So You Want To Make A Bonsai Bonsai Trees Is It Really Teak Wood Caveat Emptor Part Two How Choose The Right Type Of Lawn Mower

Growing your own bonsai need not start by being expensive. Plants are free if grown from seed or cuttings and the rewards to be had in terms of appreciation of the final result, and the experience gained, is a joy beyond compare.

Creating a bonsai is a fairly simple procedure, if you follow the necessary steps for growing and shaping the selected tree.

It is also important to select a tree for the climatic conditions in your region – some trees will thrive in certain regions while others may not survive. After deciding on the desired bonsai material, the next step is to prepare the appropriate size pot. A pot that is too small, or a pot that is too large can hamper the growth of the bonsai. In addition the pot should have an outlet or opening at the bottom to allow water to drain freely. The amount and type of soil is also an important consideration, usually a mixture of organic and inorganic compounds. To allow for proper placement in its container, you may have to cut some of its roots. By reducing the mass of roots in the pot, pruning provides space for young vigorous roots to grow and absorb water and minerals. Remember, it is the trimming of the roots while confining the tree to a shallow container that keeps the tree miniaturized.

After setting the tree in its container, pruning the leaves, trimming new shoots and wiring the branches into an aesthetically pleasing form follows. There are six classic bonsai styles and a growing list of non-classical styles as bonsai art involves new cultures and new species. Aesthetics, however is not an end in itself, but is linked to the physiology and good health of the bonsai.

Once you have proudly completed your work of art, you should become familiar with the basic rules for maintaining your tree in good health so that it can reward you with many years of pleasure. Method and frequency of watering, lighting requirements, trimming and repotting, prevention of diseases and insects, and plant fertilization are just a few of the topics with which you should become familiar. There are numerous books on the subject of bonsai which can provide step-by-step instructions on these subjects . Happy Growing!

What are Bonsai trees?

Many people think of tiny little Japanese trees cut and pruned to a miniature size but literally speaking Bonsai means ‘plant in a tray’ and while they are smaller than their wild counterparts they don’t have to be a couple of inches tall; they can be grown in a pot in the garden and will be smaller than their wild counterparts.

Misconceptions about Bonsai trees.

Many people believe that training Bonsai trees is a cruel pastime because the cultivator starves the tree and cuts it to such an extent that it becomes unhealthy. Quite the reverse is usually true; while they are cut and pruned quite heavily to keep them to the size of the pot, they are usually transferred from pot to pot regularly and are fed and watered much more often than their wild cousins.

Contrary to belief, Bonsai trees do not originate from Japan, but there are records dating back more than 2000 years that show Bonsai being grown in China. These Bonsai weren’t as small as the Bonsai that people often envisage and were grown on an individual basis outdoors in pots. It was, though, the Japanese that took this art form and progressed it to the level it is at now. This has led to quite different styles in Japanese and Chinese Bonsai; the Chinese Bonsai being much more freestyle and more lightly pruned than the Japanese miniature Bonsai that are very heavily groomed and pruned and look much more like miniature natural versions of the full sized versions.

Bonsai trees do not live shorter lives than wild trees. They regularly live for many centuries and are traditionally passed down from generation to generation of family. They lead nearly exactly the same length lives as their wild cousins and are often much healthier because of the attention they receive.

The advantages of growing Bonsai.

Not everyone has a large garden where they can plant numerous trees and let them grow as big as they want, and even those who do have large gardens still need to wait for many years before the tree becomes truly established. By growing Bonsai you don’t need any more room than the size of your pot and because you only need them to grow to much smaller proportions it really is accessible for anyone who is interested in growing Bonsai trees. You can even grow them inside if you can recreate the correct conditions for the tree you want to grow.

Growing Bonsai trees can fast become an addictive hobby and requires attention to detail, foresight of how the tree will grow and plenty of time and care. You will undoubtedly feel massive satisfaction if you decide to grow Bonsai and are any good at it.

This article contains a plethora of information and would be difficult to take in all at once. For that reason, I have broken this article into two parts.

“Caveat Emptor” is Latin for “Let the buyer beware”.

We all want to pay as little as possible for the most product we can buy. The challenge we have is to pay enough attention to what it is we are actually purchasing so as not to become let down later when we find out we did not really get what we thought we would be getting.

When it comes to outdoor furniture, Teak wood is still the standard that all other woods are compared to. Because it is in such high demand, consumers want to purchase this best quality product or something even better, for less money. If marketers can help the buyer to perceive they are getting something better for less money the buyer tends to jump on it. And therein lies the problem: Perception.

There is outdoor wood furniture being advertised as teak like, better than teak, or stronger than teak for a fraction of the cost. When you look further into the advertisements, you find the product to be made of woods like Shorea or Eucalyptus. But is this wood as good as or better than teak? Does this wood weather the elements year in and year out like Teak? Do you do very little to maintain it like you do Teak? It sure sounds like it could be worth it, don’t it?

Shorea wood.

Here is how Wikipedia defines Shorea wood: Shorea is a genus of 360 species of mainly rainforest trees in the family Dipterocarpaceae. They are native to Southeast Asia, from Northern India to Malesia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

There are marketers that are marketing Shorea wood as being closely related cousins to Teak. Teak is Tectona Grandis: It is a genus of tropical hardwood trees in the family Verbenaceae. To say they are closely related is kind of like saying all spruces are evergreens but not all evergreens are spruces. It doesn’t make sense. And because there are more than 360 species of trees that make up Shorea, some being good and some being not so good, which type are you really getting that “good deal” on?

Here are some common names being used by marketers to be “like Teak”, but are really Shorea:

Balau. This is a heavy hardwood. It comes from up to 15 different species of Shorea genus.

Almon. Also known as white luan. This wood comes from up to 5 different species of Shorea genus.

White Meranti. This is a light hardwood. It comes from up to 8 different species of Shorea genus.

Dark Red Meranti. This is also a light hardwood. It comes from up to 11 different species of Shorea genus.

Yellow Meranti. This is also a light hardwood. It comes from up to 5 different species of Shorea genus.

We can go on and on. After all, there are up to 360 different species of Shorea genus to go through. These are beautiful woods that can be used for indoor furniture as well as decorative artifacts, doors, drawers, joints and even outdoor furniture. But let us not be confused: they are not Teak wood. And the fact that marketers are trying to pass them off as Teak tells us squarely: Teak is still the best. Teak is still the wood that all others try to compare to.

Eucalyptus Genus.

There are over 300 species of Eucalyptus genus. This is a very fine wood that has been put to many good uses through the years from windbreaks, to fuel, to building supplies, to food sources in some countries. It is cautioned that this wood needs to be seasoned properly prior to manufacturing otherwise it will split, crack and chip. Since it holds such a heavy volume of water in order to sustain its very fast growth, it is reported to shrink as much as 34% when kiln dried.

In doing research on Eucalyptus, here is what one company had to say: “When finished with a high quality penetrating oil, mixed with the stain of your choice, Eucalyptus takes on a teak-like appearance. To maintain a new look, the buyer will need to occasionally clean and reseal the furniture. This furniture can be painted as well”. Teak once again is being used as the standard.

When you are shopping for outdoor furniture this year, make sure you know what type of wood it is that you are purchasing. Don’t be fooled. Read the fine print. Thinking your purchase is Teak wood because you want the beauty of Teak, the ability for your furniture to weather the elements including termites, beetles, fungus, and wood rot, you could be sorely disappointed. In order to maintain sales volume, manufactures and marketers are offering alternative wood outdoor furniture to the consumers as prices for Teak are steep and supply is limited. Although these listed woods look beautiful and may hold up for a short period of time, they do not have the staying power of Teak wood outdoor furniture.

Knowledge is power. Remember, Caveat Emptor: Let the buyer beware!

Do you like to have a beautiful lawn in your yard? Clean, green and well mowed lawn is not just everybody’s dream but also is pretty much pleasing. You can engage a lawn mowing service for a fee but how about doing it yourself over the weekend? You need to know what type of lawn mower suffices your need and how much you should spend on it etc before you bought one for your home.

Choosing the Right Type of Lawn Mower

Before you chose a lawn mower, decide whether you want to buy electric or gasoline driven mower. Each type has its own ups and downs. In general you may follow the points as given below.

1. Base your decision on the area to mow. Larger the area bigger is the mower you may want to purchase. You can consider even the non powered mower for small lawns.

2. If your lawn is small and the farthest edge is about 30 to 35 feet away from your nearest power socket you can very well go for an electric lawn mower.

3. If it is for large gardens or golf courses go for ride-on models powered by diesel or gas engines with controls on both the hands. Even a garden tractor suffices for you. Engine power varies from 8.5 HP to 13 HP and the price from $1750 to $5000.

4. Price is an important factor to look at. A basic walk-behind model costs about $400 and for a little more you get a better engine with ball bearing and utility handle bars. Higher prices like $700 to $900 get you self starting, self propelled models with additional features.

5. For sloped small lawns a Hover model suits best. They are light and easy, you need to carry them to lawn and start. They come in both diesel and electric versions.

How Do You Want To Mow Your Lawn

Summer: Raise the mower to 3 inches or more to cut grass long. Mowing once in a fortnight may be enough depending on watering and soil condition.

Spring: Sharpen and service the mower before getting started. Only top-dressing must give the lawn a beautiful look.

Winter: Drain gas from the lawn mower and store it covered in your garage.

Automatic Lawn Mowers

The benefits of robot mowers are numerous. You don’t have to push or ride a mower to get your lawn mowed, you don’t have to deal with clippings, you free up some of your precious weekend time, and the mulch it creates is a healthy alternative to your lawn over fertilizer. Robomowers are also good for the environment – they take no gas or oil and create no emissions.

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