Beware Backflow

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.
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Construction vs. Plants

Several types of injury occur during construction. Those covered under other sections are grade changes and soil compaction. The other type of injury is mechanical injury to trunks. If the injury is minor, the tree will heal the wound with no difficulty. A major bark removal may kill some portion of the tree. Several wounds may girdle and kill a tree.
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Lead in Soil

Lead in soil can be a hazard when children play in bare soil or when people bring soil into the house on their shoes. The following two federal standards have been set for lead hazards in residential soil: 400 parts per million (ppm) and higher in play areas of bare soil; 1,200 ppm (average) and higher in bare soil in the remainder of the yard. The only way to find out if soil lead hazards exist is to test.
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Fertilizing Perennials

Regular fertilizer applications are necessary for good perennial growth. Apply 5-10-5 fertilizer in a ring around each perennial in the spring just as growth starts. Make two additional applications at six week intervals. Late bloomers such as chrysanthemum need an additional application in late summer. Always water the perennial bed after fertilizing.
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Pesticide Alternatives

When used incorrectly, pesticides can pollute water. They also kill beneficial as well as harmful insects. Natural alternatives prevent both of these events from occurring and save you money. Consider using natural alternatives for chemical pesticides: Non-detergent insecticidal soaps, garlic, hot pepper sprays, 1 teaspoon of liquid soap in a gallon of water, used dishwater, or forceful stream of water to dislodge insects.
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House Plant Insects

nsects can live in house plant soil. The most common of these is the fungus gnat. The adult lays eggs that produce small white maggots. The maggots eat fungi growing on the organic matter in the soil but they can feed on the roots. The insect is most likely to be a problem when the soil is kept too moist. The maggots can be seen wriggling on the soil surface when the plant is watered. A malathion drench will control the insects but the pesticide may be more harmful to the plant than the insects.
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Compost Temperature

The most efficient decomposing bacteria thrive in temperatures between 110F and 160F. Thus, the hotter the pile, the faster the composting. If you achieve a good balance of carbon and nitrogen, provide lots of surface area within a large volume of material, and maintain adequate moisture and aeration, the temperature will rise over several days.
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Dividing Hardy Bulbs

Crowded bulbs, or those producing fewer or smaller blooms than normal probably need to be divided. Do not dig the bulbs until after the foliage has yellowed. Diseased or wormy bulbs should be thrown out. Very small bulbs may not bloom for one or two years so. After digging, bulbs that can't be planted immediately are stored in a cool, dry, dark area at temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees. A few bulbs can be put in paper bags and hung from the ceiling. Large numbers of bulbs can be put, no more than 3 deep, on trays with screen bottoms. Inspect bulbs for rot during the storage period. The bulbs are replanted in October. Before digging and dividing, check the cultural information given for specific plants.
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Compost Surface

If the microorganisms have more surface area to feed on, the materials will break down faster. Chopping your garden debris with a machete, or using a chipper, shredder, or lawnmower to shred materials will help them decompose faster.
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Blossom And Leaf Removal

Once the flower fades, the flower and stem can be removed. The leaves must remain on the plant until they turn yellow and die. The leaves provide food to build up the bulb and form next year's flower bud. Foliage cut for flower arrangements is taken from several plants, not all from one.
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