Author Archives: Gary Brown

Random Horticultural Things I’m Either Loving or Loathing, and a Few I Haven’t Quite Decided On

Here’s an interesting article by Scott Beuerlein for Garden Rant.

For whatever they are worth, here are some stray observations that have rattled around in my noggin lately when I’ve had too much time to think.

Let’s start positive! Why not? Here’s something I’ve been loving—the Fashionably Early series of Phlox. They’re some kind of hybrid. I don’t know the parentage. I wish I did, but it’s probably one of those things where one could possibly “know too much.” I’m thinking that if I were to find out, someone would have to kill me. Possibly Hans Hansen, who bred this series, but maybe not. I would think it’s way more important for Walter’s to keep him in the field and away from the rough stuff, so it makes more sense that there would be another among them who makes the call to the “guy who knows guys” that would set my offing in motion.

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Groundhogs In My Garden!

Here’s an informative article on garden intruders by Susan Harris for Garden Rant.

I suppose most suburban gardeners have some mammals to deal with in their garden – squirrels, rabbits and deer being the top nuisances in my area, so far. That is, until this fat-and-happy groundhog took up residence under my neighbor’s shed, and we think it has a mate, too. (We’re not sure – they all look the same to us.)

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The Historical Reason We Associate Apple Pie With The Fourth Of July

Here’s an interesting article on the historical signifance of Apple pie and Independence Day by Emily VanSchmus for Better Homes & Gardens.

A recipe for apple pie was included in the very first American cookbook in 1796.

For many of us, there’s nothing more American than eating a slice of homemade apple pie while watching the fireworks on the Fourth of July. But have you ever wondered why we associate the fruit-filled pastry with the birth of our country? It turns out, apple pie was one of the first desserts to be made in America, and there’s a pretty interesting story about why the colonists began baking it. The patriotic origins of the classic dessert date back to the 1600s, when the colonists first arrived in America, long before the first Independence Day.

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13 Things To Know Before You Build A Fence

Here’s an informative article on what to know before building a fence by Sheryl Geerts for Better Homes & Gardens.

A fence can improve your home’s curb appeal, provide security, increase privacy, and offer protection from the elements. But before you start building a fence, there are a few things you should know first. Here are our top tips for planning, designing, and building a fence for your home.

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8 Landscaping Ideas For Maximizing Your Curb Appeal

Here’s a good article on ideas for increasing curb appeal by Kelly Roberson for Better Homes & Gardens.

These tips will help you make your front yard more welcoming while improving the value of your home. Plus, you might even get compliments from neighbors passing by.

Landscaping for curb appeal is at the top of many gardeners’ to-do list. Maximizing your yard’s attributes and minimizing its problems to create a beautiful street-side view doesn’t have to be difficult, daunting, or expensive. And there can be some amazing pay-offs, like increasing the value of your home; according to the National Association of Realtors, houses with high curb appeal usually sell for an average of 7% more than similar homes without the same landscaping. No matter your style or plant preferences, these tips will help transform your front yard into a beautiful, attractive space without breaking the bank or tearing up your entire property.

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How To Maintain Backyard Oasis That’s Safe From Pets, And Safe for Pets

Here’s an informative article on backyards and your pets by Borst Landscape and Design.

Are Lawn Fertilizers Safe for Pets?

According to veterinarians, most fertilizers are generally pretty benign in terms of pet safety. In fact, most lawn fertilizers contain natural elements, like nitrogen, potash, and phosphorus that are generally non-toxic. If your dog eats some grass that fertilizer right after fertilizer was applied, it rarely leads to serious poisoning. However, if your dog gets into the bag of fertilizer and starts to eat it directly, health problems ranging from gastrointestinal distress to tremors and seizures can result, so be sure to keep fertilizer products away from your pets. Experts recommend that when you fertilize as part of your lawn maintenance routine, be sure to water the product of the leaves. After doing this, it is safe for pets to return.

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What Is A Natural Way To Eliminate Fleas, Ticks, And Mosquitoes In Your Yard?

Here’s an informative article on ways to eliminate pests in your yard by Borst Landscape and Design.

Getting rid of pests is an important step to enjoying your outdoor space, but concern for the environment and the safety of your family members may give you pause. No one wants to spread potentially harmful sprays and chemicals on the lawn if there is a possibility it could be dangerous. Using an organic mosquito, flea, and tick spray is a natural way to eliminate pests like fleas, ticks, and mosquitos. Borst’s organic insect control can keep your family members and pets safe while also protecting the environment from harmful chemicals. By spraying your yard monthly with an organic mosquito, fleas, and ticks treatment that is also environmentally safe, you don’t have to choose between protecting the environment and ridding your yard of unwanted pests.

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Landscape Water Features

Here’s an informative article on water feature by Hidden Creek Landscaping.

Landscape water features give you a natural sanctuary providing a respite from the stresses of the day right inside your own backyard. There is a richness and diversity that water features produce as both people and nature respond to the refreshing and soothing qualities of moving water.

Whether it is a water fountain nestled among your flowers, a pool waterfall with underwater lighting as a focal point, a pond stocked with exotic fish, a stone waterfall, or spillways that feed into a meandering stream, we have ideas and tips for creating, planning and installing water features that cater to your specific desires.

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How To Care For Your Lawn During A Drought

Here’s an informative article by Danielle Sen in Australia on tips on lawn care during a drought for Lifestyle.

As level 1 water restrictions hit Sydney, here’s how to care for your lawn while cutting down on water consumption.

From Saturday, 1st June, Sydney has been offically places on level 1 water restrictions. This means no watering of lawns between 10am and 4pm, hoses must be fitted with trigger nozzles and sprinklers are no longer allowed to be used.

If you don’t want your lawn to suffer, Steve Burt from My Home Turf has this advice to help you care for your lawn during water restrictions:

Water wisely

“When watering is an issue, you want to make sure you’re getting the most from your water,” he says.

“Water early in the morning for about 15 minutes so the lawn can absorb the moisture more effectively. Alternately, water parts of the lawn that are most in need (drying out more) or the areas you want to stay green,” says Steve.

Mowing

There’s a knack to retaining moisture when you’re mowing.

“Keep the mower cutting height as high as possible so the lawn retains all the moisture that it can,” advises Steve. “Keep your blades sharp, as blunt ones tend to rip the lawn, leaving it with jagged leaf edges, which dry out quickly and turn brown.”

Wetting agents

“Moisture retention agents are a secret weapon and the most underrated products on the lawn market and should be in every garden shed” says Steve.

“They are easy to click onto your hose and can cover an area up to 150 square metres. During a dry spell or a drought, use a moisture retention agent every four or five weeks to extend your watering and make it more effective,” he explains.

De-thatching

Steve recommends de-thatching to help the lawn absorb moisture.

“Thatching is the accumulation of dead organic matter and is nothing to be concerned about, however de-thatching during a drought aids more water to penetrate into a lawn,” he says. “Aerating your lawn can also aid in delivering more water directly into the root system.”

Reduce foot traffic

Keeping off the grass will do you a world of good as it will protect the lawn.

“The weight from the foot traffic compacts the soil making it harder for the lawn’s roots to penetrate soil moisture. An overall reduction in lawn traffic will help it spring back to life more effectively once the drought is over,” explains Steve.

If you’re about to put in a new lawn…

“The drought tolerance of lawns refers to a lawn type’s ability to stay alive and remain green for the longest period of time, while under water restrictions, or when receiving no water at all during summer,” says Steve.

“Equally as important when considering the drought tolerance of a lawn variety is the ability of a lawn to recover itself once it has finally browned-off. Meaning that once the lawn looks like it has died-off from lack of water, it will recover and become green again once it begins receiving water,” he explains.

If you’re looking at replacing your turf, Steve advises Zoysia – a type of lawn that has a very high ability to remain green and stay alive for longer under water restrictions and summer heat.

“Often sold as Native Nara or Empire, Zoysia has a very good ability to recover after drought conditions have ended. This is due to the fact that Zoysia has underground runners to support the lawn,” says Steve. “Zoysia grass types are an excellent choice for homes which face water restrictions combined with summer heat and is less aggressive than some other grass types and requires only low overall maintenance.”

 

Deck vs. Patio Paver?

Here’s an informative article on deck vs. patio paver by the staff at Hidden Creek Landscape.

The decision for the right design for your outdoor living space can be a tricky one. Two worthy opponents vying for your attention are decks and patios.

Both are good choices, but which will work best for you? How will either hold up in the often-harsh Ohio winters?

In this article, we’ll give you a deep dive into decks and paver patios so you’ll be armed with the right information to make the best decision for you.

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