Family Plot - Oct. 4, 2012

Uploaded by WKNOPBS on 09.10.2012

>> Cooper: Hi -- Thanks for
joining us.
And welcome to "The Family Plot:
Gardening in the Mid-South."
Can you believe it?
It's October already.
And that means frost and winter
weather is not that far behind.
Today we're going to give you
some ideas about preparing your
lawn for winter and we'll talk
about the Dream Team Landscape
Workshop and give you some ideas
for beautifying your lawn and
That's just ahead on "The Family
Plot: Gardening in the Mid-
So stay with us.
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Production funding for "The
Family Plot: Gardening in the
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>> (instrumental music)
>> Cooper: Hi -- Welcome to "The
Family Plot."
I'm Chris Cooper.
Joining me today is Ms. Isobel
She's a new Master Gardener here
in Shelby County.
So hooray -- That's good.
>> Ritch: Thank you.
>> Cooper: And Mike Dennison is
back with us.
Thanks for joining us.
>> Now before we get started --
I have a question here.
I want you to take a look at
this mushroom.
Ms. Diane came up to me at our
booth at the Delta Fair and
asked about a yellow mushroom
that was growing in several of
her plants.
She wanted to know what it is,
how to get rid of them and if
its damaging her plants.
Ms. Diane, that is the yellow
houseplant mushroom -- also
called the yellow flower pot
Its not that bad.
But if you have it in your pot,
it can allow your soil media not
to hydrate.
So if your soil media is not
hydrating or if its not staying
wet, then you're going to have
to re-pot.
Just use a different media and
you'll be fine.
And the mushrooms actually grow
when you have soils that are
high -- organic soils that are
And when they're high in
nutrients, of course.
And they're exposed to warm
So you get those two together --
You're going to get these
But they're not going to do
anything to your plant.
>> Dennison: But if you like the
mushrooms, just have a mushroom
out of that.
Let the mushroom have its own
There ya are.
>> Cooper: It's a beautiful
yellow color but its not going
to do anything.
Its not going to harm anything.
Ms. Diane, you'll be just fine
-- alright?
So I hope that helps you out --
Alright, Ms. Isobel -- the Dream
Team Landscape Workshop.
Tell us about that.
>> Ritch: What were going to be
doing is taking a different
We're going to be teaching our
audience how to design the
landscape themselves.
We're going to be focusing on
their big backyard.
We have two people with
landscaping backgrounds.
I'm a landscape architect and
Suzy Askew will be one of the
other presenters.
And we together will be
outlining the elements of
And we will be teaching them how
to design their own backyard.
>> Cooper: Alright -- How does
you backyard look?
>> Ritch: Well, it needed a lot
of help right now.
Needs some inspiration.
>> Cooper: Now will there be
somebody else there?
>> Ritch: Yes -- Bob Krekelberg
is a natural with providing
personal landscape designs and
he's going to be telling us how
to personalize backyards.
>> Cooper: Now what are some of
the things that you'll be
talking about specifically?
>> Ritch: We'll be approaching
it from a standpoint where
people may have lost a major
So they don't have shade in
their backyard.
So they need to do something
with their backyard.
Or maybe they've moved in to a
house that has an empty backyard
-- nothing at all.
Or maybe they've got an
overgrown backyard and don't
know how to tackle it.
And we'll be giving them all
sorts of tips on what kind of
plant reclamation they can be
doing, transplanting ideas and
renovation ideas.
But we'll be focusing on really
the design aspect.
Having been through landscape
architecture programs, we've
spent years looking at how to
But we're going to do a crash
course for our audience.
We're actually going to get them
drawing, which is going to be
>> Cooper: Now tell me this.
I need some help in my backyard.
Do you need any help with yours?
-- as far as the landscape.
>> Dennison: My backyard is the
woods and I'm perfectly happy
with it staying that way.
>> Cooper: You'd like to it to
stay woods, huh?
>> Dennison: Now my wife would
probably differ.
She'd probably want me to do
some things back there but I
like the woods.
>> Cooper: So they'll actually
be drawing some of these designs
and things like that?
So how do you go about doing
that thought?
Do you give them graphing paper?
>> Ritch: Actually, we will be
giving them a plan.
We're going to be giving them
special tips about how to
actually measure it themselves.
If nothing else, they're going
to be carrying away from our
seminar a better understanding
as to what a professional would
do if they came to design their
backyard for them.
But they'll learn the whole
process and actually start
putting pen to paper.
>> Cooper: So this is for the
They don't have to be
professionals, like yourself, to
understand what's going on and
its going to be relatively
simple for them to --
>> Ritch: Yeah -- I think that
the people who are relative
experts are going to take
something away, too.
So I think we're going to have
something for everyone.
>> Cooper: That sounds good.
Now can you tell us when that
>> Ritch: It is going to be
October 27 between 9:00 and
That's at the Memphis Botanic
>> Cooper: Now will there be a
fee involved?
>> Ritch: Yes -- For members its
$3, I believe.
Its $8 for the general public.
>> Cooper: And they're going to
be so happy to come away with
that good information, right? --
that you're going to give them.
>> Ritch: We're going to be
having quite a packet.
We're going to have a lot of the
detailed information.
We're going to have a slide
presentation, of course, for the
actual program itself.
But we're going to have some
very detailed information for
them to take home with them.
>> Cooper: What are some tips
that you can give us though, as
far as landscape design goes?
Ritch: Well, if you're going to
be designing your own backyard,
there's several things that you
might not be aware of that you
need to be aware of.
Whether or not there are any
easements on your property so
that you don't introduce
something permanent where it
doesn't belong.
There could be subdivision
Tennessee One-Call needs to
contacted if you're going to be
doing any major digging.
Those sort of tips are what
we're going to be providing for
our audience.
>> Cooper: Now would you put
those down on the graph paper?
Like you have the fences, trees,
shrubs in areas -- those are the
kinds of things that you would
put down on it?
>> Ritch: Mhmm -- Right.
And really what its going to do
is stimulate them to look at a
big picture so that they don't
end up putting up a major tree
that takes forever to mature in
the wrong spot.
Its going to be really kind of a
master planning kind of exercise
>> Cooper: What are some of your
favorite plant materials?
>> Ritch: Crepe Myrtle --
couldn't live without a Crepe
As long as they're not pruned
>> Dennison: They're not bad
>> Ritch: Heavens no!
>> I like easy to care native
plants materials, too.
I know the Crepe Myrtle isn't
one of them.
I like to treat it as one but I
like native plant material.
>> Cooper: So will you be
talking about plant material at
the workshop?
>> Ritch: Yes and as a matter of
fact, Suzy Askew is the Director
of Propogation at Lichterman
Nature Center.
So she's going to be bringing a
real native event.
>> Cooper: And she does such a
good job.
And I've seen Bob Krekelberg's
>> Ritch: It's amazing.
I don't know if any of your
listeners went to the Through
Our Garden Gates last year.
Its another Memphis Area Master
Gardeners program.
And his yard was one of the
yards that was visited and it
was amazing.
So I hope some of your listeners
got to participate.
>> Cooper: And you know what,
Mr. D?
Woods! -- He had woods.
And they did some excellent
stuff like that in the woods.
That was pretty good.
Now tell me this.
How do you get interested in
being a landscape architect?
>> Ritch: Its interesting.
I went to a national meeting a
couple of months ago.
And that was one of the things
that we discussed.
And most of us kind of fall in
to it.
We start out in one program and
realize we're not really happy
behind a desk.
We want to get outside more.
But people with a strong desire
for working with plant materials
-- working outside.
Having a real strong science
background helps -- math
But it's a real combination of
art and science.
>> Cooper: So if you're
interested out there, there ya
And then you, too, can landscape
your own backyard.
>> Ritch: And one thing I'm
going to mention to is that the
University of Tennessee has a
brand new landscape architecture
They were just accredited.
And I'm real excited about it
because its one of the only
programs that I know of in the
The root of focus is on the
plant material as much as the
So it's a really incredible
>> Cooper: And tell us the date
one more time for the Dream Team
Landscape Workshop.
>> Ritch: October 27 -- It's a
Saturday between 9:00 and 12:00
at the Memphis Botanic Garden.
>> Cooper: So come on out!
There are a number of gardening
events going on in the next
couple of weeks that might
interest you.
Here are just a few of them.
>> (instrumental music)
>> Alright, Mr. D.
I see a lot of green lawns year
round these days and we know
those green lawns are fescue
So what do we need to know about
planting fescue?
>> Dennison: Now is the time to
plant fescue.
Folks always want to plant
fescue in the spring and it
doesn't do very well planted in
the spring.
But now actually is the time --
between mid-September, mid to
late October is a good time to
And tall fescue is five to eight
pounds per thousand square feet
of seed.
The red fescue chewings -- the
hard fescues are probably three
to five pounds per thousand
square feet of seeding rate.
And now is about the only time
we use winterizer fertilizers --
this time of the year.
And with winterizers we don't
recommend using nitrogen.
It makes -- Use a low nitrogen
or no nitrogen.
And probably potash is the
fertilizer element that we're
going to be looking for.
If you've done a good job of
using, you know, fertilizing
according to soil tests and
you've used slow released
fertilizers, you probably don't
need a winterizer on the warms
season grasses like Bermuda
grass and those kind of things.
But on cool season grasses for
sure -- You probably need to go
with a winterizer.
>> Cooper: We get more and more
calls at the office.
People are really in to fescue
these days.
I mean, they want the green
grass year round.
And I have a Bermuda lawn.
I want mine to rest because I
want to rest.
>> Ritch: Well, does it
interfere with your existing
How does that work?
You have to worry about what
happens with your main lawn?
>> Dennison: Folks that have
fescues usually pretty much have
Me -- I've got fescue, Bermuda
grass, weeds.
I tend to favor the fescue in
the shady areas.
It just seems to be a little bit
more shade tolerant.
UT has an excellent publication
on Lawn Care Selecting,
Establishing and maintaining the
And you might want to go on the
UT website and get you a copy of
The thing about Fescues -- It's
been my experience that they've
not done as well here in West
Tennessee as they do in middle
and East Tennessee.
They like the cooler climates.
But I have Fescue and it is
It's not thriving.
Its surviving.
That's pretty much what its
The thing with the Fescue, too,
is you have to over seed.
>> Dennison: You need to over
Dethatching it or things like
that -- It's not that healthy.
But the tall Fescues in the
pasture situations seem to do
Farmers do a good job with tall
Of course this year, this
drought situation definitely
hurt the tall Fescues out there.
But you know, if you work with
it you can over seed it.
And you can also over seed Rye.
Now its been my experience that
if you over seed that warm
season long with Rye grass, that
Rye grass does tend to injure
that warm season grass.
It will stunt it.
In the spring time when its
still doing well, the warm
season grass is trying to get
And it can definitely be some
I'd think long and hard before I
over seeded and warm season
grass like Bermuda grass with a
Rye grass.
Also, I don't want to mow the
yard all winter.
>> Cooper: Right -- That's what
I'm saying.
I want my lawn to rest because I
want to rest.
That's for sure.
Alright -- Now lets talk about
our critters.
You know, it's getting a little
cool outside so what do you
think will happen with all of
the critters, huh?
>> Dennison: Well, they're going
to try to come inside.
Any opening they can find, they
will come through.
And I'm talking about snakes and
mice and, you know, field rats
and things like that.
With the cool nights and cool
conditions, they'll try to come
Practice exclusion when you can.
And a mouse can go through a
quarter inch hardware cloth.
A rat can go through a half inch
hardware cloth.
The bones in their skull -- they
actually can move the bones in
their skull.
And they can get through
hardware cloths.
So you've got to have very, very
small hardware cloth.
Squirrels will come in, too.
And raccoons can come in to your
And they can't go through
hardware cloth that small.
Their skulls -- The bones are
But practice exclusion.
The University of Tennessee also
has an excellent publication on
managing nuisance animals and
associated damage around the
You may want to get you one of
these publications.
It has some excellent ideas on,
you know, trapping them.
For the mice and the snakes,
glue boards work very well if
you put them close to the edge
of the wall where animals can't
go around them.
Or you know, use materials to
direct them to -- you know, kind
of funnel them to the glue
That works pretty well.
>> Cooper: What do you do with
the glue board when you're done
with it?
>> Dennison: Well if want to
release the animals, you can use
oil like Crisco or a vegetable
That will cause that glue to
break up.
Or you can close that glue board
and apply a little pressure to
them and dispose of the critters
if you want to go that route.
It's a good way to get rid of
The glue boards work really
You have evidence of what you've
But the rodenticides, the
single-feeding and multiple-
feeding anticoagulant toxins
work well.
We use live traps.
There's a list of almost every
critter than can be a problem
around your landscape.
And the baits -- or the type of
baits that will attract them if
you use a live trap.
And the size of the live trap.
And then some notes about the
different critters.
So it's a really, really good
publication to have.
For example, you know, if you
want to catch possums --
vegetables, apple slices,
sardines, scrap meat, canned dog
food, chicken entrails.
Fish and tale scraps will
attract them in.
And it goes down to, you know,
raccoons, skunks, squirrels, you
know, rats, voles -- even
>> Cooper: How about that?
>> Dennison: If you have a
problem with nuisance animals, I
strongly suggest you get this
>> Cooper: It's a good
Alright -- Here's our Q and A
session, Ms. Isobel.
So if you have something to say,
feel free to jump right on in
there, alright?
Here's our first viewer e-mail.
Mr. Eldridge asks..
Here you go Mr. D.
>> Dennison: I can do that.
A peach and plum, I recommend
pruning the same way to an open
centered system called a vas.
Or open centered system like an
upside down umbrella.
What you do is -- under ideal
conditions, you will have three
or four scaffold limbs coming
out at about 18 to 20 inches
from the ground.
And then you prune back any limb
that grows back toward the
center -- you take it off.
And you continue to have that
plant spread out.
And that's what we do for
peaches, plums, and nectarines
That allows good air drainage.
You're able to apply your
fungicides and your insecticides
and get good coverage by doing
You don't want the limbs to grow
down to the ground as that tree
is growing out.
So on the outer edges, you will
prune the limbs up a little bit
to keep them from growing down
so that you can mow around them
and you can work them.
And keep the -- I personally
don't want the plants to get any
taller than eight feet.
I want to able to prune and
harvest fruit and spray peaches,
plums, and nectarines from the
I don't want to be on a ladder
with those types of trees.
>> Cooper: Now let me ask you
Is this the time to do that?
>> Dennison: No, its not.
It is absolutely not the right
This is absolutely the worst
time to prune those fruits.
The best time is in the later
winter after the winter chill
requirement has been satisfied.
And that's usually around the
first of March -- Late February,
early March.
Usually the winter chill
requirement is satisfied.
And you never want to prune
within 48 hours of a hard
So check the weather.
Check the long term forecast
before you prune because the
pruning stresses the plant.
And a freeze also stresses the
So never prune within 48 hours
of a hard freeze.
>> Ritch: Either before or
>> Dennison: After is okay --
not before.
After is okay.
But I would suggest you wait a
little while after a real hard
freeze because mother nature may
eventually prune it for you.
And you want to wait to see what
she killed.
Then that way you don't cut a
healthy limb and leave one that
mother nature has already
For if it's a real hard freeze,
you may want to wait until a
little but towards the end of
that -- maybe towards March 15.
You can tell if it's alive and
if it's not alive.
>> Cooper: Now what about the
We talked about the peaches.
>> Dennison: I treat pears and
apples the same way.
I suggest you prune those to a
central leader or pyramid style.
You want one central leader.
And a pear tree tries to have
Every limb wants to be the
central leader.
Its kind of like some of the
people I've worked with.
But you only have room for once
central leader on an apple tree
or a pear tree.
And under ideal conditions, you
would have a scaffold of several
limbs coming out from that
central leader at about 18 to 20
Have about 18 to 20 inches with
nothing on it.
And another whirl of three or
four -- maybe five limbs evenly
spaced around the trunk.
And then another 18 to 20
And the another whirl.
And you continue up to as high
as you want to go.
Now you're probably going to end
up using a ladder with those
types of trees.
But I still top them at about,
you know, 12 -- 15 feet.
When you, you know, keep them
topped like that -- That's a big
enough tree.
We recommend on those groups to
help them back to take off about
one third of last years growth.
And you can tell by the color of
the limbs.
And make your cuts above a bud
that will produce the limb
that's growing in the direction
that you want it to go.
If you do that, you'll do pretty
If you don't -- If you don't do
the heading back and the
pruning, years like this year
where we've had some heavy fruit
crops, I've seen trees
completely break down because
the have fruit very heavily.
If you don't do the pruning,
mother nature will.
>> Cooper: I've always said
Now that's some good information
there, Mr. D.
I actually have a peach and a
pear tree at home.
And I definitely try to get it
down to a size where I can get
in and get the fruit because I
don't want to be up on a ladder.
Now here's our next question.
Ms. Sharon -- She wants to know
What do you think about the big,
red wasps.
And they've been here.
I've seen them.
>> Dennison: Big, red wasps come
from other big, red wasps.
And they've been around as long
as I can recall.
And they hurt more when they
Even little, yellow wasps hurt.
I got stung the other day by a
yellow jacket and its painful,
And it only got me once.
The thing about wasps -- They
have automatics like a fire ant.
They can sting you more than
If you get one in your shirt,
they can keep stinging you.
A honey bee -- bless their
They hurt but they only sting
you once.
And when they sting you, they
give their life.
They lose their stinger and
leave it with you to go off
somewhere and die.
But there are some of the
pyrethrins that do a good job
and that's what I would use.
I would keep some wasp and
hornet spray around -- the kind
that will spray 10 or 20 feet.
Make sure that they have beta-
cyfluthrin -- the pyrethrin type
as an active ingredient.
Only zero point five percent --
So you're not putting a lot of
pesticide out there in the
But use one of those and that
will help take care of that
Ands that's from the Redbook.
And anytime, as always when you
use a pesticide, be sure to read
and follow the directions.
>> Cooper: Alright, Ms. Sharon.
I hope that answers your
And we have time for one last
>> Dennison: The best kind of
manure to use for a garden --
Manure's an organic matter.
They generally are low in
I wouldn't use fresh manure on a
garden in the spring time
because of the possibility of E.
Coli contamination, you know.
You and I and every critter out
there has E. Coli bacteria in
their large intestine.
So probably I would want to make
sure -- its probably okay in the
fall to put manure on your
I did it growing up for years
and years but, you know, not
when you're going to be
harvesting greens or anything
like that.
There's really not a whole lot
of difference.
Poultry manure is a little
higher in nitrogen than horse
manure and cow manure -- swine
But you're talking about less --
around one or less than one
percent nitrogen for horse
manure and cow manure.
Poultry manure gets up close to
three -- two and a half to three
percent nitrogen.
So you're not talking about --
you're not getting a lot out of
>> Cooper: Alright -- thanks for
the information.
That's all we have time for
Be sure to join us next week.
Don't forget -- send us an e-
mail or letter and let us help
answer your gardening questions.
And if you miss an episode of
"The Family Plot," you can watch
past shows online.
Just go to WKNO-dot-org and
click on 'KNO Tonite.
And be sure to follow us on
Facebook and Twitter.
Thanks for joining us.
I'm Chris Cooper.
And I'll see you next time on
"The Family Plot: Gardening in
the Mid-South."
Be safe!
>> (instrumental music)
>> Female announcer: Production
funding for "The Family Plot:
Gardening in the Mid-South is
provided by Good Winds Landscape
and Garden Center in Germantown