Your feedback

A few topics I would love to receive your feedback on:

1)When planting, how do you amend the soil? I have read so much on the topic and there seems to be a strong belief that if you only amend the soil in the hole you are digging, you will not encourage the roots to extend any further than that hole.

2)Do you always stake new trees? This always seemed to be an obvious yes but again I have heard many experts state that it doesn’t allow the tree to build strength early on … a little tough love I suppose. I plan on adding a bunch of River Birch trees this Spring so anxious to hear your thoughts.

3)Fertilizer – this topic often gets violent in many forums. I never use it on any shrubs, trees or perennials as I’ve learned they don’t really need it (actually I’m just lazy). Am I missing out at all?

4)Yuccas? – always despised this plant for some reason (the blooms mostly) but I am starting to come around on the design potential

5)Grasses in design – I have been reading every book by Piet Oudolf this Winter and he seems to believe grasses are much more of a specimen/contrast plant than as a plant to be grouped together. I planted a hedge of Miscanthus Gracillimus and Morning Light but I am starting to wonder about the design appeal of it.

That is all for now … weather in the 40’s today is starting to melt the snow and I may pour boiling water on the snow myself to speed up the process … and I hear the footsteps of March Madness coming … woo f’n hoo!!

5 thoughts on “Your feedback

  1. Leslie

    Hi John,
    Again I’ll give my thoughts.. hope you don’t mind.

    1) Amending the soil… Personally I like the addition of compost or cow manure to all my plantings, it just gives it an extra boost in my opinion and it’s natural.

    2) Staking new trees.. I generally do not unless A) the area is in sandy soil or B) it’s in a windy area. As far as River Birch.. they have healthy root systems, I doubt you’ll have to stake them.

    3) Fertilizer.. I believe in Plant Tone for all trees, shrubs and perennials. It’s a great overall fertilizer.

    4) Yucca’s.. I could go either way. Besides the flower, I am not overly fascinated by it’s appeal, however, I could see it in some landscape designs.

    5) Grasses.. I do like them. I think they provide a unique interest and they do fill a void very quickly. My favorite is Pink Muhly or Pampass Grass. Ribbon Grass is great for a shadier area but it grows like crazy!

  2. Dirt Digger

    Thank you for the feedback!

    1)Do you sell bulk compost at the nursery?
    2)Wasn’t planning on staking the River Birches and figure they will grow well in my many low spots in the lawn where water pools … plus love the bark and winter interest.
    3)May have some of that in the garage some where … nice.
    4)I’ve seen it in photos and see where it can work. Will probably make a mistake and buy it.
    5)I have a ton of Miscanthus and Panicum and love them. Have purchased a bunch of Karl Foerster’s and other “cool season” grasses so can get that awesome foliage earlier in the season. Haven’t tried the grasses you suggested but I will make room for more I’m sure.

  3. Leslie

    Here you go..

    1) No, unfortunately we don’t sell bulk compost.. that will be a hard find. We only sell bagged. BUT… you’ll be starting your own composter this Spring.. so you’ll have you’re own to work with.. 🙂

    2) River Birch.. great tree. One of my favorites!

    3) Yucca = Plants are never a mistake 🙂

    4) The Pink Muhly is shorter and gives a nice red thin plume.. redder than most. A nice choice.

  4. tina

    Here are my thoughts on the matters.

    1) I always add a shovelful of compost to any hole I dig for a new plant. I don’t subscribe to the belief roots will not grow past the good stuff. Yeah right, look at potbound roots. Aren’t they growing past the soil but are limited by the pot. I think all plants need a good start and compost helps. Bone meal is also good but dogs tend to dig it so I am careful using that.

    2)Never stake new trees unless they are leaning due to winds. Only then I will stake them to hold them upright until they can stand on their own. River birches should not need staking. I have one I planted three years ago as a 6 footer. No staking. It is now easily 18 feet tall and still think trunked (but peeling) and never leaned. They have a pretty dense root system.

    3) I do occasionally use fertilizer but it is not necessary (in my humble opinion) if you use organic amendments like compost and leaves. I should probably soil test more often but the spare amounts I apply won’t hurt and it makes me feel better.

    4)Yuccas? LOVE EM! Here in my area they are often planted by driveways and mailboxes. Good spots and I’ve added more than a dozen that I dug from a friend’s garden (who hates them). They are xeric, evergreen, architectural and easy care. What more could I ask for? I have mine paired with brown eyes and Powis Castle and lavender and coneflowers. Stunning.

    5) Grasses? Love em too. They are good fillers and I think used best when they can contrast with other textures. Grasses in a group can be great but maybe different types of grasses. However, a hedge of grasses between properties in a sunny area would be most effective. Ultimately it need ONLY please you. Don’t worry about what other designers say. And remember, gardens are a changeable thing as are we:)

  5. allanbecker-gardenguru

    There is some misinformation in the feedback you received.
    Most of your questions can be answered by horticultural scientists on the website The Garden Professors.
    It’s not right for me to quote them because they say it so much better themselves.

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