Gardening Daily Tips 113

Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis scorpioides)

Plant type: Perennial

USDA Hardiness Zones: 5a to 9b

Height: 6″ to 12″

Spread: 6″ to 12″

Exposure: shade to full sun

Bloom Color: Blue

Bloom Time: Early summer

Leaf Color: Green

Growth Rate: fast

Moisture: moist to wet

Soil Condition: Loamy, Neutral

Form: Irregular or sprawling, Spreading or horizontal, Upright or erect

Landscape Uses:

Border, Container, Ground cover, Massing, Rock garden, Specimen, Woodland garden

Special Features:

Attractive foliage, North American native, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Suitable for cut flowers, Fragrant flowers

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Q&A: Cherry Tree

Question: Do I need more than one cherry tree for pollination to get fruit?

Answer: Sour cherries are self fruitful but most sweet cherries will need cross pollination. Stella, Lapins and Sweetheart are self-fruitful sweet cherry varieties if you have room for only one tree, but you will get a greater yield if you have two different sweet cherries in your landscape.

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Q&A: Planting on a Hillside

Question: I am starting a vegetable garden on a hillside where the slope is approximately 45 degrees. Will this be possible or will erosion be too much of a problem?

Answer: I think you are right, erosion will be a problem. It will also be difficult to spend much time working in the garden. Historically, gardeners and farmers living on hillsides have terraced them. You’d need to do some work, perhaps building some small retaining walls across the slope, then filling in behind them, to create flat areas for planting. If you think you’ll be able to tend the garden, then you may be able to control erosion with some rows of perennial plants, mulching with hay, or growing a ground cover like Dutch white clover in the paths.

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Q&A: Pruning a Privet Hedge

Question: I planted a privet hedge about 4 years ago along the top of a berm. It has grown very well. I trim it down each spring. However, it is now about 4 feet tall but not bushing out at the bottom. How can I get it to fill in at the bottom? Should I trim it back severely?

Answer: Privet responds well to drastic pruning, which is one reason it’s such a popular hedge and topiary shrub. Cut it back hard, either to within a few inches of the ground or to a few longer branches. Always make the top a bit narrower than the bottom to allow the sun to reach the lower branches encouraging full, green growth. Maintain good density by cutting back a third of the older stems each season while the shrubs are dormant, and shear it regularly during the spring and summer.

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Tip: Clean the Air with Houseplants

After years of research, NASA scientists have confirmed that houseplants can remedy the indoor pollution that causes allergic reactions and illness. In fact, just two houseplants every 100 square feet will remove enough toxins to cure the phenomenon called Sick Building Syndrome. Plants that top the list of air purifiers include Boston fern, English ivy, peace lily, rubber plant, dracaena, and bamboo palm.

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Tip: Plant Herbs Along Paths

Plant fragrant herbs, such as creeping thyme, between pavers and along paths; they’ll release fragrance when foliage is brushed against or stepped on.

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