101. Be sure to wash your hands and
fingernails thoroughly after handling bird feeders for cleaning etc.,
to protect yourself from possible bird-borne disease.
102. A tree planted in the midst of a flower bed adds
height and interest to the plantings below it.
103. Most birds spend almost all their time hidden
inside the cover of dense vegetation, travelling short distances from
one stand of plants to another. Layering vegetation in your yard, from
tall trees down to short shrubs provides a good natural habitat for
104. To take advantage of a bat's contribution to
the environment, make your yard bat-friendly by providing food, water,
and shelter. Insects, a bird bath, and a purchased bat house are all
105. Plant morning glories along the base of an unsightly
chain link fence, and enjoy a beautiful green and blue barrier through
106. To reduce the risk of powdery mildew in your
herb or flower beds, avoid overhead watering, using a soaker hose or
drip irrigation instead.
107. Prune roses during the late winter, before they
leaf out. A good rule of thumb is to remove ? their height to encourage
108. Compost organisms require a balance of carbon
and nitrogen in the composting materials: high carbon materials are
usually brown, eg. dead leaves, dry hay, and wood chips; nitrogen materials
are thought of as green, eg. grass clippings, food scraps, and manure.
109. Container plants are often grown in a lightweight
synthetic potting soil or peat moss, and will dry out quickly when planted.
Check moisture with your finger frequently, and water the root zone.
110. Electric "bug zappers" destroy many more beneficial
insects than harmful ones. Use traps that attract only the insects that
are causing you problems.
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111. Keep your compost free of pesticides by not using
grass clippings that contain pesticide residue. You want to be free
to use your compost on a vegetable garden with no concern.
112. Plant an assortment of species in your landscape
that will provide seeds, berries, nuts, or other food for the birds
throughout the year.
113. To start your compost pile with plenty of bacteria
for decay, throw in a few shovel-fulls of aged manure or rich topsoil.
Add some during the process as well to keep it going.
114. For the best chance at success, sow morning glories
in peat pots indoors in mid-April. Scarify, scratch, or soak the seeds
to soften before planting. Plant the entire peat pot after the danger
of frost is over, protecting the delicate roots. Full sun!
115. Great plants for formal hedges are: Arborvitae,
Barberry, Boxwood, Hornbeam, Inkberry, Juniper, Privet, Red Tip Photinia,
Sweet Bay, and Yew.
116. Plants native to your region are excellent for
birds, because they are familiar and accepted as food sources and shelter
and nest sites. Native fruits and berries ripen on a schedule that coincides
with natural needs at nesting and migration time, or during winter months.
117. Prepare bare root plants for planting by soaking
the roots in water for several hours to remoisten them after their dehydration.
118. Planning a water garden? Avoid the lowest spot
in the yard to avoid drainage problems. Keep in mind also, that most
water plants require full sun to do their best.
119. If there's a part of your garden that you want
to draw the viewer's attention to, use height, contrast, or color to
draw the eye.
120. Try growing culinary herbs in a big terra cotta
container near your kitchen door, in full sun, for the most convenient
121. Avoid strict schedules for watering houseplants.
The water needed depends on variables such as the type of plant, type
of pot, proximity to heat/air vents, and light. The only sure test is
to stick your finger into the soil about 2" deep, and water if the soil
122. A compost pile with too much "brown" material
will compost slowly; too much "green" material will create odor problems.
123. Curved lines in your landscape give a relaxing
feel, making the space feel open and large. Angular lines imply control
and structure, which is useful in some environments.
124. On a hot, dry day, newly planted broad leafed
plants can lose more moisture through their leaves than their roots
can supply. Watch for this sign, and refresh them with a light spray
from the hose.
125. A no-fail slug and snail trap is a lid of beer
- bury a lid or tuna sized can with the lip of the container level with
the soil surface, so the pests fall in and drown.
126. Ashes from a wood-burning stove or fireplace
can be added to the compost pile sparingly, because ash is alkaline.
It's most useful when composting acidic materials such as pine needles
or oak leaves..
127. Birds are wary of water that is more than 2 or
3" deep. Add a few stones that emerge from the water for smaller birds,
butterflies, and beneficial insects to land on.
128. There are two approaches to combining the raw
ingredients for your compost pile: alternating layers of "browns" and
"greens", with the occasional thin layer of manure or topsoil, or throwing
all of them in together and stirring up. Either way is fine.
129. Visible boundaries in your landscaping can make
the area seem small and confined. Disguise the fences or walls with
foliage such as vines, or create softer boundaries using lattices or
even chain link fence, both of which can be covered with airy vines.
130. For year-round color in your landscape, use ornamental
grasses. They have varied color and texture in the summer, and beautiful
plumes in the winter.
131. Need to screen your yard from the street or close
neighbors? Work from the outside in, beginning at the perimeter of your
yard, with a fence or wall that compliments your home's style.
132. Let fallen leaves lie instead of raking them
away. Let them settle into a bed of mulch that adds to the soil as well
as creating insect-rich areas for ground-dwelling birds to forage.
133. When planting a tree, never cramp roots into
a small hole and always spread out the roots of bare-root stock instead
of wrapping them around the stem. Be sure to cut away plastic, twine,
or cable wrapped around balled and burlapped trees before planting.
Failure to take these precautions can result in "girdling", in which
a tree strangles, gradually starves, and dies.
134. Vertical gardening is suggested for vining food
crops such as squash, melons, or cucumbers. Train the vines up onto
a trellis so that the sprawl is directed upward. If possible, face the
135. Each week, plant a large terra cotta pot with
mixed green seeds, and each week you can serve the mature salad greens
as the centerpiece when dining outside.
136. Rejuvenate liriope and mondo grass by using your
weed-eater or mower to trim back the old foliage at the end of the winter,
before the new growth begins.
137. Your compost should stay lightly moist like a
wrung-out sponge, all the way through. Wet each layer while constructing
the pile, or when adding a new layer. Keep the surface damp during dry
138. Botanical pesticides are derived directly from
plants. Some are even more toxic than some synthetics. However, botanicals
break down rapidly, and do not accumulate in the food chain as synthetics
139. The secret to composting newspaper or computer
paper is to shred it first - if you have a paper shredder like the ones
used in offices, you have another source of "brown" material for composting.
140. Whether you use a conventional birdbath or a
ground-level pool for ground-dwelling birds, be sure it has rough edges
so the birds can walk into the water without slipping.
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141. In wet climates, you might consider building
a little roof or cover to protect your compost pile from the rain, or
cover it with a plastic tarp or old rug. You don't want the pile to
become waterlogged, or have the nutrients leach out from excessive water
142. If a plant receives less than its required number
of hours of sun, it will probably be mis-shapen, won't bloom, and is
more likely to die. If it receives more sun than it requires, it will
burn, be stressed, and is likely to die.
143. Planning a garden retreat? Include a grouping
of wicker furniture, decorative accents, a table, and even a cozy fireplace.
144. Latticework, slatted screens, or loose vines
can protect you from view while letting breezes into your outdoor hideaway.
145. Native ferns grow well beneath trees and in shady
areas. Their fronds provide good cover for birds that move about on
the forest floor.
146. Fresh, green foliage on a spent daffodil is photosynthesizing
and contributing food supply to the bulb for next year. Resist the urge
to cut it down, but loop or gently braid the leaves until they dry out.
147. A sheltered, south-facing wall typically acts
as a solar collector, releasing its heat at night, creating a shallow
zone that is warmer than the rest of the garden. This is the perfect
place for specimen plants which want a warmer climate zone than you
148. Plant a "pesto pot" in a sunny location: include
several types of basil, which are available in a surprising array of
colors and leaf shapes.
149. A time saver if you're setting out annuals or
other small plants, prepare beds by working in plenty of organic material,
spread a layer of mulch on top, then set the transplants at the appropriate
depth and spacing through the mulch.
150. When composting materials are broken into small
pieces, there is more exposed surface for composting organisms to attack.
Twigs and leaves can be run over with a lawn moser, whole branches can
be run through a chipper, plants and prunings can be chopped with pruning
shears, and food scraps can be cut up in the kitchen, or chopped up
in a bucket with a square-point shovel.