THE KSL GREENHOUSE SHOW

The good and bad of garden catalogs

Jan 7, 2022, 4:29 PM | Updated: 4:30 pm

subscription boxes for home - home maintenance...

Photo: Adobe Stock

The Good and The Bad of Garden Catalogs

One of my favorite things is getting plant catalogs in the dead of winter. I enjoy seeing all of the wonderful plants. I have noticed that other gardeners also love these catalogs but are sometimes disappointed when the plants they ordered fail. As with most things research is needed when ordering for later success. Below is a list about positive aspects of catalogs as well as things to be cautious about. Even though I am referencing catalogs, the same holds true for ordering plants online.

Benefit

Gardening catalogs have a wide selection of plants that are often not very available locally. This especially goes for perennials, annuals, and vegetables. Further, some things I order include short season peanuts or sweet potatoes.

Caution

The caution about the huge selection is that you really need to be aware of whether the plant will survive locally or be willing to risk the plant doing poorly in your yard. To offset this, research ahead of time the plants you are interested in.

Benefit

Most catalogs use the USDA Cold Hardiness Zones as a standardized way to determine cold hardiness for their customers. What zone you are in is determined by tracking the average low temperature in a given area over a rolling twenty-year period. For example, Nephi, UT, is considered to be USDA Zone 5 or 6. In zone 5, the average low varies from -10 F to -20 F in a given year. Zone 6 has an average low from -10 F to 0 F.

Caution

Because these are average lows, it will likely get colder. And so, a Zone 6 plant such as the English laurel, is periodically damaged in Zone 6 when we have cold winters because it does not tolerate temperatures much below 0 F to -5 F. Another aspect to consider is that cold hardiness is not the only determining factor for whether a plant will thrive in our climate.

Benefit

The arid west is unique from the rest of the country. This allows many beautiful plants that may struggle in wetter climates to thrive here. Some include red yucca, many species of hummingbird mint, blanket flower, and sedums. These are often more available from regional specialty companies such as High Country Gardens. But they are worth trying.

Caution

Our unique region includes high pH soils (aka alkaline soils). The challenge is that many common landscape plants develop nutrient deficiencies such as iron, zinc, magnesium, and manganese. Alkaline soil causes these nutrients to not be as water soluble. Therefore, the nutrients are not absorbed by roots in sufficient amounts to keep the plant healthy. Landscape plant species that commonly suffer from this include dogwood trees, red oaks, red maple, silver maple, Autumn Blaze maple, sugar maple, rhododendrons/azaleas, and others.

Benefit

Many catalogs list plants that grow quickly. If you have areas of the landscape that need a fast-growing hedge, an empty area that could be filled by a groundcover, they can be an advantage. Faster growing hedge plants include dwarf blue arctic willow, various privets, and red twig dogwood. Groundcovers that fill in relatively quickly include vinca minor and plumbago for shaded areas. For sunnier areas, creeping jenny, creeping potentilla, and ajuga are great.

Caution

There are many considerations when planting fast growing landscape species. For example, they can be difficult to contain in a specific area. Another especially includes fast-growing trees. These can overwhelm smaller yards, become messy and are short lived due to being susceptible to dozens of pests and diseases. To make matters worse, these ultra-fast-growing trees are often planted too closely to buildings and may eventually damage buildings from both the roots and falling limbs. Trees that fit this description include cottonwoods, poplars, Siberian elms, as well as weeping and globe willows. As you drive through more established neighborhoods, it is common to see a mature cottonwood or willow tree with a canopy that reaches from the middle of the street over the top of the house in the yard it was planted. If they need to be removed, it costs thousands of dollars.

 

Tune into the KSL Greenhouse Show for more! Every Saturday from 8 – 11AM. 102.7 FM, 1160 AM, www.kslnewsradio.com/listen

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

The KSL Greenhouse Show

weed control with lawn pre-emergent...

Mitchell von Puttkammer

Controlling weeds using lawn pre-emergent

KSL Greenhouse Show Hosts Maria Shilaos and Taun Beddes dig in deep on weed control and where you should start.

10 days ago

planting trees in a container...

Mitchell von Puttkammer

Dig, clip, water: Planting trees in spring

It's a great time of year to plant trees, but where do you start? KSL Greenhouse Hosts Maria Shilaos and Taun Beddes dig up everything you need to know to get started.

16 days ago

maple syrup buckets on trees, local maple syrup in utah is difficult to get...

Mitchell von Puttkammer

Project aims to make local maple syrup more available

Can you buy local maple syrup? You can, but it's not easy. Utah State University is trying to change that with the Maple Tree Tapping Project.

23 days ago

Renewal pruning is the process of going inside the shrub and removing anywhere from 20% to 25% of t...

Michelle Lee

What is renewal pruning?

Many of KSL Greenhouse listeners have asked questions about pruning. To help answer some of them, KSL Greenhouse Hosts Taun and Maria introduced a process called renewal pruning.

28 days ago

Seed-starting kits are available. These can be convenient because they include the soil, the trays,...

Michelle Lee

Here’s how to start your seeds indoors

The time for spring seed starting is here. Here are some of the basics that you need to know before starting seeds indoors.

1 month ago

Tulips are bulbs that you plant in the fall so they can be ready in the spring. They typically come...

Michelle Lee

It’s time for tulips to bloom

Tulips are getting ready to bloom. If you planted these in the fall, your garden will soon be filled with bright and colorful bulbs.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Live Nation Concerts

Artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

The good and bad of garden catalogs