In the Garden: What to do right now

May 14, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Katie Boehm of J Brick Pavers and Landscapers has some advice for those with or without a green thumb.

What do to right now:

  • Rake beds of last year's leaves and remaining debris.
  • Use a spade to dig up and divide overgrown perennials.


  • Rake
  • Spade
  • Trowel
  • Weed Puller
  • Bypass Pruners
  • Gloves

Downy Mildew

  • Only Affects impatiens both in the ground and in planters
  • Mildew spores spread by wind
  • Spores overwinter in the soil
  • Causes leaves to yellow and eventually drop off, killing plant
  • No way to control
  • Other annuals are not be affected by downy mildew
  • Alternative planting choices
    New Guinea Impatiens
    Sun Impatiens

Emerald Ash Borer

  • Insect that burrows into the tree
  • Kills the tree from the top down
  • Can be treated by a professional to prolong the life of the tree
  • Control methods
    Refrain from planting any new ash trees
    Alternate planting choices
    • Honeylocust
    • Pear tree

    Treat tree to fight off borer or treat affected trees

For quotes: call 847-249-5338

Trends in landscaping and hardscapes

The "indoors" go outside. Outdoor seating arrangements are increasingly popular Seat walls and overhead structures such as pergolas are used to create intimacy in the outdoor 'room'. Natural stones and clay pavers over synthetic/concrete materials, add a feeling of warmth to a patio.

Popular trees and shrubs: High impact flowering shrubs
1. Rhododendron
2. Shrub rose
3. Hydrangea
4. Viburnum
c. Trees with interest for the residential landscape
1. Japanese Maple
2. Redbud
3. Flowering Pear
4. Serviceberry

Planters for non-stop summer color
Think beyond terra cotta -Anything that can retain soil with good drainage can be a planter for flowers. Trends for planters: Colorful ceramic planters, Vertical gardens, Resin planters that mimic natural stone. Plants other than annuals can go outside in planters: ornamental grasses, perennials, herbs/vegetables.

Tips for Choosing plants
a. Look for plants with white roots
b. Healthy, full growth free of insects and disease
c. Pick site appropriate plants for sun/shade conditions
d. Successful planter formula- pick plants that thrill, fill, Spill
e. Successful Planting
i. Remove plant from container
ii. Loosen up roots to promote outward growth
iii. Start planting in the middle and work your way out
iv. Pack soil firmly around newly planted plant
v. Fertilize every two weeks to replenish essential nutrients lost with drainage
vi. Remove dead flower heads to encourage new growth and more blooms.
vii. Water only when top inch of soil has dried out – too much water kills more plants than not enough water

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