Green Bite 02-05-12

Sun. Feb. 5, 2012

Good for you to use reusable bags. Better for you if you WASH them!

I recently read an article about how much bacteria is on those bags and it was frightening. We use them for all kinds of things and then don’t always think to wash them.

It’s easy to just toss them in with a load of clothes or, if they’re the more plastic type, hand wash them. … [Continue reading]

Gray Water

Tue. Nov. 15, 2011

Show Date: 15 Nov 11

What’s gray/grey water?  It’s the waste water from your washer, dishwasher, bath and bathroom sink.  Black water is the stuff from your toilet and kitchen sink and it must be treated before being used.

Gray water is recycleable.  Diverting this water to use in your landscape has a lot of potential benefits.  It conserves resources, recycles water on site and reduces the volume of water entering waste water treatment facilities. 

Before doing this – you must check with your local water utility company to make  … [Continue reading]


Sun. Oct. 9, 2011

Show Date: 10 Oct 11
It’s a Banner Year for Butternuts!

 LITTERaly!  Everywhere we stepped, NUTS filled the lawn of my friends house from his old Butternut tree.

The Butternut is a cousin to the Black Walnut tree.  It produces the same juglone as the Black Walnut also.  Although, perhaps, not as toxic, it still makes it difficult for certain plants to grow around it.  Tomatoes in particular.  Butternut wood is soft and damages easily in high winds. 

The nuts were used by Native Americans as a type of butter  … [Continue reading]

Leaf mold

Wed. Oct. 5, 2011

Show Date: 5 Oct 11
sounds kinda gross but it’s really a great soil amendment.  Compost CAN involve managing temps in the mound, adding brown layers and green layers, managing kitchen scraps and on and on….  OR

You can allow piles of dried leaves just rot and let nature take its course.  This process requires only time.  If you’d like to speed up the process, you can chop up the leaves, stir them and add corn gluten meal or alfalfa meal. 

I wouldn’t recommend piling your leaves in the street!   … [Continue reading]


Mon. Jul. 25, 2011

Show Date: 25 Jul 11
Have you noticed damage to Evergreens in community spaces?  Perhaps in neighborhoods that hire a professional lawn care service?

I live in such an area and was looking across at the White Pines and White Spruce thinking how awful they looked.  I thought, wow, that’s a lot of winter damage.

I had to inspect!

A brand new herbicide called Imprelis was just released for sale to turf management companies this year.  It has shown good to excellent control over broadleaf weeds like dandelions and creeping  … [Continue reading]

Clay soil

Sun. May. 29, 2011

Show Date: 24 May 11
Ugh, who among us has not toiled over clay soil?  Mother Nature has a way of winning nearly every time…  Instead of battling her, why not join her?

Clay soil tolerant perennials:

  • Daylilies offer loads of choices with differing bloom color, heights and bloom time
  • Russian Sage
  • Columbine – lovely in part shady areas
  • Liatris prefers full sun
  • Sedum with a large selection of choices too
  • Purple Coneflower
  • Black-eyed Susan
  • Monarda aka Bee Balm
  • New England aster
  • wild cranesbill
  • Grasses include ‘Karl Forester’ and ‘Little
 … [Continue reading]

Overdoing it, tools and pots

Fri. May. 13, 2011

Show Date: 13 May 11
Today’s GB is kind of a mishmash, seems appropriate for Friday the 13th!  A couple of weekends ago I helped a friend remove some overgrown, dying Yews.  We took out almost all of them.  The last one was right over her gas line!  REMINDER:  Call Gopher State One Call anytime you dig! 

Anyway, my body reminded me that I wasn’t used to mucking around in the dirt!  I still think it felt GREAT!  But I may have to make an appt. for a massage.

Your  … [Continue reading]

Aqua spikes and globes

Mon. Mar. 7, 2011

Show Date: 7 Mar 11
Going on vacation is always exciting…  except the part about asking friends, family or neighbors to check on your home and water your plants! 

There are certainly easier ways to take care of your houseplants.  The Aqua Globes are very pretty but not real practical for any long term watering.  They claim to water for up to 2 weeks but that would be for small houseplants, in my opinion.  They DO work, though. 

There’s the Aqua Spike, which works as well but it’s not  … [Continue reading]

Seedless Tomato

Mon. Feb. 21, 2011

Show Date: 21 Feb 11
Eating homegrown tomatoes ranks right up there with a beach in Aruba during a brutal Minnesota winter! 

Unfortunately some folks are unable to digest the seeds in tomatoes.  There’s a solution!  All hail the Seedless Tomato!

The fruit produced by these plants are sterile so they don’t produce seeds.  It took Burpee 6 years to develop this tomato with the right flavor, texture and seedlessness.  It’s an indeterminate plant and matures in 70 days.  Plant as you would any other tomato.  Check locally to see  … [Continue reading]

Storing chemicals

Wed. Nov. 3, 2010

As we move indoors it’s a good idea to take inventory of the left over chemicals we have from the season.  It’s helpful to have this list so that next spring you don’t buy more of what you already have!

Make sure those containers are still labeled!  If not, write on them with a sharpie.  If you don’t know what’s in them, dispose of them properly.

Find an area away from heat, freezing temps and sunlight.  Preferably up off the floor by 4 feet, that’s for the curious toddlers and  … [Continue reading]