We receive many questions regarding the treatment of trees, shrubs and plants.  If you don't find the answer below, please give us a  call at 845-896-6880.

 


When is the best time to plant a tree?
Trees should be planted in the spring or early fall for the best results. This allows them time to develop roots, and get acclimated to their surroundings before the harsh winter or blazing summer sets in.




How often should I fertilize my plants?

Fertilizing your plants is probably one of the most important things you can do to help your plants thrive. You will need to fertilize your shrubs, groundcovers, perennials, and trees at least once a year.

We suggest you fertilize in the spring and fall but do not simply dump the fertilizer on the plant; spread the fertilizer around the drip line of the plant using a cup. Please follow the instructions on the bag of fertilizer for best results.



What are hardiness zones?
Basically, plant hardiness zones are a guide to help you know which plants will grow where you live, so you don't plant things that will soon die just because they can't manage your region's temperatures



What zone are we in?
The USDA plant hardiness map divides North America into 11 hardiness zones. Zone 1 is the coldest; zone 11 is the warmest.  NY is located in Zone 6.




Do you deliver?
We offer convenient delivery service to your home or business at a reasonable price. Our trucks are always ready to bring small or large loads where they need to be in a timely manner.




I have a new tree that is having trouble, what should I do?
New trees should be watered once a day for 30 days.  Trees can also get fungal diseases which should be treated immediately.




What are the watering guidelines for new trees and shrubs?

Water plants thoroughly when natural rainfall is less than one inch per week. To check the weekly amount of rainfall, you can buy a rain gauge or use something as basic as a coffee can. 

When watering becomes necessary, plants should be thoroughly soaked once a week. Apply water slowly and repeatedly to allow time for it to soak into the ground.






What is the best type of potting soil to use on my plants?
Any ready-to-use potting soil mix will suffice, as long as it is coarse enough to provide good drainage. For best results, we recommend Proven Winners-branded potting soil, which is specially formulated for superior results with all flowering plants. Available inside the store.




Tips from the Pros 

Experts recommend you wait to plant annuals

Spring is a tricky time of year for gardeners. One day it's 91 degrees, the next morning it's 42.

"It's a very 'hold your breath' kind of time for gardeners," said Wendy Tremper Wollerton, a master gardener and horticultural lab technician with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess County.

Plants will grow "tremendously" during an early spring heat wave, then get killed by a late frost, Wollerton said.

"As long as it stays cool, spring blooms will stick around for a while," said Grace Elder, also a master gardener, from Wappingers Falls.

Mid-May is still a little early to plant annuals, but perennials should be fine.

"Perennials are pretty hearty," Wollerton said. "Annuals are fragile."

Annuals should be planted sometime after Memorial Day, or when nighttime temperatures are at least 40 or 50 degrees for 10 nights.

"Glue yourself to that weather station," Wollerton said. "I planted some impatiens too early, and they all got killed."

If a cold snap comes by surprise, row covers typically used for vegetables can protect them.

If it gets too hot, keep flowers watered and well mul-ched, she said.

Melanie Whaley, a Millbrook resident who enjoys gardening, also advocates covering plants with a light fabric to protect them from frost.

Whaley began gardening four years ago. Before she started, she spent the winter reading up on the topic. Now, she keeps an Excel spreadsheet with information such as where she got her plants.

"It's kind of nice to keep a record. If something works, I know where I got it," she said.

 

TIPS BOX

• Wait until it's at least 40 or 50 degrees at night for about 10 days, usually sometime after Memorial Day, before planting annuals. These plants are fragile and could get killed in a late-spring frost.


• If it does get cold at night, delicately cover the plants with row covers or an upside-down basket to protect them from frost.


• Outdoor plants can also be kept in a "cold frame" to protect them from a frost.


• If it gets hot during the day, keep the flowers well watered and the ground below them covered in mulch.


• Perennials, which return each year, are heartier but bloom for a shorter period of time. These need less protection from the elements.


• Read the label before you plant. Plants that require shade or partial sunlight can burn or die if placed in full sunlight.


• Put in deer-resistant plants and high fences. This is largely trial and error, as deer have changing tastes and an ability to get over some ambitious fences.


• Test your soil's PH balance before you plant. Most plants like a neutral PH, around 6 or 7. If soil is acidic, add lyme. If it's alkaline, add sulphur. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Dutchess has a chart which calculates how much to add.


• Dutchess County had clay-like soil, which holds water when it's wet and becomes brick-like in a drought. Before you plant, add organic material such as compost, shredded newspaper, aged wood chips or leaves.


• Some annuals, such as morning glories, don't like fertilizer.


• Start your garden on paper. This will help you avoid mistakes later on.


• Gardening is largely trial and error. And Mother Nature always has the upper hand.

 

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