Archive for February, 2015

Fairy Wings (Epimediums) Carefree Shady Groundcovers

Fairy wings, aka barrenwort (Epimedium spp.) thrive in shady spots. Fairy wings continue to be a plant collector’s dream. There are over 70 cultivars to choose and new hybrid selections coming along every year. No two cultivars are alike in flowering, foliage size and color. Species will vary from 6 to 20 inches in height […]

Pest Alert: Japanese Maple Scale Becoming A Serious Problem

  Japanese maple scale is a new pest in Tennessee and surrounding states. It infests many more plant species than just Japanese maple. The insect’s small size and ability to blend in naturally with tree bark makes it challenging to detect until populations are high and it has infested large landscape and neighborhoods. Japanese maple scale […]

YoYo Winter Temperatures– Expect Flower Losses On BigleafHydrangeas

              In the Southeastern U.S. region, wildly fluctuating temperatures this winter will likely destroy or delay spring and summer blooming on bigleaf (mophead) hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) (USDA hardiness zones 6 – 9). Other hydrangea species, such as smooth hydrangea (H. arborescens), panicle hydrangea (H. paniculata), and oakleaf hydrangeas, should not be affected. Bigleaf hydrangeas are […]

Getting Your Greenhouse Ready For Spring

  Before starting new spring vegetable and flower plants, first take some time to make sure that the greenhouse is clean. Follow these three basic rules: #1 – Repair or replace rotten or decayed wooden structural beams or posts, including benches. Be certain that water does not puddle on floors causing disease and insect breeding areas, mold, […]

Versatile Corona Lopper/Hand Pruners

              When stepping out in my garden, a pair of hand pruners (shears) is the first tool in my pocket or belt pouch. A good pair of pruning shears is indispensable for snipping off old spent flowers and growth from perennials such as hostas, daylilies,  peonies, et al; shrubs […]

Growing Zone 6 Hardy Camellias 101

              Drs. William L. Ackerman with the USDA (deceased) developed bred a series of interspecific crosses between C. oleifera and C. sasanqua, C. hiemalis, or C. vernalis selections. Many, not all, are identified as the Winter series because they bloom in the fall into very early winter. Dr. Clifford […]

Bergenias (Pigsqueak) Gaining More Respect

  Heart-leaved bergenia (Bergenia cordifolia) is a clump-forming perennial indigenous to Russia (USDA hardiness zones 3-9). It has been coined the name “pig squeak” because of the noise produced by rubbing a leaf between your thumb and finger. Bergenias are planted most effectively enmasse as a ground cover. They spread slowly by rhizomes and tends to seed-in […]

Support Tomato Plants

University research demonstrates that yields are lower for staked tomatoes. Staking tomatoes is not absolutely necessary, but harvesting tomatoes on the ground becomes more difficult. Dirt and disease blemishes on fruits laying on the ground necessitate grading, cleaning, and disposing of culls. Most tall growing indeterminate varieties are best supported off the ground in some manner to prevent […]

‘Biokova’ Cranesbill Dependable Year-Round Ground Cover

Biokova is not a new geranium, aka cranesbill (Geranium x cantebrigiense ‘Biokova’). Its exceptional landscape performance has earned the 2015 Perennial Plant of the Year designation. Cranesbills are highly dependable perennial ground cover for partial sun to partial shade landscape sites (USDA hardiness zones 5-8). Among the better choices of cranesbills, ‘Biokova’ has proven exceptionally reliable here […]

Positive Facts About Tree Of Heaven

Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is a hated tree and tagged noxious and invasive across the U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8). This aggressive species is indigenous to China and seems almost without limits as to where it takes root across the U.S. It has numerous nicknames, including “trash can tree”. It is the […]