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Archive for April, 2009

A Gradual Start to Spring for Kansas City Landscaping

This year, has seen a that was more gradual than in past years.  This has been good for the and in .  Consistently cool temperatures with only rare and short warm-up have allowed us to gradually slip into and avoid the pitfalls of moving too fast.  like slow springs because very few have been hurt by April freezes this year and although it has been fairly dry the have faired well.  However, gradual will soon give way to rapid growth as soon as we get some heat.  Mowing will soon be the most common weekend chore for most homeowners. 

Blue and Fescue have thrived in this slightly cooler temperature.  They have been growing laterally and down for the last several weeks.  The imminent heat will spur rapid upward growth – we will soon be mowing VERY often!

One of the negatives of this low soil temperature ahs been for any new seeding.  The has not grown much at all if any.  That is again due to cooler than normal soil temps.  This may not be a great thing for seeded since it simply will not have the time needed to grow before heat sets in.  However, if my inside sources at NBC Action News are accurate, we may have a cooler than normal which would be good for all of ’s

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Kansas City Landscaping sees Rash of Volcanoes

Its a purely human phenomenon – really. If you see a mistake repeated often enough then it becomes perceived not as a mistake, but as the way things should be done. This is being done in City right now

This is the case with the dreaded Mulch Volcano. Mulch volcanoes are not a City phenomenon, they effect cities all over the US

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Despite recent public campaigns by The Johnson County Extension Office and the City of , there are still instance found all over the city.

The above example was just yesterday ata very nice office park. I am sure that the manager of this office park paid good money to a “reputable” company to maintain their . However, what has now happened is that these have been forever weakened by this ignorant practice

When mulch is spread more than 2″ thick against the base of a tree several things happen — and none of the m are good. First, the mulch will hold moisture against the trunk pf the tree. This si dangerous because it encourages rotting and disease. It will also rot the bark away adding additional avenues for insects and disease to attack the flesh of the tree. Roots are also damaged by the moisture held in the mulch because they will grow upwards seeking this moisture. As they do they will begin to circle the trunk. These circling roots will eventually kill the tree byessentially strangling it.

How should be mulched then? should be mulched 2″ – 3″ thick (about one finger deep) and all mulch should be pulled away from the trunk of the tree truck 2 or 3 inches. Think doughnut instead of volcano. How big you want the mulch ring to be is up to you. Ideally — it should extend to the drip line of the tree — but that is not always practical or aesthetically the best choice. However, a good minimum is a 6′ diameter.

Here is what a tree looks like when you peel away the mulch volcano after several years. This particular was at a new customer in that I started working with this season. I did not pull the mulch away — it was done before he had moved in. You can see that this tree will NEVER be a beautiful specimen again and will likely die prematurely from earlier neglect.

Mulch volcanoo aftermath in Overland Park

Mulch volcanoo aftermath

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How NOT to Protect Landscape Plants from Freeze

A Hard freeze is coming up Monday night and will effect for sure.  However, I wanted to help people see HOW to protect the .  When you put a cover over the it needs to go all the way down to the ground and preferably be staked to provide air flow around of 1 –2 inches.

The reason is, by covering the you are holding in latent heat from the ground and sheltering from the wind.

This person, who I came upon my walk yesterday, had NOT done that.  She did everything wrong.  First she used plastic – a terrible insulator and second she didn’t help the out at all because the air in the bag is going to be just as cold as the air outside of the bag.  To cover this well she should have places something over the that would have gone all the way to the ground.  This would have helped keep the temperature around the just a couple degrees warmer and protected it from the blast of cold air we received.

Excuse the poor picture please – it was taken with a camera phone while holding a three year old and being pulled by a dog in a 30 mph wind.

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