Check out the American Gold Rush Blackeyed Susan! It’s been really showy this summer.Read More
Filtering by Category: Gardening Ideas
With the snow soon to begin melting with warmer temps, fortunately you haven’t missed out on too many garden activities, you just going to have to be ready to do some of the chores in a quick fashion because it’s going to change quickly when it does.
Prevention Spraying with Dormant Oil and Copper Fungicide as long as the buds are hard and it’s a day above 40 you can still spray with the dormant rates on the label. If you miss it follow labels instructions on what to do for the different stages of growth for the plants you are spraying for.
Applying Crabgrass Control. You actually have a lot of time for this as in before May. In fact it would be easier to apply and activate when the irrigation water comes on in April vs applying it when the Forsythia bloom and timing it with rain to activate it.
Dormant Pruning for Roses
This can be done as long as the leaf buds have not begun to pop. The basics for pruning roses are to cut them back to 2 feet then remove diseased, damaged, dead and crossing canes. For climbing roses, go ahead and leave tall just remove the diseased, damaged, dead and crossing canes.
Dormant Pruning Fruit and Berries
This can also be done while the buds are hard. To check this you want to feel the bud with your finger. If it’s hard and doesn’t give or squish under light pressure you are good.
Fertilizing your lawn, trees, shrubs and perennials.
Feeding your plants is a good thing but wait until April like normal because the plant will be awake enough to feed upon the fertilizer as well it is easier to water in with your watering systems.
Cutting back ornamental grasses
Cut them down as soon as the snow melts because once it warms up enough they will begin to grow again for the season and you will only be able to cut them back to as far as they have emerged to.
Cutting back perennials
Either pull off the dead material with your hand or cut it down. Unlike grasses it easier to see the new foliage emerge that you work around it and completely remove all the dead stuff.
Round up, Burn Out and other similar herbicides actually work best when temps are in the sixties, so there is plenty of time for this. No need to jump the gun. If the winter weeds are bothering you too much, you can always pull or hoe them out after the snow has cleared.
This can be down actually any time of year but it is easier to do when the water is on to water the product in. Just remember to weed or spray the area really good beforehand.
Planting trees, berries and fruit trees
Your time will be short for bare root stuff but potted and B&B trees you have plenty of time.
Planting shrubs and perennials
Most of these plants are potted and can be planted year round. So once the ground is workable again until it’s over 90 you can plant these.
Annual flowers like petunias and marigolds its best to plant those more toward May when the ground warms up. Primroses and pansies would be good to plant when the snow clears.
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)
Here are 5 newer shrubs that have been introduced in the last couple of years that I have found to be: exciting, easy to care for, perform well in our area and will be in inventory this spring.
Purple Pillar Rose of Sharon-Purple Pillar is a columnar Rose of Sharon that only gets to 2 to 3 feet wide. Blooms purple with red centers from July to September. It enjoys full sun and heat for best bloom performance. Purple Pillar works well on corner of houses, narrow beds that need height between windows, or for hedge plant to add color to an evergreen hedge.
Diamond Rouge Hydrangea-Diamond Rouge is a sun loving Hydrangea that blooms white and turns to raspberry pink earlier and doesn’t depend on temp to trigger the color change. It also has a nice upright habit and is less prone to flopping over while in bloom like previous varieties which means less pruning needed. They grow to about 4 to 5 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. Another bonus is the red fall color it turns in October.
Fireside Ninebark-Fireside Ninebark is a dwarf ninebark that features the rich red purple foliage but keeps a more compact form of 5 to 7’ tall and wide. The foliage has the appealing larger leaf of Diabolo that grows to twice the size of Fireside. It enjoys part sun to full sun spots, and doesn’t mind our winds. Works well as a hedge for privacy or where you need a color contrast against a fence or flower bed. Ninebarks are also thorn-less.
Fire Island Hydrangea- Fire Island Hydrangea is great for afternoon shade areas of the yard. It is a dwarf Hydrangea that only grows to about 3.5 feet tall and wide. It starts blooming in early summer and goes into fall for it blooms on both new and old wood. So you get blooms no matter how hard a winter is on the plant. The pink/white colors of the bloom shows nicely in shade.
Lil’ Flirt Spirea -Lil’ Flirt Spirea is a tiny Spirea that is just as durable as it’s bigger cousins. It grows in pretty much any soil condition to 2 1/2 feet tall and wide. It enjoys partial to all sun as well. Lil’ Flirt stays compact and starts blooming in May with repeat blooms throughout the summer. More so if you shear off the old blooms periodically. The compact habit lends this Spirea to work well in perennial beds or as a border plant.
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.
The Mini Twists Pine is dwarf eastern white pine with twisted needles for a cool effect year round. It reaches 6 ft x 4 ft wide. Like full sun to partial shade conditions. It is great for a garden that needs a durable year round effect without the size of other pines.
Redpointe Maple is a newer red maple that is yard friendly reaching 45 feet tall and 30 feet wide. It has a great red fall color. Redpointe is not fussy when it comes to soil pH like Brandywine or October Glory can be in sandy soils. Redpointe continues to retain a nice green summer color and fall color performance. It still needs to be fed regularly for optimal growth performance. It’s a quick grower and has some small helicopters. A very clean tree when it comes to maples.
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.
Since it's been hot out, here are a couple more sun lovers that prefer at least 4 hours of sunlight a day.
The Asian Moon Butterfly Bush is a sterile butterfly bush that attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. It's blue lavender flowers start in July and bloom through September for a long show. It reaches 7 feet tall and wide, so it works well for a summer backdrop with perennials in front of it. Great for a pollinator garden as well.
The Sombrero Adobe Orange Coneflower has a bold color orange for spots that need to be lit. The orange color is striking on this compact coneflower with a height of 20 inches and a spread of 2 to 3 feet. It flowers throughout the summer and would work well with ornamental grasses, daylilies, daisies or other sun loving perennials. Easy to care for.
This week's featured plants are both sun lovers preferring at least 4 hours of sunlight a day to all day sun.
Kim's Knee High Coneflower is a dwarf coneflower that reaches 2 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide with a rich rose pink flowers that bloom mid to late summer. Attracts butterflies and bumble bees! Easy to care for and maintain.
Strawberry Sundae Hydrangea is a sun loving hydrangea that bloom white in July/August and when it cools down in Sepetember the blooms become strawberry ice cream pink, so don't be too hasty on pruning the old flowers off. This one is a compact grower that grows to 4 to 5 feet tall and wide.
Tie Dye Hibiscus is a sun loving, high blooming perennial that loves our hot weather. The hotter the better as far it's concerned. Tie Dye starts blooming in July and goes until the weather cools down. Again it needs at least 6 hours of sun preferably in the afternoon. It is a medium water user like a rose bush, but can be used as a bog plant on pond shelf. So if you have wet spot in full sun this is your plant. Reaches about 4 to 5 feet tall and wide.
Last Man Standing Daylily is a non yellow daylily that has large blooms in July. It likes full sun to partial shade. Last Man Standing gets 26 inches tall and about 3 feet wide. The color is outstanding with light and dark pink colors. It does re-bloom but it is a short season of July. Great to mix with lavender or catmint for a color contrast.
Lucifer Crocosmia is a multi interest plant with sword like foliage and red flowers. It always reminds me of a floral arrangement. They look great in mass or alone. Flowers from mid to late summer and prefers at least 6 hours of sunlight. Reaches 36 to 42 inches tall.
Whoops-a-daisy Daisy is a dwarf shasta daisy that flowers from early to mid summer with deadheading. It has a dense habit to give it more of a fuller appearance. Only reaches about 15 inches tall and like at least 6 hours of sun.
These two summer blooming "trees" love the sun and stay less than 12 feet tall, making them work were a tree look is needed without the size of a tree. I say "trees" because they are really shrubs trained into trees.
The first "tree" is the Phantom Hydrangea a vigorous growing tree that blooms heavy white cone shape flowers. It grows to 8 to 10 feet tall and wide. Phantom enjoys full sun to partial shade. Cold hardy to negative 30 degrees F, so it will weather our winters with no issue. Starts flowering in late June and July, then the flowers dry to a blush pink for a lasting effect.
The second "tree" or shrub is the Tahiti Rose of Sharon has a semi double lavender flower. I have a tree form in my yard since 2015 and it handled the hard winter very well. Rose of Sharons prefer heat, so plan to plant this in at least 6 hours of sunlight. You will enjoy the flowers from July to September. Reaches 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide.
E.H. Wilson Mimosa (Silk Tree) is one of the most cold hardy mimosas offered on the market. We have been happy with the variety for a number of years and we enjoy the dark pink blooms in the summer. E.H. Wilson reaches 30 feet tall and 30 feet wide. If prefers full sun. Fun characteristic is the leaves fold up when the plant is dry. It enjoys our hot summers but sometimes in harsh winters can take some damage. It gives a tropical look to the yard.
Glowing Embers Hydrangea is a shade loving Hydrangea that flowers in July. It is an old wood bloomer so it only blooms once but has a sharp dark pink color and large blooms. It reaches 3 to 5 feet tall and wide. Prefers to be shaded from noon to 5 pm. Glowing Embers doesn't need any soil pH adjustments in the Tri-Cities to keep it's color. This is one of my favorite Hydrangeas.
Midnight Raider Daylily is a reblooming bi-color daylily that reaches 30 inches tall with sturdy scapes to support the burgundy blooms. Does well in 4 or more hours of sun just like other daylilies. Daylilies can handle all sorts of soil conditions and exposures.
Fireworks Rodgersia is a shade perennial with cool foliage interest. It does have pink flowers in summer but I think it looks like a dinosaur plant. Reaches 3 feet tall and spreads 5 feet wide. Would work well with Hostas and Hydrangeas.
Drop Dead Red Rose is a floribunda rose (blooms in clusters) that blooms heavily true red blooms. It's glossy color compliments it's the flowers as well as it is very disease resistant. One of my favorite red roses. It grows to about 3 to 4 feet tall and wide.
This week's plants are all from the same species. They are all types of Bigleaf Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla). In our area they prefer afternoon shade from noon to 5 pm.
Peacock is a black stemmed variety that flowers on new and old wood. It boasts very large blooms on sturdy stems. It can very in color from pale pink to blue depending on soil pH. 3 to 6 feet tall and wide.
Fire Island is a compact Hydrangea that grows 3 by 3 feet tall and wide. It's multi tone pink blooms are gorgeous. It also repeat blooms through the summer.
Blushing Bride is a white re-blooming hydrangea that is great for moonlight gardens. It has large flowers and has a clean white color. Though if you acidify your soil it will have a blue tint to it. Grows to about 3 to 6 feet tall and wide.
Easy Spirit Rose is a floribunda rose that flowers very pretty cream white and is very disease resistant. I like the form of the flower and look forward to seeing these roses in a few years when they are fully loaded with flowers. It flowers in clusters May to Nov, reaching about 3 to 4 feet. Prefers at least six hours of sun and best if it gets more.
Hot Summer Coneflower is an orange colored coneflower that reaches 2 to 3 feet tall and wide. It likes hot and dry spots and flowers from June to August. Hot Summer needs at least 4 to 6 hours of sun, preferably in the afternoon. Pair with catmints, black eyed susans and day lilies.
Sea Breeze Fleabane is a coastal native that enjoys sunny spots, so it will like it here. It likes spots that get at least 4 to 6 hours of sun. Sea Breeze flowers from June into fall, taking a break in high temps. It's lavender pink blooms are stunning!
This week’s plant picks for June 8th. A tree, a shade lover and a heat lover.Read More
June is the best month to determine the light exposure (generally referred to as exposure) in your yard because it's has the longest days and the sun is at highest angle. By checking now you can better account for hot, sunny summer days that can wreak havoc on shade loving plants or help heat lovers thrive. It also a good idea to check your exposure every couple of years to account for tree growth or other changes.
Here are the steps to checking your exposure.
2. Name the different beds you want to track on the chart.
3. On a leisure day at home, check every hour or so, particularly in the afternoon and fill in the circle for that hour if the bed is shaded.
4. Once it's all filled out you can now research plants online or at the nursery. You are welcome to show our staff the chart and we can show plants as well.
5. Now plant your new landscape additions when you have time or best luck and watch them thrive.
Oak Leaf Hydrangea gets its name because the leaves on it look like an oak leaf. They reach 4 to 6 ft tall and wide. They enjoy sun but like a little shade around 3 to 4 pm. They flower white in June and the flowers age to pink over time. The fall colors are shades of red and is striking.
Rugged Charm Maple is a small tree that actually makes use of it’s helicopters. They turn red in June so it looks like the tree is flowering! Rugged Charm grows to 20 to 25 feet tall and about 20 feet wide. Works great for small spaces or yards. Handles full sun and wind with no issues. Fall color is orange red.
Parade Day Rose is a new variety for 2018. It's a fuchsia and white striped rose with a strong citrus fragrance. I like the form and color blend. It's found in our Hybrid Tea section but it's really a grandiflora which can bloom one flower per stem or in clusters and reaches 5 to 6 feet tall and wide. Roses prefer full sun and good airflow.
Cheyenne Privet is typically a hedge plant that responds well to pruning. It's deciduous with dark green leaves. What earns it's spot in the weekly highlights is the white fragrant flowers. The flower are lilac smelling and very strong. Privets enjoy both full sun to partial sun exposures. Can be used for privacy or a fragrant back drop. Reaches 12 to 15 feet tall and 10 feet wide.