yardwork

  1. Pruning 101 from the Nature Hills Horticultural Team

    The goal of pruning is to improve the overall health and usefulness of a plant:

    • Prune to correct broken or damaged branches.
    • Prune to remove diseased portions of a plant.
    • Prune to control the size and shape of a plant.
    • Prune fruit trees to keep it easier to harvest the delicious fruit.

    Pruning by the Pros

    Plant materials grown by a quality grower will have been pruned correctly from the start, so you shouldn’t need to worry about corrective pruning for a while. A good example is shrubs. Plant nursery staff work to encourage branching lower to the ground, so the plants don’t have voids and aren’t "leggy". For trees, the nurseries prune for nice straight single leaders and uniform, open branching.

    Tree Pruning Tips

    After you plant your trees, you should pay attention to your plants as they

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  2. Fall Cleanup to Prepare for Winter Garden Interest

    Before your fire up your weed eaters and trimmers and rampage through your yard cutting down and removing everything in sight this fall, stop! Take a step back. It’s time to reconsider your winter clean up protocol. 

    Let’s take a look and change your perspective to see your winter landscape in a new way. You don’t need to cut everything down. Do you have any perennials or other plants that may offer winter interest if you left them untrimmed until after winter?

    What Does Your Landscape Look Like in Winter?

    Evergreens, ornamental grasses and hydrangeas definitely offer winter interest. Perennials can also add interest to the winter landscape, so don’t be too quick to cut them down. Study shapes, colors and form.

    Not all dormant regions get dumped with snow. Some regions have lighter snowfalls that can highlight and sculpt the snow, cr

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  3. Bringing Citrus Trees Indoors

    Watch our "Fruit Whisperer", as Ed Laivo, one of America's top fruit tree experts, answers Jill Winger's question on how to best care for her new Dwarf Meyer Lemon Tree during the winter.

    Planting, Managing Pests, Making the Move, Fertilizing & Watering

    Ed has some really helpful hints for the home gardener in cold climates, like Wyoming (and let's not forget all the other hardy souls living in places like New York, Colorado, Minnesota, and our friends in Illinois!). If you want to grow Citrus Trees, but must bring them inside for the long winter - here's a video overview of what you need to know.

    Dwarf Meyer Lemons are so much fun to grow, and they'll do well for you inside. Just follow along with Ed for the best practices.

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  4. Is September the Best Time to Plant?

    You know you love to get your hands in the dirt come springtime. Even before the weather turns nice, avid gardeners are out there finding jobs to do: winter cleanup, pruning your dormant oak or fruit trees, mulching beds, and most importantly, planning for all the new plants you want to try this year. We totally get it!

    Now, in fall after a wonderful growing season spent enjoying your garden, you may find yourself not quite ready for your long winter rest. So, what can you do now?

    Take a close look at your garden. Are there any late-blooming perennials that could be divided to fill in bare spots? Have you been thinking about adding a garden bed? Or are you tempted by some of the fabulous new cultivars on the market? Would you like to add more spring color?

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  5. Tips and Tricks to Establish your New Plants in Spring and Fall

    Nature Hills offers plants two ways, container grown plants and dormant bare root plants.  Let’s take a look at tips and tricks to ensure success.

    Establishing Bare Root Plants

    Bare root plants are shipped dormant and without any leaves and no soil on the roots! They are dug in fall after they have been exposed to frost and the plants have started to go dormant. Garden experts shake off all of the soil from the rootsBare root plants remain dormant until they are shipped to you.

    How? They are stored in a cooler with no soil on the roots (at a controlled very high humidity) just above freezing. So bare root plants can be shipped from November through the winter (in milder climates) all the way into June.  All bare root plants will be carefully wrapped to keep the roots covered and moist at all times during shipment.

    Soaking yo

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  6. Success with Summer Planting

    Planting continues all season long with high quality container grown plants from Nature Hills with great success!

    As the season changes, so do our care suggestions for the types plants being delivered during the heat of the summer.  Water is crucial for the plants survival right at the start. 

    The key to understanding container grown plants is that they only take water from the soil that we shipped with the plants.  The plants are growing full speed now with heat and longer days at the nursery.  The roots have now filled the pots and have infiltrated all the soil within that pot. 

    At the nursery they are getting watered once, maybe twice each day possibly including a cool down watering during the heat of the day. This container grown plants need to be completely saturated and if you take the time to do just that, the success rate is beyond belief.

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  7. When to Prune Flowering Shrubs

    It is important to know when to prune your flowering shrubs, so you get the most flowers.   Timing your pruning is the key to success. 

    Many early spring flowering plants already made their flowers all hidden and tucked away in the growth from last year.  Pruning at the wrong time will eliminate those flowers.  Here are some tips to keep you in the know.

    Let’s take a Lilacs for example…

    If you are out in the yard and your Lilac looks large and you have a pruner in your hand, it is late summer - and you just cut off the tips of the branches – your lilac will not bloom in the spring.  Let’s say you pruned them in fall, the same thing would happen in spring – no flowers.  Let’s say you prune your Lilacs in early spring before they leaf out - same scenario because you are removing the flowers that formed in the growth that developed last year. 

    Ther

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  8. How to Prune Hydrangeas

    It is important to know what kind of Hydrangea you have before you do any pruning. The reason it is important to know so that you are not cutting off any flower buds, really the reason for growing Hydrangeas!

    It is probably easiest to break down the types of Hydrangeas and suggest pruning for each of the different types. Each group of Hydrangea includes some of the selections available from Nature Hills. 

    Hardy, Panicle type Hydrangeas (Hydrangea paniculata selections)

    These are woody type, hardy Hydrangeas that love the sun and are very forgiving needing little care.  You can’t change the color of this group to blue, but they offer quite the show opening white, and age to pink or red before turning brown in fall and winter.

    Pruning for Hydrangea paniculata shrub form and tree form should be done in early spring b

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  9. Pruning Woody Hydrangea Paniculata Type Shrubs

    Now is the time to prune your woody, sun-loving panicle type Hydrangeas (like Limelight, Quickfire, Diamond Rouge Little Lamb, Pinky Winky, Fire Light, Little Lime, Strawberry Sundae, Vanilla Strawberry and any other species in this group).

    The best rule of thumb is to cut back these woody plants by reducing about 1/3 of the length of last year’s growth, removing the brown flower heads that remain on the plant. 

    Leave the overall shape som

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  10. Early Spring Pruning Tips For Best Flowering

    Spring has sprung in the more southern areas and from the coasts, and will be working its way north.

    Upon your first spin around your yard in spring you will tend to take your pruning shears with you. There are many plants that will appreciate some necessary pruning, and there are some plants that you should not prune at this time of the year.

    Let’s cover some plants that are best NOT pruned in early spring. Basically, any early spring flowering shrub or tree should not be pruned because you will be removing the flower display – really the whole reason to grow those plants.

    Azaleas and Rhododendrons are a prime example of a plant that should not be pruned now. All of the flower buds

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