Garden Center

Spring Has Sprung!

If you haven't yet, replenish your mulch and garden beds with fresh mulch and soil.  Re-mulching and adding fresh soil will not only add an extra layer of insulation for your plants, but also the new material will have better water retention and will provide fresh organic matter to aid in the vitality of your plants.

For those of your with Crape Myrtles, it's recommended that you do your pruning in late January and early February.  When it's leafless you can clearly see the branches you wish to cut, plus by pruning off old wood, you'll make way for new blooms as Crape Myrtles only bloom on new growth.

Gorgeous flower beds and full garden crops are not just for the Spring months.  We love Pansies around here, because despite their name, these hearty little beauties will stay in bloom all through the Winter until you're ready for your Spring planting.  They'll even survive the typical snowfall we get here in Northern Virginia!  So Pansies are a great option for color to take you through till Spring.  When the temps dip down below freezing, they may start to look a little flat and sad, but once things warm up over the 40s, they should perk right back up.  Make sure to keep up with regular watering, but you won't need to water as much as you would in the Spring.  So keep an eye on the temperatures and check the soil to see if it feels dry and then give those Pansies a drink!  

 General Plant Care & Watering Instructions

To properly water a tree or shrub, place a hose on trickle at the base of the plant.  Follow the chart below for a suggested length.  Water more frequently in the spring and summer.  Plants in direct sun and plants that have been installed in the last six months should be watered more often.

PLANT SIZEMINUTES
1-2 feet2
2-3 feet3
3-5 feet2
6-8 feet6
1-1.5 inch's caliper15
1.5 + inch's caliper20

For a potted plant, use good quality potting soil and leave a few inches at the top of the pot to hold water.  The pot also needs to have good drainage, so it is best to have an inch to three inches of rocks in the bottom of the pot.  Water daily, and in the summer heat, an additional watering may be required.  Always water thoroughly, until water flows from the drainage holes in the bottom.

 

Nalls' Helpful Hints About Annuals

All annuals will generally flower from spring until the first frost in the fall. If you choose to use your annuals in a container, you will need to water at least once daily, but twice in heat spells. Annuals in the ground will need water too but not as desperately as in pots. All plants, drought tolerant or not will need plenty of water when first planted and getting established.

Marigolds
Not fussy about soil conditions and will bloom continuously through the season. They require full sun and won't perform well with less than 6 hours daily. They are a sturdy plant and will need deadheading to avoid a slowdown in blooming. There are several different color combinations and bloom varieties. Marigolds have a musky scent that is unappealing to pests. Many people plant Marigolds with veggie plants to deter pests.
Petunias
Sun loving, long lasting, colorful, pest tolerant and easy to grow. Petunias require at least 6 hours of sun minimum and need moist but well drained soil. Deadhead these plants as needed, some varieties deadhead themselves. Wave petunias are known for their "trailing" effect, making them a wonderful addition for a hanging basket.
Zinnias
Sun and heat lovers. Their bright colors attract butterflies. They will need regular deadheading to perform well. One of the most reliable annuals for our Mid Atlantic climate.
Impatiens
Shade lover! Use them for a burst of color in a pesky shaded area of your yard. Medium shade is best for impatiens. They like moist, well drained soil and must adequately watered to stay looking nice. Impatiens like a 1/2 day of sun or less.
Begonias
Begonias provide long lasting bright color and are fairly drought tolerant. They like full sun but will perform well in light to medium shade as well. They are an excellent choice for border planting. The best plant for the novice gardener.
New Guinea Impatiens
New Guinea Impatiens will tolerate more sun than a traditional impatient but it still doesn't want a ton of sun. They perform best when shaded from the hottest sun of the day. They are great container plants and have the same needs as traditional impatiens.
Coleus
Coleus prefers a moist loamy soil will good drainage. With our clay soil in Virginia, consider a raised bed for coleus or incorporate soil conditioner into the soil. They can tolerate full sun but will appreciate light to medium dappled shade. Performs very well in our region, often growing to 36" tall!
Portulaca
Portulaca thrives in heat! They look great in a container, or planted in crevices of rock walls or on the edges of gravel paths. Portulaca is a trailing annual but will sometimes reseed itself in containers and come back the next year. In fact I have a pot of it that has been reseeding for 20+ years! This is one of the flowers we use in our rock wall along Beulah, and that area gets beaten with sun and heat from the road, the Portulaca does very well there.
Vinca
Vinca gives a similar color and shape to impatiens but loves the sun and is very drought tolerant. Vinca is commonly used for borders, edging, and bedding plants.
Scaevola
Heat and drought tolerant, no need to deadhead, trailing habit, loves full sun. Great in hanging baskets, window boxes, landscapes, and combos. A great low maintenance choice.

 

Deer Resistant Plants

Generally deer do not like plants that are poisonous, fuzzy, smelly, or have sharp foliage or thorns.  Here are two lists; one is deer resistant, the other is deer attracting.  Unfortunately, deer are very fickle, and you may experience different results.

AchilleaForsythia
AgastacheHeuchera
AjugaHolly
ArtemisiaHydrangea
AsterIberis
AstilbeIvy
BarberryLamium
Birch, RiverLeucothe
Blue SpruceLilac
BoxwoodMagnolia
Cherry, FloweringMums
ClematisOrn. Grasses
CoreopsisPieris Japonica
CotoneasterPin Oak
DianthusPine, Mugho & White
DicentraPyracantha
DigitalisRedbud
DogwoodRudbeckia
Dwarf Alberta SpruceSedum
EchinaceaSpirea
FernsYucca

 

Hummingbird Plants

Bee BalmHoneysuckle
Black & Blue SalviaLantana
Black-Eyed SusanLily
Butterfly BushPenstemon
CannaPetunia
Cardinal FlowerPhlox
ColumbineRed Hot Poker
Dame's RocketSage
DaylilySalvia
DianthusTiarella
EchinaceaTrumpet Vine
FuchsiaVerbena
HeucheraVeronica

 

Butterfly Plants

AgastacheHollyhock
AjugaHoneysuckle
AlyssumHosta
AsclepiasIris
AsterLamb's Ear
AstilbeLavender
Black-Eyed SusanLily
Bleeding HeartLobelia
Butterfly BushMums
CandytuftPhlox
CannaSalvia
DianthusScabiosa
DillSedum
EchinaceaTrumpet Vine
FennelVerbena
FoxgloveVeronica
Hibiscus, PerennialViola
Hibiscus, TropicalYarrow

 

Shade Plants

Afternoon sun is much stronger than morning sun.  If the area receives morning sun, consider it partial shade.  If it receives six hours of sun, consider it a sunny site.

 

Light Shade

AstilbeHeuchera
AucubaHollyhock
AzaleaHydrangea
BegoniaImpatiens
BoxwoodLady's Mantle
BrowalliaMazus
ColumbineRhododendron
Forget-Me-NotTorenia
FuchsiaVirginia Bluebells
Gallium

 

Deeper Shade

Bishop's HatLamium
Bleeding HeartSaxifrage
BugleweedSiverian
FernsSolomon's Seal
FoxgloveViolet
Hosta