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How to Prune Vertical Tomato Plants

Tomatoes are an easy-to-grow plant for home gardeners and among the most widely grown home garden plants. While the plants grow easily, they require care and pruning to keep crops healthy and make a fantastic harvest. Tomatoes need staking to keep fruit off the floor and reduce fruit decay. Pruning can also be significant, as it helps create bigger fruit and slimmer, healthier plants also increases air flow, which reduces the danger of infection.

Choose a couple of main stems. When growing tomatoes with two main stems, choose the 2nd main stem from among the shoots that grow from the first or second leaf-stem axils, and remove all of shoots below it. Growing plants with a couple of main stems sends more nutrients to fruit instead of sending it to unwanted shoots.

Prune to remove any new suckers. Check weekly and remove any new side or lateral shoots while they’re still tiny. You can pinch off the limbs with your fingers if you remove them before they grow larger than 4 inches long; that also helps avoid plant injury. Pinch a sucker between your finger and thumb, bending it to one side until it breaks.

Top the plant in summer season. When the main shoots get to the surface of the service, cut off the tops of the main shoots. This directs plant energies to ripening fruit on the vine. Taking away the tops doesn’t hurt the plant because any new fruit group would not have time to ripen before the growing season ends.

Remove any yellow or wilting leaves as they develop. Yellow and wilting leaves are normal on tomato crops as they grow. Removing these leaves help reduce the danger of infection and maintain the plant looking fresh.

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Landscaping suggestions for a Burning Bush

Burning bushes (Euonymus alatus) are deciduous shrubs desirable for their brilliant fall color. The leaves turn vibrantly red in fall, giving rise to this plant’s nickname. Burning bushes are hardy shrubs and thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 to 8, according to Ohio State University. Use these showy plants as focal points on your lawn.

Center Stage

Many varieties of this plant exist, from dwarf forms to towering bushes that grow nearly as tall as trees. The smallest cultivar, alternately called “Odom” or “Small Palestinians,” attains a maximum height and width of approximately 3 feet. The species attains a maximum height and width of 20 feet. Burning bushes have pleasingly curved shapes, regardless of cultivar. This makes the plant an excellent choice for a centerpiece. Put it in the middle of the lawn for a burst of colour and to split up an otherwise boring expanse of green. Alternatively, center it on your lawn and surround it with brightly colored fall blooms such as mums, which will well set off the brilliant red fall foliage.

Potted Flames

Some burning bush cultivars produce excellent container plants. Try “Rudy Haag,” that takes about 15 years to grow to a typical maximum height of 3 feet. Put one of those bushes on either side of your front porch for an appealing but low-maintenance statement. Alternatively, anchor the corners of the deck with these potted beauties.

Understory Showoff

Burning bushes are exceptional understory plants. They thrive in the dappled shade offered by bigger deciduous trees. Most do well in partial shade, though in cooler climates, the plant colors will be more vibrant when exposed to full sunlight. Plant burning trees under spring-flowering trees such as ornamental pears or crab apples. In the fall, once the leaves have dropped in the tree, the burning bush will continue to light up that corner of the lawn with its brilliant fall foliage.

Colorful Hedge

Burning bushes are not thorny, but they’re very dense and will grow into a neat, compact hedge punctually. The small leaves are very appealing, and the hedge will need little maintenance since the plants have such a slow rate of growth. Plant several burning bushes about 1 foot apart to create a drop or a boundary.

Urban Jewel

Burning bushes are excellent plants that are urban. They tolerate a wide assortment of adverse environmental conditions, such as poor soil and pollution. If your landscape has a problem area, think about putting your burning bush in that area. They can tolerate almost anything apart from very wet soil.

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Partial Shade Landscaping Ideas

Adding plants to partly shaded spots in your yard will brighten the dark area and increase its attractiveness. When selecting plants for a partly shade area, consider the requirements of this landscape. As an instance, use ground covers beneath trees and evergreen shrubs to conceal unsightly areas.

Evergreen Shrubs

Evergreen shrubs are versatile plants you can use to conceal unsightly foundations, border walkways and act as a living fence. Several evergreen species grow well in areas where they will get little to no sunlight. North Star boxwood (Buxus sempervirens “Katerberg”) is a compact evergreen shrub growing in U.S. Department of Agricultural plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. This shade-loving plant attains 24 to 32 inches high and is resistant to deer. North Star boxwood is an easy-care plant also functions well as a border, hedge or base pant. “Picturata” aucuba (Aucuba japonica “Picturata”) grows in shaded areas in USDA zones 7 through 10. It grows between 4 and 6 feet tall, producing deep green foliage accented with golden yellow centers. This seacoast exposure evergreen has various landscaping applications like a specimen or — when planted in groups — border plant.

Ground Cover

Ground covers are low-growing plants using a spreading or creeping habit which engulf the area, covering the unattractive ground. Yellow archangel (Lamium galeobdolon) is a shade-loving repeated reaching 1 to 2 ft tall in USDA zones 4 through 9. Its green leaves are splashed with silver accents and little yellow flowers appear in after spring. Yellow archangel tolerates dry, shallow and rocky dirt and is resistant to deer and drought. Cymbalaria (Cymbalaria aequitriloba) grows to just about 2 inches tall in USDA zones 6 through 10. This compact mat-forming perennial has small dark green leaves and lilac blue flowers. Cymbalaria is a quick grower, tolerates foot traffic and functions well as a ground cover in dense shade but can also grow in partially shaded areas.

Entrances and Corners

Shrubs with a narrow kind will help soften the harsh lines of corners and will frame entries, drawing the eye to the front of your property. “Iowa” Chinese juniper (Juniperus chinensis “Iowa”) grows in partial shade to full sun in USDA zones 3 through 9 using a narrow, columnar shape. This evergreen shrub reaches 10 to 15 feet tall and tolerates moist dirt. “Iowa” produces grayish green foliage and ornamental silvery blue grapes. “Sky Pencil” Japanese holly (Ilex crenata “Sky Pencil”) is grows in partial shade to full sunlight in USDA zones 6 through 8. Its narrow shape gives it a pencil-like appearance because it grows 4 to 10 feet tall but just 1 to 3 feet broad. “Sky Pencil” has little, deep green leaves and small greenish white flowers. If these flowers are pollinated, purplish drupes using a berrylike appearance will appear once the blooms are spent.

Flowering Perennials

Flowering perennials offer color to partially shaded areas. “Do Tell” peony (Paeonia lactiflora “Do Tell”) is a 30- to 36-inch tall perennial producing big pink blossoms with a gentle fragrance and deep green foliage. It grows in partial shade to full sun in USDA zones 3 through 8 and attracts butterflies. This moderate grower functions well as a specimen plant or planted en masse to make a border. “Floating Hybrid Yellow” bush lily (Clivia miniata “Belgian Hybrid Yellow”) is a tropical perennial growing in areas with partial shade or full sun. In spring, clusters of yellow blooms appear on tall flower stems that protrude up from the broad, bladelike leaves. “Belgian Hybrid Yellow” grows in USDA zones 9 through 11 reaching 2 feet tall. It can grow alone or in group plantings. The blossoms of the “Do Tell” peony and “Belgian Hybrid Yellow” bush lily really are a lovely addition to cut floral arrangements.

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What Can I Use to Stop My Lawn From Growing So Fast?

A lush, beautiful lawn looks like a dream come true until it’s time to mow. During the peak growing season, lawns sometimes need mowing as often as once a week, and the job is time consuming in the event that you have a huge yard. To mow less often, try planting slow-growing grasses, applying growth inhibitors, not fertilizing or installing artificial turf.

Slow Growers

Some grasses naturally develop more slowly than others, therefore replacing your current grass with these varieties may drastically reduces mowing frequency. Fescues, for example, need mowing just four times per year. Some species to attempt include hard fescue (*Festuca longifolia*), chewings fescue (*Festuca rubra var. commutata*) and creeping red fescue (*Festuca rubra var. Rubra*), all which thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 7, but can be grown successfully in a Mediterranean climate. You might also consider replacing your grass using a green alternative which doesn’t grow as tall, like clover (*Trifolium repens*), that rises in USDA zones 3 through 10.

Growth Inhibitors

Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are available at almost any hardware store and may be used to chemically slow the growth speed of your grass up to 50 percent. Ideally, you should start looking for PGRs labeled as Type I, as these slow plant growth by retarding cell division and are absorbed easily through the plant’s leaves. Common substances in this class include mefluidide, chlorflurenol, and maleic hydrazide. Avoid using other Type I inhibitors which are actually herbicides and may do more harm than good or Type II inhibitors which require root absorption and work more slowly. Plant growth regulators can easily be sprayed onto your lawn, but take your time and be thorough when applying, as any grass you miss will not be impacted. Keep children and animals away from the grass immediately after spraying and never spray on windy days.

Withhold Affection

If you fuss over your lawn, stop. Watering and fertilizing both promote faster growth and more mowing. Let your grass grow at its own pace instead of encouraging it. In many parts of the country, grass will go dormant during the hottest part of the summer if left unwatered and will slow or stop its growth on its own without the compound intervention of PGRs. Even though a watered and fed lawn looks great, it requires more upkeep than you may be able or willing to supply.

Fake It

Unless you have a stringent homeowner association to contend with, there’s absolutely no reason that your grass has to be real. Artificial turf grasses are available in a wide array of green hues along with varying degrees of softness. Artificial turf looks much more realistic than it ever used to, so you really can have a gorgeous lawn that looks amazing and remains soft on your bare feet with no requirement to mow at all.

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Planting Trumpet Vines Near a Construction

Trumpet vines (Campsis radicans) and their magnificent, fiery flowers are appealing, but putting these strong vines near a building can have repercussions for the construction and the vines. Growing in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 10, trumpet vines want the ideal sun and dirt for showy flowers, and neighboring buildings affect these. Before you plant, then think about the future health of the vines and the building.

Sunlight Requirements

Trumpet vines make their keep with an extended show of trumpet-shaped, tubular blooms. Apparently made for hummingbirds, the nectar-heavy flowers grow around 3 1/2 inches long and nearly 2 inches wide. Clustered together in groups of four to 12, the flowers cover vine hints in vibrant color — if the vines receive ample direct sun. Nearby buildings can interfere with the minimal six to eight hours of full, direct sun trumpet vines need each day. If a building shades the plants considerably, expect poor development and few blooms. You’ll also miss out on the vines’ ornamental, 6-inch seed capsules.

Soil Factors

Trumpet vines handle wet to dry dirt, even drought, and soil types from mud. Soil with a pH between 3.7 and 6.8 suits them best. Higher pH levels brief the vines of nutrients. Many alkaline construction materials, including concrete foundations and walkways, raise soil pH as they age. Planting close to these building materials can affect trumpet vine health. Lawn fertilizers also impact trumpet vines in undesirable ways. High-nitrogen bud fertilizers stimulate green, leafy growth at the expense of flowers.

Structural Concerns

Trumpet vines rapidly grow to 35 feet or more and more frequently need extra support. Sturdy pergolas or arbors may function as stepping stones to buildings nearby. The vines climb by twining stems and also by ample rootlike stems. Tiny aerial rootlets along these stems attach to rough surfaces and wiggle their way into tiny crevices. They damage wood, stone, stucco and brick. Without added support, the burden of trumpet vines frequently pulls these substances down, bringing drain spouts and gutters with them. The small roots stay connected to the wall or tear away, leaving stained and damaged surfaces behind them.

Root Reprisals

For all its beauty, trumpet vine can be ruthless. Unchecked, the invasive vines conquer nearby plants together with buildings. Spreading rapidly below ground and above, root suckers spring up everywhere they can. Mowing and hand-pulling keep suckers down, but shoots may multiply in response. Eradicating roots for a redesign can be challenging — both airborne and underground remnants. Prune trumpet vines, as needed, at any time of the year to keep them confined. Use sharp bypass pruners and sterilize the blades with a spray family disinfectant before and when you prune. Trumpet vine sap irritates skin, so wear protective clothing, including gloves and eyewear, when you prune.

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How to Firm Up Soft Soil

Soft dirt is preferable to soil when given a choice. They can also make it difficult for plants to generate roots although soils normally allow for oxygen penetration and superior water. Understanding the structure of your soil gives you the necessary information for deciding on the best method to cure the matter.

Soil Construction

Soil consists of silt, sand, clay particles and organic matter. Clay soil has a texture that is compact, particles and is not soft. It occasionally hardens and repels water, while at other times clay keeps moisture that is an excessive amount of and rots plant roots. Silt has particles, but aquatic soil has the particles, so it can feel soft and require effort to dig in. Sand drains so that plant roots are constantly worried for water. This soft soil may not have enough stability. Soil is rich in organic matter. This dirt feels crumbly and soft, and plants usually grow well in it. If the organic particles are especially fine, they may not offer enough structure to encourage plant origins, but this normally is not a concern.

Amendments Work

Organic amendments can solve a soil problem that is soft. Both available, compost and peat moss, improve moisture capacities in soil and provide soil structure. If the soil is sandy, spread up to some 6-inch layer of the change on top the bed. Rich humus soils need no more than a 2-inch layer to add more structure. Mix the change in. A test determines if your soil contains structure that is adequate. Make a ball with moist soil from the garden, squeezing it tightly. If the soil retains its shape once you form it, then you have clay soil, but the dirt is soft when it breaks easily. As you squeeze balls that stick but change shape have the stability for garden plants.

Require Cover

Weeds can shoot and penetrate deeply into a soft dirt. End and water also erode dirt more quickly than they can do firmer soil. Covering the bed with a natural mulch after planting inhibits weed growth and reduces soil reduction, while also preserving insulation and moisture the bed. Straw mulch, wood chips and pine needles provide suitable mulching options. These mulches also break down into the soil over time, further enhancing the soil structure. Distribute a 2-inch layer of compost over the ground annually in spring, then if you grow crops in the bed year-round replenishing it in autumn.

Tread Softly

The soft texture of soil that is humus-rich makes it prone to a compaction, which will minimize water and oxygen penetration. Unnecessary kneeling or walking on the garden bed. Weight compaction is limited by keeping beds lean enough so that you can reach the centre without standing on the dirt. Further cultivation is best done with hand tools to avoid compaction, although you can use a power tiller for amending. When staking crops, install the stakes at least 8 to 12 inches deep so they anchor the plants nicely during windy weather.

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How to Grow Succulents in Containers

Growing succulents in containers allows you to bring your own piece of the desert. Succulents appear natural in western decors and landscapes. Rigid, vertical cacti are included by this varied group of plants in addition to sprawling and trailing. Most enjoy a similar environment, but assess the plant label to find out whether your succulent has some particular needs.

Containers and Soil

Succulents grow well in any container that’s at least 4 inches deep and has holes in the bottom for drainage. Choose a kettle about 1/2 inch bigger than the base of this plant to get upright succulents. Plant succulents with trailing or spreading growth customs, for example vacation cacti, in a kettle than their bud. Succulents require a loose soil that drains. Use a cactus and succulent potting soil, or mix your own from one part coarse builder’s sand and four components potting soil. Spread a layer of aquarium gravel or river stones over the soil’s surface prevent rot and to keep moisture away from the crown.

Placement

Succulents like sunlight and are content to spend in a rather south-facing window or inside in the baking sun. They thrive in warm or hot summertime temperatures. When taking a plant outside, expose it to bright sunlight to stop sun scorch. Provide shelter or bring the plants inside.

Water and Fertilizer

Succulents planted in a soil which drains freely as you would any other container plant can be watered by you. Saturate the soil and allow it to drain from the holes in the base of the pot. Empty the saucer so the plant is not standing in water, after the water drains. Permit the pot to dry completely between watering. Succulents don’t require a good deal of nitrogen because they grow. Feed them monthly using a cactus and succulent fertilizer. You can use a high-phosphorous houseplant fertilizer mixed at half strength, if you don’t want to purchase a special fertilizer for your succulents.

Winter Rush interval

Succulents require a rest period of two weeks . Set the plant in a room with temperatures. Many succulents want winter temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit so as to set blossoms, but don’t let them freeze. Once the pot is dry, reduce watering to just a drizzle round the sides of the kettle or moist the top of the potting soil using a mister. Withhold fertilizer throughout the resting stage.

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The Ideal Touch: Fuzzy Plants for Gardens and Pots, 13 Soft

There are particular plants whose fuzzy leaves and blossoms just beg to be touched. They create walking a joy for greater than just the eyes. Luckily, some of the most touchable plants are relatively easy to include in a landscape. There are even some that are somewhat more at home within your house, perfect for those times once you simply can’t get outside to the garden.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Lamb’s Ears
(Stachys byzantina)

Having a name such as lamb’s ears, what else could these crops be but warm and fuzzy? Their thick, densely packed leaves in shades of gray or green propagate readily, and this plant could handle dry conditions, although an excessive amount of rain will damage the leaves. Some types produce spikes of both soft purple blossoms.

Where it will grow: USDA zones 4 to 10 (find your zone)
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Water: Moderate to routine

Use it as a ground cover or an edging plant. Clean out frost-damaged or dead leaves.

Waterwise Landscapes Incorporated

Dusty Miller
(Senecio cineraria)

A gray-leafed shrublike perennial, dusty miller combines woolly light gray leaves with yellowish foliage. If you live in a warm-winter climate, then it’s possible to even get blossoms year-round. It is the leaves which stand out, though. Almost silver, they are a great contrast to other crops and actually shine in the moonlight.

Where it will grow: Grow as an annual in most zones
Light: Total sun
Water: Small to medium

Plant it where there’s good drainage and cut back it occasionally so it doesn’t become rangy. Miller manages drought and heat well.

Other crops also called dusty miller feature comparable foliage, such as Artemisia stellerana, Centaurea cineraria, C. gymnocarpa, Chrysanthemum ptarmiciflorum, Lychnis coronaria and Senecio vira-vira.

Small Miracles Designs

Angel’s Hair Artemisia
(Artemisia schmidtiana)

Angel’s hair artemisia does not generally grow too tall, but it is beautiful silver-gray foliage is worth reaching down to stroke. It is a fantastic selection for drier climates and has the benefit of attracting bees, butterflies and birds. ‘Silver Mound’ is a streamlined version that’s perfect for the front of a garden bed.

Where it will grow: Zones 4 to 9
Light: Full sun to partial shade
Water: Small to medium

Though it is generally not overly big, it can be invasive in perfect conditions. Cut it back when it is beginning to “part.” This artemisia does not like wet climates; for those places A. ‘Powis Castle’ is a fantastic option.

Waterwise Landscapes Incorporated

Jerusalem Sage
(Phlomis fruticosa)

Despite its name, Jerusalem sage isn’t a member of the family. It’s got a similar look to many true sages, though, with woolly leaves and almost equally woolly blossoms. This Mediterranean native is a favorite selection for warmer climates (zones 8 to 10), where it is grown as an evergreen, but it also does well in zones 5 to 7, even though it will die back in winter.

Where it will grow: Zones 8 to 10 as an evergreen; expires back in zones 5 to 7
Light: Full sunlight; can take light shade
Water: Small to medium

Jerusalem sage can handle drought conditions where summers are cool, but it requires a little more water in warmer areas. Freshly picked, it is a fantastic addition to flower arrangements. The blossoms also dry well.

GARDENIA-Sharly & Tanya Illuz

Mexican Bush Sage
(Salvia leucantha)

Mexican bush sage is a true member of the salvia household. It’s also quickly becoming a staple of gardens at the Southwest and California. It is easy care, using a long bloom season that could last during a mild winter. It is the blossoms which are the tender, almost furry, part of the plant. They could withstand a fair amount of touch and explain that the plant’s other common name: velvet sage.

Where it will grow: Zones 8 to 10 as a perennial; grow as an annual elsewhere
Light: Total sun
Water: Light to medium

Prune it just after bloom or in early spring to keep it in check, since it spreads readily. Cut off the flower spikes as they fade to promote repeat blooms.

Le jardinet

Licorice Plant
(Helichrysum petiolare)

How do you withstand licorice plant? Grow it to the fuzzy leaves and foliage colour, which can vary from gray-green to chartreuse to variegated shades of green and cream. The name comes from the faint licorice aroma, but it is best used as a spiller plant in a container arrangement.

Where it will grow: Zones 9 to 11; grow as an annual or a houseplant in most zones
Light: Total sun
Water: Moderate

Though the plant could be increased in the landscape, it can become invasive. The flowers are tiny, so expand it to the foliage colour you prefer.

Brian Maloney Design Associates

Mulleins
(Verbascum spp)

Mulleins could strike a note of fairy tale familiarity; they are rumored to be the beds which fairies sleep. It makes sense; their leaves and stems are the furry parts and would be the perfect bedding for a little creature. For people-size gardens, these exact same low leaves provide a base for tall stalks of flowers. Quite a few verbascum (the botanical name) species are accessible; the list of common names for these crops might be even more.

Where it will grow: Zones 4 to 10
Light: Total sun
Water: Small to medium

V. thapsus, shown here, has made a name for itself as a successful self-sower and a street weed, but it can be a stately addition to a mixed border so long as you don’t let it take over. It thrives even with poor soil and little water. This species is thought to have medicinal applications.

Fountain Grasses
(Pennisetum spp)

The fuzzy flower plumes of this fountain grasses are a graceful addition to the garden. You’ll discover these blossoms in a range of heights, colors and chilly tolerances, therefore there’s usually something for every garden spot.

Where it will grow: Zones 5 to 10
Light: Full sun or partial shade
Water: Small to routine, depending on the species

These can become invasive, so check with local nurseries about that fared well in your climate and also don’t self-sow too easily. In addition to using these to fill in garden beds, cut the stems early to add them in flower arrangements.

Debora carl landscape design

When it comes to touchable crops, this bud garden gives you two options in one space. In the front, a broad planting bed filled with Mexican feather grass (Stipa tenuissima, zones 6 to 10) creates a sea of soft waves. Its cloudlike appearance belies its hardiness; it manages low-water conditions well and can readily self-sow to the point of becoming invasive.

Notice: Cut back the plants before the seeds are ripe to block it from self-sowing.

Behind it ‘Morning Light’ silver bud (Miscanthus sinensis, zones 5 to 9) softens the fence line. Grass species are famous for their size range and showy plumes.

A wide array of silver grass species and hybrids is accessible; look for alternative common names such as eulalia grass, Japanese silver grass and maiden bud. Most thrive in partial to full sun.

Irish Moss
(Sagina subulata; also sold as Arenaria verna and A. v. caespitosa)

What can be softer than moss underfoot? In this instance it is Irish moss, the greener of the two most common landscape mosses (Scotch moss is yellower).

Both Irish and Scotch moss can be somewhat tougher to grow than other ground covers, since they want good soil, fantastic drainage and regular fertilizer. But if you make the effort, you will be rewarded with a soft ground cover that’s almost irresistible.

Where it will grow: Zones 6 to 10
Light: Full sun or partial shade
Water: Regular

This really does best with little to no foot traffic. It might mound.

Chenille Plant
(Acalypha hispida, A. pendula)

The chenille plant will surely stand out among other houseplants. Its tender tassels, looking somewhat like furry red caterpillars, give it its name. Show them off at a spot where they can drape downward, including in a hanging basket or above the edge of a ledge. In tropical gardens that the true chenille plant (Acalypha hispida) can reach up to 10 ft tall with tassels 11/2 feet extended.

Where it will grow: Grow as a houseplant
Light: Partial shade and indirect light; keep it from direct sun
Water: Regular; keep the soil moist; enjoys humid conditions

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Pussy Willow
(Salix discolor)

Get a head start on spring by growing a pussy willow. It will not bloom any sooner outdoors, but it is perfect for pushing into “blossom” as early as January. As a bonus, the soft catkins will remain fresh looking for a long time.

Where it will grow: Zones 4 to 9
Light: Total sun
Water: Regular to plentiful

Place cut branches in water and place them into a bright window. Or wait till spring and revel in the branches from the garden.

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Central Plains Gardener's April Checklist

In March you cut down the perennials in anticipation of this — the very first green slopes pushing through the mulch. Now it’s time to sit back and revel in the quick spurts of growth. You might want to keep fine-tuning and trimming shrubs, but return on those that flower in April and May; there’s plenty else to do in the border throughout the hot afternoons and cool mornings that make spring so invigorating.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Sow vegetable seeds. Toward the center of the month it’s possible to start sowing seeds for veggies such as lettuce, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts. Then at the end of April, sow corn, legumes, squash, melons and sunflowers. See that last frost date along with the weather prediction — you might have to put a sheet or 2 over the plants, and one or two over yourself.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Watch for early-blooming natives. We left it. Winter can be a magic and magnificent year, but you know what? So can spring up. One of the very first flowers you could have coming up is your pasque flower (Pulsatilla vulgaris). This short wildflower is covered in insulating own hair and will take the cold nights of April while perking up the hot afternoons with its gentle colors.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Resist the need to prune spring-blooming shrubs, such as viburnum, dogwood and spiraea, because they bloom on old growth and not brand new. As soon as they’re done blooming and setting fruit, you are able to prune if you need to.

In the background here is your early-May-blooming shrub Viburnum dentatum, an integral nectar resource for spring bugs and a big berry manufacturer for birds.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Another no-no for mid- to – late-spring pruning is crabapple. I mean, why do you want to deprive yourself of this dazzling show? Walk your landscape as you’re at it and see where you can jam in a few more spring-blooming trees and shrubs — you can never , ever have a lot of.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Enjoy spring-blooming trees. Following Is a dogwood shrub (white) facing a redbud. Both like well-drained soils and blossom in April. These trees are good sources of fruit for wildlife and are ones that you might consider for shorter specimens close to a patio or below taller trees in a wooded border.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Nurture perennial borders. This is what your perennial beds ought to appear to be — a moonscape with bits of green. Make certain that you keep out of those beds and borders, as your heavy gaze will compact the dirt and damage the roots of both old and new plants revving up for your growing season. Once things are up and you also know where they all are, go on and mulch — but do wait until you’re sure all the plants are over earth to give them a helping hand toward sunlight.

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Layout sinuous garden beds. It’s never too late to generate a new garden bed. Even in vegetable beds, try to steer clear of square borders that parallel structures or walkways — go back to the 1960s and ask yourself whether you truly want to be square. On occasion a curved line also can help echo the types of flowing trees and perennials that will soon grace the mattress, making an appealing flow for your eye.

More regional backyard guides

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10 Evergreens for Beautiful Foliage All Year

Evergreens will be the structural backbone of this garden in warmer weather, providing a backdrop for showier blossoms and foliage. But in winter evergreens take the spotlight, providing visual interest within an otherwise barren landscape.

The subsequent 10 trees, plants and shrubs will keep your garden looking lively through the coldest of months.

Kim Gamel

Not many evergreens are green. The ‘Fat Albert’ number of Colorado spruce is a gorgeous blue specimen. It’s slow growing, forming an ideal cone with a distinguished silver-blue needle shade.

Colorado Spruce
(Picea pungens ‘Fat Albert’)

USDA zones: 3 to 7 (find your zone)
Mature dimension: 10 to 15 feet tall and 7 to 10 feet wide
Light requirement: Full sun
Water requirement: Moderate

Kim Gamel

A lovely evergreen that looks great alone or in a group is untrue cypress ‘Soft Serve’. This is a compact, cone-shaped evergreen with gentle, lacy branches. Bonus: It’s deer resistant.

False Cypress
(Chamaecyparis pisfera ‘Soft Serve’)

USDA zones: 5 to 7
Mature dimension: 6 to 10 feet tall and 5 to 6 feet wide

Light requirement: Full sun to partial sun
Water necessity: Medium moisture; well-drained soil

Kim Gamel

If you’d prefer a more compact evergreen for container gardens or as a hedge, then boxwood ‘Green Gem’ leaves a good option. It’s a broadleaf evergreen shrub that forms a dense 2-foot sphere at maturity.

Boxwood
(Buxus ‘Green Gem’)

USDA Islands: 4 to 9
Mature dimension: 1 1/2 to two feet tall and wide
Light requirement: Full sun to partial sun
Water necessity: Medium moisture; well-drained soil

Arlington Landscape

If a glowing yellow-green would look better on your landscape, think about false cypress ‘Lemon Thread’. It’s delicate chartreuse thread-like foliage that offers a bright pop of color throughout the often cold winter.

Japanese False Cypress
(Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Lemon Thread’)

USDA zones: 4 to 8
Mature dimension: 3 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Water necessity: Moderate

Another consistently green option for hedging is cherry or English laurel. The one displayed in this photo was pruned judiciously to keep it in a lower height. Otherwise, it can grow to ten feet tall.

The number ‘Otto Luyken’ has shiny green leaves and creamy white fragrant flowers that appear in the spring.

Cherry Laurel
(Prunus laurocerasus ‘Otto Luyken’)

USDA zones: 6 to 8
Mature dimension: 6 to 10 feet tall and 10 to 12 feet wide
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Water necessity: Moderate

Another chartreuse option that would make a wonderful low-growing hedge is Japanese holly. To find the best yellow shade, plant it in sunlight.

Find out where this shrub is invasive.

Japanese Holly
(Ilex crenata ‘Golden Gem’)

USDA zones:5 to 8
Mature dimension: 1 1/2 to two feet tall and wide
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Water necessity: Moderate

Kim Gamel

With its unconventional weeping habit, blue atlas cedar could function nicely as a specimen plant from your backyard. Use the stunning type to draw the eye to a desired spot in the landscape.

Blue Atlas Cedar
(Cedrus atlantica, Glauca Group, ‘Glauca Pendula’)

USDA zones: 6 to 7
Mature dimension: 3 to 12 feet tall and wide
Light requirement: Full sun
Water necessity: Moderate

Kim Gamel

If you’re searching for a ground cover that carries its color through winter, consider creeping juniper. It spreads by long branches to form a thick mat over time. The cultivar ‘Emerald Spreader’ retains its glowing emerald-green color throughout the winter.

Creeping Juniper
(Juniperus horizontalis)

USDA zones: 3 to 9 (find your zone)
Mature dimension:1/2 foot to 1 1/2 feet tall and 5 to 8 feet wide
Light requirement: Full sun

Water necessity: Medium moisture; well-drained soil

Kim Gamel

And if you’d prefer some constant shade in a shady perennial garden, Christmas fern is a good bet. Clumps grow to two feet tall and gradually spread by rhizomes to present excellent evergreen color perfectly suited to some dry shade area.

Christmas Fern
(Polystichum acrostichoides)

USDA zones: 3 to 9
Mature size: 1 to 2 feet tall and wide
Light requirement: Partial shade to full shade
Water necessity: Dry to moderate

Inform us What are some of your favorite evergreens?

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