Deer Resistant Gardens

If you’ve spent a lot of time and effort making your garden look perfect, then the last thing you want is the local wildlife coming in and destroying (or eating) all of your hard work. In areas where deer are common, people often complain about the deer getting into their gardens and ruining their plants and shrubs. We want to help you avoid this situation, so read on to find out how to make your garden more deer resistant.

Strong-smelling plants

Plants and flowers that give off a strong odor can deter deer for two reasons. Firstly, if the odor doesn’t appeal to their senses, then they won’t want to eat the plants. Secondly, they are naturally put off going near strong-smelling plants because the smell might get into their fur. This can interfere with their ability to sense predators and find food in their natural environment.

Bitter-tasting plants

Plants like mint and lots of different herbs such as oregano are more than likely safe from being eaten by deer in your garden because they’re just not to the deer’s tastes. The bitter taste puts them off eating them, so they might try them once but then leave them well enough alone.

Spiky or spiny plants

Placing pine trees, for example, or any kind of tree or shrub that has spiky or spiny leaves can be an effective deterrent against deer. These shrubs can cause them pain if they try to eat them or even walk past them, so they’re likely to steer clear. Fruits such as gooseberries are another good example. Although they might taste good, they’re not pleasant for the deer to eat off the bush.

Toxic plants

Plants such as fern, daffodils, and poppies are actually toxic to deer, so will give them an upset stomach if they eat them. So, planting these in your garden can at least stop the deer from eating those particular plants.

Deer deterring mulch

The kind of mulch you spread across your lawn and soil can also act as a deer deterrent. If you mix anything strong smelling into your mulch, such as garlic or soap, this can help to deter deer. Anything that smells of a potential predator can also help, such as human hair or animal manure.

Visit this website for a more comprehensive list of plants and shrubs that help to deter deer. If you need supplies to help make your garden deer resistant, then take a look at the range of products we supply. You can also get in touch to find out more about the landscape services we offer for customers in and around Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville.

Garden Mulch 101

Mulch and the act of mulching your garden is an essential part of ensuring proper growth. But what exactly is mulching and why do you need to do it? If you’ve ever wondered this along with any other questions you’ve had about mulch, then read on for the answers to some killer gardening questions.

What is mulch?

Mulch is any kind of material that you cover your soil with in order to improve its health and keep it well hydrated. It also helps to prevent weeds from growing around your plants and taking vital nutrients and moisture away from them, preventing them from flourishing. Mulch is placed over soil and around the base of plants. 

Different types of mulch

The majority of mulch falls into one of the following two categories:

Organic mulch – Organic mulch is made up of naturally occurring materials that were once living, such as grass, leaves, bark, and straw.

Inorganic mulch – Inorganic mulch is the opposite of the organic kind and can include plastic materials, stones and gravel, newspaper, and fabrics.

Organic mulch benefits the soil by adding its own nutrients as it decomposes, which can improve the fertility of the soil. Inorganic mulch, on the other hand, does not break down. This gives it the benefit of being long lasting, so it can block sunlight and keep in warmth for longer.

The benefits of mulch

We’ve mentioned a few already, but here are some of the main reasons that gardeners mulch their soil:

  • Regulates the temperature of the soil
  • Blocks out sunlight needed for weeds to grow
  • Organic mulch adds nutrients to your soil
  • Keeps the soil moist and well hydrated
  • Increases the activity of worms and insects in the soil that add nutrients

Basically, all of the benefits of mulch help to create soil conditions that allow the plants you’re growing to thrive.

When should you mulch your garden?

Now you know the basics about mulch, you need to know when you should spread mulch over your soil for maximum effect. Mulching is an effective way to prevent your soil from drying out during the warm summer months as it helps to block the sun and keep the moisture in. Mulch should also be spread in preparation for cold weather during the winter months in order to prevent the soil from freezing. You can read more here about mulching and other ways to prepare your garden for winter.

If you’re ready to start mulching in your garden, then check out the range of mulch we have for sale from Stratford Landscape Supply. We also provide landscape services for customers around Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville.

Plant This in Your Garden to Reduce Pollen Allergies

Spring is here and summer is just around the corner, which is great news for anyone who loves to work in the garden. But what about those of us who suffer from pollen allergies and other allergies that rear their ugly heads in the springtime? Gardening just isn’t as fun when everything around you makes you sneeze.

So, what can you do to alleviate the suffering that pollen brings with it during spring and summer? Here’s a quick guide to what you should and shouldn’t plant in your garden to help relieve pollen allergies.

How the plant is pollinated

Pollination is the way that plants spread their seeds and create offspring, but not all plants are pollinated in the same way. Allergy sufferers should avoid plants that primarily rely on the wind for pollination, as these result in high levels of pollen in the air as it is carried by the wind. Less showy plants such as wheat, barley, and pine trees, for example, are pollinated in this way.

It is often the brighter, more attractive plants and flowers that are safer for those with allergies, although the sight of them makes you think of summer and allergies at their peak. These flowers attract insects to do their pollination for them, so they land on the flower and take the pollen away to another plant. This means less pollen on your plants and in your garden. Wherever possible, opt for female plants as these are less likely to give off pollen.

Evergreens

Evergreen trees and shrubs are a great investment for any allergic garden lovers. Evergreens get their name because they stay green all year round, meaning they don’t shed their leaves or needles. These means fewer irritants and allergens are released into your garden and the air surrounding it. Evergreen conifers only produce pollen for a short period each year, so these can also be a good investment.

The best plants for allergies

The following plants and shrubs are ideal for allergy sufferers to plant in their garden without worsening their symptoms:

If you’re looking for products to make your garden look great without forcing you to admire it from inside, then we stock a wide range of plants, trees, and shrubs that are ideal for gardens of allergy sufferers. Get in touch for more about our landscape products and services around Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville.

How to Use Landscape Stone

Landscaping your garden isn’t all about trees and plants. Landscaping with stones and rocks, also known as hardscaping, is a popular way to add an extra touch of character and texture to your garden. To help you craft the perfect garden, we’ve got some tips for you on what landscape stone can be used for and how to use it.

To protect your soil

Landscape stone can be used in the same way as mulch to protect your soil and the roots of your plants from harsh weather conditions. The benefit of this is that stones can be made permanent features, unlike mulch which will need regularly replacing. Landscape stones are also more attractive than mulch, so they can be used as decorative features while serving an additional purpose of protecting your soil.

As decorative features

The sky’s pretty much the limit when it comes to using landscape stone as decoration in your garden. You could choose a large boulder as a main centerpiece for your garden, or position smaller stones around a pond or flowerbed, for example. The color and texture of stones you choose can make a big difference in the appearance of your landscape. White stones can be used to brighten up a dark corner of your garden, while darker stones can produce a warmer, tropical look.

As a feature piece

If you’re looking for a larger feature to place prominently in your garden landscape, then rocks and stones can be the perfect building blocks (literally!). Here are a few ideas of feature pieces you can create using landscape stone:

 

  • Stone path

  • Fire pit

  • Stone wall

  • Stone furniture

  • Rock water feature

You can really get creative with rock and stone when landscaping your garden, so think about the different ways it would fit well in your garden.

Types of landscape stone

We sell lots of different types of landscape stone that are perfect for using in your garden. These include:

  • Slate

  • Flagstone

  • Riverstone

  • Fieldstone

  • Lava stone

  • Slabs

  • Tumbled block

  • Boulders

…and more! The type of rock you choose will depend on what you plan on using it for and the kind of style you want your landscape to have. This blog runs through some popular landscape stone types and the benefits of using them in your garden.

Ready to get started with landscape stone in your garden? Then we’ve got you covered. We supply landscape materials and services to cities in North Carolina including Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville. Get in touch to find out more.

Early Planning for Your Spring Garden

People across the country may be looking forward to the start of the professional baseball season in March, but there’s another season heading our way as March is also the time when most garden planting begins. It’s not too far around the corner, so now is the perfect time to start planning for your Spring gardening activity.

 

What to plant

When choosing what to plant in the Spring months ahead, you’ve got huge amounts of choice. To give you some ideas, here’s a list of 21 different flowers that flourish during Spring. But, looking past personal preference alone, how do you know which ones are right for your garden?

There are a number of factors you should consider when asking this question. For example, think about how much sunlight your garden gets. If it’s well shaded by neighboring trees or fences, then sun-loving plants won’t bloom like you want them to, while a plant such as bloodroot could flourish.

Your soil type is also important. Is it acidic or alkaline? Does it stay dry or frequently get drenched by rain? If you don’t know much about your soil type, this guide will help you determine which kind of plants will suit it best.

 

When to plant

Now you’ve decided what you’re going to plant this Spring, when exactly should you be planting them?

Early springtime can still be prone to frosty weather, so you should hold off planting anything that won’t stand up against this frost. Any plants and bulbs that aren’t frost-hardy should be planted in pots and kept indoors initially. This gives them a chance to start growing in protected conditions until the frosts pass.

Some plants, such as lilies are better planted in early spring, however. Perennials are also good to plant at this time of year.

 

Preparing your soil

Your soil may have taken a beating from the wet and frosty weather over Winter, so you should take some time in advance to prepare it for planting season.

If weeds have built up in your garden, then be sure to remove these. Then, you can cultivate your soil simply by turning it over with a spade and treating it with compost to help deliver rich nutrients to the soil. This will produce a good foundation for planting in time for when March comes around.

If you need any landscaping products or services to help prepare your lawn and garden for Spring, then get in touch with us at Stratford Landscape Supply. We serve the cities of Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville, and their surrounding areas.

The Plants of Christmas

When the Christmas season is upon us, our houses suddenly get a whole lot greener. We bring home Christmas trees and decorate them with shiny things, we hang wreaths on our doors and holly about the house, and kiss under the mistletoe. But, why exactly do we do all these things? Most Christmas traditions have roots from either Paganism or Christianity.

Let’s look at some of the history behind the various plants used in Christmas decorations.

O Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree is traditionally a fir tree. The fir tree has been in use for thousands of years in winter festivals and celebrations. This species of tree was used because it is an evergreen tree, which means that it displays its leaves throughout the year. In Pagan times, bringing an evergreen into the home symbolized bringing life into the home during the cold, dark winter.

Over time, the Christmas tree became a symbol of Christianity, and there are various theories on the history of this. The triangular shape of the Christmas tree is often thought to represent the holy trinity of Christ, linking back to the idea of new life suggested by the Pagans.

Today, people bring Christmas trees into their homes each year, opting either for artificial trees or real evergreen trees to enjoy the smell of fresh pine needles.

The Holly and the Ivy

The prickly points of holly leaves lent to this plant being hung over doorways and windows to fend off evil spirits hundreds of years ago. It is said that holly is a male plant while ivy is a female plant, and one tradition stated that whichever plant enters the house first in winter indicates whether the home would be ruled by the man or the woman of the house. Its connection to Christmas likely came from the fact that bringing them into the house before Christmas Eve was considered bad luck.

Holly was then adopted by Christians as a symbol of the crucifixion, with the sharp leaves representing the thorn crown on Christ’s head and the red berries representing drops of blood. How jolly!

Mistletoe (and wine)

Mistletoe is another shrub that was though to ward off evil spirits in medieval times, while also bringing good luck to the house. It most likely became associated with Christmas simply due to the fact it was widely sold along with holly and ivy around Yuletide. The tradition of kissing under the mistletoe came from the Druids who saw the plant as a symbol of friendship and love, even though it can be poisonous to humans and their pets!

So, there you have it. When you’re kissing under the mistletoe this holiday season, remember that you’ve got the Druids to thank!

If you’re looking for any Christmas greenery to decorate your home, lawn, and garden with, contact Stratford Landscape Supply to see what plants we have for sale around Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville. And don’t forget to prepare your garden for winter if you haven’t already.

Winter mulching

Landscaping Tips to Prepare for Winter

 

In harsh winters, your garden can take a real beating. Many plants can’t survive the cold weather and your lawn may suffer as the ground starts to freeze. You don’t want all your hard work from spring and summer to go to waste, so there are certain measures you should take to prepare for the cold spells of winter. You’re unlikely to want to get out into the garden much when the cold weather hits, so it’s a good idea to start this preparation well in advance.

 

Rake and aerate your lawn

Debris covering your lawn can block the sunlight from getting to it and lead to problems such as moss and fungus. This can especially be a problem throughout and at the end of fall with all the dead leaves on the ground. Rake your lawn of any debris and then aerate it by spiking holes into the lawn to improve drainage.

 

 

Spreading mulch over your soil can help to retain its moisture and keep the roots of your plants warm over winter. Mulching the base of your trees and shrubs, and spreading a thin layer of mulch over flower beds, helps to protect them from the cold weather and frost that could damage them. You can buy mulch made from materials such as bark, or you can repurpose the fall leaves that you clear from your lawn, shredding them into an organic mulch.

 

Investing in cold-hardy plants

Perennials such as Peony and Coneflower are equipped to deal with harsh winters and grow back year after year. If you’re planning some planting before we experience cold weather, then plants like these are a good option. Find out which perennials can survive harsh winters.

 

Dig up bulbs

If you have any bulbs that are made for summer blooming and are unlikely to survive the colder season, then you should dig these up and bring them inside. Make sure you brush the dirt off the bulbs after digging them up, and then store them in cool, dry conditions where they can breathe – don’t seal them off.

 

Prune dormant plants

Plants that are dormant throughout winter can be prone to mold and fire blight. To help prevent these issues, you should prune any dormant plants so that they maintain their condition for spring.

 

A frosty winter doesn’t have to mean the death of your garden if you follow these tips and get prepared. If you need any landscaping supplies to help you prepare for winter, then Stratford Landscape Supply has you covered. We supply cities in North Carolina including Winston Salem, Greensboro, High Point, and Kernersville. Get in touch to find out more.