Scavenger Hunt

Scavenger Hunt  Write in the names 

By office (in front and beside the office)

  1. Find a Lover from the South

 

  1. You can play me in a band

 

Annual Area Black shade cloth area across the drive from the office

  1. Find three annuals with a food in their names

 

  1. A butterfly-loving annual that you would wear around your head or neck or stuff in your back pocket

 

Fruits and Herb area across the drive from house #1

  1. There are two drinks in my name but you don’t drink me

 

  1. Find three herbs with “Lemon” in their names

 

Outside of House #1

  1. “I have been tricked” summer flowering perennial

 

  1. Find two characters from the same fairy tale.

 

  1. Showing a celestial object some love

 

Front half of House #1 the sun perennials

  1. Series of funny cop movies

 

  1. A Donald Trump vine

 

Back half of House #1 shade perennials

  1. Find six varieties of ferns

 

  1. Joyful Royalty

 

Walk About area  open area above the rose house with sun-loving shrubs

  1. A “Leo’s” good looks (hint: look to the stars)

 

  1. A sweet dessert

 

  1. Two tart flavors are part of my name

 

Top green house before the barn and across from the chickens

  1. A movie snack

 

  1. A season that never finishes

 

  1. Seasonal Contract

 

Who doesn’t love fresh, juicy strawberries?

Have you thought about growing your own?
 
Strawberries are pretty easy to grow, but do require some soil preparation and attention during the growing season.
 
Start by locating a sunny spot in the yard where your patch will receive at least 8 hrs of sun.  Prepare your soil as you would a vegetable garden; adding compost or organic matter.  Our Big Bag Beds are perfect for strawberries and require no digging.
 
Plant your strawberries about 24 inches apart as they will quickly fill in with runners.  Fertilize with an organic fertilizer in the early spring, June, and again in September.
 
Some varieties of strawberries are early blooming , providing one large crop in June, while others are ever-bearing and usually produce three harvest a year.
 
Plant this spring, and you will be plucking strawberries by summer.

Is Your Garden Complete?

Ignoring the fact that our gardens are never finished, I was heading in a different direction with this question.
 
Quite often we base our plant selections on visual appeal. Sometimes we are drawn to a fragrance, and for many of us it stops here. If this describes you, I encourage you to consider a few other senses and emotions.
 
Sound is wonderful in the garden, and can set the mood.  Running water from a fountain or waterfall adds tranquility. As Kari mentioned to me,  hearing the chirping of invited birds in the morning will certainly put a smile on your face.  Plant colors, combinations and textures also play a role in setting the mood of your garden. An array of warm colors such as reds, yellows, and oranges are stimulating, while shade of blues, greens and white bring calm.  
 
Another aspect to completing our garden is bringing back memories.  Kari is slowly filling our front garden with violets and lily of the valley because she remembers both from her childhood.  For many of us, the joy we get from memories our garden brings can be the most gratifying.
 
Let us know how we can help you step closer to completing your garden this spring.-Eric

A Welcoming Focal Point at Your Front door

For various reasons many of us don’t get as excited about planting our front annual beds each year.  Problem is this can leave our landscape lacking in color or interest.  
 
Patio trees make a wonderful focal point, and with some imagination can be show-stopping. 
 
Patio trees can be evergreen like the spruce in the photo, or can be flowering shrubs such as hydrangeas or ninebark. The concept is having a small 3-5′ tall tree standing out from the landscape that provides addition interest with color or texture without covering up the house.
 
Often we under plant the specimen tree we choose with a ground cover such as thyme, heucheras, ferns, or something bright such as lemon ball sedum.  Of course annuals also can be used.  Incorporating small garden boulders adds additional year-round interest.  The look can be simple with a patio tree and ground cover or annuals, or you can combine textures like Heather did in this display.  Stop by our Woodstock nursery, and let us show you some combinations to make your yard stand out.

5 Tips to Reduce Our Gardening Chores

1. Proper pruning leads to less pruning. Shearing your plants actually promotes an abundance of new growth. Prune judiciously removing entire branches from within the plant, or cutting branches back to where another branch originates. This type of pruning will not promote near as much new growth, and is healthier for the plant.
 
2. Mulch your beds. A good layer of mulch will help control weeds, and aid the soil in retaining moisture for your plants.
 
3.Using a slow-release organic fertilizer will keep your soil and plants happy and healthier
 
4. Consider a pre-emergence to keep weeds from germinating.  Some like the Espoma Weed Preventer are all organic
 
5. A shift in perspective can help some of us. Balancing our desire for a perfectly manicure landscape with accepting that we are dealing with nature can go a long way in reducing our work load. 

David Austin passes leaving an incredible legacy

“Every day I marvel at my good fortune to have been able to make a life out of breeding roses. My greatest satisfaction is to see the pleasure my roses give to gardeners and rose lovers worldwide.”

Even as a child growing up on a farm in England, David Austin had a fascination with breeding plants, but it was a gift from his sister for his twenty-first birthday that sparked what was to become his legacy. That gift was a book on roses.

David soon began growing roses both old and modern. While he was impressed with the wide array of colors and the ability of hybrid teas to re-bloom, David felt they lacked the beauty, fragrance and charm of the Old Roses. Short on experience, David made up with ambition, and decided to start breeding roses that would combine the best of the Old Roses with the positive attributes of the modern roses.  The seed of what we today call English Roses had been planted.

In 1961 at age 35 David Austin successfully created the first viable rose of the nearly 200 rose varieties bearing his name. He named it Constance. It would take another twenty years to begin to make a name as a rose breeder. In 1983 Mr. Austin took three of his roses to the annual Chelsea Flower Show. Among those roses was his now famous Graham Thomas Rose. His success that year began a tradition, with rose lovers eagerly anticipating his new introductions at this show each year.

Now in its third generation, David Austin Roses continues to be a family business. His legacy grows with each new rose, and we are the beneficiaries of his legacy.

David Austin senior passed in December at 92.

(Graham Thomas English Rose)

Gardening success starts with this easy test

Why should we have our soil tested?

  • To know if our soil has nutrient deficiencies
  • To know if the ph level is within range. If it’s not then can’t take up nutrients
  • Help diagnose plant or lawn problems, Need a complete picture as possible when determining what is going on

While most of us are not going to test our entire yards or all our planting beds, but really should for your lawn, vegetable garden and rose or perennial gardens where plants are heavy feeders

What will a soil test tell us.  Based on UGA Extension Office test.

Test will determine the following levels

Ph level soil acidity

Phosphorous

Potassium

Calcium

Magnesium

Zinc

Maganese

Test will provide recommendations to improve the soil and bring it within needed ph range

 What the soil test will not tell us

  • Nitrogen level as this can change quickly steadily adding organic matter will provide nitrogen Adding compost topdress, mulch breaking down, creating sustainable environment for worms and micro organisms
  • Presence of disease, fungus or toxins

When and how often should I have my soil tested?

  • Can sample at any time, but want to allow enough time to get results, treat the soil and allow the recommended additives to work before the growing season begins Fall or early winter would be ideal, but still time to do it now.
  • Every two or three years should be sufficient unless you are having problems

A Few Notes

  • Get a good picture of your bed’s soil by combining soil from different areas
  • To avoid skewed results, don’t take samples from right next to you compost pile, or up against your foundation or any slabs of concrete.
  • Depth is important-4” deep for lawns, 6” deep for planting beds as this is depth of most feeder roots.
  • Use clean tools and bucket
  • UGA Extension Office has sites explaining the procedure

 

Winter Landscapes Need Not be Boring

When we think about our landscaping or garden our minds seem to follow the seasons starting with the excitement of spring.  Often by the time late fall, and winter rolls around we think, okay, now we just have to wait until spring again, and give our landscape a pass for winter.

There is no real reason to settle for a lackluster look in our yards during the winter months.  Many plants we use to create color or interest during the other seasons, also provide winter appeal.  Setting aside gardens for the moment, we usually choose plants to solve a problem.  That problem may be a colorless landscape, needing privacy from the neighbors, or seeing too much of the fence surrounding our back yard.  There are dozens of plants to solve any of these as well as most landscape problem we want to conquer. With some forethought we can easily provide winter interest while at the same time hiding the neighbors or getting a little shade on the back patio.

Forever Goldy arborvitae can easily be used in place of the emerald green arborvitae to create a 10’ tall, yet narrow privacy screen. Now you have a bright yellow (contrasted with green) hedge to brighten a dreary winter day.  There are also many smaller growing yellow conifers to mix with your green shrubs to add winter interest to your front yard. Gold Pacific juniper comes to mind.

Back to needing some shade to make the patio tolerable late afternoon. There are a host of small-growing trees that can be planted in the vicinity, so why not choose one that catches your eye from inside during the dormant months. Sango Kaku (coral bark) Japanese maple comes to mind as does Paperbark maple.

As you know textures add interest. Ornamental grasses not only provide a contrasting texture to most plants, they also provide movement.  While standing brown in the winter they still draw the eye and add character.

Like colorful evergreen, hardscapes and boulders draw year-round attention. By default they add to the winter landscape, even when the plants surround them may be leafless, or cut back to the ground.

When choosing plants to solve a problem, or fill a space, think about all the seasons; we need not settle for a pretty yard nine months out of the year.

Do’s and Don’ts When Planting a Tree

Do’s

  • Planting a tree
  • Do dig the hole the same depth as the rootball
  • Do dig the hole at least twice as wide as the root ball
  • Do use your native soil when backfilling but you can allow as much as 25% be a soil amendment
  • Do loosen the roots from the sides and bottom (if container grown)
  • Do remove as much of the wire basket and burlap as possible (if balled and burlapped)
  • Do position the tree so it best side faces where its viewed from most
  • Do make sure the tree is straight as you backfill
  • Do mix your soil well, breaking up any large clumps of soil as you backfill
  • Do tamp the soil firmly around the rootball as you plant
  • Do make sure the top of the rootball is level or slightly above the surrounding soil
  • Do water the tree in well once planted. Allow the surrounding soil to become well saturated so water is not wicked away
  • Do mulch around the tree with pine straw or mulch
  • Do prune out any rubbing branches and any branches that are crisscrossing through the tree

 

Don’ts

  • Man-handle the tree. Avoid scratching the bark, sapping limbs, and breaking the root ball apart
  • Don’t use gravel or sand beneath the root ball to improve drainage
  • Don’t leave any burlap, strings, or trunk wraps on the tree
  • Don’t stake the tree unless deemed necessary
  • Don’t leave stakes on a tree for longer than 6 months
  • Don’t mound mulch up high around the trunk
  • Don’t damage the trunk with mower or weedeater
  • Don’t spray the trunk with herbicides
  • Don’t forget about your tree, it needs care
  • Don’t paint over tree wounds or pruning cuts
  • Don’t use any chemical such as insecticides or fungicides without reading and following the directions
  • Don’t clump fertilizer against the base of the tree

Tips for starting and maintaining a vegetable garden

You just can’t beat the taste of fresh vegetables and greens from your own garden. Add in the fact that you know exactly what you are feeding your family and where it came from, and that no pesticides or herbicides have been applied, and you’ll be smiling throughout the entire meal.

If you are considering starting your own vegetable garden here are a few tips to get you off to a successful start.

  • Choose an area with 6+ hours of sunlight
  • Make sure you can easily water your garden
  • Consider growing in raised beds or containers to best control the soil mix and moisture
  • Invest in your soil-we have recommendations
  • Start small with approximately 5-7 of your favorite vegetables
  • Mark your beds so you know what is where
  • Be proactive in preventing problems before they occur Life will be much easier
  • Read up on the vegetables you are growing so you can anticipate, identify and treat problems as they arise The UGA extension is a great source
  • Keep a journal of dates, weather, problems, etc to refer to next year.

Create fresh salads with these 10 easy-to-grow vegetables

  Bell Peppers

  Carrots

  Cucumbers

  Green Beans

  Lettuce

  Spinach

  Squash

  Tomatoes

  Zucchini

Start your garden from seed or starter plants. Seeds can be grown indoors now to set out after April 15thLast Frost Date. Starter plants can be purchased and set out after Last Frost Date

Make sure any chemicals and fertilizers are safe for use for food crops

Consider easy-to-grow fruits like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and blackberries

Imagine this inviting you into your garden or back yard

Creating a Bird Sanctuary

Are My Plants Alive?

While not the coldest winter, these past few months have created some challenges in our yard.
 
The heavy snow in December splayed the limbs of a lot of evergreen trees. Many have popped back to their original form, while others have stayed bent. If you have drooping limbs that are now brown, and you can safely reach them, now is the time to remove them, so this spring, the surrounding healthy limbs can start filling any gaps.
 
If you have bent limbs that are still green, you can tie them back with a material that wont cut into the trunk. Pantyhose, or an old leather belt work great as well as rope run through a piece of hose wrapped around the trunk to protect it. Do not use wire as it will cut into the trunk, likely killing the branch.
 
You may see a lot of little brown limbs throughout your conifers. Looking closely you will see they are cracked limbs, also from the snow, and they too can be cut out. 
 
The warm weather has fooled a lot of plants into breaking dormancy as we are seeing leaves form on hydrangeas and roses. But not all plants are fooled quite so easily, and you may be wondering why some of your plants don’t have leaves.  Don’t despair as most likely they are fine. A quick way to tell if your plant is alive is to scratch the bark with your fingernail or pocket knife. If you see green beneath the bark like in the photo, you are fine.  If you see brown, and the branch snaps when you bend it, you know you have dead branches or possibly a dead shrub. Dead branches can be pruned out.
 
Many loropetalums, and azaleas are crowned with brown leaves from the snow and cold.  They can be pruned, and fertilized now to prepare them for new growth in the next few weeks.
 
Patience is your friend. Let spring come, let your plants do their thing, then once it’s obvious if a tip of a branch is not putting out foliage go ahead and prune it back to green foliage.  

Your Garden Tells a Story

Your Garden Tells A Story (whether you know it or not)

I enjoy antique motorcycles.  I take pleasure in studying their mechanical details in museums in pristine showroom condition.  But what I truly love are old bikes that their owners have made their own.  Rather than making the vehicle look like it came off the showroom floor, they make or adapt pieces to better fit their needs. It may be functional like the disc brake on my 1948 Harley, or aesthetical like the huge brass headlight I have.  You see the creativity in the machine, and suddenly it becomes authentic. The owner has made the motorcycle his or her own.  

Our personal gardens are an opportunity to be creative. We get to build what we want.  It doesn’t have to be perfect or grand; nor do our gardens have to follow all the rules.  Like talking with the guy at the gas station with the greasy, well worn bike we get to share our stories. We get to know more about the owner through his machine in just a short period of time.  As you watch him ride away you see the two are on a journey together.

When we visit a friend back yard it’s the same.  We find out that the iris are fourth generation heirlooms, and the Fairy rose you simply had to have because it reminds you of the neighbor’s garden when you were a child.  The hydrangea is in memory of your mother as it was her favorite plant. And that old bird bath you found at a flea market while on vacation ten years ago, and lugged it around the entire trip.  When we leave we not only have gleaned more about you, we realize this is your garden; you created it because it was what you wanted. It is authentic.

Eric Hill

Quickly and easily improve your soil with leaf mold

What is leaf mold? Leaf mold is decomposed leaves. Think of a forest floor with years of fallen leaves decaying over time to produce a loamy black soil. 

Benefits of adding leaf mold to our soil for gardening and landscaping?  By changing the structure of your soil by adding leaf mold will:

  • Improve water retention while not drowning plants
  • Help keep your soil aerated
  • Help create a sustainable environment for earthworms and micro-organisms which in turn produce organic matter for your plants to feed from

Creating leaf mold is simple, and does not require attention once you start the process. A simple structure to hold leaves while decomposing is using chicken wire to make a 3 ft diameter cage(s) about 3 ft tall to pile your leaves in.

Shredded leaves decompose faster, so chipping them is recommended. Otherwise, once you pile you leaves take your weed-eater and shred them.

Cover your cage to prevent leaves from blowing out, and let time and Mother Nature do their thing. Shredded leaves may be ready to use by as early as the following spring or summer. Unshredded leaves may take a year or longer to break down.

How to apply to your soil

  • Method one: Work 2-4’of leaf mold into the top 6’of soil with a tiller or by hand
  • Method two: Spread 2-3 inches of leaf mold on top of your soil, and let the earthworms bring it down into your soil.

Method two will bring slower results, but requires less work.

NOTE: Avoid composting black Walnut leaves as they contain a natural herbicide that will prevent seeds from germinating

Dirty Fingernails Reduce Stress

A little while back I was out of town, and I called my wife one afternoon to say hi. Asking her how her day was, she responded “I got terrible new this morning, and I am having a great day!” (Insert head tilt, as that’s what I did before she could explain.)  After the disturbing news she decided she could let her anger and frustration boil, or she could do something to dampen it.

Her “something” was tending to the landscaping in our front yard. Through her slightly labored breathing I could tell she was still working as she told me about the removing of some shrubs and pruning of others, raking leaves for composting and planting daffodil bulbs. She was enjoying herself, and was not letting the morning news ruin her day or dictate her emotions. Feeling only slightly guilty that I wasn’t there to help, I enjoyed the rest of my trip, and didn’t give her actions much thought.

Today while driving I got to thinking about gardening as therapy. I knew this evening I could pull up numerous articles and studies on the subject, but instead I figured I would just ask my wife why she thought this works. Her response:

  • It’s physically active
  • You get to be creative
  • Fresh air and natural light
  • Surrounded by nature, even if its just in your yard.
  • Touching plants
  • Accomplishing something

In seconds she told me six reasons why gardening as therapy works. You can Google any one of these and you will find studies on how each one benefits our minds and bodies. And here you have them all wrapped up in one!

You don’t have to be a professional, and the results don’t need to be perfect. You don’t even need to finish every outdoor chore, just get outside, don your gloves and get started. Like my wife, you’ll be glad you did.

 

Choosing the Right Tree

Tale of the Too Tall Tree

A few years back, seven to be precise, a young couple having just purchased their first home headed to the nursery to buy the perfect tree. They both fell in love with a beautiful flowering tree, and took it home to plant.  Wanting to enjoy its beauty as much as possible they planted it right outside their dining room window. Oh how they babied that tree, watering it religiously and fertilizing it every spring. For a few years, they watched the tree grow, marveling at its beauty and how wonderful it looked with their house.

Then one day they drove up the driveway, and the man stopped the car and just gazed at the tree. “It’s covering up the house”, he said solemnly.  “Have you noticed the sidewalk? It’s lifting up right by the tree”, she replied. Shaking their heads, they walked into the house; their once beautiful tree was now a problem.

This scenario plays out all too often. With some forethought, and education, our couple could still be enjoying a beauty tree outside their window.

Planting a tree is an investment that will grow over time. Taking the time to choose the right tree will pay in dividends for years to come. When choosing a tree here are some things to consider:

  • Why are you planting tree? For color? Shade? Privacy? Habitat?
  • How tall do you want/need the tree to grow to?
  • As the tree grows, how is it going to affect its surroundings both above ground and underground. Are there power lines above? Will it grow into the house? Will it block the view of the house from the street? Will it shade out too much lawn? Are their septic lines nearby? How close is the waterline?
  • How fast will the tree grow? Will it accomplish what you want in a reasonable amount of time?
  • Does the area have the correct cultural conditions for the tree you are considering? How much sun? What about moisture? Does the area stay real wet or too dry?

Trees are a fantastic addition to the landscape; adding value to your home while allowing you more enjoyment from your yard. At Autumn Hill Nursery in Woodstock GA we help you choose the right tree(s) for your needs.

 

Ferns Set the Mood

Photo courtesy of Pinterest

We create gardens for numerous reasons. Sometimes we enjoy the visual excitement of an explosion of color, or maybe to watch the wildlife our gardens attract. Oftentimes it’s a means to escape and relax. Creating a relaxing or meditation garden is not difficult, but it does take planning and forethought with plant selection.

One category of plants that can assist in creating relaxing atmosphere is ferns. Used in mass the texture, green color and gracefulness of their fronds (foliage) create a harmonious, soothing effect. One can’t help but decompress just a little when surrounded by a mass of ferns. Combining different varieties of ferns but still remaining monochromatic with the green color scheme increase the soothing effect. A bed of dark green tassel ferns alongside a grouping a lighter green cinnamon ferns is a perfect example of keeping a monotone color scheme.

If you have a shade garden consider bordering your path with ferns, or surrounding a bench where you relax with ferns. The cool greens, and graceful foliage will actually entice you to linger longer.

Inspired by Memories

Installing Sod VS Seeding Grass

There’s no denying that a lawn with beautiful grass is more pleasant than a lawn without. The most efficient way to establish a lawn is sod. Where seeds can take weeks to even begin to germinate, sod from Autumn Hill Nursery in Woodstock comes fully matured, can be installed almost any time in just a few hours, and will be ready for use in a couple of weeks.

grass on the lawn

When it comes to creating or refreshing your lawn, sod has many benefits:

  • Stay Cool. A lawn fully covered in grass is up to 30 degrees cooler than asphalt and 15 degrees cooler than dirt. It’s even cooler than rock and artificial turf. Grass freshens the air, circulates carbon dioxide into oxygen, and reduces greenhouse gasses, which will help your family breathe easier.
  • Keep the Yard Where it Is. Sod starts working to reduce erosion immediately, even on steep hills and slopes. Seeding grass means you’ll have to use other means to control erosion while the seeds germinate and mature, which can take months. 
  • Adds Value, Costs Less. A full lawn will add up to 15% to your home’s value. Seeding grass may seem like the cheaper option, and the initial costs may be lower, but consider the additional costs in extra watering, erosion control, and re-seeding, not to mention all the time it takes for seeded grass to be usable.

At Autumn Hill Nursery we have over 25 years of experience in landscaping services. When you let us help with your project, you know you’re getting the best service, quality, and knowledge. Give us a call and let’s talk about your landscaping needs!

Georgia is For the Birds

With its mild climate and abundant rainfall, Georgia is a great place to bird watch. Did you know that Autumn Hill Nursery carries birding supplies? 

To attract birds, you’ll need to create a comfortable environment for them. Birds need a good source food, water, and ideally shelter or nesting areas close by. Provide those in a safe place, and then sit back and enjoy the show! We have all the tools you’ll need to get started. 

birds in a birdbathThe best way to provide food for birds is shade trees and ornamental shrubs (be sure to select native varieties for best results), though you can of course supplement with birdseed in feeders if needed. Most birds will be excited about sunflower seeds, proso millet seeds and peanut kernels, though of course all species are different. Birds also need a ready supply of fresh water, ideally elevated to protect against predators, no more than two to three inches deep, and replaced regularly. If you want birds to stay long-term, they’ll need a place to be out of the elements. Shade trees are a great choice for this. Look for multi-stem plants with a dense canopy here, as they will encourage birds to linger and even nest.

Set up your habitats correctly and you may be able to catch a glimpse of Eastern Bluebirds, Purple Martins, American Goldfinches, Carolina Wrens, Carolina Chickadees, Blue Jays, Downy Woodpeckers, Northern Cardinals, Mourning Doves, and of course the Georgia Brown Thrasher. If you have a big enough source of water, you may even be able to see herons!

When you’re ready to get started, contact Autumn Hill Nursery! We love birding and can’t wait to help you get involved in this great hobby.

Growing Strong Indoors

Do you want to start a garden, but don’t have access to outdoor space? Don’t worry, apartment-dwellers; indoor gardening is easier than ever these days. Here are some tips and ideas to get started. indoor gardening

  • Right Plants, Right Place. Many plants actually thrive in the shade, or with just the sunlight from a window. North-facing windows are a great place for plants that need more light. Some plants may like the humid atmosphere of the bathroom! Make sure you keep indoor plants away from drafts and curious pets, and get appropriately-sized containers. Autumn Hill Nursery can help you select the best tools and plants for the conditions in your home.
  • Water Properly. Over-watering is one of the top reasons indoor plants die. Only water when the soil feels dry to the touch. Placing an ice cube or two on the soil (how many will depend on the size of your plant) will help release water at a steady pace. Occasionally misting your plants with room-temperature water will keep them happy, too!
  • Be Creative. Save space by gardening vertically or adding plants to existing furniture like bookshelves, drink carts, and shelving. Small pants can even make an attractive centerpiece for your table.
  • Plant Lights. If you’re really set on growing plants that don’t care for the shade, invest in plant lights to help your sun-loving plants thrive indoors.

Drop by Autumn Hill Nursery in Woodstock, GA when you’re ready to start gardening. We can help you create an indoor garden to match your budget, taste, and space!

Rose Spraying Program for Fungus-Free Flowers

Roses are perhaps the most famous flowers, and make a dramatic and beautiful addition to any garden. If you’ve already read our Roses 101 and taken the plunge with your own roses, your next step is to follow the Rose Spraying Program we’ve developed here at Autumn Hill Nursery. keep your roses safe

First, the basics:

  • Begin spraying in late February of every year
  • Spray every 12-14 days
  • Water first, then spray!
  • In the spring and summer, spray before 11:00 am or after 6:00 pm
  • Never spray on windy days, or when the temperature is over 85
  • Never use the same sprayer for weed-killer and any other compounds

This program means you’ll primarily spray for fungus, only treating for pests if they become a problem. Depending on what you’re spraying for, you’ll need to mix chemicals in water in a specific order; check the program for more details.

Remember that when it comes to preventing problems in your roses, maintenance is key. That means watering, fertilizing, pruning, mulching, and soil, as well as general tidiness.

  • Keep flower beds clean–remove weeds, debris, etc. on a daily basis
  • While tidying, inspect roses for signs of disease, stress, or harmful bugs
  • Water thoroughly, nine to eleven gallons per week
  • keep three inches of mulch on your roses consistently
  • If you find a disease that is carried in the soil, remove the plant and the soil as quickly as possible

Following this plan will help protect your roses against pests, fungus, and disease. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact Autumn Hill Nursery in Woodstock, GA. With a little effort, your roses can be your pride and joy!

Beneficial Insects 101

When you have a problem with pests eating your carefully selected plants, it can be tempting to lay down a field full of pesticides. But remember, not all bugs are bad! Many insects are beneficial for your garden, and prey on pests. attracting butterflies

Pretty much everyone has heard of ladybugs (also called lady beetles), which can each eat upwards of 4,000 aphids during their lifetime. Lacewings and ground beetles also eat aphids, as well as mites and insect eggs. Tachinid flies prey on caterpillars and caterpillar larvae; spined soldier bugs do as well, and also eat gypsy moths and many other species. And of course, butterflies and bees will pollinate your plants and bring more beautiful color to your garden.

Most beneficial insects can be purchased in egg form, then released into your garden. To convince  more of them stay in your garden, consider the following plants: 

  • Ladybugs: dill, dandelion, fern-leaf yellow, basket of gold
  • Ground Beetles: evening primrose, amaranthus, clover
  • Lacewing: dill, angelica, golden marguerite, coriander
  • Spined Soldier Bugs: local perennials
  • Tachinid Flies: Queen Anne’s Lace, carrots, cilantro, dill, coriander, buckwheat, sweet clover
  • Butterflies: local plants in bright colors, local milkweed
  • Bees: local plants with a single row of petals in yellow, white, blue, and purple

Remember, if you want to attract beneficial insects, you’ll need to stop using pesticides. Chemicals don’t discriminate between good and bad bugs!

When you’re ready to make your garden friendlier to beneficial insects, make Autumn Hill Nursery in Woodstock, GA your first stop. We have the tools and knowledge to help!

 

Keep Deer Out of Your Plants

Deer may seem cute and harmless, but any gardener can tell you how destructive they are. A fully grown deer can eat up to ten pounds of food a day! That kind of appetite can wreak havoc on your plants. Here are some ways to keep deer out of your gardenkeep deer out of your garden

  • Physical Barriers. Fencing is probably your best bet when it comes to keeping deer away from your plants. If you’d rather not spend the money for full fencing, or prefer the look of your plot without it, try an invisible fence made of fishing wire.
  • The Right Plants. Deer will avoid plants that have a strong, lingering smell, because the odor will stick to them and make them more noticeable to predators. There are a number of other plants that deer avoid. Take advantage of this by planting herbs like lavender, rosemary, oregano, or sage along the perimeter of your garden. As a bonus, your garden will smell amazing and you’ll have fresh herbs for cooking! 
  • Other Repellents. Deer have a very sensitive sense of smell. Repellents like predator urine, soap with tallow, and chemicals with a bad smell that can be applied to leaves will discourage them from munching.
  • Let the Dog Out! Giving your pooch free range access to your garden will frighten deer away, but only if the dog can reach all corners of the garden. If the dog is confined to an area nearby but can’t actually get to them, deer will quickly it and learn to ignore Fido’s barks while they feast.

At Autumn Hill Nursery in Woodstock, GA, we have all the tools and knowledge you need to build a beautiful garden that will deter deer. Contact us or come by our Cherokee County location and let’s get started!