Lifestyle Gardening: Landscape Planning & More

Lifestyle Gardening: Landscape Planning & More


(bright music) – Good morning everyone and
welcome to Lifestyle Gardening. I’m Kim Todd and we’re happy
to be here this morning for another great
gardening show. Today we’re going to
help new homeowners come over the landscape
concept, do some scouting around our current home
and we’ll see what it takes to make Sunken Gardens
here in Lincoln a beautiful garden
getaway year after year. We’re going to start
today’s program with a little practical advice. Our garden tools play
an important role in the things we
have to do in order to get our garden to grow right. You treat those tools right, everything gets planted,
trimmed and cut with ease. Treat them wrong, you could
have a hard time digging, pruning or you might
even injure yourself. So let’s turn our attention
to master gardener John Cariotto, who’s
going to tell us the proper way to
clean and store those garden tools this winter. (bright music) – Gardening is much
more fun and easier if your garden tools
are clean and sharp. Digging in the
garden is much easier with a clean, sharp shovel. If your shovel is rusty
and covered with old mud, it’s gonna be hard to
put it in the ground. Same way with your
soil knife, which is an integral part of your arsenal
working in the garden. Your cutting tools are
important and they need to be clean and sharp
in order to make a clean cut and not
transmit any disease. A clean tool is much
easier to disinfect and prevent any disease moving
from one plant to another. Every year, we hear about
roses or some other plant that are infected from the
first rose that’s pruned and the tool is not disinfected
and the person moves on down pruning the
whole row and moves the disease to
all of the plants. So, we don’t want to do that. We want to have
fun in the garden and we want the
tools to be sharp. Cleaning the digging
tools is really easy. All we need is a wire brush. We need to have steel wool
or a steel wool substitute, which is less likely
to abrade your fingers. Cleaning the cutting
tools, because they get the sap from the plant
on them, they’re often more difficult to
clean and I use a cleaner which is a
citrus-based cleaner. This is the only one that
I’ve found that works. It is designed for
woodworking tools that get sap burned on in the
woodworking process. I apply that, let it soak
and then go over them with steel wool or the steel
wool substitute to clean them. Same thing with the loppers
and with the hedge shears. Some of the tools
are in better shape. If you get the tools
cleaned in the winter time and this is, in effect, a
really good wintertime project, to get all of the
tools clean and sharp and ready for the year,
and if you do that, all you need to do
is touch the tools up during the course of the year, and it takes just a few
minutes to clean a tool that’s already clean and
sharp and to dress the edge. The tools that you
need for sharpening are a little more complex. We need to have some
kind of a file or a stone or one of the synthetic stones. These are diamond stones
that will help you in cleaning those edges
and making them sharp. Now, in order to clean the
loppers and the hedge shears, you may need to have
wrenches to open them up. The important thing to
remember when you are going to sharpen a tool is
that there is a bevel on all of the bypass type
pruners and these are the ones we recommend, the ones where
one blade goes across another, is that this side
is never sharpened. It needs to be flat. This side has the bevel and this is the side that we sharpen. After we go through the
sharpening and cleaning process, the tools are
clean, they’re sharp and they’re ready to
go for the next season. – Sharp, clean tools means
you’ll spend less time cutting or pruning,
and you’ll even stop some of those plant
diseases from spreading. So taking the time to clean
them up and store them properly is really just another
one of those chores that can make
gardening a lot easier. And I wish I would
do that to my own. Last week, we talked
about the importance of landscape awareness
for new home owners, so this week for our
Go Gardening feature, we’d like to help
beginning gardeners come up with a solid plan for their
lawn, trees, shrubs and gardens. Taking into account all of
the elements that are already present and then coming up
with a plan of attack to make your yard a beautiful, welcoming and comfortable space
you’ll enjoy for years is the focus of this
week’s Go Gardening. (bright music) You’ll remember that last
time on Go Gardening, we talked about
knowing what you’ve got and if you did a really
good job on that inventory and assessment, you’ll have
all those details down pat. Where are the hose bibs? Where did you pile the snow
or do you pile the snow. How do you get into your home? What do you look out and see? Is your neighbor’s
property something you want to look at or not? Plants, soil, sun, shade. All of those great
elements that make up a really excellent landscape. The next piece of that is
to figure out what you want. This is called the
program statement and
it’s pretty simple. You can shoot the moon,
you can brainstorm, you can scribble on
a piece of paper. You can be very, very deliberate
in your program statement and categorize it not by what
you want in terms of objects but what is the experience you want to have in your landscape. Do you want to relax? Do you want to garden? Do you want to entertain? How many people do
you want to entertain? Do you want to have your
dogs and cats and your kids and all of the wildlife have
a feast in your backyard? This is your property. This should be what you
want and what you need. Again, we will then distill
that down in the design process so that it’s practical. You have to always begin
also thinking about how are you going
to manage this? You can start big
and then think, what is realistic about
what you are willing to do and what you’re excited about
doing in your own landscape. The program statement also
can be developed visually. Since this is a
visual art, we explore our landscapes in
many different ways. Go ahead and pluck off images
that you find on Pinterest, in magazines, if you
still use real magazines. Photographs you’ve taken of
elements that you really like, whether it’s a big,
broad, beautiful landscape or it’s the detail of
something like fountains or pavements or
specific plant material. Then you take the list, so
you’ve got a list of what you really think
you have in mind. You’ve got photographs, you’ve
got multiple photographs, and it might be many
iterations of the same thing. It might be a fountain
and a fire pit and an outdoor kitchen. It might be another
fountain and a fire pit and an outdoor kitchen. It might be views and vistas
that really have come to mind or have made you feel
wonderful in another space. You put all of those
things together and then you distill that
down into, in your own space, given what you’ve got, what
do you want and what do you need, because the next
step in this process is going to be matching
what you’ve already got with what you want and need
so that we can start going into the actual
conceptual development of where are you
going to put what. That is the fun part. That’s also a piece that
is really going to turn out much, much better if
you have taken the time to figure out what
you really want. And, a big piece of that is
not only what do you want right now, but if
you project out. Are you going to
live in your home for five years, 10
years, 20 years. Do you have a growing family and you will become
empty nesters? Are you going to have
grandchildren coming back? What are those sorts of elements
that you wanna think about that are in the future,
so that you are not doing just simple, immediate
fixes to a landscape. You’re thinking more broadly
so that it really can become a space where
you really engage and have wonderful experiences. Seeing your outdoor areas
as an extension of your home will really help you as you
think about these principles. Instead of something
you have to take care of by mowing and
watering every week, you can visualize it as a
beautiful, peaceful area to escape to when you come home. Let that idea guide
you to creating a valuable part of your
own home experience. Our landscape lesson
this week takes a look at scouting around your trees and shrubs for
possible problems. The late fall and
winter are ideal times to spot these
problems because all of the foliage has fallen
off, or at least most of it. This technique will help
you make better decisions for pruning and pest control. Let’s take a few minutes to
show you what I’m talking about. (bright music) If you learn to really
look at your landscape and interpret what
you’re seeing, you can find all sorts
of interesting objects that are going to need
your attention come spring or even later in
the winter months. Let’s start with one
of the hydrangeas. This happens to be Annabell,
and if you look closely, you’ll see that this twig
in my hand, even though it is dormant, is still
one that is nice and green. On the other hand, from the
same plant, we have a twig that is obviously a
different color and hollow. This one’s dead. These will need to be
removed off of any plants in your landscape that
have dead material. Then we have euonymus and
we have all sorts of issues associated not just with
the seed production, but also with winter desiccation of the broad leaf
evergreen leaves and if you look really closely, you will see little tiny
scale insects on this plant, which is the bane of
a lot of euonymus. If we look at this
Austrian pine, you’ll notice that we have
a decent terminal bud here. We have some remains of some
pretty nasty stuff going on further down on the branch. This is a tree that has had
all sorts of tip blight issues, as well as poor
growing conditions. A lot of people will find twigs in their landscape
that look like this and they wonder what this is. Well, this has fallen off
of a tree from way up high. It happens to be a honey locust
and this is the fungus among us that is doing its job and
getting rid of the dead tissue. But that also indicates that you probably have some
cankers going on. Look high in the tree or
along the branches of the tree to see whether there is
some dead or diseased wood that really needs to be removed. And of course, we end up
with a lot of questions on Backyard Farmer and on
this show that have to do with all sorts of wounding
that occurred on the trunk of a tree that ends up not
compartmentalizing properly. This is a perfect
example of that. If you see these kinds
of wounds on your tree, you need to take advantage of
the expertise that we offer. We’ll tell you what to do
about it and in many instances, that might be, you get to
start planning for a new tree. Taking the time to scout
around your landscape on a regular basis will help
you control pest problems or identify pruning issues
before they become unmanageable. Good gardeners
understand the difference between healthy, vibrant
trees and shrubs is as simple as getting out and looking
at them in a timely manner. Last week, we had a fun
conversation with Alice Reed from Lincoln Parks and Rec,
who talked to us about how they care for Sunken Garden
plants during the winter. Right now, we’re going
to hear from Rich Finke of Finke Gardens about the
planning and production process for the rest of those
ornamental selections. There’s a lot of
preparation involved keeping the Sunken Gardens
beautiful from year to year so here’s Rich to tell us more. (bright music) Here we are in the
throes of winter, standing in a greenhouse
and it’s my pleasure to be talking to Rich
Finke, Finke Gardens, about exactly what’s
going to happen at Sunken Gardens this year. Finke’s grows the plants
custom and people always want to know where
those plants come from when they are looking at
them in Sunken Gardens. So that’s what we’re
gonna discuss today. Rich, it takes a lot
of planning to pull off something like Sunken Gardens. What is your involvement as
a company in figuring out exactly which plants
go in in a single year? – We are not involved
in the planning. Steve and Alice, from the
City, do the design work and they will get
that all finished up and then send me a plant list
with quantities of each plant. – [Kim] One of the questions
people always ask is, how do you start them? Where do they come from? Are they seedling produced,
are they in containers? Just exactly where do you get
all these beautiful plants? – The answer to somewhere
is all over the world. We will get plants from Israel,
from Mexico, a couple other countries, and also here
in the United States that we’ll get plants from
Colorado, which is fairly close, and down to Florida. These plants will come in many
kinds of shapes and forms. I try to grow as many as I
can from unrooted cuttings, which is just a little tip of
a plant with no roots on it and I can get 10000
cuttings in one little box and root those into little
plugs and then transplant those. I will buy some
already rooted in plugs and then we will take some
cuttings off the stock plants. – They always also want
to know, can they get them and how do they get them
and who sells them in places like Lincoln, Nebraska, or
are they just really something to enjoy only in Sunken Gardens? – I think you would be able to
purchase some here in Lincoln at some retailers, but I
think there’ll also be some that won’t be available,
certain cultivars which are new or underused that a lot
of retailers may not carry and those you just have to go to the Sunken Gardens
and enjoy there. – The final question is,
do you actually winter over any of the plants that you then
will use in Sunken Gardens, and if so, is that a process
that you can rely on, or is it sort of what
happens, what happens and you may be able to
use those or you may not. – I do not over-winter many
coming out of the Sunken Gardens but the City has a greenhouse
and they over-winter a lot of the tropicals that were
grown the season prior in Sunken Gardens, so
their greenhouses are full of a lot of tropical plants
that they will divide and use again the
following year. – Thanks Rich, we really
appreciate your information and I’m sure everybody is
looking forward to seeing what Sunken Gardens
looks like come spring. The reason Sunken Gardens
in Lincoln looks fantastic season after season is
because of all the hard work and planning that goes into it. It’s people like Rich
Finke and Alice Reed who care so much
about beautiful plants and caring for them
through the winter that does make all the
difference in the world. So of course, we look
forward to another great experience at
Sunken Gardens this year. It’s time now to answer
a few of your questions. If you’ve got a question you’d
like to submit to the show, just drop us an
email at [email protected] and just like the real
show, we want you to tell us as much information as you
can, including where you live and attach those
pictures as jpegs. Our first question comes from
somebody who didn’t tell us where they’re from, but this
is a pretty universal question. He is saying it sure
seems like bagworms are becoming more of a problem. Instead of knowing what
to spray them with, he wants to know what animals
or insects prey on bagworms. If you notice on this set of
pictures, this is a really devastating issue for
a couple of reasons. First off, this
particular set of pictures shows a pretty negative
landscape area. There’s rock, there’s
landscape fabric. These particular junipers
have been sheared and sheared and sheared, turned into a
form that is architectural, but that can be pretty
hard on the plant and cause it a lot of stress. Stressed plants will attract
all sorts of insect pests and diseases, more than plants
that are in good health. You can also see bags still
hanging on the junipers and you can see some
junipers that are not only not green, they are
brown as brown can be. Those are former junipers. Of course, an issue that our
entomologists would talk about with bagworms is, the
control is difficult if you don’t catch
them at the right time, and that would be when those
little crawlers first come out, when those little bags
are absolutely not as big as these ones are right now. Right now, you could pick them
off, you could squish them before the adults emerge, and
of course, birds and animals and all sorts of other beasties
might eat what’s in there but they’re not going to go
harvesting and just pluck the bags off themself
and eat them. So, I’m gonna say,
and I’m gonna hope that if I need to be corrected,
our entomologist will do it, I’m gonna say that the best
line of defense for the bagworms right now is not to rely
on animals or insects. Alright, our next
question, let’s see, this one comes to us from Omaha. It’s about a 20-year-old
pine, 25 to 30 feet tall. It’s an evergreen. Obviously it is a pine. It’s probably an Austrian. It’s been bleeding
white, sticky substance that turns hard
and into a powder. Lower branches
were on the ground. They took those off. It’s not a beautiful tree. It does not look like it’s
in the greatest of condition and that’s probably getting
towards the end of its life if it’s in a compromised
planting area. It does provide shade and
privacy, so their question is, really is the tree salvageable. The answer to that
is yes, and that sap that is oozing out of
that tree can be one, two, maybe three things with
pines or evergreens. We can see potentially
some canker, which we have talked
about before on the show. Pines are susceptible
to a lot of bore damage. Typically, if this was Zimmerman
pine bore, you would see that more in the crotch between
where the branch hits the trunk and it would
look popcorn-y and
a little yellowish, and this looks a
little bit like that. It looks like really the main
issues with this tree are probably a compromised root
system that’s causing stress. A lot of borers get into pines. You need to pay attention to
whether you have bore holes. You need to look at
potentially, a trunk drench. The trunk drench is most
effective it it’s applied so that it can catch those
caterpillars or those crawlers when they’re coming out,
and that usually is gonna be last part of April,
first part of May for treatment for
the caterpillars. There’s another treatment
window later in the season. That is for the adults,
but in the meantime, the pruning, while it might
have been really necessary for actually using your
landscape the way you want to use it, the pruning
wounds themselves can cause some
stress on the tree, so as we go into spring,
make sure you keep that tree well watered, but
not watered too much. Go ahead and do pay
attention to whether you have additional damage and holes
in the trunk that may indicate some more insect issues with it. Speaking of pruning, we’re
going to finish our show today with a look at that part of
the landscape management. Once again, it’s easier to
make those pruning decisions when your trees and shrubs are
dormant, meaning right now. As we said before,
going around your home to inspect your plants for
damage is really the best way you’re going to know if
something needs attention. Let’s take a look at some
examples of trees and shrubs that need a little
or a lot of pruning. (bright music) One of the best times to
prune landscape plants is when they’re dormant,
and one of the best times to actually look at those
plants to figure out their structure is
in the winter months when especially the deciduous
ones have lost their foliage. This is a great example
of what you are going to have to prune, and
by prune this one, that means probably
at the ground. A lot of our hybrid elms
have very terrible structure. You can see what has happened
here, is literally half or more of this particular
main stem has broken off. It’s a poor attachment. There’s a poor pruning cut here. There is actually a wound from
the ripping part of the tree that has come all the
way down the trunk. We have too many branches
in one spot in this tree, which means as they
grow, they’re going to be included like
this, which means they’re also not
strong connections. We don’t trunk thin,
if at all possible. Especially when trees are small,
they need all that foliage. However, you do look
this time of year as well at anything that is an
inch or less in diameter. Likely time to take it off
if it’s not going to be something that will
contribute to the quality of that tree in the future. There are a couple of ways
to prune deciduous shrubs, one of them being into a hedge. This is a privet
hedge that has been pruned this way for
years and years. A couple of the cautionary
notes however are, you still have to look at the
main structure of the plant. What you can see has
happened over time is the pruning cuts to keep
this hedge low have pretty consistently been made in
the same spot in the plant. The response of the
plant is to throw out a whole bunch of
shoots from that spot. You do that again, a
whole bunch of shoots, and you end up with a very
old cane from the base with little if
any foliage on it. Ideally, what would happen
every three, four, five years, depending on the species,
is you go into this hedge. It’s very time consuming,
but take out the oldest of the canes all the way down
to the base of the plant. That encourages new growth
to come from the base. You then feather cut
slightly the top, so you don’t get this single
stump with a lot of side shoots from the same spot in the
plant every single season. This is not the ideal time
of year to prune evergreens or broadleaf
evergreens of any sort, because they continue
to transpire over
the winter months. You open up those
stems and that can cause winter dieback
or desiccation. These yews are an example of
what you can look at, however, and that would be, think
in terms of how much more this plant is going
to grow come spring. You look at some of the longer
growth from last season, you can imagine this
shooting additional buds. If you don’t do some selective
pruning and heading back of those long branches, you
can end up with very long, floppy pieces of the
shrubs that end up being susceptible to breakage
or damage of some sort. That’s going to be true for
junipers, yews, some of the smaller evergreens, broadleaf
evergreens like boxwoods. Take a look at how you
can do that in such a way that it keeps the plant health. Of course, pines,
spruce and firs are a whole different ball game. What you really want to
think about this time of year is take a look at what
you’ve got in your landscape, look at the structure, look
at where pruning mistakes have been made in the
past, think about damage, think about growth
in the coming season and be ready to get those
sharpened tools out, ready to start cutting, pruning
and enjoying the outdoors in these crisp winter months. Dormant trees and shrubs
can be much easier to prune because you’re not
fighting to see what the actual problem is. Think twice, cut once
and remember that broken, damaged, diseased
or crossing branches should be pruned
out as best you can. Thank you so much
for joining us again for Lifestyle Gardening. On our next program, we’ll
head into the laboratory to see how samples are processed and we will give you tips on
growing those luscious peaches. Don’t forget to check us out on Facebook,
YouTube and Twitter. So good morning, good gardening. Thanks for watching. We’ll see you all next time
on Lifestyle Gardening. (bright music)

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