Posts Tagged ‘trees’


Friday, March 26th, 2010

As a Master Gardener with Larimer County, I am back at it taking refresher classes and getting excited about spring.† Recently, I blogged about hummingbirds.† Today, I want to share some quick and dirty ways to have a beautiful, healthy lawn and trees.† Know that diseases rarely get a foothold in healthy plants that are not stressed.


With that in mind, do not over or under water your lawn.† There is no formula (one rule for all) because the amount of water depends on the type of grass, the amount of sun, shade or wind and other variables.† Put some jars or cans out in your lawn to catch water so you know what you are spraying on. †Ask the wonderful volunteer experts (my husband is one of those) at CSU to do a water audit for a nominal charge of $75. Do not water during mid-day or when it is windy.† Do not over fertilize (it runs off into sewers contaminating our water supply.)† Aerate twice a year (Easter and Halloween) and punch many, many holes.† The holes should be two inches apart.† If you hire a service, make sure they do way more than one pass. Leave the plugs on the lawn. When you mow, never, ever cut off more than one-third and leave the clippings on the lawn to mulch, decompose and recondition the earth under the grass.† If you bag your clippings for landfill, you are throwing money away.


Never plant trees too close to anything.† Would you make your infant son sleep in a crib his whole life?† No.† Trees grow big.† The roots of trees do not grow deep into the earth like a carrot.† They spread out for long distances in a shallow manner. The roots need water and air; if a tree is surrounded by concrete, it is going to be STRESSED.† Do not water next to the trunk (unless it is a twig) ñ water around and beyond the drip line.† Do not allow a tree to develop two leaders (main trunk).† Prune one off.† Need a new tree?† PLANT A TWIG AND WATCH IT GROW BIG.† Seriously, in a few years the twig will establish and catch the big, expensive tree who is struggling to get established because its root ball was cut to a fraction of what it needs to support itself.† †I wish I had known this five years ago when I bought five huge trees to put in my labyrinth.

Okay, gardeners, tree-huggers and lovers of the outdoors, have fun and let me know if this advice was helpful.


Wednesday, December 16th, 2009


I am no fan of the senseless killing of trees in any form.† I turned in my ax years ago and no longer butcher a beautiful tree and watch it rot in my living room for two weeks before dragging it to the curb the day after Christmas.† There are probably dumber traditions that pop up during the holidays ñ but, at the moment, I canít think of any.

In my last neighborhood, I was appalled at the mountains of packaging and wrapping paper heaped on the curb waiting for the garbage truck after the gift opening frenzy on Christmas morning.† Add to that the ton of mailers, catalogues and junk mail we receive and Americans must be the world leaders in manufacturing paper waste, hands down!

According to the January issue of Better Homes and Garden magazine, one of the two top resolutions people make as they look ahead to the New Year is to get organized.† So why not start with cutting down on the amount of paper that flows through your home?† Call the companies that mail you junk and ask them to stop.† Donít buy anything from anybody who sells your name to mailing services.† Get your bills on-line.† Cut way back on subscriptions ñ unless youíre faithfully reading them.† Donít buy over-packaged crap. The list goes on and on.† Go online or check your library for books on simple solutions to conquering paper clutter.

I make it a game to generate as little waste as possible.† I love wheeling my massive garbage can to the curb each week when it has hardly anything in it and is as light as a feather.

Oh, and the answer to ìPaper or plastic?î

ìNeither, thank-you! Keep bags in your trunk and reuse them over and over.† Give the trees a break. †They are busy providing habitat, bearing nuts and fruit, producing oxygen, providing shade, beauty and stabilizing the topsoil.