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Holiday Planting Tips For Any Yard

Nov 18, 2016 09:51PM ● Published by Melanie Heisinger

In our latest print issue of Mansfield Magazine, we included an article all about shrubbery, "Thorny Elaeagnus: Don’t Dismiss It Just Yet." Steve Huddleston, our resident gardener, has compiled a few extra tips for the yard while out this holiday season. 

1. Fall (November-December) is the best time to plant containerized trees, shrubs, and perennials. Planted now, plants will establish their root systems between now and spring and will be in a better position to withstand next summer's heat and drought.  Folks might even find some good deals at nurseries this time of year as nurseries close out summer stock and make room for Christmas trees. 

2. You may even want to plant your own living Christmas tree. One that you can decorate outside.  Good candidates include blue Atlas cedar, deodar cedar, eastern red cedar, and Arizona cypress.  

3. Plant shrubs and trees that will attract birds to your yard during the winter.  Consider yaupon holly trees (females have the berries), possum holly 'Warren's Red' (a female cultivar), rusty blackhaw viburnum, the American beautyberry shrub, leatherleaf mahonia, coralberry, and several varieties of sumac.    All produce fruit that birds love. 

4. Plant a few native grasses. Grasses that substitute as shrubs, add a soft texture to the landscape, and offer seeds that birds will eat during the winter. Consider Lindheimer's muhly, eastern gama grass, and inland seaoats. 

5. Now (November-December) is also the time to plant spring-flowering bulbs. Plants such as Narcissus (daffodils), Spanish bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanica), summer snowflake (Leucojum aestivum), and species tulips.  Plant bulbs in full sun in well-drained soil.  The general guideline for planting depth is three times the bulb's height.  In a clay soil, however, the bulb is better off planted too shallow than too deep.  Many online bulb companies offer reduced prices on bulbs this late in the season.

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