Butterfly Bush Care – How to Start a Butterfly Garden

When starting a butterfly garden keep in mind certain plants attract butterflies into your garden. The butterfly bush is one such plant. "Budleia" is the Latin term for the butterfly. Therefore if you see this name on the plant tag or in the description, you can be relatively sure it will attract butterflies to your garden.

Butterflies feed on nectar in order to survive. The butterfly bush is loaded with nectar; Therefore the bush attracts the fragile insects as well as bees and hummingbirds. The bush grows large clusters of blossoms that are supported by thin, fragile looking branches. These blossoms are known to grow two feet in length.

After a rain or watering the flower heavy branches droop to the ground. When planting the bush allow enough space between plants so that they fall over without touches each other. Over one hundred unique species of the butterfly bush have been identified, but the butterfly adores not all of them.

Most species of the bush are sweetly fragrant to humans and butterflies. The midday sun is when the nectar is at its sweetest. An attractive characteristic of the bush is its beautiful colored flowers that come in shades of blue, red, purple, pink and white. Late spring is when you see its first blooms and they remain on the plant until the first seasons frost.

Seven feet is an average height for the bush, however some grow twelve feet tall. The butterfly bush is a fast growing plant and will fill in bare spots with beautiful blooms rapidly. Butterfly bushes generally grow well in most soil types, as long as it is well drained. The bush is quite hardy once established and can survive mild droughts. Soggy soils can cause the roots to develop disease or die.

The butterfly bush is classified as a semi-evergreen in zones with mild winters. In the northern states, you may prune it to ground level, and the bush will re-grow from the roots.

In warmer climates found in the southern states, trimming back is not required because they'll grow to their maximum size and stay there year-round. Flower cluster may be pinched-off to encourage extended blooming. Plant the butterfly bush in a full or partly sunny location, them sit back and enjoy the pleasures the bush brings.

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How to Start a Vegetable Garden From Scratch!

1. Plot out your garden area. Decide on what you want to plant and how much room you will need to grow those plants. Also, the amount of sunlight is very important in picking out the proper placement of your garden. You will want an area that gets direct sunlight most for the day. Something else to take into account is the drainage of the land. You will not want your garden in a depressed area of ‚Äč‚Äčland because water will tend to flood those areas and won't drain properly. I prefer using a slightly sloped piece of land or a flat piece of land that retains and drains water properly. Once you have chosen the location and size of you garden you will want to mark the boundaries of the garden with stakes or flags.

2. Next is the part of the job that will likely take the most time, preparing the soil. Preparing the soil means two things to me:

A. Cutting and removing the sod. You have several options when deciding how you want to get rid of the grass and get down to the soil. If you have a very large garden you may want to hire somebody or rent the equipment (bobcat) to tear up the grass. If you own a rototiller (you can rent one), you can use this to remove the sod. There are two main types of tillers, front tine or rear tine. Rear tine tillers have the blades in the back of the machine and typically are a bit easier to use due to the fact that you (as the operator) get more weight / leverage over top the blades. Front tine tillers have the blades in the front and can be a bit harder to use on hard sod or compacted soil since there is not as much weight / leverage over top the blades to make them bite in as well as a rear tine tiller. If you have a very small garden area then you may also choose to use a shovel to tear up the sod. Personally, my brother and I used a tiller to tear up a rather large patch of land for our garden. We would run the tiller over the grass to break it up then rake the grass clumps into one large pile in the corner of our garden, which eventually decomposed to plain dirt. We had to run the tiller over the garden area several times and rake clumps of grass each time before we had a workable dirt area. This can be a back breaking task so make sure to take your time and rest sometimes.

B. Getting the soil ready to plant in. Plants will produce their best when they have a healthy, somewhat loose, soil to grow in. This means that you want a nutrient rich soil that retains just the right amount of moisture. You can take soil samples into many garden centers to get a test done. …

Start Your Fall California Garden in September

September is the time to plant cool weather vegetables and flowers as well as perform fall maintenance around the yard.

Plant Cool Season Vegetables: Plant such vegetables as broccoli, peas, kale, beets, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, radish, carrots and celery. These plants will start producing in late winter or early spring. Plant onions and garlic too.

Add Bulbs: Some bulbs can go into the ground now while others need at least six weeks of cold storage (in a paper bag in the refrigerator) before planting. Ask your local nursery what to buy and plant in your area. Bulbs will begin to grow and bloom in spring. If you don't want to go to the trouble of refrigerating bulbs, plant these varieties: amaryllis, calla lily, dutch iris, freesia and watsonia. They can be left in the ground throughout the year.

Plant Flowers That Bloom In Fall And Winter: While the weather remains warm, plant flowers that bloom in fall through most of winter. These include chrysanthemums, sweet peas, ornamental cabbage, snapdragon, pansy, primrose and asters. Add mulch to the garden to hold in moisture.

Stay On Fire Alert: Since fire season is year round, winds and low humidity can easily fan brush fires in fire-prone areas. Be sure to clear weeds and brush around houses and keep landscaping near buildings well watered.

Reseed Lawn: It's time to address the bare spots in your lawn. First, loosen the soil, add a substantial layer of cool-season grass seed and then apply a compost top dressing. Water thoroughly daily until the seeds become 1-inch blades of grass.

Clip Roses: Remove dead flowers and rose hips. Lightly prune. New flowers should continue to bloom through October.

Divide Perennials: Perennials such as Shasta daisies, sage, lavender and yarrow need to be divided every few years. If you don't, they can turn brown and die in their middle. They will also produce fewer flowers. Divide during cool weather. Dig deep to pull out a clump of roots, separate the individual "crowns" or stalks and replant in soil containing flower planting mix.

Keep Watering: September and October can be hot, dry and windy months. Water gardens, shrubs and lawns as needed. Water in the early hours (between 6:00 am and 9:00 am). This is the most efficient time to water. Plants watered in the evening instead of in the morning are susceptible to fungus.

Remove Spent Vegetables and Flowers : Summer annuals are nearing their end of productivity. Remove these plants from your garden. At this point, they just attract bugs and rodents.

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