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Category Archives: Garden

Types of Plant Breeding

Plant breeding is a science that deals with intermixing of plant varieties to produce new varieties having desired characteristics. In simple terms, two selective parent plants are taken to create an offspring plant with shared characteristics, the progeny is then studied to ensure the availability of desired traits.

Breeding of plants for getting desired characteristics has been in practice since the beginning of agriculture. As civilizations emerged, domestication of wild plants also started. Plant offspring that showed favourable traits were carried further and those with unfavourable characters were dropped. In this way a genetic pool evolved, and today the cultivated plants display characteristics that are very different from their wild ancestors.

Fundamentally, there are two types of breeding processes – Traditional and Modern.

Traditional Breeding of Plants

This process incorporates methodical crossing of closely or distinctly related varieties having certain desirable traits and some undesirable features to produce offspring that have more desirable traits. In this way, breeding of plants introduces new features from one of the varieties into a different genetic background. For example, offspring resulting from the cross are further crossed with high-yielding parent to ensure proper yield. Now the progeny is tested for yield and pest resistance and those with high yield and disease resistance are developed further. In case of flowers and ornamental plants, flower color, shape and size etc. are the factors that decide favorable features inherent in a plant.

Traditional breeding depends largely on homologous recombination of chromosomes to bring about genetic diversity. Traditional plant breeders may also use advanced options of in-vitro techniques viz. protoplast fusion, embryo rescue or mutagenesis to achieve diversity and produce hybrid varieties that otherwise may not exist naturally.

Traits Breeders Look for Incorporating in New Varieties

The traits that breeders look for include-

  • Better quality such as increase in nutrition, better flavor or enhanced beauty
  • High yielding capacity
  • Increased tolerance towards environmental conditions such as high temperature, salinity, draught etc)
  • Resistance against bacteria, fungi and viruses
  • Increased resistance towards insect pests
  • Enhanced tolerance towards herbicides
  • Prolonged storage for harvested crops

Modern Breeding Techniques

Latest developments have enabled scientists to have a peek inside the genetic code of plants. Now scientists can examine the DNA of seeds to find the ones that will give best results. Methods like genetic marking and genetic modification can be used to induce desirable traits into plants and develop new varieties.

It is possible that the presence of a gene can affect a desirable trait in plant. Molecular biological tools such as DNA fingerprinting and genetic markers can be used for gene mapping. Plant breeders are then able to screen large plant populations with respect to a desirable trait. This screening is based upon the presence or absence of the gene of interest as determined by laboratory methods.

Steps Involved in Plant Breeding

  • Creation of variation
  • Selection
  • Evaluation
  • Release of new variety
  • Multiplication of new variety
  • Distribution of new variety

Horticulturists implement breeding of plants to develop new varieties of plants that have desirable traits and prove more worthy to the society. Though, it is a tedious and time consuming task, the end result is very fruitful. It can be said that this technology is very important for securing our future. If you are planning for a lovely garden you can contact with the experts to get the best breeds.

Tips to get a Garden in Balcony

One of the perks of living in compact buildings in the outskirts of the city is that you learn to make the best use of space around for things you want. In the outlying areas of any city where space is never for anything, you will have to make the best of whatever you’ve got. I wanted a nice garden and all the space I had beyond my living rooms was the balcony which wasn’t being used for anything else, so I thought it deserved a transformation. So ahead I went and after a few hours of work, I got my garden. Are you looking to do something similar with your balcony?

Why Balcony Gardening Is Difficult?

The biggest problem with balcony gardening is the absence of soil. There isn’t enough sun light, or perhaps excess sun. Then you have to figure out how to water your garden and finally there are kids pets to worry about. Once you have figured these points out it’s all about getting the following simple points right.

Setting up focal points in your garden

No garden, no matter how big or small is going to need a focal point. Some use evergreens to create focal points, other make use of size to create an aesthetic contrast in the garden, while some others explore pops of colour to create that effect. Find out what works best for you and create a focal point you like.

Find good container plants

Container plants don’t need a lot of space to grow – which makes them perfect for a balcony garden. Search for container plants and buy those online or you can approach your local nursery for seeds & saplings. This is also where you will find all the necessary instructions on growing them back home.

Get Good Designer Planters

The charm of your balcony garden will truly pop only when you use Designer planters. Finding illuminated planters isn’t that difficult. Tons of online sellers sell them and they will even ship it for an additional charge. This is where all the magic is. The exoticism of your balcony garden won’t be very evident unless you get premium Designer planters.

Protecting against elements

Protect your balcony plants against the onslaught of nature. Too much heat or rains will cause your plants to wither and die. Whenever you observe too much heat or rains, take a hint and bring your plants indoors to prevent serious damage.

Advantages of a Hydroponic Grow Box

The Hydroponic grow boxes have several advantages to itself. They are :

  • Non messy – Unlike planting a sapling on soil, the planting of a sapling in a hydroponic box is clean and non messy where one doesn’t have to soil their hands with mud and dirt and accordingly plant their desired plant with ease.
  • Functional in all weather conditions – Despite the changes in the weather outdoors, a hydroponic grow box can be used as and when one intends to whether it is hot or freezing cold outside. It doesn’t have any effect on the growth of the plant as the box is equipped with functionalities that aid to a normal growth of a plant.
  • Multifunctional – A hydroponic grow box is generally multi functional as when kept indoors in a house, it acts as a piece of attraction as well as a box to grow plants in them.
  • Untouched by pests – Since the hydroponic grow box is safely secured with glass walls and fitted in a box, there are no chances of pests attacking them and also since there is no presence of soil in the box, there are no chances of soil borne insects destroying the plant.

If used commercially, a hydroponic grow box gives better productivity as the roots are constantly taken care of by supplying the necessary nutrients from time to time. There are chances of the plants getting lesser amount of carbon dioxide while indoors but there is always a provision to supply external carbon dioxide to the plant that initiates the plants growth.

Way Attract Everyone use Sunjoy Gazebo

A gazebo can even be a place where anyone can enjoy a privy chat with a friend, and it can prove to be the perfect rendezvous for your next birthday party or even a marriage anniversary. They add variety and decoration to the garden or landscape one has. They are an ideal place to rest and relax. One can use them as rain-shelters too.

A sunjoy gazebo is going to be the ideal for your next gathering. But using high quality sunjoy gazebo is of the utmost importance to get the most satisfaction. It is certainly going to be the best way to attract more and more people to a public area like a park. This is going to be a place where people like you are going to find comfort and relaxation after a heavy walk or even a jog around the park.

The only point of caution is that you should be aware of the nuisance caused by mosquitoes. A mosquito net is the best way to make the day good. Using high quality sujoy gazebos is going to be the best way to keep away all mosquitoes and related problems. This is the best way to complete and comprehensive satisfaction.

This is going to keep away mosquitoes that can be a bother when anyone enjoys a cup of tea with some friends. The quality of the gazebo is to ensure it can stand the hard weather. This means it should stand through all kinds of seasons that are to come its way.

There is to be a cold and biting winter with some snowfall. The quality of the gazebo should be such that it should stand through the season. In some places, there are hard rains that can cause a lot of havoc. The building material of gazebos should be such that it can beat all the elements of nature.

It is always good to consider the quality of gazebos since they are an inherent part of the landscape in countries where the weather is warm and sunny. These gazebos bear a lot of the sun, and they should be made of such material that can bear the heat of the sun.

Gazebos are known to have been popular in quite a few civilizations like in China and Persia. There are many more examples dating back to millions of years in history. They can even be seen today in parts of England. These date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. They are a part of elaborate gardens.

Present day gazebos are usually made of wood. Artificial roofing structure is used to cover these gazebos. Many structures employ screens and nets to keep away mosquitoes and other flying insects. They have become a fad during festivals that commemorate music in the US and the UK.

An individual may be in any part of the world, all he needs to get hold of a quality gazebo is the internet. He is sure to find a wide assortment available on online portals. They even offer mosquito-nets that can be used with gazebos to enhance their utility.

Herbs and Veggies that Growing Indoors

Cilantro with the lacy leaves and lush green make a pleasant vision. It add flavor to the dishes and can be grown easily indoors. It requires less care but ample light cilantro cannot stand much heat and requires only moderate amount of light from sun. So choose an east facing window or better a South facing one, for cilantro so that it gets the required light but not the intense heat. While watering, make sure that you add water just enough to moist the soil and do not drench it.

Lettuce is fast growing herb, perfect for an indoor garden. It can grow in warm weather but can also survive the cooler weather with 65-70 degrees F. it requires more light. Grow them in plastic bags or containers so that the moisture is retained inside. Lettuce is best when grown from the seeds. Once they grow mature, cut the leaves only allowing new sprouts to grow for a fresh batch. The containers can be placed on the balcony or window sill where there is ample sunlight but have some shade also. Choose your container wisely as lettuce can grow faster and crowd the pot.

Peppers are used in culinary but can also be a decorative piece indoors with its bright colored fruits. Peppers need plastic pots and keep them in warm environment. A well lit spot is just perfect for any type of pepper plant. Keep the plants moist. Grow from seeds and transplant the seeds to deeper pots when they are taller. Add enough fertilizers and water it to keep the plant and soil moist. Fruiting will happen within 100 days of transplantation. Harvest the fruits when they are ripe and shiny. Most pepper plants produce the fruits, throughout the season.

Spinach is a super food with much nutritive value. The spinach plant needs medium weather with nit much heat or cold. The normal room temperature is enough. A sunny spot is just perfect for spinach to grow healthy. What it needs is a deeper container to establish the roots. The container should be at least 8 inches deep. Spinach is the best option to grow during winter as it needs the moist weather and less heat. Avoid over exposure to the heat and light, it might produce tall flowers and make the leaves taste bitter. The Catalina variety is the most accepted variety of spinach to grow indoors.

Tomatoes are great tasting healthy vegetable or a fruit with lots of vitamins and other nutrients. Growing them indoors is easy and healthier option. They are grown indoors on dwarf plants. They are placed right near the window to get lots of heat and light. The South facing window is the best bet for tomatoes. One may also add a fluorescent light for extra lighting during winter when the light is less. While watering, keep the soil moist, at all times, but never soak it with water. Moderation is the key to successful indoor tomato growing.

Facts about Hydroponic System

Gardening at home is something that is performed as a hobby where people like to beautify their garden with flowers and other plants. With the shortage of open spaces in urban areas, people have opted for an alternative to performing gardening indoors. The rise in demand for hydroponic systems has led people to pursue their hobby in the comforts of their home without having to go outside. It is manufactured keeping in mind the need for growing plants and vegetables within the environment indoors and not getting access to anything direct from nature. Before taking the plunge into fixing a grow box at home, there are a few basics that people should know.

  • Meaning of Hydroponics – Indoor gardening comprises of growing plants with the use of water, nutrition and necessary lighting. It is the artificial alternative to growing plants outdoors without the use of soil. Since the plants are grown in an artificial environment, all the necessary care needs to be taken to place the seeds, provide necessary nutrients with the water as well as providing adequate light and ventilation to keep the plant nourished and allowing it to grow. The light fitted in the system is a substitute for sunlight and thus should have adequate power to provide the right nourishment.
  • The operating procedure for hydroponic system – For those grow boxes kept at home; there is an area below the seed placing area which should be frequently replenished with water rich in nutrients to enhance the growth of the seeds. While the seeds have matured into saplings, there is a need to provide ventilation as well as light that would let the plant grow naturally. The plants growing in the grow box should regularly be cleaned in order not to let dust and dirt gather on it. This enhances the growth of the plant and thus making it gain an almost natural environment as that of outdoors.
  • Choosing the right lighting system – As sunlight has the necessary power to nurture a plant; there should be artificial lighting that can closely represent the sun. Any random light cannot serve the purpose and thus specialized stores can help people to end their quest for a lighting services that can enhance the growth of a plant in the grow box.
  • Purchasing them from authorized retailers and manufacturers – For those who intend to have a professionally created hydroponic system in their house, one should purchase them from designated retailers who manufacture them with the best techniques letting people have the best outdoor gardening experience.

Garden Gnomes

Wind chimes give our yards and gardens a special ambiance with the wonderful sounds they make whether it is a soft tinkling of inexpensive chimes or the deep soothing musical tones of the big beautiful ones. What better to accompany those great sound makers in your garden than a cute whimsical garden gnome.

Garden gnomes have been around much longer than you probably think. The tradition has been around since the early 1800’s with Germany being the first to produce them in factories there and the gnomes were made of clay. However, they actually became popular in the 1840’s after folks in England started adding them to their gardens. The first garden-gnomes that were mass-produced came from Germany in the 1870’s. With the onset of the world wars, production of the garden gnomes soon came to a halt. The gnomes we know today, many made of plastic began making their appearance in the 1960’s. The gnomes are whimsical and cartoonish, but not necessarily to everyone’s taste. There is only a few manufacturers that make gnomes of clay and resin, and are finished by hand and not mass produced. The die hard gnome fanciers seek out these gnomes for their gardens. Gnomes come in a variety of poses and sizes.

Known as symbols of good luck, gnomes were also thought to provide protection over things like buried treasure. Even today they are placed in fields to watch over crops. Some were even placed in the rafters of barns to watch over livestock. Of course they are also most popular for placing in the garden. The farmers that placed gnomes in fields also believed that their good luck charm would ensure a greater yield of crops while protecting them from pests and other problems. Some even thought that the gnomes would help the gardeners through the night.

The word “gnome” is thought to be Latin for “earth dweller”. They were often referred to in German fairy tales. Similar creatures were found in folklore across the world, and were known by different names, such as the Hob in England.

Although gnomes weren’t really described very well in any of the stories, one thing is common throughout the world when it comes to their general look. Most are wearing simple clothing and a red hat and usually have a long white beard. The lady gnomes which aren’t that commonly seen in gardens, tend to be dressed in a simple dress and they have long hair also topped with a red hat. Is anyone else thinking that gnomes sound a lot like Smurfs?

Garden gnomes can be found these days in so many different configurations. Some may be holding a keg of beer, others snooze lazily in a hammock while yet others provide a source of solar lighting while mooning visitors to the garden.

Gnomes don’t always end up staying put in the garden where they are placed. Some have become the victims of a prank kidnapping. Photos of the kidnapped gnome is taken to show the adventures and travels of the little bearded guy, travels to some places that I’m sure most of us would envy.

Garden Shed

Garden shelters offer many possibilities: wood, metal or plastic, traditional or contemporary. From simple shed to shelter or attic space, they go up in record time, and fit perfectly into the landscape.

1) Use of the shelter:

A garden shed meets a specific need. The choice of model and size depends on the purpose for which it is intended. To facilitate the purchase, it is better to ask the right questions.

A shed for garden equipment?

A place that allows tinkering, prepare seedlings?

A summer kitchen, a playroom for children?

An annex for visiting friends?

A living space, all season?

Criteria to be considered:

Function, height, materials … are all criteria to be considered for choosing a garden shed.

Function: storage, conversion, Living

Ridge height: to travel at ease: 2.20 m mini

Material structure: durability over time, finishing, maintenance

Ground anchor and method of assembly

Type of roof and roofing

Presence or absence of a floor

Openings: doors, windows, glazing

Equipment options: shelves, tool racks …

Good to know: the guarantees vary from 2 to 10 years depending on the material and design quality.

2) Choosing a shelter – size, material, joinery:

Area

Garden shelters fall into several categories.

To organize supplies and garden equipment, bikes … an area smaller than 6 m2 is ideal.

To equip sheltered workshop, established or install a large storage space, 6-14 m2 are recommended.

A convertible shelter, from 14 m2, allows a very comfortable seasonal schedule.

From 20 m2, shelter living spaces are full.

They have a thick structure (up to 44 mm) and Home separations

The windows are double glazed for maximum comfort

Material of the structure:

You have the choice of three materials: wood, metal and PVC.

Raw or autoclaved wood: spruce, fir …

Painted wood: soft or warm colors (Mediterranean) .

Metal: galvanized steel / lacquered insensitive to rust (but does not like the salt air)

Or PVC resin: aesthetics (maisonette stage), resistant to all climates, virtually maintenance free. A water wash is sufficient.

Joinery

A shelter is often composed of a door and a window.

Swinging or sliding door, single or double (essential for passing tractor, workshop machinery, bulky furniture …)

Fixed or windows (hinged, tilting), acrylic glazing or glass (systematic for double glazing)

Skylights (skylight)

3) Installation and maintenance of a garden shed:

Mounting a shelter:

Metal roofing, PVC or resin are simple and quick to install (pre-assembled panels)

Wooden shelters offer two types of construction: pre-assembled panels (easy to assemble) and boards or planks to follow suit (guaranteed resistance)

With or without floor:

Roof-shaped

Again, three types of roofs are proposed.

1 pan: adossable shelter.

2 or 3 sections: traditional.

Flat roof: contemporary.

Support and coverage

The shelter roof can be composed of:

panels chipboard or OSB waterproof, covered with roofing felt (roofing)

battens and cover shingle close look of slate or flat tile

different panel thicknesses and battens

Interposing a sealing film between the foundation and the base of the shelter to prevent rising damp.

Metal shelter

Shelters made of metal or plastic may suffice with an anchoring kit for stability.

For lighter, there are storm kits that prevent the lifting of the roof when the wind blows hard.

Drainage of rainwater

An evacuation of rainwater is recommended to protect wood runoff.

Maintenance of shelter

Maintenance of raw wood

Insecticide treatment / fungicide before assembly

1 or 2 coats of stain after assembly

2 coats of stain every 3 years

Maintenance of autoclaved wood

Glaze every 10 years

Maintenance of painted wood

Regular washing, sprucing up with paint microporous “special wood”

Maintenance of metal, PVC resin

Jetting water

Implementation and administrative procedures

A few rules to follow before installing your garden shed:

For areas less than 20 m²: simple statement of work

An area equal to or greater than 20 m²: demand for building permits required (information in town hall).

Tips Gardening in Summer

Successful gardening in summer might be a challenging task. So are you ready for it? No? Not to worry, as we’ll give you some simple yet effective summer gardening tips that will help your garden survive the wilting effects of summer.

Here are some best tips to keep your garden in a good condition and shape even during summer.

1. Take care of budding plants

If you’ve plants that drop the buds in summer, take good care of them. The plants in summer will dry out easily, especially when they are grown in outdoor planter pots. So you need to water them at least twice a week. Water the budding plants deeply during dry and hot weather.

2. Keep the pots in a cool place

During summer, your pots will be overheated. Therefore, try to place them away from the scorching sunlight. Instead of growing your plants in saucers of liquid, try growing them in sand and keep the sand moist.This will keep pots and plants cool, ensuring the healthy growth of plants.

3. Add nutrients to the water

When watering plants occasionally, try to water them deeply and add soluble fertilisers and other nutrients to water. This will help the plants get proper nutrients for better growth. You can use potash if you’ve fruits like mango or banana in your garden as it will improve the flavour and will control diseases as well.

4. Try to water in the morning

If you want the water to soak in before it gets evaporated, it is always better to water your plants in the morning. Moreover, the plants in the outdoor planter pots can use the water during the day that you supply to them in the morning. You can also water your plants in the evening, but there will be the risk of fungus formation. Why? It is because such organisms look for damp and dark places to grow.

5. Use cold water

When watering your plants in summer, make sure that you do not use hot water or a hose that has been heated up in the sun. Using hot water will stress the sensitive plants. So use cold water and store the hose in a cool place before watering. You can also run out the water that is heated before you water your plants.

This post will surely help you to make your garden look beautiful in summer as well. To make it look more appealing, you can use large outdoor planter pots. So get ready to enjoy your garden during this summer holidays.

The Benefits of Bach Flowers

Bach flowers have existed for almost a century. These are flower essences made from thirty-eight flowers and that take their name from their designer, Edward Bach, a physician specializing in bacteriology. Completely natural, they are supposed to restore balance to the body by transforming negative emotions into their positive equivalent.

Bach Flower against mood swings

Everyone is meant to experience periods of happiness, sadness, excitement or mild depression. But for some people, the mood swings are legion and extend well beyond the normal, becoming episodes of mania and depression. People with the disease can quickly move from a state of euphoria that of intense sadness. Uncontrollable, these mood swings are fast becoming unbearable and lead to inadequate behaviors, such as compulsive shopping.

People who suffer need to approach a psychotherapist, but the Bach flowers are a natural treatment for this problem. They are known to help and to regain a sense of reality and to reduce the feelings of depression.

Bach Flower against overwork:

The world of work is becoming harder, and many people recognize undergo constant pressure. Sometimes, they can have a profound impact on the well-being and lead to overwork, also called burnout . Those who suffer often they feel suffocated all the day and they feel that they can not think of anything but their workload. This causes adverse effects on health and personal life.

I’ts often necessary To escape, the work stoppage.To have sick leave days are essential to recharge the batteries and to feel well, but proved inadequate to address the real causes of the problem and prevent relapses. The cognitive behavioral therapy is the most commonly used treatment that can help us, but other natural approaches such as the use of Bach flowers can be considered also useful . This flower can help overcome negative states of mind and reintroduce vitality in the life of the individual and to improve the concentration.

Bach Flower against anxiety attacks:

In general the anxiety attacks occur abruptly. Conventionally, the sufferer of this kind of attacks will experience intense fear (fear of death, fear of becoming crazy), and that involved a feeling of immediate danger and unpleasant physical sensations for instance palpitation, sweating, tremors, chest pain, etc . The physical symptoms that accompany these anxiety attacks are more or less spectacular and fueling the fear felt by the person who feels totally to loose the control.

To remedy these painful anxiety disorders, in general psychotherapy shows very effective. It is even the preferred treatment in many cases, before having to resort to drugs. It can be enhanced by treatment with Bach flowers. Some are particularly known for helping to overcome the fears and reduce stress.

Bach Flowers to stop smoking:

Everyone is now convinced of the many dangers of smoking, but the fact remains that the number of smokers dont decrease. Who is guilty? Maybe the nicotine, the addictive substance, the psychological dependence.

Smoking day after day and for this reason the cigarette is automatically linked to a range of other activities: when we are pressed, we take a break at work, at the end of a meal or when we drink a alcoholic beverage.

Cessation of the smoking requires a lot of strength and perseverance. The Bach Flowers can help us to remain calm in difficult times and be more relaxed.

Bach Flower to become more sociable:

While a person would be delighted to share his feelings with a stranger, another may struggle with herself just to say hello to an acquaintance. The virtue of been sociable is not given to everyone. Some people experience difficulties to, establish contacts with other people: in medical terms, those disorders are described as pervasive developmental disorders (PDD) or social phobias. Those are who suffer more often than others from stressful situations and depression.

There are many behavioral therapies to help socialize more and to open up to others easily. Bach Flowers can nevertheless constitute a supplement to help reduce panic that occurs face new persons, learn to manage stress episodes and improve social contacts.

Bach flowers for better focus:

Many people are prone to problems concentrating at work or school. The mobile phones and social media have amplified the well known phenomenon in people with Hyperactivity Disorder Attention Deficit (ADHD). This is one of the most common disorders of childhood and adolescence.

Drugs alone are insufficient to help with the problems of attention deficit. People who suffer this kind of disorder have a real need to be help by someone to manage it.The treatment based the Bach flower helps in the cognitive behavioral therapy and they are assumed to increase the level of concentration.

Bach flowers for better sleep:

A good night’s sleep can legitimately be regarded as a fundamental basis for a healthy life. However, people suffering from insomnia are more and more numerous: 13% of Canadians and nearly 20% of French people say they regularly are those victims of the insomnia. Among the physical and environmental factors that have an important influence on sleep are include the brightness and the ambient sounds. Psychological factors such as stress or worries also can play an important role. They would account for 50% of all the cases of insomnia evaluated in a sleep laboratory.