How To Keep A Christmas Tree Fresh And Green

You have a Christmas tree! Now it’s time to prevent your tree from losing all of its needles and keep your Christmas tree as fresh and green as the day it was cut. If you are wondering how to keep a Christmas tree fresh and green, follow the easy steps below.

how to keep your christmas tree green and fresh all season long

Steps for how to keep a Christmas tree fresh and green:

Step 1: Give the trunk of your tree a fresh cut across the bottom. About a half inch should do the trick.

Step 2: Place the tree in water. A Christmas tree is like any other plant, it needs water to survive.

How to keep your christmas tree green

Step 3: Find the ideal spot for your tree. Of course, you want your tree to be in a visually appealing spot, but try to identify a location that is away from a heat source (active fireplaces, heat vents, space heaters, etc.). Heat sources will quickly dry out your tree!

Step 4: Add 1 teaspoon of Mirimichi Green’s Tree & Shrub liquid fertilizer to the water supply. Repeat application for every third watering.

How to keep a christmas tree fresh

By adding Mirimichi Green’s Tree & Shrub liquid fertilizer, you are giving the tree nutrients that will keep your Christmas tree fresh and green all season. You will see less fallen needles around your tree, which means less clean up. It will help keep your tree deep green and lush until the New Year.

Don’t wait for Santa to bring you this gift! Place an order on Amazon or visit one of our distributor locations.

Urban Sustainability Is Growing

Green roofs and walls are gaining popularity in urban developments. This unique landscaping trend is more than just an architectural design, it provides the base for plants to positively impact polluted urban and suburban environments.

Green roofs are sustainable

Green roofs and green walls

Green roofs are any roof that is partially or completely covered with vegetation, typically planted on top of a waterproof membrane. Green roofs can be a whole system that includes root barriers, drainage, greywater treatment, and irrigation.

Green walls refer to any form of a vegetated wall surface. This broad concept encompasses three major categories: living walls, retaining living walls, and green facades.

Living walls consist of pre-vegetated panels, modules, bags, or planted blankets that are adjoined to a structural wall or frame.

Retaining living walls are home to vegetation and act as a support for slopes.

Green facades are systems of climbing plants, vines, or ground covers that form a supporting structure.

Green wall in urban areas

Here are some benefits of green roofs and green walls:

  • Improves the longevity of roofs
  • Help the tenants below regulate temperature. It is estimated that an average three-story building can save up to 25 percent in the summertime energy costs.
  • Decreases stormwater runoff by 40-60 percent which decreases the amount that flows into sewers
  • Provide opportunities for food production and urban agriculture
  • Provide habitat for wildlife. This could be a way to decrease the devastating impact of urbanization on nature.
  • Improves air quality and circulation
  • Protects the building structure from harsh weather conditions
  • Provides a sound barrier and poses as additional insulation

Living walls offer sustainability

A greener future

Green roofs and walls are a big step for the sustainability movement in urban design and innovation. These landscaped buildings provide many benefits to the community including thermal insulation, lower utility bills, naturally filtered air and water, and an ecosystem for wildlife.

Tell us about your sustainable methods using the hashtag #MirimichiGreen on Instagram or Twitter.

Simple Steps to Control Erosion On Project Sites

Erosion can be a big problem, especially on construction sites. These simple steps will have a positive effect when controlling erosion and sediment problems on your next job.

Simple steps to control erosion

Minimize disturbed areas

Control the territory of your project by working only in the necessary areas involved. Controlling the areas that are being worked on will reduce the erosion and sediment movement on the site. Keep as much natural vegetation as possible and do not disturb areas that have topsoil in place. Removing natural vegetation will disrupt the soil structure.

Create sediment traps or ditch

Direct runoff water to a prepared sediment trap. It can be controlled by redirecting water with diversion ditches located at the up-slope side of a construction site.

Erosion control tips

Stabilize Soils

Many permits require stabilization measures. Some temporary measures can include hydro-seeding, mulch, blankets, etc. If the stabilization measure is permanent it can vary from permanent seeding, planting, channel stabilization and green buffer. Make sure you use quality products to ensure the work will last.

Pro Tip: Incorporate CarbonizPN Soil Enhancer and Nutri-Release into your hydroseeding tank for quick and lasting results.

Slope protection

There are multiple options for erosion and sediment control on slopes that depend on the degree of inclination of the slope. Measures such as silt fence, fiber rolls, geo-textiles, turf blanket, and mats can be used as slope protection.

Slope erosion control with EcoExpress

Storm inlet protection

Providing protection against erosion and sediment control on a storm drain inlet can be achieved by using silt fence, rock-filled bags, or block and gravel. The type of measure used will depend on the type of drain inlets opening and the flow that it is expected to receive.

Construction entrance

Stabilized construction entrances will reduce sediment being carried away by construction vehicles. It is recommended to have two construction entrances, formed regularly by large crushed stone areas.

Erosion control construction entrance project

Inspect for signs of erosion

Inspection is the key when working with sediment and erosion problems. Inspect your project after a storm event or just after a small rainfall. By conducting small routine inspections you will be able to prevent erosion on the project site.

Tell us about your successful erosion control methods using the hashtag #MirimichiGreen on Instagram or Twitter.

Grow Any Landscape Business With Social Media

People say pictures are worth a thousand words. Social media platforms are the perfect way to grow any landscape business to showcase successful projects to a larger audience than just your current customer base. Here are a few you should consider.

use social media to grow business

There’s always the standard platforms – Facebook and Twitter, but there are other social media platforms that can help take your business to the next level and reach more leads.

Create an Instagram account to generate a following

Instagram is an image-driven platform with a reported 800 million users. Instagram allows landscapers to show off their best work with photos or short videos and a descriptive caption. It gives business professionals the option to sponsor posts to reach more users that might not have seen the post otherwise.

use social media to grow landscaping business

This photo-sharing platform can help you reach more people who could possibly turn into customers. Landscape professionals can use popular hashtags (using the # symbol followed by a word or saying), such as #landscaping, as a tool to reach more people on Instagram’s explore tab. Tagging partnering businesses that you work with, such as Mirimichi Green (@mirimichigreen) is a great way to attract followers to your business page.

Grow any business with social media

Instagram also offers biography section. In this space, provide what your business has to offer, where you are located and a link to your website and/or a business email. The more you fill in the information fields, the easier it is for customers to find and contact you.

Pro tip: Be sure to keep your professional page and personal page separate.

Use Pinterest to display completed projects

There’s more to Pinterest than just DIY project ideas and creative recipes. Pinterest has a pinboard-style layout to help businesses and professionals display jobs and offer design ideas. There are all types of searchable trends, projects, and pictures of ideas for landscapes and other green industry topics.

Use Pinterest to grow any business

Setting up a Pinterest account for your business is another way for potential customers to see your work and find your company. You can also upload photos with links to your website and descriptive content from projects you’ve completed. Creating categorized boards to organize your posts of projects, such as hardscapes, irrigation installations, sod, etc., will provide current customers and potential customers an easy layout to see everything your business can do.

Pro tip: Be sure to provide your business website link in all of your posts, so leads can easily access more information about your company.

Make a Houzz profile to reach local customers

Houzz has a similar layout to Pinterest, in that you can get project design ideas and share images of your work, but Houzz can also be used as a resource for homeowners to find contractors. Houzz features a “Find Professionals” tab that easily allows homeowners to find contractors in their areas; it’s the modern-day Yellow Pages.

Use Houzz to grow business

A Houzz profile can serve as an online portfolio for your landscape business. It offers the ability to showcase your skills and services while also reaching customers who are actually looking for the services you provide. This platform also allows contractors to sponsor or promote a business Houzz profile, which pushes the company towards the top of the list of contractors. Plus, Houzz allows customers to review your landscape business. Word of mouth from previous customers is a great tool to get potential leads to give your company a shot.

Pro tip: Use professional pictures of your projects whether that means hiring a photographer to snap a few shots or invest in a nice camera.

Growing business with social media

All three of these social media platforms can be used to highlight photos or videos of the great projects your company can offer, all while reaching new and existing customers.

Show us your projects! Be sure to tag Mirimichi Green (@mirimichigreen) or use our hashtag (#mirimichigreen) on projects that you’ve used Mirimichi Green products.

 

High Nitrogen Poses Risk To Environment

High nitrogen poses an alarming risk to the environment and researchers are taking note. The human production of fixed nitrogen being used primarily to fertilize crops is said to be responsible for approximately half of the total fixed nitrogen going into the environment, according to a new study by researchers at North Carolina State University and Duke University.

High Nitrogen Poses Risk To Environment

Human production of fixed nitrogen is five times higher than it was 60 years ago. The researchers say the substantial increase could pose as much of a threat to the environment as the increase of carbon-dioxide causing climate-warming. One form of nitrogen gas, nitrous oxide, is a potent greenhouse gas that can contribute to rapid global warming. High levels of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere will degrade the atmospheric ozone layer and can develop a hazardous ground-level ozone.

William H. Schlesinger, Professor of Biogeochemistry at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment says, “Earth has never seen this amount of fixed nitrogen.”

fertilizer harms the environment

To conduct their study, the researchers at North Carolina State University and Duke University gathered historical data on fertilizer use in agriculture and recent estimates of nitrogen-fixation rates. They analyzed trends in human production of fixed nitrogen since the beginning of the 20th century. Then they placed these trends in context with recent estimates of natural nitrogen fixation and denitrification rates on land and in water.

The researchers conducting this study were stunned by their findings. “While carbon has captured the attention of the world through climate change, we cannot ignore this issue,” adds Viney Aneja, Professor of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Science at NC State. “Too much nitrogen can affect human health, reduce biodiversity and amplify global warming.”

human fixed nitrogen

Too much nitrogen in the soil benefits a limited number of species that can out-compete native species, reducing biodiversity, Aneja notes. The high levels of nitrogen pose a threat to human and animal health too. The high levels of nitrogen being used are now being found in groundwater. Excessive amounts of nitrogen in groundwater are associated with intestinal cancers and miscarriages and can be fatal to infants, as well as aquatic life.  

high nitrogen hurts the environment

Nitrogen compounds as a fertilizer have been used by the people for many years, but time has changed the type of fixed nitrogen being used. Historically, only naturally fixed sources, like compost manure and guano, were applied to fertilize crops. In the early 1900s, German chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch discovered a process that converts atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia, allowing humans to produce nitrogen-based fertilizers on an industrial scale for the first time. In 1960’s, more than 60 percent of farms in the U.S. had converted to using chemical fertilizer and the average nitrogen rate was 17 pounds per acre. By 2007, U.S. farms were using 82.5 pounds of nitrogen per acre on average.

 

Companies like Mirimichi Green encourage the use of lower nitrogen rates and offer low NPK fertilizers and bio-stimulants. Mirimichi Green products are low in NPK, but high in nutrient availability and contain liquid carbon. NPK is often a temporary fix to soil biology problems. Unlike nitrogen, carbon is the key solution to many soil issues that can arise. Carbon keeps the soil aerobic, holds nutrients in the root zone, gives a home for all the protozoa, hype, fungi and other necessary elements for healthy plants and soil.

 

CITATION: “Is Nitrogen the Next Carbon?” by William Battye, Viney P. Aneja, and William H. Schlesinger, Aug. 29, 2017, Earth’s Future. DOI: 10.1002/2017EF000592

Successful Turf Management and Disease Control Methods

There’s more to turf management than just painting the field and filling in the divots. Being able to recognize turfgrass disease is extremely important for successful turf management and disease control. Forecast, diagnose and treat disease, environmental and insect problems in a strategic and cost-effective manner with these suggestions.

Disease Control Methods

There are many ways to go about diagnosing turf diseases on sports fields. Here are some tips for successful turf management and disease control.

Write it down. With all of the inputs, applications, and staff, it’s best to keep a running list of the maintenance and any issues. Keep a record book filled with detailed notes on products used, application rates, locations of troubled areas, application equipment, etc. It is a helpful tool in overall disease management.

Turf disease

Consider the symptoms. When considering turf diseases, they come in many shapes and sizes. Knowing the symptoms goes a long way towards narrowing down the number of possibilities. Make observations about which part of the plant seem to be affected the most such as, odd-looking spots on the leaves, mushy roots and interesting patterns on the field will be essential information when matching it to disease field guides.

successful turf management

Look it up. Expert or not, a quick comparison will never hurt. When an incorrect diagnosis is made, products chosen to fix what was thought to be the problem will not work or could cause more problems. The following books are good resources, as well as the many identification tools offered by land-grant universities:

  1. “Compendium of Turfgrass Diseases,” by Smiley, Dernoeden and Clark
  2. “Managing Turfgrass Pests,” by Watschke, Shetlar and Dernoeden
  3. “Integrated Turfgrass Management for the Northern Great Plains,” by Baxendale and Gaussoin
  4. “Controlling Turfgrass Pests,” by Shurtleff, Fermanian and Randell

dollar spot turf disease

Timing is everything. Timing is a key control factor because, in the life cycle of each disease, there is an optimal point for treatment. Be sure to apply a fungicide product at the most vulnerable stage of the cycle to get the greatest degree of efficacy. It is equally important to make sure you are targeting the correct zone. Timing is vital because most diseases are favored by certain environmental or weather-related conditions. As such, the season of the year becomes crucial in the consideration of potential pathogens. Knowing which diseases are likely to occur at what point in the growing season is a powerful tool in disease management.

turf management for disease control

Get a fresh perspective. Take a step back to gain a fresh perspective of your field. It’s quite possible that other factors have led to the turf issues. Some of these other factors, such as compaction, scalping, heat, localized dry spots and nutrient deficiencies, can cause symptoms that mimic those of diseases.

Tell us about your successful turf management and disease control methods using the hashtag #MirimichiGreen on Instagram or Twitter.

Help Customers Avoid Soil Erosion and Runoff

Help Customers Avoid Soil Erosion and Runoff. When preparing a landscape for the cooler seasons, be proactive for potential soil erosion and runoff that is likely to occur.

Fall Is The Best Time To Improve The Soil

Fall is the best time to improve the soil for next year’s growing season. By adding a proper soil amendment to your client’s yard in the fall, the yard will have all winter to restore the soil’s biology and nutrients. Before you can improve your client’s soil, determine what the soil needs and use products that can replenish it.

Start by testing the soil

Test the soil to know how to improve the soil.

Testing the soil is the first step you need to take in order to improve the soil. Without a soil test, you are often walking in blind as to what your client’s property needs. Assuming all soil in the area is the same can result in using the incorrect fertilizer or amount of soil amendment.

Be sure to take multiple samples from the property. Separate samples should come from areas that differ in texture, color and previous applications of fertilizers, organic amendments, and lime.

Adjust the pH level to improve the soil

The soil’s pH level is important because a majority of the necessary plant nutrients are soluble at levels of 6.5 to 6.8. When the levels are too low or too high, plants can suffer from the soil problems and develop diseases.

Mirimichi Green’s CarbonizPN Soil Enhancer is the ideal soil amendment for any soil pH problem. The product is a pH optimizer – it is able to lower the pH if it is too high or raise the pH if it is too low.

Add organic material to improve the soil

Organic materials are all ideal to add in the fall as they help provide food for soil microbes and protect the soil from being bare during the winter.

Compost is a good material to consider adding as it helps nourish microbes. Compost easily gets worked into the soil over time in the fall and winter thanks to the rainy or snowy weather. Additionally, spring-applied compost can attract a number of pests. Luckily, Mirimichi Green’s CarbonizPN is 50% compost and 50% biochar, so not only will adjust the pH, but it will also provide organic material to the soil.

Tell us how you improve soil for your customers during the fall using the hashtag #MirimichiGreen on Instagram or Twitter.

Post-Hurricane Harvey Insecticide Aerial Spray

Clean up efforts and support after Hurricane Harvey are underway including monetary donations, food, water, volunteering, etc. With the excessive amount of sitting water in the Houston area, there is a growing concern about the growth of pest insect populations, such as mosquitoes. Now, a post-Hurricane Harvey chemical insecticide aerial spray application is underway. The Pentagon announced that it has dispatched C-130H Sprayers from the Air Force Reserve’s 910th Airlift Wing in order to “assist with recovery efforts in eastern Texas,” by spraying the insecticide, Naled. The aircrafts are set to spray a chemical insecticide in order to help control pest insect populations. The pest populations pose a health risk to rescue workers and residents of Houston.

Post-Hurricane Harvey Insecticide Aerial Spray

The aircrafts will spray more than 6 million acres throughout the Houston, Texas area. The Air Force stated this effort is expected to surpass any previous aerial spraying applications. The Pentagon’s choice of insecticide could do more harm than good for Texas citizens. The Air Force reported the mosquito control aerial spray protocol involves spraying the “Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved and regulated material, Naled,” which the Air Force says will not be used in amounts large enough to “cause any concern for human health.” However, the insecticide Naled, is currently banned in the European Union due to the “unacceptable risk” it presents to human health and safety.

Post-Hurricane Harvey Pesticide Aerial Spray

Chemical Insecticides Come with Side Effects

Although Naled is an “EPA approved” insecticide, the EPA is re-evaluating the product and its safety. The EPA’s website states, “the EPA expects to issue new human health and ecological risk assessments for Naled before the end of 2017.” Scientists and many alarmed citizens have stated that Naled will surely be banned soon as the EPA has found it to harm 22 out of 28 endangered species exposed to it.

Naled insecticide has harmful side effects

Naled is a known neurotoxin in animals and humans, as it inhibits acetylcholinesterase, an enzyme essential to nerve function and communication, and has even been known to have caused paralysis. Scientific evidence, including a recent Harvard study, has pointed to Naled’s responsibility for the mass killing of North American bees. After only one day of Naled being sprayed in South Carolina last year, more than 2.5 million bees died.

Naled’s manufacturer, Sumimoto Chemical Corp., is also the manufacturer of SumiLarv.  SumiLarv is a product that is now believed to have been the cause of the spike in birth defects in Brazil that was originally blamed on the Zika virus. The most concerning consequence Naled poses for human health is the chemical’s ability to harm pregnant women and fetuses. Side effects include smaller brain sizes of newborns, having a child born with an autism-spectrum disorder and other symptoms like dizziness and nausea.

Alternative to Chemical Insecticide and Pesticide Products

With the extreme side effects that are possible by using harsh chemical products, Mirimichi Green urges landscapers, homeowners, and others that are seeking a pesticide or insecticide to use natural and safe products.

There will be a safe alternative for insecticide spray applications after natural disasters occur. Mirimichi Green will be launching a 100% natural and safe pesticide – Mirimichi Green Pest Control. A common stereotype of natural products is the natural products don’t work as well as chemical products. Mirimichi Green’s Pest Control has been tested by the World Health Organization, exhibiting an 80% kill rate efficacy report for pests and larvae upon contact. Products don’t have to be chemically based to be effective.

The soon-to-come pesticide works on mosquitoes, fleas, ants, roaches, no-see-ums, chiggers, spiders, mites, whitefly, aphids, plus many more insects. Mirimichi Green’s Pest Control is safe to spray around people, pets, and plants and has an immediate re-entry time after the spray has settled, making it ideal for any outdoor space.

Top 8 Plants That Repel Bugs and Mosquitoes

Pesky bugs and mosquitoes can ruin any outdoor experience and cause harm to a landscape. Here are the top 8 plants that repel bugs and mosquitoes that you can recommend to your customers struggling with insect infestations.

1.) Citronella Grass

Citronella grass can repel bugs and mosquitoes

Citronella is known for its oil being used in patio candles. Citronella grass is a better option than candles because it doesn’t burn out. True citronella plants, Cymbopogon nardus or Cymbopogon winterianus, are grasses. Often times there is citronella scented geranium being advertised as Citronella grass, so don’t be fooled.

2.) Petunias

Petunias can repel bugs and mosquitoes

This perennial is sometimes referred to as “nature’s pesticide,” because it can repel aphids, tomato hornworm, asparagus beetles, leafhoppers, and squash bugs. It’s recommended to buy transplants and place them in light, well-drained soil in full sun after the last spring frost.

3.) Lavender

Lavender can repel bugs and mosquitoes

Lavender is a fragrant plant and luckily its smell deters mosquitoes. Plus its purple blooms add a nice pop of color to any landscape. It likes to be hot and dry, so it’s perfect for summer.

4.) Nasturtium

Nasturtium can repel bugs and mosquitoes

Nasturtium repels whiteflies, squash bugs, aphids, several beetles, and cabbage loopers. This one will help other plants in your garden, too. It produces an airborne chemical that repels insects, protecting not only themselves but other plants in the grouping. Plant in early spring in moist, well-drained soil in full sun. They should be regularly watered and deadheaded to promote blooming.

5.) Rosemary

Rosemary can repel bugs and mosquitoes

Not only can this plant be used in the kitchen but it can help keep the bugs away. This is another plant perfect for summer heat because it likes to be dry. Mosquitoes are deterred by the smell of Rosemary. It can be planted it in containers, but it also works well as a hedge.

6.) Basil

Basil can repel bugs and mosquitoes

Basil is an annual herb and repels houseflies and mosquitoes.  This plant needs six to eight hours of full sun daily, and its soil should be moist and well-drained. This versatile herb can also treat mosquito bites.

7.) Lemongrass

Lemongrass can repel bugs and mosquitoes

Lemongrass is closely related to citronella and repels mosquitoes, but unlike the latter, it’s edible and is commonly used in Southeast Asian cooking. It can grow 3 to 5 feet tall and adds lots of extra height and texture to the landscape. Avoid planting lemongrass in clay soil. This tropical plant craves moisture but is quickly killed by heavy soil that makes water puddle.

8.) Mint

Mint can repel bugs and mosquitoes

Refreshing mint can be used in dishes and cocktails, but it has an added bonus. It’s a perennial that can repel bugs and mosquitoes. It’s recommended to grow mint in a pot in order to control the plant.

Tell us which of the Top 8 Plants That Repel Bugs and Mosquitoes your customers prefer using the hashtag #MirimichiGreen on Instagram or Twitter.