Thursday, April 27, 2017

What's wrong with my lawn

This past fall and winter has been tough on our lawns. Last October and November were very warm and dry and included an 80° day in mid-November. In addition, we've had a lot of wind this spring. Wind can take moisture out of our trees and lawn very quickly and while we know that we should water during warm, dry days in fall and winter, most of us don't. All of these conditions create stress on our lawns. Stressed lawns invite disease and insects, which is why you're seeing large patches of dead grass in your lawns.
In many cases, the large patches of dead grass is  the result of lawn mites. Mites in the lawn thrive under dry conditions and can severely damage the lawn. You can get rid of the spider mites by watering regularly. You can also spray the lawn with a product which contains bifenthrin. Getting rid of the mites will take the stress off your lawn and some areas may recover. It's best to rake up all the dead grass with a leaf rake. If you don't see grass starting to come back in a few weeks, you can re-seed the lawn or lay down sod.

Lawn grubs can also cause spring damage to your lawn. Check for grubs by lifting the sod near the damaged area. Grubs are normally milky-white in color and will curl up when disturbed.

If you determine the damage is caused by grubs, you can spray the lawn now with Spinosad to kill existing grubs.

Apply Grub Free Zone in June or July to help reduce next years grub population. Lawn diseases are another major contributor to dead patches in your lawn this spring. Lawn disease problems begin and end in the soil your grass is growing in. Aerate your lawn spring and fall, paying particular attention to the diseased areas. In addition, apply Humic Acid to the lawn. This will help build the soil and make your lawn healthier. Lawn problems can be difficult to identify. The best way to figure out what's going on is to bring a sample of your turfgrass to our Diagnostic Center.

A good sample would be about as big as a sheet of paper with 2" to 3" of soil and would show the transition  point from good grass to bad grass.  Once we look at your sample, we can figure out what's going on and prescribe a fix. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Time to Prune Roses

Spring Rose pruning tips 
Late April into May is the time to prune your roses. We’ll still get some temperature fluctuations but now's  the time to inspect your roses to see how they fared through the winter and to get them ready for the new season.
Start by gathering your tools. You'll need garden scissors, a good pair of bypass pruners, a set of loppers for large canes and sturdy gloves.
Next, remove the rose collar from the base of the rose and start  pulling back the mulch. It’s best to remove mulch gradually over the course of several days. This will allow the rose to adjust to the change in soil temperature.
Start your actual spring pruning by using your bypass pruners to remove any dead, diseased and damaged canes. Next, remove any canes that cross in the center. This will open up the center of the rose bush. After all the dead, diseased, broken and crossed canes have been removed, the remaining canes should be cut back 1/3 to ½.
Select an outward facing bud eye and cut the cane about ¼" above the bud eye.
The bud eye may be active
or dormant.
Make your cut at an angle so water will roll off the pruning point.
Pruning cuts made this way will keep the rose bush growing outward. For larger canes you can put a drop of white glue on the end of the cane to keep moisture and insects out.
Use your garden scissors to remove move any small, twiggy stems and rose hips from last season. Even with mounding for winter protection, roses can experience significant dieback. Pruning roses with many brown canes may mean you’ll cut the canes almost to the ground, in some cases.
Use a good bypass hand pruner for medium sized canes and a long handled lopping pruner for larger canes. 
Mini-roses grow on their own roots.
This is the time of year to remove all winterkill down to healthy wood. Climbing roses have two types of stems, the main climbing canes and the lateral shoots, which come off the main canes.
The lateral shoots are the ones that produce flowers. Start by removing any dead or damaged canes, then cut back the remaining canes a foot or so.
After pruning your rose bushes, fertilize them with Fertilome Rose Food or
Mile High Rose Food.
Finally, don't avoid pruning because you're worried about making a mistake. Roses need to be pruned in the spring in order to do their best. As long as your roses are healthy, well-watered and fed, one or two bad cuts isn't going to harm them. If you have questions about pruning roses, stop in. We'll help you

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Selecting Summer Blooming Bulbs

Bulbs planted in spring will produce some of the most dramatic colors in your summer and fall garden. You can tuck these bulbs among your perennials to create a fuller looking bed or create a special summer bulb garden of your own. Many summer and fall blooming bulbs are ideal in containers and will liven up your porch or deck.  Summer bulbs include canna lilies, dahlias, Asiatic and Oriental lilies, gladiolus and tuberous begonias.
Asiatic lilies are the hardiest of all the lily hybrids.  If you planted some last year you may see them poking through the ground already. Once they are established in your garden, they'll produce showy blooms for many years. Asiatic lilies spread very quickly. Oriental lilies won't spread as rapidly as Asiatic lilies, but they tend to be more fragrant than. Asiatic and Oriental lilies are planted from bulbs. Before planting, amend the soil with compost and peat moss, add some Bone Meal or Dutch Bulb Food and plant the bulbs 5" to 6" deep.
Canna lilies feature attractive green, bronze or variegated foliage, in addition to their flowers.  Cannas do well in garden beds and containers. The canna “bulb” is actually a rhizome. Plant cannas about 6" deep and about 18" apart, in well-amended soil, with Bone Meal added to the planting site. Cannas need to be dug and stored after the frost kills the foliage, if you want to save them. They will not survive our winters.
Dahlias are grown from tubers and come in a wide variety of colors. Plant dahlias only as deep as the crown, in well-amended soil with a little Bone Meal in the bottom of the planting hole. Dahlias will bring color to your garden in late summer and early fall. Dahlias are tender bulbs and must be dug and stored through the winter.
For more late summer and fall color, plant Gladiolus. Gladiolus “bulbs” are called corms. Plant your corms about 3" deep and 4" to 5" apart, in soil that has been amended with peat moss and compost. Glads are also tender bulbs that must be dug and stored if you want to keep them year to year.
Tuberous begonias make incredible displays of color in a shady spot on your patio. They can be planted in containers, hanging baskets and directly in the garden. They need to be dug and stored if you want to save them for next year. Summer bulbs tend to sell out early, so it’s best to shop now to get the best selection. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Time to plant colorful Perennials

One of the keys to planting perennials early is to make sure they've been properly prepared to handle  spring's diverse weather conditions. This process is called hardening off and involves gradually conditioning plants to outdoor temperatures, light and wind. Hardening off also reduces the shock plants experience when they're taken from their nursery pot and planted in the ground. The process is easy, but it takes time.
In the case of these perennials and shrubs, they've been hardened off and are ready to go into the ground now.  After the storm passes, the weather will warm up and the soil will dry out.
How can you tell if the soil is dry enough to dig in? Squeeze a handful. If it stays in a clump, it's still too wet. If it crumbles, it's dry enough to plant in. Amend your planting spot with compost and peat moss.
Add some Root Stimulator and you're ready to plant perennials such as:
Columbine aquilegia 'Winky Double Red & White',
'Daring Do' a
dwarf bearded iris that blooms now and then reblooms later in the season
Long-blooming hardy geraniums grow very quickly in full sun 
Dianthus 'Everlast™ Orchid' 
English Daisies have long been popular as spring bedding plants. They will do well anywhere in the garden or in containers;
Primrose and many others can all be planted now. Don't overlook hardy bulbs such as asiatic and oriental lilies. These bulbs will add summer and fall color to your garden for many seasons to come.
Hops don't add much color but these quick growing vines can provide a background for your more colorful perennials.
Early spring is a great time to plant colorful perennials. Wait for the soil to dry out, add some amendments to the planting area, feed with Root Stimulator and your spring perennials will be off to a good start.