Use our blog as a resource of information pertaining to lawn and landscape maintenance information and services for your properties.
In the midwest, there's not much for us to do in the garden at this time of year. If you’re itching to do something to keep yourself busy, we made a list!
Start Seeds Indoors
You may have started some of your seeds late last month, but most cool-seasoned vegetables, herbs and annuals can be started in February-March. Some examples are, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, kale, lettuce and parsley.
Order Spring-Planted Bulbs
You may not plant these bulbs until March or April, it is a good month to start shopping! Many of these plants (ranunculus, gladiolus, lilis, canna, calla lilies, and dahlias) will flower late-spring or summer.
Prune Woody Plants
Woody plants are still dormant, this is the best time to remove stems or branches. With deciduous trees and shrubs it’s also easier to see the structure of the plants as you prune.
Do a Houseplant Checkup
Warm, dry, indoor air from heaters and fireplaces can dry out plants, adding a humidifier to your indoor garden can help you achieve favorable conditions your indoor plants are looking for. Indoor plants are also not receiving as much sunlight in winter as they do in spring and summer, but temporarily moving them into a brighter area in your house for the winter months or even implementing grow lights in your space can help!
Check on your Stored Plants
If you dug anything up from...
Crabapple Trees and Fruit Persistence
Ornamental crabapple trees are widely popular in landscapes for their spring flowering beauty, interesting shape and colorful fall fruit. The variety of color the blossoms can add to your landscape make it a great addition to any color scheme, ranging from intense shades of pink to gentle white.
The flowers aren’t the only vibrant elements on these trees- the fruits also put on a beautiful display that ranges from pale lime, gold, and reds with highlights of crimson, purple, orange and pink! If you’re looking for something that has winter interest, crabapples are on the list of options as persistent fruiting varieties are available that not only have visual appeal, but tend to hang on to the branches and don’t litter the ground. The sizes of fruits vary from small to large and the smaller sizes cling to the branches better because of their lighter weight.
Due to the fruit persistence on certain varieties, be aware that the crabapples may become a sought after food source for the creatures in your area during the winter months when food may be scarce. Birds, deer, squirrels, mice, foxes and insects may pay your yard a visit to get a taste of what your tree has to offer. If you enjoy providing an ecological benefit to the wildlife community in your area, choose a crabapple variety with a persistent fruiting habit!
Every year, ice storms roll through the state that have the potential to cause considerable damage to urban and natural areas. Glazed roads, power outages, and fallen trees may cause injury to people, property, and your pocketbook.
Characteristics of Trees That Increase Damage Susceptibility
Heavy snow and ice on branches can lead to breakage at seemingly random points due to a variety of factors including decay, diseased areas, dead branches, and severed roots or at points of attachment (included bark, long or heavy branches, weak branch unions). Tree species with broad crowns (decurrent branching), shallow roots, and stem inflexibility have a greater chance of damage inflicted during an ice or heavy snow storm. Examples of trees with such characteristics include Siberian and American elm, hackberry, green ash, birch, and honey locust.
Characteristics of Trees That Increase Damage Resistance
Trees that exhibit conical (excurrent) branching patterns, strong branch attachments, flexible stems, and low surface area of lateral branches are considered to be somewhat resistant to heavy snow and ice storms. The age of the tree also factors in as younger trees generally have greater flexibility than mature ones do. Tapered tree trunks that are wider towards the bottom than they are on top have a stronger foundation to withstand high winds and heavy snowfall. Examples of trees with such characteristics include Kentucky coffee tree, black...
Plants for Winter Interest
Plants in your garden can provide a beautiful outdoor space for the spring and summer months, but what happens in your garden when the cool fall breeze sets in and things begin to go dormant for winter? With the right plants and design, your winter garden can still function as a sanctuary from the world that is both engaging and beautiful, regardless of the time of year.
Shrubs and grasses can bring depth and movement to still or bland scenery, some are noted for their berries, such as Winterberry or Viburnum, while others like Dog Woods, are used to highlight usual bark or branch structure, The blooms of a Panicle Hydrangea remain sturdy through the harsh weather, and another way to liven up your landscape is to include perennials that attract birds such as Black-eyed Susans, Coneflowers, and Sedum. Leaving the dried seed heads up through the season will provide food for wildlife.
Whether you believe it or not, fall is a great time to start planting perennials! The conditions are perfect for the roots to establish themselves! This is all going to be based in our zone which happens to be Zone 5b. You will want to plant early, roughly about 6 weeks before the first fall frost.
Plants are pretty cheap in the stores around this time. Usually stores have discounts on the plants that have been picked over. These plants are usually a little wilty, have some yellowing and/or brown leaves, and the soil is dry. The first thing you're going to want to do when you bring the plant home is cut the yellowing or brown leaves off and thoroughly water them, set the plant in a tray or saucer so they will be able to soak up the water that drains through their soil. After that, treat the plant like every other plant. Water less when it's cold, water more when it’s warm and watch your radars for rain so you don't overwater!
Frost. Some might think frost is a bigger challenge than it actually is, but in reality it's not! Frost might kill the tops of your plants, but it will not affect the root growth. Roots will continue to grow until the soil freezes, which happens within weeks, maybe even months after the first frost in fall.
Growing healthy roots: When the soil is cold, the newly planted perennial roots grow slowly. In the fall when the soil is warmer...
Even though your lawn may look great now with all of the rain and cool weather we have been having, keeping that fresh green look going strong for next season requires proper fall care and maintenance now. Looks can be deceiving, and while your yard may appear healthy, heavy and wet soils are especially prone to compaction, which is one of the main causes of most common lawn problems. Fortunately, routine maintenance and care for your lawn, whether done yourself or with a lawn care professional, can prepare the lawn for winter and the coming spring.
Thin spots and compaction
Overseeding, Reseeding, fertilizing
Hydrangeas are a very popular landscape plant because they have such beautiful flowers, and they’re generally pretty easy to take care of. But there’s also a ton of confusion about hydrangea care and how to keep them looking their best.
While they’re all related, they do not all have the same growth and bloom patterns. Some hydrangeas change color based on pH; some hydrangeas bloom on fresh growth from this year called new wood, and some flower on the growth they put out last year called old wood. It all depends on the species of hydrangea, so it’s helpful to know what you have and keep the plant info card handy.
When to Prune Hydrangea: You can prune hydrangeas that bloom on old wood right after they finish flowering. You can prune varieties that bloom on new wood in late winter or early spring.
How Can I Tell If My Hydrangea Blooms on Old or New Wood? there are a few clues that will help you determine if your hydrangea blooms on new or old wood.
Caution: Do not touch this plant.
Characteristics and Locations
Why is Wild Parsnip Dangerous?
The month of May is when spring really arrives in full force! We can get so much done in our garden this month including, planting our vegetables from seed, keeping plants tidy, weeding, fertilizing plants, pruning early flowering shrubs, removing tree suckers, and a few others we will talk about!
Some maintenance tips:
There are a number of shrubs or perennials that simply don't leaf out as early as everything else in your yard. Many plants stay in dormancy a little longer when spring arrives, some of these perennials and shrubs include:
-Hibiscus - Rose of Sharon
-Hydrangea Paniculata - Hydrangea
-Hydrangea macrophylla - Hydrangea
-Buddleia - Butterfly Bush
-Logerstroemia - Carpemyrtle
-Cephalanthus - Buttonbush
-Baptisia - False Indigo
-Kniphofia - Red Hot Poker
-Perovskia - Russian Sage
Give these plants several additional weeks to start pushing out new growth. Butterfly bush and Russian sage, in particular, may not show signs of life until early June in cold climates, so they need an extra-long grace period. The false indigo, perennial hibiscus, red hot poker, and ornamental grasses are best cut back in early spring, before the new growth begins. As for the other plants on this list, resist the urge to cut them back too soon. Wait until you see little green buds developing on their stems or coming from the ground to prune them or cut them back at all – those green buds will tell you exactly where you may need to prune off any winter damage that may have occurred.
Just because these plants take a while to look alive doesn’t mean they’ll spend the summer stunted –...
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