One of the many questions we usually start hearing this time of the year is “Can I still plant in the summer?”
We understand why people may be nervous but the answer is an overwhelming YES!
Our nursery yard is filled with beautiful specimens waiting to beautify your landscape.
Here are a few easy tips to follow before you get started:

1) Choose the right plant for the right space

If you have a sunny, dry spot you’re looking to fill, choose trees, shrubs, or perennials that will be happiest in those conditions. Similarly, avoid sun-loving plants for those shady areas.
Not sure about plant requirements? Come pay us a visit and we’ll gladly work with you.

2) Start Digging

Dig your hole twice the width of the root ball and no deeper than the height. (You want the top of the root ball either at ground level or slightly higher.) If you’re planting a container plant, make sure to score the roots first. If you’re planting a tree with a wire basket take off all the burlap as well as the basket. In both cases, this will prevent girdled roots from developing.

3) Amend your soil

Mix together Van Wilgen’s Premium Planting Mix with your existing soil. If you only add new soil, without any native soil present, the roots will stop dead in their tracks once they outgrow the pocket of nice new soil.

4) Place your plants

Place your plant into the hole you dug, making sure you’re happy with the placement and orientation. Backfill the hole with your soil mixture, tamping the soil as you go, to eliminate any air pockets.

5) Fertilize

Add Van Wilgen’s JumpStart fertilizer or our organic option, Van Wilgen’s Root Boost to the hole when planting. (Just make sure it comes into contact with the root system.)

6) Mulch

Add a 2-3” layer of Van Wilgen’s mulch around the base of the plant, in your preferred color. Be careful to leave the stem or trunk flare exposed. Over-mulching can lead to its own set of problems!

7) Water, water, water!

Water the base of the plant thoroughly while avoiding overhead watering. Your new plants will need a deep soaking two to three times a week for the first season, though with the summer heat we’re currently experiencing, you might have to water more frequently. Click here to reference our watering guide.
Now it’s time to sit back and enjoy your new plantings and some warm summer weather!

Every spring our gardeners tell us they want to expand their perennial gardens to offer new colors and plants to make them fresh. For those of us that work in the Perennial department, it’s no different. We are always on the lookout for something different or even ‘new to us’. Here are a few Perennials that we think are a must-have in the garden to give you season-long color and interest.

Silene – Early spring bloom of pink on low mounding thick green leaves. Cut back by half after the first flush of flowers wanes in June, to encourage repeat blooming. Attractive to butterflies

Panicum ‘Northwind’- Wow! An unequivocally upright steel blue panicum. ! Wide, thick leaf blades a golden yellow color in the fall, topped in September with attractive narrow plumes.

Veronica Venice Blue – Gorgeous blue spikes of color late spring to mid-summer. Features large, deep blue flowers in spring over bright green, toothy leaves. Benefits from a good hard trim after flowers are finished, in order to maintain a nice tight habit.

Standing Ovation Little Bluestem- A warm-season grass that does well in poor, dry soils. Spikey bluish-green stems and leaves transition to a sizzling display of oranges, reds, yellows, and purplish-browns in the autumn. Also provides winter interest before cutting back in early spring to make way for new growth.

Oenothera Fireworks- Deep bronze foliage and red stems are contrasted by red buds opening to canary yellow blooms in June. The individual flowers may not last for more than a day or two, but they open in succession leaving the plant in continuous bloom. Burgundy rosettes in winter.

Heliopsis Burning Heart – Dynamic yellow-orange flowers are offset by their deep purple foliage. As attractive to butterflies and bees as it is to people, we’ve found this plant really deserves a place in a beautiful border, a cutting garden, or in massed swathes. She stands 4’ tall with dark red-purple foliage and abundant contrasting yellow daisy-like flowers with orange centers. The plant begins blooming in its first year and blooms from June to mid-October.

Echinacea Adobe Orange – Carefree color from a profusion of bright orange blooms that will add excitement to the summer garden. A must-have for sunny beds and borders. Drought tolerant and bred for cold hardiness and compact form with prolific flowering over an exceptionally long season.

Monarda Jacob Cline – Whorls of scarlet red tubular flowers blend perfectly with prairie wildflowers and herbs. Single plants make a great show, but groups heighten the effect. Dark green leaves have an aroma of mint and basil. Hummingbirds love it!