your water garden much easier. A water garden is possible with a waterfall even if you do not have a natural spring or water source, but it is a little more 'work' to create that special effect. You can find more information about this in another article on this site.
The lay of your land is important. While we will discuss this in other articles as well, planning your water garden around lay of your land is important. If you are lucky enough to have a flat lawn, you can plan your water garden in various areas. The landscape that includes hills and slopes are a little tricky but using slope in your lawn, you can create water garden that takes care of that little 'wet patch' at bottom of yard!
Understanding Weeds – How to Kill them?Written by Chris Coffman
When I was a child, I loved to pick Dandelions. The pretty yellow flowers were small, colorful, and looked nice tucked behind my ear! However, if one had popped up in front yard, my hair accessory would have been considered an atrocity!
I often feel sorry for weeds. They are plants too. In fact, if you flipped through a botany field guide, you may be surprised at plants you find classified as weeds! But simply put, a weed is really defined as a plant out of place. Clover in one persons flowing lawn may be considered fashionable, whereas on another, not. Golf greens are often covered with bentgrass, but if it crept up in some yards, it would be considered a weed. While perhaps pretty on their own, weeds stick out like a sore thumb in yards because they may be of a different color, size or texture. This is distracting from beauty of otherwise sprawling green turf. Aside from aesthetic values, weeds can also drain nutrients from grass and other plants, and this competition of resources can thin what should be lush. And what’s worse is that weeds are fighters. They can withstand conditions that your wanted greens cannot, so they are almost inevitable!
Treating weeds begins with correct identification. There are two classifications of weeds: Grassy and Broadleaf. These are further broken down into groups like perennial, biennial, and winter and summer annuals. These, as you may gave guessed, depict their growing patterns. Grassy weeds are, as they sound, like grass. However, they are unwanted grass, or grass that is growing in a different type of lawn. Some examples are annual bluegrass, barnyard grass, crabgrass, creeping bentgrass and foxtail. Broadleaf weeds may appear more to be what most people picture weed-like growth to be. Since they are broad, they are more easily distinguished. Some examples are yarrow, knotweed, chickweed, clover, ground ivy, thistle and my favorite, dandelion.
Once you understand what is growing in your lawn and decide that it is unwanted, you can treat it and/or control it. Weeds can actually be controlled by your lawn care maintenance. If you maintain a dense and vigorously growing lawn, you are already combating problem. Weeds can be a sign of underlying problems in environment beneath. So by just killing them, you are simply putting on a band-aid, not solving problem. For example, some weeds grow in situations of compacted soil, such as knotweed. You can also control growth by taking better care of grass, rather than focus on weeds. You can raise or lower mowing height, change frequency of mowing and changing amount of time between irrigating. Also, you can increase or decrease application of fertilizer and aerify soil. This will maintain better grass, thus keeping growth dense and vigorous, which as discussed above, does not attract weeds.