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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.