Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Lifestyles

April 15, 2013

PLATEAU GARDENING: Spring at last!

The springtime temperatures Plateau gardeners have been waiting for are here. By this time in our state, the sun is high enough and daylight hours are sufficiently long to sustain warmer ground and water temperatures despite a day or two with frosty air temperatures.

After 20 years of gardening in Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland region, I’ve learned that after a string of six days or more in April with highs from 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit or higher and overnight lows at or above 40 degrees (such as we have had), installing new plant material is much less risky. However, it is still wise to keep coverings handy to protect cold-sensitive greenery purchases should frosts be predicted.

The hanging pot of trailing pansies (Viola x wittrockiana) I got at a garden center last week is naturally cold hardy. However, the plant tag on a three-plant combo pot (Trixi mix Twinkle Star) I bought to add instant spring color at our sun room entrance calls for protection when temperatures dip below 40 degrees. I like the cheerful contrasting floral colors (bright yellow along with light- and dark-purple flowers) as well as the ease of simply popping the unit out of the purchase pot and into a planter. The mix promises to spread out (up to 24 inches high and 18 inches wide) and give season-long interest. Email MGardenerRae@frontiernet.net about your favorite garden center or nursery plant selections. 

Local University of Tennessee Extension offices and their online publication website are good places to go for free yard and garden information. Staff (and, in some locations, Master Gardener volunteers) there help residents. Bring samples and photos for diagnosis of plant problems/diseases or when you need assistance identifying a weed or insect pest and the best treatment options. They also test soil. (Call 484-6743 to learn the fee per sample). The amount of fertilizer and/or lime required to create the proper environment for the plants to be grown at that site will be included in the soil test report.

April reminders: Lawn treatment options and their timing hinge on whether your turf is a cool-season variety (fescues, Kentucky bluegrass, rye grass) or a warm-season species (Bermudagrass, Zoysia). Fertilizer should be applied when turf is actively growing. Cool-season varieties thrive at 65 to 75 degrees (in early spring and in autumn). Time has run out for cool-season spring lawn fertilization. Warm-season species grow well at temperatures between 80 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. The feeding schedule for warm-season turf is just starting. Feed that type of grass April 15, June 1, July 15 and on Sept. 1.

Broadleaf lawn weeds are now green and growing. They can be controlled with selective herbicides formulated to kill weeds while leaving grass unharmed. However, weed controls containing active ingredients 2,4,D and Dicamba can hurt very young grass seedlings. Proper watering techniques and cutting grass blades at an appropriate height (not too short) are important for maintaining a healthy lawn.

Need pruning advice? In general, pruning to control tree and shrub size and shape should be done while the plant is dormant in late winter or early spring, before new growth starts. That window of opportunity has passed for many species. Exceptions are trees and shrubs that blossom once each season in springtime. To avoid loss of flowers when these specimens are pruned earlier, homeowners may opt to trim them right after blossoms fade, instead. The booklet “PB1619 Best Management Practices for Pruning Landscape Trees, Shrubs and Ground Covers” is a comprehensive guide available online at utextension.tennessee.edu/publications/Documents/PB1619.pdf.

• • •

Plateau Gardening is written by Master Gardeners for gardeners in Tennessee’s Upper Cumberland Region. Contact UT Extension Cumberland County at P.O. Box 483, Crossville, TN 38557 (484-6743) for answers to horticulture questions, free publications and how to become a Master Gardener. Send email comments or yard and garden inquiries to Master Gardener Rae, MGardenerRae@frontiernet.net.

1
Text Only
Lifestyles
  • FFG Resident Services Painting.jpg FFG Resident Services presents painting to the Pat Summitt Foundation

    A dramatic portrait of Pat Summitt, painted by Chuck Jensen, was presented to the Pat Summitt Foundation by Fairfield Glade Resident Services at its Community Information Event on memory care.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 127 seniors JosephZarolla-W6.jpg Zarola entertains 127 Seniors

    The members of the 127 South Senior Center met Friday, July 25, for bingo and Mexican Train domino game. Conversation, along with coffee and sweets, was enjoyed by all. Helen Lord called the bingo numbers, and the prizes were furnished by Eye Centers of Tennessee. Life Care Center checked everyone's blood pressures.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Marriage licenses (Published July 30, 2014)

    July 29, 2014

  • Habitat-Group photo-Crisp Dedication .jpg Habitat celebrates 55th home dedication

    Anne Crisp is excited that she and her two daughters have a home to call their own. Cumberland County Habitat for Humanity (CCHFH) dedicated the 55th home to be built in partnership with low-income families. Crisp put more than 500 hours of "sweat equity" into her home and has completed 50 hours of self-improvement, where she attended classes on budgeting, home maintenance and good neighbor among others.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • Gypsy Rose to visit Fair Park

    The Cumberland County Playhouse is currently performing the award-winning Broadway play “Gypsy.” A great American story set during the 1920s fading vaudeville circuit, "Gypsy" portrays the rise of famed burlesque performer and stage mother Gypsy Rose Lee as she journeys across the country with her mother and sister during a time when Vaudeville was dying and burlesque was born. The complex character of Rose could be described as bold and brassy, as she steamrolls everyone in her way to turn her daughters June and Louise into child stars.

    July 28, 2014

  • plateau gardening-springBlooms4361.jpg Match August garden tasks to plant biology

    During all seasons in temperate climates like ours the greenery around us is changing. New shoots appear and leaves pop out of swollen buds after spring rains.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Pleasant Hill Ramblings.jpg Landis reunites with Japanese teacher

    There is a special lady living in Pleasant Hill who spent 42 years of her life in Sendai, Japan, teaching English at a Japanese Christian school and as a missionary with the United Church of Christ Board for World Ministries.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lion of Year.jpg Lions Club recognizes Lion of the Year

    Charles Loveday, charter member of the Crossville Lions Club, was recognized as the Lion of the Year at the annual installation of officers picnic July 8. Loveday earned this award for his service as first vice president, membership chairman, eye glass chairman and his help with fundraisers and other matters where needed. From left are Loveday and President Gary Laura.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 8-8 counseling center-play with dolls.jpg Christian Counseling Center celebrating 12 years

    Help the Christian Counseling Center of Cumberland County (C5) celebrate 12 years of community service. Dine at Ruby Tuesday of Crossville Aug. 8, 9 or 10. Print the flyer from the center’s website, www.cccotp.org, and give it to the server.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • A Time 4 Paws collecting shoes to help Soles4Souls in fight against global poverty

    Attention anyone with a closet! Those shoes no longer wanted are desperately needed to fight the human tragedy of global poverty.

    July 24, 2014