Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Fertilize Flower Gardens (How To)

Flowers that grow from bulbs are easy to care for provided you give them what they need.  Plant them in full sun and well drained soil and every spring when they start to come up  feed them with organic fertilizer and bonemeal. 

Mix fertilizer in wheelbarrow

Attribution: Freerangestock.com
The best way to fertilize your spring bulbs is to mix the fertilizer in your wheelbarrow. Mix 8 lbs of compost with 3 lbs of bone meal and if you have a fire pit then add some wood ash to the mix.  

Take your shovel and mix all together well.  Use your shovel to add the fertilizer to the bulb gardens and then rake gently to spread over the entire bed. 

This fertilizer mixture will provide nourishment to an 80 foot flower or spring bulb garden. Water after you add the compost fertilizer to the garden. 


  1. If your spring is dry then water your spring bulb garden once a week. Provide the plants with 1 inch of water and the roots will be hydrated.
  2. After your spring bulbs bloom do not cut off the spent blooms, instead allow the bulbs to collect the nutrients that they need and die back naturally.  Bulbs usually collect nutrients from the sun and soil in the spring and die back in early summer.
  3. Spread this fertilizer around your spring blooming shrubs and plants.  Your lilacs and peonies will benefit from this spring fertilizer.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Hiring Tips for Gardener - Private Residence

Many people like the idea of having a beautiful garden but find that the weekly maintenance is too much work especially if they are working out of the home.  Deadheading the plants, checking for pests, weeding and watering is time that must be spent in the garden weekly.  If you are short on time then it is wise to hire a gardener. 

Choosing the right service provider for your garden will take some time as you will need to determine which candidate meets your garden needs.  You will want a gardener that has reports to work on time, has a good work appearance, manages time well and is self motivated. 

Hire a gardener that is dedicated and is knowledgeable in their profession.

Determine your gardens needs. Make up a checklist and then you will know if you will need a gardener once or twice a week or an estate gardener that works five days a week.

Basic Gardener's Checklist
  1. Weeding; pull weeds from all of the gardens.
  2. Deadhead all spent blooms. 
  3. Put seed in envelope, mark the outside of the envelope the type of seed.  File seed in garden shed.
  4. Check all gardens for pests.  
  5. Remove garden pests by treating the area Diatomaceousearth food grade dusting.
  6. Fertilize flowers monthly during the blooming season
  7. Prune dead branches from shrubs and plants.
  8. Apply mulch to the gardens, around the shrubs and the trees.
  9. Water the lawn and gardens once a week with 1 inch of water.
  10. Water all flowers, coleus and hosta, and container gardens so that soil is evenly moist..

Network Your Community for Reliable Gardeners.
Ask your neighbors and friends about their gardeners.  It is always best to hire a gardener that comes highly recommended.  Another way to find a reliable gardener is to contact the master gardeners in your area.  If you have a lawn service provider you could ask them if they know of a skilled gardener.  They may work with a gardener or know of one.


  • Meet with the gardener face to face and walk through your yard.  Ask them for their work background and for three references.  Call all references to discuss the gardener’s performance.  
  • Decide if you want to hire the gardener with a contract.  Hire them for a specific job and agree on the costs or pay them hourly. 

Climbing Roses - How to Grow

photo by morguefile
Climbing roses feature large fragrant flowers that will bloom continually from June until frost.  They grow quickly up a trellis support or a chain link fence and within three years the climbing rose will cover the trellis. The climbing rose bush will be a feature area in your yard that will be admired by all.


Climbing roses are easy to grow provided that you plant them in full sun, rich well drained soil, hydration and fertilizer in the early spring.

Grow climbing roses on a garden arbor in a viewing area.  The roses vine will add curb appeal of your home.

When to plant climbing roses
The best time to plant is in early spring.  Plant a bare root climbing rose bush as soon as the soil is warm enough that you can dig up the soil.   It is best to plant directly after the threat of spring frost has past.

Where to plant roses
Roses need sun to grow so choose a garden site that has a minimum of six hours of direct dun.  The soil needs to be well drained and fertile.  If your soil is poor or medium amend the soil with compost or manure. 

Climbing roses put out trailing stems that can grow upward or they can grow across and be used as a ground cover.  Trailing rose stems with a profusion of flowers looks lovely when grown down a sunny slope.  

How to plant bare root roses
Soak the bare root rose bush over night in a bucket of water.  Fill the bucket so the root of the bush is emerged.  Loosen the soil with a shovel and work the soil so that the texture is fine and lofty.  Amend the soil with organic matter; compost or manure will enrich the soil.   

 Plant the rose bush so that the bud union is half buried in the soil.  If you are planting more than one climbing rose bush then allow a three food space between rose bushes.  Plant the climbing roses in front of a support.

Care for Roses

  1. Water well after planting the rose bushes and then monitor the soil so that the soil stays evenly moist during the growing season.   If the soil should dry out then this will cause the roses to wilt and to have stress.  Plan to water the climbing roses deeply once a week; 1 inch of water is better than watering them lightly throughout the week.  The inch of water will get to the roots and will keep the rose bushes hydrated.  
  2. If your summers are very hot then you will need to water the rose bushes more frequently.  Test the soil with your finger.  Stick your index finger into the upper soil and if the soil is dry at two to three inches then water the rose bushes.
  3. Apply three inches organic mulch; shredded leaves, pine needles, grass clippings or chipped wood around the rose bush but do not set the mulch on the stems of the rose bush. The mulch is to help retain moisture and to deter weed growth.  
  4. Fertilize when the leaf buds appear.  A time released fertilizer is preferred for growing climbing roses.
  5. Prune climbing roses in the spring to remove dead or damaged branches. Otherwise let your rose bush mature and become established in your garden.  A climbing rose bush is considered mature in two years.

Learn more about pruning a climbing rose bush by viewing this YouTube video: