MOONSHINE DESIGNS NURSERY
Milan, Illinois
Trees, Shrubs, Perennials, Seeds Shipped To Your Door

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Culture and Growing Information


We wish you all the best in your gardening efforts and hope that you will be pleased with your new plants.  Please read and heed the following suggestions for obtaining the best results.  Culture for specific plants follows.
 
BEST WAY TO HANDLE YOUR NURSERY STOCK UPON ARRIVAL
1.  Unpack plants as soon as possible!
2.  Untie any bundles or remove plastic or remove packing materials (as the case may be) and spread plants out.  Check count for accuracy.  All plants are tagged with the variety or type; however, not every plant in a bundle of like plants is tagged.
3. Sprinkle tops and roots with water.  DO NOT SOAK IN A BUCKET OF WATER!  (Unless they are bog plants)
4.  Cover roots with damp packing material or damp newspaper to prevent drying.
5.  Once again, Do not soak your plants in a bucket of water for more than a few minutes!  This practice can wash off bacteria beneficial to their growth and could actually drown the plant by depriving the roots of oxygen.
6.  Plant at once, if possible.  Perennials, trees, and shrubs are not harmed by frost!!  The earlier they are planted, the quicker they will start to establish in your garden or yard.  If it is not possible to plant at once, “Heel” them into the garden by covering the roots with soil in a trench.  Keep watered until ready to plant out.  Once again, don’t soak in a bucket of water!


 CARE DURING PLANTING     
 Protect the roots from drying at all times:  Before any are taken to your planting site, the roots need to be dampened.  They should be carried in a plastic bag  Keep roots moist and covered!  Keep out of the sun and away from drying winds!
Minimize root pruning:  This can cause more harm than good.  If planting out potted plants, remove the container and plant as-is without breaking up or scoring the roots.  The plants are not pot-bound and disturbing the roots will only set them back!  The more healthy, active roots that a plant has, the better it will survive and grow.  Therefore, be very cautious about pruning root systems to make your stock easier to plant.  If roots are broken, trim just enough to make a clean cut.  Remember:  It is better to make a bigger hole to accommodate the whole root system than to cut roots.  If roots are broken or damaged, and need to be pruned, use a sharp knife, pruners, or clippers.  Do not tear roots off with your hands.
Proper planting:  As a general rule, plants should be planted slightly deeper in the ground than they were in our nursery unless otherwise noted in the specific culture for that plant.  Spread the roots evenly within the planting hole, and close the hole completely. 
Pack soil firmly around roots and add water.  But, don't stomp!  This will over pack the soil.  Make sure that you don't leave any air pockets that would allow roots to dry out.  Leave a slight depression when finished to collect water or rainfall.
Do not incorporate or top dress with any type of  fertilizer when planting unless otherwise noted in culture for that plant.  Fertilize only after the plants have become established.   Exception:  Slow release fertilizer tablets or prills (Osmocote) can be used at planting time  provided there is an inch or so of soil between tablet or prills and roots.
DON'T PLANT TOO DEEP!
Correct depth:  The finish soil line is about one inch above top root.  The roots are spread out and soil is tamped with a slight depression to catch rain water.
The wrong depth:  The plant is planted too deep.  Wrong method:  Roots are twisted and curled.
The wrong depth:  The plant is planted too shallow.  Wrong method:  Roots are exposed to air, which will kill the plant.
 
Watering:  It is important to maintain watering of new plantings during dry spells for at least the first year.  Water thoroughly and deeply.  Don't assume that because the top of soil appears wet your plants are watered.  It's the water that reaches the root zone that is beneficial.  A good soaking should require about an hour.  Don't attempt to flood the are in a short time.  This will only lead to run off and will not have time to soak in.  To be sure, check the soil six inches or more under the surface. 
Fertilizing:  Use only slow-release fertilizer tablets or prills  for the first growing season unless otherwise noted.   The fast dissolving granular and liquid fertilizers can be too strong for new plantings and could "burn" the new planting or induce lush, soft growth which will not survive high temperatures or winter.  Established plants will benefit the most by applying fertilizing about a month before bud break.  This will allow the fertilizer to migrate into the root zone and be available for use by the plant when the plant needs more nutrients for spring growth. Watch your formulation!  Excessive nitrogen will result in lush, soft growth that is subject to winter kill and can also result in a lack of fruiting on those plants where fruit is expected.
Mulching:  Always a good idea!  In severe winter areas, plants should be mulched in the fall with grass clippings, straw or leaves.  Be sure that the mulch does not "mat" down.
Injuries from dogs and cats.  This will  cause lower branches to turn brown and, in some cases can kill the plant as the result of dogs urinating on plants.  This can be prevented by placing a low wire fence around the plant, or using animal repellant pellets.
In areas with snowfall:  Salt spray from streets and highways is very injurious to plants.  Be sure to set plants far enough back from street that they will not be splashed by salt spray.
NOTE:  Some dormant plants will not show signs of growth for up to 6 weeks after planting.  Some plants will develop new root growth long before showing any top growth.  This is especially true on raspberries and blackberries!  Maintain proper care, watering, and weeding.  Be patient!!
Know your Planting ZONE!!
Poor growth or death of the plant may result if grown in zones that they are not suitable for.  Know your planting zone!!  Proper planting zones are listed with every perennial, shrub and tree we offer.
The USDA created numbered zones indicating average winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.
Plants indicated with a zone of 3-8, for example are suitable for use in those areas.  If you live in a lower numbered zone, then it may very well not survive the winter.  If you live in a zone with a higher number, the lack of enough freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).  Or, it may be too hot and humid for survival.    A winter dormancy period is required for many trees, shrubs, and perennials.
The above map indicates by number the zone as issued by the USDA.  There are microclimates.  A microclimate is an area where a plant is protected from extremes by some type or shelter or protected area.  As an example, we are located in zone 5a (the northern part of zone 5).  We use the ornamental grass Toffee Twist adjacent to our outdoor deck.  This grass is listed as hardy to zone 7, but survives the winter here because of the sheltered location where it is planted.  Sometimes, plants can be grown one zone "colder" if well protected over winter.  However, the inverse is not true in most cases where it gets either too hot or the winter is too short.
 
Cultures
Listed by common names
Latin name follows
American Arborvitae  Thuja occidentalis
American Redbud  Also known as Eastern Redbud  (Cersis)
Armenian Basket Flower  (Centaurea macrocephala)
Balloon Flower
Barberry culture   (Berberis)
Bayberry, Northern
Beans, Peas
Berry culture  (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry)
Betula Papyrifera (Paper White Birch)
Bittersweet
Blanket Flower   (Gaillardia)
Burning bush   (Euonymus alatus & Euonymus alatus compactus )
Canna
Chokeberry
Coneflower  (purple, white, Rudbeckia family, Echinacea family)
Coral Bells (Heuchera)
Day Lilly
Dogwood  (Cornus family)
Euphorbia  (Spurge)
Forsythia
Flowering Almond
Gourds
Holly
Honeylocust, Thornless
Honeysuckle culture
Hosta
Hydrangea
Juniper
Lavender
Liatris
Lilac
Mexican Hat Flower
Mints
Okra
Ornamental grasses
Pachysandra
Paper White Birch  Betula Papyrifera
Peppers
Privet
Privet, hardwood cuttings
Purple Leaved Sand Cherry
Seed Stratification Instructions
Sedums   Upright types; “Autumn Joy”, "Frosty Morn", "Pink Joy"  
Sedum, "Chubby Fingers" Ground Cover types
Serviceberry
Viburnum
Weeping Pussy Wilow
Weigela
Willow  (black, pink, silver, rabbit's foot, contorted, weeping, Salix family)
Witch hazel

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