Guide To Bonsai Tools

Guide To Bonsai Tools


To practice the art of Bonsai you must have the proper tools. I am going to list and describe the more common bonsai tools. When you first start out you will not need all of the tools listed and depending on your level of involvment in Bonsai you may never need them all.

Pruning & Cutting Tools
Pruning and cutting tools are used for any cutting that is too heavy to be performed with scisssors.

Concave Branch Cutter: These are heavy duty cutters designed similar to bolt cutters. They are used to cleanly and smoothly remove fair sized branches.
Spherical Knob CUtters: Are similar to the branch cutter except the cutting piece is spherical. These are designed to cut through heavy knobs or knots.
Folding Pruning saw: This is a small rough cut saw that with a blade that folds back into the handle similar to a pocket knife. They are used for cutting very heavy branches or when you need to cut down the trunk of your bonsai tree.
Shears: You use shears for many different medium to light cutting jobs.
Woodworking Gouges: Gouges are used for multiple artistic purposes in bonsai. They are frequently used to remove bark or to score the trunk to simulate natural damage to a tree.

Scissors:
Scissors are a staple tool for all bonsai enthusiast, they come in various shapes and sizes to handle various jobs.
Leaf Cutting Scissors: Just as the name implies these are used mainly for light work like pruning back or removing leaves.
Shoot Trimming Scissors: These are a heavier set of scissors designed for cut small to mid-sized shoots or branches.
Heavy Duty Shoot Scissors: These are an even heavier pair of scissors designed for all the shoots that are too large for the regular shoot scissors but too small for a pruner.

Potting Tools
The pot that you keep your bonsai in is very important for both it's health and proper development. Bonsai need frequent re-potting and root modification. These are the tools most useful for those tasks.

Root Hooks: These are used to seperate the root ball into a more managable form for trimming and pruning. They are a heavy wire bent at one end and usually sharpened to a fair point.
Potting Trowel: This is just a small garden trowl that will be used to dig and manipulate the soil in your bonsai pot.
Soil Scoops: Are small metal or plastic cups with a handle and the open end is cut into a scoop shape. They are used to remove or add soil to the pot.

Brush: Soft brushes are used to lightly clean and maintain the trunk, branches and leaves of the bonsai.

Wire Tools:
Wires are frequently used to train the bonsai plant into the proper artistic form. There are a multitude of tools used to work with wire most of these are available at any hardware or automotive store.

Common Wire Snips: These are common wire snips that are frequently used by electricians, they should be heavy enough to handle any of the aluminumum wire used for bonsai.
Heavy Duty Wire Snips : These are just a heavier version of the snips listed above that might be needed if you are working with some heavier than average wire.
Pliers: Common house hold pliers are used for bending and twisting the wire into the proper shape and position.
Needle Nose Pliers: These are pliers that come to a fine point and are useful for working in tight confines around the trunk and branches.

Miscelenous Tools
Some general tools that do not fit in any of the other categories.

Chop Sticks: These are perfect for tamping and working the soil down around the roots of the tree.
Gardeners Knife: This is handy for many of the heavy non-delicate cutting you have to do.
Rake: A small rake just like a garden or yard rake except in miniature is used to clean and maintain the surface of the soil.
Tweezers: Tweezers are often necessary to work around the limited space on many bonsai.

Uncover The Simple Steps Needed to Properly Grow Himalayan Poppies


The Himalayan poppy is an extremely popular and rare plant, especially varieties from the blue coloured family.Here you will discover easy instructions on how to cultivate them beginning with the purchase of Himalayan poppy seeds.It is one of the rare plant species that grow and mature into a beautiful and natural deep blue coloured flower. Usually only found in their home locations located within China, they can grow to over five feet in height. When these particular poppies are grown in a large group together they are at their most beautiful and are perfect for enhancing displays or intertwined with some sort of a border such as a fence.For those that want to experience the beauty of this poppy they will need an abundance of patience as they may not bloom the first season in some locations. The foliage will become dormant during the winter months and may not bloom until the following year. If it is prevented from blooming the first time around it will most likely become a perennial plant. For the best results they should be grown in areas that have the most ideal temperatures ranging from -30 to +15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 1:Because they are not easily found in regular local retailers you may have to search online to buy some Himalayan poppy seeds. If you are specifically looking for the blue variety make sure to carefully read the description of the listing or ask the seller if you are not sure.

Step 2:Grab a small pot or container and choose a suitable location to plant the seeds whether it is indoors or outdoors. Be aware that they require partial shading and protection from strong winds that may dry them out easily. The soil needs to be richly fertilized and drained and, in colder temperature conditions, it needs to be more acidic. A few weeks prior to planting the seeds you will need to dig up the soil and take away any rocks and also take a sample to test the pH level. If there is an abundance of alkaline add some sulphur.

Step 3:If possible, continue the process of planting during the early spring months after you have had a few months of growing within the pot. Burrow a hole that is slightly bigger than the container that they are currently in. Carefully take it from the container and gently loosen the roots with your fingers. Slowly put the plant into your prepared hole in the soil and fill it in with the surround soil. Make sure to pack it down lightly to remove any air bubbles. Then sprinkle a little bit of water on top to settle the soil down. You do not want them to grow and choke each other out so spacing them about 20-25 inches apart is crucial.

Step 4:As the days progress, you will need to supply them with water frequently and regularly. However, try not to add too much as waterlogged plants will have to endure crown rot. On the other hand, do not let the soil dry out completely in-between the times that you water them either. Apply a small application of regular store bought fertilizer in the spring season. If you are having problems with mildew, which will happen in places that are humid, spray them with a fungicide at the very first sign of mildew to prevent it from spreading.

Step 5:If all is done correctly, in ideal conditions, you should be able to observe them blooming around the early summer months and continuing through to the early fall months. Unless you want the seeds to ripen, get rid of spent flower stems. As all the growth dies down you can now trim the poppies to the soil level. To remember where they are use a marker to point to the location of each of the Himalayan poppies.Cultivating Himalayan poppies can be a rewarding experience not to mention the sense of accomplishment you feel once you have mastered the delicate growth process. The end result is a beautiful Himalayan poppy to populate your outdoor garden or decorate your indoor living space. As we have shown, it is very easy to do and all starts with finding high quality Himalayan poppy seeds.

All About Garden Decor


People are looking for ways to add significance, peace of mind, a quality experience, and to escape from the ?rat-race? in their lives. Stated differently, people want to add depth and meaning to their lives. One way to accomplish this, it is asserted, is to make or purchase decor for your garden.

Make Your Garden Unique

Garden decor, along with things related to gardens, provides a return to nature, a sense of spirituality, and a return to the earth as people journey on their quest for significance and ultimate meaning. Moreover, through the use of decorations, gardeners reveal their quirks and shortcomings, their wit, their creativity, and their desire to make their gardens unique.

Transform Your Life

Gardens and their ornaments are symbols of enchantment, mystery, meaning, and of ultimate being. Another way of looking at this is to see that gardens and garden accents provide the power to transform one?s mood and one?s life. To be sure, garden accessories can become symbolic reminders of life?s blessings as they encourage people to enrich their surroundings by transcending the mundane.

The Gardening Imagination

Garden ornaments help people take an active stance in their lives by enabling them to create a niche in the world that is in concert with their values and their dreams. Indeed, it is this ?gardening imagination? that provides people with the opportunity to select meaningful objects that speak to their senses, to their experiences, and to their lives.

An Invitation to Add Garden Decor to your Life

Websites that sell garden decor can be viewed as invitations to experiment and let your imaginations run free so that you can, with concerted effort or with amusement, choose the ornaments that you like?decorations that are in harmony with your highest aspirations and most dignified pursuits. With this in mind, look at the various products that are sold and select garden accessories that help elicit childhood fantasies. Examine the different garden accents and choose those that speak to your inner self.

Let Your Personality Shine Through

Garden decor helps calm the spirit, soothe the soul, and delight the senses. By letting your individuality shine through as you select your decorative accents, you will transform your garden into one of the most meaningful experiences in your life. The challenge is to capture moments of wonder, joy, and inspiration and experience the lasting pleasures of beauty and the splendors of nature by decorating your garden in a way that is congruent with your noblest thoughts, feelings, and aspirations.

Your Garden Sanctuary

Strive to decorate your garden with ornaments that magically call you to return to your garden sanctuary. Look at different garden products and decide on decorations that motivate you to tap into your playfulness or into your artistic bent as you contemplate how you will decorate your garden. In a word, you can add richness, depth, and a sense of discovery to your garden with different garden ornaments.

Summary

In conclusion, garden decor is significant because it is an invitation for people to open themselves to the magic, to the wonder, to the meaning, and to the pleasure that gardens and garden related accessories can bring to their lives.

Using Herbicides For Weed Control


Weed control is necessary throughout the year, as there is no specific season for growth of weeds. Effective control of weeds does not mean blatant use of strong herbicides. Doing so can have the adverse effect of damaging your lawn to an irreparable state. In addition, it can cause ecological imbalance, which have a negative impact on the community in the long run.

Herbicides can be categories into two types. The first type is pre-emergent and the second type is post-emergent. As the name suggests, pre-emergent herbicides are used before weeds germinate and grow. On the other hand, post-emergent herbicides are used to kill existing weeds. Proper usage of the correct type of herbicides is critical to effective weed control.

Depending on where you live, February to April of the year is considers a good time to start your weed control campaign. You should start with pre-emergent herbicides first. This type of herbicides can be used in conjunction with fertilizers and can last for about sixty days. The actual duration may vary as it depends on other factors such as the amount of rainfall. The more rain there is, the shorter the effective period.

As herbicide is a form of chemical, you need to read and follow the instructions stated on the product label. Never use it in excess of what is being specified. It could destroy your lawn or hinder the growth of your lawn grass if you do not follow the instructions closely. For safety purpose, make sure you put on gloves when handling such chemicals.

After sixty days, you can apply post-emergent herbicides together with your fertilizers. This should help you get rid of weeds that have taken root in your lawn. Monitor the situation for the next sixty days. You should be able to see some visible improvements. Otherwise, apply another round of post-emergent herbicides with your fertilizers and monitor the situation again. If the situation does not improve, apply another round of herbicides in the fall season.

To make your weed control campaign more effective, you should also learn how to take care of your lawn with a combination of proper mowing, fertilization and watering techniques. Alternatively, you can also consider engaging a professional lawn care service to advise you on how to improve your weed control efforts.

Copper Rain Chain Accentuating Beauty


Combining aesthetics and practicality is a rare sight. This vision is visible in the concept generated in Japan hundred years back in the form of rain chain. Known as 'kusari doi' in Japanese, rain chain provides a beautiful and functional channel for rainwater. It is an ornate and exquisite garden accessory that is in use since hundreds of years and has been modified in terms of designs and styles of contemporary society. Rain chains guide rainwater into large pots for household and garden purposes. These chains have emerged as decorative alternatives to the downspout or rain gutter pipe and are visible almost everywhere in homes and temples.The beauty of the chains lies not only in the designs of cups and links but in the cascading water. The rain chain accentuates the ambience around the home with its attractive designs and delightful sound.

Chains made of copper are much more beautiful and functional as copper is a highly durable metal. Its resistance against corrosion makes it in high demand among users. Copper rain chain guides rainwater into large barrels for using the water later. This makes it a decorative and functional alternative to the downspout or rain gutter pipe.Copper is the most common and useful material for fabricating rain chains as it oxidizes over time and turns into a delightful verdigrises patina. The rich blue-green patina marks beauty even on dry days. This makes rain chains highly artistic adding aesthetic appeal of a landscape. The flowing water and its sound create an aura that is plain extraordinary. Highly attractive and unique, copper rain chains exhibits a beautiful display on the pleasant rainy day. Water from the roof passing over each copper hammered bowl is collected in the large barrels for multiple purposes. This makes rain chain emphasize the notion of rainwater harvesting. It is the one of the useful means of saving water coming from its natural source. People use rain chain as a garden accessory that brings in mesmerizing sense of motion and tranquility. A visual pleasure and delight is placed right outside the window to enjoy rains without stepping out of the home. The sound of soft tinkling of individual droplets and the cascading water is a treat to ears. Moreover, people living in freezing temperatures can experience a sight of snow melt away during sunny days. The snow accumulates during night leaving a beautiful and attractive view of ice formations to start a fresh day.

Rare Orchids – An Overview


Orchids are one of the most ancient plants still in existence. Their life began in primordial times, with the species being highly adaptable so that the orchid could grow and change as the Earth itself did. Rare orchids are being protected as different eco-systems collapse.

With their ingrown sense of survival, the orchid lives in every climate, excluding solid ice. They do not necessarily need soil, as they can grow symbiotically in nature. Orchids will live in trees, mountains, bogs, grasslands, rocks, and forests. The roots of orchids will grow in the air, as well as laterally. Today there are over 35,000 orchid species living in every corner of the world. If the orchid doesn't have what it needs, the plant is clever enough to make the world around it create certain living conditions. Ants have been coerced into living with the orchid so that the acidic content can be put to use within the plant. Since orchids have existed before the birds and the bees, they have found a way to mimic pollinators to trick them into propagating.

Sometimes living in such harmony can become difficult for rare orchids. Orchids have become rare due to the care they need to thrive subsiding or the care is overdone. Other reasons such as deforestation and/or imminent extinction allow orchids to be added to the rare list.

Following are some examples of rare orchids.

  • Ladyslipper orchids grow wild in Britain and have been harvested so much they are now on the verge of extinction.
  • Phal Amboinensis flava is an albino orchid discovered thirty years ago in Singapore and whose stems grown indefinitely.
  • Maxilliara Mombarchoenis and Epidendrum are found only on the Nicaraguan Mombacho Mountaintops.
  • Bulbophyllum Hamelini is suffering from Madagascar's deforestation.
  • Fly Orchids disappear in the Netherlands every time their forests get thick.
  • Habenaria Psycodes is located in the South Appalachians and is rarely seen.

More recently in 2007, in an ancient tropical forest in Vietnam's Green Corridor, a new orchid species was found. The specialty of this species is that they are leafless. Not only that, but they have absolutely no chlorophyll or green pigmentation. The forests of the Annamites breed many other rarities, as well. In 2003, it was reported that in dense evergreen forests of Similipal, Orissa there are housed 93 species of orchids. Among these lives the rare orchid Goodyera Hisipada.

On the other side of the globe, in Washington State, lives the Phantom Orchids. Leafless and completely white, the plant will stay dormant for up to seventeen years after blooming just once. Development and logging is destroying the Phantom Orchid's habitat and is a protected species in Canada.

More than 3,000 orchid hybrids are created annually. Sizes, shapes, and colors abound in the orchid families. There are certainly enough orchids to thrive on the planet. However, some rare orchid species will continue to dwindle and meet extinction if mankind continues to destroy their habitats. Some rare orchids are dying out not because of man, but due to low propagation. The smaller specie classes will need to grow to continue.

As you can see, the rare orchids are far outweighed by the sheer number of living orchids. Who knows - with the brain that these plants have, maybe the devolution of the rare orchids will stop and arise in evolution as the orchid yet again adapts to its ever-changing world.

Start More Plants With Cloning Kits


An aeroponics system allows you to grow plants without the expense of needing a growing medium. Plants are grown in the air using this very efficient growing system. Pumps are used to create a misting spray of nutrient solution that dampens the plant roots; this feeds the plants and, combined with the large amount of oxygen the roots are exposed to, causes the plants to reach maturity very quickly. An aeroponic cloning system uses the same apparatus as an aeroponics system, with one exception. Cuttings are suspended in the air in an aeroponic cloning system, and instead of a nutrient mist, a rooting hormone is sprayed over the cut end of the plant material. Using an aeroponic cloning system results in those cuttings emitting roots in only five to ten days. After roots are formed, the plants can be grown on in an aeroponics system, hydroponics system or other gardening system that uses soil as a growing medium. Plant cloning kits such as these aeroponic models utilize several pieces of equipment.

The pump where the mist originates is a very important component, as is the cloning tray that holds the cuttings at the proper height in the air. A clear plastic or glass covering over the plants helps to create a humid environment that is conducive to root formation in these cloning kits. Air pumps and diffusers are important for keeping the entire system properly oxygenated. You will also need rooting hormone for use in plant cloning kits. This is sold in liquid or powder form, and is typically diluted in a certain amount of water. The hormone can also be used in a powder form, but it is more difficult to get even coverage of the cutting with a powder than it is with a liquid, and thus another advantage of using cloning kits that take advantage of aeroponic misting. All sorts of plants can be replicated in cloning kits, including hardwoods and succulents, so that you can produce the popular plants that your customers want every spring.
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Earth-friendly Lawns


Your lawn shouldn't be bad for your yard. Yet much of the weed killer, fertilizer and turf builder people use on grass can sometimes be harsh on other plants and on the environment as a whole.

Fortunately, there are chemical-free ways to keep your lawn looking great. For instance, many homeowners add turfgrass that naturally resists insects and disease to their lawn. Called zoysia grass, the durable plant spreads into a permanent, perennial lawn.

Its deep, vigorous root system rarely needs watering and the lawn is dense enough that it prevents crabgrass and other weeds from germinating. That means homeowners don't need to spread toxic weed killers. Additionally, because its roots run so deep, the turfgrass does not need heavy doses of fertilizer.

The turfgrass is sold as individual starter plant plugs, rather than as seed or sod, meaning it can be planted into bare ground or existing lawns.

Learn About Greenhouse Plastic And The Benefits


Greenhouse plastic is mainly responsible for maintaining a hothouse effect within a greenhouse. Greenhouse plastic creates a warm and suitable growing environment that allows various types of plants to cultivate beautifully. It creates an enclosure that protects plants from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun while taking advantage of its natural warmth and light. The filtered environment produced by greenhouse plastic makes it possible for garden enthusiasts to grow luscious plants like vegetables and flowers in the cold dead of winter.

Greenhouse plastic is explicitly designed to resist wear and tear unlike conventional construction plastic that cannot filter ultraviolet rays from the sun. Greenhouse plastic is durable due to its knitted design that allows it to be cut and sized to meet the required length for a structure without fraying, ripping or tearing. The material can easily be framed around any greenhouse opening like a vent, door or windows.

Greenhouse plastic is the preferred covering of most garden enthusiasts compared to other types of greenhouse covering. At the same time costs are greatly reduced when greenhouse plastic is used since it lightweight and does not require heavy-duty structural framing. The diffusion of light into a structure constructed of greenhouse plastic is as good as that of a glass greenhouse.

Types of Greenhouse Plastic

Greenhouse plastic films are generally made of three types of plastics namely, PVC or polyvinyl chloride, PE or polyethylene and copolymers. Although, there are other types of plastic used these three are most widely used among all.

Polyethylene greenhouse plastic is available in two types, the utility grade and the commercial grade greenhouse plastic. Utility grade polyethylene greenhouse plastic is sold at local hardware stores and generally stays in good condition for practically a year. Commercial grade polyethylene greenhouse plastic last longer that utility grade PE up to eighteen months and is treated with ultraviolet inhibitors that filter out ultraviolet rays.

Copolymers are more durable and last up to three years. Innovative additives introduced into greenhouse plastic enable it to mimic the same effects of a glass greenhouse at considerably reduced costs. Polyvinyl chloride is more expensive compared to polyethylene however this type of greenhouse plastic can last up to five years. However PVC greenhouse plastic requires regular washing to prevent dust buildup from the air. It is also sold in smaller sheets of four feet by six feet wide.

How to Attach Greenhouse Plastic to Frame

Once the frame has been built it is time to put on the greenhouse plastic film to enclose the entire structure. The plastic film can either be made of polyethylene, copolymers or polyvinyl chloride depending the preference of the owner. But as much as possible choose a greenhouse plastic that is resistant to ultraviolet rays in order to make the most of the structure. Before laying the greenhouse plastic covering on the frame it is important to mask the joints of the frames with several rounds of tape or a rubber material to prevent it from puncturing the covering.

The greenhouse plastic film can be secured in place using a staple gun. A more rigid construction using 1" by 2" wood strips and wood screws can also be used to secure the greenhouse plastic film in place. The wood strips are attached to the frame so that the greenhouse plastic film does not come in direct contact with the frame.

A popular technique used by nurseries is a double-walled construction for better insulation within the structure that adds up to considerable energy savings. Two sheets of plastic are layered and framed leaving a small amount of space in between about five to eight inches wide. Air is introduced into the framed plastics that produce a dead air zone, which can efficiently insulate the entire greenhouse. Various tapes like poly patching tape and batten tape can be used to secure greenhouse plastic into place.

Poly patching tape is constructed from UV protected acrylic along with the adhesive to protect the greenhouse plastic from weakening on contact with it. This type of tape can be used to patch holes and rips that may happen to the plastic film. Its excellent holding strength and wide tape make an ideal for securing the plastic film to the frame of the greenhouse. On the other hand batten tape can be fastened the plastic film using staples or tacks to the greenhouse structure. It is also made of heavy gauge vinyl that is also UV protected.

Plastic Plant Pots Allow Healthy Plant Growth


Although there are a wide variety of planters available in the market, the plastic plant pots offer certain advantages that make them better than other varieties that include terracotta or ground clay planters. For instance, the planters in question are lightweight and thereby you can anytime shift them to another place. In case you want to shift your gardens indoors during heavy rains or outdoors when it shines then you may be able to do so without any difficulty. You will not have to ask anybody else for assistance. With heavy weight ground clay planters this may be trickier for you. Even if you will be able to move them to the desired place, you will have to ask somebody else for the help. However, the biggest advantage that plastic plant pots offer is the healthy growth of plants and trees. In comparison to terracotta or ground clay planters they retain water for a longer period of time making it easier for the plants that require more water or moisture. This further helps you as you will not have to have bother about watering the lush every now and then. Especially if you are to grow plants such as yellow hibiscus that may need more water to grow, plastic planters will make a good choice.

They will not let the water drain through pores (like garden clay planters do) and will keep the soil wet, which will maintain the desired moisture levels intact as well as will allow you to be worry free. Imagine watering such plants at least twice a day (or in case three times a day). No wonder for every gardener it is important to see that his plants are getting ample water. In places where there is less rainfall, you may have to make up the difference by watering the lush manually. This may take more of your time causing your water bills to rise. By opting for plastic plant pots you may not have to worry about any such thing as you will not end up watering them as many times as you would be if you will plant the lush in other varieties of planters. This is not all. With plastic plant pots bought from renowned UK based distributors you will be more than happy to have a colourful decorative garden. For the reason that they are available in a variety of colours, sizes, shapes and design you can have them to add a splash of colour to the gardens as well as to make your gardens look splendidly elegant.