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From the Impatient Gardener


Photo by Da Da Ace

Fall is here and here are few things you might want to consider this year that I am working on too. We all know that we do not need a “dirt” doctor to tell us if our turf is ailing. There are signs that the grass is unhappy such as thin areas and weeds taking over. So the very first thing I want to do is fertilize. But there are so many choices and which one is the best? Well, I trooped down to my local County Extension office (we all have one in our area) and picked up the boxes and paperwork for doing a soil test so I will KNOW exactly what to use. I did this a few years ago and it was very enlightening. The report details the nutrients in my landscape and where I need to repair it and what to use. And voila! No more guess work and the bonus is saving time and money by using the wrong things.

The next thing I want to do now is find some fall favorites to put in the landscape so as garden expert P. Allen Smith advises I have “perennials you add to your garden now that will bolster autumn’s tapestry”. What are some favorites he suggests? Here are just a few: Goldenrod “Fireworks”, Aster “Alma Potchke”, Salvia vanhoutti (oh, one of my favorites!) “Paul”, Japanese Anemone, Hardy Begonia, Arkansas Amsonia, Autumn Fern (and this take little to no care!), Autumn crocus, Lycoris and Nerine.  Personally living in the South I love Spider lilies this time of year as well.

Another thing I do year after year is buy mums and just sit them in a  pot or right inside a pumpkin I have carved out (if you rub the carved out interior with Vaseline will aid in keeping it longer). Then you can either replant later in your garden or send them to the compost pile!

Fall is my favorite season. I love putting the garden to bed for the winter and the changing season, but I still want some interest in the garden. They are things that are important to me so I am smart about my gardening. What is Smart Gardening? It is “When you practice the techniques of Smart Gardening, you will conserve water and energy, save time and money, improve your yard and garden, recycle yard waste and kitchen scraps, reduce waste going to our landfills, and help preserve the environment. These simple practices do not take much time, and help you develop healthy and beautiful lawns and gardens to enjoy.”  http://dpw.lacounty.gov/epd/sg/gen_info.cfm

Time is one thing we all do not have enough of but, our landscape is important because it represents our home. Ease of time and smart gardening are the best ways to garden for all of us! How does your garden grow this year? I am busy separating and dividing Spider lilies, Day lilies, Irises and Roses. What is great is to be able to share all these with other gardeners as well! Soon my garden will nestle in for the winter and I am looking forward to seeing my plants come alive in the spring.

The Impatient Gardener: Dividing Daylilies

There are three good reasons to divide your daylilies: first, to control the size of the plants; second, to rejuvenate them; and third, to increase their number. Daylilies are hardy and extremely tolerant of dividing. So when should you divide them for the optimal color?  Fall!

Remember those beautiful flowers are best divided when the flowers have faded.  Doing so sends all the energy to the bulbs and leaves for growth. That means you get to really enjoy your blooms before you do the dirty work.

When you’re ready to divide, start by watering the plants thoroughly so that ground is easy to work. Prune the stems and foliage to about 6 inches above the ground for ease of division. I always use a garden fork to dig out the roots for separation. Then shake the bulbs loose of dirt.

If the plant is large to begin with you might want to separate into several plants.  Replant the smaller ones in an area that you have prepared and voila! Wait for spring and Mother Earth will show you rewards!

Daylilies come in many different varieties. One of my favorite places to find them online is at Oakesdaylilies.  Happy Gardening!