3810 Whites Creek Pike, Nashville, TN 37207 (615) 876-1014

Archive date:  July 31, 2009

Rain on your Picnic?

Daily rains much more welcome than drought…

After a week of rainy conditions, it’s beginning to look a lot like Seattle, with swelter. To be sure, it’s a far cry from where we were two years ago. At that time we were dealing with drought and water shortages, the weather has given us a wonderful reprieve.

You might believe we are way ahead of normal rainfall, but actually we are at near normal levels for most of the Metro Nashville area. We have become so accustomed to long extended dry periods it makes it hard to remember what a “normal” summer is like. For those planning outdoor events it can be dicey, and I haven’t met a happy water skiing enthusiast recently, but from a horticultural sense, the weather couldn’t be better.

No doubt all the rain has your landscape growing to full capacity. The deadline has now arrived for doing your final pruning on most plants. The reason this needs to be the last pruning of the year is that the plants need time to flush new growth and for that growth to “harden off” sufficiently prior to the onset of cold weather. If you use granular fertilizer, this should also be your last application. Late fertilizer applications with granular, chemical-type fertilizers can induce excessive late “flushes” of growth in October when the plant should be approaching dormancy. Again, pushing growth that late is undesirable as it can lead to excessive winter burn, if the weather turns quickly.

This pruning rule does not apply to early spring flowering plants. They should have been trimmed a month ago. If you prune those plants now, you will have few, if any flower buds: that means no flowers next spring. Only trim these plants if you are willing to live with no flowers next year.

Being a full-time, year-‘round nursery, we pride ourselves in offering the best plant selection available at all times. This time of year is no exception. If you haven’t followed us on Twitter, you may be unaware of what we have brought in this week. We are now posting the two most recent “Tweets” on the header of our website, www.batesnursery.com. You can also click on the convenient “Follow us on Twitter” link, just below the updates on the right side. That will take you straight to our Twitter page for our most comprehensive and up-to-the-minute (or hour) update on what’s happening here at Bates.

I’ll discuss more next week, but Friday August 7, is the annual Tennessee Breast Cancer Coalition Golf Classic. We are pleased to again be providing flowers for the 39’ pink ribbon that will be displayed at Hermitage Golf Course. We are proud to again be a sponsor of this great event and we encourage your participation. Go to their website www.tbcc.org for full details!

In closing, doesn’t seem possible that July is gone and August is here. While your picnic plans may be rained out, we never get rained out at Bates. To get August started off right, we are offering for August 1st and 2nd 2009, any ONE item, 50% off. That’s right ONE item 50% off for you, our BatesRewards Members. So when is the best time to plant? It’s always a great time to plant, at Bates.

Hope to see you this weekend,

David Bates