If renewing the mulch around shrubs and trees is an annual rite of fall at your house, Clemson University can help you figure out how much mulch you need. Whether you buy mulch by the bag, bale, or truckload, this Mulch page shows you how to estimate amounts to get a 3-inch-thick layer.
Favorite or New Plant
Holiday cacti, properly called Schlumbergias, are everywhere these days, most of them blooming well ahead of the holiday season. They can't help it because short days and cool temperatures trigger the formation of buds. If you buy a new plant and the buds fall off a few days after you get it home, it's not your fault. Sudden changes in environment shock the plants, which causes the buds to drop. Why not give that plant a second chance? Allow it to rest through winter, then let it spend the summer outside. Next year at this time, you can count on a nice show of blossoms.