Gifts for Gardeners

Gifts 2 Gifts for GardenersLooking for more ideas for yourself, or a gardenista in your life?  Check these sweet gift ideas out!

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Stealing Shotgun

I left my golf cart unattended today and returned to find this waiting for me on the shotgun side.

Swan from behind Stealing Shotgun

 

 

Just so we’re clear, this is what belongs on the passenger floorboard of my golf cart – one 60 pound Border Collie.  He comes, he works, he bums cookies, he eats goose poop, he goes home.

Leck on Golf Cart Stealing Shotgun

 

Again, this is not what belongs on my golf cart. This is what shows up sitting on my floorboard when a he decides to wait me out where he will be sure not to miss me – or the cracked corn he’s sure I carry on my person at all times.

Ignition Swan Stealing Shotgun

This also has me  worried.  This guy and his mate are escape artists.  Is he really just playing with the shiny keys, or trying to learn how to flip the ignition switch?

God help us all.

Iron Deficiencies In The Garden

IMG 3384 1024x768 Iron Deficiencies In The Garden

Fall is a great time to check your plants for overall health.  As the leaves start falling I want you to keep on the lookout for under-preforming plants like this azalea, with faded leaves and deep green veins. The weeks before deciduous plants begin to shut down for the season are some the the best times to preform a healthy check on your shrubs and trees.  This particular Azalea has a common problem that’s easy to spot this time of year, iron deficiency.

Iron Deficiency:

Iron deficiency occurs in high alkaline soil. The high Ph of the soil binds Iron in the soil, and prevents plants from absorbing it and creating chlorophyll, and passively prohibits photosynthesis.  Severe cases of Iron deficiency will cause leaves to go from faded green with green veins to a solidly bright yellow color, before dropping off the bush. It is a condition that can be exacerbated by over fertilization, or by very wet and swampy conditions, so knowing the area around your plant is important in diagnosing the case of the problem.

Iron deficiencies occur most commonly in acid loving plants like Camellias, Azaleas, and fruiting vines and trees, so if you prefer to grow many of these you will want to check them periodically for iron problems.

Treatment:

The quickest way to correct an iron deficiency is through an application of any common garden fertilizer to the drip line of the effected plants, or an application of liquid iron. Fertilizers with slow release control to them are best, and although a liquid iron application will provide immediate results, they quickly fade out with rain, and a more long term solution is necessary. The easiest long term solution for improving your garden shrubs health is by applying a leaf mold, homemade compost, or bagged manure to the garden bed, and mulching over it for the winter.

Iron deficiency can damage or kill your garden shrubs if it is not eliminated, so check your shrubs and trees over as you complete you fall garden tasks and set yourself up for better success with in the spring!

The Facts About Mushrooms In The Lawn

Mushroom The Facts About Mushrooms In The Lawn

If there’s one thing lawn purists don’t want to find in their yard it’s mushrooms!  These fungal frustrations crop up in all types of grass, and can stand out like sore thumbs in a lush green lawn.  There are two schools of thought on mushrooms and whether you should seek to control them or not, so here are the facts you need to know about mushrooms to decide how to handle them in your yard.

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2010 Gifts For Gardeners

 

Gifts1 2010 Gifts For Gardeners

The official gift giving season is upon us, but with birthdays, anniversaries, and the occasional need for appologies that include gift wrap, it helps to have a couple ideas on hand that will go over well with the gardener in your life.  Whether it is a gift for yourself or for a friend, here are a few great gifting suggestions for garden lovers!

  1. modern birdhouse from Oryx and Crake Design, is a break from the ordinary with it’s modern and open design! The house is constructed from weather treated bamboo, and runs about 95 dollars.  They look great hanging indoors or out, or can be attached directly to a tree for  feathered tenants.
  2. This watering can that will look great sitting next to your containers!  The 7.5 liter watering can is constructed from recycled plastics, available in green or black and is created by designer Pascal Charmolu.  The quantities sell out quickly with this model due to its popularity and are available off an on, so check back in if they are sold out this week.
  3. Grocery Gardening: Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Food 2010 Gifts For Gardeners is a great read that helps you get more out of your vegetable garden, and provides time tested tips from three authors and garden bloggers to help you grow your own fruits and veggies! It’ll run you about
  4. These upsidown hanging planters from Mudpuppy run about 32 dollars per pair, and are a great architectural way to expand your growing space, and create an eye catching statement all at one time. The pots come gift wrapped, and look great indoors or out!  Pop an air plant in them for a no maintenance focal piece.
  5. Everyone likes a cute front porch bell, and this one from ETSY is homey and welcoming. Each bell come gift wrapped in decorative box tied with twine, and is giveaway ready!  These puppies looks folksy dangling below your favorite hanging basket or tree and catching the breese year round. Dog bells are hand made from high fire stone clayware, and are only made in limited quantities, so act fast if you want to round one of these guys up as a stocking stuffer!
  6. Chicken keeping is sweeping the nation, but when the average chicken tractor doesn’t get you excited, this charming modern coop will do just that!  This coop is created from reclaimed cedar, and can be shipped fully assembled to any place in the US and Canada for $750 plus shipping, or for a little less than 50 bucks you can purchase the blueprints, and build your own.  This coop makes a very popular gift for the small scale chicken enthusiast, and will look great in any back yard. Check it out!

I love this ecclectic selection of gardener friendly gifts, and I’ll be posting more great ideas on Wednesday of this week to help you get a jump on you holiday shopping! 

Until then, happy gardening!

Deer Control With Polypropylene Netting

Pansies With Netting Deer Control With Polypropylene Netting

Deer are a problem in many gardens, but one way to stop their costly dining habits in your yard is by selectively netting over the most tasty tidbits as a means of protection. Netting is a one-time fix, and comes in several types of sizes and makes, to repel everything from mammals to birds. The best forms of netting that keep animals out and your flowers still visible is polypropylene  mesh netting.

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Moss In The Lawn

IMG 3390 e1288671760963 Moss In The Lawn

Moss is a common problem in shade filled lawns, and if your yard has this problem then the question you need to ask isn’t so much “How do I get rid of it,” but “Why is it here in the first place?”

Moss is one of the dinosaurs of the horticultural world.  It’s a plant that has been around since the first plants came into being, and as a result it’s needs are very basic. Moss isn’t really as much a problem plant as it is an indicator of what is really going on at the soil line in your yard and garden.  Moss will appear if your soil is compacted, features a low ph, a lack of direct sunlight, and a lack of organic material. It thrives in rocky spots, moist and poorly drained spots, and impenetreble, hard-pan, construction-grade soil.

One of the first things you need to do when you have a Moss problem is to really examine the location it’s living in and see if the soil you currently have is capable of supporting another type of plant.  Are your issues simply poor soil and drainage?  Do you have a shady lot?  And lastly, are your plans for your yard the antithesis of what is naturally sustainable? Do yourself a favor and tackle those questions in order.

Ways to Improve Your Soil:

“Soil” may not even exist in your yard yet.  The honest truth is that if you have a moss problem, you may only have “dirt” in your yard.  The best way to create a more hospitable environment for lawn grass, or garden plants is to incorporate organic material into your soil.

  • Core Aerate Rent a core aerator from your local home improvement store, or call a contractor to do this for you.  Use the aerator in a checkerboard fashion across your yard to ensure that you uniformly loosen the soil and create pockets across your yard for water, air, and soil to mix in.
  • Use a Mulching Lawn Mower Moss In The Lawn if you are not already, and work composting into your yard’s maintenance program.  Composting is the cheapest and best thing you can do with your yard after core aeration.  It’s a free process that doesn’t take too  much time, and will produce rich organic soil for the lawn that you can rake in, and completely renovate your yard.
  • Add quality organic material to your lawn.  Whether it is through composting, or more costly bagged material from the garden center, if you have moss in your yard you need to improve your soil. Use soil in tandem with aeration and raking, and expect to repeat the process every other season to allow the nutrients to be absorbed into the soil, and change the composition of it.  With hard pan soil this process will need to be repeated for several years if you want to grow flowers or lawn in the moss covered area.

Multiple treatments of Lime powder are often prescribed for Moss problems, but these aren’t guarnteed to fix the problem because the real problem isn’t just the Moss or the lower ph, but the soil’s inability to support the grass you are repeatedly sowing. Lime is one natural chemical that does have beneficial uses in the garden for raising the ph, and making nutrients more available, but it won’t solve the whole situation for you. If you’re looking for a Moss free yard you first need to ammend your soil to build it up, and as a result of that you will end up with a far healthier lawn that will automatically lose the moss as a better balance is achieved between the organic material, necessary metals, and nutrients.

Gifting “Easy Arrangers” For The Holidays, and DIY Weddings

Easy Arranger Dangles.jpg Gifting “Easy Arrangers” For The Holidays, and DIY Weddings

I discovered this cute little accessory online the other day that makes a great gift, or can just help you make quicker floral arrangements when you have company coming over.  “Easy Arrangers” are a simple tool to help create the perfect bouquet arrangement every time, and hold the stems in place with a decorative metal mesh.  The beads and mesh rest over the top [Read more...]