Asiatic lilies are some of the easiest and most reliable plants you can have in your garden. They are perennials in our area, meaning they come back every year. Not only that, they multiply quickly. Every season you’ll have more lilies in your garden, all coming from your original planting. You can plant lilies from bulbs you purchase in early spring or from 1 gallon containers. There are several advantages of planting container grown lilies instead of bulbs. First, you can see the plant is healthy and thriving, which means the root system is established. Second, in many cases the plant has started to bloom, so you can see what the flower actually looks like. Asiatic lily flower stalks can range from 18" to over 4'. These stalks are sturdy and typically will support themselves, without the need to stake them. Asiatic lilies will do well in full sun or partial shade. Once you’ve selected the site, amend your existing soil by adding 2" to 3" of compost, manure and peat moss, worked in to about 8". Asiatic lilies like well-draining soils and the compost, manure and peat moss will enrich your existing soil and improve drainage.
If you’re planting established lilies, dig a hole as deep as the container, add some bone meal, remove the plant from the container and set it in the ground at the same height it was in the container. Fill in around the plant and water thoroughly. In a short time, your Asiatic lily will begin to flower and will continue to bloom well into July. Asiatic lilies will provide color to your garden just as the spring blooming plants like iris and peonies are beginning to fade. The Lily Looks™ series of compact Asiatic lilies are great for containers, rock gardens and massed together along the borders of your garden. Asiatic lilies are popular with gardeners everywhere because of their low maintenance and big, bright, long-lasting flowers. Here are a few of the many choices of Asiatic lilies:
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
Dahlias are one of the easiest and most spectacular flowers you can grow in your garden. From mid-summer to first frost, they will flower almost continuously. Dahlias will grow in an area where there is some shade, but the plants will be taller and you’ll typically get fewer flowers. The package your dahlia tubers came in can provide valuable information about your dahlia, including height. Large dinnerplate dahlias can easily reach 4' in height. Flower stalks this tall need to be staked. It’s best to place the stake when you plant your tubers.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Water plants for your home pond or garden fountain will enhance the beauty of your water feature and help improve water quality. Most water plants are tropicals and do their best in full sun. You'll learn a lot by reading the label that comes with each plant. The label will tell you zone rating, height, planting depth and facts about the plant. For example, this Blood Flower tag tells you the planting depth is 1 to 2. That means the plant will do well in shallow water. It blooms in the summer when planted in full sun to partial shade. It is a tropical rated Zone 8 and higher which means it will not survive our winter weather. Plants with a rating of zone 4 have a better chance of surviving through the winter. Besides adding interest and color, water plants will help keep your pond cleaner. For best results, you should aim to cover about ½ of the pond's surface. They multiply quickly in full sun and will shade and cool the water.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Here are some ways to get more from your tomato plants this year. Pick the sunniest spot in the garden. Your tomato plants need at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. 8 hours a day is better. If at all possible, choose a spot where you didn’t grow tomatoes or potatoes last year. Rotating your crops every year helps cut down on disease problems. Great soil is a must for growing tomatoes, so plan to amend the site with compost and peat moss. Add 2" to 3" of compost and peat and dig it in to your existing soil 6" to 8". Once the soil is amended, plant your tomatoes on their sides in a trench, not straight down in a hole. This method keeps your roots closer to the surface. They will develop more roots and the roots will stay warmer through the course of the growing season. Warmer roots will give you more tomatoes. Now that your tomato is planted, give it a good drink. Your tomato plants need to be watered deeply and regularly through the growing season. Not watering consistently can lead to many problems including
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
It’s important to take your time when it comes to moving your new seedlings to the great outdoors. This applies whether you grew your own vegetables and flowers from seed or bought them from a greenhouse. Moving your plants from the house or greenhouse directly into the garden without giving them time to adjust will mean you'll lose most, if not all of them. At the very least, you’ll set the plants back weeks due to transplant shock. This slow transition from indoors to the outside is called “hardening off”. Hardening off plants gradually exposes them to outdoor light, wind and temperatures. The process is easy, but it takes time. In fact, you should plan on a week or so to get your immature plants ready to transplant into the garden. On the first day, pick a sheltered, shady spot under a tree or on the patio and leave them there for 3 or 4 hours. Bring them in that night. The second day, leave them out 5 or 6 hours, the third day 6 or 7 hours.