Gardening With Tony

What Bulbs Do After Bloom

bulbs
UNITED STATES—Narcissus, daffodil, freesia, snowdrop, snowflake, grape hyacinth, various iris and most other early spring blooming bulbs and bulb like plants should be perennials. We plant them with the hope that they will survive after bloom to bloom for another season, and perhaps for many seasons. Some should multiply to provide more bloom over the years. Bloom is just...

Hedges Are Like Green Fences

dogwood not hedges
UNITED STATES—Hedges are a complicated topic! Like lawns, they are among the more functional features of a landscape. They can be used to provide privacy within, obscure unwanted views beyond, or merely to separate a large landscape into cozier or more functional spaces. Except for hedges that are grown for spring flowers or autumn color, most hedges are evergreen...

Pumpkins Need Not Be Wasted

pumpkins
UNITED STATES—There is likely no other fruit that gets wasted quite like pumpkins. Almost all get hollowed and carved into jack-o -'lanterns, illuminated from within for Halloween, and then discarded or added to compost within the next few days after Halloween. If they stay too long in the yard or on the porch, they mold or get partly eaten...

Vines For Better Or Worse

vines
UNITED STATES—Vines in the wild are downright exploitative. They do not support their own weight, so instead climb or sprawl over shrubbery and trees. Some are satisfied staying down below the canopy of the hosts who support them, as if aware that a healthy host will support them for a good long time. Many vines climb aggressively to the...

The Birds And The Bees

bees like verbena
UNITED STATES—There is so much more to gardening than mere horticulture. There is so much more to horticulture than mere plant life. Plants get eaten by insects and animals, and also take advantage of insects and animals for pollination and dispersion of seed. Some of us who enjoy gardening also like to attract some types of animals and insects...

Prune Now For Roses Later

roses
UNITED STATES—The main problems with roses locally are not related to climate, soil, insects or disease. Warm and semi-arid climates of California happen to be some of the best places in the World for roses. Sure, many roses have problems with insects such as aphid, and diseases such as powdery mildew, but primarily because such pathogens proliferate among roses...

Where The Green Ferns Grow

ferns
UNITED STATES—The list of what ferns will not do is more noteworthy than the list of what they will do. They do not bloom with colorful or fragrant flowers. The do not produce fruit. Very few turn color in autumn, and their color is generally nothing to brag about. Most ferns will not maintain their appeal through drought, or...

Way Beyond Last Frost Date

frost
UNITED STATES—Scheduling of gardening chores is as important now as it ever was. We plant warm season vegetables and annuals in time for spring and summer. We plant cool season vegetables and annuals for autumn and winter. We pick flowers as they bloom. We harvest fruits and vegetables as they ripen. We watch the seasons change on our calendars,...

Frost Is History For Now

frost baby's breath
UNITED STATES—There is no doubt that frost will return next autumn. It does that every year. Right now, we are more concerned that is should not return prior to that. It is now safe to plant plants that are sensitive to frost. Even if the weather were to somehow get cold enough to necessitate protection of frost sensitive plants,...

Mulch Suits Autumn Quite Naturally

mulch
UNITED STATES—It is silly for us to think that we know more about gardening that the plants who live out in the garden full time. We can help them along by giving them a bit more of what they need to survive, such as water and fertilizer. We can prune them to help them concentrate their resources into bloom...
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