What Types of Ferns Prefer Acidic Soil?

Ferns generally prefer shady gardens using acidic soil. Soil with a pH of 7 is considered neutral. A pH below 7 is acidic, while a pH above 7 is alkaline. Different kinds of ferns have particular soil pH conditions within the acidic selection, however. Some types of ferns need acidic soil with a lower pH, but some prefer soil that is just slightly acidic. Still others are going to grow in acidic, neutral or slightly alkaline soils. Your soil pH can be determined with a simple pH test. It’s worth determining before deciding which kind of fern will thrive in your garden soil.

Low pH Soil

Boston ferns (Nephrolepis exaltata), also known as sword ferns, and flowering ferns (Osmunda regalis), also called royal ferns, prefer a lower pH. Boston ferns are hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant hardiness zones 9 to 11. This kind of fern grows in soil with a pH of 5.0 to 5.5. They do best in humid conditions in partial to full shade where the land is high in organic matter. Its bright-green fronds grow to a height of 3 feet and width of 6 inches. Flowering ferns are hardy in USDA zones 3 to 10. They grow in soil with a pH of 4.3 to 5.2. This kind of fern has brown, leafless fertile fronds and infertile, leafy fronds that can be up to 6 feet tall. The 2-inch extended leaflets are spaced slightly apart along the frond, giving the fern an open, airy look. It favors organically rich soil in full shade but will tolerate up to six hours of direct sunlight so long as the soil is kept moist.

Low to Moderately Acidic Soil

American climbing ferns (Lygodium palmatum) and Japanese tassel ferns (Polystichum polyblepharum) prefer a soil pH of 5.1 to 6.5 and are hardy in USDA zones 5 to 9. American growing ferns, also known as creeping, Hartford and Windsor ferns, grow long, 3- to 4-foot tall twining fronds that will climb nearby plants. Its leaflets are palmate or shaped like an open palm with fingers outstretched. They’ll grow in partial or full shade. Japanese tassel ferns, also called Japanese lace ferns and Korean tassel ferns, grow to a height of two to three feet with dark, glossy green fronds and finely dissected or serrated leaflets. Dappled or full shade with rich soil that is kept uniformly moist is most effective for this kind of fern.

Moderately Acidic Soil

Cinnamon ferns (Osmunda cinnemonea) and Ostrich ferns (Matteuccia struthiopteris) prefer soil with a pH of 5.5 to 6.5. Cinnamon ferns grow to between 5 and 3 feet tall with light green fronds. This kind of fern has sterile and fertile fronds. The sterile fronds are cinnamon brown when they first emerge but change graduallyto green as they mature. The fertile fronds remain cinnamon brown and do not develop green leaflets. They are hardy in USDA zones 3 to 10. A planting website with visually rich, moist soil in partial shade is ideal for the fern, but it is going to grow with as much as six hours of direct sun exposure or dappled shade. Ostrich ferns grow to a height of 2 to 6 feet with dark green, finely dissected fronds. They are hardy in USDA zones 2 to 8. In warm Mediterranean climates, they need to be planted in a shady place with rich soil that stays uniformly moist.

Acidic to Alkaline Soil

Holly ferns, Japanese holly ferns or Asian net-vein holly ferns (Cyrtomium falcatum), and Christmas or dagger ferns (Polystichum acrostichoides) prefer a soil pH of 5.6 to 7.8. Holly ferns are hardy in USDA zones 6 to 11. They grow to a height of two feet with dark green, pointed leaflets that resemble holly tree leaves. This kind of fern prefers organically rich soil in partial or full shade, but will grow with as much as six hours of direct sunlight. Christmas ferns are hardy in USDA zones 3 to 9. They grow to a height of two feet with leathery green leaflets that resemble small Christmas stockings. Fast-draining soil that is high in organic matter in partial or full shade is ideal for this kind of fern.

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How Many Dry Ounces of Potting Soil Are in 1 Gallon?

Plain soil from a garden can weigh 12 lbs per 1 gallon. Add water, which weighs 8.3 lbs per gallon at room temperature, and also a large container can develop into an immovable item. Soilless potting mixtures, based on their composition, can weigh a few ounces to 1 pound per gallon. Their lighter weight and receptive texture keeps moisture and allows pot-bound origins to stretch and breathe.

Potting Mix Contents and Measurements

Potting mixtures are composed variously of coir, peat moss, humus, compost and soil conditioners such as vermiculite or perlite in combinations intended for successful container gardening. Potting mix bags typically record contents in quarts or cubic feet, not gallons. So comparing contents from gallons isn’t quite as accurate as with the other dimensions. 1 gallon, however, is equivalent to 4 quarts or roughly one-sixth of 1 cubic foot. Soilless potting mixes may vary in weight from 16 oz to 117 oz for 4 quarts.

Mix Composition and Weight

Commercial potting mixes vary widely in composition, and also the materials’ dry weight contains moisture from environmental humidity. A mixture based on coconut coir, which weighs 11 1/2 oz a 1 gallon, weighs less than a mixture that contains peat moss, which weighs 60.8 oz per compressed gallon. General mixtures heavy in vermiculite or perlite that chew oz per gallon weigh much less than cactus mixtures containing mud, which can weigh over 160 oz per gallon. For general usage, however, a lighter potting mixture provides better moisture retention and also allows drainage for extra water.

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Do I Cut the Sunflower Top Off If It s Dead?

Cutting off a sunflower (Helianthus spp.) Bloom can serve several functions, based on the form of sunflower you develop. With annual varieties, the only reasons to cut off the blossoms is to harvest the seeds. However, perennials can develop new blossoms if deadheaded, besides providing you.

Annual Sunflowers

Annuals sunflowers (Helianthus annuus), including the colossal varieties, do not require pruning during the growing period to promote new growth and you do not have to eliminate the flowers because whenever the blossom begins dying, it’s usually a sign the plant is dying as well. Once the blooms die, you can cut them and dry them to harvest the seeds. Pull the rest of the plant from the ground and add it.

Growing Annuals

Perennial sunflowers, like the willow-leaved sunflower (Helianthus salicifolius), which develops in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9, do not have to have their flowers eliminated, however cutting the stems of perennial sunflowers just below the dead blossoms during the growing period can help the plant refocus its energies into creating new blooms. The willow-leaved sunflower will grow as tall as 10 feet, and simply trimming off the blossoms after the plant goes dormant will not depart an attractive plant for the winter. Trim the stalks into ground level after the flowers have faded.

Collecting the Seeds

Wait until the bracts turn back of the flower head gets brownish or yellow. Both should feel dry. Cut the stem 4 to 12 inches beneath the head — the longer period gives you enough to hang it upside down to dry, if the seeds do not fall off easily. Until you cut the stem placing a paper bag on the head can help you keep any seeds which fall as the blossom moves. Examine the blossoms to check on the seeds they’re ready to harvest when they are removed by a swipe of your hand.

Cutting Live Blooms

Sunflowers create a stunning statement in your lawn, but they can do the exact same for inside your property. Instead of waiting to die, cut them about 12 inches below the bloom after the bracts form but until they open. Cutting them helps discourage wilting. Put the stems in a vase of water, changing the water daily. Use the blossoms to be supported by tall vases.

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Does a Dwarf Pomegranate Do Well in Heat?

The dwarf pomegranate (Punica granatum”Nana”) is a striking decorative plant generally grown in containers. A dwarf that was natural variant, it could be cultivated as a shrub or small tree. When cared for correctly, it grows.

USDA Zones

The dwarf pomegranates develops in hot climates. It is sturdy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7 through 11. USDA growing zones are characterized by the typical temperatures that were low. In USDA zone 7, the typical minimal lows are between 0 and 10 degrees Fahrenheit. It will not produce fruit although the dwarf pomegranate will survive these temperatures. Below-freezing weather leaves to fall and may cause the fruit , notes Missouri Botanical Garden. It grows best in areas where winter temperatures stay above 40 F, which includes USDA zones 10b and 11.

High Temperatures

The dwarf pomegranate is a plant that is heat-tolerant. It may withstand long periods of drought and favors hot conditions. Places are too sexy for it, advises University of Florida IFAS Extension, put a dwarf pomegranate and so go ahead. High humidity, on the other hand, prevents its decorative fruits.

Indoor Temperatures

This dwarf plant, with distinctive fruit and its brightly colored flowers, works well as a houseplant. 1 choice is to grow it in a pot and bring it inside when weather threatens. Indoors, nighttime temperatures between 60 and 50 F, and give it glowing light to stimulate fruit production. Nighttime temperatures to between 40 and 45 F for plants before new growth starts to appear.

Heat and Water

Pomegranates can tolerate heat, but the plant will die without water. Water your dwarf pomegranate to keep the soil moist but not soggy during the period . The dirt ought to be well-draining, and housing dwarf pomegranates that are containers must have drainage holes. In regions that have temperatures that don’t fall below 40 F, fruit must look shortly after the flowers fade. In August, reduce the frequency of watering so the tree keep to water throughout the winter, and could enter a condition that is dormant.

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Can You Cut Butterfly Bushes in April Back Without a Sprouts?

Butterfly bushes (Buddleja davidii) create the most blossoms when pruned in spring prior to the new wood begins to sprout, so you can prune as late as April when there is not any new growth. Blooming cans increase. The summer-flowering shrubs are sturdy at U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 10, where they create dense, fragrant flower clusters which attract butterflies and bees to the garden. Be aware that butterfly bush is deemed invasive in some regions of the U.S.

A Light Trim

Pruning if the butterfly bush doesn’t die back completely over winter permits the bush to grow. Disinfect the pruning shears by trapping them cut back any branches that are damaged or dead. Cut back the tips of the shoots to within 1/4-inch of leaf bud or a leaf. Pruning close to a leaf bud promotes once the new shoots start growing afield, which results in fuller growth.

Cutting Back in Spring

Before new shoots appear produce blossoms, butterfly bushes cut to the ground, but they won’t grow as tall as people only pruned. The bush needs if chilly cold murdered the aboveground stems back to the ground cut back. Cut back of the stalks to within 12 inches of the ground, using pruning shears or a pruning saw for wood in diameter. New flowering wood will grow following growth resumes.

Shaping In Sumer

New growth continues so until it begins to blossom, the bush may become overgrown. You can cut back the branch tips from summer before blooming to give the butterfly bush a more compact shape, but a few flowers may be missing in the process. Cut back the tip of every branch to of the bud, using shears. A branch can cut back farther if it overgrown, but light trimming to form the latest flush of growth is all that’s necessary.

Deadheading Spent Flowers

The bushes are still bloom through the summer, but you can increase flowering by deadheading after every flush of flowers while enhancing the look of the butterfly bush. Cut off the flower clusters following the blossoms wilt to prevent seed formation; this forces the plant. The flowering for the remainder of summer is sparse and sporadic Though not necessary, if you don’t deadhead.

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The Way to Grow Nashi

Nashis (Pyrus pyrifolia), also referred to as Asian Rings are part of the Rosaceae family. It’s also known as a prapple, Since this fruit is sweet like a pear and crisp like an apple. Native to China and Japan, nashi pear trees are well suited to U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9. These growers, that have showy white blossoms in spring and can grow up to 30 feet tall, generally come on grafted rootstock.

Perform a test to ascertain the dirt pH. Nashis thrive in a soil with a pH of 6.0 to 6.5. Amend the soil according to the test results. Incorporate lime to raise the pH, or add sulfur to lower it. Examine before planting, since it takes the amendments a long time to get absorbed into the ground and also to trigger a response.

Cultivate the soil in a sunny to partial region of the backyard, about one week before planting the tree, after the last spring frost. Remove rocks, grass and weeds, and pulverize any clumps. Add a layer of compost to the soil and work it in with a shovel.

Cut on damaged or broken roots from the tree and then discard them. Fill a bowl with water and then soak the nashi’s root system in it, to keep the roots from drying as you prepare the planting site. Scrub the roots.

Dig a hole that is wide enough to comfortably fit the origins of this tree and deep. Put the tree in the hole and backfill it. Tamp the ground with your toes. Soak the soil. Finish backfilling and tamp the ground surface. Plant the tree so the graft union is all about 2 inches above ground level. Avoid having a depression in the dirt around this tree’s bottom in winter months, accumulated water can freeze and damage the tree.

Feed the shrub that is nashi a mulch after planting. Watch the tree’s growth every year. Fertilize it each calendar year if the tree does not grow at least 8 inches.

Put a garden hose on the ground above the tree’s root system. Allow the hose to trickle water so it can be absorbed by that the soil. Water the tree deeply so you reach its root system. Adjust your watering frequency after rainfall and during warm weather.

Pound a 10-foot long stake 2 feet deep away from the trunk of the nashi, 4 inches into the floor. Secure the tree to the stake with tree sticks.

Distribute a layer of bark mulch over the ground around the shrub to suppress weeds, promote soil moisture retention and to add nutrients to the ground. Keep the mulch 4 inches away from the back and replenish it, as required, to maintain a consistent two – to 4-inch layer.

Prune weak branches and cut branches above the buds. Train the tree into a central leader. Lightly prune the tree every winter also to stimulate growth and to maintain its shape.

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Carrot Irrigation

Carrots are root vegetables that are easy to develop in a home garden. They do well when planted early in the spring while the ground is cool, especially when put in well-drained soil in a sunny spot. Irrigating your planting bed can offer carrot plants together with the continuous water supply they require, helping to ensure a crop.


Seeds could be sown directly in the soil in springtime or started indoors to create seedlings for after transplantation outside. As stated by the Iowa State University Extension, carrots generally do best when they receive about 1 inch of water per week. Small woody roots with taste that is poor may result, Should they receive water. In contrast, hairy roots that tend to crack if heavy watering follows a dry spell may be produced by too much water.

Using a Sprinkler

An automatic sprinkler can give an efficient method. Position the sprinkler so that water reaches all areas of the carrot bed. Water once per week during morning so surface water will dry helping prevent diseases. Choose a sprinkler and a mist spray with automated shut-off and a water meter, once 1 inch is attained, ending the watering session. Check the bed after watering to guarantee water has penetrated a few inches.

Soaker Hoses

A soaker hose can offer an way to irrigating a bed of carrots. Decide on a hose that is less than 100 feet in length for successful watering. Place it keeping it level and spacing it about two inches from the crops. Place so the whole soaker hose seeps water without spraying. Use a water meter at your faucet if 1 inch of water has been discharged, to ascertain, or assess the soil after watering to ensure it is thoroughly moistened.

Drip Irrigation

A trickle irrigation system is an irrigation method for carrots. A plastic pipe carries water with emitters spaced across the pipe, through the bed. water flows from the emitters at a continuous drip and assess that water reaches all of the plants, adjust the water pressure. Place emitters near the soil line foliage remains dry, minimizing water waste and preventing plant diseases that are specific. Use a meter at the faucet to assess the total amount of water circulated, or check the soil around the plants to make sure that soil is well-moistened after irrigating.

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6 Summer Edibles Which Really Can Take the Heat

Whether you live in the tropics or are experiencing a heat wave on your climate, maintaining summer vegetable gardens can be challenging if you’ve selected plants that favor mild temperatures. These veggies and herbs, however, flourish in hot temperatures and develop so fast that you’ll barely have the ability to maintain. Here’s the way to grow them, and even a couple of approaches to incorporate them into your foods.

There’s still time in July to find these moving on your own home garden with healthy transplant in the garden center. Or if your current plants are struggling from a heat wave, consider one of them for your next summer harvest.


(Solanum melongena)

Eggplant is one of the very heat-tolerant vegetables around; it should not even be planted outside until the temperature reaches 70 degrees. Once they have been treated to plenty of warmth and water, however, stand back and observe up them, with enormous leaves and glossy fruits ranging from small egg-shaped ones to narrow Japanese types and big marbled lavender sorts. ‘Black Beauty’ is the old favourite, but keep your eyes peeled to the violet and white ‘Blue Tooth’ or the neon-pink number that’s appropriately called ‘Neon’.

Where it can grow: Annual in all climates
Water and dirt requirements: Well-drained dirt and continuous moisture
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 2 to 3 feet tall
Planting tips: Space eggplant transplants 2 to 3 feet apart, providing stakes to support fruits. Feed with a balanced fertilizer in accordance with label instructions prior to planting and continue to gently fertilize through the growing season. Harvest ripe eggplants until the glossy skin dulls into a matte finish.

See the way to grow eggplant

(Abelmoschus esculentus)

It might be a shame to be a Southerner who hates okra, because there are few vegetables easier to grow than this yummy hibiscus relative. If you are not fond of classic Southern fried okra or stewed okra and tomatoes, try eating the seed pods fresh, dried or sautéed. Even though they can be slimy if cooked with no high warmth or an acidic element like lemon juice or tomato sauce, okra is yummy enough to be considered something of a southern caviar.

Where it will grow: Annual in all climates
Water and dirt requirements: Tolerant of drought but requires regular watering to get established
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 6 ft tall
Planting tips: Space okra plants 3 to 4 feet apart, as they eventually become rather large. Remove the pods once they reach finger span, since nearly older pods become stringy and tough. Okra plants will stop producing if the pods are left to mature, so keep harvesting each two or three days before the close of the year and find some excellent recipes to put them to use.

See the way to grow okra

(Capsicum annum)

Isn’t it fitting that peppers favor the warmth? In fact, the spicier and more compact ones seem to do much better in summer compared to bigger bell peppers, making enough spiciness on one plant to set the world on fire. That may be an exaggeration, however, a well-grown pepper plant can produce a good deal of flavor. Habanero peppers and a couple of others are best left to your daredevils, but Thai chilies and cayenne peppers can add color to dishes without placing you to the emergency area.

Where it will grow: Annual in all climates
Water and dirt requirements: Regular water, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 1 to 4 ft tall
Planting tips: Plant peppers 1 to 2 feet apart in well-drained soil. Water deeply following simmer and planting after the plants have become established. Harvest bell peppers at any time or abandon them on the plant to sweeten till they turn reddish. Pick hot peppers and pruning shears after they have ripened into a deep orange or red.

See how to grow peppers

(Cymbopogon citratus)

Lemongrass leaf foundations are crucial to a lot of Asian Asian dishes, and the leaves can be knotted up and steeped for tea — or added to soups and eliminated in a similar fashion to bay leaves. Cats also seem to like it and can be found flossing their little feline teeth sometimes, hopefully freshening their breath in the procedure.

Apart from these nifty uses, develop lemongrass because it’s beautiful. Few ornamental grasses have this kind of architectural presence in the backyard, and it lives through winter as a perennial in warmer climates.

Where it will grow: Annual in all climates; hardy to 25 degrees Fahrenheit (USDA climate zones 9 to 11; find your zone)
Water and dirt requirements: Drought tolerant but enjoys additional water
Light requirement: Partial to full sun
Mature size: 3 to 5 ft tall
Planting tips: Lemongrass is a pretty simple plant to grow and will thrive in sandy soil. Plant divisions or transplants in well-drained soil having a stake for support. Harvest through the year sporting gloves, as the leaves can be quite sharp.

Sweet Potato
(Ipomoea batatas)

Sweet potato has a couple of tricks up its sleeve, both as an edible and as an ornamental. You may have had them baked with butter and marshmallows or used them to make sweet potato fries, but you have not lived until you’ve had sweet potatoes in stews or curries. You may also have used one of those ornamental forms such as the chartreuse ‘Marguerite’ on your garden or container plantings, however grow that when you can develop the edible type as an ornamental rather? These are only a couple of ways to think outside the box using this wonderful morning glory comparative.

Where it can grow: Annual in all climates
Water and dirt requirements: Tolerant of drought but requires regular watering to get established
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 1 foot tall
Planting tips: Plant sweet potato ‘slips’ (small roots) in mounds of rich soil up to 3 feet apart, allowing only the stalks and leaves show over the ground. Harvest sweet potatoes at any time or wait till the very best growth becomes yellowed at the conclusion of the year for the biggest roots. Rotate sweet potatoes with different crops annually so that diseases and pests don’t congregate and eventually become a issue.

(Ocimum basilicum)

Basil has found its way into just about every cuisine in hot climates around the world, but most are acquainted with one specifically that is a crucial ingredient in pesto, Steak and spaghetti sauce. Sweet basil is the common type used in the majority of European cooking, but be sure to give some of the ornamental, and of course yummy, varieties a try. Purple basil has attractive deep purple leaves; spicy globe basil has tiny leaves and a tight form like boxwood. Thai basil, holy basil and African blue basil lend their powerful flavors to a lot of dishes round the world.

Where it will grow: Annual in all climates
Water and dirt requirements: Routine humidity, well-drained soil
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 1 foot to 21/2 feet tall
Planting tips: Basil grows extremely rapidly from seed and should be pruned or harvested regularly to get a bushy habit. It doesn’t need too much fertilizer (double should be sufficient) if planted in rich soil, however yellowed and weak plants may need a little more. More about growing nitrate

More: How To Grow Your Own Sweet Summer Compounds

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California Gardener's March Checklist

March will not be the same around my backyard this season. After somewhere between 10 and 20 decades, our Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’ went out in blaze of glory that was blue. Every spring you could count on a few weeks of a bulk of the smartest, deepest blue, as big as two or even three SUVs. Native bees and birds came out of nowhere to feast on it. Ceanothus grow fast and don’t live long — mine was a centenarian in ceanothus years. I think of it as one of these gardening trade-offs: rapid and beautiful versus steady and slow.

March is a superb time to plant and admire ceanothus or other California natives — or just about anything else, for that matter. Cool spring weather receives off plants to a gentle beginning. With warm weather not far off, you can start planting for summer — even adding tomatoes in climates that heat up early. After a recent visit to Hawaii, I am currently dreaming of summer and thinking about island inspirations to make a vibrant, relaxing outdoor space, as you’ll see below.

A native flower factory. I am expecting big things from my replacement Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’. Of the numerous California native species and cultivated varieties of ceanothus (commonly called California lilac), ‘Ray Hartman’ is one of the fastest to reach decent size — a shrub more than 10 ft tall or perhaps trained into a small tree. Flowers, as blue as could be, pay the plant each spring. Use ‘Ray Hartman’ in a dry section of your backyard, as an imposing tall shrub, or make a compact privacy screen with several of them (spaced 6 to 8 ft apart).

Botanical name: Ceanothus ‘Ray Hartman’
USDA zones: 9 to 11
Water requirement: Lighting; no more irrigation necessary for older plants
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature size: 10 to 20 feet tall and 15 to 20 feet wide
Growing tips: Make sure the soil is well drained. Water new plants regularly for the first growing season, then taper off; older plants usally require no additional irrigation. Train it to a little tree by pruning the lower branches off the main trunk — beginning with a youthful nursery plant. Do not expect a very long life.

Everything looks better. Ahead of the world-class hotels and golf classes, much of the west coast of the Big Island of Hawaii consisted of moonscape lava areas and no surface water you think that your backyard has bad land! Imported topsoil, an abundant underground water supply and tropical plants from all over the globe have generated lush tropical gardens and amazing displays of flowers and foliage — all the more dramatic when put off by the black and dark brown backdrop of the remaining lava fields and the stonework used in the landscaping.

Lots of the same crops are easy to grow in California, though they always appear to seem more vibrant about the islands. These include such basic crops as oleander, plumbago and bird-of-paradise. Plumeria, the favorite lei flower revealed here, could be grown in the mainland — in case you’re an experimentally minded, painstaking gardener (not me).

Bougainvillea and hibiscus, revealed farther below, are best bets for this Hawaii atmosphere on your summer months. Remember as you choose pots, walls and backgrounds for them how great they look with shameful.

A deck with a view. You don’t require a see-all-the-way-to-Japan vista to get an opinion deck to generate sense on your backyard. This remarkably simple deck, with room for a few chairs and a little dining table, is about a beach in Hawaii, but it would work nearly anywhere like a retreat or getaway in a backyard corner with or without a view. It’s just a square, two-level platform built of 2-by-6s and 2-by-8s.

Secret Gardens

Hawaii in a pot. About the Big Island, you see bougainvillea, orginally from South America, everywhere — climbing by trees, like a hedge or ground cover, as a scraggly survivor fluttering purple flashes in a lava field. In California bougainvillea is easy to grow, generally as a vine, but it is sensitive to hard frosts. A great spot is in a container, where you can provide lots of sun and winter refuge (under an eave might be enough).

Plant bougainvillea in a kettle at the moment and you may have a gaudy display by midsummer. It’s ideal to select one of the compact kinds for example, as ‘Singapore Pink’, ‘Temple Fire’ or ‘Purple Queen’. When planting, take special care to not split the root ball crops are sensitive about it.

Botanical name: Bougainvillea, many varieties
USDA zones: 9 to 11
Water requirement: Moderate
Light requirement: Total sun
Mature dimensions: Vining kinds can reach 30 feet; streamlined kinds, 2 to 6 ft tall
Growing tips: Vines need help to climb; tie branches to a trellis or wall. Prune in spring after the frost. Keep plants peeled by cutting back stringy stems during growing season. For best bloom, keep container soil on the other side.

Another Hawaiian icon in a pot. Originally from tropical Asia, hibiscus is irresistible in Hawaii. In California’s milder climates, it makes a fine medium-size evergreen shrub. It’s also a perfect summer container plant. Start today with nursery plants in marijuana or already flowering and you should have blooms from spring through autumn.
Botanical name: Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
USDA zones: 10 to 11
Water requirement: Moderate or more; don’t let the soil dry out
Light condition: Total sun
Mature size: 8 to 15 feet tall and 6 to 8 ft wide in California gardens
Growing tips: Good options for baskets include ‘Erin Rachel’ along with members of this Breeze series or Luau series, generally reaching 2-3 feet.

Quick privacy screen? Back in California my daughter-in-law asked me to get ideas to get a fast privacy screen for her front yard and answered her own question. She enjoys redwoods. Yes, they are fast, easy to develop, evocative (they smell like the forest) and story making (tell children that redwoods are the world’s tallest trees).

She said, “We don’t plan to reside here long. What happens when the trees get full size?” That is really a matter for The Ethicist in the New York Times Sunday magazine. But I say, proceed with redwoods if suited for your region. For a screen, plant the trees 8 feet apart. Make certain they will not impinge on the neighbors’ perspectives, steal moisture from their lawns or interfere with their landscapes.

You’ll need an irrigation system to keep the soil moist year-round. Expect 3 to 5 feet of growth each year in the beginning, then a slower rate. The trees displayed here, approximately 15 years old, are approximately 35 feet tall. Underneath them a row of English laurel provides additional screening.

Botanical name: Sequoia sempervirens
USDA zones: 8 to 9
Water requirement: Moderate or more
Light requirement: Full sun (light shade is OK)
Mature size: 70 feet tall or more and up to 30 feet wide
Growing tips: Start with 15-gallon or bigger nursery plants if you’re in a huge hurry. Dig a massive planting hole, at least 6 inches wider and deeper than the root ball, and include lots of soil amendments.

Missouri Botanical Garden

If you’re able to grow just 1 herb. Common blossom, also called garden sage, is easy to grow, continues for several years and can supply you with the new leaves you’ll need for chicken, poultry, veal and pasta dishes. Squeeze a blossom plant to a flower border or a vegetable garden, or try one or two little plants in a pot. It’s possible to grow it as an annual, like basil, or allow it to continue through winter for several decades. Cutting new leaves as necessary is the best approach to keep the plant bushy and compact.

Botanical name: Salvia officinalis
USDA zones: 5 to 8
Water requirement: Light
Light condition: Total sun, or partial shade in warm climates
Mature size: 1 foot to 3 feet tall and 12 to 18 inches wide
Growing tips: Control dimensions and enourage bushiness with regular pinching back of hints during the growing season. Do not try to cut the plant back to the ground; it might not return.

Created for California. Today you can choose from countless sage relatives, including heaps of native Salvias and plenty of fresh varieties, annuals and perennials, in yellow, white, red, deepest blue and purple. My favorite, Mexican bush sage, was around a very long time — you see it frequently in California mission gardens. It’s easy to grow, needs little water or care, and seems to bloom every day of the year (really, more like from Presidents Day to Thanksgiving).Grow Mexican blossom to get a blast of purple in boundaries, in a row as a loose type of low hedge, within an herb garden, at the edge of a vegetable garden or even in additional casual, dryish places. It’s kind of sprawly rather than a plant for proper situations.

Botanical name: Salvia leucantha
USDA zones: 7 to 9
Water requirement: Lighting
Light requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 3 to 4 feet tall and 3 to 6 ft wide
Growing tips: To control dimensions and shape, cut back stalks nearly to the ground in spring.

What Else to Do in March on Your California Garden

This is a Excellent time to get out in the backyard. There is much to plant — from a grand finale of cool-season blossoms and vegetables (such as escarole, revealed) to an early show from summertime heat lovers.

Prepare to plant. Prepare flower and vegetable beds by incorporating at least 2 or 3 inches of organic matter, together with a complete fertilizer, and dig all of it into a thickness of 10 inches or so. For big shrubs and trees, take the time to dig out a substantial planting hole — at least several inches wider and thicker than the plant’s root ball. Do advance work to make sure that the soil is moist enough. For hard, dryish soil that is tough to work, start by digging as deep as you can and fill the hole with water, let it soak in and then refill it repeat this over a few days till you can push your spade to the desired thickness.

Last chance for cool-season performers. In cooler coastal climates, there’s still time to place in winter-spring performers: annual flowers such as pansies, Iceland poppies, stock and violas; and vegetables such as lettuce (quick-maturing varieties), spinach and other cool-season crops.

End bare-root planting. Early in the month, you can still plant bare-root roses, fruit trees, berries and such.

Start planting warm-weather flowers as well as veggies. In inland climates where the weather warms up early, particularly in Southern California, plant marigolds, petunias, lobelia and other warm-weather annuals. Additionally place out or sow seeds of beans, squash and other summer crops; you can plant tomatoes in the event the danger of frost has passed. Closer to the shore or the San Francisco Bay, wait till warmer weather in April for most heat lovers.

Start drought-resistant perennials. While the weather remains relatively cool, it is a good time to place out penstemon, artemisia, catmint (nepeta), sage, coreopsis and other perennials that require little water; they could set themselves before warm weather.

Feeding time. Scatter, sprinkle or spray on all-purpose food for shrubs, trees and ground covers — ideally before the major surge of spring growth. Feed roses following pruning. Feed camellias after bloom.

Watch for insects. Aphids are fond of succulent new growth. Start with methods such as washing them off with a blast of water from the hose. As a next step, proceed on to organically sprays.

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Great Design Plant: Saucer Magnolia

A specimen tree that’s distinctive and appealing, and provides yearlong interest, makes sense in a garden; it’s helpful, hardworking and will perform year after season. Saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) performs especially in one season — perhaps even in only one month — than during the remainder of the calendar year, by far. But quantify most trees’ yearlong display against saucer magnolia’s short-lived early spring spectacle, and I would say this one, famously created by agronomist Étienne Soulange-Bodin, wins over a year of reliable foliage.

While its simplistic and delicate appearance may imply a finicky and high-maintenance mood, many find these trees to be surprisingly unfussy and simple to develop with proper attention and care.

The New York Botanical Garden

Botanical name: Magnolia x soulangeana
Common names: Saucer magnolia, Japanese magnolia, tulip magnolia
USDA zones: 4 to 9 (find your zone)
Water requirement: Moderate (keep the soil evenly moist)
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade (prefers morning sun)
Mature size: 25 to 30 feet tall; similar spread
Benefits and tolerances: Blooms attract bees, birds and butterflies; simple magnolia to grow; tolerates clay soil
Seasonal attention: Historical, prolific blossoms on branches
When to plant: Plant it in spring during active growth. (It may also be planted in autumn before the frost.)

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

The New York Botanical Garden

Distinguishing attributes. Saucer magnolia heralds the spring among the year’s earliest bloomers. Flowers appear earlier in warmer climates, and later where winter persists. Five to 10-inch waxy blossoms blur bare branches before the tree leafs out, highlighting its dispersing, architectural form — one of the tree’s most elegant qualities.

Search for fuzzy 1-inch buds as signs of flowers to come. White, fragrant blossoms blush pink and purple as they emerge and open for their namesake saucer shape. Most cultivars have been developed in a vast variety of colours and sizes. When the blossoms fall, waxy petals temporarily transform the floor into a soft pink blanket.

The tree leafs out after blooming, making glossy, bright 4- to 6-inch ovate leaves. By late spring the spectacle of saucer magnolia has passed, but it doesn’t imply its worth is lost. Foliage persists nicely through summer, turning yellow and brown in fall before dropping.

While we’re all wild about its flowers, the form of saucer magnolia itself creates a gorgeous garden focal point. Appreciate its dispersing, low branching structure and smooth gray bark till its flowers return.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

The best way to utilize it. Saucer magnolia is your ultimate early-spring accent tree, but remember it’s a yearlong garden feature. Plant it in a secure area where you are able to enjoy its blossoms in foliage, spring through summer and architectural branching structure.

Cluster numerous trees, but don’t forget the most size of this tree and its origins, and consider its mature size when you are planting it. Saucer magnolia reaches towering heights for a patio tree but can also be low branching.

Here, mature magnolias lineup Commonwealth Avenue in Boston.


Bring a few flowering magnolia branchlets inside.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Planting notes. There’s a motive saucer magnolia can be used so broadly — it’s one of the most tolerant and easy-to-grow magnolias. But that in no way means it’s a low-maintenance or no-maintenance tree. Magnolia trees are investments, of both time and money.

Saucer magnolias are not tough to develop, but they require the time to establish. Be sure to take extra care and listen to small details when they’re young.

Plant in spring once the tree is actively growing. Fall will also do the job, but plant four to six weeks until the ground freezes. Select a site which will protect the tree from harsh winter winds or heat that might cause it to bloom too early in spring. Also be sure it has enough space to grow (look out and upward). Magnolias don’t like to be transplanted, which means you want to acquire the spot right the first time. Dig a hole twice the diameter of the root ball, but do not dig deeper than the root ball. Magnolias have fleshy surface origins, so you don’t wish to pay those overly much.Be sure the root ball is well watered to earn root damage less probable. (The roots will soon be supple and less brittle.) Split the surrounding soil so that it doesn’t serve as an origin barrier.Place the main ball in the floor, maintaing an even space round it.Backfill with rich, organic material; water in dirt and well. Maintain moist soil. Mulch around to protect the soil from frost.Saucer magnolia grows moderately to slowly, so don’t expect to see flowers the first year. Be patient and nurturing. In midsummer, after it finishes flowering, gently clear out broken and crossing branches. There aren’t any significant pests associated with this particular tree.

More: How to Help Your Trees Weather a Storm

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