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Blog > Fall

After the Storm - What To Do Next

Here comes the rain againHow's everybody doing today? Anybody see any talking lions, scarecrows, tin men or flying monkeys?

Last night we got some wicked hail here in the Twin Cities - in Eagan, we got over 1" of rain and after the hail stopped, most of the ground was completely white. This morning, I still had a pile of hail on the deck that hadn't melted, yet. Today, it was time to clean up.

Check for impending danger!

If you have trees or overhead power lines near your property, make sure you start by looking up. There may still be branches that haven't fallen completely and could land on you, a family member or a neighbor. Or, a tree trunk may be split and it will only be a matter of time before it topples over. Clear the area of any potential danger before proceeding with any other clean up effort.

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Spring Gardening Preparations

Rose hipWait - this is October and it's fall! I am well aware of that and I also know that what you do now will have a big impact on how your plants will fare come next spring. Even though the days are definitely shorter and cooler, there is no shortage of things to do outside and now is a great time for landscapes.

Before you head inside (or somewhere warmer) for the winter, here are 8 fall gardening activities that will ready your yard for winter and another season of enjoyment next spring.

Start deadleafing your daylilies and hostas

The leaves are transferring their energy into the roots for the winter. Gently tug on the dead leaves to remove them. This will improve their appearance and prevent mold and crown rot. If you have a lot of hostas, you can leave some for the spring cleanup. If you have some large clumps that you want to divide in the spring, the leaves will help you locate them early next spring. continue reading ...

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Cutting Down on Yard Care

Lawn turf grassI just finished cutting our lawn and having a look around the yard. This year has been tough on a lot of the landscape - trees all around the city are showing signs of stress, lawns are browning in areas, crabgrass is running rampant, among other things. As much as I like the look of a freshly cut lawn, I know the impact maintaining it has on the environment. I've had some passionate discussions about this with friends and associates also in the landscaping industry - I'd like to thank them for all they do and contribute to making our little corner of the world a better place to live in.

I shared a little math exercise a few posts back and I'd like to add a few more things to that equation. Not only do our lawns require water to stay green, we also have other inputs to keeping our lawns looking good. For most of us, that means getting out the lawn mower every week and giving it a nice even trim. Each weekend, about 54 million Americans mow their lawns, using 800 million gallons of gas per year. That might have an impact on the economy and environment, don't you think? The EPA has put into effect stricter requirements for small engine emissions, but the average walk-behind mower produces 11 times more pollutants per hour than an automobile. Seems like we shoud be a bit more environmentally friendly with our lawn care, shouldn't we?

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Greener Pastures, or Just Green With Envy?

Green  'Guacamole' HostasThe majority of the trees and shrubs are now cloaked in various shades of green (did you know the human eye can distinguish more shades of green than any other color?). Some are showing the effects of a rather blustery winter (for once, Minnesota has had a normal winter) and there are signs of animal damage, temperature damage and moisture (or lack of) damage.

This spring has been the usual ups and downs in temperatures and precipitation and as I, more than once, had to change plans because of a change in the weather, I began thinking about all the things we do to try to manipulate our environment. We plant. We water. We weed. We feed. We pluck, prune and pinch. We mow and we mulch. Not that all of this is bad - and, believe me, these are essential to our business. But, have we not learned anything from our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents about caring for the earth?

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A Rose by Any Other Name

Is a dandelion a weed?As I was spending time in the yard this weekend, I was thinking about some of the typical activities people associate with this time of year - and the first application of 'weed-killer' usually tops the list. 'Weed' is not a scientific classification, like tree, perennial, or grass, rather it is a cultural stereotype for plants growing in places you don't want them to.

Consider the dandelion - to the little girls and boys, it is the 'pretty yellow flower' they pick for their mothers.

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