Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Flower Bin Holiday Open House

A long-standing Flower Bin tradition continues this weekend as Christmas begins at The Flower Bin Holiday Open House, Friday, Saturday and Sunday November 27, 28 and 29. There will live entertainment featuring
Harpist Jenilee Elsbend
and Jeffery Rogers on the Hammered Dulcimer.
Santa Claus will pay a special visit on Saturday, November 28, from 11 am to 3 pm and Sunday November 29 from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm. 
Bring your camera for great family shots with Santa.  
Enjoy holiday cookies and apple cider while you shop the best in decorations including:
live and
cut trees, wreaths, garland, ornaments and featuring
Flower Bin grown Poinsettias.
Start a tradition by making the Christmas Open house a “Must Do” to kick off your holiday season.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Getting your roses ready for winter.

Mid-November is the right time to get your roses ready for winter. Most of the winter damage to roses and perennials comes from temperature fluctuations, dry winds and lack of moisture. It's not uncommon for the winter daytime temperatures to be surprisingly warm, followed by very cold nights.
Freezing night time temperatures followed by thawing out during the day can affect the soil around your roses and cause root and graft damage. There are three things to do now. First, make sure your roses are well hydrated, so give them a good drink of water. Plants with dry roots suffer more in cold temperatures than plants with wet roots. While you're at it, water your trees and shrubs as well.
Second, prune back canes to about 24".
Save any major pruning until spring.
Remove any spent flowers
and rose hips. Remove any obviously diseased leaves. Clean up any leaves and debris to prevent diseases from wintering over at the base of the rose, before you add mulch. 
Third, add 8" to 10" of mulch your roses to keep the ground cold and stable. Adding mulch at this time helps stabilize the soil temperature and prevent damage due to the freeze/thaw cycle. Mulching also helps prevent moisture loss. Roses that have been watered well and then mulched stand a better chance of surviving the winter than roses with dry roots. Choose mulch that will stay in place through the winter. Cedar mulch and Gorilla Hair mulch are two good choices. They will stay put without matting down.
Rose collars can also be used to help keep mulch in place.
Place the rose collar around the rose, fasten it and fill with mulch. For climbing roses, follow the same procedure; clean up around the base of the rose, water well and mulch. Don't prune climbers at this time. You can secure the canes to their trellis or bundle the canes together and wrap them with burlap for protection.
You can spray with an anti-desiccant such as Wilt-Pruf to help canes from drying out. Remember to water your roses during the winter. Pick a nice day when the temperature is above 45° and water your roses, trees and perennials.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

How to store dahlias and other tender bulbs.


Summer flowering tropicals, such as begonias, cannas, dahlias and gladiolus are considered tender bulbs in our climate. They won’t survive our winter, if you leave them in the ground. Some gardeners choose to treat these summer flowering favorites as annuals and plant new bulbs every year. Another choice is to dig up each bulb and store them until its warm enough to plant next spring. Here are some things to do if you decide to store your bulbs.  Note: the word "bulb" is being used as a generic term for dahlia tubers, gladiolus corms, canna lily rhizomes and tuberous begonia tubers.
After first frost, when the leaves turn black, is the time to dig tender bulbs.

Cut the remaining foliage back to about 5"-6". You can cut the foliage back before you dig the bulbs or afterwards, whichever is convenient.
Raise your bulbs with a spading fork, digging carefully to avoid damage to the bulb.   
Rinse each bulb off to remove excess soil then let dry in a shady spot.
After the bulbs dry, dust each one with sulfur. Sulfur will help ward off diseases and insects.
Remember to label each bulb going into storage. Write directly on the bulb with a Sharpie or use plant labels. Bulbs can be stored in cardboard boxes or paper bag containers layered with peat moss, vermiculite or shredded paper. The packaged bulbs should be placed in a dark, cool location. Choose a spot where the temperature will stay between 40º and 50º.  The packing material will help stabilize the temperature.   Bulbs need attention during storage, so check on them every week or so. Make sure they don’t dry out and keep an eye out for damage or disease that may show up in storage. If the bulbs look like they are shriveling up, mist the packing material to add moisture. 
Your bulbs may have increased in size during the growing season. Wait until spring to divide dahlias and cannas.
Each gladiolus corm will have a number of baby corms, known as cormels or cormlets attached to the bottom. Save these and plant them next season. They will grow into flowering size in a couple of years.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fall lawn and garden tips.


Now's the time to start putting the garden to bed. While some of the hardy mums and ornamental grasses continue to bloom, most plants are showing the effects of the cold nights and need to be cut back. Some gardeners choose to leave Echinacea and Rudbeckia plants standing for the birds wintering over.
Others choose to leave the ornamental grasses until spring. For the rest of your perennials, remove the foliage to the ground. If you had disease or insect problems this season, it is important to clean up the area really well. Leaving cuttings and plant debris on the ground can encourage insects and diseases to winter over. Next, water each plant thoroughly. Perennials, shrubs and trees all do better in the winter if they are well hydrated now. In the case of dahlias and other tender bulbs such as canna lilies and glads, it's time to decide what you want to do with them, because they typically won't survive the winter. You can dig them up and store the tubers and bulbs in a cool spot or simply discard them and plant new ones in the spring. 
This a good time to test your soil, either do it yourself or send a sample to CSU. While you wait for the test results, consider adding organic material to your vegetable and perennial beds. Spring and fall are good times to improve your garden soil. Coconut coir, organic compost, worm castings, peat moss can be added to your garden beds now, either as a top dressing or dug into the soil.
Top dressing is easy. You dump all your amendments into a pile in the garden, then shovel or rake it across the garden. Over the winter, this top dressing will improve your soil as it breaks down. Other garden chores this time of year include
planting cover crops,
wrapping deciduous trees,
raking the leaves off the lawn and applying a winterizer fertilizer. and mulching perennials with 4-6" of mulch. Gorilla Hair and Western Cedar are good mulches. Doing these things now will prepare your garden for winter and a better start in the in the spring.