The ABCs of pruning

With the arrival of a warm day or two, it is obvious folks are venturing out into landscapes and contemplating yard work because the number of calls to our office about pruning is up.The most difficul ...

Managing weather effects on turf

February is just around the corner and with it warm weather will gradually begin to return to the Lakelands. There is little doubt that we will have some negative carryover from our cold and wet fall ...

Wanting to make backyard fruitful?

When the weather starts to warm up many new fruit and nut plants will appear at local garden centers and nurseries. Are these offerings a good way for the average gardener to create their own backyard ...

Snip, saw or dig

Happy New Year's to all. Many 2015 landscape winter chores have passed into 2016. The Lakelands suffered from too much rainfall that gave us difficult outdoor landscape working conditions for much of ...

Christmas plant care

Merry Christmas! We wake up today with family and friends in a celebration of Christmas. Many homes are decorated with traditional Christmas plants such as poinsettias, but more may arrive as gifts to ...

Camellias are winter bloomers

What a difference a year makes. About this time last year, and throughout the winter, camellias suffered bloom damage across the Lakelands. During that time, I received several calls with questions ab ...

Walking through a winter reading land

On long winter nights, nothing is nicer for the horticulture-minded person than a good book about a favorite plant topic, or even something new for the upcoming planting season. Since daylight is shor ...

Winter thoughts of green grass

Many people ended the season worrying about grass. Waiting until spring leaves little time to deal with issues or needs such as pruning trees to reduce shaded areas, winter weed ID and controls, evalu ...

Tips to burn off that turkey

After yesterday's feast, many are in need of a little extra exercise and activity to burn off those extra helpings of turkey, dressing, pumpkin pie and other deserts. A little outside yard work before ...

Changing urban mulching to match nature

On a recent walk in the woods, I rediscovered one of the great wonders of nature. Eons before compost piles were formalized, massive, enormous, gigantic levels of recycling work in the woods was the b ...

Think spring and blueberries

It is difficult to get motivated after a month of dreary weather and mud, but as it dries out, take time to research new projects or ideas and prepare soil areas for planting late season or spring pla ...

Weeding through winter issues

Walking through my leaf-covered lawn, I spotted another task ahead for this winter. Recent cool and damp conditions have helped many of our winter weeds leap from the soil and start their winter growt ...

How to care for indoor plants this winter

Chances are many folks out there have finished moving plants inside before freezing temperatures occur and/or will receive or purchase house plants for the holiday seasons ahead. Plants often struggle ...

Low-maintenance landscapes

This week's Master Gardener class was about Landscape Design. Part of the discussion centered on the balance between plant selection, adaptability and maintenance requirements. Everyone envisions beau ...

Red maple struggles

Autumn's arrival highlights many landscape trees foliage color changes. Red maple 'Acer rubrum' is very popular, in large part, for its brilliant red fall foliage display. Fall is a good tree planting ...

Pansies add happy face to winter

Nothing is more impressive than a hanging basket or pot of flowering pansies covered with snow or ice that quickly rebound with winter warm ups. Pansies come in a wide array of flower types and colors ...

Mum is the word for fall flowers

As the flowers of summer fade gardeners look for plants that will extend color in their beds, plantings and containers. They frequently select one or several container grown chrysanthemums (mums) avai ...

Soil health matters for plants

Rarely do we talk about soil health in a manner that relates to plant health. We've all heard the advice to wash your hands after working outside to get rid of germs and such so we don't get sick. But ...

Preparing for the new Season-Fall

We had night-time temperatures in the 50's recently. Wow! This is a hint of things ahead as we are halfway through September. Are you preparing for fall in your home landscapes, turf and gardens? If n ...

Renewing perennial flowers

Most gardening books and experts tout the enormous benefits of using herbaceous perennial flowering plants in the landscape, sometimes to the extent that they seem invincible and once planted will thr ...