A “Root” awakening

By on Apr 2, 2013 in Early Spring |

If April showers bring May flowers then you my friend are in for a “root” awakening. Every April is different which adds to the adventure. I’ve seen 80-degree temperatures and I’ve seen frosts that would freeze the hardiest of plants. I’ve see sunshine and I’ve seen snow. Sounds like a James Taylor song doesn’t it? Last year we had an early March warm up waking the entire landscape only to freeze in the great Arbor day frost of 2012. So what should we expect from our landscape dreams during the month of April? You my friend are in for a “root” awakening. April first of all is a big month for lawn care in Michigan. The lawn greens and begins to grow and we welcome the sound of lawnmowers awakening in our neighborhoods. A great month to get a deal on a 4 step lawn plan applying the first step now and storing the remaining 3 steps in the garage or shed for applications later in the year....

Let me “trend” you a hand

By on Jan 15, 2013 in Garden Trends |

As I look forward to spring 2013 on a cold January day, I thought I would share with you some trends in the home landscape. Don’t feel very trendy? Let me “trend” you a hand and read the list, you may find you’re more “hip” than you think…….. High impact low care plants. Own root landscape roses,succulents, steppables and groundcovers, Hydrangeas that bloom on old and new wood, weather resistant performing annuals like Diamond Frost, Calibrachoa or Gomphrena. and perennials like the array of colors now available for Coneflower. Use of mycorrhizae and soil supplements or soil replenishment to make plants better “rooted and suited” to weather trends namely heat, drought and weather extremes. Outdoors as an escape and a living area…..and extension “room” of the home. Outdoor cooking and grilling, entertaining...

“Plant” ahead

By on Aug 25, 2012 in Fall |

Looking to create some new planting beds or landscape area in your yard? To avoid the back breaking work of digging up sod, or having to spray weeds, or having to rent a sod cutter, try this….. The black plastic is pinned down with landscape fabric pins and the heat of the sun “solarizes” or cooks the vegetation growing below it. Leave the black plastic on for about a month. When the leaves start falling off the trees in October pull up the plastic. The turf and weeds below will be dead. Cover the area in leaves and till the soil. You now have a new landscape bed ready for landscaping. October and November are a great time to plant and come next spring you’ll be glad you’re so smart.

Living on the “Hedge”

By on Jul 17, 2012 in Summer |

I remember the summer of 1988. Built an above ground pool that summer. A very hot and dry summer just like this year. I remember coming home from work one afternoon and there were so many people in the pool I wouldn’t have been able to fit a leg in the water if I tried. The summer of 2012 feels like 1988 to me. The lawns are just like they were then, a toasty golden brown with shrubs and trees living on the “hedge” looking stressed.   Trees and shrubs need your attention right now with some trickle or deep watering. This is especially true for spring plantings this year without well established root systems. Be watching for wilting or curling leaves. Some older established trees are showing leaf scorch just like they did in the summer of 1988. It’s not just the heat and drought, but wind adds to the problems increasing the rate of transpiration in foliage....

Trick and Treat

By on Oct 13, 2011 in Fall |

It’s October….time for trick and treat. No not trick or treat but a landscape “treat” compliments of yours truly and then a “trick” nature plays on us. First for the treat to save you time and money. Fall is a time the natural rainfall can be quite variable. During dry spells you can minimize insect damage (namely grub damage) to your lawn by simply raising the deck on the mower to 3 to 3.5 inch mowing height. Grubs do the most damage to lawns that are dry and stressed by low mowing heights. This damage often happens late in the season. Raising mowing heights helps improve root mass and the denser the root mass the better able the turf can withstand grub activity in fall and spring. It’s an easy, effective no cost “treat” for your turf that will improve your green…..both in your wallet and with your lawn. Now for a nuisance...