Growing Peonies

Peonies are an old fashioned easy to grow herbaceous perennial. They require cool winters to fulfill their dormancy requirements. Peonies perform best in well drained loamy soil with good air circulation and plenty of sunshine and spring moisture. If plants do not get enough sun they will not bloom and may even decline in size over time. The best time to divide or transplant peonies is October. This allows plenty of time for root development and nutrient storage before winter. …

Dividing Bearded Iris

Bearded iris can be divided any time after the last spring frost. However, many iris growers believe the optimal time is 6-8 weeks after blooming. August is a good time to begin. This gives plants time to root well before winter. Extremely hot days (90 +) should be avoided when transplanting. Plant division every 3 to 4 years is beneficial for maximum bloom. With a garden fork lift the entire plant clump and shake or rinse excess soil from roots. …

Dividing Hostas

Division should be done when shoots have quit growing at the center of a mature clump. This will greatly improve the plant’s appearance. Lift the entire clump and rinse excess soil from the roots. This will make it easier to see where each cut should be made. Use a sharp knife to make the divisions. Each division should have at least 2-3 eyes. Spring is the easiest time to divide Hostas because new shoots are only a few inches high and …

Dividing Daylilies

Plants usually bloom better if you divide clumps every 3 to 4 years. Lift the entire clump using a garden fork in early spring through mid-fall. The best time is after they have finished flowering. Start by placing the fork in the ground 6 to 12 inches away from the base of the plant. Gently push down on the handle to pry the clump up and out of the soil. Work around the root ball repeating this process until the …

Winterizing your Garden

In autumn or before the first hard frost, remove all annuals from beds, borders and gardens. These may be added to a compost pile.  Hand pull weeds, bag and dispose elsewhere. In autumn or late fall when perennials have finished flowering, cut back top-growth to the ground or crown of plant unless you leave seed heads for birds to feed on. Clear weeds from the surrounding soil, leaving beds and borders neat and tidy. Quick Tip: If it’s brown, cut …

Garden Maintenance

Perennials  Late March/early April cut back dead plants and apply a general purpose fertilizer. Every 3-5 years divide and transplant your perennials. Dig entire plant and cut into sections (2-3 growth buds each).  Tangled growth, holes in center of plant (middle is dead) or reduced flowering indicates it is time to divide.  Keep transplanted divisions moist until established. Remove spent flowers throughout the season. Prune stems back to crown of plant.  Some perennials will bloom again in fall if this …

Groundcover Spacing

How Many Plants Do I Need? Ground covers need to be spaced at an appropriate distance so that plantings will be easy to maintain and so that all areas of the planting fill in at the same rate.  To calculate the number of plants needed, use the chart below.  This chart should be used based on the recommendations found next to the container size of each plant.  Spacing is based upon rate of growth and mature spread. In general, these …

Basic Plant Care

Annuals vs Perennials It is best to know the difference between the two so you can make the most of these gorgeous flowers in your garden. An annual is a plant that lives for just one season. Whether you plant from seed or purchase seedlings to plant, an annual will sprout, flower, seed, and then die – all in the same year. Annuals tend to bloom all season long, until first hard frost, and are often bright and showy. Perennials, on the other hand, live …

Perennials for Fall Interest

Fall can be just as exciting as any other time in the growing season. As the days get cooler and the nights get longer, many plants are energized and triggered into their glory. The contrast of autumn perennials among falling leaves can be magnificent. When a fall perennial looks its best will depend on the variety, its location and the type of weather we are experiencing.  Some will begin in mid to late August. Others will wait almost until frost. …