Julie D'Arcangelo - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Posted by Julie D'Arcangelo on 8/7/2018

Many parts of the country suffer droughts from time to time. When there are water restrictions and less of a water supply available to you, how can you keep a green lawn and happy plants? You may have to make some sacrifices, but there’s some tricks to wait out the tough conditions. While you wait for the rain, there’s steps that you can take to help your plants and trees survive a drought. Here’s some tips for surviving a drought: Cut Back On Fertilizing When it’s dry, the salt in fertilizers actually dehydrates the roots of plants. Also, since fertilizers stimulate growth, your plants will require more water. It’s recommended that you stop fertilizing when there’s a drought or dry spell. Adjust Your Lawn Mower Keep your grass at an optimal height. This is usually between 2 and 4 inches, depending upon the kind of turf grass that you have. This will help the grass to preserve moisture. Water when you’re able to early in the day. Water From Overhead When you water your plants, water them from overhead rather than under the leaves into the soil. This way, water will continue dripping off of the leaves for some time throughout the day. Water Early In The Day You want to be sure that when you do water your plants or grass that you water early in the day. When temperatures are lower, the plants will take more time to dry, helping them to preserve water for a longer period of time. It’s better for the plants if the foliage dries before nightfall. Try Drip Irrigation Drip irrigation tubing hoses water much more efficiently than overhead sprinklers when it comes to gardens that are planted in rows or blocks. These irrigation hoses water slowly and evenly. This method is incredibly economical. It eliminates the waste of water. Don’t Use Cold Water Just like humans, plants don’t like cold showers either. If you have seedlings, they could actually die from “shock,” especially if there isn’t enough soil to absorb the water. Never water plants with ice cold water. Stick to tepid water when you irrigate your plants. Check Items That You Have Transplanted You’ll need to check your transplanted items daily, especially during a dry spell. If it’s hot and there’s a wind, it will be even more important to check your plants. These conditions cause the water that you do use with your plants to absorb more quickly. Be sure you water the plants that you have moved evenly and consistently so that they can survive a drought. It’s important to conserve water as much as you can. During drought conditions, remember that water is precious. These tips should help you to keep your lawn and garden as fresh as possible without wasting water.

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Posted by Julie D'Arcangelo on 7/26/2016

Raised bed gardening is all the rage now, as “backyard farmers” do not have enough time to till, plant and weed large vegetable gardens for their families. Raised beds are easier to maintain and, with a little effort in establishing the garden, they can last for many years to come. They are convenient, often just outside your back door, off the deck, or close by in a selected space in your yard. Just make sure to choose a sunny spot, where the vegetable plants will thrive and produce bountiful crops for your enjoyment throughout the season. Size matters—you can tailor the size needed according to your family size and choice of vegetables to plant. It’s best to start small, such as a rectangular bed 8’ x 5’, or whatever you choose. Just make sure not to make it too wide, as you may need to be able to reach across to plant. It’s best to choose a location that allows you access on all sides, as you will need to move around the perimeter to work your garden. You can make the raised garden yourself, or get raised bed corners at a garden supply site, such as Gardener’s Supply Co. (gardeners.com). They come in different heights, from 6” to 23”. If you plan on root crops, such as beets and carrots, you might want to have a little deeper bed to accommodate those. Remember, the higher the bed, the more soil you will need. Lumber can be purchased at any lumber supply store, or Lowe’s or Home Depot, as you don’t want chemicals leaching into the garden. Don’t buy pressure-treated lumber; cedar is best for longevity. Once you have chosen the right spot in your yard, assemble the bed and fill with good potting soil. You can add fertilizer later. A little planning will assure that you will have a lot of success with just a bit of effort to become a successful vegetable gardener!

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Julie D'Arcangelo