Landscaping

What’s there not to like about an organic lawn? It’s relatively cheap. It’s better for the environment and it takes less work than your traditional well-manicured turf. Americans take their lawns seriously. Lawns used to be for the wealthy who hired a staff to maintain the grounds of their estates. Now they are for everyone.
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The use of natural and organic methods for pest and disease controls on lawns and gardens is time sensitive, more so than using chemical sprays that will persist in the landscape. Whether you’re using beneficial insects to fight off a an aphid infestation, liquid copper to rid your roses of fungus or disease, or applying Bacillus
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No mow lawns are gaining a lot of attention and for good reason. In times of drought and increasing water bills, a water-intensive carpet of grass may not be practical. Some homeowners find raising their own organic vegetables where grass once grew a more effective use of space. Others find lawns just too much work
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We don’t have to tell you. The news from many parts of the west is all about drought. You can find accounts of what’s being faced, including the potential for cutbacks and rationing, here, here, and here. And the forecast for the coming months doesn’t look good. No matter if you believe that drought is
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With an apple I will astonish Paris. — Paul Cezanne This time of the year, when cider presses across the country are squeezing day and night, is a good time to consider the bounty of apples we enjoy. We’re not talking about the stacks of Gala and Fuji and Granny Smith that decorate the produce
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Now’s the time to divide perennials, if you haven’t done so in the last few years. If your perennials are showing smaller blossoms or dying off in the center, then dig them up, clip the crowns, and spread them around after cutting out dead and crowded roots. They like room for their roots to grow.
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Sunlight: Full sunMaturity: 60-95 days from seed to flowerHeight: 2 to 10 feetSpacing: 4 to 12 inches apart in all directions Home gardeners are growing sunflowers for their rich colors, large blooms and dazzling golden heads. Easy to plant from seed, they are available in sizes ranging from miniatures at 1 to 2 feet tall — good for edging — to over
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We’ve made no secret that we intend to start more of our annual flowers indoors, under lights, to set in our landscapes once temperatures cooperate. And as we were putting together a list for an impending order, we realized that we should also consider the flower seed we’ll order to sow directly in the ground.
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We love this time of year when the grass is coming up thick and green and we need to mow almost once a week. But it’s also the time of year when we’re assaulted by lawn care companies wanting us to sign up for a full season’s worth of care. What’s that care consist of?
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“Of all the flowers, me thinks a rose is best.” – William Shakespeare (1564 – 1616) There’s something about roses. More than 1.2 billion cut roses are purchased in the United States every year, most of them on Valentine’s Day. (Mothers Day comes second.) Millions of gardeners cultivate roses, some exclusively. In fact, there are
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The term “kitchen garden” is bandied around a lot these days. But what exactly does it mean? We’ve always considered it a vegetable garden in proximity to the kitchen door or whichever portal to the outdoors is closest to the kitchen. Proximity, of course is relevant, and almost any garden plot inside your property growing
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In an effort to reduce water use and time spent caring for lawns, some gardeners are replacing their turf with thyme. Thyme is an ideal grass alternative. It requires less water, is generally tough (see “walking on thyme” below), drought resistant, hardy all the way north to zone 4 if it’s healthy, and will spread
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Though it’s not true everywhere — the forecast today for Bozeman includes a 40% chance of scattered showers — we’re fast approaching that time of the growing season when your garden, lawns and flower beds included, need to be closely monitored for moisture. How do we know when our plants aren’t getting enough water? They
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What is “rewilding?” Valerie Easton’s Natural Gardener column in a recent issue of The Seattle Times‘ Pacific NW Sunday magazine puts perspective to the Johnny-come-lately gardening term. The piece, called “In Harmony With Nature,” is sort of a celebration of rewilding which, she notes, only first appeared in the dictionary in 2011. She says, “I like
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Our latest cold snap here in Bozeman is breaking and the forecast says that tomorrow the temperature will rise above freezing for the first time in, well, I don’t even want to think about it. As winter sets in more than a month before its calendar arrival, it reminds us how much we love evergreens.
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Among spring’s greatest visual joys is a fat container sporting thick green spears of emerging tulips, daffodils, and other flowers. And when the flowers emerge tightly circled, like beautiful eyes following wherever you go, there’s little that can compare. The time to make sure your spring will be full of beautiful flowers from bulbs is
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Sunlight: Full sunMaturity: 55-75 days from seed to flowerHeight: 48 to 72 inchesSpacing: 4 to 6 inches apart in all directions A great climber that’s perfect for fences and trellises! Home flower gardeners are growing sweet peas for their tantalizing fragrance and captivating blossoms. Easy to plant from seed, they add a splash of color to any garden, especially in cool,
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Flowering perennials are a good-news, bad-news sort of thing when it comes to your flower beds. Most of the news about these attractive, inexpensive and easy-to-grow, self-sowing flowers falls into the “good” category.  More good news: the “bad” side of the equation can be tamed with a little advance planning. Flowering perennials are perfect for
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Lawns may have been invented in Europe, but they’ve reached their apotheosis in North America. For those in the U.S. of A, that green, green grass ranks right up there with apple pie, backyard barbecues and softball. For Canadians it’s proof of place, both a responsibility and a privilege, like wearing decent clothes when you
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By Bill Kohlhaase, Planet Natural Here’s something of a Zen puzzle for you. The key to a healthy lawn is healthy, organic soil. And the key to healthy soil is a healthy, organic lawn. Confused? Don’t be. Organic lawn care starts and ends with healthy soil, soil that is full of nutrients for both grass
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