Archive | March 2014


WEED OUT “WEED” TREES AND SHRUBS – “Weed” trees and shrubs are often a serious menace to shrub plantings. Among them are seedling elm, hackberry, plum, and ligustrum. These often grow unnoticed until they have crowded valuable shrubs. Pull or dig such from all plantings.

CARE OF BALLED-AND-BURLAPPED PLANTS AFTER PURCHASE. When transplanting balled-and-burlapped plants, lift by the ball of soil – don’t use the trunk or stems as a handle because the soil will break away from the roots. Balled plants should be kept watered to prevent drying out during the period before it is planted. If it cannot be planted immediately, it is good to “heel in” plants in a temporary location. “Heeling in” is when you dig a trench, lay the plants at 45 degree angle and place soil over root ball. This provides a more even soil moisture as well as preventing the root system from freezing during the periods of low temperatures.

SPRING FLOWERING BULBS – Reminder – if you have not planted those spring flowering bulbs, better get at it, and always plant quality bulbs. Pansy plants set among bulbs will produce a fine effect, and won’t harm the bulbs a bit.

TREAT HOLIDAY GREENS – Anti-desiccants, used to prevent cold damage to shrubs, also are useful in preventing the quick-drying of cut greens used in Christmas decorations. Any greens that are not used with their stems in water (such as wreaths, garlands, swags) will last longer if they are sprayed with one of the anti-desiccants like Wilt-Pruf.

LATE FALL WATERING OF EVERGREENS – Only a short time need be spent in preparing deciduous and evergreen plants to withstand winter damage. They havoc reaped from frozen ground, winter winds, and burning sun, can be your greatest problem in preventing a healthy and trouble-free landscape next year. Plants are winter-killed or damaged due to a lack of water at the root level. Dead plants in early spring are obvious symptoms of winter injury. Winter sun and wind often cause brown leaves or large dead areas in evergreens such as junipers and yews, as well as rhododendrons and other broad-leaved evergreens. Evergreens should be well-watered before the ground has frozen. This helps them withstand the undesirable growing conditions of drought and water shortages during winter months.

CLEAN BIRD FEEDERS monthly with hot sudsy water to prevent the spread of wild bird diseases.

BUY YOUR CHRISTMAS TREE EARLY! – By following these suggestions, you can reduce the risk of a fire hazard in the home:

  1. Keep the tree in a shady location outdoors or in an unheated room.
  2. Re-cut the butt of the tree making a diagonal cut at a 45 degree angle.
  3. Place the butt in a container of water and maintain the water level until bringing indoors for decorating. While indoors, keep watered at all times.

CONSIDER GIVING a good gardening book or accessory as a Christmas gift! Or make ornaments out of pinecones, sweet gum balls, crape myrtle seed pods.

MAKE PAPER diagram of vegetable garden.

AS CHRYSANTHEMUMS die back, prune to ground level.

MULCH STRAWBERRY BEDS for winter protection.


– The city pickup will chip up the trees

– Use boughs to protect tender plants/mulch with branches

– Use the trees for a bird feeding station

– The trunks can serve as garden stakes for tomatoes or for a child’s trellis for beans or “pea tree”