Archive for August, 2010

Potential Epidemic In Your Car Trunk Or Camper?

Photo: walnut twig beetle infestation Tennessee Department of Agriculture (TDA) officials urge state residents and visitors to the state to help prevent the spread of Thousand Cankers Disease in black walnut (Juglans nigra)trees and Emerald Ash Borer in ash species (Fraxinus spp.). Take the following steps:  Don’t transport firewood, even within Tennessee. Don’t bring […]

Fall Apple and Pear Harvest

Apples and pears are plentiful in home orchards this fall. Several late apples such as Winesap, Rome, Fuji and Granny Smith are harvested this month. Pears do not ripen on the tree, so late varieties should be pulled from the tree when outdoor temperatures under 25 degrees F are predicted. Apples can be stored for […]

Compost Yard Wastes into Black Gold

Leaf raking is a major chore this month. I’m still a bit old fashioned and rake by hand. Most modern folks have switched to leaf blowers, but protect those ears with plugs or headphones. Compost is called “black gold” and is created from garden trash that the intelligent gardener collects, a natural process of enriching […]

Mulching- Not Always a Good Practice

A generation of gardeners have extolled the benefits of mulching around trees and flower beds. Sometimes, mulching is not a good practice. Often, a heavy clay soil retains too much moisture over the winter months. Some dryland perennials, such as cheddar pinks (dianthus), euphorbia, and delospermum, prefer dry to moderately wet winter soils. Amending with […]

Zones 6 Winter Hardy Encore Azaleas™

‘Autumn Ruby’ Encore azalea in April 2009 Photo credit: Dr. Alan Windham, Extension Plant Pathologist, University of Tennessee Encore Azaleas™ bloom twice: in the spring and from late summer into the fall season.Ten varieties consistently exhibited cold hardiness throughout zones 6-a and 6-b: Autumn Amethyst, Autumn Carnation, Autumn Cheer, Autumn Lilac, Autumn Royalty, Autumn Ruby, […]

Chinese (Kousa) Dogwood Doesn’t Like Extreme Heat

photo: leaf curl on kousa dogwoodNever forget the adage: “the right plant in the right location”. In USDA hardiness zone 7 and warmer parts of zone 6-b, Chinese dogwood (Cornus kousa) does not cope with excessive summer heat well. A typical stress response is leaf curling. On more stressful droughty sites, leaf margins and centers […]

‘Dee Runk’ is Best Upright Boxwood

Looking for the best upright boxwood for your garden or landscape? According to wholesale boxwood growers, Saunders Brothers Nursery in Roanoke, VA and Weigel Farms near Greensboro, NC, the best is ‘Dee Runk’ (pictured). Over the past quarter century, the boxwood cultivar ‘Graham Blandy’ had been the standard bearer, but commercial landscapers have increasingly complained […]

Intensia® Phlox Stand Up to Summer Heat

Photo: ‘Intensia Lilac Rose’The Intensia® Phlox series are the result of a cross between P. drummondii and a southwestern U.S. phlox species. Growth is low and cascading which makes this annual phlox ideal for planting in the front garden border. Equally, Intensia® Phlox excel in mixed containers, window boxes, and hanging baskets. Intensia® phlox grow […]

Pruning Big Leaf Hydrangeas

photo credit: Dr. Ken Tilt, Auburn University When mophead and lacecap hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) get too tall, leggy, or have outgrown their garden space, prune them now from mid-July thru mid-August. Our native oakleaf hydrangeas (H. quercifolia) are pruned at this time as well. Remove withered or faded flowers; some new flowers may replace those […]

A Perfect Year for Hortensia Hydrangeas

2010 has been an exceptional year for big leaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla), also called “hortensia” hydrangeas. Consecutive year blooming rarely occurs here in the southern Appalachian region (USDA zones 6 and 7). ‘Nikko Blue” hydrangea, which has not bloomed for over 15 years, has been beautiful in my garden this summer. Why have big leaf […]