Tag Archives: Iowa winters

Water New Plantings Well Before Winter

Hidden in the beautiful fall days we have enjoyed lurks a killer of new plantings.  We have had a very dry fall and the subsoil moisture is almost non-existent.  The cracks you see on the surface of the ground allow air to infiltrate the root zone of your newly planted tree or shrub.  Taking time to water  before the ground freezes will make your tree much happier in the spring.  Watering just an inch a week from now until the ground freezes solid may mean the difference between a live tree in the spring or one that looks like it belongs in a horror film.  For evergreen shrubs and trees watering is essential as they continue their search for moisture during the winter using up their reserves. 

Remember, healthy trees are happy trees and happy trees make for happy homeowners.

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‘Linesville Arborvitae’ Plant of the Month

This little gem is the very best in the line of small evergreens that handle our winter weather.  At 2’x2′ the ‘Linesville’ will make a very nice addition to your foundation planting or lining a walkway as a border.  We have had them growing out here at TimberPine for several years now.  They are in an area where they are subjected to a variety of conditions including salt from the sidewalk in the winter.  This plant has thrived in those conditions and wormed it’s way into the hearts of our designers with it’s no quit attitude.

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What’s all this snow doing to your landscape?

Ya know that warm feeling when you’re all snuggled up in bed on a cold winter evening?  When you’d rather refrain from the bathroom just to maintain the coziness of your flannel sheets under your thick down blanket.  That’s how your plants are feeling right now, buried under their own blanket of snow.  They’re like a bear in hibernation.  So don’t fret.  Don’t worry.  They’re better off suffocating beneath the snow than exposed to the harsh Iowa winds of winter.

And don’t freak out when come spring you find your tasty shrubs nibbled on by the neighborhood critters.  The rabbits and deer are really the ones suffering this nasty winter.

As that dang saying goes…..”Spring is just around the corner”.

I wish that corner was 5 feet in front of me.

Author: Katie Ketelsen

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“BOXWOOD” Plant of the Month~December

Green Mountain Boxwood

I love boxwood…and use it frequently in my landscape designs.  Why? Because it stays put.  I won’t have endless trimming, as with the yews; they won’t get large, as with the junipers, and it has a nice waxy leaf to it.

Most importantly, it is considered a broad-leaf evergreen~thus color in the deary winter months! They are perfect for hanging your Christmas lights on.

There are several different types of boxwoods and within them, there are certain varieties that will weather the Iowa winters better than others.  This shrub can withstand full sun to partial shade and prefers well drained soils.  I recommend not trimming Boxwood because as they say with Pringles, once you start, you can’t stop.  Sometimes the Boxwood can explode some sporadic branching, at which I would suggest gentle trimming with a hand pruner. (An exception to this “rule” would be if you were wanting to create a hedge.  Gardens with a cottage or Victorian flare have used the Boxwood in many forms)

Here is a quick list of some of the more commonly used Boxwoods in our area:

  • Chicagoland Boxwood: possibly considered a hardier specimen of the mounding varieties of Boxwood. Grows approximately 2-3′ tall, 3′ wide
  • Winter Gem Boxwood: 3′ tall, 3′ wide

     

    Winter Gem Boxwood

  • Green Velvet Boxwood: 2-3′ tall, 3′ wide
  • Wintergreen Boxwood: 2′ tall, 2-3′ wide
  • Green Mountain Boxwood: Probably one of my favorites is this pyramidal Boxwood; use this version to provide vertical accents along your front foundation.  Or in a cottage garden setting to create a small hedge. 3-4′ tall, 2-3′ wide

There are some considerations to be taken with the Boxwood.  Recently I have seen severe winter die back when Iowa has had harsh winters and crazy springs with late ice storms .  This year I’m protecting my Chicagoland and Green Mountain Boxwoods with a leaf shield you can spray on their foliage.  Wilt Pruf is a common product used to protect sensitive evergreens and the liking.

What types of Boxwood do you have in your landscape? Do you even like the plant?  Share your photos with us!  We wanna see what you’ve been up to.

Katie Ketelsen

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