backyard garden

Starting a Backyard Compost

Composting is still a popular endeavor and has a variety of benefits. It enriches the soil and reduces the need to apply chemical fertilizers. It also has benefits for the overall environment. Composting reduces the amount of yard and food waste in landfills where they decompose and emit the greenhouse gas methane.

Starting a backyard compost “pile” doesn’t mean leaving all those food scraps and grass clippings in the backyard to become a smelly eyesore. Self-contained, premade containers are available on the market in varying sizes. A properly managed compost pile won’t attract rodents or insect pests. Successful composting requires three ingredients in the right amounts.

Those ingredients are characterized as greens, browns and water. Green materials are those that include items such as vegetable and fruit waste, coffee grounds and grass clippings. The browns are composed of dead leaves, twigs and branches. Moisture is also required for the proper breakdown of the components. Organic materials should be layered, but a composting receptacle that allows for easy turning and mixing of the materials is an easy and convenient alternative.

There are a great many materials that can be composted. They include coffee grounds and filters, eggshells, nutshells, and fruit and vegetable wastes. Also on the list of compostable items are hay, straw, leaves, sawdust, grass clippings and houseplants. Cardboard can also be added, along with pet hair and fireplace ashes.

There are some limitations that should never be added to a compost pile, such as scraps from meat or fish, charcoal ash, dairy products, or pet waste. Black walnut shells release substances that can be harmful to other plants, so omit them.

Compost piles should be located in a dry, shady spot and materials moistened as they’re added. Depending upon the mix of composting materials, individuals can have dark, rich compost ready to use in as little as two weeks, with the average being about two years. For those that lack outdoor space, small mini-units can be purchased for indoor composting that will produce ready-to-use organic material in 2-5 weeks.

RCH Landscaping is a full-service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach, and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians has an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Creating a Raised Garden

Raised garden beds are becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons. They require less weeding, provide more growing space, and are an elegant solution for locations that have poor soil. A raised bed is warmer earlier in the year which extends the growing season, aids in preventing depredations by moles, gophers and other pests, and promotes water retention.

They can be created at any height for ease, comfort, and to accommodate individuals with disabilities. They can be constructed with a multitude of materials ranging from wood and metal stock tanks to blocks and concrete and can last for up to 20 years, depending on the selected materials. The beauty of a raised bed is that it can rest on the ground or on support legs for an elevated solution.

The best lumber for gardens constructed of wood is redwood, cedar, or black locust due to their resistance to rot and treated lumber is safe to use for raised beds. Cinder blocks and concrete are durable but can retain more heat than is desirable in the South Florida climate. Cinderblocks are far less expensive than concrete and individuals are getting creative with recycled items.

Raised beds can be constructed in any size dimensions or shapes desired. The beds don’t have to be deep to be effective. A raised bed that’s 14 inches high will accommodate most plants, while some have had success with beds built of untreated 2x4s for a height of six inches.

No matter what material or form that individuals choose, laying down plastic or other types of gardening material in the bottom before adding soil is critical for gardens resting on the ground. Failure to do so will result in weed growth coming from beneath the bed.

Raised gardens offer multiple benefits and enables gardeners to maximize their tillable area. Once the beds are installed, there will be far less work to keep them weed-free. Individuals can begin their annual planting much earlier whether it’s a vegetable oasis, kitchen garden spices, or simply a place to plant flowers for personal enjoyment.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

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Best Edibles for Your Backyard

A backyard garden isn’t just for people that want to eat healthier. People across the nation are adding small herb gardens, kitchen gardens, and miniature orchards to their outdoor living space for fun and profit. Florida’s climate enables homeowners to cultivate an extremely wide variety of fruits and vegetables.

The temperate weather conditions even allow backyard gardeners to diversify. ‘Warm weather’ crops are planted during the warmest part of the year. After harvesting, the weather provides desirable conditions for crops that prefer cooler temperatures to flourish.

Warm weather and a long growing season are ideal conditions for almost any type of fruit or vegetable that South Florida residents want to cultivate. Edibles encompassing beans, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and peppers, along with cucumbers, squash, asparagus and any type of salad greens are favorites for the dinner table. Onions, cabbage, carrots, and cauliflower can also be grown.

Florida is home to one of the best environments for growing citrus fruits ranging from oranges and lemons to limes, grapefruit, and nectarines. Figs, mangoes, avocados, peaches, and plums are also good selections. Homeowners can easily add blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries, to their repertoire. Apples and cherries can be added to backyards, even if there’s not a lot of room. Many common fruit tree varieties are available in the form of dwarf and columnar trees.

The South Florida climate also enables individuals to grow out of the ordinary options such as certain types of coffee beans and bananas. For more adventurous gardeners and those that like to experiment with rare varieties they can try breadfruit, loquats, and tropical types of persimmons, in addition to jackfruit, mamey sapote, canistel, and atemoya.

South Florida is home to one of the most conducive climates for growing fruits, vegetables, and even nuts. It’s easy to start a backyard garden with the most highly-sought and healthy options available. In many instances, the plants yield much more than a family can use and they’re utilizing their excess to add some cash to their wallet by selling it at farm markets.

RCH Landscaping is a full service landscape company based in Boca Raton, Florida. We design, install, and maintain Commercial and Residential landscapes all around Boca Raton, Delray Beach and The Palm Beach areas. Our team of highly skilled landscape technicians have an undisputed track record of creating and maintaining beautiful commercial and residential landscapes all over South Florida.

Contact RCH Landscaping Today for a Free Estimate

561-779-9760

Read more