Archive for October, 2014

How to Winterize Your Garden and Prep It for Spring

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

Fall_Tree_PlantingTo Plant or Not to Plant

While winterizing your garden (well in advance of winter), you may want to consider planting perennials, shrubs and trees. If you have at least four weeks to the first frost date in your area, the moderate temperatures and adequate moisture of fall make it the ideal time to prepare a more beautiful landscape for the spring. Note: Trees with burlap root balls need to be in the ground six to eight weeks before the first frost date. Even potted perennials and shrubs can be planted now, but remember the additional requirements for closer moisture monitoring.

Throw Out the Old

We think one of the most depressing jobs is cleaning out the ‘dead’ garden; and yet we grumble even more loudly when we have to clean up the mess in the spring. Once the vegetable plants have quit producing, you can pull them up. You can do this while they are still green or wait until they turn brown, both of which are ideal for starting or adding to your compost bin or pile. Do NOT compost anything that you suspect is diseased. For example, if you had tomato blight, pull those plants out by the roots and burn or dispose of them elsewhere. In fact, it is best to pull out all of the plants by the roots, including the weeds. Leaving the roots in the soil provides ideal overwintering shelter for bugs that will plague your garden in the spring. Leaving possibly diseased plants almost ensures the same result for next season. The same is true of your annual beds. It is so nice to start with a clean slate for next year!

Tidy It Up

After the first frost, cut your perennials back according to what is recommended for the type of plant you have. In almost all cases, cutting them back to about two inches above the soil level and removing the debris will assure you have a healthier plant next spring. If you live in an area that doesn’t get a lot of snow but is liable to have exceptionally frigid winds with little moisture, mulch your perennials, shrubs and newly planted trees well. This will insulate the roots and maintain moisture throughout the winter. (This goes for strawberries, too; mulching prevents ‘heaving,’ which occurs as the soil warms and freezes over and over.) Avoid pruning new shrubs or trees the first year; this can overly stress them, making them more susceptible to winter kill.

fall_garden_cleanupPlan Ahead

Waiting until the weather forecast calls for extreme weather will likely mean you’ll be rushing around trying to find stuff with which to protect your plants (along with everyone else in your area). Stocking up ahead of time means you’ll always be prepared for the worst. These items don’t take up a whole lot of room but are priceless in case of the next blizzard of the century. Here are just a few things you should always have on hand:

  • Plant covers
  • Old sheets
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Mulch
  • Old newspapers
  • Plant ties
  • Plastic milk jugs (They’ll stack in the off season, with the bottoms cut off. Use like a cloche.)
  • Straw or hay bales

What you stock up on will depend upon what plants you landscape with. Take inventory and think ahead about what you may want to use to protect your plants. It is much less expensive to protect them than it is to replace them, especially if they are well-established and of substantial size.

Other Chores to Save Time & Money

Clean and store your garden tools: wash them, dry them well, and oil them. Rusted tools are dull, less efficient and even dangerous to use. Take the time to wash the entire tool, including the handles. Air dry if possible, even after hand drying. Then, use your favorite oil to preserve their finish through the winter. Some gardeners use a mixture of mineral oil and sand in a large bucket to store their tools, while simply spraying with WD-40 or any kind of light machine oil will also work. Store your tools where it is dry. If you notice your tools are too far gone to last another season, consider shopping for new garden tools now.

Disconnect, empty and store hoses: do this before the first hard frost, making sure to drain the hose entirely and then roll it loosely and hang or store it in a protected area. Note: if the hose is still connected and has frozen water in it, do not make the mistake of turning it on to ‘push’ the ice out. The likely result will be the water not having anywhere to go but back into your house by way of the stressed, and now broken, pipe. A good, inexpensive investment is to purchase faucet covers for your outdoor spigots.

Turn your compost one last time: Compost will continue to decompose over the winter, though much more slowly. Turn your compost pile one last time and add moisture if it is dry. If it is not covered, it will benefit you to cover it with dark plastic during this time. This will help it retain heat through the cold months, so it will decompose faster, and it will also help to jump-start the process in the spring. Your compost pile is the perfect place to put organic lawn and garden debris.

Fall garden clean-up and planting is an excellent family activity. At the end of the day, serve hot apple cider or chocolate with marshmallows. Got a fire pit? Break out the S’mores supplies! And then, take a deep breath and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

 

 

 

 

Why Buy A Lawn Sweeper?

Thursday, October 9th, 2014

Lawn Sweepers for SaleOwning a lawn sweeper may seem like a guilty pleasure, at least to the young whipper-snappers out there, but it is money well spent and simply priceless in terms of the wear and tear on your body and the time you save on those clean up chores around the yard. With few moveable parts and no motor, a lawn sweeper will last you, literally, for years.

Lawn Sweepers Save Time & Money

You don't walk the area to be mowed first? How many times have you run over a toy or got a wire stuck in the mower blades or flung a rock and counted your blessings because that rock didn’t break a window, or worse? Pushing a lawn sweeper around your property prior to mowing will quickly and effortlessly pick up all those branches, rocks, pieces of metal or ropes, and a myriad of other items that end up on your lawn and can become a deadly, fast-moving projectile or, at the least, wear, chip, dull or become tangled in your mower blades. And you know mower blades are not cheap or easy to replace.

Lawn Sweepers Make It Easy

Do you compost? If so, a lawn sweeper is simply worth its weight in gold. Making quick and easy work of fallen leaves and grass clippings, the time it takes to clean your lawn and add to your compost pile is so greatly reduced you can spend more time lying in your hammock, fishing, playing with the grandkids or otherwise pursuing more enjoyable hobbies or interests. Not only does it save time, composting saves money and is much more earth-friendly, recycling waste that would otherwise be thrown away, making rich, organic fertilizer with which to feed your flower or vegetable gardens. Owning a lawn sweeper will make composting almost as easy as driving to the garden center, but oh-so-much less expensive!

The Truth About Lawn Envy

Lawn sweeper to push in your yardAnd finally, do you drive by that place around the block and wonder how their lawn always looks so clean and gorgeous? Are you envious? Most of us are! The truth is, most people who have such a beautiful, spotless yard either have a lawn service, a gardener or a lawn sweeper! We all know a gardener can be quite expensive, and a lawn service is only a little bit less so. A lawn sweeper, on the other hand, is relatively inexpensive, often
paying for itself in just one use if you employ a lawn service or a gardener. Even if you normally do the yard work yourself; if you paid yourself $10.00 an hour, your lawn sweeper would pay for itself in as little as 10 hours! How many hours a month do you spend on your lawn? How much would it be worth to cut that time in half, or more?

So, we invite you to browse our lawn sweepers. They are all proudly made in the U.S. and come with a one year manufacturer's warranty.

Happy Fall! And here's to your beautiful yard with less work!