28 February 2007

I won the lottery (Matt Cutts and I both)

I just learned that I won the lottery in a letter today.
"You have therefore been approved for a lump Sum Pay of $815,950.00 (EIGHT HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN THOUSAND, NINE HUNDRED AND FIFTY UNITED STATES DOLLARS
ONLY)in cash Credited to File Ref number EG/0084/5170024. Blah, Blah, Blah."

This is amazing, all I need to do is give them all my banking account
information and numbers, and the good folks in Madrid, Spain will make
me a rich man. Seems like I'm in good company, MattCutts had the good fortune to win the English (British?) lottery not so long ago.

I find it utterly baffling and amazing how fortunate I am to have won a
lottery I never entered, let alone ever knew existed. Oh, well . . .

What's even odder is that I seem to win this particular lottery at least once a month. I supposed the scammers should work on their database filters a little.

A.J., Proudland

26 February 2007

Purple Plum's First Bloom

In our landscape, we also have a flowering Purple Plum tree. When I left for the field this morning, I noted that the buds were looking quite full. This afternoon, I saw we had two blossoms. The tree has been blooming in less than stellar fashion the past two years or so. I believe it has to do with the odd rain fall patterns we've had in the fall and early winter timeframes. We shall see. But the bud count looks quite high.
A.J., Proudland.

Finding and Hiring a Landscape Contractor

Here is a link to a quick check list of how to find, choose and hire a landscape contractor. This is not a complicated process, but one which needs to be taked seriouly, nonetheless. One of the most important, yet often overlooked points, is that you want the contractor, designer, whomever, to be able to make money on the job. If they can't make money, their incentive to do quality work is seriously hampered.
A.J., Proudland.

23 February 2007

Okame Cherry Tree is Blooming

These past winter months the weather's been so quirky. It's fluctuated between freezing and spring-time warm. Our Okame blooming cherry tree has been threatening to burst into bloom for a month. I would say that today is the first day it has actually bloomed out. Beautiful. It is the most perfectly formed tree. We salvaged it from our first award-winning landscape show garden at the Southeastern Flower Show. At any rate, this is shaping up to be a beautiful Spring season.

22 February 2007

Lawn Mowing Heights for Spring Geen Up

It’s time to start getting lawns ready for Spring green up. Here in Atlanta, warm season grasses (primarily bermudas, zoysias, and centipedes are already having root activity. Cool season grasses (fescue) will be putting on growth with the rain and warming temperatures. A key component in your lawn care regimen choice of lawn mowing heights. There is the book mowing height. But, here in the Metro Atlanta area, we have special considerations. We are a bit south for ideal fescue performance, and much further north makes growing bermudas an issue.

My recommendation is to begin mowing and lowering the mowing heights going into Spring. Maintain cool season mowing heights at between 1 and 2 inches until green up is complete. Maintain fescue mowing heights at 2 ½ to 3 inches. As the season warms up gradually raise the mowing heights for bermudas, zoysias, and centipedes. Hold at about 2 ½ through the summer. For fescue, you want to be mowing at 3 to 3 ½ inches by the end of May.

Exceptions and caveats: Well-irrigated and frequently mowed bermudas and zoysias can be maintained between 1 and 2 inches. Intensely managed fescues can be maintained at between 2 ½ and 3 inches. Do not attempt to keep centipedes at very short mowing heights. However, for the average residential and commercial turf-grass, stick to the previously mentioned heights.

One key component, often over looked is equipment maintenance. If your dull blades are shredding your turf-grass leaves, no amount of mowing or height adjustments will make your lawn look good.

21 February 2007

Pruning Crape Myrtles

Crape myrtle trees are popular landscape plants and specimens here in the Atlanta area. They are ubiqitous, common, and redundant, though beautiful and almost irresistible in the landscape. They are especially useful in the commercial landscape where careful control of plant size and shape is necessary, not only for aesthetic, but also liability reasons. It is not uncommon to see them being pruned as early as December. Our customers see this, and I am frequently asked when the crape myrtles will be pruned.

Pruning crape myrtles does nothing for their blooming. There is a beautiful, gigantic crape near the Fuqua building in the Atlanta Botanical Garden which is absolutely beautiful, and has had minimal pruning. Pruning crapes is done to control size and shape. Crape myrtles bloom on new wood, and handle pruning well.

As far as time frame is concerned, February is the time--post Valentines day. Maintenance companies, and commercial operations need to buffer around this time frame, due to the volume of work required, and the relatively short time between mid-February and Spring here in the Atlanta area. However, December is very early, and January is early.