Garden Videos

  1. Tapping Maple Trees for Syrup

    How to Tap a Maple Tree for Syrup:

    Learn how to use a "Spile" to tap into your maple tree to harvest syrup from the tree and make your very own delicious home made syrup.
    1.  Get a syrup spile, drill, and the correct size of drill bit.
    2.  Drill at an upward angle into the tree, deep enough for the spile.
    3.  Hammer in the spile and attach the bucket.
    4.  Cover the bucket to protect from the elements.
    5.  It is best to do this early winter when daytimes are above freezing, and nighttime is freezing.

    Transcript: Here I am, I'm about to install some maple spiles, which here is one of them right here. I'm going to install this into one of my silver maple trees which is on my property.

    I'm going to use a drill with a 3/8" bit. You want to take the drill bit, and drill into an angle that is facing upward, and drill into the tree. Put the drill down.

    There is the hole and we are going to hammer the maple spiles. So most of them have a hook on them at the bottom, to hang the bucket. And aluminum foil to make a makeshift cover, since I don't have a proper cover for the bucket, to keep the rain, water, and snow from coming into the bucket.

    I'm going to use a leatherhead hammer to hammer the spile in. Nice and secure. Take the bucket and hang it from there. Put some Reynolds wrap over it (excuse my filming while I do this). Its wrapped around the edges pretty well and has a decent seal.

    And hopefully we will start getting some maple syrup. From my understanding, the best time to start tapping your maple trees is when the daytimes are warm, above freezing. And the night times are freezing. And that causes some sort of pumping action inside the tree, and allows the sap to flow up and to flow down through the maple spile and into the bucket.

    In order to make maple syrup from this, you have to boil the maple syrup down for a very long period of time. Its about a 40 to 1 ratio in terms of sugar content. I'll do some filming of when we actually start boiling over a fire outside.

    Read more »
  2. Pine Tree Problem Area Landscaping Tips

    Pine Tree Problem Area Landscaping Tips

    The landscaping or grass under Pine Trees can have a tough time growing properly. This video explains what causes such problem areas under Pine Trees and offers tips on how to best handle the shaded, acidic area under pine trees.

    Transcript: Today on Garden Bytes, we are going to deal with a problem area that we have encountered. If you will step back and look at this, you will notice that this evergreen tree has a large dead spot underneath of it.

    We have attempted to plant some sod, and at one time when the tree was smaller they attempted to do a little mulching using stone and timbers, which is fine. One of the problems is, that when dealing with an evergreen tree, you are dealing with a tree that is more acidic in nature. That would have a PH under 7, 7 being neutral of course. The soil under here has just become accustomed over the years, to having these needles fall out, as they die and come loose when the wind comes through, and the PH of the soil has raised. And then obviously the fact that its sheltered from the sun.

    What I would do is remove the sod that is laying there right now, put down a nice layer of landscaping cloth or black plastic and continue that stone out to the edge. Now that will reduce the amount of moisture that the tree will get, so you will need to poke holes throughout the plastic so the tree can still get moisture. Its pretty obvious that the amount needles found underneath this tree, that is contributing to the fact that grass doesn't want to grow underneath of the tree. That also supports the argument to extend the rock bed to the full width of the tree.

    Read more »
  3. Preparing your Lawn for Fall & Winter

    Preparing your lawn properly lawn care maintenance for the fall and winter months takes planing. Learn proper lawn care maintenance for the fall and winter months. This video shares landscaping tips that help you care for your lawn to ensure your lawn grass is prepared for the Fall and Winter.

    Transcript: Late summer now, and that is the last shortcut mowing I'm going to give to the lawn.  We are going to start thinking in terms of the lawn going dormant, in terms of leaving the grass go a little bit longer than we have in the past.

    As far as lawn maintenance goes, we are going to start thinking about winter now.  Over the next few months things are going to start cooling down. Leaves are going to begin to fall.  And we want to make sure we are ready and prepared to go into the cold snowy months.

    One of the things I like to do is to check the thatch level over the course of the summer.  For those of you that don't know, thatch is that chopped up combination of leaves and grass clippings that fall down into the bottom portions and rest on the ground each year.  What  you want to do to check the thatch, is get down on  your hands and knees and separate out the grass and see how easy it is to get down to the plain old fashion dirt right there at the bottom.  This grass, probably because the combination of recycling and bagging, it's just not that bad at all.  This is just right. If the thatch level gets too thick, the grass will start thinning out.   You don't want that thatch level any more than an inch at maximum. I'm more comfortable with ½ to ¾ of an inch if possible.  

    So as far as the season goes, the grass is going to start slowing down, I'm going to reduce my mowing to around once a week, no more than that.  And start to let the grass prepare itself for hibernation.   I'll put on a fall winterizer as far as fertilizer goes, and just keep my eye on it. And I'm going to start rolling up garden hoses and putting them away for the winter.  It's just not going to need as much moisture as it has during the hot and dry summer.

    Read more »