Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Ashes in the Garden


Ashes on your Broccoli

            There’s nothing like a nice roaring fire on the cold winter’s evening. Also, there’s nothing better for your broccoli and beans than a smattering of non-forest fire ashes from your fire place.

            To those of you cozying up in front of a warm fire place this Winter, your garden would love the ashes to which your wood has been reduced.

            Tree roots go deep into the mineral rich soil to suck up water rich in these minerals. They in turn deposit these minerals into the wood and leaves as the tree grows. The leaves fall and decay, releasing them back into the soil.

            The wood you chop and burn turns to ash, a much smaller amount of what went into the fire originally, And since minerals don’t burn they too can be put somewhere where they can benefit the soil; your garden for example.

            A word of caution though, don’t go crazy with them, they are very acidic; about an inch or two tilled in in the Spring with suffice .

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

Friday, January 8, 2016

Just The Snow Falling Please



            Even though Christmas and New Year's activities are over many of us still have folks over from time to time, and many of us have elevated decks or porches to our entry door. Temperatures above 32 degrees pose no threat to life and limb. But when the mercury dips below 32 you have a potential ice rink, or at the very least a slip and slide.

            Who knows what will be falling this winter; maybe rain, maybe be snow, just as long as it isn’t Grandma.

            Being the thoughtful host you look out the window before your guests begin to leave; you notice the sidewalks and driveway look safe. The concern you had for your elderly guests melts away with the ice you didn’t see. Five minutes later and you’ve got a pile of Grandmas at the bottom of your deck steps. What happened? It looked safe out there.


           The walkways and driveway you observed through the window are situations that were affected by the ground temperature; the ground has not begun to freeze yet, and this keeps the ice from forming. Your elevated deck on the other hand does not benefit from this ground warmth, it’s surrounded by the fridge air. Not only are the top of the deck boards frozen but underneath as well. The long and short of it is, if the air is freezing, your deck is too.

            So have some salt at the ready for your guests; it’s a real bummer to enter the New Year in a cast.   


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

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Wet 'em Down or Risk Browning 'em Up

            It is time to give your Holly, Rhodos, Boxwood, Euonymus and Hardy Azaleas, and newly planted Yews and evergreens their last drink for the year.

            Broad leaf evergreen shrubs keep their leaves throughout the winter. Most of these plants are native to a little warmer climate than ours. It’s not that they can’t grow here; it’s just that our climate can throw a curve at them now and then.

            Their biggest concern is water reserves. Where they are natively grown the winters are a little shorter and maybe not as harsh as ours can be. This means water reserves get replenished more often; here it’s “get it while you can, if you can”

            The big thing about water storage within their root, trunk, and stem system is that it comes in handy during a January thaw, or in the event of an early spring warm up. The top feels the heat and starts asking for water; but if there’s nothing in the trunk or stems it tries to call it up from the roots. But guess what? The roots are still frozen. Have you ever tried to suck water through a straw whose end is frozen in an ice cube? Suck all you want, the best you’ll do is collapse the straw.  With this dilemma the bush starts sacrificing leaves by turning them brown.j

 
            Best thing you can do to ensure a water reserve is to slow trickle each plant for a couple hours each. Slow trickling will concentrate the water close to the plant and make it go deep. Standing there with the hose in your hand is not only a lesson in futility, for you couldn’t stand there long enough to make a difference. But let’s say you could; then it would just prove to yourself and the neighbors that you’ve got way too much time on your hands and you’re easily entertained.
 

            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.

For more Landscape and garden info check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com

 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Feeders: & What To Put In Them

            So you’re looking for patrons, customers so to speak to your hanging eateries; but you’d like to keep out the ornithological riffraff and bullies. Those incorrigibles that not only waste seed, but also get unsatisfactory marks for not  playing well with others.
 
           Right off the bat let’s forget about corn. Corn is a favorite among the worst of our feathered friends. Crows, Blue Jays, Sparrows, Black birds, and pigeons are draw to it like ants to a wet sucker. And since it is their favorite they’ll rake through the rest to get to it. Rake, as in all the others in their way go flying out and onto the ground; to the ground, where the squirrels are gathering (we’ll talk about those tomorrow).

            Sunflower seeds and hearts will bring the best to your feeders. Chickadees, Nuthatches, Finches, Cardinals, Grosbeaks, Titmice. These are the “black tie and tails” of the “Avian world”. Beauty and grace, they’ve got it all. Unfortunately the Sparrows, Black birds and Jays like them too; hopefully the others will keep their big beaks shut and not let on to the culinary delights at your feeders.

           I’d forgo  the millet too. Finches like it but so do the Sparrows, Black birds, and Pigeons. Better to go with Thistle instead; you’ll get the Finches but not the others.
 

            Nix the Milo as well; it will just bring in the Jays and Pigeons.

           Suet is loved by Chickadees, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers, and Titmice. You may get an occasional Jay, but if you throw a little corn over in the neighbor’s yard you’ll… You didn’t hear me say that; I did not say that…

           Stay tuned tomorrow when we’ll talk about Bullwinkle’s sidekick Rocky and his friends in regards to your backyard delicatessens.

 

            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.

For more Landscape and garden info check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com

Friday, December 11, 2015

Don't Freeze the Fishies


            To those of you who may have put in a pond, or some kind of a “fish friendly” water feature, your fish are wondering if you have read all the info in regards to their winter wellbeing.



            If you have small fish, do them a favor and set up a bowl for them in the house. It’s not going to be as big an area they were used to; but it beats being a “fishsicle”.

            A pond has to be at least two feet deep to support winter life. Shallower ponds will freeze solid. Having at least two feet of depth will insure a swimmable environment under the ice.

            You may be pondering “How can I feed my fish in the winter? The answer is you don’t. As the temperature drops so does their metabolism. In fact you should be curtailing the feeding program to two or three times a week when the temps drop to 60; and stop it altogether at 50 degrees.

            But I write this now because you have a little window of time to do something you should have been doing all summer, feeding them a high protein food in anticipation of this upcoming winter.

            If you have the right depth you can over-winter your fish in your pond…maybe. It’s still a crap-shoot. Or you can play it safe by plucking them out before they become entombed in the ice.

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, December 8, 2015

One More Drink Please

            This year, as we all know, has been one of the driest on record. We had some rain this fall, but from this past month until now the sky has been kind of blue. And “sky’s of blue means only dew”. Wow I just made that up! And if I’m not mistaken I think it’s rather true.

            Dew may be enough for some desert plants and Horn Toads, but for the broadleaf and conifer evergreens around here, they’re going to need a little more than that, I’m afraid.

            I know you may have pacted up the hose for the year, but I believe this is important for your plant’s survival. This summer I missed it, where my Arbs were concerned, I watered them a little too late, and I don’t want a repeat of that this coming spring.

            Watering should be concentrated around the base of the plant; a slow trickle will keep the water from flowing beyond the root mass. An hour on each plant will wet down to about 10 to 12 inches, giving the roots something to draw on to keep them hydrated; and come spring there will be enough moisture within the plant to keep them from browning out during a brief warm up.

            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.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Transplanting: Most Anything Now

            There be flakes a flyin out there. The growing season above the ground is officially over. But under the soil things are still growing.

            That’s the beauty of our neck of the woods, the visual part of the plant goes to sleep, but the foundation keeps on growing until the ground freezes it into hibernation sometime in January. That makes right now the absolute best time to move something, from trees to shrubs, or perennials.

            Not only is there no strain on the limited roots to keep leaves alive; but you’re not sweating like a pig digging it up and moving it. The weight is less too, no leaves and no excess sap.

            Granted, you still will not be able to save every root as you dig, or as you try to lift what you’ve dug. But it doesn’t matter. They will start growing back to a point where the plant will feel somewhat at home in the spring.

            Perennials and shrubs would like it if you plant them as deep as they were in the old spot; trees need to face the same direction they were facing when you dug them up, and a little rodent protection wrap would comfort their wooden hearts.

             All would like a drink, and a covering of mulch would tuck them in nicely as they start their long winter’s nap.

            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.
For more Landscape and garden info check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com