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.
Remember what Grandma used to say... 'If the soil ain't happy, ain't no tree, shrub or clingin' vine happy!' Okay, so that's not what she said, but it IS the point of this commentary on building high quality, highly productive soil.
A rose is a rose is a rose... or so they say. The same cannot be said for lilacs. There are all kinds of lilacs, and some are better for your landscape than others. And, if you thought lilacs came from France, grab a lilac muffin and have a listen. You might be surprised.
Has that old stand of Burning Bush flamed out? Looking to add some pizzazz to your landscape? Don't settle for same-old-same-old. Check out Jim's list of high quality cultivars from growers with reliably high standards.
Two things required to get your landscape plantings off to a good start - and keep them happy - are fertilizer and water. Landscapes look great and stay healthy where natural fertilizer and water work together in a process Jim refers to as 'fertigation.' Don't just irrigate... fertigate!
As Jim has said before, you can never have too much mulch. Just make sure you have nature's mulch, free of chemical additives that leach into the ground and spoil soil. Be natural. Mulching is not rocket science, but it can launch a great new look and feel across your landscape.
Delicious right off the shrub and spread on toast or ice cream right out of grandma's preserve jar, Juneberries are a real treat, full of flavor and good for everyone. Juneberry shrubs make a terrific addition to any landscape. If you have never heard of them, stay tuned. The word is out.
Take an inventory of your home landscape. Chances are each of those shrubs and trees you planted long ago fall into one of three categories: the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly. Now may be the time to clear them out, select hardy varieties that will be happy in your yard for many years to come.
For centuries the Japanese practice of shakkei has enlived landscapes by framing what is already there. The idea is to 'borrow from the scenery around you.' Why build it if it the space around you is already a breathtaking masterpiece? Words of wisdom from the master landscaper on how to make the most of your space, whatever the condition of your surroundings.
Snappy lawns do not just happen - they result from thoughtful planning, regular maintenance and a bit of friendly competition from that neighbor with the green thumb - and the perfect hedge. If your lawn is looking a bit retro, think makeover. You can bring your lawn into the 21st century with these simple tips.
When your landscape plants begin to get a bit long in the limb, do them - and yourself - a favor. Trim them back, and don't be shy. If you do it right, they will come back better and healthier than ever.
"Hi-yo, Silver Maple, away!" or so the 'Lawn Arranger' might have said in a particularly bewildering fit of pun-itis. Early spring means a return to lawn care - and all those fancy bag products that promise what nature already provides. Listen to why you can 'bag' the heavy lifting and spreading this year.
Maintaining an attractive and rewarding landscape is not rocket science - but it does require constant effort toward improving management skills. Here are some tips on how to keep those landscape challenges from getting you down.
The Iroquois had it right when they planted the 'three sisters' - corn, beans and squash. They added something fishy to the soil, which made all the difference. Listen to this 'fish tale' and learn how 'shadbush' got its name.
Spruce up your dormant landscaping with attractive - and deer proof - plants and accent objects that show well against gray skies and winter snow. Use these techniques to cheer up your yard in winter and early spring.