The Way to Grow Sycamores From Seed

Sycamore trees belong to the genus Platanus, which comprises deciduous species found around the world in temperate climates. Platanus racemosa, also referred to as the western sycamore or California sycamore, is widely utilized for palmate leaves its bicolored bark and stately, somewhat open growth habit. Like many species within its genus, the western sycamore will swiftly reach a mature height of 40 to 100 feet and grows easily from seed. However, homeowners must keep the trees beneath somewhat moist conditions from germination until their next year of life when the trees are to reach their whole potential.

Start sycamore trees from seed in early spring since the seed balls are going to have dried out to the tree during the winter months. Locate and collect a seed ball with a golden-brown or grayish coloration. When squeezed, Prevent people who have signs of mildew or an excessively wet, squishy sense.

Put the sycamore seed ball in a paper bag. The top closed. Gently tap on the seed ball with a rubber mallet to break apart the seeds. Pick a couple of seeds that are healthy-looking and then discard the rest into compost pile or a waste bin.

Select a planting site big enough to accommodate a sycamore tree. Start looking for a place with at least 20 square feet of clearance from power lines, looming trees and structures. Avoid areas where the soil remains sopping wet all the time since sycamores planted there will probably develop brittle wood.

Scoop up dirt from the planting site. Collect enough dirt to fill a 6-inch round nursery container one-third of the way full. Blend the soil with equal measurements of coarse and vermiculite sand. Mix until they are well incorporated and the mixture takes on a uniform look.

Pour water on the soil mixture until it flows freely from the bottom of the hammock container. Before planting the sycamore seed let the soil mixture drain for 20 or more minutes.

Sow the sycamore seeds in a depth of 1/8 inch at the prepared nursery container. Firm the soil atop the seeds. Spread a layer of coarse sand throughout the surface of the soil to hold in moisture while the sycamore seeds germinate.

Put the nursery container outside. When the year is tender water the seeds to a depth of two inches every two months , otherwise let Mother Nature do the watering.

Watch for signs of germination in four to six weeks. Thin out the seedlings if greater than one of those seeds germinates. Remove all but seedling.

Transfer the sycamore once it grows to 6 inches in height, seedling into a 1-gallon nursery container. Keep it well-watered into a depth of two inches at all times, allowing the soil to dry out completely for no longer than three days.

Plant the sycamore tree in its planting website that is chosen once it bears sets of fully-formed leaves and tops 12 inches in height. Water the sapling into a depth of two inches every 10 to 15 days during its first summer remove all watering once the season begins in October.

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Welcome the Turning Season — Ideas for Your September Garden

Most anglers can concur that September is among the best weeks for being outdoors. Around the United States, shifting seasons breathe life into gardens and anglers’ enthusiasm, and with this particular one the oppressive grip of summer’s warmth finally loosens.

It’s planting time again. Everything from cool-season edibles to broadleaf evergreens and indigenous grasses are planted this month. Consider beginning a wildflower garden from seed, and welcome winged visitors with berry-producing shrubs and by departing skeletal seed heads around winter.

The countdown to the first frost may have already begun, but there’s still so much left to enjoy. Here is what to do in your garden this September.

Locate your September garden checklist:
California | Central Plains | Great Lakes | Mid-Atlantic | Northeast
Pacific Northwest | Rocky Mountains | Southeast | Southwest | Texas

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Northwest. Once it comes to edibles, “broccoli, cabbage, spinach and Swiss chard are all drop favorites,” says landscape designer Karen Chapman. “Radishes and lettuce additionally will have plenty of time to develop and be harvested until the cold weather comes.”

She adds, “September is also the ideal time to plant onions and garlic. Cover these with bird figurines raised a couple of inches with blocks of wood or older nursery pots. Birds seem to love to peck at these tips! Once the roots have created, the netting can be taken off.”

Get her Northwest September checklist | More cool-season crops

California. “If you’re considering planting a lawn shortly (fall is the ideal time to start), think about some of those newish less-thirsty kinds, such as California native grasses,” writes garden editor Bill Marken.

‘Native Mow Free’, shown here, is a mixture of several varieties of fescue grasses which take some shade as well as full sun,” he says. “It can be mowed for a regular turf look or left unmowed for a shaggy, lumpy appearance. It’s ideal to mow it at least a couple times annually. It works nicely on a incline. It’s not a good play lawn.

Most important when beginning a lawn? “Whether you start with seeds (cheaper, but more demanding of weed control) or sod (proper watering is not quite as simple as it seems), the primary and most arduous step is preparing the ground,” Marken says.

Get his California September checklist | More tips for your California garden

Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting

Southwest. “Give citrus trees their final application of fertilizer for the calendar year,” advises Arizona horticulturalist Noelle Johnson. “Citrus need to be fertilized three times each year: in late winter, early summer and late summer.”

Get her Southwest September checklist

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Rocky Mountains. “Broadleaf evergreens should be a priority for your fall planting program,” writes Colorado landscape designer Jocelyn Chilvers. “These plants attract much-needed colour and texture to the winter landscape but can suffer from our region’s low humidity, intense sunlight and drying winds.”

Get her Rocky Mountains September checklist

J. Peterson Garden Design

Texas. “Start a wildflower garden. You’ll need until Thanksgiving to plant seeds, but the first part of September until early October is the ideal time,” writes landscape designer Jenny Peterson.

“Wildflowers like bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis), Indian paintbrush (Castilleja), Indian costume (Gaillardia pulchella) and purple poppy mallow (Callirhoe involucrata) require full sun and well-drained dirt to flower best. You are able to buy seed mixes from your local nursery or botanical center, or call your county extension service when you have difficulty locating seeds or want more specific advice.”

Get her Texas September checklist

Benjamin Vogt / Monarch Gardens

Central Plains. “Plants such as bee balm (Monarda spp) are inclined to look scraggly by late night, and deadheading doesn’t necessarily bring back new blooms,” writes Nebraska garden consultant Benjamin Vogt. “Consider leaving the unique seed heads that will be finely manicured by summer, making the garden a lot more pleasing to the coldest days.”

Get his Central Plains September checklist

Barbara Pintozzi

Great Lakes. “September is the perfect time to plant perennials and woody plants,” writes Illinois garden coach Barbara Pintozzi. “It used to be that spring has been the ideal time to plant in Great Lakes gardens, but gardeners are discovering that with unreliable moisture and often excruciating summer heat, fresh plants fared better under the less-harsh states of fall. By planting in September, the gardener is guaranteed that the plants will have sufficient time to become established before winter.”

Get her Great Lakes September checklist

Paintbox Garden

Northeast. “About this time of year that I detect an increase in bird activity to my combined boundary, in which viburnum and redtwig dogwood offer a privacy screen from the street,” writes Vermont landscape consultant Charlotte Albers.

Viburnum ‘Mohican’ is especially showy, with fruits moving from red to black and black leaves which turn red with the shortening days,” she notes.

Get her Northeast September checklist

Amy Renea

Mid-Atlantic. “Succulents additionally require a close eye this time of year. Some can overwinter outdoors, but tropical succulents will need to come indoors at the first hint of frost,” says garden writer Amy Renea. “These plants can endure a very light frost, but chilly temperatures can kill off the top growth. A wilted aloe vera is not a wonderful sight, so make them indoors if temperatures fall.”

Ger her Mid-Atlantic September checklist

Gardening with Confidence®

Southeast. “Hummingbird feeders aren’t necessary if you have enough plants to feed these visitors, but they’re a fantastic way to ensure you get a consistent food source for those hummers,” says North Carolina garden writer Helen Yoest. “You can place the feeder at a location which is easy to see out of your favourite seat, indoors or out.”

Get her Southeast September checklist

More: Watch more regional gardening guides

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Herb Garden Essentials: Grow Your Culinary Sage

There are dozens and dozens of sages out there that can add colour and punch to your landscape. Some are strictly ornamental; others are also used for everything from scenting soaps and perfumes to repelling moths and removing cooking scents.

For the herb gardener and cook, common sage (Salvia officinalis) is probably the best alternative. Luckily, this easy-to-grow plant is currently available in a number of varieties.

Pineapple sage (S. rutilans, S. elegans) along with fruit-scented sage (S. dorisiana) are colorful and edible choices for quite warm-weather climates. Be careful not to confuse pineapple sage, with its bright red flowers, with the easily accessible scarlet sage (S. splendens).

Caution: Not many sages are edible, and some can cause nasty side effects, so check the species until you consume any.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Light requirement: Full sunlight; semi shade in hot climates
Water requirement: Little once recognized
Prime growing season: Spring through fall
When to plant: Spring; can plant in fall in warm-winter climates
Favorites: Aurea, Berggarten (Mountain Garden), common, Icterina, Italian Aromatic, Purpurea, Tricolor

Aloe Designs

Planting and maintenance: Pick a sunny site with good air circulation and excellent drainage; amend the soil as needed to provide this. You can start from seed, but seedlings and nursery plants are typically more trustworthy. Set them 3 feet apart with the crown just above the ground.

Le jardinet

If you’re growing sage in a container, select a pot that is at least 12 inches wide and 8 inches deep. Water frequently until established, then water as needed. A deep watering once a month could be. Apply a complete fertilizer every spring. In cold-winter climates, bring plants indoors to overwinter. Sage is susceptible to fungal diseases like mildew and can develop root rot in wet soil.

Like many other herbs, sage can get rangy. To keep it in check, return to just over the new increase in the spring. You may need to replace the plants every couple of years.

Harvest: Pick off leaves and flowers as needed. Harvest softly the first year to encourage growth. Do not do a large harvest fewer than two months before the first anticipated frost date in fall, to stop damaging new growth. Dry the leaves for storage. Drying also intensifies the taste.

More: See how to grow more culinary customs

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Texas Gardener's April Checklist

Is there anything you can’t do in the Texas garden in April? This is a critical month for planting, sowing seeds, fertilizing and performing important garden maintenance chores. With so much to do, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, but take it a step at a time to ensure your garden is healthy, lush and beautiful. And keep one eye on the toaster while we are not as inclined to have a late-season frost at this point, it’s not hopeless, so be sure to cover up tender tails or new transplants if temperatures dip.

Noel Cross+Architects

Sow Seeds

Virtually any plant easily grown from seed could be sown this month. Be sure to check the planting directions on the backs of their seed packets to know the correct planting depth for each seed type.

Annuals. Opt for celosia, coleus, periwinkle, sunflower, zinnia, gomphrena, ageratum and cleome.

Herbs. Most herbs can be sown this month, including chives, catmint, basil, thyme, oregano, sorrel, tansy, winter savory, summer savory, yarrow, tarragon, germander, lavender, cumin, comfrey, sage and lavender.

Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design

Vegetables. Lots of vegetable seeds can be sown: lima beans, snap beans, beets, chard, okra, radishes and summer squash. Wait till late April to sow seeds for corn, cucumbers, eggplant and pumpkin.

Erin Ponte Landscape Design

Plant Your Garden

You can plant nearly anything that month.

Vegetables. Eggplant, peppers, summer squash, tomatoes, tomatillos and sweet potato slips can be planted from 4 – to 6-inch containers.

Fruit. Cantaloupe, honeydewand watermelon are good options; look for them in 4-inch pots.

Herbs. Nearly all herbs can be planted, including rosemary, chives, thyme, oregano, lavender, sorrel, catmint, sage, lemongrass, lemon verbena, basil, catnip, bay laurel and tarragon. Plant from the nursery from containers.

Douglas C Lynn

Bulbs. Caladium, elephant’s ear and lily bulbs can be planted today, but be sure to plant them in the proper depth. A good rule of thumb is to plant two to three times stronger than the bulb is tall.

Annuals. Plant ageratum, geranium, impatiens, marigold, pentas, periwinkle, phlox, coleus and torenia. Start looking for 4-inch containers or six-packs for quick growth.

Matthew Cunningham Landscape Design LLC

Perennials. Coneflower, shasta daisy, four-nerve daisy, lantana, salvia and yarrow could be planted this month. Start looking for 1-gallon pots for quicker growth and spread.

Ornamental grasses. Maiden grass, bamboo muhly, large muhly, pink muhly, inland sea turtles, Mexican feather grass, switchgrass and purple fountain grass are fantastic grasses to try. Choose grasses in 1 – .

Notice: Some grasses, like Mexican feather grass, can be invasive. Be sure your plant choices are appropriate and recommended for your region.

Frank & Grossman Landscape Contractors, Inc..

Trees and shrubs. It’s generally a good idea to plant those larger landscape plants in the cooler months, but it is possible to plant them today if you take a little extra care.
Dig a hole twice as wide as the root chunk of the plant, then add just a little bonemeal or rock phosphate to the pit. (Follow the package directions for numbers.) Plant and water in thoroughly. Spray some liquid seaweed within the planting area for more nutrients. Irrigate regularly through the first growing season (two to three times every week). Turfgrass and grass seed. Consider planting a native grass mix of buffalograss, curly mesquite and blue grama in a sunny part of your lawn — those grasses are drought tolerant and sturdy enough for foot traffic.

Make certain to prepare the region thoroughly before sowing grass seed — follow the directions on the package — and keep it moist until the seed has sprouted.

If you want to include sod to get a more instant lawn, start looking for bits of St. Augustine or zoysia, both of which are somewhat tolerant of light shade. Always follow turfgrass recommendations from specialists locally, such as a trustworthy nursery or your county extension office, even if making bud selections.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Stay on Top of Garden Maintenance

If you continue with frequent maintenance chores this month, your garden will thrive throughout the hotter summer months. And if the forecast is right, it’s going to be another warm and humid season.

Weed. Hand select stray weeds before they go to seed or spread, but be sure to pull them out from the roots rather than breaking them off at the soil surface.

Use chemical weed controls only when required, depending on the severity of your weed issue. There are lots of organic options available that are kinder to the surrounding environment, but use caution if employing a solution of any sort — those that are labeled “nonselective herbicides,” whether they’re organic or not, will kill any plant they’re sprayed.

Fertilize. Spray a seaweed solution on your bedding plants once every week for lush growth and flourishing. Fertilize based trees, shrubs and other plants using a balanced fertilizer, and go light on fertilizing newly planted transplants.

Fertilize your lawn using a low-nitrogen fertilizer and water it in thoroughly. Use a water-soluble fertilizer for container plants and houseplants. Always follow the package directions, as overfertilizing can really harm your plants.


Bugs. Be on the watch for detrimental bugs, such as aphids, tomato hornworms, leaf rollers and spring cankerworms. Remember that not all bugs are bad — ladybugs feed on unwanted pests and should be protected and encouraged to set up home.

Identify your problem pest by choosing a sample to a local nursery, and then make your treatment selection from that point. Always follow package directions when using any pesticide or chemical to prevent damaging insects.

Compost. Add 1 or 2 inches of mulch to bare soil areas to amend the soil, and then gently work it into your topsoil. I like to use a garden fork to loosen the region up to incorporate the dirt, then rake it smooth with a challenging rake and then add mulch.

Arterra Landscape Architects

Mulch. A 3-inch layer of mulch around all plantings will maintain soil moisture and discourage weeds. In Texas use a Texas native hardwood mulch, which is shredded and resists moving through a hard rain. Mulches such as bark chips or stoves have a tendency to wash off, leaving the soil bare and creating a maintenance issue.

Irrigate. New plantings require regular irrigation to establish roots. Attempt to water toward the bottom of the plant rather than about the plant’s leaves (which can create fungal problems); water deeply and less often, and always comply with any watering instructions that exist in your area.

More regional gardening manuals

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Want Compelling Garden Minimalism? Think 1 Plant, One Pot

It feels like choices for planter filling are very very polarized these days. Gardeners either decide on a stiff boxwood ball to impart minimalist European flair or an ever-more-complex assortment of carefully researched annuals. I’m proudly guilty of both approaches. Yet I, too, like to change the idea of one plant per pot — a lot of boxwoods could be blah.

Based on context, style and exposure, I’ll pick one particularly charismatic specimen and bring it up to eye level. Without fitting companions, without flowery trim, this lucky one then takes an entirely new dimension. Against a backdrop, it pops like never before. Let us look at seven instances of the plant favoritism.

CYAN Horticulture

Well past Quebec City in Canada, the cold maritime climate of famous backyard Les Quatre-Vents matches this old dwarf pine tree. Perched on a dry-laid stone wall full of alpine plants, a white painted concrete planter hosts a single walnut, probably put in decades ago.

Having a bit of summer watering and some thoughtful design, this pine nonchalantly eyeglasses a magistral vista of the surrounding areas. Restraint is the only thing to do here.

CYAN Horticulture

In this simplest combination of a Ghostbuster-green chair and a cabbage tree (Cussonia paniculata), nothing detracts from the gardener’s intention: plant collector’s whimsy.

This amusing-looking cabbage tree is a choice South African native generally restricted to under-glass botanical collections. Wheeled inside for the winter, it has happily adapted to the Washington state climate.

CYAN Horticulture

One plant per pot could end in the boldest vignettes. In a temporary garden installation in Montreal, a quartet of huge agaves dresses up glistening urns. Their highly charismatic silhouettes, here contrasting against pearl-colored exercise balls (of all things), are radically put on show. Less is more, they say …

BLUE Renovation & Landscape

If diversity is kept out of our cards, repetition can considerably improve our hands. Here a series of equal planters, smooth and sleek, forms a regiment along a beautiful wall. Every planter is topped with an extremely contrasting variegated yucca to make a powerful contemporary scene. By the simplicity, maintenance is kept to a bare minimum.

CYAN Horticulture

Brought out from the open and hence deprived of any smoldering competition, this cute cape rush (Chondropetalum tectorum) takes centre stage. It’s a mesmerizing native of Cape Province, South Africa, which looks like an alien cross involving an ornamental grass and a horsetail. Isolated and raised upward, this cape rush gets the enviable quality of a museum piece perched on a plinth.

CYAN Horticulture

Actual plant fans and collectors often favor, for practical reasons, to keep their specimens in individual pots. Yet a simple researched category of these collectors’ items can become a really satisfying garden makeup. In the excellent Plant Delights Nursery in North Carolina, a few of named cacti achieves that.

CYAN Horticulture

Sophisticated or trivial, rare or common, most crops will grow dramatically in perceived value propped up at a wonderful pot. As a last proof, I challenge anyone to really downplay this case: a variegated sanseveria, the ultimate pedestrian indoor plant, in a simple terra-cotta pot as the centerpiece of a Chanticleer Garden installation in Pennsylvania. Yes, less is often more. And not a bore.

More: Simple Container Plantings for Intriguing Garden Design

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Summer Crops: How to Grow Corn

The sweetest corn is that which is chosen and instantly cooked. Therefore, if you want the best-tasting corn, consider raising it yourself.

Traditionally, corn contains demanded warmth, long summer days and a lot more space than many other vegetables, which makes it a bad selection for cooler climates or people with short growing seasons and tiny gardens. Fortunately, there are new hybrids bred for cooler summers, short summers and even tropical island living. As for the distance required, that’s still needed, however with planning you can create your own “cornfield” a highlight on your own garden. You may even find some new types that can manage being grown in a container.

As soon as you’ve decided to have a cornfield, then you get to pick on how impatient you are for the first ear. (Maturity dates are just more than 50 days to around 100 days.) You’ll also want to choose if you’re going traditional with white, yellow or bicolor kernels or branching into green, red, black or blue corn. And then there’s the question of just how much sweetness you want, since there are now quite sweet varieties available to home growers. To guarantee a long harvest or test out numerous types, plant successively or select early-, mid- and – late-season varieties.

For something different, develop your own popcorn. It’s slow to older but often boasts colorful kernels. Plus, you can enjoy your harvest well into winter.

Notice: Corn can easily cross-pollinate, so if you want a particular selection, plant it individually, at least 100 feet away and not downwind from other corn types, or select varieties that mature at various times.

Land Design, Inc..

When to plant: Begin planting about two weeks after your last frost date, when soil temperatures have reached at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius); in hot desert regions, plant early enough to harvest from early summer.

Days to maturity: 53 to more than 100

moderate requirement: Full sun at least eight hours per day

Water requirement: Regular

Bodacious, Country Gentleman, Golden Bantam, How Sweet It Is, Honey and Cream, Illini X-tra-Sweet SH2, Indian Summer SH2, Kandy Korn, King Kool, Luscious, Miracle, Northern Xtra Sweet, Peaches and Cream, Silver Queen, Trinity, WhiteoutShort-season: Earlivee, Early Sunglow, Fleet, PolarVeeIsland: Hawaiian Supersweet #9, Hawaiian Supersweet #10, H68Popcorn: Bear Paw, Smoke Signals, Strawberry, Tom Thumb, White CloudContainer: Blue Jade, On Deck

Ecocentrix landscape design

Planting and maintenance: Choose a well-drained website in sunlight. Mix compost or manure into the soil 2 to three weeks before planting. Set up any irrigation furrows or drip systems before planting too.

To maximize pollination, plant corn in a block containing at least four rows of corn which are 3 feet apart (the most productive method) or in a collection of hills ( less productive but easier to do). Water the soil thoroughly before planting.

If you’re planting in a block, then sow seeds 1 to 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. When seedlings reach 6 inches, then thin them to 2 1 1/2 feet aside.

To plant in hills, mound up the soil a few inches high and 3 feet apart. Sow five to six seeds per hill, 1 to 2 inches deep, then thin to three plants per hill.

For best container effects, plant in four or three 20-inch containers. Make three holes per container, sowing two seeds in each hole. Thin to one plant per hole once seeds have germinated and reached about 1/2 foot tall.

Ecocentrix landscape design

Keep the soil moist but not soggy water deeply once the silks form. Feed the soil when plants reach 1 to 2 1 1/2 feet tall and if they are 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall.

Weed carefully around the roots but don’t bother pulling the suckers, as they will not impact growth.

Numerous insects may damage corn, such as aphids, flea beetles and moths. Good gardening practices can help alleviate some of these problems. Covering the ears with panty hose can protect them from some harm, and applying a few drops of mineral oil to the tip of each ear after the silks appear can stop corn earworms. Corn may also be subject to damping off.

Jocelyn H. Chilvers

Harvest: around three months after the silks appear, the corn should be prepared to harvest. Once the silks are brown, sliced the outer husk in a ear or 2 and pinch a kernel; when the juice which squirts out is simmer, the corn is ripe. For the best results, crop when the water from the cooking kettle is boiling, though some newer and sweeter varieties will maintain their glucose more. If you harvest ancient, store the corn unhusked from the refrigerator.

For baby corn, crop shortly after the silks appear.

For popcorn, wait until the silks and husks are completely dry; rub or cut off the kernels and store them in a dry location.

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Great Design Plant: Conebush

There is A background plant anything but a filler. It’s a base, providing structure, highlighting surrounding plants and showcasing just a bit of its own special traits. From as a cut flower the backyard, conebush stands out as among my favourite base plants. A South African native and member of their family Proteaceae, conebush offers dramatic foliage color yearlong. Vivid colors of gold, green, red, pink and orange punctuate the backyard during the year, adding extra holiday cheer throughout autumn and winter.

Dig Your Garden Landscape Design

Botanical name: Leucadendron (and hybrids)
Common name: Conebush, leucadendron
USDA zones: Vary by species; most plants can withstand temperatures to the low 20s and can take care of a mild frost.
Water necessity: Moderate
Light requirement: Full sun to partial shade
Mature dimensions: Varies with species; typically the size of a large shrub or small tree
Advantages and tolerances: Tolerant of drought as well as coastal waters
Seasonal interest: Most plants blossom winter through spring; attractive folilage
When to plant: In spring after the last frost

Shown: Leucadendron ‘Safari Sunset’

Dig Your Garden Landscape Design

Distinguishing attributes. Conebush’s distinguishing features ring true in the backyard as well as in the house. Hybrids are commonplace and come in a wide variety of sizes and colors. Some varieties are shrubbier, while others resemble small trees.

Evergreen, simple leathery leaves within a broad array of colors produce inflorescence (flower clusters) primarily in autumn through spring.

Shown: Leucadendron ‘Pisa’

Debora carl landscape layout

Leucadendron is dioecious, meaning male and female plants are somewhat different. Female and male floral bracts change, but foliage and blossoms are stunning on both.

Shown: Leucadendron ‘Winter Red’ and kangaroo paw (Anigozanthos)

Pat Brodie Landscape Design

The best way to utilize it. Conebush is a sophisticated choice for the northeast landscape. Other plants are complemented by its foliage, and it is used as a background plant.

Its particular growing requirements dictate where your conebush will flourish. Landscape designer Eileen Kelly says that planting conebush on hillsides or slopes assists drainage and also showcases the depth of its foliage. Smaller plants can also be grown in containers. (Remember that conebush does not transplant well.)

Shown: Leucadendron ‘Cloudbank Ginny’ (in background), surrounded by breath of paradise (Coleonema ‘Sunset Gold’), Beschorneria, parrot’s beak (Lotus berthelotii), silver spurflower (Plectranthus argentatus) and ground glory (Convolvulus sabatius).

Gardens from Gabriel, Inc..

Planting notes. Leucadendron is sun loving, drought tolerant and an overall beautiful shrub. It can be finicky about ailments and is not the easiest plant to grow. Protect it from extreme winds. Promote good air circulation. Maintain well-drained soil. “I like to add perlite or little red lava stone to assist with drainage,” says Kelly.

It’s also particular about soil types. “Calcium and potassium can be detrimental to Leucadendrons, therefore they ought to not be fertilized. Adding compost annually around the base provides valuable nutrients,” says Kelly. Compost is essential.

Dig Your Garden Landscape Design

Every spring, before new growth emerges, prune spent blossoms to clean the plant up and promote more flowering. Conebush does not enjoy soil disturbance or being transplanted, and therefore you need to trim only spent blossoms — don’t cut back the whole stem.

Shown: Leucadendron ‘Sylvan Red’

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Cool-Season Vegetables: How To Grow Spinach

Spinach is your ultimate cool-season crop; it bolts fast once it encounters hot weather, which is anything above 75 degrees, or even if the days get too lengthy. However, it is great for spring, autumn and even winter in mild climates. And there are some varieties that are bolt-resistant.

There are generally three types of spinach: the savoyed (crinkly) and semisavoyed types as well as also the flat-leaf types. Baby spinach is flat-leaf lettuce harvested just three or four weeks following the seedlings appear.

More: How to grow cool-season veggies

When to plant: Sow seeds around two months before the final frost date, then keep sowing every three weeks until just past the last freeze date. In autumn, sow seeds a month to six weeks before the first frost date; continue throughout winter at mild-winter climates.

Days to maturity: 40 to 150

Light requirement: Full sun to light shade, particularly if afternoons will probably be somewhat hot

Water requirement: Provide consistent water but do not overwater

Favorites: Bloomsdale Longstanding, Indian Summer, Marathon, Oriental, Red Cardinal, Space, Tyee

Steve Masley Consulting and Design

Planting and care: Soil — at the ground or in a pot, as shown here — must be well drained and well amended. Sow seeds a half inch deep and an inch apart. Thin to 3 to 4 inches apart when seedlings appear (the very best and most nutritious way to thin is to pick the leaves off and eat them). Set transplants for this spacing too. Keep the soil continuously most but not overly wet, and make certain to weed carefully round the plants. Aphids, cabbage worms and leaf miners are the most annoying pests.

Laara Copley-Smith Garden & Landscape Design

Harvest: Either pick off leaves as you need them harvest the whole plant. If you will need the whole plant but do not wish to pull it out, cut off leaves around an inch above the soil; the plant will regrow.

More: How to Grow Cool-Season Vegetables

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13 Inspiring Tips for Backyard Sheds

As we hit the peak of the summer gardening season, you may be craving a better space for the tools and pots compared to that cluttered corner in the garage. Or perhaps you are at that point where your current shed is a mess that looks beyond hope. Whether you are sketching out strategies or dreading cleaning up, I’ve lots of beautiful examples which show off some fantastic ideas to help you get going. Here are enviable garden sheds where I would be delighted to destroy a manicure.



1. Make your potting shed a garden folly. This magnificent potting shed in Augusta, Georgia, adds elegance to the house with its formal fashion, weathered brick and custom windows. Its siting at the edge of the oval garden past the quatrefoil fountain recalls the way European landscapes have follies throughout.

Custom closets, a gravel floor and a workstation that includes a sink make it a dreamy escape for a gardener.

Historical Concepts

Historical Concepts

2. Choose rustic materials which are not too precious. This gorgeous carriage home is new but was created to look like a barn that might have served the Lowcountry house in a different age. It serves many purposes, including holding automobiles, but my favorite is the gorgeous potting shed.

Bin pulls, wood countertops and a brick flooring give it charming antique style. It not only has room for preparing plants for the garden, but also includes a spout so the owners can prepare floral structures.

Theresa Fine

3. Add furniture that is comfortable . Over at Shy Rabbit Farm in New Hampshire, the new potting shed serves not only as a spot for tending to the herb garden, but also as a relaxing escape for those homeowners.

Theresa Fine

A comfy chair gives a cozy spot for reading novels and gardening magazines.

See the rest of this home

4. To get a new shed, select materials that work together with your own landscape. In Langhorne Lodge in New York, a charming stone potting shed plays the property’s beautiful stone walls. The adjacent Adirondack-style chicken coop suits the woodsy land to a T.

Princeton Design Collaborative

Princeton Design Collaborative

5. Allow it to be contemporary. In this New Jersey backyard, a contemporary shed crafted of cedar siding, metal and copper plumbing pieces coordinates together with the adjacent modern arbor.

Explore the rest of this landscape

Groundswell Design Group

6. Create connections between the shed and the home. In Princeton, New Jersey, the landscape architects at Groundswell Design Group were tasked with producing a landscape which connected the historical main house to the 1800s potting shed. They crafted an arbor from vintage streetlamp articles, made a bluestone terrace and added feminine Amish-crafted doors to provide the potting shed the presence it deserved.

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Groundswell Design Group, LLC

Giambastiani Design

7. Organize ladders, tools and other things. On this estate in the Berkshires, antique ladders, carts and tools add to the ambience. Neat shelves full of terra-cotta pots lend an organized appearance.

Giambastiani Design

Mark Hickman Homes

8. Space from the home or garage. The doorway on the right gives simple access to a garden shed here. The interior has an innovative organizing system.

Mark Hickman Homes

9. Give yourself a tool silhouette guide. The tools on the right are easy to fit in their proper spots together with the clever matching silhouettes.

Mark Hickman Homes

How smart is that?

Avant Garden

10. Try out a kit shed. Within this artist’s garden, mini trellises, a sculpture and a door with a window add character to a simple kit.

The shed is perched between a dog run and an arbor in this garden.

Check more out prefab sheds

Avant Garden

Conservatory Craftsmen

11. Make it a greenhouse too. This gorgeous conservatory works hard like a greenhouse, potting shed and refuge with a backyard view.

Conservatory Craftsmen

Conservatory Craftsmen

The greenhouse is decorated similar to an outdoor room, combined with interior decoration, such as the chandelier.

12. Consider cargotecture. Can you think this transport container was transformed into a charming outbuilding? While the clever homeowners use it like a hay barn, it may easily be made into a potting shed.

Learn more about this amazing transformation

Norris Architecture

13. Look to rural buildings for wall inspiration. Reclaimed timber, bare walls, beadboard and board and batten siding are all wall treatments that lend the ideal appearance to potting sheds.

This was among the very popular outbuilding photographs on in 2012, therefore it has to have just about everything right. The pragmatic sinks, barn lights, farm worktable and mirrored wood-clad walls ooze charm.

Next: More great ideas for outdoor living | Inspiring backyard retreats

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Texas Gardener's November Checklist

November only may be one of the most ideal months of this year — Indian summer is officially gone, and today are marked by a crisp coolness that’s a welcome relief in heat October temperatures. Use this time to find some significant garden chores done before the really cold weather strikes — and then remind yourself that the work you do now in the garden will repay next spring using a lush, healthful landscape.

J. Peterson Garden Design

Plant trees and shrubs. All shrubs and trees should be planted in the autumn for best growth next year, as autumn planting makes it possible for these bigger plants several months to build deep, healthy roots. They will be drought resistant and have more vigorous expansion.

Try planting some spring-flowering shrubs and trees, such as azaleas, abelias, redbuds and Mexican plums — they are some of the very first to herald the arrival of spring after a long winter.

The Todd Group

Care for your lawn. Overseed your lawn with perennial rye to get a green winter lawn. In our area it is not really perennial and will perish after the weather warms up at the spring.

Winterize your lawn by spraying on it weekly using a seaweed solution, and if you fertilize, make certain to use a lawn fertilizer that’s high in calcium for healthy root development. Start looking for nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium ratios such as 8-6-12, 8-12-16 or 10-5-14 in a winter fertilizer bundle.

The best way to give your turf a fall tune-up

Susana Merenfeld p Weisleder

Prune dead limbs from trees and shrubs. Complete this job before the leaves fall off and remove only those limbs that are clearly dead. Don’t prune off any living or healthy limbs at this moment. Always make certain you know which sort of shrubs and trees you’ve got and what their particular care is, however it is a good general guideline to get rid of dead growth before winter storms pick up.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Mulch around plants. Very similar to how Mother Nature provides a blanket with fallen leaves, mulch “blankets” your landscape plants and shields them from winter cold. Ensure you’ve got a good 2- to 3-inch layer of wood mulch, but avoid heaping mulch upward on the plant bases, which may quickly rot the crops. I like to “feather” mulch until the bottom stem or trunk of a plant to get the very best coverage.

Niki Jabbour

Add row covers to protect against freezes. Although our area of Texas experiences quite mild winters, we are all aware that’s subject to change. It is not uncommon to have freezing temperatures and occasional ice and snow cubes, so be ready to safeguard your winter vegetables with row covers.

Many nurseries and garden centers have frost blankets that you could drape over arched PVC pipes to pay your beds; be sure to remove the covers if the dangerous weather has now passed.

Missouri Botanical Garden

Plant vegetables and herbs. Continue your autumn and winter vegetable and herb garden with transplants of mustard, winter greens, spinach, peas, cilantro, dill, fennel, parsley, chives and oregano.

Some seeds may be sown as well — try mustard, radish and lettuce in the very first part of the month. Always consult the local planting graphs for the optimal times to plant in your town.

Westover Landscape Design, Inc..

Plant annual flowers and decorative plants. Spruce up your container plantings and perennial beds using some bright-colored annuals. Great cold-tolerant options include decorative cabbages and kale, pansies, violas, alyssums, snapdragons, cyclamens and stocks.

If your area is anticipating a hard freeze, water these plants nicely beforehand to protect them. A plant that’s hydrated has a far greater chance against the elements than one that’s fighting.

Jennifer Jamgochian / Multiflora

Plant perennials. Get those perennials in the ground this month with transplants of lantanas, salvias, ornamental grasses, yellow bells, coneflowers, rudbeckias and columbines.

Perennials planted at the time of year is going to have much bigger growth and increased blossoms than those planted in the spring. Remember to mulch around your freshly planted infants to keep them secure over the winter.

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