Chippers are a valuable addition to the yard power tool arsenal. They can turn brush piles, branches, woody debris and other yard refuse into valuable mulch and wood chips. As you feed the debris through varying size hoppers, powerful blades instantly shred it into smaller chips. You can then spread this mulch around bushes and shrubs to help inhibit weed growth and retain moisture.
An underwatered lawn cannot thrive. Weeds that are more drought resistant can overtake dry grass. A thorough watering once or twice a week is sufficient in most climates.
Moles don't usually eat plant matter, focusing instead on insects. However, rodents such as mice and voles use their tunnels like a subway, and they do eat roots and bulbs. As you plant, mix products made from crushed oyster shells into the soil surrounding the bulb. This makes for tough digging for the rodents, and they might be induced to look elsewhere for a meal. Some gardeners resort to planting bulbs in little cages made of hardware cloth (wire mesh) to keep critters from munching on the bulbs.
The best advice for the novice gardener is to start small; a well prepared small garden will yield plenty of produce or ornamental beauty. As skills and confidence grow, gradually increase the garden's size to fit your time and energy commitments.
The microorganisms in the compost pile function best when the materials are as damp as a wrung-out sponge and have many air passages. Extremes of sun or rain can adversely affect the balance of air and moisture in your pile. The air in the pile is usually used up faster than the moisture, so the materials must be turned or mixed up occasionallly to add air that will sustain high temperatures and control odor. Materials can be turned with a pitchfork, rake, or other garden tool.
Biennials are started from seed the first year then they flower and die the second year. There are many exceptions to this description. Some biennials self seed so appear to be perennial. Others, such as pansy, are grown as annuals. The seed is usually started during the summer of the first year.
It's best to water your yard and gardens in the morning. Night watering allows the yard to stay wet too long, inviting disease.
Trees that lose their leaves in the fall (i.e., deciduous) are the most effective at reducing heating and cooling energy costs. When selectively placed around a house, they provide excellent protection from the summer sun but permit winter sunlight to reach and warm your house. The height, growth rate, branch spread, and shape are all factors to consider in choosing a tree.
If deer are hungry enough, they will eat almost any plant. However, some plants are less appealing than others, depending on what your local population has learned to eat so far. Daffodils are often cited as being deerproof, along with glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa) and crocus. Unfortunately, tulips and lilies are deer favorites. You might ask some of your neighbors if they have had luck with any particular plants, then try those in small quantities as an experiment. Many gardeners use repellent sprays with varying success, but to be as effective as possible they must be applied and reapplied according to the instructions. Home remedies include using soap, blood meal, human hair, and so on, but in the end the only truly reliable solution is a deer-proof fence.
When water flows backward through the water supply system, it is called backsiphonage or backflow. When that water is accidentally mixed with hazardous chemicals or bacteria, it is called dangerous! For this reason, never use spray attachments without a backflow prevention device. The chemicals used on your lawn are toxic and can be fatal if ingested.