Monthly Archives: February 2011

Too short to water?

Indoor plants have been known to clean the air, improve moods, and even reduce fatigue, coughs, and sore throats.  Especially in the dead of winter, when many of us don’t have the opportunity to spend much time outside, houseplants are a great way to improve the indoors.  And they add a little color to the bland winter months!

I love everything about my indoor plants, except for watering them.  Sometimes I forget to water them and then, when I do remember, the whole process just turns into such an ordeal.  If you’re like me – my feet touch the ground, but my arms don’t always reach the top shelf – stools have to be brought out in order to water, and no matter how hard I try, water always manages to pour everywhere.

With the Delta Hanging Plant Waterer, all of the hassle of watering your indoor plants will be behind you.  Just fill the 32 oz. plant waterer with water and squeeze.  Remove the mess and hassle of watering your indoor plants, and enjoy the benefits of growing them!

It really is a life-saver, and now I don’t put off watering till my plants start to droop.

Stop Pest Parties

It’s cold outside and neighborhood cats and dogs are finding warmth and dry ground wherever they can.  Under porches, areas under eaves and shoveled sidewalks are particularly at risk of becoming welcoming spots for animals to do their “business.”  Instead of enduring the smell and mess created by visiting dogs and cats, use Liquid Fence Dog & Cat Repellent.

The all-natural plant-oil-based formula repels cats and dogs by masking familiar animal odors, sending unwanted pests elsewhere to do their business.  And because it is made with natural plant oils, Liquid Fence Dog & Cat Repellent is safe for your pets and plants.

And because spring is coming, remember Liquid Fence Dog & Cat Repellent is good to use all four seasons.  It is a great training tool to keep your pets out of flower beds and gardens!  When you begin training your pets, apply the repellent more frequently, and as the behavior is changed you can reduce the frequency of application.  Just another eco-friendly solution from The Liquid Fence Company!

Put the freeze on winter deer damage

Although difficult for the softhearted, turning a cold shoulder to visiting deer is the right thing to do

BRODHEADSVILLE, PA – “It’s so cold out. They must be starving – why else would they be looking for food? If I feed them, maybe they’ll stay away from my plants!” Sound familiar? As tempting as it may be, turn a cold shoulder to foraging deer – do not feed them! And, in spite of the chilly temperatures, ice or snow, applying a proven effective, all-season repellent right through the winter months will help stop deer cold in their tracks and prevent them from destroying ornamental bushes, trees and winter garden plants.

Don’t feed the deer.

Contrary to how it may seem to the softhearted, feeding deer is not good for them and it’s obviously not good for landscaping. In fact, feeding deer actually trains them to think of that backyard as a reliable source of food – and they won’t stop at generous handouts – expensive plantings will become tasty treats, too. Although well meaning, feeding deer promotes unhealthy behavior.

They will stay near the easy source of food, even if it’s inadequate, rather than seeking food in their natural environment. If deer ingest a food type that is not part of their natural diet they can become sick and even die.

Typically, they will compete for handouts, leaving more submissive deer underfed and promoting overly aggressive behavior.

Use an effective repellent

A liberal application of a proven effective, all-season deer repellent, such as Liquid Fence® Deer & Rabbit Repellent, on and around landscaped garden areas will help stop the deer from making a winter meal of shrubs, plants, trees and vines.  Be sure to apply when temperatures are above freezing. Liquid Fence works on scent, so the deer don’t even have to take a bite – unlike many other repellents that require the deer to “munch away” to be effective. The product should be applied during a dry period, then again, one week later. After that, a once-a-month spraying is all that’s needed.

An ounce of prevention…

It’s much easier to prevent the damage than it is to stop a foraging cycle that has already begun. Deer are creatures of habit. If they munched your tulips in the spring or crunched your pumpkins in the fall, you can bet they’ll be chomping your arborvitae in the winter! By applying Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent at the first signs of deer foraging, you’ll break their habit before it takes a strong hold.

A neighborhood effort

As in most situations, there is power in numbers. If adjacent properties practice the same deer control policies, the neighborhood will benefit. So work hard at convincing soft-hearted Mary, who’s been seen regularly feeding the local deer population, that she’s actually doing the deer more harm than good. Not to mention angering her neighbors by training the deer to continually seek food in her (and, consequently their) backyard!

Feeding your plants

Plants need food to thrive.  They might mope along minus a healthy diet, but they are really much happier when they don’t have to struggle on water and old dirt.  Unfortunately plants can’t remind us when they are starving.  So it’s important to have a feeding schedule that you can remember.

Plants only need three basic things in their dirt: Nitrogen, Phosphates, and Potash.  Each of these things provides the plant with something it needs to grow fuller, greener, and healthier.  In order to add these things to your plant, you can add compost, or you can add prepared plant food.

For indoor plants, prepared plant food tends to be the easiest option; it comes in three basic forms.  Powders and granules are convenient and work well on plants outside, but are not quite as effective on indoor plants, because they don’t tend to work their way into the soil.  Pills and sticks are very convenient, but don’t spread the food, which leaves concentrated pockets that could cause uneven root growth.  Liquid is the best option for feeding plants, because it can easily be absorbed and will be evenly spread.

Liquid Fence Speedy Grow is a great supplement to your plant food, because it actually improves root growth and allows the roots to absorb more food.  And its organic-based formula is extracted from organic kelp seaweed.  Because The Liquid Fence Company is committed to providing eco-friendly solutions to common problems, you can trust that Speedy Grow will help your plants without dumping harmful chemicals into your  home.  And of course it’s safe for nosey pets who might dig into your houseplants.

The best gestimate for feeding your plants is once a month.  You can feed them more from the spring to the fall and stop feeding entirely in the winter.   The real key to keeping your plants happy and healthy is following a schedule, so plan your plant feedings around when you pay your bills every month.  Or use any other special date as a way to remember your plants.  And don’t forget the Speedy Grow to give your plants that added boost!  They will be much happier for it!

When and how to trim and protect your roses

Rose trimming was always a point of confusion in my house.  My mom always meant to trim the rose bushes in the spring; but, if she had more time in the fall, she would deem the fall the appropriate time of year.  Then there were those ever-more-common instances where she was frustrated by the size and legginess of her rose bushes in the middle of June and she would begin to chop, leaving the yard riddled with bright pink blooms.

This process seemed a bit too haphazard for my regimented lifestyle.  But a quick google search proved my mom was not the only one with rose trimming issues.  Every other gardening website had a different suggested date for when to trim rose bushes.  While not everyone agrees on the subject, it is safe to trim in the spring, before the rose pushes out new growth.  Some experts suggest looking for the forsythia’s bloom as a sign for when to trim.  This is a great visual reminder.

To trim the bush, remember to use sharp instruments, so your cuts aren’t ragged.  Cut at a 45° angle and remove all woody, spindly and otherwise dead-looking branches.  Prune from the base of the plant and move your way up.  Be sure to remove any leftover leaves from the previous season.

Whether you are a fall trimmer or a spring trimmer, roses need to be trimmed in order to thrive.  To make sure your roses continue to thrive all year long, protect them with  American Rose Society Endorsed Liquid Fence® Deer & Rabbit Repellent.  The scent-based formula will stop deer from taking that first nibble.  And you’ll be able to enjoy your beautiful roses all summer long!

Surviving the slush

Surviving the Slush…
We are in the slushy middle of winter in the Northeast, and my garden is buried under almost 2 feet of snow.  Along with digging out of the slush, I’m digging into the reserves of last summer’s crops and slowly emptying my freezer.

I like to look at my freezer reserves as preserved good memories of last summer, rather than get depressed by the lack of fresh bounty.  I get to enjoy, chicken corn soup from the sweet corn I husked in July and blueberry sauce from the blueberries I devoured by the handful in August.  Of course, the frozen stuff doesn’t taste quite as good as the fresh stuff, but there is nothing like enjoying the bounty of the summer on cold winter days.

Even if you don’t have my squirlish tendencies and haven’t stored your summer produce, frozen fruits and vegetables can be a good choice this time of year.  Scroll to the bottom of this post for my recipe for Lemon Pound Cake with blueberry sauce.

Thinking of planting blueberry bushes this spring?
Bumper blueberry crops can be achieved even in areas with heavy deer populations.  Spray the plants with Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent.  If you are planting new blueberry bushes this year, be sure to promptly apply the repellent after planting.

And because Liquid Fence Deer & Rabbit Repellent is safe to use on edible crops, you can even apply after fruit appears.  Just be sure not to apply it immediately before harvest.  Because you’ll want to protect more than just your blueberries, buy the Liquid Fence Repellent 40 oz. Concentrate with Sprayer.  The 40 oz. concentrate will cover 10,000 square feet.  That’s enough to protect your shrubs AND blueberries from deer and rabbits!

Lemon Pound Cake with Homemade Blueberry Syrup: Makes 5 servings

8 oz package cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 and 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 eggs, room temperature
2 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 325°F.  In small mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking powder, set aside.  In a larger mixing bowl, cream butter and cream cheese in an electric mixer.  In the mean time, combine the lemon zest into the granulated sugar. Add the sugar to the butter mixture and continue creaming.  Add the lemon and vanilla extract, and eggs one at a time, beating for about one minute after each egg.  Scrape down the bowl after each egg.  Slowly add the sifted flour and baking powder.  Don’t over mix!  Pour into a greased and floured 5”by 9”loaf pan and bake for 60- 75 minutes, or until tooth pick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Homemade Blueberry Syrup
2 cups of cleaned frozen blueberries
1 ½ cup of sugar
½ cup of water

Dissolve sugar into the water.  Add the frozen blueberries.  Bring to a boil.  Boil for 5 minutes or until mixture has thickened.  Strain blueberries, if you like fruit-free sauce.  Or keep them in for added flavor and texture.  Serve the syrup warm over the pound cake.