September 23Preparation for Fall
There are many tips for taking care of perennials in preparation for fall and winter. One good site we found is the U of Illinois. Scroll down and read their advice on “Some Favorite Links”. Quite simple and easy to follow.
October 23Garden Seed Pods Feed the Birds
Don’t cut those dried stems! Mature seed pods provide a natural food source for the birds throughout the winter.
Leave the seed heads from your sunflowers, cone flowers, black eyed Susans,salvias, phlox, thistles and ironweed.
Small seed eating birds like chickadees and gold finches will feed straight from the pods. Ground feeding birds like cardinals and sparrows will find seed that has fallen to the ground.
Leaving your seed heads also adds appeal to a garden in winter. Leaving the mature seed pods saves time and work while helping your feathered friends
If leaving the stems is not appealing to you, then cut the stems and make a bouquet and hang it from a fence or tree . The birds will find the food.
DIVIDING IRISES -PART I
If you are lucky enough to enjoy the beauty of irises in your garden in spring, you will want to take time now to assess whether your plants need to be divided. August and September are the times to divide your irises if they need it. You will want to divide your plants when the soil is still warm but the air has begun to cool. It is important to replant at this peak time when the disturbed roots have time to re-establish themselves without placing a severe demand on them to supply a lot of moisture to the leaves. Wait until day time temperatures drop from the 90′s!
Irises do not need to be divided every year -usually every 3-4 years is the norm.
What are the signs that my irises need to be divided?
1. Irises that do not bloom as profusely as they once did. Overcrowded rhizomes will produce fewer flowers.
2. Overcrowded rhizomes may also start to heave from the ground. The plants may start to push on each other resulting in a mass that looks like a pile of snakes or spaghetti.
Watch for PART II HOW to DIVIDE and TRANSPLANT IRISES
November 2November Garden Tip
Frost can crack terra-cotta pots. To prevent this, empty contents, scrub with water and stiff brush. Store upside down in shed or garage. Don’t stack.
September 1September Garden Tips
- renew plant vigor
- promote better blooming
- control spreading
A good rule of thumb is to divide perennials which bloom in spring or early/mid-summer in early fall.
A few examples are: astilbe, coreopsis, dianthus, hostas and salvia.