Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Gas Death of a Tree

            If you ever see a tree or shrub up and die for no reason, and you found no bug holes, no foreseeable trunk problems, no root girdle; you probably have a gas line break.

            It doesn’t take much of a rupture in a high pressure gas line to flood enough roots with this plant killing gas.  These lines are supposed to be three feet underground, which means you are not likely to smell it either.

            Most times it is a larger tree that is affected. The roots over time grow down and out and begin to put pressure on the gas lines they are planted over

            You may have never heard of a tree dying of this before, it is a rare occurrence, but common enough to be known by people in my line of work. Unfortunately there is no recovery from this; extra water won’t fix this problem.

            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

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

It's "Powder Dry" Under your Sprinker

            It is now time to start doing some “deep watering” on your established landscaping shrubs and trees, especially the Arbs! Even if you have underground sprinkling the cycles are not long enough to be wetting down to their root depths. I have been planting in these “sprinkled” areas and I am finding it powder dry 4 to 5 inches down; and it gets drier the deeper I go.

            To remedy this get out the garden hose (or hoses, depending on how many spigots you have) and turn the water on so it just trickles out the end slowly. Place the end of the hose next to the trunk, or middle of the clump and let it stay there all night; this way water isn’t being wasted by flowing off the reservation into areas that won’t be benefited by a good soaking drink, it will be concentrated around the plants root ball. Move it to the next thirstiest plant all day, and do this day and night thing until all have had their fill.

            If you have any questions feel free to contact me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Weeding the weeds

            With all the rain came the weeds!
            What is a weed? "A weed is a plant not belonging in its present location."
            Does this mean that if you are growing Dandelions and a Rose pops upon the middle of them, the Rose a weed?  Roses are exempt from this rule. But, if a Carnation or a Black-eyed- Susan, or some other perennial rears up and says “look at me”, it’s a weed; but pulling it is up to you.
            Back to the weeds. You have two options: pulling or spraying. Pulling is back breaking work, and takes a while, but you do feel like you’ve accomplished something, the weeds are gone.  But are they…………?
            Spraying Weed-b-gon or Roundup will kill them root and all; but in order to know if they all parished you will need a week. 
            I still think the spraying route is still the best, for it kills the plant root and all; if you pull the weed and leave some of the root in the ground it will come back.

            Just remember Roundup kills everything in the plant world. Weed-b-gon will not kill grass or grasses, just broad leaf weeds.

            So, if you want to win the war on weeds keep a spray bottle of Roundup handy and spray the weds you see, don’t pull them.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Seed Germination

            I know our weather as of late has felt like a skip in a vinyl record, slipping back into the winter track with every teasing of spring. But spring will come… someday, the tilting our of Earth’s axis demands it. And when you think that day has come I don’t want you jumping the gun and planting seeds before you should.

            “How can I plant seeds before I should?” you may be asking.

            Seeds need three things to germinate and grow; but in actuality only two things to germinate: water and heat, sunlight is optional.

            Put some dirt in a cup, add a little water, drop in some seeds, and stick it in the frig, and you will have a cup of dirt with seeds in it doing nothing until someone says a month later “Hey, who left cup of dirt in here?”

            Take that same cup of dirt with the moisture and the seeds and put it in a dark closet. In a week you will see sprouts, in two weeks you will see a bunch of two leaved skinny plants stretching to find some sunlight. What was the only difference in the two scenarios? Heat. Unless the ground temperature is up there in the 60 degree range you will not have germination and your seeds will rot.

            I live out in the country, if I see the farmer in back of me planting corn I know I can plant my garden. Why?  Because I know he called the Extension Office and got the “ground temperature report”. You can get this same info on their WEB site at www.msue.msu.edu/  or call them at 1-888-678-3464.
            Water isn’t enough, if it were we’d have stuff growing and freezing to death by now. In fact we would have become a lifeless barren planet a long time ago. God, He knows what He’s doing.

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

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Skunk Cabbage and the Bumble Bee

            Hpoefully next week you'll out for a stroll, it’s a warm spring evening, you look down and there you see a bumble bee walking along the ground. “Oh, the poor thing” you say to yourself, “it must be sick”, so you step on it, thinking you are putting it out of its misery.

            Back up a few hours:

            You’re fat and your little wings aerodynamically are not physically designed to give you the lift your bulbous body requires; but you can indeed fly.

            Benny the bumblebee, (or Beatrice), is getting ready to take on the day. He pops into the hive’s watering hole for some high energy bug juice, loading up on what he thinks is enough nectar to get him from where he is, to where he needs to go for pollen, and back again.

            But he runs into a head wind he didn’t anticipate, and Benny runs out of rocket fuel and makes for the deck, where he happens to cross your path and becomes a little wet spot in the dirt under your well meaning shoe.
            Benny was just walking home; he was fine, he just ran out of gas is all. What he was hoping for was a Skunk Cabbage plant to crawl into for a while, or maybe for the night.

            An interesting plant this Skunk Cabbage, it is located in wet areas where most of the very early flowering spring plants reside.
            Within this plant are two things for a tuckered out bee; a constant 72 degree environment, and a pool of high energy nectar. He could have rested throughout the night without freezing, and the nectar would have fueled him up for the rest of the flight home.

            But no, he found himself under your shoe……

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, March 19, 2018

Butterflies at Fredrick Meijer Gardens

Today and tomorrow would be great days to go see the butterflies at Fredrick Meijer Gardens. Tomorrow would be a great day too; in fact any sunny day would be a great day. Why you may ask? It is because butterflies fly when their wing temperature reach at least 80 degrees.
On cloudy days the temperature in the green house might not get much above 70 to 75; but on sunny days it gets warm in there. You could almost say, if you need a jacket in there don't plan on seeing much; but if a shirtsleeve shirt is enough be prepared to be mesmerized!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Basement Flooding

           I would like to give you a "head's up" on a realistic scenario befalling us in the next couple of days.

             What will be going on out there today can be the worst case scenario when it comes to basement leaks. The snow will be melting but the ground is frozen to a two to four inch depth, so the water has no place to perk into the ground.

            Where the real trouble lies is at the foundation wall. Over the years the soil next to this wall expands and contracts, leaving a gap between the settling soil and the wall, a virtual raceway down to the footing. And if that weren’t bad enough, the soil most likely has settled there, causing the dirt to slope back toward the wall. The laws of physics will cause this water, which has no place to go, to run down this crack and leak out into your basement where the wall and footing meet. Those of you on clay soils run an even greater threat.

            Telling you this now is only for information on what is going to happen. Like those on the Titanic, knowing why the ship is sinking didn’t help their dilemma, they were just a little more educated. Unfortunately, the same applies here, though without the possibility of death. This thawing is the worst case scenario, and will let you know if you have the possibility of a problem in this area. Tiling measures should be taken this spring or summer. I put on my web site the article I did on tiling, I hope it is helpful.

            What you can do now though is to make sure your sump pump is working. More people have been caught off guard because of a faulty pump; they were ready, just not operational.

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