Monday, August 21, 2017

Trumpet Vine: But the Ad said I would like it......

           A person nervously thumbs through a magazine in the dentist office, unable to shake the feelings of this memorable childhood chamber of horrors; their eyes searching for comfort and serenity amidst the impending doom.

           Then he or she sees it, an ad picturing beautiful orangish-red trumpet flowers growing neatly on a quaint little trellis. Seated next to this perfectly per portioned picture of perfection is the water colored lady and her water colored husband enjoying a cool lemonade while watching the Humming birds flit about. The ad speaks of “easy to grow”, “profusely blooming”, “envy of the neighborhood”.
            After being released from their Dental Bestial they begin their search for this over-inflated magnification of plant potential. Surprisingly they find it rather quickly, and quite modestly price.

            All the way home they envision the spot where it is to be planted. They see, through their mind’s eye, hundreds of humming birds cheering them on from the fence as they emerge from the garage with a shovel in one hand and their pot of dreams in the other……..

            Let’s fast-forward five years into the future. The plant has not only taken over the “quaint” little trellis but also the side of the house, the patio, and the patio furniture.
            This plant? The trumpet vine. It can grow to forty feet, and it can explode its seed an additional four yards; with every one growing no matter where it lands; cracks in the cement, eave troughs, the lawn….. anywhere. It didn’t take long to figure out why it was so cheap.

This plant needs plenty of space; if you don’t have, you might not want it. Most who get one wished they hadn’t.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

It's Not Sad, Just Blue

In any given neighborhood you’ll see them. Tall, majestic, most of them green, some blue; and then there are those that are really blue. I’m speaking of the conifer the Spruce; and you may think these two colors are different species within the family of Spruce. But they’re not; and it is very possible that the seeds that made these two different colored trees came from the same pine cone.
This is one of those times where a fungus is our friend. For what you are seeing in this dazzling display of Silvery blue is in fact, a friendly fungus.
Most of the Spruces successfully ward off this fungal invasion, and therefore are green. But once in a while a nurseryman will see among the tens of thousands of trees he has planted, one that doesn’t have this natural fungus fighting ability.
This little blue tree will catch his eye and he will carefully dig it out and transplant it to where he can keep a better eye on it. If it survives he will grow it up to become the “mother plant” from where he can take cuttings and graph them onto ordinary spruce trunk whips. This is why you will rarely see a blue spruce in the wild, they are that rare.  
            Sometimes you will see a green bough near the bottom of these blue beauties. This is because a branch grew out below the graph where it tapped into the “truck’s” genetic code.

If for some odd reason you don’t want the blue color just spray it with a fungicide and it will turn green; but you will have to do this year after year for it is the natural bent of the tree.

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

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Beans, Young, Not Old and Fat

Green and Yellow beans are in full production, and keeping them picked fools them into continual production. If you let the beans get old and fat, the bushes will go the way of the “old and fat”; production will drop off drastically, and any hope of beans for the table will be a thing of the past. So keep them picked clean.
Another thing, pick them when the plants are dry; harvesting among the wet leaves will transfer diseases like tobacco mosaic from plant to plant, also making beans for the table a thing of the past.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at or post a comment on this Blog. More gardening and landscaping tips can be viewed in the Advance weekly paper, or on my web sight at or like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping

Friday, August 18, 2017

The Mosquito

            The rain has been wonderful; everything is starting to perk back up again. But there are unwanted guests lurking in your yard, and probably in the yards of your neighbors. And in 10 days, if the temperature is above 77 degrees, 14 if it’s below 68 you will see, hear, and feel them.

            I think you know what I’m talking about; that high pitch whine you hear in the middle of the night, that red raised bump on your arm (or forehead if you’ve got family pictures scheduled the next day)…… the Mosquito. And she’s living in a pail, bucket, wrinkle in some plastic, tire, stagnate birdbath, lingering puddle…… right next to you as you read this.

             There is something you can do about it right now.

             If you look at one of the water holding items I mentioned above you may see them in their larva or pupa stage wiggling around; going up to the surface and then back down again. Some oil dropped into this nursery will suffocate them as they try to gulp for air.

            Now I’m not saying you become Captain Hazelwood of the Exxon Valdez. No, you’re looking at three drops in a bucket, a couple in smaller situations, maybe a half teaspoon in a small puddle; just enough to lightly slick the surface.

            Maybe you’re saying; “Why not just empty out the water?”

            Good idea if you thought about that when it filled up with water initially; but here we are some days later, and you don’t know when mom sent out the birth announcements. Chances are good that they are ready to hatch; and frankly, at this stage of the game, they don’t need much moisture to finish the job.

            A couple drops and the deed is done.

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

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Tomatoes & Too Much Water

Looks like we're in for a rainy stretch!!!
For those of you dancing in this liquid sunshine out in your gardens I would like to give you a little heads up on what this rush of water might do in your vegetable garden.
I don’t want to be a “doom merchant” for we needed the rain very badly, and I welcome every drop as an answer to prayer. I just don’t want to see you freak out over what you might see out in the tomato patch.
Tomatoes are originally from Mexico where it is hot and dry throughout the summer months; they were built for this type of climate. Up here we are hot sometimes and dry sometimes, but not all the time.
A tomato is a survival plant, and it can live on very little; it takes in water “when, and where” it can.  So when they are planted in our gardens they, in their little vegetable brains, think they have died and gone the veggie heaven. But, unfortunately they still retain their survival instincts of “grab all you can now because it might not be there tomorrow”. Therefore, during any rain they suck water like a big dog, and they don’t know when to quit.
What do you think happens to anything that takes in too much of anything? Something’s gotta give, and unfortunately the ripe tomato is the weakest link on the vine as the plant looks for more storage tanks to hold this windfall of moisture opportunity. And so like a kid’s paper grocery bag on a rainy Halloween night, it splits.
Black spots on the bottom of the ripe tomato is also a possibility. Just cut the bad part off, the rest is still good.


If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at 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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Planting in Clay Soils

What about us in clay soils?
Clay planting is a tough call; you are dealing with a very slow perking away of the water. If you water too much you can drowned out the roots, or worse yet, rot the roots; and there’s no recovery from root rot.

Here you dig a swallow hole, 2/3’s the length of the root ball, and go out wider, say a foot and a half to two feet. Back fill with sandier topsoil, sloping up to the top of the root ball.

Check the wetness of the root ball by poking a rake handle down into the planting hole from time to time. If it comes up wet, hold off on the watering. If moist, back off. If on the dryer side, give it a little.

This technique should be used if you are in a flat situation where the excess water has no place to go.
If you are on a slope of some kind you can go back to the typical planting methods of depth and width, but with this difference. Make a three to four inch trench on the downward slope of the hole, but long enough so the excess water can run out; fill this little trench with sand, and the planting hole with a good topsoil.

If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at 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

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Planting Tip #27 Planting in Sandy Soils.

Planting Tip #27:
When planting in very sandy soils the biggest problem is water retention. Water perks away so fast that you feel you almost have to keep a constant trickle of water on the tree, shrub, or plant you’ve planted.

You’ve over sized the hole so there is a good foot of back fill needed all the way around. Good black dirt has been secured, and there’s enough garden hose to reach the thirsty area. But you wish there was something more you could do.

How about lining the hole will a half inch of leaves? They will temporarily slow down the percolation of the water into the sand because they are acting like a sort of bowl.
Over the next two years or so these leaves will have rotted and turned into a humus soil. But by then the plant’s root system will have fanned; no longer needing the retention of that amount of water any more.

So, a quick recap: Oversize the hole by a foot all the way around, line the bottom of the hole, and six inches up the side, with about a half inch of leaves, back fill the leaves with a good black dirt clay/loam (if possible), install the plant, back fill around the plant the rest of the way with the rest of the clay/loam soil.
You will still need to water a lot; but at least now you’ll know that it’s hanging around a little longer.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at or post a comment on this Blog. More gardening and landscaping tips can be viewed in the Advance weekly paper. Or like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping.