The summer brings a variety of challenges when it comes to maintaining and growing plants. Fortunately, the Lakeway Area has some landscaping experts who have some tips for keeping the landscaping looking green and healthy.

Pop’s Garden Center, Southeast Landscape Supply and Martin’s Greenhouses all have their own way to handle the heat of the summer sun.

And between the three businesses, there is plenty of product, locally, to maintain a healthy landscape.

Pop’s Garden Center

While driving down Highway 11E in Talbott, drivers may have noticed the recently opened Pop’s Garden Center that opened on April 15 of this year.

Jordan Jennings opened Pop’s Garden Center to continue to serve the community in all of its landscaping needs. Jennings named his garden center after his grandfather who passed in December 2019.

“I had the idea of opening up a garden center and made a pretty quick decision to do it,” Jennings said. “I talked to the owners of the property and got it open a couple of days later after sleeping on the thought of it. I named it after my grandfather who we called ‘Pop’. He is the one who got me into landscaping in the beginning.”

Jennings also runs Jennings Utility Service along with running Pop’s Garden Center. He mostly works with underground and above-ground utility cables with Jennings Utility Service—something he went straight to work with after graduating from Middle Tennessee State University.

Now with his new garden center, Jennings is spending a lot more time around landscaping. Pop’s Garden Center offers a plethora of plants, landscaping rocks, mulch and more.

One of the services Jennings offers that other places typically don’t is the installation of his product.

“It’s never a problem of finding the plants and stuff you need but finding the installation services for some of this product,” he said. “We offer our own installation of everything we have here at Pop’s Garden Center. That’s just something we like to do to help our customers out because I have been on the other side of it before as a customer. We want to help.”

Pop’s Garden Center is now three months in, officially, and has had to deal with the heat of the Summer months for two of the months it has been open. Jennings said the summer is its own beast when it comes to the landscaping business.

“The heat will kill the plants if we don’t take care of them appropriately,” he said. “We water our product up to six times a day. It’s honestly hard to grow anything new in the heat of summer. You usually begin growing your summer plants months in advance. Just make sure you take care and water your plants through the summer as much as they need.”

Jennings said July can be a slow time for planting because of the heat.

Martin’s Greenhouses and Nursery

Many people in the Rogersville area have heard or even done business with Martin’s Greenhouses and Nursery located on Dodge Drive and operated by Teri Martin and Debbie Talley. They have experienced the heat of the summer months for over 45 years now and have plenty of helpful advice.

Martin’s Greenhouses and Nursery officially opened in 1975 by Paul Martin who passed in June 2019. For 44 years, Paul was the engine that kept the greenhouses going with help from his employees like his wife Teri and sister-in-law Debbie.

“We like to honor Paul and never forget what he has built here (at Martin’s Greenhouses and Nursery),” Talley said. “We absolutely love what we do and helping the customers that we have. We try to do our best to help with any needs a customer may have. If we don’t have it here in the store, we will do our best to find it.”

Teri and Debbie now do most of the duties over the greenhouses. After starting with just two greenhouses, they now have 18 to plant and grow a variety of products, freshly from seeds or cuttings.

However, supplying the product at their greenhouses isn’t all Martin’s Greenhouses and Nursery does. They also offer installation and maintenance for landscaping, hardscaping for stones, sidewalks, fire pits and more, along with offering plant disease and pest control around the garden.

The primary rule when it comes to maintaining healthy plants through the summertime is a lot of watering and cleaning up, Talley said.

“You have to make sure you keep your flowers watered,” she said. “That’s what we try to preach to people—water, water, water. It can get so dry during the summer that it will kill your plants if they aren’t getting enough water.”

The other advice Talley offers to help plants in the summer is to be sure to prune the plants that need it and fertilize if needed. It is also a good time to clean up around your landscape.

“It can be slow with actually planting during the summer but that is the perfect time to clean up around the garden and be sure to prune the plants that are in need of it,” she said.

That’s exactly what goes on during the month of July and some of August at Martin’s Greenhouses and Nursery. Talley, Teri Martin and the other employees clean up around the property and start preparing for fall as the customers will begin to roll back in for all of their fall and winter landscaping needs.

“We have a great crew here and we offer to help with anything we can,” Talley said. “We love what we do. Teri and I don’t do it by ourselves though. We have to thank our other employees Connie Sproles, Babe Seals, Joyce Klepper, Jesus Garcia, Dawson Fields and Tommy Sandidge.”

Southeast Landscape Supply

Teri MacDonald, manager of Southeast Landscape Supply, and her partner Tara Parker have been helping customers and landscaping businesses over the last four years at their store in Talbott.

The first Southeast Landscape Supply was built in Morristown on E. Morris Blvd. just about eight years ago and decided to open the bigger site in Talbott in 2017 to offer even more supply for the community.

“We see a lot of business come through here at Southeast Landscape Supply,” MacDonald said. “I don’t think there is necessarily ever a slow period. We try to offer as much as we can year-round, depending on the season. We enjoy what we do and we want our customers to have the same joy when it comes to visiting us for their needs.”

Southeast Landscape Supply offers about everything someone would need for their landscaping purposes. From mulch, dirt, trees, flowers and a great variety of plants, the people at Southeast Landscape Supply have it on their property.

Despite not offering their own installments when it comes to landscaping, the business likes to share information about other landscaping businesses in the Lakeway Area to help.

“The landscaping businesses that buy from us are pretty consistent,” Macdonald said. “You never really know what they are going to need—even during the summer months when it can be slow for planting. It all depends on the project they have going on.

MacDonald has gained over 35 years of gardening and landscaping experience, meaning she has dealt with the summer weather plenty of times in her career.

Much of the same advice MacDonald gave was similar to others in the business.

“Be sure to consistently water the plants—up to one inch of water a week for your plants,” she said.

Southeast Landscape Supply starts growing their product way in advance so it is ready for the specific season they will need it.

Although they don’t grow much in July and August, it can be done.

“It can be hard to plant anything in the middle of summer,” MacDonald said. “In Tennessee, though, you can plant about anytime. You just have to watch the weather carefully. Sometimes it can be cool enough in the summer to grow certain plants.”

MacDonald also mentioned the summer is a great time to assess your garden and plan ahead.

The heat is difficult to work in for those that garden and landscape but taking a look at your plants and planning your next project is a great way to take advantage of the summer.

Outside of that, she focused on keeping the plants healthy by cleaning up around them, pulling weeds and pruning.

Doing all of this will help the plants maintain a healthy life, she said.