September 2011

Reduce your labor in the landscape with these tips

In honor of Labor Day weekend, here’s are some tips for saving time and reducing work in the landscape.

  • Keep a watering can or bucket close to the hose. This way you can fill the can and give a drink to a plant or pot that may be showing signs of stress without dragging out the hose.
  • Wend soaker hoses around the root zones of plants in garden beds. Use lawn staples to anchor the hoses in place. Cover the hoses with a light layer of mulch to conserve even more water.
  • Use quick-release connectors so the garden hose can easily hook up to and release from the soaker hose when watering.
  • Mulch garden plants to reduce weeds, conserve moisture and moderate the temperate of the soil. Mulch should not be more than 3 inches deep. Keep mulch several inches away from the trunks of trees and shrubs and stems of perennials and annuals.
  • Pull weeds when they are young and small. Keep weeds from flowering and setting seed in the Indiana garden.
  • Apply an all-natural pre-emergent herbicide to keep weed seeds from germinating. One brand is Preen Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer, made of 100 percent corn gluten, an effective natural herbicide. It also works well in perennial and annuals beds and around trees and shrubs. Corn gluten is available in large bags for use on the lawn. Apply corn gluten about every four weeks. Don’t apply corn gluten in areas where seed has been sown until seedlings get 3 inches tall. Always read and follow the label directions.
  • Select plants that will do well in your particular site and plan for their mature height and width.
  • Paint your tools or their handles or wrap with tape in bright colors. This will help you find them if left in the landscape.