Archive for September, 2013

DOs and DON’Ts Checklist Before Purchasing Plants

When shopping at the garden center don’t bring home problem plants. “Plants On Sale” should raise a caution flag. Thoroughly inspect all sale plants. They may have been sitting many months with the pots now full of weeds, diseases, or pest problems. They become tightly potbound and roots will need to be teased apart prior […]

Tropical Flowering Maple

(Abutilon spp.), often called Chinese lantern or Chinese parasol plant, is a tropical houseplant (USDA hardiness zones 8-10). It offers pendant umbrella-shaped flowers along with handsome rich green five-lobed maple-like foliage. Some variegated leaf forms are available. Leaf petioles are long. Utilize as a tropical foliage plant in the garden or a container. The brightly […]

Why Some Crapemyrtles Do Not Flower

There are several probable reasons why your crape myrtle did not flower this summer. The two leading reasons are lack of adequate daily sunlight and planting depth. Crape myrtles should be planted in full sun. They don’t flower well in locations receiving less than 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. If the leaves are […]

Beautyberry Deservedly Becoming More Popular

The stunning purple berries of beautyberry (Callicarpa spp.) are eye-catching in late summer. White fruited varieties are also sold, but the purple forms are most popular. This 6-8 foot shrub has medium green, 3-5 inch long foliage spring thru summer. Autumn leaf color adds little, the deciduous leaves turning purple to pale yellow, shriveling, and abcising. The purple fruit clusters are electifying, perhaps […]

Better Blackberry Varieties Available

Growing Blackberries Blackberries (Rubus spp.) are among the easiest fruit crops to grow in the Southern Appalachian region (USDA hardiness zones 5 and 7), but are not as hardy as raspberries. A blackberry planting has a productive life between 8-10 years. A sturdy trellis system, composed of strong posts and wire, will make harvest chores […]

‘Guacamole’ Hosta An Outstanding Garden Performer

Guacamole (Hosta plantaginea ‘Guacamole’) is rated one of the top performing hostas in the Northeast and mid-South U.S. gardens. Guacamole is a hybrid and one of its parents is H. plantaginea ‘Fragrant Bouquet’. In 2002 it was selected Hosta of the Year by the American Hosta Society. Guacamole is a medium-sized hosta. It matches its […]

Aster ‘Raydon’s Favorite’ Is Spectacular Autumn Bloomer

Aster Raydon’s Favorite (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium ‘Raydon’s Favorite’) is one of our most reliable native perennial asters. This aromatic aster blooms in mid-autumn, covered with 1 ½ inch wide blue-purple daisy-like flowers with yellow centers. Butterflies and bumble bees are frequent visitors to this aster in my October garden. Night temps in the mid-twenties don’t injure […]

Heirloom Mums Are Back!

Bring back heirloom or “old-fashioned” mum varieties into your autumn garden! These varieties tend to bloom very late in the fall and tend to be hardier (USDA hardiness zone 5). Four of the best heirlooms are: ‘Clara Curtis’ – deep pink, daisy-like blooms ‘Mary Stoker’- peachy yellow blooms ‘Sheffield’ (aka ‘Sheffield Pink’) – light pink […]

Fall Is Great Time To Renovate Your Lawn

Is your lawn nothing but bare spots, thatch, and weeds? Late summer and fall is an ideal period to reduce thatch build-up and repair dead lawn areas. Thatch is composed of old grass clippings, e.g. leaf and stem debris not decomposed. By aerating the soil and removing thatch, you will improve soil water absorption and […]

Seeds One Year…Weeds For Eight Years

Most weed invasions happen when you let the weeds get past you. If you don’t let them flower, they won’t reproduce (seed-in). Frequent mowing or a sharp machete may delay their ability to flower and seed. This is only a temporary solution. Some weeds flower and seed below the mower’s cut. Examples are common lawn […]