Saturday, September 11, 2010


With the onset of some cooler weather, many of the plants that have struggled a bit are just exploding with color and new vigor--the dahlias and roses in particular!  We need to start thinking of encouraging the roses to enter dormancy, as the wood needs to harden off before cold temperatures begin.  After the next flush of blooms, in October, stop deadheading  the roses. (You need to stop  3-5 weeks before the first frost).  When they  enter dormancy, prune them all to about 3-4 feet so that the tallest canes won't break down in heavy snows in winter. This also helps them from being whipped around by winter winds and being damaged.  If any require winter protection, mound shredded bark around the base.  For dahlias, keep deadheading--the more you deadhead, the more prolific they become!  After the first frost, when the leaves have turned black, they need to be dug.  Carefully dig with a pitchfork, being careful not to puncture any tubers, shake off excess soil, and hang upside down for a few days in a dry, warm area.  Then layer tubers in vermiculite or peat moss, and place in a box or tub and keep in a cold area (around 40-45 degrees) over winter, which keeps the tubers viable to plant next spring!    ON ANOTHER NOTE:  the tiny little flower buds on the florists mums and garden mums are growing--they will bloom later on--in October and even November.  I can't wait--they will be stunning!  Enjoy these wonderful days ahead--I know I will!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

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