Caladiums

Hello everyone and happy Thursday to you! Today I am excited to share a really beautiful and easy to grow plant with you all, the caladium.

The caladium originated in the Amazon jungles of South America. It is a summer bulb (tuber) that will thrive in hot temperatures like ours, and it’s gorgeous heart-shaped leaves of red, white, pink, and green will paint your garden in color until the first cold nights. Caladiums offer a fabulous way to insert color and beauty without the use of flowers,  providing continuous interest in the landscape well beyond a limited blooming period.

Caladiums are easy to plant and are wonderful as a ground cover or border, or in pots, hanging baskets and planters on your deck and inside your home. Mix several varieties in your landscaping for a colorful contrast. Look at some of the gorgeous arrangements of caladiums you’ll find down at Garden Supply.

Caladiums can be grown as annuals, or may be over-wintered as tender bulbs. Remember that they are a hot-weather, summer bulb. The bulb will be damaged, causing dwarfed leaves, if the temperatures reach below 60 degrees for a prolonged period of time. Lightly fertilize every six weeks with the fertilizer you normally use (or 6-6-6 slow release fertilizer). In the fall, let the leaves die back, then before the first freeze, dig up the bulbs, leaving the leaves on. Store in mesh or paper bags between 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Or better yet, bring your potted caladiums indoors during the cooler months and enjoy their colorful foliage as houseplants. You’ll not be sorry!

Caladiums make a wonderful addition for floral arrangements, too. Cut leaves will keep indoors for 2-3 weeks and are odorless and non-allergenic. Leaves should be soaked for 24 hours before using in arrangements.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I hope I’ve piqued your interest for adding color and interest in your homes and landscape through the use of bright and unusual foliage.  And join me back here soon for more snippets from the garden.

July Fescue Lawn Care

Hello everyone and happy Monday to you!  I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are ready to start a brand new week. We have just experienced a “new beginning” down at Garden Supply with the completion of a new roof in our garden Greenhouse. Not a pleasant job by far in the heat of July, but we are excited to have that task now out of the way.  Look for new items to start filtering into the Greenhouse soon, as our big buying trip is coming up next weekend. And in the meantime, there are still a few deals to be had on remaining pink tagged items.

With this intense Piedmont summer heat, many lawns and gardens are starting to take a beating.  We recommend continued use of Drought Defense to aid in water absorption and retention in planting beds and sodded areas.

Simply attach this easy-to-use nozzle to your garden hose and spray as directed.  You’ll notice a definite “greening” up after a couple of applications.

And for fescue lawn care in July, you can reduce stress on your lawn and enhance a dark green color with a little PH correction. PH refers to the acidity of your soil. Contact your agricultural extension to find out how to take a soil sample and retrieve the results. After determining your PH you can use pelletized lime to correct it.

Hope these tips get your lawns and gardens in tip-top shape in no time.  As always, our experts are standing by with answers to all your questions.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Hot Summer Sale

Hello everyone and happy Saturday!  The temperatures are sure rising these days.  It has been one hot June, and we’ve got some hot summer deals to match down at Garden Supply that you will not want to miss. Stop by the garden center and enjoy 20% savings off all trees, shrubs, and home & garden decor.

And in addition, for this weekend only, we have some extra special deals to throw into the mix. We have added Hydrangeas, (excluding “Limelight” variety), Rhododendrons, and Green-leaf Hypericums, Buy one, Get one free. Those shrubs are great in afternoon shade if you are lucky enough to have some!  Also, ALL perennials, mix and match, are on SALE. Choose 10 Perennials, get 20% off, choose 20 and get 30% off!

Believe or not, this still a great time of year to plant because plants “root in” quicker.  Our only caution is that if you are going out of town for more than 7 days, have a friend come by to water, as everything needs an inch a week.

The upcoming forecast shows some promise of relief from the heat, so come in this weekend while it’s hot and the sales are even hotter! Hope to see you all soon down at Garden Supply!

June Bugs

Hello everyone and happy Tuesday to you! With the solstice yesterday, summer is finally officially here.  It’s time to enjoy all the offerings of this wonderful season, from longer days and vacations, to a slower pace and plenty of fun in the sun. Yes, summer is a wonderful time of year, but along with the onset of this warmer period often comes an unwelcome slew of garden pests. From deer eating your precious flowering plants to mosquitoes driving you crazy, these pests may have you abandoning your yards for the relative peace of the indoors. But don’t let these pests drive you inside.  We have some solutions for handling these pesky critters that will help you beat the bugs and enjoy your yards again.

One of the most prevalent garden pests we have to contend with in our area this month has got to be the Japanese beetle. Japanese beetles were first found in this country in 1916, after being accidentally introduced into New Jersey. Until that time, this insect was known to occur only in Japan where it is not a major pest. Unfortunately, it has flourished in the Eastern United States where it has found vast areas of turf and grassland in which the grubs develop, hundreds of species of plants for the adults to feast on, and no effective natural enemies. It is probably the most devastating pest of the Eastern urban landscape.

Adults emerge from the ground and begin feeding on plants in June. Activity is most intense over a 4 to 6 week period, after which the beetles gradually die off. Individual beetles live about 30 to 45 days. Japanese beetles feed on about 300 species of plants, devouring leaves, flowers, and fruit. They usually feed in groups, starting at the top of a plant and working downward. The beetles are most active on warm, sunny days, and prefer plants that are in direct sunlight. Although a single beetle does not eat much, this group feeding by many beetles results in severe damage.

Here’s a few of the pesky bugs now dining on my Crape Myrtles.  So what can you do when these devouring bugs hit your yard? There are solutions, but in order to attack the problem at hand, one must truly understand the life-cycle of the Japanese beetle.

Although the adult beetle is only present for about 30 days in the month of June, their life-cycle continues underground for most of the year. Egg laying begins soon after the adults emerge from the ground and mate. Females lay their eggs 2-3 inches down in grassy areas, and usually lay a total of 40 to 60 during their life. The developing beetles spend the next 10 months in the soil as white grubs. Grubs feed on the roots of turf-grasses and vegetable seedlings, doing best in good quality turf in home lawns. However, they can survive in almost any soil in which plants can live.

As Japanese beetle grubs chew off grass roots, they reduce the ability of grass to take up enough water to withstand the stresses of hot, dry weather. As a result, large dead patches develop in the grub-infested areas. If the damage is allowed to develop to this stage, it may be too late to save the turf. Early recognition of the problem can prevent this destruction.

In order to fully battle the Japanese beetle, it is best to take a multi-step approach. Put a stop to the egg laying cycle by treating your infected plants and adult insects with Sevin or Sevin Dust, in concentrate or ready-to-use formula. Fertilome Natural Carbaryl is equally effective.  Both treatments are natural and are safe to use on your fruit and vegetable plants. Know that although these beetles can travel and infect an area several miles wide, they tend to lay their eggs in close proximity.  So you can bet that if they are in your yard, they are laying eggs there.

Next stop the grub cycle with an application of Milky Spore Grub Control or Bayer Grub Killer Plus. This will rid your lawn of unsightly brown spots that may be caused by grub damage, and will control Japanese beetle grubs in the soil.  Use it on grass, in gardens, and in mulch beds.  It can be used at anytime.

Another complaint we often hear at the garden center is that deer are eating your tender blooming plants down to the ground.  And although it can be tricky to combat these beautiful yet pesky animals, here is an option for keeping them out of your yard.

I Must Garden is an earth-friendly, people and pet-friendly company out of Chapel Hill that offers a  line of repellents based on essential oils that provide a safe way to protect your plants without the stench of other repellents. Their deer repellent is easy to use, effective all year round, smells pleasant, and is even safe for the deer.  They also offer a full line of rabbit, snake, mole & vole, squirrel, cat & dog, mosquito, flea & tick, and insect repellents. We’ve got them all down at Garden Supply.

We are also proud to carry EcoSmart brand insect killer and repellents. Based on essential oils, EcoSmart offers a line of insecticides that are 100 % safe for use around children and pets.

Hopefully these tips will keep the nasties out of your yard so you can get back out there and relish these beautiful summer evenings.

Enjoy!

Lawn and Garden Care for June

Hello everyone, and happy Sunday!  All of us at Garden Supply would like to wish you dedicated, hard-working, fabulous dad’s out there a wonderful Father’s Day.

The greatest gift I ever had
Came from God; I call him Dad!
~Author Unknown

We appreciate each and every one of you!

Also a big thank-you to everyone who attended our Annual Auction yesterday. We had a wonderful turn-out, lots of lovely garden items up for auction, and food and fun for everyone. A good time was had by all, and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Today I would like to share with you a few care tips for your June lawn and gardens. For those with fescue grass, June is the month to treat and prevent brown patch which appears as a browning area in the lawn typically in the summer months when conditions are favorable. Brown patch is caused by a fungus, and if your lawn is showing signs, you will need to treat with a fungicide. We recommend that you apply Hi-Yield Lawn Fungicide to prevent brown patch.  Two applications may be necessary if rain has been heavy.

While brown patch does cause patches of dead grass, other things can cause the same symptoms. If the area is poorly drained and water stands on a spot for more than 24 hours, the grass roots will rot, causing a dead patch. Also, in areas where the sod has rooted poorly, brown patches will develop as dry weather sets in. So what are the true symptoms of the disease? True brown patch spots are small to begin with but in warm weather they can enlarge rapidly. Seen from above, the patch will look like a doughnut – a ring of tan grass having a patch of green grass in the center. Individual grass blades will be brown down to the crown – where the blade emerges from the ground – but the crown will be green. Early in the morning during hot, damp weather you might see a white fungal web at the edge of the dead grass patch.

Never water in the evening. The best time to water is in early morning. Fescue is much more susceptible when it has lush, green growth plus warm nighttime temperatures.  The second step is to water at the right time. Since brown patch needs 14-16 hours of wet leaf surface to reproduce itself, water only after the dew has dried in the morning. An alternative is to water after nightfall. Since the grass is wet with dew anyway, watering in the dark does not unnecessarily extend the wet period.

So what if you have brown areas in your sod or planting beds due to poor rooting mixed with our hot summer temperatures? We have help for that, too.  Garden Supply owner,Keith Ramsey, recommends treating with Drought Defense by Soil Logic to reduce water consumption and enhance growth.

Drought Defense reduces the amount of water needed to irrigate lawns, groundcovers, trees, and other plants. This soil moisture management product helps prevent plant-available water from evaporating or draining past the root zone.  It is super-concentrated, long-lasting, helps lower watering bills and is safe for use on fruit and vegetable plants.  Drought Defense is environmentally friendly and is safe for use around children and pets.

This easy-to-use concentrate is ready to go.  Simply connect the sprayer to your hose and spray evenly over measured area.  Be sure to irrigate all treated areas after application to wash the product into the soil.  After two applications of the product, normal watering time and quantity can be reduced up to 50%!

For those of you with warm-season grasses like Bermuda, Centipede and Zoysia, June is the time for over-seeding your bare spots and laying down an application of fertilizer.

We have everything you need down at the Garden Center, and our experts are standing by with answers to all your lawn care questions.  Stop by and pay us a visit and get your June lawns and garden looking in tip-top shape in no time.

Thanks so much for stopping by!  I’ll be back soon with more snippets from the garden.

More Perennial Gardening

Good morning, everyone!  In honor of June being Perennial Gardening Month, I thought I would share a few tips and tricks for successful perennial gardening as well as more of my favorite perennial plants down at Garden Supply.  We have so many beautiful plants to choose from, as always, and the display of color coming from the perennial tables is truly a site to behold right now. Guaranteed we have a ton of great choices to inspire some summer gardening at your house, just in time to catch the peek of warm-weather blooming.

Mona Lisa lilium

Dramatic Oriental lilies add interest to the summer garden. Their large flowers bloom atop tall stems with a powerful fragrance that intensifies as the sun goes down. These stunning Mona Lisa lilies offer soft pink flowers with darker pink veins and a deep blush in the center, and dark, showy speckles. The shorter size and prolific blooms of this lily make it an excellent choice for containers. They perform best in full sun in rich well drained soil either in the gardens or in patio containers. They make great companions with other bulbs, perennials and are great butterfly plants.

Lilies can be successfully planted March-September in Zones 3-9.

Sights of Summer dahlia

Isn’t this Sights of Summer dahlia a real eye-catcher?  This yellow and red bloomer boasts 4″ blossoms that will light your garden with color. Sights of Summer grows only 20-24″ tall, making it an excellent border plant.

With a blast of different colors, shapes and sizes, Dahlias bring life and beauty to your landscape in summer and into the fall months. The diversity of Dahlias allow you to use them in many different aspects of your landscape design, from low growing border plants to stately background plantings which may reach six feet in height.  Dahlias make excellent cut flowers, which typically last about a week in the house.

These tender tubers bloom best in full sun and will tolerate most soil types, but prefer a sandy, well draining soil.  If you have a heavy, clay soil try adding sand or peat moss to lighten it. Dahlias are summer blooming tubers which are generally only hardy in Zones 7-11. In the majority of the country, they must be planted each spring and then cut back and dug each fall after the first killing frost.

Blue Stocking monarda didyma

Blue Stocking monarda didyma was chosen perennial of the month in July 1998.  Hummingbirds and butterflies can’t resist this plant! It is easy to grow and is mildew-resistant.  It can be somewhat invasive in the South, so don’t be afraid to trim it back.  The leaves give off a pleasant aroma and can be steeped in boiling water for tea. Monarda is best used in the border in combination with other plants of similar height.

When planted in rich, moist soil monarda are easy to grow and relatively trouble free. They will spread quickly, so individual plantings are encouraged. To control the spread, trim small shoots around the edges of the plant. Deadheading is helpful on young, vigorously growing plants to prolong blooming, but may not be as effective on older plants.

And now here are a few tips for successful perennial gardening for the month of June. Herbaceous perennials are highly prized for their ornamental features and their ease of culture.That, however, does not mean that they require NO maintenance. Adherence to a summer schedule of maintenance duties will enhance the beauty of the garden and allow perennials to flourish.

June is the month to shear the tops of spring bloomers to ensure uniform and ornamental foliage for the remainder of the season. Grass shears can be used for this task.  At this time you should also cut back the foliage of spring-flowering daffodils and tulips that bloomed at least six weeks previously.

Early to mid-June is also a good time to cut back by half tall late season bloomers to control height and eliminate the need for staking. Perennials treated in this manner will mature at a shorter height and may flower slightly later than unpruned perennials. Plants that respond to this treatment include aster selections, artemisia, boltonia, Joe-pye weed, rudbeckia and Autumn Joy sedum. During June and throughout the summer season, plan to deadhead spent flowers as the need arises. This practice has the effect of improving the overall appearance of the plant, eliminating an abundance of unwanted seedlings, and promoting a continued bloom period or later re-bloom. Plants that require deadheading include coreopsis, daylilies, garden phlox, and others.

Hope these tips will get you on your way to a successful perennial garden in no time.  As always, our friendly experts are on hand 7 days a week to assist you in all your gardening needs. If you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Be sure to mark your calendars for this Saturday, June 19th for our Annual Auction. Join us for a full day of fun at our best sale of the year by participating in our absolute auction. Plants, trees, flowers, pots, urns, iron pieces, fountains and lots of other gift items will be auctioned off. It’s easy, just register and get a number, bid and be competitive, finish up your landscaping and get it all at a great price.

We will be grilling hot dogs and firing up the pizza oven again. Also look for some other great deals throughout the nursery and gift area.

Thanks so much for stopping by everyone! I’ll see you back here soon for more snippets from the garden.