Dear Valued Lanoha Customer,

 

     The busy month of August is upon us. Summer seems to have gone by quickly as many homeowners, including myself, spent a lot of the summer repairing and replacing damaged landscapes. Friends and family across the Midwest have reminded me that they, too, experienced similar winter loses. We are certainly going to be more proactive in our late
fall and early winter gardening chores to help prevent any repeat of last year's losses. I will
be including tips and procedures for ensuring success with each month's edition of the newsletter. The informed gardener who puts good "winterizing" concepts into practice will have their landscape investments protected. I hope you will find this information helpful!


     The ample moisture of June is pretty well depleted in the metro area since rainfall has
been absent since very early July. Forecasts call for cool weather but little moisture. It is time to re-visit correct watering techniques of our landscapes.
    
     If sprinklers run more than 3 times a week or more than a total of 1 " of water is delivered by any means, a plant (especially a landscape size tree) can easily be overwatered and die. No one would intentionally over-water any plant in the landscape, but it is so easy to do!! In our quest to surround our landscapes with a sea of green turf, during the warm and often dry summer months, frequent light watering is often practiced. Keep in mind this fact: turf can be replaced easily in one season if it gets too dry, but it can take decades to grow a landscape sized tree. When newly installed trees (B&B, potted, or spade size) are installed in a landscape, they must rely on the moisture you or nature supplies to the root mass of the tree. It is unable to pull moisture from the soil around its root mass.

 

      Many times I have written about the dangers of applying mulch too deep around any plant. As valuable as wood mulch can be, it should not be over 2-3" deep and always kept 4-6" back from the bark or stem of any plant. A very "sneaky" situation has developed this summer in "overly" mulched landscape areas. More than 3-6" of wood mulch can and will develop a barrier in the mulch that is impervious to moisture. Moisture sheets off almost like "duck feathers" and can result in a plant dying from being too dry even with regular irrigation. The only way of knowing if this is happening to a plant is to check the moisture within the root mass of the plant. This is done with either a long shafted screwdriver or a thin rod that can be plunged into the soil to the depth of about 10-12". If the shaft pulls up moist soil adhering to the shaft, the plant does not need watering. A ball of this soil should crumble between your fingers. If the soil that comes up forms a muddy glob that will not crumble, you are certain this tree is over-watered and must be allowed to dry dramatically in order to not drown. It is when the shaft pulls up dry that you are certain a deep watering is needed. Our heavy soils hold water for a long time--don't be surprised to find B&B trees need infrequent watering. A potted tree or shrub, on the other hand, will have a much smaller root mass and require more frequent deep watering. The technique is the same regardless of the size of the plant. 

 

NEVER PUT A PLANT ON A WATERING SCHEDULE.
TEST THE ROOT MASS AND THEN DETERMINE WATER NEEDS!!

 

 


The Season's First Mums Have Arrived!

4'' x 6'' sizes are currently in stock in assorted colors.  







 


The Year The Hydrangeas Didn't Bloom 






 January and February's cold and wind caused plant damage

   

     Where did all the hydrangea flowers go? By this time of the growing season, Omaha-area landscapes are awash in the familiar, softball-sized blue and pink flower orbs of the beloved macrophylla hydrangea. Not so this summer! The flamboyant shrub that Martha Stewart invigorated a decade ago has not many blooms visible his year, a consequence of the winter's polar vortexes. January and February's trifecta of unrelenting cold and wind delivered a particular beating to Hydrangea macrophylla ie. Endless Summer, Blushing Bride, Bloom Struck, etc. The great majority of these popular plants are still alive-that's the good news. The bad news is this year's blooms will not materialize.

     Big leaf hydrangea flower on wood that formed from buds grown the season before. The extreme winter left most big leaf hydrangea with bare branches that had to start over by pushing new shoots up from around the base of the plants. Those stems should produce blooms next year, but probably this season no amount of fertilizing, watering, or "talking" will produce blooms. Too much fertilizer always will produce excess foliage at the expense of blooms. This is the sort of damage we expect to see if hydrangea are exposed to the north or west winds of winter or are planted in other compromising situations--this year it happened to novice and seasoned growers alike in a wide range of planting sites. Any dead stems or twigs should be removed now, but no fall pruning or fertilizing should be done. In some cases, a few random blooms may occur in August and September from new stems, but the big summer show will not occur.  

 

     So how do you prepare your plants for 2015? Lanoha's Information Center has a FREE guide on "Winterizing Hydrangea" that will share tips on getting these beauties again. On the other side of the coin, the always Nebraska hardy Hydrangea arborescens (Annabelle, Incrediball, and Invincible Spirit) laughed at the winter
and are putting on quite a show. The late summer flowering Hydrangea "PeeGee" (Limelight, Pinky Winky, Little Lime, and Mystic Flame) are joining in a great explosion of late summer color. Why? They bloom on new wood and no amount of winter injury affects their summer performance.

 

 


The Linden

A Tree That Generations Will Benefit From
 






  

     August signals the beginning of the fall planting season. A tree installed this
month will allow you to enjoy its full fall color! A huge inventory of northern hardy seed source specimen trees that have been grown in our local fields is now available.

     Lindens are one of the easiest shade tree to grow in the metro area, relatively rapid grower, and develop a dense full canopy. Rich dark green, heart-shaped leaves along with small yellowish-white fragrant nectar rich flowers make this a very desirable tree for almost any home site.   


The three Linden cultivars that perform best in the Omaha area are:

     - Tilia Cordata (Little Leaf Linden)
     - Tilia Americana (Redmond Linden)
     - Tilia Tomentosa(Sterling Silver Linden)

 

     All three are grown to specimen size in our local fields and are available for immediate Fall planting. Stop in and select yours now. Linden's grow best in soils
that are neither over-irrigated nor dry. They tolerate a varying level of soil pH.
In a non-irrigated area, deep but infrequent watering is recommended.

    
     Little Leaf Linden
is a broad pyramidal tree that grows 40-45' tall with a crown spread of 30-35'. Its glossy, dark green leaves burst into a bright yellow color show
in the autumn. The fragrant summer flowers attract butterflies, pollinators, and beneficial insects. I refer to my now mature little leaf linden tree as "my garden hotel for the good friends of my landscape." I planted it the month of my daughter's birth. We named the tree "Lady Bird" in respect for all the environmental things President Johnson's wife, Lady Bird, was encouraging citizens to do. I really think planting "family memory" trees are a great bonding experience between families and nature! Greenspire is the cultivar of little leaf linden that we have been growing for decades
in our local production fields. It is very adapted to Omaha soils. It is very pollution tolerant and as a street tree it will perform well where other species may fail. It grows with a very straight central leader to a mature 40-45' tall making it a great medium sized landscape tree. It keeps an oval shape until full maturity when the crown becomes more rounded. Greenspire is the standard by which other lindens are evaluated. Very few little leaf linden's displayed die-back or winter injury this spring. That is quite a claim!!

    
     Redmond Linden
reaches 40-45' at maturity with a spread of 25-30'. Its tight pyramidal shape is complimented by an abundance of large glossy green leaves.
This tree develops its trunk (caliper) size first and then the branching develops quickly in following years. The tree creates an impressive silhouette in the winter landscape.
It is a tree that has been admired and appreciated ever since a local nursery in Fremont, Nebraska introduced this tree to the market in 1927. You can't find a more native Nebraska tree than this gem.    

    
     Sterling Silver Linden
is a very ornamental shade tree with a broad, oval habit
of growth and fragrant flowers in early summer. The dark green leaves have a silvery backside which shimmers in the wind. It is a very attractive neat and tidy tree that
is very adaptable. The foliage turns an outstanding gold in the fall. It forms a strong central leader creating a refined pyramidal form. It is an excellent tree to attract bees and other pollinators to your yard. It will grow to about 45' at maturity with a spread of 30.' It is a long-lived tree that will add value to any property. One perfect reason to include this tree in your landscape is that it is RESISTANT TO JAPANESE BEETLES!

 


Garden Chrysanthemums

One of Nebraska's Favorite Fall Blooming Plants






 

  

     A great crop of "Home-Grown" cushion mums, available now in the greenhouse, is making many homeowners very pleased as they either need to freshen "summer tired" annual pots or create a whole new look with fall mums and asters as anchors for the autumn look. We have some of the very early crop ready for your selection.  

 

      [ Mums add pleasing bright colors to the fall landscape. Their versatility and
        variety make them valuable in many settings
]   

 

     The filler items to go along with the mums and asters should become available about the middle of the month. We will have them out and ready for your selection as soon as they begin to put on their "fall show." Millet, sunflowers, kale, cabbage, swiss chard, and some of the great fall grasses like switch and miscanthus will be hot items for that perfect fall entrance planter or patio pots. You can do the planting yourself-or if you are crunched for time, you will be able to pick up our "drop-in" pre-planted fiber containers that will be available by the mid to latter part of the month. Autumn is such a great decorating season-we'll have a good selection of woody stems and twigs to add the finishing touch to any container.

       While mums make great container plantings, the vast majority of cushion mums are planted in perennial/mixed landscape beds. Mums develop best where they receive at least 6 hours of full sun per day. Plants grown in shade or semi-shady locations tend to grow taller, have weaker and fewer stems, and smaller flowers. Avoid planting where trees or shrubs will be competitive for light and water. Mums require well-drained soils because of their relatively shallow root system. In poorly drained soils, soil-borne diseases may injure plants during wet summer periods, while winter-kill is likely if water stands around crowns during occasional winter thaws.

        [ Newly set mums should be kept consistently moist, during establishment ]


     Depressions that might collect water should be leveled. This is why we often suggest planting the top of the root ball about " above the soil line. Make sure planting beds have adequate soil drainage. Heavy clay soil should be amended with perlite and compost. Use "Myke for Perennials" in the bottom of each planting hole to ensure the plants get well rooted before the ground freezes. Newly set mums should be kept consistently moist, not wet, during establishment. One good watering, the equivalent of 1" of water per week, usually is adequate. Water in
the morning or early afternoon so leaves dry before dark.  

     Mums set their buds based on how many hours of darkness they are exposed to-mums planted on the east side of a building will bloom sooner in the season
than ones planted on the west where they are in more sunlight each day.

     Even the so-called "hardy" mums may not consistently over-winter in Nebraska. Last winter's cold dry blasts killed unprotected plants across the city. Loose mulches, such as leaves or light wood mulch, may increase winter survival! Plants should be mulched in very late fall, and the mulch should be removed in early spring. Mulches applied and used improperly can damage new stems as they emerge in the spring.    

TIP: Studies have indicated that leaving on the tops of the chrysanthemum plants over winter can increase their winter survival.  

 

 


When to Aerate Your Lawn? 






  Aeration increases the absorption of water, nutrients and oxygen to your lawn.

  

     Aeration is a cultivation practice used to alleviate soil compaction. Indications
of compacted soil are thin turf or bare areas, puddling or runoff after irrigation,
and certain weeds, such as prostrate knot weed.

     Compaction is usually most severe in the upper few inches of soil. Compressing soil particles reduces the pore space between the particles and impedes the movement of air, water, and nutrients to the grass roots. Consequently, the root system of the turf becomes shallow and drought prone. The goal of aerating the lawn is to loosen the soil and increase the availability of water, nutrients, and oxygen. This not only stimulates root growth, but it also enhances the activity
of thatch-decomposing organisms.

     A core aerator should be used to remove a core of soil. Plan to go over the lawn at least twice -if not three times to open the heavy soil for maximum benefit. Travel once in one direction, then again in two perpendicular directions for best results.
A single pass over a compacted lawn will give unsatisfactory results. These cores, while somewhat unsightly at first, soon break apart.  

 
     [ Always water deeply several times prior to aerating to ensure a nice
       deep plug is removed
]


    Bluegrass and fescue lawns are best aerated in the late summer to early fall, where there is less danger of invasion by annual weeds. There should be at least four weeks of favorable growing season remaining to allow the grass roots recovery time. Always water deeply for several times prior to aerating to ensure a nice deep plug is removed. If the soil is hard and dry, the plugs will be shallow and the machine will "bounce" over the turf.

        Decades ago most lawns were started from seed and the soil was tilled deeply before the seed was distributed over the site, and grass seed rooted down quickly with DEEP ROOTS. Such lawns could endure power raking. Today most lawns are sodded right over a "fresh grade" where no loosing of the soil is done. The sod, in most cases, is unable to penetrate the hard clay and therefore almost from the beginning some of the sod's roots, stems, and crowns die and begin the build- up of "thatch" that is the main nemesis to great looking turf. Power raking a sodded lawn almost always "kills" more live plants than are removed with the dead thatch. Lawns that are power raked are really stressed, and more weeds and fungus diseases will affect the turf the next season.

TIP: The only time you ever power rake a lawn is if you want to tear off the entire turf and replace it with sod or totally reseed your lawn! 
 

How to Deal With Compacted Soils  

and Thatch in Turf? 






 

  

     The time to begin a program of thatch breakdown is in mid to late August. Aerate and apply a unique all natural granulated humate material called
"Natural Guard Soil Activator." Think in terms of this product as composting the thatch. In addition to reducing the thatch, it improves the structure of hard clay
soil. It should be used in conjunction with your fertilization program.

   
     [ The time to begin a program of thatch breakdown is in mid to late August ]

      Outstanding results occur when "Activator" is use with an organic fertilizer such
as Pro Rich or Milorganite. The organic "Activator" works best when soil temperatures are warm. It is also compatible with our favorite turf food, "Lanoha's Premium Lawn Food" ,that has been the back-bone of our fertilizer offerings for nearly 40 years.  

      If thatch is over one inch thick, use this special activator both spring and early
fall for at least 2-3 seasons. After that, thatch should have shrunk to an acceptable " or less. A single application every year should be adequate.

 

Unsure if your lawn has thatch?

Bring in a sample 10-12" square of sod with the soil attached, and we will analyze it for you and answer any questions you may have.

 

 


Ninebark Rose...

The Rose Without Thorns 






     When you consider plants in the rose family, many would immediately think "thorns."Amazingly many members of the rose family are thornless.  

 

 [ Ninebark joins chokeberries, spirea, cotoneaster, crabapples, peaches,  
   and cherries to name a few in this huge "rose family"

    
     In the past, most gardeners would not jump up and down upon seeing the common Ninebark. Not until recently did this ugly duckling become a swan,
thanks to plant breeders doing some outstanding work. This shrub no longer is just "common." Two of the newer introductions are certainly worth considering in any new or existing landscape.

     Physocarpus opulifolius 'Center Glow' Ninebark is a new and exciting variety.
The leaf size and shape is similar to Diabolo, a 3 lobed, maple like leaf about 3-4" long. The foliage emerges a yellow-green but matures into bright, deep red that lasts all season long. With a plant height of 6-8' tall and wide, it makes quite a statement as a screen or specimen planting. It performs best in full sun, but some shade from the hottest afternoon sun may actually improve the bright red coloring. Light pink buds open to button like cluster of white flowers in the late spring.
It is a fast grower and new shoots can be cut and used in floral arrangement.  

          [ The foliage emerges a yellow-green but matures into bright, deep red
            that lasts all season long
]   

     In European floral arrangements, stems often anchor arrangements.
Its exfoliating bark and attractive red fruit make it a great addition to fall and winter arrangements. The bark peels in strips to reveal several layers (9) of reddish to light brown inner bark, hence the common name. Prune immediately after flowering and no later than mid-August to ensure flowering in the spring. Its bark provides winter interest, but this interesting bark is usually hidden by the foliage during the growing season and is not bothered by serious insect or disease problems.

     Physocarpus opulifolius 'Danna May' Little Devil Ninebark is great for any garden, but it is especially useful for smaller urban gardens or where low maintenance is desired. This cute 'Little Devil' features burgundy foliage throughout the season.
In June, the foliage is beautifully offset by button-like white pink flowers. It matures
to 3-4'tall and wide. It is a great background planting for lower perennials or
makes a neat shrub border. It is disease and pest resistant and requires very little maintenance. It keeps its great compact shape without pruning. It has established itself as a 'key player' in most landscape designer's top shrub choices. Our inventory is excellent!


AUGUST GARDEN TIPS
      1. All roses, including shrub roses like Knock-Out, should be fed with a balanced granulated rose food about August 15th. We recommend using Ferti-lome's Rose Food with Systemic Insecticide to ensure the rose will continue blooming profusely into fall and prepare their roots for winter survival. Thousands of roses were lost over the past winter.
      2. Now is the perfect time to plant all nursery plants---trees, shrubs, roses, perennials, and groundcovers. NO REASON TO WAIT!!!
      3. Hybrid bearded iris rhizomes will be available later this month. The large inventory will amaze you with the colors and sizes available. Both spring and repeat blooming varieties will be available. If you have existing beds of bearded iris, stop at the Information Desk and pick up your FREE GUIDE on how to be successful separating and transplanting iris. Don't delay, this is one of those gardening tasks that needs to be done by the end of the month.
      4. A tree never needs more than 2-3" of mulch over the root ball. Keep the mulch back away from the trunk at least 4-6" to avoid compromising the tree's vigor. Never build 'mulch volcanoes' next to a tree---you see it everywhere---but it is not good for the tree and will probably cause the tree to die at an early age!!
      5. Turf that looks stressed from summer heat and fungus should be aerated and over-seeded between August 15th and September 15th. Most quality bluegrass seed requires 14-21 days to fully germinate. Don't put off seeding bluegrass---do it now in August or the first few days of September. Use only premium seed.

        Lanoha's "Best of the Blues" blend of premium disease resistant bluegrass is 100% weed free! Pick up your "FREE" fall seeding guide at the Information Desk today to get prepared for fall seeding success.
      6. Late August is an excellent time to divide daylilies and hosta plants. This allows ample time for the new clumps to establish healthy roots before the ground freezes. Amended soils with perlite and compost to create a receptive site. Always use Myke for Perennials or Superthrive when creating these new beds.
        If you are not familiar with these products, let our helpful staff show them to you.
         [ Super Thrive mixes with water and comes in a variety of sizes ]
            7. Get patio trees and foliage ready for their fall indoor move. Granulated
                soil applied insecticides will eliminate the majority of insects that can hitchhike 
                indoors on these plants. Several treatments should occur before bringing the
                plant inside for the winter. We have a good inventory of this effective
                insecticide.

       

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