April 2016

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What to do during a drought

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WHAT TO DO DURING A DROUGHT

WhattoDoDuringDrought

  • Spray Trees & Shrubs With An Anti-Transpirant

If pruning, only remove dead material from trees and shrubs, anything more will encourage new growth.  This takes energy that a drought stressed plant cannot afford.  Instead, spray leaves with an anti-transpirant or anti-dessicant to help leaves retain what moisture they have.

  • Water Early

Morning temperatures are cooler and the sun is not as intense as later in the day so there is less moisture loss due to evaporation.

Also, water sitting on foliage will have a chance to dry during the day minimizing the chance of fungal infection, especially during humid weather.

  • Water Slowly & Deeply

Watering slowly will allow the moisture to penetrate more deeply into the root zone rather than running off the soil surface.  Create depressions or water traps around larger plants to hold the water where you want it until it can saturate the soil.  Remember to water trees at the drip line, not at the trunk base, as this is where the roots are most active.  Drip irrigation bags are excellent for watering newly planted trees.

  • Water the Soil, Not the Leaves

Plants take up water through their roots. Water landing on the foliage will be lost due to evaporation.  The more water you direct to the soil, the less you will waste. The key is infrequent, but heavy watering rather than light, frequent waterings.  This encourages deep root growth, which increases drought tolerance.

  • Conserve Precious Water

Place a rain barrel under downspouts to collect rainwater.  Wash the car on the lawn rather than on the driveway.  Reuse  ‘gray water’, such as bathtub or dishwater and rinse cycle water from your laundry, to water your garden. Replace leaky hoses and sprinklers and use washers to correct leaks at fittings.

PROTECTING OUR POLLINATORS

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Every garden requires pollinators, and bees are among the finest. Without them there would be limited flowers and far fewer fruits and vegetables. Did you know that about 30% of the food we eat depends on the pollination of bees?

bee_1

 

 

Although there are many bees that are great pollinators, like carpenter, mining, sweat and cellophane bees, some of the most well know and easily identified bees are the honey and bumble bee. Both of these bees live in social colonies and are cavity nesters. Because these bees are active all summer long, they require a constant supply of floral nectar close to their hive. Some of the biggest threats to the continued and healthy existence of these two bees are habitat loss, which causes inadequate nesting and scarce food supplies, and pesticide drift.bee_3

Bring more bees to your garden by planting a variety of native flowers that will bloom throughout the entire summer. Keep the bees in your garden by eliminating chemical use, especially while plants are in flower. Be kind to bees in your garden by providing a safe place for shelter and to lay their eggs. Make sure that there is an available water source for your bees. A birdbath works just fine.bee_2

NATIVE PLANTS THAT ATTRACT BEES

Apple Malus
Aster Aster
Blackberry & Raspberry Rubis
Black-eyed Susan Rudbeckia
Blueberries Vaccinium
Currant Ribes
Elder Sambucus
Goldenrod Solidago
Highbush Cranberry Viburnum
Joe-pye weed Eupatorium
Lupine Lupinus
Penstemon Penstemon
Purple coneflower Echinacea
Redbud Cercis
Rhododendron Rhododendron
Sage Salvia
Stonecrop Sedum
Sunflower Helianthus
Willow Salix

What to plant – top 10 crops for children

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kidsgardening

Our children were involved with gardening from an early age, and it was gratifying to watch their interest and self-esteem grow as their gardening efforts yielded good results. Although there are many crops suitable for the young gardener, here are our “top 10”, which are relatively easy to grow, have short growing seasons and are fun to harvest.

sunflower
A must for a child’s garden. Plant just one or two, since they take a lot of room. Sunflowers will sprout in 1 week, become a small seedling in 2 weeks, and should be 2′ tall in a month. In 8 weeks, the buds will flower revealing hundreds of seed kernels. Be sure to gorw ‘confectionery’ sunflowers, the type grown for food. They will dry naturally in the late summer sun; the seeds, rich in protein and iron, can be roasted for snacks. Save a few for next summers’ planting.

lettuce/mescluns
A quick and reliable crop to give the child fast results, and also a good way to interest kids in salads. Lettuce likes part shade; keep soil moist especially during the first two weeks. The seeds will germinate in 7-10 days; growing season is 40-50 days. You can grow ‘head’ (space 8″ apart) or ‘leaf’ (space 4″ apart) varieties; the leaf varieties will mature sooner, about 30-35 days.

radishes
Quick results for the young gardener. Radishes germinate in 3-10 days, and have a very short growing season of 20-30 days. They can be planted closely, 4-6″ apart. Plant in cool weather for a mild radish, or hot weather for a hotter radish.

snow peas
A quick-growing early crop, and fun for kids to eat right off the vine. They take about 10 days to germinate and mature in about 60 days. Peas prefer cooler, partially shaded locations in the garden; they should be sown closely, about 1″ apart at most. Snow peas are popular because the pod is edible and since they are a dwarf plant they can be grown without a trellis.

cherry tomatoes
Gotta have ’em! These may be the most fun crop for a child, aside from strawberries. Plant in full sun and use seedlings rather than planting from seed. Put in a 2′ stake alongside each seedling; they need to be tied loosely to stakes as they get taller. Add lots of compost. Water at ground level, trying to keep leaves dry. Growing season is 50-75 days. Cherry tomatoes can also be grown in containers.

nasturtiums
These flowers are easy to grow and yield results quickly, which encourages the young gardener. Nasturtiums bloom about 50 days after the seeds are planted, with orange, yellow and red flowers. They prefer sunny, dry locations and do well in poor soil. Choose the shorter varieties for garden beds. Nasturtiums are also pest resistant, which ensures a successful planting. The flowers are also edible, and can be used to add colour to a fresh garden salad.

bush beans
Fast, easy, high yield and, because they do not grow tall, they are easy for kids to harvest. Bush beans germinate in 4-8 days, and mature in 40-65 days. It’s best to plant a small patch, then another in a few weeks. This will extend the harvest. When choosing seeds, select the “low bush” varieties because these will be easier for children to harvest. Plant closely spaced, about 4″ apart. Grow in direct sun; water the soil but try to keep the leaves dry. Bush beans don’t need poles or trellises to grow.

carrots
Seeds can be sown directly into soil; carrots prefer cooler temperatures. They can be slow to germinate, so be patient. Carrots will mature in about 60 days.The soil should be free of rocks and easy for the carrot to grow ‘down’. Keep well-watered and thin to every 3″ because crowding will produce foliage but no root. Small varieties are recommended for children, as they’re easier to grow and more fun to eat.

potatoes
A ‘never-fail’ crop. You can plant red or white varieties; red will mature faster. Children seem to favor the red variety. Cut seed potatoes into chunks with at least 2 ‘eyes’ per. Plant in furrows, about 12-15″ apart, with eyes pointing upward. Mound soil up around plant as it grows; harvest when plant collapses.

pumpkin
A ‘must’ for a child’s garden, if you have the room. Plant seeds in a small hill; poke three holes in the hill and put one seed in each hole. Seeds will sprout in about 1 week; after a few days, vine leaves begin to form and creep along the ground. Once there are 3 pumpkins on the vine, pick off any new blossoms. Pumpkins take 80 – 120 days to harvest: it’s ready when it feels hard on the outside and sounds hollow when tapped. Let an adult supervise the cutting, using shears. Seeds can be dried to eat, or save for future planting. The meat can be used for pies, and the pumpkin for carving.

PRE-EMERGENT CONTROL OF CRABGRASS

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mulch, compost, tree bark, bark, gardening, blue, green, hands, holding, work, hands cupped, messy, dirt,

mulch, compost, tree bark, bark, gardening, blue, green, hands, holding, work, hands cupped, messy, dirt,

Did you have a crabgrass problem last year? Well, chances are, it’s gonna be even worse this year! Crabgrass is an annual lawn weed that dies back to the ground each year. The main problem with this pest is the tenacious seed that it leaves behind after it blooms.

Early spring is the season to control crabgrass with a pre-emergent herbicide. This chemical works by killing the crabgrass seedlings as they germinate. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Apply the pre-emergent as the forsythia is going out of bloom.
  • For newly seeded lawns, wait until you have mowed your lawn three times before applying the herbicide. This will help to avoid killing the new grass.
  • Use a spreader to apply the herbicide uniformly across your lawn.
  • Apply your pre-emergent before a light rain. This will knock the chemical off the grass blades and down to the soil surface where the crabgrass seed is germinating.
  • Do not de-thatch or aerate the lawn after applying the herbicide, as this disruption will break the chemical barrier.
  • Wait two to four months to re-seed the lawn after using a pre-emergent herbicide.
  • Repeat this same procedure year after year.
  • Keep you and your lawn safe. Always follow the manufacturers instructions.

7 Health Benefits of Soaking in a Hot Tub

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1. Improves sleep

Sleeping Girl

Have you ever noticed how quickly you tend to fall asleep after taking a late night bath or a dip in the hot tub?

When your body is cold, your normal sleeping pattern can be disturbed. When your body is comfortably warm, you tend to fall asleep quicker and rest through the night with fewer disruptions.

It is widely accepted that getting quality, REM sleep has a multitude of positive effects on just about everything – from your mood to your mental alertness and even the way your body metabolizes food.

To improve your chances of getting a good night’s sleep, try spending some time in the hot tub before getting into bed.

2. Reduces stress and anxiety

Stressed Woman

Along with making you feel temporarily relaxed, studies show that the combination of the hot water, the massage of the jets, and the feeling of weightlessness can significantly reduce both mental and physical stress and decrease anxiety.

Experts note that when you’re not feeling physically and mentally stressed, you’re less likely scowl at neighborhood teenagers, which means you’re less likely to get teepee’d in the middle of the night.

Don’t get teepee’d – get in the hot tub!

3. Reduces arthritic and chronic pain

Arthritis Hand

For people suffering from skeletal ailments such as arthritis, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, and other types of bodily aches and pains, spending time in the hot tub will typically provide some much-needed relief.

Due to the buoyancy from the bubbles created by the tub’s jets, we feel our own weight disappear, our blood circulation increases with the heat, the tightness in our muscles relaxes, and inflammation in our sensitive joints is reduced.

In this state, an aching body can experience heightened flexibility, strength, and a wider range of physical motion. It’s no wonder so many people see significant benefits from hydrotherapy when recovering from back, knee, or other joint problems.

4. Lowers blood sugar

Lower Blood Sugar

While further studies are still recommended, initial research indicates that spending time in the hot tub may actually lower the blood sugar level of people suffering from type 2 diabetes.

In one study, published in The New England Journal of Medicine, subjects with type 2 diabetes spent a half hour, six days per week for three weeks submerged to the shoulder in a hot tub. By the end of the three weeks, the subjects saw an average drop in blood glucose (BG) levels from 182 mg/dl to 159 mg/dl.

Essentially, the hot temperatures in the tub simulate some of the effects of physical exercise – which has proven to be an effective form of treatment for sufferers of type 2 diabetes.

5. Lowers blood pressure

Nurse Taking Blood Pressure

In addition to lowering levels of your blood sugar, relaxing in the hot tub can also lower your blood pressure.

When you get in the tub and the temperature is hot, your heart works harder and faster so that your body can disperse excess heat. In the process, your increased blood flow is producing extra oxygen and your cells are being revitalized. While there may be an initial uptick in blood pressure, your increased warmth will cause cells to dilate, decreasing resistance against the heart and lowering your overall blood pressure.

It should be noted that those with high blood pressure should avoid going back and forth between the hot tub and the pool, as this may increase blood pressure.

6. Promotes Healthier, Younger Looking Skin

Woman With Clear Skin

If you’re pondering ways to get your skin looking its best, soaking in the hot tub might not be the first strategy that comes to mind – unless it’s a hot tub filled with Neutrogena.

[NOTE: Do not soak in hot tubs filled with Neutrogena]

What you may not have considered is that some of the effects of using the hot tub have a direct influence on the health and appearance of your skin.

As mentioned above, regular use of a hot tub has shown to lower levels of stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety are leading causes of premature aging, which means the hot tub can be a tool to help combat premature aging.

Furthermore, when you’re experiencing increased circulation in the hot tub, that means your blood is more efficiently delivering vital oxygen and nutrients to your skin – giving you a healthy, youthful glow.

7. Decreases Frequency of Migraines and Tension Headaches

Man with Headache

When you suffer from chronic headaches, like migraines, there simply aren’t a ton of treatment options, so relief is a hard thing to come by. Fortunately, there is some evidence to suggest that regular dips in the hot tub may in fact help to prevent certain types of headaches.

How can sitting in a hot tub possibly help with headaches? Well, consider some of the more common triggers of headache, like tension.

Migraine sufferers often report experience tension headaches right before the migraine. In the hot tub, you’re muscles aren’t contracted, your aches and pains subside, and you feel overall more relaxed – thus decreasing the chance of experience a tension-triggered migraine.

Also, sufferers of sinus and cluster headaches experience episodes when they’re stuffed up; spending time in the steamy hot tub – along with using nose drops and drinking fluids – is a good way to fight congestion and prevent these types of headaches.

The Health Benefits of Soaking in a Hot Tub Infographic

Hot tubs not only provide an excellent way to relax with your friends and family, but it is also beneficial to your health. That’s right!

Hot Tub Health Benefits Infographic

Happy Soaking!

Low Maintenance Landscaping

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What homeowner wouldn’t want a lush and colorful garden just outside the window? But while a garden definitely boosts your home’s curb appeal, it also claims a lot of your free time. There’s no such thing as a maintenance-free garden, but choosing smarter plantings does cut down on the amount of pruning and watering required. So, the next time you plant, try some of these lovely options that take care of themselves. Then get ready to enjoy your new landscaping—from the comfort of your porch swing.

  1. Ribbon Grass

    Ribbon-grass

    Though it does best with moist soil and partial sun, pest- and disease-free ribbon grass thrives in Zones 4 to 9, in virtually any growing scenario—full sun or shade, wet soil or dry. Though it rarely gets taller than one foot, ribbon grass quickly spreads across even steeply sloped terrain, either to your frustration or delight, depending on your aims.

  2. Forsythia

    Forsythia

    Forsythias are early bloomers whose yellow flowers signal the start of spring. To ensure your forsythia is in top form, you’ll want to prune the bush occasionally and plant it in full sunlight.

  3. Hosta

    Low_maintenance_-_hosta

    The low-maintenance, shade-tolerant hosta needs a steady supply of moisture but will thrive in almost every soil type. They grow best in Zones 2 through 10 and benefit greatly from morning sun. Water in the morning to prevent the leaves from getting burned by the sun, and keep the plant hydrated throughout the day as needed.

     

  4. Texas Ranger

    Lowmaintenanceshrubs_texasranger

    The vibrant lavender, purple, and magenta blooms of a Texas ranger may look like they take some work to care for—but we won’t tell the neighbors your secret. This hardy plant is built to survive on little water, so all you need to do is plant it in full sunlight, and water during the summers or in times of drought.

  5. Yew

    Low_effort_landscaping_-_yew

    There’s a reason why these evergreen shrubs are a popular choice for borders and entryways. Their tolerance for drought coupled with their ability to adapt to almost any soil type makes for easy care. Yews thrive in partial to full sun in Zones 4 to 8 and reward you with beautiful (but inedible) fruits in early autumn.

  6. Black-Eyed Susan

    Low_effort_landscaping_-black_eyed_susans

    These drought-tolerant flowers look bright and chipper even in the sweltering summer heat, which makes them a great choice for the forgetful gardener. Black-eyed Susans will attract butterflies to your garden, but they also entice deer and rabbits, so plant them near repellant (and easy-care) plants like lavender or rosemary. Tend to your black-eyed Susans by planting them in full sun or partial shade, then watering and deadheading as needed.

  7. Bottlebrush Buckeye

    Bottlebrush-buckeye

    In Zones 5 to 9, bottlebrush buckeye does well in full sun or deep shade, so long as it gets enough water. Disease-free and rarely needing a prune, the slow-growing shrub can reach an impressive height of about 15 feet. In late spring and summer, its white blooms attract attention from birds, while in autumn, its lush foliage turns a beautiful gold.

  8. Fescue

    Fescue

    Homeowners have long turned to fescue as a drought-resistant alternative to traditional grass. If you’re not ready to make the switch, try it out in your garden bedinstead.

  9. Bergenia

    Lowmaintenanceshrub_bergenia

    You can count on bergenia to grow in almost any condition, sunny or shaded, and its dark, broad leaves bring beauty to the yard. If you want yours to flower, be sure to position them in full sun to increase the chance of pink and magenta blooms in spring.

     

  10. Sedge

    Low_maintenance_-_sedge

    With a variety of different sizes, textures, and growing requirements, sedge is an ideal alternative to turf lawns. These low-maintenance plants thrive in Zones 7 to 10, whether in partial or full shade, and require little to no mowing, fertilizing, or watering.

     

Spas and Pool Services

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Pools and Hot Tubs

MAAX Spas from Daniel’s Lawn & Garden

MAAX-SPAS

At Daniel’s we feature a complete selection of above ground pools, hot tubs and pool supplies, all at discounted prices. We are an authorized MAAX Spas dealer for Montgomery and parts of Chester, Lehigh, Berks and Bucks County.

We offer:

-Delivery & Setup

-Repair Service

-Accessories

-Chemicals

SALE: Up to $2500 off the manufacturer’s list price!

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Power Pool Swim Spas

Maax Power Pool Swim Spa

MAAX Power Pool Swim Spas from Daniel’s Lawn & Garden

For centuries the power of water has shaped the world we live in. From oceans to streams, the forces of moving water have changed our landscapes and our lives. That same power is now available for your home in the new MAAX Spas PowerPool™ from the outdoor adventure experts, The new MAAX Spas PowerPool™ uses flowing streams of water to create a home environment ideal for fitness, relaxation and healing.MAAX Spas PowerPool™ combines the best aspects of swimming pools, hot tubs and home gyms.

Whether it’s to shape our body, soothe your soul or transform your backyard into an oasis of tranquility, MAAX Spas PowerPool™ harnesses the power of moving water to enhance your life.

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Pool Services & Supplies

swimming pool

At Daniel’s Lawn & Garden we specialize in helping you get your swimming pool in shape for the on and off seasons.  We offer the following:

-Pool Openings & Closings

-Safety Covers

-Pool Supplies

-FREE Water Analysis

omni pool supplies

We’re proud to feature spa care supplies at discounted prices from Spa Essentials and Leisure Time Spa, and pool care supplies from Omnipool.

Bring your spa and pool water samples to us for a free water analysis.

Spa Essentials

Leisure Time Spa

Omni Pool

April Garden Tips

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Garden Tips – April

Now is a good time to start summer flowering bulbs indoors. Gladiolus, cannas, and dahlias can be started in pots inside and then moved outdoors after danger of frost.

Cut spent flowers on tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, and other spring flowering bulbs as the flower fades. Do not cut the foliage until it dies naturally. The leaves are necessary to produce food for strong bulbs for next year.

Remove sticks, rocks, and other debris from your lawn to prevent damaging your lawnmower or injuring yourself when mowing. Check your lawnmower and other lawn care equipment in preparation for the coming season. Put a birdhouse in the garden or even a bat house to attract insect-eating friends.

Measure rainfall with a rain gauge posted near the garden so you can tell when to water. The garden needs about one inch of rain per week from April to September.