Seasonal Garden Tips &
Lawn Care Tips for Wisconsin
Caring for Your Trees
Trees are a landscapes most important feature. They offer privacy, shade, focal points, and serve as shelter and food for wildlife. Planting the right tree in the right spot is a vital step that shouldn’t be dismissed quickly. What type of soil do you have, does it retain moisture or dry out quickly? What kind of sun exposure does the area get? Will the tree get to big for the location? Are you looking for year-round interest, privacy or shade? Having the answers to questions like these will be helpful. The well-stocked lot at Heritage Hill Nursery will give you several varieties to choose from no matter what you’re looking for.
Replenish mulch around trees as needed maintaining a 2 to 3-inch layer of shredded bark. Be care not to mulch up to the base of the trunk as this can cause rotting. Mulching can be a lot of work but it’s worth the efforts. Many trees have suffered injuries from mower and trimmer blades and strings. These entryways open the tree up to insects and disease. Mulching can reduce moisture loss from evaporation and cut down on weeds. Did you know that grass is a big competitor for water and it’s healthier for the plant if you remove the grass and provide mulch? Although newly planted trees will probably need to be watered on a weekly to bi-weekly basis, too much water can cause the tree to die. Trees should be watered thoroughly when the top 4-6 inches of soil is dry. It is best to use a hose near the base of the tree, but not touching the trunk, at a steady drip for about 20 minutes. The soil should be moist for at least 12 inches deep, but the ground not saturated. Clay and sandy soils will need to be checked more frequently. Prune any dead or broken branches this month except Oak trees. They shouldn’t be pruned until the tree is in its dormant state.
The use of perennial beds has grown in popularity over the years as well as the quest for year-round color and interest. Proper planning and maintenance can help achieve just that. When creating a perennial bed or adding plants to an existing one, select the style that fits your landscape and interests. Here are a few ideas to make maintenance easier:
- Select and plant the right perennial for your growing conditions.
- Start small and expand your garden as time allows. Perennial beds do require some upkeep, so if you don’t have much time it’s better to start off smaller than be overwhelmed with weeds.
- Consider using fewer species but planting more of each variety. An overcrowded bed quickly becomes a lot of work.
- Plan for year-round interest. Choose plants that bloom at different times during the season. Don’t be afraid to use annuals for early spring blooms or for filling in gaps.
- Include plants that will not only provide winter interest, but also food for the wildlife such as ornamental grasses, rudbeckias, coneflowers and other seed pod plants.
- Consider adding foliage plants that have fall color like coral bells, sedums and evening primrose
Cool wet springs mean lots of diseases. Remove spotted, blotchy, or discolored leaves as soon as they are found. Watch for leaf-hoppers, aphids, mites and spittle bugs. These insects all suck out plant juices causing leaves to yellow, brown and die. Check for signs of wildlife. Deer and rabbits love certain perennials and will need to apply repellents or noise makers to deter them from destruction. Remove weeds as soon as they appear. If your plants need a little nutrition boost, consider using fertilizer or top dress beds every two to four years by spreading a good compost into the soil.
As plants begin to flower and fade, deadhead to prevent unwanted seedlings, prolong bloom, and improve the overall appearance of the garden. Tall or top-heavy plants such as peonies, will need to have cages or stakes for support. It is easier to address those issues before they get to that point. To prevent fall plants such as asters and mums from getting to big, or flowering to early pinch back the tops.
Be sure to check our In the Spotlight for more ideas of plants, shrubs, flowers to beautify your home!
Questions about planting, feeding and watering? Take advantage of our knowledgeable horticulturist & owner, Jason. He is here to help you make good decisions on what will work best and how to properly tend to your new plantings. Visit the Heritage Hill Nursery and garden center now! We are conveniently located, close to Cedarburg, Jackson, West Bend, Slinger, WI.
Slugs are a gardener’s unwelcome pest that seem to invade everywhere.
This is the perfect time to start using remedies to ward off those little critters, when the soil is damp or wet, to entice slugs up to the surface of the soil Of course you can always get slug pellets or granules to sprinkle around the plants, but why not consider a few very easy methods that are also 100% natural?
Here are just a few:
- Slugs love it… but they can’t consume it. Put a couple tablespoons in a small glass jar and place it sideways so slugs can get in. In the morning, check for the dead slugs and remove. Keep this up until the area is free of the pests
- Another thing slugs love, but will kill them. Pour some beer in a small plastic glass, and bury it close to the plants that are being invaded, so it is at pretty much ground level. You’ll find dead slugs there, remove them and keep going with the beer treatment.
- Coffee Grounds & Egg Shells
- Start saving both of these and mix them together. Coffee smell is a natural repellent for slugs and egg shells cut their bellies. Sprinkle this mixture around your plants and it should keep them away. A plus to this method is the added helpful compost fertilizer it provides.
Additional Ideas (courtesy of Natural Living Ideas)More Info
Above video courtesy of “Grow Veg” YouTube Channel
Shrubs, Care & Planting
Spring is a good time to prune out any frost damage to your shrubs, trees and other plants, which may have occurred from the harsh winter. In spring, you can prepare your yard for summer landscaping by thinning or removing deadwood and/or removing the unwanted parts of your existing landscaping. This will help prevent damage to any new landscaping.
- After the Ground has dried, thoroughly water shrubs that may have suffered from deicing salts. This will help wash the chemicals into the ground and away from the roots
- Look for and prune out any signs of tent caterpillars.
- When temperatures stay above 40 degrees but before new growth appears, apply dormant sprays of lime, sulfur, or dormant oil to control overwintering scale on mugo pines and deciduous shrubs.
- Transplanting shrubs should be completed after the soil thaws but before new growth appears. If you missed that time frame, wait until the fall when the plant goes dormant before attempting to move.
- If adding new plants to landscape, write down space requirements and look for new plants that develop fall and winter interest as well.
- Apply fertilizer in the spring if needed. New plantings will come already fertilized so hold off until the next year or two.
Above information courtesy Melinda Myers books on lawn and gardens. Specifically:
** Month-by-Month Gardening: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year / Minnesota & Wisconsin
** Month-by-Month Gardening in Wisconsin: Revised Edition: What to Do Each Month to Have a Beautiful Garden All Year
** Midwest Gardener’s Handbook: Your Complete Guide: Select-Plan-Plant-Maintain-Problem solve- Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, WisconsinMore Info
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