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Each Spring, cut back all perennials to ground level and remove this debris, plus any other debris including leaves that are not yet decaying (some decaying leaves and other matter may be blended into the soil).
Scarify the soil and add organic matter such as peat moss, compost or manure to your planting bed.
Apply a pre-emergent herbicide such as Preen to the garden area before weeds begin to emerge.
Apply a slow release fertilizer such as Osmocote at the base of all new and existing plantings.
Later in the season if you encounter too many weeds to pull within your planting bed, carefully apply a post emergent herbicide such as Roundup to the actual weed(s). Dig the hole deep and wide enough to allow for the addition of soil amendments and space for adjusting the plant in the hole so that the plant can be planted straight.
Blend from 25% - 50% amended soil into the soil you have dug at the site of the new planting. Remove the plant from the container and scarify some of the roots from the root mass allowing them to grow into the surrounding soil and not in a circle as they have been growing in the container. When the planting is complete, add 2" - 6" of organic wood mulch - less for annuals and perennials, more for trees. Choose the proper planting site that will provide your plant selection with the required light period; Full sun=6+ hours of light (direct sun), Partial sun=5-6 hours of light and shade=less than 5 hours of light.
Plant warm season annuals after the last frost date, typically May 15th - Memorial Day Weekend. Especially in sandy soils such as those in Anoka County, fertilize at least twice per year - Spring and Fall with a high quality lawn fertilizer such as Greenview. When fertilizing with less expensive fertilizers, 3 applications per season is recommended, Spring, Summer and Fall. The very best thing you can do to assure a beautiful, healthy lawn is to insure that your lawn receives 1" of water each and every week! These creatures can do a tremendous amount of damage in a short period of time - and they multiply like bunnies! Using your finger to make a hole in the busiest two locations of the track, poke your finger through the soft tracked soil and swish it around to make the hole large enough to allow for easy insertion of the Tomcat 'worm'. Put a Tomcat worm into the hole and gently push closed, the hole you've made (so that the mole doesn't suspect anything). Most deer and rabbit damage occurs in the in the early spring before full foliage has occurred. Since the damage caused by either animal is similar in appearance, look for tracks left behind by the animal to further identify which animal is causing the damage.
Bonide 'Sho-Gun Repels All' animal repellent has proven to provide effective control for browsing deer and rabbits. Proper pruning of newly planted and young trees will make a huge difference in the look and health of the trees when they mature. Bonide Copper Fungicide is highly effective against many bacterial diseases common to trees and must be applied before signs of infection occur.
Newly planted trees such as all fruit trees and maples need to be wrapped with Tree Wrap in the fall to avoid Sun Scald - which is a large split in the trunk on the South or Southwest side of the tree. Serving the Metro area, Andover, Ham Lake, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Anoka, Ramsey, Forest Lake, Bethel, Edina, Eden Prairie, Medicine Lake, St. Annuals should be planted so that they complement the plants around them, for example, mauve or orchid-coloured Petunias in front of a yellow-flowering potentilla shrub, low-growing white Alyssum interplanted with blue Forget-me-nots, or blue Ageratum and yellow Calendula surrounding red Salvia.
Annuals, often referred to as bedding plants, show themselves best when planted in groups rather than individually.
In designing your garden, keep in mind that annuals offer a tremendous range of heights accommodating virtually any area in your yard.
Prepare the flower bed to a depth of 30 cm, using garden soil, featured at Georgina Garden Centre.
What could be more obvious than the fact that horticulture benefits people?  Anyone making a living in the trades understands it instinctively.  However, that fact is not so apparent to your customers, who live farther away from the land with each generation.
Foliage helps to settle out, trap and hold particulate pollutants (dust, ash, pollen and smoke) that can damage human lungs. Because of their potential for long life, trees frequently are planted as living memorials.  We often become personally attached to trees that we or those we love have planted. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and other dangerous gasses and, in turn, replenish the atmosphere with oxygen. And acre of trees absorbs enough carbon monoxide over a year’s time, to equal the amount you produce when you drive your car 26,000 miles. Over 50 years, a tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, provides $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion.
One 12-inch sugar maple along a roadway removes 60 mg of cadmium, 140 mg of chromium, 820 mg of nickel and 5,200 mg of lead from the environment each growing season. Trees reduce surface runoff form storm water, and prevent soil erosion and sedimentation of streams. Deciduous trees provide shade and block heat from the sun during hotter months.  By dropping their leaves in the fall they admit sunlight in the winter.
Shade from trees over hard surfaces such as driveways, patios and sidewalks minimizes landscape heat load. All trees and shrubs will provide something of value to birds: nesting sites, insect food, shelter from weather and predators.
If you grow Sweet Cherries, you know they have to be netted to prevent the birds from taking them. The brilliantly coloured berries of Mountain Ash are eagerly devoured by Robins, Cedar Waxwings and other birds.
Many trees have desirable fruit for birds, which we hardly notice, however the birds find with ease since the fruit is not highly coloured. Seed-eating birds such as Redpolls, Pine Siskins and Goldfinch find an abundance of seed on this attractive tree. If your garden is large enough for those tall trees, you will attract Orioles, Tanagers and the Red-eyed Vireo as they prefer the safety of the high upper canopy. The dense foliage of Spruce, Pine, Fir, Larch and Hemlock provide secure nesting sites for many birds and an ample supply of seeds from their varied cones. Small fruit, such as Currants, Raspberries, Blackberries and Gooseberries will certainly attract birds.
Other shrubs with berries are: Oregon Grape Holly, Flowering Currant, Bush Honeysuckle, Rugosa Rose, Redleaf Rose, all Dogwoods, Serviceberry, Privet, Coralberry, Snowberry, and Autumn Olive. If you can provide a “wild” spot in your garden for tall Grasses, Thistles, Goldenrod and Ragweed, you will add greatly to your list of bird visitors: Horned Lark, Meadowlark, Butings, Bobolink and others. In a cultivated garden, ornamental grasses can be used, leaving them to stand into the winter with their supply of seeds. A climbing vine with brilliant foliage in fall, Virginia Creeper’s bountiful harvest of shiny black berries is enjoyed by many birds, including Kingbirds, Flycatchers and Bluebirds. Many birds will feed from an elevated tray, while some will feed only on the ground; for others, a seed encrusted ball of suet suspended from a tree is ideal. Enticing birds to your garden with desirable fruit and seeds will help greatly in controlling insect populations, as most birds prefer a varied diet. In bringing birds to your garden, you add a new dimension of interest and will be rewarded by their colour, movement and song. Favourite perennials include Gladioli, Red Hot Poker, Monarda, Bleeding Heart, Columbine and Penstemon. Hardy fall bulbs such as Daffodil, Tulip, Hyacinth, Crocus and Snowdrop are spring flowering plants that must be planted in the fall. The foliage must be allowed to remain to soak up sunshine and replenish the stored energy in the underground bulb.

Replanting your flower bed with summer annuals gives you the opportunity to use more bone meal which, with its high phosphorous content, is beneficial to both the new planting and the bulbs.
Dig a hole four to five inches deeper than the root ball depth and fill that area with garden soil. Clematis should be fertilized regularly to maintain healthy growth and flowering potential. Planting two to three different varieties of clematis will provide a sequence of bloom, contributing a continuous display of colour to the garden.
Studies have shown that one0third of household waste can be composted.  Your yard rakings, such as fallen leaves, weeds, grass clippings and the disease-free remains of garden plants can go in you compost pile, as can fruit and vegetable peelings, egg shells and coffee grounds. Left alone, kitchen and yard waste will certinaly decompose on its own, but there are a few things you can do to speed up the rotting process and ensure a sweet smelling compost pile all season long. A well cared for compost pile will reward you with a nutrient-rich, earth-smelling conditioner you can add to planters, window boxes, flower beds, shrub borders – or any other landscape site.  You will also be rewarded by knowing that by reducing, resuing and recycling your waste, you are helping to conserve our precious environment.
Containers allow you to bring the garden to the deck, patio, steps, driveway or the front entrance way. In May, newly planted containers may require watering every two to four days, As the plants establish, increasing in size and filling the containers with heavier roots, watering needs will increase. Plants in containers will require the dead-heading (a garden buzz word for removing old flowers once they look ratty) of old blooms, depending on the plants used. The real fun of container gardening, besides enjoying their beauty, is selecting the plants. Do water containers as required, as the light mixes do not retain water and dry out quickly. Do line the pot with Styrofoam if you intend to keep pots planted with evergreens, trees or shrubs over the winter (overwintering trees and shrubs in a pot is not guaranteed but styrofoam will increase the chances).
Allow newly bought flowers, still in their wrappings, to drink clean, fresh water for a while.
Use dormant oil and lime sulphur in combination to help combat the spread of over-wintering insect and diseases. Dormant oil can kill up to 80% of insect eggs that were laid on the buds and stems from the previous year.
Congratulations, all your hard work has paid off and you are now the proud owner of your first home!
A well put-together and planned garden does wonders for your state of mind and can provide a beautiful place of solace for you to unwind. First things first, decide what’s most important to you.  For instance:- Do you want to create a peaceful haven for wildlife and encourage pollinators? Would you prefer to have a couple of interesting structural plants in pots such as topiary or palms which are relatively low maintenance on a terrace or either side of a doorway?
Do you prefer evergreen plants (year round these will keep their foliage) or deciduous plants (which lose leaves over winter months but tend to have exceptional foliage)? Trees and shrubs provide structure and are essential for any garden as they are so versatile. If you don’t want your new neighbours peeking in on your house-warming barbecue or seeing your laundry drying outside, then mature trees and fast-growing shrubs  for hedging are a great way to transform your garden into a blissful oasis. If you’re new to gardening then hardy mature plants are a great choice as they will flourish all year-round. Another simple way of sprucing up your garden is to add some Topiary Plants that are suitable to keep in pots for long periods of time.
Phyllostachys Aurea Bamboo – Buy 2 Get 1 Free on offer at the moment.  Other cost effective recommendations for plants in pots would include Chamaerops Humilis and Trachycarpus Fortunei Chusan Palms. A low hedge which is evergreen and flowers could include the Viburnum Tinus Gwenllian – available at present on a Buy 2 Get 1 Free offer allowing you to introduce at little cost flowers and structure to the garden. Always remember REGULARLY FEED, WEED, PRUNE AND WATER YOUR PLANTS over the growing period April to September each year. If you have any tips or recommendations to pass on to your fellow gardeners’ we would love to hear from you, please leave us a comment in the comment section below. We have added lots of new content for you and we are just putting the final touches on our dynamic plant search engine. Successful planting means preparing the soil in such a manner so as to easily allow the roots for your new plantings to grow into the soil. This timing may be either before or after your new plantings, but it must be applied before the weed seeds emerge.
This helps prevent weeds and also keeps your soil cool and moist for healthier plants of all types (annuals, perennials, woody shrubs and trees). For single plants, the soil preparation guidelines apply to the soil surrounding new individual plants. Make sure the root collar (where the roots end and the plant stem begins) is at the surface of the surrounding soil level.
As you add the last 2 - 3 inches of soil, incorporate slow release fertilizer (Osmocote) as directed on package. An adequate level of organic mulch will allow for longer periods of time between waterings. This is difficult in the sandy soils of Anoka County and we highly recommend the installation of an automatic lawn sprinkler system. It is the only method we have found that works immediately and 100% of the time (when done properly).
However, they can be damaging all season long where there is a high concentration of these creatures.
However, this spray will wash off in a heavy rain or continual watering from garden sprinklers.
These spikes are 'nailed' into the soil at the dripline of the larger trees (greater that 2" in diameter). Crossed branches, close forks, dead branches and branches that grow toward the tree trunk need to be properly removed.
In addition to looking stately and beautiful, a mature tree with an 'open' crown will allow strong winds to pass through it minimizing the risk of a huge branch breaking off or even toppling the entire tree!
When in question, you may bring an infected branch to the Garden Center for diagnosis or have one of our Certified Arborist's visit your site for evaluation and control recommendations. Also, if you take a professional approach towards gardening, you can make it a good source of income too. Even when planting on a small scale, use a minimum of three plants and try to plant so that each group overlaps with the one beside it, creating a unified flow rather than isolated spots of colour. If you wish to encourage more birds and more varieties of birds around your home, you can do so by providing a variety of trees and shrubs, particularly those that provide food in the form of fruit, berries, nuts or seeds. Mayday trees and Shubert’s Chokecherry have fruit we do not find palatable but is enjoyed by birds.
Many varieties and forms of Mountain Ash are available and they are highly ornamental trees. Russian Olive is a good example and with its silver foliage and fragrant yellow flowers, it makes an excellent choice for gardeners. The dark mature fruit of Elderberry is ravenously eaten by many songbirds, including Thrushes and Warblers. The fruit of the High Bush Cranberry is not usually taken by birds, but can be a life-saving source of food in severe winters.
So too, with many annual and perennial plants, which we normally remove or cut down in the fall; if left in place, they provide abundant seed for birds in winter. If your property does not include a pond or stream, providing water in a birdbath or large saucer will bring birds to your garden and keep them coming back. Hummingbirds prefer a massed bed as it has to visit about one thousand blooms per day to meet its requirement of sweet nectar.

Vining Honeysuckles like Dropmore Scarlet and Heckrot’s Goldflame have the correct shape and colouration. While reds dominate the list, there are plenty of other colours suggest to allow a varied planting.
They are mostly native to mountainous areas of Europe and the near east: Spain, Turkey and Afganistan. Dig a hole and sprinkle a tablespoon of a high phosphorous (middle number) fertilizer like Holland Bulb Booster in the bottom of the hole. A 5 cm layer of mulch on top of the bed will help prevent winter weeds, retain moisture and insulate against severe winter cold and temperature fluctuations. From the beautiful, large-flowered hybrids, to the more subtle but equally stunning smaller flowered species, these plants have definitely earned their place in the spotlight. Place the plant in the hole, ensuring the top of the root ball is slightly higher than ground level. Alkaline soils can be attained by regular applications of horticultural lime around the root ball. Some varieties will adapt to lower light conditions such as north- or east-facing exposures, and still bloom quite well. Different varieties flower at different times of the year, and in order to prune properly, one needs to know its blooming habits.
They can be pruned back hard in early April to just above a good set of buds, usually around 30 cm. By using hanging containers, colour can be added to sheds, garages — any place you can mount a bracket! Most annuals will not do well in heavy, all-day shade, while shade loving annuals don’t like sun at the peak of the day, but do very well with some morning or late afternoon sun. You need not limit yourself to annuals, although their long-lasting colour and the many new varieties now available make them a natural choice. Buying your first home is a milestone and your first thought may be to focus on stripping that hideous wallpaper in the front room or buying every kitchen gadget possible (half of which, you’ll never use); however, spare a thought for your new garden. One of the easiest and quickest ways to transform your garden with minimum actual gardening time is to invest in Evergreen Screening. Here at Paramount Plants, we stock a variety of shrubs, privacy trees and hedging to suit every budget and we can offer you expert advice on picking the right trees and plants for your garden. Some fantastic hardy plants include, show-stopping Camellias, autumnal-toned Japanese Acers, festive English Holly also known as Ilex Aquifolium and exotic palm trees. Plants such as Buxus Balls & Globes and Cloud Trees are pieces of art in themselves and can add an interesting visual statement to any garden. Bonide prides an excellent line of fungicides to proven to be effective against many plant diseases. This is also the best time to apply preventative fungicide controls for your lawn such as Bonide 'Infuse' systemic control. A properly designed and installed system will keep your lawn green and healthy and will also conserve water. Our Landscape Care Arborists provide this service if you are not comfortable with this important technical task. Our Arborists are trained and fully insured to perform the dangerous task of pruning large specimen trees.
No matter how big or small your yard is, making a flower garden is an easy task when you think creatively. Owing to their short life span, annuals allow you to experiment and express yourself anew each year. Annuals and perennials or, for that matter, anything you can break off with your fingers will become more dense and bushier with new growth after pinching. Robins may take “garden-friendly” earthworms, but also feasts on Ants, Beetles, Cankerworms, Caterpillars, Cutworms, Crickets, Flies (puppae and adults), Slugs, Snails, Sowbugs, Spiders, Termites, Wireworms, and Weevils. The most important aspect of designing a Hummingbird garden is to plant for continuous bloom from spring to fall ensuring an endless supply of nectar. Remove only the rims to just below the soil line and make three cuts halfway up from the bottom. It may be necessary to water daily, particularly in the summer and especially those containers that are 30 cm (12”) or smaller. Fertilizing every two weeks is a good rule of thumb, but in hot weather you may need to feed more often as water use increases. Note: Fungicides are used as a preventative and are not designed to cure an infection that is already in place. Other summer flowers that attract are: Petunias, Phlox, Snapdragon, Cleome, Sweet William, Nicotiana and Zinnias.
Flowering shrubs include Weigela, Beauty Bush, Butterfly Bush, Coralberry, Flowering Currant and Flowering Quince.
The melting snow and ice in early spring provide needed moisture as they start to grow and flower.
Extra work is needed to keep smaller containers watered as plants grow, while larger containers allow you to use a more diverse selection of plants, and are easier to keep moist. Keep in mind that over-fertilizing will cause lush growth but less blooms, Slow release fertilizers may be applied to the soil’s surface. There are many plants that are easy to take care of and already fully grown that are ideal for beginner gardens.  Trees and Shrubs can create instant impact without breaking the bank! But, as a beginner, you have to take care of many basic things that will determine the success of your effort.
Their height above snow cover provides food when mid-winter sources are scarce and are also used in early spring by the first returning migrants. Plant from September to December, even after the first frost if the ground can still be worked. Some brands incorporate fertilizer into the mix, while others add a polymer, which expands and retains moisture.
These products release small amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) with each watering, thus reducing the amount of soluble fertilizer required. This includes many things that range from landscaping to taking care of the flowers in all seasons. Slow release products do not contain the micronutrients that plants require, however, so your fertilizing program should always include the use of solubles. If using a large container, fill the bottom third to half with a less expensive ingredient such as pine mulch. Start your first flower garden trial and admire the satisfaction that you get by inviting nature to your home. A beginner will have to go through many trial and error procedures to get an ultimate result. This article on flower gardening tips for beginners, will help you to skip some possible and expected gardening mistakes. There are many factors to be considered like the climate, season, water-holding capacity of the soil, chances of pest attack and colour of the flowers.
Preparation Of SoilFailure in preparing the soil first is a major reason why many beginners fail in their attempt. Also, if the soil is not having a good water-retaining capacity, add products to increase this. Joining a forum can help you clear all your doubts on making and maintaining a flower garden.Do you have more flower gardening tips or suggestions for beginners?

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