Posts Tagged ‘Mulch’

An Actionable Garden To-Do List for Spring That Works for Your Schedule

February 6th, 2014

We’ve broken down these spring chores into your own actionable Garden To-Do List for spring that will work for your schedule. You will also find Time Saver tips to keep your work in the yard to a minimum.

 

Week 1:

  • Prune trees, shrubs and ornamental grasses (Time Saver: lay a tarp underneath the plant your working on and drag it with you as you move from plant to plant – prevents having to rake up branches and twigs)

 

Week 2:

  • Pull out all dead plants, old bedding plants and weeds (Time Saver: pull along a large trash can to toss in all these dead plants and weeds – dump in compost, burn or throw away)

 

Week 3:

  • Rake garden and landscaped areas to gather up remaining parts of non-decayed leaves trapped around plants, break up the top soil, and pull up any missed dead plants (Time Saver: use a leaf rake with the long bendable tines and tarp for tidy collections)

 

Week 4:

  • Put a new layer of mulch down around plants and empty areas in your garden and landscape (Time Saver: the tarp will hold more mulch than a wheelbarrow and easy to drag along allowing you to transfer to the garden – if you don’t have a shovel scoop to transfer, use a small garbage can without a rimmed top to scoop up the mulch)

 

Week 5:

 

Week 6:

  • You’re ready to begin enjoying your outdoor areas and appreciate a job well done!
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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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Protect Your Garden Plants from Frost Damage

October 15th, 2012

 

frost on grass

frost on grass (Photo credit: johnsam)

Quick ways to protect your garden plants from frost damage.

1. Drape tender plants, potted plants or fruits and vegetable plants loosely with old sheets and blankets, bulap, towels or large scraps of fabric. Secure with string, twine, rocks, bricks or stones. Heavy covers may need support to prevent crushing the plants. Support these heavy fabrics with stakes or sturdy branches. The next morning early remove all covers to prevent suffocation.

2. Water the soil up to 2 days before the expected frost. Damp soil holds heat better than dry soil will. Generously misiting the plants thoroughly the night before frost, just before the temperature begins to drop, protects your plants from frost damage. The water helps the plant hold in warmth.

3. Lightly cover plants with straw, leaves, pine needles the night before frost and be sure to uncover the next morning. Heavily mulching tightly around the base of the plants will, also, help to keep the plants warm during frost and freeze.

Look up your first and last frost and freeze dates by zip code.

 
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Best Winter Gardening Tips to Get a Start on Spring and Summer Yard Care

January 15th, 2012

Apply these best winter gardening tips and you will get a head start on your spring and summer yard care. There are moments when you look outside during winter and wish desperately for the warmth of summer. Don’t fret. Make winter the season of preparing for a long relaxing summer.

These winter gardening chores are the first steps to making a relaxing summer possible is to prepare your garden and what better time than mid to late winter.

  • Turn the shrubbery and tree lines into something of beauty with light pruning
  • Mulch your perennials and win the fight against weeds before they have the chance to infiltrate
  • Sketch your new garden ideas for the landscape and start building.
evergreen perennials in a shade garden under w...

Image via Wikipedia

It sounds easy when you really think about it, and it is. Gardening can be very time consuming in the spring and summer and most everyone wants to enjoy the beautiful warm weather doing other activities not worry about the landscape.  A little planning ahead and a few days of clean up work and prepping can make gardening and yard care so much easier for the growing season.

A few planning tips for your garden can be as simple as:

  • Building a raised bed for annuals or vegetable planting.
  • Drawing out a new plan for plant placement.
  • Jotting down ideas for new plants to add in.
  • Start your own compost.
  • Protect animal attracting plants with wire cages.
  • Wrap thin bark trees that are susceptible to cold weather damage.

After making your garden plans, start doing a few things that will help will upkeep that would otherwise be difficult in the spring and summer.

After you have protected delicate plants for the worse part of winter and the early spring temperature fluctuations and, then have a plan for your garden design, it’s time to put everything into action. This will definitely be an achievement you will certainly be proud of and, when spring hits, you can relax knowing that your garden is in great shape.

Visit us at Greenwood Nursery Online Nursery and Garden Center for a great selection of flowering shrubs, nut trees, evergreen ground covers and more!

We’d love to hear from you about how you prepare your yard and garden for late winter weather. Leave us a comment or email us.

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Spring Garden Maintenance to Start Your Garden Growing

December 31st, 2011

A garden bed before spring cleanup

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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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Ways to Reduce Garden Watering

August 26th, 2011

A garden hose pistol

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Tips to reduce watering:

  • Mulch around plants with shredded bark mulch, aged compost mix or aged manure mix
  • If you can’t mulch large areas, spread a good layer of straw (not hay)
  • Hoeing the ground around the plants brings moisture closer to the surface for the plants
  • Plant perennials close together to shade the ground
  • Use soaker hoses where needed instead of overhead watering
  • When watering with a garden hose, water on the ground around the base of the plant and not the leaves on the plant
  • Do any watering late evening or early morning
  • Hold off any fertilize applications until the weather is cooler or it rains as plants will be less stressed

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Control Weeds in Your Garden

June 17th, 2011

Late spring is when most gardens get their first surge of weeds. I know mine has. But, there are ways to deal with these annoying unwelcome guests that will not get the best of you or your hands.
  • Carefully pull the weeds straight up
  • Mulching reduces weeds
  • For determined weeds, cut off the tops so they don’t go to seed
  • Plant shrubs and perennials closely to shade out weeds
  • Spray weeds with white vinegar and let the sun take them out
  • Watch this video clip from Fine Gardening on Controlling Weeds
Weeds #3

 

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How to Help Plants Cope with Hot Temperatures

June 12th, 2011

Plants become stressed during hot weather, too. Here are tips for limiting their agony:

 

  • Water in the late evening – after sunset if possible
  • Apply water the base of the plants at the soil level
  • Don’t fertilize when the plants are stressed
  • Shredded bark mulch for woody shrubs and trees will keep them cooler
  • Use aged compost or aged manure mix as mulch for perennials
  • If you can’t water (due to restrictions), get your garden hoe out and turn the soil around the plants.
  • Clip out any dead or broken limbs
  • Deadhead just as quickly as the blooms die so the plant doesn’t have to force energy into it
  • Have a plant that is extremely sensitive to the heat – construct a canopy over the plant with light cloth and stakes to limit the suns rays

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Tips for Saving Money in Your Landscape

June 4th, 2011

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

Image via Wikipedia

Ways to save $$$ in your landscape:

  • Plant quick growing shade trees for future summers (poplar hybrids, willow hybrids & lombardy poplar for examples)
  • Choose younger bare root shrubs and trees (saves money and water)
  • Mulch with shredded bark mulch or aged compost/manure mix (keeps the ground cool over the roots reducing water needs)
  • Select perennials over annuals (plant once and grow for years – also perennials require less water than annuals)
  • Plant spreading perennials and ground covers in bare areas (their shade limits weed growth)
  • Watering lawns every 4 to 5 days saves water and allows the roots of the grass to grow deeper
  • Incorporate herbs into your landscape for cooking
  • Raise the setting on your lawn mower
  • Use drip hoses for most gardens and landscaped areas
  • Select the proper plants for difficult areas such as full sun or full shade
  • Remove dead plants immediately
  • Deadheading many shrubs and perennials encourages new blooms

 

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How to Design and Plant a Small Yard or Small Garden

May 15th, 2011

Design and Plant a Small Yard or Small Garden when you only have limited space for outdoor livingWhen you have a limited budget or inclination to do the landscaping projects you really should do, downsize. Downsize with smaller landscapes and smaller plants. Small yards can be used effectively to enhance bland foundations, corners, and entrances as well as add color, fragrance and interest to patios and other sitting areas.

 

Small gardens use small scale trees, shrubs and perennials. Anchoring shrubs should mature around 3 to 4 feet tall and are typically placed in the back 1/3 of the area. Planting one or two evergreen shrubs makes a good base. Colorful small flowering shrubs and shrub-like perennials are other good choices.

 

Small garden anchor plants:

 

Karley Rose, Prairie Dropseed, Karl Foerster and Adagio are some of the more striking ornamental grassesthat are attractive as single specimens and can be used in lieu shrubs as anchor plants.

 

Plant perennials of varied heights keeping within 12 to 40 inches tall for added interest. Some of the friendliest and brightest varieties are:

 

Small scale ground cover plants are the last touch for small gardens.

Select from:

 

Use spreading plants that have a spreading habit to fill in over several years such as:

 

How to plan a small sized garden for your enjoyment:

  • Select at least one small scale shrub to anchor the garden
  • Choose 3 or more perennials in varied heights
  • Use one variety of groundcover for the front most part
  • For even more interest add a butterfly house, bird house or whirligig just off the center point

For more ideas on small sized gardens, visit Greenwood Nursery.

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