Wednesday, September 29, 2010

September Garden Talks 2010

The purpose of this post is to relay a few "quick hit" garden tips to you through the month of September. Some of these tips will be garden tasks I am doing myself, some of these tips will be quick pieces of advice we are giving to customers, some will be quick links to good gardening advice we encounter on the internet.

Check back to this post often as we will update it often until we roll through September 2010!

Here are our August Garden Talks 2010.

September 29--According to the official Rain Gauge of Skillin's Country, we received almost an inch of rain in the past couple of days. It was an excellent rain because of it's On Again, Off Again nature. This allows for some good soaking, a reprieve from runoff and then more good soaking. We are thankful for this deep rain and this should take care of most watering needs for the next few days!

September 28--Good friend Hammon Buck of Plants Unlimited in Rockport ME just sent out some great gardening tips. One tip that caught my eye was Hammon's write up about Planting Garlic in the Fall. We sell the California Soft Neck variety here at Skillin's. Here is Hammon:

"There are hundreds of named varieties of garlic, but all of them can be categorized into two major types: soft-necked and hard-necked.

The stalk that grows up from a garlic bulb is called a “neck.”

The stalk of soft-necked garlic is pliable and soft at maturity. The stalk of hard-necked garlic is stiff at maturity.

Soft-necked garlic is strong flavored and stores well because it has several protective outer layers of papery skin.

The two most common varieties are California Early and California Late. About eighty percent of all grocery store garlic is now grown in China. These garlics have many cloves, up to 20 per bulb. The outside cloves are medium in size while the inside cloves are a pain to peel and are many times just discarded!

Softneck garlic has the classic garlic taste; ranging from mild to hot and spicy; depending upon the growing conditions. (In Eastern Europe and Asia Hardneck garlics are the standard; with the same range in taste and heat.) Some Softnecks can be eaten raw in salsa and salads; others are too strong and need to be cooked.

Hard-necked garlic is mild tasting and best used soon after harvest since it has only a few layers of papery skin and thus keeps poorly."

September 27--Gardening friend Margaret of Away to Garden writes: "DON’T PANIC IF EVERGREENS start to show some browning or yellowing of needles this month and next. The oldest, innermost needles typically shed after a few years on the tree." I am noticing that pines especially are showing some yellowing on the inside of the trees. This is not a huge concern for older trees; however, 2010 planted pines should receive good deep waterings once weekly between now and when the ground freezes. These waterings will make the pines healthier for next year and beyond. Also a light feeding of Hollytone by Espoma is not a bad idea for your evergreen trees if they have not been fed for awhile.
September 26--Two years ago it was very apparent that my once mostly sunny backyard with several small gardens had become quite shady due to many of the surrounding trees getting so tall and other trees and growth :creeping in". It was time to cut some trees and clean out some growth to let some sun in! We did that and this increased light really helped my gardening efforts in 2009 and 2010. More light is needed and so yesterday my dad, wife and I spent much time cutting and cleaning out some more shade trees and growth. IF your garden has become too shady, we can give you the names of some very reasonable professionals who can cut wayward trees, limb others out--all to let the light in!!

September 24--Fall to an avid gardener with grass and dirt stained knees and dirty hands can be difficult to adjust to. However, fall is a great time of year to actually improve your garden. One of the first steps you should take is to apply lime to your lawn and gardens. Generally at the end of the growing season the production effort leaves a garden with a pH of 5.5 to 6.0, so we advise adding lime at a rate of about 5 pound per 100 square feet to eventually raise the pH to about 6.5 to 7.0. This higher pH level will allow your plants to receive a wider range of nutrients. Generally, we should only lime our areas one time per year. Also your garden may well not need lime every year. If you have limed for 2 to 3 consecutive years pick up a simple pH tester at Skillin's. Check out that pH. If your soil registers at about 6.5 to 7.0, do not apply lime that year. The lime I recommend is Mira Cal by Jonathan Green—it is a calcium based lime that is better than most limes for at least two reasons: 1) Calcium is an excellent organic additive to your soil. It benefits your plants tremendously by helping to “keep free” the flow of beneficial nutrients to your plants roots. 2) Magnesium based lime can actually aid weeds as magnesium adds a natural soil compactor. Many of the plants we prefer don’t like growing in compact soils but unfavorable weeds like plantain, dandelions, crabgrass and ajuga don’t mind compact soils a bit!

September 17--Skillin's Country received a nice inch of rain last night. This will really help our lawns, annuals and perennials. Remember though any 2010 planted shrubs and trees could probably use a good deep watering sometime this weekend or next week. Don't let the cooling weather fool you on that! Also while any flowering containers you may have got a nice soaking last night, any containers are so full of roots they will dry quickly--particularly in breezy weather!
If you have recently re seeded some lawn area be sure to keep that area moist as well! Water, water, water!

September 9--Gardening friend Margaret of A Way to Garden has posted just an excellent article about how to "grow, harvest and enjoy a year of garlic". We do have the soft neck garlic available here at Skillin's--she writes about both soft neck and hard neck garlic. Here is the beginning of the post: " MY HOMEGROWN CROP OF GARLIC GETS ME TO ALMOST FEBRUARY, and then it’s just not what it used to be. You know how it goes—you’ve bought late-winter cloves that start to sprout and just don’t feel as firm or weigh what they did before time took its toll. I don’t have a perfect storage spot; considering that I do quite well. But this year I’m laying in a supply in the freezer, too, following safe, sane methods—no, you cannot just pack it in oil and refrigerate! My tactics for growing, harvesting and enjoying a year of garlic. Both softneck and hardneck types are welcome here, by the way—dare I ask which camp you’re in?" [Read more...]

September 8--Hey we got a little rain in some parts of Skillin's Country last night and early this morning. About a .25" in the official Skillin's Country Rain Gauge. This is not a great deal of rain but I felt okay about not doing my daily watering of some annual beds that I have in the hot sun. That .25" should serve those plants well today! I still watered my Earth Boxes and will be watering a couple of shrubs deeply that I had planned on watering. That .25" of rain won't do the shrubs too much good.

September 7--It will soon be time to bring your houseplants back inside from the outside. NOW is a great time to treat these outdoor houseplants with Systemic Houseplant Granules by Bonide. These granules are easy to apply and provide plant protection for up to 8 weeks. Bonide changed their formula a few years back and we think this product is great at nipping all kinds of harmful little critters that can spread from plant to plant. The active ingredient in the granules works systemically within the plant and is very effective when a plant or leaf biting insect comes into touch with this product in the plant's system. At this point, the soomer you apply this product the more time it has to work to clean up any insects on your plant! Got houseplant questions? Come to our Thriving Houseplants class. See details on our classes HERE!

September 5--Paul Parent of the Paul Parent Garden Club (listen to his Garden Radio Show every Sunday morning) had several great tips this morning. One great tip has to do with garden cleanup. Over the course of the next month or two as we pull any annuals or trim any perennials from our garden, a complete cleanup of leaves and branches that we cut or that are lying on the ground is important. Dead leaves and stems serve as a great "harbor" or host for insects, mildews and other diseases. Clean up the mess and put this plant matter into your composter or compost heap.

September 4--Earl has come and gone from the edges of Skillin's Country and left us very little wind damage (a great thing) and a good dosage of rain (also a great thing!). The Official Skillin's Country Rain Gauge measured about 1.25" of rain that fell from about 10 PM last night to about 6 AM this morning. This will really help our dry, dry plants. I have rolled up the hoses today (except for an early morning watering of my Earth Boxes--water those Earth Boxes!). I may do a little deep watering of some mature shrubs and perennials that were showing the effects of being quite dry before Earl. 1.25" of rain is good for them BUT no rain is forecast over the next few days and they will be stressed again soon I do believe.

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
September 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Flowering Cabbage and Kale

                                (photo from Paul Parent Garden Club)

Good gardening friend Paul Parent of the Paul Parent Garden Club ( sends out a great newsletter every week with pertinent gardening topics. I encourage you to go to his website to sign up for his newsletter. Paul can also be heard every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 10 AM at his website or at WBACH (104.7 FM) every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 9 AM. Paul recently sent this article out called Flowering Cabbage and Kale (I occasionally add a few comments in italics) and here it is:

The first time you hear of flowering cabbage and kale you think, vegetables used in the flower garden--are you crazy! Well let me tell you that these vegetables will look wonderful planted around your home and in your fall garden with mums and New England asters.

Right now, most of the plants are colored blue green to light green, but this will change when the weather begins to get cold. As the temperatures dip down to the thirties and forties the foliage will begin to change color from the center of the plant and will quickly spread to all the leaves. Look for white, pink and purple shades to form during late September and increase during October.

What you will like about this plant is that, when all your garden plants have given up and gone dormant for the year, this plant will just be beginning to show color. It is not uncommon to see the flowering cabbage and kale in your garden as late as February unless the plants are covered with snow. When I lived in Massachusetts, I remember that one year we had snow for the holidays but warm weather returned and melted the snow, revealing the cabbage and kale in the garden--and they lasted for many more weeks.

The flowering cabbage will actually have a small head of cabbage that will form in the center of the plant, growing two to four inches in diameter. The foliage is broad, wide, coarse, thick and leathery. It will grow six to twelve inches tall and wide. The leaves grow in a whorl around the center of the plant and can spread 12 to 15 in wide, like a regular cabbage. Flowering kale grows as a clump of leaves like a head of loose-leaf lettuce. These leaves grow as large as the cabbage plants, but are ruffled on the tip of the leaf or margins.

Some new hybrid varieties grow in the shape of a coarse and thick feather, with the edges of the leaf ruffled with multi-colored foliage. The foliage will grow 2 to 4 inches wide and 12 to 15 inches tall, forming a wonderful-looking plant that will grow 12 to 15 inches tall and wide. Both types of plants begin to color up with cold weather and the color begins in the middle of the plant working its way to the edges.

These plants are started from seed during July and August, while the weather is warm, to help develop foliage, as cold weather stops the plants from growing. Like all cabbage and kale plants, cabbage loopers and foliar worms are a problem while growing from seedlings to mature plants. This problem is easily controlled today with the new organic Spinosad or Captain Jack insecticide. When the weather gets cold these insects die, due to the cold weather. (We have many cabbages and kale for sale here at Skillin's and we treat for cabbage loopers organically--the plants are in great shape!)

Plant in a sunny garden, as the sun and cold temperature combination will give you the best color. Cabbage and kale will also do very well in window boxes, planters and pots. On the ground, they seem to hold more of the foliage on the plant, as it is easier to keep them watered. So if your plants are in containers, be sure to water a couple times a week and fertilize them a couple of times after you plant them to give the plant better color. Use a liquid fertilizer such as Fish and Seaweed Blend by Neptune's Harvest every couple of weeks until the ground freezes.

These plants are unique and will give your plantings a lot of character for many weeks to come. If you do not get a centerpiece for Thanksgiving, cut one of the plants from your garden and use it as an centerpiece. If you get tired of the look and want to decorate for Christmas, cut the plants at the soil line and bring them inside the house to cook, as both plants are very tasty. They are great in cold salads and make great garnish for special meals. Great plants for fall color around your home or your next meal--the flowering cabbage or flowering kale. So pick some up this weekend when you are visiting your favorite nursery or greenhouse. You will like these plants as much as I do, so enjoy!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Tall Growing, Fall Flowering Sedum

Good gardening friend Paul Parent of the Paul Parent Garden Club ( sends out a great newsletter every week with pertinent gardening topics. I encourage you to go to his website to sign up for his newsletter. Paul can also be heard every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 10 AM at his website or at WBACH (104.7 FM) every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 9 AM. Paul recently sent this article out called Tall Growing, Fall Flowering Sedum (I occasionally add a few comments in italics) and here it is:

"As summer ends, let us prepare to enjoy our fall-flowering perennials. If your garden does not contain fall-flowering perennials let me give you some suggestions. MY favorite family of tall fall-flowering perennials is the sedum family--and for several reasons. They are low maintenance all year, drought resistant, and they are so strong they will grow anywhere in your sunny garden.

I love the tall growing varieties and their unique foliage and flowers. If you are looking for special traits, you will find what you need, as this family has over 400 members and each is unique. I love the fleshy foliage--often up to 1/8 of an inch thick-- and they belong to the succulent plant family, which loves the heat and will tolerate hot and dry weather.The leaves are oval, 1 to 2 inches long, with a rounded tip. They grow opposite each other on strong stems that will mature to up to 3 feet tall.

If you cut back the plant in half on the 4th of July, your plant will stay shorter and mature at 18 to 24 inches tall. This pruning also encourages the plant to bush out, and most years the plant will almost double in size. Pruning also gives the plant a spreading shape like a mushroom cap, rather than upright and tall with minimal character. The plant will make more flowers when pruned; the flowers will be smaller but the plant will not fall over with the weight of the flower, a real plus for this plant.

When you prune the sedums in July, save these cuttings and plant them in your garden using a bit of rooting powder to help develop roots and watch them grow. I do not know of any other plant that propagates that quickly and easily in the garden. Remove the bottom 2 sets of leaves, dip in rooting powder and push into the ground in groups of 3 to 5 cuttings. Keep moist all the time and in 2 weeks you will have new plants.

Sedum is very hardy and will tolerate winter weather with temperatures -30 to -40 degrees. They love a well-drained soil and if you can add plenty of organic matter like compost or animal manure they will reward you with many strong stems covered with beautiful five-petal star shipped flowers.

The flowers on the sedums develop during August and last well into mid-October. During the summer months, they require half the amount of water that most of your perennials need--a real plus for busy gardeners.

I fertilize sedum in the spring only, with a good organic fertilizer such as Flower–tone or Plant Tone by Espoma. That's all they will need for the rest of the year. In the fall, cut back plants to the ground when they are finished flowering. In the spring, you can split the plant in two or more clumps to divide and make new plants from them. One other thing to consider is that the flowers will attract butterflies and bees to your garden in the fall. (We had a bevy of bees and butterflies dancing around our sedum display just about every day this past week!)

Here are my favorite varieties:

• The number one selling tall-growing sedum is called 'Autumn Joy,' with pale green foliage and large clusters of dark pink star shaped flowers 2 to 4 inches in diameter. The flower will mature to a red-brown color and last on the plant well into the spring if the plant is not cut back. (Autumn Joy is one of Mike's Must Haves--a staple and necessity for any perennial garden!)

• I also love the 'Atropurpureum,' with purple red leaves all year and red flowers in the fall.

• I also planted 'Frosty Morn' because of the variegated green and white edged foliage and pink flowers.

• One last one I love is 'Mediovarigatum,' with variegated green and yellow edged foliage and pink flowers.

I love variegated foliage because the foliage gives the garden color all year, even before the flowers arrive in August. The purple-red foliage is a real bonus to the garden and it just jumps out at you. Look for these sedum this fall and bring color to the garden all year. Enjoy!"

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Tools to Prune

Hello again,

Terry Skillin stops by the Skillin's Garden Log with a very informative article about Pruning, with some great information about Pruning Tools.

Remember we are holding a Pruning for a Purpose class this Saturday, September 11 at Skillin's Brunswick, Cumberland and Falmouth. The time is 10 AM. Contact us at or via the store contact info found at if you would like to sign up. (We do ask for sign ups so we can be more sure of the class size!)

Here is Terry's article on pruning:

Fall pruning season is upon us.

Fall pruning is different from early spring pruning because of the type of plants we prune. But also our pruning goals can be a bit different between the seasons. In the Spring we are often faced with winter damage from heavy snow, ice or that run away “Flexible Flyer”. I never did tell my brother to slide there BUT I am older and I always got the first wave of “what were you thinking son” speech (you know the one!) Anyway Spring pruning is about correcting winter damage while late summer and fall pruning is usually more concerned with growth control and also with keeping our plants “well fit” into the space they have to grow in. This includes covering what we either want to hide or more likely Uncovering what we still want to see because our fast growing plants are beginning to cover other attractive features. ( I would like to block out the sight of that Rhododendron my brother slid over, but really I’m over it. )

Keeping up with each year’s new growth is an important part of our landscaping duties and if we stay on top of it little time is required and can save the costly expense of removing plant material after it is too big and impossible to bring back into control. This type of maintenance pruning doesn’t always need to happen late in the season-- it can certainly be performed all through the growing season as growth becomes misplaced or out of character for the plant. Be aware there are species that should not be pruned late in the season--right after the blooms fade is the best time to prune them. Lilacs and rhododendrons are a couple of flowering shrubs that fall within this list. My brother’s Flexible Flyer incident taught me some of this—no Rhododendron flowers for that Spring!

The real reason I thought about writing this short article was to talk more about the tools we use to prune and more specifically the tools I prefer. When it comes to shearing tools the field of choices can be divided into two types--either by-pass or anvil types. The by-pass--my preferred shearing type--cuts from both sides of the tool keeping the cut clean and neat. The anvil type--which is less expensive because the steel quality doesn’t need to be as good-- cuts on one blade clean and neat however as the name suggest the anvil side crushes the end of the limb that remains causing more tissue damage and not always leaving behind a clean neat job. The crushed tissue can lead to other problems and although the anvil blade tool is cheaper there is no “true value” here.

All cutting tools have a purpose and using them for more than their designed purpose will lead to the tool failing. For instance, we quite often see a tool damaged because it is asked to cut where another tool of some type was probably needed

The basic purpose of a hand pruner is to cut plant growth that is ¼ to ½ an inch thick (A hand pruner may be able to cut up to ¾ of an inch if the growth is soft and fresh but it would have to be tender growth.) My favorite hand pruner is the Felco #2. The pair I have now is 20 years old or so and I have replaced just two blades and nothing else. Felco Tools (made by Pygar and sold right here at Skillin’s) are more expensive but are top quality and unless you think lose your Felco #2, over 20 years worth of the “cheap ones “ will cost you a lot more money than a Felco #2!

Loppers are similar to hand pruners but with long handles from 12” to maybe 24”+. Again the by-pass type is the way to go. Loppers pick up where hand pruners leave off and can cut up to 1” and maybe 1 ¼ inches if the limb is newer soft wood. There are loppers out there that “brag up more” but I have never seen any real service life out of them. Hanging in my shed is a pair of Felco #60s. Again I have gotten a great service life out of them with no damage.

So far this is sounds a little like a Felco commercial and it’s true it is almost the only cutting tool company that I use. Felco is a Swiss Made product (their website is where most others are made off shore and even though they are cheaper to buy you will go through several pair before you even change the blade in a better tool . After many years a quality tool is still going to do the job for you. Barnel is another maker of very good cutting tools with their professional series and they are made in America. They have a great web site you should check out

Hedge Shears sometime called Lopping Shears were designed and developed to perform more formal shearing and sculpturing of plant material like Taxus (yews) that were once a common species found on many landscapers, designers and architects palettes. Their long by-pass blades ranging anywhere from 10” to 18” long are great for cutting material ¼ of an inch to ½ while performing a very straight surface cut. Corona Company makes a fine shear. I feel as long as there is an adjustable nut to help keep the blades close enough together most brands do a good job, but Corona shears are hanging in my shed.

Pole Pruners are designed to prune those small ½ “ to ¾ “ limbs that are beyond an arm’s length reach. Before I say anything more about this tool always be aware of any power lines running into the tree or hanging across the yard that will pose a danger to come into contact with. Pole Pruners are simple by-pass cutting blades fitted atop of long poles. The blades are open and closed usually by pulling on a cord that is attached to one of the blades. ( I have a really gross story from back when I was a kid landscaping with our crew (circa late 60s early 70s) but if you need to hear it give me a call. )With that said never pick up or pull a pole pruner by the cutting head because the cord might catch on something and the blade might close on you—so just beware. The Pole Pruners I like are made by Corona, they are telescoping. This gives me in effect 8 additional feet because the handle telescopes into itself. So you start the job with a short handle that isn’t as difficult to maneuver for closer work. Remember everything you cut above your head wants to come down on you! Cut slowly and be careful!

Pruning saws or hand tree saws are used more often for the bigger work: large HEAVY limbs and small trees removal. Ever see Bugs Bunny sitting on a limb and he cuts the limb off then the tree falls and the “Buggster” just hangs in mid air. Well it isn’t going to happen that way for you ! That little limb could weigh in at a 100 pounds or more depending on it’s diameter and leaf counts. Limb removal requires special techniques that you can learn about in our Pruning for a Purposes class on September 11th. Pruning Saws are design to cut with each stroke; this is different from regular wood saws that only cut on the draw stroke, pulling it back towards you. The better the steel in the blade the better the saw and once again Felco #600 is the tool I own. It is the smaller folding pruning saw, anything larger than what this can safely handle I call for professional back up and I would suggest you do the same.

Lately we have seen some exotic hybrids in the field of gardening cutting tools such as some tools with crazy long handles that are mistakenly used for additional leverage. Not so! The longer handles are for additional reach! This easy to understand mistake leads to broken handles! Why these exotic hybrids? I’m not always sure but the tools I like are ones I have found to work better than my brother’s Flexible Flyer!

Terry Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
September 4, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010

Fall is the Time to Divide Bleeding Hearts and Peonies in the Garden

Good gardening friend Paul Parent of the Paul Parent Garden Club ( sends out a great newsletter every week with pertinent gardening topics. I encourage you to go to his website to sign up for his newsletter. Paul can also be heard every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 10 AM at his website or at WBACH (104.7 FM) every Sunday morning from 6 AM to 9 AM. Paul recently sent this article out called Fall is the Time to Divide Bleeding Hearts and Peonies in the Garden (I occasionally add a few comments in italics) and here it is:

"Traditionally, the temperatures cool down now, rainfall increases, and so does the morning due on our garden plants. The garden soil is still warm and if you have energy left from this hot summer, let's begin to think about dividing our perennials.

Here are a few perennials that you can divide now and share or swap with friends and family. Most large nurseries that sell large potted perennials are doing this right now, while they have the time. Spring is just too busy for them and potting perennials now will give them bigger and stronger plants in the spring.

Divided plants get a chance to make big roots before winter arrives and in your garden the plants will be ready when spring arrives next year. All you will need is compost or animal manure, Soil Moist to help hold moisture around the new roots and a fertilizer like Bio-Tone or Plant Thrive that contains mycorrhizae.

Bleeding heart, a wonderful spring-flowering perennial, has to be divided now! Because the plant develops and flowers early in your garden, you will forget to do it then. By now the foliage is turning yellow and beginning to fall apart. Cut all the foliage to the ground and put it in your compost pile.

Carefully dig around the plant with pitchfork or shovel to loosen the soil and pull the roots out of the ground. Shake some of the soil off the roots so you can examine the plant better. You will notice that the plant has developed several buds underground and just above the roots. If you want a nice plant that will flower for you in the spring divide the roots and bud clusters into sections that contain 3 to 5 buds! Pull apart or cut with clean sharp knife.

I always dust the area where the plant came apart with rose or garden dust to prevent insects or disease on the exposed area. Condition the plants' new home with suggested products (we love Shrub and Tree Mix by Jolly Gardener or Penobscot Blend by Coast of Maine!) and set plants at same depth they were before you pulled them out of the ground, then water well. Water the plants 2 times a week until Columbus Day and place compost 2 inches deep over plants to help protect plants during the winter. (Set this mulch or compost over the plants when the ground freezes up--typically in mid to late November).

Bleeding heart plants do best when planted in a shady garden, but will also tolerate morning sunshine. Soils should be well drained and be free of clay soils. Bleeding hearts will flower by Mother's Day and make a wonderful gift for Mom.

Peonies, a classic garden perennial, also need to be dividend now, because the plants grow so quickly and the flowers that develop are so fragile in the spring. Just like the bleeding heart, cut back to the ground and dig up so you can clearly see the roots.

Peonies will have large thick roots that will grow deep into the ground and will be more work to divide. Shake off the soil and you will see, on the top of these woody roots, 1/2 inch hard, pointed buds that are brown in color. As you would for the bleeding heart, cut roots carefully so each piece has 3 to 5 buds on each piece you make. This 3 to 5 bud count will almost guarantee you flowers in the spring.

Now, the most important thing to remember after conditioning the soil is to make sure the roots are planted very shallowly into the ground. The top of the bud should be no deeper than one knuckle of your finger below the surface of the soil. When planted too deep the plant will not flower!

Peonies do best in a sunny location but will also do well with a bit of shade in the morning. The flower of the peony is very large and plants will do best in sheltered areas, away from wind. Try to place peony cages around plants in April to help hold the many large flowers the plants will make if you get heavy rains. (Great advice!)

Divide the peony plants every 4 to 5 years to control size, but dividing is not necessary to keep the plants happy--they can go untouched for 10 years or more. Non-flowering plants are your signal to divide them and raise them closer to the surface of the soil. Enjoy!"