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Yard Articles

Celebrate Earth Day - plant some trees!

It seems that the calendar is becoming filled with "Days" – as well as "Weeks" and "Months" – that are designated to celebrate even the most obscure events. But there is one very important event we all need to remember: Earth Day, celebrated on April 22 every year. Earth Day is the brainchild of Earth Day Network, a nonprofit organization that coordinates activities worldwide. The network is still headed by Gaylord Nelson and Denis Hayes, organizers of the first Earth Day held in 1970. >From my point of view (and probably from yours too, since you're reading this...

Get Your Yard Ready for Fall - Ten Must Do Gardening Tips

The days may be getting shorter and chillier, but there’s still plenty to do in and around your landscape! In fact, investing a little sweat-equity now can make next spring easier and more enjoyable, in many cases. Here's a few quick reminders about things you should to do before calling it quits on your outdoor areas for the winter. Lawn Don’t put the mower away just yet. Take a look at your lawn and if it’s looking just a little rough, give it one last trim. Does it need a pick me up? Maybe it's time to aerate, especially if you plan to overseed with a winter rye. Leaves Get out the leaf-...

Grow lush grass - not weeds - on your lawn!

It's that time of the year when we suddenly start thinking about lawn care again. The grass is beginning to grow again, and so are the weeds. And the brown patches are even more noticeable against the new, fresh green growth. There are some fairly simple ways to encourage grass to grow lush and green, and to discourage the weeds from doing the same thing. You might think that the spring is a good time to spread fertilizer on your lawn. However, according to an online fact sheet issued by the extension service of Virginia Tech, this is actually the opposite...

Noisy or nosy? Either way, screening can help!

One of the most depressing aspects of many new housing developments is the strange feeling you get that someone has planted an enormous meadow full of houses. Wherever you look, they're there: houses to the left of you, houses to the right of you, houses all around you. Sometimes you can see the houses on the street beyond the street... beyond the street... where your house stands. Compare that with an "established" neighborhood. Even where houses have been built with the same density, there isn't that feeling of exposure, that lack of privacy that is so common in newly...

Horrors! Gardens invaded by worms and snakes!

It seems that several readers have found that their landscape is being invaded by crawly things, from the quite tiny (but voracious) to the larger, reptilian variety! This first one sounds a bit like a sci-fi horror movie... QUESTION: "Please help!!! I have no idea what I just found on my bush outside.. The day before yesterday the bush was fine, but I saw these "things," almost 1 1/2 to 2 in. long, hanging from it that looked sort of like a pine cone. I just thought it was something new growing on the tree/bush. This afternoon, I went out to water the plants, and the...

Ground Cover Plants and More as Lawn-Free Yard Substitutes

This is the time of year, most of us become disillusioned with our lawns. Water, aerate, water, re-seed, water, fertilize, then repeat and that doesn’t include the mowing. It’s a never ending cycle. Customers send emails wanting to know how they can forget the grass and have something that is just not as time consuming. Well...there are lawn options and planning is a must or you will be the neighborhood poster yard for weeds. Ground cover plants, ornamental grasses and perennials are popular, but we have more ideas. Here are a few ideas for lawn-free yard substitutes...

Controlling Erosion After Hurricanes and Storms

Again, some of our coastal areas are being hit with terrible weather. Soon, though, the bad weather will subside and the affected residents will begin to work towards recovery. As they begin to cut damaged trees and remove debris, many will see drastic changes in their yards. One of the most common problems after hurricanes, severe storms and wildfire is soil erosion. Grass, trees, shrubs and perennials are often damaged and even uprooted leaving the top soil exposed and it ends up washing away. Planting ground cover plants covering with a light layer of straw (not hay) will go a...

How to Keep Your Property From Being Used as a Shortcut

Do people use your property as a shortcut to other properties? While we don't guarantee this will solve your problem, these 8 tips may certainly help to discourage it. Fences - fences make the best neighbors - rings so true. Install the best fencing you can budget for. Fences don't always work for determined trespassers, but they do better at deterring the crime. Check you building codes for any restrictions. Post signs all around the area trespassers are using. Use No Trespassing, Private Property, Keep Out and even make up your own signs (still keeping it legal though). Plant privacy hedges...

Groundcovers to Walk on!

The most frequently asked question this week has been what ground covers are good for high traffic areas such as walk ways and around stepping stones. For areas like this, tough ground covers are definitely required such as: Laurentia blue star creeper Corsican mint Creeping red thyme Elfin thyme Dwarf Mondo grass Laurentia Blue Star Creeper is a soft tiny leafed ground cover that is a good spreader most anywhere as well as is Corsican Mint. The creeping thymes perform best in areas that are well drained and on the sandy side. Clay soil...

Why Mow Your Lawn When Lawn-Free Yard Alternatives are Available?

Why Mow Your Lawn When Lawn-Free Yard Alternatives are Available?
You don't want to spend your weekends on nothing but lawn care. Do you? We have lawn free yard alternatives for you to plant instead of growing the traditional grass in your yard. Plant a no mow yard instead. Fill the area with spreading perennials and ground cover plants that will provide your old lawn with a new life of color and beauty. Till, plant and enjoy! This is the time of year, most of us become disillusioned with our lawns. Water, aerate, water, re-seed, water, fertilize, then repeat and that doesn't include the mowing. It's a never ending cycle. Customers...

November Yard Must-Do Reminders

Must-Do Yard Reminders for November: Drain and roll up all garden hoses Cover/insulate outside faucets that are not frost proof Clean and store outdoor furniture, summer lights, seasonal fountains and decorations Check oil and gas in mower and other equipment - How To Service Your Lawn Mower Clean and oil (light coat) garden tools to prevent rust Pull weeds so they don't go to seed (weed seed can lie in the soil for 3 to 5 years before germinating) Prune Knockout Roses (in northern climates wait for them to drop their leaves - then remove leaves...

How to Control Deer Damage in Your Yard

Controlling deer in the garden and landscape takes a well thought out plan that can be painlessly executed. With urban areas creeping outwards from cities, deer, as well as other wildlife, are losing their natural habitats. New home developments are taking all of their survival resources which leave deer to creep into our yards for food. Begin by selecting plants that are deer resistant. Implementing two or more measures listed here will help to keep deer at a distance. When deer are hungry and their usual food supply is gone, they will and do eat anything, which makes deer resistant plants...

Are Deer Using Your Yard as a Fast Food Restaurant?

Many homeowners are having this problem. Cities and towns are extending further into undeveloped regions and wildlife has no place to relocate. So...they begin to survive in new ways which includes eating your garden and landscape plants and deer seem to do the most damage. Now...that being said, how can you as a homeowner control the deer damage and safely drive the deer away? Use a combination of the following tips as one won't generally do the job. Deer Control Tips: Plant deer resistant plants Deer repellents - direct repellents spray on the plants or are systemic while others are area...

How to Pick the Right Tree for Your Yard

Picking the right tree for your yard can be daunting. Garden plants will come and go in your yard, but trees are there to stay. Follow these tips for picking the right tree for your yard and you will be the new plant expert for your neighborhood. Where will the tree be planted? Near the house, garage, garden, etc? Unlike shrubs that have narrower root growth, the root system for trees expands often as far as the canopy of what the mature size of the tree will be. If you want a maple tree near your house, you’d have to remember that maple trees mature in the 50 to 70 foot height...

“Alien” slime mold invades mulch!

QUESTION: “A couple of mornings ago, I noticed a strange yellow clump of something had appeared, apparently overnight, in one of our flower beds. It was a bright, almost neon, yellow and very moist and slimy. It looked almost like some kind of alien being! “By the next day, it had formed a skin or crust on top and was turning brown. It now looked like a very large, stale egg foo yong! The following day, a second patch appeared, about six feet away in the same bed. Is this some kind of fungus? I am planning to remove the two clumps with a shovel and replace the mulch. But I'd also like...

Attracting Bats to Your Yard and Garden

Bats are quickly becoming welcome guests around yards and farms as research has shown bats to be excellent eradicators of pesky insects (like mosquitoes), essential in healthy ecosystems. This belief resulted in the systematic eradication of bats for decades, especially in the US. Because of this, several species of bats are still considered threatened species. If you’ve been interested in the idea of attracting bats to your yard and garden, create an inviting space for bats to visit. Studies done by Colorado State University have shown that provided the same method of attraction, bats are...