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Daniel Davis

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About Daniel Davis

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    Belmont, MI
  1. I saw it for sale at River City Excavating in Grand Rapids Michigan. Started to see it installed in houses near RCE. One house did have it planted with yellow marigolds. Must be UofM fans.
  2. I agree with Len, he is right on the money with the active ingredient, timing of application and the notion that one . There is no magic one shot gets rid of creeping charlie or any other weeds. It takes time, monitoring and a plan. Whether it is spot treating, hand pulling (I like the dinner fork suggestion), and learning that some weeds are okay in the turf. I remember just a few years back the lawn service companies used to offer 4 applications a year. Now I have fliers in the mail for 6, 7, 8 applications a year. And the reason... I believe they are trying to use the more is better - if we can make your lawn look better with 4 applications, it will be even better with eight. As Len mentioned, each application should be applying no more than 1 lb of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. feet. This year I have had people bring me fliers and quotes with stated application rates of 3lb and 4lb of nitrogen per 1,000 sq. ft. (Believe they are again playing the more is better - 1 lb is good, 3lbs is better sales trick.) Most lawn do not need more than 4 lbs of nitrogen applied per year - TOTAL. They get paid per application. But there are many factors on weed issues. Several factors on how they apply their application. If they have a tank and spray, that is better. The application will make good contact with leaves and be absorbed better. If they are applying with a spreader, a weed killer has to be applied when the leaves are wet so it can be dissolved and absorbed into the leaf of the weed. But in both types of application - they are applying the herbicide to the entire lawn. Now if I were attempting to remove a wart, would I apply wart remover to my entire body. Spot treating is the best application. Spray it only on the weeds, not the entire lawn. They do offer one benefit, and that is the timely application of nitrogen to a lawn. They will show up just as they promised every eight weeks. (I use the application notification markers they leave in my neighbors lawn as an indicator to examine my lawn and see if it needs another application of nitrogen.) Just applying nitrogen is what makes the lawn turn green. Measure your lawn and find out the total area of turf. If you would like help in determining the area, just reply back and can assist with that. Once you know the total turf area, then can purchase just a lawn fertilizer (no weed and feed or insect control products). Use a broadcast spreader and apply the determined amount (again can help calculate that for you if needed), can use the "Holiday Schedule" for when to apply. 1st Application - around Memorial Day 2nd Application - 4th of July at half the rate (if you irrigate, if not than skip this application) 3rd Application - Labor Day 4th Application - Halloween MSU Turf program has some good information on fertilization and weed control at http://turf.msu.edu/home-lawn-articles
  3. Plastic is a terrible insulator. Some sort of cover or wrap would be needed to hold the heat in. Bubblewrap, try an old blanket over the top. Anything that can create those extra pockets of air will help reduce some of the heat lost. I have seen one setup where the green house had a couple of wires run across the inside of the greenhouse (see diagram I attempted to draw) and then put a blanket (it was silver reflective thermal sheet made by taping together several mylar thermal wraps handed out at the end of running races. Although you can get them for a few dollars each on ebay.) over the wires. Then during the day they pulled the sheet to the side and at night pulled it across. They also pulled the sheet across as the days got warmer and they did not want the greenhouse to get too warm. Another suggestion would be to add passive solar heater. A container(s) that is/are black or painted black and filled with water. With a 5'x5' you might try some 5 gallon pails with lids, possibly stacking a few. During the day in the solar energy is absorbed by the black and transferred into the water and stored and in the evening that energy is released into the cooling greenhouse.
  4. I would return them. There are two terms that get used: aggressive and invasive. Aggressive would be plants that will want to take over a large area, but in general will stay contained in your yard. Think of plants like sumac, Annabelle or oak leaf hydrangea, ajuga, some geraniums. You can control these plants with watching them in your yard and keep them under control - cutting them back, digging them up, spraying them. Invasive would be plants that can easily spread from your yard to the woods down the street, a neighbors yard across the street, into the unmanaged roadside. They spread mostly by seeds carried by birds, animals and people (think of seeds that land on the driveway and get stuck in the mud on the tires or land on the windshield of the car, and then fall off while driving down the road.) While you can control these plants in your landscape with pruning, digging out seedlings and such, the seeds that germinate outside of your landscape can grow and spread. Think if plants like garlic mustard, oriental bittersweet, buckthorn - where it is the seeds that get carried to other locations and then stands of that plant get a foothold and become very hard to control.
  5. I have not tried to overwinter any sweet potato vines, but I would imagine that you can harvest the sweet potatoes (even the small ones) store them for part of the winter (cool, dark, dry) and then use them to grow new plants to transplant in the container. As kids we used to take a potato and cut them up (with a couple eyes with each section), stick toothpicks in them and place them partially into a jar of water and watch them sprout. Doing with same with sweet potatoes may work. Something for me to try next year.
  6. With the consideration of taking out the spruce trees - increase sunlight will increase plant growth, increase plant selection options and can also look at selections like ornamental grasses (several varieties of Miscanthus and Panicum that could provide a quick 6" or taller screen)
  7. Once option may be to add some flat flagstone to assist with directing the water to the edge of the bed. Attached is a photo to give you an idea. (These were some left over pieces, would suggest some narrow longer pieces with thicker ones on the sides. Same could be done with the downspot. These were places directly on the soil, although when we redo it we will add some liner under the stone.)
  8. Depends on how much you are moving, what you are moving and where you want to go with the wheelbarrow. I used them all - one wheel, two wheel, metal, poly/plastic, 3 cu ft, 6 cu ft, 10 cu ft, shallow, deep, narrow - yes, I own 5 different wheelbarrows. Each has it's pro's and cons. Favorite = Agri Fab 5.5 cu foot capacity, poly (slightly denser and thicker than the true temper and jackson), single wheel (have patched it several times and replaced the wheel once = owned/used since 1998). But Do not think Agri Fab makes it any more. Single wheel models take a little more to balance and can tip. Key is NOT to overload or over fill. Better for your back anyways. Easier to manuver through garden beds and around plants. Easy to dump contents and move side to side while dumping. Two wheels are easier to keep balanced, less likely to tip over. Sometimes can find it easier to push. Although find I will put bigger load in and makes it harder to push since there is now more weight to push. Two wheel models I find more difficult to move through a garden bed or maneuver around plants with. Also a little more difficult to dump. Best used are to move large quantities of lighter materials (leaf compost, lighter mulches like pine bark and wood chips.). Plastic is lighter overall weight to wheelbarrow. Can break if you purchase the thinner plastic versions. I have hauls many tons of gravel with plastic. Large rocks and small boulders can break thin plastic wheelbarrows. Metal ones will rust over time and if left outdoors will rust quite quickly. Have a green and yellow poly John Deere wheelbarrow - it is narrow holds about 5 cu ft. Large wheel, light weight. Tips VERY easy. I would advise against narrow wheelbarrows. Reason I have it... it is narrow. Can fit through narrow spaces. But again, only use it for clients where I need to get through a narrow fence gate or get into a backyard with a narrow path that other wheelbarrows cannot fit. Also use a 3 cu ft single wheel, metal True Temper wheelbarrow - lower sides make it easier to get large items into and out of (ie. large rocks, large plants).
  9. Have found pre-emergent weed products to be helpful in specific situations but not better than manual or mulching. In coordinating the Grand Ideas Garden over the past eight years, we a couple specific situations: 1) we apply shredded hardwood mulch in early May and mid-late May the cottonwoods dump their seeds which get into the mulch and sprout. Looks almost like green moss along the building. We have tried preen (applied about a week after the mulch is applied) with some success to reduce the number of sprouts that are successful in growing. BUT we have found that we can be just as successful by raking the mulch with a garden rake (once a week over the course of three weeks to disturb the sprouting seedlings in areas where we did not use the preen) and can be just as successful. We also have some exposed soil in the annual plantings that will have weed seeds sprout. Once again, in parts of the beds where we applied pre-emergent we saw less seedling sprout. But if the soil is disturbed or we do anything soil cultivation in those beds the weed seeds will germinate. We have used corn gluten with some success just after planting those beds (1st week after Memorial Day) and then monitor the beds and start manual weeding and cultivating when weeds start to appear. Keeping soil from being exposed has been our best weed control.
  10. I'll offer my two cents... first I will refer to the MSU Bulletin E2955 @ http://www.emeraldashborer.info/files/e2955.pdf My thoughts on this is you can wait until you get into early May. Once the leaves on the trees are close to being fully open. (1) If you have been treating for a few years now, you have the active ingredient in the tree already. Now each year you are replenishing the active ingredient. (2) Unlike a spray where they are most effective on a insect a certain stages of their growth, this does not have as narrow of an application treatment window. This treatment is a systemic treatment, so the process is to get the active ingredient (imidacloprid) into the tree so it will kill the borer in it's larva/grub stage under the bark of the tree. Believe I read on the Bayer product that this can take up to 60 days to translocate the active ingredient through the tree. They key here is getting the active ingredient moved most effectively though the tree and into that cambium layer of the tree (this is the layer of in the tree between the bark and white (woody) part of the tree. This is where the ash borer larva/grub live, eat and their tunnels destroy the cambium layer which is the cause of the tree death. I believe the reason for the late May/ early June time frame is this is when the tree is most active in pulling water and nutrients up into the tree. The "pipes" should be active and running water through the tree. If done to early - the active ingredient will not be absorbed and moved into the tree. What we should be looking at is the leaves on the tree. So as Janet had mention in in What's Up 176, the pipes are starting their flow. As the leaves are starting to emerge, most of the water being pulled into the tree is getting used by the leaves to open and get fully expanded. (The borer lays it's eggs in the bark of the tree not the leaves.) Once the leaves are open and get their photosynthesis process cranked up, the nutrients and flow through the cambium layer will get going. I hope that helps.
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