San Diego,Ca. -
Q. What can I do to make my landscape look more full? Iím not cheap. I always buy more mature plants in larger pots.
A. Without looking at your area, itís hard to say. But based on your statement, we can assume you believe bigger is better. Donít. It takes time to cultivate a great landscape. Some people try to circumvent the process by purchasing big plants. This works if you need to have a finished look right away and can afford to buy enough to fill your landscape. Apparently, you are not able to do this. Donít feel bad, most people canít. So instead of spending more on one big plant, spend the same on an entire flat of smaller plants then give them time to grow.
Q. When is it appropriate to stake a tree? How is staking accomplished?
A. Only use stakes if a young tree is in danger of being blown over in the wind, or if it is unable to stand up on its own. If winds are not extreme, then let the tree learn to bend Ė itíll be stronger for it. To stake a tree to withstand wind, cut your stakes about 18 inches longer than the height of the lowest branches. Position the stakes on either side of the tree so as a group they are perpendicular to the wind. For a weak tree, position the ties just above the point where the tree flops over; cut the stakes a couple of inches above the ties. In either case, donít make the ties so tight the tree canít sway. It should be able to move at least an inch in either direction.
Q. I need a plant that will take up space but not compete with the flower color Iíve planted, will be green all year, and isnít picky about where I put it. What do you suggest?
A. Try phormium. Also known as flax, phormium comes in a great many varieties that provide year round interest in the form of swordlike leaves. From green to gold to bronze in stripes and solids, from two-feet tall to eight-feet tall, phormium requires little care and will thrive just about anywhere.
Q. I want a good, sturdy flowering plant that can survive the lousy soil and extreme weather of my landscape?
A. Try the perfect perennial Ė daylilies. According to the Sunset Western Garden Book, ďfew plants are tougher, more persistent, or more trouble free.Ē Daylilies feature trumpet shaped blooms in a host of colors and heights. Some are evergreen and others are deciduous, ensuring at least one variety will work in your area.
Q. Deer have nibbled my landscape to the ground. Any suggestions?
A. Donít resort to violence. Simply plant things deer donít like. From Acacia trees and Boxwood shrubs to English Ivy and Zantedeschia, a host of plants are available that will not tempt your four-footed diners. For a complete list of deer-resistant plants, refer to the Sunset Western Garden Book.
Miramar Wholesale Nurseries is Southern Californiaís leading supplier of landscape plant material and supplies. MWN grows a wide variety of perennials, shrubs, and trees at each of its three locations for projects in and around the region. The fully stocked will-call facilities in San Diego, Irvine/Lake Forest, and San Juan Capistrano serve the needs of commercial properties, institutions, property managers, and commercial landscapers. MWN is a member of TruGreen LandCare, a ServiceMaster company. For additional tips on plant care, see your nursery professional or refer to the Sunset Western Garden Book, available at all three MWN locations.
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