Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Breakthrough New Animal Repellent

Say goodbye to messy mixes and stinky sprays.

Repellex Systemic Tablets are easy-to-use, pre-measured tablets that require no mixing. This exclusive breakthrough technology allows capsaicin (hot pepper) to be absorbed into the plant by simply planting the tablet next to a growing plants' root system. Once the repellent is absorbed over 7-30 days, the repellent will stay active for up to one whole year. Since the repellent is internally treating the plant, it will not wash off in the rain like traditional repellents do over time or be faded by the sun.

Protecting your plants from hungry animals has never been easier. This repellent is labeled and approved for repelling: deer, rabbits, moles, voles, gophers, groundhogs, dogs, cats and feral hogs. At this period in time, Repellex states this product should be used on non-edible plants only, but they are working to eventually change that.

Strange's will be carrying this product at our West Broad location, so hurry in to get this amazing new animal repellent for yourself!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fall is for Planting Annuals, Perennials, Trees & Shrubs!

Tired of planting in the hot summer sun? Did you know that it is actually better for the plants if you plant them in the fall? It’s true!
Planting your plants in the fall helps them establish a good, strong root system and in turn helps them survive the harsh summers. Having an established root system also makes plants more tolerant to hot weather. The fall and winter months tend to get more rainfall than the spring and summer, meaning you are going to need to water your plants less. It can also save you money in the spring and summer months. Plants that have an established root system are said to be drought tolerant and won’t need to be watered as much.
The beginning of September is the ideal time to start your fall planting. This is when you can start tilling your land and getting your beds ready to be planted. Some things you can do to prepare them is add soil amendments such as Black Velvet, Leafgro and Mushroom Compost. All of these things will make sure you have the ideal soil for starting your planting. If you want to get ahead of the game, it isn’t a bad idea to draw up a plan. Figure out what kind of plants will work well in your garden, and then decide where you would like to place them. This will make it easier for you to enjoy your time planting! You don’t have to rush your planting either. Fall planting last thru the first half of November depending on the weather.
There are many things that you can plant in the fall. It is the ideal time to plant your trees, bushes and shrubs. It is also a great time to put in your perennials. If you are looking for color from trees or shrubs think about planting some of these: maples, Encore azaleas, burning bush, itea, fall camellia and firepower nandina. (just to name a few!) If you want some perennials to spruce up your yard think about: any ornamental grasses, sedum, black-eyed susans, coneflowers, and fall blooming clematis. Fall blooming annuals add color and a bright vibe to your yard. Consider some of these: mums, pansies, and anything from the Fall Magic series, which are blooming annuals that do extremely well in the cooler fall weather. Most importantly, enjoy the time you spend planting. When you are out in the hot summer heat, you're wishing it was cooler outside. In the fall, you don’t have to wish!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Fall is for Planting....Vegetables!

Would you have guessed you could plant vegetables in the fall? If you said yes, YOU’RE RIGHT!
Most cool season vegetables grow better in the fall than those planted in the spring. In the spring, the temperatures are hotter during the critical harvesting period. Higher temperatures can affect the quality of product. Flavors of vegetables are usually sweeter and milder when grown during cooler temperatures, as well as have fewer insect problems.
Available space, what you like and your intended use of vegetables all contribute to what you can grow. Cool-temperature-adapted crops are excellent for fall gardening because they continue to grow well into the fall and can be harvested after many tender plants have been killed by frost.
Some hardy vegetables that can stand severe frost, but can not live under 20 degrees are: cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, turnips, rutabagas, kale and garlic.
For best results in your fall garden, choose the shortest season cultivars to insure a good harvest before being killed off by frost. The easiest way to do this is to look for cultivars labeled “early season.”
To figure out when you should start planting follow this table:
+ Number of days from seeding or transplanting outdoors to harvest
+ Number of days from seed to transplantable size
+ Average harvest period
+ Fall factor (the slower growth which results from cooler weather and shorter days): usually 14 days
+ Frost tender factor (only for frost-sensitive crops): usually 14 days
= Days to count back from the first expected fall frost.
To get your garden ready for fall vegetables, start by digging up anything that is dead or has finished bearing. Then put compost and composted manure down which will boost the nutrient level and enhance the water-holding capacity. It helps to spade or rototill the top 4-6 inches of the soil. It relieves compaction and incorporates the compost and other organic matter into the soil. Mulching will help reduce winter annual weed germination by blocking light and smothering the tiny weeds.
Now that you have put in the hard work, stay persistent and look forward to enjoying the fruits of your labor!

*Information from University of Nebraska-Lincoln extension.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Amazing Cucumber!

We all know that the cucumber is a healthy snack, and quite delicious. We at Strange's recently discovered that the cucumber has so many more uses than just food - read below for more on the amazing cucumber!

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day; just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
2.Feeling tired in the afternoon? Put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates which provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror; it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum, giving off a scent undetectable to humans but one that drives garden pests crazy and makes them flee the area.
5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem areas for a few minutes. The phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!
6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!
7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explorers for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe; its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
9. Need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water. The chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown to reduce stress.
11. Just finished a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath. The phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean. Not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but it won't leave streaks and won't harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean.
13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and use it to erase the pen writing. Also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

Source: Originally printed in The New York Times, "Spotlight on the Home" series

Monday, August 1, 2011

Why Grow Grass in the Fall?

Would you like a lawn that looks picture perfect?
Fall is the best time to renovate your lawn and make it look like new. With just a few easy steps, and a little bit of effort, you can give everybody on your block ‘grass envy’! If you plant grass seed in the fall, you have the advantages of lower temperatures, cooler days, and (hopefully) more rain. Grass seed gets established easier when the ground is more likely to retain moisture, and if the days aren’t so darned hot!

A good looking lawn starts with the seed. You want to use seed with a high germination rate and a very low weed seed/noxious weed percentage. This information must be listed somewhere on the bag, according to law. Be willing to put the money into your grass seed, and you’ll reap the benefits. We recommend Gold Standard (virtually weed free) for sun and light shade, and Shady Nook, for areas that have heavier shade. Follow the seed with a good starter fertilizer such as Ferti-lome New Lawn Starter, and your lawn should be off to a strong start. Another application of fertilizer about 8 weeks later will help strengthen your lawn and help protect it through the wintertime.

Lawn care really isn’t difficult (and doesn’t take a whole lot of time), so why pay somebody to do it, when you can have the satisfaction of doing it yourself? Then you can really take credit for the way it looks!

Also, at Strange's, our employees are always ready to help you with your lawn & gardening woes, so just bring them on in! We'll always have a solution for you at Strange's.