Gardening

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Lawn Secrets from

Q: It’s hot! Besides regulating my watering, is there anything special I should be doing this summer?
-- Lawn Lover

A: While using fertilizer is most important in the spring and fall, warm-season grass, such as Bermuda, thrives in hot weather and would benefit from a summer feeding. With enough water, the grass will be encouraged to grow, causing it to eat more and requiring you to keep more fertilizer on hand. But if your lawn is dormant because of a drought, there’s no need to feed.

As for mowing, remember that different types of grass require different cutting heights. Cool-season grasses should be cut at 3 1/2 inches, while warm-season grasses are cut at 2 inches. Always follow the One-Third Rule and cut only the top one-third of the grass plant. And even though it’s hot, continue to dress safely for mowing: Wear long pants, a tucked-in shirt and good shoes with lots of traction. Some riding mowers are even designed for you to easily attach a shade canopy or an oscillating fan to protect you from the sun and heat. Make sure to drink plenty of water and rest frequently so you stay healthy along with your lawn.
 
 

Keep your lawn green and healthy

Lawn Secrets from the Mow Master



(ARA) - Whether there’s midseason drought or a family vacation, keep your lawn green and healthy this summer with advice from John Deere’s “Mow Master” Bill Klutho. 

 

Q: We’re planning our vacation, but what can I do to prepare my lawn?
-- Leaving My Lawn Alone

A: Before you leave town, John Deere recommends you water deeply so the moisture gets down 6 to 8 inches -- that’ll protect your lawn from the sun. Give your lawn a fresh mow with a higher cutting height. That will shade the soil and help hold the moisture in. When you get back, set the mower at its highest cutting height in order to follow the One-Third Rule. Enjoy your vacation, and your lawn will be waiting for you when you return.
 
 

The Best Bug Repellent is All-Natural

(ARA) – If you’ll be spending any time outdoors during the summer months, there are two precautions you need to take -- put on sunscreen to protect yourself and your kids from the damaging rays of the sun, and bug spray to keep biting insects at bay.

Most bug sprays on the market today are safe when used as directed, but Allen Jones, spokesman for Bite Blocker, an all-natural bug spray, points out serious problems with insect repellants that contain DEET, a chemical bug repellent developed 50 years ago by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the Army. “The federal EPA claims it’s safe when used as directed, yet most people are unaware of the problems sprays containing DEET can cause and simply use it as needed any way. They don’t take the time to read the warnings in small print on the label, and the label doesn’t explain the problems over exposure can cause. That should send up a red flag. I’d much rather use a repellent that is safe to apply as needed rather than as directed.”
 
 

Great Tips for Instant Outdoor Style

(ARA) - Whether you are looking to create an outdoor retreat or just want a great place to entertain this summer, there are a few things you can do to achieve instant outdoor style. Adding accents like a wall fountain, clustering planters near an outdoor bench or even adding chic new cushions to your porch swing will help to update last year’s look.

But where do you start? Outdoor living magazine gurus Samantha Thorpe of “Cottage Gardens” magazine and Susan Applegate-Hurst, of “Better Homes & Gardens” magazine share five fail-proof design tips that will instantly brighten any outdoor living space.

#1 QUICK FIX FOR COLOR

Applegate-Hurst recommends using annuals as a quick fix for injecting color into an outdoor scene. “Annuals are an easy choice,” she says. “Many of the new cultivars are longer blooming than plants of the past and offer bold, wow-colors.”

When selecting a color palette, Hurst suggests – either monochromatic or colors that complement each other. “Think of putting together an outfit,” she says. “If you wouldn’t wear the colors together, don’t plant them together.”

The color-perfect containers from Simply Beautiful Plant By Number are mixed by professionals using complementary combinations and monochromatic plantings of annuals.
 

Gardening without a Garden

You don’t need a plot of land to enjoy the fruits of your labor

(ARA) – As days warm and mailboxes burst with garden catalogs, many people begin to find their green thumbs itching to play in the dirt. But if you’re one of the countless people for whom a full-fledged garden isn’t a possibility, you don’t have to give up the vision of bountiful blooms and fresh produce. There are options available to provide everyone with a way to grow.

Folks with limited space or mobility -- or those who want the beauty and benefits without the hours of work -- are discovering the many different types of container gardening. Once reserved for apartment dwellers only, container gardening can now work for every lifestyle, as more and more people are discovering.