True North Times – August 2010

From the Landscaper

My family and I traveled to Canada for 12 days for some much needed refreshment and to visit ‘the homeland’. We left 78 degree weather with no humidity and a light breeze to… THIS! Good old hot and humid Midwest. I got home to find our Hydrangeas were hanging on by a thread, the Tulip trees had dropped leaves all over the lawn, and the lawn… well, it looks like most non-irrigated lawns do right now, not very spectacular! A lot of watering for several days has gotten our yard back in reasonable shape. This has been tied with the worst turf season I’ve seen in over 10 years. There’s fungus and crabgrass everywhere, plants/trees are showing definite signs of stress, and people (ie. me), get worried and grumpy when it’s this hot and dry. I’m blessed with many good friends and ‘mentors’, who are smarter and wiser then I. I asked one of my mentors who’s been at this for 25 years, if we’re going to be OK. ‘This is nothing!’ he said. ‘I remember the summer of 1988. By this time all my guys were laid off and we hadn’t seen a drop of moisture in over 2 months!’ But then fall came around, the rain came, they did lots of turf renovations, had a good spring, and here we are 22 years later… That calmed me down a little. Kind of like the economy. The world didn’t ‘blow up’ last year. We’re all still here. We live in a beautiful world and enjoy the gift of life, along with friends and family. We’ll make it, everything will be alright! (just don’t forget to water).

PLANT OF THE MONTH

Carlos Cruz

Each issue we’ve been featuring a ‘Favorite Plant’. This issue, right up there with the ‘Hinokai Cypress’ and ‘Fineline Buckthorn’ is the ‘Carlos Cruz’. Hardy to Zone 4/5 and very versatile, Carlos is sure to enhance any landscape! Carlos has been with the True North Team for 5 years now. He started on the general labor and mowing side of things. His artistic skills and abilities have given him opportunities to transition more into the landscaping and water feature side of our operation. In his other life, Carlos is a paid professional soccer player, and really comes in to True North everyday just for fun. Thanks for your hard work and dedication Carlos!

Aeration

We’re right around the corner from this very important service. Aeration is the process of pulling plugs of turf/soil from your lawn. A well aerated lawn looks like a flock of geese were on your lawn and left ‘signs’ of their visit. These ‘plugs’ break down after 2-3 weeks. Aeration allow your turf to ‘breathe’, and allows moisture and nutrients to access the roots. If your lawn is thin or patchy, this is the BEST time to add overseeding also, as the holes allow perfect nesting spots for the seed to fall into and germinate. September/early October is the ideal time for this service, as our days and nights are cooler, and seed has sufficient time to germinate and develop a healthy root system before the hard freezes come. Call or e-mail us to get on the schedule for this important service! Purdue University article on aeration.

Rain Barrels

We have 6 rain barrels left that need homes! What is a rain barrel you ask? Well, cisterns and water capture devices have been in use for thousands of years. My grandparents up in the ‘praries’ of Canada have been using rain barrels on their farms for 75 years. A rain barrel sits under your gutter and catches water every time it rains. You then can use that water to water your lawn, plants, tomatoes, etc. We use ours to ‘top off’ the evaporation loss that occurs in our water garden weekly. We offer a top of the line, very stylish large capacity rain barrel (75 Gal. available in Terra Cotta OR Sandstone) that have a built in overflow as well as a plant pocket built into the top. We have been selling these for $249, or $299 delivered/installed. We will sell these last 6 for $189, or $239 delivered/installed. Get yours today!

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