Monday, April 16, 2018

Spring and your evergreens

 One of the first signs of how tough the winter has been is the color of our evergreens.  A lot of the cedars, spruce and pines around the city are a lovely shade of brown.  Most people’s first reaction is that the plant is dead.  This is most likely not the case.  The buds for this years growth will still be alive, they are just waiting for some heat to start growing.  Once the new growth flushes out it will cover up the brown needles.  To help the process along you need to start fertilizing and watering your evergreens as soon as the snow is gone.   A fertilizer that is high in Nitrogen (the first number on the formula) is the best.  An Evergreen Food with the formula 30-10-10 is an excellent source of nitrogen.  Soak the soil that is around the plant to feed the roots.  For best results apply the fertilizer every two weeks throughout May and June.  As an extra boost you can also spray the foliage with Organique’s Biofish.  This should be done once the ground has thawed.  As for watering, a deep watering every week unless it rains.
Susan Jensen Stubbe
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 10:10 AM 0 Comments

Monday, September 14, 2015


Planting fall bulbs are a great way to bring blooms to your garden in the spring.  When choosing which ones to plant, try to mix all the blooming times - early, mid and late spring.  You can choose from tulips, daffodils, hyacinth, alliums and scilla.
The bulbs should be planted in a sunny location to receive at least 6 hours of sun.  But 8 - 10 hours would give you the best flowering.
They should be planted about 3 times as deep as the height of the bulb, but an inch or two deeper will give them extra protection.  You can add bulb fertilizer or bone meal at this time.  After blooming, remove the faded flowers so they don’t go to seed.  Let the foliage yellow and die back naturally so that energy goes back into the bulb for next year.
Naturalizing refers to a process by which you plant self-propagating bulbs in an informal setting.  They will require little or no human care, and will produce their own garden.

Tulips are probably the most popular fall bulb.  We have ordered five different types this year.

Darwin - are the longest living tulips with the largest flowers.
            - have tall, strong stems and strong petals that withstand wind and rain

Fosteriana - one of the earliest tulips to bloom
                  - have very wide flowers on strong stems

Lily flowering - blooms have pointed tips and very strong stems

Botanical - create a very natural look as they come from a wild species
                - some of the longest flowering tulips
                - a great choice for naturalizing

Double Peony - generally bloom in late spring with short, sturdy stems

There are other varieties of fall bulbs you can choose from.  Mixing these in to your tulip garden would be lovely.

Scilla - referred to as “glory of the snow”

         - bloom in very early spring and are extremely hardy
     - blooms usually last a few weeks
     - beautiful in a rock garden or in mass plantings

Muscari  - or Grape hyacinth
               - blooms last forever and are very fragrant
              - a shorter bloom to go in front of tulips
              - deer resistant

Trumpet Narcissus
- the most traditional daffodil
   - single stemmed, with big trumpets
      - deer resistant

Allium - belong to the onion family
      - easy to grow and long lived
         - deer resistant

It is a great time to do some planting - including fall bulbs.  Just when most everything in your garden is finished you can have some fun making a new spectacular spring garden.

Posted by Tammy Jensen at 3:57 PM 0 Comments

Monday, May 12, 2014

Pruning Spring Flowering Shrubs

As the spring has finally arrived and your spring flowering shrubs start to bloom, you might start to wonder, when should I prune these shrubs.  Spring flowering Shrubs such as Forsythia, Double flowering Plum, Lilac, rhododendrons and Azaleas flower on old wood.  If you prune them in the fall or early spring you will be cutting off the flower buds, thus giving you very little show.  The best time to prune these shrubs is right after they flower.
When pruning you should remove approximately 1/3 of the shrub each year,   this will give you a healthy plant and the best show.  Start this process by removing dead or broken branches right to the ground.  Then you remove the oldest, thickest canes with to the ground.  At this point you may be close to the desired 1/3 removal.  The remaining branches you remove should be chosen to give you the desired shape and height you want.   Also remove any spent flowers, this will allow the plant to give its energy to growing rather than producing seed.
Occasionally you have a shrub that is very over grown and woody that flowers very little.  Normal pruning does not always fix the problem.  That is when I would suggest doing a rejuvenation pruning.  To do this you remove all the branches of the plant leaving only 2-4” of the shrub at the ground.  This is best done in early spring before the leaves come out.  Thus you will have to sacrifice the flowers for that season but it will be worth it in the end.
The following shrubs can handle this type of pruning.  Potentilla, Dogwood, Lilacs, Hydrangea, Honeysuckle, Mockorange, Weigelia, Viburnum (Cranberries), and Elders.
Pruning - Thinning - Picture 1
Pruning Rejuvenation - Picture 2

Pruning - thinningRejuvenation pruning
Posted by Tammy Jensen at 3:15 PM 0 Comments