Posts Tagged ‘deadheading’

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Capturing Summer and Autumn Blooms #2

October 28, 2014

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Annual Vinca:  My favorite annual because it blooms profusely

without deadheading.

Plant notes:

Full sun

1 – 3 feet high

Great as borders or in pots

Pink, blue, red, white

Zones 2 – 11

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I made a promise . . .

July 7, 2014

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Hummingbird Mint is the newest addition to one of my many potted plants. The mix of coral-colored blossoms is also novel to the white, lavender, and pink hues around the house and garden.

I had purposely planted the Hummingbird Mint in view of the kitchen and great room windows, but I spotted only one hummingbird drinking sweet nectar from the tubular flowers. Then the blossoms died. While I was deadheading on a warm early morning, a hummerbird fluttered about looking for breakfast.

She came close to me, hovered one foot in front of my face.

“Sorry,” I said with an earnest heart, “it will bloom again, soon.”

She tilted her head as if to acknowledge my apology. Then off she flew in anticipation of  a promise.

 

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It is 6:00 a.m., Saturday morning

June 7, 2014

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I am ready to exit the home office, push my fingers into a pair of garden gloves instead of tapping them on the keyboard where I have spent most of my week. It will feel GOOD to be with nature, to spruce up the plants that need deadheading, and clear the garden floor of leaves.

At some point, I plan to pull out a 15-year-old lavender plant. It is four feet tall and three feet wide, mostly woody. Plants don’t last forever, and I have to admit 15 years ago I did not know how to properly care for lavender. If lavender plants are not trimmed correctly from year one, cutting later, into the ugly woody branches to get rid of them can kill the plant. Having learned too late, I let mine grow and grow and grow.

I won’t be looking for a replacement plant this weekend, but I’ll search the nurseries soon for something less troublesome. For now, I’m going to enjoy my time in the garden—before the triple digits.

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Turning to the Outdoors to Revive the Spirit

May 3, 2014

Turning to the Outdoors to Revive the Spirit

Except for these few moments at the computer, this weekend I’m taking time off from the indoor workload and be with nature. Yesterday was stressful. But this morning, when I stepped into my perennial garden, full of breathtaking blooms, my spirit felt a surge of joy and calm. This is one reason I garden.

It is a perfect day for outdoor activities. The sun is a gentle warm up and the air moves with a cool breeze. I’m going to deadhead, trim, and pot up some hens and chicks. Shape and remove, add to and change . . . the cycle of life.

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August Garden Tasks

August 2, 2010

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Please note:  What I write in this space are lessons learned through trial and error, research, and from other gardeners and professionals. I garden in zone 9, but share garden experiences that I believe are relevant to most zones within a reasonable time frame and planting conditions. 

August 

MaintenanceStart fall clean up. Get cold frames cleaned up and ready. For building instructions on cold frames, go to http://www.groovygreen.com/groove/?p=905. Clean out greenhouses, potting sheds, and garden houses. Replenish supplies. Dispose of chemicals according to your county regulations. If you don’t have them secured in a locked cabinet, now is a good time to do this. Repair and replace garden tools as late-summer early-fall sales begin.

Around the garden:  Continue to deep water all plants and trees. Replenish mulch where needed. Keep mulch three inches from trunks and plant bases.

In the vegetable garden:  If you haven’t begun fall planting now is the time to make your selections. Check with a local nurseryperson for a planting guide suitable to your zone. He or she should be able to tell you which vegetables you can start NOW indoors and outdoors by seed or seedlings. Below is a list of cool season crops. 

Chard, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, onions, spinach, lettuce, Brussels sprouts, beets, fennel, leeks, kale, peas, carrots, radishes, celery, turnips, mustard, chives, parsley, cilantro, dill. 

While your seeds are germinating, prepare the garden soil with manure or compost. Let sit at least two weeks before sowing or planting. 

Continue harvesting summer vegetables and preserving the overflow. To save space, train or tie vegetable vines such as tomatoes, melons, gourds, cucumbers, and pumpkins. Dry herbs for later use. Scout for pests regularly. 

In the landscape:  Stop pinching back mums. For larger blooms, remove side shoots leaving one or two buds per stem. 

For free, self-sowing flowers next spring and summer, let some annuals go to seed. If you prefer to direct-sow, gather seeds and package them (be sure to label/date) to sow indoors next spring. 

Late August look for cool season annuals to plant. For color all winter, try annual stock. 

If ants are a problem in potted plants, look for aphids. Until you can get rid of the aphids, temporarily place a saucer of water underneath the pot to keep the ants out. 

Order spring bulbs and peonies for fall planting. 

Deadhead roses and perennials for a second color burst. Trim Victoria Blue Salvia (Salvia farinacea) to two-foot tall. Cut Shasta daisies, coreopsis, and delphiniums to six inches. 

Divide spring flowering bulbs and perennials. 

Prune hydrangeas as soon as the flowers fade. For fewer, larger flowers next year, cut stems to the base of the plant. For more flowers, cut back 12 inches on stems that have bloomed.

Remove dead branches from trees and perennials. Don’t place diseased foliage in compost pile.

Feed ground and potted annuals regularly for continuous blooms through the end of summer and into the beginning of fall. Regularly fertilize mums until they bloom using a low nitrogen fertilizer (5-20-02). Don’t feed mums that started blooming in July. Feed fruit trees. Copyright © 2010 Dianne Marie Andre

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