GardenSmart :: EPISODES :: 2001 show26
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Monkey Grass With Wally Pressy

Many believe Monkey Grass originated in the Far East. It has become a very popular ground cover in this country. Typically we think of only one or two varieties but there are many different varieties of this plant. The most popular variety Liriope Muscari "Big Blue" is an effective border plant. It can be used to line trails, it is not a spreading plant, grows well in the shade and blooms yearly. Liriope Muscari "John Burch" has beautiful large purple flowers. Many varieties are shown on the program. Several Liriope Muscari species discussed are "Variegata," "Mondo White" which has white flowers and grows in the shade, "Aztec Grass," grows mostly in the deep South, "Royal Purple" has beautiful purple flowers, "Christmas Tree," its' blooms look like a Christmas tree and flowers in late Summer "Evergreen Giant," grows to between 2.5" and 3 " tall (don't cut this variety back). Liriope Spicata varieties spread and are good for erosion control, "Silver Dragon" is one variety. Ophiopogon Japonicus is "Mondo Grass." "Nana" Dwarf Mondo Grass is shade loving, low growing, often used as a turf substitute in the shade. Ophiopogon Planiscapus "Arabians" or Black Mondo Grass is a spreading plant and likes full sun. Typically Monkey Grass is best cut back in February.

Dividing Perennials - Irises - With Tom Harvey

When blooms are small and spindly or if the plant lacks vigor or is open
at the center it is time to dig up the plant, get it out of the ground,
take it apart and cut it back. Don't let the task intimidate you. Don't
be afraid to man-handle the plant, in the long run it is needed.
First dig around the roots, pull the plant out of the ground and shake
it out. Break it apart with a shovel and your hands. Look for new growth
and focus on these. Prepare the soil. Trim the leaves back to where they become flat, then put back in the soil. Spread the roots, press firmly down into the soil and cover with soil to the line where the green
starts. Sprinkle with 10-10-10, water and cover with mulch. Your plant
will be much healthier and the blooms larger.

Dr. Rick Plants Pansies and Violas

Violas and Pansies are part of the same family. Pansies date back to the 4th century when the Greeks used them medicinally. In the Fall they are best planted when soil temperatures are between 45-65 degrees. There are different types of Pansies. If they're going to be used in a setting close to you, a patio for example, you might want to use Pansies with a face. If used in a distance a clear face will have a more striking effect. Size is also a consideration. Large Pansies have a face of between 2.5 and 3 inches in diameter. Mediums are 1.5 to 2.5 inches. while smalls fall below 1.5 inches. Small is not necessarily bad, because the smaller plants usually have more flowers per plant than the larger plants. When the soil temperature falls below 55 degrees you will want to use a fertilizer with a Nitrogen source like Calcium Nitrate. Check the back of the package to make sure it has at least 50% Calcium Nitrate.

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GardenSMART Featured Article

By Dan Heims, President, Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.

Terra Nova’s breeders have created a series of outstanding world-class echinaceas that are consistent in size, bloom power, color intensity and are a pollinator buffet. What’s not to like. To learn more, click here for an interesting article.

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