Shrub Planting

I am contemplating the purchase of the following from Direct Gardening. I am aware that these items make be a little on the small side and will require some TLC. I have purchased 2 dump truck loads of 150 degree compost ( 8 scoops) . I plan on planting the winterberry collection creekside immediately, because of the moisture requirements. The pecan, empress trees, kiwi, and blueberry collection w/AL Sulphate in there respective local. The rest I am considering placing in a raised bed 4 ft by 40 ft so that I may be able to tend to them in all in one place, such as soaker hoses and weeding for a year or two. We have just built a house 2 yrs ago on a 5 acre parcel, we have planted approximately 150 trees thus far and after getting them established have decided its time to prepare for some accent and foundation plantings.Just beginning to research our fruit garden. Most of our tree/shrub selections have been around attracting wildlife year round. I have been googling for info on my quest and this newsgroup keeps popping up. Any suggestions in my plan of action? What is your experience in dealing with the direct gardening folk? Will a large compost bed be the way to go on jump starting these shrubs? Thanks in advance.
2 Baby's Breath, Pink & White 18 Barberry, Redleaf 24 Forsythia 1 Walking Stick 4 Firethorn 20 Lilac, Old Fashioned 18 Spirea, Bridal White 3 Lavender, English 6 Purple Leaf Plum Hedge 40 Hawthorn, Washington 4 Pecan, Hardy 3 Royal Empress Tree 1 Blueberry Collection - 3 Year Old Plants 1 Kiwi Collection - (4 Female & 1 Male) 4 Almond, Pink Flowering 60 Privet, Hardy Amur 1-2' 2 Fuchsia, Hardy 6 Weigela, Variegated 1 Christmas Holly Collection, 4 female/1 male 16 Burning Bush, Dwarf 3 Beauty Berry 1 Winterberry, Collection 3 Myrtle, Crape 24 Rose, Rosa Rugosa
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I forgot to say that I am in zone 7 about 50 miles north of Charlotte NC

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See the Garden watch Dog at http://gardenwatchdog/c/231 . They have a bad reputation. I found this out the hard way.
Gary
New to the North Country

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Personally, I would work on one area at a time. Biting off more than one can chew is certainly the fastest way to a disaster.
Consult your local county extension specialist as to your plant selection and preparation. It will pay to first prepare the planting areas. Even if it takes a season to get the beds prepared, it will be worth the delay. Have soil tests done. A good lab will analyze the soil and give recommenations based on your needs. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.
Then shop. Get good plants. Good plants are much better than ones which are on sale or cheap. Cheap plants are usually cheap for a reason. Stressed plants won't survive.
It's best to have a 5-yr master plan that is manageable and affordable. Stick to the plan but remain flexible enough to shift gears when something doesn't work.
On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 10:53:15 -0500, Jeteye wrote:

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Whew close call on the direct gardening idea, thank you Gary and Karen for sharing the website. I have also read some conflicting information on establishing raised beds using compost. Information from the local Extension website suggests using a 25 to 33% mixture with existing soil. Also a soil test is highly recommended. I am playing in the infamous NC red clay! Looks like I am back to square one in my procumbent of shrubs. Having a 30 yr mortgage and not being part of the Got to have all of it now crowd, I still think buying large quantities of small healthy plants still has merit. Any recommendations of suppliers that specialize in mail order baby plants?

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Being in NC means you are in one of the best places to buy your plants relatively locally. The North Carolina Association of Nurserymen can probably give you info about growers in your area that specialize in the plants you seek. Also, many garden clubs in the state hold plant sales where "babies" are sold to raise money for scholarships or garden improvement in the state. For example, the Raleigh Garden Club will be holding its sale Apr 9-11 at the State Fairgrounds. Many of the botanical gardens sell native plants (UNC Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill does, I know.) There are such gardens in the Charlotte and Boone areas. If you'll give me more specific info about your location, maybe I can find more local sources for you.
Happy gardening...it can be done in Carolina clay.
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On Sun, 15 Feb 2004 19:25:55 -0500, Jeteye wrote:

How clever are you?
Get yourself a resellers' permit from your state and set yourself up as a plant business. Then approach wholesalers online and pick those with minimal order requirements. You'll hae to buy your plants by the flat, but it does work. Make friends and ask gardening friends to split the flats. You'll be amazed how many plants you can amass quickly and cheaply.
The keyword here is "clever"... You are only limited by your imagination and ingenuity.
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- Tallahassee, FL - Only where people have learned to appreciate and cherish the landscape and its living cover will they treat it with the care and respect it should have - Paul Bigelow Sears.
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Depending on whre you live, extension offices don't necessarily perform soil testing any longer. Mine hasn't for years - soil tests must be sent to a commercial lab.
pam - gardengal
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Goodness! What DO they do? Here in Florida, Extension hands out the collecting kits, and the samples are sent to Extension HQ at the University of Florida (along with $20) and a detailed soil analysis and recommendation is forthcoming -- and quite soon, too. They'll also ID bugs, odd plants, diseased plants, etc. if the local extension office can't.
Jim Lewis - snipped-for-privacy@nettally.com - Tallahassee, FL - Only where people have learned to appreciate and cherish the landscape and its living cover will they treat it with the care and respect it should have - Paul Bigelow Sears.
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Sounds like you have it planned out real well. One word of caution: I believe Empress tree is on some restricted or advised list. Paulownia tomentosa is considered a rampant grower taking over huge areas rapidly from underground shoots when something happens to the top growth. If the tree is cut down, struck by lightning, dies of olld age or insect infestation such as borer, or even limbed up more than it likes, the resulting growth can be difficult to control. For this reason, it is not adviseable to plant it,

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