Tropical Style

How to Care for Fruit Trees in Autumn & Winter

Selecting new fruit out of a tree in your own backyard may be a tempting dream, but for many home gardeners, fruit trees don’t appear overnight. In fact, there’s a great deal of work involved in caring for fruit trees all year long: gardeners have to be cautious about fruit pests and diseases and also take care when pruning to make sure that trees will grow a structure that will support those fruits of fantasy. Despite the fact that they’re dormant in the late autumn and winter, fruit trees nevertheless need some minimum maintenance in this year of rest.

Wait for the leaves to drop completely on all of fruit trees before beginning your dormant season examination. Look the tree over carefully for unusual growths, cracks in the bark that may be weeping sticky fluid, bark that is falling off, discoloration or other indications that something is likely wrong. Remove badly sick or damaged trees suffering from diseases that are incurable and replace them with more resistant varieties.

Examine your tree’s construction if it is very young and decide on which to make pruning cuts — generally speaking, wounds heal more rapidly during the late autumn and winter, since spring rains can support fungal and bacterial invaders. Remove much of the present season’s increase, particularly those branches at risk of growing into one another or rubbing as they mature. Cut out dead wood on old trees, in addition to any part of any trees that are showing signs of disease to slow its spread.

Select a dormant oil spray or inactive fruit tree spray according to your tree species and life history. Apply it thoroughly to ruin chronic pest and pathogenic agents when temperatures will probably be constantly above freezing for a couple of days. Avoid spraying general insecticides if your tree has already started to bud, because those poisons can linger, killing honeybees who visit early in the spring. Apply these therapies almost no time while the tree remains deeply weather and inactive conditions cooperative.

Keep a watchful eye on the weather. Apply a layer of mulch 4 to 6 inches deep into young, shallowly rooted fruit trees in case your regional weather forecast requires a hard freeze — even though you should wait to prune out frost damage to trees, a hard freeze could do extensive damage to the root systems of fruit trees and cannot be disregarded.

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Tropical Style

Magnolia Grandiflora Varieties

Few trees can match Magnolia grandiflora’s stately elegance. It is commonly called southern magnolia because of its prevalence in the South. Reaching heights that exceed 80 feet with a 40-foot spread, this indigenous tree needs large expanses of lawn to perform to its potential. Since most suburban lawns cannot accommodate its mature size, horticulturists have bred southern magnolia varieties that are more appropriate for smaller spaces.

Pyramidal

Three popular varieties have pyramidal shapes such as the indigenous southern magnolia. “Majestic Beauty” is a massive tree that needs a huge yard, but its older height of around 50 feet remains shorter than the native selection. Its outstanding feature is the large, fragrant flowers that appear in late spring and persist throughout summer. “Samuel Sommer” has even bigger flowers, but on shorter trees. Growing around 40 feet tall, its blossoms can reach 14 inches across. Whereas most southern magnolias are hardy only to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zone 7, “Edith Brogue” pushes the envelope around USDA zone 6.

Columnar

Southern magnolia trees that have columnar shapes are satisfied to smaller or narrower lawns. It is possible to plant them as specimen trees or flowering evergreen screens and hedges. “Hasse” types a tight column, growing up to 40 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Its shiny leaves are contrasted by dark green upper surfaces and dark brown underneath. “Kay Parris” is smaller, growing up to 30 feet tall and 12 feet wide with fragrant, 6-inch-wide flowers. A 1993 introduction, this tree is regarded as a cross between “Little Gem” and “Bracken’s Brown Beauty.”

Compact

The smallest southern magnolias are the ones that have streamlined or dwarf forms. All these varieties are suited to smaller yards. “Little Gem” reaches 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide and blooms at a younger age than most magnolias. Its leaves have been held uprightly, showing their brown undersides. “Baby Doll” is shorter, reaching a semi-rounded contour of approximately 22 feet tall and wide. “Teddy Bear” is one of the very compact southern magnolias, only reaching 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide.

Care

Irrespective of size, shape or variety, all southern magnolias require similar care. They tolerate varied light conditions, from full sunlight to partial shade, and different soils, such as clay, sand or loam. These trees are resistant to most diseases and insects. They require little to no pruning to maintain tree health, though the bigger varieties can be pruned into espalier types. Southern magnolia roots extend laterally further than most trees — approximately four times the distance from the trunk to the drip line.

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Tropical Style

Arborvitae Deer Damage

Arborvitae (Thuja spp.) Create a particularly delicious snack for deer. Based on the kind, the trees grow from 10 to 200 feet tall and are employed in the landscape since ornamental trees, hedges or privacy screens. They’ve red-brown bark and scaly leaves — the latter of which deer may eat when needed.

At-Risk Arborvitae

Few arborvitae are safe from deer, especially in the winter when food is scarce. They’re most susceptible in suburban areas where available food is even scarcer because of lack of additional greenery. Eastern Arborvitae (Thuja occidentalis) is prone to serious damage, while western redcedars (Thuja plicata) are the least susceptible of the arborvitae family. No arborvitae is totally safe from deer, however.

Damage

When deer eat arborvitae, they graze on the slopes from the bottom of the tree to as large as they can reach. This leaves green just on the tops of their trees and “bare legs” on the underside, as PennLive.com’s George Weigel wrote at a 2009 blog. The hurt doesn’t kill the trees, but it leaves an unsightly landscape mark. When the deer eat to healthy wood, then the tree will never fill the bare spots. If some growth is left on the tree, then it may recover in the following seasons if doesn’t again become food in the winter months.

Recovery

For trees that have no green left, you may either eliminate them or plant other trees in front of these to cover the bare spots. Plants that do have green development remaining require a little additional care. Fertilize in spring with a granulated evergreen water and fertilizer them through dry periods in the summertime. Both of these measures will motivate the arborvitae to push out new development, which you can then protect in the winter months.

Prevention

It is possible to protect the trees in sunlight when deer are mostly likely to hurt them. You may erect a physical barrier, such as a fence, but if you apply the arborvitae for landscaping, this may not be an appealing choice. Store-bought deer repellents function but need to be re-applied often because they degrade over time in snow and rain. If you would rather have a natural cure, North Dakota State University suggests creating a glue of a couple of garlic cloves, cayenne pepper and water and painting it above the bottom half of their trees. This additionally requires frequent reapplication.

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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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