RE/MAX Executive Realty



Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 9/20/2020

Image by wagrati_photo from Pixabay

If you have pumpkins or winter and summer squash in your garden, there is a chance that squash bugs will find their ways into your planter beds. Squash bugs are pests that can wreak havoc on your vegetables, especially winter squash and pumpkin. Their attacks are not limited to gourds, they also target cucumbers and melons. You can keep your vegetables safe from squash bugs if you prepare early.

How Do Squash Bugs Cause Damage?

When they feed, squash bugs pierce the tissue of the vegetable and drain the nutrients of the plant. They feast on vines, leaves, and fruit. Because the pierce plants in many places, it leads to the collapse of leaves and vines as they consume the sap inside. 

Their saliva also contains bacteria that are harmful to plants. The bacteria can cause the affected leaves to wilt and die. Additionally, adult squash bugs and nymphs sometimes carry the bacteria that cause the yellow vine disease. 

How to Control Squash Bugs 

  • Regularly inspect leaves. If you find eggs, remove them immediately.

  • Use companion planting strategies. Pairing squash plants with another crop can keep the bugs away from your vegetables without introducing chemicals.

  • Squash bugs gather under objects like tarps and boards. You can set these objects as bait in your garden, place them close to crops you want to protect. Remove them once they congregate under these objects. 

  • Mulch provides a hiding place for the squash bugs, especially during the colder months. Consider removing it and reduce the likelihood of an invasion next season. 

  • Insecticides can also be effective, check with a pest control professional or your local garden center for guidance on formulas and application procedures. The advantage of insecticides is that they can also control other pests.

Are you seeking a permanent way to rid of squash bugs in your garden? Consult a professional pest control company for comprehensive and lasting solutions in addition to these DIY options.





Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 6/14/2020

Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

To dress up your front porch, all you need are two tall flowerpots filled with gorgeous plants. Choosing an ideal combination of flowers, grasses and other plants is the key to creating the right aesthetic. To help you find the best mix, use this guide on the top six plants for front porch flowerpots.

Marigold

With their bright flowers and interesting foliage, marigolds instantly capture your gaze and fill your heart with cheer. Their flower looks a lot like a carnation but comes in rich yellow, orange and red tones.  You can find many different types, ranging from six inches to over two feet tall. The compact varieties work well in the middle of the pot while taller ones serve as a stunning backdrop for the other plants.

Fountain Grass

As indicated by its name, Fountain Grass features plumes of foliage that burst outward in an amazing display. At the top of each blade, the grass has a beautiful foxtail-like flower that blooms in late summer and remain through the fall months. This grass comes in green and purple varieties, both of which can reach nearly four feet tall. With its immense height, it works best along the back of the flowerpot.

Fuchsia

Fuchsias feature two-tone tropical flowers that hang from the branches like little bells. The dark green leaves frame the blooms, helping their colors pop even more. There are over 105 different types in all different shapes, sizes and colors. The most popular trailing varieties are used in hanging baskets and work well draped over the sides of your flowerpots. You can also select the bushier type as a vivid centerpiece.

Angelonia

Angelonia look a lot like Snapdragons, but bloom for many months longer to constantly fill the air with their delicious fruity scent. Their flowers come in a picturesque array of pinks, blues and purples, which stand out perfectly against the narrow green leaves. They reach nearly two feet in height, making them an excellent flower to put in the center of your pots.

Sweet Potato Vines

Grown for its breathtaking leaves, Sweet Potato Vines look incredible trailing down the sides of tall flowerpots. Depending on the variety you select, they have a wide range of leaf shapes. Some have heart-shaped foliage, while others look more like a maple leaf. There are even three lobed varieties that are a delight to gaze upon. This trailing plant happily grows down the side of the pot to create a waterfall of color all the way to the ground.

Coleus

Since they come in such a wide range of color combinations, Coleus is a really fun plant to grow. There are many different types on the market today, all featuring green, red and purple tones. The leaves are streaked, splashed and dotted with multiple colors in various intensities. They grow upright to over three feet in height, making them a perfect addition at the center or back of the pot.

No matter what plants you choose from your flowerpots, do a trial run before settling on your final arrangement. Fill the planters almost all the way up with soil, then place the plants inside without removing them from their nursery pots. After that, move them around until you are satisfied with the placement to find the perfect aesthetic.




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Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 11/13/2016

Cooking vegetables from your own garden is a great experience. In the same way that you appreciate a meal made from scratch more than a frozen dinner or takeout, cooking food that you grew yourself is an extremely rewarding feeling. Aside from being delicious, growing your own food can help you save money, waste less food, consume less plastic packaging (helping the environment), and try out new recipes you normally wouldn't. When it comes to planting vegetables for cooking, however, there's more to it than simply tossing some seeds in your garden. Here's how to get the most out of growing your own vegetables for use on the dinner table.

Plant smart

One of the first mistakes beginner gardeners make is planting the wrong vegetables or the wrong proportions of vegetables. One or two squash plants, for example, will provide ample amounts of squash for most small families. So, think about the meals you love to cook and what vegetables they require. Then find out how much those plants yield. Some vegetables can be planted and harvested at many times throughout the growing season. If you eat lots of leafy greens (lettuce, spinach, kale, etc.), don't plant a huge row all at once. Instead, plant in intervals of two or three weeks so you can reap the rewards throughout the season. Similarly, many lettuces (such a romaine) are able to be continually harvested--that means there's no need for pulling the whole planet out of the ground and replanting.

Plan your meals

To get the most out of your garden plan a weekly menu that incorporates items from your garden. If your tomatoes look like they're ripening, plan for making tomato sauce, pizza, or caprese sandwiches the following week. Get creative with recipes. If you have a surplus of peppers, try different stuffed pepper recipes. The internet is your best friend when it comes to discovering new uses for surplus vegetables.

Preserving

A garden should be useful to you year-round, not just during the autumn harvest season. There are several methods of preserving your vegetables. The way you choose depends on your own need. Common means of preservation include:
  • Freezing meals. Remember those stuffed peppers? You don't have to eat them every day of the week once your peppers are ripe. Cook up some rice, beans, and sauce, stuff your peppers and bake. Eat however much you want and place the rest in airtight bags in the freezer. They'll make great lunches for when you're in a rush.
  • Blanching and steaming.  If you're not quite sure how you'll want to use your vegetables but you know you'll use them later blanching and steaming are great options. Boil or steam them for five minutes then toss them into a bucket of ice-water to cool. Once cool, drain them and freeze them in bags.
  • Canning.  This method takes some preparation and research but canning is a great way to save fruits and vegetables for use throughout the year and are great if you don't have extra space in your freezer for frozen vegetables.





Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 8/7/2016

If you plan to plant a home garden, it is important to start off with good soil. Both experienced pros and novice gardeners know that the condition of the soil is integral to success. Test The Soil Test your soil to determine the nutrient content and pH levels before you cultivate, plant or fertilize. You can obtain a simple pH testing kit from online garden supply stores or your neighborhood hardware store. If you want a complete soil analysis, take a sample of your garden soil for testing to you local county extension office. If you have a large garden plot, take random samples from several areas of the garden. For testing at the county extension office, place about a cup of soil in a sealable plastic bag. If you are submitting multiple soil samples, be sure to mark the bags to indicate the location in the garden from which they were taken. A large garden plot may contain soils that differ greatly from location to location. Established gardens likely have a history of fertilizer use or soil enhancement. A diverse array of nutrients, such as phosphorous and potassium, can build up in the soil. In this case, you are in luck. The only added growth-enhancing ingredient your garden soil requires is nitrogen. If you unwittingly added unnecessary nutrients and fertilizers to established garden soil, you can disrupt the pH levels and cause toxic accumulations of salts and other harmful ingredients to build-up in the soil. Conditioning The Soil If you are not blessed with organically rich, loamy, dark, moist, and fertile soil, you need to condition the soil if you want to produce optimum results. Your first decision is whether to practice eco-friendly organic gardening methods or to put your faith in chemical products. It is important to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of chemical versus natural fertilizers. The Advantages Of Organic Fertilizers Environmentally conscious gardeners prefer organic fertilizers that they feel are safe for people, pets, and the planet. However, plants do not know the difference between organic and chemical fertilizers; nutrients are nutrients, no matter the form. However, if you choose to “grow organic”, you will never have to worry about measuring, mixing and applying noxious chemicals nor will you be storing poisonous products in the garage or potting shed where they could be a danger to children or pets. Natural fertilizers are unlikely to burn tender, young plants in that they are not as concentrated as chemical formulations. In nature, as organic material decomposes, a natural fertilizer is created. When you apply well-aged herbivore manures (cow, sheep, horse, mule, lama, or goat) to the garden soil, you not only add nutrient-rich organic matter, you improve the soils texture and ability to retain moisture. Organic fertilizer costs less than expensive chemical products. If you live in a rural area, you likely have a kindly neighbor with farm animals that is happy to give you all the manure you can use. You can also start a compost bin to create your own organic fertilizer from grass clippings, leaves, shredded cardboard, landscape debris, newspapers, and household food waste. When you choose to use only natural products in your home garden, you can rest assured knowing that the fruits and vegetables you produce for the family table are free of noxious chemicals and potentially dangerous by-products.




Tags: gardening tips  
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Posted by RE/MAX Executive Realty on 7/10/2016

Who doesn't love a vegetable garden? There is nothing better than fresh green beans or vine-ripened tomatoes. Getting started with your very own vegetable garden is easier than you think. It all starts with choosing the right crops and space for your garden. 1. Choose your vegetables. Only grow vegetables you enjoy eating. Don't waste your efforts on things you will not eat or give away. There are some vegetable which are extremely well suited for eating fresh. Most people agree that tomatoes, squash, beans and peas are especially good from the garden. 2. Pick your space. You will want to pick an area that is flat, has easy access and gets full sun 3. Prepare your space. Preparing the soil is one of the most important parts of the garden. Make sure the soil is free from rocks and weeds. Make sure to turn the soil. You may also want to add organic material such as compost. It is best to consult the garden center for what they recommend. 4. Plant accordingly. Figure out how much growing space you have and plant accordingly. Lettuce, for example, can be grown in a solid mat, but tomatoes need to be spaced about 2 feet (60 cm) apart. Give pumpkins at least 4 feet (120 cm) of growing room. Growing requirements are provided on seed packets, in catalogs, and on nursery tags, as well as in books on growing vegetables. 5. Schedule your plantings. There are two main growing seasons which vary by region: cool (spring and fall) and warm (summer). Vegetables that typically do well in the cool-season are lettuce, peas, potatoes, and beets. Warm-season crops include beans, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, melons, peppers, pumpkins, squash and tomatoes. Consult your garden center for the time of year and what is best in your area. 6. Enjoy the fruits or veggies of your labor.







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