Garden Tip #1
Prune any semi-woody perennials like Salvia greggii
, Lavender, Sage, Artemisia, and Careopteris.
Garden Tip #2
Deadhead or remove spent flowers from spring blooming bulbs. Don't remove foliage until it yellows or freely pulls loose when slightly tugged.
Garden Tip #3
If you noticed smaller blooms on your bulbs this spring, divide crowded planting as blooming finishes (especially daffodils).
Does Your Yard Measure Up?
We call it a Tennessee Yard Done Right -- a yard that is in harmony with Tennessee's native flora, soil and topography. You don't have to be an expert gardener or landscaper to create a Tennessee Yard Done Right. All it takes is a willingness to learn and a desire to build a yard that is based on the nine principles found in our TYN handbook:
Right Plant, Right Place
Manage Soils and Mulch
Appropriate Turf Grass Management
Use Fertilizer Appropriately
Manage Yard Pests
Reduce Storm Water Runoff and it's Pollutants
Provide for Wildlife
Protect Water's Edge
To find out more information download our free
Tennessee Yardstick Workbook
Garden Tip #4
You can still plant these cool-season veggies this month: spinach, head and leaf lettuce, collards, turnip greens, onions, beets, broccoli, cabbage, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, early potatoes, radish and Swiss chard can be direct seeded or transplanted into the garden.
CAC Beardsley Community Farm
Upcoming events at Beardsley Farm
Cities Grow Their Own Food! That's our goal. We're here to educate and encourage everyone to take part in the power of local food. There's so much to see and do at CAC Beardsley Community Farm and we need your help. Become one of hundreds of volunteers who keep the farm running, feeding those in need, and supporting everyone interested in our local food culture.
Everyone has a part to
Community Gardening Workshop Series
9 AM-12 noon
March 16, May 18, and June 15
April 6: Spring Skill Share and Plant Sale
10:30 AM to 5 PM
April 20: EarthFest
10 AM to 5 PM at Pellissippi State Community College's Hardin Valley Campus
April 27: IJAMS Plant Sale
Upcoming TYN Events
Make-It, Take-It Rain Barrel Workshops!
Brought to you by the Water Quality Forum in partnership with Tennessee Yards & Neighborhoods
Learn how to make a rain barrel out of a 55gal. drum and leave with a rain barrel ready to use! Advanced registration is required as space is limited!! Call (865)215-5861 to register!
Saturday, April 27th 10:00am-12:00pm Location: Ijams Nature Center, 2915 Island Home Ave., Knoxville, TN 37920 (in conjunction with Ijams plant sale!) Cost: $35 per barrel
Saturday, May 11th 11:30am-1:30pm Location: UT Gardens, 2518 Jacob Drive, Knoxville, TN 37996 (in conjunction with UT Gardens Blooms Days!) Cost: $35 per barrel plus $6 entrance fee for the gardens during Blooms Days.
Saturday June 1st 10:00am-12:00pm Location: New Harvest Park, 4775 New Harvest Lane, Knoxville, TN 37918 Cost: $35 per barrel
For more information about these workshops visit: tyn.utk.edu
UT Garden's Blooms Days: TYN Workshops
Saturday May 11th
10:00am-10:45am-Introduction to Rain Gardens Presenter: Ruth Anne Hanahan,Senior Research Associate for Tennessee Water Resources Research Center, Co-Director Tennessee Yards & Neighborhoods Program Description: Learn the basics about what makes a rain garden and how it can improve your home landscape.
11:30am-1:30pm-Make-It-Take-It Rain Barrel Workshop Presenter: TBD Sponsored by: The Water Quality Forum Description: For $35 learn how to make a rain barrel out of a 55gal drum and leave with a completed rain barrel ready to use! Advance registration required! 25 people maximum, call 215-5861 to register.
1:30pm-2:15-Learn How to Paint a Rain Barrel Presenter: Katie Walberg, AmeriCorps Member for Tennessee Yards & Neighborhoods Description: Stick around after the Make-It-Take-It Rain Barrel Workshop to learn the basics on turning your rain barrel into a piece of art! Katie will teach you what materials work best for outdoor use and how to easily create one-of-a kind designs for your barrels.
3:00pm-4:15-Protecting your landscape from the gardening thugs Presenter: David Vandergriff, County Extension Agent, UT Extension, Knox County Description: Looking at the top causes of poor landscape performance and what to do about them focusing on water issues
Sunday May 12th
10:00am- 10:45pm- Introduction to Rain Gardens Presenter: Andrea Ludwig, Assistant Professor, Biosystems Engineering & Soil Science, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture, Co-Director of the Tennessee Yards & Neighborhoods Program
Description: Learn the basics about what makes a rain garden and how it can improve your home landscape.
11:30am-12:15pm- Learn How to Install a Garden Walkway with Pavers Presenter: Curtis Stewart, Registered Landscape Architect, Associate Professor, Plant Sciences
Description: Come see a demonstration on how to properly install and maintain a paver walkway or patio.
1:30pm-2:15pm- Yard Pest Detectives Presenter: Tom Stebbins, County Extension Agent, UT Extension, Hamilton County
Description: Put on your Detective cap and get down to the bottom of those pesky pest problems!
3:00pm-4:15pm- Irrigation Sensation Presenter: Brian Leib, Associate Professor, Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Description: Learn how to get the most out of your home irrigation system and save water (and money!) in the process!
Keep In Touch!
Ruth Anne Hanahan and Dr. Andrea Ludwig
TYN Statewide Co-Directors
Tennessee Water Resources Research Center
University of Tennessee
311 Conference Center
Knoxville, TN 37996
It''s officially spring! This marks one of the busiest times for us here at TYN. There are so many events and workshops going on during March and April, and with spring brings so much growth in our gardens! We start off this issue of the TYN Newsletter by visiting Beardsley Community Farm located in the heart of Knoxville to get see some great information on the practical application of Integrated Pest Management [IPM] strategies. We also have the final installment in our Pavement Alternatives series of articles from Chris Masin discussing "Hollywood Drives" and other aggregate surfaces. In additon, we recently found out that one of our TYN homeowners was featured as a top 10 contestant in the EPA's "America's Favorite Water-Smart Landscape"! Learn what they did in their landscape to get ideas for yours! Finally, to help you along in your rain garden installation, we bring to you some of the rain garden layouts we have recently used. Remember to check out our Upcoming Events list on the sidebar for TYN workshops and browse through the sidebar for our seasonal gardening tips!
Hope you all are enjoying this wonderful spring!
The TYN Management Team
to Learn about Integrated Pest Management [IPM] Practices
|We learned this past winter from David Vandergriff's article introducing IPM that it is a combination of common sense and scientific principles. It's a way of thinking about pest management that values knowledge about the pest's habits, life cycle, needs and dislikes. IPM also involves using the LEAST toxic methods first; monitoring the pest's activity and adjusting methods over time; tolerating harmless pests; and encouraging beneficial bugs. Now with the help of Beardsley Farm (see side bar), we are going to look at some IPM methods their staff uses that can be applied to your urban or rural landscape.|
Rotating vegetables and annual plants cut down on pests by relocating the plants they love so much. If you keep planting the same plant in the same place the unwanted bug population will continue to grow. Also, it helps with soil nutrients if you rotate out "heavy feeder plants" like lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, kale and turnips with ones that consume less nutrients like beets, radishes or carrots or with those that are nitrogen fixers like clover, alfalfa, and legumes.
Beardsley Farm's simple trick: Create four beds and rotate the plants in them every season.
The Squishing Method For Problem Pests
|This is literally the searching and destroying of unwanted pests and |
their eggs. The key here is observation. Closely observing your plants will reveal these unwanted critters and allow for removal and/or, for
the stronger stomachs, squishing. Some of the worst offenders are
The Harlequin Beetle: Look for them and their eggs
The Tomato Horn Worm: Hard to spot |
because they are the same color as the stem of your tomato plants; keep an eye out and remove and squish when you
Cucumber Beetles,Striped and Spotted|
These are sucking invaders that can
harm your crops and ornamental plants.
They overwinter in corn and beans fields, compost, and trash piles.
Beneficial bugs to keep and eye out for and protect in your landscape
|These are the good guys, they eat aphids and other soft bodied |
insects and eggs. Encourage these bugs to live in your landscape to
cut down on the pests naturally.
Some of the beneficial include:
|Ladybugs are generally considered useful |
insects, because many species feed on aphids or scale insects, which are pests in gardens,
agricultural fields, orchards, and similar places. Within the colonies of such plant-eating pests,
ladybugs will lay hundreds of eggs, and when
these eggs hatch, the larvae will commence
|Lacewings can be used as biological control |
agents for insect and mite pests in agriculture
They are attracted mainly by Coreopsis,
Cosmos, Sunflowers, Dandelions and herbs
such as Dill or Angelica.
|Honey Bees are pollinators and predators. Why |
is pollination so important? Pollination is the
reproductive process known as fertilization that plants need to develop fruit and seeds. Without
this process we would have no food or flowers.
|Spiders like Garden spiders, Wolf spiders and |
Jumping spiders all prey on unwanted pests.
They may seem kind of creepy but they are
harmless shy creatures that are great to have in your gardens for healthy pest control.
Plants that Keep Pests at Bay
Marigold: Keeps away aphids and encourages lady bugs which feed on many of those unwanted garden pests.
Borage Flower: Good to plant with tomatoes because it keeps horn
worms away. Extra bonuses- it is a honeybee hot spot (i.e., they love
the nectar); it can be made into a delicious tea and it has pretty blue
|Marigolds planted around gardens can keep many troublesome pests away, and they encourage ladybugs.|
Beardsley's Chicken Tractor
|This is a nifty device that allows the Beardsley Farm Crew to move their chickens around and set them on specific plots. The chickens will eat the bugs, fertilize crops with their manure, and aerate the soil with their claws. Not too shabby for a day's work!|
The City of Knoxville now allows chickens on personal property too!
|*The limit is 6 hens per household |
*There is a $25 annual fee to keep chickens and a $50 fee for the building permit you will need to construct a hen house and fenced in enclosure.
*If you are interested in learning more go to www.cityofknoxville.org/newcomers/animals.asp and click on the animal codes info toward the bottom.
|For information on whether your community allows chickens in municipal areas, start out by checking your codes and ordinances department.|
||This is a great practice for pest control. Plants Beardsley Farm staff use include:|
Chives and onions planted around beds ward
off pests. The pungent smell keeps them
Basil also wards off pests with its strong
smell, and is said to improve the growth and
flavor of the fruit when planted with tomatoes.
Homemade Pesticides or Natural PesticidesQuick natural homemade pesticide:
Again, the trick here is vigilance and observation. Don't wait until pests become a problem. Here is a natural homemade pesticide recipe,
straight from the farm cookbook of the Beardsley Farm Manager:
1tbs - baking soda
1tbs dish soap (natural preferred)
1tbs- chopped up garlic
1 tsp of cayenne or chili pepper
1 gallon of water
|Mix all ingredients up and spray onto your plants to protect against |
harmful pests. Spray on a weekly basis and spray in the evening or
morning before the beneficial insects are out hopping around your
plants. The idea is to ward of the bad insects and encourage the good ones. Beneficial bugs to keep an eye out for and encourage in your
garden are ladybugs, lacewings, and honeybees.
Selecting Varieties of Plants that are
Naturally Disease Resistant
|Heirloom seeds are a good choice |
because they have been past down from generation to generation and have
withstood the test of time.
Good seed sources for Heirloom plants
are: Southern Exposure Seed Exchange http://www.southernexposure.com/ and
Sow True Seeds
Other miscellaneous tricks
In the summer put wooden boards near the plants. Pests, like
cucumber beetles, congregate under them; you then flip over the
boards and squish or remove the pests.
Set out a lid of beer to keep slugs away and maybe make for some
very happy bees or other critters.
These practices name just a few ways you can start incorporating
IPM in your landscape and gardening practices. We hope you find it
helpful, and if you have any IPM practices you are currently using
please feel free to send them to us with pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org
. We'd love to see how things are going, and
perhaps we will feature your hard work in one of our upcoming
Many thanks to Khann at Beardsley Farm for giving us the tour and
speaking with us about what IPM practices they use. Feel free to visit Beardsley Farm to see these practices in action from 8:00-4:45 M-F or visit their website to learn more about their programming. http://beardsleyfarm.org/
Alternative Pavement Designs (Part 4)
by Chris Masin, P.E.
|Here we go with the last of my articles about alternatives to standard impervious surface construction for pavements in your yard. So far, I have covered permeable concrete, plastic reinforcing grids and porous paver systems. In this article, I will cover what is probably the second largest impervious surface in your yard next to your rooftop. It is your driveway. Impervious surfaces cause rainwater to immediately runoff instead of being absorbed into the ground which can cause flooding and mean increased pollution and reduced groundwater supplies for your community. A 10' wide by 40' long driveway will shed about 250 gallons of water during a 1-inch rainstorm. Multiply that by thousands of homes, and you're talking about a tidal wave of potentially tainted water running into your local stormwater system and streams. |
|Example of Hollywood Driveway|
|If you are considering building or replacing your driveway, why not add a little bit of old fashioned glamour to your yard? A "Hollywood Driveway" is a great way to add distinction, greenery and save money. Instead of a solid run of asphalt or concrete, it consists of two narrow, parallel strips of concrete, spaced so that a vehicle's wheels can drive on them. The strip of grass in the middle allows water to soak in and the construction costs will be cheaper because less concrete is required. Standard base material, compaction and concrete are used for this technique. Below is the exhibit in the City of Pasadena, California's Zoning code book with the dimensions for a Hollywood Driveway giving two paved wheel tracks each between 2.5 and 3.5 feet wide, separated by a planted strip at least three feet wide.|
|One thing to bear in mind with design, however, is that if you have to negotiate a curve or have an extremely long driveway, it may be hard to follow the path and keep your wheels on the driveway, so driver skills must be taken into account. Another benefit to a Hollywood drive is that it will lower the temperature around your house in the summertime since the vegetation will absorb heat instead of reflecting it like a standard concrete slab.|
The last alternative to standard driveway construction is to use small stones or pea gravel to make your driveway. This is the least expensive of all the pavement options and allows water to penetrate into the ground. By stones, I mean tumbled our rounded aggregate, as opposed to crushed gravel, which will allow less water to soak in. This technique is easy, but will require more frequent maintenance unless a tall border is installed too.
|Example of pea gravel driveway.|
|I hope these articles have been helpful and have given you some ideas on how you can build a greener, more environmentally-conscious yard. Not only will these construction techniques improve your yard, but together they can all help the health of the stream and wildlife in your neighborhoods. |
The EPA's Photo Contest for
"America's Favorite Water-Smart Landscape"
features TYN Homeowners!
|Joy and Larry Stewart's Photo Submission|
|Joy and Larry Stewart's yard in Bristol, TN was selected as one of the top 10 finalists who were announced on the EPA Facebook Page for "America's favorite Water-Smart landscape" and, as of Tuesday April 16th they had 104 votes and were in 2nd Place!|
Joy and Larry's water-smart features:
After buying a house with an acre of turfgrass and stormwater runoff problems, this owner transformed her landscape into a water-smart paradise. The landscape incorporates extensive plantings of low water-using native wildflowers and grasses as well as rain gardens and a green roof.
Plants used: Echinacea purpurea
, Ratibida pinnata
, Lobelia cardinalis
, Panicum virgatum
, Phlox paniculata
To see more of their images as well as the other contestants landscapes visit: https://www.facebook.com/EPAWatersense
|WaterSense is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency program that works to protect the nation's water resources. EPA held the Water-Smart Landscape Photo Contest to collect and feature real world examples of beautiful, efficient and diverse low-water using landscapes. Participation in the contest was open to the public including homeowners, landscape designers, and irrigation professionals. Priority was given to photos of landscapes that feature use of drought-tolerant,low-water using, or native plants; mulch around shrubs and garden plants; limited use of turfgrass; and water-efficient irrigation design and components.|
TYN Rain Garden Plant Layouts
Thinking about putting in a rain garden but your not sure where to start with the plants? Well we here at TYN have had some experience installing and designing rain gardens, and we thought we would share some of our layouts for you to refer to when picking plants for your gardens. Rain garden plants are unique in that they have to endure a wide range of hydrological conditions. Sometimes, after a strong storm, they are sitting in water for up to 24hours and sometimes it's dry for an extended time. The plants shown in the layouts have all been found to work well in East Tennessee rain gardens. They are all native, hardy, and have held up well in varying conditions. Feel free to use any of these designs if the area permits and for more information on rain gardens go to: