If you have a question about gardening in the Birmingham area, ask John. John Floyd has been gardening–and learning about gardening–for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience in the garden, John has degrees in horticulture, plant taxonomy, and plant physiology from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.
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The best product on the market now is Bayer Duel Action Azalea and Camellia product. Caution- wait to apply after flowering as the systemic in the product can be harmful to bees.
First, there are books written on this subject. The library at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens has excellent resources on the subject. My favorite fragrant shrubs include gardenia, wintersweet, anise, banana shrub, and spicebush As for trees Southern Magnolia is tops followed by sweetbay magnolia, and lilac chastetree.
On a very steep slop in shade many ground covers will work but getting them established without causing the bank to erode can be a big problem. Probably the most vigorous on for this type of situation is English ivy and you can by it as sprigs from many nurseries. Others that work would be monkey grass and liriope. They can also be purchased in 4-inch pots. A little used ground cover for this type slope is the small leafed periwinkle (Vinca minor) as it roots when the stems touch the ground like ivy but is hard to find. Probably if you use Vinca you will have to have a friend to give you some. Be sure you plant each pots well and if the soil on your slope is poor amend the soil, mulch with pine straw when planted to prevent erosion. Watering the first year of establishment is a must.
Checking with herbicide specialist. Will get back to you- john
Update- the expert says atrazine
From bud set to bloom is 6-8 weeks. So the later you pinch them back the later they bloom. Most years we do not have frost before early November, so it just depends when you want them to bloom as to when you do your last pinch. Plan on 10-12 weeks after pinching before blooms show color.
While 2,4,D will not kill Centipede and St Augustine it may injure it. So it is up to you,but if dormant it will have less chance of injury.
You know I have had them in my yard and sever winters they were killed back. Saying that, the quick freeze we had recently where the temperature was down to 18 degrees really is very damaging to plants like loquat that are at there upper limits of their hardiness. If you do decide to plant I would make sure it is in a protected location
I do not have a link but if you call the Friends office of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, I am sure they could connect you with the Camellia Society. Their number is 205-414-3950.
Blue Ageratum, Cardinal Flower, Joe-Py-Weed, Butterfly Weed, Black-eyed Susan, Fall Asters, Coneflower, Goldenrod, Bee-balm, and Summer Phlox. All of these are tough perennials.
Now if you want a mix of shrubs, perennials and small trees, here is my list. Native azaleas, Native deciduous hollies, Butterfly weed, Black-eyed Susan, Carolina Silverbell, Serviceberry, Summer Phlox, beautyberry, Mt. Laurel, and Oakleaf Hydrangea.
Here are some of my favorites that are easy to grow- Goldstrum coneflower (summer flrs), Mexican Sage (fall flrs),sweet Williams(spring multicolor flrs),dianthus also called pinks (late spring multicolor flrs),lantana(summer multicolor flrs),asters(fall mulitcolors) plus many others
There is not much that will give you total control. Of course heavy mulch will help and the only product I would suggest is PREEN. Get the type specific to your needs. Available at most big garden centers. I think the application time is early spring but follow the instructions carefully.
I bet it is armadillos. Mothballs and Cheyenne peppers both are reported to deter them. Thankfully I have never had them in my garden.
Crazy weather year!
I am having some unique issues this year too. Keep the faith, we all might have a great fall garden
Both apples and peaches in our area are tough to grow at home because they need to be on a regular pesticide program to produce good fruit. As for your area check with your local county extension agent for specifics on what you need to do to have successful peaches and apples in your area