Bedding plants

Table slice - plant, maintain and cut

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The table is robust, very easy to maintain and also quite hardy. So you don't even have to pay too much attention to the culture of the plant.

© bildlove - Fotolia.com

The table slice (taxus baccata repandens) proves to be a growth-friendly and easy-care ground cover that grows readily in rather inhospitable locations and forms attractive, rich green carpets. The leaves of the slab are reminiscent of needles, but are neither hard and prickly, nor resinous. The plants are particularly easy to care for and accompany the garden lover for a lifetime, usually even beyond.

Plant Description

The table slice grows only a maximum of half a meter high as ground cover. The pillow washer, on the other hand, can expand up to two meters in width. The chalkboard is particularly effective on large areas. There it can also be used to green terrains that make planting seem difficult. In the bed, the table slice is a high-contrast companion to colorful summer flowers. In addition to beds and borders, rock gardens are also well suited to showcase the plants. The dense, dark green foliage is not thrown off in autumn and therefore offers an atmospheric picture even in the rather dreary winter garden.

Caution: the slab is poisonous!
It was not without reason that the yew tree was voted poisonous plant of the year in 2011. All parts of the plant are poisonous. Therefore, you should always wear gloves at work.

When does the blackboard bloom?

The inconspicuous flowers appear in March and April. The main focus is on the red berries appearing in late summer, which are the actual jewelry for the plant.

Overview of different types of yew trees

❍ Yellow pillar yew:

The yellow pillar yew impresses with its yellow-green needles. It can reach a height of about four meters. The plant grows very slowly and grows about five centimeters a year. The plants line entrances, are suitable for planting graves or cut a good figure in the heather garden.

❍ Elegantisima gold disc:

This impressive yew tree can grow up to ten meters high. The needles sprout yellow at first and then turn yellow-green. For planting in the stone or heather garden, the Elegantisima gold disc can also be used in combination with the table disc.

❍ Eaglewing yew:

The eagle-winged yew tree also grows in width rather than in height. At a height of just under two meters, the plant can reach twice the width. The branches hang down at an angle and seem to swing in the wind. The plants grow very slowly and can therefore also be planted in smaller gardens.

❍ “Westerstede” yew:

If a yew hedge is to be used in combination with the ground cover, this variety is the ideal candidate. The "Westerstede" yew is particularly robust, very easy to cut and absolutely hardy.

❍ Dwarf pillar yew "Micro":

Another dwarf among the yew trees can be planted well in connection with the blackboard. After all, small gardens don't have to do without yew trees. This variety also looks good in a bucket. However, growth requires patience. It takes at least eight years for the plant to grow about half a meter high.

Find the right location

Although the plants are characterized by a rather low growth, the choice of location should be carefully considered because the table slice likes to grow in width. The plants can be more than two meters wide. The pillow yew grows by about 20 centimeters each year.

Single and group plantings are possible. The ground cover is particularly suitable for borders, rock gardens, heather gardens or for grave planting. Table slices adapt very well to their surroundings. The plant will develop very well, especially in a sunny location. But the ground cover plants also feel comfortable in partial shade and even a shady location is tolerated. But keep in mind: the more shady the slab is, the slower it grows. The ideal location for table slices is in partial shade, because a full sun location could be a problem in winter. Young plants are also often unable to cope with strong sunlight.

The ideal location in brief:

  • penumbra
  • protected
  • Single position

Choose the ideal substrate

It is important to ensure that the soil is well drained and loose, because the slab is a deep root and wants to extend its roots more than half a meter deep. Otherwise, the table top does not make any great demands on the floor. However, the floor should not be too damp, because the pillow yew doesn't like to get wet feet. The plants also have no problem with a slightly acidic or calcareous substrate. If the soil is very sandy, the addition of compost helps to restore the balance of the soil.

The right substance in key words:

  • relaxed
  • permeable
  • calcareous
  • loamy

Plant the table slice in a bucket

Due to its low and slightly overhanging growth, the table slice is also very suitable for cultivation in the planter. There are a few things to consider when cultivating in a bucket:

  • Container plants need more water.
  • Container plants need more nutrients.
  • Container plants need winter protection.

Sufficient size of the planter is important to ensure that the slab is not restricted in its growth. Finally, pillow slices form long tap roots that reach deep into the ground. Ideally, the planter is half a meter deep.

Container plants also need watering more often than the table slab requires outdoors. At the same time, the risk of waterlogging increases in the planter. The permeability of the soil can be improved with a drain made of clay granulate or gravel.

When is the correct planting time?

Table slices can be planted all year round. Every frost-free day is therefore suitable to bring the pillow grate into the ground. Specimens planted in summer or autumn will still be able to root and develop well before winter. On sunny days, however, you should avoid planting the table slice if possible.

Planting table slices - step by step instructions

❶ Select location:

In the case of single planting, care must be taken to ensure there is sufficient distance from the planting neighbors. The table slab can finally grow up to two meters in width and thus cover a fairly large area. In order to achieve targeted soil cover in the first two years of standing, you should also plant three to four plants on one square meter.

❷ Loosen and prepare the soil:

After loosening the soil, it can be covered with compost or horn shavings. This also provides the plant with nutrients.

❸ Dig out the planting hole:

Now dig out the planting hole at twice the depth of the root ball. It is particularly important to go sufficiently wide. Therefore, the planting hole should be about three times as wide as the root ball.

Anlegen Create drainage:

Then you should create a drainage made of coarse sand, gravel or clay granulate to make the soil more permeable and to prevent waterlogging.

❺ Water the plant:

Before planting, you must water the table slice sufficiently. The plants can remain in the water for up to a day so that the root ball can soak up well.

❻ Insert plant:

If the root ball was soaked with water long enough, you can place the slice in the planting hole. Fill it up with soil, carefully step on the soil and water the plant well.

Transplant slices of table

Younger plants can still be transplanted quite easily, because the roots initially develop rather superficially, so that you do not run the risk of injuring the tap roots when transplanting. However, since table slices have a very dense network of roots, you should dig out the plant over a particularly large area.

Maintaining the table slice - How to do it right

© 7monarda - Fotolia.com

To water:

Watering the slab should be done carefully. When the surface has dried, pour carefully. You should not put the water on the leaves, but under the dense branches. The cushion pad should also not get wet feet, as the plants cannot tolerate waterlogging.

Fertilize:

If the soil is prepared during planting and the substrate is provided with compost or horn shavings, no further fertilization is necessary. In very poor soils, you can give conifer fertilizer in moderate concentrations. Since the table slice tolerates lime, you can also use potash fertilizer.

Important:
Fertilization should be stopped in late summer so that the new shoots can ripen well before the frost and no new shoot formation is stimulated.

To cut:

Due to the slow growth and the low stature, the pruning is of minor importance. However, table slices are generally very well tolerated by cutting. You can cut back several times a year, but only on frost-free days. In spring you can use the pillow slices e.g. cut into shape.

Hibernate:

Table slices are well frost-resistant and usually survive severe frosts of up to -20 degrees without special measures. However, late frosts can pose a danger. Young plants and pillow slices that are to be hibernated in the tub appear less robust. Protects against the intense winter sun e.g. a cover made of brushwood, leaves or straw.

As it is an evergreen plant, the water balance must also be observed in winter. On sunny days, sufficient water is evaporated even in winter. So that the slab can pick it up again, you should water the plant on frost-free days so that there is no damage to the dry weather.

Detect and combat diseases and pests on the slab

It is not for nothing that yew trees are among the oldest plants. Diseases and pests play a rather minor role in the pillow yew. Only bowl scale insects, waterlogging and the winter sun can damage the plant.

❍ bowl-head lice:

Occasionally, bowl-head lice can occur. The control with conventional sprays then fails because a bowl-like shield protects the brood. The best way to combat an infestation is with parasitic wasps.

❍ waterlogging:

Waterlogging is a big enemy of the slab, because wet roots make the plant vulnerable to diseases and pests. If phytophthora rot occurs, the needles begin to turn yellow and the branches dry up. The fungal infection is usually recognized too late, so that there is often no help for the plants. In the event of waterlogging, only moving to a dry location can help. Older plants are difficult to transplant, however, because the roots extend very far into the soil.

❍ brown needles in winter:

The winter sun often causes discoloration of the leaves. Table slices that were planted in a sunny location or young plants that are not yet sufficiently developed are particularly at risk. However, this is not a danger to the plant. In spring, the blackboard appears again in the usual green leaf color. By discoloring the needles in winter, the plant only helps itself and tries to increase frost protection.

This is how the table slice can be multiplied

The propagation of the table slice is possible through cuttings and seeds. Sometimes the pillow slices sow themselves.

Propagation by cuttings:

Cuttings can be obtained during pruning in early summer. In principle, you should always cut around 20 centimeters long cuttings from two-year-old shoots. Then shorten all side shoots and shoot tips by half and remove the needles and side shoots completely at the lower end of the shoot, which is inserted into the ground. Now there are two ways to proceed:

❍ Root cuttings outdoors:
If you want to root the cuttings outdoors, plant them in a protected location in the ground. Then keep the substrate evenly moist, but not too wet. After more than a year, sufficient roots will have formed and the young plant can be moved to the desired location.

❍ Root cuttings in the planter:
You can also grow the cuttings in a planter in the house. Place the cuttings in a sand-peat mixture and root at room temperature and even temperatures. The temperature should be at least 20 degrees. Also ensure an even moisture.

By the way, rooting can be accelerated if you put a plastic cover over the planter. You have to ventilate this plastic hood daily so that mold does not develop.

Even with indoor culture, it will take several months to a year before it can be seen from a new shoot of the plant that the propagation was successful. Then the plants are potted and further cultivated in the desired location outdoors.

Propagation by seeds:

The blackboard is a dark germ. Before the seeds germinate, they must be refrigerated for a few weeks. This is best done in a sealed bag in the refrigerator. The seeds can then either be planted directly outdoors or, as already described for the propagation of cuttings, placed in planters for indoor culture.

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