If you have a tree in Utah, you most likely know who James Batton is. If not, you should! We are super grateful to James for joining us in May, live in our Facebook Group to share his knowledge of trees and using them to create waterwise landscapes.
If you missed the live, you can watch the video here, or keep reading for our main takeaways.
But first, a little more about James:
James Batton, a locally famed arborist, started his horticultural journey at 19 working for Oregon State University at their horticultural and agriculture research facility.
Over a career that has spanned 40 years, he has learned a great deal about the health, longevity, propagation, and care of plants. His experience as a certified arborist, estate gardener, and landscape contractor has provided him with first-hand knowledge as to where a plant will thrive as well as where it fits in a well-designed landscape.
Simultaneously he has dedicated his time to volunteering as a teacher, instructor, guide, and advisor in settings amongst nature. He had a natural draw from childhood to the way all of nature, especially trees, reflect life lessons for us all and are continually used in ancient wisdom’s teaching.
With all of James’ knowledge, we knew he would be the perfect guest to answer some of the questions we have been receiving regarding trees and waterwise landscapes.
Here are some of his main take-aways:
Trees provide shade. Shade brings down the temperature of your yard. A landscape with more shade greatly reduces the amount of water you will need because plants within the shade of the tree don’t need as much water as those in the sun. Shady and sheltered areas dry out more slowly.
A perfectly manicured, green, grassy lawn has been established as an ideal but the truth is, grass & turf are an expensive, time-consuming, high-maintenance ground cover. And they require a lot of water!
Once established, most trees will require much less water than a grassy lawn. Instead of running a sprinkler every day, trees will only require watering once a week or even every few weeks.
Some of James’ favorite waterwise trees are conifers. Not only do they provide beautiful, year-round foliage, but they don’t require frequent waterings once they are established.
While we are on the subject though, James shared some best practices for watering trees:
No two trees or shrubs are created equal. As James points out, we live in a desert and many of our trees are shipped in and are used to different climates and weather conditions. Will you and your yard be able to care for the tree in the way it will need?
One of the biggest mistakes James sees when it comes to tree planting is that the right tree is planted in the wrong place because it was:
When it comes to planting trees, planting depth is paramount. If it's too deep all the proper watering in the world won’t help the tree establish itself.
For waterwise landscapes, you must select the right tree for your yard and know the best place to plant it.
Every yard is unique so there isn’t a one size fits all option. Arborists like James Batton and the experts here at Glover Nursery are always happy to help you on your waterwise landscape journey. We are always here to answer your questions!
James releases new episodes of The James Batton Show on his Youtube Channel every Wednesday. The weekly videos address relevant and current information about all things trees and gardening. You can also get in touch with him about his services and classes on his website JamesBatton.com.
The heat is here and it reminds us how lucky we are to have beautiful, waterwise perennials in our garden. With the increasing population here in Utah, conserving water is definitely a top priority.
There are many great resources in Utah for guidance on water conservation while gardening. We've shared many of these programs with you over the years: Utah Department of Water Resources, Conservation Garden Park, USU Extension Services, Red Butte Conservation Garden and Localscapes are all programs or resources we love. They all have Utah specific guidance with truly beautiful results.
Glover Nursery’s own landscape department participates in the Localscape design program. If you have done a Localscape design, you might have even worked with one of our experts to create your own waterwise oasis!
These make our top 7 for a number of reasons: beauty, aromatic, quick to establish, pollinators love them, season round interest, and of course, water-wise. We were going to just do 5, but it was impossible to narrow the list down that far.
Commonly used for aromatherapy, Lavender is also an amazing plant for attracting pollinators. The purple flower wands bloom prolifically. The flowers create a lovely compliment to their grayish-green leaves and stems. Lavender loves the full sun and, once they are established, can tolerate a great deal of heat and drought.
Distinctive, fleshy foliage combined with bright flowers, Sedum is a great, waterwise addition to your garden design. They do better with more sun, tolerate low water well, and add a bright pop of color later in the season. The texture and color of the leaves prior to flowering add some visual interest and contrast in the mix.
One other plant category to consider are perennial grasses – while it is ‘grass’, they are not the lawn. Perennial grasses are waterwise and they add striking visual interest with nice contrast that compliments the blooming perennials listed above.
Of course, there are loads more waterwise plants to choose from than just these 7 (ok, 8) that will work for your project. Still, we hope this gives you a good starting point for your new park strip.
If you're interested in learning more about waterwise solutions for your garden check out the “Flip Your Strip” rebate program. This wonderful program gives an easy way to start moving toward a waterwise yard. You can check out the guidelines and qualifications here. If you are eligible, you even get money for swapping out your lawn for some truly beautiful perennials.
While they do have a few fantastic examples of how you could design your park strip, the design options are limitless.
And, as always, if you have any questions, we are here to help. Come on down and see us at 9275 South 1300 West.
As a family business that has been part of the Salt Lake valley for over 130 years, one of the things we are constantly evaluating is what we can do to help our community. We want to be able to provide you with helpful, relevant, and insightful knowledge having to do with all aspects of gardening. We are all working very hard to be safe and stay healthy during this unprecedented time as we all adjust and grow with this "new normal".
As gardeners, one thing we keep coming back to to stay grounded during this time, is the very real therapeutic benefit of gardening.
The phrase “Garden Therapy” is one that’s been used for decades for a variety of reasons. Often it was a bit tongue-in-cheek when we bought a few more perennials than we told our spouse we would. However, these past few years has brought the THERAPY of gardening to the forefront of our minds. We know from experience the benefits of garden therapy.
There are untold benefits from gardening for our mental health. From digging in the dirt, caring for plants, watching them grow, harvesting our own food or maybe even creating beautiful bouquets to enjoy around the house.
Entire programs have been built around the physical and psychological benefits of working in a garden. There are some truly interesting studies being done in the field of horticultural therapy. This article from Psychology today hits the nail on the head.
Though we are not trained therapists, we are trained gardening experts. Within the overall theme of “gardening therapy” are dozens upon dozens of reasons that we’ve found create a sense of peace and wellbeing.
We did a poll recently in our Glover Gardening Group on Facebook to see what people found to be the most beneficial aspects of gardening. Here are the top 4 answers from you our gardening community.
Be it English style or traditional Japanese Zen, your garden reflects your own tastes and preferences. Whether you grow at home or in a community garden, your garden is your own. This makes it much more enjoyable to spend time outside in the yard. If you’re new to gardening, we highly recommend working with a landscape designer to give some expert guidance and avoid costly mistakes. Garden design is personal but a landscape architect will work with you to create your dream landscape.
From early spring blooms like Crocus or Pansies to late fall blooms like Coneflower or Mums, there is something that will bring color and texture to your garden all season long. Flowers bring a sense of joy with their blossoming. There are other benefits to be had as well – tinctures, cooking, aromatic satchels, or just a bright bouquet on the dining table.
During a regular year it is nice to pick your own tomato or gift a neighbor with some of the extra zucchini you’ve grown by hand. But during times like this, there is something deeply comforting in growing your own veggies, herbs and fruits.
It’s a fun experience, but also a deeply satisfying one. When your first harvest is ready and you get to enjoy the fruits of your labor (pun intended) you will not regret the time spent in your garden. Check this link to see what veggies and herbs are available and ready to plant now at Glover Nursery.
With everything going on the gym may not be a viable option for many people right now so as we wait for things to normalize, there is always exercise in the garden. Being in the garden, digging, pulling weeds, and planting all are great forms of exercise. You'll be working different muscle groups and burning some calories. No, it’s not the same as a Crossfit session, but it’s better than nothing!
A study in the Preventative Medicine Journal reported the results of a meta-analysis of research examining the effects of gardening, including horticultural therapy, on health. They found substantive evidence to suggest that gardening can "improve physical, psychological, and social health, which can, from a long-term perspective, alleviate and prevent various health issues facing today's society."
If gardening is something that appeals to you, we are here to help. No matter your experience level, whether you are a novice who has no idea where to get started or an expert that would love something new to bring to your experience, there's the perfect gardening task for you.
We will keep you updated on everything we have coming in this spring to make your 2022 gardening season, the best yet!
We look forward to seeing or speaking with you soon. Happy Therapy!
Myths about planting in the fall:
These are a few myths we want to bust about planting trees and shrubs this time of year. They aren’t true! Fall is one of the BEST times of year to get those beauties in the ground. We are going to share the nitty gritty of why with you right here, right now.
The leaves, yes, will be falling off deciduous trees and shrubs over the next month or two. But your plant is still alive. In fact, Trees and Shrubs do 80% of their rooting in the fall! 80%!!! All that energy that had been going into keeping those leaves green and strong is now being directed into the root systems.
Planting new items in the fall, with proper watering techniques, ensures that you are giving the best possible focus on establishing those new plants faster. And because the plants are focused on rooting they will have stronger and deeper roots. Come spring, the leaves will be back – better, stronger and faster for having given the roots some focused time to proliferate.
While you can plant any time of year, and spring is a great time to do so, we highly recommend planting in the fall. New plants focus their energy into the root system rather than the leaves. This means they will establish themselves more quickly in the fall. The main difference between fall planting and spring planting is the price. In the fall you have an amazing selection to choose from, but it’s all on sale.
Glover Nursery brings in truckloads of fresh product specifically for fall and we immediately put it on sale. Why do we do this? Well, we love our customers. We love having a huge selection year-round for our beloved customers. And, we LOVE helping give these beautiful plants the best possible start to their new life in your yard (and as we mentioned they do 80% of their rooting in the fall, so…..it’s a win-win-win, major, jumbo, love-fest for us all).
The shape of the tree with or without the leaves on it is going to change, drastically so, over the next few years. No matter what size tree you buy now, the canopy will develop, branch out and expand. The full-grown shape for a tree will always be the direction the tree grows, but the tree you buy today will not be the same in a year – it will literally branch out.
We find that choosing the tree without leaves better allows you to select a tree with strong structure and balanced branching. This bare bones beauty will only be enhanced when the leaves come on in spring. And, the faster it establishes a strong, healthy root system, the faster it will grow those leaves. (we are noticing a theme here now, aren’t we? Spring=flowers, Fall=rooting powers)
Is it though? Unless the ground is frozen and you can’t dig a hole, you can still plant a tree or shrub. If you are able to dig up the soil, those roots will be able to grow into the soil. And, maybe this is TMI, but I sure do prefer all that sweaty work when the temps are lower. Actually, I have my brothers do it for me because they are the best….but, even still, cooler weather makes them happier to help.
There really isn’t a reason to let the cooler weather stop you from planting. Unless, that is, you just do not like being outside if it dips below 60 degrees. In which case, we raise our cup of hot cocoa to you. We will be here in the summer when you are ready to be outdoors again.
Winter watering is a concern. Many people think that snow melt is enough to water trees and shrubs, but it really isn’t. That soft, fluffy snow melts down into very little water and does not reach those roots.
It’s important to remember that the ground does not stay frozen all the time, it thaws and refreezes throughout the season. When it thaws, those little roots are active and searching for a water source. Even trees you planted in spring will still need winter watering. The snow melt won’t do the trick.
Turning your sprinklers on in winter isn’t necessary, in fact it is detrimental. However, getting some deep soaking into those roots at least once a month is imperative. If you don’t want to hook up your hose in winter, there is a great trick that Rod Glover recommends: dump a few tumblerfuls of ice around the root zone – this way, when it does thaw enough to melt, the ice will water the tree at the exact right time. And, most folks have ice makers that keep those glossy cubes coming all day, so it takes barely any time or effort.
SO, there you have it. Myth-busting complete. Combine this with Ryan's video on water saving techniques, pop in some gorgeous fall blooming perennials, and you have the powerful formula for true fall gardening success.
And, as always, we are here to help with any questions you may have.
See you soon!
A lot of people think that you can't plant in the summer/early fall. We have a lot of people ask us is it safe to plant in the heat? Can I still plant? The answer is yes you can! And, you can be very successful. As Ryan Glover likes to say, "if you can dig, you can plant." If you like to dig in the late summer/early fall then why not add some instant shade?
All of the plants and trees we have in the nursery are ready to plant. If you're looking to add a few more trees and shrubs to your yard for some cooling shade, now is a great time to do it. You will want to keep in mind Ryan's 5 tips for planting in the heat.
Learn more about watering techniques here....Remember slow, deep watering is best to give your new plants a great start.
Summer is here and that means so is the heat. We get a lot of people wanting to reduce wasted water, which is awesome. We have five easy water saving tips for you. Don't be nervous about depriving your much-loved plants and potentially causing them harm. Our top 5 tips to help save water will have both your water bill and your plants happy.
There are many small adjustments that add up to significant progress for water conservation. Some big tasks like installing a drip system may be more of a long-term goal project. However, there are also many small things you can do today to make a large difference in saving water.
Helping our water supply while saving money on your water bill…that's the goal. AND, extra bonus, you'll be giving your plants the best possible support. Many of these recommendations are actually the best thing for your plants. That’s like winning the plant lottery and water lottery at the same time! Here are our top 5 ways to help you save water.
Water your lawn early in the morning, between 4-7am. When we water lawns in the middle of the day, the majority of that water goes straight into the air and evaporates before it ever hits your lawn. Many sprinkler heads turn water into tiny drops and those tiny drops evaporate fast in the heat.
When you water before the air is hot more of the water will actually reach the lawn, and therefore the roots, where the water is needed. The result, less time is needed to water and therefore less water is used (and wasted). For more lawn specific ideas, check our last blog post, Summer Lawn Tips.
Your sprinkler system can be adjusted to work smarter. You can make quick changes to your sprinkler system like correct where the heads spray, adjust clocks throughout the year as seasons change and make sure none of the lines are broken. These quick changes will save hundreds of gallons of water in one season. The simple things can really add up! Monitoring your sprinkler system is the simplest way to start.
A great resource for other sprinkler related recommendations to reduce water waste can be found at scienTurfic Sod.
Water at the base of your trees, shrubs, and perennials to save water. Spraying the leaves and trunks can actually cause damage in the heat. Plus, it doesn’t solve the problem of the water reaching the roots where it is needed.
It is extremely important to deep soak new plants during their establishment phase. To deep soak new plants, turn your hose to a very slow trickle. Place the hose about 4-6” from the base of the stem or trunk of your new plant. The length of watering time needed depends on the size of the root ball. For smaller 1-5 gallon size plants, 10-15 minutes twice a week should be sufficient. For larger trees and shrubs, we recommend 10 minutes per inch caliper on the tree (i.e. a large 4” caliper tree requires 40 minutes of soaking).
Established plants are plants that have been in your landscape for a year or more. Two years or more for larger trees. We recommend installing a drip system or micro-emitter. The benefit of these systems is there is zero water waste. All of the water is put directly into the soil where it is needed. These systems emit water at such a slow rate that the water absorbs deeper and deeper into the soil. Achieving our ultimate goal, getting the water to those grounding roots.
This might seem obvious, but if your soil is still wet from previous watering it likely can wait another day or two. This includes rain-storms. The recommended way to check if your soil is wet is what my grampa called “the finger test”. It is a very simple water saving test. Stick your finger in the soil up to your second knuckle. If you feel moisture, no need to water. This simple check will save you hundreds of gallons of water waste.
Clay soil holds more water, sandy soil dries faster. If you have more clay base, you do not need to water as often. Clay base soils do need to be watered deeper.
Sandy soil needs less watering at any given time. But it will need slightly more frequent watering. Knowing your soil type will save you water, time, money and hassle. And, your plants will thrive when you combine proper watering technique with the appropriate soil type.
There are loads more ways you can reduce, or even eliminate, water waste. looking for even more ideas to help save water? There are wonderful local resources available. Check out some of the following.
If you have any great tips that you don’t see, let us know! There are probably loads of great water-saving inventions out there we haven’t seen yet and would love to share. After all, when it comes to reducing water waste, we are all in it together.
We love these jewels of the sky! These beautiful birds arrive in Utah in late April/mid-May and stay through September. It's best to prepare your habitat before hummingbirds arrive. However, it's not too late to attract these fascinating birds to your yard.
Many migratory hummingbirds, the breeding natives, arrive in Utah sometime in April or early May. It varies year to year depending on changing environmental factors. Like many wild animals, the male of the species is much more flashy than the female. They normally have colorful throats and tails and sometimes will whistle as they fly.
The best way to attract these jewels of the sky is to provide the necessities for their perfect habitat. The more of these you can provide in your own backyard the better chance you will have of daily hummingbird visitors. We've put together 5 guiding principles to make the perfect Hummingbird Habitat in your Utah yard.
When you bring up hummingbirds most people think immediately of red sugar water. But, that's not the only way to attract hummingbirds. A hummingbird feeder is a great way to supplement native sources of nectar in your yard. However, using native and non-native plants is the best source for these active birds.
Thoughtful plantings of native nectar sources can provide an uninterrupted food source throughout their stay. Because hummingbirds are well adapted to native plants they are the best way to invite hummingbirds to your yard. Native plants also make your yard a perfect nesting spot year after year.
Consider adding the following fantastic sources of nectar to your landscape.
We have the best Hummingbird Feeder Recipe. Again, we want to make sure and point out that a hummingbird feeder should be used as a second source of food for these busy little birds.
Supplemental feeders should be filled with a solution of four parts water to one part white sugar. Feeders can ferment if left too long. Keep your feeder fresh by cleaning them well and replacing sugar water before it begins to ferment.
Sometimes hummingbirds become territorial of a feeder. To avoid this behavior feeders should hang at a distance from each other or out of sight from one another.
Shallow water attracts hummingbirds. Traditional birdbaths tend to be too deep for these tiny birds. As a solution, you can fill your birdbath part way with pebbles and rocks to make them more suitable. We have a variety of birdbaths available at the nursery and filler too!
Hummingbirds also like moving / natural bird baths. They will bathe in sprinklers, misters and water droplets that have collected on large leaves. Planting Cannas and Hostas in your yard will create a natural birdbath for hummingbirds.
Hummingbirds will create their home in a place with natural materials readily available. Providing perching sites, nesting sites and nesting material is a great way to encourage hummingbirds to take up residence in your yard. And keep them from using your yard as just a pass through.
Trees, shrubs and vines offer protection from predators. These are also the perfect place to build a nest. Preferable nesting materials include moss, lichens, and fur. Pappus from seeds such as dandelions, thistle, aster and asclepias cotton also make great nesting materials. Surprisingly, spider webs are an especially important nest component.
Nature is it's own best exterminating system. Spiders and insects are a protein-packed meal for hummingbirds. We knew we loved these busy little birds!
Hummingbirds also use spider webs for nest building. Keeping an organic garden will allow nature to work at it's best. A well-balanced backyard ecosystem is essential for providing sources of protein.
For more information on hummingbirds visit
My 3-year old niece came tearing into gramma’s house the other day screaming, with delight, “My plants are growing, Gramma! My plants are growing!!”. She was so excited she could barely contain herself. She kept running around the house in circles, absolutely over the moon that “her” plants had grown.
It was one of those moments that, as a 5th generation member of a family whose business it is to help gardens thrive, made we wonder...how do we get kids to have this kind of love for gardening at such a young age? What was it that made my little niece want to jump back out into the dirt with her colorful shovel and help gramma grow her tomatoes?
We did a bit of polling among our gardening experts. Drumroll Please! It seems like there are a few ways to get the entire family gardening, and actually enjoying it, together!
Whether you are laying out an entirely new landscape design, planting a veggie garden or just refreshing a flower bed with a few annuals, let the kids be involved. If they get to select the tree you take home, or even just one small annual, they feel important. That feeling of ownership will have them more invested in the success of that plant. Plus, with their creative minds, they may pick a color or texture you would never have thought of. Sometimes a new perspective can make the landscape stand out even more beautifully.
Let your kids plot out a bit of dirt to take care of themselves. Even if they are too little to properly plant something, they can help in small ways. Suggest they pick up little sticks or debris (leaves, etc.) that may have fallen in the garden. If they are a little older, and with a bit of direction, they can help with weeding, cutting flowers for indoor décor and harvesting when the time has come. Then, of course, for the eldest, there is the all-important mowing of the lawn.
Kids will love being part of the process from start to finish. They might even be more excited about eating the veggies they have taken such good care of throughout the season.
Little hands need little tools. Gardening tools that fit their hands and are easy to use will make your kids excited to get dirty. There are some really cute gardening toys out there that are light-weight, durable and actually work! Kids can truly help with digging without yielding an overly heavy shovel designed for big hands.
We love and use Melissa & Doug for our little gardeners, they make great, long-lasting products. We even started carrying them, available now in our main store. However, there are others available on the market that will work and make it fun. We've seen good sets at local drug stores and Target.
Make the project a good challenge for their age, but not so overwhelming they end up unable to finish. While this is different for every family and every child, you'll know your child's skill level best.
Of course, there are some givens, a 3-year old won’t be able to mow the lawn and a 14-year old will likely get very bored picking up sticks. Find a project that challenges them enough to make them feel successful.
Grows together! Enjoy the side effects of spending time with your family in the garden. You will have given your kids something to be proud of while exposing them to nature, taught them where their food comes from and instilled in them a sense of accomplishment and pride. And, maybe just shortened your personal chore list a bit in the process.
Nest step? Use that extra time to cuddle up and watch a movie together before a rest-filled bedtime. Because, as we all know, physical activity helps promote deeper sleep and better rest.
Give them the gift of gardening and build their love of gardening right alongside yours.
We hope this short list triggers some ideas. We'd love to know how you get your kids involved in the garden in a fun and easy way.
As always, if you have any questions, we are here to help.
We know, it's spring, and it's so easy to get caught up with all the beautiful spring flowers that add an instant pop of color to your yard. However, with a little bit of prep work on your lawn, you can have the perfect, lush green yard as a backdrop for your garden beds.
This may seem self-explanatory but the best way to start your lawn off for spring is by exposing it to the sun! Leftover winter debris can create problem areas on your yard and welcome bacteria and disease.
Let your lawn breathe. Aerating your lawn keeps the soil from compacting and gives the grass roots room to expand as they grow.
Sprinkler systems, just like AC and heating units have a tendency to break right when you need them the most. It's a good idea to check your sprinkler system for any weak spots or breaks that happened over the winter. A broken sprinkler system won't help your grass and you'll end up
wasting water. It's also a good idea to check where your sprinklers
are spraying. Try and keep the water off of driveways and sidewalks.
Late March / Early April is a good time to apply pre-emergent and fertilizer to your lawn. Pre-emergent will prevent perennial weeds like dandelions, morning glory and thistle from taking root in your lawn.
We love Fertilome Weed Out Pro Turf because it feeds the lawn, kills Dandelions and stops Crabgrass germination in one easy application.
The beautiful white blanket of snow that was here this winter may have left some brown spots on your lawn. Mid-April is the perfect time to over seed these brown spots in your lawn. If you are going to over seed you should not apply a pre-emergent.
Early springtime in Utah is a fairly wet season and nature will provide most of the water that your lawn needs. In general, you should not need to water your lawn in March and very little in April unless you are watering in fertilizer. If you think your lawn seems dry you can water every two weeks. A good test to see if your lawn is dry is to use a screwdriver to test your lawn. If the screwdriver comes out with a little soil attached it's good.
Grass tends to grow quickly in early spring and a good trim once a week will help your lawn focus it's energy on growing a strong root system. Well-sharpened lawnmower blades help make a clean cut of your lawn and prevent tearing of the blades and roots.
With these 7 tips for a lush green yard under your gardening belt, you should be well on your way to the summer-perfect green football lawn that we all love. Have a lawncare secret to share? We'd love to hear it! Join us on our Facebook page and share your top lawncare tips.