You worked hard turning some of your property into wildlife habitat. You planted nectar and host plants for butterflies and pollinators. Trees and bushes offer shelter and habitat for birds, squirrels, and other small creatures. Perhaps this summer, a box turtle took up residence in your back yard or you heard tree frogs singing in your own trees! Now, after all your hard work, why would you destroy that wonderful ecosystem by cleaning it up for winter?
Many Kentucky lawns can go for a number of years without applications of phosphorous and potash, or even lime. But it is not unusual for a homeowner to apply these amendments annually. A good practice is to find out what is actually needed for good lawn quality in the upcoming months. By testing the soil before deciding to add any of these, gardeners’ dollars can be saved. It is important to keep in mind that application of nutrients when none are needed is hard on the wallet as well as the environment, in the form of both the products applied and the fuel required to spread amendments.
Decorating with greenery during the holidays is a time honored tradition. Like the song says, the evergreen most people choose when they “deck the halls” is holly. Holly greenery can sometimes be hard to find and is often expensive. But if your landscape has the space, green thumb gardeners can plant their own holly trees and shrubs for an instant and cheap source of holly boughs. Continue reading
In shades of white, golden yellow, pink, rose, coral and red, the flowers of holiday cacti look like exotic birds in flight. It is no wonder that these fall and winter blooming plants have become holiday favorites. Continue reading
Before the title makes you think of friends and family, let us consider our garden-variety pest that may invade homes throughout the holidays.
By late fall, most outdoor insect home invaders have settled down for a long winters nap, either outdoors or in your home. Yet it is still a good time to seal, caulk and repair cracks, crevices and gaping thresholds as a way to keep pest invaders – and cold winter air – out of your home. If any spiders, ladybugs, stinkbugs, or flies, appear in your home, they are more nuisance than harmful and vacuuming them up often takes care of the problem. Continue reading