Category: Ken Morgan

Pruning, clean-up important in February

February is a month where the weather can vary widely. Even though it may still be cold, damp, snowy and sometimes miserable outdoors, occasionally Mother Nature will bless us with a day or two of sunshine, which inspires us to go outside and work in the yard. Pruning and clean-up are always important jobs for February. Remember protecting your landscape from hungry deer is critical this month. Be sure to apply a repellant to make your plants less desirable. Remember, regardless of what the groundhog says, spring is still more than six weeks away! Week One • Keep the water flowing or provide a heated birdbath for the birds during these wintery days. Placing a few small rocks around the rim of the birdbath will allow the birds to drink without freezing their feet. • Check bird feeders and refill them often during the winter, always remember to dispose of damp or spoiled seed. Week Two • When watering house plants be sure to rotate pots a half-turn every other week. This exposes foliage to improved light conditions and will eliminate bending of stalks and foliage to the light source. • Use a pH meter to test soil of your indoor houseplants. Most houseplants like a pH range of 6.0 to 6.5. Use lime to raise pH and Espoma Soil Acidifier to lower pH. Week Three • Monitor your...

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There’s always work to be done with plants

A new year has begun and though it’s not the heart of the gardening season, there’s work to be done to get the best out of your plants this year. Here are 10 suggestions for care of your plants inside and out. • When the flowers on Christmas Cactus fade, pinch off the blooms and begin a five-week dormant cycle. Do not touch the plant for five full weeks, meaning no water and no fertilizer. In the second week of February, begin bi-weekly feedings of 20-20-20 fertilizer, and a second round of flowers will come after March 15. • Mulch perennial beds or plants with 3 to 4 inches of mulch to keep plants frozen in place and to prevent them from being heaved out of the soil. Dusty Miller must also be mulched if it is to re-grow in the spring. • Be sure all outdoor potted container plants are watered if needed and have a good layer of hardwood mulch to help protect the root system of the plants. • Spray all snow shovels and discharge chute and impellers of snow blowers with silicone spray. This will allow the snow to slide off and not become impacted. • Use calcium chloride or granular urea (46-0-0) instead of salt crystals when attempting to melt snow or ice. Both these products will work faster and more efficiently than salt,...

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Save this Christmas cut-tree checklist

For many of us, it’s not Christmastime until the tree is in the house with decorations and ornaments. If you fall into that category, you’re probably itching to go out and select the perfect live tree for your space, if you haven’t already worked it into you post-Thanksgiving duties. • Now is a good time to buy your cut Christmas tree. Balsam, Fraser Fir, Noble Fir, and Douglas Fir trees are the best choices because they absorb water more freely, making them the safest indoor cut tree. • Before you purchase a cut tree, try to break off a small branch with your fingers. If it snaps off, consider it dead. If it does not snap off, cut off a small piece and see if it is green or white, which means the tree is still alive and a good Christmas tree. • Remember to check the water in the stand of your cut tree daily. Allowing it to dry out just one time will cause the trunk to “heal over” which means that it will stop drinking. • Consider spraying your cut or balled tree, fresh evergreen wreaths and greens with Wilt-Pruf. This will help it to retain moisture in the needles throughout the holidays and prevent premature needle drop. It can also be used outdoors to keep not just cut greens fresh, but will protect evergreen plants...

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Take steps to protect tools, products

The cold weather is setting in, but many plants still need attention to last through the winter. Even more than plants, tools and plant-care products should be stored properly to prevent damage or loss. It’s just as important to have those tools ready in the spring, too. WEEK ONE • If drought conditions continue, continue once weekly soakings of all trees and shrubs. Remember plants need 1 inch of rain weekly, especially now that they are preparing to go dormant. • For all evergreens, camellias, rhododendron, azaleas, viburnum, and even roses, consider using a product like Wilt-Pruf. This will seal in the moisture and help protect the plant from winter’s bitter drying winds, and protect the crown of newly planted shrubs when freezing and thawing cycles occur. One application will be enough for the winter season. WEEK TWO • Inventory your supply of liquid herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides and put them away for winter in a safe place. Most of these chemicals will freeze if exposed to the elements and will make the product ineffective. • Add ground limestone to shrubs that need high alkaline soil pH for next spring. Arborvitae, boxwood, privet, and yew all need a pH of 6.7 to 7.0 for optimum growth. WEEK THREE • Prune back any long canes of your rose bushes now to prevent the winter winds from whipping them about. It...

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Prepare soil to nourish wintering plants

Fall is settling in on us and that means it’s time for amending the soil for some plants to feed them into the new year and promote their next bloom. Start with poinsettias and roses then move on to the Christmas cactus and acid-loving plants. At the end of the month, check in on strawberry plants and get your leaf composter fired up. Fall is fun, but there’s still much to do in the garden. WEEK ONE • Hosta plants are going dormant now. After foliage has yellowed and browned, cut stalks to the ground. Check the pH now and adjust, it needs to be between 6.0 and 7.0, to be on target for the new growth in the spring. • To get your poinsettia to re-bloom in time for the holidays, give it 12 hours of total darkness and 12 hours of light per day. Just a few minutes of artificial light will upset the process. Continue to do this for two full months. Also, fertilize the plants every other watering. My choice is Jack’s Classic Blossom Booster. WEEK TWO • After the last roses bloom, spread bone meal over the soil and soak in. A lot of rose guides suggest pruning now; but I believe it is better to wait until March to prune back any rose. Do this before spraying dormant oil/lime sulfur spray. This will...

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Upcoming Events

  1. 74th
 Annual 
National
 Outdoor
 Show

    February 22 - February 23
  2. Designer
 Purse 
Bingo

    February 24 @ 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
  3. Crawfish
 Boil
 & 
Muskrat
 Stew
 Fest

    February 24 @ 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm
  4. Botanical
 Artist 
Charlotte
 Heath

    February 26 @ 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm