Lawn & Garden Care Tips

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What do you do with sunflowers after they die?

When The Sunflower Dies

After your sunflowers die you can either dig them up and add them to your compost pile, or you can let them stay in the ground. Sunflowers left in the ground will attract birds who come to feast on the seeds. If you like bird watching, you are in for some excitement.

I just moved to a new home with a large yard, how do I begin to landscape it?

Know Your Needs Before You Landscape

Before you start landscaping your property you should discuss it with your family. What are the needs of your family?

Things you should consider prior to landscaping include your sitting and dining area, dog lot, vegetable garden, compost pile, children's play area and storage shed. When you know where you want all of these located, coming up with a landscaping plan will not seem all that hard.

How do I decide which online garden center to buy from?

How to Chose an Online Garden Center

When you are deciding which online garden center to purchase your plants and seeds from, you should first look for a site that is user friendly. Does the garden center offer informative articles or a FAQ section on their site? Are there pictures of the plants, shrubs or equipment on the site with clear explanations of the use and characteristics of each listed? Do you have the option of signing up for a catalog? Lastly, does the site offer a secure server for transactions? If the answer to these questions is yes – than you should feel comfortable purchasing from the online garden center.

I need a quick shade producer in my yard, what do you suggest?

Use Ornamental Grass as Shade Producers

If you are needing a fast grower for shade, you should plant a tall ornamental grass. Tall ornamental grasses can easily be used as privacy screens, as well. Tall grasses dance in the breeze and add a touch of liveliness to your yard or garden. When planting your tall grasses, be sure to give them adequate space between each other to grow.

Where can I get gardening information without having to read a book?

Do You Need Free Gardening Information?

If you are needing quick advice on a plant, tree, vegetable, flower or shrub, you should go to a garden center's Website for the information. These are great resources for gardeners, and many times there will be a place where you can submit your own personal questions. Professional garden centers are experts in the growing business and are more than happy to offer tips and advice.

I live in a cool climate, what are some tips for keeping my ornamental grass healthy?

Cool Climate Care for Ornamental Grasses

If you live in a cool climate, there are certain measures you should take to care for your ornamental grass.

Spring Care

*Plant cool season grasses when danger of frost is past.

*Plant and transplant warm season grasses when the soil warms.

Summer Care

*Mulch your grasses to conserve soil moisture and to keep weeds at bay.

*Remove seed heads from weedy grasses before the seeds drop.

Fall Care

*Work decomposing mulch into the soil around your ornamental grasses.

*Divide crowded, over clumping grasses.


*Mulch around your grasses to protect them when the ground freezes.

I live in a warm climate, what are some tips for keeping my ornamental grass healthy?

Warm Climate Care for Ornamental Grasses

If you live in a warm climate, there are certain measures you should take to care for your ornamental grasses.

Spring Care

*Plant and transplant warm season grasses when the soil warms.
*Provide afternoon shade for young grasses or new transplants.

Summer Care

*Remove seed heads from grasses before they drop.
*Plant cool season grasses late in the season.

Fall Care

*Work decomposing mulch into the soil.
*Collect, clean and store seeds of wild grasses.

Winter Care

*Start seeds indoors for cool-season grasses you want to plant in early spring.
*Plant cool-season grass plants in late winter.

What is a good ground cover for my garden?

Hosta Planting Guide

If you are looking for textural contrasts in your garden, you should think about planting one or more plants from the Hosta species. These plants are highly valued for their foliage and flowers. The Hosta works well in most any area of the garden, even along walls and the northern sides of buildings where other plants may struggle.

Hostas can be planted alone, but if you are looking for a low-maintenance ground cover, you can them in clumps. Plant one every two to three feet for ground covering. These plants can be lifted and divided in early spring. However, division is not required, as Hostas thrive when left alone.

What is a good plant to invest in?

Looking for an Economically Safe Plant?

If you are looking for a good perennial to invest into your garden, Hostas are at the top of the list. There are many species of Hosta and they range from a four inch miniature to three foot giants. Their wide range of colors, patterns and leaf textures makes Hostas an all around “good guy” for gardeners.

No matter the type of garden you are wanting, there is sure to be a Hosta that would fit into it. Hostas can be used in clumps as ground covers under trees, as a single plant in perennial beds, they can edge walkways, paths and driveways, or they can be planted in shade gardens. Their all-around durability and low maintenance makes the Hosta a favored and economically safe invest.

Why do people order their gardening supplies from online centers?

Use Online Garden Centers for Early Garden Planning

Internet-based garden centers are helping many gardeners plan their flower and vegetable gardens months before the growing season even starts.

If you order seeds early, you are assured that you won't be caught needing a particular variety that has already been stripped from the shelves. If you order your bulbs and plants early, you can be assured that they won't be shipped until the proper planting season arrives for each one of them.

How should I space my ground covers?

How to Space Your Ground Covers

It is important to have your ground covers spaced properly so they will touch and adequately cover the ground – without overcrowding into each other's growing space.

When spacing your ground covers, you should take into account how large the plants will be when they are fully matured. The smaller your ground cover plants, the closer they should be planted together. For instance, you would plant uva ursi and carpet bugles closer than you would candytuft and periwinkle.

Always check the plant's growing label to determine proper spacing techniques.

How do I prepare my soil so I can plant ground covers?

Tips for Preparing Your Soil for Ground Covers

Ground covers grow best in a bed that is six to eight inches deep. If you are placing your ground covers around trees, you should add soil to build up the bed. Ground covers will truly thrive if you mix in at least two inches of organic manner into the soil. This can include manures, compost, leaves, or peat moss.

I have alot of weeds, how do I get rid of them so I can plant my ground covers?

Get Rid of Those Weeds

To rid your garden of weeds so you can plant your ground covers, you will have to hoe out the shallow-rooted weeds. (Shallow-rooted weeds are generally annuals.) You may have to dig out deep-rooted perennial weeds with a shovel.

Once you have cleared out the weeds, you should rake the surface free of small rocks or other debris. If the site was very weedy, you should wait a week to ten days before planting your ground covers. This will give any weed seeds that are in the soil time germinate, so you can eliminate them.

How do I use ornamental grasses in my garden?

How to Use Ornamental Grass

Plant small ornamental grasses in your flower beds as border plants. They give wispy touches to straight line beds. For planting on banks, you should layer your ornamental grass. Plant the short grasses in front, with the taller grasses in back. This will give your bank a feeling of depth and personality.

I have bare spots under my trees, what can I plant there?

Use Hostas to Fill In Bare Patches Under Your Trees

If you have a large shade tree in your yard and grass is having a hard time growing, you should consider planting Hostas. Hostas are a hearty ground cover that can be planted under trees, as they withstand the shade and competition from the tree's roots.

To achieve a nice look, plant your Hostas in a ring around your tree, at least three plants deep. This plant greatly complements stately trees without completely stealing the show.

How will I know when to divide my ornamental grass?

When to Divide Your Ornamental Grass

Ornamental grass grows out from the center with the clumps extending a bit each year. Over time, you may notice your ornamental grass is looking sparse in the center. This is the sign that you need to divide it.

Dividing ornamental grass requires a bit of muscle. You will need a sturdy shovel, sharp shears, and perhaps a saw, ax and crowbar.

When replanting your divisions, you should cut back the foliage to about one-third to compensate for loss of moisture and any root damage which may have occurred.

How do I plant ground covers on a bank?

How to Plant Ground Covers on a Bank

Planting ground covers on a steeply sloping bank can present some challenges for the gardener. It is important that soil erosion and encroaching weeds are dealt with from the beginning.

The best way to stay off these problems is to cover the bank with black plastic. Once your plastic is secure, cut holes in it and plant your ground covers. Next, slice numerous slits or holes into the plastic. This will allow ample moisture to penetrate into the soil. Finally, you should cover the plastic with a light mulch to keep the plastic from view. You should stay away from very heavy mulches as they will cause excessive heat to build up under the plastic.

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Sheri Ann Richerson
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