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Family Plot – March 28, 2013


Hi, I’m Chris Cooper Welcome to The Family Plot:
Gardening in the Mid-South. Thanks for joining us. Today we’ll take a look at some
unique plants that are blooming at the Dixon, Master Gardener
June Davidson gives us a few tips on growing daffodils and
if it’s time to prune your fruit trees and you need a little
guidance Mr. D is here to give us some pointers. That’s just ahead on The Family
Plot Gardening in the Mid-South. So stay with us. This is a
production of WKNO Memphis. Production funding for “The
Family Plot Gardening in the Mid-South” is provided by
Good Winds Landscape and Garden Center in Germantown since
1943 and continuing to offer its plants for successful gardening
with seven greenhouses and three acres of plants plus
comprehensive landscape services. International Paper Foundation,
the WKNO Production Fund, the WKNO Endowment Fund
and by viewers like you. Thank you. ♪♪♪ Hi, welcome to
“The Family Plot” I’m Chris Cooper. Joining me today is Dale Skaggs. Dale is the Horticulture
Director at Dixon Gallery and Gardens and Mr. D is
here with us today. Thanks for joining us. Thanks for having us. Alright. Dale, what’s
blooming now at the Dixon? Well the, uhh, a lot of the
spring wildflowers that our woodland garden is
starting to bloom. Ok. Ok. Some of the examples are the
wild blue phlox which is really nice and the Dixon-strain
foamflower which is our own strain of foamflower. Your own strain! How about that. Yeah. It’s a seed strain
and it’s flowering. So a lot of the
woodland stuff, you know, it comes up and starts blooming
before the leaves come on the canopy of the trees and that’s
sort of their survival strategy for those plants is to come up
and reproduce and flower before the leaves shade them out. Ok. Ok. And once the leaves shade
them out then what happens? Some of them go
dormant but a lot of them, you know, they’re not as
showy in that time of year. So springtime is definitely the
time for shade gardens in the mid-south. Ok. Alright. So you want to tell us about
some of the these lovely plants you have here on the table? Yeah. A lot of these plants are going
to be available at our plant sale which is the fifth and
sixth of April from 8:00 to 4:00. Ok. So hopefully some of your
viewers will come out and take advantage. And that’ll be 8:00
to 4:00 both days? 8:00 to 4:00 both
days and, like I said, our Dixon-strain foamflower. Started out as a
wildflower sale. Ok. And so things like our bloodroot
over here which- Where’s the bloodroot? Right here. Blooming right here. This bloodroot is a native
that’s a really interesting plant that’s hard to find. It’s called bloodroot because
apparently the native Americans made a dye out of the
sap that’s in the bark. Ok. So that’s a fascinating plant
with an interesting history. The wake-robins or trilliums. Yeah. This is a yellow flowered
trilliums and I think we have three different species
of trillium for sale. Ok. They’re sort of hard to find
and wonderful to see out in the woods. Ok. Let’s see. This is, umm, some other
non-native things that we have, you know. Like I say, it started out as a
native plant sale but we have a lot of things that
are not so native. This is a wonderful little
blue flowers on this pulmonaria. And, uhh, pulmonarias are
seen as tricky to grow. They need good drainage. [Chris chuckling]
If you put
them in a container they do really well or in a raised bed. I’ve successfully grown them
at my place out in Brunswick, Tennessee in a three foot high
raised brick bed so it’s really nice. Ok. But that’s probably what you
don’t see many pulmonaries offered because our heavy clay
soil is not the best for them. Yeah. But they work well in
containers and a wonderful, wonderful color
this time of year. Yeah. That’s a pretty flower. It sure is. This is a heucheras and this
is one called Georgia peach. Georgia peach. There are a whole lot of
heucheras put out on the market. A lot of them out of Terranova
Nurseries out of Oregon actually was breeding and putting out all
these heucheras and we found out they weren’t very good for
Tennessee in the south because it’s so hot and humid. Ok. So the breeder started using
our southern native which is heuchera vilosa. Just means it has a
fuzziness to the leaf. Ok. And so any of them that have
heuchera vilosa in them tend to do well. And they gave them all these
southern names like sweet tea and Georgia peach and all these
names to tip you off that they will do in the south. [Chris laughing]
Truly southern. Because there was a lot of
disappointment when folks were buying these expensive heucheras
and they weren’t making it through so. Yeah. One of my favorites are the
columbines and I especially like these dwarf ones. This is a dwarf white columbine. The columbine here. Wonderful plants. That’s a pretty flower. And planted en masse
they can be quite stunning. And everybody wants to
grow grass in the shade, right? Mhmm. And it’s tricky. We have some areas that we seed
fescue in twice a year and try to keep the leaves off of them. But there are some grass-like
plants that will do well in the shade, you know. In nature you just don’t see
grass growing in the shade. Yes, you don’t. But there are some grass-like
plants like this acorus which is very much grass-like. And we have three
different forms of the acorus. This is the variegated one. Yeah. I’ve seen that one before. You know, it’ll grow in
standing water or in fairly dry conditions if it’s in the shade. [Chris chuckling]
Okay. I think if it has wet feet
it’ll almost grow in full sun. But a really good plant. We have a yellow flowered form. I mean a yellow foliage form and
also one called ogon which is yellow and green
which is really nice. Several of those. Okay. Carexes are fun and they’re not
used very much in the mid-south. And there ís a lot of native
carexes but this is a variegated one and they’re grass-like and
they make great ground covers in dry shade or under shade trees. People are always asking what
can I grow under in a dry shade situation. Yes. Yes, they are. And that’s just a
fantastic plant for that. Okay. Right now, during Lent, the
Christian Lent the linton rose is blooming. Yeah, those are beautiful. And this is a fun plant. We actually have some double
flowered forms at the Dixon which are especially unique and
we’ll have a few of those in our plant sale. But the flowers are more doubled
like a true rose would be. Obviously not a rose at all
but a shade evergreen plant that gets about, ultimately, it’ll
get about the size of a washtub. Okay. And it’s the linton rose. We really like the linton
rose at the Dixon and most shade gardeners really appreciate it. Okay. Not one of those plants that you
sort of get instant luck with. You have to put it in
and wait, you know, maybe two years. Wow. In two years it’ll start to
really develop and in ten years it’s the size of a
washtub so it’s a long-lived, tough, dependable plant. And then if you have it long
enough it’ll start throwing off little seedlings and these seeds
will mature and fall to the ground and over time they
get the right treatment, the right cold and hot and just
let nature do that instead of trying to do it in a greenhouse
and you’ll have little babies sprout up around it. You can share these
seedlings with your friends. So linton rose. One of my favorites. Wow. And you have to be
patient with it. I see Mr. D must like that
because he’s writing it down. [laughter]
And then this euphorbia. I have a picture of Carol Reese
at Cheekwood and we were there in late winter early spring at
Cheekwood and this was growing all over the backside of the
hill and I have a picture of her climbing up to look at it. So anyway, this is not
named with marketing in mind. This is called spurge. Spurge. But it’s kin to poinsettia,
our Christmas flower. Okay. And tell us one more time. When is the plant sale. It’s April 5th and
6th from 8:00 to 4:00. 8:00 to 4:00. Yes. Alright, we’re looking
forward to that Dale. Alright. Is it a daffodil a
buttercup or jonquils? Up next, Master Gardener June
Davidson gives us the answer. But first, here are a few
gardening events going on in the next couple of weeks
that might interest you. ♪♪♪ It’s all of the above. In the south we are daffodils. Daffodil. Daffodil and
jonquil is synonymous. Buttercup, all yellow
flowers by definition are called buttercups. But as you can see,
Daffadownfilly comes in a variety of colors. She’s white, she’s
orange, she’s pink. She has a lot of beautiful
colors and we’re going to tell you a few things
about daffodils. There are thirteen overall
divisions of daffodils and we’re going to talk about
the big three today. There are the too-doot-too-doo,
there are the trumpet daffodils and the large cups
and the medium cups. They’re easy to identify. You take the daffodil,
this is the trumpet, these are the petals. You bend the petals forward and
if the trumpet extends beyond the petals, that’s a
division one daffodil. One’s the trumpet,
too-doot-too-doo, longer than the petals. The division twos, the trumpet
is about two thirds of the petals. This is a good two. This is festivity,
strong yellow color. Bend those petals forward. The petals are slightly
longer than the trumpet. Division two. Now we have the threes. With the threes it’s
approximately one third of the trumpet
relationship to the petals. Bend those petals forward
slightly and you can tell that that petal is not as
deep as this petal. Now the majority of the
daffodils that you’re going to see in this area are
going to be a one, a two, or a three. Now before we walk around I’m
going to show you one other flower. This is buttercup. There really is a
cultivar named buttercup. This is a little English flower
that was introduced in 1897. I got it just for
my wife because she, as a good southern girl, calls
all yellow daffodils buttercup. And so I got this one just
for her so she can really say, “I’ve got buttercup.” ♪♪♪ After they have bloomed, one of
the things that you do not want to do is cut your
leaves back too soon. What these leaves are doing is
building next year’s bloom down in the bulb under the ground. If you cut them back too soon
you’re going to be mowing down next year’s flower. So you do not cut
these leaves back until, like, the 1st to
the 15th or June. At that point in time they
will have turned yellow, they will have fallen over and
at that point in time they’re no longer building next year’s
flower, so you’re perfectly comfortable mowing them over. Alright, let’s talk about how to
bring your flowers in and make them last a little longer. Go out in your yard, snap them
off sharply at the bottom or with a pair of
scissors or a knife, cut them off, get a good
sharp cut down at the bottom. And then when you bring
them into the house put them instantly into
finger-warm tap water. Finger-warm water. And what that flower’s going to
do is suck up a lot of water, get itself prepared to stay in. After about thirty minutes or so
take it out of the warm water, put it in the cold water. That’s going to seal the pores
for you and your flowers will last another three
to five days longer. So we have all
kinds of daffodils. We have little ones. We have big ones. We have yellow cups. We have orange cups. There are over
250,00 named cultivars. Don’t try to learn them all
just enjoy their beauty and say goodbye to this one. This exemplifies all daffodils. His name is Cheerfulness. ♪♪♪ Alright, Mr. D. For those who are ready to
prune their fruit trees, how can we help them out? First thing is by
giving them the go-ahead. Alright. Now is the time. The winter chill requirement
of most of our fruits have been fully satisfied so it’s time
to get out there and prune. You know, you could have started
a week or so ago if you’d like. Mhmm. And one thing I want to say is
if your plants start blooming, many people are afraid
to prune during blooming. That’s not a problem. Go ahead and finish your
pruning even if blooming starts. It’s not going to
hurt the plants at all. As a matter of fact, one of the
benefits you get from pruning is you thin the fruit and so that’s
a good thing to continue doing. And I would go on for the next
few week and go on and get my pruning task completed. Ok. Since they have
the go-ahead now. Alright. You have the go-ahead. From the expert. You have the go-ahead. [Chris laughing] I strongly
encourage you if you have peaches, plums,
nectarines, apples, pears, anything like that, it’s
almost imperative that you get out there and prune those. Because if you do no
prune those plants, mother nature will. Yeah. And mother nature’s cuts aren’t
a pretty and as neat as yours and mine. Right. Well said. Won’t the fruit be smaller
as well if you don’t prune? Of course, because you’ve got
more fruit on there and you can’t do as good a
job of controlling, you know, applying fungicides,
you can’t get as good coverage with your pesticides if you
don’t thin the plant out a bit. That’s that air circulation. That’s right. That’s most important it dries
out quicker and your plants don’t stay wet and you
have less fungal problems. Most important. That’s right. But I’ve got some tools here. These are the type of pruning
shears that we recommend. We recommend bypass pruners
as opposed to the amble type because you don’t injure and
bruise the tissue as much as with the amble types. Mhmm. Cleaner. It’s important that you keep
these pruning shears sharp and oiled. As you can see I’ve,
uhh, these shears, these particular shears are
probably twenty years old. Oh, wow. This is a pair of
Felco number twos. But there are a lot of different
shears out there that are good ones. Take care of your equipment,
they’ll take care of you. Mhmm. Same type on
these lopping shears. They’re also bypass pruners
as opposed to the amble type. If you look down
at the blade here, it looks just like the blade on
my small pruning shears except it’s quite a bit
bigger, you know. With these shears I can
cut a fairly large limb, you know. These are sans predines,
made in France and I’ve cut, I’ve done a lot of
pruning with these. You’re not going to
break those handles. You’re not going to
break these handles. [Chris laughing]
And I have broken
handles on some pretty good shears before. Yeah. With these I cracked my ribs
trying to put two hands on them and pull them. Oh, wow. So, you know, these are
stronger than my bones. These are Felco number
twos is what these are. This is a pruning saw. This is a folding pruning saw. All pruning saws cut on a pull
stroke which is good especially when you’re cutting
up over your head. That’s the way the teeth,
they’re kind of inclined toward you. But they cut mostly
on the pull stroke. These are very, very sharp so
you have to be very careful when you’re doing that. It’s good to wear gloves. Yes. Yes, it is. Protective pit gloves when
you’re doing any kind of pruning. Yes. Yes. This is a big saw. I don’t have to break
this one out very often. But it’s, uhh, you can see
the size of those teeth and, again, you see the way they’re
inclined you cut on the pull stroke and if I can’t reach them
with my little saw I pull out the big one. You pull of the big one, eh? you notice I have holsters. I have scabbards and holsters
for all of these shears. That’s one of the reasons I
still have them because I can stick them in a holster
and I don’t lose them. And it also protects them
and it’s a good idea to have holsters for these shears. But if we have time I’ll
talk just a little bit about if you’re pruning the fruit trees. Peaches, plums and nectarines we
all prune pretty much the same way. We want to open up the
center of that plan. It’s called a vase or and
open center type system. Mhmm. You have three to five main
scaffold limbs that you ideally would come out at about 18 to 20
inches from the ground and cut off anything growing back toward
the center of the tree and any crossing limbs. Alright. And that will have you
in pretty good shape . Any dead and diseased
limbs, take those out. Yes. Yes. Those flower on new
wood, is that right? They do. Yes. They do and so, like I
said, when you do that you are thinning the fruit,
this year’s fruit. Which is a good thing because
you only need about ten or fifteen percent of the blooms to
set that are on that fruit tree. So the fruits, the varieties we
have now they fruit so heavily, you know, they will fruit
themselves to death literally. Mhmm. And they will actually, I’ve
seen trees that all of the limbs broke off. Right. They weren’t pruned and
they weren’t taken care of. Loaded. The scaffold limbs all four,
five scaffold limbs broke off and left you a stump
with nothing on it. [Chris laughing]
So it’s very important
that you do the pruning. Now, apples and pears we prune
to a central leader or pyramid style system which has
one strong central leader. Now, they’ll throw a lot of
limbs especially pear trees. Yeah. Every limbs wants to be the
central leader but you select the strongest central leader. And ideally you’ll have four
or five scaffold limbs at about twenty inches, about an eighteen
to twenty inch space with nothing just bare bark, another
whirl of scaffold limbs four or five and then another eighteen
to twenty inches and you go on up. And with apples and pears it’s
good to go back and it’s called heading back, take off about
thirty percent of last year’s growth and make your cut. Keep in mind, where ever you
make a cut is where you’re going to stimulate growth. So make your cut above a bud
that’s growing in the direction that you want that limb to grow. Yeah. Wow. Right. And if you do that and you do
that every year you can do most of your pruning with
these small pruning shears. And most of them from the
ground especially with peaches, plums and nectarines. Alright. If you don’t do that you
gotta break the chainsaw out sometimes. Hey, there’s your
lesson about pruning. Appreciate that, Mr. D. Now is our Q&A session. So y’all ready for this fellas? Alright. Alright, here’s
our first question. “Is now a good time
to put down mulch?” Of course it is. But, Dale, I’ll let
you take that question. Yeah, it’s a great time to put
down mulch to get ahead of those warm season weeds. Yeah, of course it is. Mhmm. Hopefully the cool
season weeds have, uhh, you’ve
pulled those already. Hope so. The chickweed and such and it’s
good to get down your mulch to get down those
warm season weeds. Mhmm. It’s a lot cool now than
it’s going to be in July. [Chris laughing]
Absolutely. That’s right. Definitely get rid of those
warm annual winter weeds. Because if not they go to see
and they’ll be back next time. So those are ground cover. Those are cover
crops at my house. [laughter]
I bet everybody
else say that too, cover crops. Look, do you do a lot of
mulching at the Dixon? Yes. What do you use? What kind of mulch? We use a double
hammered hardwood mulch. Ok. And in some areas
we use pine straw. We really like
pine straw as well. And then in the cutting
garden we use pine bark mulch. I like the pine bark best. Ok. The only downside to it is if
it’s on an incline or a slope it tends to float away. Okay. The hardwood will stay put. So mostly out in the
landscape it’s hardwood mulch. Okay. And we like to put a good spade
edge on the bed so it’s lead edge and then mulch. Mhmm. And this is mulch that the
homeowners can pick up anywhere? Yeah, locally. Local mulch yards. They can buy it in bulk or they
can buy it in bags from your local independent garden center. Okay. Yeah. Good deal. Alright, here’s
our second question. Hey, before you leave mulch. Before we leave mulch. Let’s make sure folks make sure
you don’t pile mulch up against the base of trees. Volcano mulch. Yes. Volcano mulch. Really bad for you. That’s dangerous
if you pile it up, I mean, to the plant. Right. You can kill the plant so make
sure that you pull the mulch back from the plant. We don’t want it
touching the stem or? You know, it depends if
you’re working on perennials, you know, like an inch. I would, you should never need
to mulch more than two inches deep really. That’s right. Yeah. You really should never need to. And extension you
recommend maybe two inches, two or three inches. Mhmm. That’ll be good enough. Alright. Pull it away from, again,
from the trunks of the tree. Don’t have to have six inches. Yeah. Yeah. Glad you brought that up Mr. D
because we are seeing a lot of volcano mulching out there. We don’t like that. Always. Always. Now here is the second question,
“Last year I had these little white dots under the
leaves of my euonymus. What can I do now to make sure
they don’t come back this year?” Can you help us out, Mr. D? I can. That’s euonymus scale. Yes. And I have gone to the red book,
the Insect and Plant Disease Control Guide and
right now, dormant oil. Dormant oil. Go with dormant oil right now. That’s pretty much the only
thing we recommend at this point. At this time. Right now. Is that, you can use the
winter rate on those oils? Winter rate on the dormant oil. If you wait just a
couple weeks though, get into April and through
August then you need to go with a summer oil,
horticultural oil or Malathion, Sevin, Carbaryl,
Orthene, Dursban. Didn’t know you
could still get that. Yeah. Yeah, I didn’t know that either. Insecticidal soap,
Dimethoate, Safari, TriStar, Distance and
Talus are all recommended. Two sprays ten days apart
whenever the crawlers are emerging. You can kill the crawlers
but you can’t kill the adults. They have that
hard shell, right? Yeah. You can’t get to them. The female has the hard
shell, looks like an oyster. Right. And then the males
look like a little, small cigarette. Cigar-shapes. Mhmm. Yes. Cigar-shaped fellas. Mhmm. And they actually come out when
you have the first flush of new growth then you start
seeing those crawlers. Exactly right. Some of those latter
products you mentioned, aren’t those growth
regulators, is that right? Some of them are. Some of them are
contact killers. IGR. Yeah. PGR. Mhmm. Yeah. Yeah. Insect growth regulators. As always, follow the label
directions anytime you’re using a pesticide. Yes. Follow it religiously. Alright. We have time for
one more question, okay? “How do I control
worms in my cabbage?” Ahh. That seems to
come up every year. Yeah. BT. That’s either the cabbage looper
or the imported cabbage worm. Mhmm. BT is the first
thing on our list. Again, out of the Insect
and Disease Control Guide. Nice organic solution. Yes. It is. It is. Natural. Been around, Dipel and Thuricide
have been around since I started working in extension in the
late ’70s and even before that. And it’s still working. It’s been around
for a long time. Does a great job. Permethrin, estenvalerate and
spinosad are also recommended. But I would start with BT. Start with the BT. Good product. Do you use any BT at your place? We like BT a lot we
use it, you know. It’s kind of our first any
kind of worm-like insect what we have, I guess in its larval
stage we kind a go with BT as our first line defense. Yeah. Yeah. You know, use it for dunks for
our mosquitoes too in our pools and stuff. Yeah. Mosquito dunks, those work well. That’s what Monsanto injected
into the gene of cotton plants, BT cotton to protect
us from the bollworm. Mhmm. Alright, well there you have it. That’s wall we
have time for today. Thanks for watching. Don’t forget, you can watch
past episodes of The Family Plot online. Just go to WKNO-dot-org and
click on ‘KNO Tonite and be sure to follow us on
Facebook and Twitter. I’m Chris Cooper and be sure to
join us next time for The Family Plot Gardening in the Mid-South. Be safe. ♪♪♪ Production funding for “The
Family Plot Gardening in the Mid-South” is provided by
Good Winds Landscape and Garden Center in Germantown since
1943 and continuing to offer its plants for successful gardening
with seven greenhouses and three acres of plants plus
comprehensive landscape services. International Paper Foundation,
the WKNO Production Fund, the WKNO Endowment Fund
and by viewers like you. Thank you.

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