At McKay Nursery Company, our professionals are knowledgeable. Their expertise gained through research and development, as well as proven field experience developed over the last 100 years, allows us to provide you with cutting edge information and advice. McKay's Green Tips will keep you updated on the latest industry developments and provide sound advice on a number of topics of interest.
Great Article about the longevity of McKay Nursery Company.
Early April is a great time to divide established fall blooming perennials (spring bloomers are best left until later in summer). The more aggressive perennial plants need to have the clump size reduced to maintain good healthy plants – and that includes ornamental grasses. Now is a great time to dig a portion to share with a friend or neighbor. Prune back any brown dead top growth on all perennials, and then divide if necessary, blow or rake out any of last year’s foliage from those plants in case it is diseased. They grow fast as the sun warms the soil so the sooner the better. If you haven’t done so already, prune back all ornamental grasses. The grasses have performed their winter duty, so cut last year’s foliage down to just several inches without cutting deep into the crowns. Cool season grasses will begin growing now in warmer sunnier microclimates. The Warm season grasses also need to have last years foliage removed, but they will not start to grow until the soil temperatures have warmed up considerably – sometimes not until early June in some areas, this year even some of the warm season grasses have started during the March warm spell.
The green, green grass of home!
Stacked LogoLawns have gone from brown to green and growing already. It’s rare to have grass out of dormancy so soon, but the warm temps have made it active much earlier this year. Rake your lawn to remove leaves and debris, and to remove thick and thatchy areas, or areas of snow mold that was killed off. The first or second mowing should be a bit shorter to eliminate all of the brown dead grass blades from last season and remove some of the thatch, but then set your mower height to 2″ or a bit higher for the rest of the summer. New lawns love to have a shot in the arm with a starter fertilizer. Older established lawns can be fertilized this month too unless you did a late fall application. If you did a late fall application you may want to wait until Memorial Day. If you have broadleaved weeds, use a weed and feed product NOW as the weeds are up and growing. If you had crabgrass last summer, you will need to put down a pre-emergent herbicide (about the time the Lilacs bloom; late April or early May in our area – earlier this year). Don’t put it down too early or it may not work when the seeds begin to sprout. Just before the common lilacs bloom is an excellent timing note to remember when you want to prevent crabgrass. We have been hearing radio ads from the big box stores always suggesting to put it down first thing, but wait until just before those seeds will sprout for great results.
Newspapers and magazine articles are promoting green and sustainable and many are “returning to the garden”. This trend will continue, and not just during a slower economy. Have your local McKay Design Pro help turn your yard into an “Ediscape” by incorporating small fruits and veggies in your shrub and perennial borders. An easily accessible kitchen garden close to the patio is a great place to plug in a few easy to grow herbs and a tomato plant or three. Maybe you want a much larger garden. You can start to plant cool season crops as soon as the soil can be worked. Tomato seeds can be started indoors in another week or so if you are so inclined. Small fruits and fruit trees are still very popular. Have our design pros include in your design an area that will best suit these plants for the best fruit production. Blueberry plants make great landscape plants. Strawberries make excellent groundcovers in the landscape and with the ever-bearing varieties that offer fruit for long periods all season (and bare root plants are only a buck a piece). Grape vines offer shade trained on pergolas and vertical interest in the landscape as well as fresh eating, juice and wine making. Raspberries are so expensive in the stores so why not grow your own? Asparagus is one of the healthiest vegetables. Open sunny areas at the back of a perennial border will make a great ferny green backdrop to the colorful flowers that perennials offer.Remember, planning is the key to any great landscape. Anyone can pick up a few plants and stick them in around the foundation, but creating an incredible design with hardy plants, sited properly, to perform for years to come – you really need to call your local McKay design professional. Are you ready to update your home? We are ready to help. Whether it is just an addition of a perennial color border, a few fruit trees, or perhaps a new outdoor kitchen — or maybe a complete renovation by removing old plants arranged in an old fashioned design. Let us create for you a new complete updated design that you can enjoy for years to come. We come right to your home, meet with you to find out your needs and likes, have the plants delivered for you to install — or let us come and do the work for you — whatever your budget allows. We have local design professionals throughout the Midwest to help you – 800-236-4242.
In addition to our Earth Week Competition , McKay is kicking of Earth Day with plant packages that will create an active and earthfriendly backyard. Keep checking for new packages each week!! For Earth Week we have “Urban Ediscapes” – fruits/ vegetables for small yards & “Wisconsin Savannah”!! Continue reading
One of the first signs of spring is the bright yellow blossoms covering this plant in early April. What makes this Forsythia even more special in the landscape is its small size and compact shape. Continue reading
McKay Nursery would like to hear how you are celebrating Earth Day this year!!
McKay Nursery Company is celebrating Earth Week from April 22-29. During that time, friend us on facebook and tell us how you and/ or your organization is pitching in to save the planet. At the end of the week we will choose our favorite entry. The winning entry will win a free tree!! In addition, we will donate 1 of 3 plant packages to your community organization. Plant packages will be a choice of Native Plantings, Eco-Explorers or Ediscapes. Keep following us on facebook and twitter for more information.
Design for Easy Maintenance
By Keith Rudolph email@example.com
This is a good time of the year to remember where the piles of snow were this last winter. Why? To choose the right plants for that area this spring that would not have been affected by that snow pile. Heavy snow and/ or piles of salt will demolish the wrong plant. Consider hardy shrubs and perennials that die back to the ground or can be pruned low to the ground. Make sure your plant choices are tolerant to salt and heavy urban conditions.
Good perennial choices include Hosta, Daylily, Sedum and other perennials. When it comes to shrubs, Annabelle Hydrangea and smaller growing varieties of Spirea are great shrub choices, as they can be pruned down to 6” above the ground if damaged. Save yourself some headaches and think ahead. You will be glad you did. Need additional ideas? Take a look at our plant catalog pages or contact you Local Design Pro today!