Wednesday, April 30, 2008


The following is a list of plant materials well adapted for water-wise landscaping in New Hampshire.

Ornamental Grasses: Alopecurus pratensis, Foxtail grass, Zone 4 Deschampsia cespitosa, Tufted Hair Grass, Zones 4 & 5 Molina arundinacea, Purple Moor Grass, Zones 4 & 5 Phalaris arundinacea, Ribbon Grass, Zone 4

Trees and Shrubs: Acer negundo, Box elder Cotoneaster spp Crataegus spp., Hawthorn Juniperus spp, Junipers Kalmia latifolia, Mountain Laurel Prunus Americana, American plum Rosa Rugosa, Beach Rose Syringa spp, lilac

Perennial Flowers Achillea spp, Yarrow, Zone 3 Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly Weed, Zone 3 Baptisia australis, False Indigo, Zone 3 Coreopsis spp, Zone 3 Dianthus plumarius, Grass Pink, Cottage Pink, Zone 3 Echinacea purpurea, Purple Coneflower, Zone 3 Gypsophila paniculata, Baby's Breath, Zone 3 Hemerocallis spp, Daylily, Zones 3-4 Perovskia atriplicifolia, Russian Sage, Zone 5 Rudbeckia spp., Black-eyed Susan, Zones 3-4 Sedum spp., Stonecrop, Zones 3-4 Stachys spp, Lamb's Ears, Zone 4

Annual Flowers Cleome spinosa, Spiderflower Coreopsis tinctoria Euphorbia marginata, Snow-on-the-Mountain Gailardia pulchella, Blanket Flower Helianthus annus, Sunflower Portulaca grandiflora Tithonia rotundifolia, Mexican Sunflower Salvia farinacea, Blue Salvia

For Additional Information Please contact the Drinking Water and Groundwater Bureau at (603) 271-2513 or or visit our website at All of the bureau’s fact sheets are on-line at Xeriscape Council of New Mexico. Complete discussion of the seven principles of xeriscape University of Vermont, Department of Plant and Soil Science. Detailed description of how to grow ornamental grasses. Wild Ones Natural Landscapers, Ltd. Discussion about landscaping with native plants. Though geared to the Midwest, has some useful information. References: _____; MIL-Handbook-1165, Water Conservation; US Dept. of Defense; 1997; pp 67-73. Vickers, Amy; Handbook of Water Use and Conservation; WaterPlow Press, Amherst, MA; 2001; pp 140-223. Note: This fact sheet is accurate as of January 2007. Statutory or regulatory changes, or the availability of additional information after this date may render this information inaccurate or incomplete.

Dutch Gardens, Inc.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Maintain your landscape
Low-maintenance is one of the benefits of xeriscape. It should help free you from many common garden chores. One of these is weeding. Keeping the weeds from growing up through the mulch may require some attention. When you begin your garden, be sure to pay some extra attention to it as the garden is becoming established. Thickening the layer of mulch will help. It is so much easier to pull out a single weed, than have a ton of them to deal with!
Turf areas should not be cut too short - taller grass is a natural self-mulch which shades the roots and helps retain moisture. Do not cut your grass any shorter than 3 inches. Also, to make your life easier, don't rake the clippings up, unless you forget to cut and have clumps of grass spread around the lawn. That will effectively kill the grass below it!
Also, in order to make your life a bit easier, so you don't have to cut too often, avoid over-fertilizing. If you over-fertilize, the grass needs more of everything. Don't bother. Instead save the money and go out to dinner!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


Water conservation is the goal with xeriscaping, so avoid over-watering at all costs. Soaker hoses and drip-irrigation systems offer the easiest and most efficient watering for xeriscapes because they deliver water directly to the base of the plant. This reduces moisture loss from evaporation. They also deliver the water at a slow rate which encourages root absorption and reduces pooling and erosion. In general, it's best to water deeply and less frequently.
If you haven't got the ability to use drip-irrigation systems, just lay your hose on the ground at the base of the plant, and turn the hose barely on. In other words create your won "trickle" system! Allow it to stay there for 10-15 minutes per plant. Remember, the water should BARELY be running. You want it to soak in without running off at all. This will take some running back and forth to the garden, but once the plants are established, you shouldn't need to do this but a couple of times during the summer and only at the DRIEST times.
My garden is strictly "on it's own". It's too far from a hose to even do this, so if the plants don't survive, I've learned something. I won't buy that kind of plant again.
When I plant, I water deeply and carefully. With the mulch on nice and thick, the plants should be absolutely fine.
Gardener's Supply Company

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


Cover the soil's surface around plants with a mulch, such as leaves, coarse compost, pine needles, wood chips, bark or gravel. Mulch helps retain soil moisture and temperature, prevent erosion and block out competing weeds. Organic mulch will slowly incorporate with the soil, and will need more applied, "top-dressed", from time to time. To be effective, mulch needs to be several inches thick. There should be no areas of bare soil.
Plow & Hearth

Sunday, April 20, 2008


Use Appropriate Plants
For best results, select plants that are native to your region.
  • use drought-resistant plants. In general, these plants have leaves which are small, thick, glossy, silver-grey or fuzzy - all characteristics which help them save water.
  • select plants for their ultimate size. This reduces pruning maintenance.
  • for hot, dry areas with south and west exposure, use plants which need only a minimum of water. Along north and east-facing slopes and walls, choose plants that like more moisture. Most importantly, don't mix plants with high- and low-watering needs in the same planting area.
  • trees help to reduce evaporation by blocking wind and shading the soil.

Wayside Gardens

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Xeriscape-Create Limited Turf Areas

I know this sounds a bit "odd" but some people just really do need turf areas in their landscape. It doesn't appeal or even look good to have it ALL in flowers, shrubs and trees!
When planting new turf, or reseeding existing lawns, get water-saving species adapted to your area.
The idea is to reduce the size of turf areas as much as possible, while retaining some turf for open space, functionality and visual appeal. Then pick the grass seed carefully for your area to find the grass that will live best on as little water as possible. Call your state Extension Office to find out which grass will be best for your location.
Why should you want to get rid of turf in a Xeriscape? As you know from your reading, the whole idea behind xeriscaping is to cut back on water usage. Either because you don't HAVE any water to spare, or because you'd like to be "water wise". If you have turf growing around your home, you know it requires a LOT of water in order to stay attractive. So, pay attention to these recommendations.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Xeriscape-Soil Improvement

Soil Improvement
The ideal soil in a water-conserving landscape does two things simultaneously: it drains quickly and stores water at the same time. This is achieved by increasing the amount of organic material in your soil and keeping it well aerated. Compost is the ideal organic additive, unless your xeriscape contains many succulents and cacti. These species prefer lean soil.
It may be worthwhile to have your soil tested at a garden center or by using a home test kit. Most Western soils tend to be alkaline (high pH) and low in phosphorous. Adding bonemeal and rock phosphate will help.

Gardener's Supply Company

Thursday, April 03, 2008


Here's an article I saw today on Yahoo! It's all about BATS, and I thought you might enjoy and learn something by reading it.

Birds get the credit, but bats eat more bugs

By Maggie Fox, Health and Science EditorThu Apr 3, 2:01 PM ET

Bats play a bigger role than birds do in controlling tropical insects, and the loss of bats might mean that morning cup of coffee gets more expensive, researchers said on Thursday.

Two separate studies show bats eat far more insects than birds do, protecting plants of the rain forest and, in one of the studies, coffee plantations.

The studies, published in the journal Science, suggest that the loss of bat populations worldwide might affect agriculture -- not to mention make warm evenings outside more uncomfortable, the researchers said.

"Bats are impacting ecological systems in all kinds of ways, and I just want them to get the credit they deserve," said Kimberly Williams-Guillen, a tropical ecologist at the University of Michigan who led one of the studies.

Williams-Guillen and colleagues studied bats at Finca Irlanda, a 740-acre (300-hectare) organic coffee plantation in Chiapas, Mexico.

In previous studies of insect damage, scientists have simply covered plants to keep off birds and then counted the bugs and measured what they ate. They forgot to account for what the bats did at night.

Williams-Guillen and her colleagues set up three types of enclosures -- one that only excluded birds, one that only excluded bats at night, and nets that kept out birds and bats day and night.

During the summer wet season, the coffee trees under the nets that kept the bats out had 84 percent more insects, spiders and other bugs than unprotected plants, they reported.

Birds had far less of an effect, they said.


Margareta Kalka of the Smithsonian Institution in Balboa, Panama, and her team did a similar experiment in what she described as pristine rain forest.

"Insects could freely pass through the nets to eat the plants, hang out on the plants," Kalka said in a telephone interview.

"Both bats and birds had a significant effect on plants. And in our particular study ... we found a bigger impact of bats than from birds," Kalka added.

Plants shielded only from birds during the day had double the insect damage of plants that were uncovered, Kalka said. But plants netted at night to keep bats out had three times the usual insect damage.

The findings have important implications for conservation, Kalka said.

"Bats worldwide are suffering," she said in a telephone interview. "People still don't understand what are the threats to bats. Climate change may be a threat to bats."

Williams-Guillen's team agreed.

"Bat populations are declining worldwide, but monitoring programs and conservation plans for bats lag far behind those for birds," they wrote.

Williams-Guillen also noticed that bats do not only catch insects on the fly -- a technique that helps them eat half their body weight in a single night.

Many also perched upside-down from branches, swooping onto nonflying insects and other pests as they munched on leaves.

Kalka said it is clear why people credit birds with protecting crops.

"People like birds better and they are more obvious -- they are colorful, they are singing," she said.

"People love them -- they see them eating bugs off leaves. It seemed more obvious that birds have a role in pest control. Bats hunt in the dark so it is really hard to study them. They are completely overlooked."

(Editing by Will Dunham and Xavier Briand)

Copyright © 2008 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Gardener's Supply Company

Wednesday, April 02, 2008



This is a good time to get that soil tested. Then there will be time to amend it before the season gets into full swing!

Start up your lawn mower so you know it doesn't need a trip to the repair shop before grass cutting time. Also be sure the blades are SHARP.

Sharpen your other tools while you are at it!

Avoid working in the garden unless the soil breaks up in your
hand if you squeeze a lump of it.

Instead, turn your compost (assuming it is no longer frozen!)

Hummingbirds begin to appear this month in some places. Clean
the feeders and hang them for the "early birds"

Sow peas in the ground as soon as the frost is gone

Continue with the tree pruning. Get rid of dead and diseased limbs

As soon as your shrubs are done blooming, prune them as well.

You can prune your berry bushes-check a reference or
ask me

This is a good time to pull out weed trees and old bramble branches. They tend to yank out easily because the soil is still soft and moist.

Remove mulch from strawberries

Pansies can now be planted outside

It is the time to divide and plant perennials as well.

If you have any bare root plants going into the garden, soak them overnight before planting. also be sure to trim off any super long or broken roots.

If you winter mulch your garden beds, begin to remove mulch when forsythia and daffodils bloom.