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Lawn and Garden Trailers and Wagons, Which is Best?

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With the lawn and garden season rapidly getting underway, many people will be looking for a lawn trailer or wagon to pull behind of their lawn tractor. Most folks do not understand the differences between a wagon and a trailer and use these terms to describe the same piece of equipment even though they are very different.

Both items, a lawn wagon and a lawn trailer and used for the same purpose, hauling material around behind of your lawn tractor. But what makes these units different and which is best for your jobs is really a matter of personal taste.

A lawn trailer has a fixed position tongue which attaches to the back of your garden tractor. These units many have one of two axles depending on the size of the load you have purchased it for. With the fixed tongue, this makes backing the trailer up very easy, but the downside to this type of unit for the home gardener is the tongue has to be left hitched to your tractor or propped up with something if you wish to leave a load in the trailer.

A lawn wagon has a steerable front end, which allows the wagon to track directly behind of your lawn tractor. The wheels on a lawn wagon are normally spaced at the front and the rear of the unit, where a lawn trailer, if it is a tandem axle unit will have the wheels narrowly spaced in the middle or towards the back of the trailer. The wide spacing of the wheels on a lawn wagon allows the home gardener to unhitch the wagon from the tractor and use the wagon as a platform for potting plants and other tasks. The major downside to the lawn wagon is the steerable front end makes the wagon very difficult to back up.

Which is best? It depends on what you intend to use the unit for. If you will be having to back into an area several times, I would suggest that the lawn trailer would be your best bet. If you like the idea of ​​being able to use the unit as a mobile work platform and backing up is not an issue, then the lawn wagon would suit your needs the best.

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Garden Gazebos – A History

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The word "gazebo" has always conjured up an image of a circular garden pavilion in my mind. The walls and roof are made of white lattice and the wooden floor is polished a vivid red. The sun is always shining and for some reason, the time period is always around the 19th century, with people drinking tea and eating scones. Gazebos have several names eg pagodas, summerhouses, screen houses pergolas and arbors. Their popularity has risen and fallen nearly as often as the tides. At the moment they are experiencing a popularity resurgence as people crave the illusion of peace that they bring.

Their existence can be traced back thousands of years to the earliest gardens all around the world. They did not start start out as garden structures, but were built as towers or lanterns on the roofs of houses. Their only aim was to provide the owner with spectacular views of the neighborhood and surrounding areas. It was only years later that they were built on the ground as havens of peace and pavilions from which one could admire one's garden.

The earliest known gazebos were in Egypt about 5000 BC. They belonged to royalty who believed their gardens to be paradise on earth. They also believed that they could take their gardens with them into the afterlife. In order to do so they had to have the layout for the garden depicted in a mural in the tomb. The earliest mural that has been found in a tomb dates back to 1400 BC. Some historians and archaeologists have speculated that Egyptians used the gazebos as small temples to commune with their gods.

Gazebo-like structures were built in Rome and ancient Greece. They were built to resemble small temples, often complementing the larger temple dedicated to their gods. The building material of choice was marble. As Rome's population increased and space became an issue, the rich and important in society began building summerhouses along the Mediterranean coasts. Gazebos featured most prominently in these coastal getaways.

Persian gazebos were inspired by Islamic architecture and referred to as "kiosks". These forms of gazebos could be anything from colored tents to elaborate 2-story structures with marble columns and golden seats. As Persia suffered from very hot summers, many gazebos were built across pools or streams so that the cool water would help regulate the temperature inside. Pagodas were also used as tombs for their owners.

Pagodas in China were elaborate and ornate. In Japan they were called teahouses and were used for their Tea Ceremonies. They were considered as places to rest, meditate, and achieve spiritual harmony as well as being ideally situated to admire the beauty of the garden. Japan's view of the pagoda is very much in line with the western view as places of peace and quiet reflection away from the main house. In the late 18th century the architecture of Chinese pagodas became very fashionable in Europe and turned up all across the continent.

The Renaissance saw …

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Herb Garden Ideas

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Fresh herbs are the ultimate when it comes to cooking and many people now a days want them. What better way to enjoy fresh herbs in your kitchen than ones that are just minutes old. There is no deep dark secrets when it comes to growing herbs. In fact herbs are really very easy to grow and you don't need a large space to grow them in either. Most herbs can be grown in an area no bigger than a window box. Actually a window box would be an ideal place to grow a kitchen herb garden. There is enough room to grow parsley, basil, sage, or cilantro and it can all be in a compact container just outside the kitchen door.

Many herbs can even be grown on the window sill of a sunny window in the house. The trick is to keep the herbs picked and to start new ones before the plants start to get too woody. Basil is an excellent window plant. When growing herbs inside or out remember two things the first is herbs do not like a lot of fertilizer and most herbs like moist soil but it needs to dry quickly wet soil will do most herbs in.

How about a strawberry jar herb garden plant the top with a tall herb such as dill and then fill in the side with creeping plants like oregano, creeping thyme, or creeping rosemary. They will grow out the sides and hang down. just remember to keep the creeping plants trimmed to keep producing new leaves. You may substitute the plant in the top with something else such as sage if you like.

When planting herbs such as cilantro and basil it is good to do succession plantings maybe about 3 weeks apart so that you will have fresh leaves throughout the growing season. Cilantro and basil will go to seed quickly if not picked often and the flowers removed.

The main thing most herbs have in common is that they do not like wet feet and really do not need fertilizer as I mentioned earlier. Fertilizer will change the growth habits of the herbs and effect it's strength and flavor. Good soil will provide all the nutrients necessary to grow a productive herb garden. Also be careful what you plant as some herbs can become rather aggressive and take over the whole area chocking out everything else. Mint is a perfect example. Mint is very invasive so if you want to grow it I suggest that you grow mint in a container and never in the ground.

A good herb garden will pay big dividends in as your family and friends will enjoy the great taste coming out of your kitchen. You will have the satisfaction of knowing you are using fresh homegrown herbs to feed them.

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Controlling Grasshoppers in Garden Tomatoes

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If your tomato garden is being decimated by grasshoppers or locusts – what steps can you do to rid your plants of these awful pests?

The first thing to note is that nature will always lend a helping hand. Birds love grasshoppers and locusts; chickens also love them. Hence, if you keep chickens, it is often a good idea to place your vegetable garden alongside them to that they share as much boundary fence as possible. Other garden helpers are lizards, frogs, snakes, ants and assassin bugs. Parasitic and paper wasps as well as Robber flies also prey on grasshoppers.

It is a good idea to plant a perennial 'refuge' around your vegetable patch or tomato crop where these predatory insects can hide. Recommended refuge plant species are coriander, dill, anise, sweet Alice, clover and caraway.

When controlling grasshoppers, the first thing to do is to check whether the grasshoppers you are seeing are plant eating ones, or whether they are actually eating other pests in your plants; not all grasshoppers are plant eaters. Those that are predatory (eat other pests) generally have spiny front legs that are adapted to grabbing prey. In addition, there are 2 types of grasshopper: those which are large with long antennae (feelers, which are longer than the body) and those with short antennae. The grasshoppers with long antennae are often plant feeders and are usually nocturnal – feeding at night. Short 'horned' grasshoppers and locusts are active during the day.

To control plant eating grasshoppers and locusts, a number of options are available:

  • Cover plants with a physical barrier such as a mosquito net
  • Check plants early in the morning whilst it is still cool. As it takes a while for the grasshoppers to warm up, it is simple to catch them by hand or with a net.
  • Traps can be made by burying a bucket up to the rim and filling it with a 10% molasses-water solution. Put canola oil on the surface to deter bees and mosquitoes. Renew as required. A soft pesticide can be mixed in with the canola oil.
  • Use a chilli spray. To make it, blend half a cup of chillies with 2 cups of water and a drop of dishwashing liquid.
  • Insecticidal potassium-based soap may work on the small or younger hoppers.
  • Specific grasshopper biological insecticides are available in some countries such as the USA.

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Rift Warfronts Guide – The Black Garden

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The Black Garden is one of the Warfronts available in Rift Planes of Telara. This is the first Warfront you are able to participate in as a low-level player.

If you are not yet familiar with them, Warfronts are a lot like Battlegrounds from World of Warcraft. They are instanced PvP-only mini-games where teams of players (both random and arranged) queue up to do battle against the opposite faction.

By competing in Warfronts, players can earn favor (used for PvP rewards), experience points, and faction points. The Black Garden in particular offers faction points for the Caretakers (Guardians) and the Moribund (Defiant).

Once you have queued for a Warfront, you can go anywhere you want in the world and will be alerted when the queue is ready.

Once you are inside the Black Garden, the premise is fairly simple. There is a publicly displayed score for each team, and the first team to 500 points wins. Most of your points will be earned by carrying a flag, called the Fang of Regulos, which spawns in the center of the map.

Players can capture this simply by right clicking on it and after 1.5 seconds they will pick it up. Once a player is holding the flag, his or her team will begin earning points. Players can also earn points (albeit very few) for defeating other enemy players in combat.

However, there are two caveats to this. First of all, the player who is holding the flag takes damage over time. This increases considerably as time goes on, and once you pick up the flag there is no way to drop it. Eventually, you will die from damage. This prevents a single player from holding the Fang of Regulos for the entire game.

However, there is another facet to this game as well. The closer you hold the Fang of Regulos to the center of the map, the more points you get. If you run the flag far away from the center towards your base, you will only earn 1-2 points per "tick", whereas if you hold the flag in the center of the map you will earn 6 points.

Since you play to 500 points in The Black Garden, this is actually a lot of points. This encourages players to stand in the center of the map with the flag which makes the game a lot more exciting than your typical capture the flag type of PvP game.

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Wild and Free: Bees in Your Back Garden

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If you grow top fruit, beans, almonds, coppiced hazel or willow, flowering crops of any kind, or just have plenty of wild flowers in your garden, you will already have bees as visitors, so keeping a hive or two of honeybees would seem like a great idea. However, while my own main interest is in honeybees, my first piece of advice to gardeners thinking of taking up beekeeping is first to spend some time addressing the needs of other wild pollinators, especially bumblebees and solitary bees.

It may seem romantic to have thousands of honeybees buzzing round your flower beds, but the reality is that they are not entirely without problems. If your garden is small and urban, you may need to think carefully before placing a box of fifty thousand insects equipped with stings close to a neighbor's territory. There may be pets, children and elderly people to consider. You may want to think about how you use the space in your garden and how your activities – such as sunbathing, eating al fresco or simply hanging out the washing – may interfere with their flight-path, which at times may make Heathrow look like a quiet backwater.

I say these things not to put you off, but to encourage you to think carefully about what your real reasons for wanting to 'keep' bees may be.

The chances are that flowering plants you grow are already being pollinated quite effectively by wild bees and other insects and unless you grow such crops on a large scale, adding honeybees to the mix will have only a marginal effect on yields. Exceptions to this might include areas where neighbours routinely spray with insecticides – with the result that wild insect numbers have been drastically reduced – or places where wild bee populations have suffered for other reasons, such as heavy pollution or habitat loss. Unfortunately, in these cases, you are probably in the wrong place to keep honeybees.

Compared to most livestock, honeybees need little attention, and so can be added to a garden, homestead or smallholding without fear of creating a serious drain on your time. However, as with any other creature that comes within our care, someone must give them the right kind of attention at the right times, if only to ensure that they are comfortable, replete with stores and disease-free. Honeybees are – and will always remain – wild creatures, unimpressed by our attempts to domesticate them, so 'keeping' them is really a matter of providing suitable accommodation and allowing them freedom to roam. Beyond that – especially if you have honey in mind – you have to consider the degree and style of 'management' you will endeavor to apply.

Addressing the needs of other native bees first will help ensure that you do not cause an imbalance by flooding the area with honeybees while the local bumble population is less than optimal. Exactly how this can be assessed is yet to be fully established, but if bumblebees …

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Top 3 Garden Tool Storage Options

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When the growing season is done, we still need a good place to store our garden tools. Whether it's in their own separate shed, or just in a particular area in the garage, storing tools correctly is an extremely important part of keeping them in good condition. Garden tools that are allowed to become wet, or which are stored in a jumble on the floor can become damaged and useless. It's a much better idea to choose a storage option that'll help you keep your valuable garden tools in good shape, and ready for use again in the spring. Here's a look at some of the most popular options for storing your garden tools.

Garden Tool Sheds

Those who have a large number of garden tools may want to construct or purchase a shed just for storing them. It might seem like a lot of effort and expense, until you realize how much more space you'll have. If you spend a lot of time tripping over your stored garden tools in the garage or basement, or you just can't find a place for them, a separate shed might be the answer. These can be built at home (you may need a permit in some areas) or purchased at home and garden stores. Either way, make sure you choose a solid, leak proof garden tool shed that will keep your valuable tools safe. A locking door is important, if you live in an area where thieves are a concern.

Garden Tool Racks

Another option for garden tool storage is the overhead or wall rack. Either option allows you to hang your long garden tools up out of the way, keep them off the floor, and out of the water. This is a relatively inexpensive option, and it's even possible to make your own, if you're willing to be creative. Otherwise, take a trip to your local home improvement store and check out their selection of dedicated garden tool racks. This is a convenient way to deal with manual tools that won't break the budget or take up all that much space.

Garden Tool Cabinets

The last method for storing your garden tools is a tall cabinet. These are readily available, and can be found in metal and wooden varieties. Plastic cabinets are unlikely to be sturdy enough to hold up to storing heavy tools, however. Make sure the cabinet you choose is well put together and has room for all your tools. Be sure to leave adequate clearance for the doors to open and close, too – otherwise you'll never want to put your tools away or get them out again. Cabinets can range from very cheap to extremely expensive, depending on size, materials and construction. However, any type of garden tool cabinet will offer a lot more space and better organization than simply stashing your tools in the corner.

No matter which option you choose, take the time to think about what you need and how many tools you need …

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Why Should You Need a Garden Parasol?

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Spending time with family is what gardens are about. But some people maintain a garden because it's a hobby or it gives them peaceful mind. People often tend to lay a lot of emphasis in decorating their garden by adding in the right furniture or by adding in a lot of garden accessories. Gardening means a lot to few and when they think about enhancing their garden, a lot of stuff comes in their mind, ie which furniture to add and which should not be added. There are a few types of furniture's which should definitely be added, in order to add meaning to their garden.

Garden parasol is one of the must add furniture which will definitely add beauty to your garden. Parasols are nothing but an enhanced version of the umbrella which will keep you cool and contented under the shade it provides. There are of course a wide variety of garden parasols available in the market like the plain pattern parasols with bold designs or the classic teak parasols which will give you an outburst of colors in your garden.

There are different types of parasols like the Bambrella parasols which have easily replaceable teak spars and also have easily replaceable parasol covers. There are various canopy colors available and also have a double pulley system which won't weaken or snap like other parasols which use hollow poles and handle attachments. The parasols are available in various diameters where they are made out of single piece poles for extra durability and strength. It also has classic clean lines which give you a contemporary feel of natural bamboo or stainless steel. The wind resilient of this parasol is indestructible and can withstand winds up to 90mph. The wood of the parasol is made from FSC wood which is a renewable substance which makes the parasol environmental friendly. The Olefin fabric of the parasol is bulky and gives maximum cover while having low gravity, which means that it gives warmth without weight. The Parasol is weatherproof because it has low moisture absorption, which means that it can wick moisture and dry quickly and the fabric is also fade resistant and chemical resistant, which further gives the parasol a lot of durabilities. The guarantee of it is 5 years and the stainless steel spars are replaceable which will not rust or degrade.

There are also other types of parasols like the Diamond Teak Parasol which is superior to any other timber and the natural oil content makes it resistant to water and the dense grain does not make the parasol split or crack with exposure to the outside weather. The various ranges of parasols also include Cantilever parasol, Wall parasol, Sapphire hardwood parasol, Shanghai parasol, commercial parasol, etc. Parasols do not only look beautiful it is also very useful in providing shade when you are sitting under the scorching heat of the sun or if you want to de-stress yourself by relaxing under the patio or garden bench.

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Difference Between Pruning and Trimming Of the Garden

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One of the important tasks of garden maintenance is pruning and trimming of trees. While many of us use these terms interchangeably, there are a few differences that define these actions. Although both involve cutting away foliage and branches of trees and shrubs, the reasons for doing so can be different. Read on to understand the difference between pruning and trimming.

What is pruning?

The term pruning is mostly used in relation to cutting off branches, twigs, buds and sometimes even roots of trees. Dead branches or diseased portions of a plant are pruned to protect the plant and prevent the disease from spreading. Quite often, the utility companies prune the branches growing in the direction of electrical wires. You may have to prune large branches that are overhanging the swimming pool or growing over the roof to prevent them from damaging life and property.

Pruning is done with the help of shears – these are of two types, namely, hand shears and lopping shears. Hand shears are small sized shears that can be used with one hand to cut small branches, twigs and foliage. Lopping shears or loppers have a set of foot-long handles to ease the cutting of higher and thicker branches. Thick tree trunks are pruned with the help of electric tree saws.

What is trimming?

Trimming of trees is generally done to shape the plants to a certain design. Often, gardeners talk about 'trimming' the hedges where they mean clipping the hedge to a certain shape like box-shape or a mound. This process improves the beauty of the plant and promotes a healthy growth. A well-trimmed hedge adds to your yard's appeal.

Plants and shrubbery is trimmed with the help of hedge trimmers. Electric hedge trimmers do an excellent job of shaping your hedges to perfection. A variety of these tools are available with different features. If you're into the lawn care business or maintaining your own garden, these are essential tools to invest in.

Topiary or the art of trimming trees and shrubs for aesthetic purposes is a science in itself. If you're looking to improve the appearance of your garden, get an expert to do the job. Not only will your garden look beautiful, it would also increase the value of your property.

For the folks who are overwhelmed with these aspects of gardening, it is a good idea to get help with pruning and trimming of the garden trees. The service becomes essential if you have a huge overgrown tree that needs cutting back or your garden is ravaged by a storm.

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Water Garden Ideas and Advice

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Water Garden Ideas

Many beautiful and unusual plants can be grown in a water garden, and the making of such a garden is an adventure within the reach of everyone. Almost any receptacle capable of holding water is a potential pool, and there are water-lilies small enough to live and flower in an ordinary sized washing-up bowl.

If a pool is well constructed, if care is taken with the planting, and if the right planting compost material and aquatics (water plants) are chosen, water is easier to manage than grass. But with no other feature in the garden is the margin between success and failure so delicately poised. Great care is needed to hold the balance between clear water and a well-managed pool on the one hand, and smell, slime, green water and rank aquatics on the other.

Ideas for Siting a Water Garden

The position of a water garden is very important, for water-lilies and most aquatics love the sun. The warmer the water, the more luxuriant the growth and the greater the number of blooms will be. The best position for a pool, therefore, is in the open, as far as possible.

The shelter of trees or a hedge to the north or north-east of the water garden can break the force of driving winds and will considerably extend the flowering season, but be sure to build the pool some distance from the trees or hedge, so that dead leaves do not fall into the pool and foul the water. Alternatively, if your water garden is close to trees or a hedge, you can spread wire-netting over the surface of the pool during the few weeks of the autumnal leaf fall.

A very deep pool can be a disadvantage since depth controls the temperature of the water, but the water must not be too shallow or it will freeze up in winter. Fifteen to 18 inches of water above the crowns of plants is shallow enough to induce free-flowering and yet sufficiently deep to safeguard the roots in winter. Rock garden pools are often only 1 foot or even less in depth, and should be protected during very bad weather, but such precautions are impracticable for larger pools.

Water gardens are either formal or informal, and should fit in with their surroundings. The formal water garden is usually the dominant feature of a garden – in a central position or perhaps the key point of an area to which all paths-lead. It is regular in shape (a circle, square, oblong or some geometric form) and its outline is defined with a raised kerb or flat, paved surround. Fountains can be placed in the water garden, but as a general rule running water is not desirable, especially if the water supply comes from a natural spring or similar low-lying source, because it will constantly lower the temperature and also destroy the calm on which water-lilies thrive.

Formal pools look better in conventional surrounds and do not blend with natural …