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How to Grow Roses
Roses are some of the most beautiful garden plants around. They offer lush romantic blooms in just about every color you can imagine and many are delightfully fragrant. Use these simple tips to grow gorgeous healthy roses in your yard. The 1st step is to select the right roses for your climate. Do a little research to find out the varieties that are best suited to where you live. This is an important step because, roses that aren't suited to your area, cannot survive the winter or will suffer from lots of pest and disease problems. Also, look for disease-resistant varieties such as easy elegance roses or knockout roses. The best place to grow roses in your yard is one that sees whole Sunday or at least 6 hours of direct light or day. The more sun, the better. Unfortunately, while some roses will tolerate some amount of shade, there are none that will thrive in shade. It's also important to plant your roses in open spot where there's good air flow for this helps prevents disease. When planting roses, make sure there's plenty of room between each other and between other plants so that the breeze can flow freely. Roses love a little mulch from the soil over their roots. A couple of inches of mulch which are weeds helps keep diseases from splashing up on the leaves and allows the soil to hold moisture better during times of drought. When you plant roses, be sure to enrich the soil with organic matter such as compost. A healthy layer of compost helps the soil hold moisture and nutrients better and encourages beneficial microbes in the soil. They encourage your roses to grow better and resist disease.also important to plant your roses in open spot where there's good air flow for this helps prevents disease . When planting roses, make sure there's plenty of room between each other and between other plants so that the breeze can flow freely . Roses love a little mulch from the soil over their roots. A couple of inches of mulch which are weeds helps keep
Dahlias in Bouquets
Hi. I'm garden editor, Jane McKeon. Today, we're prepping dahlias for bouquets. Did you know that blooms will last longer if you condition them first? Dahlias are one of the few flowers that won't open further once they're cut. So, wait until the buds are fully open before you gather them from the garden. Harvest them in the early morning, the coolest time of the day. To condition the stems, pour two or three inches of very hot water into a metal bucket. Use a candy thermometer to check if the water is hot enough, between 160 and 180 degrees. Make sure you strip off the bottom leaves before you put dahlia stems in the hot water. Keep the flower heads well above the rim of the bucket to protect them from steam. For short stems, you can use a coffee can. Once the water has cooled-- in about an hour-- dahlias are ready to arrange. To keep dahlias looking fresh, change the water every day. With these simple steps, dahlias can last up to a week in a vase. Enjoy.day. To condition the stems, pour two or three inches of very hot water into a metal bucket. Use a candy thermometer to check if the water is hot enough, between 160 and 180 degrees. Make sure you strip off the bottom leaves before you put dahlia stems in the hot water . Keep the flower heads well above the rim of the bucket to protect them from steam. For short stems, you can use
Grow Coleus in Your Garden
-Add a ton of easy growing color to your landscape with coleus. This tropical annual provides interest from its attractive foliage so you don't have to worry about it going in or out of bloom. It looks good all the time. Traditionally, coleus are plants with a shade. Most have varied [unk] of leaves and a variety of colors. Some, such as the Under the Sea series has fantastically shaped leaves as well. Lime [unk], for example, offers lime green leaves with dark purple highlights. In the shade, grow coleus with other shade loving plants such as begonias and patience and torenia. Newer variety of coleus have been bred to thrive in full sun as well as shade. Big Red Judy, for example, is a stunner that can get almost four feet tall and offers red-purple leaves in full sun. Keystone Copper is another newer variety that has unique orange-bronze leaves. Grow some loving coleus with your favorite annuals such as lantana, petunias and geraniums. They perform beautifully on the ground or in containers.series has fantastically shaped leaves as well. Lime [unk], for example, offers lime green leaves with dark purple highlights. In the shade, grow coleus with other shade loving plants such as begonias and patience and torenia.
How to Make a Pallet Planter
Here's how you can make a pallet planter quickly and inexpensively. Find a pallet that's in good condition. You could use a full pallet for this, but to keep the weight manageable, we cut it down to a smaller size. Mark a line just outside the center over the pallet so that after the cut, you'll have a board running along each side. Measure the width and length of the pallet then cut a piece of landscape fabric about 4 inches longer and wider. With the pallet topside down, staple the fabric to the inside face of the top of the pallet. Use plenty of staples and be sure to staple the sides as well as the inside face. Pallet wood can be very hard so tap the staples in with a hammer if needed. Repeat this for the bottom side of the pallet. But this time, staple the fabric to the outer face, leaving extra 4 to 5 inches to fold over each end, but at this time only staple 1 inch shut. Leave the other open. Tip the planter so the open end is up and begin filling with potting mix. After every 6 or so inches, take a broom handle gently tamp it firm to prevent settling later. Keep adding soil and tamping until the planter is full. Now you can staple the end shut. Lay the planter flat and cut an X pattern with a razor blade in the spots you want to plant. With your fingers, hollow out a planting space, remove a little soil if necessary, then insert the root ball into the hole. The step is easier if you start with small plants. Pallet planters are heavy so if you mount one on a wall, be sure you have a solid structure to fasten it to. A good way to support the weight is with a mounting strip like this. Make sure the screws are driven into wall studs. With another person helping you, lift the planter and set it on the mounting strip. Then drive the screw through each top corner and into the wall to secure the planter. Once the pallet is planted, all you have to do is water and fertilize as you would with any container. When it grows in, you'll have a beautiful hanging garden like this.filling with potting mix. After every 6 or so inches, take a broom handle gently tamp it firm to prevent settling later. Keep adding soil and tamping until the planter is full. Now you can staple the end shut. Lay the planter flat and cut an X pattern with a razor blade in the spots you want to plant. With your fingers, hollow out a planting space, remove a little soil if necessary, then
Get tips for dividing irises in your yard to keep them blooming and healthy.
Easy Ornamental Grasses
Ornamental grasses are an easy way to add several seasons of color and interest to your landscape. Most grasses are easy to grow and attract wildlife. Here are some of our favorites. Switch grass is a North American native grass that features cloud-like seed heads and tolerates a wide range of growing conditions. Some varieties have attractive blue green foliage that turns gold in the autumn. Others, such as Shenandoah turn burgundy purple in the fall. Wooden grass, also called Miscanthus is a popular grass for its thin leaf blades and graceful arch and texture. Some varieties have whites or yellow variegated foliage for extra interest. This species is not native and can be invasive in some areas, so check local instructions before planting it. Fountain grass is another beautiful non-native grass that's commonly planted in landscapes. Typically shorter in stature than Switch grass or Maiden grass, it features fuzzy seed heads that look like caterpillars. Fountain grass is deer-resistant, drought tolerant and the seed head attract birds. Feather reed grass is one of the most prevalent grasses planted in landscapes. It offers an attractive stiff upright habit and wheat-like seed heads. Karl Foerster is an award winning variety that you can also find variegated types, such as Avalanche. If you're looking for a grass for the shade, try Japanese forest grass. Grow in a round of foot tall, this wooden plant offers arching dark green leaf blades that have bold, golden yellow stripes. Some varieties turn in an attractive red purple in the autumn.Ornamental grasses are an easy way to add several seasons of color and interest to your landscape. Most grasses are easy to grow and
-Arranging flowers is easier than you think. Here's how to create a perfect bouquet of cut flowers. Choose a container that will complement your bouquet with its size, shape, and color. A flared opening allows stems to lean naturally. Aim for bouquet of 1 to 1-1/2 times the height of the vase. For a mixed bouquet, gather 5 varieties of flower and 2 types of leaves. Fill your plain vase with room temperature water. Visualize the arrangement with any circle. Now, divide the circle into 3 equal parts. Plan to place 1 stem of each plant variety in each of the 3 parts. To create a long-lasting bouquet, strip off lower leaves and cut each stem in an angle. You'll need several stems of each plant. Start with 1 type of leaves. Place each stem at an angle to form a web that will hold the other stems in place. A vase of leaves brings any bouquet to life. It makes an arrangement look fresh from the garden. The star of your bouquet is the largest most dominant flower. Shapely lilies like this allow smaller secondary flowers to have supporting roles and fit in nicely. For color, variety, and interest, add the supporting cast. Roses, lycianthes, and snapdragons are good choices. Finish your bouquet with fillers. Fillers can be flowers or leaves. Bupleurum and fern complete this arrangement. Adjust the stems to perfect the arrangement. Tucking in [unk] as needed. Now, your bouquet is ready to enjoy.
Top Gardening Tools
Here in the Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden we use a lot of tools. Here are 5 we think every gardener should have. This type of hoe, often known as a hula-hoe but sometimes by other names, is been around for decades and is still the best general weeding hoe. In back and forth action, lets you cut weeds in both direction and it's designed not to dig in deeply so it glides back and forth with less effort than a tropic action of a typical hoe. When it comes to digging holes, a planting spade beats a regular shovel every time. Its long narrow blade penetrates the ground more easily and the handle is straight rather than angled which makes it easy to dig a straight side of planting hole. Here's another substitute for shovel. Spading forks make soil much better than shovels so they're better for chilling flower beds and vegetable gardens. They also help you [unk] a perennials for dividing without cutting all the roots like the shovel will. Once you use the fork, you'll see how much better it is for turning soil or dividing perennials. For planting bulbs an auger is a good substitute for [unk] especially for hard soil or tight spaces between plants. Most gardeners are familiar with augers like this 2-inch model. But for small bulbs, this narrower version is far superior. It digs into lawns without making too large of a whole and requires a lot less power to use than a larger Augers so it works even with smaller cordless drills. The smaller size is just right for planting crops and great vines and bulbs. And here's another trick. Use it to dig holes around trees and pour in your own fertilizer instead of using tree spikes or deep root feeders. Every gardener needs a good pair of shears that scissor-type snips like this one from OXO are easier to use for like trimming like [unk], cutting flowers or harvesting vegetables. The long straight blades have good reach and light beauty snips way less than regular shears. So they are less tiring to use.
How to Force Spring Bulbs
Start spring a little early by forcing bulbs indoors. Forced bulbs are perfect for adding a splash of color and fragrance when it's still cold and gray outside. Forcing bulbs is easy. The process typically starts in fall. Purchase your favorite bulbs from your local garden center and plant them in pots with high quality potting mix. If you like an even bigger and better display, layer your bulbs by planting smaller ones over the top of your larger bulbs. Water them in then store bulbs some place around 40 degrees for 12 weeks or so. Places you can store bulbs include cellars, unheated garages and refrigerators. Water the bulbs periodically while they're being kept cool. After about 12 weeks, move your bulbs to a warmer spot in your home. They'll start to grow. Most bulbs take 2 to 4 weeks to bloom once they come out of their rigid shell. After the bulbs bloom, it's usually best to compost them. Forced bulbs rarely perform well in the garden when planted outside.
If you're like us, you love spending time at the patio over the summer. Take advantage of these tips to make your patio extra comfy. Incorporate container gardens to soften the edges of your patio. Container garden show off some of your favorite plants and add color to outdoor spaces. And here's a hint. Create container groupings. A cluster of colorful pots is much more visually impactful than a single one especially if your containers are of different sizes. Provide privacy by collecting trees or large shrubs around the perimeter of your patio or build a trowel or ladder screen and plant vines. Leafy plants around your patio ledges help block the view and muffle neighborhood sounds. There's something magical about water so add a water feature. This simple reflecting pool lined in black creates a mirrored effect and offers a sense of serenity or use a tabletop fastener bubbler. The moving water offers another layer of sound and is sure to attract birds and butterflies. Plants are on the edges so your patio doesn't feel plucked in the middle of your landscape. Even a simple border of colorful flowers, fragrant herbs or dwarf shrubs helps transition your patio space into the rest of your yard, giving it a cohesive landscape feel. Add an upper head element to make it feel cozy and offer shade on hot summer days. A small tree such as the sweeping crabapple is one ideal solution. In addition to creating shade, the crabapple cools its surrounding air as the plant breathes. Or if you don't want a mess, build a pergola structure to make shade and offer the feel of a ceiling in your personal lot or a room.There's something magical about water so add a water feature. This simple reflecting pool lined in black creates a mirrored effect and offers a sense of serenity or use a tabletop fastener bubbler. The moving water