|••••••••PERENNIAL PLANTING GUIDE••••••••
| Ground Preparation
A little time spent in soil preparation will be well rewarded. If annuals have
grown well in the bed before without fertilizer, then no additional fertilizer will be
required for perennials beyond an annual maintenance light feed each year. If
fertilizer is added to the bed, it is best done well in advance of planting or at
least very well mixed into the soil. A light application of fertilizer to the top of the
soil around the plants several weeks after planting or when the plants have
begun to grow is always safe. All plant growing is a matter of judging plant
response and deciding whether you are in the range of too much or too little,
whether watering, spraying, fertilizing, as to temperature, sunshine, whatever.
What you will be trying to achieve is a border that is established and can
basically get along without any great effort each year. This is really a very
realistic goal, and we hope that these plants and instructions will give you a
good start in that direction
|Mulching - Decorative / Weed Suppression
Personal Choice. The Pro's: It will keep the root zone cooler,
and helps retain soil moisture. Looks nice and helps control
weeds. The Con's: Can be expensive, won't stop grassy weeds,
will tie up Nitrogen as it decays, and can repel water if it totally
dries out. We like to apply a shallow layer (1-2") about 6 weeks
after planting. This will allow you to cultivate the soil several
times thus killing all the weeds as they germinate. Take care not
to cover the crown of the plants. You'll find that additional mulch
next year may not be necessary as the plants will fill in nicely
and help control weeds themselves.
See "Upon Receipt of your Order" sheet for unpacking instructions. We
suggest that you water the plants well in their pots the day before planting,
especially if they have been held for any period of time after arrival. Extract
the plants from their containers either by inverting the plant and tapping the
pot's edge using a downward motion on a solid object, or by spanking the
bottom of the pot to dislodge the plant.
For 6 paks, a gentle pinch of the sidewall of the cell followed by a poke on the
underside will free most plants. If it is still caught please tear open the cell
pack to dislodge the plant. Then place each one in the spot it is to be planted.
When that section is placed, plant each one a little below the soil line, firm it
gently and leave a ring of ridged soil to hold water, if desired. When the whole
bed has been planted, set a sprinkler or water by hand for at least 30 to 40
minutes. If there are rains at all, no further water should be needed until the
first warmer dry spell.
| Fall and Winter Care
It is usual to cut the entire bed down to about 6" in late fall to
remove old debris that will be in the way next season. This is
also a good time to pull out the dead annuals from the border
so that there is no question in the spring whether a dead
looking clump is really dead or a valuable perennial, not yet
awake. Most perennials will show signs of life at the crown early
in the spring, and with the annual tops gone the fall before,
spring cleanup can be delayed quite a while, and no plants
need to be lost to an overzealous worker. A light application of
fertilizer can be made anytime from late fall to early summer to
maintain the health of the bed.
| Mulching for Winter Protection
We do not recommend it except for extreme northern
gardeners who don't have reliable snow cover. The plants are
very hardy and should not require winter protection. Many,
many more plants are lost to smothering and rotting than to
temperature extremes. If you decide to mulch, remember to
wait until the ground is frozen hard to apply it. Excelsior, salt
hay, evergreen boughs, straw - anything that won't mat down
and smother works well. (Leaves and grass clippings are
bad.) The mulch will need to be removed with the first thaw. In
Ohio we typically have December, January and February
thaws, so we don't bother mulching as it would do more harm
than good. If in doubt our advice is don't.
| Water and Summer Care
The first year, water will be required during prolonged dry spells. One inch a week is the general norm that is required. You can set a few cans in
the border when watering to check the amount applied, or dig down a few inches a half hour after watering to see how deep the water has
penetrated. A good six inches is ideal. Some new gardeners are very surprised to find that what they considered a good soaking is only wetting the
soil to a depth of an inch or so. If plants are watered in that way they can turn out quite well, but they will be very shallow rooted and then hurt if a
few days are skipped and the soil becomes dry at the top. You probably know of a good gardener who does not soak once a week, but lightly
sprinkles every day. The secret of success is usually that they are very dedicated gardeners who do not leave town for any time during the growing
season and just never miss a day sprinkling, unless it is raining. It is far better for almost everyone to strengthen their plants by deep watering when
needed, and thus making their borders self-sufficient, which is more what perennial gardeners have in mind.
To keep weeds down, a light scratching of the soil as a few weeds are starting to show will destroy those as well as a multitude that are just starting
to break out of their seeds. In order to germinate, seeds must be in the top of the soil layer, be in good contact with the soil, have ample moisture,
and almost all have to be in the light. That is why once your new plants are up to size, the weed problem becomes minimal. As the plants mature and
shade most of the ground and most weed seeds in the topmost layer have germinated and been destroyed by scratching or pulling, then scratching
the ground can be more vigorous and watering less frequent.
The plants are insect and disease free for the most part. You should need no spraying unless a major invasion of sucking or chewing insects
moves in from somewhere nearby, in which case the damage is easily apparent in time to use a general insecticide such as SEVIN or a general
purpose spray before any real damage is done.
| SHRUB PLANTING INSTRUCTIONS
Your soil should not need any special preparation unless it is very hard and clayey, in which case a liberal amount of peat moss and sand should
be worked into the area. See special instruction for Rhododendrons and Azaleas.
These plants will do fine planted directly into borders, hedges, or into planting areas in the lawn. They will be quite good sized and showy the
second year. An alternative is to make a nursery row in the rear of your yard on a sunny spot, or reserve a row in your vegetable garden. Plant the
bushes about 18" to 24" apart and then transplant them at the end of the first or second year. At that time, the shrubs mentioned below that benefit
from being cut back should be cut back to 12" to 18" tall, the roots shortened to make planting easier, and the shrubs planted into their permanent
spot. This transplanting can be done anytime after the first hard frost in the fall, about Oct. 1 in Ohio, or in the early spring before leaves have
PRUNING - Proper pruning is a must for nicely formed plants. Never shear them unless for a hedge, or on some lower, naturally mound shaped
ones. Always remove a few older branches close to the ground, allowing new shoots to develop or making room for those already growing and then
trimming them lightly to shape the plant pleasantly. During their first year, any rogue branch that begins to grow straight out with no side branches
can be nipped at the tip or cut back to promote bushiness. Hedge shears should be used only where a round shape is wanted or for hedges. Other
plants that become too large should have several oldest canes completely removed, leaving the youngest to fill out the bush. Unwanted or
asymmetrical branches can be removed anytime. Cutting is best done after flowering so as not to sacrifice bloom for the next year.
|FERTILIZATION AND WATERING - Fertilization is important. A well fed plant is not subject to insects or diseases, is hardier, and will make you
proud of your green thumb. Use fertilizer in early summer each year with almost any fertilizer available. Established shrubs do not require watering,
but your new plants will benefit from a soaking anytime there are 7 - 10 days without rain the first year.
PLANTING AND CARE - A 6-9 month time release fertilizer tablet has been included for each of your shrubs. This will help to establish your
shrubs during their important first year. Place the fertilizer pill provided to one side of each plant when planting - a short distance from the root ball
(4-6"), not touching. Set the plants a little deeper than you would think, with the root ball covered. All our shrubs are grouped below by use or
by the amount of early pruning they should have. The spacing suggested is for distance from a wall or from other large plants.
These are acid loving plants that do well in filtered or partial sunlight. Ground preparation is simple, but very important. A hole should be dug at
least two feet wide and as deep, and the soil mixed with peat moss, the hole refilled. The extra dirt can be spread over the surrounding beds or
lawn, and the refilled hole firmed with the feet. If the peat is dry, it should be well watered before mixing. When the hole has been refilled, simply
plant the pot ball very slightly beneath the surface and firm the soil gently about the ball. Before the first winter, mulch with an inch or two of peat
and in very cold climates, cover the plant with an old bushel basket after the ground is frozen solid. The second winter protection is normally not
needed. The peat will provide for the acidity needed, but if desired, an acid plant food and an iron fertilizer can be used and will be of further
benefit. Allow 3 feet of clearance from other plants or buildings, and in a very few years you will have a full sized specimen. All bloom more heavily
each year. Clematis are prized for their incredible flowers, most as large as your hand. Will train onto trellises, fences, or arch over doorways.
Likes to have their roots shaded and their flowers in the sun. Stunning when used alone or when several colors are mixed.
INSECTS AND DISEASES
Here are some symptoms of common plant problems. If you see
these symptoms, there are many excellent products on the market
which can be used for them both chemical and natural. Your local
garden center should be able to offer suggestions. It is always
okay to use an insecticidal soap, such as Safer's Soap, for insects.
A general purpose fungicide can be a good preventative measure
if the summer is particularly soggy.
RED SPIDER - and other mites - plants are yellow and weak. The
undersides of the leaves are always dirty when examined (from
soil sticking to the fine webs.) Tap a leaf over a piece of white
paper and you will see tiny specs. If they start crawling, then you
have spider mites. The bigger mites can be seen by the eye.
Often first seen with the heat of summer.
POWDERY MILDEW - Leaves disfigured by a white coating
resembling mold. Begins when there is little air movement or when
night dews become prevalent in late July. Use fungicides listing
Powdery Mildew by midsummer until late August (in Ohio). Leaf
damage remains even with treatment, unfortunately.
LEAFMINER - White curling trails are seen in the leaves, most
often in late spring only.
APHIDS AND CHEWING INSECTS - Holes in leaves or along leaf
margins, or visible insects along stems.
LEAF SPOTS - Dark brown spots on leaves can be caused by a
fungus or by over-watering. Red pustules (bumps) can indicate
WHITE FLY - Small white insects fly when disturbed. Responds
well to insecticidal soap.
SPITTLE BUGS - Bubbly masses in the leaf axils.
| REMOVE OLD WOOD AFTER BLOOMING
Callicarpa Hydrangea Annabelle
CARE OF GRASSES
These benefit from cutting back in Late Winter/Early Spring:
Calamagrostris - Feather Reed Grass Pennisetum - Fountain Grass
Chasmanthium - Northern Sea Oats Saccharum - Ravenna Grass
Festuca - Blue Fescue Sisyrichium - Blue eyed Grass
Miscanthus - Maiden Grass Schizachyrium - Northern Sea Oats
Panicum - Switch Grass Sorghastrum - Indian Grass
These only need the old leaves "teased" out in Spring:
Carex - Japanese Sedge Grass
Deschampsia - Golden Tufted Hair Grass
Elymus - Blue Lyme Grass
Eragrostis - Sand Love Grass
Helictotrichon Sempervirens - Blue Oat Grass
| CLEMATIS CARE - “Queen of the climbers”
Clematis are prized for their incredible flowers, most as large as your
hand. Will train onto trellises, fences, or arch over doorways.
Likes to have their roots shaded and their flowers in the sun.
Stunning when used alone or when several colors are mixed.
Type 2 - In this group all first flowering comes from last season's
ripening stems. In early Spring watch for swelling leaf buds
beginning to show. Cut all dead material off above these
welling buds. Be sure all growth is tied to the trellis, etc.
at this time. Do not tie too tightly, so growth will not be hampered
or cracked by tying too tight.
Arctic Queen Edouard Desfosse Multi-Blue
Asao Guernsey Cream Nelly Moser
Claire de Lune Josephine Niobe
Countess of Lovelace Kilian Donahue
Crystal Fountain Liberation
Type 3 - This group blooms later and from new growth. These should
be pruned in February or March as new leaf buds begin to
show low on the plant. Also remove all dead material above the
buds and clean out any old or mildewed foliage at this time.
Avante-Garde Gravetye Beauty Princess Diana
Betty Corning Hagley Hybrid Purpurea Elegans
Comtesse de Bouchard Huldine Venosa Violacea
Duchess of Albany Jackmanii Ville de Lyon
Ernest Markham Mme. Julia Correvon
Florida Sieboldii Paniculata
Almost every plant we grow will be okay
in a container for one season. The
difficulty comes in wintering over the
container. Since the roots are now "above
ground" in the container, the moderating
effect of the soil's warmth is lost. Either
transplant the perennials into your fall
border, or sink the entire container in the
ground. In mid zones, you might get away
with protecting the container with hay
bales, or by placing the container along the
sheltered foundation of your house.
Arctostaphylos Mass. Vancouver Jade
Hydrangea Arborescens Annabelle
Kolkwitzia Pink Cloud
Magnolia Leonard Messel
Polygonum Auberti - Vine
CUT BACK IN SPRING
Buddleia - Cut back to 12" or good wood
Caryopteris - Cut back to good wood
Hydrangea macrophylla - Remove dead canes
once leaves appear
Lavatera - Cut back to 12"
Sambucus - Cut back to 12"
CUT BACK BY 1/3 AFTER BLOOMING
Spiraea Neon Flash
Tamarix - cut back hard
| GOOD FOR HEDGES
Buxus - Plant 1 1/2' - 2' apart
Caryopteris - Plant 2' apart
Euonymus Alatus - Plant 3' apart
Forsythia - Plant 4' apart
Hibiscus - Plant 6' apart
Kerria - Plant 3’ apart
Miscanthus - Plant 2'-3' apart
Physocarpus - Plant 5' apart
Spiraea Renaissance - Plant 10' apart
Viburnum Tomentosum - Plant 6' apart
Viburnum Blue Muffin - Plant 5' apart
Weigela - Plant 3-4' apart
|GOOD FOR GROUND COVER