ShadyGardens Blog

October 27, 2012

Dry Fall in Georgia – Can I Plant Anything Now?

Filed under: drought, dry, fall, Georgia, planting — shadygardens @ 2:05 pm
Well, folks, it certainly looks like we are in for a dry Fall here in Georgia. This really puts a damper on my Fall planting plans. Each year, I look forward to Fall, because this is the time of year that I can plant shrubs in the outer stretches of our garden. I cannot reach these parts of my garden with a hose, so I usually wait for rain to be in the forecast, and then I hurry out there with my shovel and shrubs. Earlier this week, according to our local meteorologist, we had a 20% chance of rain for today. I thought the day I had been waiting for was finally coming. Yesterday, that chance of rain was removed from our forecast. So far this Fall, I have been waiting, and waiting, and waiting for that rain that just has not come. 



A rain shower every two or three weeks does not constitute regular rainfall that should be coming this time of year. I remember cold rainy days in October during my younger years. Back then, I did not enjoy that weather, because I had not yet discovered the joys of gardening. It seems like once I fell in love with plants and the gardening bug really bit me hard, the droughts came. And every single year I become more and more discouraged when I walk out into the garden. 

Our soil looks more like bricks I could use to build a potting shed than something in which to plant a shrub. This is the result of record-breaking intense heat along with a drought that has been going on for years. While we did receive nice rain showers in Spring this year that stirred up my excitement, received rain never caught up with our need. We began summer with a rainfall deficit.

What will I do? The only thing I can do is wait for rain…

September 18, 2012

Fall: The Perfect Time for Planting Shrubs

Filed under: azaleas, Blueberries, fall, fothergilla, gardens, hydrangeas, nursery, plant, planting, Shady, shrubs, trees — shadygardens @ 1:25 pm

Fothergilla Mt Airy
In Fall at Shady Gardens Nursery

I cannot say this enough: Fall is the best time to plant shrubs and trees. Our weather usually begins cooling off in September, making gardening easier on both the plant and the gardener! Although daytime temperatures are still hot, our nights are cooler. 

October is a great time to plant Azaleas, Blueberries, and Hydrangeas. This time of year just brings better weather for shrubs to establish themselves without having to fight for their lives! So if you dream of beautiful blooms covering your yard on shrubs like azaleas, hydrangeas, snowball bushes, etc, do yourself and your plants a favor and plant them now, instead of waiting until spring. If your dream includes eating tasty blueberries from your own garden, plant those now too! 
Since we are now receiving regular rainfall here in Georgia, you can take advantage of that and be ready to plant when another shower is headed your way.
Shrubs planted in fall will have a head start over spring planted ones, and will have a greater chance of survival during our heat wave next summer. Even though the top growth of the plant will be dormant and might not even have any leaves, the roots will continue to grow through the winter. So get out there and enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having!


(Reprinted with permission from Plant Native)

December 31, 2011

Plant in Winter? Yes, You Can!


January is a great time for planting here in Georgia! Shrubs and trees planted before the arrival of hot weather have a much better chance of surviving the drought. I’m afraid it’s time we all adjust our gardens for the return of the drought each year.


Several years ago, our garden was certified as a Wildlife Habitat by the National Wildlife Federation. We are very proud of that, because preserving our environment for wildlife and our children is very important to my family and me.

Not only is preserving wildlife and native plant species important from an environmental standpoint, but native plants are easier to grow, since they are able to thrive in our climate!

In addition to being easy to grow, many of our Native American Species offer other advantages over the imported counterpart.

Consider American Euonymus with the unusual red fruits instead of the more common Euonymus that is invasive. The fruit resembles a hard strawberry until the capsule bursts open to reveal bright orange seeds—food for the birds! (See the photo above.)

American Native Azaleas perfume the garden with a lovely fragrance, while Asian Azaleas have no fragrance at all! And what could be more beautiful than a native azalea in full bloom?

Nothing smells sweeter than the banana-pineapple scented blooms of the native Sweetshrub, Calycanthus floridus.

The bright red blooms of our American native honeysuckle vine, Lonicera sempervirens, will attract whole families of hummingbirds, yet won’t take over and pop up all over the community as does the very aggressive Japanese honeysuckle.

So as you add new plants to your garden during this great planting time, seek out some of these rare native specimens, and don’t be afraid to plant them now, to give them a headstart before summer! And check back soon for suggestions on how you can improve your garden to help protect your local wildlife.

For more information on these and other plants for your garden, please visit Shady Gardens Nursery.

November 23, 2011

Filed under: autumn, azaleas, Blueberries, fall, gardens, Hydrangea, nursery, planting, Shady, shrubs, trees — shadygardens @ 1:21 pm
Fall is the best time to plant shrubs and trees. Autumn weather is cool, making gardening easier on us. In Fall, rain is more dependable, making planting easier on both the plant and the gardener. Here in Georgia, daytime temperatures can still be hot, but our nights are cooler. 

Fall is the best time to plant Azaleas, Blueberries, and Hydrangeas. This time of year just brings better weather for shrubs to establish themselves without having to fight for their lives! 

So if you dream of a garden as beautiful as that shown in the photo above, do yourself and your plants a favor and plant them now, instead of waiting until spring. If your dream includes eating tasty blueberries from your own garden, plant those now too! 

Since we are receiving more regular rainfall, you won’t have to water as often, but you should water your newly planted trees and shrubs anytime it hasn’t rained that week, especially as long as days continue to be hot and sunny. 

Shrubs planted in fall will have a head start over spring planted ones, and will have a greater chance of survival during our heat wave next summer. Even though the top growth of the plant will be dormant and might not even have any leaves, the roots will continue to grow through the winter. So get out there and enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having!

To order unusual shrubs and trees for fall planting, visit Shady Gardens Nursery.

April 21, 2011

Friendship Community Garden

Filed under: ceremony, community, garden, Georgia, planting, west point — shadygardens @ 10:50 am

January 5, 2011

Planting Instructions for Native Azaleas

Filed under: azaleas, gardens, instructions, native, nursery, online, planting, Shady — shadygardens @ 4:30 pm
Native Azaleas are definitely a spectacular show in spring, but don’t wait till Spring to plant them! Shrubs planted in Fall and Winter have a much better chance to get established and become healthy plants by next summer. 

The American Native Azaleas, species Rhododendrons, are deciduous, meaning they lose their leaves for the winter. This defoliation begins quite early in fall, depending on the climate conditions and the variety. Usually the earlier the bloom time in spring, the earlier leaf loss occurs in Fall.  
Fall is the best time to transplant shrubs because they are then dormant. Fall planted shrubs have all winter to become established before time to bloom and grow next year. This is especially important when your plants are received by mail, as is most often true with rare plants like native azaleas.
When planting native azaleas, soil preparation is key. All azaleas prefer well-drained soil. Amend the soil for drainage, especially if your soil is clay.  Prior to planting your native azalea, work in some compost or composted manure and shredded bark to the planting hole. To help insure good drainage, mound up the soil so your azalea is planted high. Be sure that the root collar is slightly higher than soil level so water will drain away when those heavy downpours occur.
 
When planning your native azalea garden, consider the site. Native azaleas naturally occur in the filtered light beneath large trees near stream banks, but will grow in full sun when water is adequate.  They perhaps will bloom more profusely in full sun, but need more water with more sun. 
Make sure you can get water to the plant if drought occurs. Native azaleas are quite drought tolerant once established, however, water weekly the first year or two, as the plant grows in to its new environment.  Also, the blooms buds are formed during late summer on the early blooming varieties, and if your area is prone to a late summer-early fall drought, pay attention to those weekly waterings, so you won’t miss out on your fragrant spring blooms! 
Finally, obtain some good organic mulch. Azaleas have a shallow root system. Apply a thick layer of any organic mulch such as shredded bark, leaves, or straw to conserve moisture and keep the roots cool. Never cultivate around your native azaleas, since this can damage those shallow roots. 
Once planted, your native azaleas will need water at least once weekly to insure good root development and beautiful blooms for years to come. 
For more information on the beautiful and fragrant native azaleas, visit us at Shady Gardens Nursery.

September 26, 2010

Garden Planting Zone

Filed under: arbor day, garden, gardening, planting, update, usday, zone — shadygardens @ 1:23 pm

What planting zone are we in? Often the hardiness zone  in which a particular plant will grow appears on the plant tag, so this is important information you need to know.


I’ve always planted as though we’re in USDA Zone 8, although many of my master gardener friends have told me we’re in zone 7. Our garden does have a sheltered location. We probably have a microclimate since our property slopes to the south, providing our plants with protection from those cold north winter winds.

But what zone are we truly in? Drastic changes in average low temperatures over the last several years have caused many to believe the USDA Hardiness Zone map is out of date. The last update occurred in 1990. A new map was proposed in 2003, but rejected. The National Arbor Day Foundation decided to go ahead and update their map anyway, and it’s worth taking a look at. They used data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to formulate the new map. According to them, the changes in average low temperatures have changed so much that planting zones would change by as much as two zones!


I’ve noticed for years that several of my “houseplants” return each summer in our shade garden. Among them are spider plant, split-leaf philodendron, and butterfly plant.


Well, anyway, according to the new Arbor Day Foundation hardiness zone map, we’re now in Zone 8!


You can take a look at the map yourself, by going to Arbor Day Foundation. This new information gives us many more plant choices for our garden!

September 23, 2008

Fall Planting is Best for Azaleas, Hydrangeas, and Most Other Shrubs

Filed under: azalea, Blueberries, drought tolerant, fall, garden, gardening, Georgia, Hydrangea, planting, shrub, shrubs — shadygardens @ 8:13 pm

Fall is the best time to plant shrubs and trees. Our weather usually begins cooling off in September, making gardening easier on both the plant and the gardener! Although daytime temperatures are still hot, our nights are cooler. October is a great time to plant Azaleas, Blueberries, and Hydrangeas. This time of year just brings better weather for shrubs to establish themselves without having to fight for their lives! So if you dream of beautiful blooms covering your yard on shrubs like azaleas, hydrangeas, snowball bushes, etc, do yourself and your plants a favor and plant them now, instead of waiting until spring. If your dream includes eating tasty blueberries from your own garden, plant those now too! Since we still are not receiving regular rainfall, you’ll need to water newly planted trees and shrubs once or twice weekly, especially while these hot days continue. Shrubs planted in fall will have a head start over spring planted ones, and will have a greater chance of survival during our heat wave next summer. Even though the top growth of the plant will be dormant and might not even have any leaves, the roots will continue to grow through the winter. So get out there and enjoy the beautiful weather we’re having, and remember to pray for rain!

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