July passed in a flurry of heat and water. In the nursery we have been sweating the days away quite literally. The grounds are full of frogs and baby bunnies, snakes on the move and not as many birds’ nests as there were in June. We have been working hard to keep plants happy and healthy, snipping away the crispy bits, dead heading, fluffing and primping. As any home gardener knows it is not an easy task to keep things looking good in midsummer.
This is not the time of year when a lot of folks talk about putting in new gardens, but it is still possible! There are factors that one should consider like whether it is necessary to transplant a large well-established shrub when it’s 97 degrees out. If you can, waiting until the weather cools down will give your shrub a better chance because it won’t be as stressed by the heat. When you do put in new plantings during the hot summer months it is important to plant with care and provide a very deep watering shortly after planting. Further more it’s important to remain consistent with your waterings while the plants are getting established. This also means that I have to be honest here and say if you’re about to go on vacation, it’s not a great time to plant things.
The rain we’ve had lately has been substantial but so has the heat. We are lucky that we have had both together but there is no denying that 3 or 4 inches of rain in one day is not reliable as the only watering in a week that has 5 days in the high 90’s.
Martha O'Neill, Retail Nursery Manager
And in the blink of an eye, we’re through July! Buckle up everybody, the hottest weather of the year is here and we’re all trying our best to just get through it. Which may make it hard to believe that now is the time to start planning and planting your fall gardens. Crops like arugula, bok choi and radishes can now be seeded for first harvests by the end of the month. We’ll have seedlings for your fall kales, cabbages, brussels sprouts, broccoli and collards for sale starting this week. For cabbages and brussels sprouts, their growing time until maturity is longer, so for harvesting by thanksgiving, you’ll want to plant them within the first week of August. Seedlings are more heat tolerant, so if you keep them watered, they’ll be happy campers.
It feels like all we do these days is make sure we’re keeping everything (and everyone) fully watered and hydrated. July made sure to give us a taste of what August has in store for us in terms of heat, and while now may not seem like the obvious time to plant things, there are some plants that are very drought tolerant. We have lots of Schizachrium scoparium (Little Bluestem) in lp50s and quarts and we just potted up some more Eragrostis spectabilis (Purple Love Grass), both of which are drought tolerant and really start to put on a show this time of year. Speaking of shows, we have lots of varieties of Echinaceas, Rudbeckias and Eryngium yuccifolium (Rattlesnake Master) that also bloom in August, giving lots of visual variety to your home garden and landscape.
If you do choose to plant this time of year, while plants may be drought tolerant, it is still important to keep them watered for the first few weeks after you plant them to help them get established. If you aren’t thrilled about the idea of planting in the heat, now is also the perfect time to make notes about your garden and come up with lists of plants you may like to put in during the fall. Our full availability is listed on our website for your browsing needs!
Lizzie Wilford, Production and Marketing Coordinator
Theresa Mycek, Production Manager
Unity Landscape Design and Build
Immediately following the 4th of July Holiday, Unity crews began installing sediment controls and clearing and grubbing the invasive and nuisance vegetation for a new project at the Greensboro Volunteer Fire Company in Greensboro MD. The project consists of a new storm drain system which will capture and collect all of the rooftop storm water that the gutters collect and funnel it all into a new series of step pools. Step pools are a common storm water management practice used to dissipate the storm water's energy, as well as allow any sediments to deposit within the system instead of outfalling directly into the Choptank River. The project also includes a new parking lot made of industrial permeable pavers to reduce any actual runoff from the fire department site itself. This project will improve storm water quality, repair erosion, and enhance the entire waterfront of the Greensboro VFD along the Choptank. Stay tuned for more project updates and photos as progress continues.
Lucas Lees CBLP, ASBPA, Coastal and Environmental Design
Meet our newest team member!
Introducing T.J. Morris to the Unity Landscape family. T.J. is a landscape designer and avid gardener who has been in the landscaping industry for over 25 years. He has a diverse skill set, and a passion for nature, that lends itself well to his chosen profession. A Maryland native who loves this area, T.J. is a perfect fit here at Unity, and our environmentally conscious approach to landscaping.
When not out beautifying the neighborhood, T.J. simply likes to relax and have fun. A true believer in a good work/life balance and a sucker for any new adventure, you never know where he might turn up next.
Saying farewell to Lizzie
Lizzie Wilford, our Production and Marketing Coordinator, has recently accepted a position as an art teacher at a local public school. Having studied fine arts in college, she has a passion for the arts and education and is truly looking forward to this next chapter in her career. While we'll surely miss having her goofy self around, we are excited for her to have landed her dream job. Be sure to find her at the farmers market this weekend to say farewell to her!