How to grow and care for a heather plant

Heather plants are hardy, colorful, low-growing perennial shrubs native to the heaths, moors, and woodlands or Europe and Asia Minor. Well suited to marginal pastures, heathers are low-maintenance plants that can thrive in acidic soil with little fertilizer in and near-drought conditions.

The evergreen plants provide year-round displays of color from flowers and leaves. Depending on the type of heather plant, the flowers bloom between July and November and come in pink, lavender, white, magenta, amethyst, purple and red. If a gardener plans it right, a field full of different types of heather will remain colorful for a longtime, with new plants blooming just when others begin to fade.

Just as important as flower color is the foliage color, which can be found in pink, red, copper, bronze, gold, silvery gray, and every shade of green imaginable. They keep their color though the winter, breaking up the dreary tans and browns of winter landscapes.

CLIMATE: The colder, damper climates of the New England and the Pacific Northwest are well suited to growing heather, however, and gardeners in the northern Midwest, Great Plains, and Rocky Mountain areas should have fair success.

SOIL: The heather plant will do just fine in rocky soil, making them good candidates for coastal hillsides where few plants grow. Slightly acidic soil with a pH of 4.5 – 5.5 will work well for this plant.

SUN: As a general guideline, heather plants should get four to six hours of sunlight daily. So it is best to plant it in a place with enough sunlight throughout the year. The more sunshine this plant receives, the brighter are its leaves and flowers. Not enough sun will cause the plant to look leggy and dull.

SPACING: When you are ready to start growing a heather plant, consider the space a mature plant needs to fully develop. On average, these plants grow up to twenty inches tall and three feet wide.

PLANTING: The best time to plant the heather is in the spring or beginning of fall. Seed, division and cuttings can start new heather plants. If starting by cuttings, the best time to take them is in summer when the wood is half-ripe.

WATERING: After getting the plants into the ground, water them until the ground is moist. Follow this watering ritual twice a week for a few months. As with most plants, do not over water them. If the soil remains too wet the plant will suffer and possibly die.

The heather plant is hardy and resistant to insects, common diseases, and small burrowing rodents.

Aloe The Wonder Plant

Everyone wants to look young and stay young. “Wow! You look too young for your age!” – This is the comment that everyone wants to hear at least once during life time. It is certainly impossible if you sit in a penance and wait for the Gods to appear before you and bestow you with perpetual youth. It is up to you to care for your appearance. If there is anything that can make you look younger than your actual age, it is Aloe. Aloe Vera, or Aloe as it is commonly known, is a magical plant that is capable of repairing your aged skin cells and reversing the ageing process of the skin. This might seem to be an overstatement for some who has no idea about this magical plant. The benefits availed by using Aloe Vera are scientifically proven by both scientists and medical researchers.

Here is a crux of what this wonder plant does. When a baby is born, he/she has a lot of collagen in their skin cells. Collagen is the substance that gives elasticity to the skin. It is this elasticity that makes the skin look young. As a baby grows to be an adult, the amount of collagen starts to reduce. Thereby, the skin loses its elasticity. Moreover, skin renewal does not happen, as a result of which age reflects on your skin. When a person uses Aloe Vera’s gel, the gel penetrates itself into the skin cells, and stimulates the development of collagen. Thereby, your skin’s ageing process gets reversed and aged cells get rejuvenated.

With continuous use of Aloe Vera, you can find that fine lines and wrinkles on your face disappear gradually. Aloe Vera imparts a certain natural glow to your face that is not seen with any other facial product. Aloe Vera gel has been used since ages, to relieve skin discomforts like acne, pimples, and other serious skin disorders. The plant is also applied externally to wounds and burns. Research shows that wounds and burns heal faster with continued application of Aloe to wounds.

A lot ofForever Living Products are available in the market. These include Aloe Vera Gel, Aloe Vera syrup, Aloe Shampoos, and so on. Aloe shampoos are the sought-after products of most men and women, owing to the exceptional conditioning and nourishment that it offers to their hair. Aloe can also be consumed as a health drink. Those who have digestive discomfort should try this drink for sure.

Studies also show that consuming Aloe internally can treat Type II diabetes. It is also believed that Aloe is capable of inhibiting tumor outgrowth. Several cosmetologists and cosmetic product manufacturers now use the leaf and flower extracts of Aloe Barbedensis in their beauty products. Aloe Vera Products are available in almost all shops and supermarkets. It is always better to buy processed Aloe from reputed manufacturers. This will ensure that you get the best results. Try Aloe right now and experience the difference that it creates.

Plants Can Die During A Warm Spell.

To state the obvious, plants cannot live without water – a protracted dry spell in the summer months can result in serious losses the plants most at risk. Newly planted shrubs and trees, bedding plants, shallow-rooted vegetables and climbers growing close to a house. Even deep rooted well established plants like Roses can suffer, trials have shown that growth is impaired and the flowering season is curtailed if these plants are not watered during a dry summer.

As with all garden plants, the battle against water shortage begins well prior to the dry days of summer. Incorporate adequate organic matter into the soil before planting or sowing, and ensure that the soil is completely moist to a depth of about 9 inches when planting or sowing. Mulch in late spring – you will have now done all of the preparatory work that you possibly can.

Problems:

Soil with an average crop of plants loses about four and a half gallons of water per sq. yd per week in the summer and 2 gallons per week in spring and autumn. This is equivalent to 1 inch of rain water in summer and 1/2 inch in spring or autumn. If there is no rain and you have not watered the ground, this water comes from your soil’s reserve and drying out occurs.

A point is reached when there is not enough water left to support healthy plant growth, and foliage starts to appear dull. Leaf rolling is soon followed by wilting and leaf fall, the final stage is death.

The solution:

The solution is, obviously, to water….. but to do this properly is not as simple as it sounds. Timing, quantity and method all have to be considered. There is, on the other hand, a few general principles.

A plant should never be left until it starts to show visible signs of distress during a prolonged period of drought. Wilting means that you have waited too long, the time to water your plants is when the soil below a couple of inches depth is dry and the foliage looks dull.

Never apply a small quantity of water (less than 1 gallon per sq,yd) and then repeat the watering every few days. This constant soaking of your surface and water-starvation of the lower root zone results in rapid evaporation, surface rooting which can be damaged in hot weather, and germination of weed seeds.

Choose from overall watering and point watering. When you have a substantial area go through and lots of plants of various sizes, then overall watering must be your choice. This involves watering an area instead of restricting the watering to the root zone of every individual plant. Some people use a watering can, but you actually do will want a hose pipe if watering is not to be a prolonged chore.

The usual system is to walk slowly along the borders and around the beds with a hand-held hose fitted with a suitable nozzle. a sprinkler makes the task easier and is necessary for all but the tiniest of lawns.

The better approach to watering vegetables and shrubs are the sprinkler hoses and seep hoses, but they can be expensive. Point watering is used where there is a limited amount of large plants to deal with. The methods used are all designed to limit the water to the immediate zone covered by the roots of every plant.

Water thoroughly when you have decided to water. If you are using a watering can, remove the rose. Hold the spout near the base of the plant and water slowly. If you use a sprinkler water in the evening – never in hot sunshine. With overall watering apply 2 – 4 gallons per sq. yd, using the higher amount during midsummer in sandy soils and with high risk plants.

With point watering use 1 – 4 gallons per plant, depending on the size of shrub or tree. Repeat the watering if there is no rain. There is no easy way to work out the right time to do this repeat watering. Dig down with a trowel and examine the soil at 3 – 4 inches below the surface. If it’s dry, then water. As a general rule watering will probably be required about every 7 days during a period of drought.

Plants For Heavy Clay Soils

Plants for heavy clay soils are surprisingly quite common and can be propagated as easy as most other gardening plants.

Now we all know heavy clay soil is difficult to dig, it sticks to your boots, it sticks to your spade, even a stainless steels spade, it sticks to everything. And it compacts just by walking on it and water will lay in puddles.

Not ideal conditions for plants then?

Well some plants actually thrive in heavy clay soils and by choosing the right ones you can have perfect flowering borders and beds just the same as anyone who has normal soil.

So, what can you plant in heavy clay soils.

Plants for heavy clay soils should be split into two types, those which prefer shade and those which will thrive in direct sun.

These are few favourites that will perform well in heavy clay soils..

Shade plants for heavy clay soils:

Astrantia
Aconitum
Filipendula
Ligularia
Rodgersia
Tiarella

Sun plants for heavy clay soils:

Astilbe
Lysmachia
Lythrum
Monarda
Phlok
Ranunculus
Trollis

All these plants will benefit from a mulch of well-rotted compost or bark chippings.

Once established you can propagate them as normal and collect seeds, take cuttings or divide, depending on the plant.

But if you want to grow more types of plants you can modify your clay soil, just read on..

Clay Soils Some Answers to Your Problems

Heavy clay soils can be difficult to dig, in fact it’s hard work just turning over a couple of spade fulls.

And walking on the soil will compact it and break down its structure, which prevents water from soaking through the surface.

When the soil is wet air cannot penetrate through the surface. This leads to ideal conditions for slugs and soil diseases. It also means plant roots will usually just rot.

Given a nice hot sunny day and the surface of clay soils will bake solid, start cracking and shrink as it dries hard as rock.

Even just digging can cause the surface to compact if it is wet.

Not much chance of growing plants then!

Well there are some solutions.

Some easier than others and some better than others.

The best solution, and quite easy to do, is to make raised beds. You only need about 23cm (9inch) depth.

But 30cm (12inches) would be much better and is well worth the extra effort.

The next best solution, but fairly hard work, is to dig in plenty of horticultural grit. You will need a good 7.5cm (3inch) layer and it will need to be dug in well.

You may need to repeat this a couple of times to get the maximum benefit.

It is also extremely beneficial to dig in plenty of well-rotted manure or compost. By the cartload, the more the better.

Don’t be tempted to just but a layer of grit in the bottom of planting holes. This just makes an ideal place for water to drain in to with disastrous consequences for any plants.

Potassium Humate Benefits for Plants

Agricultural experts are touting the benefits of potassium humate for growing plants to aide in increase our food sources. Many third world countries use this organic fertilizer compound to promote root growth and improve the surrounding soil of the crop structure. It is a highly dissolvable ingredient in its various forms such as a powder, granular, or crystal. Plants which are fed through the elements in the soil containing prescribed levels of humic acid with potassium are healthier, stronger, and produce a more abundant yield.

Yielded crops from humate with a potassium content are free from crop diseases which in turn deters insects from destroying them. This natural compound can restore balance in weak soil areas wherever seedlings are planted. While growing, the resulting plant growth receives healthy vital nutrients through its leaves and roots. Humate and potassium work together in the ground to also provide just the right trace amounts of plant vitamins and soil minerals to promote natural development.

The chemical compound of these ingredients serves as a molecular exchange to increase the minerals and nutrients in any acidic soil environment. This multi-functional composite decreases or neutralizes any toxicity in the soil for health and abundant plant growth. Research and tests have revealed that the natural mixture of potassium and humate is very beneficial to the bio-organic farming system.

Potassium humate does not form any land pollution which could effect water systems or our food supply. Humate is the result of humic acid which is an organic soil bio-degradation of dead plant matter and woody material. Potassium is a normal soil ingredient whose function it is to regulate the growth of plants for proper harvest times. In varying environments it aides in drought areas, keeps plants from freezing and adds more color and flavor to plant life.

Combining humate and potassium together improves the soil’s ability hold more water, keeps the temperature of the soil perfect for plant growth. It also helps to aerate the soil and speeds up seed germination, especially in a plant’s hormone levels. This elemental combination is designed for each plant’s nutritional requirements for a successful yield.

Agricultural researchers, farmers and botanists enjoy using the amalgamation of potassium and humate as their soil fertilizer. Countries which use it to defend their plants from harmful insects, organisms which destroy plants, rough environments or unhealthy soils include China, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Thailand, South Africa, USA, Egypt, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. When it comes to the demands of the public to purchase chemically free and pesticide free foods, this natural fertilizer combination of potassium humate is the naturally organic consumer answer.

Contractor’s Plant & Machinery Insurance- Benefits And Exclusions

Coverage: Plant and equipment often constitute a considerable part of a building contractor’s investment. Contractor’s Plant and Machinery insurance is an exclusive all risks policy covering the plant and machinery used by the contractors at the site for various projects.
Contractors Plant and Machinery Insurance covers the property whether they are at work or at rest, or being dismantled for the purpose of cleaning or overhauling, or in the course of operations or when being shifted within the premises or during subsequent re-erection, but in any case only after successful commissioning.

Interest Covered: Illustrations of machineries/equipment that can be covered under Contractors Plant & Machinery insurance are-
– Earthmoving equipment: Bulldozer, grader, scraper, excavator, loader, dumper, etc
– Concrete mixer, concrete pumps
– Lifting equipment and drilling equipment Road surfacing equipment:
– Batching plant for production of concrete of asphalt
– Concrete or bitumen paving machines
– Bitumen tank sprayers (iv) rollers

Duration: Normally on annual basis and to be renewed periodically

Scope: It is an all risks insurance policy covering loss or damage to the property by any cause other than those excluded-
– Fire, lightning, explosion, aircraft damage
– Riot, strike, malicious act
– Flood, inundation, storm, cyclone and allied perils
– Landslide, subsidence and rockslide
– Burglary and theft
– Collision, overturning and falling of foreign object
– Any other sudden, unforeseen, accidental damages not explicitly excluded

Exclusions: Some of the special exclusions under the policy are-
– Electrical /mechanical breakdown
– Vehicles designed and licensed for general road
– Hull and machinery of waterborne vessel/crafts
– Plant/machinery working underground
– Equipments undergoing testing
– Replaceable parts
– Loss or damage due to explosion of boiler/pressure vessel
– Total or partial immersion in tidal waters
– Whilst in transit
– Consequential Loss

Extensions: Cover can be extended to includes up to a limit chosen by you on the following on payment of additional premium-
– Owner’s surrounding property
– Clearence and removal of debris
– Additional customs duty
– Express freight
– Air freight
– Third party liability
– Floater cover
– Dismantling
– Earthquake
– Escalation”””

How to Build Home Made Power Plant

Would you like to find out more about the Home Made Power Plant guide, and whether or not you can really build your own sources of power at home? Having your own power sources at home can save a lot of money. I decided to get the Home Made Power Plant guide to learn how to build my own wind turbines and solar panels at home.

The Negatives: The book is not a perfect step by step example of exactly how to build the same solar panels and wind generators that the author, Frank Patrick, built. But, it does a better job at this than most of its competitors.

This informative manual will teach you how to cut your energy costs by up to 80%. It will also show you how it is possible to get your utility company to pay you, each month, for the surplus energy you generate. It is possible!

The manual also provides step-by-step instructions (photos included) on how to build your own solar and wind generators, for the unbelievable price of UNDER $200. Both of these generators will last a lifetime and will save you thousands of dollars, overall.

As the technology to mass produce cheap electrical power from the wind advances, wind power is expected to play a much larger role in energy production. Nuclear power plants are also expected to contribute to more energy production than in the past. As the world strives to reduce it’s dependence on fossil fuels, the future looks brighter than ever for renewable energy sources.

Working with wood and metal to build specified objects can be rewarding and fun. Actually, you can construct and install equipment for approximately $200 which will produce sufficient energy to run each of your residential appliances. With a well-constructed wind generator, a good 20 mph breeze is enough to let you produce extra electricity. What’s left can be stored and made useful when the wind is weak. Owning a power plant means always having electricity.

Frank Patrick, the creator of Home Made Power Plant, said that those bonus were available just the day of my order, but they are still now available, so no need to worry about that: I think they will be available for many months. I took one and a half day to build the solar panel following the Home Made Solar Plant’s plan. It wasn’t such easy to build, but it wasn’t difficult. Well, think that I’m an alternative energy researcher, a scientist, not an engineer! However, after less than 2 days, I was able to make my solar panel work.

A lot of people who bought this guide thought that the construction of an electricity generator will take a lot of time. However, they were able to finish everything in just a few hours. All the instructions and illustrations on the plan were so easy to follow. We hope that this Home Made Power Plant review was able to convince you about the benefits of an electricity generator system built by you yourself.

Top 7 Reasons Why Plants Wilt

You can tell a plant is starting to wilt when its leaves start to droop. Permanent wilting will cause the plant to die. However, if you address the underlying cause of the wilting as soon as you notice it, you can save the plant. Here are the top seven reasons that cause plants to wilt and how to fix the problem.

1. Under watering Plants derive their nutrients from water. If you under water a plant, it will not receive enough nutrients and it begins to die. The solution to this problem is simple water the plant more often. Unsure of how often to water? It really depends on the plant and its location. For example, an outdoor location that is exposed to the sun and winds will need more water than plants that are in the shade. To see if your plant needs water, simply touch the soil. If the soil is dry, then water the plant. If you need to, do this every day until you see a pattern showing how many days it takes for the soil to become dry.

2. Over watering Is just as dangerous as under watering. Too much water means that the roots of the plant cannot get enough oxygen, which is crucial for carrying the water throughout the plant. The short-term solution is to drain the excess water from the pot. The long-term solution is to give the plant less water. Remember however, it is more important to do a thorough watering once a week than to give the plant smaller amounts of water more frequently. The reason for this is because a thorough watering will allow the plant to develop a healthy and robust root system.

3. Root bound plants When there are more roots in the pot than soil, your plant is root bound. The reason that these plants wilt is that there is no soil to store any water for the future, so unless you water everyday, they don’t get the water they need. The solution? Re-pot the plant into a larger pot using lots of compost rich soil and water well.

4. Too much sun and heat The sun can scorch and burn both indoor and outdoor plants. As well, it is possible for plants to get too much heat. The solution is to move them if you can or provide a source of shade. Each plant is different in the amount of sun and heat that it can tolerate. If you are unsure, ask the staff at your local nursery. Not only will they know what each plant can tolerate, but they will also be familiar with the local climate and temperature zone.

5. Not enough light All plants need light to grow, although each one is different in the amount of light it needs. The first step in the solution to this problem is to check the recommended level of light for your particular plant. The next step is to move the plant to a sunnier location, or if it is an indoor plant, use artificial lights that are specifically designed for this purpose.

6. Over fertilizing Plants can burn if they receive too much fertilization. When adding fertilizer to the soil, be sure to carefully follow the directions on the package add no more and no less then what is stated. Also, fertilizer is best added during the growing season.

7. Broken stems Since the stem is broken, it cannot carry nutrients to that part of the plant. This can’t be repaired and it is best to remove the broken stem. For certain plants, such as African Violets, you can transplant the stem as long as it hasn’t been broken for too long. To transplant, simply put the stem in a small pot of soil and keep the soil moist. After a week or two, you will see new leaves starting to grow. The original stem may die, but it has grown roots and a new plant has been started.

Plant Spirit Shamanism – The Medicinal & Healing Plants of the Amazon Rainforest

Cats Claw (una de gato); Cat’s Claw is a tropical vine that grows in rainforest. This vine gets its name from the small thorns at the base of the leaves, which looks like a cat’s claw. These claws enable the vine to attach itself around trees climbing to a heights up to 150 feet. The inner bark of this vine has been used for generations to treat inflammations, colds, viral infections, arthritis, and tumors.

Cat’s Claw can be used as tonic to boost the body’s immune system. And is considered by many as a balancer returning the body’s functions to a healthy equilibrium. Its has anti-inflammatory and blood cleansing properties as well as being able to clean out the entire intestinal tract and therefore helps treat a wide array of digestive problems such as gastric ulcers, parasites, and dysentery.

From a psycho-spiritual, plant spirit, or shamanic perspective in which disease and illness can be initiated by a spiritual imbalance within a person causing the person to become de-spirited, or losing heart (in the West we would call this depression), it can restore this inner sacred union of spirit and physical body.

The medicinal properties of this plant are officially recognized by the Peruvian government and it is a protected (for export) plant. It is available widely in the west in capsule form. In the markets in Iquitos it is available in bark form, and many indigenous communities are increasingly cultivating this plant

Boahuasca; Used to heal Cancer of the stomach and intestines and prolapses. Also used against Uta, and cancerous, malignant wounds. The shaman’s make an ointment from the ash and apply directly.

The underlying truth that is revealed in working with the plant spirit or consciousness is that we are not separate from the natural world. We perceive ourselves to be separate beings with our minds firmly embedded within our being (typically our head). The plants can show you that this way of being is an illusion and that we are all connected, all of us and everything else is a discrete element in the great universal field of consciousness. This is an area where the ancient knowledge of the peoples of the rainforest and modern quantum physics point in the very same direction, Reality is an illusion, albeit a persistent one Albert Einstein.

Another way of seeing the shamans diet is that like the platitude all roads lead to Rome, all plants lead through different paths of experiences to the same place, i.e a deep and expanded understanding of ones place in the world around us and a recognition of self as an intrinsic element of this.

The indigenous people of the Amazon see life as having enough purpose just as it is. Fulfilment comes from being in tune with the spirits so there is an abundance of fish, bananas, yucca for making masato (alcoholic beverage), and plenty of healthy children, in short, life is for being happy!

Plants From Seed – Adapting To A Future World

After a plant has grown to maturity it will aim to produce an abundance of seed in order to create a new generation of plants. Annual plants complete this process then die within a year, biennials require 2 years to complete their life cycle and perennials can survive for many years.

Not only do seeds perpetuate the species into the future, more importantly they create a variety of individual seedlings. Some of these individuals will be more successful at surviving changes in the environment and as a result the species is able to adapt to new environments.

Plants grown from cuttings are essentially clones of a parent plant. This is a very useful feature when plants are grown as crops, but a serious weakness in the wild. The reduced ability of clones to adapt to changes in the environment increases their chances of becoming extinct. Hence in nature seed production is vital to the survival of flowering plants.

Over long periods of time seeds that are the result of sexual reproduction will allow for the evolution of new forms of plants and eventually new species. This process is happening at the moment throughout the world. This allows the plant world to replace the species that could not adapt to climatic and environmental changes leading to their extinction. Many plant species are close to extinction for natural as well as man made reasons and these are classified as endangered.

Practical use of seed production can be made on the hobby farm. Apart from growing crops the farmer can also be a hobby plant breeder. I plan to do this with olives. Each year I plan to grow a large number of seedlings and select some according to their foliage. Eventually I may find a seedling that will have the type of foliage I am looking for and this plant can be developed into a new ornamental olive variety. The same principle can be used when developing new olive fruits, but the process will take much longer as there is a need to wait until the seedlings produce a crop.

Another interesting area of seedling production is in the production of plant hybrids. These can be produced when two closely related species are cross-pollinated. This may result in a new plant with features of both parents. An example of a hybrid is the plumcot. This was produced when an apricot and plum were crossed. This process also takes a long time in order to assess the features of the hybrids, but this is an important activity carried out by plant breeders in research centers. I have always wanted to cross a cherry and a plum in order to come up with a cherry- plum hybrid that is easier to grow in Melbourne then the current cherry varieties.

Maybe you can be the proud breeder of a new mouth watering fruit or vegetable and possibly make some money from royalties. Make up your plan, be patient and persistent, set your imagination alight!