Tropical Style

How Large Will a Mock Orange Bush Get?

Mock oranges (Philadelphus spp.) Are a category of deciduous landscape shrubs featuring fragrant white blooms in spring. The blossoms resemble orange flowers in the look and fragrance, thus the common name. Heirloom varieties were popular in Victorian gardens, along with new cultivars have been introduced in the last several years. They are usually hardy across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 to 8. The adult size will be dependent on the variety you develop and cultural states, depending on average from 3 to 12 feet tall and wide.

North American Varieties

Philadelphus lewisii species are indigenous to the western U.S. and Canada. The true species attains a mature height of about 12 feet and can length 8 feet wide as a tree. Cultivar sizes fluctuate. “Cheyenne” will mature to an average height of 6 to 9 feet and width of 5 to 8 feet. “Goose Creek” is a larger cultivar of this subspecies californica that normally reaches 12 feet tall and 8 ft wide. “Blizzard” is a smaller variety, averaging 4 to 5 feet tall and wide when mature.

Non-Natives

Philadelphus coronarius is an imported mock orange species, native to southern Europe and well-suited for cultivation across the western U.S.. The species grows in an upright style to a mean height of 8 to 10 feet. “Avalanche” is a smaller cultivar that only attains 3.5 feet tall. “Belle Etoile” grows to a moderate height of approximately 6 feet. “Virginal” is a particularly fragrant heirloom variety that can grow to 10 feet tall.

Cultivation

Plant your mock orange where it will get whole sunlight or light shade. Most mock orange kinds tolerate a fairly wide range of soil conditions but will do best when grown in rich soil that drains well but retains moisture. If your soil is heavily wooded or clay-dense, incorporating organic matter before planting will help balance drainage and moisture retention, thereby supporting the health, size and vigor of the mock orange. These alterations include completed compost, humus, aged manure, peat moss and chopped pine bark.

Maintaining Size

Mock oranges bloom on development from prior seasons. Lightly pruning them instantly after flowering is recommended to encourage new development that will bloom another season. This practice also assists your mock orange develop more densely and in the size and shape you would like. If your mock orange becomes less productive or rises out of boundaries, you can prune it heavily, also after spring bloom season. Reducing back 1 quarter of older canes to the ground can replenish a striped orange.

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Gardening and Landscaping

The way to Landscape Using a Poured Concrete Wall

A concrete wall is somewhat simple and doesn’t always appear attractive in your own landscaping. If you are tired of looking at the surface, there are several things you can do to improve or hide the wall, so it isn’t as much of an eyesore. Everything from wall hangings to plants are options to consider.

Attach a trellis to the wall. Attach it to the wall with masonry screws. Plant climbing vines like an ivy or climbing roses along the foundation of this trellises. If placing over 1 trellis on a massive wall, space them out each 3 or or 4 feet.

Plant tall shrubbery along the wall like a holly bush. Prune the shrubs only to keep an overall form and allow them to develop large. Space shrubs so the limbs will likely come near meeting at full size. Plant them closer together if you want to eventually form a solid hedge in front of the wall.

Space dwarf trees that won’t grow above the wall, so the limbs and leaves cover a great portion of the cover of the wall. Plant other vegetation reduced to the bottom between the trees, like low shrubs and shrubs, to be able to split the lower portions of the wall.

Add massive stones or other features like bird houses and bird baths to the landscaping across the wall to grab your eye away from the wall.

Hang decorative items along the wall in between tall vegetation, like wrought iron hangings, bird houses and wreaths, to split the plain surface of the wall, adding interest and texture.

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Tropical Style

How to Plant a Loquat Tree

The loquat, or Eriobotrya japonica, is a kind of Japanese plum. Unlike many plum tree types, this low-maintenance plant thrives in all kinds of dirt and, since it simply reaches 25 to 30 feet in height, which can fit easily in most backyards. To get a fresh source of juicy, vitamin-rich fruit, plant a loquat tree in your backyard today.

Select a planting location that receives full sun and is clear of different trees or structures at a 15-foot radius. That is the approximate spread of a adult loquat tree.

Dig a hole with a spade, making the hole three times heavier and three times broader than the container which the loquat seedling is presently in. Pile the removed dirt next to the hole.

Eliminate the loquat sapling out of its grass — most loquat saplings from nurseries and garden shops come from 3-gallon pots — and then rub on the root ball with a garden hose to eliminate approximately an inch of potting soil from around the root ball. This frees the root hints and helps the sapling get started from the ground faster.

Place the loquat sapling into the hole, then positioning it so the root ball is level with the edges of the hole, and fill in the hole with the dirt you removed.

Tamp down the dirt with the flat side of the spade or with your foot, then instantly irrigate the implanted loquat with enough water to moisten the dirt to a depth of 24 to 36 inches. This helps eliminate air pockets from the dirt.

Repeat the irrigation every day for the first week after planting. Reduce to after a week after that and preserve this schedule for the first three decades of development. After that, just water once the tree shows signs of drought stress or when the tree is producing fruit.

Fertilize the newly implanted loquat tree with 1/4 pounds of 6-6-6 fertilizer one month after you plant it. After that, fertilize the tree with 1 pound of 6-6-6 fertilizer every four months.

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Eclectic Homes

The way to Eliminate a Light Fixture Box to Install a Recessed Light

When installing a recessed light fixture at the place of an existing light fixture you have to remove the old fixture and disconnect and remove the wiring as well as the ceiling box. The method used to eliminate a ceiling box differs depending on the type of box you have. Nail-on ceiling rod mount into the side of a truss or ceiling joist using nails attached to the sides of the box. Bracket boxes use a bracket affixed to the side of the box that attaches to the face of the ceiling joist using attachments. Cut-in boxes utilize a single bracket or numerous brackets that fasten the ceiling box into the drywall.

Removing the Wires

Turn off the power to the ceiling box and remove the lights. Use a voltage tester to verify that the power is off. A voltage tester contains two probes, one that you use to get hold of the lead or hot wire and the other to get in touch with the ground or impersonal. The tester will light up or vibrate, depending on the model.

Determine how many wires are in the box. It’s crucial to identify how many sets of wires and how they are connected before you remove them. If there’s more than one set of cable in the box, you’ll have to disconnect them from each other before removing them from the box. It’s important that the wires are reconnected in the new recessed fixture’s junction box in exactly the same fashion in order that all circuits will continue to work.

Remove the cable or wires in the box by first loosening and removing any cable nuts, using your hands, and independent connected wires utilizing a pair of pliers. Next, you have to loosen any clamps that secure them into the ceiling box. Metallic boxes use a screw and clamp securing the cable to the box. Loosen the screw with an applicable type of screwdriver, normally a slotted one, and push the cable through the opening at the box and into the void behind the drywall. If the box is either plastic or composite material, then it might have a plastic flap beside the entrance hole that secures the cable to the box. Use a slotted screwdriver and pry the flap away from the cable while simultaneously pushing the cable into the void at the ceiling.

Cut-In Boxes

Determine which type of cut-in box you have. Round boxes of this variety have a screw at the middle of the rear of the box. Square cut-in boxes have screws situated on opposite corners that, when loosened, release plastic wings that enable the box to be removed from the ceiling.

Loosen the mounting screws using an applicable type of screwdriver.

Remove the box in the ceiling.

Nail-on Boxes

Wedge a little, flat pry bar or slotted screwdriver between the box and ceiling joist to eliminate.

Apply steady pressure on the tool to pry the box in the ceiling joist.

Remove the box in the ceiling after it is detached from the ceiling joist.

Bracketed Boxes

Determine the place of this ceiling box mount. Because the mount attaches to the face of the ceiling joist under the drywall, you have to lower the drywall to reveal the mounting bracket.

Use a utility knife to cut the masonry around the mounting bracket on the ceiling box. Be careful and start with a little region to minimize drywall damage.

Remove the mounting screws or nails securing the bracket to the ceiling joist to publish the ceiling box.

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Fireplaces

Leafhoppers on Tomato Plants

So many diseases can ruin tomatoes that it is a wonder they are among the most widely grown vegetables. Fusarium and Verticillium wilts, early and late blights, tobacco mosaic virus and Stemphylium grey leaf spot are all caused by fungal or viral pathogens that travel through ground or on the end. Several equally dangerous diseases are spread by a bug known as the beet leafhopper (Circulifer tenellus).

Leafhoppers

Beet leafhoppers lay eggs in open fields during cool, moist spring weather. Nymphs feed for a couple of months and develop to light green bugs, wider in the head than in the tail, but only about 1/10 to 1/8 inch long. Adult leafhoppers live just about 30 days, but migrate over long distances, landing in fields and strayed from plant to plant on long back legs. In California, beet leafhoppers produce several generations. They overwinter and lay eggs in foothill areas.

Curly Top

Leafhoppers get viral pathogens by feeding in affected regions and act as carriers of the disease. Curly top is just a group of diseases (curtoviruses) containing beet curly top virus, beet mild curly top virus and beet severe curly top virus. New strains of the light virus also have been identified by University of California at Davis researchers working with pepper plants inn Mexico. Although beets and other plants in the Chenopodiaceae family are the preferred targets, leafhoppers will resort to sampling tomatoes and other plants in the Solanaceae family. They feed on plants by piercing fresh leaf surfaces and sucking on plant fluids during long mouthparts on their heads, inoculating the plant with the virus since they feed. Affected leaves curl inward and disappear. Veins may appear as purple lines or the entire leaf may change color. Since the leafhoppers begin with tender new development, the disease spreads in the top of the plant, hence the title curly top.

Tomato Big Bud

Tomato big bud is brought on by a viresent agent transported, or vectored, by the beet leafhopper. The disease is brought on by a phytoplasma organism to a wide range of crops. Buds swell and produce small, misshapen fruit. Leaves are distorted and pale yellow-green in color, on stunted stems. Major bud but isn’t common in most regions since it takes large populations of leafhoppers to acquire a foothold in areas so succeeding generations can feed on affected plants.

Leafhopper Control

Rumors might not function as leafhoppers’ favorite targets, but it just takes one wayward, hungry leafhopper to spread disorder to a plant. One option for handling where leafhopper populations increase in late spring, might be to plant tomatoes far away from favored plants like beets, peppers and eggplant. Where leafhoppers are present but backyard space is limited, companion planting marigolds (Tagetes spp.) Or pungent plants, such as geraniums (Pelargonium spp.) , might repel the bugs. In rainy years, when leafhopper residents mushroom, systemic pesticides containing carbaryl, imidacloprid or dinotefuran may help control residents.

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Fireplaces

Lemon Tree Growth

Lemon trees grace the home garden with their visual jewels of vivid yellow, citrus fruit that offer as much in flavor as they do in beauty. However, due to a variety of problems, from easily avoided physiological issues to serious diseases, trees may not develop to their entire potential. Monitor your lemon trees closely to prevent slowed or stunted development as well as the poor fruiting that often follows.

General Care

Providing optimal attention to lemon trees is essential for proper growth. Well-maintained plants have a greater ability to avoid and overcome health problems when compared with stressed plants. Lemon trees thrive in regions that provide sunlight. These trees endure a number of soil conditions and also have “a reputation of tolerating very infertile, very poor soil,” explains Purdue University Agriculture. But keep moist, well-drained land with a pH of around 5.5 to 6.5 for greatest growth. Avoid waterlogged conditions, as standing water decreases tree health.

Factors

Become knowledgeable about the lemon tree’s growth habits to avoid any confusion about whether the tree is growing well. Lemon trees usually grow to a height of 10 to 20 feet. Determine the ultimate height of the particular species and cultivar you’ve got. Until mature, these fruiting trees must grow at a pace of 4 to 12 inches per year. Leaves measure roughly 2 1/2 to 4 1/2 inches long, while fruit steps 2 3/4 to 4 3/4 inches long.

Physiological Issues

Growth problems may result from inferior cultural maintenance or uncontrollable cultural difficulties. High chlorine or sodium, as an example, may result in yellowed leaves and stunted development. Avoid growing lemon trees near swimming pools to prevent chlorination problems. Send a soil sample to a testing lab and create any suggested amendments. Fertilizing according to the laboratory’s suggestions helps prevent a nutrient imbalance. Proper watering is also critical, as drought and over-watering may both result in exponential development of roots and above-ground portions of the tree. Water lemon trees when the top layer of soil feels dry to the touch, as a rule of thumb.

Diseases

Citrus greening is a bacterial infection which leads to isolated, yellowed areas on citrus trees. Spread by psyllids, this disease leads to dieback, defoliation, fruit fall, foul-tasting fruit and stunted growth. Speak to a county extension instantly because this disease is not yet widespread in the United States or California, as of 2012. Natural enemies, such as lady beetles, feed the psyllids that regulates the disease. Moreover, preventive sprays of a pesticide containing the active ingredient imidacloprid may provide control. Stubborn disease, brought on by the phytoplasma Spiroplasma citri, leads to stunted growth of the fruit and tree in addition to reduced or non-existent lemon yield. Remove and destroy trees, replacing them with healthy lemon trees.

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Tropical Style

The way to Recognize Strawberry Plants

With over 600 culitvars of strawberries grown throughout the globe for eating, strawberries are generally found in create sections and gardens. They’re also found in the wild and wild strawberries might accidentally put in your garden. The U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones for strawberry plants ranges from zones 3 through 9 for cultivated plants and 5 through 9 for wild strawberries. If you reside in one of these regions, you may use various distinguishing factors to determine if an unknown plant from your garden is a strawberry plant.

Take a look at the growing place to find out if it may be a strawberry plant. Wild strawberries grow in evergreen forests in California, but they can be found at wetland regions elsewhere in North America.

Examine the leaves and search for classes of three oval-shaped leaves with toothed edges.

Wait till late spring or early summer to look at the flowers. Look for white or pink five-petaled blossoms with yellow centers.

Look for berries to appear on the plant in precisely the exact same time as the flowers in the late spring or summer. The red berries are conical in shape and not the authentic fruit off the blossom, but swollen stalks. The little dots covering the edible part would be the true fruits of the strawberry plant.

Lift up the strawberry plant to analyze the roots and search for other plants which look like it nearby. Strawberries grow on runners and spread quickly to the surrounding place.

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Eclectic Homes

Repairing an Interlocking Floor

Among the benefits of the interlocking wood or laminate flooring is it is usually not ripped down, making repair less of a challenge compared to traditional hardwood or pasted flooring. Occasionally it’s important to mend an interlocking flooring if the timber suffers wear and tear over time, like warping in warmer, more humid temperatures, or splitting age. With the right tools you’ll be able to fix almost every problem that comes up with time, maintaining your flooring in high-quality condition for a long time to come.

Loose Planks

If you’re up against a laminate interlocking flooring installed in a floating format, the tongue-and-groove system utilized to lock the pieces together isn’t glued or nailed down. Instead, the pieces are stacked against each other and the snap-together components hold everything in position. Over time, there’s the possibility that these pieces may jar loose with heavy foot traffic. A rubber mallet is the only tool required to resolve this issue. Begin with the very first piece where you notice something loose, and tap the upcoming adjacent piece tight against the initial one using a rubber mallet. Work your way from that point, tapping each following piece tight using all the one at the row previous until you reach the wall. You might need to remove trim pieces on one end of the ground to access the ends of the laminatefloors A tough rubber tapping block using a sloping end helps prevent damage to the boards.

Wood Putty and Caulking

If your flooring have started to crack with age or drying out, then there’s an easier alternative than repairing a piece, provided the cracks are minimal — less than 1/8 inch wide and never growing with time. Locate a matching color of wood putty and use a putty knife or your finger to press wood putty down to the cracks. However, putty is only a temporary fix and isn’t helpful in cracks which are continually growing. The best choice is to wait at least six months after a new floor installation or after you first see the cracks appear to make sure they aren’t likely to grow anymore, which is a symptom of the underlying motion problem. Another option, and also a more flexible alternative, is a polyurethane caulk. Once you realize the cracks are not moving, use your preferred filler to topically fix the issue.

Removing Individual Pieces

Most flooring professionals speed replacing and removing individual pieces in an interlocking floor to be one of the most difficult facets of flooring repair, especially if you’re up against an interlocking hardwood flooring that is also nailed down. First, cut the center out of the slice you want to remove using a jigsaw or rotary tool, which gives you distance to disconnect the two halves in the rows on either side. After disconnected, then slide them into the center where you eliminated a section to generate space, then remove the pieces and clear from the person department.

Re-installing Individual Pieces

After removal, a replacement piece needs to be re-installed, and there’s very little margin for error because the smaller you cut the slice, the more of a difference there will be after it is installed, which may lead to loose pieces in the surrounding region. The replacement piece needs to be cut tight to fit, making getting it back in hopeless unless you cut off the tongue from one end of the slice, thus only interlocking with one border when you install the replacement piece. Alternatively, cut the slice slightly tight, remove the the tongue and groove from either side, and slip it into place using glue. You will find a variety of glues useful in this setting to help hold the piece in place, plus you are able to face nail it using finish nails for extra security and strength, countersinking and capping the nails using wood putty to hide the patch.

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Tropical Style

What Needs to Be Added to the Soil in a Butterfly Garden

North America is home to about 750 species of butterfly. A butterfly garden will help pull them to your home’s garden, adding sparks of living color to your plants as well as the air around you. Before you start planting your butterfly garden with herbs, shrubs and flowers, prepare the soil properly to decide on a strong foundation for a healthful, butterfly-friendly landscape.

Compost

A number of the plants that are common to a butterfly garden thrive in soil that’s well-draining and rich in organic matter. Compost provides exactly that, helping to boost the soil construction, add nutrients and improve the way that water moves through the dirt. For best results, add 3 inches of compost into the butterfly garden and then mix it into the top 8 inches of dirt. This helps maintain your butterfly garden healthy and growing all year.

Fertilizer

The majority of the plants grown in butterfly gardens really are blooms, because butterflies are drawn into the sweet nectar in the flowers. Examples include lavender plants (Lavendula spp.) , lilac plants (Syringa spp.) and daylilies (Hemerocallis spp.) . And like most flower plants, the following butterfly favorites boom in fertile growing soils that encourage optimal plant and blossom production. Create the right levels of soil by spreading a balanced fertilizer, such as a 10-10-10 flower fertilizer, in your butterfly garden prior to planting your flowers. For best results, use roughly 1/2 pounds of flower fertilizer for each 50 square feet of lawn, and mix it evenly into the top 6 inches of dirt.

Mulch

Butterflies are sensitive to herbicides and insecticides, so restrict chemical usage as much as possible. Mulch will help lessen the need for substances because it helps control weeds, and consequently your use of weed killers. Because weeds also often act as the main host for various pests, mulching also reduces the need for insecticides. For the best weed control, apply mulch in layer roughly 3 to 6 inches deep. As a side benefit, mulch also helps conserve soil moisture levels to maintain your butterfly garden more constantly hydrated.

Tips

To keep soil health, reapply compost annually from the spring at a rate of 2 to 3 inches of compost, mixed into the top 8 inches of dirt. Following the initial 3 years of your butterfly garden, reduce compost rates to 1 to 2 inches. Reapply fluid each spring, and apply again in early summer when the butterfly garden is not growing as quickly as you would like. This secondary application ought to be spread at a rate that’s half as far as the spring rate.

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Fireplaces

What Kind of Birdseed Won't Make Grass Grow?

Watching the antics of birds hopping on feeders and battling over seed is one of the numerous reasons to feed wild birds. Regrettably, if you choose the incorrect seed or don’t follow good feeding habits, then you may get a mess of weeds around your feeders. Birds know what they enjoy and will choose through seed mixtures to obtain what they want, leaving the discarded seeds to sprout. Choosing the proper seed may keep your garden tidy as you continue to feed your avian visitors.

No Waste Mixes

Most wild bird mixtures found in shops that don’t specialize in birdseed include an abundance of milo and millet. When some birds such as juncos and sparrows love millet, a number of other species will choose through, attempting to get to other items in the mix. Few birds eat milo. Since the birds choose through the mix, millet and milo fall to the floor and will eventually sprout into grass-like weeds. To avoid this, see a shop that specializes in wild bird food and decide on a mix specially designed for that which the birds in your area favor. The food may cost more, but considerably less will make its way to the earth to become a weed.

Sunflower Chips

Sunflower chips are hulled sunflower seeds which are chopped into bits. With the kernel hulled and chopped, the seed won’t sprout. Sunflower chips make an excellent feeder alternative since they’re one of the greatest seed choices by a variety of birds such as jays, woodpeckers, finches, grosbeaks and chickadees.

Cracked Corn

Cracked corn is composed of dried corn that’s split into bits. Unlike whole kernels of corn, the bits of cracked corn can no longer sprout. Jays, doves, quail, sparrows and even ducks are attracted to feeders which have cracked corn.

Nyjer Thistle

Though it appears to be a weed, nyjer thistle isn’t the standard thistle with the purple blossom that gardeners attempt to keep out of their yards. Nyjer thistle is a small black seed preferred by birds such as finches, juncos and pine siskins. Quality nyjer thistle is typically heated so it won’t sprout. In case a few plants do sprout, they seldom grow to a mature plant in North America.

Feeding Tips

Feeding your birds sensibly helps reduce seed waste and therefore can help control any likelihood of grass or other weeds growing under your feeders. Utilizing a bird feeder with a seed-catching tray under helps capture any discarded seed before it hits the ground. Providing one type of seed in each feeder can keep birds from picking through mixtures to come across the kind of seed they enjoy. In addition to seed, set out fruit, suet and hummingbird feeders to attract a wide selection of wild birds.

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