Below we have listed information and answers to some of the most common questions we hear all the time. Please feel free to call us if you still need assistance.
Watering is the single most important gardening task. The main cause of plant death shortly after being planted is due to too much or too little water. Trees and shrubs generally take up to two years to become fully established in the landscape and may require supplemental watering during that time, especially if we are getting less than an inch of rain per week. For newly planted trees and shrubs, water deeply to soak the entire rootball at least once a week during the cooler months and as much as three times a week during the hotter months.
During periods of drought even well established plants may require supplemental water. Annuals and perennials may need water more frequently especially during hot dry periods or windy days. Most plants will not tolerate soil that is constantly saturated. Plants in containers need to be monitored daily. A good rule of thumb is to water thoroughly and let the container almost dry out before watering again. If the plant is wilting you are waiting too long between watering. Also the size of the pot is going to be a factor in how often watering is needed.
Annuals are plants that die at the end of the season; however it is hard to beat annuals for color in the landscape. Annuals will bloom continually and consistently throughout the spring and summer. They are best suited for mass plantings, shrub borders, hanging baskets, and containers. Annuals are available from March through June and are best planted between April 15 and Memorial Day.
Pansies are cool season annuals that give you the most bang for your buck. The best time to plant pansies is September through November. When planted in the fall, they will bloom all the way until June. Now that is what I call flower power!
We grow most all of our annuals right here onsite. This insures you get fresh, healthy plants that are well adapted to our are climate and weather conditions.
Perennials are herbaceous plants that will come back year after year. It is for that reason perennials continue to gain popularity. Perennials come in a large range of sizes, colors and bloom times. Some perennials are grown for their flowering while others are loved for their foliage. Either way there is sure to be a variety to meet your individual landscape needs. Perennials can be planted any time throughout the year with the preferred time being Spring or Fall. We also grow our perennials onsite with many varieties to choose from. Come in and see us in April for the best selection.
Herbs are popular for several reasons. They produce fresh herbs for cooking, a nice aroma in the garden and look great in the landscape. They also work great in containers or as companion plants in the vegetable garden. We offer a wide variety of the most popular herbs. Come in April for the best selection.
Trees & Shrubs:
Trees and Shrubs can be planted any time of year in our area. The most popular time to plant is Spring; however the best time to plant is the Fall because the plants will establish quicker and require less maintenance. We carry a wide variety of the most popular trees and shrubs that are zoned for are area. If we don’t have it and you want it just ask and we may be able to order it for you.
The freshest vegetables are the healthiest vegetables. What better way to insure you have the freshest vegetables than to grow them yourself. Not only are they fresh but you know exactly what has been put on them and where they have been. We carry a large variety of vegetable plants and seeds to get you on your way to providing your family with plenty of produce throughout the season. Cool season vegetables such as collards, cabbage, lettuce, and onions can be planted mid February – March. They can be planted again August – mid October for a fall garden. Warm season vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers, and corn can be planted after April 15 and thru May. Tomatoes, peppers, squash and cucumbers are available thru July. Come before the planting season and pick up a FREE Vegetable Planting Guide. It is also recommended that you have a soil test done thru the NC Cooperative Extension Service every 2-3 years. This will give you fertilizer requirements and tell you if you need to add lime. We have soil test boxes and the forms you need to send off your soil sample. It is best if this is done 6-8 weeks prior to planting.
For our area warm season grasses work best for home lawns. Centipede, Bermuda, St. Augustine, & Zoysia are the top choices for eastern North Carolina. Centipede and Bermuda can be started by seed or sod whereas St. Augustine and Zoysia are typically started by sod. The best time to start a warm season lawn is April but you can seed thru August. Soil preparation and watering are key to successfully establishing a lawn. It is also recommended that you have a soil test done thru the NC Cooperative Extension Service before starting your lawn.
This will give you fertilizer requirements and tell you if you need to add lime. Cool season grasses are not the best choice for eastern North Carolina but will work in some circumstances. Cool season grasses grow during the cooler months and go dormant during the hotter months. However with irrigation and fertilizer cool season grasses can be kept from going into its dormancy.
Cool Season grasses are started by seed. The optimum time for planting is late August – October and February – March. Cool season varieties for eastern North Carolina are Fescue and Ryegrass. Ryegrass is often overseeded on warm season lawns for those who like to have a green lawn year round.
Each type of grass requires slightly different maintenance techniques to insure a beautiful, healthy lawn. Stop by and pick up a FREE lawn maintenance calendar for the type of lawn you have.
Guidelines for Centipede Lawns:
Pre-emergence weed control products can be applied to Centipede Lawns in September and February for control of annual weeds. Postemergent weed killers can be applied any time throughout the year to control actively growing weeds. You should routinely check the lawn for insects March – September and treat as necessary.
Centipede should be fertilized no earlier than May but preferably in June. Too much nitrogen on Centipede over an extended period of time can be detrimental to a Centipede Lawn. A fall applicattion of potassium (0-0-22 or 0-0-60) can be made to strengthen the root system and promote winter hardiness.
Supplemental irrigation may be necessary if rainfall is less than 1″ per week.
Guidelines for Bermuda Lawns:
Preemergence weed control products can be applied to Bermuda Lawns in September and February for control of annual weeds. Postemergent weed killers can be applied any time throughout the year to control actively growing weeds. You should routinely check the lawn for insects March – September and treat as necessary.
Bermuda can be fertilized early April or may after the lawn has come out of dormancy. Bermuda Lawns can the be fertilized every 4 – 6 weeks through August.
Fall Garden Mums:
We take pride in growing the best garden mums found in eastern North Carolina. Garden mums are perennial plants. When planted they will come back year after year. However they require a little bit of maintenance to make them look like the nice uniform plants you purchase at your local garden center. Just pinch monthly after growth reaches 3-5 inches in spring until the first of July. This will insure you have nice compact plants full of blooms for that refreshing splash of color in the fall. If left to grow in the spring they will bloom in the spring but may get a little unruly. For those who use mums in fall displays and leave them in the pot, don’t for get to water them possibly twice a day on those warm days in the fall.
We take pride in growing beautiful, quality poinsettias for the Christmas Season. Because we grow them here in our own greenhouses they are less likely to be damaged during shipping. Also we time our poinsettias to bloom so that you can enjoy them on into the New Year. We offer them in 6”, 8” and 10” pots and they are available the last week of November thru Christmas. For information on caring for your poinsettia go to www.ecke.com/new1/poin_consumer.asp.
Interested in learning more about gardening? Coastal Carolina Community College offers a Continuing Education Horticulture class during both the Spring & Fall semesters. The class is taught by myself, Michael Stanley, and I would enjoy having you join me. The class meets in the evenings once a week for 8 weeks. For more info go to our links page and click on the link for Coastal Carolina Community College.