Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Care for your Perennials

There are some little extras you can do to make your perennials flourish and grow into beautiful lush plants that provide lots of foliage and flowers for years to come.
1.  Water.  During the first season water as needed.  Established are more
 drought-tolerant but still need water.

2.  Fertilize-Feed perennials once a year.  I like a granular fertilizer such
as Miracle-Gro Shake and Feed.  If you do compost that will work as well.

3.  Divide.  Most perennials get larger over time, and sooner or later you'll need to divide them.  In spring or in the fall, dig the clump    up and divide with  in halves, thirds, and fourths.

4.  Dead Head.  If you remove the dead flower  heads during the growing season, then so many varieties of perennials will continue to bloom and re-bloom with lots of flowers in the fall.

5.  Mulch.  Bark, compost, and other mulches gradually decompose and add lots of nutrients to the soil.  Plus, mulch reduces lots of weeds and helps your plants conserve water.  I rebark each winter with about 3 inches of hardwood mulch.

6.  Replace and Replant.  Like us, we don't last forever so even perennials eventually decrease in size and die.  So each year replace your dead plants.  The great thing is that there are so many new varieties of perennials that come out each spring.  Have fun and try something new.

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