Posts Tagged lawn tips

Conserving Water II

There are many ways to conserve water, as I listed in the previous article.  Here are some more ideas:

– Compost, compost, compost.  While you never want to overuse compost, using compost over the top of your existing soil, or digging it in a bit can help your soil retain water.  Try to use an organic compost, as this will add structure to your soil.

– Don’t cut your grass so short.  Leaving your grass a bit long.  The idea is to leave at least two-thirds of the leaf surface alive and uncut.  The reasoning behind this is that your grass needs the extra leaf space to be healthy and reproduce.  It may seem counterintuitive – because clearly that’s more leaf to water – but your lawn has to have a healthy above-ground layer for the below-ground layer to remain healthy as well.  And it’s the below-ground layer that digs deep for water.

Additionally, when mowing, leave a layer of grass clippings on your lawn.  Only do this if they aren’t too long and bulky.  You don’t want piles of clippings on your lawn.

– Try using a soaker hose instead of overhead watering.  The soaker hose will feed water directly to the roots, so there will be minimal waste when watering.  You can even get a soaker system installed in place of sprinklers.

– Section off particularly thirsty plants.  Some plants, like tomatoes or roses, need watering every day or they won’t produce in our hot climate.  Instead of planting these with other plants that could do with less water, put them in their own separate section of the yard or containers.  You can also give them their own sprinkler system.  This way they get their own water, when they need it, without sharing with the rest of your more drought tolerant plants.

Here’s to a year of low water bills and flourishing landscapes!

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Common “End of Summer” Complaints

It’s almost the end of Summer!  How can that be?  It’s still hot out, but school has started and, if you have maples on your street, the leaves are threatening to turn.

Some of the best parts about this time of year are what’s happening in your garden!  If you have vegetables, they should be growing like weeds, your flowers should be sprouting all over the place, and so on.  Here are tips for some common issues for the less than idyllic yard:

1. My lawn is dying! This commonly happens in summer as your yard will go dormant and brown. Make sure you are watering consistently and feeding it at proper intervals. Additionally, fall (which is almost here!) is the best time to “overseed” your lawn. This is basically where you distribute new seeds evenly throughout your lawn.

If your yard has “dead spots” where nothing seems to grow, or your ground has spots which experiences poor drainage, you might need to bring in a professional landscaper to help you decide if you need to aerate, supplement your soil, or even replace a layer of your soil.

2. My flowers are not blooming. Sometimes a new transplant can get traumatized during the summer heat. Make sure you are watering your flowers consistently – preferably in the early morning as watering in direct sun can cause sunburn. Additionally, ensure you are feeding your flowers as per the instructions your garden store gave you when you bought it. Finally, check that your plant is getting enough sun – or isn’t getting too much.

3. My tomatoes/squash/cucumbers are getting flowers, but no fruit. This means your plants aren’t getting pollinated. You can do a few things to solve this problem: a. plant flowers that attract bees around your veggies – like marigolds, nasturtium, etc. Anything bees like are good to plant either in pots or (if it’s a companion plant) in the same soil as your veggies. Additionally there are flowering basils which will attract bees, and peas both flower and are nitrogen-fixing – which is something that helps tomatoes in particular.

4. My roses aren’t doing so hot. Make sure you are watering the consistently and feeding the consistently. If you’re having aphid or pest issues, you can still release ladybugs. Just make sure you did it in the very early morning when it’s still cool. Otherwise they’ll all fly away before they have a chance to help out your plants.

Here’s to a beautiful, sweet-smelling, and delicious summer!

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