Open vs. Closed Vents Throughout the summertime

Although air needs to circulate year-round through the attic, your home will likely be more comfortable if you cover the foundation vents in the winter. They have to be open in the summer, but to protect against the accumulation of moisture that may seriously damage your base.

Dry Summers

In some parts of the nation, summer is the driest part of the year, and moisture abatement doesn’t become a prime issue prior to the winter rains begin. Homes in those parts of the nation benefit from open foundations at the summer since circulating air through the crawl space keeps them cooler. A draft at the crawl space also disappears moisture that may be left over in the wet season. That moisture may do more damage in the heat of summer than it may in the winter months.

Wet Summers

Maintaining the base vents open during the summer is a no-brainer if you reside in a climate with warm, humid days and frequent summer storms. The vents provide crucial air flow that may not just prevent rot but also discourage termites and other pests. Humid air under the house threatens the base, and it may seep through the subfloor and tighten your hardwood flooring, even if the floor is protected by a moisture barrier.

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What type of Weed Killer Is Safe for Strawberry Plants?

Strawberries (Fragaria) thrive in mild, coastal climates, but weeds can quickly take their toll by squeezing out lemon crops and maybe introducing insect pests and diseases. Use conventional herbicides as a last resort, and utilize organic herbicides or alternative processes whenever possible. Even herbicides labeled protected can lead to damage under certain conditions. As an instance, in sandy soils, herbicides applied at the recommended level can inhibit plant growth, according to the University of California Davis.

Before Planting

Commercial growers often apply herbicides to kill weeds prior to planting strawberries. These herbicides include oxyfluorfen, flumioxazin and pendimethalin. In the home landscape, gardeners more often utilize glyphosate. Adhere to all package directions carefully and wear long sleeves, shoes and a mask when applying herbicides. Till the soil once weeds die back, and also make another herbicide application if needed, until all of the weeds are dead. Another option is to solarize the soil, which kills grass seeds. To solarize soil, spread a sheet of clear plastic over the ground during warm weather. Secure the plastic with landscaping or stone hooks and leave it in position for 12 to 15 weeks.

Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Pre-emergent herbicides control weeds before they germinate in the spring. These products most efficiently control annual weeds, but may not control all of perennial weeds. Napropamide and DCPA can be implemented to strawberry patches immediately after planting or during the first stages of growth. Adhere to all package directions and water herbicides in well. Corn gluten is a secure natural substitute for artificial pre-emergent herbicides. It works by forming a thin film over the ground, which prevents weed seed germination. Apply it immediately after planting strawberry plants or in early spring for beds that are established. Make additional programs every four to six weeks during the growing season, recommends the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Post-Emergent Herbicides

Killing mature weeds is much more difficult than avoiding weed germination. To deal with these weeds, use a post-emergent herbicide, such as glyphosate. These herbicides are nonselective and will destroy the strawberry plants, too, so be sure to apply them only into the weeds, not just the berry plants. Most strawberry beds are just productive for approximately three years, and in some cases, they are very best grown as annuals. In case your strawberry patch is severely infested with weeds, use a glyphosate herbicide to destroy both strawberries and weeds, and start over.

Other Alternatives

If you continually use one type of herbicide or weed management process, herbicide resistant weeds may replace the weeds you have destroyed. A better bet would be to mix weed management strategies. Install black plastic mulch before you plant fresh strawberry plants. Install drip irrigation and then cut holes in the plastic to plant the strawberries. A mulch of mucous grass clippings or straw can also cut down considerably on grass issues. Finally, do not forget old cultivation. A fifteen hoeing eliminates most annual weeds and even several perennials, especially when plants are young and vulnerable. Since the strawberry plants get larger, they can crowd out many annoying weeds.

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The Size of a Gerber Daisy

Gerber daisies (Gerbera jamesonii) can also be called Transvaal daisies, because they originate from Transvaal, South Africa. The members of the sunflower family grow as perennials at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. In wet and cold winter climates, these big perennials are grown as annuals. Just a couple of these plants can fill a huge area in the flower garden.


Gerber daisies produce 12-inch-wide rosettes of spoon-shaped evergreen leaves. The leaves grow up to 10 inches long. Strong 18-inch-tall stems are topped with the daisy-like blossoms. The flowers are held approximately 6 inches above the leaves. One full- grown gerber daisy plant can maintain almost 3 feet of space if the leaves along with rosette grow as anticipated.

Bloom Size

Gerber daisy flowers are available in many bright colours such as orange, yellow and red. The ray petals surround a bronze-yellow or dark-colored center. Different varieties make single and double rows of petals. Some hybrids generate a fluffy-looking blossom. The majority of the flowers grow 4 to 5 inches broad. The magnitude of the blossoms as well as the fact that they are on almost naked stems make them good cut flowers.

Plant Spacing

These flowers can be planted by themselves as showcase plants or bunched together. To fully fill an area with these flowers, plant seedlings 12 to 18 inches apart using the crown a bit above the soil. Since these flowers grow, they have a tendency to dig themselves down into the soil. From the next year, the crown is underground in which the moisture content of the soil causes root rot. The best practice would be to dig up big plants every 2 decades and divide them.

Smaller Varieties

Smaller gerber daisy varieties are called dwarf or miniature. They achieve less than 12 inches tall with smaller leaves and flowers than the standard-sized gerber daisies. These smaller plants are spaced 12 inches apart in the garden and are available in as many colours as the full-sized gerber daisies. One dwarf variety is that the “Jaguar” gerber daisy (Gerbera jamesonii “Jaguar”), that reaches 8 to 12 inches tall with leaves around 8 inches long. The flower stems hold up to five blooms, each 3 to 4 inches across.

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Dogwood Vs. Cherry Tree

Nothing says spring rather like a well-shaped tree covered with bright blossoms. Although dozens of beautiful, spring-flowering trees exist, dogwoods and cherry trees are two of the very ornamental. Both are appealing as specimen trees and work well in mixed plantings or in the edge of a wooded area. However, some differences in growth pattern, flowers and ethnic needs may make the other tree much better suited to your landscape.


There are many varieties of dogwoods (Cornus sp.) , but all share a few common attributes. In general, they are about 15 to 20 feet tall at maturity, though they may become taller when grown in colour. Guided slow-to-moderate in growth rate, dogwoods develop a low-branching, gracefully spreading shape that can be somewhat flattened at the top. Their flowers, normally a pure white but pink in certain cultivars, are actually bracts that surround the tiny true flowers. At the common flowering dogwood (C. florida), blossoms precede leaves, covering the bare-branched tree in white flowers in April or May. At the Korean dogwood (C. kousa), bright-green leaves appear first, making a contrasting background for the white bracts, which open in May or even June.

Cherry Trees

Ornamental cherry trees (Prunus sp.) Are sometimes called Japanese cherry trees since they originated in Japan and other parts of Asia. Like dogwoods, many types of cherry trees can be found, however all are famous for their abundant clusters of white or pink, multipetaled flowers that blanket the tree in April. Both commonly grown varieties, the Japanese flowering cherry (P. serrulata) and the higan cherry (P.subhirtella), have a vaselike shape, spreading from a narrow bunch of main branches into a broad crown. They can reach a height of 50 feet or more, much taller than a dogwood, and do best when given a lot of room to expand.

Cultural Requirements

Dogwoods and flowering cherry trees are usually similar in hardiness. Dogwoods are suitable for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 comprehensive 8 or 9, depending on the variety, while Japanese cherries do best in zones 4 or 5 through 8. Both trees prefer ample, well-drained dirt and need moderate water, but cannot tolerate a place that stays wet or soggy for intervals of time. For best bloom, flowering cherry trees require full sun and will drastically lessen their flower numbers in a shady place. Dogwoods, however, are native to woodland areas and can tolerate some shade, creating abundant flowers under all light conditions.


Even though both dogwoods and cherry trees are susceptible to some diseases and insects, in general, dogwoods have a tendency to get fewer serious problems. The common dogwood sometimes develops dogwood anthracose, leaf place or root rot, all fungal disorders, however Korean dogwoods are usually immune to these; another attractive variety, the Cornelian dogwood (C. mas), is basically disease-free. Ornamental cherry trees, though, can be damaged by many fungal diseases, including fireblight, root rot and powdery mildew, while insects like scale, tent caterpillars, spider mites and borers may also cause serious problems. For both trees, the ideal way to maintain a specimen healthy contains good cultural practices like frequent debris removal and early detection of problems and usage of fungicidal or insecticidal sprays when required.

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The way to Hard Prune a Bougainvillea Hedge

Bougainvilleas (Bougainvillea spp.) , don’t tolerate frost nicely, growing in frost-free climates in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 11, but you can grow them as a houseplant in cold temperatures. Bougainvilleas grow vigorously, supplying a tropical pop of color that stands out at nearly any lawn. Hard pruning, also known as severe or renewal pruning, describes cutting a plant with the objective of spurring new growth. Hard pruning during the dormant season helps make sure your bougainvilleas produce healthy new growth each year.

Mix with 1 part bleach and 9 parts water and soak the blades of the bypass hand pruners and loppers for 30 minutes. Eliminate the pruners and loppers and allow them to air dry.

Cut back all old wood at the center of the bougainvillea, which makes cuts at the branch collars, using long-handled lopping shears. Cut at an upward 45-degree angle to help shield the stubs from rain. Wear protective gloves, a long-sleeved shirt and long trousers when pruning bougainvilleas to prevent injury or distress caused by contact with thorns.

Cut out branches which are diseased or infested with pests, cutting them back to healthy tissue. In case the entire branch is compromised, then remove it at a 45-degree angle at the branch collar.

Eliminate entangled divisions, inward-growing divisions and those that rub against each other. Pick the least-vigorous sections of the band for pruning and trim them back to the branch collars at a 45-degree angle, reducing total divisions by one-half.

Trim back the bougainvillea’s new growth to the first healthier grass to encourage bushy, extensive growth in the subsequent season.

Power up the hedge trimmer. To produce a block shape, position the blades at the bottom of the hedge and trim the branches back 1/2 inch at a time, using brief, sweeping vertical cuts. Alternative between each of four sides of the hedge. Then place the trimmers at the very top left or right of the hedge and , again using brief, sweeping cuts, then trim the top horizontally, 1/2 inch at a time until you achieve the block shape. To create a curved rather than horizontal top, position the trimmer at one of the top corners of the hedge following squaring-off the sides. Employing brief, sweeping cuts, form a shirt that bumps upward and resembles the top part of a sphere.

Place the trimmer at the bottom of the hedge. Shear the side of the hedge, producing brief, vertical cuts at an inward angle to form a cone shape. Work around the hedge, picking the cutting up in which you left off, again cutting upward at a slightly inward angle until you achieve a pointed top using downward-sloping sides.

Cut all weak stems and marginally prune hardy limbs with scissor-action hedge shears to detail and finely tune the bougainvillea’s final shape.

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How to eliminate Tomatoes in the Plant

Tomatoes are removed, or picked, from their plant from mid-July during September or when a risk of frost exists. Harvesting tomatoes when they fully ripe is perfect, but the fruits can be harvested anytime throughout the end of this growing season. Green tomatoes can be removed from their plant just one day before frost and ripened indoors. Vine-ripened tomatoes that are evenly red, smooth and firm have the sweetest taste and most powerful fragrance.

Select smooth and waxy tomatoes that are firm to the touch, even if the top of the fruits isn’t a ripe color. Some tomato varieties are red when ripe and other varieties are yellowish.

Hold a tomato with one hand, and then hold the stem on that the tomato grows together with the flip side. Slide the tomato gently to break the stem, avoiding squeezing the fruit and puncturing skin. Repeat the process to get rid of other tomatoes from this plant.

Verify the tomatoes to get holes, specks of decay and cracks. Discard damaged tomatoes instantly to prevent spreading decay.

Store ripe tomatoes in a refrigerator. Wrap unripe tomatoes individually in newspaper. Arrange the unripe tomatoes in one layer, and place them away from sunlight in a room where the temperature is 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scrub tomatoes weekly for ripeness.

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The nicest places on Your Yard to Plant Tomatoes

If well cared for, tomato plants yield high yields of juicy, tangy fruit. Start your garden by choosing the perfect spot for your crop to develop to its entire potential. You will have to take soil, sunlight and space into account when making your selection.


Keep plant roots healthy and hardy with proper drainage. A planting site that’s frequently soggy may result in roots which are limp and week. If the issue persists, your tomatoes may develop root rot. Steer clear of these possible problems by planting tomatoes in well-draining, loosely packed soil.


Plant your tomatoes in a place which receives six to eight hours of sun every day. Because of the light conditions, avoid planting trees that are near, sheds or some other tall structure which will shade the tomatoes and prevent them from growing nicely.


Choose whether you may stake or cage your tomatoes, as this has some bearing on the amount of space they require. Tomatoes are prolific growers. They will quickly take up large regions of land if allowed to do so. Staking — tying the plant into a wooden stake — and caging — placing a thin cable structure around the plant — keep tomato plants vertical. Consequently, they require less horizontal space. Plant rows of caged or staked tomatoes about 40 inches apart. Individual plants within the rows must have at least 24 inches between them. If you choose to allow your tomato plants to develop a free-form fashion with no heels or bets, keep them at least four feet apart and allow six feet between rows.


Choose a place of your yard with room to set up simple obstacles to keep rabbits and other pests from your tomatoes. Protect your tomatoes from local wildlife by placing a fence round the garden. This does not typically have to be a huge structure. Inexpensive chicken cable may work. In case you have pets but want edible tomatoes, then it’s best to keep the pet place entirely separate from the garden.

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Honeysuckle That Propagates in Summer

Honeysuckle (Lonicera spp) includes both deciduous and evergreen shrubs and climbing vines. Its U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones vary by species. Vine varieties twine about trellises and fences, and shrubby varieties make great plants for borders and ground covers. Propagation timing and techniques vary, as evergreen varieties are propagated in summertime utilizing semiripe cuttings, while the deciduous honeysuckle varieties are propagated in the summertime using softwood cuttings.

Honeysuckle Varieties for Summer Propagation

Honeysuckle varieties that spread in summertime contain both climbing and tree varieties. Coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) is a twining vine that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. This plant produces scarlet-orange tubular blooms in summer and red fruit in winter. Winter honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) is a deciduous tree hardy to USDA zone 4. This variety produces lemon-scented white blooms in spring.

Taking Evergreen Semiripe Cuttings

Semiripe cuttings are taken from your current year’s growth, meaning they are woody at the base but soft and pliable in the tip. You may take these cuttings in late summer during the center of autumn. A semiripe cutting is company and snaps when bent. The cutting edge should be an 8- to 12-inch piece taken from a side or leader shoot and cut straight under a node. You may remove the tip of the shoot and the bottom set of leaves, leaving a 3- to 4-inch piece with at least 2 nodes.

Taking Deciduous Softwood Cuttings

Softwood cutting are taken in summer during the growing season. These cuttings are soft, flexible new development, which offers the ideal chance for more growth and successful rooting. To take softwood cuttings, remove about 4 inches of stem above a bud or node of the parent plant. You may store cuttings in a plastic bag in the fridge if it’s impossible for them to be planted straight away.

Attention of Honeysuckle Cuttings

After you have taken cuttings, dip the cut end (in which you severed the stem from the plant) into a rooting hormone. You can use pots full of equal parts perlite and peat moss or perlite lonely. Poke holes in the growing medium, and add softwood or semiripe cuttings. Spray the plants with fine mist, and set the pots in a shaded, but not dark, place. The pots will need to be kept in a warm room. To help retain moisture and heat, you can place a plastic bag around the grass.

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Planting Poppy Seeds & Killing the Weeds

Poppies (Papaver spp.) , grown because of their vibrant, showy blooms and attractive seed pods, comprise both perennial and yearly varieties. You can develop them readily from seed sown directly in the garden. Removing weeds before planting and preventing the future increase will make growing your poppies easier and much more rewarding. Mechanical procedures for weed removal include hand drawing and tilling. Other procedures include herbicides and mulching. You will likely need to use a mixture of these methods to get rid of the weeds.

Mechanical Weed Removal

Prior to sowing poppy seeds, then you are going to need to eliminate weeds from the planting area. The reliable procedures of weed removal from hand-pulling and tilling need effort and time but are environmentally safer than chemical processes. Till or dig to a depth of 12 inches to guarantee elimination of deeper weed roots. Normally, when you have weeds in an area, the soil in that area also has weed seeds. You’ll probably have to take additional steps to prevent new weeds from invading before you sow your poppy seeds.

Growing Poppies

Plant poppy seeds in autumn for spring blossoms once you’ve pulled weeds from the bed. In regions with longer growing seasons, you can sow seeds in late winter or early spring for a fall crop of blossoms. Texas A&M; University recommends scratching the seeds in using a rake and keeping the planting bed moist. Many of the yearly poppy species will continue to self-sow in case you leave the pods on the plants. Poppies grow best in full sun and in rich soil that drains well.


The importance of mulch in weed prevention is hard to overstate. Mulch prevents weed germination by blocking sunlight to dormant weed seeds at the top layer of soil. Once poppies begin to demonstrate growth, apply a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch to the planted area. Do this early spring and again in autumn. Preventing competition for resources from weeds will help the poppies thrive. Great muclh options include compost with or without aged manure, and ground bark or hardwood.


Preemergent herbicides work by blocking weed germination. Apply these in spring and again in early summer to stop cool- and warm-season weeds, respectively. Avoid using these too early in the growing season as young poppy plants may be injured, along with the weeds you are trying to avoid. Wait until poppies are 6 inches tall before having a preemergent herbicide. Short-acting post-emergent herbicides, like glyphosate, degrade quickly. You can use these safely as controlled spot treatments to kill individual weeds while poppies are actively growing or blooming, so long as you take care to avoid spraying the poppies.

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Celosia Types

Celosia comprises a group of plants, bearing vividly-colored blossom heads, and growing as annuals at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 9 and as perennials in zones 10 through 12. Celosia varieties are available in many sizes, from just a few inches up to about 5 feet high. Plants require little upkeep, thriving in drought and heat. Celosia plants are grouped into three classes: a crested type (Celosia cristata), a plume type (Celosia plumosa) and a spike or wheat type (Celosia spicata).

Crested Type

The flower heads of crested celosia (Celosia cristata), also called cockscomb celosia, resemble the structures of a mind, while some of the narrower flower heads seem like a rooster’s comb. An example of a crested celosia is “Toreador” (Celosia cristata “Toreador”), which rises 18 to 20 inches tall and has a bright red 12-inch blossom head. The “Chief Series” (Celosia cristata “Chief Series”) is a mixture of 40-inch tall plants with flower heads up to 7 inches across in brilliant colors of dark red, carmine, gold, rose or red and yellow bi-color.

Plume Type

The flower heads of plume type celosia (Celosia plumosa) are soft, velvety and feathery. Plants , when young, can also create side effects. The plumes come in cream, bright yellow, orange or red, depending on variety. “Sylphid” (Celosia plumosa “Sylphid”) is a 30- to 40-inch plant using green-yellow plumes, while “Apricot Brandy” (Celosia plumosa “Apricot Brandy”) is a 6- to 12-inch plant using reddish-purple leaves and apricot-orange plumes.

Spike Type

Spike celosia (Celosia spicata) can also be called wheat celosia, because its flower heads resemble heads of wheat. This type of celosia looks almost like a shrub, because each plant produces many flower stalks. Flower heads are smaller and blossom colors are muted in contrast to another celosia types. “Flamingo Feathers” (Celosia spicata “Flamingo Feathers”) is a well-branched plant using rose-pink flowers, growing to 4 or 3 feet tall. The “Bright Spears Mix” (Celosia spicata “Glowing Spears Mix”) consists of 24- to 30- inch plants with pink, white and dark red flower heads.

Growing Celosia

Grow celosia plants by placing seeds directly into the ground. However, in regions with long winters, start seeds indoors or buy nursery plants. Celosia wants a soil temperature of 60 degrees F to germinate and grow. Any sort of soil, such as clay or sandy loam, is suitable. All types of celosia prefer a sunny place, but mild shade is acceptable. All varieties of celosia boom in heat and bear drought, once established. Combined with other plants, the smaller celosia varieties also make attractive container plants. Celosia lasts for a very long time as a cut flower, and when dried, is a beautiful accent in a dry flower arrangement.

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