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Live Christmas Trees | Living Christmas Trees

Happy Holidays From Home And Garden Press

What is the difference between “live Christmas trees”, and “living Christmas trees”?

Live or Living?

When you read an ad for “live Christmas trees”, what the advertiser usually means is that the trees were once alive, that is, that the trees were once living until the chainsaw came down the row. There is nothing wrong with that, but there is another type of live Christmas tree that is really a living Christmas tree, and not a cut tree. These are trees that are planted in a container, and you will probably have to buy them from your local nursery, and not the tree lot or hardware store.

Living Christmas trees

Depending on where you live, there is probably a perfect living Christmas tree that will grow well in your area. Some great things about using a living Christmas tree are:

  • The tree will not dry out because it is alive, and you will be watering to keep it alive.
  • Cost. You will not have to buy a new tree for several years. The tree will be there for the next year.
  • When the tree becomes too large to use as a Christmas tree, it will be an attractive addition to your landscape.
  • You will be improving the environment.

Live Christmas Tree Type

In my part of the world, Virginia Juniper is a very common evergreen. These dark green, naturally cone shaped evergreens grow wild in most parts of the southeastern United States. Don’t worry if they don’t grow in your area, there is always some evergreen that grows native to your area that will provide an excellent alternative. It is important that you choose a native plant for several reasons, but the most important one is that you want it to survive from year to year in your climate.

Most nurseries supply container trees in many varieties, and you will probably want to purchase one in a 5 gallon container or larger. After the first year, check to see if the plant is becoming root bound, and if it is, transplant it into the next larger size container. Do this as soon after the holidays as possible, so that the tree will be well rooted into the new mix by the next season. Continue to check and up size if needed each year until the whole thing is too big for your indoor space, By that time, you will have decided on a suitable outdoor spot to plant the evergreen, and you can start all over again.

Climate and transition

Depending mostly on your climate, you may need to allow your tree to become acclimated to the weather conditions outdoors before removing it after the Christmas season. It can be moved into a less heated room, like a garage, or an unheated greenhouse in most areas, although in some areas, it may need to spend some time in a heated greenhouse, before moving into an unheated one. You know your climate, and probably have a pretty good idea how to make the transition in your area.

Living Christmas trees might be just the thing to liven up your holiday experience, and eventually, even your landscape!

Green Money Saving Lawn and Landscape Tips

A well planned landscape can save you lots of money. A lousy one can cost you lots of money.

Whether you hire a landscaper to install your lawn and landscape, or do it yourself, there are some things you should give close attention to aside from the standard design principles commonly followed today. These tips will help to “green” your lawn and landscape, and keep some green in your wallet.

Soil type and irrigation

What could be more green than saving one of our most important natural resources; water? If you have a heavy clay soil, and you want to grow almost any of our common lawn grasses, you should be certain that the soil is amended properly, or top soil added.

If this is not done, you will be at constant odds with mother nature and your pocketbook when the heat of summer arrives. The best practice for lawn grass irrigation is to water deeply, and infrequently, but if you have hard clay soils, and nothing else to absorb and hold the water for the plants, you will have to water more often, using less water each time to achieve similar results. If you attempt to water deeply on clay soils, the result will be excess runoff. When watering more frequently to avoid runoff, you will still need to have the same amount of water, but it will have to be broken up into several smaller increments. Either way, the water used is less efficient. You will lose water to runoff, or evaporation, neither of which is desirable, and in some places, it is even considered criminal!

To avoid this problem, you need to start before the landscape and lawn are installed, or renovated.

Make sure that there is sufficient top soil to become an adequate root zone for your lawn grasses and landscape beds. Plan your irrigation layout carefully to avoid having tree watering or bed watering on the same station with lawn watering. Each of these will require differing amounts of water, and you could end up drowning one type of plant while allowing the others to die of thirst! Be certain that your landscape beds are not built in a basin, and that they have good surface drainage, otherwise the plants being used could suffocate from excessive watering. Be sure to clump your plantings according to water needs and water use. Landscaping is more than just making a drawing, and choosing plants, it involves the proper placement of the plants to achieve the best combination of growing conditions.

Plant and bed placement tips

This tip will help you to save money, and “green” up your homes pest control program: When designing landscape beds, leave yourself a foot or more of space between the plants and the home. Do the same with bark mulch. That extra foot of space between your walls and plants can mean the difference between a full blown insect insurgency, and a healthy symbiotic relation between the great outdoors and the insect and mold free comfort of your indoor living space.

Pests use plants and bark mulch as a covered highway onto and into your home. The further you can keep these 2 elements from your exterior walls the better. You would probably be surprised at the difference just a few inches of space can make when it comes to insects. Instead of using the mulch between the plants and the foundation, try digging a trench, and adding coarse sand with pebbles on top. Tunneling insects like termites will find the sand and pebbles impossible to make a tunnel without having it cave in behind them. Other types of insects will see the space as being a cover-less dead end, and  and you will save yourself a lot of money on pest treatments in the long run.

The Complete Grape Growing System Review

The Complete Grape Growing System Review

I am asked from time to time if it is possible to grow grapes in (insert whatever region of the country you live in) this region. The answer is almost always yes! That should be a qualified yes, the qualifier being: If you want to badly enough.

In my region, almost any variety of grapes you can imagine existed here before settlers arrived, and that basically means that growing almost any variety of grape vine is possible. The same cannot be said for all other regions. There are some areas where growing grapes could be an extreme gardening venture, especially if the climate is extremely cold, but with enough work, the season can be extended, and the grape vines will produce.

Growing grapes requires a lot of attention to detail, and a lot of work, and can be difficult for even the most efficient gardener, and it helps to have a guide to go by. The guide that I suggest is The Complete Grape Growing System by Danie Wium.

A complete system

The system is complete, in that it takes you through the entire grape vine growing process from beginning to end, with practical details on soil preparation, taking and using cuttings, boosting grape production with proper pruning and training techniques, building a trellis or arbor, and even pest and disease control.

It is about grape growing

There are many growing guides that cover a wide variety of fruit crops, but most of them are pretty light when it comes to grape growing information, and none of them compare with the in depth information provided in the The Complete Grape Growing System.

It is a system

Growing grapes requires thorough attention to the proper details in the proper order. That requires a system. The Complete Grape Growing System puts everything in it’s proper place, removing the guess work from the equation. In short, you simply follow the instructions, and produce grapes!

This system works with any type of grape you want to grow, whether that is for wine grapes, or table grapes, grapes for eating fresh from the vine, or grapes for making jams and jellies.

This system is the most comprehensive system on the market, and if you plan to do any serious grape growing it is a must have.

The price is reasonable as well, and what you will save in time, materials, and frustration will easily pay for it at the first harvest.

We don’t review many products, and we review even fewer information products, but we are so impressed with this one that we couldn’t let the opportunity pass. If you are serious about gardening, and serious about growing grapes, this should have a place in your gardening literature!

Learn more about this product