Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Fall is for Planting


Fall is a great time to plant perennials and shrubs for a number of reasons. The milder fall temperatures are just what roots need to grow and establish. Soil temperatures tend to be a little warmer in late fall then in early spring. Even when the air temperatures drop to below freezing and the visible part of the plant has gone dormant, the ground temperature will generally stay warm enough that the roots will continue to grow.  All of your planting will look better in the spring because the initial root growth has already happened. They’re established and will start to grow as soon as temperatures are right in the spring. Fall air temperatures are generally cooler, so the plant retains more moisture. There is less flowering so the plant is able to produce and store more “food” in the root system. Another reason fall is a great time to plant is your soil is generally drier than it is in the spring. You can dig in it, add amendments and generally work your soil better when it is drier.
Look for products which contain compost and peat moss. Coconut coir is also a good soil amendment.
Add some root stimulator or root enhancing mycorrhizae will you’re preparing your soil.
In addition to trees and shrubs, some plants are meant to be planted in the fall. Tulips, daffodils and other spring flowering bulbs are planted in the fall when they are dormant. Pansies planted in the fall will bloom into winter and then re-bloom in the spring. Cool season vegetables such as lettuce and spinach thrive in the fall garden.  So grab your tools and let’s do some planting.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Dahlias, a fall favorite

For fall color, dahlias are hard to beat. Some interesting things about Dahlias. According to the American Dahlia Association, dahlias originated in Central America where they were called Acocotli and Cocoxochitl by the ancient Aztecs. Spanish explorers brought the plants back  to Europe and it was a staff member at the Royal Gardens in Madrid, Spain who named the plant after Swedish botanist Andreas Dahl.  Dahl considered the flower a vegetable. The first varieties with large, double flowers were bred in Belgium in the early 1800’s. Now there are thousands of varieties to choose from, ranging in size from less than 2" in diameter to over 8" and flower types from semi-cactus to water lily. 
 Bronze Leaf Dahlias such as Lolo Love.
Or this red 'Jewel K' dahlia.
Did you know dahlias are the official flower of the city of Seattle? Dahlias are planted from bulbs, called tubers. Plant dahlias in a sunny location in soil that has been amended with compost and peat moss. Sheep, Peat and compost is a good soil amendment for dahlias.
On August 23rd and 24th, the Colorado Dahlia Society’s 2014 Annual Show will be held at The Flower Bin, 1805 Nelson Road in Longmont. Find out more by visiting our website:
http://www.theflowerbin.net/ or call us at 303-772-3454. Come to the show and learn more about growing dahlias.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Keep your flowers Blooming their Best

Late summer doesn’t have to mean the end of your hanging baskets or your flower beds. Now is a great time to get your  container flowers, your hanging baskets and flower beds blooming strong, well into fall. Here's how.
Keep up with the “deadheading”; that is the practice of removing spent flowers to encourage more blooms instead of going to seed. If some of your annuals are looking spindly, cut them back by about half. They’ll bounce back quickly, with more blooms.
Use a balanced fertilizer such as ferti-lome® 20-20-20. This will encourage new growth and flowers.  
If your geraniums and petunias have suddenly stopped blooming, check for evidence of bud worm.
Spray with all natural Thuricide or dust with Dipel to get rid of them.
Slugs can be a problem on your flower plants too.
Apply some Sluggo or Diatomaceous Earth.
Perk up your flower beds with ferti-lome® Gardener’s Special, a slow release fertilizer which should give your plants an ample supply of nutrients to keep them going strong well into fall.  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Planting to attract hummingbirds


There are a wide variety of plants which attract hummingbirds, but they are especially drawn to plants with tubular, red flowers.  Here are 5 great "reds"  to attract hummingbirds to your garden:

Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis) Hummingbirds can spot their red colors from far away.  Plant 'Fan Salmon' in well-drained soils.

This heirloom Lobelia (Cardinal Flower) has beet-red foliage and scarlet flowers from midsummer on. 'Queen Victoria'

One look at Red Birds in a Tree and you can see how it earned its name. Once established, it will bloom from spring through fall. Great for xeriscaping.  

Crocosmia produce intense red flowers on long stems. A dramatic addition to your hummingbird garden. 'Lucifer'

Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber) is a compact shrub which blooms cherry-red.  'Jupiter’s Beard'