Welcome to our Plant Care Center

Growing Plants in South Carolina can be a challenge! Especially during the Hot and Humid planting season.  With over 3 decades of experience in Plant Care, the team at Country Boy’s can recommend everything from which type of fertilizer you should use, to how to protect your garden from insects.

Follow our tips to Happy, Healthier Plants and you too will have the garden and yard of your dreams!

Please visit these websites for even more gardening tips!

Planning Your Garden

 

Before you purchase your plants you will need to study your garden area and decide if you will need plants that grow best in sun (6+ hours), part sun (4-6 hours), or shade (fewer than 4 hours of sun).

Also, when planning your garden, you will need to decide whether you wish to plant annuals, perennials, herbs or a combination of all. Plan your garden so that the shortest plants are in front and the tallest in the back.

planning garden layout

Picking Your Colors

 

Begin by choosing colors that match your house colors.

Color schemes can affect both the look of your garden and the mood of those viewing it.

  • Hot Colors – Red, orange and yellow tend to advance, excite and energize.
  • Cool Colors – Blue, violet, and green tend to recede, cool, calm and be restful.
  • Polychromatic Color – Combines any and all colors: has an English garden effect.
  • Monochromatic Color – Consists of a single color and its various tints and shades.
  • Important Note: For a formal garden use one or two colors (front yard). For an informal garden use three or more colors (back yard).

Foliage, not just blooms, can add vibrant colors to your garden.

Preparing Soil

 

How well you prepare your soil will determine how well your plants will grow and bloom.Tender-rooted annuals and perennials always grow best in rich, loose, well-prepared soil.

Soils in our area are poor and must be amended with organic matter for good growing results. The best plants will not compensate for poor soil.For best results, work the soil to a depth of 8″ to 10″. Work in the organic matter, such as peat moss, compost, or other fully decayed organic matter. Do not use any fresh organic matter that has not been fully decayed. Fresh organic matter can damage or kill your plants.

Recommendation: Add 4″ of peat moss, till it into the soil, It will last five years or more.If you have an area that has poor drainage, you may add perlite or decayed ground bark mulch to the area. You may also raise beds to eliminate this problem.

Planting

 

It is always best to plant your bedding plants as quickly as possible, preferably the day they are purchased. If this is not possible, place plants in a shady, cool area and keep them moist. Purchase plants at the rate you will be able to plant them within a short period of time for best results. Plants should never be planted in the hottest part of the day.

Plant flowers slightly deeper than originally grown so that the root ball is slightly below the soil line. This helps the plants retain moisture until they are established. Geraniums and Salvia should be planted deeper for good support and better growing habits.

Pampering

 

Important Note: Ninety percent of all plant problems are physiological in nature; i.e., too much or too little water, fertilizer, sun or shade.
Throughout the growing season, plants will depend on you to maintain them with proper watering and food.

Watering Guidelines:

Water plants thoroughly when you water. Deep watering will encourage deep rooting of your plants and will make them much more drought tolerant. Shallow watering will cause your plants’ roots to come to the top of the soil for their water. As plants continually do this, they become weak and can die.

Soaker hoses do a good job. Sprinklers can cause much harm unless used on a periodic basis for long periods of time. If you do not have a soaker hose, just use a regular hose and water slowly until water has soaked down below the root level. It’s best to water plants in early morning hours. This reduces evaporation and is less harmful to the plants. DO NOT water during the hottest part of the day.

Fertilizing Guidelines:

“Plants are like children-they must be fed a balanced diet on a regular basis.” Fertilizing your plants on a regular basis will encourage good, healthy, green foliage, and abundant blooms. FOR GOOD GROWTH, plants need regular feeding.

Country Boy’s recommends and sells several quality fertilizers in both the water-soluble and time-release format. Following are some basic fertilization guidelines.

Time-Release (slow) – Examples of this type of fertilizer are Dynamite (lasts up to 9 months, one time fertilizer for the season). These fertilizers can be incorporated into the soil before planting or applied on top after planting. Each time it rains (or you water), fertilizer is released to feed your plants. Usually lasts three months.
Granular – This type should be spread around the plants after planting. Be sure to wash any fertilizer from the leaves. This type of fertilizer should NOT be incorporated into the soil. Also, it usually has a shorter life span than a time-release fertilizer; thus, requiring feeding more often.
Water-Soluble – This type of fertilizer usually gives quick feeding, but requires application every 7-10 days for best results.

Protecting

 

Insects and diseases can be very destructive to your plants. Keep a watch for slugs in your beds. They love our area and can do much harm very quickly. If you notice plants falling over at ground level or any silvery trails on plants, you very likely have slugs. You will need to use Slug Bait on a regular basis to keep them under control.

Mildew – Mildews (powdery, downy, etc.) can be controlled with a good fungicidal spray applied every two weeks. Mildews usually occur from July through the first fall frost.
Insects – The number one insect problem is usually army worms, They usually appear in August and September. This insect, as well as most others, can be controlled with a regular insecticidal spray applied every two weeks.

If you notice other damage and you suspect “critters,” insects, or disease problems, bring us a fresh-cut piece of plant material, we will be happy to assist you in solving your garden problem.