April 5, 2008

The Best Time to Plant Shrubs

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The best time to plant your shrubs is when the temperatures are cool like they are now. By planting them now it will give the plant time to establish a good root system. Since the temperatures are lower right now it will not require as much water. If shrubs are in your landscape plans this year then planting them now is recommended.

Planting ShrubsIn order to get the plant shrubs roots established it is important that you factor in a few steps to aid in the root development to allow the plant a better chance to survive. The first step is to take root ball of the container-grown plant and break it up slightly. This will help the outer roots of the root ball grow into the surrounding area of the soil and later on to establish a new top growth. This is the one step that not many homeowners follow,because they worry that they may injure the roots or the plant. The root ball can be broke apart by hand. Just be careful as to not tear the root ball apart and make it unrecognizable. If the root is disturbed to much it will slow the the development of new roots.

Make sure that you water your container-grown shrubs at least one day before planting them. The next day when you are preparing the hole for the plant, dig it at least two to three times the size of the container that it came in.  Once the plant is in the ground it is important to water the root ball again. In case the root ball is very large you might want water it when at least half of  the soil is in place around the root.

Many homeowners make the mistake of planting shrubs to deep. If this happens the roots will grow poorly and the shrub has the potential of disease by access through the stem of the plant,because the plant is not accustom to having constant moisture.

It is a good rule of  thumb to remember is to plant the shrub no deeper than the plant container that it came in. If there is problem with poor drainage, look at building a 12" to 18" raised bed to keep the root ball from sitting in waterlogged soil.

When fertilizing the plant be careful to not add an excessive amount next to the stem of the plant,because this can burn the roots of the plant and may even cause the plant to die.

Since the shrub is newly planted the root ball should be keep moist for at least a year while it gets established in the ground,but be careful as to not drown it. Also you might like to add some mulch for added beauty.

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May 17, 2007

Hummingbird Feeder Pest Solutions

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Hummingbirds are a beautiful bird to watch and can be attracted to your yard by using hummingbird feeders.

When using hummingbirds feeders they can be plagued by many different pest from tiny ants to bats just waiting to steal the nectar. These pest may create a challenge to getting rid of them,but the battle can be won.

Ants

Ants can be a major problem for hummingbird feeders. Once the ants discover the nectar they will just keep coming back for more. Since hummingbirds don't like eating from feeders with ants a solution must be found.Hummingbird feeder Pest Solutions

In order to deal with this problem a barrier should be placed between the ants and the feeder. Some feeders come with a basin that goes around the hanger that you fill with water to keep the ants away. If your feeder does not have this feature a device called a ant guard can be purchased to perform the same function.

To create another barrier for ants you can use cooking oil,petroleum jelly or motor oil. Just coat the section of the pole between the hanger and the feeder. You should reapply the coat every week.

Bees and Wasp

Bees and wasp also love the sweet nectar. Some feeders come with bee guards to deter the pest and others are designed where they have no place to land. Hummingbirds sometimes dislike feeders that have be guards so a different approach must be taken.

Another solution is to purchase a bee or wasp trap from your local garden or hardware store. Spoiled syrup is then used to lure the insects into the escape proof container. The traps should be cleaned often.

Bats

Hummingbird Feeder Pest SolutionsBats may seem like an unusual pest for hummingbird feeders,but in the southwestern part of the US there are a large number of nectar-eating bats which feed at night. To combat this problem bee guards can be used or feeders can be taken in at night.

Once these problems are solved your feeder will not only be pleasure for the hummingbirds,but for you also.

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