Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Fertilize Your Perennials

May is the month to fertilize your perennials. They’re entering their growth cycle for their late spring and summer displays, and the fertilizer ‘boost’ will ensure a long and colorful display as you add the nutrients to bolster both root and flower production. But remember: when applying fertilizer, less is best.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Protect Your Tender Plants Against Deer

Those hostas and other perennials that are just emerging for their new season are taste treats for deer, rabbits, and other herbivores. Your best bet to protect your investment in those plants is to make them taste terrible. There are several commercially available preparations (Bobbex and Liquid Fence are two examples) that consist of putrefied eggs, mint oil, garlic, and other ingredients that deer and rabbits find noxious. These preparations are applied using a home sprayer. A spraying of all new foliage is best when no rain is in the immediate forecast. For an hour or two, your yard will smell terrible. Once the sprays dry, humans no longer detect them but deer and rabbits avoid treated plants for up to a month.


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Spring Bulbs

After spring bulbs pass their bloom, deadhead spent flowers and then allow foliage to yellow and ‘ripen’ before being removed. It’s important because the foliage is responsible for passing the nutrients down into the bulb that will allow it to produce a new flower next year. Hide the foliage by growing perennials and annuals around it. When the foliage turns brown, cut it at ground level, secure in the knowledge that your favorite spring bulbs will return in 2023.


 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Dividing Irises

Beardless (Japanese or Siberian) irises need to be divided regularly. As they grow, the center of the plant weakens or dies. Dig out the clump, cut out 4-to 6-inch segments from the outer ring and discard the center. Plant your renewed irises in soil that has been improved with compost or other organic matter, making certain to keep them at the same depth as they were before.

 


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Keep the size of evergreens in check by removing the new growth, called ‘candles’ from ornamental shrubs. Left unchecked, evergreens can outgrow their allotted space and become leggy. Candling evergreens results in denser plants.


 

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Sprucing Up Your Lawn

Wake up your lawn by raking with a metal spring rake to remove dead grass and winter debris. Overseed thin or bare areas, and add compost to enrich your soil without the need for chemicals. Consider adding clover to your lawn; it creates a green lawn, doesn’t need fertilizer. It creates its own by fixing nitrogen from the air into the soil. Along with not bagging clippings, you will green up your property and save money.