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Monday, July 22, 2024

19 Gardening and Landscaping Questions, Answered by an Professional

Final month I requested our Wit & Delight Instagram viewers to share their gardening and landscaping questions with us. Properly, mates, do I’ve solutions. I used to be lucky sufficient to talk with Jessie Jacobson, the proprietor and landscaping and gardening professional over at Tonkadale Greenhouse, certainly one of my favourite locations to go to. (Tonkadale can be the driving power behind my latest entrance yard replace!). Jessie was type sufficient to share a few of her experience in answering your high landscaping and gardening questions.

Basic Gardening Ideas

Q: What’s the #1 piece of gardening recommendation you would like individuals knew OR the #1 mistake you see most frequently?

A: Let’s not name them errors. Your intention is to plant vegetation and that’s by no means a mistake. We undoubtedly see gardeners get discouraged by attempting to do an excessive amount of without delay. It’s all the time vital to depend on the consultants at your native backyard middle to ensure you plant the best vegetation to your location, amend your soil on the time of planting, and proceed to water newly planted perennials, bushes, and shrubs till the bottom freezes stable within the fall.

All the time keep in mind, the enjoyment is within the journey. Gardening is a factor you do over time—you study as you go, gaining momentum from small successes.

Q: Will all vegetation bloom once more if I prune after flowering?

A: No, not essentially. Some perennials will give a second flush after pruning, however this isn’t the case with most. Plant a mixture of perennials with early, mid, and late bloom occasions to make sure you all the time have shade. Go away pockets for annual vegetation which give flower energy all season lengthy! 

Q: What are the toughest vegetation to kill?

A: This actually relies on the applying. Vegetation which can be planted in the best location will thrive with correct planting and care throughout their first 12 months of multinational. The best solution to kill vegetation is to not present sufficient water, particularly after planting. From right here, we will deduce that drought-tolerant vegetation are the toughest to kill! Perennials that tolerate drought embrace decorative grasses, alliums, milkweed, echinacea, and plenty of extra. Try this checklist of drought-tolerant vegetation!

Q: What are your suggestions for planting container gardens?

A: These are my foremost suggestions for thriving container gardens:

  1. All the time begin with wealthy, natural potting soil.
  2. Select your foliage first. This offers the structure to your design and offers shade and curiosity even when flowering vegetation cycle out and in of shade.
  3. Water, water, water.
  4. Fertilize with a bloom booster fertilizer no less than weekly.
  5. Deadhead spent blooms and don’t be afraid to pinch and trim overgrown vegetation all through the season. 

Q: How do I plant a backyard that appears skilled with out skilled assist?

A: Go to your native backyard middle and reap the benefits of their assets and customer support. Earlier than you go, take into account your solutions to those questions:

  • What would you like your backyard to do for you or the atmosphere?
  • Are you interested by curb attraction/elevated property worth, power conservation, minimize flowers, entertaining, cooking, or planting for pollinators and songbirds?
  • How a lot time do you need to spend within the backyard every week and every season?
  • What sort of planting model do you like?
  • Do you want cottage, modern, wild, or manicured gardens?

Usually talking, I’d advocate beginning with a small space, planting in multiples, selecting a shade palette, various bloom time, bloom dimension, and bloom form, mixing perennials, bushes, and shrubs, together with evergreens, and leaving pockets for annuals and herbs. 

Q: I’ve vegetation picked out however don’t know how you can design a structure for the most effective visible impression. What’s your recommendation?

A: Right here’s what I counsel:

  1. Plant in mass, as this method has essentially the most visible impression.
  2. Group like vegetation collectively.
  3. Plant extra of every selection, and fewer varieties in whole.
  4. Be sure that to incorporate bushes, shrubs, and evergreens in your plan. Single specimens provide a spot to your eyes to relaxation.
  5. Take into account including sculptural parts like a path or a well-placed boulder.

Q: Hydrangea care! Are hydrangeas well worth the funding?

A: Hydrangeas are all the time well worth the funding! We have now a tremendous weblog submit, “All About Hydrangeas,” to reply your whole hydrangea questions!


Q: What are the most effective small bushes to plant beside my house?

A: Timber planted close to the house are thought-about foundational plantings. Timber and shrubs soften harsh architectural traces and may present shade and insulation which promotes power effectivity. Timber or shrubs planted near the home needs to be smaller in stature, complementing the design of the home whereas not blocking home windows or fascinating options. Here’s a checklist of bushes and shrubs to contemplate:

  • Serviceberry, particularly “Standing Ovation” or “Autumn Brilliance”
  • Hydrangea bushes or requirements
  • Smaller evergreens (Search for the phrase dwarf or compact, or attempt Golden Hinoki False.)
  • Cypress
  • Golden Duke Jap Hemlock
  • Jap redbud
  • Pagoda dogwood
  • Viburnum
  • Lilacs, together with Bloomerang, Miss Kim, Tiny Dancer
  • Japanese maples
  • Ginkgo Jade Butterfly
  • Smoke bush
  • Azalea/rhododendron
  • Purple Leaf Sand Cherry
  • Some crabapples
  • Magnolia
  • Boxwood
  • Elderberry

Q: How do I do know what to prune from mature bushes and shrubs?

A: I’m not an professional on pruning bushes, however I do know a bit about pruning shrubs. Listed below are the fundamentals of pruning shrubs.

Pruning is completed to enhance the shrub’s look and assist preserve its pure or manicured kind, promote new progress, branching, and flowering, and promote total plant well being by enhancing airflow and eradicating lifeless or diseased branches.

New Wooden or Outdated Wooden

First, we have to know if our shrubs bloom on new wooden or previous wooden. Shrubs that bloom on previous wooden set buds for subsequent 12 months on the finish of the rising season. Prune these shrubs after flowering to encourage new flower bud formation. These are typically spring or early summer time blooming shrubs together with lilacs forsythia, mock orange, rhododendron, azalea, weigela, and ninebark.

Shrubs that bloom on new wooden kind buds on progress throughout the present rising season and have a tendency to bloom mid to late summer time. Prune shrubs that bloom on previous wooden in late winter or in early spring earlier than the shrub has damaged dormancy. Examples embrace panicle hydrangea, easy hydrangea, summersweet, smoke bush, and roses.

Observe that some newer shrub varieties present blooms on new and previous wooden, together with types of weigela such because the Sonic Bloom sequence, the Bloomerang sequence of lilac, and newer steady blooming types of bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla).

Pruning Ideas

  1. Prune at a forty-five-degree angle proper above a node or facet department with a clear, sharp pair of bypass pruners or loppers to make sure a clear and wholesome minimize. Pruning at an angle will permit water to run off the minimize and forestall pooling that will encourage illness.
  2. Prune out any lifeless, damaged, or diseased stems, spent blooms (if desired), rubbing branches, duplicate/parallel branches, and dense progress within the middle of the shrub. Have in mind the general form you want within the course of and preserve the branches that can assist develop or preserve that construction. Don’t take away greater than one-third of the plant at one time.
  3. Rejuvenation pruning will be carried out on well-established (no less than three years previous) shrubs to encourage a flush of wholesome new progress, eradicating the oldest wooden all the way down to the bottom.


Q: What’s the finest/best grass and/or plant to begin from seed and preserve right here within the Twin Cities?

A: Turfgrass is needy. Copious quantities of water and fertilizer are what preserve grass wanting full and fluffy. At Tonkadale we select to promote grass seed that’s licensed by the Turfgrass Water Conservation Alliance. These grass mixes require as much as 30% much less inputs—much less water, much less fertilizer, much less chemical substances, and fewer mowing. Take into account overseeding your garden with such a grass seed if you’re interested by conservation-friendly turf. 

An alternative choice is to plant a bee garden or native bee garden combine. The bee garden combine follows suggestions from the College of Minnesota, combining Dutch white clover, self-heal, and creeping thyme to create a seed combination that may remodel your garden right into a pollinator habitat whereas sustaining the operate and recreation related to a conventional garden. The bee garden seed combination has been proven to help greater than sixty bee species in Minnesota. Bee garden flower seed will be overseeded right into a pre-existing stand of wholesome fantastic fescue or Kentucky bluegrass turf.

The native bee garden combine makes use of all native wildflowers (self-heal, yaak yarrow, blue-eyed grass) to remodel your house garden into a ravishing mixture of turfgrass and flowers. This seed combine is designed to bolster the longstanding evolutionary relationships we observe in nature between pollinators and the native vegetation they rely on.

Learn extra about sustainable lawnscaping on Tonkadale’s weblog.

Q: How do I begin a backyard the place there’s at present grass? 

A: On this case, it’s best to take away the grass first. You may take away turfgrass by hand with a shovel, but it surely’s really easy to lease a sod kicker out of your native ironmongery shop. If time is in your facet, you’ll be able to cowl the world with plastic for a number of weeks to kill grass for straightforward elimination by hand. Herbicides wouldn’t be our most popular methodology.

After the grass is eliminated, lease a tiller and work in compost at a price of 1 cubic foot per ten sq. ft. Subsequent, lay edging after which it’s time to plant!

Solar and Shade

Q: What are options for a mattress the place one half will get full solar and the opposite half will get full shade?

A: Completely completely different mild necessities require completely completely different vegetation. In case your backyard area is steady, there can be a transition zone that’s part-sun. Use this space to plant issues in frequent with each the solar and shade space. Many can tolerate an excellent quantity of solar and nonetheless carry out in a shady state of affairs. Examples embrace astilbe, Japanese forest grass, heuchera, and hosta. Don’t fear concerning the solar and shade areas being an ideal match. Assume extra concerning the colours, textures, and construction you need to convey to every space.

Q: How do I cease a backyard from dying in 110-degree climate?

A: Listed below are my recommendations on caring for a backyard within the warmth:

  1. Water. Water within the morning earlier than the warmth of the day to keep away from evaporation.
  2. Relying on the period of maximum warmth, it could be time to plant drought-resistant vegetation, particularly native vegetation that tailored to our local weather.
  3. Place containers and hanging baskets in a shady space throughout a warmth wave.
  4. Add mulch to backyard beds to assist retain moisture and preserve the soil cool. If excessive warmth is coupled with excessive humidity, evapotranspiration slows as does plant progress.  

Q: What are the most effective shade vegetation apart from hostas? I’m on the lookout for one thing with shade.

A: There are such a lot of vegetation which can be nice for shade that provide shade and curiosity each in foliage and flower. A few of our favorites embrace:

  • Astilbe
  • Aruncus/goat’s beard 
  • Solomon’s seal
  • Ligularia 
  • Ferns 
  • Cimicifuga/snakeroot 
  • Bleeding coronary heart 
  • Brunnera 
  • Chelone/turtlehead 
  • Pulmonaria/lungwort
  • Polemonium/Jacob’s ladder 
  • Heuchera 
  • Filipendula
  • Bergenia 
  • Epimedium 
  • Japanese forest grass 
  • Girl’s mantle
  • Toad lily


Q: I’m frightened of leaping worms. How can I stop/deal with?!

A: Leaping worms are invasive worms which have made their solution to the Twin Cities space by means of the transport of vegetation and soil. They are often very harmful, particularly in main ecosystems as they alter the construction of soil and strip it of vitamins. 

My finest recommendation is to buy soil (bagged or bulk) and vegetation from respected backyard facilities. The Minnesota Division of Pure Sources asks that you simply report sightings of leaping worms. Destroy and get rid of leaping worms in the event you discover them. After they change into established, there’s not an entire lot you are able to do. 

The worry of leaping worms is an actual factor and will be labeled as solastalgia, which is the stress brought on by environmental change. Many people will expertise misery over the implications of local weather change, invasive species, and excessive climate occasions. 

Learn extra about leaping worms by visiting the UMN Extension web site.

Q: How can I stop pests (rabbits) from consuming new progress?

A: That is the most effective weblog submit ever! “Methods to Repel Deer and Rabbits within the Backyard

Eco-Acutely aware Gardening

Q: How can I be a accountable eco-conscious gardener (i.e., planting pollinator-friendly, native, and drought-tolerant vegetation)?

A: Simply the truth that people are desirous about this matter is a step in the best route. If you’re planting vegetation, you might be already a accountable, eco-conscious gardener. 

These are some must-read weblog posts on the subject:

Q: Methods to plan a cohesive backyard that blooms all season lengthy?

A: Planting a backyard for steady shade just isn’t solely interesting to us but additionally has nice ecological advantages. Steady shade means a relentless meals supply for pollinators and helpful bugs. Discover out what blooms early, mid, and late in your space. At Tonkadale, we’ve got a extremely nice chart! Additionally, concentrate to what’s blooming in your neighborhood or metropolis over the course of the summer time, then plant that!

Q: Actual speak: How shut are we to a zone 5 perennial surviving within the Twin Cities?

A: Perennial survival is most intently associated to how lengthy our lowest minimal temperatures are sustained. Within the Twin Cities, we will hit temperatures as little as -30 levels Fahrenheit which classifies us as Zone 4. Though the summers appear to be getting hotter, Zone 5 classification has extra to do with winter lows than summer time highs. In city or protected areas, warmth accumulates and gardeners in our space are capable of have success with Zone 5 perennials, bushes, and shrubs.

Editor’s Observe: This submit is sponsored by Tonkadale. The compensation we obtain in alternate for placement on Wit & Delight is used to buy props, rent a photographer, write/edit the weblog submit, and help the bigger staff behind Wit & Delight.

Whereas compensation was acquired in alternate for protection, all ideas and opinions are all the time my very own. Sponsored posts like these permit us to proceed to develop dynamic unsponsored content material. Thanks for supporting our companions!

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