Landscaping Newsletter and Garden Tips
November, 2017     Volume 151

A Personal Message
We went to a country wedding last month.  It was stunning!

Melissa and I were invited to the outdoor ceremony and reception on the lawn.  We enjoyed it so much.

We're in front of a gorgeous flowering tree at the back of their house.  The ceremony took place with a flowered arch placed in front of a cornfield. 
Moving on...exciting news last month for Megan Higgins!  She's the winner of our FREE tick repellent service.

Her property will be treated for ticks at no charge to her.  This service has a value up to $500.00.

Megan won the contest on her birthday.  She emailed to tell us that this was the "Best birthday ever!"
This is our foreman, Jake.  He's treating a beautiful property with lots of minature garden beds here in St. Michaels.  It's a small property and we've priced it accordingly. 
We treat so many properties that we actually use a spray rig mounted in the back of a truck, instead of backpack sprayers.  We have 3 of these rigs now. 
We serviced over 500 properties this year alone.  This means over 500 families don't have to worry about being bitten by ticks this year.
This service consists of 2 treatments each year -- Spring and Fall.  By spraying your property twice a year, we can fully disrupt the life cycle of ticks in the area.     
Hope you'll have a wonderful autumn.  Please contact us if we can assist you with any outdoor projects this fall.

November Garden Tips

*  I usually include this garden tip in the November newsletter:  
"Clean, sharpen and oil your garden tools,"   Routine maintenance is always a good idea.
However, I never really paid much attention to the difference a thorough cleaning makes.
My Dad cleaned the rust off a pair of hedge shears recently.  He used the file we keep in Melissa's potting bench.  The shears were old and caked with rust.  Here's what they look like now.
You can still see the rust from the shears on the top of this file.  The tool is by Nicholson and it's a 12 inch Mill Bastard file.  Unfortunate name.  Great product.

I was just about to toss these hedge shears, but they work wonderfully now.  My Dad does a great job maintaining tools.

As I took pictures of the hedge shears on a beautiful fall day, my eye wandered over to the sweet potato plants we planted this past summer.    
The purple flowers that look like trumpet vines are from the sweet potato plant.  Those yellow flowers are the marigolds that I planted this summer.  They're out of control!
I've never grown sweet potatoes before.  We've only used sweet potato vines in ornamental flower pots.  Melissa and I keep wondering when to dig them up.   
But, the foliage is so pretty that we don't want to disturb the plant.  Those purple flowers aren't wandering vines, they're actually from the sweet potato plant itself.
For now, we'll just admire the view.  I imagine I'll be hungry for sweet potato fries soon and start digging to see what I can find. 
*  I'd like to recommend another small business in this area.  Wings Landing Farms is based in Preston, MD.   
They are probably best known for their produce stand in the Amish Market. They also supply locally grown produce to grocery stores in this area.  When I see their produce, I gravitate to it like a moth to a flame.
Melissa and I were at the Amish Market in Easton last week, ready for apple season.  She went crazy for the mums there and I bought her a white one.  It now has a place of honor on our deck.
We bought the red Vinca plant for Melissa for her birthday in May.  Both of these plants started life as a hanging basket.  They grew so quickly, that she had to transplant both of them.
Wings Landing Farms has consistently excellent produce and plants.  We've stopped at their farm stand and are regular patrons at their Amish Market stall.  Check them out!  We think you'll like them too.  

*  If you're looking for interesting fall/winter plant material, Autumn Sedum Joy is one of my favorites.  I knew it was a succulent and that it grew well in my (somewhat neglected) landscape beds.  It's a nice change to the usual petunias and winter cabbage.
I've included a picture of the way Autumn Sedum looks during the warm weather months. 
This is a picture of one of my gardens with an Autumn Sedum plant nestled beside some grasses. 
Autumn Sedum is also sometimes called "Stonecrop."  It features water-hoarding leaves that grow best in soil that's on the dry side and has poor fertility.
I like the Sedum information I found on the Home and Garden TV website.  Here's a link to the site:   http://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/flowers-and-plants/sedum-autumn-joy
Hope you have a great November.  Happy Thanksgiving too! 

It's Leaf Removal Time Again!

Okay, yes I know we have this discussion every year around this time.  And yes, I know I can get a little preachy about this subject. 

But I can't stress how important leaf removal is to your lawn.  A carpet of leaves can prevent light and air from reaching grass. 

Light and air can't possibly reach this grass.  Leaves are effectively choking the life of out the lawn.

A lack of light prevents photosynthesis from occurring.
Photosynthesis (the process of manufacturing food for the blade of grass) can't occur without light and air.  Grass needs the nutrients which occur during photosynthesis, even during the cold winter months.
Actually, your grass needs food now more than ever. So, it's important to keep those leaves off the lawn, before they do any real damage.     
Forcing your kids to do this... 
is probably going to lead to this...let's face it, kids love to play in leaves.
My company can help!  We offer low-impact leaf removal service. We minimize the use of equipment that will touch your new grass.
Our commercial leaf vacuum with its' 10 foot hose can reach across most lawns to pick up piles of leaves that our leaf blowers have prepared. So, we stay off grassy areas as much as possible.
My leaf vacuum is actually larger than most townships use across the country.  It even has its' own license plate.
Whether you need a full removal service or just a pile of leaves removed, we can help.
Our leaf removal service is fast and efficient.  Please call us for a no-cost estimate.  410.770.5882.