Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
When my children were small, I planted trees and shrubs to mark the special days of our lives. As I mow around the maples in the lower pasture, or spread mulch around roses, I remember family births, First Communions and other significant days with joy.
Arbor Day is April 27th this year. Why not plant a tree in honor of an occasion, or a special person in your life? I’ve planted two Japanese maples this spring, and I’m using them to remember my twenty-third wedding anniversary and my daughter’s first year of college at my alma mater. I couldn’t be more happy or proud.
When you pick out a tree, consider where to place it. Make sure you’re planting away from power lines and other obstructions. Also, consider the tree’s final size, and its growing requirements. There are some trees which don’t mind heat, but my favorite small tree, the Japanese maple, with few exceptions, begs for partial shade in the central south. Acer palmatum dissectum ‘Tamukeyama,’ along with A palmatum ‘Bloodgood’ and 'Hogyoku' are three cultivars which can handle more heat and sun. Others like ‘Peaches and Cream’ want to snug up against the East side of my home where they will get a respite from summer glare.
•First, if your tree is in a container, water it to reduce stress.
•Dig a hole two sizes larger than the tree’s root ball. The hole should also be as deep as the container or root ball of the tree for positioning.
•If you have clay soil, dig the hole wide and deep and work lots of organic matter to the hole and backfill, but be sure to plant the tree at the level of the pot. You don’t want to carve out a clay bowl that retains water, but you also don’t want to plant too deep.
•Turn the tree on its side, and bang the side of the pot with your hand to loosen the tree’s roots. Tickle the bottom of the roots with your trowel or your hands if it is a smaller tree. The roots need to know they are out of the pot and allowed to explore their space. Don’t worry if some of the soil falls off into the hole. Just incorporate it. All will be well.
•Place the tree in the hole.
•Mix compost into the backfill soil to get your tree off to a good start. I incorporate crushed leaves and leaf mold into the soil or commercial compost. However, I don’t amend the backfill soil with extra fertilizer because it might “trick” the tree, and its roots won’t expand outside the rich, loosened soil.
•Backfill and tamp the soil around the tree with your foot. Top it off with some organic mulch, but don’t place mulch up against the tree trunk, or create a mulch volcano. Again, I use shredded leaves or cedar, but you can use any type of natural mulch. My state is a giant wind tunnel so I stake trees for about six months, but no longer because strong roots won’t develop.
•Water the tree. If the water reveals a hole, tamp the soil down until the hole disappears. I water my new trees three times at planting to penetrate their roots. During the growing season, make sure it gets an inch of water a week. If you live in the south, don’t forget to water the tree during winter when temperatures are above freezing.
Now is a great time to plant trees. If you plant one in honor of someone you love, leave me a comment on facebook or Twitter. I’d love to hear how you made a leafy memory.