Fraleighs Fall Sales Continue!

Lots of great potted stock on hand and safe to plant NOW!  Come see us while the weather cooperates and the pricing is sweet! September 27th-October 3rd, 2014  MIX AND MATCH: *Potted* Perennials, Shrubs, & Trees 1-3 pieces 25% off, 4-6 pieces 33% off,  7+ PIECES 40% OFF!     Sale does not apply to any… [Continue Reading]

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There are more fall flowers than just Mums!

We’re all familiar with the stock-and-staple blooms of fall: Mums, Sedum, Asters, and Black-eyed Susans to name a few.  Here’s a gallery of a few fall-bloomers that might not immediately come to mind, plus a Black-eyed Susan that is more disease resistant than the industry standard ‘Goldsturm’:  

Turtlehead 'Hot Lips'

Lets plant more Perennials!!

Butterflies (and other pollinators) lead a hard-knocks-life, as proven by the tattered Red Admiral shown below.  Let’s plant more nectar-producing perennials, particularly the native varieties. For the whole scoop, check out University of Delaware professor Douglas Tallamy’s book “Bringing Nature Home”.

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Oh, deer…. there’s the rub.

The onset of chillier weather reminds us that another season of deer damage is upon us. Specifically, the buck rub is beginning — the time in which adult male deer scrape the itchy velvet off their antlers. For scratching posts, they usually choose clear-trunked deciduous trees of small-to-medium size — about the same size of newly purchased, planted, and establishing landscape trees. What the general public may be unaware of is that bucks tend to be excellent appraisers of tree value — they always seem to choose the most expensive and beautiful young trees to maul! At best a buck rubbed tree is wounded and disfigured, at worst it can be girdled and wind up dying. It is important to note that deer are territorial and creatures of habit — if you see one of your prized trees rubbed lightly, it is critical to take immediate measures to prevent subsequent rubs from occurring.

Fraleighs stocks a number of products that will fend off buck rub, the most effective being trunk guards — sturdy tubes of black plastic mesh that can be affixed around the trunk of small-to-medium sized trees using zip-ties. While some find the trunk-guards unsightly, they are cheap and effective insurance versus a wounded or dying tree, AND they needn’t be left on year-round; just in the fall and early winter.

Contact our deer-damage abatement experts to learn more!

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Fraleighs Fall Sales Continue!

Lots of great potted stock on hand and safe to plant NOW!  Come see us while the weather cooperates and the pricing is sweet!

September 27th-October 3rd, 2014 

MIX AND MATCH: *Potted* Perennials, Shrubs, & Trees

1-3 pieces 25% off,

4-6 pieces 33% off, 

7+ PIECES 40% OFF!

 

IMG_2498ce

 

Sale does not apply to any associated labor and freight fees, prior purchases, special orders, or design-build installations. Discount valid on in-stock merchandise only.

There are more fall flowers than just Mums!

We’re all familiar with the stock-and-staple blooms of fall: Mums, Sedum, Asters, and Black-eyed Susans to name a few.  Here’s a gallery of a few fall-bloomers that might not immediately come to mind, plus a Black-eyed Susan that is more disease resistant than the industry standard ‘Goldsturm’:

 

NO MORE DETOUR!!!

The bridge on Jackson Road over Mill Creek just west of the nursery reopened as of this morning after a summer-long construction project.  No more detours for Fraleigh’s customers, clients, or staff!!! IMG_4484cer

A Bouquet of Butterflies

 

To paraphrase a certain movie about baseball: “Plant it and they will come.”  Above is a rogues gallery of flying flowers, and two-thirds of the images were taken here at Fraleighs!  With the addition of key flowers and forage plants in your landscape, you too can have a bouquet of butterflies; seek out our staff to find out why we love perennials such as Blazing Star, Milkweeds, Joe-Pye Weed, Iron Weed, Goldenrod, Coneflower, and Sedum to name a few.  Or start with the National Wildlife Federation’s link to Butterfly Gardening before stopping out to see us:  http://www.nwf.org/How-to-Help/Garden-for-Wildlife/Gardening-Tips/How-to-Attract-Butterflies-to-Your-Garden.aspx

Happiness, now with stripes.

Our first two Monarch caterpillars of the season were spotted today in the patch of Ascelpias incarnata that grows next to Fraleighs’ Retail Sales Office: IMG_3705ce

Hydration, Hydration, Hydration…

ORIGINALLY POSTED AND UPDATED IN PREVIOUS HOT (HOTTER) SUMMERS, BUT STILL APPLICABLE DURING THE CURRENTLY CLEMENT  JULY 2014:

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July 2011 in southeast Michigan has proven itself to be dry and beastly hot.  Fraleighs has been receiving a number of questions about drought stress and watering, so it might be time to summarize a few things:

With recent daytime high temperatures topping out in the nineties and marginal rainfall totals, just about the entire landscape would benefit from supplemental irrigation.  This is especially true for newly planted and establishing plants.  Plants selected for ‘drought tolerance’ will not exhibit this trait until their root systems are fully established.  How long it takes for a plant to become established depends a little on what type of plant it is and a whole lot on how large it is at the time of planting.   Smaller perennials and shrubs may only need one growing season to become established in their new environment, whereas a large tree may take several years to become fully rooted-in to the point where supplemental irrigation is a luxury rather than a necessity.  It is up to the conscientious gardener to provide the additional water to ‘even out’ nature’s deficits until a plant is established.

The next question we regularly are asked to address is the frequency of watering.  How often?  This is never a question we can answer with a glib ‘once a day’ or ‘once a week’.  Too many variables exist to have a pat answer, other than to say ‘monitor your soil moisture.’   We’ve found that a trowel and a dollop of common sense are as useful for watering as is a hose.  Frequently checking the soil moisture 6-8 inches below the surface is the single best way to determine how much (or little) supplemental irrigation needs to be applied.  ‘Evenly moist’ is the target for most plants, especially newly establishing ones.  ‘Moist’ means neither soaking wet nor bone dry but comfortably in between.  ‘Evenly’ means don’t let the soil dry out completely between waterings either.  The common sense part comes in the form of ‘the hotter, windier, and drier that it has been the more frequently I need to monitor the soil, and the more frequently I’ll probably need to water’.  Theprobably part kicks in because not all soil types are the same in how they retain moisture — sand dries out much faster than loam, and clay can sometimes retain irrigation too well, leading to situations of over-watering for some plants.  That’s where the appropriately frequent soil moisture monitoring becomes so critical to determining how much and when supplemental irrigation is needed.

How should the supplemental irrigation be applied?  Again, there is no single answer, but whatever means are used should  result in ‘evenly moist’ monitored to a depth of 6-8 inches.  Will an automated irrigation system make this happen?  Probably, but it must be adjusted to compensate for weather and soil conditions.  Will a hand-held hose work?  Yes, in capable hands a hose can be very precise, but time consuming.   How about a compromise (heck, even the politicians are considering it these days!) — maintain an automated irrigation system and supplement with a manually activated sprinkler on the thirstier beds?  We even sell special hydration bladders (TreeCOVErs &ArborRain systems) to assist in the spot-watering of establishing larger shrubs and trees.  It is also worth noting that slower, lower volume irrigation is more effective than quick, high volume waterings that tend to run off rather than soak in to the soil.

Lastly, it is worth acknowledging that severe conditions (such as the recent heat) take their toll most heavily on marginal plants; otherwise established plants that are poorly suited to their environment will be the ones that perish.  If that sad outcome befalls one of your plants, be sure to mention it to our staff as you select a replacement –  we’ll be glad to help you find an option better suited to your site conditions.

Update: for further information from Michigan State University on the topic, visit:

The dos & don’ts of irrigating landscape plants

Update: for even more insight into watering techniques and hydration biology:

Janet Macunovich’s “You Can Leave a Hose to Water, But You Can’t Make it Think”

Perennials rockin’ out in the July “Polar Vortex”

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Lets plant more Perennials!!

Butterflies (and other pollinators) lead a hard-knocks-life, as proven by the tattered Red Admiral shown below.  Let’s plant more nectar-producing perennials, particularly the native varieties.

IMG_3432ce

For the whole scoop, check out University of Delaware professor Douglas Tallamy’s book “Bringing Nature Home”.

Would you like that with or without freckles?

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