Gardening

Landscaping Around Trees

While we may be accustomed to seeing trees standing all by themselves in yards across neighborhoods, it’s actually better tree care to grow other plants and flowers around trees. But how many of us actually consider how to landscape trees when we create our yard design? Not many at all! Most people don’t even know […]

How to Winterize Trees

Temperatures are falling, colors are changing, holidays are passing, and winter is approaching. Before you hunker down and settle in for the season, you should consider how to keep safe trees. While nature has built in some organic winterizing processes, there are also steps you can take to winterize trees to protect them from pests […]

Differences Between Blueberry Bushes

The major types of blueberries grown in the United States are lowbush (hybrids and cultivars of Vaccinium angustifolium); highbush (hybrids and cultivars of V. corymbosum),and rabbiteye (hybrids and cultivars of V. ashei). (Crosses between lowbush and highbush – called half-high – have recently been introduced as well.) Lowbush The lowbush blueberry is native to Canada […]

winter flowering trees dogwoods

Best Front Yard Trees

Choosing the right trees for your yard is important because it’s a long-term decision. Given the long lives of trees, you should make sure you understand the purpose you want your front yard trees to serve, as well as the details of the trees you choose. For example, you need to know the tree’s size, […]

blueberry grow guide blueberry pie

Why Is My Blueberry Bush Not Producing Fruit?

So, you have blueberry plants, but you don’t have blueberries. What’s up with that? Are your blueberry bushes in full sun? If not, you will be disappointed. Like most plants grown for food, blueberries do best in full sun (at least 6 hours). They can take some partial shade, but too much shade will decrease […]

epiphytes in bath

Epiphytes and Parasites

Plants that grow on other plants or objects solely for support are called epiphytes (or air plants). Epiphytes attach to trees, rocks, and other objects, but do not take energy, water, or nutrients from them. Instead, epiphytes produce their own energy by photosynthesis, and get their water and nutrients from the air, the rain, and […]

Granny Smith Apple

Fruit Trees for the Midwest

There are many different kinds of fruit trees that are well adapted for growing in the American Midwest. The backyard orchardist can choose from popular apple, pear, Asian pear, peach, nectarine, cherry, and plum tree varieties. A little more obscure, but just as much fun to grow are persimmons and pawpaws. Growing your own fruit […]

Plant Hardiness Zones USDA planting zone

Plant Hardiness Zones

About Those USDA Climate Zones   The familiar United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map is based on the average annual minimum temperature for each zone. Needless to say, some years a zone will get a minimum temperature lower or higher than the average. Nevertheless, the average minimum temperature is a fairly good indicator […]

fertilizers

All About Fertilizers

Of the more than 115 chemical elements in the periodic table, only 16 are sure to benefit plant life. These are essential nutrients. (There might be others that we don’t know about, but surely they must be needed in very small quantities and are probably never lacking.) Carbon (C), oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H) are […]

ann magnolia tree

Top 5 Early Spring Flowering Trees

IT’S SPRING!       Among our favorite early spring blooming trees are: Japanese magnolia (like the Ann or Jane), eastern redbud, flowering dogwood(white and pink), Taiwan cherry, and wild plum. The Japanese magnolias are among the first bloomers of spring. Three important types of early blooming Japanese magnolias are: The star magnolias (Magnolia stellata) […]

pruning and plant care guide

Basic Pruning for Shrubs and Trees

We prune our trees and shrubs to control their size, shape and scale within our landscape. Proper pruning also stimulates flowering and fruiting and helps to keep shrubs and trees healthy and vigorous, thus reducing the likelihood of future problems.   There are two main kinds of pruning: Thinning and Heading.    Thinning Thinning cuts […]

frost and cold protection

Frost and Cold Protection

Frost and Cold Protection Frost is the enemy of most flowers and some leaves. A dusting of frost can kill blossoms and even the leaves of many kinds of plants. Frost forms on surfaces when the temperature goes below water’s freezing point of 32°F (0°C). Note that the temperature at ground level and on plant […]