| by Kenneth Chase | 1 comment

The Family Plot — October 23, 2014


Hi, I’m Chris Cooper. Welcome to “The Family Plot:
Gardening in the Mid-South.” Thanks for joining us. Your landscape doesn’t have to
look tired and drab after summer fades. Today we’re going to talk about
some great options for plants and trees that will add color
and interest to your yard for the fall and winter months. All of that and
more is just ahead on “The Family Plot:
Gardening in the Mid-South.” So, stay with us. (female announcer)
This is a production of W-K-N-O, 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. [soft music] [theme music] Hi, welcome to
“The Family Plot.” I’m Chris Cooper. Joining me today is Len Lawhon. Len is a campus horticulturist
for the Northwest Mississippi Community College. And Jason Reeves is here. Jason is the U-T
Gardens horticulturist. Thanks for joining me today. Thanks for having us. Alright. Fall colors, Len. I love this time of the year. I like to see the fall colors. So, what are some
trees for fall color? Well, in the South, we all want
to have that New England look. But we don’t have
New England climate. Right. So, what we have to do is we
have to take kind of what does real well down South and
breed it in to the color. And so, there’s several
different varieties of trees that we like to use to give us
that October and November really snap. Probably one of the best of
the varieties are the hybrid Red Maples. They are truly a good
combination of some nice color, as well as the heat tolerance
that we’ve got to have when you’re talking about July heat. The Sugar Maples are the ones
that look so beautiful up north. And people try and can
successfully cheat to grow one or two. But in order to have something
that’s consistent in a place where you get the massive
amount of color year after year, you really need to stay with
these that are more Southern temperature friendly. Okay. A few of my favorites that
we’ve grown in the past. I love Autumn Blaze. It’s a great kind of an oval
shaped type medium growing Maple. Has some outstanding color. A little bit on the orange
side, which is really nice. Red Sunset is one that’s
been around a number of years. It was probably one of the first
successful hybrid Maples to come out. October Glory was a great one. And it’s still used. You can get a lot. I like the Summer Red, too. That’s one that’s
relatively new. The foliage that comes out in
the summer time has a little red tinge. It’s really heat tolerant
and it’s really pretty. Okay. Alright. So, what are the best ones that
you like though for the most part? I mean, that’s
really going to show, you know, full color. I would go with
the Autumn Blaze. If I had a choice, I would
probably choose it first and then October Glory. Those are the two that are the
most readily available that you can find at different
nurseries and things. And, you know, nine times out of
ten are going to be successful with. Okay. So, they can handle our heat
here and the temperatures here for the most part. Yeah. Okay. Now what about the Ginkgo? Oh, we love Ginkgos. Ginkgo is one of the most
interesting of our trees. It’s got an ancient history. It’s actually called a
living fossil because, you know, there are fossil
records that go back to the Jurassic period with this. And a native of China. It was introduced to Europe and
later on in the Americas in the 1600s and 1700s. And it’s a great tree. Beautiful yellow color. What you try to do is you try to
go for the male grafted because they are Dioecious, which
essentially means you got males and females. And not to be
discriminatory or anything, we definitely like the males
because the female fruit can be a little bit obnoxious. But never the less, they’re
beautiful for their color. Fall color is outstanding. And a favorite. Once it gets mature, people
love the Ginkgo in the fall. Yeah. And I know we have a Ginkgo
tree there in Jackson at the U-T Gardens. We do have a
really nice specimen. We’re fortunate to have it. And it’s a male. There you have it! But it’s so cool that,
you know, you just.. Yeah, it’s a great.. It’s a wonderful specimen. But there are a lot of
them around the Mid-South, around Memphis, especially in
the Chickasaw Gardens area and at the Botanic Garden
that are magnificent. Because once they get some age.. Now they are very slow growing. When you talk about Jurassic,
you’re talking about a plant which takes its time. But interesting enough, there
are not a lot of natural living predators to it. There’s.. I mean insects, diseases. They’re very resistant. It’s just a slow growing tree. And as a result, you’ve
got to take your time. It’s one of those that
you invest in the future. Okay. I saw Black Gum. What about that? Oh, love Black Gum. Black Gum is one of our natives
that is probably one of the greatest show trees. It’s not used as much in the
landscape as it needs to be in my opinion. There are some issues
with transplanting. But professional
horticulturalists have got that licked. And there’s some
really good varieties. But the Black Gum
tree, interesting enough, has got that great red color. It is the oldest living
blooming deciduous tree. In other words, Black Gums
can live up to 600 years. And although we don’t have any
around here that are 600 years old but certainly in the bottom
lands and some of the areas where it’s indigenous,
they can get quite large. But in the landscapes, we
normally see them a little bit smaller but a beautiful
color and really a great tree. Underused. Good. I might add but it’s not
related to the Sweet Gum. When I say Black Gum, people
instantly think of those gum balls. The seed pod on a Black Gum
is about the size of a Dogwood berry. So, you don’t have
to worry about that. And good for wildlife. Wonderful wildlife. That’s exactly right. And it’s another
reason why, you know, common names.. Sometimes we in the industry
speak the Latin so that we’ll know what we’re talking about. But sometimes those common
names can come back and get you. Great tree. Right about that. Let’s get to Oaks. What about the Oaks out there? Okay, the Oak trees. The Mid-South is
filled with Oaks. It’s just it does
quite well here. And there were few of
them that we really, really like that I think
are some of my favorites. I like the Nutall
and the Shumard. It’s kind of that
Scarlett Oak look. Readily available. Easy to transplant. Both of those plants can
be transplanted quite well. Has a wonderful fall color. And what happens so much of the
time is gardeners or people will go to the same old trees
and not mix things up. And so, we advocate that
if you want an Oak tree, great. Go with something other than a
Willow Oak or a Northern Pin Oak. And these two perform quite well
and have a great fall color. Okay, good deal. While we have a
little time left, let’s talk about the Crepe
Myrtles and any other small ornamental trees
that you really like. Yeah. The Crepe Myrtles are
just one of my favorites, especially the
National Arboretum ones. And I’m sure the viewers
understand that if it’s named for an American Indian tribe,
then those are the ones that were bred by the National
Arboretum for fall color. And so, Natchez, Miami, Potomac
are probably three of the largest in the Memphis area that
actually are small trees that give us that great fall look. Not to mention the blooms all
summer long and an interesting bark in the winter. So, it’s like, you know, a
triple play of great interest going not only in to the
fall but in to the winter. Okay. Any other small ornamental? Well, we love Dogwoods. Love the Dogwoods! Dogwoods, you can’t go
wrong with Dogwoods. Certain red buds can do
really interesting things. I tell you one that I like. It’s a Chinese Pistache and
it’s one that you don’t see very often. But boy, it’s got a great color. It almost looks like the Flamed
Sumac except it’s in a tree form. And another one that you don’t
see a lot of in the industry but should be. And there’s no reason in the
world why people shouldn’t be planting them because
it’s a great small tree. Right. And I hear Carol Reese talking
about that all the time because she’s definitely
advocating for that tree. Yeah, we have a nice specimen
at the Gardens in Jackson. Okay, wow! Alright. Well, thanks, Len. We definitely
appreciate the information. Sure. Alright. There are a number of gardening
events going on in the next couple of weeks. Here are just a few
that might interest you. [theme music] Alright, Jason. Len just got through telling
us about the fall tree colors. Now what about winter interests? Oh, there are a lot of plants
we can add to our landscape for winter interest. And today we’re going to talk
about some of those and where to plant them and proper site
selection and then also, using them in
containers, as well. Good deal, okay. Alright. So, you just lead
us right in to it. Alright. Well, first off,
let’s talk about, you know, choosing the right
plant for the right place. So, you need to do your
homework ahead of time. You know, you need to. Is it for sun or is it shade? Is it drought-tolerant? Does it grow in a wet spot? So, you got to figure out your
situation and then look for the plant that fits it. Or if you’re like
most plant collectors, you find the plant and then you
figure out where you can plant it. He knows about that, too. You know, the size, you know,
depending on how big it gets. Keep all that in mind and how
it’s going to mature over the years. And I’m glad you
mentioned that, Jason. Because, you know, we get
so many calls at the office. People just want a plant. And then it’s like, okay. So, where’s your plant going? I mean that’s most important. So, right plant, right place. Absolutely. So, you know, again,
sun, shade, drainage. You know, make sure that’s all
going to fit and the size that you need before you go
out and purchase the plant. So, once you’ve done that,
figure out the plant you want. Go out and look for it. So, I’m going to go through a
few things today that you can add, plant this fall, and
will add winter interest to the garden for years to come. So, we’ll just start with
some of the simple things. Like, this is monkey grass. This is one called
Peedee Ingot though. It has gold foliage. Doesn’t look so gold in
here under the lighting. But outside, it’s a bright gold. A relatively new introduction. But Peedee Ingot Monkey Grass
really adds a lot of depth to the garden and it will
grow in sun or part shade. You get too much shade,
it loses its gold foliage. But that works
great in containers, as well as spilling over the
side for winter interests. A couple little conifers here. You know, these are little
guys that’s going to get big. So, again, pay
attention to that level. This is Morgan. Morgan will eventually
be about four feet tall. So, it’s an Arborvitae. But, you know, you look at
this little thing and you think, oh, that’s cute. Stick it in the ground and
then two or three years later, you know, it turns
out to be a big guy. But this is great to put in a
pot for a couple of years or a winter pot and then, you know,
plant it in the ground in the spring. You can even leave it in
that pot a couple of years. So, but Morgan
Arborvitae is great. Morgan actually turns a
copper color in the winter time, just beautiful coppery
color during the winter months. And that’s full sun? Full sun, yes. And then another
Evergreen we’ve got again. A little guy that I’m
growing on for our plant sale. But this is called
Good Vibrations. And it’s a Juniper,
again, with that gold foliage. So, again, this size, you might
want to grow it in a pot for a couple of years and then
install it in the landscape. But most of your conifers, your
evergreens need good draining soil. So, keep that in mind. And for the most
part, they need full sun. A little bit of
shade is alright. A couple of deciduous plants
that I want to talk about that I’m very fond of is
Red Twigged Dogwood. And so, this is a
shrubby Dogwood. It’s not.. It is related to our
flowering Dogwood, Cornus florida. But the Red Twigged Dogwoods are
really grown for their winter interest. Now here we are in October. It’s just
beginning to turn color. So, in the winter time — Sorry. In the summertime, the
stems are actually green. And as the cool
temperatures come on, the color changes. So, this is one
called Winter Flame. There’s Cardinal. There’s many
cultivars out there. But as the leaves fall off
and the temperatures drop, it gets real colorful. Now it is a shrubby plant. But to get that bright color,
you need to cut it back every year or every other year. Once the stem gets about the
size of your thumb down close to the base, it begins to come
barky just like a tree or a shrub. And you lose that color. So, you come in. I like to do it in the spring
just before things leaf out and take anything out
that’s, you know, the ground is my thumb. Just cutting it
off near the ground. And then that encourages a lot
of new growth to come on it. So, adding a lot
of winter interest. So, you can plant
this now in the garden. Best in full sun. Maybe part shade. And you can also use it in
winter containers where you just stick it down in the container. And you’ll see the pot that
I’ve done out front here. But you just stick
it down in there. And so, it looks as if
it’s growing in the pot. That might add you
some additional color. The trick in the garden in
Jackson is I cut a lot of these and I actually bring them over
to the building and I put them in the ground in the beds
right at the back door or back entrance. And as long as you stick them
down where the points are all together, it looks
like it’s growing. And so, it’s a trick. But it works great. And because those beds, I don’t
want permanent shrubs in them. So, it’s a great way to
add some winter interest. And then two hollies here. These are deciduous hollies. So, deciduous
meaning losing its leaves. These are Winter
Berry Holly, a native. We also have a native Possumhaw. This is Winter Red
and Winter Gold. And Winter Gold is
really more a salmon color. Now all hollies are
male and females. So, you have to plant a
pollinator to go along with it. And the pollinator for Winter
Red and Winter Gold is Southern Gentleman. How about that? And you only need one
male for a group of females. You don’t have to have a lot. It is best if the male is
planted relatively close together. I mean within, you know,
50 feet of each other. It’s the bee that goes from one
to the other that pollinates it. So, you just want to be sure
that bee visits the male and then comes over to the female. But, you know, the leaves will
fall off here when it frosts. And you’ll have these beautiful
berries all winter long unless the birds come
along and eat them. So, that is, you know, added
wildlife food of the Holly berries. They tend to prefer other things
first before the Holly berries. But, again, great
for winter interests. This has grown full sun, part
shade to average soil to wet soil. It’ll actually grow
in wet soil, as well. So, a great holly. And there’s so many
different Hollies on the market. You know, a lot of
native, non-natives, a lot of Evergreens. So, you know, again, do
your homework on some of those Hollies. They end up being
trees practically. So, keep that in mind. And then just a little
bit about our containers. The container in the foreground
here is just put together this morning for winter interest. You want to pick
the right container. It needs to be something that’s
going to withstand the cold in the winter time. So, it cannot be a
ceramic pot or a porcelain pot. It needs to be fiber
glass, or concrete, or hypertufa that you may have
made so it can withstand that freezing. Of course plastic
would work as well. So, this is
actually fiber glass here. And so, um, picking that right
pot is important so you don’t break the pot
during the winter time. And then, you see the assortment
of plants I’ve put in here with the Morgan Arborvitae. There’s a Mondo
grass called, uh, Black Mondo in there. The Yuca is Colorguard Yuca. That works great
in the container, as well as in the ground. Very drought tolerant. And then also, some added
pansies in there for seasonal color. So, pansies are always
great to plant in the fall. And really, October, early
November is the best time to get them in the ground. If you’re like me though, you’re
busy and you don’t get them in until Christmas time when
you’re out for vacation. But it’s really
best to get them in, you know, in early fall so they
get rooted in really well before it gets cold. And if you don’t, then depending
on how cold the winter is, you may get a little
bit more winter damage. But pansies always add a lot. And, of course, there’s
kale and cabbage you can add, as well. So, you know, fall is a great
time for planting many plants, trees, and
shrubs, and, you know, some of your annuals, as well. Yeah, it’s a good time
to be out in the garden. Oh, absolutely. It’s cool. Yeah. And you’re kind of
calmed down from the summer. And it’s a great time. I like it. Let me ask you this
question quickly. What kind of soil do
you use in the container? It needs to be a
well-drained soil; You know, just a commercially
produced potting media. You know, if it’s less than
three or four dollars a bag, it’s probably not very good. You know, at least be
close to ten dollars a bag. Okay. Because those
contents really vary. And the cheaper the soil is, the
more sand it’s going to have in it and the more bark. And the bark isn’t
necessarily a bad thing. But also, if it’s really heavy. If it’s a small
bag and it’s heavy, it’s probably not very good
because it’s probably full of sand. And that’s a filler. So, the lighter weight,
again, around ten dollars for an average bag is a good doing cost
for good quality potting soil. So, you want that
drainage in the winter time. Also, you’ve got to be sure
there’s a hole in the bottom of the pot. You’ve got to get
that winter drainage. And the pot sits real
close to the ground, like on concrete, you may need
to elevate it just a little bit so that hole doesn’t get stopped
up so the water can run out during the winter time. Alright. And, of course, don’t
forget to water it. Yeah, don’t forget that. It’s not raining regularly. You’ve got to water it. That’s right. Just because it’s cold outside
doesn’t mean the plants don’t need water. And that’s a good point. I think a lot of
people forget that. And that’s true of
anything in the landscape, not just in container. Sure. Jason, we
appreciate that information. Alright. This is our Q and A session. And Len, you jump in
there with us now. Sure. Alright. Okay, here’s our first viewer
question and a photo from Pat in North Mississippi. I have this problem
on a number of trees. What is it and can I treat it? So, Len, we’ll start with you. What do you think? And I think we
know what this is. Lichens. It’s Lichens. It’s definitely. And it’s a natural thing. It’s definitely.. Lichens are interesting. They’re literally a
cross of two organisms, an algae, that come
together with a fungus. And they live together and
they work in a symbiotic relationship. A big word but
essentially, they work together. They live in kind of a co-op. Yeah. And they’re not.. They’re living on the
plant but not off the plant. Right. And so, um,
commercially speaking, if we were
digging some trees in, you know, in natural liking,
one way that we remove them to shipping is we take an
old fashioned grocery bag. And you wad it up
like a luffa sponge. And you gently rub it on that. It will cut the Lichens off. It will not harm the bark. And it’s a nice natural way. But it’s purely an aesthetic
reason because Lichens are natural. They’re natural. So, it’s not big problem. Jason? Well, it’s also, um,
if Lichens are growing, the air around it
pretty much is clean. So, it’s a good sign. You know, you’re not going to
find Lichen in a highly polluted city. So, it’s really a good thing. Yeah, it just means you
have a clean environment. That’s what it is. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, no need to
treat it Miss Pat. You’ll be just fine. Mmm-hmm. Okay. Alright, here’s our next viewer
question from Kaye down in Walls, Mississippi. Okay? The needles on one of my
beautiful 12-foot Italian Cypress trees are turning rusty
brown and dying from the bottom. So far, it’s traveled up
four feet up the tree. The disease started
early this spring. I started spraying with a copper
fungicide and liquid systemic fungicide in August. What is the
prognosis for my tree? Any help would be
greatly appreciated. Jason, we’ll start with you. Well, the first thing is the
sample should be sent off to the lab in Nashville to get the
problem identified correctly. Because who knows what it is. And a photo would help. A photo would definitely help. But a sample. So, you can do that through your
local county extension agent. Or if they’re in Mississippi,
the local one there. So, they can send
it to their lab. And then once
you’ve got a diagnosis, then you’ll know
what to treat with. Perhaps in
Mississippi the plant’s okay. In Jackson, Tennessee, it’s not
very hearty and we actually lost all them this winter, the few
that were in the landscape. So, it could be some
symptoms of some winter damage, as well. And when a plant is stressed and
other things come in to affect. So, again, without
a proper diagnosis, it would be hard
to know for sure. Okay. I agree with that. A couple of things
that it could be. Because like I say,
you’re exactly right. Exactly right. But if you go and you think
about the Italian Cypress, Phytophthora, okay,
which is the water molds, are something that that’s my
number one suspect right off the bat. Because the way
she’s describing it. And understanding that the
Italian Cypress tends to lean more toward the
drier arid climates. You see the most spectacular
ones are in Northern California and Napa or outside the
Roman Forum in Italy. So, although it can live here,
sometimes it’s just a matter of taking 15 to 20 years to die. And because they can live
hundreds of years in areas. So, that’s probably the two
things that I would definitely not recommend, you know,
trying to treat with fungicides. It’s not.. It’s wasted money. It’s not really the best thing. So, you know, maybe if Kaye
could just send that off to the lab if she wants. But she may want to try to think
about shifting to a different alternative plant. And is she wanted to shift
to an alternative plant, what would that be? There’s a relatively
new Eastern Red Cedar, our native Eastern Red
Cedar, called Taylor that’s very similar, very narrow and
upright and a great plant. Very drought tolerant. But, you know,
native to our area. So, it’s going to do well. So, that would be
a good substitute. There’s also an arborvitae
called Degroot’s Spires that’s also very tall and slender that
would give you a similar effect that the Italian Cypress would. Okay. Alright, Miss Kaye. There you have it. Okay. Here’s our next question. When is the best time
to plant strawberries? And Len, we’ll start with you. Okay. Let’s start with you. Now we’ll jump it right on. You know, I think early,
early spring is what I would recommend. I think that although fall is
a great time to plant things, with strawberries you’re going
to invest some time in them anyway. You want to try
to get them going. It goes back to what Jason was
saying with soil preparation and patience. And we have a tendency to want
to get the strawberry shortcake recipe out before we
actually get the plant growing. And so, but definitely you want
to stack the favor in front of you. So, that’s what I
would recommend. I think if you can find potted
plants — and I’m not sure that you can this time of year,
but it’ll actually grow in a container. You could put him in that. But if they’re bare root, which
they probably came in fine now. The bare roots
are done, you know, early – late winter. Early, early spring. So, yeah. Alright, here’s
our next question. How can I safely kill the
grass under my Junipers without harming the Junipers themselves? Jason, you may
have this problem. Oh, absolutely. There are herbicides out
there known as Grass-B-Gon, Select and those
only kill grasses. So, you can spray it on the
monkey grass because it’s not a true grass. You can spray it on Day Lillies. Some people think they’re
grasses but they’re not. But you cannot
get it on grasses, even ornamental grasses. So, if you’ve got
Pampas Grass or, um, Miscanthus or
Pennisetum Fountain Grass, you know, you don’t
want to get it on those. But you can spray around
plants that are not grasses. You should always read and
follow the label directions. It is on for a reason. Yes, it is on there. But your local nursery or garden
center will have those products. And we use those a
lot at the U-T Gardens, especially controlling the
Bermuda grass from creeping in in the beds and also,
in our monkey grass. So, it’s a great product. Yeah, it’s a good product. Grass-B-Gon does a wonderful job
on annual and perennial grasses, you know, for the most part. So, read that label. And you don’t want to get any
of this on your foliage though because it will cause
some discoloration. Yeah, there can be
some burned, you know, from the
surfactant that’s in it. Yeah, I think it was
Fluazifop-P-butyl is what it is, the active ingredient. You’ve got to be
real careful, too. Because we’ve run tests on that. If you’ll read
the label closely, Procumbens Juniper says don’t
use it on that because it will discolor any of the
low growing ones. And we’ve done some tests down
at school on running different label applications of,
you know, of really, its Fusilade is what
the label Fusilade. And you have to do
it real careful. So, what I tell people is use
it as carefully as you would RoundUp. Okay? Not to get it on that. But it still, it’s more
forgiving than any Glyphosate. Because you get
Glyphosate on it, it’s gone. So, use Fusilade or any of those
products with tremendous amount of care. Read the label. And read the details because
there are three varieties of Junipers that it
will not work on. So, you’ve got to know what
you’re going to spray it on. So, it is something. But it’s a problem. Bermuda Grass and Junipers
just don’t get along real well. Typically one
application doesn’t do it. With the grass products, it
usually takes more than one application. So, once it greens back
up, it starts growing again. You would apply it again. Again, read and follow
those label directions. Read and follow the label. Important lesson. Thank you Len and Jason. We’re out of time. Be sure to connect with us. We’ll send you weekly e-mail
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have time for today. Thanks for watching. I’m Chris Cooper. Be sure to join
us next time for “The Family Plot:
Gardening in the Mid-South.” Be safe! [theme music] (female announcer)
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. CLOSED CAPTIONING PROVIDED
BY W-K-N-O, MEMPHIS.

1 Comment

Richard Mitchell

Oct 10, 2014, 2:08 pm Reply

Please do a show on figs, pruning and such.

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