Carol asks…

where do the old pine bark nuggets go?? every spring you have to put new ones on the flower beds.?

but i never see the old ones scattered round over the yard or on top of the snow. must replace 50 poounds a year. ??????

landscapeliving answers:

They decompose and help in rich the soil surrounding your plants. It is the same idea behind a compost bend. Oxygen and sunlight break these fibers down and turn them into a rich soil.

Sharon asks…

Best time to remove dead leaves from flower beds?

When is the best time to remove dead leaves from your flower beds..the fall or the spring? Is it beneficial to let them stay there all winter? When in the spring should you rake them out? I find that I seem to do just as much clean up in the spring whether I do any removal of leaves in the fall or not.

landscapeliving answers:

Ultimately, you should leave them and let them compost. That would be best for the soil. Realistically, it can smother desirable plants. I would do it in the spring, since many animals overwinter in leaf litter. But the bonfires in the fall are always excellent....

Ruth asks…

Preen to prevent weeds in flower beds?

If I put Preen Garden Weed Preventer in my flower bed in the spring, will it effect the growth of my perennials?

landscapeliving answers:

No. I have use Preen and other pre-emergents for the last 10 years in commercial and residential projects and I have never experienced any problems. To throughly set your mind at easy the please read the label and ensure your perennials are covered as safe for use.

Mark asks…

How can I keep cats from digging up the bulbs in my flower bed?

I am planning on planting bulbs for spring flowers in my flower beds. However, there are neighborhood cats who would most certainly dig them up when they use the flower bed as a toilet. Any idea how I can keep the cats out of there? Does garlic really work? Or cinnamon?

landscapeliving answers:

I don't know about the garlic or cinnamon. But try this get some chicken wire, and cut a small round area where the bulbs will be located then place the wire over the areas. The cats will not be able to dig in the area due to the chicken wire, the holes are too small to allow them to do that. The wire can be pinned down with little metal stakes so that the wire can not be moved at all. This was the easiest thing I found to work with, and it deters pets!

By the time the plants grow up the wire can be cut very easily away from the plants/ground and they will be already grown up.

You will be happy and the cats will have found other areas to dig in. Your plants will have the chance to grow up and become beautiful flowers.

I had to use chicken wire in my yard after putting sod down to keep my puppy from digging it up. She hated the chicken wire, but it didn't hurt her since it's small and thin and lays flat to the ground. My lawn grew and the puppy gave up digging, every one ended up happy.

Maria asks…

What flower seeds can I plant in the fall in Tennessee to bloom in the Spring?

I live in western Tennessee. Some people around here plant flower seeds in their flower beds in the fall that bloom in the early spring. The winters here are fairly mild, but we do get a few spells in the winter with below freezing temperatures. Can anyone suggest a few types of flowers that would do well planting under these conditions?

landscapeliving answers:

Your early spring flowers need to be planted in the fall: Johnny Jump ups, larkspur, poppies, snapdragons, sweet peas, sweet alyssum, lobelia and pansies as well as flowering kale. These last two often show up as bedding plants to be put out within the next few weeks....end of Sept.....and then nurtured through the winter where they burst into color before anyone else wakes up. Remember they will need moisture through the winter and be prepared to give them a mulch when temps threaten to nose dive. Dry grass clippins are wonderful to have on if isn't bermudagrass. Otherwise, ground up leaves (use the lawn mower) may be enough to throw over the beds.

If you had a dedicated growing bed, like a cold frame, you could sow perennials now and then transplant them to the garden next spring.

Remember nature has been sowing her seeds now, so why not you? Goodness, I remember one year I didn't get my zinnias cut down and the next year I had a carpet of zinnia seedlings........what a mess!

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