Sometimes as a gardener you have small questions that don’t require an extended answer. Today I’m going to give you five helpful hints and garden tips for everyday garden questions.
1. How do I know when to water my potted plants?
For most potted annual plants a good rule of thumb is to stick your finger into the soil up to your first knuckle. If you feel moisture, hold off watering. If you don’t feel any moisture, go ahead and water. This is just a general guideline. It works well for most potted annuals (that have good drainage) but doesn’t work well for plants like succulents which need much less water and plants like ferns which need more. Be sure to educate yourself on the water requirements of your specific potted plants.
2. Should I dead-head my garden plants?
Unless you want to save seeds, dead-heading garden plants keep them looking tidy and also encourages plants to produce more blossoms. If you want to save seeds, don’t dead-head your plants. Leave the expired blossoms on the plant. Most plants, especially annuals and biennials (that are in their second year of growth) will produce seed heads or seed pods where the spent blossoms are located. Simply collect the seeds, allow them to dry fully, and put them in containers until you’re ready to use them. (Don’t forget to label your seeds!)
3. Should I mulch my garden and landscape?
You should use mulch in your landscape and garden to not only keep moisture in the ground but to keep the roots of your plants cool. Summer sun will heat up black dirt very very quickly and can damage sensitive roots. You can use landscape rock or bark mulch in your landscape for a neat appearance and anything from straw to leaves in your vegetable garden which not only keeps moisture in but breaks down into compost to add nutrients to the soil as well.
4. When should I fertilize?
The general rule is to apply fertilizer in spring and fall but it depends on the kind of fertilizer you use. Compost can be added at any time but adding it in the spring when you plant is best. Slow release fertilizers are usually applied in spring and early fall. This helps plants get going in the spring and build up nutrients for a winter’s rest. Liquid fertilizers are generally applied weekly because they act fast and wash away quickly. Always read the label on manufactured fertilizers and follow the directions for proper application.
5. And finally, a question I am asked all the time is should you have a gardening buddy?
Yes. I highly recommend a gardening buddy to cuddle with, oops I mean to visit with, while you enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
Quote of the Day
“I take care of my flowers and my cats. And enjoy food. And that’s living.”
-Ursula Andress, Swiss actress