Monday, June 16, 2014

June Garden Tips

Photo courtesy of the Royal Horticulture Society
From across the pond we get some June garden advice. Great Britain is more than a seven hour flight northeast of us, but because of the mollifying ministrations of the North Atlantic currents, its Plant Hardiness Zones approximate a good portion of North Carolina.

For the Brits, at the top of the list for June is what we all experience: the sudden appearance of weeds 'from seemingly nowhere:'
June 21 is the longest day of the year, and the extra light and warmth encourages the garden to put on an exuberant burst of growth. But this extra light and warmth also means weeds will sprout up from seemingly nowhere. Keep on top of them by hoeing regularly in dry conditions.
This advice is accompanied by a video with more detail on just how to 'keep on top' of weeds, all delivered in that great British accent which just exudes competence and authority.

But there's more: a top 10 list of things to do, and specific advice about flowers, trees, shrubs, lawns - and even ponds.  So take a trip to the Old Country and get your June yard in shape for the summer!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Your Plant Hardiness Zones

For all of you scientific gardeners out there (as opposed to the seat of the pants, whack a mole approach seemingly favored by people like me), we present the most current Plant Hardiness Zone map of these United States. These maps are published by the USDA, and divide the country up into 13 different zones based on the average annual minimum temperature that can be expected in each.   If you're a computer gamer type, here is an interactive version of this map.

There are actually many other factors that dictate whether a certain plant will or won't thrive in your particular geographic zone, e.g. soil moisture, number of annual frosts, risk of sudden cold snaps, and summer heat levels. But average annual minimum temperature is a nice initial qualifier of the range of plants that will and won't survive in a particular place. For instance, we are in Zone 7b, which tells me that I won't be planting any Roystonea regia around here - at least, not any that will last out the winter: