Garden secrets from the wizard of the plum thicket
Faced with the challenges of running a business and managing my own gardens (always a challenge!), I am constantly looking for ways to make things easier.
Solutions I use:
1. Sick plant or new plants. Superthrive is a concentrated rooting hormone I use to resurrect plants I need to save. I have more winners than losers. All of our potted bare-root nursery stock is watered in with this product and a liquid fertilizer. You can also use Fertilome Root Stimulator, which is similar, for starting new plants.
2. Plant tabs are used with all of our own installations and when we line out trees in the nursery. It contains Mycorrhiza which is a microorganism that attaches to plant roots to help it pick up nutrients.
3. Fertilome Liquid Iron is a chelated iron product. A chelated iron is a process that puts iron in a solution that makes iron available to a plant regardless of a soil’s ph. Our soils are primarily high ph; which makes iron and other micronutrients a challenge to get into gardening plants which are not always suited for our soils.
4. New Preen products this spring. Preen is a granule containing treflan and has to be reapplied throughout the summer to be effective. New this year is Preen with extended control. It contains a product tested in the nursery trade called freehand that has a much longer lasting weed prevention capability.
5. A New Preen applicator that screws on the top of your Preen jar is quite handy. I have used this battery-powered spreader for the past 3 years to put Preen on potted shrubs. No hand spreader can give you the accuracy. The new one is an upgrade from the one they introduced a number of years ago.
6. If you have been disappointed in how fast your coconut liner basket dries out, try lining it with a plastic bag. I do not punch holes in the bottom, but up on the sides about 3” up from the bottom to give you a water reservoir. We will have a new liner available with a plastic liner already woven into the coconut mesh.
7. Repellex is a granule that is absorbed through the plant roots and makes flowers distasteful to rabbits and deer.
8. Horney Deer Problems (rutting) can be solved. Buck deer have a scent gland on the top of their heads. They skin the side of a tree with their antlers first. Then rub the scent on the tree. Does are following that scent and marking as a mating site. The buck stops at my 7’ high electrified deer fence. I have a mile of electrified wire around our Underwood nursery that shocks quite well. New trees need to be wrapped to protect them from deer rutting. We sell a plastic corrugated guard. For big projects get some flexible black drainage pipe and slit it down the side with a skill saw. Then cut it in lengths and put it around your trees. Fish line 4’ off the ground rigged between trees can spook them off. They hate deer netting. If they get caught up in the cheaper deer netting, I doubt they will be back. It is a mess to clean up and restore. Deer netting around gardens needs to be 7’ high.