Picket Fence Weblog

Mulch Madness
April 16, 2008, 11:38 am
Filed under: Garden, Lawn, Outdoor Enthusiasts, yard fun

For those of you itching to get in your garden, but the weather just isn’t cooperating, I know of one thing you can do. Put your mulch in. No need to wait for flowers – this is one step that can be done even if the threat of a freeze still exists. And don’t forget to put mulch around your trees. I don’t use regular mulch for that. I buy Mulch Rings. And for outside of my garden I use Rubber Border Edge. These are two items that you buy once and then use season after season.

Happy early gardening!

Until next time…. Ann ūüôā


Green Grass
April 11, 2008, 9:35 am
Filed under: Cleanup & Compost, Garden, Lawn, Outdoor Enthusiasts, yard fun

The weather is finally starting to turn! We had a week with temperatures flirting 70. Granted, this weekend it is supposed to be in the 40s, but I am choosing to ignore that fact. I did see that my tulips are starting to come up.

With the weather finally cooperating, you know that weekly lawn mowing is not far behind. That being said – now is the time to get your lawn mower out of storage and serviced. I think this year it is time to consider a Reel Mower. I will give you a few reasons why:

1) With gas prices soon to hit $4/gal. (do not even get me started on that!), it will cost you more to fill your lawn mower tank this season.

2) A Reel Mower is better for the environment and better for your lawn.

3) It’s great exercise!

So there you have it – my top 3 reasons to reel!

Until next time… Ann ūüôā

Summer’s coming, Get that Lawn Going
March 21, 2008, 10:30 am
Filed under: Cleanup & Compost, Garden, Lawn | Tags: , , , , ,

There has been so much talk on the news channels (take your pick of Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, etc.) of how the war in Iraq has lasted 5 full years, the economy may or may not plunge, and the ongoing presidential debate between Hillary and Obama.¬†¬† It’s pretty much been the same recycled stories for the past few weeks.¬† I’m starting to tire of it, possibly much out of boredom.

Then, Spring suddenly arrived. I know here in Western New York the first day of Spring brought more snow.  Soon, the leaves will bud and not long after April showers we start seeing beautiful blooms.

Flower Ring Seeded

Summer really does make you seem care free, even if the worries are still there, a long quiet walk on a nice starry night might do the trick.
Solar Lamp Post

There is a bit of prep work to do as spring starts to usher in better weather.¬† I know the lawn is always an issue, trim, and any general yard clean up.¬† Somehow after the snow melts we find lots of strange debris resting all over the yard.¬† Get it cleaned up early and there won’t be any bare spots.¬† If it’s already too late, you can try Velocity Lawn Patch Plus.¬†

Velocity Lawn Patch Plus

It’s one of the best products to date.

So here’s to the kick off of Spring!

As Always, Art.

Time To Get Your Garden Pond Prepped
March 14, 2008, 2:57 pm
Filed under: Garden, Links, pond

That’s right, winter is slowly receding.¬† There are plenty of us who are more than rejoicing at that fact.¬† It’s time to put away your skis and take out the golf clubs.¬† Well, maybe were not quite ready for that, yet.

Some of you may remember that I had started digging a garden pond at camp during the January thaw.  That turned out to be a pretty bad idea.  Now, the spring is practically here.  I am ready to get back down to camp soon (probably after Easter with family and friends) and get my project back up and running.

Floating Water Lillies

Now that most of the digging is done I can start focusing on cleaning and decorating.   There are quite a number of way to go about both.  Click here if you would like a little more information on getting your garden pond crystal clear.  Or click here if you want a few ideas for decorating and personalization.

As Always, Art.

Backyard Pond Garden and New York Winter
February 5, 2008, 12:57 pm
Filed under: Garden, pond | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I wrote not too long ago (jan 28th blog entitled “a small breakthrough”) about how during a thaw I went ahead and ‘accidentally’ started digging my garden pond at camp. I actually have not been back since, due to a busy work schedule and regular life. But, I have continued to research more about ponds so when the moment is right I can go back and finish the job I have started. The problem that I am now facing is that research I read has stated that starting the pond and not finishing it in the same day is not good. I didn’t think of this before, but since, it has made much more sense.

What happened was, the area in which I dug out last week, filled with snow after a couple of solid days of snow. That was last weekend. Starting last night, the weather warmed up over 50 degrees, and the rain came pouring down. This did indeed melt all the snow, according to my neighbor. This caused all the snow from the hill to melt and rush in a stream of water into my yard, filling my half of a pond full of water, which doesn’t sound like a bad thing. But, since I never put a lining in, most of the soil in the pond washed away and created a rather unsightly half hole in my side yard. If I would have put down a liner, and some rocks around it to redirect the water, this wouldn’t have happened. But I am indeed an amateur, and am learning as I go.

If and when you create a pond, it is common that rain run-off and soil, dirt, dust, and other particles will fill it. Your pre-filter and filter should take care of most of this. Sometimes, though, ponds become murky and need to get cleared up. Shoppicketfence.com has some excellent products to get your pond cleared up.

Here are a few products that you may want to check out:

barley straw treatmentPower PondPro Clear

Please feel free to contact me if you have a similar story. I would like to hear it!
As always, Art.

A little More Security
January 30, 2008, 5:15 pm
Filed under: Garden, Lawn, pond, Winter

I thought that I would touch on some more security features and products that shoppicketfence.com has.  I had been blogging about ponds and pond gardens, but today, here in western NY, it is freezing cold, windy, and snowy.  So, gardening, ponds, and lawn care are about the last thing on my mind.

At shoppicketfence.com there are more security products than just the camera that looks just like a flood lamp.¬† We also have a wireless driveway alarm, too.¬† This sends a signal to a transmitter that sounds an alarm, so you know if someone has pulled in to your driveway, or started up your walk. Many people like and use this product so they do not miss deliveries.¬† It’s great for businesses too.

There is also the Transonic Pro.¬† This is not so much a measure of security or alerts as it is to keep pests away, which is a kind of security.¬† The Transonic Pro can drive pests away from your garden, home, garage, or storage space.¬† It keeps small and large pests and rodents away for good.¬† I’ve heard of some folks who use this in the spring and summer for their garden and then use it for their garage and/or storage in fall and winter.¬† They really are multi-useful.

Just a few unique products from the QCI Direct. 

As always, Art.

Special Security
January 29, 2008, 5:24 pm
Filed under: Garden, Lawn, Links, yard fun

I heard a great story the other day and I felt compelled to share it.

A friend of mine lives in the suburbs.¬† He has quite a bit of land behind his garage and this is the fourteenth year in a row that he has had a garden.¬† Each year it has gotten bigger and bigger.¬† The last 4 years though, he was growing a lot of vegetables to can with.¬† He also makes different sauces and salsa’s throughout the year and makes gift baskets with his creations to give away at Christmas.¬† He spent years as a chef before owning his own business, so he knows his way around the kitchen.

Anyway, over the last four years, he noticed that a few vegetable would always be missing. Not every night or anything, just once in a while he would go back there to dig up a carrot or grab a tomato or onion, and notice that some of them were missing.¬† He couldn’t figure out what he was up against since no pest repellent seemed to be working. I suggested a special camera that looks just like a flood lamp.¬† It sends a video signal to your television so you can watch what types of animals are getting into your garden.

I know that most people use them for security against¬† criminals, but this is just an alternate use. Anyway, I talked my friend into buying one.¬† I even helped him set it up.¬† He called me a few days later, he had caught the animal red handed!¬† It turned out, his next door neighbor, an old man into his 90’s, was helping himself to whatever he felt like that day.¬† When asked, the man told my friend, “not to worry, he’ll keep an eye out” for whatever is stealing the veggies.¬† My friend said he didn’t have the heart to blame the man.¬† So now, once a week, he leaves a basket full of vegetables on the mans front door step, no matter what time of the year.¬† He has never had his garden raided since, and the old man has yet to say another word to him.

I wonder if he’s still “watching out” for the culprit.

As always, Art.