Friday, October 31, 2014

Fall Perennial Clean Up.

            Some folks like to get the jump on fall clean up, and you can if you are careful. Green leaves and stems mean the tops are still pretty chummy with the roots, and will fight you if your intention is to make them part ways. Pulling at them can cause them to uproot.

            Also, some plants are still in a draining mode. What I mean here is that some plants drain some of their leaf energy back into the root for its survival; to disconnect this dance now could harm it for next year, be it diminished flowers or the demise of the plant itself.

            I like to wait until the leave have turn into their fall color, this means the plant is going dormant. On their own the two have called it quits for the year. They’ve had their goodbye potlucks, the roots are getting ready to go to sleep, the tops are preparing for their horrific end, be that by fire, garbage truck, or a billion tiny organisms consuming their very being; it’s not very pretty.


           If you wait just a tad longer the tops separate effortlessly from the roots, making fall cleanup easy.
            If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook.
For more Landscape and garden info check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com

 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hey! Who didn't disconnect the hose!!

There’s water dripping through the basement ceiling, and a big puddle is making the carpet look like the shallow lake weed bed.
You squish through your indoor pond to try and figure out what’s going on, and that hissing sound is; it gets louder the closer you get to the outside wall. You stand there perplexed, what could be causing all this water, and this hissing, what in the world is that?
You are barely finishing the thought and part of the ceiling gives way in a rush of water drywall, and insulation.
Panicked and bewildered you retrieve your wits from among the floating debris. The hissing is much louder now, it causes your eye (the other one took a direct hit from a drywall bit) to find the source; and there it is, mystery solved, there’s a split in the outdoors faucet pipe just before in pokes outside to the faucet.

This is what happened:
Someone left the outside garden hose attached to the spigot and it got pretty cold last night, freezing the water in the hose.
But we had one of those frostless antifreeze faucets??? And all would have been fine, if you had disconnected the garden hose and let the water drain out of your frostless faucet. 
A frostless spigot is designed to shut the water off twelve inches inside the house, long passed the joist plate insulation. Keeping the hose hooked up kept the water from draining out. The insulation kept the warmth of the house from warming the freezing water in the pipe as it entered the house; thus splitting the pipe.
So, make sure you disconnect your garden hoses on those frosty nights…it might be a good idea to just make sure they’re disconnected now.

    If you have any questions feel free to contact me atNiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. Or like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Rototillers and the 2 Cyclers

            There are other members in the lawn and garden family that have not been sent to bed yet. Be it neglect, or they are still being used.

            The rototiller might be one that still has a run through the garden yet to do; better to get most of the leaves under the dirt than having them blow back into the yard throughout the winter. But, when its usefulness for this year has come to an end, the march off to nappyland is similar to that of the mower.

      * Drain out all but a little bit of gas.

                  * Start up the tiller, and let it run out of gas.

                  * Drain out the old warmed up oil.

                  * While waiting for oil to drain clean off the tiller’s engine and tines

                  * Fill crank case with recommended oil.

                  * Pull the pull cord a few times to distribute the oil.

                  * Coat the tines with a light coating of oil to keep rust at bay.

                  * If the Spark plug has not been changed in two years, now might be a
                           good time to do this.

                             - #1 reason rototiller don’t start in the spring is old gas left
                           in them, varnishing up the carburetor

                             - #2 Old spark plugs.


            The Weed Whipper, Leaf Blower, Chainsaw, Hedge trimmer , and so on, are typically two-cycle engines; just drain out the gas, start ‘em up and let ‘em run dry, clean ‘em up and put ‘em away.

            This fall maintenance will ensure a good healthy “bark to life” start in the spring.

            If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. Like us on Facebook.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Putting the Mower to Bed


            The grass is asleep; the trees have tucked in the soil, and all that lives beneath them, with the last of their falling leaf comforters. All of nature seeming to be saying; “good night, see you in the spring”.

            Even the garden tools are getting comfortable on the nails where they’ve stayed motionless for the past three to four weeks.  But, there are a couple of lawn and garden conveniences that are still looking for that glass of warm milk and bedtime story.

            The lawn mower is one of them.



            The bedtime story would be the owner’s manual; look it over to see if there be any grease fitting that need a shot of the slippery stuff. It will also tell you the type of oil needed in the crank case (this would be the warm milk I spoke of), and any other maintenance activities that are needful to your mower

.            My routine for a good starting engine in the spring goes as follows:


                        * Drain out all but a little bit of gas.

                        * Start up the mower, and let it run out of gas.

                        * Drain out the old warmed up oil.

                                    - change out oil filter if there is one

                        * While waiting for oil to drain clean off the top of the mower

                        * Fill crank case with recommended oil.

                        * Tip mower (push type) on its side and remove blade (this gets new oil                                              distributed all through half the engine)

                        * Sharpen the blade and clean off underside of mower

                        * Tip the mower on its other side to reattach blade (distributing oil throughout the                                         other half of the engine)

                        * If the Spark plug has not been changed in two years, now might be a good time                              to do this.

                                    - #1 reason mowers don’t start in the spring is old gas left in the mower,                                                     varnishing up the carburetor

                                    - #2 Old spark plugs.

             Tomorrow we’ll talk about the rest of the kids and their bedtime rituals.

If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. For more Landscape and garden info and pictures on the subject check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cutting Ornamental Grass

Yesterday I mentioned how now is a good time to check out Ornamental Grasses, due to the fact that they are displaying their fronds. The time to cut them down is also at hand, if you have no intention of leaving them up for the winter.
I must pause here a second, and say that ornamental grass fronds with a little snow chapeau upon their heads is a very beautiful winter site; and the stalks and stems are tough enough to stand up under its weight.
But if you’d rather get all your landscape maintenance done in the fall the best way to chop them down is with a chainsaw or hedge trimmers.
Choosing to hack at them with an arm powered hedge sheers will give you something to
 think about later, as you’re trying to soak away the pain of a fresh case of tennis elbow.
            How about a hand pruner? Your hands (you’ll be switching back and forth) will be so cramped up at the end of this project you won’t be able to open the door to get to the phone to make that carpal tunnel surgery appointment.
            So, back to the real tools for this job.
If a chainsaw is employed it must have a new, or newly sharpened blade. When cutting go slow, keeping 6 to 7 inches of the stubble to insulate the roots; too fast and you’ll clog up and bind the chain gear.


 
If you have a good electric hedge trimmers, and I mean good, not something you bought at the local bargain store, or a gas powered trimmer, the method is the same; go slow.

Helpful Hint:

Take twine or a rope and tie them tight half way up from the base before you cut them; this cuts clean up time significantly.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. Or like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Ornamental Grass

            Now is the time to look at and pick out Ornamental Grass; even plant them if you wish.

            We call them Ornamental Grass when we buy it in a store; giving them a more posh title makes it easier to throw down the ten to twenty bucks at the checkout lane. But ya know? Somewhere in the world it grows wild, and people are spraying Roundup on your ten to twenty buck purchase.

            From spring through early August Ornamental grass looks like… well, grass. But now at this time of year it’s displaying why you wanted it in the first place; the seed fronds. Some look like Fox tails, some have wispy fronds, others are thicker.

            Grasses come in different sizes, shapes, and even colors; and are one of the easiest plants to grow. It’s easy because it’s grass, there need not be any other reason.

            It was created to be the very first consumable in the food chain and it grows everywhere herbivores roam the Earth. But the last thing you want is some herbivore rummaging around in your landscaping. Thankfully we don’t live in India where the bovines are allowed to roam the city streets as sacred. Our greatest threat becomes the wayward woodchuck, or the occasional sick dog.

           
            I could go on and on explaining planting techniques, soil likes and dislikes, even the many different kinds to choose from. But I did an article on this very subject back near the end of August; and it will explain all this in great detail, and with pictures and You Tube videos ta boot.

            Check out the Enhanced Article on my WEB site at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com


If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook At Niemeyer Landscaping
For more Landscape and garden info check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

One more day! Maybe a week? A month?

There are still some warm days left until the mercury convinces all garden life to die. So let’s see if we can squeeze a few more days out of what we have out in our gardens and flower beds.
This can be done a few ways.

My Mom used to make news paper hats for her potted plants.


For the bigger areas an old bed sheet would satisfy thermal negatives imposed on those early mornings when the mercury slid into the death zone.



For larger gardens we would purchase 30x50 sheets of plastic and cover all but the Cole crops. Maybe it’s a financial bite now, but it can be reused year after year. The yearly alternative usually goes as follows. You hunt around for any scrap of plastic or cloth you can find; piece mealing them over what you wish to cover. And like always there’s just not enough, something is left uncovered, and you are the one who decides who lives, and who dies. The next morning you hope, as you walk out to the garden, that your “Daniel’s” have not been ravaged by the “frost lions”. But alas, you find them wearing the “frost pajamas” and sleeping a sleep they’ll never awake from.

Yes, it’s a battle you can’t win. But every day they survive is a day with one more garden fresh tomato on your table, one more red or green pepper you didn’t need to buy at the store, one more day of looking at flowers in your flower beds, one more day of being able to look back; for when they’re gone it’s going to be a long winter before we see them again.  


If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook At Niemeyer Landscaping
For more Landscape and garden info check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com