Friday, 2 August 2013

Industry News Bulletin

Here are some articles Welland Vale Nurseries have found from around the web.

Shade-loving plants can brighten the garden

It's a summer gardening dilemma: People love shade, but most plants prefer sun. Under towering trees or man-made structures, shade creates cool oases. On a triple-digit afternoon, that sunless shadow can lower the temperature 10 to 20 degrees. But that same shade can kill sun-loving plants. They'll stretch their stems into a gangly, unattractive mess as they search for slivers of light. Flowers? Forget it. There can be a happy gardening medium, a space with cooling shade for humans and enough light for flowering plants to thrive. The key is finding the right spots for the right plants -- and people, too.

Gardens: plants for cracks

The back garden path is a different beast, being exposed to the sun and occasionally hot and baked. It calls for something Mediterranean in nature rather than just in name, and creeping thymes are the thing. You can create a kind of tapestry effect by mixing those with different coloured flowers (white 'Snowdrift', pink 'Bressingham Pink') and variously variegated types (green and gold leaved 'Doone Valley', glaucous Thymus pseudolanuginosus), or stick to one kind for a cleaner effect. I've also considered mixing in a small section of the non-flowering, mat-forming chamomile 'Treneague', which is the plant to go for to create Miniature Rivers of chamomile lawn. 

Keeping plants happy in summer

Heat and sunlight not only affect gardeners, they also impact plants. Leaves can become sunburned and begin to get large yellow patches that turn grey or brown in the centre. If plants showing signs of sunburn are in pots or containers move them to areas where there is more afternoon shade. If the plants are in the ground, it may be necessary to erect some form of shade cloth protection on the south and west sides of the plant. If certain plants become too stressed in the summer, it might be a good idea to consider moving the plant to a more suitable location in the fall or early spring, or add protective, shade-giving plants to the existing landscape.

The dirt on soil: What you need to know about what your plants need to thrive

Despite the glamour issue, or lack of it, if you want to garden well, you will eventually get serious about soil. You learn that soil is a mix of sand, clay and silt particles. You read about the importance of soil porosity and that some of these pores need to be filled with air and others need to be filled with water. You are also constantly counselled to add copious quantities of compost or other organics to your soil. I go on about this constantly, like a broken record.

August in the Garden

For many gardeners the month of August begins the downhill slide into off season. Warm climate gardeners have a second chance, but some don't have a second wind after summer's heat. Your garden is hardier than you think and there are plenty of gardening tasks for August that will keep your flower and vegetable gardens going longer, as well as opportunities to get a head start on next year's garden plans.

This industry bulletin was brought to you by Welland Vale Nurseries 

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