Friday, April 17, 2015

Home Grown: How to Mulch a Tree.

Mulching the trees in our landscapes is a common practice, with many benefits.  Just remember, there is right way and a wrong way to mulch trees.

One of the most common mistakes is arranging the mulch ring around the tree in the shape of a volcano instead of a doughnut. Mulching against the tree trunk can lead to trunk problems, disease problems, habitat for rodents, and excessive soil moisture and root rots.

Continued at...
How to Mulch a Tree

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Home and Garden Center
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Artwork: The Tree by the Road Side by Jon Macadam


Saturday, April 11, 2015

Home Grown: Selecting and Using a Lawn Spreader



Basically, two spreader equipment options are available for distributing crabgrass preventer, lawn fertilizer or turf seed.

Neither spreader is better or cheaper to use than the other; both are available to buy or rent. Choosing between them is just a matter of experience and opinion, according to horticulturist Rodney St. John, turfgrass specialist with Kansas State University Research and Extension.

One spreader drops granules or seeds directly to the ground beneath its wheels.

The other houses a rotary mechanism that broadcasts the lawn input out over a broader area.

Typically, both have wheels and a handle, and they go into action when pushed.

Continued at... Selecting and Using a Lawn Spreader

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Lawn Tools and Equipment
Spreaders
Artwork: Spreader


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Here's How To... Test a Well.


Clean drinking water is a top priority for families. But homeowners who rely solely on well water can be open to certain risks.

If your water is provided by a city or county source, it isn't necessary to have it tested unless an in-house contamination is suspected. Public and municipal water supplies are routinely tested and must meet Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Since there are no federal or state monitoring regulations for private wells, it is the homeowner's responsibility to make sure their well water is safe to drink.

Follow the link to... Test a Well.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Farm Supply
Artwork: Classic Wooden Water Bucket


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Bites: Filling Up on Oatmeal.

According to research published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism, scientists have found that having oatmeal  for breakfast results in greater fullness, lower hunger ratings and fewer calories eaten at the next meal compared to a calorie-matched breakfast of a ready-to-eat cereal such as sugared corn flakes.

"Our results show that despite eating the same number of calories at breakfast, satiety values were significantly greater after consuming oatmeal compared to sugared corn flakes. After three hours, subjects reported the same level of hunger after having a corn flakes breakfast as they did when they consumed only water," explained lead researcher Allan Geliebter, PhD, research psychologist in the Department of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai St. Luke's Hospital.

"Interestingly, the results were more pronounced for the participants who were overweight, suggesting that overweight individuals may be more responsive to the satiety effects of the dietary fiber in oatmeal."

The study authors suggested that the greater satiety effect of oatmeal cereal compared to sugared corn flakes or water might be due to a slower gastric emptying (oatmeal took longer to leave the stomach).

Source: Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism

Artwork: Rolled Oats
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Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Farm Fresh: Breaking Eggs

I'm probably walking on eggs writing this, but sometimes the truth has to be told, even on eggshell white paper. Like the ham-and-egg boxer, I express myself as best I can with no excuses or high expectations. You might say, though, that I've got scrambled eggs for brains.

I'm not your butter-and-egg man like the guy in that Broadway play but I know an Easter egg when I see one -- hard boiled and dipped in dye -- whether it's hiding in the bushes for an Easter egg hunt or loping down the manicured lawn in an Easter egg roll.

I've also been out on the links a time or two, and I know a fried egg when I see one.

Continued at... Breaking Eggs

Farm Fresh!
Heard a Good One?
Artwork: Fresh Eggs


Monday, March 9, 2015

Home Grown: Cross-Pollinating Cherry Trees

If the fruit set on your cherry trees was a bust last year, the reason may be inadequate cross-pollination. Here's a little background so you can make big plans for the coming year.

Not all cultivars of sweet cherries will successfully pollinate all other cultivars. The more closely related they are, the less likely they are to cross-fertilize.

Continued at... Cross-Pollinating Cherry Trees

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
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Artwork: Kirschen plate in  Meyers' Konversationslexikon, published 1902-1920



Sunday, March 8, 2015

Here's How To... Grow Organic.

Home gardeners who want to try their hand at growing organic vegetables should lower their expectations just a little and be prepared to put in more "sweat equity."

Growing organic vegetables takes extra planning. If you use organic fertilizer sources or organic soil amendments, these need to be tilled into the garden well in advance to be effective. (Ideally, this process should begin in the fall prior to spring planting.)

Organic amendments don't provide nutrients as quickly as synthetic fertilizers. So, if you want to gain the benefits of organic fertilizers, give them plenty of time to decompose. Soil microbes have to convert them into a form that plant roots can absorb. An added benefit of organic amendments is that they can act as a slow-release fertilizer throughout the season. This improves soil structure.

Follow the link to... Grow Organic.
Here's How To...
How To Do It
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Organic Garden by Roberta Staat