Horticultural Design & Services

It's Time to...


What To Do Now in Your Garden (Southeastern PA)

Posted on November 3, 2013 at 1:22 AM Comments comments (603)
Gardens in Zones 6 & 7
My fall mantra:  She who rakes last, rakes least!
1.  By now, your houseplants should be inside.
2.  Gently tie your climbing roses (I use old pantyhose), so that they do not whip around in the winter winds. Mulch all roses, also, as long as you don't have problems with mice & voles which hide in winter mulch and nibble on canes and roots.
3.  Time to prune some perennials including:
~ Bearded Iris  (after a killing frost to help avoid iris borers who enjoy snacking on the floppy iris leaves)
~Cat mint  (you can't kill that stuff)
~Hardy Bergonias (which are prone to crown rot)
~Japanese Anenomes (also called windflowers in our area)
~ Meadow Rue
~ Peonies, (after the killing frost)
~Phlox paniculata (fungus magnet)
TIP:  If you don't know whether or not to prune something in the fall, error on the side of not pruning until spring.
In general, plants that bloom in the early spring do not get pruned in the fall.
4.  Plant spring-flowering bulbs! You will get the most bang for your buck with bulbs that naturalize such as  daffodils (try the scented kind).
Read the labels on bags of bulbs. There are many that are deer resistant; grow well in the shade;  and tolerate poor soil & growing conditions.

It's Time to.... Plus Gardening Tips

Posted on May 23, 2013 at 3:11 AM Comments comments (712)
Mid-May in SE Pennsylvania...Time To...
~Bring your houseplants out now. They love to summer outdoors, but not in direct sun. I don't use saucers anymore to collect  pot drainage; they're mosquito magnets!
~Buy & plant annuals 'till your heart's content. 
~Prune lilacs and azaleas, now that they have finished blooming.
~Plant summer bulbs/corms/tubers now. They will flower this summer: August, September, & October. My faves include tuberous begonias. They do nothing for 6 weeks or so, but then they come on strong...some fragrant, cascading, and voluptuous.
Tips, Too...
1. Weed your garden soon after it rains. Generally they pull out with ease....except for lesser celandine in my garden. I dig deeply and throw it out in chunks. Make sure to remove those white bulblets/tubers anytime you come across them in your beds. Be patient but persistent!
2. Fertilize after it rains. This helps to protect your plants from "burn."
3. Add compost to your soil before planting. I don't bother to strain it first.
4. Gardenias....don't give up on these. Just make sure that they have well-drained soil with a fertilizer, such as Osmocote, and a sprinkle of systemic insecticide. (Sneaky bugs love gardenias & you may not notice until it's too late. ) At the first sign of yellowing leaves, add liquid iron. And gardenias prefer to summer in the sun, unlike so many other houseplants.

Early May in SE PA , It's Time to...

Posted on May 3, 2013 at 1:53 AM Comments comments (702)
1. Head out to the garden centers to buy plants. Primex Nursery is selling roses for 20% off this weekend, beginning Friday, May 3. While there, pick up a bag of worm castings---not cheap, but manna for flowering plants. And buy Pro-Mix to enhance your soil. (Remember: always put a 50 cent plant in a $5 hole!)
Stores are now filled with annuals, perennials, and new shrubs. However, don't buy impatiens;  they are doomed by disease. Better to use begonias. Red begonias go with everything!
Look for long-blooming perennials such as coreopsis, salvia, black-eyed Susans, and agastache.
I love fragrance in the garden. So, among other plants, I bought a pretty abelia shrub,  3 "tree" gardenias at $18 each  from Produce Junction, and 8 smelly roses for a wonderful client. The gardenias favor an acidic soil . Also, I added a systemic insecticide to the soil when I repotted them. Bugs love gardenias.
Now, get growing~

It's Time to:

Posted on April 15, 2013 at 12:09 PM Comments comments (537)
1. Feed your plants and shrubs EXCEPT FOR HERBS.  I use  Espoma's Holly Tone on my acid-loving plants; Rose Tone on my roses; and Plant Tone on the rest. (Before I feed I do ph testing of my soil in each bed.) Best to feed when soil is moist.....just before rain. Gently scratch fertilizer into the soil, 6'to 8" away from the base of the avoid "burning" the plant.
TIP of the day: Hellebores.....look under them now to see if you have any baby hellebores sprouting, which is highly likely. You can transplant these now and carefully water in.

April 13. It's Time to....

Posted on April 13, 2013 at 2:02 PM Comments comments (397)
April 13, 2013...It's time to:
1. Finish your spring pruning:
4. Time to buy SUMMER BULBS. I  have another presentation on that topic coming up soon.
Check out my Presentation Schedule to attend live workshops, free unless specified.
Time to get off the couch & Get Growing!

Late March, It's Time To:

Posted on March 25, 2013 at 2:45 AM Comments comments (688)
WhiteflyIt's Time to:
1. Prune your roses to 18" or so.
2. Scratch in fertilizer, such as Rose Tone , around the base of the rose. Also, sprinkle Epsom salt around the base to encourage new canes to emerge from the base.
3. Spray Neem Oil on roses and on the ground to help prevent diseases, insects, and mites.
4. Begin to clean up your garden beds to help eliminate insect and disease problems.
5. Prune your ornamental grasses to 6" or so. You will see new growth emerging; don't cut into this.
6. Prune butterfly bushes to 16' or so. This encourages more flowers.
7. Feed your acid-loving plants with Holly Tone. These include hollies, azaleas, evergreens, and hydrangeas. A complete list is on the bag.
8. Take photos of your garden. This is a good time to review shapes and textures. And seeing photos allows you to be more objective.
9. DO NOT prune anything that blooms in the spring, for example, lilacs, some clematis, azaleas, and rhodes.
10. Feel overwhelmed with your spring gardening chores? Work on one garden bed or one section of your yard at a time.
Any questions? Just let me know!! I love talking plants.     MM

It's time to:

Posted on March 6, 2013 at 3:50 AM Comments comments (394)
1. Clean & sharpen your tools. Use naval jelly to remove rust, then sharpen with a sharpening stone by making forward strikes to the blade at a 45 degree angle. Apply machine oil or WD-40 to lubricate tool joints.
2. Begin to clean up your garden beds.