Garlic And Beets– Natural Remedies for Stress

garlicThe earliest recorded history of the use of garlic to boost health and relieve stress was made by the Egyptians. They fed it to their slaves and other laborers to boost their strength and stamina during the decades the pyramids were being built.

Now we know for sure that garlic is a huge asset to the immune system and can help prevent cancer, heart disease and lower blood pressure. Antioxidants are highly concentrated in this superfood and can combat the damage to our bodies caused by free radicals (body pollutants).

Free radicals are now believed to contribute to the development of life-threatening diseases. Garlic contains the antibacterial and anti-fungal component called allicin and naturopathic practitioners often recommend it for depression and anxiety.

Some little known facts about the benefits of garlic include:

garlic in a meal

  1. * Chop or crush the garlic and let it sit for a while before cooking so the allinase enzymes contained in the garlic will better preserve its cancer-preventive properties.
  2. * Allicin (a sulfur compound) may help improve your iron metabolism. A protein (ferroportin) allows a passageway in the cell membrane to store iron and exit the cell when the body needs it.
  3. * Garlic is a good source for selenium, a trace mineral also present in the soil. Selenium is imperative for the body to increase immunity, protect against free radical damage, as an anti-inflammatory and to maintain a healthy and vibrant metabolism.
  4. * Garlic may also play a role in the fertility of males and females and in preventing autoimmune, cancer and thyroid diseases.

You should include garlic in your diet plan on a daily basis. At least half a clove in your own food portion should suffice – but when used in recipes, use at least one or two for maximum benefit.

garlic in a meal

Use garlic in whole clove form, raw, chopped, powder, or pressed. Be sure to add it at the end of your recipe’s cooking cycle to derive the maximum benefits and flavor. Garlic can transform any dish into an aromatic and highly flavorful meal, boost your mood and counteract your high-stress levels.

 

Beets

beets

Beets are coming back as a food-trend and being used in many different ways to ensure we get them in our diet plan. The arsenal of nutrients found in beets has an extremely beneficial effect on our nervous and immune systems.

Packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties called betaine, beets also help to detoxify the body by stimulating liver cells and cleansing and protecting bile ducts, which carry waste through the system.

Betaine is an amino acid which acts as an antidepressant and stimulates the production of dopamine (the neurotransmitter which controls the pleasure points in our brains). An added bonus to consuming beets on a regular basis is the caloric count – approximately 40 calories per (average size) beet.

Beets are stocked with nutrients we sometimes lack, such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, fiber, niacin, biotin and iron. Together, these nutrients help to increase our levels of dopamine.

Low levels of dopamine cause us to be sluggish in our motor movements and may affect sleep cycles caused by stress. Recently, low dopamine levels have been connected to restless leg syndrome – the disorder that occurs often in seniors and keeps us awake at night.

Lowering blood pressure is also a benefit of beets. Some studies indicate that beets may help increase energy levels and stamina when you need it most. If you’ve never tried beets or beet juice, you’ll be amazed at all the ways you can use them in recipes or simply cut them up and include them in a leafy green salad.

Check out beet recipes and ideas online or in cookbooks and begin to use this superfood to boost your stress-reducing dopamine and nutrient levels.

Relieve Stress And Headache, Your Garden Cures

If you’ve ever suffered from a stress-related headache, you know how debilitating it can be. Your own garden can be a source of food that can help alleviate the dreaded headaches caused by too much stress and anxiety in your life.

Certain foods can also cause headaches. Included in the list are cheese, red wine, chocolate, and caffeine. Many foods containing MSG (monosodium glutamate) can sometimes trigger the intense migraine headaches, so it’s good to avoid those foods when you can.

Foods that are known to prevent headaches can be grown in your own garden. Even if you don’t have a garden space in your backyard, many of these foods are easily grown in containers or hydroponically.

Lavender

Some herbs are natural enemies of headaches and you can easily grow them and have them on hand whenever needed. Lavender, for example, emits a scent that encourages relaxation and is great for stress-related headaches.

Lemon balm is another easy-to-grow and fragrant herb that’s helpful to relieve tension and those headaches caused by anxiety. It also acts as a mild sedative if your headache is preventing you from getting much-needed rest.

Sage and rosemary are excellent stress-headache relievers. Rosemary also improves circulation and can stimulate the nerves – helping to relieve tension and cluster headaches. Use rosemary in your favorite recipes to give them an extra zing.

Sage

Sage is also an easy growing plant and a great addition to any garden type. It’s a herb that can turn a recipe from boring to amazing and also stimulates digestion. Tension and nerve-caused headaches may be relieved by the aroma of this amazing herb.

Many of these herbs are great for tinctures to add to beverages when you feel a headache coming on. Tea or infusions with some of the herbs can effectively stave off the onset of tension and nerve type headaches.

Cantaloupes and potatoes can be easily grown in your garden space or even containers and contain natural statins and anti-inflammatory properties which can help lower high blood pressure and alleviate the pain of stress headaches.

Low levels of magnesium may cause stress to morph itself into the form of a headache. You can get this essential mineral in dark, leafy green plants such as spinach and kale – easily grown in any type of garden.

Add spice to your foods to relieve headaches by growing peppers in your garden and add these to recipes. They’re especially good to add to stews and soups. Spicy peppers help to relieve congestion and sinus pressure and may also act to open blood vessels which may constrict during times of stress and anxiety.

Just the activity of gardening can do much to relieve stress. If you don’t have a large plot in your yard for a garden, consider another method such as container and hydroponic.

place for meditation and relaxation   

If you have enough space in your garden area, arrange a place for meditation and relaxation. Perhaps add a water feature and some aromatic herbs and flowers for complete relaxation and a way to get rid of those annoying stress-related headaches.

   

Choosing The Right Rose For You

Shrub Rose Westerland

Shrub Rose Westerland

Boy, I bet you never dreamed there was such a variety of roses. You still look a little overwhelmed from all that we covered from the last chapter. With such an array, how do you decide which rose is right for you?

Allow me to help a little with that. First, you’re probably tempted, as I was in the beginning years of my rose-growing days, to just run down to your local nursery and buy the species of rose that you feel is the most beautiful. I can’t blame you there.

But you should place more thought than that into it. After all, you do want to get the absolute best results you possibly can from both your investment in money and the future investment you’re making in time. You know, the tending to the flower, the watering, the fertilizing, and the talking to!

Even though your heart is saying run out and buy the first rose you see, your mind is saying, “Let’s do a little research.” Listen to your mind on this one.

Peace Rose

And let’s start with just a few traits you should look for when you’re purchasing a rose.

Think about these questions before you buy your plant:

1. For what purpose do I want the rose?

By this question, I mean where in your garden are you planning on putting it. Will it be in a container? Will it be part of a flower bed or border? Or perhaps you’re thinking more of creating a hedge with the rose or having it stand as an arbor.

Good Choice

2. Am I going to cut the flowers for arrangements?

3. How much space can I realistically devote to the flower?

If you have a smaller garden, then you’ll be considering purchasing what’s called “compact” roses. This will keep the roses in an approximate scale with all your other plants.

If your garden is larger, than, of course, you want the larger varieties of roses.


4. What colors would I like?

Are you searching for bright colors in your plants, like the reds, the oranges, the golds or even the stripes? Instead of bright, you may opt for the flowers in the pastel range.

5. How important is the fragrance of the rose to me?

rose fragrance

For many people, the fragrant scent of the rose is important. For others, they cherish the look. Would you be disappointed realistically speaking, if the rose you chose didn’t have a strong, aromatic scent?

6. Realistically, how much time am I willing to invest in the maintenance of this flower?

You may have the time and the energy to get intimately involved with your rose plants. If that’s the case, hybrid tea roses would be a good choice. This particular type of rose requires careful attention. It’s prone to disease and needs pruning.

But don’t give up on roses if you don’t’ have the time or energy for the “fussier” plants. Instead, search out a few that are easier to tend to. Believe me, they’re out there.

7. What are the growing conditions like in my yard?

Objectively evaluate your climate. In fact, when asking this question, you can turn to the USDA Plant hardiness Zone Map. This will help you make your decision about the type of rose that will thrive in your climate.

Up Close and Personal.

While a picture may be worth a thousand words, you certainly don’t want to choose your rose through leaving through photos on the internet or in books. I really don’t care how great of quality those photos may be, you’ll want to get up close and personal with the roses before you make your final choice. After all, when was the last time you “smelled a picture”?

Rose displays are available for the public in many metropolitan and botanical parks. And the advantage here is that the roses themselves are usually meticulously identified. Once you’ve spotted a rose that peaks your interest, you can jot the name of it down and see what kind of attention it needs. This way you can see if this rose actually suits the climate of your area and more specifically the needs of your particular yard and garden.

Sweet Potatoes Satisfy Sweets and Reduce Stress

Sweet Potatoes

Carbs and sweets can cause powerful urges and wreak havoc with your system. The two cravings are what you’re bound to reach for when you’re under a lot of stress, but the few moments of satisfaction aren’t worth the harm they can do to your body and your stress level.

Sweet potatoes are a great way to reduce the urge for carbs and sweets while consuming a well-known superfood packed with vitamins such as beta-carotene and fiber. They can help your body process carbs slowly and steadily without causing mood swings and cravings.

As a snack, you can’t beat the stress-reducing power of sweet potatoes. Rather than a short rush of sugar (then, the crash that’s sure to occur), sweet potatoes treat your body to an array of nutrients that have the power to benefit your body rather than harm it.

Sweet potatoes also make you feel full for a longer period of time, reducing the need to binge or eat foods you don’t need or really want. Among the benefits of sweet potatoes is their high vitamin content.

Vitamin A (beta-carotene), manganese, pantothenic acid, Vitamin C, copper and Vitamin B6 are all contained in sweet potatoes. They’re also a great source for dietary fiber, niacin, potassium, Vitamin B1 and B2 and phosphorus.

Sweet potatoes are inexpensive, easy to cook and eat and make a delicious side dish or meal. The health benefits are numerous and include many for stress relief. Vitamin D can help those who may not receive adequate sunlight.

Vitamin D is a hormone and a vitamin and can keep SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) at bay. SAD often affects those who don’t get enough sunlight and can cause our energy levels and moods to suffer. It also benefits the thyroid gland – which in turn, affects our weight and moods.

Iron is another component found in sweet potatoes. Iron provides energy and stimulates the production of white and red blood cells, helping us resist the effects of stress on the body.

Magnesium is also necessary for our bodies and helps relieve stress by providing us with magnesium – a natural anti-stress and relaxation mineral. As important as it is to our overall well-being, it’s estimated that about 80% of America’s population is magnesium deficient.

sweet potato chips

Image by Bernadette Wurzinger from Pixabay

Sweet potatoes are also versatile. You can bake, slice and grill, puree, steam or roast them or even add them to your leafy green salads and soups. Pureed, they can be an excellent addition to smoothies.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT SWEET POTATOES, GO HERE

If Stress Has You Down and Depressed

Dogs are depressedIf Stress Has You Down and Depressed

Depression strikes nearly all of us at one time or another. It could be clinical depression, which is caused by our mental health and possible physical reasons – or situational depression caused by traumatic events or other negative occurrences in our lives.

It’s one of the most common illnesses striking the general population today and may cause irritability, fatigue, lack of motivation or purpose in life and extreme sadness, crying and even aches and pains.

Clinical depression sometimes requires seeking help from a counselor or physician and taking medications, but you may get relief by simply changing your diet a bit to include the right foods with elements that reduce and obliterate feelings of depression.

Processed meals, junk food, but sweetjunk foods and foods high in refined sugar and carbs may contribute to the causes of depression in your life. By eating these types of foods, you’re only adding to the physical and mental problems causing the situation.

Recent studies report that a diet high in vegetables and fruits caused fewer symptoms of depression and had a cumulative effect of providing more antioxidants to the body. Antioxidants are essential to flushing out toxins and other elements adding to a sluggish immune system – and depression.

Folic acid may also reduce the risk of depression and other ailments such as insomnia and fatigue. Dark green, leafy vegetables contain folic acid as do an array of colorful vegetables such as those having deep colors.

Beets, peppers, melons, and tomatoes contain valuable nutrients that literally make us happy – boosting the brain’s production of serotonin – the happy chemical. All of the above vegetables can be grown easily in your home garden.

Whether you have an outdoor space or use another method of gardening such as containers on a small patio space or hydroponic gardening which can be done indoors, you can grow a garden for health that beats stress.

A common cause of depression is free radicals – highly damaging molecules produced by the body and are harmful to cells, cause aging and other body and mind dysfunctions.

Helpful berries

Vitamins C and E and beta-carotene (an antioxidant) reduce the effects of free radicals on your system and render them unable to destroy your body or your happiness. Blueberries, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, and strawberries are great sources of Vitamin C and can be grown handily in your garden space.

Beta-carotene sources can be grown by planting carrots, spinach, collards, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes. Planning and planting your own garden is one way to bring much-needed exercise into your life – and exercise boosts the production of serotonin which, in turn, lifts your mood and your health.

Look to your garden to combat bouts of depression. Working in the garden gets you out into the sunshine (a good source of Vitamin D) and the vegetation you grow and harvest will help transform a dark, gloomy mood into a happy day.

Care For Climbing Rose Bushes

climbing roses require Patience
climbing roses require Patience

What images come to mind when you think of climbing roses? A cottage tucked away in rural England, covered with blooming vines? Perhaps an old prestigious university with one of the lecture halls bedecked in this regalia? Or do you see a trellis of flowering climbing roses as an arch while the bride and groom exchange vows in a wonderful garden wedding ceremony?

Whether it’s any of these or another, no one can certainly fault you for including climbing roses in your personal garden. The secret to raising climbing roses though can be summed up in a single word: patience.

That’s right! You see this particular variety of rose may take several years to reach maturity. You may get frustrated by this, because very often the climbing rose is also placed and designed to be the “centerpiece” if you will of the garden, one of the key elements.

To start with, you want to make sure that you’re starting out with the best possible choice. To that end, five factors exist that you must give careful consideration to. They are size, shade tolerance, disease, resistance, rebloom and basic aesthetics, in other words, color, fragrance, and any other personal preferences.

What about size?

climbing rose
climbing rose large size photo by James Insell

How much room do you have? That’s not a flippant answer to the question. I ask that only to get you to think about the space limitations, if any, with which you’re working.

Do you want a very large climbing plant, one that will climb upwards of 30 feet? Or are you looking for a smaller, more delicate version of a climber to grace the door to your garden?

A common mistake among novice rose growers is to chose the climbing rose they love, and darn the size. They seem to have the mistaken impression that if the plant really wants to grow 20 or more feet, they merely have to cut it back to fit the five-foot area they have planned out for it.

Nothing could be further from the truth. You see, in many ways, roses like this one have minds of their own. For one thing, you’ll find that you’re nearly always pruning the poor plant, which in the end may only cause it fatal injury.

For example, I knew a person who once really only wanted a climbing rose that would climb a maximum of eight feet. But she chose a rose called the

Cecile Brunner
Cecile Brunner by Malcolm Manners

Climbing Cecile Brunner. As soon as she told me what she did, I realized she was in trouble with it.

The Brunner is known to climb tall and aggressively. Let’s just say that the Brunner has been accused of tearing the front porches off of houses with its large and overwhelming mass.

After a year of battling that monster of a climber, she realized her mistake. The following year she bought a Blush Noisette that fit her space perfectly. Unfortunately, she was never able to view the Brunner with the initial love that she felt before she purchased one of her own.

I’d hate for you to have an experience like that. Not only is it frustrating, but it’s disappointing to think your passion for a particular rose would be quashed like that.

Made in the shade.

rose tree
photo Rose tree by T.Kiya from Japan

Yes, we’ve established earlier that roses like the sun — at least six hours of sunlight a day (I can see them now in a chaise, with the sunglasses on lounging along a beach!).

After you’ve determined the size you have available to allot to your chosen love, seriously consider how much sunlight the area receives. Don’t rule the area out immediately just because it may get some shade. Some climbing roses thrive in partial shade.

Some climbers, especially those that produce white, light pink and light yellow roses can tolerate more shade than those plants which produce brighter and stronger colors (reds, oranges and the like).

In fact, just about the majority of the Hybrid Musk Roses, which can occupy a space as small as six to 10 feet — are capable of withstanding up to half a day of shade. The particular varieties in this category include Buff Beauty,

Rosa Lavender Lassie
Rosa Lavender Lassie photo by Salicyna

Lavender Lassie, Kathleen, and Cornelia.

Again, don’t go knocking your head against that brick wall by trying to fill shaded space with a plant that needs sun and vice versa.
 
 
 
 
 

Disease.

Madame Alfred Carriere climbing roses in the shade
Madame Alfred Carriere climbing roses in the shade

When choosing a climbing rose, the degree of its disease resistance is probably a more important consideration than with the lower-lying plants. Why? Are you really going to climb 10, 15 or 25 feet above the ground just to spray your plant to rid him of disease?

Give this some thought (you might not have thought this factor through completely yet). Not only would it be more difficult to apply any disease killing materials, but it would be nearly impossible to visually check the plant’s health status, as you do with other plants and roses in your garden.

So, it’s of vital importance that you begin with a plant that is hardy. Roses growing along a wall, by the way, receive less air circulation which opens them up to greater risks of disease. Roses growing in the shade may also experience more health problems.

Similarly, roses growing on a chain-link fence or on top of a trellis getting that full sun won’t experience nearly the number of fungal problems than roses on a north wall.

If you’re bound and determined to place your roses in a shaded area (it’s the only available area, which is more likely the case) then consider choosing one of the Noisettes, like the Madame Alfred Carriere. While these roses may not be extremely resistant to illness while young, they seem to acquire that trait as they get older.

Bloom and bloom again?

Felicite et Perpetue
Felicite et Perpetue photo by A. Barra

Now that you have those issues resolved, well, at least you’re thinking about them — let’s tackle yet another topic: the rebloom factor. Many climbing roses — especially the old Ramblers (the roses, not the cars!) bloom only once. They bloom in the springs. Other climbers, though, bloom from spring through fall.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Rambler Roses
Rambler Roses

If your climbing rose is taking center stage in a small flower garden, then you’ll want a flower that’s going to last for more than just a month or so.

On the other hand, if it’s going to be among an ensemble cast of a group of one-time bloomers, then that becomes less of an issue. If you’re looking for a single bloomer than, think of the Belle of Portugal, Kiftsgate,

lady banks rose
lady banks rose

Lady Banks or even Felicite et Perpetue. These once-blooming plants put more energy into vertical growth and far less into the flower itself.

There are some large climbers which are repeat bloomers, like the white Sombreuil. This plant, which can climb to more than 25 feet, is also quite healthy. You’ll be pleased with its rate of blooming if you provide it with enough water, fertilizer, and sunlight.

Color?

Finally, that brings us to color. And of course, that’s purely a matter of individual taste. I’m sure you’ll find some color that complements the other flowers you have in mind. Or, you could possibly choose the color of the roses, and pattern your garden around them. Yeah! Roses deserve that consideration, now don’t they?

Standard Tree Roses

Please watch this 2:28 video with some very good info.

Sounds like an oxymoron? Think of the rose, your mind wanders to shrubs, bushes, climbing plants, even miniature blooms of grand beauty. But a tree?

Indeed, a tree! Think about it. Imagine your yard with a rose tree or two or more! Majestically imposing its presence throughout your land. You’d feel like royalty over your tract.

Standard Tree Roses

Perhaps you haven’t heard them referred to as rose trees, maybe you’re more familiar with them being called rose standards or standard tree roses. These plants have purposely been cultivated to resemble a tree.

rose tree
photo Rose tree by T.Kiya from Japan
The physical appearance of the tree consists of a long, slender cane approximately three feet in height. This cane (you can for the moment consider it a trunk that has no foliage, like the trunk of a tree. It’s from this trunk that the rich abundance of rose flowers burst forth.
 
 
 
 
 
Created by Grafting

T grafting
T grafting. Photo from sv Anvandare Chrizz
The tree is created by grafting two pieces of other roses to it. First, a graft is made at the top of the central cane to support the hybrid tree. Then a second graft is made at the rootstock or the bottom of the plant.

This creates a unique plant that more than one person has commented makes it look similar to a “lollipop.” In order that the central core can actually handle the weight of the grafted rose on its top, it’s usually staked. While normally this isn’t a problem, be careful if you’re planning on planting this tree in a windy area. It’s even more important then that you stake it.

Sunlight?

Another important aspect to think about is the amount of sunlight this plant receives. This may sound strange because we talk about how much roses love sound, but the large cane-trunk itself is quite susceptible to the sun. So much so, in fact, that some have actually suffered sunscald.

Winter Care

But summer is just one season, now isn’t it? How does this plant stand up against the winter weather? It indeed can, but you need to give it some care. The rose tree requires mulching the entire length of the cane. You can do this by physically relocating the plant during the winter months, or if you’re clever (or you know someone clever) creating a container of wire mesh to surround the cane and then fill this mesh container with mulch.

Care of Pruning

rose pruning
rose pruning needs to be done properly

You should also take into consideration the seasonal care this plant needs. Rosarians who choose this variety need to be diligent in pruning in order to receive just the right look. But don’t ever prune the center cane, the trunk. Just the flowering upper portion of the plant.

Just exactly how you prune depends on the type of rose sitting up there. You also should be aware that if you don’t prune it properly, you may accidentally create an uneven distribution of weight. That stress may easily break the stems. The other consequence of improperly pruned plants is the increased risk of disease.

Different species of trees?

It seems that increasingly commercial rose growers are trying their hands at providing rosarians with several species of rose trees. One of the most recent entries to this is called the double-decker rose true. It produces two layers of flowers. The first is on the top of the rose, as you would expect with a normal rose tree. The second layer, though, lies closer to the grand.

How to Prune Your Standard Rose video. (3:38 min.)

How To Prepare Soil For Plants

“Essentially, all life depends upon the soil…There can be no life without soil and no soil without life, they have evolved together” Charles Kellogg

The best way to get to know your soil is to dig a narrow, hole about 24 inches deep. There should be a dark topsoil layer above a paler layer, known as subsoil. Your topsoil should be loose and well-draining. If it’s hard and compacted, then roots will have trouble growing in it and drainage will be poor.

There are different types of subsoils: hard clay, bedrock, stony material, and even sand. There really isn’t anything you can do about your subsoil but it’s important to know what type of drainage it provides.

A porous subsoil will allow roots to reach down for nutrients, and during dry weather, for water. If your subsoil is compacted, then your best option is to make raised beds. That way you can increase drainage and the amount of good soil available to your plants.

Is Your Soil Alkaline? Or Acid?

This video will show how to determine your soil’s nutrients. 1:38 minutes long


 
Measuring your soil’s pH level is important because most plants need soil which is slightly acidic, in the 6.2 to 6.8 level. For reference, a pH of 7 is neutral, less is acidic and anything above 7 is alkaline.

A laboratory test is ideal, but soil test kits are sold in most garden centers and home improvement stores. The kit will quickly indicate your soil’s pH by using a simple color system. Acidic soil using turns the testing solution an orange-yellow, neutral shows as green, and alkaline soil turns it dark green. If you have a local Cooperative Extension Service, nearby, you can have your soil tested there. They will also be able to tell you if your soil has any deficiencies and suggest ways to improve it.

Types of Soil

sand
Sand Image by Dimitris Vetsikas from Pixabay
• Sandy soil drains easily but it dries out quickly in the summer heat. It contains few nutrients so you will need to fertilize regularly. It is a good soil for cool-season crops because it retains heat in the spring when most gardens in northern regions are being started.
 
 
 
 
 
clay soil
clay soil Image by Dirk (Beeki®) Schumacher from Pixabay
• Clay is heavy and rich in nutrients. It drains poorly in winter which makes for a waterlogged garden during the spring thaw. They maintain moisture in the summer so they’re good for warm weather crops.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Loam
Loam
• Loam is a crumbly soil that combines the best features of sand and clay.

How To Check Your Soil’s Drainage

Remember the hole you dug to examine the soil in your yard? Now it’s time for a little experiment to find out how well it drains. Fill the hole with water, cover it, and leave it overnight.

If the water is still there the next morning, your soil is draining poorly. This means you may need to set up a drainage system or resort to raised beds. Excess water is deadly for plants, causing root rot and weakening the plant and making it susceptible to pests and diseases.

Where Should I Plant My Garden?

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow” Audrey Hepburn

Here Comes the Sun!

HERE_COMES_THE_SUN
HERE_COMES_THE_SUN by Marianthi Mandani
If you decide to grow most types of beans or artichokes, for instance, you’ll need a spot that is sunny for most of the day. On the other hand, if you want to grow lettuce or spinach feel need a spot which offers some shade.

But how do you know which spot is sunny at 12 pm but shady at 4 pm or vice-versa? By checking the light and shadow patterns during the day.

Place wood stakes in the areas you’re considering for your garden. Record the times when each area is fully covered with sunlight and the times when shadows appear. In general, you’ll want an area that receives at least six hours of sun. Again, your choice of plants will play a role in the amount of sun your garden should receive.

Examples of plants which require full sun:
• Artichoke • Asparagus • Beans • Beets • Broccoli • Brussels Sprouts • Carrot • Cauliflower • Celery • Corn • Tomato • Pumpkin

Examples of plants which do well in partial shade:
• Arugula • Cabbage • Endive • Horseradish • Lettuce • Spinach • Peas • Swiss Chard • Radish • Rhubarb

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Climate will influence your selection of the fruits and vegetables you can grow successfully. Most areas in North America are located in a temperate zone which is unaffected by the extreme heat of the tropics and frigid cold of the polar circles.

However, that doesn’t mean that all of North America has the same weather conditions, as you already know. There are areas that are drier and hotter, and others with cooler, wetter conditions. Your plans should always reflect your local weather conditions.

Most plants have a range of air temperatures in which they thrive. Most common vegetables are divided into two categories: cool season and warm season. Obviously, these vegetables vary in their planting requirements and in the conditions they will tolerate.

Examples of cool weather crops:
• Arugula • Beets • Broccoli • Brussels Sprouts • Cabbage • Cauliflower • Collard • Kale • Lettuce • Onion • Spinach Turnip

Examples of warm weather crops:
• Cantaloupe • Carrot • Corn • Cucumber • Eggplant • Lima Beans • Pumpkin • Potato • Snap Bean • Sweet Potato • Tomato

Map it Out!

garden planner
garden planner at Amazon
It sounds like a lot of work, but again, preparation is key. Now, that you know which areas receive the best sunlight for your planned crops, and where you have the best access to water and good soil, you need to do a little more groundwork.

Your site has to be free from underground utility lines. Local utility companies will happily locate and stake out their underground lines if you contact them.

Create your map, by first taking a photo of the site to map out the garden. Shoot the photo from a point which allows a full view of your entire garden area. Now, you draw a design of the area and mark the shady areas or any areas which have obstructions such as roots, large rocks, or slopes.

Rose Cuttings Propagation

Propagating-Roses
Propagating-Roses

If you’re like me, you may have envisioned nurseries growing rose bushes from seedlings. Or you may even think of them growing from smaller plants, like when you bring home small tomato plants. If that’s your conception — and it is for many who are just starting the hobby — you’ll be surprised to learn how roses really are bred.

Buds or Shoots

Shoots Bud
Shoots Bud

For the most part, the roses you buy at most retail outlets today are grafted or more appropriately budded. This means that the buds or shoots of a specific rose are attached to the roots of a second rose. This second rose is called the rootstock.

Once attached, they grow together to create one plant. The point at which two parts are joined is referred to as the bud union. Later in this blog, I’ll refer more to this particular part of the rose.

Not only that but on most plants that you buy, you’ll be able to identify this section with relative ease. This point is usually slightly swollen. If for some reason, you can’t see this point and you know without a doubt the rose is grafted, you can safely assume the bud union is then the point where several main stems or canes join the base of the plant.

Top Growth

Canes which are attached either above or directly at the bud union are called “the top growth.” These are nearly always those of the desired rose. On rare occasions, a plant produces what’s called “sport”. This is a shoot with traits that differ from the rest of the plant. Traits like vigor, habit or even flower color could be among these types of traits on occasion.

Suckers

rose suckering
rose suckering

If the cane emerges below the bud union, it’s called a sucker. These are outgrowths of the rose which was used as the rootstock. If left to grow, the sucker usually crowds out the desired top growth. Most people remove these as soon as they recognize them. It’s best to snap these off where they come out at the root, rather than just cutting them off at the ground level. If you don’t do this, the plant is likely to continue to produce another sucker at this same point.

You may be confused at first by some of the other terminologies, rose lovers used to describe their growths. Once you get a handle on this, you get a better idea of not only what these individuals are talking about, but you’ll gain a better understanding and enjoyment of your gardening habit.

Grafted or Own-root

Once you’ve decided on which roses you’re planting, then you have a second choice to make — one you may not have thought much about up until now.

Are you going to buy a grafted or “own-root” plant. Either choice has advantages attached to it, as well as disadvantages.

Grafted plants are essentially the top growth of the desired rose attached to the roots of another rose — called the rootstock. This method of propagation allows the producers of these plants to quickly create a garden-ready plant. It also allows a better variety of rootstocks to suit a particular growing condition.

dr. huey rose
dr. huey rose from Arnold Stegall on Pinterest

Three rootstocks are among the most commonly used in the United States.

The first is called ‘Dr. Huey’. This one tolerates average to dry conditions and alkaline soil conditions.
 
 
 
The second is ‘Fortuniana’. This particular rootstock is well suited to hot climates. It tolerates nematodes that are soil-borne pests. It needs to be fertilized regularly and generously. You may also discover that it may take an extra year or two to settle into its new home as well as produce some good top growth. If you choose this type, then you need to be patient with it.

Rosa-multiflora-Flower
Rosa-multiflora-Flower
And the third type is called ‘Rosa multflora’, which adapted quite well to cold climates. Not only that, but it also tolerates acidic soil and nematodes well.
 
 

Fascinating and Frustrating

Now here’s the kicker, it’s what makes growing roses so fascinating and so frustrating at the same time. The same top growth grafted onto different rootstocks can perform differently. That’s why two roses with the same name but bought by different sources may differ drastically in their performance.

For the most part, you just don’t know which rootstock a plant has been grafted to. But, for the best results, seek out suppliers who can tell you what rootstocks they’ve used. Then they’ll be able to tell you whether the rootstock itself is suited to your area.

Own-root Roses

In the last few years, a new trend among rose growers have occurred. More nurseries offer roses propagated by cuttings. These cuttings, in turn, actually form their own roots.

Survive Winter

As you can imagine, this method has several benefits. First, many of these plants survive winter weather much better. They tend to live longer and their chances of developing the rose mosaic virus, a common rose disease is minimized.

If by chance, the cold weather kills the top growth of one of these plants, the odds are in your favor that new growth will actually sprout from the roots. And the good news here is that the new growth will be the same rose you originally chose.

This is in contrast to the grafted rose. When a grafted rose dies, the new growth will be whatever the rootstock was and for you, that’ll be a surprise. Chances are it’ll be nothing like your original choice.

You Decide

So now you have yet another decision to make in choosing your roses. Some rose hobbyists love the own-root roses. Others, however, feel the benefits of selecting the rootstock make the grafted plant a better choice. But only you can decide.

If you really can’t make up your mind (and while you’re new at this, you may not really have much of an opinion), why not choose one or two of each? In this way, you’ll have some experience with each kind.