Out On a Limb Landscape Services, Inc.

We know what we do, and we do it well….the first time!

   Feb 12

Bees Harmed by Plant Treatments

 

If you see this tag, DO NOT buy plants treated with neoniconoids!

Neonicotinoid Warning - Harmful to Bees

Neoniconoids are banned in Europe.

Many of the big box stores are getting in Spring flowers.
Planting flowers to help the bees is a great idea but plants treated with ‘neonics’ are very harmful to bees.

Bees take the pollen back to the hive and feed it to the brood. This is the # 1 cause of colony collapse.

Neoniconoids are banned in Europe.

And in general, supporting small local nurseries is just a good idea.

 


   Mar 09

So, Now You Want To Know What I Do About Weeds…

I don’t stress over weeds but I wander the garden often looking for ones about to go to seed .. and make sure they don’t! Remember:

“One year’s seeding = 7 years weeding”

 

And I have learned that a good tool for weeding is what we call a hula hoe:

download

Hula Hoe

It works well for shallow rooted weeds by roughing up the soil. I love it for grubbing out the shot weed that seems to sprout each fall and grows all winter long.

 

 

Cardamine hirsute  

A.K.A: Shotweed or Artillary weed. Whatever we call it, we agree it is very abundant, easy to weed-up, but nearly impossible to get rid of totally. It is also a delicious, nutritious wild edible, reminiscent in flavor to watercress

I didn’t know it was a wild edible … now i will have to try it in my salad tomorrow night!   It is very peppery and tasty!!

I apply mulch in late June-early July every other year .. after the soil has warmed up. I weed, deeply water and put down a layer of mulch.

 

 

 


   Mar 09

Some Products We Recommend

soil

Soil Moist* (squishes) in every planting hole.  We hydrate them before adding them to the soil. They absorb and hold water then release it very slowly. They stay in the soil for 3 – 5 years before breaking down. Put about 2 T in a 5 gal bucket, fill the bucket half full and let them sit overnight. Check them the next day and if they aren’t in a slurry of water, that means they haven’t finished hydrating. Add more water and let them sit for a few hours. We keep buckets of this ready made & available all during planting season. A few handfuls will definitely help with keeping new plantings moist.

Our Own Special Planting Mix

  • Blend Super Phosphate * & 14-14-14 Osmocote* and mix it into every planting hole to help stimulate good strong root development.
  • 3 parts Super P : 1 part Osmocote.
  • 2 handfuls / rosebush is how we judge it  and adjust accordingly for other plant sizes.

Gardener and Bloome Soil Amendment.   Several local nurseries carry this or some product very similar.

A bloom boost* solution to keep plants reblooming.  Available under different names but the middle number should be high. e.g. 0-50-0

B-12 solution e.g. Vita Start* reduces the shock of transplanting.

* Can be purchased at Swain’s, Clallam Coop and most local nurseries.  I believe in supporting  our local nurseries and avoiding the ‘big box’ stores as much as possible. Things may cost a bit more but small businesses are good for communities!


   Feb 12

An Important Thing I’ve Learned About Landscape Fabric!

Landscape Fabric.

There is no black plastic or landscape fabric anywhere in my garden (except to line the really raised veggie beds).  It is my belief these products are a waste of time, effort and money. In the long run, they never work; weeds just grow on top of them. But even more importantly to me, they stop all organic decomposition from happening in the soil. As long as these materials are in place, no leaves or mulch or compost will ever become part of the soil underneath. Air, water and liquid fertilizers will move through the fabric but that’s it. And with black plastic not even air and water get through! Yikes!


   Feb 11

Thoughts On Watering

Thoughts on Watering:

Several years ago I took the time to install a drip irrigation system and then hardly ever used it! Wandering my garden in the early morning (often in my bathrobe) is one of my greatest joys; puttering among the flowers,  pulling a weed here and there, deadheading the California Poppies. That is also the time I water.  I believe plants learn to live without as much water they are often given. If they are watered deeply and infrequently, it encourages them to put down deep roots. Then they can survive the stress of heat and dry better than plants that are watered often and not very deep.

I will spend an hour walking back and forth between a few beds watering deeply and thoroughly.  Then I won’t water those beds for a couple of weeks .. unless of course it gets really hot and/or windy. In that case, I will just wander through moistening the mulch so there is more evaporation/humidity for the plants.          My other favorite way to water when I don’t have time to wander is to put the hose on a very slow drip, lay it in a bed and leave it for a couple of days .. then move it to another area to be deeply watered. This method works well on all soils except sandy soil!  Give me clay soil any day!

Its all about the soil!!

I once read “If you aren’t feeding the soil, you aren’t gardening!” I guess I took it to heart.  It is my firm belief that healthy soil full of vitality will give the plants everything they need to fight off disease and insect attacks. Of course a garden completely free of disease and insects isn’t easy to achieve, but it certainly is an ideal worth fighting for. Throughout the year I add the compost from our worm bins into the soil, I make frequent applications of Soil Soup, I add other nutrients in the form of cottonseed meal, alfalfa meal, kelp meal. Occasionally I will purchase some Gardener and Bloome Soil  Building Compost just to add a different variety of nutrients.