Frequently Asked Questions

To find out more information about our products, our products’ performance or guarantees, or for installation tips, please reference the links below.

General Questions

  • What product categories does Dalen sell?
    Dalen’s offering includes products that protect and products that enhance the yard and garden:

    • Landscape Fabric for weed protection in landscaped areas
    • Protective Netting for plant/shrub protection from birds and deer, also keeping leaves out of ponds, pools, and gardens
    • Scarecrow Devices for crop protection
    • Tomato Growing Aids for earlier and better tomatoes and other vine crops
    • Tree & Outdoor Plant Care products to help protect young trees
    • Decorative Borders that provide a finished look to your yard or garden
  • How do I find product information?
    Please check the product section of this website. It is organized by broad product categories and then is broken down to sub-categories. We hope you’ll find the information you’re looking for, but, if not, you can contact Customer Service at 865-966-3256.
  • Does Dalen sell products either direct or online?
    Dalen does not currently sell directly to the public. The “WHERE TO BUY” section of this website shows some of the retailers that carry our products. It is best to contact them to find out if they have the exact item you are looking for. If you simply cannot find an item, you may call Customer Service at 865-966-3256 for help in locating a retailer in your area that might carry the product you’re looking for.
  • Does Dalen sell in bulk quantities?
    Generally no, but please contact Customer Service if you are a Retailer interested in buying a large quantity of landscape fabric, netting, or garden covers.
  • Where are Dalen’s products made?
    Many of Dalen’s products are made in the USA. Some are made overseas but are produced to Dalen’s design and specification. The majority of Dalen’s products are assembled and packaged in our Knoxville facility.
  • Where is Dalen located?
    Dalen calls Knoxville, TN home. Corporate headquarters includes the administrative offices including Sales and Marketing, production facility, and a warehouse distribution center.
  • How do I contact Dalen?
    We can be reached by phone at 865-966-3256 (Fax: 865-966-6404).

    Our mailing address is:

    Dalen Products
    700 Dalen Lane
    Knoxville, TN 37932-3099

  • What is the company’s warranty/refund/replacement policy?
    Dalen will happily refund your purchase price if you are not satisfied. The length of the warranty varies by product. Exact length of warranty information can be found on the appropriate product page.

    To get a refund on Landscape Fabric:
    Send your receipt and a letter stating the reason for the refund request to the address shown below. Allow 4 to 6 weeks to process.

    To get a refund on all other Gardeneer products (other than Landscape Fabric):
    Return the product to the address shown below along with your receipt and a written note describing the reason for your dissatisfaction.

    If the item is defective in any way and you want a replacement, it should be returned along with the receipt and a brief explanation stating the reason. This is not applicable to fabric. Inflatable scarecrow devices will only be replaced within 60 days of purchase.

    Dalen Products, Inc.
    Customer Service Refund Dept.
    700 Dalen Lane
    Knoxville, TN 37932-3099

  • Is Dalen a public or privately-held company?
    Dalen is a privately-held, family-owned company.
  • What are Dalen’s employment practices?
    Dalen is an equal opportunity employer.

Landscape Fabric

  • What is landscape fabric?
    Landscape fabric is a spunbonded or woven fabric that is used to control weeds in your yard. Perforated plastic film is sometimes called a fabric even though it is not. Landscape fabric materials allow water and air to pass through in contrast with film, which smothers the ground and deprives it of moisture. Unperforated film should not be used in landscaping applications as they damage the plant material.
  • Why should I use landscape fabric?
    The right landscape fabric can cut your maintenance time by over 90%. Using the wrong landscape fabric can actually increase your maintenance time. In either case, landscape fabric conserves ground moisture and can make your plantings healthier.
  • How will using landscape fabric save me time?
    It helps stop weed roots from penetrating into the soil so that pulling weeds that do grow in the top mulch layer is an easy task.
  • What is the ‘wrong landscape fabric’?
    The limited permeability landscape materials (which include all Weed-Shield®, Weed-X®, and Weed-Proof® PLUS materials) are effective in keeping the weeds that develop in the top mulch from penetrating into the ground where they establish themselves. This cuts out most of the long-term maintenance since most weeds will die if they can’t reach the ground. Those weeds that survive can usually be removed easily with two fingers. Landscape fabrics that are highly permeable (this includes most non-Gardeneer or non-Dalen materials) can actually cause more work and weed problems in that roots from the weeds easily go through the fabric and establish themselves below the fabric where they thrive and are difficult to remove.
  • How does landscape fabric stop weeds?
    All landscape fabrics stop some weeds from coming through from below, but certain aggressive weeds will penetrate any landscape fabric especially if there is a heavy load of mulch on top. These weeds that are in the ground are only the initial problems. Long-term, 95%+ of weeds come from germinating seeds in the top mulch. Ideal (low) permeability landscape materials like 5-Year, 10-Year, and 20-Year Weed-Shield, Weed-X, and Weed-Proof PLUS, prevent most weeds from reaching the ground, with 20-Year Weed-Shield and Weed-X being the most effective. Higher permeability landscape fabric, however, has larger and more holes that not only allow more water through but also allow roots through. These roots establish themselves below the fabric where they thrive and are difficult to remove.
  • The holes in the fabric don’t seem big enough for water to penetrate. Wouldn’t it be better if it were more open to let more water through?
    The 5, 10, and 20-Year materials are patented products that are specifically designed to be just porous enough to let water through the fabric at the same rate that water is able to flow into the ground. If it were more porous, the water would just run off underneath the material. It would also let many more weeds through, and it would not retain the ground moisture as well.

    Dalen’s landscape materials work many times better than the fabrics you may have used from other manufacturers that are much more porous. The features described are protected by U.S. Patent numbers 5,047,099 and 5,873,194, assuring you that you are using the finest product available on the market today.

  • What kind of mulch should I use?
    Any type of mulch will work, but unfortunately some mulches contain active weed seeds that can germinate into weeds. The best type of mulch to use is bark chips — the larger the better. Shredded bark is OK, but it will deteriorate more quickly and will more easily allow weed seeds to germinate. Pine straw is excellent, and is our personal favorite. If some weeds do come through soon after the installation of fabric and mulch, they can be completely eliminated by spraying with Roundup or other post-emergent systemic weed killer. You should have no further weed penetration problems after the first few weeks.
  • Can I use marble rocks or pebbles?
    Yes, but marble rocks and rounded pebbles should be spread as thinly as possible because heavy weight on top of the fabric actually allows very aggressive weeds to punch through the fabric, making them difficult to control.
  • How thick should the mulch be?
    Contrary to common practice, you should use only enough mulch to cover the fabric, usually one to two inches. Thin mulches are desirable for several reasons. By using a thin layer, you can save enough money to pay for the fabric. You will have fewer weed problems since the layer is light enough in weight that aggressive weeds from below cannot punch through. Thin mulch will dry out rapidly, thus extending its life by stopping the rotting activity. Best of all, weeds that are spread into the top mulch by airborne seeds (by far the biggest weed problem) and germinate will be killed when the mulch dries out, thus relieving the need for hand removal.
  • Can I use topsoil to cover the fabric?
    No, because topsoil will promote weed growth and defeat the primary purpose of the fabric.
  • How do I install landscape fabric?
    Installing landscape fabric is rather easy, and doing so properly will save you lots of time and money in the future. We recommend cleaning the bedding area or garden so it’s free of grass, weeds and debris. Then follow the instructions on the landscape fabric package:
    – Roll out the fabric and cut to fit the area
    – Secure with staples or pegs, preferably Gardeneer® brand 4.5″ wire staples
    – Cut an X in the fabric where plants will be installed
    – Fold the corners back on the X, dig a hole and install the plant
    – Cover with a 1″ to 2″ layer of mulch, not the 4″ to 6″ that some ‘experts’ recommend
    – You should also work the fabric around existing plants to complete your weed-free barrier
  • How do I hold the fabric in place?
    For best results, use Gardeneer Garden Staples. These staples are easily pushed through the fabric and into the ground by hand. Use a staple wherever the fabric overlaps and place them approximately 2 to 3 feet apart. Also use staples to hold fabric down around plants and shrubs. The objective is to keep fabric close to the ground and the soil completely covered; the less exposed soil, the better your protection against weeds.
    If Gardeneer Garden Staples are not available, simply covering the fabric with a 1″ to 2″ layer of mulch will usually keep it in place. However, the chance that it will move or lift up over time and leave an uncovered section of soil is substantially increased.
  • Do I have to cover the landscape fabric once I’ve put it on the ground?
    Dalen’s Weed Control material should last one season, even if exposed to full sunlight. For the 5- year, 10-Year and 20-year materials to last for their intended life span, they must be covered.
  • Can I use the fabrics on slopes? Won’t the mulch just slide off the slick surface?
    Gentle slopes are usually okay except for very heavy rains. For steeper slopes where you have installed fabric and had a problem keeping the mulch in place, try this: Remove the mulch but leave the fabric in place. Purchase netting such as Deer-X® or Bird-X®. Put 1/3 of the mulch back on the fabric to raise the netting slightly. Then put the netting over the mulch and use Gardeneer Garden Staples to hold it down. Put the remaining 2/3 of the mulch on top of the net. The net should hold the mulch in all except the heaviest of rains. The black net will not show, even if it is not completely covered.
  • Can landscape fabric be used for growing vegetables in an organic garden?
    Yes, there is nothing harmful in any of our fabrics (5-Year, 10-Year, 20-Year Weed-Shield, Weed Control, Weed Proof PLUS, and Weed-X). However, the fabrics will have a shorter life if not covered, approximately 2 to 3 years.
  • Can landscape fabrics be used with perennial flowers?
    Yes, but if the flowers have a habit of spreading and multiplying (and you want them to do this), then you must open up a big enough hole to allow for it. Don’t skimp on your hole sizes. The fabric will still protect all other areas, and the holes around plants don’t significantly add to your weed problems. But you can choke your prized plantings if you don’t make the opening roomy enough.
  • Can landscape fabrics be used with ground covers?
    Generally not. You usually use ground covers instead of mulch to eliminate weeds. The fabric can interfere with the spreading of the ground cover which is usually the whole point of using them. You can use the two together effectively if you want both mulch and ground covers in adjacent areas. Be aware, however, that some ground covers are very invasive and can spread both over and under the fabric.
  • I have installed the fabric as instructed, and after a few days I have weeds coming through the fabric. Is there something wrong with the fabric?
    Very aggressive weeds can penetrate 6″ of asphalt and will come through any fabric sold on the market today. Fortunately, this is a brief and temporary problem, compared with the five to twenty year periods in which you will enjoy unprecedented low maintenance through the use of these landscape materials. You need only to remove these few weeds when they first appear by pulling them, or by spraying them with Roundup or other post-emergent systemic weed killer. One or two applications should take care of the problem. Exceptions are grasses such as Bermuda grass, which put out runners and may continually run under, up and through the fabric. These can only be stopped through the use of an edging barrier at least 8 into the ground. The use of very light mulch may help the problem, since the aggressive grasses cannot punch through the fabric without top weight to push against.
  • The previous answer says I have to do something to get rid of weeds coming through. Why is that?
    Remember that above all else you are putting this material down to save you from having to weed for the next 5 to 20 years. These materials are designed to do just that! However, there is sometimes an initial problem of aggressive pre-existing weeds, which must be handled first. When you have quickly and easily eliminated this short-lived initial problem, you will be set to enjoy the most effective weed control device available.
  • Which side faces up on Weed-X and 20-Year Weed-Shield materials?
    The black side of Dalen’s fabric should always face up. The black smooth side is more effective in preventing weed roots from penetrating from above. Placing the white (bottom) side underneath allows water to wick through the fabric and into the soil, which is necessary for plant growth. All of Dalen’s landscape fabrics are correctly oriented on the roll so when you unroll it, the correct side is facing up automatically.
  • How long does it take for water to reach the soil once the Weed-X / 20-Year Weed-Shield material is covered?
    Initially, it may take 24 to 48 hours for water to penetrate the fabric. Thereafter, it will move through the fabric almost immediately. The reason for the initial slowness is that the white side (capillary material) must come into firm contact with the ground and become moist to begin the wicking process.
  • When I put Weed-X or 20-Year Weed-Shield over a cup and pour water on it, why doesn’t it go through?
    A few drops may seep through, but the fabric needs to make contact with something underneath for water to go through. You may have noticed this same effect when you have been camping. The tent is leak proof until you touch the underside of the canvas, then the water starts dripping at that point. The weed fabric will “drip” all over when it is put into contact with the ground.
  • What is the main difference between regular landscape fabric and commercial landscape fabric?
    Commercial landscape fabric is heavier so that it is not as easily damaged by construction machinery. Porous commercial landscape fabrics are also used as geo-textiles for lining drainage ditches and soil stabilization.
  • When should I use a commercial landscape fabric?
    There is no need for a homeowner to use commercial landscape fabrics except for lining drainage ditches or soil stabilization. Commercial landscape fabrics are no more effective than a good low-permeable standard material for control of weeds in the landscape.
    Commercial Landscape Fabric uses other than weed control include:
    – Under brick, blocks, stone or concrete, sidewalks, patios
    – Behind retaining walls
    – Line drains and septic systems to reduce silting
    – Soil separator
  • What is the best material for controlling weeds in landscaped areas?
    The best materials, by far, are the low-permeability 20-Year Weed-Shield or Weed-X. If a heavier material is required, then we recommend Professional Weed-X.
  • Is it necessary to use Garden Staples or Pegs when installing fabric?
    The project will be much easier if you use Gardeneer Garden Staples or Garden Pegs. Staples are easily pushed through the fabric and into the ground by hand.
  • What is the difference between Staples and Pegs?
    Staples are made of metal and are much easier to use in hard, compacted soil. The advantage of pegs is that they are non-corrosive and are reusable.
  • How many do I need to use for my project?
    The quantity will vary depending on how many openings you have for plants, shrubs, or trees and the shape of the area you are covering. A general rule of thumb is to use a staple or peg wherever the fabric overlaps and place them approximately 2 to 3 feet apart. Also use staples or pegs to hold fabric down around plants and shrubs. The objective is to keep fabric close to the ground, and the soil completely covered; the less exposed soil, the better your protection against weeds.
  • Why use Weed-Shield Ant & Termite instead of regular Weed-X or a different landscape fabric?
    Weed-X®AT is a treated material which provides the added benefit of ensuring that ants and termites won’t damage the material.
  • Where should I use Weed-Shield Ant & Termite?
    This material should be used in landscaping beds or flower gardens in any residential, institutional, or commercial site. It’s ideal for use around the perimeter of the home. It can also be used around trees and in mulch beds.
  • How do ants and termites normally damage other landscape fabric materials?
    Most landscape materials are made of some form of fabric or plastic and ants and termites will eat through it to find a food source. Weed-X®AT has been specially-treated to preclude that from happening.
  • Is the chemical harmful to the environment?
    The chemical is embedded in the plastic and poses little risk to the environment. To put it into perspective, it is about as hazardous as vinegar.
  • Why can’t this product be used around ponds or water gardens?
    This material is not approved for areas of an aquatic nature. The chemical may have harmful effects on the micro-organisms in the water which, in turn, may affect life that feeds on those organisms (e.g. fish).
  • Why does this product have to be covered with a 1″ – 2″ layer of mulch for it to remain effective?
    All landscape fabric materials need to remain covered with mulch to protect it from the sun, but it is particularly important with Weed-X®AT as the chemical degrades when exposed to UV [sunlight]. By covering with a layer of mulch, UV light is blocked and the protective properties of the material are greatly increased.
  • Why do I only use 1″ to 2″ of mulch while others recommend about 3″ to 4″ of mulch?
    Dalen recommends covering with only 1″ to 2″ of mulch, which reduces the amount of moisture in the mulch. Without moisture, the airborne weed seeds that land in the top mulch layer can’t take hold and grow. As an added benefit, the cost savings of using less mulch more than pays for Weed-X® or other landscape fabric!

Scarecrow Devices

  • Are there general guidelines to be followed that help all scarecrow devices work better?
    In general, all devices work far better when they are put into use before birds? feeding or nesting habits begin. It is much harder to dissuade the birds from giving up a habit than it is to prevent the habit from developing in the first place. Also, you should remove the device just as soon as it is no longer needed. Birds, once they catch on to these deterrents, are seldom fooled a second time.
  • What types of scarecrow devices might work?
    Although no device is foolproof, several have worked well in many situations. The Gardeneer Inflatable Snake has been judged as particularly effective except in areas where snakes do not live naturally (e.g. Pacific Northwest). The Inflatable Owl is a less expensive alternative to the hard-bodied Great Horned Owl and is also quite effective. The Guard ‘N Eyes balloon with large eyes all around has been judged very effective and works because research has determined that the eyes of the owl are the most recognized feature of the owl and even if used alone, are still frightening. Less effective, but still useful is reflective Holographic Tape that can work for a time, being stretched over a row of fruits or vegetables and give the illusion of something continually moving in that area. One or two twists in the tape cause a whipping back-and-forth motion in the breeze that is particularly effective.
  • How does the molded Great Horned Owl scare birds? Does it work on other animals?
    The owl is a feared predator and the lifelike owl with the very realistic eyes is effective in frightening birds. This product will also be effective against small rodents that are also preyed upon by the Great Horned Owl. The key to continuing effectiveness is to keep moving the owl around the yard or garden so birds don’t get used to it (they will become unafraid if they notice that it never moves). Dalen also sells a Rotating-Head Owl with even greater effectiveness in scaring birds. The moving head provides maximum realism and startles birds. However, it still needs to be moved around for continued effectiveness, but not as often.
  • Does it work on all birds?
    It frightens almost all birds. However, it actually attracts crows since the owl and the crows are mortal enemies. Most other birds are deterred by its presence in an area.
  • How large an area does it cover?
    The owls are effective in a 50-foot radius or more if placed in a highly visible position.
  • How and where do you mount it?
    Mount the Great Horned Owl as high as possible so birds can see it from great distances. Use a post, dowel or piece of wood or bamboo that fits into the hole in the bottom of the owl (remove plug). It can also be weighed down by filling it with gravel, dirt, sand, or pebbles so that it can be placed on the top of a post or wall. Also, Northern Hydraulics has a mounting device available. Call (800) 533-5545 for a catalog. One of the best ways to use the owl is by hanging it (see next question).
  • Where is the hanger for it?
    At the top of the head of the owl there is an indentation with a horizontal bar. Use a sharp object (ice pick or small pointed screwdriver) to make a hole and thread a wire, monofilament fishing line, or string through it. Hang it in an open area where it can be seen. The swinging and rotating motion will give it effectiveness over a longer period of time, although it is still best to move it around occasionally. NOTE: The Rotating-Head Owl cannot be hung by its head. See question on Rotating-Head Owl.
  • How do you weight down the Great Horned Owl? Can you fill it with water?
    Remove the plug found on the bottom of the owl. Fill the base with gravel, sand, or pebbles (enough for the owl to become stable). Do NOT use water or other liquids. Replace the plug.
  • How do you weight down the Rotating-Head Owl?
    Remove the plug found on the bottom of the owl. Fill the base with gravel, sand, soil, or pebbles (enough for the owl to become stable). Do NOT use water or other liquids. Replace the plug.


  • How long will netting last?
    Bird-X® and Deer-X® should last more than one season, but will depend on the amount of direct sun and other harsh conditions. It’s best to remove and store the netting away from the sunlight once protection is no longer needed.
  • Will Plastic Fencing or Netting keep rabbits out of my garden?
    Rabbits are very persistent and can chew through plastic fencing. Use metal mesh fencing for protection from rabbits.
  • How do I install Bird-X? netting?
    For fruit trees, drape Bird-X? netting over the tree by using a pole to lift the net over the top of the tree. Then gather the netting around the trunk and tie with rope or twist ties. For shrubs and bushes, the net is wrapped around and tied in place. For strawberry rows and patches, cover plants completely. It is desirable to have enough lifting support so that birds can?t peck through the net. This is easily accomplished by driving wooden stakes or metal poles in the corners to keep the netting above the plants. Garden Staples or plastic ties can help hold the edges in place.
  • What do I do if a bird should get caught in the netting?
    This rarely happens, although it may be possible for a small bird to get caught in the netting. If you find a bird in the net, it should be easy to get it untangled by carefully working it loose or by cutting a strand or two of the net.
  • What is the best method of using Deer-X? netting to protect my shrubs and trees?
    Attach Deer-X to a tall pole (bamboo is an inexpensive choice) or wood posts with wire or plastic ties to form a tent-like structure. For added support, weave a thin wire through the mesh at the top and bottom. See the HOW-TO instruction under Deer-X for details on how to create a vertical or slanted fence.
  • Why is a slanted fence a good idea?
    Deer can jump very high. If you slant the net away from the protected area, the deer, when coming into contact with the net, have the sense that the net is going over the top of them and are less likely to try to jump it.
  • How can such a light net such as Deer-X? deter such a large animal?
    The same way that delicate spider webs deter large human beings.
  • What’s different about Pond & Pool Netting?
    The mesh size is 3/8″ x 3/8″ versus 3/4″ x 3/4″. The smaller mesh means better protection for the pond (fish), pool (keeping leaves and debris out), or garden.
  • How high should the bottom of the net be from the ground?
    Typically the bottom is 1 to 2 ft. off the ground, which allows the top to be 6 to 7 ft. high. It is surprising how easy it is to get any vining plant to bridge even a 2 ft. span.
  • How can Plastic Fencing be used?
    Plastic Fencing is an inexpensive way to define an enclosed space. It can discourage a variety of animals including deer (which see), but many chewing animals can chew through it if they have a compelling desire to reach the other side.
  • How is Plastic Fencing held up?
    It can be stretched and stapled to posts or hung from a wire. The bottom edge can be buried in a trench to prevent animals from crawling under it.
  • How long can Plastic Fencing be used?
    The silver fencing should last up to two years in the sun. Bright southern sun, high in UV, will break it down faster.
  • How long will the white decorative fence products last in full sun?
    Most plastics deteriorate in sunlight from UV radiation. Dalen’s fencing has a UV inhibitor which should allow it to maintain usable strength for several years in full sunlight & perhaps somewhat less in the Deep South.

Frost Protection/Seed Germination Covers

  • How do you use Harvest Guard?
    Prepare the soil and plant the grass according to the recommended procedures. Instead of using straw to cover the newly planted seed, cover the entire area with Harvest Guard (formerly known as Grass-Fast). Water the area thoroughly. Keep soil under fabric moist until seeds have thoroughly germinated. Leave in place until grass is beyond the “delicate” stage or until the daytime temperatures begin to approach 85-degrees. It is desirable to leave it in place as long as the weather is cool. Also, the benefits derived from using Harvest Guard versus straw more than pay for the extra cost of the cover.f
  • Can I use Harvest Guard for spot seeding and repairing damaged areas?
    Yes, simply cut Harvest Guard (formerly known as Grass-Fast) with scissors to the desired shape. To hold Harvest Guard in place anchor with Garden Staples or Pegs which are inexpensive and easy to use. It is desirable to double the thickness of the fabric by folding over where the staple is inserted. Put a staple in every 3 to 5 feet.
  • What are the benefits of Harvest Guard over straw?
    There are many benefits of using Harvest Guard over straw:
    – You will usually get 90-95% germination of your seed with Harvest Guard (formerly known as Grass-Fast), vs. 50-70% using straw.
    – You will get almost complete uniformity in your coverage, vs. very spotty results with straw.
    – You will find your seeds germinate in about 1/3 the time. This is because Harvest Guard warms the soil 10-15 degrees while straw actually shades and cools the ground. This means that you have to spend 3 times the length of time making certain that the soil never dries out. Drying out is death to germinating seeds.
    – You generally only have to thoroughly water initially for the moisture to be retained by the fabric. One watering will usually see the seeds through to complete germination unless it is very hot or windy.
    – The fabric keeps birds from devouring the seeds.
    – The complete coverage of your grass with Harvest Guard will dramatically reduce your weed problems.
    – Straw has to be removed at just the right time, or it can smother the seedlings that are trying to develop. Harvest Guard can be left on and only has to be removed when the temperatures regularly exceed 85 degrees.
  • I followed the instructions, but now I see the young grass sprouts coming through the Harvest Guard. Shouldn’t they be underneath, and won’t they be pulled up when I remove the material?
    This sometimes happens with very fine grass varieties, or in semi-shaded areas where the grass blades grow very thin. If you leave the material on too long, then yes, many sprouts will be pulled up when the material is removed. The problem is easily solved, however, by lifting the material early on, before the blades thicken and become lodged in the fibers. Lifting is sometimes easier if you get a stick and drive a large finishing nail (headless) into the end of the stick. Bend the nail and use it to penetrate the fabric and lift the fabric straight up, freeing the blades of grass. After lifting, the material will settle down on top of the grass and be held up by it. You may have to do this a couple of times before the grass becomes mature enough not to penetrate further.
  • Does Harvest Guard cost more than straw and is it worth the cost?
    Before answering, consider the cost and labor involved in establishing a lawn, and think what you are trying to accomplish in having a lawn. It is a major project which, if you do it right, will increase the value of your home significantly and will give years of pleasure. If you do it right, your lawn will be the envy of all those who see it. Yes, Harvest Guard (formerly known as Grass-Fast) initially costs two or three times what straw costs, but few things pay back as thoroughly as does Harvest Guard. As a percentage of the overall cost of the project, the use of Harvest Guard over straw only adds a few percentage points. If you can use it several times, it ends up being much less expensive than straw that generally can only be used once. Also, the benefits derived from using it over straw more than pay for the extra cost.
  • How do you hold Harvest Guard in place?
    Anchor Harvest Guard (formerly known as Grass-Fast) in place with Gardeneer® Garden Staples, which are inexpensive and very easy to use. It is desirable to double the thickness of the fabric by folding over where the staple is inserted. Put a staple in every 3 to 5 feet.
  • How often do you water the grass seed?
    Observe the soil under the fabric and water the area whenever the soil seems to be drying out. THIS IS MOST IMPORTANT! The fabric does a wonderful job of retaining moisture by deflecting the wind and condensing the vapor. Except in windy areas and in hot weather, the initial watering will usually see the seeds through germination.
  • What is Harvest-Guard used for? What are the benefits?
    Harvest Guard is a floating row cover which is placed over plants, without support, in the early spring. It is light enough to be supported by almost any young, tender plant. Harvest Guard creates a semi-greenhouse environment, raising the air temperature approximately 10-15 degrees underneath it. This makes it ideal for starting plants early in the spring. Especially in areas that have a short summer, the effect of using the fabric can more than double the harvest of some vegetables. Tomatoes, for instance, will not grow at all until the temperature rises above 65 degrees. Harvest Guard will get the plants to that temperature several weeks before the outside temperature gets that high. Harvest Guard can also protect against light frosts. Harvest Guard also is an effective screen for insects and can potentially keep the plants insect-free in the vulnerable early stages of development.
  • If it keeps insects off, what about pollinating insects?
    Some plants must be pollinated for fruiting, such as early peas, zucchini, or any flowering fruit-bearing plant. Insects, especially bees, are the agents to see that this happens. You MUST remove the fabric every few days to be certain that pollination will occur.
  • Can you double layer Harvest-Guard for added protection against frost?
    Yes, doubling, even tripling the fabric will hold more heat in and give more protection especially when frosting occurs. The multiple layers help hold the heat in and deflect the cooling, drying winds for significant protection. However, on particularly cold nights, or when the cold lingers as when a cold front comes through, Harvest Guard will not be able to protect the plant without extra heat being added, or insulation applied, such as a blanket.

Garden Growing Aids

  • Why should I use Better Reds Red Mulch Film?
    The red mulch film was developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has been extensively tested to show on average a 20% increase in fruit yield. It does this by reflecting a certain frequency of light up into the plant which responds favorably to this particular light.
  • What other benefits does Better Reds provide?
    All tomatoes need constant moisture, and the ground mulching effect of the film (i.e., covering the dirt) holds the moisture in, reduces water runoff, and discourages weeds. In addition, Better Reds warms the soil to stimulate early plant growth and continues to improve yield at the end of the season by keeping soil warm on cooler nights.
  • How does Season Starter extend the growing season?
    Season Starter can do a remarkable thing! Surrounding a tender plant early in the season with 18 tubes holding 3 gallons of water assures that the plant will be protected from freezing until all 3 gallons of water have frozen solid. This means that a tender plant can be put out up to 1 month early. In the north in particular, it can mean much more production during the season.
  • What can Tomato Tray (Automator) do for me?
    Tomato Tray has four cone-shaped areas which penetrate the soil surrounding the plant to bring water and fertilizer directly to the root system. It also prevents cutworm, warms the soil, and prevents weeds. The center hole aligns the tomato plant for uniform, straight growth. In addition, the Tomato Tray can be used under the Tomato Tower? or tomato cages. It can also be used to mark the same distance between plants.
  • How many seasons can Tomato Tray last?
    If it is put inside out of the sun at the end of the season, it can easily last 3 to 4 seasons (with care, many more). By pre-forming holes in the soil for the feeding tubes, the tray has little stress during installation and so has little cause for breaking, even after the sun has caused some brittleness.
  • How do I get that big plant through the center hole in the Red Tomato Tray?
    It is, of course, best to install the tray when the plant is small, but it can also be installed around a larger plant with ease. The tray is designed with a split so it can fit easily around the plant stem. Simply spread apart enough to fit around the base of the plant.
  • I’ve used a product called Automator in the past – is it the same thing?
    Yes, we repackaged this product a few years ago under the Gardeneer® brand name and changed the name to a more consumer-friendly term, Tomato Tray.
  • How long will Trellis Netting last?
    Dalen’s Trellis Netting is made of high-quality nylon and will maintain 60% of its original strength after 20 years in the sun. It has a lifetime guarantee, so that if it should ever fail mail it back for a free replacement.
  • How can Trellis Netting be used?
    Trellis Netting can be used in a variety of ways to cause plants to grow vertically so that they take up less space and the fruit is kept off the ground to prevent rodent and moisture damage. Peas, beans (climbing varieties), and okra are a big use, but tomatoes, and all vining plants benefit greatly from vertical growing.
  • How is Trellis Netting held up?
    Often it is held up with two or more stakes with a wire or poles supporting the top. Of course, the wire or pole can be supported by an existing structure such as a building, tree or pole.

Tree/Plant Care

  • Why should I stake my trees?
    Very small, short trees and larger trees with a large root ball do not need to be staked if you do not live in an area with high winds. Otherwise, staking trees assures that wind damage or root disturbance will not occur.
  • Why is the Mow-Over Tree Stake Kit better and easier to use than other tree stakes?
    The Mow-Over tree stake system allows you to easily remove the ropes from the stakes to eliminate the need for trimming around them. The ropes are attached to pins, which are inserted into a hole in the top of the stakes, which are driven flush with the ground. The pins easily slip in and out of the holes in the stakes. NEVER install the ropes tightly, as it is essential to the tree’s development that the tree is able to sway in the breeze. The rope should only go taut when the tree is flexed several inches by the wind.
  • Should the tree ropes be pulled tight?
    No, absolutely not! The tree needs to be able to sway in the breeze in order to gain strength. Ropes should be loose enough to allow several inches of bending, but not so much that damage can occur or roots be displaced.
  • What do I do if the wood splits?
    If the stake splits, it is relatively easy to drill another hole, however you can still use the kit with two stakes by installing the other two along with their ropes on the up-wind side of the tree. You rarely need protection in all directions.
  • Why use Tree Wrap?
    More damage is done to trees in the landscape each year by mowers and weed trimmers than all other causes combined. Tree Guard will prevent all except the most careless of damage by these two causes.
  • When should Tree Wrap be removed?
    It should be removed or loosened (rewrapped) when the growth of the tree makes it tight (check every 6 months). In the extreme, Tree Wrap can girdle a tree and kill it if not kept reasonably loose.
  • When should Tree Guard be removed?
    It should be loosened (adjust the slots) when the growth of the tree makes it tight (check every 6 months). In the extreme, Tree Guard can girdle a tree and kill it if not kept reasonably loose.


  • What is this trend called ‘the Outdoor Room’ all about?
    People are spending more time enjoying their yards and gardens. Many of us think of our outdoor living space as another room, an extension of the house. We are now decorating our patios, decks, and porches with outdoor furniture that looks like indoor furniture, fireplaces, lamps, and accessories. Current home design trends are also driving more sophisticated and upscale offerings in the outdoor decor arena.
  • How do I know what is the right amount of edging, statuary, etc. to use in my yard without it appearing like ‘too much’?
    You want it to be tasteful and sophisticated, not cluttered — yet your personal style should shine through. What you do should enhance, not detract from, the natural beauty of your yard. Here are a few simple guidelines to follow:
    a) Decor that is scattered throughout the yard will have less impact than if you create groupings.
    b) Stick with a theme if you want to make a statement; a stone-like edging will be more natural and rustic than a wrought-iron style edging for example.
    c) Intersperse outdoor decor with live plants, flowers, and shrubs to keep the overall look lush and natural.
  • How do I install HammerEdge edging?
    First, lay out the shape of the edging placement using string, rope or a garden hose. Using a rubber mallet, pound one side into the ground approximately 1X to 2X while holding the other end. Then pound in the other side 1X to 2X. Repeat until edging is installed to the desired depth (2-1/2″ to 3″ showing is generally recommended). Continue with additional pieces by sliding the beaded end into the channel end and repeat the process above, holding down the piece previously installed. It is sometimes necessary in harder ground to drive a piece only half way down, before engaging the next one, then hammer them down together, adding the next one etc.
  • Can you use a regular hammer to pound in HammerEdge?
    A rubber, rather than metal, head will show less wear and tear on the edging. However, if a metal hammer is all that’s available, it can be used if you do so gently. Try wrapping a cloth around the metal head of the hammer, or use a block of wood between the hammer and the edging to cushion the blows.
  • My ground is so hard that it is a major job to hammer these pieces in. Isn’t there an easier way?
    Especially in hard clay soils, but sometimes even in softer soils, you may find it easier to use a straight shovel to slit the ground before you pound the edging in. This sometimes makes the job much easier.
  • How long will the white decorative fence products last in full sun?i
    Most plastics deteriorate in sunlight from UV radiation. Dalen’s fencing has a UV inhibitor which should allow it to maintain usable strength for several years in full sunlight & perhaps somewhat less in the Deep South.