>> cooper: hi -- thanks for joining us. and welcome to "the family plot: gardening in the mid-south." can you believe it? it's october already. and that means frost and winter weather is not that far behind. today we're going to give you
some ideas about preparing your lawn for winter and we'll talk about the dream team landscape workshop and give you some ideas for beautifying your lawn and garden. that's just ahead on "the family plot: gardening in the mid- south."
so stay with us. >> female announcer: this is a production of wkno, memphis. production funding for "the family plot: gardening in the mid-south is provided by good winds landscape and garden center in germantown since 1943 and continuing to offer its
plants for successful gardening with seven greenhouses and three acres of plants plus comprehensive landscape services. international paper foundation. >> (instrumental music) â™ªâ™ªâ™ª >> cooper: hi -- welcome to "the
family plot." i'm chris cooper. joining me today is ms. isobel ritch. she's a new master gardener here in shelby county. so hooray -- that's good. >> ritch: thank you. >> cooper: and mike dennison is
back with us. thanks for joining us. >> now before we get started -- i have a question here. i want you to take a look at this mushroom. ms. diane came up to me at our booth at the delta fair and asked about a yellow mushroom
that was growing in several of her plants. she wanted to know what it is, how to get rid of them and if its damaging her plants. ms. diane, that is the yellow houseplant mushroom -- also called the yellow flower pot mushroom.
its not that bad. but if you have it in your pot, it can allow your soil media not to hydrate. so if your soil media is not hydrating or if its not staying wet, then you're going to have to re-pot. just use a different media and
you'll be fine. and the mushrooms actually grow when you have soils that are high -- organic soils that are high. and when they're high in nutrients, of course. and they're exposed to warm weather.
so you get those two together -- you're going to get these mushrooms. but they're not going to do anything to your plant. >> dennison: but if you like the mushrooms, just have a mushroom out of that. let the mushroom have its own
pot. there ya are. >> cooper: it's a beautiful yellow color but its not going to do anything. its not going to harm anything. ms. diane, you'll be just fine -- alright? so i hope that helps you out --
okay? alright, ms. isobel -- the dream team landscape workshop. tell us about that. >> ritch: what were going to be doing is taking a different approach. we're going to be teaching our audience how to design the
landscape themselves. we're going to be focusing on their big backyard. we have two people with landscaping backgrounds. i'm a landscape architect and suzy askew will be one of the other presenters. and we together will be
outlining the elements of design. and we will be teaching them how to design their own backyard. >> cooper: alright -- how does you backyard look? >> ritch: well, it needed a lot of help right now. (laughter)
needs some inspiration. >> cooper: now will there be somebody else there? >> ritch: yes -- bob krekelberg is a natural with providing personal landscape designs and he's going to be telling us how to personalize backyards. >> cooper: now what are some of
the things that you'll be talking about specifically? >> ritch: we'll be approaching it from a standpoint where people may have lost a major tree. so they don't have shade in their backyard. so they need to do something
with their backyard. or maybe they've moved in to a house that has an empty backyard -- nothing at all. or maybe they've got an overgrown backyard and don't know how to tackle it. and we'll be giving them all sorts of tips on what kind of
plant reclamation they can be doing, transplanting ideas and renovation ideas. but we'll be focusing on really the design aspect. having been through landscape architecture programs, we've spent years looking at how to but we're going to do a crash
course for our audience. we're actually going to get them drawing, which is going to be exciting. >> cooper: now tell me this. i need some help in my backyard. do you need any help with yours? -- as far as the landscape. >> dennison: my backyard is the
woods and i'm perfectly happy with it staying that way. >> cooper: you'd like to it to stay woods, huh? >> dennison: now my wife would probably differ. she'd probably want me to do some things back there but i like the woods.
>> cooper: so they'll actually be drawing some of these designs and things like that? so how do you go about doing that thought? do you give them graphing paper? >> ritch: actually, we will be giving them a plan. we're going to be giving them
special tips about how to actually measure it themselves. if nothing else, they're going to be carrying away from our seminar a better understanding as to what a professional would do if they came to design their backyard for them. but they'll learn the whole
process and actually start putting pen to paper. >> cooper: so this is for the beginners. they don't have to be professionals, like yourself, to understand what's going on and its going to be relatively simple for them to --
>> ritch: yeah -- i think that the people who are relative experts are going to take something away, too. so i think we're going to have something for everyone. >> cooper: that sounds good. now can you tell us when that is?
>> ritch: it is going to be october 27 between 9:00 and 12:00. that's at the memphis botanic garden. >> cooper: now will there be a fee involved? >> ritch: yes -- for members its $3, i believe.
its $8 for the general public. >> cooper: and they're going to be so happy to come away with that good information, right? -- that you're going to give them. >> ritch: we're going to be having quite a packet. we're going to have a lot of the detailed information.
we're going to have a slide presentation, of course, for the actual program itself. but we're going to have some very detailed information for them to take home with them. >> cooper: what are some tips that you can give us though, as far as landscape design goes?
ritch: well, if you're going to be designing your own backyard, there's several things that you might not be aware of that you need to be aware of. whether or not there are any easements on your property so that you don't introduce something permanent where it
doesn't belong. there could be subdivision regulations. tennessee one-call needs to contacted if you're going to be doing any major digging. those sort of tips are what we're going to be providing for our audience.
>> cooper: now would you put those down on the graph paper? like you have the fences, trees, shrubs in areas -- those are the kinds of things that you would put down on it? >> ritch: mhmm -- right. and really what its going to do is stimulate them to look at a
big picture so that they don't end up putting up a major tree that takes forever to mature in the wrong spot. its going to be really kind of a master planning kind of exercise board. >> cooper: what are some of your favorite plant materials?
>> ritch: crepe myrtle -- couldn't live without a crepe myrtle. as long as they're not pruned wrong. >> dennison: they're not bad prepared. >> ritch: heavens no! >> i like easy to care native
plants materials, too. i know the crepe myrtle isn't one of them. i like to treat it as one but i like native plant material. >> cooper: so will you be talking about plant material at the workshop? >> ritch: yes and as a matter of
fact, suzy askew is the director of propogation at lichterman nature center. so she's going to be bringing a real native event. >> cooper: and she does such a good job. and i've seen bob krekelberg's yard.
>> ritch: it's amazing. i don't know if any of your listeners went to the through our garden gates last year. its another memphis area master gardeners program. and his yard was one of the yards that was visited and it was amazing.
so i hope some of your listeners got to participate. >> cooper: and you know what, mr. d? woods! -- he had woods. and they did some excellent stuff like that in the woods. that was pretty good. now tell me this.
how do you get interested in being a landscape architect? >> ritch: its interesting. i went to a national meeting a couple of months ago. and that was one of the things that we discussed. and most of us kind of fall in to it.
we start out in one program and realize we're not really happy behind a desk. we want to get outside more. but people with a strong desire for working with plant materials -- working outside. having a real strong science background helps -- math
background. but it's a real combination of art and science. >> cooper: so if you're interested out there, there ya go. and then you, too, can landscape your own backyard. >> ritch: and one thing i'm
going to mention to is that the university of tennessee has a brand new landscape architecture program. they were just accredited. and i'm real excited about it because its one of the only programs that i know of in the country.
the root of focus is on the plant material as much as the so it's a really incredible >> cooper: and tell us the date one more time for the dream team landscape workshop. >> ritch: october 27 -- it's a saturday between 9:00 and 12:00 at the memphis botanic garden.
>> cooper: so come on out! there are a number of gardening events going on in the next couple of weeks that might interest you. here are just a few of them. >> alright, mr. d. i see a lot of green lawns year round these days and we know
those green lawns are fescue lawns. so what do we need to know about planting fescue? >> dennison: now is the time to plant fescue. folks always want to plant fescue in the spring and it doesn't do very well planted in
the spring. but now actually is the time -- between mid-september, mid to late october is a good time to plant. and tall fescue is five to eight pounds per thousand square feet of seed. the red fescue chewings -- the
hard fescues are probably three to five pounds per thousand square feet of seeding rate. and now is about the only time we use winterizer fertilizers -- this time of the year. and with winterizers we don't recommend using nitrogen. it makes -- use a low nitrogen
or no nitrogen. and probably potash is the fertilizer element that we're going to be looking for. if you've done a good job of using, you know, fertilizing according to soil tests and you've used slow released fertilizers, you probably don't
need a winterizer on the warms season grasses like bermuda grass and those kind of things. but on cool season grasses for sure -- you probably need to go with a winterizer. >> cooper: we get more and more calls at the office. people are really in to fescue
these days. i mean, they want the green grass year round. and i have a bermuda lawn. i want mine to rest because i want to rest. >> ritch: well, does it interfere with your existing lawn?
how does that work? you have to worry about what happens with your main lawn? >> dennison: folks that have fescues usually pretty much have fescue. me -- i've got fescue, bermuda grass, weeds. i tend to favor the fescue in
the shady areas. it just seems to be a little bit more shade tolerant. ut has an excellent publication on lawn care selecting, establishing and maintaining the fescues. and you might want to go on the ut website and get you a copy of
this. the thing about fescues -- it's been my experience that they've not done as well here in west tennessee as they do in middle and east tennessee. they like the cooler climates. but i have fescue and it is there.
it's not thriving. its surviving. that's pretty much what its doing. the thing with the fescue, too, is you have to over seed. >> dennison: you need to over seed. dethatching it or things like
that -- it's not that healthy. but the tall fescues in the pasture situations seem to do well. farmers do a good job with tall fescue. of course this year, this drought situation definitely hurt the tall fescues out there.
but you know, if you work with it you can over seed it. and you can also over seed rye. now its been my experience that if you over seed that warm season long with rye grass, that rye grass does tend to injure that warm season grass. it will stunt it.
in the spring time when its still doing well, the warm season grass is trying to get started. and it can definitely be some competition. i'd think long and hard before i over seeded and warm season grass like bermuda grass with a
rye grass. also, i don't want to mow the yard all winter. >> cooper: right -- that's what i'm saying. i want my lawn to rest because i that's for sure. alright -- now lets talk about our critters.
you know, it's getting a little cool outside so what do you think will happen with all of the critters, huh? >> dennison: well, they're going to try to come inside. any opening they can find, they will come through. and i'm talking about snakes and
mice and, you know, field rats and things like that. with the cool nights and cool conditions, they'll try to come in. practice exclusion when you can. and a mouse can go through a quarter inch hardware cloth. a rat can go through a half inch
hardware cloth. the bones in their skull -- they actually can move the bones in their skull. and they can get through hardware cloths. so you've got to have very, very small hardware cloth. squirrels will come in, too.
and raccoons can come in to your attic. and they can't go through hardware cloth that small. their skulls -- the bones are solid. but practice exclusion. the university of tennessee also has an excellent publication on
managing nuisance animals and associated damage around the home. you may want to get you one of these publications. it has some excellent ideas on, you know, trapping them. for the mice and the snakes, glue boards work very well if
you put them close to the edge of the wall where animals can't go around them. or you know, use materials to direct them to -- you know, kind of funnel them to the glue that works pretty well. >> cooper: what do you do with the glue board when you're done
with it? >> dennison: well if want to release the animals, you can use oil like crisco or a vegetable oil. that will cause that glue to break up. or you can close that glue board and apply a little pressure to
them and dispose of the critters if you want to go that route. it's a good way to get rid of them. the glue boards work really you have evidence of what you've caught. but the rodenticides, the single-feeding and multiple-
feeding anticoagulant toxins work well. we use live traps. there's a list of almost every critter than can be a problem around your landscape. and the baits -- or the type of baits that will attract them if you use a live trap.
and the size of the live trap. and then some notes about the different critters. so it's a really, really good publication to have. for example, you know, if you want to catch possums -- vegetables, apple slices, sardines, scrap meat, canned dog
food, chicken entrails. fish and tale scraps will attract them in. and it goes down to, you know, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, you know, rats, voles -- even crawdads. >> cooper: how about that? >> dennison: if you have a
problem with nuisance animals, i strongly suggest you get this publication. >> cooper: it's a good alright -- here's our q and a session, ms. isobel. so if you have something to say, feel free to jump right on in there, alright?
here's our first viewer e-mail. mr. eldridge asks.. here you go mr. d. >> dennison: i can do that. a peach and plum, i recommend pruning the same way to an open centered system called a vas. or open centered system like an upside down umbrella.
what you do is -- under ideal conditions, you will have three or four scaffold limbs coming out at about 18 to 20 inches from the ground. and then you prune back any limb that grows back toward the center -- you take it off. and you continue to have that
plant spread out. and that's what we do for peaches, plums, and nectarines also. that allows good air drainage. you're able to apply your fungicides and your insecticides and get good coverage by doing that.
you don't want the limbs to grow down to the ground as that tree is growing out. so on the outer edges, you will prune the limbs up a little bit to keep them from growing down so that you can mow around them and you can work them. and keep the -- i personally
don't want the plants to get any taller than eight feet. i want to able to prune and harvest fruit and spray peaches, plums, and nectarines from the ground. i don't want to be on a ladder with those types of trees. >> cooper: now let me ask you
is this the time to do that? >> dennison: no, its not. it is absolutely not the right time. this is absolutely the worst time to prune those fruits. the best time is in the later winter after the winter chill requirement has been satisfied.
and that's usually around the first of march -- late february, early march. usually the winter chill requirement is satisfied. and you never want to prune within 48 hours of a hard freeze. so check the weather.
check the long term forecast before you prune because the pruning stresses the plant. and a freeze also stresses the so never prune within 48 hours of a hard freeze. >> ritch: either before or after? >> dennison: after is okay --
not before. after is okay. but i would suggest you wait a little while after a real hard freeze because mother nature may eventually prune it for you. and you want to wait to see what she killed. then that way you don't cut a
healthy limb and leave one that mother nature has already killed. for if it's a real hard freeze, you may want to wait until a little but towards the end of that -- maybe towards march 15. you can tell if it's alive and if it's not alive.
>> cooper: now what about the pear? we talked about the peaches. >> dennison: i treat pears and apples the same way. i suggest you prune those to a central leader or pyramid style. you want one central leader. and a pear tree tries to have
five. every limb wants to be the central leader. its kind of like some of the people i've worked with. but you only have room for once central leader on an apple tree or a pear tree. and under ideal conditions, you
would have a scaffold of several limbs coming out from that central leader at about 18 to 20 inches. have about 18 to 20 inches with nothing on it. and another whirl of three or four -- maybe five limbs evenly spaced around the trunk.
and then another 18 to 20 and the another whirl. and you continue up to as high as you want to go. now you're probably going to end up using a ladder with those types of trees. but i still top them at about, you know, 12 -- 15 feet.
when you, you know, keep them topped like that -- that's a big enough tree. we recommend on those groups to help them back to take off about one third of last years growth. and you can tell by the color of the limbs. and make your cuts above a bud
that will produce the limb that's growing in the direction that you want it to go. if you do that, you'll do pretty good. if you don't -- if you don't do the heading back and the pruning, years like this year where we've had some heavy fruit
crops, i've seen trees completely break down because the have fruit very heavily. if you don't do the pruning, mother nature will. >> cooper: i've always said now that's some good information there, mr. d. i actually have a peach and a
pear tree at home. and i definitely try to get it down to a size where i can get in and get the fruit because i don't want to be up on a ladder. now here's our next question. ms. sharon -- she wants to know what do you think about the big, red wasps.
and they've been here. i've seen them. >> dennison: big, red wasps come from other big, red wasps. and they've been around as long as i can recall. and they hurt more when they sting. even little, yellow wasps hurt.
i got stung the other day by a yellow jacket and its painful, man. and it only got me once. the thing about wasps -- they have automatics like a fire ant. they can sting you more than once. if you get one in your shirt,
they can keep stinging you. a honey bee -- bless their heart. they hurt but they only sting you once. and when they sting you, they give their life. they lose their stinger and leave it with you to go off
somewhere and die. but there are some of the pyrethrins that do a good job and that's what i would use. i would keep some wasp and hornet spray around -- the kind that will spray 10 or 20 feet. make sure that they have beta- cyfluthrin -- the pyrethrin type
as an active ingredient. only zero point five percent -- so you're not putting a lot of pesticide out there in the environment. but use one of those and that will help take care of that problem. ands that's from the redbook.
and anytime, as always when you use a pesticide, be sure to read and follow the directions. >> cooper: alright, ms. sharon. i hope that answers your question. and we have time for one last >> dennison: the best kind of manure to use for a garden --
manure's an organic matter. they generally are low in nutrients. i wouldn't use fresh manure on a garden in the spring time because of the possibility of e. coli contamination, you know. you and i and every critter out there has e. coli bacteria in
their large intestine. so probably i would want to make sure -- its probably okay in the fall to put manure on your i did it growing up for years and years but, you know, not when you're going to be harvesting greens or anything like that.
there's really not a whole lot of difference. poultry manure is a little higher in nitrogen than horse manure and cow manure -- swine manure. but you're talking about less -- around one or less than one percent nitrogen for horse
manure and cow manure. poultry manure gets up close to three -- two and a half to three percent nitrogen. so you're not talking about -- you're not getting a lot out of it. >> cooper: alright -- thanks for the information.
that's all we have time for today. be sure to join us next week. don't forget -- send us an e- mail or letter and let us help answer your gardening questions. and if you miss an episode of "the family plot," you can watch past shows online.
just go to wkno-dot-org and click on 'kno tonite. and be sure to follow us on facebook and twitter. and i'll see you next time on "the family plot: gardening in the mid-south." be safe! >> female announcer: production
funding for "the family plot: gardening in the mid-south is provided by good winds landscape and garden center in germantown