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Wisteria

This plant is something between a tree and a vine that in some states is viewed as an invasive weed.  Prior to planting this plant, make sure it is not invasive in your area.

The wisteria is a beautiful plant that graces the landscape with weepy branches and foliage that is topped with red, purple,  blue, and white blooms.  It can grow up to 10 feet in one year so plan according.

To plant a wisteria in your garden space, you will first need to prepare the garden space.  This means you need to choose a location that is sunny and has a moist planting medium that is fertile.  If the soil is lacking nutrients, add good amount of compost and/or seasoned manure to the soil.  Mix in this addition before moving on to the planting step. 

Plant your wisteria in the spring or fall.  This means that one needs to dig a hole no deeper than the container it came in but 2 to 3 times the width of that container.  Once the hole is completed, check the depth and width of the hole before removing the plant from its container.  If the hole is correct, cut down the sides of the container to remove the wisteria.  Once that is done, gently loosen the roots of the plant and place the rootball into the hole.   Fill in with soil and gently tap down.  If you have more than one wisteria to plant, make sure to space them out so that there is 10 to 15 feet between them.  After all plants have been planted, water the newly planted wisterias in.

It can take up to 6 years for a wisteria to start blooming.  In the mean time, you will need to do a little annual garden work to keep them growing.  First, add a layer of compost and 2 inches of mulch underneath the wisteria every spring.  To aid in the blooming process, add a couple of cups of bone meal to soil in the spring.  Do not just sprinkle on the bone meal but instead scratch the soil up a bit before applying the bone meal.  Doing this simple step will help with the absorption and keep the bone meal from blowing away.  In the fall, repeat this process with rock phosphate. 

To help control the wisteria, pruning is the key.  For newly planted wisterias, prune them back until they are about 3 feet in height.  If the wisteria is older cut back half of last year’s growth.  

Flowering Dogwood

The flowering dogwood is a beautiful tree that not only decorates the landscape in the spring with creamy white, red or pink flowers but also produces lovely crimson red foliage in the fall.  Both seasons, the dogwood can provide indoor color through cuttings.

Flowering Quince

Flowering quince is another beauty that greets the gardener with red and/or orange blooms in the spring.  Recently a new variety has been appearing in garden nurseries that have creamy white blooms.   While the white blooms may throw you off if you are familiar with the flowering quince, the growth requirements are the same for both varieties.   

The growing requirements of this plant are simple.   First, the shrub requires bright sunlight but can tolerate a little shade.  Next, the soil needs to be well drained.    Third, this plant needs some room.  Some varieties can grow as short as 2 feet but can also soar to 6 feet in height.  Another factor to consider when using this shrub is its thorns.  While this shrub can create a barrier when needed, make sure that it is placed away from children and pets.


Once you have your variety selected, the planting process is the same for any shrub. 

Forsythia

The forsythia is one of the easiest shrubs to grow.  They can be acquired through cuttings or purchased as shrubs.   The use of the forsythia can be of two types.  One, it can be used to naturalize an area when allowed to grow wild.  On the other hand, if you are looking for something more formal, then the shrub can be pruned into a hedge.

As diverse as the forsythia is, its growing requirements are just as diverse.  This shrub can grow in any type of soil as long as it is well draining.  While it can take some shade, it really shows off when planted in a sunny location.

To enhance the development of the blooms of this shrub, feed the plant a high phosphorus fertilizer in the spring.  Doing this simple step will force the plant to produce brighter yellow blooms.

If you decide at a later date that you would like to move your forsythia, make sure that it is done in the winter.  Following this simple step will allow the shrub to flower that spring without any setback. 

Spicebush

Spicebush is one of those unique plants whose nicknames tell a story.  Besides the Lindera benzoin being referred to as the spicebush, it is also known as wild allspice.  The spicebush produces fragrant, pinkish-white flowers that turn into red berries.  These berries are a favorite of many different types of wildlife along with attracting swallowtail butterflies. 

When it comes to planting the spicebush, make sure to place it in a location that receives full sun to partial shade.  As far as soil moisture goes, this shrub can tolerate moist soil conditions.  To get the most out of your spicebush, make sure to plant a male and female shrub.   

Mockorange

The mockorange is another fragrant shrub that looks as wonderful as it smells.  To take advantage of this fact, consider planting it around doorways, windows and along walks.  This shrub’s blooms are white and supported by branches that form a natural vase shape without pruning.  But if you do not like the vase shape, do not worry.  The mockorange takes kindly to pruning right after blooming has occurred.

When it comes to planting this shrub, make sure that it is located in a sunny location.  While the mockorange can tolerate a wide range of soil types, it does best when it is planted in a well-drained location.



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Gardening-tip:



Lady Beetles

Commonly known as Lady Bugs, eat aphids, mealybugs and many different types of insect eggs.

If you want to use them as beneficials in your garden, release them at night, or keep them in their wire topped containers for a day or so before release.

Either technique will help keep them in the area, and working on your specific insect problems, instead of just flying away.


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