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Posts Tagged: garden

Plant some sunshine

plant some sunflowers
  • There’s still time to plant some sunflowers in your landscape. The National Garden Bureau named 2021 the Year of the Sunflower, and with good reason. This cheerful plant is always a popular cut flower, and it’s rather easy to grow.

Some facts about sunflowers:

  • They are native to North America, so they are well-suited to grow here.
  • They provide both nectar and seeds, making them a great plant for pollinators.
  • The flowers move to face the sun, a process called heliotropism.

According to CSU’s PlantTalk, sunflower care is simple. They do best in full sun for 6+ hours each day and should be planted approximately 6-12” apart. Since many sunflower varieties are natives, they are often drought tolerant. Water deeply but infrequently for best results.

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Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Prep for hail

Late spring is hail season in Colorado. It’s good to know what precautions you can take ahead of time and what you can do for plants after hail has dealt its blows.

Minimize damage if you can

  • Be prepared by placing buckets or old planting pots close to the garden so you can grab them quickly to cover plants when a storm rolls in, or set them in place before you go to bed if you expect a storm overnight.
  • Put heavy container plants that are beyond the patio or porch roof on wheeled bases so they can easily be moved under cover.
  • Have copper soap or a similar copper fungicide on hand to spray on plants right after the damage. It keeps fungus from getting into the open wounds. Just like you put antiseptic on a cut finger, you need to apply it ASAP—within minutes or a few hours after the storm for the best effect.

Hail-damaged veggies and annuals

When plants are shredded by hail, do remedial work. You should prune off shredded leaves and broken stems on most plants. Here are some specifics:

  • Flowering annuals with no remaining foliage will probably not recover and should be replanted. If there is some foliage left on petunias, they may survive. When they are damaged early in the season, there is time for them to recover so it’s worth trying to nurse them back to health.
  • Early vegetable root crops such as carrots left without foliage won’t recover. They need green leaves to produce energy to grow.
  • Leafy vegetables may recover, but if you see no signs of new growth after a week or so, replant.

How to trim back damaged plants

  • Keep as many of the remaining leaves as possible. If half or more of the leaf is intact, keep it at least a little while so it can create energy for the plant.
  • Remove branches, leaves and stems that are broken or badly shredded.
  • If the top of a plant is shredded—for example, a tomato plant—clip the plant down to where there are healthy leaves.
  • Spray the cuts or broken places as soon as possible with a copper product. Copper, commonly found in fungicides, will help keep diseases from entering the plants. Caution: read the label before applying any product on veggies.
  • Wait to fertilize for a week or so when the plant shows signs of new growth. Use a liquid or granular fertilizer.
  • Minimize stress on the plants by watering consistently and evenly without over- or under-watering.

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Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Ergonomic gardening

Ergonomic gardening tips

Gardening and landscape care can be a healthy hobby that helps us get outdoors and moving around. But proper form is important to avoid discomfort or injury.

Vary activities and tasks frequently and include rest periods in between to help reduce the strain from repetitive motions. If hands start to tingle or the wrist and fingers hurt or feel numb, this is a signal to take a break and switch to a different task.

Monitor positions and posture while gardening. Orienting the body incorrectly or uncomfortably even for just a moment can lead to pain and injury. For example, lift with the legs instead of the back.

Chose ergonomic tools. Small hand tools such as cultivators, weeding devices and pruners and even larger implements come in an assortment of ergonomic models. There are also tools for left-handed people and special tools developed for people with arthritis.

Simple tips to keep your hands more comfortable and pain-free during the season ahead:

  • During cooler periods such as early spring, garden during the warmest time of the day as cooler temps can impact movement and aggravate carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Use wrist supports to keep the wrist in a neutral or immobilized position.
  • Avoid pushing with the thumb whenever possible.
  • Avoid pounding or pushing with your hands.
  • Use a full grip when you pick up and move tools, containers and other materials instead of pinching and lifting them with your fingers.

Rely on a drip irrigation system to water the garden and a sprinkler system throughout your landscape to water the lawn and other plants. This relieves you of the chore of grabbing onto and dragging hoses around the yard and attaching/un-attaching the sprinklers. The time saved on watering alone will give you more time to relax. Your muscles and joints will appreciate the break in the action to recover from those gardening tasks you absolutely need to do.

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Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

Children Benefit from Gardening

Children benefit from gardening

 

  • Children who grow their own vegetables are five times more likely to eat them, according to a 2015 study. Whether it’s at school or at home, gardening can benefit their health and wellbeing in many ways.
  • Consider involving your children in planning your garden, and garden alongside them when it’s time to plant. A 2005 study found that elementary school children who participated in gardening activities scored much better on science achievement exams compared to those who did not do any gardening activities. Those who worked in the garden with their parents were more likely to eat more vegetables as they grow older.
  • Let them select veggies, herbs, and flowers they would like to grow. Get them involved early in the process to increase their investment and help them learn. Planning a garden can help them practice math skills and expose them to the science of plants.
  • Teach them the value of veggies. At harvest time, weigh some of your harvests and write down how many pounds of zucchini, tomatoes, or other vegetables your young gardener has grown. Then go to the grocery store or grocery store app, find the current price of these items and help them do the math. Turn a math exercise into a source of pride knowing they’ve grown $5 in green beans.
  • Gardening connects us with Mother Nature, influences environmental stewardship, and is an ongoing lesson in a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition. Plus, children who spend time in green settings have improved creativity, imagination, cognitive function, and intellect.
  • In the remaining winter days, plan your garden and if you have children at home invite them to join you. You will all reap the benefits this summer and onward.

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Source: customer-service@bestyard.com in collaboration with Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado

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