Monday, March 16, 2009

Garden Tips: Spring Chores

Ireland is rich in literature that understands a soul's yearnings, and dancing that understands a happy heart. ~Margaret Jackson

Rhododendrons & azaleas: Place 3 cups or so of used coffee grounds beneath and around each bush. It will help build up the acidity, which they love.

Buying roses: there should be at least three nice canes with no gouges or damage. Unless you are REALLY getting a bargain price you don't want to see black or dark brown wood. When you buy a dormant plant it will look "dead", but if you gently scratch the wood with a fingernail you'll find green. If you don't, then it's dead
or very close to dead. Usually there are instructions on the rose package, but if not you should remove all the packing and soak the rose for several hours in warm water before planting. A five gallon pail works well for this. (Don't forget to slip a banana peel in the planting hole before placing in your new rose.)

Alliums: give any of your bulbs/plants in the allium family a sprinkling of bone meal when you see them popping out of the ground. You can also divide them at any time, and replant. Be sure to keep the plants evenly moist for about a week afterwards if you don't get enough rain.

Beets: If you've planted the "seeds" before you'll remember they are wrinkled, dry looking things. They are actually a dried "fruit" that has several seeds inside! Beet seedlings must always be thinned as soon as the first true leaves show up (these are the second set of leaves that appear after the seedlings germinate). You can use a tweezers or your fingers if you wish. Then, you'll no doubt have to thin a second time when the little beets start to form and need more room. The neat thing is you can use these in salads (both the tiny beet and the greens), so they don't go to waste. The final beet plants should be 4 inches apart after both thinnings.

We have more tips on spring cleaning in the garden:

1 comment:

  1. I love growing beets... they are quite easy and very plentiful.


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