We had a crazy spring…Due to a late sudden cold snap, many of our daffodils were ruined, as well as other early flowering plants where the flowers froze. Fortunately, the plants are fine, and the foliage is emerging nicely, if a little late in some cases. I love this time of year when the new growth unfolds, and everything is lush and green. We’ve had plenty of gentle rain with much of it soaking into the soil. If you installed new plantings, you were able to skip watering quite a few times. We did have a brief scare with temperatures reaching 90 for a few days, but fortunately, the cooler spring days have returned.
If the weather all of a sudden turns warm, the plants will be experiencing stress and will need more water. A good rule of thumb is a 20 degree change in temperature is significant enough to cause stress. During the growing season, 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.
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, and soak immediately after planting to remove the unwanted air pockets.
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. Miracle Gro, Peter’s Plant Food or Jack’s Classic Plant Food are options. If you use a slow release fertilizer such as Osmocote, then you may only need to apply 1x/month or less.
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 4, 2017, 10am – 4pm. Tour Annapolis Private Gardens. 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. I will be circulating my Poison Ivy Primer shortly.