Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Tree Planting This Fall

            Now is a very good time to plant a tree; or, in a week or two, pluck one out of the woods.
The reason for this, is that they are going dormant now.

            During the growing season of April through September the leafy top of a tree grows and sustains itself, by means of a fully developed root system. When digging a tree during a time of active growth and you can’t help but sever 40 to 50% of the root system; seriously limiting the tree’s ability to deliver enough water to their present number of leaves. Survival then is severely hampered.

            But, if a tree is dug during its dormancy time, the water requirements to the branches are greatly diminished; so much so, that even 50% root loss is not a problem.

            Another benni when planting during dormancy time, is that though the top has stopped growing, the tree’s roots continually grow, and do so now with a vengeance replacing what was severed. Come Spring the tree feels a little more at home in its new digs because of these new roots.

            Water deeply before digging a tree; this holds the soil to the roots better. When digging, make the root ball as big as you can. If short on good friends or congenial neighbors, lure or trick what you have, to help you lift the dug tree onto a sheet or old blanket. If they are still believing you called them over to see your new 72” flat screen TV, have them help you drag the tree over to the new planting site. Fake a back injury to get them to forget about the TV and possibly back fill the hole for you (and you don’t know why you don’t have friends).

             Mixing in a little bone meal into the backfill will aid in a more vigorous root development during this coming winter growing period. But mix it into the deeper part of the backfilling, staying at least 8 to 10 inches away from the surface. Like ants to a wet sucker, dogs love bone meal; and if careless your tree will become his new favorite place to dig.

            Staking the newly planted tree will keep it from rocking in the hole and severing the new roots that are trying to burrow into the sides of the hole you have dug. If your soil is clay make sure a fourth of the root ball is above the topsoil, and the hole is two times wider that the root ball, with gouges made into the sides to keep the roots from just swirling around and around.        Make sure one of the three stakes is tied to the west of the tree; the winds are the strongest there. If the west stake is at the 12:00 position the other two should be placed at 8:00 and 4:00.

            Remove any damaged limbs at this time; and anything you would deem as excess. Even though the tree will have grown some new roots over the winter, the number of leaves popping out next spring will still outnumber the roots that sustain them. Removing some of these will help the roots out greatly.

 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

Monday, October 5, 2015

FALL COLOR:    by Doug Niemeyer

        When color in the landscape is pondered most thoughts turn to spring and summer flowers. And yes flowers through out the landscaping during these “outdoor days” are very important, but, and this but is not a “cancel out everything I just said “but”, but a “but” that speaks of “continuing the color theme” past these warm weather days. In fact the whole look of your landscaping can change radically during this three to four week period of time with Tree leaf color, Perennial flowers, Shrub flowers and leaves, Vines, Grasses, and Evergreens.

I could drone on and on about each plant and all there stellar and not so stellar qualities; but all you want to hear is what color do they offer to the landscaping. So below is that information.





                        Red Rubrums………Red


                        Red Oak……………Red


            All Birch………….……….Yellow


            Tamarack (or) Larches……Yellow

Sweetgum.………………...Orangish red

            Tulip Tree…………………Yellow

Mountain Ash……………..Yellow w/ Orange berries

Japanese lacy leaf maples…..Reds to Burgundies


           Red Buds………………….Yellow

            Dogwoods…………………Scarlet to Dark Reds

            Flowering Pears…………...Red

            Crabs (some color but mainly fall fruit)




            Burning Bush……………...Red

            Spirea Goldflame………….Red

            Dogwoods ………………..Purplish red to red

            Lilac Common……………Yellow

            Oakleaf Hydrangeas………Scarlet

            Nine Bark………….……...Orange

            Roses (some leaf color but more seed pod interest)

            Pygmy Barberry…………..Red

            Viburnums…………………Orange and Reds Some berry interest


            Boston Ivy………………..Red

            Virginia Creeper…………..Red


            Anemone (Japanese’s)……....Flowers late

            Astilbe……………………….Leaves stay green long into fall, brown seed heads

            Sedums (taller)………………Flowers late, Flower heads remain upright

            Mums………………………..Flowers late

Coreopsis threadleaf…………Flowers late

Purple Palace………………...Leaves get redder in fall

Crested Iris…………………..Yellow Leaves

Peonies……………………….Red or Burgundy Leaves

Black-eyed-Susan……………Flowers late

Balloon Flower………………Yellow Leaves


             Most, if not all Grasses can remain in the landscaping for winter interest, be it their leaves or their plumes.


            Even though their color does not change they offer “life” to the landscape when all the deciduous plants have lost there leaves and look rather dead.

            There it is, color potential  into November. Let’s squeeze the last little bit of color out of every plant and shrub, for we all know what color blankets our world when the last yellow maple leaf falls……. WHITE !!

   If you have questions: NiemeyerLandscaping@gmail.com A You Tube enhanced version of this article is on our WEB site at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com. along with a daily gardening Blog with timely information. Also, like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Brown Grass, not its best color

            Still dry out there; and getting dryer in fact.
            If you are now thinking about watering the lawn don’t expect to see green anytime soon; the drought has set in motion the brown you are now seeing, and will continue to see in the not so distant future.
            The Grass blade, once it becomes too dry, dies, But thankfully just the blade, the root is still alive and well; but that of course is under the soil.
            So when will you see green grass again?........... When the new stuff peeks their heads above the dead stuff.

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

Friday, September 25, 2015

The Hummingbirds are gone:

They were there as of last week, but they’re gone as of yesterday; at least by us anyway. Yep fall is officially here for me, the hummingbirds are gone. L
It is true that the hummingbird has a “bird brain”, and as far as bird brains go it is 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.

Its leaving is always rather abrupt. Like us, 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 won’t take the feeders in for another week just yet, in case some “fly throughs” need a shot of “go juice” to help them along there three to four thousand mile journey.
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, September 24, 2015

Gourds! Shoot! I thought they were Pumpkins

            Gourds: they grow best where you threw out last year’s harvest display. And they always seem to start out as Pumpkin or melon “hopefuls”. You know, those viney involuntary plants you were sure was the site of last year’s watermelon seed spit-off, or last fall’s pumpkin “gut pile”; either way you were hopeful.
            But as they grew, and took over practically everything in your garden, it became obvious they were just a bunch of gourds. Pulling them now doesn’t make much sense, since they’ve smothered out everything they’ve wound around. So you let them grow and write off this year’s vegetable investment.

            Just so the space they took up doesn’t become a total loss you set up a card table by the street and sell them for 50 cents apiece, or three for a buck.
            But sales aren’t as brisk as you had hoped; and a quick glance down the road reveals the reality of your disappointing return. Seems your neighbors threw out the same Thanksgiving Day center piece last year as well. Your street is beginning to look like a gourd strip mall; and a price war is inevitable.

            But let’s talk about the gourds you’ve removed from your curbside inventory to display throughout your home.
            The only thing that needs to be done after you’ve picked them is to wipe them down with a tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water solution. This will kill bacteria and fungal spores, making them last longer. If you want to shine them up, use an acrylic floor wax after you’ve let them dry for a week. This drying time sets the gourds color and hardens the outer skin.

            Lastly, don’t throw out the harvest display like you did last year; unless you like joining the neighbors in the cut-throat gourds business again.

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Crabby Yards

            Boy, it’s looking really crabby out there.

            Any patch of ground not growing good lawn grass now has Crab Grass squatting on it. And with this many plants out there, the smorgasbord of seeds is going to be… well let me just say, “There are going to be some fat birds this fall and coming spring”.

                        Crab Grass was not a native to our State. It seems that back in the 30’s when the Kent County Airport was in the area of 36th street and what is now Roger B Chaffy Boulevard, somebody heard of this fantastic grass that was green and lay flat so mowing wasn’t necessary, and it never needed water!
            People went to check out the miracle turf; but were not allowed out on this grass runway to actually look at it up close. Armed only with what they heard and saw at distance, enough bought the seed to create the problem we have today.

            Back to the fat birds. This seed does not digest well; so like winged Johnny Appleseeds they made their “deposits” throughout the land… need I say more?

            There is nothing you can do now; the seed will not germinate this fall anyway, it will lay dormant until spring. In fact the plants you see now will not survive the winter. But I would be ready with the Crabicide this coming spring. For you will want to nip this in the bud pronto. And just a heads up, if the Forsythias bloom before you’ve spread your crabicide you’ve missed your window of opportunity.

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.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Critter Control

            In an Advance Garden article talked about a number of two and four legged moochers and vagabonds that like to frequent our tilled and weeded areas of toil and sweat.
            One of the menacing varmints showcased was the Garden Rhinoceros. Below is an excerpt of this timely article.

           The Garden Rhino has been a menacing pest for the past three decades. Like the Gypsy moth and the cabbage butterfly it's arrival to our country has been linked to careless customs inspections via the New York harbor system.

            After leave, presumably, an African freighter, they wander west in search of lusher habitats. Like the Mediterranean Fruit fly it has settled anywhere the climate allowed.

            West Michigan has been home to many of these large, but illusive herbivores, foraging in city, as well as country gardens across a 12 county territory.

            The tell-tale signs of their existence in your garden goes as follows: the whole patch is trampled to smithereens and the dog, if he's still alive, is cowling in some corner white with fear.

            It's hard to catch these vegitational carnivores in the act; being that they have very keen eyesight and have the ability to blend in with the garden foliage (the one pictured below was caught on camera leaving a watermelon patch).  So, if you do wish to rid your garden of these pesky vermin yourself you will have to do so at night while they sleep. The items you will need to take along on this backyard safari goes as follows: a flashlight, either a .458 Winchester Magnum or a 500 Remington Nitro Express, ammo, cattle prod, 20,000 lb. tow strap and a back hoe (because you just can't put a dead one of these out by the curb).

            The second option, if you're not good with a gun, (you certainly wouldn't want to wing one of these rascals) or you live in the city where you're not allowed to discharge a firearm, is to purchase a bottle of Rhino-B-Gon by Ortho. Not a killer, but a very effective repellent; directions are as follows: Pound stakes (not included) into the ground every four feet, tie strips of red cloth to the tops of each stake, apply five drops of Rhino-B-Gon to each strip, repeat after two weeks or each rain.

             For more helpful tips on getting rid of other nuisance critters in your garden or landscaping go to www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com, and click on the You Tube Enhanced Garden Articles tab and “Critter Problems” will be there for your perusal.