Monday, November 9, 2009

Fall: Best time for planting shrubs

Are you sensing a pattern by now?

After attempting to plant blueberry bushes this spring that consisted of a single twig in a bag of dirt, I was pretty discouraged. Continuing my trend of not researching plant needs or soil conditions, I literally just dug a hole and stuck the twig in the ground. Is anyone surprised when these little guys shriveled up and died on the first hot day in July?

When I saw that Lowes was selling berry bushes this fall, I jumped on it and bought up 9 blueberries immediately. The goal was to plant them along the front section of fence on the east side of the house. But a few weeks later, my friends over at the One Acre Homestead stumbled across the same bushes on sale for 75% off--which came to around $2 per shrub. Considering I spend about twice that much per pint of imported blueberries at the store, I jumped again.

These little beauties, known as "misty blue" now line the entire front east length, half of the west front length and then down the first few sections of the east side of our fence. I also picked up 4 "powder blue" bushes (also on sale for $2 from Atwoods) and planted them interspersed among the Mistys for cross pollination purposes. I actually did a little research and planted these with pine mulch at the root base and soaked the ground with a green acidifier, which these plants love.

Misty blue, which are already showing new growth and have started turning a lovely sunset color:

The powder blues, which were a bit worse for wear when I rescued them from the clearance section, but are thriving now that they're in the ground:

All told, there are TWENTY-TWO blueberry bushes that will one day grow into a hedge along the front of our fence. I can't wait to see what these do in the spring. Just for fun, we picked up 3 blackberries, too. Neither my husband nor I are big fans of blackberry, but they're so good for you, so we'll give them a try.

Another big sale item were crape myrtles. We found a purple one to match two that we already have in the front flower beds to balance out the colors. I'm all about balance.

Then we planted three "christmas tree" crapes (which should have white blossoms) and 2 "miami" crapes in front of our new, under-construction garden shed. I staggered the planting of these because they are so tiny, but they will one day be huge (hopefully).

Yes, that is construction debris all around the crape, but ignore that for now.

We've also added 5 new boxwoods around the side of the house and around the shed. The impulse buy was 5 gardenia bushes (seriously, who can pass up $1.75 per shrub?). I have no clue how these will do, but the picture of the blossom on the card was soooo pretty, and the greenery is super cute:

See? I told you the shrub post would be epic. If you're keeping track, you'll note that we planted 40 bushes around the property in the last 2-3 weeks. In related news, I'm adding "Digs a wicked hole" to my resume.

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