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Country Corner’s Gardening Tips

If you just don’t have the time to plant your own containers, Country Corner would be glad to do it for you. Bring in your containers and tell us what colors you would like and what sun exposure you have. Give us a week and pick up your professionally planted containers, and take them home complete with instructions for care. For busy schedules, this is a great service. Sometimes it’s just easier to let us do the planting and you do the nurturing. Hint: Mothers Day is May 14th and this would be a great gift!

Flowers

Working with perennials:
Country Corner carries all the perennials needed to create a shade garden that will simply dazzle you. A shade garden can be just a rewarding as a sun garden.

The Peonies, Euphorbia, Creeping Phlox and many other perennials are popping thru. The last few cold nights slowed down the process a bit, but I think there is still chance of frost so better to be a little slow coming up than too be far up and get burnt off by the frost. If you like to use different textures in your cut arrangements…throw a few Hosta leaves in with your mix. The Astilbe blooms offer a wonderful airy look to a cut bouquet.

Heuchera blooms look like little bells hanging down. Very dainty.

It is fun to experiment with different perennial blooms and leaves to see what holds up the best together and what colors and textures compliment each other the most.

When arranging flowers in a vase, start out with your larger blooms then fill in with your cut greenery. Now you will be ready for your smaller blooms to fill in the gaps. No flower arrangement is perfect, so play with it until you are happy with this beautiful creation from your own garden.

Protect your flowers:

Clean and Dead-head blooms and leaves.
Keeps air flowing.
Soil dries faster.
Energy and nutrients flow to the healthy parts of the plant.
Cut off leaves and blooms that appear yellow or moldy.
Watch for mold around the stems.
It is best to replace plants that have disease on the stems.

How to Plant a Tree

Planting a tree isn’t as easy as digging a hole, sticking it in, and walking away. If you want beautiful tree to enjoy for years to come, you need to plant it correctly. Here are some tips for ensuring that your new trees are a joy to nurture and behold: If you’re planting a tree from a container or a ball and burlap, be sure you dig a hole that’s the depth of the root ball and 3 to 5 times as wide as the ball. Put the tree into this hole by holding on to the root ball, not the trunk. Once you’ve balanced the tree and made sure it’s straight and sitting at the same height as it was growing in the nursery, remove the burlap or any container holding the root ball together. Now you’re ready to fill the hole with about 1/3 of the dirt that you dug to make the hole. Gently pack it around the root ball and then add more dirt. You’ll want to add some water as you go to remove any air pockets in the dirt.Don’t add any fertilizer for the first year your tree is planted. You’ll only want to prune any dead or injured branches. If you have to stake the tree, be sure to remove the stakes after the first year. Place 3-4 inches of mulch about 3-4 feet around the tree, but pull the mulch away from the tree trunk so that heat and moisture aren’t trapped around it. Now just make sure your new tree gets an inch of water every week--whether from nature or your water hose--every week during the first year, every two weeks during the second year, and every three weeks during the third. Enjoy the beauty, interest, and shade your lovely new addition can bring!



Perennials that keep on blooming...

It is always a treat to be able to cut flowers to mix in a beautiful arrangement and have them continue to bloom in your garden. That is just a special gift from Mother Nature. I have list the ones I have had very good luck with below:

Garden Phlox 'David' the 2002 perennial of the year, 'Ms. Linguard', and 'Laura' are a few which are not only repeat bloomers but are also disease resistant.

Buddlea 'Butterfly Bush'is a good perennial to put in an area where you have room for something to get at least 4' by 6'. The more you cut on these beauties the more flowers they produce. Plus they attract butterflys and are insect and disease resistant.

Daylilies 'Happy Returns' and 'Stella D'Oro' are daylilies that will continue blooming all summer long into the fall. You must keep those old blooms cleaned off. But the stems down to where it starts coming out. Daylilies are one of the most care-free perennials you can grow. Very low-maintenance.

Anthea 'Yarrow' comes in a variety of bloom and leaf colors. The same applies, in order to get continual blooms you have to cut the old blooms so the stem can create new growth with new blooms.

Salvia 'May Night', the 1997 perennial fo the year, gives you long, green stems with brilliant purple blooms. It take a small break then comes back in full force until frost.

Perovskia 'Russia Sage' 1995 perennial of the year, is just another beautiful and fragrant grey foliage with lavender blooms that if you cut the old blooms and foliage more will produce.

Scabiosa 'Blue Mist' and 'Pink Mist', the 2000 perennial of the year, is by far the most bloom producing perennial. It will continue until fall. The blooms are long-lasting in cut arrangements. As long as you keep cutting it will keep blooming.

I have grown all of the above and loved every last one of them. Ecery perennial I told you about prefers a sunny location with well-drained soil. If you have shade gardens I would suggest Euphorbia, Astilbe, Sweet Woodfruff, Painted ferns, Dicentra plus there are many more.

Country Corner carries all the perennials I have mentioned and would be happy to direct you to the field where hundreds of perennials are waiting to go home with you.

Perennial gardens are so rewarding. Especially when they come back from year to year and each one of your babies have increased in size. You can pat yourself on the back. You did good! To be able to plan constant color combinations which will give you variety from spring to summer to fall takes a little research time and effort, but the end result is priceless.

Watering

Here is a tip for watering when Mother Nature decides to quit doing our watering for us. When you turn your hose on ALWAYS be sure and run out all the hot water before you water your plants. The water lays in the hose and heats up by the sun. If you use this water on your plants it can literally scald the roots. This can kill your plants quickly. Water with cold water only.

Leaf Miner

Has anyone noticed the color of the Holly trees? Pretty yellow maybe a few spots or tunnel lines. First of all, Holly trees are known for looking that way this time of year. New growth starts pushing off the old leaves from last year. Be sure to inspect the old leaves though. If you do see damage to the leaves, other than a little discoloration, take a piece of it and place it in a bag and bring it down to Country Corner.

Most of the time you will find it is damage from leaf miners. These little worms fit their name. They get into the leaves and literally tunnel it out until its empty then on to the next leaf. I was looking at a leaf off of a Boxwood bush the other day and found about 10 leaf miners. It was amazing. I could not believe all the tiny yellow-orange worms. Leaf miners can do tremendous damage to trees and shrubs if you don’t catch them in time. If you notice a tiny black fly buzzing around the new unfolding leaves, it is laying the eggs for the leaf miner. If you are concerned about this or anything else that doesn’t look right, clip a piece of it and bring it on in. Country Corner will help you identify the problem and give you the remedy to solve it.

Spider Mites, what to look for...

Spider Mites are common pests in landscapes and gardens. They can be found feeding on many fruit trees, vines, berries, vegetables and ornamental plants.

Identification:

To the naked eye, Spider Mites look like tiny moving dots, however, if you suspect an outbreak shake a few off the leaf surface onto a white sheet of paper. Once disturbed, they will move around rapidly. Spider Mites live in colonies, mostly on the undersurfaces of leaves; a single colony may contain hundreds of individuals.

Life Cycle:

Spider Mites reproduce rapidly in hot weather and commonly become numerous in June through September. If temperature and food supplies are favorable, a generation can be completed in less than a week. Plants under water stress are also highly susceptible. As foliage quality declines on heavily infested plants, female mites catch wind currents and disperse to other plants.

Damage:

Mites cause damage by sucking cell contents from leaves. A small number of mites is not usually reason for concern, but very high populations can be damaging to plants. At first, the damage shows up as light dots on the leaf tops; sometimes the leaves take on a bronze color and as feeding continues turn yellow and drop off.

Management:

Spider Mites have many natural enemies that often limit populations. Sprays of water, insecticidal oils or soaps can be used for management. Always monitor before treatment. Do not use soaps or oils on water stressed plants or when temperatures exceed 90 degrees. Be sure to read your labels thoroughly. Check the plant list on the label before applying. Oils and soaps must contact mites to kill them so full coverage is necessary. Remember, they live on the undersurfaces of the leaf so be sure to spray there too. Repeat spraying may be necessary.

~Inspector Findings in Kentucky Volume V issue 4

Teddy suggest doing preventative spraying in July, July and August to ward off Spider Mites on some of your evergreens such as Alberta Spruce and Junipers. Also, keep and eye out for leaf discoloration on any annuals or perrennials.