Category Archives: Perennial Garden

How to Spot Cold Weather Damage on Your Plants

cold weather damage

Are your outside plants looking a little sad? 

Don’t give up hope on them just yet!  We have a list of tips and ideas to guide you through taking care of those plants that have been damaged by the cold snap we’ve experienced.  Typically, temperatures falling below freezing will quickly damage or even kill many types of plants. However, with prompt care, many of these cold damaged plants can be rescued.

Here in the Midlands, the January cold snap, especially following the warm November and December have affected plants that are generally cold hardy. 

tree and shrucb foodTake a walk through your yard and look for these signs on your camellias, tea olives, hollies, and podocarpus: 

  • If leaves that are typically green in the winter have turned brown, resist the temptation to “fix” them.  Don’t do anything right now. 
  • Wait until the weather warms up and then fertilize after April 1 with a general tree and shrub fertilizer. 
  • Wait until after new growth appears to prune away dead branches.
  • Camellia buds may drop without opening into full flowers.  There is nothing you can do about that.  Next year protect your camellias with a blanket and Christmas tree lights if you want to preserve the buds during a hard freeze.

Sometimes plants such as azaleas, pittosporum, hollies, gardenias, and mimosa trees won’t make their damage seen until the heat kicks in about June.  

  • If you see branches beginning to yellow and die out this summer, look closely at the bark on the dying branches.  If you see that the bark has split, this is due to the sap freezing in January. 
  • When the plant tries to function in the summer, it can’t get enough water and nutrients up its stems, so it dies back. 
  • If the affected areas are just some of the limbs, you can cut out the dead material and let the plant recover.
  • If the primary trunk is affected, the plant may not survive.

Plants that are rated Zone 8 & higher such as lomandra breeze grass, oleander, bottle brush, lantana, and angel trumpets may have been severely damaged during the January freeze.

  • Fertilize with a general tree and shrub fertilizer after April 1. 
  • Wait until the weather warms up and look for new growth pushing out.  If you get new growth, the plant survived. 
  • Cut back dead plant material and wait for the plant to recover through the summer. 
  • If you don’t see new growth by June, dig it up, throw it away and plant a new one. 

palm tree food Sago Palms

  • If the cold got to your Zone 8+ Sago Palms, they may look particularly dead and unattractive right now.  Don’t do anything. 
  • Fertilize with a palm tree fertilizer after April 1.  We recommend Carl Pool Palm Food. Or if you have had problems with scale on your Palms in the past, use Fertilome Palm Tree Food with Systemic Insecticide.
  • New growth will appear out of the center of the palm in late May early June. 
  • Wait until after the new growth appears before you cut off the brown fronds.

How much cold will kill a plant is not an easy question to answer. Be sure to look up the cold hardiness for the plant in question before leaving the plant outside. Some plants can survive sub-freezing temperatures for months while others cannot take temperatures below 50 F. (10 C.) for more than a few hours.

palm tree food 8-6-6

Here in the Midlands, we are rated zone 8a.  The average extreme minimum temperature for zone 8a is 10-15 degrees.  Coastal SC is rated zone 8b.  The average extreme minimum temperature for zone 8b is 15-20 degrees.  If a plant is rated hardy for Zone 8-10, it should survive temperatures that fall as low as 10 degrees. However, we have found that some zone 8 plants are hardy to zone 8b but less so for 8a.  In other words, they will survive 15-20 degree temps, but not less than 15-degree temps.  Also, we have found that a plant might survive one night of 14-degree temp, but several nights in a row will do it in.  Also, remember that if a plant is rated hardy for zones 8-10, it likes warmer weather since zone 10 is South Florida.  Zone 8 is its northernmost border of survivability.  So, a zone 8-10 plant would be potentially more susceptible to extreme cold than would a zone 7-9 plant.

While saving frozen plants is possible, freeze damage to plant tissue and other cold injuries can often be prevented. When frost or freezing conditions are expected, you can protect tender plants by covering them with sheets, burlap sacks, or “frost cloth.” These should be removed once the sun returns the following morning. It’s vital as a gardener you watch the weather forecast and protect your plants when needed.

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Here at Wingard’s Market, we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offering professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions. Stop by and visit our Beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees. It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Why are my leaves turning yellow?

Why are my leaves turning yellow?

Whether you garden indoors or out, a successful gardener needs to learn how to read plants.

It’s important for us to be able to understand the language of a plant and they make it easy for us to know when they’re feeling a bit under the weather.  Both  houseplants and landscape plants will show signs of yellowing leaves when they need some extra TLC (tender loving care.)

Even when their outward signs show us they need some attention, sometimes figuring out what they need is a mystery. There are a number of reasons a plant’s leaves will turn yellow. Among the reasons are overwatering, underwatering, stress caused by temperature changes, soil conditions, lack of proper nutrients, pests, disease, the age of the plant, pot-bound roots and transplant shock. Out of all of those contributing factors, overwatering or underwatering is usually the main culprit.

Here are the top 7 reasons for yellowing leaves:
  • Overwatering – Too much water is just as harmful as too little. Soil that doesn’t drain well will drown the roots. Without oxygen, the roots will die, and the leaves will turn yellow and fall off. Wait until the plant’s soil begins to dry, then water sufficiently and wait until the soil starts to dry out again before watering. Make sure your container has adequate drainage holes and water less frequently. When repotting an overwatered plant check its roots. Black roots indicate decomposition and a certain death sentence if not taken care of, while white roots are an indication of a healthy plant. When repotting a plant with black roots, trim back all the dark areas leaving only healthy white roots to recover. If there’s a green crusty appearance to the soil surface, this is algae, and it too is an additional symptom of overwatering.
  • Underwatering – If plants do not receive enough water they will drop their leaves to prevent dying. Often times it’s the way the plant is being watered that’s the problem. To encourage the roots to grow deep in the soil, water your plants less, but water them thoroughly to be sure the roots are getting plenty or moisture. Make sure you’re watering your plants properly: wait until the soil begins to dry, then water it fully, and wait until the soil starts to dry out before watering again.
  • Lack of Light – To determine if your yellow leaves are caused by a lack of light check the lower leaves first. If the lower leaves appear to be more faded than yellow, it could be a sign of a light deficiency. Plants need proper light for photosynthesis to occur. Be sure to rotate your pots periodically, so all foliage is exposed to sunlight. If the yellowing begins on the side away from your light source, it might be caused by too little light reaching these back leaves. Research your plants specific light requirements to be satisfied you are providing it what it needs to thrive. Some plants like indirect light, while others require full sun. Plants with too little light will often become leggy as they try to reach toward the light.
  • Temperature – Typically seen more in landscape plants than houseplants, a significant temperature change can leave the tips of your plants looking burned. Most often this occurs in the spring when tender new leaves are affected by a late freeze. If this happens, trim off the burned areas, and allow for new growth. With houseplants, most prefer particular temperature ranges. Some like it cool, around 50-60 F while others prefer in warm around 70-80 F. Some plants will drop their leaves when moved to a new location that has a significant temperature change. Tropical plants do not like colder temperatures, so keep them away from air-conditioner vents.
  • Pests – If the yellow spots on your leaves appear along with tiny critters (be sure to check the undersides of the leaves), then you have an insect problem. First, identify the pest and then treat for that particular insect. Typical bug infestations on plants are caused by one of the following: mites, aphids, mealybugs, thrips, scale, or whiteflies. Repeatedly washing the plants or applying an insecticidal or horticultural soap is one treatment that is often effective as well as environmentally safe.
  • Nutrient Deficiencies – If the top leaves of your plant are yellowing, or there is an unusual pattern of yellowing (i.e. the veins remain dark while the tissue between them turns yellow), it’s most likely a nutrient deficiency.
    • Iron deficiency – This causes yellowing, stunted growth and interveinal chlorosis. You will see it normally in new growth first.  Test your soil and maintain a pH below 7.
    • Potassium deficiency – The leaves, especially older leaves, may have brown spots, yellow edges, yellow veins or brown veins. Add a potassium fertilizer containing potash.
    • Nitrogen deficiency – This causes stunted growth and yellow edges on the tips of the leaves. The veins may be yellow, and sometimes the whole leaf will be pale yellow. Add used coffee grounds to the soil to increase its nitrogen, or apply a balanced fertilizer.
    • Magnesium deficiency – This causes yellowing of the leaves between the veins with the veins remaining green and usually appears on lower leaves first. Treat the plant’s soil with Epsom
    • Calcium deficiency – This will cause crinkled, mottled or distorted leaves and will not allow the tips of the leaves to grow. Add agricultural lime to the soil.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Plant photos by organicagardensupply.com

  • Old Age – Often a plant has just outlived its natural plant life, succumbing to yellowing leaves and aging-out.

Please note that whatever the cause of your plant’s illness, remember it may take weeks or even months for a plant to recover and return to normal growth.

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Here at Wingard’s Market, we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions. Stop by and visit our Beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees. It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Embrace the Shade in your SC Garden

Shade Gardening Made Easy

shade gardening

Unless you’ve lived in the Midlands in July and August there’s no way to describe “hot” other than blistering, all day, bake in the sun heat! As South Carolinians, we’re always on the lookout for a lush, shady hideaway in our gardens. Here at Wingard’s Market, we want to help you make your shade garden the ideal spot to retreat from the hot summer sun.

For many gardener’s shade can be a challenge and while some plants do well in low light, there are many plants to choose from that thrive in shady conditions. The key is to figure out which plants will adapt well to the light level of your landscape.

Over time your gardens will change. Trees and shrubs will mature, water condition and air circulation will change, and hardscape elements will be added. The first factor before choosing your arsenal of shade loving plants it to figure out what degree of shade your garden will have. From there you can go about choosing your favorite shade loving plants.

Classify your level of shade:

  • Morning Shade, Afternoon Sun – This is NOT considered shade!  If this is the only shade you have in your garden, stop reading.  Nothing here applies to you.
  • Morning Sun, Afternoon Shade – An area in your garden that the sun is blocked for much of the day, mainly between 1:00 p.m. and 6:00 m. Typically found in established gardens where mature trees block out the sun all but for a very short period of time early or late in the day. North facing exposure can generally be classified as partial shade.
  • Filtered Sun – The sun makes its way through tree limbs for most of the day providing “dappled” light on the ground. The plants that grow in this environment are basically the same as the ones that grow in Morning Sun/Afternoon Shade.
  • Full Shade – An area that is under shade all day with little or no direct sunlight. Typically found in thick tree canopies or in dense trees. Other areas may be under stairways, decks or covered patios positioned on the north side of your home.
    • There are some plants, in our experience, which really do best in full shade. Cast Iron, Edgeworthia, Hosta, Ferns, Aucuba, and Fatsia.  Other shade plants will be fine in full shade, but those listed here actually NEED it.

For a complete list of shade loving annuals, perennials, shrubs and trees click here.

Be aware that your light patterns will change with the change of seasons.  Sections of your garden may be in full sun in the winter and in full shade in the summer.  The amount of shade an area gets in the summer is most important in choosing your plants.  Shade plants will generally tolerate full sun in the winter.   Keep a watchful eye on your garden throughout the year as trees, and shrubs mature and your landscape changes.  

As you plan your shade garden keep these few factors in mind:

  • Shaded areas usually lack adequate moisture as the rain is blocked by a canopy of trees, and tree roots absorb most of the water. Shade gardens need regular watering even during rainy periods. For shrubs and trees, a drip system is recommended.
  • The more sun a shade plant gets, the more water it needs.
  • In South Carolina, warm climate shade plants can grow actively all year round so they must be fed a complete fertilizer in early spring and summer.
  • To keep your garden growing for many years, remove low-hanging branches from trees that tend to keep your gardens hidden from view and prevent adequate air flow.
  • If the lack of water is an issue, turn to raised beds or pottery to keep tree roots from stealing all the
  • Most shade plants want some sun (morning or filtered). Flowering plants, especially, need some sun in order to produce flowers.

While summer is now upon us, turn to your shade loving areas to escape the scorching summer sun and enjoy the lush green plants that thrive in our area. Once you’ve discovered all the shade loving beautiful annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs suitable for shade gardening you may never want to fight the sun again.

Stop in and see us and take advantage of the native shade-loving plants we currently have in stock:

  • Trees: Dogwood, Redbud
  • Shrubs: Anise, Coastal Native Azalea, Carolina Allspice, Oakleaf & Annabelle Hydrangeas, Leucothoe
  • Ferns: Cinnamon, Christmas, Ostrich
  • Perennials: Cranesbill Geranium, Heuchera, Columbine

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Here at Wingard’s Market, we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions. Stop by and visit our Beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees. It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Invite Native Plants to Your Garden

Gardening in the Midlands can be a challenge at times. 

Native Plants Garden

We deal with scorching heat, sandy soil, drought-like conditions and do we need to say more about the no-see-ums? However, we have one of the longest growing seasons in the country and have an array of beautiful native plants that flourish in our southern conditions. If you struggle with finding plants that thrive in your garden we encourage you to bring the beauty of native plants to your backyard. Not only will you be adding season-long color, but you’ll be adding wildlife-friendly plants that are perfect for our soil and climate.

What is a native plant?

Simply stated native plants are those that grew here when Columbus discovered America. They are plants that evolved over time and tend to be hardy and well-adapted to the environment in which they thrive.

Plants that grow naturally will require less water and fertilizer than non-native plants.  They are more resistant to insects and disease and are less likely to need pesticides. This is particularly useful for new gardeners since they often require little attention.

Why go native?

As our woodlands and wildlife areas are being converted to commercial and residential growth, we’re losing our native plants. As backyard gardeners, it is our responsibility to preserve our natural plants for future generations.

You can help to restore the availability of native plants by adding a few to your landscape.  In this way, we can all make a difference and help save endangered species one yard at a time.

Not only do native plants produce beautiful flowers, but they also produce fruits, seeds, and nectar that are friendly to wildlife. 

Going native benefits:

  • They couldn’t be easier – Native plants require little attention if planted in an area that best matches their natural habitat. They’re hardy and will adapt well to normal weather extremes. They need less water, little fertilizer, no pesticides and less time to maintain than regular garden plants.
  • They’ll invite wildlife to your backyard – Research shows that wildlife common to your area will prefer native plants over non-native varieties. They provide food and shelter for birds, bees, butterflies, hummingbirds and other beneficial insects. These native insects and birds will also help keep your yard free of mosquitoes, and other plant-eating bugs.
  • They add a natural beauty to your landscape – While adding native plants to your landscape may never replace the beauty of plants growing in the wild, they can help us blend surrounding development into a more natural setting.

Choosing the right plants

When shopping for native plants, please be aware that most big box stores will not carry plants that are native to the local area.  Generally, local nurseries and garden centers (like ours) will stock plants that thrive in their climate.

Before heading to the Garden Center know the answers to these few question:

  • Where will you be planting, in the sun or shade?
  • Is the area wet or dry?
  • What type of soil does your landscape have? Clay or sand?
  • Where in your garden will you be placing them to determine the correct height?

Once you know the answer to these questions, you’re ready to think about specific plants.

Plan to plant a variety of trees, shrubs, perennials, and vines to give wildlife an array of food and shelter choices. Choose plants that you can group together to attract nectar-loving birds and insects, as well as host plants for butterfly larvae.

Creating a native plant garden in your backyard will add natural color and beauty, as well as provide an inviting habitat for native wildlife.  You will find you enjoy your yard so much more when you can watch colorful butterflies flit from plant to plant, listen to birds chirping away in the trees, and appreciate the work of bees as they cross pollinate flowers and vegetables.  Establishing native plants in your landscape is a way to preserve these experiences for future generations, one yard at a time.

For a complete list of the native plants, that an be found at Wingard’s Market, please visit Native Plants to South Carolina.

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Here at Wingard’s Market, we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions. Stop by and visit our Beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees. It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Tuck Your Garden in for a Winter Nap

Tuck Your Garden In

You’ve spent a better part of the last few months reaping what your garden has sowed It’s served you well, and it’s earned some time off.  Before you say goodnight until spring here are a few end of the season tips to help your garden take a long deserved rest.

Nothing makes gardening chores harder than having to do maintenance and cleanup in freezing temperatures, so find the time now before the cold freezing winds and rains come.

Use this as your chore checklist:

  • Gather herbs and flowers for drying.
  • Collect and dry seeds to save for next year.
  • Plant spring flowering bulbs. Our climate is not suitable for tulips. Crocus, daffodils, and hyacinths do much better.
  • Plant trees and shrubs! It is still a good time to plant.
  • After the first hard frost, pull up and discard This also includes the tomatoes and squash plants in your vegetable garden.
  • After the first hard frost, cut back your perennials and mulch them with a heavy layer of leaves or straw. Do not cut back dead stems of lantana until after new growth emerges in the Spring.
  • Pull weeds.
  • Till the soil around any exposed areas and add a layer of compost, leaves or manure and lime.
  • Cover strawberry beds with straw.
  • Remove all dead or diseased canes from your rose bushes.
  • After the first frost, mulch your rose bushes with compost or leaves.
  • Give evergreen shrubs a light pruning only if absolutely necessary. It’s better not to prune until early spring, just before new growth begins to flush.
  • After perennials have quit blooming, divide all crowded
  • Remove any broken limbs from your trees by making a clean cut close to the trunk.
  • Mow your grass as late in the season as the grass grows.
  • Keep up with fallen leaves and don’t let them over winter on your lawn. Mulch them with your lawn mower and add them to your perennial and bulb
  • Bring your “house plants” indoors, before the temperatures start falling below 40 degrees at night. Be sure to spray for insects before bringing them into the house. Even if you don’t see signs of insects, there are probably insect eggs on plants that have been living outdoors, and they will infest your house pretty soon.
  • Now is the time to do a soil test. Your test results will come with recommendations for amendments, which should be applied as soon as possible. Some amendments take a few months to start working and will need to be applied before you plant in the Spring.
  • And don’t forget the birds.  They will be counting on you this winter.  Now is the time to clean out your bird feeders and bird baths and stock up on birdseed.  Keep water in your birdbaths unless temperatures are expected to drop below freezing.

By taking extra time this Fall to properly put your garden to bed, you’ll be sure to have gardening success next spring. And as always time flies and before you know it we’ll start emailing you about Spring annuals and Mother’s Day roses, and you will find yourself with Spring fever all over again!

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Here at Wingard’s Market, we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions. Stop by and visit our Beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees. It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Save the Bees – What you can do to help.

save the bees

Honey bees, bumblebees, and other bees are disappearing at alarming rates, and they need your help!

As gardeners, it is our responsibility to reach out and save these yellow pollen-dusted bees from extinction. Bees play a vital role in pollinating over 150 crops grown in the US each year, which equals at least every third bite of food you take each day.  Bees pollinate some of our primary food sources such as apples, blueberries, citrus, melons, pears, plums, pumpkins, and squash. Bees also pollinate plants fed to livestock, as well as fiber-producing plants such as cotton, one of South Carolina’s leading crops. It’s essential to our health and our food supply that we take an active role in preserving the plight of the honey bee.

How can you help?

Whether you live in the city or in the country, there are a few ways you can attract bees to your garden and help save these little workhorses from disappearing.

  • Plant bee loving plants native to your area. In South Carolina, plant native bee balm, coneflower, goldenrod, and milkweed.
  • Bees love these flowers the best: bee balm, coneflower, fennel, goldenrod, hosta, lavender, lantana, lobelia, salvia, sunflower, sedum, sweet alyssum, yarrow, and zinnia.
  • Bees love blue, yellow and purple flowers. Shallow blossoms like daisies, asters, zinnias and Queen’s Anne’s Lace are their favorites.  Notice, they are not so interested in red flowers, like hummingbirds are.
  • Plant flowers so that you have something blooming year-round.  For early spring, plant forsythia, in the summer try St. John’s wort, in the fall plant pansies, and make sure your landscape has camellia’s for a winter bloom. 
  • Don’t forget the flowering herbs such as basil, mint, oregano, sage, thyme, and rosemary,
  • Add fruit trees such as apples, lemon, pears, plums and cherry trees.
  • Plant vegetables and herbs and allow some of them to go to seed, such as lettuce, garlic chives, and broccoli.
  • Learn to love weeds especially dandelions, clover, milkweed, and goldenrod.
  • Bees thrive on single flowers …those with one ring of petals. Those provide more nectar and pollen than double flowers.
  • Bees are more attracted to flowers that grow in clumps.
  • Plan your garden so something is always in bloom.
  • Plant one square yard of the same kind of plant.
  • Plant your garden in bright sunny areas.
  • Reduce the size of your lawn to add more bee friendly plants.
  • Provide shelter by leaving pieces of old wood to make nests in.
  • Offer them fresh water by floating a piece of wood for landing in your bird bath.
  • Add a bee hive or a bee house to your garden.
  • Limit the use of insecticides.  Instead of spraying for mosquitoes, use multiple pots of lemon grass, citronella and lemon balm.  Spray plants that have an insect infestation with insecticidal soap, which won’t hurt the bees.

bee loving plants

Did you know?

  • One honeybee colony has a foraging range of 18,000 acres.
  • It takes 12 bees their entire lifetime to make a teaspoon of honey.
  • Honey bees visit 2 million flowers to make one pound of honey.
  • Field bees visit 50 to 100 flowers during each trip.
  • Honeybees fly 12 to 15 miles per hour and flap their wings 12,000 times per minute.
  • Honeybees are covered in hair designed to trap pollen.  Even their eyes have hair on them.
  • Honey is essentially dehydrated nectar from flowers.  Bees eat honey and pollen from flowers.  They ferment the pollen first and mix it with honey in order to be able to digest it.
  • A strong hive may contain up to 60,000 bees.

Don’t be afraid of the bees…enjoy them.  It’s fun to watch them fill their tiny legs with bright yellow pollen and take it back to their hives. Observe them, photograph them, and encourage them to live in your garden.

Do you want to learn more about adding bees to your South Carolina garden? Check out this article put out by the Clemson Extension Office on Native Bees.

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Here at Wingard’s Market, we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions.  Stop by and visit our beautiful Gift Shoppe, Fresh Produce Market, and take a stroll under century-old pecan trees through our Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Best Time to Plant a Tree

A tree planted in the fall has a better-established root system by spring

The cooler temperatures of Fall make it the best time to plant a tree in the Southeast. The mild Fall and Winter weather of South Carolina allow the roots, from fall-planted trees to establish before Spring. Because the tops of the trees are dormant during the colder months, all their growing energy is sent towards root growth. When Spring does arrive the expanded healthy root system can support and handle a full surge of spring growth.

When is the best time to plant a tree?

When buying trees for your landscape look for healthy well-grown trees. Read the plant specifications tag included in the pot before making your purchase.

Ask yourself these questions before making your purchase:

  • Where are you going to plant your tree?
  • How big will it be at maturity?
  • Will it grow better in sun or shade?
  • Are you planting it for shade, privacy or as a screen?
  • What type of soil will it be planted in? Clay or Sand?
  • Does it need a moist or dry location?

Now that you have determined placement and soil conditions, it is time to plant your tree.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you plant your trees.

  1. At least 3-4 business days before you begin, and to avoid cutting any underground wire or pipes, call PUPS (Palmetto Utility Protection Services) to request that they mark any underground lines. This is a free service – Call 811.
  2. Match the tree with the site. Keep in mind the mature size of the plant, moisture in the soil, and sun requirements. It is especially critical that you know where the afternoon sun shines directly on your landscape during the summer months. Consider areas of your landscape that receive the afternoon sun in the summer to be “full sun” areas, even if they are shaded in the morning.   “Shade plants” need afternoon shade in the summer. Most trees can take full sun. We recommend Japanese Maples and Dogwoods be planted in an area that gets morning sun and afternoon shade. Redbuds and Magnolias may be planted in sun or shade.
  3. Dig the planting hole roughly 2 times wider than the diameter of the root ball. Measure from the topmost root to the base of the root ball to determine its height. In sandy soil, dig no deeper or slightly less than the height of the root ball. In clay soil, dig 3 to 4 inches deeper than the root ball and backfill the bottom of the hole with a mixture of soil conditioner and clay. The hole should be bowl-shaped with the sides sloped. Save the soil to mix with amendment and pack around root ball after planting.
  4. Clay Soil: If your soil type is clay, amend the soil dug from the hole by mixing with an equal amount of Wingard’s Lake Murray Soil Conditioner to promote drainage and aeration.
    Add Bio-tone Starter Plus 4-3-3 to maximize root growth.
  5. Sandy Soil: If the soil type is sand, amend the soil dug from the hole by mixing with an equal amount of Wingard’s Lake Murray Premium Potting Mix to provide nutrients and hold moisture.
    Add Bio-tone Starter Plus 4-3-3 to maximize root growth.
  6. For container grown trees, score or cut the sides of the root ball in 3 or 4 places, from top to bottom, about 1 inch deep to encourage roots to grow outward.
  7. For “ball and burlap” trees, remove any twine or strapping after placing in the hole, but do not remove burlap or wire basket. If there is a wire basket around the root ball, push wire below ground level or cut top 3 inches off. Do not break up the root ball.
  8. Place the tree in the hole so that the top of the root ball is slightly higher than the surrounding soil level. Backfill amended soil removed from the hole. Tamp soil around plant firmly, and cover exposed roots above ground.  The worst mistake is to plant too deep.
  9. Create a one-to-two-inch berm of soil around the edge of the planting hole to hold water. Fill the “saucer” with water once or twice.
  10. Mulch the root ball surface and planting area. Use 3 to 4 inches of organic material. Keep the mulch 1 or 2 inches away from the trunk. The width of the mulched area should be the same as the width of the tree branches
  11. During the first two weeks, check soil moisture level daily by digging down 6 inches to see if the soil is moist below ground level. Water thoroughly if the soil is dry; be sure water is getting down through the soil to the roots of the plant. Clay soil needs proper drainage; sandy soil dries out quickly. Generally, water once a week in Winter, and continue to water a newly planted tree through Spring and Summer for one year. However, remember watering frequency depends on many factors like rainfall, temperature, and soil type. Check the underground soil moisture level frequently, and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Keep in mind that lawn sprinkler systems are designed for grass roots, which are 3 to 4 inches deep. Trees and shrubs have roots that are 1 ft. deep or more, and need more water than a lawn sprinkler can provide.
  12. Fertilize appropriately. When planting a tree add Espoma Bio-tone Starter Plus 4-3-3 to the soil to maximize root growth. Fertilize after the first year and annually thereafter with a tree and shrub fertilizer (19-8-10). The best time to apply fertilizer is in the early Spring.
  13. Disease and Insect Infestations. If you suspect a problem with insects or fungus, clip off a leaf or small branch and bring it to the nursery. We will help you identify the problem and choose the right treatment.

We want you to be a successful gardener! Stop in and let our experienced gardeners help you choose the perfect tree to add value and beauty to your home.

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Here at Wingard’s Market we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions.  Stop by and visit our beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees.  It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

 

Simple Guide to Composting

Simple compost only requires three ingredients

Every gardeners biggest challenge is the quality of their soil. Some struggle with clay while others struggle with sand. Some fight wet soil and some wage war against drought. Whatever your challenges are, many can be overcome by adding compost to your existing soil.

Simple Guide to Composting

Compost is nature’s way of adding nutrient-rich additives that fuel your plant growth and restore depleted soil. It’s easy to make, good for the environment and a much-needed soil conditioner.

The organic matter in compost provides food for microorganisms which keep your soil healthy. Nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus will balance out your soil naturally by the feeding of microorganisms.

Simple compost only requires three ingredients:

  • Browns in the form of dead leaves, twigs, and branches.
  • Greens in the form of grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, and coffee grounds.
  • Combined with water, the greens and browns will produce healthy compost.
Material Color
fruit & vegetable scraps green
eggshells green
leaves brown
grass clippings green
garden plants green
shrub pruning brown
straw or hay brown
pine needles brown
flowers, cuttings green
seaweed and kelp green
wood ash brown
chicken or cow manure green
coffee grounds green
tea leaves green
newspaper brown
shredded paper brown
cardboard brown
dryer lint brown
sawdust pellets brown
wood chips / pellets brown

How it works:

The browns provide carbon for your compost, the greens provide nitrogen and the water provides moisture to break down the organic matter.

Tips for your compost area:

  1. If you are using the compost pile method keep your collection no smaller than 3’ x 3’.
  2. Aerate your pile every couple of days by turning it over with a pitchfork.
  3. Don’t let it dry out completely, it needs moisture to heat up and keep the composting process active. You don’t want it to be soggy; if it starts to stink it is too wet.
  4. Keep your pile balanced. Feed it equal parts of greens and browns.

Benefits of Composting:

  1. Improves the Soil Structure – A healthy soil should be crumbly to the touch. If your soil is hard and clay-like, young plants will struggle to get the nutrients they need to grow. If your soil is sandy, it won’t hold the nutrients required to survive. Adding compost will allow room for air and water to move more freely through the soil.
  2. Adds Nutrients – A thriving soil that is full of organic matter will produce vital nutrients for healthy plant growth.
  3. Retains Water Better – By adding rich compost to your soil, heavy soils are better equipped to hold water and reduce runoff and erosion. Compost added to sandy soils will increase the chances of the water reaching the roots where it is badly needed.
  4. Wards off Disease – Soils enhanced with compost tend to produce plants with fewer diseases. Composting will help control diseases and insects that might otherwise develop in sterile soils.

Creating healthy plants is simple and the advantages of using compost to improve soil quality by allowing it to retain air, nutrients and moisture will result in more vigorous, thriving plants.

Think of it this way…compost is black gold for your garden!

If you are not ready to jump on board to create your own compost pile, stop by Wingard’s and pick up a couple 40# bags of our ready-made compost.

We carry the following products:

  • Stout OllieMushroom Compost – Mushroom compost is a type of slow-release, organic plant fertilizer. The compost is made by mushroom growers using organic materials such as hay, straw, corn cobs and hulls, and poultry or horse manure.
  • Black Kow Compost – Black Kow is organic cow manure and contains nutrients that are released slowly without burning tender roots.
  • Stout Ollie Compost – A local South Carolina Company, Stout Ollie, starts building their compost with an annual plant material like the cotton plant. Stout Ollie adds two materials during the composting process that have proven their worth to mankind over millenniums. They are cow manure and fish. The manure is from their own herd of grass fed cows and the fish are trimmings from wild catfish caught in the Santee Cooper Lakes. They provide a wide range of those hard-to-get minor elements without the harsh chemicals used by so many producers.

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Here at Wingard’s Market we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions.  Stop by and visit our beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees.  It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091

Summer Perennial Garden Maintenance

Don’t let the summer take over your garden

Youve spent the last few months planning, planting, mulching and fertilizing your perennial garden, and now you can see the beauty of your work.

July is the most colorful month of the year and, with just a few hours of maintenance each week you can sit back and enjoy the showcase of color all summer long.

July is the most colorful month of the year and, with just a few hours of summer perennial garden maintenance each week you can sit back and enjoy the showcase of color all summer long.

July is also the month that weeds can overtake quickly so don’t lose sight of nurturing your garden each and every week. Taking care of it regularly will keep your garden looking lush and colorful for months to come.

Here is a short list of must-do garden jobs for the summer:

Watering To keep your garden looking healthy, you must set a watering schedule. Even though watering by hand seems like a relaxing way to enjoy your garden, it is hard to stand still in one place long enough to give it the deep drink it requires every week. You are better off setting up a sprinkler or installing drip irrigation to run for a period of time.

Keep an eye on the sky and measure rainfall amounts. Let the soil dry out slightly between watering’s and water it at least one inch every week. If heat and drought are prolonged, you may need to water much more frequently. Plants in full sun may require more watering than those in part sun.

The best time to water is first thing in the morning or in the evening. Try to stay away from 10 AM – 6 PM when the sun and wind will evaporate the water quickly.

Mulching – When the heat of the day stresses your garden, the best thing you can do is provide it with plenty of mulch.The mulch will conserve the moisture and will keep weeds from choking out your plants. Mulching also prevents erosion caused by summer thundershowers and storms. Bare soil will often get a hard crust on it that will not allow water or nutrients to penetrate easily.For mid-summer mulching, just add mulch where it has become thin. Try not to pack mulch up against the trunk of a shrub or tree.

Mulch comes in many forms from bark, compost, straw, pine needles or even last autumn’s leaves, but they all serve the same purpose which is to hold in moisture and choke out weeds.

Deadheading To keep your garden looking fresh and to encourage new growth, deadhead any spent flower heads and cut back any plants that have finished blooming.Horticulturist Tracy DiSabato-Aust, author of The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques, suggests the following guideline for most perennials: “Deadhead when the seedpods outnumber the flowers or when the flower spike is about 70 percent finished with flowering.” When flowers are pollinated they form seeds which cost plants a lot of energy. If you prevent seed formation, you can direct energy toward other goals: producing new flowers and more leaf and root growth, all of which can help the plant look even better next year.

Weed Control – To prevent your perennial garden from being overtaken by weeds you must weed before they go to seed. Mother Nature looks for bare soil and your best defense is to mulch heavily in the spring and spot mulch lightly in mid-summer. Use 2 – 3 inches of mulch to control weeds all summer long. Placing a thick layer of newspaper on the ground around your plants before adding mulch on top is an environmentally friendly way to control weeds.

  • How to spot a weed? Weeds are known to have a weedy smell. Break off a piece of stem and smell You usually can tell by its smell if it’s a weed or plant. The longer you garden, the easier it gets to distinguish the weed from the plants.

Fertilize – To encourage blooming and to keep foliage lush and green, fertilize on a regular basis. Using a fertilizer with a high middle number will insure your garden stays healthy all summer long. There are several products available for annuals and perennials including slow release fertilizers that can be used less often.

Fertilome Premium Bedding Plant Food 7-22-8 is a slow release granular product that should be applied every 30 days during the growing season.

  • If you have plants with powdery mildew or black spot fungus, spray a fungicide early in the morning or early in the evening, when the temperatures are cooler.
  • You may notice that some of your plants need rejuvenating later in the summer. They may turn brown and look stressed from the summer heat. If this happens, cut them back and water regularly to encourage new growth.

This is the time of the year to enjoy the fruits of your labor, so don’t let the summer take over your garden. Follow these few easy steps to care for your perennial garden and keep it beautiful and productive all summer long.

Planting Tip:

When you are creating your perennial garden, visit the nursery each month from April to October to see whats blooming. Make selections at different times so that you will have bursts of color in your garden throughout the warm season. Also, make sure you include one or two plants that will bloom continuously. And, last, but not least, intermingle a few beautiful annuals for additional pops of color!

For more information on adding perennials to your garden check out our Annual & Perennial Fact Sheet here.

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Here at Wingard’s Market we specialize in providing outstanding customer service, offer professional gardening advice, and answers to your everyday gardening questions.  Stop by and visit our beautiful Gift Shoppe and Fresh Produce Market while you stroll under century-old pecan trees.  It’s truly a Garden Wonderland!

Located at 1403 North Lake Drive in Lexington, SC. Call us at (803) 359-9091