What's Coming Up 189: Calculate mulch, new lawn, design for new home

What's Up summary of this week's news

Janet Macunovich and Steven Nikkila help you grow

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Issue #189, September 2, 2012* 

This week we posted these items in What's UpMulchCalcImage.jpg

The Mulch Calculator

A new lawn from seed

New home basics

In awe of insect predators

Good to mulch in fall, bad to steal plant labels

A bevy of bird baths

Potent potentilla at 45 mph

Zucchinis win at hide and seek

Results and plans from our recent poll



We really burned our synapses this week creating a Mulch Calculator. We sure hope you take a look and let us know how it works or what we can do to make it better... because we've already launched into the work for a Soil Calculator and Rock Calculator. (The Mulch Calculator's been reviewed by and altered for one 31 year old male, one 50 year old female, and one 16 year old female. We'd like to accommodate more viewpoints!)

Other than that, we've been bending our backs over sod and stone, making way for new gardens and new paths because fall is the time to plant, and fall's upon us.

Fall's also the time to get a lawn fixed or started new. We hope you'll celebrate the success of a recent lawn seeding with us in this issue. Then, pass that link for this how-to article along to someone in need -- such as one of those young people who've recently bought a home that sat untended so the lawn reverted to field-mowed short!

Three new items in Main features:

No more extra trips for bags of mulch! Mulch Calculator

For you who want to order the right amount delivered or buy the correct number of bagsthe first time 'round, we've created an answer machine. Type in number of square feet or measurements and descriptions of beds to learn how many cubic yards or bags of mulch will cover it. Includes recommendations for types and depths of mulch.


New lawn from seed: Step by step, tough soil to soft turf

There is no better time of year to start a lawn in the Great Lakes region than mid-August to mid-September. Same goes for renovating poor lawn areas. A step by step how to with costs included.


New home basics: Simple answers for those new to yard care

An overview of helping new home owners find the simplest answers to the basic questions. It isn't just one article but a gateway to many answers for those learning to clip, mow, rake and dig around a new home or an older home with new owners.

New in the department, This week in our gardens

A closer look into webbing on shrubs: Awesome insects

We wrote recently that spraying shrubs to kill spiders is not a good idea. Here's further explanation, all contained in just a few square feet of shrub surface

Green thumbs up and down

This week our nod goes to mulching in fall. We tell you why and how.

Our digital "No!" goes to stealing plant labels.

One topic crossed over from the Forum in Tip cuttings

Bevy of bird baths: Ideas for your feathered friends

A pretty tour of back yard basins and a nod to their many sources.


Just now seen in the 45 mph garden

Potentillas: Shrubs pack a flowery one-two punch

A humble native shows its stuff, now in pink as well as white and yellow.

New in the Stumper department

Zucchinis win at veg bed hide and seek

Nuff said? Or maybe you're new to growing this sneaky squash -- come take a warning.


We've been planning changes, reported in What's Next

Your votes and comments are in and at work to improve the site

We polled you regarding our current E-summary versus our pre-website magazine format.

By a bit more than 2:1, you say that reading articles on the website and receiving this weekly E-summary are AOK. Thank you.

Your votes also included many comments and suggestions. Wonderful! We've implemented some and are working on others. Our What's Next department tracks our changes, beginning this week.


We will trial a PDF magazine and campaign for subscribers

One out of three respondents preferred our magazine format in PDF. They reported that they enjoyed its portability -- print it and read it anywhere. Others liked its share-ability -- make an extra copy for computer-less Aunt Mel. Some like it because they can connect to the Internet only now and then and want to download all the latest news in one stroke. Others mentioned that its "look" was more pleasing. We're glad you appreciate all of this

Thanks to the generosity of a portion of those respondents, we'll trial the format as a parallel subscription publication, beginning with issue #190. We will share those with all readers as we look for others who would subscribe to this arrangement.

We'll launch a campaign for Sponsor-subscribers, too. If the magazine PDF is your preferred format, please sign on at the upcoming Sign of the Blue Daisy and also tell others who might like the PDF magazine to look, compare it to the E-Summary read on-line, and join its supporters in that campaign.

New in the library called Ensemble Weekly Editions

We move this year's news into this department as the seasons change, but we also keep adding to this season-based library from our archives. This week, we've posted these issues and articles to this collection you can use by choosing a season and key words from titles there.

What's Coming Up #14, with lawn weeds, holiday trees and Iceland gardens

What's Coming Up #35 with a dried flower wedding, and cool hard cuts on weeping mulberry

Growing Concerns #255 with Sneezy's mistake, goldenrod's innocence!

Growing Concerns #716 with runaway plants, retirement garden, self-watering, tulips

Growing Concerns #730 natural wooded area, juniper hedge, vertical mulch, dividing, edging, mowing

Growing Concerns #763 with pruning spirea and lavender, kill weed trees

All of these articles also pop up when you use our Search function - top right on any page.

Some of these additions are available now through the generosity of Sponsors who requested a particular issue or topic. You'll see the Sponsor's name, and often a message and/or their chosen photo on the article. Our thanks to every Sponsor -- whether you are in for $1 or $100, the fact of your support is what gives us the motivation to keep on growing this network.

You can Sponsor, too. Please do. We hope this winter to more than double the library's content to 2,200 articles -- we have those and more in line for posting. All we need is your support to buy the time to format and load them.

Who are Janet & Steven?

Entertaining answers in About Us

Please support this effort to help the gardening community grow!

Sponsor us, order our books, photos and other good stuff at our Market

Where to see us.

Details in About Us: Where we're appearing

Troy, MI Sept. 12; Ann Arbor, MI Sept. 18; Dearborn, MI Sept. 22; Troy, MI Oct. 13; Madison, WI Oct. 18; Madison, WI Nov. 10; Troy, MI Nov. 17

Where does a year go?! We're already setting up dates for Garden By Janet & Steven sessions on bulb planting and garden clean up. Watch our calendar for these additions.







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If you expected to find a different issue number and
different stories here, it must mean you came here
via the Master Link on one of our previous weekly emails.
This page always has links to the very latest news on our site.
Recent issues: #179, #180, #181, #182, #183, #184, #185. #186, #187, #188

Or use our Search function to find topics published earlier
Or go to the Ensemble Weekly Editions page
and click on the desired issue number.

Sorry for any delay!



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