Monthly Archives: September 2014

A well tended lawn

Gone to the Dogs: Why Man’s Best Friend is Your Lawn’s Worst Enemy | Longacres

Dogs love lawns, but the feeling is definitely not mutual.

One of the most frustrating problems that a homeowner can deal with is dog damage to their lawns. This results from the tendency of our four legged friends to mark their territory with urine. Unfortunately, the high concentration of nitrogen scorches the grass and causes unsightly dead patches.

This is especially a problem with larger dogs, due to the sheer volume they produce. Females are also significantly more damaging, because they tend to stick to one spot rather than going to different spots.

However there’s no reason you can’t have a dog and a well-maintained lawn.Here are a few simple measures that can solve your problems.

Your Primary Objective is Dealing with the Dog

Even though there are ways to fix the damage, the most effective long term solution is to simply keep the dogs away from your lawn. If the culprit is your own dog, this is fairly simple. All you need to do is to train them to use a specific, non-turf area in your yard for their toilet needs. This is much easier to accomplish while your pet is still young.

When the offending mutt is a stray or belongs to your neighbour, however, things can be a bit more complex. If you can identify the owner, it’s usually easy to convince them to keep their pet out of your garden. Otherwise, you have to resort to other types of deterrent, like a fence. You should also consider changing the lawn fertiliser you use, as some brands have ingredients that actually attract dogs.

If your lawn is experiencing dog troubles, Longacres can help. We stock urine spot removers and a variety of animal repellents to keep your turf healthy and safe. Get in touch with us today to enquire about our products.

Orchids, Plants Of Pure Beauty

A timely orchid post below from our intrepid plant expert Jack, currently having a hard life in his new role in…Hawaii. Come home soon Jack! Some lovely pictures below the post – not often you get to see orchids growing in the wild!

Hi – I’m Jack Shilley! In August 2014 I left the Longacres Garden Centre plant team to head out on an amazing adventure to the island of Kauai, Hawaii to study tropical plants in their native environments with the National Tropical Botanical Garden.

When you think of tropical plants (at least here in the UK) you will immediately think of indoor plants or house plants – and while these plants can’t live a happy life outdoors, kept inside with a bit of TLC every now and then can add beauty, colour and fragrance to just about any room you like.

One of the very common houseplants available (and arguably one of the most stunning to own) are orchids. Orchids traditionally come from tropical regions of the world where they grow on the branches of trees (Epiphytes) or on rocks (Lithophytes) without any soil at all. There are millions of varieties of orchids found all over the world. Below is an example a common house plant orchid (found for sale in the UK) and a couple of different orchids, only likely to be found in their native regions.

Phalaenopsis species. (Moth Orchids)

This is quite possibly the most common orchid found for sale in the UK but this doesn’t keen they aren’t beautiful – in fact they are really stunning and come in a huge variety of colours and sizes suitable for anyones need.

Care Tips

– Moth orchids can be grown in a wide variety of light levels, make sure they aren’t in direct sunlight. Moth orchids can tolerate shade but make sure its not too dark.
– Keep your orchid in a humid place if possible, a kitchen windowsill, a bathroom etc… with temperatures no lower than 16ºC
– Don’t cut off the flower stalk until it turns brown. So long as its green it may still produce flowers!

Ascocenda species

These orchids can sometimes be found for sale in garden centres in the UK but more often than not you can find them from specialist orchid nurseries. This entire species of orchids are man-made hybrids crossing two species together to create a stunning result!

Care Tips

– Ascocenda love warmer areas – don’t let the temperature drop below 18ºC.
– These orchids have strong root systems and they should be encouraged to produce these adventitious roots to help the plant keep ample air circulation and to allow it to dry out quickly.
– Keep your Ascocenda in an well light, sunny position.

Dracula species (Monkey Face Orchid)

These orchids are hard to find so an orchid specialist would be best to source these funny looking orchids. The clue is in the common name for this species as the flowers (particularly those of Dracula simia’) look like little monkey faces! Cute!

Care Tips

– Dracula species are very fussy, temperatures must not go above 25ºc or below 12ºc, with ample air movement and high humidity levels.
– These orchids must not dry out at any time! Keep well watered.
– These orchids tend to have trailing flowers so hanging baskets or orchid baskets are advised.

I hope that this has given you a small insight in to the huge world of orchids – many of which reside here in Hawaii – and how you can add some tropical orchid flare to your home!

Ascocenda Orchid

Ascocenda Orchid

Phaelenopsis Orchid

Phaelenopsis Orchid

Orhcids growing naturally in Hawaii

Orchids growing naturally

Enhance Your Indoor Air Quality Through Houseplants | Longacres

An increasing number of studies conducted over the past few years reveal that some houseplants remove harmful airborne contaminants. These plants can purify indoor air, which, according to authorities, is more polluted than what is circulating outdoors.

A study conducted by NASA scientists found that houseplants may help create breathable atmospheres during space explorations.

Trials have shown that plants like the South African Gerbera Daisy, Gerbera Jamesonii and Hybrids are effective in removing chemical vapours; these plants prefer to be kept in rooms that have longer periods of direct sunlight.

To maintain a healthy indoor environment, try and place these houseplants in strategic locations, keeping aesthetics in mind. Experiment with them and aim for it to be visually pleasing. In order to keep the plants healthy don’t forget to check how much water it needs, to avoid under or over watering.

Strategic Locations

It is important to keep your houseplant in the right environment, making sure it has the right amount of sun; some need to avoid long periods of direct sunlight as they might not be able to survive.

The Golden Pothos, or Epipremnum Aureum, features heart-shaped leaves and splashes of gold and cream; this plant is good for large offices as it can survive in shady locations and has a good rate of chemical removal. Another good choice would be Genus Dracaena which likes dimly-lit areas and cool temperatures.

Aesthetically Appealing

Originally from Madagascar, Dypsis Lutescens (Areca Palm) is one of the best plants for removing indoor pollutants. It is also one of the most attractive houseplants. An easy to keep plant, it requires little watering and minimum maintenance to treat a few pest and disease problems.

Low Maintenance

Buying houseplants that require low maintenance to help reduce your carbon footprint.

A Bamboo Palm or Chamaedorea Seifrizii is amongst those with the highest transpiration rates and requires low maintenance. Data shows that it can help remove benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde from the air.

If you’re not into palms, the White Phalaenopsis Orchid is a good alternative. Just keep in mind to water generously during spring and summer, and very sparingly in winter.

Chances are that all sorts of chemicals were used in the building of your home or office, all of which may be causing fatigue, headache and itchy eyes. To reduce health risks at home, install houseplants and garden plants. Longacres offers an impressive selection of houseplants, perennials, climbers, and bulbs. We provide easy access to sustainable living through high quality gardening supplies. Browse through our website and contact us for more information.