Archive for the ‘Turf / Grass / Plants / Seeds / Bulbs / Trees / Pots & Planters’ Category

California Poppy border this walking path. Photo by Mark (Work the Angles)

To give your garden a super charged boost of colour this spring and summer, consider going with annuals.  There are so many that you can choose from, and with our simple instructions you are sure to have a winning look in your front or back garden.

Personally I love annuals in the front garden, they can add such a vibrant look to the front of the house, and are a favourite with real estates who are trying to pretty up a drab house.

1. Choose where you want to place your annuals, they perform best in direct sunshine, so keep this in mind when choosing a location.  They look great clumped together in rows, so make the perfect border to a driveway, a fence, front of house or around the edge of established gardens.  If you want to be able to move them around, long rectangular pots are great for annuals.

2. Select the colour combination.  Annuals are best if grouped in like colours, so if for example you went for white and purple you would clump a group of purple together, then a group of white.  If you alternated plant by plant the colour would not be as intense as grouping them in larger numbers.

3. Choose the annuals for your garden. This is not too difficult most annuals grow really well in Australia, but to be sure ask the nursery or store where you purchase them to confirm they will grow well in your site.  Alternatively check out Virtual Flowers which displays a complete A-Z list of annuals in Australia.

4. Prepare the soil for your annuals by mixing in compost with the soil and digging a deep channel channel for the plants.  The hole should be deep enough for the entire root ball of the plant to be buried and wide enough that you can fit at least two plants side by side.   The length of your channel should be the length of the area you want to cover.

5. Arrange your plants and then plant them in twos, clumped closely together.  You hardly need any dirt between the two plants.  A good way to do this is to plant six of one colour in the same configuration as a punnet then move on to the next punnet.

6. Water all your plants as soon as they are in the soil, ensuring that you water nice and low to avoid getting water on the leaves.  This will ensure they leaves will not get burnt.

7. To make your annuals last longer ensure they get watered regularly (you can do this with a watering can to save water).  Water early in the morning or last thing in the evening to avoid the sun burning the leaves of the plants.  At this time also quickly check your plants and take off any faded blooms.  This will prevent the plant going to seed and will ensure that it lives longer.

For all your plant or soil needs check out the DIY Bargain Bin Soil section and the DIY Bargain Bin Plants and Seeds section for your gardening needs this spring.

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Photo courtesy of Fomu

If you want to keep your garden growing perfectly but do not want to waist water, then a watering system is essential!

But did you know that there are three different types of watering systems available? How do you know which is best for your home and situation?

Today I have decided to take a trip to the garden and assess this question.

There are basically three different types of watering system available, they are the microspray, the drip and the pop-up system.  Each one has different features and are useful in different situations.  Here is a bit more information about each to allow you to choose the one most suited to your needs.

Drip

As its name suggest the drip system delivers water slowly to your plant via an underwater drip system.  The advantages are that the water is delivered directly to the plant’s roots and there is little or no chance of the water being evaporated or affected by other elements.  The amount of water you disperse is controlled which means you can easily cater nature with the amount you apply.

The only thing to consider is that all plants on the drip system loop should require a similar amount of water, otherwise while you may be meeting the needs of one plant you could be over watering or underwatering another.

Microspray

The microspray system works best for small rockeries, ferneries and vegetable gardens.  But you will need to be careful when you water your plans timing it to be in the early morning or late evening, otherwise you could risk burning your plants.

Water is sprayed in a light fine mist from the system over the plants and the soil, this is then sucked up by both the foliage and the soil.

Pop-Up

The final style is the pop-up style, which effectively pops up to water your garden when turned on, and retracts into the ground when not being used.  The Pop-Up system is fantastic for larger areas of plants and lawn as it simply pops up to water and then disappears when not required.

Like the Microspray unit, you must consider when you turn on the Pop-Up unit so as not to damage your plants by burning them.  Turn the Pop-Up system on in the morning or early evening for most benefit.

Find all your watering system needs in the DIY Bargain Bin Turf / Grass  and Plants section or the Water Features section.

Today we have gone searching the internet to find different ideas for water features that involve pots! Here are our three favourites, which show a range of different ideas.

1. Eros Water Feature – Egyptian themed pouring pots with a bright LED light in each pot to make it look great day or night.  We like how small this one is, so would be great tucked in a neat corner to make a feature out of it.

2. Grecian Urn – This pot is available in Australia and works fantastically as the feature on this garden pool.  Of course you could use any pot to create this look.

3. Solar Powered Blue Ceramic Cascade Water Fountain – This is a gorgeous pot fountain idea and what is even better is that it recycles all the water it uses and is operated using solar power.  Each of the bowls and pots are glazed terracotta, which rest on sturdy metal frames.  The solar panel is then placed some distance away.

So those are three different ideas to get you thinking.  But the best thing about creating a water feature with pots is that you can create it yourself!  Here we give you some links to water feature plans and designs that we like!

Making a Single Pot Fountain

eHow provide a step by step single pot fountain guide on their website.  You can access the instructions by clicking on the link above.  This is a simple but beautiful fountain that would work perfectly in a corner of a garden or as a centre piece.

Our second single pot fountain guide comes from Better Homes and Gardens.

Multi Pot Fountains

eHow also has a small three clay pot fountain that would look good on a front porch or other small area and our final guide to creating a larger feature three pot fountain is this biggie from Matha Stewart’s website.

Remember when planning a water feature to consider water conservation.  Also ensure that your water is moving to avoid it becoming a breeding ground for mosquitos and other insects.

For different water feature ideas check out the DIY Bargain Bin Water Features, Statues and Gargoyles section or to create your own pot water feature like the four we have featured here, see the DIY Bargain Bin Turf, Grass, Plants, Seeds, Bulbs, Trees, Pots and Planters section.

Image & article sourced from Hello Hello

In Melbourne almost 70% of plants will die due to wet feet.  Plants get wet feet when water is unable to drain away from the plants roots.  The organic matter will start to decompose sucking all oxygen and starving the plant.  Plants most at risk include Azaleas, Citrus, English Box, Fruit Trees, Gardenias, Japanese Maples, Myrtus Luma, Pittosporums, Proteas, Rhododendrons, Roses, Silver Bush and Silver Birch.

How to avoid wet feet before you plant

It is easy to test an area before you plan to check for wet feet.  Simply dig the hole where you plan to plant your new tree, shrub or bush.  Fill a bucket of water to the top and pour it into the hole, then leave the hole for at least 20 minutes, fill again and leave for another 20 minutes.  If you return and your hole is still full or partially full of water, it means that you are likely to have a drainage issue, leading to potential wet feet down the track.

If you have a plant already in the ground

It can be a little more difficult to determine if your plant has wet feet once it is already in the ground.  The best way to do this is generally a combination of approaches.  First is that your plant may be looking a unwell, the second is that you may be able to smell a septic or anaerobic smell, and finally, if you dig a little hole using a small trowel about 15-45 centimetres (depending on the size of your plant) from the stump of your plant you will find the soil damp, the smell may be stronger and discoloured or dying plant roots may be visible.

What causes wet feet?

There are several causes of wet feet, but they all stem from an inability for water to drain away from the roots of the plants.  The most common reasons are below:

  • Concrete enclosures, paths or driveways prevent water run off
  • Heavy clay acts as a bucket around the plant roots
  • Excessive watering
  • Planting in 3 way, 4 way or organic soil mixes, or throwing away the original or parent soil, and
  • Planting trees or shrubs too close to laying instant turf, because you need to water the turf more to get it to take, than what you need to water the plant.

How to prevent wet feet

There are many myths such as sloping ground, digging bigger holes, not watering plants etc that are believed to prevent wet feet.  They do not work, the only thing that will save your plants is to use hardy plants in poor drainage areas or make a drainage solution for your plants.

There are three main drainage solutions that you can apply.  For more information on these, see the information sheet at at Hello Hello, from which this article has been sourced.

You can purchase soil and sand from the DIY Bargain Bin Soil, Rocks, Stones, Fill, Bark section and your plants from the DIY Bargain Bin Turf, Grass, Plants, Seeds, Bulbs, Trees, Pots & Planters section.