Blue Crystals to Dissolve Tree Roots

Big tree roots penetrate the ground for extended distances, sending out smaller feeder roots that have the ability to sense potential sources of nutrients. Sewer and septic lines give an ongoing and constant source of nutrients and water. When feeder roots detect this source through small cracks or drain holes, the lines may get clogged by development of new roots taking advantage of this food resource. Copper sulfate, sold in the form of blue crystals, which can kill the roots that clog lines without undermining the whole tree.

Treating Septic Lines

After the leak in septic lines becomes slow due to tree roots starting to grow in number, it is possible to care for the backed-up lines with copper sulfate. The roots will absorb the copper, but it is going to only spread a short distance to the main system. The localized copper toxicity will likely destroy the offending roots that then break down over the length of several weeks or days. To deal with septic systems, add copper sulfate to the distribution box in which the lateral lines connect. However, if there is not any access to this box from above, you can add two pounds of copper sulfate to a 300 gallon septic tank by flushing down the toilet, 1/2 cup at a time.

Treating Sewer Lines

Some nations, like California, don’t allow copper compounds for sewer root control since copper is not adequately eliminated in waste water treatment plants. Copper sulfate also corrodes the thin metals used in the plumbing of sinks and bathtubs. If tree roots are an issue in sewer lines, utilize physical removal of origins by a plumber, and root barriers. For serious recurring problems, consider removal of the trees.

Tree Root Growth

Tree roots grow the most during the fall and early winter when the above-ground region of the tree starts to go dormant. If roots are the cause of your plumbing problems, fall and early winter is when you should pay more focus on leak rates. Copper sulfate works best when you treat the problem early so the time it takes for the dead roots to decay and reopen the lines is as short as possible.

Permanent Septic Solutions

You may add small quantities of copper sulfate many times a year to prevent roots from discontinuing up septic lines so long as a single septic tank does not receive more than 4 pounds a year. However, feeder roots will continue to find the mineral supply if you don’t find a permanent solution. After removing the stoppage using copper sulfate, permanently block the origins using a barrier placed in the ground, like commercially available copper sulfate-soaked cloths.

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Hummingbird Flowers That Bloom From March to May

Hummingbirds feed mainly on nectar from flowering plants and are particularly drawn to species using tubular flowers that bloom in shades of red, orange or purple. To attract hummingbirds from March through May, plant a blend of vines, annuals and perennials using nectar-rich blooms. Flowering shrubs and trees can also provide nectar, along with cover and nesting sites. To create the ideal habitat, provide a continuous water supply as well.

Trees and Shrubs

Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia), hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 6 through 9, attributes tubular yellow flowers on long arching branches. Depending on the variety, it flowers from early to mid-spring. Hummingbirds will also sip nectar from the yellow-green flowers of tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), hardy in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 9. Another spring bloomer that attracts hummingbirds is western azalea (Rhododendron occidentalis), hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 7 through 9 or even 10. It has white blooms and blooms in May.


In May, early flowering anemone clematis (Clematis montana) bloom, attracting hummingbirds using a large number of pink or white flowers. Anemone clematis is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 6 through 9. Another spring flowering vine is scarlet runner bean (Phaseolus coccineus), that can climb 12 to 15 feet, and features big, red blooms. It is a hummingbird favorite, usually grown as an annual and hardy through USDA zone 10.


Hummingbird favorites for March through May contain bleeding heart (Lamprocapnos spectabilis, also known as Dicentra spectabilis), hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9. Bleeding center, with pendant blooms in white or red, features fern-like foliage and can grow in part sun or shade. Columbines, for instance, frequent columbine (Aquilegia vulgaris), hardy in USDA zones 3 through 8, and also the buff columbine (Aquilegia flabellata), hardy in USDA zones 4 through 9, feature spurred blooms in a range of colors. The dark green dissected foliage remains attractive after the blooms have faded.


Petunias (Petunia), using their vibrant, trumpet-shaped flowers are annuals that bloom from April or May until frost and bring hummingbirds. The low-growing plants are hardy in USDA zones 10 through 11. Technically a perennial, hardy in USDA zones 3 through 9, sweet William (Dianthus barbatus) is often grown as an annual and blooms in May. Its bright flowers in shades of white, pink, red and purple offer nectar to hummingbirds.

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Strawberry Plants: Field Guide Information

Three species of wild strawberries are indigenous to the United States, for instance, common strawberry (Fragaria virginiana), the hillside strawberry (F. vesca) and the sand strawberry (F. chiloensis). Those strawberries plus many hybrid cultivars of domestic strawberries (Fragaria x ananassa) grow on compressed stems known as shingles that send out aboveground stolons or runners which develop roots to form new plants. Domestic cultivars of strawberries can be grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 10.

Common Wild Strawberry

The common wild strawberry (F. Virginiana) is a cool season perennial plant which forms colonies in moist soil the edges of woodlands and savannas. It goes dormant after posture one-half to three-quarter-inch-long berries in the summer. The strawberries bear tiny seeds on sunken pits on their surface. Its leaves develop on hairy, dull red stems plus it sends out dull crimson runners or stolons as many as 2 feet long. Roots growing from such runners turn into new plants.

Hillside Wild Strawberry

The hillside wild strawberry (F. vesca) rises 4 to 8 inches tall and yields an edible strawberry about one-half inch, somewhat smaller than the common wild strawberry. It bears blossoms and strawberries simultaneously in the summertime. Unlike the common wild strawberry, its seeds develop directly on the surface of their strawberries, not in small seams. The Hillside strawberry is usually grown as an ornamental due to the small size of its fruit.

Sand Wild Strawberry

The main distinctions between the sand strawberry (F. chiloensis), also called the coast or beach strawberry, and other wild strawberry species is its habitat as well as the size of its strawberries. It sorts lush mats 6 to 12 inches high on sandy beaches and coastal dunes and bluffs from California to Alaska. Though its growing habits are very similar to F. Virginiana and F. vesca, its strawberry is larger. It may withstand light foot traffic and is sometimes grown as a decorative replacement for yards.

Domestic Strawberries

The national strawberry (Fragaria x ananassa) is a cross involving the common wild strawberry as well as the sand strawberry and yields larger fruits. The many hybrid cultivars vary greatly in the size and shape of the strawberries. The three main varieties of domestic strawberries are June bearers, everbearers and day-neutrals. June bearers yield one harvest in June and July. Everbearers produce one harvest from June through early July and another in the autumn. Day-neutrals yield strawberries throughout the spring and summer growing season except during extremely hot weather. June bearers typically yield the most strawberries. Everbearers and day-neutrals yield smaller strawberries and fewer of these. June bearers produce more runners than everbearers or day-neutrals. All varieties will remain productive for three to four years.

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How to Plant Corn in a Grid

Corn (Zea mays) grows nicely in a Mediterranean climate. It germinates best in soil temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Gardeners should have success planting corn at U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zones 9 and warmer everywhere between April and July. In cooler climates, give corn plenty of time to ripen before the first frost of the fall by planting when soil temperatures reach 60 degrees during April or May. Planting corn at a grid uses a limited quantity of garden space efficiently. The easiest way to have a grid-shaped corn crop is to plant the corn in rows and then thin the seedlings to form a grid.

Till the soil or mix it with a gardening fork to a depth of 12 to 15 inches.

Mix 2 to 4 inches of compost or aged manure into the soil with the tiller or gardening fork. Instead, apply a balanced fertilizer to the soil, including a 5-5-5 ratio fertilizer. Use enough to get the corn to get 30 to 50 pounds of nitrogen per acre.

Plant the corn seeds 1 to 2 inches deep in rows spaced at least 2 feet apart. Sow the seeds about 6 inches apart in the rows. If you would like to develop just as much corn as you can in the specified garden space, plant the corn in double rows spaced 8 to 10 inches apart. Space each group of double rows 24 to 36 inches apart.

Water the corn with at least 1 inch of water per week.

Thin the corn into a grid contour once the plants have three or four leaves and achieve heights of around 5 or 4 inches. Reduce the corn so that the plants have a minimum of 8 inches in between each other, ideally giving them 12 to 16 inches of distance.

Side dress that the corn with a high-nitrogen fertilizer once the plants reach 12 inches tall, or should they turn yellowish or show other signs of nitrogen deficiency. Fish emulsion produces a fantastic natural high-nitrogen fertilizer. Apply about 50 lbs per acre by sprinkling it along the surface of the soil next to the rows of corn. Instead, apply 10 to 15 lbs of nitrogen per week through a drip irrigation system.

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How to Grow Blackberries from Seeds

Blackberries (Rubus spp.) , which grow best in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, are usually propagated through cuttings or division. This technique provides an specific replica of the berry bush. It is possible to develop blackberry shrubs by planting seeds, however, the seedlings change in features. The ideal time to plant young blackberry seedlings outside is in September, but the germination process starts six months before.

Harvest the blackberry fruit. Use fresh berries to gather the seeds, not dried fruit. The germination rate drops once the seeds dry out. Place the fruit in a blender, then pulsing on low until the seeds and fruit independent. Highlight the berries from the juice, and select the seeds from the pulp with tweezers.

Examine every one of the seeds for scratches or nicks. Scratch any pore without damage with a sharp knife. Scarification helps break the powerful seed dormancy surrounding the embryo.

Put the blackberry seeds in a resealable plastic bag along with a handful of moist peat moss. Seal the bag, and put in a refrigerator with temperatures around 33 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the seeds cooled for 12 to 16 weeks.

Fill seed trays with seed starter dirt, and distribute the blackberry seeds on top of the ground. Lightly cover the seeds with soil, and set in a warm location. Blackberry seed germination does not want bright light because the seeds are covered with dirt. Mist the dirt with water in a spray bottle when the soil starts to dry out. Once seedlings start to sprout, move the tray to a room with bright light.

Remove the weeds from a planting area in full to partial sun. Pick a place with good drainage. Spread a 3- to 6-inch-layer of well-rotted compost over the planting area. Dig the organic material to the ground with a shovel. Utilize the compost to the top 8 inches of dirt. This provides that the blackberry plants a great source of slow-release nutrients. Smooth the ground with a rake.

Dig holes with a hand trowel only as deep and wide as the seedlings’ root balls. Space out the holes 4 to 6 feet apart. Put the seedlings in the holes, and fill with dirt. Gently firm the soil around the brambles so that they stand up. Space the rows 10 feet apart.

Water the ground around the foundation of the blackberry plants until it’s slightly muddy. Give the peel plants 1 inch of water each week if there’s no rain during the summer. Spread two to three inches of organic mulch around the base of their new shrubs. Mulching benefits blackberry bushes by reducing weed growth, slowing soil moisture evaporation and providing slow-release nutrients. Keep the mulch layer thick throughout the life of the blackberry bushes.

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How to Propagate Campanula

Like low-maintenance, helpful house-guests having a sense of humor, Campanulas never lose their welcome, that is lucky since this perennial moves straight in and remains for years. Campanula species, commonly called bellflowers, create a low flow of foliage and flowers which can bloom from early spring through autumn. Some, like Campanula poscharskyana “Blue Waterfall”, have starry flowers in lavender-blue. They supply spreading, undemanding ground cover in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 3 through 9, and stay evergreen in the milder climates. Grow these friendly plants from seed, starting in early spring.

Prepare a garden bed for the bellflower seeds in the fall. Work the soil to 8 inches, mixing in many inches of organic compost. Bellflowers grow in normal, clay or sandy soil, in acid, neutral or alkaline soil, in full sun or partial sunlight. Assess your seed package for any special conditions for the species you select.

Fill trays or containers with a frequent soil mix in the springtime. Surface sow the tiny bellflower seeds by scattering them over the soil. Moisten the soil by spraying for the first few weeks to avoid washing away the seeds. Keep the seed trays in a cold frame in a mild climate, indoors in colder areas. Irrigate often to keep the soil moist. Slim following germination to leave at least 1 inch between atom.

Transplant the seedlings to the permanent garden bed after the last frost, ideally in April. Each plant should be at least two inches tall. Use a trowel to dig holes that give the bellflowers’ roots lots of room to expand. Place seedlings a bit high so the crowns are slightly above the soil level to permit for settling. Press the soil gently around the plant roots. Water well after planting and many times a week for the initial month.

Apply 2 to 3 inches of mulch in late May. Use an organic mulch like chopped leaves. Water the young plants infrequently but deeply after the root system is established and new growth starts. Fertilize twice a month using a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 throughout the growing season. After the first time, fertilize once a year, four months before flowering, should you wish a low-maintenance garden.

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Species of Cherry Trees

While they are genetically different, different species of cherries (Prunus) are still able to crossbreed to produce similar trees. You can identify a cherry tree in springtime from its white or pink flowers and shiny, red-brown bark having brown or gray horizontal stripes. It is more difficult to identify the species of the tree; distinct species have somewhat distinct flowers and leaves, shapes and growth habits. Cherry species include both fruiting and flowering trees.

Sweet Cherries

The cherry species whose fruit you find most often in grocery shops, sweet cherry (Prunus avium), grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 8 to approximately 35 feet tall with an erect and spreading contour. Like all cherries, sweet cherries do best with complete sun, regular watering and well-draining soil. Varieties include “Bing,” which produces large, dark red fruit, and “Van,” which produces smaller black fruit.

Sour Cherries

With fruit used primarily for baking, sour cherries (Prunus cerasus) grow about 25 feet tall in USDA zones 4 through 9 and create purple or red fruit throughout the summer. “Surefire” produces bright red fruit that truly has a sweet flavor so that you may eat it fresh, while “North Star” has very sour fruit with reddish skin and yellow flesh.

Standard Upright Flowering Cherries

Standard, upright cherries incorporate those located on the Washington Monument grounds in Washington, D.C., such as the Yoshino flowering cherry (Prunus x yedoensis), at USDA zones 5 through 8, and also the “Kwanzan” cherry (Prunus serrulata “Kwanzan”), at USDA zones 5 through 9. Standard cherry species grow up to 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide, with white or pink flowers. They function nicely versed above flower beds to offer partial shade, lining a drive or growing in a prominent spot in your lawn as a tree that is standalone.

Other Flowering Cherries

Flowering cherry trees arrive in weeping, spreading and columnar shapes as well as vertical shapes. Weepers grow from 10 to 15 feet tall, and include the “Pendula” variety (Prunus x subhirtella “Pendula”) for USDA zones 5 through 8. Spreaders grow wider than they are tall, like “Shirotae,” a variety of the species Prunus serrulata. Columnar trees have a tall and narrow shape, growing from 40 to 60 feet tall.

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Information about the Key Lime Tree

The Key lime tree (Citrus aurantifolia Swingle), also popularly known as the Mexican algae or West Indian lime, is precious across U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 9 through 11 as an ornamental because of its kind, foliage and blossoms, in addition to for the little, acidic fruits it produces.

Habit, Form and Hardiness

The Key lime tree is an evergreen, meaning it keeps its foliage year-round. This plant grows very vigorously, reaching a mature height of 6 1/2 to 13 feet. Key lime trees possess lots of slender, spreading branches, appearing bushy with a curved, umbrella or vase-like canopy shape. The Key lime is vulnerable to cold damage, suffering injury to foliage below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and timber damage or death if temperatures drop below 29 degrees Fahrenheit.

Foliage and Bark

The evergreen leaves of this Key lime are mild purplish when young and dull dark-green when mature. These leathery, elliptical leaves measure 2 to 3 inches long with little, curved teeth. The foliage grows densely and has a pleasant scent. The slender branches of the majority of Essential lime trees have lots of sharp 3/8-inch long spines. There are a number of spineless cultivars; those selections produce less fruit, have darker green foliage and are more streamlined.

Flowers and Fruit

Key lime tree blossoms, appearing on the plant in spring, are faintly fragrant, white and measure 2 inches across. The key lime fruit that develops from these flowers is born singly or in clusters and is around or slightly elliptical and sometimes has a small nipple at the same end. The fruits generally have a diameter of 1 1/2 to 2 inches and have a thin peel that is greenish yellow to yellow in maturity. The greenish yellow pulp is juicy, acidic and split into 10 to 12 segments.

Site Preferences and Applications

The Key lime tree performs best if planted in full sunlight and at least 12 to 20 feet away from structures and other trees. It may grow well in a range of soils, including sites that are highly alkaline or acidic. Good soil drainage is very important to Key lime tree growth; nutrient deficiencies and disorders can occur where excessive moisture lasts around the plant’s root system. The Key lime tree can be planted as a specimen, utilized as a screen or hedge or espaliered.

Care Considerations.

Recently planted Key lime trees require watering at planting, every other day for about a week, after which one or two times per week for the first two or three months following planting. Once shown, only occasional watering during prolonged dry periods is warranted. Occasional, though not excessive application of a balanced fertilizer will encourage Vital lime tree vigor. A paling or mottling of leaves may indicate a nutrient deficiency. Excessive fertilizer can stimulate a feeling of new growth especially vulnerable to pests and diseases. A light pruning to thin out the canopy and remove problematic crossing or rubbing branches is best done soon after fruit harvest.

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Purple Coneflowers Characteristics

Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) goes to the Asteraceae family members and bears dailylike flowers on straight stems above clumps of dense foliage. Flowers generally bloom from spring until frost. Echinacea flowers are usually used as boundaries, in containers and also in gardens planted along with other perennials. Purple coneflower has features which differentiate it from other coneflowers.


Purple coneflower has coarsely toothed foliage that forms a dense clump from which tall, stiff stems emerge. Purple coneflower grows a single blossom atop a 2- to 5-foot stem. The flowers have droopy, lavender petals that surround a purplish-brown, spiky, domed center. Otherwise deadheaded, flowers heads turn into your bristly seed head that pulls finches. The purple coneflower looks like its close relative Rudbeckia spp.

Growing Conditions

Purple coneflower is an easy-to-care-for perennial and hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 3 through 9. Plants thrive in well-drained soil, but do tolerate drought, making them perfect for xeriscaping. Purple coneflower prefers full sun, but tolerates light shade, especially in warm weather; shade enhances the color of the petals. Plants readily self-sow if blossom heads are left to produce seed, but plants aren’t known to be invasive.


Purple coneflower is a low-maintenance plant and propagation is typically accomplished by seed. Plants don’t like their roots disturbed, thus don’t split unless the plants look crowded. After division, plants are known to create numerous stems and several flowers. Deadheading promotes new flower growth, extending the blooming period. Removing spent flowers also prevents self-sowing. Flower heads that stay on stems create a winter interest as well as the seeds attract birds.

Landsape utilizes

Purple coneflowers’ long, stiff stems make them excellent for cut flowers, but they also have many different uses. Since they are long-bloomers, groups of purple coneflowers are usually planted in places such as boundaries, meadows and gardens that are crocheted. Plants are frequently grouped in mass plantings along with black-eyed Susans to create a wildflower or woodland garden.

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The ideal Tomato Grafting Clips

What heirloom tomato crops deficiency in vigor, they make up for in their superior tasting tomatoes. You can have the best of both worlds — flavorful heirloom tomatoes developed on vigorous plants — by grafting them. By deciding on the best grafting clips for the task, you may present your newly grafted tomato crops their very best chance at a healthy beginning.


Grafting is an instance of when one plus one equals one. 1 plant’s roots, known as the stock, splices to another plant’s stem, known as the scion. The result is one plant that has the very best qualities of both contributing plants. Hybrid plants have been bred for higher endurance against pests and disease. When you graft an heirloom tomato scion onto a hybrid tomato rootstock, the new plant is better able to withstand these challenges due to the benefit of “hybrid vigor.”

Best Methods

Cleft, whip-and-tongue and side are a few of the different grafting methods. Plant type, like fruit trees, woody ornamentals or herbaceous plants, determines which grafting way is best. The University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension lists three primary tomato grafting forms: cleft, tube and tongue approach. Cleft and tube grafts are similar in that each requires tomato comes to be completely severed before joining plant parts together. They differ in the shapes of their cuts. The tongue process graft allows the 2 plants to remain on their own rootstocks while joined together at small cuts on each stem. In all 3 grafts, silicone clips hold plants until they fuse together.

Best Clips

Cleft and tongue approach grafts need slightly older plants for success. The very best grafting clips for these methods are more curved, and slightly bigger than the ones that you will need for tube grafts since they have to hold heavier, or older, stems that are 1/8 to 1/4 inch in diameter. The very best grafting clips for tube grafts are more elongated and smaller, for holding stalks on younger plants that are 1/16 around 1/8 inches in diameter.


The ability necessary to graft tomato seedlings is beyond the range of fundamental gardening, but may be achieved with training. You must align cut surfaces properly or grafts will be ineffective. Sterilize tools before making any cuts, and between every cut, and therefore you don’t introduce infection pathogens. If the graft union is not at least 1/2 inch above the ground, roots from the more disease-prone scion plant may grow into soil and present soilborne diseases to this plant. This will defeat 1 purpose of having a grafted tomato plant.

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