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.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tomatoes & Too Much Water

Looks like we're in for a rainy stretch!!!
For those of you dancing in this liquid sunshine out in your gardens I would like to give you a little heads up on what this rush of water might do in your vegetable garden.
I don’t want to be a “doom merchant” for we needed the rain very badly, and I welcome every drop as an answer to prayer. I just don’t want to see you freak out over what you might see out in the tomato patch.
Tomatoes are originally from Mexico where it is hot and dry throughout the summer months; they were built for this type of climate. Up here we are hot sometimes and dry sometimes, but not all the time.
A tomato is a survival plant, and it can live on very little; it takes in water “when, and where” it can.  So when they are planted in our gardens they, in their little vegetable brains, think they have died and gone the veggie heaven. But, unfortunately they still retain their survival instincts of “grab all you can now because it might not be there tomorrow”. Therefore, during any rain they suck water like a big dog, and they don’t know when to quit.
What do you think happens to anything that takes in too much of anything? Something’s gotta give, and unfortunately the ripe tomato is the weakest link on the vine as the plant looks for more storage tanks to hold this windfall of moisture opportunity. And so like a kid’s paper grocery bag on a rainy Halloween night, it splits.
Black spots on the bottom of the ripe tomato is also a possibility. Just cut the bad part off, the rest is still good.

 


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, August 20, 2014

Planting in Clay Soils

What about us in clay soils?
Clay planting is a tough call; you are dealing with a very slow perking away of the water. If you water too much you can drowned out the roots, or worse yet, rot the roots; and there’s no recovery from root rot.

Here you dig a swallow hole, 2/3’s the length of the root ball, and go out wider, say a foot and a half to two feet. Back fill with sandier topsoil, sloping up to the top of the root ball.

Check the wetness of the root ball by poking a rake handle down into the planting hole from time to time. If it comes up wet, hold off on the watering. If moist, back off. If on the dryer side, give it a little.

This technique should be used if you are in a flat situation where the excess water has no place to go.
If you are on a slope of some kind you can go back to the typical planting methods of depth and width, but with this difference. Make a three to four inch trench on the downward slope of the hole, but long enough so the excess water can run out; fill this little trench with sand, and the planting hole with a good topsoil.


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, August 19, 2014

Planting Tip #27 Planting in Sandy Soils.

Planting Tip #27:
When planting in very sandy soils the biggest problem is water retention. Water perks away so fast that you feel you almost have to keep a constant trickle of water on the tree, shrub, or plant you’ve planted.


 
You’ve over sized the hole so there is a good foot of back fill needed all the way around. Good black dirt has been secured, and there’s enough garden hose to reach the thirsty area. But you wish there was something more you could do.

How about lining the hole will a half inch of leaves? They will temporarily slow down the percolation of the water into the sand because they are acting like a sort of bowl.
Over the next two years or so these leaves will have rotted and turned into a humus soil. But by then the plant’s root system will have fanned; no longer needing the retention of that amount of water any more.

So, a quick recap: Oversize the hole by a foot all the way around, line the bottom of the hole, and six inches up the side, with about a half inch of leaves, back fill the leaves with a good black dirt clay/loam (if possible), install the plant, back fill around the plant the rest of the way with the rest of the clay/loam soil.
You will still need to water a lot; but at least now you’ll know that it’s hanging around a little longer.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. More gardening and landscaping tips can be viewed in the Advance weekly paper. Or like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Beans, Young, Not Old and Fat

Green and Yellow beans are in full production, and keeping them picked fools them into continual production. If you let the beans get old and fat, the bushes will go the way of the “old and fat”; production will drop off drastically, and any hope of beans for the table will be a thing of the past. So keep them picked clean.
Another thing, pick them when the plants are dry; harvesting among the wet leaves will transfer diseases like tobacco mosaic from plant to plant, also making beans for the table a thing of the past.



If you have any questions feel free to contact me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. More gardening and landscaping tips can be viewed in the Advance weekly paper, or on my web sight at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com or like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping

Friday, August 15, 2014

Hummingbirds: They should be Obese

Fun Fact #47
            The Ruby Throat Hummingbird needs 3 to 4 grams of high energy food per day to maintain flight. That’s a whopping 0.105 to 0.14 ounces he needs to stuff himself with just to stay airborne throughout the day. And that my friends is really packing it on.

            You scoff at this. Well let me put this in perspective for you.
            If a two hundred pound person, wanted to match the food intake of a bird the size of the Ruby Throat, that person would need to eat 300 lbs. of high energy food a day.
            Yes my friends, he’s really packing it in.


If you have any questions feel free to contact me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. More gardening and landscaping tips can be viewed in the Advance weekly paper, or on my web sight at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com or like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping

Thursday, August 14, 2014

More Roses Please

      It takes a lot of energy to produce a flower; but that’s why you planted them, nobody buys a rose to look at the leaves.

     The plant expels even more energy producing seed pods; which isn’t why you planted them, (thou they do add some color in the winter… but hey! it’s not winter yet).

     With the seed pods removed the plant has more energy to devote to why you poured over the plant books and catalogs, went to the store, fought with that nasty woman who also wanted the last “Peace Rose”; shoveled the dirt out of the back of your car because the dumb idiot in the car ahead of you was texting and didn’t see the person ahead of him stopping for the red light that you should have seen in time but you were too busy looking at the store receipt tape wondering why the Peace Rose was so expensive. You then slammed on the brakes, causing the two bags of topsoil to slide over the new sharp and pointy shovel you bought to plant the overpriced Peace Rose, causing the dirt to slide out of the bags and spread all over the back of the van, which by the way…… Oh… sorry, I digressed.
 ……With the seed pods removed the plant has more energy to devote to producing flowers. In fact, removing the spent flowers before they grow into seed pods will devote even more flower producing energy to the stems.



 

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. More gardening and landscaping tips can be viewed in the Advance weekly paper, or like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping.