Keep your flowers healthy and extend their bloom by following these maintenance tips.
To promote additional blooms throughout the flowering season, pinch dead flowers off of your annual or perennial plants. Deadheading encourages the plant to expend its energy on producing new blooms instead of going to seed (and ending its life cycle/going into dormancy). For delicate stem plants such as pansies, nasturtium, and alyssum you can simply pinch off the dead flower at its base using your fingers.For harder stalk plants such as sunflowers or coneflowers you may use a clean pair of garden scissors - follow the stem down to the next leaf or set of leaves and cut off flower for a clean, neat look. In addition to extending the flowering season of your plants, deadheading keeps your garden looking neat and well-kept. Be sure to compost the dead blooms!
Regular fertilizing a soil that has been enriched with compost is not required for most plants, as they will obtain the nutrients they need. However, soil tests results will inform you of any ammendments necessary to balance your soil, such as blood or bone-meal, manure, wood ashes or a synthetic balanced fertilizer. Your garden may benefit from one to two applications of a balanced fertilizer in early spring and again in early summer. For container gardens, some potting soils come with fertilizers built into the soil. Overfertilizing can harm plants, while the right amount of fertilizer can provide healthy plants and blooms in your flower garden. Visit the Fertilizing section of this website for more information.
Using mulch has many benefits. In a flower garden, you may mulch about a 2”-4” layer on top of the soil. This layer protects the plants by keeping the soil cool and moist, and also helps the soil conserve water, prevent weed growth, and resist insects. Also, as mulch breaks down, it provides nutrients to your soil for your plants. Dried grass clippings, shredded leaves, pine needles and straw are some mulches that you can gather yourself. Purchased mulches include pine bark, cotton seed hulls, and wood chips. Avoid mounding the mulch around the base of the plant, as it can lead to disease. You can apply the mulch after plants have been planted in the soil or seedlings established in your garden. Visit the Mulching section of this website for more information.
How to attract honey from the flower of the world -
that is my everyday business.
I am busy as a bee about it.
- Henry David Thoreau, Journal: August 7, 1851