Fall into Spring

Fall into Spring

You know when you see sunny yellow daffodils that spring has arrived. If you plant the bulbs in September or October they will bloom in late winter or early spring.  Select healthy firm bulbs at a trusted garden center.  Steer away from any bulbs that are soft or moldy.  Look for large bulbs the bigger the bulb the more they will bloom when compared with a smaller one.

Daffodils are beautiful when paired with crocus or miniature crested iris.  Both plants enjoy moist but well drained soil.  Choose a site that gets full sun or light shade.  You can plant your bulbs in the fall up to about 2-4 weeks before the ground freezes.  The general rule for planting is three times as deep as the bulb‘s height.  When digging your hole for bulb placement, you can add organic material (like sweet peet® or leaf humus) for your bulbs roots to grow into & get nourishment.   A topdressing of organic mulch will protect your bulbs through winter & keep the soil moist while maintaining a cool, stable soil temperature during the spring.

You can celebrate the end of winter’s dismal weather with a colorful dramatic spring garden!

Last Minute Winter Prep

Last Minute Winter Prep

Only in Cleveland can it be 75 degrees one day and 35 and blizzard-like the next.  Due to an unseasonably mild fall, some of the yard winterizing may have escaped your mind.  So now you may need to bundle up and finish up some of that landscape winter prep you’ve put off.  (Some of you may be wishing you hung your Christmas lights much earlier, too!)

It’s important that you protect delicate trees and shrubs by wrapping them.  There are several reasons this may benefit some of your more sensitive plantings.  Wrapping keeps plants warmer; reduces moisture loss; keeps deer away; protects from ice damage; and reduces salt damage. Many of the home and garden centers carry these wrapping supplies.  Now is also a good time to apply fungicides or dormant season pesticides to protect your plantings.

Oddly enough, leaves are still falling.  Since many of the municipalities have completed their leaf collections for the season.  Consider raking the remaining leaves and start a compost pile if space allows in a small portion of your yard.  You can always place them in an old trashcan, as well.

As the weather continues to cool off and food gets scarce, deer and other animals will begin eating whatever plants they can find.  If you’ve had deer problems, they’re certainly not going to go away this winter.  Now is the time to protect your plants with deterrent sprays or physical barriers.

Three Z is your source for delivering the quality materials you need, while providing the service you expect.   Visit our website to check out our wide assortment of soils and amendments, mulches, sands, aggregates, limestone, and washed gravels.

Fall Inventory

Have you scheduled your fall furnace check?  Is the outside water source shut off, and the hose drained and stored?  Are you waiting for that last leaf to fall so you can officially put away all of your garden tools?  Here’s something you may not have thought about – have you taken notes about your yard/landscape?

hand-mulchaNow is the perfect time to make plans for next year.  Take a moment to write down how many yards of mulch you used this year. Did you order enough or too much?   Make a list of some of the plantings you’d like to include in your landscape in the spring; consider making a diagram, too.  After you get through a long, hard Cleveland winter, your recollections of summer and your yard may have escaped your memory!

If you haven’t visited any of your local garden centers, make a point to check them out.  Most of them are having clearance sales on nursery stock. There are some great deals on perennials right now.  You can always purchase larger sizes and split them when you plant.

Additionally, it’s important to apply a fall fertilizer/winter guard if you haven’t already.  Using this helps to build strong, deep grass roots for a healthier lawn come spring.  The extra nutrients help to repair damage from the summer heat, drought, and/or activity.  Most of the fertilizers are kid- and pet-friendly when applied as directed, so be sure to carefully read and follow the instructions.

Three Z is your source for delivering the quality materials you need, while providing the service you expect.   Visit our website, http://three-z.com/ to check out our wide assortment of soils and amendments, mulches, sands, aggregates, limestone, and washed gravels.

Fall Plantings

It’s officially fall.  Gone are the humid, hot days of summer.  But that doesn’t mean you have to stow away all of your gardening gear just yet.  In fact, the cooler temperatures and rain showers make the fall season an ideal time to plant new trees, shrubs and perennials.

hand-mulchaIf possible, go with smaller-sized, balled and burlapped trees and/or container grown plants.  Some species do not adapt well to fall plantings because they’re unable to establish strong root systems.  Many garden centers are offering bargains this time of year.  But buyer beware.  Before you opt to purchase a tree at 75% off, be sure to ask one of the garden specialists if that particular species is susceptible to winter damage.

In this region, try and have your fall plantings in the ground by mid-October.  Any new plantings should be mulched with a solid 2-4 inches of a natural mulch.  This will help prevent soil temperature fluctuations, which may damage the new tree.  Available for delivery from Three Z Supply, sweet peet, shredded bark or custom-z are all great for new plantings.  Remember to water thoroughly; approximately one inch per week, until the ground freezes.   You may also want to consider wrapping the trunks of thin-barked trees in later November to prevent frost damage.  (Remove in March.)

Looking for some more specific information on how to plant a balled and burlapped tree?  Take a look at the Arbor Day Foundation website — https://www.arborday.org/trees/planting/balled-burlapped.cfm.

Three Z is your source for delivering the quality materials you need, while providing the service you expect.   Visit our website, http://three-z.com/ to check out our wide assortment of soils and amendments, mulches, sands, aggregates, limestone, and washed gravels.

Pumpkin Picking

Hard to believe the fall season has arrived; and with it brings warm apple cider, colorful autumn leaves, hayrides, pumpkins2apple pies, smoky bonfires, leaf piles, and PUMPKINS!

You’ll know it when you see it…the perfect pumpkin for carving your jack-o-lantern!   Have you ever watched a family pick out their pumpkin?  It’s quite a deliberated process!   There are countless of locations to find pumpkins; but why not make it a memorable experience and take your family to a local farm, a pumpkin patch, or a fall festival?

If you’re specifically looking for a carving pumpkin, here are a few things to keep in mind, courtesy of allaboutpumpkins.com:

•    Choose a pumpkin that feels firm and heavy for its size.
•    Choose a pumpkin that has consistent coloring throughout.
•    Turn the pumpkin over and place pressure on the bottom with your thumbs.  If it flexes or gives your pumpkin is not fresh.
•    Look for soft spots, mold, wrinkles or open cuts that would indicate damage or early spoilage.
•    Choose a pumpkin with a solidly attached stem.
•    A green stem indicates a freshly harvested pumpkin.
•    Place your pumpkin on a flat surface to check to see if it will sit flat after being carved.

Once you’ve chosen a location to find your perfect pumpkin, call ahead and ask a few questions.  When is the best time to come?  Do they accept cash or credit?  If visiting an actual pumpkin patch, do you need to bring your own knife or pruner?  And if you’re planning on getting a few pumpkins, consider bringing a wagon along – easier to haul pumpkins and tired kids!

Enjoy all of the sights, sounds, and smells of this beautiful season!

End of the Season Sales

Heading back to school is a sign that summer is rapidly coming to an end.  But it’s also a great time to score some deals on all sorts of merchandise.  Make a list of items that you need (or want) for your garden and outdoor living space for next season.  Just about all of the major retailers and locally-owned stores have begun marking down prices.

If you look around, you’ll probably be able to find almost every unaffordable plant that you wanted at the beginning of the summer at a price that will make the risk worth taking.  patio-furnitureaDon’t let scraggly blooms deter you from purchasing.  When it comes to perennials (like lilies, roses, hostas, etc.) the plant needs a strong root base, so don’t be overly concerned if the plant looks to be struggling a bit.  (Retailers typically don’t water as often as they did earlier in the season.) Plant the roots as soon as you get home and give it plenty of water and plant food. It should bounce back beautifully in the spring.  You should definitely avoid purchasing annuals, even if they’re dirt cheap.  (No pun intended.)

Other end of season items you may wish to consider purchasing for the outdoors includes: patio furniture, grills and grilling supplies (charcoal, lighter fluid, etc.), lawn/garden ornaments, pool supplies and toys, grass seed, hedge trimmers, string trimmers, and fertilizers.  As with any bigger purchase, make sure you have a place to store the items during the winter months.