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Gardening

Now is the time to plant shrubs and trees

Posted: October 23, 2012 - 12:05pm
Pansies come in a rainbow of colors and will highlight the landscape during fall, winter and spring. Plant in locations that drain well and work organic matter into the soil.  SARA CALDWELL/FILE
SARA CALDWELL/FILE
Pansies come in a rainbow of colors and will highlight the landscape during fall, winter and spring. Plant in locations that drain well and work organic matter into the soil.

Fall is the best time for planting shrubs and trees. Root growth and plant establishment continue during winter, giving them a stronger root system by the time spring arrives.

Plant shrubs and trees in areas with adequate drainage, and never plant them deeper than the height of the plant’s root ball. Don’t forget the importance of soil testing. Amend your soil according to the soil test recommendations.

• Spray shrubbery with a systemic insecticide to control tea scale. Tea scale insects appear as a slightly fuzzy white and brown coating on the underside of the plant leaves. Control is almost always necessary because scales will not eventually go away or disappear without assistance. The least toxic and most effective insecticides used to control scale are oil sprays. The insects are suffocated rather than killed by a toxic material.

• Fruit trees have reduced fruit production when suffering under poor soil conditions, and/or insect and fungal attacks. Amending the soil with lime helps control pests and diseases.

• If you want a great vegetable garden next year, have the soil tested and add lime to your soil if necessary. Destroy the old crop as soon as harvest is completed to reduce future disease, insect and weed problems. Spray fruit, vegetables, ornamental and shade trees, and shrubs with thuricide to control caterpillars. Follow thuricide application directions. It is easy to mix and apply. Thuricide may be used in greenhouses, and it may be sprayed on lawns for webworms.

Treated crops may be picked, washed and consumed the day after any variety is applied. People and animals can return to the treated area immediately after the spray has dried.

• For fall color in your gardens, plant pansies. Pansies come in a rainbow of colors, and they also provide a colorful floral display during the fall, winter and spring months. Pansies grow better if you first prepare the soil. Choose planting locations that drain well. Work organic matter, such as garden compost, rotted leaves, soil conditioner or peat moss into the soil. Perform a soil test to determine how much fertilizer and limestone to add. Don’t plant pansies so deep that the soil covers the stem.

After planting, mulch with pine, wheat straw or pine bark. Water thoroughly. For the first three weeks after planting, check the flower bed for watering until the plants have established a root system and begin growing. Pansies also perform well when planted in containers placed on decks or patios.

Remember, any gardening information or assistance needed may be obtained through Clemson University at www.hgic.clemson.edu or by calling (888) 656-9988 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

VICTORIA HALL, OF NORTH AUGUSTA, HAS BEEN A MASTER GARDENER SINCE 2008.

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