"Just put some aloe on it."
Fans of the TV sitcom "Seinfeld" will recall this advice as being the call of the unconcerned dermatologist. While we certainly value the work dermatologists do and, in no way wish to minimize their vocation, you have to admit that this is a pretty good line. Aloe vera has been used for centuries by humans around the globe to treat wounds, burns, and reduce fever. In modern times, aloe vera is cultivated and widely used in lotions, creams, cosmetics, and even foods. Let's take a closer look at this wonder-plant and how it can dramatically improve your Central Florida garden space.
Aloe vera is one of the oldest mentioned plants in written history. Ancient Egyptian and Chinese writers have commented on the plant's healing and soothing abilities. The legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra is rumored to have used the plant in her daily skin treatments. Macedonian military might Alexander the Great conquered the island of Socotra (an island off the coast of modern-day Yemen) for the sole purpose of securing enough aloe vera to treat his soldier's wounds. Indeed, aloe vera has been important to humans since the beginning of civilization.
If you break off a piece of the fleshy stem of the aloe vera plant, you will see a gel-like liquid that the plant naturally produces. This "wound" will quickly heal over at the point of the cut and will eventually grow back to its original state. The portion of the plant that has been cut off can be maintained in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. Multiple skin issues, (including the dreaded poison ivy) can be treated using this gel as well as the resinous yellow "aloin" that is found when you cut a piece off of a plant.
Aloe vera originated in the Arabian Peninsula, but grows well in arid climates around the world. In addition to its commercial and medicinal benefits, it is also a really attractive plant that makes an excellent addition to any landscaped garden. Additionally, aloe vera plants require very little water to thrive. In fact, experts recommend that you water your aloe vera plants once every three weeks and even less frequently during the winter months. Even gardeners whose thumbs are far from green can successfully maintain these wonderful plants.
In Your Yard
Aloe plants can be a perfect fit for your yard. In addition to being practical and attractive, these plants even attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Aloe vera plants like sunshine. That's great news for us here in the Sunshine State. Incorporating a few aloe plants into your yard's garden is an easy way to make it look better without the fuss of more high-maintenance plants.
If you're interested in adding aloe vera plants to your home's garden, give us at Aventura Nursery & Landscaping a call at (352) 799-3200 today. We are currently offering special prices on all types of aloe as well as discounts on bamboo, jasmine, and jade. We look forward to helping you make your yard look its absolute best.
The weather here in Florida made headlines around the country last month. Temperatures in the low 40s across the state not only lead to an increase in jacket sales, it also saw an additional strange phenomenon: iguanas falling out of trees! While this change in the weather and the subsequent happenings surrounding it was a silly anomaly to most, it did bring about an interesting question for the Central Florida landscaping community: is is a good idea to prune trees when the temperature drops? The answer to this question is an unqualified...yes!
A Most Excellent Time of Year
For most trees, winter is the perfect time for pruning. This is because most trees enter a state of dormancy when the weather gets cold and lose most of their leaves. The branches of these trees become exposed and it becomes much easier to see the actual structure of the tree. This means that any troublesome spots such as branches hanging too close to any structures are also easier to identify. Furthermore, winter months are usually drier than warmer months. When branches are drier, they weigh less and are easier to cut. A definite win-win.
Fruit trees such as cypress, juniper, and spruce are ideal candidates for winter pruning and should be cut during colder months. Sap producing trees like elm, maple, and birch are best left until late summer or early fall however. This is because freshly exposed limbs are susceptible to seepage.
Some Handy Tips
It's a good idea to make a plan before you start doing any work. Survey your property to decide which trees need to be trimmed and what equipment you will need to get the job done. Do you have extremely tall trees that will require special ladders and equipment? If so, it may be a good idea to hire a professional landscaping company as opposed to trying to go it alone. The last thing we want is for anyone to be injured while trimming from high places.
We recommend that larger branches be cut in stages. This will reduce the likelihood of injury to both you and the tree. Using your handsaw and/or snips, make a series of cuts beginning at about 18 inches from the trunk. Make an additional cut a few inches closer to the trunk and a final cut close to the trunk of the tree, just outside the branch's collar. Remember to dispose of all branches in accordance with local laws and regulations and please be safe while working.
If you want to take the stress and danger out of tree trimming, please give Aventura Nursery & Landscaping a call at (352) 799-3200 today. We are standing by to help you make your yard look its best.
.If you think about your lawn as a neighborhood, weeds are the new neighbors that no one likes. They play loud music, their dog barks constantly, and they don't bother keeping their house in good condition. Neighbors like this can not only be annoying, they can also cause property values to plummet. Weeds are very similar. They look terrible and can cause major damage to your lawn. Today we take a look at a few ways that weeds can ruin your lawn and exactly what you can do to keep this from happening.
Why Are Weeds So Terrible?
Well for starters, they take up precious space in your yard that grass and other plants need to grow. Let's go back to the neighborhood analogy. There is only so much space in your neighborhood to build housing. Suddenly, a developer moves in and starts putting up new condominiums. Things would get very crowded in your neighborhood very quickly. Weeds can also steal precious food from your plants, leaving them more susceptible to disease and insect invasion. Your plants need light, water, and nutrients like nitrogen and potassium to grow. Weeds love to steal these nutrients from healthy plants to use for themselves.
Some weeds are also parasites. These weeds not only compete with healthy plants for real estate and nutrients, they also attach themselves to the stems or roots of them. This, in turn, leaves them vulnerable to disease and insect infestation. Certain weeds can also wreak havoc on humans. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 23 million Americans suffer from ragweed allergies. Anyone unfortunate enough to have these allergies can tell you just how awful having weeds in their yard can be.
What Can I Do?
You put a lot of work into your yard and garden. You deserve to have an outdoor space that is free of weeds. Fortunately, there are a few basic steps you can take to make this a reality. First and foremost, it is important to eliminate any bare soil. Soil devoid of any plant life offers weed seeds the perfect place to grow without interference. Spread a decent amount of mulch over any space where nothing is growing to discourage weed growth and consider planting new grass and/or plants in this space. It is also recommended that you cover any crops you have growing sometime in the fall. This will protect your soil in the winter and spring and prevent any new weeds from taking root.
If it's too late and weeds have made their home in your lawn and garden, all is not lost. Mowing your grass on a routine basis can keep new weeds from popping up. You can also alter your watering schedule depending on your yard's needs. Watering grass less often but with more water will make it stronger and less susceptible to invading weeds.
You can also hire a lawn care professional to help you with those nasty weeds. We here at Aventura Nursery and Landscaping would be more than happy to rid your yard and garden of any invasive weeds. Give us a call today at 352-799-3200 and let us know how we can help you.
Come Grow With Us!