Week 5 – Garden Math, Fertilizing and the Dead Heads

1 divided by 2 = 2.  1 divided by 4 = 4 right?  Well, today it does.  It’s time to dig up and divide your plants and it’s also time to start fertilizing those container gardens.

Around the garden today:

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It’s still pretty cool outside right now and it’s a great time to dig up any perennials you want to divide and give away or transplant.  When it’s really hot outside it’s hard for plants to be abused and then try to regrow.  Cool weather is not as stressful for the divided transplants.  To divide your plants, dig up a clump, take a shovel or serrated knife and cut it into as many pieces as you would like (as long as there is at least one plant in the clump).  We dug up some sunflowers and Veronica and the ever popular Cow Parsnip today.  We divided the sunflowers and Veronica into 2 to four clumps.  Most of it went home with the apprentices today.  YAY!!  FREE PLANTS.   We dug up some Sedum and transplanted it to another part of the garden.

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It’s time to start fertilizing your container gardens.  Pots should be fertilized every 7 to 10 days.  For blooming plants you need a fertilizer with a high phosphorus content.  This is the middle number on the bottle.  Fertilizer has 3 numbers like 5 – 10 – 5.  The higher the middle number the better for your blooming plants.  I LOVE Age Old Bloom and Age Old Grow.  For plants that have blooms I use 1 oz of Bloom per 1 gallon of water.  The best way is to use a watering can.  Fertilizers that you put on the end of the hose and spray through them don’t always give the right amount of fertilizers.  Some get none and some get too much.  Age Old Grow is for the plants that are just green and don’t bloom.  The first number on the bottle is Nitrogen which helps plants grow, so the first number on the bottle will be higher than the second number on the bottle.  Time release fertilizers that you spray on, or granules you throw on the plants don’t always release the right amount of fertilizer at the right time.  This is the same for soil that has time released fertilizer.  We do it the old fashioned way with a watering can to ensure the plants get the right amount of fertilizer at the right time.

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Deadheading is important for your blooming plants.  When the bloom is finished and starts to dry up it is still taking energy from the plant.  The plants job is to reproduce and make seed.  When deadheading make sure you get the seed pod.  Sometimes it is below the bloom so if you just pull off the bloom it doesn’t get the seed pod and it is still sucking energy from the plant.  Petunias are a good example.  The seed is right below the bloom so if you just pull out the flower the seed is still attached.  Go down below to where the bloom grows out and pinch it off at the stem.  Deadheading ensures you will have continued and more and larger beautiful blooms.

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Get out there and get gardening!!

To check out this week’s TV spot go to:  http://www.9news.com/story/life/home-garden/proctors-tips/2014/04/30/transplant-perennials/8476791/

 

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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
This entry was posted in Container Gardens, Dividng plants, fertilizing container gardens, Gardening, Patio Plants, Perennial Beds, Perennial Beds, Proctor's Apprentices, Rob Proctor and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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