Tag Archives: gardening

hurricane irene…and your garden

Buzzy has had a fantastic summer – riding the waves in Duck, NC.  Fortunately, this pic was from a somewhat calm week at the beginning of August.  Can’t imagine what the waves are looking like right now.  The surf-dog knows no boundries, Karl should try him on a long board.

Well, this article is about preparing for Hurricane Irene right here on the south shore.  It’s Thursday, too early to tell what will happen.  But hey, we had an earthquake, maybe we should all prepare for the worst case scenario…

Here are some suggested storm preparations to protect your landscape.
Take a look at your yard and survey the potential damage that might occur if a powerful storms hit our community.

1. Take pictures of your yard before and after the storm.
2. Be sure to prune any dead branches or oversized limbs.
3. Bring container plants inside shed or home or mass together in protected spot.
4. Lay over any large plantings that can not be easily moved.
5. Lay over statuary, bird baths…take down hanging baskets, bird feeders, etc.
6. Secure patio furniture and other items that might blow.
7. If possible stake trees planted in ground that you suspect may blow over.
8. Clean out gutters and make sure downspouts are draining.
9. Fill up outside barrels, garbage pails and watering cans with water for future use.
10. Just before storm, turn off pond pumps & feed fish. Water plants that might be dry.
11. After storm, rinse off plants to remove any salt water that might damage them.
12. If flooding from salt water occurred, water heavily with fresh water to dilute.

If you have any other questions just ask  karl@bayportflower.com.  We’ll be here.

Hot Weather Watering

Well we wished for this all winter and it’s finally here, just a little more than we need at one time. I know you have worked hard to get your gardens and home lloking spectacular with plants…so how do you help them during these hot times?

When to water:
The best time is in the early moring from about 4am to 9am. During this time the plants are used to having dew form on their leaves so getting watered is no great shock. Applying water at this time helps recharge the water holding capacity of the soil and reduces the chance of leaf burn (from the magnifying effects of water droplets) and disease incidence. Morning watering also reduces needless evaporation of water…do not water in the heat of the day unless absolutely necessary. If plants look particulary wilted in the evening you can apply water but try not to get the foliage wet…water the root system. A plant wilting on a hot day is normal…so if you know that the soil is moist than don’t worry, once the heat is off the plant will pick back up

How much:
There are no hard and fast rules but it is far to say that you want to apply a deep watering. Remember many of those plants you planted had root systems that were 4”-12” deep, so watering them for just a few minutes only waters the top inch or so. This results in rapid wilting. It is best to saturate the soil and then let it soak in and return and water it again, repeating this cycle several times to insure that the water is penetrating down deeply. This goes for ground planted and well as potted plants. In potted plants we can see the water drain out…use that experience and timing to judge your duration when watering plants in the landscape. In general you should apply about 1.5”-2” of water per square foot per week…this is best determined by using a rain gauge. If you don’t have one stop in at Bayport Flower Houses and pick up your complimentary rain gauge. As it heats up you may need to increase you watering quantity and frequency.

How to reduce water stress:
For newly planted plants, use a shower head nozzle on the end of a hose and water the base of each plant until the ground is saturated. Make sure that the plants are mulched to reduce evaporation for the soil. After establishment water can be reduced. Application of water by means of a drip or soaker hose is best. Try to avoid misting heads as watering tools…during hot times to much water is lost to the atmosphere. If your plants are in pots move to a shadier spot during times of high heat and humidity. Also, be mindful of A/C units, dryer vents, reflective surfaces and locate plants away from these areas.

Recovery:
Sometimes, no mater how hard you try, plants get burned. If the burn is on established trees and shrubs than more often than not they will recover. It might take a year or so for the new growth to fill in. Think about drought stress as the plant pruning off some of its limbs in order to conserve what little water is available. Once the heat abates and the water returns the plant will grow back. This is true for you lawn (brown is ok this time of year…) With regards to annuals, perennials, hanging baskets and other plants, if burned back just cut off the dead and providing there are still buds alive the plant will branch back out when conditions are right. Remember that once the plant has “pruned” itself or you have cut it back than you will need to adjust the watering so as not to over water the plants. In addition, all this watering has probably leached out much of the fertilizer you applied so be sure to add a little as the season moves on to encourage new growth.

Stay cool…

Karl

Bayport Flower Houses, Inc
Karl@bayportflower.com
631-472-0014

GreenScaping-Adventures in Earth Friendly Gardening

It always feels good to know that what you are doing is contributing to the greater good of the plant Earth. With that in mind I encourage you take set some time aside to join me at one of our Earth Friendly Gardening Classes.

As the name implies, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is charged with protecting our environment. Our environment is quite large and it would be wrong to think that a single agency could take care of it alone. As stewards of the earth we must work together to protect and nurture such a blessing. At Bayport Flower Houses we have always held the belief that we inherit this Earth from the next generation and as such must leave it in better condition than we found it. Of course the subjective nature of “better condition” is always a debate there are some simple steps you can take to make a difference. The EPA published a brochure which I feel is one of the most common sense and attainable paths towards gardening, they refer to it as GreenScaping, the easy way to a Greener, Healthier Yard. The brochure can be found at www.epa.gov/GreenScapes.

There are five easy steps:

#1 Build and maintain healthy soil

#2 Plant right for your site

#3 Practice smart watering

#4 Adopt a holistic approach to pest management

#5 Practice natural lawn care

 By following these steps you will save time, save money and protect the environment. These benefits may not happen instantaneously but over time the rewards are wonderful. I believe that the best reward is knowing that you are part of the solution. If rolling around a natural lawn, watching butterflies flutter and trees cool the earth is for you than I encourage you to stop in at Bayport Flower House and let us discuss with you how you can be “green”. We’re here to help get you started and pointed in the right direction. Make someday…Today!

“Never does nature say one thing and wisdom another”

                                                            Juvenal