Monday, April 20, 2015

Garden goal roll, 2015

It's spring now, so all things horticultural are possible. Cue the cock-eyed optimist: I'm preparing my annual garden goal roll: what needs to be done, when it should be done, and where it's all happening. 


Dust peonies with copper fungicide to limit blight. Done 4/19/2015

Top-dress spring-flowering bulbs with 3-5-3 when the leaf-tips emerge.  Except for small front walk bed, done 4/19/2015

Place plant orders. 
*  From Swan Island or other dahlia nursery: some small yellow dahlias, like "Baby Yellow," for old side bed?

Prune and clean up shrubs damaged by winter snows.

Shape "New Dawn" rose canes. And figure out a support structure.

Start renovation of back property line bed
 *  Remove some lilies of the valley.
 *  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?

Assess perennials in the dry bed along the northeast side of the house.  Maybe cut this bed a bit bigger?

Feed evergreens along front of house with Holly-Tone.

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

Trim "Major Wheeler" honeysuckle back.


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

Review spring bulb performance.  What needs to be replaced or amplified?


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.

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! 
*   Indoor at least 25 paperwhite narcissus bulbs and 2 amaryllis bulbs
*   Outdoor: 200 Iris reticulata "Katherine Hodgkin"

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 2016.


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