Lois Trigg Chaplin
Before You Dig
you installing a fence, a new mailbox or planting a tree in a spot where
there could be an underground line? Before you dig anywhere near buried
utilities, call 811, the national "Call Before You Dig"
number. This service notifies local utilities to send a locator to the
requested site to mark the position of underground lines. For more
information visit http://www.call811.com.
assortment of vegetable transplants from Bonnie Plant Farms is available
now. These items arrive at your local Co-op at their approximate
planting time, so be on the lookout if you plan a spring garden. Many
Bonnie plants are now grown in peat pots to make planting easier. Cut
away the plastic band at the top, remove the bottom of the peat pot and
peel away the rim of the peat pot when planting to be sure none of it
sticks up above ground surface.
Bonnie plants grown in
peat pots make planting easier
Need Sun and Lime
and related shrubs that are proven tough, adaptable and drought tolerant
can be mysteriously disappointing. Although you see them on Interstates
planted where only the toughest plants would dare to live, sometimes the
ones in our own landscapes just seem to sit or worse decline. Why?
Because of growing conditions. Junipers and Leyland cypress, two very
common plants, need plenty of lime. Ideally the soil pH is 7.0, or
neutral. If the soil in your landscape is acid, a little lime may be all
your junipers need. This is assuming they get full sun and good
drainage. Those are their other demands. These plants just absolutely do
not like any shade or wet feet.
Use old ladders and paint
trays to create plant stands for your garden.
juniper relative that likes lime is Leyland Cypress (x
Cupressocyparis leylandii). One very common problem of Leyland
happens when fast growing Leyland is planted in rows for screening. The
plants die back as the row fills in! You see big patches of brown on an
otherwise green tree. This dieback is caused by a fungus, Seiridium
canker (Seiridium unicorne), which is most likely to take hold on
plants crowded together in a row because they lack good air circulation.
There is no spray to control the canker, but if healthy, uninfected
plants have full sun, good drainage, air circulation and lime, they may
not fall victim. You may see more dieback this year on Leyland because
it is often exacerbated by drought stress. For a little history, Leyland
cypress comes to us from England where it was hybridized from California’s
Monterrey cypress and Alaskan cedar, both of which are native to
Garden Whimsy from
this for painting the garden in color? You’ll probably either love it
or hate it, but it’s an idea for recycling ladders and paint trays
that have seen better days. Credit for this creation goes to the
horticulturists at Walt Disney World who designed it for last year’s
EPCOT Flower and Garden Festival. This year’s festival runs from March
18 through June 1. If you enjoy flowers, this is the absolute best time
attended the Gulf States Horticulture Expo in Mobile a few weeks ago and
learned a story about a rose that gardeners will love. A lady named
Peggy Martin lost her home in Louisiana to flooding during hurricane
Katrina. After the waters subsided, there was a rose that had somehow
survived it all. Several nurserymen are propagating the rose and last
year there was a waiting list for orders. So if you like plants
story, remember the name Peggy Martin rose, and a great lesson about
renewal. By the way, the rose is a pink thornless climber. If you want
to see a picture and learn more about it, visit http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/southerngarden/PeggyMartinrose.html.
spring is the time to plant rosemary, sage, thyme, cilantro and other
cool season herbs. If you don’t have an obvious spot, perhaps you have
an old cracked clay pot that will serve as a fun container by turning it
on its side. Lay it at an angle so it can drain and use rocks to help
secure the soil on the open end. (See the photo above for an example.)
Use a premium potting soil because the plants will only be as good as
the soil you plant them in. The first three herbs previously mentioned
are perennial and quite drought tolerant (once established), so you can
combine them in the same pot if you wish. It only takes a pinch of each
to season a meal. Cilantro on the other hand is a good herb for
flowerbeds and vegetable gardens where you can let it reseed later in
Trigg Chaplin is author of The Southern Garderner’s Book of
Lists and former Garden Editor of Southern Living Magazine.
Try using an old cracked
clay pot as a fun container for herbs.