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Shauna's blog

Raindrip hanging basket watering system

A couple of summers ago I vowed that I was done dragging hoses around my deck before or after a long day at work. My planters on my deck are large whiskey barrels and only need watering about every third day but I always have two hanging baskets that need watering daily and while it's really hot sometimes twice a day.

I could handle watering the barrels with the hose every third day but doing the baskets everyday was getting tiresome. I started with the Hanging Basket/Container Drip Kit and decided to put up a very simple drip system for the two baskets.

I gathered the tools required, the Drip Kit, a small hammer, a pair of scissors, a cup of hot water (to soften the tubing) and began the job. Fifteen minutes later I was done and I could not believe I had waited that long to do it.

The Raindrip system is really slick. The last summer I added my deck planters to the system and at the moment I am adding the three tomatoes that I grow in five gallon pots.

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Nigel's Fruit Tree Pruning Tips

Training of a fruit tree begins in the early years, and the aim is to develop a well balanced framework of branches that are capable of supporting the fruit crop. This permanent framework provides the reference points for pruning a mature tree.

Early pruning should only be enough to establish this desired framework; heavy pruning on a young tree can delay fruiting. I find open centre pruning is the most common and the most beneficial to use on fruit trees. This is the style of pruning I will explain today.

Open style pruning produces a bowl or vase shaped tree with no main central branch but instead many of the major limbs, or scaffold branches, angle outwards from the main trunk. These branches usually start at about 2 to 3 feet above the ground and should spiral around the tree with about 6 inches between each of the branches. Being able to identify the difference between new and old growth and what is a fruiting spur and a fruiting bud is important when pruning.

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How to Plant Fruit Trees

 

Fruit trees grow best in full sun locations where the ground drains well. Most home gardeners will want to plant semi-dwarf fruit trees, these being about a third smaller than their standard counterparts. As semi-dwarf trees are smaller they will easier to pick the fruit from and easier to prune.

Some of the best types of trees to grow in our area are apple, pear, cherry and plum. Once you have decided on the type of tree, you need to decide how many trees you have room for. If you only want one tree, be sure to get a self-fertile tree. Otherwise, your tree will not reliably set fruit. Pollination can be complicated so be sure to take the time to discuss pollination when you purchase your trees. We will help you with that.

Peaches are a bit trickier to grow in our climate but can be grown against a south or west wall with an eave over them to keep rain off their leaves. The reason for this is because peaches are very susceptible to a fungal problem called 'Leaf Curl' on our wet west coast. Renton and Frost Peach are excellent varieties for our area because they are less susceptible to Leaf Curl but the excellent flavour of Redhaven makes it a common choice as well.

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What's New & What's Hot 2011

Bedding Plants

Petunia 'Black Velvet' 

Brand new and velvety black;this petunia is going to get your creative side excited!What will you combine it with? Tiny white flowers of bacopa or 'Diamond Frost' Euphorbia, shimmery pink Osteospermum, or dramatic chartreuse potato vine? It's the little black dress of petunias. Goes with everything and adds drama to all occasions.

Roses

Colorific  

Very large flowers of peach, coral and salmon tintedwith scarlet and burgundy edges make each flower interestingand uniquely beautiful. Strong long stems with a light fragrance make it a lovely cutting rose also.

  

Dick Clark  

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Amaryllis

Everyone loves the magnificent blooms of the Amaryllis. Trumpet shaped flowers are up to 9 inches across and displayed in shades of pink, white and deep Christmasy red.

Amaryllis hybrids should be grown indoors and make spectacular potted plants that are sure to amaze. Amaryllis Hybrids include:-Red Lion (large deep red), Red Peacock (double red), Red  Pearl (deep dark red), Flamenco Queen (variegated red and white) and Ruldolf (extra early blooming, deep red).

Amaryllis bulbs are easy to grow for yourself or as Christmas gifts.

Method:

 

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