Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Top 5 Items To Check Off Your Spring To-Do List

Brighten up your yard.  Plant all kinds of annual and perennial flowers for spring and summer color. Set out ground covers. GazaniaIceplantsHearts and FlowersIvyVerbena and Australian Racer are some good choices. After planting, use a pre-emergent weed control. See our friendly sales associates for details.

Pretty but destructive.  Watch for skeletonizers on grape leaves. Adults are iridescent purple moths and the attractive caterpillars are striped blue and yellow (with stinging, irritating hairs). Untreated they will strip all the green from the leaves very quickly. Several generations a season may weaken or kill your vines. Treat with Bacillus Thuringensis (Bio Worm Killer or Thuricide) which will kill all kinds of caterpillars but won’t hurt anything else.

Apply mulches on the surface of your vegetable and flower beds and around trees and shrubs. It keeps the soil cool and helps moisture retention. Paydirt™ Planting Mix is an excellent choice for all mulching needs. Bark mulch is a good alternative in high wind areas.

Give lawns a workout to prepare them for the hot summer months. StarNote 820, Lawn Care and Maintenance Calendar, lists fertilizer choices (StarNote 825 for Southern Utah). Continue over seeding as needed and aerate the lawn every 2-3 years.

Vegetable tips.  Mulch tomatoes to conserve soil moisture and water deeply, but not every day, to encourage deep rooting and discourage blossom drop. Plant warm season vegetables like squash, peppers, beans and melons. Plant hot season tomatoes like Heatwave which will continue to produce as temperatures climb. Feed monthly with Dr. Q’s® Vegetable & Tomato Food (6-10-6). (top)
For more seasonal tips, check out Star Note #100, The Gardeners Calendar

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!