Helpful Tips

Pair Alyssum with Lettuce

Found this information in a grower’s magazine and thought it might be helpful and informative when planting your spring garden.

“New studies conducted by USDA Agricultural Research Service horticulturalist Eric Brennan have shown better pest control when alyssum is planted near organic lettuce in certain formations. In particular, randomly planting alyssum between lettuce plants may be very effective for aphid control. The reason? The alyssum attracts a beneficial insect, the hoverfly. Hoverflies lay eggs nearby, then, once hatched, the larvae hop on over to the lettuce to prey on currant lettuce aphids.”

– taken from “GrowerTalks Magazine,” April 2014.

Posted by Stacey Krejci in Gardening, Helpful Tips

Watering

It will be necessary to water all perennials, ground covers, trees and shrubs heavily every 5-7 days for the first month after installation.  Do not depend on rainfall to provide an adequate amount of moisture.

Water new trees and shrubs deeper and less frequently.  You should be able to apply 10-30 gallons of water once a week, depending on plant/root ball size.  Apply the water slowly enough that the soil will absorb it and have as little run-off as possible. Once established, trees and shrubs should require only supplemental watering during extended periods of hot, dry weather.

Water ground covers thoroughly immediately after planting, and continue frequent watering until the plants are established.  Water the beds deeply.  Shallow watering encourages shallow root growth that is easily damaged during dry periods.

Perennials generally need an inch of water per week during the growing season.  More may be required during bloom or during the hot summer months.  Supplemental watering should occur during the morning hours.  Avoid watering of foliage or flowers.

Water new grass seed often in order to keep it and the top 1/4″ of soil constantly moist, approximately 15 minutes per area.  In hot, dry or windy conditions, you may need to water frequently in short durations.  It may be necessary to water several times a day.  In cool, wet or calm conditions, additional water may not be necessary.

After germination – once grass has emerged – reduce the frequency of watering, but water for longer periods of time (approximately 2 hours per location) to allow for better root development.  Allow time between watering for moderate drying.  Lawn can be mowed to a 2 1/2″ height once it reaches 3 1/4″.  Never remove more than 1/3 of the blade in any single mowing.

If you have new sod, water every day for the first 6 days, then every other day for the next 6 days.  Check the root system to see if it is ready for mowing.  Watering should be heavy – approximately 2 hours per location – paying particular attention to edges.  Never allow standing water.  You may have to water more frequently the 2nd week and extend the watering in case of hot, dry and/or windy conditions.

Posted by Stacey Krejci in Gardening, Helpful Tips

Caring for Your Lawn

While your lawn looks great right now, it probably will not stay that way without some thinking ahead. You have a lawn care company (or you) apply fertilizer, weed, and insect control. You properly mow your lawn with a sharp blade. That’s great! However, there is one thing that is more essential to maintaining that lush green appearance – and that is water.

While you might have more than adequate rains up to a point, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that you are covered for very long. A healthy, green, bluegrass blade is 85% water, and hot, dry conditions can dry out the lawn’s roots in days. A lawn needs 1” of water a week, whether by rain or mechanical watering. If you let watering go until the grass starts to go dormant, it is next to impossible to play catch up.

Remember, in the turf, excess rain does not build up a reserve that can be used later. So, be aware of climatic conditions, and give your lawn one inch of water a week.

Posted by Stacey Krejci in Helpful Tips, Lawn

Caring for Your Hanging Basket

Keeping your hanging basket watered correctly is the most important thing you can do to keep it healthy and beautiful. When you first get the hanging basket home, get to know it. Check it every day, morning and evening, for the first week. Touch the soil, and lift the basket from the bottom. This will help you determine if it needs water.

If your hanging basket is a heavy drinker (it requires water every other day even if cloudy and cool), stay ahead of the watering. Don’t wait until it dries out, especially in hot, dry weather. Water it before it is completely dry. If your basket is drying out more slowly, do not automatically water it daily unless it is very hot and dry outside. Too much water for too long will damage the roots.

Finally, if you purchase your basket from a reputable garden center, the basket should have been planted with a premium potting mix, making the job of keeping your basket properly watered easier.

Remember, first get to know it!

Posted by Stacey Krejci in Gardening, Helpful Tips