Give Your Annuals a Trim

We still have a couple of months left of perfect weather for annuals, but some of them may be looking a little shabby at this point. So give your plants a good haircut and feed them well. You may sacrifice a little color right now. But in just a week or two, new foliage growth and blossoms will appear!

Celebrate Memorial Weekend

hibiscus_org_pink13The calendar insists that the first day of summer is June 21, but all of us know that summer actually begins on Memorial Day! Swimming pools are open and outdoor furniture is cleaned up and ready to use for the first big barbecue or back yard cook out. If the cooler temperatures keep you out of the pool, they are certainly perfect temperatures for gardening.

Patio tropics and container gardens will give you just the color you need to put the finishing touches on your outdoor entertaining areas. For larger areas consider using shrubs or a small tree in a container with annual color spilling over the edges for instant beauty. Always take notice of the sun conditions before buying, and be sure to choose appropriate plants.

During this weekend, take the time to remember that on Memorial Day we recognize the sacrifice of thousands of men and women who gave their lives for our country and our freedom. Remember as well that many are still in harm’s way as they serve in the military around the world. We owe them our gratitude and support!

Enjoy this first summer holiday with friends and family. If you are in the area, be sure to check out our fantastic weekend sales!

 

How to Plant Bedding Plants

petunias_yllw_10smWhen planting bedding plants be sure to loosen the soil sufficiently where you are  planting them for ease in their ability to root out and establish themselves. Plant at the same depth they were growing in the pot or pack to avoid stem rot disease.

Annuals are heavy feeders. Ideally, mix the recommended amount of dry slow release food thoroughly with the soil where you are going to plant. Mulch to prevent weed growth. Water in thoroughly and then when the plants indicate need thereafter. Enjoy your garden!
-‘Plant Doctor’ Bob

April Gardening Tips

ranunculus_white_12April is the first full month of spring in the garden and if you have just gotten outside, you have probably discovered that many of your plants have begun to grow. Don’t let that allow you to make the mistake of planting annuals (except cool weather annuals like pansies, primrose and ranunculus) just yet. Wait until the danger of frost has ended, usually about Mother’s Day.

It is advantageous, however to plant perennials, flowering shrubs, vines, and any deciduous or evergreen trees. The weather is ideal for laying sod and patching bare areas by over-seeding and starting new lawns with seed.

You can safely transplant all hardy plants at this time without the stress that summer brings. The watering needs will be less and it is easier to work in these moderate temperatures than in the heat and humidity that inevitably comes.

We are just beginning to fill our outdoor departments with plants. The very cold dreary winter set us back a few weeks but the delightful April weather is changing everything quickly. This is an ideal time to make frequent visits to Waterloo Gardens as inventory increases every week. Don’t miss the many colorful plants that arrive almost daily and talk to one of our excited sales associates about your spring garden!

It’s Time to Sow Warm Season Seeds

It’s time to sow seeds indoors of warm season vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and okra. It’s also time to sow warm season flowering annuals like impatiens, marigolds, petunias, salvia, and zinnias. Then you will have young plants to set out in mid to late May. Be sure to use clean containers and seed starting mix. – ‘Plant Doctor’ Bob

Early Spring Color

pansy_lavender_12smThe long, cold, and dreary winter seems to be hanging on as our desire for spring color grows. Fortunately there are spring interest annuals and perennials available now to satisfy our need for a glimpse of things to come. Pansies and violas are among the happiest of flowers in an amazing array of colors. Primroses in Crayola crayon shades are in their prime. English daisies in hues of red and pink brighten any garden bed or container, and spring blooming bulbs are putting on a show.

As long as you are prepared to cover your plants when the temperatures dip below freezing, you can safely plant them in your beds or containers. At Waterloo Gardens we specialize in creating beautiful container gardens for all seasons so stop by this week and brighten your outdoor entrances for the coming holiday and talk to one of our gardening experts if you have any questions at all!

Pansy Hanging Baskets

Friday was a rainy and raw day but I took advantage of the time indoors to pot up a few pansy hanging baskets to give my yard a bit of color.

I used 10″ pots to plant in.  I selected 4 pots of pansies (went with a blue and yellow theme) and 3 small pots of ivy for filler.

Pansies really thrive with fertilizer so I added a slow release mix, (I chose Osmocote), into the potting soil.  Slow release fertilizers will feed your plants over a series of months.  When used according to the directions, it will feed throughout the growing season without risk of chemical burn.  Remember – with fertilizer, more is not better.

While potting, I made sure that the potting soil that I added around the flowers was packed in well and there were no air pockets around the roots.  This will cause the roots in that particular area to dry out and/or freeze.  After planting I watered well.

Despite the wind and nighttime temperatures falling below freezing, I placed my new baskets in their holders.  Today they are none the worse for the wear.  I did have to give them another thorough watering since the wind dried out the soil.

A few pansy tips:

Pansies will survive the frost and freezing temperatures, however, make sure they are well watered.  The moisture actually protects the roots.  It is a “dry freeze” that could be their demise.  Also, although the plants are fine, you may need to deadhead any affected flowers by snipping them off just above the first set of leaves.  New flower buds will soon form and bloom again.