When a breeze blows through the trees is the wind talking - or are the trees chit-chatting? Trees are tribal. They protect one another from dings and nicks of lawnmowers, and, working together, manage the soil around their roots much more effectively than do man-made lawn chemicals.
Knowledge may be power, but wisdom is the real deal. Wise weekend warriors read the label - and follow the directions. In this commentary Jim talks about how we sometimes get in the way of Mother Nature and, that when we need to nudge her a bit, we should do so wisely.
Question: Name a woodland creature that will leap a six foot chain link fence in a single bound to get to that luscious-looking vegetable garden on the other side but will not leap a four-foot slat-sided fence through which it cannot see. If you said 'hippopotamus,' please review your field notes more thoroughly before attempting our next quiz. If you answered 'deer,' you are correct. Deer are smart - but you can outsmart them. Here's how.
As the summer roles on, landscape and garden soil becomes drier from constant sun at its most intense. Many plants go dormant, but that does not mean they are dead. They are very much alive and will appreciate your occasional offer of liquid refreshment. Water your plants during the cool part of the day to keep them happy.
Which is better, morning sun or afternoon sun? And where does mid-day sun fit into the growing cycle? Well... it all depends. To learn how and why, grab your polarized sunglasses and tune in as Jim sheds light on the many shades of sunlight.
Slugs. They creep while you sleep, often wreaking havoc on garden plants along the way. Fortunately there are ways to fight back. Maybe a slug mug filled with beer or a solution of ammonia and water that kills slugs on impact while fertilizing your plants at the same time. Learn how you can slug it out with slugs and snails.
Remember that old adage that diamonds are forever? Well so are styrofoam cups, plastic liners, disposable diapers, even cigarette butts. Paper and wood products break down in a matter of weeks, returning to the soil from which they came. Plastics are a different matter. Here's a sobering commentary on the importance of staying natural.
That ugly green sheen on your favorite weekend boat shoes... 'grass' stain from walking behind the mower, right? Not so. Grass does not stain. Weeds do. Here are handy tips for getting gardening stain off your hands. And, when weeding, be SURE to wear gardening gloves. You never know when you might find yourself pulling pigweed, poison ivy or other noxious plants.
Take Control! Rage against the Machine! Power to the Peonies! The 'Machine' we refer to is, of course, the lawnmower. Ever feel like it's holding you down, keeping you from reaching your full potential on, say, the golf course or the trout stream? Here are tips for cutting down on the cutting down and, in the process, bringing a more verdant and sustainable approach to maintaining your landscape.
We just can't stop talking about lilacs. They are easy to grow, generate a fragrance to die for, and add terrific, showy color to the spring landscape. If only they were not so quick to drop their blooms. But wait! Here's news about a new variety called the Bloomerang that Ted Collins, dean of the Rochester Lilac Festival, calls the 'ever-bloomer.' Amazing.
Hey, Vets. Remember that fun drill back in boot camp? 'Dig a hole; fill it in. Dig a hole, fill it in.' Didn't realize Ol' Sarge was preparing you to become a weekend warrior, did you? Next time you dig a hole to place a tree, or shrub, or bedding plant, make sure 30 percent of what goes back into the hole with that plant is compost. Then, stand back and watch the plant take off. Compost is full of the best nutrients nature has to offer.
Flowering bulbs bring joy to springtime - and then are forgotten. Remember to feed them, even when they are dormant. You will see the difference next spring and beyond. And don't cut those green stems just because the flowers are gone - let them go brown before you cut them down.