Thursday, May 28, 2020

Eagle Butte
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Lawn and Garden tips


Floyd Braun holds a Master Gardener Certificate from Washington State Department of Agriculture.

Hello everyone and thank you for continuing to read.

In the last week, we had some storms that made a mess of our gardens and landscapes.

I was a gardener for years on the west coast where we had years of rain like we had last week, and as a result, we began to work with the weather pattern instead of against it.

Where streams were dry for decades, but now flowing, we used the water to fill and maintain landscape ponds, waterfalls and other features and that in itself grew into an industry of its own.

Out here, we can do some of the same things by making the best of the weather and changing our garden plans to nature’s plans.

To ensure you can always get into your garden, you can use landscape rock to slow the water run off as well as add some new eye catchers to your garden’s aesthetic.

To keep your toes open, you can dig holes two times the diameter of a stepping stone, fill the hole with gravel, and then place the stone on top of the filled in hole. Now your new step will not sink in the mud, and it also adds new looks to your garden.

Around the stones in the path you can plant low growing plants. The plants will help control water run-off and prevent soil erosion. Place the stepping stones to meet your natural stepping stride in the garden. If you are gardening on a slope consider terracing your garden to control erosion. There are countless materials available now for landscape terrace walls. Each material has its own requirements for set back as you go higher up in the height of your terraces.

Make sure water always runs away from your home. Do this by landscaping paths for the water from your gutters to flow. Rock gardens are great features to add to a garden and also serve a purpose in protecting your home. The water will follow the rock trench and get dispersed in the rock feature that can also be planted with items like rock roses.

Plant damage from storms

Don’t give up yet. Prune out damaged parts of your plants and stake them with wood dowels if needed.

Pick any damages vegetables so the plants energy is not wasted on things that will not recover but instead, will focus on growing new shoots and buds.

For your trees, do the same but don’t just hack away. Plants like trees need directional pruning and pruning done to prevent disease.

If you take out a whole limb, cut it flush with the trunk. To prevent tearing of the bark, make a small cut behind where you intend to make your cut in the underside of the limb. This way, as you cut and it falls, the small back cut will prevent a tear and leave an even cut. If only cutting part way, cut back to a bid or a branch growing outward not inward or upward. Keep in min to maintain the natural shape of the tree as well, think of the shape of a vase, wider at the bottom than the top.

If you have some shrubs that were damaged and you have to make drastic cuts, consider shaping into a topiary. Topiary shrub is one like you would see at Disneyland grown into different shapes and characters. It is not as hard as it looks.

You can use chicken wire to form the desired shape. Once the plant starts to grow through the chicken wire you can use shears to prune the plant back to the top of the chicken wire and in about two years you will  no longer be able to see the wire and have a maintained desired shape, whatever you decide that shape is. I would suggest a round ball for your first attempt. If you make a mistake just prune back again and start with new chicken wire.

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