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Summer Heat is Great for Your Perennials

06 Aug

Greetings friends of Madden’s!

I know I am not alone when I say our extreme weather conditions have made this a  challenging summer in the garden. But while the wind, heat and continuous rain may slow down your annuals, its great weather for perennials.

Perennial hostas line the stairs to the beach from Wilson Bay

Maintaining Healthy Perennials

Perennial plants such as Hosta, Daylily, and Iris should be dug up and divided every three years to keep them healthy and at a desirable size. To do this, dig up the  entire plant with a spade shovel. This is an easy job if the plant has been maintained; however, a friend’s help may be needed if the plant has become overgrown. Once the plant is out of the ground, use a hand saw to ‘saw’ the root ball into two or more clumps, depending on the original size (some plants may provide ten clumps or more). Next, plant a nice clump back in the original spot, water, and fertilize. I prefer a slow release, granular fertilizer, such as Osmocote 20-20-20, which can be found at any garden center. It is simple to apply and because it is a slow release, you only need to fertilize once a year. And, finally, find homes for the new plants! If you are unable to use them in your own yard, try selling them at a yard sale or give them away to friends and family – they will love you for it!

Enjoy, Julie, Madden’s Horticulturalist

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