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How To Keep Your Plants In Bloom With Dead-Heading

"Off with her head" the queen shouted at Alice in the Lewis Carroll story "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". Now I’m not sure if Lewis had an interest in gardening but he could well have been giving us some horticultural instruction which will give us a longer flowering season. There is a technique known as dead-heading, it is a simple task which takes a few minutes however adds days and sometimes weeks to your flowering display.

How to dead-head

If you’ve never dead-h...

deadheading, dead, heading, blooms, flowers

"Off with her head" the queen shouted at Alice in the Lewis Carroll story "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". Now I’m not sure if Lewis had an interest in gardening but he could well have been giving us some horticultural instruction which will give us a longer flowering season. There is a technique known as dead-heading, it is a simple task which takes a few minutes however adds days and sometimes weeks to your flowering display.

How to dead-head

If you’ve never dead-headed before here’s how go about it…… Firstly keep a watchful eye on your flowering plants, paying close attention to blooms that are past their best. Once a flower has started to fade remove it from the plant with a quick snip from your secateurs, alternatively knip it off with your thumb and forefinger. When doing this try to remove just the spent flower leaving the new buds beneath intact.

The many benefits

Your beds and borders now look neater due to the lack of fading blooms but how else has this deadheading process helped us? Well by removing the spent flowers we have prevented the plant from setting seed which if it did would trigger the production of a hormone which causes flowering to shut down completely. So by our slight tinkering with Mother Nature we can often force the plant to put its energies into a second flush of flower production instead of seed production. Bear in mind that your planting should have a plentiful supply of nutrients to give a secondary flowering.

Plants that respond well to dead-heading

Dead-heading works particularly well on perennials and most annual bedding especially Antirrhinums (Snapdragons), Violas (Pansies) and Dianthus (Sweet Williams) although it can sometimes be impossible to carry out on very small flowers or on very large and floriferous shrubs. Shrubs which react well to dead-heading include Buddleia (Butterfly bush), Syringa (Lilac) and some Spireas. Roses of course are ideal candidates for this technique to ensure more blooms before the rose-hips form.

 

How to Plant Spring Flower Bulbs

Spring is the favorite season of many. It is a time of rebirth, renewal, and rejuvenation. One of the greatest joys of spring is the beautiful assortment of flowers. You can get this joy at home by planting spring flower bulbs. These are bulbs that bloom in early spring while other plants are still developing.

Flower Bulbs, Flower Bulb Catalog, Flower Bulbs for Sale, Wholesale Flower Bulbs

Spring is the favorite season of many. It is a time of rebirth, renewal, and rejuvenation. One of the greatest joys of spring is the beautiful assortment of flowers. You can get this joy at home by planting spring flower bulbs. These are bulbs that bloom in early spring while other plants are still developing.

There are many spring flowering bulbs, but some of the most popular are crocus, tulip, narcissus, and hyacinth. These bulbs should be planted before the ground freezes, preferably in late September or early October. This enables them to develop a strong root system before the first frost.

Spring flower bulbs should be planted in an area that drains well. Bulbs will rot in standing water. They must also receive adequate sunshine—at least six hours daily. The soil doesn’t need any special treatment, but it should be loose and workable. If you are working a new area, you might want to add some compost or peat moss.

When it comes time to dig the hole, follow the package directions. Most bulbs will require a depth of six to eight inches, but loosen the soil for an additional four inches. Place the bulb in the ground with the pointy end facing up. Pack the dirt firmly and water thoroughly.

Spring flower bulbs require very little care. Simply water them occasionally, and add a mulch cover when cold weather comes. With a little water, sunshine, and luck, you will be blessed with beautiful, fragrant blooms in early spring.

 

How To Ensure Early Bulbs Bloom, Year After Year

I often notice when visiting gardens the great quantities of Daffodils and other early bulbs that we plant to herald in the spring. But how do we ensure we have a great display each year?

The early flowering bulbs

Quite a few seasoned gardeners have had their first horticultural “experience” by the planting of a few Daffodil or Tulip bulbs, thus spurring them onto more adventurous plantings. At the end of April the very early flowering bulbs will come to the end of thei...

bulbs, spring, daffodils, hyacinths, bluebells, crocus, snowdrops tulips

I often notice when visiting gardens the great quantities of Daffodils and other early bulbs that we plant to herald in the spring. But how do we ensure we have a great display each year?

The early flowering bulbs

Quite a few seasoned gardeners have had their first horticultural “experience” by the planting of a few Daffodil or Tulip bulbs, thus spurring them onto more adventurous plantings. At the end of April the very early flowering bulbs will come to the end of their blooming season. This group of early bloomers includes Daffodils, Hyacinths, Bluebells, Crocus, Snowdrops and early Tulips. All these bulbs will flower well for any gardener the first growing season but for them to bloom well the following seasons we must give them some care.

Dieback not tieback

All bulbs leaves must be allowed a minimum of six weeks after flowering to die down, so if these bulbs are planted in a lawn that area of lawn must remain uncut for six weeks. Refrain from tying your Daffodil leaves in knots to neaten their appearance, also avoid folding them over and securing with rubber bands. If the bulbs leaves are naturally allowed to die back then they will take in the energy for next years flowering. I would also recommend nipping off the spent flower heads on bulbs once flowering is finished, this will prevent the bulb using vital energy for seed production instead using all that energy to bulk up its food store for next season.

Don't forget to feed

The final tip for blooming bulbs next spring is to feed your bulbs, this is especially important if you have a hungry soil. Apply a foliar feed to the fully emerged leaves before the blooms start to form. Choose a general purpose purpose liquid feed.I would also advise you to feed your bulbs just as the blooms have faded with a granular bulb fertiliser applied around the bulbs base. This is the most important feed they will receive. Ensure this feed has a higher potassium or potash content than nitrogen content. Apply according to the manufacturers instructions and heed safety warnings.




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