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Mum’s the Word

from Mulch Mary of Barky Beaver

How do you make fall mums last throughout the season? How do you use mums in landscaping? Mulch Mary knows!

ID-10070580PLANTING TIPS:

Plant young plants in sunny location (at least a half-day of sun). Plant in fertile, well-drained soil. (Soils can be improved by adding any one of Barky Beaver’s soil amendments.)

WATERING:

Rainfall in many areas is sufficient to keep you mums growing well. During dry spells water is needed to keep plants from wilting. Always thoroughly water in any freshly planted mums.

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FERTILIZING: Garden mums planted outdoors in the fall do not need any fertilizer until they begin to grow the following spring. During the growing season, incorporate into the soil a general purpose fertilizer such as 5-10-5 at the rate of 1/2 to 1 pound per 100 sf. Repeat monthly until August. Liquid fertilizer may also be used. PINCHING: To encourage branching and development of compact bushy plants it is very important to pinch back your garden mums in the spring as soon as the new growth is 4-6 inches tall. Use your thumbnail and index finger to remove or pinch about of the new growth at the top of each and every shoot. Repeat this procedure through the summer whenever new shoots are 3-5 inches long. In northern states, stop pinching around July 10th to 15th. In southern states stop pinching around July 20th to August 1st. WINTERIZING: Keep you mums’ soil moist as winter approaches. No need to prune back plants until the following spring. Use Barky Beaver mulch after several hard frosts. In the spring, remove any old garden stems and gradually remove the mulch from around the plant.

Preparing your lawn for hibernation

By Mulch Mary

As the heat of summer gives way to the chilly air of fall, families begin to spend more and more time indoors. But before you close the door on the great outdoors, take time to prepare your lawn for the dormant season by putting to use a few simple mowing tips. FIRST, remember to remove 1/3 of the grass’ height, while keeping in mind that a good height for fall is 2 1/2 inches. That means it’s time to start the mower when the grass is about 3 2/3 inches tall. By following this general guide, you’ll be encouraging a lush lawn, just as you prune plants or trees to stimulate growth.

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SECOND, instead of following a calendar to set dates to mow, follow your lawn’s growth. Dry weather conditions will likely mean less mowing, while a rainy period will prompt quicker grass growth. By paying attention to the conditions and mowing according to grass height, you’ll avoid two common mistakes: mowing the grass too short (which stresses the grass) and letting the grass get too tall (which inhibits a healthy green lawn). For all your mulching & landscaping needs call Barky Beaver.

Lawn Raking Benefits

from Mulch Mary of Barky Beaver

The sound of leaves crunching under your feet is a sure sign that fall is in the air. While it may bring thoughts of nostalgia, it could also mean your grass isn’t being allowed to take advantage of its prime growing season. It’s time to think about lawn raking benefits. So whether you choose to pick up a rake or get out the leaf blower, here are a few good reasons to keep the leaves off the grass. Just like people, grass needs air to breathe, so it’s easy to imagine that a lawn full of fallen leaves could serve to suffocate your lawn. In fact, some leaves are so full of acid, that left on the ground, they can actually change the content of your soil!

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Grass also needs sunlight – something it can’t get enough of if covered with leaves. Thick layers of leaves can throw shadows over the grass, inhibiting fall growth. Beyond leading to a healthier lawn, leaf removal gives your lawn a more aesthetically pleasing look as fall turns into winter, meaning you’ll be one step ahead months down the road and winter turns back to spring. Mulch Mary, a.k.a. Mary Pennington, is an expert with Barky Beaver Mulch & Soil Mix.  [/button] Grass also needs sunlight – something it can’t get enough of if covered with leaves. Thick layers of leaves can throw shadows over the grass, inhibiting fall growth. Beyond leading to a healthier lawn, leaf removal gives your lawn a more aesthetically pleasing look as fall turns into winter, meaning you’ll be one step ahead months down the road and winter turns back to spring. Mulch Mary, a.k.a. Mary Pennington, is an expert with Barky Beaver Mulch & Soil Mix.