Gardening Tips

Late Blooming Perennials - August

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Many perennial gardens peter out in mid-summer and limp into the fall, tattered, overgrown and virtually devoid of bloom. The traditional potted chrysanthemums and ornamental kale or offer autumn freshness and color, but several late-blooming perennials can do the job equally well, if not better.

This group of late bloomers includes reliable plants such as tall Sedum 'Autumn Joy', a garden workhorse whose rosy broccoli-like flowers are bee magnets in the fall. Newer sedum selections, such as 'Matrona' and 'Black Jack' with their burgundy-tinged foliage and 'Frosty Morn' with its green-and-white variegation, offer extra interest.

Now is the time to feed your tomatoes and peppers

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By now you’ve planted your tomatoes and peppers! These homegrown veggies should be starting to flower — which means fruit isn’t far behind.

Now, it’s time to sprinkle a little magic.

The trick is to feed veggies monthly with an good garden fertilizer. Tomatoes and peppers have big appetites, so they need plenty of organic food. Since plants get all their nutrients from the soil, their all-you-can-eat buffet runs out quickly. Feed them right, and they’ll burst full of fresh produce.

A Slice of Advice: The Best Tomatoes for your Garden

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There are more than 700 kinds of tomatoes to choose from, so let’s just review the basic types. Take a look at this short list of just a few to see how many you know and love (and are in your garden):

Globe: Big, round and oh, so red. These are the all-purpose tomatoes that most people think of for slicing. Tasty varieties like Beefsteak, Rutgers and Brandywine range from typical palm-size up to two pounds.

Plum Tomatoes: The name describes shape and size. These “saucy” beauties offer a tangy taste, fewer seeds, and meatier texture. Try good old Roma, the classic sauce and paste tomato. You won't be disappointed. Cherry (or Pear): Roughly cherry size, sweet and juicy, these tomatoes are aptly named and produce clusters of delicious fruit that’s almost like candy. Try the Sweet 100 variety!

Tips when Planting Roses

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  • Plant your rose where it will get at least six hours of sun each day
  • Dig a hole at least 18 inches in diameter and 18 inches deep.
  • Discard half the soil and replace it with compost, composted cow manure, peat moss or Espoma Organic Planting Mix.
  • Mix approximately 3 cups of Espoma Rose-tone into amended soil. Refill the hole with enough soil so that when the plant is planted, the soil level is the same as the surrounding area.
  • Add mulch and water.

Tips when Caring for Roses:

  • Feed monthly with Espoma Rose-tone throughout the growing season.
  • Prune to promote blooms
  • Wear gloves!
  • Prune in late winter, when the buds begin to swell.
  • Consider plant shape. A rose bush, for example, benefits from the air circulation of an “urn” or vase shape.
  • Clean cuts are best. “Bypass” style cutters work very well.
  • Clip off any old dead “canes” (stems) or dead portions of them, as close to the plant base (or next to a bud) as possible.
  • Water deeply and infrequently – but not the leaves or flowers – that will promote disease! Water in the morning to discourage black spot and mildew.
  • Treat disease promptly. Espoma Earth-tone 3 n 1 safely kills fungus, insects & mites.

Make Mother’s Day Rosier than Ever! Give a gift that lives on: A Rose planting.

Looking Ahead to this Year’s Garden

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Hopefully, Spring is on the way and winter is retreating, so this is the perfect time to start planning and rethinking your garden. Garden landscaping is the process of making the garden more attractive by adding trees, flowers, and other special features. The fun part of gardening is being able to change and modify as you go. When you finish the season in the fall I recommend making notes as to what worked and what didn't and any new ideas that you may have seen. If not, you can work from memory.

Here are some ideas for garden landscaping.

1. Use Colors Effectively - A proper dash of colors can make all the difference in your garden. Instead of using drab flowers, add colorful flowers that catch the viewer's attention. The use of colors like red, yellow, blue and pink will make your home look bright and inviting.