Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fall Leaf Color: To be, or not to be

            I have heard that some meteorologists are saying that the color this fall is going to be rather dull. Yet I’m of the understanding that the sugar levels in the leaves dictate the vibrancy of the leaf color; more sugars, more color.

            The wine people have said that this year will be an exceptional year due to the fact that there is more concentrated sugar in the grapes due to the lack of rain and the intense heat this summer.

            I’m thinking it should be a great time for color tours this year; but time will tell.

 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.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

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.  

Friday, September 22, 2017

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
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

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.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tomatos: Hot! Just the way they like it.

            If one’s going to take a vacation, last week was the week to do it, and that’s just what we did.

            Hot and dry was the order of the day last week, just the way tomatoes like it. You will have to take care now with the watering; be careful that you don’t drown them by over-watering after this heat wave. In doing so you can cause them to split and develop blossom end rot.

            Just be a little sparing with the H20; and hold off, if you see rain in the next day’s forecast.

            Remove the sucker too; no sense letting something grow that only uses up moisture and produces zero benefits.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Natural Gas Leak Killing Trees

             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 or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook At Niemeyer Landscaping

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Monday, September 18, 2017

Doughnuts in my Landscaping:

            When a hosta, daylily, ornamental grass, or any perennial for that matter, gets old it just means the crown (where the leaves attach to the roots) is getting bigger in diameter. This would be fine if “this” didn’t happen; the center of the plant “root bounds” itself and dies, causing the plant to “doughnut”.

           The plant is very alive all around the outside, only the center is dead. The original root mass got so thick that it choked itself to death.

            This too would be OK, but what typically happens is the ring grows out unevenly, one side is usually thinker than another, and it can look bad. Granted, eventually this root mass will decay and turn into humus soil capable in sustaining an invasion inward of the plant’s outer ring roots again. But it will take a long time.

            Solution: (Pre-doughnut problem): In the fall or spring pierce a spade through the crown of a plant that is a foot in diameter, and pop it out. This can be planted somewhere else on the property, or given to someone. Fill in the hole left with soil.

            (Post- doughnut problem): Dig out the ring in sections, saving the healthiest one to plant where the ring was. Dig out the center dead root mass and pitch. The other ring sections can be planted elsewhere or given away.

             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