Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Geraniums: Make them live again!

            Geraniums have got to be one of the toughest bedding/hanging basket/window box/planter flowers out there. They can handle the heat, the dry, the parched (guess that’s the same as dry, only drier), the cold….

            As a kid every Sunday we would stop and water my Grandpa and Grandma’s cemetery flowers while on our way to visit my other Grandpa and Grandma. In the urn were Geraniums and Spikes; every Sunday they’d get watered, and that would have to last them through the week. And it always did. They are certainly tough little splashes of color.

             They are good plants to put in those area you know don’t get large amounts of water, or much water at all. Once they “catch” and start growing they are rather indestructible; about all that bugs them is an errant basketball or Frisbee.

            Why am I telling you this now? Because not only were they hardy during the hottest summer on record, they can also withstand being neglected during winter storage in your attached garage or coolest part of the basement. And why would you want to store and neglect them? To bring them out again next spring and watch them get bigger and bushier throughout next year’s growing season.

            Now you don’t totally neglect them throughout the winter; you give them a little drink once a month. And just before you introduce them back into the landscape next spring you pick off all the dead and weak stuff, and give them good water soaking.

            Resist giving them a liquid fertilizer drink right off the bat. Think about someone waking you up from a sound sleep with a coal shovel pouring a big Thanksgiving Day meal down your throat. Let them wake up a bit first.

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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Mice Are Coming!

            Mickey and his ilk are heading south for the winter; maybe east, possibly west, or even north; it all depends on which way your house is from their present domicile.

            They too have been watching the leaves change, the angle of the sun, the fact that the mornings are a little nippier. Their little mice brains are telling them to go look for a doorway into your house soon.

            Some things to do to stop them at the front desk is to close up any holes you see with steel wool.
            Stuff the steel wool into the holes, and then chalk over the hole. The mouse might chew through the chalk, but not through the steel fleece.

            Now, go over the outside of your house again and look for even smaller holes; you’d be surprised what a mouse can fit through.

            Once that is done you can leave housewarming gifts on their doorsteps. D-Con under a box with holes on both ends says “welcome to the neighborhood” like nothing else.

            If some of the patrons do make it to their rooms unmolested “chocolates on their pillow”, so to speak, can be a way of encouraging them to take that dirt nap before getting too comfortable in their new digs. Here again D-con will be your sleep aid of choice.

            If you feel they are insistent on staying more mechanical devices may need to be employed.

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

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fall Landscaping:

           Wouldn’t you know it, we come into the best perennial, shrub and tree planting time and there’s squat available at the perennial, shrub and tree store. But… there is some stuff left, and it is price rather cheaply I might add.

            Yes, now is the best time to plant. All vegetation in our neck of the woods is getting ready to take that long winter’s nap. This means what’s above the ground goes dormant and doesn’t require nourishment, making the plant very forgiving as it starts its new life on your property.

            Though the top is going to sleep, the roots will still be active, until the frost works its way down to them. The beauty of this is like kids being carried out of the car after coming home late at night from Grandma’s and Grandpa’s, and tucked into bed; they wake up in familiar surroundings, but don’t know how they got there. Plants too wake up feeling rather established because of the new root growth that happen while they were sleeping.

            So haul out that landscape plan you thought would have to wait until Spring and see what you can get now dirt cheap.

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

Friday, September 26, 2014

Pruning & Cutting Timing

            You are starting to see a bunch of people pruning stuff and cutting stuff down for the winter; and yes, now is the time to start doing this kind of stuff. But don’t be whacking away at all the stuff; some of your stuff needs a little more “drain down time”, or it may be just too early for fall haircuts on some of this stuff.

            Stuff like daylilies, if cut down now, will start sprouting again; and possibly be up to full growth height by mid October, greatly diminishing next year’s flower production because all the posy juice was used up growing a bunch of leaves. Let these die back until brown, and then you will find that these dead leaves and old flower stems will pull out easily.

            Hostas too; just let them die back until dead and you will find that the withered up leaves will separate from the crown effortlessly. No tuggin and yankin and running the risk of pulling them up roots and all.

            I would snip off the Coneflower and Black-eyed-Susan petalless flower heads now to keep them from spreading their seed all over the place. You could probably cut the whole plant down to the ground; they shouldn’t come back anymore this year.

             The long and short of it is, “if it’s green let it be, if it’s brown cut it down”.


            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 check us out at

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hummingbirds: They're Packing Up

He’s still perched there as of this morning. He looks a little cold, but he’s still hanging around. I wonder when he’s going to start flying south.
The hummingbirds have to be getting close to leaving; and you may be asking yourself “am I delaying their departure by continually filling the feeder?”

It is true that the hummingbird has a “bird brain”, and as far as bird brains go it has the smallest brain in the bird world. But do not mistake its tiny brain as having limited thought or comprehension; it knows when it has to leave.

Now, its leaving is always rather abrupt. They don’t sit around the watering hole discussing the “whens” and the “wherefores” of their trip. The males aren’t pouring over the Trip Ticks while the females pack. Nope, a single bird will react to the angle of the sun, run it through its little bird brain and say, “gotta go!” It will go down one last time to the high energy libation station and throw back as much posey juice or sugar water as it can hold, and zip, it’s gone. No goodbyes, no “see you at the gulf”, no “have a great trip everybody!” Just Gone! Don’t be looking for “thank you notes”, or “see you next spring” pecked in the dirt either; they will just take off.

I would encourage you to keep the feeders filled since we don’t know when those little bird brains will tell the birds that houses them when it’s time to go. One day you’ll notice they’re not there.

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.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall Décor: Keep the Stems On

            I’m afraid it’s time to take down the cute summer flags, and any other décor that pertains to the warmth of the season passed, and start looking into the “signs of fall” ornamentation; things like pumpkins, cornstalks, and other mementoes of the maturing summer bounty.

            Sometimes people pick the corn stalks too green; make sure yours are good and done. Totally dead and dry ones will stand up better and not be prone to bending where they are bundled.

            When picking out pumpkins, gourds, or squash make sure they have their stems intact. A stem will add a good month of life in most cases to whatever it’s attached to.

            Where the stem attaches is the most vulnerable, the most open to the elements, part of the pumpkin, gourd, or squash. If removed it becomes a sore that is not covered by a Band-Aid, and the first place it starts to rot.

            Keep this in mind if you store Winter Squash; leave a good inch or two of stem on each one and you’ll double or even triple their shelf life.


            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 check us out at


Monday, September 22, 2014

Cole Crops: Much Better After a Frost

          Members of the Cole crop family are tough. Plants like Broccoli, Cabbage, and Brussels sprouts can take dips in temperature that would have sent all other plants to the compose pile.

         Where as frosts are deadly to everything else in your garden; a good frosty night begins a possess of releasing sugars throughout the plant, making them sweeter and sweeter with every frost. You have not truly tasted a Brussels sprout until you have tasted one pick after a few good hard frosts. We have actually dug them out of the snow to have with Christmas dinner and they were fantastic.
         Broccoli and cabbage should not go that long, but definitely wait on harvesting those until they have gone through a couple killing frosts. Of Broccoli course I am not talking about the first big head of the summer, that’s been picked long ago. I’m talking about all the side shoots that you’ve been picking since then; keep picking those until the frost does eventually kill the plant.

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.