1. Planting Hole: The top of the hole should be two times the diameter of the root ball, with the sides sloping to the bottom of the hole.
2. Base: The base or bottom of the hole should be undisturbed soil to support the root ball and reduce settling.
3. Remove Container: Hold the container on its side and gently pull at the base of the plant, removing the root ball from the container. Place the plant into the center of the prepared hole. The top of the root ball should be even with the surrounding finished grade of soil.
4. Balled & Burlapped Plants: Place the rootball in the hole. Position your plant so it is straight and facing the right way. Push a small amount of soil around the bottom of the rootball to hold it in place while you remove rope and burlap from the top of the rootball. If the rootball has a wire basket, cut off the top third. It is not necessary to remove the entire basket.
5. Score Roots: Make shallow cuts (1/2" to 1" deep) down the outer layer of the root ball. Approximately three to five evenly spaced vertical cuts around the root ball. Then slightly loosen the roots around each cut.
6. Backfill: Fill the hole with amended soil consisting of 1/3 tree & shrub mix, 1/3 composted cow manure, and 1/3 of the existing soil. Create a raised ring of soil around the base of the plant to focus water directly onto the root ball.
7. Water: Thoroughly water to eliminate air pockets and settling and to soak the root ball and the surrounding soil. Place the end of a slowly trickling hose at the base of the plant for 30-60 minutes (depending on the size of its rootball)
8. Mulch: Apply 2" to 3" of organic mulch such as shredded bark to the soil surface to retain moisture and suppress weed growth.
Trees and Shrubs: In order to encourage healthy root growth you need to provide enough water for it to soak the entire root ball. An open hose placed at the base of a tree with the water flowing slowly will provide needed water to the root zone. If the water is allowed to trickle into the soil gradually, it will seep down and saturate the area around the roots. A thorough watering should last 30-60 minutes, depending on the size of the root ball. If you have a group of plants in a hedge or planting bed, use of a soaker hose will allow you to water multiple plants in the same amount of time.
New Plantings: During the first week water your plant as frequently as if it were still in the container (once a day). For the following few months keep the soil beneath the surface moist and cool. Allow enough time between each watering so that the soil is not consistently wet and muddy, but not so much time that it becomes dry and dusty. (About once a week)
How To Care For Your Moss Hanging Basket:
These baskets do not like anything below 32 degrees early in the spring. Be sure to bring them into a garage or shed at night to keep them from freezing/shocking the plants & killing them. If the days are warm, the can be hung or placed outside during the day.
Your basket may dry out, even daily, during hot weather. The plants will not do well if the soil & the moss are not moist. Water the basket from the sides, not the top. If you are using a garden hose, spray a fine mist around the sides of the basket.
Bi-weekly applications of liquid fertilizer will help to maintain a vigorous, healthy basket. Use fertilizers such as Miracle-Gro, Peters or Osmocote. One teaspoon to 1 gallon of water is plenty.
Trim or dead head wilting leaves or dying flowers every few days so all nourishment goes to the thriving plants.
The most common pests found in a hanging basket are spider mites and mealy bugs. If you place your hanging basket in the proper light requirements, water and fertilize as directed, you should not encounter pest problems. If you do encounter pest, please check with us for the proper way to treat them.
KNOW WHEN TO PRUNE: Most trees and shrubs can only be pruned at certain times of the year, usually when they’re dormant. Shrubs that flower in the spring should only be pruned after the flowers fade. Shrubs that flower later in the summer should only be pruned in the early spring.
USE PROPER TOOLS: Pros recommend pruning shears with curved blades for pruning; because they do less damage to branch ends. Use lopping shears for branches a quarter inch to an inch. Over an inch, use a bow saw.
FOLLOW PROPER TECHNIQUES: First, thin out dead, crossed and misdirected branches back to the base. Next, head back branches as needed to shape. Remember to always cut just above a bud on the outside of the branch to encourage outward growth.
CHOOSE A PRUNING STYLE: For low maintenance, you’d choose natural pruning that relies mainly on thinning to keep a shrub or tree healthy and let it grow in natural directions with minimal shaping. Formal pruning also uses thinning techniques to keep the plant healthy, but gets to be more work heading back branches, as often as needed to maintain a shape it wouldn’t naturally assume.
PRUNING MATURE TREES: Before you start pruning, look at a tree from a few angles and decide what you want to accomplish. You should remove any dead or crossing branches; they hinder a trees growth. TIP: When cutting off a branch, always leave the branch collar intact (the thickened area where it joins the trunk). If the stub is long enough to hang a hat on, then you haven’t cut enough.
PRUNING YOUNG TREES: With younger trees, the goal of pruning is to help it develop a true leader branch, a main stem growing straight up that defines the tree’s vertical structure. Your task is to define the strongest, most vertical of the branches and head back (cut short) any others that threaten to sap the leader’s food and energy. On main branches, other than the lead branch, you’ll also want to define the main growth and head back the smaller branches growing off those.
PRUNING SHRUBS: Before pruning a shrub, you also first decide what you want your cuts to accomplish. As with trees, remove dead or crossing branches. Most shrubs do require occasional thinning, especially older ones. When you thin a shrub, remove the oldest branches right down to the ground. That opens the center of the shrub to the sunlight, encouraging new branch growth and increased leaf production throughout the shrub. The key is to remove those branches totally. Many homeowners never thin their shrubs, relying instead on periodic shearing of the branch ends, which prevents adequate leaf production inside the shrub and results in leggy shrubs with long bare stems and dense surface growth.
RENEWAL PRUNING: When shrubs are left to their own devices, the oldest branches and stems will actually turn woody, and that’s not good because woody branches do not produce as many leaves and they start to look like trees. You can put your fastest growing shrubs on a 3-year renewal cycle so that the stems and branches are never more than 3-years old. During the first year, remove one-third of the shrubs branches and stems, cutting them right back to the base and focusing on the thickest, woodiest and oldest ones. During the second year, remove one-third of the growth, again focusing on the oldest branches and leaving the new growth alone. During the third year, remove another third, cutting out the last of the old growth left after the first year of pruning and again leaving the new growth alone. During subsequent years, remove the old growth as needed but basically taking out the oldest third of the growth leaving the youngest, most productive branches. NOTE: With slow growing shrubs, the 3-year cycle would probably mean death, but a 5-year renewal cycle should work.
PRUNING FORMAL HEDGES: To turn a row of unruly hedges into formal hedges will probably require a couple seasons and several sessions of pruning, but here are the general steps. Thin out the dead, crossed and unsuitable branches, cutting them right to the ground. Use long-bladed shears to cut about 6 inches off the tops of the shrubs, leaving a flat surface. Trim sides back to create a flat plane, but flare slightly away from the plant as you go down so it’s wider at the bottom than the top. That will expose the bottom to more sun and encourage leaf production top to bottom. Once it’s close to what you want, quit and let it grow for a month or two. DON’T OVERDO THE FIRST CUT! When you come back for the second cut, trim the top and side back again with the long-bladed shears to remove the wild ends, but leave as much new growth as you can. At some point, you can determine the final size and shape of the hedge and then focus your pruning on keeping it that way.
CLEMATIS Planting and Care:
Choosing and Preparing a Planting Location:
-The site you choose should allow for full sunshine to the top growth of your plants. Be sure to stay away from locations that are beneath trees or obstructions that will block the sun. -The flowers will need to be near a support system that they can climb. -The roots will need a shady, cooler location. You can create this enviroment by adding mulch to the base of the plant or planting bushier plants around the base (ex. hosta, annuals) -The soil will need to have excellent drainage. Dig a deep hole, approx. 2 ft, and layer the bottom with gravel to ensure good drainage. -Clematis require an amended/enriched soil. Add some peat moss, cow manure, and compost to the soil removed from the hole. Add a handful of 5-10-5 granular fertilizer (Clematis are hardy feeders). Mix all the ingredients well and start back filling the hole.
Planting Depth and Angle:
Perennials are normally planted in your garden at the same depth they were in the container when purchased. While this works with most flowers, it is a sure way to kill your Clematis! Instead, examine the stem of your Clematis plant and look for the woody area that has new growth directly above it. At the top of this woody area, you will see a small area called "the crown." The crown needs to be planted 2-4" below the soil surface. When you purchase your Clematis the plant will be attached to a small stake to support the vines. Plant the Clematis at a 45-degree angle with that same stake attached. The plant should be placed within 6" of the trellis or support that it will grow as it ages. As it grows, it can be attached to its support with wire or twist ties to train it to grow in the direction you desire.
Once in the ground, there are a few things you can do to help your Clematis prosper. Keep the plant well watered (about 1 gallon of water/week). Create a cool and shady condition at the roots by applying 2-3" of mulch at the base or by planting other flowers around the base to shade it. pinch off any new stems to make the plant bushier. Be patient! It will take about 3 years for your Clematis to begin producing the spectacular blooms this plant is known for.
Common Pest Problems:
ORTHOMAX: Built-in applicator. No mixing, no measuring. Kills over 150 types of insects on contact for up to 6 weeks of residual control. Use on lawns, shrubs, flowers, ornamentals and vegetables. Active ingredient 0.3 percent Bifenthrin. Treats up to 16,000 sq. ft. Outdoor use only.
How to Use: Connect: Shake well before using. Connect sprayer to hose. Turn on water.
Spray: To begin spraying, point nozzle in the direction you want to spray. Bend small yellow plastic tab back and turn knob clockwise to ON position. Spray evenly over measured area.
Finish: To stop spraying, turn knob counter-clockwise to OFF position. Turn off water. Relieve water pressure by bending yellow plastic tab back and turning knob to ON position until water slows to a drip. Turn knob back to OFF position. Disconnect sprayer from hose.
TRIAZICIDE: Spectracide Triazicide Insect Killer for Lawns and Landscapes Ready to Spray Concentrate is a ready-to-spray, fast-acting formula that protects your lawn and garden against more than 260 damaging and nuisance insects. Simply connect your garden hose to the nozzle and apply to your lawn, landscape and garden soils. It controls nuisance pests for up to 8 weeks and controls fire ants for up to 4 weeks. Outdoor use only.