Saturday, August 22, 2009

Garden Talks August 22--Water!; Tips for Tall Phlox; Pee Gee Hydrangea

Hello again,

Just a quick note. I have spent a pretty good amount of time in the garden today and don't be fooled by the showers we received last night in Skillin's Country.

All containers and hanging baskets as well as 2009 planted shrubs, trees, perennials, annuals and vegetables most likely need a good thorough soaking if you have not watered them within the last couple of days! For good watering techniques go to Garden Talks August 14--Time to Water!

I am taking the time (on a gorgeous day like this, it is a pleasure!) to not only water the material I mentioned above but also to give my vegetables, containers (both flowers and vegetables) and 2009 planted perennials a good liquid soaking of water and Neptune's Harvest Fish and Seaweed Fertilizer. Of course, I have recently side dressed them with their "second half" dosage of granular and all natural Plant Booster Plus by Organica. So they are getting a good double dosage of food today. Remember this is Maine! Our season is short and we ask a lot of performance out of our annuals and vegetables--so give them the help they need with good dosages of healthy fertilizers. Come see us or ask any questions at or leave a comment at this post; we will get back to you!

I noticed that the foliage on my tall white phlox is getting droopy. Combination of heat and although the phlox was planted years ago the soil around the plants is looking to be getting dry. SO, I have run a hose just to the first clump of phlox and have the water running quite slowly into the clump. Slow enough so there is no runoff of water. I will leave the hose at each clump for up to 60 or 90 minutes and just let the water seep into the ground. This should water the root system quite well.

From past experience I know that my Pee Gee Hydrangeas will soon be getting droopy as well as the foliage always turns "in" and "down" when the soil gets dry in late summer. So after the phlox have had their quality waterings I will do the same technique with my Pee Gees. They stand about 5 to 6 feet tall and have been in the ground for about 10 years now. The stems are pretty fat and they produce much foliage (and beautiful flowers too!) SO I will probably let the seeping water from the end of the hose stay at the base of each plant for about 3 hours. Again let the water seep in slowly; there should be no runoff.

BOTh the Pee Gees and the Phloxes have recently had their "Second Half" feeding of granular all natural Plant Booster Plus by Organica (Plant Tone by Espoma is also a good choice) so this good thorough water also helps to get these all natural fertilizers down into the soil just a little faster. Great for the soil!

Back to the phlox!: If the flower heads on top of your phlox are starting to turn a little brown then by all means prune the top flower heads out. This will encourage more growth from the side flower heads just below the tops and mean more color for at least a couple of more weeks from your gorgeous phlox!

Is your phlox foliage mildewy and spotty? They and you DO NOT have to live that way. Remember to give them sprayings of Messenger every few weeks. We talk about the benefits of Messenger at here.

Mike Skillin
Skillin's Greenhouses
August 22, 2009

No comments: