I think that it is safe to say that patience has paid off.
Mother Nature is rewarding us by replenishing new growth on most
shrubs and trees. I have noticed that several boxwoods in our
area are starting to produce new foliage
(photo) - a good thing considering they looked
so pathetic. Time, it has been known to heal all types of wounds
and we are getting to see this happen in our gardens. Friends
who live close by were concerned about their Japanese Maple but
just this week new foliage could be seen throughout the tree.
What a relief. There are still some plants that are trying to
recover from the freeze so give them another week or two just to
be safe. I am finding that some plants are bouncing back faster
than others. A couple of more weeks should do the trick and then
you will know for sure what is dead and what is alive, what to
prune back and what to get rid of.
It is raining again
today. A slow soaking rain, better than those torrential
downpours like we experienced last Wednesday evening. That was
some storm! We were out and about and
could not believe how fast the rain was coming down and how fast
the creeks were flooding. A pretty scary thing. I am not a fan
of fast moving water. It is bad for the gardens. It washes mulch
and soil away so keep torrential rains in mind when choosing
plants for specific locations, particularly those with a sloping
nature. More rain expected tomorrow and maybe some more on
Sunday. I am beginning to grow webbed feet :-)
Oh Say Can You
Savvygardeners all across the metro will be out this weekend
buying bedding plants, vegetable seedlings, and all manner of
transplants for the garden. Keep in mind that some plants
actually prefer to have their seeds sown directly in the garden.
vegetables these include: beans, beets, carrots, celery,
peas, squash, and turnips.
- Among flowers:
alyssum, aster, bachelor's button, cosmos, marigold, morning
glory, sunflower, sweet pea, and zinnia.
seeds, read the directions, watch them grow!
Ants In Your...
Not your pants, but your peonies! If you have peonies you no
doubt have noticed a proliferation of ants scurrying to and fro
across the flower buds. Those ants are the source of many "old
gardener's tales" that have been handed down over the ages.
Here's the deal: The ants are there because of the nectar-like
substance secreted by the peony. Chances are that the ants you
see on your peonies are already living in your garden - the
peonies just draw them out of the soil and make them more
visible. In other words, peonies are not increasing your local
ant population (which creepily number in the hundreds of
thousands or more). Some say that the ants actually help peonies
bloom. Most experts disagree but since they do no harm it's best
to just let them enjoy your peonies as much as you do.
Cutworms can be a real problem for gardeners setting out
transplants. Protect your newly
transplanted plants with collars. Simply cut strips of
cardboard 2 inches wide by 8 inches long and staple them into a
band. Place this collar around the plant stem and press it about
1 inch into the soil. Simple and very
It's that time of year
where outside is the only place to be.
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A Clip In Time...
The proper time to prune continues to vex many gardeners.
This time of year can get confusing because some shrubs are
flowering, some are done, and others are still getting ready.
Here's the deal:
flower in the spring are normally pruned immediately after
flowering. Examples of these types of plants include forsythia,
Vanhoutte spirea, flowering quince, lilac and mockorange. Though
pruning during the dormant season does not harm the health of the
plant, the flowering display will be reduced. Shrubs that bloom
on current season's growth or that do not produce ornamental
flowers are best pruned in late winter to early spring. Examples
include Rose-of-Sharon, Bumald Spirea and Japanese Spirea.
three basic methods used in pruning shrubs:
is used to thin out branches from a shrub that is too dense.
It is accomplished by removing most of the inward growing twigs
by either cutting them back to a larger branch or cutting them
back to just above an outward facing bud. On multi- stemmed
shrubs, the oldest canes may be completely removed.
back is removing the end of a branch by cutting it back
to a bud and is used for either reducing height or keeping a
shrub compact. Branches are not cut back to a uniform height
as this will result in a "witches-broom" effect.
the most severe type of pruning and is normally done during
the dormant season. It may be used on multi-stem
shrubs that have become too large with too many old branches
to justify saving the younger canes. All stems are cut
back to 3-5 inch stubs. This works well for spirea,
forsythia, pyracantha, ninebark, Russian almond, little leaf
mock orange, shrub roses and flowering quince.
Cankerworms, also known as inchworms are a common pest at
this time of year. There are actually two species of cankerworm:
spring cankerworm, Paleacrita vernata, and fall cankerworm,
Alsophilia pometeria. Though the common names may suggest
otherwise, larvae from both species appear in the spring.
"Spring" and "fall" refer to when the females lay their eggs.
feed on a wide variety of deciduous trees including oak, ash,
elm, linden and apple. Larvae vary from green to reddish-brown to
black and have one or more white, pale green, or black stripes.
Cankerworms are general defoliators and may skeletonize leaves.
Eventually, only the midribs of leaves remain.
can be detected by rapping on branches. This disturbs
cankerworms, which betray their presence by dropping down on
silken threads. If necessary, insecticidal treatments may be
applied. Labeled insecticides include permethrin (Bug Stop,
Bonide Eight, Kill-A-Bug II), carbaryl (Sevin) and cyfluthrin
(Bayer Lawn and Garden Multi-Insect Killer).
Getting Rid Of Girdles...
Remember to remove old stakes, ties, and labels from
your trees and shrubs.
Stems and trunks grow in diameter this
time of year and it is important to remove any constrictions
that exist around them.
Even a thin wire can
completely girdle a branch causing it
to eventually die. While it's true that
tree trunks may grow around wire, nails, or ties, they
will forever have a structural defect that may
be unsightly and is likely prone to storm damage.
Most of us are creatures of habit. When it comes to mowing your
lawn you probably follow the same back and forth pattern every
time you cut the grass. Unfortunately this regular practice will
eventually wear ruts in the lawn where the mower wheels
repeatedly follow the same path. To avoid this problem try a
four-way rotation of cutting patterns. Picture your lawn as a
sheet of paper and try these patterns. Next week - tango
Horizontal - left-to-right, turn, right-to-left across
Vertical - top-to-bottom, turn, bottom-to-top across
Diagonal 1 - bottom-left to top-right, turn, top-right
to bottom-left. Work toward corners.
Diagonal 2 - bottom-right to top-left, turn, top-left
to bottom-right. Work toward corners.
"The most noteworthy
thing about gardeners is that they are always optimistic, always
enterprising, and never satisfied. They always look forward to
doing better than they have ever done before."