THE OLD SIGN PHILOSOPHER SAYING'S ARE IN THE TOP 15 WEBSITE DESTINATIONS ON MSN. NOT BAD FOR A GOOD OLD GARDEN CENTER WEBSITE!

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LEWIS & CLARK EXPEDITION 200 YEARS AGO TODAY 01/02/1805

Because the corps had such a great time at the Mitutranka camp yesterday, they are invited to perform at Chief Black Cat's Lodge at Ruptare. This time Captain Lewis also visits. Snow falls and so does the temperature to -8 F at 4 P.M.

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LAWN FACTS

Playing fields covered with dense turf have proven safer, as demonstrated by a simple egg drop test. When a dozen raw eggs were dropped from a height of 11 feet onto a two inch thick dense stand of turf, none broke. Two thirds of them broke on thin turf from the same height. And from just 18 inches up, all broke on an all weather track. So remember, a thick stand of turf on an athletic field is one of the best means of a safer playing field.

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Managing Shady Areas

Growing turfgrass in the presence of shade trees can be a difficult task. The obvious question is "Why is it so difficult to grow grass under trees?" The answer is that trees and grass compete for the same light, water, and nutrients. In fact, research indicates that leafless deciduous hardwoods (such as maples, oaks, and beeches) can block out 50 % of sunlight in winter.

These same trees can block out up to 95% of sunlight in summer. Grass can't successfully grow if an area gets less than 50% sunlight or less than 4 hrs a day.

In some situations, you can make modifications to the site to improve grass performance. Trees can be thinned or removed to let more sunlight in. Tree limbs should be pruned to a height of 6 feet in order to allow light penetration.

Another alternative is to try a different kind of grass. Bermudagrass and zoysia perform very poorly in shaded areas. Keep in mind that all grasses grow better in full sun and you need at least 4 hours of full sun even for shade tolerant varieties.

If you have planted grass seed over and over again without success, give up on the grass. Its now time to concede defeat with the grass and plan other avenues to landscape the areas.

Consider creating a low maintenance, natural area by applying 2-4 inches of mulch such as shredded hardwood bark. Also consider shade loving ground covers such as English ivy, pachysandra, ajuga, or liriope. These alternatives are much better than a thin, dead lawn.

Do you have moss in your shaded area? Mosses are common in cool, moist, shady locations such as under trees. Other conditions that favor mosses are low fertility, poorly drained soils, soil acidity, soil compaction, or a combination of these. If moss is growing under trees it is best to mulch the area and possibly plant ground covers instead of trying to grow grass.

When trees shade out grass take the opportunity to redesign your landscape. Create new planting bed lines that follow the margin between healthy, thick grass and thin, weak grass. Mulch that shaded area. Go to local garden centers and check out their selection of shade loving plants. Shade perennials include such favorites: hostas, astilbes, huechera & ligularia. Many new varieties are being released annually. The options for gardening in the shade are only limited by your imagination. Don't get discouraged by shade, be encouraged by the cooling benefits provided by trees during our long hot summers. Take advantage of the shade. Make a garden retreat complete with a hammock and an ice cold drink.

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GREENSCAPE GARDENS JOKE OF THE DAY

Walter,an elderly gentleman is resting peacefully on the front porch
of a nursing home in the country, when he sees a cloud of dust up the road.He watches a farmer approaching, with a wagon.

"Good afternoon!" hollers out Walter.

"Afternoon." says the farmer.

"Where you headed?" asks Walter.

"Town." says the farmer.

"What do you have in the wagon?" Walter continued.

"Manure."

"Manure, eh? What do you do with it?"

"I spread it
over my strawberries," the farmer says matter-of-factly.

"Well," says Walter, "you should come over here for lunch someday. We use whipped cream."

PLEASE NOTE OUR CUSTOMIZED MANURE PRODUCERS
BELOW!