Monday, August 10, 2020

GROWING A PERENNIAL GARDEN

 GROWING A PERENNIAL GARDEN        


 

            If there is one thing, in the whole scope of landscaping, that has grown by leaps and bounds, it would have to be Perennials.

            Loved for their one time planting and yearly enjoyment, perennials, if laid out properly, could bring into your flower garden a wide variety of distinctly different plants, color and uniqueness all season long.

            When planning a perennial garden a few things need to be considered. First, does the area to be planted receive full sun, semi-sun or full shade? Once known, refer to the list below for that particular light situation. Keep in mind that plants, in the semi-sun category, will do fine in full sun. Some on the shade list will do well in the sun also.

            Two other things that need to be considered is, bloom time and mature height. By coordinating these two plant characteristics you can avoid situations like; tall plants hiding shorter ones; or all plants blooming at once, and so on...

            Lastly, a good fertile, well-drained soil is a necessity. This can be created in your clay soil by mixing 1 part compost, 2 parts peat moss, 1 part sand. This mixture should be spread out over the clay soil 2 inches thick and tilled in with a rototiller or by hand. In sandy-gravely soils mix 1 part compost, 1 part peat moss, 1 part good topsoil. The thickness of this mixture you will be tilling in is up to your wallet; the thicker the better.

            Below is a list of each plant and its height, light and bloom time requirements       

 

FULL SUN

 

ACHILLEA (Yarrow) bloom June-mid Sept.

   - Gold Plate-----color yellow  ht. 3 ft.

   - Moonshine------color yellow  ht. 1 1/2-2 ft.

   - Red Beauty-----color red     ht. 1 1/2 ft.

ACONITUM NAPELLUS (Monkshood) bloom July-Aug.

   - Bi-Color-------color white w/ blue edge ht. 3-4 ft.

   - Napellus-------color royal blue  ht. 3 ft.

ASTER  bloom Sept.

   - mix colors  ht. 2-3 ft. some 1-2 ft.

BABY'S BREATH  bloom June-July

   - Bristol Fairy  color white  ht. 4 ft.

   - Rosy Veil      color pink   ht. 1 1/2 ft.

BEE BALM  bloom July-Aug.

   - colors of red & pink  ht. 2-3 ft.

CARNATION (Dianthus)  bloom late June-Aug.

   - colors mixed  ht. 1-2 ft.

LADY'S MANTLE   bloom early summer

   - color yellow  ht. 1-1 1/2 ft.

DRUMSTICKS (Alium)   bloom May

   - color red  ht. 1 ft.

HOLLYHOCKS  bloom  mid July-Ag.

   - color mix  ht. 5-7 ft.

ACSLEPIAS (Butterfly Flowers)  bloom July

   - color orange  ht. 1 1/2-2 ft.

CHELONE (Turtle's Head)  bloom  fall

   - color red  ht. 2-3 ft.

DAISY  bloom June-July

   - color mix  ht. 1-1 1/2 ft., 1 1/2-2 ft., 2-3 ft.

COREOPSIS (Tickseed)  bloom mid June-Aug

   - color yellow  ht. 1-2 ft.

GAILLARDIA (Blanket flower)  bloom June-July

   - color red tipped w/ yellow ht. 1 ft.

MAIDEN PINK  bloom June-July

   - color red  ht. 1 ft.

PURPLE CONEFLOWER  bloom late summer

   - color light purple  ht. 2 1/2 - 3 ft.

GLOBE THISTLE  bloom mid July-mid Aug

   - color purple  ht. 2-3 ft.

FOXTAIL LILY  bloom early summer

   - color yellow orange or pink  ht. 4-5 ft.

PEONY  bloom may-mid June

   - color white, pink or red  ht. 2-3 ft.

GARDEN PHLOX  bloom mid July-Aug.

   - color mixed  ht. 2-4 ft.

CREEPING PHLOX  bloom May

   - color mixed  ht. 4-6 inches

 

SEMI-SUN

 

ANEMONE JAPANESE  bloom  Aug-mid Sept.

   - color white pink  ht. 2-3 ft.

COLUMBINE  bloom May-mid June

   - color mixed  ht. 8-10 inches some varieties 2 1/2 ft.

BELLFLOWER  bloom July-mid Aug.

   - color purple  ht. 8-10 inches

DWARF PLUMBAGO  bloom July-Aug.

   - color blue  ht. 8-12 inches

BUGBANE  bloom  fall time

   - color white  ht. 3-4 ft.

DELPHINIUM  bloom July

   - color shades of blue  ht. 2-3 ft.

BLEEDING HEART  bloom May-mid June

   - color white, pink, red  ht. 2-4 ft.

FOXGLOVE  bloom  mid June-July

   - color white, pink or rose  ht. 4 ft.

CRANESBILL  bloom mid June-July

   - color red or pink  ht. 1-1 1/2 ft.

DAYLILY  bloom mid June-mid Sept.

   -color mixed  ht. 2-3 ft.

CORAL BELLS  bloom June-July

   - color red  ht. 1 1/2-2 ft.

HARDY GLOXINIA  bloom May

   - color bright pink  ht. 1-1 1/2 ft.

IRIS   bloom May

   - color mixed  ht. 2-3 ft.

LUPINE  bloom July

   - color mixed  ht. 2 1/2-3 ft.

PLATYCODON (Balloon Flower)  bloom July-mid Sept.

    - color blue or white  ht.1 1/2-2 ft.

BLACK-EYED SUSAN  bloom July-Sept

    - color yellow w/ black center 2-2 1/2 ft.

MUMS  bloom Aug-Sept.

    - color mixed ht. 1-2 ft.

STONECROP SEDUM  bloom Sept.

    - color red ht. 1-1 1/2 ft.

SIDALCEA (Prairie Mallow) bloom mid-summer

    - color pink ht. 2-4 ft.

MEADOW RUE  bloom  July-mid Aug

    - color pink ht. 5-7 inches

SPIDERWORT  bloom mid June-July

    - color blue, red or white ht. 1 1/2-2 ft.

 

SHADE

 

ANEMONE HUPEHENSIS  bloom Sept.

    - color pink   ht. 2 1/2-3 ft.

ASTILBE  bloom   June-July

    -color white, pink or red ht. 1 1/2-2 ft.

BERGEIA  bloom  April-May

    -color reddish pink  ht. 1 ft.

FOR GET-ME-NOT  bloom  May-June

    color  blue   ht. 1 ft.

CAMPANULA   bloom  June-July

    -color  blue or white  ht.  6-8 inches

DUCHMAN'S BREECHES   bloom  May

    -color  white   ht. 6 inches

FERNS  no bloom

    -color just green leaves   ht.  1-1 1/2 ft.

SWEET WOODRUFF   bloom  May

     -color  white  ht.  6 inches

JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT   bloom  May

     -color whitish green  ht.  1-1 1/2 ft.

LILY-OF-THE-VALLEY  bloom  May

     -color  white or pink (rare)  ht. 7-8 inches

HOSTA  ht. 1-2 ft.

PRIMROSE   bloom  May-mid June

     -color  mixed  ht.  8-12 inches

TRILLIUM   bloom  May

     -color  white or pink (rare)  ht.  10-12 inches

MYRTLE  bloom  May

      -color blue   ht. 6-8 inches

 

            I realize there are many more varieties, but this list will get you started nicely.  There are plenty of books at your local library to expand your knowledge and expertise in growing these wonders of creation.

            Be sure to obey all the planting instructions listed on their tags and water them every other day for the first couple of weeks. Once they are established, water when dry.

 

If you have questions: NiemeyerLandscaping@gmail.com A You Tube enhanced version of this article is on our WEB site at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com. along with a daily gardening Blog with timely information. Also, like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping

Sunday, April 28, 2019

THINGS TO DO IN MAY

            This is the month for planting everything that's anything, so go out and dig and plant, water and weed.

VEGETABLES:

            Early in the month make the first planting of snap beans, Swiss chard, and herbs. Check seed packets for suggested spacing. In smaller gardens, space rows a little closer than recommended. Do not crowd them any closer in the rows, the plants won't have enough space to develop properly.  Thin radishes, lettuce, spinach, carrots, and beets as needed.

            Cultivate shallow at least once a week to keep soil loose and weeds down. Side-dress with fertilizer and mulch when plants have established themselves. Asparagus will continue heavy production through early May. When emerging spears are pencil thin, stop picking, but do fertilize and mulch heavily.

            About mid-month, plant warm-weather crops such as corn, lima beans, pole and bush beans, pumpkins, summer and winter squash. Continue making succession plantings (plant some radished – wait two week – plant some more radishes – wait two weeks…) of beets, carrots, radishes, spinach and lettuce.

            In mid to late May, transplant peppers, eggplant, squash, melons and herb seedlings into the garden. Water heavily and frequently if spring is dry, but do not mulch yet.

            When buying tomatoes pick those that are dark green in color, with thick stems and no yellow leaves. Pick off all flowers and tomatoes, they will sap the plant's energy now when it's trying to establish itself in a new environment. When planting, burying as much as 3" of the stem; the little hairs you see are potential roots. Tomatoes need full sun but plant them on a cloudy day, so they can adjust to their new home before getting a daylong dose of sunshine. 

FLOWERS & SHRUBS:

            As new shoots appear in perennial beds during early May, side-dress generously with a good organic fertilizer. Divide Mums and Shasta daisies as soon as growth begins. After the last frost, sow snapdragons, four-o'clocks, marigolds, asters, nasturtium, tuberoses, zinnias, and other tender flowers and bulbs.

            Pinch back mums at the end of the month. Prune mock orange, forsythia, flowering almond, and other spring-flowering shrubs after blossoms fade. A good rule when it comes to pruning flowering shrubs is to prune them after their flowers fade. Most flowering shrubs set their flowering sequence for next year soon after the flowers die.

            Keep an eye open for bagworms on evergreens and shrubs. Also tent worms are starting at this time. Check lilacs for scale; scrape off now before it spreads.

            Do not cut off leaves of spring bulb flowers until they have yellowed naturally. But do snip out the seedpods that form after the flower fades.

            Do not remove ants from peonies; no ants no blooms. To get bigger blooms remove the inferior buds that surround the terminal or main bud at the end of each stalk.

            Remove seedpods after lilac have flowered.

            Start spraying your roses with a fungicide every 10 days until a temperature of 85 degrees prevails during the day.

            Remove spent Rhododendron flowers, the seeds they try to grow will only sap energy better used else where on the plant. Feed them at this time with a Rhodo fertilizer.

FRUIT TREES:

            Early in the month, fruit set on trees should begin fleshing out. Remove misshapen or damaged sets. Thin lightly if trees are exceptionally crowed, but hold off on serious thinning until after June fruit drop. Remove suckers and water sprouts from apple trees.


            Check trees for codling moth (tiny white moths laying white eggs that hatch into thread-size worms, which burrow into immature fruits). Spray as necessary, which is every time you think about it. Do not spray insecticides while flowers are setting fruit, bees may be killed.

            Cut back black raspberry shoots when they reach 30 inches.

            Pinch blossoms from this year's planting of strawberries. Mulch between them with pine needles, clean straw, grass clippings or well-rotted compost. In established beds, remove and destroy strawberry plants showing signs of disease.


            Plant strawberries at this time. Make sure that the crowns are planted at ground level. If planted to deep the struggle to push foliage through the dirt will exhaust the plant and berry production will be light. If to the crown is to high it will freeze and die.

LAWNS:

            Reseeding can begin at this time. An application of a seed starter fertilizer would give the grass seed a jump on the weed seeds that may blow in.

            If the month has been warm Weed-N-Feeds may be applied to established lawns at the end of the month.

   If you have questions NiemeyerLandscaping@gmail.com A You Tube enhanced version of this article is on our WEB site at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com. along with a daily gardening Blog with timely information. Also, like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

GARDENING IN APRIL

THINGS TO DO IN APRIL:
   
This is it, the whining is over, this is the month you've waited for; the month you've longed for all winter, the month to go out and sling that compost, till up that topsoil, and spread that sweet golden oldie of "the cow"!  YEA it’s April!!

VEGETABLES:
            Prepare planting areas for warm-weather crops by the end of the month. Turn under winter mulches, cover crops and fertilizers. Leave the soil rough to reduce erosion and speed drying.



            Early in the month, harden off (to place outdoors for short periods of time each day, and increasing this time each day as well) transplants of cool-weather crops such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower for planting into the garden by mid-month. Keep plant covers handy to guard against killing frosts. Sow Endive, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Onion Sets, Parsley, Peas, Radishes, Spinach, and Turnips as soon as ground can be worked.
            In early April, sow more peas, spinach, turnips, lettuce, radishes, carrots, parsnips, and beets. Set out and plant potatoes and onion sets. In mid to late April, make succession planting of these crops. Asparagus and rhubarb bed can be planted at this time.
            Your established asparagus bed should be into full production by the end of April. Beds more than 2 years old can be picked daily by snapping off 6 to 8 inch spears.

FLOWERS & SHRUBS:
            Gradually remove winter mulches from roses. Prune to remove winter-killed wood and give them their first feeding. Plant new roses this month but do not feed until you see 1-2 inches of new growth.
            After they have leafed out cut out the dead sticks in the Nikko blue hydrangeas and bob back the entire Butterfly bush if you have not do so last fall.
            Also remove mulch from perennials. Side-dress peonies and delphiniums with compost and bone meal. Pinch peonies to one bud per stalk if you want larger blooms, and don't blow off the ants Mom!
            Remember the general rule about transplanting perennials; dig those that flower in the summer in the spring; and those that flower in the spring in the fall.
            Get new perennials, shrubs, trees, and ground covers into the ground as soon as they arrive in the garden centers.
            Toward the end of the month, sow perennials that germinate well in cool soil, such as cornflowers, baby's breath, phlox, straw flowers, sweet peas, larkspur, and poppies. Prune lilacs, forsythias, and dogwoods after flower petals drop.
            Annuals that can be planted now are pansies and Johnny-jump-ups. Just remember, Johnny-jump-ups not only “jump up” but “out” and “over” and “into”; they will take over the world some day so be sure you want them; and where you want them.

FRUIT TREES:
            Plant new fruit trees, bushes and vines as soon as the soil can be worked. Do not fertilize them this year though; the good rich top soil-peat combination you planted them in will be all they need.
            If spring has been warm, fruit bloom may begin during April on peaches, nectarines and apricots. Just as the bud swell begins, prune winter killed and unproductive wood.
            Fertilize bushes, vines and trees by spreading a generous layer of either compost, manure (aged), or fertilizer spikes, in a ring around each. Remove winter trunk protectors from fruit trees and check around the soil line for holes in the trunk with gummy sawdust coming out of them; this is a sign of borers. Kill these borers by running a stiff wire into the holes. If the trees have not leafed out yet spray them with a dormant oil spray, when the temperature is above forty degrees. This will smother any over-wintering insects or eggs.
            Treat bark cracks, caused by winter weather, with tree wound dressing. Prevent this injury next year by painting trunks and large branches with white latex paint in the fall, or by wrapping trees with brown tree wrap.
            Plant strawberries and mulch after planting.
            Spray Paper Birches now to kill leaf miners; and Crabs with a multi-purpose fungicide to control leaf spots and scab.

LAWNS:
            Crabicides can still be applied in this month. The way the crabicides work is that they kill the seed just after it germinates. The seeds of last year are the ones you will be going after now.
            If the month has been warm, sowing grass seed can be done now. Keep spring lawns mowed at 2 inches.
            Lawns in West Michigan have always been, and will always be, low in calcium. Calcium helps the grass plant absorb the fertilizer you apply; with out it your grass begins to starve, thus the assumption - "My lawn is just getting old". Applying a granular "High Calcium" lime once a year at this time, it's cheap, and it's the best thing you can do for your lawn. Apply 10 -15 pounds per 1000 square feet with any spreader. This does not have to be exacted, just get close.

            If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog

Friday, March 1, 2019

Gardening in March

WHAT TO DO IN MARCH                        
   Welcome to another year of gardening, landscaping, weeding, mowing, pruning or whatever gets your hands dirty.

             There are a lot of lawn and garden activities that need to be done before the spring growing season starts. What you do now will free up your time in April 

VEGETABLES:

            Early in the month if the ground has thawed, turn under, or roto-till, the leaves, compost, rye cover crop or anything else you may have spread over your garden last fall. Leave it rough and ungraded to limit erosion and to speed up the drying time.



            Work up beds for cool-weather crops now so the soil will have settled by planting time. Late in the month, during the first break in the weather (a few good warm days in a row) it's safe to plant peas, radishes, beets, leaf lettuce and spinach. Early potatoes may also be planted as well as other roots such as asparagus, horseradish and rhubarb.

            All early plantings, when sprouted, will have to be covered on frosty nights, so keep "what ever you cover them with" handy.

            An early march indoors sowing of peppers, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and tomatoes indoors will give them a head start. Remember, tomatoes are under fluorescent lights for more than six-week will get leggy and spindly, making inferior plants that seldom fully recover when planted outdoors.  

            Fertilize asparagus beds with 10-10-10 or a good organic fertilizer.

FLOWERS & SHRUBS:

            You can start an indoors sowing of verbenas, Dianthus, French marigold, sweet alyssum, moss roses, salvia and dusty miller. Put new fluorescent bulbs in at the start of every season, this will maximize the light output. Suspend these lights 3 - 5 inches above the seed containers and put them on timers set for 12 -14 hours of light each day. Raise the lights as the plants grow so they are always 3 -5 inches away from the plants.

            Direct seed sweet peas as early in the month as possible.

Late in the month, begin removing mulch from perennial beds. Work in fertilizer among the plants, being careful not to damage tender shoots. DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT scratch around the bases of Rhododendrons or Azaleas, their roots are very shallow and small, they need every root they've got. Simply pull back, and sprinkle the recommended amount of fertilizer and replace the ground cover. The fertilizer will leach through the soil to their roots.

            With frost out of the ground, this is a good month for digging and dividing most perennials. The basic rule is to transplant summer and fall-blooming kinds in the spring, and spring bloomers in the fall.

            Bearded irises need dividing about every third year and can be done now before their leaves start to grow.

            Check your stored spring bulbs and discard all the bad ones.

            Begin to lower dirt mounds around roses; also, be careful not to leave rose cones on the roses when day time temperature get higher than the 60's.

FRUIT TREES:

            If you didn't prune during February, do so in early March. Apply dormant oil spray on a 40-degree day after you have pruned. Most people do not do this, and miss out on one of the best ways to eliminate the insects that over winter on your trees. To kill these pests at this time is to greatly reduce the springtime insect population.

            Fruit trees, vines, and berry bushes prefer their largest feeding of the year during March. Spread well-rotted manure or any fertilizer high in phosphorus and potash, (the last two numbers on the fertilizer bag) and moderate in nitrogen, around the trees out to the drip line. Go easy on the nitrogen, which encourages leaf growth at the expense of the fruit.

            Remove mulch from the strawberry patch (or remember the mulch this fall so you can remove it at this time next year) Do this a little at a time until the plants are thoroughly hardened to the cold nights.

            Last years fruiting raspberry canes should be pruned out and weaker canes thinned. Plants that are not supported can be pruned to about 4-1/2 feet to make them self-supporting.

LAWNS:

            Carbides can be applied in this month or before the forsythia bloom. The way the Crabicides work, is that they kill the seed right at the point of germination. Seeds from last year are the ones you are going after now.

HOUSE PLANTS:

            Repot houseplants whose roots are so thick and matted you can hardy see the soil they are growing in. Use a container 2 to 3 inches wider than the old one for repotting.


NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. For more Landscape and garden info and pictures on the subject check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com