Posts Tagged ‘Spring Garden’

May 10, 2011

Spring Gardening Tips from DMWW’s Gardeners

May is a wonderful time for spring gardening.  There are numerous activities that can be done around the yard.

  • Take a tour of your garden to see which plants have survived over the winter months.  Replacement plants may be needed for those that did not survive.
  • Divide perennials that are becoming overgrown from the previous year.  Daylilies, hostas and perennial grasses are a few that grow very aggressively. 
  • Prune back spent blooms on any bulbs including daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, etc.  As the plant’s foliage begins to yellow and brown, it can be cut off and removed from the plant.
  • Add a layer of 2-4” of mulch in perennial beds, around shrubs, and trees.  A thick layer of mulch protects the plant by keeping the roots cool, blocking weeds, and keeping moisture around the plant. 
  • Make sure to take time for plant shopping this month.  Greenhouses are loaded with beautiful annuals and perennials.  Don’t forget to wait until the frost free date of May 10 for planting most annuals. 
  • Containers and pots can be designed with various combinations of annuals and perennials.
  • Till the vegetable garden plots and begin planting summer crops including tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc.  after May 10 as well.
  • And lastly, WEED, WEED, WEED!  Get an early start on weeding.  Weeds are growing just as quickly as the flowers in your garden. 
Posted by: Dawn Goodrich 1 Comment
Labels: , , , Posted in Des Moines Botanical Center, Des Moines Water Works Park, Uncategorized April 1, 2011

Spring Gardening Tips

With April showers bring May flowers; outdoor care is just around the corner. As the weather starts to warm, the spring bulbs such as the famous tulips and daffodils, will start to pop out the surface rather quickly!

You’ll want to make sure you have your gardens raked and ready to go for these bulbs. You should be giving your bulbs plenty of water during any dry spells and apply a light application of a high-nitrogen fertilizer just as the bulbs begin to grow. Once your bulbs have grown and bloomed, trim back any dead flowers, but make sure to leave the green leaves. You don’t want to cut back the plant completely as the green leaves helps produce energy to the bulbs so you have a better success rate of re-blooming in the following years to come. Once the bloom fades, make sure you fertilize the bulbs with a complete fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. A quick tip is to braid the leaves to keep them tidy and together so after they die back; they will be easier to cut. After bulbs have finished their growing phase, they are care free till the next spring!

Odds and Ends for Spring Garden Tips in April:

  • Crab grass preventer should be applied around April 15.
  • Rake your lawns to remove twigs, leaves and trash.
  • Cut back on perennial, roses and grasses to prep for new growth.
  • Plant bare root trees and shrubs before buds break. (April 29 is Arbor Day!)
  • Divide hostas and other summer and fall blooming perennials as new growth appears.
  • Start annual flowers and herbs indoors for transplanting outside after the last frost.
  • Plant cool season vegetables outdoors near late April, such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, peas, radishes, spinach and turnips. Warm season vegetables such as beets, carrots and parsley can also be planted at this time.
  • Repot and start lightly fertilizing house plants. Clean off dust on the leaves for better plant breathing. Make sure you keep an eye on your window plants for leaf scorch from the increase of sun intensity.
Posted by: Karey Alvarado No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Botanical Center March 9, 2011

Planning Your Spring Garden

This is the perfect time to start planning your spring and summer garden, however it is a little early to start the hands-on outdoor work.  Starting early on your plans is a great idea. Planning where and what plants you want to use can take weeks.  Picking your plants early from a vast array of garden catalogs is essential in getting the plants you want. The earlier you order, the better chance you will have to get them. Most of the time, new introduction and favorite plants are sold out well before the planting season begins.

Many seeds take between two to three months to flower. Starting seeds in your home under a grow light is a great way to get a jump on your spring gardening. It allows you to have plants that are larger and perhaps all ready blooming in your garden. Using cool season plants such as pansies, chard, kale, and lettuce will allow you to plant a little earlier. These plants can take a light, late season frost and still be good growers.

Posted by: Todd Monson No Comments
Labels: , , , Posted in Botanical Center, Des Moines Botanical Center