April 2019 Newsletter: Trees | Deer | Insects

Trees


Trees love the spring season. Redbud, Cherry Laurel, Chickasaw Plum, Citrus, and fruit trees are all in bloom. Deciduous trees like Crape Myrtles and Maples are leafing out, as are the Drake and Alee Elms. Oaks are beginning to put on their new flush of growth and Magnolias will begin budding up for their signature giant sized fragrant flowers.

VerdeGo offers a large selection of trees. When selecting your tree you must consider important factors like the amount of sun or shade your area gets and the amount of growing space the tree will have. One of the most important considerations- what do you want the tree to provide for you? Whether it’s a tree for shade, an evergreen to provide screening and privacy or a tree that provides colorful flowers, there are many to choose from to get the perfect selection for your garden! Always look up for overhead wires when choosing a site as well.

Don’t Let Your Trees Die!

Newly planted trees and shrubs can take 3 months to 2 years to root in and establish, depending on the size and variety when planted. Larger trees and shrubs need deep watering to help roots penetrate into the soil. If you had a 30-gal tree planted the root ball itself is 2.5 feet deep. You must make sure that enough water has been applied to reach down 3 feet to ensure rooting. Daily hand watering for 2 weeks, then every other day hand watering for 2 the next two weeks and then twice weekly hand watering for the next 2 months should allow for good rooting and healthy growth.

Because no two planting sites are exactly alike common sense must also be used. If after watering a few days your site seems a little wet and the ground is mushy, skip a day or two, to allow it to dry a little. TOO much water will rot the roots. On the other hand, if your site is out in the hot blazing sun and high and dry you may need a little extra water. One thing for sure, a sprinkler system alone will NOT provide enough water for larger material to root in. After your irrigation cycle has watered if you were to dig down you would find that only the top 2-6 inches of soil is moist and that amount will not provide adequate water for a newly planted tree or shrub. Roots have tiny root hairs that stem from the main root. When the roots do not receive enough water the first thing that dies off are the tiny root hairs that take up the water to the main root that transports water throughout the tree. When this happens, the tree or plant is set back until the plant can recover and re-grow root hairs – if it gets adequate water to do so.

If the plant is set back again before it has recovered, it normally dies, the top half first, because it is the furthest point to receive water. Mulching your new plantings is essential to retain moisture, conserve water and reduce weeds. There is a watering guide available at the Garden Center if you require more information. It is quite normal now for Oaks to be dropping leaves. These evergreen natives go through a very quick, partial leaf drop in spring before they flush with new growth.

Deer

Got Deer? Want to create a container for a sunny spot that deer normally won’t like?

Try this:

Start with your “thriller” in the center of the container: use salvia for example or a dracaena spike. There are several varieties of Salvia such as Salvia Amistad, Mystic Blue, Red Splendens, or Indigo Spires.

Now add your “fillers”- try a dipladenia or mandevillea. This plant just blooms endlessly in full sun- they come in red, pink, white, yellow. Add in some lantana like New Gold, Anne Marie or Confetti.

For your “spiller” try Vinca- available in a host of colors, trailing lantana or Baby Sun Rose.

Insects


Those Pesky Insects! This is the time of year when insects become VERY active. Aphids, leafhoppers, grasshoppers, leaf miner, scales, mealy bugs, spider mites and thrips are all out in force looking for something to munch on. Keep an eye out for the orange caterpillars on Oleanders as well. One of the best insecticides on the market is Spinosad and we highly recommend it. This natural organic works well and is safe for people, pets and the environment.

Take the time to walk through your garden and really LOOK at your plants. If caught early, pests and disease are much easier to control. Anytime you apply sprays or insecticides to your garden always use the 7-7 rule – 7 in the morning or 7 in the afternoon to reduce the risk of burning the plant under the sun’s rays. 7 in the afternoon would be much better, on a day when your irrigation will not run and no rain is in the forecast, but more importantly, late afternoon is when beneficial bees are the least active and less likely to be harmed by the spray.