Keys to Being a Good WatererMost plants die from incorrect watering. As a general rule, trees and shrubs need one inch of water per week throughout the growing season. Water if it feels dry; do not water if it feels moist or wet.
- Over-watering will kill a plant as quickly as under-watering.
- When you do water, make sure you water throughly and deeply.
- Plants don’t care if water comes as rain or irrigation water.
- Evergreens may need water during a dry or windy winter.
Winterize Your LawnTo best protect your trees and shrubs from the ravages of winter:
- Water evergreen and deciduous plants prior to our first freeze this fall.
- Water evergreens any time the soil is dry and the temperature is going below 32 degrees F.
- Mulch trees and shrubs with one inch organic mulch.
- Tender plants which don’t belong here can be covered by a sheet of plastic or bed linen. This material should be draped tent fashion over the tender plant any time the temperature drops below 25 degrees F. and removed anytime the temperature goes above 29 degrees F. Examples of these tender plants are: Raphiolepsis, Pittosporum, Gardenia and Loquat.
Container PlantsThe recent trend of downsizing is leaving a substantial number of our population with restricted garden areas. Container gardening is a possible solution to this problem.
Here are six basic points involved with container gardening:
- Containers – select a container of the correct size and shape.
- Soil mix – select an organic well-drained soil
- Watering – container plants need more frequent watering than in-ground plants
- Drainage – related to soil mix and the container must have a drainage hole.
- Feeding – fertilize regularly with house plant food during the growing season.
- Location – The roots in the container are sensitive to temperature extremes. Plants should be carefully located and selected for sites.
Spring ‘Tops in Perennials’Spring is the optimum time to plant perennials. The ones we sell are heavily rooted, fully developed plants which should produce heavy flowers in their first growing season. A few choices we recommend include: Stella d’Oro Daylily, ‘Moonbeam’ Coreopsis, ‘Goldstorm’ Rudbeckia, ‘Francee’ Hosta, Autumn Joy Sedum, Coronation Gold Yarrow, Butterfly Weed, Blackberry Lily, Blue Plumbago, Purple Cone Flower and Tall Beard Grass.
Southeast American MaplesThere are three native American maples which are heavily used in landscaping in the southeast.
- American Red Maple is a highly desirable lawn, shade and ornamental tree. It has small, showy, red flowers, good disease resistance, rapid growth and fantastic fall color.
- The Silver Maple is an overused lawn tree. It is very fast growing, but is disease-prone and weak wooded. We only recommend this tree to areas where a fast growing tree is needed that may only live 15-20 years.
- The Sugar Maple is a very desirable lawn, shade and ornamental tree. It is disease resistant and has a spectacular golden fall color.
When selecting a tree for a lawn or garden it is important to select one which will fit your site’s moisture, size and soil requirements.
Be A Successful PlanterTo plant trees and shrubs and have them grow and thrive just follow these simple rules:
- Select trees and shrubs which are suited for your lawn environment
- Buy only plants which are healthy and free of disease
- Don’t plant too deeply
- Mix in good soil
- Tamp and pack the soil around the root ball
- Water that plant…but beware: overwatering can kill as quickly as underwatering
- Stand back and watch your plant grow!
Exotic or Native Plants?The advantages of using native plants are they transplant well, live easily, need less care and last longer. Some native plants we use are river birch, willow oak, blackgum, redbud, dogwood, sumac, loblolly pine and bay, bald cypress and yellow poplar. Shrubs include mt. laurel, oak leaf hydrangea, native azaleas, deciduous holly and sumac. The Mid-South has many native species of ferns and wildflowers for shady gardens.
Each time Memphis is subjected to extreme weather conditions, it is the exotic plants that are killed or damaged. The best approach is to use plants that are well-suited for our area.
Wood AshesThis extra cold winter has enabled many of us to produce large amounts of wood ashes, which makes an excellent fertilizer. Mix the wood ash with fresh hardwood leaves in your compost pile and use the compost to mix with the soil when planting shrubs or trees. Just remember that wood ashes are high in calcium, phosporous and potassium, so do not apply the ashes to azaleas or other acid loving plants.