The state of the Garden. Saw pansies, Forsythia and Camellia blooms trying to show themselves yesterday. The slow release fertilizer has been applied to the trees and shrubs as needed. The pre emergent herbicide will be applied next week mto lawns with a history of crabgrass problems. Some last planting projects are on the calender. I like to have all plantings done by the end of Febuary if possible. Seventy degress tomorrow. Is it spring? Full moon tomorow.

The State of the Garden.Wind chill of 11 degress this moValentines Day! More winter weather on the way. The garden has had good cold temperatures to reset the plants with good dormancy. Even though the dead of winter is apon us there is gardening to do. Apply slow release fertilizer to young plants ,clean up perennialsand ornamental grasses. Avoid pruning hydrangeas untill new growth emerges. Install new plantings before spring. Deer love azaleas. For the one week of bloom and the Lacebug issue are they worthit. I dont think so. There are lots of spring blooming alternatives which I will discuss in my next blog. Stay warm and heathly.

The State of the Garden. 2015 was the wettest year in the Sandhills since 1887. With a measured rainfall of 78 inches our plants should be well watered. I hope for a beautiful display of spring flowers with allof this moisture. Apply slow release fertilizer to unestablished trees and shrubs now. No need to fertilize plants unless necessary. Apply Horticultural oil to plants with a history of insect pests. As the weather warms, use irrigation only when absolutely necessary. Get out and enjoy the few nice rain free days we are having. Deer are a problem.

Long, Cool, Wet weather great for plants

Since December, rarely a week has gone by with rain ,wind and below normal temperatures. Although uncomfortable to be outside this type of weather helps plants to ‘reset’. My Snow Goose Cherry in my Landscape has bloomed for several weeks and usually is very brief. The warm weather will start the next week. If you have irrigation systems also referred as sprinkler systems, have them serviced by a licensed NC Irrigation contractor. You may be handy enough to service the system yourself. If you hose water, make sure all your hoses and connections are tight. WE don’t want to wast any water. Those of us who suffer from allergies will have a rough couple of weeks. With the wet weather, the pollen produced will be great. Enjoy the warmth of the next week and evaluate your landscape. If you are considering some Landscape enhancement or plant installation or even low voltage landscape lights, shop early before the better contractors and installers become heavily booked for the next several months. Check you Camellias for Scale insects. I have seen more than the usual amount of this pest. A good Horticultural oil spray directed to the underside of the leaf should clear up the problem. If you are uncomfortable with applying pesticides, call a licensed NC Pesticide applicator to make these treatments for you. Delay perennial and annual plant installation untill after the 21st of April to avoid cold damage. Have a great week and enjoy Natures Spring Beauty. Shawn M. Sazama American Landscape.

Today’s observations.

This afternoon, the leaves and turf definitely started the turn toward Fall/Winter.The days are getting short. The warm season grasses are finished growing. It’s time to start planting. Trees and shrubs with berries are coloring up. The soil is cooling. We could use some rain to finish germinating the Rye and Fescue seed. I’m already seeing some cool season weeds in turf. I’d say some weed control will be needed in about two weeks. If you have not taken a soil test, you should. The soil ph (acidity is so important. The soil test will advise if lime is need to make the soil less acidic. We will Lime in November. Don’t forget to winterize your sprinkler system after Thanksgiving, especially if you have an above ground backflow preventers. If you need help with this, call 910-295-1252 for a winterization. Planting and transplanting can begin within the next two weeks. Call us if you need help with your Fall Projects. Some vendors are offering excellent discounts on walk and patio pavers,  natural stone and landscape lighting materials. Thanks for your support. We look forward to working with you this Fall.

Coldest, Hottest, Driest; what next.

Just when the calendar shows a date which would typically be the beginning of the Fall planting season, the weather has turned abnormally dry. Even though I make my living is part by planting, I am suggesting not installing a lot of trees and shrubs now. If you have other landscaping issues, drainage, irrigation systems, hardscapes,lighting, basically anything other than planting, go ahead with it. If you can water efficiently, by all means do. Rhododendrons seem to be taking this years weather especially hard.I have not heard of any municipal water restrictions yet. Please water wisely, all natural resources are limited. When we finally start getting some rain, I will be able to tell how stressed the landscapes have become. Horticulturally, this has been a very difficult year. Hope you are well. Keep a positive attitude, and look to the sky for much-needed help. We are offering nice discounts on hardscapes,   irrigation systems. Contact us immediately to take advantage of these huge savings.

It’s great to be alive!

The weatherman says the high temperature for tomorrow will be eighty degrees. hallelujah! It’s amazing what a difference it makes when it’s below one hundred degrees. The days are getting shorter, the Sasanqua Camellias are full of flower buds, life is good. With the decrease in temperature we will see an increase in late summer insects. Whitefly and lacebug are hatching, scales have been around all summer. If these insects are reaching damaging levels, this is a good time to control them. My pick is Horticultural oil. Be thorough in your application. What else can you be doing these fine late summer evenings? De thatch your perennials, cultivate your annuals. Both could use a little bump of low nitrogen fertilizer. Take your soil samples. if you need lime , the earlier you can apply it, the sooner you will see the results. Continue to water at one inch per week. The soil temperature will start falling in late September so any landscape projects should be planned now. please contact me anytime with your questions.

Historical Summer Weather brutilize Horticulturists and Gardeners

On June 6th the Summer of 2010 began to show her true colors.  Now, 70 days later, most plants, lawns and people who work outside are showing the effects of the hottest summer in more than thirty years. From a horticulturists perspective, I have seen symptoms of plant stress of which have been long forgotten. Pest infestations have been very atypical. I will venture out into my home landscape today to evaluate plant roots. The tops of most plants are either burnt or off-color. If the roots look good,  then we can revive almost all plants in the next 30-45 days. I would suggest early morning watering totalling one inch of moisture per week. A light fertilization with a quick release, low nitrogen fertilizer should help. Watch out for Fall Army Worms on Bermuda grass and occasionally Zoysia.  Off color, generally thinning of the turf is a good indicator. Two tablespoons of dishwater detergent in a gallon of water as a drench will quickly bring the worms into view. Treat with a general Turf insecticide which is labeled for Fall Army Worms at the recommended rate. Turf weeds have been epic this year. Unfortunately, with the daytime temperatures over 90 degrees, chemical control has not been available. Frequent mowings to thicken up turf should help crowd out some weeds. When daytime high temperature do not exceed 90 degrees, chemical weed control can resume. Thankfully, the extreme heat has not allowed the Whitefly and Lacebug populations to become a problem. As the weather cools, the species may make a comeback in a hurry. I will control with Horticultural Oil. This should help control not only the whiteflies and lacebugs, but also the Scale insect populations which are EVERYWHERE. Containerized plants have really taken a beating. With the soil above ground, the temperature of the soil surrounding the plant roots is very high. Root damage is high. Root stimulation by repotting and proper watering should help. Days are getting shorter. Fall and Spring plants are setting flower buds. Be carefull when trimming to not cut to hard. You will be cutting off these flower buds. Take you soil tests in September. If you require lime, Apply in November. It takes between three and six months to adjust the soil ph. I,m sorry for the lapse in blog intervals. Most days , after be assaulted all day by the heat, I was not up to blogging. Keep you questions coming in on our website. Yours in planthood, SMS.

Welcome to the jungle!

Trim, prune. My maintenance crews dream of it. Plants are hardening off from the Spring flush of growth. If you can wait even two more weeks, that will be a great time to prune. If you have overgrown plants, don’t hesitate to renovate these by selective hard pruning. If you do not have the tools, the knowhow or the debris disposal capabilities, then call us. With the rain and humidity in , we have fertilized the warm season turf. We used 10-0-26 this year per our soil tests. Depending on the weather, we will do again in about 60-75 days. Azalea Lacebug, Camellia Scale, and Spider mites are flaring up now. I am using a combination of Orthene and Horticultural oil at the Summer rate and achieving good control. As we approach the Summer solstice, weed pressure will be at its greatest. Use the correct product and watch your drift to non target species. Enjoy your Memorial Holiday, yours in plantdom, SMS.

May showers bring June flowers?

Today we trenched in an irrigation system. The soil is as dry as beach sand. The weather extremes are significant. Global warming, the end of our species? Continue to water your trees and shrubs deeply once or twice per week. Warm season turf (Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede) have already gone back dormant in unirrigated areas. If you don’t mind the look, and you don’t want a large water bill, leave the water off the lawns. They should recover quickly when and if it starts to rain again. Fescue is another matter. Without lots of water almost daily, Fescue is done, toast, don’t light a match! All people should do a rain dance at least daily until further notice.