Friday, February 21, 2014

Container Gardens and Color Bowls

Planting Container Gardens and Color Bowls

This year let’s start a new gardening project to renovate your landscape, patio, deck, or balcony with container gardens and color bowls. Container gardens and color bowls can be easily made by the gardener. The containers and bowls can be made of ceramic, clay, cedar, or wood, and come in a variety of sizes, colors, and shapes. Container gardens and color bowls are planted with a gardening theme or style such as: shade tolerant plants, sun tolerant plants, plants with bold colors, heat tolerant plants, drought tolerant plants, herb plants, vegetable plants, butterfly plants, hummingbird plants, just to name a few container garden themes; or you can have a combination gardening theme such as herbs and vegetables, butterfly and hummingbird plants. Before we start our gardening project here are a few components to take into consideration such as location, container size, and soils to use.

Location(s): To start you need to decide the location or if you are planting more than one garden or bowl locations. Depending on how much sun or shade the location receives will determine what container garden theme or style to use. 

Container Size(s): After deciding the location of your container garden you need to choose a container size because the size of the container will determine what type of theme Cedar Planteror style of garden to proceed with. For herbs and vegetables theme gardens choose a container 18 inches or larger and for color bowl theme gardens use a 12 inch bowl or larger. Hibiscus and More has a fine selection of cedar containers to renovate your landscape, patio, deck or balcony; and make an excellent choice for container gardening. Click to Order.

Soil: One secret to success with container gardening is the potting soil that you use. There are several potting soils on the market and choosing one is a matter of your gardening preferences. Some of the choices are inorganic verses organic, with moisture control or without moisture control, with timed-release fertilizer or without fertilizer. Some potting soils are especially formulated for the type of plants that you choose such as herbs and vegetables potting soil or soils that are formulated for annuals and perennials; these would make an excellent choice to use for your container garden. 

Fertilizer: Fertilizers are the vitamins or the essential elements that a plant needs. The soil, atmosphere, and water usually provide the plant with these essential nutrients; but there are times when the soil is generally nutrient deficient and in this case a fertilizer is essential. There are sixteen essential elements to plant nutrition. These elements are separated into two categories, macronutrients and micronutrients. The macronutrients are: oxygen [O], carbon [C], hydrogen [H], nitrogen [N], phosphorus [P], potassium [K], Calcium [Ca], magnesium [Mg], sulfur [S] and are required by the plant in large amounts. Oxygen, carbon and hydrogen are provided to the plant by the atmosphere and water. Nutrients required by the plant in small amounts are the micronutrients: iron [Fe], manganese [Mn], zinc [Zn], baron [B], copper [Cu], molybdenum [Mo], and chlorine [Cl]. These elements are the building blocks to plant nutrition. There are several fertilizers on the market and choosing one is a matter of your gardening preferences. Some of the choices are water soluble, granular, time-release, slow-release, organic, or inorganic. Choose a fertilizer that is formulated for the plants you have chosen. Most gardeners agree in using a combination of time-release fertilizer and a weekly or bi-weekly feeding of a water-soluble fertilizer of your choice. I highly recommend Osmocote 17-6-10 or Osmocote 18-6-12, which is a time release fertilizer that will last up to four months and the next time to feed my containers I put on the calendar.

Insecticide(s): When growing plants in containers, you may want to consider an IPM (Integrated Pest Management) approach method to control insects on your plants and using an IPM approach involves a two-step method approach, inspection of the plants, and what type of control method you are going to use. The first part would be scouting, observing, and inspecting your prized plants for insects or chew marks on the leaves. Constantly scouting and observing daily for any insect or worm that would start eating your prize plants, and when one is seen, you can simply dispose of the insect. However, sometimes these critters multiply overnight and when this happens it is advisable to spray with Safer Soap or Horticultural oil. Using Safer Soaps or Horticultural Oils on all your plants is an organic and an IPM approach to container gardening success. 

Watering: Of all the ingredients that have been mentioned for Container gardening success, water, is the most important to a successful Container gardening. The soil for your plants will need to be consistently moist at all times, but not soggy wet and the water source should be city water or treated water especially when growing herbs and vegetables in containers. This is one of the reasons of Salmonella outbreaks on produce; the herbs that were recalled received Salmonella during either the growing process or the production process. Due to all the current recalls of produce, more gardeners are starting to grow their own herbs and vegetables this year versus last year due to the recent outbreaks in store-bought produce. Just another reason to start growing your own herbs and vegetables, you supply the water, you supply the insecticide, and you know exactly what ingredients went into your herbs and vegetables. For states that are currently under water restrictions, you can water your food crops, personal food garden, or personal herb garden without penalty. Always wash all herbs and vegetables before eating or cooking, whether home grown or store-bought.

Designing the Container Garden: The retail garden centers markets some of the plants for container gardens as: spillers, thrillers, and fillers to give the gardening consumer an easier way to choose plants for their container gardens or color bowls. Spiller plants trail down the sides of the container and are consider a trailing or vine type of plant such as: English Ivy, Wave Petunia, and Sweet Potato Vine. The spillers will be planted along the edges or in the corners of your container. Thriller plants will be an upright plant or plants and will be taller than all the plants in your container garden which is placed in the center of your container. Thriller plants can be ornamental grasses, salvias, upright rosemary, snapdragons, and stock. Filler plants are just like the name describes and fill the middle of your container garden. These plants are upright in nature and will be shorter than your thriller plant. Filler plants could include the shorter salvias and snapdragons, dianthus, marigolds, zinnias just to name a few.
After choosing your spiller, thriller, and filler plants arrange the plants as how they’re going to be planted in the container or bowl. I do this on a flat surface and by doing so you get an idea of how the plants will look before they’re planted in the container.

Here are a few tips and questions the gardener needs to decide before starting their container garden or color bowl project.
·         Decide the location of the container or bowl, the location decides how much sunlight the plants will receive.
·         The sunlight will determine the type of plants you will use, sunny or shady plants.
·         Decide your container size. This will help determine how many plants to use and it is not a gardening crime to overfill your container.
·         The size of the container and the soil you choose will determine how frequently the container will need to be watered.
Cedar Planter 
Hibiscus and More has several cedar planters for your container garden. Click Here To View The Selection.

Any questions you have about your container garden or color bowl can be answered at the Ask the Horticulturist link: http://www.hibiscusandmore.com/horticultural-consultant.html

Let Cheryl at Hibiscus And More Plant Your Container Garden For You This Spring. Now Serving the Marietta, GA Area. You May Contact Her Directly by email at Cheryl@hibiscusandmore.com.

Spring is just around the corner...with, or without all of this snow!   It's the perfect time to add a bit of early color out there in your Coe Steinwart Cones in Pinkgarden with one of Coë Steinwart's bright and colorful garden flags! Click to Order.

All photographs and digital images are ©Cheryl Ann Meola 2014. All Rights Reserved. All photographs and digital images displayed in this article are for viewing purposes only and cannot be duplicated. ©Cheryl Ann Meola 2014.




Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Pollinators For Fruit Trees and Berries

Pollinators For Fruit Trees and Berries

Most fruit trees require pollination and chilling temperatures from November to mid-February to break dormancy in the spring. Pollination is the process of pollen from one flower being transferred to another flower, required by certain plants and trees. The process of pollination can be by insects, animals, wind, or humans.  Fruit trees need pollination for good fruit set, which occurs when a recommended fruit tree, (pollinator) is planted nearby. A pollinator can be describe as a tree or shrub that produces flowers at the same time and needs to be a different variety or cultivar, but of the same fruit. For example, apples pollinate other apple trees. For good pollination, the recommended spacing is 50 to 75 feet apart. When a fruit tree or berry plant is described as self-pollinating, the tree or berry plant is pollinated by their own flowers, but it is recommended to plant more than one for better fruit set. A plant or tree starts to go dormant when exposed to chilling temperatures. Chilling temperatures for a plant or tree are when night time temperatures drop to 45°F or below. Chill hours can be described as the number of hours the plant or tree receives temperatures at or below 45°F. Listed below are a few cultivars and pollinators for southern fruit trees, nuts trees, and berry plants.

Apples – All apples require pollinator depending on the variety. Listed below are a few cultivars for the south. Chilling hours are when night time temperatures are 45° or below.
Anna requires a pollinator with another cultivar. Dorsett Golden is a good pollinator for the Anna cultivar. Chilling Hours: 200 – 300.
Dorsett Golden - requires a pollinator with another cultivar. The Anna cultivar is a good pollinator for Dorsett Golden. Chilling Hours: 250.
Ein Shemer – self-pollinating and very productive. Anna and Dorsett can be used as pollinators. Chilling Hours: 200.
Fuji – requires a pollinator and tolerates summer heat. Any cultivar is good for pollination. Chilling Hours: 400 – 600 hours.
Gala – requires a pollinator and tolerates summer heat. Golden Delicious can be used a pollinator. Chilling Hours: 600.
Golden Delicious – benefits from a pollinator, Red Delicious. Chilling Hours: 600 – 700.
Granny Smith – self-pollinating and heat resistant. Chilling Hours – 500 – 600.
Red Delicious – benefits from a pollinator, Golden Delicious. Chilling Hours: 900.

Avocado – Avocados are self-pollinating, but benefit from a pollinator. Choose a different cultivar as a pollinator. Avocado trees should be planted in a well-drained area. Keep the planted area free from grass 2 – 5 feet away from the trunk. Fertilize newly planted trees every 2 months for the first year starting when new growth appears after planting. TheAvocado second year after planting fertilize 3 to 4 times a year ending in October. Use a fertilizer recommended for Citrus, Avocado, and Mango or 10-6-4 or 6-4-4.

Banana – are heavy feeders and require sufficient amounts of water. Keep the planted area free from grass 2 – 5 feet away from the trunk. Fertilize every month with a fertilizer recommended for Citrus, Avocado, and Mango, or 10-6-4, or 6-4-4. Bananas are clumping by nature and the new growth or suckers should be removed by cutting down to the soil line. Always keep at least 5 mature banana stalks. When the banana stalk produces fruit and is ready to be harvested cut off the bananas and then cut down the entire banana stalk that produced the fruit. At this time, let another sucker mature to produce fruit, but always keep at least 5 mature banana stalks. One can tell the banana is ready to be harvested when the fruit starts to turn yellow in color. If, the bananas start to split before harvesting increase the water times or the amount of water received by the plant.

Blackberry – All blackberries are self-pollinating and can grow on poor soil and will produce fruit after the second year of planting. Apply 10-10-10 or 16-16-8 fertilizer in early spring and after fruit production is done. The canes only produce fruit once and should be removed and cut down to the ground.

Blueberry – All blueberries are self-pollinating, but will produce more blueberries if pollinated by another variety. Blueberries need an acid soil and you can use Miracle-Gro (MG) Azalea Soil, or MG Rose Soil, or Humus and Cow Manure Mix. Also, add mulch or pine straw to help with the acidity of the soil. Apply a slow-release Azalea type fertilizer in early spring and summer.

Citrus – All citrus are self-pollinating and requires well-drained soil. Fertilize with a citrus fertilizer. Start fertilizing new planted trees when new growth starts. For older citrus trees, fertilized 4 times a year, but no later than October for the last application. Keep the planted area free from grass 2 – 5 feet away from the trunk and do not use mulch, but use pine straw instead. All citrus trees can be grown in a large cedar planter box. Click to view cedar planter boxes on sale at HibiscusAndMore.com.

Fig – All figs are self-pollinating, easy to low maintenance and produce heavy amounts of fruit. Figs natural growth habit is a large shrub, but can be trained as an espalier.

Grapes – All grapes are self-pollinating and need a support such as a trellis, lattice, or fence. Fertilize in the spring and early summer the first two years after planting with a 10-10-10 or 12-12-12. Grapes are not heavy feeders.

Mango – All mangos are self-pollinating, but will produce more fruit if pollinated with another variety. Mangos are very sensitive to temperatures that drop below 40° F for extended periods of time. When temperatures drop below 40° F there will be damaged to the flower and temperatures that drop to 30° F or below will damage the trunk of young trees. Wrap the tree with a blanket or frost cloth to prevent trunk damage. Newly planted trees fertilize every month for the first year with 6-6-6, or 8-8-8, or 10-10-10 plus minors ending in October. Thereafter, fertilize 3 to 4 times a year.

Peaches – All peaches are self-pollinating, but will benefit from another variety to be more productive.

Pecans – All pecans require a pollinator of a different variety for better nut yield.

Plums – Most plums require a pollinator. For pollinators use a different variety. Plum trees require 400 to 500 chill hours.

Pomegranate – All pomegranates are self-pollinating. Wonderful variety productive. Planting two or more improves fruit set.

Strawberries – All strawberries are self-pollinating and can be grown in a hanging basket.


Do you have a gardening? Ask the Certified Nursery Professional.

Spring is just around the corner...with, or without all of this snow!   It's the perfect time to add a bit of early color out there in your garden with one of Coë Steinwart's bright Coe Steinwart Garden Flagsand colorful garden flags! Click to Order.

Attract birds to your garden with different types of bird feeders. Bird experts recommend a selection of bird feeders that hold wild birdseed, thistle seed, and some that have suet cake holders. Hibiscus And More has an excellent selection of Bird Feeders. Click to Order.

Photography and digital images are ©Cheryl Ann Meola 2014. All Rights Reserved. All photographs and digital images displayed in this article are for viewing purposes only and cannot be duplicated ©Cheryl Ann Meola 2014. Texas Certified Nursery Professional #1282.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Gardening and Artistic Gifts

Christmas and Holiday Gift Ideas

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Hibiscus and More, at Hibiscus and More we offer a fine selection of gardening and artistic Mini Bird Bath Dragonflygifts for all your shopping needs. Please feel free to browse our online catalog to find the perfect gift(s): Bird Baths, Bird Feeders, Bird Christmas Blooming Coe SteinwartHouses, Cedar Planters, Cedar Pet Food Storage Containers, Coe Steinwart Garden Flags, Hummingbird Feeders, Coe Steinwart Dinner Place Matts, Solar Garden Lights, Watercolor Paintings by Coe Steinwart, Wind Chimes, and Wind Spinners.
Visit our online store for more gardening merchandise.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,

Hibiscus and More



Monday, December 9, 2013

Coe Steinwart Luggage Tags

Coe Steinwart Luggage Tags
Let's mark each piece of your luggage with one of Coë's watercolor paintings! Yes, each luggage tag is a print of an original painting and will make a great Christmas gift Coe Steinwart Luggage Tag 1Coe Steinwart Luggage Tagto someone special.....or to yourself! Order yours now..... You’ll love them! Each luggage tag is a 4" x 2 3/4" made from fiberglass-reinforced plastic and is great for luggage, kennels or anything that needs identifying with a splash of color or artistic flair. The reverse side has a form for Name, Address, City, State, Zip and Phone number. Includes leather strap for attaching to your luggage or bag.
Or, contact her directly by email at coe@coesteinwart.com to make an appointment to visit her studio.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Coe Steinwart Place Matts

Coe Steinwart Place Matts

How about a brand new set of place matts to liven up your Thanksgiving table?  And each of them will be printed from one of Coë's original watercolor paintings?  Order yours now ..... you'll love them!  Or, contact her directly by email at coe@coesteinwart.com to make an appointment Coe Steinwart Place Mattsto visit her studio.
You can also visit with Coe at one of her shows this season!

Sprayberry Craft Show, Sprayberry High School 2525 Sandy Plains Rd, Marietta GA November 23-24.

Apple Annie Arts & Crafts Show Catholic Church of Saint Ann, Marietta GA December 5-7.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Coe Steinwart Garden Flags

Coe Steinwart Garden Flags

A warm October sun is shining on our gardens even though some of the summer color has gone. Just the right time for one of Coë's bright garden flags to liven things up! Click to purchase Coe’s Garden Flags. Or, contact her directly by email at coe@coesteinwart.com Cones in Pink Coe Steinwart Garden Flagsto make an appointment to visit her studio.
You can also visit with Coe at one of her shows this season!

Marist Holiday Traditions, The Marist School, 3790 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE, Atlanta, GA October 26.

Sprayberry Craft Show, Sprayberry High School 2525 Sandy Plains Rd, Marietta GA November 23-24.

Apple Annie Arts & Crafts Show Catholic Church of Saint Ann, Marietta GA December 5-7.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Coe Steinwart Watercolor Paintings

Coe Steinwart Watercolor Paintings
Coe Steinwart invites you to visit her “sunlit world of watercolor painting”! Enjoy browsing through examples of her colorful work and feel free to make a purchase via her web site, or contact her directly by email at coe@coesteinwart.com to make an appointment to visit her studio. Coe Steinwart Watercolors
You can also visit with Coe at one of her shows this season!
Art in the Park - Glover Park, Marietta GA August 31-September 2.
Roswell Arts Festival on the Square, Roswell GA September 21-22.
Marist Holiday Traditions, The Marist School, 3790 Ashford Dunwoody Rd NE, Atlanta, GA October 26.
Sparyberry Craft Show, Sprayberry High School 2525 Sandy Plains Rd, Marietta GA November 23-24.
Apple Annie Arts & Crafts Show Catholic Church of Saint Ann, Marietta GA December 5-7
   Coe Steinwart Watercolors