Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Farm Direct: Managing Timberland as an Investment

Standing hardwood timber is a niche market, with traditional up and down cycles, and no one knows that market better than timber buyers, loggers and professional foresters.

There really is a right way and a wrong way to market your timber. Astute forest landowners will treat their standing timber just like their 401K or their IRA. It's simply another long-term investment tool that can be a vital part of their financial portfolio. Therefore, manage it wisely.

Continued on the Tip Sheet: Managing Timberland as an Investment

Farm Direct
Tools
Farm Supply
Artwork: Hardwood Forest


Saturday, November 12, 2016

Home Grown: Letting Leaves Lie.

Raking up and disposing of leaves is a time-honored ritual of autumn, but are ways of putting them to better use in a yard.

Ecologically, the best way to deal with leaves in the yard is to mulch them where they fall and let them decompose to release their minerals back to the soil.

In well managed turf, leaf drop from shade trees is not always a nuisance that requires raking. A moderate amount of leaves chopped with a mulching mower can be allowed to decompose into the turf.

Leaves are high in nutrients like iron, zinc and copper. They are also rich in organic matter, a valuable commodity for the turf, existing trees and shrubs.

Continued in... Letting Leaves Lie

Home Grown
Lawn Tools and Equipment
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Leaf Scoops


Friday, November 11, 2016

Home Grown: Potted Perennials in Winter

Taking care of your potted perennial plants over the winter will ensure they are around next season to provide another year of enjoyment.

Container gardening is a form of gardening everyone can enjoy no matter how large or small their garden may be. Those with only a balcony or patio can enjoy the pleasures of gardening just as those with areas of space.  Containers can be quite elaborate, and the types of plant material can be quite varied. When it comes to what gardeners are putting into containers, the trend is leaning toward just about anything.

At one time annuals were the majority, if not the only type, of plant material being used in containers.  Now everything from perennials to small trees and shrubs are being grown.

Continued in... Potted Perennials in Winter

Home Grown
Plants and Seeds
Growing Guides
Artwork: Black Bat Tacca Flower


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Home Grown: Selecting Holiday Plants

When the winter holiday season approaches, it is time to purchase holiday plants.

As with most holiday purchases, shop early to ensure that you get the plant of your choice. Purchase clean, healthy plants that are properly identified.

Plants should have dark green foliage and abundant unopened flower buds or fruit. Wrap them carefully before transporting them to avoid subjecting them to freezing outdoor temperatures.

Continued in... Selecting Holiday Plants

Home Grown
Poinsettia: In Season Guide
Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Poinsettia


Monday, November 7, 2016

Home Grown: Protecting Evergreens in Winter.

Evergreen plants can be harmed by the snow and ice of winter.

Inspect your plants for winter damage. Snow can cause
excessive bending down of evergreen branches to the point of breaking. These broken branches will always be weak if you try to bend them back up or tie them back up.

Consider cutting them off and, if possible, train neighboring branches to grow and fill in the gaps.

To avoid breakage or other injury, brush the heavy, wet snow off of the plants as soon as it stops snowing or even while it is snowing. Do not beat on the branches to remove the snow. Use a broom to lightly push or brush the snow off the branches.

Continued in... Protecting Evergreens in Winter

Home Grown
Trees
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Burlap Shrub Jackets


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Home Grown: Big Trees Felled By Tiny Fungi.

Urban trees tend to have shortened lives, some living no more than 50 to 80 years. Urban forests in many metro areas have started to mature and decline, and are very susceptible to trunk-rotting and buttress root-rotting organisms.

Wood-rotting organisms can slowly nibble away at trunks and buttress roots. Trees often regenerate new, non-structurally supportive feeder roots that mask the signs of structural root loss. Many trees that topple look perfectly healthy before they fall. Afterward, it becomes clear that there were absolutely no structural roots remaining for support.

The best time to scout for symptoms of a fungal infection is just after a long period of cool, wet weather.

Continued in... Big Trees Felled By Tiny Fungi

Home Grown
Pest Control
Trees
Artwork: Conks


Friday, October 21, 2016

Home Grown: Fire Ant Control in the Fall

If you are going to treat fire ants only once a year, do it in the fall. Fire ants are easier to kill in the fall.

The one thing that makes fall the single best time to treat fire ants is that it's followed by winter. Extreme cold is tough on fire ants. That makes baits even more effective in the fall.

Baits take a long time to work. They weaken colonies and make them less able to respond to the challenges of winter weather. The young colonies are especially vulnerable because they don't have many workers. So they can't respond very quickly to the need to escape freezing temperatures.

Continued in... Fire Ant Control in the Fall

Home Grown
Pest Control
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Fire Ant