Archive for April, 2010

New Blueberry Planting Require One Year Soil Prep

Fresh blueberries a few more weeks away from harvest Blueberries are the easiest fruit crop to grow. Blueberries have few disease and insect problems. Birds become a significant problem as harvest time approaches, from mid-June through September. Blueberry culture is unique as the ideal soil pH range is 4.8 – 5.2. You should spend a […]

Keep Your Eye on Red Buckeye

Red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) is the perfect small tree for an urban landscape. This native tree/large shrub flowers young in a full or part sun location. Numerous 5- to 9- inch long flower panicles are positioned on the tips of branches as decorative red candles in late April and May here in the southern Appalachian […]

The Fear of Trees

Dendrophobia is the psychological fear of trees. At recent Earth Day gatherings we learn of the importance of trees in the environment. Most of us know that tree topping is bad, yet the practice continues. Large trees are butchered (not pruned) every year. Some tree topping stems from a “lemming mentality”, that is, “I did […]

Carolina All-Spice Sweetshrub Or Bubbybush

What’s in a name? Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) is one of our finest native shrubs. Its waxy, reddish brown flowers emit an enticing fruity fragrance. The 2″ wide flowers bloom starting in late April, and sporadically June through August. Many gardeners in the southern Appalachians (plant hardiness zone 6 -8) call it “bubbybush” or “sweet bubby”. […]

Try ‘Fireworks’ Gomphrena in Your Garden

‘Fireworks’ gomphrena was a sensation in the University of Tennessee Gardens at both the Knoxville and Jackson locations in 2009. Gomphrena (globe amaranth) is a great summer annual that asks for very little care. It is heat, humidity and drought tolerant. Gomphrena hold up to the wind, blooming from day of planting in May (after […]

The Best of the Coralbells- So Far!

Photo: Heuchera villosa natural purple leaved form The Heuchera x villosa coralbell revolution has been upon us for nearly a decade. Many new hybrid coralbells have been introduced. This southern Appalachian native coralbell exhibits exceptional heat, humidity and drought tolerance. You find hairy alumroot growing in dry shade and partially sunny areas. This is a […]

Spring Lawn Care Tips

April is time for a minor lawn renovation. All lawn chores should be completed before April 18th, here in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6a – 7a). If you are planning a major lawn renovation, hold off until September. Following a rough winter, fertilizing is a positive first step for rapid green recovery and […]

Eastern Tent Caterpillar (crabapple, cherry, peach)

photo credit: Dr. Frank Hale, Entomologist, University of TennesseeThe Eastern tent caterpillar is frequently the first insect that I receive calls about in the spring. Eggs overwinter on wild cherry trees and move on long silken treads to tasty landscape tree foliage nearby. Larvae and caterpillars consume lots of leafy matter over the next month. […]

Awesome Ornamental Peach

Photo is an 18- year old ornamental peach tree in Columbia, Tennessee. This tree blooms with 4 different colors bright pink, pink, peppermint, white each year. The tree is full of bloom and obviously well-pruned and cared for. It may have been a “5 in 1” grafted tree that the home gardener purchased years ago. […]

Winter Hardy Camellias

pictured: ‘April Remembered’ Growing camellias in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA zone 6-a) is no longer a dream. As many as 40 cultivars of winter hardy camellias to -15 °F are now available. Flower colors range from white, many shades from pink, and red. Hardy cultivars possess big bloom size, long flowering period (fall or […]