Monday, November 7, 2016

Fall is for Planting Part Two

Horticulture Hotline 11/07/16
By Bill Lamson-Scribner

Last week I began to write about planting in the fall and some of the situations to consider while planting. As usual I ran out of space. So here are a few more things to consider if you have fall planting on your mind.

Are there any particular plants you like? Do you like certain plants for their fragrance? Do you want plants that attract certain birds or butterflies? Do you live in an area that deer might think you are planting a Thanksgiving buffet for their family? Are you looking for spring color, fall color or color all year?

What are your planting site conditions? Is the location always damp and wet or is it sandy and dry? What kind of soil do you have? What kind of drainage does the area have? Is the area exposed to salt from the water via high tides or wind? Is the area windy (Tea Olives do not like wind) and exposed like the beach or is shady and protected like downtown Charleston in a corner behind a brick wall? How much sun does the area get?

Do you like formal or informal gardens? Are there certain textures of plants you like? Some plants grow good in combination with other plants to highlight their different textures and foliage colors. Are there certain foliage colors you like?

Test the soil before you plant. Different plants like different pH levels. If you have a high pH soil, you could choose plants that like a high pH. If your pH is high and you want to grow low pH loving plants, you could amend your soil to accommodate them. Amending the soil is easier before the plants go in the ground; however, you can amend the soil after the plants are planted.

Do you like (and have time) to work in the yard? Some hybrid roses are great, but they do require spraying and regular maintenance. Some plants require more pruning than others. If your time is limited, look for newer varieties of plants and turf that are more insect and disease resistant.

If you are planting a plant or tree for privacy, what is that plant going to look like in the winter? Does it stay green all winter and provide the privacy you want? If you are trying to block a view of a swimming pool, does it matter if the leaves fall off in the winter?

Remember “plant it high and it will not die, plant it low and it is sure to go!”

The cooler nights have set off brown patch disease. Get a systemic fungicide for protection (T-Methyl or Fame). Mole Crickets and ants are very active (Sevin granular will do a good job on both).