Rss Feed
Tweeter button
Facebook button

Spring into your garden: Tips for success ::

Here is some advice to help you get your garden growing:

Prepare your yard:

Clear the yard of any debris, downed limbs, etc. Look for areas that may need to be reseeded. When you mow, don’t cut the grass too short the first few times.

Prune trees and shrubs:

Cut dead or diseased branches from trees and shrubs. Trim summer-blooming shrubs such as butterfly bushes, hydrangea, and roses. Prune early blooming shrubs after they bloom. Deadhead spent flowers from bulbs, but leave the rest of the plant.

Test your soil:

You can find a home soil-test kit at most home improvement stores. Follow recommendations according to your results to prep your soil. Adding organic compost can provide nutrients for plants.

Prepare a space:

Clear the area you will be planting of weeds and debris. Cultivate to a depth of 10 to 12 inches. Create a map of your yard and design a layout of flower beds and/or a vegetable garden on paper first. Remember to plan the color combinations and plant heights so they complement each other well.

Start planting:

Plant bare-root trees, shrubs, and perennials by early spring. You can transplant container plants anytime in the season except for the middle of summer. In North Carolina, the last spring frost typically comes in early April, although in higher elevations wait later in the month.


Apply balanced fertilizer according to your soil test results around shrubs and mulch beds when new growth starts to appear. Soil preparation is the most important thing you can do for your new plants.

Don’t forget the water:

New plants need water. Be sure to check the appropriate amount of watering needed for each type of plant. Over watering is worse than under watering as it can cause roots to rot.

Bring on the sun:

Check the instructions for each of your plants to determine their tolerance to sunlight. The location of your plants can be critical to ensure plants thrive.

Annuals Perennials:

Growing annuals is fairly easy. The time to start seeds generally is about six weeks before the last frost. Seed packages will list the number of weeks needed to germinate when starting indoors. Sow seeds following the directions on the packet. Perennials are a great choice for those who don’t have a lot of time to replant every year. With proper care, they will return to your garden year after year. Allow plenty of growing room between plants. Planting large quantities of a few varieties close together creates a full effect. This will also help to reduce maintenance time. When grouping different varieties of plants together, remember to use plants with similar watering and sunlight needs.

Continue reading this article on

Article source:

Dunklin County Library offers gardening tips

Jeff Dorris

The Dunklin County Library wants to help you create the perfect garden.

The library offers a collection of books on a variety of gardening projects, ranging from vegetable gardens to houseplants.

Wether its advice on when to plant seeds for your vegetable garden or how to make a rain barrel, the informational specialists at all branches of the Dunklin County Library will locate the appropriate resource.

Growing the perfect red tomato is the goal of many novice gardeners. Before grabbing the spade, William Alexander, shares his journey to providing fresh food for his family in The $64 Tomato.

From his animal encounters to vacations planned around vegetable harvest, the author entertains and teaches about the pleasures of gardening.

300 Step by Step Cooking and Gardening Projects for Kids by Nancy McDougall is a fabulous, practical guide to cooking and gardening for children. It’s packed with a range of fun and tasty recipes and exciting, educational projects inside and out.

It covers all the basics from safety, equipment, essential techniques, and cooking and gardening terms.

Information about installing a pond in your yard, composting, attracting butterflies or hummingbirds, or creating a feng shui patio garden can all be discovered at the Dunklin County Library.

Children love to get their hands dirty and at the March Story Time at the Library, the kids started a celery plant in the manner which continues to grow and can be seen at the Kennett Branch.

Story Time is the last Tuesday of each month at 6:00 p.m.

Article source:

5 garden tips for the week starting April 8 – San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Palm lovers take note

Sometimes otherwise well-pampered palms have yellow leaf fronds due to a lack of trace minerals in the soil. Pygmy date palms are particularly susceptible to low levels of magnesium in the soil, a problem common throughout Southern California. This can be easily and inexpensively remedied by scattering Epsom salts around the drip zone (the root zone away from the trunk, toward the tips of the leaves). Epsom salts is magnesium sulfate, and it is available as an inexpensive foot remedy in drug stores.


Our recent rains have been wonderful, but we must still remember to irrigate plants regularly as needed, especially those that produce flowers or fruit. Breezy conditions are every bit as hard on plants as warm weather. It dehydrates them rapidly. Container plants need extra water, too.

Help hummingbirds

Refill hummingbird feeders frequently. It’s nest-building time, and as always, these tiny sweet-eaters need lots of energy. You can sometimes see them gathering spider webs from around windows and under eaves. With a beak full of the almost invisible fluff, they zoom off to make their half-walnut-shell-size, spider-web nursery, which conveniently stretches as the babies grow.

Cutting back

Thin out peach, nectarine and apple fruits within the next couple of weeks to get the largest sizes and best flavor at harvest time. Trees produce fruit to protect and carry seeds for the next generation. We want the edible part around these seeds — the fruit itself — and thinning forces the tree to enclose its remaining seeds in a thicker protective fruit coating, resulting in the larger size and better flavor. Thin by breaking off all but one apple per cluster, and all but one peach or nectarine every 6-8 inches along the stem. You will be amazed at the abundance of flavorful, large fruits at harvest time.

Citrus/avocado reminder

You can still plant new citrus or avocado trees through the end of this month and into early May. Select specimens with vigorous growth and healthy deep-green leaves. It’s tempting to buy OK-looking plants with fruit already on them, but such plants may have been stressed in the container and may take many years to set new fruit again when planted in the garden. Irrigate regularly, but do not feed new transplants for about six weeks.

Article source:

Home Depot shares tips for gardening

We’re now in the spring season, so you might be thinking about creating your own garden.

Article source:

Garden Tips: Fixing spotty lawns – Tri

If there are dead spots in your lawn, it is likely that snow mold infections this spring or record-breaking summer heat last year are the cause. Reseeding or “overseeding” bare patches can improve the appearance of a spotty lawn. Now that irrigation water is available and the weather is mild, here is how you can successfully overseed these spots.

1. Grass seed must have direct contact with the soil or young grass plants will not survive after the seed germinates. To improve contact between seed and soil, use a steel garden rake to remove any remaining dead grass or thatch in the dead spots and then use a hand claw or garden trowel to loosen the soil to a depth of one to two inches.

2. Next sprinkle grass seed on the bare spots using the same type of grass that is growing in the rest of the lawn. Most local lawns are predominantly Kentucky bluegrass, so this is the type of grass that most should use for overseeding. However, if the lawn is shaded most of the day, the fine fescue grasses in the original seed or sod mix probably dominate because they are more tolerant of shade. In these areas, fine fescue grass seed should be used. Apply a grass seed “starter” fertilizer at the time of seeding.

Special Note: If crabgrass pre-emergent herbicide has already been applied to your lawn, overseeding this spring will not work because these materials will also prevent the germination of lawn grass seed. You can either overseed in the fall or patch the spots now using sod.

You should be able to find products on the market specifically for seeding bare spots. Some even include fertilizer and mulch along with the seed. However, some of these spot seeding products contain tall fescue grass, a Turfgrass not found in most area lawns.

When this grass grows, its wider blades and clump forming habit will not match well with Kentucky bluegrass or fine fescues, creating a mottled effect. Be sure to check the label of seed products to determine the type of grass seed they contain.

Most products provide a guide on how much seed to apply per square area. You may be tempted to seed more heavily than recommended, but do not. Seed applied too thickly results in crowded young grass plants that will not have space to grow well.

3. After seeding, lightly tamp the seed down using the back of a steel garden rake. Keep the soil slightly moist until the seed germinates and the grass plants become established. It can take two to four weeks for Kentucky bluegrass seed to germinate.

4. The preceding steps are not practical when dealing with very large spots or extensive areas of dead grass. If large areas are in need of repair, slit or vertical seeders are a better option. These are machines that cut down through the existing dead or thin grass into the soil and deposit grass seed into the slits they make in the soil .

If lawn damage (40 percent or more of the square area) is significant, renovation instead of repair may be the best and only sensible option. Renovation involves removing all existing turf and starting over again from seed or sod. For detailed information on renovation consult the Oregon State University Extension publication, Practical Lawn Establishment and Renovation, available online at Follow their guidelines for lawns in Central and Eastern Oregon.

Marianne C. Ophardt is a retired horticulturist for Washington State University Benton County Extension.

Article source:

Vermont Garden Journal: Pro Tips For Raised Bed Gardening

Looking around yards in Vermont, it’s clear that raised bed gardening is quite popular. That said, I’ve put together some tips on building raised beds.

The best raised beds have borders. Use wood, stone, brick, logs or concrete to make your raised bed. If you choose wood, use something that’s rot resistant like cedar or composite wood. Build beds 3 to 4 feet wide, as long as you like, and eight inches tall. Brace the corners so the bed doesn’t warp over time. For more detailed instructions, listen to this episode of The Vermont Garden Journal.

Now for this week’s tip: Soak garden peas overnight in warm water to accelerate germination and plant in raised beds. Erect a trellis down the center of the bed for tall varieties and plant rows on either side of the trellis. 

Article source:

Sharum’s Garden Center Tips: Open House Continues, Stock Up Now Save Later

The open house continues at Sharum’s Garden Center.

That means great deals on all of your spring favorites as well as free hotdogs, popcorn, and drinks.

Frank is eager to help your house feel like home by adding hibiscus and tropical flowers to your porch or yard.

Frank said one of the things their garden center is famous for is their wide variety of trees and they are all on sale the weekend of April 22nd.

What makes their trees different from other nurseries is having their trees in large containers so after you get the trees home to plant, they won’t go into shock.

Frank also educates us about how not all tress are the same and they require different watering treatments.

For the best deals of the year, stock up this weekend at Sharum’s Garden Center.

Segment Sponsored By: Sharum’s Garden Center

Article source:

5 garden tips for the week starting April 22

Grape strategies

Thompson seedless grapes tend to produce great clusters of tiny grapes in the home garden. While commercial growers apply natural plant hormones to increase their size, homeowners can cut out half of each new grape cluster now in order to get larger individual grapes at harvest time. This directs the plant’s energy into the remaining grapes. They may not get as large as the commercial types, but they will be noticeably larger than they’ve ever been in your garden.

Citrus update

Feed citrus trees again, the third of four annual feedings for mature citrus trees. Citrus trees need high-nitrogen citrus food about every six weeks in the first half of the year: in late January, mid-March, late April/early May and mid-June. Since 1 pound of any dry fertilizer equals about two cups, that means each mature tree should get about six cups of 15-15-15 plant food, or four cups of ammonium sulfate (formula 21-0-0), two overflowing cups of ammonium nitrate (formula 34-0-0), or 1.5 cups of urea (formula 46-0-0), each time you apply it. Or, for whatever plant food you use, follow the instructions on the package. These four annual feedings will provide the necessary amount of actual nitrogen needed annually for optimal growth and production.

Sweet idea

Besides feeding fruit trees, increase the sweetness and flavor of all fruits by applying micronutrients, such as Grow More Citrus Grower Blend or Tru-Green Citrus Growers Mix, since Southern California soils are notoriously low in micronutrients, as well as nitrogen. These products are available from many garden centers, nurseries and home-improvement centers. Twice-a-year applications — sprinkled on dry and watered in, or mixed with water and sprayed directly onto foliage — make a fabulous difference. Use at least in spring and again in fall, or more often in accordance with instructions on the label.

Weed patrol

Oh, those horrible weeds are still coming up all over the place. Keep trying to eliminate them when they first come up — before they have a chance to form new seeds — so you won’t have so much trouble with them in the future.

Harvest time

Harvest homegrown asparagus spears from plants over two years old. Cut spears below ground level as they lengthen but before the heads begin to branch out. Continue for several weeks until newest spears are pencil thickness or less, then let them grow out for the summer. Feed asparagus generously and water frequently.

Article source:

Gardening Tips From Kelly McGowan

SPRINGFIELD, MO —- If you need to spruce up your garden or yard with some flowers but don’t know where to start, horticulture specialist Kelly McGowan is here to help.

KOLR10’s John Zeigler paid a visit to the University of  Missouri Extension Office, and Kelly gave him a lesson in how to repot flowers into a new containers. A very important part of this process is making sure to choose the right container for you.

“The main thing you want to look for is a container with good drainage. You want to get one that has holes in the bottom,” McGowan tells John. The soil being drained correctly is a key to maintaining a healthy plant.

When purchasing your flowers, Kelly emphasizes that you need to know your patio. “You want to match the flowers up with the type of site you have. Some flowers do well in shade, some do well in full sunlight,” says McGowan. Once the soil is in, make sure that a hole is made to put your

flower in. The key here is that the hole should not be too deep. Make sure that your flower will fill in flush with the top of the soil. Kelly offers a couple more tips for this process as well. “Your new containers will need regular watering. So make sure to check them regularly, two or three times a week,” McGowan explains.

She also offers advice on your soil selection.  “Make sure you have nice soil. There are nice, loose soil blends you can buy. If you use the soil from out of your yard, it can become too compact causing it not to drain properly.”

For more tips from the University of Missouri Extension, click here

Good luck, and good gardening!


Article source:

Daffodil weed control begins after foliage fades

Q: I have a daffodil plot, but over the years it has been taken over by grass and weeds. Would it be best to dig everything up, spray, and put down fabric? Debbie Johnson, email

A: I think your best option is to wait a few weeks until the daffodil foliage has begun to turn yellow. Then you can dig everything up and separate the daffodil bulbs from the weeds. Set the bulbs aside in a cool place while you hand-pull weeds or spray with glyphosate (such as Roundup® for example). Wait a few weeks and deal with new weeds similarly. Replant the bulbs, then install some pretty summer annuals, like petunias or Mexican heather for color. Don’t use fabric weed cover. A layer of pine chip mulch is better.

 Contributed: Walter Reeves photo
For the AJC

For the AJC

Contributed: Walter Reeves

RELATED: Floral magnificence: 7 of the South’s great public gardens

Q: What is the downside of using diatomaceous earth to control whiteflies on gardenias? Thomas Palmer, email

A: It probably won’t control whiteflies on your gardenia. Whiteflies live underneath plant leaves, and it’s extremely difficult to get this insecticidal powder under the leaves of your shrubs. If you can figure out a way to spray under the leaves, commercial insecticidal soap—not homemade—will control whiteflies if you are persistent. Otherwise, imidacloprid (Bonide® Systemic Granules, Bayer® Tree and Shrub, etc.) works well. Use it after your shrub blooms to avoid honeybee damage.

Q: I have a small zoysia grass bed I use as a source of plugs for replacing my fescue. I want to put out pre-emergent to cut down on goosegrass and crabgrass in the lawn, but the label of prodiamine and Dimension® products say the chemicals inhibit root development. Will this affect the already slow-establishing zoysia? Bryan Garber, email

A: This is exactly why reading product labels is important. You are correct that pre-emergent chemicals might inhibit rooting of the zoysia plugs. Zoysia grass spreads slowly, so you don’t want to inhibit it with anything. One option is to mow the area you’re plugging frequently at a 2-inch height. This will inhibit the fescue but allow the zoysia to spread easily. If you are careful you can spot spray clumps of crabgrass or goosegrass using glyphosate (Roundup®, etc.) to kill them and further cut down on competition.

VIDEO: More gardening tips

Q: I have a colony of mining bees under some shrubs. These bees are always on the move, hovering over the soil and under the shrubbery. Should I get them exterminated? I do not want to hamper the pollination of plants in the area, but I do not want to get stung either. John Gladney, Winder

A: Don’t kill the bees! Mining bees are considered a beneficial nuisance, like caterpillar-consuming yellowjackets. But unlike yellowjackets, mining bees perform great feats of pollination. The ones you see are mostly stingless male bees. The females fly quickly in and out of their soil tube homes, bringing in pollen to deposit with their eggs. They ignore intruders. Mining bee lives are short. The adults are usually all gone by late April. Leave them alone (or stand nearby) and marvel at their industry. There are more than 500 native bee species in Georgia. The Georgia Native Bee Biodiversity Assessment Project maintains a terrific website devoted to their identification at

Listen to Walter Reeves Saturday mornings on News 95.5 FM and AM750 WSB. Visit his website,, follow him on Twitter @walterreeves, on Pinterest, or join his Facebook Fan Page at for more garden tips.

Article source: