Ana M
Ana M
  • Hometalker
  • Alpharetta, GA
Asked on Feb 28, 2012

What do I do to prep my plants with this early Spring?? I am NOT a gardener, I have to work for my thumb!

Ricardo BDouglas HuntAna M
+6

Answered

I am NOT a gardener, but I try, and have been getting better through the years, I have hydrangeas, clematis and rhododendron, new fig trees (planted last year), new dwarf peach tree (planted last year). What should I do for all of these? Anything?
9 answers
  • Ricardo B
    on Feb 29, 2012

    You hit the nail on the head! Don't do anything until you see the green and then you can look toward what nutrients they'll need around April (in the Atlanta area). Those hydrangeas where the canes look dry and dead will soon swell and that older growth is where you'll be rewarded with a cornucopia of blooms if you'll just leave them be. Fig Trees, especially new plantings, don't enjoy being pruned so leave them alone. When I've pruned mine before the fruit sets, it seems to delay and reduce the amount of figs harvested. Besides they ooze and attract ants. Since your dwarf peach is so new, just let them set all their blossoms but go back later and remove them (by hand) as the petals die out on those branches that are too weak to support fruit. If you get greedy and let them put out peaches, the weight of them will likely bend the fragile branches and possibly break them. Besides, too much fruit means smaller individual peaches...

  • 360 Sod (Donna Dixson)
    on Feb 29, 2012

    You might like to take a look at this article provided via Walter Reeves http://www.walterreeves.com/uploads/pdf/ipmsprayguide.pdf It will help you determine when to spray your fruit trees.

  • 3po3
    on Feb 29, 2012

    Get a soil test through cooperative extension and they can tell you exactly what you need to get your soil in perfect shape for these new plants.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Feb 29, 2012

    In addition to the good advice you've already gotten, Ana, the rhododendron will want a slow-release fertilizer formulated for acid-loving plants. Depending on how long your clematis has been in the ground, you may need to prune it back. This is a little tricky, as clematis are grouped into three categories for pruning and the pruning is slightly different for each. If you know the cultivar you have, the best thing to do is look that up specifically. Otherwise, here are some basics from the University of Missouri's extension service: http://extension.missouri.edu/extensioninfonet/article.asp?id=1452

  • Ana M
    on Feb 29, 2012

    Thanks everybody! I appreciate your comments, I am making an effort to make our backyard look good since it get hardly any sun in some places, so it has been a challenge.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Mar 1, 2012

    There are a lot of really wonderful plants for shade, Ana. If you need more suggestions, we are here!

  • Ana M
    on Mar 1, 2012

    Would LOVE suggestions! I have a very shaded backyard, no sun at all except maybe 2-4 hrs in the height of summer.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Mar 2, 2012

    In that much shade, Ana, you're likely to get few blooms, but you can get plenty of interest through combinations of textures and colors of foliage. Ferns will be very happy in that situation, and so will hostas. I would look for some of the golden-leaved varieties, which I find really light up a shady spot. And I think every shady garden should have hellebores. You should also consider variegated Solomon's seal. Among shrubs, aucuba is very happy in the shade, and there are many cultivars with variegated foliage to bring interest to your shady back yard.

  • Ricardo B
    on Mar 2, 2012

    How about arranging an area with various sized rocks with moss and/or low-lying ground cover creeping out of cracks and open spaces. That would also be an interesting location for statuary, gnomes, frogs and other items that makes a statement showing the wonderful world of Ana M...

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