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
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