SPRING GARDEN NOTEBOOK
A perfectly manicured, green turf grass has been a status symbol since the Industrial Revolution. Everyone could finally afford to have a lawn, not just wealthy estates. But at what costs?
Timing is everything. Collect most seeds when they are ripe and dry, but before they disperse, fall to the ground or become a meal for wildlife. Some earlier flowering species such as Wild Columbine are typically collected early in the summer instead of the fall.
Colors, interesting seed heads, and the last visits of the year of some birds and insects make me appreciate the change of seasons. Here are some fall and early winter maintenance tips/reminders:
A native garden is like traditional gardens in some ways, but different in other ways. Now we’re welcoming local ecology, natural processes and plants which naturally grow together. Below are a few basic garden maintenance tips everyone should follow.
Fall is a good time, as well as periodically throughout the year, to do maintenance on your birdhouses, birdfeeders and bird baths. Maintenance will help protect birds from some pests and diseases, and from unwanted visitors.
A red fox visited my fenced -in yard today in the middle of suburbia (sea of lawns). There he was standing 2 feet away from me, nose to nose with my dog,…
Here are some quick environmentally friendly suggestions for leaving the leaves instead of bagging, blowing or raking them. This will reduce noise and air pollution, but most importantly, benefit wildlife and plants.
Many native perennials (forbs and grasses) and weeds exploded this summer due to the wetter and/or warmer than usual weather. Often times seeds and plants germinate in moist decomposing mulch. I recommend using a string trimmer (weed wacker) to trim weeds or unwanted perennials in some areas instead of weeding by hand.
I recently attended The Veggie Fest in Naperville and talked to a person advertising the health benefits of a native berry called the Black Chokeberry (Aronia melanocarpa) that he claimed no one around here knew about but was very well known in Europe.
When prairies covered almost two-thirds of Illinois and Native Americans lived on this land, locating sources of water was very important for survival. So they altered the limbs of growing native trees at 90 angles…
Many folks understand the importance of protecting and supporting nature in our yards. Snags, brush & rock piles, are features sometimes overlooked, but can easily be incorporated into our yards to benefit wildlife.