Lilac growing tips

Lilac Growing Tips

There is nothing that beats the beautiful fragrance of

the lilac! Do you want to be able to grow lilacs like

your grandmother did? Here are some good gardening

tips that will be able to help you grow these

beautifully scented flowers:

Lilacs are shrubs that grow best in areas of the

United States where winter freezes take place. Doesn’t

that seem odd? Yes, but in areas that do not

experience the winter freeze, the lilac may fail to

bloom.

If you want to grow lilacs and live in a very warm

climate, check with you nursery for varieties that are

suited especially for warm climates.

Lilacs will do best if they are planted where they can

receive about six hours of full sun. The best planting

times for lilacs would be in late April, early May,

later in September and even into October.

Lilacs like slightly alkaline soil, and they also need

to have good drainage.

You have to be careful to space lilacs about ten feet

apart as most of them grow into large bushes. You

should try to mulch lilacs with about three inches of

bark or wood chips.

You will not only be able to conserve water, but you

may prevent trimmer and lawn mower damage. Lilacs

should be fertilized in the early spring and right

after they have finished flowering.

When the lilac has finished blooming, it is time for

it to be pruned. Take away about 188 of the stems.

Make sure to prune off any dying or dead limbs.

Rose growing tips

Rose Growing Tips

Planting a rose garden can greatly enhance your

landscape. However, it intimidates many beginners to

try to grow roses. Rose growing is thought to be quite

difficult by many.

Reports of roses getting such things as powdery mildew

can make the novice fearful of giving rose growing a

try. Yet, by paying attention to four basic elements,

your rose growing can turn out to be a huge success.

1. Soil - The best soil for a rose to grow in is if it

has a pH from 6.5 to 6.8. The soil must have good

drainage for rose growing. You are able to promote a

soil’s drainage by using peat moss.

2. Irrigation - The best thing to do is to give your

rose bushes a good drink at least twice a week. If you

give your roses two deep waterings each week, this is

better than four less thorough waterings. It is best

to try not to water your roses late in the evening.

This could foster powdery mildew which is a common

disease among roses.

3. Spacing - If you do not adequately space your

roses, you are inviting powdery mildew to form on your

roses. It is best to let them breathe. Be sure to

follow the spacing requirements that are indicated on

the plant label when you buy your roses.

4. Sun - Roses enjoy six hours of sunlight each day.

It is preferable to have the roses get morning sun

rather than the afternoon sun.

There is nothing more beautiful than a rose bush in

full bloom. Do not let the growing of roses intimidate

you. Just follow the above tips and you are bound to

be a success at rose growing!

Soil solarization

Soil Solarization

Would you like to know what one of the best ways is to

get rid of pesky weeds and pests and some diseases as

well? It is to solarize your soil.

This technique is largely used in areas that have

abundant sunshine and high temperatures. However, it

can be adapted for cooler areas as well. The results

may not be quite as effective, but it can do wonders

in your battle against weeds.

What exactly is solarization? It is a technique that

does not use chemicals, but it captures the sun’s

radiant heat and energy which, in turn, causes

physical, biological and chemical changes in the soil.

These changes are able to control or eliminate soil

borne plant pathogens including bacteria, fungi,

pests, and nematodes along with weeds.

In order to solarize the soil, you must cover it with

a clear plastic tarp for approximately 4 to 6 weeks

during a time of the year when it is very hot and when

the soil will be able to receive maximum direct

sunlight.

The soil heats up to temperatures that are hot enough

to kill some soil inhabiting pests including root rot

fungi, wilt, noxious weed seed and root knot

nematodes.

Soil solarization also stimulates the releasing of

nutrients from organic matter that is present in the

soil. It is very effective in treating garden soils

where it is intended to plant herbs, vegetables and

flowers.

Now that you know what soil solarization is, you may

want to give it a try to your soil rather than using

different chemicals to control weeds and other pesky

little critters!

Do it right!

Do It Right!

When it comes to planting flower bulbs, there is a

right way and a wrong way of doing it. Make sure that

you pay attention to the care instructions that came

with the bulbs when you bought them.

Planting tools

You can either use a trowel or shovel to dig the holes

for the bulbs. Your job would be made a great deal

easier if you used a bulb planter.

It may be a good idea to mulch the newly planted bed

of bulbs. This is recommended by most experts. The

mulch will help to prevent weeds, cool the soil,

retain moisture and it will provide more organic

material that is necessary for the growing plants.

Watering Newly Planted Bulbs

After you have planted the bulbs, they should be given

a good drink of water. It may also be helpful to water

the bulbs occasionally if the fall and winter seasons

were very dry.

You should plan on giving the bulbs at least an inch

of water each week when the growing season becomes

active. This can either be from natural rainfall or

from supplemental watering.

Fertilizing the Growing Bulbs

When you begin to see the bulbs pop their tiny little

heads out of the soil, it is very important that you

begin to fertilize them every few weeks. It is best to

use a good water soluble fertilizer. This will help to

promote additional flowering and better bulb growth.

All of the above will make sure that you have

beautiful flowers from the bulbs you have planted. It

may take a little work, but it will be worth it in the

end!

Tips for having beautiful peonies

Tips for Having Beautiful Peonies

The peony is just about the longest-living perennial

plant you will ever see. There are two basic types of

peonies - the herbaceous types and the tree peony.

It would be best to plant peonies at the back of

flower borders as they are large plants. In the

spring, the peonies have attractive ferny foliage and

the beautiful blooms are usually produced in May.

Peonies best thrive in a place that receives at least

half a day to a full day of sunshine. If the climate

is very hot, then provide some afternoon shade for

these plants.

The best time to plant the peony is the early fall but

early spring plantings do well also. Make sure to

prepare the site well. Dig an oversized hole and make

sure that you fill some of it with compost.

The secret of having a successful peony is this: Make

sure that the tuber is positioned so that the eyes

which are located on the crown are covered with about

two inches of soil.

Peonies are picky - they do not like to be planted

very deeply. If your peonies have stopped producing

flowers after a few years, then you should see if

perhaps they have sunken too low in their bed. Perhaps

they have had too much soil sitting on top of them.

If your peonies seem to flop over by mid-summer, then

it would be a good idea to stake them. When you go to

cut your flowers, clip them when the buds are just

beginning to unfurl. Once they are put in water, the

blooms will quickly open and will last for about a

week indoors.

The perfect mum

The Perfect Mum

Chrysanthemums are very popular perennials. You can

get mums in a variety of colors as well as in various

growths all the way from the smaller dwarf plants all

the way up to the Maxi-Mums.

These plants are very easy to grow so they would be

good for a beginner gardener to try. If taken care of

correctly, they will give you years of enjoyment.

Make sure you choose an appropriate variety, plant

your mums in a sunny, well-drained location and

protect them during the winter.

Planting Time

The best time to plant your chrysanthemums is after

the danger of frost has passed. You are able to use

small plants that you have obtained from rooted

cuttings or divisions or you may even use the larger

container plants that you have bought from nurseries.

The chrysanthemums may be put in the ground at anytime

in the spring, summer or even during the early fall.

Soil, Site, and Fertilizer

Garden mums will grow very well in a variety of soils

but they must all have excellent drainage conditions.

Mums also enjoy sunny locations. Try to mix in two to

four inches of peat moss or compost into the soil. If

you only use peat moss, then try to add a fertilizer

in the spring.

Pinching

If your mums are pruned or pinched on a regular basis,

then they will have a bushy and compact plant form.

The traditional method includes pinching out the tip

in order to induce branching so that stockier plants

will be produced.

All pinching must be completed by the 4th of July to

assure that your plant flowers before the frost.

Growing begonias from tubers

Growing Begonias from Tubers

A tuberous-rooted begonia is a beautiful plant to

grow. It has lovely double-flowers as well as textured

foliage. They make excellent potted plants as well as

bringing color to summer gardens.

In order to get the earliest flowers, you should start

your tubers off by letting them sprout in a seed tray

or in a box of damp potting soil in the months of

February or March.

Space them approximately two inches apart, and do not

bury them too deeply. The top side should just be

covered by a surface layer of potting soil.

The begonias like to be put in a temperature of about

64 degrees Fahrenheit. However, they do not seem to

mind higher temperatures.

After the tubers have sprouted and you can see small

leaves, transfer the tubers to a five inch pot and

cover them with compost. Since you will probably be

using the begonias in an outdoor garden, begin getting

your begonias acclimated to the temperature outdoors

in stages.

This process should probably begin towards the end of

May. After a week, if the threat of frost has passed,

you may leave your begonia plants outside all night.

Begonias like a place that is moist and partially

shaded. If they happen to be in the sun for most of

the day, then you should water your begonias

frequently in order to prevent bud drop.

As the plants continue to grow and buds begin to form,

the begonias should be given a regular liquid feed

every ten days or so. This will help to promote good

growth as well as an abundance of flowers!

Tips for gardening tools

Tips for Gardening Tools

What good would a green thumb do you if you do not

have some of the very essential gardening tools to

make your job go a lot smoother? Here are some basics

that every good gardener should have beginning with

the novice all the way up to the "professional"

gardener.

Gloves - You should have a good pair of waterproof

gloves that fit well. You should also find some that

have long cuffs. Gardening gloves seem to be best

suited to fit men so women will probably have to hunt

to find a good pair.

Sun hat - You should have a hat with a wide brim

equipped with a drawstring cord. This should provide

adequate protection from the sun. You have to make

sure that your hat will not be lifted aloft when those

spring winds come.

Canvas apron - A good apron to have is one that has

pockets to fit some of your tools in as well as your

phone. This is good when you don’t always have a

chance to put on your grubbiest clothes.

Five-gallon bucket - This comes in handy to tote your

tools around with you as you make your way through the

flower beds. You can always toss weeds in as you are

working!

Spade - This is an important tool to have but one that

can easily get misplaced or thrown out by accident. It

would be a good idea to get some brightly-colored tape

to wrap around the handle so it will show up against

the grass.

Pruners - These are great to clip back woody stems.

You will get a nice, clean cut that will minimize any

injury to plant tissue.

Hand rake - This is just a little bit larger than a

spade and does a great job in fluffing up mulch or in

turning up very young weeds.

Growing geraniums

Growing Geraniums

Geraniums are plants that look good in a bed just by

themselves or they even look good if they are mixed in

with other annuals. It also makes for an attractive

edging plant for the perennial garden. These plants

are very versatile and will look good no matter where

they are put.

Although the geranium can put up with a little frost,

it loves the warm weather. Here are some tips for

growing geraniums:

* Light - Most geraniums do well in full sun. That

means that they should receive at least six hours of

direct sunlight each day.

If the climate you live in is very hot, then you may

plant them in an area that is partly shaded. Many

geraniums will do quite well in a partly shaded spot,

but they will not bloom as prolifically.

* Soil - Geraniums thrive in rich soil that is very

well drained. If you add compost to your soil, this

will give your plants an extra boost.

* Fertilizer - When you grow geraniums, it is good to

note that they are heavy feeders. You should plan on

giving them fertilizer at least every two weeks. You

may also feed them when you plant them with a

time-released fertilizer that will last the entire

season.

* Water - When it does not rain, you will have to make

sure that you water your geraniums regularly. If you

are not sure if you should water, just poke your

finger down into the soil. If it is dry at least two

inches down, then you had better get out the hose!

* Grooming - You want to keep your plants looking

their best by dead heading them and by taking away any

dried or discolored leaves. In this way, your

geraniums will look great all season!

Tips for growing gardenias

Tips for Growing Gardenias

If you have been looking for a plant that has an

incredible fragrance, then you have found it in the

gardenia. For those blessed with a green thumb, your

gardenias will be things of beauty with their white

scented blooms.

This plant thrives in tropical climates. So if you

live in a tropical climate, gardenias should be

plentiful.

In order to choose a nice gardenia, look for a compact

plant and one that is full of glossy foliage. The

leaves should have a rich, bright green color.

The gardenia needs a lot of light. You should see that

the gardenia does not get direct afternoon sun as that

is usually the hottest part of the summer.

The gardenia needs an even amount of moisture. They

react to the water’s quality and temperature. They

like room temperature distilled water the best. When

the gardenia isn’t blooming, it should be kept a

little drier.

These plants bloom the best when the days are warm and

the nights are cool. Gardenias are usually tolerant of

different variations in temperatures, particularly if

it is humid. In order to perform at their very best,

gardenias need a climate that has high humidity.

It is best to use a water-soluble fertilizer on

gardenias every two to three weeks. Several times

during the year, you may use an acid fertilizer.

Once you have smelled the gardenia, you will become

hooked! Follow the above tips and you will more than

likely be able to grow beautiful gardenias both

outside and inside of your home.