Gardening Chores Done With A Flamethrower

If you’ve never given thought to getting gardening chores done with a flamethrower, you’re probably not alone.  I’m not sure too many gardeners would have given that much thought.  But have you ever had any really balky weeds that you just can’t seem to eradicate no matter what you try?  Have you any large brush piles that you can’t seem to compost quickly enough?  Here’s some information from an article appearing in iol Lifestyle from London that talks about how some gardening chores might get done with a flamethrower.

Gardening chores done with a flamethrower

Forget garden tools and snow shovels – a trio of designers believes many of your household chores can be completed using a somewhat unlikely device: a flamethrower. The petrol-powered $699 (£466) XM42 shoots streams of flaming fuel up to 7.6 metres and its creators claim this can be used to clear snow, eliminate weeds and kill insects.

I’m sure that the thought of clearing snow with one of these flamethrowers might have had an appeal to some people in the northeast part of the US this winter.  Somehow in the back of my mind the thought of using a flamethrower is associated with the idea of doing damage to something.  Might have felt good to blast this year’s winter snowfall.  Here’s a few other thoughts about that flamethrower written about in iol Lifestyle.

The XM42 was built by Cincinnati-based Ion Productions, run by Chris Byars, Tony Sroka and Jim Stewart. It is currently a prototype and the firm launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund production of the finished model. Once the ignition is pressed, flames are fired at the press of a button between 6 metres and 7.6 metres from the nozzle. It runs on 87 octane gasoline, which is available directly from petrol stations across the US.

You can read more about the legality of such a gardening tool by clicking here or on the link below.  There are some interesting comments reported that the company makes about the product, such as, ‘We strongly encourage using the XM42 outdoors away from others and away from anything that could be accidentally set on fire. Duh!  With a range of 20 to 25 feet, I would guess you wouldn’t want to have gardening chores done with a flamethrower inside your home.  Interesting read, and if you really get into wanting a flamethrower, check out the link below for an option to the XM42.


Growing A Beautiful Cactus Garden

If you have never given consideration to growing a beautiful cactus garden, I would recommend that you give it some thought.  I happened to have had the good fortune of spending two weeks in Arizona recently, and visiting the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix was a highly recommended site.  After having been there myself, I would highly recommend any trip to the Phoenix area include a visit to the Garden.  Charlotte West has written an article about growing cacti in Utah, her part of the desert southwest.  I would suspect that if growing a beautiful cactus garden is in your plans and you lived in the southwest USA, her recommendations would hold true for you as well.  She first talks about a few local plants before getting to how to plant cacti.  Here’s one that people from non-desert areas will recognize.

Growing a beautiful cactus garden

Growing a beautiful cactus garden

Cattails often grow along roadside areas or any lower slope that usually receives run off water. I found mine by simply asking a stranger if I could gather some from their yard. After transplanting, the plant goes into shock or even dies back. It will usually come back the next year. Still take care of the plant in this state, as it’s in the “taking root” phase. It is also best to gather in the spring when the shoots are young, but you may want to take someone with you that has experience as cattails are often confused with poisonous yellow iris. You must be able to recognize the difference.

While the cattail is an interesting plant, it’s not one that is used in most gardens in non-desert states.  You can always tell where water tends to collect and where there are damp areas in the landscape, because it is there that cattails are found in the more northern states.  I don’t know if there are red winged blackbirds in the desert southwest, but these territorial birds are often found in the swampy areas where cattails grow in the more northerly states.  Here is what Charlotte says about how to grow cactus plants.

Moving on to cacti, the simplest of all to transplant. You can either dig up a whole plant from someone you know who possibly already has an abundance, seeing as they grow rapidly and can get out of hand. However, the method I prefer is to cut off a section of the existing cacti at any angle. If you choose the cutting method, let the cuttings scab over for few days before you plant to help avoid rot. Once they have scabbed over, plant them very shallowly (this is the same as if you have dug up the plant as well). Due to the wind in southern Utah, you might want to prop up the cacti with a few large rocks at the base to keep it from toppling over.

Charlotte tells her readers in her article, which you can read by clicking here or on the link below, what equipment would come in handy if you would like to grow a cactus plant using her cutting method.  She also gives you additional information about growing a beautiful cactus garden that you can obtain by reading her article.  How much water should I give the transplanted cactus?  What should I do if the cactus topples over?  What kind of soil should I prepare for the cactus plant?  And don’t forget, even if you don’t live in the desert southwest, you can still grow cactus plants.  Check out the link below.


Don’t Call Garden Soil Dirt

If you’re a serious gardener, you know that you don’t call garden soil dirt, because garden soil is much more than dirt.  But if you aren’t knowledgeable about garden soil, you can read an excellent article by Charlotte Ekker Wiggins.  Soil differs greatly from one place in the country to the next.  In fact, when talking with my supplier of lawn fertilizers, she showed me our county soil map that displayed about five different soil types in the county.  She informed me that across the road from her place of business the soil contained a lot of sand and gravel, and the soil in her place of business and sod farm high was in organic material.  So don’t call garden soil dirt.  Learn what makes up good garden soil by reading Charlotte’s article.

Photo by ryochiji

Don’t call garden soil dirt.
Photo by ryochiji

Yes, I can summarize the secret to gardening success in one word: soil. Don’t call it “dirt” as I did years ago to a boss who happened to have a soils university degree. “Soil,” I can still remember him saying, “is living and breathing and none of us would be here without it.” No hyperbole there. There are more microorganisms in a handful of soil than there are people on earth. An average soil sample is 45 percent minerals, 25 percent water, 25 percent air and 5 percent organic matter.

Charlotte gives the reader a simple way to identify what your garden soil contains.  She explains that there are different layers in the soil, and she identifies them for her readers. She also gives her readers suggestions on what to do to improve their garden soil if there are missing layers or layers that are insufficient to make up good soil for growing a garden.

In a garden, a layer of dark, fertile humus made of rotting plants lies at the soil’s surface. Underneath, topsoil contains plant roots, and plant and animal remains that bacteria and fungi are breaking down. Worms feed on organic material and convert it into plant nutrients. As they move through, soil also becomes more absorbent, fertilized and better aerated.

Charlotte notes the three basic kinds of soil and explains the importance of soil having live bacteria and fungus in it.  She tells her readers with a bag of inert bag that goes as garden soil at your local big box store.  It isn’t really good garden soil, and while you don’t call that bag of garden soil dirt, you don’t call it soil which is ready for planting.  Read her article by clicking here or on the link below to learn what Charlotte does to get that bag of garden soil ready to put into her garden.  For an alternative to her suggestion that may save you some time, you can use the microbial inoculant below.


Grow The World’s Best Tomatoes

If you want to grow the world’s best tomatoes, all you need to do is read the article by Melinda Myers.  Well, you’ll have to do a little more than just read her article.  You’ll need to do a little work to make that happen, but if you grow tomatoes, you’re going to do some work to get them to produce anyway.  So you may as well do what Melinda recommends, so that instead of growing just mediocre tomatoes, you can grow the world’s best tomatoes.  Here’s how to get started.

Grow the world’s best tomatoes with towers.

Make this your biggest and tastiest tomato harvest yet with proper planting and care. Reduce pest problems and increase the harvest by growing your tomatoes in a sunny location with well-drained soil or in a quality potting mix for container gardens. Improve your garden soil by adding several inches of organic matter to the top eight to 12 inches of soil prior to planting. Compost, aged manure, and other organic materials help improve drainage in heavy clay soil and increase the water holding ability of sandy soil.

Proper soil preparation is always the first step.  If your soil isn’t right, your produce will not be what it could, no matter the variety of tomato plant you are trying to grow.  That goes as well for any garden plant.  Make sure your soil is properly prepared.  You’ll be rewarded several times over for taking the time to make sure your garden soil is rick in organic material.  Read Melinda’s article to learn what to do about fertilizer and when to actually plant those tomato plants.  Next comes how to plant them.

Plant your tomatoes slightly deeper or in a trench for better rooting. Trench tomatoes by digging a shallow trench about 3 to 4 inches deep. Remove the lower leaves and lay the plant on its side in the hole. Roots will eventually form along the stem. Carefully bend the stem, so the upper leaves will be above the soil. Fill the trench with soil and water.

I’ll bet you never planted a tomato plant on its side in a trench.  But it makes sense. The larger the root system, the better nourished will be the plant and the tomatoes it produces.  Just be careful in bending the stem so as not to break it off.  If you want to grow the world’s best tomatoes, be sure to read Melinda’s article by clicking here or on the link below. Read her article for information about staking, towering, watering and harvesting your tomatoes.  Don’t pass up this read.


How To Garden In Safety

Though gardening provides many benefits to us personally, it is important for gardeners to know how to garden in safety.  You may not think of gardening as having any dangerous aspects related to it, but there are certain things to avoid and certain things to make sure you do to keep yourself safe during this year’s gardening activities.  If you want to know what potential hazards to avoid, Medical Xpress has a good article about how to garden in safety.

How to garden in safety with proper tools.

Proper clothing and safety gear is essential. Wear gloves to protect your hands from skin irritants, cuts and contaminants. Guard against ticks and mosquitoes by wearing a long-sleeved shirt and long pants tucked into your socks. High rubber boots are a good idea because ticks usually lurk close to the ground. Use an insect repellant with DEET, the CDC recommends.

Sometimes I don’t give a lot of thought to what I wear when I go out to garden.  Throw on an old pair of jeans, and away I go.  Then I pay the price.  I do have allergies, and I do have allergies to some plants.  I often have skin irritations when in contact with tomato plants.  I know it sounds weird, but I’ll bet I’m not the only one who has that problem.  I’m better off if I go into the garden with a long sleeved shirt than a short sleeved one, even thought the temperature may be 85 degrees.  I won’t be scratching my arms later in the day.  We also need to be aware of other conditions that we may have that would contribute to potential gardening dangers.

If you have arthritis, use tools that are easy to grasp and that suit your ability. If you are taking medications that make you drowsy or impair your judgment or reaction time, don’t climb ladders, operate power tools or equipment or any other activities that could put you at risk for injury.

The author also mentions other situations that could cause problems in the garden.  You can read about them by clicking here or on the link below.  Before your gardening activities get into full swing, you may want to prepare yourself to keep yourself as safe as possible as you enjoy this year’s gardening activities by learning how to garden in safety.


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