It’s Time to Seed Your Lawn

When do I seed the bare areas in my lawn?

There is absolutely no better time for lawn seeding than in the fall. The exact timing will vary for different parts of the country but here in the Midwest, August though early October is the ideal time.  Fall lawn seeding is ideal for several reasons. In the spring, the soil temperatures are much cooler than in the fall.  Spring temperatures can often fluctuate wildly from extreme heat to below freezing temperatures. These temperature swings can quickly stunt and even kill new grass seedlings requiring the entire process to be redone in the fall. Seed germination is dependent upon warm soil conditions which are predominately warm and consistently warm in the fall.  Fall weather conditions are more conducive to having rainfall that will help provide adequate moisture levels needed for germination. This does not mean that supplementary irrigation and consistent irrigation will not be required to establish a new lawn. You must diligently keep new seed and seedlings moist at all times. Lastly, but an often overlooked fall benefit is that there is minimal weed seed in the air to compete with your new desirable turfgrass mix.  If your lawn has spots of bare soil, dead grass, and dry spots or simply appears like the Mohave Desert, then you should consider fall lawn seeding.
Unfortunately, most people don’t think about seeding their lawns in the fall after drought, disease and insect damaged areas have been created throughout the summer growing season. Instead, most people think about spring lawn seeding which is much less than the ideal time to seed. The only other worst timing for seeding would be mid-summer in the extreme heat or late fall when the seed  might germinate only to be killed by freezing temperatures.
 
Does my lawn need to be completely torn out and start over?

Depending on the condition of your lawn, there are a variety of ways to make your lawn one in which you can be proud. If your lawn is thin or has some smaller bare areas, you should consider slice seeding or overseeding. This can be done by a commercial contractor that has this specialty type of equipment or you can rent slice-seeders from select locations. If your lawn is a complete mess and you want to fix it immediately, perhaps sodding is your best option. If you want to choose the exact type of turf seed that will be called your future lawn, maybe a complete lawn renovation is in order for your more discerning turf palette. For spotty, minor lawn problems, spot seeding with a little topsoil might be your solution. No matter which option you choose to repair your lawn, your decision should be based upon its current condition, your desired quality of your lawn and your patience, the availability of irrigation and of course, your budget. Lawn sodding is much more expensive than lawn seeding.

Why or why not use sod?

Sod is an instant lawn. Adding sod to your home lawn is like going to the hospital to pick up your newborn baby without having had nine months of gestation and prenatal care. Instant lawn….instant baby!  Lawn sodding eliminates or at least minimizes any initial weed problems and reduces or eliminates erosion on slopes. Sod comes in different blends of grasses. The most common sod that you will encounter in the Midwest is grown from a blend of Kentucky bluegrasses. You should ask your sod supplier for the seed mix or blend from which your sod was grown. A mix of perennial ryegrass and bluegrass is also an excellent choice.

 Core aeration and overseeding Don’t confuse core aeration with slice seeding or overseeding. Core aeration is the process of mechanically pulling up plugs of soil and thatch from your lawn. This technique reduces soil compaction, minimizes thatch accumulation, and will give you an overall healthier lawn. Core aeration combined with overseeding is an alternative to slice seeding because it combines aeration with the benefit of adding a select seed variety to your lawn. Core aeration combined with overseeding however will not produce the same results as a true slice seeding machine.

Fall is the time for turf. Kentucky bluegrass especially loves the warm days and cooler evenings of the fall season. With proper care and the right seed mix, you can have your lawn looking its best by late fall. A thick, dark green lawn is a beautiful canvas to fallen gold and red leaves of October.

 

To Water or Not to Water?

Watering can be a tricky task this time of year.  With the sweltering heat of summer, combined with a sunny day, plants can start to show symptoms of stress or being under hydrated.  Your first reaction may be to water, but sometimes over-watering can be just as detrimental to a plant’s health as under-watering. 

Symptoms of both over and under-watering can look very similar.  Leaves can turn brown and wilt.  With under-watering, often times leaves turn brown and wilt and those dead leaves will be crispy and dry. While with over-watering, those leaves may still be soft and limp.  Over-watering can easily lead to root rot of the plant.  Plants infected with root rot will begin to brown in one section or side of the plant and the dying off of branches or parts of the plant will spread until the entire plant is deceased.  Sometimes, a plant can look dead, but may still be alive even though it’s lost all of its leaves.  Make sure to scratch the surface of the plants stems with a knife or a pair of hand pruners.  If you can still see green, then the plant is still alive and maybe it was simply dropping leaves as a defense mechanism to the heat/drought.  You can also cut back the plant and add hand-watering to help bring the plant back to life.

The only sure-fire way to determine if you are over or under-watering is to routinely check your soil moisture.  You do this, by sticking your finger 1-2″ down into the surrounding soil.  If the soil is moist, you are fine and just make a note to check again tomorrow.  If the soil is dry, it’s time to water.  Water deeply and aim all water at the roots, avoiding getting a lot of water on leaves and blooms.

Just like us, plants can feel the effects of summer sun and heat.  They, too, transpire and require a little extra water to stay in tip-top shape.  Don’t forget about your green friends in the yard this summer!

Have the Best Flowers Guaranteed!

Nothing in the landscape provides for a more beautiful, colorful and extended display better than annual flowers. These seasonal annuals include geranium, begonia, and impatiens just to name a few. What do landscapers and expert gardeners know that sends their floral displays into explosions of color?

Choose the right plants for your exposure
1) First evaluate where you will be planting your annual flowers in order to be successful. If the area that you want to plant flowers is shady, stick with shade tolerant flowers. Don’t try to put sun-loving annuals such as geranium, marigold or petunia in shady areas. No matter how well you care for them, they will fail. The importance of this first consideration cannot be emphasized enough. Put the right plant in the right location.
2) Buy healthy plants. This may seem obvious but you want plants that are well rooted in their pots. Pop one plant out of its cell and have a look. It should be thick with roots. Look for annuals that are thick and sturdy as opposed to tall and leggy. Foliage should be showing signs of rapid growth and rich in color. With this observation you’ll know the grower has been feeding your baby annuals regularly.
3) Prepare your soil like you would a vegetable garden. Add a good organic compost to your proposed flower bed. Incorporate four to six inches into the soil with a tiller or turn over with a shovel. Make sure that the soil is well mixed. This step is crucial to root growth. Rapidly growing annuals require healthy root development to support healthy, heavy blooming plants.
4) Water! Never let your newly planted annuals dry out. If your plants become stressed from lack of water, they could be set back days if not weeks in growth. Water thoroughly and deeply. This will encourage deeper root growth. Never overwater as this can be as bad if not worse than under watering. More plants die from overwatering than not.
5) Feed! Most people forget that annual flowers require food like any plant. Since annual flowers are constantly growing all season long, a good slow release fertilizer is great for them. There are many brands to choose from and timing of release. A good slow release fertilizer will offer feeding over a 3-4 month period. Supplemental feedings throughout the season with a liquid fertilizer at half strength will make your annuals explode with color. Although all other steps are important for a successful floral display, this one tip will put your display over the top this season! Happy planting!

Five Things You Should Do On the 1st REALLY GREAT Spring Weekend

BuckAndSonsSpringCleanUp

This weekend promises to be the first really great weekend this spring in Ohio, weather speaking that is! What should you do if you’re itching to get out and work in the yard? Here are five things we recommend … Enjoy!

  1. Aerate.  This helps manage dead grass, leaves and winter debris, while also loosening all of that hardened and compacted soil.
  2. The Great Clean Up. If you’ve got trees, they’ve likely shed branches this winter.  Picking up lingering leaves, dead grass and other “unmentionables” will make you feel accomplished, and your lawn look GREAT.
  3. Start Fertilizing.  Hit your lawn with a nice dose of fertilizer to kick off the growing process. Read the directions! The correct amount you add to your lawn is imperative, as well as, how you apply the fertilizer.  Pick a hybrid blend of fertilizer, as it will release a little now — and save some for later too.
  4. Apply Seed.  This is a great time to introduce some fresh cultivars of grass seed into your lawn.  Also, since we’re in the Spring season, the rains will do the trick in keeping the seed moist.
  5. Call Us.  No one loves your lawn like we do.  If you’d like us to give you an estimate on managing the above and more — on routine cutting and maintenance … Or even bigger landscape architectural projects, we’d love to hear from you before the summer settles in and schedules book up with activities.  Think 876-BUCK.

 

Your Landscape Needs to be Corrected!

The calendar indicates that spring is here in spite of recent weather events. Now is the time to help our landscapes with some judicial corrective pruning. Be a good landscape disciplinarian by correctly pruning and ultimately guiding your plants growth misdeeds.

 

Dormant Pruning – The Best Selective and Corrective Timing
With the foliage off of deciduous trees and shrubs, pruning becomes a much quicker and easier process. At no other time of the year is it as easy to see problem branches that are dead, rubbing, crossing or growing inward. Branches that are infringing upon a structure or neighboring tree or shrub should be judiciously pruned so not to adversely affect the overall shape and aesthetic value of the plant. Sometimes, however, removal of a tree or shrub may be the only solution when it has been planted improperly by not allowing adequate room for growth. Your goal in pruning, as always, should be to maintain the natural habit of the plant unless you are maintaining a formal hedge or artistic topiary. Please don’t turn your valuable shrubs into green outdoor boxes. Nothing detracts more from the aesthetic or monetary value of your landscape than improper pruning.

 

Be sure to Discipline the Right Trees and Shrubs
Certain trees and shrubs should not be pruned in the winter months. Trees such as Maple and Birch sap excessively when pruned anytime from late December through early June. Wait until the appropriate time of the year for pruning these tree ‘bleeders’. Spring flowering shrubs such as Lilac, Forsythia, Rhododendron, Azalea and Viburnum set buds in the preceding growing season for flowers the following spring. Your much anticipated blooming plants could easily be ruined for another year if you prune off all of the flower buds. A good rule of thumb is to prune spring flowering shrubs shortly after they have finished blooming. In central Ohio, we try not to prune img-fall_winter-pruningspring flowering shrubs any later than the end of June. This timing may vary for your region of the country as well as any seasonal or climactic changes during the growing season.
To apply wound dressing or not to apply wound dressing?  This is a perennial topic of discussion (sometimes heated) among arborists, nursery growers, landscapers and gardeners. The current “Green Industry” standard and recommendation today is to not apply wound dressing. University and industry studies have indicated that wound dressings can actually hinder the healing process after a pruning wound is sealed with a common dressing. It seems that the outer, active growth ring, also known as the vascular cambium layer becomes obstructed making the healing process more difficult for your tree or shrub. If you absolutely do feel you need to apply a wound dressing, try to apply inside of this outer growth ring. For the most part however, your efforts are simply cosmetic in nature and it may be best to use your money for a new tree, shrub or perennial if any damage or extensive pruning is required.
So…pick out a nice, pleasant winter day and grab your sharpened and cleaned pruning tools. Proper pruning techniques will add beauty and longevity to your plants. Your plants will increase in their beauty and functionality as well as increasing the value of your property. If you are unsure as to proper pruning techniques, there are several books available or garden clubs you could join. You of course can always contact professional landscape service firms that have experienced horticulturists that are Ohio Certified Landscape Technicians. Be sure to ask if they have these technicians employed.

Winter Landscape Tips

Just because winter has arrived doesn’t mean you have to forget about your landscape! Here are some important things you can do to improve your piece of the great outdoors even as the snow piles up in your driveway.

Plan Now for your Spring Landscape Projects!

The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are getting colder, and the first winter snows are upon us. If you are like most people, spring seems like a long way off and landscaping is just about the last thing on your mind. Winter though is actually a great time to start planning for new springtime patio and landscape projects. It may also be a good time to dust off that set of plans you drawinghave in the closet that took a back seat to other home improvement projects this past summer. Often times the planning process is the most time consuming aspect of a project. If you wait until warm weather arrives in early spring to begin, your project may not be completed until mid summer. By starting to think about your landscape projects now, you will have plenty of time to work out all of the details of your plan with your landscape designer. When the weather breaks, you will be ready to go on the installation and you will have the entire summer to enjoy your new patio and landscaping!

Look for Plants That Stand Out in the Winter

When you think of winter, you think of Pine trees, Spruce trees, and Holly shrubs. While these plants, and other evergreens, are “the old stand-bys” for winter interest, there are many other plants that can really liven up your winter landscape. One such plant that is gaining in popularity is the Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus alba). Some cultivars of this plant have spring flowers, variegated foliage, and good fall color; but it is winter when they truly stand out! As the weather gets colder you will notice the brown Winterberry Hollystems beginning to turn red, with the newest stems having the most vibrant color. Another interesting selection is the Red Twig Dogwood’s cousin, the Yellow Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Silver & Gold’). Plants that maintain their berries through the winter provide a splash of color and also are attractive to many birds hunting for scarce winter food. The familiar Blue Holly (Ilex x meservae) has a deciduous relative, Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata), that maintains bright red berries on its bare branches throughout the winter. The Winter King Hawthorn (Crataegus viridis ‘Winter King’) is a great ornamental tree that also has red berries during the winter. The berries can be especially striking when viewed with a backdrop of Spruce trees!

Look for Plants That Stand Out in the Winter

When you think of winter, you think of Pine trees, Spruce trees, and Holly shrubs. While these plants, and other evergreens, are “the old stand-bys” for winter interest, there are many other plants that can really liven up your winter landscape. One such plant that is gaining in popularity is the Red Twig Dogwood (Cornus alba). Some cultivars of this plant have spring flowers, variegated foliage, and good fall color; but it is winter when they truly stand out! As the weather gets colder you will notice the brown stems beginning to turn red, with the newest stems having the most vibrant color. Another interesting selection is the Red Twig winter-king-hawthorn-fruitDogwood’s cousin, the Yellow Twig Dogwood (Cornus sericea ‘Silver & Gold’). Plants that maintain their berries through the winter provide a splash of color and also are attractive to many birds hunting for scarce winter food. The familiar Blue Holly (Ilex x meservae) has a deciduous relative, Winterberry Holly (Ilex verticillata), that maintains bright red berries on its bare branches throughout the winter. The Winter King Hawthorn (Crataegus viridis ‘Winter King’) is a great ornamental tree that also has red berries during the winter. The berries can be especially striking when viewed with a backdrop of Spruce trees!

Finish those Fall Clean-Ups

Patioandyard4With the exception of some Oak trees and Pear trees, most deciduous trees have dropped there leaves. If you have not already, be sure to get rake all your leaves off the lawn or at least mulch them into the lawn with your lawn mower. Leaves can smother your lawn if left on through the entire winter and make it more susceptible to disease problems in the spring. A little work and preparation now and through the winter months can make a big impact on your landscape come spring. And if you are considering any patio or landscape projects for 2009, start planning for that now. Before you know it, you will be able to replace that hot chocolate in the house with a tall glass of iced tea on your new patio!

What Your Plants NEED This Fall!

What do your plants need? What is it that all living entities cannot live without? I’m sure that you have correctly answered water which is the crucial life sustaining element for all carbon based life. As humans, our bodies are made up of approximately 60% water by weight. Some plants can contain as much as 95% water by weight. That is a great deal of water which needs to be  replenished daily. If we perform physically demanding activities, our bodies will transpire (sweat) water in an effort to keep us cool. Plants, likewise transpire to pull up moisture from the roots. This process also helps to cool the plant. In hot, dry conditions, the demand for water increases for all living things due to transpiration.

If you live in a home that has clean drinking water, consider yourself blessed. If your home has an automatic underground irrigation system, consider yourself immensely lucky. Although an automatic irrigation system helps to keep your plants alive, it could not and did not help with the affects of record heat. Even under automatic irrigation, many trees and shrubs exhibit scorched and partially dried leaves while some leafy perennial plants appeared as if someone took a blow-torch to them. Most soft perennials such as daylilies and hosta, for example, are very resilent and most of their foliage damage is purely cosmetic.  Your trees and shrubs on the otherhand may still be stressed from the excessive heat and drought. This years record breaking drought and scorching heat wave made this year a truly formidable year for woody plants to survive.

The absolute most important thing that you can do for your plants this fall is quite simple. Although it’s not free, the fix is about as cheap as it gets. Water. If you believe that your plants are losing leaves, going dormant and don’t need a drink, you couldn’t be more wrong. Your plants roots are very active in the fall storing water and nutrients for the cold winter months ahead. A dry plant that goes into the winter season dry may well not survive come springtime. A cold dry winter would spell diaster for already stressed trees and shrubs. So this fall, don’t forget to give your landscape a good thorough drink. Usually a soaker hose or a regular garden hose running at a slow trickle for a good hour will be sufficient for most younger trees. Shrubs will require less. Don’t forget your soft perennials too. Their roots and crown require moisture too!

Revitalize Your Lawn NOW!

When do I seed the bare, dead and thin areas in my lawn?

There is absolutely no better time for lawn seeding than in the fall season. The exact timing will vary for different parts of the country but here in the Midwest, August though early October is the ideal time.  Fall lawn seeding is ideal for several reasons. Fall soil temperatures are much warmer which is ideal for germination and root growth.  Spring temperatures can often fluctuate wildly from extreme heat to below freezing temperatures.

Disease damaged dead spots are ideal for slice-seeding repair.

These temperature swings can quickly stunt and even kill new grass seedlings requiring the entire process to be redone in the fall. Seed germination is dependent upon warm soil conditions which are predominately warm and consistently warm in the fall.  Fall weather conditions are more conducive to having rainfall that will help provide adequate moisture levels needed for germination. This does not mean that supplementary irrigation and consistent irrigation will not be required to establish a new lawn. You must diligently keep new seed and seedlings moist at all times. Lastly, but an often overlooked fall benefit is that there is minimal weed seed in the air to compete with your new desirable turfgrass mix.  If your lawn has spots of bare soil, dead grass, and dry spots or simply appears like the Mohave Desert, then you should consider fall lawn seeding. Unfortunately, most people don’t think about seeding their lawns in the fall after drought, disease and insect damaged areas have been created throughout the summer growing season. Instead, most people think about spring lawn seeding which is much less than the ideal time to seed. The only other worst timing for seeding would be mid-summer in the extreme heat or late fall when the seed might germinate only to be killed by freezing temperatures.  

Thin lawn areas are renewed with slice-seeding

 

 

Does my lawn need to be completely torn out and start over?

Depending on the condition of your lawn, there are a variety of ways to make your lawn one in which you can be proud. If your lawn is thin or has some smaller bare areas, you should consider slice-seeding or overseeding. This can be done by a commercial contractor that has this specialty type of equipment or you can rent slice-seeders from select locations. If your lawn is a complete mess and you want to fix it immediately, perhaps sodding is your best option.

Slice-seeding in action. Note no damage to existing turf.

If you want to choose the exact type of turf seed that will be called your future lawn, maybe a complete lawn renovation is in order for your more discerning turf palette. For spotty, minor lawn problems, spot seeding with a little topsoil might be your solution. No matter which option you choose to repair your lawn, your decision should be based upon its current condition, your desired quality of your lawn and your patience, the availability of irrigation and of course, your budget. Lawn sodding is much more expensive than lawn seeding.

 

 

 

Why or why not use sod?

Sod is an instant lawn. Adding sod to your home lawn is like going to the hospital to pick up your newborn baby without having had nine months of gestation and prenatal

Lawn spot repair with sod

care. Instant lawn….instant baby!  Lawn sodding eliminates or at least minimizes any initial weed problems and reduces or eliminates erosion on slopes. Sod comes in different blends of grasses. The most common sod that you will encounter in the Midwest is grown from a blend of Kentucky bluegrasses. You should ask your sod supplier for the seed mix or blend from which your sod was grown. The downside to sodding is that you are not establishing the plant in the native soil from which it was grown. When you install sod, you are bringing in soil that is different than the native soil. This results in the root system wanting to stay in the soil from the sod and not move into your native soil. Many times, sodded lawns decline over five years due to the differences in soil types.

 

Core aeration and overseeding Don’t confuse core aeration with slice seeding or overseeding. Core aeration is the process of mechanically pulling up plugs of soil and thatch from your lawn. This technique reduces soil compaction, minimizes thatch accumulation, and will give you an overall healthier lawn. Core aeration combined with overseeding is an alternative to slice seeding because it combines aeration with the benefit of adding a select seed variety to your lawn. Core aeration combined with overseeding however will not produce the same results as a true slice seeding machine.

Fall is the time for turf. Kentucky bluegrass especially loves the warm days and cooler evenings of the fall season. With proper care and the right seed mix, you can have your lawn looking its best by late fall. A thick, dark green lawn is a beautiful canvas to fallen gold and red leaves of October.

Beautiful Botanicals That Can Bite Your Pets!

Imagine a beautifully landscaped home consisting of attractive plants outdoors along with some fine-looking indoor accent plants. This is, of course, what we all strive to achieve with a well planned and executed landscape design and a little interior decorating. But what if you had placed living landmines in and around your home ready to explode with poison?    

We all have the desire to create a beautiful curb appeal to our homes and are willing to purchase and place certain plant products in our yards and flower beds in order to satisfy our objective.  However, some of you green thumbs out there unknowingly place certain plant species in your yards that potentially could cause harm to your pet.  

A toxicant can be described as a substance that when introduced or applied to the body, it can by its inherent chemical properties, interfere with cellular function.  When an animal encounters any toxic substance, there are general physiological consequences that may result in response to ingestion.  Some of these consequences on a histological scale include the manipulation and alteration of cell membrane integrity.  The cell membrane is composed of a lipid bilayer with various ion channels that tightly regulate specific concentrations of certain materials within the cell, allowing some substances in- while keeping others out.  It is critical to keep this membrane intact; otherwise, there can be devastating physiological consequences.  When an animal ingests toxic material, there may be disruptions in this membrane that will inevitably lead to interference with receptor function as well as fluid and electrolyte movements.  Along with alterations in membrane integrity, cellular adipocytes – or fat cells, may accumulate within the cell which can push certain cellular organelles into the cell periphery and impede cellular function.  Your pet may have altered energy metabolism along with delayed or inactive protein synthesis.  Microscopically, alterations in cell growth patterns including neoplasia – or an abnormal mass of tissue may occur.  With these modifications to the variety of cells in the animal’s body, cell death will begin to occur whether it is uncontrolled cellular necrosis, or pre-programmed cellular apoptosis. 

Physically, you may see numerous abnormalities in your pet as a result of what is going on from the physiological standpoint. Signs of toxicosis may include, but are not limited to vomiting, diarrhea, depression or excitement, dilated pupils, convulsions, ataxia – or uncoordinated movements, hyper salivation – or excessive drooling, and general abdominal pain.

According to the ASPCA and the Animal Poison Control Center, plants were included in the top 10 pet toxins of 2010 (along with human medication, human food, insecticides, rodenticides, chocolate, household toxins, herbicides and outdoor toxins).  The following list is from the ASPCA and is comprised of a variety of common plants that could potentially harm your pet.

Photo courtesy of Emily Buck Gabriel, DVM

                                                                                   Buck Gardens Animal Hospital        

1- Sago Palm (indoor plant for hardiness Zone 5 within Ohio)

a. The sago palm is a plant that if ingested by your pet can result in detrimental side effects, such as gastrointestinal    abnormalities, seizures, and liver failure.

2- Lilies (Lilium species)

a. There is quite a variety of the lily species; however, it is the true lilies, Lilium, not the commonly planted ‘Daylily’, Hemerocallis, that is highly toxic to cats.  If a cat were to ingest even a small amount of the plant, it can result in acute kidney failure and possibly death.

b. The white Easter Lily is commonly displayed indoors during the Easter Season. Use caution with indoor cats.

3- Tulips

a. Tulips contain toxins that are specifically in the bulb portion of the plant.  If the bulb is ingested, it can result in irritation to the gastrointestinal tract and the esophagus as well.  More severe cases where a high amount of the bulb is ingested may result in variations in heart rate and respiration.

4- Chrysanthemum

a. If eaten, the Chrysanthemum plant may cause excessive drooling and gastrointestinal upset that could lead to diarrhea.  If a large amount of the plant is eaten, depression may occur, as well as ataxia.

5- Buckeye

a. If our state tree’s wonderful nut is ingested by your pet, you may see signs including vomiting and diarrhea, depression or excitement, and ataxia.

6- Daffodils

a. This flower contains various properties that may cause severe vomiting in your pet.  Other signs of ingestion includes abdominal pain, diarrhea, and in some cases cardiac arrhythmias – or abnormal patterns in the heart rate.

7- Oleander (indoor plant for hardiness Zone 5 within Ohio)

a.If this shrub is ingested by your pet, you may see some physical signs including severe vomiting, hypothermia, bradycardia- or slow heart rate, and in serious cases, death.

8- Autumn Crocus

a. If this plant is ingested, consequences may result in general gastrointestinal upset including blood vomiting, bloody diarrhea, shock and multi-organ damage.  Signs of ingestion of this plant may be seen right away, but also may take a few days to develop.

b. The corm of this plant also has potential dermal toxicity. Do not let children handle the corms of this plant.

9- Azalea/Rhododendron

a. Ingestion of this plant species may produce vomiting, hyper salivation, diarrhea, and depression to the central nervous system.  If a high amount of the plant is ingested, there may be cardiovascular consequences that occur that could potentially result in death.

10- Amaryllis (indoor plant for hardiness Zone 5 within Ohio)

a. This plant is regularly found in gardens and if ingested by your pet, could cause vomiting, depression, abdominal pain, hyper salivation and lack of eating as well.

So don’t fear fellow green thumbs! This coming spring, create a masterpiece in your front yard or construct a beautiful bouquet for a loved one, but just remember – those wonderful smells that we have come to love are exponentially amplified and simply irresistible to our furry friends.  Be informed of what you are planting so you and yours, including your pets- can enjoy the natural beauty of plants!

If you want more information on these plants and other possible toxic plant materials, feel free to call Buck & Sons Landscape Service Inc.   If you witness or suspect that your pet has ingested any of the previous substances, please contact your local veterinarian.

By Aaron Buck, student – University of Illinois, College of Veterinary Medicine

Special thanks to Dr. Michael Biehl and The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as the ASPCA for the information throughout this piece.

Animal Poison Control Center. ASPCA. Web. 1 Sept. 2011. <http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/poison-control/>.

 

FALL BULBS PROVIDE SPRING BEAUTY

No matter what type of fall bulb in which you wish to invest, plant and enjoy, pick the largest, top grade sizes that are available. In other words, the fatter the bulb, the better for bloom.  Sometimes these top notch bulbs are listed as #1 grade. If you are picking them out yourself, be sure that you choose bulbs that are firm and not squishy. Soft bulbs have probably already rotted internally. Also, do not choose any bulbs showing signs of mold. You want big, firm and mold free bulbs for the healthiest and most vibrant display in the spring. Small bulbs may not even reward you with a much anticipated bloom but merely foliage or a tiny insignificant bloom at best.

Giant Allium

White Tulips

Please don’t make your fall bulbs lonely. Bulbs are best enjoyed in groupings of at least five to seven bulbs per singular display. More bulbs per a given planting bed area, the more spectacular your display will be in the spring. Maximize the eye-catching effect of color with mass plantings rather than a few bulbs planted here and there. Even if you choose to plant only one variety of the same type and bulb color, you will achieve a much better satisfaction in your display if your plant en masse.

Dutch Iris

Which side is up? Bulbs typically have some dried roots appearing at the base of the bulb. This, of course, is the “down” part of the bulb. If you are uncertain with side is “up”, plant your bulbs on their sides and they will sort it out on their own with no problem.

 

Daffodils & Tulips

Typically bulbs will perform fine without much fertilization. However, the informed gardener or one that wants to make her spring flowering investment really pay dividends, will add phosphorous to the root zone of the bulbs during the planting process. All plants require phosphorous for healthy roots and flowers. Bulbs in particular grow with more vigor with the added phosphorous nutrient. Since phosphorous does not move too readily in the soil strata, placing this nutrient down around the root zone really helps the fall bulbs develop a good thick root system. An excellent source of phosphorous for planting is bone meal.

So make an investment in yourself and your landscape this fall. In the spring, you’ll enjoy envious onlookers and a grin on your face from ear to ear. Fall truly is for planting!