Trees are an essential part of your home’s curb appeal and one of the most expensive investments in your landscape. Organic gardening techniques and maintenance can ensure that your investment stays healthy and anchors your organic garden for many years to come.

First, as always, ensure that the tree you choose is right for your region. Native trees or trees that have adapted well would be the best choice. Also check with your local nursery on the expected size and maintenance needed for the tree you want to plant. You don’t want to plant a tree that will need to be removed someday because it grows too big and becomes a hazard to your home or your foundation. Additionally, you don’t want to choose a tree that requires more water than your region and area can easily provide.

The most common mistake with trees comes next – planting the tree. Most trees are planted too deeply and this causes the roots to girdle around the base of the tree and eventually become diseased and die. You want to ensure that the flare at the base of the tree is visible just above the soil line. If the tree trunk goes straight into the soil, you’ve planted your tree too deeply.

So you’ve finished planted the tree and now you want to ring it with pretty plants. No problem – just give the tree at least 18 inches between the tree trunk and the plant’s roots to ensure healthy trees and plants.

Tree care and maintenance is still needed as trees mature. Aeration of the soil and the grass around the tree helps the lawn and the trees. Adding Horticultural Cornmeal to the soil throughout the growing season keeps the tree healthy and looking good even in the hottest days of the year.

Your exposed tree flare can also become covered up over time with mulch, ground cover or soil added after planting. Check the base of your trees at the beginning of the growing season, later in summer and then at the start of fall to ensure the flare is exposed. You can move the soil by hand and cut back encroaching ground cover as needed.

Seaweed foliar spray can help minimize the impact of rust on the leaves, spider mites or other diseases but these only show up in trees that are stressed so it usually a symptom of a systemic issue that can be resolved by reviewing these steps and getting back to the basics of tree care in your organic garden.

Susan LaRocca has experience in landscaping and organic gardening in the Dallas, Texas area. Learn more about organic gardening by visiting her blog

Feral Cat Colony at Scarborough Park at Rocky Point Island (Tampa, Florida – October 11th, 2017)
Waiting for the 11am shuttle to the port of Tampa for our five day cruise on Royal Caribbean! So I had some time at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Tampa/Rocky Point Island and walked around looking for squirrels and birds. I was surprised to find a large feral cat colony in Scarborough Park near the hotel. I did talk with the woman who is feeding them every day for the past two years. Kudos to her for feeding a taking care of these great cats. Their clipped ears are indications that they are fixed. Taken on Wednesday October 11th, 2017.
By cseeman on 2017-10-11 07:46:27
tags[wpr5-amazon asin=”B01NBMJ6NB” region=”com”]

How to Revive a Dead Lawn | Lawn & Garden Care

Watch more How to Take Care of Your Lawn & Garden videos:

A lot of people ask me; How do I revive a dead lawn? Or say my lawn is dead, what do I do? The first thing I’d say to you is that your lawn is not dead. Or it’s very unlikely to be dead. Lawns tend to go senescent, or go to sleep when conditions are unfavorable to their growth, particularly when it’s hot and dry. So when you see that your lawn is brown, don’t think of it as dead, think of it as merely sleeping. Now that should bring to mind a couple of things. If your lawn is just sleeping, one of the things you’ll want to do is stay off it. Don’t go out and play sports, football, let your kids run around it or your dog rung around it because while your grass is sleeping it’s in a very fragile state. You can damage it a lot more than if it’s green, healthy and growing. The other thing that you will want to do, is when you are ready to green up your lawn, is water it. Get yourself some kind of sprinkler. And you’ll want to put down somewhere between a half inch to an inch of water a week. And that’s going to bring your lawn back. But I would caution you, if you’re not going to commit to watering your lawn regularly don’t just go out and water it one time because waking the lawn up from sleeping and then letting it go back to sleep or forcing it to go back to sleep because you didn’t continue watering is very stressful to the grass. So if your lawn is senescent or brown and not dead, you’ll want to water it, stay off it, and commit to watering it so that it doesn’t turn brown again. That’s my tip for waking up a dead lawn.