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Friday, October 16, 2009

Gardening Tips and Tricks

. Friday, October 16, 2009

Gardening Tips and Tricks For Late Autumn
By Karen L Cole Platinum Quality Author

Preparing for the Winter Months: Gardening in October

When you feel that first solid bite in the breeze and you see the songbirds winging their way south, and the trees are bursting with fire-laden hues, you know you can't be spending the weekend curled up by the fireplace with a good book. Not for long.

While the weather is still gardener-friendly, you must shorten your "to-do" lists for the coming of late fall and early winter. Now is the time to attack your lawn and garden by planting your spring bulbs, buying and maintaining your trees and shrubs, doing your late autumn lawn care, using common-sense watering strategies, building a compost bin and making your own compost, controlling the many common garden pests, and winning at the weed-whacking war before the sudden onset of the fickle, cold and all-enveloping winter season.

Planting Your Perennials

Plant the spring-flowering bulbs until the ground becomes frozen, and prepare your tender but tenacious perennials for the coming seasonal changes. Remember that in the milder climates, bulbs can still be divided and transplanted. Plant hardy bulbs anytime before the soil freezes, but it's best to plant them early enough so the root systems can grow before winter arrives. In some climates, you can plant until Thanksgiving or even Christmas. Late-planted bulbs develop roots in the spring, and may bloom late. But they'll arrive on time by next year.

Be sure to position the bulbs at their proper depth. They must be planted so their bottoms rest at a depth two-and-a-half times each bulb's diameter. In well-drained or sandy soil, plant an inch or two deeper to increase life and discourage rodents.

Choosing Your Trees and Shrubs

October is a wonderful time to shop for trees and shrubs at the nursery. They're now showing their best and brightest colors there. You can plant them now and over the next few months, so that strong, healthy roots will grow over the winter.

You must carefully plan out your landscape to choose which trees you wish to plant for providing proper lawn coverage and the most beautiful scenery. When an appropriate tree is purchased, selected and planted in the right place, it frames your home and beautifies your land, making both more enjoyable. Trees can greatly increase the resale value of property, and even save you on energy costs.

Visualize your new trees at maturity while realizing that some trees develop as much width as height if given enough space to develop. Picture each tree's size and shape in relation to the overall landscape and the size and style of your home. Trees peaking at forty feet do best near or behind a one-story home. Taller trees blend with two-story houses and large lots. Trees under thirty feet tall suit street side locations, small lots and enclosed areas such as decks and patios.

There are two basic types of trees you will be considering for purchase. Deciduous trees include large shade trees which frame areas with a cool summer canopy and a colorful autumn rack of superior colors. In winter, their silhouettes provide passage for sunlight. These trees can shade a southern exposure from summertime heat, and allow winter sunlight to warm the house. Evergreen trees have dense green foliage that suits them for planting as privacy screens, windbreaks or backdrops for flowering trees and shrubs. But they are handsome enough to stand alone. They do not lose their leaves, called needles, and provide year-round shelter and color. You should be sure to include a wide variety of both kinds of trees in your landscape to avoid losing them to diseases or pests. Buy disease- and pest-resistant trees.

When buying a tree, look for healthy green leaves if it has any, and also well-developed top growth. Branches should be unbroken and balanced around the trunk, and on dormant or bare-root stock they should be pliable. Examine the roots, which should form a balanced, fully-formed mass. Reject trees with broken or dried-out roots. Avoid trees showing signs of disease, pests or stress such as wilting, discoloration, misshapen leaves, scarred bark and nonvigorous growth. Consider the size of the tree. Young trees have a better rate of success when planted, and most flowering trees grow quickly, so start with less expensive, smaller specimens. And be sure and buy all your plants from a good quality nursery with a decent reputation.

Don't prune a newly planted tree unless its form needs improving. Prune flowering trees in spring, after blooming, to correct unsightly problems. Crab apple trees are an exception and should be pruned in late winter. But you can remove diseased or dead branches anytime of the year, and much of this is done during the winter. Apply fertilizer when needed in the second and subsequent growing seasons. Mulch to conserve moisture, reduce weeds and eliminate mowing near the tree. Spread wood chips or bark four inches deep and as wide as the tree's canopy around the base. But don't mulch poorly drained over saturated soil. Wrap tree trunks after planting to prevent winter damage from weather and pests. And stake young trees, especially bare-root trees and evergreens, to fortify them against strong winds. Stake loosely and allow the tree to bend slightly, and remove stakes after one year.

Shrubs are often planted and used merely as foundation plants or privacy screens. But shrubbery foliage is vastly more versatile, and can go a long way toward livening up your landscaping. Countless varieties of gorgeously hued and beautifully leafed shrubs are available through nurseries and garden catalogs.

You must start by learning what varieties thrive in your area. Try visiting your local arboretum, where you may view different kinds of shrubs and decide whether they fit your gardening plans. Decide what overall look you want at different times of the year, and then find out which shrubs will be flowering, producing berries or sporting colorful foliage at those times. Compare what you find to the inventory at your local nursery, and ask the professionals who work there lots of questions.

Understand the characteristics of each shrub before you plant it. Flowering and fruit-bearing shrubs enhance a new home, but improper pruning and care will ruin the beauty of all your hard work. Some shrubs bloom on second- or third-year wood. If you're maintaining a shrub because you're hoping it's going to blossom, but you're cutting off first-year wood every year, it's never going to bloom.

Some varieties are a foot tall at maturity, while others reach over fifteen feet. A large shrub will usually require more pruning. Also determine the plant's ability to tolerate various soil conditions, wind, sun and shade. You don't put a plant that's sensitive to the elements in an open area. Use hardier plants to shelter it.

Not all shrubs work in every climate. Witch hazel, for example, blooms in fall or winter and is hardiest where minimum temperatures range from thirty degrees below zero to twenty degrees above. It would not be a good choice for very dry, hot climates. But some shrubs such as buddleia, hydrangea and spirea perform well across a wide range of growing zones.

Late Autumn Lawn Care

Aerate lawns in mid- to late-October, while the grass can recover easily. If you core aerate, make your cores three inches deep, spaced about every six inches. Break up the cores and spread them around. If your lawn needs it, thatch and follow with a fall or winter fertilizer. Even if thatching isn't needed, your lawn will be happy for a dusting of fertilizer to help roots gain strength before the spring growing season. Overseed bald patches or whole lawns as needed. Rake and compost leaves as they fall, as well as grass clippings from mowing. If left on the ground now, they'll make a wet, slippery mess that's inviting to pests.

Good gardeners use heavy-duty molded plastic for shaping neat edges of beds. You can buy these from garden centers, nurseries and mail order suppliers in rolls of flat, four- to six-inch-tall plastic, and the edging installs easily. You'll save yourself countless hours of removing grass and weeds that otherwise creep into your beds.

Watering Your Lawn and Garden

You can't forget about watering in the middle of fall. The summer's long over, but proper moisture now is key to your plants' survival over the cold winter months. You're likely to hear two pieces of advice on watering. One is that you should give established plants an inch of water per week, whether from rain or irrigation. The other is that personal observation of your own garden is the only way to judge how much water it needs. One fact about which there is more agreement: the ideal is to maintain constant moisture, not a cycle of wet soil followed by dry soil.

Although overwatering can be as big a problem as underwatering, most gardeners err on the side of too little. Your needs will vary through the year depending on the rate of evapotranspiration in your garden. Evapotranspiration refers to the two ways that plants lose water. There's evaporation, the loss of water to the air from soil, water and other surfaces. Then the other way is called transpiration, or water lost primarily from the leaves and stems of the plants. You can often obtain evapotranspiration rates for local areas from water departments and other agencies. You will see a graphic description of how a plant's natural need for water changes during the growing season.

In the meantime, keep these pointers in mind:

1) Water when it's needed, not according to the calendar. Check the top six inches of the soil. If it's dry and falls apart easily, water. Your plants will also show signs that they need water. Wilting, curling or brown leaves mean that your plants may lack adequate water. Meanwhile, bear in mind that excess water creates a lack of oxygen in plants, making them show similar symptoms to underwatering.

2) Water slowly, not more than one-half inch of water per hour. Too much water can be lost to runoff. This is why handheld watering cans or handheld hoses generally work only for watering small areas.

3) Water deeply. With established vegetables and flowers, six inches is a minimum. With trees and shrubs, water one to two feet or more. Shallow watering does more harm than good; it discourages plants from developing the deep roots they need to find their own water. Except when you are watering seedlings, soil should never be wet only in the top layer.

The increased use of piped municipal water and the invention of sprinklers have made mechanical irrigation the most commonly used watering method, particularly for lawns and large areas. Sprinkler irrigation works best with well-draining soils and shallow-rooted plants, or where a cooling effect is desired. But sprinklers have several disadvantages. They waste water, since much of it is sprayed on areas other than the root zone around the plant. Because much of the water is thrown high in the air, loss due to evaporation can be significant. Sprinklers can also foster fungal diseases and other problems with some plants such as roses that don't like having wet foliage. Sprinklers require good water pressure and are best used on plants which are not in bloom. Several types of sprinklers are available.

Building a Bin and Making Your Own Compost

A bin will contain your compost pile and make it more attractive as well as keep it from spilling or blowing over into your yard. A circular or square structure can be made from fencing wire. The idea is to push the compost material together to make it heat up and rot properly. The bin should be at least three feet wide and three feet deep to provide enough space for the spreading material. Use untreated wood or metal fence posts for the corners and wrap sturdy wire fencing around them. The fence mesh should be small enough that rotting materials won't fall out. When the compost is ready, unwind the wire and scoop from the bottom of the pile. Then re-pile the undecomposed material and wrap the wire back around the heap.

Many hard-core gardeners feel that three compost bins are the best for serious composting. By building a trio of bins you can compost in stages: one bin will be ready, one will be brewing and one will always be starting. Installing a cover, such as a plastic tarp or a piece of wood, helps to cut odor, control moisture and keep out wild pests. You will also want to use the right ingredients for a proper, lovely smelling rotting compost heap.

It's easy to cook up your own pile. At first, layer grass clippings with a dash of leaves and twigs to create a concoction that turns into humus, the best plant food. Added ingredients for the compost comes from everyday waste in the kitchen and yard. But avoid any items that ruin your compost. Use green materials such as fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, and grass and plant clippings; and brown materials, such as leaves, wood and bark chips, shredded newspaper, straw and sawdust from untreated wood. Avoid using any meat, oil, fat, grease, diseased plants, sawdust or chips from pressure-treated wood, dog or cat feces, weeds that go to seed or dairy products. These can befoul, spoil and make smelly and rancid a perfectly good productive compost heap.

There are two types of composting: cold and hot. Cold composting is as simple as piling up your yard waste or taking out the organic materials in your trash such as fruit and vegetable peels, coffee grounds or egg shells and then piling them in your yard. Over the course of a year or so, the material will decompose. Hot composting is for the more serious gardener; you'll get compost in one to three months during warm weather. Four ingredients are required for fast-cooking hot compost: nitrogen, carbon, air and water. These items feed microorganisms, which speed up the process of decay.

Concentrated Pest Control

Slugs and other pests don't disappear as the weather gets cooler. You'll find them at all life stages in October, from eggs to youngsters and adults. For slugs, use whatever measures you prefer, salt, slug bait or saucers of beer to eliminate them. It's best to catch them at the early stages to stop the reproduction cycle. And keep the ground well-raked and tidied to reduce their natural habitat.

Here's a list of common garden pests and how to control them:

Thrips: Adult thrips are about one-sixteenth-inch long and have dark bodies with four fringed wings. Their size makes them difficult to detect in the garden. They attack young leaves, flower stalks and buds. Spray young foliage, developing buds and the soil around the bush with an insecticide containing acephate.

Cane borer: This insect is the maggot of the eggs laid by sawflies or carpenter bees in the freshly-cut cane of the rose after pruning. One telltale sign is a neatly-punctured hole visible on the top of the cane. To remove the pest, cut several inches down the cane until there are no more signs of the maggot or pith-eaten core. Seal all pruning cuts with pruning sealer.

Japanese beetle, Fuller rose beetle: These will eat parts of the foliage and sometimes the flowers. Pick beetles off the bush by hand. Or spray foliage and flowers with an insecticide containing acepate or malathion.

Leaf miner: This insect can be spotted on foliage by the appearance of irregular white chain-like blisters containing its grub. Remove foliage and discard it to prevent further infestation.

Spittle bug: This small, greenish-yellow insect hides inside a circular mass of white foam on the surface of new stems, usually during the development of the first bloom cycle in early spring. Spray a jet of water to remove the foam and the insect.

Roseslug: When you see new foliage with a skeletonized pattern, indicating that it has been eaten, chances are it's the roseslug. Remove the infected foliage and spray with insecticidal soap or an insecticide that contains acephate.

Leaf cutter bee: As its name implies, this very small yellowish-green insect jumps on the undersides of foliage to feast, often leaving its white skin behind. The damage caused by this insect often results in defoliation. Use an insecticide containing acephate or malathion to prevent it from establishing a strong colony.

Rose scale: This insect hides under gray scales, normally on old canes or stems. It feeds by sucking the sap, weakening the plant. If the infestation is localized, try removing it with a fingernail. Or spray with an insecticide containing acephate.

Weed Whacking Made Easy

Actually, this is a slight exaggeration. There's no rest for the wicked. Keep staying ahead of your nasty weeds all this and next month. They serve as Home Sweet Home for all manner of pests and bugs, and destroying them before they flower and seed will save you much work in the future.

Preparation is the key. All gardeners know what it's like to have their yards invaded by unwelcome plants. Although there's no really easy way to banish weeds, there are a few solid techniques you can use to reclaim your turf. At the very least, you can limit this utmost in hostile takeovers.

Here is a simple outline of effective battle strategies you can use in the fall:

1) Be a mulching maniac. Mulch acts as a suffocating blanket by preventing light from reaching weed seeds. At the same time, it holds moisture for your plants and provides nutrients for your soil as it decomposes. Apply coarse mulch, such as bark or wood chips, directly onto soil. Leaves, grass clippings, or straw work better as a weed deterrent with a separating layer of newspaper, cardboard or fabric between them and the soil.

2) Water those weeds. Pulling weeds is easier and more efficient when the soil is moist. You are more likely to get the whole root system, and your yanking won't disturb surrounding plants as much either. No rain? Turn on the sprinkler or even water individual weeds, leave for a few hours and then get your hands dirty. Just ignore the strange looks from your neighbors as you lovingly water your weeds.

3) Cut weeds down in their prime. Weeds love open soil. But if you till or cultivate and then wait to plant, you can outmaneuver the weeds. Till the ground at least twice before you plant. Your first digging will bring dormant weed seeds to the surface where they can germinate. Watch and wait for a few weeks until they begin to grow. Then slice up the weeds again with a tiller or a hoe, only don't dig as deep. Now it should be safe to put precious plants into the soil.

4) Pass the salt. Try sweeping rock salt into crevices between paths. Although more harsh, borax also works well. Be sure to wear rubber gloves with the latter material. You might need to apply a few doses, but be aware of any surrounding plants because both products kill the good plants along with the bad.

Food for Thought

In addition to performing these autumnal lawn and garden duties, you may want to harvest your fall vegetables such as the perennial squashes. Do a taste test and harvest them when flavor is at its peak. If you'd like to extend the harvest of carrots, turnips and other root vegetables, leave some in the ground to mulch as the weather gets colder. Early next month, before temperatures drop too much, seed cover crops such as clover, peas or vetch to enrich the soil. It will serve as a natural fertilizer, stifle weed growth and help loosen up the soil for next year's crops.

As for your houseplants that you've put outside for the summer, if September was mild enough that your geraniums and other such plants are still outdoors, be sure to make them cozy inside before the first frost takes a bite out of them. Take geranium cuttings of two to four inches to root indoors. If you treat houseplants chemically, be sure to keep them warm and away from direct sunlight. Fertilize houseplants now and they won't need it again until March. And remember to get your poinsettias and your Thanksgiving and Christmas cacti ready for well-timed holiday color. Give them a daily dose of ten hours of bright daylight or four hours of direct sun and fourteen hours of night darkness. Cacti need a cool environment of fifty to sixty degrees, while poinsettias prefer a warmer sixty-five to seventy degrees. Be sure and let your cacti dry out between waterings.

For a true gardenaholic, winter is often considered to be the enemy. But with a few steps toward preparation in the early- to mid-fall, you can take care of your lawn, garden and houseplants in a way that will keep them thriving and surviving until the dawning of yet another most welcome and bountiful springtime.

The information in this article was gleaned from the MSN House and Home website and the Better Homes and Gardens website.

RAINBOW WRITING, INC. -- featuring Karen Cole, copy editor, ghost writer and book author. We are inexpensive professional freelance and contracted book authors, copywriters, ghostwriters, copyeditors, proofreaders, manuscript rewriters, coauthors, graphics and CAD artists, publishing helpers, and screenplay writers/editors/helpers with producing and selling screenplays.


Plant an Apple Seed


Plant an Apple Seed - Grow an Apple Tree
By Ben Carlsen Platinum Quality Author

The Bible says: "Whatever ye sow, so shall ye reap." Sometimes we forget this simple advice. Plant the seeds of responsibility, pride, and accomplishment and you should be able to receive a harvest of these attitudes and behaviors. Plant the seeds of negativity and despair or hopelessness and you'll likely get those too.

You Get What You Deserve

Some people have unrealistic expectations. Remember the pop definition of insanity - "To keep doing the same thing and expect different results"? This popular saying contains more than a grain of truth. Your actions will cause results which are in accordance with those actions. So, back to the analogy: plant an apple seed - grow an apple tree. If you want bananas, plant a banana tree.

Organization Culture

The culture of an organization is in large measure a reflection of its leadership.

Managers have a responsibility to provide effective leadership. Your actions as a leader will ultimately affect your organization and the people in it. Part of leadership is to inspire and motivate. If you, as a manager, plant the seeds of motivation and inspiration, you can, with proper care expect to grow a healthy crop of both. There are always weeds, insects, disease, blight, drought, etc., to contend with, so you need to take special care, and preventative actions. And, bad morale can spread like wildfire.

On the other hand, building a positive organization with a "can do" attitude takes patience and support. Because there are so many bad managers, employees typically mistrust their organizational leadership. You will have to "win them over" by consistently nurturing what you want to grow.

Organization Success

The success of your enterprise is a result of many factors. However, the most important one may be your attitude. Just like individual success depends on attitude so does corporate success. The initiatives and projects you endorse and support will more than likely succeed. Those that you ignore will be ignored by your employees. The seeds you plant include: interest, enthusiasm, confidence, success, persistence, achievement, etc. These are your apple seeds. If you inadvertently, or purposefully, plant other seeds, you'll produce entirely different results. Likewise if you focus on one result but expect another you should not be surprised at the outcome.

You can also plant the seeds of contempt, mistrust, and negativity. Expect to get a "bumper crop"!

The seeds of success are often simple and straight-forward. Plant an apple seed and expect an apple tree. Enjoy your "Golden Delicious."

Ben A. Carlsen, Ed.D, MBA, is an experienced CEO and manager. Dr. Carlsen has over 30 years experience in management, consulting, and teaching. Currently the Head of the Business Department at Everest Institute, Hialeah, FL., he was Chairman of the Los Angeles County Productivity Managers Network and President of the Association for Systems Management (So. Calif. Chapter). Additional information can be obtained at

Ben Carlsen - EzineArticles Expert Author


Combining Beekeeping And Apple Orchards


Combining Beekeeping And Apple Orchards - 5 Tips For Double Benefits
By Abhishek Agarwal

1. The different ways apples are consumed
Apple orchards are all over the country and this is where the super markets procure their apples from. Apples are a very popular fruit and products made from apples are also widely consumed. There is apple sauce, apple cider, apple juice and then there are baked items with apples like apple pies and apple cakes. Apples are a favorite fruit of many and are good for all kinds of health conditions with no restrictions because of medical reasons on this fruit. It would definitely have been a very different incomplete world without apples!

2. Fall time is apple season
The apple tree looks picturesque and beautiful in every season, with apple blossoms filling the apple trees in spring, with their sweet fragrance; in summer the tree is full of lush green leaves; the tree is fully laden and in the winter the branches which are spreading far and wide are covered with layers of snow and in fall the juicy apples glisten in the sun ready to be picked. People who have been admiring this beautiful tree are also taken up with an other aspect, which is that they do not see anyone working in the orchards right through the year expect when the trees are laden with fruit and at that time it is to pick the fruit. This shows them that there is really not much work right through the year except at fruit picking time! With this in mind apple orchards are bought up as soon as they are put up for sale.

3. An apple orchard requires a lot of care in reality
Actually an apple orchard, unlike the impression that people have, is a lot of hard work. It is really not easy money as people imagine it to be. These trees have to pruned regularly; they have to sprayed to protect them from pests; a lot of maintenance work is required as the older unproductive trees have to be removed and new trees have to be planted in their place. So there is a lot of work that goes into maintaining an apple orchard and just looking at the end result isn't all there is to it.

4. A larger orchard means larger gains
Experts in agricultural business feel that an apple orchard should be a minimum ten acres to yield good returns and at least break even. So any new buyer has to think about the size of the orchard when he plans on getting himself an apple orchard. A larger orchard would mean better returns but it also means more expenses as more equipment would be needed, more helping hands would have to be hired, there would be more new trees being planted in place of older ones that have stopped yielding fruits and then more pesticides and nutrients would also be required for a larger area. So for better profits there would have to be larger investments by way of time, money and effort.

5. Newcomers should not invest in an apple orchard during spring
Spring time when the apples blossoms are in bloom is definitely the wrong time for new comers to buy an orchard. This is the time when the flowers have to be pollinated for the tree to bear fruit. Though the flowers do get pollinated with the wind and birds and other insects, there is nothing like the hard working bee to do a much more effective job of pollinating the flowers. It would not do to depend on the bees in that locality to carry out the pollination; instead it would be much better to hire out the services of bees from local bee hive owners. These owners will set up the hives in the orchards and the pollination will be much faster and much more effective.

Abhishek is an avid Bee Keeping enthusiast and he has got some great Beekeeping Secrets up his sleeve! Download his FREE 59 Pages Ebook, "How To Become A Bee-Keeping Pro!" from his website Only limited Free Copies available.


How To Plant And Care For A New Tree


How To Plant And Care For A New Tree
By Jamie Woo

Here are some general steps in planting and caring for a new tree. You first need to decide what kind of fruit tree you want to plant, and where you want to plant it. If you buy a young tree from the nursery, take care when you are transporting it on the way home. Once you have gotten the tree safely to your home premises, inspect the root plate to gauge how large the hole you need to dig will be. Also, make sure you double check the leaves and branches to rule out any signs of disease.

You should dig the hole twice as wide as the diameter of the root plate and just a little less deep to allow enough room for the soil that you dug out earlier, to be put back in. Otherwise, you could end up with a large amount of soil, with which you have nowhere to put it. Before putting the soil back in, it's a good idea to sprinkle some fertilizer or compost into the hole just so that the soil gets some buffering. Your tree will also need the extra nutrients during this transitional period. When all is ready, set the tree into the hole, and spread the roots out evenly, making sure the tree is stable and secure. If necessary, prop it up for a week or so using some wooden stakes so it doesn't topple over.

If you do use wooden stakes, tie the tree to it with some rope, being careful not to tie the rope too tightly, since the tree needs room to grow. How long the stakes should be left on? When the tree appears stable and sturdy enough to hold its position through most types of weather conditions, you can remove the stakes. After the stakes come off, you should mulch around its base. If you live in an area where there are frequent wildlife sightings, consider putting up a fence around your tree, because some animals can strip the bark off your tree!

The fact of the matter is that pests can ruin your plantings if you're not vigilant enough. Pests can be large or small, seen or unseen. Bugs, caterpillars, raccoons, moles, certain species of birds, and deer, all these can turn out to be pests, given the moment. The most destructive pests are certain kinds of bugs and moth larvae; these usually eat the leaves of your tree, and in heavy infestations, can kill your tree within a couple of weeks. To help keep these pests away, keep the surroundings of the tree free of decaying plant debris, as these can breed bugs that may consider your tree a much more attractive option, and perform regular inspections for any tell-tale signs of infestation. Some spraying of chemicals may be carried out, as long as you use them very sparingly, and only if the threat or infestation is serious.

To make sure that your tree always stays healthy, try pruning it during winter or early spring. These are the times when your tree is not really expanding a lot of energy to grow, and so the impact is lesser. When it comes to watering your tree, stick to once a week, although when you first plant it, you may water it once every few days, especially if the weather is hot, and the soil drainage is good. When mowing your lawn, be careful not to hit it with the lawn mower; your tree may suffer irreparable damage!

If you planted a fruit tree, remember that it takes on average, 3 to 5 years before you actually get to see any fruit. This is certainly the case with apple trees. It's not really such a long time to wait, and if you tend to its needs now, it will grow strong and healthy, and thus capable of bearing good fruit later on. You should not worry if your tree takes a while to bear fruit, because some years, healthy trees may not seem to bear as much fruit as other years. This is perfectly natural, and not something to be alarmed about. Just don't forget to enjoy the fruits of your labor!

Jamie Woo is a prolific writer and designer who is very much into gardening, bonsai, and healthy lifestyles. He guests blogs for a number of blogs and is also a co-writer on Gardening Site


Apple Bonsai Tree


Apple Bonsai Tree - A Cool Tree to Have
By Kerry Ng Platinum Quality Author

It's hard to understand and appreciate the beauty of an apple bonsai tree unless you see it. It is so cute as well as beautiful to see those tiny apples hanging off its miniature branches. The apple bonsai tree it so beautiful, that those who grow it, try to keep it away from the eyes of other people, lest their curiosity and admiration will harm it. Some of these owners jealously guard their prize tree from people, while some of the other owners proudly display these trees in their homes for all to see. One thing for sure, the apple bonsai tree definitely makes for one great conversation piece.

How to Properly Grow an Apple Bonsai Tree

To grow a bonsai tree properly, utmost care and precision are required. The bonsai is an art originated by the Chinese but perfected and marketed to the world by the Japanese. While the Chinese are considered exceptional in wisdom and ingenuity, it is the Japanese who have the extreme patience and care, as well as the ability to perfect a task. As a result of this, the art of bonsai it is more attached to the Japanese culture than that of the Chinese culture. Growing a bonsai tree does require a lot of patience, but the rewards are well worth it.

The art of growing an apple bonsai tree is not much different than growing a bonsai tree in general. However, because we now live in an instant gratification society, Western man in his zeal to make things easy on all aspects possible has now brought out the "hybrid" apple bonsai tree. These trees can almost grow all by themselves with the least effort and care. The only thing you have to keep an eye on is to check its growth effectively and to twist its trunk, so that it looks like a miniature version of a tree that grew out in the wild.

The apple bonsai tree is a very sturdy tree that does not require much attention during the winter months. However, since it is kept in shallow pots, there is a real danger of having its roots frosted over. So great care is required to make sure that this doesn't happen. During the cold winter months it is a good idea to have the trees placed in a warm and protected area.

When the tree is in its growing stage, it will need to be pruned continuously and also changed from one place to a bigger placed as the tree fills its plate. When it finally reaches its desired size, the roots will have to be trimmed on a regular basis, which will ensure that its height gets stunted.

The beauty of the apple bonsai tree is that once the growth is stunted, all the other parts will get stunted too. As a result, the apple bonsai tree will have miniature leaves, miniature flowers and miniature fruits too. It is very cool to watch the miracle of nature unfold right before your very eyes.

Kerry Ng is a successful Webmaster and publisher of The Bonsai Blog. Click here for more great helpful information about the Bonsai:


How To Keep A Deciduous Tree Healthy


How To Keep A Deciduous Tree Healthy
By Patrick Desnoyers Platinum Quality Author

Deciduous trees thrive in a variety of climates. They are a hearty lot of trees but proper care is necessary to see that your deciduous trees flourish and survive.

Call it being proactive, call it using your green-thumb, call it common horticultural knowledge. However you choose to see it, becoming deciduous-tree savvy is needed, and fairly easy to do. If you are unfamiliar with how to care for your deciduous trees, read on to build a knowledge-base to keep your trees healthy and promote longevity.

Many deciduous trees, fruit trees especially, can survive in mountain regions-such as the apple tree or cherry tree, for instance. The apple tree requires extra chilling and cooler summer temps, so mountain regions offer this weather-bound setting. Many mountain regions, however, suffer from a risk of late frosts. Desert locations are another potential location for deciduous fruit trees. You rule out late frosts, for the most part anyway. Yet, mountain or foothill regions are, by far, a fairer location to plant deciduous trees.

When you plant your deciduous trees, choose a location with lots of sunlight and, if possible, protected from high winds. This will aid protecting trees during any unfortunate storms that blow across the region.

Some deciduous fruit trees require cross-pollination in order for the fruit tree to germinate and bud. Be certain that you find a compatible pollinator. You can do this by using a two-in-one or three-in-one grafted tree can be used. See your local nursery for further details.

Just as taking a proactive mindset to your planting is key, it's also a good idea to label varieties. If, for instance, a tree dies, you can quickly replace it. Having a backup map with written labels is another good idea, in the event that labels are lost or damaged due to inclement weather conditions.

Deciduous fruit trees should be pruned annually. Do so before buds swell. This promotes optimal growth and yield. Pruning, although sometimes arduous, doesn't need to be a complicated endeavor. Again, it's a matter of doing a little research, become familiar with the trees life cycle.

Three pruning phases are necessary for deciduous fruit trees. The first phase occurs during the planting phase of the tree. The goal is to help the tree create a vase-shaped structure. Also, when visiting a local nursery, be certain to purchase trees with well-developed root structures. Even though the upper portion of the tree might catch your eye when shopping for a hearty-looking tree, if the root system is weak, you may have trouble harvesting deciduous fruit trees.

The second pruning phase begins once the first year of growth is complete. Prune back your tree and cut it into scaffolds. This layering of branches promotes the greatest yield. Create some gaps, but don't prune back too much.

The third phase of pruning occurs once a tree reaches maturity, anywhere from 5-7 years for most deciduous trees. Prune the tree for fruit production during this phase. Pruning, again, needs to be focused on layering, or designing well-spaced scaffolding for fruit development and growth.

For more information on pruning fruit trees, contact the UC Cooperative Extension in Bakersfield, California. They have a 47-page journal entitled Pruning Fruit and Nut Trees. You can also contact your local nursery to gain further information on caring for deciduous trees in your area.

Avid full time hobby bonsai grower. As been practicing bonsai and gardening for more then 8 years. Owner of, a website with ressource for Bonsai seeds and tree seeds.


Simple Tips For Choosing A Tree For Your Garden


Simple Tips For Choosing A Tree For Your Garden
By Darren Lintern Platinum Quality Author

Your region and geography will determine the assortment of trees for your landscaping design. But you'll certainly still have a load of options.

It is always wise to select a species that occurs naturally to your region, as this will capitalize on your likelihood of success and lessen the need for care.

If you reside in the Northeast, you can grow a hemlock tree and benefit from its thin, loose foliage for years to come. Or you could choice a cedar for its bright green, thick foliage that offers delightful colour and abundant shade. Spruce is a further well liked option. The green-grey needles provide a pretty Christmas tree shape.

The red maple is associated with New England. And for good cause - they are the foremost contributor to the seasonal landscapes. There are a variety of species to select from and they only require a modest amount of care. Just prepare yourself to rake those leaves in late fall.

Southern California has a variety of landscaping species to select form, including oak, pine, eucalyptus, while Northern California is home to the fir, pine, and redwood.

It can often be desirable to complement your design landscaping will specialty fruit trees. Here is a selection of species that will differ according to your region.

Cherry trees aren't grown everywhere, but are able to flourish in Missouri, Virginia, Oregon, and other regions of the country. They create an abundance of striking white-pink flowers, and the fruit is a liked by many.

Apple trees thrive in Northern Idaho and Washington. Lemon, citrus, and orange trees for example, will soak up the sun in Florida or California. Peaches do great in Georgia, of course, but still prosper in California as well.

It is important to remember that no matter the species you select, it is likely that you'll need to take on some pruning tasks within a few years.

With only the rare exceptions, trees that have been located in close proximity to a property will frequently need their branches to be pruned, as this will reduce the possibility of wind damage or fire hazard risk. Several specialty trees will insist on being pruned in order to maintain healthy production of fruits year after year.

Factor in your choice the quantity of fertilizer and water, or chemical assistance required. Cherry and apple trees thrive on plenty of water; hemlock and pine are able to receive what the need from the ground. Certain trees are prone to particular bug infestations. They may require frequent pruning or spraying to remain healthy.

Darren Lintern writes extensively for, a popular informational website that provides helpful tips, advice, and resources on many gardening topics including Tree Trimming, and Climbing Vines.