Loading...

Follow Gardening Wizards on Feedspot

Continue with Google
Continue with Facebook
or

Valid

What stands between you and a perfect lawn? Your grass going wild! What can you do? Mow your lawn to perfection with the best reel mower! After that, all you need to do is take out a rocking chair, lay back with your favorite book or magazine and a glass of a cold drink and enjoy the fruits of your labor- a perfectly symmetric, gloriously green lawn!

Why Choose Reel Mower?

We all know how rapidly the technology develops nowadays, and the world of lawn mowers is no exception. The modern mowers look like spaceships and are advertised to be almost self-sufficient, but do you really need all that technology that can malfunction at any time and leave you with a half-trimmed lawn? We say NO!

It is better to forsake all the electric, battery-powered and gas mowers and opt for a traditional, eco-friendly, reel mower. These classic machines might have been invented in the previous century, but they are still going strong as ever. Why is it so? Well, they have a few advantages worth mentioning:

1. Good for your health as well as the health of your lawn

You might be a bit skeptical and wonder how in the hell can a reel mower be good for my health, but we assure you it is really so and will explain it. First of all, you need to hand push the reel mower, and that requires physical effort.  Afterall, pushing the mower will not be very easy as the rotating blades will provide resistance. In fact, pushing the reel mower for twenty minutes will burn you about 150 calories, or approximately 30% more than you would burn when using the gas push mower. Therefore, using a reel mower makes for a great exercise and fat-burning activity!

Mowing Calorie Burn Test - Reel vs Gas - YouTube

As far as the health of your lawn is concerned, reel mowers are also a better choice than rotary mowers, and there are environmental horticulture studies that prove it. Namely,  the reel mowers cut the grass like scissors, unlike the rotary mowers which shred the grass blades. In that way, the tissue is less damaged, less water is lost, and the plant goes under less stress. Furthermore, the grass is less prone to diseases and even looks better when you use a reel mower to keep it in check!

2. Low maintenance

In the hectic modern world, we appreciate every free moment we can get a hold of and thus tend to choose things that do not need a lot of our attention- the great news is that a reel mower is exactly such a machine! It really requires minimal time and effort to be maintained. You need to lubricate it from time to time and sharpen the blades every couple of years and that's it!

3. Low Noise Level

Do not expect the soundless operation, but in comparison to the smelly and noisy gas mower, the reel mower will feel like music to your ears. The sound it produces is most often described as the gentle snipping, and no one seems to be bothered by that!

Unfortunately, it is not all bells and whistles! There are actually a few downfalls to using the reel mowers we need to mention as well if we want to be objective- and we always strive to be!

Using a reel mower on a large lawn can be quite tiresome. If your lawn is larger than a quarter of an acre, do not even try it! In the spring the grass grows very quickly, and the temperatures can be pretty high, so mowing a lawn this big can really exhaust you and cause health issues rather than resolve them.

Secondly, using a reel mower requires great diligence and keeping to a strict schedule. If you allow your grass to overgrow reel mower will not be able to cut it but rather just push it down and roll right over it. You also need to remove all the leaves or twigs from your lawn before using the reel mower, so if you have a lot of trees on your property it is not the greatest option for you!

Finally, if your lawn is nowhere near flat, it is best to avoid a reel mower altogether. Bumpy lawns will prove to be a nightmare for a reel mower as the wheels will lose the contact with the ground, and the reel will not turn and cut the grass evenly. As a result, the grass will be cut unevenly, and there will be spots completely unmowed. It is also impossible for a reel mower to cut the grass in tight spaces such as near the fence or walls, so take that into consideration as well.

How To Choose The Best Reel Mower For You and Your Lawn

If you have carefully read and understood all the advantages and disadvantages of using the reel mower and you have decided that it really is the best choice for you and your lawn, you should now try to find the best reel mower on the market that will suit your individual needs. We will, therefore, list all the criteria that separate reel mowers from each other:

How high/low can it cut the grass?

Every reel mower can cut the grass at the specific height. Most of them can go very low (up to half an inch), but be careful with this feature as cutting the grass too low on a hot summer day can cause it to burn and permanently ruin your lawn.

It is more important to look for a mower that can cut the grass as high as 2½ inches as to avoid damaging your lawn. Therefore when purchasing the reel mower make sure it can be adjusted to the height you need.​​​​​​

How wide is the mower? How much does it weigh?

The width of your lawn mower will influence the time you need to mow your lawn. In fact, the wider a mower you buy, the more length per run you will be able to cover. However, wider reel mowers will be heavier too so take that into consideration as well.

Weight can be an issue if you are not very fit and tend to tire out quickly. A wider blade is heavier, so when picking a lawnmower, make sure that the specific blade length fits you and your constitution. If you own a rather big lawn, it might be wise to find balance between a cutting performance and weight.

How hard is it to push?

Besides weight and width, wheels will have a great influence oh how easy or not your reel mower will be to push. The wheels should provide stability, but also be able to turn the reel without too much resistance.

Is it suitable for your type of grass and terrain?

The type of grass on your property greatly influences  the type of reel lawn mower you should buy. Thick, strong, grass calls for thicker blades, while light grass can do just fine with lighter mowers.

The slope of terrain should be considered as well. A flat lawn can be handled by any reel mower , but sloped and bumpy one can prove to be quite a challenge for most of the mowers. In such a case, you should find a reel mower able to cut at any angle.

Is it durable?

The durability of the reel mower is influenced by the quality of the materials it is made from. All- metal construction is usually the most durable, but also tends to be the heaviest option.
Special attention must be paid to the blades, as they will dull after certain usage. The reel mower with durable blades is, therefore, a priority.

The Best Reel Mower You Can Currently Buy

As we have already said, finding the best reel mower is influenced by your personal needs and type of grass and terrain of your lawn. Therefore, we have picked out five best options so that you can choose the best reel mower for your needs:

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I know at least a few people that have never tasted artichokes before, and I guess you do too. It is, I assume, because of its peculiar look, and the fact that most of that people cannot even start to assume how to eat them.

For this reason, I have decided to write this guide that will try to answer the ultimate question what does artichoke taste like, but also how to prepare them to bring out their best taste, and, finally, how to eat them and not feel or to look silly!

Oh yes, I will mention the health benefits as well, since everyone wants to lead a healthy life nowadays!

What are Artichokes?

Sounds trivial, but believe me there are many people who have never seen an artichoke, or have seen it but had no idea what it is, and whether it is eatable or not. This is why I want to provide some basic information and resolve the everlasting dilemma- is artichoke a vegetable or a fruit? In fact, I will tell you that right away- it is definitely a vegetable!

There is an interesting legend that tells the story of how the artichokes came to be. It says that Zeus himself created them by turning a girl that has rejected him into a thistle. Although kind of a sad story, even the ancient people realized the nutritional wealth of this unusual-looking vegetable and the health benefits it provided and used it in their diet.

The plant itself grows as a weed in warm and dry Mediterranean regions. It is actually a three feet tall plant with purple flowers. The artichokes that we eat are thistles or buds that form at the base of these flowers of a plant scientifically known as Cynara cardunculus.

You should pick these buds when they are small, and the flower has not fully bloomed, as they will be the tastiest and tender. You are supposed to eat the end of leaves and the heart, which is the most full of flavor, but we will come to that later.

Health Benefits

Why eat an artichoke? They are not easy to prepare, they are tasty, but so are many other less pricey and easier to obtain vegetables, so the main reason why you should choose the artichokes is their positive influence on your health.

First of all, artichokes are packed with antioxidants, and we have all heard of them and their importance. USDA list of top twenty antioxidant-rich foods positioned artichokes on the seventh place, which is quite good isn’t it?

Besides antioxidants artichokes are also rich in dietary fibers, but also a great source of folate and vitamins C, K, B-6, B-12, D, E, and A, but also riboflavin,thiamin, and niacin. Important minerals are also there such Ca, Fe, Zn, and many others our body needs to function properly.

Thanks to this, artichokes are considered to be a nutrient powerhouse. They are believed to have strong anti-cancerogenic properties, but also to boost the immune system and thus protect us from numerous diseases. They lower the cholesterol too and are thus recommended for those who suffer from cardiovascular problems as a preventive measure against heart attack and stroke. People with diabetes and atherosclerosis should also include this vegetable into their everyday diet.

Another health benefit we must not forget to mention is the detoxifying effect that will better your liver function and improve your digestion. The list goes on, and we can spend a lot of time enumerating all the health benefits of this precious plant, but you can already realize our point, isn’t that right? The point is you should definitely eat artichokes as often and as much as you possibly can! Now that you know you should eat them lets move on to how to prepare them...

How to Prepare Artichokes

As we have already mentioned, artichokes are not the easiest food to prepare but are more than worth the effort. Their exterior is not inviting, but when you invest a little time and effort to prepare them carefully, you will be richly rewarded with a delicate taste and all the health benefits we have discussed in the previous section.

It is better to choose the smaller buds as they prepare in less time, but also taste better (the larger ones can have a bitter taste). To prepare them you need to:

  • Wash them thoroughly- I soak them for a few minutes with a bit of vinegar and rinse them well, but you can also use a brush to remove a natural film that covers them and can be a source of bitterness.
  • Top and tail them- get a sharp, serrated type of knife and remove 1 inch from the top of the artichokes. Remove the stems and bottoms as well. Rub some lemon juice onto the area where the cuts are made to prevent them from  turning brown.
  • Spread the petals- this is not obligatory, but I highly recommend that you do so. In this way, it will be easier to pull the petals off while you eat the artichoke. Moreover, the inside will be more flavorful due to better penetration of the seasoning you apply during the preparation. Into a large bowl, squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into 1 quart of the water.
  • plus
    Remove the choke- This is a „hairy“ portion in the center which needs to be discarded.
  • plus
    Dip them into the mixture of lemon juice and some water- in this way you will prevent discoloration that occurs due to the oxidation process.

You can either boil or steam the artichokes.

Boiling

Prepare the artichokes following the advice we have provided for you. Boil some water (around 3 inches deep) in a pot. You should add some lemon juice and oil. Seasoning is optional and depends on your personal taste.

Position the artichokes head up, cover the pot with a lid, and let them boil for minimum 20 minutes. The actual time depends on the size of artichokes, but it never exceeds one hour. If you are not sure if they are done, you can test it by pulling one petal positioned near the center- if it comes out easily, the artichoke is well-cooked.

When your artichoke is definitely cooked well,  you can take it out of the pot and place it upside down on a kitchen towel or a rack. Let it drain for a few minutes, and it is good to eat.

Extra tip: You can cook more artichokes than you intend to eat at once! They will remain tasty even after you keep them refrigerated for several days.

Steaming

You should have an appropriate rack that will fit your pot. Once again prepare the artichokes following our advice, and then place them on a rack. Lower a rack into the pot with about two inches of boiling water.  Position the lid and let artichokes steam at least twenty-five minutes (up to an hour). You can perform a petal-test to check if they are done.

How To Eat Artichokes

It is fairly easy- pull the leaves using your fingers ( you do not need a fork, spoon or a knife). Hold the petal near the pointed side and place it between your teeth as to scrape the edible part of the leaf.

The more you approach the heart or the center there will be more to scrape, but you should be careful not to get hurt by prickly ends. You can prepare a dip or use a mayonnaise- there are many great ideas out there in your recipe book, I am sure. If not, consult the internet.

After you eat all the petals or leafs, you will have the most flavorful part- the heart. At this point, you will have to use a knife and a fork to enjoy the richness of the heart’s taste.

What Does an Artichoke Taste Like?

I have saved the best for the last! It is good to know everything about artichokes before you taste them as that will make you appreciate them even more.  Although it is not easy to describe how something tastes, mostly because we all have different preferences, I will give it a try.

The most similar taste I can compare a boiled artichoke to is that of an asparagus. It is not a strong taste that will overpower you, but it has a delicate sweetness and a mild aroma of nuts. It can even be called a bit tangy.

It is similar to many other green vegetables like broccoli and Brussel sprouts, but at the same time quite unique. The texture resembles that of boiled potatoes, and can also be paired with almost any ingredient.

The flavor artichokes have is definitely interesting and worth exploring. I recommend that you judge for yourself- I am sure you will like it! They are not considered a delicacy and priced so high for no reason!

The post A Nutrient Powerhouse: What Does Artichoke Taste Like? appeared first on Gardening Wizards.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Any flowers you grow in your home are sure to beautify it, but orchids are special and ooze with elegance which is unsurpassable. Many dread trying to grow these beautiful flowers thinking that it must be challenging to care for their delicate looking flowers.

However, looks can be deceiving, and orchids are yet another proof of that. There are few simple steps you should follow, and your orchid is sure to reward you with a marvelous show of her butterfly-like blossoms.

If you do encounter some problems, we are here to help you as usual. If your orchid appears to be dead and you feel it might have already reached the point of no return be sure to read our guide on how to revive an orchid and you might be able to save it!

Recognize the Problem on Time

As it is with us people, you will have the best chance to cure the disease if you recognize the early symptoms and react accordingly. For this reason, you should always be on a lookout for potential problems.

Orchid disease

In order to do so, you have to get acquainted with your orchid, and try to notice every possible detail- how its leaves, roots, and the medium it grows in look like. If you know how everything appears when your orchid is perfectly healthy- you will also recognize when things start to change for the worse.

What are the changes you can notice early on and avoid more complicated problems:

1. Flowers

If your orchid refuses to bloom or has wilting flower it is a sign of stress and can lead to more serious problems. Of course, the flowers have to wilt at some point when the plant reaches the end of blooming period, but it should not happen soon. Namely orchid blooms, depending on the type of orchid you grow, normally last at least a month. Anything shorter than that can be an indication of a potential problem.

If the flowers last too short and drop before this time, it might indicate that your orchid has been exposed to a sudden temperature change. To avoid such issues do not place the orchid near your air conditioner or any other source of circulating cold or hot air. Sudden temperature changes force the plant to drop blooms or buds before time.

You should even avoid placing the orchids near some fruits and vegetables. It sounds silly, but certain types of fruits emit ethylene gas that can cause wilting or at least speed it up. Apples seem to have the highest influence, but bananas, avocados, and potatoes can have the same effect.

2. Leaves

If the leaves on your beloved orchid drop or turn brown, that is not a good sign. Crinkled edges are also a call for attention. Healthy orchid leaves have a color of grass, and some yellow undertones are also normal. If the tips of your orchid’s leaves turn brown, it might mean you use too much fertilizer or fertilize the plant too often.

If your orchid has leaves that are too dark, it must be that it needs more light than it has. On the contrary, yellow leaves indicate that there is too much sun exposure. In case you see this and do not react in a timely manner, brown and white dry areas can occur as a sign of further sun damage.

These sunburns cannot be treated, and the damage is therefore permanent, but you can at least prevent further suffering of your delicate orchid. If it is any consolation, the dark spots should not influence your orchid’s blooming process

3. Roots

The next step in examining your plant if you start from top to bottom is logically the root system. The roots should be firm and green. If they are white,and appear dry, it means your orchid is not receiving enough water. Such orchids are more prone to diseases.

Dark colored and mushy roots imply you are overwatering your orchid. Orchid needs moisture rather than direct watering, and we will discuss this later on so do stay with me until the end of the text. When roots are filled with water they cannot receive enough oxygen and, as a result, the whole plant suffers greatly. If you do not react immediately the roots will ultimately become soft and swollen, and the leaves will wrinkle- it means that your orchid will start dying.

At this point, you can still revive your orchid, but if you wait a bit more and you notice that the stem that connects roots and leaves has completely died off and appears almost decomposed, your chances to revive the poor orchid are minimal, if any.

4. Center Stem

The stem should be firm and have a healthy green, sometimes a bit brownish color. If it appears weak, and the leaves that are positioned near the roots start to wilt, your orchids need more space.

When orchid outgrows the pot, it is time to repot or replant it carefully. Orchids do not like to be too crowded, and if too much of its roots are spilling over the pot – it definitely is! 

5. Pets

You might think that keeping your orchid indoors protects it from pests, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Sometimes you can notice tiny aphids attached to leaves, or spot the sooty mold they tend to create - these aphids can slow the growth and should be, therefore, dealt with as soon as you spot the problem.To get rid of them use water and spray the orchid to wash them off.

Mites can also be an issue. If your orchid has mites, the leaves will develop silvery or brownish color. To take them off, soak a ball of cotton with alcohol and gently wipe off the parts of your plant that have been infested.

6. Diseases

Orchids are not immune to common diseases that plants tend to develop. Sick orchids have black or dark brown leaves or stem, and their roots smell rotten. If this is the problem with your orchid as well, you will have to perform surgery to save it.

Namely, you will have to sterilize a sharp knife and cut off the diseased parts, making sure you do not damage the rest of the plant. You will then have to disinfect the spot where you have performed the cut. You can use a powdered fungicide that can be purchased in any specialized store, or if you have an organic approach- a pinch of cinnamon will do.

Finally, you will have to purchase a new potting mix and repot the orchid into a new container to prevent the disease spreading to the other parts of the plant that have avoided the initial infection.

How to Revive an Orchid: Solution for Every Problem

Now that you have carefully read the previous section you should be able to recognize the source of your troubles and act accordingly. If you are determined to breathe life back into your beloved and beautiful orchid, you simply need to follow the subsequent advice:

  • If you concluded your orchid has dehydrated you should position the whole pot under the faucet and let the water gently soak the planting medium. When you lift the pot, it should feel heavy; this means that you have performed the task successfully. You should do this every week

You can also help hydrate the orchid by increasing the level of moisture around it. You can achieve this by positioning the orchid on a shallow tray filled with water and pebbles. The orchid should sit on top of the stones. You should also spray some clean water onto the leaves at least once a week.

Cutting orchid roots

  • If you have watered the orchid too much, remove the damaged roots and replant the orchid into the fresh potting mix. From that moment make sure to supply adequate water and humidity for it to thrive
  • If you have not provided enough nourishment for your orchid, or you have used too much fertilizer, the solution is quite easy. Namely, my advice is that you opt for a weaker fertilizer and feed the plant more often, but also be extra careful not to apply the fertilizing solution before you have watered the orchid first.
  • If your orchid has suffered due to too much or too little sunlight exposure, move the plant to a more appropriate place. In essence, you should find a place that will provide your orchid with indirect light during the whole day. If you cannot provide enough light for your orchid to grow, you can try LED lights as a modern alternative.

Hoping that you succeeded in reviving your orchid, we leave you to enjoy its immense beauty until you need our advice again!

The post How to Revive An Orchid And Preserve The Elegance In Your Home appeared first on Gardening Wizards.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

If you have a garden, you will surely agree that there are few things in this world as beautiful as a garden in spring. However, if you tend to your garden on your own, you will also know how difficult it is and how much effort it requires.

The winter is around the corner, and your garden will soon be in dormancy which is the right time to prune if you hope for a vigorous burst of new growth in the spring. In fact, light pruning and removing of dead branches can be done almost all year long- for this reason, you should own a quality pruning saw that will help you keep your garden in shape.

As always, we are here to help you find the best pruning saw on the market, so be sure to read all the way to the end, as you will find out everything there is to know about pruning saws, the five best pruning saws currently on the market and the one that is the best among the best.

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

Best Pruning Saw
What Is a Pruning Saw and Why Should You Buy One?

For all those who are new to gardening, we will start with the basics and explain what the pruning saw is. A pruning saw resembles a saw used for lumber as it has the same sharp teeth but is used for trimming larger shrubs, smaller tree branches, and difficult to reach, high positioned branches.

In case you wonder when it is a good time to use a pruning saw, there is a rather simple rule that answers your question: If a branch is thicker than 1.5 inches, forget a hand pruner and use a pruning saw instead. On the other hand, if a branch is thicker than 4 inches you will need a proper saw.

Typically pruning saws have a medium-length blade with pointed teeth. The blade can be either straight or curved to allow for a better angle. The handle can also be curved or straight. For a bit more money, you can buy a pruning saw with a telescopic handle which will keep you off the ladders.

If you have any doubts about needing to buy a pruning saw, discard them immediately; it is a useful gardening tool that will help make your garden plants look more attractive, but also better their overall health and productivity of flowering and fruiting. Pests and disease usually affect a plant through deadwood and pruning will minimize the chance that they alter your plants adversely.

Besides ensuring that your plants grow properly, pruning can aid keeping your greenery visually appealing. Through systematic maintenance pruning, you can shape your garden but also get rid of any unwieldy foliage.

Types of Pruning Saws
1. Hand-held Pruning saw

For pruning smaller gardens or home plants, and not so thick branches, hand-held pruning saw is an ideal choice. As it is also compact and easy to store when not used, it is the most popular and most often bought type. It can be used to cut even thicker branches, but you would have to put a lot of pressure.

2. Polo Pruning Saw

Polo pruning saws feature a longer handlebar and blade which makes them perfect for cutting hard to reach stubborn branches. As the longer pole equals less cutting power, these saws have very powerful jaws, and their blade is a bit different from other types. We recommend that you check the weight of polo pruning saw before you buy it, and make sure that you can handle it bearing in mind that you will have to hold it with your arms outstretched as you cut.

3. Straight Blade Pruning Saw

When it comes to the blade, we can differentiate two types of pruning saws. The first type is a straight blade pruning saw; as the name suggests, the blade is straight and sharp. Typically, the handle is curved allowing for easier control. This type is very popular and versatile, but not very convenient for large operations.

4. Curved Blade Pruner Saw

This is another type of pruning saw differentiated by according to the type of blade, and once again the name says it all- the blade is curved. As the blade is curved, characteristically the handle is straight. These saws are appropriate for heavy-duty operations and thus are extremely sharp and able to cut through larger and thicker branches and trees.

What Should You Consider When Buying a Pruning Saw?
1. Size and weight

Before buying a pruning saw, make sure that it will be able to live up to the intended task. This means that you must consider how thick, long or high the branches you intend to cut are, then choose the appropriate model and size. Most of the pruning saws can handle 1 to 5 inches’ diameter branches.

You do not have to buy a heavy duty model if the branches you are pruning are thin, nor will you be able to get the job done if you buy a model that is unable to cut through the thick branches in your garden.

It is best to try out the saw, feel how heavy it is, and consider whether you are able to handle the weight.

2. Blade Sharpness

The sharpness of the blade is one of the most important consideration, but it is unfortunately hard to evaluate on your own before you actually start using the saw. For this reason, it is best to do a thorough research, read other people’s reviews but also consider the warranty period as it will let you know how many years you can expect the saw to perform well. Also, check if the blade can be sharpened.

3. Safety

The safety features are always an important thing when it comes to tools, especially as sharp as pruning saws are, as accidents can happen when you least expect it. First of all, make sure that the saw comes with a sheath which is made to keep both you and your pruning saw protected. It should hold your saw securely, nor loosely; in this way, the saw will not be able to fall out easily and cause any harm. The saw can also fold as to hide the blade when not in use.

EXTRA ADVICE: You should also use the pruning saw cautiously: Always concentrate while you operate it and wear gloves and safety glasses to prevent injuries.

4. Price

The best pruning saws are usually the most expensive. There are exceptions though, and it is, therefore, best to consider a well-known brand or rely on reviews.

Moreover, if you are going to use a pruning saw rarely, and for small operations around the house, or in a small garden, you do not have to spend a fortune. However, if you are a professional user, or are otherwise inclined to use a pruning saw for long periods of time, consider spending a bit more money and buy a saw with the utmost cutting performance and the durability you need.

Five Best Pruning Saws on the market: Detailed Reviews

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

5. Corona RS 7265D Pruning Saw – Budget friendly, Great performance, Durable Japanese Steel Blade and Not So Durable Plastic Handle
Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Every garden can make use out of high-pressure aeroponics system. If you want to make your own, but don’t know how it functions or how to get it done then don’t worry. Today we’re answering this important question – how to build high-pressure aeroponics system.

Benefits and Downfalls of HPA

The benefits of HPA system are numerous such as its water use efficiency. It uses 98% less water than any other conventional plant growing method. You will need 2/3 of nutrients less than they are needed for soil and hydroponic growing methods. HPA system conserves space since you can plant more plants closer together. You won’t spend the money on soil, and by using the HPA system, you can double the production of crops annually.

No system is perfect, and neither is HPA. The main downfalls are that you will need more parts to assemble it compared to any other growing method. High pressure is generated by a high-pressure pump which is pretty expensive. HPA system requires frequent maintenance; the spray head might get often clogged because the salt is built upon it. Electricity powers the whole system. Any short failure of the system can lead to the loss of crops in minutes.

The Specifics

Aeroponic systems come in two types: HPA and LPA. LPA is the low-pressure aeroponics system, it costs lower than HPA and is most commonly used. Low-pressure systems have only a few miniature sprinkle heads, and they use a standard mag-drive pump with some tubing. The sprinkler head of an LPA system has large droplets that surround the roots of the plants. The LPA system wets the roots nonstop. These systems are cheap, very easy to build but they are not as efficient as HPA systems.

Contrary to low-pressure systems, the high-pressure ones operate above 80psi; the desired pressure is 100psi. The high pressure atomizes the water and creates small water droplets which are so small; they are measured in microns. HPA systems don’t run nonstop like LPA ones, they run around five seconds, and they are on a pause for about five minutes. To control the interval and to be able to create the mist of a proper size, HPA system requires specific components to be able to do so.

Droplet Size Explained

According to NASA, the plants absorb more nutrient water in five to fifty microns droplets than any other size. To sustain the aeroponic growth, the water droplet size is a crucial factor. If a droplet is too large, then it will provide less oxygen to the root. If, however, the droplet is too small, then the root will develop excessive hair without a lateral root system. To have droplets of the right size, HPA systems are the way to go; there’s just the thing that you will need precise timers that can be adjusted down to seconds.

HPA System Components

To build your own HPA system, you will need five basic components:

  1. High-pressure Pump
  2. Accumulator Tank
  3. Electrical Solenoid
  4. Pressure Switch
  5. Misting Nozzles
The High-Pressure Water Pump

The main component of an HPA system is the water pump. The pump has to be able to produce the droplet size of twenty to fifty microns. These kind of pumps are usually diaphragm type or the reverse osmosis boosters. The pump should produce a constant 80psi, so try to find one that can generate 100psi or even more.

When you buy the pump, set it somewhere between 80 and 100psi, any adjustments later will be difficult to be made. If you planned an expansion of your system later on, then get a Shur-flow pump, they are commonly used in soda machines and carpet cleaners.

The Accumulator Tank

You can find these tanks in many homes and RV’s to keep the right water pressure in the pipeline. Mainly, they prevent the pump from overworking. These tanks are pre-pressurized and are divided into two spaces. One space takes up the rubber bladder which expands according to the water pressure, and the other space is taken by the pressurized air.

The pressurized air is used to move the water out when the faucet is turned on. So now, we assume you might be thinking why would you need a tank if you already have a pump that can create the pressure? Well, let us go a little bit back, the water pump is the main component of the HPA system and the most expensive one.

The accumulator tank is there to extend its lifetime and to reduce the time of usage of it. In the long term, the tank will save you money, because if the pump gets broken, the replacement will be way more expensive than the tank.

The accumulator tank has one more key role, and that is to create a constant pressure once the solenoid is opened thus creating the right size droplets. In a system, without the accumulator tank, the size of the droplets wouldn’t be constant, and they would be bigger than they should be.

The Electrical Solenoid

The sole use of the solenoid is to start and stop the water flow to the system when the timer goes on and off. It’s an electronically operated valve. The solenoid is plugged into a relay timer circuit. The system is pretty similar to the simple automatic lawn sprinkler. The best timers for solenoid control are the ones that are accurate to one second on, and in the minutes off.

The Pressure Switch

This part of the system is controlling the pressure. Some pumps have it included, but it can be purchased separately as well. What it does is tell the pump at what pressure it’s supposed to turn on and off. Basically, it senses the pressure of the water, and when it gets too low, it turns on the pump. Once it measures the right pressure, it turns the pump off again. It should be set to turn the pump on at 80psi and off at 100psi.

The Misters

Atomization of the water is achieved by pumping the water through small nozzles at high pressure. We want to save our nutrients, and the cost of operation, so smaller nozzles are what we need. Choose a full-cone nozzle pattern. Higher pressure nozzles have high velocity, and they can cut off the root hairs. Stay away from these. To prevent clogging, use a fine mesh filter prior to misting nozzles.

Conclusion

This might be a bit too much to grasp at once, but we wanted to give you plenty of information to make the process easier for you. If you understood the parts by now, then the rest of the process is simply connecting the parts. It’s a no-brainer. We hope our expert advice was interesting and helpful to you and that your plants will grow fast and healthy!

The post Build Your Own High-Pressure Aeroponics System – An Informative Guide appeared first on Gardening Wizards.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

There is nothing better than growing your own vegetables in your garden, assuming that you have all the right conditions for that. The greatest reward will be having the fruits (or in this case veggies) of your labor that you can be sure are not packed with pesticides.

If you are a beginner, I suggest that you start off with some easier tasks and work your way up to becoming an expert. For example, potatoes are fairly easy to grow. For this reason, I have decided to create a  detailed guide which will answer the question how long does it take to grow potatoes, but also provide much additional information that will guarantee your success.

Choose the Right Type Of Potatoes

One thing that is sure to influence how long does it take to grow potatoes is the type you choose to plant. Depending on the type the potatoes will mature at a different time but also vary in size and shape. Look at the following table to find out more and find the best type for your climate and needs:

Type Of Potatoes

How long does it take to grow?

Early Varieties

You can harvest them in about ninety days. Many famous varieties such as Irish Cobbler and King Harry belong to this type.

Mid-Season Varieties

It takes a bit longer for them to mature enough for harvesting- sometimes more than one hundred days. They succeed best when grown in a warmer climate. The most famous varieties of this type are Yukon Gold and Red LaSoda which are both sure to produce a significant yield.

Late Varieties

As the name suggests they need the most time to be ready for harvest- at least 110 days, but often longer. However, waiting for longer pays off with a greater yield. They can also be stored longer. The most prominent representatives are Butte and Kennebec.

Elongated Fingerling Potatoes

They are very interesting and sell rather fast due to their popularity. So if you want something you can sell fast at the farmer’s market, it might be a good choice. Regretfully, if you want a fast-growing type, this is not an ideal choice. Good news is that there are methods to speed up the process like pre-sprouting your seeds.

How, When and Where to Plant Potatoes

Before we get to the main question and deal with the question how long does it take to grow potatoes, I want to make sure that you do not make any mistakes when planting the potatoes or during the whole process of growing them.

Time

Now that you have chosen the right kind of seeds you should choose an appropriate time to plant them as to give them enough time to properly mature. It would be ideal to plant your potatoes around two weeks before the final frost (if you are experienced enough to calculate that correctly). I advise you to store the seeds in your refrigerator for some time before planting as that helps them exit the dormancy and be prepared for planting.  

If the summers in your area are extremely hot, and springs tend to be very short, you have to stick to the early or mid-season varieties and plant them much earlier- four weeks before the date of the final frost. The late varieties can be planted later, even as late as early summer, but you will have to let them mature to the late fall too. If the summer seasons in your areas are slightly cool, you should plant potatoes two weeks before the final frost date no matter the variety.

Place

Choose the soil which is loose and well-drained, but also opt for a piece of land that is exposed to the sun for the most of the day as potatoes need it to thrive. Avoid places where frosting often occurs as frost can seriously damage the developing foliage. Before you plant the potatoes, enrich the soil with organic compost.

It does not matter much whether the ground is covered with old weeds or grass as potatoes tend to grow very fast and have extensive foliage which can swamp other plants out. Dig four inches deep trench and place the seed potatoes eye-side up about one foot apart.

I have even grown potatoes in a container quite successfully, so if you have limited space, I am sure you can do it too. Just make sure that the container you choose is at least one feet wide and deep and well drained. The rest of the process is easy: fill the half of the container with a mixture of high-quality compost and soil, place two seed potatoes and cover with the same mixture up to one inch from the rim.

Care

Besides sun, potatoes love water, or to be more precise moisture. Once the tubers start forming or reach the marble size, you will have to water your plants regularly or face a reduced yield as a consequence. Rain can help out, but do not rely solely on it.

Clean the weeds and hill the plants before they start to bloom. This means that as soon as your plants grow around six inches tall, you should hoe the dirt around the base as to cover the roots that will be sticking out. This will help support your potato plants and let them grow bigger but also prevent the young plants from being sunburnt. Hilling should be done every two weeks.

Sunburnt potato plants are full of solanine - a chemical which not only makes the potatoes taste bitter but can also be toxic. These potatoes can be recognized by green color, so be sure to avoid them.

How Long Does it Take to Grow Potatoes?

We reach the final point, and the answer to the most important question how long does it take to grow potatoes. Why is this the most important question? Well, you should know when exactly you should harvest the potatoes as to achieve their best taste and flavor.

Namely, you should wait for the top of the plant to start to die, because this is the time at which the most of the starch gets stored into the potatoes, and starch is what makes them so delicious.

Other factors that will help you determine whether your potatoes are ready to be harvested are the weather conditions and soil temperature. In detail, you should dig your potatoes out before the first frost. Although some plants can survive light frost, it is better to be safe than sorry, and I would not recommend waiting for that long.

As far as the soil temperature is concerned, it should ideally stay over 45 degrees F. Measuring the soil temperature is the most secure way to determine the best time to harvest., and I wholeheartedly recommend you do it in case of any dilemma.

EXTRA TIP

Before you start digging out your potatoes check a single hill to make sure they are mature enough. If they are, they will have a thick and firm skin that cannot rub off easily.

Time to Harvest!

Assuming that you have done everything right and your potatoes are ready, you should start digging them out so that you can finally admire them out in the open. It is your choice if you should dig them all at once, or take them out on an as-needed basis.

Harvesting can be a family bonding activity! Kids will enjoy it for sure. What kid does not like to dig and get the hands dirty! Moreover, imagine how happy kids will be when they get to eat something they have found in the ground and dug up on their own.

It is best to utilize a shovel (although, if you include kids they will undoubtedly prefer their hands) and pull apart all the hills before you start pulling the tubers out.  When I get my potatoes out, I wash them, spread them and let them dry, and finally store them in a dark, cold and dry place. The temperature they are stored in should not exceed 40 degrees F. They should not frost either. Too much light will make them turn green.

That’s all! I hope you enjoy your potatoes!

The post How Long Does It Take to Grow Potatoes: Grow a Healthy Yield of Potatoes with no Fuss! appeared first on Gardening Wizards.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Turmeric plant, also known as Curcuma longa, is an amazing nutrition supplement.  With healthy food being more and more hot topic these days, most of us have at least heard about the "super-food." So where did it come from?

Turmeric is a rhizomatous plant from the ginger family. It's native to Southeast Asia, so it thrives in a hot climate. It was long believed that turmeric can only be cultivated in tropical regions, but with some proper instructions and care you can grow your own anywhere.

There are many reasons you might want to do this. Curcumin, the main active ingredient of turmeric, is a strong antioxidant and has a very powerful anti-inflammatory effect. It is linked to improved brain and memory functions and can reduce headaches.

List of health benefits is quite long; it's even useful in preventing cancer, diabetes,  allergies, arthritis and Alzheimer's disease. You can find a more detailed list here.

Other than health benefits, turmeric is also used as a color dye, but most importantly it's a widely used as a spice. It's the main ingredient in curry powder and it's used in yellow mustard. Turmeric powder is an important ingredient in many dishes.

Anyone can have home-grown organic turmeric, and steps in how to grow turmeric are simple enough. So let's get started.

Turmeric Seed

The first thing you need for any plant is a seed. Turmeric works a bit different; it doesn't produce actual seed, so you'll need a part of the root. It's not as common as most plants you encounter, so it might be a bit harder to find.

Try local organic shops, health food or vegetable shops. If you don't manage to get your hands on a fresh root, you can always order it online. Make sure you get few roots because they might not like all sprout.

You'll need to do this just once because once your own plant grows, you will just snap part of that root and use it to plant the next one. Each part that you plant should have 2-3 buds. Since turmeric can grow up to 39 inches high, you should plant them at least 11.8 inches apart.

Place the root 2 inches beneath the soil and turn at least one sprout upwards. The soil needs to be well-fertilized and moist. Water is very important for turmeric growth but if the soil is too wet the rhizome will most likely rot.

If the edges of leaves start turning yellow, you should check the soil to see if it's damp enough. You can also mist the leaves every day until you see them turn green again.

Where To Plant Your Turmeric

If you have a fertile garden, you can plant it directly into the ground. Turmeric blooms into a beautiful tropic plant with a white and pinkish flower that is pleasant to the eye, it will make your garden flourish.

If you live in warm enough region, the garden is a perfect place for planting the turmeric. The plant thrives best in a temperature range between 70-80 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate down to 53.6 degrees, but if temperature plummets below that, you will need to move it to the pot and bring it indoors.

If the temperature drops too low, the root will freeze. If you grow turmeric in colder regions, you can place it in the oven and use a 60-watt incandescent light bulb to keep it warm enough. Just make sure you monitor the temperature with a thermometer, and you'll be ok.

Sun is essential for turmeric growth, but if you live in tropical regions, you should make sure your plant has some mid-day shade or it might dry-out and die. Tropical conditions also require more watering.

Using garden beds might be a bit more practical. You should add a lot of compost to make sure your turmeric will be well nourished. After planting add some fertilizer (organic would be our choice) and water it well. You can fertilize it roughly once a month with a liquid fertilizer.

Make sure you have a drainage system just in case you over-water it. As we mentioned before, this can lead to rotting, and that will ruin your plant.

Pot might be ideal if you are just starting out with your turmeric planting, or if you plan on growing it inside of your house. The basic principle is same as with using garden beds. Pot is also recommended if you live in colder regions and your plant will be indoors during the whole year.

When picking a pot, see that it's at least 11.8-inch in width and roughly that much in height. While it should have enough space to "breathe," in right conditions turmeric tends to grow even if it's crowded.

When should you plant turmeric

Turmeric usually needs 8-10 months to develop. This can actually vary from 6-12 months, but 8-10 is roughly a standard. If you plan on planting it outside, beginning of the spring would be ideal. It needs warm soil as it is a tropical plant. If you live in tropical regions, any time of the year is fine.

Indoor growing also doesn't require any specific time of the year. Just make sure that temperature and humidity are right. These are not the ideal conditions for turmeric, but if this is your only option, it will do.

Harvesting the turmeric

This is actually pretty easy part of the process. You just need to take the root out of the soil, remove the leaves, rinse it well and leave it to dry. You'll know that the turmeric is ready for harvesting when the leaves start to turn yellow and dry out and stems start dying.

At this point, you can snap off few parts that you can plant later. You also don't have to harvest entire plant. Just gently remove the soil around the plant and remove as much root as you need. You can cover the rest and leave it.

Turmeric is not a plant you can harvest throughout the season, like with most plants. You have to wait through the entire growing period until you can have an eatable root.

Using and storing turmeric root

You need to peel the roots before you can use it. We would recommend using gloves because of turmeric's dying properties. Also be careful or you can stain your clothes or anything in your proximity.

To make powdered turmeric, you can boil it for about 45 minutes, then leave it to dry well. Cut it into smaller pieces and leave it in the sun. This can take several days but be patient; it's important that it's well dried. Grind the root with any blunt object.

You can use mortar and pestle to turn it into a fine powder, or any electric home grinding tool.

To store the turmeric, don't peel it, just store it in the air-tight bag. This way it will stay relatively fresh. Turmeric can also be stored in powdered form. If you plan on needing it sometime in the future, you can also freeze it.

Turmeric pests and diseases

Image credit: wikimedia.org

There are few pests and diseases that might attack your plant. They are not very common, but they do tend to happen. Most common pests that bother your turmeric are Shoot Borer and Leaf Roller caterpillars, and Scale Insects.

Diseases that tend to harm the turmeric are Leaf Blotch, Leaf Spot, and Rhizome Rot. You can see how to deal with them here.

Conclusion

Having a home-grown organic food is recommended for anyone who has time and means to grow it. Mass-produced food will always lack the quality, but more importantly, you will never be able to tell what pesticides were used, how the food was grown or how it was taken care of.

This is a growing problem, and many experts warn us that this type of food is causing the rise in many diseases. And the answer? It may very well lie in home-grown organic food.

Turmeric, being one of the best and healthiest foods out there, is surely the way to go. Planting it is easy, maintenance is easy, it's cheap, and there is no reason you shouldn't do it. Your health is your most treasured belonging. So do something for yourself today, go out and plant yourself a turmeric.

The post How To Grow Turmeric – The Informational Guide appeared first on Gardening Wizards.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Regardless whether you are interested in pursuing a career that involves caring for and studying about plants or you just what to solve this dilemma out of curiosity, it is important to realize that these two concepts are not the same. What is the difference?

Well, there are several crucial differences and some similarities, you will understand only if you understand the essence of both of them. In the following text, you will get all the information you need to finally separate these two and learn the differences in the debate – Horticulture vs. Botany.

Everything you need to know about horticulture

The world horticulture is of Latin origin, and it means the cultivation of a garden. Horticulture encompasses many different activities:

  • Growing plants for aesthetic purposes
  • Cultivating flowers
  • Growing plants intended for eat in the garden of your home
  • Maintenance and landscaping of public gardens, golf courses, parks and playing fields

As you see, horticulture has affected our lives on a daily basis, because it is providing us with healthy food and a pleasing visual enjoyment. Additionally, by being essential for the landscaping of city parks and public gardens, it also promotes recreational activities.

However, there are some factors that affect horticulture as well. Those are light, humidity, temperature, precipitation and the quality of the soil. These are the factors that horticulturist has to consider when planting and nurturing the plant.

What kind of education do you need to become a horticulturist?

To become a qualified horticulturist you will need to pursue a diploma in agriculture science. There are a lot of colleges offering such programs. If you decide to enroll in one of them, you can try to get an internship or volunteer during the college, so that you can get more experience. However, some of the jobs in horticulture don’t require formal education.

Which career can you pursue with a degree related to horticultural science?

This diploma can prepare you for various occupations, here are just some of them:

  • Floral Designer
  • Garden Manager
  • Community Garden Planner
  • Greenhouse Manager
  • Landscape Design
  • Urban Garden Manager
Everything you need to know about botany

Although frequently confused with horticulture because it also deals with plants, botany is a science that studies plants, which includes genetics, physiology, structure, classification, ecology, and distribution. The plants which are the objects of botany are algae, fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants. Botany is a very broad scientific field, and the best way of truly understanding it is by focusing on one of the many sub-fields (e.g., only plant classification).

This scientific field is of extreme importance for our society since it can increase and improve the supply of food, medicine, and building materials. Botany also has a huge potential in addressing the issue of air pollution and protect the environment.

What kind of education do you need to become a botanist?

To become a botanist, first, you need to earn a Bachelor's degree in botany, biology or plant science where you will learn about chemistry, biology, genetics and plant anatomy. If you decide to focus your efforts on advanced research, you will need a doctoral degree in the field. A Master's degree will open you fewer opportunities than a Ph.D., but you will be able to focus on specific fields of botany, such as conservation, ecology or marine botany.

Which career can you pursue with a degree related to botany?

According to Botanical Society of America, the range of available job opportunities for botanists is wider than ever before, and the salaries are higher than they were. Depending on whether you have a Bachelor's, Master's or a Ph.D. degree in a field related to botany you will have a lot of potential careers to look into:

  • Taxonomist
  • Agronomist​
  • Ecologist
  • Mycologist
  • Plant Breeder
  • Biophysicist
Finally, how are botany and horticulture different?

Now you know all the facts, and by now you are probably aware that botany and horticulture are not two sides of the same coin, but the main question remains: how exactly are they different? Bottom line is that botany is a scientific study of plants which includes studying the structure and physiology of plants and much more, while horticulture is more a combination of science and art with the purpose of cultivating and managing gardens and plants.

Botany is a broad science which studies living plant organisms from the tiniest algae to the largest tree. Horticulture is more of an extension of botany, an applied science that focuses only on ornamental and edible plant life.

While enrolling one of these two college programs means deciding for completely different career paths, it also means that you will be in touch with both of these sciences, because they have a lot of things in common. Horticultural science students, for instance, need to learn about the physiology of plants and plant taxonomy so that they would get better and deeper understanding of the culture and types of plants.

Different responsibilities of botanists and horticulturists

Depending on the field of botany botanists work in, they may spend a lot of time in exotic places where they will be discovering new plant species. Horticulturists, on the other side, work in greenhouses or yards.

Some of the job responsibilities of a botanist include tracking and locating new/endangered species of plants, working with the goal of restoring and conserving botanical habitats, following crop productivity and reviewing soil impact on the plants. A horticulturist is responsible for creating flower arrangements, plant trees, lay grass seed, mow and water lawns, build large outdoor arrangements, monitoring the growth of plants and designing landscapes.

Because they require different educational backgrounds and experience, these professions also include different salaries, with the median salary for horticulturists being about $10,000 lower than the one for botanists.

Conclusion

There is one crucial difference that can be read in between the lines but hasn't been mentioned in this article yet. In horticulture humans and plants intersect. It is a science about how we cultivate, nourish and use plants. Botany, on the other hand, is a science about plants, independently of humans.

The post Horticulture vs. Botany: Is There Any Difference? appeared first on Gardening Wizards.

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Have you ever watched those logger shows on Discovery/National Geographic/similar channels? There’s something inherently satisfying about watching automated wood processing, especially when larger pieces of wood are involved. If you regularly split wood at home, whether it’s for personal use, for friends or sale, there is a way to bring that satisfaction to your front yard. Electric log splitters not only look interesting while working, but they also save you a lot of time and energy so that you can have more freedom in your schedule.

However, if you’re uninformed, buying something that costs anywhere from 250$ to 1500$ is a risky prospect. Most of us can’t just throw that kind of money away, so it’s important to know what you’re looking for when you’re browsing log splitters. That’s what this article is for! Keep reading, as we have explanations for every relevant factor that affects a smart consumer’s purchasing decision.

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

What Makes a Good Splitter?

Luckily for the layman, qualities that make up a great electric log splitter are easy to understand. It ultimately comes down to what kind of log the splitter can handle, how safe it is, how much it costs, the level of durability and the noise it produces. We’ll briefly cover all of those:

The Workload

Wood is split

Depending on how large your logs are, not every splitter can fit your needs. On the other hand, picking a much larger and more powerful splitter when you don’t need one is just throwing money down the drain. There are three main things to consider here: how much splitting force you’re paying for, how long the logs can be, and how far the log is pushed.

Obviously, the tougher the wood, the more splitting force you need. Smaller splitters (usually intended for personal rather than commercial use) tend to sport around 6-7 tons of splitting force, which is more than enough to provide your home some much appreciated natural heating.

The longer the log, the further it has to be pushed for a clean 100% split. If you can’t quite achieve that, don’t worry; pushing again tends to finish the split without much trouble. Still, try to invest in a splitter that does the job in one go, to save time and, in some cases, fuel. 16 inches is a common log length to consider, though people frequently use up to 20-25-inch long pieces too.

The Noise

This one’s fairly simple, right? The less noise your splitter makes, the fewer complaints from annoyed neighbors you will encounter, and that’s a big plus for your sanity if our experience is anything to go by. However, don’t sacrifice performance just to keep things quieter, as you still want good functionality more than anything else.

Safety Features

6-7 tons of pressure isn’t a small amount by any stretch. Under no circumstance do you ever want a body part caught in that kind of situation, which is why a lot of log splitters are intentionally designed to be operated with both hands. There’s no better way to make sure people don’t idly hold their hands in a dangerous position. Other safety features are usually specific to the product.

The Price

You get what you pay for, in most cases. Try not to overspend on a splitter if you won’t use it to its full potential, as these things are costly. Look out for extended warranties and other extra offers, as only some of these things are truly necessary. Carefully consider whether you need anything more advanced than a simple but reliable splitter.

Durability and Longevity

The most vulnerable parts of each log splitter are the nuts and bolts, and other tiny pieces. While the overall construction is often very sturdy, you want to keep an eye out for problems like hydraulic leaks and extension cord tearing/freezing. If you can learn to fix and maintain these parts, you’re good to go, and your electric log splitter will serve you for a long time.

Of course, making sure you purchase the most stable and durable splitter is a very smart decision, as no one wants to spend time fixing anything unless it’s a car and it’s your hobby.

The Top Dogs – Current Popular Log Splitters On The Market (Our Reviews)

Picking just one out of many similarly appealing items can be difficult. If it weren't, we wouldn’t have those moments in sitcoms where someone holds up three suits for their friends to compare and choose one. When you get stuck in this situation, remember that personal preference and convenience are a major factor to consider. Think about how much space you have, how your garage looks (if you plan on using a splitter in there), which one just feels right, all these things. We’ve isolated five top-quality products for you to examine so that you can find your pick much quicker.

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

5. WEN 56206 6-Ton Electric Log Splitter – A Beast With A Small Nuisance

Via Amazon.com

Read Full Article
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

I truly love summer. The heat, the Sun, gentle breeze on your skin – no other season can compare. Summer nights are my favorite. If you ever had a chance to get out of the town, find a river and gaze at the stars, you’ve experienced the blissful peace.

Unfortunately, during the summer my sworn enemies rise. Mosquitoes. Flies. Moths. All sorts of bugs. I am not the kind of girl who is afraid of them. The problem is, they find me adorable, even irresistible. They like to hang out around me, and often they decide to take a closer look. Like, really close. They bite me. That is not just an average amount of bites – let’s say you get one to five bites per night, well I get at least ten.

Now imagine the swollen skin, red spots, and itchiness. If there is anything that can destroy a perfectly good summer night, it is this. One summer I decided I have had enough.

That’s how I became an expert on bug zappers. Using any chemical based solution, was not an option for me, so electrical zappers seem like a good idea. I even convinced the few of my colleagues from Gardening Wizards to buy different models so that we could decide on the best one.

I will present you our findings with the hope that it will help all of you out there who share my destiny. Enjoy!

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

How does a bug zapper work?

People often think that chemicals and sticky fly papers or ribbons are the only way to get rid of pests. Unfortunately, both of these ways are either harmful, messy or kind of gross. There are often bugs dropping dead all over your house, or you have a ribbon full of flies and mosquitoes hung on your ceiling. Not the decoration you’ve imagined, I assume.

On the other side of this story are electric bug zappers. For starters, they usually come with a simple and cleanable tray where dead bugs land, so your house doesn’t get contaminated, but let’s start from the beginning.

A typical bug zapper consists of following parts: housing, light bulbs, wire grids or screens and transformer.

The process goes like this: transformer supplies the increased voltage which is then applied to the two wire-mesh grids. A tiny gap, between the two grids, is, in fact, the most dangerous part for the bugs. Wire-mesh network UV light is responsible for luring little buggers towards the device.

As the insect flies into the space between the wire-mesh grids, his body completes the electric circuit. High-voltage electric current hits him, and he is killed. That is the moment when you can hear a loud zapping sound. These powerful devices can lure and kill about 10,000 insects per night.

How to choose the right bug zapper?

Electric mosquito trap inside the building

What is the secret to choosing the best bug zapper? We from Garden Wizards gave our best to figure it out, and now I am ready to share our conclusions with you. When you go shopping for a bug zapper, pay attention to following characteristics:

How do you plan to use your zapper?

How many square feet would you want to cover? Would you like to use it indoors, outdoors or both? If you are planning on covering a large area, you’ll need a zapper with a wide radius of action. If you want to use it outdoors too, it needs to be at least waterproof, and it has to have a hook or a chain so that you can set it above the ground. If you plan to use it indoors, make sure to get rid of the chemical traps first because these two can make a dangerous combination.

Where do you plan on using it?

How many insects do you have in your surroundings? Are there many trees and bushes? Are the winters mild? If so, you’ll need stronger bug zappers to protect yourself or few of them instead of just one.

Which bug bugs you the most?

What type of insects do you have in your region? Some species are not attracted to UV light so you cannot expect the bug zapper to kill them all. Mosquitoes can be a part of that problem for example, so it might be a good idea to use different types of traps for outdoors.

When do you want to use your zapper?

Every bug zapper is more efficient during the night because UV light doesn’t work so well in combination with daylight. It might work to the certain level, but not as good as it would in the evenings.

How do you plan to power your device?

There are bug zappers that work on electricity, accumulators and solar batteries. This choice depends on your preference. Do you want it to be cordless or not and so on.

How many bulbs do you want?

Choose the zapper that has a few powerful light bulbs. Also, if it comes in a package with additional bulbs or if it says the bulbs are replaceable, you found your perfect model.

Do you plan on carrying it around?

It has to be portable, which means compact and lightweight so you can transport it wherever you want.

How much money are you planning to give for this product?

There is a big difference between shopping on the budget and preparing yourself to pay a little extra for better quality. In our experience, the cheapest products are often suspicious as they are flimsy or lack power while more expensive ones tend to be more effective.

Top 5 Bug Zappers on the Market

Now that you know all about bug zappers, you are ready to choose the one that suits your needs. Here are the Gardening Wizards team’s picks:

*Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

1. Aspectek 20W Electronic Bug Zapper – Easy to maintain but flickers

Via Amazon.com

97
/100

Editor's Rating: 97/100

Price on Amazon: $36.99

If you decide to purchase Aspectek's upgraded bug zapper, you won’t spend too much money, while you will get a safe, chemical-free protection from various insects. With simple instructions and ergonomic design, this 20W bug killer uses UV light bulbs to attract and destroy every bug that violates your home peace.

The plastic tray that goes underneath the device is here to assure easy cleaning. Also, this bug zapper will be completely silent while bugs are not hitting the grid, which means no annoying humming in the background. It is compact, and it comes with a chain so that you can hang it on the wall. It also makes a great night light.

However, this model might be too loud for you and your pets. Another thing is, its light bulbs tend to flicker and they often break after few months of usage. So, you should be aware that this is not the most durable product on the market. At last, the UV light won’t attract many bugs during the..

Read Full Article

Read for later

Articles marked as Favorite are saved for later viewing.
close
  • Show original
  • .
  • Share
  • .
  • Favorite
  • .
  • Email
  • .
  • Add Tags 

Separate tags by commas
To access this feature, please upgrade your account.
Start your free month
Free Preview