Tag Archives: plants

Establish Roots

No doubt about it, fall is a terrific time for planting most trees! And there’s something about getting the work done in the fall that is especially gratifying come spring.

Red Maple in fall

So, since many of you will be in the store shopping for trees this season, I thought you might be interested in some tips from the pros.

Good tree planting really gets down to 3 things:

* The size of the hole

* The quality of the soil

* A root stimulator

And, of course, plenty of water! But everybody knows that, right?

I always tell customers to dig a hole as wide as they have patience to dig — twice the width of the root ball is good. But they always seem surprised to hear that the depth of the hole should be slightly less than the depth of the root ball. We shoot for 1/2″ less — that is, if the root ball is 12″ deep, the hole will be 11-1/2″ deep. Anything we can do to help our heavy clay soils drain better is good, so feel free to plant just a little bit high.

A tree is an investment! Protect your investment by enriching the soil when you plant. Mix something good into the soil you dig out. We consider our Complete Landscape Mix (or Woodland Soil Mix, depending on the plant) the Porsche of soil amendments. But if you don’t use that, use something! Compost or even soil conditioner is better than nothing.

Maybe the best root stimulator available

Once the plant is set in the hole, fill it halfway with the soil mixture. At that point, you should consider adding a granular root stimulator. We love a root stimulator! It’s easy, it’s cheap AND helps establish a plant as soon as possible. We especially like Biotone Starter Plus (with micorrhizae built right in — a whole other blog topic!) for transplants. Water the plant in and continue filling the hole. Water thoroughly again once the hole is filled.

There are a few other useful details such as gently spreading the roots of a root-bound plant to discourage girdling. Or adding 2-3″ of mulch around your transplant, making sure to keep it several inches away from the trunk. And, if you are planting a balled and burlapped tree, be sure to peel the burlap away from the top of the root ball before planting.

For all you do-it-yourselfers, we are always happy to provide advice about tree planting. Of course, you have another option: forget about digging that hole and simply ask us to plant your purchase for you! Either way, we’ll make you an offer. Mention this blog post before October 15 and receive 20% off any regularly-priced tree in stock!

Bookmark and Share
Posted in Landscaping, News, Trees | Tagged | Comments closed

Let the Pinching Begin!

Our first shipment of pansies last week rekindled my love for them. And my hatred of them.

It was especially trying because it was so unbelievably hot. Never in my five years at Moore & Moore and decades in my own garden have I associated sweating with pansies. And, despite what my grandmother said, I don’t glimmer. I don’t perspire. I sweat. Bullets. Big beads dripped unabashedly off my nose, since my hands, full of pansy flats, were unable to wipe them away.

As I continued to stock pansies—and sweat—I also thought about how pansies can be an open invitation to rabbits—an all-you-can-eat buffet, so to speak. I remembered the first time I planted these cheerful little winter warriors, so happy that I’d have color even in the coldest months. The next morning when I walked outside to admire them some more, I discovered they’d been decapitated. Nothing but naked stems sticking up where beauty had been only hours before.

“Rabbits,” my neighbor said knowingly, slurping her coffee. Then she told me about the miracle of bone meal, which not only feeds the hungry pansies, but deters the hungry rabbits and deer. And it’s organic. And, best of all, it works! Now, I wouldn’t think of planting pansies—not to mention Impatiens, Hostas, or tomatoes—without a good dose of bone meal.

Finally, I thought about how pansies signal the coming of cold, dark, rainy weather. I am not a winter person. I don’t like snow, temps below 65, or sweater weather. I don’t like how I can feel my behind widen as I sit idly inside, antsy to get out in the garden but unwilling to risk hypothermia. So all in all, you could say that I had a real hate-on for pansies when they arrived last week.

But then I saw their cheerful, colorful faces, and I fell back in love. I thought about the comfort they provide on the bleakest winter days–how brightly they glow, as if in defiance of the gray that can descend on Nashville for weeks at a time.

One whiff, and I remembered how their lovely fragrance sweetens bitter winter winds. And how, like the rabbits, I find them delicious as well. They are simply stunning in salads and pasta, and they take goat cheese, pastries, and baked goods to a whole ‘nother level.

I thought about how grateful I am to pansies. While the rest of my garden sleeps, not needing my attention, pansies inspire me to bundle up, brave the weather, and get in the garden. Unlike some people, I enjoy pinching them. In fact, I enjoy most gardening “chores,” as it really lifts my mood. When the blooms slow, I feed these hungry lovelies as much bone meal as they can eat. I make sure they’re not buried under leaves, so they can get what little sun Mother Nature shines on us here on the eastern edge of the Central Time Zone in winter.

Wine & Cheese Pansy Mix

Then I saw the new-to-me  mix, Wine and Cheese. I love that name on so many levels, and the combination of hot and cool colors does not disappoint. They’d be gorgeous planted with ‘Redbor’ Ornamental Kale, ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard, and ‘Red Rooster’ Carex buchananii.

In the end, love conquered hatred. I bought four flats.

Bookmark and Share
Posted in Annual Color | Also tagged , , | Comments closed