Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Annuals Galore!

Planting your flower beds for summer color can be a wonderfully rewarding experience. Similar to planting spring flowering bulbs in the fall, in anticipation for spring, brilliantly colored annuals add life and curb appeal to your landscape.

When looking for annuals that will fit best in your landscape, make sure you take into account the amount of sunlight the area will get. Some annuals, like lobelia and impatiens prefer a shadier environment. Annuals like lantana, vinca and verbena enjoy the warm summer sun. There are also some varieties like begonias that like both sun and shade.

Another thing to consider when planting annuals is the quality of soil. By using a quality potting mix like Fox Farm's Ocean Forest Potting Mix, or a nutrient dense soil recipe, like Johnson's Healthy Soil Recipe will make your annuals grow bigger and healthier.

Next, once you've planted your annuals in quality soil, you must not forget they need food and water! Fertilizing will keep the plants blooming, and blooming big. Whether it's ferti-lome's Blooming & Rooting or Root Stimulator, or Fox Farm's Beastie Bloomz or Big Bloom, applying a fertilizer each month will maintain the health and increase the size of blooms on the plants.

Finally, make sure you keep your newly planted annuals watered, especially when the days are long and hot!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Time for Pruning

As the weather begins to warm up and we get in the mood to work outside, there are a number of spring pruning projects to keep your green thumb busy. If you haven't already, start by cutting back your ornamental grasses. These are already starting to turn green and should be cut back to 6-8" as soon as possible.

Shrub roses (Flower Carpet, Knock Out, etc.) may be pruned in early spring. Cut back any dead or diseased canes and then prune for shape and size, preferring to leave young healthy canes and pruning away older canes.

Roses such as hybrid teas, floribundas and grandifloras should have winter rose collars removed. Prune back any suckers (canes coming from below the graft union), then remove any damaged, dead or diseased wood. Select three or four healthy canes of younger wood, keeping in mind the shape of the bush after pruning. Remove other weaker and older canes. Next, prune back the canes being saved to a length of 8" to 12" making the cut above an outside bud.

Climbing roses should be pruned only AFTER blooming in the spring, otherwise you're cutting off this year's flowers. Climbing roses don't need to be cut back as much as other roses, but should have dead, damaged or diseased canes and suckers removed.

Feed all roses with Bayer All-In-One Rose & Flower Care to prevent pests while fertilizing.
Also avoid pruning spring-blooming plants such as lilac, white spirea, forsythia, quince, etc. until after they are finished blooming or you will cut off this year's flower buds. Feed flowering shrubs with granular ferti-lome Gardener's Special.

It is also time to cut back and feed perennial plants. These die to the ground every year so the old foliage needs to be taken off close to the soil line. Then fertilize the newly emerging shoots with ferti-lome Geranium, Hanging Basket & Pansy Food.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Get Diggin'!

Since you've got your garden all planned out and scheduled, now's the perfect time to start diggin' in the dirt! If you've got your spot marked from last year's garden this will be a cinch. However, if you've got a luscious yard, full of beautiful green grass, it may be just a bit more challenging, but not hard.

With these few easy steps, you'll be digging in no time.
1. Spray the area of desired vegetation with Hi-Yield Super Killz-All, and once it's looking brown and crispy, scalp it on the lowest setting with your lawn mower.

2. Apply ferti-lome Gardener's Special or FoxFarm Tomato & Vegetable Food, broadcasting by hand-held or broadcast spreader for consistent application. We've got broadcast spreaders for loan if you need one. You can also pick up a hand-held spreader inexpensively when you come to get your fertilizer.

3. Once the fertilizer is applied, till the area until the fertilizer and dirt are mixed, and the dirt is good and fluffy. The fluffier the dirt, the easier it'll be to plant.

Let's say you've done step one and 2, and see step 3 requires a tiller. Do we expect you to go out and buy a tiller? Nope! Beginning this year, you can rent one at Johnson's! We carry two sizes of tillers, depending on the size of your garden. Prices starting at $30 for 3 hours.

4. Now it's time to plant! You now have a blank canvas to plant whatever fruits and veggies you'd like. If you're planting actual plants (not seeds), we recommend watering the plants in with an application of either ferti-lome Blooming & Rooting, or FoxFarm Grow Big.

If you have any questions regarding your lawn, garden, or landscape, send them to us! We love answering your questions and are here to help:
via email:
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or on twitter: @jgcwichita

Happy Gardening!