Wednesday, March 8, 2017

How To Have A Flower Garden With Less Work!

Reliable Perennial Flowers

These Plants Give More Each Year

Perennials are the perfect solution for gardeners on a budget, those who don’t have the time or inclination for regular maintenance an annual bed requires, or those who just want the “English Garden” look. For best results, amend your soil with Paydirt™ Planting Mix. Add Dr. Q’s® Gold Dust Starter Fertilizer and Dr. Q’s® Plant Tonic when planting your choices. Here are some excellent varieties to consider:

Black-eyed Susan. This cheery daisy is easy to grow, preferring full sun and widely spaced watering. Yellow flowers with a black or green eye.

Blanket Flower. Similar to Black-eyed Susan, with flowers banded in orange, yellow, scarlet and brown. Tough, ever-blooming and water efficient. Will often spread readily in suitable sites.

Bush Daisy. These shrubby yellow daisies will bloom all winter in a mild year. Cut them back occasionally to encourage blooming. Hard prune plants in March to restore a compact look.

Canna Lily. Among the most tropical-looking of all hardy, blooming plants. Marked by banana-like leaves and orchid-like flowers in shades ranging from bicolor through scarlet to canary yellow. Tall forms reach six feet or more; dwarfs are closer to three feet. Cut back to ground in winter when foliage is completely brown.

Carnations are very hardy, take full sun and need no protection in winter. Garden varieties, normally seen as bushy, compact dwarfs, thrive under routine care. Shades range from scarlet through pink to white. Some are sweetly fragrant.

Chrysanthemum. These classic fall bloomers come in all colors except true blue. Some varieties bloom in spring as well. Cut back in June for re-bloom in fall; remove spent foliage in winter. Pinch early buds for more vigorous production.

Coreopsis. Tough, low-maintenance/high-performance plant is covered with yellow or bi-color, daisy-like flowers spring through fall. Excellent for borders or cut flowers. Remove spent flowers for continued bloom.

Daylily. Hybrid varieties show color from pink through lavender to bicolor, as well as the traditional yellow, red and orange. As the name suggests, each flower lasts a day, but several blooms occur on each flower stalk. Can be divided every two or three years.

Gaura. Pretty southwest native is covered with branching flower spikes of pink or white blooms. Extremely long blooming period. Fits well in dry or traditional gardens. Remove flower spikes when blooms fall.

Geranium. Available in many varieties including delightful scented varieties. Martha Washington has neon bright, multicolor flowers; Trailing Ivy is the toughest and excellent for containers and hanging baskets. Give these some protection on the coldest winter nights.

Lantana. This low maintenance hardy variety blooms with purple, yellow, red, orange, magenta and white flowers up to 10 months a year. Will go dormant in coldest weather; cut back in spring to keep vigorous. The purple, white and yellow varieties stay low and spread, while others may be trained into taller shrubs.

Penstemon. Easy-to-grow and heat loving, several varieties of these pretty plants are native to the deserts of Nevada and Southern Utah. All show colorful, trumpet-shaped flowers that attract hummingbirds. They re-seed vigorously and should be a part of any water efficient landscape.

Ruellia. Hardy, moderately sized blooming shrub that can take full or partial sun. It will spread through seeds if planted near or in good garden soil. It blooms throughout the warm season.

Society Garlic. Ornamental, garlic relative has spikes of pretty lavender flowers on and off all year. Foliage smells much like garlic, and some use the green leaves for seasoning. Good for traditional or dry landscapes.

Texas Bluebell. Tough and attractive. Newer dwarf forms bloom all summer under nearly any conditions. Colors are pink, purple or white, with purple being the toughest. Looks like an ever blooming tulip.

Trailing Lantana. This carefree variety blooms with purple or yellow flowers up to 10 months a year. Will go dormant in coldest weather—cut back in early spring to keep vigorous.

Victoria Blue Sage (Salvia/Mealy Cup Sage). Lovely formal-looking plant with flower spikes of rich blue or white. Hybrid varieties like Blue Queen and Rose Queen have shades of violet and pink. Neat and adaptable; mixes well with other flowers.

Western Columbine. Delicate, shapely foliage produces nodding stems of red and yellow flowers in spring. Hybrid varieties have many different colors. Give this one late afternoon shade and good, rich soil for best performance. Pretty addition to traditional gardens.

Yarrow. Free-blooming, ferny plant is tough, water efficient and easy to grow. Superb, multi-colored border flowers are excellent for cutting or drying.

There’s no reason to live without flowers in your yard, regardless of your budget, taste or time. Plant your choices with a little care, water and fertilizer and enjoy the show!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Use These Tips For Your Best Garden Ever!

Don’t try to garden in caliche’! If you have an impermeable layer near the surface, build raised beds and fill them with a mixture of native soil and bagged organic material like Paydirt™ Planting Mix.

When locating your vegetable bed, choose a spot with good air circulation. Avoid excessively windy areas or reflective heat sources like south or west facing walls.

Use the right fertilizers for what you’re trying to grow. Leaf crops need lots of nitrogen; fruit crops like peppers and tomatoes need less nitrogen and more phosphorus and potassium. Dr. Q’s Vegetable and Tomato Food is excellent, as well as our Earthworm Castings.

Surface mulches help prevent weeds, conserve water and cool plant roots. Shredded Cedar Bark repels insects! Use them generously.

Most pests can be controlled by hand and sprays of water from the hose. The biggest pests in warm weather vegetable gardens besides aphids are caterpillars, cabbage loopers and horn worms. These can be safely controlled with Bio-Worm Killer® or an equivalent bacillus thuringensis (BT) product. Be conservative in applying chemicals. Use the right ones, and ALWAYS FOLLOW LABEL DIRECTIONS.

If you want to start your own seedlings instead of purchasing transplants, add a 6 to 10 week lead-time depending on variety. For example, if you want tomatoes, you should start them indoors in mid January to have them ready for a late March planting.

For a list of warm weather vegetable, check out Star Note #205.

Monday, February 6, 2017

3 Foolproof Valentine's Gifts That Are Way Better Than Cut Flowers

Real Roses
Ditch the long stems in a vase for stems with a root base!
Cut roses will only last a few days, but rose bushes last forever.

Flower Seeds

What better way to show how much your love continues to grow?
You can watch your futures bloom together!


Easy enough for even the not-so-green-thumbs to take care of.
Add a cute personalized touch to the pot to make them even more special.

Thursday, January 19, 2017