Tuesday May 14, 2013
After a run in with poison ivy a couple of years ago, I'm more cautious than ever about this nasty plant. I used to think I was immune to the stuff until my luck ran out and it quickly spread throughout my arms and legs causing about three weeks worth of discomfort. I started treatment with Benadryl and Ivy Dry, and progressed to prednisone and Ivarest.
Now that I've got a bout of poison ivy under my belt, I am constantly on the lookout for it and subsequently see it everywhere. Be on the lookout for the distinctive 3 leaves and the waxy almost sticky look of the weeds.
Learn all about poison ivy from About.com's guide to landscaping David Beaulieu.
Poison Ivy Pictures
Treating Poison Ivy
How To Get Rid of Poison Ivy
Monday April 29, 2013
Growing grass in the shade can be tricky, whether it's underneath trees, in the shadow of buildings, or some other location where the sun just doesn't shine like it usually does. There's no easy answer as to why grass won't grow in the shade, it could be many things and not always something obvious.
When attempting to grow grass in a shady area it is important to start with a grass species that can tolerate shade. Various fescue blends are available for shade planting and will succeed as long as other factors are in place.
If trying to grow grass under a tree, remember that the new grass will be in direct competition with the trees for water and nutrients. The grass will likely need help by way of extra watering and fertilizing. It would also help if the tree or trees could be thinned out by pruning to allow as much available sunlight as possible to penetrate the canopy.
Sometimes, the reason grass doesn't want to grow in a shady area is because it wasn't meant to. It might be necessary to think outside the box when dealing with shady areas. If grass doesn't seem to grow under a tree, perhaps a mulched bed could be an option. Ground covers like pachysandra also make acceptable alternatives to planting grass.
The Best Shade Grass for the Lawn
Shade Grass Seed Reviews:
Pennington Grass Seed Review - Dense Shade Mix
Pearl's Premium Grass Seed - Shady Mix Review
photo © Kelly Burke
Sunday April 28, 2013
When you mention dandelions and clover most people think of tough lawn weeds that can be hard to get under control. You think of spraying or trying to pull the entire tap root of the dandelion out ever so carefully. You think of clover patches increasing in size, seeming to double in size overnight. It's usually negative.
A closer look at these two interesting plants will reveal a history rich in legends, ancient medicines, edible delicacies, and 1950's suburban lawns. Clover in fact was not always viewed as a lawn menace. Clover was once a significant and valuable part of the lawn until the 1950's. It's ability to grow in lousy soil conditions and stay green all season long made it an important part of the lawn seed blends of early American lawn care. The advent of broadleaf weed killers soon included clover on their enemies list because, well, it was a broad leaf plant and got lumped in with other lawn weeds like plantain and chickweed.
Likewise, dandelions were not always thought of as lawn weed enemy #1. Dandelions have been used for centuries as an edible plant even a medicinal plant used to cure many common ailments. Dandelions can be problematic if they spread to takeover a lawn but more often than not, there are only ever a few of them spread out through an entire lawn. Hardly enough to spend time and money worrying about eliminating. Why not make some salad, tea or even wine instead.
Dandelion and Clover - Two Common Lawn Weeds That Get No Respect
Saturday April 27, 2013
When it comes to weed control there are many different ways to go about dealing with the problem. The first thing to do though is identify the problem. Is it just a few dandelions we're talking about or a serious crabgrass infestation? Managed expectations are really the first defense against weeds. On a deeper level though, the conditions that cause weeds to thrive need to be adressed in order to solve weed problems effectively and long term.
Chemical herbicides are certainly effective at controlling weeds but, as part of an Integrated Pest Management program, should only be used as a last resort. Try to be tolerant of a small presence of weeds before reaching for the herbicides or try removing weeds mechanically or by hand. Try using natural weed killers like vinegar or go big and tackle the underlying reason for the weed pressure.
Weed infestations are messages that the soil is not in balance. Fix the soil and the grass will grow itself.
Weed Control Methods