Tag Archives: horticulture

Common Fungal Issues in Early Summer

Early summer brings with it the excitement of watching your beds bloom, your vegetables sprout up, and your trees blossom. But the unwelcomed presence of fungus can put a damper on your yard, affecting your garden’s yield, damaging foliage, and inhibiting growth. The good news is that most fungal problems can be solved and prevented with a bit of knowledge and early planning. Here are a few of the most common fungus we see in the early summer, and how our experts recommend handling them:

  1. Powdery Mildew- Powdery Mildew is a common fungus that produces whitish spots on plant leaves, making foliage look like it was dusted with flour. The spots will primarily appear on the tops of leaves, although they can pop up underneath or on stems and flowers. Powdery mildew appears in warm temperatures with a fair amount of humidity, often occurring when days are warm and nights are cool. There are many plants that can be potential targets of powdery mildew, but a few of the most common include begonias, mums, roses, dahlias, melons, squash, cucumbers, potatoes, lettuce, pumpkins, peppers and tomatoes. Here are a few tips for treating and preventing powdery mildew from burdening your garden yield:
  • Thin garden vegetables to provide adequate space, circulation and sunlight for individual plants
  • Remove infected or dead foliage from all plants
  • Treat powdery mildew infestations with an organic fungicide

2. Cedar Apple Rust– This type of fungus requires two hosts (located within about a mile of one another) in order to complete its life cycle. The first family required is a juniper species or eastern red cedar; the second is an apple, crabapple, hawthorn, quince or serviceberry species. The symptoms of Cedar Apple Rust vary widely depending on the species infected: apples, hawthorns, and serviceberry will typically show orange and red spots on their foliage, which gradually develop black spots on the tops of leaves and small, fungal tubes on the bottom. Apples and crabapples are most susceptible. Juniper and red cedar, however, will develop woody galls on their small branches in the fall. Come spring (especially in wet weather), these galls will produce a gummy, orange growth that shrivels as the weather dries out. There are ways to prevent this interesting fungus… here are a few of our recommendations:

  • Don’t plant juniper/red cedar varieties in close proximity to apples, crabapples, hawthorns, etc.
  • Inspect junipers and red cedars in the late fall and early spring. Remove woody galls that you may find; this will prevent the formation of the orange growth that spreads spores to apple varieties
  • Plant disease-resistant varieties of crabapples and apples
  • Remove infected leaves and branches from apples and crabapples

3. Apple Scab– Apple Scab is a fungus that affects apples and crabapples. It will first appear as pale yellow or olive green colored spots on the top leaves, with dark, velvety spots spreading to lower leaves. In severe cases, foliage will become twisted, puckered, and eventually fall off the tree. On fruit, it creates scabby, sunken spots that start light in color and become larger, darker, and cork-like in texture. Eventually, the fruit will become distorted and cracked. Apple scab starts over the winter in fallen leaves and soil, developing in wet, cool weather. The best ways to treat it are:

  • Make sure to rake under trees in the fall and dispose of the dead leaves
  • Plant disease-resistant varieties when possible
  • Keep trees well-pruned, keeping an open canopy for air circulation and sunlight, and remove upright suckers from tree bases
  • Use a sulfur plant fungicide in early spring, applying as leaves just begin to emerge

Fungal issues can create problems across your landscape but remember: knowledge, proper care, and early-season planning can be your best tools in prevention and treatment. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to our team of garden experts and horticulturists to learn more!

Cool Weather Blooms to Brighten Your Home!

We’ve reached that unique time of year when the sun begins to warm our daytime hours, but the ground is still cool and the nights downright frosty (literally). And chances are, your beautiful winter container arrangements are beginning to look…. well… a little crispy. Its the time of year that makes us all eager for fresh life and colorful blooms. But how early can you plant spring containers and what, exactly, is available to use? Read on for spring planting guidelines and our favorite cool weather blooms!

Cold tolerant annuals are those flowers that prefer cooler temperatures, and tend to slow or cease blooming once the temperatures rise to a consistently warm level. That said, care must be taken not to put them out too early. Most hardy annuals can tolerate a light frost, but not freezing. Typically, here in Wisconsin, that means that mid-April is the standard go-to time for planting spring flowers. And, although you may not think it, there are plenty of gorgeous annuals that can bring interest, texture, and a burst of color to your front door. Here are a few of our tried-and-true favorites:

  1. PANSIES

Chances are when you think of early spring flowers, Pansies are one of the first to come to mind. Their wide range of vibrant color, reliable and extended blooming period, and tolerance for temperature drops make them a classic staple in spring plantings. Pansies will love full to partial sun during the cooler spring months, but will prefer a shadier location as summer approaches and the sun begins heating up. At approximately 7″ tall and boasting bright, cheerful colors, Pansies will make a great focal point in your planters. Keep Pansies evenly watered and remove dead or faded flowers to encourage more blooms to grow and extend the plants’ season.

Fun fact about Pansies: Pansies are a symbol of love and affectionate thoughts. In Victorian England, people gave them as gifts to express romantic feelings.

2. SNAPDRAGONS

Bring a beautiful element of height and color to your spring planters with Snapdragons. Coming in just about any color you can think of, Snapdragons have a lovely vertical shape and a long bloom cycle that will keep your planters looking top notch throughout the season. The flowers will begin from the base of the stem, working their way upwards. You can snip off the top of the stems for a fuller look, or keep their natural shape to bring an elegant height to your planter. As Snapdragons prefer cooler weather, you will see them slow or cease blooming during the hotter months. However, if you move them to a partially shady location and keep them well-watered, they can re-bloom in the fall season.

Fun fact about Snapdragons: Snapdragons got their name because the flower resembles a dragon’s face. When the flower is pressed gently on the sides, its mouth can open and “snap” shut.

3. SWEET ALYSSUM

With an abundance of delicate flowers, full foliage, and soft colors, Sweet Alyssum is the perfect trailing element for your spring planters. Growing to only about 5″ height, its white or lightly-colored hues will perfectly offset bolder and taller elements like Pansies and Snapdragons. Sweet Alyssum will spread and trail, and can also be a great choice for edging your beds. As the summer approaches and the weather heats up, shear them by about 2″ to encourage new growth and move them to a partially shady location. Don’t be fooled by their delicate appearance – Sweet Alyssum is a hardy, drought-resistant grower!

Fun fact about Sweet Alyssum: With a subtle honey scent, they are a favorite of pollinators and can provide a welcoming aroma to your home and yard.

4. DIANTHUS

In pink, rose, lavender, and bi-color hues, Dianthus is a pretty, bright addition to any spring planter. Growing in a mid-range height, it’s a wonderful choice to include in the body of your arrangement for a delicate, yet colorful, touch. Dianthus is a hardy, tolerant plant that can bloom through light frosts. Much like other cool-weather flowers, they will slow or stop flowering as the summer heats up; cutting them back by about 1/3 of their height will encourage them to bloom again come fall.

Fun fact about dianthus: ‘Dianthus’ comes from the Greek words for ‘of Zeus’ (‘dios’) and ‘flower’ (‘anthos’).

5. DUSTY MILLER

Dusty Miller’s cool, silver foliage and velvety texture is the perfect compliment to offset the colorful blooms in your spring planters. In addition to their attractive appearance, its lacy leaves are also deer, drought and disease resistant, making it a popular addition to containers and landscape beds alike. Dusty Miller loves a sunny spot and, unlike many other cold-tolerant annuals, can carry on an attractive grow period through the summer months (although summer trimming is encouraged to keep it from looking too leggy).

Fun fact about Dusty Miller: Even though its best-known as a foliage plant, Dusty Miller does produce small clusters of yellow flowers in the summer.

In addition to flowers, spring is a fantastic time to incorporate additional elements into your planters. Think about bringing height to your arrangement with curly willow or pussy willow stems. Bring interest to the base and body of your planter with moss or vine balls, colored Spanish moss, or even colorful Easter eggs.

Our team is ready to help you create a stunning, successful spring arrangement. Stop in to our Spring Open House on Saturday April 24 (8-5) to select spring annuals, accessories and containers. Our Potting Shed will be open and our design team will be on hand to help you plant a show-stopping arrangement! Click here to check out the event on Facebook! Or follow this link to sign up for one of our one-on-one spring container workshops – you’ll be able to work with one of our garden center designers to select material and create your own custom container.

We look forward to helping you learn about, design, plant and enjoy a landscape that you and your family will be proud of all season long. Happy Spring from all of us at the Vande Hey Company!

Garden Trends to Dig Into This Year!

Spring is nearly here and we can’t wait to get back outdoors! 2020 brought with it a huge surge of interest in gardening, outdoor living, and other home-related activities. In 2021, we’ll see the influence of this evolving appreciation as we dig back in to the spring season!

  1. Exploring Sustainability

Sustainable gardening is the idea of using practices that cause little harm to the earth and its inhabitants while attempting to actually enhance it. Concern for our environment and the desire to protect and preserve our world for future generations has prompted us to learn, explore, and implement sustainable practices. The good news? Its easy to do! Try these simple tips to make your yard more sustainable:

  • Conserve water by planting drought-tolerant and native plants.
  • Compost food scraps like vegetable and fruit waste, bread, egg shells, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, used paper towels, and more! Start a bin, and use the finished compost on your garden and beds for rich soil.
  • Make sure your beds have adequate layers of mulch to save water, decrease weeds, limit erosion, and increase nutrients in your soil.
  • Plant trees on your property for shade that naturally cools your home in the summer months.

2. Creating a Garden Getaway

With all of us spending more time at home, the appeal of investing in our own outdoor haven is greater than ever! Creating a comforting space to relax, enjoy time with your family, and relieve the stress of the outside world is a healthy way to re-center your mind, slow your heart rate, and calm your senses! Consider these ideas as you start planning:

  • Think about the soothing benefits of sound. Perhaps a water feature will provide a calm presence and cancel outside noise. Or you may want to include bird-friendly flowers and feeders to attract songbirds to your space.
  • Nothing beats the warm touch of sun, but its easy to overheat in the middle of summer. Make sure you have a shady spot to relax, as well! If you don’t have a mature tree in your yard, consider options like a patio umbrella or pergola.
  • Maintain privacy and quiet while keeping a soft, natural appearance by incorporating privacy hedges.
  • When selecting furniture, assess your habits and priorities. Is lounging around an evening campfire your favorite way to relax? Do you eat family meals outside whenever possible? Evaluating your needs ahead of time will help make the process of selecting furniture a simpler one!

3. Family-Friendly Gardening

Introducing kids to gardening at any age is a wonderful opportunity to spend quality time together and share values. Plus, you’ll have a bounty of delicious, home-grown meals to enjoy as a family!

  • Let kids help pick out what flowers and vegetables to plant
  • Start seeds indoors for a fun spring project, then watch them grow and care for them until its time to transplant
  • Get your kids their own inexpensive garden tools like gloves and trowels
  • Read and learn about gardening and cooking together
  • Let them help plant, tend, weed, water, and harvest. Its a great way to teach responsibility while enjoying hobbies together!

Check out our upcoming Young Gardener’s Day event on March 20th, filled with family-friendly gardening ideas and activities!

4. Container Plantings

A quick, effective way to bring color and curb appeal to your home is by incorporating decorative containers filled with seasonal plantings. Whether you prefer bold, bright tropicals or an elegant palette of monochrome hues, your home will be sure to look beautiful and welcoming. Plant your own for a great family project, or reach out to learn more about our Color 365 services!

5. Growing Your Own Food

Interest in home gardening is surging! There’s a special joy in growing food, even if you don’t have room for a large, traditional garden. Try raised bed or container gardening (perfect for tomatoes, herbs, and small vegetables) or even mixing edibles into your existing flower beds. If you’re limited on space, consider planting high-yield plants like tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and peas to get as much out of your space as possible. Finally, stop in to pick up your seeds early – they’re selling fast this year!

6. Houseplants

Whether they’re brightening up your living space or rejuvenating your home office, houseplants are hot in interior design right now and rightfully so. Not only do they look attractive, they also improve air quality and lift your mood! Check out a few of the benefits of including these attractive accents in your home:

  • Reduce stress levels
  • Ease depression, anxiety, and Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • Boost productivity
  • Improve indoor air quality

Stop in to our garden center to check out our wide selection of interior plants, pair it up with one of our fun containers, and bring an instant pop of color and interest to your home or office!

7. Outdoor Living

Have you heard of the Norwegian concept of “friluftsliv”? Pronounced free-loofts-liv, it means “open air living” and encourages a lifestyle of plenty of fresh air, unwinding outdoors, and simply understanding the healing effects of nature. An important lifestyle for all ages, its particularly crucial for children: studies show that kids who spend ample time outdoors have increased creativity and critical thinking, better behavior and test scores, and a stronger sense of purpose. So take a walk outdoors, enjoy a meal on your patio, and embrace the fresh air!

As always, our team of dedicated horticulturists, designers, and gardening specialists are here to help you with any questions or concerns you may have. Reach out to us at 920.788.6344 or stop in to our garden center.

Whether you’re just starting your landscaping hobbies, a first time home owner, or an avid, lifelong gardener…. we wish you a happy and bountiful 2021 season!

Houseplants: Brighten Your Home… and Your Mood!

The weather is cooling and, for many of us, we find ourselves moving increasingly toward indoor hobbies and activities. If you’re an avid gardener, though, this can be a tough transition that leaves you itching to dig in the soil, quietly nurture your garden, and watch your plants grow and thrive. A growing trend in home decor (and rightfully so) has been houseplants: they’re a perfect way to get your gardening fix, and bring a wealth of health benefits to your home!

Did you know that including living plants in your home’s decor improves your air quality, minimizes headaches, reduces fatigue and eases dry skin during the winter months? Additionally, for anyone struggling with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) houseplants can improve your mood, relieve stress and anxiety, and provide a calming effect through tangible interaction. All of these benefits come down to one simple concept: biophilia. Simply put, plants make us feel good! When we are out in nature, surrounded by plant life, or just in a room with living plant material, we are more happy, content, and relaxed. All the reason to introduce a bit of fresh greenery to your home! Houseplants are becoming increasingly popular and there are more varieties available than ever before. Below is a quick guide to a few of our favorites; be sure to stop in to our garden center to check these out in person, along with a wide selection of other varieties, and bring that positive biophilia home with you for the long winter!

  1. Pilea- Pilea peperomioides is an easy to care for, cute little plant that’s been growing in popularity quickly. Native to Asia, its generally considered to be an easy-going plant, preferring medium to bright indirect sunlight. Water your pilea every one to two weeks, depending on how bright of light its in, and making sure it dries out in between waterings. Dry, curled leaves indicate too little water, while yellow leaves and black stems indicate too much. Your pilea will also produce “pups” or “babies” on its own, which will pop up in the surrounding soil!

2. Spider Plants– A long-time houseplant staple, spider plants are making a comeback in the design world! These hardy hanging plants aren’t fussy, and can survive in a variety of conditions. A perfect spot for your spider plant is in bright, indirect sunlight, but they can tolerate a lower light setting, too. Water well during during the summer months, then cut back through the winter and mist occasionally year-round. Spider plants prefer fast-draining, well-fertilized soil, particularly during the summer months. Make sure to watch out for pests, though: spider mites, mealybugs, aphids and whiteflies can be attracted to spider plants!

One of the fun and unique attributes of this plant is how easy it is to propagate. Simply remove one of the small plantlets and place it in soil, then watch to ensure that it grows roots. Its a quick and easy gift, and one that’s easy to care for!

3. Croton– With its colorful foliage, the croton is a gorgeous accent plant for your home. Your croton will do best in a sunny location, with regular misting. If you notice that its new growth is dull in color and vibrancy, move it to a sunnier spot: this is a sign that its not getting enough light. Keep the soil evenly moist but not wet, and allow to dry a bit in between waterings. Crotons tend to attract dust, so you’ll want to wipe its foliage with a damp rag occasionally!

4. Zamia-Fully named “Zamioculas Zamiifolia” and often referred to as “ZZ”, this popular houseplant has a modern look and is easy to care for. The Zamia plant can tolerate low to bright, indirect light levels, and prefers to dry out in between waterings. Its a perfect plant for beginners, and is very forgiving if you forget a watering or two! The Zamia’s foliage can be considered toxic, though, so you’ll want to keep it away from curious pets or small children.

5. Sansevieria- Often called “Snake Plant” or “Mother-in-Law Tongue”, this hardy houseplant is one of the easiest to care for and, with its vertical shape, one of the easiest to incorporate into your space. Sansevieria will thrive best in bright light, but are well known to tolerate dim rooms with very low light, too. These plants prefer to dry out in between watering; one of the most common mistakes, in fact, is overwatering and root rot. As your sansevieria grows, you’ll want to continually rotate it to ensure that it is growing evenly (they tend to arch toward the light, so you can end up with a heavily leaning plant!). Sansevieria come in many varieties and sizes and tend to be slow growing, making them a great fit for just about any home or office!

Stop in at our garden center to check out these outstanding houseplants, plus plenty of others! Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you select the perfect plants for your needs and get you started on the right foot!

Top 7 Signature Fall Container Plants

Dreaming about fall colors, cool autumn temperatures, and pumpkin-flavored everything? As we near our colorful fall season and the temperature begins to drop at night, now is the time to start thinking about your fall containers! Keep an eye out for plants with a disposition toward fall blooming and a tolerance for cooler temperatures so you can dress up your front door or back patio with beautiful color and excitement that lasts! Here are our Top 7 Signature Fall Container Plants! These plants are “signature” fall plants certain to bring color, texture, and beauty to your fall containers.

  1. Ornamental Kale and Cabbage. There are numerous varieties of kale and cabbage with various shades of green, pink, and purple. They are very cold weather tolerant, and the color will become even more prominent as the temperature continues to fall. While kale has a spikier texture and cabbage is rounder, both will bring delightful color and texture to your fall planters

2) Mums. Available in a variety of your classic fall colors including red, yellow, and orange, mums are a fall staple. Typically controlled by growers to encourage fall blooming, these dense plants display beautiful round blooms that are rich in color. While it can be overwintered as a perennial it functions primarily as an annual.

3) Coral Bells. A very hardy perennial plant, coral bells come in a large range of colors and leaf textures. While they can be beautiful on their own, they look gorgeous in the fall when paired with gourds, mums, and ornamental grasses. Be creative with how you organize your planter and the other fall decorations around it!

4) Hen and Chick Succulents. These hardy succulents provide unique texture paired with numerous colors both sharp and muted. They add extra interest to containers with their unique shape and color. The little “chicks” can easily be propagated to be planted in new containers and even in the ground. Leave them outside or bring them in… these plants are tough!

5) Mirror Plants. Known for their glossy leaves, these fall beauties bring stunning shades of pink, gold and burgundy. They are also very frost hardy, making them the perfect addition to your fall container.

6) Creeping Wire Vine. This dark stemmed annual with small green leaves makes a great spiller in your container or creeping ground cover. Pair it with some of the other fall plants in this list and watch it cascade over the side of your container, creating an arrangement full of texture and variety.

7) Ornamental Grasses. Grasses are a great way to add some extra height to your fall planters. They make a great “thriller” that can grab attention while bringing some color, texture and beautiful movement.

Don’t forget about the pumpkins, gourds, hay bales, and corn! Pair your new containers with other signature fall decorations to create a hearty fall feeling that makes us all dream of grandma’s fresh baked pumpkin pies. Have fun, try something different, and do not be afraid to ask for help! We would love to help you design your fall container! Stop by today for gorgeous fall plants and expert advice!

Festive Fourth of July Cocktails & Appetizer

Spice Up Your Summer with Fresh Herbs!

Nothing says “Summer” like the taste of a cool, freshly-muddled drink or the savory aroma of a crisp, garden dish on a hot night.  The use of herbs can enhance just about any meal or drink and growing your own will supply you with a bounty of flavorful ingredients, attractive plantings, and gorgeous patio aromas all season long! 

When it comes to summery dishes, you can’t go wrong with a classic Italian pesto, fresh-from-the-garden pizza sauce or an icy mojito, but the options don’t end there!  There’s a wealth of unique herbs to bring new flavors and colors to your herb bed; here are a few of our current favorites!

  1. Marjoram- Marjoram boasts a flavor of sweet pine and citrus, perfect for any Mediterranean-style dish, plus sauces, soups and meats.  For a pop of bright, chartreuse color in your planter bed, try Golden-Tip Marjoram (shown to the right). It’s delicious with tomatoes, pizza, and egg dishes!

2) Oregano Varieties– No Mediterranean dish is the same without oregano; it’s the go-to seasoning for the best sauces, salads, pizzas, and more!  If you like a little more pizazz with your dishes, try a Hot and Spicy variety; or if you prefer the mild side, try out a Variegated Oregano, perfect for use in salsa and vegetable dishes.  Oregano can bring more to the table, though!  Ornamental and Golden varieties provide a gorgeous pop of color and texture to your beds and planters all season long!

3) Pineapple Sage– For many of us, sage brings to mind hearty meat dishes, infused butters, and savory egg dishes.  Pineapple sage, on the other hand, is all about complimenting summer favorites!  With an aroma and flavor very similar to pineapple, this herb is a perfect addition to fruit salads, fresh garden salads and cocktails.  Growing 3-4’ height, it has gorgeous red blooms and is a fantastic pollinator!

4) Thyme Varieties-Thyme is a garden classic, and an excellent addition to both your culinary and ornamental planters.  Standard thyme is delicious in butters and spreads, meat marinades and rubs, and as a topping for roasted vegetables.  Some of the unique varieties that we love this year are:

  • Silver Thyme: A beautiful, variegated silver foliage that works great in mixed planters and gives off a lovely lemon scent, but can also be used in culinary dishes similar to traditional thyme.
  • Lime Thyme: a bright, eye-catching color and citrus scent make this variety a great pick for ornamental planers.
  • Lemon Thyme: Brings a fresh, citrus flavor to meat and vegetable dishes and is best added at the very end of cooking to maintain the most flavor.

5) Mint Varieties- Mint is a fast-spreading, easy to grow perennial that will be a garden staple year after year.  Adding it to your beds can even help deter ants and flies!  We’re all pretty familiar with mint as the flavor boost for fresh drinks and summery desserts, but there are plenty of varieties available besides just the standard:

  • Corsican mint:  A very low ground cover, this variety gives off an intense, refreshing peppermint aroma and flavor.  It’s a fantastic choice for beverages, especially tea.
  • Indian Mint:  This variety is perfect for hanging planters, and gives great flavor to tea, culinary dishes (especially lamb), and is known to relieve headache tension.
  • Apple Mint:  One of our absolute favorites, apple mint is a must-use for your summer beverages like lemonade, infused water, and cocktails!  Also try it out with peas, salad dressings, tomatoes and broccoli.

Whether you are a “seasoned” pro or new to the world of gardening, herbs are an incredible asset to your garden and an easy addition.  Most will thrive in containers as well as planter beds, and some can even be brought indoors through the winter months.  Note that plenty of sunlight and proper soil drainage are key in any herb planting.  Create a bed near your kitchen so that you can snip fresh herbs to add to meals as you are cooking; plus, you’ll enjoy their aromas all season!  

Stop in at our garden center to check out these outstanding herbs, plus plenty of others! Our knowledgeable staff is here to help you select the perfect plants for your needs and get you started on the right foot.  Also, keep an eye out for our herb classes coming up in July (click here to follow our events on Facebook).  Until next time, happy planting!

Dig a Hole and Put the Tree in the Ground, Right? … Wrong!

Planting a tree involves more than just digging a hole and putting the tree in the ground. If you want a beautiful, healthy tree, there are a few guidelines you should follow when planting to ensure long-term success. Check out these helpful tips and tricks!

  1. Dig a hole about as deep as the root ball and twice as wide. Ensure that the plant is slightly above the existing grade (1-3”). You want a nice, undisturbed bottom to prevent settling.
  2. Prepare your planting mix for around the tree by combining the excavated soil with 1/3 leaf compost and any other soil amendments needed (noted below).
  3. Prepare your new trees for installation by removing any dead or disfigured branches. Inspect the root-ball for any circling roots. Gently open up and spread out the encircling roots.
  4. If the tree is B&B (balled and burlapped) lower into the hole and loosen the balling twine at the base of the tree to prevent the girding of the trunk. Peel back or remove as much of the burlap as possible. If the tree is potted, remove the pot and scar roots prior to lowering into the hole. Don’t forget to rotate the tree so the most attractive position is outward!
  5. Mix root stimulator and water and apply to the root ball. Backfill the hole with your planting mix, and gently firm in. Water to remove all air pockets. If it is a particularly large tree, it is also beneficial to fill the dirt halfway around the tree and then water. This will ensure that water gets all the way down to the roots and soaks them well! You can finish by filling in the rest of the hole.
  6. Proper watering is necessary for establishment and long-term plant health. Over or under-watering can be fatal for any plant. If rainfall has been adequate (1″ of rain per week), you may not need supplemental water. Otherwise, a deep watering of 1″ every 5-7 days (especially during the summer) is usually adequate for the first two years. Use a soaker hose to conserve water and get water to the root zone area where its needed. Also, keep in mind that organic mulch will decompose over time; reapply mulch as needed to maintain a 2″-3″ layer to help water conservation.
  7. Remember that newly planted trees (and shrubs, too, for that matter) may not always put forth significant new top growth during the first year or two because most of its energy goes toward root growth.

  • Soil Amendments
  • We recommend an additional soil amendment of com-peat or peat moss and soil sulfur or copperas for the following trees.
  • American Hornbeam
  • Beach
  • Birch
  • Fringetree
  • Hophornbeam
  • Red Maple
  • Magnolia
  • English Oak
  • Redbud
  • White Pine
  • Katsura Tree

Here at Vande Hey Company, we do not want to just give you a tree and send you on your way. We want to educate you on how to best plant and care for your tree so it has many years of looking beautiful and healthy. Following these simple steps will not only help your tree get acclimated to its new home but will lead to a long and happy life of growing. Your tree will look gorgeous for many years to come!

2020’s Top 10 Annuals from Vande Hey Company

Every year we grow beautiful annuals perfect for containers or for annual beds. They provide extra color, texture, and also a variety of different heights. Check out our 2020 Top 10 Annuals to learn a little bit more about some of our favorites!

  1. Profusion Zinnia- Providing bright colorful flowers spring through fall, this sun-loving hybrid Zinnia is known for its durability: resisting disease, drought, and heat and even repelling deer and rabbits. Up to 18” tall and spreading 24”, it is the perfect choice for the front of borders or large containers. Their numerous 2” flowers are also loved by butterflies!

2) Verbena Meteor Shower– These dense clusters of small purple flowers are beautiful in combinations or planted as a mass. Growing 20-30” tall and 8-12” wide, this plant grows best in full sun or light shade. As a high nectar plant, butterflies and hummingbirds love it as well!

3) Australian Sword Fern– This fast-growing bright green evergreen tolerates both wind and even some sun making it perfect for hanging baskets or pots. Growing 24-46” tall, the sword-shaped fronds that characterize this Australian native are a fan favorite!

4) Euphorbia Diamond Mountain-Blooming with airy white flowers spring through fall, this low maintenance and drought tolerant plant adds great texture to combination plantings. Growing 24-36” in both height and spread, this plant-friend of ours does best in partial to full sun.

5) Gaura- Adding some height, movement, and color to combination plantings, this drought tolerant plant provides color spring through fall. Producing nectar-rich white, pink, and bi-colored flowers loved by butterflies this plant grows 24-36” tall.

6) Coprosma (Mirror Plant)– This woody plant with shiny variegated foliage offers year-round color and a range of colors from yellow or lime to pink and burgundy. It’s an instant impact plant that grows best in full sun to partial shade and reaches 48-60” tall and 36-48” wide.

7) Artemisia- Available in a variety of different growth habits, the silvery foliage looks beautiful whether it is planted alone or as an accent. FUN FACT: Artemisia is currently being tested as a ‘miracle cure’ herb for COVID-19.

8) Anigozanthos (Kangaroo Paw)- Known for its unique bird-attracting tubular flowers, the multiple long club-shaped blooms on this plant are coated with dense hairs that open up right at the tip. Coming in an assortment of colors, they are not only heat and drought tolerant, but are gorgeous as cut flowers. The plant typically grows 12-36” tall.

9) Annual Grasses- Annual grasses come in a variety of colors and heights. They provide a great accent or border adding both movement and texture. Stop by our retail center so we can tell you more about some of our favorites!

10) Strawberry Ruby Ann- Providing a continuous bloom of hot pink flowers and delicious berries all summer long, this fruit plant provides a unique addition to combination containers along with your other favorite annuals. They are also winter hardy when planted in the ground!

Looking for some help arranging containers or annual beds? Check out our Color 365 program or this video to learn more about how we can help bring extra beauty and color to your yard. We would love to help you design the perfect container to fit your style.

Stop by today to see our beautiful selection of annuals!

21 Ideas to Inspire Outdoor Living

Looking for fun and unique ways to inspire outdoor living? Tired of looking at Pinterest ideas that seem unrealistic? Want to create your own backyard paradise, but not sure where to start? These ideas are for you!

With ideas like these, little things go a long way! Try a few things this year, add a few more next year, and before you know it your yard will be looking like that backyard eye candy everyone dreams about! Contemporary, modern, rustic, alfresco dining…Sign us up!

#1) Bar Carts – Nothing says alfresco dining like a mini-bar or a bar cart. Bringing your drinks outside not only makes your trip for a refill shorter, but also creates a nice display item that all your guests can enjoy!

2) Stylish Outdoor Rugs – A rug brings a warm and cozy feel that can also add flare. Choose something with some color to accent your color scheme, or something more neutral-colored to tie everything together!

3) Planters – Nothing brings a backyard to life like something living. Custom arrangements and planters can bring color and also be updated seasonally to reflect different color schemes. Add some trellises or vertical plantings to create height dimension and watch the way your backyard transforms. Ask us about our Color 365 program to learn more!

4) Swimming Pool – Need we say more? Nothing builds a backyard paradise like your own pool! Something the whole family can enjoy; a pool will lead to many lasting outdoor memories. Add some lounge chairs with bright throw pillows to accent with bold color and you will have a tropical destination right in your back yard. Did we mention we install pools?!

5) Vacation Vibes – Tropical feels are not just for the Caribbean! Paint your railings white, pick out some Ratana furniture, some tropical planters, and maybe even a seagrass rug. Before you know it, you will be able to hear the ocean in your backyard!

6) Fire – Firetables, fireplaces, firepits, and fire features leave endless opportunities for warmth and flare. Nothing creates a cozy atmosphere like the crackle of wood or the soft flicker of a gas flame. One of 2020’s Top Garden Trends, fire is sure to always bring the heat. Build a modern contemporary look with straight lines and a rectangular firetable or a free-flowing rustic look with a rounded firetable.

7) Hot tub – Nothing heats things up in your backyard quite like a hot tub. If you want to really step up your game, you could even add a custom deck around the hot tub. Now you have the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and the health benefits of spas!

8) Create Cohesion and Flow – Take your indoor themes and extend them out! Whether it’s color scheme or even just a few accent colors, your indoor style does not have to end at the doorway.

9) Lighting – Low voltage lighting not only provides beauty and safety at night but also expands your ability to use your outdoor space later in the evening. Create a warm glow throughout your backyard as you up light some trees, add some path lights, or spotlight different highlights!

10) Add some color – Adding fresh paint to a deck or staircase is a great way to create an eye catcher that brings new life to older landscaping.

11) Cover it up – Adding a sunroom, pavilion, pergola or other structure adds shade and protection while also adding a structural centerpiece. These structures look awesome and create the perfect place to relax and unwind outside.

12) Make it multi-level- A multi-level landscape means a multi-purpose landscape. Levels create unique structural diversity that break up the landscape and provide little nooks for all sorts of different things whether it’s cocktails, open lounge areas, or a fire pit.

13) Frame it with a Bench or Seat Wall- Seat walls create visual intrigue and structure as they wrap the border of your patio or deck. They create more open space adding seating without filling your area with chairs.

14) Outdoor kitchen – Nothing inspires outdoor living quite like cooking and eating outside! Whether it is an expansive outdoor kitchen area, a pizza oven, or one of our favorite grills (Green Mountain and Green Egg), a kitchen adds a place to spend quality family time and enjoy good food together.

15) Add new furniture – Berlin Gardens, Kingsley Bate, and Ratana (our favorite furniture lines), provide couches, chairs, tables, and more to help transform your outdoor space! The styles and colors are limitless, so choose something that fits your style!

16) Make it comfy – Don’t just get furniture—class it up and make it comfy! Take a look at fabrics for outdoor pillows or throw cushions and create a seating area that you won’t want to leave! Express yourself with unique designs and colors and watch how it brings life and style to your space. We have extensive brochures of options for every taste.

17) Embellish with Little Things – Little details make big statements! Add lanterns throughout your yard, your favorite smelling candles, some of our favorite towels or napkins from June and December, and more! Stop by our retail center for fun ideas on how to create a space that fits your style!

18) Play Some Tunes – Every outdoor space needs some classy dinner music and late-night dance music. Whatever vibe you’re looking for, a nice Bluetooth speaker or an outdoor sound system takes your backyard party to the next level.

19) Add a Water Feature – When it comes to aesthetics, nothing quite relaxes like the soft trickle of a water feature in your backyard. Add lights to it and you have a whole new highlight to your outdoor oasis.

20) Build an Herb garden – Seems simple, but fresh herbs take every dish to the next level. They look cute in a small corner planter, highlight your green thumb, and make you look like an alfresco dining pro.

21) Get Active – Add a basketball hoop, a turf putting green, or maybe even a multipurpose court! Spending active time outside is great for your health and a great way to grow your outdoor living lifestyle.