Monday, September 1, 2014

The Bug Zapper; It makes a wonderful Parting Gift

Ziiiiiiit!! Sssssssssit, pop, snnnap!
There it is, that summer sound, bugs in the bug zapper. Bugs flying in from all over to check out the blue light…….. and there in lies its fatal flaw. Well yes, of course to the bugs, but what I really mean is to you and your little place of solace outside.
To have one of these little ghoulish entertainment centers is to in fact lure bugs in from all over. For some their stay is rather momentary, but for others, who see and smell their friends going out in a blaze of glory, will tend to shy away from this luring, yet frightful, display of entomological carnage. Unfortunately they don’t go far; and as their numbers grow, so does your decision to go back indoors.


So what do you do? You too love the mesmerizing blue light; you cheer inwardly as you hear another “pop” or “snap”, thinking to yourself “well that’s one less bug bite on my arm”.
The question you are asking yourself is; “How can I enjoy this entertaining spectacle without entertaining all the bugs from all over?”
I have a suggestion. Invite the neighbors behind you, and to your right and left over some buggie evening and wait for one of the guys to comment on how cool your bug zapper is. The next day you box it up, wrapping it in some nice gift wrap paper (not the Funnies, you have to make this a legitimate looking gift), and bring it over to him. You can say something like, “I saw how much you liked my bug zapper, and I talked it over with the Mrs. and we thought, ‘why not give to you?’
With this one gesture you come off as kind, thoughtful, attentive…… and bug free. Which is why you bought the dumb thing anyway.  

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

Friday, August 29, 2014

Making a Loathsome Job Less Loathsome

            Everyday could be a weeding day I guess; being that weeds do grow every day.

             Some people love to weed; I personally don’t know any of those people, but I’m sure they are out there, somewhere, I guess.

            I do know that none of them grew up in my household. I don’t ever recall asking my wife on any particular afternoon where the kids were, and have her say; “Oh, the little darlings, they decided to spend their playtime out in the garden weeding today.”

            So I feel very assured knowing that I am writing to people of kindred hearts when I too can say, “BOY I HATE WEEDING!!”

             Armed with an overwhelming distaste for the job I set out to find a way around this toilsome activity, and I believe I have found a much easier way. I call it “Weeding in the Upright Position”; and it involves a sprayer and a bottle of Roundup.

            You see, to pull a weed is a risky proposition Grandma Marge; if you don’t get the whole root, it may grow back. But if you spray it with an herbicide like Roundup you will kill it to the root, and it will never grow back. By spraying them when they are little you stop them from becoming big; and we all know big weeds make more little weeds, which grow into big weeds that produce more little weeds and so on and so on.

            For optimal success of this “Kleen knees and soil-free fingernails” approach to weeding, a stroll through your landscaping should be taken every other week with your trusty little sprayer filled with this amazing herbicidal elixir.

            Oh, and make sure you turn off the sprinkling system for a day. And I wouldn’t do this in the vegetable garden.           

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

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 NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. Or like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Thumbs down onto the Honeydew

            Right now the melons are coming into ripeness.

            In the store you see people milling around the watermelon bins, picking them up to study their underside, making sure it’s yellow and not white. They thump on them. I don’t know why; maybe it’s because their mom did, and her mom before her. Somewhere in time long ago the Queen may have done this…..

            Muskmelons people get a little more personal in their selection. After it has passed the visual test, where the “netting look” of the outside of the melon must be tan and not green, they bring it right up to their nose and give it a good sniff where it attached to the vine. They know it should smell ripe for it to be a good one; too ripe and it might not make it home from the store.

             The one that puzzles people the most thou is the Honeydew Melon. People stand around these bins and look lost. They can’t smell any difference, it all looks the same all the way around, they try thumping it, but only out of desperation. They end up just grabbing one, typically the biggest one.

            But there is a way to guarantee a sweet one.

            First you look for the one with the cream colored skin, pass over anything with white skin. Next, I’m going to tell you something odd. Moisten your thumb and rub the melon with it; a ripe one will squeak; hey, I’m not making this up, check out the You Tube video.


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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hands Off the Burning Bushes

            If you have Burning Bushes now is not a good time to prune them; in fact time has run out for pruning them.

 
            The Burning Bush as you may know turns red in the fall; it does this only with leaves that have been exposed to sunlight for a number of weeks. People who prune them too late in the season will have removed all these poetical red turning leaves, leaving those that have been shaded by the ones they have just remove, and therefore no red will be seen this fall.

            It is better to do this kind of pruning in the late fall, after they’ve turned red and have fallen off, or early spring.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Slugs

            Slugs are homeless snails.

             To find out if you've been infested with slugs look for them at night munching on your foliage, especially anything in the Hosta family; or look for their slimy trails in the morning.

             So far, chemical baits have been hard to find; they make an appearance and then are quickly removed from the shelves it seems.

            But fortunately for us they have a nemesis; they can’t stay away from the booze.

           
 Beer is a big problem for them; and like ants to a wet sucker, or moths to a flame they can’t seem to resist the “call of the brew”; and they aren’t sophisticated around it either. Nope, they just dive in like the sloppy drunks they are; no sipping around the rim, no little slug beer stein, just headlong into a pool of it and die.

            To make these libation death traps take a mayonnaise jar lid and bury it in the ground so the top of the lip is just above the ground. Fill it with stale beer or a mixture of 1 teaspoon of yeast and 2 teaspoons of sugar in 3 oz. of water. In the morning empty out the drowned slugs and ready it for the next swim meet. 

            Whether you use beer or the mix do not use the same liquid more than 48 hours.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sweetening up the Brussels sprouts:


After a week of vacation it's good to be back!

             Most kids, and adults dislike Brussels Sprouts; most kids and adults have never had a Brussels sprout that has been picked after a couple of hard frosts. But before we can pick them we need to grow up what’s on the stalk.

            At the moment they are in a “growing taller” mode, and will continue to get taller until the day temps are the same as the frosty night temps.

            The trouble with height growth is that energy is being drawn away from fattening up the sprouts that are growing on the stalk, and is instead being pumped into future leaves and sprouts that will never see maturity.

            So how do we fatten up the little nubs already there? Simple, you pinch out the tops of the Brussels sprouts. You grab hold of the leaves and a little bit of the stalk where they connect and pinch it right off.


            With the top removed the energy that was directed there will find its way to the sprouts, and this will hasten their maturity.

            Side Note: All Cole Crops (Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower …)  seem to benefit from a couple of good hard frosts; the sugars are magnified with each frost.