Monthly Archives: November 2017

  1. Harvest Time for your Super Berries from the Aronia Plants

    Black Chokeberry plants are native to the upper Midwest and northeast states and into Canada.  There has been a lot of research and breeding going on with the Aronia plants commonly known as Black Chokeberry.  Maybe Chokeberry doesn’t sound so attractive, so some like to call them Black Appleberries. 

    See, the thing about these deep dark berries is that they help to eliminate inflammation in the body and the antioxidant levels are more than 340% higher than blueberries!  Holy cow!

    These deep dark fruits are so easy to grow on super hardy bushes that produce many pounds of fruit each year.  They beauty of Aronia berries is they all ripen at the same time so they can all be harvested now before they begin to shrivel.  They must be pulled from the bushes.  They look like Blueberries in size and similar in color. 

    A

    Read more »
  2. Fall Planting … Do It Now, Do It Right!

    Finally, … a bit of relief from the sweltering summer days perhaps.  We are ready to usher in the new fall season, how about you?  Cooler nights are welcome and give your ac bill a break too.  The shorter days reduce the amount of heat generated during the daytime. 

    Maybe it hasn’t cooled much where you live just yet, but soon it will be noticed.  Shorter days, cooler nights, and in many areas more frequent rainfall is a great benefit for your plants.  The fall season is a welcome season not only established plants, but for new plants that you can install right now!

    There is a whole underutilized season that you can all be taking advantage of.  It is the fall planting season.

    Fall planting works so well because the warm soils make new roots very quickly.  In the spring, the soils in the more northern areas where

    Read more »
  3. Fresh Greens, Radishes, Cilantro, and Garlic

    Cool fresh weather, and additional moisture is more common at this time of the year makes it a great time for one more crop.  It is also a great time to assess your garden to see which tomato, squash, bean or radish performed best for you this year.  Make a few notes for spring so you don’t forget which ones you would prefer growing. 

    Most people think gardening comes to an end now…but actually there is still some time to use up some of that left over seed from spring planting.  

    It is probably too late for beans or onions, but is a GREAT time to sow some salad greens like lettuces, mustard greens, beets for greens and radishes will all appreciate the nice warm soils and cooler temperatures of fall. 

    Something we have found works very well is Cilantro.  Direct seed some Cilantro and it will produce some of the nicest and most p

    Read more »
  4. Pine Needles Make Great Mulch

    Every year about this time we start getting phone calls from people who are concerned about their pine trees losing needles.  Pine trees are evergreens which means they do hold needles all year round  but that does not mean they hold the same needles year after year. 

    Here is a picture of an Eastern White Pine with classic fall needle color change.  White Pine is a good example because it may only hold the current year's new needles and shed two or three year old noodles as shown in the pictures. The newest needles are the ones that the tips of the branches and the oldest needles are the ones that were produced behind this year's growth.  Depending on the year pine trees may lose two and three year old needles all in a very short period of time.  It's a very normal shedding process and really no reason for concern as long as th

    Read more »
  5. My Rhododendrons Are Losing Leaves This Fall - Is This Normal?

    Rhododendrons and Azaleas, what is the difference anyway? 

    All Rhododendrons are evergreen which means that they will hold leaves all winter long.  Most Azaleas on the other hand (under the same Genus of Rhododendron) will lose their leaves at the end of the season.  The other difference is that true Rhododendrons have ten or more stamens, 2 per lobe and Azaleas have only five stamens – one per lobe and 5 lobes in a flower.  

    The above picture of a Rhododendron showing its nice red-purple fall color.  Notice the older leaves will color and drop even though it is an evergreen.  The newer leaves are at the tips of the branches and will be retained all winter long. 

    Azaleas typically have nice fall as well and many will lose their leaves later in the season.  Sometimes Azaleas in warmer climates hold their leaves.

    Read more »
  6. Caring For Rose Bushes

    Rose bushes produce some of the best formed flowers of the season as the temperatures cool.  Keep deadheading your roses to encourage more flowers right up until the end of the season.

    Some roses (like the hardy rugosa types) do produce attractive rose seeds called rose "hips".  These seeds form after the flower finishes and start out green, and turn orange and red and remain showy all winter long.  The hips can be cut and used for holiday and winter decoration later in the season.

    Do not fertilize your roses after July as you do not want to push new growth too late in the season.  No more fertilizer until spring.

    Also important to remember do not trim your rose bushes in the fall, but wait until spring for best results. 

    Winter protection for all roses in colder regions should not be done until Thanksgiving time

    Read more »
  7. Water Your Evergreens This Fall

    So many areas are experiencing hot and dry weather.  If you are in one of those dry areas, an excellent thing to do is give your new & established evergreen plants a good drink of water as we begin our fall season. 

    Evergreens (including broadleaved evergreens like Boxwood, Rhododendrons and Holly) will greatly appreciate good soaking if you have not had sufficient rains in your area as well. 

    All evergreens in areas where it gets cold and the ground will freeze, it is even more important for them to go into winter with good soil moisture!  Evergreen plants will use water well into the cold season, and once the ground freezes, they are not able to replenish the moisture needed in the leaves to prevent winter burn.

    Get your evergreens juiced up now, and right up until the gro

    Read more »
  8. The Wonderful Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle (Diervilla)

    Tired of mowing those dangerous hillsides?  Maybe you have an area that is just too shady for grass to grow well.  Maybe your lake property needs some bank stabilization?  Edge of the woods ground cover?

    Maybe you can’t get much to grow on that terrace along the road or along your driveway?  Or…maybe those shrubs you planted that get crushed by snow being plowed on them need replacing? 

    Diervilla is a super little native plant that has been getting a lot of attention lately.  It is commonly known as Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle, but it is not like the large, gangly shrubs that are invasive, but it is a very different animal.

    Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle grows in sun OR shade and has NO disease or insect problems.  They get about knee high and send suckers under the ground to form dense colonies of stems with great leaf color and even y

    Read more »
  9. Keep on Shredding Leaves

    The leaves continue to fall onto your lawn.  Don’t get out your rake…but get out your lawn mower!

    As you see those leaves fall, one of the best things you can do is to just run your power mower over the tops of the leaves as they fall.  Even if your grass areas are not growing as vigorously, the quality of your turf will be improved by keeping the sunlight available to your grass. 

    Shaded bluegrass is happy to have the leaves fall so the sunlight can reach some of those weaker more shaded areas of grass.  Keeping the leaves shredded will also allow more sunlight to reach your grass.

    As you continue to shred those leaves, should they get too thick to allow them to remain on the grass lightly rake up a few and add them to your garden or compost bin as shredded leaves bread down so very quickly. 

    Remember too that

    Read more »
  10. Keep Your Hosta Collection Healthy

    If you are like us, you like collecting different Hosta plants for your yard.  The diversity of size and color is endless and the new cultivars continue to be introduced every year. 

    Keep your Hosta collection healthy and happy.  Wait until jack frost comes along and kills back your Hosta plants and let them turn brown BEFORE cutting your plants back at the end of the season. 

    Allowing your Hosta leaves to turn brown and dry before cutting the leaves off will prevent the spread of viruses between plants. 

    Have a little patience, and wait until mother nature puts your Hosta to sleep before pruning.

    Read more »