60January 5, 2017

What is your gardening New Years’ resolution? You probably think about all the other things you can change in the New Year. Why not make a change or some changes in your gardening for 2017. Let me give you a few examples of things you can make a resolution to change in your gardening habits.

Make a resolution to never, ever, mound bark mulch up against the stem or the trunk of plants. Doing this is so very wrong. If you keep the stem of a plant or the bark of a tree wet all the time from mulch being against the plant, over time the constant moisture will rot the bark or the stem of the plant. Resolve to eliminate mulch volcanoes around the trunks of trees.

Make a resolution to learn to prune your plants or if you know how to prune your plants, to do so in a timely manner. Spring flowering shrubs should be pruned back right after they are done flowering. Hydrangeas, for most varieties, should not be pruned back in the fall. If you have fruit trees, do you know when to prune them? Do you know that rose bushes really flower better if you prune them early in the season and regularly during the growing season? Resolve to learn how to prune your plants.

Resolve to never start your plants from seed, indoors, too early in the season. Most plants only need 8 to 10 weeks from the seed being planted until you put the plant outdoors. Vine types of plants, think squash or cucumbers, need only 4 weeks from planting the seed until they go in the garden. If you figure mid May to late May for putting your tomato plants in the garden, that would mean that you would start the seeding indoors in mid to late March. Tall, spindly plants that were started too early will not grow as well as short, thick-stemmed plants. Do your research and make sure to not start your plants early.

Resolve to plant certain vegetable plants in your garden at the proper time. Did you know that the old saying is that you plant your peas in the garden on Saint Patrick’s Day?  Of course, if there is 2 feet of snow on the ground, you can’t do this. However, there are many vegetables that need to grow in the cool weather of very early spring.  Resolve to learn what you can plant in your vegetable garden early and then get an early crop of fresh vegetables from your garden.

Resolve to keep up with applying fertilizer to your annual and perennial flowers and your vegetable plants. Annual flowers and vegetable plants need a steady supply of the proper fertilizer to keep the plants healthy and in the case of vegetables, producing fresh vegetables in abundance. From the time you plant annuals and from the time you plant vegetables, fertilize those plants the entire growing season. You will be amazed at how much better your plants will do if they are getting the proper food that they need.

Well, that’s all for this week. I’ll talk to you again next week.

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