Fire Blight & the Podocarpus

Podocarpus, also known as African fern pine or yew pine, is an evergreen conifer that flourishes in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, however Podocarpus henkelii is hardy to zone 12. The needles form dense spirals and are delicate, lush and pleasantly scented. Podocarpus takes well to pruning and can be grown outdoors or as a large houseplant. While fire blight is not normally a problem for podocarpus plants, correct treatment is critical.


Caused by the bacterium Erwinia amylovora, fire blight infection spreads through heavy rainfall or is vectored to vulnerable plants by insects. The bacteria overwinter in cankers and become active as soon as the weather warms in spring, multiplying and spreading the disease. When the podocarpus is actively growing in spring, then those small to large cankers begin to ooze light tan bacterial material which turns darker when exposed to the air. Fire blight is the most active when the temperature is between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and rainfall is frequent.


The tips of the leaves on the podocarpus plant’s new shoots can turn black and slowly bend in the shape of a shepherd’s crook. The disease may spread into twigs, limbs and branches. The blackened places remain on the plant rather than falling, giving it a scorched appearance. In case the disease spreads into the primary stem or roots, the podocarpus might perish. Fire blight generally goes from the leaf downward to the origins.


Pruning out infected areas of the podocarpus in summer or winter, when the bacteria aren’t actively propagating, can help slow the spread of the disease. Pruning clippers or shears must be disinfected between cuts and between plants to avoid inadvertently spreading the pathogen to healthy podocarpus plants. The pruning cuts need to add more than only the canker. Cut off the division where the canker is and also the division to which it is attached, leaving only the branch collar of the main division. On the primary stem, you can scrape the illness by removing discolored tissue beneath the bark and also an extra 6 to 8 inches of healthy timber. Copper-based sprays might help slow the spread of the disease but generally can’t control it.


Since lush new growth is especially vulnerable to fire blight infection, heavy nitrogen fertilization and hard pruning to encourage new growth only promote illness. Bordeaux combinations and copper-based sprays implemented since the podocarpus commences actively growing can help reduce the intensity of fire blight infection and supply some protection for plants that are healthy.

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Container Fruit Tree Gardening

Growing fruit trees in containers provides an effective way for patching without the right soil or climate to grow the fruit they want from the ground. The size of fruit trees grown in containers is restricted by the size of this container. Fruit trees which are container grown require more routine care, since they’ve limited access to water and nutrients.


The drainage and space your plant container supplies limits the size of your potted tree and also has a direct effect on its long term wellbeing. You can use containers made from wood, vinyl, metal or ceramics so long as they have sufficient drainage holes. Adding drainage trays for your own potted trees is a good idea if you plan on maintaining your fruit tree indoors. You can install a layer of hardware cloth over the base of the container to prevent soil from escaping through the drainage holes.

Growing Medium

The best growing medium for fruit trees in containers is a fast-draining soil that prevents water from pooling around the roots of your fruit tree. Blending perlite, coarse sand and peat moss in equal parts supplies an effective growing medium for many fruit trees. If you are growing a fruit tree which requires an acidic soil, you may add sulfur into the mix to decrease its pH. Fruit trees grown in containers are limited to the quantity of water that the soil in your container may carry. Check the soil in your container regularly to prevent the tree from drying out. Permit the soil at the surface of the container to dry to the touch before watering it thoroughly.


Incorporating a slow-release fertilizer with a balanced combination of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium in your potting mix provides nutrients for your own container grown fruit tree throughout the growing season. Applying supplemental doses of fertilizer twice a month ensures sustained healthy growth. Avoid using fertilizers with a high concentration of nitrogen, as strong doses of nitrogen applied to container grown trees may support your tree to grow more foliage than its root system can support.


Excess loads of fruit may stunt the tree or stop the tree in fruiting from the following calendar year. Through the first year of growth, most fruit trees cannot support more than five or six fruits at one time. Removing excess fruit ensures that the tree may maintain healthful growth and produce fruit each year.


Container grown trees may become root bound if they aren’t repotted periodically. You can remove excess roots from the outside of the root ball and repot it to prevent your tree from growing larger. If you are growing a tree you will need to move in and outside of your home on a regular basis, a wheeled plant stand can make the task easier. Over-applying fertilizer may cause a build up salt from the ground. Water your plant gradually over a period of many minutes to leach the salt out if you notice a white crust growing around the surface of the soil around your tree.

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The best way to Water Vegetable Plants Correctly

Irrigation is an important component of good vegetable growing. You can offer the ideal dirt, sunlight and fertilizer, but having uneven or too much watering, your vegetables will not produce a great crop. Do not wait to water until the leaves wilt, because this will decrease harvest yields, particularly if it happens during a crucial stage of growth, such as flower growth. Water your vegetables correctly throughout the season so you can reap a plentiful harvest.

Water newly transplanted vegetables more frequently because their roots are shallow. It could be necessary to water three to four times each week for two to three weeks to keep the dirt around the roots adequately moist. Some vegetables, such as cabbage and broccoli, remain shallow rooted even in adulthood, so frequent watering is still essential. During the warmth of summer, most vegetables will probably need several waterings weekly. Otherwise, a couple of waterings per week will suffice.

Feel the dirt with your finger, about 1 to 2 inches deep to get shallow frozen vegetables, along with 3 to 4 inches deep to get more heavily rooted vegetables, such as tomatoes and carrots. If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water. If it’s still moist, don’t water. Allowing the soil dry out a bit between watering forces the roots to grow deeper and also prevents you from over-watering your vegetables.

Water vegetables thoroughly so it seeps into the ground to encourage deeper, stronger root systems. For shallow-rooted vegetables, water with about 1 inch of water. For deeply frozen vegetables, water with 1 to 2 inches of water. When watering, do so at the base of the plants, even if possible, to prevent fungal diseases that can develop on the foliage. Water vegetables in the morning so that the foliage can dry out during the day.

Quit watering vegetables, such as onions, potatoes and winter squash, near the end of growing season if they will need to heal or dry out before harvesting.

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Slow Growth Avocado Trees

Healthful avocado trees (Persea americana ) don’t grow gradually. In reality, roughly 36 inches each year grow. Pruning branches out to try and control expansion promotes the tree. Pruning also eradicates the abundance of leaves the tree demands for avoidance and return of sunscald. Avocado trees provide shade and only produce fruit in sites with full sun.

Dwarf Trees

A potential solution to the speedy growth of avocado trees at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11 is planting dwarf trees. They don’t grow as tall as avocado trees, but still grow at a rate of approximately 36 inches each year. The most productive and best exterior rainbow avocado tree assortment is”Gwen.” It does well in containers and develops 14 feet tall. “Whitsell” reaches 12 feet tall, bears fruit every other year and generally just does well outside in containers or in a greenhouse.

Short Avocado Trees

The variety drymifolia and the cultivar”Mexicola” typically grow 35 feet tall, but some specimens of both of these trees have grown 72 feet tall. Both have reduced canopies that form an oblong, curved or umbrella shape. Drymifolia has expansion, resists oak root canal and develops in USDA hardiness zones 9 and 10. “Mexicola” bears small fruit with top quality flesh and contains large seeds. It’s the hardiest cultivar recovers rapidly from frost damage and known. “Mexicola” defoliates at 20 degrees Fahrenheit, the trunk expires at 17 degrees Fahrenheit and it does best in USDA hardiness zones 8a through 10.

Thin-Skinned Fruit

“Duke” and”Fuerte” have thin-skinned fruit and generally develop 50 feet tall, but some specimens of both of these trees have attained 72 feet tall. Both have curved, oval or umbrella-shaped canopies. “Duke” has branches that resist breaking in temperate places as well as the fruit has excellent flesh. It develops in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 10a and recovers from frosts down to 22 degrees Fahrenheit. “Fuerte” bears large fruit with good flesh, but occasionally only in alternate years. It resists frost down and develops in USDA hardiness zones 8.

Thick-Skinned Fruit

“Hass” and”Pinkerton” have thick-skinned fruit and generally develop 50 feet tall, but some specimens of both of these trees have grown 72 feet tall. “Hass” bears medium-sized fruit with great flesh that are the current industry standard. It’s more sensitive to damage from weather and only resists temperatures down to 30 degrees Fahrenheit. “Pinkerton” prolifically creates variable sized fruit. It resists frost damage to 30 degrees Fahrenheit better than”Hass” does, also develops in USDA hardiness zones 8 through 10.

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How to Close in an Apartment Balcony

The traditional flat fireplace is an open environment surrounded by a waist-high wall of some kind. Sometimes this barrier is not anything more than a railing, but a lot of times it is a waist-high concrete block wall. If you want to enclose your flat fireplace, you will need to build a roof to enclose the whole project, providing privacy and a greater level of comfort within a controlled atmosphere.

Balcony Base

The fireplace base is the main part to any fireplace, because before you can build any walls or even a construction in addition to the balcony base, you must first ensure that the foundation is powerful enough to confirm what you want to place on top. Consult a structural engineer knowledgeable about city building codes and the building’s architect, if possible, to ascertain whether or not you need to make additional shoring steps to further strengthen the foundation of the fireplace. In most cases, balconies are built strong enough to handle some simple framing weight added on top, but always check first so that you do not have any injuries down the road with the fireplace falling out from beneath the weight.

Current Walls

If your existing balcony walls reach to about waist height, you can probably tie into the existing walls and then continue the setup up to the roof. However, in case there are just railings of some kind, these will have to be ripped out first so that you can build your walls. An existing basic block wall enclosing a fireplace is the best platform for wall framing to continue as much as a roof. From here, it is possible to mount wall framing with bolts and attach a roof to the top of the timber framework. Current wood frames can also be acceptable as a platform as long as they follow the traditional framing rules using vertical studs set at 16-inch intervals. From there you can just add fresh wall framing and then work your way up to the selected height of the enclosure.

Framing Versus Block or Brick

A fireplace enclosure isn’t the same construction as a full-length house that has an extremely heavy roof or even a second level above it. In short, the walls of the fireplace enclosure do not support tons of weight, however they’re still restricted in some aspects because they’re a part of the fireplace, meaning the help of the fireplace as it juts out from the building is that the support you have to work with. Though some improvements can be made to shore it up, the most suitable choice for balcony enclosures would be to utilize wood framing, just like wood is used in a normal dwelling. Full-height block and brick walls are too heavy to be considered because of the walls of a fireplace, because they would put too much weight on the foundation.


After you have framed the walls and the roof of the fireplace, you have to tie it into the present siding of the building so that it is possible to ensure everything stays waterproof. Install flashing and guttering around each one of the perimeters, and also install flashing underneath the wall siding of the building in which it meets the new roof of the fireplace, and down beneath the layer of shingles or other roofing material you use to cover the fireplace. All these could be asphalt shingles, clay or concrete tile shingles, or even raw all-natural stone shingles. Everything needs to be waterproofed, flashed and tied into the present siding for waterproof protection.


Protect the outside of the fireplace by installing some type of siding material. The very same principles apply as when siding a home, and that means you can use the same type of materials, like vinyl strip siding or wood shake siding. You can also opt for metal siding or for timber panelling. Tie in any new siding with the present siding of the building via flashing that underlies each separate material.

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The Best Bedroom Wall-to-Wall Carpets to purchase

Your bare feet deserve a cushy, comfortable surface to land on when you swing out of bed every morning. And your bedroom decoration requires the ideal colour and texture underfoot to ground it and help pull things together. Choosing wall-to-wall rug for the bedroom is easier when you examine your options and budget, before falling in love without thinking about the long-term dedication.

Ask the Right Questions

It is your bedroom, and your rug choice should make you happy and not blow the budget. Bedrooms are low-traffic areas so that you don’t require a rug together with the durability of cast iron. Just a little luxury is a much better choice. Consider the amount of sunlight the space gets and how much the light changes throughout the day when picking colors. Look for a rug that will dampen noise, cushion footfalls, wear well, not fade, and texture soft. Generally speaking, wall-to-wall carpeting blocks noise, insulates from cold or heat and conceals an unfinished ground, saving you the hassle and cost of replacing it.

Why Wool

Know your fiber to appraise possible bedroom rug. The fiber content is recorded on the company’s label on the sample in the industry. Wool is el supremo — it comes at every weave, colour and design; is naturally flame-retardant and stain-resistant; contains low-to-no toxins, based on the dyes used; also stays luxurious longer. Wool is hypoallergenic, resists crushing, helps to regulate humidity because the fiber breathes, and it even deters bacteria increase. The fiber sets the market standard, so that you may expect to pay more for the value in a nice wool rug. Regard wool Ebay as a investment. With normal maintenance and cleaning, wool rug will keep its attractiveness enough to add to the resale value of your house.

Acceptable Alternatives

Nylon is a crowd favorite; it has many of wool’s qualities with no high price tag. Nylon is easy to clean and very colorfast. It has great resilience so that you won’t put on a path from the door to the closet or the en suite toilet. The fiber adapts to most styles — shag, loop, textured and frieze. It may be recycled, a great attribute for Emptying buyers. A bit cheaper but still a reasonable choice, olefin or polyester is competitive with cotton but not as bouncy. It is a really soft fiber and cleans up well. Polyester carpet takes dye well and comes at a huge array of styles including cut and closed loop along with other plushy designs. Some polyester is created sustainably from recycled plastic pop bottles — a win for the earth and for your own bedroom and price range.

Trending at Toe-Level

The colour and weave is the place where you get to play with footfall and eye candy. Carpet comes in cut, looped, or cut and looped patterns, and carpeting finishes imply a deep lavish pile no longer takes full-time servants to keep clean. Cut pile is denser and much more resilient with higher spin levels. Velvet-soft plush shows footprints but can be easily fluffed back up. Textured plush is a bit more practical because it conceals vacuum trails and footprints but still pampers your feet. Berber is an elegant, compact loop pile that wears nicely but is harder underfoot than looser weaves. Shag is for your inner bohemian — the pile is long enough so that you’ll feel as if you are walking in tall grass. Because wall-to-wall is a huge design existence within the room, err on the side of selecting a subtle shade that will complement your current decor, and look just as great with your following color scheme.

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The way to Organize Dinnerware in a China Cabinet

A china cabinet gives you an perfect place to store your heirloom dinnerware, and if looking for display, it becomes a matter of beauty in your property. China cabinets typically have dinnerware storage space at the lower half behind closed cupboard doors, but also the upper half offers you the opportunity to exhibit your fine china, decorative plates, and teacup and saucer sets behind glass on lighted shelves.

Clean and Organize

Before you start to organize your fine china or dinnerware from the closet, eliminate everything to wash out the cabinet first. Wipe the shelves down with a damp rag to remove dirt and dust. In case you have glass shelves, then clean them with a solution of vinegar and water to avoid streaking. Arrange all of the dinnerware in accordance with type — big dinner plates, salad or dessert plates, saucers, cups and bowls. Set the serving utensils aside for the moment, like serving bowls, soup tureens and gravy boats.

Select Display Items

Based on the type of display areas in your china cabinet, choose individual pieces for exhibition under the lights. To show plates vertically, you’ll need special holders unless your china cabinet has a ridge to set them in and lean them against the back inside wall. You can use this area for seasonal accessories or alter it out as needed to enhance the decor in the room. Set the things for demo aside. When you have any specialty bowls or glassware, like hand-cut crystal or hand-blown glass bowls, then add these as accessories arranged in key places.

Dinnerware Storage Organization

Begin at the top of the storage region that’s behind closed doors. Leave a space to store your own silverware in its container to one of the top storage shelves. In case you have sufficient room, add fine crystal glasses you use only for holiday or formal dinners for safekeeping. Insert the dinner plates, salad and dessert plates, saucers, teacups or coffee cups to the second shelf. On the bottom shelves of the china cabinet in the storage area, store the dinnerware accessories not on display. Set the largest pieces in first, like large serving platters, to make room for things you will arrange on top of them.

Exhibition Pieces

Set the largest pieces for exhibit in the china cabinet to begin with to create the base. Center a big serving platter on the bottom shelf, a soup tureen over the shelf above with covered gravy boat and pitcher on the next shelf, if you have them. Insert a different serving platter or decorative plate or a favorite cut-crystal bowl on the upper shelf. When you have room to either side, then set a plate in a holder or include teacups and saucers on each shelf.

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