Category: Horticulture

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Mulching around the Zoo

  Mulching annual and perennial beds is a fall/ winter chore here at the zoo. The following are the benefits to mulching. Mulching keeps moisture in the beds. This allows you to conserve water. The soil temperature is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Weeds are decreased because they are smothered or not allowed to germinate. If the mulch is organic material, it will break down over time providing improved soil structure. If used properly around the base of trees and shrubs,... Read More
Posted by Zoo Info at Thursday, January 3, 2013

Winter Annuals

You may be wondering what planting choices Horticulture is using for the winter season. With the temperatures dipping into the 20s, it is necessary to pull all our tender perennials (pentas and stachytarphyta) and tropicals (bananas and palms). We are fortunate to have Greenhouses to house our plant collection until they are needed again.       We prepare our annual beds by pulling weeds, adding a thin layer of leaf compost and tilling to a depth of 6 – 8 inches. We... Read More
Posted by Zoo Info at Monday, December 3, 2012

Fall Beauty at the Memphis Zoo

You are probably noticing at this time of year how beautiful the leaves are. Every gardener is talking about it. There are so many garden articles written about it. This is a great time of year to enjoy a visit to the Memphis Zoo. All throughout the Zoo our trees are displaying such a bounty of fall color.   Which trees have been providing the best color this year? The first example is the dogwood. Displaying the rusty browns of wood overflowing with warmth. Another brown is Burr Oak.... Read More
Posted by Zoo Info at Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Do you compost?

At the Zoo, we collect our leaves, some plant material, herbivore animal waste and put it in a huge pile to “cook.” We have been adding it to our beds beginning with the annual change outs. As we work our way through our beds, putting our plants to rest for the winter, we are adding a thin 1” layer to the top of our beds. This layer will break down over the winter adding nutrients, bringing decomposers to the beds, and improving our soil. This last factor is the main reason we are beginning... Read More
Posted by Zoo Info at Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bat-faced Cuphea

Bat-faced Cuphea is a great hummingbird plant. In the Memphis area, you can plant Cuphea llavea as an annual. The long tubular flower has two red bat-like ears. The plant will grow 12 to 18 inches tall and about two feet wide. It can tolerate full sun to light shade. Talk about a bloomer. This plant blooms from April to October. It works great in sunny beds or in your containers. You will find we planted them at Once Upon a Farm to lure the Hummingbirds to the feeders.   Read More
Posted by Zoo Info at Wednesday, September 26, 2012