Leaves: Renewable Plant Food

I wanted to blog about what to do with your leaves in the fall and even spring cleanups.  Large shade trees with deep root systems bring up minerals and nutrients from deep below the surface.  Fall time, spent leaves deposits these nutrients and minerals back down to the surface. Decomposition  releases these nutrients and minerals back to the plants. These leaves also add organic materials to the soil thus adding humus to the soil, which feed the micro-organizms, earthworms etc, thereby adding more to the soil structure, by building it up.  Composted cow manure, blood meal and similar products will ad additional nitrogen to the mix for plants that require higher amounts of N.

The moral of the story is to shred those leaves, don’t bag them up. Compost them down and feed your gardens.

Christmas Eve Tradition

When I was child, the morning of Christmas Eve was filled with extreme excitement.

Santa Claus had come, yes on Christmas Eve morning.  we knew this because… THE CURTAIN WAS UP.

My grandfather Viggo had built the house, and it had archways leading from kitchen to dining room, from dining room to living room.

My older Siblings and I would come down the stairs from our bedrooms and run to that curtain.  Knowing once we saw it that good ole Santa Claus had been there, and we also knew we were forbidden from peaking under or around the curtain to see what was under the tree. The Television was in that room, which meant NO TV that day.  We had to make ourselves busy in other ways.  Battleship was a game we would play.

Sometimes we’d get slick and send the cat (Spook) under the curtain. We’d lay our heads on the floor to peak, and of course the cat did it, so we were still in good standing.

The day would drag on and on, and eventually dinner was served.  Half way through we’d start asking if we could go through and start the presents. Dinner was over and we were asking and pleading, but not yet, for all the dishes and the kitchen had to be cleaned, and put away before we could break down the curtain and unwrap our gifts.  It was an amazing moment filled with anticipation. Mother would go through first only to plug in the Christmas tree lights.  She would come out and would then figure another way to delay for just another moment or two.  Something which added to the thrill of that moment when we were told it was ok to break through the curtain to see the gifts and the tree.

We’d open gifts and form our own piles separating them from each others.

We would then attend church and come home to bed.  The next day, actual Christmas day would be about visiting a slew of cousins, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.  Of course more gifts came with every visit.  It was a child’s dream come true year after year.

Hears to happy memories, may there be many more for you all.


The Holidays are here.. Did you buy a Live tree?

What amazing temperatures we are experiencing.  Are you planning on spending time in the gardens?  I’m intending to get some bulbs in the ground.  Of course I have plenty of daffodils so this weekend; and perhaps a bit late; I’m going to plant my garlic.  I purchased a bunch from the grocery store, and I’ll plant them and use some leaf grow to be sure they are well fertilized.  Leaf grow is well composed leaves, turned black and full of nutrients.

Did you purchase a holiday tree?  If so, is it a balled and burlapped live tree? Do not bring your tree in too early, as this may dry it out and cause it to go into shock once you put it back outside.  Only bring the tree in for one or two days.

Consider where you are going to plant it.  It is not going to like being in a wet location, it will require high ground in full to partial sun.  Also don’t forget to look up and see that there aren’t any over head utility wires.  As the plant grows it will need to have room to grow, and we want to avoid the utility company sending out their tree cutting services to clear their lines.  Typically those guys are just there to clear lines and may leave the plant looking ugly later in the future.

If you have purchased a B&B tree you will have perfect weather on Saturday Dec 21st to prep your hole.  In order to prep the hole you’ll want a square hole, twice as big as the root ball, and just as deep as the root ball.  Put some compost in the hole mix that up with the soil. Once you remove the tree from the house after Christmas, select which side of the tree is most full and face that fuller side toward your vocal point.  Meaning if you want it to face a kitchen window, select which side is fuller and face the plant toward the kitchen window.place the tree into the hole and cut any wire and rope away from the tree trunk.  Do not remove the burlap but instead untie it from the trunk and lay the flaps over into the hole and back fill the hole using compost and soil mix. The burlap will disintegrate in time.  Half way through back-filling step take a moment to back up and away from the tree and look at it from a few different angles to be sure that the tree is straight and not leaning.  Straighten as necessary, and also add a few gallons of water.  Then continue to back-fill the root ball.  Mulch to protect the plant from drying out, and stake it if in a windy location.

Happy Planting and enjoy the Winter Solstice.  The days are going to be getting longer again!  Spring isn’t TOO far away, is it?  Feels like it is here already.

Winter is warming up

In the next few days, December 18-22 2013 we’ll be experiencing temperatures into the sixties.  this is an awesome time to consider spending some time in the gardens.  If you haven’t already cleaned up the perennials, if you have a few shrubs to prune, Saturday will be an awesome time to get some fresh air and putz in the gardens.

happy gardening!


Green Lawns Est September 1996

Hi welcome to my new blog.  I’m new to this so I thought I would start with a brief description of what Green Lawns is, how we got here, and where we’d like to go.

First, After leaving the golf course industry in 1994 I spent the last eight months of my grandmothers life assisting her in her comfort and day to day needs.  Delaware Tech CC was a big part of what I was doing in those days, and studied and did really well in Business and marketing management. the idea was planted and in 1996 I decided to leave the job I had a national lawn care company that I had been working for, and start out on my own.

Green Lawns was born In September 1996  Its procupied my whole world for these past 17 years.  I seem to be growing old doing what I love.

Please check back lets continue the conversation about lawns landscapes, irrigation, ponds, mulch etc.  Whatever, lets have a conversation!