Gardening and Pruning Tips Using Lopper and Rain Barrels

Drought resistant shrubs and plants can lower the water requirements in any home garden, especially important now when so much development is occurring in areas with low water reserves. In fact, many cities and counties are severely limiting the amount of lawn grass that can be planted in new developments because lawn grasses require so much water to keep them looking green and healthy.

However, regardless of where you live in North America, you should start considering less water greedy alternatives to traditional grass lawns. Extending patio or deck areas, building terraces, allowing woodland gardens to go natural and landscaping or re-landscaping with drought resistant plant species are all good alternatives.

Drought resistant plants tend to share one or more of the following physical characteristics:

  • fleshy thick stems and leaves, (succulents such as like cactus, sedums and jade plants)
  • waxy coated leaves (herbs and flowers like rosemary, wax-leaf begonia)
  • densely hairy leaves (plants like lamb’s ears or Stacys)
  • silvery, grayish or bluish foliage (such as Artemisia, Dianthus)
  • narrow leaves (like ornamental grasses)
  • prickly leaves (such as globe thistle or Eryngium)

Though the plants in the following lists will require some water, the amount they need is at the low end of the scale. Drought resistant evergreens and deciduous trees include White fir, Box Elder, Gray Birch, Cedars, Hackberry, Spruces, Pines, Oaks, Staghorn Sumac, Black Locust, White Cedar and most Elms. Good shrub choices for low water needs include: Dutchman’s Pipe, Red Chokeberry, Butterfly Bush, Trumpet creeper, Blue mist Spirea, Flowering Quince, Sweet Autumn Clematis, Carolina Allspice, Cotoneaster, Scotch Broom, Witch Hazel, Virginia Sweetspire, Juniper, Honeysuckle, Russian Arborvitae, Bayberry, Virginia creeper, Cinquefoil Shrub roses, Yew and Weigela.

Good low-watering flower and ornamental grass choices include: Yarrow, Blue Stars, Wormwood, Butterfly Flower, False Indigo Feather Reed Grass, Heather, Sedge, Goldenstar, Coreopsis, Hardy Ice Plant, Dianthus, Coneflower, Plume Grass, Blue Fescue, Blanket Flower, Geranium, Baby’s Breath, Hellebore, Daylily, Plantain Lily, ( in shade) Dead Nettle, Lavender, Lupine, Catmint, Evening Primrose, Switch Grass, Poppy, Foxtail Grass, Peony, Phlox, Russian Sage, Hens and chicks, Thyme, Black-eyed daisy, periwinkle and yucca.

Sticking with plants from these categories will help ensure that the demands you make on our water supplies remain reasonable while your garden remains healthy and green. The Desert Mallow plant has prickly, hairy, long thin light green leaves and grows approximately 2-3 feet tall. Drought tolerant wild flowers that grow well in extreme heat, direct sun, and poor soil. When planting flowers and plants for garden it is necessary that they are regularly prune, otherwise in few months there will be lot of unwanted branches and roots. Regularly pruning keeps your garden look beautiful and attractive. You may need pruning tools like shear, pruner or loppers. We will be discussing about how to choose the best loppers in UK for pruning later in this article.

Pruning tips for garden

Most plants benefit from some sort of regular pruning and maintenance. If the plant has pairs of buds opposite each other, make the cut straight if you want both buds to grow. There are several reasons why it is important to prune evergreen and deciduous shrubs. When you prune correctly, you encourage healthy growth and flowering (in the case of flowering plants), as well as good looks. The trick is in knowing when to prune what. loppers for pruning UK

  • Alternatively cut at an angle to remove one of the pair where a single stem is required.
  • If a plant becomes a tangle of overgrown branches it is more likely to succumb to pests and diseases, and will become less vigorous, resulting in a poor display of flowers.
  • For most shrubs and trees, it helps to prune at the right time.
  • A great many flowering and fruiting plants prefer to be pruned while they are dormant, in late winter through early spring.
  • Cut out any old or dead wood at the base of the plant to encourage strong new shoots from the base.

Cutting back regularly also helps to maintain an attractive shape and prevents plants from suffocating more compact neighbours, such as flowering perennials. Some are best pruned in winter; some right after flowering. Appearance in the landscape is essential to a plant’s usefulness. Some, like spring blooming trees and shrubs, will start setting new buds as soon as the old buds have fallen. You may need to use long-handled loppers for more leverage if the wood is thick and tough. With newer reblooming types, such as the Endless Summer Series or Let’s Dance Series, which bloom on new growth as well as old wood, timing of pruning is less critical.

For most landscapes, a plant’s natural form is best. These will need to be pruned shortly after flowering, or you risk pruning off the new buds with the old. Some trees can bleed sap if pruned in late winter and early spring. Even if you cut off some of the flower buds by pruning the old stems, the plant will bloom on the new growth. Avoid shearing shrubs into tight geometrical forms that can adversely affect flowering unless it needs to be confined or trained for a specific purpose.

When a branch is positioned at a 45- to 60-degree angle, the flow of carbohydrates, hormones, and nutrients naturally favors the formation of flower buds. Although seldom fatal, this is unsightly and can weaken the tree. When plants are properly pruned, it is difficult to see that they have been pruned! With many deciduous fruit trees, like apple, almond, and pear trees, the flower buds become long-term fruiting places, called spurs, in the following years. Birches and walnuts often bleed if pruned at the wrong time. Summer pruning can be useful to check over-vigorous growth, for example in suckering species of Populus, or restricted forms of fruit such as espalier apples. This pruning is generally light, and is carried out late enough not to promote new growth.

Buying a lopper for pruning in UK

If you are a gardening freak, then check out from some of the best Gardening Loppers 2017 for the coming year 2017. Lopper blades are sometimes covered with a non-stick coating that resists sap and other sticky materials. The ratcheting loppers latch when you squeeze them, they allow you to release and squeeze again. Like any product, there are many factors that go into making a good tree lopper. They are worth purchasing and are available from online stores at an affordable price.

  • This is particularly handy if you’ll be pruning trees, like pine, that have especially sticky sap or pitch.
  • This makes the cutting rather easy.
  • And, depending on your own personal tree trimming needs, what’s considered the perfect tool for you may not be for another.
  • The power drive pruning anvil Lopper helps you to effortlessly cut through thick branches of trees and thick bladed grass in your garden.
  • Another thing to look at is how closely the blades pass as you open and close them; the closer the better.

The compound lopper has multiple moving parts and pivots. But in order for a tree lopper to perform its basic duty of removing branches, there are a few key features that are must haves. Stand still and watch the pruning Lopper do your job effortlessly they can slice through thick branches compared to the conventional loppers. Quality loppers will allow you to adjust the tightness of the cutting mechanism and ensure that the blades are tightly held against each other. With the compound action lopper, you have to open it further to have the blades cover the branch entirely.

Types of loppers
garden loppers 2017The tools pictured on the left are known as anvil types, and those on the right are known as bypass types. Lopper blades are made of steel, with the best in the market being made of carbon steel or hardened steel. We have been surprised in these reviews just how much lopper you can get for your money. Geared lopper use the gear mechanism providing more leverage when cutting. Anvil pruners and loppers have a blade that closes against an anvil on the lower jaw. They are less likely to bend, and they last for longer. While it still holds true that you get what you pay for, you see to be able to get a lot with loppers! Really good loppers that do cut thick branches with ease.

The anvil is a softer metal than the blade. Some models are covered with a nonstick coating that prevents gumming up on the blade while cutting green branches. While it is easy for us to say, don’t just choose a pair because of the price. The extending mechanism on the telescopic arms work well and they reach probably further than any other loppers we have seen which is handy if you are cutting high into trees or bushes. Bypass pruners and loppers have a blade that sweeps past the lower jaw. Pruning can be heavy, repetitive work, and trying to take too big a bite with the wrong tool is the quickest way to increase your own weariness and frustration while also shortening the life of your equipment. Think about and research exactly what you will need your loppers to do and then make the loppers to your criteria.

Anvil vs Bypass Lopper
They are not overly heavy but not the lightest available either. There’s an important difference between the two. Certain tools, like those with compound-action gears, will make the task easier. The prices for the loppers we have chosen for our selection range from £10 to around £50, with the powered loppers coming in at £100. However, with the large branch diametre that they are able to cut, this is probably a sacrifice worth making. Manual pole pruners are often the best choice for pruning smaller or higher branches. But the best way to keep things comfortable whenever you go out to prune is to wear gloves and make sure your tools are clean and sharp. When gardeners begin shopping for a lopper, they should purchase a tool with a carbon-steel blade.

An excellent all-rounder that is perfect for all types of pruning. They are lightweight, easy to handle, and won’t leave you with a sore back (if you are careful). Also, you don’t need to run cables or struggle to start a gas engine that doesn’t want to start! They should also make sure that the device will allow them to replace parts as they begin to wear out. If you’re cutting anything above 20mm you’ll want to look at loppers. They can also be found in much longer lengths than powered pole saws. When gardeners begin pruning, they should find a comfortable way to stand. These work in a similar way to pruners, but you’ll need to use 2 hands as they come with long handles that extend to give you more leverage and make it easier to get to those hard to reach branches. >Professional pole pruners can reach up to 21 feet, and you don’t need to be Hercules to use one. For example, they should keep their feet apart and avoid working directly over their head to prevent injury since branches could land on gardeners. Loppers are what you need if you want to do heavy pruning and dead wooding.

Rain Water harvesting for garden

As we all know the importance of water and how our lives depend on it. Therefore it is essential that we save water as much as we can for our future generation. One of the best way to save water is by harvesting rain water. These can be done by number of ways and it is also easy. You can buy a good rain barrel that can hold about 55 gallons of water. The system to harvest rain water is also an easy task and you can setup by your own in few hours. The rain water collected in rain barrels can be use in your garden and also for other purposes. Continue reading Gardening and Pruning Tips Using Lopper and Rain Barrels

Robot Telescopes Online for You

One of the best things about camping out is to lay in the sleeping bag at night, high up in the mountains, and look up at the night sky. All those familiar objects like the belt of Orion, Vega, Polaris, and the Big Dipper are gone. Well not really, there are just another million or so lights up there with them. There are huge rivers of stars, blotches of stars and gaggles of stars everywhere. That does not count the shooting stars, satellites, and the occasional bat flitting by.

On Mother’s Day I saw an article about narco submarines and that had me looking up blue-green lasers for penetrating seawater to track submarines, which lead to tripping over telescopes. Hmm, there must be places where you can use robot telescopes online, right?


I found one site called Bright Hub with a list of available online telescopes. So I tried a couple.

The first one was the Micro Observatory by way of NASA and Harvard. It looks like the telescope is in Southern California from the web site. I chose a suggested view of the Lagoon Nebula in color and with a few clicks and my email I got this back the next day:

The return email had instructions on how to use the software and align the three filtered photographs of the observation I had selected to make the color image. There is a link to free software to doing the assembly and adjusting the image quality. (You can also just get black and white images that are very good also.)

Yes, this is a real image of the night sky from telescope you can order made yourself. There are many great pictures of this particular nebula that you can find, and this one is not in the drawer with National Geographic, but it is one I had done in real-time from my own computer.