Home & Garden Guide March 2016
for garden tips & MORE
Home & Garden
2C – Statesboro herald — Sunday, March 20, 2016 | statesboroherald.com
Landscaping can save you money From energy.gov
Simple landscaping techniques, such as using trees, vines, and shrubs to create shade in the summer or to block wind in the winter, can help cut heating and cooling bills.
Summer landscaping Creating shade During summer, heat from the sun absorbed through windows and roofs makes air conditioners work harder. By incorporating shading techniques into your landscape design, you can reduce this “solar heat gain” and lower your cooling costs. Simply shading an air conditioner can increase its efficiency by as much as 10 percent.
Selection and placement of trees Air temperatures directly under trees can be 25 degrees cooler than air temperatures above a nearby blacktop parking lot. Trees can be selected for almost any desired shading based on their sizes, densities, and shapes. Deciduous trees block the sun’s heat in summer, but let sunlight pass through in the winter because they lose their leaves in autumn. Dense evergreen (coniferous) trees and shrubs provide year-round shade and can block strong winds. Tall deciduous trees with high and spreading branches should be planted on the south side of a house to provide maximum summertime shading
over the roof. Trees with leaves and branches lower to the ground are best planted on the west side of a house where shade from the afternoon sun is needed. Six- to eight-foot-tall deciduous trees planted near a house will begin shading windows the first year. A slow-growing tree may require up to 10 years of growth before it shades a roof. However, slow-growing trees have a number of advantages over faster growing ones. They tend to live longer, possess deeper roots that make them more drought resistant, and have stronger branches which are less prone to breaking in storms or under heavy snow. Plant trees far enough away from the home so that when they mature, their root systems do not damage the foundation and branches do not damage the roof.
Trees and shrubs can form windbreaks to block cold air from your house. Follow these steps to create windbreaks: ➤ Maximize protection by planting trees with lowgrowing branches away from the house by a distance of about two to five times the mature height of the trees. ➤ Plant dense evergreen trees and shrubs together on the north and northwest side of the home to create the most common type of windbreak. Evergreen trees combined with a wall or fence can deflect or lift the wind over the home. In snowy areas, plant low shrubs on the windward side of windbreaks to trap snow. ➤ Create adequate air spaces next to the house by allowing at least one foot of space between fullgrown plants and the exterior wall of the house.
Design For low maintenance
Cooling the local climate
Many of the maintenance needs of a garden are determined by the design. By following a few simple guidelines, you can build in ease of care from the start.
The shadier the landscape, the cooler its temperatures. Trees, shrubs, and groundcover can be used to shade the ground and pavement around the home, while a large bush or row of shrubs can shade and cool a patio, driveway, or front walk. However, do not allow dense foliage to grow immediately next to a house where it can become a pathway for pests to enter the home, or where moisture and roots can become problems. Keep the soil around the home dry.
Simplicity: Keep the planting design simple. Make certain each plant in the plan serves a purpose. Elaborate plantings require a great deal of attention. Simple plantings, using only a few plant species, can be both attractive and easy to manage. Materials Selection: Some elements of a landscape need more care than others. Generally, paving
such as patios and walks require the least care. They are followed by structures such as sheds and arbors, then trees, shrubs, ground covers, and lawns. Bulbs, annual and perennial flowers, and plants that need special care such as roses need the most maintenance. Since few of us would want a garden without any seasonal flowering plants, the maintenance impact can be reduced by planting high-care plants in limited numbers and where they will have the most impact in your garden. Beds: Planting beds are easier to maintain than many isolated plantings. It is easier to mow around a bed with a continuous edge rather than around
individual plants. Gentle curves or straight lines are both easier to care for and more pleasing than complicated curves and shapes. Avoid sharp corners or narrow strips that mowers cannot reach. Beds should be narrow enough for easy access, or be designed with steppingstones or paths through them. Edging: Edging saves maintenance by keeping mulch in and lawn out. Steel, aluminum and plastic edgings are readily available. A very attractive edging can be constructed of pavers or brick laid flush with the lawn. This kind of edging will reduce the need for hand trimming. While a spade cut edging will need to be recut seasonally, it will keep bed edges
defined and neat.
Hardscaping: Patios and decks are low-maintenance choices for high traffic areas that will not allow the successful growth of grass or other groundcover. Sidewalks, patios and edging around beds should be low and flat, permitting a power mower to ride up over the surface and eliminating the need for hand edging. Walks, patios, steps, walls, fences or shelters will need periodic maintenance that will vary in frequency based on the materials used. When considering various landscape and construction materials, compare the initial cost and maintenance to long term cost and durability.
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statesboroherald.com | Statesboro herald — Sunday, March 20, 2016 – 3C
Tips for vegetable gardening in Georgia By ROBERT WESTERFIELD and DAVID LINVILL UGA Cooperative Extension
plant. If additional nitrogen is needed on peppers, eggplant or tomatoes, apply when the first fruits are about 1 inch in diameter.
There is nothing quite like a home garden to supply you and your family with a variety of nutritious vegetables that can be enjoyed fresh or preserved for later use. When space is limited, a plentiful supply of crops such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and okra can be grown with a few properly cared-for plants.
Soil preparation Begin soil preparation in the fall by chopping litter and spading or turning deeply to bury the litter. Add other organic matter such as compost, leaf mold or wellrotted sawdust or manure.
Planting the garden
Try to select a site that receives at least 8 to 10 hours of sunlight a day. Select a location that is conveniently located near the house and a water supply. The soil should have a good texture and be welldrained.
Information on cultivars, planting dates and spacing is given in the planting chart. Several vegetables can be successively
planted to lengthen the harvesting season.
Cultivation Cultivate or hoe the garden as often as needed to control weeds and grasses. Do not cultivate or hoe too deeply, or root injury will result. Cultivating too often will also result in the soil drying out excessively.
Mulch A mulch of straw, leaves, compost or pine straw will help conserve moisture, control weeds and reduce cultivation. Apply enough mulch to have 2 to 4 inches after settling. Newspaper can also be applied as a mulch two to three layers
thick around plants. Apply 3 inches of straw or compost on top of the paper.
Watering Water the garden as often as needed to maintain a uniform moisture supply. In the absence of rain, a good soaking once a week will probably be adequate for heavier soils. Light, sandy soils might require an application more frequently. Water early in the morning so foliage will dry off quickly, which helps prevent diseases. Use soaker hoses or irrigation tape if possible to prevent foliage from getting wet and help prevent disease.
Make a plan
Plan your garden out on paper first before ordering seed. For small areas, select those crops that you like best and consider using dwarf compact varieties that will produce an adequate supply on a few plants. Also, plan to use the space continuously by planting another in-season crop soon after the last harvest is completed. Plant tall-growing plants together on the north or west side of the garden so they will not shade lower-growing plants. Make a map and keep it current so that the vegetables can be rotated within the garden from year to year. Remember to plan for space between rows to walk down to harvest the crop and maintain the bed.
Varieties, seed and plants Be sure to select recommended varieties for your
main planting. Many other varieties are available, and new varieties are being introduced each year. Try a few new varieties on a small scale to determine their worth in your area. Varieties listed in the Vegetable Planting Chart represent a few of the proven varieties. Always buy good quality seed from a reputable company. Do not save your own seed unless it is a unique, unavailable variety. When buying plants, purchase fresh, stocky plants that are free of diseases and insects.
Lime and fertilizer Run a soil test through your local county Extension office several months prior to planting to determine lime and fertilizer needs. If
the pH is low (acidic soil), apply the recommended amount of lime before preparing the soil so it can be mixed with the soil during land preparation. A pH of 6.0 to 6.5 is recommended for all vegetables except Irish potatoes, which require a pH of 5.0 to 6.0. Vegetables are classified as light, medium or heavy feeders, based on their fertilizer recommendations for each group. Apply fertilizer according to the soil test results. Most vegetables need initial fertilizer at planting time, and again after they have begun to mature. Some vegetables, such as corn, need to be fertilized by side dressing after the plants are about knee high. Put the side dressing several inches away from the plant, never directly on the
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4C – Statesboro herald — Sunday, March 20, 2016 | statesboroherald.com
Creating a more eco-friendly lawn Metro Creative Connection
Maintaining a lush lawn is a healthy and rewarding hobby that affords homeowners to spend some time outdoors in nature. Lawn enthusiasts can make their hobby even healthier by adopting several eco-friendly lawn care strategies that not only make for a healthier lawn, but a healthier planet as well. Responsible landscaping has grown increasingly popular in recent years, as more and more homeowners are adopting eco-friendly lawn care practices in the same way they have embraced environmentally conscious behaviors in other areas of their lives. The following are a handful of ways lawn care enthusiasts can incorporate eco-friendly practices into their landscaping routines. ➤ Maintain an appropriate grass height. When temperatures start to peak in summer, homeowners may be tempted to cut their grass as close as possible so they can reduce the number of afternoons they spend riding or pushing a
mower in the hot sun. But cutting too low makes the grass increasingly susceptible to infestations and disease, and such problems may need to be remedied with potentially harmful pesticides if no other approach proves effective. Even if it means an extra afternoon or two mowing under the hot sun, maintaining an appropriate grass height can lead to a healthier lawn, as longer grass soaks up more sunlight, allowing it to grow a deep root system that will help a lawn survive drought and other potential problems. ➤ Cut back on harmful pesticides. Many homeowners now prefer to avoid pesticides at all costs, but sometimes pesticides are a last resort when lawns are falling victim to harmful insects and organisms. Homeowners who want to embrace more ecofriendly lawn care practices can cut back on their use of pesticides, first trying more environmentally friendly options. For example, biopesticides are made from naturally occurring materials, including animals, plants,
bacteria, and certain minerals. According to the Un i te d States Environmental Protection Agency, biopesticides are often inherently less toxic than more conventional pesticides. In addition, biopesticides typically affect only the pest causing the problem, whereas broad spectrum pesticides may affect sur-
rounding organisms, such as birds and mammals, in addition to the targeted pest. The EPA (www.epa. gov) advises homeowners hoping to use biopesticides first learn about managing pests so they can effectively remedy problems on their properties. ➤ Harvest rainwater. Lawns need water, espe-
cially when temperatures rise in the summer. But watering lawns can have an adverse effect on your community's water supply, draining that supply and hurting the community in the long run. Homeowners who can harvest rainwater can drastically reduce their impact on their community water supply, thereby
helping the planet and their community, especially if they reside in locales where water resources are traditionally scarce. When rainwater is harvested, it is collected from downspouts before it washes into nearby sewage systems. Many lawn and garden retailers sell rainwater harvesting systems, which homeowners can install themselves or pay a landscaping professional to install for them. ➤ Lay mulch down around trees, shrubs and flower beds. Trees, shrubs and flower beds need water, especially in the summer when rising temperatures pose a threat to plants. Homeowners can cut back on the water they use to protect those plants by laying organic mulch in the spring. Organic mulch conserves moisture in soil, promoting stronger roots in plants and helping homeowners cut back on the amount of watering they need to maintain a garden that's both healthy and pleasing to the eye. Organic mulch, which might be made of bark, is also heavy, making it hard for ugly weeds that rob plants of water to thrive.
When should you seed and fertilize? Metro Creative Connection
Restoring lawns and gardens back to their prewinter glory is high on many a homeowner's landscaping to-do list. In much of the country, the best times to tackle lawn projects are when tem-
peratures are moderate, like in spring and fall. These seasons also mark the best time to seed and fertilize. Planting and fertilizing new grass seed should be done when frost is no longer a concern and before frost arrives if you
are planting in autumn. According to Roger Cook, a landscape contractor and contributor to This Old House magazine, sowing lawn seed should be done when the soil is warm, the daytime temperatures are moderate and you can keep the new
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seeds quite moist at all times. While grass seed can be applied in the summer, it is more challenging to get the seeds to take root and thrive at this time, as water is more likely to evaporate under the hot sun. Also, many weeds germinate in the heat of summer. As a result, the weeds can infiltrate areas of the lawn where you planted, compromising the look of your lawn. The process of reseeding and fertilizing your lawn is relatively similar if you decide to do so in late spring or early fall. ➤ Rake the parts of the lawn you plan to seed and remove any debris or rocks. ➤ Apply fertilizer to the cleared planting area. Use a rake or tiller to break up the soil and distribute the fertilizer to a depth of roughly two to four inches. Speak with a landscaper about which type of fertilizer you will need depending on where you live. Many fertilizers contain extra phosphorous to stimulate root growth in the lawn. ➤ Moisten the prepared area and let the soil settle. You want the soil damp but not so wet that it causes the newly applied fertilizer to run off. ➤ Begin to sow the grass seed according to the rate indicated on the seed bag for the type of grass you will be growing. Choose a grass seed that will thrive in your climate. Certain seeds are more tolerant of drought and sunlight, while other species are better for shady areas or damper climates. Again, if you have any questions, consult with a lawn and garden center. ➤ Spread the seed with a broadcast spreader. Some lawn experts recommend spreading the seed in parallel rows and then repeating the process again in rows set at a right angle to the first series of rows for the best chances of seed coverage. The seeds then can be raked into the soil, covered with a little more soil and patted down. ➤ Water to keep the seeds damp. This may require watering twice or more per day until the
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Seed and fertilize when temperatures are moderate and soil is warm. Remember to keep new grass seed moist with frequent watering. seeds begin to germinate. can be gently aerated. Top Covering the seeds with dress the lawn with a very about 1Ú4 inch of straw thin layer of new soil and also can help keep the compost. Broadcast the seed over seeds moist, deter seed scavengers and prevent the prepared lawn and soil erosion. Remove the lightly rake the new seeds straw once the grass to help them settle into the soil. Apply fertilizer begins to grow. ➤ Roughly four weeks and water the lawn freafter the seeds have start- quently to keep the new ed to grow, apply another seeds moist. Once the seed has round of fertilizer to replenish the top layer of established itself, you can soil with nutrients that water the lawn for longer may have washed away periods and less frequentfrom the constant water- ly to help develop strong roots. Wait for the lawn ing. Homeowners can to reach a height of three employ a similar process to four inches before the to overseed a lawn in the first cut of the season. Many homeowners like hopes of producing a thicker, more attractive to take on the challenge landscape. Any thatch of seeding and preparing and debris should be their lawns. But some raked away, and the top may find the task is best layer of the lawn surface left to the professionals.
Home & Garden
statesboroherald.com | Statesboro herald — Sunday, March 20, 2016 – 5C
Decks and patios: Getting started From Home and Garden TV
Options are vast and varied when it comes to decks and patios. Location, design, materials, maintenance—and of course, the budget—are all important issues to understand and work through. Here are some questions and ideas to help you get the planning process under way. Location Will the deck or patio sit in full sun, a partially shaded spot, or near a pool? Are there any related maintenance concerns— drainage, for example? What type of access should the space afford to the house? How will the deck
or patio relate to neighboring homes? Be sure to ferret out and factor in these different considerations, along with your personal goals and preferences for how the feature should look and function. Design. In general, a deck or patio should fit the style of the house. In a period home, that might translate into paving and stone walls, while a modern home could accommodate sleek decking. Likewise, accessories, plants and enhancements — minimalist or colorful, leafy and jungly, built-in seating or fire pits — will also contribute to the design. Materials and maintenance
Materials for outdoor spaces encompass a variety of synthetic and natural products, each with its own particular upkeep requirements. The elements can damage natural wood decks, for example, and they require regular attention (paint or stain, plus a clear coat of oil or water-based sealant). In terms of value with low maintenance, a long-wearing paver patio may be an attractive option. Again, research and planning are essential in selecting materials that match up with expectations. Budget Use the questions and requirements that arise when siting and designing a deck or patio to create a realistic “must-have” vs. “nice-to-have” list. That list will, in turn, guide the budget. If things don’t match up, revisit the choices and make compromises. Cost savings may often be found by simply swapping one material for another (natural wood instead of composite deck boards, for example), or by taking on some of the labor yourself. A resourceful and flexible
How to maintain a pool step by step Special to the Herald
Summer is the time for family and friends gettogethers, barbecues, yard games, and of course, pool fun. Many people would love to have a pool, but they get discouraged with the maintenance part of it. Maintaining a pool does not have to be a painful job if you do it right from the beginning. Follow these tips on how to maintain a pool. Of course, the easiest way is always to hire a pool professional to handle the job, but if your budget does not permit, it becomes a do-it-yourself job. This will not only create a safe and healthy pool environment for your family and guests, but learning to look at other areas of inspection also will prolong the life of your pool. The most important issue is to prevent bacteria in the water. For this, you have to sterilize the water by using a chlorine product.
You can buy this in the form of tablets that you will feed via a container that is usually located near the filter system and pump. You can find this at a pool store or home
improvement center. It is important that you prevent algae from forming. Algae loves moist environments and pools are perfect for it. To prevent algae you must use a product that acts as an inhibitor and treat the water with it. You do this step by pouring the liquid in the water, but near the skimmer intake, that way the pump will spread it to all the necessary areas. A pool must be shocked every couple of weeks. As people bathe, they release waste from their bodies in the form of natural oils,
dead skin cells … all this accumulates in the water. You can purchase a product to shock the water at a pool dealership and apply it to the water via your distribution container, near the pump and filter system. The amount of product to use will depend on the size of your pool. Read the instructions carefully. Usually this product comes in a powder form and it dissolves easily into the water. Test your water regularly to make sure that you have the proper ph balance. You can do this by buying a test kit at your local pool store. Some pool maintenance companies offer services to test your water if you bring a sample, but you will be charged for the service. Another important area is the physical equipment of the pool. You should cover your pool with a cover made for the appropriate season, to maintain its durability.
approach can help ensure a happy end result and good return on the investment. Permits The last thing anyone wants is to invest in a beautiful outdoor space, only to find out it must be ripped up because there was no building permit. There are codes and safety requirements in most towns if the deck is higher than 18 inches or larger than 100 square feet. Also, homeowners’ associations often have covenants governing outdoor structures and additions. Be sure to cover the bases before construction begins. Upgrades Homebuyers want upgrades and are willing to pay for them. In fact, many homebuyers look for builders that provide an extensive selection of upgrade options ranging from granite countertops to red-cedar decking. And builders who turn their backs on these upgrade requests are missing out on opportunities to increase profits and customer satis-
faction. So what upgrades resonate with today’s buyers? Among the most popular are outdoor living spaces: sitting areas, covered dining rooms and full kitchens, complete with aesthetic add-ons such as window boxes and built-in seating. “There are many opportunities to upgrade outdoor living spaces,” says Peter Lang, general manager of the Western Red Cedar Lumber Association. “A standard-model patio slab can be upgraded by offering an all-natural deck made from western red cedar, as well as upgrades such as matching furniture and built-in seating.” Decking materials Make a seamless transition between indoors and outdoors by incorporating a decking material that seems to be an extension of the room inside. The right material selection is crucial, however. “Many people choose western red cedar due to its aesthetic appeal and physical properties,” says
Lang. “For centuries, cedar has been known for its exceptional beauty, versatility and longevity.” While a number of imitation wood products have hit the market in recent years, all-natural western red cedar remains an affordable decking option. Naturally durable woods are cost competitive with nonwood alternatives and offer a timeless beauty not found in composite or plastic materials, according to Lang. Layout Consider offering different sizes and layout packages. Many homebuyers like larger decks; others prefer a more intimate setting. One option is to offer different modular decking “areas” based on their uses — a grilling area, hot tub area or perhaps a sitting area — then plugging in each module the homeowner chooses. You may want to give each area its own level; a few steps up or down gives the illusion of expansiveness and privacy — factors many homebuyers want and appreciate.
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6C – Statesboro herald — Sunday, March 20, 2016 | statesboroherald.com
Plan your way to successful garden By BOB WESTERFIELD Extension Horticulturalist
kind), you can make better use of available space. Plant late crops (those normally transplanted after danger of frost has passed) between rows of early peas, lettuce, spinach and the like. Successive plantings of in-season crops can be made so these vegetables will be available throughout the growing season. List garden chores to do each month; with a garden map and a garden calendar, you’ll find it easier to carry out the various jobs on time. See University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Circular 943, “Vegetable Garden Calendar,” for more information.
A well-tended, fruitful garden is a delight. It can supply you and your family with a variety of nutritious, healthful vegetables to be enjoyed fresh or preserved for later use. Gardening can also be a rewarding hobby, a project for 4-H members and a way to improve your physical fitness. Although it’s true that we can buy quality fresh, frozen or canned vegetables in supermarkets, many of us are turning to gardening to supplement our store-bought food.
Garden Location Your garden’s site location is very important. When possible, locate the garden in full sunlight, near the house, on good soil and near a water supply.
Sunlight Most vegetables need full sunlight for growth and development. Plant leaf crops such as broccoli, collards and spinach in areas likely to be in partial shade. Don’t plant any vegetable in complete shade. Large hedges, hedgerows and trees not only create too much shade, but they also compete with the garden for moisture and nutrients. Trees and large shrubs shade the garden and compete for moisture and nutrients.
Nearness to the house Locate the garden near your house so you can observe it regularly. Being close to your garden will help you notice insect, disease and weed problems and let you take necessary
Plan a fall garden control measures before they can cause serious damage. A convenient location will also allow you to spend short periods of spare time tending to garden chores or harvesting the fruit.
Soil When looking for a garden site, keep in mind that the exact soil type is less important than factors such as high fertility, good internal drainage, ease of tilling, good moistureholding capacity and deep topsoil. Try to avoid areas infested with johnsongrass, nutgrass and other troublesome weeds; areas with rock ledges; and areas underlain by a hardpan or hard shale. Soils can be amended with organic matter to improve the area.
Water You will get only moderate results if you try to grow a garden without watering it as needed. Mulches and organic matter will improve the soil’s moisture-holding
capacity and reduce evaporation loss; however, they will not guarantee an ample supply of moisture at all times. If possible, locate the garden near a good water supply so it can be watered as often as needed.
Make a map Sometime during the winter, make a map of the garden you want to grow. Gather seed catalogs and variety recommendations,
Make new plantings in July, August and September to enjoy fresh vegetables well into the fall months. Fall-grown vegetables are usually of very high quality.
Keep a record For every vegetable you plant, write down the name of each variety, the seed source, the lot number (if available), the date planted and the date harvested. Also write down your evaluation of the crop. Keep records on any chemicals used, fertilizer analyses and anything of personal interest. All of these notes will help you plan next year’s garden a little more efficiently.
Natural areas Some areas, especially on properties with large trees, can be allowed to return to their natural state. Woodlands are the natural condition for most areas of the state. This option will require periodic care to remove undesirable weed species. Wildflower meadows require little supplemental irrigation once established,
Making a plan Select the crops While you will want to select vegetables that provide a good supply of vitamins and minerals, be sure to plant vegetables your family likes. The size of your garden and the suitability of certain types of vegetables to your area will limit the crops you choose. Remember that planting large-growing crops such as corn or melons in a small garden will reduce the number of other vegetables you can plant. If you plan to can or freeze surplus produce, be sure to choose varieties that process well. For information on canning or freezing vegetables, contact your county Extension office by calling (800) ASK-UGA1.
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then put the garden plan on paper. Include what kinds of vegetables you will plant, the distances between rows and between plants, the amount of fertilizer to use and the time of planting. Plant perennial crops such as asparagus, strawberries or other small fruits to one side so they will not interfere with each season’s garden preparations. Plant fall-growing crops on the north side so they will not shade the other plants. Arrange the rows according to the planting dates of various crops, so only a narrow strip needs to be prepared for the early plants. The rest of the garden may be prepared as needed. Try to arrange the rows in an east/west orientation to capture the most sunlight. Keep all of your garden’s space fully occupied throughout the growing season. In parts of Georgia, it is possible to grow vegetables every month of the year. By intercropping (planting another kind of vegetable between the rows of an earlier-maturing
If you supply water as needed, use pesticides properly and fertilize according to label recommendations, you will be rewarded with tender vegetables in a season when few people are enjoying such delicacies.
Equipment The equipment you will need largely depends on the size of your garden. If you have a small garden of a few hundred square feet, a hoe, an iron rake, a spading fork, a round-nose shovel and a pesticide applicator may be all you need. In larger gardens, you may need additional tools such as a wheel cultivator, a garden tractor or a tiller. Be sure all of your equipment, especially sprayers and dusters, is reliable and in good repair so it is effective. You will also need several stakes and string or rope to mark off rows. For irrigation, you need a garden hose and sprinkler, or better yet, drip tubing or soaker hoses, which are more efficient.
and generally do not require fertilization. They are an attractive alternative to the traditional lawn since they need mowing only once a year. This operation controls the growth of tree and shrub seedlings, and if done in the fall, helps to spread the wildflower seeds throughout the area.
Xeriscaping The use of drought-tolerant plants in watering zones will help to lower water use and reduce maintenance. All the plants within a zone should have the same water requirements and can be watered as a group. High-moisture plants should be limited and located where they can be reached easily with a hose. Plants that rarely need supplemental moisture can be used where a water source is not convenient. Lawns usually use the most water in a landscape. By using decks and patios, groundcovers and shrub beds, you can limit lawn size and still have an attractive yard.
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Home & Garden
statesboroherald.com | Statesboro herald â€” Sunday, March 20, 2016 â€“ 7C
Going after grubs in your lawn Insect infestation can cause considerable damage to the most well-manicured yard Metro Creative Connection
Landscaping is a rewarding hobby for many homeowners. Men and women with green thumbs often take pride in their lush lawns and gardens, feeling a sense of accomplishment as their landscapes spend spring and summer returning to form and making yards more inviting spaces to spend relaxing summer nights. But even the most wellmaintained lawns are not immune t o problems that c a n compromise hard all the work men a n d women put into their lawns. One such problem many homeowners encounter is a grub infestation. Grubs are a type of pest that can cause considerable damage to lawns, and while many homeowners have no doubt heard of grubs, they might want to learn more about these pesky pests so they know what to do should grubs ever appear in their yards.
What are grubs? Grubs are insects that live in the soil, where they feed on grass and roots. Many grubs are the larva of Japanese beetles, and
those beetles typically lay their eggs in sun-drenched areas of lawns in midsummer.
What are signs of grub damage? Grubs not only damage lawns on their own, but they serve as food sources for local wildlife as well, attracting wildlife, which can do its own damage to lawns. Lawns can turn brown for a variety of reasons, and grubs are just one of many
potential culprits behind the browning of once-luscious landscapes. Grubs feed on roots, so homeowners who suspect their lawns have fallen victim to grub infestations can pull up the areas where grass has turned brown to see if there are any grubs, which look like worms. Landscapes that have suddenly become popular among local wildlife that is digging up lawns may also be infested with grubs. Skunks and raccoons feed on grubs, and may dig up lawns where grubs are present. Damage resulting from grub infestation is most visible from late summer to early fall.
What's causing damage to your lawn? Damage to a lawn may be indicative of various problems. Everything from insects to rodents to the family pet may be responsible for causing burnt patches, holes and other eyesores. Getting to the bottom of the problem is the first step in remediation. Burning and discoloration of the lawn is often a result of high concentrations of dog urine pooling in one area. Diluting the urine by hosing down areas of the lawn can clear up many problems. Birds, raccoons, skunks, moles, and other rodents may feed on grubs that reside just under the thatch of the lawn, and animals may tear up lawns in search of this delicacy. Treating the grub problem usually alleviates damage caused by animals. Mole crickets are another common lawn destroyer. These insects resemble crickets, but they burrow beneath the turf to feed on plant roots. The mole crickets can push up channels of turf as they burrow, exposing roots to the elements and causing the grass to die. Getting rid of the insects can revitalize the lawn.
Can grub damage be prevented? Preventing grub infestation typically requires homeowners to keep watchful eyes on their lawns. Pay particular attention to areas that begin to brown, especially areas that are turning brown in spite of adequate watering. An early indicator of a grub infestation is small grubs around the roots of grass. In such instances, applying insecticide may be enough to prevent a small grub problem from spreading. Insecticides also can be an effective preventative measure for homeowners looking to avoid grub infestations. Speak with a local landscaping professional for recommendations about which insecticide to apply and how best to apply it.
What can I do about grub damage? Attempting to treat grubs in the spring may be ineffective, as grubs are large and no longer feeding in spring. So homeowners dealing with grub infestations should address the situation before they retire their green thumbs for the winter. Remove debris from grub infestations with a rake before watering the affected areas. Watering can help some damaged roots recover, but areas that have been especially damaged may need to be reseeded. Grub infestations can be a nuisance to homeowners who put lots of time and effort into their lawns. But homeowners can take steps to treat such infestations and METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION prevent them from returning the following Applying an appropriate insecticide is one way homeowners can prevent grub infestations. summer.
Home & Garden
8C – Statesboro herald — Sunday, March 20, 2016 | statesboroherald.com
Start this growing season out right with, Expert advice and Quality Products from Wise Nurseries! • Insecticides, Fungicides and Herbicides that are effective for local challenges that may • Shade Trees, Japanese Maples, arise in our landscape beds Fruit Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, and turf. Annuals and more • Quality Garden Tools that • Quality Fertilizers with a staff are effective and work well www.wisenurseries.com 2 blocks from Fordhams Farmhouse that will help you navigate • Plant Accessories including your needs 23511 Northside Dr. E. labels, stakes, ties and so • Largest Diversity of plants in Hwy 80 East Southeast Georgia right here • Soil testers that will help much more Statesboro, GA in Statesboro! you insure PH and nutrients are within healthy levels for • Earth Boxes for patio and balcony gardening • Our Plants that have been your plants to thrive Proven Locally! We’re always looking for new introductions that will thrive here
Following is Wise Nurseries official planting guide that will help insure you are able to start your plants out right. Please consider it a Free Gift because we care about your success in the yard. You may also find a PDF form of this planting guide at www.wisenurseries.com under ‘Plant Info and Tips’.
Planting guide for container trees, shrubs and Perennials Visit Wise Nurseries’ YouTube channel for a planting demonstration video.
ProPer Plant installation
• Dig hole 2-3 times wider, but the same depth as the root ball. This will promote roots to expand vigorously, but keep plant from settling lower in the ground over time. • If the root ball has a flat bottom, the hole should have a flat bottom so there are no air pockets under the plant. • Remove plant from pot as gently as possible. On larger material, it might be necessary to lay the plant on its side and pull the pot off. With smaller material, you may turn the plant upside-down with stem between fingers, and pull the pot off with other hand. Always handle plant material by the pots as much as possible to help prevent damaging the plant. • At this stage, examine the roots. If any are circling the root ball, lightly loosen them with your hand, claw or rake. This practice will help promote roots to start reaching out rather than staying balled up. Keep this practice to a bare minimum if installing during late spring or summer months because plants are more prone to shock during that time of year. • Set plant in hole. Be sure the top of the root ball is level or slightly higher than the surrounding ground level. • Begin to back-fill 1/3 of the depth at a time. (The larger the root ball, the more important this is.) Pack every layer very firmly leaving no air pockets. An old broken shovel or rake handle works well to pack the soil; or this may be done by hand as well. Lightly watering as you back-fill will help the soil settle properly. • If the plant is located in an irrigated location, or is easily accessed to be hand watered, DO NOT build a watering burm around it. These burms can inhibit top feeder roots from vigorous expansion and oxygen, resulting in a slower growing plant. Only make a small watering burm (mounding soil just outside root balls surface area) if plant is in a rural location that has to be hand watered. Fill burm up with water, allowing it to seep slowly into the ground.
insulate during times of low temperatures, helps suppress weeds, and looks cosmetically sharp. • Pine straw, pine bark, shredded hardwoods, and chipped hard woods are among the best mulches for landscape use. A 2-4 inch layer should be sufficient; Pine straw should be laid at 6 inches thick because it settles.
• Never let plants dry out before installing. • After installing, plants should be thoroughly watered in. • How much water in the first few weeks, and in the long run, may vary depending on soil conditions and time of year. Sandy soils and/or warmer temperatures will require more water, while heavy clay soils and/ or cooler temperatures will require less. • Some plant material requires a little more water and wet feet, while others require a little less water and dryer feet. Group plants and watering schedules according to plant demands and actual site conditions. This will help insure that plants thrive, perform and live. For example: Install a swamp hibiscus where it tends to stay moist, and install a yucca where it tends to stay pretty dry. • When watering, be sure to thoroughly soak the root ball. • Within an hour after watering, the soil should be damp and moist but not waterlogged and muddy. Within 24hrs after watering, if there is no moisture 3 inches down, that means you are not applying enough. • When possible, try not to wet foliage; this only contributes to spreading fungus and bacteria. Watering only the roots is always better. This is one of many reasons drip irrigation is far superior to overhead watering
Watering schedUle to establish Plants fall
Use a starter fertilizer
• Bio-Tone Starter Plus fertilizer is one of the best available because it not only provides basic elements to the plant, but feeds the soil as well. It contains several different types of bacteria and fungi, including mycorrhizae. This special fungus forms a symbiotic relationship with the plant that gives roots increased water and nutrient absorption capabilities. The bacteria and fungi are solar sensitive, meaning sunlight will kill it so be sure to apply to the bottom and sides of the hole while it is back filled. Do not apply to the surface. • Root Stimulator by Ferti-lome is another option. It is a liquid feed of several elements, but predominantly liquid phosphate, which gives you aggressive root growth. This may be applied on the surface after plant material is installed by pouring over roots like simply watering the plant. To get the best results, reapply every 2 weeks for a total of 2-3 treatments. • Have an idea of your PH levels in the area being planted. Most plants like to be between 6 and 7, but there are some exceptions. The PH level tester gages how alkaline or acidic the soil is. The PH level directly effects how the plants absorb nutrients, and will show in plant vigor and health over time as the roots begin to spread out into the surrounding soil. A top dressing of lime (will raise PH) or sulfur (will lower PH) may be needed upon install. You may also consider planting acid loving plants in locations to lower PH levels.
• Plants will benefit from amendments if soil conditions are solid sand, clay or mostly rock lacking any organic, humus material. If the soil has some black color to it, and is at least a little spongy, it most likely has some organic material in it. If the soil does have some organic matter in it, do not use soil amendments as this may hinder plant roots from reaching out in the long run. • If using soil amendments, blend about ¼ amendments to ¾ existing soil, then use to back fill hole. If soil conditions are really bad, up to a ½ amendment to ½ existing blend may be used.
• Mulch helps keep moisture from rapid evaporation, shades roots during times of high temperatures, helps
1st Week 2nd Week 3rd Week 4th Week
(65-80 degrees) 2-3 3-4 4-5 4-6
(below 66 degrees) 3-5 4-6 7-0 7-0
(65-85 degrees) 1-2 2-3 3-4 3-4
(86+ degrees) 1 1-2 2-3 2-3
first 2 Years Water schedUle 4-6
If chart reads 2-3, that means water every 2nd or 3rd day depending on temperature, soil and type of plant. If on any given day, site receives a half inch of rain, that will be sufficient until next water date. Temperatures and seasons represent average daytime highs This schedule applies to material planted in the ground, potted material is different
• Trees 4ft plus in height may need to be staked depending on tree structure and site conditions. • Always leave a little play when staking a tree so it may naturally sway with the wind a little. The tree will actually grow faster and stronger. • Always pad wire or rope that is touching the tree trunk to be sure they don’t cut or girdle the trunk. Pre fabricated staking kits usually have sufficient design. If using a homemade stake system, an old cut up hose with wire or rope running through it works well. • If the tree is located in an area protected from strong winds, or root ball is just as large or larger than tree head, staking may not be required. • Never leave stakes on for more than one growing season. They are strictly to keep trees from rocking in the hole and to maintain good posture until fully rooted in.