Green Fingers I Wish

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Win $5 by identifying this Spider

Here`s a chance to win $5 by PayPal.

Simply be the 1st to correctly identify the spider in this thread.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tree Planting Campaigns

Two tree-planting campaigns are under way in UK cities, in an effort to reverse the "chainsaw massacre" of the past. It appears that everyone loves trees, so why are so many being lost?

The huge broad-leafed trees so loved by the Victorian planners have become part of the British urban landscape.

But campaigners believe this part of our heritage is under threat and they launched a counter-offensive on two fronts at the weekend.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Trees face killer disease threat

Thousands of conker trees on streets in Nottinghamshire may have to be cut down if they are found to be infected by a deadly disease.

Experts are monitoring the horse chestnuts for bleeding canker, a disease which has already appeared in trees in parts of the county.

The fungus eats around the bark and can kill the trees, leaving them in a dangerous condition.

Signs of infection include brown leaves and fewer conkers.

It costs about £1,000 to remove and replace each tree.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

What Makes A Good Container

What Makes A Good Container?

  • Drainage. Make sure there are drainage holes in the container, or that it is made of a material you could drill or poke holes in yourself.
  • Porosity: Will the soil be able to breathe? Usually, you want it to, unless your climate or lack of interest in watering make drying out a real issue.
  • Breakability: Breakable is usually bad. Use your judgement. Be careful of clay pots freezing and splitting.
  • Looks: Figure out how much space you have, and how you want it to look. For small balconies use smaller containers and avoid plants with overly large leaves. Intense colors make a space look smaller - pale, cooler colors make a space look larger.
  • Value: The best-looking, most fun containers are ones you find, drill holes in, and prop up on your balcony. These include abandoned toys, plumbing fixtures, appliances, and shipping containers. Just make sure there isn't any nasty stuff left in them that could leach into the soil and harm your plants.
  • Insulation: In northern cities, a container that holds heat will prolong the life of your plants in the fall, let you plant earlier in the spring, and give you a better shot at working over the winter with items like bulbs and conifers.
  • Weight: Imagine your container full of really wet mud. Is it too heavy for your balcony or rooftop? Will it be too heavy to move?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Saving Water

Water butts are available in lots of shapes and sizes, and can hold between 100 and 700 litres of water. They generally look like barrels, but some are more streamlined for fitting in tight spaces. The most useful ones have a tap for filling watering cans easily. Many come with stands so the tap is at the right height to fit a watering can underneath.

It makes sense to save rainwater with a water butt, providing your plants with lots of water whenever they need it. This will help you beat the hosepipe bans and drought orders that have become common during the summer months.

Butts are really easy to attach to your house, shed, garage or any other garden building that has a gutter and a down pipe. And if a building such as greenhouse doesn’t have any, then consider having them fitted – you could save many litres of water. It is estimated that around 24,000 litres can be saved from the average house roof every year.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Improving your lawns

Check your lawn regularly for problems and keep it well trimmed over the spring and summer. Keep your lawn healthy, lush and green.

  • After mowing trim overhanging edges with edging shears.
  • Re-define edges each spring with a half-moon edging tool.
  • Repair damaged edges by removing a rectangle of turf with a spade and replacing with the damaged edge facing the lawn.
  • Make lawns stronger by regular feeding.
  • Fill lawn hollows by making an H-shape cut with a spade and lifting back two flaps. Fill depression with topsoil.
  • Keep on top of weeds by removing them with a daisy grubber tool.
  • Mow regularly to keep grass healthy.
  • Lay stepping-stones to prevent paths becoming worn across your your lawn.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

So, who`s afraid of spiders?

Massive spider web found in Texas

A massive spider web, stretching nearly 182 m., is blanketing the trees, shrubs and ground along a trail in Texas. Spider experts say the web is not likely to be the result of the work of one giant spider but two.

A massive spider web, stretching nearly 200 yards (182 metres), is blanketing the trees, shrubs and ground along a trail in a North Texas State park.

Entomologists, fascinated by the sprawling web, are debating its origin and rarity.

Spider experts say the web is not likely to be the result of the work of one giant spider, but instead, social cobweb spiders, which work together.

Or it could be the result of a mass dispersal in which the arachnids spin webs to spread out from one another.

Park Ranger Mike McCord explained that the presence of such a high amount of spiders and spider webs is due in part, to the abundance of food in the area:

"There's plenty of food here", he said. "It's a great food source and even though this spider group is not considered social they are tolerating each other," McCord said.

Officials at Lake Tawakoni State Park say the massive web is a big attraction for some visitors.

"It was such a phenomenon to know that this was in your back yard and it's something that is not normal. I just wanted to see it, I wanted to see for myself," said Marge Wiley, a Texan tourist who lives not far from the State Park.

Another tourist, Cheryl Vincent, was amazed by the fact that the spiders that made the web were quite small.

"The spiders themselves are just little, tiny spiders, you'd think something that has this big of a web would be one of those big ones like the black and yellow ones, but these are just quarter inch (6.3 millimetres), half inch (1.2 centimetres), if that," she said.

Entomologists disagree on just how rare such massive webs are.

They expect the web to last until autumn, when the spiders will start dying off