Monday, April 29, 2013

Spring 2013 - Timely Gardening Tips

  • Most of Bucks County is frost free by May 15th.  Delay planting cold sensitive crops such as tomato, peppers and eggplants until then.
  • Beans, cucumbers and other vine crop seeds may be planted in mid-May.
  • Spring flowering shrubs such as forsythia and azaleas may be pruned and shaped immediately after blooming. Thin out oldest branches and remove dead or broken branches.
  • Check for sawflies on pines and spray with an appropriate insecticide.
  • Allow the foliage on spring blooming bulbs to grow naturally without braiding or tying them up. The leaves provide “energy” for the flowering mechanism which is developing for next spring’s blooms. Cur off any spent flowers which are swollen and forming seeds.
  • If daffodils didn’t bloom well this year, they may be overcrowded. After the foliage dies, dig them up, divide the bulbs and replant immediately. “Mother Nature” can care for them better than we can!
  • Tender, summer blooming bulbs such as dahlias, gladiolas and tuberous begonias may be planted now.
  • Monitor for bagworms which can be sprayed with Bt when they are small. Larger “bags” can be hand picked to remove them.
  • Cut the lawn at a mower height of 2 ½ inches to encourage stronger turf growth which discourages weed growth. Leave the nitrogen-containing  grass clippings on the lawn. Fertilize for the first time in mid-May.
  • Continue spraying fruit trees according to the spray schedule, but do not spray while they are blooming.
  • Some houseplants can be moved outside for the summer, taking care to “harden them off” before placing them in full sun if they are sun loving.  Pot-bound plants can be repotted, generally in a container one inch larger in diameter. 
  • Get ready to enjoy strawberries in June. Locate pick-your-own patches for sweet, fresh berries!
  • Roses can be fertilized with a granular, balanced fertilizer, such as 10-10-10 or its equivalent.
  • Chrysanthemums may be pinched back one or two times before July to make a fuller plant with more flowers. 
  • Garden beds may be mulched with no more than 2-3 inches of mulch, keeping it away from plant stems and woody tissue.
Submitted by Bucks County Master Gardener Bonnie Olliver

Monday, April 1, 2013

Plant Sale Flyer