The Time to Plant: Garden Center Shopping Tips for Memorial Day Weekend [audio]

Emma, Nate and Rachel visit a local garden center and share their thoughts on shopping for plants and garden supplies just in time for Memorial Day weekend.
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What to bring home and how to choose – just two of the questions top of mind as gardeners race through their local garden center in late May, snagging plants and supplies left and right after enduring months of shoveling snow and a spring torrent of black flies. But finally it’s time to plant, and in the shopping frenzy many gardeners may throw caution to the wind. In this episode of Granite State Gardening, UNH Extension’s Emma Erler and Nate Bernitz are joined by their colleague Rachel Maccini to chat about how they strive to be smart garden center shoppers, and how you can do the same. Happy shopping and happy gardening!

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TRANSCRIPT

by Otter.ai

 

 

Emma E  00:00

For most of New Hampshire, we say that Memorial Day is the safe time to plant. Some people might like to push it a little bit and plant, let's say, mid May, some were in the North Country might want to wait until the early June. But for the majority of us, we can actually get a lot of these plants in the garden right now and start getting some garden produce going in our backyards.

 

Nate Bernitz  00:36

Greetings, Granite State gardeners, my name is Nate burnitz, public engagement program manager for UNH extension. I am hanging out with my pals, Emma and Rachel, we just returned from demurrers garden center, we had a nice little spring outing. And there were a lot of Granite State gardeners there with us. It was real busy, even though it was a weekday. There were a whole lot of people there early in the morning getting their shopping in ahead of Memorial Day weekend, you've probably been doing the same. Maybe we came home with a few purchases ourselves, like I said, joined by Mr. earler. landscape and greenhouse field specialist. And Rachel masini. pesticide Safety Program Manager. This is very exciting. So first of all, Memorial Day weekend, end of May in New Hampshire's zone five, maybe zone four, what are some of the things you both want to come home with this time of year from the garden center?

 

Emma E  01:37

Great question, Nate. I am a huge perennial tree and shrub fan. So I'm usually shopping that section. And I am still in the hunt. For a new small tree for the landscape near my home, I need something that's not going to get too big. So it's going to, you know, fit fairly close to the house, hopefully is going to have some benefits to to wildlife to pollinators. So I want something that has some flowers that will be used, maybe some fruits that are going to be used. And yeah, I still have some shopping ahead of me, but I I saw some great options. Today when I was at the garden center. I just didn't pull the trigger.

 

Nate Bernitz  02:22

Okay, give us your top three.

 

Emma E  02:24

Oh, yeah, great question. So, I love Redbud Eastern Redbud Cercis canadensis . It's native to North America. So this is a plant that you'd find in eastern North America, but not as far north as New Hampshire has really, really cute little pea like flowers. So the straight species has purple flowers, you can also find varieties that have white flowers, different colors of foliage, different height trees, different growth habits, depending on on which cultivar you're growing. It's a good plant for pollinators in the spring with those flowers. So definitely one of my faves don't have one in the landscape yet. There's also potential for adding another crabapple, the landscape here, it needs to be my criteria there needs to be small. So no more than 15 feet total finished height. I want it to have smaller fruits because the very small fruited ones are actually eaten by birds. crab apples, I think can techn cally go anywhere from you know, a half inch to about two inches, if it's over two inches, and it's called an apple. That's the distinguishing feature there between crabapples and apples is actually the size of the fruit. And I want to choose one that's, that's very disease resistant. So I still have a little bit more research ahead of me there to figure out exactly what I'm looking for. Although I think it gets a little bit bigger than what I ideally looking for, but I really enjoy the variety prairie fire. And then for a third plan, if I'm sticking with my same criteria here, I wouldn't mind trying to grow a serviceberry. So Emily, here, there's a there's a few different species of animals here. All of them are good for pollinators in early spring, they have really nice kind of delicate five petaled white flowers, and then they produce fruit that's edible, so people could eat them. They're not very tasty on their own straight off the tree. But they could be made into preserves, you could cook them up in all manner of ways, but probably even more important. Birds really, really love them. small mammals love them. So checking off a couple of boxes here. That is a plant that likes a richer soil though. So the only challenge in my landscape is that up near the house, it's soils a bit drier and sandier. So if I get one of those, it'll it'll probably have to go in a slightly different area. But yeah, lots to choose from obviously. But those are those are three that are at the top of my list right now.

 

Nate Bernitz  05:06

That's so lovely and kind of good to get into your headspace. See how you're thinking about it? Rachel, same question to you.

 

05:13

Well, mate, I'm in the market right now for roses. And I actually purchased one today, it was wonderful tea. But unfortunately, they are a little more challenging to keep alive. I've had many, many, many in my landscape, and something I'm doing wrong. So I'm going to be talking to him about that. And picking her brain about maybe it's the soil I'm too, you know, and put putting them in maybe the location, not quite sure. I also picked up some tomatoes, which I don't start myself at  home. So I thought this would be a nice stone jumpstart on getting those tomatoes in June, July. And also we bought begonias, because I just love them. And I'm going to put them in a hanging basket. So hopefully we can all enjoy them. So

 

Nate Bernitz  05:59

you brought up veggies, tomatoes, and you brought up some different trees, Rachel, you brought up shrubs, flower baskets, etc. So a lot of good examples, I guess, when talking about assessing plants, right, you're you're at the garden center, you're looking at all the tomatoes, you're looking at all the roses, you're looking at all the flowering baskets, what are you looking for specifically? When you're examining them, you're you're looking, you're walking all around them, you're maybe picking up the pot and Looking underneath, you're closely examining the leaves and the stem, but specifically, what are you looking for? And how are you making that decision on which plants actually take home with you?

 

Emma E  06:43

Well, that's gonna depend on the type of plant that you're bringing home. There are definitely different criteria for vegetables in my book for annual flowers, for perennials, trees, shrubs, what have you, I guess we could start with talking about vegetable starts, you know what, what I'm looking for when I'm selecting those to bring them home. And the first thing really is that I want to take home nice compact plants that have very short sections of STEM in between the leaves. That means that that plant was grown with plenty of light, it was well spaced in the greenhouse. And it's going to be better quality when I bring it home and put it in my own garden. If those internodes so the spaces on the stem between the leaves are very long and stretched from that from not getting enough light, there's really no fixing that. So what you'll often end up with is a plant that doesn't have a very strong stem that tends to be kind of floppy, might need more support might not be as productive. So that's that. First and foremost is is probably the most important thing I'm looking at.

 

Nate Bernitz  07:54

Oh, and Rachel, what pests are you looking for on something like a tomato or really any of those veggies in the greenhouse,

 

08:01

You might find a lot of aphids, and those are something you don't really want to bring home with you. But again, if these plants are going outside, it's going to be fine, depending on how many are on there. If these plants are going inside, then you might want to consider maybe picking a different plant or having them cleaned off before you bring them into your house. I'm also looking at whether they have whitefly which is another pass but again, it's going to depend on the plant you're looking at tomatoes do get whitefly if this plant is going to be in the house, and you don't want to bring those white flies into your home. But again, if you're putting it outside in the garden, just make sure it's not impacted by the whitefly feeding, because that will stress it and it may not do as well

 

Nate Bernitz  08:42

Would spider mites be another one you're  looking for,

 

08:45

um, possibly, you know, again, depending on the plant, again, you can do a tap test, I don't usually do it, I look at the leaves to see if there's any bronzing or discoloring in the leaves. I'll look for that webbing. But you can do a tap test in the greenhouse I've often done that. So you just take a piece of white paper and you tap the plant lightly and see what comes out and you'll see the spider mites crawling around, it's also good for thrips and thrips are another insect that get into a lot of those tight flowerheads or those tight leaves where the leaves are growing together.

 

Nate Bernitz  09:18

 I like the idea of you kind of walking around at the garden center covertly or with your piece of paper, sort of like huddling around plants, making sure nobody's looking too closely and just doing doing your tap test kind of looks like you're stealing or something but actually you're just doing horticultural nerd stuff with the plants so it's all cool. Emma what else are you looking for? Maybe examining the roots a little bit?

 

Emma E  09:42

Yeah, absolutely. So that's something I would be checking if I can on pretty much anything that I'm going to bring home. So with with veggies, certainly I'm checking the roots and what I'm looking for is to see whether the roots are healthy if there's any signs of decay. The reason that happens sometimes is poor watering practices typically over watering. And I think the majority of garden centers do a great job with this. But occasionally something can get repeatedly over watered. And signs, you know, without looking at the roots of root damage, could be yellowing on the leaves could be some wilting, even though the the soil looks wet. If you see that, that's definitely not a plant that you're bringing home with you. You could also potentially gently turn the plant upside down and take it out of its pot. So what I'll do is actually put my hand across the top of the pot with that stem in between my fingers, gently turn it over upside down and take the plant usually using just gravity and maybe squeezing the pot a little bit, dump it out so that I can look at the root system. If I see a whole mass of of nice white roots, that's a very good thing. That means those roots are still perfectly healthy. So that's a plant that I would bring home. You know that there's a problem. And if you are dumping the plant out to and you're not seeing a whole lot of roots could be that the plant just hasn't rooted into that container very well yet. So it's also not likely to to enjoy that transplanting process as much in the garden. And if it's very, very root bound, so if those roots are taking up every last square inch of that pot, you'll know that you'll want to transplant it right away because that plant is going to dry out in that pot very, very quickly. But the biggest thing, white, white, healthy looking roots, perfect, I'm happy to bring that plant home. If I'm seeing any brown roots or squishiness, or not seeing many roots at all, I'm probably going to try to pick another one.

 

Nate Bernitz  11:56

Generally with those really root bound plants, you do kind of want to tease those roots apart a little bit when you transplant right. Can you overdo that?

 

Emma E  12:04

You could overdo it. Yeah, especially with a vegetable plan or annual or perennial. You can overdo it if you're knocking way too much soil off of those roots. Basically, when you take these, if you're if you're cutting that root ball with scissors, or clippers, or you're just doing it by hand kind of ripping those roots are part of it. When you do that, you are reducing the number of root hairs. So these very, very fine little projections that are off the end of roots, typically, you're reducing the number of those and that those root hairs are the most efficient at taking up water and nutrients. So when you disrupt the root system, the plants not going to be as efficient at taking up water. So what that means is that you're definitely going to have to irrigate a lot, you're going to want to try to keep that soil consistently moist, if it's let's say an annual vegetable or flower. Ideally, you always want it consistently moist, but you're really going to have to pay attention to that within the first couple of weeks that you've planted that that vegetable or that annual in the ground. So that it it doesn't dry out, and you don't lose it just because that root system has been compromised. That being said, I'm making this kind of sound like a bad thing. But loosening up that root system is is ultimately a very good thing for that plant. Because it will encourage the roots to branch out and grow away from the plant. If you don't do that at all, if you take the thing out of the pot and put it directly in the soil, a lot of those roots that are already spiraling spiraling in a circle are going to continue to do that just continue to spiral around in a circle unless you break that habit. And that's that's not good in that the plant isn't as resilient because it's only taking up water in a very small area. So it's also just not going to be quite as well rooted or have as much support in the soil. Because those roots are all very, very compacted all in that that little circle where you planted it versus having those roots spread out far and wide.

 

Nate Bernitz  14:10

And so with both flowers and veggie vegetables, like a tomato, like a pepper, or like an annual flower basket, something that I wonder about and kind of vacillate between do I want to bring home something that's already full of flowers full of fruit? Do I want to bring something home that maybe hasn't started to develop those flowers and fruits yet? I mean, in the case of a flower basket, I guess Of course it's gonna have flowers in it, but am I looking for something that's really full of flowers or maybe one that just has a lot of buds or really lush foliage? How do you both think about that kind of question,

 

14:50

 I look at both I look at its flowering capacity, but also those buds that haven't opened because once you have the flower, it's not going to continue to  flower unless it has buds behind it. And so you'll have to deadhead those off and then wait. So if it's got buds that are tightly there, and there has flowers itself, I'm not quite sure if it's a percentage that you would look at, but I'm looking at both making sure that plant has maybe one flower open, but it's got a lot of buds on it,

 

Emma E  15:21

That's pretty much the same thing I'm looking for. I often think it's really nice in the greenhouse when the when the plants aren't all at the same stage. So if there's one that's an absolute full bloom, then I can look at it, maybe I might actually take home one that isn't quite there, but I've got a good sense of what it's going to look like once it is fully in flower. With a lot of the hanging baskets the benefit, at least if you are taking one home that's fully in bloom. A lot of the plants that are used in those these days don't require deadheading. So a lot of the modern petunias don't need to be deadheaded, which is really nice. So that plants going to keep blooming, no matter what versus a more old fashioned cultivars that that does require you to remove those spent flowers and developing seed pods in order to stimulate it to keep flowering. So not the end of the world. If you're taking home something that's already in all of its glory, but if you're looking to have that plant, perhaps last as long as it possibly can, over the course of the season, or that that hanging basket, will often pick out one that's just a little bit delayed. So the the flower has a ton of flower buds, really dense, healthy foliage. And I'll go with that. And maybe it takes a few more days for it to really come into bloom. But I I guess I just assumed that I'm going to have it for it's gonna, it's going to look excellent for just a little bit longer on my deck or in my beds.

 

Nate Bernitz  16:56

And what the vegetables personally, I'm kind of concerned if I buy, say a tomato plant that's loaded up with tomatoes already, I'm concerned that there's going to be some transplant shock, and that I might maybe lose some of those fruits or stunt development of more flowers and more fruits. I don't know how true that is. I guess that's just a concern, I haven't. So personally, I'd be looking at a plant that has really good foliage, a really good strong central stem that has potential for fruiting. But I think from the garden center perspective, I bet they see really good sales from say a tomato plant that already is loaded up with fruit.

 

Emma E  17:40

Oh, I'm sure that's true, because it's quite tempting right to choose that plant that already has a bunch of fruits. But I think your concern about transplant shock is legitimate. Unless you're being incredibly diligent with your watering, that plants probably going to be bit stressed out when you put it in the ground or even if you move it to a container. And you know my other concern too if if a plant is still in a little, let's say four inch or six inch pot, that you're you've just purchased and you're bringing home and it already has a bunch of fruit on it. And perhaps this plant is only about eight inches tall. My concern is that that that plant is all might be a little bit stunted, when I put it in my garden that it's not going to reach its full potential just because it is already fruiting when it's so small. I don't know if I brought a plant like that home if I'd be able to bring myself to actually remove the fruits to encourage it to put on a little bit more vegetative growth. So I could get some some fruits later in the season. So I am with you, Nate, I often take home the one that isn't quite there yet maybe only has a few flowers on it definitely doesn't have any developing fruit yet.

 

18:53

And I'm going to wait till after our last frost which is May 31.

 

Nate Bernitz  18:57

Ah, you're a soothsayer Rachel.  You know when the last frost is gonna be impressive. I'm hoping I'm hoping the last frost as well behind us and I think it is depending on where you are, of course,

 

Emma E  19:10

of course Yeah, even this week, I have some tomatoes that are waiting to go in the ground that were started from seed. And there is some cold weather projected even this week, meaning not not freezing temperatures, but down closer to four or 40 degrees. Yeah, and I, you know, that might be cold enough for a little bit of cold damage to appear on the leaves. There's no rush for me to get these in the ground, right? They're still healthy. They're in a little greenhouse so they're okay, they're just drying out really quickly. So I have to water them a lot. I'll probably wait till we get past these 40 degree nights probably right after Memorial Day and i'll i'll put them in the ground.

 

Nate Bernitz  19:53

Tomatoes are just so vigorous that the issue that I run into I think a lot of people run into is they just so quickly outgrow the pots that you've started them in. And you can only upgrade them so many times, right? Like they their roots are just constantly coming out the bottom of the pot seemingly not that long after you upgraded to that larger pot. And so you want to get them in the ground just so they can really spread those roots out.

 

Emma E  20:20

One thing you can do if the plants are getting really stretched out, and they're they're getting far too big before you are going to put them outside in the garden, you can actually clip them cut off a third or maybe even a half of that top growth. To make that plant perhaps branch a little bit more just slow it down. Definitely something I've done before with with good results. So looking at the plants that I have, that might be something that I want to consider doing knowing that I'm going to try to get them in the ground with within the week. I'm probably not going to do that. But it's totally legitimate and they will send up a new stems from the basically that that axillary of the joint between where the belief meets the stem, so you'll get a whole bunch of new branches coming out

 

21:09

Oh am I actually grow my tomatoes on a pot. So I bought the transplant like we were talking earlier and I'm going to be putting it in to a flower pot that is large. And it anchors right on my front porch. And I had an excellent plant last year the tomatoes were unbelievable. But this year, we're starting with a new variety that I have not used. And it's called beef steak, but I know it's very popular. And so I wanted to try it myself. So this is going to go into a pot on a patio. So do you have any recommendations on how to amend that soil before I plant it in there?

 

Emma E  21:46

Well do you already have you already have a soil mix in that pottery starting fresh.

 

21:52

I do I have vermiculite and just regular potting soil.

 

Emma E  21:57

Yeah, so for basically for all containers, not not including raised beds. I recommend selecting a really good high quality potting mix, not potting soil. Although these terms get used interchangeably. A potting soil tends to have more of a mineral component to it. So some actual real soil or loam that's been mixed in. Whereas a potting mix is completely artificial. It's not soil at all. It's typically made out of peat moss, choir, maybe. And vermiculite or perlite. So some volcanic rocks that have been processed and added to that mix for added drainage as well as better nutrient holding capacity. You know, in terms of you know, choosing one really depends I think a lot of growers have a particular favorite. There are some that come with compost mixin, which can be helpful in some cases having a little bit of compost in in that mix, I usually don't opt for that I usually go for one that's more of just a peat and coir mix. Without the compost added the thinking with adding the compost is that there's going to be perhaps some nutrients added to this to the growing media that are going to help the plant how much of that actually happens in reality, I'm not sure because in order for those nutrients to be released from the compost, you need to have soil micro organisms. And to have those you really need to have real soil which you don't have in the in the potting mix. So you there may not be a whole bunch of beneficial fungi, fungi and bacteria in that mix from the start,

 

Nate Bernitz  23:45

you're not going to get microbial activity fungal activity from the compost itself, you actually need true soil for that.

 

Emma E  23:53

Yeah, I just don't think that there's going to be there you're certainly not going to be meeting your plants nutritional needs from added compost to that mix. So you're still going to have to use probably the same fertilizer you would use if you used a mix that that didn't have that compost component. Don't have a you know, mixed bag there. What I would say is just don't choose garden soil. I don't know if it'll say potting soil on the bag or not. It might say potting soil or potting mix, but you just you don't want there to be sand in there. Or sometimes the cheaper mixes are filled with a lot of bark, just as a filler. peat moss can be expensive. And some of these other ingredients can be expensive. So sometimes there'll be shredded bark, which you know, is a legitimate component of some good potting mixes. But if you're just seeing big huge chips or chunks of bark in there, it's probably not going to be the best for your potted plants. In my experience those mixes dry out really really quickly. So you're going to have to be watering that container multiple times a day. You At least twice in order to keep it happy, which most of us don't have time for.

 

Nate Bernitz  25:06

I'd also say avoid topsoil, and avoid digging soil up in your yard and putting it into your containers, which a lot of people do. And then Rachel your situation trying to reuse potting mix from last year. I have two concerns about that. neither of which are deal killers. But one is just that tomatoes are heavy feeders and probably severely depleted that potting mix last year. And the other concern is that there might be soil borne disease that could have overwintered from last year's tomatoes. So that sort of crop rotation theory would say, if you're going to reuse the mix, plant something that's not in that family, like playing your pole beans in there or something like that, this year. Or maybe bush beans would be better for a container but regardless, but I also understand like a lot of people garden and kind of just want to grow tomatoes, or like tomatoes and a few herbs, like on a small scale. Tomatoes are what get most gardeners jazzed.

 

Emma E  26:13

Yeah, I mean, I have certainly planted in containers before with the same soil year after year. But if you do have any sort of disease issue, then starting over be a good idea. And after a certain point, that mix tends to just get clogged up with roots too. And it gets difficult to plant it into that. And Nate's point about it being depleted. Not a huge concern for me, as long as you're regularly fertilizing. And actually going back to your original question about what you should add, I often do mixing some slow release fertilizer into my potting mix before I plant. Some of those mixes, you might want to check some of those mixes might come with a slow release fertilizer already included. And it'll say that on the packaging, it'll say maybe three months feed or something like that means there's just some sort of formulated fertilizer in there that's going to break down and release nutrients every time it's wetted. So basically every time you water, even with those, you typically do want to put down a liquid or water soluble fertilizer in addition to that, that's going to provide some immediately available nutrients by but yeah, just for that, that continuous feed aspect, I will typically add a slow release. And I for containerized plants, I don't typically try to opt for organic, just because they aren't quite as efficient because those nutrients do need to be made available by soil microbes. And there isn't likely to be yet quite as many of those in that potting mix. Perhaps as Nate said, if there is some compost in there, there might be some microbes that can make that organic fertilizer available. But I found that I've gotten best results with with just a good old fashioned synthetic water soluble fertilizer,

 

Nate Bernitz  28:06

a lot of potting mixes now are coming with mycorrhizae

 

Emma E  28:09

the mycorrhizae, you're going to help with nutrient uptake, primarily, not so much with making nutrients available. So not not breaking down that organic matter, or breaking down that organic fertilizer. But yeah, there's mycorrhizae more of a fungal association with with the root system of the plant itself. So making the plant more efficient at taking up nutrients. And then the plant in exchange provides the mycorrhizal fungi with some energy. So with some with some sugars, to keep it going. You know, there's the you know, debates still kind of out there and on how much that does have, but I've certainly had great luck with potting mixes that have mycorrhizae in them. You know what, whether it was the mycorrhizae at the tip the scales or, you know, whether it was other other practices they had, I'm not sure but if it's if it's no added cost, I don't see any harm and having that included.

 

Nate Bernitz  29:14

Yeah. Speaking of kind of controversial topics, speaking of organic, something that concerns a lot of gardeners this time of year when selecting flowers from garden centers is potential treatments that that might have been done to those plants at the greenhouse level. Guess Do either of you have a perspective on to what extent that's happening, how it's happening and whether that should be a concern for gardeners,

 

29:41

I don't know how often it's being done. I know in greenhouses they are treating for you know, if they have outbreaks of either disease or insect pests really is going to depend on the chemistries they're using and how often they're using them. Personally they're all life sensed and trained to treat these plants. So they're not going to be over zealous with their applications, they're going to be following labels. And to be honest with you, I don't think it would be truly a concern. I think people need to be more worried about what they're doing in their practices and what the growers are doing on their end. And I know there's been a lot of talk about imidacloprid being used, or the neonicotinoids being used on plants. And I know they've been putting a stop on a lot of these plants, taking that in and then reselling it. But again, there's been a lot of studies on the impact on our pollinators. And it's not really just one variable, it's a lot of different things. And unfortunately, the neonics are getting all the finger pointing. However, there may be concern, you know, if you're a consumer, you don't want to buy a plant that has been treated, that is your right. And therefore, you know, you talk to your landscape place, or wherever you're purchasing your materials, and you talk to them about how the plants been treated, or have they not,

 

Emma E  31:10

When I'm bringing plants home, for my landscape, I'm not overly concerned about what was used in the production of that plant. Because if it in all honesty, you know, most of these, I shouldn't say most, but the majority of growers aren't trying to use pesticides, this is a last ditch effort in order to save their crop so that they can make some money on it. A lot of them are using beneficial insects, or or, you know, other other predators, I should say. So they might be using nematodes, let's say, they might be using some of the parasitic wasps or ladybugs, that sort of thing. So there's, they're already trying to do good things and and growers understand too, that if you are going to use a systemic insecticide, let's say that you're potentially going to be harming, well, no, you wouldn't be harming your predators per se. But they don't, they don't want to use this stuff, just because it's expensive when you have to make a spray, you know, that's cutting down on your profits too. So it's not like this is just happening automatically. These folks are trained, and they're scouting for these insect issues. And that's really used as a last resort in order to try to save a crop. And when I'm shopping for plants to bring them home, personally, I'm I'm not overly concerned about that at all. What I am thinking about more is what I am going to do on my own property. Once that plant is home, you know whether I am going to be trying to use any insecticides to keep something perfect, let's say if I don't want any feeding on the leaves, that can be an issue not just for pollinators, but for all sorts of, of native insects that are going to use plants in our landscape. And with with fungicides to also just not not something that I'm overly concerned about. I think it's it's much more important just to think about your own practices in your landscape, what you're using, what you're spraying. And frankly, which which plants you're bringing home from the get go. Whether it's even something that a pollinators really going to use, you know, if it's a marigold, or something like that, there's not going to be very much pollinator activity on that from the get go. There just isn't that much on that flower that a pollinator can even use there isn't much for for pollen or nectar. But if I'm bringing something like a salvia home that has these these tubular flowers that are full of nectar, like it's going to be getting a lot of use. And I'm going to want to be a little bit more careful around that plant.

 

Nate Bernitz  33:56

Yeah, that that brings up such a good point. Because oftentimes, most of the time, plants that might have been treated, say with a neonicotinoid would be an annual flower. And if your focus and priority is supporting pollinating insects, you're probably going to be wanting to do a lot of perennials. Right. So yeah, those annual flowers have a place but I think if that's a real focus for you, increasing the number of perennials you're adding into the landscape may be something you look at as well.

 

Emma E  34:30

If wildlife if pollinators are really your objective in your landscape, putting in native perennials and not forgetting about native trees and shrubs as well, is going to be vital that some of the annual flowers definitely do provide good forage for pollinators. But hardly any of those are native. So they're not going to support the full lifecycle of very many insects. There are going to be too many things that eat them, which Some of us might see as being a very, very good thing because we don't want to, we want our plants to look perfect and not have any chewing on them. But ecologically that they're not doing as much.

 

Nate Bernitz  35:12

And you brought up marigolds to some, there's a lot of demand for marigolds and greenhouses grow and sell a lot of them. And I like marigolds, but I mean, you mentioned they're not particularly beneficial for pollinating insects, but marigolds do have some folklore attached to them as far as being a really valuable companion plant in the vegetable garden. And there there are a number of other flowers that kind of get into that that same realm of being trusted flowers for vegetable gardeners to repel potential harmful insects and attract beneficial insects. What do you make of that? Is that something that you focus on in your vegetable garden bringing home flowers like marigolds to to incorporate? Or is that not something that you place much emphasis on?

 

Emma E  36:04

I don't place much emphasis on it. I have certainly still had plenty of pest issues, even if miracles have been planted in my garden, or planted near certain plants. So I, I'm not a big believer in companion planting, although there are lots of people out there that would disagree with me. And if there's something that seems to really work for you and your landscape that I would say keep doing it. If the marigolds really seem to be making a difference, sort of if other planting combinations are really working for you. I will often plant marigolds in my garden just because I really love them. They're very nostalgic for me because I started planting those when I was a little kid. So one of the first plants I got excited about. So I still plant them in the garden just because I like them. I like the way they smell. They bring some happy memories. There are some other plants so that legitimately are used a bit more about pollinators and might bring more pollinators in one I'm thinking of is borage, which is a we've actually featured it before, but it has these really nice little blue star shaped flowers that bumble bees love and bumble bees are great pollinators for a lot of vegetable plants. So anything that's that's going to maybe get more bumblebees to visit the garden is is a great thing.

 

Nate Bernitz  37:24

Okay, so for all the plants that both of you bought, or are going to buy bringing home from the garden center, do you have any quick tips for how to get those plants home and into the ground still in good shape without really introducing a lot of stress and shock? In the process? Or, you know, for me, one thing that comes to mind is trying not to buy plants and bring them home on like the hottest day of the year. I'd love to personal I mean, both because it's more enjoyable as a gardener, but also for the sake of the plants and not not letting the roots dry out. You know, I'd rather not bring plants home and get them in the ground in the middle of the afternoon on a 90 degree day. What other tips do you have?

 

38:08

Well, you want to just make sure I tend to hope that they haven't watered before I buy them, because then they leak all over your car. That's one thing.

 

Nate Bernitz  38:16

Very practical advice there. Yeah, you may be surprised plastic liner gets down in the car,

 

38:22

like plastic sheet or something just in case they have watered them. But you want to just make sure too, that they don't fall over in the car, have your place in your mind. Usually when I go I have to decide what I'm buying and where it's going to go before I get at home. Because a lot of times you're out there and you get that buying frenzy and you're looking at all these plants, you you pick up all these plants that you really didn't go to get in now you bring them home, and it's like, what do I do with them? I haven't had that, you know, certain areas tested, you know, the soil wasn't tested. So can I actually put them in that place? And are they going to survive? Because I try to stick to a list. It's not always the way it happens. You get there, you start buying everything. And so yeah, getting them home, making sure I have a place for them. And knowing that it's already been prepared for them to go into that spot is one of the things I would recommend, right?

 

Nate Bernitz  39:17

Because if you don't do that there's one of two things that happens one, you put a plant where it shouldn't go or two, it just rose on your porch exactly as you as you struggle to figure out where to put it. Neither of those are good things.

 

Emma E  39:30

I think something that we don't always think about is how we're actually transporting plants home. So Rachel made a good point about making sure they're secured and not rolling around in the car and getting out or know damaged in some way. I'm also thinking about, you know, what sort of vehicle you're putting these things in to bring them home. So an enclosed vehicle is the ideal. What you don't want to do is put your plants in the back of let's say a pickup truck and this this definitely goes for that. For annuals perennials, or trees and shrubs, and it's, I think something that a lot of us do, because it's, you're not going to make a mess when you do that you can haul a bunch of stuff. And I often see trees and shrubs transported this way. And that issue here and you can do this, but you have to take, you know, a few extra measures. The issue is that when you transport plants these wet this way, they can actually get wind burn. So from going high speed down the road, this, these plants are getting blown all around. And while this is happening, they're losing a whole bunch of water from their leaves. And so you're you're stressing them out royally before you even get them home to put them in the ground. Because they're they're shedding water from their leaves or getting beat up by the wind. So when you get that play at home, it's just not in as good a shape to begin with. If moving plants in a pickup, what you really want to do is cover those plants over with something with a with a sheet with a tarp something that's going to cut down on the amount of air and when that's going to be blowing across them on that drive home. And believe it or not actually the same applies to your cut Christmas tree when you're bringing it home too

 

Nate Bernitz  41:16

Can either if you think of any plants that it's either too late to purchase or too early to purchase,

 

Emma E  41:24

I think we're starting to get a little bit late for for just putting pansies in the ground now. And I love pansies. And there's something that I sometimes like to put in containers early in the season, just for a little bit of of a flower display early on about the same time as the the daffodils are blooming or the tulips are out. The reason I don't like to plant them later is because they don't hold up in the heat very well. They really do better when you have cooler temperatures. So if you're just getting those and putting them in the ground, after Memorial Day, they're probably going to be a little bit stressed. And they're not going to be the happiest. They may quit blooming before too long. You know, they may only really be providing you flowers for maybe another month before it gets too hot. And they're they're just struggling.

 

42:13

I agree with them. a matter of fact, my mother just purchased six flats of them. And I kind of gave her the same advice on you know, we can put them under our maple tree. It's very shaded, but you know that humidity and that heat is coming. So don't be surprised if they don't last more than three to four weeks. So we will be putting those in the ground. But is there a way to overwinter them

 

Emma E  42:39

think they're typically done for the season, you could let some go to seed, save those seeds and see what happens. I think a lot of times when they pop up in gardens. Occasionally it's because a plant overwintered, I think more often than not in my experiences because I wasn't real dedicated to deadheading and some went to seed. So I might get a few plants that may or may not resemble what I planted the year before. So yeah, that's I mean with all annual flowers, so the pansies included. These are just supposed to be display plants essentially. So you're putting them in for just some seasonal interest throughout the growing season. So there's there's, you know, traditional things that go in very early like the pansies that provide a lot of really nice color when temperatures are cool and not much else is growing. And then there are all sorts of heat loving annuals that people enjoy planting in summer, but they start to struggle again as soon as you get cool temperatures in the fall. And and a lot of times people will then will switch out their garden again to put in some ornamental kales or mums. So kind of depends on on your budget, you know how many of change outs you want to do during the season? And I want

 

Nate Bernitz  44:01

to answer my own question and throw in my two cents. So I'd say that if you have not prepared a site, and you're going to the garden center right now, and looking at, say blueberries, like it's kind of late to be planting berries and fruit trees and things like that anyway. And it's it, especially if you haven't prepared the site, like if you've spent the last year getting that site ready, and you just haven't had a chance to go to the garden center and pick up what you would already planned on planting. Like, yeah, you could totally do that. But if it's just kind of like buying blueberries or really really any of those fruits just on a whim, where you're not even sure where they're where you're going to plant them. You don't know what the pH is, you haven't, you know, controlled the weeds and, you know, amended the soil adjusted the fertility, you're I feel like you're taking quite a risk. And with blueberries, especially they're shallow rooted plants that are prone to drying out anyway. So kind of an added risk specifically for blueberries in my mind.

 

Emma E  45:07

Yeah, I think that's totally fair. And elaborating on that, you know, outside of preparing the site, if you haven't taken good stock of what your site conditions are like to begin with, how much sun and area receives what your soils, like, you know, is, is this soil consistently moist? Does water tend to puddle here when it rains? Or does it dry out really quickly? Is it sandy Critical to know, in order to choose a plant that's actually going to do really well on your landscape with minimal effort and care on your part, and the sun exposure, like I mentioned before, you really need to know because things at the garden center are going to be clearly labeled, whether it's a full sun, part sun, or shade plant. And you need to know what you're actually you know, what you actually have? So clearly, if you're planting right underneath the tree, it's going to you need something for shade. But that that part shade, something can get a little bit trickier, right? Yeah, so I tend to think of full sun as being a spot in the landscape that's going to be getting direct sunlight for eight or more hours a day.

 

Nate Bernitz  46:18

That's during the summer, right?

 

Emma E  46:19

That's during the summer. Right? Yeah, we're in the in the spring, I mean, there's nothing blocking light to this plant. And that's, that's exactly where you want your vegetable garden, you know, it's just out in the open, it's getting that that heat that sun, part shade, you know, could could get some shade from a tree for part of the day might get some dappled shade, let's say from a finer leaf plant might be on I don't know what one side of your house so it only gets morning sun or, or afternoon sun. Critical to pay attention these things. And one last thing I'll mention too, is think about how much space you actually have for that plant when it's at its mature size. So if this is something that's going to go, let's say within five feet of your house, you probably don't want a plant that's going to get more than four feet wide. When it is at its maturity. And this this really goes for trees and shrubs in particular, because you it's a it's a classic mistake that people put things too close to their house plants that get far too big, or they put them too close together. So those trees don't really have room to mature, those shrubs don't have room to mature

 

Nate Bernitz  47:33

and take our word for it. Because we get the pictures and see these see these issues once they're already untenable. We hear from people all the time, who are trying to figure out what to do, oh, can I transplant this giant, mature sized shrub because 10 years ago, it was planted too close to the house or too close to another plant. So the amount that we hear from people with these issues, definitely take our word for it if you're planning on doing the same. And just quickly back to the fruits and vegetables, like fruits definitely need full sun. And I know that some people are in a tough spot because their properties don't necessarily maybe get full sun in mature even any of the yard. And if you're in that situation, like maybe I think growing fruit or growing vegetables that produce fruits is going to be a frustrating experience for you. And, you know, if you're growing something like blueberries, maybe I'll get some berries, but it's not going to be very productive. And you're probably going to be more prone to disease issues too. So Rachel, you had the chance to actually pop into the inside part of the garden center, Emma and I didn't get a chance to go in there. But we did talk to one of the owners of the garden center. And he was telling us a little bit about some of the products that have been selling a lot. So I thought we could spend a few minutes on that. So this time of year, my understanding is one thing people are looking for are grub control products for their lawns. They're also looking for weed killers, whether it's for the lawn or for the garden, or you know, just anywhere in the yard. When when you were there, what kinds of products were you're seeing? And how would you go about trying to figure out sort of like you have your issue in the yard? How do you translate that to actually choosing the right product to deal with that issue?

 

49:37

There was a lot of products and if you are new to the pesticide world and you stood there in front of the shelves, trying to figure out what it is you needed. The first recommendation I would make is to make sure you know exactly what your problem is. You know a lot of people assume and they don't really know they pinpoint what it is that they're actually treating, so they're trying different things and then finding that it's not working. So getting an ID before you purchase any kind of pesticide to relieve the problem will be the first recommendation. Once you've got that recommendation, okay, it might be a weed that you're targeting. Is it an annual weed? Or is it a broadleaf? weed? Is it a perennial weed, you know, there are different stages and different products for all uses. So, once you've determined that, then you can look at these products and say, Okay, I might need something for broadleaf weeds. So you're going to be looking at the chemistries of those products. If it's an annual, or excuse me a grass, for example, there are products that treat grass, but you want to make sure that you're not using them in your lawn, because they're going to kill all the grass that you spray it on. So again, knowing what you need to target and then choosing those products. There were a lot of repellents. A lot of people don't realize that actual repellents are considered pesticides. So they will be in this area. And repellents could be like, coyote urine to keep cats away, for example, or other products to keep dogs and cats and rabbits away. So there were a lot of products there. So this time of year, you know, people are looking to maybe have grub control put down, we recommend putting grub control down between April and June, this is a good time to be doing that, and you want something that's going to be systemic. So you want something that's going to actually get into the grass as it's growing, that will be your best bet. Because what you're doing is you're targeting the next generation of insects, you're not targeting what's there right now, because their feeding is basically halted, they are not now going to be transferring into that adult stage, and there'll be emerging around July. So you really want to target that next generation. So when those adults come out, lay those eggs and those eggs hatch. That's the stage you'll be targeting. As far as other things you can use diatomaceous earth was on the shelf. And that's usually for soft bodied insects, or for snails or slugs. And basically what that is, is it's just crushed diatoms that work on the exoskeleton of whatever the product or the organism is that you're targeting. But again, you want to make sure that you need that before you apply that. And it's very, very important. If you choose to use a pesticide that you read that label that label is going to be basically the Bible of the product, it's going to tell you how to apply it, how to store it, how often to apply it, what you're targeting all that information.

 

Nate Bernitz  52:42

So I will say on the grub products that with those systemics. Going back to our conversation earlier about treatments of annuals, we're talking about similar or even the same ingredients that might be say applied to an annual flower basket or delivered through a grub control product to your lawn, and they're very effective at killing grubs. preventatively are Rachel set up better in terms of targeting the next generation. But I'd say if you are concerned about potential impacts to beneficial insects, impacts to pollinators, something you can do or at least try to do to whatever extent you can is control the flowering weeds in your lawn, you know, either keep them mowed or hand dig them or control them individually. Because those are those those are the flowers that bees and other pollinating insects are going to be utilizing in your lawn. And they would potentially be taking that product up as well, in addition to the grass. So, you know, while while the jury is still out to some extent, and the research continues to be done on potential impacts of these products, if that is a concern for you, that might be something that that you focus on. So that so you can take control of your growth problem and also do your due diligence to just ensure that you're not having those potential negative impacts diatomaceous earth I hear from so many people who use this product incorrectly or just in in ways that are off label, I guess would be a better way of putting it. Do you have kind of what examples come to mind for you off and as far as how people might be using a product like diatomaceous earth that maybe wouldn't be so effective?

 

54:36

You got to remember that diatomaceous earth is basically crushed diatoms so that can be very caustic if you breathe that in. So a lot of people are using more product than they need. For one they're using an enclosed spaces which is definitely against label if you're using too much it can be used on houseplants, you know if it's registered for houseplants. There are many different products out there many different labels that will direct you on how to use that. But yeah, you don't want to be just using it to use it. It does have ill effects if used wrong. So again, reading that label, knowing which product you have, that would be the best recommendation we can make.

 

Emma E  55:19

I often hear about diatomaceous earth being. And again, this would be solved if if you read the label on the product, but people using diatomaceous earth for pests that won't really be impacted by it at all. So like Rachel mentioned earlier, it's for these these soft bodied insects. So primarily, so putting diatomaceous earth on your plants, if you have Japanese, a Japanese beetle issue, probably not going to be all that effective to begin with. So it's not a proper use for that product. And it's not like, it's not cheap either. So you're just being wasteful, if nothing else, not to mention, you know, potential potential health concerns as well.

 

Nate Bernitz  56:04

And I see people just kind of like sprinkling diatomaceous earth almost like around their plants, sometimes as if it's some kind of like, repellent like putting, you know, putting garlic to repel vampires or something. It's it's, I don't I don't really know what people are expecting. But it's yeah, it's got specific uses, for sure. And one of the things we heard about at the garden center is that there have been a lot of aphid issues this year. Now, I think we've maybe talked about aphids a bit on the podcast previously, but you know, where you're looking at those pesticide products, but aphids oftentimes really aren't something that you would need a product for. That'd be really something as a last resort, in my mind for just a really severe infestation that is doing significant damage and that you just can't get rid of any other way. Rachel, how do you generally approach aphids,

 

57:06

if it's they can be an issue. If you're in a confined space primarily, but you know, out in the elements, rain will wash them off, your hose can wash them off, it's very important that you recognize your beneficials that feed on them before you apply an insecticide to control the aphids, because a lot of times you inadvertently will kill that ladybug larvae because you're not sure that's what it is, you know, they're there. They do not look anything like the adult ladybugs. So you know, people often mistake them as maybe a past and then then inadvertently killed them as well. So it's important to identify, you know, if you you have Ladybug larvae, I would recommend looking them up if you do not know what they look like because I know this is a podcast I can't really explain and you can get the full picture of what they look l ike. But again, they are beneficial. They're black and red, just like the adults, but they look totally different. And they feed on 50 plus aphids at every sitting. So those are beneficials. So if you have them, you want to make sure you keep them alive. There's also Aphidius , which is a wasp, which actually uses the aphid as its food source, the female will lay an egg and not a fit, and then that aphid will be consumed from the inside out by this parasitic wasp, which is also beneficial. And you can often see those cast skins on the plant. But if you're not looking at that you're not seeing that those beneficials are doing their jobs. And if you're wiping out all the aphids with an insecticide, you're also killing those beneficials

 

Nate Bernitz  58:48

Some garden centers I don't think I saw any at this garden center. But some anyway sell beneficial insects. You can potentially buy Ladybug, what beneficials have you kind of seen for sale? And are there any that you would say like yeah, that's a good use of money definitely invest there do you generally encourage people to steer clear,

 

59:10

I don't really recommend them because you're not in charge of where they're gonna end up. And if you don't have a food source that is going to accommodate them, they're just gonna fly from your plant

 

Nate Bernitz  59:19

to your neighbors. And my one. One part of the garden center that we did check out a little bit was the mulch section. So I you know, I don't know if people are loading up their carts with plants, but maybe they should be loading up their carts or back of the pickup. Yeah, maybe you're not throwing plants in there, but you're loading that up with mulch, right. So what what are you looking for and what would you recommend there?

 

Emma E  59:42

Pretty much all your garden spaces are going to benefit from some sort of mulch and the veggie garden that might mean throwing some hay bales in the car to mulch with. Or maybe you're going to be collecting your grass clippings and using those as a mulch, but so yeah, from the garden center that they hay bales are often available for folks that want to use those for veggie gardens. But for everything else for all of your, your tree and shrub borders, for your perennial beds, you're probably looking at bringing home some sort of wood mulch. Most people are unless they're collecting leaves on their property to use as mulch, which is a good choice to. A lot of it comes down to when you're picking out a mulch just comes down to your own personal aesthetics, you know what, what you like the look of in your landscape. There all sorts of different colors of mulch, some of which are dyed, some of which are natural. I know a lot of people really like the very dark dark black or dark brown dyed mulches. Others like the the red dyed mulches. What I can say is that from a plant's perspective, the type or the color of the mulch that you're using really doesn't matter. What what's more important is that you have that mulch down to help conserve some soil moisture. Particularly, when we have periods of drought or very dry weather like we have right now, having that mulch over the soil. To help conserve some of that moisture, keep it from evaporating after you have irrigated is key. It's also good just going to help keep root systems of plants cooler, which is helpful. The dyes that are used in the majority of modern mulches are non toxic, so they aren't something I would be concerned about in terms in terms of contaminating your environment or your soil. They, you know, are really just up to you. You know, sometimes the problem with the dyed mulches is that they do tend to fade a fair amount. So if you want that really, really dark red or dark black color, you are going to have to put down a little bit of new every single year as that fades in the sun or the rain. The challenge there becomes whether you're putting down too much mulch. So one thing people should be thinking about if they're if they're in a brand new landscape with brand new beds, mulch has never been used before. They need to be bringing home enough to put down probably a two inch layer of that that wood or bark mulch. If you have beds that have been mulched year after year, you should probably be thinking about number one, whether you actually need mulch or not, because that wood does take some time to break down. So in most cases, it doesn't need to be put down every single season, maybe every other year, every two years. And if you already have a thick mulch layer, you might be able to get away with a thinner coating, let's say maybe an inch of mulch just to refresh the existing mulch that's in the landscape bed. Figuring out before you go to the garden center, what sort of quantity of mulch you need is going to be helpful. So measuring your beds, figuring out how how much mulch you need to buy based on the square footage of your bed and the depth of multi unit put down. There's actually a lot of nice online calculators for this that make it pretty easy. And then deciding whether it's more economical for you to bring home bags of mulch, because it's always sold in small quantities and bags, or whether it makes sense to get a big bulk load in your pickup truck or have it delivered to your house which your local garden center it's likely that they might offer that service.

 

Nate Bernitz  1:03:29

Alright, well, last thing, more of a personal note, but so I am moving into a new house this weekend. And I'm looking for both of your recommendations on you know from a gardening and landscaping perspective moving into a new place this time of year or anytime a year broaden out what what basic tips, recommendations would you have for me or anyone else in this position,

 

1:03:57

I would recommend Nate if you can afford it to put a one foot barrier around your house of crushed stone. So you don't want to be putting your plants up against the house itself. But you want to put crushed stone about a one foot swath around the whole foundation. What that will do for you is one it will keep termites and everything else from going from the soil to your structure, you'll be able to see it, too. If you have any kind of carpenter ant activity in your area. That stone actually acts as like little knives when they crawl over it it rips their exoskeleton and helps them try out. So you know, carpenter ants, like voiced wood, they're usually in old stumps that might be in the yard or firewood or woods or whatever out in the yard. And that's just for texture structure from some of those pests that might enter that'd be one thing I would recommend. And also, if you have any trees or shrubs touching your structure, you want to have those pruned back so nothing is touching the house itself. And you know, Emma had mentioned earlier about putting the plants in the right place, a lot of times we put those foundation plants right on top of the house, you want to make sure that you have a breathable area, because you don't want that siding to get moist and wet. Because then you end up getting rot. And then again, looking at ticks, I don't know what your property layout looks like. But you want to make sure that you have a lot of air circulation, things are pruned. So you're not getting those prime areas where you got high humidity and moisture, which could be your habitat, you know, close to the homes? Well,

 

Emma E  1:05:46

Yeah, I'd have a little journal going Nate where you can keep track of what the site conditions are like on your properties. So look at how much how many hours of sunlight certain areas are getting to figure out where the best spot for the veggie garden is going to be. Where you might be thinking about maybe putting in a tree or some shrubs, maybe a few perennials, for those for those pollinators that you want for your veggie garden. And you can get your soil tested any time of year. So getting your soil tested right away doesn't hurt because like you mentioned if you decide that you really want to grow blueberries, let's say or or some fruit trees, being able to make those amendments now for planting next spring, let's say is gonna be great. Well, right now we're looking at a whole bunch of panicle, hydrangeas,

 

Nate Bernitz  1:06:49

What are those?

 

Emma E  1:06:50

Hydrangea paniculata I knw you were looking for the the scientific name Nate. So panicle hydrangea is one of the hardiest varieties that can be grown in New Hampshire, that means it can be grown down to zone three. And most of the state is within zone five, or at least zone four.

 

Nate Bernitz  1:07:10

So very safe,

 

Emma E  1:07:10

Very safe, these plants are going to bloom kind of no matter what. And another reason for that, too, is that they bloom on new growth. So even if they're damaged by the cold over the winter, or even if you make some sort of pruning error, let's say in the in the fall in spring, you're still going to get flowers no matter what. So this is definitely one of my favorite varieties, or I should say species for New Hampshire. If you look behind you. We see some bigleaf hydrangeas, hydrangea macrophylla. And this is a species of hydrangea that primarily blooms on old growth, which means that those shoots and stems that were produced last summer, produce the majority of the flower buds. And those flower buds are going to be at the tips of the branches. Sometimes, you know, people might get into a little bit of trouble with these either because it gets too cold in the winter. This is really a plant that's happiest in zone five, zone six, even if you want consistent blooms. And if we get a really cold winter in New Hampshire, oftentimes those flower buds don't make it. So this is of course, I should say this is the blue hydrangea that so many people want that if you want blue, you have to grow a big leaf hydrangea. Now, one other thing to consider, though, is that a lot of these newer varieties are considered reblooming, which means that they will flower on both the old growth and those are the primary blooms as well as some on the new growth of the current season. And with breeding efforts, this is getting better and better. And a lot of the newest varieties are more consistent, so you can count on having at least a few blooms on your hydrangea. So if you were expecting your shrub to look like let's say a hydrangea on Cape Cod, and you live, let's say in Central New Hampshire, that may not be realistic, that may not be what you're actually going to get. All of these bigleaf hydrangea plants are gonna be hard enough to survive our winters in New Hampshire. There's no question about that. The question is really how many flowers you're going to get. And with this particular variety that we're looking at, Bloom Struck. This is a very cold hardy bigleaf hydrangea. And I can say with confidence that you were going to get some blooms on this plant really no matter what happens over the winter. Now whether it will be absolutely coated with flowers. I don't know. You know, it probably depends on growing conditions in your garden. What happens you know through all the seasons, but doing your homework, or at least talking with staff at the garden center, about varieties of hydrangeas might be helpful for you so that you're selecting if you're trying to go for one of these bigleaf hydrangeas, one of these macrophylla, you're choosing one that is a rebloomer So with a plant like this, you're still going to plume it and prune it in early spring. The differences you're not really trying to reduce the height or size of this plant you're not trying to do any shaping. All you're looking to do is just remove any stems that are dead. So what you'll probably find is that the oldest stems on the plant ones that bloomed heavily last year probably don't have too much life to them and they can be removed. You might also be able to find some that were damaged by the winter that either need to be clipped back to a live pair of buds or taken completely out of that plant.

 

Nate Bernitz  1:10:32

All right, well we covered a lot of ground today hopefully people have picked up a few ideas insights tips that'll help your weekend trip to the garden center and your your weekend gardening go go a little bit better and lead to hopefully your best gardening season yet I we may be in for another dry year we'll see hard to hard to look into the future but it is looking kind of that way after a dry year last year too. So that's going to be a consideration for all us gardeners on on mulching and conserving water and you know in any way that we can, but that aside, hopefully this podcast is giving giving you a lot of ideas to take your gardening to the next level. It's it's sure been helpful for me. Little little bit selfishly, but I just want to thank Emma thank Rachel for for coming on. It's been fun glad we got to hang out at the garden center as well. Until next time, keep on growing Granite State gardeners Talk to you again soon. Granite State gardening is a production of the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and equal opportunity educator and employer. views expressed on this podcast are not necessarily those of the university's its trustees, or its volunteers, inclusion or exclusion of commercial products and this podcast does not imply endorsement. The University of New Hampshire US Department of Agriculture and New Hampshire counties cooperate to provide extension programming in the Granite State. Learn more at extension that unh.edu