Thus far, the fall of 2017 is following in line with the two previous autumns in the rain department. We keep a daily log of weather here at Rolling Ridge and looking back, we find only one measurable rain event during the month of September and have to go all the way back to August 22nd, the day after the eclipse to find a decent soaking rain. We remember mentioning that it was a good thing that that particular storm didn't happen the day before, would have ruined all the hoopla. Like last fall, continuing dryness can have a lasting impact on especially newly planted trees and shrubs. Click to read more...

Fall is the perfect time for planting spring flowering bulbs (tulips, crocus, hyacinths, daffodils and others) and normally we are cool enough by mid-October to plant. The general rule of thumb is to plant these bulbs between October 15th and December 15th.  So don't wait to long because these bulbs need a minimum of 12 weeks of under 45 degrees to bloom.

The key to success with bulbs is understanding what they are and how they grow. The bulb is actually a self-contained plant, the flower bud is already formed and just waiting for a dormant winter treatment, and the sides of the bulb are modified leaves. Tulips must totally regenerate a new bulb after flowering. To improve the bulbs ability to regenerate itself after flowering, the spent flower stalk needs to be removed, the plants fertilized with bulb food or a bloom booster fertilizer, and the foliage needs to remain green and growing as long as possible. These bulbs come from Holland in northern Europe, on about the same latitude as southern Canada. They grow in a much cooler climate and in very porous and sandy soil. With St. Louis turning hot in May, and our heavy clay soils, the bulb has a hard time regenerating. There are some things that you can do to improve your chances for multiple years of returning flowers:

The cooler temps should be a signal that the summer vacation has come to an end for our houseplants! Now is the time to bring your houseplants back inside. Well before our first frost, we need to get those houseplants back inside. It’s important to give them time to acclimate to being back indoors. The best time to bring them in is when your windows are still open. The plants will adjust to the change in humidity and temperature better if the change is gradual. Never bring in a plant with bugs! Wash or spray the leaves with water to remove summer dust and pollen. Let plants dry. Then spray with an indoor-safe or organic insecticidal soap just to be sure, or you can use one of the new systemic granules.  You could also use an insecticidal soil drench, or at least spray the soil a few times with your insecticide. Read more...

Pilea Peperomioides

You were lucky enough to get your hands on a Pilea Peperomiodes, now what?!
Here are a few quick and easy care tips that we have found work great for us;

  • Give them bright, indirect light, a south facing window is best.
  • Use a well drained soil, we find adding a little orchid bark for added texture and aeration helps.
  • Pilea Peperomioides love to poke babies up out of the soil, so keep it clear of rocks or moss so you can see what's happening. They are easy to propagate and nick-named "the pass-it on plant"
  • Like most plants, they don't like wet feet so don't allow them to sit in wet soil however don't let them to dry out completely
  • Rotate your plant every 2-3 days to keep growth even and avoid a slanted stem.

Native Plant Program

Present a featured Native Plant Program for Spring 2017

featuring 8 lower Midwest native milkweed species:

  • Asclepias incarnatamarsh milkweed
  • Asclepias purpurascens – purple milkweed
  • Asclepias sullivantii – Sullivant’s milkweed
  • Asclepias syriaca – common milkweed
  • Asclepias tuberosa – butterfly milkweed
  • Asclepias verticillata – whorled milkweed
  • Asclepias viridiflora – green milkweed
  • Asclepias viridis – spider milkweed

featuring 11 plant species and associated native pollinators:

  • Baptisia australis – blue wild indigo
  • Hydrangea arborescens – wild hydrangea
  • Liatris scariosa – blazing star
  • Monarda fistulosa – bee balm
  • Packera obovata – golden groundsel
  • Penstemon digitalis – foxglove beardtongue
  • Pycnanthemum tenuifolium – slender mountain mint
  • Solidago speciosa – showy goldenrod
  • Symphyotrichum oblongifolium – aromatic aster
  • Vernonia arkansana – curlytop ironweed
  • Zizia aptera – heartleaf golden Alexander

To learn more about native plants and landscape application opportunites: