Tips for tilling soil in a garden

garden vegetableHow To Till A Garden:

 These days, tilling dirt is a matter of personal choice. There are some people in the world of gardening who believe that you should be tilling your soil at least once, maybe twice a year. There are others who believe that tilling your soil at all can be harmful to your soil in the long term. For the purposes of this article, we are assuming that you wish to know how to till a garden on a yearly basis.

Before you can learn how to till a garden, you need to know when to till a garden. For most people, the best time for tilling dirt is in the spring. Before tilling your soil, you must wait for two things: the soil must be dry enough and warm enough. If you don’t wait for these two things, you may be causing more harm than good to your soil and plants.

To see if your soil is dry enough, pick up a handful and squeeze it. If the ball of soil in your hand falls apart when poked, the soil is dry enough. If it stays together in a ball, the soil is too wet for tilling. To see if the soil is warm enough, stick your hand or a finger a few inches down into the soil. If you are unable to keep your hand or finger in the soil for a full minute, than the soil is not warm enough. You can also simply measure the soil temperature. You need the soil to be at least 60 F.  (15 C.) before tilling and planting.

How to Till a Garden After you have determined when to till a garden,  Mark out the area where you will be tilling your soil. Start at one end of the marked out area with your tiller. Much like you would when you are mowing the lawn, go across the soil one row at a time. Slowly make your rows. Do not rush tilling your soil. You will only be tilling the dirt in each row one time. Do not go back over a row. Excessive tilling can compact the soil rather than break it up. Additional Notes on Tilling Your Soil If you plan on planting cool weather crops (like lettuce, peas or cabbage) next year, you will want to do some of your tilling the fall before. The soil will not be dry enough or warm enough to till in the early spring when these plants need to be put in the ground. Knowing when to till a garden and how to till a garden will help your garden grow better every year.

Read more at Gardening Know How: How To Till A Garden: Tilling Your Soil http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/soil-fertilizers/how-to-till-a-garden-tilling-your-soil.htm

Planting Calandar for New York State

Planting Calendar

Planting calendar key
Plant Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Beans
Beet
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage (Summer)
Carrot
Cauliflower
Celery
Corn
Cucumber
Eggplant
Garlic
Kale
Leek
Lettuce
Melon
Okra
Onion
Parsnip
Peas
Pepper
Potatoes (Maincrop)
Pumpkin
Radish
Spinach
Squash (Summer)
Sweet Potato
Swiss Chard
Tomato
Watermelon

Spring lawn reseeding

Lawn Seeding Tips

nice lawn

Even in well maintained lawns, spot or general lawn seeding is sometimes needed. Lawns can thin because of weather, a result of damage caused by insects, or grass diseases. Some badly damaged lawns need to be completely “rebuilt” before regular maintenance can do much good.

There are three general categories of seeding: spot seeding, lawn renovation and overseeding a lawn.. What type is right for growing grass on your lawn depends on the condition of your turf. At Salmon creek Nursery, Dave can help with all of your lawn seeding questions and needs.

Whatever type of seeding is done, there are three important rules to follow when seeding a lawn:

  1. High quality seed should always be used
  2. The seed has to make good contact with the soil
  3. Enough water has to be supplied to assure germination and establishment.

Reseeding will give it that thick carpet like look that all your neighbors will oooh and aaah over, and it’s pretty simple {and inexpensive}.  Spring reseeding is a walk in the park–a soon to be thickly carpeted walk in the park.

First, make sure you buy a seed that is high quality and compatible with the temperature.

Next, give the lawn a quick mow.  This will help remove any leaves and small sticks/twigs that could get in the way {it’s really best to do this a couple of days BEFORE you will be reseeding}.

On the day you plan to reseed, give the whole area a quick rake.  It will loosen the soil a bit and make it ready to receive the seed.  Using a drop spreader {you can also do it by hand, but you may not spread the seed as evenly}, cross the area you will be reseeding in a horizontal pattern, then repeat using a vertical pattern–that way, you make sure you covered the area evenly.  Then, LIGHTLY rake in the seed.  You can lay down a very, very thin layer of compost, soil, or peat moss over the top of the seed if you want {less than 1/4″}.  Water the seed in.  You don’t want to flood the place, so just give it a light watering.  You will want to keep the soil moist until the grass germinates and takes hold. Then, you can move to letting the soil dry out completely between watering and using a deeper watering plan.

That’s pretty much it.  Make sure you KEEP OFF of the grass while it is germinating.  You wouldn’t go walking on all the little seedlings in your garden, the same principal applies to new grass.  Also, resist mowing the new grass until it is at least 2″ long.Most important, Avoid any type of weed control until the new grass has been mowed 4 or 5 times.

Hopefully, when it is all said and done, the grass really will be greener on your side.

Applying Dormant Oil Spray

Gardeners are not the only ones who enjoy fruit trees. Pests — such as scales, aphids and mites — feast on the tender plant parts and overwinter on the fruit trees. Dormant oils control these annoying pests and are safe for use on fruit trees.Aphids scale on apple tree

Dormant oils once contained heavy oils that had to be applied when the fruit tree was in its dormant stage to prevent damage to buds and foliage. Nowadays newer dormant oils are lighter, allowing them to be applied at anytime during the year without harming buds. Because you can apply newer dormant oils throughout the season, the term “dormant” typically refers to the time at which the oil is applied. Dormant oil consists of refined petroleum oil that — when applied to trees — will smother overwintering insects — such as aphids, scales and mites — and their eggs or will dissolve their protective waxing coating. It is applied in the winter months when fruit trees are in their inactive period. For dormant oil to provide proper control, the oil must come in contact with the pests.

Dormant Oil Recipes

Several dormant oil recipes are available and help control pests on fruit trees. A dormant oil formula developed by scientists at Cornell University controls overwintering pests and foliar diseases. It contains 2 tablespoons of ultrafine canola oil and 1 tablespoon of baking soda mixed with a gallon of water. Cornell University scientists also developed a nourishing formula containing 2 tablespoons of horticultural oil, 1 tablespoon of baking soda, 1 tablespoon of kelp and 1 tablespoon of mild dish soap mixed with 1 gallon of water. Another dormant oil recipe contains 2 tablespoons of baking soda, 5 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, 2 tablespoons of castile soap — which is made from an olive oil base — and 1 gallon of water. If you are not one who likes to do DYI, you can buy it premade at the store.

Application

No matter which recipe you use, the application for the homemade dormant oil is the same. During the fruit tree’s dormant stage — which is typically between November and early spring before bud break — fill a pump sprayer with the homemade dormant spray and thoroughly coat the fruit trees — stems and both sides of the leaves — with the oil. Never apply dormant oil when the temperature is below freezing or when fruit trees are stressed. Stressed trees are more likely to become damaged when treated with dormant oil. Furthermore, only apply the oil spray when the fruit tree is dry. Moisture or high levels of humidity lower the effectiveness of dormant oil sprays.

Considerations

Dormant oils generally won’t harm beneficial insects since they are applied at a time when beneficial insects aren’t present on fruit trees and have a low toxicity level to humans and mammals. Furthermore, dormant oils won’t leave harsh residue behind. It loses its ability to control pests once dried, however, and can harm plants susceptible to oil sprays. Cedars, maples, spruce and junipers are a few susceptible tree species that dormant oil should not be used on.

Spring Gardening Tips, Week of 4/14/17

Our weather is slowly starting to settle out, They are calling a little warmer temps this week, and  just a little rain. Here are some chores to keep you buisy this week even though it is still a little too early to plant those tender annual flowers and vegetables.

water can

 remove stakes or relax wires installed on trees planted last fall.
Allowing a little swaying of tree stems results in sturdy yet resilient plants. Thin out some branches

 transplant any existing shrubs you want to move before they begin to leaf out.

Soil conditions in early spring are favorable to transplants because the soil is more consistently  apply horticultural oil sprays to fruit trees.

 It’s not too late to apply oil spray to fruit trees just as the buds begin to swell and then again 10  also apply oil to ornamental trees and shrubs

• Its a great time to roll your lawn and apply the first step (crabgrass preventer) of your Turfline four step lawn care program. ( we still have all four steps on sale at the nursery for $49.99 /5000 sq feet) Here is the website for the four step program  http://www.turflinelawncare.com/pages/premium%20program.h

divide perennials. clear and mulch perennial beds.

For easier handling try to time the division so emerging shoots are only 2 to 4 inches tall. One last thing, as long as it stays drier it’s not a bad time tun over the vegetable garden and get it ready for planting, if you haven’t already. It’s also a good time to test the soil and ad any amendments it might need. For some great tips on how to prepare your soil check out the Farmers Almanac websitehttp://www.almanac.com/content/preparing-soil-planting

Ok thats more than enough for this week!!!! If you have any questions, or need suggestions, just give us a call at the nursery, we are more than happy to help!

Have a great week and enjoy your garden!!!!!

 

 

Tips For DIY Landscaping

Landscape Design: Seven Tips for Beginners

Whether your yard needs new plantings or a complete refresh, here are seven, must-know landscape design tips for the perfect garden.

If you’ve never tackled a landscape design before, you might be overwhelmed by all the choices you can make. But the same principles that guide your room setup inside should guide your designs outside, too. Here are seven ideas for landscape design for beginner

Idea 1

Make a list of needs and wants. Do your kids need a play space? Do you want to grow vegetables? Would your family gather on a patio? Do some very rough sketches of the yard with thoughts of where you want to place things; it’s a great organizing principle for landscape design for beginners. These aren’t master plans, just ideas. They can be a few lines and a couple of circles. You can easily play around with ideas without a lot of time and commitment.”

Idea 2

Study the sun and wind patterns. You might want to place a patio on the west side of the house, but it will get lots of afternoon sun, which means dinnertime in August won’t be relaxing — just hot. And wind whistling around a corner will quickly extinguish a fire pit. Those are common mistakes in landscape design for beginners. Your design should take into account what the sun and wind do at different times of the day and year.

Idea 3

Live with it for a while. Coming to quick conclusions about your yard can lead to choices that don’t work in the long term. In your yard, there might be certain areas where you want to go and sit that you wouldn’t have thought of when you first bought it.

Idea 4

Start small. Home and garden television shows are masters at revealing complete outdoor makeovers in just three days — but they have a crew of 60, which is not a situation enjoyed by landscape design for beginners. Part of creating a landscape is slowly developing a plan and enjoying the process. From your master plan, start with a small flowerbed. Go out and work on it for an hour or two when you have the time, and worry less about filing everything up right away. Give yourself some time to see how things develop. Plants grow and things fill in, and people forget that. The point is to take time and do it in pieces so you are happy with the final results, If you get into this thing and want to get it done, you’ll take shortcuts and be too  tired to do it well.

Idea 5

Work around a focal point. Any good garden design has a focal point or series of focal points, and it’s an easy principle to put in place in landscape design for beginners. That may be a sculpture or a stunning plant, a tree, or a series of shrubs. The point is to draw your eye and move it through the landscape.

Idea 6

Focus on scale and pacing. It’s the trickiest principle in landscape design for beginners, but scale and pacing give your yard a pulled-together look. There will be variations in size, shape, and color, with tall plants against a building or in the back of a flowerbed, and paths that lead people through the space. You’ll want to repeat some elements, whether it’s a certain plant, a common color, or even a shape, so there’s a sense of cohesion. But you also don’t want it to be monotonous, so try adding an occasional element that’s different from the landscape and will stand out.

Idea 7

Be open to change. Unless you’re strongly devoted to something, be honest about what you like — and what may fall out of favor. Be open to change.

Remember: Patience is key to landscape design for beginners. If all of that bare space is too much to look at, and the kids and dogs are tracking in mud, rely on temporary solutions — annuals, fast-growing groundcovers that you don’t care about for the long term, even mulch – to cover an area while you’re figuring out what you want. Large landscaping features like trees can be hard to move; annuals can be taken out, and small perennials and shrubs can be transplanted if you realize they’re in the wrong spot. But in the meantime, you have something out there.