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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Planting Lilies

Asiatic lilies have a long vase life; be that as it may, when slicing them it’s critical to leave however much of the foliage as could be expected on the plant, to permit the plant to store vitality for one year from now’s blossoms. Since the plants have moderately little foliage as it may be, I like to appreciate the blooms right in the patio nursery. On the off chance that you need since a long time ago stemmed lilies for game plans, I’d propose you plant them in an exceptional slicing greenhouse and plan to plant new knobs every fall. Note that the dim orange dust can recolor apparel and tablecloths; one arrangement is to evacuate the anthers before bringing them inside.

Planting Lilies

Plant lily globules in early spring or fall. In any case, they ought to be planted quickly after buy. On the off chance that you should hold up a couple days, keep the globules wet and store them in your icebox. As a rule, the knobs ought to be planted at a profundity of three times their tallness, which typically means a profundity of 6 to 10 inches. Space globules 6 to 8 creeps separated, or take after the planting guidelines that accompany the knobs. Lilies incline toward full sun and request an all around depleted soil. In a perfect world, the dirt ought to be mulched or planted with a shallow-established, low-developing groundcover to keep the dirt – and roots – cool. Plant the tallest assortments at the back of the fringe, where neighboring perennials will cover maturing foliage. Tuck shorter assortments in the middle of annuals in a sunny fringe.

Lily Care

Asiatic lilies are relatively pest-free and easy to grow. Few diseases seem to bother them; however, slugs may damage foliage and buds. Also, the lily beetle is threatening to become a major problem. Look for a bright, orange-red, quarter-inch-long beetle eating the leaves ? and if you find one, handpick and destroy it. The lily beetle has been in the US for several years and has recently found its way to the Northeast. The beetles’ young larvae also feed on lily leaves and sometimes on lily buds.

Like tulips and daffodils, it’s important to allow lily foliage to die back naturally, rather than cutting it back once the show is over. This allows the bulb to store energy for next year’s blooms.

Asiatic lilies multiply quickly in favorable conditions, and will need dividing every few years. Divide them in the fall, after the foliage has died back. Lift the entire clump, separate the bulbs, and replant.

About Garden Meadows

It’s correct that Americans love grasses. The degree to which green fields once extended the nation over – from Denver east nearly to the Appalachians – dazes the psyche. One of the immense normal enrichments of this land, these grass fields are presently given for the most part to different sorts of grass, corn specifically.

In the event that this common looking scope of grass is something you’d like to consolidate into your scene, think about planting as a segment to local knoll grasses and blooms. More like greenery enclosures than gardens, these knolls or small scale prairies are generally rebuilding efforts of the grasses and blossoms that become actually in the range (or close approximations of that perfect), made for survey, strolling through and getting a charge out of. These plantings are very dynamic, particularly in the initial couple of years. Furthermore, they require far less week by week consideration than the customary manicured grass.

American meadow grasses are grouped by height: tall grass, mid grass and short grass. Native to the Midwest and mountain states, any of these are worthy of serious consideration for planting in these sites. In other regions, these grassland types can serve as models for planting other, more locally adapted species. The height is important for the visual impact as well as the uses of the meadow area. It’s easier, for example, to walk around on a shortgrass meadow than on a mid- or tall grass meadow, and it is easier to see across a short or mid grass meadow than a tallgrass type.

Before planting your meadow, it’s well worth taking the time to till the area, water it, wait for weed seeds to germinate, then till again. Tilling under the undesirable species will eliminate most of the troublesome plants. For really difficult perennial species like smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), however, it may be necessary to consider an herbicide like Roundup. A bit of pioneering spirit and some perseverance helpful, too — meadow landscaping is much less familiar to most gardeners than traditional lawnscaping.”

Shortgrass meadows tend to grow ankle-high or lower and are the predominant grasslands of the western high plains, where the Rocky Mountains rain shadow results in the driest conditions on the Great Plains.

Dominant grasses of these regions are buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) and blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis). Buffalograss is a vigorous, spreading grass that chokes out many wildflowers. On the other hand, blue grama grows in non-spreading tufts so is much less competitive with wildflowers. In order to successfully incorporate wildflowers into a shortgrass meadow, either plant the entire meadow area with blue grama or plant only blue grama where wildflowers are desired.

A few of the most reliable flowers to plant in shortgrass meadows include chocolate glower (Berlandiera lyrata),dotted gayfeather (Liatris punctata) and poppy mallow (Callirhoe involucrata).

Shortgrass meadows grow best on very warm, dry sites. In Colorado, elevations above 6,000 feet are usually too cool and moist to remain pure blue grama and buffalograss, and tend to evolve toward midgrass meadows.

These meadows need occasional mowing, particularly during their first season, to keep cool-season grasses and broad-leaved weeds from growing too tall during cool, wet periods.

Midgrass meadows grow knee- to waist-high, often in or near ponderosa pines, and on the Great Plains between the eastern tallgrass and western shortgrass prairies. The natural precipitation in these areas is between that of the drier shortgrass and the wetter tallgrass regions. Midgrass meadow areas are common along the Front Range of the Colorado Rockies. Boulder, for example, has many areas of this grassland type extending from the mountain backdrop into residential areas. Midgrass meadows often continue indefinitely without mowing or burning. How specific maintenance depends on the site.

Dominant grasses include little bluestem (Andropogon scoparius), sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) andwestern wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii). Little bluestem and sideoats grama are bunchgrasses that won’t spread and crowd out wildflowers. Western wheatgrass forms stands that are thin enough that many wildflowers can compete successfully.

Other useful grass species include bluebunch wheatgrass (Agropyron spicatum, syn. Elymus spicatus). This attractive grass is often difficult to establish, however. Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) is a Eurasian introduction, but is perhaps the easiest midgrass to establish. It usually creates the appearance of the midgrass meadows faster than the native species. This bunchgrass doesn’t self-seed significantly, so won’t invade surrounding areas.

Attractive flowers to add to your midgrass meadow include gaillardia (Gaillardia aristata), Lewis’ flax (Linum perenne var. lewisii) and Mexican hat coneflower (Ratibida columnifera).

There is some fire danger from the ponderosa pines, junipers and pi-on pines that may grow in this grassland. The grasses contain little fuel, but can carry a fire to the trees and shrubs. In dry conditions, mowing defensible” space adjacent to buildings creates very effective fire breaks. Removing lower limbs on ponderosa pines, and maintaining a reasonable distance between buildings and the woody plants are good tactics as well.

Tallgrass meadows grow from waist- to more than shoulder-high. These grasslands occur commonly on the eastern Great Plains, where precipitation is relatively high. Tallgrass areas also occur in floodplains and irrigated areas farther west. Tallgrass areas are wetter, so they are more likely to require periodic mowing or burning to keep woody shrubs and trees from taking over.

The dominant grass species include big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) andswitchgrass (Panicum virgatum). These three grasses each develop strikingly beautiful fall colors. Examples of flowers that combine well with these tallgrass types are Maximilian’s sunflower (Helianathus maximiliani),monarda (Monarda fistulosa) and purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).

There are several tallgrass preserves on the Great Plains that are worth visiting. At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, prairie restoration work dates back to the 1930s. The Morton Arboretum in Illinois has been working on prairie restoration since the early 1960s, and the center of the proton accelerator ring at the Fermi Laboratory in Illinois is a 650-acre prairie. One of the most striking examples of modern tallgrass landscaping is at a General Electric headquarters facility in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Adding wildflowers I advise clients to wait until the second year before planting wildflowers. Mowing the first year controls weeds while the grasses become established, but also eliminates desirable wildflowers. Leave patches of meadow free of competing grass for wildflower seeds or transplants. The flowers will eventually naturalize if they are well adapted. Blue flax (Linum perenne) is one wildflower that competes well when sown with grasses.

Optimum planting time for wildflowers is short. Many wildflower species need to be planted in early spring or be exposed to simulated winter in your refrigerator. Fall planting is risky, because the seed is vulnerable to wind and water erosion for such a long time.

Caring a Perennial Garden

perennial-gardenPerennial gardens require less maintenance than lawns, but they do need regular care to look their best and stay healthy. The following tasks are arranged in order of frequency from weekly to annually.

Tools and Materials

  • Scissors or hand pruners
  • Trowel
  • Water source, soaker hose or sprinkler
  • Hoe with small, sharp blade
  • Half-moon edger or garden spade
  • Lawn rake
  • Steel rake
  • Perennial plant fertilizer
  • Organic mulch

Remove spent flowers. Using scissors or hand pruners, snip off flower stems just above a leaf or bud when they finish blooming to prevent them from forming seeds. Pick off damaged leaves.

Inspect for pests and problems. Look for leaves with holes or ragged edges; sticky, discolored or spotted leaves; chewed or abnormally growing flowers or buds; or damaged stems. If you discover a problem, take samples of the damaged plant to a garden center with experienced staff or contact cooperative extension service Master Gardeners in your area for identification and advice.

Water. Dig into the top 2 to 3 inches of soil with a trowel. If the soil is dry, water until the soil is moist to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. Soaker hoses and drip irrigation pipes apply water more efficiently than overhead sprinklers. Avoid wetting plant leaves late in the day to prevent the spread of some plant diseases.

Pull weeds. Remove weeds as you see them on your daily or weekly inspection. Use a hoe with a small, sharp blade to slice them off just under the soil surface, or pull them by hand.

Edge the beds. Keep the edges between your garden and lawn well defined and tidy with a half-moon edger or garden spade. Facing the garden, push the tool blade straight down into the edge of the turf about 3 to 4 inches. Pull the handle toward you to remove a wedge of soil. Repeat around the perimeter of the garden. Compost the turf scraps.

Fertilize and mulch. Early in the spring, fertilize with a granular, slow-release fertilizer formulated for perennial gardens. Follow package recommendations for the correct amount to apply. Replace or renew organic mulch, such as shredded bark or leaves.

Seasonal clean-up. In cold-winter climates, protect tender plants after the ground freezes with a 4- to 6-inch layer of loose mulch. Cut back perennials to within 8 to 10 inches of the ground after the tops die back or leave them uncut for protection against the cold. In spring, cut back all dead stems to the ground and rake out the debris.

Tips

Keep asters and chrysanthemums more compact by pinching a couple of inches off their growing tips when they reach 12 inches tall in spring and again in mid-summer.