How do you get a flower garden to be in bloom all summer or even longer? The simple answer is – by planning for it.
Seasonally, questions to Extension though phone calls, visits to the office, and via email naturally slow down. It has consistently been colder so virtually all outside activities are done for the season. We do get some late season questions and the start of winter indoor related questions coming in:
When it comes to bulbs, it can seem confusing when to do what in which season. In general, you plant spring-flowering bulbs in the fall, and plant summer-flowering bulbs in the spring. You divide spring bulbs in late summer, and you dig up summer bulbs in the fall. Now that fall is here, let’s look at this a little closer.
Imagine a podium or soapbox and me standing in a town square. Got that image?
Ok, here goes my “sermon.”
As of Sept. 16, the U.S. Drought Monitor reports our area as “abnormally dry.” Have you been watering your trees, shrubs, and plants in the yard? We have had such dry weather that there are not just a few plants that need to be watered, but a whole lot.
Given that it is summer, it is not hard to believe we need to be out in the yard watering. August is usually a dry month and that sure seems to be how it started for us. As of Aug. 5, the U.S. Drought Monitor website shows the more northern counties along the Wisconsin Stateline are anywhere from “abnormally dry” to “severe drought” levels.
Dividing perennials has been, and always will be, a good gardening practice. However, with invasive jumping worms now confirmed in more parts of Illinois, sharing those perennials with neighbors or donating them to plant sales may not be the best thing to do.
January begins the annual flight of vegetable, flower, and fruit tree catalogs to your mailbox (or your email inbox). Depending on your level of gardening, the catalogs may arrive frequently and in mass.
Sometimes life gets in the way of doing things on time, especially in the yard, and even if we know better. This past gardening season for homeowners may have had a way of pushing those garden activities back since our year has been so different in so many ways. The weather pattern is most likely to blame, and we have to blame something!
By this time of year, woody plants have taken care of business, meaning the foliage already has produced the energy needed to form buds for both foliage and flowers for next year. If there is a fruit or pod containing seeds, that is nearly, if not already completed, as well. In the next few weeks, plants will get the signal that fall is on the way and begin to set up for the eventual color change and leaf drop.
Master Gardener Help Desk emails have really been different this past two weeks. Our early spring challenges have left and along came the first of our summer concerns in the landscape and vegetable beds. The list turned into more than a column’s worth, so going to hit the big ones this week: