Carter’s Garden Blog

President’s Day 2018
February 19, 2018, 8:19 am
Filed under: General Blog Entry's | Tags:

Happy Presidents Day!

I know that this was originally a day to celebrate George Washington’s Birth Day (actually on the 22nd…). But it has morphed into a day to  honor the current president and all those Presidents that have gone before him.

Happy Presidents Day!

Today is a federal holiday! Schools & Banks are closed. + NO mail!

There are parades & parties all over  & this is one of the BIGGEST sale days of the year! Go buy something 🙂

I hope everyone can put party politics aside and just enjoy the day 😊

Pray for our President & our Country.

Happy Presidents Day!

God Bless America!

Mark Carter



Sunday Reflections…

What a beautiful morning! The sunrise was Amazing! Not just because we haven’t had many lately with all the clouds, wind & rain – It was amazing simply because of the way it felt… The air smells and feels like Spring! So many birds singing, such a colorful sunrise followed by bright sunlight and blue sky’s! Spring is in the air! I walked around the gardens and am so excited about things that I have planned to do now 🙂 Nothing feels as peaceful & serene as a walk in the garden on a beautiful Sunday morning!

Spring is Coming! Get out and enjoy it now 🙂

“I think that if ever a mortal heard the voice of God it would be in a garden at the cool of the day.”
~ F. Frankfort Moore


Mark C.

Can I add turtles to my Pond? | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN
February 17, 2018, 5:07 pm
Filed under: Outdoor Lifestyles, water garden | Tags: , ,

Question : Can I have turtles in my Pond?

The simple answer is – Yes you can! Now, there is no guarantee they will stay around… Unless of course you design your pond to contain them. When I was growing up we captured and kept many different turtles and tortoises that we found around the property and the river, they were always native to our area. I don’t have any experience with non-native turtles, so I’m not talking about any non-native turtles to my area in West TN.

My favorite by far is the Red Eared Slider.

This is a young Red Eared Slider in a tank of my sons.
“The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans), also known as the red-eared terrapin, is a semiaquatic turtle belonging to the family Emydidae. It is a subspecies of the pond slider. It is the most popular pet turtle in the United States and is also popular as a pet in the rest of the world.”

My son even got into Box Turtles at a young age. Then his interest turned to the turtles you find around the TN River. I told him NO when it came to keeping an Alligator Snapper 🙂 So we compromised with a Red Eared Slider.

These are a few pictures of Jacobs first experiment with putting a pet turtle in our Water Garden. The Red Eared Slider pictured is named ‘Elvis, he’s pretty cool man 🙂
He took right to the beach and the “Basking Log”.

He started with a terrarium in the house then decided he wanted to put him in our Water Garden outside… So I had some work to do to keep him from running off.

We constructed a “Turtle Beach on our Water Garden, complete with a sunning log and some room to move around a bit.

If you want to try a turtle in your pond there are a few things you need to provide for them so they will be healthy and happy.

  • Containment. A fence or higher stone work around the area to keep them in. OR they will simply walk off.
  • They need Water. Deep water is fine for Red Ear Sliders, but they like a shallow area too. Make sure its well filtered and aerated.
  • Some area to move around a bit.
  • A basking area to soak up the sun. A partially submerged log works great.
  • Shelter – Some shady areas to get out of the sun and to get out of sight. They like to hide sometimes. Aquatic plants work great! Maybe a stone cave too 🙂
  • Food! The easiest is commercial turtle food. You can provide vitamins and minerals with their food too. They also like worms and insects.

Red Eared Sliders hibernate in our area. So if your going to leave them outside over winter, you will have to make sure they have a proper area to hibernate. There is a lot of info online on how-to do this. We normally bring ours in in the Fall and release them in the wild when they get to big to handle. Make sure to release them in the same area where you found them.

Red eared sliders over winter well in an aquarium or terrarium.

Remember, they might nibble on your fishes fins. Maybe more than nibble 🙂 I haven’t had any real problems with this, but they do eat fish in the wild, so keep that in mind. You might even want to do a dedicated “Turtle Pond”. Then you could provide feeder fish for them to try to eat.

In any case, Spring is Coming! It’s time to get out there and enjoy our Ponds & Gardens!

PS: I LOVE Turtles! 🙂

Happy Pondering!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206

Friday Radio Report – The natives are restless…

Fridays are special! I love Fridays because not only are they the beginning of the weekend, Fridays are “Radio Day” for me 🙂 I LOVE siting in with Dan & Sea Bass & talking to everyone about Outdoor Living, Gardening, Water Gardening and the like!

Call in every Friday from 10-11am with ALL your gardening and Outdoor Lifestyle questions – 731-423-8101. You can TEXT in too – 731-277-5155.

Spring is almost here and the Spring rains have started. So have the mosquitoes & the frogs (peepers) singing from the woods, the daffodils are up and starting to bloom & everyone is READY for Spring! I had loaded call lines for the entire hour and many great questions! We had several questions on the text line too – Thanks for all the interest!

Here are a couple of questions I thought I would post and answer from today’s show –

  • Lots of questions about trimming and pruning. Can I trim this or that? YES – its a great time to get out there and trim and prune your – Crepe Myrtles, fruit trees, ornamental trees & shade trees too, roses, shrubs, etc. Rake up real good after your trimming and pruning and touch up the mulch.
  • ALSO – apply Dormant Oil now. Make sure its not a day where temps will drop below freezing. Always follow label instructions.
  • More question on Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale – here’s a link to a page from UT about this new scale attacking our Crepe Myrtles –
  • Questions about Koi Pond Maintenance – Can I clean out my Koi Pond? YES – it’s time to get started doing your yearly pond clean out. There are some other posts on my blog about this that will help you out – a to do list, things to have on hand etc. It’s Time 🙂
  • When will it stop raining? GREAT question… Soon, I hope 🙂
  • And the trivia question today was – What was Johnny Appleseed’s real name???  Any guesses? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?  – Jonathan Chapman was his real name! John Chapman, called Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ontario, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, as well as the northern counties of present-day West Virginia. Born – September 26, 1774  Died – March 18, 1845

Another great Friday show is in the books & I want to thank everyone who calls in and everyone who listens! You can Listen &/or call in with your questions every Friday from 10 – 11 am. at WNWS 101.5 FM in Jackson, TN. You can also listen on your smart phone on your TuneIn App.! This is a LIVE show and we appreciate your calls and questions! The number is 731-423-8101. You can also TEXT in your inquiries to 731-277-5155.

Thanks! Have a GREAT weekend!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206

What’s the best location for a Water Garden? | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

Question : What’s the best location for a Water Garden?

Answer : It depends on several factors. The main thing is that YOU get maximum enjoyment from the feature!

Many times when I go to a Design Consultation the client takes me to the lowest part of the yard and says “here’s a great area, every time it rains its standing in water”… OK, that might be a great area for a retention pond, but probably not a Koi Pond or Water Garden 🙂 In fact – No runoff water should ever enter your Water Garden!

Here is my beautiful, blooming Water Garden in Summer. Your welcome to come by and see it during business hours at Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN. This is a front yard Water Feature.

I design and install a LOT of Water Features. I started my business in 1989 and I have seen almost everything you can imagine when it comes to Water Features and their placement in the Landscape. Some are front yard features, but most (90% +) are backyard Ponds!

I have several Ponds and Water Features around my home & I enjoy my backyard Pond the most I think. But where to put a new feature is something that each project will reveal as I go through the design process with a new client. But there are some tried and true things I want to share with you here about placement and design –

  • Make the Water Feature easily accessible from the home, ie; Not to far away – avoid limiting access.
  • Bring the Pond right up to the patio or deck if possible, make it “Part of the outdoor space”
  • If possible make the Waterfalls view-able from the inside the home.
  • If you can open a door or window and hear the Waterfall that’s a BIG + !

    Position your Waterfalls where you can view them from inside your home! Every time you look out the window this will make you feel good. 🙂

Like I said, most of the Water Features that I install are backyard features, installed for the enjoyment of the family & friends. Some are front yard features that were designed for curb appeal, to be seen by passers, to welcome guests or even to create a beautiful scene from a dining room window. But ALL are special! Before you start on your Water Feature, seek advise from a professional Water Feature Designer. Getting another opinion or ‘set of eyes’ to look at your landscape can bring some exciting ideas to the table for you & your new Water Garden!

Thanks & Happy Pondering!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206

Can I add snails to my Pond? | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

Question : Can I add snails to my Pond?

Answer : Yes indeed! BUT, adding the right type of snail is the key to success!

Many snails are invasive and will literally take over a small Water Garden or Koi Pond! DON’T capture wild snails from the river or lake and bring home to your backyard pond! Big Mistake…

Instead buy some Algae Eating Japanese Trapdoor Snails (Viviparis malleatus).  They are highly sought by Pond Keepers. They are non-invasive, hardy & will assist you in helping to keep algae under control in your Water Garden! Japanese Trapdoor Snails will really work around your entire Pond consuming decaying organic matter like leaves, excess fish food, and fish waste.

Japanese Trapdoor Snails are hardy and can live up to 5 years! They really help to keep your pond clean. Here’s one we just pulled out of a pond at Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

Japanese Trapdoor Snails are “Live-Bearing” and only breed a couple times per year – So they won’t take over your pond! Unlike other snails that can breed out of control.

Japanese trapdoor Snails do a great job helping with Pond Maintenance and they only cost around $5 each.

I try to always have some available for purchase. You need to have around 10 Japanese Trapdoor Snails per 50 sq. ft. of surface area of pond for them to really make a difference. You can even put them in your farm pond to aid in water quality!

Like I always say – work with mother nature for the best results 🙂

Happy Pondering!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206

What should I feed my Koi in early Spring? | Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN
February 13, 2018, 4:31 pm
Filed under: Koi, Outdoor Lifestyles, water garden | Tags: , , , ,

A few days ago my daily blog was about WHEN you can start feeding your Koi. Of course that led to several conversations about WHAT to feed them… There is SO much info to cover on this subject that I couldn’t possibly cover it all – So I will give you a good short overview of what I know to be true & the Koi staple that I use and stock to sell. Since it’s early season I will only cover cool temperature Koi food.

Keep your Koi happy and healthy as we transition into Spring. Use quality Cool Temperature Koi Food | Carters Nursery Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

# 1 thing to remember – Make sure your fish food doesn’t contain ANY corn! . Corn is very BAD for your pets! They can’t digest it. What I am going to show you doesn’t contain ANY corn. This is top quality food, your fish will LOVE it & it will show!

I also feed some fruits and veggies to my Koi in the early season as snacks (oranges, grapefruit, lettuce, sweet peas, softened carrots, watermelon, etc.) along with a high quality Cool Season Koi food. TIP I usually have to get them to eating the Koi food before they take to the veggie snacks 🙂

For several years I have been using – Blackwater Premium Koi and Goldfish Cool Season fish food.

This is a top quality Koi Food and we stock this at Carters Nursery, Pond & Patio | Jackson, TN

It’s formulated specifically for water temperature’s below 60°F. We start with this in the Spring and end of in the Fall with this too. This food contains a complete, balanced mix of ingredients that are easier for fish to digest during the cooler seasons. This food is perfect for feeding between 50° to 60°F.

Wheat Germ, Fish Meal, Plant Protein Products, Dried Yeast Culture, Shrimp Meal, Garlic, Rice Germ, Monosodium Glutamate, Vitamin A Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Choline Chloride, d-biotine, Thiamine Monoitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex, Folic Acid, Zinc Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodate, Ethylenediamine Dihydrodide, Ascorbic Acid. 32% Protein, 4% Fat, 4% Fiber

We sell a lot of Koi food and our Koi food is always fresh. It makes me feel good to know I’m feeding good quality food to my finned pets 🙂 Our clients rave about the quality and the price is the best too! Here’s a couple of customer reviews.

Customer Reviews for Blackwater Cool Season Koi & Goldfish Food –

“Best food ever!!!”

Pros: has garlic in it already
Cons: none

This food has krill and plant protein and garlic in it and that adds to the winter heath of your fish. It also has fish oil and lots of vitamins in it. My other food did not have garlic in it and garlic helps the fish immune system and helps their digestion. The price is the best I have ever found for healthy food. None of the gluten or fillers in this food. Just the healthy stuff. I feel guilty now for feeding them for over 10 years with that other food. It also floats and my fish gobble it up.

Would you Recommend this to a friend: Yes


I hope this info on quality cool season Koi food helps!

Happy Pondering!

Spring is Coming!

Mark Carter
Carter’s Nursery, Pond & Patio
2846 Old Medina Rd.
Jackson, Tn. 38305
Ph# 731-424-2206