Our stock still looks great, don’t miss out!

As they say, “Shop early for best selection,” but our potted shrub and tree stock still looks great!  And its ON SALE!  The photo below was just taken on 10/22/2014.  

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Its HollyTone Time!

Remember, Fraleighs recommends an application of HollyTone fertilizer twice annually to maintain and enhance your gardens and landscapes. Halloween and April Fool’s Day are the approximate dates we set to help folks to remember to feed their plants. HollyTone is a great organic low-analysis (4-3-4) acidifying fertilizer well suited to our alkaline soil types. The… [Continue Reading]

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What will winter bring?

After the rigors of last winter the question above is a concern on a lot of minds in Michigan.  I am quick to quip: “I don’t know, but one thing is for certain: we take what we get!”  After all, we have no real choice in the matter.  We do however have a choice of… [Continue Reading]

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Fraleighs October 2014 Sale:

Shop early for best selection! MIX AND MATCH: *Potted* Shrubs & Trees, and any Perennials we have yet to tuck away for the winter 1-3 pieces 25% off, 4-6 pieces 33% off,  7+ PIECES 40% OFF!     Sale does not apply to any associated labor and freight fees, prior purchases, special orders, or design-build… [Continue Reading]

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Retail Nursery Rained-out Today

The retail nursery won’t be staffed today (Friday, 10-31-2014) due to the rain.  See you tomorrow!

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Our stock still looks great, don’t miss out!

As they say, “Shop early for best selection,” but our potted shrub and tree stock still looks great!  And its ON SALE!  The photo below was just taken on 10/22/2014.

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Its HollyTone Time!

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Remember, Fraleighs recommends an application of HollyTone fertilizer twice annually to maintain and enhance your gardens and landscapes. Halloween and April Fool’s Day are the approximate dates we set to help folks to remember to feed their plants. HollyTone is a great organic low-analysis (4-3-4) acidifying fertilizer well suited to our alkaline soil types. The HollyTone formulation also contains beneficial organisms — helper microbes — that complement and enhance healthy root systems. Perennials, shrubs, ornamental grasses, evergreens, and trees can all benefit from a twice-annual application. Stop by today — our staff would be glad to help you calculate how much you need, explain the simple application process, or arrange for our crews to make the application for you.

Beginning in 2012, Espoma tweaked the formulation of HollyTone. The product is now an even better soil acidifier with 5% instead of 2% Sulfur. That’s great for most of us contending with high soil pH. Most ornamental plants prefer a neutral-to-moderately-acidic soil, and HollyTone is now an even better way to mildly acidify gardens. Likewise, their new production method is providing a more ‘crumbly’ texture to their fertilizer, and this means less dust and hence a little less of HollyTone’s characteristic organic ‘aroma’.

Click here to learn more about the product.

What will winter bring?

After the rigors of last winter the question above is a concern on a lot of minds in Michigan.  I am quick to quip: “I don’t know, but one thing is for certain: we take what we get!”  After all, we have no real choice in the matter.  We do however have a choice of how we can prepare our landscapes for whatever winter throws at us, and now is the time to plan and act.

Fertilization:  Many folks think of spring as the time to fertilize, but its not the *only* season to nourish your gardens.  A late fall application of a low-analysis organic fertilizer such as HollyTone or one of the Dr. Earth formulations not only stockpiles nutrients into the tissues of evergreens, trees, shrubs, and perennials, but those same nutrients are held as solutes in the plant’s sap.  These solutes act as a natural antifreeze that can potentially limit freeze-damage during the depths of winter.  Halloween — or any time after the first good frosts of autumn — is a good time to make such a fertilization.

Muching:  Getting a fresh layer of mulch laid down in the autumn as opposed to the spring can be a benefit to the overwintering landscape — not only can you cross off one more thing to do next spring, but your plants will benefit from the soil-temperature-stabilizing effects that a well maintained 3″ layer of organic mulch can provide.  Freezing and thawing repeatedly at either end of the winter is brutal on root tissues, which are typically not as cold hardy as above ground tissues to begin with.  Give your landscape’s roots a blankie; it won’t necessarily keep them warm, but it will even out the stresses of freezing and thawing.

Browse-prevention:  Browse was a huge problem last winter.  We had reports of starving deer eating Blue Spruce and even Boxwood.  If the local herd is that desperate, equally desperate measures may be necessary to counter the damage.  Rodent and rabbit browse beneath the snow (oftentimes girdling small trees) was also a problem.  In all cases, there are methods to reduce or eliminate browse: repellent sprays (e.g. I Must Garden All Season Deer Repellent) can be effective if applied in a regular timely fashion.  This can be a challenge when we have a long period of sub-freezing temperatures.  An alternative is to use scent-based granular repellents (e.g. I Must Garden Animal Repellent) — these can be sprinkled around the would-be-tasty-morsels in your garden after snowfalls or even hung in sachets from branches to keep it above the snows and ‘active’ for a little longer.  If voles and mice have been consuming the roots of your perennials in winters past, you may want to apply some systemic repellent (e.g. Repellex Systemic Tablets) to head off a recurrence.  Lastly, it should be noted that in many cases only exclusionary measures will provide relief in high-pressure browse areas.  Fencing, netting, and wraps may be the only answer in some cases.  If, after last winter, you think that this may describe your situation, we encourage you to contact us to formulate a exclusionary strategy ASAP.  Such measures are best and most easily effected before the onset winter.

Watering:  The heavens have provided ample moisture thus far, but lets plan to water our newly installed plants — especially the evergreens — at least once more late in the fall; after Thanksgiving but before the ground freezes is ideal.  The moisture that is in the plant’s tissues just prior to ground freeze has to keep the plant hydrated until the thaw.  The less established a plant’s root system, the less moisture it will have in reserve, so a late fall drink can make a big difference.  Also, if you had plants that showed signs of ‘winter burn’ coming out of last winter, these would be good candidates for a late fall irrigation as well.

All of the above measures are ones that won’t really cause any harm if we have a mild winter (fingers crossed!), but could make the difference between life and death for some elements in your landscape.  Its all simple stuff that can act as relatively cheap ‘insurance.’

If you have further questions or would like to formulate a strategy to prepare your landscape for winter, please contact us before the snow flies!

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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 October 2014 Sale:

Shop early for best selection!

MIX AND MATCH: *Potted* Shrubs & Trees,

and any Perennials we have yet to tuck away for the winter

1-3 pieces 25% off,

4-6 pieces 33% off, 

7+ PIECES 40% OFF!

 

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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