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Blog posts of '2012' 'April'

How to Make a Brick Succulent Garden

Almost a month ago, we posted a picture on our Facebook page of a succulent garden that was planted in a small concrete cinder block wall.  We took the picture at the EPCOT Flower and Garden show that was presented by HGTV.

Since that time, we have had a few questions as to how it was done. We didn't know, so we went and asked the garden experts at the show. They gave us a step-by-step on how they created the garden focal point - allowing us to share that knowledge with our awesome customers and anybody else who would want to add this fun feature to their landscape.

Step 1

Lay bottom course of concrete blocks, angling blocks occasionally to make plant pockets.

Step 2

Lay second course "stair step", so cells at the end of bottom course are exposed. Angle blocks occasionally to make plant pockets, but not directly over bottom plant pockets.

Step 3

Lay top course similar to others.

Step 4

Once you are happy with the design, remove sections and glue together with outdoor adhesive or mortar. Weight top cells with extra blocks until cured.

Step 5

Drive metal stakes through open cells and into ground, every 2-3 blocks, Partially fill staked cells with mortar if you need extra stability.

Step 6

Push a piece of hardware cloth (chicken wire will do) into the bottom of an open cell to hold up plants. Glue the wire in place with an outdoor adhesive.

Step 7

Cut a piece of landscape fabric to fit and lay it on top of the hardware cloth to hold in the soil. Use the outdoor adhesive to hold this in place as well.

Step 8

Fill the open cells with lightweight potting soil mix and plant with succulents or other drought-tolerant species of plants.

Step 9

Sit back and enjoy the wonderful new addition to your landscape.

 

 

Happy Earth Day!

 The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity…That’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. - Gaylord Nelson (Founder of Earth Day)

 
April 22nd has been set aside to celebrate one thing that we might take for granted, the Earth. Billions of us call this beautiful blue marble home. We are dependent on its resources - the very air we breathe to remain alive, the water that we drink, the food that grows from its soil. On this particular day, we take a step back from our everyday lives and acknowledge the state of our beautiful planet.
 
Whether you believe in global warming or not - or you feel an urgent calling to recycle in your own home - we should all, as humans, take into account what we have left in our wake. That once-unblemished lake you swam in as a child now sits with its banks strewn in garbage. The wooded area outside of town you played in is now full of the hustle and bustle of a mall. Little by little, the Earth we once had is permanently gone.
 
On April 22nd we should all take some time to give a little something back to our planet. Think about this: For years, scientists have searched the universe for another planet like ours. They come up empty each time. There is no other planet like ours. We should act accordingly.
 
 
The Earth is made up of over 9 billion people.
What is the one thing we all have in common?
Earth.
 
 
Happy Earth Day, everyone!
From Mister Landscaper
Summer Watering Tips

Summer is just around the corner.

For some of us that means some “Dog Days” ahead. For others, maybe not so bad. But one thing that is certain is that most of our country has been faced with drought issues for a few years now. From the Southwest to the Southeast, the presence of rain has been scarce.

 
In the U.S., 7.8 billion gallons of water are used daily for outdoor use, primarily for gardening and landscaping. These are staggering numbers.  
 
 
For those of us who like to maintain our lawns and gardens, there are a few things we can do to keep our yards looking great and, more importantly, conserve water.
 
 
Planting Tips
  • Use native plants to your area.
  • Choose low-water grass types.
  • Plant trees and shrubs to slow erosion and cool down the area.
 
Irrigation Tips
  • Hand watering is not very efficient.
  • Drip & Micro Spray Irrigation is best for all plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees.
  • Watering early in the morning is best.
  • Water the lawn, not the pavement, by adjusting the sprinklers.
  • Chemical fertilizers speed up the growth of lawns, not using them means less to water.
  • Raise the cut length of your mower. Taller grass shades the roots and promotes healthier turf & requires less watering.
  • Do not puddle the water by over-watering. Water less time and more often to give it time to soak in if you have harder soil types.
 
 
Use these great tips this summer and watch your lawn and garden flourish.
 
 
Remember, Mister Landscaper believes in conserving our most precious natural resource. It shows in every product we sell.
 
 
Join the discussion... Have you used these tips? Do you have any tips of your own? 
 
 
Reminder... April is our Blog Comment Contest. The winner of our contest will receive a fabulous Canon digital camera and a Mister Landscaper kit. All you have to do is leave a comment on any April blog post. The winner will be determined by the number of comments each contestant leaves. Each comment will represent one entry for our random drawing. Here is more information and a picture of the prizes.
 
Good luck to all! 
 

 

Become Your Own Weather Forecaster
Have you ever wondered how weather forecasters used to predict weather back in the “old days”? You know - the days before KLYSTRON or VIPER radar. Scary names.
 
Back in the early days, farmers, gardeners, or any kind of grower used to depend on one thing for their weather forecast. Any guesses?
If you said the Farmers’ Almanac, that’s a pretty good guess - but not quite right.
 
I am talking about clouds.
 
That’s right. People used to walk outside of their homes, look toward the sky, and be able to tell what the weather was going to be like for the day - or week. Sounds magical? Not really. It’s actually something that you can still do today - with a little help.
 
With a little studying, you can tell if hurricanes or tornadoes might be on their way. How about being able to tell when that next big blizzard is going to hit? Does the old saying, “Red sky in the morning, sailor's warning, red sky at night, sailor's delight” hold any truth? Yes, it does! 
 
Did you also know that certain clouds will tell you what way they are moving by the direction in which they are pointing? Clouds can dwell as low as 4,000 feet and reach up into the upper atmosphere around 36,000 feet. Pretty amazing.
 
If you’re interested in improving your weather predicting skills, do some research online or in your local library. One Web site in particular that I really liked is Instructables
 
Give it a try. It can be quite fun and something the whole family can join - not to mention the next time you’re at an outdoor event with friends and you show up with an umbrella. They might all laugh at you. But you'll know something they don’t.
 
How cool is that?
 
Join the discussion... How are your weather predicting skills? Is this something you would consider? Why or why not?
 
Reminder... April is our Blog Comment Contest. The winner of our contest will receive a fabulous Canon digital camera and a Mister Landscaper kit. All you have to do is leave a comment on any April blog post. The winner will be determined by the number of comments each contestant leaves. Each comment will represent one entry for our random drawing. Here is more information and a picture of the prizes.
 
Good luck to all!
 

 

Introducing The New Electronic Timer

Many plant enthusiasts who use drip irrigation and micro irrigation in their landscapes and gardens know that one of the best ways to water plants with just the right amount of water is to use an electronic timer.  Mister Landscaper has had various types of electronic timers over the years - each one adding more features as technology improved.

We are happy to announce that we have just added a new automatic water timer (Product Number: MLWT-TIMER). This timer comes fully loaded with tons of great features, which makes it much better than our previous model.

Just for comparison's sake, we listed some of the differences between our new timer and our old one so you can see for yourself if an upgrade would be worth it.

 

Our new timer can be set to the nearest minute, versus the old one, which was to the nearest hour.

Our new timer has a run time of 1 to 240 minutes, while the old timer could only run from 1 to 99 minutes.

Our new timer has 11 different watering cycles to choose from. The old timer had only 8 cycle choices.

Our awesome new timer has a manual run time of 5 minutes up to 240 minutes. Compare this to the old timer which only had a 30-minute option.

The new Mister Landscaper timer takes 2 AA batteries instead of the hard-to-find 9-volt blocks.

 

With the new timer, it is much easier to change the battery, with no screws to undo - unlike the older one in which two screws had to be removed.

 

One of the neatest features in the new timer is a rain delay setting. This allows you to delay 1, 2, or 3 days before a run cycle. The old timer did not have this feature at all, so it is a great add-on for sure.

 

All of the new features make this new electronic timer a definite plus in our drip irrigation and micro irrigation product line.  It allows customers to set their watering times for their landscapes and gardens, then go about their lives, knowing that their gardens will get just the right amount of water they needs.  The avid gardener could even go on a vacation and not have to get a garden sitter. Nice.