What Gardeners Need to Know for Spring

Spring is here! This is a busy time for nurseries, because it’s a busy time for gardeners. While you’re marketing and selling products this season, make sure that your customers are aware of what exactly they should be doing to prepare their gardens and landscapes this spring.

  • Tools should be seen to. Does anything need to be sharpened, repaired, or even replaced? Remind customers that the last thing they want is to be stuck halfway through a project without working tools. If your nursery doesn’t sell tools, consider partnering with a local business that does–both businesses can benefit from referrals.
  • Soil should be tested and appropriately treated to correct any imbalances. Lawns should be mowed, trimmed, and watered, and emerging weeds should be seen to. This is a good time for your customers to see to any insect problems as well. Make sure your customers also know to look out for lawn fungus and diseases.
  • And finally, plants should be cared for. Obviously, this is the time to plant many types of flowers, trees, and shrubs like the ones we stock at 3am Growers. Gardeners should also be trimming, mulching, feeding, watering, pruning, and checking on the health of their existing plants. Prepare your staff to answer many questions about how to care for plants–and not only the ones you sell.

Educating your customers will not only increase your business in the short-term; it will help to increase their satisfaction and long-term loyalty. If customers know they can trust you to give them good information, they’re more likely to come back and to recommend you to their friends!

Celebrate Trees for Arbor Day

April isn’t only National Lawn Care Month. It also includes Arbor Day on Friday, April 27th. 3am Growers is celebrating the same way we always do: by providing and caring for the trees that do so much to benefit us and our world.

You don’t have to look far from your front door to see the benefits of trees. They provide shade to our homes and lawns, give a degree of privacy to our lives, and insulate our homes against the noise of the outside world. They also improve quality of life in two very different ways, by providing a peaceful spot to rest under, or an exciting place for adventurous souls to climb!

Trees provide benefits for more than just humans, of course. Wildlife like birds, squirrels, and beneficial insects find homes, food, and building materials in their branches. Trees minimize runoff into water sources like streams and rivers, thus decreasing water pollution, and help prevent erosion if planted thoughtfully. Each tree can absorb thousands of gallons of stormwater, helping protect your home from flooding!

Perhaps their most well-known environmental benefit is the improvement of air quality. Not only do trees recycle carbon dioxide into oxygen, but they store carbon in their trunks and branches, decreasing the impact of global climate change. Trees also impact the temperature–they can reduce temperatures up to 7 degrees.

Celebrate Arbor Day and beyond by making sure your customers have access to a rich selection of beautiful, high-quality shade trees like those at 3am Growers.

Customer Education for National Lawn Care Month

April isn’t just the first real month of spring, it’s also National Lawn Care Month. We don’t provide lawn care services at 3am Growers, but that doesn’t mean we don’t know the importance of a healthy lawn. Good landscaping is crucial to healthy trees and shrubs. Now is a great time to educate your customers about the benefits and importance of fertilizing to yield the best blooms in the springtime.

Fertilizer can be tricky to understand, especially for beginners, so helping your customers is important. Your staff should fully understand and be able to thoroughly several important factors, such as:

  • How to read the guaranteed analysis and apply it to their soil after appropriate testing.
  • What the list of ingredients means, and which sources of nitrogen are best for their soil, climate, and plants.
  • What to fertilize, how much to fertilize, and where and when to apply fertilizer.
  • What varieties of fertilizer are only available to professionals, and how those can benefit them.
  • Applicable state, national, and local laws and ordinances regarding the safe use of fertilizer. This includes any HOA ordinances or guidelines. These can change often, so make sure you are completely up-to-date before you pass on any information!

Even if you do all the landscaping services for your customer base, a little extra education never hurt anyone. In fact, it’s often beneficial. If your customers trust that your staff are knowledgeable, friendly, and open to sharing, they’ll feel secure in their decision to entrust their home and business landscaping to your care.

Spring Highlight: Cleopatra Camellia Shrubs

Spring is finally here to stay, and that means it’s time to highlight some of the best plants for the season. Let’s talk about one of our favorites here at 3am Growers: the Cleopatra Camellia shrub!

Like its name would suggest, the Cleopatra Camellia is absolutely lovely. Its flowers are showy and abundant, with a rich rosy-pink color, and its foliage is rich, glossy, and evergreen. Your customers will be delighted by the combination of colors and will love how low-maintenance these shrubs are. These shrubs are not as popular as other types of camellias, which makes them a unique, fresh addition to any garden.

Cleopatra Camellia shrubs don’t need much to thrive. Give them acidic, moist soil with good drainage, shade or partial shade, and some shelter from urban pollution for best results. These showy shrubs don’t require a lot of pruning, though they will need thick mulching around the roots in the summer and the winter, especially when first planted. They are excellent for planting under power lines because they only grow to about six feet high. Because they thrive in shade and tend to be more compact than other camellias, they can even be potted and planted inside!

All of our shrubs are great for the environment as well as for landscaping aesthetics, and Cleopatra Camellia are a truly splendid specimen. Your customers will love this low-maintenance addition to their spring landscaping. Contact 3am Growers today to order for your nursery, or to answer any questions you might have about selling these pretty shrubs!

Winter Lawn Care Checklist

Spring may seem like it’s still a long way away, but from a lawn care standpoint, it’s right around the corner. February is a great time to start preparing your yard – and maybe even taking a look at some of the new trends in landscaping. Check out the 3AM Growers Lawn Care Checklist to see if you’re on track for a healthy spring lawn!

    • Get it Tidy! First things first: is there junk on your lawn? Leaves, debris, pine straw, residual snow or ice – all these things will contribute to mold, mildew, and lawn disease if left for too long. Regular raking will clean all this up so your yard looks and feels healthier. It will also help to keep your grass from getting trampled.
    • Check Your Soil. Most lawns need to be fed in the early spring, so have your lawn checked for nutrients and pH balance. The earlier you know what the issues are, the better chance you have of correcting them before spring.
    • Stay Sharp. Did you know your lawn mower blades need to be sharpened every year? If it’s been a while, now is the time to get on that. While you’re at it, take a look at all your gardening tools and see if any need repair or replacement.
    • Fight the Weeds. Pre-emergent herbicides are obviously best applied before the weeds appear. If the weather is nice enough, a little old-fashioned weeding is also a great excuse to spend some time outside.

With a little work now, your lawn will give you plenty of enjoyment and pride in the spring and beyond. Contact 3AM Growers with questions!

Planting Trees and Shrubs: A Guide

Now that February is here, it’s time to get busy planting! This is a great time to plant almost everything, so at 3AM Growers we’ve put together a guide to planting trees and shrubs.

A Guide to Planting Trees and Shrubsblossoming tree against blue sky

First of all, make sure you select the right tree for your lawn. This decision is crucial, so don’t neglect proper research! You’ll want to take soil conditions, space, climate, and underground conditions into consideration. A tree or shrub with a wide root system shouldn’t be planted near your septic system, for instance, unless you want to deal with costly and time-consuming repairs down the line. Similarly, tall trees shouldn’t be planted under the electrical wires. The experts at 3AM Growers can help you pick the tree or trees that will best suit your needs.

Once you’ve planted your tree or shrub, your job isn’t quite done. New plantings need extra care, especially watering. Drought shock is common in new trees, even in precipitation-heavy climates. That being said, overwatering is also a problem. If in doubt, dig down to the roots with a trowel and see if the soil is damp before watering. You’ll also need to protect new plantings from deer, weeds, and even grass. It’s best to keep a few feet of vegetation-free space around new trees so that established plants don’t steal all the water and nutrients.

Speaking of research, remember that all types of plants and shrubs are slightly different and will need their own specialized care. When in doubt, contact 3AM Growers and benefit from our experience and know-how!

Don’t Murder Your Myrtles!

If you have crape myrtles in your yard, you’re not alone–these beautiful trees are very popular in the American Southeast, and whether you spell it “crape myrtle” or “crepe myrtle”, it’s easy to see why so many people love them. They have beautiful flowers, lovely fall colors, and even attractive bark. Crape myrtles are best pruned in the winter because those beautiful blossoms only come from new growth. Before you pick up the pruning shears, though, check out these tips from 3AM Growers for how to prune your crape myrtles.

First of all, know that you don’t have to prune your crape myrtles so far they look like nothing but stumps. “Crape murder” isn’t necessary, and it can actually be detrimental to your trees, both aesthetically and physically. If your myrtle is getting too big, make sure you have the right plant in the right place–most myrtles grow to about 30 feet. Maybe it’s time to think about transplanting a problematic tree.

Crepe Myrtle Pruning Tips:

  • Start small. Remember, you can always go back and prune more, but you can’t put limbs back!
  • Aim for well-spaced branches that a bird could fly between.
  • Cut suckers (new growth) coming from the base of the tree first, and all side branches up to about four feet off the ground.

At 3AM Growers we stock many varieties of crepe myrtle trees to make a beautiful and useful addition to your home or business landscaping, blocking the view of roads, industrial spaces, and more! Contact us and let’s create beauty and privacy in your yard.

Landscape and Garden Trends in 2018

Landscaping is timeless in a lot of ways. After all, moving trees around isn’t easy, so it makes sense that most yards would resist being overly trendy! That being said, there’s plenty of room for seasonal and yearly variation in landscaping–and yes, even for following trends. Check out the top landscaping and gardening trends for 2018!

  • Smaller Gardens. If space is at a premium in your yard, don’t panic. Designing a small garden takes a little bit of thought, but the results are totally worth it! Think container gardens, creative use of space, and multi-purpose plant selections, like herbs for beauty and bug-repellant.
  • Craftsmanship. We live in a disposable, mass-produced world. In 2018, we’re focusing on the handmade and the finely crafted. Seeking out local artisans not only nets you better quality work, but also supports small business and improves your local economy.
  • Think of the Environment. Butterflies and bees have been in the news a lot lately, but they’re not the only beneficial critters suffering habitat loss. Creating your landscaping with birds, frogs, turtles, bees, and butterflies in mind will help the environment and keep your yard and garden healthy.
  • See for Yourself! Looking at pictures for landscaping ideas is all well and good, but why not go check out these places in person? Treat yourself to a tour of famous gardens and get some inspiration for yours.

And of course, don’t forget your best source for wholesale trees and shrubs: 3am Growers in Tallassee, AL. Call us for your wholesale needs!

Have a “Holly,” Jolly Christmas with 3am Growers!

holly and berriesChristmas is our favorite time here at 3am Growers in Tallassee, Alabama. And with holiday spirit in the air, we love seeing everyone’s Christmas decorations this time of year. A lot of decorations are put out for simple beauty, but some carry special symbolism that represents the holy renewal of love and light during the Christmas season. One of our favorites here at 3am Growers is the holly bush.

In a time when other plants and trees have gone bare, holly’s vibrant green leaves and stunning red berries shine through the winter gloom like a beacon of life and a reminder of the beauty in our world.

If you’re like us, you might be wondering where you can find some holly for your own home during the holidays. Luckily, we have a great selection here in our nursery! As a hearty winter plant, holly can add a touch of green and a little extra Christmas spirit to any landscape.

Holly has a long tradition of being a symbol of life during long, cold winters. During ancient solstice festivals, holly was prized for its shiny leaves and berried when all other plants were dormant for the winter. Because of its pointy leaves, it is also a symbol of Jesus’ thorny crown. Whatever holly means to you, though, there is no denying its beauty and vibrancy during a time when everything else can seem dark.

3am Growers is here throughout the Christmas season to help you add some beauty and symbolism to your yard. We also want to wish all of our customers a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! We hope to see you at our nursery to help us celebrate the season. If you have questions about holly or our other winter plants, give us a call or stop by today!

Transplanting Your Trees in Late Fall Equals Success!

dormant tree

Are you thinking about moving some of your trees or shrubs around in your yard? Or maybe it’s time to add some new greenery but you’re worried that it’s too cold out to do any gardening now that the weather has turned? Luckily, now is the perfect time for transplanting trees in Alabama and 3am Growers is here to help! When the weather gets cold, trees and shrubs go into dormancy. And that’s exactly when you should break out the shovels to move or plant a new tree in your yard.

How To Transplant A Tree

Transplanting a tree when the weather is warm can add a lot of stress to your plant. In the warmer months, trees are spending a lot of energy producing leaves, fruit, and new growth. Uprooting it during this time can place a lot of stress on the tree. Once we’ve gotten a good freeze, the tree will go dormant and you should be able to safely dig it up to move it.

Here’s how to transplant a tree:

Dig a wide hole to make sure you don’t sever mature root growth. Once you have your tree dug out, pick the location you want to relocate it to. Make a rough estimate of the root ball and dig a new hole about twice as wide. The new hole should also be an equal depth of the root ball. Digging a hole that’s too shallow exposes the roots and digging a hole that’s too deep will make it hard for the tree to get the water and food it needs.

Place your tree in the new hole and fill dirt around the roots but don’t pack it in too tightly. The roots will need some breathing room. Make sure to water the tree as soon as it’s been transplanted and let it be. Check the soil for moisture regularly for the next couple weeks, only adding water when the soil around the trunk is completely dry.

If you have any questions or need a little more advice, give the 3am Growers pros a call.