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30 November 2010

Winter insects in the Atlanta landscape

Although it is winter and the mosquitos are (mostly) gone., there are still other insects to be on the look out for, particularly in shrubs and trees.  Here's a list:

Shrubs:

Trees
The key it to be vigilant throughout the winter.  If you notice browning or odd performance in your landscape plants, have a close look.  Inspect branches as well as tops and bottoms of leaves.
Check out our Resource Page for additional gardening and lawn info.
Leave your comments or ask any question below.
Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com.
Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.
Also, check our Facebook fan page facebook.com/ProudLandscape

21 September 2010

Fescue Lawn Grass Overseeding: PART 3 -- Atlanta & N. Georgia gardens


close up of grass blades with dew
  www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/
September & October are the ideal time of year for overseeding fescue turf grass lawns in Atlanta and North Georgia gardens. We have been reviewing the lawn analysis and seeding preparation steps needed to have a bang up overseeding season. This article will list the steps for actually executing the overseeding.
  1. Aeration: core aeration is an important step in the process, skipping this is possible, but will compromise your success. Your options in this regard are to rent a machine, or hire a professional lawn care service. In either event, the lawn area should be ran over with the machine multiple times in varying directions.
  2. Amendments: If you haven't applied your soil test recommended amendment in the preparation phase, apply them now in the recommend rates. Do not apply any fertilizer amendments at this point.
  3. Seeding: Now apply the fescue turf grass seed at a rate of 5 lbs per 1000 square feet of existing lawn. For especially bare areas, increase this rate to 8 lbs. Remember, we are using 100% weed free grass seed. If you cannot find this, seriously consider hiring a professional lawn care company, as you do not want to actively be planting weeds.
  4. Mulching: Mulch your newly overseeded lawn with clean wheat straw at a rate of 1 bale per 1000 square feet. This may seem a bit thin, but will be adequate for overseeding of established fescue stands.
  5. Water: Water in your newly seeded grass. Check out Georgia's new watering rules. The objective is to keep the seed bed continually moist for the next two weeks without causing any runoff. This generally means watering every morning for no more that 15 minutes. Continue watering in this fashion for two to four weeks. Afterwards, observe normal watering rates of 1 inch per week (you will need to measure this).
  6. Fertilizer: Apply the soil test recommended fertilizer recommendations 30 days after your initial seed application.
Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com.
Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.
Also, check our Facebook fan page facebook.com/ProudLandscape

16 September 2010

Fescue Lawn Overseeding: Part 2-- Atlanta & North Georgia Lawns fescue grass turf lawn

Fescue grass blades up close, germination
Photo: lawncare.net
It is fescue lawn overseeding time again for Atlanta and North Georgia lawns.  Gardeners and lawn rangers get your spreaders out, and get your garden lawns up to par!  This summer has been brutal for many Atlanta and North Georgia fescue turf grass lawns.
At this point you should have already evaluated your lawn, and tested your soil.  If you haven't, check out Part 1 of this series.  If you have, read on, we will be preparing the soil for overseeding.
At this stage you are between a few days to two weeks away from actually applying the fescue turf grass seed, depending on your particular lawn situation.
If you have more than 50% loss or undesirable turf in your lawn, you may want to seriously consider a complete lawn replanting.  Many of the steps in this series will still apply.


Preparation:
  1. Measure the square footage of your lawn. The simplest method is to break your lawn into rectangular areas, establish the square footage of each, add them, and then subtract the approximate square footage of any islands or beds.
  2. Get out your soil test results, read the recommended amendments and nutrients, and purchase the quantities you need for your lawn. 
  3. Purchase the appropriate amount of fescue seed for your lawn square footage.  Plan on about 5 lbs of seed per 1000 square feet of lawn.  In selecting a fescue seed blend, read the Agricultural Department label, and select a seed blend with both 0% weed seed and 0% noxious weed seed.  Do not allow the Garden Center department guy to tell you there is no such thing.  You Do Not want to be intentionally planting weeds.
  4. Treat you lawn for any existing weeds with a post-emergent herbicide.  You may need two applications, one for broadleaf weeds, and one for grass-type weeds.  Read the chemical labels carefully, and follow all application directions.  Allow the appropriate amount of time between applications, and before overseeding.
  5. Apply any nutrient amendments recommended by your soil test, except any feritilizers at this point.  Fertilizers will be applied later.  Water the nutrients in well (lime, gypsum, etc).
  6. Determine your watering plan ahead of time.  In ground irrigation?  Hoses and sprinklers?  Purchase the hoses, etc you need, have your sprinkler system tested, or arrange to have one installed, before you overseed.
If at any point, you run into a snag, are unsure of the chemical treatments, or can't find appropriate grass seed, contact a lawn or landscape professional.

That's all the preparation at this point.  The next step will be actually overseeding.  Stay tuned.

Check out our Resource Page for additional gardening and lawn info.

Leave your comments or ask any question below.


Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com.
Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.
Also, check our Facebook fan page facebook.com/ProudLandscape

15 September 2010

Poison Ivy -- Identify & Control

Poison ivy leaf.
Photo: UGA College of Agricultural Sciences
Poison ivy is one of the banes of gardening in the rich environment of Atlanta and North Georgia. Gardeners need to be able to identify and address this pesky plant in their gardens.

Identify. Poison ivy may grow as a small shrub or climbing vine. New plants can arise several feet away from the parent plant. It can also be distributed in seed form from bird droppings.
The leaves are alternately arranged in groups of three. Actual leaf color can vary in different shades of green. Leaf shape is eliptical, generally asymmetrical, and can have smooth or serrated edges.
"Leaves of Three, Let it be." Several plants have similar leaf characteristics and can be mistaken for poison ivy. Better to err on the side of caution before handling any questionable plants, such as box elder, or Virginia creeper.

Poison. All parts of the plant are poisonous all the time. However, if the leaves or stems are bruised or broken, they can transfer the toxin especially quickly. The toxin can be transferred to human skin via contact with the plant, animal coats, tools, clothing. Burning the plant can cause the toxin to be ingested through the lungs.

First Aid. If you think you've been exposed, wash the skin with cold water and soap as soon as possible. Wash suspected tools and clothing, as the toxin can be transferred to additional items, such as furniture. If a rash or allergic reaction develops, depending on your level of allergic sensitivity, consult a physician or visit the pharmacy for over-the-counter treatments.

Control. Mechanical control: Poison ivy can be controlled by repeatedly mowing or pruning down to the ground. Also, younger plants can be eliminated by tilling, or scarifying the soil. Be sure to use protective clothing, gloves, masks and goggles when working in or around poison ivy.
Chemical control: For larger plants, or larger areas of infestation, look for spray herbicides with the following chemcials: Glyphosate (e.g. Roundup), 2-4D (e.g. Spectracide, or Trimec ), or Triclopyr (e.g. Ortho Brush-B-Gone). Always read and carefully follow all label instructions.

For more info, look here for the UGA Agricultural Dept. paper.

Also, check out our Atlanta Gardening Resource Page.

Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with questions via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com.
Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.
Also, check our Facebook fan page facebook.com/ProudLandscape.

14 September 2010

Fescue Lawn Overseeding: Part 1-- Atlanta & North Georgia Lawns

fescue grass turf lawn

The days are still hot, but with cooler mornings and evenings, get ready Atlanta:  the fescue lawn turfgrass overseeding season will be here soon.  We are almost into the ideal time to begin aerating and overseeding fescue lawns or Metro Atlanta and North Georgia.  I will present the things you need to do in a multi-part series. 
The ideal overseeding season lasts about 6 weeks, however, No Worries, there are other good, if not ideal timeframes to get this task done.

At this point, we have some time, so there are a few preliminary tasks to get done:
1.  Evaluate the condition of your lawn.  This summer was especially brutal, and fescue lawns were hit by heat, fungus, lack of rain, high humidity.  How much of your lawn is acutally desirable lawn grass?  If it is hovering around 50% or less, you may consider a more extensive renovation or replacement.  Above 50% and aeration & overseeding may be adequate.
2.  What does you soil look like?  North Georgia soils tend to be nutrient deficient.  Couple that with erosion, soil depletion, and poor grading practices, and you have very tough conditions for root development.  Is your soil sandy, brick hard, or rocky?  If so, you may want to consider topdressing with some organic matter.  We'll discuss these later.
3.  Get a soil test done!  Your county extension office will test your soil for your specific applications, e.g. lawn, vegetable garden, planting beds.  They will tell you exactly what amounts of nutrients need to be replenished.

Get these done now to be ready to go for the actual overseeding season.

Check out my resource page for more good info.

Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com.
Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.
Also, check our Facebook fan page facebook.com/ProudLandscape

24 August 2010

Armyworm alert! Look out Atanta lawns

August and September each year, caterpillars do damage to lawns throughout Atlanta and North Georgia.  Typically, lawns will recover, however occasionally this damage can be devastating, especially to newly planted lawns.
Here are a few key points to remember:
  • Damage is mostly aesthetic, but
  • Newly planted lawns, however can be severely damaged or decimated
  • The biggest culprits are armyworms, especially to Bermuda grass.
  • Adult armyworm moths, active at night, lay eggs of 50 to several hundred.
  • Initial damage can first look like skeletonizing, but eventually, the entire leaf is consumed.
  • Armyworms are most active early and late in the day, spending the hotter hours down near the soil in the shade.
  • Check for worms by pouring soapy water on the grass (1/2 oz. dishwashing soap/gallon water) will bring them up quickly.
Control of armyworms and other turf caterpillars:
  1. There are several pesticides from which to choose depending on your lawn type and location.  Brand name Sevin, in liquid form is one type.
  2. Consult your local Extension Agent for recommendations.  
  3. Read and follow all label directions when using pesticides.
  4. Pesticide applications should be made as late as practical for best results.
  5. Applying 20 - 25 gallons of solution per acre will provide good coverage.
  6. Do not cut grass for 1 –3 days after treating
Call your local Extension Agent at (800) ASK-UGA1 or locate your local Extension Office at http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/statewide.cfm
Check out our Gardening Resource Page for more contact and resource info.
Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com.
Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.
Also, check our Facebook fan page facebook.com/ProudLandscape

08 August 2010

Nanofarming: Get Started & Beat the Heat in Atlanta

It is Hot in Atlanta!! Try nano-farming as a way to garden on a smaller (read: not as much time in heat) scale. We've made a couple of the pots described below, with some success. Reports on the results in following articles.

Definition:
While the technical definition of nanofarming is raising edible produce on an area smaller that .01 acre, the term has come to refer to any small scale farming taking place in unusual, overlooked, or reclaimed spaces.


How do I get started?

  1. Start with a used two liter soda bottle. Drill or punch small holes in the top, and 2 inches from the bottom. Cut a larger hole in the top. Cut the top off the bottle as shown
  2. We used some rolled up paper towel, inserted in the bottle neck, the directions recommend wrapping a small piece of screen over the bottle top and secure witha rubber band, then turn over the cut-off top and stick it into the bottle. This creates a water reservoir, and the sscreen will act as a wick to draw the water up from the reservoir.
  3. Our version did not use this portion, simply allowed the excess water from the saturated soil to percolate down into the resevoir. Use a piece of plastic pipe or hose. Stick it through the hole you cut in the top. You'll finll the reservoi throught this pipe.
  4. We used ready grown 4 inch herb pots from the nursery. Fill the bottle with soil down to the screen, water the earth well, and plant a seed. Refill the water reservoir every few days or when the soil gets dry.

Resources:
www.nanofarming.wordpress.com

Atlanta Gardening Examiner Resource Page

Nano farming and cedar beds

Interesting fact:
During World War II era New York City, of all places, produces 40% fof the fesh food consume s within its borders.

From Nanofarming brochure:
"As trusted food resources become ever scarcer and food suppyly chains brecome more complex, increasing numbers of people are turning to nanofarming as an important source of fersh, local food.
In New York City in particular, where arable land that receives sufficient sunlight for food coltivatin is in short supply, a new breed of nanofarmers is grwoing procduece ina range of ingenious places.

Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at
arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com.
Follow him on Twitter at
twitter.com/Proudland.
Also, check our Facebook fan page
facebook.com/ProudLandscape

17 June 2010

Gardening Resources & Websites

Below you will find a listing of some very valuable gardening websites. Georgia, Metro Atlanta gardeners.
Bookmark this article, and return to it often!
Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com.
Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.
Also, check our Facebook fan page facebook.com/ProudLandscape

14 June 2010

Container gardening: Uses in Atlanta gardens

perennials growing on deck in containers
perennials growing on deck in containers
www.houselooks.net
Container gardening is a highly versatile means to bring gardening into otherwise inconvenient spaces. For Atlanta gardens there are a number of uses for gardening containers. Container gardening allows the gardener to move and rearrange the garden layout, and bring gardening into otherwise unplantable areas
  • Bring fresh cooking herbs onto decks and patios for cooking and outdoor grilling.
  • Use to have perennial plants and flowers always in bloom, bring out when in bloom, and pull to rear when not.
  • Use in gardening beds to provide height, highlight features, shorter term decorations for seasonal holidays.
  • Bring gardens to apartment or condo patios, and limited townhome spaces.
  • Use to grow tropical and subtropical plants, setting them out in Summer, and bringing them in in Winter.
  • Use bring flowers and plants to pool decks.
  • Bring flowers and color to larger outdoor entertainment such as wedding receptions
  • Create feature plant presentation in the garden
  • Bring plants to other areas without planting beds, such as entry ways, driveways, and front steps.
Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, award-winning Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com.
Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.
Also, check our Facebook fan page facebook.com/ProudLandscape

09 June 2010

New Georgia Outdoor Watering Rules

 Hose  watering garden (c) Bill Jacobus -  www.flickr.com/photos/billjacobus1/124115562/
Governor Sonny Perdue just signed the Georgia Water Stewardship Act into Law. There are many areas and industries affected, but most pertinent to Georgia gardeners are the new watering rules. Atlanta Region gardeners have become accustomed to varying levels and types of watering restrictions. The rest of the state, not so much. Here is the rundown for gardeners:
1. Individuals may water or irrigated vegetable, flower gardens, lawns, and landscape plants any day, EXCEPT between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.
2. The odd/even watering schedule is no longer in effect.
3. Water reuse applications, such as collected rain water and recaptured "grey" water, are not subject to the 10am-4pm restriction.
4. There are certain commercial and professional watering exceptions.
That's the short of it, as it applies to homeowner gardeners.
Resources:
Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com.
Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.
Also, check our Facebook fan page facebook.com/ProudLandscape

19 March 2010

Columbine: A native bloomer for Atlanta woodland gardens


White and pink columbine flower.
White and pink columbine flower.

(c) www.flowers.vg

Here is another native bloomer for woodland Atlanta gardens. Established Atlanta gardens with stands of trees, can frequently use part-shade bloomers for interest. Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) is a good choice, and easy to maintain.

Columbine will produce nice bi-colored flowers in a variety of combinations: including yellow, white, blue, pink & purple. Established from seed or nursery pots, they can be grown in old tree stumps, rock crevasses, and of course, in flowerbeds.

Uses. Columbine make nice cut flowers, a good addition to a perennial beds, a filler for odd sections of establish tree stands.

Establishment. Plant from nursery pots or seed in early Spring, or purchase potted from nursery. Locate in dappled shade. Avoid all-day full sun. A woodland plant, it will prefer rich soil. Prepare soil well with compost. Seed sown in Spring may not flower the first season.

Maintenance. Primary maintenance concern is leaf-miners. If you see yellowed or mottled foliage, cut back and discard, and allow new foliage to sprout. Keep soil moist during dry spells.

A few varieties:

A. canadensis 'Corbet', yellow, 12-24 inches
A. flabellata 'Nana' under 12 inches.
A. hybrida - multiple hybrid varieties come in many color variations

References:

Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based, Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com.
Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.
Also, check our Facebook fan page facebook.com/ProudLandscape

11 March 2010

March Vegetable Garden Considerations

Planning on a vegetable garden this year? March is the time to begin getting things done, regardless where in the country you are. There are several planning considerations to account for in preparing your garden. I'll be focusing on Planting Time. Your other considerations include:
  • Planting time
  • available sunlight
  • soil condition
  • available space
  • irrigation
  • plant types
  • time available.
Many resources are available on methods to address each one of these considerations.

For this time year, we're looking at warm-season vegetables. Examples are tomatoe, lima bean, green bean, and cucumber. Each plant will have a different growing time to maturity, typically ranging between 50 to 90 days (7 t0 12 weeks). Which brings us to our timing consideration.

Before planting, we need to prepare soils, if not frozen, this can be done at any point prior to planting. Some would argue it is best to let the prepared soil lay, and turn again, but this may not be practical for many.

Which brings us to planting timing for various USDA Zones. A note about USDA zones, these have become more fine tuned in recent years, however, they remain general guidelines, and each local area will create varying growing characteristics based on humidity, ocean winds, etc. Additionally, the zones are targeted at cold-hardiness, and don't account as well for heat-tolerance.

Zones ................ What to Start Indoor & Outdoors
1 & 2 --- start tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes indoors
sow tender vegetable seeds indoors that require more than 12 weeks

3 & 4 --- start tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes indoors
sow tender vegetable seeds indoors that require 6 to 12 weeks

4 & 5 --- start tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes indoors
sow tender vegetable seeds indoors that require 8 to 10 weeks

6 & 7 --- start tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes indoors
sow tender vegetable seeds indoors that require 4 to 6 weeks

8 & 9 --- start tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes indoors
sow vegetable seeds outdoors

10 & 11 --- Plant tubers, tuberous roots, and rhizomes indoors
sow vegetable seeds outdoors

The bottom line: March is a good time to get things started, but unless you live in the coldest regions of the country, you need to get out there and start getting busy!

Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro Atlanta based Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com
Follow him on twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.

03 March 2010

Lawn Green up Steps: Ready for Spring in Atlanta

Early lawn green up depends on some early pre-green work

Early lawn green up depends on some early pre-green work
Get ready for lawn green-up in metro Atlanta and surrounding counties. Your lawns may seem brown, and worrying about their seasonal greenup may be a long ways off, but some simple steps now will pay dividends in the next six weeks or so. If you have Bermuda, Zoysia, or Centipede turf grass lawn, this article is for you.

If you have a warm-season lawn turf grass, such as Bermuda, Zoysia, or Centipede, then read this article. If you're not sure what type of grass you have, the rule of thumb is whether it was green before December, and is now brown, and generally turns green going into the Spring, then you have a warm-season lawn turf grass. However, this is a rule of thumb, because there are a few factors which could make a cool-season grass (predominantly fescue in Atlanta) behave in this fashion, or at least appear to have these characteristics. The sure bet is to dig up a spade full and take it down to your county extension agent, they are great people and can get you squared away.

The List: At any rate, here are the steps you need to be taking:
  1. Scalp--Set mower to lowest setting that won't have you skinning to the dirt, and mow lawn.

  2. Bag and Pick up the clippings. If you do things right this season, this should be the only time you need to pick up the grass clippings

  3. Fertilize. Note: Centipede lawns need a 0-0-7 (NPK) fertilizer.

  4. Apply Preemergent

  5. Pay attention to weather reports.

  6. Ensure adequate water is getting put down.

  7. Do not water in freezing temperatures

  8. Check this column frequently for updates on follow-up maintenance details.
Once lawn begins to greenup:
  • Do not mow until at appropriate mowing height

  • Aerate once completely green (if you have centipede, do not aerate without consulting a pro)

  • Fertilize again

  • Treat for errant weeds.
If you follow these steps, this will take you a long way towards having a lush and beautiful lawn this Summer.

Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro-Atlanta based Proudland Landscape, LLC.

You can contact him with question via email at: arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com

Follow him on twitter at: twitter.com/Proudland

01 March 2010

February Gardening Task Rundown



Tulips and hyacinth in woodland setting in.com/downloads/wallpapers-nature-spring-garden-29261.html

Tulips and hyacinth in woodland setting.

(c) www.in.com/downloads/wallpapers-nature-spring-garden-29261.html



For those you who may have missed some, here is a rundown of our essential gardening articles for February that we published on Examiner.com . This information is generally applicable to many areas of the United States, however, the seasonal timing is specific to the metro Atlanta area, surrounding counties, and North Georgia.


Gardening tasks for February -- a list of gardening tasks to get accomplished before March.


Which lopper pruners should I buy? -- a discussion of some key factors in selecting a new pair of loppers.


Protecting flowers & pansies from ice -- still relevant information for the next four to six weeks in areas above the fall line Georgia (line running from Columbus to Macon to Augusta)


Live plants from Valentines Day? -- applicable advice for any live plant flower baskets you may receive, even after Valentines Day.


Pruning Crape Myrtles -- if you absolutely must prune your Crape Myrtles, get it done now, and read this article.


Must-do Atlanta Winter gardening tasks -- your most essential last-minute Winter gardening tasks for Atlanta gardeners.


Phlox--a classic Atlanta flower garden plant -- can start indoors now, or seed outdoors beginning April.


Get ready for Lawn Spring Green-up -- task list to have a great Spring green up for your warm-season lawn grass.


These are the articles from February which are, and will remain seasonally relevant through March. I will be putting out a new March gardening task list, so look for it.


Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro Atlanta based Proudland Landscape, LLC.

You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com

Follow him on twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.

24 February 2010

Phlox--a classic Atlanta garden flower plant


Pholx subulata - Creeping or Moss Phlox.
Pholx subulata - Creeping or Moss Phlox.
(c) Jerzy Opiola - License Creative Common Share Alike 3.0

Have you ever seen those billows of cascading pink and pale purple flowers spilling over walls? These things go in cycles, and there was a time that phlox was ubiquitous in the Atlanta gardens. In older landscapes it can be seen flowing over stacked stone retaining walls in pillows of soft pink. Phlox is a fairly easy to grow flower, available in perennial cultivars (e.g., garden phlox, and creeping phlox), and annual varieties.

A number of phlox varieties are originally native to the Southern and Appalachian Regions of the United States, making it a nice choice for gardeners interested in native plants, or encouraging a native feel to their gardens.


Uses.
These make nice cut flowers, are good choices for balconies, patio railings, behind retaining walls, and in window boxes. Typically seen in pink or pale purple, they are also available in reds, white, and yellow.

Establishment. Indoors - You can begin growing indoors from seed six to eight weeks before the last frost. In Atlanta that would be planting from beginning in the middle of February, to the first week in March. You can then transplant to the outdoor garden after the middle of April.

Outdoors - Locate your phlox in full sun. Transplant seedlings you started indoors, or plant outdoors from seed. Sow seeds in your prepared garden soil beginning in the middle of March.

Maintenance. Dead head faded flowers. Fertilize once with 10-10-10 fertilizer. Maintain a good layer of mulch. And keep watered, to maintain soil moisture, but be careful not to oversaturate soil (well drained soils)

A few varieties:

Creeping phlox -- Phlox stolonifera
Garden Phlox -- Phlox paniculata 'Peacock Neon Rose'
Moss Phlox -- Phlox subulata 'Drummond's Pink'
Garden Phlox -- Phlox paniculata 'Peacock White'

Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro Atlanta based, Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com.
Follow him on twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.

22 February 2010

Must do Atlanta Gardening Tasks before March: If you only have one weekend to get it all done.


spring garden tulips and bulbs
Spring garden tulips and bulbs
(c) Waltzing Broomhilda - http://www.flickr.com/photos/waltzing_broonhilda/

There is only one weekend left before March. For gardeners in Atlanta, surrounding counties, and North Georgians this means the Spring season is almost upon us. The question was asked regarding the February gardening task list, "What if I only have one weekend to get it all done?" Well, here is that list:

  1. Clean leaves off lawn. This is way overdue, from our January list--So get it done!
  2. Scalp cool-season lawns (Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede). Mow to lowest setting on mower. Bag and pickup clippings. Compost your clippings.
  3. Prune hydrangeas, crape myrtles. Hydrangeas may be showing some budding, but get it done. Pruning crape myrtles is always a contentious issue, but if you're going to do it, now is the time
  4. Cut back ground covers & ornamental grasses (e.g., monkey grass/lirope, ivy, pampass grass). Pickup clippings and trimmings and compost.
  5. Check & refresh mulch in flowers beds. Keep a few bags of your preferred mulch on hand to repair behind squirrels and neighborhood dogs.

If you have more than a weekend to work with, double check my task lists for this winter so far from January, and February.

Whatever you do, get something done, because there is a whole new set of things we need to address going into March.

Abdurrahim is the lead designer at metro Atlanta based Proudland Landscape, LLC.
You can contact him with question via email at arjalal@proudlandlandscape.com
Follow him on twitter at twitter.com/Proudland.

12 February 2010

Pansies Freeze Burned by Ice?


Don't let your flowers look like this
(c)2009 Proudland Landscape, LLC

Protect your pansies and other winter seasonal flowers from freeze burn. January and February Atlanta weather can be extremely deceiving when it comes to winter temperatures. Seasonal flowers can become the victims of balmy winter days, followed by bouts of ice and freezing temperatures. Atlanta and North Georgia gardeners must be proactive to prevent damage.

There are five action items to prevent winter damage to your pansies and other seasonal winter flowers: Plant in the ideal window, prepare soils, mulch properly, water adequately, protect from ice. Planting and soil preparation may be beyond your control at this point, but the other items can be still acted on.

Planting time. Planting time for Summer and Winter seasonal color is very important. For winter flowers, we want temperatures to be cool enough that the flowers won't suffer heat stress, but still have enough time for them to establish before winter sets in. This time would be the middle of October in Atlanta, and surrounding areas.

Soil preparation. We want well tilled soils, with plenty of organic matter. Hard, clay, rocky soils will just not cut it. Roots need to grow easily and quickly, water needs to be absorbed and then released to the roots, and there needs to be mico air pockets for insulation--In short: fluffy, black soil.

Mulch. A heavy layer of mulch should be applied to the newly planted and watered flowers. This layer should be maintained, and replenished as needed throughout the winter. When the squirrels and neighborhood dogs dig in your fluffy beds, go behind them and repair your mulch layer. This will provide the moisture retention, and insulation your flowers need.

Water adequately. This is a double-edged sword. Cold and low humidity levels will dry plants out, so they need water. However, if your watering is ill-timed, this will leave a coat of ice on the leaves and flowers, which can burn your flowers to the ground. The solution is to be dilligent about watering before the first hard freezes set in. After that, turn off your automatic sprinklers, and water by hand in between rainfall.

Protect from ice. Do what you can to keep ice from forming on the leaves and flowers. You only can control so much, but absolutely turn automatic sprinklers off before the first freezing mornings. Nothing will burn down your flowers quickly than a nice, thick coat of ice sprayed on your flowers when the sprinklers go off at 6am in 30 degree temperatures.

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08 February 2010

Governor Perdue announces Georgia Water Stewardship Act


Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue announced the Georgia Water Stewardship Act, Wednesday, 3 February 2010. The bill proposes comprehensive measures to go into effect in July 2012. As may Georgians well know, the water conservation measures from the two past droughts have been unduly born by gardeners and green industry professionals. This proposed bill seeks to spread that out.

The proposed legislation will provide for water efficient building standards, incentives for water providers to upgrade delivery infrastructure, enhanced leak detection measures for water mains, and a task force to
"work on additional contingency supply options", read: not enough alternate sources outside of Lake Lanier. More critical now that the Federal government's position is that metro Atlanta counties do not have rights to draw water from Lake Lanier. Incidentally, the entire Lanier watershed falls on Georgia land.

Many of you are aware of the "Water Wars", the ongoing conflict between Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Tennessee, over rights to the water flowing through the Chattahoochee and Flint River basins. One proposed measure would establish voluntary monitoring to establish objective data concerning the true effects of agricultural irrigation draws from these rivers.

"The final piece of the legislation extends the voluntary agriculture monitoring program to include surface water withdrawals. Farmers around the state have voluntarily agreed to have groundwater withdrawals monitored and the results have disproven many negative assumptions about agricultural water use. Extending this program to surface water withdrawals, from our rivers, streams and lakes, will continue to provide the state critical data that informs not only water negotiations with our neighbors but also our water inventory of sources and uses that Georgia’s Regional Water Councils are currently developing." (State website).

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04 February 2010

February Gardening Tasks--Atlanta & North Georgia

It's February in North Georgia, and Atlanta is cold and raining. Gardeners, don't sleep, because Spring is almost upon us. Do not be lulled into complacency because it feels and looks like winter. In just a few weeks Atlanta Spring will begin, and there are things you the gardener needs to do now to be ready. Here is a list:

  • Scalp warm-season lawns (Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede)
  • Continue to monitor local freeze warnings, be ready to protect tender plants
  • Pick up the clippings and put in your compost pile
  • Prune roses (middle of February)
  • Cut forsythia to force indoors
  • Fertilize seasonal flowers, tulip, and daffoldil beds with a low nitrogen, high phosphorous ferilizer
  • Dead head yellowing, brown, or burned Camellia blooms.
  • Prune crape myrtles (middle of February)
  • Trim unruly shrubs like hollies, ligustrum, and cleyera
  • Refresh mulch, if you haven't already
  • Nurse your compost pile.
  • Inventory and inspect gardening equipment
  • Get mowers, chippers, weed eaters that need it to the mechanic (if not done in January)
  • Sharpen blades and change oil on mowers
  • Sharpen chain saw chains.
  • Check the January gardening task list, and do on there what you didn't do.

March is less than a month away, and Atlanta Spring season will be upon us, despite what a certain groundhog in Pennsylvania may say. Regardless, for them it will be winter a bit longer than for us.

Abdurrahim is the lead designer for a local, award-winning landscaping firm. You can reach him via email at: a.jalal@ProudlandLandscape.com

Tweet at: twitter.com/Proudland

Resources:

"Winter chores in the landscape" -- UGA CAES

www.cleanairgardening.com/npkexplanation.html

www.groundhog.org/groundhog-day/about-groundhog-day/

Click here to find out more!

30 January 2010

January Gardening Rundown--Winter 2010

January 2010 in Atlanta started out atypically cold, cold. But, all was well for the gardener because, we had good rain, not too much ice, and it ended with typically mild Atlanta winter temperatures. Here is the run down of January gardening topics in Atlanta and North Georgia:

  1. Cleanup those last leaves and start Composting.
  2. Sign up for a rose pruning class--Be ready to go for February.
  3. Brush up on winter plant protection practices.
  4. Check off your list of winter gardening tasks for January.
  5. Proper time to prune crape myrtles.
  6. If you didn't sign-up for this pruning class, look here for info on others.

26 January 2010

Check out our articles on Examiner.com

I'm now writing for Examiner.com as the Atlanta Gardening Examiner. Check out my articles . I will still be posting here. There will be some cross over. In fact, some of the articles will be posted here, and vice versa. However, this will created some division between Atlanta area gardening information, and more landcaping and Proudland Landscape specific posts.

At any rate, check me out as the Atlanta Gardening Examiner.