Week 5 – Dividing, Dead Heading and Fertilizing Plants

Today in Rob’s Garden we straightened trenches, dead headed plants, fertilized container pots, and divided perennials.

Larry, Devora, David and Joseph ran string along the trenches as a guideline to make them perfectly straight.  These were the same trenches that we worked on week 2 to keep the grass out of the garden.  Rob saw some places where they weren’t totally straight so by running the string any parts of grass that were inside the line could be shaved off to make them perfectly straight.

Misael and Jennifer dug up some Belfast Daisies and divided them into chunks with at least a 6 or so plants.  When plants get too packed into the garden they need to be divided and transplanted or you might just want to divide to create more plants.  If plants are too compacted it prohibits the production of nice bigger blooms.  Dig them up with a shovel and separate them with your trowel or Hori Hori knife.  Spring is best to do this as the nights are cool and won’t stress the plant as much when transplanted.  We all got to take a couple of daisies home with us.  I’ll put them in a little perennial garden I’ve started.

Larry and the Julies dead headed the bloomed out Spring flowers and the container pots.  Dead heading may be done with the fingers if the stem is thin enough or with small scissors for the thicker stems.  When dead heading spring bulbs that are bloomed out don’t cut any of the leaves off.  The leaves will feed the bulbs so next year you’ll have nice beautiful blooms and it gives your garden some nice green color in the meantime.    When dead heading container pots, pinch or cut off the dried up blooms.  This frees up the plant to produce more blooms.  Anything on the plant is taking energy from the water and fertilizer and if the bloom is dried up it’s still taking energy away from the plant and is slowing the production of new blooms.  Dead head to keep your plants producing healthy new blooms. 

My job today was fertilizing container gardens.  I like to use Age Old Bloom.  This is a liquid fertilizer that you mix with water that is high in phosphorus.  I like using Age Old Kelp to help repair damaged plants and Age Old Bloom when they are blooming for flower container pots.  I like using a Fox Farm Organic Bloom for my vegetable pots but Age Old Bloom is nice for flowers.  I asked Rob how often containers should be fertilized and it’s every 5-7 days.  I was surprised.  I don’t do mine that often.  Probably why his are so full and beautiful and mine aren’t.  I will start fertilizing my pots more often.  I like to start off with great soil as well.  I like a product called Roots Organic Soil.  They have a couple different types of soil and I like the Greenfields.  It’s especially great for vegetable containers like tomatoes or peppers and herbs.  The soil is rich in organic matter and plants seem to grow bigger and are greener than with other soils I have used. 

Tools we used today were shovels, gloves, scissors, Hori Hori knife, watering cans and kneeling pads.

So far, so fun.  Check out this weeks video at:  http://www.9news.com/rss/story.aspx?storyid=265369 to see all this weeks tips.


About pbodwell

Master Gardener; Nat'l Award Winning Photographer; Garden Writer; Artist - art books, print maker, hot glass, wire jewelry designer; sometime quilter; new homesteader; bee keeper; very crafty; Baseball fan, enthusiast, and researcher; all things vintage
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