Furney's Nursery

Inspiring gardeners for more than 70 years!

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Perfect Small Space Container Gardening Tips

Container GardenAdding cheers and glory to your garden is easy with container gardening. You can have a good summer garden with a splash of lovely colors if you grow some beautiful ornamental plants in containers.

Even vegetables can also be grown in containers if you lack enough open space in your garden. You only need to try it and with a little knowledge, beautiful creations are possible.

Begin with selecting any container you like — something that suits your sense of taste and style. Containers now come in plastic, fiberglass, stone, concrete, terra-cotta, various metals,  marble, wood, recycled drums, old buckets, bathtubs, and so many other forms that even the most discerning taste or limited budget should be able to find one to suit.

In order to ensure that your containers can be used around the year, you need to choose a type that will not crack during winter frost and must be capable of holding with extreme temperatures. Your container must have drainage holes in the bottom preferably more than one. Plants grown in containers that do not drain will die a slow, suffocating death.

Use the right quality potting soil for your containers. Potting soil types could range from high-tech, store-bought potting mixes to whatever soil is available from the garden or compost. The key component of a container soil mix is that it should be well aerated so it will breathe properly in the small surface area of the container.

Home-made soil mixes will compress over time and lose aeration, therefore, the soil-mix must be changed more frequently than custom potting mixes.

Never attempt mixing sand with potting mix. The sand will plug up the pore space in the soil and prevent good aeration. You can increase aeration of a homemade soil mix by using angular rocks, perlite or foam packing chips. Soils that resist compression will provide the best growing environment for plants in pots.

You should not be adding anything else to the bottom of the container except soil. Adding anything to the bottom of the container simply perches the soil’s water table above the drainage item and deprives your plants of a deeper root zone.

The soils, when watered in containers, will leach out some soil and colored water for a while, but this will end as soon as the soil settles down. The physical laws of gravity, water movement and leaching cannot be altered by landscape cloth or anything else.

Gardeners may go innovative with container gardening and grow almost anything be it flowers, plants, or the evergreens, perennials, and even food.

How To Get Rid of Voles in Your Garden

How To Get Rid of Voles in Your Garden?Getting rid of voles is a challenge. The best strategy for gardeners is to learn to live with voles, minimizing their damage. The most vital tool for controlling voles is good information. You must know your enemy well.

Voles are pretty interesting little critters. They’re closely related to house mice and about the same size, but with shorter tails and different habits. Voles live outdoors, moving around through a system of tunnels that keeps them out of sight most of the time. They live only about a year, on average, but in that time they stay busy having lots of babies, sometimes several litters per year. They don’t hibernate in the winter; they keep right on eating their vegetarian diet of leaves and seeds throughout the year.

There are two types of voles hang around. The pine vole or woodland vole is furry all over, with tiny eyes nearly covered up by fuzz. They burrow in the soil and chew on plant roots and bulbs. The second vole species, the meadow vole, spends more time above ground. They construct tunnels from tall grass and weeds. They damage the tops of plants and can “girdle” mature trees by cutting bark around the entire trunk, eventually stunting or even killing them.

Pine voles, since they have a restricted range, maybe a bit easier to control, though their underground sneak-attack tactics are tough to counter.

A good control option is to bury the roots of your plants into underground cages of wire. These cages should be installed when new plants are planted, making sure they won’t interfere with root growth. Gardeners should also simply dig up and disrupt any vole tunnels they find.

For meadow voles, with their above-ground habits and wandering ways, a very helpful strategy is to mow short any tall grass or weeds where they might find cover.  Gardeners growing vegetables should use straw mulch for soil, but be careful not to create vole corridors.

Gardeners should mulch trees correctly. Don’t pile bark mulch right up around a tree’s trunk; always pull it back to create a bare space.

Vole urinary tracts “leak” as they move around, creating a trail that reflects ultraviolet light, something that some raptors, such as kestrels, can see. House cats also like voles on their snack menu.

Traps can be effective, especially against pine voles, if they are put where voles are active. A standard mouse trap baited with peanut butter may work reasonably well.

Perfect Tips To Control Pests and Insects

Perfect Tips To Control Pests and InsectsAfter months of prepping the soil and tending seedlings, you won’t like the pests and insects to chew up all your fresh vegetables. Deer, small rodents, insects and other creatures can quickly destroy a gardener’s hard work, but there are ways to prevent them from launching a full assault.

In earlier time the gardeners did not have easy access to commercial products and fancy gadgets to protect their lettuce and tomatoes. They relied on techniques passed down from generation to generation.

Old-fashioned fixes included sprinkling hot pepper or concentrated animal urine (specifically, that of a predator such as a fox) throughout the garden bedOther repellents that were commonly used included mothballs, cotton balls soaked in vinegar, crushed eggshells, human hair clippings, bacon grease, soap shavings, and garlic juice. Some gardeners plant marigolds among vegetables, because the flower has an unpleasant smell to animals.

The problem is, these remedies are usually temporary. Animals will find a way around repellents if they’re hungry enough.

In order to control the “Groundhogs, Rabbits and Voles” you can place a barrier between animal visitors and your plants, such as fencing made of chicken wire or mesh plastic. It should be high enough to keep rabbits from hopping over (about 18 inches ) and deep enough to prevent burrowers from getting to root vegetables (at least four inches into the soil). For raised beds, lining the bottom with fine-mesh hardware cloth protects against critters that can dig even deeper, such as groundhogs. Check for large holes under fences or shrubs where bigger rodents may have entered, and seal them with wire mesh or wood planks.

Fabric screens (available pre-cut from $5-25), staked over plants, still allow sunlight and water to penetrate. But they also provide shelter for mice and voles, so if you have those, consider another method.

Keeping Deers away from the garden is one of the biggest challenges. Once they show up, it’s difficult to discourage their return. Deer are creatures of habit, so once they find a spot with enough food to eat, they’ll keep coming back for more.

High fences help keep deer from reaching the tops of vegetable plants, but if that’s is not possible, use a repellent that emits sulfurous odors ( i.e., bloodmeal or egg solids).

You have another problem known as “Garden Buggs“.Insect infestation needs to be controlled effectively. While chemical-based sprays and formulas destroy insect pests and keep rodents and other creatures at bay, they also might contaminate your crops and the environment.

Insecticidal soaps and natural, non-toxic oils such as neem oil, which prevents insects from reaching the maturation stage — are recommended to control whitefly, earwigs, aphids, thrips, and other insects. Various types of Insect and animal repellents are available in garden centers nowadays.

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