Late August Gardening Tips

august gardeningYour gardens might be approaching the harvest time this month and zucchini, cucumbers, summer squash, beans and tomatoes must be quickly approaching ripeness. Raspberries are plentiful, corn is tasseling, and annual flowers are also in abundance this time of the year.

Now is the time to renovate tired strawberry beds. Cut back foliage to about one-half-inch above the crowns. Thin rows, leaving only healthy, young, vigorous plants. Weed, then fertilize with 5 pounds of 10-10-10 per 100 feet of row, or an organic alternative. Water well and mulch with pine needles, straw mulch, wood shavings, or herbicide-free grass clippings.

Your garden container plants also require equal attention. Remove spent blossoms and sickly leaves. Cut back scraggly petunias, lobelia, alyssum and coleus. Strong new growth will be encouraged. Replace any plants that are doing poorly. Read the rest of this entry

Tips For Preparing Your Garden For Summer

climatisIt’s time to ready the garden for summer. The preparation you make now will help you enjoy the garden later.

The first step is to clean up the lawn and the beds. Take out the rake and make sure the leaves are off the lawn and the perennial beds, and make sure they don’t cover the area where you will soon plant annuals. Pick up any tree limbs that landed on the lawn, driveway or walkways.

Pruning often contributes to a healthier tree or shrub, but each plant has its pruning time. A rhododendron or azalea, which are shrubs that bloom in the spring, need pruning in mid-summer after their flowers have gone.

Dead limbs of trees and shrubs need to be cut so that the plant will enjoy more vigor. Since such limbs only burden the plant, cutting them off helps the plant as the growing season progresses. Read the rest of this entry

Perfect Tips To Prepare Garden and Lawn For Spring

Sprout.There are some extremely important tasks that need to be addressed this gardening season.Start some flowers and other garden plants from seeds weeks before it’s warm enough to transplant them outside. Plants started from seed generally cost far less than you end up paying at the garden store. The timing of planting is really crucial and you must determine when to start plants indoors . Seed packets of those plants which are commonly started indoors usually contain special instructions for when and how to do it.

You can repurpose many would-be throwaway items — including cardboard boxes, toilet paper tubes, newspaper, egg cartons and even half-eggshells — to serve as miniature, biodegradable seedling pots. Some of the most common plants started from seeds indoors include tomatoes, peppers, melons, squash, eggplant and a wide variety of flowers and herbs. If you’re short on sunny window space consider building a simple cold frame in your yard as a place to start seeds up to six weeks before planting season. You can find designs online of how to build cold frames out of inexpensive materials like bales of hay, scrap lumber, plastic sheeting and old windows. Read the rest of this entry

How To Read Seed Packets Labels

Winter is at its climax with cold, snow, ice, rain, fog — you see it all. January is also the gardening season when seed catalogs and seed displays pop up fast.One week the store aisles are full of holiday clearance, and the next week towers full of little packets promising all sorts of garden wonders appear to inspire and tempt us.

You must have come across variations on packing and labels. Even the big labels are offering more in categories like heirloom and organics. There’s truly something for everyone.

It becomes real important to know and understand what do the terms mean with respect to seeds. Here’s a review of some definitions to consider when making seed purchases.

Annual – An annual lives or grows for only one season. Annual flowers give one season of color to a garden. Most vegetables are annuals too, growing and being harvested in one season. Some annual plants will reseed themselves; with other annuals, seed saving is a possibility. For most annuals, count on one season. Read the rest of this entry

Perennials in containers make a great gardening combination, but you need to take a little extra care otherwise they will quickly go to pot if overlooked in the winter.

Plant roots are vulnerable to freezing in containers, where the soil hardens more than it would in the ground. Stems and branches — particularly those on small trees and shrubs — need protection from the deep chill as well as from snow and ice.

Containers should be cared for to prevent splintering and crumbling.

Leonard Perry, an extension horticulturist with the University of Vermont opines that, “The most important thing you can do when overwintering container plants is ensure that they’re vigorous and established.” Read the rest of this entry

Winter Plantings in Your Garden

Summer vegetable gardens can provide winter bounty by working a good soil amendment into the planting beds to offset nutrient depletion from earlier plantings. Plant broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, Brussels sprouts, chards, kale, onions and garlic.You can plant garlic in cloves, or sets – the little bulblets.

Winter and early spring-blooming shrubs can be planted. You can also have a beautiful winter-blooming camellia called Yuletide. A new Daphne variety called Eternal Fragrance’ will be available soon. It blooms from January until November with repeated sets of buds and blooms.Ornamental trees and shrubs like ceanothus, Japanese maples, magnolias and forsythia can be planted

Primroses, violas and pansies can be put into the ground and provide the garden with winter color. Gardeners should consider planting perennials.Perennials during winters may appear lifeless and dormant but the plants are amenable to winter planting. Plant them now because they’re dormant. In springtime, they’ll really take off. When caring for established perennials do not cut back tender varieties, but hardy perennials can be cut to the ground. Deciduous vines can be pruned right now

It is also a good time to plant spring-blooming bulbs including dahlias, begonias and gladiolus.

Perfect Time To Order Seeds

It is perfect time to place orders for your seeds.If you don’t have enough seed catalogs, borrow some from a friend or go online and search for “garden seeds and plants.”

You will sure locate few great seed companies that will send you a catalog or take your order online. You can search for “garden seeds” and find a treasure trove of seed companies specializing in organic seeds, heirloom varieties, exotic and unusual seeds, as well as your favorite varieties of vegetables, fruits, flowers, trees and shrubs. Don’t overlook the specialty companies, which feature potatoes, garlic or tomatoes. Read the rest of this entry

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