Gardening FAQ

An annual is a plant or flower that lasts just one season.

A perennial is a plant or flower that lasts many seasons. These are more or less permanent plants in a garden.

A biennial is a flowering plant that takes 2 years to complete its life cycle. In the first year, it grows from seed to leafy plant. During the second year, it flowers, re-seeds, and dies back like a perennial. It then repeats the 2 year cycle. In most nurseries, biennials are bought as annuals because the nursery has taken care of the first year of growing.

Most shrubs and trees will do fine even if planted in the winter months. Perennials, on the other hand, will not live at all.

The best time to plant anything is in the spring. During the spring, we tend to get a constant schedule of rain, usually every couple of days or so, and it’s not too hot. The ideal situation for a plant is to get established and start growing into its environment before the hot summer months.

Giving it the proper amount of time can be tricky. Spring time is a transition between winter to summer, so frost can be a problem, especially early on. Plants such as hydrangea and other frost prone plants usually are sold during the spring, when frost is a danger, but don’t actually emerge from the soil after being established until the frost danger has been eliminated. Timing this is challenging, even for the experts.

Summer is a good time to plant, as long as you keep things watered in the hot summer sun and usually dry conditions. Fall is also a good time to plant because it gives time for the plant to grow before going dormant for the winter.

Overall, spring is the best, but summer and fall are just fine.

In this area, deer are a large problem. There are few plants that deer won’t eat when they are hungry. Deer don’t tend to eat plants like rhododendron, pines, junipers and spruces. They do like azaleas, yews and flowers of some annuals and perennials.

There are many things you can try to prevent deer from chewing your garden. If you have a fence around your property, deer tend to avoid trying to jump it. They go to find easier food. Other less drastic and costly solutions include sprays, noise makers, and even electric trip wires.

A more natural approach to try is to plant lots of daffodils in and around your garden. Deer hate daffodils and usually stay far away from them.

Pruning is a simple and easy gardening task and just requires a little knowledge. You need a pair of hand shears or hedge shears. If you need power tools, it’s probably not pruning that needs to be done, and if it is, call a professional to do it.

First and foremost, make sure the blade is sharp. The cardinal rule is to prune back to a branch or bud, or you will leave a stub that can cause disease in the tree. When trimming trees, cut branches that are dead or do not contribute to the beauty of the tree.

In addition, any sprouts that may grow suddenly, generally near the roots or on the lower half of the trunk, need to be removed. Not only are they unsightly, they are not part of the tree’s natural form, which is very important to consider.

When you cut any branch, try for a 45 degree angle. When shearing a hedge you cut off and old buds and therefore stimulate new growth.

It’s important to cut a hedge-like plant before its growing season, to avoid unsightly brown tips to your bush.

Planting a tree or shrub can be simple.

First, dig an oversized hole, generally twice the width and the depth of the plant. Fill hole partially with peat moss and topsoil. Place the shrub or tree in the prepared hole. Back fill it with remaining soil, bringing the top of the hole and the top of the ball of the shrub or tree level.

Second, tamp down after filling the hole and water thoroughly to remove air pockets that might have formed during planting.

Third, mulch around the new planting with 2-3″ of fresh mulch. Do not use leaves or grass clippings as mulch. It is not necessary to untie the root ball unless instructed to do so. Most material and rope are all natural and will decompose in a short period of time.

Thoroughly water all new shrubs or trees at least 3 times a week for 6 months, until established. For large trees put a hose on trickle and leave at base of trunk for at least 15-30 minutes. This will thoroughly water a tree. A sprinkler system is NOT enough to water new trees and shrubs properly.

Do not fertilize for 6 months. If your tree does not leaf out or is wilted for 2 weeks after installing, please call or e-mail us for further instructions.

That is a very good idea! The only danger of doing that is the problem of frost. If you start your seeds indoors, on a nice sunny ledge, they should start to grow enough so that when you want to put them outside the frost danger has passed.

This is what most nurseries do for their annuals, only they keep them in temperature controlled greenhouses.

A deciduous tree or shrub loses its leaves in the fall whereas an evergreen tree or shrub keeps its foliage year round.

In southern New Jersey, Kentucky Bluegrass is the most common type of grass seed or sod to use. Seed is usually chosen because it is economical. Sod is usually preferred because of the “instant yard” look it gives.

The real difference between sod and seed is the time it takes to get a full lawn and the amount of money that you want to spend. The best time to seed a lawn is in the fall. During the fall we have constant weather, with few rainstorms to wash away the seed.

Seeding can be done in the summer, but watch out for thunderstorms because they will wash out un-germinated seed.

The most crucial time, whether you are seeding or sodding, is the first 2 weeks. The most important thing when installing a new lawn is to KEEP IT WATERED. The seed and the sod need to be kept wet at all times. After that, a vigorous watering schedule should be followed.

Sod needs to be kept wet and watered continually for about two weeks when new. After that, a daily or every other day watering schedule should be followed, depending on the weather.

Seed needs to be kept wet until it germinates. Again, after germination a rigorous watering schedule should be followed.

Trees can be watered every other day BY HAND with a hose. You can let the hose trickle for about 15 minutes near the base of the tree. A sprinkler system does not provide an adequate amount of water for a tree’s entire root system.

Shrubs also need to be watered about every other day by sprinkler system, by hand or with a soaking hose. However, a sprinkler system is not enough to keep shrubs properly watered if it is hot and dry. Give them the same watering as trees during those stressful times.

Flowers need to be watered at least every day because of their small, shallow root structure. A sprinkler system will water small flowers adequately, but it might be a good idea to give them an extra dose if it is hot and dry.

Yes. Local deliveries of nursery stock can be arranged and is free. Call to find out whether we deliver to your area.

Yes we do. Our hours are:

Oakshade Nursery — (609) 268-1502
8am to 5pm – Monday thru Saturday

9am  to 4pm – Sunday

Oakshade - Gardening FAQ
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