planting zones

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 […]

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 […]

It Takes Two to Tango (Except When it Doesn’t)

In our previous post “Flowers: Sex, Pollinators and Pollinizers“, we focused our topic on asexual reproduction in plants — primarily those that need a pollinator or pollinizer to boost the reproduction cycle. Asexual reproduction, as we discussed, works best in environments that do not change. But as you may know, our surrounding environment rarely ever […]

Invasive Plants – The Most Unwanted

An invasive species, as defined in an Executive Order signed by President Clinton in 1999, is an “alien species whose introduction does, or is likely to, cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health” Some kinds of plants, due to being transplanted away from their natural home, consequently become invasive in their new home. […]

perfect soil ph

Perfect Soil Ph = Perfect Plants

Getting your best crop, whether vegetable, fruit, ornamental or lawn, often requires adding lime or fertilizer to your soil. But you need to know how much. If you are starting a new garden, it’s a good idea to have the soil tested. If your plants don’t seem to be doing as well as you think […]

meyer lemon

Meyer Lemon – Improved, Sweet & Tasty

With its glossy dark green leaves, fragrant pink-tinged blossoms, and bright orange-yellow lemons, the Meyer lemon deserves a place in your life! Long an obscure specialty of fruit collectors and farmers’ markets in the citrus belt, the Meyer lemon has recently gone mainstream thanks to Martha Stewart and her Meyer lemon recipes. Today, Meyer lemons […]

privacy

Best Fast Growing Privacy Trees for Your Yard

A row of evergreen privacy trees or shrubs can become a living fence that blocks noise, reduces air pollution, slows the wind, and, most noteworthy, hides an unwanted view. It isn’t hard to grow a privacy screen and it doesn’t take as long as you might think. First of all, decide how tall your privacy screen needs […]

evergreen in landscape

Evergreens in the Winter Landscape

(When the flowers of summer have faded to memory, and the autumn leaves have fallen to compost, it’s nice to have evergreen trees and shrubs to brighten the wintertime landscape. Whether your yard is snowy bright or dreary bleak, seems like evergreens can make a dramatic improvement. Evergreen trees usually are the dominant structural elements […]

fall vegetable

Here’s How to Start a Fall Vegetable Garden

Vegetable gardens in the summer can be frustrating, especially in the South. The heat and humidity make for great growing conditions for molds, funguses, viruses and bacterial diseases. Vegetables, not so much. The cooler days of fall promise a respite from the heat and humidity and better growing conditions for many of our favorite vegetables. […]

chill hours

Chill Out! Chill Hour Requirements and What They Mean for Your Plants

If you’ve done some shopping (window or otherwise) for fruit or nut trees, you might have noticed the phrases “chill hours” or “chill zones” in the plant’s description. Though there’s some debate on the topic, it’s generally acknowledged that chill hours are the average number of hours plants are subjected to temperatures between 32 degrees […]

plant an apple tree apple

5 Reasons To Plant An Apple Tree (or two) This Fall

Everyone has heard the old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” We all know there are a wide variety of health benefits that come from regularly incorporating apples into your diet… but why add them to your grocery list when you can grow them yourself? Other than the chance to cultivate a […]