Friday, August 28, 2009

Getting Your Turf Ready for Winter!

Though winter is still months away, now is the time to start preparing your lawn for cold weather. Winter damage can be a problem in our area and shows up as large dead spots in spring. This is often caused more by our fluctuating winter temperatures than by extreme cold. When temperatures go up in winter, some grasses like centipede are tempted to start growing too early. When winter warm spells are followed by sudden cold temperatures, winter damage is the result. There are a couple of things you can do now to help your lawn make it through the winter in good health, and be ready to grow away vigorously next spring.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Hurricane Resistant Trees

As the peak of hurricane season approaches, many property owners may be thinking about removing large trees to avoid potential damage to homes and businesses. Often, property owners who have experienced such damage in the past are tempted not to replace fallen trees due to fear that the same thing will happen again in future storms. As a result, tree populations in our coastal communities are dwindling, and we are losing the significant economic and environmental benefits trees bring to these communities. Tree benefits include higher property values for homes that have mature trees in the landscape, energy savings due to shading, wildlife habitat, cleaner air, and beauty. Other areas in the United States that are prone to hurricane strikes are experiencing this same trend. In response to this problem, scientists at the University of Florida have conducted extensive research into the relationship between trees and hurricanes, resulting in several recommendations on how to establish and maintain more hurricane resistant trees and urban forests.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Grow Your Own Salad!

Lettuce and other salad greens are easy to grow and thrive in the cool temperatures of fall. They can even be ready to harvest in as little as 30 days from sowing, making them one of the quickest vegetables you can grow. What’s more, lettuce and many of the greens popular in salad mixes flourish when grown in containers, so you can easily grow your own salad even if you do not have a vegetable garden! Since most lettuces and salad greens tolerate some frost, plants started in September can provide you with tasty, fresh salad ingredients throughout the holidays.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Compost Happens!

Compost can do wonderful things for your landscape and garden! When mixed into the soil, compost increases the amount of nutrients available to plants and helps hold moisture in the soil, helping plants to grow better. Compost is also full of beneficial microbes; tiny living organisms that improve the soil and can actually combat harmful, soil dwelling fungi and bacteria that cause plant diseases. And the best thing is you can make it yourself for free! In fact, you may be throwing away the materials you need to make this valuable garden resource. By turning your yard clippings and vegetable scraps into compost you can help your plants grow better and reduce your contribution to the local landfill.

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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Plan and Plant Now for Fall Vegetables!

If your summer garden didn’t quite turn out the way you had hoped, or, like me, you never got around to planting one, now is the time for your second chance. Few people realize that fall is a wonderful time to grow many vegetables in our area. Warm soil temperatures promote quick growth while cool air temperatures encourage flavor development. Cooler air temperatures also make the experience a little more pleasurable for the gardener as well! Many favorite vegetables can be planted over the next month for harvest throughout the fall and into winter. So don’t wait - now is the time to decide what you would like to grow and to prepare your soil for a bountiful fall harvest.

Vegetables that can be planted over the next month for fall harvest include cabbage, kale, collards, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, lettuce, spinach, mustard greens, turnips, beets, and lots more! Click here to learn more!