RAIN – WHERE ARE YOU?
This has been the driest spring I can remember. Over 20 straight days without rain!!! I hope all of you have been watering whenever you can. Though many plants don’t show it, they are all experiencing stress due to lack of moisture, and we are likely to see many problems in the weeks to come. Try to give your plants water 3x/week if at all possible. Just do the best you can. Remember a long, slow, steady soak is much better than a quick burst.
Our winter was extremely harsh for most of our plants, and the prolonged cold in March didn’t do us any favors. What worked – Covering my Acanthus mollis /Bear’s Breeches with a few layers of pine branches provided sufficient insulation to allow them to leaf out on time this year. My plants are only 2 years old which may be the reason they need extra help. My client wrapped her Loripetalum with burlap, and they all are doing fine. What didn’t work – Even though I draped sheets over my Hydrangea macrophylla, the majority of the plants died back to the ground. A few of the stem leaf buds survived, but I doubt that the sheets had anything to do with that.
Now, is the perfect time to divide and spread out many of the perennials. Frequently, it’s as easy as placing the shovel where you want to cut the plant, and dig straight down. The mother plant stays put, and the baby plant will be given a new home. Rule of Thumb…do not change the depth of the root mass.
DO…spread Holly-Tone within the drip edge of all your BROADLEAF EVERGREENS, and other acid-loving plants. It’s not too late.
DO…spread Plant-Tone within the drip edge of all other plants, but I usually limit myself to a liberal broadcast among all of my PERENNIALS. It’s not too late.
DO lay out protective rings of DIATOMACEOUS EARTH to protect large leaved perennials from slugs. Hopefully, I’ll get around to these chores soon.
ANNUALS…Now you can buy your annuals. Try something different this year. Experiment. You can always change it later. Feeding your plants once a week can make a huge difference in the performance.
SPRING FLOWERING PLANTS…Your Helleborus should be dead headed to minimize the number of volunteer seedlings. Many of their seed pods are plump and ready to explode. Spring flowering bulbs will benefit if you remove the spent flowers and allow the foliage to remain until it turns brown.
GARDEN TOURS…Do you enjoy visiting private gardens? May and June is the best time to see most Maryland gardens. The Horticultural Society of Maryland has its annual tour on Sunday, June 7, 2015– 10am – 4pm. Tour four private estate gardens in Monkton and Jarrettsville. Go to www.mdhorticulture.org for further information. This event is a fundraiser for the Horticultural Society of Maryland.
POISON IVY…Poison Ivy has leafed out, and it is everywhere. At least now we have a fighting chance to avoid it. Please take precautions when in the vicinity of this irritating plant.