2 • MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011
START YOUR OWN VEGETABLE GARDEN (ARA) - Vegetable and herb gardening is in and studies indicate it will continue to grow in popularity. If you’re not growing your own yet it’s time to start. Why? The reasons are as varied as the people who garden. Some do it to save money. Others want to ensure their food is chemical-free, and as safe as possible. Still others grow their own vegetables because fresher is just better. Many do it because gardening is good for you and some because it’s still fun to play in the dirt. Whatever your reason for opting to join the 7 million Americans who grabbed their gardening gear and grew their own vegetables and herbs last year, your road to success is basically the same as everyone else’s - planting at the right time, making sure your soil’s in shape, weeding and watering responsibly, and feeding and nurturing your plants. This season, you won’t have to buy your fresh herbs and vegetables from a farmer’s market; you can grow them on your own, and you don’t need a farm-sized backyard - or pocketbook - to do it. Avid gardener Stan Cope, president of Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America, growing locally in 75 locations nationwide, offers some time-saving tips to make the growing easy: * Survey your soil Your first step is to decide where you’ll put your vegetable and herb garden. Good soil is key. The best soil is loam, a soft, dark, crumbly dirt. Loamy soil holds water, allows for drainage and is easy to dig. If you encounter clay or sandy soil, add peat moss and bone meal so that these soils can also be productive gardening bases. * Size up your space When plotting out the size of your garden, you’ll want to be sure it’s big enough to yield a good harvest to make your efforts worthwhile. But if you’re limited on yard space - or have none at all - you can grow vegetables and herbs in containers on a deck, terrace, balcony or even on the windowsill. * Let the sunshine in - Your plants need plenty of sun - at least six hours a day. A sunny and open location is your best bet for producing a plentiful harvest. * Pick your plants for your plot - Grow vegetables that are expensive to buy in the grocery store or at the farmer’s market, such as tomatoes and peppers. A tried-and-true prolific producer, the Bonnie Original Tomato, was developed exclusively for Bonnie Plants in 1967. They come in environmentally friendly, biodegradable pots that you plant right into the soil. Recent trials, planting five of these tomato plants in 25-gallon containers, averaged 100 tomatoes each at an average of 37 pounds per plant. Another tomato that will tip the scales is Bonnie’s Sun
Sugar tomato, a yellow cherry type. Trial garden plants averaged 1,228 tomatoes each. If peppers are your passion, the Yummy Bell Pepper, ripening from green to apricot orange, is a best bet. Trial garden testing of five plants averaged 248 peppers per plant during the summer growing season. * Time-saving transplants - When you’re ready to begin planting, opt for transplants - seedlings that have already been started - rather than starting from seed. Transplants will buy you lots of time because plants are six weeks or older when you put them in the ground, and you’ll begin harvesting much sooner. * Feed your food - Your vegetable plants will need food and water to survive and grow. When feeding plants, try to avoid chemical fertilizers that could potentially seep into groundwater. Bonnie Plant Food is a unique, organically based, soybean oilseed extract formula that has demonstrated superior results in the health and vigor of plants. Give your garden a good watering once or twice a week, although some crops may need more water, especially if your climate is very hot. A thorough soaking, allowing the water to penetrate 4 to 6 inches into the soil, is better for plants than frequent shallow watering. Gardening is rewarding. It will bring great pleasure as you bring your produce from plot to plate so you can literally enjoy the fruits of your labor. For more information on varieties and gardening advice, visit www.bonnieplants.com.
Grow vegetables that are expensive to buy in the grocery store or at the farmer’s market, such as tomatoes and peppers.
MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 3
HOW TO FAIL WITH GROUND COVERS To be truly successful at failing with ground covers, one must assume that they can grow anywhere without any special thought given to the selection, installation and subsequent nurturing that most plants desire. If you enjoy gambling, then attempting to grow ground covers without doing the research on what is best suited for your site is going to be just your cup of tea. You can be even more assured that they will fail if you do not properly prepare the ground in which you are planting them. And to be absolutely certain that they die a dreadful death, starve them of moisture. Some factors to ignore when choosing a ground cover include; the exposure to sunlight and wind, the quality and type of the soil, and the suitability of the type of plant for the site. For instance let us say you have a near full shade site. Plant Blue Rug Juniper (Juniperus Horizontalis Wiltoni) for a very nice ground cover that will gradually fade out. This is a great way to spend money and watch it disappear. It can be almost as much fun as feeding a one arm bandit at the casino. The nurseries and garden centers will thank you profusely for buying the plants, killing them and returning to buy even more plants to kill. It is called assured repeat business or as some folks say "planted obsolescence". You can further promote plant failure by making sure you do nothing at all that would in any way encourage the plants to survive. Do not do any soil preparation. Tilling the soil to create a soft bed is forbidden. Plant your new plants directly through any existing vegetation that will suffocate the new plants. Certainly only dig as small a hole as you can into which you can squeeze the new plant. Absolutely do not water it, as it might grow and heaven forbid survive. Better yet hold off on doing any new planting until we have a drought. This will nearly assure they will not grow. If you have deere in your area, planting English Ivy and its cultivars is truly appreciated by the deere. They will help you even without being asked to contribute to the rapid demise of this new planting. There are some other plants they like as well, so be sure to educate yourself so you can include use them. Some ground covers are especially well suited to shade. Therefore, plant them in direct full day sunlight so they will properly roast to beautiful shades of tan and brown. This can be part of your plan to use "earth tones" in your landscape. Ensuring that your new plants enjoy all the stress you can provide is also a great way to prove "Darwinism" or survival of the fittest. Assuredly using plants that are not well suited to your site will prove that philosophy. Another great favor you can do for your community is to use the invasive plants listed on websites such as the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy. Now while these
plant will likely survive, just think how degrading you can be to our future environment; Oh joy! Using weed killers is also effective at killing the new plants. Since most ground covers available for planting, are broadleaf types, anything that kills dandelions should also work well on your new ground covers. For more good information on how to fail with ground covers, seek advice from the clerk at your local big box store garden shop. They are a great source on how to kill plants. By all means , do not seek help from a local landscape or nursery professional. They might just try to educate you on how to succeed with ground covers. Complimentary submission by Skip McCullough, APLD Meadowbrook Nursery & Landscape
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4 • MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011
INSPIRATION HELPS YOUR GARDEN GROW (NAPS)—With so many beautiful plants to choose from, gardeners may wonder where to start. One of the most enjoyable ways to plant a seed of inspiration is to visit a public garden.
• Historical Sites—Places of historic or cultural significance—such as churches, historic homes and cemeteries—often have grounds shaped to reflect the horticulture of their historical period.
Found at zoos, historical sites and entertainment complexes, such public gardens can demonstrate what’s possible—including flower choice, layout and landscaping practices. Get Advice According to the American Public Gardens Association (APGA), public gardens can show you how to create a water-wise landscape at home through the use of native and adapted plants and efficient irrigation. Visitors can learn what plants bloom at similar times and what arrangements look good together. Staff members who understand the region are available to offer advice on gardening techniques, and on-site sales can be a great source of top-quality additions to a home garden.
• Nature Gardens—Created and designed to help visitors connect with nature, these gardens inform and educate about the botanical and ecological origins and functions of plant life and how they relate to human beings and animals. Get Inspired The nonprofit American Public Gardens Association has partnered with Rain Bird, a leading manufacturer and provider of irrigation products, to promote the important role that gardens play in promoting environmental stewardship through National Public Gardens Day. Many of the nation’s public gardens will mark the day with special events and activities for schools, families and thousands of visitors. For more information, you can visit www. NationalPublicGardensDay.org.
Here are a few types of public gardens you can visit: • Zoos—Although the focus is on the animals, zoos also have interesting horticultural collections that show both flora and fauna in their native habitats. • Entertainment Gardens—Golf courses, theme parks and water parks can also have beautiful horticultural displays.
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6 • MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011
GROUND COVER IS COST-EFFECTIVE AND BEAUTIFUL (ARA) - Nearly every lawn or garden has one - a bare, ugly spot where nothing seems to grow well. Maybe the spot gets too much sun, or too much shade. Perhaps the soil is too sandy, rocky or full of clay for most plants to survive in it. Maybe it’s on a hill or slope where exposure to wind and water runoff make it uninhabitable for average plant life. Whichever one (or more) of these challenges is the source of your problem spot, chances are the cure is pretty universal: cover it up ... quickly, inexpensively and permanently with flowering or lush, green ground cover. Hardy, easy to grow and aesthetically appealing ground cover fills vacant spaces, solves landscaping trouble spots and minimizes garden maintenance. Ground cover can transform a dull, sparse space into a rich tapestry of textures, shapes and continual color. These plants can spruce up challenging spots under trees, accent transitional areas along paths and foundations, and intensify interest in open spaces. Plus, they deliver a stunning seasonal show of flowers and colors. Ground cover is a cost-effective, fast way to deal with difficult trouble spots. It performs the job of mulch at a fraction of the cost, blocking weed growth, insulating soil, Ground cover solves landscaping trouble spots and minimizes garden maintenance. protecting more fragile plants and adding visual appeal. Some ground covers even bolster nutrients for companion plants with more demanding nutritional needs. Spring is the best time to plant ground covers, giving roots a chance to become established before conditions turn harsh. But before you decide on which varieties of these landscaping miracle-makers you’ll plant, here are some ground cover guidelines:
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* Don’t just plant the first ground cover that catches your eye. First, take stock of your problem area so you can select a ground cover that is appropriate for the spot. Some ground covers need sun, while others thrive only in shade. Some prefer dry locations. Others require moist soil. * Assess the soil at the site. Is it sandy and dry? A lovely loam? Or wet, soggy clay? There’s a ground cover for every soil condition, but you’ll also need to test the acidity level of the soil. You may need to amend your soil to raise or lower its pH content, or add organic matter to modify its texture.
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MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 7 * Hardy as they are, ground covers still require proper fertilizing, watering and weed control to maintain their attractiveness - just like any other plant. Newly planted areas will need special attention until they’re well established.
cover seed, from the luminous lavender and red of Magic Carpet creeping thyme and the baby blue of Forget-Me-Not to the gorgeous greens of Irish Moss and Kenilworth Ivy.
* Seed is the least expensive way to start ground cover. And planting ground cover seeds is some of the easiest sowing you’ll ever do in your yard or garden. Ground cover seeds are typically much smaller and lighter than other plant seeds; often you’ll get as many as 175,000 seeds in just 1 ounce.
Best-sellers like creeping thyme offer homeowners a vibrant, versatile way to solve problems and accent their landscaping. Creeping thyme is a favorite for its tolerance of dry soil, low maintenance needs and ability to self-seed season after season.
One way to make sowing even easier is to use a pre-mix of seeds and lime, like those offered by Outsidepride.com. The mix comes in a shaker bottle and you simply sprinkle the seeds on the planting site. The lime in the mix improves the pH of acidic soils, adds valuable micronutrients and helps break down organic matter. The lime is also white, so it’s easy to tell where you’ve spread the seed.
To get ground covers started off on the right foot, plant them in spring so they have a chance to root well. Before long, your barren, weedy trouble spots will be gone, covered by wondrous waves of flowers and foliage.
You can find a ground cover for virtually every soil situation - and to suit every landscaping preference. Outsidepride.com offers more than 50 different types of ground
Iceplant and Sedum are examples of easy-to-grow plants that can cover your barren, weedy trouble spots with wondrous waves of flowers.
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8 • MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011
GARDENING IN UNFAVORABLE WEATHER (ARA) - “The month of June, it is well if it be partly wet and partly dry.” Despite that idealistic statement from an 1854 article on agriculture in The Cambrian Journal, no farmer, in the history of the world, has ever had the ideal weather for a perfect growing season. The same holds true for today’s homeowners.
“Season creep” is a meteorological fact - spring arrives earlier than it used to, making homeowners scramble to protect tender new plantings when a sudden but shortlived frost arrives. This year’s weather changes are more dramatic due to El Nino winds and more moisture content in the air. This is causing severe flooding in some communities and drought in others. In addition, people now stay in their homes longer than ever, averaging 9.2 years in very lived-in homes. So like farmers, homeowners need to figure out how to adapt to extreme weather conditions in order to get the long-lasting and beautiful flower beds, yards and gardens they want. All plants need the same basic nourishment: good soil conditions, adequate water, sunshine, favorable temperatures and protection from predators. Of all of these factors, homeowners can most affect their soil content. Good soil is the foundation of a good garden. Farmers know they have to amend their soil through a variety of methods: rotating crops, adding organic compost-type material, adding chemical fertilizers, and growing cover crops. The average homeowner can take on the simplest of these tasks: Feed the soil that is feeding your plants and use a landscape fabric to prevent weeds from taking root and competing for those same nutrients. Adding a long-lasting organic growing mixture to your garden bed is easy. You can find them at a local garden center or from www.espoma.com. The idea is to make the soil a crumbly texture so that air and water can get to your plant roots and to put organic material into the soil that will give your plants a season’s worth of nutrients. Adding a landscape fabric to your garden bed will help with weed control and moisture retention. These can also be bought at your local garden center. It is a good idea to check the warranty on this type of product. One brand, WEED-X from Dalen Products, comes with a 20-year warranty. First, you prepare your soil, then you lay down landscape fabric, then you add 1 1/2 - 2 inches of mulch on top of your bed. Studies have shown that WEED-X does an excellent job of preventing weeds from taking root below the fabric. Most weeds arrive in your mulch as airborne seeds and a few will root above the fabric. A little two finger weeding can easily remove these stragglers. Limiting the mulch to a depth of no more than 2 inches also helps prevent this problem. The landscape fabric will also help with the issue of getting your new plants enough to drink.
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MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 9 Homeowners generally realize that their new plants need more water in the beginning to establish their root systems. If Mother Nature does not provide rain on a regular schedule, it is time to drag out the hose and gardening can. Putting a bucket under your downspout or eave is a good way to collect wasted water to use for this needed chore (and it is probably near the plants you need to water anyway). A good landscape fabric will allow the right amount of moisture to reach your plant roots and will help the soil below the fabric retain moisture.
Homeowners will still need to purchase fencing, netting and scarecrow devices to contend with birds and other small animals who are attracted to fruit and vegetables meant for your table. Many homeowners use owls to scare off those scavengers. Read the owl story at www.dalenproducts.com to see how their Great Horned Owl (with either a rotating or solar head) does just that.
Homeowners can do very little to affect sunshine and temperatures, but they can protect tender new plantings from sudden frosts. Most folks empty their linen closets on nights when frost is predicted, but there are frost protection covers and blankets specially engineered to protect your plant in extreme weather available at your local lawn and garden center. And finally, what can you do about garden predators? Good soil techniques do much to discourage insects and fungus from attacking a stronger, healthier plant, and not all insects are bad.
The idea behind these labor-saving techniques is help homeowners get to play and enjoy the beautiful days Mother Nature does provide in their easyto-maintain, but lovely gardens. Combine your good ideas with smart products to create long-lasting garden beds.
“Farmscaping” is a technique to give a small percentage of your growing space to plants that will attract organisms and insects that arrive “with benefits.” Barley, basil, borage, cosmos, rye, and lobelia are just a few examples of plants which can encourage biodiversity by providing the continuous blooms which nourish “good” insects and pollinators at all stages of their lives.
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10 • MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011
ENJOY YOUR BACKYARD ALL SUMMER (ARA) - As we dream of summer, many of us think about the place where we spend those endless summer days and balmy summer evenings - the backyard. But if your backyard is going to live up to the perfection you envision in your daydreams, you may need to spend a spring weekend or two shaping up your outdoor spaces for this year’s activities. Whether it’s heading out for a game of catch with your kids or inviting the neighbors over for a barbecue, the backyard provides a welcome extended living space in the warmer months. Since you’ll be spending so much time there, it’s worth the effort to get your yard looking and feeling good, as it will make your time there that much more relaxing. If you’re not sure where to get started, here’s a checklist of projects to consider before the backyard enjoyment season heats up: * Take a ground-up approach. Perhaps nothing makes a backyard feel homier than a lush lawn. While ongoing maintenance will help keep your yard looking great throughout the summer, spring preparation is just as important. Check your yard for bare spots and overseed them, as necessary. Give your yard a good raking or use a dethatcher to get rid of any dead grass or leaves that can hamper growth. If you don’t have an overseeder or dethatcher, don’t worry. Your local rental stores will have tools and equipment you need. Visit RentalHQ.com if you need help finding a rental store in your area.
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* Give your deck or patio a good sweep and power wash away any debris it collected over the winter. If it’s in need of repairs or staining, take care of it in the spring so it’s ready to go for summer. * If your fence is in need of repair or replacing, spring is a great time to do the job. If your fence is still in good shape, think about adding flower boxes or other vegetation to make your yard more inviting. * If you’ve been thinking about installing an irrigation system, why wait until the dry summer days when your lawn will need water the most? Installing irrigation in the spring will allow your lawn and garden to thrive all summer long. You can make quick work of this project by renting a walk-behind trencher or vibratory plow. * Since your kids will be heading outside soon, make sure swing sets, tree houses and other play equipment are in good working condition. Winter can take a toll on these items, so testing them in the spring is important for protecting your child’s safety. Check for things like rotting wood or rusting metal. Since many of these jobs require equipment that you might not ordinarily keep in your garage, renting is the smart way to get these projects done. To make finding the rental store nearest you even easier, the American Rental Association (ARA) offers RentalHQ.com, the world’s largest and most comprehensive rental store locator. By taking care of all of your backyard improvement projects early in the season, you can get the most out of your yard while the weather is pleasant.
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* Just before the spring growing season is the ideal time to prune trees and shrubs, because the trees can quickly heal and regenerate once they start growing. By pruning at this time, you’ll also make sure your plants are looking nice and shapely once they start sprouting leaves. Spring is also a great time to rent a stump grinder and remove tree stumps once the ground thaws. As a bonus, you can use the woodchips as bedding for plants.
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MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 11
READY TOOLS FOR THE GROWING SEASON Proper tool storage is very important. Remember to keep tools clean and dry. Never leave tools outside, exposed to the elements.
(ARA) - As the seasons change and outdoor living becomes a reality once again, visions of bountiful gardens and green grass fill the heads of most homeowners. It is likely, however, that a few items in the tool shed need some attention. Even the most experienced gardener has tools for working in and around the garden and lawn. Although the lawnmower, spreader, shovel or rake may get taken for granted, all tools work more efficiently and last longer with proper care.
If possible, hang shovels, spades, hoes, rakes and hand tools from hooks on the wall, making tools easier to find when needed.
Essential tools: A quick inventory of garden and lawn tools will make things easier this growing season. Most tool sheds contain a shovel, hoe, trowel and hose. Lawn care can be even easier with just a few additional items such as a mower, a rake and a high-quality spreader like the Scotts Turf Builder EdgeGuard DLX Spreader .
Some attention at the start of the season really pays off in the end, and extends the life of your favorite garden and lawn tools.
You can find many variations on these basic tools and numerous other options on the market such as trimmers, edgers, aerators and tillers, but the key is to have a few essentials on-hand and ready for use.
So this year, take a few minutes to care for these items and reap the benefits for many years to come.
Care tips: Most garden and lawn tools have metal parts containing iron and, therefore, attract rust. Oxygen present in the air and water combines with iron to create reddish-looking patches on metal, known as rust. Left unchecked, rust can eventually destroy a tool but it is easily prevented. Simply keep tools clean and dry. After each use, tools like shovels and hoes need a quick cleaning with a stiff wire brush and rag to remove moisture and debris. Oiling or waxing the blades on garden and lawn tools is a great way to prevent future rust while keeping tools in tip-top shape. If a tool is already rusted, simply apply a small amount of mineral oil and scrub with steel wool, or consider a commercial rust remover if necessary. Lawnmowers need care each season. A properly cared for and maintained mower will last for several years. To ensure the best possible performance, treat your mower to a tune-up, oil change and blade sharpening each spring. Spreaders also need annual maintenance to ensure peak performance. After each use, empty the leftover contents back into the bag. Finally, place the spreader on the grass and hose it down. Any metal parts may also benefit from a spray of oil to prevent rust.
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12 • MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011
MAINTAINING YOUR LAWN EQUIPMENT (ARA) - Spring is just around the corner, so it’s not too early to start thinking about preparing your garden tools and lawn equipment for the warm weather months. Taking the time to do simple maintenance can eliminate the hassle of a piece of lawn equipment failing to start. Having an operational lawn mower throughout the mowing season should be at the top of your spring prep list. If you find your lawn mower has a hard time starting up, it may be time for a tune-up. This includes changing the spark plugs, changing the oil and cleaning the filter. The same goes for weed eaters. Both can be taken to a mower shop or dealer for tune-up, or can be done by the do-it-yourselfer. If you’re handling the tune-up on your own, an oil specifically designed for use in small engines, such as Royal Purple’s 2-Cycle TCWIII Engine Oil, can be helpful. Usable in lawn mowers and chain saws, 2-Cycle TCW III increases horsepower and reduces fuel consumption, heat, wear and emissions. Its synthetic solvency keeps spark plugs and exhaust ports clean as well. TCW III has also been member tested and recommended by the National Home Gardening Club. Always use fresh fuel when you start your lawn equipment for the season. A thorough cleaning of your tools will allow you to inspect them to determine if there are any loose or damaged parts. If a machine has blades - like a lawn mower, weed eater or hedge trimmer - make sure they are clean and sharp. Working with dull blades can be dangerous. You should discard blades that are chipped, damaged or rusted. You should also make sure your lawn tools are well lubricated with an all-purpose
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synthetic lubricant like Royal Purple’s Maxfilm. Maxfilm is recommended for: * Loosening stuck parts such as nuts, bolts, locks, hinges, etc. * Lubricating power tools, hinges, chains, rollers, open gears, fishing tackle and lawn equipment * Preserving and protecting parts in storage against rust and corrosion
Once the initial work is done after the winter thaw, maintenance will be relatively simple, and you’ll be able to enjoy your yard all spring and summer long.
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MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 13
FAIL-PROOF GARDENING TIPS FROM THE PROS (ARA) - With so many plant choices, picking the perfect plants that will thrive in your garden can seem overwhelming - even for experienced gardeners. Rather than randomly buying plants that are attractive in the displays and hoping they’ll live once you get them home, there’s a smarter way to shop. Get inspired. Look through garden magazines and visit online for ideas on what’s new and triedand-true. Talk to your friends and neighbors for suggestions. Tip: Use the new garden website, BloomIQ.com, which inspires and takes the guesswork out of planning and plant selection. Its garden design suggestions and planting combinations will match your color preferences, personal style and growing conditions.
out the plants. Create a shopping list “Come up with a list of plants suitable for your garden conditions,” advises Hancock. “Hostas may come to mind, but if your yard is a deer magnet, coral bells are a better choice.”
With one click in the comfort of your own home, you can browse beautiful images, plant descriptions and info to help you choose the right plants for your needs. Plus, there are tips for designing gardens, creating container gardens, using indoor plants and learning which plants work well together - all on one easy-to-use site.
Tip: Educate yourself on exactly what works best in your garden before you go shopping. Learn the plant’s water, sun and care requirements. Is it deer-proof, drought tolerant, or low maintenance? Answering these questions can be a garden saver.
Sketch a garden plan. Look at your home’s architectural features and landscaping. “Start with the ‘bones’ of your home and landscape - they’ll make your yard look good all year long,” says Justin Hancock, senior garden editor at BHG.com, the Better Homes and Gardens online magazine.
“With a click of the mouse at BloomIQ.com you can create and print a shopping list of the plants you want,” says Kristi Huffman, vice-president of John Henry Horticulture. “You can shop with confidence, knowing that the plants you buy are going to be successful in your home and garden.”
What kind of garden do you want - formal or informal? Decide if you want edibles, annuals or perennials in a garden or containers filled with herbs, veggies and perennials. And don’t forget the indoors. Include houseplants to change the look of your home; it’s easy and economical.
With a personalized plant list in hand, anyone can shop like a pro. For more information visit www.BloomIQ.com.
Tip: Sketch what you want to plant - and where. “No matter what you want to grow, gardening success starts with a good design plan,” says Bobbie Schwartz, president of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers (apld.org). “Photograph your home and landscape, print out the photos, lay tracing paper on top and then sketch out your ideas.” Schwartz suggests not worrying about specific plant varieties. “You can fill in those later. Begin by deciding on features such as shape, color, and height texture and bloom time.” After you have a general idea what you want, you can start having fun by picking
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14 • MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011
DON’T BE “FUELISH” WITH YOUR LAWNMOWER (NAPS)—When it comes to getting the most from a lawn mower or other power equipment, using the wrong blend of fuel or skipping off-season maintenance just won’t cut it. Experts say it’s a good idea to take a lawn mower to an authorized dealer at the end of each season and have any excess fuel drained.
The fuel blends and ethanol percentages that may be right for cars—an ethanol concentration greater than 10 percent—are not recommended for power equipment or marine engines. Also, any fuel blend stored in an unused engine may degrade over time and harm small engines. That’s why, experts say, it’s a good idea for consumers to take lawn mowers and other power products to an authorized dealer at the end of each season. “This is a good way to allow a trained professional to properly dispose of unused fuel and ensure the product is ready for next season,” said Mike Rudolph, senior manager, Honda Engines. Consumers can also use fuel stabilizer when not using an engine for more than 30 days. To learn more, visit the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute at www.opei.org.
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MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011 • 15
BEWARE OF TERMITES IN THE SPRING Termites eat constantly and can cause serious structural damage to your home, which is why prevention is paramount in keeping your home termite-free. Some useful termite prevention tips include: * Avoid any moisture at the foundation of your home.
However, if termites have already made their way into your home, it is important to contact a licensed pest professional to assess the situation. There are many solutions to control termite infestations, including barrier treatments and baiting systems and your professional will help you to select the most effective treatment plan to suit your needs.
* Divert water away from your property through properly functioning downspouts, gutters and splash blocks.
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* Reduce humidity and ventilate crawl places.
* Repair gutters and leaking outdoor faucets so that water will run away from the house, thus removing moisture. * Remove infested stumps and trees near the foundation of the house. * Store scrap lumber and firewood as far from the house as possible. * Replace weather stripping and repair loose mortar around basement foundation and windows. * Routinely inspect the foundation of your home for signs of mud tubes (used by termites to reach a food source), cracked or bubbling paint and wood that sounds hollow when tapped.
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16 • MORNING JOURNAL • SPRING LAWN & GARDEN 2011 • THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011
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33170 STATE ROUTE 172 • GUILFORD LAKE • LISBON, OHIO
330-222-1521 • 800-825-6446 www.gauseeq.com • e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on Mar 24, 2011
Great ideas and hints on how to keep your garden grown and your lawn green in this Morning Journal special edition.