Monthly Archives: June 2015

  1. Dividing Clematis

    Dividing Purple Clematis

    Dividing clematis is one form of propagation of the plant. Dividing clematis consists of taking one plant that has grown well, and dividing it at the roots into two or more plants. These plants can then be transplanted to different areas of the garden to spread beauty elsewhere. When dividing clematis plants, it is important to know what species the clematis is. Different clematis will bloom at different times, and thus division must be done at different times as well.  Dividing clematis at the wrong time will hinder new season growth, limit blooms and has the possibility of even killing the plant.

    Observation of the growth cycle for a few seasons is the best way to determine when division should occur.  The best time to divide clematis is just before new growth will appear, and after the plant emerges from dormancy.  When this time is reached, often in late February or March, the plant should be dug up and dirt should be cleared away from the root system.

    Many clematis plants are climbers, and will be stuck to a fence or other such medium. It is best to simply cut the plant off, leaving at least three to four good buds per stem.  Once the stems have been trimmed, the jumble of roots should be divided and each plant made should have an even amount of root.  Now, take the separate plants and transplant them into the garden wherever desired. Ensure that the plant will get lots of full sun and water.  It is best to plant the newly divided plants deeply into the soil, to give the weakened roots more protection from drought.

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  2. Growing Clematis

    Growing Clematis

    Growing a clematis vine is a fun and easy activity for any gardener. Clematis are relatively easy to care for, if the proper conditions are given. Most clematis require full sun near the top and cooler shade near the base. Clematis also need a good amount of water in the soil, and the level of water should be consistent throughout the growing season. The best thing to do when growing clematis is to mulch heavily near the base of the plant. This will allow the soil to maintain moisture and also provide shade for the root system.

    When growing clematis, the proper time and method of planting will make caring for the plant much easier. Clematis react to the different seasons of the year in much the same way as bulbs, meaning that whenever the ground is workable, clematis can be planted.

    When planting, first you want to dig a whole that is twice the diameter of the root ball and a few inches deeper than the height of the root ball.

    Make sure that you have a trellis or some sort of support that your clematis vine can climb up as it grows. Next you will want to place the root ball in the ground and make sure that you are covering about 2 inches of the base of the vine stock with dirt. This will help to avoid diseases that are common with clematis. Finally, you can lightly back fill the hole evenly making sure that the vine is on or going to grow towards the support or trellis.

    Now you can sit back and watch your vine climb and produce its beloved flowers. However, in mild regions, a planting of clematis in the fall will result in a more robust root system and an easier to manage plant the following growing season.

    Another important aspect of growing clematis is how and when to prune. Pruning clematis differently will result in different bloom times and quantities. Clematis should all be pruned in late February to March, removing any dead or weak stems. Care throughout the growing season will then differ depending on how and when the particular clematis blooms.

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  3. Transplanting Daylilies

    Transplanting Daylilies

    Oftentimes, a garden will become dense with plants that have grown into clumps and do not spread the way they used to. This is because many plants will not propagate great distances on their own. One way to thin out areas of the garden as well as spread plants further than they would naturally is through dividing and transplanting them. When dividing and transplanting daylilies, there are some basic steps to follow.

    First of all, the plant should be very dense and not thriving any more. When this is the case, dig up the plant ensuring that as little root damage is done as possible. When the plant has been removed from the ground, any excess soil should be gently removed. Next, using a sharp knife, the plants should be cut into equal sizes, ensuring that each plant has a sufficient root system.

    Red Daylily

    The next step is actually transplanting daylilies. When transplanting daylilies, it is important to make sure that the new location will provide for good growing conditions.The plants require a minimum of six hours of direct sunlight per day, although they will prefer full sunlight. When transplanting daylilies, dig a hole large enough for the entire root structure and then some. The plant should be given ample room to have its roots spread out.The roots should be spread out into the hole and dirt should be applied in small amounts and pressed down firmly, to avoid any air pockets. If, after transplanting daylilies, any air pockets remain in the soil, the plants will have trouble surviving.  After the transplanting daylilies step, water should be applied so that it reaches at least eight to ten inches under the surface of the soil.

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  4. How to Grow an Apple Tree

    Apples_on_tree

    Growing apple trees can be a fun and rewarding experience for the home gardener. Growing apple trees is a relatively easy process, and yields delicious fruit that can be enjoyed by everybody. There are, however, many factors to consider before attempting to grow apple trees in the garden. The first consideration when growing apple trees is what size tree is desired. Apple trees come mainly as a scion, or top portion, grafted ontoapple tree a rootstock. The type of rootstock used will help determine the eventual size the tree will grow to. Some rootstocks will produce a full sized tree, while others will dwarf the tree and make it grow smaller. Growing apple trees that are dwarfed is more common in the home garden.

    A second consideration before growing apple trees is that nearly all apple trees do not self-pollinate. This means that to grow apple trees that bear fruit, more than one tree needs to be planted. The two or more trees used should also be of different species with similar bloom times. This will provide healthier and more abundant fruit. Some varieties of apple tree will pollinate better than others, and selection should take this into consideration.

    Apple trees will tolerate a wide range of soils, so long as water and nutrients are not limited and the pH level is adequate. The soil used for growing apple trees should be well draining, as standing water in the roots can kill the trees.The location should also be in a higher level, as cold air in the spring will settle in lower areas and possibly damage the tree.

    Apple trees will usually begin to bear fruit in the forth or fifth year. Most varieties of apple trees require a good wind block, as the fruit will get blown off before maturity. Many varieties of apple tree will require 130 to 150 frost free days per year in order to grow properly and bear fruit. The fruit of an apple tree will reach maturity at differing times, depending on variety and climate. There is no specific date at which to expect to harvest ripe apples. Observation alone is generally the key to discerning a ripe apple tree. The apples should come off easily with no tearing, and the flesh should be yellow or white. The skin will change from its original color to one that is generally darker. Once the apples look mature, the only way to find out is to take a bite. Mature fruit from an apple tree will be crisp, juicy, and delicious.

    Apple Trees for Sale

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  5. Planting Apple Trees

    Planting a new apple tree

    Planting apple trees in a home garden will allow for delicious fruit that everybody can enjoy. Planting apple trees does not differ much from planting other types of trees, but there are some special things to consider when planting these fruit trees. The location should have soil that is well drained, since standing water will easily kill the trees. The location should also have good air drainage, keeping low-lying cold air in the spring away from the tree. Apple trees should be planted in November, if possible. They can also be planted up to the end of march. The location used for planting apple trees should also provide for full sun access. If planting apple trees in a lawn, the grass should be removed from the planting area in a four-foot diameter circle, to prevent the grass from competing with the young tree for nutrients and water.

    Once the site is selected, the first step in planting apple trees is to dig the hole. The hole should be approximately twice the diameter of the root system, and two feet deep. The soil should also be loosened up around the border to allow the roots to break through more easily. The roots should be spread out on the loose soil, ensuring that they are not twisted or crowded. Soil should be placed around the roots and pressed down firmly, to remove any air pockets.

    When planting apple trees, it is important to ensure that the location of the graft is at least two inches above the soil. This will ensure that no roots will grow out of the scion. When finished planting apple trees in the garden, watering will remove any extra air pockets in the soil. A newly planted apple tree may need to be supported with a stake until the roots can take hold. Mulch should also be applied around the base of the apple tree to help retain moisture during the first growing period.

    Apple Trees for Sale

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  6. Pruning Cherry Trees

    dead cherry tree branch

    One of the primary problems faced by gardeners when growing cherry trees is that they do not understand how to prune a cherry tree properly.  Pruning cherry trees plays an important role in ensuring proper growth and fruit production. Before growing one, any gardener must fully understand how to prune a cherry tree properly.

    Before understanding how to prune a cherry tree, it is important to know how cherry trees grow. Cherry trees are central leader trees.  This means that there is one main upright trunk, called the leader. All branches will sprout and grow out of this.

    A properly pruned cherry tree should have a scaffold shape. This means that there are branches circling the tree, perpendicular to the leader, and there should be an area of about two feet between the levels to allow for light to reach the lower leaves and fruit.  Pruning cherry trees should be done in the late winter, encouraging the plant to grow more during the growing season.  The first level of branches should begin between twenty-four to thirty-six inches above the surface of the soil. The branches growing out of the central leader should be either weighted down or tied loosely to string to promote outward growth as opposed to vertical growth.

    cherry blossom

    The outward growing branches will produce more fruit and grow less vigorously.  Pruning cherry trees during the summer will inhibit growth, and should be done once the desired size has been reached.  Pruning cherry trees too early in the winter may make the tree vulnerable to bacterial infections.    

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  7. Apple Varieties

    Apple_pie

    Apple varieties are sometimes divided into three categories.

    The first,  and largest category, are those apples bred for fresh eating.

    The next category is the cooking apple, and finally the cider apples. Cider apples are typically too tart for fresh eating but they give cider a rich taste that dessert apples, such as a Golden Delicious apple, cannot.

    Apples are mostly bred for skin color, long storage capacity, high yields, disease resistance, and taste. Examples of red skinned apples are Red Delicious, Akane, Cortland, Mollies, and the Spartan. Golden or yellow skinned examples are Golden Delicious, Yellow Newton Pippen, Yellow Transparent, Mutsu, Calville Blanc, and Granny Smith. Striped or multi-colored apple examples are Braeburn, Cox Orange Pippin, Gravenstein, and Honeycrisp.

    The color of the apple's skin does not determine whether it is sweet, tart, crisp or soft. Apples vary in tastes, textures, and some have very subtle variances.

    Apple Trees for Sale

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  8. Planting Cherry Trees

    Planting Cherry Trees

    Planting cherry trees in a home garden will allow for delicious fruit that everybody can enjoy. Planting cherry trees does not differ much from planting other types of trees, but there are some special things to consider when planting these fruit trees. One is that they are typically not self-pollinating, meaning that only one tree in the garden will generally not be able to produce much fruit. Planting two or more different species with similar bloom times is a good idea.

    The location should have soil that is well drained, since standing water will easily kill the trees.  The location should also have good air drainage, keeping low-lying cold air in the spring away from the tree. The location used for planting cherry trees should also provide for full sun access.  If planting cherry trees in a lawn, the grass should be removed from the planting area in a four-foot diameter circle, to prevent the grass from competing with the young tree for nutrients and water.

    Once the site is selected, the first step in planting cherry trees is to dig the hole. The hole should be approximately twice the diameter of the root system, and two feet deep.  The soil should also be loosened up around the border to allow the roots to break through more easily. The roots should be spread out on the loose soil, ensuring that they are not twisted or crowded. Soil should be placed around the roots and pressed down firmly, to remove any air pockets.  

    When planting cherry trees, it is important to ensure that the location of the graft is at least two inches above the soil. This will ensure that no roots will grow out of the scion. When finished planting cherry trees in the garden, watering will remove any extra air pockets in the soil. A newly planted cherry tree may need to be supported with a stake until the roots can take hold.

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  9. Dwarf Apple Trees

    Assorted_Red_and_Green_Apples_2120px

    Dwarf apple trees have many advantages to standard sized apple trees.

    First of all, dwarf apple trees are smaller. This means that they take up less room in a garden. The reduced size of a dwarf apple tree makes it easier to prune, spray and harvest fruit.

    Additionally, dwarf apple trees will produce fruit earlier than standard apple trees, often only three years after being planted, as opposed to as many as ten years. There are generally two ways to create a dwarf apple tree. One way is to specially breed them smaller. This is very hard to do and may take hundreds of years. A faster, and much more common way is to graft the tree onto a rootstock that has been selected for its dwarfing characteristics.There are several different types of rootstock, and each works best with specific trees.

    Dwarf apple trees often require much less care than full sized apple trees. The rootstock chosen for the dwarf apple tree will often be much hardier than the original root system of the tree. Also, the smaller stature of a dwarf apple tree will mean that less pruning needs to be done, and the tree will require less spraying.

    Less tree to care for means less work to do. Just about every breed of apple tree can be dwarfed. The type of the dwarf apple tree depends on the variety grafted, while the size depends on the rootstock used. Some rootstock will dwarf apple trees more than others. It is important to select not only the breed of tree desired, but also the size. A dwarf apple tree will grow better in a home garden than will a full sized apple tree.

    Dwarf Apple Trees for Sale

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  10. Clematis Pruning

    Pruning Clemantis

    Clematis Plant pruning is the most important factor when considering how and when a clematis will bloom. Pruning clematis improperly will never kill the plant, however it will likely delay the bloom. Not pruning the plant at all will allow the plant to bloom, but proper pruning will cause more and longer blooms. All clematis should be cut back the first early spring after planting. After this, the time and amount of pruning depends on the type of clematis being grown.

    Pruning clematis that flower only on the previous year's growth should consist primarily of waiting until blooming is finished in May or June.  At this time, any weak or dead stems should be cut out.  When pruning clematis of this type later than June or pruning too much, will severely limit the amount of blooming in the following year. Clematis pruning of the second group, consisting of varieties that bloom on hardened wood from the previous season and varieties that bloom on both current and previous year's growth, begins in early spring with a light pruning.  When pruning, variations in stem length will produce a better-balanced plant.  Any weak or dead wood should be removed at this time as well. Pruning clematis that bloom only on the current years growth involves the plant being cut back in late February to two strong sets of buds close to the ground on each stem.  This will result in plants that begin a bloom near the base, and have flowers sporadically up the height of the entire plant.

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