Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Spring Bulb Planting Time!


            The best time to plant spring bulbs is now to mid November; later planting may result in short stems and smaller flowers. 

The bulbs grow best in well-drained light loam. The soil should be deep and enriched with plenty of manure to insure good plant growth and large flowers over a period of several years. Fertilizers such as bone meal or compost are excellent side dressings, but bone meal should be worked deep into the soil to keep dogs from digging up your bulbs."  



Tulips and other spring bulbs usually do better, and bloom earlier in the sun than in half shade. Daffodils on the other hand seem to grow anywhere.

Large bulbs should be planted deeper than small ones. The ideal depth is from four to nine inches deep. If the bulbs are planted too deep, they weaken as they push through the soil, but if planted too shallow, the frost may heaved them out of the soil.

When setting the bulbs in the soil, give a half twist as though screwing the bulb into the soil; this assures that the base of the bulb is in direct contact with the soil.

If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. For more Landscape and garden info and pictures on the subject check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com

 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Winter Fertilizer Time

            Just when you thought you could put away the fertilizer spreader…

            You will need it one more time; and this is the most important spread of the year.

             All this year you’ve been putting down, or have paid someone to put down, high nitrogen fertilizer, the first number on the fertilizer bag; the stuff that really greens up the lawn.

            “So” you say.

            This is like giving your lawn bottles of 5 hour Energy shots every month. It greens it up, but it doesn’t really do anything else. Nitrogen is basically just for the leaves, in other words: anything above the topsoil.

            And again you say “So, I like it green”

            But like any good architect will tell you, “it’s all about the foundation”. Skimp on the foundation and the building ceases to be upright in time. So it is with grass; the top is only as strong as its root.

            Winter fertilizer concentrates its attention on the roots of the plant with the last two numbers on the fertilizer bag, and pays very little attention to the greenery.

            Your grass will go dormant very soon; at least what you see will stop growing. But not so with the roots, they will keep growing until the ground around them freezes. The roots will keep sucking up what this winter fertilizer provides; for it is exactly what the roots need to build other roots. And more roots mean a stronger plant, and a stronger plant means healthier green for your eyes next summer.

 If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. Like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Double Poting

            With all the displays of spring bulbs staring you in the face as you walk into any garden center, home improvement store, hardware store, sometimes grocery stores, and so on… They start messing with your mind, getting you to ask yourself, “where could I grow these things?”

            But you live in the shade, or at least most of your yard is in the shade, and you’ve heard that they need sun. Or, you hate the way they look while they’re dying down in plain site because the leaves need to absorb a bunch of sunlight before they shrivel up; so they sit there becoming an unsightly mess until the middle of the summer.

             Let me tell you what has worked for me. It's called double potting.

            You will first need some 3-gallon plastic shrub containers, all the same kind and size. To tell you how many you will need would be best explained in how the double potting is done.

            You then take one of the pots and bury it up to its rim in the location you wish to show off your spring bulbs. Put about an inch of potting soil in the bottom of this pot.



            Take a second pot and bury it somewhere out back, up to its rim, in a place that is not highly visible, but sunny. Put about an inch of potting soil in the bottom of this pot as well.

            Take the third pot and fill it with potting soil and plant whatever kind of spring bulb you would like, also mix in a little bone meal. Place this pot into the receiver pot that you buried where you would like the spring bulbs to be visible in the spring.

            The fourth pot is to be filled with potting soil to be available for annuals when that time comes and placed in the receiver pot you buried out back.

            Establishing these four pots per planting sight is the hardest part of this whole process; but from here on in, it is just a matter of switching pots back and forth.

 

            If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. For more Landscape and garden info and pictures on the subject check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Stop Fertilizing to Stop New Growth

             All fertilizing but winter lawn food should come to a halt, for all plant life is about to go to sleep; and they don’t need you bringing them a full blown delicatessen at this late hour.
 


            Think about it: Jimmy's monolog is over, your eyes are heavy with slumber, the blankets are pulled tight around your neck… and some well-meaning individual comes waltzing into your bedroom with a bucket of KFC, mash potatoes, coleslaw, and frosty beverage shouting; “Hey! Get up!! I paid for this, so eat up!! 

            Still in a fog, you comply… and spent the next 4 to 6 hours laying there with a highly active stomach sending you nasty messages like “Never ever do this to me ever again Bubb!!”

            Well, this is what your plants are going through when you wake them up with any food high in nitrogen. Maybe their stomachs aren’t gurgling and growling, but the new growth you are encouraging will not be “winter ready. Yes, I know you got it on a clearance sale; but the key word is “clearance”, they’re clearing it out because it’s time of application is past; save it for next year.

 
If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. And like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping. For more Landscape and garden info and pictures on the subject check us out at www.NiemeyerLandscaping.com

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Fall Pruning

Pruners are beginning to call from within garages and sheds. That last bit of botanical coiffure is about take place before everything is put away for the season. There are however, some bushes and shrubs that should be left alone.   
Flowering shrubs and bushes need time to prepare a flower bud, typically three months; and we are not just talking any three month period of time, it needs to be an active growth three month period of time.
So here we are in the middle of September, a month away from the beginning of total dormancy for deciduous (leaf dropping) plants. Let’s see, three months minus one month equals two….. not enough time to produce another set of flower buds for those shrubs that bloom in the spring.
Bushes like Forsythia, Lilac, Beauty Bush, Weigela, Mock Orange, Sand Cherry, Flowering Almond, Viburnums, Rhododendrons, all Crab, Pair, Dogwood, and Cherry trees, have set their flower buds months ago; to prune them now would be removing them, which will mean no flowers next spring.
Pruneables now are anything evergreen, and all the late in the season flowerers like Rose of Sharon, Hydrangea, Burning Bush (after the red leaves have fallen off), and Kousa Dogwood. In a few weeks it will also be a good time to prune all the shrubs that have yellow or red leaves. They produce this color because of their exposure to sunlight. Pruning them now gets them ready for next years sun bathing; to prune them in mid season next year is to expose those green leaves that have been sitting under the umbrellas of their sun worshiping counterparts.


If you have any questions feel free to contact me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. Or like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping.  

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mums

            You can’t pass any garden center, box store, hardware store, roadside stand, gas station,  Church parking lot, or kid’s converted Kool-Aid stand these days without seeing Mums for sale.

            Chrysanthemums, (their full name), are the last to flower for the year L; and therefore are the last to be marketed.

            They are also called “hardy” mums in some older circles; but hardy is a bit of a misnomer. It may have been common place in days past that they would keel over at the drop of a hat, or not come up at all until somebody hybridized some toughness into them. But even with that little bit of genetic machismo newbies to your soil will need some protection this winter.

            But first let’s talk about planting them,

            They need full sun; shade makes them grow leggy and stretched. The hole should be dug twice as wide as the root ball, but only as deep as the root ball. If planted too deep the plant will use up its reserves struggling to get stems to the surface next year, causing no flowers the following fall. Back fill with rich topsoil; to get lots of flowers they need lots to eat.

            When prepping them for winter, cut, or break off, the stems when the leaves start too brittle up.
            Pile leaves over them to insulate them from the bitter winter cold, holding them down over the plant with chicken wire. This will slow the quick freezing and thawing; they can handle temperature down to -20; they just can’t handle getting there quickly and then coming back up quickly.


 If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me at NiemeyerLandscaping@Gmail.com or post a comment on this Blog. Like us on Facebook at Niemeyer Landscaping.