Browse Category: Tropical Style

Can You Kill Grapevines With Rock Salt?

Grapes (Vitis vinifera) can be a smart addition to the edible garden, but might be difficult to eliminate whenever your needs change. Wild grapevines can be invasive, too. Most types of grapevine grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. Rock salt will kill grapevines and it’ll also kill everything else in the area. It can take a long time to flush salt in the ground.

Water Vampire

Rock salt causes grapevines to dehydrate and die. The grapevine roots bring the salt to the plant, along with water. Once in the plant, the rock salt prevents photosynthesis and disrupts the grapevine’s capability to distribute water throughout the plant. Basically, the grapevine dies of dehydration.

The Getaway

Rock salt will kill all plants in the same manner. Water from rain or watering dissolves the salt and spreads it farther in the dirt. Any plants which come in contact with the rock salt will also be killed. It can take years for the rock salt to be diluted and flushed from the soil so plants can grow again. Unless you don’t ever want to develop anything in that region again, you’re better off with another method to kill the grapevine.

No Food

Reducing grapevines down could be an effective method of removal, even though it takes time. The grapevine should be cut at the root, only above ground level. Every vine coming out of the root must be cut to work. The severed vines will dry and become easier to eliminate from whatever they’ve attached to. The roots will try to send up new vines, which need to be cut down quickly. Once the grapevines are severed, the roots will not have a supply of energy in the photosynthesis and will eventually die.

Sun Visor

Grapevines need sunlight and don’t do well in full shade. It is also likely to kill them by packing them, although this will take a few years to kill the grapevine. Covering an whole grapevine might not be functional, but combining shade with cutting grapevines can be effective. When the severed root tries to send up a new vine, the shade stops the newest vine from prospering and supplying the root with sufficient energy to develop. Severed roots could be shaded by mulch along with other plants or things like tarps or thick plastic.

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How Far Away from a Propane Tank Should Shrubs Be Placed?

A propane tank is a quality example of a essential utility product which adds little to the beauty of a landscape. Landscaping around the cylinder can mask the eyesore, but careful planning is needed to achieve both functionality and attractiveness. Good plant selection and spacing are crucial to ensure success.

Proper Strategy

Planning before planting is an integral element in successfully landscaping around a propane tank. Because the cylinder must be serviced or filled on a regular basis, plenty of space is necessary to get the cylinder easily. Mark all above-ground and below-ground propane line locations as well as other utility line locations, and keep a list of them for future reference. Studying plants before putting them around the cylinder is vital. Knowing their characteristics, such as growth rates, ultimate size and hardiness, can eliminate future issues.

Plant Choice

Correct plant choice is key to any successful landscape, but especially when trying to hide a utility item such as a propane tank. Upright evergreen shrubs with a thick branching structure can provide year-round cover and act as a backdrop for any flowering plants you may want to plant in front of them. Plants with thorns must be kept further from the cylinder to ensure employees have protected access to the cylinder.

Space Requirements

Spacing of plants around a propane tank impacts the landscape’s aesthetic beauty and the cylinder’s serviceability. Because plants grow, it’s very important to know a plant’s mature size before planting. Place shrubs far enough from the cylinder to allow simple access into the tank for maintenance and filling. A rule of thumb when planting is to space shrubs so that when they are mature they will be around 3 or 4 feet apart from each other and about 5 feet from the cylinder.

Other Factors

Although one objective of putting shrubs about a propane tank is to beautify an otherwise unsightly attribute, safety should also be kept in mind. Placing shrubs too near a propane tank, especially shrubs with dry leaf, such as ornamental grasses, may increase the site’s fire danger. The use of an organic or inorganic mulch around 5 or 6 feet between the cylinder and all landscaping may create a fire break before flames could get to the tank.

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Which type of Tiger Lily Is Yellow & Red?

The tiger lily (Lilium columbianum) is grown from seed and requires three to five years to produce small flowers, 2 inches round, featuring orange petals with dark spots. It doesn’t arrive in a yellow and red selection. However, there are numerous lilies with large blossoms in red and yellow which are also easier to grow than tiger lilies. True lilies come in the genus Lilum, but many other comparable flowers are generally thought of as lilies and the word “lily” appears within their common names.

Dwarf Asiatic Lily

Varieties of dwarf Asiatic lily (Lilium) bear large striking bi-colored flowers in red and yellow in mid-summer. “Tiny Sensation” has lemon-yellow petals spotted with a brilliant red and rises 12 to 14 inches tall. “Tiny Orange Sensation” grows 14 to 16 inches tall, with flowers that have orangish-yellow and crimson-red petals. Both thrive in full sunlight or partial shade, are outstanding selections for rock gardens or borders and also grow in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 9.

Daylilies in the Trophytaker Collection

Distinctive varieties of daylilies (Hemerocallis) in the Trophytaker collection have large blossoms with wide red petals and bright yellow centers. “Siloam Justine Lee” blossoms in early through mid-summer using cherry-red flowers. It grows 12 to 16 inches tall in USDA hardiness zones 2 through 9. “Royal Occasion” has burgundy-red flowers from mid-summer through late summer and rises 23 to 25 inches tall in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9. Both flowers grow in full sunlight or partial shade.

Daylilies in the Happy Ever Appster Collection

Eye-catching types of daylilies in the Happy Ever Appster collection screen everblooming blossoms in hues of red and yellow. “Romantic Returns” grows 21 to 23 inches tall and attributes coral-rose petals with creamy yellow centers that bloom from early summer through mid-fall. “When My Sweetheart Returns” displays cream petals with a bold rose ring and bright yellow centers from mid-summer through mid-fall. It rises 14 to 16 inches tall. Both blossoms have distinguishing ruffled petals, flourish in full sunlight to partial shade and grow in USDA hardiness zones 2 through 9.


Several torchlily varieties (Kniphofia), also known as red-hot pokers, have quite large bottlebrush heads with yellow in the bottom and red flowers on top. “Royal Castle” attains 31 to 35 inches tall and blooms from late spring through the summer. “Flamenco” rises 29 to 35 inches tall and blooms in early summer through early fall. Both these evergreens thrive in full sunlight, grow in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 9, and bring hummingbirds.

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Uses of Daisy Fleabane

From late spring through midsummer, daisy fleabane (Erigeron speciosus) blossoms profusely. This North American native plant brings color to naturalized areas and garden settings. A biennial or short-lived perennial, daisy fleabane is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2b through 9b.

Plant Characteristics

Daisy fleabane flowers are small, about 1/2 inch in diameter and resemble a daisy with several beams extending from the middle. It’s similarity to the common daisy is no injury as both belong to the Asteraceae plant family. The most common blossom color found is a yellowish center with white beams, but horticulturalists have developed a number of flower colors, like purple, rose and crimson. Some height variation is one of different varieties but many are between 1 1/2 and 3 feet tall.

Daisy Fleabane from the Garden

Native plant gardens make important habitats for birds, beneficial insects, butterflies and creatures. Daisy fleabane is ideal for naturalized areas, wildflower gardens, meadows, border regions and cottage gardens. This hardy little plant thrives in clay and rocky soil conditions and enjoys a spot in full sun with some afternoon shade in warmer climates. Daisy fleabane does not compete well with larger-leafed plants and also will suffer if overshadowed in the garden.

Rock Gardens

Finding hardy plants which thrive in the rocky soil of a rock garden may present a challenge, but the daisy fleabane in perfectly suited to these ailments. The smaller varieties grow 1.5 feet tall, better suited to larger rock garden areas compared to both- to 3-foot tall varieties. Attempt Erigeron speciosus “Shining Sea,” a 1 1/2 foot tall variety with light blue flowers, or Erigeron speciosus “Dignity,” another low-growing variety with magenta flowers. For a traditional white blossom with yellow centres, the 1 1/2-foot-tall Erigeron speciosus “Summer Snow” is one to try.

Cut Flowers

An ample wildflower garden produces enough flowers to brighten up the landscape having enough left over to bring inside. Add daisy fleabane to wildflower arrangements, or produce a simple scent of daisy fleabane on its own. Mornings and evenings, once the weather is cool, are the best time to cut flowers in the garden. Bring a jar of water with you and submerge the cut flower stalks right away. Place cut flowers in a cool indoor spot out of direct sunlight for a scent that is long-lasting.

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How to Prune a Dracaena Fragrans Massangeana

Dracaena fragrans “Massangeana” is frequently referred to as corn plant. Other monikers include mass cane, fragrant dracaena and Massangeana. This true tropical is winter hardy only in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 10b through 11 and lends itself well to indoor culture. Undemanding and quite tolerant of novice gardeners, corn plant may grow very large and needs periodic pruning to keep its size manageable. While you can safely prune this plant during the year, trim it back through spring or summer to control growth efficiently.

Use clear, sharp shears or loppers to prune the corn plant’s comes back to an appealing height. Make your cuts clean and leave no ragged edges. New shoots sill soon emerge directly below the cuts. Prune stalks straight across for even shoot increase, or cut at an angle for interesting variants in shoot heights. Leave at least 12 inches of the stem above the ground level. Should you maintain your corn plant lifted on a table or stand, prune stalks to between 1 1/2 and 2 1/2 feet tall to make an appealing accent. For larger floor plants, prune stalks to between 3 1/2 and 5 feet tall to include dramatic highlights to any décor. Multi-stemmed corn crops are especially handsome with stalks trimmed to staggered lengths.

Cut two or three of the stalks of adult multi-stemmed corn plants close to each other at the exact same height to fill in sparse sections of the canopy wherever you desire a thicker appearance. The new increase will rapidly populate the ends of the cut stems, leading to more foliar quantity in the region.

Prune out any broken, diseased or dead stem development as it happens during the year. Remove any discolored places, and all tissues which are not bright, healthy green.

Clip off occasional brown leaf areas with clean, sharp scissors because they may occur during the year. Cut across healthful tissue just above the brown element. Consider trimming out spots or brown borders by following the general outline of the leaf so that it is going to maintain its appealing form.

Prune all of the corn plant’s comes back to about 6 inches tall in the spring to replenish an extremely leggy or weak-looking plant. This will give it the entire growing season to produce strong new development and restore itself to its former beauty.

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How to Plant Better Boy Tomatoes

“Better Boy” tomatoes are a favorite among home gardeners to get their medium to large red fruits weighing approximately 16 ounces. This highly disease-resistant tomato is an superb addition to any garden, with an ability to resist verticillium and fusarium wilts, alternaria, grey leaf spot and root knot nematodes. “Better Boy” tomatoes reach about 5 feet tall, with an indeterminate growth habit; you can anticipate the very first vegetables 72 to 75 days after placing them in the garden.

Select a sunny, well-draining planting site using a soil pH between 6.0 and 6.8. Amend the top 12 inches of garden soil having 3 to 4 inches of compost using a rototiller or scoop if drainage problems exist. Replace missing nourishment while correcting the drainage if a soil test shows below average results.

Prepare your “Better Boy” tomatoes right before planting in mid-May, when soil temperatures are above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove all but the top one or two pairs of leaves out of your tomato transplant prior to burying about 75 percent of every single plant in holes just wide enough to get every single rootball, spaced 2 to 3 feet apart in 3-foot rows.

Water your transplant thoroughly to settle on the soil, before mulching up the plant into the leaves. Place a cage round the transplant as soon as possible to avoid damaging roots. Continue to include mulch since the plant grows, until the mulch layer is 2 to 4 inches deep. Water weekly, but withhold fertilizer until the tomato plant has already set green fruits which are around the size of a quarter.

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How to Plant a Blue Potato

A blue potato is more than a garden novelty — its vivid blue-purple coloring adds nutrients into the starchy tuber. The blue coloring of the spuds doesn’t alter their taste, but it will not add anthocyanin, a flavonoid with antioxidant properties accountable for purple, blue and red hues in fruits and vegetables. These specialty potatoes are available in cultivars which have blue to purple skin and white or yellowish flesh, blue all the way through or with blue skin and a marbled blue and white interior. The planting procedure is no different than for regular potatoes: simply keep in mind that blue potato varieties often produce fewer tubers than traditional white potatoes.

Remove weeds and stone from an area of the garden in full sun with loose soil and good drainage in early spring or late summer. All these are a cool-season crop and you can work in a second crop where there is not any frost for 70 to 120 days after planting, depending on whether the blue potatoes you plant are early, mid-season or late maturing. Clear enough room to allow 6 to 10 inches between plants and 3 feet between rows.

Spread a two- to 3-inch layer of compost across each planting row and sprinkle 10-10-5 fertilizer across the ground at a rate of 3 pounds per 100 square feet of planting row. The numbers indicate the proportions of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium from the item.

Dig the fluid and compost into the ground at least 6 inches deep, loosening the ground and breaking up any clumps as you go.

Dig a 3-inch-deep trench down the center of each row.

Cut blue seed potatoes into pieces which each have at least one eye — the small bud-like indentation where shoots grow — and are at least 1 inch round. Let the pieces sit uncovered for one to two days before the cuts dry slightly. This prevents decay when the bits are from the ground.

Set the bits 6 to 10 inches apart from the bottom of the furrow and cover them with 3 inches of soil.

Water once or twice weekly if there is no rain to maintain the soil consistently moist, but not soggy, since the shallow-rooted plants grow.

Draw any weeds and hill 3 inches of soil above any new increase in four to six weeks so the seed pieces are buried 6 inches deep. Potato tubers develop above the seed bits.

Water plants, enough to moisten soil 8 to 10 inches deep, once the plants are 6 to 10 weeks old and tubers are growing.

Hill up more soil in between the rows above and about the developing plants with a hoe at about the 10-week mark. After this moment “hilling up” only ensure any tubers near the top of the mound are covered with soil or mulch.

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Trees That Stink

Trees should add beauty to the garden, but trees shouldn’t be selected based on appearances alone. Trees like Bradford pears (Pyrus calleryana “Bradford”), maidenhair tree, tree of heaven and Chinese chestnut provide beautiful foliage or blooms, but the offensive scents emitted by their flowers or fruit can be a nuisance. These trees work best on large properties where they are enjoyed from a space but must be avoided if you have close neighbors.

Bradford Pears

Bradford pear is a cultivar of the callery pear and is increased in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. Trees develop a pyramidal shape up to 50 feet tall and 35 feet wide, with a brilliant display of white flowers in early spring and leaves of crimson, yellow and orange in autumn. Unfortunately, despite their visual appearance, the flowers are famous for filling the air with a scent likened to rotting fish, one of other descriptors. The scent fades with the blooms, but because Bradford pears commonly line city roads, the collective scent might be too much to handle. Other flowering fruit alternatives for USDA zones 8 through 10 include flowering crabapple (Malus spp.) and Taiwan flowering cherry (Prunus campanulata).

Maidenhair Trees

Maidenhair trees (Ginkgo biloba), grown in USDA zones 4 through 9, are one of the oldest known tree species, having existed in its present form for more than 230 thousand decades. The maidenhair name comes in the thin veins on the fan-shaped leaves. These 50- to 80-foot trees display bright yellow foliage in autumn to fill the garden with shade. Female trees begin producing fruit after approximately 20 decades. The fruit creates a slimy mess when it falls into the bottom, and also the contaminated fruit odor is often compared to rotten eggs and vomit. This should not turn you off of Gingko trees completely because male tree do not produce fruit. Select nursery-grown cultivars like “Fastigiata,” “Autumn Gold,” “Lakeview” and “Sentry,” which are made of cuttings of plants that are male to guarantee the sex.

Tree of Heaven

Grown in USDA zones 2 through 11, tree of heaven is one of the easiest trees to grow since it tolerates extreme cold and heat and adapts to a broad selection of soils. Though its common name would indicate tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) lacks some imperfections, the informal nickname, stink tree, perhaps better characterizes this particular tree. Both female and male trees develop yellow-green flowers. Male trees produce approximately four times as many blooms as feminine trees, but the male flowers smell awfully foul and attract insects. To prevent this issue, pick nursery trees grown from root cuttings of a female tree. Seeds self-sow readily, which makes the tree potentially dangerous. Although several trees might grow from decreased seed around your ailanthus, you cannot predict the sex and ought to eliminate atom as they develop.

Military Coat

Chinese chestnut trees (Castanea mollissima) boom in USDA zones 4 through 8 in which they are grown for their medium-sized, edible nuts. Trees adapt to the majority of well-drained ground types and grow 40 to 60 feet tall. Besides the spiny nuts, Chinese chestnut contains big, glossy leaves with serrated edges with sharp teeth. Its yellow or white flowers bloom in early summer, filling the air with a strong odor that would be off-putting if planted too near a home. Male and female trees produce flowers, but just the male flowers stink. Should you grow Chinese chestnut just as an ornamental, you can choose a female tree, but equally a female and male tree is required for permeable nut creation.

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Very good Flowers to Plant in Part Sun

Plants that require a full-sun exposure, at least six to eight hours of sunlight every day, may survive in part sun but will bloom less or not at all. To get a fantastic floral display in part sun or partial shade regions that get just four or five hours of direct sunlight, choose plants that thrive naturally in these conditions. In addition to sun exposure, the plant’s soil and moisture requirements should be considered when selecting flowering plants to your garden or landscape.

Spring to Fall Flowers

Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa) is a great plant for yellow flowers in which the land is sandy and nutrient-poor. It’s highly tolerant of drought, deer and salty conditions. The plants grow to a height of 2 to 4 ft using gray-green foliage. They are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 to 10 and remain evergreen in the winter in USDA zones 8 to 10. Part sun is ideal for them in hot Mediterranean neighborhoods. Moss verbena (Glandularia puchella) is fantastic for pink, purple or white flowers in sites where the soil is average but drains well. The plants grow to a height of 1 foot using delicate-looking, gray-green to light-green foliage. Their little flowers are made in 3-inch-diameter clusters from early spring through fall. This drought-tolerant perennial is evergreen in USDA zones 9B to 11. At USDA zones 7B to 9A, the stems are killed by frost but grow back as soon as the weather warms.

Cool-season Flowers

Pansies (Viola x Wittrockiana) are great for cool-season blossoms in warm Mediterranean neighborhoods. The plants grow to a height of 4 to 10 inches and can be found in an assortment of flower colors from blue, purple, red or white to apricot or brown and red bicolors. They are hardy in USDA zones 7 to 10 and grow in any soil type, though organic matter should be added to extremely sandy soil. Lenten rose plants (Helleborus orientalis) are great for green, pink, purple white and red winter blooms in USDA zones 4 to 9. The plants grow to a height of 16 to 20 inches and create 2- to 3-inch-diameter flowers. They prefer soil that is high in organic matter. Pansies and Lenten roses are both deer-tolerant.

Spring Flowers

Daffodils (Narcissus spp.) Are great for spring blooms in sandy or sandy-loam soils in part sun. They’ve deep-green, strap-type leaves and range in height from 4 inches to 2 feet. The blossoms are most commonly yellow but may also be white with pink, pink or red centers. They are hardy in USDA zones 4 to 8 or 9, depending on the species. Moss phlox (Phlox subulata) are great for pink, purple, red or white spring blooms in part sun sites with soil that is high in organic matter. The plants are 3 to 6 inches tall and create an abundance of 3/4-inch-diameter blooms. They are drought- and air pollution-tolerant, hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9 and so are seldom bothered by deer browsing.

Year-round Flowers

Pincushion blossoms (Scabiosa columbaria) and Knock Out roses (Rosa Radrazz) are great plants for almost year-round flowery interest in Mediterranean climates. Pincushion flowers, also known as butterfly blue or small scabious, create 1-1/2-inch-diameter blooms in blue, pink, white or purple. The plants grow to 1 to 2 feet tall using gray-green foliage. They are hardy in USDA zones 4 to 10, deer- and drought-tolerant and grow in part sun with average garden soil. Knock Out roses produce 3- to 5-inch-diameter blossoms which can be single- or even double-form and multicolored, pink, red or yellow. The shrubs grow to a height of 3 to 4 ft using burgundy-green foliage. This shrub rose hybrid thrives in part sun with as little as three hours of sunlight every day. They are immune to the usual rose diseases, drought- and air pollution-tolerant and hardy in USDA zones 4 to 9.

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When to Use Lime & Grub Kill After Grass Seeds Are Planted?

Your lawn is a mini ecosystem that depends on fertile land and pest-free surroundings for a long and healthful lifestyle. Utilizing lime and grub killer on your lawn permits you to control your pest population whilst giving a balanced soil pH for strong grass roots. But applying these chemicals to your newly planted lawn may harm the growing seedlings unless you time the program correctly.

Establishing Grass

Even though it takes two growing seasons to fully establish a new lawn, the seedlings should be prepared for lime and grub killer once they reach 3 to 4 inches tall. Now, your new grass has never been cut and you should mow the lawn to remove one-third of the blades’ lengths. A nicely trimmed lawn allows you to use the chemicals evenly. When you have extremely long grass blades, the chemicals cannot spread correctly. Sticking to the grass to develop gives you a visual mark that the ground cover is established enough for you to apply chemicals.


The very best time to lime your lawn is before seeding the region — the lime can take a couple of months to totally change the soil’s pH. But recently seeded lawn areas might still receive liming as long as the grass has grown enough. Use a soil pH test kit at the summer or spring to find out whether liming is needed. To reduce weed seeds from taking advantage of the best soil pH, lime the grass close to the end of summer and into fall. Over the cooler months, the soil has a chance to modify its acidity degree so new grass growth explodes the next spring.

Slow-Release Grub Killer

If your region is prone to grub infestations, you need to apply a slow-release grub killer close to the start of June following the new grass seeds are tall enough for normal mowing. Because the grass blades have been firmly rooted, they withstand the chemical program. As an instance, the slow-release chemical remains within the grass roots and blades so grubs feeding them through August perish away. Poorly established grasses cannot tolerate this long-term compound existence.

Immediate Grub Killer

Immediate grub killer combinations typically have more powerful chemicals so that they can eradicate an unexpected infestation. Well-established grasses readily withstand the instant grub kill. The chemical typically wears off quickly so that the grass doesn’t have any lasting residues on its own blades. Immature grasses have a tendency to suffer and perish from strong chemical exposures.

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