Thursday, March 14, 2013

Garden goal roll, 2013

In eager anticipation of the upcoming season of shovels, pruners, clippers, rakes, and trowels, I'm preparing my annual garden goal roll: what needs to be done, when it should be done, and where it's all happening. 


Place plant orders. 
 *  From White Flower Farm, 3 bleeding heart (Dicentra "Gold Heart") and 3 beebalm (Monarda "Pink Lace") Done in March.
  * From Swan Island or other dahlia nursery: some small yellow dahlias, like "Baby Yellow," for old side bed? Five "Baby Yellow" tubers ordered from Lobaugh's Nursery April 1.

Pot up those refrigerated amaryllis bulbs!


Prune and clean up shrubs damaged by winter snows.

Shape "New Dawn" rose canes.

Order new rose arbor for back door.

Top-dress daffodils with 5-10-10 when the leaf-tips emerge. As they flower, top-dress with 0-10-10 or 0-0-50. High-nitrogen fertilizer should be avoided. Jump-started with BulbTone (3-5-3) on March 31.

Start renovation of back property line bed Started April 28
 *  Remove some lilies of the valley.  Is containment possible with aluminum lawn edging?
 *  Plant bleeding heart (Dicentra "Gold Heart") Planted April 28, but not looking happy.
 *  Consider what else would improve this space. Something low and chartreuse?  Or grassy?
 *  Move Japanese painted fern to more visible location.  Again, clear out lilies of the valley?

Did any perennials in the dry bed along the northeast side of the house survive the combination of rabbits and winter? If so, is more room needed?  Maybe cut this bed a bit bigger?
 *  Plant beebalm (Monarda "Pink Lace") along the front.  Due to lack of space in northeast side bed, planted at back of house on April 28.
 *  Move the sedum "Autumn Joy" from behind the compost pile into this bed. Four divisions planted in northeast side bed on April 28.

Feed evergreens along front of house with Holly-Tone.Done May 5

Dose "New Dawn" rose with 1/2 cup of Epsom salts in 2 cups water. Done April 28

Trim "Major Wheeler" honeysuckle back. Done April 28


That stuff that you didn't get to last month?  Do it now.

Review spring bulb performance.  What needs to be replaced or amplified? Maybe add to the Pheasant Eye daffodils (Narcissus poeticus) to the dry bed along the northeast side of the house? Yes!  Also late blooming daffodils along bed at back of house.


Move potted amaryllis bulbs outdoors and feed regularly with liquid fertilizer.

Edge garden beds.

Prune into shape front foundation plantings and yews along side property line.

Scratch 1 1/4 cups of RoseTone around the roots of "New Dawn" climbing rose now monthly through the summer; be sure to stop feeding by August 15 in order to prevent developing new growth that will not have time to harden off before fall temperatures drop.

After flowering, shear Amsonia hubrichtii by 1/3 of its height to promote better form.

When it is 3 feet tall, cut Joe pye weed "Gateway" back to half its height to encourage dense growth. Done June 8

Stake dahlias when the tubers are planted and again and again as they grow. Stop dahlias by pinching stem back to four pairs of leaves.

Pinch back shasta daisies to 6".

And stake, stake, stake!


After flowering, prune the "New Dawn" climbing rose. 

Prune back 50-80% of "Major Wheeler" honeysuckle after bloom is over.

Late August/Early September

Separate Siberian irises to left of kitchen door (Eric the Red).

Time to order spring bulbs!  Order 12 or more hyacinth bulbs (white, deep pink, coral), at least 25 paperwhite narcissus bulbs, and 2 amaryllis bulbs for indoor forcing.

Columbus Day

Plant spring bulbs.

Dig in bone meal around peonies.

Lightly feed evergreens along front of house with Holly-Tone.

Move potted amaryllis bulbs indoors and chill in refrigerator.

Veterans Day

While daytime temperatures are still above 40 degrees, spray an anti-transpirant, like Wilt-Pruf or Wilt Stop, on "Sky Needle" hollies to prevent winter kill.

Top-dress beds with composted cow manure.


Winter-sow seeds.
Late December

Start planning plant purchases for 2014.


Puffincentral said...

Just reading this has left me exhausted. I need a lie-down! Why do put Epsom salts on your New Dawn?

Puffincentral said...

Just reading this has made me need a lie-down. Why do you put Epsom salts on your New Dawn?