Spring Kick Off Sale

Garden Sale in Lawrenceville, GALet’s kick off spring with a 20% off sale**! Join us Friday, March 24, 2017, we’ll have a greenhouse overflowing with annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs.  You’ll get the best selection by shopping early for spring.   We’ll have more great specials throughout the store.

It gets even better! Get a FREE bare root dogwood with your purchase! While supplies last, we want everyone to have one of these beautiful southern favorites.

** (20% off excludes seed, sod, soils, straw, sale items, services and previous purchases.  Cannot be combined with any other sale, coupon, discount or promotion.) 

Bio-tone® Starter Plus, Our Favorite Product!

We want your plants – all your plants – to have a great start! And we’re pretty sure you do too.  That’s why we recommend (yes, we might even hound you about it when you are at the store) that you add Espoma Organic Bio-tone® Starter Plus to every tree, shrub, annual, perennial, sod, and vegetable that you are planting.  Our landscapers add it to everything they plant and have had great success.

Bio-tone® Starter Plus is an organic, all-natural plant food that is combined with a stronger concentration of beneficial bacteria along with both endo and ecto mycorrhizae. The ideal starter plant food, originally designed for professionals. Bio-tone® Starter Plus will increase root mass and help avoid transplant loss in difficult planting conditions.

With Bio-tone® your plants will enjoy:  
     •  Microbe enhanced all natural plant starter food.
     •  Both Endo & Ecto Mycorrhizae attaching to it’s roots to absorb nutrients more efficiently.
     •  Grows larger root mass to help plants establish fast.
     •  Promotes bigger blooms.
     •  Reduces transplant loss.

After you dig your holes and add your amendments (Fafard Planting Mix, Mushroom Compost, and/or Nature’s Helper Soil Conditioner) to your existing soil, we suggest you add Bio-tone® into the soil that will be surrounding the roots.  Bio-tone® is most effective when it comes in direct contact with the roots so that it can attach it’s mycorrhizae to each root hair. It is not as effective as a topical fertilizer.

Flower Beds: Mix 4 lbs. (12 cups) per 100 square feet into the top 4” to 6” of soil.
Bulbs: Place 1 tsp. per bulb in the hole prior to planting.
Potting Mixes: Mix 9 lbs. per cu. yd. or 1 cup per cu. ft.
New Lawns: Apply 25 lbs. per 1,000 sq. ft. prior to seeding or installing sod.

 


Bio-tone Starter Plus Application Table:

Plant Size Cups Lbs.
Up to Two Gallon 1 1/3
Five Gallon 2 2/3
Fifteen Gallon 4 1-1/3
24″ Ball 6 2
36″ Ball 24 8
48″ Ball 30 10

 

Just in case you need a little help planting your new plants, we have a wonderful service for you! We call it You Pick It, We’ll Plant It-click here for more information.  Just choose and purchase plants from our huge selection (we will help you, of course) and let us do the rest for an affordable fee! We will even deliver your plants for FREE with this service.

 

Ground Covers Add A Polished Look To Your Landscape

Do you have the feeling that your yard is missing something? You’ve got all the beautiful shrubs, colorful annuals; but the beds are lacking that “full” look? You may be missing out on the wonderful world of groundcover! Groundcovers can turn your flower beds into a luscious garden. Here at the Family Tree, we have a variety of groundcovers that are guaranteed to fit your liking and your lawn. If you’ve never used groundcover before, or are simply looking for some more information on caring for them, here are some tips for planting your groundcover.

Liriope
Also known as lilyturf or Monkey Grass, this perennial is a member for the lily family. The two main varieties are Big Blue (solid green leaves) and Variegated (green with white edges). It forms in clumps and can grow between 10-18 inches tall. During the summer, Liriope produces purple or white blooms. One of the best characteristics of Liriope is how easy to care for it is. It prefers to be partially shaded, but can grow in full sunlight during the cooler seasons. Establishment is key for Liriope, and fertile soil is needed for strong roots. The Family Tree recommends a wonderful root stimulator called Bio-Tone that will guarantee a great beginning for this ground cover in your lawn. Use a small scoop of Bio-Tone in each hole, spacing the plants about 12 inches apart. They will fill-in in just a few years, providing a full “tall grassslike” look. Once your Liriope is established, the only care needed is to mow it the first of March to about 3-4 inches tall. Fertilize once a year in March.

Mondo
Mondo Grass and Dwarf Mondo Grass are an excellent alternative for shady areas where grass won’t grow. It will form a beautiful carpet and look grass-like. Once established, you can pretty much forget it. Mondo prefers shade but it will be fine with morning or evening sun. Plant about 10 inches apart, using Bio-Tone root stimulator in each hole to guarantee strong, spreading roots.

Asiatic Jasmine
Growing in thick mats up to around 10 inches high, Asiatic Jasmine or Asian Jasmine is perfect for the steeper sections of your lawn. This vining evergreen will eventually spread between 2 and 3 feet and produce tiny pink, white, or yellow flowers. Asiatic Jasmine is often planted under trees as it does well in partial shade, but can take some morning or evening sun. Spacing for this groundcover is a little wider than others; around 1 ½ feet. While it may look a bit too spacey, it will usually only take two growing seasons to fill up the empty space. You can speed this process up a bit more but using Bio-Tone root stimulator to quickly get the roots established and begin the spreading.

Pachysandra
This bushy groundcover is another great plant to place under trees to give your garden a fuller look. Pachysandra also produces a fragrant white flower in the spring, adding to its appeal. Recommended spacing for this groundcover is between 6 and 12 inches. Pachysandra likes healthy soil to get its roots established, so a small scoop of Bio-Tone in each hole will surely do the trick. This groundcovers leaves can be easily sunburnt, so be sure to plant in a shady location.

Hellebores
This is not your average groundcover! Helleborus have beautiful bell shaped flowers that bloom from January to May. Old fashion Heleborus spread easily and have flowers that hang down under the leaves. New varieties are sterile so they do not spread, and have flowers that bloom above the leaves. They are deer resistant, making them a great groundcover to use in large areas under trees or along the edges of flower beds. While they are known for growing a bit slower than other groundcovers, a good stimulator can speed up the growing process when you plant. Space the plants about 10 inches apart, throw a bit of Bio-Tone in each hole, and your Hellebores groundcover will thrive in thick clumps.

Vinca Minor
Also known as Myrtle and Perennial Periwinkle, this groundcover grows best in shady to partially sunny areas. Vinca Minor is a creeping groundcover, forming a dense mat of a beautiful dark green once established. The variegated variety has green leaves with white outline. Recommended spacing for this groundcover is between 6 and 8 inches, allowing space to ground both out and up; Vinca Minor will reach up to 6 inches in height once it is fully mature.

One last good rule of thumb for most groundcovers is to keep the weeds out. Periodically clean out any weeds that may grow between your groundcovers in order to eliminate competition and allow your groundcover to grow faster and healthier.

For more information and expert advice, visit The Family Tree Garden Center!

By Lindsey Meade

Did You Know It’s Time To Put Up Bluebird Houses?

Bluebird season in Georgia is right around the corner! Attracting bluebirds to your garden during the spring can make for excellent relaxation and sight-seeing. Now is the time to get your bluebird houses set up (or cleaned out from last season). In order to get these blue beauties to hang around your lawn once Spring rolls around, here are a few important tips and tricks to keep mind.

Put the bird boxes up by March 1 so they will be ready when the birds arrive to search for a place to set up house. Place bluebird houses 5’ to 8’ above the ground attached to a tree or fencepost. They prefer open areas with low groundcover or well-trimmed grass in order for them to easily hunt insects.

  • Bluebirds love meal worms, and probably love acquiring them easily even more! Offering them a place to feed on meal worms is an excellent trick to bring them to your garden space.

Georgia is home to some great native plants that will attract Bluebirds during colder weather. Since bluebirds rarely eat bird seed, add berries and fruits to your yard that will likely attract them. Elaeagnus, Cotoneaster, Serviceberry, Beautyberry, Ivy, Hollies, Pyracantha are great for early spring feeding.

  • Predators such as House Sparrows, snakes, mice and others need to be considered when placing your bluebird house. These predators will reek havoc on your bluebirds!  Predator guards on poles or at entrance holes are strongly recommended. Click here for more information of why your bluebirds have left the house. http://www.sialis.org/predatorid.htm 
  • Bird baths are a great addition to any lawn, as they attract many kinds of birds. Bluebirds included! However, bluebirds favor moving water. Adding a moving water feature such a small fountain can do wonders for enticing bluebirds.
  • The last important tip to remember is about maintenance of your bluebird house. Bluebirds are not typically known to clean out old nests, moving on from “occupied” nesting areas. The best time to clean out the nest if from October to December (Just make sure it is not in use!). Periodically clean the old nesting material out of your bluebird box to assure the bluebird vacancy.

 

  • Stop by The Family Tree Garden Center for all your birding needs. We carry Coles, Audubon, Friends Of Flight, Droll Yankee, and handmade feeders, houses, and feed.

Top Three Landscape Design Elements

When asked to drill it down to the top three most important things to think about when designing a landscape, our landscape designer has this to say:

Think about:
Spacing
Mature structure (size) of the plant
Texture

landscape-front-afterDesigning a landscape can be a monster if you don’t think about the end product. You can choose what you see and like in other landscapes and garden centers and just hope for the best. But if you can look into the future and design accordingly, you will enjoy your yard for years to come.  Garden centers carry plants from small 4 inch pots to large 15 gallon pots.  These plants are not fully grown.  When you start your landscape, they may seem puny at first.  Don’t make the mistake of planting them too close together.  It may look sparse right now, but your plants need room to grow their roots and branches.  If they are too close together, their leaves and roots will not be able to get the nutrition and sunlight they need.  Check with a professional and make sure you are spacing for proper mature growth.

Mature structure (size) is very important. You don’t want plants to cover your windows, sidewalks, driveway. If you don’t like endless yard work pruning and trimming, large plants in front of your windows would not do.  Pay close attention to the tags and signs on the plants you are choosing. commercial-plant-health-care-tree-services-public-gardens-3 Measure your area or take pictures and ask an expert if the plants you are considering will work.

Last but not least is texture. We like to think of varieties of plants as having their own personalities. Leaves and bark have distinct size, shape, and color according to their variety. Combining textures is as important as color in your landscape. Textures offer year round interest when applied correctly.

Check out The Family Tree Garden Center’s FREE Quick Sketch design service. We care about your landscape!

Gardening with: Toe Ticklers

Have you ever seen a beautifully styled yard in a home or gardening magazine and wondered how they did it? The answer istoe tickler yard most likely toe ticklers! The plants affectionately known as toe ticklers are a group of creeping plants that can withstand foot traffic and still look good. Any of these plants look exceptional planted as groundcover, in between stepping stones, or along pathways and in containers.

Creeping Jenny – This vine is an all around winner; it will grow in both sun and shade and is drought tolerant as well! Its golden yellow foliage gains an orange tinge in the fall, making everywhere it grows glow with autumnal color.

Blue Star Creeper – Evergreen in warm climates, this toe tickler is almost completely covered in beautiful blue blooms in the spring! It makes for a stunning view when used between stepping stones in a pathway!

blue star creeperElfin Thyme – You might use thyme in your recipes, why not in your garden? This evergreen thyme is covered in lavender flowers in summer and produces a lovely aroma when stepped on.

Mazus – This vigorous grower is the perfect choice for between pavers or to cover a large bare patch in your yard! Once planted, it fills out quickly into a dense carpet and will soon be producing blue or white flowers.

The Family Tree carries a variety of these lovely little plants; stop by today to choose the best one for your garden. Our friendly associates are always happy to answer any questions you might have about our selection!

Gardening with: Succulents

Have you ever wished that you didn’t have to water your plants so often in this heat?  For a welcome change, why not try succulents? These plants are similar to the cactus and store water in their thick, fleshy leaves. Because they thrive in hot, dry climates, succulents only need to be watered on occasion! In addition to their water retaining properties, succulents also come in a variety of interesting shapes and colors. It’s so easy to incorporate succulents into your garden; here are a few of the varieties that The Family Tree carries!

Sedum – Also known as Stonecrop, this low growing, spreading succulent is perfect for planting insedum container gardens or among rocks as a groundcover. Sedum is an easy plant to grow and only needs good drainage and sunshine to thrive. Its colorful flowers will brighten up any garden!

hen and chicksHens and Chicks – This little succulent gets its name from the way it spreads: the original ‘hen’ plant is surrounded by new growth, or ‘chicks.’ While the shape of the plant will always resemble an artichoke, the leaves can come in a wide variety of shapes and colors!aloe

Aloe – Probably the best known succulent, aloe is prized for the soothing sap in its leaves. While you
can plant it outside (and bring it in in the winter), aloe makes an excellent potted plant in the kitchen, where it is easily accessible when minor burns occur! Just pinch off a leaf and use the “jelly” inside on cuts and burns for instant relief.

echeveriaEcheveria –  Echeveria can be found in a rainbow of colors, ranging from pale green to deep purple. Its rosette formation will make it stand out whether it’s planted in a garden bed or a container!

Be sure to stop by The Family Tree to browse our selection of succulents; we love helping people choose the perfect shape and color for their gardens!

Waterperry Blue Speedwell

Veronica surculosa ‘Waterperry Blue’ 

Good for rock gardens, edging or between flagstones, glossy green leaves, small soft-blue flower with white eye late spring into fall. Light foot traffic. veronica-surculosa-waterperry-blue-45pot10-count-flat-current-status-na_300

Exposure: Full to partial sun

USDA Zones: 4-9

Dimensions: 1″H by 10″W

Drought Tolerant: No

Prostrate Speedwell

Veronica prostrata ‘Goldwell’  

Narrow-leafed, chartreuse-yellow and cream variegated foliage, blue-violet flower spikes bloom late spring-early summer. Light foot traffic. veronica-prostrata-goldwell-pp17423-45pot10-count-flat-current-status-na_300

Exposure: Full to partial sun

USDA Zones: 5-9

Dimensions: 3″H by 15″W

Drought Tolerant: No

Georgia Blue Speedwell

Veronica peduncularis ‘Georgia Blue’ 

Dark green lacy foliage, bronze in fall and winter, blue flowers early spring until June. Light foot traffic.

Exposure: Full to partial sun veronica-peduncularis-georgia-blue-45pot10-count-flat-current-status-ls_300

USDA Zones: 4-9

Dimensions: 8″H by 48″W

Drought Tolerant: No