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So, the soil in your yard is too compacted and full of rocks. Maybe your climate is too dry, too wet, or too unpredictable to grow anything but weeds. What is an avid gardener to do when the outside world isn’t conducive to gardening?

The answer is simple: Bring gardening inside by building a backyard greenhouse. Greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes, and most are easy to put together. Plus, greenhouse gardening tends to yield healthier plants because the shelter protects your flora from dangerous weather and pests while providing acute control over soil content, watering schedule, fertilizer, and more. If you are interested in building your own greenhouse, here’s the guide for you.

Building a Greenhouse - DIY greenhouse construction - YouTube
Site Selection

Where you place your greenhouse might be more important than the materials you use to build it. This is because greenhouses work by capturing the natural light and heat while keeping out cold, wind, moisture, and pests. Traditionally, the best place for a greenhouse was the most open, least shady area of your yard - but that isn’t necessary the case in all circumstances. For example, if you live in a climate that is especially hot and dry, too much light and heat could roast your garden.

Instead, a truly idea spot for a greenhouse is one with naturally level ground and at least six hours of direct sunlight in the winter. Typically, this means your site should be somewhat shaded from the north, so the hot summer sun doesn’t burn your plants alive. Additionally, you should try to orient your greenhouse east to west, so its largest windows capture sunlight all day long. Finally, the closer you place your greenhouse to your living space, the better; that makes it easier for you to visit your greenhouse, monitor its conditions, and enjoy its bounty.

Greenhouse Frame

When most people hear “greenhouse,” they think of a glass structure with a pitched roof - but in truth, greenhouses come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. In the initial stages of greenhouse planning, you should research the variety of greenhouse frames to decide what style is best for you. What you choose will largely depend on your climate and available space, but your taste is also an important factor. Here are some common greenhouse frames available in easy-to-build greenhouse kits:

  • Lean-to. Mounted against existing structures, lean-to greenhouses are usually easy to build and access but rarely provide much interior growing space.
  • Even-span. Like lean-tos, even-span greenhouses share a wall with another structure, but they have their own symmetrical roofs. You might also call this kind of greenhouse a sun room or a closed-in deck if it isn’t used for growing a garden.
  • Quonset. The simplest freestanding greenhouse, Quonsets are semi-circles with flat walls at the ends.
  • A-frame. A sturdy style, a-frame greenhouses are triangular in shape with flat walls at the ends.
  • Gothic arch. As the name describes, gothic arch greenhouses are shaped like gothic arches, with a dramatic point at the top.
  • Gabled. Gabled greenhouses are the prototypical greenhouse: They look like miniature, see-through houses.

For your greenhouse to function properly, you need to wrap your frame in transparent or translucent material called glazing. Throughout history, the largest and most ornate greenhouses have been glass, but few modern greenhouses are built with glass because the material is expensive and relatively delicate. There are advantages to glass: Double-paned glass is indisputably the best insulation and both double- and single-paned glass are aesthetically stunning. Yet, for most greenhouse growers, the costs of glass are prohibitive and require consideration of other glazing options.

Polycarbonate plastic is by far the most popular glazing material. Strong and durable, polycarbonate can last upwards of 10 years and transmits light as efficiently as other plastic films. Plus, you can purchase multi-wall polycarbonate, which boasts an air buffer that enhances your greenhouse’s insulation and looks better than singe-wall polycarbonate. No matter what glazing option you choose, you should keep these three important aspects of glazing in mind: light, insulation, and longevity.

Environmental Controls

By selecting the perfect space, you optimize the functionality of your greenhouse - but few spaces are totally perfect. Likely, you will need to install some environmental controls to ensure the ideal atmosphere for your garden. Some greenhouse systems can be connected to a smart hub, allowing you to control them remotely through your digital devices. Still, less-tech-savvy greenhouse growers need the following controls at the very least:

  • Light systems. Shades or shutters can help your plants rest and recuperate before another long day of sunlight. Contrary to popular belief, light deprivation is crucial for healthy growth.
  • Temperature systems. Heating and cooling systems moderate the interior temperature of the greenhouse regardless of the climate outside. Thus, you can maintain optimal growing temperature throughout the year, even in extreme locations.
  • Moisture systems. Your plants need water, but too much humidity can stifle them and compromise your structure with mold and mildew. Sprinkler or drip watering systems are obviously essential, but complex ventilation is also valuable.

While some farmers rely on their greenhouse crops for their livelihood, home gardeners primarily want their greenhouses to be comfortable and attractive as well as prolific. Both types of greenhouse growers should consider adding useful accessories to their environment to make the process of growing more enjoyable and appealing.

For example, benches located next to growing beds make tending crops more comfortable - and they allow you to rest and relish your bounty. Benches should be sturdy, as you might intermittently use them as surfaces, and they should be resistant to rot in a humid environment.

Similarly, most growers have abundant need for storage space. Cabinets are necessary for storing extra soil and fertilizer as well as gardening tools like trowels, pruners, picks, and others. Ideally, you can install cabinets next to a potting table, which will make plant care that much easier. Meanwhile, sturdy shelves and racks around your greenhouse can keep your walkways tidy and hold additional containers of plants, maximizing growing space inside the greenhouse.

Accessories can typically be added and removed after greenhouse construction is complete, but including them in your plans will help you obtain the greenhouse of your dreams. Then, you can get to uninhibited growing as soon as possible.

The post Greenhouse Construction 101 appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

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In normal circumstances, you should be mowing your lawn when the ground isn’t soggy. However, what if the rainfall hasn’t stopped and your grass is in dire need of cutting?

Mowing in the rain isn’t the best option, but this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to mow under the rain safely and effectively. With our guide, you’ll be able to use your lawn mower even when the grass and soil are wet.

Slow Down and Sharpen the Blades

As much as you want to get it over with, you can just speed along with mowing during the rain. You could slip and the lawn mower could clog quickly due to all of the sticky and wet grass. Also, visibility isn’t at its best due to all of the rain and you could, unfortunately, hit stones and other debris.

Thankfully, you can save some times when you sharpen the mower blades. Ensure that the cutting blades are as sharp as they can be. Sharp blades will effectively reduce drag to keep the mowing operation smooth in the rain. When it’s raining, dull or average blades might shred the grass blades instead of cutting them straight. On the other hand, sharp blades lead to clean cuts that do not expose the grass to diseases.

Increase the Cutting Height

What’s your regular cutting height? If it’s three inches, try to increase this a bit to 3.5 inches or even four inches. Cutting more than a third of the total height of the grass blades is already bad for them in regular conditions. When it’s raining, the lawn mower wouldn’t be capable of mowing at a low height.

Pick an Area to Stop the Lawn Mower

For one, try not to place your lawn mower in any concrete surfaces or pavements. Otherwise, the machine could leave unsightly stains after an extensive mowing operation in the rain due to the chlorophyll content of the grass. Similarly, the area to let the lawn mower rest must be away from must be kept clean areas. The soggy clumps might be discarded out once you stop the machine.

Avoid Having Too Many Lawn Clippings

Typically, lawn clippings should be welcomed. After all, they can be used for mulching or for your compost heap. If it’s raining, however, the opposite is true. Remove grass clippings using a rake or a yard sweeper. If the sun appears and it’s no longer raining, use the bagging feature the lawnmower. Letting too many wet lawn clippings remain will suffocate the grass and could lead to the development of fungal diseases.

Clean the Lawn Mower Immediately

After you’ve mowed the lawn, remove all of the dam grass clippings as soon as possible. Check underneath the mower deck for any unsightly layers of lawn clippings. Ignoring them will lead to the appearance of mold in the near future. Likewise, look for the washout port of your lawn mower and use it to efficiently rinse the cutting deck.

The top section of your lawn mower must be wiped to be free of any wet lawn clippings. Also, the gas tank should be filled to allow air to move out of the container. As for the wheels, use a wire brush to remove any clippings and other debris.

Mowing In The Rain - YouTube
Mowing Tips When You Know It Will Rain#1 Check the Weather Forecast and Mow Ahead

Oftentimes, preventive steps are better than solutions to a current problem. Instead of mowing while it’s still raining, you can keep your lawn healthy by being well-informed. If you know what day the rain is most likely to occur, you should begin to mow the lawn two or so days before it. Apart from having mow the lawn under normal conditions, you can save on water since rainfall will occur soon.

#2 Increase the Frequency of Mowing

If you know that it’s going to be a rainy season, you should change your mowing schedule. Some homeowners do it once a week. If it’s going to rain, however, you might as well mow the lawn every five days. Yes, this means having to operate your lawn mower more than usual.

Still, this ensures that your lawn grass doesn’t become excessively tall once the rain does arrive. Any tall grass alone is problematic for mowing, but tall and significantly wet grass is even more cumbersome. In addition, you won’t have to gather and rake all of the wet grass clippings in your lawn.

In conclusion, you can opt to mow in the rain. However, you must be extra careful. The mower blades need to be sharp and you must immediately get rid of the excessive lawn clippings. Similarly, you should clean your lawn mower immediately and watch out for any stains on where you place the machine.

Ideally, you should mow more frequently and watch out for the weather forecast so you can mow just before the rain arrives. We hope that our guide will keep you safe as you mow in the rain. If you have any queries, feel free to send us a comment.

The post Mowing In The Rain Guide appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

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We all know that watering at noon when the sun is fully up is wasteful. The heat will lead to the quick evaporation of a substantial amount of water. So, when is the best time to water the lawn grass? Some homeowners believe that morning is the ideal time while others insist that watering grass at night is also acceptable.

Here, we identify how the latter should be conducted to achieve the positive results.

Water Deeply But Adjust for Grass Seeds

Similar to morning irrigation, nighttime watering should be done deeply rather than in a shallow manner. Mere sprinklers of water won’t encourage the root systems to establish themselves deeply in the soil. In the daytime, the shallow roots won’t have enough strength to survive continued heat or drought.

The opposite is true if you irrigate grass seeds at night. For grass seeds, ten minutes of irrigation should be enough to provide moisture. Do note that this should be conducted both at morning and at night. Once the grass seedlings are showing significant growth, the frequency should be reduced in exchange for deep irrigation. As the lawn grass matures, water less at night and more in the morning.

Read also: 5 Best Expandable Hose To Buy 2018

Target the Foliage If There Are Pests at Night

Ideally, you should be watering your lawn grass in the morning. However, time constraints would mean having to water at another time instead. The next best option is to water the grass at night, but this comes at a cost. For one, pests begin to make their way onto your lawn under the cover of night. As you water your grass in the evening, you might see snails damaging the turf. You can pull them out of your lawn by hand when you spot them.

Thankfully, you can help your lawn grass to survive these pests feeding off on them at night by watering their grass blades instead of just the soil and the roots. With enough moisture, it becomes hard for pests to damage the grass blades. In contrast, grass blades that have begun to wilt are easier for pests to consume. Just like morning irrigation, the provision of moisture to the grass gives them a natural way to resist pests.

Check if the Soil is Well-Draining

Watering the lawn grass in the evening means that evaporation is unlikely to happen and there is less wind to carry the water away. However, one common concern is that the moisture will stay for too long. In contrast, even with the cool temperatures, the rising sun ensures the evaporation after a while.

Because the absence of evaporation gives pathogens more time to reach the lawn grass, some people argue that lawn grass could develop fungal diseases at nighttime. In most cases, however, the problem is actually inefficient drainage instead of the time of irrigation. When you water your lawn grass at night, ensure that you have well-draining soil. This will prevent the soil from harboring the water for an excessive amount of time.

Cancel Evening Irrigation if Frost Occurs

Compared to morning grass irrigation, nighttime irrigation guarantees that your lawn grass will have eight hours or so to fully absorb the moisture in the soil. There is no sun that will force some of the moisture to be taken to the atmosphere.

However, you should cancel watering the grass at night if local weather forecasts show an incoming frost. Even a light frost at night can be bad for your lawn grass if it’s combined with evening irrigation. The cells of your lawn grass will surely be damaged. It’s better to water in the morning if frost is about to arrive.

Switch to Morning Irrigation if Possible

While nighttime irrigation can be done as well, you will have less to worry about if your water your lawn in the morning. Just like evening, the early morning is characterized by cool temperatures. In other words, water does not rapidly evaporate due to the heat from the sun.

Similarly, both morning irrigation and evening irrigation are safe from harsh winds that carry off the water. In the morning, the soil in your garden has enough time to absorb the water before evaporation sets in. The difference is that the water won’t overstay and lead to possible fungal diseases and bacteria buildup.

Here’s a video on watering at night:

Does Watering At Night Kill Your Lawn? - YouTube

In conclusion, there’s nothing inherently wrong with watering the lawn at night. You just need to ensure that no frost is going to arrive and that you watch out for pests. Similarly, adjustments are in order if you are irrigating seeds and grass seedlings. Likewise, a well-draining soil will lessen the possible problems arising from the lack of evaporation in nighttime irrigation.

We hope that our guide has helped you to properly irrigate at night. Watering in the morning is the best period, but it’s best to know what to do if you don’t have any choice but to water at night. If you have any questions, feel free to send us a comment.

The post Watering Grass at Night: Is it possible? appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

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Ewww insects! That’s the first thought crossing your mind at the sight of pests and critters. Did you know that there are numerous insects that can help with your gardening adventures? Invite in your very own side-kicks and start building a garden of your dreams.

A human sidekick, who could help you are the gardeners and landscapers. They can offer a mesmerizing outdoor garden design for your property. With the help of so many sidekicks, your adventure is sure to become successful.

How to call in your side-kick insects for helping with your gardening projects

Your garden is quite precious to you. You invest effort, time and money into creating your perfect space of serenity. It would be heart-breaking if something were to happen to your garden.

Here are some insects, who can maintain your garden's working order:

#1 Ground Beetle

This kind of insect is nocturnal in nature and helps cabbage maggots, snails and other such bugs that damage your plants and crops. They will follow your lead into your garden if you have perennials in your garden. Russian sage, daffodils, peonies and Perennial sage are some of the perennials that can help you with the task. These plants also enhance the beauty of the garden, so you just incorporate them into your garden designs. They also provide a stable environment for the beetles to thrive in.

#2 Ladybugs

Adult ladybugs will be doing your garden a favor, as they feast on aphids, mites, and many more such harmful pests. The hungry larvae of the ladybug will work harder to protect your garden. Herbs like fennel and dill will help to attract these beauties into your garden. The herbs can add taste to your cooking, while these insects can feast on them and help protect your garden.

#3 Lacewings

Quite similar to ladybugs, these insects also prevent aphids, mealybugs as well as whiteflies from encroaching into your garden. Eggs are easily available at a local gardening shop, but the easier way to invite them is adding alyssum to your garden. The flowers look beautiful, so they enhance the beauty of your garden, while the lacewings keep your garden clean and safe.

Read also: 5 Best Spider Repellent Reviews

#4 Hoverflies

The striped abdomens offer the flies the look of small bees. Their movement resembles that of flies. These flies are predatory in nature and leave their eggs on the flowers that have pollen and nectar. The larvae feed on aphids and other soft-bodied insects. Fern-leaf yarrow, common yarrow, carpet bugleweed and many more plants attract these insects.

#5 Bees

Bees are beneficial for your garden so, do not be afraid of them. They help pollinate flowers and improve growth in your garden. They are not aggressive unless attacked. They come in get their food and benefit your garden in the process. Plant colorful flowers and add a bee bath. The bee bath will invite in more bees and they can get a drink when needed. They are hard workers and need a break once a while, right?

#6 Parasitic Wasps

These creatures are highly beneficial and help protect your garden against the likes of caterpillars like tomato fruitworm, cabbage worm, tent caterpillars and many more. Plants that can help attract these insects include lavender globe lily, dill, caraway, purple poppy mallow and various varieties of common yarrow.

Not all insects are pesky critters, some like the ones above help your garden stay safe and beautiful. Plant the right plants and see your garden bloom into something that offers a mesmerizing sight. Let the professional gardeners help you, they have knowledge of many more such beneficial insects and will help you build a lovely garden.

The post Who would have Thought that Insects could be Beneficial for Gardens? appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

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Homeowners wish to have an aesthetically pleasing lawn. Typically, this means having a flat and rectangular area filled with lush, green grass. Sadly, slopes and low spots can emerge and make your lawn look unsightly. Thus, you should know how to level a bumpy lawn.

Determine the Cause of a Bumpy Lawn

There are several reasons why your lawn has developed an uneven surface. By identifying the cause, you can perform the fix. For one, the huge earthworms more commonly known as nightcrawlers could move around 20 tons of soil to the surface annually. If you see them in your lawn, try to lower the pH level of your soil.

Another cause is waterlogging, which is more likely to occur during winter due to snowfall or rainfall. When surface water stays for far too long in your lawn, lumps will begin to appear. To fix this, you should ensure a good drainage system for your lawn. Furthermore, soil settlement might be the culprit. If so, just dig up the uneven area and break up any of the rocks or debris underneath.

Level in Spring and Irrigate the Lawn

The best time for leveling a bumpy lawn is in spring. This is a period when your grass seeds have enough time for growth while the soil gets adequate moisture to properly settle. Before you do attempt to level your lawn, irrigate it first to ensure that the soil is not hard or too compacted. However, pay attention to how much water you are providing to your lawn since too much will also make it hard to level the area.

Level the Shallow Spots

The next process is for fixing low spots that only have a one-centimeter or two-centimeter difference compared to the normal level of the soil. Simply get a topdressing mixture and apply it directly onto the shallow low spot. Get a garden rake to fill the low spots evenly.

Afterward, make the soil compact by stepping on it. You can also use the flat portion of the garden rake for this. In addition, lightly irrigating this area will support soil compaction. Just leave it after this and allow it to settle for some time. Once several days have passed, it’s time to plant grass seeds and apply another thin layer topdressing mixture. Instead of stepping on the area, just use your hands to carefully make the area compact.

During the first two days of having planted the grass seeds in the newly leveled area, you need to lightly water the soil four times a day. This is the amount needed for seed germination to commence properly. After this period, you just have to go back to regular watering to let the seeds grow.

Level the Deep Spots

If the bumps in your lawn are caused by low spots that are at least two centimeters deeper than the normal soil surface level, this is what you should follow. First, get a square point shovel and use it to mark the center and edges of the bump or low spot. Essentially, you will be forming a cross-shaped cut, with all cuts being ideally even. Having even cuts will lessen the difficulty of lifting up the soil without it breaking up.

Consequently, ensure that you make cuts at a depth ranging from four centimeters to five centimeters. Afterward, slide the square point shovel below the soil to perform horizontal cuts. The soil should have a bit of moisture so that it won’t crumble once you move it. To help keep the soil together, try to let the square point shovel as flat as you can. Thus, you can flatly lay these sections of turf back to your lawn after the uneven areas are dealt with.

If you notice any more bumps, simply remove the excessive soil underneath the lawn grass. Just dig them up after you’ve made the horizontal cuts. Once the affected area is leveled with the nearby sections, return the strips of lawn grass back to where they were. Treat down to enhance soil compaction and prevent any more low spots.

You’ll notice gaps due to the cuts you’ve made for leveling the lawn. Cover these areas with a topdressing mixture to prevent them from getting dry. In addition, sowing grass seeds in these gaps of the cross-section and watering them regularly will help restore the lush and green appearance. Finally, place a wooden stick in the previously bumpy areas. This will allow you to check if the soil has become uneven again.

Here is a video of fixing a bumpy lawn:

How To Fix A Bumpy Lawn - YouTube

Overall, leveling a bumpy lawn does not always require professional help. Except for problems with the water pipes and the overall drainage system, you can address the issues on your own. Sometimes, a bumpy lawn is just caused by pesky nightcrawlers or natural soil settlement. Regardless, it’s important to know how to level your lawn without damaging the turf.

We hope that our guide helped you to keep a beautiful, leveled lawn. If you have any queries, feel free to give us a comment.

The post How to Level a Bumpy Lawn appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

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So, you’ve finally made up your mind that you’re going to start your flower garden. You might even have begun searching for the types of flowers you would love to own and plant. But where and how do you start?

The following steps will help you start your flower garden the easy and smart way.

1. Choose a place for your flower garden.

You can’t start growing flowers if you have no place to do it, so the first thing to consider is the location. For starters, you can always start small. Your first flower garden can start from a simple container, a window box, a slightly raised garden bed or even a flower bed.

Pick a location near a water source for easy watering. It is also best to choose a space where your garden is noticeable. If it is hidden somewhere in your yard, the tendency is you might forget about it.

2. Know the sunlight levels of your chosen location.

Once you have chosen a place where your flower garden will be, you to check for the light levels next. For flowers, the more sunlight, the more the flowers bloom. One must know that different types of flowers, like most plants, require different amounts of sunlight. It is best to spend some of your time outside in different times of the day and note the places where sunlight is prominent and which are usually partially shaded.

3. Get rid of grass and sod.

Make sure no sod or grass covers the area where you plan to grow your garden to give space for your flowers. If there are grasses and aggressive weeds, digging through the soil to get the roots out is what you need to do. You can also try to dig sods to clear them out faster.

If you can still wait for a few months like five or so, you can use newspapers in five layers to smother the sod. Top it off with potting soil and topsoil combo or soil composts in three coats. All of these will need at least four months to compose.

4. Get your soil ready.

Till your soil until it is loose and quickly breaks into smaller pieces. If there are rocks or lumps of earth or clay, you will need to remove those too. Try to make the topsoil smooth for a layer that looks even.

5. Make the soil fertile.

The soil where you will plant your flowers needs necessary nutrients such as potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus as well as other nutrients to grow. Organic materials like compost as well as manure are excellent fertilizers. If digging is not an option, putting layers of compost or manure on top of your soil will do. You just need 6 inches of these and a few months later will be part of dirt.

6. Choose the type of flowers you want to grow in your garden.

It is best to consider the amount of light and shade your chosen location gets in picking flowers. Another thing to take into consideration is to make sure the flowers you select can grow on the climate where you are planting them. Different types of flowers grow on different zones, so make sure to keep this in mind to not waste any effort in the future.

How much time and dedication you can provide for your garden is also necessary to make sure you pick the right type of flowering plants, be it perennials or annuals.

Perennials are plants that can live for more than two years. They can grow during spring and summer time, die during the cold of winter and autumn and come back from their rootstock when spring arrives. Some of the best varieties of perennials are roses, asters, peonies, and daffodils.

Annuals, on the other hand, needs to be planted yearly. Their advantage for perennials, however, is that their blooms last for a more extended period.

For those who are newbies when it comes to gardening, your best pick for seeds would be low-maintenance flowers that are easy to grow like sunflowers.

7. Plan your flower garden structure.

If you’re considering to plant various types of flowers, it is best to include color, height, and spacing. Prioritize the small flowers in the front, while the taller ones are to be positioned and planted at the back. It will enable you to organize your garden as well as showcase the beauty of each plant.

8. Buy the seeds and starting planting.

If you want to grow the flowers on your own, you can buy seeds on online catalogs or garden centers. Otherwise, you can obtain flowers on a nursery or flower market as well as the garden store. Remember that you will need extra care and attention if you plan to grow plants on your own. Once the soil is ready and you have your plant or seeds, start planting. For seeds, strictly follow the instructions to make sure our flowers will not die out.

9. Water your plants.

If you planted seeds, seedlings should never dry out so make sure to water them regularly. Newly planted transplants also need a daily supply of water up until the roots have settled in place. It is best to water in the morning, and you need to water deeply and slowly for the soil to absorb it.

10. Clear up weeds when you see them.

These unwanted plants will fight over the nutrients in the soil that your plants need, so it’s best to get rid of them. You can use mulch to keep moisture in a while keeping the weeds out.

11. Take care of your garden and show it off.

Daily watering and getting rid of weeds are essential to keep your flower garden alive and beautiful. You may also want to show off your garden since you’ve been doing a great job in taking care of it.


We don’t always need to go outdoors to have recreation in our own home, we can always turn our garden into something magical. Have a garden spa on your breathtaking new flower garden.

Highlight your flower garden by installing landscape lighting, could be DIY lighting ideas or from companies that offer a great variety of lighting fixtures you can use in making your flower bed stand out. LEDs and Solar lights are hot this year, plus they offer lots of benefits so you might want to consider choosing them among other lighting types.

Robbie Nevens, co-founder of Lamptwist, has a unique fascination with lighting, he believes that the room lighting is the center and core of home designs. Robbie works for a home improvement company for the last 20 years. As for Robbie, lampshades and chandeliers were the best types of furniture he ever invested at home and never fails to do the trick.

The post Gardening Made Easy: 11 Tips and Tricks To Start Your Flower Garden The Smart Way appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

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If you have a new lawn or you want to repair damaged parts, you should grow new grass. Ideally, the seeds will become seedlings and grow large enough to be lush and healthy. However, there are cases when they don’t survive for long – and fertilizer application might be the problem.

Thus, it’s essential that you know when to fertilize new grass.

Fertilize Early and Get the Right Mix

Ideally, you should be applying the fertilizer either before you sow the grass seeds or while doing so. Now, fertilizers will generally have the three essential elements for plant growth: nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. These are respectively referred to as N, P, and K on the fertilizer packages. Some fertilizers have an equal amount of N, P, and K. Other fertilizer mixes will have more nitrogen than the other two elements.

When fertilizing new grass, do not use a package with high amounts of these elements. High levels of N, P, and K, are beneficial for the growth of existing grass, but new grass does not need as much. Thus, don’t pick any random fertilizer mix. Ensure that you get a quick-release starter fertilizer with just the right amount chemical element ratio.

Starter fertilizers for new grass aren’t made the exact same way, but they are likely to be a quick-release variant. In contrast to a slow-release fertilizer that is used often to prepare the lawn for the summer, a quick-release fertilizer immediately gives the grass seeds the nutrients they need. In particular, the new grass will have a good germination period and their roots will be established fast.

Here is a video of starter fertilizers:

Lawn Starter Fertilizer FAQ + Update - YouTube
Second Application of Fertilizer

After giving your new grass some quick-release starter fertilizer, it might still need more nutrients to grow. Not all lawn owners would need to a reapplication of fertilizer, but it’s not uncommon if you perform it again after three or four weeks. This is when the new grass has reached a height ranging from an inch to 1.5 inches.

By fertilizing again, you promote deep root growth while also preventing the proliferation of weeds. Remember to use a lawn fertilizer instead of a starter fertilizer this time. The amount should range between about half to a pound of nitrogen for every 1,000 square feet of lawn.

Quick Tip on Weed-and-Feed Products

You might be considering the use of a weed-and-feed product for your second fertilizer application. However, we do not recommend this due to their effects on the new grass. They usually have herbicides for treating broadleaf weeds or crabgrass affecting seed germination. The exception is the one that has Siduron, which is safe for use on grass seeds and seedlings.

Fertilizing Newly Laid Sod

We now know when to fertilize newly planted grass seeds, but what about newly laid sod? While it is indeed a fast way to improve the look of your lawn, it can immediately turn brown with inadequate irrigation and fertilizer application.

Unlike with grass seeds that need a quick-release starter fertilizer early on, you must first wait for one and a half months before you can apply any fertilizer. In fact, you can wait for up to two months to ensure that the roots of the sod have been firmly established in the soil.

For fertilizing sod, you should get a slow-release fertilizer. Using a quick-release variant would be too much. Also, avoid getting a fertilizer mix with a high amount of nitrogen for the first application. You can opt for a granular lawn fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 5-14-42 to support root establishment.

To have an efficient coverage, use a broadcast spreader. One pound should be used for every 1,000 square feet of lawn. Read the instructions on the label of the slow-release fertilizer package and irrigate the sod deeply after applying the fertilizer.

Second Fertilizer Application of Sod

Before you apply fertilizer on your sod again, do wait from six weeks to eight weeks. Also, the fertilizer you should be using by now must be a granular lawn fertilizer with a high amount of nitrogen. An example would be a 25-10-10 fertilizer. Use the broadcast spreader again, but the nitrogen to be used or now must be two pounds for every 10,000 square feet of lawn. Don’t forget to irrigate the sod afterward.


In conclusion, you must take note of the differences in fertilization application for new grass seeds and newly laid sod. The former requires a quick-release fertilizer immediately while the latter is better off with a slow-release variant several weeks after it has been laid on the lawn. Both of them, however, would benefit from a second application to support root establishment.

We hope that our guide helped you ensure that your new grass will grow well. If you have any questions, feel free to send us a comment.

The post When to Fertilize New Grass? appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

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As spring arrives, you need to pay extra attention to your garden. While this season can promise great plant growth, there are also several issues to deal with. Thus, let’s take a look at the many activities you can do when are gardening in spring.

1. Pest Control

While pests in spring won’t be as plentiful as they are in the summer season, you still need to pay attention to certain pests such as cutworms, maggots, slugs, and wireworms. Cutworms move up to the soil surface at nighttime to eat seedlings and newly transplanted crops, especially peppers. To stop the cutworms from feeding off your plants, you can position several rings of lightweight cardboard – known as cutworm collars – around the plants.

Second, maggots can wreak havoc on your cabbages, radishes, Brussels sprouts, onions, and sweet corns. Maggots are born on your crops when eggs were placed there by flies. They feast on the root systems of your plants, which negatively affects the overall plant growth.

One way to control a maggot infestation is through the application of diatomaceous earth around the stems of your seedlings. A preventive method is to get some yellow sticky traps to capture the mature flies and stop them from laying eggs in the first place.

Slug and Wireworm Control

Third, the soft and slimy slugs reside in moist areas in the daytime, and then they eat the plant leaves on relatively warm nights. If you see a lot of these pests in your garden, you should water and mulch adequately. Remember not to apply too much mulch as this can attract even more slugs.

Likewise, you can place cardboards and newspapers between garden rows. The slugs will seek shelter underneath these materials. Thus, you just have to lift them when the sun is up and then lead the slugs into a container filled water and soap.

Lastly, the dark and thin wireworms are most likely to appear if you have just turned a part of your lawn into a garden. They will damage the root systems, but you can kill them off with an application of soil insecticide.

2. Pruning

Pruning tree is best done during their dormant stage. If your trees begin to bloom or develop buds during spring, you must be careful. Doing it extensively can expose them to pests and plant disease. In particular, certain trees are better off not being trimmed during spring.

For example, oak trees pruned in spring could suffer more from oak wilt while honeylocust trees could succumb to stem cankers. In addition, sycamore trees might develop anthracnose while elm trees get the Dutch elm disease.

Trees and Ornamental Grasses for Pruning

In contrast, other trees need pruning during this season. Pruning young trees by removing the broken branches can enhance their structure. In addition, late spring is a good time for pruning walnut trees, birch trees, and maple trees. If you prune them during winter, a lot of sap is released. This isn’t actually harmful, but it doesn’t offer a clean pruning operation either. If you prune in spring, these trees won’t release much sap.

Similarly, the following trees should be pruned in spring as soon as they have finished blooming: magnolia, lilac, apricot, chokecherry, dogwood, juneberry, and crabapple trees. In general, you can trim your trees in spring, but only as much as 10 percent of the branches. By pruning the trees in spring, you get to shape them to enhance the overall appearance of your garden. More importantly, you get to remove any damaged or rotten tree branches.

As for ornamental grasses such as regal mist and deer grass, they should be pruned in early spring. This is the season when they will have active growth. By trimming them, you can separate the newly growing blades from the dry seed heads. The ornamental grasses won’t look good for a couple of weeks, but they will return to their original form soon after.

Here is a video about pruning ornamental grasses:

Pruning Ornamental Grasses - YouTube
3. Weed Control

Many plants switch to their active growth periods in spring, but so do the weeds that can be bad for your garden. First, the broadleaf plantain can grow and spread all over your garden between June and September. These weeds thrive in either moist soil or highly compacted soil with an alkaline pH level.

Simply mowing the broadleaf plantain at a low height won’t work against them due to their thick root systems. If you don’t mow, however, the seed head could eventually surpass six inches in length. The best option is to use either a synthetic or a natural herbicide.

Managing Canadian Thistle and Dandelions

Next, the Canadian thistle can provide color to your garden with its slightly pink and purple flowers. However, the problem is that the spiny leaves can lead to irritation upon contact. Worse, stepping on the leaves of Canadian thistles is a painful task.

If you don’t take care of it, the Canadian thistle will quickly spread and grow to four feet long or more. Using a natural or synthetic herbicide will do the trick, but you can also just remove them by hand. Just remember to also pull out the roots to stop the Canadian thistle from growing again.

Third, dandelions as one of the most common broadleaf weeds found in North America can pose the threat. Once spring arrives, you’ll easily notice them with their strikingly yellow appearance. Some homeowners don’t treat them as a weed, but many others do because of how fast they can spread.

After all, dandelion seeds can be propagated through mowing, foot traffic, and strong winds. They will compete with your crops for nutrients. To remove them, pull them up and ensure that all the roots are taken out of the soil.

4. Fertilizing

Your garden in early spring won’t look particularly good as the plants shift from their dormant period to active growth. Thus, it’s common to see them drenched in water and with brown leaves. However, we do not recommend a fertilizer application in early spring.

Fertilizing at this stage of spring will speed up the growth of leaves, but it will affect root growth. Moreover, the plant will consume the carbohydrate reserves for the wrong reasons. These reserves should be utilized only for resisting plant disease and establishing the roots deep in the soil.

If the roots grow at a shallow point, the plants will become vulnerable to drought in the summer. Ideally, you should just let your plants establish their root systems first. If you do notice the proliferation of weeds in early spring, you may opt to apply herbicide. However, use it only on the affected areas and you should supplement it with a bit of fertilizer to offset its harmful effects.

Use a Slow-Release Fertilizer

Another reason to avoid early spring fertilizing is to avoid giving them too much nutrients. This is most likely to happen if you used a slow-release fertilizer back in fall. In the latter half of spring, you can finally use a 20-5-10 fertilizer mix. Do not use more than the recommended rate to avoid from fertilizer burn. In fact, using just half of what is recommended on the package might be better to avoid applying too much.

The application of a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer in late spring just before the onset of the summer season will support optimal plant growth. In particular, this allows the plants to create enough energy reserves for use in the summer. Once summer arrives, these reserves will help your plants to survive high foot traffic and hot temperatures.

5. Transplanting

Spring is a fantastic period for transplanting daylilies. This allows the plants to adapt to any extreme temperatures that may arrive after several weeks. Homeowners who reside in areas with harsh winter seasons should transplant the daylilies in spring instead of fall.

Daylilies with beautiful orange flowers should be transplanted once every two or so years. They can proliferate quickly, so transplanting will ensure no overcrowding. Otherwise, your daylilies will compete with each other for nutrients. When you do transplant some of them, remember not to damage the fans and the roots.

Apart from daylilies, roses should also be transplanted in spring. Homeowners residing in warm regions might prefer fall, but those in colder regions are better off doing it in early spring. During fall, the roses are in their dormant stage. Transplanting them when they are actively growing will be bad as they are very sensitive to shock. However, you must first let the late spring frost arrive before you transplant the rose bushes.

In addition, the soil must have already warmed up from the cold and wet winter. The garden bed or the planting hole must be prepared in advance. For one, soil needs to be rich in organic matter, which can be achieved through composting. Moreover, the planting hole must have a depth of at least 15 inches and a width of about 12 inches.

Finally, you can also transplant peonies in spring. Their blooms in the first year might not be impressive, but they eventually improve. You need to water them well two days before transplanting. Otherwise, the stress of being moved could be too much. Use a spade to safely and efficiently remove the peonies from their original location.

During its first year of being transplanted, the peonies need an inch of water and a three-inch layer of mulch. The new location of the peonies must have well-draining and fertile soil. Likewise, the area should be exposed to the sun to provide the plants with at a minimum of six hours of sunlight.

In conclusion, there are many gardening tasks to conduct in spring. This is a period when certain weeds and pests can spread and damage your garden. On the other hand, spring is also a time for pruning, transplanting, and applying fertilizer. If you take all of this into account, you’ll surely have a healthy spring garden that’s also ready to face the approaching summer season.

If you have any queries, feel free to give us a comment.

The post What To Do In The Garden In Spring? appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

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If you see that a section of your lawn is no longer growing any healthy grass, it needs to be repaired immediately. Otherwise, you are going to be left with an unsightly lawn. Wouldn’t you want a lush, green lawn instead? Here, we discuss the steps on how to repair damaged lawn.

#1 Identify the Cause

We all know what a bare section of a lawn looks like, but the causes can differ from one patch to another. For one, too much fertilizer can be the most significant factor. Other reasons can be that the grass succumbed to a plant disease or an insect infestation. In contrast, it could be that too many grasses grew in the same area and competed against each other — depleting the soil of its nutrients in the long run.

Once you’ve identified the cause of the damaged section of the lawn, you can take the necessary steps to address them. Try to avoid fertilizer spills next time. Research on how you can stop the plant disease from spreading. Buy the appropriate insecticide or place them in soapy water if turns out to be effective. Know how to provide enough space for each grass to full grow.

See more: How To Fertilize Your Garden in The Right Way

Here is a video on repairing a lawn:

How To Repair A Lawn - YouTube
#2 Pick the Right Grass Variety for Overseeding

After addressing the primary cause of the damaged patch of your lawn, it’s time to plant new grass. If you live in a northern state such as Iowa, Missouri, and Ohio, overseeding is best conducted during fall. This will allow the cool-season grasses such as perennial ryegrass and Kentucky bluegrass to establish their root systems well before the summer season arrives.

On the other hand, homeowners residing in southern states such as Delaware, Florida, and South Carolina, you should overseed with warm-season grass varieties such as bahiagrass, Bermuda grass, and zoysiagrass.

#3 Prepare the Damaged Area

It’s best to separate the damaged area from the other parts in your lawn. Get a shovel and dig around the area to create a border. Also, pull up any unhealthy grasses and weeds. Use a garden rake to remove any debris and clumps of dirt on the soil surface.

Now, get your lawn mower and mow any existing healthy lawn grass in the damaged patch as close to the ground as possible. However, do note that the crowns should be unscraped. After the mowing operation, collect all the lawn clippings and dispose of them. By this time, the damaged section will be bare enough for the grass seeds to come in contact with the soil.

After mowing, rake again the soil located between the newly mown lawn grasses. This will help prepare a decent seedbed for the grass seeds to be planted. Consequently, you may apply a layer of compost and a slow-release nitrogen fertilizer to improve the soil quality. Keep the soil surface even with your garden rake.

#4 Begin Planting the Seeds

Afterward, get the grass seeds and begin to saw them in the bare patch of the lawn. You should follow what is recommended on the seed package. The amount indicated will ensure that enough seeds will land on the soil even if some get stuck on the grass. Once the grass seeds have been sown, you can add any topdressing material to improve the quality of the damaged lawn.

A layer of straw or topsoil should protect not only the seeds but also the seedlings from birds. Furthermore, the thin layer on the soil will preserve more moisture for the new grass. Don’t forget to water the affected area frequently to encourage optimal growth and the establishment of roots. Once the new grasses are at least three inches in height, they are eligible for mowing.

#5 Use Sod as an Alternative to Seeds

Apart from sowing grass seeds on your damaged lawn, you can also use sod instead. It’s easily the fastest way to cover your damaged lawn. The preparations for laying sod are similar to when you sow seed in the affected area. Just dig a border around the area, rake the soil to remove debris, and pull up any weeds and dying grasses.

It’s important that you mow the existing grass up to just an inch from the soil surface. This will allow the sod to be equal in height with the grass. Once the preparations are complete, get a strip of sod and place it firmly on the damaged site. Let it settle faster on the area by walking on it for a bit. Afterward, water the affected area deeply and frequently.

In conclusion, there are many causes of a damaged lawn. It could be due to improper lawn maintenance such as applying too much fertilizer and not providing enough water. The cause might be due to diseases, pests, and overcrowding. Once you’ve addressed these problems, repairing your damaged lawn is simple. You can opt to use new seeds or lay sod to help your damaged lawn recover.

We hope that our quick guide helped you recover your damaged lawn. If you have any queries, do send us a comment.

The post How to Repair Damaged Lawn appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

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Cold. Dark. Dank. Winter is not a time that you associate with happy times in your garden. In fact, many of us put a proverbial ‘do not disturb’ sign on the space during the winter month. But, does this have to be the case? You wouldn’t, after all, shut off a whole room in your house for one season every year. It would be a waste of space.

So, what should you do to help maintain your garden throughout the winter - whilst making it more usable - and into the beauty of spring.

1) Tidy Up Your Garden Space

There is nothing quite like a Spring clean in the dead of Winter. No, really! As the plants begin to wither away due to the cold, it couldn’t be a better time to start trimming and clearing away the debris. Not only is it slightly more pleasant on the eyes, but it means that they will have a much easier time growing back next year as well. A win-win for everyone!

2) Plant Evergreens for a Burst of Year-round Colour

If you still want a touch of color in your garden over the winter, then an evergreen tree is an obvious choice. As the name suggests, they never lose their color. As most of us will also be bringing these indoors over the course of the winter - many of us had a Christmas tree, after all - they can make a great decorative piece as well as a little bit of color to the dead brown of the winter.

The fact is that when all of the other trees are losing their leaves, you don’t want to feel that your garden is altogether dead. Which is where a nice evergreen would make a world of difference.

3) Feed the Birds to Bring Life to a Space

Birds are a hardy animal, but they do struggle during the winter months - food is scarce and if they don’t bulk up well enough beforehand they can find themselves practically starved. A bird tray is vital to put nuts, seeds and even some type of grub or mealworm on if necessary. Depending on the type of birds you get in your garden it can.

Robins are one of the most familiar winter birds. Plump and red-breasted, they need all the help they can get when it comes to surviving the winter months. To help them, why not set out fruit such as apple slices, raisin, cherries and other berries.

Seeds and nuts are also perfect for a variety of other bird species likely to frequent your garden. For best results, research your garden birds to discover the best feed to leave out.

4) Save Your Pond from Freezing

Ponds are full of life year round, even during the winter though you may not think that’s possible under a thin layer of ice; it totally is! In fact, there are many species of pond life which will bury at the bottom of a pond for warmth.

As stated, birds will be extra hungry during the leaner months and so your pond fish will be bigger targets than ever before. Which is why a netted pond should be a priority. It is a good idea year round, but especially over winter. Herons and other big birds are especially prone to this behavior and so the nets are the best layer of defence.

Frogs and other amphibians also love to live in your soil at the bottom of the pond. This is fine, except for when the pond freezes over. If that does happen, then the lifeforms at the bottom of the pond will struggle to find oxygen to live on. In this situation, breaking the ice on top of the pond for them is the only way to ensure they survive.

5) Plant Spring Bulbs Now

Yes, as crazy as it may seem, winter is the perfect time to start planning and preparing your garden for its colourful outburst in the spring. Most bulbs require a few months of growth before they will break out and spring to life in the warmer months.

In January, you can start to plant and grow species such as pansies, sweet peas, celery, onions and even rhubarb for good summer staple. Certain herbs and salad leaves can be grown year round on your window sills, such as spinach and coriander, so don’t be afraid to plant these whenever. This way you can have lots of kitchen staples at any point in the year.

February is also a great month to start planting lilies if you are fan of that flower, so be prepared for that!

At the end of the day, though the winter months may seem like they should be a time of year where you do less in your garden, you should actually be doing a lot more than you think! So, don’t be afraid to spruce up, clean and even plant things in your garden at this time of year!

Author Bio: Zack Halliwell is a freelance writer in the lifestyle niche, writing on anything from outdoor rattan furniture to best practices for saving money on your home heating bills. When not writing he can be found on long mountain walks with his dog, Batman.​

The post 5 Tips for Maintaining a Garden During Winter appeared first on Sumo Gardener.

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