More Gardening Tips and Information

by on September 26, 2011

The Shrub That Laughs at Summer’s Heat

Trailing abutilon If the intense heat of summer has your garden looking tired and drab, wake it up with a shot of color.

Trailing abutilon (Abutilon megapotamicum) is a subtropical Brazilian shrub that loves the summer heat and will bloom until frost. Though technically a perennial, it grows so fast in a single season that it makes a fantastic annual in most of the United States. Here’s what you need to know to grow this beauty in your garden:

Common name: Trailing abutilon, flowering maple, candy corn plant
Botanical name: Abutilon megapotamicum
Plant type: Shrub, but typically grown as annual
Zones: 8 to 10
Height: 3 to 6 feet tall, depending on site
Family: Malvaceae

Growing conditions
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Soil: Average to rich, well-drained
Moisture: Average

Mulch: Add a layer of mulch to help preserve moisture in the soil.
Pruning: None needed.
Fertilizer: None needed.

No Water? No Problem!

21-gallon water bag Got a flower bed or community garden plot that’s too far from a water source? Trudging back and forth with the watering can gets old after a few trips—and it’s hard on your body, too.

Save your back—and your time—and give Lee Valley’s 21-gallon water bag a try.

This handy bag made from durable plastic makes it easy to water anywhere. Fill it up with water (it weighs 176 pounds when full) and load it into your wheelbarrow or garden cart—it’s designed to lie flat for safe transport. A non-slip mat keeps it from shifting, and a wide-mouth spout makes it easy to fill.

Fold the bag flat when it’s not needed. Or store water in it temporarily for later use. So simple, yet so useful.

Got Ticks? Here’s How to Remove Them

The Tick Key
If your stomach turns just thinking about ticks, you’re not alone. Ticks are gross, and they’re dangerous, too—deer ticks can carry Lyme disease, and dog ticks and wood ticks can transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever. When you’re out in the garden, that’s the last thing you want to worry about.Thankfully, The Tick Key takes the work—and worry—out of removing ticks safely and effectively. Its unique tear-drop design allows you to quickly remove the entire tick, including the head, preventing tick-borne diseases that are common when the insect burrows. No more lit matches, petroleum jelly, or other time-consuming and ineffective methods of tick removal.Made of sturdy aluminum, The Tick Key is easy to clip on a key ring or pet collar. It comes in seven bright colors so you can find it quickly when you need it.
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