Monday, April 4, 2011

Horticulture Information

The Lowcountry has many opportunities to learn about plants and horticulture for the new transplant to the area or the veteran gardener. Andy Weber (General Manager of Possum’s North) and I were giving a talk to a civic club last week, and right from the beginning of the talk a lady that had just moved to the area began asking questions.

They were good questions. She wanted basic information, but very important information like how can I find out what plants I have in my yard. How do I find out what grass I have? How do I take a soil test for the grass and for the beds? Many of the questions, Andy and I answered on the spot; however, for her plant identification questions, we suggested she bring them by Andy’s store and get tapped into his 30 years of professional horticulture knowledge.

I also mentioned a small piece of all the information available to her in the Lowcountry. Clemson Extension had just had several seminars at the fairgrounds. Clemson Extension and University have on line information. She lived near Trident Technical College that offers classes in Horticulture and has an arboretum to stroll through for ideas. I mentioned the Charleston Horticulture Society and the lecture series and workshops we have.

The Rose Society, Camellia Society, Native Plant Society, and the Daylily Society all have informative lectures, shows, and / or field trips. If you like water gardening, the Charleston Showa Koi Club has a very knowledgeable membership that will be glad to help you. Ask for Koi Jim. He is kind of scaly, but knows his stuff!

Garden Clubs are a great source of information. Not as specific as the ones mention above, but usually include your neighbors.

Walking tours of homes and gardens are always a great ways to pick up a few tips. These tours are getting cranked up now, so get your tickets.

The Post & Courier has a Garden Calendar in the Home & Garden section of the Sunday paper that will let you know about some of the events coming up. Tony Bertauski, horticulture instructor at Trident Technical College, has a very informative column in this section.

The public gardens (Middleton Place, Magnolia Plantation, Drayton Hall, and Boone Hall Plantation) offer walking tours and / or seminars.

At Possum’s we have many workshops and seminars throughout the year as do many other garden centers and nurseries.

Paul Mulkey of The Tree Clinic and I also do a call-in radio show Saturdays from noon until one on WTMA.

There are trade shows and seminars throughout the state that are designed more with the professional in mind that a homeowner could attend and certainly learn something.

Professional landscapers, lawn care operators, tree care specialist and landscape architects can be of great help. These professionals can walk through your yard and give you specific recommendations.

So, whether you are a new member to the Lowcountry or old member with more time to focus on gardening, there is plenty of information out there for you. I’m sure I left out some areas of information that I’m involved with.

As the grass is ‘greening up’ watch out for large patch fungus. We are getting some rain, so be careful not to overwater. A good systemic fungicide like Cleary’s 3336 should help you though the transition.

Always read, understand and follow product label. The product label is a Federal Law.