Gardening Etcetera: Pining for a Ponderosa? Know this before you plant | Local

Wildlife are irresistibly drawn to Ponderosas. Some, like woodpeckers, bluebirds, nuthatches, brown bats, and some squirrels make their homes within its cavities or the hollows of dead trees. The tufted-eared Abert’s squirrel builds a huge nest (drey) high up on the south side of a Ponderosa trunk. A plethora of birds indulge in pine nuts, insects, and other arthropods gleaned from beneath the bark and within the branches.

For the past 100 years, many forests have encountered human suppression of forest fires, resulting in dense Ponderosa stands. Trees growing in close proximity deprive each other of sunshine and compete strongly for nutrients and water. As a result, these forests often have spindly, drooping, sparse-needled pines with root systems only as wide as a tree’s crown.

The specimens will never grow to the picturesque, open, park-like woods one pictures when envisioning a Ponderosa pine forest. The only way to turn these forests back to their former glory is through proper management. The Four Forest Restoration Initiative is aiming to do just that here in Northern Arizona. It will hopefully: restore structure, pattern, composition, and health of fire-adapted Ponderosa pine ecosystems, reduce fuels and the risk of unnaturally severe wildfires, and provide

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25 ways to create stunning house plant displays

Indoor plant ideas can help lower stress levels, replenish the air and make your home look gorgeous. What’s more, indoor plants offer an excuse to have fun and get hands-on creative too. 



a living room filled with furniture and vase of flowers on a table: null


© Provided by gardening etc.
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Surrounding ourselves with indoor garden ideas, and the act of caring for plants, also helps us get back in touch with nature. And, as the Botanical Boys say, ‘Connection to the natural world is more crucial than ever. In a fast-paced fragile world we live in today, we need to just slow down sometimes and observe nature – it’s the one thing that keeps us alive.’

‘It is incredibly important that each and every one of us finds the time to connect to nature in some way and by doing so also positively impacts our own wellbeing,’ they add.

It’s easy to enjoy all the benefits of plants indoors. However big or small your home, there’s definitely room for a leafy beauty or two  – from tiny bonsais to stately palms and figs they can pep up a mantlepiece, filter light coming through a window or even help divide an open-plan living space. They can add contrast and texture to the

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Home Improvement: Let’s plant trees

By Don Shor, Greg McPherson and Yael Franco
Special to The Enterprise

One of the simplest actions you can take to improve your neighborhood, increase your property values, lower your energy bills, and help sustain our urban forest is to plant a tree.

We all know trees are beneficial. They help to reduce the urban heat island effect by shading reflective surfaces. They moderate the local climate by blocking wind and providing shade. Direct cooling of buildings reduces energy use. They filter pollutants from the air, provide habitat for wildlife, sequester carbon, and are well known to have social, emotional, and cultural benefits.

Just how beneficial are trees?

Dr. Greg McPherson, retired Urban Forest Researcher with the USDA Forest Service, has done research to quantify some of the benefits of trees. For example, a mature shade tree in Davis can reduce annual air conditioning costs by $15-20. The same tree removes 10 pounds of air pollutants with annual health human benefits valued at $40-50.

By intercepting 700 gallons of rainfall, this tree reduces stormwater runoff and pollution, valued at $6. The same tree can sequester 200-300 pounds of carbon dioxide each year, helping to offset our emissions. It increases property

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Gardening: Plant Super Sugar Snap peas in January | Columnists

Garden peas, also called green peas or English peas to distinguish them from Southern peas, are my favorite spring vegetable crop. Peas must be planted early to get the best yield and quality.

Varieties

The two basic types of garden peas are shelling peas with inedible pods and edible-podded peas, also called snap peas or sugar peas.

Snow peas are one type of edible-podded pea. Snow peas are harvested before the seeds develop, while snap peas are harvested after the seeds expand.

I prefer snap peas. The pods increase the volume of the edible portion of the crop, and they don’t require shelling.



Gardening

Vigorous Super Sugar Snap peas produce long, sweet, crisp pods. Plant in January to harvest in April. Anthony Keinath/Provided


The only variety I plant is Super Sugar Snap. It had the best germination in a test I did years ago. This heat-tolerant variety produces pods on side shoots until June. The peas and pods are sweet and juicy.

Leftover seeds should be stored in the refrigerator to plant the following year.

Planting

In the Lowcountry and Midlands, peas must be seeded between Jan. 15 and Jan. 30. In the Upstate, plant in the first half of February.

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New Year Resolutions for Plant Parents

I don’t know about you, but this year, I found had no desire to make my “traditional” New Year’s resolutions—you know the ones I’m talking about: things like eating differently, exercising more, and so on. Instead, I decided it would be more beneficial for my well-being to simply lean into things that make me truly happy, and one of my biggest sources of joy in 2020 was my ever-growing plant collection.

Houseplants and gardening have taken off in a big way in the past few years, and personally, I’ve amassed a small indoor jungle of greenery that always manages to put a smile on my face. To keep growing my hobby, I’ve set a few plant-related goals for the coming year, and I hope by putting them out in the world, I’ll be able to hold myself accountable for sticking with them.

Stop Buying Every Plant I See

I’ll admit I went a little plant crazy last year. I couldn’t even go into Home Depot without at least picking up a little cactus or succulent, and my collection of plants doubled over the course

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Plant a purple Tabebuia for Arbor Day



a tree with pink flowers and grass: Florida, due to the 1945 State Legislature, designated the third Friday in January as Florida’s Arbor Day. National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April. This year, 2021, Florida Arbor Day is Jan. 15. This is the time of year when the climate is optimal for planting trees. So, go forth and plant a tree you love such as the pretty purple flowered trumpet tree — Tabebuia impetiginosa.


© Carol Cloud Bailey
Florida, due to the 1945 State Legislature, designated the third Friday in January as Florida’s Arbor Day. National Arbor Day is celebrated each year on the last Friday in April. This year, 2021, Florida Arbor Day is Jan. 15. This is the time of year when the climate is optimal for planting trees. So, go forth and plant a tree you love such as the pretty purple flowered trumpet tree — Tabebuia impetiginosa.

J. Sterling Morton, a Nebraska newspaper editor and founder of Arbor Day said, “Other holidays repose on the past. Arbor Day proposes the future.” I can’t think of a more positive way to usher in 2021 than to plant a tree. Florida celebrates Arbor Day on the third Friday of January — the 15th in 2021 — and yes indeed, it is a terrific time to plant trees. 

The benefits of trees have been often reported in this column; let’s just say for this year, trees are good and good for us. We all can use all the goodness and kindness to be found. Why not generate some beauty too by planting a tree, a flowering tree? 

One of my favorite flowering trees

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What kind of lawn is best to plant for full sun?

Q: We had to do some work in our backyard recently and now that the work is finished, the area graded and prepared, we are ready to plant a lawn. The area is in full sun, we have an irrigation system but would rather not use it often. What kind of lawn should we plant? 



a house with trees in the background: Bahia grass grows into a strong, low-maintenance turf for a drought-resistant lawn. It is established from sod or seed. Once it is mature, it rarely needs watering, though it will turn brown in drought, it greens up when water is available again. Mow it between 3 and 4 inches high and fertilize it only if it thins or looks off color.


© Carol Cloud Bailey
Bahia grass grows into a strong, low-maintenance turf for a drought-resistant lawn. It is established from sod or seed. Once it is mature, it rarely needs watering, though it will turn brown in drought, it greens up when water is available again. Mow it between 3 and 4 inches high and fertilize it only if it thins or looks off color.

— Jared, Hobe Sound 

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A: Bahia grass is the most drought tolerant grass grown for lawns in Florida. It is robust, drought and wear tolerant and, for the most part, pest resistant; however, not everyone likes the look of the turf produced. A good Bahia lawn has an open habit, which means when you look straight down, there will be some earth showing through. It is the grass I recommend for folks looking for a drought-busting turf.  

There

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