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Evaluate plants in landscape

| Friday, April 2, 2004

It is back to cool, wet weather for a while, but there are lots of tasks that can be done outside that will help save time during planting season.

Clean up leaves and debris that accumulated during winter in flower and shrubbery beds.

Remove winter protection from perennials, shrubs and roses if you have not done so.

Re-evalulate flower and shrub beds. Are there plants that should be removed because they are not doing well where they are planted, or because they are getting too big for the area, or because they are not producing the effect you were trying to achieve• Now would be a good time to transplant these plants, because there is a lot of available moisture, and plants are just starting to break dormancy. It would be better to transplant or remove these shrubs now, even though you may not know what you want to replace them with, than to wait until later in the season when transplanting is not as successful.

When transplanting, be sure to add a granular fertilizer to the planting hole, along with mixing in quality topsoil, such as Premier Pro Mix Liteway Top Soil or Bio Max. Also, even though the ground is moist, water the newly transplanted shrub with a liquid fertilizer, such as Plant Starter or Jack's Blossom Booster.

When planting, never put the plant deeper than it previouslywas planted. In fact, leave it about 1/2" to 1" out of the ground. The motto is "Plant it low; never grow. Plant high; never die".

It was a tough year for some perennials because of wet, cold soil along with mice and vole damage. While looking over the perennial bed, see which perennials may need to be moved, divided or replaced. Because of the cool, wet weather, now is a good time to divide and remove many perennials. Here again, it is best to do this now to cut down on transplanting shock later.

One must remember, perennials do not live forever. Many will give you years of pleasure, but do not be disgruntled if some should start to decline. Perennials still are a great addition to the landscape.

Now is a good time to freshen mulch in the yard. After a day of planting this spring, who wants to spread mulch• Do it now.

It is back to cool, wet weather for a while, but there are lots of tasks that can be done outside that will help save time during planting season.

Clean up leaves and debris that accumulated during winter in flower and shrubbery beds.

Remove winter protection from perennials, shrubs and roses if you have not done so.

Re-evalulate flower and shrub beds. Are there plants that should be removed because they are not doing well where they are planted, or because they are getting too big for the area, or because they are not producing the effect you were trying to achieve• Now would be a good time to transplant these plants, because there is a lot of available moisture, and plants are just starting to break dormancy. It would be better to transplant or remove these shrubs now, even though you may not know what you want to replace them with, than to wait until later in the season when transplanting is not as successful.

When transplanting, be sure to add a granular fertilizer to the planting hole, along with mixing in quality topsoil, such as Premier Pro Mix Liteway Top Soil or Bio Max. Also, even though the ground is moist, water the newly transplanted shrub with a liquid fertilizer, such as Plant Starter or Jack's Blossom Booster.

When planting, never put the plant deeper than it previouslywas planted. In fact, leave it about 1/2" to 1" out of the ground. The motto is "Plant it low; never grow. Plant high; never die".

It was a tough year for some perennials because of wet, cold soil along with mice and vole damage. While looking over the perennial bed, see which perennials may need to be moved, divided or replaced. Because of the cool, wet weather, now is a good time to divide and remove many perennials. Here again, it is best to do this now to cut down on transplanting shock later.

One must remember, perennials do not live forever. Many will give you years of pleasure, but do not be disgruntled if some should start to decline. Perennials still are a great addition to the landscape.

Now is a good time to freshen mulch in the yard. After a day of planting this spring, who wants to spread mulch• Do it now.

Then, when transplanting, you will just have to push the mulch aside this growing season.

The fight against moles and voles may be escalating this spring. There are all types of ideas about how to rid your property of these pests. Here is a list to choose from:

  • Mole traps

  • Mousetraps set in the above-ground runs of voles. Traps can be covered with flowerpots to avoid catching anything else.

  • Rodex poison placed in the holes.

  • Mole Tox, a gel-like poison that is placed in the runs of moles.

  • Sprays that are applied to an area that deter the moles.

    These critters are hard to control. Whichever method you decide upon, you have to be persistent. Keep traps and bait fresh, and try more than one form of control.

  • Garden tip: During these cool, overcast days, set out transplants of vegetable and flowers to harden them off. Be sure to bring them inside if temperatures fall below 40 degrees.

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