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Archive for September 2008

Can I Transplant My Lantana Bush

September 21st, 2008

I was wondering if you could take a root from a Lantana bush and transplant it somewhere else. My daughter wanted a start from mine and I was not sure how to do it. Also can you transplant in the fall if at all possible or should we wait until spring to transplant. I hope you can help me in my quest to give my daughter a start from m beautiful Lantana bush. I live in TN and was not sure if it would survive the transplant in the fall. Thank You Mrs. D

How to Cover Plants for Frost Protection

September 16th, 2008

plant_cover_bagIn areas where a late spring frost or even an early fall hard frost can threaten garden and landscaping plants, there are ways plant lovers can protect them. Weather is unpredictable, even in those areas where plants are suitable for their growing zone. You can protect plants from frost if you are both prepared and aware of the pending weather.

Soft woods, actively blooming plants, and potted plants are the most susceptible to frost damage. The greatest threat of frost usually occurs overnight when the temperature drops enough to freeze the moisture on plant leaves and buds. The signs of frost damage are usually visible within two to three days and include browned and mushy leaves and buds. To protect plants from frost, you will need to cover them to keep the moisture from freezing.

Plastic can be used to protect plants from frost, but it’s not the best or most effective material, and some expert gardeners warn against it. Plastic or vinyl materials do not breathe, causing moisture to get trapped inside. If the temperature drops low enough, the increase in moisture presents a greater threat to the plants. Instead of plastic, try using natural fabrics like cotton or linen, an opened burlap bag, or newspaper, as a covering to protect plants from frost.

A fabric covering will allow moisture to escape but will still protect plants from frost by preventing the freezing air from coming into direct contact with the moisture. Bed sheets work well for covering large plants and shrubs, as well as young sprouts. Newspaper can be used on low-growing foliage, but won’t stay on top of larger plants well.

In a pinch, you can use plastic sheets, but be sure to remove the plastic covers early in the morning to let the increasingly warmer daytime air reach the plants. If the threat of frost is prolonged and temperatures remain low during the day, be sure to use a fabric covering. When there is a threat of frost, cover your plants before sunset.

You can also purchase commercial coverings designed to protect plants from frost. These may be more attractive than other methods, but usually bed sheets or burlap work just as well. If your efforts to protect plants from frost fail, you will have to allow nature to take its course. Early spring perennial flowers like the daffodil, tulip, and crocus may be damaged for the current season, but they should return in good health the next spring.

Depending on the weather, some plants may peek out earlier than normal, only to be threatened by a late frost. In some cases, they will bud again but often they will die and you’ll have to start over. Typically, the more established a plant is, the better it will fare. If you have vulnerable plants that would be expensive to replace, it’s best to try to protect them.

The cold, cloudless evenings in the fall, winter and spring may be harmful to your plants. During the day, your plants and the soil absorb and store heat from the sun. As the day turns into night, your plants quickly begin to lose all of their stored heat. Clouds will help to insulate and slow the loss of the heat, but a cloudless, wind-free night will afford no protection from frost. The temperature within the soil and in the plant’s cells may even drop to a few degrees colder than the air.

As the temperature decreases, the moisture in the air condenses into dew, which then freezes when the temperature reaches 32 degrees F. on the plant surfaces. At 32 degrees, damage to most plants may be minimal and only affect a small amount of leaves. However, if the temperature drops far enough for the plant cells to freeze, non-hardy plants will die.

Frost can occur even in supposedly frost-free areas. It is important to heed the weatherman’s warnings of “a chance of frost,” and take precautions to protect your garden. It is possible to extend your growing season by several weeks if you are able to keep your plants alive through a single early frost!

Vole problem around our plants

September 15th, 2008

My husband and I started using Jungle Flora this year according to directions which meant fertilizing with the product every 2 weeks for 6 weeks and then fertilizing monthly until Fall. We stopped fertilizing mid-August (we live in the Portland, Oregan area) and about 2 weeks later we noticed small holes in the soil and that the plants seem to be ‘standing still’. After doing some research it appears that we have voles. Since we have lived at this home for 7 years and have never noticed these holes or vole activity before, we’re wondering why this product seems to have drawn voles as they have only appeared where JF was used and not where it hasn’t been used. I can understand that by using JF, root formation has increased in response to the fertilizer, so maybe because the root systems are larger it drew voles to these new, abundant roots. But I would also think that by using a product that has predator fecal material in it, it would chase small critters away. We also cannot find any poison for voles and amazingly we are told by the garden centers in our area that “we” don’t usually have vole problems (yet, according to various web-sites on voles, this area has both above-ground and below-ground voles and as plentiful as moles). Do you have any answers as to JP usage and vole activity?

We appreciate your time and hopefully you can tell us if JP actually kept the voles away while we were using it due to predator odors or what could have possibly have now drawn voles to these areas. Thanks again! Deatra

Diatomaceous Earth, How Do We Love Thee?

September 1st, 2008

We’re letting YOU count the ways. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is one of our favorite products at GHS, and we’d like for the entire world to know about this natural wonder. If you’ve already had success using our Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth, we hope you’ll add your comments to this blog and tell others of your experiences.

If you haven’t tried it, feel free to write with questions or comments.

Diatomaceous Earth is an all-natural fossilized rock, and when it’s ground into a fine powder, it kills insects by physically destroying them, rather than chemically. Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth is a mild abrasive used in human facial scrubs, metal polishes, and toothpaste. But our product is most commonly used as a safe, effective insecticide: pests dehydrate and die after coming in contact with it. It works against slugs and grubs without adding dangerous, toxic chemicals to your environment.

Tell us and others why you love Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth!

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