Bobbex Blog

Mulch Vs. Nuggets

Posted by Brian McCall

May 27, 2016 12:06:52 PM

128943588.jpg                                  Mulch vs. Nuggets

Now that Memorial Day is here, most yards have been cleaned up, fertilized and ready for summer. Because it has been a slow start to spring perhaps the last big job is what to cover the landscape beds with?

      Today most gardeners use mulch in their beds to cover the soil helping control weeds and retain moisture. Mulch comes in different colors brown black gold even red. No disrespect to Lucile Ball but bright red, doesn’t work for me in the yard. Once the beds are cleaned, weeded and edged a layer of mulch, whatever color, gives a yard a very clean crisp look.

       Unfortunately that clean look barely lasts past the 4th of July! By the time Labor Day approaches most bed do not look as if they were mulched at all. Somehow the mulch seems to slowly have disappeared lost most of its coloring and has little effect on weed control.

         If you know this is going to happen and do not mind mulching again in the fall then mulch is for you. I would rather use the old standby landscape nuggets. Nuggets come in one color brown but different sizes mini and large. Nuggets made from pine bark will last for years and do the same job as mulch, control weeds and help retain moisture. The only time nuggets get taken from the beds is during fall or spring clean-ups. Every year I add a few bags of nuggets to my front bed saving me time and money.

Choosing mulch or nuggets is a personal preference but is part of preserving the beauty of your summer landscape. Just like regular watering and weeding, using an animal repellent throughout the summer will keep them from getting munched on and looking tired.

        Whatever ground cover you choose, mulch or nuggets, I hope this task is done before the weekend giving us all time to honor those who have served.

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Topics: Bobbex, gardens, yard, nature, Repellent, garden, deer, plants, animal repellents

Practice What You Preach-Protect Your Flowers

Posted by Brian McCall

Apr 12, 2016 4:30:00 AM

Practice what you Preach-Protect your Flowers!

The recent spring weather has turned winter like in Connecticut. Last week we had snow showers and temperatures, barely above freezing. On opening day of professional baseball the east coast team’s players dressed as if they going mountain climbing, not playing baseball.

Two weeks previously it was the exact opposite: the Friday and Saturday before Easter one could comfortably walk in shorts, and tee shirts and everywhere you went, the conversation was about was that the 2015-16 winter was the mildest on record. It was so nice that my wife and I worked in the yard, edging beds, pulling weeds in the driveway and getting an early start on the season.

 The yard looked good but was bland and not showing any color yet. Saturday morning I went my local garden center and bought a flat of yellow and blue pansies that were absolutely beautiful. The clerk asked if I needed deer repellent, he was new and didn’t know that I work for a local deer repellent company and that I sold our product to their store. I planted the pansies in the bed around the maple tree and along the patio. They really gave the yard color, that hint of spring that was missing. I was very happy to do the work and looking forward to family visiting Easter Sunday.

Two animals visited us that night the Easter bunny and deer. The bunny left the kids surprises, and the deer ate my beautiful pansies. I know that there are many ways to keep deer from eating your flowers and still took no action.  Homeowners can install a 6 foot fence around their gardens which is not the look I want for our property.  Neither is hanging out soap and shiny objects to frighten deer.  There are noise makers and light sensors which would have my neighbors knocking on my door with complaints.  My dog is a great deterrent during the day, but the deer and rabbits are not afraid of him when he is in at night.  There are plenty of Deer Repellents on the market that homeowners can purchase.

          Here is the annoying part: I knew there were deer in the area and I have plenty of Bobbex in my garage, all I had to do was spray! I make my living telling people all over the U.S. and Canada the virtues of regular Bobbex use. How easy it is to use, how well it works, how the deer will find other places to eat, and how beautiful and healthy their property can look. All you have to do is use it.

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Topics: flowers, yard, Repellent, garden, deer, rabbits

Spring Cleaning The Good, The Bad & The Donations

Posted by Tim Morrell

Apr 6, 2016 1:39:34 PM

 

                                                                                                                                       

Spring Cleaning 2016 - The Good, The Bad & The Donations

This past Saturday I opened the garage door to clean out a winter’s worth of empty cardboard, returnable bottles and random recyclables.  After a full dump run I was not happy to see that I had only scratched the surface on things that needed to be stowed or discarded.  I wish I were one of those people who did not let things pile up but that is not the case. What I was left with were a ton of items: some easy to know what to do with and some that brought up questions. 

Tools: most are keepers, organize those and toss broken ones that cannot be fixed.

Golf Clubs: No problem, I put them up in the rafters and tell myself I will play more this year.

Softball Equipment: After every season I stuff my glove and cleats in the corner telling myself that it is the last year I will play, but it never is.  I can’t wait for the first game and a cold beer with the guys.  So that means I clean and air out the coolers and get those back on the shelf.ThinkstockPhotos-100803231.jpg

Tennis Racquets: Who am I kidding?  Thanks to an injury from volleyball this year, the tennis racquets will be going to Goodwill along with the stack of books and coffee table.

Empty Paint Cans: A bit more complicated. Check your town’s website for information for information and dates for a special disposal at the dump. Do the same for spray paint and other aerosol cans.

Empty Engine Oil Cans: Another special disposal. Must be discarded properly at the dump. 

Garden Supplies: Confusing.  Is potting soil good from year to year?   A quick look on the internet and I have the answer: In the bag yes, but I cannot use the same pot of soil from year to year to grow the same thing. The half a bag of grass seed is garbage because it is only good for the season one year.  Because I kept it dry and it did not clump or break down, my fertilizer is good for next year.  I am going to dispose of weed killer at the dump just to be sure.  The one product that I know for sure that is good to go is Bobbex Deer Repellent.  Even if I did not work for the company, I could call the 800 number on the bottle and find out that Bobbex will still keep the deer and small animals away from my landscape.  I know that there is no concern about it being safe and effective for multiple seasons. 

The good news is my garage is looking great and my car can be parked in the garage, the bad news is next weekend it is the basement’s turn.

 

 

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Topics: Bobbex, Bobbex Deer Repellent, deer repellent, gardens, gardening, yard, Repellent, garden, deer, pests, bulbs, landscape, winter, fall landscaping animal repellents, spring, cleaning

Top Ten Trees to Trim

Posted by Nora Kwochka

Dec 4, 2013 7:04:00 PM

describe the imageThis time of year in Connecticut we see trees tied on top of every third car that passes on their way home to be decorated, but did you know that you can have a tree that suits your needs? Here is a guide to help!

 

  1. The Fraser Fir may be the perfect holiday tree. It has 1 inch needles which are soft to the touch. It also has space between the branches to make for easy decorating. The branches are also strong enough to hold heavy ornaments. The Frasier Fir has a great shape and with proper watering it has excellent needle retention.
  2. The Noble Fir is deep green in color and also has space
    between branches for easy decorating. The boughs are a lovely shape and are often used for fresh wreaths. Its branches are sturdy yet the needles are not too sharp.
  3. A Colorado Blue Spruce has a nice shape with strong limbs that can hold heavy ornaments. The Blue Spruce is known for its distinctive blue foliage which can also appear silvery.
  4. The Grand Fir is a pretty tree that has a glossy dark green color with
    needles that are 1 to 1 1/2 inches long. This tree is soft to the touch and not the best choice for heavier ornaments. 
  5. The Balsam Fir is a beautiful dark-green color with flexible boughs that may not be able to hold heavy ornaments. It has a nice shape that has a pleasant fragrance and holds its needles well.
  6. White Fir or Concolor Fir has long pointed needles that are usually 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch long, As a Christmas tree, white fir has good foliage color, a pleasing natural shape andaroma, and good needle retention."
  7. The Eastern White Pine boughs are ideal for use used in garlands, wreaths, and centerpieces because of their long, feathery, soft needles. Though it is a beautiful tree, branches can be a bit too flexible to support heavier decorations.  The White Pine needles lasta long time when properly watered.
  8. The Scotch Pine is known for being a tree that will last through the holiday season. I will resist drying and dropping its needles. Wear gloves when decorating since its needles can be sharp as pins!
  9. A Douglas Fir is beautiful Christmas tree with soft shiny green needles. It may be difficult to decorate if the branches have been sheared into a perfect conical shape, leaving too little space between branches to hang decorations.  A Douglas Fir needs to be freshly cut and kept well watered.
  10. The Norway Spruce is a beautiful tree that needs to be purchased just a week or so before Christmas because it does not hold its needles well.  It can be a lovely tree if kept watered properly.

       Remember to keep deer away from your evergreens all year round with Bobbex.

 

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Topics: gardens, animal repellents, trees, trimming trees, Christmas tree, decorating

Don't Stop Bobbexing!

Posted by Nora Kwochka

Oct 21, 2013 11:34:00 AM

*Bobbexing:  [bob-bex-ing] v: the act of spraying Bobbex Repellent, n: a year round program that allows Bobbex users to protect their property from deer and small animal damage.

Just when you thought you could take a break from the upkeep of your landscape, you remember that deer do not hibernate.   Will they move on from your hosta to your shrubs?  You better believe it!  

8 Reasons to continue to protect landscapes with Bobbex during the fall and winter:

  1. Deer can do major damage to trees and shrubs because other food sources are hard to come by
  2. Deer will ravage buds and leaves before they even have a chance to grow in the spring
  3. Unless deer are given a reason to change their browsing trail they will continue to visit your yard
  4. Hungry deer are resourceful deer that will jump, push through or dig under fences
  5. Replacing the harm done to homeowner’s landscaping is very costly
  6. Bucks will damage and break unprotected plantings in the fall while marking their territory
  7. Pumpkins and mums are decorative this time of year but look like food to deer and small animals
  8. Dipping your bulbs in Bobbex-R concentrate will give your bulbs a chance to survive when planted and all winter long

Winter weather can do enough damage to your trees and plantings without having to worry about the pests in your yard.  So before you sit down to watch your favorite football team play on Sunday or before you Snow Birds head south, remember:  If you are not Bobbexing, you are not protecting!     

                                                                                                                                       

BobbexAllProductsFamilyImage

 

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Topics: Bobbex, Bobbex Deer Repellent, deer repellent, gardens, gardening, yard, Repellent, garden, deer, pests, bulbs, landscape, winter, fall landscaping animal repellents

Controlling the Japanese Beetles on Roses

Posted by Nora Kwochka

Oct 18, 2013 9:42:00 AM

describe the imageJapanese beetles can do a great amount of damage to roses in a short amount of time and it easy to see why: 

  • Roses are the perfect party place for Japanese beetles.  They love the scent of the flowers and will feed from top to bottom on the bush. 
  • The beetles produce pheromones which send out an attractive invitation for other beetles to join the party. This will challenge any control program that you may have.
  •  However you plan to go about getting rid of the Japanese beetle, it is suggested that you are diligent because they are so attracted to roses that they will be persistent.     

Take preventative measures:

  • Apply Milky Spore or a product to kill the grubs that will eventually turn into the Japanese beetle.
  • Cut the colorful blooms and bring inside so you can enjoy them before the beetles do!
  • Put up a bird feeder to attract birds to your yard, it is amazing how many insects the birds will eat.
  • If you have plenty of time on your hands: you can pick them off or shake the insects from the branches into soapy water.  This would have to be done daily.
  • If you do not have problem using chemicals, spray an insecticide formulated for roses.
  • Try an all-natural product like Bobbex Rose Deer and Insect Repellent.  
  • Spraying Neem oil has been found to be very effective for repelling Japanese beetles.
  • Beware of Japanese beetle traps sold in garden centers. These will end up attracting the beetles to your yard and can cause an infestation.
  • Talk to your neighbors and see if they will get on board with your program to get rid of the insects. 
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Topics: Repellents, gardening, flowers, yard, nature, garden, deer, pests, plants, animal repellents, roses, japanese beetles

Can That Cute Groundhog Really Cause Damage?

Posted by Nora Kwochka

Oct 18, 2013 9:40:00 AM

describe the imageWhy Gardener’s do not dig Groundhogs

  • A groundhog’s, or woodchuck’s burrow are holes with large piles of dirt at the entrances and are a nuisance and can be dangerous.
  • A groundhog’s tunnels are very large and have many chambers which are invasive to your lawn and garden.
  • An average groundhog excavates 700 pounds of dirt for one den. They may have four or five dens in their territory!
  • Common locations for permanent dens are at fence lines and brush bordering fields. So basically, they love to set up around your garden’s fence or a farm’s field.
  • A groundhog will help itself to anything and everything you have planted.  They are vegetarians and are partial to leaves, flowers and grasses.  They especially like certain garden crops like carrots, beans and peas. They will even climb trees to eat apples and pears.
  • When it comes to setting up burrows, Groundhogs are lazy and will dig them near your garden and use it as their own personal salad bar.  They will also dig burrows near recently dug fence posts and planted trees so they can be constructed quickly and with little effort.  This weakens costly new fences and the roots of expensive new trees.
  • Groundhogs have been known to decimate an entire garden by taking a single bite out of a dozen different zucchini or peppers. They do the same to pumpkins ruining farmers’ seasonal chance of selling them at Halloween.

Although he is cute, we now know that YES, the groundhog can cause vast damage on your property.  So the next step is to send them on their way. 

  • The first suggestion to deter groundhogs (and other pests) in your yard is to build a fence.  A chicken-wire fence will work nicely.  It needs to be at least 3.5 feet high and buried 1 foot into the ground with the fence angled away from the garden.  Effective, but a big project and may not be the best “look” for your property.
  • Groundhogs are leery of strange objects and can be scared away with things that rattle and clang.  Tin pie plates can be tied to trees or try hanging wind chimes for a more decorative touch.
  • There are effective repellents available at garden centers.  Bobbex-R is specially formulated to repel small animals. These repellents keep groundhogs at bay with an unpleasant odor and taste. 
  • Spread Epsom salts on your plants.  Groundhogs do not care for the taste and they have an added benefit of being good for plants.  Epsom salts will wash off very easily in the rain so will need to be reapplied.
  • Soaking rags in ammonia and placing around your garden will also repel the groundhog in the same manner as the Epsom salts.  It will last longer, but need to be refreshed regularly.

Groundhogs are very persistent so however you decide to protect your garden, be vigilant all season!

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Topics: Bobbex-R, gardens, gardening, flowers, yard, Repellent, garden, plants, animal repellents

7 Reasons to Garden

Posted by Nora Kwochka

Mar 28, 2013 10:58:00 AM

describe the imageThe New Year has come and gone and for many so have resolutions. If you are like me, busy, stressed and trying to carve out “me time”, spring will bring the perfect opportunity: Gardening!  After looking into it a bit, the mental and physical benefits are huge. Just what we busy people need: guilt free time to ourselves. Check out these excellent reasons to garden:

  1. Exercise.  When you are doing something you enjoy, you won’t even know you are exercising.  Moving dirt, hauling gardening tools, pushing a wheelbarrow and pulling weeds are all hidden forms of fitness training.  You are supporting your own weight, increasing balance and strengthening bones.
  2. Outside activity. Everyone knows we need Vitamin D and that 15 minutes a day in the sun can keep depression away so reap these benefits while gardening.  Don’t forget the sunscreen!
  3. Fresh food and flowers. The satisfaction of serving your home grown veggies and decorating with flowers from your garden is amazing.  Talk about all-natural and organic-what could be fresher or healthier?
  4. Stress relief.  You cannot be on your smart phone when your hands are covered in dirt.  The therapeutic benefits of unplugging cannot be denied.  Feeling productive and seeing the results of your gardening projects are very gratifying.  Unlike doing the dishes or laundry which is a never ending battle, growing tomatoes, lettuce or sunflowers has a beginning, middle and end which makes us feel like we have used our time well.
  5. Attitude adjustment.  Studies show that gardening decreases the levels of the stress hormone cortisol which improves your mood. Being outside with nature makes you feel good without effort; you do not have to work at enjoying nature.
  6. Guilt free. Unlike leaving your family to head to the gym or a Zumba class, you are at home, spending a minimal amount of money.  If you like, get your family involved.  Kids love to get dirty and will feel that same sense of accomplishment from growing and eating something they planted themselves. You may even get them to eat their vegetables!
  7. Curb appeal. Do not under estimate the satisfaction and pride you will feel when you drive up to your house and see that while you thought you were reducing stress you have been also added to the beauty of your property.

Spring has always felt like a new beginning to me. It is when things bloom, snow gives way to grass and baseball starts. So maybe gardening is not a New Year’s resolution per say, but the start of something new and wonderful. Whether you are a seasoned gardener or a beginner, I hope you have a beautiful growing season.

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Topics: gardens, gardening, flowers, yard, stress, exercise, nature, vegetables

Rabbits are Eating my Spring Tulips!

Posted by Nora Kwochka

Mar 12, 2013 1:12:00 PM

The tulips in my front yard are always a welcome sign after a cold Connecticut winter.  We have a dog and a cat which patrol the yard and thankfully allow them to grow and bloom beautifully each year.  Unfortunately, this is not true for everyone who looks forward to enjoying tulips each spring. When the flowers emerge, so do hungry animals, leaving tulips looking like they were trimmed with scissors, a sure sign that rabbits have been eating them. Rabbits love tulip leaves like deer love roses and voles love bulbs!  If you want to protect your tulips (and other flowers) from hungry rabbits, there are actions you can take. 

  • Build fence around your flower gardens and line the inside with chicken wire fencing. Make sure that it is pushed many inches firmly into the ground to ensure rabbits cannot dig under.   
  • Gardeners have had success with sprinkling human hair clippings around the beds to trick the bunnies into thinking a human is nearby.  The smell of coffee grounds is not the favorite of the rabbit and squirrel. A bonus is that the grounds also provide nutrients that help your plants flourish!
    • Trap rabbits with a humane trap and call the local humane society to find out where they can be released.
    • Include plants that rabbits do not like in your garden.  Lavender and cat nip are unappealing to them. Plant garlic cloves in the flower beds, its strong odor will send the bunnies on their way.  Try these rabbit resistant flowers in your landscape: daylily, bellflower, iris, bleeding heart, foxglove and daffodils.
    • When the flowers are small or still seedlings, row covers can be used.  They look like fabric draped over the area you are protecting.  Not very attractive, but will protect from the hungry rabbits.
    • describe the imageMake the area around your tulips hard to negotiate by creating a barrier with sharp sticks and scattering egg shells.
    • Spraying rabbit repellents that include garlic and capsaicin will repel rabbits with their strong odor.  Treating the bulbs by soaking with a concentrated repellent before planting will do the same.
There is always the option of living in harmony with nature.  Maybe Elmer Fudd should have just given up and let Bugs Bunny do his worst.  It may have been less stress in the long run.

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Topics: gardens, gardening, flowers, Repellent, pests, bulbs, spring, tulips, rabbits, bunnies

How to Eliminate a Vole Problem

Posted by Nora Kwochka

Feb 21, 2013 10:33:00 AM

describe the imageCan a cute little creature cause big problems? Just ask landscapers and gardening enthusiasts and you will find that the answer is a resounding “yes”! Voles or field mice are small rodents which are often mistaken for mice and can make a mess of landscapes. Although they may look alike, Mice and Voles are different kind of pests to deal with. The most common types of voles are Prairie and Meadow.  Before you deal with your vole problem, make sure that you are targeting the correct furry creature.

Identify Voles and their Damage:

  • Physical appearance: 3-7 inches in length, brown with cream or yellow bellies, blunt noses, small eyes and a stubby tail. (Vole damage is much more visible than the actual animal).
  • Spongy soil on your property as a result of these tunneling creatures that nest and live in burrows.
  • Unlike mice, they prefer not to climb and enter homes.
  • Young plants clipped, seeds dug up, leaves, roots, and tubers eaten.
  • Bulbs, flowers and vegetables ruined.
  • Grass clipped down and runways in your lawn.
  • Girdling of young trees and shrubs.
  • Finding extensive damage in the spring that took place in the winter under the snow.  Voles do not hibernate!

 

Controlling the Damage:

  • Make your property a place where voles would not like to habituate by removing tall grasses, brush and woodpiles which provide cover for voles.  By clearing your yard you are exposing them to their predators: coyotes, foxes, bobcat and owls. Encourage your dog to be a presence in your yard; my cat has been known to leave a vole as a “gift” at the back door.  These natural predators can greatly reduce the vole population.
  • Keep vegetation away from young trees to deter voles from chewing bark. 
  • Put up a fence around gardens or trees.  Make sure you bury fence to keep burrowing animals out. 
  • A vole treatment that is much preferred to extermination and trapping with poisonous baits is to use a natural vole repellent.  Homemade concoctions using capsaicin (hot pepper) will make your vegetation taste bad to the pest in the garden.  An easier way to eliminate voles is to spray repellent bought at your local garden center.  These pest control products will repel by making the vole uncomfortable by the smell and the taste will send him to snack elsewhere.
  • Trap voles with a humane trap.

These rodents may have 4 litters a year of 12, so the damage may be extensive.   Use one or a combination of methods to keep your property free of these small, but harmful animals. 

 

 

 

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Topics: Repellents, gardening, flowers, yard, garden, voles, pests, plants, bulbs, animal repellents, rodents, landscape, control

Gardener's Corner

Bobbex, Inc. offers environmentally friendly, all natural solutions for herbivores.

All products are formulated to deter damage caused by these animals. Commercial nurserymen, master gardeners, rose enthusiasts, and thousands of homeowners have relied upon Bobbex to protect their landscapes and plantings for many years.

Bobbex, Inc. is a private, family owned and operated company with products available for sale in the United States and Canada.

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