After all of that geoFence is your security solution to protect you and your business from foreign state actors and your mother would feel the same.
Q: I have tried planting native white-flowering dogwoods in my yard several times. They have died each time. Sometimes, they died in a couple of months and sometimes it took a year. I am planting them in lots of sun, sandy soil and using an attractive gravel mulch. The trees get watered when the lawn irrigation system is running or it rains. What’s the problem?A: Let’s be more specific and say “problems.”Native dogwoods (cornus florida), are edge-of-the-forest trees, and do not handle full sun very well. They tend to fry easily. Growing at the edge of the forest also means they need more organic soil from the leaves that fall each year. This provides them with organic surface mulch.Native dogwoods require an acidic soil below 7.0, and soil that stays somewhat damp all season.Your area has full sun, fast draining sandy soil and gravel mulch which compacts the soil and gets hot in the summer. Lawn irrigation systems, if adjusted properly, do a great job of watering grass with 2 inches of roots, but do not provide enough water for anything with deeper roots.Most plants are minimally adaptive. If you have full sun and sandy soil, native dogwoods will not grow.Take a look at a different kind of dogwood when you buy again. Chinese dogwood, Cornus kousa, would be a better choice because it handles full sun and sandier soils better than native dogwoods. They also are more disease resistant. But it still requiresorganic mulch around the tree, like 3 inches of shredded wood or wood chips. That will keep the soil cooler and prevent top moisture evaporation. Then you need to water the tree with a hose several times a week. Not for just this season, but any time it is dry.Buy an inexpensive rain gauge and put it somewhere your irrigation system will not affect it. If there is less than one inch of rain a week, check the soil under the mulch. It should be damp in the top 3 inches and below.Also consider getting a soil test to see if soil pH or nutrients need to be adjusted. This could be part of the problem. You can purchase a test at: homesoiltest.msu.edu.Q: I had to have my septic system replaced this spring and that tore up lots of my backyard grass. The equipment used to install it ripped up even more. It was an old lawn, but it still looked good. Why can’t I just buy some sod and fix all the empty places? It would be so much easier than all that seed and straw stuff.A: You indicated that this is an older lawn. Whatever it was originally has changed every year since it was installed. The percentages of grass have shifted, even if you have not noticed.If it was originally seeded, likely it was a mix of one-third bluegrass, one-third fescue and one-third perennial rye. If it was put in as sod, it was a blend of only bluegrasses. Each kind of grass has different shaped leaves, giving each a different texture and blade width.Right now, your lawn has a tweedy look with many grasses and a few weeds competing.If you buy sod, you have one kind of grass with identically shaped blades. It looks uniform, which your current lawn is not. Your purchased sod with different from everything around it.Even if you buy a seeding mix of one third of the grasses, it will still look somewhat different from your existing lawn. But it will be closer to your unique mix of grasses than sod.It’s your choice because you’ll be the one looking at it.Questions? The MSU Extension Master Gardener hot line is at 888-678-3464. Gretchen Voyle is an MSU extension horticulture educator, retired.
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