Gardening Tips

Pruning

Prune spring-flowering shrubs as soon as they are done blooming by early June so the plants have enough time to set flower buds for next spring....

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Hardening off

If you started seeds indoors or in a greenhouse, make sure to harden them off appropriately.  Place them in a shady location protected from wind and gradually move them into more direct sunlight over the course of a week or tow.  Cover or move the plants indoors if there is a danger of frost....

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Gladiolus

Plant gladiolus corms every two weeks starting mid-May through June.  This will expend the bloom time throughout the summer.  Plant full-size, healthy corms 4 inches deep and 9 inches apart and stake accordingly....

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Keeping Cut Flowers Fresh

  • Cut off the bottom 1/2" of the stem at an angle so more of the stem can pull up water.  If possible, cut the stem under water.
  • In order to help keep cut flowers fresh for a longer period of time, add 1 Tblsp. of lemon juice and 1 Tblsp. of sugar to a container 2/3 filled with cool or tepid water.
  • Peonies last longer if the stems are split at the bottom with a sharp knife before they are placed in water.
  • Remove below the water foliage.  Any plant leaves and flowers you leave in the vase water will rot quickly, which will spread bacteria that will kill your flowers before their time.
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Slug Sprays

  • Coffee: Save leftover coffee to spray plants that have a problem, make sure to spray underneath the leaves as well as the stems and surrounding soil. You can also sprinkle a layer of used coffee grounds around the plant to ward off these pests. They won’t like it and will likely move on to greener pastures in a few short days.
  • Vinegar & Water: Pour 1 cup household vinegar and 1/2 cup water into a spray bottle. Spray the critters on the ground as you see them, but be careful not to spray the leaves of plants since the vinegar & water will
  • LEMON JUICE and SUGAR
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Overwintering Geraniums

 

Bare Root Plants This is the easiest of the three methods, and the most popular, because the results are almost guaranteed.

  1. Dig the geraniums up and carefully shake all the soil from their roots.
  2. Then hang the plants upside down in a cool 45-50°: F (7.2-10 C), dry place.
  3. An alternate method is to place 1 or 2 plants in a large paper sack. Note: The paper sack method is much cleaner than the hanging method, you'll see why in a few steps.
  4. Another method: Place geraniums upside down in a box and cover with newspaper and replant in the spring.
  5. Once a month during the winter, soak the roots of each plant in water for 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Most of the leaves will eventually fall off. (Here is where the paper sack is cleaner!)
  7. In the spring, when all chance of frost has past, prune or cut back each plant.
  8. Remove all shriveled, dead material.
  9. Healthy, live stems will be firm and solid.
  10. After pruning, pot up, or plant out the Geraniums and water in thoroughly.
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Help for Roses: Banana Skins

Roses love it if you dig in old banana skins just beneath the surface of the soil around the roots.  The skins contain a load of goodies-phosphates, calcium, sulphur and magnesium-which many soils are deficient in.   No roses?  Make sure to add those skins to your compost heap....

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Watering Houseplants

Water your plant with a longneck watering can that reaches all sides of the container. Water should be room temperature. Pour on enough water so that some seeps out of the pot's drainage holes. Pour out any water in the saucer so the plant is not oversaturated. For best results, water your plants in the morning so moistened foliage has a chance to dry out during the day....

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Amaryllis

Amaryllis flowers are colorful in the middle of winter making them popular plants for the Christmas season. When the flower has faded, cut the flower stalk off. Repot your amaryllis into a pot that has a hole for drainage. Plant the bulb so that the top one third of the bulb is above the soil line. Water lightly and place in a warm, light location. When you are past your last frost, plant the bulb into the garden. You can keep the bulb in a container. When early fall arrives, the upper leaves turn brown and the bulb can be repotted to bring inside. Trim all the leaves off the bulb and place into a cool location for a few weeks to keep it dormant. By October you can bring the plant out of dormancy to start growing again and produce the flower for your winter holiday table. If you prefer, you can keep the bulb cool and dry for the whole winter and replant next spring, after the danger of frost has passed, and wait for it to produce an early summer flower....

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