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aloe vera

The aloe vera plant, which originated on the African continent, has been around for thousands of years and is known to possess some very important medicinal properties. It has been proven that the gel from an aloe vera plant can successfully treat burns, cuts, and rashes. Therefore, it would be extremely beneficial to have this plant at your fingertips. Although an aloe vera plant can be considered a low maintenance flower, you will still have to follow the correct steps in order to get the most from this miracle plant.
The aloe vera plant can be grown either indoors or outdoors. When the plant is grown indoors, it usually grows at a slower rate. When it is placed outdoors in the sunlight, the plant tends to grow at a much faster pace. After seeds are planted, it usually takes the aloe vera plant two years to reach full growth. When the plant reaches its mature stage, the medicinal qualities are much more potent than the younger plants.
When growing your aloe vera plant, you want to make sure that the soil is rich, but loose. The soil surrounding this plant has to have adequate drainage abilities. Since aloe vera is made of about 95% water, it would not survive if it was placed in heavy-packed soil that allowed water to sit at the surface.
Once your planting is complete, it is time for watering to take place. It is imperative to know that, although the plant has to be consistently watered, it is not to be continuously drenched in water. Overwatering the aloe vera plant can lead to the rotting of the root and will cause the plant to perish. You should concentrate on watering your plant daily, but it will not come to harm if you do not water it for a week.
It is also important to know that the aloe vera plant will not grow at all in a freezing climate. Extremely cold temperatures are detrimental to this type of plant. Aloe vera is known to flourish in warmer areas, reaching it full potential. Your aloe vera plant needs a great amount of sun to successfully grow outdoors or other sufficient light to grow properly if planted indoors.
The aloe vera plant has many important qualities and will serve as a plant with a purpose. If you follow the steps and keep your plant healthy and strong, you could reap some amazing benefits by having the super plant around for years to come.


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Growing Witch Hazel

witch hazelWitch hazel is a strong and robust plant that can withstand a variety of weather conditions. The desirable conditions for this plant include a spot that is sunny or partly sunny and at other times in the shade. The plant can grow up to 30 feet, but this can a while as the plant tends to grow slowly over time. In this article we will look at ways in which one can look after witch hazel.

It is often a good idea to trim away the lower branches. This helps the plant to grow fuller and stops its resources being wasted, as will small pruning sessions from time to time . The plant produces flowers towards the end of the summer and into the early winter months and should withstand some of colder climates the winter months may bring.

The plant is found beside streams on the river bank when in its natural habitat. However, the plant grows much better when it is cultivated by an individual in soft soil, rather than the hard clays that it may have to grow in when growing naturally. When growing from seeds, it is important to propagate the plant effectively. When the seeds start to look ripe, it is time to sow them in a well shaped container space. The Witch hazel does not often gather attention from many bugs. However, aphids and scale insects can sometimes be a problem.

Witch Hazel can be used for a number of things. This includes the control of spots and blemishes. For example Oro Gold 24K 2-Step Cleansing Kit uses Witch Hazel. This can be done by rubbing some of the mixture onto a cotton bud and then rubbing onto the area on the skin that has a problem. The plant can also be used to calm the effects of bruising on the skin, as well as an effective antidote to tackle the problem of bags under the eyes.


Heirloom TomatoesFace it, the reason so many people have decided to go back to the heirloom foods is the taste quality. The problem is when people plant heirloom tomatoes, they may end up disappointed in the results they get because the taste quality is not present. This is when people should use some tips for growing heirloom tomatoes to enjoy the great taste they want to have.

The first tip for people to use when they want to grow these tomatoes is to buy the plants from a reputable nursery or start their own. By doing this, people will know the quality of the plants, but also know exactly how the plants are going to respond. If the plants are purchased from the regular store, the nursery may not be as reputable and the seeds may not be the heirloom variety people want to have.

Proper spacing for the plants is another aspect for people to consider. Typically when people have problems growing plants it is because of spacing issues. When the heirloom tomatoes are crowded for space, they tend to choke each other out and this leads to a lower harvest when the plants are ready to be harvested. With the proper spacing, the plants will have plenty of space to grow and produce the great heirloom taste people want.

Fertilization is another aspect which people want to consider. These plants, while they are hardier, will need to have properly balanced soil. With the soil being properly balanced, people will find the plants are going to grow stronger and produce fruits which people want to have. If the plants are not properly fertilized, they will spend more time reaching for nutrients and this can create smaller fruits.

As many people have found, the store bought food is not nearly as tasty as the great heirloom variety of plants people can grow at their home. This is when people should know some tips to help them in growing heirloom variety tomato plants at home, rather than having to buy them from the store all the time.


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Successfully Grow an Apple Tree

apple garden treeThere is nothing better than a fresh piece of fruit. If you love apples, growing an apple tree is a great idea. Not only will you have apples right in your yard whenever you want one, it is also something that the entire family can take part it. You and your children can watch the entire process over the years from seed to tree.
To get the seeds, you can either purchase them at your local nursery or hardware store or you can simply save some seeds when you are eating an apple. You want to start off with about four seeds.
When you have your seeds, you want to lay them out so that they can dry. You do not want any excess moisture on the seeds shell. This can take a few days.
Once your seeds are dry, you want to prepare them for soiling. You want to wrap your seeds in a damp paper towel and place it in the refrigerator. You will need to keep the seeds in the refrigerator for about a month. It is important to check often to be sure that the paper towel is still damp. If the paper towel dries out, you seeds will not sprout.
After your seed has sprouted, it is time to put it in a cup with potting soil. After you have seed is planted, it is very important to water it daily. The soil needs to stay moist but not too wet. If the soil is too wet, it will drown the seed. If it is too dry, the will get crumbly and it will not be an effective environment for your seed to grow.
Watch your seed grow and when it begins getting big, you will need to transplant your seedling to a larger pot. You want to remember to keep watering it daily. If you want apples that are all natural, do not use fertilizer that you buy in a store. The best fertilizer for all natural apples is a leaf mulch or compost. You want to grow your seedling in the larger pot until it is big enough where it is visible and nobody will step on it or confuse it for a weed.
When your seedling is big enough, it is time to transplant it outdoors. You need to find a spot for your tree to grow. When choosing the spot, you need to find a spot that will get a good deal of sunlight. It is also a good idea to plant the seedling to a place that is out of the way. You do not want to put the seedling in a place where your children play. You will run the risk of them stepping on the tree. Be sure that your tree will have enough room to grow. You can expect your tree to reach a height of around 20 feet.
When you are planting your sapling, it is important to plant the tree at the right time of your. If you live in a predominately warm climate, you should plant the sapling in the fall. If you are in a colder climate, you should plant your sapling in the spring when there is no more threat of a cold frost killing it.
When you dig your hole, it is important to dig much wider than the roots. This will give them enough room to grow. When you transfer you sapling, be careful not to cut off any roots. When you place the plant in the hole, it is important to water the tree into the hole. This will prevent air pockets. You should spread hay or hardwood chips a few inches thick in a circle around the tree, about 3 inches. In doing so, you will help to keep the moisture around your growing tree. It will also prevent grass from growing around the tree. You do not want grass to grow around it because it will rob the tree of its nutrients and water. If you plan to use a fertilizer or compost, do not add it right after you have planted your tree. It is best to wait a couple months before adding either type.
For the first year, you will need to keep your water your tree daily. You do not want to soak the tree, just keep it moist. After the first year, unless you live in a dry climate, mother nature will keep your tree watered. If you do live in a dry climate or if you go through and uncommonly dry spell, you may need to continue to water your tree.
When your tree is growing, it is important to protect it and care for it. It is a good idea to prune your tree as little as possible for the first few years. If you prune your tree too often, you could delay it from bearing fruit. You want to protect your tree from insects who will try to feed on your growing tree. If you live in an area with a high deer population, it is a good idea to put a mesh fence around the tree. Not only will the deer try to eat the leaves on the tree, they can also do damage to the trunk.
With a good deal of care and protection, and a little luck, you will have delicious apples for years to come.


best roseA rose is commonly known as the universal symbol of love and happiness throughout the world. Therefore, many gardeners place this flower at the top of their list when they desire to create a beautiful floral garden. But, an exquisite rose will not just sprout up perfectly without the correct planting and nurturing. There are important steps that go into correctly cultivating the perfect rose that will be the center of attention for any floral arrangement.After selecting the type of rose that will be planted, the gardener has to decide on a planting spot. Once the hole is created,  the root of the rose should be placed securely into the soil. Some may choose to either plant their roses in the ground or in a pot. Regardless of the method used, the planter has to place the flower into loose soil that will drain as necessary to keep the rose from practically drowning in too much standing water.In order to allow the rose bush to thrive, the gardener should avoid planting in an area that will be dark most of the time.

A rosebush needs have approximately six to eight hours of sunlight per day to successfully develop its flowers. Roses that are planted in poorly lit areas will not immediately perish, but they will gradually weaken to the point of non-existence in time.Once the roses are planted and placed in adequate sunlight, the watering process begins. Roses are the types of flowers that survive from being heavily watered, especially throughout the summer months. The gardener cannot allow the soil that surrounds this plant to dry out. During the summer season, roses should be watered at least once per week.After the rosebush has started to grow at a steady rate, pruning has to take place in order to keep the flower as healthy as possible. Therefore, the gardener should prune the bush in order to open up space and keep the plant from becoming to crowded with excess branches. This process will allow the plant to not succumb to the devastation of rot or disease.Finally, after the luscious colorful roses are in full bloom, the gardener should focus on protecting them from harmful elements such as inclement weather and pests. Since the winter months can be hard on the flowers, they should be heavily trimmed down and covered in a thick layer of straw to keep the plant from suffering from heavy winds and ice. To protect against bugs that could destroy the plant, the gardener should stay away from most insecticides and just simply spray with water.Reaping the reward of beautiful roses takes careful planning and execution. Unnecessary obstacles can be thwarted if the plant is consistently loved and cared for properly.


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How to Grow Tulips

tulipsTulips are a flower that grows during the springtime. Tulips are a perennial but they do best when they are treated like annuals. Perennial flowers can grow many times over; these plants hibernate through the cold months and grow again once the weather warms up. Annual flowers do not hibernate through the cold months so they do not usually comeback when the weather warms up.
Picking out healthy tulip bulbs is important in growing tulips. Make sure when selecting the bulbs that they are not soft, bruised or have mold on them. In addition look for any other kind of damage while inspecting them. Tulip bulbs need to be in good condition.
When planting tulips it is a good idea to look for soil that is kind of sandy and also gets the proper amount of sun. Sandy soil provides good water drainage. Water drainage is important because tulips are grown from a tulip bulb and if there is not enough water drainage around the bulb it may rot. A sandy soil also helps to increase the chances of the tulip to come back the following year. If a sandy soil cannot be found add some to sand to the soil where they are to be planted.
Now that good bulbs have been selected and a good spot for planting them has been found it is time to start planting. Tulip bulbs should be place on average in a six inch deep hole these holes should also be five inches apart from one another. Be sure to plant the bulbs at the depth that way they should all grow about the same way. If they are not planted at the same depth some of the tulips will out of the ground whereas others will not be up yet.
After placing the tulip bulbs in the selected spots, cover them back up with soil. After they are covered water them. The tulip bulbs will not need to be water again until after they have come up and started to grow some leaves. Remember tulips need to be in soil that has good drainage because their bulbs can rot if they have too much water.
After the tulips have flowered the flowers can be cut off and used as center pieces on a table or for whatever other purpose that might be intended. However there are still things going on with the tulips bulb under the ground. Leaving the leaves on the stalk of the tulip plant will allow the bulb to continue to receive food which will help the new tulip plants grow back next spring. Remember that the leaves catch the sun’s rays, water and carbon dioxide and turns these things into food for the plant through photosynthesis.


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Guide To Growing Dogwood Trees

Dogwood TreesIf anyone is interested in growing Dogwood tree plants, they will undoubtedly want to learn more about the different options that they have.  This is a relatively hardy plant, being capable of growing in a few different types of locations.  Many people will want to review how they can actually secure the best overall conditions for their new Dogwood trees.  This will help them grow strong and be more capable of resisting different types of weathering issues.  Growers should try to plant them at specific times of the year and during optimal growing conditions.  This will give them the best chance possible of growing to maturity.

There are actually a couple different ways that people can grow Dogwood trees.  Some gardeners will want to go the traditional route and grow these trees from seedlings.  This will be a challenge for many people, but they will likely appreciate the opportunity to grow many of these plants at once.  If trying to grow from seed, planters may want to set down a few different seeds at the same time.  This will help increase the odds that some of them will ultimately grow to maturity.  There are many people who have opted to grow these plants from clippings as well, which may prove to be very successful.

Planters should make sure that they set down the seeds in an area that will have fertile, moist soil.  This will create the best possible growing conditions, which will allow the Dogwood trees to grow to fruition.  Most everyone will appreciate that they can burlap and bundle these plants easily, which will help protect their growing root structure.  This will help make sure that the plants put down stable roots as well, which will help them throughout the growing season.  Owners should think about the different advantages that they might be able to get from setting down these trees.

When they notice that these trees have started to sprout, they will need to take a few different extra steps.  People will be able to review how they can actually mulch and fertilize the soil around the plant that is sprouting.  This will help make sure that the plants can put down roots in firm soil and will still get the nutrients that they need going forward.  When growing Dogwood tree plants, owners will be rewarded by an impressive flowering display.  This will tend to occur when the trees are mature and when they get the best overall nutrient support.


Passiflora caerulea
With its distinctive flowers and impressive climbing ability, the Passion Flower, Passiflora, is certainly an eye-catching plant. Despite its origins in the warmer regions of the Americas it is easy to cultivate in more temperate climates. It is often grown in containers in a sunroom or glasshouse, although there are several species, such as Passiflora caerulea and P. incarnata (Maypop), that are hardy and will grow quite happily outdoors in the right conditions.

Habit

Passiflora is a fast growing evergreen or semi-evergreen climber with palmate leaves. It can reach an average height of 10m (33ft) climbing by means of tough coiling tendrils which grip to any form of support they can reach.

It flowers from early summer until autumn with exotic blooms ranging from white through shades of red and blue to deep purple. They are often followed by oval fruits that turn yellow or orange as they ripen; only the genus P. edulis is grown for its fruit.

Hardiness

USDA Hardiness Zones: 6 – 10 depending on the species.

Planting and Aftercare

Growing Passion Flowers is not difficult as long as you bear in mind a few basic requirements. They need a lot of sunshine and, unless you live in a frost free region, it is advisable to choose hardy varieties. Even these should be planted in a sheltered spot and may require some winter protection.

• They need some type of support, either netting, trellis or another plant;

• a sunny South, South West or West facing wall is ideal as it will absorb the heat and encourage growth and flowering;

• in cooler regions grow Passiflora in a container. It can then be moved around for maximum sun and taken indoors if the winter is harsh;

• if growing in a sunroom, shade from direct sun to protect leaves from scorching.

Passion Flowers like any rich soil and are not fussy about acidity or alkalinity. Good drainage is important to prevent roots from rotting in winter, however they do not like drought and flower best when the soil is kept moist. Feed with a general fertilizer in early spring.

Pruning is necessary to control the plant and encourage flowering. In the first spring after planting cut out any weak or damaged growth and tie two or three of the strongest shoots to the support to form a framework for the plant’s future growth. Prune established vines in spring before growth starts in order to remove dead shoots and prevent overcrowding, but avoid hard pruning which may reduce flowering for the next year or two. Removing the tendrils before pruning makes it easier to detach the stems from the support.

Propagation

There are several methods of propagation:

• by seeds sown in damp potting mix under glass in spring. Collect seeds from fully ripened fruits in autumn;

• by softwood cuttings of young shoots in summer;

• by layering;

• by rhizomes.

Problems and pests

There are few problems associated with growing Passion Flowers. Possible pests are scale, spider mites and white fly. The main challenge is keeping the plant tidy and preventing it from invading the rest of the garden.


HydrangeaMany people feel like you need a green thumb to produce the perfect plant. However, hydrangeas may be the exception to that rule. Hydrangeas are one of the most forgiving plants to cultivate and nourish. As an added bonus, you will be able to enjoy this plant when little else is bloom. With a little patience and following the tips below, you can be on your way to growing hydrangeas in little time at all.

When to plant: You should plant hydrangeas in the spring or fall for the best results. They bloom in the summer or fall.

Soil: This plant really can grow well in any type of soil. For the best results you will want porous, moist soil. If you are using soil that is less than desirable, you may want to add a soil compost to enrich it.

Sunlight/Shade: You will want to ensure that your hydrangeas are planted where they can get direct sunlight in the daytime, and shade in the afternoon for optimal results. However, again these plants adapt, and are pretty content growing in partial shade majority of the day.

How to plant: You should dig a hole that is as deep as the root ball and about 3 times wider. Place the plant in the hole, and fill half way with soil. Water the soil. After the water drains, then add soil to the top and water again.

Spacing: If you are planning more than one shrub it is best to plant them about 5 to 10 feet apart.

Water: These plants require plenty of water, during times of a drought ensure that you keep them well watered to avoid the leaves from wilting.

Pruning: It really depends on what type of hydrangea you end up planting but as a minimum you will want to prune after blooming. Other than that it is fine to just remove the dead stems in the springtime.

With a little love and practice, growing hydrangeas can be an accomplishment that you can add to your list. They are an excellent choice to add color to your garden as they come in red, blue, purple, white or pink.


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How to grow cucumbers

cucumbersSome people are wary of growing cucumbers because they have been told they are difficult to grow. This is not the case. Just a few simple steps will allow you to produce a good crop of fruits. The first thing to know is that there are three varieties. Some need to be grown in a greenhouse usually in a grow bag. These do not need to be pollinated. You will need to remove any males flowers as if they are left they can give the cucumbers a bitter taste. The second group are outdoor varieties. These are known as ridge cucumbers and need to be grown in a sunny well drained spot. They do need to be pollinated but insects will do this for you. It is also possible to buy varieties that will grow indoors and outdoors.

Germination
Place your seeds on a damp piece of kitchen towel intil the show signs of small shoots. This is known as Chitting. The plant the chitted seeds into either a propogator or small 7.5cm pots. The should be planted to a depth of 1cm. Keep them in good sunlight and in moist compost. When the plant has 3 leaves it will be ready to transplant into your chosen location.

Planting out
If using a greenhouse they can go into grow bags at the end of March. They need to be kept moist. Once the plant has 6 or 7 leaves pinch out the growing tip. This encourages growth of the fruit rather than making more leaves. The plant needs to be trained up a cane securing the plant at a number of points. If growing outdoors wait till early summer. They do not need to be trained but just allowed to grow on the surface of the soil. Pinch out males flowers. Female flowers are easy to spot the have a small swelling beneath the flower which becomes the cucumber. Feed them fortnightly with a potash rich fertilizer.

Varieties
Two indoor varieties to try are Zeina mini and Carmen. For outdoors try Masterpiece and Greenfingers. Burpless Tasty Wonder can be grown inside or out.