If your digging arm ran out of steam after planting the first bag of fifty tulips last fall, your spring flower show may not be as lush as you wanted it to be. Interplant your large bulbs, like tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, with cold hardy annuals. The resulting look will resemble a gardening magazine spread or public garden display you have admired.
The careful digging that allows you to install a nursery six-pack of hardy annual transplants won’t disturb large bulbs, which should be planted… 4-8 inches deep. Plant the annuals as soon as they are offered in your nursery, as you should already see green foliage tips emerging from the bulbs. Try these four planting partners this spring:
- Tulips and primroses
- Hyacinths and pansies
- Daffodils and scented stock
- Dutch iris and sweet alyssum
When creating a flowering landscape, follow the garden design principle of starting with trees, then shrubs, then plants. Shrubs not only give the garden texture and dimension, many offer reliable spring flowers for sunny or shady situations. Azaleas herald the arrival of spring in many southern gardens, and forsythia does the same in temperate climates. If the thought of a plain green shrub amidst your flowers doesn’t thrill you, choose a shrub that displays bright berries after its flowers… fall, like viburnum. You can also look for newer cultivars of old favorites that have variegated foliage, like daphne ‘Marginata’ in warm climates or elderberry ‘Madonna’ in cold climates.
When you include flowering containers in your spring garden, you can get earlier blooms in your garden than when you plant in the ground. You can bring small hanging baskets into a shed or garage when temperatures plummet at night, and even large containers can move to a sheltered area if you employ planters on casters. Some of the most beloved container plants thrive in cool spring temperatures, including snapdragons, petunias, and annual lobelia. These cool season annuals are at their… flowering peak when daytime temperatures are in the 70s. Other container flowers, like viola and nasturtium, can tolerate early spring frosts.
Planting bulbs under a lawn doesn’t take any special skill; the most important care tip for naturalizing flower bulbs in a lawn is to delay mowing until the bulb foliage matures. Therefore, choose the earliest blooming bulbs to plant, unless you don’t mind letting your grass grow as long as strappy bulb foliage. Crocus bulbs are the most commonly grown flowers in a lawn, but you can also try snowdrops or iris reticulata. Slice your sod with a sharp spade, and plant groups of bulbs at least three… inches below the soil surface.
The colder the climate, the more anxious gardeners are for signs of spring in the landscape. Planting very early bloomers can make you feel like you’ve cheated part of winter, because these hardy bulbs may begin to bloom when the holiday decorations are just coming down. These petite flowers don’t make much of a statement when planted in groups of a dozen or less, but the low price of the so-called minor bulbs makes a planting of a hundred or more affordable.
The common snowdrop, Galanthus… nivalis, sports dainty white bell-shaped flowers on six-inch stalks. They bloom as early as January, and naturalize easily in an undisturbed spot. If white flowers are lost in your snowy garden, consider the winter aconite, Eranthis hyemalis, which produce bright yellow flowers atop a ruffled collar of green foliage. Finally, glory-of-the-snow, Chionodoxa luciliae, produces masses of blue, pink, or white star-shaped flowers to satisfy your pastel flower cravings.
What a great time we had this past weekend at our Easter Egg hunt and Easter Bunny Visit! Stop on by this week for some great savings as well as checking out our new spring plant arrivals!
Don’t forget our Mulch Madness sale is still going on!
Before You Plant
Always plant in a well drained soil. To test for soil drainage, dig a hole for your new plant and fill it with water. If the water doesn’t drain in 12 hours, the soil in that area will need to be amended dramatically.
What Plant Form are You Transplanting?
Your tree or shrub will come in two forms: Balled and burlapped (B&B); or containerized. Containerized or B&B plants can be planted any time the ground is not frozen. If possible plant your tree or shrub as soon as you get it home. Otherwise, it may dry out and become injured. If you can’t plant it immediately, place it in a shady and/or sheltered location. Keep the soil moist until planted.
The Planting Hole
To plant your tree or shrub dig a hole twice as wide as the diameter and 6”-8” deeper than the root ball, replacing the 6”-8” of soil with enriched backfill. Compact this 6”-8” of soil. Once the plant is placed in the hole, the top of the root ball should be slightly above or level with the surface of the ground. Placing Your Plant in the Hole Remove all tags, wires or ropes from the stems or trunk, and do the following: Balled & Burlapped Plants: DO NOT remove the wire basket. Once the enriched soil has been placed ¾ of the way up the
Placing Your Plant in the Hole
Remove all tags, wires or ropes from the stems or trunk, and do the following:
Balled & Burlapped Plants
DO NOT remove the wire basket. Once the enriched soil has been placed 3/4 of the way up the root ball, cut & fold down the top 1/4 of the basket & burlap, remove any strings around the tree trunk. Fill the remaining hole with enriched soil to its original level.
Ease the pot off without disturbing the root ball. If the roots are extremely compacted, you may need to make a few shallow cuts through the roots on the side and bottom of the root ball.
Enriching Your Soil & Backfilling
Mix the soil taken out of the hole with Bumper Crop then backfill around the root ball. Tamp the soil lightly every 2”-3”, and fill the hole with the enriched soil to its original level. Use excess soil to build a ring 6” –10” from the outside of the hole. This will help the water to move slowly down to the root zone of the plant as well as minimize the runoff.
Water your newly planted tree or shrub by using a slow, deep watering method. B&B and container plant roots dry out faster than the soil around them, so it is important to monitor their soil moisture. Water slowly to attain deep water penetration which encourages widespread root development. You will need to water once every 7-10 days (or more during hot dry periods). Apply Root Master B1 after every watering
General Watering guidelines:
1 gal. Pot – trickle water for approx. 15-20 minutes
2 gal. Pot – trickle water for approx 30-40 minutes
3 gal. Pot – trickle water for approx 40-50 minutes
4 gal. To 7 gal. – trickle water for approx 60 minutes
B&B – trickle water for 60-70 minutes
Remember, if it rains for 1 hr, it probably was not enough water for a newly planted shrub or tree.
Water your plants thoroughly, then remove them from their pots by inverting them and supporting the root ball. If the roots are compacted, you may need to make a few shallow cuts through the roots on the side and bottom of the root ball. Place your plant into the hole. Add the enriched soil to ground level. Water the plant thoroughly to ensure the soil fills in completely around the roots, eliminating air pockets. Apply Rootmaster B1 at this time. Reapply Rootmaster B1 at every watering for the first year. Monitor your plants daily. Water slowly to attain deep water penetration which encourages widespread root development. Feed perennials bi-weekly with Bud & Bloom fertilizer. Add a 2”- 3” mulch layer around the plant. This will prevent water loss and keep mowers & trimmers from getting too close to the plant. Avoid overly deep mulch against the stem or trunk of the plant, as this can promote disease or pest injury.
Unless necessary, trees should not be staked. If your tree or shrub is top heavy or in an exposed area, you may stake the plant to anchor the root ball so roots can develop rapidly into the new soil around the tree. Connect the stakes to the trunk with flexible lines and straps designed for this use. Allow for some movement in the plant for strong growth. Remove the stakes and lines after one growing season so you do not inhibit trunk development.
Add a 2”-3” layer of shredded mulch or chips around the plant. This will prevent water loss and keep mowers and trimmers from getting too close to the plant. Avoid overly deep mulch against the trunk or stem of the plant as this can promote disease or pest injury.
Planting Perennial & Annual Plants
Plant your plants around your planting area while still in their pots. Make sure you have taken into consideration the mature height of the plants as well as the sun or shade requirements. Determine an appropriate location for planting, then dig a hole2 times the width & 6”-8” deeper, replacing with enriched soil (compact this 6”-8” of soil) Add a generous amount of Bumper Crop to enrich the soil. Blend into the soil.
For Successful Planting
An all-organic soil builder with high organic nutrient content and endo- and ecto-mycorrhizal fungi.
A fertilizer for all new plantings of sod or seeded lawns, shrubs, ground covers, flowers, or bare root plantings. Provides the right nutrient mix to develop a sturdy root system and strong top growth.
Root Master B1
Formulated to reduce plant shock and improve resistance to stress. Improves water and nutrient uptake.
|Steve C.||Very nice large center with huge selection.|
• Rake fallen leaves. If left on the lawn they can get slippery, form mats and smother the lawn where diseases like snow mold may take hold.
• Hate to rake? Leave the leaves on the lawn to improve the turf and soil life below. But first mow over the leaves several times in different directions (they should be dry). These small pieces of leaf litter add valuable nutrients to your lawn and it won’t lead to thatch build up.
– Certain tree leaves like cottonwood and oak don’t break down easily, so use less for mulch or add to the compost pile.
• Mulch new plantings or tender roses after a couple of hard freezes. Mound them with well-draining compost, or shredded bark.
•Apply a 2-3″ layer of mulch (bark, shredded bark, pine needs or chopped leaves) around trees, shrubs and perennials after the ground freezes. Be sure to keep mulch at least 6 inches away from the stems or trunks of the plants to prevent voles and mice from nesting.
•Any extra leaves not needed in the landscape can be shared or taken to local leaf drops, check with your municipality for dates and locations.
•Turf grass benefits from a final fertilization before going dormant for the season. Nitrogen helps the root system and aids greening up in the spring. Apply when the lawn is still green and moist so there is good absorption. Water a day or two before application if it’s been dry. Bonus for turf roots if aerating first, followed by fertilization.
•Prepare the lawn mower after the final mow. Prevent damage to the carburetor by using up all the gas in the lawn mower. Disconnect the spark plug, clean the underside with a putty knife or wire brush and sharpen the blade before storing for the winter. The oil can be drained and changed now or early next spring.
•Cutting back dead foliage on perennials in the fall or spring is a gardener’s choice. Plants receive additional insulation and protection from our frequent freeze/thaw cycles when foliage is left in place. Any recently planted perennials and shrubs should not be cut back in the fall. Let ornamental grasses provide winter structure in the garden. Birds appreciate finding seeds and hiding in standing foliage.
•Overwinter containerized shrubs like roses in an unheated garage, away from drafts. Water at least once a month; don’t let the soil completely dry out.
•Spring bulbs are still available in garden centers and can be planted until the ground freezes.
•Drain outdoor hoses after use, but keep them close by to winter water the landscape, especially new plantings of bulbs, trees, and roses.
•Blow out automatic sprinkler systems if not done in October.
•Put away garden products and fertilizers. Gather up outdated products and properly dispose of them through your municipality’s hazardous waste program.
•Store garden tools for the season after cleaning. Get a jump on next season by sharpening before stowing.
•Prepare new planting holes for bareroot plants (mainly small trees or roses) that can be ordered this fall for shipping and planting in late winter to early spring.
•Check wiring, straps and stakes on newly planted trees — make sure they aren’t pinching or girdling the trunk or nearby branches. Supports are only necessary for one to two growing seasons.
•Prevent winter sunscald damage to trunks of young, thin-barked, leafless trees by covering them with tree-wrap. Remove the wrap in April.
•In the fall it is common and normal for the inner most and oldest evergreen needles to turn brown and fall off.
•Prepare new spring planting areas this fall. Sheet composting or “lasagna gardening” is an easy and no cost way to prepare new beds by using leaves, lawn clippings, spent foliage, cardboard and kitchen scraps. First, remove rocks and debris or mow the grass low in the chosen space. Frame the bed size with cardboard or sheets of newspaper. Then plop on alternating layers of organic matter (browns and greens in the compost world). Time and weather do all the breaking down so next spring you’re ready to plant.
•Adding homemade or commercially bagged compost in the fall is ideal for vegetable beds if the organic matter is low (below 5 percent) or if the planting area is brand new. Do a soil test now to determine the organic matter percentage and test for nutrition or soil quality issues.
•Remove all dead vegetable foliage, and all diseased leaves. After clean-up, put your vegetable garden to bed with a thick layer of organic mulch.
•Take photos and jot down notes about the gardening season — what worked, where to improve and project ideas for next year. Include a list of new plants including bulbs.
•Store left over seed packets in a dry place like glass jars or plastic boxes. Some seeds are viable for several years if properly stored.
•Forcing bulbs indoors including tulips, crocus, narcissus, hyacinths and iris requires potting and then storing the planted pots for 10 to 16 weeks in cold storage at 35 to 50 degrees (tricking them like they are growing in the ground outdoors). They can be placed in an unheated garage or shed that won’t freeze, or outside in the ground buried at soil level. After the chilling period bring them inside the house. Plants will bloom in two to three weeks. Look for bulbs that are bred for indoor forcing-listed on the plant tag.
•Start amaryllis bulbs indoors in early November for late December bloom, and stagger planting additional bulbs into the New Year. There are many colors to try, but shop now for the best selection and quality. Use fresh potting soil in 6-inch pots with a third of the bulb showing above the pot rim. Water well and place in a cool area. Hold off on watering until growth appears, then water more frequently and move to a sunny location.
•Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter cacti usually bloom anywhere from now through April. Cool temperatures (60 degrees at night) and nine hours of sunlight cue these plants to bloom after six or more weeks. Reduce watering when the flower buds form, then water weekly as the buds swells. Flower color deepens when the plant is allowed to dry out between watering (if it’s too dry the flowers will drop).
New item for fall! Pumpkin chimeneas! Stop by to see our unique selection of this new product line now available at Daniels!
As wildlife habitats are threatened by development, the creation of a bird-friendly environment that provides food, water and shelter is crucial to the existence of our wild bird population. Caring for our feathered-friends is an educational and enjoyable activity for the entire family that brings beauty and song to our lives.
Benefits of Wild Birds
Birds are great guests to have in your yard, garden or landscape, and they provide more benefits than many homeowners and gardeners realize. Wild birds can…
- Control insects by feasting on both flying and crawling insects, as well as spiders, slugs, snails and other creepy-crawlies.
- Pollinate plants by flitting from flower to flower as they seek out insects or eat seeds, taking pollen along between blooms.
- Manage weeds as they consume copious amounts of weed seeds before the seeds ever have a chance to sprout.
- Control rodents when raptors visit the yard in search of mice, rats, gophers, voles or other unwanted pests.
Attracting Backyard Birds
Fortunately, it is easy to attract a wide variety of backyard birds when you offer them what they need most – food, water and shelter.
Food for Birds
Wild birds rely on both natural and supplemental food supplies so it is important to consider both when birdscaping. Feeding the birds is most important in the winter when natural food is scarcer, but they will visit feeders at any time of year. Migratory birds require additional food in the spring and fall as they pass through the region and nesting birds will utilize feeders in the summer.
- Provide a variety of natural foods for birds by planting berry bushes, seed-bearing flowers, nectar-rich flowers and sunflowers. Leave windfall fruit on the ground for birds to nibble. Minimize pesticide use so birds can feast on insects as well.
- Add supplemental feeders to your yard, such as birdseed feeders, suet feeders and nectar feeders. Clean feeders weekly to avoid mold that can be dangerous to birds, and be sure feeders are full when birds need them most.
Improve your backyard bird habitat by adding water. Birds require a constant supply of clean water for drinking and bathing. This is especially important in late summer, when water is scarce, and in the winter, when it is frequently frozen.
- Place bird baths in a protected location safe from predators, and keep the baths filled at all times so a fresh supply of water is constantly available.
- Scrub off algae as soon as it is appears and thoroughly was the bird bath each week to minimize feces contamination or other messes in the water.
- Provide motion for greater attraction by using a bubbler, wiggler, dripper or fountain. Birds will see the sparkles of the moving water and will hear the splashes from great distances, so more birds will visit.
- Use Mosquito Dunks to safely prevent mosquito larvae in warm weather. A clean bird bath with moving water will also harbor fewer insects.
- Add an outdoor-safe submersible heater to the bath in winter to keep the water liquid instead of frozen, or consider using a fully heated bird bath during the coldest months.
It is important to offer safe and comfortable shelter for your wild birds to nurture their young, protect them from predators and shield them from the elements. Planting evergreen trees and shrubs and providing bird houses, along with roosting boxes and pockets, are all beneficial additions to your birdscape.
- Choose both deciduous and evergreen landscaping trees and shrubs to offer birds different types of shelter in all seasons.
- Minimize pruning to give birds denser, more secure shelter to take advantage of when they feel threatened.
- Plant in layers and create thicket-like pockets or corridors in your landscape so birds can move around freely without feeling exposed.
- Supplement the shelter in your yard with good quality bird houses, winter roost boxes or nesting pockets to give birds even more options to stay safe and secure.
When you meet birds’ needs for food, water and shelter, your birdscape will soon be home to a fun and friendly flock of backyard birds.
Many homeowners wonder whether they should regularly water their dry lawns during a drought or essentially leave them alone. A Purdue Extension turfgrass specialist says each option has its pros and cons.
During a dry season, many lawns will show initial symptoms of drought stress, Aaron Patton said. As grass loses water, its leaves become less rigid and wilt; in this stage, grass stays flat after it is stepped on rather than “bouncing back.”
The most telltale signs of drought stress, however, are the crunchy tan or brown leaves of grass that has entered dormancy; the plant is still alive, but the leaves dry up and die. This helps the plant conserve water and survive a drought.
Drought stress is most noticeable on slopes and lawns established on shallow or poor soil, Patton said.
“In order to keep your lawn green during hot and dry periods, at least 1 inch of water will need to be applied weekly,” Patton said. “However, you can keep your lawn alive with far less water.”
Homeowners can water regularly enough to avoid drought stress altogether, or they can let their lawn go dormant and water only occasionally to help it survive.
Some of the advantages and disadvantages of each option:
Watering to keep lawn green
“Water turf two to three times weekly – deeply, a good soaking, so you don’t have to water daily,” Patton said. Watering in the early-morning hours is most effective; watering in the evening could encourage disease or pests.
* Advantages: Turf will stay green, aesthetically pleasing and actively growing; ground remains soft so it can be used for recreation; deep soaking will foster deep roots, which will help plants better survive a prolonged drought.
* Disadvantages: Higher water bill for those with city water; some increased risk of turf disease.
Letting turf go dormant
“Once the lawn turns brown and goes dormant, we can’t tell if a lawn is dying unless we water and wait to see the response,” Patton said. “That is why we advise to water once every two weeks with one-half inch of water once the turf goes dormant to keep plant crowns hydrated during drought. This amount of water will not green up the turf, but it will increase long-term survival during long dry spells.”
* Advantages: Avoid irrigation costs; most turf species are drought-tolerant and will survive typical Indiana droughts.
* Disadvantages: Difficult to tell when turf is getting too dry and needs water to stay alive; lawn is brown and has poor aesthetics; hard soil makes turf less usable for recreation; turf is more susceptible to injury and will not recover until rain returns; some thinning and turf death can occur if there is no rain for 4-6 weeks and no irrigation is applied.
Patton emphasized that when lawns are dry, it is important to stay off them. Mowers and other heavy equipment can cause substantial damage to vulnerable, stressed grass. Once rains return, the turf will begin to recover and grow new leaves within two weeks.
Daniel’s Lawn and Garden Center, 1457 Sumneytown Pike, Harleysville, proudly presents their 5th Annual Pink Day, Saturday, June 11, 2016. A family fun day to benefit Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in the fight against breast cancer.
Last year we rose over $1200 for breast cancer research and are looking to do even better this year. Festivities begin at 11:00 am with face painting and a moon bounce. Pony rides with Chica, the sweetest pony are from 12:00 to 2:00.
There will also be FREE 10 minute chair massages on site by Knots In Knead of Red Hill, PA.www.knotsinknead.net from 11:30am-2pm. Also, you can enter for a chance to win a gift certificate for a FREE 30 minute massage!
New this year is a Pollinator Program at noon by a local bee expert. He’ll show you how to bring pollinators to your garden, which benefits everyone.
Additionally there will be Pink Day Only specials throughout the store including 20lb propane tank refill for $11.99 and 50% off trees and shrubs.
Wear your pink and join us on June 11 and support Daniel’s Lawn and Garden Center’s efforts to help find a cure for breast cancer, a cancer that affects way too many Moms, sisters, wives and friends. Any questions about this event please call us at 610-287-9144 or visit www.danielslawnandgarden.com. See you there. Think Pink!!!