Category Archives: Gardening Services

Preparing Our Perennial Garden For Winter

by Count On Me 4 All
Perennials are starting to shut down as the weather gets cooler and snowy winter months draw near. Our garden’s work may be almost complete for the season, yet OUR work as gardeners is not done. We have work to do in our perennial gardens this autumn to ensure a healthy start for our flowers in the spring.

Debra Anchors, from the website Gardens Inspired, wrote Prune Your Perennial Flower Garden, to help us understand what each of our perennials need at the end of the season, so to as to insure a vigorous start to their growing season once warm weather arrives again.

Caring For Your Flower Bulbs After They Bloom

by Count On Me 4 All

Colorful tulipsWhen I look out my kitchen window, it’s such a treat to see the bright yellow of the daffodils and pink of the tulips blooming in my flower garden. Along the south side of my house the crocus and hyacinths are in full bloom, with their purple hew. I cherish the days that my spring flowers are at the height of their color, for I know that the blossoms won’t last forever. To ensure that I can enjoy them for years to come, I need to keep my flower bulbs healthy by taking specific steps after the blooms are gone.

The following is a good article from the My Garden Supplies website concerning what to do with your flower bulbs after they bloom, to ensure that they stay strong and healthy for many years.

Flower Bulbs – After bloom care

After your spring flower bulbs have bloomed do you leave them in the ground or is it best to dig them up?  There is always some debate amongst gardeners as to what to do with your flower bulbs after they have bloomed.  Here are some tips on after bloom care for your spring flowering bulbs.

What should be done after the flower bulbs have bloomed?

After the blooms from the flower bulbs have faded, “dead-head” them by clipping off the spent blooms so that they won’t go to seed.  Some gardeners say this isn’t necessary for daffodils, but your garden will look neater by cutting off each bloom when it is finished.

Don’t touch those leaves!

The main requirement for bulb flowers after they have bloomed is to keep their leaves so that the plant can put its energy back into its bulb for next spring’s blooming. The leaves give an energy charge to the bulb through photosynthesis and for this they need to keep their leaves! This energy or food is stored in the white fleshy part of the bulb for use next spring.

Since each leaf needs to be exposed to the sun, it is important not to bunch, tie, braid or cut the bulb’s leaves during this six to eight week period. The bulb’s leaves can be unsightly but it is vital to your bulb’s health to leave them until they are completely brown and dead at which time they can be trimmed off.

Try planting other annuals or perennials in amongst your bulbs so that these will grow up and hide the yellowing leaves of your bulbs.

Fertilizing

If you feel you want to fertilize your bulbs, this should only be done about six weeks before they bloom. A fast release nitrogen fertilizer is the best thing to feed the bulbs with (see our article How to Choose the right Fertilizer). Some gardeners like to throw in a handful of bone meal when they first plant their bulbs as this can help the roots get off to a good start.

Lifting Bulbs

Some gardeners go through the bother of lifting the flower bulbs out of the ground every year, storing them for summer and then replanting again in the fall. For all the bother it really doesn’t improve the bulbs performance at all. As well, leaving your bulbs in the ground will cause most varieties to naturalize, that is, multiply giving you even more bulbs next spring. Does size matter? Generally within the same species of bulb, a bigger bulb will produce a bigger flower. However you can’t compare one species of tulip with another as their sizes may differ greatly according to its variety. Once properly planted and cared for, your bulbs can increase in size every season bringing a better display every spring.

Most bulb merchants will stop shipping bulbs when the planting season for them has ended. Gardeners can still order however and the bulbs are shipped as soon as planting time is optimal.

Mulching Your Garden

By Count On Me 4 All

Pretty manicured flower garden with colorful azaleas.Every spring I clean out my perennial garden, and it is weed free and beautiful! I then tell myself that this would be a PERFECT time to mulch, which would save me time and energy throughout the summer. Mulching also helps to suppress weed growth, conserve moisture in the soil, help prevent soil compaction and make my flowers healthier and happier as well. Yet, truth be told, I get busy and forget my own advice, and before I know it, July is here. I then kick myself in the midst of the heat of summer, as the weeds are growing like crazy and the ground is dry and hard. Continue reading

Winter – A Great Time to Work On Your Garden

by Count On Me 4 All

seedlings in winterWith Wisconsin winter upon us, it may be difficult to work IN your garden, but it is the perfect time to work ON your garden. The cold and snowy months of the year are just the right time for garden planning and reflecting.

Working ON your garden can be fun! Each growing season I keep a garden journal. In that journal I take note of which varieties of vegetables and flower do well, as well those that do poorly. I write down problems that I have with pests and diseases. I also record my ideas and inspirations concerning what I might do differently in the following gardening year. When the snow is drifting down, it becomes the optimal time for me to pull out my journal and reflect., and bring some warm thoughts into a cold winter day. Continue reading