Think you missed the seasonal boat for sprucing up your garden? Think again! By following our best practices for summer landscaping, you’ll be able to feast your eyes upon new blooms in just a few weeks’ time. For all your landscape fabric and nursery cover needs, Commercial Bag & Supply can help your summer garden with nearly any custom order.
Summer Landscaping Tips
Focus on planting hot-season vegetables rather than cool-season ones. This includes tasty treats like sweet potatoes, cowpeas, okra, eggplant, yardlong beans, and cowpeas. In addition to hot-season veggies, tropical bulbs are also ideal for summer gardens. Caladiums, cannas, gingers, and elephant ears will actually grow faster in the heat.
Try to be water-conscious. Don’t water your plants unless it’s necessary. This step can be helped by creating a drought-tolerant garden. Now, that doesn’t mean you can just forget about your plants entirely, but it does mean a low-maintenance garden. Make sure your soil remains moist until your plants have taken off.
That being said, make sure you’re watering your garden at the right time of day. That means morning time. By watering in the early hours, your roots will have a better opportunity of absorbing the moisture.
Don’t forget about the wellness of your grass. High summer temps can be particularly damaging to your lawn. Pick up some fertilizer from your local garden store, but avoid fertilizing on days that reach 90 degrees or higher.
Last but not least, don’t forget the weeding. You can let the weeds grow for a little while, but make sure you’ve pulled them before they bloom and go to seed. We suggest using a hook or mattock for established weeds and a hoe or cultivator for new weeds in looser soil.
For the at-home seamstress, using these ten industrial sewing techniques can take your project to the next level in professionalism. These tips are easy to follow when sewing cotton, canvas, and many other fabrics. For your next textile project, contact Commercial Bag and Supply.
Industrial Sewing Techniques Guide
Reduce your seam allowances. Typical home sewing patterns have seam allowances of 5/8″. For collars, cuffs, and waistbands, this larger allowance often results in the garment looking bulky. Reducing the seam allowance on enclosed seams to 1/4″ will save you time on trimming, grading, notching, and clipping.
Mark your notches by using 1/8″ nips. Rather than cutting diamond shapes, nipping will make your seams less susceptible to fraying.
Instead of pinning down your pattern to the fabric, hold it down with weights.
Make sure your piece of fabric is large enough that you can cut and mark all the pieces needed at once.
Sewing continuously will result in a cleaner looking final product. Butt your pieces end to end and stitch from one seam to another. When you get to the pressing station, then you can cut them apart.
Try to sew as many seams as you can before the initial pressing.
Save time by sewing flat. Sew the details first (collar, cuffs, waistband,etc.), then move on to the rest of the garment. Do as much sewing as you can before you sew together the side seams.
Sew buttonholes. When you’re ready to put the actual buttons on, open the holes with a punch rather than a seam ripper.
Avoid using pins as it distorts seams and slows down the process. Match corners at the start and finish of seams. Use both hands to sew and keep raw edges matched while sewing.
During the final pressing, start with the details. Move to the sleeves and the body. Press your buttons from the wrong side. Allow pressed areas to cool down before you begin pressing a new section.
Planting and harvesting your garden can be one of the most rewarding seasonal activities on your own or with your loved ones. Using these seed storage tips, you can keep growing your vegetable strains year after year.
How long will stored seeds last?
Depending on what kind you’re storing, seeds can last anywhere from a year to more than five years.
Seeds to use quickly:
Seeds that last last 3-4 years:
How should you salvage vegetable seeds?
Vegetables that are more “fleshy” should be seeded when fully ripe. These vegetables include tomatoes, squash, melons, and the like. Other vegetables like beans and peas should be left on the vine until their pods are dried out and crackly. Corn needs to be left on the stalk until the kernels dent. For fleshy-vegetables seeds:
– Scoop out the seeds
– Spread them out on a paper towel
– Leave the seeds to dry in a well-ventilated area
Is freezing bad for seeds?
Freezing seeds is better for long-term storage. The cold temperatures will actually extend the lifespan of the stored seeds.
Can you expect growth from frozen seeds?
The simple answer? Yes. You can check the germination rate by putting a damp paper towel in a plastic bag with some of the seeds. Then place the plastic bag into a warm area of the house. After about one week, you should begin to see germination occurring.
How to Store Seeds
Prepare the amount of mason jars you’ll need for proper separation of your seeds
Place a cheesecloth bag of dry powdered milk at the bottom of the jar
Put the seeds into each jar
Label and date the jars
Place the jars in a refrigerator or freezer for long-term storage
Can’t find the right canvas size for your new painting project?
Follow our guide on how to stretch your own canvas.
Supplies you’ll need:
Frame (built or bought)
Spray bottle filled with water
Utility knife / X-acto knife
Steps to Stretch Your Own Canvas
Build your frame or buy a canvas stretcher. A frame meant for stretching canvas will include pre-cut slats that help you easily snap the frame into place.
Make sure you have enough canvas on hand. Depending on the width of your chosen frame, you’ll want enough canvas so when it lays flat, there’s 6-8 inches on either side extending beyond the frame. Purchasing unprimed canvas will make the stretching easier.
Cut the canvas to your desired size.
Center the frame. Before you begin any stretching, smooth the canvas once more and clean up any stray fibers.
Begin the stretching. Take the longest side of the canvas, fold it in, and staple it down with three staples on that side of the frame. Now repeat this step for the opposite side. *Always staple in the center of the frame.*
Now use your spray bottle to mist the canvas. This will encourage shrinkage as you proceed through the following steps.
Move on to the shorter sides of canvas. Pull on the remaining canvas to ensure tightness, and attach it to the frame using two staples. Repeat for the opposite side.
Now the corners are left. Begin with the side you started with in step five. Start from the center, pull the canvas tightly, fold down, and staple up towards the corner. Follow the same pattern you did for the center stapling.
Staple the corners. Now you should have the entire canvas stapled save for the corner fabric. Fold one side down into a triangle as though wrapping a gift, then pull the other side down tightly on top. Staple 2-3 times.
Double check your work. Inspect all sides of the frame to be sure the canvas is appropriately stretched and all staples are securely in place. If necessary, staple in additional, loose-looking places, or use a hammer to straighten unruly staples.
Almost there. Let the canvas rest and tighten up over 24-48 hours, prime, and you’re ready to paint!
You can fail fertilizing in two ways: too much or not at all. Right in between is the way to go! Ask the expert at your local landscaping shop for the right kind of fertilizer for your yard, given weather conditions and what you’re planning to plant. It’s best to fertilize twice per year, in Spring and again come Fall. Always water your lawn afterwards, and don’t fertilize when the sun is very bright.
2. Don’t Overwater
Your lawn only needs about an inch of water per week, but also keep in mind the conditions of your lawn. What’s the weather like? It’s best to water during the morning hours so your yard and plants have plenty of time to dry.
3. Can’t Forget the Maintenance
You might get carried away with the planning and purchasing of plants, but don’t think the work is done once the planting is over. Most gardens need to be weeded once or twice a month. Part of planning your garden should be considering how much time you’ll have throughout the year to maintain it.
4. 360 Degree View, Night or Day
When you’re planning your new landscape, you might be standing in the middle of your yard, mid-day, imagining all the flowers blooming in their beautiful colors. But what about sitting at the kitchen table, looking out the windows? What about when the sun sets? The best gardens look great from every angle – even inside your home! And looking into lighting for your new landscape isn’t such a bad idea either. Who doesn’t want to admire their garden over a candlelit dinner?
5. Functional Beauty
In the haze of planting beautiful flowers, don’t forget that you’ll still want to be able to use your lawn. What about dinner parties? Children running wild? In the early planning stages, you’ll want to be sure your landscaping is just as functional as it is easy on the eyes.
Landscape fabric is one of the easiest ways to keep weeds out of your beautiful garden. Landscaping fabrics are made from woven polypropylene or burlap, and can be installed in your garden beds to prevent unwanted growth, create pathways and flower beds, and even protect your plants from unwanted critters searching for something to snack on.
You can install your own landscape fabric in ten easy steps, but first, make sure you have these gardening tools:
You want a clean start, so begin by ridding your garden of any existing weeds.
Using your tiller or garden fork, turn your soil. If you’re choosing to use any compost or soil additives, this is the time to add them. You won’t be able to add to the soil once you’ve laid your landscaping fabric.
To smooth the area, use your rake to clear the soil of any extra debri like sticks, rocks, or roots. Dispose of all debris, and then rake over the soil once more.
Lay your roll of fabric down at one end of the garden, and unroll to the desired length.
Now take out your scissors knife. Cut this long piece of fabric so it covers the entire area. You’ll also want to cut additional large sized pieces of fabric. Overlap these extra pieces by 12 inches for added protection against weeds managing to escape through the gaps.
Use your knife to cut slits in the fabric where you already have plants. Place these lit around the base of the plant’s stem.
You don’t want your new garden bed to have unsightly bunches of lumps, so take this time to smooth the cover over your soil.
Push a landscape staple into the fabric every few three or so feet. Make sure you secure all edges as well as the places where two sheets of fabric meet or overlap.
Now you’re ready to place your new plants. Cut an X into the fabric according to your new garden plan. Dig a hole where you’ve placed the X. Now you can place your plant. Cover the exposed roots with extra soil, and place the landscape cover back over the soil.
Once you’ve completed planting all of your new plants, cover the entire landscape fabric with two inches mulch. You want mulch around your plants as well, but be careful not to pile it up against the fragile stems.
We think it’s safe to say cotton is one of the most versatile textiles. Did you know that one cotton bale alone can produce 250 single bed sheets, 3,000 nappies, 1,200 t-shirts, 2,100 pairs of of boxer shorts, 680,000 cotton balls, or 4,300 pairs of socks?
It can do a lot more than that, too.
Perhaps even more useful than its work in the clothing industry, cotton makes an ideal medical product. The fabric is unbelievably adaptable, holding up to 27 times its own weight in water, and actually becoming stronger as it gets wet. These qualities make cotton perfect for bandages and swabs in a medical environment.
Cotton is most often used in the clothing industry since this fabric doesn’t irritate sensitive skin. Thanks to its adaptability, cotton easily blends with other fibers and synthetics, and can quickly take to dyes.
Other characteristics of cotton include:
Soft, comfortable, and cool
Breathable fabric that absorbs and releases perspiration quickly
This means cotton will stay cool in the summer and warm in winter
Appears in many varieties depending on how it’s woven:
Possibly one of the most usable textiles, Commercial Bag & Supply can create cotton products that work for you like:
medical supplies (as discussed above)
bank/casino money bags
painter’s floor coverings
bags for metal shavings
food bags ideal for storing:
When it comes time to clean your cotton, follow these tips:
You can easily just throw your cotton products in the washing machine. Use chlorine bleach to restore the cotton to its original whiteness, but be careful! If your cotton is chemically treated, the bleach may cause yellowing. If dyed, the bleach may remove the color. Once you’ve finished washing and drying your cotton, using an iron at high temperatures can help to remove any wrinkles that sustained the wash and dry.
An easy way to control weeds without chemicals or sprays is by using landscape fabric. It’s usually made with burlap or woven polypropylene. With two choices, how do you know which material to use?
Woven polypropylene is a synthetic material that does not easily decompose. It’s the perfect material for long-term use under mulch. Its tight weave allows for moisture to penetrate. Unlike burlap, are stronger and rot-resistant over time.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option, burlap is the way to go. Burlap is a natural fiber made from Jute. The material is strong and biodegradable, so chemicals do not seep into soil. Burlap is typically more resistant to UV deterioration but less so moisture than the woven polypropylene.
Landscape fabric is also used to prevent erosion, walkways, flowerbeds, paths, planting, and landscaping. It’s great to protect your seeds from pesky animals and birds.
At Commercial Bag & Supply, we are able to cut the fabric to any shape or size to meet your needs. Since we import bulk quantities of both woven polypropylene and burlap, we can supply any commercial or industrial use you might have. Our cutting room can process quantities from 10 – 10,000; just let us know what you need!
You already know that plants will die if they can’t withstand the cold temperatures that come with winter. Uncovered plants can suffer from “winter burn,” which occurs with a combination of winter sunlight and depleted soil moisture. Some people use plastic to wrap their plants, but this actually constricts the airflow of your foliage. Instead, you should use burlap to protect your plants during winter months as it allows the plants to breathe, air can circulate, and heat is not trapped.
What plants need to be covered?
If you live somewhere with mild winter temperatures, you might be able to get away with a thin layer of mulch protecting your plants. Perennials often last, but need protection if they’re planted in poorly drained, soggy soil.
Newly planted trees and shrubs need covering for the first three winters.
Broadleaf evergreen shrubs like azaleas, camellias, and rhododendrons all require covering.
Potted plants are extremely susceptible to cold and need several burlap layers to effectively protect the roots.
Using stakes on any plant wrapped for winter protection is necessary to prevent molding. If a plant is wrapped without stakes, the fluctuating temperatures can cause mold. Using the stake method will keep the burlap from smooshing against the needles, and will prevent you from having the replace the trees come Spring due to molding.
Place the stakes so they’re submerged about 4-5 inches into the ground.
Using twine, tie the stakes together with secure knots.
Wrap enough burlap around the stakes to create a double layer around the tree, shrub, or other plant.
Secure the burlap wrap around the top of the stakes by using more twine.
Cut away the remaining fabric.
Take one more piece of twine and wrap it around the secured burlap to keep it in place.
Tie the last bit of twine around the base of one of your stakes to secure the protective mechanism.
How do you control weeds in your garden? If you’re conscientious about using chemicals or sprays around your home, a landscape fabric is an effective alternative to controlling weeds and other unwanted growth. Fabric for landscaping is typically made from two textiles: woven polypropylene and burlap.
In addition to weed control, landscape fabric can also be used to prevent erosion, as well as create walkways, flowerbeds, and paths. Burlap or woven polypropylene landscape fabrics can also protect your seeds from birds and other animals.
Woven Polypropylene Landscape Fabric
Woven polypropylene does not easily decompose so it’s an ideal material to be placed under mulch for long periods of time. Woven polypropylene offers a tight weave design that allows moisture to penetrate. Many gardeners prefer woven polypropylene to burlap for landscape fabric because it’s stronger and rot resistant, though it’s more costly.
Burlap Landscape Fabric
Burlap is another strong fabric that’s biodegradable and more affordable than woven polypropylene. It’s biodegradable quality prevents chemicals from seeping into the soil, and burlap’s material makeup is more resistant to UV deterioration.
Burlap can also be used to protect your gardens during the colder months. Cold temperatures, sun, and wind are all culprits to injured plants during winter months. Contrary to popular belief, though, low temperatures are actually less damaging to your plants than the fluctuating temperatures.
When exposed to direct sunlight, tree bark can crack. In below freezing temperature, root damage is likely to occur. If root damage does occur, the roots might wilt come spring. Instead of letting your trees brave the winter cold on their own, use a burlap landscape fabric and wrap it around the base of your trees, shrubs, and bushes to prevent undue damage.
Burlap is an ideal fabric for winter protection because it allows enough sun and rain to get to the plant while simultaneously preventing frost and excessive sunlight.
Use burlap landscape fabric to minimize winter damages:
Create an outline for the burlap by driving 3 or 4 stakes into the ground around the plant you want to protect
Cut a piece of burlap large enough to wrap the plant at least twice
Use twine to loosely tie the burlap so it stays in place
You can also wrap burlap around your planter boxes, and secure the fabric with rocks or something similar in weight.
Both burlap and woven polypropylene wholesale landscape fabric from Commercial Bag & Supply can be customized to your exact specifications so no matter what season, your garden is protected. Contact a Commercial Bag & Supply specialist today if you have any questions about landscape fabric for your home garden.
Commercial Bag & Supply
1244 2nd Ave.
Des Moines, Iowa 50314
Toll Free: 1-800-383-1269