Monthly Archives: April 2015

images-1It’s here! What we have all been waiting for, for so long! Spring, blue sky and warmer temperatures, and no snow on the ground so we can get to work! Mother Nature wasn’t so kind to us gardeners this past winter, but I think she will make it up to us. Many of us have lots of damaged plants, trees and shrubs. photo-76Lots of boxwoods. This is a photo of one of my boxwoods, the center is not broken and I have some winterburn. I plan to lightly string up the center with floral tape and give it a light trim on the top and fertilize with Hollytone fertilizer. I do have others that did not fare that well and will have to be replaced.

Now is the time to get out in that yard and start pruning and raking those beds. Get the garden statuary out, clean out the pots, birdbaths, clean the garden furniture, and get the rain barrel under the down spout.  Once you see the forsythia blooming, it is time to cut back the roses and butterfly bushes. This is also the time you want to fertilize your perennial beds, trees, shrubs and fruit trees. After raking my perennial beds, I work in some composted manure (for those of you who don’t have chickens, you can purchase this in bags at the garden centers). I then watch the forecast and wait for rain, just before the rain, I sprinkle in some perennial fertilizer, 10-10-10 around the base of the plants and let mother nature water them for me. I also fertilize my trees and shrubs with Hollytone fertilizer, again just before rain is forecasted. For the fruit trees, I have 6 apple trees, in early spring before buds appear, I spray my trees with a horticultural oil which helps prevent scale, insects and mites infesting the trees . You need to spray the trees when it is 40 degrees and will not drop below that for 24 hours for the application to work.

Deer are Hungry! One of the biggest problems I think we will have this spring is deer. Now I do have a simple solution, but don’t feel it is appropriate to express my thoughts in this newsletter. You can use contact repellents. Mix together an egg spray. Make a mixture that is 20 percent egg and 80 percent water. Pour into a spray bottle, and spray affected vegetation. The smell of decay from the egg deters deer as they associate decay and rotting smells with predators. Apply every 30 days, or after rain.
Prepare a spray of diluted hot sauce. Spray it on your plants and trees. The capsicum from the peppers tastes bad and irritates deer, causing them to stop eating the plant. Purchase a commercially prepared product. Check to make sure the product is safe to use for vegetable and fruit bearing plants if you are using it on a garden or fruit trees. You can also hang bars of strong smelling soaps, like Irish spring from the trees. Another method is to scatter human or dog hair on the ground around targeted plants and trees or the perimeter your garden. Get an outside dog or dog decoy. Deer are afraid of dogs. Hang mesh bags filled with human hair clippings, feather meal or blood meal. Place bags 3 feet (.91 m) apart and refill the bags monthly. Buy an area deer repellent made with blood meal or predator urine. Common deer predators include bobcats and coyotes.

flowerpot-flowers-nature-pansies-potted-plant-315090-480x320Pansies: We all are longing for color and it’s about time. Pansies are a cool weather annual that are delicate but surprisingly hardy. You can plant pansies in early spring and will bloom into early summer. Pansies do not like the heat and will decline when warmer months arrive. Pansies are low growers, ideal for edging between rock walls, paths and of course for containers and window boxes. When choosing pansies, you want stocky, bushy plants that have lots of buds. Avoid plants that full of open blooms because they are stressed to near exhaustion from working so hard in such a small pot. Pansies are not fussy, they like sun, rich, loose soil and to be watered regularly. Deadhead plants once the flower has passed and will promote future blooms. Pansies are just a happy plant that welcomes spring!!

DSCN0010Clematis: I think everyone should plant clematis in their garden. Not only one either, there are so many wonderful varieties. Clematis needs a supporting structure so it can wrap it’s leaf stems around, like a fence, arbor, pergola or mailbox. You can get real creative too. Once planted, clematis like their feet shaded, so plant in front of  it with another perennial, something low mounding like catmint or salvia.

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