Landscaping Newsletter
and Garden Tips
May, 2016 Volume 139

A Personal Message

I love the month of May.  I mean, I really love May!

My flowers and vegetable gardens are always happy in May.  And, that make me happy too.

Here are several shots of the gardens in front of my offices.  Those long stem purple flowers you see in these photos are Japanese Iris. They are so easy to grow in this area!

I started some vegetables in containers in late March.  I really pushed the envelope this year. 

However, I got lucky.  The lettuce turned out beautifully!  Several early herbs worked out well too.  We're adding more plants and even seeds as we go along.

Here are some pictures from last year's container garden.

We love different types of lettuce.  Often, we'll step out onto the deck to pick a few leaves of some variety for a sandwich.

Most of our herbs are in containers.  You're looking at rosemary, lavender, cilantro and other goodies. We ended up with containers all the way down our white picket fence last year.

There's lots of fun events for our family in May.  Melissa's birthday usually falls during Memorial Day weekend.  So, we really have a chance to celebrate. 

This year, we're including her life-long friend of 50+ years.  She and Diane were born two days apart.  So, they're already planning some special events.

Here's Diane and Melissa in Annapolis two years ago.  Their dads had a bet on who would be born the first.  Diane won by 2 days.

And finally, we've also got something to share with you. We always plant one of the most beautiful vines I've ever seen. Years ago, a friend gave us a small package of large seeds. She called them "Jacinta Bean Vines."

They're olive colored leaves with bright purple and white flowers.  In the fall, the flowers turn to burgundy colored pods. Gorgeous!

Here's a package of Jacinta Bean Vine Seeds.  Call me if you'd like to stop by for a complimentary bag. 

I've never seen these seeds for sale. However, if you're interested, please let me know and I'll share some with you. Just give me a call.

Enjoy this beautiful month!  See you soon.

May Garden Tips

*  To grow annuals in containers on the patio, use a light weight soil mixture.  Keep the plants well-watered, because the soil dries out fast.  It's also a good idea to apply a water soluble fertilizer according to package directions every two weeks or so.

Here's a picture of our chives in full bloom, about this time last year.  That's Melissa's hand made potting bench in the background.

*  Wait to prune spring-flowering shrubs (such as lilacs, azaleas, viburnum, etc.) until after blooms fade.  Prune immediately after flowering to avoid hindering next year's show.

*  If your shrubs have become too large for their space, you may need to do some more drastic pruning.

We found this great chart to demonstrate how to prune around buds correctly.

One of the best ways to accomplish this is to cut approximately a third of the oldest stems/branches back to a height that is about 12" lower than the height you want them to be. Once you have done this, prune the remaining stems creatively to create a natural layered look. It may also be necessary to thin out some of the interior branches.

And, we also found a link about proper pruning techniques that we really liked.  Check out this video as Martin Viette, a New York landscaper, trims shrubbery.
*  Before rototilling or working in your garden, make sure the soil has dried out enough.  Working wet soil will harm the soil structure by causing compaction.

Test by squeezing a handful of soil.  If it forms a ball, the soil is too wet to garden.  If it crumbles, then it's okay to till and plant.  

*  Weed Aggressively!  Weeds are easiest to pull when they are small and the soil is still damp, making hand weeding a perfect May garden task.

The more weeds you pull now, the fewer there will be to propagate later, and the fewer chemicals you will need to control them.

Information about Our Tick Repellent Program
(And there's a $25.00 off coupon below!)

We've been treating properties for ticks here on the Eastern Shore for about 10 years.
And, we've been doing a really good job.  Let me tell you why.

Bill is spraying a wide swath along a driveway.  We treat both large and small properties.

He's placing Damminix tubes here, which we tuck away in vegetation.  Read on to see why these are important.

I offer a guarantee with my service.  If you find a tick on yourself or your pet, I will return and retreat the area where you found the tick AT NO CHARGE.  You must allow me to treat your property twice a year for this guarantee to be in effect.

My company serviced over 400 properties in 2015.  We retreated 8 homes.  I'm really proud of this statistic.

Kyle is spraying a wooded area where ticks are really prevalent.  This family uses their woods frequently for hiking and a children's fort.  They want to stay well protected.

I was bitten by a tick about 9 years ago, which caused a severe infection.  I landed in the hospital for several days.  Then, I had to take two courses of antibiotics.  The effects lasted several months.  The antibiotics were almost worse than the infection.
Then, 6 years ago, I was bitten again.  This time, I developed Ehrlichiosis.  This is a bacterial infection caused by a tick bite.  It attacks, infects and may kill off white blood cells.
I developed respiratory and circulatory problems.  By the time I was admitted to the hospital, I was in the initial stages of delirium.  Fortunately, for me, my doctor diagnosed the disease correctly from the first day. Unfortunately, I spent five days in critical care as the disease took its' course.
Even after I returned home, I wasn't well enough to work.  I suffered severe headaches from the spinal tap, which my doctors used to test how far the disease had progressed.  After a month in bed, I was finally able to resume a light work schedule.
I provided these details for you, just to prove how serious a tick bite may be.  In response to my health problems, I decided to make effective tick repellent my mission.   And, I've been providing tick repellent service to people for the past nine years.
I developed our tick repellent program after my first bout with a tick borne illness.  After extensive research, I now offer a perimeter spray for ticks that is guaranteed to be effective.  We'll return to your property and respray selected areas, if you find another tick.
We've also added an additional layer of protection to the program. Damminix tubes are one of my favorite parts of this service.
They're cardboard tubes, much like the roll from paper towels.  They contain cotton balls which have been soaked in permethrin.  It's deadly to ticks, but not for mice, squirrels and birds who take the cotton back to their nests.
Permethrin rubs off on the fur of the mouse or squirrel.  Ticks are killed in their nests and can't be transferred back to you.

Please contact us at 410.770.5882 for a no-cost estimate.  We spray your property once in the spring and once in the fall for guaranteed results.