Lifestyle Gardening: Pet Friendly Landscapes & More

pbeat music) – Hello and welcome to another season of
Lifestyle Gardening. I’m Kim Todd. I’m thrilled you could join
us for our winter program. We’ve got a great
show for you today to help beginning
homeowners understand what they have
around their homes. We’ll also do some
wintertime scouting on those seed-bearing plants. And finally, we’ll hear
from industry professionals about how they keep
public plants going through the winter months. But first we’re going to hear from that critter
specialist, Dennis Ferarro. He’s going to be focusing on how to keep all
of our pets safe from some of those everyday
items we use around the home. (upbeat music) – When we think about the
safety of any kind of pesticides or fertilizers around our home, you’ve got to remember
those things are rated for their safety to people. We call that the LD50, but it’s’ rated for
homo sapiens, people. It’s not the same for our pets. Now, it’s close if our pets
are mammals, dogs and cats, but if you have pets such as
turtles roaming around the yard or if you have a pond
with frogs or fish or if you have birds in your
house, you have to remember that these pesticides
act very differently on these other types of animals. For instance,
people don’t realize that just one cigarette butt, if it accidentally gets
into the water of a pond, that can easily kill
because the nicotine, which is very, very susceptible
for killing amphibians, 100 tadpoles. Just one cigarette butt
would kill 100 tadpoles. The other things we
don’t realize is that we don’t think about our animals
going and eating fertilizer or eating weedkiller or eating
grub control on our lawn, but just think about it. If a cat starts scratching,
or a dog runs across the lawn, and one of those little
granules that has the pesticide gets between the
pads of their paws, what they’re gonna do, they’re
gonna lick it and eat it. Now, you have a different avenue or path of contamination or problems because they’re
actually ingesting the poison instead of just touching it. So sure, an average fertilizer,
an average pesticide, granular, on the
skin of a dog or cat is not gonna cause a problem,
but if they ingest it, it can easily cause a problem. The other things we have
to worry about is plants. A lot of plants, we
call them natural, and they have natural botanicals
such as things as neem or plants like
marigolds or others. There are many animals
that eat those plants that are not native to this area or native to where
they developed, and they ingest those plants, and those also can
become very highly toxic to those animals. We think about fumes in a home. There could be things that we
don’t think of as toxic fumes but to a bird, it can
easily cause it to succumb. So when you’re going through
these things, remember, it acts very different when
it comes to other animals, so if it says it’s safe,
it may be safe for pets. It may not be safe for
the frogs, the fish, or any other animals
in your yard. So definitely check things. Another thing you may
want to think about is before you check things,
check them for that animal. One thing I didn’t
mention is that sometimes to stop mosquitoes from
biting us, we use things. We think that they’re
natural like Skin So Soft or Limonene, which
is just citric acid. Yes, that will kill things
like mosquitoes and insects, but did you know just
one tiny drop of caffeine on your fingers from coffee or a citric acid from an orange will kill a frog immediately? So before you go ahead, if you have other
animals in your yard, or if you care about the other
biodiversity in your yard, definitely look on how
it affects those animals. Look at the label. It will tell you
if it’s susceptible to wetland creatures or fish. – It’s great to get
another perspective on this because when we
say the word pet, most people think cats and dogs, but if you’ve got a home
pond with turtles, fish, or frogs, be extra careful
about the pesticides you use as well as those items
that Dennis talked about. If you’ve seen our
program before, you know our Go Gardening
features are designed to help those who are just
getting started in gardening. And we thought to
kick off this year, we would help those of
you who may have moved into a new property. In order to have a beautiful and vibrant outdoor
living space, you first have to know
what you have to work with, and that’s the topic of
this week’s Go Gardening. (upbeat music) You might recall that
Go Gardening is focused on beginning gardeners, people
who really are interested but might not necessarily
know what they’re doing. We’re going to take a
step all the way back and start with what you
should be thinking about if you have a new residence,
brand new construction, new to you, a renovation
that you have in mind, anything that has to do with
your home, your business, your property, and what you
want your landscape to be. This is before you go
to the Garden Center and buy that plant and
come home with it and say, “What do I do now?” The process is
really pretty simple. It can be intimidating to people
who don’t fully understand that if you follow this process, the end result is likely going
to be far more satisfying than again, going off
and buying something that you don’t know where
you’re going to put. We start with the
facts, just the facts. This is hard for some
people to understand as well because facts are just facts. There’s no subjectivity. There is no recommendation
associated with it. It is simply what do you have? So on your property, you have
to figure out what you’ve got before you know what you want and how you’re going
to get what you’ve got to get to where
you want it to go. So we have lots of
tools you can use. The beauty of the digital age is you can go onto
a search engine, go to Google maps or any
of the other mapping tools, find your property, zoom
in on it to the point where you can see things,
use the little measure tool so that you can figure
out dimensions, what
exactly is where or if you are fortunate
enough to have from your county
assessor’s office website or from a set of
construction documents, you can use the
construction document. And that will show you where
the utility easements are, the actual property itself, perhaps the existing plant
material, usually not by name, but at least where
they’re located, the dimensions of the house,
all those sorts of things that ultimately are going
to affect your decisions on what you want
your landscape to be. So these are just a couple of those different
tools you can use. People are also very
intimidated by the fact that they can’t draw. Well, I can’t draw, either. I’m terrible at it. You don’t need to
be able to draw to simply do some
sketches and scribbles, and more importantly, some
notes on what you have. So if we move from here are
a couple of base documents to the actual zooming
in and analyzing or inventorying what you’ve got, it is everything from what
is the direction of the wind in the summer and in the fall. Are there places where the
wind swirls and twirls, and you end up with
leaves everywhere? What is the angle of the sun? Do you have areas that
are never in full sun or never in full shade? Is that sun filtered? What are the existing trees
and shrubs and perennials? There are also some good apps that will tell you what those
are or at least get you close, and of course, you can always
send Backyard Farmer a picture and we will try to
identify it for you. But again, you have to
know what those plants are so that you can make a decision about whether you
like where they are. Are they in good condition? Do they really fit in with
what you want to be able to do? You also have to
look at the slope because slope is
essential, and the soils. So those are pretty simple. It’s what you’ve got, where
is it, take notes, make notes. That becomes the first
part of doing the analysis and the assessment before you
get into actually figuring out what you want on
your own property. All of those factors
are going to matter when you start thinking
of installing new turf, planting shrubs, or
getting a garden started. Going at it blindly could
result in poor plant health and cause you a lot more
headaches down the road. Next time on Go Gardening, we’re going to build
on this feature by helping you begin a master
plan for your landscape. Our landscape lesson this
week continues this idea of knowing what you have, and
you might have some trouble with plants that look great
in the winter but set seed. You can look at this two ways. One way is to welcome
more beautiful plants. Another way is they might
take over your landscape if you leave them untended. So let’s take a few
minutes to see some samples of those plants that
set a lot of seed. (upbeat music) These beautiful winter days make many of us want to go
outside and play in our gardens. However, there are not
very many things we can do to get ready for spring to come with one really
pretty neat exception, and that would be take
a look at what set seed in your landscape
and then figure out, especially if you
are a little bit new to the gardening world whether what set seed is
going to produce all sorts of unwanted seedlings. Some examples that I’m going
to talk about are euonymus, winter creeper, euonymus,
which is fabulous, enjoyed by the
birds, goes vertical, puts on these beautiful seeds that look a little bit
like seeds of bittersweet, and the birds
absolutely relish them. Another is, of course,
the juniper or the seeder. Many, many of our seeders
are really becoming a problem in the landscape, and
that does include in areas that are actually urban
parts of the state. Then we get into some of the
perennials and the grasses. Some of the ornamental
alliums like this one, which happens to
be garlic chives, you can actually see some
of the seeds still remaining in the heads of these
particular plants, which means that
in this landscape, that homeowner is
going to have to look for all of those
little onion seedlings coming up all over everything. Then we have some of the grasses which can be absolutely gorgeous and deadly in terms of
seedling production. This is northern sea oats. What looks like a single seed in all of those little
dangling seed heads is actually many, many seeds. They will also come
up in profusion all over the landscape
in the spring. And of course we have
plants like asters, which the fluff
turns into seeds, seedlings turn into plants,
so what this really is is a cautionary note to
say look at what you’ve got that is beautiful in seed. Take those seed heads off
even now if you want to, but certainly if you
don’t want seedlings of many of your beautiful
winter plants in your landscape for the coming season,
think about that. Get rid of those seeds
earlier next fall or pay attention early in the
spring to what is coming up in your landscape. It’s going to be
much easier to manage if you take care of those
garden thugs in the fall by getting rid of
those seed heads. Take a look around your home on one of these really
nice winter days to check for any
heavy seed-bearers. Get rid of them quickly if you don’t want
more in the spring. You know, we love to
bring you some insights from folks in the industry,
and we like to focus on topics that home gardeners
will appreciate. So this week, we’re
excited to talk with Alice Red from
Lincoln Parks and Rec. Alice has been involved
with planning, selecting, and planting at
the Sunken Gardens and other public areas here
in Lincoln for many years. She’s going to talk to us
about how they overwinter many of the beautiful plants we see
every year at Sunken Gardens. (upbeat music) It’s my pleasure to be
talking with Alice Reed with Lincoln Parks and
Recreation public garden section today about
everything that we see in these beautiful greenhouses and what it has to do
with Sunken Gardens. So Alice, just exactly
what are we looking at? And since we
interviewed Rich Finke about what they are
doing for Sunken Gardens, what is this all about? – Well, this is the public
garden holding area, and we hold all the plants
over, the standards, the bulbs, the banana trees, the grasses,
all those temperennials that we hold over that are
special for Sunken Gardens and around the city. – [Kim] These are rather
unusual greenhouses because they’re not
really a greenhouse. What are the conditions
that these plants need to be able to overwinter,
whether they are truly tropical or they are the water
plants that we see in all of the fish
ponds at Sunken Gardens? – Well, we’ve held these
plants for several years, so we’ve needed a holding
greenhouse forever just to overwinter these plants so we don’t have to
buy them every year. So this is a polytech
holding house. The sides go up and down. There’s no cooling
system per se. It’s just fans and
a heating system. So we just keep it
at a temperature
throughout the winter to hold these plants in a
state where they won’t freeze. When we’re harvesting,
as we call it, we bring in a lot of
different plants all at once, and we’ll start to pare
them down a little bit and clean them up, see what’s
good, and in the meantime, we’re working on our
designs for next year, so we’ll decide on
how many centerpieces, where these standards will
go, and then we’ll work on preparing and propagating
those plants for that, for those designs. It’s the big plants that are
carryover plants, standards, banana trees, the grasses,
mother plants, stock plants. And then we’ll divide those
out through the wintertime to the numbers of the plants
that we need for our designs. We clean the bulbs up. We shear back all these plants. They come in huge, and
we reduce them down. We clean the bugs off
of them, re-pot them, and get them ready to
go out for next year. And that’s what we do in the
winter is work on numbers. – Alice, you carry over a lot
of plants from year to year because people love them,
like the elephant ears and the bananas.
– Yes. – Are there any unusual
or special plants that maybe are not in here
that we might be seeing in Sunken Gardens this year? – Well, we have all sorts
of surprises in mind. We usually travel around a
lot and see other gardens and see what’s new and
different out there, and then we’ll try to
bring it back to Lincoln. One thing we had last year
was chocolate mimosa trees, which are deciduous, but
they are just to add new, something we had seen out there. And holding over these nice
lantanas in different colors and daturas, brugmansias. Those are all new and
different this year. – Alice, thanks for taking the
time to talk with us today, and we are really
looking forward to
what we’re going to see in Sunken Gardens next year. – Thanks for coming over, Kim, and we’re glad to show
off what we’re gonna make for next year’s gardens to
make it beautiful in Lincoln, so thank you for coming over. – We really appreciate getting
a chance to talk to Alice to hear about how their
winter storage program keeps those beautiful
plants going for years. Later on in the show,
we’re going to return to the city winter storage area to hear about some
specific plants, including some
aquatic ornamentals and how they survive
the winter months. Since this is a partner
program to Backyard Farmer, we’d like to take a few minutes to answer some of
your questions. We love hearing from you. If you’ve got some
questions or pictures, you can send them our way
by emailing [email protected] While you’re at it, you
can attach a picture, too, in JPEG format. Please tell us as much
information as you can, including which part of
the state you live in. Okay, so our first question
comes to us today from we don’t know. But it doesn’t matter
because this is one that is really important
to a lot of people. This is a viewer who started
walking in the backyard dreaming about those
future plantings, which is great in
our winter months. He noted these
fissures in the yard, first dismissed them as
something his children had done, then realized it’s an entire
maze through the backyard. He attached these great photos. He did quiz the kids, but
they said they didn’t do it, and no, indeed, they did not. He hopes the earth isn’t
opening up in fissures. If it did, it would swallow
what has caused them in the first place,
which is voles. And our good ‘ole critter
creature Dennis talks about voles on our
show all the time. Those fissures are classic. Under the snow, under
the mulch, under plants, you see them along the surface
of the ground tunneling, and then of course,
they go underground. They do all sorts
of nasty damage. They love plant parts, so
they will eat the roots of those plants from beneath. Easiest way to get rid of voles
besides moving, of course, is you can set snap
traps perpendicular in lots of locations. Our good animologist
Jody did that. She caught mice;
she caught voles. They’re hard to bait. Their population also
crashes on occasion, but one of the things
you also can do is remove some of that cover and make sure that
they don’t have places where they can
dart into the lawn out of other places
in your landscape. And on our website and in
previous YouTube videos, we have a lot of information about how you can control voles. I feel your pain. They’re all over
in my yard, too. All right, so we also
have a question today from all the way up in Crofton, and this is a very loyal viewer. Thanks for sending the pictures. He has a 30 year old, 30 foot tall spruce,
five of them actually, and one of them is
showing this damage. Unfortunately, you
know, it’s a little hard to tel the damage
from a distance, but I would suspect that if
we had Kyle or Amy or Lauren standing in place right
now, they would say, “Look and see whether you
actually have a canker “up in the crown at the base
of some of those twigs,” and that could, in fact,
be what’s happening. That would cause the
twig to die back, especially if it is a canker that has encircled the
twig in that location. Some sort of damage in
that particular spot is probably what has happened. Not a thing you can do about it, especially if it is a canker. If it is a disease, which
it really doesn’t look like at this point, that
would be something that you would have to get up
on, send a sample in to Kyle. This question comes to
us from Lynch, Nebraska. She found multiples of
these in the same area, great pictures. She describes them as she
thought it was a turtle egg until she picked it up. It’s this star-shaped
leaf-like thing attached to the back. We had a couple of these
earlier in the season, really maybe the first
or second time ever as long as I’ve been
hosting the show. This is actually an
earth star fungus. Beautiful thing. It starts out as kind of
a puffball to begin with, and then the actual star
shaped piece opens up on the outside layer. That is directly associated
with how much moisture there is. So if it’s very moist, you
don’t get that to open up. It doesn’t look like the
star, closes back up again. They like drier
sort of open areas. You will find them in
the lawn on occasion, but they are just one of
those great, wonderful fungi to enjoy as they come
out of the ground, and really do look
like an earth star. So we really appreciate getting
that from Lynch, Nebraska. We also have a question
today from a viewer who had a great high tunnel, or actually not a high
tunnel, a little covered. Covered his garden,
extended his season with a little, tiny
hoop that he created out of PVC pipe and
some plastic, we assume, just like we did. Thought we’d show this
to you because he said he actually used this. He harvested carrots all the
way up ’till Thanksgiving. He did have some spinach
in it, but of course, spinach is one of those
vegetables that likes it cold but doesn’t like it too cold, not much to protect
that spinach foliage when it really,
really gets cold. So that didn’t work for
him, but great idea, great for him to actually
have done that extension of his own season in his
garden and made it work so he could harvest carrots
and probably some other things, either earlier in the
fall or come spring, when we actually start
to put the plastic back on our own hoop house in
the Backyard Farmer garden. For our final feature
today, we’re going to return to the city winter
storage area to hear about how plants like
banana trees and aquatics make it through the cold
season here in Nebraska. Here’s Lincoln City
Parks and Rec’s Mike Fallon and Zac Halley, former students of
ours, to tell you more. (upbeat music) – We are at the greenhouses
for Lincoln Parks and Rec public garden section
where we overwinter a lot of our annuals that we
use throughout the year. Right now we are looking at
some of these red bananas which when we take
in, in the winter, can be a very laborious process. As you can see, some of these
are close to 100 pounds or so. When we bring them in
after that first frost, they start out about
15 to 20 feet tall. We’ll cut them off
and bring them in. With a lot of the red
bananas, we will divide them and overwinter a little
cooler, as you can see. There’s some upshoots
coming from here. When we divide these,
we’ll quarter them up and plant them in our mix. That way when they’re
ready to go next spring, we start growing them out. In January, February,
we’ll bump up the heat in the greenhouse to
get these things growing so that they’ll get to that 15
to 20 feet in the next year. When it’s time to
get them outside is when we get all of
our regular annuals and flats delivered because
they will fill this greenhouse to the brim, so we actually
have a shade structure outside that we’ll keep these
in, in the late spring before we put them
in the garden. So we do harden them off for
about two to three weeks. That just ensures that once
we put them in the garden after the frost-free date,
that they’ll be ready to go. They do not bear bananas,
as they require, I believe, it’s three years of growth
before they start to bear fruit, and we just don’t keep it
warm enough to do that. – So along with the bulbs,
we have aquatic plants that we overhold
in this greenhouse. We have a variety of aquatics
that we bring in come fall before the freeze. Anything from illustris elephant
ears to black elephant ears rush, water hyacinths,
and King Tut papyrus. The King Tut papyrus is
actually probably one of the more interesting things. It’s this plant here. It’s kind of a corner piece
of every pond each year. As far as divisions go, this
is this one division this year. Pull these out in the fall,
they’ll be a massive plant that takes three of us to
get out along with shovels. We actually have to
physically get in the ponds and try to not disturb the liner and dig it out at the same time. This is a water hyacinth here. We keep these kind of
contained in the corner. They do spread quite
a bit, so each year, we’ll only keep about 10 or 12 sprigs. The tropical lilies. We have two different types
of lilies in the garden, so we have tropical
lilies and hardy lilies. The tropical lilies we
actually take out each year so we try to have about
four in each pond, different varieties. The bloom type on
them is way different than anything you see with
the hardy native lily, so they’re a huge
attraction to the garden, so with the tropical lilies, we
keep them in the greenhouse at about a 50 degree
temperature, where
the hardy lilies, they can just go back to
the ground in the pond. So this greenhouse allows us
to overwinter all these plants for Sunken Gardens so it
will be ready for next year. – This technique is not only
a good way to keep plants growing in the winter,
but it’s also a great way to save public money. Instead of having to purchase
new plants every season, some can be kept in this
controlled environment and brought out again in the
spring for all of us to enjoy. You know, we’ll be
looking forward to seeing all of the beautiful ornamentals
and those arrangements at Sunken Gardens as
always this season. Thank you so much
for joining us again for Lifestyle Gardening. On our next program, we’ll be showing you how
to clean your garden tools, we’ll have some
helpful pruning tips, and we’ll hear about landscape
plans for new homeowners. Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook,
YouTube, and Twitter. So good morning, good
gardening, thanks for watching. We’ll see you all next time
on Lifestyle Gardening. (upbeat music)

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