Pruning Tips

As the season approaches its end, a common question that comes up is how to care for plants in the landscape during the off-season. Specifically, when do you prune your plants? Unfortunately, the answer is not the same for each plant. Depending on the kind of plant and variety, you want to prune at different times of the year. Pruning in the wrong season can lead to stunted growth and lack of flowers. To make things easier for you, we decided to put together a list of common landscaping plants, shrubs, and trees and when to prune them! Hopefully this will help guide you as you clean out your gardens!

Flowering perennials:

With perennials, you can take off flowers as they fade (also called deadheading) during the spring and summer. This can help the perennial push out another cycle of blooms in the growing season. After the season is done, you can cut the perennials back close to the to make them look clean in your landscape. (Some flowering perennials do have specific needs though, so if you are unsure about a flower you can always give us a call!)


Depending on what type of hydrangea you have, the pruning time is different. If you have the pink/blue/white mophead or lacecaps, they bloom on old wood. This means that if you prune them in winter or early spring, you’ll be taking off the flower buds. So these types should be pruned before midsummer.

Reblooming types like the “Endless Summer Series, bloom on new and old growth, so the pruning time is less important. Those you can prune whenever you want to clean them up a bit.

Paniculata and arborescen types (so like “Limelights” and “Strawberry Sundae”, or “Annabelles”)  flower on new wood, so they can be pruned any time other than just before they bloom. So we would suggest you prune these in winter/ very early spring.

Spring-flowing Trees and Shrubs:

Common spring flowers trees and shrubs like lilacs and rhododendrons bear flowers on wood from the previous year. So the best time to prune them is right after they finish blooming in spring. With these types, if you prune in winter or any other time, you will be taking the flower blooms off for the next year.

Summer Blooming Trees and Shrubs:

Examples of these shrubs and trees would be a butterfly bush or potentilla. They produce their flowers on new growth from the current season, so you can prune them when they are dormant (winter) or early spring just before they start pushing out new growth again.

Shrubs without blooms:

Common examples of shrubs without blooms would be a barberry or burning bush. You can prune these back almost any time except late fall (late fall pruning will cause new growth late in the season to not be hardened off for winter, causing that new growth to die). The best time to prune these would be when they are dormant during winter.


If you have an old type of rose or climbing rose that blooms once per year, you want to prune these right after they finish blooming (otherwise you risk cutting off the buds for next year). However, if you have shrub roses, tea roses, or any of the more recent varieties that bloom multiple times in a year, you can continually prune them during the season to shape the bush. If you want to do more aggressive cutting back, prune them in early spring.


If you have a hedge plant such as a boxwood, you want to prune and shear these during the early part of the growing season. You can shear slightly during the summer as well, but you want to stop pruning around the beginning of September (any new growth after that will not be hardened off for winter).

Needle-leaf Evergreens:

This category would include plants like arborvitaes, junipers, yew, fir, spruce, and false cypress. It is best to prune these evergreens early in the growing season.

Ornamental Grasses:

With perennials ornamental grasses, we usually suggest leaving them during winter, as they provide interest to your landscape in the winter months. They do not need to be cut back (the old grass actually provides insulation to the plant during the cold winters), however if you are a gardener who likes everything looking clean, you can cut back your grasses very early spring (4-6 inches from the ground) before the new grow starts to push out.

Container Garden Contest!


It’s that time of year again! The past few years we’ve held a summer gardening contest. This year we’re doing it again – but we’re shaking things up a bit. We’ve loved seeing everyone come in this year for the container workshops, as well as putting together their own plants to make custom containers. So, in the spirit of “do-it-yourself”, we are going to hold a Container Contest! This means, pots, baskets, window boxes, fairy gardens, etc. – any container at home that you’ve planted this year!

The rules are like previous years:  you can submit your photos of your containers by emailing them to or personal messaging them to our facebook page. In your entry, include a photo of your pot, basket, window box, fairy gardens, etc. and your name, email, and phone number. Please do not submit your photos as a comment on any posts. You may enter more than one container, but you may only enter one photo per container.

The deadline for entries is Saturday, July 8th. We’ll post all the entries to our facebook page and website by Sunday, July 9th, at which time voting will begin. Voting will last for one week and will close on Saturday, July 15th at 11:59pm. Winners will be notified by Monday, July 17th.



First Place Prize will receive a certificate for a waived class fee for a workshop for you and a friend here at Moraine Gardens! This certificate is good for our fall container workshops (dates TBD) or next year’s container workshops and fairy garden workshops! (This includes just the initial class fees, not the plants used)


Second Place Prize will receive this beautiful 13” container!



Third Place Prize is this whimsical little piece of garden art (it spins in the wind)!


How to Vote:

To vote on our facebook page, simply like the photo of your favorite fairy garden. On the website, we will post a blog post with all of the pictures, and you can vote by commenting which is your favorite.

So send us your pictures, tell your friends about our contest, and recruit them to vote for your containers!

Fall Prep for Next Year’s Garden

So here’s a question we’ve been getting a lot lately: “What can I do to my garden now so everything will grow really well next spring?” This is an especially common question for people who have had an underwhelming growing season this year – usually due to soil that is spent (meaning all of its nutrients have been used up). The fall fix is pretty straightforward – as long as we pay attention to some dos and don’ts along the way.

Do: Enrich your soil with organic matter in fall. This means things materials like leaves, compost, peat moss, and manure. A great option for manure is horse manure. You can also use cow manure, but make sure that it’s composted for at least a year.

Do not: Use fresh manure from cows, chickens, and pigs. Their manure is considered “sour” manure, and shouldn’t be used in a garden unless it’s sat and composted for about a year.

Do: Layer your organic material on thick. You can even put up to 3-4 inches over the surface of your garden area.

Do not: Finely till your manure into the soil. Have you ever seen a farmer’s field, and noticed how clumpy the manure is put on? This is actually better for keeping all the good nutrients in the soil so they’re ready to go for next spring. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t mix it in a little, but it’s better to just use a shovel.


Another common mistake that people do in prepping their garden is putting fertilizer on too soon. They have good intentions of getting fertilizer in their soil, but if you put certain ones on too soon, they will be all gone by spring.

Do not: Put fertilizers that are heavy in nitrogen on in the fall. Those only last for about a month or so, and all the nitrogen for your plants to use will be gone by the next spring.

Do: Enrich your soil with nitrogen in the spring! Nitrogen is great for getting healthy plants. Additions to the soil like bone meal and milorganite in spring are also fantastic for beautiful plants and flowers in gardens and containers.



There are plenty of other tricks and tips for growing beautiful plants in spring, but we hope the few in this post inspire you to get a jumpstart on a beautiful garden for next year!

If you have any other questions about common dos and don’ts, be sure to contact us, either by phone, Facebook messenger, or by email!

Plant Diseases and Pest Products

Having troubles with some of your plants?

One of the first steps for treating a disease or pest with your plants is to identify what’s wrong. This can be done in a variety of ways. There are plenty of books to identify pests and diseases, however, if you don’t have anything at hand at home, the internet is the next best thing. Google is filled with databases of diseases and pests – with pictures – such as this one here. This website specifically is put out by Bonide, the company we get most of our products from. The website is user friendly and lets you search by name of the disease/pest or by picture.  They also have a symptoms list  that one can look at too. Using a internet resource like this is one of the best ways to compare and see if your symptoms match up with anything.


Another good option is to call us! (phone number can be found under our info page). After being in the plant business as long as we have, we know a thing or two about bugs and diseases! The easiest method is to call us, or to bring in a picture or piece of your struggling plant, so we can diagnose it! Once you know what it is, we can direct you to the best product or course of action to get your plants back to looking their best!

Here is a list of products we carry here at Moraine Gardens, what they can be used on, and their functions:

Liquid Copper Fungicide: This is an organic product used for controlling powdery mildew, black spot and rust. For roses, fruits, and vegetables, ornamentals and turf. This product comes in a concentrate and a spray.

Fung-onil: This is a multipurpose fungicide can be used for leaf spots, rust blights, fruit rots, mildews, scab, molds, and other diseases. It can be used on vegetables, fruit trees, flowers, shrubs, and trees. The active ingredient in it is chlorothalonil. This product comes in a concentrate and a spray.

Fruit Tree Spray: This concentrate controls a huge variety of insects and diseases on fruit trees, flowers, ornamental evergreens and strawberries. This is the product we most often recommend for any issues with fruit trees.

Fruit Tree & Plant Guard Concentrate: This is a product that can be used to control both insects and diseases, such as aphids, Japanese beetles, plum curculio, leafhopper, powdery mildew, apple scab, flyspeck, and other insects and diseases. It can be sued on fruit, nut, and ornamental trees, shrubs and flowers.

Bon-Neem Concentrate: This is a product that controls insects, diseases and mites on vegetables, fruits, nuts, herbs, spices, roses, flowers shrubs. It can be used up to the day of harvest.

Sluggo Plus: This is an insecticide that can be used to kill earwigs, cutworms, sowbugs, pillbugs, slugs, and snails. This can be used for organic gardening, and can be used on vegetables, fruit trees, citrus, berries, ornamentals, shrubs, flowers, trees, lawns, gardens, and greenhouses. The active ingredients are iron phospahte and spinosad.

Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew: This product is for organic gardening, and is used for bagworms, borers, beetles, caterpillars, codling moth, gypsy moth, loopers, leaf miners, spider mties, tent caterpillars, thrips, and more. This can be used on fruits, vegetables, berries, citrus, grapes, nuts, and ornamentals. The active ingredient is spinosin. We carry Captain Jack’s as a concentrate, spray, and dust.

Eight Insect Control: This insecticide concentrate kills bugs on contact, and can be used for over 130 insect pests, including earwigs, budworms, ants, leafhoppers, aphids, and japanese beetles. It can be used on lawns, vegetables, trees, shrubs, and ornamentals.

Hi-Yield Lime Sulfur Spray: This is a fungicide, insecticide, and miticide that can be used on fruits, nuts, ornamentals, and roses. The active ingredient is calcium polysulfide. This product comes in a concentrate.

Systemic Insect Control: This product can be used for a wide variety of insects, including aphids, flower thrips, leafminers, mealybugs, two-spotted spider mites, tent caterpillars, whiteflies, and other leaf eating caterpillars. It can be used on roses, flowers, ornamentals, shrubs, and trees. The active ingredient is acephate, and it comes in a concentrate.

Rot-Stop: This is a concentrate that helps correct tomato blossom-end rot, which is brought on by calcium deficiencies. It can be used on tomatoes, melons, and peppers.

Systemic Rose and Flower Care: This granule product protects and feeds your plants up to 8 weeks. It promotes strong roots and blooms while prtoecting the plants against insect damage. The active ingredient is imidacloprid.

Bayer All-in-one Rose and Flower Care: This concentrate acts as a fertilizer, insect control, and disease control, promoting strong roots and blooms while protecting against things like japanese beetles, aphids, black spot, powdery mildew, rust, and southern blight. Active ingredients are tebucanazole and imidacloprid.

Sulfur Plant Fungicide: This organic, ready-to-use dust can be used for controlling rust, leaf spot, powdery mildew, chiggers, mites, thrips, and scale. It can be used on fruits, vegetables, and various ornamentals.

Tree & Shrub Systemic Insect Drench: This concentrate prevents insects from damaging trees and shrubs. The active ingredient is imidacloprid.

Deer Guard: This concentrate is a deer repellant, and it can be used to protect plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs from deer foraging. The active ingredient is ammonium benzoate.

Aluminum Sulfate: This granule helps lower soil pH, and is great for acid loving plants, such as azaleas, camellia, gardenia, hemlock, hydrangeas, holly, and more. This is what should be applied to endless summer hydrangeas to keep the flowers blue.

Copperas: This powder is used on plants with chlorosis (yellowing of foliage), which is caused by iron deficiency. This product gives rich green color to lawns, shrubs, flowers, and gardens.

Liquid Iron: This concentrate corrects and prevents chlorosis (yellowing of foliage). It can be used on lawns, ornamental trees and shrubs.

Actino-Iron: This product is a soil additive for organic gardening. It is a biological fungicide with iron and humic acid, and it helps protect roots from disease causing fungi, and promotes healthy growth. This product can be used on trees, flowers, vegetables and lawns.




And the Winners Are…

Voting has officially come to an end for our Second Annual Fairy Garden Contest! Thank you again to everyone who took the time to vote! It was great to see all the different landscapes and designs of fairy gardens that people are making!

And now, what you’ve been waiting for: the results of the contest!

Third places goes to Debra Depies with this beautiful little landscape and house! We loved the colors of the hens and chicks and other plants, and your house and accessories were cute, too!

3rd place winner!

Second place goes to Lana Borgenhagen, with her teapot house fairy garden! Your adorable little house was the star of the show! We loved the creativity with the shells and the pine cones as well!

2nd place winner!

And in first place is Connie Thompson with her broken pot fairy garden! We loved the skill and creativity of the layers of your garden!

1st place winner!

To claim your prizes, just stop on over to Moraine Gardens!

Thanks again to everyone who participated!

Time to Vote! – Fairy Garden Entries

The deadline for entries has come and gone! Thank you so much to those who submitted pictures of their fairy gardens! We’ve gotten a fair amount of submission this year, and we can’t wait to show them to you! So here they are – it’s time to vote!!

There are two ways to vote – you can go over to our Facebook page and vote by liking your favorite fairy garden photo there.  Or, you can vote on this blogpost:  find the number of your favorite fairy garden by scrolling over the photo, then add a comment on the post with the number of your vote. To get a closer look at these photos, just click on the one you’d like to enlarge. Happy voting!

2nd Annual Fairy Garden Contest!


It’s that time of year again! Summer is finally here, and it’s time for our 2nd annual Fairy Garden Contest!

We are so excited to see everyone’s miniature fairy gardens! We had a great time this spring working with many of you to make your own gardens in our Fairy Garden Workshops, but now it’s time to see the creations you have at home!

The rules are similar to last year:  you can submit your photos by emailing them to or personal messaging them to our facebook page. In your entry, include a photo of your fairy garden and your name, email, and phone number. Please do not submit your photos as a comment on any posts. You may enter more than one fairy garden, but you may only enter one photo per fairy garden. The deadline for entries is Sunday, June 19th. We’ll post all the entries to our facebook page and website by Monday, June 20th, at which time voting will begin. Voting will last for one week and will close on Monday, June 27th at 11:59pm. Winners will be notified by Wednesday, June 29th.



First Place Prize Gets this beautiful fairy house!


Second Place Prize will receive this wonderful ‘Red Vintage’ bench and table set!


Third Place will be able to take home ‘Ellie and Digby’!

How to Vote

To vote on our facebook page, simply like the photo of your favorite fairy garden. On the website, we will post a blog post with all of the pictures, and you can vote by commenting which is your favorite.


So post your pictures, tell your friends about our contest, and recruit them to vote for your fairy garden!

The Workshops Await!

Happy Spring! It’s our favorite time of year again! And with spring comes (drumroll please…) WORKSHOPS! We are so excited to be offering three different workshops starting this month!

As in previous years, we have a variety of dates available for Fairy/Miniature Garden Workshops! It has been like Christmas in the greenhouse opening all our new houses, fairies and accessories. Each new box brings a chorus of ooh’s and aww’s as we oggle over our new inventory. We are so excited, and we can’t wait to share our excitement with you!

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We also have a plethora of dates for our Container Gardening Workshops, where you can come in with your pots and baskets and create your own beautiful planters with the aid of our fantastic greenhouse staff.

And new this year, we are starting a “Do-it-Yourself” Container Planting Station for those of you who are comfortable planting your own containers, but still would like to use the greenhouse space to visualize and create your pots and baskets. We will have open slots where people can come and go as they please!

To learn more about the workshops we have to offer and the dates they are happening, click here. You can also call us at 920-893-0843 or email us at

We look forward to seeing you and sharing the joys and excitement of container gardening this spring!


And the Winners Are…

The voting for our fairy gardens contest has officially ended, and we have tallied up the voting to determine the winners!

Third place goes to Connie Thompson with this creative little fairy garden in a broken pot.

3rd place winner!

3rd place winner!

Second place goes to Karen Semke with this eclectic fairy garden in a birdbath.

2nd place winner!

2nd place winner!

And first place goes to Naomi Borgenhagen and her daughter Willow with this cute little garden with a teapot house.

1st place winner!

1st place winner!

To claim your prizes, simply head on over to Moraine Gardens where they are waiting for you.

Thanks to all who participated!



Pictures of Nancy throughout her years at the greenhouse

Noooooo! Nancy, don’t leave us!

Okay, so maybe you’re not leaving us for good, but retirement is a big step, and we’re going to miss having you around more often.

We did have fun at your retirement party, though.


Nancy with the young’uns

Nancy has been with us since our inception in 1979 and has been an invaluable part of what goes on here at Moraine Gardens.


Current and former Moraine Gardens employees

She was the driving force behind our robust container gardening operation, making thousands of baskets, helping to give workshops, and providing invaluable advice gained from years of practical gardening experience to our customers.


That’s a big cake, Nancy!

We hope retirement treats you well!