Archive for October, 2014

The Last Mowing Of The Year

Within many garden circles, conventional wisdom says that you should mow lawns very close heading into winter. Mowing height should be adjusted by seasonal and current weather conditions. Mowing height also sets the shoot to root ratio of specific grass species. In cooler northern areas bluegrass and tall fescue are the lawn grasses of choice. In the mid-South (called the […]

Are Your Trees Hazardous?

                    Is a hazardous tree lurking in your yard, ready to fall on your house or car? Take a few minutes to inspect trees on your property. Peek over the fence at your neighbor’s trees as well. Some property owners have an unnatural fear of trees. Well-shaped landscape trees with […]

Rebuilding A Storm Damaged Young Tree

                An enormous 60 foot white pine toppled over several smaller trees. The aftermath was a severely damaged  3- year old sweetbay magnolia (Magnolia virginiana). Replacing the  3 1/2 inch diameter tree would have cost the homeowner over $300. My recommendation to the homeowner was to cut back the magnolia trunk to approximately 12 inches from the ground in […]

Prep Garden Soil In The Fall

  Often, spring arrives with too many gardening chores to handle. Some work can be shifted to the fall. Since a garden is only as good as its soil, fall is a good time to till your garden or to construct new beds. Add soil amendments such as deciduous leaves and pine needles which nature is providing for free. Till amendments […]

Evergreens For Wet Soggy Soils

  Most needle evergreens falter in moist soggy soils. These sites usually have a heavy clay or fine particle sand content. Some arborvitaes (Thuja spp.) and Atlantic white cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides) tolerate temporary wet soggy conditions better than most evergreens (USDA hardiness zones 3-8). An assortment of shapes, sizes and colors are available. All are U.S. […]

Bird’s Nest Spruce

Bird’s nest spruce (Picea abies ‘Nidiformis’) is a dwarf cultivar of Norway spruce and is native to northern Europe (USDA hardiness zones 3-7). This slow growing compact shrub will attain 4 feet in height and 5 to 6 feet spread over 15 – 20 years. The shrub grows in a round form with a distinctive […]

Growth Rates Of Four Privacy Screen Evergreens

  In a hurry to create a little privacy from neighbors, then add a tall evergreen privacy screen to your planting chores. Four most popular conifers are rated by annual growth rate. If you recall the children tale of “The Tortoise And The Hare”, fast does not mean best. Leyland cypress (x Cupressocyparis leylandii) (zones 6-9) has the fastest growth rate at 40-50 feet […]

Shrubs You Should Not Prune In Fall Season

Why would anyone prune spring flowering shrubs in the autumn season? After a long cold winter, why miss out on the delightful fragrance of lilac and viburnum flowers the following spring? Predicting how cold, warm, or dry the coming winter season is rarely possible. Pruning cuts are wounds and weather extremes may cause injury to […]

Storing Vegetables Outdoors Over The Winter

In early fall before killing frost arrives, harvest of fresh vegetables is central on gardeners’ minds. You might consider storing some (not all) vegetables outdoors to take advantage of frigid winter temperatures ahead. Limited refrigerator space in your kitchen is not taken up. Some root vegetables- namely beets, carrots, rutabagas and parsnips- are long keepers. […]

Planting Of Norway Maple Declining In U.S.

Norway maple (Acer platanoides) is a hardwood tree native throughout the of Europe and widely planted in the U.S. (USDA hardiness zones  4-7a). At maturity a tree reaches 40 to 50 feet in height (to 75 to 80 feet is not unusual) and 35 to 50 feet in width.  Its dense leafy canopy values it […]