Brehob Nurseries LLC - Blog
Answers to your most pressing questions!
 
Proper Way to Mulch Around Trees
 

When mulching around trees, especially young trees, leave the root flare of the tree free of mulch. Never pile mulch up around the trunk of the tree. This can cause multiple issues including excess moisture on the tree trunk, inviting disease and insects. It can also cause feeder roots to circle upwards and eventually girdle the tree. For proper mulching, find the root flare of the tree & spread mulch outward from the root flare to the drip line. 2 to 3 inches of mulch is plenty, and doesn’t have to be re-applied every year. To spruce it up the following year, just pull out any weeds and scratch at the mulch that is there to fluff it up. Proper mulching can protect tree roots from heat and moisture-loss, as well as provide a barrier around the tree to keep mowers & weed trimmers away. Remember, no mulch volcanoes!


Why can’t I send my customer into the nursery?

Your customer is welcome in the nursery as long as you accompany them. We are a wholesale, fast paced establishment that is not set up for the retail shopper. Our salesmen are trained and prepared to assist the professional landscaper who knows what they need and would like to be on the job as quickly as possible. There are large trucks and trailers in the nursery at all times which makes “browsing” a liability.

All of our plants have our wholesale prices clearly visible. You must be aware that your customer would see the price that you’ll be paying for the product. You are always welcome to photograph our product to show your customer.

Do we close for the winter?

No, we are open all year. We close for a week from Christmas until New Year’s. The sales yards are not as fully stocked as usual and we don’t get fresh vendor stock until mid to late February, but we have many plants safe, ready and raring to go! Please check our catalog for our office hours as they change with the seasons. 


Pruning tips
 
Some landscape and horticultural professionals will advise that pruning can be done anytime you have a pair of pruners handy! This is true to a point, … if you understand and adhere to a few basic guidelines. Light pruning or removal of a few dead stems can be done anytime. This is only taking away what is necessary for the look of the plant. More extensive pruning should be performed during the season most beneficial to the plant variety. Waiting for winter dormancy is a common pruning practice, although some spring flowering trees and shrubs respond well to summer pruning to maintain shape and size. Pruning in the fall is discouraged. Decay fungi spores are in the air and ready to enter open wounds on trees and shrubs.

Some handy pruning guidelines are:
 
Early Spring (March-April)--Cut back ornamental grasses to 4 to 6 inches when new green growth becomes visible.  Prune dead, diseased stems from Knock-Out Roses. Shape, trim for size at this time. Cutting back by 1/3 to1/2 will not be detrimental.  Prune/shape semi-woody plants like Artemisia, Lavender, Heather, Hyssop, and some varieties of Roses. Remove dead or damage stems from broad leaved evergreens, like Rhododendrons, Azaleas, and Boxwoods. Remove damaged or overcrowded stems from summer blooming  shrubs like Aesculus, Allspice, Buddleia, Caryopteris, Clethra, Cotinus, Hydrangea, Kerria, Hibiscus syriacus, Philadelphus. Go ahead and trim them back to maintain size and shape. Blooms will develop on new growth.

Late Spring (May-June)--This is the right time to shape and hedge your evergreens. Thin out some of the inner branches to let in sunlight and promote thicker layers of foliage. Spring flowering plants such as Chaenomeles, Lilacs, Forsythia, should be trimmed back and shaped after the blooms have faded. Waiting too late in the summer could affect the next season of blooms. Several varieties of shrubs can be successfully rejuvenated by cutting all stems down to a few inches above ground.  Overgrown Lilacs, Cornus, Forsythia, Deutzia, Hydrangea, Hibiscus, Syriacus, Hypericum, Philadelphus, and Weigela will respond well to rejuvenation pruning.

Mid-Late Summer (July/August)--Regularly deadhead annuals and perennials during the summer bloom season. This practice of removing spent flowers will spur the plant into creating more and lengthening the bloom season into the fall.

After Frost (Nov)--Cut to the ground or remove all annuals. Cut all perennials to the ground to prevent diseases and insects from overwintering in the dead foliage. Clean &mulch the garden area.

Winter (Dec-Feb)—Remove dead, damaged, crossed, or hazardous limbs from trees. Remove sucker growth. Tree form is easier to see in winter months. Cold weather prevents insects & diseases from infecting the open wounds of trees.

Properly pruning plants helps to improve form, promote blooms and fruiting, reduces hazards to people and property, removes damaged or diseased areas, controls size, allows more sunlight into the structure, & can increase the value of the tree, shrub & property.

Following guidelines and pruning conscientiously can prevent undue damage.
 
Why dig trees so late in the year?
 
 
It's Time for Spring Bulbs!
 

As the air cools, the ground cools, just perfect for planting bulbs in anticipation of a stunning spring display! Consider planting among daylilies or our state flower – peonies, whose spring growth will hide dying bulb foliage. Letting tulips, daffodils, and other bulbs go dormant as the leaves die after blooming will ensure a full-size healthy bloom next year. 

To plant, a general rule is 6-8 inches deep for tulips and daffodils, only two inches for crocus. Cluster 3-5 bulbs per hole for a natural look, or excavate a larger area and place bulbs a couple of inches apart for a mass display. Each bulb should be placed resting on its flat base, with the pointed end upright. 

Bulbs are stocked for purchase by the individual bulb, or by the bag of 100. Daffodils are available as traditional yellow and two distinct mixes. Tulip can be purchased as pure red, pure yellow, or one of three colorful mixes. To add a unique accent to the garden, consider alliums – ‘Purple Sensation’ appears at the beginning of summer with globes of purple atop 3-foot stalks. 

Ask us about ordering any other color or shape of tulip or daffodil, hyacinths, grape hyacinths, crocus, snowdrops, windflowers, and more!


How do I care for my Ornamental Grasses?
  The best way to keep your ornamental grasses thick would be to cut them back yearly (usually in the fall or early spring)  and to divide them every year or so (also in the fall or early spring).  This will keep the middle of the grass from thinning or dying back......it also gives you more grasses to spread around the yard or give away to neighbors.

How do I control the color of my
Bigleaf Hydrangea?
 
Only the color of the macrophylla or mophead Hydrangeas can be controlled. Their color depends upon the acidity of the soil. The more acid the soil, the more blue they will be. If the soil is alkaline, the blooms will be pink. Should the soil be neutral, your blooms will be lavender.
 
Adding aluminum sulphate to the soil will lower the PH, acidifying the soil therefore turning the blooms blue. Adding lime will raise the PH and therefore sweeten the soil turning the blooms pink. Any soil additives must be incorporated into the soil well before the buds begin to form. Always follow the package directions when adding any amendments to your soil.
 
  What is the orange stuff on the inside
of our tree pots?

It is Microkote, a micronutrient we use to make for a fuller, denser,
less tangled root system.
Watch our YouTube video to learn more!


The Difference between Annuals 
& Perennials
Annuals are plants that complete their life cycle in one season only. They bloom, set their fruit or seed in the first year of planting. Among these are most herbs, vegetables and flowers that bloom all summer long. 
 
Perennials are soft wooded plants that go dormant in the winter and return in the spring larger and more robust than the year before. There are long
and short lived perennials. 
 
There are also biennials which are plants that take two seasons to complete their life cycle.   This group will bloom and set seed in their second year when the mother plant will then die. Plants included in this group are Hollyhocks, most Foxgloves, Forget-me-Nots, Sweet Williams (Dianthus barbatus), and Canterbury Bells (Campanula medium). If these biennials are
happy where they were growing, they will readily re-seed themselves and
you may have more plants growing than you need. 
 

Can I split my Perennials?

Yes! Most perennials can be split or divided as they get older. In fact, splitting some perennials is a necessity as the center of the plant will die as it ages. When this happens you must dig the entire plant up either in the early fall or spring, remove the dead center and replant the younger plants that were attached to the mother. 

Hosta don’t die out in the center, but their clumps can get quite large. You can divide the large clumps by cutting them apart and replanting those sections in different locations.

Daylilies may also be dug and divided to increase their numbers. Individual fans can be split from the clumps and replanted in a new area.

Always sterilize your cutting tools when splitting or dividing each individual plant to reduce the spread of any disease that may be harbored in that plant. Hosta are quite prone to the spread of disease from un-sterilized tools. Dipping your tools in a mild solution of bleach and water or wiping them with alcohol is all that is necessary.

Iris may also be divided. When splitting Iris, make sure you dip the cut end in a powdered form of fungicide before replanting.   A packaged fungicide or powdered sulphur is sufficient. 


 
What is a Rain Garden? 

A Rain Garden is a natural or man-made depression that, along with the proper plantings, is designed to capture and filter run-off water from structures and by-ways.  Storm water run-off mixes with garbage, oils, and chemicals and is considered a main source of pollution.  Rain Gardens help to soak up excess water and filter out toxins before it reaches waterways. 

Rain Gardens are becoming more widely used in both the residential and commercial setting. 
A beautifully designed Rain Garden has many benefits:
Reducing and filtering stormwater run-off helping to protect the environment and
our drinking water supply ~ Increases diminishing groundwater levels ~ Provides wildlife habitat Decreases need for lawn maintenance ~ Increases property values with creative, colorful landscaping ~ Helps reduce street flooding from storm drain overload 
 
 Rain Garden friendly plants include the following:

Red Maple, Sugar Maple, Serviceberry, Sweet Bay Magnolia, Black Gum,
River Birch, Redbud, White Fringetree, Swamp White Oak, Red Chokecherry,
Inkberry, Winterberry, American Witchhazel, Virginia Sweetspire, Spicebush,
Summersweet, Gray Dogwood, Red Osier Dogwood, Elderberry, Highbush Blueberry,
Arrowwood Viburnum, Black Haw Viburnum, Ferns esp. Maidenhair and Lady,
Wild Ginger, Swamp Milkweed, New England Aster, Bleeding Heart,
Coneflower, Joe Pye Weed, Rose Mallow, Blue Flag Iris, Cardinal Flower,
Bee Balm, Marsh Marigold, Tussock Sedge, Turtlehead, Penstemon, Swichgrass,
Blue-Eyed Grass, Goldenrod, Foamflower, Ironweed, Culver’s Root


What’s the best Hosta for Full Sun?

As far as I’m concerned, there is no Hosta well suited for full sun.  Most of the gold or gold variegated as well as white variegated types are more sun tolerant and need some sun to achieve their best color.  The best sun for Hostas would be morning sun.  Afternoon sun or full sun tends to be too hot for them and the leaves will scorch and curl no matter how much water is available to them. 

The best location for Hostas are the east and north side of a house, or in the shade of trees or under the eaves of the sunnier side of the house.

When placed under eaves or trees, more attention needs to be placed on watering the plants as the eaves of a house or a thick canopy of leaves usually stop rainwater from irrigating the plants. Tree roots also tend to rob the soil of its moisture and leave the Hostas too dry.

Why aren’t my Lilacs blooming?

 There are a few reasons why your Lilacs wouldn’t bloom. The best reason is that they were probably pruned at the wrong time. The next season’s blooming buds were removed by pruning in the fall or in early spring before they bloomed rather than later in spring after they bloomed. 

If your Lilacs were properly pruned, are they getting enough sun? Lilacs should be in full sun. 
Full sun is considered 8 hours a day.

If your Lilacs are young and you have fertilized them with a high nitrogen fertilizer, they may have put all their energy into lush, new growth rather than forming blooming buds. 

 
 

 

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