Miscanthus sinensis (Japanese or Chinese Silver Grass) used to be the ornamental grass of choice for landscape designers. Showy, low-maintenance, year-round beauty... What's not to love?
Plenty. Those pretty flowers? Full of seeds that quickly disperse in the wind. As a result, this drought-tolerant, sun-loving grass is taking over meadows, roadsides, and forest edges across the country. In fact, Miscanthus is so invasive that it is now banned for sale on Long Island.
What to do if it's already in your garden? Prevent seeds from spreading by cutting off the flowers when they start to resemble a dandelion puff. If you see any baby Miscanthus sprouting, pull them up right away. Baby Miscanthus are easy to remove—mature Miscanthus not so much.
Looking for alternatives? Try native grasses like Little Bluestem, Switchgrass, or Indian Grass.
Photo credit: Ian Alexander Martin on Flickr
Plants sprout from seeds, bulbs, rhizomes, and more, but weeds always originate in the same place: our minds. A weed is simply a plant you've been taught to view as undesirable.
Who taught you? Mostly chemical companies marketing products to keep "weeds" under control. For example, milkweed was long considered unattractive—now we view it as a vital tool to saving the monarch butterfly population.
Times change. Perceptions change. Fashions change: We once thought shoulder pads were a must-have accessory. Isn't it time to rethink our landscaping must-haves? Clover, anyone?
Mosquitos sucking the fun out of your summer?
Reduce the mosquito population on your property by reducing the wet conditions where mosquitos breed. PRFCT watering techniques—seldom and deep—prevent lawn puddles and surface moisture that attract mosquitos.
How to tell if your lawn is mosquito party central? If it hasn’t rained recently, but you hear a “squish squish” sound when you walk across your lawn, time to cut back on your watering.
Can't remember the last time you sharpened your lawnmower blades? Then your mower is probably overdue.
Why does it matter? Dull mower blades tear grass, which invites fungus infections. If your grass has ragged edges or you can see white fibers hanging from the tips, your mower blades are too dull.
How much water do your privet hedges need this summer? Not much!
If your privet was planted over two years ago, let it be. Well-established trees and shrubs in good soil, including privets, do not need any irrigation.
Newly planted privets—less than two years in the ground—should only be watered at the base. Spraying the leaves is the principle cause of scale disease that will kill your privet. See our drip hoses tip for more info on where to place hoses and when to remove them.