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Apr 29, 2010

We apologize for no blog postings in the last few weeks, but Google Blogger will no longer allow anyone to host blogs at their own domain name and on their own server via FTP, so we have been working very hard to move our blog.

Our New Blog Location is: http://www.weekendgardener.net/blog/

For RSS Readers: After today, Thursday, April 29, 2010 you will no longer receive our blog via RSS unless you:

1. Update our new blog address in your reader

2. Come back to our blog at its new location and sign up again

For Email Subscribers: If you have subscribed to this blog via email, you should experience no interruption - we think. We will be testing tomorrow with a new blog post from our new location to make sure everything is working correctly.

We are very sorry for this inconvenience, but it was not our choice and we are trying to make it as seamless as possible for you. We just want to get past this and get back to providing you the best Gardening Tips & Ideas that we can!

Thank you for your patience and understanding,

Gardening Tips & Ideas
Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine

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Posted: Apr 29, 2010 5:26am
Apr 9, 2010
Lilacs (Syringa spp.) have to be one of the best smelling flowers of spring. They have such an intense aroma.

In order to make sure you enjoy your lilac flowers every year, they will need to be periodically pruned. Lilacs, like many flowering shrubs flower on new growth.

So if you haven't pruned your lilac in a while, and you have been getting fewer and fewer flowers every year - you need to prune.

Most lilacs don't need to be pruned until they have matured and reached six or seven feet (2 to 2.25 m) tall, and there are two ways you can prune them.

1. In the spring right after they have finished flowering since this will allow new shoots plenty of time to grow and develop buds for next season.

2. Or if your plant is really old and has stopped flowering, prune in late winter, early spring while the shrub is still dormant. You want to do this because it's easier to see the old wood and new wood.

Take some loppers or really sharp pruners and go through and thin out all the old wood stems all the way down to the base of the plant. This will thin your plant out and allow new wood to grow, and you'll have many more flowers as a result.

Pruning lilacs is easy and fast and there is no better way to ensure regular flower production than cutting them back every year or two.

It's also better for their health, because when you open up a lilac plant by thinning it out, you allow better air circulation and less powdery mildew and other diseases will occur.

Lastly, don't worry if you prune too much off. Lilacs are tough plants and they will come back even better the next season.

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine

Have great week!

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Posted: Apr 9, 2010 12:24am
Feb 18, 2010
Throughout the year we talk a lot about the benefits of mulch.

It's great for water retention in the soil, it helps fight weeds and drought, and it also can be a good soil conditioner.

The problem with mulch however is that it can harbor weed seeds and make a mess of newly made and planted garden areas.

To avoid this problem, we need to make sure that any weed seeds that may be hiding in mulches such as hay, manure, compost, small bark, and grass clippings don't become a problem for us.

Here's How To Get Rid Of Weeds in Garden Mulch

1. Choose a full sun location

2. In late winter or early spring, take your mulch of choice, and spread into a 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick layer on soil or concrete

3. Water it well

4. Cover it with black plastic

5. The weed seeds will sprout after few days of warm weather, then will be killed by frost and lack of light

6. The mulch is now ready to safely use anywhere in your garden

Related Articles:

The Wonders of Mulch - A Complete How To Use Mulch Guide

Mulching - How Much And How Deep?

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine

Have great week!

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Posted: Feb 18, 2010 4:05am
Feb 18, 2010
This week finishes up our three-part series on starting vegetable, flower and herb seeds indoors.

This is an important topic, because if you start seeds too early, you can hurt your chances of success.

To make sure you start your herb seeds at the correct time, here are some guidelines to help you figure out how many weeks you need to allow between starting herb seeds indoors and transplanting them into the garden:

Herb & Weeks to Transplant Time:

Basil - 4 to 6
Chives - 6 to 8
Dill - 4 to 6
Lavender - 8 to 10
Rosemary - 8 to 10
Sage - 6 to 8
Thyme - 8 to 10

Remember: smaller plants tend to transplant into the garden really well, so there is no pressing need to grow large transplants.

Related Articles:

Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors That Thrive

Get the Most Out of Mail Order Seed Catalogs

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine

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Posted: Feb 18, 2010 3:04am
Feb 11, 2010
This week finishes up our three-part series on starting vegetable, flower and herb seeds indoors.

This is an important topic, because if you start seeds too early, you can hurt your chances of success.

To make sure you start your herb seeds at the correct time, here are some guidelines to help you figure out how many weeks you need to allow between starting herb seeds indoors and transplanting them into the garden:

Herb & Weeks to Transplant Time:

Basil - 4 to 6
Chives - 6 to 8
Dill - 4 to 6
Lavender - 8 to 10
Rosemary - 8 to 10
Sage - 6 to 8
Thyme - 8 to 10

Remember: smaller plants tend to transplant into the garden really well, so there is no pressing need to grow large transplants.

Related Articles:

Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors That Thrive

Get the Most Out of Mail Order Seed Catalogs

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine

Have great week!

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Posted: Feb 11, 2010 2:19am
Jan 27, 2010
Winter is still very much here, but as we discussed last week, you can get ready for spring planting soon. The key however, is to start your indoor seeds on time.

The problem is that most gardeners start their flower seeds indoors too soon, and since most don't have enough (or adequate) lighting, the seedlings tend to get spindly and weak before it's time to transplant them into the garden.

To make sure you start you flower seeds at the correct time, here are some guidelines to help you figure out how many weeks you need to allow between starting flower seeds indoors and transplanting them into the garden:

Flower & Weeks to Transplant Time:

Ageratum - 6 to 8
Aster - 6 to 8
Celosia - 6 to 8
Centaurea - 4 to 6
Cosmos - 4 to 6
Marigold - 4 to 6
Morning glory - 4 to 6
Snapdragon - 8 to 10
Statice - 8 to 10
Stock - 6 to 8
Strawflower - 6 to 8
Sweet Pea - 4 to 6
Zinnia - 4 to 6

Next week, we'll discuss starting herb seeds.

Related Articles:

Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors That Thrive

Get the Most Out of Mail Order Seed Catalogs

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine

Have great week!

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Posted: Jan 27, 2010 4:58am
Jan 19, 2010
Many gardeners like to get a start on their spring garden by sowing seeds indoors. This is great, but if you start them too early, you can hurt your chances of success.

Since most people don't have enough (or adequate) lighting, the seedlings tend to get spindly and week before it's time to transplant them into the garden.

So, make sure you don't start your vegetable seeds too early. Remember, smaller plants tend to transplant into the garden really well, so there is no pressing need to grow large transplants.

Here are some guidelines to help you figure out how many weeks you need to allow between starting vegetable seeds and transplanting them into the garden so you'll know when to start vegetable seeds indoors.

Vegetable & Weeks to Transplant Time:

Broccoli - 4 to 5
Brussels sprouts - 4 to 5
Cabbage - 4 to 5
Cauliflower - 4
Celery - 10
Chinese cabbage - 3 to 4
Cucumbers - 3 to 4
Eggplant - 6 to 7
Leeks - 8
Lettuce - 3 to 4
Melons - 3 to 4
Peppers - 7 to 8
Pumpkins - 3
Squash - 3
Tomatoes - 4 to 5

Next week, we'll discuss starting flower seeds.

Related Articles:

Starting Vegetable Seeds Indoors That Thrive

Get the Most Out of Mail Order Seed Catalogs

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine

Have great week!

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Posted: Jan 19, 2010 3:05am
Dec 28, 2009
Free Gardening Calendars For 2010 Now Available!

It's that time of year again and we have finished putting together our beautiful gardening calendars for 2010.

Each free gardening calendar comes with a colorful picture and two to three pages of gardening tips and "to dos" that are appropriate for that time of year including what to plan, plant, prune, maintain, plus weed and pest control and fun projects.

Print out as many as you want!

Just go to: Free Gardening Calendars

If you like them, make sure to share them with your family and friends.

Enjoy and Happy New Year!

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine

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Posted: Dec 28, 2009 4:26am
Dec 11, 2009
If you love blueberries, but just can't grow them because of their acidity and other requirements, you might want to try juneberries.

Juneberries (Amelanchier spp.), also known as serviceberries and saskatoons, are one of the easiest berries you can ever plant and grow.

Unlike blueberries, they grow in any type of soil, so you can plant them just about anywhere as long as they get full sun.

Juneberries produce sweet berries that taste very similar to blueberries and can be eaten fresh right off the shrub, used in baked goods, cobblers, dried and stored, or made into jams and jellies.

Because they naturally contain quite a lot of pectin, you don't need much thickener when cooking them into jam. The Indians, who used them like blueberries, dried them and added them in stews and pemmican.

They have seeds like a blueberry, but they are softer and have a mild almond flavor. When they are cooked, the taste is so similar to blueberries they are hard to tell apart.

Another great aspect of these shrubs and small trees is that they are very disease resistant and not susceptible to any insects.

Juneberries are not only tasty, but they are very ornamental with showy white flowers in the spring and red leaves in the fall.

Depending upon what variety you plant, they can be grown as shrubs or small trees, and each plant will produce large quantities of fruit.

Here are two varieties that do very well:

1. Juneberry / Serviceberry - Regent Saskatoon
Amelanchier alnifolia 'Regent'


Regent Saskatoon Serviceberry, (Amelanchier alnifolia 'Regent'), is a multi-stemmed shrub that displays multitudes of white flowers in spring and produces small black-purple fruits that are sweet; excellent for fresh eating or making jelly. Birds love them too. Since it flowers early in spring, this plant provides food for many pollinating insects. The gray-green foliage turns yellow to red in fall and is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds. Amelanchier 'Regent' is very winter hardy and has healthy foliage that is not bothered by insects or disease. It is drought tolerant but water regularly; do not over water.

Mature Height 4 - 6 feet (1.2 - 1.8 m)
Mature Spread 4 - 8 feet (1.2 - 2.4 m)
Soil Type Widely Adaptable
Moisture Widely Adaptable
Mature Form Mounding
Growth Rate Moderate
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Flower Color White
Fall Color Yellow to Red
Foliage Color Gray Green
Zones 2-7

2. Juneberry / Serviceberry - Shadblow
Amelanchier canadensis


Shadblow Serviceberry, (Amelanchier canadensis), is a large upright shrub that contains beautiful snowy white flowers in the spring before the foliage appears. The Shadblow produces sweet red-purple edible fruit that can be used in pies and jellies. This shrub spreads by sucker growth from the roots and the blue-green foliage turns yellow to red in the fall.

Mature Height 20 – 25 feet (6.0 - 7.6 m)
Mature Spread 10 – 15 feet (3.0 - 4.6 m)
Soil Type Widely Adaptable
Moisture Widely Adaptable
Mature Form Upright
Growth Rate Moderate
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Flower Color Snowy White
Fall Color Yellow to Red
Foliage Color Gray Green
Zones 4-8

Click Here: To purchase or get more information about Juneberries / Serviceberries

Other Helpful Articles:

How To Successfully Grow Wonderful Berries - Part 1

Successfully Grow Berries - Part 2

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine

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Posted: Dec 11, 2009 3:53am
Nov 18, 2009
The tree leaves that accumulate around your yard or garden can be a valuable natural resource for you to use because they provide a good source of organic matter and nutrients.

Leaves don't always seem like a good thing however, especially when you have a lot of raking to do, but if you can, be thankful and hang on to your leaves.

Leaves contain 50 to 80 percent of the nutrients a plant extracts from the soil and air during the season, so if you can, use and recycle your leaves around your property rather than raking them up and throwing them away.

Here are 4 of the best ways to use leaves in your yard, garden, or landscape:

1. Leaf Uses - Mowing
Mowing leaves that have fallen on your lawn area is most effective when a mulching mower is used, but if the leaf drop is light, a regular mower will work just fine. In fact, during times of light leaf drop, or if there are only a few small trees in your yard, simply leave the shredded leaves in place on the lawn. They will act as a beneficial mulch and compost and will help your lawn.

2. Leaf Uses - Mulching
Leaves can be used as mulch in vegetable gardens, flower beds and around shrubs and trees. The best way is to rake the leaves into a pile and then shred them with your lawn mower or a shredder if you have one.

It you have the option, use a lawn mower with a bagging attachment because it is a fast and easy way to shred and collect the leaves. Leaves that have been mowed or run through some other type of shredder will decompose faster

Leaves that are not shredded won't decompose as well and will only smother what they are put on. Try and never let leaves remain on a lawn without raking them up or they can smother the grass underneath.

  • Apply a 3 to 6 inch (7.5 to 15 cm) layer of shredded leaves around the base of trees and shrubs making sure not to put any right up against the trunk or main stem of trees or shrubs.

  • In annual and perennial flower beds, a 2 to 3 inch (5 to 7.5 cm) mulch of shredded leaves is good.

  • For vegetable gardens, a thick layer of leaves placed in between the rows work both as a mulch and as an all-weather walkway that will allow you to work in your garden during wet periods.

3. Leaf Uses - Soil Improvement
Leaves that have been raked and shredded can be worked directly into your garden and flower beds. A 6 to 8 inch (15 to 20 cm) layer of leaves tilled into a heavy, clay soil will improve aeration and drainage. The same amount worked into a light, sandy soil, will improve water and nutrient holding capacity.

Note: A basic strategy for using leaves to improve soil in vegetable gardens and annual planting beds is to collect and work them into the soil during the fall. This allows sufficient time for the leaves to decompose prior to spring planting. Adding a little fertilizer to the soil after working in the leaves will hasten their decomposition.

4. Leaf Uses - Composting
Leaves are great to add to your compost pile or bin. Once again, shredding them first will help them decompose faster, but whole leaves can be added in as well.

Other Helpful Articles:

The Complete Guide To Mulch

Mulching - How Much and How Deep?

For more Gardening Tips and Gardening Advice visit our main gardening website at Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine

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Posted: Nov 18, 2009 3:24am

 

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