Water-wise Garden Design

Mixed Border Summer

Waterwise design is not only worthy, but a win-win.

A waterwise garden comprises three gardening zones: oasis, transitional, and xeric.

The oasis zone is the area closest to a water source: drain spouts, rain barrels, spigot, etc.

The transitional zone is the area away from the water source about midway to the end of the property.  Plantings here should be sustainable requiring only occasional supplemental water.

The xeric zone is at the property’s perimeter. These plants should be tough requiring no supplemental water.  This area can be filled with dependable drought-resistant plants.

Designing your garden with waterwise zones, helps make you a more efficient gardener, places plants where they will thrive, while saving resources.  Your garden wins, you win.


Photos of The Excellence in the Landscape awards have been announced and are posted at Tarheel Gardening.  Be sure to check this out!


By: Helen Yoest
The TarHeelGardening blog is published and edited by Helen Yoest. For more information on Tarheel Gardening, please visit our website at Tarheel Gardening – your online resource for North Carolina gardening enthusiasts.

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Tarheel Gardening — Wordless Wednesday

Heirloom tomato harvest

 

By: Helen Yoest


The TarHeelGardening blog is published and edited by Helen Yoest. For more information on Tarheel Gardening, please visit our website at Tarheel Gardening- your online resource for North Carolina gardening enthusiasts.

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Did You Know This?

Did you know plants give back?

 

By: Helen Yoest


The TarHeelGardening blog is published and edited by Helen Yoest. For more information on Tarheel Gardening, please visit our website at Tarheel Gardening- your online resource for North Carolina gardening enthusiasts.

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Tarheel Gardening — Wordless Wednesday

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Monthly NC Garden Chores — September

Gardening with Confidence  strawberries

Strawberry needs
September (and August) is when the cell size of spring fruit strawberry buds is determined. The more favorable the growing conditions your strawberry’s receive now, the bigger the berries will be next year.

Ensure that your strawberries get an inch of water each week. If nature doesn’t provide this, then plan to supplement with water from the spigot, well, or rain harvester.

If you didn’t fertilizer your strawberries in August, do so in September. For plants that were planted this past spring, apply 4 to 6 ounces of ammonium nitrate (33% nitrogen) or 12 to 18 ounces of 10-10-10 per 25 feet of row.

For plants in their second year of growth, increase the application rate to 6 to 8 ounces of ammonium nitrate or 18 to 24 ounces of 10-10-10 per 25 feet of row.

Spread the fertilizer uniformly in a band over the row, about 14 inches wide. Apply when the foliage is dry. Brush fertilizer off the leaves to avoid leaf burn.

In cases where the strawberries aren’t planted in rows, but rather as a garden border, simply estimate the square footage and apply the equivalent amount of fertilizer. My strawberry is 2.5 feet wide by 10 feet long, which is equivalent to 25 feet of row.

Gardening with Confidence  Azalea

Feeding the hummingbirds
Hummingbirds feeders aren’t necessary if you have enough plants to feed these visitors, but they are a great way to ensure you have a consistent food source for the hummers, and you can place the feeder in a location that is easy to see from your favorite chair, either inside or out.

Gardening with Confidence  Humming bird feeder

Making hummingbird nectar
Making sugar-water nectar to fill you feeder is easy to do. Boil 4 parts water with 1 part sugar. As soon as the sugar dissolves, you can reduce the heat. It doesn’t take long; less than a minute. Let sugar water mixture cool, and fill the feeder. Store any remaining nectar in the refrigerator for up to a week. When the temperatures are hot, greater than 86º F, change the nectar water daily.

Pest
If you find fall webworms in your trees–hickory, walnut, birch, cherry, and crabapple, to name a few, pull them out and dump the caterpillars into a bucket of soapy water. This is a good control measure for those nests within reach. For those nest that aren’t within reach, you may have to resort to spraying. Control webworms with BTK (Bacillus thuringiensis). Apply just to the effected branches; using BTK as a broad spray will harm beneficial insects as well.

Weeds
There never seems to be one weed, they come in multiples, and like to hang in gangs. There’s the sedges, the spurges, the grasses, and the oxalis. There are too just many to mention, and still hope for a happy day.

Stay ahead of your weeds. if you have a problem with poa annua, annual blue grass, as I do in my Raleigh garden, now (early September) is the time to use a pre-emergent such as corn gluten.

Gardening with Confidence LawnLawns
The first two weeks in September are the best times to re-seed cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, turf-type fescue. Also our southern gardens will benefit from a core aeration.

Wait to prune
Resist the urge to prune shrubs that seem overgrown after a long summer showing. It’s best to wait until late spring to prune, just before the next growing season begins. Punning now could stimulate new growth that would be too tender to survive an early deep freeze. You may also be cutting off next spring’s blooms, such as azalea and  camellias.

Gardening with Confidence  Roses Longwood

Pruning roses
Fear of cutting next year’s bloom is not a worry with roses, but it’s still best to wait until March. Knock Out roses can be pruned most anytime; particularly when you want to shape the shrub. All types of roses benefit from removal of diseased canes and foliage anytime.

Fall planting
October is a great time to plant or move a tree or shrub. Visit your local garden center this fall when the selection will be at it’s peak. Remember to dig planting hole no deeper than the root ball height, and excavate the hole 2-3 times the width of the root ball diameter.

By: Helen Yoest


The TarHeelGardening blog is published and edited by Helen Yoest. For more information on Tarheel Gardening, please visit our website at Tarheel Gardening- your online resource for North Carolina gardening enthusiasts.

 

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White Rain Lily (Zephyranthes candida)

White Rain Lily

Name: Zephyranthes candida

Zones: 7 to 10

Size: 6 to 12 inches tall and wide

Conditions: Full sun to partial shade; rich moist soil.

The white rain lily was one of Elizabeth Lawrence’s favorite little bulbs. These fall bloomers like moist loam and don’t want to compete for water. Lovely white crocus-like flowers will open after it rains; the rest of the year, they offer a pleasing, grass-like leaf.  Rain lilies make a nice ground cover, giving a open area garden nice texture.

Rain Lilies are an idea bulb for a rain garden or planted in a  location made moist from receiving overflow water from a drain spout. Rain lilies have a magical quality about them in that they just seem to know from where the water comes: Rain lilies will bloom to the occasion of rain.

If you’ve been gardening in North Carolina for any amount of time, you, no doubt, have observed these beauties in gardens. Why grow a few of your own in your own landscape?

By: Helen Yoest


The TarHeelGardening blog is published and edited by Helen Yoest. For more information on Tarheel Gardening, please visit our website at Tarheel Gardening- your online resource for North Carolina gardening enthusiasts.

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Tarheel Gardening — Wordless Wednesday

Red thymeRed thyme makes a great ground cover.

By: Helen Yoest


The TarHeelGardening blog is published and edited by Helen Yoest. For more information on Tarheel Gardening, please visit our website at Tarheel Gardening- your online resource for North Carolina gardening enthusiasts.

 

 

 

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Tarheel Gardening — Wordless Wednesday

Sunchokes

Have you ever eaten Sunchokes? Easy to Grown in NC gardens, and a Native American favorite.

By: Helen Yoest


The TarHeelGardening blog is published and edited by Helen Yoest. For more information on Tarheel Gardening, please visit our website at Tarheel Gardening- your online resource for North Carolina gardening enthusiasts.

 

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Monthly NC Garden Chores — August


Tomato harvestHarvest vegetable gardens as needed.
Most of what you have growing in your vegetable garden are annuals. By August, they are looking a little wrung out. As plants end their production cycle, remove them from the garden; otherwise, they may attract insects and disease to the plants that are still productive.

Deadhead flowers. Keep your flowers blooming longer by removing faded blossoms from your cannas, roses, daisies and more.

Fertilizer dos and don’ts. As August arrives, some plants will benefit from an application of fertilizer. For other plants, it could do more harm than good.

Do fertilize:
Summer veggies such as tomatoes, peppers and eggplant continue to produce when fertilized regularly. Use a product that contains 5 percent nitrogen.
Fall vegetable crops
Fall-blooming perennial and annual flowers
Chrysanthemums and dahlias
Cannas
Reblooming iris would benefit from a light application
Warm season lawns (Bermuda and Zoysia) can be fertilized
Remember to water any application of fertilizer well into the soil to provide nutrients for the roots of the plants.

Don’t fertilize:
Azaleas and camellias, because the fertilizer will disturb bud formation.
Summer-flowering shrubs shouldn’t need fertilizing for the same reason.

IMG_7788Propagate roses. Roses can be propagated by layering as late as mid-August. Long, flexible canes are the easiest to propagate because they are easiest to bend into place. Use a clean knife to remove two thorns near the top of the stem and bend it toward the ground. Make a couple of small cuts into the bark between where the thorns were. This is called “wounding the cane.” Hold the wounded area in good contact with the soil with landscape pins and cover with soil, leaving the growing tip of the stem uncovered. It’s also a good idea to put a brick or stone over the covered and wounded cane to give it extra hold.

Next spring, you should see new growth emerge. Once you see new leaves on the rooted stem, carefully remove the entire stem from the parent plant, and recut the stem just beneath the new root mass. Now you are ready to plant your new rose bush.

sawflyPests. See these on your pines? They’re the Pine Sawfly larvae. Pick them off and drop them in a bucket of soapy water.

Bulbs. Select and pre-order your spring-blooming bulbs now while supplies are plentiful. Don’t put off today what will be gone tomorrow. The most unusual bulbs sell out fast. I can say this now because I’ve already put my in order. Try something fun such as the species tulip, Tulipa clusiana.

Cut flowers. Remember those zinnias you seeded in July? Seed more in August, and be sure to cut some to enjoy inside!

By: Helen Yoest


The TarHeelGardening blog is published and edited by Helen Yoest. For more information on Tarheel Gardening, please visit our website at Tarheel Gardening- your online resource for North Carolina gardening enthusiasts.

 

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Tarheel Gardening — Wordless Wednesday

Gaillardia aestivalis var. winkleri.

 

By: Helen Yoest


The TarHeelGardening blog is published and edited by Helen Yoest. For more information on Tarheel Gardening, please visit our website at Tarheel Gardening- your online resource for North Carolina gardening enthusiasts.

 

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