Overflowing entrance sign at Oak Ridge
We are proud to announce that Field Outdoor Spaces was awarded a 2010 MNLA Merit Award for our annual bedding plant management and garden maintenance at Oakridge Golf Club located in Hopkins, MN. We are going on our fifth year of partnership installing and maintaining the club’s annual flower beds. This is the second year in a row that we have won an award for commercial garden maintenance.
Last fall, we submitted our entry for the landscape management award to MNLA (Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association). Part of the award criteria was based on the submission of twenty digital photos taken throughout the season and a written description about each photo. Please visit the website www.gardenminnesota.com to check out our work under ‘Award Winning Landscapes’ and ‘Merit Award 2010.’ Pictures of the gardens will also be displayed through March at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, MN.
Hole 10 annual combination
Preparation for the annual installation begins in January with new designs and preparing the plant order. Around May 15th, our crews install the annuals. Colorful seasonal plantings are found in high traffic areas with bold bursts of color that greet club members. Our annuals are found around the tee boxes, under trees, and in areas where members and their families frequent, such as the pool and tennis court areas. In a typical year we install over 250 flats of annuals at the club, including simple bedding plants like zinnias and petunias as well as specialty plants like cannas, purple fountain grass and house ferns. After installation, we are at the course every Monday to dead-head, remove dead or underperforming plants, and weed every week.
We are honored to have won such a distinguished award. Our company, along with other award winners, will be recognized at a dinner hosted by MNLA in March.
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Do you have that itch to get out in your garden yet? I know your garden is filled with snow and that it is falling as I type, but there are some things you can do right now to get your garden off to a great start for the 2010 landscaping season.Deciduous trees and shrubs need regular pruning than other plants, but fortunately, it is relatively easy. Dormant pruning is done to produce strong, healthy, and attractive plants that are safe to be around. Proper procedures should begin when the plants are young to produce a strong structure and to eliminate potential problems when plants are young and small. Listed below are a few reasons to prune: Safety
- Eliminate dead or dying branches that are injured by disease
- Remove branches that cross and rub against each other
- Encourage flowers and fruit
- Shape limbs that could damage people or property
- Eradicate branches that have poor angles resulting in their susceptibility to snapping in high winds or ice
- Eliminate branches that obscure intersections or cross with power lines
- Shape, i.e. a hedge
- Control size
- Remove suckers and water sprouts
Trees and shrubs that bloom later in the growing season should be pruned when they are leafless and dormant, just before the new growth begins for the season. This is typically in February when new tissue develops rapidly in response to spring. Another reason to dormant prune is to see the overall architecture of the plant you want to prune. The leaves aren’t there to muddle your views. Dormant pruning also prevents the spread of oak wilt disease. It is a disease that is dispersed by spores between the months of April to June. Do NOT prune an oak tree during these months.One exception to dormant pruning involves trees such as maples and birches. The tendency for them to bleed in the early spring can be unsightly. It is best to prune those types of trees well after the trees have leafed out in the summer. Below is a diagram depicting a proper pruning cut on a tree:
(from Colorado State website)
There are two primary pruning methods, renewal and rejuvenation. Renewal pruning cuts out older stems near the base. This stimulates the growth of younger stems and keeps the shrub flowering and fruiting. Subsequent pruning may need to occur to maintain the shape of the shrub. Understanding the natural shape of shrubs will help you determine how to prune. Shrubs that respond well to renewal pruning include lilacs, red twig and yellow twig dogwood, some species of viburnum, forsythia, mockorange, and weigela. Most of these shrubs are pruned within two weeks after they flower in the spring. The second type of pruning, called rejuvenation pruning, involves cutting stems down to the ground. This method is useful when a shrub has become overgrown with many stems growing together. Some shrubs that respond well to rejuvenation pruning include Anthony Waterer spirea, honeysuckle, snowberry, and privet. Early spring is the best time to initiate this type of pruning. There is a rejuvenation program that takes three years to complete but the overall attractiveness of the plant is maintained.Year 1
: Remove 1/3 of the oldest canes that are not productive anymore. Year 2: Remove one half of the old stems. Year 3
: Remove the remaining old branches. New stems will quickly grow to fill in where the old wood was thus creating a more lush plant.
A lot of cuts are made on suckers which are vigorous vertical stems that are unsightly. The best way to get rid of suckers is to rip them out of the ground early in the spring while the stems are still small. Opposed to pruning, this method removes the bud and will discourage the growth of new suckers. Finally, recent studies have shown that applying a paint or wound dressing to the cut will not prevent decay like it was previously thought. The tree or shrub will form a callus on its own that will close over the wound and protect itself. You also need to disinfect cuts between each cut with a product such as Lysol. This will prevent passing diseases on to the next plant.With these pruning tips and methods you will be armed with the knowledge to make thoughtful and decisive pruning cuts in your landscape. Remember that if you make a mistake, you can always try again next year.
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