Money grows on trees!

By on Oct 16, 2014 in Fall |

Oh my “raking” back as some would say when faced with the prospect of clearing leaves from their yard. “Maple” I can help you. Did you know money grows on trees? It’s not a “figleaf” of my imagination. Money does grow on trees and it happens in a couple ways during the fall season. The first is when the less dominant pigments in the foliage are unmasked by the loss of chlorophyll. As Billy Madison would say “Chlorophyll more like Boreophyll” but not really. The fascinating “accessory” pigments to the fragile energy producing dominant pigment chlorophyll wait their turn to take the stage. They account for only 1/3 of the amount that chlorophyll is present in a typical leaf, but they pack a punch. The accessory pigments Carotenoids (yellow to orange), Anthocyanin (red, pink, purple) and Xanthophyll/Tannins (tan to rust to...

By on Sep 23, 2014 in Fall |

Your neighbors with the nicest yards and gardens are those who invest time to improve them in the months of October and November. If you own a home it most likely didn’t come with an owner’s manual. Landowner spelled phonetically is “land-oh-ner” although horticultural challenged types would pronounce it “land-oh-no” as they ponder where to start. A great place to start is with some fall planting. Fall is no time to throw in the “trowel”. It is a window of opportunity that comes along once a year. The perfect time to plant, move existing plants or in the case of perennials, split your plants! Fall is the third act in a four season drama, and for some the most spectacular of seasons. A kaleidoscope of color and a last hurrah before dormancy drops the curtain and ushers in the final act, the arrival of winter. Fortunately dormancy is a reversible stage, providing anticipation and...

Be a Smarty Plants

By on Sep 2, 2014 in Fall |

Recently I asked my friends on Facebook what their word of advice would be for someone new to gardening and just starting out. Many offered some well rooted advice to mulch or water or be open to change. Having a vision, a good foundation of organic soil and to start small were other popular words of well grounded wisdom. One of my Facebook friends suggested that frozen berries in wine was a good pain reliever. Another suggested buying Motrin along with a lot of plants. Those who had thrown in the “trowel” suggested the new gardener give up before their backs and hips, have a drink and hire someone to do it for them. I liked the fact some felt variety was important and that gardening is good therapy. In the spirit of turnabout is fair play, I asked myself the question. If left with suggesting one thing, I would recommend that a “smarty plants” invests time in their garden in September...

You can run but you can’t hide

By on Oct 18, 2013 in Weeds |

Poison Ivy is one of those weeds that can run but it can’t hide in the fall. Poison Ivy is just too colorful with orange, yellow and red pigments in its foliage all on the same plant. Its aerial roots along the stem grip the bark of trees and send it skyward putting it in plain sight, especially in fall when it becomes a colorful character. Take me to your “weeder”……fall is a good time for control. Applied herbicides are translocated effectively into the root system as the plant shuts down for winter like the trees. Carefully follow the main stem down to the base and make a clean cut. Wearing protective clothing like rubber gloves simply brush some brush killer straight onto the fresh cut at the base. The vine cut off from the root system will die on the tree. I do not recommend trying to pull it off the tree. “Weeding” by example. The stump in...

By on Sep 27, 2013 in Fall |

I Beg Your Garden? I love the month of October. Anticipation seems to hang in the air as the environment changes from day to day. Colorful sights and crisp cool air as we celebrate the culmination of the fall season and anticipate the next. From frost on the pumpkins to the aroma of apple cider to the brilliant display of fall colors what’s not to love about October? Let’s get to work. I beg your “garden”? Well I don’t view it as work but some efforts in your yard during October can reap a harvest of rewards. Aside from the exercise and fresh air you’ll get, October is a great month to improve your outdoor living space. Frost tolerant Pansies can add an instant splash of color to spaces in your outdoor living area. They tolerate October frosts with colorful blooms. Plant breeders have developed both solid color and “faced” pansies with the classic pansy look in a dazzling array of...