Thursday, May 22, 2014

Home Grown: Knowing What's What in the Garden.

Labeling and documenting data is the key... Plants of the same genus look similar enough to one another that you may be able to make a good guess, but seeds vary considerably. Some seeds that are not even remotely connected look alike.

When labeling plant tags, always use a pencil or a botanical pen or marker.

Continued at... Knowing What's What in the Garden.

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Garden Markers
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Friday, May 16, 2014

Rural Delivery: Canine Alter Ego.

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1992. All rights reserved.

When Ulysses, that ancient Greek king, returned home in disguise after being on the road for twenty years only his faithful dog -- Argos -- recognized the hero in beggar's clothing.
     
External trappings don't mean much to the canine species. Rich or poor, famous or ordinary, your dog still responds to character and performance. There's no fooling Fido.
     
"The fact that dogs haven't given up on humans completely and still make people their friends shows there must be some hope for the human race," said President Lyndon Johnson, whose beagles stood by him despite that awful ear pulling.

This ability to see beneath the surface of humans probably explains why dogs, almost invariably, resemble their masters.

Continued at... Canine Alter Ego.

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Artwork: Elizabeth Taylor with Little Black Dog.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Here's How To... Balance Your Bathroom


The most Yin room in the house, the bathroom is often damp and dark, so add yang for balance - some bright splashes of color or lighted candles.

Keep drains covered as much as possible and the toilet seat closed when not in use. If you flush the toilet with the lid open, chances are your money will go down too.

Use green indoor plants to help activate stagnant Qi.

Follow the link to... Balance Your Bathroom.

Here's How To...
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Artwork: Feng Shui Bath II by Charlene Olson


Friday, May 9, 2014

Here's How To... Dry Fruit.

There has been a recent resurgence in dried foods, yet it is one of the oldest methods of food preservation. Part of its popularity is that dried foods can be eaten alone or used in cooking.

Drying takes the moisture out of food and microorganisms that lead to spoilage can no longer grow. Consequently, foods that have been dried correctly have a long shelf life.

Follow the link to... Dry Fruit.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
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Artwork: 1938 Print, Drying California Peaches


Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Home Grown: Shade Tree Care.


Shade trees are both an aesthetic and financial asset, but keeping trees healthy can be challenging. Careful tree selection, planting and maintenance is needed to keep your trees healthy.

The first thing a tree needs is space. Trees need as much room for their roots as you expect to have foliage on top. Most roots will be in the upper two feet of soil, though some species also grow deep tap roots. The roots need oxygen as well as water, so keep a well aerated soil surface that is at least 1.5 times as large as the crown of the tree is wide.

Continued at... Shade Tree Care.

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Artwork: American Elm Tree.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Lawnmower Bites, Kills Tree.

The lawn mower was supposed to circle the newly planted sapling, but instead it struck the base. Oops! Is that a problem?

Yes, it is.

Unlike skin, wounds that reach below the bark don't heal.  At best, the trunk seals off the injury, but there is no repair in the sense that our skin repairs itself.  Bark will form a callus along the edge of the wound, but it rarely can bridge the break.  The trunk typically loses the bark in the injured area, and the wound remains decades later.

University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator Nancy Pollard recommends protecting against lawn-mower bites by mulching.

Continued at... Lawnmower Bites, Kills Tree.

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Lawn Mowers and Yard Supplies
Trees
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Artwork: Perma Mulch.


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Home Grown: Good Trees for Successful Lawns.

A tree can be a lawn's best friend, or not.

Most people with home lawns also have trees and shrubs in the landscape. Sometimes trees and lawns get along well together and sometimes they don't.

The shade produced by trees can present some problems for grass growth, as can shallow roots and the dry conditions beneath the trees. Conifers present the biggest problems.

Continued at... Good Trees for Successful Lawns.

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Home and Garden Center
Trees
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Artwork: Blossoming Cherry Trees on a Green Lawn.