Posts Tagged ‘Lawn’

Vinca Minor Best Value in Ground Cover Plants

August 17th, 2014

Vinca Minor ground cover is one of the more versatile and best value invinca minor ground cover blue flowers ground cover plants. This fast growing ground cover grows in either sun or shade. The dark green evergreen leaves provide a lovely backdrop for the periwinkle blue blooms in spring. The hardy strong growing Vinca Minor is a good choice groundcover for hillsides, in shaded areas, poor soil, and other barren areas. Also referred to as creeping myrtletrailing periwinklecreeping myrtlevinca minor can be contained in specific areas by using edging. Rejuvenate old vinca ground cover plants by cutting it back by about half. Bag the clippings so that they don’t fall and root in unwelcomed areas.

 

Vinca Minor is available in 3 inch pots. Buy vinca as bare root plants and save. Our 50 plant bare root bundles are affordable garden plants. Cover more area with these discounted ground cover plants.

 

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How Ground Cover Plants Help to Flatten the Landscape

May 7th, 2014

The process of fattening out a landscape with ground cover plants is not difficult if the proper procedures are used. For this project, various things will be needed, such as different kinds of plants depending on the season.

The Benefits Of Flattening An Area With Ground Cover Plants

When an area is sloped, water runoff and soil erosion will be an issue. In addition, the moisture retention will be uneven. A sloped landscape is also tough to mow. The bottom of the slope is usually where water will travel and stop. Because of this, plants will have growth difficulties. Plants cannot grow well in areas that have too much moisture. This is just one reason why a sloped backyard might be flatten with garden plants.

How To Flatten A Landscape

Before tackling this project, all vegetation must be removed from the sloped area. If there are any plants that are worth keeping, use a shovel to dig them up. After the plants are removed from the ground, place them in pots and water them. After the plants have enough water, place them in a location that has shade. If there are no plants worth keeping, consider buying new affordable garden plants from an online plant nursery.

All digging must be handled effectively and efficiently, so contact local utility companies to inform them about the digging locations. A representative will visit the project location to provide information about buried water pipes, power lines, and phone lines.

An entire layer of topsoil should be removed while digging. Topsoil is a dark soil, and it covers the top eight inches. This soil should be placed into a pile. Next, place the subsoil at the bottom of the slope. Place the soil in the best locations to make a slight slope. The slope should be away from any buildings in the area. Use a rake to make the surface smooth.

You will also need a lawn roller. A lawn roller is available at any hardware stores or rental companies. Use the lawn roller over the ground to compact the soil. If there are any depressions, use a shovel to fill them with more subsoil.

Use an eight-foot long two by four on the slope at the top. The board should run down the slope. Use a level on the board to ensure that the board is level. The distance from the lifted end and the ground must be measured. The grade is correct if it is two inches. Once these procedures are complete, water the area to settle the soil.

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Don’t Mow Your Lawn When Easier Lawn Alternatives are Available

April 12th, 2014

This is the time of year, most of us become disillusioned with our lawns. Water, aerate, water, reseed, water, fertilize, then repeat and that doesn’t include the mowing. It’s a never ending cycle and the time has come to replace the lawn. Customers send emails wanting to know how they can forget the grass and have something that is just not as time consuming.

Well…there are lawn options and planning is a must or you will be the neighborhood poster yard for weeds. Groundcover plants, ornamental grasses and spreading perennials are popular, but there are more ways to fill in your old lawn area.

Cheryl Jones, owner of GreenwoodNursery.com notes, “This is a frequent question that I get once mowing season begins. Some of our favorite lawn substitutes are vinca, wintercreeper, pachysandra, creeping phlox, creeping thymes, mints and sedum, or stonecrop.” Jones adds, “Lawn alternatives are gaining in popularity. Homeowners would rather have color, fragrance and beauty with little work than a time consuming yard.”

More ideas for lawn substitutes are sowing wildflower seeds, small growing shrubs, ground cover roses, clover, xeriscape plants, pea gravel, heavily chipped mulch, landscape pavers, and artificial grass (don’t laugh, it is used quite often).

Visit Lawn Alternatives for more ideas on creating a garden rather than a lawn.

Greenwood Nursery, founded in 1978, is an online plant nursery and garden center that has been shipping gardening plants to the home gardener since going online in 1998. Contact Greenwood Nursery (http://www.greenwoodnursery.com/) for more information on lawn substitutes.

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Yard Chores for September

September 6th, 2013

As the summer transitions into fall, there are a few important yard chores for September. This is the month to to a little outside work so that it isn’t as overwhelming  in spring. Hot summer nights give way to perfect evenings with just a hint of coolness. Plant growth will begin to slow, but they will continue to grow. Follow these tips to keep your yard in tip top shape.

 

  • Aerate your lawn (cool season grasses), overseed with ryegrass and apply second fertilizer application on cool season lawns.
  • Check and store yard and plant chemicals.
  • Order lily bulbs for October planting.
  • Start cutting back on lawn watering.
  • If you planted vegetable plants, pull them out of the ground as you remove the last of their veggies.
  • Pull out all spent annual bedding plants.
  • Dig, divide and plant bulb plants.
  • Add fresh mulch to younger trees and shrubs for winter protection.
  • Change up plants in containers and window boxes for fall and winter color.
  • As leaves start to fall, rake them up and start your compost pile.
  • There’s still time to plant perennials such as hostas, heucheras, ornamental grasses, ground covers, herbs, and all container grown plants.
  • Great time to do a soil test for future gardening projects so you know where your soil is on its nutrient values.
  • Start planning on which potted plants you will bring inside as the temperatures drop.

    English: A picture of compost soil

    English: A picture of compost soil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Ornamental Grasses Are Low Maintenance Plants!

August 1st, 2013

Ornamental Grasses are the perfect low maintenance plant for any landscape!
Our favorite ways to use Ornamental Grasses:
  • For privacy hedges
  • To define property lines
  • As lawn substitutes
  • Soften corners
  • Create interest within a landscape
  • Small grasses make good border plants
  • Great backdrop plantings
  • Create informal hedges
Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental Grasses
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Get Started With Spring Garden Cleanup!

April 13th, 2013

Spring has sprung and it’s time to get that garden in tip-top shape!

Spring is the ideal time to perform a thorough clean up and overhaul on your garden and yard to help it recover from the long winter.

The first step to spring garden clean up is removing all the debris. This includes sticks and broken branches, leaves and other miscellaneous debris.

Mulch made from shredded yard waste in a munic...

Mulch made from shredded yard waste in a municipal recycling program, showing compost bins in the background and gloves in the foreground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re going to use a rake to remove this debris, it’s best to do this task before those spring crocuses and other plants have started to sprout. Otherwise, you may damage the foliage. If you absolutely must use a rake, be very gentle and whenever possible, don gardening gloves and clear the area around new sprouts by hand.

Using a leaf blower is the ideal option if your spring sprouts are up; just be careful to avoid placing the leaf blower nozzle too close to fragile new greens so as to avoid breakage. The downside to using a leaf blower is that most don’t do a good job of clearing away sticks, so those will need to be cleared away by hand.

This yard pick-up is absolutely essential because once the foliage comes in and starts growing more aggressively, it becomes very difficult to clean up garden beds and other areas of your yard. The foliage and growth snags leaves and debris, making it more difficult to collect the debris and there’s greater risk that you’ll damage the various plants.

In addition, it’s important to remove dead growth, particularly on any ornamental grasses that weren’t trimmed down in late fall or early winter. Otherwise, the new growth will come in and it will be intermingled with the dead growth, which then becomes extremely difficult to eliminate.

If you use bark mulch in your garden, it’s important to put down a new, fresh layer of mulch so your garden will absorb and retain the spring rains, which will really jumpstart your growing season.

Many garden experts recommend waiting until mid-spring or even early summer before fertilizing your garden, as the fertilizer will not be properly absorbed by plants that are still in a semi-dormant state. The general rule is that you can begin fertilizing when you observe new growth.

Of course, spring is also a great time to add new garden plants to your garden and Greenwood Nursery has a wide range of annuals, perennials, ornamental grasses and many other plants that will bring your garden to life!

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What to do in Your Yard Before and After Hurricanes, Storms and Tornadoes

November 7th, 2012

After these natural disasters, I always receive emails from our members who are concerned about how to go about saving their trees or what to do about their lawn. In addition to preparing your dwelling for a hurricane or tropical storm, be sure to store lawn ornaments and all lawn furniture. Stake all young trees. Mow the lawn. Short grass doesn’t accumulate as much debris as tall grass lawns. With regular care and maintenance on landscape trees, shrubs and perennials, there should not be much to do to prepare them for a hurricane or tropical storm.

hurricane damage

hurricane damage (Photo credit: Lauren PM)

 

When ready to deal with your outside area after any of these situations, the first thing you should do is to carefully check your lawn for all debris. Everything from nails to glass, branches and metal scraps can end up hiding in your lawn and landscape. Your next scheduled mowing could pick up more than you bargain for. With your garden hose, wash as much of the silt as possible from the remaining leaves on trees, shrubs, perennials, vegetables and lawn.

Broken branches, defoliation, leaning trees, and cracked trunks are normal. So, let’s discuss how to deal with them. One single piece of advice on caring for plants after such an event is that you should not apply fertilizer or other chemicals to trees, shrubs, grasses or perennials until they begin to come out of stress by putting on new growth.

Broken branches:

Get your pruners and small saws out. Prune all damaged branches back to the main trunk. Rather than clipping it flush with the trunk, clip the branch back to the point where you are leaving a one fourth to one half inch nub on the trunk. Cutting the branch flush leaves a larger wound and the plant is already stressed as it is. Most wounds will heal on their own and not need to be painted or wrapped.

Defoliation:

With temperature changes, wind, rain, and hail, expect leaves to be torn from the plants. It if is early enough in the growing season, the plants may generate new growth. In the late summer to early fall period, don’t expect to see any new leaves unless you are in zone 9 and warmer. Just like people, plants experience stress and they may not produce new growth until the following year. On plants, which set their bloom buds in summer for the following year, you can expect those plants to be limited in their blooming the following spring as the bloom buds may have been knocked off during the storm.

Leaning trees:

Young trees and shrubs can be easily straightened and secured to grow straight. Older, larger trees may require heavy machinery to straighten. You might consider calling in an arborist to see if the tree has a good chance for survival if straightened.

Cracked trees:

If the (main) trunk of a tree is cracked, it is likely that the tree will not survive.

Young trees, shrubs, perennials, gardens and lawns are most affected by the saline dropped by rainfall from hurricanes and tropical storms.

Let’s address lawns first. The dried sediment accumulation on your lawn and around your landscape should not be tilled into the soil until you are certain that it does not contain high levels of saline. For large accumulations (more than a couple of inches) of sediment, scrape or otherwise remove it. High levels of salt in the soil will kill plants. Initially, the plants will appear as though they have been burned, but when replanting in the same spot, future plants will react the same way. If you are near the coast, you may want to have your soil tested for salinity.

Remove all trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses that appear to be dead. If the sediment doesn’t have saline, you can now till the sediment into the soil. At this time, it would be a good idea to also add in aged compost or other organic matter and if your soil compacts easily, add in coarse sand. Till well, level and reseed.

With a light layer of silt, it may be necessary to aerate several times to break up the hardened sediment, while lawns that have been completely eroded may find it easier to completely re-establish their lawns.

Fruits and vegetables aren’t always at the top of the list to be concerned about. However, if your area experienced a hurricane, tropical storm or heavy flooding be cautious in eating from your garden as well as any locally grown produce as it could be contaminated with bacteria. Fruits and vegetables that were mature at the time of the disaster, should be disinfected, peeled and thoroughly cooked before eating. Leafy vegetables and fruits, such as berries, tomatoes, squash, are highly susceptible to bacteria contamination, while root crops such as beets, onions, and potatoes, are less susceptible but still should be disinfected, peeled and cooked.

Immerse produce for 15 to 20 minutes in a chlorine solution, rise thoroughly with safe drinking water, peel and cook before eating.

Household bleach contains 2 to 6% chlorine. One chart that I came across breaks it down as this:

If your bleach contains 2% chlorine bleach, add three fourths tablespoon to one quart/water If your bleach contains 4% chlorine bleach, add 1 teaspoon to one quart/water If your bleach contains 6% chlorine bleach, add one half teaspoon to one quart/water

Again, rinse thoroughly with safe drinking water, peel and cook before eating.

For more information on landscape care for pre and post hurricane, tropical storms and tornado weather read the Hurricane Information Series on the Louisiana State University Agricultural Extension Site.

After Storm Check List on Trees and Structures.

Trees that withstand hurricane winds and salt damage.

Basic tree care after storms.

How do you decide if a tree can be saved.

How to save small uprooted trees.

 

Article supplied by Greenwood Nursery Online Plant Nursery.

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8 Gardening Mistakes and How to Fix Them

October 23rd, 2012

Do you realize that gardening mistakes happen right in your front yard? Whether you think that your garden looks good or not, if everything doesn’t work together, the entire garden doesn’t work. Let’s talk about the most common gardening mistakes and how to fix them.

Lawn&Garden

Lawn&Garden (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Grass is not greener. This ranks number 1. Why? Most gardens and yards have lawn, but one may be slightly greener than the other. If your lawn looks browner than the soil underneath, it is time to reassess your watering, fertilizing and mowing schedule. Think where you may have gone wrong and make the necessary lawn care adjustments. Tired of lawn care? Consider other lawn substitute options such as ground covers such as periwinkle. Visit Greenwood Nursery for more on lawn substitutes.

2. Tools and clutter are everywhere. They may be useful objects, but if they are just stacked in your garage or tossed in a box, then you think they are not worth the storage. At that point, they don’t just look like junk; they are junk. Sort through them one by one and determine whether you want to keep them or not. Your criteria when deciding if they deserve the trip to dump or not is simple: Ask yourself, do you specific plans for them?

3. Your house and garden can be seen from the road. There are several short- and long-term solutions to using plants to create privacy. One quick-fix solution is to build a concrete wall that would separate your garden from the sidewalk view. For a longer, much appealing look, planting fast growing shrubs is a good idea.

4. Weed invasion. Keeping your lawn regularly maintained can solve weed problems. Do a regular walk through to check for weeds about twice a week during the growing season. Dig the weeds out by hand to keep them from re-growing by seeding the empty areas of your lawn.

5. Limited space. If your problem is space, then here’s one idea that can definitely help you maximize every square inch of your garden: think vertical gardens. With vertical gardening, you can create a sense of lush greenery by using wall space, arbors and trellises to allow plants to climb upwards.

6. Where’s your house? If shrubs have swallowed your house, then hedge clippers comes in handy. You don’t want plants blocking the way from your drive to the front door so some serious pruning may be in order. You want landscaping, not a house in the middle of the forest. Also, tall and over grown shrubs are a security hazard providing a burglar with the protection and opportunity that they would need to break into your home. It’s time to select curb appeal plants.

7. Selection and winter care. Some garden plants will not survive winter temperatures without proper care. When planning your garden, be sure to select the majority of your plant that will grow year round and always include a few evergreens and plants with winter interest. In fall be sure to provide your garden plants with a good thick layer (approximately 3 inches) of shredded bark mulch to insulate and provide moisture over the winter months.

8. Fences are falling apart. Fences are not just to separate your property from your neighbor’s. They also add to the overall look of your garden. Make sure that you maintain your fences like the way you keep your plants. Use fences as backdrops for your landscaping projects.

8 Gardening Mistakes and How to Correct Them by Greenwood Nursery

 

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Spring Garden Maintenance to Start Your Garden Growing

December 31st, 2011

A garden bed before spring cleanup

Image via Wikipedia

Follow these easy spring garden maintenance tips and you will be enjoying your yard. Even after one weekend of spring garden cleaning you can have leaves raked, trees and shrubs pruned and ground ready for planting new plants. A little spring garden maintenance means less yard work in summer.

Arm yourself with a rake, weed eater or heavy shears, a tool belt, apron with pockets, basket, or pail, filled with clippers, gardening scissors, gardening gloves, old cloths, trash bags and, if available, a small garden saw. Start on one side of your property or garden and work across the yard and then clockwise around your house and other out buildings beginning with the front/main entrance. The point is to be able to go over all areas of your landscape so that you don’t miss plants.

Always begin an area by tackling the larger growing plants, whether trees or shrubs. First cut or saw out all branches that are dead, broken, touching or crossing. Then, if necessary, trim for shape. From the larger trees and shrubs, move onto smaller growing plants, such as ornamental grasses (which you will be cutting to the ground with either the weed eater or heavy shears), roses, evergreen herbs, perennials, ground covers, etc. Remember, if you haven’t pulled out the annuals that were planted last year, it is time to remove them now.

Once all plants have been pruned, shaped and otherwise cleaned up in an area, rake the clippings into the trash bag and move onto the next. By cleaning up an area completely, if you have to stop that day before finishing, you can begin with a new area the next time and you don’t have to back track. I find it easier to make sandwiches the night before to lunch on so I don’t have to completely stop my gardening. This way I am only taking a break and don’t lose focus on what I’m doing.

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Correcting Drainage Problems in the Garden and Landscape

September 19th, 2011

french drains

Image by Indiewench via Flickr

This is a common issue, especially in new developments where the topsoil has been scraped away and the only thing left behind is compacted clay. There are actually some options.

Is the rain just hitting the ground and running off? Then, you need to be building up your lawn to make it healthier so the water is absorbed into the ground. Remember, weeds do not germinate in healthy soil. Lawns can be built up by tilling in organic matter, such as aged compost, aged manure mix, straw, etc. Aeration can also help water soak in. Sometimes it can take several attempts of aeration to see results. Soil softeners can help the ground absorb water. Like aeration, it often requires several applications before results can be seen.

French drains are made by digging deep trenches. In the bottom of the trench is placed a layer of rock, followed by black perforated piping covered with a weed cloth and then covering the piping with rock to the top of trench. French drains are (or can be) complicated issues, so a professional should be consulted to install them.

Dry creek beds are beautiful ways to direct excess water to where you want it to go. They are slightly dug out beds or paths, placing landscape fabric in the depression followed by pebbles/gravel/larger rocks. In some cases, the waters path is already clear in your yard, so use that to your advantage and create a dry creek bed and then landscape around it. It can be a great focal point as well as utility.

When working to alleviate drainage problems, keep in mind to route the water to an area that will not pose any further problems. One place is to your curb, but you should check with your development or city regulations first. Should you have a drainage ditch (common in most developments) bordering one side of your property, route the water to it. Never route drain water to a neighbors property.

Of course, if you can’t drain it, use it. Where the water lays, create a bog garden. Plants that will work in such an area are: vinca, spiraea, viburnum, goat’s beard, phlox, ferns (shade), daylilies, irises, bamboo (clumping varieties), red twig or other shrub dogwoods, acorus ogon grass, french pussy willow, nishiki willow, giant pussy willow, solomon’s seal, liriope, maples, green ash, bald cypress, river birch, elm, white pine, hemlock, sourwood, tulip poplar, blueberry, cranberry, red chokeberry, sambucus, holly, spicebush, oaks, red bud, serviceberry, hostas (shade), anemones, and gaillardia. If you have a really marshy area, check at your local fish store for pond plants.

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