Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Can You Plant Now? Yes, You Can!

We've been getting a lot of is-it-okay-to-plant-now questions, and the short answer is yes! (with an "as long as" to follow) You can plant hardy trees and shrubs in our part of NC any time of year as long as the ground is not frozen or saturated with water (like it is today). Our ground rarely stays frozen for long, so you can pretty much plant year round here.

What are the best times to plant? Fall is the best season to put in hardy trees and shrubs. Early spring (or even late winter) is the next best time. Non-hardy plants such as most flowering annuals (think petunias and impatiens)and warm season vegetables like tomatoes shouldn't be planted until mid-April or later.

If you do decide to plant and you have heavy clay soil, make sure you amend with Permatill or pine bark soil conditioner to break up the clay and help it stay aerated. Also, make sure when planting woody trees and shrubs that the "trunk flare" is exposed and is planted at or slightly above ground level. Sometimes, the flare at the bottom of the main woody stem or trunk can get buried under mulch or soil in a container-grown plant. It's absolutely vital that this part does not subsequently get planted below ground. This can greatly shorten the lifespan of the plant.

p.s. If you're in the mood to plant, Homewood just got in our first shipment of azaleas, rhododendrons, and pieris. And, there's plenty more to come in the next couple weeks including winter daphne and some "phat" camellias(according to Assistant Nursery Manager, Christina)

Tina Mast
Communications Director

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