General Perennial Garden Planting instructions


1. Plant perennials as soon as possible after the ground defrosts. Choose a location where water drains quickly after a rainfall. Prepare your planting bed by loosening and turning under the soil to a depth of 8 in. Level the soil with a rake to remove large clumps of grass and large stones.


2. Amend your soil - add peat moss or compost and work in.


3. Dig the hole for each plant a little larger than the root ball. Set each plant with crown even with or slightly below the level of the surrounding soil. Fill in around roots with fine soil and firm lightly, leaving a slight depression or “saucer” around the plant to catch and hold water.


4. Water your perennials. Gently add about a quart of water to the “saucer” around each plant. Water again; let soak in. Fill in loose, fine soil around clump. Water again as needed. As a weed preventative you may want to mulch your garden and then put a light sprinkling of preemergent (preen) over the mulch.

5. Mulch in cold climates. After soil freezes solid in late fall, apply a mulch around perennial clumps. Use loose straw or evergreen branches that will not pack down tightly. Remove winter mulch in spring before growth begins.


1. Spring mulching. After perennial clumps begin growth in spring, add mulch to soil around plants. Do not cover crowns. Use grass clippings, shredded leaves, compost, wood chips, etc. Mulch keeps soil moist, roots cool; prevents weed growth and adds a layer of humus which will aid future growth.


2. Stake taller perennials to prevent damage by wind. Tie plants up as they grow.


3. Pruning. When perennials have finished blooming, remove dead flower heads and stalks, to prevent the plants from setting seed and to preserve their strength. Apply a slow-release fertilizer to keep foliage growing. This will assure healthy growth and good bloom the following year.


4. Fall trimming. Some perennial plants die back to the roots in fall; cut stems back to 3-4 in. above crowns. The clump will send up new growth in early spring.

5. Dividing and Multiplying. Most perennials may be divided after 2 or 3 years to provide a continual source of new plants. To keep plants healthy, they should be divided before they become over-crowded. After 3 or 4 years of growth, dig up the root masses in early fall or spring in our area. Cut the crown of each perennial into several sections with a sharp knife, with each piece retaining its own root system. If the center portion of the old plant shows heavy, woody growth, discard it and replant only the younger outer portions of the clump. Mulch perennials heavily to provide winter protection.


Practical gardening tips for the first week of April

The Weather has been up and down, but it is finally starting to stabilize a bit. Temperatures are still dipping into the 30′s at night, but at least it’s the high thirties!

Forking the veg patch

Here are some tips for things to do and plant, even with these cooler nights

Plant                                                                                                                               Spring is a great time to add new plants to your garden. But it is a little too early for those tender annuals.You can plant  such things as trees, fruit or shade, shrubs, asparagus, rhubarb ,strawberries, and summer blooming bulbs. If you have an asparagus or strawberry patch started now is a great time to clean out the dead from last year and get those perennial weeds out. spread some mulch over it and then lightly preen to keep new weeds from starting

Prune out dead or damaged branches 
Prune unwanted branches of trees and shrubs after new growth has begun.If you haven’t done it yet there is still time to prune those fruit trees! Cut back any remaining dead perennial foliage from last season. Prune roses just before they start to bud out. Spring blooming trees and shrubs, however, should not be pruned in late winter; their flower buds are ready to open as temperatures warm. Azaleas, forsythia, weigela, dogwood, and other spring shrubs can be pruned.

Fertilize & Mulch
Start thinking about applying your lawn fertilizer (click here for the application chart) (and by the way our turfline is in) Rake, fertilize and mulch beds and borders ( Our Mulch sale will be going through April 31.)   Spring is also a good time to fertilize fruit trees. If you applied heavy winter mulch for protection for certain plants ie: roses,or perennials from the cold, its getting time  to clear it away.

Stake plants that may be prone to wind damage during the unpredictable spring weather.

Tend to your compost if it has been neglected over the winter. give it a turn to keep it airiated If you do not have a compost bin, spring is a great time to start one.How to fix a soggy compost pile.

Early spring is a great time to prepare your tools for the oncoming gardening season and to make any necessary repairs or new purchases.

Ok That ‘s enough for this week! Don’t want you to break your back, we have a long spring ahead of us. Have a great week and enjoy this beautiful weather!!!!!!! ( I know the weather doesn’t look that great this week, but at least its not snowing : )


Winter Varmint Damage

As the snow receeds this year and you head out to take those first yard walks of the season, I’m afraid that you may be met with a nasty surprise. It was a hard winter for the deer and rabbits to forage for food.  Deep, persistent snow cover this winter has provided a haven for hungry meadow voles and field mice as they feed on the bark of many trees and shrubs right at the soil line. At the same time, crusted snow has allowed rabbits to feed on the bark of the same plants two, three and even four feet off the ground.varmit Damage

Though hard to see in this picture, a new bud is just starting to grow at a point below the rabbit damage on this burning bush.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that most multiple-stemmed shrubs including redtwig dogwood, burning bush, viburnums, rhododendrons, etc. can recover from this type of wildlife damage. New buds just below the feeding damage will emerge (at the tip of my thumbnail in the photo at left), and within a couple of months a number of new shoots will have grown several inches to more than a foot in length (below, at right)!

By late spring, many rabbit-damaged shrubs will send up new shoots from buds just below the site of the feeding damage.Simply cut these plants back to a point just above the new shoots. Though drastically reduced in size, these plants will gradually regain their previous size and form, as if they’d undergone intentional “rejuvenation” pruning!

On the other hand, single-trunk fruit and ornamental trees will gradually decline and eventually die if most or all of theCompletely girdled by voles just above the soil surface, this maple tree will not survive more than two or three years. bark has been eaten from around the entire trunk, at left. Carbohydrates (plant food) produced in the leaves of damaged plants will not be able to reach the root system because the transport tissue (phloem) immediately beneath the bark will have been eaten, too! In fact, it’s this sugar-containing tissue that the critters prefer.

The only chance for saving a girdled, single-trunk tree is to perform a “bridge” graft. You can find good pictures and an explanation of this technique by clicking here. However, since bridge grafts can be tricky to perform, we recommend that you hire a certified nursery professional or certified arborist to perform the procedure if the damaged plants are extremely valuable. If it’s not a valuable plant and you feel like experimenting, go ahead and try it. If the tree is severly girdled, you have nothing to lose.

One of the best protections for your single stemmed trees is Wrapping the trunk

Plastic drain pipe can prevent voles and rabbits from girdling young trees over the winter months. Do, however, remember to remove the pipe after the snow melts.You can reduce the chance of this type of damage to plants in your landscape in the future by enclosing the trunks of young trees in protective cylinders fashioned from ¼ inch mesh hardware cloth or plastic drainage pipe, at right. Bury the bottom of the cylinders under several inches of soil to prevent mice and voles from burrowing under them. Also make the cylinders tall enough to cover the trunk all the way up to the lowest set of branches to prevent rabbits from getting at the bark while perched on top of crusted snow that may be several feet deep.

And, finally, as tired as you may be after shoveling out your driveway and sidewalks, it’ll also be a good idea to wade out and shovel the snow away from the base of valuable single-trunk trees in your landscape. Mice and voles will not feed as heavily on exposed trunks, and rabbits won’t be able to gnaw on branches above the hardware cloth or drainage pipe barriers while perched on top of a snowdrift.

If you have suffered irreparable damage from the critters and feel you need to replant, you might want to think about deer resistant plants. Click here for a list of plants deer are less likely to eat. Keep in mind the word “resistant”. When the animals are hungry enough they will eat anything!!!!!




Deer resistant plants

DeerFirst, what is deer candy? Deer love narrow-leaf evergreens, especially arborvitae and fir, and show a preference for hostas, daylilies, and English ivy, according to researchers in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, who have studied whitetailed deer damage to nurseries in the Northeast and report heaviest browsing from October through February.

And several growers who participated in the study noted that deer seem to prefer plants that have been fertilized.

Which plants do deer dislike?

  • Not surpisingly, deer stay away from poisonous plants! Daffodils, foxgloves, and poppies are common flowers that have a toxicity that deer avoid.
  • Deer also turn their noses up at fragrant plants with strong scents.  Herbs such as sages, ornamental salvias, lavenders, peonies, and bearded irises are just “stinky” to deer.
  • Would you want to eat something prickly? Neither do deer (unless they’re desperate). Plants such as lamb’s ear are not on their preferred menu.
  • Our favorite deer-resistant perennials are bleeding hearts (Dicentra spectabilis). They are popular with us, but not deer!

Keeping in mind that the first rule in deer proofing is that there really are no deer-proof plants, here is a chart with some plants that deer rarely or seldom severely damage:

Top Deer-Resistant Plants

Botanical name Common name
Achillea filipendulina Yarrow
Aconitum sp. Monkshood
Ageratum houstonianum Ageratum
Allium sp. Onion
Amelanchier laevis Allegheny Serviceberry
Antirrhinum majus Snapdragon
Armoracia rusticana Horseradish
Artemisia dracunculus Tarragon
Artemisia sp. Silver Mound
Arisaema triphylum Jack-in-the-pulpit
Asarum canadense Wild Ginger
Asparagus officinalis Asparagus
Aster sp. Aster
Astilbe sp. Astilbe
Berberis sp. Barberry
Borage officinalis Borage
Buddleia sp. Butterfly Bush
Buxus sempervirens Common Boxwood
Helleborus sp. Lenten or Christmas Rose
Cactaceae sp. Cactus
Calendula sp. Pot Marigold
Caryopteris clandonensis Blue Mist Shrub
Centaurea cineraria Dusty Miller
Centaurea cyanus Bacherlor’s Buttons
Cleome sp. Spider Flower
Colchicum sp. Autumn Crocus
Consolida ambigua Larkspur
Convallaris majalis Lily of the Valley
Coreopsis verticillata Threadleaf Coreopsis
Corydalis sp. Corydalis
Cytisus sp. Broom
Daphne sp. Daphne
Dicentra spectabilis Bleeding Heart
Digitalis purpurea Common Foxglove
Dryopteris marginalis Wood Fern
Echinacea purpurea Purple Coneflower
Echinops ritro Small Globe Thistle
Endymion sp. Bluebell
Eranthus hyemalis Winer Aconite
Euphorbia marginata Snow-on-the-Mountain
Euphorbia sp. (except ‘Chameleon’) Spurge
Festuca glauca Blue Fescue
Fritilaria imperialis Crown Imperial, Fritilia
Galanthus nivalis Snowdrops
Gypsophila sp. Baby’s Breath
Helichrysum Strawflower
Heliorope arborescens Heliotrope
Hyssopus officinalis Hyssop
Ilex opaca American Holly
Ilex verticillata Winterberry Holly
Iris sp. Iris
Juniperus Juniper
Lantana sp. Lantana
Lavandula sp. Lavender
Limonium latifolium Statice
Lobularia maritima Sweet Alyssum
Marrubium vulgare Horehound
Melissa officinalis Lemon Balm
Mentha sp. Mint
Monarda didyma Beebalm
Myosotis sp. Forget-Me-Not
Myrica pensylvanica Bayberry
Narcissus sp. Daffodil
Nepeta sp. Catmint
Ocimum basilicum Basil
Osmunda Fern
Pachysandra terminalis Pachysandra
Paeonia sp. Peony
Papaver Poppy
Perovskio atriplicifolia Russian Sage
Picea glauca ‘Conica’ Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Pimpinalla anisum Anise
Pinus Pine
Potentilla Cinquefoil
Ranunculus sp. Buttercup
Rhus aromatica Fragrant Sumac
Rosmarinus officinalis Rosemary
Rudbeckia sp. Black-Eyed Susan
Ruta sp. Rue
Salix Willows
Salvia officinalis Garden Sage
Stachys byzantina Lamb’s Ear
Syringa vulgaris Common Lilac
Tanacetum vulgare Common Tansy
Teucrium chamaedrys Germander
Thumus sp. Thyme
Yucca Yucca
Viburnum dentatum Arrowwood Viburnum
Zinnia Zinnia

List courtesy of Outwitting Deer by Bill Adler Jr.

Mid May Gardening Tips

plantingBeware treacherous late frosts and keep vulnerable plants and new shoots protected at night if frost is forecast. Don’t be tempted to put out tender bedding until the middle of the month and even then be prepared to cover it if necessary.

Continue with the spring cleaning. Hoe your borders to get rid of weeds before they take hold, annual weeds such as bitter cress and groundsel are enough of a nightmare without allowing them to go forth and multiply by seeding. If it’s dry, attack ground elder and the like with herbicide. Remember these herbicides are indiscriminate and will kill anything they contact so only use them when it is dry and no breeze. Dandelions are a monstrous nuisance at this time of year – if you don’t have time to deal with them terminally, at least chop their heads off before they set seed.

Mulch away while you can still see what you are doing and before the herbaceous growth really takes off. It’s also a good time for your soil additives (ie:compost, manure, topsoil) before planting your flower and Vegetable annuals

Now the soil is warming up and things are starting to grow, add general purpose fertiliser before covering with mulch especially in borders, the fruit and vegetable patch and containers. If you have already mulched, draw it back (if possible), tease the soil a little, add fertiliser and replace the mulch..

Unless you are a Buddhist or a pacifist, now is the time to wage war on slugs and snails. They love tulips and delicacies such as the delicious young shoots of delphiniums and the like, so use pet-friendly slug pellets, drench the ground around hostas with liquid slug killer to exterminate slugs below the surface.Keep an eye out for snails and pick them off… what you do with them is up to you. Birds are your friends here -

Tidy up spring flowering perennials. Deadhead narcissi and tulips as they go over and sprinkle with bonemeal or liquid foliar feed. If you can bear it, allow them to die down naturally before clearing away the foliage, lifting and splitting towards the end of the month.

If you haven’t already done so, erect supports for herbaceous plants such as peonies, delphiniums and oriental poppies prone to undignified collapse.- make your own supports using hazel or birch twigs for a natural look that will fade into the border as your plants grow.

It’s time to plant your  hardy annuals such as nasturtium, calendula and poppies in drifts – clashing colours just don’t matter in a garden, but remember to plant taller plants behind shorter ones.

Summer bedding plants are now available at the nursery. Remember though, do not be beguiled by warm days – a late spring frost will wreak havoc with these plants unless protected and slowly hardened off.

Plant up tubs, containers and hanging baskets for a blaze of colour throughout the summer – remember to harden tender plants off properly before exposing them to the elements.

Ok thats enough for now!!! Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful weather!!!!!!!! Stop By and see us at the Nursery. We have a beautiful supply of Bedding plants and hanging baskets!!!




Gardening Tips for the week of 04/13/14

sprouting spring bulbs

 weed young spring weeds. mulch bare spots in bed

 when it’s dry enough, ‘top dress’ beds.
Top dress garden beds with compost or well-seasoned manure in preparation for planting. Resist the urge to dig the bed; established beds have a complex soil ecosystem which is best left undisturbed. Nutrients added from the top will work their way down into the soil.

 prepare your lawn for spring.
Rake the lawn to remove dead growth and winter debris. This helps bring light and air to the soil level, encouraging the grass to grow. Re-seed bare patches of lawn. Rake bare spots firmly with a metal rake before seeding. Sprinkle grass seed into a bucket of soil and spread evenly over the bare spot. Keep well-watered until seeds germinate and the new grass establishes.

 divide perennials. clear and mulch perennial beds.
For easier handling try to time the division so emerging shoots are only 2 to 4 inches tall. Prepare new beds for perennial flowers by spreading a 6-inch deep layer of organic matter (i.e. peat moss, compost, rotted manure) and work in deeply. Plants growing in deep, rich soil are less likely to suffer from summer drought. Existing perennial beds can be cleared of old plant debris and mulched to prevent weed growth. Mulch should be applied around, but not over the sprouting root mass of each plant.

 apply horticultural oil sprays to pear and apple trees.
Apply oil spray to pears just as the buds begin to swell and then again 10 days later to control pear psylla and pear leaf blister mite. Make a single application of oil on apple trees when a half-inch of green tissue is visible in developing buds.

 also apply oil to ornamental trees and shrubs
Apply dormant oil to trees and shrubs which have a history of aphid, scale or spider mite infestations. Destroying these pests safely with spring applications of horticultural oil will reduce your need for pesticides later in the growing season.

That will keep you buisy for this week, Check back with us for next weeks tips!!!!!!

It’s time to…….

If you have an asparagus patch this is the time to give a light till over the top and put down a pre emergent and some fertilizer. The pre emergent will stop weeds from seeding in and the fertilizer will give those new stalks a healthy start!

asparagus plants

If you have a strawberry patch, this is the time to remove the mulch, pull any perennial weeds that have started, and sprinkle a pre emergent.  You might want to add some compost to the patch and some fertilizer. If your patch is starting to die out in the center, till  the center up and take some of the new runners from the outside and replant them in the center.strawberry-patch