Seasonal Garden Tips &
Lawn Care Tips for Wisconsin
Keep Perennials Healthy by Dividing
May brings May flowers and everything else green and growing.
However, no matter how warm gets now, early May is still too soon to plant most annual flowers such as impatiens, begonias, coleus, marigolds and so on. Most perennials, on the other hand, can be planted immediately. And it may be a good time to divide your perennials too.
Early spring is an ideal time to divide summer- and fall-flowering perennials. Try to tackle the task before plants reach 6 inches tall. Don’t forget to water newly transplanted divisions.
Not sure if you need to divide? Ask yourself these questions:
1) Are clumps too big and crowding other plants?
2) Has flowering been reduced during the last growing season(s)?
3) Does new growth ring a dead spot in the middle?
4) Do you want more starts of that perennial?
Above information courtesy Better Homes & Gardens
Read More About Dividing Perennials
The deciduous forsythia bush offers arching branches of bright yellow flowers for a splash of spring color in your yard. Forsythia bushes produce flowers first, with the green foliage appearing once the flowers fade. This attractive bush is available in several varieties for U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. Plant the forsythia any time of the year in areas where freezing temperatures are not an issue, otherwise fall is the best time to add this bush to your landscape. Move and transplant a forsythia during the winter season, when the bush is not actively growing.
- Choose a location with full sunlight and well-draining soil. Verify the mature height and spread of the forsythia variety chosen. Check for overhead obstructions when planting tall varieties and allow enough space between the forsythia and other plants to accommodate the branch spread.
- Test the soil with a home kit to verify it has a range of 6.8 to 7.7. Lower the pH by working ground rock sulfur into the soil or raise the pH using horticulture limestone. Follow the package instructions for an application rate based on the current pH. Moisten the soil well after applying the amendment.
- Dig a planting hole that is at least two times wider than the root ball and the same depth.
- Set the forsythia root ball into the hole. Verify the top of the root ball is at ground level or just slightly above. Above planting the bush too deep.
- Fill the removed soil around the root ball to hold the bush in place. Pack the soil firmly around the roots.
- Saturate the hole with water to compact the soil around the roots. Add more soil if needed once the water recedes. Discard any excess soil removed from the hole.
Courtesy SFGate Home Guides
Lilacs are hardy, easy to grow, and low maintenance. They can grow from 5 to 15 feet tall, depending on the variety. The fragrant flowers are good for cutting and attractive to butterflies.
Grow lilacs in fertile, humus-rich, well-drained, neutral to alkaline soil (at a pH near 7.0). If your soil is in poor condition, add compost to enrich.
Select a site where your lilac will get full sun—at least 6 hours. If lilacs don’t get enough sun, they will not bloom well.
Make sure the site drains well. Lilacs don’t like wet feet and will not bloom with too much water.
Plant in either spring or fall.
Transplanting lilacs from a nursery is easy. If it’s container-grown, spread out the roots as you settle the plant into the ground; if it’s balled or burlapped, gentle remove it and any rope before planting. Set the plant 2 or 3 inches deeper than it grew in the nursery, and work topsoil in around the roots. Water in. Then fill in the hole with more topsoil.
Space multiple lilac shrubs 5 to 15 feet apart, depending on the variety.Read More *Courtesy Old Farmers Almanac