Can you specify this annual flowering for me please?
– Tina Stenuk
Tina posted a photo of a low-growing pile of pink narrow-leaved flowers and compound daisy leaves. I can’t be positive, but they do look like Zinnia angustifolia (creeping zinnia, Mexican zinnia, or narrow-leaved zinnia).
This is an annual conglomerate, measuring about 8 to 16 inches tall. It blooms from summer to killing frost and is preferred by butterflies and bees. Drought tolerant, once established, it is also deer resistant. These zinnias grow in full sun and well-drained soil. Compost is a good soil amendment when planting.
These plants are good for a pollinator garden, border, or container.
Fall is the time to plant all those flowering bulbs in late winter and spring. I use the term bulbs loosely to cover bulbs, corms, tubers, etc.
Each plant has specific needs that you should look out for, but there are some general guidelines that apply. We aim to plant when the weather is cool, the days are shorter but the soil is still warm enough to allow the bulbs to grow and establish some roots before the ground freezes.
These plants need well-drained soil. Wet soil, perennial ponds, and the like often cause bulbs to rot, or poor performance if they survive.
The light is a little different. Early bloomers can be planted in areas that are normally considered shaded if the shade is from deciduous trees. Since the bulbs bloom early, most complete the flowering cycle before the trees become fully leafy.
Bulbs are often eaten by burrowing animals. Tulips are a favorite in my garden. If the bulbs survive, the sprouted plants make a wonderful dinner for domestic rabbits.
Avoid penetration by using bulb cages – wire baskets buried with the bulbs inside. The wire structure allows the stems and leaves to emerge but protects the bulbs from rodents. If the problem is digging from above, some gardeners find that placing chicken wire or some other wire barrier over the top of the bed prevents squirrels from digging up the bulbs.
If these methods are not enough, you can try a deterrent, such as dry blood, which is sprayed on the above-ground growth. They are of limited value, depending on what the garden is eating and should be reapplied frequently and immediately after it rains.
The ultimate solution, if you must have spring bulbs, is to choose ones that most pests will end up with as inedible. Look for daffodils or any member of the Allium family. This works for me, and I have grown to appreciate the great diversity available within these plant groups.
Now in planting, many bulbs will benefit from the addition of either bone compost or onion compost added to the base of the planting pit. Put it on and rub it before planting the onion. Fertilizers can be applied to the soil surface in already established gardens.
The soil should be dry enough to work without the risk of compaction and loosen to a depth of an inch or so below the depth of planting the bulb. Planting depths are generally included with the bulbs you purchased, but as a general rule, most bulbs should be planted at a depth three times the height of the bulb. That is, a three-inch-long bulb planting hole will be nine inches deep. Transplant with the root end down and the end pointed.
Bulbs, like many other plants, look best when planted in groups, usually with odd numbers three, five and seven and with numbers that reflect the size of the plant. Small bulbs look best in large groupings while larger bulbs look good in groups of three or five. Drifts are another farming strategy. Like snowdrifts, plants scatter in irregular formations as if scattered across the landscape by strong winds.
Spacing is another concern. Again, information should accompany your bulbs or online description of the plant. Another general rule of thumb is to allow four to five inches between bulbs. Small bulbs can be spaced closely.
A final idea is to plan your garden so something appears as the bulbs fade that allows you to leave the greens, no matter how bad they look, so that the bulbs have time to replace the nutrients for next year’s show. Do not cut, tie, or restrict greens from growing after blooms have faded. This is one of the reasons spring bulbs and daytime flowers get along so well. Daylilies appear just as greens begin to look poorly.
Bethlehem Garden Club: The meeting will be held on October 20. Mr. Baker Rob Richman talks about this. The meeting will take place at Moravian Advent Church (3730 Jacksonville Rd., Bethlehem) and the meeting begins at 1 pm, doors open at 12:30 pm, everyone is welcome.
Sue Kitek is a freelance columnist, writer and lecturer. Send questions to Garden Keeper at [email protected] Or mail: Garden Keeper, The Morning Call, PO Box 1260, Allentown, PA 18105.
Planting: Use asters, kale, mums, winter flowers and other fall garden favorites to brighten up your fall landscape. Plant spring-flowering bulbs, garlic, leeks, asparagus, rhubarb, perennials, trees and shrubs. Sow seeds that require a cool period for germination.
seasonal: Dig and store tulip bulbs. Dig up and store other tender bulbs where cold weather or frost kills foliage. Allow the final flow of flowers to go to the seed. Many provide food for birds and small mammals during fall and winter. Plan ahead, if you’re buying a live, potted or burlap Christmas tree, find a suitable planting spot, dig it up and store in soil, mulched or in a container in the garage. Cut the green peony plant to about three to four inches. Apply broadleaf weed control until mid-October. Sod installed during October. A remedy from caterpillars, chinch bugs and sod webworms. Cut the grass as needed to a height of about 2 to 3 inches. Use a sharp blade. maintaining freshly seeded or water-moistened lawns; Rain completes in weeks as it is less than an inch. Fill in holes and low spots in the lawn.
homework: Watch out for frost. Protect delicate plants and get a few more weeks of color. Stop pruning. Order or buy mulch for the winter, but don’t use it until the ground freezes. Stop watering the amaryllis bulbs. Let the bulbs dry and disappear. Store in a cool, dry place until they germinate in about 8 to 10 weeks. Bulb and plants order for fall shipping. Check seed stocks for late crops and fall planting. Harvest crops regularly, at least every other day. Remove spent plants and compost them. Empty standing water and remove anything that may collect rainwater to help control mosquito populations. Water any modern planters and containers anytime we see a week with less than an inch of rain. Repair damaged screens and caulking around windows and doors in preparation for an infestation of insects and rodents for the indoor winter.
Keep deer, rabbits and groundhogs protected for endangered plants. Reapply taste or odor blockers. Clean and fill bird feeders regularly. Clean up spilled seeds and empty the hulls. Empty, scrub and refill birdbaths at least once a week. Use a small heater to keep the water fluid in during cold weather.
Clean gutters and direct rainwater runoff away from the home’s foundations.
Tools, equipment and supplies: Keep your summer equipment and store it or send it in for repair when you’re done using it. Note anything that needs to be replaced
Check winter/fall equipment, and repair or replace as needed.
safety: Remove debris from lawns before mowing and make sure pets, children, and others are completely away from the area being mowed.
Store garden chemicals indoors, away from pets and children. Discard outdated ones at local chemical collection events. Photograph storm damage prior to clearance or repair for insurance claims and file them promptly. Anytime you’re outside and temperatures are around 50 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, watch for tick bites. Use an insect repellent containing DEET on the skin. Apply permethrin to clothing. When working in the garden, wear light-coloured clothing, long sleeves, hats, and long pants. Stay hydrated. Drink water or other non-alcoholic, non-caffeinated beverages. Even in cold weather, apply sunscreen, wear hats and limit sun exposure. wear closed-toe shoes and gloves; Use eye protection and use ear protection when using any loud power tools.
#Mysterious #flower #revealed #tips #growing #onions