Sunday, April 26, 2009

Garden Happenings! Week of April 20

Hello again,

Gardening is Happening in Skillin's Country!

In this post I will be letting you know what I am doing or what I hear is going on out there in our local gardening world.

I will be updating this post with quick supplements all through the week!

So check here frequently!If you would like to contribute just drop us a quick note at OR leave a comment at the end of this post.

We would love any tips OR questions from you!
Thanks to good gardening friend Barbara Gardener for the above photo of some lovely zinnias and red salvia. Happy days are here again; beautiful flowers like that are just what we are headed for!
April 26:
Customer PB had a good question about greening up junipers:
Our Blue Rug Junipers have been in about 10 years. Now, this spring, the main stems are brown with some green only on the tips. Rather ugly looking. Would it be advisable to cut them back to the crown so they could grow again? Or what else to get some green growth from the center out?
Our answer:
I would cut them back to rejuvenate some growth. I do not think I would go all the way back to the crown though; try to leave a few inches of growth from the crown.

Also if you have not done so, NOW is a great time to apply Holly Tone by Espoma to the soil around your junipers. Evergreens need a good “kick” of nutrients and Holly Tone can keep that supply of nutrients going along. Try to apply Holly Tone twice yearly to keep your soil happy!

Speaking of the soil are the Blue Rugs near a walkway or the road? If so, road salt could be causing the browning (road salt is a frequent cause of browning of junipers). If you think this is the case you may want to consider applying some Fast Acting Gypsum to the soil to counteract the effects of the salt.

Both the Holly Tone and Gypsum are sold right here at Skillin’s!
April 25:
Customer DBK had a good question about rhododendrons:
Some but not all of our Rhododendron bushes have dead tops to the limbs. Was that caused by the winter winds and should we prune those back to the green healthy part of the limb?
Our answer:
I think you are right on there. The tops can get really bitten by the wind and cold and this winter had plenty of both. I would prune back to the green healthy part. If you think that you are pruning off some buds that will blossom then perhaps you want to hold off pruning those but my hunch is that the growth you are writing about does not have any buds.
I also have some dead stems on the top of my Endless Summer Blue Hydrangea that need pruning down to some live growth. I don't like to aggressively prune my Endless Summer but some slight pruning is clearly in order.
Driving around on some deliveries I see other shrubs that are in that kind "of shape" so get those pruners going and get some "snipping" happening.
Let us know at if you have any gardening questions that we can answer for you!

April 24:
My roses are starting to burst with growth. As soon as some leaves develop I am going to start my spray program with Messenger. Click Roses by Sheliah! for a past post on roses and how well all natural Messenger works for them!
I am hoping to get some time before work tomorrow morning to get a new vegetable gardening area built up. My father and I pruned a lot of tall trees back in my back yard and I have more sunshine to work with.
Thanks to an old compost pile and plenty of earthworms I should have some nice compost to work with!

April 23:

While driving around Skillin's Country doing some floral deliveries, I cannot help but notice that our lawns are starting to get green and lush! If you have not done so, now is a great time to finish raking your lawn. A good vigorous lawn raking is a great way to get out dead and dying grass so that light and air can get down into the blades of your grass and thus make way for new growth!

It won't be long but soon we will be hearing the sounds of lawn mowers. It is too tempting BUT don't cut your grass too short. A lawn with some height is a very effective way to discourage the growth of pesky grass weeds!

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses

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