Easy Growing Vegetables in Texas – Onions

onions

Growing Onions

onionSome plants are easier to grow than others. Easy growing vegetables are abundant in Texas, but one in particular is easy to grow and a common item in our diets. Onions are an easy to grow cold season crop because of their hardiness. Start planting onions early in the spring and harvest in the fall after their tops begin to turn yellow and fall over.

Onions roots grow shallow and not efficient at soaking up moisture, therefore they need regular watering to grow efficiently. Onions can recover from drought and start growing again when watered. Maintain soil’s moisture consistency and water when needed.

Soil preparation

Onions grow best in full sunlight and well-drained soils. Work the garden soil only when it is dry enough to work the soil 8 to 10 inches deep.Remove all debris from the soil; then break up the remaining clods and rake the soil smooth.

Planting – Onions are a cool season crop and withstand temperatures well below freezing. They may be planted from seeds, or from small bulbs called sets.

When seeding onions for bulbs, plant them a quarter inch deep into soil during the late fall. Place the seeds 1 inch apart. When the plants are about 6 inches high, thin them to one plant every 2 to 3 inches. Eat the extra plants as green onions.

 

Fertilizing & Watering

  • Like any other plants, onions grow best when the garden soil is fertilized correctly. Measure and spread the fertilizer; then mix it with the top 3 to 4 inches of soil. Spread 2 to 3 pounds of a fertilizer over a 100-square-feet of garden area to start.
  • Watering once a week usually is enough in the spring. However you may need to water more often during dry, windy weather. Water onions slowly and deeply to help grow strong, healthy roots.

Care during the season
Weeds are easy to pull or cut when they are 3 to 4 inches tall. Do not let weeds or grasses grow large because they compete with onions for nutrients.

If you use a hoe to remove weeds and grass, do not chop too deeply. You may be cutting the onion roots. Pull all weeds by hand when possible.

When the onion plants have 5 to 6 leaves, apply fertilizer again to help grow larger plants and bigger bulbs.  Each leaf forms a ring in the onion bulb. More leaves means more rings and larger bulbs.

 

Insects & Diseases

  • Insects are not too common with onions, however, thrips, which are very tiny insects, may be found between the center leaves.Many insecticides are available at garden centers can treat thrips.
  • Diseases may be a problem on onions. Brown leaf tips or brown spots on the middle and lower parts of leaves may be caused by plant diseases. Sulfur also has fungicidal properties and helps control many diseases. Neem oil and other fungicides are also available.

Before using a pesticide. Always read the product label warnings and follow directions.

Harvesting

  • Onions seeded in late fall or transplanted in early winter should produce bulbs in the beginning of summer.
  • For green onions, they may be picked from the time they are pencil size until they begin to form bulbs.
  • Dry bulb onions need more time for the plants grow larger. The onions are ready when the main stem begins to get weak and fall  Pull the plants out of the soil.

Leave them lying in the garden for 1 to 2 days to dry. Then remove the tops and roots and let them keep drying in baskets or boxes.Store onions in a refrigerator crisper or in a dry, airy place such as in a wire net in the garage would be ideal.

Best Outdoor Potted Plants in Full Sun

full sun potted herb garden

full sun potted herb gardenA home or perhaps commercial establishment must have attractive surroundings. Therefore, many people choose to plant trees, grass, flowers, together with other types of foliage. Outside potted plants are perfect to start with because they do not require one to have a lot of knowledge. Put simply, much deeper grasp of gardening and landscaping cannot really prevent your plan to nurture potted plants.

Potted plants may be used as an addition to your garden in the soil or landscape. They are often placed at different levels and also give more interest to an outdoor space. At times, he might not exactly have enough room for a garden. Potted plants can be the ideal option for a terrace, patio and also apartment landing.

Not surprisingly, you need to uncover the different types of vegetation that can survive in your environment. A number of flora species really cannot survive in dry water conditions while others are drought resistant. In much greener terms, what you should do first is to find numerous types usually accessible on the Internet. Would you like having potted plants, flowers or bushes? You should be in the position to choose exactly what you really want to see all day growing in your compound.

An additional decision you have to make is the size you would probably want for the pots. Should your preferred outside potted plants be big, then the pots for hosting the soil and the foliage will also be big. Hence, you cannot expect to move these things around owing to their heavy weight. To get started, you have to know a few examples of vegetation that can grow outside your house too.

  1. Herbs

Grow each plant separately or grow several in a large container. The best plants for places in full sun are:

      • Basil: Basil is an aromatic plant that is easy to grow outdoors or indoors, in pots or in the ground. Very appreciated for its freshness and its flavor, it raises the dishes of the summer. It’s a real pleasure to pick it according to your needs.
      • Parsley: It can be installed in the open ground, in masses, in borders or in the kitchen garden; but also in vat, pot or planter on the balcony or terrace, or even inside the house near the window.
      • Sage, Bay and Rosemary: Simple to grow with unique flavors, these classic herbs are fantastic for soups, stocks, meats, pastas and even more. They don’t just like moist roots – so grow in well-drained soil and also try not to over-water. You can grow sage from seed, the rest are better purchased as plants or grown from cuttings (bay is very difficult from cuttings, though).
      • Chives: Amazing in salads, snipped up over soups, or even added as garnish to a lot of meals. The flowers are cheerful in the springtime, taste yummy – and the bees really like them too. This is another simple one to grow and merely requires four or five hours’ of sunshine. Ensure it doesn’t dry out, as chives like wet soil.
      • Oregano: Oregano likes a light soil, fertile, loose, rich in humus, well drained even dry. He enjoys a warm and sunny situation. It tolerates drought, but often cold too. It can be used in open ground, in ground cover, to adorn the beds, borders and rock gardens, but also in the kitchen garden. It adapts well to the culture in vat, pot or planter.
      • Thyme: Thyme is very resistant. It needs sun and grows wild on the arid and rocky hills of the Mediterranean regions. Rustic, it can grow in all areas with well-drained soil.
      • Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is evergreen and drought resistant flora with freshly juicy stems. These stems are usually green and they can grow up to eighteen inches tall. It produces a flower stalk too, which can grow up to three feet tall. Also called medicinal aloe, this plant has medicinal properties in it and it can grow even in the driest parts of the country.
      • Coriander: Planted in the springtime, coriander swiftly flowers and goes to seed. You can try and hold this up (by keeping it perfectly watered and fed, growing it in a more shady space, and also trimming the leaves on a regular basis), but it will happen in the end, everything you do. Don’t be worried: the flowers are magnets for hoverflies (whose larvae eat aphids) along with the green seeds are tasty.
      • Sorrel: Despite having its profile raised by Ottolenghi (who makes use of it in many recipes), sorrel remains to be a complete stranger to grocery store shelves. It bears a strong, sour taste with a lemony bite. When cooked, sorrel forms stylish blends with eggs and with salmon, or you may chop up just a few fresh leaves and add to salads. It is simple to plant in a container. Plant six to eight plants ( which are also easy to start from seed ) in a window pot with a minimum of four hours sun and it will give a flavor hit all through the year . Collect the outer leaves so it keep on producing new leaves.

       full sun canna lilies2. Canna Lilies

In case you have space for a more substantial planter, try out the canna lily. Opt for a pot with good drainage that is certainly no less than 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep. Use the typical commercial potting soil to grow the rhizomes (bulbs) 4 inches deep and 15 inches deep. You can plant three per pot, a triangular gaping. It will give some spectacular flowers and foliage from mid-summer. Canna lilies really like the sun as often as they make water. Make sure to water them generously, practically to the point of sopping

       full sun roses3. Roses

You can grow any size or variety of roses in a pot. However, miniature roses are particularly nice because size allows you to place them wherever they can get at least 6 hours of full sun a day. Choose a 1 gallon container, but make sure it is noticeably heavy or ballasted, so the winds will not be able to hit it about. If you are still putting in the green thumb and forget to water your plants, use a 2-gallon container. This will allow you to water your pink pot a little less often. Some varieties of miniature love sun roses are: Baby Austin, Cinderella, Amber Glow, Lavender Delight or Stolen Moment.

       full sun shasta daisy4. Shasta Daisies

The Shasta daisy can be considered the all-American flower. It is simple, but seems to go well in everything outside. The heliophilic daisy can grow to 3 feet tall. Use them in potted, intermingled or as backdrop brighter annual potted. Shasta is a perennial plant and should normally come back every year, when they are planted in the soil. Rillettes, these flowers are normally considered as annuals, but with care the flowers can come back. After flowering, and before the first frost, move the pots into a shed or garage garden. They need to be out of the frost and wet during the dormant period. If all conditions are met, the daisy plant can be returned outdoors in the spring to grow and flower again.

How To Properly Apply Lawn Fertilizer

fertilizer

fertilizer-spreaderTo avoid striping or burning, set your spreader settings according to the fertilizer manufacturer recommended settings.  Often fertilizer has the specific settings for different spreaders right on the bag. If it’s not there, contact the manufacturer of your spreader for help on how to properly apply lawn fertilizer.

What To Avoid

  • No overlap. Overlap gives you strips of double fertilizer, which can cause burning. You want the set rate of spread only once. Ideally, you want the passes to touch, but not overlap.
  • Do not spread fertilizer by hand, Spreading by is very difficult and lead uneven spread, thus sure leave your lawn striped or burned from too much applied fertilizer.

Look at where the fertilizer drops and when you start your next pass, look back after starting the pass to make sure you’re doing the next stripe in the right place and adjust if necessary. Always follow a consistent pattern when doing lawn fertilization.

Types of Spreaders

You can use two types of spreaders to apply fertilizer:

  • Drop Spreader – Drop spreaders do not cover as large an area, but are more precise, and do well on smaller lawns.
  • Broadcast Spreaders – These are used to cover much larger areas of lawns, but can be easily overlapped if you are not paying attention to the area your are spreading.
  • Liquid Fertilizers – Liquids Fertilizers are easier to apply, but more difficult than dry fertilizers to apply evenly.  Handheld sprayers require frequent refilling on large lawns. Usually cheaper to apply over your lawn because you do not need to rent or buy a drop or broadcast spreader.

The grass will stay greener on your side of the fence with a little TLC and following a good lawn care maintenance schedule, including fertilizing at least twice a year.

First Spring Lawn Mowing

mowing-in-Coppell-Texas

mowing-grass-coppell-texasWhen your lawn snaps out of it dormancy, it will be quick to start growing and will need of some tender loving care. If you fertilized your lawn properly in the fall, then it will start growing as soon as the temperature hits around 65 degrees in the spring. Aside from getting a good soaking from spring rains, you lawn needs a little more fertilizers and a good first spring lawn mowing.

What, When and How?

Lawn mowing is not exactly a science and it is not exactly an art form. So what is it?  Mowing the lawn in spring isn’t just about waiting until a specific length or time frame. It does requires monitoring the length of grass and waiting for it to reach the right height. To avoid injuring grass by cutting when it’s too short, which can lead to lawn disease. Following these steps can help you mow your grass at the appropriate time.

What time of the year to start mowing?

Starting in spring  around March to start your lawn mowing with a high cut on preferably dry grass if possible.

When to Mow your Lawn?

When your grass blades reaches a height of 3 to 3.5 inches.

How Often?

As temperature and growth increases frequency will increase with 2 weeks then 10 days then perhaps down to weekly mowing.

To maintain a lush, green and healthy lawn takes a little bit of work. Keeping your lawn irrigated and fed is always a priority, but some times you have to sew in additional seed and remove weeds. Following up with a fertilization schedule will keep you lawn thriving in extreme heat and severe cold.  Hopefully this tips will help you with your lawns green growth.

How to Fertilize Your Yard

 

Easy Winter Landscaping Ideas

winter-landscaping

Landscaping During The Winter Months

winter-landscaping-ideasWinter is typically drab compared to the other 3 seasons, but a well planned landscape keeps the color in your landscape.  Adding just a little bit of color changes the balance of your yard. The color of these plants and the blanket of snow enhances your picturesque winter landscape. Easy Winter Landscaping ideas will add some color to your landscape.

Trees and Plants

  1. Planting evergreens trees and shrubs will not lose their leaves.  You will have year round color.
  2. Berry trees and shrubs offer spots color during fall and winter, as well as provide food for birds overwintering in your area.
  3. Bare deciduous trees really display their unique and beautiful shape. A well-shaped symmetrical tree that looks like it’s reaching for the sky to an ancient, twisted oak that spreads its limbs across the horizon.
  4. Stick with four-season perennials.

Additional Features

  1. Hardscaping features.  Pergolas, bricks and large stones features provide a continuous visual appeal no matter the season.
  2. Large containers and pots are colorful and highlight the plants.  You can plant ornamental grasses, miniature evergreens, or vegetation strong enough to survive the winter and brighten your yard. Placing these containers throughout your landscape will off set the white of snow or the muted yellow from dormant grasses or plants.

You might need to plan a couple of yeas ahead for winter landscaping plants to reach their ideal heights. Winter tends to be dull and less colorful season, but following with these landscaping ideas should keep winter visually appealing.

 

5 Easy Ways To Save On Lawn Care

compost

Lawn care is not rocket science and these 5 easy ways to save on lawn care will keep your lawn looking fabulous year round.  Aside from mowing your lawn more often with a little taller blade because the longer blades will absorb more sunlight to sustain proper photosynthesis.  Photosynthesis is the process plants use to gain nutrient and sustain life.

Water Wisely

Healthy lawns needs about 1 inch of water per week in the growing season. A light daily watering will not promote a deep root system. To establish deep roots, water thoroughly once a week, using a 1-inch deep. Early in the morning is ideal, say before 8 a.m., when evaporation is low and water is absorbed into the soil.  Don’t be afraid to let grass turn brown during dry spells. Most species can easily go a month without water. When the grass goes from tan-brown to straw-colored, hence the grass needs to be watered..

compost - lawn care tipAdd Compost

This will improve your soil and eliminate pests and diseases, which means less money spent on fertilizer and water. Apply a quarter-inch of top-dressing compost once or twice a year, including right after your lawn has greened up. Going over the lawn with an aerator first will help mix the organic matter into the soil.

Use Grass Clippings for Mulch

Your grass clippings are a free source of slow-release fertilizer, so let the mower discharge the clippings back onto your grass rather than bagging them. This can cut fertilizer costs by up to 30 percent. The only time to bag clippings is when your lawn is having a disease breakout, often signaled by irregular brown patches or rings in the lawn.

Low Maintenance Grass

lawn mower blade - lawn care tipsSlow-growth, drought-resistant grass species save water, fertilizer, and time. Your local cooperative extension can help you find species that are right for your climate, soil, and lifestyle. Tall fescue is a low-maintenance alternative in the Northeast that can withstand heavy foot traffic, good for homes with active kids. Zoysia and seashore paspalum are easygoing newcomers in the South, while buffalo grass is popular west of the Mississippi.

Maintain Your Mower

Sharp blades cut cleaner and faster, and along with basic engine maintenance can reduce fuel costs by up to 25 percent. Dull blades also stress grass, making it more susceptible to disease. For best results, sharpen and balance the blade three times during the growing season.

These basic tips should not take too much effort and your lawn with look green and stay healthy.

How to Fix a Patchy Lawn

fix a patchy lawn

Please Feed Me

Even the healthiest lawn gets hungry and needs a solid meal. Twice a year, spring and fall, is the bare minimum most experts recommend for fertilization, though some add a feeding in the middle of the summer. But beware the common N-P-K (nitrogen-phosphate-potassium) fertilizers popular with most gardeners, says Gary; they don’t provide everything your hungry grass needs. Instead, he recommends a complete fertilizer that includes micronutrients such as sulfur, copper and iron. “Just like you take a multivitamin, your grass needs one too,” says Gary. In addition to regular fertilizing, he recommends an application of dolomitic lime every few years. This is because watering and fertilizing cause soil to become acidic over time and lime restores the pH while putting important minerals like calcium and magnesium back into the soil. In some Western areas, soils are naturally alkaline and may not have this problem, so it’s best to test your soil’s pH first.

Weeds, Go Away

No doubt about it, crabgrass is the bane of every lawn gardener’s existence. But that doesn’t mean herbicides are essential to a healthy lawn; in fact, many experts avoid them. The true secret to banishing weeds, they say, is to grow such healthy grass that it chokes out the invaders naturally. Mowing regularly helps too, because it tops off weeds like dandelions and crabgrass before they have a chance to scatter their seeds. When you do find yourself compelled to do battle against a path of weeds, Paul recommends using one of the new “natural” herbicides that derive their potency from corn gluten, salts from fatty acids or other non chemical sources.

Air Supply

When grass gets too compacted, nutrients can’t penetrate to the root system where they’re most needed. That’s where aeration — poking holes in your lawn to improve oxygen circulation — comes in. Most people aerate with a simple tool that looks like two hollow tubes attached to the end of a long handle. Of course, you can also just waltz around your lawn in spiked sports shoes — that works fairly well too.

10 Insect Repelling Plants

insect repelling plants

10 Insect Repelling Plants

A great list of insect repelling plants that you can use in and around your house to help keep mosquitoes and other insect pests away.  They vary in strength, but all of them work great.

  1. Basil

    insect repelling plants basilRepels mosquitoes & flies. The intense scent and oil in basil seem to have repellent properties for many varieties of flies.

  2. Bee Balm

    Bee Balm is a pretty easy plant to grow and hard to kill. It can grow to about 3 feet high and wide, has pretty flowers that butterflies love. The reason these and other fragrant flowers repel mosquitoes is because they mask the smells that would normally draw the mosquitoes. It is also used as an antiseptic and to treat colds.

  3. African or French Marigolds

    Marigolds are great companion plants, meaning that they are great in close proximity for keeping bugs away from people and other plants you want to protect.

  4. Floss Flowers

    Annual, bees and butterflies love it. It emits a smell called coumarin that mosquitoes hate.

  5. Catnip

    insect repelling plants catnipMember of the mint family and a perennial. Though it attracts cats, it is known for repelling mosquitoes and cockroaches in a major way. this is one of the strongest mosquito repelling plants.

  6. PennyRoyal

    Great as a ground cover, but do not ingest. I do not have it because my kids are used to tasting our plants. It is also toxic for animals. People talk about crushing and rubbing the leaves over their skin and pet’s fur. This is probably ok, and is effective, but your body has to deal with the poison. If you don’t have kids or animals, have at it. But it is used as a poison, so be careful.

  7. Lavender

    Smells great. Wonderful in beauty products, soaps, air fresheners, therapeutic and medicinal purposes. Some people use it in cupboards or attics to repel moths instead of mothballs.

  8. Rosemary

    Rosemary is great in food and soaps as well as an insect repellent. It makes a great facial toner. It likes it hot, so it will not grow as a perennial except in zones 7 and higher.

  9. Lemon Grass

    09-lemongrassLemon Grass Perennial only in zones 11-8. The rest of us bring it indoors in the winter and hope it lives. It grows very fast and is great in cooking and soaps. It dries well. It is a mild astringent, so many people will use it in homemade deodorant so they sweat less (just make sure you aren’t allergic to it first. You don’t want a rash there-ouch)

  10. Geranium

    Geranium is in the citronella family. Like Pennyroyal it can be poisonous if ingested, but it is commonly used in pots around America.

The plants can be used for cooking, in soaps, in beauty products, skin toners or deodorants, and for medicinal purposes.

See Also:10 Edible Plants for Landscaping

10 Edible Landscaping Plants

basil edible landscaping plant

artichokesEating Your Landscape

The idea of creating an edible landscape is very appealing. How wonderful it would be to have a snack at hand, anywhere in your yard? It sounds like the perfect solution for gardeners with limited space and many vegetables are as attractive as so called ornamental plants. And they can’t be much more labor intensive than caring for a lawn.

  1. Artichokes
  2. Greenbeans
  3. Eggplants
  4. Onions / Chives
  5. Garlic
  6. Peppers
  7. Herbs
  8. Edible Flowers
  9. Fruit Trees
  10. Berries

Artichokes

Artichokes and cardoons are imposing plants that would be worth growing in the landscape, even if you couldn’t eat them. I haven’t had any problems with animals munching on the prickly leaves and as long as the flowers are a few feet off the ground, nothing has touched them. The only time I lost a bud to animal grazing was when I had a small plant growing in a container. Had I raised the container a bit, I don’t think that would have happened.

container-green-beansBeans / Greenbeans

The leaves of bean plants are more attractive to animals than the bean pods. I grow pole varieties in my borders and I encircle the bottoms of the plants in chicken wire. It isn’t particularly noticeable at a distance and the plants eventually cover it. I may lose some leaves that poke through, but the animals don’t destroy the whole plant and the beans remain intact, for me to harvest.

Trellising pole beans on any decorative structure or even a simple bamboo teepee is an easy way to add height to your flower border. They grow faster than most annual flowering vines and bean flowers are just as lovely. If you want more ornamental pow, you can grow a colorful variety, like Long Red Noodle beans or Dragon Tongue.

Eggplants

EggplantNo four-footed animal has ever touched my eggplants. Maybe that’s because they are scratchy and thorny or maybe there are better things to eat in the yard, but I’m happy either way. Flea beetles can make eggplant leaves unsightly in a matter of days, but they seem to do less damage when the eggplants are interspersed among scented flowers, so I consider planting them in the flower border a win-win.

Onions

Onions are edible bulbs. They are members of the allium family, along with chives, garlic, leeks, shallots and ornamental alliums. Onion bulbs are round or oblong and are composed of concentric layers. They can have either a pungent smell and taste or be quite sweet, depending on the variety.

onionsPeppers

I have the same problem with peppers as I do with beans; the leaves are more attractive to animals than the fruits. Young transplants seem to be especially vulnerable. Once the stems toughen up, the damage becomes minimal. Knowing that, I wait until they are about 6 inches tall, before I plant them in the open.

I’m sure you don’t need any convincing to think of peppers as ornamental plants. In fact, many hot peppers are sold as ornamentals. There are certainly more than enough hot pepper varieties to fill a yard, but don’t overlook the sweet types. Since peppers tend to take awhile to reach their full color, you will have a rainbow of chartreuse, red, orange and purple throughout the season.

Herbs

The perennial herbs are the safest choice for edible landscaping. Annual and biennial herbs, like parsley, basil and cilantro, are surprisingly appealing to animals, considering their strong scent. Maybe it’s their succulent foliage that makes them targets. But woodier herbs, like sage, oregano, thyme, rosemary and lavender, have all fared better in my yard. Mint has also remained attack-free, although I can’t say I would mind herbsliderbif someone wanted to thin out my patch for me.

Flowers

Eating flowers from the flower garden can seem unnatural. Somehow planting them in the vegetable garden makes it seem more allowable to snip them for a salad. But growing edible flowers throughout your yard should be a no brainer in creating an edible landscape and I hope you’ve already realized this. Just be sure not to feed or spray them with anything you shouldn’t be ingesting.

Fruit Trees

berry-treeAlthough fruits and nuts are certainly alluring to animals, there is generally enough to go around, with a little netting and protection. The real advantage of using these plants as edible landscape is that they require minimal care and most look good for at least 3 seasons. A little spring pruning and feeding and most will take care of themselves. And I’d challenge anyone to find a shrub with more visual impact than a blueberry that covers itself with white flowers in spring, dusky purple berries in summer and radiant red leaves in the fall.

Gardens and Landscapes will always prove to be a challenging endeavor, however take comfort in knowing Ryno Lawn Care is here to help. Call now for a free quote.

 

How To Find The Best Lawn Care Professional For You?

So what is the best process for going about finding and vetting the best pro to work with.

Starting with a Google search can be overwhelming, as you will get back many many options, and how do you know which ones are good, or even the companies that will want your business.  If you are in need of basic lawn mowing, odds are the companies that pop up on a the first couple pages of a Google search will be larger companies more focuses on commercial projects, and they will not be interested in your basic lawn care.

Lawn Care Dublin OH - Hoffmans Lawn Care

 You can find here lawn care prices.