Five Important Garden Tips You Need
Treating blackberry and ivy with Roundup in the spring and early summer is pretty much useless. There is a time when these plants are most susceptible to herbicide. It’s a million times more effective in late summer and early fall. In an ideal world we would not use herbicides at all, if you are going to use them you want to use them sparingly and at a time when they will be effective. For information on how to do it right see my blog: Treating blackberry and ivy .
Over watering or under watering new plant material. Your common sense will kill your plants if you don’t have the specific information for the specific plant type. You can’t water a new tree the same way you would water your petunias. I insist my garden coach clients have a written watering plan for the first two years of their new landscape. I tell them how long to water and to hand check the soil to see if their efforts are successful. Last, but not least, if you’re watering every day you are in line for losing a lot of new plant material.
Colorful tough ground cover for full sun
Plant labels lie. Trust me it’s not a conspiracy, but they write the label so that it makes sense for the entire country. In the Northwest we have the ideal growing conditions so plants will grow taller and wider than indicated. In addition, just because a plants’ mature size is 15’ tall, does not mean it will stop growing once it gets there.
Light. Labels don’t have enough room to explain the complexities of sunlight, let alone the four different kinds of shade. Great Plant Picks is a great information resource in many ways, and has an excellent explanation about the different kinds of shade. There is no perfect solution, even checking the Web will get you four different suggestions for light requirements on a single plant. This is why experienced gardeners often move plants that don’t seem to thrive in the first location they select. Others hire designers who know these things first hand.
“Thank you so much for all your information today and your helpful phone call Saturday. I was pulling out plants in my mind as I was going to sleep last night. I can’t wait to get started!” D’Anne Oneill
Pruning. My best advice is don’t let your father-in-law prune your Japanese Maple! Do not do hedge pruning on plants that are not hedges. You need to learn how to do a thinning style of pruning. While I certainly advocate for hiring a garden coach (since I am one) you can learn from a local nursery, community college or someone who has trees and shrubs that don’t have a bunch of stubs on them. We want pruning that will enhance a plant’s natural and unique shape.
Hi here is my recent exposure in the Oregonian’s Home and Garden blog by Kym Pokorny. This blog gives me credit for starting the Design in a Day way of doing landscape design oh so many years ago and has an amazing photo of me with the amazing Barley Dog.
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Courtesy of Carol Lindsay Designer Carol Lindsay and her late dog Barley.
Longtime Portland garden designer Carol Lindsay was one of the first to implement the idea of Landscape Design in a Day, which would be why she named her business that. The concept is a four-hour consultation with Carol, who will listen to your needs and wants and then come up with a do-it-yourself design. She also offers garden coaching and full-scale garden design.
In checking out her website recently, my eyes spied three topics, probably because Carol and I share a love of dogs. Her sweet, adorable cocker spaniel Barley sadly passed away this year. He will always be remembered.
Her dog-related posts include:
Dog-pee-proof plants. Synthectic lawns and dogs: Do they go together?
But the big news is a video Carol made for About.com about rocks walls.
Videographer in Rock Garden designed by Design in a Day Carol Lindsay
As an example, she uses one that she designed 10 years ago with small plants such as heathers, ferns, dwarf ornamental grasses and ground covers.
“We started out with 10 or 20 little 4-inch speciality ferns,” Carol says on the video. Over a 10-year period of time, these little ferns crossed with each other and created all these little sporelings … Out of those 20 little ferns that we bought 10 years ago, there are 100 ferns here now, if not more than that.”
“It’s high interest, easy to care for and beautiful to look at.”
Sign up for Carol’s seasonal home and garden tips.
— Kym Pokorny
Garden Tips for getting rid of Plant Invaders
The best time of year to treat blackberries and English ivy is coming right up…..so prepare now!
How can anything so sweet, be so evil?
Plan to treat invasive blackberry in September and early October. The reason for the specific timing is this: only in the fall will the plants pull an herbicide to the roots, thereby killing the entire plant. The rest of the year treatments are only partially effective. For greener garden practices that use less chemicals treat the plants only in the fall, and water your bad old blackberries well prior to treatment. In fact you could even fertilize them and pamper them for about two weeks…….and then treat the with an herbicide.
My long time client Pat Tangeman is clearing a large area of her property . She bulldozed last winter and got rid of a decades old blackberry wilderness that had an extensive root system with many large stumps. However, even a bulldozer didn’t kill all the blackberries! Many came back this spring so she called me to problem shoot and design a planting plan for the area.
This fall she will treat her remaining blackberries and will allow the herbicide to trans-locate to the roots to truly kill the plant. Then she will have the remainder of large roots dug out. Once this is done she can plant the new garden we designed together. Victory over the blackberry!
Another client in the Dunthorpe area is having her English ivy treated by professionals the first of September. She is utilizing the same techniques by doing the pre-watering and pampering herself. Once the invasive plants are dead we will be ready to place her new garden plants from her garden planting plan.
Not sure still when would be a good time? Need a professional hands on approach to help get you started? There are still a few appointments for Garden Coaching open in September and October. Winter is also a great time for making plans so you can have what you want instead of taking your precious time to care for a layout and plants you don’t like.