Blog posts of '2012' 'May'

It's Memorial Day Weekend!

Memorial Day weekend is here.  Is it just another holiday or does it really mean something to us? Trip to the lake, the beach? Cookouts and hangouts are the order of the day. The release of a new Hollywood blockbuster at the theater is always something to look forward to? Finally, let’s all admit it having a Monday off is pretty cool.

Sacrifice, honor, bravery, determination, youth, selflessness, service… These words do not quite match what is described up above. What they do relate to is the true meaning of this holiday weekend. Memorial Day dates back to our American Civil War it was first celebrated to honor the fallen Union soldiers of that war. Soon after that, every last Monday in May has been set aside to honor every person that has given their life in the service of the Armed Forces of the United States of America. Was it your grandfather in WWll, an uncle or father in Vietnam? Could it be a brother or sister wife or husband in Iraq or the war against terrorism? We all know someone.

Every year at this time, take a small amount of time to be thankful for the ultimate sacrifice they have given so we might enjoy the freedoms we have. Every privilege we have as Americans has been earned by the giving of a life. From everyone at Mister Landscaper, thank you. We are proud to be Made in the U.S.A.

Celebrate safely this weekend.

Spring is Here

Spring is here, and for some of us a little farther south, it already feels like summer. Is it safe to say that winter is in the past? Well, there might be a little snow left on the ground here and there. But, it’s that time of the year we look forward to, at least those of us who actually enjoy a little horticulture activity.

Once all the initial work has been completed, such as the flower beds cleaned, pruning, planting, weeding, it is time to put the wet stuff on the green stuff. We just have to figure out what is the best and most efficient way to get that water to where we need it. Rain is best. But for some areas of our country, rain is a little scarce these days.

Mister Landscaper continues to show its commitment to customers by developing and producing great and new products--such as our NEW Mister Timer for microsprays and drip irrigation and our Red Down Spray Mister, which is a great new way for watering those plants that require plenty of water to the roots.

We are strongly committed to developing and producing new exciting products for you--our customers.

To see these new products, take a look around our Website. Did you know you can also see our products on Youtube? Plus, follow us on Facebook and watch for new posts about our new products and the great activities we have to keep us involved with you--our friends and customers.


A Fountain of Plants

Dryer conditions can happen anytime and anywhere. Sometimes it's hard to know what to do to make your home and landscape more water efficient, while still making a visual impression on the design. 

A new trend has been popping up in many arid and drought-affected climates that combines landscape design with efficiency and conservation.  Many of the cascading water fountains in these regions have been turned into planters.  Where water used to pour over the rims of these fountains, plants have taken its place - creating a unique design element that raises the eye above the ground and gives structure, dimension and focus to the overall landscape.

Mister Landscaper happened upon this great example of how these fountains can be transformed at the EPCOT Flower & Garden Show, so we wanted to share it with our customers.

Below is a step-by-step, how to turn your fountain into a planter.

Step 1:

Drill holes in the basins of your fountain.

Step 2:

Cover the holes you drilled with mulch, pot shards, or landscape fabric.

Step 3:

Fill the basins with lightweight potting soil.

Step 4:

Plant drought-tolerant plants of different colors and textures. (In our example, succulents were used.)

Step 5:

Water your new planter regularly, but only when the soil is dry.  Using a Drip Irrigation system like our Patio Watering Kit with dripper stakes will make sure that your new planter gets just the right amount of water to keep your plants healthy and still conserve water.

Step 6:

Enjoy the new addition to your garden. It is bound to turn some heads, or maybe start a conversation or two with the neighbors.

Rain Rain, Where is the rain?

Take a look at the U.S. Drought Map below. It is easy to see that  much of the country is currently experiencing some kind of drought condition. In certain areas the conditions are mild, and in some of them things are more extreme and unusual. The map above shows the parts of the country that are experiencing water shortages as of May 1st of this year.

If you find yourself in one of these areas, what can you do to compensate for the lack of water, while continuing to keep your plants, not only alive but healthy and thriving?

Below we have a simple list of things that will help any garden or landscape thrive in a less-than-adequate watering environment. 

  • Use correct watering techniques: Water early in the day or late in the evening to reduce evaporation loss. Water less frequently, but for longer lengths of time, to encourage deep root growth. Check hoses for leaks before watering plants, and position sprinklers so they water only plants -- not the road or house. Some simple adjustments can save water and reduce runoff.
  • Condition the soil: If you add organic matter to clay and sandy soils, it will increase the penetrability of clay soils and the water-holding capacity of sandy soils.
  • Mulch the soil surface: This helps cut down on water loss due to evaporation. A two-inch layer of mulch or compost is recommended. Apply mulches to shrubs, trees, annuals, vegetable gardens and even containers.
  • Collect compost for mulching: Use food scraps, yard trimmings, and other organic waste to create a compost pile. Compost is a rich soil amendment that can help increase water retention, decrease erosion and replace chemical fertilizers.
  • Shelter container plants to conserve water: Move your container plants to areas with partial shade to keep them from drying quickly in hot windy areas.
  • Install a drip irrigation or micro irrigation system: A low-flow irrigation system can save up to 70 percent of all water used in garden care, making it a feasible way to water in drought conditions. Also many areas allow low-flow irrigation in gardens and landscapes even when there are watering restrictions.
  • Discourage competition: Pull any weeds to discourage competition for water. Consider a landscape fabric between the soil and your mulch to further reduce weeds.
  • Use rain barrels to collect rainwater: By using rain barrels to collect water you can eliminate the need to suck up water from your utility, but rather use what nature has given to keep your plants thriving when rain is more scarce. 

If you do all of these things, it will have an impact on your garden and landscape. It will also help when the rain is not falling quite as much as you need it too.