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SOIL AND MULCH Soil should be acid with a PH level between 5 -7, preferably with some organic matter like coarse peat, decomposed pine bark or acidic leaf mold.
The drawing shows plant in a simple raised bed (left side) or raised bed with retaining wall(right side). FERTILIZING Fertilizing should be done in the spring with a good balanced acidic fertilizer. DEADHEADING This is the pinching off or twisting off of the faded flower heads soon after blooming. TRANSPLANTING RHODODENDRONS To successfully transplant rhododendrons and azaleas from a container into the garden, here are a few steps to follow.
A Happy Daycare - May Newsletters   May 5- 9, 2014  It has been an exciting week here at A Happy Daycare. Drainage – The soil needs to have the ability to let water flow freely through it so the water does not stagnate and rot the roots. A raised bed garden will provide fantastic drainage.
Nutrient retention – Good soil is designed to hold on to nutrients so there is less leaching which improves plant health and saves you money. Support – The structure of the soil needs to be small yet strong so plants will be able to push their roots through it quickly. Here is an ideal way to get fantastic growth. This is a mixture you can adjust and see how it works for you – many gardeners have found it to be ideal for growing plants quickly. 1 part pre-soaked Coir Peat – Coir Peat is a cheap but long lasting renewable resource so it is a good environmental choice. 1 part Vermiculite* (Grade 3 is a good size) – Vermiculite is the silvery grey color you often see in potting mixes. The flaky particles soak up moisture and nutrients and keep them in the mix so the plants can access them.
I prefer this medium to coarse washed river sand because it provides excellent drainage and has great moisture and mineral retaining properties whereas sand doesn’t.
Humus has so many benefits including the capacity to hold nutrients and supply them to your plants, incredible moisture retention capacity (holds 80-90% of its weight in water), prevents leaching, provides beneficial microbes, is a plant food source, a buffer for toxic metals and chemicals, and has the optimum soil crumb texture. A “part” can be whatever quantity you need: a small scoop or ice cream tub, a 9 liter bucket or even a wheelbarrow depending on how much potting mix you require. Seal coating is an important tool in extending the life of pavement and should not be overlooked. What leads to the deterioration of asphalt?A  The number one offender is water!A  Water causes clay expansion, washes away dirt and can erode rock supporting asphalt.A  This is why it is imperative that a site is properly graded and drained at installation. Other factors that can deteriorate an asphalt surface include oxidative properties of ultraviolet light which can denature the surface of asphalt. We recommend year round scheduled maintenance with inspections in spring and fall and crack sealing and repair as indicated. Although the terms cement and concrete often are used interchangeably, cement is actually an ingredient of concrete. So, there is no such thing as a cement sidewalk, or a cement mixer; the proper terms are concrete sidewalk and concrete mixer. Materials that contain appropriate amounts of calcium compounds, silica, alumina and iron oxide are crushed and screened and placed in a rotating cement kiln.
The kiln resembles a large horizontal pipe with a diameter of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 4.1 meters) and a length of 300 feet (90 meters) or more. Curing is one of the most important steps in concrete construction, because proper curing greatly increases concrete strength and durability.
Good concrete can be obtained by using a wide variety of mix proportions if proper mix design procedures are used. Concrete is tested to ensure that the material that was specified and bought is the same material delivered to the job site. The real indicator is the yield, or the actual volume produced based on the actual batch quantities of cement, water and aggregates. Portland cement is a hydraulic cement which means that it sets and hardens due to a chemical reaction with water. It is concrete that is strong enough to carry a compressive stress of 3,000 psi (20.7 MPa) at 28 days. Stains can be removed from concrete with dry or mechanical methods, or by wet methods using chemical or water. Common dry methods include sandblasting, flame cleaning and shotblasting, grinding, scabbing, planing and scouring. Wet methods involve the application of water or specific chemicals according to the nature of the stain.
To remove blood stains, for example, wet the stains with water and cover them with a layer of sodium peroxide powder; let stand for a few minutes, rinse with water and scrub vigorously.
Color may be added to concrete by adding pigments-before or after concrete is place-and using white cement rather than conventional gray cement, by using chemical stains, or by exposing colorful aggregates at the surface. Each country has its own standard for portland cement, so there is no universal international standard. Alkali-silica reactivity is an expansive reaction between reactive forms of silica in aggregates and potassium and sodium alkalis, mostly from cement, but also from aggregates, pozzolans, admixtures and mixing water.
White portland cement is made from raw materials containing little or no iron or manganese, the substances that give conventional cement its gray color. If you have a question that was not answered in this section, please contact us and we will be happy to answer it! In poorly drained soil, if you dig a hole like this and fill it back with light soil, you may be creating a bucket which will hold stagnant water and kill your plant.
This is to protect them from the south and west sun and prevailing winds, especially during the winter months.
If soils are a combination of hard and claylike matter, than the beds should Be raised if you are planting Rhododendrons, azaleas and other ericaceous plants.
If planting directly into poorly drained soil, you may be creating a bucket which will hold stagnant water and kill your plant.
It is better to fertilize twice with half strength in April and again in the first of June, Never never fertilize after June15.
The pockets allow oxygen to get to the plants more readily and allows them to grow quickly. This balance is important so that you don’t waste water or create a mix that actually repels water! It is natural volcanic mineral that has been expanded with heat to increase its water holding capacity and can come from a variety of sources.
It is lightweight and inorganic so is a permanent ingredient that will not deteriorate or lose volume in the mix.

Note: This is an approximate quantity based on making 36 liters (4 x 9 liter buckets) of potting mix using a 9 liter brick of coir peat. Seal coats generally consist of a mixture of emulsified asphalt, water, mineral fillers and various other admixtures. Future applications of seal coat should be applied at intervals of three to five years, or at times when roadway aesthetics are not up to par with the balance of the community.
Ingredients used in this process are typically materials such as limestone, marl, shale, iron ore, clay, and fly ash. These air pockets relieve internal pressure on the concrete by providing tiny chambers for water to expand into when it freezes. There are a dozen different test methods for freshly mixed concrete and at least another dozen tests for hardened concrete, not including test methods unique to organizations like the Army Corps of Engineers, the Federal Highway Administration, and state departments of transportation. If the concrete can't flow because the consistency or slump is too low, there are potential problems with proper consolidation.
Three field tests are widely specified: the pressure meter and volumetric method are ASTM standards and the Chace Indicator is an AASHTO procedure.
According to Building Code Requirements for Reinforced Concrete (ACI 318), as long as no single test is more than 500 psi below the design strength and the average of three consecutive tests equals or exceed the design strength then the concrete is acceptable. The unit weight test can be used to determine the yield of a sample of the ready mixed concrete as delivered.
Too much water in the mix will produce a weaker, less durable concrete that will contribute to early flaking and spalling of the surface. If this excess water is worked into the concrete because the finishing operations are begun too soon, the concrete on the surface will have too high a water content and will be weaker and less durable.
The factor that most predominantly influences concrete strength is the ratio of water to cement in the cement paste that binds the aggregates together. Steel-wire brushes should be used with care because they can leave metal particles on the surface that later may rust and stain the concrete. The chemical treatment either dissolves the staining substance so it can be blotted up from the surface of the concrete or bleaches the staining substance so it will not show. Follow with the application of a 5 percent solution of vinegar to neutralize any remaining sodium peroxide.
However, there are some aggressive materials, such as most acids, that can have a deteriorating effect on concrete.
The United States uses the specification prepared by the American Society for Testing and Materials-ASTM C-150 Standard Specification for Portland Cement.
External sources of alkali from soil, deicers and industrial processes can also contribute to reactivity. They have the same properties as types I, II, and III, except that they have small quantities of air-entrained materials combined with them. Small leaf rhododendrons (lepidote) and deciduous azaleas tend to be tolerant of more exposed planting sites. The beds should be made up of garden loam, peat or decomposed pine bark and acidic leaf mold organic matter (acidic) is the key. If plant is in a container, pull the root ball out of the container, if on the dry side you should soak it for 10 minutes in a pail of water.
Mulch helps to keep the weeds under control and keeps the moisture in the soil from drying out. The finer product left behind after the husk fiber is processed is called coconut coir or Coir Peat – not to be confused with peat moss! The process seals the top of the asphalt, preventing water from penetrating the surface of the pavement and protecting the top layer of asphalt from oxidation and wear caused by exposure to the sun.
The thickness of the wearing surface will depend on the number of coats applied and the amount of water added by the contractor.
The aggregates are sand and gravel or crushed stone; the paste is water and portland cement. The raw mix is placed in the high end and as the kiln rotates the materials move slowly toward the lower end.
However, hydration occurs only if water is available and if the concrete's temperature stays within a suitable range.
Air-entrained concrete is produced through the use of air-entraining portland cement, or by the introduction of air-entraining agents, under careful engineering supervision as the concrete is mixed on the job. If the concrete won't stop flowing because the slump is too high, there are potential problems with mortar loss through the formwork, excessive formwork pressures, finishing delays and segregation.
Conventional concrete has strengths of 7,000 psi or less; concrete with strengths between 7,000 and 14,500 psi is considered high-strength concrete. Geometric patterns can be scored, stamped, rolled, or inlaid into the concrete to resemble stone, brick or tile paving.
The first line of defense against chemical attack is to use quality concrete with maximum chemical resistance, followed by the application of protective treatments to keep corrosive substances from contacting the concrete.
There are a few other countries that also have adopted this as their standard, however, there are countless other specifications. The reaction forms an alkali-silica gel that swells as it draws water from the surrounding cement paste, thereby inducing pressure, expansion and cracking of the aggregate and surrounding paste. The children decorated a special sombrero hat with pipe cleaners, pom-poms and the number of the day, five, to wear for our Music and Movement Class.
Remember, seal coat is water soluble, so it is important to deal with reputable contractors in the asphalt-maintenance business. Flame jets are at the lower end and all the materials in the kiln are heated to high temperatures that range between 2700 and 3000 Fahrenheit (1480 and 1650 Celsius). During the curing period-from five to seven days after placement for conventional concrete-the concrete surface needs to be kept moist to permit the hydration process. The amount of entrained air is usually between 4 percent and 7 percent of the volume of the concrete, but may be varied as required by special conditions.
The reason that contractors put joints in concrete pavements and floors is to allow the concrete to crack in a neat, straight line at the joint when the volume of the concrete changes due to shrinkage.
The total weight information may be shown on the delivery ticket or it can be provided by the producer. Every desirable physical property that you can measure will be adversely effected by adding more water. Other interesting patterns are obtained by using divider strips (commonly redwood) to form panels of various sizes and shapesA  rectangular, square, circular or diamond. Principles and practices that improve the chemical resistance of concrete include using a low water-cement ratio, selecting a suitable cement type (such as sulfate-resistant cement to prevent sulfate attack), using suitable aggregates, water and air entrainment.
This often results in map-pattern cracks, sometimes referred to as alligator pattern cracking.

Stay away from shallow rooted three's like Norway maples and other shallow invasive rooted trees.
Hats on and Mexican Mariachi Music playing the children were ready to pick out a maraca to practice their rhythm skills. Good looks are an added benefit, but seal coating is not just for aesthetics--it will actually extend pavement life. Portland cement is not a brand name, but the generic term for the type of cement used in virtually all concrete, just as stainless is a type of steel and sterling a type of silver. This high heat drives off, or calcines, the chemically combined water and carbon dioxide from the raw materials and forms new compounds (tricalcium silicate, dicalcium silicate, tricalcium aluminate and tetracalcium aluminoferrite). In general, the temperature of new concrete should not be allowed to fall below 50 Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) during the curing period. This would be impractical, so a time period of 28 days was selected by specification writing authorities as the age that all concrete should be tested. A large number of chemical formulations are available as sealers and coatings to protect concrete from a variety of environments; detailed recommendations should be requested from manufacturers, formulators or material suppliers.
ASR can be avoided through 1) proper aggregate selection, 2) use of blended cements, 3) use of proper pozzolanic materials and 4) contaminant-free mixing water. Do not plant to close to the house or buildings with large overhangs (eves troughs) because they block the rainwater from reaching the roots. Clapping their hands and shaking the maracas to the beat it was time to learn the new moves for the Mexican Hat Dance.  We placed a hat in the middle of the room and everyone gathered around in a big circle. For each ton of material that goes into the feed end of the kiln, two thirds of a ton the comes out the discharge end, called clinker. But other producers may not even realize that a mix designed for one cubic yard might only produce 26.5 cubic feet or 98 percent of what they designed.
We use a chunky peat and decomposed pine bark, so our root balls are fairly easy to pull apart. It took us awhile to get everyone moving in the same direction around the hat but soon they learned how to kick their feet, clap their hands and most importantly not step on the hat. Through a process called hydration, the cement and water harden and bind the aggregates into a rocklike mass. Some nurseries use other mixture like sawdust to plant in so some are quite difficult to pull apart as they are compacted. This hardening process continues for years meaning that concrete gets stronger as it gets older. If you do not soak the root ball before you planting, sometimes the root ball stays very dry, even when the surrounding soil seems moist.
We welcomed Catalina back from a family vacation to Mexico and she brought us back Mexican toys called baleros that are made out of a wooden cup with a string and ball attached. A small amount of gypsum is added during the grinding process to control the cement's set or rate of hardening.
At Geography Time the children have been learning where the different states and countries are on our two maps. Just mulch 2 or 3 inches around the plants.a€?a€?When a rhododendron is newly planted, the roots are only in the existing ball and have not had time to grow out into the surrounding soil. Just mulch 2 or 3 inches around the plants.When a rhododendron is newly planted, the roots are only in the existing ball and have not had time to grow out into the surrounding soil. If the ball gets dry, water will not easily be re-absorbed into the ball from the moist adjoining soil. Catalina was very proud to show her friends where she visited on the world map at Geography Time. Since no roots have had time to grow in the new soil, the ball can be dry even though it is sitting in damp soil.
If you get the chance take the time to show your child on a map where different friends or family live.
If you haven’t heard already we had a special visit from a green and white dump truck filled with a load of dirt to use in the garden.
Everyone got to watch the truck dump out the dirt and the best part was when the children got to get their own hands dirty filling up the new raised garden beds.
Because you can’t be a good gardener if you don’t know what plants need to grow.  So we hopped on the “Magic School Bus” and watched the episode The Magic School Bus Gets Planted. They dressed up like bean plants sticking big leaves all over each other with the help of Stage Moms Catalina and Victoria. Activities like this makes it possible to teach a complex subject like photosynthesis to the very young child in a way that they can grasp and then apply what they have learned through active play. And every little genius needs to know how to use scientific tools like magnifiers and microscopes to make things that are small appear bigger. The children used the tools to investigate mold on a strawberry, a wiggly roly-poly bug, and the Venus Fly Trap plant. Chompy had a nice lunch of two juicy flies this week and you should have seen the children’s faces when his little mouths snapped right closed.
They have already come up with some creative ideas of building with the new wheeled blocks.
These are the things we are learning during our days or you could just ask Asher who summed it up best when he woke up after nap screaming to his friends, “I love my school!”Letters and Phonics: Alphabet train letters V, W, and X. Water Table and Sensory Play: The children have been busy exploring the concepts of volume and measurement while scooping up and transferring  water and garden soil between different containers. The children decorated big letter W cutouts with crayons and streamers to get ready for a Wiggle Worm Music and Movement class.
Then the children all formed a line, tried to hold on tight to each other, and giggled as Ralphie led the group in a wiggle worm parade. Congratulations to Catalina and Victoria for being able to write their long names all by themselves. Each day the children are excited to run into the garden to watch the progress of their growing garden. At Science time we are reading about the life cycle of a bean plant and the best part is the children get to march right into their garden, bend down close, investigate the seeds popping out of the soil, and watch the story come to life right before their eyes.  Jonathan loves spinach whether it is fresh or cooked and he is slowly turning all his friends on to one of his favorite vegetables. Geography Time: We are Using our maps and songs to point out and identify the different continents and states. Water Play: We are learning about the volume and capacity of different containers through water play.

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