by Ken Lain, The Mountain Gardener, Watters Garden Center
Without strategically placed evergreens in the yard, it can feel as if prying eyes are looking right into your home. Now is the ideal planting season for fast-growing trees and shrubs to maximize autumn roots critical for a lush wall next spring.
To successfully add evergreens to a landscape, take these essential steps. The most crucial requirement is drainage. Blend one shovel full of Watters Premium Mulch into every three shovels full of native earth to pack around each root.
Feed new plants with 7-4-4 All Purpose Plant Food right after planting. The cottonseed meal in this natural food promotes robust root formation while maintaining good foliage color.
Lastly, deep soak each plant with a solution of Root & Grow. This specially designed compost tea encourages new roots that grow deep and strong.
Best evergreens for screens & accents:
My favorite native evergreen screener is the Arizona cypress. It is like a giant alligator juniper in size and color but grows faster and fills in more thoroughly than other screening plants. Growing to over 20 feet tall and 12 feet wide in just a few years, you can see why this is the No.1 choice for a planted screen.
Very cold-hardy, this spruce is the perfectly symmetrical Christmas tree shape. Excellent choice for a front yard holiday tree or as a semi-formal accent in a large yard. Line up several for a windbreak or to quickly diffuse lights and sounds along busy streets.
This is the largest screening plant, growing to over 50 feet tall and 20 feet wide. It is one of the fastest-growing of the screens. This cedar thrives on low water use, drought conditions and drip irrigation, as with most upright evergreens. Make sure to give it plenty of growing space.
Spartan, Blue Point, and Wichita are on the extensive list of junipers available at Watters Garden Center now. Juniper forests surround us. Whichever color and height you like, all grow well in this part of the world.
This handsome evergreen tree has a densely branched conical form when young that becomes umbrella shaped with age. Needles are long and dark green. Tolerates poor soils and harsh, drying winds. A great conifer for windbreaks or used as large landscape specimens.
There are many more choices, such as the larger evergreen shrubs and deciduous trees like aspens. We’ll discuss those varieties another time.
Book just Published!
The Secret Garden: Plants as a Natural Screen is an all-local garden book with deeper detail about screening plants. Free copies are available for download at WattersGardenCenter.com under LEARN.