Archive for the ‘acidify soil’ Category

Changing Bigleaf Hydrangea Flower Color

                Bigleaf hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla), aka “hortensia” hydrangeas, bear pink flowers in low acidic and alkaline soil and blue flowers in mildly acidic soil. Some tips about regulating soil pH and flower color in bigleaf hydrangeas follows. First, a short review about soil pH. Soil pH measures soil […]

Growing Orchids Is A Great Hobby

              At one time growing orchids was an elitist hobby for the very rich in our society. Orchids were expensive to purchase. Today, local greenhouses and garden centers sell orchids at affordable prices. Moth (Phalaenopsis) and lady slipper orchids (Paphiopedilum) are the simplest to grow. Here are some easy tips to […]

What’s In Your Garden Soil

There are two basic rules in gardening: 1. the right plant in the right place, and 2. properly feeding the soil that nourishes the plants. Many problems in lawns and gardens can be avoided if the gardener knows what the fertility and pH of the soil is. What is soil pH? It is a measure of the soil acidity […]

Vanilla Strawberry™ Hydrangea

  Vanilla Strawberry™ hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata) is a new peegee hydrangea selection introduced from France and it is really catching on with U.S. gardeners (USDA hardiness zones 4-9). This exceptionally cold hardy hydrangea blooms from late June thru early September. Blooms are enormous and stand upright. Following a heavy summer shower, saturated floral trusses temporarily bow down under their sheer weight, but gradually recover. Flower color […]

All About Mulches

                Mulches aid in retaining soil moisture and reducing weeding chores. Over the years organically-based mulches gradually improve garden soils. Organic mulches are basically recycled bark, branches, twigs and leaves (including needles). Frequently they are organic by-products from the logging industry. Grass clippings and straw are also mulch sources. Hay is usually  full […]

Avoiding Crape Myrtle Hardiness Problems

Late summer (September 1st) is your deadline to plant crape myrtles (Lagerstroemia spp.) in USDA hardiness zone 6. Your primary objective should be to grow deep plant roots. Crape myrtles are classified as perennials in northerly areas of zone 6. In many years their woody branches die back after a cruel cold winter. The hardy […]

Four Old Fashioned Hostas Continue To Delight

During my annual summer travel to public gardens around the U.S., several clumps of old-timey hostas that were popular in the 1960’s and ’70’s caught my eye. These hosta beauties still own their garden place. Here are listed only four, but there are so many more. ‘Gold Standard’is an old-time favorite. In August multiple pink-lavender […]

Mexican Sycamore Thrives In Warm Wet Locales

Mexican Sycamore (Platanus mexicana) is a fast growing deciduous tree hardy in Northeast Mexico (USDA hardiness zones 7 -10) where it inhabits soils that are semi-arid and subject to periodic flooding. Summer leaves are medium-sized, only 8-inches wide. When leaves fall away in autumn its beautiful chalky white bark is a winter asset. The bark […]

Soil Sampling Is Good Insurance

Do you know what your soil needs to grow a great lawn, flower, or vegetable garden? If you haven’t analyzed the soil in the past five years, get it done in any season. Most gardeners do it in late winter when university, state, and private soil labs are busiest. The local Extension office or a […]

For Dry Sites Try Arizona Cypress

Arizona cypress (Cupressus glabra) is silvery blue needled medium-sized evergreen (USDA hardiness zones 6 to 9). This southwest U.S. native demands full sun and excels in droughty, infertile, and well-drained soils. Conversely, Arizona cypress does not tolerate shade, poor air circulation and flooded soil. Arizona cypress is mostly disease and pest free unless too crowded […]