Tropical Style

How to Preserve massive Leaves to Utilize as Wall Art

There are several ways to conserve leaves for arrangements and artwork, but most leave you with a horizontal, brittle leaf that loses the organic appearance and feel of their leaf. Keeping leaves in glycerin avoids these difficulties and gives them a natural, flexible look and feel. Leaves preserved with glycerin also persist for a long time, making them ideal materials to work with in wall art.

Gathering Leaves

The quality of your preserved leaves begins with the grade of the leaves you collect. Collect big, mature leaves to a dry afternoon and look for leaves at peak condition. Cut the leaf or branch using a clean, sharp knife or pruning shears. Maintain the leaves in water till you are ready to maintain them; leaves that have wilted or dried out doesn’t preserve well. Crush the close of the branch or leaf stem using a hammer just before placing it in the preserving liquid.

Keeping with Glycerin

Stand with the leaf or branch in a vase or jar, as you would a flower. Cover the crushed ending in a solution of 1 part glycerin and 2 parts hot water for two to six weeks. Begin with the option at approximately 100 degrees Fahrenheit to encourage the plant to carry this up quickly, but you don’t have to keep the option alluring. Huge leaves and thick, dense leaves possess the longest absorption period. Add food coloring or dye to the solution at a shade closest to the leaf natural colour to help keep that color in the finished product. Add more water as required to keep the solution at around exactly the exact same level during the procedure. The leaves are ready when they’ve taken up enough glycerin to make them completely pliable, having lost all signs of brittleness.

Supporting the Leaves

Whether you want to wire your leaves depends on how you intend to use them. Leaves that have to support themselves by the stem or branch can be wired for long-term stability. Enrollment also makes it easier to arrange the leaves on your artwork. Tightly wrap the stems of individual leaves with wire in a color closest to the stem color, leaving a long tail to attach them to your artwork. Leaves on branches may need a wire wrap round the branch and the leaf stem to strengthen them for long term display. If you intend to attach the leaves to the wall or a canvas in the back of the leaf, wiring isn’t crucial.

Storing Preserved Leaves

Leaves ready with glycerin keep indefinitely, but their colours will fade over time due to light exposure and heat. Protect the color of their leaves by keeping them in an airtight container in a dark, cool and dry location when they are not on display.

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Tropical Style

When to Plant Late Season Rumors

Tomatoes are one of America’s beloved summer vegetable garden crops. There are many varieties, including determinate and indeterminate types as well as early, mid and late season varieties. If you want new tomatoes throughout the whole growing season, you can plant early, mid and late season varieties in the exact same time and relish fruits as each kind attains adulthood.

When to Plant

When growing tomatoes, you may select varieties for the garden by days to maturation. Early-season strawberries produce fruit at 65 days or less, while late-season tomatoes generally need 80 days or longer to mature. Mid-season varieties produce fruit from mid-summer and typically take between 70 to 80 days to achieve that. Planting a range from all 3 types after risk of frost has passed gives you a complete season of strawberries to relish.

Late Season Varieties

Late season tomato varieties can be determinate or indeterminate, bearing fruit in various shapes, sizes, flavors and colors. These varieties frequently grow bigger, better-tasting tomatoes since the fruit is about the vine and soaking up the summer heat more than ancient and mid-season varieties. Some common late season varieties include “Beefmaster,” “Dinner Plate” and “Crimson Giant.”

Indeterminate and Determinate Forms

Indeterminate tomatoes are vine plants that require staking, caging or a trellis for support. This type of tomato plant continues to send out shoots and flowers until the growing season has ended. Determinate varieties grow to a certain pre-determined size and then put fruit. They are generally bushy plants that put fruit within two weeks of flowering. When choosing late season varieties, select indeterminate varieties for a plant that retains producing until frost.

Care of Tomatoes

All tomato varieties require proper attention to grow and produce wholesome fruit. Tomato plants need a location that receives at least six hours of sunlight each day. Spacing can also be important to help guard against infection and allow room for harvest and care. Rumors need 1 1/2 to 2 feet between bushy plants and bigger staked plants, while bigger caged plants need more space at 3 to 4 feet between plants. All plants need about 4 feet between rows. Rumors need between 1 and 11/2 inches of water every week for proper growth and fruiting.

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Gardening and Landscaping

The way to Use Rocks in Landscaping & Building Stairs

Rocks are a useful substance in landscaping, used as everything from boundaries to walls. Adding stones generates more attention to the natural mattresses and contains more textures and colors that can produce a space stand out from others. To get a daring addition, you can use the stones as a surface area for stairs that climb up a hill in your yard or wind down via a garden.

Rocks in Paradise

Put stones in groupings to create rock gardens. Use various sizes, from several big rocks to small ones not much bigger than your hand. Put them far enough apart to be able to plant vegetation in between. Use small plants and ornamental grasses in addition to flowers for a splash of color.

Set rocks along the edge of natural areas to form boundaries or edging. Dig a shallow trench to keep the stones from slipping out of position. The trench together with the stones will maintain mulch in the beds and keep grass and weeds out of creeping in.

Establish large and medium size stones in your natural area in random points to fill in and include texture. Put one big rock in a natural area of its own to make it stand out as a focus.

Lay flat stones down along a course as stepping stones. Adjust their positions until they are spaced correctly to your walking gate. Dig shallow indentions into the ground to settle the stones flat along the surface.

Rocks as Measures

Dig ledges into the bank to form dirt steps. After removing soil for the first ledge, use a measuring tape to measure the height of the rear of the ledge. Mark the rear in a height of between 8 and 4 inches, depending on how high you want the steps and who will be utilizing them.

Start another step up in precisely the exact same height as the first. Repeat with every circular measure so that they are all the exact same height. Preserve a fairly flat surface by checking with a degree. As you will be changing dirt about when you set the stones in position, the dirt steps do not need to be exact at this time.

Put flat stone on step one. Select rocks that will hang over the edge of the measure at by 1 or 2 inches. This will definitely keep rain water from dripping down underneath and eroding the ground. If the stone is irregular on the bottom, remove the rock from the dirt measure and dig out some of the soil so that the rock will sit flat.

Check the stone to ensure it is flat and add extra rocks to fill in the measure. Repeat the procedure with each extra stair till you arrive at the top.

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Tropical Style

The very best Black Mulch

Mulching the garden is a powerful method of retaining moisture, suppressing weeds and improving soil structure. It also appears attractive, adding polish to borders and beds. Mulch comes in a variety of artificial and natural colors, including black. The very best black mulch depends on your needs, your budget and the availability of substances in your town.


Compost is decomposed organic material, including kitchen scraps, leaves and manure. Finished compost is pure black and smells sweet. Organic gardeners sometimes use a few inches of compost as mulch. While compost doesn’t supply the wrapped-up appearance of textured mulches, its benefits to the backyard are numerous. It allows air penetration, adds nutrients and promotes plant growth. Furthermore, making your own compost is a free and easy procedure. If you do not have a compost pile, buying it from the bag or cubic yard is comparatively inexpensive. A disadvantage of compost is that it doesn’t reasonable soil temperature as well as other organic mulches, like wood chips.

Black Wood Chips

Wood chips dyed black are an easy-to-find, moderately priced mulch. The benefits of black wood chips include permeability and pure black color. Some people may dislike the artificial appearance — there is not any such thing like black wood — while some others might delight in creating an extremely dark backdrop for a colorful landscape. It isn’t currently known whether the dyes used in black wood chip mulch have a negative ecological impact. Cautious organic gardeners may recoil at the notion of introducing this unnecessary chemical element.

Inorganic Options

Inorganic mulches are the ones that do not readily decompose. All rocks fall into this class, as does black plastic. While an absorbent black mulch suppresses weeds, it might retain heat or cold in a means that isn’t beneficial to plants. Avoid putting inorganic black mulches near places where folks gather; throughout summer months, their heat-absorbing properties may increase distress. Black plastic kills beneficial beings, damaging soil structure. Irrigation must be installed under the plastic, as water will not penetrate it. This may cause overly wet conditions around roots. But black plastic may increase soil temperature, gaining tender perennials and vegetables susceptible to cold snaps. Black rocks may be attractive in some settings, like on a modernist landscape dotted with artful trees and sculpture. If you select black rocks, make sure your plants are well-established so that temperature fluctuations do not damage them. Rocks may also compact dirt and crush tender roots. Black rocks could be embarrassing to maneuver around in often tended gardens, like those containing vegetables.

Almost-Black Alternatives

If you’re inclined to compromise a pure black appearance to enhance the health of your soil and plants, then consider organic, nearly-black alternatives. Cocoa bean hulls are almost black, smell wonderful and are good for plants, even though they are highly poisonous to cats and dogs. Leaf mould is widely accessible; its own blackish-brown shade varies by leaf variety as well as how rotted it’s. Leaf mould is an excellent option if you want a complimentary, almost-black mulch that breaks down relatively quickly. Leaf mould appears natural and glowing, which makes it a bad choice for polished, pristine layouts.

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Tropical Style

Grass That Does Not Require Mowing

With feeding, watering and mowing, taking care of your yard may be a time-intensive commitment. If you’re tired of this, or simply want to create a more natural-looking yard, grass varieties which don’t need mowing provide a sensible solution. No-mow grasses work since they grow quite slowly during the mowing season plus they reach a maximum height which does not require mowing.


Buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) is a drought-resistant, low-growing grass from the North American Plains. It produces a gray-green turf which, when given minimum watering, grows 4 inches tall, and with heavier watering, just 6 inches tall. Buffalograss spreads by stolons and is hardy to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8. It may handle foot traffic, however, has low shade tolerance. If needed, buffalograss may be mowed at end of winter to eliminate brown, dead foliage and also to quicken spring green-up.

Mondo Grass

Two types of Mondo Grass suitable for no-mow situations are Black Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus “Nigrescens”) and Kyoto Dwarf Mondo Grass (Ophiopogon planiscapus “Nana”). Black Mondo grass grows gradually, reaching a height of 6 inches or less. Its dense, purplish-black, grasslike foliage is hardy in USDA zones 5 through 10. For even shorter grass, plant “Kyoto Dwarf” mondo grass as it simply reaches 3 to 4 inches tall. This drought-tolerant grass has very low, carpetlike growth and is suitable for xeriscaping. It is hardy to USDA zones 8 and 7.


Centipedegrass (Eremochloa ophiuroides) is a coarse-textured, apple-green grass with a creeping growth habit which forms a dense turf. Because of its slow pace of growth, it’s often called lazy man’s grass. If the grass is not mowed, it is going to reach about 4 to 6 inches. The grass stays green during the year in mild climates. As it doesn’t tolerate heavy traffic, then it’s most suitable for low-maintenance turf areas. Centipedegrass is well adapted to sandy, acidic soils and is hardy in USDA zones 7 through 10.

Seashore Paspalum

To get ditches or other areas where height is not an issue, Seashore paspalum (Paspalum vaginatum) is just a salt-tolerant grass which operates well. This medium-to coarse-bladed grass includes a compact root system and can grow up to 20 inches in height. It is a mild- to medium-colored grass which requires moderate amounts of water and fertilizer. It tolerates traffic and recovers quickly from medium wear during summer and spring. Seashore paspalum has a high tolerance for heat, can manage some shade and is hardy in USDA zones 8 through 10.

No-Mow Commercial Blends

Several grass blends on the market are touted as no-grow mixes. The grasses are inclined to be mixtures of fescues (Festuca) or bentgrass (Agrostis). One blend, Dwarf Fescue Lawn Seed Mix brands as a low-growing turf grass that’s hardy in USDA zones 4 through 10. The No-Mow-Grass brand has two variants. The northern variant is Creeping Bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera), which is designed for areas with hard freezes, grows 3 to 6 inches tall and tolerates shade. The southern version is a blend of fine fescue and buffalo grass, designed for hot, dry areas. The No-Mow-Grass brand doesn’t use USDA zones to classify its grass.

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Tropical Style

The Best Way to eradicate Palmetto Bushes

It looked like such an attractive way to fill out a sunny corner, but when that shrubby saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) grew to its highest possible spread of 18 feet, it looked more like it was out to devour the neighborhood. Worse still, though it requires just a few minutes to plant among those “little hands,” it can take years to eliminate them. Get rid of your palmettos with a plan and plenty of patience.

Palmetto Facts

Saw palmetto and cabbage palm are North American natives. With saw palmetto, waxy, fan-shaped leaves sit atop short, stout stems that develop from under ground level, emerging as the plant ages. The enthusiasts rise from 2 to 8 feet above ground. Palmettos flower between February and April. The white flowers are followed by fruits known as drupesthat ripen throughout the summer until September and October. The plants have been fire-adapted and bloom best after fire years. Other palmettos, for example, cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), South Carolina’s state tree, grow taller but share several features with the saw palmetto.

Managing Palmetto

Palmettos’ strong underground stems not just help them to survive flames but additionally provide starts for new plants together with the first plant. Reducing these suckers under the soil line might hold back the spread of this palmetto temporarily, but the subterranean segments of the plant will simply develop more massive, eventually forcing more growth than could be controlled. Eventually, the roots will reach out beyond the initial ring of suckers, invading the surrounding plantings with suckers. In locations where flames cleared other vegetation or where palmetto suckers have never been effectively managed, the plant can become invasive, crowding out other plants.


Reducing back palmettos promotes their strong roots to spread and create more suckers; burning them just promotes flowering and production of seed the next year. Mechanical control by itself doesn’t knock out a palmetto cluster, but, paired with herbicide programs, the strategy can wear the plant out. Several herbicides are effective on saw palmetto — the University of Florida’s IFAS Extension indicates a combination of triclopyr ester and metsulfuron and Texas A&M; University’s AgriLife extension recommends a combination of metsulfuron methyl, dicamba and 2,4-D. Check with a native Master Gardener chapter or university agricultural extension for herbicide recommendations to your region.


Use a combination of cutting and herbicide to “do in” problem palmettos. Starting in spring, mow the plants as far down to the ground as possible with a brush mower before or during flowering. As plants begin growing again in late summer or early fall, apply herbicide at the suggested rate and repeat broadcast or spot applications as directed on the package. If no growth occurs the next spring, then remove the subterranean stems having a stump grinder as far below the soil’s surface since the machine reaches. If the plants begin growing again, however, the cut-and-poison cycle has to be repeated for a second year.

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Tropical Style

The way to Prune Dwarf Black Olive Bonsais

The dwarf black olive tree (Bucida spinosa) is widely used in bonsai. The flat-topped branches, horizontal leaf, and also twisted trunk make the dwarf black olive a natural match to the Chinese art. The tree branches generally depart the back at a 25 to 35 degree angle, which make the tree visually interesting and can be incorporated into its shape. The tree is considered an evergreen, but occasionally is semi-deciduous, so don’t worry if the leaves of the plant turn to fall colors and drop off the tree. This is a normal part of the dwarf black olive increase and does not mean that you damaged the tree through pruning.

Remove any dead or damaged branches from your dwarf dark olive tree. Remove any branches that grow vertically, cross across the back of the tree or cross on each other.

Cut away at least one of the branches at any point where two or more branches grow out from the back at the same height, to avoid symmetry. When there’s a weak place on the back, ignore this rule and depart as many branches there as you possibly can support growth until the back is stronger, at which stage branches growing directly opposite each other may be cut away.

Examine the width of the tree branches and remove any thick branches from the surface; the branches of the tree should be thickest at the bottom, gradually narrowing since the work their way up the back. Consistently use concave pruning shears when eliminating heavy divisions.

Trim any branches that have grown outside the shape you desire to your tree.

Pinch back new growth each spring or fall, before or after the growing season, gripping the tip of the shoot securely between your thumb and index finger and pulling it off with your other hand, permitting the shoot to break naturally at its weakest point. Shorten new development or remove it if you don’t like where it is, but never remove all the tree’s newest growth at once.

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Protection for Growing Peaches From Worms

Sweet, tangy peaches (Prunus persica), growing in home orchards and yards, are vulnerable to pest and disease damage. Peach attract borer worms and other pests. Borers feed under the bark and assault peach trees and other stone fruit trees. It is possible to control most pest attacks with pesticides. Knowing early signs of infestation may help protect the tree and its fruit harvest.

Peachtree Borers

Two kinds of borers affect peach trees. The greater peachtree borer (Synanthedon exitiosa) Expand under tree bark to feed on sapwood. Stripped bark and bare wood are indications of borer infestation — a weakened tree invites additional pests and disease. Insects attack near the ground line and may kill young trees by cutting off nourishment to the back. Peachtree borers frequently enter the wood through cankers and pruning scars. Damage contains masses of gummy, sappy liquid mixed with sawdust on the outer bark of trees. Lesser peachtree borers (Synanthedon pictipes) infest upper areas of the tree’s trunk and branches. Both borer species produce larvae that live in bark through the tree’s dormancy. In spring, larvae mature into adult borers. Female borers each lay around 400 eggs into or under the tree’s bark.

Indications of Borer Infestation

Peachtree borers, though they look like wasps, are really moths and watching out for pest damage is a step toward protecting stone fruit trees, notes Ohio State University Extension. Inspect trees throughout early spring pruning — borer activity may be present if there are holes in woody branches or the trunk. Pheromones attract male borers to females, therefore traps featuring these synthetic substances can ascertain when to use insecticides to larvae. Traps for lesser peachtree borers should be hung in late April. Traps for greater peachtree borers should be placed on the tree in late May. Each snare, when monitored weekly, approximately determines the number of borers are in the tree.


Applying pesticides before borer eggs hatch might help control infestation, especially when trees are young. For protection during their first year, new trees should absorb pesticides into roots before planting. In the second year, use pesticides to back bark and around the base of this tree. Generally, the number of chemical programs needed depends on how badly infested the tree is also if you’ve got either one or two kinds of peachtree borer. Chemicals for use on peachtree borers include paradichlorobenzene crystals (PDB), endosulfan, carbaryl and permethrin.

Pest Issues

Even though borers are a common threat, peach trees are vulnerable to a number of other pests including aphids, mites, stink bugs, thrips and scale insects. Insect injury can lead to foliage to yellow, premature leaf curl and drop, honeydew excretion and sooty moulds on fruits. Twig borers, scale and comparable pests may weaken, damage or destroy twigs, branches and, in serious cases, entire trees. Some insects, such as San Jose scale, are preyed upon by 2 beetles, Chilocorus orbus and Cybocephalus californicus, and a couple of tiny wasps. Chemicals for basic pest and pest management include malathion, methoxychlor, dormant oil and fixed copper.

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