GardenSmart :: EPISODES :: 2003 show44
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Show #44

Weeds may germinate 12 months per year and some weeds, like Henbit, Chickweed or Pigweed produce over 200,000 weed seeds. A pre emergent is spread on the soil surface and keeps weeds from germinating. Trifluralin is one of Dr. Ricks favorites, it creates a gas barrier on the soil and kills roots. It only works on plants starting to germinate, so you must rid your garden of weeds before an application. It is safe for use on herbs and vegetables, works in ornamental beds and Hollies. It lasts about 3 months, apply it when leaves are dry, but wet your garden after an application to get the chemicals working.

Helen Phillips shows us the Herb Garden at Callaway and it has a lot of culinary plants. She shows us a tall tree called Sweet Bay, its' leaves are used as Bay Leaves. Callaway, in zone 7 & 8, is at the northern end of its' comfortable growing zone. Chives is another plant in this garden. They are similar in taste to onions and are sprinkled on salads, soup or breads. In the spring it has a beautiful purple bloom. Another plant, Garlic Chives has a flat versus the round leaf of the garden chive. Chop them up and sprinkle on meat, vegetables or put them in bread, they taste like garlic. French Tarragon doesn't grow that well at Callaway because of humid, moist conditions but Tagete Lucida, in the Marigold family, is prolific. It blooms in the fall and has yellow flowers and has a flavor similar to French Tarragon. Celery doesn't grow well in the south but a Celery-Parsely combination plant Parcel grows all 12 months of the year. It smells, tastes and feels like Celery. Sage is popular at Thanksgiving. This grey-green plant is easy to grow, likes full sun and well drained soil. It is an evergreen, grows 3 or 4 years, then may get woody, but root new cuttings and you have a new plant. Garden Basil is almost always in Spaghetti or Pizza. By summers end the plant will billow out and fill a large space. Purple Basil is great for herbal vinegar. Sorrell is an herb more commonly used in Europe. It has big leaves and tastes like sour grass, very lemony. Thyme is a low growing, scrubby plant that creeps along the ground. In England it may be used as a lawn in very small spaces. Its' bloom is purplish, pinkish, sometimes white or red. Bees love it and it is a tidy looking plant. Winter Savory traditionally was used in bean dishes. The winter variety is green through winter but there is also a summer Savory. Summer Savory is an Annual, Winter Savory is a perennial. Dill is used in flavoring Dill Pickles. It will grow four feet tall and have blossoms that look like Queen Annes Lace. It has flat blossoms but the seeds are what is used to flavor pickles. Herbs can be used as landscape plants, several interesting choices are. Calendula or Pot Marigold are culinary herbs. Chefs sprinkle the bright petals on a salad, they don't have taste but are attractive. Pineapple Guava makes a fruit suitable for jams, yet it has a beautiful flower. The petals can be substituted for candy, if you want a sweet taste. Horsetail is strange looking but Pioneer ladies would wrap their hand or make them into a ball and rub and clean iron pots. It will spread, like Bamboo, so be careful. Wormwood Artemisia, Palace Castle, is soft gray and looks great with Horsetail. Horseradish is not a beautiful plant because it is coarse and bold but when placed next to Fennel, which is soft and green, it works well. Mint, particularly Apple Mint, is soft and fuzzy, another interesting addition to a garden. Jerusalem Sage or Phlomis is not a culinary sage but looks good in this grouping of plants. By using herbs as landscape plants we can mix textures, coarse, fine, soft and in between with bold plants to make a striking presentation in your garden. Catmint has soft blue flowers and a billowing effect in the garden and your cat will enjoy it. Bungy Onion has a neat round ball of flowers and it spreads. Herbs in our gardens give us a soothing, calming place to enjoy ourselves in the evening allowing us to renew ourselves for the next busy day.

Growing large leafed Rhododendrons in the south is a true test of our horticultural skills. They're more suited to the Northeast coast and New England but at Callaway in zone 8 they do grow many varieties quite well. They choose plants that have southern bloodlines such as Rhododendron Catawbiense a species native to the south. It ranges from Alabama to West Virginia and has heat tolerance built in. Setting and culture help us grow these plants. The site needs to have high filtered shade, Pine Trees are particularly effective because they offer protection from the winter sun and summer sun. In summertime it is important to have an abundance of mulch, like Pinestraw, around their roots and a good supply of moisture. We must be careful not to over water because what appears at first to be drought may be root rot or fungus. Several other species that do well in the south are: Rhododendron Midas, Peat Moss Rhododendron and Rhododendron Cariendelas, Gomer Waterer, Nova Zembla.

Magnolia says southern. Magnolia Grandiflora is a giant plant. They can grow 60-70 feet tall and 40-50 feet wide. There are smaller varieties, Little Gem is one. Whether we use it at Christmas, as decorations over our mantle, or put its' glossy leaves in vases or in our fireplaces in the summer, when not in use, the leaves last for months and add beauty to our homes all year long.

Links: Callaway Gardens

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