TREES FOR SHADE
Japanese maple. Photo by Janet Loughrey.
Among the most beloved ornamental trees, Japanese maples (Acer palmatum) are grown for their multi-seasonal interest, elegant structure and brilliantly colored foliage in shades of red, orange, yellow and purple. While some varieties grow into medium or tall trees, others stay smaller, making them suitable for urban lots. These deciduous trees do best when planted in rich, well-draining soil, and with regular water and protection from hot afternoon sun. Use as a backdrop in a mixed woodland border or as a stand-alone focal point. Smaller specimens can be planted in containers.
3 to 30 feet tall, 3 to 25 feet wide
Plants to Try:
A. palmatum ‘Bloodgood’, A. palmatum ‘Sango-kaku’, A. japonicum ‘Aconitifolium’, A. palmatum ‘Shishigashira’.
Dura-heat® river birch. Photo by Marietta Paternoster Garr / Millette Photomedia.
For natural woodland appeal, birch (Betula) trees make a valuable addition to the landscape for their elegant stature, fall color, and ornamental bark that is particularly attractive in winter. Some varieties are extremely hardy, making them a good choice in colder regions. These deciduous trees are fast growing and perform best in rich, well-draining soil with regular water and at least part-day sun. Because there are so many options to choose from, it’s important to research which ones will do best in your region, and to choose a variety that will not outgrow its space. Plant near a stream or pond, in a row to divide garden spaces, group as an allée, or use a single specimen as a backdrop in a mixed border.
5 to 80 feet tall, 5 to 40 feet wide
Plants to Try:
B. papyrifera (paper birch), B. nigra (river birch), B. pendula (weeping birch), B. populifolia (‘Whitespire’ grey birch).
Pagoda dogwood. Photo by Bertrand Dumont / Millette Photomedia.
Grown for its showy flowers and statuesque habit, dogwood (Cornus) is synonymous with spring. While most are deciduous trees, there are also shrub and groundcover forms. Tree varieties most available to home gardeners tend to be small to medium-sized, making them suitable to urban lots and curbside strips where power lines are a concern. Some varieties prefer full sun, though others are suited to the dappled shade of their native woodland habitat. Use as a backdrop or focal point in a mixed border, or as a stand-alone focal point in a lawn. Grow with compatible understory plants such as daffodils, sweet woodruff, hosta and ferns.
10 to 50 feet tall, 6 to 50 feet wide
Plants to Try:
C. alternifolia (pagoda dogwood), C. controversa ‘Variegata’ (wedding cake tree), C. kousa (kousa dogwood), C. florida f. rubra (Eastern dogwood).
Chinese witch hazel. Photo by Janet Loughrey.
In the dead of winter when there is little life in the garden, the delicate ribbon-like flowers of witch hazel (Hamamelis) cheer up even the dreariest days. The graceful vase-shaped structure is just a bonus, with some varieties having additional attributes of fall color or fragrance. This deciduous tree or shrub needs virtually no care once established, with most suitable for small spaces. Grow as a stand-alone focal point, along a property border, or near your home’s entrance or sidewalk where the fragrance can be enjoyed up close. Smaller specimens can be grown in containers. Combine with other plants with winter interest such as hellebores, snowdrops, and heathers.
12 to 15 feet tall and wide
Plants to Try:
H. xintermedia‘Jelena’, H. xintermedia ‘Aphrodite’, H. xintermedia ‘Diane’, Chinese witch hazel (H. mollis).
Эти огурчики лучше подойдут для выращивания в теплице. Сорт более требователен в уходе: растения нуждаются в своевременном пасынковании и прищипке.
Но результат стоит потраченных усилий, ведь при создании должных условий с каждого кв. метра можно собрать около 20 кг. огурцов!
Плоды вырастают до 11 см. в длину, имеют аккуратную форму и небольшие белые шипы. Этот сорт пригоден и для выращивания в открытом грунте, однако урожайность в данном случае будет меньшей.
How to Grow Squash in Containers
Growing squash in containers is a great way to make vegetable gardening easier. There are several good reasons to grow squash in containers. For example, they can be moved into frost-free areas to extend the harvest period. Containers can be placed where they are easily accessible and easy to harvest. It is also easier to check water saturation in a container than in an outdoor garden. It is simply a very convenient solution for getting home-grown squash. Below are some steps to assure successful planting and growth of squash in containers.
Step 1 — Choose and Prepare Containers
Start with a new pot at least 12 inches high and wide. Half barrels are also good for planting squash, but always make sure there is drainage at the bottom through one or more drainage holes.
If you want to use a pot that has been used before, make sure it is thoroughly cleaned with soap and water, rinsed, and sprayed with a bleach-water mixture (seven parts water to one part bleach) to sterilize it.
Check the plant growth information to see whether the specific squash type you’ve chosen is bush type or vining. Vining squash plants will need to be staked. You can use a tomato cage, trellis, or sticks in a teepee shape depending on where the container is placed, the shape you prefer, and what materials you have available.
Step 2 — Choose the Right Soil and Plant the Squash
Use good-quality, well-aerated, and good-draining potting soil with lots of organic matter. Fill the container 3/4 full with with the soil if you are planting a young plant, or within one to two inches of the top if you are planting seeds. If you are staking your squash, place the stakes after you fill the pot with soil and before planting. You will generally want only one plant per pot depending on the growth pattern of the squash.
For a squash plant, place the plant close to the stake and fill in the potting soil around it. Water thoroughly and slowly. Then, after the soil settles, add more to fill the container within 3/4-inch of the top, press it down around the plant to settle it, and water again.
For seeds, press five to six seeds in the center of the pot and cover with 1/2-inch of soil mix. Water thoroughly and deeply. After the seeds sprout, cut back to two plants. When the remaining plants are eight to 10 inches high, carefully pull out and transplant one of them to a new container.
Step 3 — Find the Right Location in Your Garden
Squash need eight hours of sunlight a day and it needs to be planted after the danger of frost is past so the soil can be kept warm. It also needs to be protected from wind. Find a place in your garden that meets these requirements and where the container or containers are also easy to get to for maintenance and harvesting.
Step 4 — Container Watering and Maintenance
Water often enough so that the soil in the container stays moist but not soggy. Check the plants and soil regularly so you can water them again if the dirt is beginning to dry out too much. Remember that clay pots dry out more quickly than plastic pots.
As the squash blossoms and grows, fertilize the plant weekly with a water-soluble or granular fertilizer made for vegetables.
Ideas for Downspout Garden Planters
It’s easy to get creative with a downspout container garden. Just make sure you have a few necessary elements. The container should have drainage holes in the bottom and on the sides or near the top for overflow.
Next comes a layer of gravel and on top of that goes a soil mix designed for a rain garden, usually with some sand in it. It’s better to use plants suitable for a lot of rainwater, such as with a bog garden design, but with a good drainage plan, you can include other plants too.
Here are some ideas for constructing a downspout garden with these essentials in mind:
- Use an old wine barrel to create a planter. It allows plenty of room for gravel and drainage soil. You can even put a drainage spout on the side.
- A galvanized steel tub also makes a good planter. Repurpose an antique or look for a new one. They come in smaller sizes but also as large as a horse trough.
- Build a container of your own design using scrap wood or old wooden pallets.
- With some scaffolding you can create a vertical garden that runs up the side of the house and is watered by the downspout.
- Create a rock garden or stream bed under your downspout. You don’t need plants to filter the water a bed of rocks and gravel will have a similar effect. Use river stones and decorative elements to make it attractive.
- You can also get creative and grow veggies in a downspout planting bed. Just be sure to provide adequate drainage for this type of garden.
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