Spring flowering bulbs should take a natural course

As spring flowering bulbs go through the flowering process, keep the following three care tips in mind.
1. If possible, remove faded flowers with scissors or hand pruning shears. This allows the plant to conserve its energy for flowering the following year rather than using it to produce seeds.
2. Let the foliage die naturally – it is necessary to make food which will be stored in the bulb and used for next year’s flowers.
3. Do not fertilize. The roots of these plants begin to stop after flowering. The fertilizer applied at this time is wasted. Instead, fertilize in the fall when the bulbs are normally planted and again in the spring when new shoots emerge from the ground.
Fertilize cabbage crops
Cabbage crops, such as cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower planted earlier this spring that survived our first cold snap, will need a little fertilizer. These plants need to mature before the summer heat arrives, so they need to grow quickly when the weather is cool. A side coating of fertilizer about 3 weeks after transplanting helps the plants to continue growing quickly.
Use nitrogen-rich fertilizers for the dressing such as nitrate soda or blood meal at the rate of 1/3 cup per 10 feet of row. Lawn fertilizers containing 30 percent nitrogen are good at 30-3-4 or 29-5-4, but the rate should be halved to 3 tablespoons per 10 feet of row. Do not use lawn fertilizer that contains weedkillers or preventatives. Fertilizer should be watered if spot rains don’t do this job for you.

Strawberries are one of the most popular fruits, but gardeners often struggle with weed control.

The strawberries form a mat of plants, which makes hoeing difficult. Gardeners should pull weeds by hand or use herbicides. Although there are no weedkillers available for homeowners to use on strawberries, Poast (sethoxydim), a grass killer herbicide, can be used after weed has emerged. It can be sprayed directly on strawberries without damage, but should not be applied within 7 days of harvest.

You can find Poast in Fertilome Over the Top II, Hi-Yield Grass Killer, and Monterey Grass Getter.

Spring strawberries that were planted this spring should have pinched flowers. New plants have a limited amount of energy. If the flowers remain on the plants, the energy that should go to the development of the runners is used instead to ripen the fruit. Plants allowed to fruit will eventually produce runners, but those runners will not be strong enough to produce a good crop of berries the following year.

For an adequate strawberry plant population and a good harvest next year, early runner development is necessary. The first runners will produce a lot more strawberries than runners who are forming later in the season.

Newly planted evergreen plants should also have fruit removed for the first 4-6 weeks after planting so that they develop a strong root system.

About Jennifer R.

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