How to Water Your Trees

Where to Irrigate

The best place to apply water differs for newly planted and established trees.

Newly planted trees: Immediately after planting, all tree roots are in the original root ball area. Until new roots grow into the soil of the planting site, water the original root ball area and just beyond this area. The root ball area may dry out faster than the surrounding soil, so check the moisture in this area frequently for the first month or two after planting.  A newly planted tree may take 1-2 years to become established. Larger container stock trees may take longer to become established than smaller stock. Continue reading “How to Water Your Trees”

Dwarf Hardy Cherries

Hardy Dwarf Cherries

Carmine Jewel and Romeo cherries are extremely hardy dwarf cherry trees (bushes really) that grow just 6-8 feet tall and are hardy to about -45 degrees!

These low maintenance plants usually begin bearing about 3 or 4 years after planting and by the 6th year average about 25 lbs per bush, although upwards of 70 lbs. have been reported in home gardens. Continue reading “Dwarf Hardy Cherries”

Lawn Tips for Hot Weather

Summer is officially here and it looks like we are in for some hot weather this weekend, possibly even topping 100 degrees! Here are a few tips to keep your lawn looking lush and green even during hot weather.

1. Don’t spray weed killer in the heat. Lawn weed killers can volatilize, drift, and damage flowers and trees when applied in temperatures above 85 degrees. Now is NOT the time to spray for lawn weeds. Wait for cooler weather in the early fall.

hunter sprinkler spray head2. Water deeply. Shallow watering promotes shallow roots. Continue reading “Lawn Tips for Hot Weather”

5 Fool Proof Perennial Flowers

Perennial flowers (those that come back year after year) are popular with nearly all gardeners. Not only do you not have to replant them each year, but they increase in size and beauty each year as well, which means you can divide them every few years and add them to other spots in your yard, or share them with neighbors and friends.

The only difficult thing with perennials is choosing which ones to use. If you are new to perennial gardening, start with these five for guaranteed success. Continue reading “5 Fool Proof Perennial Flowers”

Butterfly Gardens

Is there anything as interesting to a child as a butterfly fluttering by? I doubt it. Even as an adult I have to pause to observe their grace and beauty. Some butterflies, like Monarchs are also important pollinators. There are things you can do to invite butterflies into your yard, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. If you can provide them with a large, open, sun-filled area, nectar flowers for adult butterflies, food sources for caterpillars, shelter from extreme weather, a shallow butterfly ‘pool’, and a few good sunning rocks, you will find you will easily attract some very happy butterflies. Establishing a butterfly garden is as simple as that.

Listed below are some of the more popular flowers we typically carry at Town & Country Gardens that are excellent for attracting butterflies. Continue reading “Butterfly Gardens”

Spider Mites

Spider mites on a rose bush
Spider mites on a rose bush

Almost too small to see with the naked eye, spider mites can become a very big problem in many ornamental plants. Twospotted spider mites are the most common in our area and are frequently seen in roses, marigolds, spruce, and many other ornamental plants. Spider mites attack by using needle-shaped mouth parts to suck the sap out of growing plants. Spider mites live in colonies, usually on the underside of leaves, and often go unnoticed until the infestation is severe. Watch for leaves or needles that appear to be covered with dust. The tiny webbing will often collect dust before the actual webbing is visible. Leaves may also have a mottled yellowish or dirty appearance. Continue reading “Spider Mites”

Scale Insects

Many of us don’t really want to look at the scales when we step on them in the morning as we don’t like the numbers we see. But there are some other scales we also don’t like to see, and they are in our trees.

Scale insects appear as little bumps on the twigs, branches, or needles of trees and shrubs in our yards. They don’t move, and so you might not even be aware that they are alive. Scale insects are sap-feeding insects with a shell-like waxy covering that conceals their bodies. Nearly all trees are susceptible and although a few insects don’t pose a problem, in high numbers they can weaken and, in rare cases, even kill trees. Continue reading “Scale Insects”

Brown Tips on Spruce Trees?

I notice the new growth on spruce trees in Idaho Falls is just starting to emerge from the brown caps at the tips of the branches. That reminds me that now is the best time to spray to prevent damage from the Spruce Gall Adelgid (Aphid). So I thought I would share this Q & A with you from the Forum page of Idaho Community Forestry Partners.

Cooley Spruce GallsQ. The branches of my spruce tree are tipped with brown prickly things that look like pinecones. But the cones higher up in the tree don’t look like these. What are they and will they damage our tree? ~Sarah H., Pocatello

A. The growths on the tips of your spruce are galls, sometimes referred to as spruce pineapple galls because they resemble pineapples. Although they are odd looking, they rarely cause serious damage to the tree. The Cooley spruce gall aphid is responsible for these galls. This insect has multiple forms. Its life cycle requires two hosts over two years: one year on spruce and one year on Douglas-fir or another spruce. And it is misnamed – although it is closely related to aphids, it is not an aphid. Continue reading “Brown Tips on Spruce Trees?”