Free pine straw

first_imgMowing. Contoured pine strawislands, with just a few plants, can replace large areas ofhigh-maintenance lawn. Where you already have groups of shrubs ortrees, use pine straw to tie them together, he said. Then youwon’t have to mow around them individually.Watering. Sunshine and windwill take away much less water if the soil surface is coveredwith mulch, he said. Reduce water needs with pine straw mulcharound shrubs and in flower beds.Weeding. Mulches help controlweeds, he said. That provides two advantages: One, you don’t haveto pull weeds yourself. And two, you don’t have to spray chemicalherbicides around your yard. Extension foresters say pine straw actually falls year-round. Butneedle-fall is heaviest in fall, winter and early spring.If you have more pine straw than you can use in the fall, justfind an out-of-the-way place to pile it up and save it.Next spring, you could be happy you did. For all the reasons it’sso good in your landscape, pine straw can be just as valuable asa mulch in your vegetable garden.It can help keep the soil moist in small gardens, raised bedgardens or small beds of vegetable plantings. It can be good formulching small fruits, too, such as strawberries or blueberries.It can also help keep soil from washing from heavy rains,Westerfield said. That protects water quality and keeps you fromhaving to repair eroded areas.Here are some tips, he said, to help make the most of your pinestraw.Don’t replace. Replenish. One ofthe benefits of mulching, he said, is the organic matter it addsto the soil as it decomposes. Don’t remove the old straw. Justadd new straw on top of the old to make a layer at least 2 to 4inches thick. That’s the least it will take to be effective.Don’t pile it on too thick. “Idon’t know that it will hurt so much,” Westerfield said. “But anymore than about 6 inches just won’t do any more good.”Leave room around the stems.Especially with azaleas, he said, mulch piled up around the stemscan lead a second root system to develop. That often happens atthe expense of the deeper roots, which leaves the azalea evenmore susceptible to drought damage.Don’t just stuff it underneath.Spread it beyond the drip line, the line right under theoutermost leaves. Getting it over the feeder roots is the key, hesaid.Mulch young trees. It’s reallyimportant in the first two or three years, he said. Withshallow-rooted trees like dogwood, redbud or crape myrtle it’sgood to mulch even after that.Don’t use landscape fabric under thestraw unless your main purpose is complete weed control.If that’s the case, you won’t need as thick a layer of straw.In most cases, Westerfield said, pine straw that’s 2 inches deepafter it settles does 90 percent of what you’d expect the fabricor plastic liner to do. And 4 to 5 inches of fresh straw willsettle to about 2 inches.(Dan Rahn is a news editor with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) By Dan RahnUniversity of GeorgiaGeorgia pines have started raining pine straw early this year.And yes, somebody has to rake it all up. But pine straw can bemore of a blessing than a chore, said University of Georgiaspecialist Bob Westerfield.”If you use it right, pine straw can actually help you have lessyard work to do,” said Westerfield, a UGA Cooperative Extensionconsumer horticulturist.Pine straw can free you, he said, from having to do so much:last_img read more

Dealer.com appoints Rick Gibbs as president

first_imgDealer.com (www.dealer.com(link is external)) today named Rick Gibbs as its new president.  Gibbs co-founded the company in 1998 and has since held the position of CTO, shaping and directing Dealer.com’s technological vision, while spearheading its emergence as the global leader in online marketing solutions for the automotive industry. As President, Gibbs will help guide the company as it significantly increases employee headcount and accelerates product development and delivery volume over the years ahead.”Rick’s appointment sends a strong signal to the industry that we are first and foremost a technology company that empowers auto dealers, dealer groups and OEMs. We see a growing trend of powerful Software as a Service business models being driven by technologists,” commented Mark Bonfigli, Dealer.com’s CEO, who previously held the title of President as well.”Rick’s expertise and dedication have been critical in enabling us to nearly quadruple our revenues over the last three years among the most challenging years ever in the auto industry,” Bonfigli continued. “Combining creativity with strategic foresight, he has consistently led Dealer.com’s research and development teams to deliver cutting-edge products that are responsive to dealers’ needs and outperform anything on the market. He has continued to refine product management and added business analysis groups to benchmark best practices that keep our clients two to four years ahead of the competition. Assuming the role of president and CTO, Rick will now help guide us to entirely new levels of technology development, growth and expansion.”Commenting on his new position, Gibbs said, “I’m honored and thrilled to take on the role of president and excited about the opportunities ahead for Dealer.com. We have an industry-leading pipeline of products, a very strong and financially sound company, and are well-positioned for continued growth.”Prior to co-founding Dealer.com, Gibbs consulted for a number of Fortune 500 companies, designing and building next-generation web applications and interactive training systems. Gibbs is a graduate of Clarkson University, with a degree in computer engineering.About Dealer.com (www.dealer.com(link is external))Dealer.com is the global leader in online marketing solutions for the automotive industry, providing award winning e-marketing solutions to OEMs, auto dealers and media companies.  The company’s innovative websites and integrated online tools significantly lower the cost of customer acquisition, enhancing dealers’ efficiency and profitability. More dealerships use the Dealer.com platform than any other platform in the world.  Recent national and international accolades include: The Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, top ranking in The Net Promoter® Score Survey of customer satisfaction, Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 and the Web Marketing Association’s Automobile Standard of Excellence. In addition, Dealer.com was the 2009 Top Rated Website Provider on DrivingSales.com, and won the 2010 Dealers’ Choice Diamond Award for Best Website Solution and the 2009 Most Comprehensive Search Marketing Platform Award from the Automotive Search Marketing Association. For more information visit:http://www.dealer.com/promo/look-inside.htm(link is external).Source: Dealer.comlast_img read more