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  1. Selection Guide Low Chill Fruit Trees for Zones 9 and 10

    Grow your own healthy fruit

    The demand for locally grown fruit is red hot these days. It seems like everyone wants to enjoy the incredible taste, health benefits and experience of growing their favorite varieties. After all, there is nothing so satisfying as eating a piece of homegrown fruit, still warm from the sun.

    Modern plant hybridizers have been inspired to create new varieties. Growers are likewise searching to revisit older varieties that might be more widely adaptable.

    Here is a rundown of some of the best varieties. But first, let’s talk about what “Low Chill Hours” is and what they mean for your garden.

    Chill Requirements Definition

    In simple terms, chill requirements are the approximant number of cold hours (below 40 degrees and above 32) that accumulate between the start of fall and late January. There are a numbe

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  2. Don’t Stress Your Plant With Bad Air Circulation

    Some plants need plenty of good air circulation for health. Fresh air will help prevent the growth of certain fungus, bacteria and molds. 

    Planting sites with poor air circulation can introduce disease issues and stress your plants. Stressed plants can attract insect problems, as well. Growing conditions make a big difference in the health of your plants.

    Never fear! Read on for #ProPlantTips on how to improve air circulation for plants from the Nature Hills horticulturist team.

    How To Site Your Plant Correctly

    Please, don’t slam your plants right up against the house, other structures, or next to other plants.

    Study the mature size when selecting your plants. Get out there and measure to determine the right number of plants for the area you are planting. 

    Install plants far enough apart to accommodate the size of the plant a

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  3. How To Use Accent Plants In A Landscape Plan

    Gorgeous Accent Plants from Nature Hills

    When it comes to curb and garden appeal, you can’t go wrong with an accent plant. These stand-alone or small grouping of plants are meant to draw the eye and provide a focal point in your garden. Adding accent plants to your yard is a great way to enhance visual appeal and make a lasting impression.

    What is an Accent Plant?

    As the name indicates, an accent plant is a shrub or tree with interesting characteristics that is placed to highlight your yard or garden. These are showstopper plants that offer some serious “wow” factor, from showy flowers, to bright fall foliage and unique form. 

    Benefits of Accent Plants

    There are many reasons to incorporate accent plants into your landscape. Consider this:

    • Visual impact. Accent plants help break up areas of repetitive textu
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  4. #ProPlantTips for Fall and Winter Planting

    Find out why fall and winter planting is so good for plants

    One of the best kept secrets of gardening is fall and winter planting. Take advantage of an “old farmer’s trick” and get your plants in the ground at the end of the season.

    Why does fall and winter planting work so well?

    The combination of warmer soil and colder air forces your plant to focus only on producing new roots in the fall and winter, which gives your plants a jump start on spring. Your new plant won’t make flower buds, flowers or seeds if it’s planted late in the season.

    Growing those critical roots helps your new plant get itself established in your landscape. And that is just what you want!

    Planting in fall t

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  5. Top 20 "Thriller" Plants for Fall and Winter Container Gardens

    Shop Nature Hills for fall and winter container plants

    Here are the Top 20 “Thriller” plants to adorn your front entrance this fall. Decorate them for the holiday season and enjoy them all winter long!

    20 Castle Wall Blue Holly Pyramidal Topiary Zones 5 - 7
    19 Castle Wall® Blue Holly Zones 5 - 7
    18 Soft Serve® False Cypress Zones 5 - 7
    17 Green Mountain Boxwood Zones 5 - 8
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  6. Install a Rain Garden to Improve Water Quality

    Put plants to work in a Rain Garden

    If you have trouble with water runoff damaging your garden, or you just want to do your part to protect your local rivers, then you'll want to explore creating a rain garden.

    Rain gardens are a beautiful and practical way to control storm water runoff. They are simply a garden planted in a depression at the base of a slope that collects and holds rainwater, allowing it to slowly seep into the ground, rather than flow into roads and waterways. These are not ponds or even swampy areas. In fact, a well-made rain garden is designed to drain excess water in less than two days (which is good news if mosquitoes are a problem).

    They are so effective, and so beneficial for stormwater management and improving water quality, that some homes can earn tax breaks for creating one.

    Benefits of Rain Gardens

    The primary benefit is its ability

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  7. How To Design A Marvelous Shade Garden

    Create a marvelous shade garden with help from Nature Hills

    If your landscape has mature shade trees, faces north, or only receives direct sun a few hours a day, you're on the right blog post! Read on to discover how to design the perfect shade garden and fall in love with your low-light backyard again.

    Think shade gardens are colorless and boring? Think again! A carefully planned full shade garden can be just as interesting as a sunny garden, with the added benefit of being enjoyably cool during warm summer days.

    Garden design for shady spots can vary quite a bit, depending on the type of shade you have. You'll also need to understand the micro-climates found in your yard.

    Types of Shade

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  8. #ProPlantTips For Low Maintenance Landscaping

    Plant a low maintenance garden with help from Nature Hills

    Many of us struggle to grow a beautiful (but high maintenance) garden. Between work, family and other responsibilities, it’s simply hard to find the time.

    Rather than let your garden fall by the wayside, consider making some small changes to save you time and hassle in the long run. Use these low maintenance landscaping tips, so you can spend more time enjoying your garden, and less time maintaining it.

    Low Maintenance Landscaping Tips & Strategies

    Use mulch

    Mulch is a must-have for a successful, low maintenance garden. It looks great, and gives garden beds a nice, finished look, but it does so much more:

    • Mulch helps prevent weeds
    • Mulch acts like a blanket, insulating plants from extreme heat and cold
    • Mulch keeps moisture i
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  9. Create Beautifully Useful Pollinator Gardens

    Nature Hills Pollinator Gardens

    Happy Pollinator Week!

    It’s Pollinator Week, so we have put together a special plant collection of wonderful pollinator-friendly natives and nativars for you. Our horticultural team is  always on the hunt for plants that provide food and shelter for these critical insects and animals.  

    If you’ve heard the buzz about declining bee populations, you probably want more information on easy ways you can help. At Nature Hills, we love plants of all shapes and sizes, but flowering and fruiting plants hold a very special place in our hearts.

    To help celebrate National Pollinator Week, we’ve also put this informative article together for you. In it, you’ll find some easy ways you can improve habitat by creating gardens and landscapes that in

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  10. How to Prune and Train Espalier Fruit Trees

    Tips to Prune and Train Espalier Fruit Trees

    It's fun to grow healthy homegrown fruit on a sturdy trellis. The ancient technique called Espalier allows for a full harvest in a small space planting.

    Espalier is now being done on Apples, Apricots, Citrus, Cherries, Figs, Nectarines Pears, Peaches, Persimmons, Pomegranate and Plums. There are few varieties of fruit that cannot be trained to grow flat. Citrus is ideal for espalier.

    Watch as our High Density Backyard Orchard Culture Expert, Ed Laivo, walks you through the steps to prune and train a young pear tree growing as an espalier on a sturdy trellis.

    You'll learn how far to trim back, how to tie down limbs to direct growth. You'll also see what kind of tools are required

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