Adding “Architectural” Interest To The Garden With Concrete Moulding

IMG 2584 1024x768 Adding “Architectural” Interest To The Garden With Concrete Moulding

All gardens need focal pieces, and a friend named Enyo shared a few of her favorite pieces with me this week.

Enyo is lucky enough to travel the world with her husband due to his work with a popular architectural firm.  They’ve spent a few years off and on in a several different countries, and regions of the United States, and picked up some beautiful pieces of outdoor pottery, and concrete moulding along the way.  Her favorite garden accents are these re-claimed concrete moulding pieces from job sites that the firm was renovating. [Read more...]

Scotts PatchMaster ‘Sun and Shade Mix’ Review

IMG 2566 1024x768 Scotts PatchMaster ‘Sun and Shade Mix’ Review

A bag of Scotts PatchMaster ‘Sun and Shade Mix’ will run you anywhere from 10 dollars for a five pound bag, to 25 dollars for a 15 pound bag.  It is advertised to be a complete blend of seed, shredded cotton and paper fibers, and fertilizer, blended into a pellet form. This all-inclusive, quick, grass growing system is advertised to grow grass within 7-10 days, with regular watering, and to quickly fill in bare spots with turf grass.  I have used this personally in my own yard, and professionally in the land care business, and with proper application this product will provide you with perfect results every time. New grass seedlings emerge often within 5 days, and continue to emerge for several weeks. The end result with Scotts PatchMaster Sun and Shade Mix, is a quick, healthy carpet of grass in any bare spot, that blends in wonderfully with the average home owner’s lawn grass varieties.

How To Use Patchmaster For Best Results:

PatchMaster is a quick and easy way to grow grass in bare patches, and erosion zones, but even it is not a miracle worker if the soil you throw it on is hard-pan and compacted, or chemically burned from winter salt, or pet urine.  In areas of heavy foot traffic [Read more...]

The House That Federico Built

IMG 2464 The House That Federico Built

This is the house that Federico built.

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Is Cocoa Shell Mulch Dangerous Around Pets?

The short answer is that it could be harmful if trace amounts of the Theobromine oil in the shells are retained after their processing, and your pet would have to eat a large amount of the shells. Theobromine oil, which is poisonous to pets in large doses, is present in large amounts in the cocoa bean itself, the cocoa shells have much smaller amounts of the oil in their raw state.

Cocoa shells like any other live tree bark, or shredded wood must go through a composting process that starts the decomposition process, and makes the product safe for use around plants. In the case of the cocoa shells, the process to make them market ready involves heating them up to extreme temperatures to dehydrate them and remove any residual oils.

[Read more...]

‘Dogipot Pet Stations,’ A Review

roundholespetstationalumstationi 542x1024 ‘Dogipot Pet Stations,’ A Review

Dog poop isn’t exactly a polite subject to talk about, but for park and property managers like myself it’s unfortunately a problem that needs discussion, and careful supervision over.

Wherever the human population is booming there are by default a large number of pets as well. While much of the population can be trusted to clean up after their pets and provide their own waste removal bags, many owners are not as fastidious, and the nearby community or a land manager may need to step in to provide a better option. Dog waste, both urine and poop, can do damage to a lawn or garden,and large amounts of regular “visitations” can cause damage all the way through the soil, causing costly repairs.

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‘April Kiss’ Camellia; An Easy Evergreen Choice For Replacing Foundational Hedges

IMG 2493 1024x1024 ‘April Kiss’ Camellia; An Easy Evergreen Choice For Replacing Foundational Hedges

‘April Kiss’ Camellia

This evergreen bush is a knock-out in early spring, a good selection to purchase if you want to swap out your plain green foundational plantings for something with more interest!

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The 100% Eco-Friendly Way to Green Up Your Lawn Overnight

Front Yard The 100% Eco Friendly Way to Green Up Your Lawn Overnight

Photo Courtesy of: respres

There’s a reason that the lawns always look so green and lush in the movies, and it’s not lens color filters either.  For special occasions from backyard weddings, to family reunions, there is a 100% environmentally safe way to give your yard a deep, dark, green color in mere hours.

Lawn professionals have been using this little trick for years on sports fields, golf courses, and movie shoots, and any reputable lawn company will be able to provide you with this service at your home just in time for Spring.  The secret to a deep healthy green yard is in an “iron treatment” applied to your lawn by a professional lawn company.  Iron treatments are liquid applications of finely ground iron shavings that are watered into your lawn, and actually absorbed by each individual blade of grass.  Once the iron is absorbed, the mineral causes a chemical reaction with the chlorophyll in the grass, and the grass begins turning a rich, dark, green within 2-4 hours.  The mineral causes no harm to the environment, and the lawn gradually fades back to it’s original color in 4-6 weeks once the iron has run it’s course.

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Spring Container Garden Idea: The Three P’s

IMG 2515 1024x1024 Spring Container Garden Idea: The Three P’s

Spring’s on-again, off-again weather fluctuations can cause problems when you are looking for a reliable set of plants that can take the chilly nights and sunny days. The three “P’s” in this cool weather spring themed container are Pansies, Prim Roses and Purple Spider Osteospermum.

The Purple Spider Osteospermum, and Pansies are annuals, and the Prim Roses are perennials and self spreaders. All of these work well in a partially sunny, or fully sunny area, and the Osteospermum will help stretch the flowering of the design until the summer.  Once the Pansies drop their flowers and die back, replace them with a summer annual, or your favorite flowering perennial.

For a loose free feel, choose uneven numbers of each variety of plant, and fill the pot to the brim with a variety of colors

IMG 25151 150x150 Spring Container Garden Idea: The Three P’s IMG 25152 150x150 Spring Container Garden Idea: The Three P’s IMG 25153 150x150 Spring Container Garden Idea: The Three P’s

Purple Spider Osteospermum, Prim Rose, and Pansy

The Concise Guide To Self-Sufficiency; A Book Review

Self-Sufficiency.  What a satisfying phrase!  It was a phrase that seemed particularly satisfying when I pulled this book off the Library shelves this winter and then promptly got snowed in with it during a blizzard.

I had heard that John Seymour was a practical and inspiring author and teacher, but he proved to create quite an escapist read in his book The Concise Guide to Self-Sufficiency The Concise Guide To Self Sufficiency; A Book Review

4528025509 The Concise Guide To Self Sufficiency; A Book Review

John Seymour, the author of this book, is a well established Irish writer, and teacher of the self-sufficient lifestyle. He opened a “School of Self Sufficiency” in Ireland after his books and radio programs about his own journey into traditional living became increasingly popular. Resurrecting the concept of simple living in the 1950′s and 1960′s before the environmental movement caught steam, John’s unique perspective was not only focused on crops and farming, but also on preserving the traditional tools, skills and crafts that where dying out in the modern age. “The Concise Guide To Self-Sufficiency” neatly explains in stories, pictures, charts and diagrams all the old “lost wisdom” of the previous era’s to the modern reading audience.

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Why Are My New Seedlings Turning Yellow?

4470726821 883620201b Why Are My New Seedlings Turning Yellow?
Photo Courtesy of: Librarianguish

Question: I’m starting my own plants from seeds, and they are turning yellow and dying, why is that?

Yellow seedlings are a product of root damage from either a water or fertilizer problem at the roots.  Too much water and not enough air circulation at the roots can cause this, as can a lack of moisture.  Double check how much water you are using on you plants, and how often.  New seedlings need moisture every day, so use either less water, or change the time of day that you water, so the water feeds the plants and doesn’t either completely evaporate, or lay in the soil overnight, and promote rot. Also identify whether you have been using too much, or not enough fertilizer on them.

Lastly check over your seedling bed, and see if overcrowding could be the problem. Too much competition over natural resources can also cause yellowing and death in new plants.