May in a Southern Georgia Flower Garden
Here’s our latest report from Southern Georgia flower gardener, Dorothy. We get some divinding tips, seed sowing tips and information about some roses she has in her flower garden, not to mention the photos you can see below.
Hoorah!! I think the hard work in our flower garden is about over. I just have to divide some plants and keep the weeds out until time to put the 3 in 1 on again in about six weeks.
A lot of stuff needs dividing. That is one of the good things. You buy one pot of plants and then the next year or 2 you have a lot of plants from the one you planted and you get to spread them out in your flower garden.
I have been dividing day lillies. They are easy to do and can do it at any time. I just dig them up, cut them apart with a sharp knife or shovel blade making sure you have a generous piece of the bulb with each top. Trim the tops about 10 inches up in an inverted V shape, place in a generous hole with a tsp or so of 10:10:10, or fertilizer especially blended for bulbs. Cover to same depth as they were before digging them up and water generously. Keep moist for several days. Some of mine are putting out blooms in 2 or 3 weeks.
I have also been dividing coreopsis. I should have done this somewhat earlier but I cut the blooms off and about 1/3 of the foliage. They are doing good so far.
I had a packet of mixed seed given to me so I sowed them on the east side of the house where they wouldn’t get the strong western sun (and it is very hot) and kept them moist. Now some of them are 8 to 10 inches high. They are pretty close together even though I mixed the seed with sand and used an empty spice container to sprinkle them onto the soil. I am not sure what to do with them now. Our temperature was in the 90′s today but since they have to be thinned I guess I will try to transplant them next week. Guess that is how you learn. It just seemed like it would be too much work to put the seeds into little pots because the packet had a lot of seeds in it.
Another problem is that I don’t know enough about flowers to know the names of them or if they need sun or shade. The packet did give the names of the about 15 different seeds. They are all perenials.
I don’t bother with very many annuals in our flower garden. Some are beautiful and will reseed but we use so much mulch (pine bark) that the seeds have a hard time reaching the soil. For some I will take a seed pod that is dried out and scratch the mulch away and push them into the soil and then pull the mulch back over them. I did some purple cone flowers that way and they did come up this spring. I will have plenty of cone flowers to divide next year as they multiply from the roots also.
Most of the weeding is done the old fashioned way; just pull them out. It is much easier to do this when the soil is moist. The root will come out easier. Since our flower beds are not full yet there are areas where I can safely use a liquid weed killer in a small spray bottle that I can get close to the weed. I am also using the weed killer in the lawn to kill the crab grass. Of course it gets the grass also so we have brown patches but they will soon close in with the grass.
We have given up on not using pesticide, and fungicide on the roses here in South Georgia. It is either use it or be limited to only a very few varieties of roses. They are so beautiful in their Spring blossoming that we decided we did want to keep them. We are very hopeful this 3 in one stuff works. You only use it three times a year. It is mixed with water. We have a big plastic drum that my husband puts on his big wagon and we mix it in that. He hooks the wagon to the riding lawn mower and pulls from bed to bed. We follow the application instructions. We both work from the drum and we can, if we work most of the day, do all the roses and anything else that will benefit from the fungicide and pesticide. (It is systemic so you do not use it on anything that is to be eaten.) We have used it only once and you use it 3 times a season. The instructions are very clear about how to use it. We sure hope it works.
We do not use it on azaleas, camelias, or evergreens as we have had no problems with fungus on them. If they have a problem, we treat the specific problem. Plus they need a different type of fertilizer. We find that the liquid fertilizer is easier for us to use than a granular. It is a lot of work to pull the mulch away from each plant, scratch in the fertilizer, and then put the mulch back.
I haven’t counted our rose bushes but I would guess we have at least 50. The Knockout rose has been tremendous. It is a low growing shrub rose and nothing seems to bother it. We have it in yellow, red and pink. So far as I know these are the only colors it comes in. It just blooms and blooms from Spring until frost.
Below you can see some pictures of the roses that we grow in our flower garden. The pink rose is New Dawn. The red one by the bird house we think is Romeo. The lady who sold it to us said it was given to her with no name but my husband saw one in Lowe’s that looked just like it. That one was a Romeo. Both of these will bloom in the flower garden until frost.