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Planting Information for:

Merchant of Venice

APPLEMalus spp. including crab apples, cider apples.

This popular flavorful fruit grows on trees, best cultivated in well-drained fertile soils in full sun. Zones 3 – 8.  Height 10 – 25 ft. or more.  Their pink-and-white spring blossoms are pollinated by bees; fruit sets within a few days. Countless varieties; most ripen in late summer and fall. Apples have been cultivated for over 4000 years.



GINGERZingiber officinale. GINGER ROOT

Grown from fat, knobby rhizomes or roots. Zones 9 – 14. Grows 2 – 3ft tall.  Tropical Asian plant thrives only in warm climates but flourishes indoors in containers. Cut 1 – 1.5inch pieces of root, lay on soil horizontally and cover with 2 – 4 inches of soil; keep watered. Valued for its health benefits and spicy flavor. Excellent for cooking, drinks, tonics and countless pharmaceutical purposes.


GRASS – members of the Poaceae family

Numerous species of grass and sedges comprise grass lawns. Zones 1 – 11. Ideally, mow regularly to 2.5 inches; do not allow to flower and seed. Evergreen or deciduous, annual or perennial, start plants from seed or weed-free sod, in well-drained average soil in locations according to species. Appropriate types include fescues, honey-stalks, and stover. (Can replace more modern traditional lawns & save water.)



PINESPinus spp.

Native from the Tropics to the Arctic, cone-shaped, evergreen trees with bluish-green needle-like leaves arranged in small bundles of 2 – 5. Zones 2 – 10. Average height 150 ft. Male & female plants are separate. Seeds contained in scaly, woody cones; deeply fissured, thick tree bark. Provide full sun and well-drained average soil. Plants slow from seed, so usually bought growing in containers. Dig a hole somewhat deeper than the root ball & add a thin layer of good topsoil. Remove the plant from the container, tease out any circling roots, & set the root ball in the hole with the top at ground level. Fill in with soil, tamping down gently as you go. Water thoroughly after planting.



REED – Species of Arundo, Phragmites, Phalaris, Calamagrostis and others.

Slender, hollow-stemmed, grassy plants, 3 – 20 ft tall, often found in swampy areas and bogs. Zones 5 – 9. May have plume-like spikes of flowers. Choose a sunny or partially sunny spot with moisture retentive soil for container-grown plants. Cut down in spring as growth commences. Stems used in thatching & cut for use in musical wind instruments. Sometimes refers to a young boy’s thin, squeaky voice.




Primarily derived from a hardy, cultivated root crop, sugar beet (Beta vulgaris, each root 3 – 5 pounds in weight) and sugar cane, a perennial, tropical, or subtropical grass crop (Saccharum officinarium, 10 – 20 ft.). The sap is very high in sucrose. Sugar beet is planted each spring from seed & is harvested in summer. Sugar cane is harvested by cutting the plants to ground level usually 10 – 12 months after planting.



WHEATTriticum aestivum and other species

Types of annual grass, 2 – 4 ft. tall, grown for its high carbohydrate seeds (grain) consumed as a staple cereal & ground for flour worldwide. Zones 7 – 10. Threshing separates seeds from chaff. Thrives in full sun in average well-drained soil. Winter wheat is sown some 6 – 8 weeks prior to the ground freezing & is harvested the following summer. Spring wheat is sown as soon as the soil is workable in early spring for harvesting mid-late summer.



WILLOW – Salix spp. Common name(s): Weeping Willow, Babylon Weeping Willow

(OSIER) – Salix viminalis, a species of willow.

Of some 300 species, most are fast-growing. Zones 2 – 9. Grows 30 – 50 ft. or taller. Most prefer full sun & consistently moist but not waterlogged soil. Found growing wild near ponds, lakes, & stream banks. Stem cuttings or whips root readily when inserted in the ground. Plant 1-year-old plants from containers or bare root in fall. Dig planting hole deep enough so that the top of the roots or root ball are at ground level; fill with loose soil & tamp lightly before watering. Stake if necessary.

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