Many of you are entrenched in the never-ending battle with deer. We encourage you to continue to plant what works for you, and give up the dream of mounds of impatiens and bushy hostas in high deer traffic areas. We have a list of deer resistant plants available at the garden center. Feel free to stop in and pick up a copy.
On the same note, as the fall bulb planting season approaches, we would like to remind you that we will be offering deer resistant bulbs. These bulbs will be available at our garden center after Labor Day weekend. They include:
Allium, Hyacinth, Daffodils and Fritillaria
Tulips are like candy bars to deer, but some gardeners have had success interspersing them with daffodils which tend to repel them.
For those of you that have had good luck with deer and rabbit repellent sprays, one thing to remember is that after a few years of using the same product, it may not have a repellent effect on the local offenders. It is recommended that you switch formulations to maintain your plantings and confuse complacent animals.
Fall Bulb Availability
Our stock will include the above mentioned bulbs, as well as tulips, crocus for the fall planting season, and amaryllis and paper whites (available in November ) for holiday forcing. We recommend applying fall bulb fertilizer to encourage the best and brightest blossoms when planting. Sick of Chip and Dale?
It seems our garden center has been teeming with chipmunks, and many customers have had the same complaint. If you are ready to retaliate, we stock an easy to use rodent snap trap that works like a charm. We placed 2 traps and within 3 hours, we caught 4 of them. No poisons or toxins, but should be placed out of curiosity range of pets and small children.
Fall Open House
Mark your calendars, Mann’s Landscape will be hosting a Fall Open House on Saturday, September 30th from 9 am until 5 pm. Stop in for a snack, to visit, and to check out all our great fall specials and decorator items!
My parents have some questions about their shrubs, but I think they are afraid to ask anyone. My mom wants to know why all their neighbors have beautiful berries on their hollies, and we don’t have any, and my dad wants to know why he is not getting any fruit on some of his plants out in the orchard. Our neighbor has been giving them advice, but between you and me, I don’t think he knows what he is talking about. I figured the best way to set everyone straight, would be to ask you!
You came to the right place. Let’s start with your mom’s frustrations. I am going to try and explain it on your level, so you can explain it to her. Most plants in the world have both mommy and daddy parts on them, but they can look very different from plant to plant. Did you know that on corn, the daddy plant part is the tassle on the top, and that the mommy part is the silk. When pollination happens, the silk gets fertilized and the babies are the corn kernels. Other plants have both mommy and daddy parts in the same flowers, and when pollination happens, fruit is made, like an apple. But, there are a few plants out there that do not exist this way, and hollies are one of them. Instead of having a plant that has both parts, there is either a mommy plant, or a daddy plant. If there are only mommy plants, there won’t be any fertilization and fruit formation (hence, no berries) and vice versa. My guess is that your parents have all male or all female shrubs. You only need one male for several females for pollination, and it will be the females that will have the berries. Have your parents look through their records to figure out what they might have.
Let’s stay on this train of thought and switch tracks, to answer dad’s question. Most fruit plants need pollen from another plant for fertilization. For example, if you have a ‘Golden Delicious’ apple tree, you need pollen from another variety such as ‘McIntosh’ for pollination. (Do be aware however, that the varieties need to be flowering at the same time). Crabapples will do the trick also! Your parents may need to do a little research for specific plant flowering time, or they can stop in and ask at the garden center about which variety might work best. Here is a list that you can pass on to your dad for some assistance:
Fruit that needs to be cross pollinated:-apples, sweet cherries, sour cherries, some apricots, plums, pears, some peaches and blueberries.
Your trees will flower whether or not you have another variety present, it is only fruit formation that will be affected. If your dad is at a nursery and spots an apple with a label that says it does not need cross-pollination, what has happened is that several branches of another variety of apple have been grafted onto a different variety. This is done when the plants are very young, buds from one, such as a ’Winesap’ are “transplanted” onto another variety such as ‘Spy’, so that both types of pollen are present in one plant. Do be wary of advertisements of trees with several types of fruit in one tree. While they sound like fun science experiments, success is quite limited.
Most bramble fruits, such as raspberries, black berries, etc, do not need cross pollination, and same with strawberries, but it is a good idea to plant several varieties to extend a short bearing season.
Oh, and one more thing, so that your mom won’t be embarrassed asking at a garden center about which plant may be a ‘mommy’ plant or a ‘daddy’ plant, here are a few technical terms:
Dioecious- plants that are specifically male or female (hollies, ginkgoes, etc). You will need both of these for fruit formation
Monoecious- plants that have both male and female parts in the same plant.
Loosely translated, dioecious refers to the male parts being in a separate house than the female parts. My Mom, Sherri, used to teach her high school kids that an easy way to remember these terms, is that divorced (dioecious) people live in separate homes, while married (monoecious) live in the same house- well not always, but that goes beyond the scope of my column!
Hope that helps! Signing off- OFS
To all my loyal readers: Be sure to stop in during our “open house” for one free ‘Olivia” mum with any purchase of $25.00!
Keep watering your plants- new plantings require lots of moisture