Here are some videos on pruning berries going into spring. Enjoy!
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Our soils are alkaline (pH above 7) because of the areas low annual rainfall and the lack of organic matter. Alkaline soil can be problematic to some plants because if the soil pH is too high it makes it hard for some plants to take up vital nutrients. By selecting plants that enjoy these soil conditions it a lot less work to keep them happy. A good looking landscape with minimal effort, is much easier to maintain.
Below is a list of plant families that thrive in alkaline soil with little to no pH adjustments. From here you can find a variety that fits your yards needs and personal taste.
Feather Reed grasses
Hydrangeas (though big leaf varieties are pink in alkaline soils)
Butterfly Bush (sterile varieties)
Common Snowball Bush
Red Hot Poker
Black Eyed Susans
Golden Rain Tree
Green Ash (Urbanite is resistant to Ash Bore)
A common question we get is when to prune your grasses for winter. In reality it can be as soon as that plant dies back to the ground. I personally use the grass’ foliage as a winter interest, so I will wait until the winter winds beat then up into a mess. Then I tie a string around the top and cut back to within an inch or two of the ground. For evergreen grasses, I just clean out the dead foliage. With Pampass grass, I wait until spring, using it’s foliage as a mulch to help it survive winter since it’s more tender than other grasses like Switch grass, Japanese Silver grass or Fountain grasses in our area. Below is a video I did to demonstrate how to cut back the different types of grasses.
Fall is upon us and it’s time for planting. Here is what you can plant now and into winter as well as a few tips to make sure things go well.
You can plant plants rated zone 6 or lower for they can withstand our winters. You can plant trees, shrubs, perennials, roses and evergreens.
Even though the irrigation systems are going offline. Plants aren’t using much water. Until deciduous plants drop their foliage check on them for moisture weekly. After they drop their foliage check monthly to see if they need a drink. Evergreens need water on a monthly basis. Water on days where the highs are above 35 degrees.
For roses you want to mulch their crowns as a precaution against sudden cold snaps.
You can plant in fall and into winter you want to avoid cold snaps where on daytime temps don’t rise above freezing. It’s hard on you and the plants when the ground is frozen.
Scale is a sap sucking insect that resembles an oyster shell that either cover branches like the tree pictured above or on the foliage of arborvitae. They can be challenging to control for when their shells are soft, insecticides work; when they are hard they do not. For deciduous trees you can use a systemic insecticide like the Bonide Annual Tree and Shrub insect control. For evergreens it would be better to use a horticultural oil like Bonide All Seasons Oil or Malathion to kill the scales.
An few signs you have scale is if you see shells on branches (not normal), the foliage is sticky or there are a lot of flies hanging around you plants (this also is a sign of aphids too).
Early April is when the irrigation water come back online is a great time to feed you trees, shrubs, and perennials.
For your plants you can use granulated fertilizers or fertilizer spikes. Which ever is easiest for you to apply. I find it faster and easier to use granulated; this is mainly because I have a lot of shrubs and my soil is very rocky. I just measure the size of plant and give it the appropriate amount listed on the label and then onto the next plant. Once I am done fertilizing I run my irrigation system to activate the fertilizer.
Three of my favorite plant foods for trees, shrubs and perennials are the Fertilome Azalea, Camelia and Rhododendron Food, the Fertilome Start n Grow and the G&B Paradise (organic). The Fertilome Azalea, Camelia and Rhododendron Food is great for plants that like acidic conditions like Rhodies, Dogwoods and Maples; you apply this one three times a year April, Memorial Day and Mid August. The Start-N-Grow is a good universal plant food full of trace elements that you only have to apply twice a year April and July. Paradise is a granulated organic fertilizer that is full of enzymes and trace elements to feed plants, apply in April, June and August. Any of them will yeild happy well fed plants!
Bermudagrass is problem for a lot of Tri-City lawns. It is the grass with deep roots and runs it's tendrils throughout the yard spreading where ever it feels like it. Bayer has come out with Bermudagrass Control for lawns, it is a growth regulator that supresses the growth of the Bermudagrass and lets your preferred lawn to choke it out. Timing is critical on applying it, you want to hit the Bermudagrass when it begins to emerge in early April, then repeat applications on a monthly basis until it is no longer trying to grow. Easy to apply with the Read to Spray Bottle (RTS), just hook to a hose and begin spraying only the affected areas of the lawn. Be sure to let the product dry completely after application, before letting kids or pets back on the lawn. We stock it regularly here at Job's.
The dayliies are up, the black eyed Susans are waking up, even the salvias are peeking out of the ground, however the Hibiscus are still the cut back stalks that you left them back in February. Did they survive the winter?
The answer is yes, they most likely did survive the winter. They just are waiting for the ground to warm up a little more before they show sings of life. Wait until Mid May to see what peeks up.
The Bald Cypress, Larch and Dawn Redwood look like they are dying in the fall, don't worry it's normal, because they are not really evergreens.Read More
November 5th got some snow which is earlier than normal. Could it hurt plants?Read More
In today’s market of roses you can buy own root or budded roses.
Budded or grafted roses are roses that a bud has been attached to another rose variety’s root system. Usually a single red rose called Dr. Huey. Budded Roses are hardy to zone 6, which works in the Tri-Cities. Most of the Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, Grandifloras, Climbers, and David Austins are budded. It is best to mulch these rose for the winter either with compost or bark to protect them from quick arctic blasts.
Own root roses are roses that are propagated from cutting and are raised on their own natural root system. Own root roses are more cold hardy (zone 4 to 5) which is great for the Tri-Cities and outer lying areas that tend to be more exposed or colder in the winter. Own root roses, being own root, do not bolt (sucker from the root stock) and do not revert to the root stock. Shrub, Miniature and Ground Cover Roses are own root.
Written by Alex Job
Pruning roses is really easy with the right techniques and tools. What we are going to do is break down pruning to time of year, so you can keep this as a little calendar of care for your roses.
Mid February to Early March-The Rejuvenating Pruning
Recommended Tools: Loppers, pruning shears, canvas or denim coat, thick gloves and eye protection.
The goal for rejuvenating pruning is to refresh the plant by cutting it way back and thinning out some of the older canes.
For Miniatures, Shrub, Floribundas, Hybrid Teas, Grandifloras, and David Austin or Romanitca roses, you want to take the loppers and cut the canes down to about 18 inches to 24 inches. Once cut down, remove any damaged, dead or crossing branches with the pruning shears or loppers. Next you will remove about a third of the canes (some older, some newer) with the loppers. For climbers, we generally with leave them trained to the trellis, we just remove the crossing, damaged or dead branches and canes. For Ground Cover Roses, shear back to 2 to 3 feet wide and thin out the damaged, crossing and dead branched.
April till Mid Octoberish- Deadheading and shaping.
Recommended Tools: Pruning Shears, thick gloves and eye protection.
Deadheading and shaping is to remove spent blooms and errant growth. This is recommended to do at least monthly, to promote new blooms on most classes.
For Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, Climbing, David Austin/Romanitca, and Shrub Roses; we recommend grabbing the stem just below the base of the bud (less thorns are there). You want to cut at a 45 degree angle just above the second fifth leaf set. If the plant is leggy or you want to reduce its height you can cut lower than this leaf set.
For Miniatures, grab the stem below the bud and cut just above the first leaf set.
For Ground Cover Roses, generally we don’t worry about dead heading because they are self cleaning and it takes way to long trim out all those blooms. Mainly worry about if encroaching on sidewalks, patios or other plants. Cut back and your done.
October or November-Prepping for Winter.
Recommended Tools: Pruning Shears or Hedge Shears, thick gloves and jacket.
On all classes dead head and tidy up the shape of the plant, so looks decent for the winter. Hedge shears are okay to use on everything except for Climbers, they make the job quick and easy. For climbers, just use pruning shears to selectively remove spent blooms and errant branches.
By Alex Job
Job's Nursery LLC
Roses are broken down into classes or types of roses to help define the characteristics common to a group of roses.
Hybrid Teas are your cut roses to take inside the house, for they bloom on flower per stem. They usually grow to a height of 4 to 6 feet. To encourage frequent blooming, you will need to prune out the spent flowers them at least monthly to promote blooms.
Grandifloras are a more vigorous hybrid of rose tends to be 5-6 feet tall with one to five roses per stem, with a Hybrid Tea blossom. May not be the best for cut roses but it makes up by having lots of blooms to show off.
Floribundas reach a height of 3-4 feet and provide lots of color. Generally blooms in bracts or bouquets of 3-7 blooms per stem. Petal can range from 10-50 depending of the variety. These color throwers are easy to care for and don't require much pruning to keep blooming.
Miniatures range in height of 2 to 3 feet. Miniatures get their name from having a bloom size of about 1 to 2 inches wide versus the actual plant size. They typically bloom in 1-5 rose clusters per stem. Great for borders, foundations and smaller flower beds. Most modern miniatures are self cleaning, where they do not need to have spent flowers removed to keep blooming; to remove spent flowers on miniatures you simply cut to the stem to the first leaf set.
Ground Cover range in height of about 18 inches to 3 feet. Ground Cover Roses have a mounded spreading habit that is great for borders or areas where you need low, ever blooming, summer color. Their flower size is the same as a Miniature and they are self cleaning, which is great considering how much they bloom. Generally we don’t worry about pruning this class in the growing season, unless they are growing into areas where they shouldn’t be.
Climbing Roses are roses that tend to have an upright, arching habit that can either be trained to a trellis or arbor. Otherwise if left untrained they form a large 10 to 12 foot high cascading rose bush. They great for screening or a trellis of color. Climbers only need an occasional trim to be blooming.
David Austin and Romantica Roses are cabbage head roses. David Austins are English, while Romanticas are French. The plants height can range from 3 to 6 feet tall with an arching habit. Generally they will bloom 1 to 5 flowers per stem with a petal count of over 90. A majority of these are varieties are very fragrant. These roses can be trained as a bush or as a climber. David Austin or Romanticas are great for foundations, hedges and focal points. They require as much pruning as a Climber or Floribunda.
Shrub or Landscape Roses basically includes everything else rose. The size can range from 2 feet to 12 feet, with flower shapes varying from a tea rose to a cabbage head. With this class, the uses are endless due to the variety of characteristics, so select a variety based on your needs.
Tree Roses are bush roses grafted up on a standard (stem or trunk) to create a tree look. Unfortunately they are tender zone 7 in the Tri-Cities and need to protected in the winter. This is done by keeping them in pots and placing them in a protected shed, garage, or greenhouse. If planted in the ground you want to wrap the top in burlap or an old blanket.
Establishing Your New Tree from Job’s Nursery
Watering for the First Year
In the first growing season, all new plants (including drought resistant ones) need extra water to allow them root into the surrounding soil. Make sure to deep soak the plants enough with a sprinkler on a hose; so that your soil is moist to 12 inches below the surface of the dirt a day after you have watered. You want your moisture to soak in this deep so that your plant’s roots develop deep and can handle not being watered for a few days in case there are problems with your irrigation system. If in doubt, you need to dig down 12 inches with a shovel, trowel or use a soil probe to make sure you are soaking in deep enough.
A general deep soaking schedule for sand loam soil (the main soil texture for Tri-Cities) it is listed by day time high temperatures
50 ̊F or less once a month for evergreens, check every two months for deciduous plants 50 to 70 ̊F deep soak once every two weeks after foliage emerges or drops on deciduous
70 to 85 ̊F deep soak once a week for one hour
85 to 95 ̊F deep soak twice a week for two hours
Above 95 ̊F soak three times a week for two hours
After all wind storms when temperature highs are above 85 ̊F go check the soil moisture.
**For Clay or compacted soil you will need to shorten you water run time and increase the amount of time your water to get the same effect**
Remember to check your sprinklers, filters and drip emitters regularly. A plugged sprinkler or drip emitter will not a water a plant adequately, if at all. Also to prevent fungal disease, try to avoid watering late evening and night on a daily basis, fungus likes cool and moist conditions.
Removing the Stakes
Remember the stakes, if needed, are to be removed after the tree has been planted for a year.
Good Fertilizing Practices
We recommend using the Fertilome Start N Grow every April 1st and July 1st. Or you can use the Miracle-Gro Fertilizer Tree Spikes every April 1 and August 15. You may have to use an additional fertilizer, or to adjust the ph of the soil.
Plant Problem Diagnosis
Remember when a plant is causing you to question it’s health, please contact us when you notice a problem, not after the plant dies, because most of the time a simple fix is all that is required. We invite you to call, or send us an email with photos of the problem or bring us a bagged sample to help you answer and solve your plant problem.
Excerpt from Job's Nursery's Planting and Care Guide
Trees can be offered in many different ways, below are the different ways that Job's Nursery offers trees, when they can be planted, and size range.
Potted-Potted Trees are trees grown in pots, usually younger to start with, they range in size from about 4 feet to 12 feet in height and are beginning to develop a good canopy to provide shade in time. They can be planted year round.
Balled and Burlaped (B&B)-B&B trees are trees that are dug out of our field and placed in a burlap lined wire basket to keep their root balls together. B&B trees usually range from 12 ft to 18 feet in height and have a developed canopy to begin providing shade. They can be planted from October to Mid June.
Bare Root Shade Trees- Bare Root Shade Trees are trees grown in our field and harvested in the dormant season (December through April). They range in height from 8 feet to 25 feet tall depending on their stage of maturity. You can select trees starting September 1st of each year.
Knit Bag Evergreen Trees (Knit Bag Trees)- Knit Bag Trees are evergreens like pines, spruces, cedars, junipers and arborvitae are grown in the fabric bag shaped like a pot that is buried in the ground and allowed to grow until ready. These trees are harvested from November to April. You can begin selecting them starting September 1 of each year.
By Alex Job