The Creepy And Crawly In My Yard This Halloween Weekend

IMG 2747 1024x768 The  Creepy And Crawly In My Yard This Halloween Weekend

Halloween is a celebration of the macabre and mischevious, and I’ve got a little of both of those in my yard this weekend!

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When To Prune Blackberries and Raspberries

LC0143c.GIF When To Prune Blackberries and Raspberries

Blackberries and Raspberries have had their run by the time you’ve made it to the late fall, so it’s time to trim them back in October and early November.  These berries bloom and fruit on new growth, and as a vining plant that can grow to be a tangled mess when left alone any Blackberry and Raspberry bush that you depend on for your own fruit needs to be heavily pruned back to maximize the next year’s crop, and to be trained into shape for next year. The key with fruiting plants is to prune them for growth, and shape them into forms that allow for easy harvesting and lots of air circulation in the warm sumer heat. Your goal is to prune and shape your berry bushes so that you can see and access your fruit when it’s ripe, and minimize the spread of powdery mildews, and warm weather diseases that thrive in moist dark areas on your fruit leaves.

How To Prune:

The best way to set yourself up for success next year is to prune your Blackberries and Raspberries back down to the main canes every fall.  Trace each one of the berry stems back down to where the plant is sprouting from the ground, this is the main cane. Use a pair of bi-pass Fiskars 7936 PowerGear Pruner When To Prune Blackberries and Raspberries shears to make a clean cut, and trim the main cane back to a height of  8-12 inches above the soil line at a 45 degree angle, and remove all of this year’s growth to compost or discard. On the diagram above the proper pruning height is marked as the “first year cane.”

Even if there are no leaves or bud unions on the section of cane that remains after pruning this is the correct height, and will rejuvenate the plant for the following seasons. The canes may also leaf out again from the main cane before going dormant for the winter.

Prepare to shape next years growth on a trellis or up against a fence to support your fresh growth, and secure them into position with twine or string.

Photo Courtesy of: The Department of Primary Industries, Victoria, Canada.

The Garden Battles of Six Year Old Boys

Ewoks vs. Mantis1 e1288141525283 The Garden Battles of Six Year Old Boys

I was watching my two six year old nephews for a few days while my sister was celebrating her anniversary, and I decided to get a little gardening done in the yard while the boys played with their Star Wars figures around me.

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Scotts Turfbuilder Seeding Soil

scotts turf builder seeding soil std Scotts Turfbuilder Seeding SoilSeed Starting Soil Scotts Turfbuilder Seeding Soil

The folks at Scotts have a unique soil product that is designed to produce rapid results with grass seed, but how well does is work?

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Garden Giveaway Winner!

DSC 0028 680x1024 Garden Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to all 70 of you who entered last week’s garden giveaway contest!  I enjoyed reading all of your comments, and visiting some of your webpages through them. I’m always happy to meet new gardeners, and I hope to see you back again.

The winner of the metal crow is Kathlean Owens!  I will be in contact with you today to work out the delivery details, and pack him up for you ASAP so you can pop him in your own home garden.

Thanks for participating, enjoy this cute fall giveaway, and stay tuned for another great giveaway from Green Gardenista next month!

Prickly Pear Nopales: A New Grilling Classic

Prickly Pear Cactus Prickly Pear Nopales: A New Grilling Classic

Who say’s Cactus isn’t edible?  Did you know that if you grow Prickly Pear in your yard or sunroom you’ve got a great and unusual addition to the common tortilla. Prickly Pear are edible, from the fruits to the leaf pads, which are known as Nopales, they’ve been a welcome addition to the desert kitchen for hundreds and possibly thousands of years!  They can be harvested in the spring, fall, and summer, and you can grill them like a pro in minutes to impress all your friends!

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Pollard Trees: When To Schedule Pruning

Pollard Pollard Trees: When To Schedule Pruning

Pollarding has been in practice for centuries, and it is an effective way to prune trees into a limited and defined shape and growth pattern every year.

Pollarding is the complete pruning of all growth back to the main branch, and the removal of the entire canopy of a tree at one time.  Knowing the correct timeframe to complete the maintenance is necessary to protect the tree from vulnerability to pests, disease, and even sunburn!

When to Pollard:

Pollarding should be completed in the fall months, when the tree is shutting down for the winter and moving into dormancy.  Fall pruning does several things, it eliminates the fall photosynthesis process effectively shutting the tree down for the season, and prepares the tree for quick shoot growth in the spring.  The cooler weather, and shorter days of fall also protect the newly exposed trunk and branches from sunscald, which would cause several kinds of damage in the long term, and a shedding of its bark in the short term.  The fall weather is also when insects are dying off, migrating, or beginning to hibernate, so the exposed branches and fresh wounds on the tree don’t open the tree up to damage from disease and pests that the same wounds would cause in the spring and summer.

Why to Pollard Your Tree:

Trees must be Pollarded forever if they have been pruned in that fashion even once before.  A pollarded tree no longer has a growth pattern to support the weight of all of its branches for the long term.  Shoot growth, and water spouts that spring out from the tree’s surgical cuts in the spring of the year are thin and rapidly growing, but vastly different from branching growth, and they will grow to choke the tree eventually, or simply begin braking off en mass if they are left un-treated.

Pollarding is an old European method of pruning that has a long history, and while it can be a strain on the tree, it does have its uses, and can be beneficial for the tree over it’s natural life span.  Pollarding is a costly expense, and should be carried out by a certified Tree Surgeon or Arborist each year, so it is not a program to begin unless you are confindent of your ability to provide the right maintenance for the tree over the length of time that you live in your house.

How Do I Know If A Tree Has Been Pollarded?

If you’ve purchased a new house but are unsure if you now own a Pollarded tree, check out my checklist list on how to determine if your tree has been Pollarded or not!

Photo Courtesy of: wfbakker2

Broadleaf Weeds; What Are They and How Do Herbicides Kill Them?

Ground Ivy Broadleaf Weeds; What Are They and How Do Herbicides Kill Them?

What Are Broadleaf Weeds?

Broadleaf weeds are weeds like Plantains, Chickweed, Clover, Ground Ivy, and Dandelions. They are a classification of weeds that are not grasslike, and are therefor more susceptible to a different set of chemicals than lawn grass is.  They can be perennial or annual, and treated to removal by hand, with tilling, selective spray of an herbicide, or a broadcast chemical.

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Giveaway: Free Garden Art

DSC 0021 1024x680 Giveaway: Free Garden Art

Who could say no to this cute little face, and what’s more, why would you want to?  Because he’s free!  He is my gift to you for reading along, or just stopping in for the day.  I appreciate your comments, and your feedback, and it’s time I gave you back something you can appreciate as well!

This cheerful little crow stands four feet tall when he is on his perch, and rocks back and forth in the breeze as the counter weight below him glides forward and back.  He is crafted and sealed to last year round in the garden, and will be sent to you in four easily attached pieces, which also makes him easy to store if you want to bring him in over the winter! Once he is assembled he will stand about 3 1/2 feet tall in your garden after he is inserted in the ground

DSC 0028 680x1024 Giveaway: Free Garden Art

This little guy comes from Think Silk, a floral and craft boutique in Lititz, PA. that specialized in various floral arrangements, as well as indoor and outdoor ceramic and art for the home and garden.

So, if you’ve got a hankerin’ for some cute garden art in your yard, or just want something seasonal to add to your favorite container garden, leave a comment below to win!  I’ll be choosing a winner at random on Monday, October 25th.

Good Luck, and Happy Gardening!

* Get ready next month for another great garden giveaway!*

The Maryland Home and Garden Show Highlights

homeandgardenshow thumb 375xauto 8637 The Maryland Home and Garden Show Highlights

I was invited to check out the Maryland Home and Garden Show, and it was every bit as huge as advertised.  The Fall Home and Garden Show show will continue to travel around the country, so it will be popping up in a town near you soon! In the mean time though, here are my photo highlights of some of the best crafting booths.

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