14 March 2013

Building your maintenance package

You build your own maintenance service package based on the services you need. The most common services listed. Chose the services and then group them into a package. We total the prices of all the services and divide the total out into easy monthly payments. Choose Berggren Blooms because we are about your convenience!

Our to do list:
  • Mow, Trim, Edge
  • Weeding
  • Flower Planting
  • Lawn Fertilization
  • Lawn Aeration
  • Spring Clean-up
  • Fall Clean-up
  • Sprinkler System Start-up and Adjust
  • Sprinkler System Repairs
  • Sprinkler System Winterizing
  • Pruning
  • Bulb Planting
Your to do list:
  • BBQ With Friends in the Back Yard
  • Read a Book
  • Enjoy a Bike Ride
  • Go For a Walk
  • Sit Out in the Lawn With an Ice Tea
  • Play Ball with the Kids
  • Watch Your Dog Run Around
  • Put Out A Bird Feeder
  • Enjoy Your Yard!
Don't Wait Call Berggren Blooms 303-485-2189

06 March 2013

How to get rid of your dog's spots.

The dog's spots in the lawn!
My daughter liked that corny joke.
There is really only one or two options here.
One train your dog to go in a rock area or in a dog run.
If that is too hard to do. Water out the spots. Try to go out after your dog and wash it away right after he goes. Following your dog around the yard with a hose is not something most of us can do either. Inevitably if you have dogs you end up with a couple of spots in the lawn. When you see these spots, water them heavily. Try to water out all of the salts.
Female dogs make spots more often then male dogs. That is why some dog owners don't get dog spots at all. I have been told that Dalmatians have higher amounts of salt in their urine then other breeds. Your neighbor might have a dog and no problem with getting dog spots. It is just a difference in the dog.
Don't change his food for this, the idea that you can change the dog's urinary pH, it doesn't work. Also, hardware store cures don't work. Home remedies that include anything more then plain water can make the problem worse.

Longmont Lawn Care

02 March 2013

Prevent Fireblight!

Fireblight is a bacterial disease that effects some of the Prunus genus of trees and shrubs. In the Longmont area the hardest hit seem to be Crabapple, Apple and Pear. We also see it in Peking Cotoneaster. Cotoneaster is another genus of plants that is from the same Family as Prunus (commonly know as the Rose Family.)

The bacteria is spread during wet Springtimes. It spreads from blossom to blossom. The bacteria can be carried by water droplets, pruners and pollinating bees, visiting blooms carry it from plant to plant.

It is often described as a Shepherd's crook or a cane. The Bactria move down from the blooms into the branches. The tip of the branch typically crooks or cruels into a cane shape. The wood darkens and becomes sunken in slightly. The leaves die on the infected branch and in the next winter the dead branch holds the dead leaves. The healthy part of the plant goes dormant for the winter and drops leaves.

There is no easy cure for Fireblight. Fireblight is serous enough that it will cause a steady decline in the plants health to the point that the plant dies. "Blight" after all does refer to death.

A very good control for Fireblight is prevention. Dormant pruning done in or before March to thin the plant and promote air movement through the tree. The Fireblight is also dormant at this time. First, remove all dead, dieing or diseased parts of the tree. If you are removing Fireblight cut back as far as reasonably possible from the diseased wood. Then, remove the small inside branches, remove branches that are crossing or rubbing on each other. Without stripping the tree to nothing the idea is to just open it up so that air can move through and dry the moister that is on tree in the Springtime.

Cut Fireblight out when you see it during the growing season. Try to cut well below the visibly diseased wood. It is very important that you sterilize your pruners with something like Lysol (kills Bactria) between each and every cut you make. Chlorine Bleach and water will also work. The Bactria can be spread by the pruners from branch to branch and to other trees.

When you start your sprinkler system up in the Spring make sure it is adjusted so that it is not pounding young short Crabapple trees with water.

Chemical control of this disease is hard this makes cultural control and prevention all the more important! It may not work well, it is expensive and may even make the problem worse in the long run. Because Fireblight is a Bactria it can become resistant to the chemical control. Controls include Copper Sulfate and Streptomycin. Copper Sulfate is used as a fungicide and has some effect on Fireblight. Streptomycin is an antibiotic drug. Spraying it on trees may control Fireblight but I fear that used too much it will cause the Bactria to become resistant. What if using antibiotics in the environment on a tree could cause other Bactria to become resistant to antibiotic drugs? When the discussion becomes Bactria that cause human and animal disease it is far out of my area of expertise. It is something I think about and make certain assumptions on but do not know as fact, if I am correct. I strongly promote prevention.

Longmont landscaping

08 February 2013

Ahh - I got Gnats in my plants!

Fungus Gnats, in my houseplants to be specific...

Fungus Gnats are tiny flies that usually live in houseplants. There are 100's of other tiny flies that we call Gnats, most of them living outside. Sometimes Fruit Flies get inside too and are also refereed to as Gnats. These Fungus Gnats can be seen walking on the top of the potting soil of houseplants. They are a common problem.

They eat the fungus that is breaking down decomposing matter in the soil. They also eat the decomposing matter and if there is a lot of them, they might feed on the plant's roots. They can damage the plant if they are there in large numbers. Generally they do no harm other than being an annoying little pest that buzz around in your face. These Gnats don't bite.

When potting or re-potting plants try to pick a potting soil that drains out fast and drys quickly. One that is not over loaded with organic materials, like wood.

Allow the plant to dry out between waterings. Remove and discard any decorative foil wrapping from around the pot.

There are several tricks to reducing their numbers, I suggest trying them all at the same time.

You can top your potting soil with a layer of sand creating a barrier between the good stuff and the outside.
You can also put out sticky yellow cards that the adults will go to and stick on.
Try a small glass of red wine - a little for you, a little for Mr. Gnat! They are attracted to the fermentation smell and drown in the liquid. Apple cider vinegar might work as well but red wine is still better for the gardener!
Finally, try a thin slice of potato on the soil's surface. This attracts the larva out to to die. The larva are little tiny white maggots. Toss the potato into the trash when its done. Believe me, tiny dead maggots in your house plants - your guests won't even notice. Gnats swimming in guest's red wine, might embarrass you.
There are also chemical products that you can buy at the garden center. For one that is natural look for BT. It has to be BT labeled for Gnats. BT for mosquitoes or caterpillars will not do the job.

02 January 2013

The Patio Potato

How to Grow potatoes in a pot

End of the season before frost
I wanted to grow potatoes, but owning a townhouse I do not have the space for a garden.  The solution that I came up with was to try to grow them in a container.  I had no idea how this would turn out so, I started small.

I purchased a single seed potato from a garden center.  Cut the potato into about four or five good size chunks.  Each piece of the original seed potato had an eye on it.

I put the seeds in the bottom of the pot and covered them with about three inches of peat moss.  Once the vines got a good start and were well rooted I pinched off the leaves from the bottom of the vines and added more peat moss.
As the vines got taller I would occasionally pinch off the bottom leaves and add more peat moss.  I did this a few times until the pot was completely full.  As you can see from the picture the vines eventually grew much longer.  I could have used a much taller pot.

After our first hard freeze, the veins died back (second picture.)  I laid out a tarp and tipped the pot out.  We busted up the clump and dug all the potatoes out.  The plants grew roots out of the steams from the bottom of the pot to the top.  It grew potatoes from the bottom where the original seed was planted all the way up as I added peat moss around the stems.
Overall, I was happy with the yield.  One seed potato produced thirty nice sized Yukon Gold Potatoes.  Yukon Golds are not as large as Russets anyway, more of a medium size.

Thirty potatoes from one seed and in one pot, I think is pretty good.  I am a little proud of myself.  However, I am also potato greedy. Next Spring I will try to increase the number.  I am going to try a larger container, maybe a trash can or something I build.  The idea is still to try to grow potatoes vertically to limit the space needed to get a lot.  I am going to try more than one variety as well.



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