Spring is my favorite time of the year, and one of the best times to plant new perennials, shrubs, roses and trees. With the warming temperatures, longer daylight hours, and the "April Showers", everything planted now should get off to a very good start.
This is also the best...and only time of the year to move Magnolias and Tulip-trees, because of their soft and spongy roots.
If you haven't done so already, Hydrangea, Buddleia(butterfly bush), Abelia and Rose of Sharons should be pruned as soon as possible. Forsythia should not be pruned until after they have flowered.
History has it that birth of synthetic grass began through attempts by scientists trying to develop a type of grass that would not only allow children and adolescents to play on regardless of the weather condition but encouraged them to do so, in other words, a surface that they enjoyed using. Hence the advent of fake or artificial grass.
Today the advances in artificial grass surfaces are enormous and can't be down-played. Asphalt is no longer used as an underlay, which has increased the shock absorption provided by the grass, decreased the retention of heat during summer and further improving the drainage ability of the grass. Finally and possibly most importantly no longer does fake grass look, both on and off T.V like the earlier versions of fake grass, that is, FAKE.
A bulb's leaves are its own built-in food factory, responsible for replenishing the underground bulb with nourishment as it forms the new flowers for next year. When cutting bulb flowers, be sure to only cut off the flower stalk and not the leaves.
The bulb foliage should be allowed to remain until it naturally dies down and turns brown. Removing the spent flower heads (dead-heading), allows the bulbs to put more energy into bud development for next year, and not into seed production.
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Although you can't see the crabgrass in your lawn right now, it is there.....lying in wait. The best way to control it is with an early application of pre-emergent crabgrass control, either alone or mixed with fertilizer.
The pre-emergents should be applied to your lawn before mid-April, to halt the crabgrass seed from germinating in May.
Anytime in early spring (late March-early April), your over-crowded late blooming perennials can be lifted and divided. The job of lifting and dividing the plants really isn't that bad, its the question of what to do with surplus plants that is perplexing and bothers me most.
Here are some of your perennials that should be divided now: Asters, Boltonia, Chrysanthemums, Helianthus, Helenium, Michaelmas Daisies, and Phlox.
Before applying fertilizer, it is recommended that you take a soil sample to determine your soil's fertility, and what nutrients it may be lacking. Soil pH is a means of describing the acidity or alkalinity of your soil, by measurement of the hydrogen ions in the soil.
In soil science, the pH scale runs from 1 to 14, with 7 being neutral. Most of the
garden soils in the Northeast are slightly acid, around 6, which is suitable for the
majority of woody ornamental plants.
OUR FEATHERED FRIENDS
If you want birds to make your garden their summer home, you must supply them with trees and shrubs for shelter, so they can quickly take cover from marauders and predators.
Some other essentials include, water for bathing and drinking, shrubs and birdhouses for nest building, and a variety of berry and of seed producing plants, in addition to a well stocked feeder.
A few of their favorite trees and shrubs include: apples, barberry, crabapples, dogwood, junipers, honeysuckle, lilac, maples, mulberry, oaks, privet, and viburnums.
DID YOU KNOW
To keep aphids from destroying your tender new plants, try this mixture. Mince two cloves of garlic and put them in a pint of boiling water.
After cooling, strain out the garlic bits and put the remaining liquid in a spray bottle. Spray new shoots and flower buds to protect them from aphid assaults.