Have you cleaned your tools yet? Save tools – and time – in the spring by cleaning and sharpening metal tools such as trowels, shovels and hoes on those gray days and long, dark evenings.
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
Finally, when choosing new plants remember most natives evolved along with deer, and such plants have natural defenses. These can take the form of nasty tasting chemicals in their leaves and bark — protecting themselves so you don’t have to.
Wednesday, December 15, 2021
Deciduous plants with an open framework of branches are best surrounded by a “stay-away” fence of chicken wire or burlap. Wrap vulnerable trunks of small or new trees with a paper or plastic tube designed to deter small animals from eating the bark. Remove the tube early in the spring to prevent any heat build-up as the sun gets stronger. Preventing animals from feasting on bark or leaf and flower buds, as well as tender branches, means a better spring for you and your plants.
Wednesday, December 8, 2021
A second line of protection is fencing. Most of us have no interest in surrounding our property with 7-foot or higher fences. Instead, fence the plants most likely to be eaten. Use the plastic mesh that has replaced chicken wire in gardening to invisibly wrap evergreens from the ground up to about 6 feet. The plant is not harmed and the deer cannot eat through the mesh. Why not use burlap? Wrapping evergreens in burlap limits sunlight getting to the live greens and can harm the plant.
Wednesday, December 1, 2021
There is no magic solution to protecting your plants from being ravaged by deer and other animals over the course of the next several months. But there are ways to make your plants unattractive to wildlife. The first step is to spray with a deer repellent (it also works on smaller mammals). The best of these products are the ones that contain putrefied egg and garlic. They smell terrible when sprayed on but, while the smell fades quickly from human noses, the taste remains and is bad enough to send deer elsewhere for up to a month. Respray monthly, but only if the outdoor temperature is above 40 degrees. Sometimes the memory of the taste will keep animals away longer, but always remember that a starving animal will eat anything.
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
The cuttings can be used to make holiday arrangements for the house, fill window boxes or outdoor containers. And don’t be concerned if pine or arborvitae are dropping some of their needles now. This is a normal part of their renewal. All evergreens shed their leaves at some time, just not all at once like deciduous trees.
Wednesday, November 10, 2021
This is the rest period for indoor plants. Stop regular watering of cacti and most succulents during the winter months. Check monthly and water only if you see signs of wilting. Other house plants need less water to go along with the reduced sunlight and cooler temperatures they are experiencing. Eliminate fertilizer for the resting plants. Mist or add humidity with pebble trays for plants uncomfortable with dry air that comes with central heating.