Archives for February 2016

Horticulture Oil Spray – Important for Fruit Trees

Dormant Apple Bud2

Dormant Bud

What is Horticulture (Dormant) Oil spray?  If you are growing fruit trees, this spray is one of the most important sprays to apply.  As the name suggests, it is a spray that is applied during the dormant season of growth which is in the winter or very early spring.  (Usually February-March).  It is used to kill the overwintering bugs on the tree such as scale, aphids, and mites. There are a few things to be aware of when using a Dormant Oil spray.

  • Silver tip bud

    Swelling Bud

    Timing is everything!  The buds on the tree need to be relatively inactive.  How can you tell if a bud is still dormant and hasn’t started to swell? Hopefully these two pictures will give you something to reference.  The first picture shows a dormant bud on an apple tree and the second picture shows the bud just starting to swell.  The scales on the bud have started to separate to expose some of the inner tissue.  You want to time your spray just before the bud has started to swell.

  • Spray when temperatures are above 40 degrees F and there is no freeze or rain forecasted but under 60 degrees F.
  • Completely saturate the tree.  Overwintering insects hide in the cracks and crevices of the branches and trunk.  The oil works by smothering the insects and suffocating them – yikes!  It will take approximately 2 gallons of spray for an 8-10 foot tree.

There are also All Seasons sprays which can be used at other times of the year.
**Very Important! Be careful not to use those sprays when the tree is in flower.  We don’t want to kill any of our pollinators as we need them to set the fruit on the tree.

Add Some Early Color to your Landscape

Bring on the color! This time of year is always the hardest when it comes to achieving color in your landscape. There are berries, colorful foliage, but what about flower color? Pansies and violas will provide color, but this still leaves us yearning for more!  Here are a couple of  ‘must haves’ for your garden to add winter interest.

Primrose

PrimroseKeep an eye out for these lovely annuals which will be arriving at the nursery soon.  They come in all different colors so they are great to pop into containers or dress up a garden bed for explosions of color.  They love the cooler temperatures so will bloom their heads off until we get hot weather.  Give them good drainage and this time of the year they can be planted in full sun or partial shade.

Lenten Rose

HelleboreAlso called Hellebores, these beauties are a great addition especially if you have shaded locations.  They bloom and bloom, and then bloom some more starting in January and going for months.  Hellebores are an evergreen perennial which means it never goes away!  Such an added bonus for the shade garden. The older varieties self-seed so you end up with lots of little babies which can be spread around your landscape.  The new hybrid varieties have been bred to have more dominant looking flowers in a variety of colors.

Keep your Pansies looking good

pansyPansies are an amazing plant in that they can be covered in snow one day and bounce back the next. However, with the cooler temperatures, fertilization becomes important.  Temperatures below 45 degrees F result in ammoniacal nitrogen not being available to the plant.  Therefore it is important to feed your pansies this time of the year. Make sure your pansy fertilizer also includes nitrogen sourced from nitrates which will be available to the plants in cooler temperatures. Pansies also respond well to deadheading spent flowers.  Try pairing pansies with parsley and other cool loving herbs in your containers and gardens.

Are you ready for Spring?

Spring is our favorite time of year – and it’s almost here! The weather will warm up and we can get planting! Here is where we would start:

Vegetable Gardens

Go ahead and plant those vegetables that can take a little frost (there is still a 70% chance till the end of the month).  Snap beans, carrots, beets, potatoes, onions, etc.  Tomatoes or peppers are not included in this list!

Flower Gardens

Annuals

Annual plants may live for only one season, they can make a huge difference in your garden. Annuals will provide you with non-stop color and performance throughout the season.

Perennials

Perennial plants and flowers take a little longer to bring out their true beauty but can add great life and color to your Spring flower bed.

Summer Bulbs

Our Summer bulbs are in! Shop now to get the best selection of Lilies, Dahlias, Cannas, Gladiolas, Callas and more. Plant summer flowering bulbs AFTER the last frost date. Summer bulbs require a great deal of water immediately after planting and the soil in your garden should be continually moist.

Fruit Trees peaches-8985_1920

Few flower gardens are made up of flowers alone. Trees, shrubs and vines give a garden architecture and bones. And right now at The Family Tree, we have apple, pecan, peach, and persimmon and fig trees!

Our Greenhouse will be full of life and color in just a few short weeks. Come enjoy your Spring at The Family Tree Garden Center.

Looking for a Stunning Accent Plant?

Are you looking for a stunning accent plant for your home or garden? Along with beautiful summer bulbs like Gladiolus, Dahlias, Lilies, and Cannas, Angel’s Trumpet and Clematis have arrived at The Family Tree, all ready to be planted for spring and summer flowers.angels trumpet

Angel’s Trumpet – A spectacular tropical shrub, Brugmansia (more commonly known by the prettier name of Angel’s Trumpet) is recognizable by its fragrant, giant drooping flowers. While this beautiful plant is technically a shrub, it flowers best when pruned tall like a tree. As long as it is given plenty of sunshine and water, Angel’s Trumpet is very easy to grow and will bloom year after year. In addition to its cool, unique flowers, Angel’s Trumpet is deer resistant and will attract hummingbirds. The Family Tree has white or pink; both are equally beautiful!

Clematis – This beautiful climbing vine looks spectacular adorning a fence, trellis, or mailbox. The trick to growing a profusion of these clematisflowers is to give them something to climb on as soon as you’ve planted them; the growing end of the vine is searching for something to ascend and without that it will stop growing. Clematis vines can live to be 50 years old, so if you fill your garden with them now, chances are good that they’ll still be around when your grandchildren come to visit!

Stop by The Family Tree today and choose from our selection of Angel’s Trumpet and Clematis and get a head start on a lovely spring garden!

Say Goodbye to Weeds!

If there’s one gardening problem that unifies gardeners, expert or amateur, it’s weeds. No matter how carefully you tend your flowerbeds and prep your grass, weeds have a way of cropping up and ruining that lush, livable lawn.  Applying pre-emergents undermines stubborn weeds fighting to infiltrate your landscape. By smothering crabgrass and other pesky weeds before the seeds germinate, you can regain control of your lawn and garden. crab1

Killing Weeds with Pre-emergents

Most horticulturalists suggest applying spring pre-emergents on March 15th. Because of our (mostly) warm Georgia weather, gardeners and landscapers should apply early weed-killers from late February to the 1st of March. Timing is critical to the effectiveness of pre-emergents. If you apply the herbicides after weeds sprout, crabgrass and other weeds will run rampant across your yard.

Lawn Essentials

Shop for your lawn essentials at The Family Tree Garden Center! Not sure what pre-emergent is best for you and your lawn? Talk with our specialists today.

4 Reasons to Hire a Landscaper

Installing and maintaining a beautiful and successful landscape can be a challenge. Not only does keeping up with a healthy lawn and garden take time, but it also requires knowledge of the plants, trees and other vegetation that you are using. Too often, homeowners become overwhelmed with the task of maintaining their landscape and let it fall to the wayside. shed-418570_1920

Here are 4 reasons on why many Georgia residents have turned to The Family Tree’s landscape service for a beautiful, well planned lawn and garden:

1. Saves You Time

Depending on how large and elaborate your landscape is, it can take quite a bit of time to keep up with it. When you are not able to spend the right amount of time taking care of your landscape, it can quickly become overrun and out of control. By using a professional landscaper, you will save yourself time that you could be spending in other areas of your life.

2. Knowledge and Expertise

We are very familiar with what components work and don’t work for a Georgia landscape. When you work with The Family Tree, you will know with confidence that the flowers, trees and shrubs that we plant will be a great fit for your yard and the Atlanta climate.

3. Healthy Yard

Between planting, watering and maintaining a landscape, there are plenty of mistakes that can be made that can be detrimental to the health of your yard and garden. We will give you peace of mind that your landscape is healthy and thriving. You can avoid any stress you might feel about having to save a dying tree or growing a healthy lawn.

4. Enjoy your Lawn and Outdoors

Spring is quickly approaching! So whether you find yourself entertaining others at your home or just enjoying some time to yourself, an attractive and healthy garden and landscape can make a huge difference. It’s tough to relax on your back patio when you are surrounded by shrubs that need pruning or dried and dead grass. You will find that you enjoy your home so much more when you have a beautiful landscape in both the front and back yards of your home.

To find out more about the services The Family Tree Garden Center has to offer, give us a call today at 770-972-2470.

Fresh Fruit All Season Long!

Now is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs so that they’ll have time to settle in before spring. The Family Tree just received dozens of new varieties of fruit and nut trees and we couldn’t be more excited for spring! If you love fresh fruit, planting your favorite fruit tree in your yard is the perfect way to enjoy it all season!

Apples – Apples grow well in most parts of Georgia, particularly the northern half of theApple-Fruit state. The key to growing excellent apples is in the amount of sunlight the tree receives each day; you should plant your apple tree in an area that receives sunlight for most or all of the day. You should also mix some lime into the soil to make sure it reaches the ideal pH level for apples. Once you have the perfect location chosen, it’s time to pick which variety you would like!

  • Honey Crisp – A crisp, delicious apple that is both tart and sweet at the same time; perfect for baking or eating as a healthy snack.
  • Fuji – This apple is firm, sweet and tempting; one of the most common apples.
  • Dorsett Golden – Aptly named, this crisp yellow apple ripens in the middle of summer.
  • Winesap Improved – A small, tart apple that is good for baking and makes excellent juice or cider.
  • Gala – One of the world’s most popular varieties, this apple tastes especially good when homegrown.
  • Red Delicious – With its crimson skin and mild flavor, this apple is the most easily recognizable of the varieties.
  • Granny Smith – This hard sour fruit is the quintessential baking apple and can be particularly refreshing when chilled.

Pears – There’s nothing that compares to the perfect pear; the tartness of the skin and the sweet flesh inside. Imagine having fresh pears growing right in your yard, yum! It is important to determine whether you want an orchard or only one tree. If you just want a single pear tree, you will have to get a self-pollinating variety.

  • Baldwin – A popular variety that is delicious and juicy.
  • Orient – Excellent for either cooking or eating, these pears can grow to be very large.
  • Kieffer – A round, hard pear, this variety is perfect for canning or baking.

peachPeaches – Georgia is the peach state, so it’s only right to plant some peach trees in your yard! While central and southern Georgia produce the most peaches, that doesn’t mean that your peach tree won’t thrive wherever it’s planted. As with apple trees, make sure that the spot you’ve chosen to plant your trees is exposed to sunlight for most of the day and that the soil pH is at 6.5 by tilling lime into the soil.

  • Belle of Georgia – The most famous variety, this tree produces high quality fruit.
  • Flordaking – A beautifully flowering tree that will produce luscious sweet peaches toward the end of summer.
  • June Gold – Known for its large size and reddish skin, this variety ripens in June before most others.
  • Red Haven – This variety is known for producing bumper crops of sweet, almost fuzzless peaches.

Figs – Figs do very well in most of Georgia, but they have trouble in the northern mountains. All figs sold in Georgia are self-pollinating, so you don’t need to worry about buying more than one for it to produce fruit. It is important that your soil pH tests between 5.5 and 6.5 for your figs to thrive.

  • Brown Turkey – Bearing juicy delectable fruit, this variety produces not one, but two crops a year: one in late spring and one in early summer.
  • Celestial – A very hardy variety that bears a bountiful harvest of sweet fruit in late June.

Persimmons – This fruit is making a name for itself in the Georgia area. A beautiful shrub-like tree with bright foliage and fruit, it will remind you of summers at the beach.

  • Fuyagiki – A wonderful disease resistant variety that produces sweet, mild fruit that ripens in mid-fall.
  • Hachiya – These persimmons can be extremely sour if eaten before they’re perfectly ripe; once ripe, they will melt in your mouth!

Pecans – You will need wide open spaces for pecan trees because they can grow to be very large. Easy pecansto grow in our Georgia climate, these fabulous trees offer wonderful shade, beautiful bark, and a great place to hang a swing!

  • Pawnee – One of the most planted pecan trees in the US, this hardy variety bears a bumper crop of large nuts 2-3 weeks before other varieties.
  • Choctaw-Known for the large pecans it produces, this variety does best when planted with another variety for cross-pollination.
  • Stuart – An easy to grow variety that requires less pruning and care than others.
  • Jackson – A willowy tree that produces large tasty nuts with thin shells.

Stop by The Family Tree Garden Center for your fruit trees today! Remember, now is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs to have them fully integrated by the time spring rolls around, so come pick out your favorite trees soon! We are always happy to help you choose the best tree for your location so that it will thrive for many years to come.