Oklahoma Scenes Spring 2020 - Page 29

Protect young old bedsheets. Do planted in autumn will grow roots all winter and when spring rolls around the trees will just take off.” Billy says. Fruit trees can be protected from a late spring frost by a good dousing with the water hose at night. The water will work as insulation and it will take longer for the blossoms to freeze. For gardeners, April 15th is a good target date for spring planting. Wait at least until Easter and pay close attention to the weather forecast as it varies from year to year. plants from late frosts and heavy rains with NOT use plastic! For Your Shady Spots: Billy and Courtney recommend Hostas and Heuchera (Coral Bell) which layer well together. Hydrangeas and Azaleas are shade plants that offer great color. Impatiens are an Annual fl ower that love the shade. Green leaf and red leaf Begonias for beds can be planted together to achieve a consistent look in beds that have a mix of sun and shade. A Selection of Sun Worshipers: Crape Myrtles, Shasta Daisies and Drift Roses are excellent choices for garden hot spots. Drift Roses have been popular for the past few years. They reach a height of two feet and bloom all summer. Drift Roses also retain some leaves during winter and don’t require a lot of maintenance or pruning. Periwinkles are a great choice for the gardener looking for a sunny Annual. Marigolds are still a great classic choice. Hilltop also sells SunPatiens, whose fl owers resemble the shade-loving Impatiens, but thrive in areas with lots of sun. SunPatiens and Impatiens can also be planted together in fl ower beds with a mix of sun and shade. Courtney carry the test bags and can help understand the test. Your garden will likely need more nitrogen this year as heavy winter rains have leached it from the soil. Billy recommends fertilizers that are not too high in potassium as they can lock up the iron in the soil. Natural Bug Repellant: Porch plants such as Citronella, which is in the Geranium family, is easy to care for and is a great insect repellent. Lavender also works well but is a little tricky to maintain. The Beauty of Gardening Challenges Just like the rest of us gardeners, the greenhouses have a few challenges, and maintaining the right temperature when it is 19 degrees outside is the biggest one. Sometimes they get notifi cations late at night and need to run out there and beat on a regulator to get it working again. Owning a greenhouse has it perks such as having the space to expand and experiment with growing fruit that normally would not survive life in Oklahoma. But for Billy and Courtney, what a better way to make a town prettier than a place that sells beautiful, healthy plants. Billy explains, “The rewards are well worth the challenges both personally and for the community.” If you have any more questions for your own gardening challenges, you can fi nd Billy and Courtney at Hilltop Greenhouse, located at 1520 West Main Street in Cushing. They will be open Monday-Friday 9:00 to 6:00 and Saturday 9:00 to 2:00. Anybody with a Black Thumb? Be careful and don’t take “too good of care” of your new plants. Overwatering can lead to fungus and rot. Don’t forget to pay attention to the amount of sun your garden or fl ower bed gets. Drift Roses, Daylilies, Diathesis (a bi-annual that last for two years) are Billy’s choices for black thumb gardeners. For indoor gardens, look for houseplants including basic Ferns, Aloe, Philodendron and Succulents, which have been very popular over the past few years. Feeding Your Plants: It is recommended that a beginning gardener submit a soil test before selecting a sight for a fl ower bed or garden. Billy and Photos Taken By Misty Crouse Spring Scenes | March 2020 | Page 29