Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

Mid-Atlantic

June, 2009
Regional Report

Tuck Miscellaneous Plants in Beds and Pots

Summer's nearly here. If, like me, you've a handful of plants -- vinca, impatiens, gerber daisies, dianthus, annual phlox -- not yet in the "perfect" spot, plant them now -- anywhere. We'll only get busier in July. The sun will be hotter; vacations will be taken. Rather than walk by nursery pots and bemoan the droopy things struggling to survive, give them a chance to thrive ... and bring a smile. You can always move them later. Or not.

Keep Recycling Nursery Pots

More and more nurseries and horticulture and agriculture schools are accepting used plant pots. So consolidate and rinse out those you've been saving and make a couple phone calls to find donation locations.

Keep a Flower Press To Go

Carry a small flower press with you -- one that is small enough to fit into a pants or shirt pocket or purse. A 3-inch or 4-inch book of blank pages secured with a ribbon, string tie, or sturdy elastic band is ideal. I try to keep mine handy -- just in case I happen by an enticing garden or spot a flower or tree that sends me swooning. I slip the flower or leaf between the pages. If in good form, I'll note the date, location, and my guess at ID. If not, I'll be surprised and curious later.

Deadhead Flowers

Prune off dead flowers on coreopsis, petunias, pinks (dianthus), daisies, summer phlox, and snapdragons. Clipping off the dead blooms just above a node -- where leaf and stem join -- will cause the plant to produce new flowers.

Counter Mulch Creep

Three weeks ago we carefully placed mulch three inches from each perennial in several gardens, to keep the plants from rotting where the mulch touches. This week the mulch and plants are very up close and personal -- like cheek-to-cheek buddies. No, the mulch didn't really creep. The plants have grown. So we need to go in and pull the mulch away -- to give plants more room to grow. Eventually, we hope the plants will so fill the garden, there won't be need for mulch.

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