Monday, January 12, 2015

Up On The Roof Top

            With the first of many inches, the snow out there is a reminder of what’s is still to come. In years past we’ve had some significant accumulations; who knows what this year will bring, so far we are looking at some depth, and roof snow can pose a threat to the shrubbery below.  

            Three possible things loom from above:

                        -A drift can develop, hanging precariously over the eve, directly above your prize                            Azalea. A January thaw can cause this to give way with some crushing weight.

                        -You can get a little over-eager with the snow rake; carving out chunks that are too                            big and therefore doing damage to your Azalea.

                        -And you yourself, up on a ladder, doing the “orphan-maker over-reach”, using the
                          Azalea to break your fall.

            With any method you employ, be careful. We have it in our minds that snow is fluffy and light; but 100,000 of them stuck together while being dragged to the end of your roof for a free-fall has the promise of Sir Isaac Newton that a goodly amount of weight is heading your way. The Newt guy will also assure you that the little spindly Azalea bush is not going to be enough to cushion your fall from yon-dizzy heights.

            Carve out little slices; or set up a couple 4x8 sheets of 3/4” plywood hinged together to deflect it away from your bush if the situation is too weighty. We don’t need you numbered among casualties this year.

            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, January 6, 2015

Ice On The Deck


            Even though Christmas and New Year's activities are over many of us still have folks over from time to time, and many of us have elevated decks or porches to our entry door. Temperatures above 32 degrees pose no threat to life and limb. But when the mercury dips below 32 you have a potential ice rink, or at the very least a slip and slide.

            Who knows what will be falling this winter; maybe rain, maybe be snow, just as long as it isn’t Grandma.

            Being the thoughtful host you look out the window before your guests begin to leave; you notice the sidewalks and driveway look safe. The concern you had for your elderly guests melts away with the ice you didn’t see. Five minutes later and you’ve got a pile of Grandmas at the bottom of your deck steps. What happened? It looked safe out there.

            The walkways and driveway you observed through the window are situations that were affected by the ground temperature; the ground has not begun to freeze yet, and this keeps the ice from forming. Your elevated deck on the other hand does not benefit from this ground warmth, it’s surrounded by the fridge air. Not only are the top of the deck boards frozen but underneath as well. The long and short of it is, if the air is freezing, your deck is too.

            So have some salt at the ready for your guests; it’s a real bummer to enter the New Year in a cast.

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

Monday, January 5, 2015

Don't Dump The Tree


            If the birds to your “fly-n-dine” are less than populated, the Christmas tree you plan on setting out by the curb may just be the ticket in luring in more winged patrons.

            Birds are a nervous bunch, you never see them with their faces buried in the seeds, or just concentrating on the meal in front of them. No, they are always looking around, and quite nervously I might add. If there’s no cover to duck into at a moment’s notice they might not grace your eatery.

           This is where the “served its purpose” Christmas tree comes in. Just prop it up 10 to 15 feet from your feeder. This will give your customers a place to run to if they sense danger.


            When spring comes, then you can set it out by the curb.

            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

 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Time To Plant The Potted Christmas Tree

            For those of you with potted real Christmas trees, you might want to move them out into the garage today. You might also want to bring the two buckets of dirt in where it’s warm. The days are getting colder and the ground will be freezing deeper and deeper into the ground.
 





             Let the tree sit out in the garage for about a week before planting it somewhere in the yard.

             If you didn’t dig the hole yet (this would be where the two buckets of dirt came from, from the hole you were supposed to dig when the weather was nice), now would be the time to do this; hopefully a pickaxe won’t be necessary.

            After a week, plant the tree and back fill it with the warmed up soil, watering it in as you backfill.

           If you have some bark, or can scrap some off a nearby bed, spread this underneath the tree to insulate it throughout the winter’s quick freezes and thaws.
            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

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas

      I wonder what is was like to be the ultimate of all knowing consciousness, the supreme power of the Universe and beyond, to speak everything and anything into existence, totally lacking in nothing...and then to set that all aside for you and me and become the most helpless of all life on Earth...a baby, a human baby...
      If He had a need His only recourse was to cry...His only protection, two flawed human beings...
What a gift! What an incomprehensible act of love!


Blessings to you and yours this Christmas Day.

The Niemeyers


Monday, December 22, 2014

Bird Baths, in the Winter?

            There is another Avian lure you can employ to get a wing up on the neighbors; the bird bath.

            I don’t really know how much bathing birds do in the winter; and frankly if the circumstances were the same how many times would you  have chipped a hole in the ice and jumped in.

            What is a necessity, regardless of the season, is drinking water.

            Birds don’t eat a lot of snow; instinct tells them that’s a bad idea. One’s core temperature drops like ice cubes in a glass of water when something is consumed that is colder than one’s innards; and if one is not wearing enough “outers” hypothermia sets in. Yes, birds are wearing down jackets, and they are adequate for our climate, when water is available. But if they were supposed to eat snow they would have been endowed with a full length polar suit like their penguin cousin.

            So they search; looking for that yard that has it all, seeds and libation.
 

            Maybe you’ve got a bird bath out there already, still in use. I’m guessing you haven’t cleaned it in a while. Hey, if you’re bathing in it that’s one thing; but when it’s your sole source of drinking water you’d like its quality to be a tad better than the Ganges downstream.  So give it good scrub; it will be the last time you’ll have to all winter.

            One more important bit of info. Unless you are one of those that likes to see the birds come in for a landing only to find themselves slipping and skating over the ice, hitting the rim and toppling off into the snow. (that does sound kind of funny)

            No! That isn’t funny
            (well, maybe a little funny)
            No! it’s not.
           (well I guess not)

           You can buy a bird feeder heater. A little disc you plug in to keep the water from freezing. Key words “not freezing”. You won’t be creating a Turkish bath situation where the steam rises and obstructs your view of the party going on out in the ornithological hot tub. No it just keeps it from freezing.

            This does raise an important thermal dynamic concern; if the water is not freezing it is evaporating. Please make sure you are filling it as needed. There’s nothing more frustrating than coming up to the pop machine parched, only to find all the pop’s gone. Birds have their ways of getting back at you. You don’t think it’s just a coincidence that there are a lot of birds hanging around the car wash stores do ya?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Coffe For Your Rhodos?

            Undoubtedly there will be a lot of coffee served up in the next few days, that means there will be a lot of grounds thrown away; and if your trash pick isn’t until Friday… well let’s just say we hope it says real cold outside.

            There is another use for those coffee dregs; your acid loving plants would love to see you put them around their feet.

            Three things happen when coffee grounds are laid in under your Rhodos, Azaleas, Holly, Boxwoods, and Yews; it mulches them, becoming an insulator from the quick freezing and thawing of the soil they are in. It lowers the acidity of the soil, which is always a plus when planted in areas typically higher in Ph, and it’s a food source.

            Keep the depth of pure coffee grounds under two inch, and a couple inches away from the plant’s trunk. The effective benefit range out from the center of the shrub is the width of the bush itself; roots don’t go out much past the leaf canopy of itself.

            So as to not appear odd at the family Christmas get together don’t announce out loud that you would like the coffee grounds, just tell them you’d like to help clean up; then sneak them into the casserole dish you brought. If questioned at the door as to the aroma that is trailing behind you, just bolt for the car.


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