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Caring for your Mums
Caring for your Mums

Nothing says fall like Mums! Originally from China, they were brought to Europe in the 1600’s. Mums have been cultivated for over 2500 years and continue to increase in popularity.  There are now over 5000 varieties in cultivation.  Through hybridization, many flower forms are available such as daisy, pompon, cushion, buttons, decorative spiders, and spoon-petal.  They are also available in…

Planting and Caring for Pansies
Planting and Caring for Pansies

Pansies grown in Central Virginia are a cool season annual. Pansies can be planted in the fall from late August until approximately Thanksgiving, and in spring starting in late February. Planted either time they should bloom until late May or early June. When the weather becomes very warm (mid 80’s) they usually start to become leggy and look pretty bad.…

Pruning
Pruning

Pruning is a such a broad subject that there have been entire books devoted to the subject. Obviously, it is hard to begin to answer all the questions we are asked on the subject in just a few paragraphs. The following is a few general tips. We are often asked when is the proper time to prune a specific plant.…

Crepe Myrtles
Crepe Myrtles

Crepe Myrtles are one of the South’s favorite trees. Visit any old southern plantation, and you may see crepe myrtles that exceed 100 years of age. They can be found growing from the Gulf Coast to as far north as Baltimore and Philadelphia. Crepe Myrtles offer full season appeal and are easy to grow. They have many outstanding features such…

Lavender
Lavender

A little whiff of fresh lavender or spirits of lavender oil is said to calm the soul, relieve tension, or cure a headache. Lavender-beautiful, fragrant, tasty and healthy! What more can you ask from a plant? Lavender, derived from the Latin “lavare” which means “to wash,” was long ago used for bathing, cooking and healing. Lavender is now one of…

Planting Dogwoods
Planting Dogwoods

The loss of a newly planted dogwood can usually be traced to one of two problems, improper planting or improper watering. Improper planting means the tree was planted too deep or that dirt or mulch was piled up around the trunk. Let’s look at how to plant first. Dogwoods are shallow rooted trees and it would be difficult to plant…

Planting Azaleas
Planting Azaleas

An azalea purist doesn’t plant an azalea. They loosen the soil, take the plant out of the pot, loosen the root ball, and then gradually work the plant into the soil.  This assures that the plant is planted very shallow which is ideal for an azalea. Most of us, however, do dig a hole when we plant. The secret is…

Fertilizer Guide For Central Virginia
Fertilizer Guide For Central Virginia

            All fertilizer labels must have three bold numbers.  The first number designates the amount of nitrogen (N), the second number designates the amount of phosphate (P2O5), and the third number is the amount of potash (K2O).  These three numbers represent the primary nutrients (nitrogen (N) – phosphorous (P) – potassium (K).             This label, known as the fertilizer grade, is a national standard.…

Dirt vs. Soil + Rich Soil Recipe
Dirt vs. Soil + Rich Soil Recipe

SOIL OR DIRT? Do you know the difference between the two?  When should you use compost? What makes up vermiculite and perlite?  I thought it might be helpful to point out how to distinguish between the different types of basic media.  Hopefully it will help you in deciding what is best for your gardening needs. DIRT: Dirt is rocky, silty, and…