Size of Chrysanthemums

Prized for blooms that appear when other blooms are fading, chrysanthemums, natives of Asia, are grown since at least 500 A.D.. Previously, 160 species existed, but a lot of them have been moved into Dendranthema or other genera. Only in the new millennium have breeders concentrated on enhancing mums for the home garden, rather than only for the floral industry. Recommended for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 to 9, chrysanthemums may also be grown as annuals.

Types and Sizes of Flowers

Chrysanthemum flowers come in four main shapes, sizes that range from less than 1 inch in diameter to over 3 inches and every shade except blue. The biggest blossoms are usually spider types composed of many long, curled tendrils. Decorative or florists’ mums show a mass of overlapping little petals, often encircling a domed center. As their name implies, daisy types form a ring of sole petals around a prominent center. The smallest mums, called pompons or buttons, are balls of petals which might be no larger than a nickel. Purplish-pink “Sweet Peg” sports 3/4-inch semi-double blossoms in October, while “J.C. Weigelan” bursts from 3 1/2-inch magenta, single blooms the exact same month. The uncommon “Will’s Amazing” produces 1-inch, bi-color, daisy type flowers that start out mainly red with a bit of creamy yellow near the center but end as predominately yellow with reddish tips.

Low-Growing Mums

As chrysanthemum blossom types vary considerably, so does the height of garden mother plants. Reportedly, they can range from under a foot to 6 feet tall. Low-growing (up to 18 ins) hardy mother plants are less prevalent than taller varieties but have the advantage of not needing support. C. weyrichii “Pink Bomb,” a good rock garden plant, forms a mat 12 to 18 inches high. Perhaps the lowest of all the Pacific chrysanthemum (C. pacificum) remains at 4 to 6 inches tall and functions like a weed-repelling ground cover. Its golden-yellow blossoms, only 3/4-inch wide, come late, in November.

Tall Garden Mums

Cultivars that climb to over 3 feet offer variety in plantings of chrysanthemums and can be put in the back of beds. If they get lanky, you might need to link them to stakes for support. “Emperor of China,” will reach 4 feet and produces beautiful two-tone pink blossoms late in the autumn. “Mei-kyo,” a good companion for “Emperor of China,” is a 3-foot plant which resembles a little shrub if not pinched back. Big plants don’t always bear huge blossoms, though, as these two have 1 1/2-inch and 1-inch blooms, respectively. If you want larger blooms, remove all flower buds but one or two in every cluster.

Growing Tips

Perennial garden mums are photoperiodic, thriving in reaction to shortening days and longer nights. When nighttime approach 12 hours in length, buds begin to form. September and October are the peak months for chrysanthemum blooms in the backyard. Consistently plant mums at least 20 feet apart from streetlights or other lights which burn at night or the plants might be thrown off schedule and fail to blossom. Water deeply and regularly and mulch to maintain moisture. Evergreen boughs serve nicely as a mulch for chrysanthemums. Their ideal soil pH is slightly acidic, between 5.8 and 6.8. Dig in organic matter that’s on the acidic side, like peat moss, bark, leaves and sawdust. Begin pinching mums back in the spring when new shoots are 3 to 4 inches long. Grasp the growing tip and initial pair of leaves and nip them off with your thumb and forefinger. Repeat several times until early July to encourage denser foliage and more blooms.

See related

Very good Pollinators to Bing Cherry Trees

To get a sweet cherry tree (Prunus avium) to produce fruit, pollen must pass from the male portion of the blossom, the stamen, to the female portion of the flower, the pistil. Pollinating insects help by transferring the pollen from one blossom part to another. Sweet cherry trees, such as “Bing,” require pollen from a different cherry cultivar nearby to make fruit. These are known as pollinizers. Both insects and other cherry varieties are considered pollinators of “Bing” cherry.

“Bing” Cherry Trees

Named for the foreman, Ah “Bing,” in Seth Lewelling’s 19th century Oregon fruit tree nursery, the “Bing” cherry is the most common sweet cherry cultivar. The tree grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8 and reaches heights up to 20 feet. It produces small, white flower clusters and dark red, sweet, juicy fruit, suitable for fresh eating and cooking. “Bing” cherry trees require well-drained soil and regular watering, as they are susceptible to root diseases.

Pollination

Although “Bing” cherry blossoms have both male and female structures, they are unable to fertilize themselves. The tree requires other cultivars and insects to move the pollen to the “Bing” cherry tree. Conversely, sour cherry varieties are self-fruitful, meaning that they can produce fruit with pollen, transferred by insects, from flowers on precisely the exact same tree. Sour cherry varieties can offer pollen for “Bing” cherries if their bloom periods coincide.

Pollinizers

For cherry pollinizers to pollinate “Bing” cherry trees, they must be in bloom at precisely the exact same moment. They have to also be planted close together to ensure that insects visit each tree. Several cultivars with overlapping bloom times are suitable for “Bing” pollinization such as “Lapins,” “Stella,” “Black Tartarian,” “Black Republican,” “Van,” “Sam” and “Windsor.”

Pollinators

Pollen goes from flower to blossom with the help of an agent such as water, insects, mammals and birds. The most frequent agents for pollination are insects, particularly mammals. The highly concentrated, sugary scent of sweet cherry blossoms attracts honeybees, as does the pollen. For each excursion a bee makes to a place with cherry trees, it can visit over 400 flowers. Once bees find a good food source, they will return repeatedly, making them a significant cherry pollinator.

See related

Soil Requirements for Fruit Trees

Before planning on a crop of peaches or apples in the fruit tree, assess whether you are providing the very best dirt for your own tree’s growth. If you’re planting a young fruit tree or even caring for an older one, maintaining optimal soil conditions will continue to keep your tree healthy and productive. Testing soil prior to planting, preparing the ground for healthy root development, and appropriate irrigation aid in supplying appropriate soil conditions for fruit trees.

Preparation

Prepare the soil conditions for planting by adding compost to the planting site, tilling it, then planting the tree. Don’t add fertilizer to the hole prior to planting as it might damage the roots. If the soil at the planting site includes clay, then put grooves in the sides of the hole before planting to assist roots break through.

Fertilization and pH

Fruit trees grow best in soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Before planting the tree, take samples in the top 8 inches, in addition to from a thickness of 8 to 16 inches so you’ll have a whole analysis of pH. Test the dirt annually to re-evaluate fertilization requirements. Although person fruit trees’ needs may vary, an overall approach to fertilization entails a 10-6-4 fertilizer annually. Broadcast the fertilizer on the ground surface, then water it in.

Depth

Fruit trees do best planted in dirt approximately 3 feet deep. You may not have that thickness accessible, particularly where construction has eliminated topsoil and compacted dirt. It’s still possible for a healthy fruit tree to develop in as little as 1 foot of topsoil. Look out for a layer of tough soil or clay inside two feet of the surface, though — split through it to allow roots to grow and prevent them from becoming waterlogged.

Moisture

Make certain dirt using a high concentration of loam or clay doesn’t stay wet for too long. Water compacts the air spaces in deep soil — that can kill trees. Soil around the roots of a fruit tree ought to be moist, however “. The soil surface may be dry to the touch, but if you dig down 4 inches to find moist soil, the roots are well-irrigated.

See related

The way to Protect Your Septic System and Plumbing

The condition of your septic system influences your house and its value, as well as neighboring properties. When it is not working properly, the system can contaminate the groundwater, and that contamination can spread for miles. A nonfunctioning septic system can even keep you from selling your property. Keep your system up and running by watching what you set in the pipes, conserving water and maintaining vegetation across the tank, pipes and leach field at bay.

Septic System Operation

A septic system has four parts: the plumbing waste pipes, the tank, the drainage pipes along with the dirt. When everything is functioning properly, solids settle out of effluents entering the tank and sink into the ground, while polluted water overflows into the leach area. As the water percolates through it, the dirt removes harmful organisms, and by the time the water merges with the groundwater, it has been purified. The system will not function if the pipes are blocked, the tank is full, and also the leach area is jammed or contains the wrong type of dirt.

Preserve the System Clean

Any solids you place into your waste pipes which don’t decompose wind up on the bottom of the tank, and also once the tank fills, the leach area can flooding and cause the system to stop functioning. Among things which you need to put in the trash instead of the waste pipes are coffee grounds, feminine hygiene products, dental hygiene and cat litter. Furthermore, many household substances — such as petrol, paint and paint thinner, pesticides and bleach — can kill the organisms in the tank that decompose waste matter. Refrain from flushing such substances or pouring them into the sink.

Conserve Water

Adequate drainage is essential for appropriate septic operation, and you can flood your leach area by pouring too much water during the system. Low-flush toilets, which have become a simple fact of life in most municipalities, are particularly significant when your home has a septic system. You must repair toilet leaks expeditiously — a typical leak sends hundreds of gallons per month through the computer system. Most homeowners with septic systems create gray- water watering systems for their gardens or lawns, so shower, sink and clothes washing water does not have to experience the septic tank.

Other Protective Measures

Your septic tank is full when the degree of solid matter is within 12 inches of the outlet tee, but you should pump the tank before it reaches that point. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends pumping the septic tank every three to five decades. It’s vital that you keep the leach area and also the area around the tank free of trees. Their roots can develop into the tanks and pipes and make blockages which are expensive to clean. Grow just grass in your groin field, and do not push it. That can compact the soil and affect drainage.

See related

How to generate a Maze in your lawn

The history of garden mazes dates back to the Renaissance. European courts commissioned the building of complex mazes that continue to grace the grounds of several royal homes. If you have a large yard, you can make your own family garden maze to put in a signature landscaping feature to your own property.

Measure the dimensions of the room in your yard where you would like to produce the maze. It is possible to use a 100-foot or even 200-foot tape measure available from a house improvement store to carry measurements. The University of Vermont Extension recommends having a distance of at least 25 feet around to make a maze but a long rectangular narrow space at a yard may also be adequate.

Use graph paper to design and make a scale model of your maze. One square on the newspaper can equal 1 foot. The plan should include enough space for those paths and plants. A 5-foot broad path is broad enough to move through without feeling claustrophobic. Incorporate a entry and exit on your layout. Browse maze books or layouts on lawn websites for ideas for a layout. The World-Wide Labyrinth locator provides a searchable database of garden mazes across the world.

Decide what types of plants that you want to use for your own procrastinate. If you would like a maze based on formal garden layout, use species of boxwood (Buxus) or even privet (Ligustrum). Boxwood and privet provide dense vegetation, species of different heights and are great for shaping into all kinds of forms. You can also use corn planted in late spring or early summer to make a maze in time for fall celebrations like Halloween so your kids can have an enjoyable backyard action.

Use string to make an outline of your maze on your yard based on your own map. Use the tape measure to coincide with the measurements you created in your own graph paper as you lay out the string. Wrap the string around stakes every few feet and in the corners to maintain the outline taut.

Create a turf maze as an extra rule by mowing the grass at the route of your maze. The remaining grass together with the staked rope or string makes a visible outline to your maze.

Prepare the soil in the areas where plants will grow. Well-drained, fertile soil with organic matter like peat moss, processed manure or compost will suffice.

Follow conventional techniques for planting and growing corn, boxwood, privet or whatever plants you choose for the maze. Once you plant the corn or shrubs, remove the rope or string and stakes.

Place mulch around the plants to help them retain moisture. Mulch also helps maintain the plan of your maze.

Walk through the maze per week to search for wayward leaves and stalks. Trim leaves and stalks which are at the path.

Prune and thin the shrubs a few times per year to keep them tidy, to get rid of dead branches and also to help spur new development. Trim away the white flowers of privet till they start to seed.

See related

How to Install a Chandelier Lamp Cord

Many chandeliers are intended to be hard-wired into a securely attached junction box in the ceiling that is connected to a wall switch. If you’re renting your house or apartment, however, and would like to install a chandelier, a less-permanent connection is desirable. In these scenarios, you can install a swag kit on your chandelier. This will allow you to plug the chandelier into a standard outlet. A swag kit could be installed on a chandelier in around one hour with a few basic hand tools. Remove the chandelier’s canopy before you begin.

Rank a stepladder directly beneath the area on the ceiling from which you would like to hang the chandelier. Find the nearest joist with a stud finder and mark a drill hole location on the drywall corresponding with the center of the joist using a pencil.

Insert a 1/8-inch drill bit into the chuck of a power drill, and drill a pilot hole through the drywall and into the ceiling joist. Then screw one of the decorative hooks in the swag kit into the pilot hole before the base of the hook is flush with the drywall.

Go the stepladder so that it’s positioned beside the socket to which you would like to connect the electrical cord for the chandelier. Drill a pilot hole into the ceiling to get a second swag hook above the socket. If there’s no ceiling joist in this location, tap a drywall anchor in the swag kit into the pilot hole with a hammer, then thread a swag hook into the anchor.

Feed the exposed-wire finish of the swag kit’s electrical wire through each other link of the swag kit’s string. Then separate the previous link of swag kit’s string with a pair of pliers and then slip the previous link of the chandelier’s string onto the broken link. Shut the link with the pliers to guarantee the swag kit string to the chandelier string.

Slide a piece of heat shrink tubing over the ends of the wires of the swag kit. Strip off 1/2-inch in the ends of the two insulated wires with a pair of wire strippers. Attach the exposed ends of the striped wire from the swag kit into the black wire from the chandelier, and wrap the connection with electrical tape. Then connect the two remaining wires in the exact same method.

Slide the heat shrink tubing over the links, and secure the tubing across the wires with a hair dryer to shrink the tubing.

Put the stepladder beneath the hook from which the chandelier will hang. Lift the chandelier and then carry it next to the hook. Raise or lower the chandelier till it’s in the desired height, then hook the nearest link into the ceiling hook. Move the ladder into the hook above the wall socket, and loop the string onto this hook, allowing the string to traverse the ceiling. Adjust the loop attached to the second hook so the traversed string looks most appealing to your eye.

Insert the swag kit’s electrical plug into the socket, and turn the rotary switch to check the lighting.

See related

Managing Koi Ponds

A koi pond shimmering surface adds a feeling of tranquility to your backyard, but what lies underneath is its true magic. Koi fish, that are brilliant carp that can achieve lengths of 4 feet or more, insert vibrant sparks of color and life to any garden. While koi pond management plans vary depending on factors like where you pond is and how large it is, many general upkeep tasks can help you keep your koi pond’s natural beauty and wellness for years to come.

Water Changes

Koi fish excrete a lot of waste material. Combine this with natural debris in aquatic vegetation, dirt runoff in the edge of the pond and natural matter falling into the pond, and the koi pond water can quickly become contaminated. Every four to six months, 10 to 15 percent of the koi pond water must get eliminated and replaced with new water. Simply topping off the pond with clean water since the existing water evaporates won’t work, as that does not remove actual water contaminants but only concentrates them.

Feeding Koi

Koi are voracious feeders with large appetites to sustain their rapid development. For the best results, use pond fish food tagged for koi and goldfish, since these foods contain pigments that enhance the fishes’ natural colors. In pond temperatures of 86 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, a koi fish will consume 2 percent of the body weight daily. This falls to 1 percent in temperatures ranging from 68 to 85 F, and 0.5 percent in waters ranging from 50 to 67 F. Unless you plan to weigh your koi fish, which isn’t practical, simple observations should be sufficient. The koi needs to have the ability to eat all of the food you put in the pond in 15 to 20 minutes. You’re feeding the fish too much in the event that you become aware of a lot of food floating around the pond, or if the fish take on a bloated, round appearance instead of their naturally slender look.

Test the pH

A koi pond may be alkaline or acidic. Koi grow best in water which measures anywhere from 6.5 to 9.0 on the pH scale, which you can measure having a pH test kit in a pond or garden store. Water having a low pH, called acidic water, may also be corrected. Add a tsp of baking soda for each 500 gallons of pond water, wait for 12 hours then retest the water. Repeat as necessary until the water pH is in the acceptable range for koi. Similarly, water having a high pH, called alkaline water, may also be corrected using white vinegar. Use 1/4 cup of vinegar for each 500 gallons of water, wait for 12 hours then retest the pond.

Monitor Hardness

Water hardness describes how much potassium and potassium is frozen in the water, and can be examined with a water hardness testing kit readily available in most pond stores. Koi thrive best in water which has a hardness score between 150 and 300 parts per thousand. Measurements out this range affect the way the fishes’ gills function. If a pond’s water evaluations outside this range, over-the-counter pond hardness kits made from lime powder can increase the pond’s hardness. Follow the kit’s tagged guidelines, as instructions vary depending on the sort of lime used as well as the size of this pond and its existing hardness score.

Maintain Shade

Color serves several purposes in a koi pond. It helps protect the fish in sunlight, moderates the water temperature and will help decrease ultraviolet penetration into the water, which in turn helps decrease the risk of algae blooms. For the best results, roughly 60 percent of the koi pond surface should be dealt with in floating pond plants, like waterlilies. Once a month, check the condition of your pond’s vegetation and remove or add river crops accordingly.

See related

The Effect of Frost on Fruit Tree Blossoms

Temperatures that drop below freezing can cause substantial damage to fruit blossoms. However, once the buds are in an early phase of growth they are more cold hardy than in later stages, and the air temperature must be far below freezing to induce harm. When the temperature falls low enough, the pistils of the flowers will die, and they will not produce fruit. If the temperature falls after petals fall, and the new fruit is already growing, frost can cause a band of limited growth close to the stem which deforms the fruit and remains until harvest.

Vital Temperatures

Early in development, once the buds are just turning green, then the temperature must drop to 20 degrees Fahrenheit before even 10 percent of their buds are damaged in many fruit trees. However, to destroy 90 percent of the ancient buds, the temperature should drop to under 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Cherries are the exception and are heavily damaged in 25 degrees Fahrenheit in the first stages. After the blooms have opened, all of fruit trees will drop 90 percent of the fruit in the event the temperature falls to 25 degrees Fahrenheit. Damage starts to occur to complete blooms at 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

Pre-Bloom Assessment

The pre-bloom buds can be assessed to determine if damage has occurred. Assemble enough scions to collect at least 100 buds from various heights from the tree for a representative sample of potential damage. Pull the scions inside and place them in water for four hours or more in 70 degrees Fahrenheit. This permits the buds to swell and for any dead tissue to turn brown. Discoloration increases with time, so examining the buds too early can hide the harm. Cut through the middle of each bud and examine the tissue indoors, particularly the middle, for example discoloration. This may require a magnifying glass to see, if the buds are modest. If the tree is too little to take a large sample, then wait until after the blooms have opened to check for damage.

Post-Bloom Assessment

A similar assessment can be done as the flower is just beginning to open. The pistil of a flower early in the blossom stage that’s damaged by frost will turn brown and wither. The petals of the open blossom which were damaged by frost will possess brownish discoloration and will be curled. If the bloom is completed along with little fruit is present, then cut through the fruit about 1/3 of its span away from the stem and analyze for dark tissue.

Frost Protection

Light damage to buds and fruit from frost will not ruin a crop. When only 10 percent of a crop is damaged, this can help thin the fruit so that what remains greater growth potential. If temperatures are expected to drop to the point where a larger percentage of those blooms could be lost, frost protection measures become essential. By sprinkling the tree with water so that ice is formed, the buds or young fruit can be sealed from the ice and remain near 32 degrees Fahrenheit while the air temperature dips much lower. To be effective, the irrigation or misting should start before the temperature falls below freezing so that the ice being formed in the surface of their flames or fruit is warmer than the harmful atmosphere temperature.

See related

Grass Clippings and Blueberries

Blueberry plants, prized for the fruit they produce, demand a suitable site and good cultural services to guarantee a trustworthy, high-quality berry crop. 1 potential facet of ethnic care entails spreading mulch over the ground across the blueberry bush. Grass clippings are among the possible organic substances suitable for mulching around blueberries.

Advantages of Utilizing Grass Clippings

Grass clippings are maybe most prized and utilized for their availability because many yards produce a steady source of lawn clippings. A mulch of grass clippings can suppress weeds, conserve soil moisture and regulate soil temperature. Grass clippings also break down rather rapidly, adding nutrients to the soil as they decompose. This fast decomposition also produces grass clippings excellent as a temporary mulch till you apply a more durable mulch like shredded bark or wood chips.

Grass Clippings to Avoid

Grass clippings from a yard that was recently treated with a herbicide can possibly injure a blueberry bush and some other desired vegetation they are spread about. Grass clippings taken from a yard with a great deal of weeds can contain seeds that will introduce unwanted weeds to the blueberry planting. Allow wet or moist clippings to dry before you put them around your own lemons. If the grass clippings were stored in piles for quite a while and smell foul or sour, don’t use them as mulch.

Applying Grass Cippings

Only disperse dry grass clippings out about a blueberry plant, as evenly implemented when wet can form a dense, water-repelling mat. Until the clippings are fully dry, apply them in very thin layers. The thickness of a grass clipping mulch about a blueberry bush shouldn’t exceed about 2 inches. Keeping up a mulch-free distance that extends six inches out from the stem is important, as clippings in contact with the plant’s base can trap moisture against the plant or haven gum rodents.

Grass Clippings Mulch Maintenance

Since grass clippings break down relatively fast, they need routine replenishing to maintain a uniform, loose layer 2 inches deep. Occasionally fluff or loosen the grass clippings mulch to avoid matting and blocked water and atmosphere. Where a blueberry plant is affected by certain diseases or insects, remove the grass clipping mulch and any debris, such as fallen leaves or twigs, regularly or at the end of the growing season and replace it with fresh clippings or a different substance.

See related

The way to Operate a Pool Pump & Filter

Constituents of a swimming pool are highly interdependent. Without proper operation of each element, water comfort and quality degrade and damage may occur to other parts. The fundamentals of pool design are consistent whether implemented to in-ground or scattered pools. The system is designed to maintain a large volume of water correctly filtered, circulated, heated and treated with disinfecting chemicals. The two main components in any pool program would be the pump and the filter.

Pool Circulation

A pool pump circulates water in the pool through the filter and back to the pool. The pool pump is generally located next to the filter at a concrete pit or recess under the water level of the pool so water flows by gravity into the inlet of the pump. Water entering the pump input first passes through a strainer basket at the pump casing to remove debris. Leaving the pump, the water circulates through the filter and the heater, even if one is installed. Water is reintroduced into the pool via return jets embedded in the walls of the pool. In a frequently utilized pool, the pump may run continuously to offer consistent filtration and circulation. To conserve power, many residential pool pumps have been connected to timers so the circulation is restricted simply to hours of this day when the pool is very likely to be utilized.

Priming The Pump And Filter

Sometimes a pool pump may discard its prime and air may enter the machine, interrupting circulation of water. The most common cause is evaporation, causing the pool water level to drop below the intakes in the skimmers. Priming a pool filter and pump is a standard process in pool systems. Adding water restores the pool’s proper water level. You may remove the cover of the pump casing to fill the pump chamber and intake line with water. When you replace the open and cover the air-bleed valve in addition to the pool filter. The intake and release valves should be available and you can turn on the pump. When water is found going through the obvious sight window at the top of the pump chamber, circulation is restored. Wait until water starts to spurt out of this air-bleed valve on the filter, then close the valve.

Kinds Of Pool Filters

Pool filters vary according to the media utilized to filter the water. The easiest variety is a typical replaceable filter cartridge at a canister installed at the discharge line following the pump. These are generally utilized in smaller volume, above-ground pools and need no maintenance apart from scheduled filter changes. Sand filters utilized in larger in-ground pools use a bed of industrial-grade silica to filter the water as it percolates under pump pressure during the sand. Another number utilizes diatomaceous earth as the filter media, a porous powder that provides very nice filtering properties. Both sand and DE filters need periodic backwashing to wash the filter.

Pool Filter Settings

Pool filter multiport valves have generic settings that are pertinent to all major brands of sand and DE filters. The “Filter” setting circulates water through the sand or DE media, then out the filter via the return port into the pool. The “Backwash” setting redirects the stream of water backwards through the filter media to flush contaminants out as part of scheduled maintenance or when the filter pressure indicates it is becoming obstructed. During backwash, dirty water exits the filter via the waste vent and is discharged into the sewer drain. The “Waste” valve place bypasses the filter. Water in the pump enters via the pump port and leaves straight through the waste vent into the sewer. This setting can be used to vacuum the pool or to decrease the water level. “Recirculate” also bypasses the filter however sends the circulating water back to the pool rather than down the drain, a helpful setting when performing certain chemical therapies that would soften the filter media. “Closed” shuts off all water entering the pool.

See related