Upper South

May, 2012
Regional Report

Favorite or New Plant

Walker's Low Catmint
The variety name is a bit of a misnomer in that the plant will form mounds 2 feet or more in height and width when in bloom, but that aside, Walker's Low catmint (Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low') is a decided asset to the garden. A profusion of lavender-blue spikes of flowers are borne above the gray-green foliage starting in late spring and continuing throughout the summer, especially if trimmed back by two-thirds in July. Seeds are sterile, so there are no little Walker's to remove. Thriving in full sun to part shade and dry to medium well-drain soil, Walker's Low seems to be deer and rabbit resistant, plus has no insect or disease problems. I do place support hoops around the plants in early spring, but that is a matter of personal preference.

Tool or Gardening Product

Long-Handled Three-Prong Cultivator
When applying a new layer of mulch to the garden, you may find that the older mulch has crusted over. Before adding the new mulch, it's important to loosen the existing layer of mulch so that there isn't an impervious layer that prevents water from reaching plant roots. If you have a large area, this task can be daunting. Faced with such a task, I've found that a long-handled, three-prong cultivator quickly breaks up the crusted mulch without breaking my back.

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