Monday, April 25, 2011

Stunning Foliage

As it turns out you don’t always have to spend a lot on new plants or replacements for your garden. I’ve found some really good deals on discounted plants at Lowe’s. On the discount shelf there are out of season or out of bloom plants that I can pay only .25 a piece for 4” pots to 75% off on larger plants. One of my favorite finds was 3 of my Maple trees that I got for $5 and are growing very well and providing shade in my yard 6 years later. Last fall I discovered a plant with silver foliage in 4” pots for .25 each. I bought 4 and planted them in the backyard. I found out later the plants are called silver sage. It has large fuzzy leaves and has started blooming this month with airy flowers on tall stalks. Some people don’t like the look of the flower stalks and cut them off. I’m going to wait and see if birds or butterflies are interested in the blooms. I planted my silver sage in a boarder right outside my screened porch when I can see it often.

Silver sage likes to be nice and dry. If the leaves stay wet for several days they will rot and need to be removed. The crowns will rot and die in wet soil. Rabbits and deer don’t care for them but slugs consider them one of their favorites.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April in the garden

Things to consider / do in the garden this month:

*Be prepared for cold snaps at night. Use row covers newspapers or sheets to protect seedlings.
*Start seeds indoor of warm season vegetables and flowers if you haven’t yet.
*Stake perennials before they get too tall.
*Finish pruning roses. Remove dead and diseased wood first.
*Check on cool season crops for harvesting. Sow seeds directly in the vegetable garden toward the end of the month.
*Begin transplanting warm season seedlings outdoors, at the end of April when the soil has warmed and night temperatures stay above 50 degrees F.
*Give your bulbs some food once they finish blooming and allow the foliage to remain until it begins to turn yellow
*Feed fruit and nut trees and bushes
*Keep ahead of the weeds
*Turn the compost
*Sharpen Tools
*Test and amend your soil if you haven’t already
*Prune flowering shrubs when they finish blooming.
*Plant and divide perennials and Dig up and divide spring flowering bulbs after the flowers have faded and the foliage as browned.
Take time to enjoy the flowering plants in your yard!