Thursday, November 23, 2017



            Two simple words, “thanks” and “giving”

            To say “thank you” for all that God has given us, doesn’t seem to say enough. We can’t begin to comprehend all that He does for us. Even if we tried to list all the blessings that come our way from His hand, our finite little brains would only be scratching the surface of what He truly does for us.
            So He makes it easy for us to be thankful by example.

            *He started out by taking simple dirt and forming it into a vessel into which He could           breathe His likeness.

            *He took simple animal skins to dress His disobedient children so they wouldn’t get cold.

            *He, the King of Kings, chose a simple shed, in which to be born, as well as a simple manger in which to sleep, when he came to redeem His disobedient children.

            *He simply walked throughout a chosen people, wearing simple clothing while He told the simple people of His Father’s love for them.

            *His death to redeem fallen man was on a rugged cross, two pieces of random wood.

            *His grave was someone else’s.

            *He left from a simple hill, and will return to the same hill, when He is finished preparing a place for us.

           He knows we are simple. He knows we can’t comprehend His greatness, He knows we want to thank Him at times. So He says “just Give thanks”, just say Thank You.eHe

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Christmas Lights: step two

            Displaying the Christmas lights.

            The “magical” I mentioned yesterday takes a long time to set up. We are not talking about “Hey, I think I’ll put up some Christmas lights”; we’re talking about a “I’ve been planning this since June, started working on it in September, took two weeks off before Thanksgiving to set it all up” passion.

            But let’s face it that’s not for everybody; you just want a few lights on the bushes, couple strings in the tree, maybe a little outlining of the house. Some of you are probably thinking “hey let’s even throttle that back a tad buster.

            Couple things to think about if you plan on glitzing up the front yard a bit.

            It would be nice if you could turn it all on with a flick of a switch from inside the house. It’s not too fun scampering out into the snow to plug in parts of the display every night. What can be acceptable is to plug and unplug it from the outlet by the door.

            This next one can save some of the hair on your head. “IF THEY DON’T ALL COME ON WHEN YOU PLUG IT IN TO TEST IT, THROW IT AWAY, DON’T TRY AND FIX IT”.

            Many a time this cheapskate has poured over a half lit string of lights, got them working, put them up, only to have them blink out dead the next day. JUST THROW THEM AWAY. They are not the lighted strings of days past that lasted your whole childhood. They cost what 3 to 4 bucks; and that’s something made with copper wire, glass, plastic, brass prongs, two little fuses; not to mention a long boat ride across the ocean, at least three middle men took their cut, and the retail store grabbed a little more for themselves. You’ve got to be asking yourself “How do any of them make any money on these things?”

            Monday I’ll talk about putting them up without hanging yourself; both intentionally or accidentally.

            If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook.
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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Christmas Lights: Where to Start

            Christmas lights in the landscaping.

            Some are works of electric magic, some look as though the job was abruptly halted due to a ladder malfunction; hopefully the shrubbery broke their fall.

            Before attempting this vision of outdoor amazement and wonder you might want to watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation; the “what not to do’s” are clearly displayed and should be avoided; Christmas in a hospital room has its challenges.

            If you do watch the movie I would like to draw your attention to the “plug scene”. The lesson learned here is that you do not want to plug in too many strings into one socket. Also, you can plug too many end to end, making up a long continuous strand. Below is the correct number of lights per plug outlet.

            *C7 Glass bulb size was 1 ½” and the C9 Glass bulb size was 2”. 100 bulbs was the                                  maximum number you could plug in.

            *The mini lights we have become used to; some call them twinkle lights, 5 strands can be                          plugged end to end without blowing the little fuse in the first strand. But 14 can                           be plugged into a 15 amp wall plug (just not end to end).

            *LED’s; sets with 50 lights can string up to 40.  20 to 35 on a strand can go as high as 80.

            Christmas lights have come a long way. We 50 and older crowd remember the old C7 and C9’s as kids. They got hot, and they burned not only a lot of electricity but and occasional finger now and then. If you wanted any kind of modest display you were hooking up some hefty cables directly into the fuse box.

            Mini lights kept the electric meter from spinning off the house; and most times the outside fantasy display could be powered by the outside house plug.

            But now with the introduction of LED’s scads of them can be plugged end to end, or 21,000 bulbs into a single 15 amp wall plug (with nothing else going of course). Your house could be visible from the Space Station.


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

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Squirrels on my Feeder

            Looks harmless doesn’t he.
            But he will decimate the contents of your feeder quicker than you can say Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale (bet you didn’t know that was Natasha’s last name did you. I’d also dare say you thought she and Boris were married didn’t you?).

            Squirrels are enviable. In the city they have no predators but the family automobile. They roam free throughout the backyards of your neighborhoods looking for nut and acorn trees, spring bulbs, and the free handouts represented in your bird feeders.

             Unlike the birds they don’t mind their friends sharing in your bounty. Sometimes there can be as many as eight to ten of these moochers scarfing up what the winged slobs above them have tossed out.

            This would be fine but squirrels become discontent with their daily allotment from on high. After a while they become bored with being the vacuum cleaners around the base of the feeder; they begin to look up… and this is where it starts to go very bad.

            At this time I would like to direct you to the article I did on this subject in greater detail. In it I talk about the different ways you can measure the intelligence of the squirrels in your neighborhood, and the different devise to control them. Go to and click on the YouTube Enhanced Garden Articles tab; Scroll down to the third article, the one titled Squirrels.

            If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook.
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Friday, November 17, 2017

Oil For Your Fruit Trees?

            Because the temps are going to reach above 40 this weekend there is one other bit of preventative maintenance for your fruit trees (this also includes any ornamental landscape trees as well) is in the realm of bug control.

Entomological life forms (bugs) don’t venture very far from where they were last year. “Then how did they get into my tree”, you may be asking yourself? That is a very good question, to which I have to say “I don’t know”. But they’re there aren’t they?

This year’s bugs came from the eggs their mom laid in the fall last year. She, not being the traveling type, probably laid them on the same tree she lived on all her life. This is good for you, for you can do away with them all with an insect oil spray like Volic by Ortho

A coating of this over their eggs smothers them out; evidently these eggs need to breath.
Pick a day when the temperature is above freezing, and spray every part of every trunk, branch, and twig.

Hopefully the bugs that were bugging you last year won’t be bugging you next year.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Gardening in the Winter

            I might be late posting this one but who knows; if I am, just tuck it away until next year.

            Did you know that it is possible to grow fresh vegetables 12 months of the year here in Michigan! Outdoors! Sounds impossible doesn’t it? It's not.

            The four months people view as unharvestable are November, December, January and February. The question that should be asked is not "what can grow in the snow", but, "what can grow under the snow". The answer to this is carrots, parsnips, Jerusalem artichokes and salsify.

            To get these veggies to "keep" in the ground during the winter months, place a 12-inch layer of leaves over the rows; be sure to mark the rows with long sticks. When January, February, and March come, pull the leaves back and pull a few.

            Let me mention some other veggies that prolong the growing season:

            Potatoes can stay in the ground longer than most think. For years we have waited until December to harvest the last of them. After these have been harvested they will keep nicely for 2 to 3 months if kept at 45 - 60 degrees.

            Brussels Sprouts taste better when left on their stalk longer. They can stand temperatures down to 20 degrees and lower, this means harvesting for Christmas dinner is not out of the question.

            Red cabbage can be picked as late as November; and if stored in a cool place like the potatoes, will last at least 2 months, maybe 3.

            Winter squash such as Buttercup, Butternut, Acorn and Hubbard can be picked in early October and stored in a cool place for a long time. Make sure part of the stem remains with the squash to keep it from rotting at this most vulnerable spot.

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, November 14, 2017

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.

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