The Rock Salt Concentration required to Kill Plants

Rock salt and table salt are basically the same thing: sodium chloride. But rock salt is unrefined and also in bigger chunks, while table salt is ground smaller. Rock salt is frequently less expensive and may be employed to cover a bigger area if you need it to destroy plants. It can change the salinity of the soil for years, so use it on your yard with care.

Concentration in Water

It doesn’t require much rock salt to effectively kill plants in your yard. Mix 1 cup of rock salt with 2 cups of water. Add it to spray bottle or pour it straight above the plants that you want to kill. Using boiling water helps dissolve the rock salt and destroy the plants boiling water hurts their leaves like it will your skin.

Dry Concentration

Just a few grains of rock salt are sufficient to kill plants. Sprinkle the salt across the base of the plant and allow it to naturally break down at the soil’s moisture. For small weeds, like dandelions, you might only need four or three chunks. For larger plants, try out a few of this salt. It works relatively fast, so if you don’t observe the plants wilting in around 2 days, add a little more rock salt about the plants’ bases. Watering the plants shortly after adding the rock salt will allow it to dissolve into the dirt.

Soil Changes

A major problem with using rock salt even in small concentrations is that is tends to remain in the dirt for years until water leaches it outside. The salt increases soil salinity, which dehydrates the roots of plants and keeps them in absorbing nutrients that are necessary. If you include too much rock salt and it starts to change plants that you want to remain, in addition to ones that you wish to kill, start watering the plants deeply every day to try to flush the salt out of the dirt. You may not have the ability to conserve those plants, because it could take weeks of daily watering to return the ground into a feasible salinity, but it is possible to restore the dirt so that new plants may grow.

Where to Use It

Salt doesn’t always stay where it’s set — it may be washed off into your flower bed or lawn, killing large swaths of plants that you want to keep. Some salt-tolerant plants like the bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla) can endure a bit of runoff, but not a complete concentration of rock salt applied nearby. Apply the salt on a day with no chance of rain to allow it to soak in where you want it without the prospect of runoff. The best places to use rock salt are those in which you don’t ever need plants to grow, like cracks in your driveway or along fence lines.

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5 Most Common Mulches

The principal purpose of mulch would be to improve the soil structure and mineral levels, and also to safeguard it from humidity and humidity changes. There’s a wide array of organic substances that work nicely as mulch for gardens and landscapes, however, a handful of these substances are used more often than the remainder of residential grounds. Five of the most commonly used mulches offer many advantages to your soil and plants, and are readily available and very affordable.

Wood Products

Wood mulch is available ground, shredded or chipped. Shredded mulch is usually made of thin strips of tree bark. Ground mulch consists of very fine to medium-sized wood particles. Ground hardwood mulch is particularly dark and rich in appearance and appears attractive in the landscape. Chipped wood mulches are coarse in texture and therefore are the most commonly available kinds of wood mulch. Soft woods like pine can increase acidity in your soil, making it ideal for mulching azaleas and other acid-loving plants. Hardwood mulch tends to become alkaline, so it is ideal for just about any sort of plant that does not need an acidic soil.


Compost is commonly used in home landscapes because it is a great soil conditioner that’s not hard to make yourself. Compost is created by combining various kinds of yard waste, such as leaves, plant debris and grass clippings, and may also include kitchen waste. The substance is mixed and left to decompose until it’s a blended material rich in nutrients. Compost is also commercially available at garden centers and greenhouses. One disadvantage of compost as mulch is the nutrient content and acidity of compost changes dependent on the substance used.

Yard Clippings

Lawn clippings are generally used as mulch since they decompose quickly, enrich the soil and also cost nothing. Lawn clippings should be applied dry, but if you want to employ new lawn clippings, spread them securely so that they don’t form a crust or mat down and heat up, which can lead to odor problems. If you’ve treated your yard with pesticides, don’t use clippings for 4 weeks after application. Whether dry or fresh, apply lawn clippings in thin layers, adding new layers per week after mowing your yard. One disadvantage to yard clippings is the potential weed seeds that could be combined with the grass, so check the soil regularly for weed seed germination to remove weeds before they become problematic.


Leafmold is a frequent mulch material that’s available in your landscape, or by municipal composting facility. It is made up of partially decomposed leavesthat are typically composted from the autumn to be prepared for use as leafmold mulch in the spring. Leafmold is an ideal mulch for adding nutrients to the soil. Newly fallen leaves may also be used, but will take some time to decompose, so nutrients aren’t as readily available to your plants as they are with leafmold.


Straw mulch made of wheat or oat grains, winter rye or hay is commonly used in residential and farm landscapes due to its availability and low price. It can be a powerful mulch material so long as it is free of weed seeds or mould. Pine straw mulch is also widely used and can be commercially available in large bales. Pine straw is made of pine needles and is a wonderful mulch material for improving soil structure and drainage. Both kinds of straw are best for preventing erosion of the soil during winter rains or as summer mulch in vegetable gardens.

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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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Outdoor Green Plants With Berries

Outdoor plants with attractive green leaf add color to your yard when acting as a focal point, drop, barrier or privacy screen. Several species of the stunning plants also produce showy berries that incorporate a blast of color to the region. When choosing which outside green plant to develop, consider the growing demands of the plant as well as also the needs of your garden.

Sun-Loving Plants

Sun-loving green plants with berries thrive in outdoor places that have eight or more hours of sunlight a day. “Profusion” beautyberry (Callicarpa bodinieri “Profusion”) is a breathtaking deciduous shrub growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 8, reaching six feet tall. This sun-loving plant contains large green leaf and purple-pink blossoms. In the fall, clusters of violet cosmetic berries show up on the branches. Found in sunny regions in USDA zones 6 through 9, “Mohave” pyracantha (Pyracantha x “Mohave”) is a quick growing shrub that may grow as tall as 12 feet. It has deep green leaves and masses of bright orangish-red berries in the fall.

Shade-Loving Plants

Green plants with strawberries will brighten up shaded gardens with their attractive foliage and vibrant fruit. “Rozannie” Japanese aucuba (Aucuba japonica “Rozannie”) requires complete shade in USDA zones 6 through 10 to develop properly. It’s a compact form, reaching 3 feet tall and wide, and produces deep green, shiny foliage and bright red berries that appear in the fall. Reeves skimmia (Skimmia reevesiana) is just another shade-loving plant with dark green leathery foliage. This compact 2-foot-tall shrub grows in USDA zones 7 through 9, bearing clusters of flowers with a pleasant scent and red berries.

Evergreen Plants

Evergreen plants don’t shed their foliage in the fall or winter months such as deciduous plants do, that can help keep your lawn looking lively in the dreary winter season. When these evergreens also produce berries, your lawn receives a double dose of color. Holly (Ilex spp.) Consists of over 400 species of deciduous and evergreen plants that produce green leaf and stunning ornamental berries that attract birds. Based on the species, hollies grow in USDA zones 4 through 11. Several species of viburnum (Viburnum spp.) have evergreen foliage and showy berries. As an example, “Chindo” sweet viburnum (Viburnum awabuki “Chindo”) grows in USDA zones 7 through 11 with crimson grapes which switch to black and David viburnum (Viburnum davidii) grows in USDA zones 7 through 9 with turquoise blue berries that have a metallic sheen.

Green Plants with Edible Berries

Several species of plants produce green leaves and edible berries that may be grown in home gardens. Blackberry (Rubus fruticosa) and raspberry (Rubus idaeus) are just two plants that, depending on the species, rise in USDA zones 4 through 10. Currents and gooseberries are members of the Ribes genus, and possess unimpressive green leaves and delicious edible berries. Based on the species, currents and gooseberries grow in USDA zones 5 through 8. “Emerald” blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum “Emerald”) is a semi-evergreen shrub growing in USDA zones 8 through 10, with light green foliage and sweet blue-colored berries along with a low-chill requirement.

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How to Protect Tomato Plants From the Hot Sun

Tomatoes are among the most favorite vegetable garden plants in the usa, but can be tricky to induce to fruit where summers are really hot. If your plants are suffering from issues like blossom end rot, or they simply refuse to make fruit, it is likely they are overheated or water stressed. Several tactics have been developed by gardeners to help offset the effects of the hot sun on tomatoes, from liberally applying mulch to protecting plants with shade cloths.

Apply around 4 inches of mulch around your plants without covering their leaves. Supply smaller plants using a mulch-free zone directly around their stems until they are tall enough that not one of their leaves is below the mulch line. Adding mulch as they grow is another good way to keep tomatoes mulched without affecting their development.

Train your tomatoes to a tomato cage to allow them to provide themselves with adequate shade. Wind the vines throughout the cage to generate a plant which is more erect — the tomato plant’s own leaves will shade the plant from sunlight.

Water tomatoes frequently, as often as twice daily for containerized plants. Maintaining the soil moist helps cool the plant’s origins, and deep watering encourages them to grow straight down into levels of soil that are less influenced by heat.

Insert a 30 to 50 percent shade cloth or a white piece of cloth that works well, like cheesecloth, to a frame built above your tomato plants. Leave enough space between the tomato plants and the cloth to allow lots of workspace and encourage good airflow or your plants may develop fungal diseases.

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How to Prune Oriental Lilies

Talk about a fantastic investment. Plant one Oriental lily bulb (Lilium spp.) In a garden in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9 and delight in a large cluster of flowering stems which reappear like magic every spring. Oriental lilies are accurate lilies and also have stiff stalks around 4 feet tall, topped with showy blooms with an intoxicating fragrance. The many cultivars offer you a range of flower colors and bloom times, so with a little planning, your garden may be overshadowed by brilliant Oriental lilies all summer. These stunning plants need minimal pruning, giving you time to sit back and smell the flowers.

Disinfect your lawn clippers with denatured alcohol until you cut flowers to get an arrangement. Select stems containing multiple buds, including one grass that’s only beginning to open. Don’t cut too deeply down the stalk — the remaining stems and foliage will assist the plant collect the nutrients for blooming the next spring.

Prune off flower heads when they start to fade by cutting the hinge just below the blossom. Deadheading maintains the plant tidy and stops the Oriental lily from moving its energy to producing seed.

Remove any dead stalks at ground level once you notice them. Stalks may get knocked about by wind, pets or children. If possible, salvage the flowering top of the stalk to get a flower arrangement.

Water and feed Oriental lily plants after the last blossoms have faded and avoid pruning during this period. Bulb plants have to recharge their batteries after flowering so they have the saved energy required for blooming the next spring. After the leaves and stalks have completely withered, prune them off at ground level.

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How can pH Affect Plants?

The pH factor of dirt reflects its acidity degree, which will be important to think about because all plants need various levels for appropriate development. The soil’s acidity level also affects the dispersal of other crucial nutrients in the soil, along with an imbalance may block a plant’s ability to absorb them. Analyzing pH levels is important, particularly when planting a garden for the first time in new dirt whose acidity is unknown. This can be done with a home kit or by sending soil samples to your local country extension.

pH Requirements

When organizing a new garden, it is important that you understand whether your land is appropriate for the kinds of plants you may grow. The soil’s pH is ranked on a scale of 3.5 to 9.0, and many plants do best in soil that examines within the neutral selection of 6.0 to 7.0. Growth may still happen if the soil evaluations higher or lower than that, but plants can demonstrate the effects of an improper balance through inferior development and fruiting.

Effects of pH Imbalances

The letters “pH” stand for possible hydrogen, the element that spurs the creation of acids in the soil. Ratings far below 7 indicate very acidic dirt, while considerably higher readings reflect high alkalinity, sometimes referred to as sweetness. Amendments such as lime are usually not necessary in neutral soils that are suited to many commonly grown plants. Significant effects of extremes in pH levels comprise gaps in nutrient availability and the existence of high levels of vitamins that are harmful to plants. In very alkaline soil, specific micronutrients such as copper and zinc become chemically inaccessible to plants. In very acidic soil, macronutrients such as calcium, magnesium and phosphorous are not absorbed while some reach toxic levels, states the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.

Nutrient Availability

Important nutrients are absorbed by plants at varying levels of effectiveness based upon the soil’s acidity level. Nitrogen, sulfur, potassium, sulfur, magnesium and iron are available along a broader variety of acidity, while the availability of phosphorus, manganese, copper, boron and zinc lessens as alkalinity increases. Molybdenum, a trace mineral, increases in accessibility proportionate to the soil’s alkaline amount.

Additional Effects

Along with affecting how nutrients are dispensed to growing plants, pH levels also affect microorganic activity that contributes to the decomposition of organic substances. A neutral pH is excellent for microbial action that creates chemical changes in dirt, which makes nitrogen, sulfur and phosphorus more accessible. A pH that is either too high or too low can also interfere with the effectiveness of pesticides by changing their fundamental composition or weakening their capacity to kill unwanted insects. Correcting very acidic dirt usually involves working lime to the soil a couple of weeks before planting, while correcting alkaline dirt normally calls for the inclusion of gypsum, which also lessens the high sodium content often found in these soil.

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The Greatest Shrubs to Plant for Privacy

A privacy screen composed of grouped a hedge can be a welcome addition to your home landscape, blocking unsightly views and helping reduce noise. Viburnums, oleanders, lilacs and certain hibiscus shrubs are excellent choices.


The genus Viburnum incorporates several species of blooming shrubs which grow well planted in a circle or as a hedge for privacy. Viburnums typically produce dense, foliage-covered divisions and clusters of white blossoms in late spring, followed by small red or purple fruits attractive to birds. A couple of the very best choices are the wayfaring tree viburnum (V. lantana) and blackhaw viburnum (V. prunifolium). Both species are quick growers that reach about 15 feet, can develop colorful foliage in autumn and are exceptionally tough and tolerant of most soil types and environments. Viburnums are generally hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zone 3 through 9, depending on cultivar.


Oleanders (Nerium oleander) are broadleaf evergreen shrubs which grow in an upright, rounded form. They achieve a mature height of about 8 feet and spread to about 5 feet, making them a great option for a privacy hedge. Oleander bushes are covered with shiny green leaves and develop fragrant white, pink or red flowers in summer. Pink varieties include “Barbara Bush,” “Apple Blossom” and “Lady Kate,” while reds include “General Pershing and “Scarlet Beauty.” “Mary Constance” offers white blossoms. Oleanders are tolerant of dry conditions and poor soils, thrive in full sun but will also do well in light shade, and are resistant to common diseases and insects. All parts of oleandar plants are poisonous and should not be ingested. Oleanders are frost-sensitive and suitable for outdoor culture in USDA hardiness zone 8 through 10.

Shrub Hibiscus

Hibiscus shrubs (Hibiscus syriacus) make up a huge group of plants which are sometimes known as rose-of-sharon or Chinese hibiscus. They are deciduous, flowering shrubs which can achieve heights of 8 to 10 feet and are generally multi-stemmed, with spreading branches. When planted in a row or circle, they develop into a compact privacy screen covered in summer with large, showy blooms. Good cultivars include “Blue Bird,” with blooms at a true-blue shade, “Diana,” bearing large white flowers, and “Minerva,” displaying pink to lavender blooms with a red eye. Hibiscus shrubs prefer full sun, but will tolerate some shade, are tolerant of soils and thrive in extreme heat. They’re hardy and grow well in USDA zones 5 through 12.


Lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) are deciduous shrubs which normally grow up to 15 feet tall and 6 to 12 feet wide at maturity. Lilacs are helpful for privacy when planted in a category or a row. The frequent variety has lavender-colored, pyramidal groupings of miniature spring blooms, called panicles, that make a powerful, sweet and distinctive fragrance that attracts birds. They prefer full sun, but tolerate some shade for component of the day, perform best in slightly acidic, well-drained soil and don’t tolerate soggy places. Several cultivars of the frequent lilac are available, creating blossoms in pink, white, purple or magenta. Lilacs are generally hardy and grow well in USDA zones 3 through 12.

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