Garden Tips

SUMMER

Annuals

Deadhead flowers (remove spent blooms) to encourage new blooms.

Annuals appreciate fertilizer throughout the summer to encourage vigorous growth and maximum flowering. If you use a slow release fertilizer, such as Osmocote, reapply in July. You can also supplement with a liquid fertilizer, such as Miracle Gro or Super Bloom – once a month should be sufficient.  Make sure that plants are well watered prior to applying a liquid fertilizer to prevent them from burning.

Pinch back leggy impatiens to encourage full, leafy, flowering plants later in the season.

Keep garden clean, remove dead or deceased plants.

Keep an eye out for insect problems. The earlier you discover these little pests, the easier they are to treat.

 

Tips for Watering Containers and Hanging Baskets

Make sure your pots have drain holes! Buildup of water in a pot will cause your plants to decline and roots to rot.

Always check to see if your containers need water. Sometimes plants can wilt due to hot sun, excessive moisture or even stress and not need any more water. You can check the soil moisture in your containers using your fingers if  you are unsure as to whether your plant needs water. Sometimes the surface layer of soil is dry but underneath can be wet. Many plants, especially drought tolerant annuals such as Vinca, can suffer from root rot if the soil stays too wet. If the top inch or so of soil is dry, then it is probably time to water. This rule can vary depending on what plants you have chosen. Always ask your sales associate about water requirements before checking out.

Give the plants enough water that the water runs out through the drain hole. This way the entire root system has received a good thorough soaking. It is usually better to do this instead of giving your plants a “little drink.”

Try to do your watering in the morning rather than in the evening to help prevent formation of diseases.

Resist the urge to water everything especially if your plants don’t need it.

 

Perennials 

Fertilize daylilies and clematis during July. Other perennials may benefit from a boost of liquid fertilizer.

Watch for insects. Aphids will be seen first on new growth. Treat at first signs to control as they multiply quickly.

Dead head blooms as they fade to encourage new blooms and to improve the overall appearance of your plants.

In August, lightly trim fall-blooming perennials such as Mexican Mint Marigolds, Mexican Bush Sage, Autumn Sage and Chrysanthemums to encourage bushier plants with lots of flowers.

Enjoy your perennials coming into bloom! Fertilize every 2-4 weeks with liquid fertilizer.

Keep beds weeded- they are growing quickly too!

Deadhead once a week to keep things blooming while watching for insects.

 

Nursery

Pay attention to the water needs of your shrubs and trees especially the new additions to your garden that have been planted less than a year ago. New trees and shrubs need to be soaked slowly 2-3 times a week depending on rainfall. Established trees and shrubs only need to be throughly watered if there hasn’t been a measurable rainfall during the past 2-3 weeks.

Keep an eye on all plants for signs of stress whether it be insect, disease or weather related. The sooner a problem is caught, the easier it is to treat and for the plant to recover. If you notice signs of stress, bring a sample of the plant/problem into our store, and we can analyze the problem and recommend a solution.

Remove flowers after they fade to encourage new growth and blooms.

Make sure beds and individual trees are covered with 2″-3″ of mulch. Keep mulch away from the main trunk or stem of the plant. Mulch will suppress weeds, keep soil from drying out to quickly and keep plant’s roots cooler.

In early September, reapply a slow release fertilizer (Osmocote) to your trees and shrubs. Remember to water thoroughly and immediately after application — do not wait on the rain!

 

Houseplants and Tropicals

If you keep your houseplants indoors all summer long, keep them out of the draft of the air-conditioning vent. Plants react to the cool air in different ways– some drop their leaves and others don’t bloom well or even begin to decline.

Houseplants without drainage holes are poor candidates for outside gardens. A rainstorm may drown and rot them. All plants perform better in containers with proper drainage holes. Glazed pots add a colorful splash to garden beds.

Vacation hint: sink houseplants that are planted in terra-cotta pots into the soil in a shady area of the garden allowing moisture to go through the porous clay as the plant requires water. Terra-cotta pots are inexpensive and easy to replace.

 

Lawns

Water as needed. Turfgrass typically needs 1″- 1 1/2″ of water per week. The amount of water which you need to apply is dependent upon rainfall and soil conditions. It is best to water in the morning (around sunrise) applying the required water in 2 or 3 applications per week.

Monitor turfgrass for disease and insect problems. Which bugs are frequently a problem in St. Augustine grass during the months of July and August. If you suspect insect or disease, bring in a photo of the affected area and a sample of the grass. We will help you determine the problem and recommend a solution.

Apply Ironite if you would like your lawn to have a lush green appearance. Ironite will make the grass a lush dark green for about a month without boosting the grass with nitrogen.

AUTUMN

Annuals and Herbs

Now is the time to plant favorites such as ornamental peppers, marigolds, mums, pansies, violas, and snapdragons among others. Veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, lettuces, thyme, fennel and sage to name a few thrive in colder temperatures.

 

Perennials

Plant perennials now through November. The plants will branch more freely and bloom more profusely in spring when planted in fall.

In November, deadhead and trim back perennials.

 

Nursery

Fall is a great time to plant trees, shrubs, ground covers and most palms. This is also a good time to evaluate your garden spaces to see if the existing plants are performing the way you need them to or its time to take them out and start anew.

Fertilize all trees, shrubs, ground covers and palms during the month of September.

Typically the best time to trim shrubs is when their bloom cycle has ended. Now is a good time to give summer blooming shrubs a light trim to keep them in shape.

Monitor your garden space for insect and disease problems. the sooner a problem is identified, the better the chance you have of successfully treating the plant.

 

Lawns

Use a pre-emergent herbicide in September to help protect against cool season week that typically germinate during the fall.

Start cutting the grass a little shorter that what was done in the heat of the summer to decrease the chances of disease. Minimum height should be 1 1/2 inches for centipede and 2 1/2 to 3 inches for St. Augustine.

Monitor for signs of disease and/or insects.

 

Houseplants

Prepare houseplants for moving back indoors. Check plants for signs of disease and insects and treat accordingly. Clean foliage off with lukewarm water. Clean off pots as well.

Repot your root bound houseplants with a good draining potting medium.

If your home is really dry during the cool months, add extra humidity by placing potted houseplants on trays filled with pebbles and water to increase air humidity. Avoid placing plants in front of heat vents.

Most houseplants require less water during winter months so decrease watering.

 

WINTER

Annuals & Herbs

Decorate for Christmas! Rosemary topiaries, paperwhites, cyclamen, violas, pansies and alyssum can be planted outside. Add flowering hydrangeas, poinsettias, and paperwhites to your interior decorations.

Spring flowering bulbs can still be planted.

Force paperwhites and amaryllis in containers. Flowers will open in 3-6 weeks.

 

Perennials

After the first frost cut perennials back leaving about 4”-6” above ground.

It is best not to cut back tender perennials, such as lantana, salvia, cassia, and asclepias until March.

A winter mulch with pine straw will help protect your perennials through winter.

 

Nursery

Protect citrus when temperatures fall into the upper 30’s. A sheet for cover will keep your plants warm during cold spells. Remember to uncover your when daytime temperatures are warm.

Monitor your garden space for insect and disease problems. The sooner a problem is identified the better chance you have of successfully treating the plant. With cooler temperatures you can spray horticultural oils. Oils are a quick easy way to kill tough insects like scale and spider mites.

As ornamental grasses turn brown for winter you have a choice to either cut them back immediately or wait until the middle of February to trim them back. Leaving them alone until February gives a nice texture to the winter landscape.

Don’t cut back cold damage on trees and shrubs until late winter.

Wait to trim crape myrtles and roses until late February.

 

Lawns

 Water monthly if we don’t receive rain, a single watering of ¼”- ½” will suffice.

 

Houseplants

Time to repot your root bound houseplants with a well draining potting soil.

If your home is really dry during the cool months, add extra humidity by placing potted houseplants on trays filled with pebbles and water to increase air humidity.

Avoid placing plants in front of draughts or in front of heat vents.

Most houseplants require less water during winter months so decrease watering.

 

SPRING

Annuals, Herbs and Veggies

Do not cut back foliage on bulbs until after they finish blooming and the foliage turns yellow – they still need to produce food for next years growth/bloom

Redo those winter containers and hanging baskets – make sure they have drain holes!

To encourage bushier, stronger plants, pinch off blooms and buds from annuals at planting time.

Fertilize annuals monthly with a liquid fertilizer.

Keep an eye out for signs of insects in your garden and containers – such as aphids and slugs. An insecticidal soap works well on getting rid of the aphids, and a slug bait will help eliminate the garden slugs.

With high humidity, warm days and cool nights, diseases will start spreading faster.  To decrease the risk of that occurring, try watering your pots and flower beds early in the morning so the leaves will dry off by nightfall.

Use a liquid fertilizer on your annuals every 4 -5 weeks.

 

Houseplants

Houseplants can be watered more frequently with the onset of spring and new growth. Make sure each plant has proper drainage.

Revitalize houseplants by moving them to a screened porch for the spring and summer once nighttime temps reach 60 degrees.

Spring is a desirable time to repot and/or divide containerized houseplants. Good air circulation is needed for healthy plant growth.

Check all five growing factors if houseplants are not growing well: light, temperature, nutrients, moisture and humidity must be favorable for good growth.

 

 

For specific product recommendations, or answers to additional questions you might have, please come by to speak with our sales staff or send an e-mail to info@abideawhilegardencenter.com.